|First Congregational Church UCC, Bristol|
BRISTOL (09/22/2011) -- The missions committee at the First Congregational Church UCC in Bristol has never offered a full SERRV store before, but decided to make the fair trade handmade items available before the holidays this year. Since it would raise funds as well, they had the happy task of choosing where to give what they raised. And then they heard about Mission:1.
"We were looking for a charity," recalls committee member Doug Wennberg, "and said, Hey, Mission:1 would work!"
The SERRV profits will become part of the United Church of Christ's nationwide effort to collect 1 million food items, raise $111,111 for Neighbors in Need, and send 11,111 letters to Congress asking for food aid to the hungry. "We did the math," said Wennberg, dividing the totals by 5,300 UCC congregations. "I think we can do our part. And a little more."
In addition to the SERRV store, members of First Congregational Church will continue their monthly collections of food for the Christian Fellowship Center, a local agency in Bristol that makes both meals and take-home food items available to local residents. Fired up by Mission:1, they hope to increase their giving in late October and November.
Get Ready for Mission: 1
Over the summer, the agency's pantry has been stocked, in part, by fresh vegetables from a garden right outside the church's back door.
Depending on the success of the SERRV sale, the church may continue to offer those items regularly, and may consider an ongoing store, said Wennberg. The committee wants to have a more consistent presence for SERRV, which has worked for more than 60 years to improve the lives of low-income artisans both by making their products available and by helping them improve their craft and business skills.
Mission:1 runs the first eleven days of November -- 11.1.11 - 11.11.11.