We focused on and celebrated our mission programs and evolving Christian action advocacy in March on our annual Mission Sunday. Worship was followed by a “Mission Fair” that attracted a lot of conversation and new volunteers to many of our on-going mission projects. Our Mission and Christian Action Committee published an updated brochure and volunteer/information form about mission programming at First Church that notes that as our church year unfolds we can celebrate that:
- Our Church and the United Church of Christ support effective and needed missions and social justice initiatives locally and globally,
- Our volunteer service and social justice work has a positive impact on the lives of many.
- Our beliefs call us to act to improve the lives of our neighbors and to speak out for social justice; our shared faith encourages us to be generous.
- Pledging by members and friends provides key resources needed for our Mission Budget ($25,900). The Mission Committee works faithfully to discern financial support for our “Core Ministries” (the United Church of Christ in Vermont and nationally – $15,000; JUMP (the Joint Urban Ministry Project) – $8,000; and Small Potatoes (our weekly Saturday morning community breakfast and bag lunch program) – $1,000) and coordinates key volunteer mission efforts. We work in partnership with the UCC and many vital social service initiatives. The remainder of the Mission Budget ($1,900) provides resources for special projects and allocations to support mission projects.
The mission work of our congregation includes Pledging, Special Offerings, thousands of hours committed to volunteer work by our members, and extensive community use of our church property by many local programs including the Joint Urban Ministry Project, the Ronald McDonald House, and the outreach of our Possibility Shop.
Our Christian Action Committee is exploring avenues to support our members in social justice advocacy efforts. All are invited to join the UCC justice advocacy network to keep current with the UCC’s Congo Initiative and other advocacy opportunities supported by the UCC.
For more detailed information, please see our Mission Programs & Christian Action Advocacy brochure that was published on Mission Sunday in March, or pick up a copy at First Church. Copies of the Volunteer Interest Form are tucked into each brochure.
Let’s continue to be a witness to our faith through our shared missions and commitment to social justice. We welcome and need your ideas and input!
Mission Committee Members: Steve Dumas (Chair), Betsy Freeman, and Andrea Heller
Christian Action Committee Members: Mary McKearin (Chair), Susan Ellwood, Amy Mellencamp, Mark Oettinger, and Lee Orlando Slocum
Lucy Samara, Director of Outreach Ministries