First Reformed’s Community Outreach:
First Reformed supports many community organizations and activities with the time, talents, and resources of our members and our church.
- Meals on Wheels:
Open Hands of Davidson County is a tax-exempt organization that provides help with physical needs, employment avenues, educational and spiritual activities, and housing guidance to the homeless or marginalized members of the City of Lexington. One of the services Open Hands provides a weekly hot meal to approximately 120 homeless or marginalized members of our community. First Reformed UCC provides volunteers to help with the meal as well as our Fellowship Hall as one of two feeding sites in the City of Lexington.
- East Lexington Collaborative Ministries:
- —–Tutoring Ministry — We have identified students associated with the Open Hands weekly meal that need help with schoolwork. We currently have six retired school teachers working with seven students.
- —–A Cup of Joe Coffee Ministry for Veterans — we offer free coffee, doughnuts and conversation to the veterans of our community at one of the local coffee shops. We meet on the first Tuesday of each month from 10am to 12 noon at The Perfect Blend , located on the square in downtown Lexington.
Our members give support to the Crisis Ministry homeless shelter one night per month. Also, organizations within the church serve the evening meal at the shelter one night every other month. Currently they are serving approximately 60 people.
We provide benevolent gifts to several community organizations, including:
Communities in Schools , Crisis Ministry, Davidson County Alcoholic Care, Davidson Medical Ministries ,
Life Center of Davidson , Family Services of Davidson County , Habitat for Humanity , Hospice of Davidson County , Lexington Housing CDC , Lexington Prison Ministry , Pastor’s Pantry , and Salvation Army .
Touching Davidson County with Love:
Our members participate in Touching Davidson County with Love event.
We provide benevolent gifts to United Church of Christ organizations, including:
Blowing Rock Conference Center , Elon Homes for Children , Johns River Valley Camp , Nazareth Children’s Home , Our Church’s Wider Mission , and Piedmont Retirement Home
We also support special UCC missions such as:
One Great Hour of Sharing, Veterans of the Cross, Neighbors in Need, and Strengthen the Church.
The idea of Meals On Wheels began in the early 1960’s as a service project for a Sunday School class at First Baptist Church, serving six or seven meals a day. The service project outgrew the class’s ability to serve the needy. Other churches were asked to help (First Methodist, First Presbyterian, and Grace Episcopal). By 1971, the service had grown to over twenty meals, and First Church was asked to use our kitchen. On January 2, 1972, the Lexington Meals on Wheels program officially began its service to serve our community. Eight Lexington churches and citizens support the program financially and with volunteers. Then in 1992, First Reformed UCC assumed the responsibility for a route in the Erlanger section of Lexington as well as the continued use of our kitchen.
First Reformed UCC continues to share its large, commercial kitchen with Meals on Wheels Mondays through Friday, where two part-time cooks prepare over 100 hot, nutritious lunches for clients homebound clients in the Lexington City limits. The meals are organized for pickup and delivery by volunteer drivers between 10:30 and 11 a.m.
The face of the Meals on Wheels program at First Reformed UCC is Alisa Johnson. A dedicated, energetic and active First Reformed UCC church member and community volunteer, Johnson serves as the volunteer Meals on Wheels coordinator for First Reformed UCC.
Among other things, Johnson visits prospective Meals on Wheels who live within the First Reformed UCC route to determine their program qualifications as well as their physical and dietary needs. Johnson, who also is a route driver, makes sure there is emergency coverage for her route when drivers have scheduling conflicts.
Drivers are made up of volunteers from eight churches: Our Lady of the Rosary, Grace Episcopal, First Baptist, First Methodist, First Lutheran, First Presbyterian, First Reformed UCC and Second Reformed UCC.
First Reformed UCC has joined with Second Reformed UCC, St. Stephen United Methodist Church and Shady Side Presbyterian Church to collaborate on ministries that help the individuals of the City of Lexington. We began our collaboration in February of 2017. Thus far, we have identified two areas in which we minister to our community: