Our Mission board works tirelessly to help support those in need both locally and globally.
The mission project that has excited us the most is our ministry to the homeless. Because the need is so great even in and around our own communities, it has become a passion of the congregation and is the area of our greatest committment. We participate in a family shelter at a neighboring church, and at the Family Promise Day Center on Saturdays. We collect food and money for the local food banks at many times during the year.
Click here to learn more about Family Promise.
If you are interested in how you can help, check out our “Events” page for upcoming activities that support our many mission programs…at First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, we can make a difference.
Thanks for your support of the 2013 CROP Walk!
Whether you were a walker or helped by making a donation – “Thank You” –
we appreciated all your efforts to help make our 40th Upper Pascack Valley CROP WALK so successful!
Church World Service…
We are currently seeking donations for school and hygiene kits to send to Church World Service. You may drop off your donations at the church office, or in the basket at the mission table by the choir room.
School kits – These kits give children in impoverished schools, refugee camps, or other difficult settings some of the basic tools for learning. Supplies needed are: blunt metal scissors; 70 count spiral notebooks, or notebooks totaling 200-210 pages; 12″ rulers; hand-held pencil sharpeners; large erasers; pencils with erasers; boxes of 24 crayons (only 24)
Hygiene Kits – In the face of natural disasters, violence, or grinding poverty, hygiene kits can mean the difference between sickness and health for struggling families. Supplies needed are: hand towels (16″x28″ – no fingertip or bath towels); washcloths; wide-tooth combs; nail clippers; bars of soap (bath size in wrapper); toothbrushes (in original packaging); Band-Aids or other adhesive bandages.
Thank you in advance for supporting this program that helps people in need around the world.
Mission Vision: Haiti
Haiti is a small nation on the island of Hispaniola. Slightly larger than the state of Maryland, it is home to 9.8 million people. Though the country has a high birthrate, poor health and emigration has kept the overall growth rate down. The majority of the population lives in poverty. A long history of political, social, and economic problems has plagued Haiti since the enslavement of the indigenous peoples by the Spanish in the late 1400s. In 2010, a devastating earthquake centered in Port-au-Prince killed 300,000 and left countless others without food, clean water, shelter, education and livelihood. In 2012, the government announced it was partnering with the private sector to work toward stabilizing the region through reconstruction efforts. However, protests against substandard living conditions persist. There is virtually no recognizable infrastructure.
On September 18th, First Congregational Church was blessed by a visit with Haiti Mission Partner, Jeanette Salley. Jeanette served for two years with the National Spiritual Council of Churches of Haiti. She shared heart-wrenching and heart-warming stories about the people she had come to know and love during her stay in Haiti. CONASPEH, partnered with our Global Ministries, is working “to promote religious, economic, social, moral and intellectual development in the country.” Donations and relief efforts are provided by various endowment funds and from special gifts provided by individuals, congregations and judicatories of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ.
If you missed out on the opportunity in September and are interested in learning more about support and revitalization efforts in Haiti, please reach out to Pastor or any member of the Mission Board. Thank you!
Neighbors in Need
The Neighbors in Need offering, which we will receive on November 3rd, supports the UCC’s ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries to fund a wide array of local and national justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects. Through UCCTakeAction.org, our national Justice and Witness Ministries office offers resources, news updates, and action alerts on a broad spectrum of justice issues. Working with members of the UCC Justice and Peace Action Network (a network of thousands of UCC justice and peace advocates), Justice and Witness continues its strong policy advocacy work on issues such as the federal budget, voting rights, immigration, health care, hate crimes, civil liberties, and environmental justice. Neighbors in Need also supports our American Indian neighbors in the UCC. One-third of the offering supports the UCC’s Council for American Indian Ministries (CAIM). Historically, forebears of the UCC established churches and worked with Lakota, Dakota, Nakota, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arickara, and Hocak in North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, and northern Nebraska. Today there are 20 UCC congregations on reservations and one urban, multi-tribal UCC congregation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. These churches and their pastors are supported by CAIM. CAIM is also an invaluable resource for more than 1,000 individuals from dozens of other tribes and nations who are members of other UCC congregations in the U.S.
Neighbors in Need helps make another world possible. It needs your support. Please give generously. And remember, contributions to Neighbors in Need can be made on-line at any time at: www.ucc.org/nin
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Recently the Prayer Shawl Ministry presented Sheila McGraw, Director of the Pascack Food Center, with a check for $2,523!! The group was thrilled the sale of their knitted ruffle scarves was such a success that they were able to make this donation to the center that provides such a wonderful service in our community. The food center serves over 100 clients.
The “Shawl Ministry” combines prayer and blessings with the care and love of knitting and crocheting. They create beautiful shawls, lap robes and baby blankets for donation to those in need of comfort, suffering from loss or in long term care as well as for happy occasions such as when a baby arrives.
The group brings a “brown bag” lunch and meets at noon on the third Tuesday of the month. Coffee and cookies are provided. All are welcome and you need not come every month. The next meeting is Tuesday, May 21st at noon in the church parlor. For more information call the church at 201-391-5800.
Habitat for Humanity
Several of our members volunteer during the holidays at the gift wrapping fundraiser at the mall for Habitat for Humanity. Great way to get into the spirit of the season!
Volunteers also spent a Saturday working at Habitat for Humanity’s Oradell project. Habitat is building two duplexes, creating four 3-bedroom homes which will provide affordable housing for low-income families. The homeowner families are also involved in the work at various levels. Habitat’s mission is to provide affordable homes for hard-working Bergen County families.