First UCC’s Christian Witness Committee focuses on promoting the local, regional, national and international outreach of the church through programs and events throughout the year. Our mission is to educate the congregation on the needs of the community and the larger church, encouraging them to participate in the financial and hands-on support needed to make a difference to those in need in our neighborhood and beyond.
Our strong commitment to serving the downtown community is witnessed through our spiritual, volunteer and financial support of many organizations which include but are not limited to:
Trinity Ark Soup Kitchen
- Safe Harbor Lunch program
- ProJeCt of Easton
- Angel Tree Holiday gifts program
- Local Crop Walk event
- Holiday contributions to congregants in need
Our members participate in and generously support these programs that financially assist people in need beyond the Easton area:
One Great Hour of Sharing
Neighbors in Need
Our Church’s Wider Mission
We also foster relationships and provide financial support to the following institutions associated with the United Church of Christ:
Phoebe-Devitt Home for the Aged
Bethany Home for Children
to learn about some of our Yearly Events
"SOUPER BOWL" SUNDAY
Our "Souper Bowl" Sunday luncheon is one of our brightest wintertime events and part of our Christian Witness Outreach! It is a fund raising luncheon for Trinity's Saturday Soup Kitchen and a canned/packaged soup collection for ProJeCt's Food Pantry. Our luncheon features a wide variety of splendidly delicious homemade soups, breads and desserts. No tickets are needed, just the free will offering from your heart and a can/package or two of soup!
Our "Souper Bowl" actually begins weeks before the date of the luncheon with our fabulous crew of wonderful chefs signing up to make soup, bake bread or make a dessert. As our chefs search for their best soup, bread or dessert recipes, we prepare for the luncheon. On "Souper Bowl" Sunday, our guests come to church with cans/packages of soup which will first serve as table centerpieces then be donated to ProJeCt's Food Pantry. Following our morning worship, our Youth are seen holding empty pots at the door to collect funds for the Soup Kitchen. We then gather for fellowship and feast on the wonderful soups, breads and desserts that were made so lovingly by our First Church Family.
It is always a beautiful way to spend a cold, winter day and warm your body and spirit! Everyone is welcome!
ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING
Have you discovered real joy in your life? What or who made you feel that joy? We have just experienced the birth of Jesus not so long ago, and we all felt the joy that comes from finding hope, once again, for our world and its people. Now I want to open your minds to the joy of giving! I know that “getting by” for many of us in this difficult economy means sacrificing! For some of us “sacrificing” means switching to home brewed coffee and forgoing that latte in the mornings at our favorite coffee bar! For most of the world, sacrificing means which bills to pay, which child will receive a meal, or how to spend the $1 a day income most effectively. It is hard for us to imagine making these choices , as we are, as yet, fortunate to have avoided the disasters faced by many in the United States and the world.
"One Great Hour of Sharing" (OGHS) hopes to change things for people who live on the brink. We will be partners with churches all over the world for one hour, during our offering time, with the opportunity to bring JOY to those in need ! We will build schools, medical clinics, secure clean water and sewage facilities, bring safety, shelter, and food to disaster refugees, and foster self sufficiency through education, health care, job training, and providing tools. We won’t even have to leave our pews to do all of these wonderful deeds, but we may have to move over to allow JOY to sit beside us!! Please consider a gift to "OGHS" -as generous a gift as you are able. There is much to do!! One Great Hour of Sharing: sharing resources, changing lives, bringing JOY!
Offering Coordinator, Sue Beling
Our Next event is in the planning stage & date is still to be determined
"Community Connection" is a sort of ‘open house’ where representatives from all of the Northampton County Human Resource/Services & agencies along with other local non-profit “helping agencies”, like ProJeCt, CACLV, Easton Housing Authority, etc. gather to reach out to the public to connect them with assistance they may be in need of.
We, in conjunction with our other downtown church neighbors, are hoping to reach out to ALL of the Easton area community through this program.
In the past, we welcomed Easton Hospital medical personnel here to offer free health screening tests, blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure at no cost to our guests. We also welcome Veteran's Administration representatives.
Over the last several years, folks have found help with housing, food, medical & other assistance. We also have pastors here to offer pastoral counseling for anyone seeking it. Quite a few folks sought that out, as well as a number who were seeking grief counseling.
Our focus is on helping connect folks, families, single parents, senior citizens, singles, who are not necessarily “in the system” but are struggling right, now with programs that may be able to help them. Folks who are in need of a little temporary help to get over a situation such as recent job loss, divorce, loss of spouse, illness, etc. that really knocked their life off track may need a little help to get them back on their feet before their situation spirals too far down to a place where they may have even greater difficulty recovering.
The public is invited to come and see what services may be available. Maybe you don't need help but perhaps a friend or family member could benefit from the information? Maybe you are looking for a place to volunteer? Many of the agencies can also use some help too!
FOOD BANK SUNDAY
Here at First Church, the First Sunday of every month is designated as "Food Bank Sunday". Everyone is invited and encouraged to bring along a non-pershible food (canned good, pasta, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, etc.) item or other household need (laundry detergent, toilet paper, etc.) to help restock our local food pantry at ProJeCt of Easton.
