Federated Church of Sturbridge and Fiskdale to host 71st and Final Annual Auction

STURBRIDGE, MA – The Federated Church of Sturbridge and Fiskdale will hold its 71st and final Annual Antique Auction on Saturday, August 14, 2021, on the beautiful Sturbridge Common across from the landmark Publick House Historic Inn. The auction will be held, rain or shine, under tent, with a preview of items to be sold beginning at 9:00 a.m. and bidding starting promptly at 10:00 a.m.

A real old fashioned country auction, this event is known as the longest annually held church auction in the nation, according to auction committee chair, Tim Bardsley. Items up for bid include an assortment of antique items and collectibles donated by church and community members, many in original condition and some lovingly restored by local artisans.

As in prior years, any bidder whose purchases total $500 or more will receive dinner for two courtesy of The Publick House Historic Inn and Restaurant. Bidders whose purchases total $1,000 or more, will receive one night of lodging and dinner for two.

A highlight of the auction is the sale of two featured decorated chairs. As a special feature of this year’s auction, the Church will be auctioning off two of each chair – the Sturbridge Chair (#27 and #28 in the series) and The Publick House Chair (#49 and #50 in the series) – instead of the usual two because last year’s auction had to be canceled due to the pandemic.

These highly prized items, which always command a lot of attention, are decorated in bronze powder stenciling with a lovely Sturbridge or Publick House scene. The chairs are part of a limited series with only one of each produced each year and they are only available at the Federated Church annual auction.

The event also includes a silent auction featuring gift baskets, handmade crafts, gift certificates from local vendors, a bake sale and food booth. The auction is handicapped accessible and open to the general public free of charge with ample free parking around the Common and the Church.

The auction is being conducted for the 47th year in a row by the highly professional and entertaining Robert Glass Jr. and Gwen Glass Carbone of the Robert H. Glass family of auctioneers. For more information, please call the Church office at (508) 347-3915 or email churchoffice@sturfed.org.

Koinonia Presents 2021 Education Awards

The women’s group of the Sturbridge Federated Church, formally known as Koinonia, presented its annual education award to four outstanding area recipients on Sunday, June 20. The award, which includes a $1,000 honorarium, is presented to candidates who best exemplify the qualities of character, merit, and service. Men and women, young and old, who are taking college courses and other classes are all eligible for the award. This year’s education award committee, comprised of Lucette Favreau, Nancy Castendyk, Susan Schwartz, and Barbara Stietzel, presented awards to the following recipients:

Mai Caslowitz, daughter of Susie Bonta of Sturbridge, and Carl Caslowitz of Canton, CT is a 2021 graduate of Tantasqua Regional High School who is headed to Rider College, Lawrenceville, NJ in the fall to pursue a bachelor of fine arts degree with a concentration in musical theatre. “Mai’s talent is only eclipsed by the sterling qualities that constitute her character,” said Ms. Schwartz. “She is what we call a ‘triple threat,’ superlatively gifted in musical voice, nimbly skilled in dance and movement, and blessed with comedic and dramatic acting abilities. These are enhanced by her empathy, wisdom, and gracious open nature. A deeply caring individual, Mai has volunteered in multiple, diverse service capacities since childhood, and likewise hopes to use her talents to benefit others.”

Olivia Olson, daughter of Tom and Kathy Olson of Sturbridge, is a 2021 graduate of Tantasqua Regional High School who will be entering the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the fall as a dance major. “Olivia has shown generosity, compassion, and a depth of dedication to our church and her school,” said Ms. Castendyk. “She has shared her time and talents as a volunteer leader of various Sunday School programs, Vacation Bible School, and several Christmas pageants. Her teachers expressed high praise for Olivia’s commitment to the school’s concert choir, theatre program, Maestros, and Encore, all of which proved her to be a skilled leader, actor, musician, dancer, and dance instructor.”

