What we do

Ways we serve our community and our planet

Light of Service

In 2007 we decided to give away the loose plate offering each Sunday instead of using it for our own operating costs. Each Sunday someone lights the “Light of Service” lamp and presents an organization or activity that he or she is involved with that helps others. All receipts from that morning’s offering, except those directed by donors to some other specific purpose, are delivered to the organization or activity described.  Missions giving has increased significantly since the inception of the Light of Service offerings, with more than 100 good causes receiving funds, and church operating budget receipts have continued unaffected. Some of the recipient organizations are listed here – most with links to their web sites. Members and friends of the church are personally involved in each of these worthy ministries. We encourage you to learn more about them by following the links. Click below to make a one-time or recurring donation to our Light of Service. Of course, you may also send a check payable to “Church of Christ” and indicate “LOS” and specify a mission recipient in the check memo area. When donating online, please specify the organization you wish to support.

Making a Safe Space for Lakota Children in South Dakota in 2019 – Text by Tina Olsen, Photo by Erick Olsen

Mission Trips

Boston, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Camden (NY), a Lakota Reservation in South Dakota, even Kenya, and of course local neighborly help. Those are some of the places we’ve gone with youth and/or adults to gladly serve and to make a difference. We always come back believing we got more than we gave. The participants were so moved that the started Mission Impact to help meet local needs. Lives are changed by serving others. We’d like to offer everyone that opportunity!

Please call the church office at (860) 542-5721 and speak with Pastor Erick to learn more.

Norfolk Food Pantry

Minister’s Discretionary Fund

One of the key ministries of the Church of Christ is the Minister’s Discretionary Fund (MDF). Using this fund, our pastor can provide help for people from the church or our community who have become overwhelmed with financial or other material needs. Perhaps a young man has lost his job and can’t make the rent payment. Maybe a family has had extensive medical bills and is unable to pay for heating oil. Another example – at the end of the month a single mother’s paycheck has run out and she needs to buy groceries for her children.

The pastor is able to provide this financial assistance (a rent check to a landlord, a supermarket gift card, etc.) from the Minister’s Discretionary Fund which is supplied by donations from church and community members as well as income from a small endowment and occasional light of service offerings. Click below to make a one-time or recurring donation to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund.

Light of Service Partners

The Light of Service is a program that collects all non-designated collections and shares them with a different charitable organization each week.

Some of the recipient organizations are listed below – most with links to their web sites. Members and friends of the church are personally involved in each of these worthy ministries. We encourage you to learn more about them by following the links.

Mekele Blind School

The Mekele Blind School in northern Ethiopia is a boarding school for approximately 90-130 blind boys and girls, ages 6-16.

Soteni International

 SOTENI is on the front lines of fighting pandemics with some of the most vulnerable people, those living with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

Community Kitchen of Torrington

In normal times, the Community Kitchen of Torrington is more than just a site to receive a nutritious, hot meal. It is a place people come to for daily contact with others and a place that provides an opportunity for individuals to meet staff from area agencies and programs for assistance with the many needs and problems they experience. The soup kitchen serves people from all walks of life, including homeless individuals and families and the working disadvantaged, and the need for our services is increasing.

Norfolk, CT Fuel Relief Fund

Fish of Northwestern Connecticut

​The mission of FISH NWCT is to provide the most basic of human needs – food, shelter and hope. Since opening its doors in 1972, FISH has evolved into the largest emergency homeless shelter (35 beds) in the NWCT corner, providing families, individuals and veterans a safe and secure haven as they await permanent supportive housing; as well as serving area residents (over 1000 annually) as a food pantry, distributing food for over 80,000 meals this year. 

Flint, MI Clean Water Restoration

Team Rubicon – mobilizing veterans for disaster response

Team Rubicon’s mission is providing relief to those affected by disaster or crises, no matter when or where they strike. By pairing the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders, medical professionals, and technology solutions, Team Rubicon aims to provide the greatest service and impact possible.

Operation Overflow – sheltering the homeless in Torrington churches

Operation Overflow is an emergency shelter that opens its doors to the homeless on nights when the local shelter is full. Our mission is to provide those in need of a warm safe place to spend the night during the coldest months of winter.

