HOPE
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
St. Louis, Missouri
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Hope's Local Mission Matters

 

globe_square03The Outreach Ministry is responsible for administering, supporting and developing the mission work of Hope United Church of Christ. This is made possible through the generous gifts of time and financial support of our members. The following agencies, events and programs are supported by the members of Hope, as are those agencies found on the other Mission pages describing efforts supported through Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM), the St. Louis Association of the United Church of Christ, and the Missouri Mid-South Conference of the United Church of Christ.

 

Alternative Gifts Fair
Through the Alternative Gifts Fair which takes place during the four weeks of Advent, Hope supports the work of Heifer International and Lydia’s House. Heifer’s mission is to end world hunger and poverty. Lydia’s House provides transitional housing in the St. Louis area for abused women and their children while working in faith to end domestic violence.

 

Breakfast Ministry Work Day at Epiphany United Church of Christ
To view photos from the April, 2012 Work Day, click here
EpiphanyBreakfast_2012_Group01Epiphany United Church of Christ in the Benton Park Neighborhood of South City is a church trying to hold on to its spiritual role in an ever changing inner-city neighborhood. For over 20 years, the Joint Neighborhood Ministry Food Pantry has been housed in their facilities and in the summer of 2010 the Breakfast Ministry was incorporated into their Wednesday morning ritual. It began as a hospitality to food pantry guests who waited in line before the pantry opened. Currently 60 to 80 people look forward to a free hot meal each week. Epiphany relies on partner churches to make this happen.

As a result of conversations at the Mission Task Force meetings sponsored by the Outreach Ministry, Hope became one of the partnering churches in March, 2012 when five of our members listened to Christ’s call to “feed my people.” Since then, six to seven volunteers have worked the first Wednesday of each month.

The morning begins at 7:30 a.m. with church hall setup and food preparation, at 8:30 a prayer is offered and breakfast is served until 9:30, then the morning ends about 10:15 after clean up. Our church donates the money to fund the breakfast each day we work. We are given time to eat with the folks who come for the meal and we listen to their stories. Many struggle with low incomes and this meal helps with their weekly budget. Others are homeless and this meal helps them with daily living.

If you would like to participate in this ministry, please add your name to the sign-up sheet posted on the bulletin board across from the parlor for the month you would like to volunteer. Financial contributions to help pay for the food prepared and served are also welcome. If you have questions, please contact Pastor Ed.

 

Eden Seminary
Eden Theological Seminary is a graduate school preparing women and men for ordained Christian ministry. One of the seven seminaries of the United Church of Christ, Eden is a community that seeks God’s justice and peace in the world. Eden is welcoming, inclusive and ecumenically diverse. Eden Seminary was established in the summer of 1850 at Marthasville, Missouri. It was established because a European education was not adequate to prepare pastors for Evangelical churches on the North American frontier. From its beginning, Eden has embodied an ecumenical spirit.

 

Emmaus Homes
Emmaus Homes was founded in 1893 in Marthasville, MO. when a group of pastors and lay people from the surrounding churches of the Evangelical Synod of the West decided to use their vacated seminary buildings to serve individuals with developmental disabilities. As a reflection of their Christian faith, the founders of Emmaus attempted to care for those in need, while recognizing each person’s worth and unique qualities and creating a spirit of community. In 1901, Emmaus opened its St. Charles campus to meet the vast need for services to people with developmental disabilities closer to St. Louis. As society came to better understand developmental disabilities and the contributions people with disabilities could make to the community, Emmaus’ programs changed and grew. While some individuals still reside on the Emmaus campuses, many now live in group homes in the community. Today, Emmaus serves residents in forty homes at its two campuses and throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. Programs have been developed to address individuals’ needs on a variety of levels, allowing Emmaus residents to become more actively involved with the communities around them. Now a mission of the United Church of Christ's Council for Health & Human Service Ministries (CHHSM), Emmaus remains a faith-based organization generously supported by churches of many faiths throughout the country.

