Justice & Service

Working together for peace, justice and joy


As progressive Christians, we are called to act in the world for those who are in need. We help out, we contribute, we advocate, we serve, we reach out to the world, we pray. We pay attention to individual concerns and systemic questions. We seek by our actions to make the world a better place for us all.


Emma and Freddie helping out the community

Service Projects & Outreach Activities

A variety of opportunities to serve others are offered throughout the year. These events may be organized by groups or individuals. Upcoming service and outreach projects...

Check out some of the past activities and events...



Members of the First Church community are actively involved in many sorts of witness and social action. Although we never presume as individuals or groups to speak for the entire congregation, we do strongly support the expression of opinions, ideas, and values, and the necessity to take action.

Church members have protested the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, worked against Proposition 8 which denied marriage equality, participated in the Occupy Movement and worked to end the use of torture by our national government.


Racial Justice & Diversity

First Church is committed to addressing issues of racial justice and diversity through education, activism and prayer. These issues are also addressed in sermons by ministers of the church and special guest preachers. You will find a list of current and past news items and event listings related to racial justice and diversity here.

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Ministry Teams

With the support of the Ministry of Justice & Service, First Church members are invited to organize around issues that concern them. Anyone can form a Ministry Team which can be composed of a few or many people. More about Ministry Teams...


Grants for Social Change

The Ministry Justice & Service (J&S) makes annual grants to various organizations engaged in service and social change. These organizations include local, national or international non-profit agencies suggested by members of the congregation.

The funds for these grants come from the Christmas and Easter offerings and all of the cash offerings that are contributed on Sunday morning.

Grants are made on a rolling basis throughout the year, so there isn't a specific application deadline. Requests may be made at any time.

The Ministry has prepared two Requests for Proposals that it is sharing widely, including funding guidelines and an application process:

For those organizations that put in a request in 2017, use this form...

For those organizations that did not put in a request in 2017, use this form...

Members of the First Church community are encouraged to invite worthy organizations to apply.

Questions? Contact Justice & Service Chair Phil Adams. You can send him an email via the church office at

Here are the organizations that received grants in the most recent year.


Our Church’s Wider Mission

First Church commits a percentage of its total budget each year to support Our Church's Wider Mission (OCWM). This creates funding and infrastructure for work that we do at the conference and national setting, which in turn supports local churches throughout the denomination.

OCWM changes lives by strengthening our ecumenical relationships and global partnerships, by imagining and embodying a better world through prophetic witness and work, and by providing resources and programs to nurture the vitality of our United Church of Christ congregations.

First Church is one of the top 100 churches in our denomination in OCWM giving.


Special Offeringsone great hour of sharing logo

Each year we have several opportunities to contribute to special offerings including some that support the wider work of the church: One Great Hour of Sharing and Neighbors in Need.


Cellar Thrift Shop

The Cellar Thrift Shop operated from 1986–2016. It offered a wide range of attractive bargains that anyone could afford. It was completely staffed by a group of dedicated volunteers. Proceeds from the Thrift Shop funded outreach grants, special projects and the operating budget of the church. Unfortunately, the Cellar Thrift Shop was destroyed in the church fire of September 2016. More about the Cellar Thrift Shop...


Serving the Church Community

Many First Church members volunteer at church performing a variety of tasks: working at the front desk, ushering on Sunday morning, preparing food for the "After-Party" (fellowship time after church), preparing communion, calling on those who are homebound, helping with building maintenance, greeting at the door on Sunday morning and many other large and small tasks.

You can get involved too! It's a great way to help out and to meet new people!