Category Archives: Mission

Christmas Gift-Giving Opportunities

The Service and Mission Ministry Team is once again happy to offer opportunities this Christmas season to serve those who are in need in our community. As you provide for your own family and friends, please share a portion of all that you have received with someone less fortunate.

CHRISTMAS FOOD BASKETS – As the holiday season approaches, many families in our community face the grim realities of unemployment, homelessness, and financial insecurity. The Service and Mission Ministry Team is asking for your help in supporting the Christmas Food Basket Program to benefit needy families. Your assistance is needed to supplement the supplies of our local West Side Food Bank . We invite you to contribute food, such as canned vegetables and fruit, canned soup, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cereal, canned ham, Christmas candy (candy canes, etc. for the children) and non-perishable desserts. Food items can be left in Fellowship Hall or in the Narthex.

In addition, we hope to provide baskets to 100 families. Each basket also will contain a gift certificate to be used to purchase perishable food items. We would greatly appreciate any monetary contribution you can make to help us reach our goal. Members of the Service and Ministry Team will be in the Narthex and outside Fellowship Hall on November 27, December 4 and 11 to accept donations. Donations may also be mailed to the church office. Please make your check payable to COCU and indicate “Christmas Food Baskets” in the notation section. On behalf of Church & Community, and the individuals it serves, we thank you for your generosity.

ANGEL TREE – The Church of Christ Uniting is again a proud participant in the Angel Tree Ministry (ATM) program. This partnership with Prison Fellowship Ministry provides comfort and ministers to children having a parent who is in prison at the Christmas season. On the first Sunday of Advent, November 27, a Christmas tree on display in the Narthex will be decorated with Angel ornaments listing the names, ages, sizes and Christmas gift wishes of 25 children. We invite you to select one (or more) of the Angels from the tree, as you are able, and purchase at least one gift of $20 to $25 for each child. However, let your conscience be your guide on the number of gifts you purchase and the amount to spend. Some of these children may receive only these gifts this Christmas. When you select your Angel, please remember to complete the attached white contact Angel form—with your name, phone number and the Angel’s code number—and leave it in the basket provided on the table next to the tree. Attach the yellow Angel form to the gift. If you purchase more than one gift, please group your gifts together and put the child’s name and code on each package. The wrapped gifts should be left under the tree in the Narthex by Sunday, December 11, or in the Church office no later than Friday, December 16, at 12:00 noon. We are also looking for volunteers to help deliver the gifts. Please join us for a very rewarding Christmas experience! For further information or to volunteer, please contact the church office, or speak to a member of the Service and Mission Ministry Team.

MADDY’S GIFT – The Service and Mission Ministry Team joyfully offers another opportunity for sharing God’s love through gift giving this Christmas season. We will join the parents of Madison Benjamin, as they honor their daughter’s memory, with a toy drive that will benefit children who are hospitalized over the holidays at Janet Weis Children’s Hospital. Madison, the great-granddaughter of our own COCU members, Virginia and Charles Dancheck, was born with a life threatening condition. Expected to live only one year, Madison survived until she was four years old. In her memory, her parents created this toy drive that they lovingly call “Maddy’s Gift.” Please bring an unwrapped toy, and place it in the box in the Narthex no later than Sunday, December 11.


Bathing Suits for “Jump Start”

The Service and Mission Ministry Team thanks everyone who supported this year’s project  to provide bathing suits and towels for the children participating in Luzerne County Head Start’s summer “Jump Start” program.  Your contributions enabled us to purchase a bathing suit for each of the 30 children in two classrooms for their visit to the JCC camp.  “Jump Start” is a special outreach to children and their families who face extenuating circumstances, including developmental, social, financial, and physical challenges.  It prepares the children for participation in the Head Start school year classes so that they can receive the maximum benefit from the program. Once again, you opened your hearts to these children to let them know that they are special and valued.


Bathing Suits for “Jump Start”

Last summer, our congregation made a difference in the lives of thirty 2-, 3-, and 4-year-old children who participated in Luzerne County Head Start’s summer program. Through your generosity, we were able to provide these children, many of whom live with financial, physical, social, learning, and/or family challenges, with bathing suits and towels for their visit to the JCC Day Camp–a highlight of their summer program.

The Service and Mission Ministry Team is hoping to continue our outreach for the children enrolled in this year’s “Jump Start” program. Your monetary support will be used to provide each child with a new bathing suit and towel so that they all will have the appropriate items for attending camp. Team members will be in the narthex before Sunday service and outside Fellowship Hall after service on June 12, 19, 26, and July 3 to accept donations.

Please join us in this ministry as we continue to work together to provide for the needs of God’s children. Thank you.


Mother’s Day Baby Shower

You’re invited to a Baby Shower! The Service and Mission Ministry Team is again sponsoring this outreach for mothers who participate in Caring Alternatives, a program of Volunteers of America that provides supportive services and baby necessities.  Baby items will be collected each week through Mother’s Day, May 8th and can be placed in the baby carriage in the Narthex, or you can give a monetary donation. Please make checks out to COCU and mark Baby Shower in the memo line.


