For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in.
~ Matthew 25:35
Outreach is a large part of what we do at First Church Congregational, and we always have many opportunities available for all ages. We strive to offer our time, talent and treasures to many people in our surrounding communities who are less fortunate and could benefit from a little extra help.
Back to School Clothes: Working with Methuen Arlington Neighborhood, Inc. (MAN), we help children in need providing sneakers, socks, T shirts, hoodies, underwear, jeans, baseball caps, and backpacks filled with required school supplies.
Bread & Roses: We provide a monthly meal to this soup kitchen in Lawrence. First Church members gather monthly to cook a meal to be delivered to Bread & Roses. All our welcome!
Habitat for Humanity: Two Saturdays, annually, in April and September, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, we assist Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity. A non-profit homebuilder located in Lawrence, MA, it builds simple, affordable, comfortable homes in partnership with people who need them.
Hike for Hope: Each year First Church Congregational walks as a team to put our faith into action by helping poor and homeless people in our community. The Hike for Hope is a 1 to 5-mile walk through Andover that raises money for Capernaum Place, a 20-unit transitional housing facility for families.
Lazarus House Ministries: First Church Congregational has been actively involved with Lazarus House for many years. We have made sandwiches for the soup truck, sponsored Hike for Hope teams, collected winter coats and clothing, worked at the food pantry, cooked meals at the emergency shelter, organized food drives, cleaned up the parking lot, painted the garage doors, and organized the office area at the Good Shepherd Center. Volunteers are welcome. If interested in participating, contact Team Leader, Sue Newton.
Neighbors in Need: Neighbors in Need serves 500 families per week from seven food pantries strategically located throughout the neighborhoods of Lawrence and Methuen. First Church Congregational has a collection bin that accepts donations on a continuous basis with special emphasis on the first Sunday of the month.
Project Bread - The Walk for Hunger: Through its Walk for Hunger, the oldest continual pledge walk in the country (44 years), Project Bread provides millions of dollars each year in privately donated funds to more than 450 emergency food programs in 130 communities statewide, including local organizations Bread and Roses, Lazarus House, and Neighbors-In-Need.
Relay For Life (sponsored by the American Cancer Society): At Relay For Life, teams camp out at the High School track, and for 24 hours members of each team walk or run around the track. Relay happens overnight, because Cancer Never Sleeps! Each team member raises money, and the funds raised through Relay help to create a world with more cancer survivors.
Souper Bowl of Caring: First Church Congregational donations of cash and soup are given to Neighbors-In-Need for distribution to families in Lawrence and Methuen.
Thanksgiving Meals: For this outreach effort, all members and friends of the church are invited to donate items which are boxed and distributed to needy families through Neighbors in Need. Between 50-75 boxes have been collected each time in recent years. A list of items to fill a box containing a complete meal is published, and families are encouraged to fill a box with a complete dinner.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION OUTREACH PROGRAMS
Mitten and Hat Tree: Mittens and hats are collected during November and December for Neighbors in Need.
Gifts from the Sunday School Classrooms: Annually each classroom buys gifts for a local child from a working poor family, usually a single parent home, located in Methuen or Lawrence.
Gifts to the Manger: On the 2nd Sunday of Advent, the Christian Education program invites the entire church to provide gifts that go to DCF in Lawrence and are distributed to local children.
Heifer International: This ‘Pay it Forward’ program raises money to buy animals to help people and villages in need.
M&M’s for Missions: Our High School youth provide participants with a tube of M&M’s. Once all the candy is eaten, the participant then fills the empty tube with quarters over the next 4-5 weeks and returns the tube to the HS youth at church. All money collected goes toward the High School Youth Mission Trip.
Other Programs: Canned food drives, Cereal drive, Fundraisers for Youth Mission Trips; Youth helping at Lazarus House, Youth working for Methuen Clean-up; Youth visiting Nursing Homes, providing toiletry bags to Neighbors in Need; Christian Education has also participated in kits being made when disasters
Enter to Worship – Depart to Serve