“Christ has no body but yours, no hands, feet on earth but yours.” –Teresa of Avila
The Christian faith demands that we bring all our resources to bear as we seek to walk in the way of Jesus: our hearts, our heads, and our hands. Our faith in a loving and compassionate God must ultimately find expression in the good, hard work of service and justice. People at the First Congregational Church take that calling seriously. This is one of the ways that we become the body of Christ.
Each month on communion Sundays (first Sunday of the month), we respond with an active thanksgiving, processing offerings of food and money which feed hungry mouths through the People’s Pantry in Great Barrington. Members of the church also volunteer each week at the Pantry. Currently, the pantry is in need of the following:
- Non-Perishable Food: oatmeal, cereal, canned fruit, canned meats/fish, pasta, dry beans, canned vegetables, soup, rice, peanut butter.
- Household: dish soap, toilet paper, light bulbs
- Personal Hygiene: tooth paste, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant
Using guidelines from the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ, our Green Team works toward making our church more ecologically sustainable. This is a faith-based, justice-driven means to examine our carbon footprint and consider what we can do to become better stewards of God’s creation.
The Board of Mission & Action has begun cultivating a partnership with Berkshire Co-Act (Community Organizing for Action) and many opportunities to volunteer are available. Co-Act develops grassroots initiatives guided by collaboration and community needs, supporting sustainability, coordinating collaborative action, and tapping the power of community.
Mission & Action will make a donation to Co-Act of $20/hour for every hour that a member of our congregation volunteers.
Individual Seed Grant Program
The Board of Mission and Action encourages all members of the church to prayerfully consider the ways in which God might be calling them to engage in acts of service and justice, particularly in new and creative ways. Sometimes great ideas need a financial boost to get off the ground. To that end, the Board offers micro-grants to support church members in short- or long-term service and justice opportunities. We are particularly interested in supporting new ideas, so let us know if you feel the Spirit moving you!
Ongoing Mission Support
Recognizing that God calls us to return a portion of the blessings we have received, the Board of Mission and Action supports more than a dozen nonprofits through our annual grant program, which supports service and justice work locally, nationally and abroad.
Johan de DeBesche and Sara Stackhouse in South Africa: http://physiojo.wordpress.com/
Photos from New Orleans Katrina rebuilding