Our Outreach Ministries
Interfaith Hospitality Network
The Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) is a national program whose mission is to help low-income families achieve lasting independence, by providing shelter, meals, and comprehensive services to families without homes. In a typical IHN community, half the guests are children, and most are under six years old. Families are given a hand up, not a hand out.
We work with the IHN community in Worcester. Since its formation in 1997, greater Worcester’s IHN has helped 225 families; a total of 665 individuals.
La Romana Mission Trip
La Romana, Dominican Republic, is a city of over 100,000, surrounded by sugar cane fields. For decades, Haitians have fled tyranny and persecution and oppressive poverty in their country by emigrating to The Dominican Republic, which shares their island. Most of them end up in back-breaking, seasonal work cutting sugar cane, working hard for a less than living wage.
The Haitian Missionary Baptist Church has been serving the large Haitian population there since 1922. The church and their American mission partners have undertaken the task of building the Good Samaritan General Hospital and providing health care to thousands of poor on the remote bateys, the cane cutter villages. Each year, about 10 people from the First Church travel to La Romana, to assist with the construction of the hospital, and to provide health care, funding their efforts through fund raisers as well as individual contributions. Everyone who has traveled to La Romana has said that it is a profound, life-changing event.
Palm Sunday Promenade for People
For over 10 years, Sterling ‘s ecumenical walk on Palm Sunday raises thousands of dollars to benefit people in need, locally, regionally and internationally. It also builds awareness of the basic life challenges that many people face every day by working to make a positive impact in easing these challenges in our community of Sterling and regionally in the greater Worcester area.
This is an ecumenical community event sponsored by the First Church in Sterling. Other Sterling churches have participated in the past as well: St. Richard’s, Hope Chapel, and the Seventh Day Adventist church.
SERRV International is a nonprofit alternative trade and development organization. Their mission is to promote the social and economic progress of people in developing regions of the world by marketing their products in a just and direct manner, empowering low-income people through trade, training and other forms of capacity building as they work to improve their lives. SERRV has worked to assist artisans and farmers for more than 55 years.
On a periodic basis after church services, the First Church has sales of SERRV crafts and food items from around the world. The artisans and farmers receive up to 50% advance payments on orders, to help them purchase raw materials and have a more regular income so they can avoid high interest rates from borrowing locally.
“Our artisans were kept busy the whole year. That guaranteed food on their table, shelter for those who pay rent for their houses, clothing for their families and most importantly, school needs for their children. Health matters are also taken care of.” Joseph Muchina, Trinity Jewelry Crafts, Kenya
Our Ministry Leadership Teams
The Governance Board
The Governance Board articulates the church’s mission and vision, evaluates ministerial programs and activities, and ensures responsible stewardship of church resources. This board is responsible for defining the long-term direction of the church and ensuring that this direction is being followed. This board does not get involved with short-term tasks and issues.
Ministry Leadership Teams
Ministry Leadership Teams (MLTs) report to the Senior Minister; they conduct the majority of the church’s missions. Each MLT contains 3-5 people who are responsible for planning all activities within their MLT scope, recruiting volunteers to support their activities, and overseeing their activities to ensure that they are successfully conducted. Our current MLTs are as follows:
- Christian Education & Formation plans and coordinates children, youth and adult formation and education programs.
- Church Community provides an environment within which membership can be fostered, nourished, attracted and retained. This MLT includes the Nominating Ministry Team and the Stewardship Ministry Team.
- Diaconate represents the religious concerns of the members, which includes assisting with communions, baptisms, and lay ministry.The Diaconate is comprised of a suggested twelve members, four members from each of the three societies. Diaconate members are nominated by their societies, and serve set terms or for life as defined by their individual societies.
- Operations establishes and implements administrative practices that lead to the sound operation of the business, legal and fiduciary affairs of the church as well as the care and maintenance of the church’s facilities.
- Outreach engages the congregation in relating their faith to the community and the wider world through action, advocacy, learning, and financial support.
- Worship supports the spiritual life of the Church on a programmatic level, including worship services and the music programs. This MLT should be comprised of at least one member from each of the church’s three societies.
- The Advisory Committee on Ministry helps the Pastor and the Governance Board assess the ongoing health of the ministries of the First Church including conflict transformation and training.