Brookside Congregational Church Outreach
The Mission Ministry Group views as its purpose “To represent the congregation of Brookside Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in a responsible manner, while responding at the local, national and global levels to the need for food, clothing, shelter or means of attaining self-sufficiency. To keep the congregation advised of progress achieved and opportunities available for continued enrichment of living life as faithful followers of Jesus Christ.”
There are many ways to get involved in Brookside Outreach, read more about the different programs we support by scrolling down the page and feel free to contact any member of the Mission Ministry* should you have questions or have an interest in participating in any of the worthwhile projects and partnerships.
Local, National, Global Efforts
Local All-Church Offerings
Brookside participates in three special all-church offerings during the year: Neighbors in Need, One Great Hour of Sharing, and Blanket Sunday. Announcements concerning the specific events are publicized prior to each collection. Local community support includes participation in the annual interfaith Religious Response to Hunger, falling between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and hosting New Horizons’ Empty Bowls Project.
National & International Programs
Brookside is proud to provide ongoing support to two children through the Compassion International child sponsorship program. We also support Andover Newton Theological School, Bangor Theological Seminary, Pastoral Counseling Services and people in need of catastrophic dental and medical service.
Partnership with Sakubva Church, Zimbabwe
Our ongoing relationship with Sakubva Church in Mutare, Zimbabwe continues to flourish. Each month, members of the Mission Ministry Group and Brookside’s congregation conference call with members of Sakubva Church to receive updates on current events and projects. The calls, in addition to letters, have provided us with a way to keep our connection alive and find ways to work on a shared mission.
The Mission Ministry Group, on behalf of Brookside Church, offers monetary support to help Sakubva Church provide for the basic needs for orphans they care for. In the past, Mission has also sold linens and other goods made by our brothers and sisters of Sakubva Church. All proceeds from the sales were sent to Sakubva Church to be used to build a guest house at the church.
One of the highlights of Brookside’s outreach for many families is the collection, preparation and distribution of Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets. In 2005, we added to the Brookside holiday baskets tradition by successfully filling and distributing Easter food “baskets.” These baskets directly assist the clients of organizations such as the Salvation Army, Greater Manchester AIDS Project, Southern NH Services/Head Start, Child Health Services and Families in Transition.
Families in Transition
Families in Transition (FIT) is a Manchester-based nonprofit organization that offers low-cost transitional housing and on-site supportive services to homeless women with and without children, as well as men with children.
Over the past few years, Brookside has been involved with FIT in a variety of ways: by providing the necessary furnishings and household items needed for FIT’s new interim housing unit, through monetary contributions, and by encouraging Brookside families to support FIT through volunteer efforts. For more information regarding Families in Transition please visit their website at www.fitnh.org.
Loaves and Fishes
On the first Sunday of every month, we collect canned goods, staples, dry goods, and personal toiletry items to help stock the shelves of the New Horizons Food Pantry and Shelter. The congregation’s response to this program has been tremendous, with an average monthly donation of 60 bags of goods. If you are available to help deliver the donations, please contact the church office at 669-2807.
Community Response to Hunger
Brookside Church has participated in the annual Religious Response to Hunger in the fall. A caravan of cars representing a number of area religious groups leave the Brookside parking lot to deliver the bags of food their groups have collected to New Horizons Soup Kitchen. We invite everyone to join in both by bringing in food and participating in the caravan. Everyone meets in the Brookside parking lot to caravan over to New Horizons and deliver the food with other participating groups and individuals. The date for 2015 has not been set yet.
New Horizons Soup Kitchen
Volunteers from Brookside serve the evening meal at New Horizons’ Soup Kitchen on the fifth Tuesday of the month. A 4-6 member team spends approximately two hours serving dinner to an average of 120 people. If you are available to volunteer with us, please contact the church office at 669-2807.
Since 2005, Brookside members have participated in the annual Walk for Hunger to benefit New Horizons. The annual walk was on May 17, 2015, stay tuned for next year’s event..
Empty Bowls date has not been set for the fall yet. Please check back in the summer for the date and more information. Click here for the link to New Horizons.
For more information about New Horizons please visit www.newhorizonsfornh.org.
Partners in Health
In 2005, Brookside expanded its global reach through a donation to Partners in Health (PIH), an international nonprofit organization that strives to increase access to health care for those who most need it. Begun by Dr. Paul Farmer, PIH brings the resources of the world’s leading medical and academic institutions to some of the world’s poorest and sickest communities in Haiti, Rwanda, Peru, Guatemala, Russia, and Boston, Massachusetts.
To read more about this work, check out the website at www.pih.org or read Tracy Kidder’s best-selling book, Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World.