Connecting Members with Mission
Our congregation has been actively engaged in mission in our community and around the world for over a century. We strive to be alert to new grassroots ministries that come from the interests and commitments of our members. Below are some of our mission projects. Follow the links for more information about these ministries.
BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF THE BLACK HILLS. Providing safe mentors to walk alongside and work with children by making themselves available on a consistent basis is the mission of this organization. Big Brothers Big Sisters is a special project of the United Church Youth of our Congregation who are frequently the best fund-raising youth group at the annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake.
BLACK HILLS AREA HABITAT FOR HUMANITY. Our partnership with Habitat for Humanity works to build simple, decent housing in partnership with God’s people in need. Our congregation has sponsored entire homes as well as worked with other congregations to provide housing in our area.
BLACK HILLS ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST. Our association provides fellowship and support to our sister congregations in Western South Dakota. Together we support important mission and outreach in our area.
BLANKETS PLUS Each year our congregation participates in the Church World Service Blankets Plus Program. It is a special mission opportunity that provides funds to help people in need around the world, including the United States. Funds provide blankets, tents, food, tools, seed, wells and literacy training.
CHILDREN’S HOME SOCIETY The Children’s Home Society protects, supports and enhances the lives of children, women and families. The support of our congregation helps the society to extend its vital work with children and families.
CHRISTMAS FUND We participate in the Christmas Fund, an annual offering of the United Church of Christ that provides emergency funds, health insurance support and pension support to retired church workers.
CHURCH RESPONSE Church Response is a grass roots Rapid City Organization founded in the aftermath of a devastating flood in 1972. Our congregation supports its mission of extending a helping hand and responding to needs in our community. We support Church Response through food donations, participation in the Food Coupon Program and special appeals throughout the year.
COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF LOS GUIDO Since 1988 our sister church has been serving the people of Los Guido near San Jose, Costa Rica. We have had members of our congregation present in our sister church at least once a year for all of those years. We have also hosted mission trips in partnership with the church and hosted the pastor and members of the church in South Dakota.
CORNERSTONE RESCUE MISSION A vital piece of Rapid City’s social fabric, Cornerstone Rescue Mission serves vulnerable women, children and men. Our congregation serves mission meals, supports the Women’s and Children’s Shelter and provides support for other special projects of the Mission.
DAKOTA ASSOCIATION UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST We work directly with partner churches in the Dakota Association of the United Church of Christ to support the work of the church on several reservations in South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska. Through our partnership we support ministers and congregations in rural and isolated locations.
FEEDING SOUTH DAKOTA Our state’s coalition of food banks and pantries provides food for hungry people and fights to end hunger in our state. Our congregation participates with food drives, volunteer and financial support.
GLOBAL MINISTRIES CHILD SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM Working with our Global Partners, our congregation is continually involved in child sponsorship. You can read letters and news about sponsored children posted on the bulletin board in our fellowship hall.
GREETING CARD MINISTRY Members of our congregation create hand-crafted cards for every occasion. These cards, made with love, are sold to support outreach ministries of our congregation. Cards are available in the Fellowship Hall.
HOSPICE HOUSE OF THE BLACK HILLS Offering end-of-life care in a comfortable setting is the goal of this residential health care facility. In cooperation with the Auxiliary of Regional Health our congregation provides support for Hospice House.
KIDS AGAINST HUNGER Feeding hungry families around the world, and around the corner, is the goal of this ecumenical ministry. We participate with financial support and volunteer assistance.
KID KOZY is a project that provides hand-made sleeping bags for children ini Rapid City and throughout the Black Hills. We have many families who are homeless and portable shelter helps to assure the safety of children as well as provide a possession that can be taken with them wherever they go.
KIPP ACADEMY NASHVILLE. Donations of stickers, school and art supplies and other items help support children in need in Nashville with tools to encourage learning and literacy. The program helps enable students for success in high school and college.
LOVE, INC. Love Inc. is an interdenominational Christian organization that sponsors a variety of programs to help those with special needs and transform lives through the application of Christian principles. Projects include Life, INC.; Cothe-a-Kid; Cases-for-Kids; and other ministries.
