Learning & Serving
Welcome to the First Congregational Church of Madison, Connecticut. You, your friends, and your family are warmly invited to worship with us.There are many ways to learn and serve within our church. We welcome you to join us in one or many of our missions and offerings.For more information, please call 203.245.2739 ext. 20, or Email Us.
Lay Caring Ministry, Cancer Support Group
A blend of pastoral leadership and lay participation helps provide care, love, and support to our members. The pastor and deacons are connected in their joint responsibility for the spiritual well-being of the congregation, and from its inception the Lay Caring Ministry has been described as an arm of the deacons. The Cancer Support Group is part of the Lay Caring Ministry and open to all in the shoreline area whose lives have been touched by cancer.
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A blend of pastoral leadership and lay participation helps provide care, love, and support to our members. The pastor and deacons are connected in their joint responsibility for the spiritual well-being of the congregation, and from its inception the Lay Caring Ministry has been described as an arm of the deacons. The efforts of all are directed at bringing God’s healing message to the sick, the distressed, and those who are shut in at home or in the hospital. Visiting those who cannot attend services and comforting those in pain is a meaningful part of our work in proclaiming and sharing the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Members of the Lay Caring Ministry have established special connections with elderly or frail members who need an extra measure of support through personal visits or telephone calls. This ministry also lends comfort by:
- sending caring notes of sympathy and celebration
- providing meals to those in crisis
- hosting funeral receptions
- monitoring a prayer line
- delivering prayer shawls, pocket prayer shawls, and devotional materials
- stocking the Parlor Library with books that provide inspiration and hope
The Cancer Support Group is part of the Lay Caring Ministry and meets every other week on Saturday morning. The group is open to all in the shoreline area whose lives have been touched by cancer, including current patients, long-time survivors, family, friends, and caregivers. Confidentiality is a guiding principle of the group, which provides a place to talk, to listen, to share personal stories and, from time to time, laughter.
To double-check on meeting dates for the Cancer Support Group, you can call the church office or consult the Lay Caring Ministry bulletin board in the Church House. If you or someone you know would appreciate a pastoral visit or other pastoral service, please call 203.245.2739 ext. 20, or Email Us.
On behalf of the First Congregational Church, the Outreach Commission is the visible expression of our congregation’s passion for social justice and service, locally, nationally and around the world. FCC members commit their time, talents, and treasure to a wide range of ongoing and short-term missions. Three long-term commitments are Christian Community Action (CCA), Fair Haven Parents’ Ministry, and the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries.
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Christian Community Action
Christian Community Action (ccahelping.org) is an ecumenical social service organization that expresses faithful witness by providing help, housing and hope to those who are poor in New Haven. For 20 years, FCC Madison has maintained a significant relationship with CCA, working closely with Reverend Bonita Grubbs, executive director.
In conjunction with CCA, we sponsor two transitional housing apartments in New Haven, and hold an “apartment shower” each spring to help fulfill a wish list for household items and care packages for children. We also continuously collect nonperishable food supplies for CCA; donations of food items are always welcome and can be added to the shopping cart near the church’s main office.
Fair Haven Parents’ Ministry
Fair Haven Parents’ Ministry is a faith-based organization that has helped families in the New Haven area for the past 50 years. Services include energy assistance and distribution of food. FCC Madison has been a long-term supporter of this ministry, and we maintain close ties with it throughout the year. Each spring, you’ll find us filling and trimming Easter baskets for 30 to 50 children at Fair Haven. In the fall, we take Onzie Chatman’s shopping list and fill grocery bags with an assortment of Thanksgiving menu items that are distributed to about 200 clients. Soon after that, the Fair Haven Giving Tree at FCC is hung with paper ornaments listing children’s ages, gender, and clothing size. About 70 children receive a new toy , educational item and clothing in time for Christmas. In the summer of 2014, Fair Haven contacted us requesting bicycles for two children. As always, we did our very best to help Fair Haven with any needs as they may arise. To reach Fair Haven Parents’ Ministry, call 203-865-5556 or write 160 Ferry Street, New Haven, CT 06513.
Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries
Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (shorelinesoupkitchens.org) is an interfaith ministry that provides food and nourishing meals at no cost to people in need in 11 shoreline towns. Several times each year, volunteers from FCC Madison host a brunch at the First Congregational Church meal site in Old Lyme. Sharing our time, laughter, and fellowship with guests at the soup kitchen is one of most our important missions. Volunteers prepare and serve breakfast casseroles, breakfast breads and bagels, granola bars, fruit salads, green salads, and beverages, and also distribute travel-size toiletries and gently used books to children and adults. If you’d like to share in this ministry by donating food or going to Old Lyme to help, watch for the next brunch date in the Meetinghouse News and the sign-up sheets in Hubley Hall. We hope you’ll join us.
