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From Many Paths, Embracing our Differences, Finding Our Story Together

An Open and Affirming Congregation

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The First Congregational Church in Essex serves our community. Be it religious, ecumenical, or secular, we work together in faith to bring love to those we serve. Click on an item to learn more.

 

CHURCH SCHOOL

 

HANDS AND HEARTS

 

MUSIC MINISTRIES

 

PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY

 

COVENANT-TO-CARE

 

SHORELINE SOUP KITCHENS

 

CONNECTICUT FOOD BANK BACKPACK PROGRAM

 

GATEWAY COMMUNITY TREATMENT PROGRAM

 

GIVE SQUARED

 

SIMPLY SMILES

 

FAITH COMMUNITY NURSE PROGRAM

 

LARGER MISSIONS OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

 

CHURCH SCHOOL

All children are welcome and invited to learn and grow with us.  A staffed nursery is available each Sunday for infants through three year old children.  Sunday school classes are held for four year olds through eighth graders.  Our goals are:

  • To help children learn about their Judeo-Christian heritage and grow in their faith learning with and from one another.
  • to help children know their faith story as it unfolds in the Bible and respond to it as loving and caring people with Jesus as example. This responsibility is carried out by creative teachers, excellent curricula, and a variety of educational tools and experiences.

In addition to weekly classes, students participate in the Sacrament of Communion and worship with their families and the church community on the first Sunday of the month.

HANDS AND HEARTS

 

The Hands and Hearts organization is back in full swing for this school year.  The organization seeks out volunteer opportunities for Elementary Students and organizes events for the children to give their time and effort to improve our community life.    Last year Hands and Hearts activities included cupcakes for firefighters, a weekend food drive for Shoreline Soup Kitchen, a coat drive, an intergenerational holiday party at Essex Meadows, a police dog demonstration, a craft sale for Ray of Light Farm, and the making and giving of potted flowers to shut-ins at Essex Court.  The group was started as a subcommittee of our church’s CE committee.  The church hosted many of the activities and was listed as the host on the announcement fliers sent to the elementary students.  This provided the church with a public affiliation to this wonderful organization that accomplished a tremendous amount with such small hands.  We hope that you will keep an eye out for upcoming events and perhaps stop by to help.  In that regard, if you have any ideas for community service, please contact the office.

 

MUSIC MINISTRIES

 

Music is an important part of our life together. There are many opportunities for participation in making and enjoying music at FCC Essex.

 

 

  • VOCAL CHOIRS

 

  • Senior Choir sings at all 10:00 AM Sunday worship services from September through June, plus Christmas Eve, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday. Please feel welcome to join us for a season or a Sunday! The choir rehearses Thursdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 9:00 am.

 

  • Harmony Singers youth choir prepares for and sings in worship throughout the church year plus present musical experiences, including a Christmas Pageant, through which they can use their talents to help others.  Contact us for more information on rehearsals and performances.

     

  • HANDBELL CHOIRS

 

Grace Notes are a group for teens and adults with some musical experience.

 

Rainbow Ringers is the perfect starting place for pre-teens, teens and adults who are just starting out. 

 

Cheerful Chimers is the perfect place for kids, grade 1 - 4 and no musical experience is necessary.

 

  • DOANE CHIMERS

FCC Essex has a long tradition of playing our Doane Chimes from the church's bell tower on Saturdays at 12:00 noon for our neighbors in Essex. If you're in town on a Saturday, give us a listen.  If you would like to participate in playing, contact us.

 

  • INSTRUMENTALISTS

We welcome the talents of all! For service music, with choirs, as soloists, the sharing of your talent enriches our worship. Youth and adult musicians are a wonderful addition to our services and we are more than happy to work with you.

 

PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY

 

A caring ministry formed March 2003 with a group of knitters. Currently, shawls are

knitted on an individual basis by those involved in the ministry. Prayer Shawls are knit and delivered to those in our congregation and also the community who have lost a loved one, are facing surgery, and those going through medical treatments. They are soft and warm and wrap the recipient in hugs from our church. No special skills are needed - new knitters always welcome.

