A Thanksgiving Shout Out

Our annual Thanksgiving luncheon may have looked a little different this year, but it was still filled with laughter, fun, and gratitude. We had 2 showers running, 2 vans transporting, 3 scissors cutting, 2 pews full of clothes and shoes, and 3 tables full of delicious food. We estimate 50 people, including 12 FCCV members, 3 hairstylists, 11 outside volunteers, and of course our guests, young and old, from the community who took showers, got new hairdos, and ate a wonderful lunch!

Going into the lunch, I must admit my own biases. I assumed that our neighbors would be downtrodden and lonely. Many of the people who came, came with their chosen families who they live with everyday. They were able to sit at a fancy decorated table and feast with those they love. They were all so grateful to us and full of love for each other, it was really heart warming to witness. One man was so tickled that he was allowed to eat more than one slice of pie, that he had one of each and then seconds of all of it! 

So I wanted to give a big thanks to everyone from FCCV who came and helped, who cooked, who cleaned, who dined, and who served. Special thanks to:

-Rev. Renae Earl, Jeffrey Ishmael, and Kelly Ghilarducci who diligently cut hair all day.
-Zack and Sage, Jeffrey’s kids, who spent their Saturday with us helping in any way they could.
-Buttercup Kitchen who donated 4 pies to the event!
-Vallejo Peace Project who donated tons of shoes, clothing, and toiletries.
-Lighthouse Covenant Fellowship in Benicia for bringing and managing the mobile showers.
-Vallejo Together volunteers who maintained the showers throughout the day, and transported people back and forth from the encampments.

After all is said and done, I am really grateful for this church and our mission work. We really are living the word we preach. Thank you to you all!

-Allison Mezzera, Mission Action Coordinator

Celebrate Advent at FCCV!

 Can you believe that Advent is just around the corner—starting December 3rd?!
Our theme for Advent this year is “Reclaim Joy!!” Together, we will be looking for ways to reclaim a child’s wonder and joy of Christmas as we prepare for Christ to be born and transform our lives and our world.  
As part of our reclaiming joy, we will be decorating the Christmas tree with ornaments that we each provide, something that will make the tree special and significant to each one of us. We would also invite you to bring other decorations, such as nativities, that can be placed on the windowsills and elsewhere in the Sanctuary. Please bring your ornaments and decorations on the 3rd ready to decorate the Sanctuary. If you aren’t able to come on the 3rd, additional ornaments are joyfully accepted all season!

Week 1—Dec. 3— Hope/Prepare
Week 2—Dec. 10— Peace/Waiting
Week 3—Dec. 13— Joy/Anticipation
Week 4—Dec. 24— Love/Adoration – this will be a service of Lessons and Carols
Week 5—Dec. 31— Journey – What? Five weeks of Christmas? This is a 5th Sunday, look forward to something different and special!
Also, please mark your calendars now for the Blue Christmas Service, which will take place on the longest night of the year, Thursday, December 21, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

Global Holiday Faire

 The 26th annual Global Holiday Faire will be here soon on Saturday, December 2nd, from 9-2. Last year, we made adjustments in our first year back in person after two years of only having a virtual Faire. But this year’s Faire will be much more like the ones we had all those years through 2019. We will have more tables and items for sale than last year, and we will be bringing back our traditional hotdog / chili / lumpia lunch. In addition to several tables with merchandise, will have our Alternative Giving table where we will raise money for Heifer International and Arbor Day Foundation. Plus, we will have what we call the Big 4 tables with crafts, gift baskets, baked goods and regifted items raising money for 4 charities - Amador St. Hope Center, dePaul Women’s Center, Genesis House and Partners in Health.

