Hadwen Park Congregational Church
United Church of Christ
6 Clover Street, Worcester MA 01603
Office Hours: 9am - 2 pm
Mon., Wed., Fri.
What We Do
Worship - We gather for worship every Sunday at 10 a.m. On the first Sunday of each month, we celebrate the Lord's Supper. All who seek to follow Jesus are welcome to partake. (Children receive communion in Church School.)
Education - We learn together in Church School (Sundays at 10 a.m. for children), and in Youth Group (children in grades 5 and above meet approximately twice a month). Workshops and other adult learning experiences are offered from time to time through the Health & Wellness and Mission & Social Justice committees. Ministries - Members are invited to use their talents in ministry, such as by singing in the Choir, educating children and adults, participating in the Prayer Ministry, donating to or helping with our Daily Bread Food Pantry, serving on or aiding the LGBT Task Force, and more. The Tuesday morning (10 a.m.) Women's Care Group, formerly a Bible Study session, allows members to minister to each other's needs. Fellowship - We enjoy each other's company at Sunday morning coffee hours and a variety of events such as church suppers, picnics, talent shows, women's or men's events, family and youth activities, etc.
Committee Work - To accomplish all this, we are organized into committees; members are encouraged to serve where their talents and interests lie.
- Diaconate: Deacons oversee the church's ministry to the physical and spiritual needs of members and others.
- Christian Education: This committee guides the educational ministries by setting policy and implementing it. Members help design and evaluate a Christian education program for all ages that meets members' needs and reflects the church's theological principles.
- Finance Committee: The development and oversight of an operating budget, and the oversight of the lease of church property, the church payroll and investments are within the purview of this committee.
- Growth, Development & Stewardship: This committee interacts with visitors, prepares seekers for membership, implements the yearly stewardship campaign that helps raise funds, and introduces new areas for service, shepherding their progress until they are an established, recognized committee of the church.
- Health & Wellness: Planning and presenting current information and programs to encourage healthy lifestyles. Topics focus on being healthy and well in body, mind, and soul. Forums and helpful information are geared for older youth/teens through adult/seniors.
- Missions & Social Justice: Members of this group help the church engage in mission by beginning specific projects/programs, building enthusiasm for current ones, or directing the way mission dollars are spent. They also monitor and highlight church activities and programs related to issues of justice and freedom in the local community, state, nation and world.
- Music: This committee sets policy for the music ministry of the church and provides support for the church's musicians and music program.
- Nominating: Identifying and recruiting volunteers to serve on the various committees is this group's focus.
- Pastoral Relations: This committee seeks to support and maintain an open relationship between the pastor and members of the congregation. It helps everyone share ideas, hopes, dreams and interpretations of mission. It provides a framework for dealing with conflict creatively.
- Personnel: The Personnel Committee develops personnel policies, position descriptions and agreements for all paid staff. They also conduct annual staff evaluations and ensure that all staff are treated fairly by the congregation.
- Property: The Committee is responsible for the care of the buildings and the grounds of each of the properties owned by the Church. The Committee also oversees and directs the work of the church custodian.
Governance - As a United Church of Christ congregation, we govern ourselves through congregational meetings, elected officers and the Church Council as specified by our bylaws. The election of officers, adoption of a budget and acceptance of reports of officers and committees is carried out at an annual meeting, typically held in January. In between annual meetings, the Church Council (consisting of elected church officers and representatives of the committees) conduct church business. Other congregational meetings may be called as necessary to conduct major business.
Celebrating a Food Pantry collection
Egg toss at Labor Day picnic
Replacing the corner stone after 100th anniversary
Many thanks to
ERA Key Realty Services
for their generous donation of
to the Daily Bread Food Pantry
which supplies emergency food to people in the Worcester area.
Marching for Justice!
Members of HPC marched with the Mass. Conference of the United Church of Christ and the LGBT Asylum Seekers Task Force in the Boston Pride parade in 2013. Task Force marchers wore paper bags over their heads to symbolize that gay people have to hide their identify in 76 countries around the world where being gay is "illegal." Some have laws which allow the dealth penalty for this offense. Read the blog on Boston Pride Speaks.
Members marched in Boston Pride Parade.
Youth Missionaries gave their all!
