North Congregational Church
Woodbury, Connecticut

Christian Outreach








North Church’s Outreach Committee Warms Those in Need

North Congregational Church’s Outreach Committee held a coat drive during the month of October to benefit ACTS 4 Ministry, Inc. of Waterbury, a non-denominational, tax exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the needs of families and individuals in financial distress who may have ‘lost everything to fire, flood, etc.’ within the Greater Waterbury area. Many coats, hats, scarves and gloves were donated and delivered to Sarah Elizabeth Dimeo-Carabetta, Executive Director of ACTS 4 Ministry, and her staff of volunteers that collect, sort and distribute re-usable clothing, furniture and housewares to nearly 4,000 people annually.

North Church’s Outreach Committee develops programs of mission and outreach for those in need in Woodbury, its surrounding communities and around the world.
Committee Members collecting coats are (left to right): Cathy McMullin, Linda Leidel, Beverly Carlone, Eve Bartlett and Cindi Hughes. (Not pictured: Cathy Kleros and Peg Tester.)  




      Christian Outreach Committee
The Outreach Committee of North Church develops programs of mission and support for those in need.  Throughout the Woodbury community, surrounding towns and around the world, God's will is spread through the generous support of our congregation.

Our first annual "Soup-er Bowl" soup sale was held on February 1st.  Four varieties were offered and a grand total of $550 was raised to benefit the Loaves & Fishes Soup Kitchen!  We continue to serve a hot meal on each 5th Tuesday which equals 4 times per year.  Volunteers assist by baking cookies for the bag lunches, preparing sandwiches and cooking and serving the hot meal.  The director, Lisa Martin, was our guest speaker during the mission moment on September 2th and spoke about the Soup Kitchen from its inception 22 years ago, the current situation with outgrowing their space and their hopes for building a new facility in the near future.

The Woodbury Food Bank is a recipient of our generous support with "Last Sunday" food donations, LaBonne's grocery receipt donation program and Friday helpers during the months of June and December who assist shoppers and help stock shelves.  Fresh garden veggies were grown and donated in the "Plant a Row" program by folks throughout the community.

The CSCW (Community Services Council of Woodbury) receives donations throughout the year from mission projects we support at North Church.  Besides our significant commitment to the food bank, we also support "Spread the Light" by contributing $10 donations to help illuminate Main Street with hundreds of paper Moravian Stars.  This, along with the "Ladies of the Evening" mini golf outings at the Senior/Community Center each February help with the fuel assistance program.  The second annual "Back to School" supply drive was held during July and August.  We helped children of 130 families in town return to school in the fall with new backpacks full of supplies.  Bob Taylor from CSCW was our guest speaker on June 21 and eloquently spoke of all the ways in which help is provided to so many local residents and thanked North Church for their ongoing support.

We were happy to welcome back Rev. Evalyn Wakhusama from the Nambale Magnet School (NMS) on March 1st.  A special service and reception were held in her honor.  The loose offering and free will donations along with African jewelry sales enabled us to present her with a generous donation of $1,258 to bring back to the NMS and help spread God's will.  Land for future expansion was purchased with the help of these funds.  This marked our 6th annual NMS mission project.  Our prayer partner list continues to grow and in honor of the precious children a tea and "meet and greet" of prayer partners was held at the home of Linda Leidel on May 31st.  Balloons were released into the sky after some singing and a short prayer.  A slide presentation of the NMS along with much conversation that followed was enjoyed with tea sandwiches and refreshments.  New, updated photos of the children were distributed to all prayer partners in September.

The "Ladies of the Evening" continue to gather monthly and supplement their light hearted pot luck dinner meetings with mission work of their own.  A royal baby shower / tea fundraiser was held for the 3rd year in support of Carolyn's Place, a pregnancy care center for unwed mothers located in Waterbury.  This year we also had the privilege of donating many adorable gift items to Tracy Sonnemann for her newborn twins.  As the holiday season approached, the Ladies sent cards of well wishes to Connecticut Veterans, the elderly and the homebound. 

