HOW WE WORK IN THE COMMUNITY AND THE WORLD
Service and Social Responsibility
The Service and Social Responsibility Committee provides leadership and resources for many of our service and mission involvements. During the year, they provide information about topics of concern and ways of getting involved in public debate and action on those concerns.
Our church constitution also calls for a Just Peace Coordinator and an Open & Affirming Coordinator to oversee these important congregational commitments.
Financial Support to Outside Groups
The Service and Social Responsibility Committee makes decisions about the disbursement of 10% of the money that is pledged to Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM). Some of those funds are spent locally, in support of agencies that provide needed services and outreach in the Northfield area. Some of it goes to agencies and organizations that our members have some connection with – for example, the Asian Rural Institute.
Many members of this congregation are involved with educational and charitable groups in our community. They donate countless hours of service, administration, and oversight to these organizations. Though it is difficult to document the extent of these efforts, it is clear that our church strongly and consistently supports local groups. Organizations for which members of our congregation volunteer include: Bridge Chamber Festival, Cannon River Watershed Partnership, Northfield Community Action Center, Feed My Starving Children, Healthfinders Free Clinic, Healthy Community Initiative, League of Women Voters, Meals on Wheels, Northfield Arts Guild, Northfield Enterprise Center, Northfield Historical Society, Northfield Hospital and Auxiliary, Northfield Public Schools, Northfield Rotary, Northfield School of Art and Technology (ARTech), Prairie Creek Community School, Prairie’s Edge Humane Society, Rice County Historical Society Riverbend Nature Center and Women in Northfield Giving Support (WINGS).
Our church is a member of the Northfield Area Interfaith Association (NAIA), formerly known as the Northfield Ministerial Association. The NAIA provides a meeting place for the leaders of local faith communities, an opportunity to share ideas and information, and a forum for to connect with other community leaders.
The Minnesota Conference of the UCC is a member of the Minnesota Council of Churches, and through the council, of the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC). The JRLC brings together Protestant, Jewish, Roman Catholic, and Islamic faith communities to work together for public policies that benefit children, the poor, the homeless, and other fragile residents of Minnesota.
We make our building available to non-profit groups in Northfield who need room for meetings, concerts, programs, and other events. We rent the lower level of the building to Northfield Day Care (which is an independent entity), and sometimes rent office and classroom space for educational purposes.