First Congregational United Church of Christ’s seeks to reach out with God’s love to ALL people.

We seek to extend an extravagant welcome to ALL God’s children, especially those who feel lost, lonely and left out.  We are committed to this vital ministry as individuals and a church because throughout Scripture God calls us to share God’s presence.  From the Hebrew Scriptures the prophet Micah proclaimed,

God has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?  (Micah 6:8)

The prophet Amos echoed this and added to the vision of God by proclaiming, “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream” (Amos 5:24)

In the New Testament, Jesus embodied justice, love, and peace for all people.  In Luke 4, Jesus’ early sermon, he quotes Isaiah saying: ““The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  Story after story in Jesus’ life leaves an impression of reaching out upon the hearts of those who follow Christ.

There are 5 Great Ways Our Church Reaches out with God’s Love

  1. Participation in SARASOTA PRIDE and Support of Equality Florida, click here to learn more about Equality Florida.

Sarasota Pride FCUCC

2.  At Christmas and Easter we invite the congregation to participate in a Love Offering.

  • Christmas Love Offering: Acting Locally. Each Christmas, our special offering supports local agencies such as food banks, homeless shelters, and child and adult protective programs.
  • Easter Love Offering: Acting Globally. Each Easter, our special offering supports national and international agencies such as hunger and disaster assistance, mission work, international sponsorship programs, and theological education.

3.  We participate in CROP Walk to raise awareness and funds to meet the needs of Hunger around the world and in our own community.  Please click here to read more about CROP

4.  We participate in SURE (Sarasota United for Responsibility and Equity).  This is an Ecumenical Justice Ministry Network of 15 congregations who work together to bring about God’s realm in our community.  Please click here to read more about SURE

Pictures from Community Problems Assembly, October 2015 hosted at First Congregational UCC
Investment Drive Goal AchieversSURE Members react with joy 2

 

 

5.  Giving More Than Just Money. Locally, our church members provided more than 1400 volunteer hours each month to over 54 local agencies.

outreach

“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.   I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.” Matthew 25: 35&36

We at First Congregational United Church of Christ are committed to carrying out God’s will in our world today.   Volunteering is a way to implement part of our church’s mission “to seek justice and offer compassion and forgiveness, embrace and serve all people”

Find out how you can help an organization where other First Congregational UCC members volunteer.

Search for local volunteer opportunities by area of interest on the VolunteerMatch.org database.

Search the 1-800-Volunteer.org database for local volunteer opportunities.

Sarasota’s Friendship Volunteer Center website.

“You must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35

Some organizations we have supported:

All Faiths Food Bank Family Promise
Andover-Newton Theological Seminary Habitat for Humanity
Arts Council of Manatee County Lancaster Theological Seminary
Association of Campus Ministry LIFELINK International Adoptions
Back Bay Mission One Great Hour of Sharing
Bangor Theological Seminary Orchard Place
Bethesda House Resurrection House
Chicago Theological Seminary Riverside Church, Jacksonville
Child Protection Center Samaritan Counseling Services
Church World Service Sarasota United for Responsibility and Equity (SURE)
Community Haven for Adults and Children with Disabilites UCC Christmas Fund
Eden Theological Seminary United Theological Seminary