Governance Team

Governance Team Update October 2018

In July, August and September we held five potluck dinner conversations in member homes involving a total of 37 people.  We thank all involved in hosting and coordinating all the events.  We enjoyed food, fellowship and lively conversation and learned new things about each other and the many service ministries we’re engaged in.  The purpose of these events was to look at the many ways we serve each other and organizations/people outside of NMCC and how we’d determine our service ministry selections in the future.   We also explored how we might use that energy and passion to create intentional focus and priority to achieve impact as defined in our purpose statement and what that might look like in the future.

We learned or observed several characteristics about our ministries now and in the future:

  • Christ centered. We wanted to ensure that everything we do is Christ centered and clear on where God fits into our ministries.
  • Many service ministry options. We were not aware of the breadth of how many ways we serve.  We want to make it easier to engage in ministries with bite sized commitments.
  • Our ministries are strong on serving others. Inside and outside the church, we are particularly good at food, housing and people in crisis/transition, both inside NMCC and in the community at large.
  • Hands on engagement. We would like to see more hands on engagement with local organizations.
  • Environment. We do more with environmental issues than we were aware of and would like to do more.
  • Activism. We want to participate more in social activism but make sure it is Christ centered.  We know that Jesus was politically active but we want to make sure we participate based upon our religious beliefs.
  • Leadership. As we rebalance our service ministries, we need to have leaders willing to take on new or re-imagined ministries.
  • Connecting with others who serve. We have members/friends who work or volunteer with non-profit organizations in the community.  We need to discover whether there is a passion to incorporate them into our service ministries.
  • Community Center concept. We like the idea that our church is now used by library groups and La Leche league as well as other community organizations.
  • Connecting outside NMCC. We need to be more proactive in telling our story through social media.  We also need to make it more interesting internally with personal interest stories so that our members/friends can easily invite others to engage with us.

Many more topics were covered and will be used as part of the process to determine what our future ministries will look like and how they will be selected.

On September 30, we held a luncheon (thank you Hospitality Team!) attended by around 50 people.  We reviewed the information above, explored the criteria we would use to support ministries in the future and closed by previewing how the criteria would be used to decide and support ministries in the future.  We also discussed the creation of a Ministry Resource Team that could coordinate our ministry efforts.   The ideas we collected will be compiled, shared and incorporated into our next steps.

In December, at our annual budget meeting, the Governance Team will propose a new structure to support our service ministries, how that team could be populated and the guidelines they could follow.  If affirmed by the congregation, we will begin to live into the new structure by January 2019.

The Governance Team

Holly Francis, Roberta Hanlon, Tom Lauher, Keith Luckenbach and Carol Anne Bachhuber



Local Community Service Ministries

NMCC:  supports and shares NMCC gifts with the community; distributed $500

NMCC Prayer Chain/Prayer Shawls – offers comfort to community friends & family

NMCC Choir – shares music: Choir festival & Interfaith Service (Madison/Guilford)

NMCC Circle Nursery School – NAEYC accredited pre-school programs

NMCC Community Center – meeting space for: AA, Alanon, Scranton Library, Madison Land Trust, La Leche League

NMCC Fire in the Kitchen Concerts and Skunk Misery Ramblers Fiddler Club – community outreach program building community, creativity and fun for families.

NMCC Missions Monthly Book Club – gathering & robust discussion

NMCC Fence Team – portable fencing set-up/take down services (ad hoc)

NMCC Junior Youth Mission Weekend – animal shelter painting & toys; Columbus House breakfast, bagged lunch and dinner; personal care items collection – N. Branf.

NMCC Justice Ministries – individuals participate in vigils/marches (gun violence, women, New Haven Rising)

NMCC Madison Emergency Center – open during emergencies in Madison

NMCC Men’s Group – social group creates events for men to connect

NMCC Pay It Forward – member receives $50 to “pay it forward” in the community

NMCC Sunday Worship videotape – weekly taping for Madison public access TV

NMCC Tag Sale (online) – used item invites community to donate and recycle

NMCC Wine Tasting & Auction – community event: good food, wine and auction

NMCC Yoga – Mondays/Thursday yoga classes

NMCC Guided Nature Walks – birds, invasive species

Raise the Roof (Shoreline Connection for Habitat for Humanity) – brings shoreline residents together to sponsor Habitat for Humanity projects in New Haven.   NMCC: Multiple build opportunities, support Gala of Stars: Dancing for the Cause fund raiser (ad hoc); Donation: $1500

Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries – An interfaith service that provides food and fellowship.  NMCC: collects coins the 1st Sunday of each month; ongoing collection of non-perishable food items in Church Sanctuary; NMCC garden delivers to fresh produce to Madison Pantry.

Women & Family Life Center – Support, education & community for women and families. NMCC: Giving Tree Collection ~$500 in Gift Cards; Donation: $500.

