Ministry Teams – Wider Ministries
Christian Outreach Among their responsibilities is the communication of information about Our Church’s Wider Mission, coordination of special offerings, community outreach and interaction and Association and Conference activities. Annually, they organize the church’s participation in the local Crop Walk (https://www.crophungerwalk.org/). This ministry especially organizes and supports the Brentwood Community Food Pantry for the local community. Residents of Brentwood and the surrounding towns are welcome to come to the church once a month to choose from the assorted dry goods we have to offer. Items for the food pantry are collected at the Mary Bartlett Library in Brentwood, the Brentwood Town Hall and the church.
Peace and Justice The Peace and Justice Committee is an active group in the Pilgrim United Church of Christ and was formed more than 25 years ago. In the past few years, the members have chosen a few issues to focus on per year, such as Immigration Reform, Environmental Issues, and Violence Prevention. They have held forums for the church and wider community such as “Community Safety Forum” and “Understanding Mental Illness.” In 2017, they started a movie series about current social issues at the Brentwood Mary E. Bartlett Library. In 2018, the Peace and Justice ministry is encouraging the congregation to engage in becoming part of the solution to the opioid crisis in the local New Hampshire community.
Ukama Zimbabwe Partnership Our church formed a formal partnership with the Gwenzi United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe in 1998, two years after the NH Conference formed a broader partnership and encouraged individual congregations to make smaller, more direct relationships with congregations in Zimbabwe. We have a long history of relationship with Zimbabwe; the denomination in Zimbabwe was started by Congregational missionaries from New England in November of 1893. Our relationship with Gwenzi has grown since 1998 when we began our dialogue with them, and we mutually agreed to become partners, or “hama” (“family” in the Shona language). Small groups have visited each other over the past few years and the two congregations continue to share letters and support through our pen pal program.
Seacoast Family Promise The mission of SFP is “to empower families with children experiencing homelessness to achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response.” Our church is proud to be one of the host sites for Seacoast Family Promise to help homeless families find stable housing and employment. Originally called the Interfaith Hospitality Network, Seacoast Family Promise provides local homeless families with food and shelter. Families sleep and eat at our church for 6 weeks a year, in scheduled 1-week segments, while working with program officers to ‘graduate’ from the program. The congregation supports this not only by providing and supporting the physical host space but by also helping to prepare meals and bedding for the families. Members of our congregation stay overnight. Our goal at Pilgrim Church is to provide a welcoming, nonjudgmental temporary home for families in the Seacoast Family Promise network. This partnership includes Temple Israel as well as, more recently, some Catholic parishes. For more information, please see https://www.seacoastfamilypromise.org/.
A Vision of the Transformative United Church of Christ in Ten Years
Here is a link to the report of the United Church of Christ from the Strategic Visioning Task Force (2015-2016) and the Vision Implementation Task Force of the UCC Board of Directors (2016-2017). https://www.uccfiles.com/pdf/UCC-Strategic-Vision-Report-March-2017.pdf