ECHO, Community Meal, Meals on Wheels, Grocery Bag Program, Prayer Shawl Project, Parish Care Committee, CROP Walk, Little Free Library, Radical Hospitality Grant, GIFTS, Others

Mission is vital to our identity as followers of Jesus Christ.

Our church reaches out with the love of God through several opportunities throughout the year.  Our church has a long history of helping in our community and around the world.  We were a founding member of ECHO and Habitat for Humanity.  The very first breakfast club started in our church’s fellowship hall before moving into the school.  In the 1950’s when many congregations moved from the downtown area to growing residential, the members of First Congregational UCC made a conscious decision to remain downtown near those members of the community most in need. Today, we remain a service oriented church.

If you are seeking opportunities to be of service to others, First Congregational UCC offers many opportunities through our current programs. We also remain constantly open to identifying additional opportunities to explore and develop new mission outreach efforts.

Opportunities to be of service to others are readily available.

ECHO (Everyone Cooperating to Help Others)

ECHO, Inc., is a non-profit, church-sponsored charity organization, serving low-income individuals and families in the Janesville area. It exists through the generosity of others in the community. ECHO stands for Everyone Cooperating to Help Others.  ECHO is a charity organization called upon to help meet temporary housing, food, clothing, health, transportation and other emergency needs for low-income families. ECHO seeks to help people help themselves through its programs and services, not readily available through other sources, and to assist them in utilizing other existing services and programs in the community.

How Is First Congregational UCC Involved With ECHO?

First Congregational UCC has been an ECHO member congregation since the very early years of the organization’s startup. Two members of our congregation serve on the ECHO Board.  Many of our members serve as ECHO volunteers. Periodic special offerings are received for ECHO during Sunday worship. From 1975 through 2002 First Congregational UCC provided ECHO with free office space.  The ECHO building at 65 High Street was erected in 2003 on land adjacent to our church on a long term lease of $1 per year.



Youth Group at Community Meal

We extend a warm welcome to you to join us on the first Saturday of the month for our FREE Community Meal.  Everyone is welcome.

Meals are served in the church basement between 4 pm and 4:30 pm, seconds are served after 4:30 pm.  Enter through the doors from the parking lot, the steps are ahead on the right.  There is also an elevator.
About eighty meals are served each month.  Volunteer possibilities include: Menu Planning; Food Purchasing; Meal Preparation; Servers; Facility Set-up; Greeting Guests; and Clean-up.

Meals on Wheels

Members of our congregation participate in the Meals on Wheels program several times each year. This is a program which delivers nutritious hot meals to men and women who are elderly, homebound, disabled and frail living in their own homes.

Prayer Shawl Project

Members of our congregation knit or crochet shawls for distribution to comfort others in our church who are in need of our love and prayers. The shawls are made of exceptionally soft yarn in pretty colors. They are very popular with those who have received them. Yarn and patterns are available for those interested. If you want to participate in this project contact Joan Kalweit.


Parish Care Committee

The Parish Care Committee actively reaches out to homebound members of the church offering friendship and God’s love. To be involved with the Care Committee contact the chair, Pat Scott, (608) 752-8716


 CROP Walk

We participate in the CROP Walk every April.  The 2024 walk was April 28.

Check out this website:

and this video on youtube with Carolyn Brandeen from our church:




Little Free Library:

We have library books and toiletries in 2 Little Free Library boxes.  One is on the south side of our church on Court Street.  The other one is in front of Jeffris Flats apartments on Dodge Street (across from north side of church).

GIFTS Men’s Shelter:
Our church volunteers to serve meals at the GIFTS Men’s Shelter at 1025 N. Washington St in Janesville 2 weeks each year.   Volunteers are needed to make and serve food, and men are needed to stay over night.


There are many more ways we seek to reach out with Christ’s love.  Several of our members volunteer time reading to children in school; volunteering at HealthNet; volunteering at ECHO; and sharing the love of Christ through our words and actions.  Our Outreach Ministry provides opportunities for financial contributions to members and friends once a month.  Here is a listing of offerings for 2022:

January: OCWM (Our Church’s Wider Mission)

February:  Immigrant Support Network/Multicultural Congregation Support

March: Project 16:49

April: One Great Hour of Sharing and CROP Walk

May: Strengthen the Church


July: Community Meal

August: School Supplies

September:   ECHO

October: Neighbors in Need

November:   Foster Parent Resource Room

December: Christmas Fund