It’s the Community – Emily Ragsdale answers “Why Christ Church?”

In the 50 years I have been here, Christ Church has always been a place where one can find community… be it in our parish life together or in communities within the greater Christ Church Greenwich community.

I have been a fervent believer since I was a child. My journey of faith began during visits to my Southern Baptist grandmother in Jellico, Tennessee. I remember her baking communion bread early every Sunday morning and drying her long, wavy white hair as she sat in front of the oven. I watched as she pinned it atop her head in a beautiful bun that I could never recreate. My beautiful, Godly grandmother is the one responsible for my spiritual grounding, and I bless her for the way she taught me by example to this day.

My real, adult awakening happened here at Christ Church Greenwich the first time I was on the Vestry in the late 1970’s. It was an exciting time of growth in my own spiritual life and in the parish. Later I became Senior Warden in the mid 1990s during a frustrating time when so many programs were abandoned and so many people in the parish often felt they were not being ministered to. I listened, and hope I gave some comfort. I am very grateful to be back in lay leadership as an officer of this Vestry that has initiated so many great things. It is a very special joy to be part of the revitalization of Christ Church Greenwich – more families, more Christ Church programs (check out the Bookstore on our fabulous new website) and more outreach activity, especially in Neighbor to Neighbor, which is housed on our campus.

Emily answers "Why Christ Church?"In the 50 years I have been here, Christ Church has always been a place where one can find community, in both great and difficult times. Be it in our parish life together or in communities within the greater Christ Church Greenwich community. Years ago there was the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) who planned events for the women of the church. Nancy Murphy was our delegate to the Connecticut ECW Board then. There was also the Tuesday Guild who met Tuesday mornings, led by Ginny Risio and, I think, originally rolled bandages for war veterans. Later they decorated used coffee cans with fabric tied with ribbon or yarn for the Altar Guild to fill with flowers to take to patients at Greenwich Hospital. Now Sharon Lemler leads the Holy Rollers, who make the wonderful beeswax candles sold in the Bookstore. We offer Faith on Fire, several bible study groups, and parish dinners for small groups, which we also had years ago. Our Children’s Ministries Program has been positively revitalized by Gregg Gregory. My grandson Sammy loves Gregg! In the early 90’s we had an active Welcoming Committee. Now the Membership Committee has parties for new (and long time) members, and Greeters welcome everyone on Sunday mornings. We have changed how we do things over the years to adapt to changing times and needs, but we are again a thriving and welcoming parish, and I am grateful to be part of it.

People who move away always say “There is no church like Christ Church Greenwich”, and I agree. It’s home.

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