More Relay Fundraisers

We had a very successful yard and bake sale where we raised around $900 for our Christians for the Cure team for the American Caner Society Relay for Life of Vallejo and Benicia. But, that sale happened to fall on the hottest day of the year in Vallejo! So while we did have a lot of shoppers and did very well, we know we could have done better on a cooler day. We have lots more to sell and are getting more donations from people who didn't have a chance to donate items before our sale. So, we are doing it again. On Saturday, July 28th, we will be hosting an indoor Rummage Sale in our Fellowship Hall, from 9-2 to raise more money for the Relay for Life.

We have another fundraiser as well. On Monday, July 30th, Chipotle Mexican Grill in Vallejo (1195 Admiral Callaghan Lane) is hosting a fundraiser from 4-8. Chipotle will donate 33% of your bill to the Relay for Life through our team. In order to get the donation, you must have a flyer, so please download and print it out and show it when you pay (or show it on your phone!).

These are two great opportunities to help raise money for the American Cancer Society. And don't forget to come to the Relay itself on August 4th, starting at 10 am and running for 24 hours on the track at St. Patrick's High School. Our team will have a great community art project at our booth, along with a raffle for four tickets (and a parking pass!) to an up coming San Francisco Giants game. That is just one of many great fundraisers that will be happening all around the track during the Relay itself.  So come out and walk and support a great event! You can also join our team or donate to our team by finding us (Christians for the Cure) and learn more about the even at http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?pg=entry&fr_id=85536

Relay for Life!

After a few years off, First Christian Church is once again participating in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life on August 4 at St. Patrick / St. Vincent High School.  Our team is known as Christians for a Cure and we have a goal of raising $1,000.  Our committee is currently working on ideas for our fundraiser at the Relay itself, but we do have a pre-Relay fundraiser already scheduled — a HUGE Yard Sale with other goodies (baked goods, hot dogs, etc.) which will take place on Saturday, June 23rd.

You can learn more about the even by visiting http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?pg=entry&fr_id=85536.  We will have a booth on the track during the 24 hours of the Relay with educational opportunities as well as a fundraiser.  It is a great event every year with lots of interesting booths with all sorts of ways you can donate to the cause, through purchases, raffles, games, and other special activities.  You can visit the website to donate through our team, or to join the team to help the fundraising effort.  Just search the teams for Christians for a Cure and click JOIN or DONATE (or both!). 

More information will follow as more planning happens. 

20th GLOBAL HOLIDAY FAIRE COMING!

You read that headline right!  This year is the 20th Annual Ecumenical Global Holiday Faire.  It is amazing that we have been doing this for more than half my life.  We hope to make this the best Faire ever, so we need everyone's help in making it better than ever.  The Faire takes place on Saturday, December 2, from 9-3.  We will be raising money for 16 local and global non-profit organizations.  We will have great gift items from around the world for sale benefiting organizations such as SERRV, Friends of Loma Vista Farm, Concern America and Pal Craftaid.  We are excited by the return of Bead for Life this year.  It has always been a popular table with their hand-made beaded jewelry, so this year they are "back by popular demand."  We will continue to feature Alternative Giving with Heifer International and Arbor Day Foundation.  We are happy to include Doctors without Borders in the Faire this year.  Their work after the natural disasters our planet has recently faced is amazing and we are looking forward to raising money for their efforts.  And as always, homemade lunch will be for sale and choirs and musicians will be performing all day long to add to the festive atmosphere.

There is much that you can do to help make our 20th Faire even better than last year when we raised over $13,500!  If you can volunteer at a table at the Faire (or help set up the night before starting at 6pm), please let Helen Mezzera know.  We are accepting donations of crafts, gift baskets, baked goods, and new, never opened "re-gifted" items. 

