Missions

LOCAL MISSION

Our church reaches out locally within the Upper Valley. Believing that our Christian faith calls us to respond to the needs of the community in which we live, we strive to meet the challenges which call us to a variety of caring ministries.

The Food Bin – We have a food bin in the front of the church for donations which we deliver to the Upper Valley Haven and Listen Center on alternate months.

Community Dinners – Dinners sponsored by LISTEN, a local support agency, are served five evenings a week in the Upper Valley. Teams from our church provide the supper the third Thursday of each month in White River Junction, VT at the Riverpoint LISTEN building.

Holiday Baskets – At Christmas time each year the community agency LISTEN provides holiday baskets of gifts and food for needy families and individuals. Volunteers are needed to donate gifts and money for the individuals assigned to our church.

Deacons’ Fund – Our Diaconate receives a special offering on Communion Sundays which offers various types of assistance. Money is used with discretion to respond to crises that befall not only church families, but also our Upper Valley neighbors.

Nursing Homes – Our pastor regularly visits local care facilities. The Diaconate also brings spiritual support by participating in worship services at the Alice Peck Day Extended Care Facility and Lebanon Center Genesis Eldercare. Volunteers are welcome to assist with and attend these services.

Easter Flowers for the Homebound and Elderly – With the proceeds from a “cookie walk,” the Mission Committee of our church purchases flowering plants which are available on Palm Sunday to be delivered to the homebound and elderly by Easter. Volunteers are needed to bake and buy cookies and to deliver the plants and visit with the recipients.

The Prayer Line – Our church has a Prayer Line which responds to personal needs through prayer. People are encouraged to call or email the Church Office with prayer requests.  Volunteers who wish to participate in the praying may be added at any time.

Local Agencies – Our church supports, through the budget of the Mission Committee, local service agencies which include: LISTEN, The Haven, Cover, Headrest, Habitat for Humanity, WISE, Good Neighbor Health Clinic, and Children and Family Services of Lebanon.

The Crop Walk – This walk is an ecumenical Church World Service event which addresses world hunger. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds are retained by LISTEN to fight hunger locally. while the other seventy-five percent goes to address global hunger. Volunteers are needed to plan, prepare food, run and assist with the organization of this walk.

Veggies for Mission – During the summer growing season, the Mission Committee provides a table for excess produce from members’ gardens. People are free to take the produce and leave a free-will offering, which goes to support mission projects. Providers and purchasers are appreciated.

 

WIDER MISSION

As a member church of the New Hampshire Conference of the United Church of Christ, we are able to support a wider network of ministry. Believing that Christ calls us to reach out “even to the ends of the earth,” we welcome opportunities to reach out in mission beyond our local community.

OCWM – Our church budgets a yearly amount for Our Church’s Wider Mission. This money funds resources, education, clergy placement and support, campus ministry, summer camping and community mission programs within New Hampshire. Nearly half of our OCWM donation supports the national instrumentalities and agencies of the United Church of Christ, in addition to supporting ministries in over eighty countries around the world.

UCC Special Offerings – Our church receives four special denomination-wide offerings during the year:

* One Great Hour of Sharing – Through this Lenten offering we support ministries of disaster relief, economic development, refugee resettlement, health care and social service in over 70 countries, including the US and Canada.

* Strengthen the Church – Through this Pentecost offering we share in the growth and future of the UCC through its local congregations and Conferences.

* Neighbors in Need – Through this autumn offering we express our deep commitment to reaching out and touching neighbors with justice and compassion.

* The Christmas Fund – Through this Advent offering we help meet a variety of needs, including emergency grants for active or retired clergy at times of financial crisis, as well as gift checks at Christmas to low- income retired clergy and widowed spouses.

Blanket Sunday – This day, often Mother’s Day, is the occasion of a special offering which provides blankets and “tools of hope” for persons in need throughout the world.

Stamps for Vellore – This project collects used postage stamps, which are then sent to Vellore, India. People with leprosy and other disabilities earn an income from cleaning the stamps and placing them in marketable plastic wrap. You are encouraged to put your stamps in the bowl inside the back door of the church.

Work Camps – Youth and adults from our church have participated in work camps at H.O.M.E. in Orland, Maine, in Knott County, Kentucky, and most recently at NAOMI in Joseph City, Arizona. Such trips encourage persons of all ages to become aware of human need throughout the world.

Seminary Support – Through the Mission budget, we make yearly contributions to two regional seminaries: Andover Newton and Bangor Seminary. These schools, based in New England, are related to the United Church of Christ, and most often train men and women for ministry in our local churches.

Prepared by the Mission and Social Action Committee of West Lebanon Congregational Church, UCC.
Spiritual Life
The Diaconate serves to uplift the spiritual life of the church. They attend to our two sacraments: Baptism and Communion. The Diaconate ensures that our church is prepared to officiate at weddings and funerals. They seek to create ways for effective pastoral care.

Ecumenical Sharing
As a church, we seek to establish ties with other religious bodies by participating at ecumenical services on Thanksgiving, Ash Wednesday, and Easter, We faithfully support the Lebanon Council of Churches and the United Church of Christ, both at the Association and Conference Levels.