St. John’s UCC partners with a number of organization that help in our community and beyond. Some are actively supported all year long, and some specifically at our Alternative Gift Market in November, but all are important to our St. John’s family!
Code Blue in Lansdale – Volunteers Needed
During the winter months, the Montgomery County Health Department declares “Code Blue” if night time temperatures are 20 degrees or below. Volunteers are ready to provide dinner and overnight shelter to North Penn area homeless men at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lansdale. Volunteers from local churches staff the shelter from 7:30pm to 9:00am in three shifts: intake, overnight, and breakfast/cleanup. Both male and female volunteers are needed! New volunteers are provided any training on-site during Code Blue nights.
Anyone who would like to help can sign up for time slots through the Code Blue page on the Trinity website, TrinityLansdale.com. Please contact St. John’s representative, Jim Stevenson, at 267-642-9952 for more information. Thank you!
ST. JOHN’S MISSION PARTNERS (in our Alternative Gift Market & Beyond)
Angel Flight East – (AFE) is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the community by facilitating free air transportation for children and adults with medical conditions who need to get to treatment far from home. https://angelflighteast.org/
The Arc – The Arc Alliance Advocacy Services – Supports Coordinaton Organization (SCO). For persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. https://www.thearc.org/ Local chapter: 3075 Ridge Pike, Eagleville, Pa. 610-265-4700
Bethany Children’s Home – http://www.bethanyhome.org/
St. John’s has long supported Bethany Home in Berks County. More than 300 youth who have been abused, neglected or abandoned reside there. Bethany is also one of the organizations helped by our Alternative Gift Market in November.
More than 300 children who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned are taking back their lives each year at Bethany Children’s Home. If you know someone in need of help please call 911 or contact ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.
Bethany’s Shelter Care program provides emergency services, crisis intervention, and immediate housing for child abuse victims. Their trauma informed Shelter Care staff provide support to children transitioning out of unsafe conditions. To learn more, call Bethany at 610-589-4501.
Doctors Without Borders – http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/?ref=donate-header
We are Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). We help people worldwide where the need is greatest, delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from health care.
INTERFAITH CENTER OF GREATER PHILADELPHIA
Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Baha’i, Sikh, and others…the Interfaith Center is governed by a Board of Directors and a professional team whose members reflect a broad spectrum of religious, ethnic, and racial communities. These leaders advance the agency’s mission by drawing on their collective experience in interfaith relations and diversity work conducted in civic, governmental, community, and educational areas.
The Center’s holistic approach to learning engages the head, the heart, and the hands, through teaching, dialogue, and service. Formal projects, or Signature Initiatives, have the same goal, which is to create communities of hope and reconciliation throughout our region—in workplaces, schools, and neighborhoods. We bring together religious leaders, congregants, and youth, to get to know each other as people and to learn how to value and respect the “other” while maintaining (and often strengthening) their own religious identities.
Our tagline, Dare to Understand , is both a statement of fact and a call to action, encapsulating so much of what makes our work unique. It conveys a sense of the courage required to participate and engage in interfaith work, the fear of the religious “other” felt by so many, and the need to overcome such fears. It challenges us to be bold in learning about one another, to dare to listen sincerely to the crying needs of our time, and to work together to contribute to the good of our region. Not only is our tagline a call for a deeper understanding of the religious “other,” but it is also an invitation to continued discovery within one’s own self, heritage, and unique perspective.
100 West Oxford Street, Suite E-1300, Philadelphia, Pa. 19122
Monday & Tuesday: Closed Wednesday – Friday: 11:00AM-5:00PM Saturday & Sunday: 11:00AM-3:00PM
Manna on Main Street –www.mannaonmain.org
Manna On Main Street began in the basement of St. John’s in 1981 as an idea by then Pastor John Touchberry, who saw a need for a food pantry – soup kitchen in the North Penn community. With the hard work of St. John’s members and others in the community, Manna moved to a small home next to St. John’s for many years, until it moved to 710 W. Main Street. In the Fall of 2016 Manna again moved to the new North Penn Commons on 606-608 East Main Street, which also houses the Y, Peak Center and senior apartments. The people of St. John’s regularly volunteer to help at Manna and we collect food for them year-round with the second Sunday of the month designated as “Manna Sunday”. St. John’s is very proud to have started this organization now supported by the entire community. Manna’s annual Thanksgiving dinner is held in St. John’s Assembly Hall.
