In Our World
First Congregational Church supports all five global mission offerings received by the national United Church of Christ.
- Our Churches Wider Mission (OCWM), part of the annual budget, supports the work of the conference and the national church, including Global Ministries which supports missionaries, international social and economic development, disaster response worldwide, refugee resettlement, coordination of volunteer opportunities, and Justice Ministries, which supports economic justice, racial justice, peace ministries and social responsibility of corporations.
- Veterans of the Cross, a budgeted item, supports low-income retired UCC ministers and staff and their surviving spouses with supplements to small pensions, emergency grants and subsidies for health plans.
- Neighbors in Need is a special offering the UCC takes on Worldwide Communion Sunday. One-third goes to the Council on Native American Ministries. The offering also supports organizations that provide direct aid to people: feeding the hungry, teaching people how to read, helping prisoners after their release, providing services to immigrants, giving a home to the homeless. It also supports the national church’s Justice and Witness Ministry that speaks out for justice and peace and works to get at the root causes of poverty, injustice and conflict.
- Strengthen the Church, one of four special mission offerings within the UCC, grows the UCC's future by: funding new church starts and invigorating existing congregations; nurturing lay and pastoral leadership; building youth and young adult ministries; and supporting the God is Still Speaking Ministry and its extravagant welcome for all within the United Church of Christ.
- One Great Hour of Sharing is an interdenominational offering that supports partners in more than 138 countries. The UCC puts 60% into development initiatives, helping to provide clean water and food, education and health care, and small business micro-credits. OGHS also supports domestic and international ministries for disaster preparedness and response and refugee resettlement and advocacy. Out of every dollar, 91 cents is used directly on mission. First Congregational Church is proud to be among the top 100 UCC congregations in terms of giving to this offering.
First Congregational supports Church World Service (CWS), which works with partners to eradicate hunger and poverty and to promote peace and justice around the world. CWS aims to respond to food and safe shelter needs for the most vulnerable and to increase communities' resilience through strengthening livelihoods; increasing the efficiency of irrigation systems; boosting agricultural production; and increasing household access to water.
Eau Claire Global Market
First Congregational Church sponsored its first “global market” in November 2016, promoting handcrafted gifts with a mission. More than 20 vendors sold more than $25,000 worth of merchandise from all over the world; proceeds supported artisans as well as numerous health, education, and sustainable development projects.
Haiti Allies, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, and affiliated with the Wisconsin conference whose mission is to: “help empower Haitians to better their lives and country through education, meal programs, adult literacy, and job creation. We also lead group trips to Haiti to foster relationships with our Haitian partners and to learn from the wisdom and spirit of the Haitian people.” It sponsors the Cite Soleil Community School in one of the poorest, most violent places in the world on the outskirts of Port au Prince.
In 2017 our congregation unanimously approved a five-year commitment and fundraising campaign to support this wonderful project. Our commitment includes:
- Funding a “factory” within the walls of the school that will produce yoga mat bags for sale in the U.S. This will provide employment for the adults in Cite Soleil, and eventually the profits will support the school.
- Provide enough money for one meal a week for the school for five years (currently students get about three meals a week).
- Sponsor five children to go to high school for seven years through the SPARE program.
- Help rebuild the school, which still has no roof after the earthquake.
Okora Sustainable Community Project
For the five years spanning 2011 to 2015, First Congregational Church supported the resettlement of the village of Okora in northern Uganda. In partnership with Lutheran World Federation–Uganda and the people of Okora, we raised $121,557 to fund the project.