First Congregational Church United Church of Christ was founded in the center of the city six months after the Civil War ended. We held worship services in the Capitol before we moved into our own building. For years we were one of the few places in Washington, DC that would host an integrated event. When other churches moved to the suburbs, we stayed.
On January 27, 2013 the church voted to affirm a new mission statement created during our first year back in our new building.
We are a UCC congregation in the heart of Washington, D.C., led by the Spirit and in covenant with God and each other. We seek to understand and experience God and respond to the call of Christ as reflected in our heritage and today’s experiences.
We welcome people of all ages, abilities, racial and cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities, and beliefs to share and grow in faith through worship, prayer, education, mutual support, and social action.
In so doing, by God’s grace, we nourish each other, embrace spiritual transformation, stand for justice and peace, and strive to heal our city, nation, and the world.
Social Action and Awareness Commission
During the past year, the Social Action and Awareness Commission has focused on how First Church can make a real and substantial difference in the world. We have operated on several principles:
· Our congregation is geographically dispersed and diverse, with many interests and commitments;
· We need a variety of opportunities and ways for people to serve; and
· We need to build on energy and enthusiasm for ideas as they emerge and find people who will provide steady leadership to incubate those ideas.
Our programs focus on several goals to carry out our church’s mission:
Goal #1 Help the most vulnerable in our city.
Goal #2 Advance human rights and social equity.
Goal #3 Protect Creation.
Goal #4 Engage the world.
Goal #5 Develop tools and habits of engagement.
We serve through a variety of established programs, and we want to recruit more members and friends to serve with us:
- Washington Interfaith Network
- Second Sunday Offerings
- Equal Exchange
- Support of Gay Pride/LGBT activities
- Participation in Downtown Cluster of Congregations
- Shaw Community Ministry– Life Skills Program for 9-12 year olds (Read more about how to volunteer and what is involved)
- Colombia Mission of Witness
In addition, we are developing new opportunities for service:
- Blood drives – We have formed a partnership with the National Association of Manufacturers, a tenant in the office portion of our building, to conduct 2 blood drives, one on a Sunday in July and another on a weekday in Oct. If these prove to be successful, we hope that they can become an ongoing program.
- Service to homeless people through Pathways to Housing– First Church supports Pathways by renting office space for staff to meet with clients downtown, a a free parking space, and use of the shower for clients. Our pastor and youth going through confirmation have walked the streets with the Pathways director, talking to homeless people to understand better their needs and personal stories. We believe that there are other opportunities to broaden our participation in this program.
- Engagement in national issues to enact national legislation to stem gun violence, reform immigration and address the many consequences of climate change.