Manna on Main Street is committed to ending hunger in the North Penn region by providing food, fulfilling social service and education needs, and conducting community outreach. Through a food pantry and soup kitchen, emergency financial aid, counseling and referrals, and education opportunities, Manna serves those in need with the hope “that everyone might be fed.”
Manna on Main Street is located at North Penn Commons on 606-608 E. Main Street (Rt. 63) in Lansdale! The story below is from the October, 2016 “Manna Works” newsletter telling about their 2016 move:
Many St. John’s members volunteered to help as the September 18, 2016 “Manna On The Move” event prepared Manna for their move to North Penn Commons. Photo below by Leon Wiener.
Here are some special ways to help Manna on Main Street:
Make a financial contribution and help families in need. Your tax deductible donation will help us feed thousands in our community. Donate online or mail your donation to Manna on Main Street, E. Main Street, Lansdale, PA 19446. For more information, please contact Manna’s Program & Development Coordinator, Kristyn DiDominick: [email protected] or 215-855-5454, ext 14.Thank you!
Volunteer! Donate your time to help others in need. Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities at Manna.
UrbanPromise – www.urbanpromiseusa.org More to ComeSince 1988, the mission at UrbanPromise has been to equip Camden’s children and young adults with the skills necessary for academic achievement, life management, spiritual growth, and Christian leadership. They strive to fulfill this mission through after-school programs, summer camps, two schools, experiential learning, job training, and a host of other programs that challenge youth to develop and realize their potential.UrbanPromise has participated in our November St. John’s Alternative Gift Market for many years. St. John’s has also collected school supplies and donations for UrbanPromise as part of our VBS offering, and helps distribute gifts from our White Gift Service in their neighborhood.
Hedwig House Hedwig House provides support, job training, and long-term housing to individuals with mental illness. The goal of Hedwig House is to provide support and assistance to individuals with mental illness in pursuit of independence and personal fulfillment.To participate, individuals must be a resident of Montgomery County, age 18 or older and have a primary diagnosis of mental illness. Hedwig House does not discriminate against any person for any reason including race, color, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age, handicap or sex.We are a private, non-profit organization working under contract with the Montgomery County Office of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and Magellan Health Services. Services are also supported through the generosity of foundations and individuals who support our mission. http://www.hedwighouse.org/ 109 Jenkins Ave., Lansdale, Pa. 215-362-8894
Heifer International Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth.https://www.heifer.org/
Hispanic Federation/UNIDOS Hispanic Federation (HF) is the nation’s premier Latino nonprofit membership organization. Founded in 1990, HF seeks to support Hispanic families and strengthen Latino institutions through work in the areas of education, health, immigration, civic engagement, economic empowerment, & the environment. https://hispanicfederation.org/
Logan’s Heroes Logan’s Heroes Animal Rescue Inc. began in December of 2014 to honor the spirit of a young German Shepherd puppy and all those that dedicated or even lost their lives to help our country be what it is today. Our mission is to rescue homeless, neglected and abused animals and place them into life-long homes while placing an emphasis on the human-animal relationship and its ability to help heal those that need it most. We have created programs and partnered with other organizations to promote this benefit and place an emphasis on supporting Veterans. http://lharinc.org/
Books Through Bars Based in Philadelphia PA, Books Through Bars is a volunteer-run organization that distributes free books and educational materials to incarcerated people in PA, NJ, NY, MD, DE, VA and WV. Each week, we receive hundreds of letters from prisoners requesting books. Each year we send over 8,000 book packages. We welcome all who wish to learn and help. http://booksthroughbars.org/
The Malala Fund Inspired by co-founders Malala and Ziauddin Yousafzai, Malala Fund’s goal is to enable girls to complete 12 years of safe, quality education so that they can achieve their potential and be positive change-makers in their families and communities. We work with partners all over the world helping to empower girls and amplify their voices; we invest in local education leaders and programmes; and we advocate for more resources for education and safe schools for every child. https://www.malala.org/
