Rev. Gilchrist comes from the Church of God in Christ tradition and was ordained in the Baptist church. She has been the senior minister at NSCC since 2015.
With the 239th anniversary of the church coming on June 4, Rev. Gilchrist shared some of the interesting history of the North Stamford church. Famed baseball player Jackie Robinson and his family were once members of the church. The church was also part of the Underground Railroad, aiding enslaved black people seeking freedom from slavery. And the church celebrates its diverse roots.
"North Stamford Community Church is a diverse church. It's diverse in music, diverse in worship expression, diverse in the people that come there and, diverse in thought," she said.
Rev. Goodwin asked, "what's something about North Stamford right now that is just blowing your socks off?"
In response, Rev. Gilchrist described a project called the "New Norm Community" which will launch on June 4th. The goal is to reach out to people in the community who are exploring faith and spirituality but "are not ready just yet to come into the traditional sense of what church represents." Part of this will include gathering at Pinstripes rooftop restaurant in Norwalk for casual conversation, food and drink beginning June 4th at 7 PM. The church is also engaged in "drive-by" prayers in the local community, driving down local streets and praying for the people and homes on those roads. The ministry includes leaving a card to let residents know that they are being prayed for by the church.
Rev. Gilchrist calls this a hybrid approach to church. "We are hybrid when it comes to technology and in-person services and things like that. But this is also a form of hybrid where you are able to minister to people that are interested in the more traditional sense of the church, but you're also creating an environment for people that are not interested in that, but they are interested in exploring God, faith and spirituality."
Later in the interview, Rev. Goodwin asks Rev. Gilchrist how she continues to be an "out-of-the-box" thinker.
"I grew up in a home that believed God. That was really ingrained in me that I trust God.... I have to walk by faith and not by sight," said Rev. Gilchrist.
She said she does not believe churches will return to the way things were before the pandemic. "God wants us to be adventurous and create new things because Jesus was adventurous."
Services at North Stamford Community Church are in-person, streamed live on Facebook, and available in the parking lot through a broadcast system. Rev. Goodwin will be speaking as part of the 239th Celebration on Sunday, June 6 at 10:30am.
Watch the full interview below:
Drew Page is the Media and Data Manager for the Southern New England Conference, and a member of the Conference's Communications Team. He writes and edits news, blogs, and devotionals, produces video, and spends a week each summer as a Dean at Silver...