A baker's dozen of youth and adults from HPC went to Elmira NY July 14-20 to repair and paint the homes of needy residents, bringing them up to habitable code. Along with hard work, our missionaries met other Christian youth from across the country, deepened their faith and had a ball doing it.
Thanks to all who supported fundraisers for this trip. Remembrance Nails dedicated to the memory or honor of loved ones were used in the housing refurbishment work. Our youth remembered the designated person as they used the nail to repair the home. Youth, adults and the nails were blessed and sent on their way on July 7.
On July 7, Pastor Judy blessed the Remembrance Nails and the youth and adults involved in the home repair missionary project in Elmira, NY.
HPC present at Mass. Conf., UCC annual meeting
Five HPC members, including three clergy and two laity, attended the annual meeting of the Mass. Conference of the United Church of Christ, held June 14-15 in Sturbridge.
Among the actions taken by the delegates were:
- Passage of a resolution urging Divestment from Fossil Fuel Companies. (This resolution was subsequently sent to the UCC’s 29th General Synod held this month in California where it was approved, making the UCC the first major US religious body to do so.)
- Establishment of four Ministry Councils to further streamline the structure of the Conference – Justice & Witness; Lay Leadership Development; Clergy Leadership Development; and Church Development
- Approval of a legal merger of two churches that had closed, which cleared the way for their residual assets to be transferred to the Conference
- Approval of the 2013 Clergy Compensation Guidelines
- Approval of the 2014 Conference Budget, including setting the Fellowship Dues at $17.80 per member
Four from HPC enjoyed Star Island
Two adults and two youth attended the UCC's Star Gathering I family & youth conferences July 27 - August 2 on Star Island, a summer retreat center on one of the Isles of Shoals off the coast of Portsmouth NH. The denomination hosts two week-long and one weekend conference each year in this beautiful location. In addition to informative speakers and moving worship, the events include many recreational, music, craft, fellowship and study opportunities as well as great food! More information is available at www.starisland.org or by speaking to Sam & Cindy Young.
Three HPC Choir members sang in Mark Thallander's Festival of Praise service on Sunday, August 11 in Portland, ME. Mark, a world renowned organist, is a good friend of HPC and of Pastor Judy. Diane, Sarah and Pam had a great time!
Annual Labor Day Picnic undampened by rain!
While the on-again, off-again showers kept a few folks home, those who DID venture out had a great time at Salem Covenant Church's camp in Charlton.
An abundance of blessings
was celebrated on October 27 with the start of our annual Stewardship Campaign.
Amid donations for the Food Pantry: celebration of the time and talent given by 50-year member Chic Nickerson with his family gathered in support; stewardship message on "first fruits" by Sue Sulkoski; inspiring music by the choir; a challenge from Pastor Judy; prayers by Pastor Dawn; a chancel-ful of children joining us in song; and a light lunch in Fellowship Hall. Our annual Stewardship Campaign kicked into high gear.
The goblins came!
Despite some rain, neighborhood and our own kids came to the 2013 Trunk or Treat night on Halloween and enjoyed some safe fun organized by our Christian Education and Growth/Development/Stewardship committees. Costumed trunk hosts treated dressed up guests to candy, while committee members served cider, donuts and popcorn and led games. Below are a few photos to show some of the action.
Mercy & Justice in the Criminal Justice System
Many thanks to our student pastor, Dawn Adams, for arranging and helping to lead an eye-opening worship service and workshop on May 4 with Arthur Bembury, executive director of the Partakers "College Behind Bars" program. As part of her current seminary course work, Dawn is a volunteer in this program.
We just love baptizing babies - like this one who was received as a member of Christ's church on Sunday, May 18. Welcome, little one.
50 Thanksgiving Baskets were donated.
Enough food to make a complete Thanksgiving dinner for 50 needy families in our community was donated by HPC and packed into cartons by church members on November 25. Thanks to the organizers, cash givers, and packers! (See more photos on our Facebook page.)
On May 24, we entered the sanctuary through red festoons which fluttered in the Pentecostal breeze coming in the doors and windows. Friends, family and asylum seekers gathered and rehearsed songs and dance before the service. Our offerings to God included hymns, anthems, beloved readings, African dance and preaching. As always, the children joined us for our closing
circle. Touches of red reminded
us of the tongues of fire which
came down upon the disciples
on this, the birthday of the
church. And we celebrated!