Board of Missions
The Board of Missions provides outreach to the local community as well as world-wide organizations through projects, events and donations to support those in need.
Upcoming events include:
Saint Vincent de Paul
Twice a year along with other Portland area churches, we provide Sunday dinner at Saint Vincent de Paul. Our next dinner for this year is 10/28/2018. Our church also individually provides breakfasts on two Sunday mornings during the winter. For more information see their website here: http://www.svdmiddletown.org
In recognition of Mother’s and Father’s Day we support the Diaper Bank of Connecticut with a collection of diapers and funds to support families who are too poor to diaper their infants properly leaving their health and well-being at
risk. Checks may be made payable to the church with “Diaper Drive” in the memo and diapers may be brought to Fellowship Hall.
CROP Hunger Walk
Approximately 2,000 communities across the country take part in this walk every year in order to remember the struggles of others in the world who may have to walk six miles every day in order to get food, water and fuel. Continuing our annual tradition on June 24, 2018 our congregation will sponsor a CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Hunger Walk in order to take action agains hunger. We will gather on Sunday morning after our church service at Riverfront Park for this event. Monetary donations as well as nonperishable food items will be collected. A portion of the funds raised will also be donated to our local Portland Food Bank.
Kids Capes of Courage
Colorful cheerful handmade capes will be made to be donated to Junta in New Haven and the Craniofacial Team at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Junta provides services to the Latino community and the capes will be given to the children as part of a family program about courage. Some of the children may face being separated from their parents due to deportation and some have relocated to CT following the hurricane in Puerto Rico. The Craniofacial Team serves children who often face multiple painful surgeries. Opportunities to help include sharing your sewing skills, donating material or funds toward this project. Sewing kits are available at the church.
For more information see their website here:
Help Thy Neighbor
Members of the congregation have volunteered to do small tasks or errands for those in need, the homebound or just lending a hand. Please contact Suzanne Roberts if you are willing to be a “helper” or if you have a need.
The Dominican Republic Mission Team
The Dominican Republic Mission Team brings hope, healing and help to the very poor in the bateys and barrios of LaRomana, DR. Each year they sponsor a trip to the DR in which they build new homes, construct churches and a school and provide medical clinics. They also support Fulfilling Smiles Food Program which provides food for an entire batey for 30 days. We will begin collections of footwear, hygiene items, medications, infant supplies and MORE!! A giving tree will be available to help guide your donations. We have also been invited to accompany them on this trip this summer for one or two weeks. (leaving 6/29). Mission board members have more information if you have any questions.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity will begin building a home at 208 Summer Street, Portland in mid-May. Volunteers will have the opportunity to work on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8:30-3:30 pm once the project begins. More information will be forthcoming as the project gets started. Volunteers also have the opportunity to work at ReStore, 34 Shunpike Road in Cromwell to assist customers, stock shelves, and load and unload furniture and appliances. All proceeds from this retail home improvement store go toward building Habitat homes. Either of these options provide opportunities to help families live in safe, affordable and decent housing.
Special offerings to support UCC Missions
One Great Hour of Sharing
Neighbors in Need
Throughout the year, the Board supported the following organizations:
A Christmas tree is set up on the First Sunday of Advent that contains gift tags with a clothing item or toy requested for Christmas for a child in the Portland community. The program is run through the Portland Food Bank.
Portland Fuel Bank
For the past few years the Church has donated the Christmas Eve offering to the Portland Fuel Bank. The “Portland Cares” Fuel Assistance Program is generated by donations only and provides a delivery of home heating oil to residents in need.
Due to the generosity of our congregation the Missions Board was able to make donations to the following organizations in 2017:
Adelbrook Behavioral and Development Services
Back Bay Mission
Mercy Housing and Shelter
Middlesex Habitat for Humanity (Portland Build)
Silver Lake Conference Center
The Connection Fund
Guiding Light Orphans, Inc.
Dominican Republic Mission Team
Ronald McDonald House of CT
CT Special Olympics
Hope after Loss
Elon Homes and Schools for Children
Connecticut Food Bank
St. Vincent DePaul (Warming Center Breakfasts)
Family Promise of Central Connecticut