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 months of November and December, 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 months of September and 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.

 

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 13th, food cards will be available for parishioners to take. Food items should then be brought to the church no later than Sunday, November 20th, so that the baskets can be assembled and brought to the Friendship Center.  We are thankful to all who support this mission.

SUPPORTING FLORIDA AND PUERTO RICO

Money received from this year’s Thanksgiving Collection will go towards storm relief efforts in Florida and Puerto Rico.  Thank you in advance for supporting this mission.

ADOPT-A-FAMILY GIFTS

We will try to have tags available for our “gift tree” on Thanksgiving Sunday, for those who take advantage of Black Friday sales.  Once again, we will participate in the “Adopt-A-Family” program, sponsored by the Friendship Service Center.  Look for our “gift tree” in the Narthex during Advent, for tags with giving ideas.  By providing gifts we can help families in our community have a joyous holiday.  Please plan to return gifts, unwrapped with their tag attached, by mid-December.  More information will follow.

SOCKS, SOCKS, SOCKS!

During the fall we will collect all kinds of socks for men, women and children at the Friendship Service Center.  Socks are really import to the homeless and the most common reasons they are needed are to keep feet warm, prevent blisters and foot disease and absorb moisture.  They are also  rarely taken off and get dirty and holey quickly with no place to wash them or feet.  Please be sure to donate clean, newly purchased socks and let’s see how many pair we can collect this year.

FLEECE BLANKETS

We will continue to put together fleece blankets for the Friendship Service Center, as we did last year.  There will be a few out during Coffee Hour and we have many kits that were donated to us through Joan Cromwell!  There is no sewing required for this project, just cutting, tying and a lot of conversation and laughter!

UPCOMING MISSIONS

  • “Boxes to Boots” . . . We will help wrap and pack holiday packages on Saturday, November 5th, from 11-3:00, at McGee Middle School in Berlin. More information will follow.
  • Thanksgiving Baskets: we will make baskets again for families at the Friendship Center, food cards will be available for parishioners to take in early November.
  • Thanksgiving Collection: this year’s collection will go towards storm relief in Puerto Rico.

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.