CALLED TO CARE
Ever since the founding members of First Congregational United Church of Christ helped establish the Underground Railgroad in Geneseo, this congregation has cared for people in this community and throughout the world. We have sent groups on Mission Trips, have helped with gathering resources, assisted people locally, enhanced our understanding and skills, as we have tried to make for a better community and world.
Much changed in the era of Covid-19. It has had an impact on church life. For a while, there was almost a complete stopage of outreach. As more normal conditions returned, many have been resumed, a few have been modified, a few we have intentionally allowed to remain on indefinite break, and there have been new initiatives.
An important development during Covid-19 was this congregation becoming Open & Affirming, open-affirming That affirmation was led by Mission and Outreach and its subcommittee Social Justice.
While we do not know what the summer of 2023 will bring, the Mission Committee is sponsoring the Mobile Museum of Tolerance in partnership with Smith's Arts Studio and other organizations in Geneseo. The Museum of Tolerance http://mmot.com/ will be in town for the last week of August.
The Mission Committee sponsored Worship in the Spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. over Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend and arranged for a visit to the Hideaway in the basement of the Geneseo Museum. The Hideaway is a place where runaway slaves hid as they passed through the area on the Underground Railroad.
Above are three musicians Pippi (vocalist), Daniel (pianist), & Edgar (trumpeter) musically leading a service "In the Spirit of Martin Luther King Jr."
Being shown the "Hideaway" where runaway slaves sometimes had to hide when "slave catchers" were actively looking in Geneseo.
Clock Training, which taught us how to be a better ally for those who identify with LGTBQIA+
be you, with us art installation, see: be-you-with-us
In 2022, the Missions Team decided to experiment with a completely different approach to gifting the community and developed a series of three concerts in City Park that were free and for the community called, Classics in the Park.
There have been more traditional activities like assisting with Foster Care Night Out:
The Corn Boil continues in modified form, and continues to raise resources for local and world food hunger both through the dinner and making corn available to the public for a donation.
Meanwhile, there are the traditional ongoing activities and special offerings:
Items for the Geneseo Food Bank
Gift Cards for College Students & Military
Sponsoring a child in India
Christmas Food Baskets
Our Church's Wider Mission (denominational offering)
One Great Hour of Sharing (provides emergency relief all over the world)
Strengthen the Church (supports new initiatives all across the UCC)
Neighbors in Need (supports Native American Congregations & Just Peace)
The Christmas Fund (supports retired clergy & spouses who are in need as well as emergency assistance)
Who knows what the next mission offering might be.
One spur of the moment was the following group: