“The greatest moment in worship is when, strengthened by word and song, we go out into the world to do the work of the church. We don’t go to church. We are the church.”
“Faith with Our Sleeves Rolled Up!”
The First Congregational Church of Western Springs has a longstanding tradition of outreach and ministry beyond our walls. We often refer to this as ‘faith with our sleeves rolled up!’ As articulated in our Mission Statement and our call to be Christ’s disciples, numerous individuals and groups within our congregation work to: increase our love of God by increasing our love of neighbor; follow Christ to the side of all who suffer and despair; be Christ’s messengers and advocates for justice; and be generous and thoughtful stewards of all of God’s gifts. We invite all who wish to join us to share in the joys and challenges of this calling.
We also believe strongly in avoiding “toxic charity,” as described by author Robert Lupton, and instead embrace an Oath of Compassionate Service:
Mission & Outreach
Any registered 501(c)(3) organization is invited to submit a completed application in the fall of an odd year for review. When the grant process opens, this website will be updated with a link to the grant application and instructions.
- The criteria used to evaluate the funding decisions include:
- What is the impact the organization has on its constituents?
- Does it promote self-reliance and/or emergency relief?
- Is there current First Congo participation and /or potential opportunities to form connections with the organization?
Please feel free to contact Committee Chair, Cari Melby, or our staff liaison, Rev. Meredith Onion, with any comments, questions, or requests.
Mission & Outreach
In keeping with our Mission Statement and our call to be Christ’s disciples, numerous ministry teams and fellowship groups within our congregation work to: increase our love of God by increasing our love of neighbor; follow Christ to the side of all who suffer and despair; be Christ’s messengers and advocates for justice; be generous and thoughtful stewards of all of God’s gifts; and invite all who wish to join us to share in the joys and challenges of this calling.
Numerous groups within the church (Mission and Outreach, Woman’s Society, Plymouth Fellowship to name just a few) give their financial support and volunteer hours to partner with these various organizations. In particular, the Mission and Outreach Ministry Team is a group of dedicated volunteers working together to identify giving and volunteer opportunities for the church, with a goal of funding dynamic organizations that empower individuals and change lives.
We believe strongly in Robert Lupton’s Oath of Compassionate Service:
Meet The First Congo
Mission & Outreach Partners
Amani Ya Juu
A social economic enterprise committed to peace and reconciliation for women from many African nations and cultures using beautiful African materials to create high-quality fair trade home goods and accessories. The name, Amani ya Juu, is a Swahili saying which means “Peace from Above.” https://amaniafrica.org/
Dining for Women
A “global giving circle” that funds grassroots projects in developing countries that are fighting gender inequality. Supported projects educate girls, teach women skills, and help develop markets for their projects. These projects seek to improve living situations for women and their families and create a more equal future. https://diningforwomen.org/
Gilead is a progressive, inclusive, creative community of Christian faith on Chicago’s north side — a community that makes beautiful worship, throws great parties, and tells true stories that save lives. We’re a church where all are welcome — and where all means all. If you’ve been told or made to feel that you’re too queer, too out, too smart, too loud, too weird, have too many questions, or too big an agenda for church, we wanna meet you! https://www.gileadchicago.org/
The Hope Chest
The Hope Chest is an upscale resale shop specializing in quality women’s clothing. Founded in 1994, The Hope Chest is a not-for-profit organization whose sole beneficiary is Pillars Community Health’s Constance Morris House (CMH). The Constance Morris House is a shelter for domestic violence survivors and their children. https://www.thehopechest.net/
Interfaith Community Partners
Interfaith Community Partners is a non-profit organization which provides transportation to older adults to physician appointments, grocery shopping, and other quality life errands like trips to the bank, hairdresser, and church. If you or a friend could benefit from these services or if you are able to volunteer to drive, please call 708.354.9328. https://interfaithcommunitypartners.org/
SparkShop’s mission is to inspire and mobilize the next generation of engineers, innovators, entrepreneurs & manufacturing geniuses. SparkShop empowers students to apply their skills to engineering challenges and see their value in the STEM fields. We focus on inspiring 4th and 5th graders with a mix of visits from our staff of engineers and interdisciplinary, connected curriculum for their teachers. https://www.sparkshop.org/
Westchester Food Pantry
The Westchester Food Pantry serves as a resource throughout the year for those who are hungry and food insecure. Supported by the generous donations and work of our community – residents, organizations and businesses – we are able to supplement food needs in our Village and neighboring communities. https://www.westchesterfoodpantry.org/
*Due to COVID-19 and the absence of our semi-annual Rummage sale, we are not supporting these organizations at this time.
For more information on Mission and Outreach, contact Meredith Onion at 708.246.1900, ext. 222.