California – United Church of Christ

Discovering Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection (DOOR) (Hollywood/Los Angeles)

Contact: DOOR National Office
Phone: 303.295.3667
Web site:

DOOR provides opportunities for service, learning and leadership development within the urban context.  Collaboration, mutuality and partnership are emphasized.

Project/Focus: Groups experience the city and learn about it through volunteering at a variety of community agencies already present in the community, including soup kitchens and homeless shelters.  Groups stay at facilities in the city, hear a local perspective on the city, use public transportation when available, interact with people of the city and reflect on their experiences.

Educational/Advocacy Components:  The program is designed to expose people to the city in a direct way.  Evening speakers, group reflection, worship and Bible study challenge people to consider biblical responses to the issues of poverty, racism, and injustice facing the city as they daily live out their authentic Christian faith. Our local city directors have created curricula based on the needs and issues facing their local communities.  This educational component is relevant, trans formative and creative and speaks to the needs of those living in our DOOR Cities around the world.  This summer out city directors will address systemic structural barriers affecting the marginalized (Atlanta), the effects of homelessness (Los Angeles), racial injustice (Chicago), the journey of the immigrant (Miami), and economic inequality (Denver) .

Door locations nationwide:  California (Los Angeles), Colorado (Denver); Georgia (Atlanta); Illinois (Chicago), and Florida (Miami) 

Time:  Week long available all year.  Weekends available in fall, winter, and spring.  

Registration deadlines: 10 weeks before trip. If you are interested in coming after the deadline, please call the national office for availability.

Group Size: Groups or combinations of groups totaling 60 participants (summer) and 45 participants (spring/winter/fall).

Minimum Age: 13 – Some sites can accommodate younger participants.  Contact national office for information.

Adult to Youth Ratio:  1:5 for high school aged youth; 1:4 for middle school aged youth

Accommodations:  Housing is arranged at local churches, either on the floor at the church or on cots.  Participants bring their own sleeping bag and pillow.  Showers are provided.  Visit the Discover section on each city’s page for specific information.

Cost:  Week long:  $325 per participant.  Sunday evening through Friday noon. Covers lodging, all meals from Monday morning to Friday evening except Wednesday evening and scheduling logistics. Weekend $130 per participant.

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Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries (FIRM, Inc.)

Contact: Zachary Darrah, Executive Director
   1940 N. Fresno Street
   Fresno, CA  93703
Phone: 559.487.1550 (office) or 559.283.1006 (Direct Line)
Web Site:

FIRM shares Christ’s love to build communities of hope with new Americans.

Project/Focus:  Every mission trip at FIRM is uniquely designed to meet the needs of your group! Our Executive Director (Zach Darrah) has led multiple short-term mission trips and understands that the needs/goals of every mission team is unique.  The process begins with a meeting (phone or in-person) with Zack so that he can learn about the goals of the team.  He will then develop a “Mission Team Menu” with 25-35 options that your leadership can choose from to design your entire trip!  An itinerary will then be given to the team for each day of your trip to FIRM ad you will be on your way to serving the unique refugee community in Fresno.
Examples of projects/focus of past teams include such activities as:  running a Vacation Bible School for refugee children/families, doing work on the FIRM campus, painting murals, attending a church service in various languages (Hmong, Lao, Russian, Ethiopian), helping serve at one of several large community events (Summer Carnival, etc.), serving refugee families directly and enjoying ethnic cuisine and much more!  A sample Mission Team Menu is available upon request.  

Time:  Year-round, especially during summer and spring break.

Group Size:  Up to 25

Minimum Age:  FIRM has hosted mission teams of all ages and all types.  FIRM has hosted trips for families, youth groups, young adults and seniors.  We do our best to accommodate teams of all kinds. 

Adult to Youth Ratio:  1:5

Accommodations:  FIRM staff  will assist your team with housing either on campus ($10.00 per person per day additional fee) or at local options.  Fresno State University or Fresno Pacific University housing is often available with cost set by the universities.

Cost:  $30.00 per person per day to cover FIRM staff working with your group.  Also many groups provide supplies/materials for projects during their trip. 

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