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.

Go "Unplastic" Tip 2

For last month, this month, and the next couple of months, FCC-V's Green Chalice Ministry will provide a tip 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 is another hint on how to make your world more unplastic:

Ditch plastic water bottles. Get yourself a reusable water bottle or two (or more) and keep them filled with filtered water in the fridge so you have the convenience of grab-and-go when you're headed out the door. Purchasing a six-pack of 500 ml. spring water bottles can become expensive and how often do those bottles get discarded along the way or end up in the trash and not in the recyclable bin? Even if turned in for a 5¢ deposit, there are still environmental issues to deal with at the other end. Refillable bottles are easy to come by (they're frequently given away as advertising by organizations) and as mentioned above, a portable (Brita) system or an installed filtering system can provide you with all the fresh water you would want and for much cheaper all around. But most of all, think of the advantages by going even more "unplastic" by using this hint. 

Go "Unplastic" Tip 1

Vallejo resident Kathryn Kellogg has published a book titled, 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste, which is well-worth the read. Consider: "Straws or coffee stirrers and (PET) bottles are only designed to be used once. Then you throw them away and plastic can't fully break down." We've all heard of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - notice that Recycle is third on the list as even it too provides problems to the environment - but let's add Refuse to that (that's Rēfúse not Réfuse). "The best thing is to refuse single-use plastics as much as possible. Bring a sustainable alternative - whether it's a reusable bottle or reusable or paper straws."

Each month for the next five, the FCC Green Chalice Ministry will share a tip with you to help you go "unplastic!" The May tip is simple: When you go shopping at Safeway, Target, Walmart, etc., etc., DO NOT ASK FOR A PLASTIC BAG. Carry a supply of your own reusable cloth bags in your car. Even when you are going on vacation, take compact reusable bags with you and use them while away. Stores are required to charge you for their plastic bags and the petroleum-based bags (polypropylene) tend to end up in landfills where their life expectancy is 1000 years before they fully decompose! That's two reasons to carry your own multi-use bags: cost and environmental damage. Plus, your own reusable bags are sturdier and hold more than the plastic bags. And you can have fun finding or decorating your own personable reusable bags. So go "unplastic" immediately. 

Mission Action Sunday

From the book Live Just.ly:
“What is God saying to you (us), and what are you (we) going to do about it?”
On Mission Action Sunday, March 3rd, we are going to worship, pray, commune, discuss and think about this question. Starting with worship at 10:30, we have an interactive service focused on the faith and justice issues we feel most passionately about. It will be a special service, with opportunities for everyone to participate in the discussion. Following the service, we will have a potluck lunch and a Mission Action Workshop centered on developing a plan to put our passions into action! Please bring something to share for the potluck. Lizzy Gore, the new Common Ground IAF leader, will be our special guest speaker during the Workshop. We will conclude no later than 2:30. This is an important day for our church and the ways we will minister in our community. Plus, we will have great conversations and a lot of fun.