1140 Cowper St. Sundays at 8:30am and 10:30am

Social Justice Ministry


“Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.”

-Micah 6:8

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. For a summary of the groups we have supported in 2017, click here.

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:

On Earth Day Sunday, one of Cool Planet’s recommended actions was to offset your carbon usage for airplane travel by making a donation to Canopy, a local organization who “plants and cares for trees where people need them most”. On this Fifth Sunday, July 29, staff from Canopy will be with us to tell us about the environmental benefits of trees and also the environmental justice aspects of “growing greener, healthier communities”. Then they will lead us on a tree walk around our neighborhood, so that we have a chance to fulfill one of our other Earth Day commitments: to spend some time each day appreciating the wonder of God’s creation.  We will start the event immediately following the 10:30 Worship Service in the Lounge, where we will serve a light lunch.

On Sunday October 7, a First Pres CROP Hunger Walk team will once again raise funds for Church World Service and the Ecumenical Hunger Project. Signup information will be available soon. Here’s a picture of last year’s team:

Members of the Social Justice Ministry team have been attending various events around Santa Clara County 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.


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 monthly letter writing to legislatorss on social justice issues such as hunger, fossil fuel divestment and immigration policy,
  • Planning a quarterly inter-generational hands-on Fifth Sunday activity, such as packing lunches for the Front Door Ministry of First Pres San Jose or working with Rise Against Hunger to pack meals for refugees around the world.
  • 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 and working with Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.
  •  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 partner organizations such as  Puente de la Costa Sur in Pescadero, CA, a resource center that serves immigrant workers and others on the South Coast and Youth Community Service in its work to support underprivileged youth in our community.
  • Lending ongoing support to the United Campus Christian Ministry at Stanford.
  • Forming a team for the annual Church World Service CROP Hunger Walk that also benefits the Ecumenical Hunger Project.
  • 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 South Bay Sanctuary Covenant. For a summary of the groups we supported in 2017, click here.