Interested in learning about new opportunities to help others? These are activities that promote the mission goals of First United. Some are sponsored by outside groups but are open to all who are interested. You can volunteer for an ongoing effort or get a taste of trying something new.
Housing Forward House-to-Home Kits, Sundays through Oct. 13. The Housing Justice Team of the Faith in Action Committee is organizing its annual House-to-Home Kit project. Housing Forward, one of First United’s mission partners, finds apartments for those transitioning from homelessness into stability. We can help by furnishing those apartments with basic supplies and household items such as cookware, small appliances, bedding, towels, and cleaning supplies. Congregation members can sign up to furnish these items in the Church Lounge on Oct. 6 or at this SignUpGenius link. All items are due back at church no later than Sunday, Oct. 13. If you can’t shop, a monetary donation also is appreciated.
Fall Peace Vigil, Oct. 6. Join us for a peace vigil on the front steps of First United at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6. We will take a stand against gun violence with music, Bible readings, stories, and prayer, praying for protection from violence for our neighbors near and far.
How Illinois Can Lead the Transition to Clean Energy and a Just Economy, Oct. 13. Policy experts, state legislators, and members of the community will join to discuss clean energy, environmental justice, clean jobs, and other topics at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at Unity Temple, 875 Lake St. Speakers include State Sens. Don Harmon and Kimberly Lightford and State Reps. LaShawn Ford and Camille Lilly. Representatives from several environmental groups, such as the Interfaith Green Network, Sierra Club Chicago, and Oak Park Climate Action, also will be on hand. Those interested in attending can register at this link.
BUILD Fall Harvest Fest, Oct. 19, and wine tasting fundraiser, Oct. 24. The anti-violence group BUILD, one of First United’s Mission Partners, will offer a day of free events from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, at the BUILD campus at 5100 W. Harrison, Chicago. Guests can get a tour of BUILD’s Community Farm, see cooking demonstrations, participate in yoga and Zumba, and more. On Thursday, Oct. 24, BUILD will hold a “Grapes for Good” fundraiser from 6-9 p.m. at the Pillar Loft, 910 W. Jackson Ave., Chicago, where guests can sample wines and hear remarks from BUILD CEO Adam Alonso. Tickets are available at this link.
Fourth Sunday Offering, Oct. 27. This month, all undesignated money in the offering plate will go Housing Forward, one of First United’s mission partners. The mission of Housing Forward is to transition people from housing crisis to housing stability. Its many programs, from emergency shelters and assistance to transitional housing to special aids for veterans, help more than 2,000 adults and families with minor children every year. Look for the designated Fourth Sunday Offering envelopes in the bulletin the week before the Fourth Sunday Offering.
The Public screening, Oct. 29. Come see a film about the relationship between homelessness and public spaces in the community. The Public is the story of an act of civil disobedience that turns into a standoff with police when homeless people in Cincinnati take over the public library to seek shelter from the bitter cold. The film, directed by Emilio Estevez and featuring Alec Baldwin, Emilio Estevez, Rhymefest, Taylor Schilling, and Christian Slater, will be shown at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, in the Veterans Room at the Oak Park Public Library. The free screening is sponsored by the library and the Oak Park Homelessness Coalition, which will sponsor an audience discussion after the film. You can register to see the film at this link.
Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story screening, Nov. 3. Did you know that 40 percent of the food supply in America is wasted? Come see a documentary showing the effects of food waste and how we can make the most of the food in our kitchens. The free screening is at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, in the Veterans Room at the Oak Park Public Library. There will be an audience discussion after the viewing of the one-hour-plus documentary. The free screening is sponsored by the Interfaith Green Network, the One Earth Film Festival, and Green Community Connections. You can register to see the film at this link.
Food Waste Workshop, Nov. 7. If you’re moved to action by the Just Eat It documentary, come to a workshop sponsored by the Interfaith Green Network and Green Community Connections to learn from professionals in the community about how to make changes to reduce food waste. The workshop will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, in the Veterans Room at the Oak Park Public Library. You can register for the workshop at this link.
Fourth Sunday Offering, Nov. 24. This month, all undesignated money in the offering plate will go to Beyond Hunger, one of First United’s mission partners. The mission of Beyond Hunger is to end hunger in the communities the group serves, which cover 13 ZIP codes. It does so by offering a variety of services, including a twice-weekly food pantry, nutrition and health education programs, healthy cooking classes, kids’ food programs, and social services. Look for the designated Fourth Sunday Offering envelopes in the bulletin the week before the Fourth Sunday Offering.