Seeds planted in good soil produce grain, which grows up and increases to yield thirty and sixty and a hundred times as much! (Based on Mark 4:8-9)
Like a small handful of seeds that grows into a massive field of grain, and like a tiny pebble dropped into a lake that creates ripples that spread over the entire surface of the water, we at Community Congregational Church are “widening the circle” of our spiritual community. As we kick-off our 2017 Giving Campaign, here are some ways in which our circle is widening - and some ways you can help to widen it even further!
At the core of every program or event at Community Church is our connection to God through our own personal faith and spiritual path. With Bible-based sermons, intimate worship services in our Chapel, and our moving community-wide interfaith 9/11 prayer service, we maintain our church’s identity as a Christian community that is welcoming to all. The use of blended music in our worship - as well as special concerts - provides a variety of musical styles and traditions to appeal to people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life. For the particularly special, and sometimes difficult moments in life, our church and clergy provide support for baptisms, weddings and marital counseling, and memorial services for loved ones who have passed away. No matter where you are on the path of life, Community Church’s circle of faith and community is here for you.
This summer, Community Church’s Vacation Bible Camp was bursting with activity, with over 120 campers and teen volunteers participating in the five-day program, which used biblical stories about water to show kids how God is working in their lives. We continue to nurture the new friendships made during VBC throughout the year with our growing weekly Sunday School classes, popular Youth Group activities, Youth Choir, and multiple ways for kids to put their faith in action by serving their community through our various Outreach programs.
Children, youth, and adults alike are actively participating in community outreach projects like our monthly Oasis Food Pantry program, which serves fresh produce, groceries, and baby diapers to people in Irvington; Mobile Meals, where volunteers collate and distribute bagged meals to the homeless at Newark Penn Station; our Thanksgiving Meal Sponsorship program, where families can provide a full Thanksgiving meal to an Irvington family for $25; our biannual Charity Rummage Sales, for which all proceeds benefit our Outreach programs; and more. Participating in these activities help us to widen our circle of God’s love and compassion, whether it is by actively volunteering, spreading the word about these events, donating to our Outreach fund, or all three!
Our Adult Christian Education programming includes weekly Bible Study sessions, special Adult Education Forums, and study trips, both local and abroad. In the spring of 2017, adults are invited to a trip to Morocco to experience a fascinating world of art, cuisine, religion, culture, and more. These educational programs help us to widen the circle by opening up our world, experiencing other cultures and traditions, and deepening our understanding of our faith and God’s word. Family social activities, such as our popular Pumpkin Carving Festival, Caroling & Christmas Tree Lighting, and our Christmas Pageant with Live Animals, provide us a chance to relax and have fun with family and friends while forging new relationships with those in our community. Groups like the Women’s Circle and Youth Group, as well as our weekly coffee hour, allow us to grow as a family of faith, strengthening the bonds that hold us together.
This fall we welcomed four classes of families as they became members of Community Congregational Church. Additionally, we are nurturing many new relationships with members of the Millburn/Short Hills community, and are excited for what the future holds! Help us to widen our circle even further by contributing to the Giving Campaign, so that the efforts of our various church programs can continue to operate. You may fill out a “giving card” with your pledge amount, or arrange for electronic payment with the Church Office. Just as one small handful of seeds can grow into a field full of grain, with your help, our church can grow and prosper in God’s love.