Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. Confronting the problem of hunger can seem overwhelming. What can we do? Plenty. Bread for the World members: write personal letters and emails to our members of Congress, meet with our Congressional representatives, and pray for an end to hunger and poverty.
The struggle against world hunger is a major concern at ACC. We participate annually in the Pasadena area CROP Hunger Walk to raise funds for Church World Service. Their goal is to eradicate hunger and poverty and to promote peace and justice around the world. Not bad for an afternoon’s stroll around Pasadena!
The money raised by the walk supports grassroots development projects around the world and immediate disaster relief, with 25% earmarked for local organizations, such as our ACTS Food Pantry. Though our church is one of the smaller groups involved in the walk, we consistently rank among the top contributors.
We are a member of ECPAC (Ecumenical Council of Pasadena Area Churches) and actively participate in the organization’s Friends In Deed church and community partnership, which provides coordinated and effective social services to those in need in the greater Pasadena area.
A highly valued ministry for our congregation is the Altadena Congregations Together Serving (ACTS) Food Pantry. Housed at the back of our church, the Food Pantry was started by ACC and three other Altadena congregations when we discovered that many of the local food programs are closed on the weekend. Volunteers buy the food, pack the bags, and hand them out Saturday mornings. They also prepare special holiday bags for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. We welcome people to buy and donate food from our latest needs list, or you can participate by donating money for the shopping.
ACC supports mission trips for both individuals and groups. Our most recent trip consisted of eight members and friends who traveled to For His Children, which runs two large children’s homes in Ecuador. On the 10-day visit in the summer of 2010, our mission team fed and cared for children in the cities of Quito and Latacunga. Many of the children have disabilities, so the staff welcomes extra hands. We pitched in on whatever was needed, which included some painting, woodwork, and other projects to improve and maintain the facilities. We also prepared a Bible study lesson and crafts activity, which we delivered to three groups of school-age children. Part of the joy in the trip was the bonding between team members, which started prior to the trip as we planned the Bible study lesson.
We are pleased to support the work of Jeffrey Mensendiek through Global Ministries (www.globalministries.org), a joint United Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ organization focused on justice, peace, and poverty issues.
The son of missionaries, Mensendiek grew up in Japan. He works to promote a culture of inclusion and tolerance and speaks against militarism in contemporary Japan. He works for justice, with particular outreach to the victims of radiation in the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
ACC sends a team each year to participate in Relay for Life. At this 24-hour event in Farnsworth Park, members camp out or come and go, walking in turn to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society’s work. Walking between the home-made luminarias that line the path, talking quietly, or listening to music, you feel the spirit of this event. With Relay for Life, we celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and help in the fight against this disease.
Want to participate in an important social service, but don’t have the time for a lengthy commitment? Join us in preparing or serving an evening meal once a month at Union Station Family Center in Pasadena. On the second Sunday of each month, a rotating team feeds 20 to 30 people at the center. Church members prepare different parts of the meal at their homes and bring it to church on Sunday. You can prepare the casserole, cook green beans, slice fruit, furnish a desert, or help serve the food that evening to very appreciative families. It is a simple yet rewarding task to help us fulfill our call to feed and serve others.