Tag Archives: New London’s First Congregational Church

From the Publisher: Happy Healthy Holidays!

Santa’s helpers—Allyn Brown and Alexis Ann—pause for a moment to read some good news in The Resident. They’re standing among hundreds of cut-your-own Christmas trees at Maple Lane Farms, operated by Allyn in Preston since 1978.

It’s difficult to believe that it’s this cheery time of the year again but one look around at the garland draped houses, windows dressed with wreathes and of course, the lights…all remind us that it’s a special time for giving.  In this issue of the Resident, Giving is exemplified by people across our region.  One look at the volunteers serving up breakfast in New London’s First Congregational Church is certain to get you in the spirit of this holiday season.

AT&T Foundation presented a $5,000 grant to Natchaug Hospital to help build their Seven Challenges program, specifically for adolescents with drug problems.  Natchaug, a provider of adolescent psychiatric services for 37 years, looks forward to incorporating the program into its ten-site network of mental health and addiction treatment programs.  Also, Chelsea Groton Foundation  granted $500 to Natchaug for its YouthWorks Program.

Synergy at its best is demonstrated by the three Lions Clubs of Montville when they purchased 1542 pounds of food product for the Social Services Food Pantry of Montville.  The gathering of Lions and family members who helped unload the food products from the trucks is captured in a photo on the cover.  Definitely it depicts the spirit of Giving.

Thanks for reading The Resident, the Good News that Rocks! Remember, The Resident reaches 54 communities and is the most cost-effective was to advertise in the region. Please remember to patronize our advertisers.

Alexis Ann
editor & publisher

New London Breakfasts: Seven Years Of Feeding People Well

Deacon Kent looks on as volunteers Mike, Jamie, and Laurie man the serving line at New London Breakfasts.

by Jon Persson

“Good morning and welcome to breakfast!” These words, delivered with indefatigable gusto by a smiling Deacon Kent Sistare, greet a new day’s congregation of the hungry to New London Breakfasts. The program, in its seventh year, serves hot and cold breakfast weekday mornings to people who have found they have run out of options for a morning meal. The need, ever-present, grows over time and crests at the end of every fiscal month.

For the people who stream into the Parish Hall of New London’s First Congregational Church, breakfast is a smoothly choreographed ritual where hot food is served cafeteria style, with coffee and cold cereal laid out on long tables. Monday through Friday the doors open at 7 a.m., and for a bustling half hour meals are served up in an assembly line of precision movements. Organized queues form and are criss-crossed in all directions by people with plates and cups going to and from their selected seats. There is familiarity on all sides of the process; people know each other by name in a social setting complete with newly made acquaintances.

In just 30 minutes breakfast is over and the cleanup begins. But for the people behind the scenes and the serving counter, New London Breakfasts is a commitment to a routine which begins around 5 a.m. on their appointed days to serve. The daily sign-in sheet lists a Cook-In-Charge—often by just a first name: Kent, Al, Liz, Jim, Bill, Diane—and the volunteers who help out for different blocks of time. The crews who divide up responsibility throughout the week are often local business owners, citizens of the community, patrons of the breakfast (some of whom may reside at area homeless shelters), and cadets from the Coast Guard Academy. And there is Deacon Kent, always the center of cheerful calm amidst the bustle of the breakfasttime.

A helping hand now benefits the community over time, as normalcy slowly returns to an economy which leaves people momentarily at a loss for where their next meal would otherwise come from.