Blanket Sunday is an annual awareness and fundraising event sponsored by the CWS (Church World Services).  For a small donation, good quality blankets are sent to locations in distress due to fire, flood and other catastrophic events.  They are distributed to displaced persons to offer warmth and comfort.  We welcomed Maritta Savo of the Congregational Church of Brookfield on Blanket Sunday, May 31st to speak during the mission moment.  She told her story of coming to America from Eastern Europe in the early 1950's as a young girl, traveling with her family and with nothing to their name.  Her memory of a warm blanket being given to her by the Red Cross for a long train ride to their destination gave her comfort of knowing that she would be taken car of.  She travels to many churches to tell her story in support of the Blanket Sunday Ministry.

It was our pleasure to welcome Virginia Garms from First Congregational Church into the pulpit to speak during the mission moment on June 7th.  She enlightened us on the importance of the Red Barn Thrift Shop ministry in the Woodbury community and beyond.  This is a huge and very successful ministry for First Church and she welcomed any volunteers from North Church who may want to help out.

September was our annual drive to collect toiletries and health aid products for Safe Haven in Southbury and Woodbury.  There items are distributed to families during their stay as the seek shelter in emergency situations.

Act 4 Ministry of Waterbury clothes and furnishes items to folks who have lost their homes due to fire, flood and adverse situations.  We help to support this ministry by collecting coats, jackets, hats and scarves during the month of October just in time to provide warmth in the cold months to come.

The year "wrapped up" with a whirlwind of holiday giving.  The shared outreach event with First Church in providing Thanksgiving Dinner to the Woodbury community was truly heartwarming.  To all the bakers, cooks, servers and clean-up crew who made this happen - we can't thank you enough!  This was followed by Christmas giving that had no limits.  "3" families from Safe Haven were the recipients of dozens of thoughtful and generous gifts on Christmas morning.  The Giving Tree of Tags and the wishes printed on each were lovingly made possible by you.  Gift Cards and monetary donations helped to provide a holiday meal and the experience of holiday shopping when folks may not have been able to.  The children of over 130 families in Woodbury benefited from a sleigh-full of toys from Santa at the CSCW Santa Shop in our Fellowship Hall.  Bob Taylor assisted the families with their holiday shopping and made sure that no one was forgotten.  During the Hanging of the Greens church event on November 29th, the march of the toys during the offertory was touching.  We were asked to bring our unwrapped toy donations forward and place them under the tree to be given to the CSCW for the Santa Shop.  At the craft table in Fellowship Hall the hustle and bustle of helpers assembled and wrapped 22 candy dishes to be given to the sick and homebound during the holiday visitation by the Deacons.

Our Committee envisions and plans events to take us through the year of giving but it is you - the congregation - who steps in to ask again and again - how can I help?

Thanks to you all for bountiful blessings

North Church Outreach



North Church’s Christian Outreach Committee develops programs of mission and outreach for those in need. Through the participation of our North Congregational Church Family, God’s Will is spread to the needy of Woodbury, its surrounding communities, and around the world.

        Through meetings and communication between North Church and the Community Services Council of Woodbury (CSCW), the Church is able to reach out to the needy of Woodbury. Two main areas of support for CSCW are the Woodbury Food Bank and the “Warm Homes and Hearts for the Holidays” program. Helping the Woodbury Food Bank is always an on-going mission for the Church. Throughout the course of the year, our North Church Family routinely donates non-perishable items to the Food Bank. During the months of June and December, North Church is responsible for staffing the Food Bank. Volunteers respond quickly leaving their summer time activities and their hectic holiday schedules to stock shelves and assist Food Bank shoppers.  The CSCW was also graced this past August with bushel baskets filled with new school supplies which helped to put smiles on the faces of many children returning to school in Woodbury. 

Our North Church Family always gives generously each year to the “Warm Homes & Hearts” holiday program. Monetary donations allow community families to feast on all the “Holiday Fixings” which grace their tables on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Generous donations of gift cards allow parents to experience the “hustle and bustle” of the Christmas season while making their children’s wishes come true. A “sleigh full” of toys is donated to help fill “Santa’s Shop,” held in our own Fellowship Hall, to benefit our needy neighbors.

To help our surrounding communities, North Church has assisted the Greater Waterbury Interfaith Ministries (GWIM) by staffing the Soup Kitchen and organizing special food and coffee drives. We conduct drives to collect winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves, and toys.
  

