Reaching out to and helping those in need is an essential mission of the United Church of Rowayton. As part of our Church charter, twenty percent of the operating budget of our Church is dedicated to answering the needs of...”the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the prisoner...” In doing this, we endeavor to follow the words of Jesus: “...as you did it unto the least of one of these my brethren, you did it unto me.” (Matthew 25: 34-40).
The Church’s donation of its funds to worthy causes is administered and overseen by our Board of Christian Outreach (BOCO). BOCO concentrates its donations primarily within the local community. If a cause is non-local, it must be actively championed by a member of the Congregation. A BOCO member shall, wherever possible, visit each grant recipient at least once a year to ensure that our funds are making a difference and to verify program effectiveness, spending efficiency, lack of overlap with other agencies and need for continued support.
Our mission is also to promote education as well as missionary interest and giving. We try to keep the Congregation informed of outreach needs and volunteer opportunities, not only through the bulletin board, but also in the Order of Worship and Newsletter and through this website. Although volunteering is difficult in these days of very full lives for our Church families, our members enthusiastically participate in one-time challenges overseen by BOCO including: our Christmastime White Dove program; Thanksgiving baskets and Adopt-a-Social Worker program -- all of these programs address the needs of low-income families in the Norwalk area. Our Youth Group joins our efforts by preparing a meal for the Norwalk Emergency Shelter.
In working with our local agencies, the BOCO determined a need to provide a summer camp experience for children who would not have the resources to attend such a program. Thus, the Summer Campership Program was developed and the opportunity was given to children to attend a variety of summer programs. Such needs as these will continue to grow as will our commitment to answer them.
The members of the Board of Christian Outreach welcome suggestions from the Congregation as to new areas of outreach and needs to be met.