Giving Together – 2021 Benevolence

Giving Together, we accomplished what initially appeared to be impossible. The members and friends of First Congregational Church exceeded the ambitious goal of $23,000 set for the 2021 Giving Together Benevolence campaign. The latest total is $24,247!

The Giving Store was a huge success. Online buyers bought early and often. All the proceeds were designated for the Minister’s Discretionary Fund. Thus $2,365 of the total proceeds will be designated for that important charitable outreach. This is fantastic testimony to the commitment of First Church to “proclaiming in word AND deed the love of Christ.”

The Benevolence Committee has met and allocated funds to the organizations listed below.

A huge Thank you from the Giving Together Committee for your generous support.
Jeanene Harris, Joan Mushbach, Jane Porchey and Kay Roush,

Beyond Housing – Provides affordable housing, helping families achieve and sustain homeownership, fostering the well-being of families, and identifying and addressing neighborhood needs. Comprehensive approach addresses the key areas identified as crucial to community success-education, housing, health, job training and access, economic development, and personal finance.

Care and Counseling – St. Louis – This agency is a pastoral counseling center which incorporates spirituality in psychodynamic clinical work. Services include mental health services for children, adults, and families, as well as congregational and clergy training and psychoeducation programs.

CHADS Coalition for Mental Health – CHADS provides programs to advance the awareness and prevention of depression and suicide. Provide adolescents and young adults ages 25 and under and educational programs, for parents, educators and community members.

Emmaus Homes – Based on unique needs and goals, Emmaus provides homes and programing for adults with development disabilities to help them live their lives as independently as possible, housed in numerous group homes throughout St. Louis and St. Charles. UCC

Gateway 180 – Gateway 180 is a valuable resource for those experiencing the burden of homelessness. Provides temporary shelter and support systems.

Gateway ONA Coalition – The mission is to serve as a resource for churches who seek to embrace the diversity of God’s people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Open and affirming organization within UCC churches that recognizes gender choices and concerns.

Habitat for Humanity – Christian housing ministry to build houses in partnership with families in need. This local branch of the national organization builds affordable housing. Each year there is one home built by UCC churches throughout the area.

Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis – Diverse faith group offering a public voice on matters of religious, moral, and ethical issues. Our church is a member of the organization.

Lydia’s House – Lydia’s House is the only transitional housing program in Eastern Missouri that is specifically for battered and abused women and their children and that offers immediate community. They have 50 confidentially located homes and apartments for women and their families. Provides transitional housing with comprehensive, goal-oriented support services, and access to community resources for abused women and their children.

Minister’s Discretionary Fund – FCCWG – Provides funds for individual church members, families and people in the community in need.  May include food gift cards, gas money, money for prescriptions, etc. For 2021 this was funded through the Giving Store.

Prevent + Ed (Local affiliate of the National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse) – Provide counseling, education and resources on the harms of alcohol and drug abuse. Programs offered through education, intervention and advocacy. Provides resources and services that promote safe and healthy living.

Operation Food Search – Distributes food and necessities to 330 community partners in the City of St. Louis and surrounding counties in Missouri and Illinois.

Shepherd’s Center Webster-Kirkwood – This is an interfaith volunteer organization that provides senior programs and services for supporting older adults. Our church is considered a sponsoring organization.

United Church of Christ – Our Church’s Wider Mission and Missouri Mid South Conference – UCC churches unite to reach out to people in need. Our Church’s Wider Mission supports local congregations with worship and faith forming publications, resources, and education. There are 44 Missouri Mid South Conference UCC congregations in the St. Louis area. It also includes churches in Little Rock, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee. Our church is recognized for being a 5 for 5 Congregation of the UCC, for support to Our Church’s Wider Mission, Neighbors in Need, One Great Hour of Sharing, The Christmas Fund, and Strengthen the Church Special Mission offerings.

United Church of Christ-St. Louis Association – St. Louis Association offers support and outreach to people in need. Some of the programs supported by the Association include Neighborhood Ministries, Joint Neighborhood Houses, Union Community Neighborhood House, Lydia’s House and Doorways.

Unleashing Potential – Formerly Neighborhood Houses. Seeks to close the opportunity gap for children and youth by building on their strengths. They offer Early Childhood education, after school programs, youth development and enrichment camps.

Webster-Rock Hill Ministries – This agency is a cooperative effort of member churches to fulfill their mission to serve people in need in our community. Programs assist individuals and families who are unemployed or in financial difficulty. Operates a food pantry. Our church is a founding member of the organization.