We at First Congregational United Church of Christ are committed to carrying out God’s will in our world today.
Outreach to a Wider Community
Our service with and in the world happens every day in working with those who are struggling financially, spiritually, and emotionally. We do this with love through our own programs and through our partners in ministry. We invite you to read about the many ways our Christian outreach touches those in our community and beyond.
“…and what does the Lord require of you, oh mortal, but to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” ~ Micah 6:8
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.
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.
Contact the collector to find out how to donate to these programs.
We actively support the Brady Campaign, a nonprofit organization that advocates for gun control and against gun violence. Their goal is to unite people of all identities, races, ethnicities, political bent to create a safer America by cutting gun deaths in half by 2025.
Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community. They recently worked to curb legislation that would have removed important
protections for LGBTQ people and they continue their work for the education and safety of all.
Family Promise of Sarasota helps homeless children and their families find and keep sustainable, independent housing. First Congregational UCC is proud to be a rotating host with other congregations in the area, providing lodging and meals for eligible families one week at a time.
Project 180 Reentry
“Building Communities, not Prisons”
Project 180 is the newest member of our outreach network. Its mission is to reintegrate formerly incarcerated citizens to community life. Many of these men have nothing when released. The Project works with qualified men to provide education, financial literacy, food, jobs, clothes, housing and other needs so they do not have to return to unsuitable environments or criminal activity. They recently added a second residential home to Nick’s house which served 6 men. Their new initiative is First Week Out that is to provide what is immediately needed by the newly released to be successful in entering the community.
All Faith's Food Bank
All Faiths Food Bank is the area’s largest hunger relief organization providing nutritious food to those in need. In January, 2021, we launched our partnership with All Faith’s Food Bank to make the church campus available for their food distribution once a month. Find out more about how the food is stored and distributed and how you can get involved by clicking on their Facebook page:
Giving means more than just money. Locally, our church members’ outreach to the community through volunteering consists of more than 1400 volunteer hours each month to over 54 local agencies. Please join us in the spirit of giving of our time and talent by searching for local volunteer opportunities by area of interest on the VolunteerMatch.org database.
Each month we recruit volunteers to help with setting up, serving the dinner, and cleaning up. We also invite volunteers to bake dessert for the meal.
Started by First Congregational UCC and four other local churches Resurrection House is a non-profit, faith-based organization serving as a day resource center to the homeless of Sarasota County, Florida.
Their range of services includes showers, restrooms, laundry, counseling, medical treatment, food, clothing, veteran’s assistance, post office, phone and many more. Since the founding of Resurrection House in 1989, they have seen over 30,000 individual clients.
Several people from First Congregational UCC volunteer weekly at Resurrection House as counselors, front desk assistants, data enterers and helpers in the laundry section and clothing room.
The church is also a committed supporter of Resurrection House through its Christmas Love offering.
Our Church's Wider Mission
Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM) supports the ministry and mission of the Florida Conference United Church of Christ as well as the National setting of our denomination. Our financial gift to OCWM helps support staff, churches in ministry transitions, and supporting congregations in sharing God’s love. Just as members because of their love of the local church, we give beyond our walls to share God’s love across the state and country. Please click here to read more:
Our Church’s Wider Mission Basic Support