Congratulations to our own Pastor Dave!

Congratulations to our own Pastor Dave Cote who was presented with a pre-ordination certificate of licensure from our executive board at this mornings service, November 7th, 2021.
Our executive board also voted to receive Pastor Dave as a new member of our church by letter of transfer from his previous church. Pastor Dave comes to us from the United Congregational Church of Worcester where he was a member in good-standing for many years.
In celebration of this special and momentous occasion, a lovely and delicious Publick House cake was shared during a most wonderful coffee hour following the service – and, it was so great for so many of us to join together for this special occasion.
Welcome home, Pastor Dave, welcome home!
If you didn’t get a chance to attend the service in person or online – or you would like to view it again – the recorded version can be viewed on our website, Facebook page or YouTube channel.

It’s Time to Go Back to the Pumpkin Patch

Organizers at the Federated Church of Sturbridge and Fiskdale are busy putting the final touches on this year’s 4th Annual Pumpkin Patch Fundraiser, which is slated to open on Saturday, September 25 on the front lawn of the church at 8 Maple Street, Sturbridge.

Photo Credit: Christine Bronson

According to committee chair Tom Mapplebeck, the annual fall event made its first appearance in 2018 as a fundraiser that benefits church operations and numerous regional ministries, with a significant benefit going to the Navajo Nation in Farmington, NM where Pumpkin Patch Fundraisers employs over 700 Native Americans during the harvest months of September and October. They also have a full time off-season NM staff that is comprised of entirely Native Americans. This has a positive and lasting impact on a region with 42% unemployment.

“Now our Pumpkin Patch has become so popular that residents from Sturbridge and surrounding towns look forward to the arrival of the tractor trailer truck that delivers the pumpkins and gourds from New Mexico and the activities that follow throughout the month of October,” Mapplebeck adds.

Once the pumpkins go on sale, volunteers from the Pumpkin Patch Committee and other church and community members will be on hand to assist with sales Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weather permitting. Masks may be required depending on current Massachusetts guidelines.
Mapplebeck says the committee would welcome volunteers from other local community groups to help unload the initial order of pumpkins when they arrive at 8 a.m. on Saturday, September 25. Additional volunteers are also needed to help with sales whenever the Pumpkin Patch is open to the public.

This year’s Pumpkin Patch Committee is also hoping to schedule an array of different pumpkin-inspired events and activities throughout the month of October, including a pumpkin carving demonstration by Roger Williams Park Jock-o-Lantern Spectacular carver Simone Germaine on Saturday, October 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and another demonstration the following day with local artist Heidi Curboy. “We’re proceeding a bit cautiously scheduling others at the moment,” says Mapplebeck. “We’re keeping a close watch on what’s happening with the Delta variant and the local healthcare scene. Naturally, we want to be sure we can conduct the event in as safe a manner as possible.” More scheduled events will be announced closer to the opening of this year’s Pumpkin Patch.

Master Pumpkin Carver Simone Germaine from the Roger WIlliams Park Zoo Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular

Pumpkin Patch Fundraisers began in 1974 in North Carolina with 3 acres of pumpkins and a partnership with one church. They agreed to let the church sell the pumpkins and they would share the proceeds. There was no contract, no legal proceedings…just a handshake and trust in each other. Richard and Janice Hamby have been growing pumpkins and adding partners ever since.

It’s a wonderful partnership of trust. Over 1,000 churches and non-profit organizations, including the Federated Church of Sturbridge and Fiskdale, trust Pumpkin Patch Fundraisers to grow and deliver 1,200 acres of great, hardy pumpkins, and they, in turn, trust those organizations to be diligent in selling their pumpkins, honest in reporting their sales, and attentive to paying a percentage of sales toward all of the costs associated with growing, harvesting and shipping.

For additional updates, please go to the Sturbridge Federated Church Facebook page, visit the Church website at, or call the Church office at (774) 304-1021.

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