Church World Service was born in 1946, in the aftermath of World War II. A number of denominations came together to form an agency "to do in partnership what none of us could hope to do as well alone." The mission: Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged, shelter the homeless.
Development begins at the grassroots. CWS recognized early on that to be successful the projects and programs must come from the people themselves, not be imposed by others.
Church World Service sought out local agencies, often Christian councils, who share this vision of empowering self-help; and, long-standing partnerships were forged.
Millions of people worldwide live on the edge of subsistence, at the will of fragile economies, struggling to escape the crushing grip of poverty and powerlessness. And, millions more have fled their home countries due to a well-founded fear of persecution. It is with and for these people that Church World Service exists. We carry out our work in these major program areas.
The CWS also helps vulnerable people and communities prepare for and recover from natural and human-caused disaster. CWS addresses long-term physical, psychological and spiritual recovery, and helps communities develop strategies for the future. To do this CWS engages its member communions and others to join in disaster preparedness, mitigation and response. When disaster strikes, whether in the U.S. or around the world, CWS encourages the faith community to join together so that the most vulnerable families and individuals receive the assistance they need.
Partnership is the key. Given the opportunity, people the world over can have the strength and knowledge to take the lead in addressing their own challenges. So, one of the best ways to help is to listen... to learn... and to share resources appropriate to people’s needs. Building partner relationships around the world, as well as here in the U.S., is a hallmark of Church World Service. In partnership, we are engaging councils of churches across the U.S. and worldwide to bring new commitment and vitality to ecumenical mission, and we are nurturing interfaith dialogue and cooperation, essential to our work in the 21st century.
Blankets+ is a special mission opportunity for all ages. Some 8,000 congregations and groups across the U.S. hold CWS Blankets+ events, providing funds to help people in need around the world, including the U.S. For over 60 years, Church World Service has worked in partnership with local communities to identify their needs and access the resources they need to build the foundation for a more viable future, including:
Blankets+ gifts are at work in the U.S. and around the world, helping to meet emergency needs and supporting long- term recovery and preparedness.
The Christmas Fund provides a lifeline of hope to many lower-income active and retired clergy and lay employees in the United Church of Christ. Gifts to the Christmas Fund help provide pension and health premium supplementation to low-income retirees, emergency assistance to the families of clergy and lay employees and Christmas “Thank You” Gift checks to hundreds of annuitants.
The Mission of the Christmas Fund is to provide assistance dollars in situations of critical need, while reserving the dignity of those who receive the aid. You can honor the Christ Child during this season by bringing gifts that will be used to support and honor those who have served, and are serving, this beloved church. Your gifts will truly represent the incarnational nature of the church at its best.
For 110 years, the Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross and the Emergency Fund has been a means by which we-as members of the United Church of Christ and its predecessor denominations- reflect the light of God in the world, individually and in community. The Christmas Fund, one of four Special Mission Offerings received annually in the United Church of Christ, is a beacon of light for many who have served, and who continue to serve, our church.
We are grateful for your partnership in this vital ministry, and ask that you consider supporting the Christmas Fund Offering again, prayerfully and to the best of your ability. Your gift to the Christmas Fund helps us to reach out in love and compassion to provide assistance to those in the greatest need, who selflessly have given of themselves for the sake of the Gospel.
On behalf of the 1,600 + clergy and lay individuals and families who received some form of Ministerial Assistance since the last Christmas Fund Offering, the members of the Pension Board express their deep gratitude to you for your generosity. May the light of Jesus Christ shine brightly in your life, now and always.
Friendship House is a faith-based organization reaching out to all those in need, regardless of faith. We strive to embody God’s love and to treat everyone who comes through our doors with caring, respect and dignity.
Their mission is to do the work of Jesus Christ, providing relief, respect and renewal to Peoria’s most vulnerable individuals and families. Through the simple gesture of a free meal, a clean shirt, a safe place to learn, Friendship House offers the hope of a new start to the least, the last, and the lost.
The Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service is funded by the Heart of Illinois United Way, churches, individuals, grants/foundations, community support, and fundraisers.
Neighbors in Need represents one of several ways the UCC expresses its financial commitment to justice and compassion throughout the U.S. Funds from NIN support the UCC’s justice advocacy programs and are also distributed to a wide array of congregations and non-profit organizations who work to support justice and who help neighbors in their communities, across the country and in Puerto Rico. One–third of the offering supports the council for American Indian Ministry, including the 20 American Indian congregations in the UCC. Two-thirds of the offering supports justice advocacy and direct service projects such as justice with peace programs and community grants.
Two-thirds of Neighbors in Need supports program initiatives and direct grants offered by the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries. Small but essen- tial grants are made throughout the year to congregations and organizations engaged in community organizing, public policy advocacy, and direct service.
Although grants are made to address a wide range of justice priorities, a significant portion of these grants are made to address issues of hunger and poverty.
Through our generous gifts to Neighbors In Need, the United Church of Christ is offering hope to millions of people; we are transforming lives, the nation, and our world.
A world of communities living together in peace and equitably sharing the resources of a healthy planet.
Heifer’s mission is…
To work with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth.
Heifer's strategy is…
To “Pass on the Gift.” As people share their animals’ offspring with others – along with their knowledge, resources, and skills – an expanding network of hope, dignity, and self-reliance is created that reaches around the globe.
This simple idea of giving families a source of food rather than short-term relief caught on and has continued for over 65 years. Today, millions of families in 128 countries have been given the gifts of self-reliance and hope.
Obeying God’s call to “let justice roll down like waters” (Amos 5:24), since 1944, Heifer International has helped millions of struggling families become more self-reliant by providing food-and income-producing animals and training in their care. Heifer joins with people of faith everywhere to work for the dignity and well-being of all people wherever they live. Heifer ministers to families in need by: Helping children, enabling women & families, caring for the environment, developing community and passing on the gift.
In partnership with congrega- tions, Heifer International is an ark of refuge for hungry families. Heifer puts faith into action with its time proven principle of Passing on the Gift. Every family who receives livestock ages to pass on one or more of it’s ani- mal’s offspring, or the equivalent, to another neighbor in need. Project partners pass on new ways of animal husbandry and land management, too-a rainbow of hope for the whole community.
Companions Journeying Together, Inc., provides a forum to personally impact the emotional, spiritual, and social lives of the incarcerated and their families. Our vision is for a society that lives by the principles of restorative justice.
For over 20 years Companions Journeying Together Inc. has lived out the mission of Jesus by valuing all people as members of the kingdom of God.
We seek out opportunities to reach incarcerated women and men through a variety of programs designed to build healthy relationships and foster positive communication. Those programs include Aunt Mary’s Storybook Project, Fathers Read, Family Stories, and Mother Love Parenting classes. Additional services we organize and either provide or facilitate include special holiday communication projects, provision of re-entry materials and referrals, community education/training, and advocacy. Our goal is to be a link between resources and needs. We have a history of working successfully with officials from the Department of Corrections, as well as with individuals, churches and community organizations committed to serving the imprisoned and their families.
Companions Journeying Together works with the following correctional institutions:
To help all people-women, men and children-live free from violence and abuse.
For more than thirty years, the CENTER for PREVENTION of ABUSE has been a statewide leader to end abuse and make our homes, schools, and communities safer.
Our pledge to those we serve ~ We will work every day to provide confidential and compassionate service in a safe environment with one goal in mind-empowering people in our community to live free from violence and abuse.
Our pledge to our community~ We will continue to educated and advocate for positive changes in the way those living in violent situations are treated and the way that our community values and works toward peace.
The CENTER, its staff, and volunteers believe that everyone deserves peace.
The CENTER for PREVENTION of ABUSE is the only agency in the state of Illinois to provide free combined services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault/abuse, and elder abuse.