Loaves and Fishes Hospitality House of New Milford located at 40 Main Street, New Milford CT, is a place where meals are fed to the homeless or people who simply can not afford a hot meal every day. It is staffed by volunteers from churches and other organizations around Connecticut. North Church has been assigned days where we supply volunteers to prepare and serve meals.    North Church sent volunteers there recently on October 29th to supply a hot meal and bag lunches.  They found that the best way to be happy yourself is to make someone else happy!...and that they did.   The Church's next assigned date is December 31.   If you would like to volunteer and join the fun, you may contact the church office. For more information about Loaves and Fishes you may visit www.loavesandfishesofnewmilford.org
        

The patients and their families of Waterbury Hospital benefit by our “Help the Children” Mission Project. A collection of newborn clothing benefited the Birthing Center. The ER Department received Jared Boxes filled with small toys and gifts to ease the fears of ill children.

At Christmas time, North Church adopts a family from Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury Inc., an emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence. Through the tremendous outpouring of gifts, this struggling family experiences joy on Christmas morning and hope for the future.    A recent appeal for toiletries to help supply the cabinets of Safe Haven was a huge success as basket upon baskets were filled and happily donated. 

         The Outreach Committee has organized two Bible drives to benefit the inmates of York Correctional Institution in Niantic. In addition, a toy collection was held to enable the inmates to give their children a Christmas present.

The generosity of our North Church family reached out to our military stationed in Afghanistan with over 60 boxes of much needed items shipped to our Heroes. Another shipment of over 100 DVD movies and snacks brought comfort and smiles to our Heroes far from home. In addition, over 1500 hand written Christmas Cards were sent from North Church members to our troops over seas. We will continue to do this while the need is present.                                         

        During these tough economic times, members of our North Church family received assistance through several “Helping our Own” campaigns. Monetary donations and food collections helped to ease financial burdens and provide hope for these families in need. Our North Church Family always responds effortlessly to the requests of the Outreach Committee by selflessly giving their time, talent, and treasure. This past year has been a busy one for the crew working to restore our historic Parsonage. It has been our pleasure to provide hearty lunches on several Saturday afternoons with the generous donations made by you. By working together, there are no boundaries in spreading God’s Will to help our struggling Christian brothers and sisters!

Nambale Magnet School News in Western Kenya is a new outreach mission of North Church Good news for those of you who have signed up to be a Prayer Partner with a NMS student -- your student’s photo is here! They are on the bulletin board in the office hallway. Please take the photo of your student and enjoy their image as you keep on praying for them.   2014 will be the 5th Anniversary of the first 30 students at the Nambale Magnet School. In January, they will be starting 6th Grade!  If you would like to be updated and learn more about the school and anniversary celebrations coming in 2014, please stop by the office hallway bulletin board as the Nambale Magnet School newsletter will be posted monthly.

Guest Minister Reverend Evalyn Wakhusama, founder of the Nambale Magnet School in Kenya,
Founder Director of Women’s Initiative for Knowledge
 and Survival, Yale Divinity School Graduate, and 2011
Alumni Award Lux et Veritas recipient spoke at North Congregational Church Sunday, February 3
. African drumming and song were part of the service, and a free
will offering was taken in support of the Nambale
Magnet School in western Kenya. 

Kenyan jewelry was displayed and sold to help support the school.

Here is a brief history:

Reverend Evalyn is the Founder of the Nambale Magnet School (NMS) – Kenya, which is a new outreach mission of the North Congregational Church. In 2007, there was a Woodbury town-wide fundraiser to benefit two charities: The Nambale Magnet School through the Cornerstone Project, Inc. and Woodbury Community Services. Since then the Nambale Magnet School has continued to grow at a balanced pace. In 2009, it opened up its doors to the first 30 Kindergarten students, and as of January 2013, those children have entered a newly constructed Grade 5 classroom. Today there are over 200 students (some who have been orphaned by the HIV pandemic).

The NMS mission is to give students a premier education while becoming a self-sustaining school. It is evident that the NMS is reaching that goal by students' academic scoring and by being a model school that visitors are coming to see to possibly emulate.
North Church is proud to be a part of this ministry.

 
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