Shared Offering

The members of First Parish decided in early 2008 to begin an ongoing program in which we donate half of our weekly undesignated offering to non-profit organizations doing social service and social justice work in our local communities. Each month, an organization is chosen and their work is described in a spoken and written announcement. A bulletin board is devoted to describing the organization, its mission, and needs for volunteers. Our Shared Offering program has benefited many organizations, helped us establish partnerships, educated our congregation about social justice work being done in our communities, and increased our visibility as a giving church in the community.

Our process and criteria for choosing these organizations has been developed over the three years of the program.  The choices for each month closely reflect the congregation’s Social Justice and Transformation priorities, will generally be limited to local service and advocacy organizations, and include those groups with whom First Parish wants to form partnerships. There will, however, be flexible in order to respond to crises in our community and in the world. The Social Justice Council, Transformation Team, and Program Council each chose the recipients for three months of the year. Members of the congregation are encouraged to make suggestions to these groups directly or you can email the nominations to SharedOffering [at] firstparishcambridge [dot] org.

The chairs of the Program Council, Transformation Team, and the Social Justice Council will coordinate the assignment of specific months and the publicity with the First Parish sponsor of each recipient organization. The First Parish community service programs, Paine Senior Services and Tuesday Meals, may each choose the recipient for one month. Their respective Advisory Boards will choose a non-profit group that serves their populations. In this way, the Shared Offering will reflect the missions of these programs, but go completely beyond the walls of First Parish to benefit the community.

One month will be donated to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). As is tradition, the Christmas Eve collection will continue to go to the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry (UUUM) in Roxbury.

Standing Committee believes that with this model we will be able to both nurture our Social Justice priorities and continue to invite widespread participation from throughout the congregation.

Shared Offering Schedule 2014-2015

Month First Parish Group Responsible Shared Offering Recipient
July 2014 Paine Senior Services Cambridge Somerville Legal Services
August 2014 Tuesday Meals Food for Free
September 2014 Transformation Team Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House
October 2014 Social Justice Council Centro Presente
November 2014 Program Council Chelsea Collaborative
December 2014 Religious Education Chelsea Collaborative
January 2015 Transformation Team Young Peoples Projectf
February 2015 UUSC
March 2015 Program Council Autism Self Advocacy Network
April 2015 Transformation Team Louis D. Brown Peace Institute
May 2015 Social Justice Council Alternatives for Community and Environment
June 2015 Program Council Livable Streets Alliance

 Shared Offering Schedule 2013-2014

Month First Parish Group Responsible Shared Offering Recipient
July 2013 Paine Senior Services Somerville/Cambridge Elder Services
August 2013 Tuesday Meals Youth on Fire
September 2013 Transformation Team Margaret Fuller House
October 2013 First Parish UUSC
November 2013 Social Justice Council Centro Presente
December 2013 Religious Education  The Food Project
January 2014 Transformation Team  DRUUMM
February 2014 Social Justice Council 350 MA
March 2014 Program Council Transition House
April 2014 Transformation Team Louis D. Brown Peace Institutue
May 2014 Social Justice Council Brazilian Immigrant Center
June 2014 Program Council EqUUal Access

 Shared Offering Recipient Organizations 2009-2010

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