Church Without Walls – May 1, 2016

Church Without Walls is an opportunity for congregation members, friends, and visitors to participate in community service projects throughout the day. It is an opportunity to be a church out in the surrounding community, involved in hands-on mission projects to build fellowship among our church members and the community. The chosen projects and the community members they help will provide a collaborative framework for a faith-building experience.

We will begin the day with a condensed worship at 10 a.m. in Fellowship Hall. After worship, we will break into groups to perform several different mission projects, both on- and off-site.


HABITAT FOR HUMANITY PROJECT: One group will be getting a one-day head start on the rest, providing a lunch for the Habitat For Humanity work crew on Saturday, April 30th (they don’t work on Sundays). The work site is located at 68 Barnes St., Ashley, Pa. We are looking for about five people to help prepare, deliver and share lunch at the work site. We will also tour the project, meet the family and learn more about Habitat. Participants will meet at the church before noon and carpool to the work site (as parking may be limited). For more specific information, please contact Barb Swanson or Amy Ellsworth. [UPDATE: This project was cancelled due to poor weather conditions (the Habitat work crew cancelled work for the day).]

WESLEY VILLAGE PROJECT: We will be sponsoring a sing-along at Wesley Village, 209 Roberts Rd., Pittston, Pa. We need volunteers to come to Wesley Village on Sunday, May 1st, to help our Minister of Music, Carl Ruck, make a joyful noise as we sing a few of the residents’ favorite hymns, and then have some fellowship with those who attend. The sing-along will begin at 10:00 a.m. (Please note: The Wesley Village group will NOT be starting at COCU.) We are also looking for some bakers to provide cookies and/or snacks and drinks. If you would like to go but need a ride, please contact the church office.

LYNDWOOD CENTER PROJECT: The Lyndwood Center in Hanover Township is the home to educational and behavioral programs for Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18 (such as the LIU 18 Pre-K Counts Program). This mission project involves the beautification of the exterior landscaping of the building. Bring your rakes, shovels and gloves to help in this worthwhile project! (Some more information about the new Lyndwood Center can be found in this Times Leader article.) [UPDATE: This project was rescheduled and completed on Saturday, April 30, due to the poor weather forecast for Sunday, May 1.]

HEAD START PROJECT: We will be conducting a spring clean-up project at the Edwardsville Head Start Center, 111 Meyers Street, Edwardsville, Pa. We will also be placing mulch and planting flowers around the building.

KINGSTON POOL PROJECT: We will be painting the entrance to the newly renovated Kingston Pool. (More information about the pool renovation project can be found in this WNEP news story. Some pictures of the new pool equipment while under construction can be found here and here.) [UPDATE: This project was cancelled due to construction/work-site status (due to construction delays, the work site was not ready for us to paint).]


RUTH’S PLACE PROJECT: We will be preparing Spring “Pick Me Up” kits for Ruth’s Place Women’s Shelter. Donations can be dropped off in the marked box on Sundays in the narthex and the reception office weekdays: full size bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash; perfume, body spray, mousse, lip gloss/balm, hair brushes, nail clippers, emery boards, nail polish and remover, body and hand lotion. All are welcome to help put the kits together on Sunday, May 1st, in Fellowship Hall.

FIRST HOSPITAL PROJECT: On Sunday, May 1st, we will be making cards and putting together bags for patients at First Hospital in Kingston. We are asking for word search, Sudoku, crossword puzzles, sketch pads (not spiral bound), crayons (no built in sharpener), washable markers, watercolor paints, playing cards and tissues. Please drop these items off in the church office and put “Attention Matt Pawlowski and Alexa Eidam, Church Without Walls” on your donations.


Mission Flea Market – April 23, 2016

The Service and Mission Ministry Team’s Annual Flea Market is scheduled for Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, from 9:00 am to noon.  Mark your calendars and start gathering your treasures.  General collection begins on April 18th.  You can deposit your treasures along the left side wall of Fellowship Hall (as you enter from the side door).  But Jewelry collection has already begun.  Please give any jewelry donations to Beth Cirilo—the earlier the better!

Tables include Bake Sale, Linens & Draperies, Christmas/Holiday, Toys, Household, Books/CDs, Furniture, Jewelry and others.

Please remember, we DO NOT accept TVs, computers, upholstered furniture or clothing.

The Service and Mission Ministry Team is also looking for volunteers to help with set-up on April 21st and 22nd, and to assist on the day of the Flea Market.  Please see Beth Cirilo to sign up as a volunteer.

All proceeds benefit mission projects.


Operation Honduras – February 2016

Church of Christ Uniting is a proud sponsor of Operation Honduras. This month, two of our members, Steve Davenport and John Johnson (John is pictured above), traveled to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, to help add a second floor to a schoolhouse previously built by Operation Honduras volunteers. The Service and Mission Ministry Team contributed $2,000 toward building supplies, and Steve and John paid their own travel expenses.

