At Friends Church we believe that our giving is in time, talent, and treasure. We believe that giving is to share with our church, our community, and the world.
God is generous and so must we be. Each fall we dream together about what God is calling Friends Church to do in the coming year, and we plan our budget goals, to which we ask members and friends to prayerfully consider giving. Pledging in time, in talent, and in financial resources is the opportunity to commit to being a part of changing lives through the mission and ministry of Friends.
Because of you, Friends Church changes lives. Through your gifts, we are able to welcome the stranger, offer help to those in need, share the good news that each and every person is a beloved child of God, and build a community that cares for one another.
Your gifts help the community at Friends connect with mission and justice partners around the country and around the world.
Update: Friends Youth Campaign to Forgive Medical Debt
The Friends Youth Group officially wrapped up their four-month long campaign to forgive medical debt in the Brazos Valley at the end of April. After continuing to increase their campaign goal, the official amount raised was $51,109.62! This amount is anticipated to relieve around $5.1 million in medical debt. Thank you for being part of their campaign and supporting the youth as they’ve continued to learn about the inaccessibility of health care and the injustices of debt. Here’s what happens next:
Because the youth greatly surpassed their original fundraising goal, they have an opportunity to extend relief to other parts of Texas. When the youth gathered to celebrate the end of the campaign, they took time to research other areas of the state with the highest concentrations of medical debt, while also taking into consideration the disparities between communities of color. Together, they decided to extend campaign contributions to other counties surrounding the Brazos Valley, including Limestone, Navarro, Freestone, Hill, McClennan, and Walker County. The other areas of Texas where the youth chose to extend relief were two counties in west Texas, Pecos and Reeves, and the Rio Grande Valley. Within the next few weeks, the debt relief beneficiaries will receive letters notifying them that their debt has been forgiven.
When the youth learned about RIP Medical Debt last summer, they put into action the parable that Jesus taught us about caring for our neighbors.
Led by the example of our youth, may we go and do likewise.
Beyond our own annual stewardship campaign, Friends Church supports five national church offerings in addition to our Friends Church offering. We also support many other charities as we are able.
Our Church's Wider Mission
Because we believe in transformation, we believe the church’s mission is changing lives -individually, systemically and globally… we support, encourage, and uplift local churches where lives are being changed through worship, education, fellowship, mission, and justice advocacy. We identify, recruit, educate, and support leaders who inspire others. We support churches and plant new churches as vital places of worship, learning, and justice advocacy. We change lives through our global partnerships, missionaries, and advocacy. Gifts to Our Church’s Wider Mission benefit the full range of the United Church of Christ mission across the country and around the globe.
One Great Hour of Sharing
Annual - March
One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS), through the UCC, works with international partners to provide sources of clean water, food, education and health care, small business micro-credit, advocacy and resettlement for refugees and displaced persons, and emergency relief and rehabilitation. OGHS also supports domestic and international ministries for disaster preparedness and response.
Strengthen the Church
Annual - May
Strengthen the Church (STC) is a special mission offering to reimagine and build the future of the UCC. Shared at the conference and national levels, STC largely supports youth ministries and full-time leaders for new churches in parts of the country where the UCC does not have a strong presence. It also provides support for existing church’s new initiatives.
Neighbors in Need
Annual - October
Neighbors in Need (NIN) is a special mission offering of the UCC that 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 and Witness Ministries (JWM) to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants. The NIN grants are awarded to churches and organizations doing justice work in their communities. These grants fund projects whose work ranges from direct service to community organizing and advocacy to address systemic injustice. Funding is provided through donations to the NIN offering.
The Christmas Fund
Annual - December
The Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross and the Emergency Fund is a Special Mission Offering that congregations have been supporting for over 100 years. The offering is administered through the United Church Board for Ministerial Assistance, the charitable arm of the Pension Boards. Funds provide direct financial support to those who serve the church and are facing financial difficulties. Active and retired clergy, lay employees, and their surviving spouses may be eligible for the Supplementation of Small Annuities, Supplementation of Health Premiums, Emergency Grants, and/or Christmas “Thank You” Gift Checks.