The national setting of the United Church of Christ has announced a series of community service events in observance of its hunger-busting Mission:1 campaign, to be observed during the first 11 days of November.
“The national staff is preparing to connect and resource the extravagant welcome, continuing testament and changing lives momentum of God at work in and through the United Church of Christ,” said the Rev. Kimberly Whitney, UCC minister for community life and assistant to the Collegium.
In November, staff will have opportunities to donate healthful food items to the Cleveland Foodbank and engage in Mission:1 worship in the Amistad Chapel Nov. 2 and 9. (Worship offerings toward the Neighbors in Need goal of $111,111 will be accepted on those dates.)
Also in November, staff groups will perform daily Mission:1 community service, engaging in hunger-related justice work at local churches and urban sustainable farms and community gardens. Each day a staff group will visit elected representatives in Cleveland area offices to request foreign assistance to more effectively help the hungry and poor worldwide.
The UCC Justice and Witness Ministries office in Washington, D.C., is working on a guidebook resource for local church members interested in visiting and writing letters to their congressional representatives.
In addition, the JWM site in Franklinton Center in Whitakers, N.C., is launching an exploratory effort into community resourcing of healthy food (community gardens, community-supported agriculture).
“Some of our churches have long been at work making a connection between rural and urban economies, justice and spirituality around the foodshed,” said Whitney, referring to the global connection that advocates the breaking of bread in new and deepened ways as one.
“We’ve done staff community service celebrating the Cleveland community and non-profits, including those related to the Deaconess Foundation, for the past three autumns,” said Whitney. “It is exciting this year to sync our work with environmental-justice and sustainability work with the local agriculture connection.”
The November events will serve as the final push to Bread for the World's 2011 "Offering of Letters" campaign.
Mission:1 plays on the UCC’s motto,” That they may all be 1” and will run from Nov. 1-11, 2011 (11-1-11—11-11-11). During those 11 days, the UCC aims to collect more than 1 million food and household items for local food banks and collect $111,111 in online donations for hunger-related causes, while marshaling its 5,300 congregations to advocate for hunger-related causes worldwide via 11,111 letters to Congress.
“We want to lift up the extraordinary passion and grassroots soul of this community and its non-profit and philanthropic partners,” said Whitney. “As always, with our community service moments, we want staff to pick a service and/or advocacy office visit that is of particular interest to them.”
For further details on Mission:1 and to learn more about how to participate, go to www.ucc.org/mission1/