MISSIONS

First Church is committed to being a church that cares about the world around us and our brothers and sisters in the Greater New Britain community who are less fortunate.
A majority of our mission funds are given to the United Church of Christ’s Missionary Society of Connecticut, which disburses these funds to areas in need in the United States and around the world.

*Please note our most recent missions on our “home” page.

LOCAL MISSIONS

OSGOOD FOOD PANTRY NEEDS

During the month of November, we will collect nonperishable, “holiday food items”, to give everyone a taste of the holidays.  Stuffing mixes, gravy, canned fruits and vegetables (including sweet potatoes) are needed; along with cake and crust mixes, pie fillings, frostings and kid friendly snacks.  Thank you to all who brought in Back to School favorites during the month of October.  There are many more families in need than in the past, so please consider supporting this mission and the following one, for Thanksgiving Food Baskets.  And, again, thank you to all who support this mission.  Food items can be dropped up before or after worship on Sundays.

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THANKSGIVING FOOD BASKETS

Once again, our Missions & Congregational Life Working Group has notified the Friendship Service Center that we will participate in their holiday “Adopt-A-Family” program.  As such, we will be providing five Thanksgiving food baskets to them so that they may be distributed to their clients.  On November 7th and 14th, food cards will be available for parishioners to take. Food items should then be brought to the church no later than Sunday, November 21st, so that the baskets can be assembled and brought to the Friendship Center.  We are thankful to all who support this mission.

SOCKS AND MORE!

For the fall we will collect all kinds of socks and winter-wear for men, women and children.  We will also include hats, scarves, gloves, mittens and hand warmers.  Socks are the most requested item in shelters across the country. Many homeless people walk miles per day in order to survive, leaving their socks threadbare and damp, and needing outerwear.  Please be sure to donate clean, newly purchased items; which will be distributed to the clients of Friendship Service Center.

 

PRUDENCE CRANDALL MEALS

On Thursday, November 18th (the third Thursday, due to Thanksgiving) we will be in the kitchen cooking up some wonderful home-made meals for the Prudence Crandall Center.  The times are the same, so you may come at 10 a.m. to help prep and/or come at 4:30 p.m., when final preparations and cooking will take place.  For those who wish, you may join our group for dinner and a time of fellowship, usually around 6 p.m.  Please contact Judy if you have any questions.

HOLY JOE’S CAFE

This year’s special Thanksgiving Offering has been designated to go to Holy Joe’s Café.  While supply chain disruptions have impacted many during the pandemic, coffee is still flowing for military chaplains thanks to Holy Joe’s Café; which is celebrating 15 years of bringing “a little bit of home to those who serve our country.”  It began as a mission at the First Church of Wallingford (CT) in 2006 and the coffee, distributed by military chaplains, offers these chaplains a way to begin relationships with soldiers that may not occur on their own, but are often necessary for the health and wellness of these personnel.  “It may be a cup of coffee today, but tomorrow they may open up about something going on in their life.”  Holy Joe’s Café continues to grow and now delivers coffee to chaplains and troops all over the world, however, a large part of the mission is right here in the United States. The collection will be taken the Sunday prior to Thanksgiving, which is Sunday November 21st.  Envelopes are included in your box of regular giving envelopes and will also be available in the bulletin.

shawls

PRAYER SHAWLS

 “Shawls . . . made for centuries, universal and embracing, symbolic and inclusive, unconditionally loving, God.  They wrap, enfold, comfort, cover, give solace, mother, hug, shelter and beautify.  Those who have received these shawls have been uplifted and affirmed, as if given wings to fly above their troubles” ~Janet Severi Bristow, 1998

Since many are home and, possibly, knitting, please remember that our prayer shawl ministry is an outreach ministry.  Prayer shawls are for those in our congregation who are ill or grieving and they are also for people outside our membership. If you have a family member or friend who you think might appreciate a soft, warm symbol of God’s love at this time, please let Rev. Margret or Kristine Lewko know and they will get you one.  They are kept in large, plastic, sanitary zip bags.  We ask that the shawls to be a rectangle, 18 to 24 inches wide and 60 to 72 inches long.

LOCAL MISSIONS

On a more “hands on” level, we are a dedicated supporter of the Osgood Food Pantry.  Through the generous food donations of our members, we strive to make the lives of those struggling with food insecurity a little bit easier.  We have also been a long time supporter of Rebuilding Together (www.rebuildingtogether.org).  This past year, through the Florence Morgan Fund, we gave a monetary amount at the level of a Platinum Sponsor and on Rebuilding Day sent a team of parishioners to help with the repair projects of a local homeowner.

The Friendship Service Center (www.friendshipservicecenter.org) has been a special organization to First Church members for many years.  Our Annual Sneaker Sunday raises money for them and with a walk through Walnut Hill Park on that day, we try to raise awareness of the needs of the homeless in our city. We also participate in their Adopt-A-Family program and donate Thanksgiving food baskets and Christmas gifts.

Aston Fund

This Fund’s charge is to distribute income from investments for foreign needs and for local and United States needs. This Fund can be added to at any time. It was begun in 1935 and small bequests were added over the years by women of the church who saw a special need for such a fund.  Donations are carefully and happily distributed, usually twice a year.

Our projects for distribution overseas come from requests we make for unbudgeted needs through the United Church Board of World Ministries. Special needs of women and children are often considered before general needs. We pray that our choices over the years have done the most good where truly needed.

In the past year, the Caroline Aston Fund committee has made donations to local organizations including the Hungerford Nature Center, Literacy Volunteers, Food Share, Warm the Children, the Prudence Crandall Center, Warm the Children and the YWCA Strive Program; among others.