First Recipient of 'Do The New' Grant Named

First Recipient of 'Do The New' Grant Named

On Palm Sunday, Susan Townsley joined the First Congregational Church, New London, for worship and to present the $5,000 grant check.  Townsley named the embodiment the beloved community as one of the program’s hallmarks, and congratulated the church and co-pastor The Rev. Sara Ofner-Seals (in purple stole) for their winning application. 
The New London Urban Outreach program, which features dinner parties where church members and guests break bread together, is the first recipient of the Connecticut Conference’s Do The New grant. 
The grant committee awarded the $5,000 grant in recognition of a ministry that extends the love and justice of Jesus in a novel way. 
The New London Urban Outreach of the First Congregational Church, New London, UCC, “aims to break down barriers and honor the image of God in all people,” said The Rev. Sara Ofner-Seals, co-pastor.
By combining study, theological reflection, and fellowship into a holistic discipleship experience, the program represents an innovative way of gathering and serving.  It also brings together multiple churches, age group and different people, and hence demonstrated the kind of interdependence the grant committee was seeking.  (Related article: Simple Hospitality, Feb. 22, 2018)
Do the New grants, funded through an unrestricted bequest to the Conference, support innovative ministries that uphold conference values while pioneering new approaches that result in a new impact on the church or community.
Awards are $5,000 to $15,000 per year, and include support for planning and leadership coaching. Applications may be made at any time, following the submission of a letter of inquiry.  Guidelines for applying can be found on the CTUCC Scholarships & Grants page.
The grant committee consists of Hugh McLean, David Taylor, and Kristen Provost Switzer and is staffed by Charlie Kuchenbrod.  Susan Townsley is the grant administer and can be reached at

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