First Church Somerville UCC
First Church Somerville UCC
mission trip content

Serve The World

Work That Helps Those Near and Far

We know that Jesus came primarily to serve the last, the least, the lost, and we consider it our privilege to do so, too. We take our justice work seriously at First Church Somerville, since we know that:

“Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which [Christ] looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which [Christ] walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which [Christ] blesses all the world.”

~St. Teresa of Avila

Our justice work comes in several parts: advocacy, education, and sweat equity. We have several local and global mission partners with whom we work in close relationship, not just writing checks but, where appropriate, supporting the work of the agency with our labor and engaging in real relationships with those served. In this work, our lives are changed for the better, and we find that we ourselves are more grateful, spiritually healthy people. To help with our work, email justice@firstchurchsomerville.org.

Additionally, every year we pledge a larger amount of what goes into the offering plate to go right back out the door.

Below is an (alphabetical) sampling of organizations we work with -- what they do and how we help:

Casa San Jose Orphanage: Since 2005 we have sent over 80 adults and youth to the Casa to form strong friendships with the children and staff, and through our 501(c)3 Casa Connection we contribute a meaningful portion toward the monthly operating costs of this 100-bed group home near Pacific coastal Mexico.

Church World Service: We regularly help put together hygiene kits for people around the world whose homes have been devastated by floods, hurricanes, or fires.

Equal Exchange: EE trades directly with democratically organized small farmer cooperatives, gives farmers advance credit, and pays an internationally established minimum price, allowing co-ops to make investments in their land and production and improve their communities. We serve only Equal Exchange fair-trade coffee at Coffee Hour, where we also sell their coffee, tea, chocolate, and olive oil, with all proceeds going to support the Casa San Jose orphanage.

Massachusetts General Hospital: Our prayer shawl ministry has donated 15 shawls lovingly knitted or crocheted by Firsties and then blessed first by us in worship and then by the MGH chaplains in a special service of their own. The chaplains will give them to patients they believe will feel particularly ministered to by this gesture of God's warmth and love.

Outdoor Church: Ways to get involved serving our homeless siblings in Cambridge include (1) providing items (sandwiches ingredients, SOCKS, water, juice boxes), (2) making sandwiches, and/or (3) walking around and handing out sandwiches and other items. Sandwich preparation happens ahead of time, and we meet at the right side door of the Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church the second Saturday of the month at 2pm for distribution.

RESPOND: The first domestic violence agency in New England has a variety of volunteer opportunities.

Somerville Community Corporation: SCC works to sustain affordability and livability for the residents of Somerville, and has an annual Save Our Homes walk in June to raise funds for affordable housing and rental assistance in Somerville.

Somerville Homeless Coalition: We host Project SOUP (Share Our United Pantry) Monday night community suppers, and we also provide the meal once a month; if cooking is your gift, we can connect you with the folks who help organize that meal or cooking a monthly meal for the Chapel Street shelter (the third Thursday of the month). You can also bring donations of nonperishable food items and other necessities on Communion Sundays. We also donate some of the organic vegetables grown in the church garden to the SHC Food Pantry -- put your green thumb to use! SHC also has an annual road race every October to raise money.

Youth on Fire: Our annual Drag Gospel Festival every October raises thousands of dollars for this drop-in center for homeless and street-involved youth (ages 14-24) located just down the road from us in Harvard Square.