Open Door Soup Kitchen

Minister’s Discretionary Fund

We can help when times are difficult using the Minister’s Discretionary Fund!

Open and Affirming Coalition of the UCC

The Open and Affirming Coalition of the United Church of Christ advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and equips UCC congregations to become effective witnesses to Christ’s extravagant welcome.

One Great Hour of Sharing

One Great Hour of Sharing, part of Our Church’s Wider Mission, is the special mission offering of the United Church of Christ that carries God’s message of love and hope to people in crisis. The UCC works with international partners to provide sources of clean water, food, education and health care, small business micro-credit, advocacy and resettlement for refugees and displaced persons, and emergency relief and rehabilitation. One Great Hour of Sharing also supports domestic and international ministries for disaster preparedness and response.

Norfolk Volunteer Fire Department

During this past year, the NVFD answered 211 calls for service, ranging from house fires, motor vehicle accidents, search & rescues, basement pump-outs, trees down with broken power lines, medical assistance with the ambulance, and other emergencies in Norfolk and surrounding communities.

Simply Smiles

Simply Smiles, Inc is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose children’s village model is redefining how society’s most vulnerable children are cared for. 

Simply Smiles builds villages of foster homes where children are raised by families in strong intentional communities.

The organization operates a Children’s Village in Oaxaca, Mexico and is currently building a first-of-its-kind Village for Native American children on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota.

Meadowbrook Senior Housing

Meadowbrook offers affordable senior housing in Norfolk.

Susan B. Anthony Project

Susan B. Anthony Project provides crisis and support services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. All services are confidential, free, and available 24/7.

Silver Lake Conference Center

Silver Lake Camp and Retreat Center strives to create an intentional, welcoming, Christian community accessible to all. The staff and Board of Directors believe that exposure to diverse expressions of humanity is beneficial to all God’s children. 

Strengthen the Church

The Strengthen the Church (STC) Offering reflects the shared commitment of people across the United Church of Christ to cooperatively build up the UCC. Conferences and the national setting equally share the gifts given by members and friends through their local congregations. The funds raised support leadership development, new churches, youth ministry, and innovation in existing congregations.

Meals of Hope

The Mission of Meals of Hope is “To inspire and empower communities to come together to end hunger.” We believe it is our job to feed people. Meals of Hope began as a food packing organization, and we are the only food packing organization with a priority on keeping the food packed within the United States. We developed five meals specifically designed for the American palate with added vitamins, minerals and proteins to supplement an unbalanced diet. Most of our packed meals are donated to the Feeding America Food Bank Network.

Norfolk, CT Food Pantry

The Norfolk Food Pantry is a program of Norfok Net, housed at the church

Camden NY Workcamp trip

Prime Time House

Prime Time House assists adults with mental illness, as members of society to find pathways to independence and productivity including employment, education, housing, and friendship.  We accomplish this through a philosophy where all members are appreciated and where they establish a foundation of life skills in order to reach their full potential.

Covenant House

Covenant House builds a bridge to hope for young people facing homelessness and survivors of trafficking through unconditional love, absolute respect, and relentless support. Our doors are open 24/7 in 34 cities across six countries and our high-quality programs are designed to empower young people to rise and overcome adversity, today and in the future.

“Summer Jam” program

Women for Women International

From war-torn towns to the halls of the United Nations, our global community invests in women survivors of war and conflict, connecting them with each other, resources, and support to realize their own power. 

For over 25 years, Women for Women International has used an integrated approach to invest in women’s power: We are a learning organization that listens to data, our teams around the world, and women themselves to constantly evolve and improve the way we work. 

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity partners with people in your community, and all over the world, to help them build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. With your support, Habitat homeowners achieve the strength, stability and independence they need to build a better life for themselves and for their families.

Covenant to Care

Covenant to Care for Children provides a safety net for abused, neglected or impoverished children in Connecticut by providing essential support in moments that are critical for a child’s ability to thrive and a family’s ability to stay together

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