The Social Justice Ministry at FPCPA is committed to acting out our faith by working for positive change in our community and throughout the world. Our team actively calls on our members and our community members to participate with us.
In the first half of calendar year 2023, we did the following:
- Hosted the Heart and Home Collaborative shelter for women in need (Feb/March)
- Served around 600 dinners and hosted one month of overnight accommodations for the unhoused in Fellowship Hall during Hotel de Zink (July)
- Participated in Silicon Valley Pride Festival with 19 other churches and synagogues as faith organizations welcoming LGBTQ+ people (August)
- Accompanied an asylum seeker from Nicaragua (ongoing)
- Packed 10,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger (March)
In the second half of calendar year 2023, we plan these projects:
- Participate in the National Day of Service (Sept 10)
- Sponsor Peace picnic at Palo Alto City Hall with American Muslim Voice and Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice
- Support the United Campus Christian Ministry (UCCM) Intergenerational LGBTQ+ Dialogue Panel and series on “Four Questions to Move Beyond Polarization”
- Two get-out-the-vote (GOTV) letter-writing parties (Sept 17 and Oct 15)
- CROP Walk with World Church Service (Oct 29)
- Co-sponsor with Christian Education team two online talks on Native Americans in our local area
- Endorse the overture by Olympia Presbytery to amend the Book of Order to include sexual orientation and gender identity among the categories against which this church does not discriminate and request agreement in support from the San Jose Presbytery (of which we are a member)
- Continued participation in the accompaniment team
In 2022, we organized the following:
• Two CROP Walks (with Church World Service) for Ukraine refugees (spring 2022) and for hunger needs worldwide (fall 2022)
• One Rise Against Hunger 10,000 meal-packing event
• Hotel de Zink shelter in our Fellowship Hall for the unhoused for the month of July
• Heart and Home Collaborative shelter for women in need for the month of February
• Three “Get Out The Vote” letter-writing parties (Fall 2022 with Vote Forward)
• Silicon Valley Pride Festival booth (Multi-faith) in August 2022
• Accompaniment team for an asylum seeker from Central America (with another church)
We take seriously the call of Jesus to “feed the hungry and clothe the naked.” We also take seriously Jesus’ call to identify, challenge, and change the systems of injustice in our world.
We affirm that nonviolence and peacemaking are essential to our faith in God’s reconciling work in Jesus Christ, as written in our commitment to being a Peace Church.
Here are some photos from recent events.
What We Do: A SAMPLING OF SOCIAL JUSTICE MINISTRY WORK AT Fpcpa
- Accompany asylum seekers with the help of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity. Click here to learn more about accompaniment.
- Support Cool Planet, a working group at First Pres addressing the issues of climate change and environmental justice.
- Collect food donations every Sunday for the Downtown Streets Team Food Closet.
- Organize monthly letter-writing to legislators on social justice issues such as hunger, climate change, and immigration policy.
- Promote and attend monthly interfaith Peaceful Presence services organized by Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice.
- Raise funds for the Day Worker Center of Mountain View, which connects workers and employers in a safe and supportive environment.
- Work with More Light Presbyterians to support members of the LGBTQIA+ community in our denomination and society.
- Partner with organizations such as Puente de la Costa Sur in Pescadero, a resource center that serves immigrant workers and others on the South Coast, and Youth Community Service, a local organization that works with underserved youth.
- Offer financial support to nonprofits whose goals align with ours. Below is a list of organizations to which we have donated.
Organizations Supported by the Social Justice Ministry
The Social Justice Ministry gives to the core areas of Sanctuary, Solidarity, Hunger and Homelessness, and Youth Mental Health. We have sponsored hands-on activities, publicized and attended events, and allocated money to organizations working in these areas. Following is a description of some of those groups.
Our accompaniment team works closely with Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity (IM4HI), who “connect people of faith to the work of social justice, especially to make the criminal justice system more just, and the immigration system more fair and humane.”
South Bay Sanctuary Covenant is an interfaith organization of churches and individuals who support a partner community in El Salvador.
The Day Worker Center of Mountain View connects workers and employers in a safe and supportive environment and empowers workers through fair employment, education and job skills training.
Puente works side by side with community members to build and increase equity for all who call the South Coast home, including many farm workers.
Immanuel House provides newly arrived refugees seeking freedom from persecution with transitional housing and the opportunity to thrive in their new home.
Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice (MVPJ) represents diverse faith communities who put convictions into action by saying NO to war and YES to peace and justice. They sponsor Peaceful Presence services on the 11th of each month and other gatherings.
Trans HeartLine “builds bridges between Faith, Spirituality, and Gender through safe post-op housing and community education.”
More Light Presbyterians works for the full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in the life, ministry and witness of the PC(USA) and in society.
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship (PPF) encourages us “to take seriously God’s call to participate in God’s nonviolent work of love, peace, and justice in the world.”
Peninsula Peace and Justice (PPJC) has long been the local area’s leading grassroots voice for peace, justice and human rights. They host speakers, forums and an annual Harvest/Holiday Fair at FPCPA.
United Campus Christian Ministry (UCCM) at Stanford is a progressive Christian fellowship which “welcomes all students and is dedicated to exploring spirituality and social justice.”
Youth Community Service (YCS) “builds life skills and leadership through meaningful service learning experiences that encourage youth to make purposeful school and life choices.”
Ecumenical Hunger Project (EHP) in East Palo Alto strives to “sustain our neighbors through immediate crises and help them regain stability and independence.” One quarter of the money that our Church World Service Crop Walk team raises is given to EHP.
LifeMoves combines interim housing with comprehensive services that enable homeless families and individuals to find a rapid return to stable housing and self-sufficiency. We participate in their Opportunity Center and Hotel de Zink ministries.
Heart and Home Collaborative operates a cold-weather shelter for unhoused women at churches in Palo Alto. We support them with donations and host them for a month each year.
Rise Against Hunger is “an international hunger relief organization that distributes food and life changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable.” Each year they lead us in packing 10000 meals for refugees.
We have also given to March for our Lives Foundation, Youth Alive (Oakland), Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and Planned Parenthood Mar Monte.
Our committee meets monthly, alternating between 11:30 am on the second Saturday of the month and noon on the second Wednesday. Currently, we’re meeting by Zoom. We’d love to have you join us. If you have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.