Whenever we serve others, we realize we are really the ones being served. First Church has a heart for service, justice, and outreach and is involved with a number of programs and on-going service projects as well as one time outings.
First Church partners with North Shore Boston Family Promise to help homeless families get housed.
Family Promise is a partnership of congregations helping families who are facing homelessness.
As a host congregation, First Church in Wenham provides a place to stay, meals, and hospitality for families in need. First Church in Wenham hosts families four times a year for a week at a time. Each week requires over 50 volunteers – transforming classrooms into bedrooms, cooking a meal, playing with the children, sharing a conversation, providing a sense of structure, spending the night, and turning the bedrooms back into classrooms.
"Ending family homelessness on the North Shore, one family at a time."
For additional information on Family Promise North Shore Boston, please visit their website at familypromisensb.org.
Faith and Justice
This "faith-in-action" group explores how we can best live as Christians in this day and age. We address issues of Faith and Justice with action items, book groups, discussions, guest speakers and trips.
While these are challenging times, it has been exciting to see the response and commitment arise in our congregation as current events have tested our understanding of biblical justice. Early in 2017 about 50 concerned members of the congregation met and formed the Faith & Justice Committee as an outreach subcommittee of the First Church Missions Board.
Support for this group becoming officially part of the church structure was based on the Gospel teaching us to be politically active while remaining non-partisan. Our Church and the UCC has often been at the forefront of taking a stand for justice (e.g., anti-slavery, ordained first woman minister, first African American minster, first gay minister). We are seeking to follow Christ and have all of our actions grounded in His teachings and led by the Spirit of God.
From our initial large group meeting five areas of focus emerged as important to those in attendance. One or two people on the steering committee lead each of these focus groups.
In-depth bible studies with a multi-week duration. Each of the other committees coordinate their focus on the biblical themes selected for study, making this committee the organizing hub for the work of the four other sub-committees.
How do we have political conversations? Do you find yourself in a surprising conversation and can’t muster the resources (mentally and spiritually) to engage well?
This committee offers resources on how to help people have constructive and meaningful conversations.
Communication Committee: Sending Christ’s Message of Love
This group has organized speakers and activities to affirm and send Christ’s message of love, including a Muslim speaker, LGBTQ speaker, weekly meditation, etc.
Action: Hear our Voices
Focused on how to organize our efforts around knowing what groups in our area are already doing. This group operates on 2 levels:
1. Recommend issues on which the church might take a position.
2. Provide information for actions in which group members might want to participate.
Knowledge & Understanding
Offers suggested readings, websites, blogs and a brief synopsis for each. This group also organizes reading groups and book discussions.
Our Missions Board supports numerous organizations each year as well as organizing mission trips for youth and adults.
The Special Grants Committee provides seed money through a grant process.
The Special Grants program was initiated by a vote of the congregation in 1996. A percentage of the unrestricted endowment income is allocated annually for a Special Grants program, to be administered by a grants committee reporting to the First Church Cabinet.
To Apply for a 2018 Special Grant, please click here:
2017 SPECIAL GRANT Recipients
The First Church of Wenham’s Special Grants Committee is very pleased to announce that we have awarded grant money to the following applicants –
1. Healing Abuse Working for Change (“HAWC”) $800 in support of their Parent Child Trauma Recovery Program
2. Metta Partners $3,000 providing teacher training at schools in Myanmar (Burma) to prepare students for the National Exams. “Metta Geha” is a orphanage.
3. Soul Cove $2,000 supports a series of music workshops in local schools and community centers.
4. The Food Project$1,500 to aid in donations of fresh fruits and vegetables to soup kitchens and food pantries on the North Shore. Some of the food is grown in Wenham.
5. Sethule Orphans Trust $5,000 helping to purchase bicycles for school transportation forchildren in rural Zimbabwe.
6. Sharing Foundation $1,000 funding to construct a playground in Prek Char, a remote village in Cambodia
7. Saltonstall School $2,100 allows financial assistance to under- privileged children at the Saltonstall School in Salem, Mass to attend Nature’s Classroom in Ocean Park, Maine
8. Friends of Buker School $500 help in financing a new playground at the Buker Elementary School in Wenham
9. Cole Farnham $300 supporting Cole (FCW member) as he attends a Discipleship Training School in Denver, CO and an Outreach trip to Thailand
10. ACORD $1,000 will be used to purchase reusable food bags
for Food Pantry clients as well as purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables
11. “Amahl” $2,000 to defray costs related to the Christmas Cantata performed by members of FCW Choir and community members
Total awarded = $19,200
As a prequel to next years’ Special Grants application round, we will review the 2017 award recipients again for the congregation in a bit more depth beginning in October to spike interest in the round.
And we would like to remind everyone that we have set 10% of our 2017 budget aside for “ emergency” awards –please speak to any one of the Special Grants Committee.
Each Lent we raise money for Heifer International
Our church school classes bake muffins to sell during coffee hour and the whole church raises money to support an organization that addresses hunger and poverty in a sustainable way.