March Compassion Offering: JustDane

Just Dane (formerly Madison-area Urban Ministry), is a non-profit organization that offers an array of direct supportive initiatives for:

  • people being released from incarceration through our reentry programs, including the Journey Home, Circles of Support and Peer Support,
  • children and families impacted by the justice system,
  • justice-involved youth,
  • employment training for people with barriers to employment through Just Bakery,
  • recuperative medical respite for families experiencing homelessness at Healing House.

In 2023 over 750 individuals received support through JustDane’s initiatives.

This year JustDane celebrates 50 years of social justice work in our community. Throughout our 50 years JustDane has, and continues to engage in the community advocating for State and local justice system reforms, fair and affordable housing, an end to homelessness and racial and economic justice. Rev. William Sloane Coffin once said, “charity yes, always, but never as a substitute for justice.” His words reflect the importance of our work at JustDane offering support to individuals and families in our community, alleviating suffering while working to eliminate the causes of the suffering. If you’d like to know more about JustDane’s work, there are two members of ORUCC on JustDane’s Board: Julie Horst and Phil Haslanger.  They would be happy to share more about JustDane’s work in our community. We also invite you to join us on Thursday, April 11th as we celebrate 50 years. Our keynote speaker for the event will be Father Boyle, Founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles.

February Compassion Offering: Porchlight, Inc – Safe Haven Program

Safe Haven is a Madison-based day shelter for adults with mental illness who are experiencing homelessness. Guests have access to meals, showers, laundry, bus tickets, mail, and phone services.  Safe Haven also provides housing-focused case management and crisis stabilization services.  Safe Haven staff specialize in building rapport with individuals who may not otherwise engage in mainstream services.   

Safe Haven provides invaluable support through its Crisis Stabilization Program, which focuses on developing and maintaining recovery plans for guests experiencing acute crises.  All eligible guests have been diagnosed with a severe and persistent mental illness, and 43% are also struggling with a co-occurring substance use disorder. 

Safe Haven’s daily utilization has increased significantly over the past several years, more than doubling from 2018 (198 guests) to 2020 (467 guests).  As one of the few community programs for this population that kept its doors open, utilization continued to increase throughout the pandemic.  In 2023, Safe Haven served 602 guests during the day.  Of those guests, 41% were unsheltered – sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation, and 55% were sleeping in an emergency shelter at night. 

With skyrocketing costs and increased guest usage at Safe Haven, Porchlight is in need of additional funding to support these services. Your generous contribution will go directly toward guest services at the day shelter as well as transitional housing support, specifically for individuals with mental illness.  Thank you!

To make a contribution directly to the Safe Haven program at Porchlight, put Safe Haven in the memo line and mail a check to

Porchlight, Inc

Attn: Karla Thennes, Exec Director

306 N. Brooks St

Madison, WI  53715

Phone 608 257 2534

January Compassion Offering: Neighborhood Schools

Last year our congregation was able to donate $4,500 to our 3 neighborhood schools: Anana Elementary, Orchard Ridge Elementary, and Toki Middle School.

The schools were able to use these funds to purchase winter clothing and basic school supplies for students in need. The need for these basic necessities becomes clear when we consider the number of students who come from economically disadvantaged households.

According to the latest statistics from the Department of Public Instruction, over 40% of the students at Anana Elementary live in economically disadvantaged households. At Toki Middle School, the number is 43%. And at Orchard Ridge Elementary, the number is 57%.

Another basic need within our neighborhood schools is the need for staff. As is the case in many school districts across the country, our neighborhood schools must deal with the daily predicament of not having enough teachers.

Given the challenges that each school faces, we aren’t asking the principals of our 3 neighborhood schools to submit a video for this year’s compassion offering. They have other pressing issues to attend to.

Instead, we are asking you to give what you can, and give generously, so that each school can use our donations to address the urgent and important needs of the students they serve.

Thank you for supporting our neighborhood schools, which have served many of our congregation families past and present. And thank you to all of the ORUCC members who have served and who continue to serve our community as teachers and school volunteers.

At ORUCC we have a long history of supporting our neighborhood families and investing in education. With this month’s compassion offering, we have another important opportunity to contribute and carry on that tradition.

December Compassion Offering: The Christmas Fund

The Christmas Fund is an annual special offering of the United Church of Christ. Each year at Christmas, UCC members are invited to give to this fund, created for the benefit of clergy and lay workers in our denomination. Orchard Ridge UCC has participated in generous ways for many years.

