In these extraordinary times of world-wide and local pandemic, we all face loss.
For some of us it is in contact with those we love and loss of our freedom to come and go, which is a true loss. However, many among us face life-threatening challenges of lack of a safe place to shelter, loss of income, lack of access to medical care, and food insecurity.
Your Board of Mission is working hard to find ways our church can respond to the extra financial and food-insecurity related stresses. Much of our efforts have focused on our church’s food ministries, Second Helping and the Blessing Box. Additionally, at our last meeting we allocated half of our $2000 discretionary budget to immediate concerns: $500 to the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference Medical Debt fund, and $250 each to the local community ministries Shepherd’s Crossing and the Crisis Center.
We encourage members and friends of our faith community at First Congregational Church UCC Manhattan to think about, and consider donating financial resources if they are able, to groups that are reaching out to people who have been deeply affected by the COVID 19 crisis. If you are among the fortunate people in our community who are still gainfully employed, or whose retirement income has yet to be affected by the crisis, please prayerfully consider donating part of your federal stimulus check, if you receive one, to one or more of these groups involved in helping our neighbors. You might also consider donating part of your income tax refund.
Suggested organizations that need help include, but are not limited to:
- KO Conference Medical Debt Relief Fund (about | donate)
- Shepherd’s Crossing - a combined ministry of area Manhattan congregations to community members who need help paying emergency bills (about | donate)
- The Crisis Center - shelters women and children in domestic crisis in our community (about | donate)
- First Congregational Church Second Helping Ministry (about | donate)
- COVID Relief Fund at the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation - funds will be distributed to local agencies that provide relief (about | donate)
- Kansas Food Bank (about | donate)
- First Congregational Church Benevolence Fund - one-time emergencies payments to assist with things not covered by other local agencies (donate)
It would be lovely for our church faith family to be able to say: together we have donated X dollars to community organizations in this time of need. We would like to invite people who are able to make a donation to notify Sandy in the church office when they’ve made a gift, including how much and to where. She could give us a total number while keeping the names confidential.
If you personally are experiencing heightened financial stress, we send you our love and support, and encourage you to reach out to Pastor Caela, who can help you access community organizations that would be of help. You are also encouraged to give your loving, prayerful support for the efforts of our greater church family; in the words of the Apostle Paul, we are all a part of the body of Christ.
As always, we on the Board of Mission consider ourselves blessed to be stewards and cheerleaders for our church’s mission, stated so clearly in our official Mission Statement, to (love and) minister to others locally and globally with the same fervor as we minister to ourselves. Thank you to all.
Thinking of making a special donation to local organizations like Shepherd's Crossing, The Crisis Center, or the COVID Relief Fund at the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation? Great news. Any gifts given on April 22nd through the Grow Green Match Day will be MATCHED. Thanks to the generosity of other MHKers you can make your donation go further to help those in need.
You can also make a donation to our congregation and contact the church office to note that you want your funds to go towards The Second Helping if you'd like to support our weekly meal. Learn more here