Justice

Justice

Are you looking for ways to connect with others in a more meaningful way that also impacts our local community?

First Church UCC Phoenix partners with various community organizations to serve the needs of all people. We offer the opportunity for all of our local community members to discover how they can make a difference in other people’s lives without the question of whether they have to attend church or not. Our church focuses on engaging in our local community, believing that all people are treated justly and equally.

Our congregation is led by the members and lay people along with clergy. This creates a church of faith in action. Here at First Church UCC Phoenix we encourage all of our members to practice their faith in action by engaging in our Justice and Outreach Programs. We offer many opportunities for volunteers to help out with a variety of projects and outreach both within our local church community and missions throughout the wider world. If you have the desire to connect and engage with other like-minded individuals, please join us. These opportunities are ever changing and always growing. Contact Us for more information.

 

Roundtable on Homelessness & Instability

Hope 4 Phoenix Thankful Sundays Homelessness Feeding

A collaborative effort where we host a weekly event in which food, clothing and hygiene products are provided to the people experiencing homelessness in our downtown Phoenix community. This is facilitated at 4 pm every Sunday in partnership with Hope 4 Phoenix Thankful Sundays. Twice a month, medical triage services and haircuts are also provided. We do our best to connect those who are experiencing homelessness in our community to the various resources available that can assist them in improving their current situation. 

Grace Lutheran Summer Respite

This is a collaborative effort with Grace Lutheran Church in which we provide over 200 sandwiches for sack lunches and chaplaincy support to the people experiencing homelessness in our downtown Phoenix community eight Mondays during the summer when the temperatures can be challenging to all who live here.

This First Church UCC team is working to organize around reform associated with Homelessness and Instability in Maricopa County. Currently, the Roundtable on Homelessness and Instability meets the 1st Wednesday of the month from 6:30-8:00 pm.

 

Task Force on Immigration

Except for our indigenous brothers and sisters, we in the United States are all descended from immigrants, whether voluntary or involuntary. Caught once again in an era of intolerance, how quickly we forget that welcoming the stranger has been a blessing for us all.

The education of immigrant children is not only a smart investment; as an expression of the call to love our neighbors as ourselves, it is also a moral imperative. The issues of immigration and immigration enforcement affect the children in immigrant families and the public schools that serve those children.

This First Church UCC team is working to organize around immigration reform. Currently, the Immigration Task Force meets the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 6-7:30 pm.

Restoration Project

We work with faith-based groups and people of conscience to build a network of mutual support with those being detained and who have been released.

Together, we are restoring our human community. Together we are weaving a sustainable lifeline of hope, solidarity, and tangible support and by offering our hospitality to men, women, and youth just released from detention. Little by little. We walk the way together. Becoming community. Honoring the dignity of all. Seeking to ultimately end mandatory detention of immigrants.

This includes hosting families seeking asylum periodically throughout the year. Sometimes we host people we meet at the bus station, if they can't get a ticket until the next day or later. Sometimes we host people who have been referred to us by FIRRP (such as their clients working on asylum cases). Sometime FIRRP refers to us youth (about to turn 18) who are aging out of youth facilities and will have to be transferred to adult detention unless they have a place to stay while awaiting the outcomes of their cases.

Sanctuary

As part of the faith community, we are called to accompany our community members, congregants and neighbors facing deportation. By offering sanctuary we can fight individual cases, advocate to stop deportations, and make it possible to win deferred action at a case-by-case level to keep families together.

On January 26, 2017, First Church declared itself a Sanctuary church when Rev. James Pennington announced, “In times of crises people of faith have to return to ancient traditions. Refugees in the Roman Empire found sanctuary in Christian churches. Slaves in pre-civil war United States found sanctuary in the Underground Railroad and congregations across the country. Political refugees from the civil wars in Central America found sanctuary in over 500 churches in the United States when our federal government failed to offer asylum or refuge under existing laws. First Church joins the many congregations already offering sanctuary today in the face of one of the most urgent and large scale humanitarian crisis in the United States."

Immigration Accompaniment Program: The program pairs immigrants in final removal proceedings with volunteers who accompany them to their required, periodic check-ins with immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It is a concrete way to extend sanctuary for the most vulnerable among us. Sanctuary is not a physical entity but the spaces wherein all of us can breathe freely and in dignity.

Sanctuary into the Streets AZ: A network of faith communities and individuals offering support to those in sanctuary by providing hospitality within our places of worship and making a visible, public presence of solidarity for those facing deportation orders.

Ofrenda

Ofrenda is a special day of cultural activities that surround the traditional Mexican “Day of the Dead”. The tradition of setting up ofrendas dedicated to the departed dates back to the Pre-Hispanic era. They are prepared a few days before the 1st and 2nd of November, the dates when it is believed that the dead return to visit their friends and relatives. The 1st of November is dedicated to children, and the 2nd to adults. The elements of the ofrenda stem from this idea of celebration of death in life.

 

LGBTQIA Support

Rebel & Divine

Rebel & Divine grew out of a Christmas mission project to give new shoes to people experiencing homelessness and marginalized, vulnerable and less fortunate LGBTQ teens in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Rebel & Divine's mission is to build a community that encourages health and wholeness for vulnerable youth and young adults and is a safe space where they can be who God created them to be. First Church UCC Phoenix works in collaboration with Rebel & Divine to carry out their mission of health and wholeness.

I Have a Dream Boutique

This clothing boutique is open for transgender teens and adults every Saturday morning at First Church UCC Phoenix from 10 am - 12 pm. I Have a Dream offers a safe and compassionate place for transgender-identified individuals to receive clothing and personal hygiene items.

First Church UCC

1407 N Second Street
PhoenixAZ 85004
 (602) 258-6891
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 Contact Us

Service Times

Sundays at 10:30 a.m.
with Pastor James Pennington

Office Hours
Mon - Fri: 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Closed Saturday & Sunday

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