Funds are disbursed in a timely and sensitive manner to benefit retired clergy with inadequate pensions, surviving clergy spouses whose needs may be great following the death of their spouse, retired church workers who often lack adequate pension plans, and currently serving pastors confronted with emergency financial needs.

This year’s theme comes from John 1:16: “From Christ’s fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” The presence of God in our lives equips us to respond generously.

Throughout December we will hear specific accounts of ways The Christmas Fund has proved essential for those who lead us in worship and mission across the United Church of Christ. Funds are collected by The Pension Boards of the UCC and are distributed carefully and thoughtfully for maximum benefit.

Video

You can make a donation by check, on the memo line, please write “compassion” and mail to ORUCC, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711,

or donate online from our website. The link is https://orucc.org/contribute/support/

November Compassion Offering: Thanksgiving Year Round Fund

ORUCC has a long tradition of supporting our social services partners in their work with neighbors in need.  Post pandemic and the end of CARES funds have left some of our neediest ORUCC neighbors struggling to keep up with inflationary food prices and skyrocketing rent increases.  

Established in 2020, the ORUCC Thanksgiving Year Round Fund helps support our neighbors with Woodman’s gift cards distributed by staff from Joining Forces for Families (JFF), Commonwealth Development (CWD), and Early Childhood Development (ECI).  There is now a need to replenish this fund in order to continue this vital support. 

ORUCC member Loretta Swanson and Community Social Worker, Eric Alvin are our lead social services team who distribute the gift cards to other neighborhood case workers.  Loretta reports how a $20-$50 gift card can help a family through the holiday season and beyond:  

  • To cover the cost of extra food needed while children are home during holiday breaks
  • To help pay for gas to allow a parent to travel for a job interview

These gift cards help in so many ways. Please consider a donation to the Thanksgiving Year Round Fund to provide direct support to families and individuals in our neighborhood. Your donation is truly appreciated, this holiday season and beyond.

October Compassion Offering: The Crossing

THE CROSSING spiritual roots are in progressive Christianity. Its mission is to provide an open, diverse, welcoming and faith-inclusive campus ministry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where students can deepen their relationship with God, each other and their sense of the world around them.

THE CROSSING encourages participants to interpret and apply the teachings of Jesus within a social justice framework, while incorporating their own personal spiritual reflections. This includes supporting the learning about justice from Christian and non-Christian traditions, as well as being invested in cultural diversity in our programming and worship gatherings.

THE CROSSING is committed to raising awareness about local and global human rights concerns, promotes a service, compassion-oriented approach to life, inspires courage to live as agents of peace, believes in environmental stewardship and justice, and affirms gender equality, identity, and individual preference in human sexuality.      

THE CROSSING welcomes all students and encourages them to collaborate on meaningful and impactful activities. Small group gatherings are central in our programming.

THE CROSSING programming is carried out in a casual and fun learning environment where students set the agenda, lead actions and activities.

THE CROSSING is jointly funded by the United Church of Christ, The United Methodist Church, and the American Baptist Churches, of Wisconsin.

September Compassion Offering: Thiotte Haiti Vulnerable Children’s Relief

THIOTTE HAITI VULNERABLE CHILDRENS RELIEF, INC (THVCR) is a Wisconsin-based nonprofit that supports a group of women and children in the community of Thiotte,Haiti.  These children are identified as being at risk of entering a child trafficking system because they don’t have parents, or the parents are not able to provide for them.  THVCR provides direct support to a Haiti organization (known as KoFAT Compassion Project) which hires five women who serve as community workers, three teachers to tutor and prepare the children for school and 3 cooks who prepare one meal per week for the 120 children. Funding covers the staff, annual tuition for 109 children to be in school this fall and the food to prepare the meals.

The relationship between THVCR and KoFAT dates back to 2009.  In subsequent years, the program and has experienced progressive, controlled growth with the first year having 16 children in school and meals for about 80 children.  THVCR is a 501c3 nonprofit made up of an all-volunteer group of leaders and supporters who’s sole focus in on sustaining the work of KoFAT in Haiti. With that, 100% of donated funds are transferred to KoFAT to apply to teacher/cook salaries, student tuition and food.  Routine communication between THVCR and KoFAT is maintained with various methods including WhatsApp, emails and an annual meeting between Haitian and WI leaders that, for safety reasons, is held on the Dominican side of the border with Haiti. The next trip is scheduled for November 2023.

