God’s Work, Our Hands
Upcoming/Current events include:
Board of Missions – One Great Hour of Sharing
As we cannot be in our church pew listening to a “Mission Moment” with regard to “One Great Hour of Sharing”, we are bringing this “moment” to you in a different setting. This is a special offering of the United Church of Christ, and this year’s theme is entitled, “Let Love Flow.” One Great Hour of Sharing ensures, even in the midst of uncertainty, the power of love will change the lives of those who are the most vulnerable among us.
They are in the right place at the right time providing assistance to those suffering from natural disasters, support sustainable development projects all over the world, help farmers who are trying to build a sustainable life, provide clean water for drinking and sanitation to families in rural areas all across the world and assist refugees who have been displaced by economic conditions, war and climate change.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought job losses to many families who are now on the brink of homelessness; One Great Hour of Sharing brings hope to them in the midst of suffering.
If you would like to make a donation, please log on to their website at www.ucc.org/oghs_resources.
“Let Love Flow” ~ Thank You!
Pray It Forward
“Pray It Forward” was brought to our attention by the youth of this church several years ago and has now found a new home with our Missions Board. The idea is to use your inner spirit, imagination, and share a gift.
Last year, we had volunteers come forward every two weeks and receive $50.00 from Missions to donate to a charity, special program, organization or someone in a family who is in need.
As we cannot “Pray It Forward” in church every two weeks, our Board has thought of the Confirmands, to “bring back” this idea and lead the way for others to follow when we can be together. We have asked the confirmands to be creative, think outside the box!
There will be a zoom session to see and hear how each Confirmand has decided to “Pray it Forward”.
The ministry of Streetfire has been assisting the poor and homeless population of Middletown, and surrounding areas, for approximately five years. Their church has no walls, their ministry is “out on the streets” providing meals, distributing personal hygiene products, passing out clothing, and preaching spiritual needs on a weekly basis. Streetfire has developed a close relationship with patrons, and we are grateful to be able to help in their mission to reach all who are in need.
The Missions Board, along with volunteers from the congregation, delivers home cooked dinners on Saturday evenings during the year; volunteers to help with “Thursday Night Strike” by providing soup, sandwiches and cookies on appointed Thursday evenings, and informs and work with Streetfire in receiving containers of food from the Portland Senior Center when distribution occurs from FoodShare. When needed, Missions will coordinate a food drive to support this goal of reaching those most vulnerable.
Our next “Thursday Night Strike” will be March 18th, 2021.
God’s Work Our Hands 2021-TBD
At this time the Board of Missions is waiting to determine what God’s Work Our Hands will look like this 2021. Although, even during the Covid-19 Pandemic the Missions Board continues to provide outreach to our community, using our hands to do God’s work.
A little recap of the Inaugural 2019 God’s Work Our Hands Project
Approximately 80 volunteers worshipped in a different way by helping their fellow community members with various projects. At eleven sites throughout Portland volunteers raked leaves, removed brush, cleared flower beds, power washed homes, cleaned out basements and more!! One group of volunteers led songs to residents at Portland Care and Rehabilitation Center. A long time church member visited an old friend who has been unable to leave his home to attend church. Two groups of members met at the church for the sewing projects “Capes of Courage” and “Dress a Girl” which extended their service work beyond our community. Another group prepared a delicious lunch for the hard working volunteers. This provided fellowship and time to discuss how much everyone enjoyed reaching out to our neighbors.
Bringing together those in need with those who can help build a stronger, more unified community. The opportunity for members of the church to work together creates a stronger congregation. The day was enjoyable and rewarding for all involved and the project “God’s Work ~ Our Hands” showed that “church” is not confined to a building. The members of First Congregational Church of Portland hope to provide this helping hand again in the future.