Jesus Left the Building and We Followed
Outreach and community service is a very important part of our identity as a Christian congregation. We affirm our United Church of Christ Statement of Faith that we are called to be servants “to the whole human family.” We seek to respond to Jesus’ call to minister to people throughout the world.
Our mission initiatives focus on
- Alleviating food insecurity
- Support good health
- Education and community connections (local, regional, global)
- Safety and freedom from fear
We made a permanent commitment to Sebago Lakes Region Fuller Center for Housing when we became a founding member. We’ve identified projects we support annually and are open to supporting other projects. For example, in January 2020 and January 2021, we contributed to Daisys Children.
Our primary mission focus in 2021 will be alleviating food insecurity. Each month a team of members prepares a hot meal for Raymond Food Pantry clients. To date, the favorite is meatloaf! Also, as of the end of April, 2021, we will have contributed to Good Shepherd Food Bank and Feeding America.
May 2021 we will send school kits and health/hygiene kits out to people in need through Church World Service. (more information below)
For the month of June, we will highlight and support the efforts of Sebago Lakes Region Fuller Center (described below).
Sebago Lakes Region Fuller Center
RVCC is a founding member of this local non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry dedicated to eliminating substandard and unsafe housing. We support Fuller Center with donations and volunteers.
Annual Mission Initiatives
United Church of Christ Mission Offerings
We actively support Our Church’s Wider Mission and the four United Church of Christ Special Offerings, which are Neighbors in Need (traditionally received in October), The Christmas Fund (December), One Great Hour of Sharing (March), and Strengthen the Church (May). Since 2005, the Maine Conference UCC has recognized the Raymond Village Community Church for its continued commitment to these mission offerings.
Health and School Kits and Emergency Buckets
We work with Church World Service each year to provide health items and school supplies for impoverished children and families throughout the world as well as those coping with natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes. We typically put together about 40 school and health kits.
During the worship service we talk about mission opportunities. Sunday, Sept 27, 2020 – collected for CWS then socks for Grace Street Ministry and school supplies for Church World Service School kits
Grace Street Ministry
A compassionate outreach ministry to the homeless and marginalized in downtown Portland, Maine offering support through Presence, Prayer and Advocacy. We support this ministry by collecting white socks, particularly diabetic socks, for the pastors to hand to the homeless they visit.
Raymond Food Pantry
The Raymond Food Pantry provides a variety of canned, dry goods and produce to qualifying Raymond residents. The Pantry is open the second and fourth Thursday of every month from 4pm to 6pm. We support the Food Pantry with volunteers and donations and in the second half of 2020, we have provided a hot meal to Food Pantry patrons on the second Thursday.
Heifer Internationl works in 21 countries around the world alongside local farmers and business owners. They support farmers and their communities as they mobilize and envision their futures. They work with farmers to improve productivity, diversify their businesses and increase incomes. With a living income they can provide quality food for themselves and their families.
We donate directly to Heifer Project or support the local Raymond Elementary School Reading Challenge by providing funds to purchase animals for farmers.
Maine Seacoast Mission Christmas Program
Each year at Christmas time, the Mission distributes holiday gifts to children, families, the elderly, and nursing home residents. We support this program by collecting and donating items on their wish list. These items become part of the “Elves’ Workshop” in the Weald Bethel Community Center, where people can choose the gifts they would like to give to their families.
The mission of Daisy’s Children is to provide sustenance, education and medical support to the disadvantaged children of Honduras. Because of the food, water, shelter, regular meals, and other necessities Daisy’s Children provides, many of these children are alive today.
In January 2020, we invited Sharon Beckwith, co-founder of Daisy’s Children, to talk to the congregation about their work and specifically the Day Care Center they needed $10,000 to finish. We were proud to send them a check for $2000.