Ministries of First Congregational Church of Wakefield:
In-reach and Outreach
The organizational structure of our Church is rooted in Calling and Discernment, recognition and expression of spiritual gifts, the valuing of interdisciplinary ministry, and the claiming of all forms of work and play in the life of the Church as Ministries rather than tasks. We will endeavor to maintain a structure that is fluid and changeable as times call for change. All leaders of the Church will be joined into Team Synergy, a group designed to equip the leaders with philosophical, theological, and technological preparedness. Team Synergy also serves as an opportunity for all leaders to communicate face to face.
There are so many ways for church members to share their time, talent, and spiritual gifts within the congregation and out in the world! Here is a partial list. Feel free to add to it!
For a listing of Ministry Coordinators and Particpants, click here Ministry Coordinators
Archival and Historical Ministry
-collects, catalogues and preserves historical materials and artifacts that relate to the life of the church.
-helps with special anniversary celebrations of the church.
Building and Grounds Ministry
-works to oversee indoor and outdoor maintenance and repair of our building and outdoor grounds.
-seeks to support the sharing of our space with various groups and individuals in the community.
Calling and Discernment Ministry
-offers prayerful leadership and discernment related to matching ministry opportunities with those members who may have the gifts and the interests to fulfill them. Provides education about Spiritual Gifts.
-evaluates the functioning of our church’s organizational structure, suggesting adjustments to assure robust communication, learning and achievement of outcomes by, between, and among ministries.
-carries out an annual Ministry Fair, inviting members to choose forms of service (or sometimes to take a needed rest) for the coming year.
Christian Education Ministry
-oversees the provision of educational and faith formation programs for members and friends of all ages, including Church School, adult education series such as Bible studies, discussion groups, issue-oriented film viewings and discussion, topical groups, book study groups, etc.
-is always open to developing new ideas for educational programs/ activities.
-maintains the church’s library.
-helps design and oversee all the ways the church communicates within its structures and with the community and the world: website, Steeple Views, social media, publicity.
-volunteers to take photos of church worship services and events that can be shared on the church’s Facebook page, Twitter and the website.
-in partnership with the Minister, oversees the spiritual life of the congregation.
-assists with all logistics at each worship service, including weddings and memorial services.
-assists with visitation of home-bound members, as well as visiting in hospitals and nursing homes.
-engages in discernment with Minister on various spiritual, theological, worship-related, and other topics of depth and breadth that are relevant for the life of the church.
-offers warm and exuberant sanctuary hospitality at each worship service.
-with direction and support from the Pastor, visit with church members and friends (as assigned) who are home-bound, or in the hospital, rehabilitation, or long-term care settings.
– act as a good listener and a friendly visitor while visiting; offer prayer when it is welcome.
-communicate any concerns to the Congregational Life Administrator, who will coordinate visitation in conjunction with the Pastor.
-learns the audio visual system & operates the system during weekly worship services, special services and other events.
-works with other team members and Pastor to develop creative uses for the system and to increase proficiency in its use.
-oversees the tending of the church’s financial resources.
-oversees the creating and interpretation of the church’s annual budget.
-provides guidance to the congregation in the management of its financial resources.
-educates the congregation about the church’s finances, encourages budgetary literacy among church members.
We have so many outreach ministries!
Our Outreach Ministry oversees benevolent financial giving and caring service activities.
Only a portion of our outreach giving (sometimes called “mission giving”—not in the sense of proselytizing, but in the sense of offering aid) is reflected in our budget. We collectively give to Our Church’s Wider Mission, committing to it in our budget. This is a gift to the wider church setting, and goes to support the work of the NH Conference of the United Church of Christ, as well as the national setting of the United Church of Christ. To read more about these settings of our denomination, you can go to www.nhcucc.org and www.ucc.org.
