Direct Service Projects & Fundraising
Common Cathedral: For over four years, usually in the early summer, we prepare and serve lunch for Ecclesia Ministries‘ Common Cathedral, a worship service held every Sunday on Boston Common for a largely homeless congregation. The morning of the service, the congregation comes together to assemble sandwiches and bag fruit for 150 people, which we transport to the Commons in time to serve lunch prior to the service. In addition to food donations, we also ask for donations of supplies needed for Ecclesia Ministries’ various programs.
The Food Project: We organize two days of service learning with the Food Project – one in the spring and one in the fall. The Food Project is an urban and suburban organic farm which provides training in urban agriculture to inner-city and suburban youth, and provides free and low-cost farm-grown food to homeless shelters and low-income buyers. The turnout of youth and adults for these trips is fantastic! In the fall, harvesting hundreds of pounds of food and in the spring, we enjoy a day of Spring planting. This is an opportunity for the entire congregation – youth and adult – to learn about and participate in the life and health of a community food project that depends on volunteer labor to survive and thrive. We’ve been doing this for several years and it’s always an enjoyable and satisfying experience.
First Church has a growing relationship with the Boston-based Louis D. Brown Peace Institute. For the past several years a team of First Church members and their supporters have participated in the annual Mother’s Day March for Peace, a major fundraising event organized by the Institute for its education, advocacy and service programs. In 2016 the Institute invited First Church to participate in its “Peace-ing It Together” workshop, a course focusing on ways white people can engage in meaningful service and challenge racism in their own communities.
The non-profit Peace Institute was founded in 1994 by families impacted by violence, after the tragic murder of Louis D. Brown, a 15-year-old Dorchester peace activist. The organization is dedicated to educating young people and the community about the value of peace and assisting survivors of homicide victims with immediate crisis management services and ongoing support. As stated on the Peace Institute’s website: “Our strategies reflect this recognition: a support network sits at the center of our activities, with public policy advocacy, community and national outreach forming the outer circle of our work.”
If you would like to be part of the First Church Mother’s Day March team, as a walker or a financial contributor, you can access the First Church team page at www.mothersdaywalk4peace.org. You may also contact Nancy Ahmadifar at firstname.lastname@example.org or Carol Bell at email@example.com.