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.
OSGOOD FOOD PANTRY NEEDS AND UPDATES
Items suggested for the months of June, July and August are snacks and kid friendly summer fare (juice boxes, peanut butter crackers, water bottles, fruit roll-ups, raisins, non- refrigerated pudding cups, etc).
Thank you to all who contributed to our May collection. Your gifts help many and this is yet another way that you can help make a difference!
BLUE CARDS ARE BACK!
We have returned to using Blue Cards to send thoughts, cheer and congratulations to fellow church members. They will be in the pew racks and are a nice and easy way to send caring thoughts to our church family and are greatly appreciated by, and comforting to those, who receive them. When you hear a prayer concern or even happy news, please feel welcomed and encouraged to jot a brief note on a Blue Card … thinking of you, miss you in church, get well, congratulations, etcetera . . . and be sure to include the recipient’s name and your name. Place the card in the offering plate and it will be transcribed into a greeting card and sent to the recipient via the church office snail mail. It’s an easy way to send your caring thoughts and kindnesses.
BREAD BAKING THANKS AND REMINDER
Thank you to Lois MacFarlane, Teri Grecki and Carolyn McElravy (twice) for baking during the month of May. Thank you, also, to those who have recently signed up to bake. Bakers are needed for Sunday, June 10th and all Sundays after. Please sign up, in the Narthex before church or during coffee hour, to bake two welcome breads to be given out to visitors, returning members or those having difficulty in their lives. Any kind of homemade bread is appreciated, from yeast breads to sweet breads to bread from mixes.
MISSIONS PROJECT: BOX TOPS
As many of you know, schools throughout our area collect “Box Tops”. These are found on various grocery items and are used by the schools as way to earn money to cover non-budgeted items. All “Box Tops” that we collect will go to help the children at Gaffney School. Look for our ‘BOX TOP” Collection Box in the Narthex.
Please remember that our prayer shawl ministry is an outreach ministry. Yes, prayer shawls are for those in our congregation who are ill or grieving; however, they are also for people outside our membership. So if you have a family member, a friend, or a co-worker who you think might appreciate a soft, warm symbol of God’s love, please let Lois MacFarlane or Kristine Lewko know and they will get you one of our beautiful prayer shawls.
EASTER SPECIAL OFFERING
The Missions & Congregational Life Working group had designated Back Bay Missions as the recipient of our special Easter Sunday offering. A community ministry of the United Church of Christ, they work towards strengthening neighborhoods, seeking justice, and transforming lives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Thank you to all who contributed to this collection, we were able to raise $629.00.
THANK YOU FROM REBUILDING TOGETHER!
Over thirty members, from First church, descended on Mrs. Cap’s home on Saturday, April 28th . We cleaned gardens, repaired the sidewalks and chimney, scraped and painted the rear deck railing, and spread 7 yards of mulch. We also installed a new house number plaque and all signed the back. Mrs. Cap was in tears and stated we were so wonderful to do so much for her. It was another great day for us, improving the life of a neighbor in need. After almost 25 years of supporting Rebuilding Together, First Church continues this great project. Thank you to all the workers and all who support us in this great mission effort! Glenn Anderson
Although it was a somewhat chilly and overcast day, approximately 16 walkers made their way from the church last Sunday and walked around Walnut Hill Park to increase awareness of hunger in our community. Sneaker Sunday has become an annual event at First Church and this year through the generosity of our parishioners, $600 was raised for the Friendship Center. Thank you to all who contributed, walked, and helped in some small way to make this another meaningful event that showed First Church cares for those in our community. ~Missions & Congregational Life
4th ANNUAL SOCK COLLECTION WRAPS UP
We will discontinue this project for the summer and will resume in the late fall. Thank you to all who contributed many, many pairs of socks which were distributed different organizations and put to great use!
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.
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 May of 2016, members of the Caroline Aston Fund committee met to distribute to both local and overseas organizations including the Prudence Crandall Center, Holmes PTA Go Tri Committee and Global Ministries. In an excerpt from a thank you note from Global Ministries, Rev. Jane Sullivan-Davis wrote, “Global Ministries sincerely thanks you for your gifts. As indicated, your donation will be used to support the Armenian Missionary Association of America, the Youth Internet Café in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Tilda Evangelical Hospital in India, the Orthodox Initiative in Jordan, Melel Xojobal in Mexico and Dumaguete Kalauman Development Center Building Project in the Philippines. Gifts like yours are vital to Global Ministries as we all work together with international partners in God’s Global mission. We are very grateful!”. Contributions to local organizations included the Hungerford Nature Center, Literacy Volunteers, MOMS / Nurturing Families, the New Britain Plan to End Homelessness, the New Britain Public Library, Pathways Senderos, Prudence Crandall Center, Warm the Children and the YWCA Strive Program.