Regional Service Ministries

NMCC:  Distributes $8,500 to several organizations that serve various populations

Columbus House – Provides shelter, housing and opportunity for independence.  NMCC: Breakfast hosted 2x/month (ad hoc), Christmas Breakfast & carols, holiday hat, scarf, glove, gift card & sock donation (ad hoc); bag lunches for clients and dinner for men’s overflow (JYG/CE); Giving Tree Collections: Household & Hygiene Kits for folks transitioning to their own apartments (Missions); Donation: $250

Continuum of Care – Serves adults diagnosed with mental illness with supported living programs in CT.  NMCC: Hosted Lenten classes and Knitting Circle Night for clients; (ad hoc); NMCC members attended auction event; Giving Tree Collections: household & hygiene items for folks transitioning to their own apartments; Donation: $1500 to purchase table for NMCC members.

Family Reentry (FRE – Prison Ministry) – provides cost-effective solutions for people and their families in the criminal justice system.  NMCC: Giving Tree Collection – journals and personal hygiene Items; hosted Bingo Night in Bridgeport for Re-Entry Society members and their families; Donation: $500

New Reach – Support services for children, families and individuals in CT experiencing homelessness.   NMCC:  Giving Tree Collection Adopt-A-Family Campaign; Bingo Night at Martha’s House; Donation: $1000

Unidad Latina en Accion – ULA – a grassroots social justice organization of immigrants in the Greater New Haven area since 2002 who address human rights abuses in our community and provide direct action.   NMCC: 2 NMCC Members attended benefit concert; Donation:  Sponsored Benefit Concert – $300

Saint Martin de Porres Academy – provides urban boys and girls the opportunity to choose a quality education and opportunity to break the cycle of poverty.   NMCC: 14 NMCC Members consistently volunteer at the school weekly 1-1 tutoring, Boy Scout Troop, dance club, piano and violin lessons, direct 2 Bands (ad hoc); hosted Bingo Night Spring Graduate Reunion (Missions); 16 NMCC Members attended Spring Fling Gala fundraiser. Donation: $1500

Youth Continuum – provides programs across So. CT for homeless and at-risk youth/young adults with emergency, residential and community services.   NMCC: Bingo night, individual volunteers to work with teens; befriended “teen Mom” and celebrated her high school graduation; Giving Tree kits (25 youth); Donation: $500

National/International Service Ministries

NMCC distributes more than $8,000 annually to UCC/NMCC sponsored ministries

Connecticut Quest for Peace – Seeks to improve the lives of the poorest people in Nicaragua with education, health care, arts, and microfinance initiatives, primarily directed toward women and children through local organizations.  NMCC: personal, household, medical, and academic items are donated by NMCC individuals & distributed to Nicaragua and (recently) Appalachia.  Donation: $1500

Crop Walk for Hunger –provides food & water, and resources that empower people to meet their own needs. NMCC:  Fund drive & individuals join hunger walk in Guilford.

LOVE 146 – international human rights organization working to end child trafficking and exploitation through survivor care and prevention.  NMCC: Donation$500

NMCC Senior Youth Group Mission Trips – repair/improve homes, create/restore gardens, share fellowship with clients (CE).

Our Church’s Wider Mission/UCC – Provides funding from congregations for Conferences and the national ministries of the United Church of Christ (Wider Church Ministries, Local Church Ministries, Justice and Witness Ministries, General Ministries, and Pension Boards).  NMCC: provides financial support for OCWM and participates in 3 UCC Special Missions Offerings:   Christmas Fund: Remembering Those Who Served Our Church (provides financial aid to retired and active ministers and their families who face overwhelming financial demands}; Neighbors in Need (supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the US and Puerto Rico).   One Great Hour of Sharing (funds development projects, feeds victims of famine, services for displaced people, and natural disasters response in 70+ countries).

Service Ministries That Serve Our Church

  • Committees, boards, and teams – provide basic services to manage NMCC and its resources
  • Sunday Worship – Deacons, choir, intergenerational choir, musicians, readers, ushers, storytellers, Children’s Message, Worship Team, videographers, provide flowers, provide food and set up for fellowship hour (Deacons and ad hoc)
  • Christian Education – serve our youth and children – Children’s Church, JYG, SYG
  • Church Facility and Grounds – maintain, clean, repair, renovate, yard/gardens clean up, decorate, display art work, reduce carbon footprint
  • Fundraising events/activities: Organize and support Fire in the Kitchen, Harvest Dinner, Craft Fair, Antique Show, Wine Tasting, On-line Tag Sale, Grocery Cards, Yoga
  • Office support – employees and members/friends
  • Caring Ministries: prayer chain, knitting ministry (prayer shawls), caring cooks, outreach (assess needs) (Deacons); visit members at home/in hospital, help families with home projects (CE, ad hoc); meals in freezer (CE)

UCC Justice Ministries – CT UCC

UCC/CT Resources for Justice Issues in which NMCC individuals have interest:

Children/Education – bullying, sexuality education, faith formation

Civil & Human Rights – gun violence, human trafficking, immigration LGBT justice

Economic Justice – fair trade, hunger/just eating, poverty

Environment – creation care and justice, church habitat restoration, climate change

Global Concerns – immigration, Israel/Palestine

Health – disabilities and mental health; healthcare justice

Human Sexuality – LGBT justice, bullying

Racial Justice – race, ethnicity and economic justice; intersections: racism and…

Women – human trafficking, domestic violence, justice for women