First Congregational UCC, Santa Rosa Calif. is Mission:1.
First Congregational United Church of Christ in Santa Rosa,
California had a carefully crafted plan for Mission:1.
a largest ever in-gathering of food for the local Food
a "Fast Meal" of water, juice or light soup,
at which members contributed the money they
would have spent for food.
a letter writing campaign at the "Fast Meal",
asking political leaders to maintain funding for hunger programs and to address
food policy injustices.
The in-gathering of food was estimated to be 2,000 pounds.
Twenty four people wrote 67 letters to political representatives. Contributions from the "Fast Meal"
will be divided between the restoration of a local homeless breakfast program, Bread
for the World, and Mission:1.
All went according to plan, but sometimes the best things in
life are beyond our ability to control.
In August, long-time member of First Congregational UCC, John Thomson,
was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and told he had only a short time to live.
He decided to plan his own memorial service and told his pastor, David
Parks-Ramage,“We are going to have an offering at my memorial service.” John
then told David that the night before he’d had a dream, or perhaps it was a
vision. He and God were looking down on his memorial service and John noticed
that the offering plates were being passed and were overflowing with money. John
asked God what the offering was for. “To
feed hungry people.” John Thomson died a
few weeks later, and his memorial service was held on November 2, during the
UCC’s Mission:1 campaign. Thirteen hundred dollars were raised to feed the
The church that day
overflowed with the abundance of God’s blessing for God’s people. With John Thomson’s help First Congregational
UCC is able to carry the vision of a world where everyone has enough to