Brookside Church aims to respond to needs at the local, national and global levels for food, clothing, and shelter as a means of attaining self-sufficiency of those in need. The church has a mission ministry group that provides opportunities for members of the congregation and church resources to be effectively utilized in service to others and for the continued enrichment of living life as faithful followers of Jesus Christ.
Brookside’s local community support includes participation in the annual interfaith Religious Response to Hunger, working with Families In Transition/New Horizons (FIT/NH) through the Empty Bowls Project, serving in the Soup Kitchen, providing the necessary furnishings and household items needed for Families In Transition new interim housing unit, and monthly food donations to the Food Pantry through Loaves and Fishes.
Community Response to Hunger
Brookside Church has participated for many years in the annual Religious Response to Hunger that falls between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. A caravan of cars representing a number of area religious/ faith-based groups leaves Brookside’s parking lot to deliver bags of food each group has collected to the Families In Transition (FIT/NH) Food Pantry. We invite everyone to join in by donating food or money, and/or participating in the caravan.
Empty Bowls is an international project to fight hunger with bowls created by local artists. Brookside supports FIT/NH together with the NH Potters Guild and Studio 550.
Volunteers from Brookside serve the evening meal at FIT/NH Soup Kitchen in those months with a fifth Tuesday, or 4 times a year. A 4-6 member team spends an hour and a half to two hours serving dinner to those in need.
Loaves and Fishes On the first Sunday of every month, we collect canned goods, staples, dry goods, and personal toiletry items to help stock the shelves of the FIT/NH Food Pantry and Shelter. In 2020, monetary contributions have increased as donations of physical food items have become more difficult due to COVID. For more information about FIT/NH please visit https://www.fitnh.org/
Pastoral Counseling Services
Mental health is a serious concern in the community, with an increasing need for support and guidance during this time of separation. Brookside supports Pastoral Counseling Services and their important work to provide guidance and healing through an integration of the mind, body, and spirit. Click here for more information https://www.pcs-nh.org
Brookside Church is one of the hosts of Empty Bowls - an international project to fight hunger. Bowls are created by local artists and donated to be sold. Event guests choose a bowl of their choice and fill it from a large variety of local restaurants that graciously donated their soup. The event raises money for New Horizons of New Hampshire and Families in Transition and helps to provide shelter, food, and supportive services to a homeless individual or family in need.
One of the highlights of Brookside’s outreach for many families is the collection, preparation, and distribution of holiday baskets or diaper drives. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter at Brookside signal a special opportunity to reach out to our local community. Brookside works to provide holiday meals for families in need with several agencies including Child Health Services/Amoskeag Health https://www.amoskeaghealth.org, Salvation Army https://nne.salvationarmy.org/manchester, Southern NH Services/Head Start https://www.snhs.org and Waypoint/Human Trafficking & Teen Homelessness programs https://waypointnh.org/programs/runaway-and-homeless-youth-program
Brookside also offers space for numerous local nonprofits and community organizations to meet. In support of its mission, the church is utilized by over 30 groups in the Manchester area including non-profits, student enrichment programs, grief and addiction support groups, community gardeners, a parish nurse program, local farmers market, soccer league, community theatre groups, and student recitals. Two other congregations worship regularly in our chapel. Brookside is home to the Brookside Thrift Shop and Pastoral Counseling Services that serve the local community.