Go Tell it On The Mountain: Saugatuck Congregational Church of Westport, CT

Go Tell it On The Mountain: Saugatuck Congregational Church of Westport, CT

In the most recent episode of the Go Tell It On The Mountain series, Executive Conference Minister the Rev. Darrell Goodwin interviewed the Rev. Allison Patton, senior pastor of the Saugatuck Congregational Church of Westport, CT.

During their talk, Rev. Patton talked about her call to the church nine years ago, right after the church had been through a major fire.  She said in her second interview there, right after the fire, the search committee's designated chaplain offered a prayer. 

"In the prayer, he asked that this fire that they had just suffered might open them up to be more deeply empathetic to others who had suffered such losses in their lives," she said. "And I was so profoundly struck that at this time of such tenderness and deep grief for the congregation, and rawness, that they were already able to think about connecting their suffering to the suffering of others."

Patton also said that the congregation had just received a clergy renewal grant from the Lilly Foundation, and said the application asked what "makes the pastor's heart sing." In response, she recalled having wanted to be a marine biologist when she was younger, and talked about her love for the natural world.

"So, I'm going to be spending some time with marine conservationists on the islands, in the Maldives, and then on a regenerative farm in Costa Rica with my family," she said. "And that's amazing and exciting, but what's equally exciting is how Saugatuck church engaged in our application process and looked around and said: during this time we want to take advantage of this moment to embrace our own coastal community and, to root ourselves more deeply in this place. To create opportunities for us as a congregation to rest and be renewed, while sort of owning our coastline, and so also become more deeply informed about this region so that we can be more effective advocates in the face of the climate crisis. And, so I have the sense that we're sort of on the cusp of launching that new, commitment, or a renewed commitment for our congregation. And that's exciting."

Rev. Goodwin worshipped with the Saugatuck church on Nov. 21. A recording of the service is available on the Saugatuck Congregational Church YouTube channel.

Watch the interview here:

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