Our church works to serve the local community as well as those farther away. We help to feed our local community, we have completed trips to Maine and Kentucky to help families local to those communities, and we also support the Nicaragua Covenant of the New England United Methodist Church.
Feed the Need
For over 15 years, Ballard Vale United Church has provided cereal to Neighbors in Need (NIN). NIN is a Lawrence-based food pantry that provides food to people experiencing food insecurity in the Merrimack Valley. Church members bring a box or two each Sunday and place it at the front of the church. As part of our service the children bring the cereal to the Cereal Ark! We deliver approximately 1000 pounds of cereal each year.
Our Cereal Ark
Every Christmas we collect food to make Christmas dinners for families through Neighbors in Need. This one one of our biggest mission projects and the whole community gets involved! Our goal is to collect over 100 meals to help feed families and in 2018 and 2019 we exceeded our goal!
Delivering Christmas meals to Neighbors in Need
Scout Troop 76
We have been the chartering organization for Scouts BSA "Super Ducks" Troop 76 for many decades. Their meetings and events take place generally on Friday evenings and weekends.
Check out their website for more information: Scouts BSA Troop 76 website
Voices of Hope
We are blessed to be the new home "nest" of Voices of Hope! VOH is a volunteer-run nonprofit with more than 150 members who share a passion for the performing arts and a desire to join the fight against cancer by raising awareness and funds for cancer research.
Every year we knit, crochet, and stitch dozens of blankets and hats for Project Linus. Knitters and crocheters from our church and beyond work all year and we dedicate them in early February before sending them off to be loved by children who need them.
Our congregation is dually affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church. Our denominations receive the largest percentage of our mission giving, and our support funds national and international projects such as disaster relief and social justice efforts. As an example, through a partnership with RIP Medical Debt, United Church of Christ partners got together to buy up and then forgive over $100 million in medical debt since 2019, helping us to make real the prayer Jesus taught by "forgiving our debts as we forgive our debtors."
Our mission efforts support projects throughout the country.
In 2015 and 2016 mission teams traveled to the United Methodist Economic Ministry in Salem Township, Maine. The teams did site maintenance, supported on-site projects, and assisted several members of the community to improve their homes. During the pandemic we continue to collect items to support this mission.
In July 2014 we organized a mission trip to the Henderson Settlement to Frakes, Kentucky. 8 adults and 8 youth got to better understand the extreme poverty that exists in the country and worked to improve the home of some of the poorest in that area of Appalachia.
Members of our congregation working on a church in Salem Township, ME
Ballard Vale United Church is an active supporter of the Nicaragua Covenant of the New England Methodist Church. In 2008 and 2010 we sent delegations to Nicaragua to learn more about the people there and discern how we can be of help. Since that time, the church has been actively involved in sending material aid, sponsoring teachers for schools, supporting a sewing education program by providing sewing machines, and paying for delegates from Nicaragua to attend Annual Conference and worship with us. Several years ago the church bought a cooking stove for a feeding program in Nicaragua and each year we raise funds to provide the fuel needed for the stove.
Some of our Nicaraguan friends
We were blessed to be able to house Andover Elder Services while they underwent construction of an exciting new center! Now that they're up and running in their new home, you can see all about their events and programs on their website here:
Andover Elder Services