Outreach Team

Christ has no body now on earth but yours. 
Yours are the eyes through which he looks with compassion on this world. 
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good, 
and yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.
-Teresa of Avila

At First Church we understand that we truly are the body of Christ, and our outreach missions reflect our belief in showing kindness and compassion to all of God’s creation. There are countless ways to get involved in the outreach work of First Church — whether you want to serve hot meals to your neighbors or build houses for those who desperately need them, your hands are needed here! First Church Outreach is involved in helping people who struggle with food insecurity and homelessness, and we are particularly involved in working for equity and social justice. These are a few of the organizations that First Church members actively support:

Covenant to Care: Fill a Backpack!
The backpacks are coming…the backpacks are coming! It’s hard to believe we are thinking about “back to school” already! Look for a backpack to take and fill for one of our Covenant to Care children starting on July 31st. There will be age/grade appropriate suggestion cards included with each backpack. Backpacks are due back to church by August 21st! Your support is appreciated. -Janice and Carole

Hunger doesn’t take a vacation

Without school-provided meals, many parents won’t be able to afford 2 extra meals per day and children will go hungry.  To help, make a financial contribution to Connecticut Food Share (Donation Form – Foodshare – Foodshare (convio.net)  or the Town That Cares (Food Pantry – Town of West Hartford (westhartfordct.gov), or bring food items to church and place in the blue buckets for distribution to the West Hartford Food Pantry or Loaves & Fishes.  Thank you!

The Outreach Team.

Covenant to Care provides a chance to impact the lives of families and children at risk through First Church’s relationship with an area social worker. Throughout the year we collect food, clothing, furniture and household items from First Church members and friends. Four major collections include: baskets at Easter, backpacks in September, food baskets at Thanksgiving, and warm clothing and gifts at Christmas. The generous and willing spirit of First Church reaches into the community, offering help or aid and striving to make a difference.

July 2022: The Outreach Team is looking for more help with our Covenant to Care program. Some team members are retiring and we are creating a new team that together will oversee the four major collections First Church provides for the families in Covenant to Care. If you are interested in helping, please contact Jennifer Clark or Ginny Vocelli, Outreach Co-chairs. Thank you.

 

Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance (GHIAA) a broad-based social justice initiative piloted by the Center for Leadership and Justice. GHIAA is comprised of over 40 churches, synagogues, mosques, and meeting houses, creating a diverse organization of lay leaders and clergy from across bounds of race, class, gender identity, religion, and geography. GHIAA builds relational power in local communities to address social justice issues. GHIAA’s current campaigns are focused on the areas of Criminal Justice Reform, Education, Gun Violence, Healthcare, and Housing.

The Festival of Trees is a community event on the first Thursday evening of December at which the Outreach team raffles off decorated Christmas trees donated by local businesses, residents, and members and friends of First Church. A cadre of cookie-bakers donate hundreds of cookies for guests to nibble as they stroll among the festive trees. Director of Music Jim Boratko and the First Church Gallery Singers provide a holiday soundtrack for the event, which raises over $10,000 for area charities.

Hands-on Service Projects such as assembling meals for Harvest Pack; picking apples for local soup kitchens; making no-sew blankets; and collecting baby-care items for infants of refugee families.

Loaves and Fishes, a local soup kitchen, provides warm meals and a safe place to eat for Hartford residents. Once a month First Church volunteers work with Loaves and Fishes staff to serve a hot meal. First Church members and friends also regularly donate grocery items for Loaves and Fishes’ “meals-to-go” program.

Communications Team. The Communications team is a branch of the Outreach Ministry, and is charged with spotlighting what goes on here at First Church. We employ many avenues to communicate and market our mission and events to the community and to our membership. As the world of social media evolves, we do our best to evolve with it! Church members who have an interest in marketing are invited to check out the Communications Team!