At the Union Church, we take our commitment to service seriously. Jesus called us to respond to the needs of those around us. Our efforts to respond to this calling carry us to both places near and far.
Our children, in their Sunday School, raise funds and do various hands-on projects. Our goal is to make the connection from the start between what we believe and what we do. The children’s funds have helped purchase animals for poor families through the Heifer Project. They have helped provide funds for training guide animals for the blind. They have sent funds for relief efforts after all sorts of natural disasters. In addition to financial gifts, the children often pack the lunches that we take to the homeless in Lake County through PADS. They have visited local nursing homes to sing. They have prepared boxes of comfort items for soldiers. If you ask a child how Sunday School was, they may well answer by telling you about the service project they were working on that day.
As a whole church, there is a parallel commitment to service. We have a monthly commitment to PADS to provide and serve food for the homeless. We support all sorts of local agencies, including Bernie’s Books, Mother’s Trust Foundation, Zacharias Center for victims of sexual abuse, and the COOL Food Pantry in Waukegan. Globally, we have supported The Red Cross, CARE, Bridges to Prosperity and Soles4Soles.
Our Work Trip is the moment when adults and youth come together to spend a week rehabbing homes and painting murals in schools. There is nothing like sweating together to feel connected to one another and to our faith! Those who have participated in these trips have found them profoundly meaningful, life-changing experiences.
The church also manages a charitable trust that allows us to work with local schools and agencies to meet the needs that are “falling through the cracks.” These funds have helped us to buy boots for children who didn’t have any, to help families with food needs, to help children get glasses, to help send kids to camp.
Living Your Faith Scholarship
Our annual Living Your Faith Scholarship is a $1,500 gift to one person who applies to have a faith-based travel experience. In the past, this scholarship has allowed several of our members to go into Third World countries to see firsthand the work of projects that we have supported. They then report back to the church on what they have seen.