NEWTOWN CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH United Church of Christ
NEWTOWN CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHUnited Church of Christ

GLOBAL COMMUNITY MINISTRY

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead.”  - James 2:26

HELPING OUR NEIGHBORS

The Global Community Ministry (GCM) is concerned with matters related to the care of all beings. In gratitude for God’s abundant love, we are people compelled to love our neighbors beyond ourselves. Outreach efforts are dispersed throughout the congregation and are collectively called Global Community Ministry. Our outreach includes local, national, and global ministries. It addresses immediate needs, education, development, creation care, and justice issues. The gifts we share include funds, service, compassion, items, facility space, and conservation. 

In addition to providing support to numerous organizations, NCC also helps neighbors who are in need through our limited funding, special fundraising, and referrals to local resources.

 

SUPPORTED UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST (UCC) PROGRAMS AND MISSIONS

While the Covid-19 pandemic prevented us from providing volunteers to several organizations, generous financial donations sharply increased our financial support of previous and new causes. Currently, NCC supports the following causes. 

United Church of Christ (UCC) 

  • Back Bay Mission, Biloxi, MS: Seeks justice and transforms lives through education, empowerment programs, and housing rehabilitation.  Several times a year NCC sends youth and adult volunteers to the Mission. 
  • Silver Lake Camp and Retreat Center: A faith enrichment facility providing summer camps, retreats, conferences, and mission trips for youth, families, and adults.
  • Disaster Ministries: Responding to the call of our Christ-centered faith, the UCC Disaster Ministries support holistic community recovery worldwide by engaging supporters, volunteers, and partners to focus on preparedness, emergency relief, and long-term recovery. As a worldwide network, UCC Disaster Ministries uses well-established information, resources, and distribution systems to pu gifts to use where most needed. NCC supports this ministry through proportional giving and appeals following specific disasters. Our support for the Ukraine Fund was extraordianry!
  • NCC is a 5for5 church: This means we give a portion of our income to the United Church of Christ Wider Mission Basic Support (to support the work of UCC conferences and to fund all the ways we strive together to be the Church) and we promote the four special offerings throughout the year: Neighbors in Need, Strengthen the Church, One-Great Hour of Sharing and Christmas Fund

NCC INITIATIVES

  • Scouts of America (BSA) - Troop 270 (troop270newtownct.org) and Pack 270 (pack270.org) are chartered with NCC. We provide facility space, storage of supplies and trailers, and volunteers when needed.
  • NCC Creation Care - As stewards of God’s creation we adopt and promote practices that will protect and restore creation, including reducing our dependence on fossil fuels by installing solar panels, monitoring our energy consumption (Solar Edge monitor), implementing energy saving practices in our facility, and adopting eco-friendly practices such as banning Styrofoam and using eco-friendly products. We also support two organizations committed to creation care through grass roots education and action: 350.org and National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF)
  • Scattering Seeds Initiative - GCM allocated funds to stimulate mission projects by NCC children, youth, and families, offering up to $50 as seed money per family.
  • Gender-Inclusive Restrooms – NCC provides gender-neutral single-user restrooms located in the narthex (entry to the Sanctuary) and on the lower education wing along with the directional signage. We also initiated a longer term goal of expanding restroom access for all.
  • Welcome Buttons – NCC will provide magnetic welcome buttons for volunteers to wear at onsite and offsite events to communicate our welcome to the broader community.

OTHER SUPPORTED ORGANIZATIONS AND MISSIONS

American Red Cross - Prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies. NCC promotes and provides facility space for blood drives, as well as donates budget funds via GCM.

Bridgeport Rescue Mission (BRM) -  Fights poverty “from the inside out” with food, clothing, shelter, and recovery programs. NCC donates funds via the GCM budget and special fundraisers. Our congregation also donates Thanksgiving turkeys and provides volunteers. Our Cornerston Thrift Center contributes clothing, blankets, and other items.  (bridgeportrescuemission.org)

C.H.Booth Library Social Justice Programming The library’s access to resources enable lively community conversations about important topics, such as the recent “Race and Religion” conversation. NCC supports this programming through GCM funding.

