St. Brigit Episcopal Church to Mark 10 Years with Traditional Irish Party
If you go
What: St. Brigit Episcopal Church 10th anniversary celebration
When: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. today; Special Worship Service at 9:30 a.m. Sunday
Where: St. Brigit Episcopal Church, 110 Johnson St., Frederick
More info: stbrigit.org
Frederick’s St. Brigit Episcopal Church is celebrating its 10 years in existence today with an Irish-style céilí.
“St. Brigit was an Irish saint, so we have decided to hold a traditional Irish céilí, which are parties that include food, story telling, live music and dancing,” said the Rev. Felicia Smith-Graybeal . “We’ve got all that.
Smith-Graybeal said a couple of congregation members have brewed up a special beer for the occasion, and a five-piece celtic band is expected to perform, and there will be traditional Irish dancing.
St. Brigit is an open and affirming church.
The church was founded in 2009 with the idea of looking outside of its own walls and reaching out to the surrounding community, Smith-Graybeal said. The church has about 120 members.
“The congregation has started two nonprofits in addition to the church,” she said. “One of them is Brigit’s Bounty Giving Garden, which grows produce free of pesticides and distributes it through a variety of distributors throughout the Carbon Valley.”
Parish Administrator Eileen Bisgard said the church hosts children from Thunder Valley K-8 for programs in the garden, and the church also hosts low-cost summer camps for children where they learn about gardening, the environment, composting, recycling and other topics.
“It’s quite a curriculum,” Bisgard said. “It really gets them involve in hope that as they get older, they go back to their families and plant their own gardens.”
Smith-Graybeal said the church has started another nonprofit, Brigit’s Village Senior Housing, which it is using to build 50 affordable senior housing units on church grounds.
“There isn’t much affordable housing in Colorado,” she said. “We have seniors who would like to settle here, or stay here, but as they become on fixed income, if they don’t own a house when they retire, it’s really very difficult.”
According to the nonprofit, the plan as it now stands — and Smith-GrayBeal said it will likely evolve as it moves forward — calls for 50 handicap-adaptable apartments with enclosed yards or balconies, community spaces and even a couple of “hotel rooms” for guests.
Bisgard said the church is going to apply for assistance through the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority later this year and is currently working with a developer on the project.
The feast day of St. Brigit was Friday, and the celebration is meant to coincide with the occasion as the church held its first service on the feast day in 2009, Smith-Graybeal said.
Today’s event and the Sunday service are open to the public.
“It’s a great Irish party,” she said. “They don’t have to be a part of the congregation. We’d like them to come, and we’d like to show them some Irish hospitality.”
John Bear: 303-473-1355, email@example.com or twitter.com/johnbearwithme