Atkinson Congregational Church is returning to its Rally Sunday roots with a twist. Instead of Rally Sunday, it will be a Rally Weekend, to coincide with Atkinson’s town-wide yard sale, Sept. 23. On that day, the church will be open as a “comfort station” from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to free snacks, water, coffee, and access to restrooms inside the church, tours of the historic building will be offered, including the adjacent Tuthill House, which has traditionally housed Sunday school classes. Church tours will continue the following day on Sept. 24 after Rally Sunday worship, which begins at 10 a.m. ‘Kids Club’ will also be held during the service. Festivities will include a cookout on the church lawn after worship.
“Rally Sunday here at the church is often seen as a recommitment in one’s ongoing journey of faith,” said Pastor Jim Thomas. “The timing works because of other reconnections this time of year, including school, organizations and activities. We couldn’t help but think that turning Rally Sunday into a celebratory Rally Weekend, complete with church tours and an invitation to take advantage of our ‘comfort station’ during the town-wide yard sale, would feel welcoming to the community.”
Atkinson Congregational Church’s comfort station has become a tradition during the town-wide yard sales over the years. Although snacks, water and coffee will be free, donations will be accepted graciously. The church will have its own table of baked goods for sale, with proceeds going to support the vitality of the church and its missions. In addition, hot dogs will be sold from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Congregants also have the opportunity to participate in the town-wide sale on church grounds, with tables set up for shoppers to explore.
Tours during Rally Sunday Weekend will highlight aspects associated with the church’s long history, dating back more than 250 years, as well present-day missions and activities. For those with children (pre-K through age 12) interested in Sunday school, church leaders will be on hand during tours to discuss the church’s 2023-2024 curriculum.