ORUCC’s association with THVCR originates with members Paul Patenaude and Ann & Roger Avery who have previously traveled to this region of Haiti as part of the Haiti Medical Mission of Wisconsin and who remain engaged in the work of THVCR.  Thank you in advance for supporting THVCR as the September Compassion Offering. 

watch video

August Compassion Offering: The Great Turning

Members of the Great Turning Catholic Worker Farm (Madison) and St. Isidore Catholic Worker Farm (Cuba City, WI) – from left (back row) is Dennis Noonan, Andrea Novotney, Justin Novotney, Mary Kay McDermott, Peter Yoches, Brenna Cussen Anglada, Eric Anglada, Sr. Mo McDonnell, (front row) Clare, Micah, and Ezra

The August Compassion Offering is The Greater Turning Catholic Worker House of Hospitality. The Great Turning Catholic Worker Farm is a community on the west side of Madison offering hospitality and community to people experiencing homelessness. We prioritize mothers with their children, refugees, asylees, and immigrants. Guests have been referred to us by St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Parish, folks in the Meadowood and Prairie Hills neighborhoods, and soon the Catholic Multicultural Center.

A ‘house of hospitality’ within the Catholic Worker movement provides shelter, and often food and clothing, to those in need. The Catholic Worker was founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in New York in 1933 amidst the Great Depression as a way to live out Catholic Social Teaching and the Gospel values– responding to the needs of those immediately around them.

At the Great Turning, we usually expect to have from one to four adult guests and one live-in volunteer. We come together for one community meal each week (we’d like to do more, with more support), a monthly roundtable discussion, and other time together with guests depending on support needed that we can provide.

We’d like to thank all of you at Orchard Ridge UCC for your support. This is a community endeavor, and not something our organization is trying to do in isolation. If this model resonates with you, consider joining us for a work day on Saturday, August 12 from 8:00 am to noon (1409 Lucy Ln), focused on both outdoor projects for the house and inside projects that more directly benefit guests. In addition, we are looking for other kinds of support including meal preparation, childcare, transportation for guests, gardening, house maintenance, and financial support. Or see the listing in the ORUCC e-post each Thursday throughout the month of August for household items to donate. Thank you!

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/v7b04d5I-fY

July Compassion Offering: Casa Alitas

Casa Alitas is a non-profit, immigrant welcome center near the border in Tucson, Arizona. The compassion offering for Casa Alitas from our congregation will help people at the border find a safer, more secure life.

Casa Alitas provides a warm welcome, food, clothing, and shelter for a few days for legal asylum seekers who have crossed the border. It also makes travel arrangements for people to reach the homes of their sponsors in the United States. Casa Alitas provides services to 500 to 1,000 guests every day.

ORUCC has a hands-on history with Casa Alitas, particularly through our annual clothing drive, such as the drive ongoing now. In addition, a number of us have had the opportunity to volunteer at Casa Alitas.

Funds from the compassion offering will provide direct services to immigrant families. Funds will

  • buy items for play bags for children,
  • pay for transportation to reunite families who have been separated at the border,
  • buy plane tickets for people to reach the homes of their sponsors in the United States, and
  • pay for the food, medical services, and shelter provided by Casa Alitas. 

Thank you in advance for your contribution.

Video

You can make a donation by check, on the memo line, please write “compassion” and mail to ORUCC, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711, or donate online from our website. The link is https://orucc.org/contribute/support/

June Compassion Offering: Lussier Community Education Center

Lussier Community Education Center (LCEC), celebrates over 50 years of quality programming and community organizing through the strength of community partnerships, the commitment of volunteers, and the kindness of neighbors. Its roots go back to the mid-70s, when the Wexford Ridge Community Association organized community services.  In the 1990s, these services operated out of apartments in the Wexford Ridge complex off of Gammon Road. In the early 2000’s,the establishment of a partnership agreement and lease with the Madison Metropolitan School District along with capital funding support from the City of Madison paved the way to the construction of the Lussier Community Education Center.  In October 2007, LCEC opened its doors at 55 South Gammon Road, on school-owned land adjacent to Jefferson Middle School and Vel Phillips Memorial High School. 