Church World Service (CWS) Through grass roots initiatives, sustainable development projects, emergency response activities, advocacy initiatives, and emergency support services CWS transforms lives in underserved communities in the U.S. and across the globe. NCC provides GCM funds and holdss fundraisers to benefit the following programs.

Blanket & Tools program: Providse funds for projects that provide food and water as well as resources to empower people to meet their own needs. NCC conducts an annual Mother’s Day fundraiser. 

C.R.O.P. Hunger Walk: NCC coordinates an Interaith community-wide walk in October to raise funds to end hunger at home and around the world. 

Emergnecy Relief Buckets: NCC members collect and ship emergency items for victims of hurricanes and other disasters.

Dress a Girl Around the World (DAG) - Volunteers sew clothing for at-risk children so they will know they are worthy of respect and loved by God. NCC hosts an annual Sew-A-Thon and recruits volunteers. The Cornerstone Thrift Center collects material for the project.

Dress for Success in Hartford - Trains and provides gently used work clothing for women seeking employment. NCC supports through GCM budgeted funds and donated item requests.

Families United in NewtownProvides monthly social opportunities for individuals with special needs and their families. NCC provides facility space and volunteers for fundraiser events, and donates funds through GCM. 

Feed the Children - Provides food, various items, classroom support, and school supplies to U.S. students. Feed the Children also helps following natural disasters; in ten other countries, manages child-focused community development programs focused on nutrition, health, and self-reliance. NCC Men's Group provides funds.  

Home Front - Provides free home repairs to low income local residents through community-based volunteers. NCC provides fundraiser proceeds and volunteers for annual projects. 

Interfaith Refugee Resettlement Program (IRIS) - A local ecumenical effort working with IRIS (Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services), IPRR co-sponsors and helps settle refugees in the Newtown area. Volunteers help each family learn English, find employment, enroll in school, and become productive and independent community members. NCC provides fundraiser proceeds,volunteer leadership, volunteer service, and storage space for donated goods until needed.

Mary’s Place, Seattle, WA -  Provides emergency shelter and services to women and children. NCC supports with GCM budgeted funds to help with the American West Coast housing crisis. 

Mothers United Against Violence (MUAV) - Provides compassion and support for Hartford families affected by violence and advocates for gun violence prevention, youth development, and other supportive community programs. NCC provides funds through fundraisers and GCM budgeted resources, volunteers, and items. 

National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF)  - Provides lifelong environmental learning, creating opportunities for people to experience and learn about the environment in ways that improve their lives and the health of the planet. Congressionally chartered in 1990 as a 501c3 nonprofit to complement the work of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), NEEF is a non-partisan, non-advocacy organization working to make the environment more accessible, relatable, relevant, and connected to people’s daily lives. 

New Haven Pride Center – Provides educational, cultural, and social enrichment for the LGBTQ+ community, its allies, and members, to make a positive contribution to the entire community of Greater New Haven. 

Newtown Fund - Working with Newtown Social Services, acts as a safety net for Newtown residents by paying for food, fuel assistance, utility bills, rent, and medical expenses. The program also distributes Christmas holiday gifts, some of which are provided by individuals & families of the NCC congregation through our annual December "Adopt-A-Family" drive. 

Real Food CT  - A local nonprofit that aims to provide healthy produce by both raising produce and partnering with local farmers, "because everyone deserves access to healthy food". GCM is able to contribute to the support of this organization due to budgeted funds. GCM also calls for volunteers to garden, harvest, and distribute produce. 

