The current food pantry is a continuation of the centuries-old custom of taking care of widows, orphans and the homeless through the Deacons Fund since the reformation in the 1500’s. It serves people in the neighborhood and is managed by a Community Outreach Worker with the help of volunteers. Last year, the food pantry served 361households, many of them several times.
Monthly supplies of food and other grocery store essentials, such as diapers and toothpaste, are distributed. Other programs, such as “Back-to-School-Night”, “Mitten Tree”, “Christmas Shoppe” and “Thanksgiving Basket” minister to children and families around the holidays and other special times of the year.
CROP Hunger Walk
First Church members participate in the annual CROP hunger walk, a national fundraising event organized by the Church World Services which distributes the proceeds to local food pantries and to international relief efforts. www.churchworldservice.org
FCA hosts a weekly AA meeting in the church parlor on Wednesdays at 12:00 noon.
Visit www.aaalbany.org for more information.
Albany Overflow Shelter for Men
First Church supports the Albany Emergency Overflow Shelter run by the Capital Area Council of Churches. We provide one to two meals a month for the clients. This wintertime shelter accommodates up to 20 homeless men.
Equinox Thanksgiving Program
Each year a First Church workgroup helps out with the food preparation for the Equinox Thanksgiving Dinner. This event feeds those of limited income as well as persons looking for dinner company on this holiday. www.equinoxinc.org.
Urban Day Camp
This one-week Summer Bible School is organized with support staff from Camp Fowler, the regional RCA summer camp. The Urban Day Camp is held at First Church and provides opportunities for children to enjoy games, crafts, learning, worship, and nature study. Many of the programs take place outside the building. First Church has a small park where a tent is setup to accommodate this fun event.
Program Participants pay on a sliding scale. The program attracts both neighborhood children as well as First Church youth group members.
This past summer the Youth Missions Group traveled to Scranton, PA, from July 27 to August 3, to help with home repairs. Our youth participated with approximately 400 other youth and advisors from many different churches and different denominations across the country.