“To love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves.”
United Church of Christ Purpose Statement (from the Gospel of Matthew)

Step through the unassuming double doors in the center of our church building, climb the carpeted steps and right in front of you will be a large hand-made wooden box. Chances are good that it will be filled to the brim with items such as coats, backpacks, school supplies, sweaters, toiletries, socks and you name it! The box belongs to all of us. It represents the heart of our church.

That box and our Community Outreach Ministry helps us to fulfill our church’s mission. As a community of faith we combine our love of and devotion to God with our commitment to service and justice. Together, we look for opportunities to provide assistance to those in need, seek out ways to build community, and promote justice and inclusivity.

Outreach Ministry activities include sponsoring existing charitable organizations, collecting and donating goods for those in need, and organizing congregational group mission trips. There is much work to be done and opportunities for everyone who would like to help.

We are grateful to be able to share monetary gifts with organizations doing important work in a variety of communities. Some of the organizations that we have supported include:

Hands of Grace – Helping families meet basic needs: handsofgracect.org
Open Hearth – Shelter for Men Experiencing Homelessness: theopenhearth.org
Gifts of Love – Offers short term support to individuals and families: giftsoflovect.org
South Park Inn – Assists homeless men, women and veterans: southparkinn.org

Our church members are also active contributors to the Canton Food Bank, collecting food on the 4th Sunday of every month, and donating fresh vegetables grown by parishioners, in the church garden. The Canton Food Bank provides free food to Canton families and individuals in need. It is located at Trinity Episcopal Church, 55 River Rd., Collinsville, CT.

We continue to participate in-person in the community meals ministry at The First Church of Christ (“Center Church”) in Hartford, where a Sunday evening meal is served every week, to those in need in the city. Confirmation class members are invited to help provide, prepare and serve the meal, along with adults from our church each time, so that it’s an intergenerational effort.

Finally, First Congregational Church at Canton Center is a member of the United Church of Christ. We participate in “Our Church’s Wider Mission” which supports programs and disaster relief in the nation and the world. For more information, go to https://www.ucc.org/ocwm.

Prayer Shawl Ministry

Our beloved Prayer Shawl Ministry began in 2003. Since then, our knitters have created and donated more than 1400 shawls to those who are sick, grieving, or in need of healing. Contributions of shawls are also made to Hartford Hospital, McLean’s Hospice Program and to other area organizations.

First Congregational Church at Canton Center invites all knitters to donate completed shawls to this worthy ministry. Contact Evelyn Sealand to learn more about the Prayer Shawl Ministry.