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:
- 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.
- On the Fifth Sunday of January, about 70 people gathered after church to eat a quick pizza lunch and then pack 10,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now. Many thanks to all of those who helped with setup and cleanup, and to all of the hard-working hair-net-wearers! For many more pictures of this event, visit the First Pres Facebook page.
- On December 21, 2016, Session voted unanimously to become a Peace Church. Please read the resolution here. Many thanks to the members of the Peace Church Task Force for shepherding this process over the last 3 years. Their Adult Study Sessions and Luncheon Discussions were informative and collaborative, and they were very responsive to feedback from the community and from Session. Watch for future news about how we plan to live out being a Peace Church.
What We Do:
A Sampling of Social Justice Ministry Work at First Pres
- Collecting donations and volunteering with 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.
- 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.