Giving to First Church

title - Rooted in Love

“They say that in heaven, love comes first. We’ll make heaven a place on Earth.” – Belinda Carlisle

This song from the ’80s is one of my mantras and something that I aspire to. One of the best ways that love comes to First Church is by making your annual financial pledge. We Earthlings pledging together can do many wonderful things and achieve heavenly results.  I know this song is about romantic, relational love but reflect on how you can make a heavenly difference to the church we love.

Stewardship via your pledge provides a steady financial stream that keeps First Church running smoothly. I love how our church is a place where I can work together with friends to address challenging issues such as: Immigration, Anti-Racism, LGBTQ+ Rights, Homelessness and Gun Violence.

I make my pledge every year because I love my church. I know that faithful giving rooted in love, shows my commitment to the life, mission and work of the church. With all the uncertainty, grief and injustice in the world, it’s important to have a Church home to comfort, challenge and guide me.

For Fiscal Year 2022, the best way to pledge is through our confidential 2022 Pledge Form. You can also send your pledge information directly to Lucille Dickinson, our Treasurer, at

While you’re making your pledge, you can thank me for planting that song in your head. And I thank you for your financial support.

XX  Jamey Moore

P.S. One more important thought, this one from Dr. Seuss – The Lorax: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

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First Church for me has always been a place of fellowship and community, which I believe is something we need now more than ever.  Before Hilary and I became members, I was struck by First Church’s commitment to those principles.

From initiatives like the drop-in center, to its dedication to being an anti-racist and open and  affirming church, First Church has been committed to its surrounding community and to the nation as a whole since its founding.  Such good work would be almost impossible without consistent and generous pledges from our membership.

First Church is a small but dedicated community.  You can see it in the infectious joy that members take from welcoming new members and how their eyes light up as they watch children go tearing through the lobby during coffee hour.  You can also see it in the Church’s commitment to its procedures and oversight.  Members who have pledged remain engaged to ensure that their generosity is under good stewardship.  Important decisions are put to votes in the council and the budget is open to consideration and questions by the membership, all in keeping with our flinty New England Congregationalist roots!

Hilary, Callum, Owen and I are fortunate to be part of the First Church Community and to enjoy the fellowship and sense of belonging it provides.  We pledge each year, not only to support the Church and it’s good work, but to support our fellow members’ work and planning on behalf of the Church by doing our part to provide for stable and predictable finances.

We hope you will join us in fiscal year 2022 by following the link to a confidential pledge form on the First Church website here.

All the Best

Chris Barr

P.S. Stewardship Co-Chairs: Hilary Oat-Judge and Chris Barr have been devoted, active First Church members since 2012. Callum and Owen are devoted, very active members of the Youth Group. Jean and Nick

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Rooted In Love – A Stewardship Reflection

Last summer I met Doctor Huey. Specifically, I met Doctor Huey sucker shoots as I watched our beautiful rose tree die.

At the time I didn’t know what was going on, but after searching the web I learned about the rose grafting process.  See what happens is a lot of the pretty roses are not hardy enough for our climate, and they are grafted to a rootstock of a hardier rose.

Well, the thing is that rootstock is a rose itself.

That rootstock if given an opportunity will divert the resources that would go to the grafted rose to itself.  Over time the grafted rose will die of starvation and neglect.

Church to me is like a rose tree; it requires resources, and it’s dependent upon its rootstock, us.

Like that rootstock I could pour resources exclusively into myself and my other interests and exclude the church. I could expect others to provide. I could procrastinate.  All the while that rose tree withers away.

Instead, I choose to give resources to the rose tree.  I choose to love it.  I understand that its beauteous appearance, and pleasing aroma is a function of the resources it receives through the rootstock.

And, when I channel resources to support the rose tree in some small way l am a part of its purpose.

In some small way I too am beautiful.

Robert Mann-Thompson

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Why we pledge . . .

Every so often, a scene revisits my memory. It is of a long line of adults, both women and men, queued up at the church, waiting for a hot meal. It always puzzled me that in a nation which could put a space craft down in a highly specific spot on a distant moon, we could not find a way to provide for the simplest needs of our fellow citizens here on earth.  This, despite the abundance of food which we produced and then sometimes destroyed to protect the price.

The feeding program has evolved and moved on to other locations. As a nation, trips to the edge of space are the latest symbols of the acquisition of great wealth. Why then do I continue to feel that in some obscure corner, absent the television cameras, some of our fellow citizens are still standing in line to receive their only meal for the day.

This is why we pledge.

Lance and Liz Warren

P.S. from the Stewardship Campaign Co-chairs, Jean Alexander, Nick McConnell: Per the FCUCC Church Directory, Lance and Liz joined FCUCC in 1971. That makes this year their 50th “First Church” Anniversary! What a treasure they have been and continue to be. We hope you join them in pledging your support for First Church during this important stewardship season.

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2. Here’s why-

Pledge income is the key component of the First Church budgeting process. Pledge income makes it possible for us to assure our ministerial staff, music director, and administrative personnel that they will be paid. Pledge income is essential to maintain the building and beautiful sanctuary that houses our worship, youth education programs, social outreach, and all the other ways we witness to our faith from our home in the nation’s capital at 10th & G. Pledge income is the foundation on which we build our ministry of justice, equity, and inclusion for all not only at First Church but throughout the nation and the world through our connectedness with the Potomac Association, the Central Atlantic Conference, and the United Church of Christ.

Whenever you have a day you feel you just didn’t do enough to advance peace, justice, and the force of our faith in the world, send up a small prayer for the national church and for our own Sandy Sorenson who serves as Director of the Washington Office of the UCC Justice and Ministry Staff. Our church participation in the UCC helps to make this happen – see what Sandy and her staff are up to here. Or give thanks for Susan Saudek, Chair, Sanctuary Committee of the Social Action and Awareness Commission, for her service to the immigrant community and her constant reminders of how and where we can reach out to our neighbors from around the globe in their time of need. Or take a moment to bless Priscilla Waters, leading volunteer for the Drop-In Center, who coordinates the support of our many other members (and include them in your prayer as well) who devote their time to youth in our midst who need a safe place if only for an evening. Add Gail Sonneman to your thanks for her time representing us at the Washington Interfaith Network, and Jamey Moore for his time serving as our representative to the Potomac Association LGBT Task Force, and Dale Ostrander for his devotion to our service within the Shaw Community, and to so many others whose good works emanate from the spiritual home made possible because you decided to make a pledge. Every single pledge is necessary – and important.

But put aside for a moment all the good works for others your pledge will support. Here’s the quiet little secret that should make us all grateful for the chance to participate. As a pledge supporter of First Church, you can put your head on the pillow at the end of each day – even those when you got too busy to do what in your heart you knew you should have done and wish you had found the time to do – and say good night in peace and gratitude. In some small way, every day, your pledge, even the small one, made all of these things possible. Smile, give thanks, accept the blessing of well earned rest, arise refreshed. Through your pledge, you have played a part in so much that is worthy.

If you have not already done so, please join us with your pledge (and an increase in your pledge if your circumstances permit) as we gather on Sunday to celebrate this season of thanks + giving. The easily completed pledge form is here, or you can email your pledge directly to Lucille at

With thanks, love, and gratitude –

Jean Alexander and Nick McConnell, Co-Chairs, Stewardship Campaign