After an extended period of conversation and creative imagination, Bethany UCC is excited to announce our new mission and vision, as well as the goals which we have laid out to work toward that mission over the next five years.
Bethany UCC is a fully inclusive community of Christian faith. We are a congregation dedicated to building and strengthening connections to God, one another, and the needs of our neighbors.
Taking seriously Jesus’ instructions to Love God and Love Others, Bethany UCC seeks to be a community of love. We wish to see lives changed for the better through faith formation and exploration, deepened community ties, and acts of service to those in need, in our community and around the world.
By the end of the year 2020, we will accomplish the following goals, with focuses in Faith Formation, Fellowship, and Christian Service.
Recognizing the early success of two of our three friendship groups, as well as that of the re-forming youth group, we wish to see at least four new small groups form, with 8-15 members in each (an average of 12 per group). Of these four groups, at least two will be primarily focused on acts of service to the community.
Faith Exploration. Our congregation has expressed a specific passion to re-engage (or engage for the first time) those who are not presently active in a faith community, particularly among younger generations. Since this is not presently happening in our church, some new things will need to be done In order to achieve this desire.
- In conjunction with interested parties, the pastor will work to create opportunities for faith exploration. Two such opportunities will be offered per month (either two different things each once/month, or one twice/month) for an initial trial period of 6 months.
Partnering with other community organizations, particularly IRIS, we will assemble a team to work toward resettling refugee families in our local area. Since refugee families require easy access to public transportation, resettlement within the Bethany town limits is not an option, so we will seek housing in nearby areas – such as the border of Woodbridge and New Haven – where our support network is enhanced by local infrastructure. According to the IRIS website, the total cost for a community organization such as ours to resettle one refugee family is $6,000-10,000.
- The first team will be organized in summer of 2017.
- After a lead-in of a year (less, if feasible) for initial fundraising and partnership creation, our goal will be to resettle one refugee family per year
Food and Fellowship . The church will continue its newly developed practice of monthly fellowship meals. Additional opportunities for fellowship outside of Sunday Morning and Small Group gatherings will be made available at least quarterly. Opportunities might include (but are not limited to) coffee houses, movie nights, breakfasts, camps/retreats, “field trips,” etc. So long as our two congregations remain yoked, at least one of these quarterly events should be planned in conjunction with South Congregational Church in Waterbury