The Norwich Congregational Church strives to be actively involved in missions and outreach projects, both in our local community and throughout the world. We accomplish this in several ways:
We endeavor to raise Christian principles and social issues (local, national, international, civic, intercultural, etc.) within our congregation by means of study sessions, work projects, and ongoing volunteer activities in the community. Some of these volunteer activities include serving LISTEN Dinners (free community dinners) six times per year, and cooking and sharing supper with the residents of Hartford Dismas House.
We raise special offerings throughout the year, designating organizations we have deemed worthy and in need of support. Examples this past year include Hurricane Irene Recovery Fund, The Haven (a local homeless shelter and food bank), SEVCA (Southeastern Vermont Community Action) Fuel Assistance Fund, and One Great Hour of Sharing (a nationwide United Church of Christ international outreach project).
We provide financial support to projects through our annual Mission budget to worthy organizations in our community and in the larger world. In the year 2013, we decided that all of our Mission funds should support local organizations that help people to meet basic needs - food, shelter, and fuel. In other years, we determine areas of greatest need.
And we roll up our sleeves and go on work trips. Rita Severinghaus has lead several trips over the years to the Dominican Republic with volunteers from the Norwich Congregational Church to the town of Cotui and surrounding villages. Past projects have included medical clinics, construction of a community center and a home, and building community wood-fired ovens. In addition, a women’s cooperative was founded to recycle plastic bags into colorful crocheted tote bags. You can learn more about the Dominican Republic Work Trips here.
Mary Brownlow led Upper Valley youth on work trips to the south to help re-build churches that have been damaged due to arson or storm from 1999-2013. This gives the youth and opportunity to put their energy to great use, while exposing them to a part of the country and church communities that they would not meet otherwise. Click here to learn more about the Youth Group Work Trips. Other opportunities for young people to engage in work trips are planned in cooperation with the DR Projects.