Category: News

Sunday School Memories

By , October 16, 2011 9:36 pm

Some of my earliest memories are of Sunday School.  Because my parents had a call to minister to children (they did so well into their 70’s), I was exposed at an early age to Sunday School picnics, classes, and youth group meetings.  I remember vividly coloring in a picture of Jesus the Good Shepherd with His sheep.  I don’t think I was over three years old.  My parents were Janet’s Sunday School teachers, and she credits them with helping her to know Jesus in a personal way.  My mother and father hosted a youth prayer meeting in their home on Monday nights that went on for fourteen years, unabated.  My catechism in Sunday School prepared me for my conversion experience when I was sixteen.  Everything came together, like the first time a well-built engine had received ignition.  I have never looked back, or turned back.

What would you like the earliest and strongest memories of our children to be?  There are many forces vying for their attention, and some are evil.  What a privilege and a joy it is to build a Sunday School filled with love in Jesus!  We believe we are led by Him to train the faith of our young people so they can walk in His miraculous power.  I call upon all members of St. Paul’s to pray for our Sunday School – our teachers and children – and to pray about becoming servant leaders as you are able.  It will be  a memorable experience

Your brother in Christ,


The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton


On the Mark October 16th

Fr. Christopher Leighton - May 29th

By , May 29, 2011 8:26 pm

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By , January 8, 2011 12:28 am

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On the Mark June 20th 2010

By , June 20, 2010 7:00 am

God Doesn’t Go on Vacation


God doesn’t go on vacation.  It is a rather comforting thought, isn’t it?  Oh, there are times we may feel He is absent or even accuse Him of not caring.  But people of faith believe that God is with us despite our feelings and circumstances. 

God doesn’t go on vacation.  Even though God is a Sabbath-keeper, and He rests, God is not withdrawn as the Ruler of the Universe.  The Scriptures declare, “He who watches over you will not sleep.”  [Psalm 121:3]

So as you plan your “down time” this summer, be assured that as you rest God will guide you and protect you and bless you.  You may even want to consider including God in your plans!   Psalm 121 says, in verses 7 and 8:  “The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life;  the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”

You and I may go on vacation, but God doesn’t go on vacation!

Your brother in Christ,


The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton


Words for St. Paul’s

By , May 30, 2010 10:13 pm


Heard at Pentecost


In response to your request in church that we share any thoughts or guidances that come to us regarding the days ahead for St. Paul’s, something came to me right away that day while we were in church.  It was this:  “Know that you are in the house of the Lord and trust in His protection.”                                                                              from Steve Knowles

“Love one another as I love you.  Seek to see one another through my eyes and with my  heart.”  - just ask.  “Repent – come to me with a clean heart.”  “Trust me in all things.  I will work miracles.”                                                                                       from Polly Verrico

“It’s time to play ‘Follow the leader,’ and I am that Leader.  I have delegated My kingdom work to Fr. Christopher and your vestry.  I have empowered them to do the work I have called them to do, and I will empower you.  You need only to hear and obey, trust and follow.  I will speak through My Word, through My people, through circumstances, through My creation.  I am in the midst of you, never departing.  Receive My love, My goodness, and My grace.  My forgiveness for sin is ever available to you because of My sacrifice on the Cross for you.

            “’If you confess your sins, I am faithful and just to forgive your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.’  [I John 1:9

            “So, ‘confess your sins, one to another, and pray for each other, that you may be healed.’ [James 5:16].  St. Paul’s will be one of My healing pools – like the one at Bethesda [John 5:1-9].  Exercise your faith to believe this promise and you will see the fulfillment of many promises besides.  Pray, so that you will not miss the blessings.

            “In Me…the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. [Galatians 5:6].  Be willing to let me activate you, to energize you by My Holy Spirit, that you may express My heart to others.”                                                                       from Deacon Roberta Schneider

“I have put all things under the power of my Son.  He is seated at my right hand and you are seated with him.  Step out in confidence.  I am doing a new work and you will see things that you have never seen before.  Don’t be afraid.  Be bold.  A new fruitfulness is coming.

            “Where the river flows everything will live.  Look to me for life.  Don’t look at your own resources – at your little fish and loaves – look to me.  Come to me and have life.”

