Giving Back

First Congregational Youth Return from Chicago

Mission accomplished: Members of First Congregational Church visited the "Cloud Gate" following their week of volunteer work in South Chicago.

WESTFIELD, NJ — The First Congregational Church of Westfield recently welcomed home the participants in its annual mission trip, a week of volunteerism and fellowship that has become a summer tradition. 

Over 30 church representatives, including middle and senior high students, friends, clergy members and chaperones, traveled to Chicago from July 26 to Aug. 1 to work with Discovering Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR), a faith-based organization that stresses local immersion while working with inner-city communities. 

Under the guidance of DOOR representatives from the First Church of the Brethren, the volunteers took public transportation to work sites throughout the city, including community parks and gardens, an adult day care center, a food distribution warehouse, and a city-run Safe Haven program for youth. The students also learned about the challenges of living in South Chicago through speakers and activities. After their work week, the group enjoyed a day of Chicago sightseeing.   

Sign Up for E-News

The FCC contingent of 23 youth and 11 adults was led by Rev. Dr. Mark Boyea, FCC senior minister; Rev. Joy Mounts, associate minister; and Joe Regan, assistant music director. Student representatives included Samantha Gorman, Laurel and Joey Elkin, and Dylan Voltz of Fanwood; Michael Bonnell, Ani Hsu Obrock, Elizabeth and William Rehwinkel, Isaac and Taylor Scott, and Kate and Maggie Traina of Scotch Plains. Chaperones included Cindy and Kelsey Boyea, Geoff Marino, Anna Rehwinkel, Denise Schifando, Katharine Shirley, Jodi Traina and Debra Volz.  

The First Congregational Church's previous mission trips have included sites in New Orleans, Ohio, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Wyoming, San Antonio, and Vermont. Fundraisers held throughout the year, including a tag sale, pancake breakfast, and spaghetti supper and talent show, help underwrite the cost of travel.

First Congregational Church, a member of the United Church of Christ, is located at 125 Elmer Street in Westfield. For more information on youth group and outreach opportunities, contact 908-233-2494 or visit

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Westfield Family Continues ‘Summer of Kindness’ with Infant Clothing Drive

July 12, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield mom and teacher Sara Liptack is continuing her family’s “Summer of Kindess” with an infant clothing for Furniture Assist, an organization in Springfield that helps formerly homeless people, veterans, the elderly, fire victims, refugees and people fleeing domestic violence.

“I said, ‘What’s the one thing you really ...

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You


Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

Send a Message to Nick Scutari and His Cronies: Corruption Has No Place in Union County

July 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption from the start.

To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million County ...

When to Dial 911: Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Tip of the Month

July 10, 2018

There are many times you should call 911. If you or someone around you is in true medical distress, such as experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, bleeding, possible stroke, or any other serious health issues, then 911 should be called as soon as possible. If there are wires down, fire, a crime in progress, or other dangerous conditions to people or property, call 911 ...

Pizza and Trivia at Scotch Plains Public Library on Weds, Aug. 8

July 21, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- ​On Wednesday, August 8 at 6:00 p.m., join the teen staff for a night of trivia and pizza!

Teams of four will compete to figure out who has the best musical knowledge. Questions will range from “Name that Tune” to “Who Wrote that Musical?” The winning team will receive prizes. Registration is required and will begin on Monday, July 30 at 11:00 ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, July 23, 8:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

View the Night Sky at the Scotch Plains Public ...

Arts & Entertainment Education


Wed, July 25, 6:00 PM

JCC of Central NJ, Scotch Plains

The JCC’s Barracudas Swim Team Meet the Coaches ...



Wed, July 25, 7:00 PM


Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza