We are called to love our neighbors. We bring justice and comfort to our beloved community by serving those living in poverty with programs to meet basic needs.
Starting right here at home, our Mission & Outreach Committee coordinates our many ministries that serve Evanston and the region through collaborations with organizations such as Interfaith Action of Evanston, Connections for the Homeless, Y.O.U., Night Ministry, and 15 social service agencies. Through these partnerships, our programs provide food, shelter, diapers, and holiday gifts for people in need.
Bundled Blessings Diaper Pantry
Diapers are as essential to a child’s health and well-being as food and shelter, but one in three families struggles to afford adequate diapers to keep their babies and toddlers clean and dry.
An outreach program of First Church, Bundled Blessings has partnered with local social service agencies since 2013 to distribute diapers to families in need.
First Friday Lunch Ministry
Our First Friday program feeds lunch to hungry persons in Evanston once a month. On the First Friday of each month volunteers gather at 10:30 a.m. in the First Church kitchen to make lunches and then head over to the First Congregational Church Parish House and serve them. Sign Me Up
The Night Ministry
Several evenings a year, First Church volunteers to prepare and deliver food to people in need through The Night Ministry, meeting up with their Health Outreach bus in one of seven Chicago communities.
Sack Lunch Ministry
Every Sunday our sack lunch ministry volunteers make brown bag lunches that are distributed to the community through Connections for the Homeless. Lunch making during the school year is after 10:30 a.m. worship; during the summer, we make lunches between Worship in the Park and 10:30 a.m. worship. We always can use additional help with shopping, lunch making, and delivery.
First Church is a host site for Interfaith Action of Evanston’s Soup Kitchen. Each Thursday we open our dining room doors to persons who need a hot meal and shelter from the elements. While a First Church team prepares meals once a month, we invite other Evanston area faith communities to provide and serve meals as well. First Church members traditionally prepare the annual Thanksgiving dinner. Sign Me Up
This Interfaith Action program collects toiletries and other essentials that are not covered by the SNAP program and distributes them to people at the monthly ProduceMobile food distribution event. Several times a year, First Church solicits donations of specific essential items. In May, the church will serve as the central collection site for the May donations.
Emergency Overnight Shelter
For three weeks during the coldest winter months, First Church serves as an emergency overnight shelter for people experiencing homelessness. In cooperation with six other faith communities, coordinated by Interfaith Action of Evanston, this shelter system offers men and women a warm, safe, and peaceful place to sleep from November through April.
The Star Tree program is a collaboration with Y.O.U to ensure Christmas gifts for Evanston children and their families. Our congregation annually purchases and donates gifts for more than 150 children and families.
Alternative Christmas Giving
Through Alternative Christmas Giving, church members support a wide variety of organizations in Evanston and across the globe. Organizations supported in the past include Curt’s Café, UMCOR, Heifer International.
Youth Local Mission Trip
Each summer a local mission trip gives youth entering grades 7-12 youth an opportunity to perform acts of service in nearby communities while building bonds of fellowship and responsibility. Check out photos from this year here!
Want to Volunteer?
Our Mission & Outreach Committee offers meaningful short-term volunteer opportunities regularly.