Social Justice Ministry
“Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.”
Social Justice Ministry at First Pres is a group of individuals committed to acting out our faith by working for positive change in our community and throughout the world. Micah’s call is our core theological affirmation, providing a framework for all that we do.
We take seriously the call of Jesus both to “feed the hungry and clothe the naked” and also to identify, make visible, challenge, and change the systems of injustice in our world.
Our work and our giving focus on maximum impact toward achieving our mission. Our primary commitment is to work with and support well-managed nonprofit groups that are effective in working toward justice and social change.
We sponsor numerous events so that our congregation can engage in Hands-On Social Justice Ministry. Please take a look at “What We Do” below to find fun ways to help out weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly…
Our committee meets monthly, usually after the main service on the 3rd Sunday of the month. We’d love to have you join us. If you have questions, please contact one of the Session members on the Social Justice Ministry team.
News and Announcements:
- In October, 13 people represented First Pres at this year’s CROP Hunger Walk to raise funds for Church World Service and the Ecumenical Hunger Project.
- In August 2017, First Pres became certified as a Hunger Action Congregation by the PC(USA) Hunger Program, based on many of our activities described below.
- Members of the Social Justice Ministry team have been attending various events around Santa Clara County recently to get a better understanding of immigration and sanctuary issues at the national, county, and municipal levels. To read a summary of what they’ve learned, click here.
- Every Fifth Sunday after church, we host an inter-generational hands-on Social Justice activity. In January we packed 10,000 meals for refugees for Stop Hunger Now. In April, in conjunction with Cool Planet’s Earth Day celebration, we had a cooking demonstration/tasting/talk about the effect of using sustainable local food.
- On December 21, 2016, Session voted unanimously to become a Peace Church. Please read the resolution here.
What We Do:
A Sampling of Social Justice Ministry Work at First Pres
- Collecting donations every Sunday for the Downtown Streets Team Food Closet. For a list of foods needed at the Food Closet, click here.
- Providing a LifeMoves Breaking Bread Hot Meal every Wednesday evening in our Fellowship Hall. To volunteer to help with a meal every 5th Wednesday, contact Joy Sleizer.
- Organizing a community project every 5th Sunday, such as packing lunches for the Front Door Ministry of First Pres San Jose.
- Hosting Hotel de Zink, every July, providing shelter and meals for unhoused adults.
- Facilitating the Christmas Connections program at First Pres that gathers donations and organizes a holiday party for the Day Worker Center, which connects workers and employers in a safe and supportive environment.
- Educating our church about becoming a Peace Church as described in this resolution.
- Supporting Cool Planet, a working group at First Pres committed to addressing the issues of climate change and environmental justice.
- Working with the More Light ministry, a group that supports members of the LGBTQ community in the church, surrounding community, and nationwide.
- Volunteering with Puente de la Costa Sur in Pescadero, CA, a resource center that serves immigrant workers and others on the South Coast.
- Volunteering with Youth Community Service in its work to support underprivileged youth in our community.
- Lending ongoing support to the United Campus Christian Ministry at Stanford.
- Volunteering with the annual CROP Hunger Walk, a ministry of Church World Service.
- Writing letters to senators and congressional representatives on social justice issues, such as hunger, fossil fuel divestment, supplemental nutrition assistance programs, and more.
- Advocating for social justice with the City of Palo Alto on issues such as the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park.
- Offering financial support to nonprofits of distinction, including Peninsula Peace & Justice, Immanuel House , and Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. For a summary of the groups we have supported in 2017, click here.