M.E.A.L.S.PROGRAM This program provides hot, nutritious meals for seniors weekdays in 16 communities throughout Western South Dakota. We support the program by providing volunteers and financial support.
NEIGHBORS IN NEED is a special mission offering of the United Church of Christ. Neighbors in Need supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. Through Neighbors in Need we provide important support for the Council for American Indian Ministries and salary support to our pastors serving our reservation congregations through the Dakota Association of the United Church of Christ.
ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING Our annual appeal to support refugee, relief and development ministries through health, education , agricultural and emergency relief benefits people in 138 countries around the globe. By making an annual appeal, we assure that funds are always ready to assist in event of disaster.
OUR CHURCH’S WIDER MISSION (OCWM) is the single all-church fund to provide for the ministries of the United Church of Christ through the South Dakota Conference and our church’s work in its national and international ministries and settings. We support OCWM through a line item in our annual budget as well as through special support.
PLACERVILLE CAMP Placerville is a ministry of the South Dakota Conference of the United Church of Christ that provides a place and a time for the creation of Christian Community. The outdoor ministries of Placerville have proven to be vital in faith formation for many of our members and continue to provide opportunities for growth and enrichment for our congregation and for the wider church.
PRAYER BEAR MINISTRY Cuddly teddy bears hand made with love and prayers are created by members of our community. These bears go as gifts to children in moments of crisis or transition. A supply of bears is kept on hand in the church to be ready for any emergency.
PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY Hand-knit or crocheted shawls provide a visual symbol and a sign of the extended community of prayer for those who are experiencing grief or illness. Prayer shawls are delivered by members of our congregation to those who need a little extra prayer support.
QUILTS OF HOPE The ministries of our quilters are growing with more and more quilts being made for a variety of different uses within the church and within our community. The quilters have made decorations for our fellowship hall, present quilts with every baptism, make quilts for graduates and more. Warm quilts and prayers of blessing provide an expression of Christ’s love.
READIATRICS is program that collects books for distribution to children in Western South Dakota who are facing health or family crises. The program promotes literacy and provides an expression of the support of the wider community.
RECYCLING We express our care for the world by sponsoring active recycling programs. We recycle aluminum cans to support Habitat for Humanity. We also recycle inkjet printer cartridges and cell phones to support the emeergency fund. And we recycle eyeglasses through the Lions Eyeglass program.
SCARVES, HATS AND MITTENS Every year we deliver hundreds of scarves, hats and mittens to our reservation partners for distribution to children and families who need warm clothing. In addition to providing warm clothing for children, the project makes use of donated yarn that comes in through our rummage sales and direct donations from members and friends of the church.
SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS First Congregational Trust administers the Zona White and Inabelle Willard Music Scholarships. They also provide Change of Career grants to students. Through the Shaver Trust we also provide Nursing and Liberal Arts Scholarships each year.
SOUTH DAKOTA CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST The South Dakota Conference is our state-wide collaboration with other congregations of the United Church of Christ to provide support for healthy congregations, excellence in ministry, and shared mission and outreach.
STRENGTHEN THE CHURCH This annual appeal provides funding for new church starts and invigorating existing congregations, providing pastoral and lay leadership, building youth and young adult ministries and supporting the “God is Still Speaking” Ministry of the United Church of Christ.
TURKEY TAXI Working with Rev. Norman Blue Coat in Eagle Butte, we provide Thanksgiving turkeys for hundreds of families on the Cheyenne River Reservation. Our annual turkey taxi delivers frozen turkeys and provides increased contact with our partners.
UNITED CAMPUS MINISTRIES This is an ecumenical Christian Ministry with the students, faculty and administration of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. We support a campus pastor and provide addition ministries through a line item in our budget. Our department of Ministries provides meals and fellowship for students on a regular basis.
WORKING AGAINST VIOLENCE, INC. We provide material support for this organization that responds to the needs of the survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in our community.
WOODCHUCK SOCIETY Our congregation delivers over 50 cords of dry, split firewood to provide energy assistance to families with need. Partnering with the people of the Cheyenne River and Pine Ridge Reservations we work together to take excess trees from the Black Hills and turn them into warmth for families.