Christian Outreach–Being Christ’s hands and feet in the world
Jesus did something that nobody would have expected to work: he entrusted his ministry and mission of transforming the world into God’s rein of love, healing, hope, and renewal into the hands of the ordinary people he had called to follow him and learn from him. The astounding thing is that it actually worked! That early church really became the leaven in the loaf of the world, infusing it and helping it rise in radically different ways. As Paul said in Galatians 3.28, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” In that world of rigid divisions, this was a revolutionary way for people to be together. When plagues swept through the cities, it was the Christians who stayed to care for the sick, no matter who they were. Those early Christians were the ones who took care of the orphans and widows, whom society had cast off as worthless. And they built the precursors to hospitals to care for the sick nobody else wanted to bother with. They called themselves “Followers of the Way”–the way of love, forgiveness and compassion for everyone they had learned from Jesus. They were his hands, feet and voice in their world. We 21st-Century Followers of the Way are called to be Christ’s hands, feet and voice in our world. See this section for some of the ways we do that at Henrietta UCC.
Our Board of Christian Outreach provides financial support to local, national and global missions and ministries. It also works to educate and involve our church’s members in offering their time, talents and treasures to helping create the world God envisions for us.
Our Prayer Chain offers prayers for people both in and outside our church.
Women 4 Women-Knitting 4 Peace meets at 10:00 AM every Fri. to knit or crochet shawls, scarves and preemie caps for women and children in troubled parts of the world, and prayer shawls for our own members who are sick or bereaved.
Rush-Henrietta Area Food Terminal (RHAFT) was formed, with the help of our church, to provide emergency food to individuals and families in Henrietta and Rush. Our church encourages contributions to the Terminal, which can be arranged by calling 585-453-2370, and volunteers help interview recipients, pack food boxes and deliver food to those in need.
Friends in Service Here (FISH) was started, with the help of our church, to provide transportation to medical appointments for people who cannot drive. Volunteers are needed as dispatchers and drivers.
CROP Walks are organized the first Sunday of May to be a joint effort with other churches in our community. CROP Walks raise money for Church World Service’s emergency and development projects in the U.S. and overseas and for our local food cupboard (RHAFT).
Habitat for Humanity builds houses with and for families in Rochester who otherwise cannot afford decent housing. It builds new homes strategically to reverse the slide of troubled neighborhoods into crime and drug use. Our church helps raise money and contribute volunteers to these projects.
Neutral Ground offers support and fellowship for those who are widowed, separated or divorced. It meets every Thursday at 7:00 PM. Call 234-2212. Free annual membership is offered to church members. Visitors are welcome.
Rosen Movement group meets at 10:00 AM Wednesdays for gentle stretching, balance and coordination exercises to music. All are welcome and participation is free.
Alcoholics Anonymous meets in our downstairs meeting room at 7:00 AM, 12 noon, and 5:30 PM Monday through Saturday.
Our pastors provide crisis and short-term pastoral care to any church participant or family that is in need of support for life’s challenges. Longer-term Pastoral counseling and psychotherapy for individuals, couples and families either in or outside our church is provided in our counseling office by certified therapists Rev. Cy Varland (585.993.0703) and Rev. Lynn Aquafondata (585.330.1340). Both offer their services on a sliding fee scale.
We work with other faiths to make God’s love real and visible in our community. Our pastors and church are active and provide leadership in the Rush-Henrietta Interfaith League, the Interracial Clergy Council, the Faith in Action Network/Greater Rochester Community of Churches, and the Children’s Agenda Interfaith Collaborative.