LCEC has always been a place for people from different walks of life to come together, share gifts, and build community. LCEC offers comprehensive programs for children and youth of all ages. From ‘play & learn’ sessions for kids under three, to after-school programming through high school, and even free eight-week summer camps loaded with enriching activities to keep this community’s youth learning and engaged. LCEC’s offerings are guided by a justice and equity-focused LCEC Framework, details of which can be found on our website, lcecmadison.org/about.

Your generous donation will directly fund our summer youth camps. These camps will host over 80 kids who will participate in various enriching activities – from cooking and science clubs to art projects, dance workshops, and outdoor adventures. At LCEC, children and youth are encouraged to grow, explore, and learn how to use their collective power for societal good in a nurturing and inclusive environment.

LCEC Summer Summary: August 2022 – YouTube

MAY COMPASSION OFFERING. LGBTQ+ Community Center


OutReach LGBTQ+ Community Center has served the Madison area since 1973, providing community building, health and human services, and economic, social, and racial justice advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community and our allies. OutReach has staff advocates that offer peer support, information, and referral in three main areas: substance use and harm reduction, transgender services, and elder services (for those over age 50). We also host social and support groups for people from all across the LGBTQ+ community where people can come together to discuss their lives, learn new skills, or just watch a movie and have a good time! OutReach LGBTQ+ Community Center houses the Earl Greely Memorial Library, an over-4000 volume lending library of LGBTQ+ fiction and nonfiction, the David Bohnett Cybercenter, community meeting space, and a community pantry with food and personal essentials.


Funds raised will be used to support Willma’s Fund, a program of OutReach offering emergency financial assistance to LGBTQ+ adults in Dane County. Willma’s Fund was founded in 2011 by Donald Haar, a former employee of the Salvation Army and drag performer who goes by the name Willma Flynn-Stone. Donald recognized that LGBTQ+ people often face additional barriers when accessing support for homelessness or housing insecurity and saw a way to help (and get back into performing drag!). Since 2011, Willma’s Fund has awarded over $250,000 to over 500 people. In 2022 alone we awarded $50,000 to 120 people. We paid 35 people’s security deposits or first month’s rent, and provided over 400 nights of emergency shelter through short-term hotel stays. Willma’s Fund is a vital piece of our community’s efforts to protect its most vulnerable members.


VIDEO

You can make a donation by check, on the memo line, please write “compassion” and mail to ORUCC, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711, or donate online from our website. The link is https://orucc.org/contribute/support/

April Compassion Offering: UCC Camps

This month our compassion offering is for our UCC camps in Wisconsin. We are so fortunate to have 3 amazing camps, each in a different setting and each offering unique programs: Moon Beach in the North Woods, Daycholah on Green Lake and Cedar Valley in Washington County.  

Camps provide sacred places which enhance our spiritual lives. The experience of living with others builds stronger connections. Camps can nourish us, provide respite so we can return to our daily lives refreshed and ready to serve others. By spending times in the out-of-doors we better appreciate the gifts of creation and therefore are eager to care for the earth. 

Our UCC camps also offer many volunteer opportunities, whether it be work projects or assisting at a camp session like Camp AweSum for families touched by autism.

Our camps need our volunteer and financial support. Please click on the link below to learn more about our sacred sites.

March Compassion Offering: One Great Hour of Sharing

One Great Hour of Sharing®, an ecumenical offering sponsored in Lent by the United Church of Christ, provides humanitarian and disaster relief in the United States and around the world. When a disaster strikes or people are displaced or made refugees by violence or extreme poverty, you are part of the immediate response and the work for long- term recovery. Because the UCC works in partnership to churches and organizations through Global Ministries and worldwide response and recovery networks, your contributions to One Great Hour of Sharing put you in the right place at the right time for the relief, accompaniment and recovery of the most vulnerable. You meet immediate needs and you address the underlying causes that create those needs in the first place.

You can make a donation by check, on the memo line, please write “compassion” and mail to ORUCC, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711, or donate online from our website. The link is https://orucc.org/contribute/support/ For more information see ucc.orghttps://www.ucc.org/giving/ways-to-give/our-churchs-wider-mission/one-great-hour-of-sharing/

February Compassion Offering: Worker Justice Wisconsin

Worker Justice Wisconsin (WJW) is a Madison-based nonprofit that builds collective worker power together with faith and labor allies. Our worker center educates and empowers employees who do not have a union. We help them file complaints with state agencies, incubate worker-owned cooperatives, and train workers to organize their coworkers. With a mostly bilingual staff, WJW pays special attention to the Spanish-speaking, immigrant working class. In 2022, WJW trained 140 workers, helped recover $121,560.11 in previously owed but unpaid wages, organized two job sites, and incubated three cooperatives. Of the 200+ workers who opened cases in 2022, over 90% were immigrants, and 89% were Latinx. 