                                                                                                                        from Jeff Newton

St. Paul’s, enter into your golden years.  I have refined you…to go out.  Be sent out as pure and strong in the love of Christ.  Heal in My name.  Preach the Gospel.  Golden years, golden light, golden fields.  Gold, pure gold.  You are Mine.  Sing the alleluia.  Proclaim Me to the world.                                                                                                    from Dick Day

This vision was, I thought, just an answer to my prayers regarding Bob.  I had asked my Father to let me have a glimpse of Bob in his healthy and healed body…and I had asked the Lord if He would let me have a glimpse of what Bob is doing in heaven and to see him happy and joyful.  This is what the Lord showed me last Sunday…

During worship we were singing a song…”There is a river whose streams make glad the city of our God”…In front of my eyes I saw that river, bright blue and plush greenery all around…It is a real place and one day it will be on the “new earth”…I saw Bob walking along the river’s bank as well as a number [not the myriads] of others…they were all singing and praising…and then I realized they were singing the same song we were singing.  The Holy Spirit said that the “saints in heaven” know when the Body of Christ rejoices and they enter our rejoicing.

God’s vision was much broader than answering my requests…He showed me the “Communion of Saints” are not only joined to His body [Church] in His Holy Communion, but also in the communion of worship and spiritual life on earth as it is in heaven…Thank you Lord Jesus…Come Lord Jesus.  I am so grateful for God’s faithfulness and loving-kindness.                                                                                                                                       from Bonnie Brown

In my prayer time this morning I had this vision (in the spirit) and a word I believe is from the Lord…If after praying over it you feel it is appropriate to share it tomorrow please feel free to do so.

At first all I saw were beautiful white wings spread out over the roof of our church.  I asked the Lord to show me what it was because at first I thought it was an eagle or some very large bird….Then He showed me that it was indeed an Angel…so big that at first I could not see his face.  The Angel was intensely glowing and light illuminated from it which encompassed not only our church building but the whole property and although I could not see in the vision much beyond our church, I had a sense that the light illuminated way beyond.  Then He showed me the face of the Angel and there was a determination in his face and his eyes were intense on all the people in our church…He showed me every seat being filled and young people on their faces in the center aisle praising and crying out to the Lord.  The Glory of the Lord was falling all around us like gold dust through this smoky-like filtering light…There was such peace and sweetness that was radiating throughout our whole church.  I said to the Lord, “what are you showing me, Lord?”  And, He said, “Tell them I am with them, I am covering them with my love and my protection through this next season.  I want a deeper relationship with them – that is all I want right now…Tell them Rest in Me and watch and see, I make all things new. [He has been saying that to me a lot lately, that is how I knew it was Him!]…Tell them I love them more than they know or can ever imagine.  My Love…it is all about My Love – Loving Me, loving each other and loving the Lost…Just Love!”  And then He emphasized this to me…YOU ARE NOT ALONE…VICTORY IS ON THE OTHER SIDE!

I don’t think that was for me alone…I think it is for our whole church right now, but especially for you, too.                                                                                    from Joann Cerretani

When I asked God to give me a scripture for St. Paul’s, this is what I heard:  Isaiah 55, 56, and 58.                                                                                                           from Gaye Forbes

Father Christopher read this portion from Isaiah 58 on Pentecost

             8Then your light will break forth like the dawn,

and your healing will quickly appear;

               then your righteousness will go before you,

and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

9Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; 

you will cry for help; and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,

with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

10and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry

and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,

               then your light will rise in the darkness,

                        and your night will become like the noonday.

            11The Lord will guide you always;

                        he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land

                        and will strengthen your frame.

               You will be like a well-watered garden,

                        like a spring whose waters never fail.


            12Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins

                        and will raise up the age-old foundations;

              you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,

                        Restorer of Streets with Dwellings

                                                                                    Isaiah 58:8-12

Pentecost’s Preface (in the Book of Common Prayer) records these words in summation:

            “In fulfillment of his true promise, the Holy Spirit [comes] down from heaven…to teach us and lead [us] into all truth;  uniting peoples of many tongues in the confession of one faith,

AND giving to your Church [members of St. Paul’s Darien] the power to serve You as a royal priesthood

AND to preach the Gospel to all nations, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”


            keeps his promises;

            teaches and leads us to faith,

            empowering us to serve and to spread the Gospel of Jesus

            by and in the Holy Spirit to His glory!

            Praise be to our triune God!

