New Haven is America’s first planned city. In hopes of finding new life in the New World, English Puritans established the city as a port from storms brewing on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Much of this historic sanctuary survives today. New Haven is the home of Yale University and boasts rolling hills, beautiful beaches, unique architecture and a rich history dating back 370 years. Tucked behind the Gothic buildings and high-powered enterprises, however, is a poor and ethnically diverse populace dwelling in forgotten neighborhoods.
With the child poverty rate hovering at 13.8 %, Connecticut is host to some of the poorest urban neighborhoods in America. Your team will have the opportunity to work on mission to invest, restore, and bring transformation into the forgotten spaces of this city. You will be given the opportunity to serve the poor through work projects, soup kitchens, food delivery, or by hosting a block party for youth. In addition to your work among the poor, each pilgrim will have the time to delve into New Haven’s history and relax at the beach. We want participants to leave with a sense of personal discovery and ask themselves the question: “How can I be a voice for the poor in my city?”
- Walk the Stations of the Cross at the historic Church of St. Mary’s.
- Visit the Green, site of the first church in New Haven.
- Contemplate freedom aboard the Amistad.
- Eat at Frank Pepe’s, America’s first pizza place.
- Collect and distribute food at a local food pantry.
Every Wonder Voyage itinerary (mission trip and/or pilgrimage) is personalized to the desires, direction and personality of each group. This itinerary is only a description of the kind of journey we can create for your unique team.
- Day 1 – Cradle of Freedom
Welcome to Connecticut, one of the original thirteen colonies and an integral player in the development of our “land of liberty.” We begin our week with a meet and greet time at Southern Connecticut State University. Once settled, we will take a brief tour of Yale University and explore some of the spiritual history of the area. Every day we will conclude with some reflection time in which we will consider what our freedom, both spiritual and physical, means to us.
- Day 2 – Why Freedom?
Today we travel through the historical realm of New Haven: its aged buildings, monuments and traditions. Our voyage will begin with a New Haven Museum and then venture outdoors to a number of historical locations around the city, including the Church on the Green. That evening, we will reflect on what freedom looks like through the eyes of history and to us today.
- Day 3 – The Cost of Freedom
Have you ever thought about what it took for you to obtain the freedom you have today? Day 3 of the journey takes us to a number of sites on the Freedom Trail as we learn about the efforts to liberate the slaves on the vessel Amistad. What efforts resulted in the freedom that we now take for granted? Our focus on abolitionism today will culminate with a visit to Love146 where we will hear about current efforts to end modern day slavery.
- Day 4 – Giving Freely
After three days of reflection on our personal freedom and the freedom of others we will then have the opportunity to give freely to others. This day of service is planned so that we may help others experience the same rights and privileges. We’ll wrap up with dinner and a discussion about our day and week thus far.
- Day 5 – Breathing Free
What better way to wrap up a week centered on freedom than to celebrate our liberty with a day of hiking and exploration at the beach? It is also a perfect time to turn our eyes to Christ, our Emancipator, with a seaside prayer time. Our final evening will include a time of celebration and the opportunity to discuss the triumphs and challenges of the week gone by. Are we cherishing our freedom? Are we willing to work so that all might be free?
- Day 6 – Freedom for All
Though all are entitled to independence, not all possess it. Our final morning in New Haven will be spent in the service of those who live in chronic poverty. Our last few hours in New Haven will be set aside for a bit of free exploration and shopping. As we pack up and prepare to head, we will do so with a desire to continue in our daily lives to apply the lessons about freedom that we learned this week.
Legacy in New Haven, Connecticut
- *This is the base cost of the trip. Your cost may differ depending on housing, activities, etc.