Community Soundings: New minister for Talmadge Hill Community Church..

Philip and Alleyne Hughes are pleased to announce the engagement of Madison J. Hughes and Jesse T. Straus. The couple got engaged on June 2018 and plan to marry on the island of Martha's Vineyard in October 2019.

Philip and Alleyne Hughes are pleased to announce the engagement of Madison J. Hughes and Jesse T. Straus. The couple got engaged on June 2018 and plan to marry on the island of Martha's Vineyard in October 2019.

Contributed photo

Maplewood senior communities

host toy drive

Maplewood Senior Living is joining forces with the Connecticut State Police to host its annual toy drive.

The event, now in its 18th year, is inviting anyone that wishes to make a donation to bring an unwrapped toy or toys to any Maplewood Senior Living community in Connecticut now through Dec. 20. Toys will be distributed to local families across the state.

“Maplewood is proud to support the Connecticut State Police with its mission to bring toys to needy children,” said Gregory Smith, CEO and president of Maplewood Senior Living, in a news release. “Many of our residents and our staff members partake in community outreach to help others. The toy drive offers a way for our residents to give back to the community this holiday season in a very meaningful way.

Toy donations may be made at Darien’s senior living community, Maplewood at Darien at 599 Boston Post Road.

They may also be made at other Maplewood Senior Living communities:

Maplewood Senior Living, One Gorham Island, Suite 100, Westport

Maplewood at Danbury, 22 Hospital Ave., Danbury

Maplewood at Newtown, 166 Mount Pleasant Road, Newtown

Maplewood at Stony Hill, 46 Stony Hill Road, Bethel

Maplewood at Orange, 245 Indian River Road, Orange

Maplewood at Strawberry Hill, 73 Strawberry Hill Ave., Norwalk

Maplewood at Southport (Leasing Gallery), 1720 Post Road, Fairfield

For more information regarding the toy drive, contact Debra Laudano at 203- 500-9197.

New minister

for Talmadge

Hill Community Church

Jennifer Reagan McCleery is the new minister at Talmadge Hill Community Church, 870 Hollow Tree Ridge Road.

McCleery took the post Dec. 2, filling the position left vacant following the retirement and subsequent passing of The Rev. Mich Zeman, Talmadge Hill’s longtime minister. McCleery joins The Rev. Carter Via.

McCleery is a Connecticut native and lives in North Haven with her husband Michael and their three sons, Will, Spencer, and Nate. She received her Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School in May 2017, with a concentration in reformed studies. While at Yale, McCleery was the recipient of the Two Brothers Fellowship, a grant that enabled her to study in Israel and Palestine in June 2016. In 2015, McCleery won the Linda LeSourd Lader Prize, awarded to a student in the Reformed tradition who shows outstanding promise for leadership.

McCleery received a Master of Education degree from Harvard University, a bachelor’s degree from Trinity College in religious studies, and spent her junior year of college studying at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Talmadge Hill is preparing to celebrate its sesquicentennial in 2020. The church welcomes people of all ages, backgrounds and faith traditions and continues to host conversations relevant to the culture today such as Race and Racism, Mindfulness and Forgiveness. In addition, the commitment to missions remains a top priority for Talmadge Hill, with over 20 percent of the annual budget devoted to this work locally and around the world.

Talmadge Hill’s version of the Christmas pageant, “The Innkeeper,” will be held Sunday, Dec. 16, at both the 9 and 10:30 a.m. services. All are welcome.

Waveny LifeCare announces new campaign

Waveny LifeCare Network has launched a Forever Generosity campaign to provide enduring financial support for the people and programs that make Waveny unique. Early efforts have resulted in raising approximately $4.2 million toward the goal of $5 million from 250 supporters.

The public phase of the campaign was announced in October at a celebration of community generosity wherein Waveny thanked its many contributors. Resident Bob Seelert, community-based business Bankwell, and Waveny’s food service partner Morrison Community Living were honored for their generous support and commitment to the organization, and special recognition was given to the late Louise Goodridge for a legacy gift.

“The tradition we know as Waveny was founded by members of the New Canaan community over 40 years ago and the organization still relies on donors for support,” said om Ferguson, chairman of Waveny’s Board of Directors.

Waveny now serves 1,100 people each year across the nonprofit continuum of care: from independent living at The Inn to assisted living at The Village, to skilled nursing and outpatient rehabilitation at the Care Center, with a full range of home-based services. Ferguson announced that Waveny is expanding development efforts to bring in a broader range of supporters, deepen connections with the community, and ensure their financial stability through the Forever Generosity campaign.

New Canaan swimmer named to national team

USA Synchro has announced the athletes named to the 2019 U.S. Junior National Synchronized Swimming Squad and a New Canaan swimmer has made the cut.

Olivia Li, of New Canaan, was selected after three sets of trials Dec. 8-9 in Las Vegas, vying against 51 athletes for a spot on the squad.

She will represent the U.S. at the 2019 UANA Pan American Artistic Swimming Championships in Windsor, Ontario, Canada in August. Li, along with the rest of the Junior National Squad, will then be invited to full-time training at the National Training Center in September 2019 to prepare for the 2020 Junior World Championships.