Operation Honduras is a group of Pennsylvania volunteers who travel to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, annually. The week long annual trips are dedicated to improving the quality of life of orphans and other people living in that area. Success of the trips is made possible through the help of in-country volunteers. Generous sponsors of this group include: Dunmore & West Central Chester County Rotary clubs, Rotary Districts 7410 & 7450, local churches including Church of Christ Uniting and Westminster, Towanda & W. Pittston Presbyterian Churches, as well as many individual/private contributors. Volunteers regularly travel to the work sites prior to main group arrival for planning purposes.

For more information, please visit the Operation Honduras page on Facebook. You can read more about their most recent week-long trip in this Citizens Voice story published on Jan. 29, 2016, or this Times Leader story published on Feb. 7, 2016, (both were published prior to the volunteers’ departure).


Service and Mission Luncheon

The Service and Mission Ministry Team will host our guest speaker luncheon on Sunday, February 28, in Fellowship Hall. This annual event features representatives of organizations which have received funding from the Service and Mission Ministry Team. This year we will hear from Lynn Evans Biga, Executive Director of Luzerne County Head Start, and COCU’s own John Johnson and Steve Davenport, volunteers with Operation Honduras. These speakers are eager to share their experiences serving the less fortunate with you. We promise a tasty lunch and an interesting discussion. Learn how your contribution here at COCU helps those beyond our sanctuary in both the local and global community. So join us for lunch on Sunday, February 28, in Fellowship Hall immediately following the church service.


Madi’s Annual Coat & Blanket Drive

Madison Klick, a Sunday School student at COCU, is collecting coats and blankets for her annual coat and blanket drive.  There is a large box in the entrance to worship where you can drop off your donations.  All sizes of unwanted sweaters, coats, sweatshirts and blankets are welcome.  The drive will end on October 31.  All received donations are split between Ruth’s Place and St. Vincent De Paul Soup Kitchen to help local people in need of warm clothing for the upcoming winter season.  Thank you for your support!


Flapjack Fundraiser

On Saturday, October 17th, the Mission Ministry Team will host a Flapjack Fundraiser from 8:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. at Applebee’s Restaurant on Wilkes-Barre Blvd.  The all-you-can-eat menu includes flapjacks, sausage, syrup, butter, juice and coffee.  Tickets will be available in the Narthex and Fellowship Hall after worship and from any member of the Mission Ministry Team.  Cost for tickets are $7.00 for adults and $4.50 for kids under 12.  All proceeds benefit our major mission commitment:  United Methodist Children’s Home, Mechanicsburg, PA.


Mission Ministry Team Annual Flea Market

The Mission Ministry Team’s Annual Flea Market is scheduled for Saturday, April 18th from 9:00 am until noon.  Mark your calendars and start gathering your treasures.  Collection begins on April 13th. Tables include Bake Sale, Linens & Draperies, Christmas/Holiday, Toys, Household, Books/ CDs, Furniture, Jewelry and others.

All proceeds benefit United Methodist Home for Children.

Remember, we DO NOT accept TVs, computers, upholstered furniture or clothing.

The Mission Ministry Team is also looking for helpers for set up and to help on the day of the Flea Market.  Call the church office at 570-288-8434 or see Beth Cirilo if you would like to help.


Mission Ministry Team Brunch


WHEN:             Sunday, February 22, 2015, following morning worship

WHERE:           Fellowship Hall

WHAT:             A light lunch and a presentation by David Tevet, owner of Ollie’s Restaurant in Kingston, and founder of the Ollie’s Dinners for Kids program

Please plan to join us after morning worship to hear about this valuable community program, which provides hot meals to at-risk children in our community.  Learn how members of COCU and other local religious institutions and community organizations are helping to make the program a success.  And enjoy a FREE light lunch and fellowship as well!  We hope to see you there.


Madi’s Annual Coat and Blanket Drive

Madison Klick, one of our 6th grade Sunday School students, has been organizing a coat and blanket drive to benefit the St. Vincent De Paul Soup Kitchen and Ruth’s Place.  This year she will have a drop box at Church of Christ Uniting.  Items accepted are unwanted sweaters, coats, sweatshirts and blankets for children and adults.  The drive will run for the month of October.  If you have any of the above items please consider donating them to this worthy cause.

Please see Lesley O’Boyle, if you have any questions about the drive, would like to be introduced to Madison Klick or her mother, Kim, or  would like to see the video clip of Madi from PA Live in 2013.

Please click here Madi’s Annual Coat and Blanket Drive for a flyer.


Flapjack Fundraiser to Support Mission Ministry Team

You’re invited to an Applebee’s® Flapjack Fundraiser Breakfast to support COCU Mission Ministry Team.
COST:  $7.00 per person (Kids $4.50)

WHEN: Saturday, October 4, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

WHERE:  Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, 253 Wilkes Barre Township Boulevard, Wilkes Barre, PA 18702

For More Information:

contact the church office 570-288-8434 or Amy Ellsworth 570-709-4838