Camp Noah (Offices in St. Paul with camps nationwide)
Contact: Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, Camp Noah
709 University Ave. W.
St. Paul, MN 55104
Camp Noah is a day camp for children whose communities have been impacted by disaster. Camp Noah provides a safe, caring and fun environment where children build resiliency skills within the familiarity of their own communities, using proven curriculum designed to help children process their disaster and/or trauma experience through creative activities and play. In this safe and supportive setting, children are encouraged to face their fears, grieve their losses, identify and share their unique gifts and talents, and plan for an amazing future.
The Camp Noah program staff identifies and coordinates with locally impacted communities to assess interest and determine location and logistics for a camp during the period 6 months to 3 years following a disaster event. A volunteer team of 15-25 people receive training and are then assigned a location to lead the camp curriculum for a one-week event. A local site coordinator and mental health professional are part of the local leadership of the event.
Projects/Focus: Volunteers work directly with children as camp leaders during the Camp Noah week. There are a number of duties team members can volunteer to take on. These include leading the curriculum in small groups, leading activities, and emceeing large group events. Each volunteer has the opportunity to serve in an area that utilizes their own unique gifts and talents! One member must be designated as a Team Leader. The Team Leader will be the contact person between Camp Noah National and the local Camp Noah site coordinator.
The community visited will likely be exhausted (both physically and financially) from rebuilding and recovering. Volunteer groups from congregations and organizations outside of the disaster-impacted area have a unique opportunity to provide leadership and much needed fresh energy for a fun and supportive week-long camp.
All volunteers must be willing to be flexible and have fun being silly and energetic. They must participate in the camp week activities and possess a positive attitude. The best fit for this experience are volunteers with a passion for working with children affected by disaster.
Educational/Advocacy Components: Groups of church members, co-workers or even friends lead activities, teach curriculum and guide the children through their restorative experience. Volunteers not only help children at camp, they often see their own lives changed as a result of serving kids during such an important time in their recovery.
Time: One-week on-site at camp. On-line training (5-6 hours) and two in-person group training sessions required.
Dates and Locations: TBD. Contact Camp Noah staff or visit the website for more information.
Group Size: Volunteer teams must be composed of 15-25 per persons. If your team isn't large enough, feel free to reach out to other congregations and organizations and ask them to get involved. All volunteers on a particular team are asked to train and prepare together, so before you arrive in your host community, you will have the opportunity to learn and bond together as a group.
Minimum Age: 16 + years. Team Leader must be over 18 years-old.
Accommodations: Lodging will be provided for the team by the local host organization. Details about housing will be provided in a timely manner from the Site Coordinator, and volunteers should expect to bring bedding and a towel. Breakfast and lunch supplied on camp days (Monday - Friday). All other meals may be at the expense of the Volunteer Team.
Bring your church together
Discover Faith Practices, an exciting online resource that’s transforming congregations into communities that worship together, learn together, and serve together.
Faith Practices is for everyone in your congregation:
• Multiage & Intergenerational
• Adult (ages 35+)
• Young Adult (18-35)
• Older Youth (15-19)
• Youth (11-15)
• Older Children (7-11)
• Younger Children (3-7)
Faith Practices encompasses every setting in your congregation:
• Christian Education
• Workshop Rotation
• Worship, Music, Arts, & Story
• UCC Identity & History
• Living Practices in Daily Life
Here's what Faith Practices gives your congregation
• 12 different faith practices to explore over the coming years - 6 already available!
• 600+ activities per faith practice from which to choose – that’s 50+ activities per age group or setting!
• Online downloads that are always available when you need them.
• Accessible content and attractive presentation that volunteers and professional educators will love.
• Non-linear activities that weave education into the full fabric of congregational life, including worship.
The following Faith Practices are available
1) Giving and Receiving Hospitality
Create a community that welcomes all, especially those who are different from the mainstream of the current community.
