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.
National & Global Mission Projects
From the Lakota 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
Appalachia Service Project (ASP) has served families in Appalachia for over 45 years to 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. First Congregational have participated in home rehabilitation projects with ASP since 2013, with building projects such as: ﬂoor reconstruction and ﬂooring installation, building foundation supports, wheelchair ramp construction, framing rooms, drywall installation, and painting. We work with families to not only repair their homes, but to build caring relationships.
Contact: Valerie Schultz
Back Bay Mission is a community ministry of the United Church of Christ. Located in Biloxi, MS, it serves the Mississippi Gulf Coast and wider church community by faithful witness for social justice and compassionate service to the poor and marginalized. First Congregational has a long history of active participation in the mission. We began taking mission trips to Biloxi on a consistent basis in 1992, and in 2004 we were awarded the Congregational Stewardship Award from The Council for Health and Human Service Ministries for our outstanding support of the mission. We at First Congregational give ongoing support and make an annual mission trip to Biloxi.
Contact: Ken Jahnke
Since 1999, First Congregational has experienced a rich and multi-faceted relationship with the African Inland Churches in Kenya, a denomination deeply engaged in social service. Our church has worked with the denomination 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 though scholarships to go to high school, and empower women through microloans.
Despite a great distance between our two organizations, our Kenya partnership is a close, genuinely mutual effort. We nurture and support each other in numerous ways. Members of First Congregational travel to Kenya regularly, visiting leaders and friends in the area and visiting the Kenya students we support with scholarships. First Congregational also hosts visitors from Kenya to our area whenever the opportunity arises.
Kathryn Kuhn Memorial Fund
The fund was established in memory of Rev. Kathryn Kuhn to support theology and faith formation scholarships for women in Kenya and/or educational support within the Kenya Partnership.
You can listen to some testimonials about Kathryn from her family and friends at the following link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXm1oiUIQIw&t=10s.
If you would like to make a donation to the Kathryn Kuhn Memorial Fund, you can mail a check to the church office and write “Kathryn Kuhn Memorial Fund” on the memo line. You can also donate through Realm (select “Misc” for the fund and type “Kathryn Kuhn Memorial Fund” on the memo line).
Other Featured Programs
Current projects and ministries of our partnership with churches in the Kerio Valley of Kenya include the following:
- Our student sponsorship program for secondary and university students
- Makini pads project addressing the hygiene needs of women and girls
- Funding business training and microloans for women
- Hosting our Kenyan partners when they visit the U.S.
How You Can Help
Donations to the Kenya Partnership are accepted on an ongoing basis. If you wish to designate your donation for a particular mission area, please provide instructions along with your payment. Donations made to the general fund are sent to the Africa Inland Church Council to help them meet local needs as they see fit.
To donate, please click here.
Re-Member, Pine Ridge Reservation
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 continues to develop a growing circle of advocates standing the solidarity with the Indian people of Pine Ridge.”
First Congregational provides opportunities throughout the year 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 intergenerational group from First Congregational travels to Pine Ridge to work on 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.
Contact: Eilene Hoft-March
One Great Hour of Sharing
Financial 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.