February’s Compassion Offering will be deposited in the WJW Solidarity Fund. The Fund encourages workers to engage in job site organizing by providing a basic financial safety net. If a worker is retaliated against or fired by their employer for engaging in legally protected organizing activity, or if a workforce decides to go on strike, they can receive up to 50% of their income from the fund (so long as funds last and up to two months). The Fund is crucial to bolstering workers’ bargaining power. It is not charity. It is a direct contribution to workers’ struggle to overcome structural inequality.

You can make a donation by check, on the memo line, please write “compassion” and mail to ORUCC, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711, or donate online from our website. The link is https://orucc.org/contribute/support/

January Compassion Offering: Ethical Trade Company

Ethical Trade Co was founded in 2015 after our founders witnessed firsthand exploitation and human trafficking affecting people in southeast Asia. We met companies there that offered ethical employment opportunities to the people in their communities to prevent further exploitation. Feeling inspired, we set out to provide a marketplace for the products they were making so that they could offer ethical employment to even more people. Today our work financially empowers formerly exploited people in more than 25 countries.

As we sell items or receive donations into our general fund we are able to purchase more products which uphold the vision of empowering artisans by paying them a livable wage for their labor so that they are able to break free from exploitation and trafficking.

Any funds received through the Compassion Offering will be used to cover overhead costs to fulfill our mission to empower and support artisans around the world to break free from exploitation and extortion, as well as buying more products from our artisans to keep the circle of empowerment strong. Thank you for your generous support!

You can make a donation by check, on the memo line, please write “compassion” and mail to ORUCC, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711, or donate online from our website. The link is https://orucc.org/contribute/support/

December Compassion Offering: UCC Christmas Fund

United Church of Christ retired clergy, servants of the church, have spent lifetimes baptizing and blessing, teaching and preaching, marrying and burying, and comforting and empowering God’s people.  The UCC Christmas Fund for Veterans of the Cross gives us the opportunity to sustain and empower them. Gifts to the fund help retired clergy, church staff, and their families supplement pension benefits, pay bills, maintain health insurance, supplement health benefits, and meet emergency needs. In 2021, gifts to the Christmas Fund enabled pension supplementation for 231 retired clergy and lay employees, health benefit supplementation for 87 retired clergy and lay employees, emergency grants for 53 individuals and families, and Christmas “thank you” gift checks to 509 retired clergy and lay employees. Gifts to the Christmas fund in 2022 will make a real difference in the lives of retired clergy church staff, and their families, easing the anxiety of constant financial worries. 

Here’s a link to the National UCC’s Christmas Fund promotional video, on You Tube:

November Compassion Offering: Neighborhood Schools

Our 3 neighborhood schools — Anana Elementary, Orchard Ridge Elementary, and Toki Middle School — are always in need of our support. And this is especially true in 2022, when budgets are tight and when so many families living in southwest Madison are stretched financially.  

As you’ll see from this short video, each school is planning to make use of our compassion offering in different ways. These range from funding basic supplies, to providing students with winter clothing, to paying for yearbooks so no child is left without one, and to beautifying a stage so students and staff can take pride in their facility. 

We invite you to please give generously and give what you can in support of our neighborhood schools. Thank you Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ for your timely and generous support!

Link to video (embedded if you click through to the post)

You can make a donation by check, on the memo line, please write “compassion” and mail to ORUCC, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711, or donate online from our website.

October Compassion Offering: The Crossing Campus Ministry

The Crossing is a progressive Christian campus ministry on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The mission of The Crossing is to provide a Christian campus ministry where students can explore, question, understand, develop and affirm their relationship to God, each other and the world. This mission includes being a diverse and theologically open-minded Christian ministry that allows members of the university community the freedom to grasp anew the love and grace of God through an understanding of, and commitment to, living the gospel of Jesus Christ with a particular focus on his life and teachings. In short, The Crossing is a place where students can belong in community, explore their faith, and become their authentic selves.

