Tenets of Mission:1 loom large in future of Mass. UCC church
Written by Jeff Woodard
November 8, 2011
With Mission:1 goals toppling like
bowling pins across UCC churches nationwide, Trinitarian Congregational UCC in
Concord, Mass., is already looking to sustain the war on hunger into the
Church officials have announced
that Trinitarian is pledging a Christmas offering of $11,111 to be divided
evenly between the two donation components of Mission 1: East African Famine
Relief and hunger-related ministries through Neighbors in Need (NIN), a special
mission offering of the UCC.
"We have made the commitment that it will be
$11,111," said Judy Walpole, business manager at Trinitarian. "If the Christmas
offering (via individual church members) falls short of that, we will still see
that it equals $11,111."
Meanwhile, Trinitarian’s goal of collecting
1,111 food items has been surpassed. Twice. And then some. "Our congregation
has responded really enthusiastically," said Walpole. "We’ve been amazed at the
food that has come in."
In September, the Rev. John Lombard, senior pastor at Trinitarian, had said
the church would spread the work of Mission:1 through 11 weeks, not 11 days. The
Trinitarian twist included a campaign kickoff on Sept. 11, and will culminate
on Thanksgiving Sunday.
"Hunger has an educational component, an advocacy component, a
social-justice component and a worship component," said Lombard. "It has an
enriched meaning because it's bathed in our faith. That's why I like all these
things being drawn together in one place at one time."
Mission:1 plays on the UCC motto, "That they may all be one," and concludes
Nov. 11, 2011. The goals are to collect more than 1 million food and household
items for local food banks; $111,111 in online donations for hunger-related
ministries and $111,111 in online donations for East Africa famine relief; and
11,111 letters to Congress, a goal that was surpassed Nov. 6 and is still
growing. As of Nov. 8, nearly 20,000 letters had been sent.
For further information, go to www.ucc.org/mission1.