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.

LOCAL MISSIONS

OSGOOD FOOD PANTRY NEEDS AND UPDATES

For the months of January and February we are asking members to bring in soup; which will add to our “Souper Bowl” soup collection on Super Bowl Sunday.  Any kind is needed, but let’s see how large a pyramid we can build from soup cans.  As always, any and all donations are welcome.

SOCK BASKET

We have started our annual sock collection, to donate to area social service organizations.  New socks for men, women and children will be gratefully accepted and distributed throughout the winter months.

Thank you to all who have supported our holiday missions and contributed to the church’s giving opportunities this Thanksgiving and Christmas Season.

  • Thanksgiving food baskets were made for the Friendship Service Center and holiday food was collected for the Osgood Food Pantry.
  • Our Thanksgiving collection brought in about $300.00 for Warm the Children, which provides warm, winter clothing to children in need.
  • Cards and bookmarks were made and sent to our shut-ins.
  • Many toys, gifts and gift cards were collected through our annual giving tree for the Adopt a Family Program through the Friendship Center.
  • Holiday food items and cookies were collected for the Osgood Food Pantry.
  • Members purchased luminaries from Joyce Petrisko for the Friendship Center, to assist the homeless and needy among us.
  • Our Christmas Eve special mission offering will go to the Consolidated School District of New Britain, to help them meet the extra needs that students are encountering right now.

Thank you, again, to everyone who helped to make this a wonderful holiday for so many.

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 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.