Everything A to Z
This list provides a brief description of the ministries and opportunities for engagement at AHCC. To find out more about any of the areas, click the link with the description.
Adult Christian Education
Christian education and faith formation continues into adulthood for all who wish to partake through study and small group participation, through worship, art and spiritual practice.
The Handbell Choir, directed by Mike Comeau, is an ensemble of 11-14 adult ringers who ring the church's five-octave set of Malmark handbells (that's nearly 60 bells!). The ensemble meets weekly and participates in worship throughout the year.
Boar's Head Festival
Each Epiphany, this festival draws thousands of members and visitors to AHCC to celebrate the joyous and poignant holiday. With a cast, choir and orchestra of almost 250 people, there is a place for members to volunteer before, during and after the festival with planning, preparation and performance.
Building on Asylum Hill/Habitat House
Our active and vibrant building ministry works with area agencies to build safe, affordable housing to families in and around Asylum Hill.
If you are interested in baking (recipe provided) or delivering a casserole to a church member who may be going through a difficult time.
There are several Care Teams that coordinate efforts to support families with special needs and form when the need arises. Those facing loss of loved ones, divorce, unemployment or other life transitions can find support through this group.
Christian Sharing Groups
Christian Sharing Groups provide the opportunity to develop new friendships, read and reflect on Scripture, and help weave together Christian faith and daily living. Gathering in a spirit of prayer and community, participants grow deeper in their connection to God and one another.
As in all congregational churches, the governance of AHCC is vested in its members. Church members serve as officers, and board and committee chairs. These lay leaders contribute countless hours in support of the ministry of Asylum Hill Congregational Church. Meetings of church boards and committees are open to all AHCC members.
Church in Motion
Three to six times a year, members and friends of AHCC are invited to join the church in motion. The motion is provided by a charter bus and the church is evident in the gathering of the many seeking to care about one another. Past trips have included traveling to New York for sightseeing, holiday perusing, museum exploring and even New Year’s Eve Worship opportunity. Discovery and prayer are always included.
Church School Volunteer
Spirit Hill, AHCC’s church school program, relies on youth and adult volunteers to work with our in grades K-6. No teaching experience is required, just a joy of working with children and a love of sharing the Word of God.
Circles of Care
At AHCC, we believe that every one of us (not just the clergy) is called to some form of ministry. Each of us is called to care and these gifts can be put to deep and meaningful use in the Circles of Care.
Dine Around Group
The Dine Around Group offers a monthly opportunity to dine at one of Hartford's great ethnic restaurants while developing relationships with members and friends of AHCC. It is an evening filled with fun, fellowship, great conversation and great food. One of the church pastors is in attendance and offers us the opportunity, again, to know one another in a more personal manner. Newcomers are always welcome. Prices range from $25-30 per person for each dinner.
Service and discipleship is a privilege to which we are all invited. There are many opportunities to serve within the church and outside our walls to our neighborhood, our city and beyond. Here, you are invited to explore some of the ways to serve, and if there is a ministry that speaks to your heart, faith, gifts and passions that is not listed here, please contact Rev. Mia Douglas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860.216.9834
Friendly Flower Arrangers and Deliverers
Each Sunday, a generous member donates flowers for the altar in honor or in memory of a loved one. Following the worship service, these large bouquets are made into smaller bouquets and delivered to a member who is homebound. Our older members who are unable to come to worship especially appreciate when families with children can stop in to deliver flowers and offer a friendly smile.
This active and friendly group is comprised of outgoing individuals who greet members and friends on Sunday mornings before the 10:15 a.m. worship service.
This group is open to all who enjoy working with fabric and like to be creative in making quilts, comfort pillows and chemotherapy hats. The creations are donated to area hospitals, Habitat House families and special requests made by the church.
Join the church
Visitors and those contemplating membership have opportunities during the program year to formally join the church. Each new member cycle consists of three components: The first is an Information Session offered several times a year on a drop-in basis after a 10:15am service. These sessions are lay led and offer general information about the church's mission and programs for those exploring membership.
There are many ways we can leave a legacy - through our professional contributions, our volunteer work, our children, our lifetime gifts and through planned gifts, such as a bequest or a gift in trust. Those who have remembered AHCC in their wills or estate plans are members of the Legacy Fellowship.
The word liturgy comes from the Greek meaning “work of the people.” Working together with the minister, the liturgist leads the congregation in worship.
A group of caring members, Love Hartford works on various projects within the church’s neighborhood and the City of Hartford to advance community health and stability, encouraging church members to volunteer time and expertise.
Men's Fellowship Group
This group seeks to meet the spiritual and fellowship needs of men in the church by developing programs to meet needs of Christian men that include spiritual growth, service and fellowship, and increasing connections between the men of AHCC.