2021 Koinonia Education Award Recipients (left to right) Mai Calowitz, Olivia Olson,
Ryan Peters, and Jeremy Peters.

Jeremy Peters
, son of Mark and Missy Peters of Southbridge, is a 2021 graduate of Southbridge High School where he was class president and valedictorian, National Honor Society president, varsity tennis captain, president of the International Thespian Society and a member of the school band. “Jeremy is a true Renaissance man,” said Ms. Favreau. “In addition to the leadership roles mentioned, he is an Eagle Scout, a member of Worcester County Bee Association, and the owner of a pork business!” Jeremy is headed to Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the fall where he will major in mechanical engineering.

Ryan Peters, son of Mark and Missy Peters of Southbridge, is a 2021 graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute with honors with high distinction. “As an Eagle Scout, Ryan has been involved in multiple service projects, including one at Capen Hill Nature Sanctuary,” according to Ms. Stietzel. “At WPI, he volunteered many hours researching antibiotic resistance in a relative of the bacteria that causes tuberculosis, and worked hundreds of volunteer hours with the “Lens and Lights” group at WPI, managing lighting, sound, and projection services for the entire campus. His professors say that Ryan is a person who will always do the right thing for the right reason. He treats everyone fairly and with compassion. His positive attitude, determination, and kindness are prominent characteristics.” In the fall, Ryan will serve as a teaching assistant at Purdue University in Indiana, in a six-year program leading to a doctorate in biological sciences.

In addition to the education award, the graduating seniors were presented with a custom handmade quilt, lovingly made by Shirley Hitlin, Ryan and Jeremy’s grandmother, who has been honoring graduates with quilts for the past five years. “They are made with the idea that they are stuffed with love from their church community,” Ms. Hitlin said. ”When students are away from home, they may be lonely, happy, or sad, but they can always wrap themselves in this quilt and know that God is with them.”

“Koinonia believes in rewarding those who have already distinguished themselves by their character, merit, and service, and who are continuing to better themselves through learning and education. We would like to thank everyone who applied for this year’s education awards or who wrote letters of reference for their candidates,” said Ms. Favreau. “We appreciate your willingness to take the time to participate in this program, and we encourage other students to apply for future awards.”

Koinonia, a word that appears in several forms in the New Testament, most often refers to fellowship. This word of Greek origin suggests a sense of partnership, sharing, companionship, and philanthropic service. Koinonia meets monthly in Fellowship Hall. All members and friends of the Federated Church are welcome to attend.

2020 Snowflake Tree

Snowflake Tree Mission 2020: Pastor Sabina’s Christmas Requests

Pastor Sabina Terrades, Minister at The First United Methodist Church in Southbridge, has been spearheading wonderfully caring outreach for our neighbors experiencing homelessness. For this Christmas season, she has engaged our church community in the following project:

To fill 40 brown paper goodie bags: 20 for adult men and women, and 20 for elementary school age boys & girls. We are being gifted with the opportunity to purchase gifts for these recipients. Please imagine being homeless, and consider what you might like to have in hand if living on the street, as it were…

Requested for these goodie bags:

• A Christmas card with a caring, handwritten note: Pastor request we write: “God loves you” on the card. Please add a similar, loving, brief Christmas message
• Hand warmers
• Suggested personal care items: soap, washcloth, travel-size shampoo, conditioner, nail file, hair clips/elastics, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, small comb, small hairbrusg, chapstick, small hand or body lotions, band-aids, tissues, small sanitizer, face mask, scarf
• Stocking stuffer size, gender & age-appropriate toys, small games, deck of cards, colored pencils, crayons, pads for drawing/writing, pens, small puzzles, small puzzle books and other treats
• To be included as well (already obtained): A Christmas devotional booklet for each adult, gloves or mittens, knitted caps, socks, a food item will also be added before sealing the bags

Please deliver your gifts to the church by Sunday, December 13. Bring to the office or place in the bin in the parlor. Any questions, please call Holice Turnbow (508) 347-3428 or Suzie Schwartz (508) 347-9626.

God bless you.