Missions & Community Service
M25 refers to verses in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus tells us that when we feed the hungry, offer a drink to the thirsty, show hospitality to a stranger, give clothing to the naked, care for the sick and visit those in prison, we are serving Him. “…when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” (Matt. 25:40) This is a clarion call to love our neighbors as ourselves both in our community and around the world.
Through outreach and mission work, South Church supports many organizations both locally, nationally and internationally.
AL-ANON (and ALATEEN for younger members) is a worldwide organization that offers a program of help and mutual support for families and friends of someone with a drinking problem whether or not the person with a drinking problem seeks help or even recognizes the existence of a drinking problem. Participants in AL-ANON and ALATEEN give and receive comfort and understanding through a mutual exchange of experience, strength and hope, and learn how the principles of the AL-ANON program can be applied to their own lives. This process of sharing amongst people with similar problems and applying AL-ANON principles binds individuals and groups together in a bond that is protected by a policy of anonymity and confidentiality. The regional distribution office is located in South Congregational Church 277 Main Street Hartford, CT.
Connecticut Bible Society
On May 11, 1809, a group of prominent citizens gathered in the Old State House in Hartford, Connecticut to form the Connecticut Bible Society. They are the second oldest Bible society in North America and the first to print the Bible in the States. The chief purpose of the Connecticut Bible Society remains encouraging people to read, study, and distribute the Holy Scriptures. They have distributed thousands of free bibles, Bible reading guides and tracts to citizens throughout our state including to many correctional, health-care, educational and religious institutions. Pastor Adam Söderberg currently serves as the President of the Connecticut Bible Society. Visit ctbiblesociety.org
Covenant to Care
Covenant to Care for Children mobilizes and channels the generosity of caring and faithful people to advocate for, mentor and provide direct assistance to Connecticut’s children and youth who are neglected, abused or at-risk. Their goal is to create a future where all Connecticut’s children have caring families and safe places to live, and all people of faith demonstrate their own personal commitment to the welfare of children.
Faith Based Initiative (FBI)
Faith-Based Initiative Hartford is an inclusive faith-based collaborative meant to positively impact our city through instilling hope by addressing the needs of our community. FBI’s goal is to proactively address violence throughout our city by promoting unity, cooperation and accountability amongst civil servants, agencies, corporations, businesses, neighborhood, faith groups and the community at large.
Grace Academy, the first faith-based, tuition-free, all-girls middle school in Hartford, opened on Thursday, August 26 in the South Congregational Church at 277 Main Street in Hartford. Grace Academy is a comprehensive educational program for girls’ grades 5-8 that provides a rare opportunity for students to experience a tuition-free, college preparatory education in an atmosphere of respect and responsibility. It is a structured, challenging and supportive educational program. Grace Academy works to inspire intellectual, spiritual, moral, social, creative and athletic growth of each young girl and to nurture in a small school setting the full potential of her whole character.
Hands on Hartford
Hands On Hartford provides direct services to people in need and promotes civic engagement and volunteerism. Direct service programs include MANNA, Family School Connection, and Peter’s Retreat, providing service in three areas: basic human needs such as nutrition, children and family support services, and supportive housing for people living with HIV/AIDS.
The Hartford Project
The Hartford Project (THP) is an urban ministry immersion experience for teenagers in New England. Church youth groups are invited to come and live at South Church for a week at a time in the summer. During the week they serve the community, learn about poverty, experience racial reconciliation, and build relationships with the wider body of Christ.
South Park Inn
The South Park Inn assists homeless people in improving their life situation by providing temporary and long-term housing and supportive services. They also are leading advocates for solutions to homelessness in the city of Hartford. Formed in 1982 to assist homeless people, the former South Park Methodist Church was purchased and renovated for the Emergency Shelter. It was soon discovered that a severe lack of affordable housing and services made it difficult to find permanent housing solutions. The church sanctuary was converted to a Transitional Living program in 1989, which allows men to stay for up to 2 years while they engage in education, job training, mental health or substance abuse treatment which increases their skills and income. For those with severe limitations and need ongoing support, Plimpton House was opened in 1995. This program provides a permanent housing option for 35 women and men who benefit from in house support services.
Sparrow Ministry’s goal is uncomplicated. We make breakfast at South Church for hundreds of our neighbors in the Hartford community every Saturday morning. Our mission is to show the tangible love of Jesus so that our brothers and sisters may experience Him in a real way. There are many ways to get involved. You can help serve breakfast on Saturday mornings from 6:00 am – 9:00 am. You can pray for Sparrow Ministry each week. You can provide financial support or you can donate food items. We regularly need: flats or cartons of eggs, turkey bacon, breakfast sausage, sliced american cheese, loaves of bread, juice, fresh fruit, peanut butter, jelly, and “lunch bag stuffers” such as: granola bars, fruit snacks, etc.
