According to our church bylaws, the Ministry of Mission and Service shall:
- Seek to meet human needs in the local community, state, nation and world in cooperation with other church and secular groups
- Identify and inform the Church and its members of opportunities to promote the values of love, justice and peace in personal and institutional life
- Guide and support Church activities in services projects in local, state, regional and national and international levels.
See our groups in action
Part of the way we achieve this is through our participation in the UCC’s Five for Five program, which means we collect funds for all 5 of the denomination’s internal fund drives. IUCC is one of the strongest supporting churches in the country! 5 for 5 churches give to Our Church’s Wider Mission through Basic Support and all four Special Mission Offerings:
- Neighbors in Need is on World Communion Sunday (the first Sunday in October) and is a special mission offering of the UCC that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States.
- The Christmas Fund is the Fourth Sunday of Advent and provides care for the active and retired clergy and lay employees of the United Church of Christ.
- One Great Hour of Sharing is the Fourth Sunday in Lent. It is our refugee, relief and development offering and transforms lives through health, education, agricultural and emergency relief initiatives in 138 countries.
- Finally, Strengthen the Church on Pentecost Sunday directs all gifts to activities and programs of IUCC’s local conference as well as the UCC’s national ministries.
We also have a number of projects and activities here at the church, some of which are one-time events and others that are ongoing.
- Family Promise – Here we prepare and serve meals for a week a few times a year to homeless families temporarily sheltered at our partner church, Church of the Foothills in Tustin/ Santa Ana.
- Visiting Immigrants in Detention – We visit some of the many undocumented immigrants incarcerated in three Orange County jails. Many have been in detention for months and even years while their cases are decided. Their families often live far away and may not even know where they are held; for some, our visits are the first and only ones they ever receive. It’s a very rewarding experience to give someone who has been isolated for so long the human contact and warmth that we all need to survive.
- Families Forward/Big Sunday – We have intermittent collections of food and school supplies in the narthex for this agency, as well as a food drive outside some local supermarkets on Big Sunday, which is usually the first week-end in May.
- Isaiah House/Catholic Worker – Isaiah House provides 3000 meals each week to those who are suffering on our city streets and those who live in the home. We help out on one Monday a month with cooking, serving, fellowship and clean-up, as well as some craft activities.
- CROP Hunger Walk – These community-wide events sponsored by Church World Service and organized by local congregations or groups to raise funds to end hunger at home and around the world. IUCC has taken part in this annual event for many years, and last year we were the biggest fundraiser.
- AIDS Walk – This event usually takes place in May, and IUCC has traditionally been the Number One Faith Group as far as fundraising is concerned. Proceeds from the Walk assist people living with HIV/AIDS and their families in Orange County.
- Global Mission – IUCC has recently become a Global Mission Church, which means that we want to reach out to people all over the world, as well as here at home, and respond to their needs. We currently have an on-going project in Japan.
Apart from these more formal projects, at different times we have also worked with the Heifer Project, Working Wardrobes, CASA, Third World Crafts, Project Love and many others.