Our Values, Goals and History

Worship service on the Village Green

Our Mission Statement

Our purpose is to follow Jesus Christ and to keep Christ at the center of our lives. We aspire to strengthen our identity as a home of extravagant welcome where friends and strangers alike encounter God’s love.

Dedication of our skin-toned chairs with friends who helped make it possible and the folks from Redeemer’s AME Zion Church in Plainfield, CT.

We seek to grow in our expression of Christian love both locally and globally. We are called to support and serve those in need.

We embrace our role as a community church for the people of Norfolk and this region. We seek to further open our doors and hearts to our neighbors through programs and events, and to be available to all in times of spiritual need.

We are grateful for the ministry of our staff members. We strive to support their leadership.

We respond joyfully to our need to give thanks and praise to God. We endeavor to expand the settings and styles of our worship, and to celebrate the place that music holds in our encounter with the divine.

We cherish our children and youth. We seek ways to help our young people discover their gifts, and to strengthen their call to make a difference in our world.

We recognize that our wealth, material and spiritual, are gifts from God and that we are stewards of those gifts. We are obliged to examine the uses of these resources and to achieve greater unity of purpose with the assets of this church, including the physical plant and the endowment.

We devote ourselves to lives of spiritual growth and education. We look to provide ways for people of all ages to grow in their knowledge and understanding of Scripture, other faiths and our own UCC tradition.

Our Open and Affirming Statement

We, the Church of Christ Congregational (UCC) of Norfolk, Connecticut, seek to keep Christ in the center of our lives, and we strive to provide an extravagant welcome to all persons. Therefore we declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming church. We embrace the diversity in our community, and we affirm the dignity and worth of every person created in the image of God. We welcome into full membership and participation in the Body of Christ persons of every race, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, physical and mental ability, economic or marital status, family structure and faith background. We understand that oppression and discrimination of any kind is incompatible with Christ’s Gospel of unconditional love. Through our diversity we seek to grow in a unity of faith.

Our Common Commission

Let us go forth into the world in peace, being of good courage, holding fast to that which is good, rendering to no one evil for evil, strengthening the faint-hearted, supporting the weak, helping the afflicted, honoring all persons, loving and serving the Lord, and rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Healthy eating Community Dinner

Our History

Church of Christ Congregational celebrated its 250th Anniversary in 2010. We celebrate the rich tradition of proclaiming God’s gracious work through Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit from this place.  This legacy continues today as we gather each Sunday to praise God and as we seek to better know and live God’s will.

The Church of Christ Congregational in Norfolk was first gathered in 1760. Two years earlier, the town’s Act of Incorporation had mandated the “power to procure the gospel to be preached.”  The first church structure was raised and roofed in 1760 and included an exterior coat of peach pink paint.  Under the leadership of the first pastor, Ammi Ruhamah Robbins, membership grew rapidly, and in 1813 it was decided that the old meetinghouse was too small.  A new building was approved, and the present meetinghouse was erected on the site of the old.

The meeting house, photo courtesy of the Norfolk Historical Society

After the death of Pastor Robbins in 1813, Rev. Ralph Emerson was installed as pastor.  Rev. Emerson served until 1829, when he resigned to become president of Case Western University.  Rev. Joseph Eldridge, who served as pastor for 42 years through the mid-1800s, was married to the granddaughter of Rev. Robbins, Sarah Battell.  The outstanding legacy of leadership continued through the pastorates of the Revs. Wickliffe Beach, John Gleason, John DePeu, William Stearns, John Barstow, William Johnson, James Potter, Justin Hartman, Alden Hebard, Bruce Anderson, and Marianne McCullaugh.  Our present pastor, the Rev. Erick Olsen, was installed in January 2004.

In 1888 Battell Chapel was built to add to the facilities of the church.  The present pillared porch was built in 1927.  In 1929 the Tiffany stained glass windows, indicating the four seasons, were added.  During the bicentennial year of the church in 1960, the congregation voted to join the United Church of Christ.  In 1966, the new addition to Battell Chapel was dedicated, addressing the need for additional office and classroom space.

Today the membership of Church of Christ Congregational is over 200.  We invite you to join our tradition of bringing God’s love to the world, as we continue to seek to be an active and important part of the Norfolk community and the wider world!

The Battell Chapel
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