Introducing our Special Christmas Offering for 2018, “Our First Gift for Christ”

Dear Members and Friends of Union Church,

At its core, Christmas is all about celebrating the truth that in Jesus Christ, God came to be part of our world and thus set people free (or in churchy language, “salvation”). The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem shows us the beautiful, holy connection between God and humanity.

But that connection is not just a “theological” thing. The connection happened in real, physical form 2000 years ago, and it happens today through the Body of Christ, the church. Union Church is a place where we see the beautiful connection of God and humanity – God touching our lives, and the lives of others through us.

In this season of giving, I encourage you to make the first gift you give for Christ, and for his work through the church. The special Christmas offering for 2018 is going to San Lucas United Church of Christ, a “mission congregation” with whom we have had a long and special relationship. They feed the hungry, comfort the elderly, and do other important ministry in Humboldt Park in Chicago (see below for more details).

Please send a check, give on Sunday, give on Christmas Eve, or give at Thank you!

And, for those who want to dive deeper…

Our special offering at Christmas is called the “Our First Gift for Christ” offering. As we celebrate the beautiful, holy connection between God and humanity revealed in Jesus’ birth, giving your first gift for Christ shows that beautiful, holy connection in physical form.

This year, the mission recipient of our offering will be San Lucas United Church of Christ. Forty years ago Union Church partnered with the larger U.C.C. in helping found and fund the San Lucas congregation, a mission church in Chicago’s Puerto Rican, Humboldt Park neighborhood. Since 1978, members of Union Church have assisted this mission-based church reach out to the homeless and working poor of Humboldt Park. We have stuck with that commitment all these years. Even today, 40 years later, members of Union Church volunteer every Monday morning to make soups in our basement kitchen. These 20 gallons of soup are served every Tuesday to the homeless and working poor of the San Lucas neighborhood. San Lucas has only one part-time employee, so serving 100 people meals requires 10-15 volunteers weekly. Additionally, San Lucas provides a food pantry, thrift shop, and assistance to elderly and poor with their light and energy bills (LIHEAP). Frugal as they are, they don’t have a regular website, but you can learn more about the congregation and their mission work on their Facebook page: The first $10,000 of this year’s “Our First Gift for Christ” offering will go directly to aid this community and provide food, clothing and community for the homeless and working poor. Please consider a generous Christmas offering to sustain this mission.

Beyond the first $10,000, “Our First Gift for Christ” will go to support the broad range of work we do at Union Church to show that beautiful, holy connection between God and humanity. Through worship, music, children’s programs, community outreach, pastoral care, coffee hour, and so much more, we work together to help people connect with God through Jesus Christ. This year, this offering will help close a bit of a gap in our finances for 2018, so again, please consider a generous Christmas offering to sustain our life as a congregation.

Please return your gift in the envelope provided (for checks, memo line “Our First Gift for Christ”), give through the special collection on Sunday, or give online through the link on our church website – – use the “Give Now” button, and at that page use the drop down menu to select “Our First Gift for Christ Christmas Offering.”

With joy at the coming of Jesus Christ into the world for others, Pastor Mike

Interested in giving stock? Here is how to can do that to benefit the church!

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