The Mission and Social Justice Committee (M&SJ) is involved in local, national, and international projects that address injustice. Members of the committee are elected with three year terms. They seek to raise awareness, in the congregation and in the greater community, about hunger, the climate crisis, inequality, diversity, poverty, immigration policy, and other issues that are priorities of the congregation.
M&SJ also sponsors films, lectures, sing-alongs, and discussions of national and international issues. To do this work we collaborate with our fellow Christian congregation in Ashfield, St. John’s Episcopal, and partners from other spiritual traditions (Interfaith Council of Franklin County), as well as decision makers at the local, state, and national levels.
Mission and Social Justice Committee 2021 Annual Report
The MS&J Committee members are responsible for disbursing 4% of our church’s annual budget. In addition, we still had funds from our capital campaign of 2017-2019. The church also donates 4% of its budget to Global Ministries, a joint witness in mission between the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the national United Church of Christ. During 2021, we continued to support these four areas of concern:
Here are descriptions of the largest recipients of funds in 2021:
Saint John’s Episcopal Church is celebrating its 200th anniversary in Ashfield. To prepare for the third millennium, they have launched the “3rd Century Campaign” with the goal of raising $300,000 for an endowment fund to support the maintenance of the buildings and grounds. When this goal is met, the church’s annual budget will be free to commit more to missions and less to maintenance. $2,000
Hilltown Churches’ Food Pantry- Sharing Gifts provides gift cards to each Food Pantry family. $500
Ohketeau Located on the Double Edge campus in Ashfield, they provide a safe, rewarding and enriching experience for the Indigenous community of the region through cultural workshops, dance, music, art, indoor and outdoor activities, that allows participants the opportunity to fully express their talents. $500
The Native Land Conservancy The Native Land Conservancy is the first Native run land conservation group east of the Mississippi River. The group’s work is to protect sacred spaces and habitats for our winged and four legged neighbors and other essential ecosystem resources to benefit Mother Earth and all human beings. $500
Red Gate Farm Education Center gives scholarships to children from Holyoke and Springfield to attend camp. $500
Palestinian House of Friendship located in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, gives kids a respite from living under military occupation through summer camps and provides youth with a place to record their music, and elders a voice through the oral history project. $500
Ashfield News had an appeal for financial support to cover its operating costs. Every month there is an article from our church as well as a listing of our events. $500
Center for New Americans, Education and Resources for Immigrants and Refugees in Western MA $500
Shelburne Falls Senior Center’s Safelink Phones Program, enables income eligible seniors free or low cost monthly phone service, but the phone itself is not provided, thus our donation. $500
Getting ready to deliver the 1,000 cranes!
This is the latest initiative from an emerging Youth Service Group -- making and delivering 1,000 origami cranes to Kentucky via the Hands Across the Hills program. Katie and Abby began their service with “Totes of Love,” a joint project of Ashfield Churches Together last November (see photo below).. In February they invited members of our congregation to make Valentines which they then gave to everybody who came for a Community Meal in Greenfield. They are going to return to the Community Meal on Easter Sunday to give a crane and an Easter chocolate to each person.
Minister's Office Hours
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Rev. David Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or call
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429 Main Street * PO Box 519 * Ashfield MA 01330