Cynthia Payne

When we first moved to Williamstown 23 years ago I wasn’t much of a church goer.  Having been raised Catholic I’d been turned off by religion.  But my husband wanted to join a church and one of the first Sundays we were in town he got up early on a Sunday morning and walked up the hill looking for the Episcopal church, the one in which he’d been raised.  But running late, as always, for the 10:00 service, he stopped at the closer First Congregational Church instead for the 10:30 service and liked what he found.

I began attending with him and bringing our then 4 year old for Sunday school.  I was surprised to find I really liked this church!  The focus wasn’t on sin, but how to help others.  What a wonderful vision for a church to have!  I had another child, who was baptized in our church, and I became involved with teaching Sunday school, the Children’s Fair, the Makepeace committee, Outreach, Open and Affirming, and the Board of Deacons.

Our next two children were also baptized and attended Sunday School here.  The church is a welcoming place for children, who attend part of the service in our bright sunny sanctuary before going to Sunday school, so they were integrated into the service.

I found peace and inspiration during the service.  I found companionship, support, and intellectual stimulation both from the sermon and from talking with others during Coffee Hour in Fellowship Hall.  I found a spiritual home.

Cynthia Payne

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