At The Crossing when we say “ALL ARE WELCOME”, we mean it. The Crossing is a Reconciling in Christ, Open, Welcoming and Affirming ministry.  We celebrate God’s diversity in sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, different abilities, faith tradition or lack of faith, national origin, racial, ethnic and economic background and any other difference.

During the 2021-2022 academic year The Crossing hosted around 125 students per week in the study/community spaces and over 75 students participated in worship and small group programs. In addition, The Crossing fed around 150 students per week through the Food Recovery Network and the Frozen Meal Program, not including the hundreds of students and community members that our longtime friends from Slow Food UW host in the building.

Events planned for this Fall include:

  • Welcome Back Pie Extravaganza & Concert
  • Open Mic Night
  • Weekly Dinner+Worship
  • Weekly Bible Study
  • Fellowship & support groups for Freshman and Graduate students
  • Queer Students of Faith exploring queer theology
  • Food Recovery Meals – Free hot meals are served on Tuesday evenings & Friday lunch-time
  • UW Frozen Meals – Frozen meals from the UW dining halls are delivered weekly; available when the building is open

Watch the video

September Compassion Offering: Just Dane

JustDane (formerly Madison-area Urban Ministry, is a non-profit organization that offers an array of direct supportive initiatives for people being released from incarceration through our reentry programs, employment training for people with barriers to employment through Just Bakery, children and families impacted by the justice system, justice involved youth, as well as recuperative medical respite for families experiencing homelessness. Recognizing that, in the words of Rev. William Sloane Coffin “compassion and justice are companions, not choices,” JustDane also engages in the community advocating for State and local justice system reforms, fair and affordable housing, and end to homelessness and racial and economic justice.

If you’d like to know more about our work, there are two members of ORUCC on JustDane’s Board, Julie Horst and Phil Haslanger and they would be happy to share more about JustDane’s work in our community.  Thank you in advance for your contribution.

You can make a donation by check, on the memo line, please write “compassion” and mail to ORUCC, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711, or donate online at orucc.org. Click the brown button “Contribute” in the upper right of the home page.

To Order Baked Goods for Delivery to ORUCC on September 25

You can order delicious baked goods online from Just Bakery as part of the Compassion Offering for JustDane between September 5 and 12. (Just Dane’s ordering system will be down between Thursday September 1 and Sunday September 4.) Here’s how:

  • Go to https://justdane.org/shop/ Select desired items
  • On the CHECKOUT DETAILS page go to the line that reads, “If you have chosen pickup, what date would you like to pick up your order?” and enter “9/25/22”.
  • Fill in your name, address, phone number and email 
  • Go to the line that reads, “Order Notes” and enter “For delivery to Orchard Ridge UCC on Sunday, Sept. 25

When you have entered your credit card information and completed your order you will receive an order confirmation to your email.  Please place orders by Monday September 12th for delivery to ORUCC on Sunday, September 25th. (Sorry. In-person purchases on Sept. 25 are not possible.) Thank you!

August Compassion Offering: Community Immigration Law Center

The Community Immigration Legal Clinic (CILC) is a Madison-based nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to immigrants facing deportation, free legal clinics, and training and education on immigration issues for the community at large. CILC is housed at Christ Presbyterian Church, 944 East Gorham Street, in Madison. Wisconsin.

CILC provides pro bono services for anyone who presents themselves at their door, asylum seekers, refugees, and people recently released from detention centers. In the past year, referrals to CILC have included people from the border, people from Afghanistan and, most recently, people from Ukraine. In the past two months, referrals for services have doubled.

Funds from the compassion offering will fund an increase of staff for establishment of a pro-se clinic. The pro-se clinic will provide increased access to those seeking information about their rights, assistance in filling out required forms and asylum applications in their native language, and support navigating the immigration court system.

Thank you in advance for your contribution.

VIDEO

You can make a donation by check, on the memo line, please write “compassion” and mail to ORUCC, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711, or donate online at orucc.org. Click the brown button “Contribute” in the upper right of the home page.

Compassion Offering for July: Casa Alitas

Casa Alitas is a non-profit, immigrant welcome center in Tucson, Arizona. The Center provides a warm welcome, food, clothing, shelter for a few days, medical care, assistance in reuniting families who have been separated at the border, and then assistance for these families with transportation to sponsors who await them in the United States.  

At Casa Alitas

ORUCC has a hands-on history with Casa Alitas, even though it is miles away. You may remember that we sponsored a wonderfully successful clothing drive in 2021, and are planning another for this August.

