First Congregational UCC is a “5 for 5” congregation, contributing to all of the annual special missions offerings that are collected by the United Church of Christ in support of their denominational programs. These include an annual pledge to:
Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM; http://www.ucc.org/ocwm, and several special all-church offerings collected during the year:
One Great Hour of Sharinghttp://www.ucc.org/oghs/ A multi-denominational Lenten offering providing help, hope and life in over seventy countries, including the United States and Canada.
Strengthen the Churchhttp://www.ucc.org/stc/ A Pentecost offering through which we share in the growth and future of the United Church of Christ through its local congregations and conferences.
Neighbors in Needhttp://www.ucc.org/nin/ An autumn offering dedicated to supporting justice and compassion throughout our nation and Puerto Rico. One-third of this offering supports the work of the American Indian Ministry's twenty United Church of Christ congregations. Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries(JWM) to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants.
The Christmas Fundhttps://ext.pbucc.org/index.php/christmas-fund-home This Christmas offering supports the Ministerial Assistance Fund, which provides emergency aid and supplemental pension and health care support to retired UCC clergy and lay members who have served the church.
Local Missions and Social Justice Partners
Richmonders Involved to Strengthen our Communities (RISC) is an interracial, interfaith, nonpartisan organization which brings congregations together to build the power to meet God's call to “do justice” in the Greater Richmond region.
We participate in the Chesterfield and Colonial Heights Alliance for Social Ministry (CCHASM), a faith-based, non-profit, tax-exempt, ecumenical coalition working cooperatively with government and community agencies to care for the emergency needs of the citizens of Chesterfield County and Colonial Heights. CCHASM programs that we actively support include the Food Pantry, the Career Cloths Closet, and the Thanksgiving Ministry.
Participation in CARITAS (Congregations Around Richmond Involved to Assure Shelter) is one of our major missions and outreach projects. We serve as a CARITAS shelter site for one week per year. The congregation provides shelter, three daily meals, and services including transportation to showers, mending, used clothing and toiletry supplies to a group of women in the Single Adult Program.
The CROP Walk is community-based fund raising event to raise money for local hunger-fighting agencies as well as the international relief, community development and refugee resettlement efforts of Church World Service.
Kiva is a microloan program that enables entrepreneurs around the world to grow a business and create opportunity for themselves, helping to shape the future for a family or an entire community. To date we have made nearly 50 loans to 29 different countries, focusing on small businesses run by groups of women.
Heifer International A Cow, Not a Cup Seventy-five years ago, Dan West began outlining a simple but groundbreaking plan to help the hungry. West, a Midwestern farmer and Church of the Brethren member, had recently returned from volunteer service in the Spanish Civil War where his job was to provide weary refugees with a single cup of milk. He knew American farmers had resources many others did not: cows and the steady supply of nutrition from their milk. This “not a cup, but a cow” thought was the driving force behind West founding Heifer International. Now, 75 years later, the “teach a man to fish” philosophy still inspires our work to end world hunger and poverty once and for all and has transformed the lives of millions.
Annual sponsorship of families through the Chesterfield County - Colonial Heights Christmas Mother Program:
The Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Christmas Mother Program is a nonprofit, charitable organization that was established in 1972 by Miss Lucy Corr, then superintendent of the Chesterfield County Welfare Department. The program’s sole purpose is to assist with the special needs of families that are in need during the holiday season.
Shalom Farms is a regional food access and community development project started in 2008 by United Methodist Urban Ministries of Richmond (UMUMR). The concept grew out of conversations with Camp Westview on the James and other community partners, who recognized the need for broader food justice work and a desire to use Westview’s rural resources to better serve urban Richmond. Shalom Farms http://shalomfarms.org/
Financial support for: Richmond Justice Initiative
Richmond Justice Initiative (RJI) is a non-profit, Christian faith-based organization that works locally and nationally to eradicate human trafficking. We are committed to protecting at-risk youth by educating them about human trafficking through our nationally award-winning Prevention Project™ program. We further engage the communities we serve through speaking engagements, in-depth trainings and prayer. RJI is wholly supported through the voluntary generosity of individuals, churches, foundations, and businesses.
Caring Corner: Let us remember those who are dealing with health problems and need our support in prayer, as well as those struggling with under- or unemployment and financial hardship. Let us also remember our shut-ins, and others we don't see regularly. This month, we raise special prayers for our students and teachers as they return to school. Finally, we continue to pray for our service men and women in harm's way as well as those living in areas affected by conflict whose lives are disrupted by war.