2) Keeping Sabbath
Be intentional about rest, worship, and working for justice, peace, and the integrity of creation.
3) Living Stewardship
Live in harmony with others and the world, through relationships, liberation, grace, justice, peace, mutuality and material possessions.
4) Playing and Living Joyfully
Include God in your recreation and re-creation, doing justice and moving outside yourself into sharing one with another.
5) Giving Testimony and Witness
Recognize God's action in your life and find ways to express it meaningfully with others.
6) Encountering Scripture
Listen to what the sacred texts tell us about our common family story and the Christian community.
New Practice partially Available
7) Praying and Making Ritual
Prayer is an essential practice of faith and tradition—many of us long for a deeper life of prayer, whether it’s a conversation with God or an activity that permeates every facet of our life. This practice will guide you to living prayerfully so you may begin to develop a worldview that understands our daily lives as an extension of our communal worship. You will reclaim familiar rituals; explore new ones; begin to recognize the holy in the ordinary; mark time and space as sacred; and give meaning to the whole of our experience.
Faith Practices is the best investment for your congregation:
Your congregation will pay only $300 to get Faith Practices – an amazing price for such a versatile, all-encompassing resource! This will be your only payment. No passwords, renewals, or expiration dates! And since Faith Practices materials are not dated, they are yours to keep and use...over and over...forever and ever...in many exciting ways:
+ Have your congregation or leadership choose a practice as a theme for the year, then infuse every event and activity with the related Faith Practices materials. Include the items in your church newsletters, too.
+ Gather groups in your congregation according to their vocations: business people, public educators, medical folks, scientists, farmers, tech folks, and others; use the Living Practices in Daily Life resource as a conversation starter to help them link their faith to life.
+ Meet at a coffee shop or café with anyone who is interested in talking about using a practice in daily life.
+ Use prayers and other worship ideas to begin and end board and committee meetings, potlucks and other church meals, choir practices, mission activities, youth group gatherings, church work days and more.
+ Send activity suggestions to parents/guardians/caregivers for use at home.
+ Encourage your stewardship committee to adopt the Living Stewardship theme for a year and use the materials throughout the congregation. Do the same with other practices and committees.
+ Find someone in the congregation with a passion for a particular practice and talk with them about working with those resources to get the congregation started on using them.
+ Use the Multiage/Intergenerational resource for a particular practice at monthly/quarterly/other regular gatherings.
+ Pick a practice and use that resource during an all-church retreat or camp.
+ Use Scriptures from the resources to plan congregational worship and Bible study sessions.
+ The list goes on and on – there are so many fantastic ways to make Faith Practices work for your congregation! Think outside the box – there’s no wrong way!
+ If you've found a cool way to use Faith Practices, please share with: email@example.com
Doing justice, seeking peace and building community are central to the identity of the United Church of Christ. We invite you to explore the breadth and depth of the UCC's justice work. Join us in building a stronger faith-based movement for peace, justice, equality and inclusivity. Our work is rooted in the teachings of scripture and the policies of our General Synod. Questions about anything you see here? Send us a message.
To explore JWM issue areas, click on the categories below.
APPLICATION CLOSES MAY 2020
2019 Summer Communities of Service Locations
What is Summer Communities of Service?
Summer Communities of Service (SCOS) is a leadership program for young adults aged 19 and above. Summer Communities focuses on intersecting faith communities, service, and justice advocacy. This national network is part of the joint work of the United Church of Christ and the Alliance of Baptists. Participants live and serve from late May to early August in host congregations around the United States. Housing, Food, Health Insurance and a $1,000 summer stipend are provided. While participating in SCOS you will have the opportunity to attend national orientation and debriefing events throughout the United States.
The "Intentional Christian Community Element" makes this program distinct and effective. Interns share a common food allowance, transportation funds, and spiritual growth insights. Participants live in a community with each other and with their hosts in their temporary city.
