Helpful Links

Links on this page are provided for convenience. Members and friends of Niantic Community Church have found these web sites to be useful. These sites should not be taken as representing the views of the congregation as a whole.

The internet has much to offer, but as an unmoderated resource it should be approached with care. Any site may contain links to others that are inappropriate or offensive. No resource on the internet should be construed as authoritative. We encourage church members and friends to maintain a healthy skepticism when using the web.

Our Community

Discover East Lyme

A site maintained by local business-people to encourage active participation in the community.

Bible Study, Theology, & References

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

A no-frills collection of scholarly essays on a rich variety of philosophical questions. Great for taking your Bible study several levels deeper!

Lectionary Bible Readings

Niantic Community Church generally follows the “lectionary”: a three-year cycle of Bible readings. This site, from Vanderbilt Divinity School, collects all of the readings for easy reference.

The Text This Week

A site designed for preachers and students of the Bible: extensive links to studies of the lectionary texts for each Sunday, with links also to works of art and cinema that reflect the themes in scripture.

Bible Gateway

Read the Bible in a multitude of translations; search by passage, keyword, or topic.

One Year Bible Online

Read through Bible in the course of a year! Start at any time and read selections from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. Each day’s reading takes 10-15 minutes.

Prayer & Devotions

Sacred Space

Spend ten minutes, praying as you sit at your computer, with the help of on-screen guidance and scripture chosen specially every day.

Invitation to Prayer

A site of the Church of England, offering ideas about how to pray, as well as specific prayers for peace, reconciliation, mercy, and justice.

Stillspeaking Daily Devotional

Sign up here for the Stillspeaking Daily Devotional, which delivers a short scripture-based reflection to your email inbox every morning.

d365 Daily Devotional Site

Daily online devotional series created and produced by Passport, Inc.: a student ministry organization focused on creating meaningful experiences and resources for students. Accompanied by music, these sites may create a quiet space in your life for contemplation and prayer.

inward/outward daily devotional

inward/outward is a space set apart to wonder, dream, explore what it means…, why it matters…, how it works… when ordinary people come together in pursuit of community, justice, forgiveness–set free for the sake of Love. Read the reflections online, or sign up to receive them as a daily email.

Henri Nouwen Society daily and weekly emails

The purpose of the Henri Nouwen Society is to foster the spirituality of solitude, community and compassion that was embodied in the life and teaching of Henri Nouwen. The daily and weekly emails contain excerpts from Fr. Henri’s writings.

Spirituality

Inner Explorations

Exploring links between Christian mysticism, Eastern religious practice, and Jungian psychoanalytic theory.

Health & Wholeness for Body, Mind, & Spirit

Interfaith Counseling Services

Interfaith Counseling Services is a confidential counseling service providing therapy for marriage, relationship problems, chemical dependency, self-development, issues of personal identity, loneliness, work pressure, spiritual crises, or loss of a loved one. Interfaith Counseling Services is a professional approach combining spirituality and psychology to assist you in strengthening dignity and self-worth.

Mental Health Ministries

The problem of mental illness is likely to touch every one of us, directly or indirectly. The Surgeon General of the U.S. says that one in five Americans experiences a diagnosable mental disorder each year. Mental Health Ministries began as an outreach through the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church. It has evolved into an ecumenical and interfaith outreach that supports a holistic approach to mental illness encompassing the mind, body and spirit.

National Alliance on Mental Illness

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots organization for people with mental illness and their families. Founded in 1979, NAMI has affiliates in every state and in more than 1,100 local communities across the country. NAMI is dedicated to the eradication of mental illnesses and to the improvement of the quality of life for persons of all ages who are affected by mental illnesses.

Counseling Resources on the Internet

A list of sites on counseling, including:

  • Grief & Anxiety Counseling
  • Art & Music Therapy
  • Addiction Counseling
  • Christian Counseling
  • Relationship Counseling
  • School and Children’s Counseling

Persons considering counseling may find ideas for types of support or treatment to pursue. Counselors or students wanting to become counselors will find helpful resources.

Outreach & Missions

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity International seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need.

Heifer International

A mission priority for outreach at Niantic Community Church for several decades. Heifer envisions a world of communities living together in peace and equitably sharing the resources of a healthy planet. Heifer’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth. Heifer’s strategy is to “pass on the gift.” As people share their animals’ offspring with others – along with their knowledge, resources, and skills – an expanding network of hope, dignity, and self-reliance is created that reaches around the globe.

Donate Life America

A not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and local coalitions across the United States dedicated to inspiring all people to save and enhance lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.

OrganDonor.gov

U.S. government information on organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

Crisis Management Institute

Crisis Management Institute: addressing crisis response, safe schools, and violence prevention. Good material on speaking with children about war.

Mennonite Central Committee

MCC is a relief, service, and peace agency of the North American Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches. MCC reflects the biblical call to care for the hungry and thirsty, the stranger, the sick and those in prison.

National Council of Churches USA

The National Council of Churches is a community of Christian communions, which, in response to the gospel as revealed in the Scriptures, confess Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God, as Savior and Lord.

Disaster Ministries

United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries

United Methodist Church Disaster Ministries

The EnviroLink Network

“A non-profit organization which has been providing access to thousands of online environmental resources since 1991.”

Greenpeace USA

Using peaceful direct action and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

Web of Creation

Ecology resources to transform faith and society.

Church World Service Emergency Response Program

Information and resources web site for persons interested in the ministry of the religious community in disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. (Free registration required.)