Teaching Tolerance Looking for inspiration and support? Teaching Tolerance provides educational materials—from articles that make you think to presentations you can share. These resources are designed to help teachers improve their practice and turn K-12 schools into strong communities that welcome diversity, giving all students an opportunity to learn. http://www.tolerance.org/
The Fred Rogers Company We honor Fred by carrying on his work. We’re proud to be building on Fred’s legacy in innovative ways through a wide variety of media, and engaging new generations of children and families with his timeless wisdom. http://www.fredrogers.org/
The Seeing Eye – http://www.seeingeye.org/ The Seeing Eye’s mission is to enhance the independence, dignity and self-confidence of people who are blind, through the use of specially trained Seeing Eye® dogs. In pursuit of this mission, The Seeing Eye breeds and raises puppies to become Seeing Eye dogs, trains Seeing Eye dogs to guide blind people, instructs blind people in the proper use, handling, and care of the dogs and conducts and supports research on canine health and development.
Victim Services Center of Montgomery County, Inc. www.victimservicescenter.org/
Our mission is to provide advocacy and counseling for all who have been affected by sexual violence and other crimes against the person, and to promote sensitivity and awareness in the community through education.
Wissahickon Watershed Association– A non-profit land trust founded in 1957 to protect the quality and beauty of the Wissahickon Creek & Watershed. http://www.wvwa.org/
Agape National Academy of Music – Republic of Liberia http://anamliberia.org/ In October 2011, the director of ANAM, Samson Tarpeh, visited St. John’s & played music at our worship services. he also participated in a Fall outing we held at a nearby farm & learned all about the American tradition of hayrides & weenie roasts & s’mores!
The Agape National Academy of Music’s (ANAM) sole purpose is to grant Liberian children opportunities to be successful through music and arts. The Agape Music
Back Bay Mission – www.backbaymission.org
Back Bay Mission has been a lasting source of hope and help for thousands of children, adults and families along the Mississippi Gulf Coast since 1922. As one of the oldest and most highly respected organizations within the United Church of Christ and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Back Bay Mission continues its journey of providing innovative solutions and compassionate responses to those suffering at the hands of social injustice and economic hardship. Today Back Bay Mission is poised to accelerate services to those in need of homes, stability and opportunity.
After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005, volunteers from St. John’s & other UCC churches across the country traveled to the Biloxi, Ms. area for work projects.
Church World Service – http://www.cwsglobal.org/
Some 8,000 congregations and groups across the U.S. hold CWS Blankets events, providing funds to help people in need around the world. For over 60 years, CWS has worked in partnership with local communities to identify their needs and access the resources they need to build the foundation for a more viable future, including:
Blankets, tents, food and other emergency supplies in the wake of a disaster. Tools and seeds for refugees returning home to replant their fields Wells for families living in drought prone areas to provide clean, safe water to drink and to irrigate crops and gardens Literacy training and microcredit for women struggling to realize their potential.
St. John’s has supported the global efforts of Church World Service for many years. We annually support them in early February with a special offering on Blanket Sunday, where a $5.00 donation furnishes a blanket to a neighbor in need. The Blanket Sunday offering also helps CWS provide tents, food & emergency supplies in the wake of a disaster, tools & seeds for refugees returning home to replant their fields, and wells for clean, safe drinking water in drought-prone areas.
Each Fall, St. John’s members participate and & donate to the annual CWS Crop Walk. It takes place on a Sunday afternoon in October, starting at Trinity Lutheran Church & walking downtown on Main Street in Lansdale. Our St. John’s Outreach Team raised over $500 in 2017. See the October Enlightener for details. As the article from 1979 below shows, St. John’s has actively contributed to CWS for many years. The photos below are from 2005 collecting for Health Kits & 2008 Blanket Sunday.