Funds from the compassion offering will be used to provide direct services to immigrant families. For example, it will help reunite families who have been separated at the border, to buy plane tickets for people to reach the homes of their sponsors in the United States, and to pay for the food, medical supplies, and shelter provided by Casa Alitas. 

Thank you in advance for your contribution.

VIDEO link

You can make a donation by check, on the memo line, please write “compassion” and mail to ORUCC, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711, or donate online

Compassion Offering for June: Ukraine Refugee Relief

In June, the ORUCC Christian Witness and Service Ministry is focusing on refugee relief in and around Ukraine. We are partnering with the UCC-Wisconsin Conference, and its partner, Church World Service and their Ukraine Crisis Response Fund.

The Ukraine Crisis Response Fund is addressing the unique needs of Ukrainians displaced by Russia’s invasion. In meeting the basic needs of these refugees, the Fund is providing shelter and distributing food, hygiene items and school supplies.

The situation in Ukraine and neighboring countries is unstable and continues to change. Through the Crisis Response Fund, Ukrainians who have been forced to flee from their homes receive warm welcomes to help stabilize their situations.

Uniting in prayer, action, and giving, we stand as people of faith in love and compassion with the people of Ukraine.

Link to video

You can make a donation by check, on the memo line, please write “compassion” and mail to ORUCC, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711, or donate online at orucc.org. Click the brown button “Contribute” in the upper right of the home page

May Compassion Offering: Wisconsin UCC Outdoor Ministry Program

Our May compassion offering will go to Wisconsin’s outdoor ministry program (UCCI) which includes 3 camps: Moon Beach in the north woods, Daycholah on Green Lake, and Cedar Valley in southeast Wisconsin. It’s no surprise that the pandemic was hard on the camps. Even this year, in January, we had to cancel our all-church retreat at Daycholah. Despite the major challenges to the camps, the staff has managed to keep them alive with donations and creative options.

Our camps are sacred spaces to many of us at Orchard Ridge and around the state. They serve families, individuals, people with special needs, and people who benefit from scholarships, They are a great asset for building our spiritual lives and strengthening our lives together.

It ’s crucial we keep our camps strong and energized.

VIDEO

You can make a donation by check, on the memo line, please write “compassion” and mail to ORUCC, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711, or donate online at orucc.org

April 2022 Compassion Offering: Common Wealth Development

Common Wealth Development, a 40 plus year old non-profit, uses a people’s first philosophy to work in solidarity with the people we serve in our communities. CWD uses a housing and employment  approach to help stabilize families, thus contributing to stable neighborhoods. Under our racial justice and health equity model, Common Wealth works with a diversity of people, many who may face significant challenges in housing, employment, literacy and transportation.

In the South West neighborhood, CWD owns and manages more than 200 low income housing units.  We are proud to have opened our newest residential building on Raymond Road in August 2021. The first floor accommodates offices for our staff in addition to offices for our partners in the neighborhood: Joining Forces for Families and RISE Wisconsin with the Early Childhood Initiative.   ORUCC has been a great partner who helped to establish the STEP program within the Work Force Development mission.  Through ORUCC financial aid and volunteers, this program has assisted many neighbors in securing stable employment.

Common Wealth also provides incubation space at for first and second stage new businesses to help spur economic development. Our business incubators, Madison Enterprise Center, 100 S. Baldwin St and Main Street Industries, 931 E. Mains St, provide affordable rents for tenants.

We at Common Wealth, are grateful for the support of ORUCC.  For more information about Common Wealth Development,  go to CWD.org and learn more about  CWD’s Adult Workforce Development activities by watching the video.

March 2022 Compassion Offering: One Great Hour of Sharing

One Great Hour of Sharing

One Great Hour of Sharing®, an ecumenical offering sponsored in Lent by the United Church of Christ, provides humanitarian and disaster relief in the United States and around the world.  When a disaster strikes or people are displaced or made refugees by violence or extreme poverty, you are part of the immediate response and the work for long- term recovery.  Because the UCC works in partnership to churches and organizations through Global Ministries and worldwide response and recovery networks, your contributions to One Great Hour of Sharing put you in the right place at the right time for the relief, accompaniment and recovery of the most vulnerable.  You meet immediate needs and you address the underlying causes that create those needs in the first place. 

2022 One Great Hour of Sharing

To watch the video use this link