Serving Our Community and Each Other

We are committed to our community and believe that God calls the local church to be part of the process of transforming its immediate context by striving to promote justice, mercy, and peace. One such transformation is helping to dismantle systems of oppression like racism, sexism and xenophobia, and the church enables change by seeking to listen, learn, and advocate for those affected by injustice. 
In addition to the many local organizations that we financially sponsor, we have made a commitment to partner with local ministries through hands-on volunteer opportunities, mutual service and outreach. We act upon our belief in God’s love by seeking to live out that love in faithful advocacy and concern for our neighbors, which ultimately takes the form of preserving the dignity of all. Below are various outreach and service ministries that take shape in and through FCC or a mutual partner:
Called to Care
Called to Care is a ministry serving those who are hospitalized, in care facilities, those experiencing short- or long-term physical illness, new parents, or those in other life-changing situations.  Called to Care also helps those who serve as caregivers.  Support may take the form of prayer, visits, meals, and other ways of showing Christ’s love. Ongoing training is provided to enhance volunteers’ skills.
Volunteers aim to be a faithful presence for those in our congregation who are in need of care and encouragement, as well as help those who are unable to attend worship and other church activities feel fully embraced by our church family.  They support the pastoral care ministries in which our Minister and Parish Nurse are continually engaged. For more info, see this video link.
Parish Nurse
The Parish Nurse is a member of the ministry team who serves as a health counselor, educator, and advocate to the congregation. Though not intended to provide hands-on healthcare or to replace one’s personal physician, the Parish Nurse is a healthcare professional to whom parishioners may bring their health concerns and questions.
Our Parish Nurse can assist you by making referrals to physicians, helping to arrange necessary care, or coordinating healthcare assistance. All consultations with the Parish Nurse are kept completely confidential, in accordance with HIPPA laws. As a health educator, the Parish Nurse also works to raise health consciousness by providing seminars, classes, information, and advice on various topics.
Weekend Food-Pack Program for Students
Nicknamed “Bear Packs,” FCC currently offers these weekend food-packs for students in need with our neighboring elementary schools. Partnering with the teaching staff, these packs go directly to students whose families sign onto the program, maintaining confidentiality. FCC prays that these “bags of blessing” feed hungry students, thus countering one of the main detriments to education. 
For more information on how to support this ministry or to volunteer, contact the church office.
Soup Kitchen
FCC partners with the Benton Harbor Soup Kitchen on a regular basis.  This organization provides a hot meal every day to hungry guests.  Our turn to serve is the third Tuesday of every month. To participate with our team, please contact the church office.
Rummage Sale
Twice a year (1st Thursday and Friday of October and May), FCC puts together a huge rummage sale, open to the entire community. Funds raised from the sale go to support service endeavors in the local community and abroad. To learn more about specific dates or to donate or volunteer, contact the church office.
Kitchen Ministry
FCC is home to a commercial-grade kitchen and is open to partnering with groups looking to put on fundraiser dinners or have need of a space in which to host benefit events. For more information or requests, please contact the church office.
Family Scouts and Cub Scouts
Our church has continuously sponsored BSA Troop 623 for over 100 years, making it one of the oldest troops in the nation. The Scout Troop is very active; going on an outing at least once a month. We are one of the longest participating troops in the state for the Governor’s Honor Guard on Mackinac Island. This activity takes place for one week every summer, and the duties include raising and lowering flags at the historical sites and serving as guides at the various historic sites.
The Troop’s main fundraisers are selling popcorn, parking cars during the Steelhead Triathlon, and the Brat Fry/Ice Sale held during the Tri-State Regatta on Labor Day weekend.  Meetings are held at the church on Monday nights from 7-8:30 p.m. If you know of any student between the ages of 11 and 17 who is interested in joining, visit our web page. The Pack and Troop are very proud to be associated with First Congregational Church and thank the entire congregation for supporting the Scouting program!
Other Community Partners and Resources: