The Teddy Bear Ministry was created in 2002 by Donna Messner. Russell Bear, the "bear minister," was born in a florist shop in Pennsylvania and accepted a call to live in Bloomfield. He has recruited many friendly bears to help him in this ministry.

Whenever you -- or someone you know -- needs a hug or has a special joy to celebrate, you can choose a bear to share teddy bear hugs as long as you need. Bears are then returned for reassignment.

‚ÄčEach Teddy Bear wears a tag that says:

You can find the Teddy Bears in the back of the sanctuary and on the shelves in Fellowship Hall. Our Teddy Bear friends visit and comfort shut-ins, make hospital visits and adore being held during church services (they are very quiet while you pray!).

Here is a poem the bears really like. It was written by Dr. Scott Mandell in 1994:

If the World Were Run by Teddy Bears

If the world were run by teddy tears,
It would be a wonderful place.
Everyone would act all happy and nice,
With a smile upon their face.

If the world were run by teddy bears,
There would be no fighting or war.
Everyone would cuddle when angry or
mad 'Cause that's what a teddy bear is for.

If the world were run by teddy bears,
Problems would all be talked out.
You could be honest and say what you thing,
They'd listen and never would pout.

If the world were run by teddy bears,
People would all get along.
For when hugging a bear, a problem looks small,
And you're happy and feel you belong.

First Congregational Church of East Bloomfield

Rich in heritage, bonded in love, growing in Christ.