New Ark United Church of Christ
300 East Main Street
Newark, DE 19711
The Social Concerns Committee of the New Ark United Church of Christ helps our congregation fulfill its mission of outreach to those in need locally, nationally, and internationally.
We attend to national initiatives and resolutions from our denomination and respond as the committee deems appropriate.
We coordinate volunteer groups, donation drives, and financial offerings, always in the spirit of our faith, reaching out with service, advocacy, and prayer.
We are aware of the injustice perpetrated upon some and seek to add our voice to those advocating for peace, justice, inclusion, compassion, and care for all people and for the earth which we share.
Stimulate consciousness-raising regarding social issues;
Initiate "Call to Action" programs;
Identify local needs and plan appropriate responses;
Identify monetary needs of the community for benevolence giving;
Interpret and facilitate special denominational offerings;
Provide an opportunity for service through our Mission Focus Groups and/or seasonal projects; and,
Partner with other service organizations/churches when such partnerships better enable bringing about justice and peace.
Numerous resolutions have evolved from our mission purpose and goals: Inclusive Language; a Just Peace church; an Open and Affirming Church; Resolution on Energy Stewardship; and an Earthwise Congregation.
The New Ark contributes financial gifts annually to special offerings for denominationally supported local and global mission outreach programs. Included are: Neighbors in Need, Our Churches Wider Mission (OCWM), One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS), and Christmas Eve Offering (for needy retired pastors). All can be viewed at: www.ucc.org
In partnership with the Newark Empowerment Center, members of the New Ark
donate items for "Go-Bags." Distributed to NEC clients in need, the one-meal bags include
a protein item, crackers and cheese/peanut butter, fruit cup, granola bar, and a drink.
Each year our church designates a percentage of our income to be used to support local agencies serving the community's needs in ways consistent with our mission. Further, we authorize the expenditure of special reserve funds designated for local needs. General criteria used include (a) mission consistent with New Ark UCC's Mission Statement (b) local group for whom our contribution would be significant (c) relatively balanced contributions to agencies engaged in working in the various areas of concern (housing, hunger, peace & justice, environment) (d) some agencies working on systemic change as well as those addressing immediate needs.
Honoring the congregation's diversity of interests in mission activities, rather than focus on one church-wide mission, the New Ark established Mission Focus Groups. These groups enable our members to engage in missions of their individual interest, passion, and choice that are consistent with our church's mission.
We define "group" broadly as being even one individual or a team or even a particular focus within the Social Concerns Committee. The committee supports the groups by facilitating the flow of resources and communication within the whole congregation, and by providing inspiration, financial, and spiritual support.
Currently we have the following:
Hope Dining Room: Serve a monthly lunch to anyone who shows up.
Thanksgiving Baskets: Thanksgiving meals are provided to area families.
Food Bank of Delaware: Donated food for area shelters. [www.foodbankde.org]
Empowerment Center Go-Bags: One-meal bags for the homeless and needy.
Sunday Morning Food Offering: We help supply the Newark Area Welfare Food Pantry.
"Souper" Bowl: A special offering on Super Bowl Sunday for a local agency that works to alleviate hunger.
HOUSINGFriendship House: A Wilmington, Delaware shelter which is the umbrella group for Newark Empowerment Center. [www.friendship-house.org]
Meeting Ground: An Elkton, Maryland homeless shelter. [www.meetingground.org]
Code Purple: Emergency church shelter for homeless on dangerously cold nights.
Habitat for Humanity: Build homes for low-income families. [www.habitatncc.org]
Delaware Housing Coalition: An advocacy group working for housing for all. [www.housingforall.org]
Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware: Faith-based, not-for-profit development corporation that strengthens Delaware communities and services low- and moderate-income households. [www.ichde.org]
PEACE and JUSTICE
Fair Trade Project: We serve only fair trade coffee during our coffee time and enourage our members to purchase fair trade coffee and other items. [www.fairtrade.org]Delaware Center for Justice: Works for justice, especially through the criminal justice system. [www.dcjustice.org]
Open and Affirming: A resolution welcoming all including all sexual orientation. [www.newarkucc.org]
Just Peace Church: A resolution promoting justice and peace issues. [www.newarkucc.org]
Inclusive Language: A resolution promoting using inclusive language.
Pacem in Terris: Supports various peace and justice projects. [www.depaceminterris.org]
Polaris Project: Addresses human trafficking. [www.polarisproject.org]
Bright Spot Ventures: Employing former foster care youth, the youth grow and sell food. [www.wetendnh.org]
Adopt-a-Family: Food, gifts, etc. for a family-in-need for Christmas.
Donna’s Change: Funds designated to assist children needing a touch of happiness.
Newark Empowerment Center: Volunteers staff a drop-in center for the homeless/needy.
Work Camp: A trip to a place needing volunteers to help with disaster relief.
Clothing Drives: Seasonal clothing drives for Friendship House Clothing Bank.
Solar Electric Energy: Solar panels [Track the New Ark's progress]
Energy Stewardship Resolution: Promoting solutions to global warming.
Earthwise: A Resolution promoting care of the Earth.
National Wildlife Habitat: The NAUCC was approved and accredited by the National Wildlife Federation. [www.nwf.org] Delaware Interfaith Power and Light: Coalition of Delaware churches committed to responding to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. [wwwdelawareipl.org]