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.

For the dates of our upcoming trip, see Service Travel or check the Mission & Service Calendar.

Website: www.asphome.org

Contact: Valerie Schultz

Back Bay Mission

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.

For the dates of our upcoming trip, see Service Travel or check the Mission & Service Calendar.

Website: www.thebackbaymission.org

Contact: Ken Jahnke

Kenya Partnership

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 and educate children though scholarships to go to high school.

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.

Watch our Kenya Partnership Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6osXhEg_4Ho

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).

1st Woman Theology Student Receives Kathryn Kuhn Memorial Scholarship

Beatrice Kaino of Kasui village, Kerio Valley, Kenya, has been chosen as the first student to receive Kathryn’s scholarship. She is pursuing a diploma in pastoral and theological studies, a three-year program, at Kapsowar School of theology in Kapsowar, Kenya. She was recommended by her church pastor, principal of the school of theology and Rev Samuel Chepkonga (one of the founding leaders of our Kenya partnership). The scholarship will pay for her tuition and board for three years.

Beatrice (36 yrs old) is married to Mark Kemboi, mother of Meschack (grade 4) and Joy (pre-K), aunt and caregiver for nieces and nephews. She participates in many activities of her local church and as a member of the praise and worship team.

From Beatrice’s statement of faith: “My hope is to see that the word of God reaches various places and turns people to God. Also to uplift the vulnerable to their standard of living after the course of this ministry, the way I have been lifted up and meet my call.”

From Rev Chepkonga: “Beatrice is excited to become a church minister, inclined to working with women, youth and children. I saw in her a hardworking team worker at church and in the community. I shared about Kathryn’s legacy and that any recipient needs to maintain a high legacy.”

Our hearts are filled with joy as we begin to know Beatrice. Her love and kindness are already apparent as is her enthusiasm to pursue her calling as a woman of faith.

Other Featured Programs

Current projects and ministries of our partnership with churches in the Kerio Valley of Kenya include the following:

  • Our student scholarship program for secondary and university students
  • Monetary donations to provide soap and sanitary supplies for the students
  • 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.

Contacts: Wanda Van De Hey, Aimee Eubank

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.

For the dates of our upcoming trip, see Service Travel or check the Mission & Service Calendar.

Read about our 2019 visit to Pine Ridge.

Website: www.re-member.org

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.

Website: onegreathourofsharing.org