Bridges to Faith
A collaborative whose mission is to provide opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities and the faith communities who welcome them, in the New Bedford Massachusetts area.
Bridges to Faith focuses on identifying persons with developmental disabilities who wish to participate in local faith communities as well as to identify members of congregations who wish to offer support by serving as Faith Companions. The goal is to insure that individuals are offered opportunities to explore their spirituality and to enrich the lives of the congregations who welcome them. Since its inception the faith companionships which have been formed have blessed profoundly the lives of all concerned.
Formed in 1995, the Bridges to Faith collaborative is made up of the New Bedford Area Office of the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, the Inter-Church Council of Greater New Bedford, several provider agencies and partner congregations.
Current Partner Congregations include: Acushnet-Wesley United Methodist Church, Bethel AME Zion Church, Congregation Tifereth Israel, First Congregational Church of Fairhaven, First Nazarene Church, Grace Episcopal Church, International Nazarene Church, Long Plain United Methodist Church of Acushnet, North Baptist Church, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, St. Francis of Assisi Church, St. Francis Xavier Church of Acushnet, St. John The Baptist Catholic Church, St. Joseph's Church of Fairhaven, St. Mary's Church of Fairhaven, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, South Coast Vineyard Fellowship and The Worship Center. Individuals are awaiting placement with additional congregations.
Members of the Bridges to Faith Committee are available to provide educational and informational assistance upon request. We have a fine Video which explains our work, and we are available to come to you to share our experience and help you learn how you may participate in this ministry.
Faith COMPANIONS are central to the success of this ministry. A Faith Companion is someone from the faith community who agrees to befriend the individual referred by Bridges to Faith and who would arrange for the individual to participate in the life of the congregation. For the individual we refer this offers an opportunity not only to have spiritual needs met but also provides a sense of belonging, friendship and value not easily obtained. For congregations this becomes an opportunity to participate in a genuine ministry of love which enhances their whole life and spirit.
"Hospitality is not a matter of institutionalism but it is a matter of one-on-one as a habit and way of life.It means not only offering food and shelter, but recognizing strangers as persons of equal worth and dignity."
More information about Bridges to Faith is available by contacting the Coordinator:
Bridges to Faith
c/o Better Community Living, Inc.
5 Ventura Drive
Dartmouth, MA 02747
This site is supported by Better Community Living, Inc.