Short-term commitments are made through our regular Mission Moments, whereby we help support the work of service organizations and groups whose efforts are directed at helping others. Moreover, FCC Madison has enthusiastically partnered with Heifer International for a number of years. Members of all ages delight in the indoor farmyard set up in Hubley Hall. Young people take the lead in this annual event with booths to sell ‘shares’ of chickens, goats, trees, etc. Our shares are then combined with other donations to lift up families to be self-supporting.
In the spirit of fellowship, we hold many events during the year to celebrate and support our families, our communities and each other. Enjoy coffee hour, nine to dine, church picnics, brunches, game nights, and much more!
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You are warmly invited to join us in Hubley Hall to enjoy delicious treats, coffee, juice, and fellowship every Sunday, immediately after the 10:00 a.m. service. Fellowship provides opportunities to gather together with other church members to socialize over homemade refreshments and beverages. Lemonade on the Lawn is held outdoors in the Chi Rho garden in the summer. Occasionally we will serve a breakfast brunch cooked by the members of Fellowship in conjunction with another commission.
Nine to Dine
Sign-ups for Nine to Dine groups take place in the fall, winter, and spring; the groups generally meet monthly for three months in a row, each time at a different home. These gatherings provide a chance for adults of all ages and stages to meet new people and become better acquainted over dinner. Everyone brings some part of the meal to share (e.g., appetizer, wine, vegetable, salad, dessert). Marital status doesn’t matter, and hosting a meal is not a requirement for joining in. All that’s needed is a love of good food and good fellowship.
The Spirit of Family
To encourage family participation and camaraderie, we hold many events during the year to gather for family fun and fellowship:
- Rally Day Picnic – Welcome back the new church school year with a cookout on the church lawn after church while a Dixieland Band entertains us.
- Lobster Bake – Lobsters, steaks, and all the fixings are a hit at this outdoor event.
- Advent Brunch – The church family unites in a brunch including a visit from Santa. Gifts are collected for Outreach projects.
- Soup & Bingo – Families sample homemade soups and chili and play Bingo.
- Trivia-Pizza Night – A fun intergenerational evening of pizza and a trivia game!
- Children’s Sunday Picnic – Families gather on the church lawn for a cookout after church.
- Strawberry Festival – Fellowship prepares, serves, and sells delicious strawberry shortcakes on the green as part of the FCC Strawberry Festival
- Beach Barbecue – Members and friends of FCC gather at the Surf Club for a barbecue.
- Ice Cream Social – Ice cream, toppings, and whipped cream to make your own sundaes!
- Sunday breakfast brunches and potluck dinners
We are one of but a few congregations that still have an active organization for all women of the church. The League meets the first Thursday of each month between September and June for a moment of reflection, luncheon and a program.
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Women’s League meetings begin at noon with a moment of reflection that is followed by lunch and a program. Annual events sponsored by the League are the Lenten Breakfast, the Christmas Tea, and the Meetinghouse Fair, held in November. League members also help with the mailing of the church newsletter, and a small but lively craft group meets to knit and sew handmade items to be sold at the fair.
For many years, charitable organizations in the New Haven area such as Christian Community Action and Fair Haven Parents’ Ministry have received proceeds from the fair. The Women’s League has also shared its proceeds with Madison Community Services, Madison Visiting Nurses, and the ABC (A Better Chance) program. In conjunction with the general psychiatry division of Connecticut Valley Hospital, the League asks for the congregation’s help each December in collecting new clothing items for men and women. Within the church, the League helps support the prayer-shawl knitting ministry with the purchase of wool and yarn, and also makes donations to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund.
The Outreach Commission fosters its overall ministry by inviting representatives from service organizations to join us for worship and share their story with the congregation. These Mission Moments take place on the third Sunday of each month.
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Our first Mission Moment was in January 2010. Since then, members and friends of the First Congregational Church have given $30,000 to more than 20 different organizations that have touched our lives and hearts. Local, national and international agencies have been represented in our giving.
Past recipients include:
- Raise the Roof (formerly Madison Cares/Habitat for Humanity)
- Food Bank
- Madison Community Services
- Childhood Cancer Kids
- CHABHA (Children Affected By HIV/AIDS; in Africa)
- Cystic fibrosis OutRun 38
- IRIS (International Refugee & Immigrant Services)
- Christian Community Action
- Please join us as we continue to help those who are helping others.
Adult Ministry and Education
Our programs for adults at The First Congregational Church of Madison offer opportunities for men and women to serve God, serve others, and to grow in their faith in a community setting with other Christ followers. Learn more our Ministries and Fellowship opportunities.
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Men’s Tuesday Morning Bible Study
We meet Tuesday mornings at 7:30am in the Parlor. Come and participate in stimulating discussions about God’s message. We utilize challenging Christian books, philosophies and the Bible. Bring your coffee, join us whenever you can and share your views! If you have any ideas on study or discussion material contact Colin Reeve at (203) 508-4504, firstname.lastname@example.org or the Church office.