Each year, AHCC offers members and friends the opportunity to participate in intergenerational mission experiences both in the US and abroad where we help rebuild lives and homes to those who have suffered through a natural disaster. In addition to construction laborers, folks willing to work in the kitchen to prepare meals for our group are always needed.
Many of our members and friends have musical talent, and we encourage small affinity groups and ensembles to form based on common interests and repertoire!
Prayer is the practice of the presence of God. It is the place where pride is abandoned, hope is lifted, and supplication is made. AHCC’s Prayer Chain provides confidential prayer in a time of need.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Whether you are knowledgeable about knitting/crocheting or not, young or not, you are invited and encouraged to come and share in the experience of knitting or crocheting a Prayer Shawl that will be blessed and then given to church members, their families and friends, who may need a "hug" - a visible sign of God’s presence.
The Sanctuary Choir is made up of over 50 volunteer and professional singers and is the primary musical ensemble in Sunday worship services. The ensemble explores a variety of musical periods and styles in an effort to open minds and hearts to the presence and Word of God. Choir rehearsals are on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. in McKeith Hall. Past choral experience is preferred.
To afford more singers a chance to participate in worship leadership, the music ministry offers a series of "drop-in" choirs with limited rehearsal commitment. In most cases, these ensembles rehearse after worship on three Sundays in advance of a special worship service. The All-Church Choir is an open-call opportunity for all singers (men, women and youth) to join the Sanctuary Choir for a "massive" musical experience.
Serve at the Church
Service is a privilege of church membership to which we are all invited. There are many opportunities to serve within the church and outside our walls to our neighborhood, our city and beyond. Here, you are invited to explore some of the ways to serve "at the church," and if there is a ministry that speaks to your heart and your faith that is not listed here, please let us know!
Serve in the World
As a church in the heart of the city with a heart for the city, Asylum Hill Congregational Church is in a unique position to work with our neighbors in building community. God calls us to turn outward to our neighborhood and beyond, listening, serving and building relationships.
Small groups are an essential part of building community. By participating in small groups, AHCC members will know and be known by one another and grow closer to God through spiritual growth and friendship. Small groups come in many shapes, a variety of sizes and serve a variety of interests.
Step Up Step Out: End the Culture of Violence (SUSO)
SUSO is a group of concerned members and friends at Asylum Hill Congregational Church who are dedicated to reducing violence by putting our faith into action. SUSO holds monthly meetings on Sundays after church and often features area experts and leaders on topics of non-violence.
Periodically following the 10:15am Sunday service, forums are offered on topics of interest to the church community. The topics vary widely, but often include continued conversation with a special guest who spoke in worship, reports from our various mission trips, updates from many of the outreach programs or agencies we support, updates on church initiatives or a short film.
Table to Table
On the first Sunday of every month, we gather as a community to celebrate the sacrament of Communion. At the Lord’s table, we remember that Christ comes to feed our hunger for love, peace, grace and hope. At the table of the Lord, we also remember those who struggle daily for food and seek to respond by collecting donations to benefit Loaves and Fishes Ministries. Please put your donations in the labeled bins at the front entrance to the sanctuary or in the hallway leading to Drew Hall on Communion Sunday.
Unclaimed Treasures, AHCC’s thrift shop provides donated clothing and household goods at greatly reduced prices to neighbors and members. The Thrift Shop is staffed by a team of volunteers and profits are used to support church’s Outreach programs.
One of the most active groups at AHCC, the ushers are the “face” of the church on Sunday mornings. These members assist congregants to their seats and answer questions visitors might have. All that’s needed is a friendly smile and the willingness to help.
Women's Prayer Group
There is no need to register to be part of this wonderful group as it is a casual gathering of women (come as you are, and as you are able). We open with the sharing of joys, continue with thoughtful and spirit-filled conversation, and end in prayer and meditation.
Women’s Spirituality and Fellowship
The mission of the Women's Spirituality and Fellowship is to provide the women of Asylum Hill Congregational Church opportunities for spiritual growth and support, and for building relationships with one another. All women of the church are welcome and encouraged to attend the meetings and activities.
Asylum Hill Congregational Church is a large, vibrant faith community. In a effort to make this large church "feel smaller," AHCC has divided the all members of the congregation geographically into 12 "villages," so that members can be a part of a neighborhood group to celebrate, support and know one another. If you have questions about your Village, please contact the church office at 860.525.5696.
This gentle class is open to adults of all ages and abilities. We live in a busy, stressful society, yoga can provide a respite from that stress through stretching, flowing through postures, meditation and relaxation. It is Sabbath.
The Youth Fellowship program serves young people in grades 6-12 with an emphasis on faith development, service, and Christian fellowship. At an age when a person can be struggling with identity and purpose, the program seeks to provide an environment where each young person can feel a sense of place and belonging.