Our mission and service teams get involved in issues such as education, poverty, hunger, shelter, healthcare, equality, transportation and more at the local, national and international levels. Please contact Pastor Kathryn Kuhn, Pastor for Congregational Life and Missions, with questions.

Local Mission Projects

We engage with the local community in a variety of ways through not-for-profit organizations and projects. If you see a group or project that interests you as you scroll through the list, please contact the leader about how to get involved.

ESTHER: Empowerment, Solidarity, Truth, Hope, Equality, Reform

ESTHER is an interfaith organization that builds community and works on justice issues that affect the Fox Valley. ESTHER’s task forces work on immigration, prison reform, transportation.

Immigration Task Force

Primarily addressing the needs of the Latino population, this group considers both the comprehensive national picture and local issues such as driver’s licenses and higher education.

Transportation Task Force

This task force addresses issues impacting public transportation in the Fox Valley area.

Prison Reform & ROC WI Task Force

This group is part of the statewide ROC WI (Restore Our Communities), a campaign calling for change in the Wisconsin prison system.

Visit esther-foxvalley.org for meeting locations and times.

Contacts: Sara Companik, Rev. Maynard E. Beemer

Fox Valley Warming Shelter

The Fox Valley Warming Shelter welcomes homeless men and women into their facility, where staff and volunteers address guests’ basic needs of food and shelter while providing them guidance towards self-sufficiency. Our congregation provides meals and volunteers for 1-2 weeks during each calendar year.

Website: www.foxvalleywarmingshelter.org

Contacts: Leigh Grube, Amy Lewis

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat aims to eliminate substandard housing for low-income families by working in partnership to build simple, affordable homes. First Congregational participates in building crews, provides financial support and has joined in the annual Interfaith Builds since their inception in 2012.

Carpentry experience is welcome but not required! There are many options available to interested volunteers, such as registering workers, providing food for workers or assembling housewarming gifts.

Website: www.foxcitieshabitat.org

Contact: Tim DeHart

Homeless Connections

Homeless Connections provides safe temporary shelter and guidance for homeless people in the Fox Valley. We at First Congregational provide financial support and encourage members to volunteer at the shelter.

Twice each year, the church participates in E2F (Empty-to-Full), an opportunity for the congregation to provide meals for the residents of Homeless Connections. Each spring and fall, disposable pans with recipes are available at the end of Sunday worship You can take one home, make the recipe, and return it to church the following Sunday. Check the Mission & Service Calendar for the next E2F event.

Website: homelessconnections.net

Contact: Cindi MacSwain

LEAVEN

LEAVEN is a local mission that provides emergency assistance related to housing, food utilities and transportation. Many people in the congregation volunteer weekly.

Website: www.leavenfoxcities.org

Contact: Faith Mauk

Plant-a-Row for the Hungry

This community garden project provides fresh produce for local food pantries and Homeless Connections. In 2017, the garden produced more than a dozen different types of fruits and vegetables and ended the season with a total harvest of 4,300 pounds.

Volunteers are needed to grow seedlings, set up the drip irrigation system, plant, weed, harvest and deliver produce. No experience is needed, just a desire to help with this valuable ministry. Volunteers are needed to commit to working at the garden on a weekly basis for two to three hours.

The Plant-a-Row garden project was founded by Dr. Jack Harris, who was committed to providing fresh, nutritious food to people in our community who are struggling. In 2015, First Congregational introduced two raised beds on the church property in addition to the large ¼-acre garden we maintain off site.

Contacts: Lori Dougherty, Mark Dougherty

Prayer Shawl Ministry

The Prayer Shawl Ministry group uses the gifts of knitting and crocheting to embrace others with care and reach out to the wider community. Recently they have worked with Samaritan Counseling Center, Casa Clare and the Center for Grieving Children to provide shawls to both children and adults in need of support.

Join us to experience God’s loving presence at the monthly meetings and build fellowship with each other. Over one thousand shawls have been given since the program began.

Check the Mission & Service Calendar for the next meeting.

Website: www.shawlministry.com

Contact: Helen McKean

Project NOAHH

Project NOAHH’s mission (Neighbors Offering A Helping Hand) is to improve the quality of life for children and families involved with the Outagamie County Department of Health and Human Services. Among other things, we build bunk beds. This is a positive way to build camaraderie while working together to fulfill our mission to serve others in our own community.

Contacts: Pat HauserTony Hinden

Samaritan Counseling Center of the Fox Valley

The Samaritan Counseling Center facilitates emotional healing for those with financial need, regardless of faith background, so that they may more fully develop their relationships with self, others and God. Volunteer work on committees, fundraising and special projects is sometimes needed. Financial support opportunities are also available.

Website: www.samaritan-counseling.com

Contact: Tom Tatlock

Service Sunday

Each spring (usually June), we hold a special morning of brief worship, community service projects and sharing for all ages. This is a great opportunity for families to work on service projects together!

Check the Mission & Service Calendar for this year’s Service Sunday.

Contact: Pastor Kathryn Kuhn