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National and Global Community
From the Lakotan Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to the Kerio Valley of Kenya, we support missions that bring opportunity and empowerment to people of all cultures. We show our support through local action, mission trips and financial contributions.
Appalachia Service Project (ASP) has served families in Appalachia for over 45 years. They provide warmer, safer and drier homes for those in need, and they do it with the help of volunteers who are encouraged to interact with the families they serve, listen to their stories and learn about their lives, struggles and hopes.
A group from First Congregational worked with ASP at the Jonesville, VA site in spring 2014 and has committed future work trips through the organization.
The Bethlehem Partnership is committed to prayerfully and financially supporting the life and ministries of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem and the Kiyar Consortium, the mission arm of the Bethlehem congregation. The Partnership is invested in education about the humanitarian issues of occupation, building relationships between UCC members in Wisconsin and people in the Bethlehem community, and promoting justice.
The Southwest Association of the Wisconsin Conference UCC has had a partnership with Christmas Lutheran Church since 2004. The Association is now seeking the support and engagement of other churches in the Conference with the possibility of pursuing a Conference-wide partnership. First Congregational is exploring becoming part of this partnership. Two members of our church traveled to Palestine and Israel in the spring of 2015, along with others from the Wisconsin Conference UCC. The wider UCC is launching an eighteen-month “Middle East initiative” beginning July 2015. Opportunities will be available during this time to share, learn and advocate.
Website: Memorial UCC, Fitchburg, WI
Your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) enable the United Church of Christ to be God’s hands and feet in the world, to help when disaster strikes, to make clean water more accessible and to offer training so that families can be self-sustaining. Gifts to OGHS bring hope in places of despair and heartache. More than 60 percent of the offering supports international development initiatives, including annual support for our missionaries working in healthcare, education and agricultural development. OGHS offerings also assist with refugee and immigration advocacy.
The Africa Inland Churches in Kenya are heavily engaged in social service. Since 1999, First Congregational has experienced a rich and multi-faceted relationship with this denomination, working with it and the Kerio Valley District Church Council to improve quality of life in the western region of Kenya. Our missions in Kenya are enacted through the development and support of programs that encourage spiritual growth, educate children, empower women and increase access to adequate medical care.
Despite a great distance between our two organizations, First Congo's Kenya partnership has been incredibly close. Members of First Congregational travel to Kenya on a biannual basis, visiting leaders in the area and the people whom we support. First Congo also graciously hosts visitors to our area whenever the opportunity arises.
The Kenyan partnership is a genuinely mutual effort between our two organizations. We nurture, inspire and support each other in numerous ways.
Re-Member is an independent, non-profit organization that serves the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The organization seeks “to improve the quality of reservation life through relationships, shared resources and volunteer services. Through site visits and cultural immersion, [Re-Member] continue[s] to develop a growing circle of advocates standing in solidarity with the Indian people of Pine Ridge.”
First Congregational provides opportunities throughout the year for us to learn about life on an American Indian reservation and increase our awareness of issues that the Oglala Lakota people face. Every August since 2012, a small group from First Congo has made the trip out to Pine Ridge to work on a number of outreach projects across the Reservation. Volunteers work in teams with Re-Member staff to build bunk beds, repair roofs, insulate mobile homes and help with various projects that support the mission of building relationships with the Oglala Lakota people and giving back to Pine Ridge.