Gleaning

On Saturday, March 15th, we are going to join Christians Reaching Out to Society in gleaning a local field. Gleaning is when people go into a field and collect produce that has been missed or intentionally left. That produce is then distributed to agencies that feed the hungry. It is a practice that has been in place ever since Biblical times Mark your calendar for this opportunity to make a difference!

You can find information on C.R.O.S.’s gleaning ministry here.

Watch a piece from WPTV Channel 5 here.

And let us know if you will be joining us!

 

February Food Drive

crosfooddrivebanner

February is one of our months to collect food for the C.R.O.S. Ministries Pantry.

CROS Ministries collaborates with people of different faiths and organizations to create solutions to the unmet needs of people in our community. One of the ways they do this is through food pantries located throughout Palm Beach County.

The greatest needs are for canned meats, macaroni and cheese, rice, dry beans, and peanut butter. You can bring in your donations all during the month of February.

 

 

Christmas Offering 2013

Thank you church! Together we gave $4,700 to the Christmas offering this year, bringing the Good News in a very, very practical way to our community!

 

Dear Church Family,

I am more excited writing this Christmas letter to than I ever have been before. First of all, let me thank you for your incredible faithfulness in returning a portion of the gifts with which God has entrusted you to First Congregational United Church of Christ. In 2013, we have covered all of our expenses for the year. We have officially moved from surviving to thriving!

Your faithfulness and generosity, along with the careful stewardship of the resources entrusted to our church by our staff and volunteer leadership allow us to look beyond ourselves to our community to see how we can join the work God is doing in Palm Beach County. To that end, we have decided that our Christmas offering will be different this year. Every penny of our offering will go outside our doors and into the community. Our goal for this offering is $3000.

We will be contributing to the following organizations:

Adopt-a-Family

We will be participating in Adopt-a-Family’s Holiday Adopter Program. Adopt-a-Family is dedicated to restoring families in crisis to stability and self-sufficiency by providing access to all-encompassing services to families and their children. We will be supporting one of their families with food and gifts for Christmas.

American Legion

We will be helping to support the family of a veteran. The father was in the Army Infantry and served in both Iraq and Afganistan. He was seriously injured by an IED and suffered a traumatic brain injury and PTSD. The help he receives from the VA takes time and is not always sufficient. He, his wife and his two small boys, ages 3 and 5, could use our help with their care here at home. He has been receiving some help locally from the American Legion and through them the “Stand-Down House”. His wife now has a job, but no car, so uses the bus, and his children are in day care.

P.E.A.C.E

People Engaged in Active Community Efforts (PEACE) is an organization of religious congregations and groups which are working together to solve critical community problems. We are not a service provider, but a grassroots, direct action, multi-issue organization, which has come together to be a powerful force for improving the quality of life in our communities. Recent projects for PEACE have included improvements in alternative education and shining a light on wage theft issues in Palm Beach County. In 2014, our church will be participating as a congregation in this organization

CROS Ministries

Christians Reaching Out to Society is an organization in our community that reaches out to the poor and marginalized in Palm Beach County. We will be giving specifically to their Summer Camp program.

Back Bay Mission Trip

In May of 2014, we are sending a team to the United Church of Christ’s Back Bay Mission for a week to help in the continued recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina in Biloxi, Mississippi. We will help defray the costs of those that are going.

I cannot wait to see how God will provide for these needs through the generosity of First
Congregational United Church of Christ. We will be receiving this offering through January 12, 2014. You can use the enclosed envelope to bring your gift to church or give online by going to www.fcclw.org/giving.

Don’t forget that we will be in the Lake Worth Christmas Parade on December 14th and that we will be gathering to worship together at 7:00 PM on Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas!

Peace,

Signature

Rev. Jason Fairbanks, Pastor

We Went Gleaning!

On Saturday, March 2nd, 20 members and friends of First Congregational United Church of Christ headed out to Bedner’s farm in western Delray to pick green peppers.

Gleaning is a biblical initiative that involves volunteers picking produce from farmers’ fields that have been left from commercial harvesting methods. The food is distributed through the Food Recovery Program, operated by Village Baptist Church and the Palm Beach County Food Bank, to local agencies that work to feed the hungry in our community.

Keith Cutshall, CROS gleaning coordinator, explained that in earlier times when food was grown closer to where people lived, farmers would intentionally leave produce behind in the field for those who needed it. As farming became industrialized and removed from close proximity to communities that was no longer possible. Keith explained that the CROS gleaning program and our participation in it served as a bridge between available produce and those who need it.

We plan on gleaning once more this season, probably in May. Keep an eye out so you can participate in this vital, fun ministry!