A major part of making the Faire a success is spreading the word.  The fliers - both the large (great for posting) and the small (great to hand out to friends, family, neighbors and coworkers) are already available in church and have gone out on email.  Try to think of new ways to help spread the word.  We gave out 100 fliers at Unity Day.  We have an ad in the Grapevine for two months.  We will do an ad in the Times-Herald in addition to getting a big article in the paper.  We will do an ad on craigslist.  We will be attending the Vallejo Farmers Market and Art Walk to pass out fliers.  We are using Facebook to help get the word out.  If you have an idea of a location or event to hand out fliers, go for it!  Our budget is limited, but if you can think of free places we can advertise, let me know.  As successful as we were last year (2nd most money raised in 19 years), we still had items for sale at the end of the day.  The only way to make more money for the 16 non-profits is to get more shoppers in the door.
 
In the upcoming weeks, look forward to a series of announcements with all the information you will need about our biggest Mission Action event of the year.


And don't forget to 'like" the Faire on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GlobalHolidayFaire

Come to Unity Day 2017

Vallejo Together and their partners GVRD, SolTrans, VibeSolano, Vallejo Happenings and Vallejo Sister City Association are hosting Unity Day 2017 which will be held on Sunday, September 10, 2017, 10am - 5pm at Vallejo City Park (Sacramento Street at Louisiana St.). Unity Day celebrates Vallejo's diversity in culture, sexual orientation, age and abilities.

There will be a Cultural and Millennium Stage, International food booths, food demonstrations and plenty of free gifts and activities for all.

This is the first year that we at First Christian Church of Vallejo will be able to participate and we are very excited to join with so many other fantastic organizations in Vallejo! We will have crafts and painting at our booth, so please come and be creative while expressing your thoughts and feelings of Unity!

Join us and celebrate Vallejo!  

Inclusion Upgrades

Devin-Norelle, a gender-fluid trans activist and writer who lives in New York, told the Daily Beast, “In general, I hate using the restroom because I’m such a feminine- or androgynous-looking person, I get a lot of looks. There was a time where I was very concerned about my own safety…I’m putting myself at risk when I’m walking into the men’s restroom and I’m putting myself at risk when I’m walking into the women’s restroom.”
These are very real concerns facing many of our LGBTQI friends.  As a result, the Administrative Council voted at the last meeting to update all the restrooms in the church to “Gender Neutral” restrooms.  This is just one small way that we can continue on our path to being a progressive and inclusive church.  By making our restrooms Gender Neutral, we are telling our building users that we accept you for who you are and you should feel free to be yourself. 
Over the next few weeks you will see the signs and there will be some minor upgrades to the restrooms themselves, however for the most part there will be no change.  The bathrooms will remain single use and will have locks on the doors for the privacy of everyone.
Sofia Nelson, an attorney practicing in Detroit, Michigan told The Daily Beast, “We’re just talking about people – who could be your child, your friend, or your co-worker – wanting to do something super basic that we all have to do: use the bathroom.”

This is all we want to do too.

CROP Hunger Walk Is Coming

For the past nine years, many congregations and individuals have walked to raise over $60,000.00 for 4 local agencies and one international agency at the CROP Hunger Walk of Vallejo (CROP is Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty).  This year the walk will be May 6th and will start and finish at the beautiful waterfront in Vallejo, CA. Registration starts at 9:30 with the 3K walk or run at 10:15am. The four local groups are; Amador Street Hope Center, Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano, DePaul Women’s Center and American Canyon Family Resource Center and the international agency, who is our sponsor, is Church World Service. You can check out www.cws.org to read about CWS and what they do throughout the country and overseas.  Please check out www.crophungerwalk.org/vallejoca for more information or to donate.
Throughout the month of April, four local Vallejo and American Canyon restaurants will help the hunger walk raise money. They will donate either 10 or 20% of your meal ticket to the walk when you present the flyer when you make your purchase. They are the following;
Rubio’s, 173 Plaza Drive, Vallejo Tuesday April 4 2 PM to 8 PM
The Habit 118 Plaza Drive, Vallejo Tuesday & Wednesday April 11 & 12 3 PM to 9 PM
Los Cantaros 3427 Broadway St, American Canyon Tuesday April 18 10 AM to 9 PM
China Wok 512 Sacramento St., Vallejo Tuesday April 25 11 AM to 9 PM
You can find the flyers at www.facebook.com/vallejohungerwalk .  

