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Neighbors in Need is a Commitment to Justice and Compassion

Neighbors in Need (NIN), one of two annual appeals of OCWM in which First Church participates, is held on World Communion Sunday in October. Two-thirds of the offering supports justice advocacy and direct service projects such as justice with peace programs and community grants.

Imagine today that we live in a land where justice and compassion flourish. Imagine a nation where

  • Schools are well funded and our public classrooms are much smaller and better equipped. Beyond the classroom, youth and young adults are prepared to lead America into the first century ever to live in peace with justice.
  • People who get sick and need to see a doctor are never sent away.
  • Fair trade of goods and services between nations is standard practice, promoting genuine global harmony.
  • Global resources are wisely used with the aim of providing everyone with fair wages and livable economic conditions.
  • Pollution is cleaned up and further destruction of our environment is prevented.
  • Condemnation of varied sexual orientations, race and ethnicity is nonexistent.
  • We erect monuments to honor people who strive for justice and compassion instead of monuments to war. The legacies of these heroes who toiled to “make things right”? would remind us never again to return to the dark days of bigotry, hatred and homophobia.
  • Prisons worked from a philosophy of rehabilitation rather than punishment.

This is the land that Neighbors in Need imagines and is working to achieve. Your support of Neighbors in Need provides grants to a variety of groups striving to transform their communities and make this transformation of reality.

  • Help leverage support for universal health care so that everyone who needs health care gets it
  • Support groups who work to ensure that civil rights and civil liberties of all God’s children are protected and cherished. Some fight hate crimes and discrimination through peaceful means. Others speak out so that no one and nothing can deny anyone’s right to live a private life and dignity.
  • Support the many justice-seekers who advocate for social responsibility across the environmental spectrum from advocating and organizing family farmers to working with environmental justice advocates across the nation.
  • Work with immigrant farmers in their fight for a fair and just wage
  • Support people who help people in and beyond our churches to live healthy lifestyles. NIN makes possible the certification of lay ministers of health for their service in local congregations through the Healthy Connection Program.

One third of the offering supports American Indian UCC congregations. Early on the UCC established Native American churches in North and South Dakota, Wisconsin and Northern Nebraska. Today there are 19 UCC congregations on reservations and one urban intertribal congregation in Minneapolis. In addition, there are more than 1000 individuals from dozens of other tribes and nations scattered in nearly every conference in the UCC. This offering helps provide salaries for Native American pastors. Most of these pastors serve without benefits. Your contribution to Neighbors in Need directly impacts the UCC’s ability to support American Indian ministries and congregations. More information.