Michelle

Kyle

Steve

Trish, Emerson & Jason

Grace & Bobbi

Cathy and Carla

Jill

Group

Pat and Michelle

Loading the Truck

Steve

Suzanne

Carla

Sergio

Maria

Ilene

Souper Bowl Sunday

souperbowlthumbNext Sunday, February 3rd, is “Souper Bowl Sunday.” Bring your extra change to donate to C.R.O.S. Ministries. Who will collect the most? The Baltimore Ravens or the San Francisco 49ers?

And of course, everyone is invited to join us for the famous tailgate party after the worship service where we trade our donuts for buffalo wings, chili, and nachos and celebrate together. This is always a great week to invite your friends to experience the hospitality of First Congregaitonal United Church of Christ. We will see you Sunday!

Habitat for Humanity Workday

habitatthumbOn Saturday, January 19, 2013, 10 of us participated in a Habitat for Humanity workday right here in Lake Worth. Janet, Steve, Meredith, Patricia, Carla, Craig, Ilene, Jimmy, Paul, and Nancy painted- and still have the spatters to show for it. Thank you, gang, for being the body of Christ in our community!

 

 

 

Steve and Patricia

Hands

Ilene Painting

Jimmy Painting

Bobbi Painting

Nancy and Carla

Carla and Nancy Painting

Paul Painting

Meredith Painting

Craig Painting

Group 1

Group 2

A Great First “Paint Your Heart Out!”

On Saturday, October 4th, a group from our church made a difference in a neighbor’s life by joining “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” and “Paint Your Heart Out Palm Beach County” and volunteers from across the city in painting a house of someone in need. We used recycled paint donated by the Solid Waste Authority. And, as you can see, it was beautiful recycled paint!

In just two hours, we made a difference in someone’s life, had a great time together, got to know some other difference-makers in our community, and began a great relationship with organizations that take the word “neighbor” seriously by helping those who need it in our community. See the pictures below!

 

desiree painting

Jimmy painting

anthony painting 2

paint your heart out

key lime green

Jim

Marty

Jimmy and Lynne

Anthony and Desiree

Michael

2012 C.R.O.S. Walk

Founded in 1977, C.R.O.S. Ministries is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization collaborating with people of different faiths and organizations to create solutions to the unmet needs of people in our community.

C.R.O.S. is supported by churches, synagogues, community groups, and private individuals throughout Palm Beach County, all of whom share a common goal. The goal of the CROS Walk is to raise funds for C.R.O.S. programs: providing a secure food source for families and individuals struggling to make ends meet and on the verge of
homelessness. All services are offered free of charge without race, religion, national origin, marital status, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or age.

This year, First Congregational United Church of Christ is once again participating in the CROS walk. We are encouraging you to participate by walking, pledging, and/or praying. Of course, you can certainly do all three. If you would like to walk see Pastor Jason or Janet Lisle for a pledge envelope. To pledge, you can find a walker or head to our donation page to sponsor a walker.

Registration for the walk begins at 2:30 and we start walking at 3:00 from Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown West Palm BEach.

Paint Your Heart Out, Lake Worth!

On Saturday, October 6th, from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM, we will be joining other volunteers from our community to paint the home of a family in need. Through “Paint Your Heart Out, Palm Beach County” low-income residents apply to have their homes painted. The paint is recycled and provided by the Solid Waste Authority and the labor is donated by volunteers. So by participating in this project, we are

  • Helping someone in need
  • Helping to beautify our community
  • Utilizing paint that might otherwise end up in a landfill or our water supply
  • Allowing other people in our community to meet the warmest, friendliest people in Lake Worth

So you can see it is a win-win-win-win situation and a great way to share God’s love with our community in a practical, transforming way. Children must me 12 or older to participate with a parent or guardian and 15 or older to come by themselves.

Contact Pastor Jason if you are interested in participating. You can download a copy of the volunteer form here.

Food Drive

September is one of our opportunities to support the ministry of Christians Reaching Out to Society by bringing in food for their pantry. C.R.O.S. ministries serves the churches of Palm Beach County by helping us with our ministry of caring for the poor and marginalized.

Since the beginning of 2012, the number of people seeking food assistance from CROS food pantries has increased from 2,905 in January to 4,383 in July, an increase of 51%. However, while their pantry numbers have risen this year, their USDA food allocations and food donations have decreased considerably.

Please consider bringing some of the following items to our worship services in September to help replenish the C.R.O.S. food pantries:

Peanut Butter

Macaroni and Cheese

Tuna Fish (or other canned meats)

1 lb. bags of beans

Rice