To Believe is to Care; to Care is to Do.
Central Congregational Church is a church that strives to make a difference in the world. We see outreach as central to the life of the church. We believe in hands-on, face-to-face outreach, building relationships with those in need. We find these experiences often life-changing for all involved. We also have relationships with many community-based organizations that provide services for the homeless, hungry, children at risk, and those who are less fortunate in our community, our country and around the globe.
Social Action and Missions Committee (SAM)
Our Social Action and Missions Committee oversees much of our outreach. However, we’re a “permission giving” church, so throughout the year various groups within the church carry out their own mission efforts. Each month, SAM focuses on a project, initiative or organization that is making a difference in the lives of others, contributing funds and much-needed supplies as well as raising awareness of their efforts within our church community. Focus projects support local, regional, national and global needs, through organizations like Habitat for Humanity, the Lowell Transitional Living Center, the Lowell Alternative House, and the Chelmsford’s “Secret Santa” program.
St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen
Throughout the year (on all months with a 5th Monday) CCC prepares and serves dinner for the hungry and homeless at St. Paul’s Kitchen at the Eliot Presbyterian Church in Lowell. Members make shepherd’s pies and desserts, and our crew prepares dinner for 100-150 guests in need of a hot meal in a safe, welcoming environment. St. Paul’s Kitchen is run entirely on a volunteer basis, under the leadership and guidance of Rose and Walter Bronk, providing more than 20,000 free meals every year.
We have a very active group of gardeners who grow produce that is then donated to the Open Pantry in Lowell. Those who participate in this ministry find it very meaningful to be providing fresh vegetables to those in need. We have a plot at the Walter F. Lewis Community Garden. The Community Garden located at Sunny Meadow Farm is near 158 Robin Hill Rd, Chelmsford, MA 01824. http://garden.chelmsfordgov.com/default.html
Each year, members of Central Congregational Church travel to West Virginia and to Downeast Maine to help make homes warm, safe and dry for residents in need. We tackle challenging renovation projects, scrape and paint houses, build and repair porches and handicapped ramps, helping repair homes and lives. Our goal is to make God’s love visible to those we serve. It is a life-changing experience for both those serving as well as those being served.
West Virginia Workcamp
On our West Virginia mission trip we go to the Cabell-Lincoln Workcamp in Huntington, WV. We join with approximately 150 other workcampers to do a week of home repair for those who can’t afford it. Workcampers come from various denominations all up and down the east coast. This experience is for high school & college students as well as adults of all ages. The minimum age requirement for the trip is those who’ve completed 8th grade. Sign ups begin in the Spring. This trip has been a 20 year tradition for our church. Folks come back year after year because of the meaningful work, the camaraderie and to experience the people and cultural heritage of West Virginia & Appalachia. For more information on this workcamp go to: http://www.cabell-lincoln-workcamp.org/
Down East Maine Mission Trip
On our Down East Maine Mission Trip we go to Washington County and join with a ministry called, “Neighbors in Need.” The DEMM trip is for teens and adults. Youth entering 8th grade and up are eligible, 7th graders and younger should talk with parents and Peter White for mission options with DEMM. We join with the Harvard UCC Congregational Church for this trip and stay at a church camp outside of Machias, Maine. Kids and adults enjoy renewing friendships, making new friends, getting to know the great residents we serve and other DEMM traditions such as star-gazing, campfires, visiting the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse and more! This trip is a 15 year tradition for our church and is always a terrific, meaningful time. Look for an informational meeting to be held in February or early March.
“Make a Difference Sundays”
On “Make a Difference Sundays” we share a meal together after worship and then head out in work teams to serve our community. Past projects have included volunteering at Lowell General Hospital, visiting local nursing homes, trail clean-up on the Freeman Rail Trail and working at Chelmsford’s Community Garden.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Our Prayer Shawl Ministry makes soft, beautiful prayer shawls that we hand out to anyone who asks. These shawls are prayed over as they’re made and blessed during a service of worship. They’re also handed out to newborns at our baptism ceremonies and given to our graduates as they head off to college or out into the world.
Our Prayer Ministry is also a very vibrant part of our church. Each and every day we have a faith-filled, committed group of folks practicing intercessory prayer. Prayer requests may be sent to the church office, firstname.lastname@example.org. Linn will forward them to the Prayer Ministry Coordinators:
Ginnie Hall, Wendy Perry and Daphne Freeman.
These are some of the ways we strive to make a difference in our world. We never rest on our laurels however. Instead we strive to hear the voice of God calling us to new and exciting adventures in discipleship and service.