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Nurture Ministries

Nurture Ministries at First Congregational Church encompasses the caring ministries of the church: Stephen Ministry; Visitation Ministry; Flower Delivery Ministry; Meal Delivery Ministry; Pet Care Ministry; Prayer Shawl and Pillow Ministry; Prayer Circle and Coffee Hour. Many of these things go on quietly with few people knowing who is served and the impact that it makes on those receiving the benefits of these ministries.

Nurture Ministries’ role is to nurture those members and friends who cannot attend regular church activities, to keep them involved in the life of the church and to nurture those members and friends who might be experiencing difficult life transitions, illness, hospitalization or loss.  

Our church covenant states” We declare our purpose to be to discover the will of God for our lives, and to mediate the spirit of Christianity and the things of God to our community, that God's will may be fulfilled in individuals and in society”. And our dream statement says: "First Congregational Church is a caring, compassionate, community with a dynamic spiritual environment that values lifelong learning and creates joy, generosity, service and exploration.  As a welcoming and diverse community of faith we commit to love God, ourselves and others by more fully ministering to and within creation.)

As a caring and compassionate community of faith, Nurture Ministries is one of our expressions of taking care of each other and offering compassion to each other. Following are some examples of how this ministry program has helped people within our midst:

From Stephen Ministry: “When I lost someone in my family, I needed to tell my story of my loss as I grieved. My ‘normal’ support system was also all grieving, so I thought of Stephen Ministry as a place where I could receive support.  Having a Stephen Minister who listened to me 100% of the time was healing and helped me to find peace again. We always ended our time together with a prayer which helped to remind me that God was with me on my journey.”

Another recipient: “I felt as if I was going to have a nervous breakdown.  I have told my Stephen Minister things I could not tell my children. I don’t know how I would have gotten through these times without having had that support.”

From Flower delivery, a recipient writes: “I have been blessed recently to receive beautiful altar flowers from my beloved First Congregational Church—today honoring my birthday. To be remembered is a gift in itself. To be remembered with such beauty fills my heart with joy.”

Another recipient writes: “The flowers that were delivered to me are just as beautiful today as they were a week ago when delivered. Thank you so much for thinking of me and holding me in your prayers.”

From someone who has benefited from Prayer Circle: “I have certainly appreciated your many prayers on my behalf…the prayers have had a special impact on my recovery.”

From Meal Ministry: “Thank you for the delivery of meals. At the time I received them, I had just been visiting FCC.  I couldn’t believe that meals would be provided to someone who was just a visitor.”  This visitor made the decision to join the church as a result of the caring and compassion that was shown to the family when they experienced difficulties. 

From Prayer Shawl Ministry: "Thank you to the person who made the lovely prayer shawl that Carol gave me. I will think fondly of FCC whenever I use it. It brings me comfort and I greatly appreciate your prayers."