South Church is a member of The Urban Alliance (UA) network. This network is comprised of churches and organizations that encompass a diversity of cultures, sizes and demographics, yet all share in Christian faith and have a desire to help people become healthy and whole by collectively and collaboratively meeting needs in the local community. UA provides a platform for the facilitation of collaborative initiatives, through which many of the more than 100 outreach ministries and programs that are run by Urban Alliance network participants are directly incorporated.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We work in nearly 100 countries, serving all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. In 2015, World Vision teamed up with Urban Alliance to begin serving in Hartford, Connecticut, offering: Volunteer Opportunities, Training Resources, Community Engagement, Storehouse Subscription and a Teacher Resource Center.
The Fellowship of Northeast Congregational Christian Churches is a regional association founded in 1958 with a current membership of 42 congregations located in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. Our churches include evangelicals and free-thinkers, traditionalists and progressives. Each congregation of believers is free to determine its own covenant, basis of membership, statement of faith, forms of worship, programs of religious education, ownership and administration of property, choice of minister or other leadership, programs of community service, fellowship, music, pastoral work, and all other religious and civic activities. Our churches are old (1670) and new (2001), formal and informal. We include Native Americans, old-line Yankees and first generation immigrants. Each church names its own voting representative to be on our Executive Committee/Board of Trustees, according to its own procedures and timetable. This Executive/Board meets 6 times a year (January – March – April – June – September – November) at South Congregational Church, Hartford, CT where our administrative office is located.
The National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC) is a voluntary association of churches committed to fellowship with each other and support national and international missions. The NACCC is designed to facilitate local congregations as they consult and advise each other on matters of common concern to them, both temporal and spiritual, without infringing on their self-government. Once a year, normally in June, representatives of NACCC member churches gather for a four-day Annual Meeting held in a different city each year. Attendees experience the joy of fellowship, take part in valuable seminars, hear dynamic and inspiring speakers, and make the major decisions of the Association during business sessions. The Association’s national office is in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee.
Bethesda Evangelical Mission
Bethesda Evangelical Mission (BEM) is an interdenominational and non-profit organization whose focus is to preach the gospel, train ministers, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, educate the children, provide medical care and give shelter to those who are without while giving an opportunity to the people around the world to be a blessing towards those who are less fortunate. BEM has been involved in the lives of the Haitian people since 1984 and has a group of over 35 churches all around its Southern peninsula. They support Haitian children through their 12 schools and orphanages. BEM is also engaged in digging water wells to help combat the problems of drinking unclean water and has a micro loan program to assist Haitian entrepreneurs advance in business. BEM leads over seven mission trips a year to Haiti and is always ready for more to be added. BEM encourages and welcomes every denomination to take part in the great commission. Your form of worship is not our focus; however, we do request that you respect our acknowledgement of the Supremacy of Jesus Christ, His Birth, His Life and His Resurrection.
Camp Perrin, Haiti
Camp Perrin is a municipality of 40,000 in Les Cayes, Haiti and is home to our sister church. It is a small congregation of about 100 members lead by Pastor François Delsoin. Education is a privilege not a right in Haiti and public schooling is nearly non-existent except for the churches. They are a lifeline. We support the Camp Perrin School covering the annual salaries of three teachers and one administrator. We also provide one hundred students with the required school uniforms as well as backpacks and school supplies. Every year South Church sends a Mission Team to serve, worship and fellowship with our brothers and sisters-in-Christ in Camp Perrin.
The Theological Education Institute International (TEII)
The TEII’s vision is to educate the grassroots of the believing church in excellent biblical theology, equipping many to become leaders in the culture; to honor the unalienable rights given by God to all people equally, with specific emphasis in advancing religious, political and economic liberty; to bring the Gospel into all sectors of society – the family, church, government, military, education, media, business, science, medicine and the arts; to welcome the toughest questions of all skeptics with graciousness in demeanor and rigor in thinking; and accordingly; to let the goodness of Jesus the Messiah become transparently evident, and so build the kingdom of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. One way TEII does this is with the Mars Hill Forum. These Forums cover the widest range of viewpoints on debated topics at the interface of the Gospel, politics and culture. The goal of the Mars Hill Forum series is to have people leave thinking aloud with one another.
Voice of the Martyrs
The Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian organization dedicated to assisting the persecuted church worldwide. VOM was founded in 1967 by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who was imprisoned 14 years in Communist Romania for his faith in Christ. His wife, Sabina, was imprisoned for three years. In the 1960s, Richard, Sabina, and their son, Mihai, were ransomed out of Romania and came to the United States. Through their travels, the Wurmbrands spread the message of the atrocities that Christians face in restricted nations, while establishing a network of offices dedicated to assisting the persecuted church. The Voice of the Martyrs continues in this mission around the world today.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We work in nearly 100 countries, serving all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. We believe in a full solution to poverty and injustice. We provide emergency assistance to children and families affected by disasters and conflict, partner with communities for long-term solutions to alleviate poverty, and advocate for justice on behalf of the poor. World Vision also serves greater New York City, focusing on the South Bronx and Washington Heights neighborhoods. In 2015, they began to serve in Hartford, Connecticut, as well offering: Volunteer Opportunities, Training Resources, Community Engagement, Storehouse Subscription and a Teacher Resource Center.