God is still speaking …
Hunger Initiatives — First Church is feeding the hungry through three Hunger Initiatives: First Church Food Pantry, Heather Campbell-Reich Community Hot Meal Program and the Salvation Army Community Hot Meal.
Monday: noon – 2pm
Tuesday: 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Wednesday: 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Please bring a picture ID along with a proof of residency in Lorain County (ie: a utility bill with your address on it). Additional requirements will be supplied at the door.
Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM) “It’s who we are!”
UCC congregations are involved with mission in many ways. In the UCC we affirm that, although the congregation is the fundamental unit of mission, mission is not just local. Through OCWM, we are connected to one another, across boundaries of neighborhood, class, race and national border.
Church World Service
Founded in 1946, Church World Service is the relief, development, and refugee assistance ministry of 35 Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican denominations in the United States.
CUE (Chicago, United and Eden Seminaries)
For more than 30 years, CUE has been a regional partnership of sixteen mid-west conferences, and three seminaries, Chicago, United and Eden Theological Seminaries to support and promote theological education. This unique relationship educates those called to ministry, provides continuing education for clergy and laity, and encourages theological reflection and dialog. CUE seeks to promote partnership between seminary and church in advancing God’s Mission through theological education in the UCC. Cue encourages congregational financial support for the CUE seminaries in their efforts to serve both the needs and the welfare of the church and society.
Back Bay Mission
Back Bay Mission was founded in 1922 as an outreach effort of the First Evangelical Church of Biloxi (now UCC) whose members responded with compassion and service to the needs of poor “fisher folk” living in deplorable conditions along the Back Bay of Biloxi, Mississippi.
Genesis House provides a comprehensive range of family-focused services for Lorain County Victims of Domestic Violence. Such services provide the tools to maximize their opportunity to survive, obtain physical and mental well-being and independence, and minimize the trauma involved in coping with family violence. They are part of a collaborative community effort to provide a responsive system of care for victims while raising awareness. Our church supports Genesis House through an appeal on Mother’s Day to raise funds to purchase much needed supplies.
Lorain County Safe Harbor/Genesis House exists to provide temporary safety, shelter, food, aid and support to the victims of domestic violence and their children who have reached the decision to leave the violent situation.
When a person calls for assistance or information, a telephone interview is conducted; then if space is available, a trained shelter staff person arranges to meet the victim away from both the home and the shelter to explain the shelter and discuss what options are available. If it is agreed that the coming to the shelter is the best choice, arrangements can be made at that time.
While shelter residents must make their own plans and decisions, an extensive client advocacy program is available to makes sure they have access to the information they need to move forward. Shelter staff is always available to discuss her options.
Most battering includes two or more of the following types of violence: Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Psychological abuse, Destruction of Property.
Genesis House Provides:
- Legal Advocates assist victims of domestic violence, explaining the legal system and their legal rights. The legal advocate will escort the victim to court during their case or to get protection orders.
- Counseling and education to teens on topics like understanding dating violence, developing healthy relationships and questions to ask yourself about your relationships.
- A 24-hour crisis hot line is available to victims of domestic violence to offer support and allow victims to discuss their situation while remaining anonymous.
- Shelter and safety for women and children in immediate danger. Women in the shelter make their own plans and decisions, but staff will offer direction the women regarding agencies throughout Lorain County who can help them when seeking a job or housing, transportation and childcare.
During Advent our Church has a special time together combining worship, a meal, fellowship and a community project. For the last few years we have used the Christmas Gathering to make Adult Personal Care Kits, (containing personal hygiene products) and Baby Totes (containing supplies for newborns) for distribution at various local shelters. During November and December, donations are received from the congregation. Then at the Gathering, the congregation assembles the kits for distribution in time for Christmas.
Walls of Love
In collaboration with Save Our Children of Elyria and Walls of Love, First Church helps replenish a permanent wall across the street from our building at least once a month. The wall is filled with basic necessities such as toothpaste and tooth brushes, soap, shampoo, individual snacks etc. It is also filled with seasonal needs such as sunscreen in the summer and hats and gloves in the winter. Anyone in need of these items can just take them from the wall no questions asked. If you would like to donate items for this cause you may drop them off at the church office.