Donation to the Peace River Botanical and Sculpture Gardens - July 25, 2021
Our Endowment Team recommended and the Leadership Team approved a distribution to the Peace River Botanical and Sculpture Gardens. A check in the amount of $1,000 was presented to Tanna Horner, Executive Director of the Gardens, by Endowment Team Lead, Bil Tucker. The funds will help fund the construction of a permanent ticket booth. In her remarks, Ms. Horner thanked the congregation and the Endowment Fund for our continued support of the Gardens. To learn more about the mission and activities of the Gardens, click the link above.
Inaugural CUCC Scholarshp Awards - May 27, 2020
Inaugural CUCC-PG Scholarship Awards, May 27, 2021
In 2020, the CUCC Endowment Fund established the CUCC-PG Scholarship Fund. The purpose of the Scholarship Fund is to help promote a more just society by helping recipients with financial need further their education in ways that will ultimately enable them to better provide for themselves and their families and to participate more fully in our democracy. On May 27, 2021, seven seniors from the Charlotte High School Class of 2021 were named the first recipients of the Congregational United Church of Christ of Punta Gorda scholarships. Click here to see a clip from the graduation ceremony. Ongoing funding of the Scholarship Fund will be provided annually by the Endowment Fund.
Volunteer Sunday, April 18, 2021
In February 2019, we held a service that applauded the contributions of our members. COVID stymied any chances for a similar event in 2020, but because of COVID, giving thanks to the many individuals who helped us throughout the COVID hiatus was a necessary and uplifting event. Discipleship Team Lead Isaac James coordinated the event on behalf of the Leadership Team and expressed thanks to all for their contributions of time and talents during this difficult time. Our first fellowship in months, although held outside and limited to cookies and punch, was a big hit! Thanks to Kathy Frantish and Mary Tulip for hosting.
Easter Week 2021 - March 28 - April 3, 2021
Palm Sunday 2021 was exhilarating. Those attending in person were able to participate in the procession and laying of palms at the base of the cross. It was the first Sunday our choir had performed in over a year! Limited services were held on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Easter Services again featured our choir and a trumpet player who accompanied our anthem and hymns.
Social Justice Donations, March 2021
Our Social Justice Ministry funded two important causes early this year:
The Immokolee Fair Housing Alliance, Inc., was formed to address the dire situation of substandard housing that plagues farmworker families in Immokalee, Florida. Due to the efforts of the IFHA, property has been purchased as a site for the development of 128 safe, affordable rental units for farmworkers, their families and other extremely low-income residents of Immokalee. A donation of $2,000 was given to the IFHA. Click on the IFHA link above to learn more about the housing conditions in Immokolee. Our donation will be well spent.
The Social Justice Ministry Team also chose to send $1,000 to RIP Medical Debt, Inc., which will go toward alleviating unpaid medical debt. Over 100 million Americans, 1/3 of our population, are impacted by medical debt. Every day, 79 million Americans choose between paying their medical bills or providing for their basic needs. The overwhelming majority of bankruptcies (65%) are due to medical debt. For every $100 donated, the RIP Medical Debt is able to pay off $10,000 of medical debt. Our contribution helped to erase $100,000 in medical debt. Additional contributions from members of the congregation added $6,800 to our total remittances to RIP Medical Debt, Inc., for a total redution of $780,000 in medical debt.
Both contributions were made possible by a grant from the Endowment Fund to the our social justice ministries.
Reaffirmation of Faith - February 14, 2021
In front of a very limited in-person audience, our congregation welcomed nine new members: Joan Lyons, Olin Lyons, Carol Nickerson, Annie Richardson, Anamaria Rivadeneira, Lucia Rivadeneira, Donna Sidmore, Jay Sidmore and Helen (Birdie) Tiistola. If you haven't already done so, please take the time to introduce yourself.