I hope you can help out.  If you would like to help out either by walking, donating, joining or forming a team, please let me know by calling 707-694-6274. Each step we take, we help those who are in need. Whether it's serving a meal, giving away food, helping with taxes, finding someone a job, helping with interviews, or just plain listening, the CROP Hunger Walk of Vallejo raises the funds needed to do all these and more. Please join in the fun!

CROP Walk Activities

  On Saturday, March 25th, First Christian Church of Vallejo will present the Pickle Creek String Band to help four local agencies help those in need.  All proceeds will go to these groups;  Amador Street Hope Center, Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano, DePaul Women’s Center and American Canyon Family Resource Center.  Each group works with people and families in the county and beyond. Whether it's helping with taxes or it’s distributing food or it’s serving a hot meal, each group is dedicated to help those who are less fortunate.

  The concert will start at 6:30 with the doors opening at 6:00.  Bluegrass, old time/Appalachian, Irish/Celtic, folk and American ballad are all the types of music you will be hearing.   Tickets are $10.00 min donation for adults and for students a can of food.  Refreshments will be served during the concert.  This will be the third annual concert to help us start thinking about the 10th Annual Hunger Walk of Vallejo which is on May 6th.  If you need more information on the concert, please call me at 707-694-6274.  If you would like to donate toward these agencies, please visit www.crophungerwalk.org/vallejo.

Global Holiday Faire Coming!

It is that time of year again!  The 19th Annual Ecumenical Global Holiday Faire is almost here.  The Faire will be Saturday, December 3, from 9-3 and as always will feature gift items from around the world.  This year we will once again be raising money for 17 different local and global non-profit organizations.  We are particularly excited about some of the new organizations which will be making their debut at this year's Faire.  For instance, Gifts for the Journey is an organization run by the Franciscan Peacemakers which helps get women out of prostitution and homelessness.  We will have an entire table of soaps, lotions and other bath items that are made by these remarkable women.  We also will be featuring food from the Arkansas Rice Depot to go along with the already popular coffees, chocolates, chilis, soups and other great items on the expanded food table.  Plus, there will be new items from returning organizations such as SERRV, UPAVIM Crafts and Concern America.  And as always there will be "regifted" items for sale as well as crafts, gift baskets and baked goods.  In addition to great shopping opportunities, homemade lunch will be for sale and choirs and musicians will be performing all day to add to the festive atmosphere.

For more information about the Faire, visit globalholidayfaire.org.  And remember to 'like' the Faire on Facebook!

Independence Day Parade

This year, our congregation was invited to participate in the Vallejo Independence Day Parade as part of a very large gathering of members and supporters of the local LGBT community.  Seven local organizations were represented including The Vallejo Gay Network, Solano Pride and The Solano AIDS Coalition.  Each group had its own float, decorated with balloons representing the colors of the rainbow flag.  Several of our members walked as part of the LGBT Interfaith Alliance along with members of other Vallejo Open & Affirming congregations.  Two of our members (pictured bellow) carried an interfaith flag representing our commitment to working with those of other faiths to fight for important social justice causes.  The purpose of this event was to show that we are unified in fighting the hatred and bigotry that lead to tragedies like the recent mass shooting in Orlando.

The following is a statement from the organizers of the event: "We’re going to be showing all colors of the rainbow with seven installments representing groups within Solano County and Vallejo.  From political to social to health and services we want to show how we’re part of the fabric of Vallejo and Solano County life."

It was a great event.  The weather was perfect.  We had a chance to meet new people and visit with old friends from some of the other groups involved.  And most importantly, we got to show that when it comes to our commitment to being an Open & Affirming congregation and a congregation that fights for social justice, we do not just talk the talk, but we also walk the walk.