A Special Donation in this Time of Need

The outreach efforts of FCC-V show up in a variety of different opportunities. This past month, we sent three dozen rolls of toilet paper to The Harvest House Transitional Residence, which provides a safe and caring place for women and women with their children to live. With the current state of non-availability of paper products and cleaning supplies, the Residence reached out for donations. FCC-V had recently purchased a HUGE supply of toilet paper, and of course, the church’s needs right now are all but zero. So it seemed like a no-brainer for Admin and Mission Action to make the donation, which was greatly appreciated.

The program’s mission statement says: The Harvest House Transitional Residence is a non-profit, transitional housing program for women. Our main concern is providing love, care, life skills, training, and encouragement to women who feel hopeless. We will equip women with the necessary fundamentals needed to become productive members of their families and community. Additionally we strive to reinforce a positive lifestyle, as well as promote social, emotional, and spiritual growth. If you’d like to learn more about this program, please link to: harvestresidence.com

Virtual March on Washington

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II  has served as pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Goldsboro, North Carolina since 1993. He began the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival in honor of the original 1968 campaign founded by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And since 2013 he has been the leader of the “Moral Mondays,” a civil rights and social justice protest held every Monday at North Carolina’s state capital in Raleigh.

Three years ago, he and his group began planning for a march on D.C. to transform the agenda of the country in general and politicians in particular in the face of poverty and racism. The march was to have happened on June 20, 2020 but Washington withdrew the approval for a march due to social distancing requirements. Barber had hoped to draw 100,000 people to the march in memory of the 250,000 who attended Dr. King’s, historic “I Have a Dream” speech in D.C. in 1963. So if the planned-for assembly could not take place in person, how about a “virtual assembly” in its place?

And indeed, the planning has now shifted to a June 20/20 digital and social media gathering of low wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience.

Rev. Barber is asking all those interested in being a part of this historical event to register in order to be sent the contact information to allow us to connect with the speeches and songs, and hear what a “Moral Agenda” has to offer at this time in our nation’s history. The overview of the June 20/20 event indicates that its purpose is to marshal collective voices to demonstrate the power of our communities. The Moral Agenda will demand that both major political parties address the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism.

In order to find out more about this event and to register, go to the website www.june2020.org. More specific information will be sent to those who register.

Winter 2020 Update

Our December generosity at church yielded boxes and boxes of socks and coats, which were delivered to the Sparrow Project at First Baptist Church in Vallejo. The clothes were snatched up quickly and the pairs of socks were meted out with great appreciation by more than 100 in attendance for the daily meal there.

Our January Outreach gift was sent to Genesis House, a local recovery program, which we have long-supported. Genesis House is having their Family Night Spaghetti Feed fundraiser on February 16th, and through FCC-V’s donation, we will be recognized as a sponsor of the event, with our gift going toward direct resident care assistance at the facility.

Our February Outreach gift will be used to supplement our individual donations to Week of Compassion, with a specific request that our gift be used to assist in the recovery from the natural disasters in Australia (fires) and Puerto Rico (earthquake).

We Lend a Hand

Our Mission Action Lend a Hand” outreach gift for the month of August was sent to St. Jude’s Children Hospital in Memphis, TN, for their children’s cancer research program. We received the following thank-you letter on behalf of St. Jude’s: “We were thrilled to have your support again. We’d like to thank you for your gift in August 2019. Your dedication to our mission is something we don’t take for granted. Let me just say — your generosity and compassion are truly inspiring and uplifting. Friends like you are like answered prayers for kids battling childhood cancer and other deadly diseases.”

Our outreach gift for the month of October will be earmarked for the DOC Reconciliation Ministry. A special offering will be taken on September 29th and October 6th for this ministry, and the amount collected will be increased by our Mission gift from the entire church. The theme for this year’s Reconciliation offering is “Embodying the Call.” The flier sent from the General Church says in part: “We are the body of Christ and all of us are members of this one body. As a church body, we have been on this journey to embrace and understand an identity as a Church that is pro-reconciling and anti-racist. We have different stories, different languages, different understandings of how and who to love. But God remains in the midst of all of us . . . Your generosity (in your Reconciliation gift) fuels our granting programs, our youth and young adult leadership development, and Regional and General Ministry outreach toward building beloved community and breaking down barriers through advocacy, intentional conversation and action.”

Go Unplastic Tip 4

For the last couple of months, FCC-V's Green Chalice Ministry has provided tips to help you to go "unplastic." It's a given that plastic bags, [PET] bottles, plastic straws, coffee stirrers, etc. are designed to be used only once and then end up in a landfill where they cannot fully break down. To continue our mission of "refuse" [that's rēfúse not réfuse] here are some other hints on how to make your world more unplastic:

Look out for boxed packaging alternatives instead of plastic bottles or tubs. Often, products such as powdered laundry detergent or dishwashing granules are as good as their liquid counterparts AND they come in boxes that break down much more easily than plastic bottles. 

FCCV has already stripped styrofoam cups out of its vocabulary and is using biodegradable utensils (made out of cornstarch or rice fibers). As opposed to plastic forks, spoons and knives, these alternatives are not made from petroleum byproducts AND they are compostable. Especially if you're going on a picnic, try eco-friendly compostable cutlery.

Go Unplastic Tip 3

Again this month, FCC-V's Green Chalice Ministry is providing each of you with a tip or two to help you continue going "unplastic." It's a given that plastic bags, [PET] bottles, plastic straws, coffee stirrers, etc. are designed to be used only once and then end up in a landfill where they cannot fully break down. To continue our mission of "refuse" [that's rēfúse not réfuse] here are another couple of hints on how to make your world more unplastic:

If you know of a fast-food location or restaurant that typically uses foam takeaway containers, take your own alternative such as a reusable bag or lunch box and ask that the food be wrapped and put into your own vessel. At least you should ask if they could use a paper container rather than a styrofoam one.

If you use plastic soap dispensers for dishes or hands, NEVER throw away the container and then purchase another pump bottle. Instead, refill all plastic dispensers with bulk liquid soap. Admittedly, the refill bottle needs to be disposed of in the blue bin, but you can make multiple refills from a single large bottle. The large refill bottle is cheaper in the long run and does not have a pump spray top or inner plastic tubing to discard.

Have you stopped automatically taking that plastic straw at Denny's or Buttercup? Please remember whether taking your own re-usable straw, asking for a paper straw (if they have them) or drinking just out of a glass saves one more plastic straw from ending up in a landfill forever.