In the UCC and Alliance of Baptist diversity is a big piece of our identity. Both churches uphold socially progressive statements and advocate politically from a faith perspective. Diverse, community-service-integrated ministries show interns, congregations, the wider church, and a world where this faith-inspired work is happening in our midst. The SCOS experience helps interns develop long-term commitment to engage in this kind of ministry.
Hands-On Justice Advocacy/Service Opportunities:
Grow professionally and change the world. Your summer will consist of lead youth groups, assist in freedom school activities, plan art-based initiatives, camp counsel, assist with community gardening and serve as a disaster volunteer.
Grow personally and grow spiritually. Go deeper and explore the meaning of life in a supportive environment.
Questions or Inquiries? Contact Mary Schaller Blaufuss, UCC Volunteer Ministries
firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-736-3212
What is Young Adult Service Communities?
Young Adult Service Communities are unique opportunities for you to live in an intentional community with others who share your commitment to service and social justice. Young Adult Service Communities are 11-month leadership programs for young adults aged 21-35. Housing, food, a living stipend, health insurance are provided. Together, you will find the space to reflect on questions of meaning and to network for change. Young adult leaders are transforming communities through a faith-inspired pursuit of justice, collaborative action, and intentional living.
Service and Justice Internships:
The YASC network gives you the opportunity to grow professionally and change the world through intern placements with local nonprofit agencies, which are dedicated to justice advocacy and collaborative action.
Your placement will allow you the opportunity to grow spiritually and practice skills as you serve in a leadership position at a United Church congregation. Through this work, you can see the convergence of church and world.
YASC provides you a space to grow personally by living in community with other young leaders, exploring together your direction, calling and future action in the world.
2019-2020 Young Adult Service Communities Locations
COMING SOON! LEARN ABOUT 2020-2021 LOCAL PLACEMENTS
Named to the 2018 national class of Service Programs that Change the World
Certified by the Service Year Alliance
Compassion in Action
Your service as a UCC Disaster Recovery Volunteer helps people rebuild their physical homes and is an act of presence that demonstrates the commitment to walk beside people as they seek to rebuild their lives. Together, we can be the body of Christ in the world. UCC Disaster Ministries has arranged the following opportunities for mission groups to help homeowners in the intermediate and long-term recovery process.
Serve as a group or as an individual for week-long periods.
Disaster Sites Accepting Volunteers
NEW! Eastern North Carolina (Dorian, Florence and Matthew)
Volunteers are now being accepted to repair and rebuild homes in Eastern North Carolina. Hurricanes Dorian (2019), Florence (2018), and Matthew (2016) caused severe flooding and wind damage. There are 15 centers accepting volunteers of all skill levels to help repair homes affected by natural disasters. Click here for more info and to volunteer.
Florida Panhandle (Hurricane Michael)
Volunteers are being recruited now to help repair and rebuild homes in the Florida Panhandle. Hurricane Michael caused extensive damage when it made landfall there as a Category 4 storm in October 2018. The storm's heavy rain, high winds, and extreme storm surges caused massive destruction in its path and spawned numerous tornadoes. Work is in Bay and Washington counties, which suffered significant home, crop and tree damage. The work is a variety. Roofing is a number one priority. All skill levels of volunteers are accepted. Groups are matched up with work that is suitable to their talents. Click here for more information and to volunteer.
Puerto Rico (Hurricanes Irma and Maria)
Work may include repairing cement roofs, light carpentry, metal and wood roofing repair, and painting interior ceilings and walls. Most of the work will be done in the Humacao city area, the hardest hit area in Puerto Rico. Click here for more information and to volunteer.
Volusia County, Florida (Hurricanes Irma & Matthew)
Repair/Rebuild homes. Roofing, gutting interiors, replacing insulation, siding, drywall repair and painting, flooring and other interior work as needed. Click here for more information and to volunteer.
BE INSPIRED – Create community. Practice discipleship. See God and other people and creation in new ways. Resources to help you prepare your group are available at UCC Mission Trip Opportunities.
