Mission and Outreach

/Mission and Outreach
Mission and Outreach 2017-09-05T13:59:24+00:00

Jesus said, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matt 25:35)

Passion for doing the work of Christ

Tangible ways of being the hands and feet of Christ in our community

Santa Cruz al Salvador

Building Relationship for Better Lives

We have joined a 20 year ecumenical ministry to people in El Salvador building relationships; offering support for education and medical service, and providing a water purification system. Delegations from Santa Cruz travel to El Salvador walking together with the people of Guillermo Ungo in solidarity that produces interdependence and mutual respect. The heart of the mission is ongoing prayer partners.

What is a Prayer Partner you ask?

Ruth and Mike formed a special bond with Filipe and his family when they met in 1998. Brenda, our translator and guide, had cared for Felipe when they were both taking refuge in the San Salvador Cathedral during the war; he had lost his legs to a land mine. Through the years Ruth and Mike watched the changes in his family as his children grew, in number and size, admiring his new house when the family moved, etc. So when Mike’s prayer child Maritza graduated and moved on, it was natural that Mike would become a prayer partner with Felipe’s 9 year old daughter Maria Reina.

Her face lit up when Mike told her he was her “padrino” (godfather). He looked her in the eyes and told her what that meant. It meant that he had an obligation to pray for her regularly, to write to her at least once a year, watch her grades and to give a picture of his family so that she could pray for him. Her obligation was to study, do her best in school and write back.

So even if you never travel to El Salvador each delegation that goes will meet with your prayer partner and extend their greeting and yours deepening the bonds between communities.

In support of this ministry – scholarships for the children to be better equipped to go to school – we participate in many activities such as these:

  • Wine tasting at Bargetto’s
  • See’s candy sale
  • Dinners at Shadowbrook.

Second Harvest Food Bank

Marvin and Dorothy Glaum of Glaum Ranch were founding members of our congregation. Through their generosity we sell eggs every Sunday morning (donated by the Glaum Ranch) and all proceeds go to support Second Harvest Food Bank.

CROP Walk is a national event to help stop hunger in our community and world.   We walk a distance that represents the distance many people have to walk each day to get clean water in an effort to raise money to end hunger. This year our intergenerational team of walkers raised over $1,000 to end hunger. 25% of those funds stay right here to support Second Harvest Food Bank.

Sometimes we feel helpless to stop hunger, but taking action certainly helps. We spend the morning packing food to be distributed to those in need.   Kids and adults work in their big warehouse to assemble bags of food to be distributed all over the county.   On one trip Chief Justice Sandra Day O’Conner came to see this ministry which was recognized as the best in the nation. (picture)

All of these efforts help Second Harvest Food Bank to provide food to 56,000 Santa Cruz County residents every month, distributing nearly 8 million pounds of food annually.

Second Harvest Food Bank

Recuperative Care Center

Imagine being hospitalized.  Now imagine being homeless.  Now imagine both at the same time. What would you do if both were true and you had no place to go?  That was the inspiration behind the Recuperative Care Center.   Every two weeks we purchase and deliver food staples to the Recuperative Care Center providing the food for 10-15 people recovering from a hospital stay, but without a place to transition.

The program provides 24-hour shelter with meals, housekeeping, security, and onsite case management including medication management support, clinical social work and case management. RCC is not a licensed care facility, but instead combines 24-hour shelter with care and services tailored to meet the needs of homeless adults. If you would like to participate in this ministry contact the Outreach committee.

“We show our work of faith, labor of love and steadfast hope in Christ when we take food to the homeless who are recovering from a hospital stay and need a clean warm place to sleep and heal before facing the challenges of homelessness again: the kingdom of heaven in the Recuperative Care Center.” Sermon quote 10/19/14

CASA Stockings and Gifts

We want every child to feel loved, especially at Christmas. Working with the CASA program (Court Appointed Special Advocates) we lovingly make a Christmas stocking for each foster child. We cut, stuff, sew and embroider the child’s name onto each stocking then fill them with goodies.  On Christmas morning they are reminded of God’s love. We also shop for children to have a Christmas gift to open.