Mission / Outreach
Mission and community outreach are integral parts of our church life. Our congregation responds with generosity to the many ways we reach out. We support a variety of programs in the Belleville area, Dane County, Green County, as well as national and international missions, and the work of the wider church.
First UCC supports the Belleville Food Pantry through various initiatives throughout the year. Food is collected annually at the Soup-er Bowl of Caring. We have supported specific items for Thanksgiving bags. We also respond to specific requests from the Pantry when items are needed (both food and personal care items).
We have supported Friends of the State Street Family in Madison since its inception by making sack lunches to go, gathering personal care items and cold weather clothing. The pandemic changed how FSSF helps the homeless, and as they evolve, we continue to partner with them in whatever ways are most needed.
We support the Belleville School District's Backpack Club. The Backpack Club provides weekly food bags to students and their families who face food scarcity, particularly on weekends and holidays. We collect non-perishable food items and financial contributions throughout the year to help with this program. (An example of an ecumenical and community outreach effort occurred during the pandemic when the schools were closed. First UCC, Grace UMC and St. Francis of Assisi collaborated with the school district to purchase and deliver food to 30 families for 21 weeks. The generosity of our community was overwhelming.)
We also collect new and gently used clothing for the Belleville School District's Wildcat Closet which provides clothing, boots, and jackets for students with emergency needs.
Through special offerings and grants we support the work of the Belleville Community Health Improvement Program (BCHIP) and Belleville Community Assistance Program (BCAP) to promote health and wellness programs in the community, scholarships, and emergency assistance to families in need.
CROP Hunger Walks are held throughout the U.S. to support the global mission of Church World Service (CWS). CWS has one goal: building a world where there is enough for all -- ending hunger one step at a time. Twenty-five percent of this year’s funds raised were shared with the Belleville Food Pantry with the remainder being used by CWS to distribute world-wide. First UCC encourages our members to participate as well as members of other area churches and the whole community. We are proud to have supported and organized the CROP Walk for many years.
First UCC has participated in the local Giving Tree program for many years. The Giving Tree was started by the Belleville School District to provide Christmas gifts to children in families of need. In 2012 First UCC took over the organization of this outreach program. The first step is getting the word out so individuals can register for the program. Then it is on to working with the community so gifts are purchased, wrapped, organized, and delivered. It is a great community effort.
First UCC is a "5 for 5 Congregation" providing support to Our Church's Wider Mission (OCWM) and the Special Mission Offerings: One Great Hour of Sharing, Strengthen The Church, Neighbors in Need, and the Christmas Fund,