Other forms of mission giving are not reflected in our budget, but there are many opportunities to give as individuals. During the church year, we are invited as individuals to give to a variety of special offerings that range from efforts to benefit local causes and groups to four special offerings for various forms of national and global assistance administered by the United Church of Christ:
Neighbors in Need
The Christmas Fund
One Great Hour of Sharing
Strengthen the Church
The Outreach Ministry oversees opportunities for “Alternative Giving” during the Advent and Christmas season, opening the possibility of giving donations in honor of friends and family members as Christmas gifts to:
Wakefield Food Pantry
Friends of Orphan Trust (benefits orphans in Zimbabwe)
Feddern-Diaconate Discretionary Fund (benefits local residents in need)
Wider Church Involvement:
We stand in covenantal relationship with other UCC churches through our membership in the Carroll-Stafford Association (14 churches) of the New Hampshire Conference of the United Church of Christ (all UCC churches in New Hampshire). Through this wider church connection, we have the opportunity to take part in many events and programs, and we also take part in decision making at the Association and Conference levels. Delegates who represent our church take part in this latter function. We may have up to four adult delegates and one youth delegate who represent our church at the fall and spring Association meetings, and at the Annual Meeting of the NH Conference each October. Delegates are affirmed in their roles at our congregation’s annual meeting. You are welcome to serve as a delegate to the wider church!
If you’d like to be made aware of all the wonderful program and events offered through the NH Conference, you may sign up for the Conference Weekly News by contacting CBradley@nhcucc.org .
Volunteer service opportunities abound in our community: Wakefield Food Pantry, Meals on Wheels, Gafney Library, Paul School, Bearded Wonders Variety Show (a hospice benefit show), Wakefield Opera House, youth theatre, ARFF Walk (Animals Raising Funds for Food), etc. Many of our church members are involved with these and can help you get involved.
On the first Sunday of every month, we dedicate an offering of non-perishable food items to be donated to the Food Pantry. Everyone is encouraged to bring in nutritious non-perishable food items to be added to this offering.
We have often sponsored a CROP Walk to eliminate hunger in the autumn, and carry out a Mother’s Day Blanket Drive, both through Church World Service.
We are leading a conversation on homelessness in our area with other church and secular agency partners, and are about to hire a community organizer to organize a start-up organization to serve local homeless people.
The Zimbabwe Team
We have a very vital outreach group called “The Z Team.” The Z Team is deeply involved in relationship and service projects with friends in Zimbabwe, and we have a sister UCC Church in Rufumiso, Zimbabwe. Our Z Team has organized the Friends of Orphan Trust, which provides sponsorship to a child in need in Zimbabwe for $25.00 a month. New sponsors are always welcome. 100% of the funds goes to the support of the child. The Z Team carries out fundraisers for various service projects in Zimbabwe (wells, school building, economic development projects, a traveling medical clinic) and participates avidly in living friendships with fellow church goers and ministers in the UCCZ. Opportunities for travel to Zimbabwe are possible each year to work on service projects and deepen the friendships.
Music and Theatrical Arts Ministry
-hand bell choir
-opportunities to share your musical talents in worship
-sermons in drama; dramatic presentation of scriptures
-open to all women of the church and community; monthly special programs, benevolent giving
-annual Parish Helpers Fair
-summertime Treasure Shop—the place to go for great bargains!
-friendship, fun, and support of one another
-hiring of staff
-performance evaluation of staff and minister in conjunction with the appropriate ministry
-assures the carrying out of Personnel Policy and Procedures
-assures that the congregation functions as a caring and fair employer
-encourages the sharing of time, talent and treasure on the part of the congregation
-creatively engages the work of the annual stewardship pledge (intentional giving) drive
-provides guidance, education and inspiration for generous stewardship
Visual and Decorative Arts Ministry
-oversees creative visual and decorative expression of spiritual, theological, and seasonal themes in the sanctuary
-handles special floral orders and arrangements such as Easter flowers and poinsettia orders at Christmas, and carries out “hanging of the greens”
Other great stuff:
We have a number of groups open to the whole community, offered on a regular basis. Let Pastor Mary know if you are interested:
Bereavement Support Group
Caregiver’s Support Group
Community String Band
Pub Grub and Soul Food
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Special events happen throughout the year and will be publicized through our Steeple Views newsletter, Sunday bulletins, and all-church emails.
We have a brand new Vitality Team that is working to bring the church ever more out into the community and extend the invitation to be part of the congregation; Vitality Team is working to make our church fully relevant in the life of our community today!
We are starting Hospitality Ministry to help us offer coffee hour every single week, and create other opportunities for fun and sharing!
All of these activities and ministries are open to your participation. You may also have ideas for new ministries and activities! This is most welcome!
We have an annual Ministry Fair in May at which time we invite everyone to choose which ministries they’d like to be part of or even lead in the coming year.
Our Church Officers are: Pastor, Moderator, Co-Treasurers, Assistant Treasurer, and Clerk. All but the Pastor are volunteers.
Compiled by Rev. Mary James, April 2016