Please note: WE ARE NOT A FOOD PANTRY but we support ProJeCt of Easton's Food Pantry.
Monetary donation are also helpful and gratefully accepted. Please designate them for the "Food Bank".
Just in case you are visiting us any Sunday, feel free to bring along an item. Our barrel is always here and donations can be made at any time!
HARVEST HOME SUNDAY
In support of our Community needs, every November, we hold "Harvest Home Sunday". We collect items to fill the holiday tables of those in need, elderly, infirmed and others who are unable to put together a holiday meal.
This special collection is in addition to our montly "Food Bank Sunday" which supports ProJeCt of Easton's Food Pantry.
"Harvest Home Sunday" focuses on sharing and love! We encourage donations of fresh, 'sturdy' fall veggies such as potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, winter squash, etc., as well as canned or boxed goods. Household needs are also collected (dish and laundry soap, paper products, hygiene products, baby needs, etc.) as well as monetary donations.
All of the items and funds collected are blessed and donated to the local food pantry for distribution
"COVER THE PIGGIES"
COMMUNITY SHOE DRIVE
First Church along with Easton Community Center, Easton Area School District's "Family Connection", ProJeCt of Easton and many of our other local churches & agencies have worked together for the last seven years & are again cooperating to "Cover Those Piggies" and see that our area children will all have sneakers for school.
For families who are just barely making it, and there are many, the need for sneakers for their school age children can be a big financial problem. We organized and, with help from these groups, made sure that families that were in need of sneakers would be able to get a new pair so they can start off school on the right foot!
This is a 100% Donation, 100% Volunteer event! For about a month, we collect donations of new or "like-new" sneakers & shoes or funds to purchase them, from many of our local churches & others in the community. In our first year we had a very special donation of 64 pairs of brand new sneakers and shoes from Seidel's Shoes in Easton, God bless them! Over the last seven years we have given out over 1000 pairs of NEW sneakers!!
In the mean time, volunteers from many of our local kid centered agencies like Family Connection, Easton Community Center, ProJeCt of Easton & other groups, meet with families to register their school aged children for our program.
THERE ARE NO INCOME GUIDELINES. NO PROOF OF INCOME IS NECESSARY. We want to help any family who needs it. But, YOU MUST REGISTER through one of our partnering agencies or directly with us. An "appointment" time will be assigned during registration.
This is a program for SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN, grade K-12, age 5-18
Children MUST be registered, with their CORRECT SNEAKER SIZE.
The child(ren) MUST come to the distribution Sat., Aug. 17th, 2019 to try on their sneakers.
We do not want to send anyone home with sneakers that do not fit!
You say you don't need sneakers? Well, WE DO!
If you, your organization, church, workplace, family, etc. are interested in donating sneakers for “Cover The Piggies”, new sneakers or gently used sneakers & shoes of all kinds & sizes are welcome. We also gratefully accept gift cards (Walmart, Kmart or other local shoe stores) or monetary donations to purchase sneakers in the sizes we are missing or for food supplies for the breakfast. Please call the church office at 610-258-3361 to arrange drop off.
After sorting and matching sneakers with the sizes we are given (no easy task), we have been able to have at least 1 pair of NEW sneakers for every child that registered every year! Hallelujah!
On our distribution day our volunteers get there early to make a FREE breakfast for the families, thanks to very generous past donors, ShopRite, Wegmans, Giant, Weis, Bagelsmith, Bob Smith's Bakery, and others (& our special guest volunteers). We welcome our guests at their assigned time, & they head either to the shoe table or to the kitchen.
Once they are sized & get their sneakers, we have some other activities and school supplies (thank you Crayola!). We do our best to make it a special day for the kids & their families. It is just an awesome and beautiful morning for all of us!
This event is growing each year & we find ourselves in need of greater support & additional donations. Every year, we trusted that the needs would be met & they were! We want to make sure that every 'little piggie' gets a new 'home' for the upcoming school year!
We want to thank EVERYONE who has helped us to “Cover The Piggies” in the past!!!
From donors to volunteers & all of the support in between, we could not do this outreach project without YOU!!!
God Bless You!!!
Among our volunteer force were folks from the “Summer Night’s” program, Easton Hunger Coalition, St. John’s Church on Morgan Hill & other individuals from our community. THANK YOU ALL!
Several of our local sister churches & businesses offered special donations or ran active sneaker collections too!
Special thanks to the folks at …
Arndt's Lutheran Church | First Moravian Church | First Presbyterian Church | Green Pond UMC
New Creation UCC | King's Daughters | St. Anthony Padua Catholic Church | St. John's Church on Morgan Hill
& other individuals in our community too!
We had “Super Support” from a number of local stores & businesses –
Shop-Rite (Phillipsburg/Bethlehem) | Wegmans | Weis (Easton) | The Bagelsmith
Giant (Easton) | Walgreens | Crayola | Bob Smith's Bakery
…. So please support these generous businesses!
(Hope we didn't miss anyone!)