 

Every Child's Hope (ECH)
Every Child’s Hope (formerly known as Evangelical Children’s Home) works in partnership with the community to assist children, youth and their families in their individual quest for health and wholeness through quality and faithful professional services. The agency dates back to 1858, when the German Protestant Orphans Home began. This orphanage later became ECH and has stood the test of time for over 150 years. As the times changed, ECH has managed to stay a leader in the field by continuing to be innovative in the care of the children served. In the last ten years, ECH has continued to expand services with an entire array of programs that work with children and families in their own communities, while maintaining a residential treatment program on their historic Rock Road campus. The goal of these community support programs is designed to assist families early in their children’s lives to prevent future serious problems.

 

Families in Need
Hope continues to sponsor the utility assistance fund that was set up in 2010 for our neighbors who are in desperate need of help in paying their gas or electric bills. The maximum annual dollar amount of assistance provided is $100 per family.

 

 

Habitat for Humanity
To view photos from the April, 2012 Habitat Build Work Day, click here
To view photos from the May, 2012 Habitat Build Work Day, click here
Habitat_2012_Group02Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller. Habitat for Humanity (HFH) is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide and to making adequate, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action. This ministry was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, decent place to live in dignity and safety. Habitat is a partnership founded on common ground, bridging theological differences by putting love into action; everyone can use the hammer as an instrument to manifest God's love. Habitat’s late founder called this concept "the theology of the hammer." Various St. Louis area congregations of the United Church of Christ came together to support the St. Louis Affiliate of Habitat for Humanity in 1992. Beginning that year and continuing every year since, members of the Hope congregation have participated in the local UCC Habitat for Humanity house builds by providing not only monetary contributions but also much needed expert labor. This means that 2011 was the 20th year that HFH houses were built by the UCC group of churches in St. Louis.

 

Hands of Hope
In 2011, the Outreach Ministry sought information from members and friends of the congregation who need various kinds of support and also those who could offer assistance to them. This program is just beginning and can definitely grow in the future.

 

Isaiah 58
FoodDrive03Isaiah 58 Ministries is a non-profit agency that began in 1970 in South Saint Louis. It was established to meet the needs of low-income individuals in our community through direct services including a food pantry, thrift store, utility assistance and job placement assistance. There is a long-standing commitment to Isaiah 58 by members of the Hope congregation. We provide food and monetary donations to this agency which serves many folks in need. In addition to our regular offerings throughout the year, our special campaigns include the Buy-a-Bird campaign and the Thanksgiving Harvest food offerings, both held in November.

 

Ronald McDonald Family Room
A group of Hope UCC members and friends, affectionately known as the “Hope McCliques,” volunteer at the Ronald McDonald Family Room located on the 5th floor of Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in midtown St. Louis on South Grand.

The room is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and the space provides a relaxing “home away from home” for patients’ families and guests. Features include a fully equipped kitchen with a refrigerator, oven, microwave and dishwasher; dining and play areas; beverages and limited snacks; comfortable chairs and couch; television; two computers with Internet access; a library; two bathrooms with showers; and a laundry room.

Family Room volunteers provide a warm welcome and supportive atmosphere to families using the area. Volunteers receive training from Family Room staff to learn how to register guests, to perform simple record-keeping, to do light housekeeping and to offer tours of the Family Room to visitors.

Hope volunteers have provided coverage 52 weeks a year since this Ronald McDonald Family Room opened in October, 2008. We work together in pairs and staff the room Monday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. and Tuesday afternoons from 3 to 6 p.m. The Hope Volunteer team currently includes Hope members and friends and is always in need of additional volunteers.

 

St. Louis Metro CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Hunger Walk
Operation Food Search and Church World Service sponsor this effort to keep up the fight against hunger and poverty through CROP Walks. CROP Walks are interfaith hunger education and fund-raising events. CROP began in 1947 under the wing of Church World Service. CROP was an acronym for the Christian Rural Overseas Program, whose primary mission was to help Midwest farm families share their grain with hungry neighbors in post-World War II Europe and Asia. Today the acronym has been outgrown, but it remains as the historic name of the program. Members of the Hope congregation provide funds and walk! “We walk because they walk.”

 

Summer Food Drives
The Outreach Ministry sponsors a Summer Food Drive from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Through the tremendous generosity of the congregation, food and personal care items are collected and distributed to Isaiah 58, the St. Louis Food Bank and the Ronald McDonald Family Room.