The recently welcomed home the largest contingent yet from its annual mission trip, a week of volunteerism and fellowship that has become a summer tradition. Over 30 church representatives, including middle and senior high students, friends, clergy members and chaperones, traveled to western Pennsylvania from July 22 to 27 to work with the Pittsburgh Project, a non-profit organization that runs programs for the poor and disenfranchised.
During their trip, students worked alongside homeowners on building and repair projects at five different sites, including hanging drywall, painting, and digging post holes for fencing.
“Working in concert with the homeowners added a personal dimension to this mission trip and made it an especially rewarding opportunity for all involved,” said Rev. Joy Mounts, associate minister of FCC.
Evenings were spent in group activities with students and adults from over 20 churches from across the country.
This year’s group was the largest yet from First Congregational, with 25 youth and 9 adults attending from Westfield, Scotch Plains, Garwood, Clark, Cranford, Highland Park, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Student participants were Kelsey Boyea, Olivia Bridges, Grace Brindle, Ben Evans, Dan Federico, Alex Fromm, Sam Gargiulo, Brandon Gloeggler, Ian and Lia Gordon, Aidan Londregan, Ceci and Charlotte Fountain Jardim,Ani Obrock, Chandler, Jordan, and Logan Robertson, Hope Rothenberg, Taylor Scott, Elizabeth Snyder-Mounts, Kiersten and Taylor Swaak,Courtney Van Liew, Dylan Voltz and Chris Zdenek. Chaperones included Rev. Dr. Mark Boyea, FCC senior minister, Cindy Boyea, Paul and Karen Federico, Marion Gordon, Rev. Mounts, Joe Regan, Terry Van Liew and Christina Woods.
This is the fifth consecutive summer that the church has participated in volunteer work. Previous trips have included sites in New Orleans, West Virginia, Wyoming and Ohio.
Fundraisers held throughout the year, including a tag sale, pancake breakfast, spaghetti supper and talent show, and ShopRite gift card sales, help underwrite the cost of travel.
First Congregational Church, a member of the United Church of Christ, is located at 125 Elmer Street in Westfield.
For additional information on youth fellowship and outreach opportunities, please contact (908) 233-2494 or visit their website at fccofwestfield.org.