LEARN – You are an important part of a larger system of response and recovery. Explore the networks in place for disaster response and recovery. Know your UCC Conference Disaster Coordinator. Follow UCC Disaster Ministries on Facebook at One Great Hour of Sharing (UCC).
SHARE – Your skills help rebuild and repair homes and lives. Construction skills: Framing, Plumbing, Roofing, Painting, Electrical, Landscaping
ADVOCATE – Use the authenticity gained by this experience to be a public voice for a just world for all in your local, state and national media and government bodies. Join Justice and Peace Action Network!
VIDEO RESOURCE - Houston pastors share the experience of going through Hurricane Harvey in this video, "Love Them Back to Life."
Disaster Ministries also has t-shirts available for sale in the UCC online store here.
The UCC Washington office works to project the vision of change that is offered by UCC members in the halls of congress. Every two years our members come from across the country to gather for General Synod - to pray, reflect and discern a faithful response to God’s vision through resolutions and pronouncements on the issues facing our world.
It is through the actions of General Synod that we prioritize our advocacy.
Our staff monitor and seek changes in legislation at local, state and federal levels through a variety of coalitions and working groups. Through these coalitions we lobby and send letters to our elected officials advocating for changes if public policy.
While we work hard to represent and promote the views expressed at General Synod on Capitol Hill, it is you - as constituents - who make the best advocates.
How can the DC office help you engage in advocacy?
constituency Education and Mobilization - E-Advocacy through the Justice and Peace Action Network, Petitions, Rallys and more
Direct Capitol Hill Advocacy - Advocacy training, meetings with government officials and their staff
What is the Justice and Peace Action Network?
The UCC Justice and Peace Action Network is common action arm of the four covenanted ministries of the United Church of Christ that is charged with mobilizing UCC members for concentrated action as issues emerge.
Our vision is a just, compassionate and peaceful world that honors all of God's creation. In keeping with this vision the JPANet seeks to equip its members through issue education and weekly opportunity for public policy advocacy. By joining the JPANet you have access to resources that are beneficial to advocates of any experience level. they include:
An electronic Public Policy Briefing Book at the beginning of each two year Congressional session as an overview of policy priorities and work in all areas.
Weekly electronic actions emailed to your inbox with direct "take action" links to key decision makers.
A monthly electronic newsletter with notices about upcoming events, new resources and opportunities for action.
Using these tools you can begin basic advocacy or expend your current work. Our resources make it easy to engage or to engage your congregation in advocacy. Sign up here!
In responding faithfully to God’s call for abundant life for all people, a common life in which no one is left behind, we are drawn inevitably to engage in public policy advocacy and decision-making.
This is the goal of the UCC JWM Washington office; to make a better world possible by addressing the systemic problems that we face as a country and as part of the world. Hunger, poverty, peace and security, racism, care for the earth. These are among the types of justice issues that we work to improve through federal policies.
“If a single decision in the halls of the U.S. Congress can either enhance or undo literally millions of acts of Christian caring, I should try to influence such decisions?"
The UCC Washington Office was called into being by a resolution at General Synod 10 in 1975. This predecessor body to Justice and Witness Ministries, then called the Office for Church in Society, was created to assume a leadership function for social action concerns in the UCC and to provide resources to the national, conference and local churches.
Foremost among the tasks assigned to the office was identifying, analyzing and forecasting emerging social issues which call for the attention of the denomination.
Today the UCC Justice and Witness Ministries staff in Washington, DC, in partnership with UCC staff, Conferences, Associations, congregations and individual UCC members, continues this mission by monitoring and seeking changes in legislation at local, state and federal levels through a variety of coalitions and working groups.
The policies that guide our work are crafted by UCC members who gather for General Synod to pray, reflect and discern a faithful response to God’s call through resolutions and pronouncements on the issues facing our world.
Want to learn more?