Just as the Old and New Testaments are distinct yet complementary, such are the past and the future at Somers Congregational Church, opening to the public for the first time since a devastating fire New Year’s morning 2012.
“It took my breath away when I walked through the door,” said Michelle Young, who lives near the church. “A lot of that has to do with watching it from the ground up.”
Deacon Pat Jones said the architects “utilized the space so much more efficiently,” combining the trends and technologies of today with the charm of older times.
“We’ve always had the horseshoe balcony. The spindles on the top of that are now code enforced,” explained pastor Rev. Barry Cass, pointing out the upgrades to one of the church’s distinctive features. “The windows are actually replicas of the old windows. The glass came from the same source.”
The cross itself also underwent a resurrection of sorts.
“The cross was made by one of our members, John Johnson, out of a piece of timber from the old building,” Cass said.
But according to the congregation, the greatest blessing of all is that the rebuilding process brought them together, proving fire couldn’t tear apart a sprit this strong.
“I just saw how everyone was just pulling together, you know, and our sorrow over it,” said Jones. “It was just heartwarming.”
Parishioners celebrated Easter Sunday in the brand new sanctuary last month, gathering together for a sunrise ceremony. The new church held its open house today and will host a dedication ceremony next weekend.