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Missions and Outreach

Be aware of all that we do to make a difference and - when you can

- help make a difference yourself!.

  Harvest Food Drive, October 2017harvestfooddrive In 2016 we gathered 96 pounds for Beverly Bootstraps and 99 pounds for The Open Door. The annual First Parish Church Harvest Food Drive helps our neighbors who are struggling to feed their families. Every year our congregation responds generously to the call for food donations to stock the pantries at Beverly Bootstraps and The Open Door. The canned goods and non-perishables that are collected during our Harvest Food Drive assist families and individuals in Beverly, Manchester, Essex, Gloucester, Essex, Ipswich, and Rockport. Many people live in a state of food insecurity and continually worry about having enough groceries to make it through the week or even the next day. Beverly Bootstraps and the Open Door stock their shelves with healthful foods to help clients stretch their food budgets. The pantries provide a dignified shopping experience at no cost. The Missions Committee, FPC Youth Groups, and the Sunday School are all cooperating in this important effort. All through the month of October we will be collecting non-perishable food items. Items can be dropped off at the Chapel  or in the Narthex.

 Zimbabwe Southdown Church Mission read more here and here

  See photos from Zimbabwe 2017 below  

Weekly Food Donations

When you go to church Sunday mornings remember to take one item that can be donated to Open Door through the food basket placed in the Narthex. It is easy to forget, but you can think ahead and bring one food item that will be much appreciated by folks who really need our help.  

Open Door Dinner  

First Parish serves dinner at The Open Door Wednesday, December 23rd. Prep & Servers needed: sign up here or contact Jim Brennan at 978-879-4595  

Brown Bag Lunches for Action

Friday, October 27. Can you help? Needed: Donations of food, volunteers to make the sandwiches and a volunteer to deliver the meals to Gloucester. Please bring donations to the Chapel kitchen before 10 AM on Friday. Action, Inc. is an Emergency Homeless Shelter in Gloucester, their Mission is to improve the lives of disadvantaged individuals and families by minimizing the effects of poverty, promoting economic security, and advocating for social change. Sign up after worship or online.  

Seaside Parish Knitters

Read more  

Children's Winter Drive Each Nov/Dec

Our Church is given the opportunity to provide warmth for underprivileged children in our community as the thermometer begins to rapidly drop. Members can sign up to donate winter boots, coats and other essentials. Look for more in November 2017  

With YOUR help in 2016/2017 we have…

  • Packed a container for our Sister Church in Zimbabwe
  • Participated in an Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast
  • Contributed 14 Easter Baskets to Plummer Home
  • Prepared 34 brown bag lunches on the last Friday of each month
  • Collected food for Open Door and Bootstraps
  • Missions table at the Church Fair collected $300 for Open Door, Grace Center, and Beverly Bootstraps
  • Coats and boots drive for the Angels Ministry, December, thank you to all donors and especially the Seaside Parish Knitters for the beautiful hats and mittens!
 

Zimbabwe 2017

Brown Bag Lunches, Easter Baskets for Foster Children, Coats Mission, Hats and Mittens 2017 and serving at The Open Door

Shelving for The Grace Center, Gloucester

Zimbabwe Mission 2016

Serving Dinner at The Open Door

Here is a short account of the ministry we carry out at First Parish

Gloucester Office of Veterans Services, 12 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930, (978) 281-8740 The Office helps provide a program of financial and medical assistance for indigent veterans and their dependents. Qualifying veterans and their dependents receive necessary financial assistance for food, shelter, clothing, housing supplies, and medical care. Eligible dependents of deceased veterans are provided with the same benefits as they would have were the veteran still living. The organization also coordinates Memorial Day and Veterans Day observances, maintains records of Gloucester veterans, and maintains the veteran cemeteries and death register. The Open Door, 28 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester, MA, 01930, foodpantry.org Mission: To alleviate the impact of hunger in our community using practical strategies to connect people to good food, to advocate on behalf of those in need, and to engage others in the work of building food security.  Last year, the Food Pantry provided 580,289 pounds of free canned goods, fish produce, meats, bread, dairy products, and eggs to 1,588 households during 12,405 visits, representing 3,726 people.  Community meals served 16,822 hot meals to guests needing food and companionship in a safe environment. Volunteer service totaled 22,166 hours of time, talent and engagement. The Grace Center, P.O. Box 135, Gloucester, MA, 01930, www.gracecenterinc.org.  Volunteer contact: Rev Rona Tyndall (978) 857-9305 The Grace Center provides daily breakfast and lunch, advocacy and referrals, transportation, volunteer nursing services, life skills, job readiness, health screenings/testings, SPIRT Assessments, weekly yoga and meditation, therapeutic music and art programs, volunteer legal services.  Our chili-chowder lunch in April helped start organic gardens to help feed program constituents with nutritious vegetables. South Down Church, Zimbabwe. firstparishchurch.org/zimbabwe Joining with a United Church of Christ congregation in Keene, New Hampshire, we have collected needed clothing and supplies to ship to Africa.  In September, 2015, we packed and sent 44 boxes containing packages of fabric, dresses made from pillow cases, sewing machines, and even a wheel chair.  Our church website shows photographs of Rev. Fungayi Mutsumbei and other adults and children opening the boxes. Children hold up toothpaste and brushes or clothing items they will enjoy wearing. Plummer Home, 37 Winter Island Road, Salem, MA., 01970.  (978) 744-1099 For 160 years, Plummer Home has served vulnerable youth.  Originally a reform school for boys, Plummer Home has evolved into a multi-service organization serving both boys and girls.  Most of the young people served are in or at risk of entering the foster care of juvenile justice system.  There are three operating principles:  Permanency:  Every youth has a safe emotionally secure parenting relationship in a life-long legal family.  Preparation:  Every youth should have the skills and support to meet his or her physical emotional and economic needs.  Community:  Every youth has a safe place to live, a sense of belonging and a chance to positively contribute to the community.

Youth Mission for May, Operation Troop Support

Throughout the month of May the Youth Group invites everyone to help with a collection for Operation Troop Support in Danvers. We are going to try to collect 300 items to coordinate with our 300th Celebrations this year!

Items such as socks, crossword puzzles, hygiene products for both males and females, band aids, sunscreen, visine, q-tips, kleenex, and more. If you have any questions contact Jessica youthdirector.fpchurch@verizon.net. The kids and I will also be writing thank you/encouragement letters to send along with the items we collect.

 ZimSD_Sewing_Group

      Committee Members: Jim Brennan, Kim Gendron, Nancy Peterson, Deborah Rouine, Lelly Smith Mission Trip 2013 H.O.M.E. Inc. Orland Maine, see photos here Photo for Cricket Missions2013

 Gingerbread Cookie Mission Saturday December 8, 2012

  Ginger Bread Cookie Mission, each December the Missions Committee partners with the youth of First Parish to make and distribute gingerbread men cookies to shut ins and those in need. Gingerbread cookies 2011