Global Ministries – http://www.globalministries.org/
Through Global Ministries Child Sponsorship program, St. John’s sponsors three special children. Dilli Babu and Yashi are Tibetan children living in a children’s home in India, and Nickole Florence is a 13 year old living with her family in the Philippines. Look for letters from the children on the bulletin board “Mission/Outreach” in the hallway outside the Library and read the Mission Corner article in the Enlightener.
Kalauman Center in the Philippines
Many of you were present on August 14, 2016 when, following worship, George Kaufman shared slides and stories from the visit he and his wife, Patricia, made to the Philippines in the spring to visit Nickole Florence, one of the children St. John’s sponsors through the Child Sponsorship Program of the UCC. The Kalauman Development Center is at the heart of the program in which Nickole Florence participates and is a center providing crucial services to over 250 children.
Currently the Kalauman Center is engaged in constructing a much needed additional building to accommodate the children they serve and are seeking our support, and the support of other churches, to complete this project. If you would like to support this important work, we will be receiving contributions up until Sunday, September 11th (Celebration Sunday). Please make your check payable to St. John’s UCC and note that it is for the Kalauman Center. We will send one check through Global Ministries to ensure the funds end up exactly where they need to go.
Neighbors In Need – http://www.ucc.org/nin/
Special Offering on World Communion Sunday, the first Sunday of October. Neighbors in Need (NIN) is a special mission offering of the United Church of Christ that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM). Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries (JWM) to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants. NIN grants are awarded to churches and organizations doing justice work in their communities. These grants fund projects whose work ranges from direct service to community organizing and advocacy to address systemic injustice. Funding is provided through donations to the NIN offering.
Oaxaca Learning Center http://www.tolc.org.mx/
In recent years, St. John’s members have been generous in giving support to the Oaxaca Learning Center, a nonprofit organization in Mexico offering free academic teaching and learning services to students 14 years and older. The Learning Center assists students from lowincome or impoverished urban families and from indigenous rural villages throughout the state of Oaxaca who have migrated to the capital city to complete their studies. Founded by Gary Titus, formerly of San Francisco, the Learning Center is living witness to a vision becoming reality. Since it officially opened its doors in 2005, the Learning Center has nurtured hundreds of students, helping them through junior and senior high school and providing many of them with the resources to pursue university studies.
One Great Hour Of Sharing – http://www.ucc.org/oghs/
One Great Hour of Sharing, as part of Our Church’s Wider Mission, is the special mission offering of the United Church of Christ that carries God’s message of love and hope to people in 138 countries. The UCC works with international partners to provide sources of clean water and food, education and health care, small business micro-credit, emergency relief, and advocacy and resettlement for refugees and displaced persons. OGHS also supports domestic and international ministries for disaster preparedness and response. This special offering is collected during a Sunday worship in mid-March.
Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM) – http://www.ucc.org/ocwm/
This is an outreach mission of the United Church of Christ. This is an ongoing program with various projects, and a portion of your weekly offering can be designated for OCWM. Please click the link above to learn more about Our Church’s Wider Mission. Click this link below to see a pdf file of the OCWM brochure. http://www.uccfiles.com/pdf/ocwmbrochure.pdf
In 2014, St. John’s was one of the Top 50 UCC churches in donations to OCWM!
Our ‘Sister’ Mission Partner United Church of Christ Congregations:
These are ‘new’ (within the last 10-15 years) start-up churches in nearby urban communities which have grown into established congregations and became part of the United Church of Christ through the support and prayers of the people of St. John’s. We continue to support the needs of the communities they serve through donations from our annual Coat Drive and White Gift Service.
Living Water United Church of Christ – www.lwucc.org
6250 Loretto Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19111 (Oxford Circle neighborhood)
The Assembly Hall at Living Water UCC was named in honor of St. John’s UCC Lansdale because of our support in helping their church become established in Philadelphia!
Christian Network Outreach Church UCC – www.cnoc-ucc.org
1001 Swede Street, Norristown, Pa. 19401
A group of St. John’s volunteers delivering coats & presents to CNOC, White Gift Sunday