He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
We understand that our life together cannot be contained by the walls of the building, but that being church means loving kindness, doing justice and walking humbly with our God out in the world, especially in its broken places.
The Mission Leadership Team (headed by Carol Bascom-Slack, with Jaap van Reijendam, Rick Chrisman, Brian Donovan and Pastor Stacy) will be helping to support and organize a variety of opportunities to serve, learn, advocate and reflect throughout the year.
Below you will find a brief overview of many of our current mission/outreach partnerships and activities. This overview is not exhaustive but is to give you a sense of how we are living our faith in the world. What is important is that we, as church, help all who gather to find a way to connect in mutual love and service with our neighbor whether that be with the person next to us in the pew, down the street, across town or around the world so that we all may come to know healing, peace and thriving.
Local Mission Outreach Partnerships
- The Russell Elementary School in Dorchester – Through support of and participation in the parent association, literacy and math night, the music program, coding club, and before school programming we are partnering with this urban school to do what we can to help all of its students and family thrive.
- Mini Missions – Our Sunday School age children engage in service and learning as they work with local food pantries, animal hospitals, and other non-profits to raise awareness and funds/materials for causes that are near and dear to their hearts.
- Project Care and Concern – Whether it is extending love in the form of a gift at Christmas time or a picnic or Easter celebration, we partner with people who have experienced homelessness and are moving into more stable housing.
- Waban Health Center – With monthly worship services, seasonal carol sings, offerings of cookies, presents and other expressions of our love and care, the Waban Health Center residents have become an extension of our UCW church community.
- Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) – Gathering with dozens of other houses of worship across the Boston area, we work together to advocate for social justice.
National Mission Outreach Partnerships
- Bread for the World – Matthew 25 teaches us that to feed those that are hungry is to feed Christ. We work with Bread for the World not only to feed those that are hungry but to work for the day when hunger is no more whether that be within our borders or across the world.
- Gun Control – The beautiful poetry of Genesis 1, reveals a deep and beautiful insight that each and every human being is precious to God and is created in God’s image and we follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace whose Way we seek to walk is one of non-violence and love. As such we work with local and national partners to address the epidemic of gun violence in this nation by raising money, raising our voices, and raising awareness of the need for sensible gun control and pathways to peace.
- Climate Change/Care of Creation – Whether it is raising funds to address our own church’s carbon foot print, to advocating for carbon tax legislation, or seeking to educate and activate ourselves in national environmental stewardship advocacy, we see creation as God’s first incarnation and understand ourselves not set apart from creation but part of all that is and charged with the good work to be care takers and stewards of the natural world.
International Mission Outreach Partnerships
- San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua – for over a decade we have partnered with the people of Nicaragua to help bring clean water, beautiful and functional schools, and other services to people in need in and around San Juan del Sur. This past February fifty congregants (half of which were youth) worked to bring potable water to more than 30 households, repaired and painted the local school and restored the health center that had fallen into such disrepair that health services had been withdrawn.
- United Church of Christ Wider Missions and other international relief efforts – We contribute annually to this fund and others in order to support disaster relief services around the world including this past year the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and aid to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. We are grateful that there are skilled and compassionate organizations stepping into the very heart of global need and are glad to be able to support them.
Teresa of Avila, a 16 century mystic, nun and organizer, in teaching her fellow nuns about what the life of Christ was to look like in their living said this:
“Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything. Whoever has God lacks nothing. God alone suffices.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world. Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which He is to bless His people.”
May we be knit together as One by God’s love, take up our place in the Body of Christ and be hands, and feet, voices and hearts working with God for the healing, reconciliation and wholeness of all creation.
If you have some ideas for service and learning opportunities, or would like to speak with the Mission Leadership Team please feel free to send us an email at [email protected] or simply speak with us in person.