There are lots of ways that you can help. We are looking for volunteers. Please think about volunteering (let Helen Mezzera know if you can). If you can contribute a donation for one of the Big 4 tables, it would be greatly appreciated! Start crafting now. Think about a gift basket you could put together. Think about gifts you have been given that you’ve never used, that someone might buy to regift (not looking for garage sale items). We have space in our storage closet for donations, so let us know when you want to bring them in. Also, please help spread the word that we are once again back in person (plus our virtual marketplace is still open at globalholidayfaire.org). Flyers have already been emailed out, so please help us get those out to the people. Print them out or share them electronically with your friends, neighbors, coworkers or strangers on the street. If you know a place where you can post a flyer, please do so. If you can’t print them out, we will have physical copies in church soon.

The Global Holiday Faire is our biggest Mission Action effort of the year. Last year, it was so emotional and amazing to be back in person. But, we had to make it a little smaller than ideal. We still did amazingly well for the non-profit organizations that we raised money for. This year, let’s do even better! With your help volunteering, donating and spreading the word, there is no reason why this can’t be our biggest Faire ever!

Feeling Good and Giving Thanks

On Saturday, November 18th from 10am to 3pm, FCC Vallejo will once again host a Mobile Basic Needs event at our church. We will have the mobile shower unit, haircuts (Thanks Renae!), resources from Vallejo Together, and an ALL CHURCH simple Thanksgiving luncheon. We will have fliers to distribute in early November.

How to Help
We will need help from 9 to 4 with serving food, cleaning the showers & Fellowship Hall, and conversing during lunch with our neighbors. Please contact Allison Mezzera to volunteer.


•Lice kits
•Diapers – size 2,3,4
•Travel size toiletries
•Hand Warmers
•Warm gloves, hats, socks (new or slightly used, but cleaned)
•$5 or $10 Gift Cards – Grocery Outlet, Starbucks, Fast Food, 7-11 (local)
•Bottles of water

You can also DONATE money directly to First Christian Church Vallejo by check or cash, designating funds to Haircuts 4 Holidays or through the tithe.ly app (Designate H4H).

Bring supplies to First Christian Church Vallejo c/o Allison Mezzera H4H or if not in the Vallejo area, call to set up a donation pickup time with me.

National Night Out

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August. Neighborhoods host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much, much more.

Fliers have gone out to our neighbors and we are making plans to have members of our local police and fire department available to meet everyone. Everyone in the neighborhood is invited! This will be a great way to get to know our neighbors and build lasting relationships. Please plan on coming to this important event, even if you live out of the area! All of your participation is appreciated.

So, please plan on coming at 6:30 on 8/1/23. Bring your favorite family dessert to share! We will have games, crafts, and music too!

We will need help setting up at 5:30-ish and cleaning up also.

A Day In Fresno Building Power

In a sea of 250 people, there is often not a chance to have individual voices heard. This was not the case in Fresno as the statewide IAF Organizations, including Common Ground, gathered last Sunday to build our collective power and discuss the CA Economy.

Here are a few facts about the CA economy:

-We have the 5th largest economy in the world ($3.35 Trillion in 2021)
-The gap between middle class and upper class wages are the highest in the nation
-It has the highest poverty rate in the US (when adjusted for cost of living)
    *1/3 of families are barely able to pay their bills
    *28% of African Americans are in poverty; 1/3 of Hispanics; 2/3 undocumented

It is overwhelming to think about for sure, but there was a large amount of enthusiasm to tackle the issues! The CA IAF consists of 115 institutions (including FCC Vallejo!) with annual dues commitments totaling $384,000!

That is 115 institutions that can make a huge difference in this economy.

-We won a statewide expansion of the CA earned income tax credit in 2020
-We won free health care for uninsured low income residents in Monterey County
-We got commitments from Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass to keep us at the table regarding mental health access and affordable housing
-We got commitments from Supervisors in Marin County to discuss raising the wage of in home care workers from $16/hour to $26/hour
-We got the Vallejo City Council to pass the Police Accountability Oversight Ordinance
-We got Solano County to allocate $4 million to rental assistance throughout the pandemic

This is all to say that we might feel small but when you put us all together, we are really making a dent in the fabric of the CA economy!! You should be proud that we are a part of something so life giving to so many people throughout our state.

Stay tuned for more conversations on how the economy is working, or not working, for you as Common Ground will be focusing on this throughout the next year.