When Rev. David Feyrer decided to take over at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in 2002, he knew that even though the congregation was small, it had potential to thrive in Weston. Feyrer, who is retiring in October after 40 years of being involved with churches across the country, including Christ Church in East Norwalk, leaves his congregation healthy with 140 families.
"I was excited about the possibilities" in Weston, said Feyrer, 69, who was in the Army for three years, serving in Korea and Desert Storm, before deciding to go to seminary to become a priest in 1970. "It was a community, it had a lot of very talented people and potential resources and I felt that somehow, if they could be melded together in a very positive way that we could do some very interesting things ... and we have over the years," he said, mentioning the increasingly popular church fair in September, strong confirmation program and the many community service projects that the church and its volunteers participate in.
And from the beginning, communicating with his parishioners has been what he loves most about his job. "I have enjoyed the interaction with tremendously talented and gifted people who all bring something to the table," he said, crediting members of his church for volunteering to paint the new church hall and rake the land in front of the church. One parishioner even volunteered to custom-build cabinetry that will be installed in a meeting room of the hall.
Feyrer, who has six children and 13 grandchildren, said that it has become increasingly difficult in recent years to get families to come to church on Sunday. He said he believes the reason is that in many families both parents work and the weekends are invaluable for family time, which doesn't always involve prayer.
After he leaves his post, he and his family will move to the Outer Banks in N.C., where they've been vacationing for 40 years. He hopes to relax and spend time with his wife, Sandy, and the rest of his family.
"Let's put it this way, I'm not looking for work ... its time to relax a little bit," he said. "But on the other hand, you've got to keep your head in gear." As an army veteran of 38 years, who worked as Army state chaplain in the National Guard, he is considering giving some of his time to the Veteran's Administration System to help those coming back from battle.
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