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June 1, 2020
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L-R: First Congregational Church Youth Minister Rev. Justin Zeigler; FCC Minister of Community Life Rev. Sarah E. Vetter; and Scott Thomas, board member with APNH: A Place to Nourish your Health (formerly AIDS Project New Haven).

L-R: First Congregational Church Youth Minister Rev. Justin Zeigler; FCC Minister of Community Life Rev. Sarah E. Vetter; and Scott Thomas, board member with APNH: A Place to Nourish your Health (formerly AIDS Project New Haven). (First Congregational Church )

First Congregational Church Celebrates 18 years as an Open & Affirming Community

Published June 08, 2019

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The First Congregational Church in Madison, the Church on the Green at 26 Meeting House Lane, will celebrate its 18th anniversary of becoming an Open & Affirming community on Sunday, June 16, with a “Proud to Be” social media campaign and guest speaker Scott Thomas, a board member of APNH: A Place to Nourish your Health. APNH, formerly AIDS Project New Haven, will also receive the morning’s plate collection as a donation for its efforts to “create a community where everyone has access to high quality, relationship based, holistic care to inspire health and well-being and to empower people at risk of, or impacted by, HIV, substance use, mental illness and related conditions.” ( According to Rev. Justin Zeigler, FCC’s Youth Minister, the social media campaign, which will be featured as a photo essay on FCC’s Instagram and Facebook sites, will include FCC members and guests sharing what they are “Proud to Be” – which could be any number of things, such as being a Dad since it will be on Father’s Day. “We want to celebrate whatever part of your identity makes you proud,” said Rev. Zeigler. “Really, all parts of who you are, are welcomed in this community!” In 2001, FCC adopted an Open & Affirming statement that said, in part: “We believe each of us is a unique creation of God. We welcome people of any age, race, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, marital status, physical, emotional, and mental capacity, and those in traditional and non-traditional families. We are concerned that Christian unity has often been compromised by fear and prejudice. Let us strive to put our beliefs into action putting aside our prejudices and working to become faithful followers of our lord Jesus Christ, who commanded us to love one another… We declare ourselves a welcoming and inclusive spiritual community and therefore, to be an Open and Affirming church.” Scott Thomas said APNH – A Place to Nourish your Health, has served the Greater New Haven Community for 35 years as AIDS Project New Haven. “We have expanded our mission and strive to serve more people,” Thomas said. “Three and a half decades into the AIDS epidemic, we are more and more focused on caring for the whole person, not just their HIV. We have always focused on nourishment; providing the body, mind and spirit with what it needs for growth, health and good condition.” If you would like to learn more about the First Congregational Church, you can call us at 203-245-2739, ext. 10, or e-mail us at You could also learn more about us at our website at or follow us at

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