Peace & Justice

Every Church a Peace Church

Resources for understanding and promoting a Gospel-based commitment to nonviolence.

Christian Peacemaker Teams

“We believe that the mandate to proclaim the Gospel of repentance, salvation and reconciliation includes a strengthened Biblical peace witness.”

Jubilee USA

A broad-based network of churches and activists working for the reduction of debt in poor countries, led by the Biblical vision of Leviticus 25.

Churches’ Center for Theology and Public Policy

A national, ecumenical research center, drawing upon the theological resources of the churches and other sources of expertise. Its goal is to discern and study the relationship between Christian faith and critical issues of public policy, and to enable the churches to contribute more fruitfully to public dialogue and action.

Nuclear Reduction/Disarmament Initiative

A project of the Churches’ Center for Theology and Public Policy.

Redefining Progress

Shifting public policy to achieve a sustainable economy, a healthy environment and a just society.

Pax Christi

The national Roman Catholic peace movement: extensive resources for personal and congregational action for peace.

Witness for Peace

A politically independent, nationwide grassroots organization of people committed to nonviolence and led by faith and conscience. WFP’s mission is to support peace, justice and sustainable economies in the Americas by changing U.S. policies and corporate practices which contribute to poverty and oppression in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Witness for Justice

Tired of reading Op-Ed pieces that don’t support your opinions on issues which matter to you? Are you looking for faith and justice commentaries formed out of our nation’s social ills? Then check out the latest “Witness for Justice” articles from the Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ by clicking onto this link: www.ucc.org/justice/advocacy_resources/witness-for-justice/.

Retreat Centers

Silver Lake Conference Center

Home of the Outdoor Ministries of the Connecticut Conference, United Church of Christ. Located in the southern Berkshires of Litchfield County, with a vibrant summer church camp for up to 1300 children and youth, and year-round activities for church groups of all ages, schools, nonprofits, and businesses.

Camp Aldersgate

Aldersgate, an outdoor ministry site of the United Methodist Church, is a place where people of all ages experience the peace and excitement of God’s Creation.

Kirkridge

“A retreat and study center rooted in Christ, close to the earth, where people from diverse backgrounds find community and experience the transforming power of the Spirit for personal wholeness, reconciliation and justice in the world.”

Rolling Ridge

A ministry of the New England Conference, United Methodist Church, Rolling Ridge is a retreat and conference center open to people of all faiths, and to a wide variety of groups and individuals who seek a time of rest and reflection, who desire new resources for living, who long for space to listen or to plan and create. Rolling Ridge sponsors monthly retreats and programs focusing on spiritual formation and hosts many groups for day or overnight events. Private rooms for personal retreats are also available.

Faithful Living

Mindful Living: Human Health, Pollution, and Toxics (PDF file)

A resource guide from the National Council of Churches of Christ,Mindful Living: Human Health, Pollution, and Toxics is “an education and worship resource that gives you, your family, and your faith community the hope and the tools to maintain the sanctity of our bodily temples and ensure that God’s creation remains healthy for generations to come.”

This information must be downloaded as a PDF file, which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, please go to the Adobe Acrobat web site and download Acrobat Reader for free.

Organic Consumers Organization

An online and grassroots non-profit public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability.

Faith and Money Network

“Faith and Money Network equips people to transform their relationship with money, to live with integrity and intentionality, and to participate in creating a more equitable world.”

Women’s Perspective on Money and Spirituality

“Women’s Perspective provides transformational education for women seeking to understand their spiritual and economic power. Whether your funds are significant or minimal, Women’s Perspective can help you bring your financial life into alignment with your core values.”

New American Dream

The Center for a New American Dream: Caring for our world, our families, ourselves. The site gives resources and ideas for reducing our dependence on things and making daily choices with integrity.

How To Use the Web for Socially Responsible Shopping

The idea of “ethical consumerism” or “conscious consuming” is a social movement based around the idea that people should be cognizant of the impact their purchases have on the environment and the health and well-being of the people involved in making those products. It’s very hard to be an ethical consumer if you aren’t armed with information about the products you buy, however. Who makes those products? Where did they come from? What sort of social or environmental impact does the company have? These are questions that can be answered by utilizing the nine resources listed in this post.”

Green Any Site

Donate a portion of any online purchase to the environment. It’s free, there’s nothing to install, and it takes just a click each time you buy something.

Made in Nations

A database showing where thousands of consumer goods are made. Helpful as ethical consumers try to shop as locally as possible, reducing the environmental and financial costs of transporting goods.

Shop Green Pages

Green and eco-friendly products. A project of “Green America”; shopping on this site supports Fair Trade programs, Climate Action programs, Break Up With Your Mega-Bank campaign, and more.

Christian Education

Hollywood Jesus

This site is run by a very personable pastor who loves movies and is optimistic about the spiritual content of pop culture.

Movie Concordance at Textweek.com

“Sometimes films help us understand interesting perspectives on Biblical themes. These perspectives can give us new insight to contemporary interpretations of those themes, and open up new avenues for understanding, preaching, and living the text within our culture.”

freevibe.com

This site is constructed for teens, but worth a visit by adults who work with teens. The site’s major theme is anti-drug information. Listed is data pertaining to common drugs and effects, as are stories about bad drug experiences, pop culture and media literacy.

National Study of Youth and Religion

The National Study of Youth and Religion, being conducted at the University of North Carolina, offers information on today’s youth and their responses to religion. Much of the information is statistical. There is also an extensive bibliography of articles and books on a wide variety of subjects that could be helpful to youth leaders in learning about youth pop culture.