There are many opportunities for outreach at the Congregational Church of La Jolla. We collect food for those in need on a weekly basis—often focusing on the most needed items for a month at a time.
We provide Christmas presents and Thanksgiving baskets for families who might have to go without otherwise.
We collect backpacks and the back-to-school items needed to fill them every summer so that all students have what they need to make a good start in the classroom.
We are a member church of CCSA (Community Christian Service Agency)—an organization made up of about 30 congregations of all denominations—which serves the neighborhoods of Clairemont, La Jolla, Pacific Beach, and University City. Over 90% of money donated goes directly to the needy (over 25,000 people annually!), but much of what is given is in kind, that is, food, clothing, and needed supplies.
Members of our church participate annually in a Hunger Walk which raises money to feed the hungry locally.
We receive four special offerings each year:
- One Great Hour of Sharing supports disaster relief, refugee aid, and developmental action, thus enabling the church to respond immediately when disaster strikes or when a need arises and there’s no time to raise funds. This offering is received in March.
- Strengthen the Church helps ministries that are needed but are in need of financial support, and through it we plant new churches, awaken new ideas in existing churches, and develop spiritual life in our youth and young adults. This offering is received on Pentecost (fifty days after Easter).
- Neighbors in Need supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM). Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC’s Justice & Witness Ministries (JWM) to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants. This offering is received in early October.
- The Christmas Fund (sometimes called the Veterans of the Cross Offering) is an expression of appreciation and caring to those who served as clergy who are now retired or disabled and financially strained. This offering is received in late December.
When donating money to any of our special offerings or to disaster relief, we can ensure that 100% of your gift goes to its intended recipient. This is because all administrative costs are covered by the amount of money our church has budgeted each year for OCWM. OCWM stands for Our Church’s Wider Mission, and it’s one of the ways we make sure national and regional offices are staffed, and mission and justice ministries are promoted.
Through the Congregational Women’s Assocation, the women of our church support several other causes, and we also have funds with which we help the needy in a confidential manner.