Who We Are
The Chapel of All Saints is an Episcopal congregation which gathers every Sunday morning at 8:00 at the North Cornwall Meeting House onTown Street. The building is owned by the United Church of Christ inCornwall; while we contribute towards its upkeep, we are largely free of the responsibilities and costs that weigh heavily on many congregations and we are able to support an extensive outreach effort. Each week we celebrate Holy Communion along with readings from the Bible and a sermon; an organist is with us on alternate Sundays. The simplicity of the beautiful Meeting House complements the verbal richness of the Episcopal service.
We are a small, energetic and welcoming congregation. We have a particular interest in the communities of Cornwall and the Northwest Corner, but our outreach extends much farther as we support programs that make a practical difference all around the world. Characteristically, our summer project is to make jams and other preserves to sell at the Cornwall Agricultural Fair in September; the proceeds have typically supported both local food banks and organizations like The Hunger Project. In 2010 we raised more than $5,000 for the Sharon House Garden, which provides fresh vegetables for local food banks. In partnership withSt. Thomas’ Church,Amenia Union,NY, we support 50 orphaned children in Humekwa Parish in the Diocese of Tanzania. This effort – the Carpenter’s Kids Program of the Diocese of New York – provides school uniforms, shoes, school supplies, mosquito nets, and malaria medication.
Our priest, Mary Gates, is also a psychotherapist and a licensed social worker. Her personal example is as straightforward and thoughtful as her sermons: for eleven years, she and her husband, Dan Gates, have maintained a vegetable garden which now supplies fresh food to some seventy needy families in Dutchess County in New York and Litchfield County in Connecticut.
We are a congregation of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, but our governance is less hierarchically structured than that of many Episcopal churches. Instead of a vestry, we have a Steering Committee; our decision-making sometimes resembles a Town Meeting. Some visitors have commented that in their simplicity and lack of pretension, our services suggest what early Christian “house churches” may have felt like.