Annually, more than 5,000 women, men and children affected by violence and abuse are served by CFPA. CFPA offers school based abuse prevention programming to students pre-K through college age, reaching out to about 30,000 young people each year.
CPA focuses its work on four major areas:
In the month of June we will be supporting Peoria Rescue Ministries. In the past fifty years, this local ministry has grown from giving out donuts and coffee on the street to serving men, women, and children in our community at five different facilities.
These facilities include: Peoria Rescue Mission, a residential program ministering to the physical, spiritual, & emotional needs of hurting men. Victory Acres, a farm in rural Peoria County, to help men find a productive Christian lifestyle as they deal with alcohol & substance abuse.
The Women’s Pregnancy Center was opened to minister to the needs of women who experience an unplanned pregnancies or post-abortion trauma. The center provides caring, compassionate assistance to mothers and babies.
At Barnabas Center caring, trained counselors offer free Biblical counseling to scores of clients of all ages.
The need for an in-house, long-term facility for women and women with children was met when Esther House was opened. Esther House provides a safe, inviting environment where ladies can come to know Jesus Christ and grow in their daily walk with Him. PMR also has sister ministries in the former Soviet Union that include the REALIS CENTER (research Education and Light Center) in Kiev, and Riga Bible institute in Riga, Latvia.
The objectives of the corporation of Peoria Rescue Ministries shall be:
• To conduct a nondenominational mission to aid, assist and care for destitute men
• To offer life-affirming alternatives to abortion
• To address the needs of pregnant women
• To offer training in parenting skills
• To furnish a temporary home and job placement
• To contribute to the uplifting of such persons
• To provide all services to individuals without charge
On Pentecost Sunday – we will be receiving the Strengthen the Church special mission offering of the United Church of Christ. This offering builds the UCC’s future. It funds new congregations and renews existing ones. It supports programs for youth and young adults and nurtures current and future leaders. And it aids the God is Still Speaking Ministry to spread our message of inclusivity. Directed to local Conferences, Local Church Ministries and the Still-speaking Ministry, Strengthen the Church gifts help to create vibrant church communities of extravagant welcome.
A little love can go a long way. When our lives become unpredictable or chaotic, when we’re facing into a storm, when we’re weary and discouraged, fearful or confused… a little love can give the boost we need. Many of us find that love in our church. But there are many people still seeking and yearning for a little love, a little hope, and a reassuring word. They have not found a church that’s reaching out with an extravagant welcome, where they can hear the message of the unconditional love of our still speaking God. That’s where the Strengthen the Church special mission offering steps in. Each year, we receive a special offering that helps the church’s love to grow and thrive. Called Strengthen the Church, this offering funds new congregations and renews existing ones. It supports programs for youth and young adults and nurtures current and future leaders. And it sends the God is Still Speaking Ministry’s message of extravagant welcome and inclusivity into our world.
We will receive this offering on Pentecost Sunday– the birthday of the church – Pentecost Sunday. I invite you to celebrate by giving to Strengthen the Church. Your generous gift today ensures a vibrant church tomorrow.
Spread the Love. Strengthen the Church. God is still speaking. Still-speaking: It's the shorter form of "God is still speaking," a campaign by the United Church of Christ to simply remind us that God still has a lot more to say. Since 2004, Still-speaking has worked with thousands of UCC churches and individuals across the country to make religion relevant again and to extend an extravagant welcome to all—because no matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here. Here at the United Church of Christ.
Your gift to Strengthen the Church builds the UCC’s future now by funding The Still-speaking Ministry, new and renewing churches, youth and young adult ministries, and lay and pastoral leadership formation - especially among women and people of color.
Your offerings are directed to your church’s Conference, Local Church Ministries, and The Still-speaking Ministry for these church development, leader development and Still-speaking purposes.
The church focuses on a unique mission each month that serves different aspects of our society.