These are the Mission Partners we support in hours of volunteer service, donations and within our budget.
Our Church’s Wider Mission
Habitat for Humanity
Isaiah 58 Ministries
Joint Neighborhood Ministries
Grace Peace Women’s Shelter
Evangelical Children’s Home
St Louis Association
First Church Youth Mission Group
UCC congregations are involved with mission in many ways. In the United Church of Christ, we affirm that, although the congregation is the fundamental unit of mission, mission is not just local. We are connected to one another, across boundaries of neighborhood, class, race, and national border.
Part of the Church’s budget, evaluated in the Mission and Outreach Committee, goes to OCWM to provide the following:
Neighborhood Houses has been a mission of the St. Louis UCC church since 1913. It is a Community centered faith-based organization to strengthen children, families and communities through literacy programs, after school programs, daycare and educational outreach programs.
Neighborhood Houses runs 3 Community Centers in at-risk neighborhoods in St. Louis, providing safe places for children and youth to participate in fun, educational, recreational and cultural activities. They have a particularly outstanding Literacy Program in the After School Program. Families receive support through food pantries, thrift shops and the Health NOW Parish Nurse program.
First Congregational Church supports Neighborhood Houses as one of its targeted missions and outreach effort. We collect food for their Food Pantries on a rotating basis and volunteer with them in outreach efforts. Our church has a deep involvement with Neighborhood Houses with one of our members serving as Ambassador for Neighborhood Houses within our congregation to promote and another member serving on the Neighborhood Houses Board.
Click here to learn more about this fantastic organization
“First Congregational Church is one of the churches in the city/county Ecumenical group which has sponsored and built a house for a number of years. This association and cooperative effort is part of my satisfaction; the camaraderie shared while working side by side with energetic and talented co-workers is a real pleasure. As I enjoy working with tools and doing construction work, Habitat has provided me with the opportunity to volunteer for an excellent cause producing concrete results……….Projects with measurable results, such as providing suitable housing along with educational support in finances and maintenance allows our church to reach out and contribute to the larger community in a caring and positive way. This will be my 5th year with Habitat.”
“If every man knew what I know about the spirit of giving, he would not let another meal pass without sharing it in some way.” Dalai Lama
Each month, our Church collects food to donate to 3 Ministries: Food Outreach, Isaiah 58 and Neighborhood Houses.
Isaiah 58 Ministries serves the South St. Louis area with a food pantry and programs for the youth and the needed. It has been supported by First Congregational Church for a few years now and has become a regular outreach effort for us in a few times throughout the year . Volunteers meet to go work in their Food Pantry – this is an opportunity for families in St. Louis to volunteer and to get involved. The kids as young as 2 can have something to do in this effort and it is a tradition with us now.
” Signing up to work at the Isaiah 58 Food Pantry is still on my mind 8 months after the event. My two boys continue to talk about it as well. 14 FIRST CHURCH church members met at Isaiah 58 the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Ray, the director, met us at the door with a big smile and gratitude. In only 1 1/2 hours we put together 150 bags for him to hand out for the holiday. We used the food he had in stock but also had brought a lot with us.There were about 10 kids with us, with even Gunnar passing out the pasta.When we were finished, we restocked his shelves and cleaned up the area. All left with a very satisfied warm feeling that we’d helped this community, helped Ray who does such amazing work and taught ourselves and our children that in fact it’s true…giving is receiving. Join us next Thanksgiving!”
Janice Linehan (FIRST CHURCH Member)
Founded in 1988, Food Outreach is the only St. Louis area-organization focused on providing nutritional support to men, women and children living with cancer or HIV/AIDS. The Board of Directors, staff and volunteers of Food Outreach have made it their mission to enhance clients’ quality of life through proper nutrition. Food Outreach and its volunteers prepare and deliver nutritious meals, provide groceries, and offer nutritional counseling to persons infected with either HIV/AIDS disease or trying to survive cancer. Clients choose meals from a menu developed by a registered dietitian with recipes created specifically for the needs of people living with these life-threatening diseases. Their food helps clients tolerate treatments and makes certain medications work like they should. First Congregational Church contributes regularly to their food pantry donations and works in their kitchen and grocery. This organization has become one that is a particular passion of certain members in our congregation. Please visit them at http://www.foodoutreach.org
Beyond Housing’s mission is to strengthen neighborhoods, one family at a time. They do this by providing affordable housing, helping families achieve and sustain homeownership, fostering the well-being of families, and identifying and addressing neighborhood needs. The principal functions through which they deliver products and services in the core business content areas include Service-Enriched Rental Housing, Homeownership Services, and Community Building.
For over 30 years, two of the region’s most prominent non-profit organizations, Beyond Housing and Neighborhood Housing Services, have helped low-income families establish economic independence. Established in 1980 to address the need for affordable rental housing for large, low-income families, Beyond Housing had much in common with Neighborhood Housing Services of St. Louis, which began in 1975 as an organization focused on revitalizing St. Louis neighborhoods. In January 2003 when these separate organizations recognized their similar philosophies, approaches, and target audiences, they merged under the name that encompasses both organizations’ former missions: Beyond Housing.
First Congregational participates in adopting families through Beyond Housing at Christmas Time with our “Giving Tree” project and in the Summer in their annual Streetscape project.
Joint Neighborhood Ministries - A Ministry of Justice, Compassion and Love
Their Mission is to promote the transition of families toward greater independence, by providing Christian-based, supplemental and emergency support services and educational programming to an “at risk” population.
Since 1966, Joint Neighborhood Ministry has delivered help and hope to low-income families. They provide a Food Pantry and Clothing Room for families in the in the South St. Louis area. Over half of their clients are children and families with an average income of $600 per month (or less) for a family of four.
Evangelical Children’s Home
In 1858, Reverend Louis Nollau accepted the first child in the German Protestant Orphan’s Home with the goal to offer children a place where they could heal and feel safe. Today, 150 years later and now known as ECH, we are still striving to keep Reverend Nollau’s dream alive.
In the last 10 years, they have continued to expand our services with an entire array of programs that work with children and families in their own communities, while maintaining our residential treatment program on our historic Rock Road campus. The goal of these community support programs is designed to assist families early in their children’s lives to prevent future serious problems. Their community based services include: The Family Reunification Services, Family Focused Residential Services, Intensive In-Home Services and Foster Care Management.
There are over 60 Missouri Mid-South Conference United Church of Christ congregations in the greater St. Louis Metro area. You can find UCC churches in the urban, suburban, small town and even rural settings within this 30 mile radius. Most congregations offer traditional worship services each Sunday, and several have added a contemporary service that may include drama and different types of music such as praise, jazz, and rock. There is also a great range of history among the churches with some congregations proclaiming over 100 years of ministry and others just getting started.
We have a variety of activities throughout the year that are fun and help to raise money for the annual Mission Trip as well as other youth events throughout the year. Our annual events include the Pancake Breakfast, Dog and Car Wash and Apple Pie sales. We invest in our youth!