First Congregational Church of New Milford has been part of the fabric of the New Milford community since its founding in 1716. The church currently sponsors or hosts a variety of community services and participates in world-wide activities through the United Church of Christ and Church World Services.
The Greater New Milford Community
A. Russell Ayre Scholarship
The A. Russell Ayre Scholarship, named for the church’s late pastor emeritus, awards college scholarships to high school seniors in the New Milford community. Each spring, New Milford students can apply and are then awarded scholarships based on community service, academic excellence, family need, and a personal essay submitted by the applicant. In 2015, 22 students received a scholarship. Applications are available in February and due by May 1st.
The primary fundraiser for the scholarships is a tag sale run during Village Fair Days in July.
A community outreach program sponsored by this church for many years. Baby Bundles works with the town Social Services department and other local agencies to identify families who meet the program’s criteria. Baby Bundles distributes diapers and other baby items on a monthly basis. Distribution is held on the third Wednesday of each month. We regularly receive many new referrals into the program, and distribute an average of 32 packages of diapers each month! The Baby Bundles goal in supplying these items is to ensure that all parents provide a healthy and safe environment for the youngest members of our community. Contact Social Services for more information.
The program is mainly supported by the generous donations we receive from our congregation through the monthly offerings and through special events. We are grateful to the Chapel Stitchers and the Vitality Committee for donations of their time and their talents. We appreciate the support and donations we have received from the members of the National Honor Society and the students at New Milford High School, as well as the members of Brookfield Congregational Church. Baby Bundles welcomes support from all community members.
New Milford Refugee Relocation (NMRR): This is focused on assisting refugees, and involves our church, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Temple Sholom, and the United Methodist Church.
Santa Fund: Yearly campaign by New Milford Social Services to provide Christmas gifts for children of need in the NM community. Traditionally the youth group participates by shopping and wrapping gifts for up to 10 children. All members of the congregation and community are welcome to participate.
New Milford Community Food Bank
Year long support with monthly collections during the regular worship service combined with the following community events:
“Souper Bowl of Caring”: What is the Souper Bowl of Caring? It is a national movement of people working to fight hunger and poverty in their own communities. On Super Bowl Sunday, we sponsor a soup pot luck lunch with the Fellowship Committee, where people bring canned goods that we donate to the Food Bank.
Walk a Mile for a Meal: The event is sponsored by Big Y and NM Social Services. We walk from Social Services, across the bridge to Big Y and back to purchase a bag of food to restock the Food Pantry.
Civic Groups that Use Our Space
A Zest for Health – Health Coaching with Christine Costable
Boy/Cub and Girl/Brownie Troops
Literacy on the Green
MOMS Club of New Milford
Mt. Laurel Quilters Group
Northville Amateur Radio Association
Senior Center Spirituality Group
Soccer Club of New Milford
The C.A.R.E.S. Group
UCC and Church World Services
One Great Hour of Sharing: A special mission offering of the United Church of Christ that carries God’s message of love and hope to people in crisis.
Neighbors In Need: A special mission offering of the UCC that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States.
Mother’s Day Cards: Provides funding for Church World Service to provide blankets for families in need all around the world.
Father’s Day Cards: Provides funding for Church World Service to supply tools in the U.S. and overseas to those who have suffered disasters and need to rebuild their homes and barns, shacks and huts.