Our congregation is committed to reaching out to our global neighbors. We are partners with two United Church of Christ Global Ministries Missionaries:
Nicole Betteridge, a member of the Decorah, Iowa, UCC who has served for a year in Vientiane, Laos, teaching English to children. We look forward to a visit from Nicole when she is back in Iowa in 2014. Nicole was featured in the Global Ministries 2014 Prayer Calendar. She wrote this prayer for Laos:
Loving God, as we reflect on the year past and the new one ahead, we are reminded of your presence and abundant blessings in our lives. Thank you God, for peace and strength in times of stress, uncertainty, and sadness. Thank you for rejoicing gladness and laughter in the moments we share with those we love. Gracious God, be with the beautiful land and Lao people, specifically the Lao Evangelical Church. Guide the children as they carry out Lao traditions bringing light into the future of this developing community. Build in them a tolerance and acceptance for differences. Remind them -through you – we are one. Bring wisdom, wholeness, and clarity to members of the Lao Evangelical Church as they plan, educational Bible workshops, youth camps, worship services, church leadership meetings. Be with them as they join in youth fellowship and fun, celebrate new beginnings in births and weddings and during times of illness and death. Holy provider, we ask for clean water in the rural villages of Laos. Remind the Lao people they are not alone in their challenges and times of need. Through Christ, we accomplish far more in the community than alone. In all these things, we pray, Amen.
To read Nicole’s blog postings, click here.
Bruce Van Voorhis, our newest Global Ministries partner, is serving in southeast Asia. Bruce works at the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs (APAY) office in Hong Kong.
In 2013 our church participated in Mission 4/1 Earth, a denomination-wide project encouraging church members to take part in environmental events. Our congregation met our goal of volunteering 430 hours, planting 10 trees, and writing 10 letters of environmental advocacy.
Each year, we participate in the five Special Denominational Offerings that the UCC sponsors: Neighbors in Need, Christmas Fund, One Great Hour of Sharing, Strengthen the Church and Our Church’s Wider Mission. This participation earns us the designation of a “5 in 5 Church.”
–Other National Projects
Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a Christian nonprofit hunger relief organization that provides food to help communities in developing countries become self-sustaining. FMSC’s approach is simple: volunteers hand pack scientifically designed meals, which are shipped to partners in nearly 70 countries and used to run orphanages, clinics, schools, missions, and community feeding programs. Our congregation has participated in a 2-day Mobile Pack event every June since 2013.
CROP Hunger Walks are community-wide events sponsored by Church World Service and organized by local congregations or groups to raise funds to end hunger at home and around the world. Our congregation participates annually in the local walk, one of more than 1,600 CROP Hunger Walks across the United States. More than five million CROP Hunger Walkers have participated in more than 36,000 CROP Hunger Walks in the last two decades alone.
Canstruction hosts competitions, exhibitions and events showcasing colossal structures made entirely out of full cans of food. After the structures are built, the creations go on display to the public as a giant art exhibition. At the end of the event, all food is donated to local hunger relief organizations. Canstruction exhibits have helped raise over 21 million pounds of food since 1992. Canstruction events are held annually in over 150 cities around the world including North America, Australia, South America, Europe and Asia. FCC’s youth group has participated in this event for many years.