Regional Hopsice - Provides exceptional, convenient, hospice care services in homes and in assisted living and nursing residences. Quite a few NCC congregants volunteer with this organization and have been speakers during the Annual Breakfast fundraiser. At the Breakfast fundraiser NCC sponsors a table and fills it with individuals who are interested in giving donations. 

Salavation Army - Assists individuals to become more independent through a variety of services and programs. NCC provides holiday bell ringer volunteers and occasional facility use. 

 

CREATION CARE

As stewards of God’s creation we adopt and promote practices that will protect and restore creation, including reducing our dependence on fossil fuels by installing solar panels, monitoring our energy consumption (Solar Edge monitor), implementing energy saving practices in our facility, and adopting eco-friendly practices such as banning Styrofoam and using eco-friendly products, including Fair Trade beverage products. 

350.org -  An international movement of ordinary people working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy for all.  

 

ENRICHING NEWTOWN COMMUNITY LIFE

NCC sponsors community events as well as participating in local events such as...yoga classes, lectures,concerts, and programs.

Tag Sale that Benefit Nonprofits -  NCC hosts a community tag sale to specifically benefit nonprofits. Organized by and held at NCC, vendors and shoppers are welcomed by NCC volunteers.

"Parking, Pancakes, & Parade" - A service and food offered to the community on Labor Day prior to the parade.

 12/14 Annual Interfaith Memorial Service  - Provided in remembrance and to honor the victims and survivors of the Sandy Hook tragedy that occured on December 14, 2012.

 

GIFT OF SPACE

As a service to the community, NCC generously provides space and utilities at no or reduced cost for use by many local nonprofits and support groups.

 

INDIVIDUAL COMPASSION

In addition to participating in NCC-supported outreach, NCC members are also individually active in serving as Christ in many community organizations and endeavors, including these and others:

Some of the organizations our members are involved with outside of NCC:

  • American Red Cross - Prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
  • Bridgeport Rescue Mission – Provides emergency shelter, food, clothing, recovery and other services.
  • Dorothy Day Hospitality House (Danbury) – Feeds and shelters the hungry and homeless.
  • FAITH Food Pantry (Newtown) – Provides food to local persons in need.
  • FISH (Friends in Service Here) - Provide rides to individuals for local doctors and hospital visits.
  • Friends of Newtown Seniors – Serves and advocates for residents age 55+.
  • Jericho Partnership Food Pantry/Clothing Bank "Exists to share the love of Christ by serving our neighbors in urban Danbury (the under-served, the disadvantaged, the struggling, the poor, the homeless, the needy … the most vulnerable").
  • Lion's Club – Raises money to fund multiple charities; provides community service.   
  • Literacy Volunteers of America (Danbury) - Assists adults with learning to read.    
  • Meals on Wheels -  Delivers meals to homebound individuals in the Newtown area. 
  • Newtown Nonprofit Council – Facilitates information sharing and collaboration among local nonprofits. Enables online promotion and volunteer registration to broaden audience. 
  • Relay for Life  Raises funds for cancer research.    
  • Rotary Club – Raises money to fund multiple charities.    
  • Special Olympics - Sports training and athletic competition for the intellectually challenged.    
  • Visiting Nurses Association – Provides local health screening services,nursing, physical therapy, and nursing aide services.
  • Salvation Army - Raises funds to support the local work of SA, including food donations to Newtown pantries, emergency recovery.
  • Women in Newtown – Fundraises and collects item donations for Thanksgiving gift baskets.
  • Newtown Women’s Club –  A service organization that makes a difference to the lives of those in need in the local area.
  • Sustainable Southbury  - Aims to be a sustainable community fostering human health through clean water, air, and healthy soils.  
  • Newtown Victory Garden - Volunteers grow and deliver fresh produce to Newtown’s local food pantries. 

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

HELPING OUR NEIGHBOR: Who Is Our Neighbor? - EVERYONE!

We must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said:

"It is more blessed to give that to receive."

(Acts 20:35)

Yes, someone lives under the blanket.

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