                                                                                                from Pamela Corker

Fr. Daniel Morgan

By , April 21, 2010 3:00 pm

To know Christ and to make Him known



April 21, 2010

Dear St. Paul’s:

We write to you with great news that will bring the mixed emotions of joy and sadness. 

Father Dan has accepted a call to be the next Rector of All Saints Church in Dale City, Virginia.  All Saints is the home of The Right Reverend John Guernsey, Bishop of the Anglican Communion Network for the Diocese of the Holy Spirit, which serves the Mid-Atlantic states.  John’s responsibilities far exceeded his ability to run both a diocese and a church (which he has tried to do for the past several years) and so for almost a year now, they have been searching for his successor.

After much thought and prayer Dan accepted this call.  It was clearly a match of all the gifts we have seen develop in him over the years and he is ready to face the challenges of this new position.  It is this kind of news that we as a body need to celebrate with the Morgan’s as they launch into this new adventure.  It is also sad to say goodbye to a family that is so much a part of who we are.  We will make sure we take ample time to celebrate with them before they go.

What does this mean for St. Paul’s in the future?  It means that just as God has called the Morgan family away, so too, He will provide for our needs and call us into a new era of ministry here.

All Saints Church is much like St. Paul’s:  it is a “three streams” ministry of catholic, charismatic and evangelical.  And like us, All Saints is important to the life and welfare of the changing and growing dynamic of The Episcopal Church and The Anglican Communion in North America.  There may well be more strong points of connection between our churches as we seek to plant churches, train leaders, grow spiritually, and live joyfully as God’s ambassadors to a lost and broken world.

It has been said that St. Paul’s is a battleship like an aircraft carrier, as it trains, develops, and deploys leaders in the church.  All Saints is positioned to be just that kind of deployment station as well and we need to stay linked to others who function in the same way we do.

We are blessed to have had Dan for eleven years now, and we will be blessed to see what God has for him in the years ahead.  Stay tuned for an opportunity we will plan sometime in the weeks ahead to celebrate the Morgan’s new adventure.  They will be with us this Sunday so don’t miss the opportunity to wish them well.

Blessings and Peace,

Christopher                                       Dan

The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton                                          The Rev. Daniel C. Morgan

Rector                                                                                     Associate Rector




471 Mansfield Ave.

Darien, CT 06820

203 655-8773 • fax: 203 655-7831

On the Mark – April 11th 2010

By , April 11, 2010 7:00 am

Operation “In” Gratitude

Has anyone else ever noticed that when you separate the word ‘ingratitude” from its first syllable, it becomes “in gratitude”?  A 180-degree change in meaning, with the simple detachment of a prefix!

This leads me to question:  If it’s so easy to make the shift on paper, could it be just as easy to make that same shift in my personal outlook?

I think the answer is “yes”.  Like the flip of a switch that transforms a room from dark to light, the flip of the switch in my heart can make the difference between chronic misery and total contentment.

Example:  I lost my job in a layoff last October.  My husband suffered a knee injury at his job the very same week and has  been out of work ever since. By choosing “ingratitude” I could rightly say, “This economy’s a disaster, our financial outlook is grim, and p.s., I can’t believe that after 20 years in the workforce and an advanced degree, the Department of Labor is telling me I’m only entitle to xxx a week!   However, if I choose to move in gratitude, it’s just as easy to say, “Thank God I have the safety net of an unemployment check, that my husband can collect workman’s comp, and that we still have a roof over our heads and food on the table.”  (And p.s., last year’s financial setback could translate to this year’s tax return!)

My situation is minor compared to that of so many others.  I think of the hundreds of thousands in post-earthquake Haiti who are suffering beyond comprehension and yet are still praising God…

I’ll admit this “be thankful in all things” idea isn’t exactly original.  Some might even call it cliché.  But I’m convinced that when put to the test, it’s possible to grab hold of gratitude in every situation. The key to living in gratitude isn’t the stuff for which we’re grateful – rather, the key is to recall the One to whom we’re grateful.  Job of the Bible said it best:  “We take the good days from God – why not also the bad days?” [Job 2:10, The Message]  Job, who lost his kids, his entire estate, and his health, was able to step back from the horror his life had become and still bless God, acknowledging that God gives and takes away.

I think it’s that momentary detachment (just like the prefix) that enables us to acknowledge not only what we’ve been given, but the One who gives it.  The result?  Living “in gratitude.”


Lisa Schell

Family Service December 24th 2009

By , December 27, 2009 12:10 am

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