Mission & Justice

Mission & Justice

We exist, not for safety and comfort, but to be Christ’s hands and feet and heart in a hurting world. We are the Body of Christ, sharing God’s love in concrete ways. Come join us to make a real difference in our neighborhood and in the world as together we answer the call of God: "Let your Kingdom come on earth."

Our Neighborhood/Our Calling

Our neighborhood challenges us to take the gospel from the pages of a book into real life. It also reminds us that "they" are "us," that no matter our background, we are all God's children seeking to live whole, hopeful, meaningful lives.

We love our neighborhood and our neighbors, whether they live next door or half way around the world. We invite you to join us in being culture changers, caring about key issues and challenges like: Poverty, crime, ethnic diversity and unity, housing, justice, and more. 

Challenges in our Neighborhood

In our immediate neighborhood:

  • Median household income is significantly below state average.
  • Percentage of unemployed is significantly above state average.
  • Foreign-born population percentage is above state average.
  • Renting percentage is significantly above state average.
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s degree or higher is below state average.
  • Violent crime is higher than the US average.
  • Property crime is higher than the US average.

Statistics don’t tell the whole story.  We are surrounded by wonderful people with huge hearts, activists seeking change, and people who have decided that they are more than a statistic.

Regardless of circumstances, God is among us, and together we seek to embody the Kingdom of God in our neighborhood.

Our Amazing Community Partners

There are many in our neighborhood who work together to the good  of all.   We have amazing community partners who join with us in loving our neighborhood. Please check them out, learn more about them, and find opportunities to support them and volunteer.

Social Justice Studies

One aspect of being a church in our neighborhood is we are blessed with a rich diversity of people we interact with on a daily basis.  Many come from different cultures, many have different experiences in our own culture, some positive, and some negative.

We are a majority white congregation, and like many today, we are becoming more aware of how different our experience is in this world, as compared to people of color.  Periodically we offer opportunities for study and exploration that help us be aware of those differences, so we can be better neighbors.  Check out some of our small groups for current offerings.  In the “TYPE” option, search for “Mission & Social Justice” for current offerings.

Little Free Library

Yes, we have a little free library with a seating area for neighbors to enjoy an outdoor lunch, read a book, or just rest.  Thanks to donations we keep a selection of books available for anyone to borrow.

17th St. Community Garden

Food is an important part of life – and the connection to the earth and our history that it nurtures in us.  In partnership with Community Crops and Jacob’s Well we provide community garden space in our neighborhood.  28 families in our neighborhood farm plots in this garden.  Some do it for the enjoyment it brings, some for the food it supplies, some for the connection it provides to the land and the homes they left in other counties.  A beautiful, rich community grows in our garden!

Death Row Inmate Visits

God never stops loving us.  That message is woven through our communion services, the cross, and our call to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Under the umbrella of Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, we visit death row prisoners on a quarterly basis throughout the year.  We also have a display of their artwork in our Welcome Center.  We do not deny the seriousness of the crimes committed, we simply acknowledge that we are called to love all people without exception, and we keep in mind Jesus’ words:

“Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

Matthew 25:31-40

Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

In our neighborhood are people from many different cultures, countries, and faith traditions.  Yet one thing we all have in common is the need to express gratitude.

In partnership with many others, we help organize an Interfaith Thanksgiving Service for our neighborhood and wider Lincoln community.

This is typically held on the Sunday immediately before Thanksgiving, and the joy of hosting is rotated among many religious traditions.

In 2020 it was held virtually.  In 2021 we look forward to being in person again, and sharing in each other’s company, and just as importantly, sharing more cookies, bars, and treats than is healthy!

Alcoholics Anonymous

For over 25 years we have provided space for men and women seeking support to deal with addiction to alcohol.  While in a way all we do is provide space, the relationships we have built with the men and women who come here for meetings has been an important part loving our community, and ourselves.

Visit their website to find out more about them, and to find meetings.

Arts for the Soul Outreach

The Arts for the Soul Fine Art Concert Series has been an important part of our church ministry for over 10 years.  We not only enjoy world class music, we also reach out to local schools to share the joy of music, and to offer classes.

We have also used the concert series to highlight issues of importance, such as ecology and care of creation, and interfaith and intercultural relationships.

The Annual Sing from the Heart Concert is a fundraiser for one of our community partners.  We have enjoyed choir concerts, story tellers, and learned about the important work done by our partners in our community.  A highlight is always the cheesecake or ice cream enjoyed during the concert!

Click to learn more.

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