A Congregational Heritage
Singing from the same hymnal and writing a new verse
“ It is just such a special place. It is such a robust, enveloping community. There is truly something for everyone, at every age and stage of life. ” Jacquelyne Wheeler, Village Church member
Jacquelyn Wheeler’s Congregational roots run deep. Her father was a deacon in a Congregational church, and she remembers him gathering the family, when she was a child, to sing hymns. As she grew up, she suffered some embarrassment as a teenager, but today, her early connection to church brings up warm memories.
“My father was the superintendent of Sunday school. He had us singing hymns around the piano on Sunday nights. I look back with such fondness. Now I know how to belt out those good old Protestant hymns!
“When I moved back to my hometown in Connecticut, I went to the church there where my father had been a deacon, and I was a deacon as well, so it was fun to – even though my father was long gone – follow in his footsteps,” she said.
Despite her early involvement, however, Jacquie left the church. College took her to Colorado, and during her years of young adulthood, church seemed to be less relevant. The twists and turns of life took her away from being a part of a church, or as she says, she “fell off the wagon” in her casual way. But Jacquie, who has an infectious laugh and a bubbly personality, knew she wanted more depth.
“I think periodically we examine our life and we think ‘is this all there is?’ or ‘isn’t there more?’ and I think that is part of it.”
She wandered into the church one Sunday and then eventually became involved in a fellowship supper group, “which I treasure,” Jacquie said. “You couldn’t have more welcoming, wonderful people.”
Jacquie is most animated when talking about the future of Wellesley Village Church and what it stands for.
“One of the things that is very appealing to me about Village Church is that it is very encompassing of its own congregation but extends far beyond its four walls and even the community,” Jacquie said, describing the work of the Village Table feeding program. The congregation-led initiative creates 1,000 meals a month in the church’s industrial kitchen for distribution to Family Promise Metrowest, Food for Free in Cambridge, and Community Fridge in Boston.
“There’s something here for everyone,” Jacquie said. “We have so many talents within this church, and people really do extend themselves. To me, it’s community, it’s caring, and it’s compassion.
“Community is just so important. I am single, so it is nice to have yet another and very important community. This has become a really important one for me.”