 

COVENANT-TO-CARE

 

Our congregation works with the Middletown Department of Children & Youth Services to help provide for clients who fall between the cracks of local, state, and federally funded programs. We respond with needed clothing, furniture and camp scholarships in addition to the truly miraculous Covenant-to-Care Christmas tree, Christmas Stocking gifts for children of women incarcerated at York Correctional in Niantic.

SHORELINE SOUP KITCHENS

An interfaith community service and fellowship serves meals daily in the Lower Shoreline area churches. Volunteers and food donations are always welcome throughout the year.  To join us as we support this vital ministry call the office at 860-767-8097, or to support them directly call 860-388-1988 or visit www.shorelinesoupkitchens.org.

 

 

CONNECTICUT FOOD BANK BACKPACK PROGRAM

 

  Nearly two years ago, we announced our support of Essex Elementary students whose families qualified for government subsidized lunches. A group of concerned and caring parents took on the responsibility to acquire food items that could easily be sent home with a child over weekends in their backpack. Since then, this program has received the support of the Connecticut Food Bank to supply those items. With each year, there is a legitimate, increasing need to reach out to families in need of food support right here in Essex. We supplied the space to both store and stage the take-home offerings. This program exists in other towns also in our area.

  Since then, the program has expanded to both John Winthrop Middle School and Valley Regional High School students and their families. We help provide some of the food items needed for the Middle and High School families. Each first Sunday of the month we collect the items detailed below- bring them to the seminar room directly across from the office and place them in front of the white cabinets.

 

 100% juice boxes/pouches, milk and/or chocolate milk boxes, individual servings of applesauce and/or fruit cups, peanut butter and jelly (in plastic containers), mac and cheese complete dinners (including the cheese sauce), boxes of pasta, cans or plastic containers of spaghetti sauce, individual packets of oatmeal, snack items such as cheese and crackers, Teddy Grahams, etc. (individual serving sizes), and breakfast bars such as Nutri-grain bars or Cheerios cereal & milk bars.

 

 You may contribute financially to this mission also by writing a check to the church and including in the memo “Backpack Program”. 

 

GATEWAY COMMUNITY TREATMENT PROGRAM

 

An addiction treatment program in Chester, CT.  We offer support by preparing and serving meals for clients of this important program.  Contact them at 860-526-2624

 

Giv2

 

Giv2 is a CORPS of youth and adults GIVING back to our community in response to the GIFTS of God. Giv2 is designed for middle and high school youth in grades 7-12 who want to explore our faith through SERVICE and FELLOWSHIP.  Giv2 is a signature program of the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Team of the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ. Click here for more information, or contact us. 

 

SIMPLY SMILES

 

Simply Smiles is a not-for-profit organization we support that provides bright futures for impoverished children, their families, and their communities. What makes Simply Smiles different may not be easy or concise to explain, but it has proven to be impactful, sustainable, scalable, and successful.

 

Our supporters, our donors, and our volunteers allow us to see the individual in need and support them in this same way – but on a scale of thousands of individuals and growing.

From the desolate prairies of an Indian reservation in South Dakota to the remote mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico, this personal and holistic approach means we are providing food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, infrastructure, jobs, pride, dignity, hope, and solutions.

FAITH COMMUNITY NURSE PROGRAM

 

Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley provides the Faith Community Nurse Program at FCC Essex on the second and fourth Thursdays from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.  Faith Community Nurses check blood pressures, promote health education, and assist with navigating the healthcare system according to the values and traditions of the faith community.  The skills of observation, listening, and "being present" are at the heart of nursing care.  The FCN professional, compassionate care for hte whole person.

 

LARGER MISSIONS OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

Not all of us have the opportunity to minister directly to people in need.  We believe that our money gifts are extensions of the church's and Christ's ministry, reaching out to help others, not only in our community, but also around the world.  Our congregation gives a basic percentage of the annual budget and individual members respond as they feel the need to do so, to support the ministries of the United Church of Christ.  In addition, we collect special offerings yearly supporting these denomination-wide initiatives:

 

 

 

 

The Harmony Singers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

First Congregational Church in Essex

United Church of Christ

6 Methodist Hill

Essex, Connecticut 06426

phone:  860-767-8097

fax:        860-767-7855

office@essexucc.org