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.
THE OSGOOD FOOD PANTRY . . . NEEDS AND THANKS!
For the months of July and August, we will be collecting “kid friendly”, packaged snacks. Items such as non-refrigerated pudding cups, raisins, juice boxes, cheese and crackers and granola bars would be greatly appreciated, in addition to peanut butter and jelly. These are ideal for children home from school or attending camp. As always, any and all donations may be brought in on Sunday or during office hours. Thank you to all who support this mission, your gifts have helped many and it’s another way that you can help make a difference!
Our Food Ministry, which benefits the Prudence Crandall Center, meets in our kitchen on the third Thursday of the month. Church members first meet at 10 am to prep for the meal. They reconvene from 4-7 pm, to prepare a meal together for residents and for themselves. Following meal making, members stay for fellowship, conversation and dinner together. If you cannot make it to prepare food, you are still welcome to join us for dinner. Our next date will be Thursday, July 18th.
MISSIONS PROJECT: BOX TOPS
We continue to collect “Box Tops” to help children at Gaffney School. These are found on various groceries and used by the schools to earn money to cover non-budgeted items.
Our prayer shawl ministry is an outreach ministry. Prayer shawls are for those in our congregation who are ill or grieving; 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, please let Rev. Margret, Lois MacFarlane or Kristine Lewko know and they will get you one. We received a large donation of yarn recently. If you have time to knit, packages of yarn are available any time in the church office.
The shawls need to be a rectangle, approximately 18 to 24 inches wide and 60 to 72 inches long. Please see Rev. Margret or Lois MacFarlane for more information or if you’d like to participate in this outreach. For those who want to help, but don’t knit or crochet, monetary donations or donations of gift cards to local craft stores would help our Prayer Shawl mission.
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.