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Wondering About Who We Are?
Who is welcome here? You are.
We believe that God knows, cares for and loves all persons regardless of the differences that set us apart; that every person brings unique, god-given gifts that the Christian community can affirm. Our common commitment to Jesus Christ binds us into a caring community of persons of diverse gifts, backgrounds, needs, and life situations.
We believe that the church is in need of forgiveness whenever it fails to affirm the full humanity of any person or group.We are an Open and Affirming congregation welcoming persons of any age, race, sexual orientation, nationality, economic circumstance, or physical or mental ability. Instead of insisting on any single interpretation, we invite one another to share his or her own faith and spirituality so that the whole body may be nurtured mutually.
How would you describe Spring Glen’s values and church culture?
We serve a diverse and inter-generational community. Our members cherish a tolerant, intellectually challenging atmosphere focused on loving one another despite diverse viewpoints. We are hungry to learn about our Christian faith, nourish our spiritual development, and seek out opportunities to put our faith into action. We are deeply invested in a vibrant theater arts ministry and a rich music program that provides the anchor for our worship and includes professionally led adult and children’s choral and bell/chime choirs, and occasional guest musicians.
We are a church that embraces all age groups. Our youth have a strong voice and presence in our worship, programs and governing structure. Our Sunday School and youth group activities are tailored to meet the needs of each age group. Inter-generational programs are also priorities as we focus on celebrating together as One. Our seniors are supported by one-on-one care giving relationships. Families and adult opportunities to learn and join in fellowship provide the glue for our community growth and strength.
Core to our covenant with one another is also our call to reach outwardly to our neighbors in need with a commitment to mission that includes 15% of our budget dedicated to local and global community outreach.
As a member of the United Church of Christ, “we are people who take the bible too seriously to take it literally, who value the questions of the faith journey at least as much as the answers, who do not shy away from applying the faith to every aspect of our lives, from shopping to politics, from work to family. We are committed to creating and sustaining programs that are safe and nurturing for all people, especially children and youth. As members of the UCC, we believe that God is Still Speaking and we are still listening.”
CT Conference United Church of Christ –www.ctconfucc.org.
What does the church membership look like?
We are a largely professional community with members from the surrounding towns who serve in a variety of employment capacities including academia, corporations, non profits and a multitude of helping professions and skilled labor vocations. We are culturally, ethnically and economically becoming more diverse yearly. Over 50% of our members have graduate degrees; over 52 % of us are single with many of us single parents. We also embrace over 30% of our congregants who are retired; about 12% of our folks are over 75 years old.
What programs and activities are focused on children and youth?
With professional staff leading our Sunday School and youth, we have a full program to meet the needs of all age groups: Infant room childcare, Sunday School program (Toddler- 6th grade) Confirmation Class and High School Youth Group. Additional enrichment to our worship services includes contributions from our children’s choral and bell/chime choirs.
The Sunday School program includes its own monthly chapel service along with a focused curriculum integrating weekly lessons, crafts and service efforts focused on providing our children their own opportunities to make a difference.
Our youth meet weekly to explore various topics that challenge teens while also focused on fun, fellowship and service-including a yearly service trip outside of Connecticut.
Typical meetings may include movie outings (followed by group discussions), local community service, broom ball, and conversations on "Talking (and Walking) Faith."
What programs and activities are tailored to adults?
While each year includes new initiatives, we also are committed to long standing yearly commitments to which our congregants regularly participate.
Examples of past and present efforts:
-Spiritual growth- Sunday morning and Monday afternoon bible studies
-Alternative worship/meditation experiences – Taize services, women’s retreats
-Educational opportunities- book studies and discussion groups
-Fellowship opportunities- Needlearts group, progressive dinner, programs for seniors
-Community service- Columbus House meal preparation, Meals to Heal for the homebound, Abraham’s Tent–interfaith effort to shelter the homeless; work days to assist local non-profits.
-Mission trip opportunities- Hurricane Katrina relief
Are inter-generational opportunities a priority?
Yes! While it varies year to year our programs have included multiple activities: Community service work days, Theater Arts ministry (yearly play production and chancel dramas) week long mission trips, Fall Festival potluck, Advent celebration (crafts, worship and potluck dinner), game night, pancake breakfast and softball team/league participation.
What is God calling Spring Glen Church to do/become?
While we embrace and support racial, ethnic, sexual diversity, we also continue to make this a priority to explore and grow even more in these areas. We are committed to:
-‘Christianity in Action’ involving networking and partnering with other faith communities, with intent to become both more contemplative about and active within the larger communities we serve.
-Becoming even more thoughtful stewards of the physical assets with which we are blessed – the church buildings, our local environment and our actions as they affect our neighbors, the global community and our earth’s natural resources.
-Continuing to develop small group ministries to enhance relationships and faith exploration within our congregation.