The church Stewardship Committee set 555 food items as a Mission:1 goal since the congregation is small. Members thought if 30 families each brought 18 items that they could make it happen. But when folks were told that other UCC churches were trying to collect 1111 non-perishable food items for Mission:1, it set a challenge in motion. As the 11 days progressed the food kept piling up; the congregation wanted to think big and double the original goal to 1111 items for the local food pantry. Well, they did it! MISSION: 1 accomplished!
The church collected over 1200 items of food during the UCC Mission: 1 campaign. Members celebrated by piling everything up around the communion table at both Sunday morning services on Sunday, Nov. 13. Members also volunteered at five different food-related agencies and get involved in two special adult education programs. The church contributed over $4800 to the two food-related offerings and the children in the church sponsored a bake sale to raise money for the effort.
Since the local food pantry needed food items for its annual Thanksgiving Cornucopia to provide 200 Thanksgiving meals to the needy, the church Mission and Outreach Board substituted boxes of turkey stuffing for cereal in the M:1 food drive. Church members installed a four by eight foot wall in the Narthex with the exhortation “Let’s Fill This Wall!”, and boxes of turkey stuffing were purchased in advance and made available in the Narthex to donate at $1 per box. In two Sundays, the congregation donated enough to provide 120 boxes on the “Great Wall of Stuffing”, surpassing the 111 boxes goal!
The youth from University Congregational UCC spent over $2,000 to buy more than 85 cases of food to donate to the Missoula Food Bank. But before the food was delivered, the youth stopped along the way at their church, to construct a communion table with the food boxes before they were donated. The communion table symbolized the spiritual food they receive. The Rev. Amy Carter says, "It is significant in this time of economic down turn that we remember and support those in need in our community. It is also significant that as a church we build our communion table with this food at the table where we remember Jesus, who once said 'blessed are the hungry, for they will be filled.'"