First CRC Mission and Vision:
God has seen fit to place First CRC in Hanford, California. And after more than 100 years of God's faithfulness, here we remain.
In faithfulness to God's call, we endeavor to "...seek the welfare of [this] city where God has placed us and pray to the Lord on its behalf." [Jeremiah 29:7]
Part of the mission of First CRC is to "Serve all of God's children as agents of 'shalom' (peace, justice, and harmony)." That means part of our mission is serving God in such a way that individuals and communities (like Hanford) are made whole by upholding grace and truth, goodness and impartiality. God leads us to care for the marginalized, neglected, poor, orphan, and widow, abused, as well as the abuser (of which we all are).
Opportunities to Serve - Community Initiatives:
STEPHEN MINISTRY - Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place at First CRC. Stephen Ministry congregations, like First, equip and empower lay caregivers—called Stephen Ministers—to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting. Many of our current S.M. leaders are serving at the local hospital listening and praying with the sick and bereaved (Hanford Hospital Prayer Ministry).
UNDER THE BRIDGE - A small group of church members gather together on Saturday mornings to share the love of Christ (through small gestures of food, drink, prayer, and fellowship) with the marginalized in the community of Hanford.
GOOD NEWS CLUBS - An afterschool program that meets at Monroe School. Children enjoy a snack, crafts, and a Bible lesson.
IN-HOUSE CHURCH COMMUNITY PROGRAMS - First CRC does many church community programs such as:
Vacation Bible School - A week-long summer program for children in the community.
Community Movie Nights - Dinner and a meal under the stars.
Friendship - Weekly gathering devoted to sharing the love of Christ with people who have intellectual disabilities.
and many more...
FARMERS MARKET - Every summer, First has a table at the Farmers Market dispersing Bibles and refreshments and advertising for our VBS program.
COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS CAROLING - After our annual Candlelight service, we sing Christmas carols in our community and end with hot chocolate and snacks.
CHURCH PLANTING - First CRC directly supports two church plants in California. Open Door (Lathrop) and Koinonia International (Spanish-speaking congregation that meets in the same sanctuary as us).
SAFE FAMILIES FOR CHILDREN - Safe Families for Children offers sanctuary to thousands of children, minimizing the risk for abuse or neglect and giving parents the time and tools they need to help their families thrive. The ultimate goal is to strengthen and support parents so they can become Safe Families for their own children. Select parents of First CRC receive training in order to be Safe Family partners.
ANNUAL LOCAL MISSIONS PROJECT - In light of our above mission, we recognize that the needs of the community are always changing. As such, we are committed to developing annual 'local' missions projects for the enrichment of Hanford and Kings County.
MARTHA'S DAUGHTERS - Our “meals on wheels” program. This ministry exists to support individuals and families that are experiencing
times of transition, whether that be through the death of a loved one, losing a job, recently moving to the area, etc. Martha’s Daughters works with the deacons to serve in the ministry of benevolence and compassion for those in need.
HELPING HAND - Funeral Luncheon Program
KINGS NURSING HOME WORSHIP SERVICES - Members of First CRC lead and attend the weekly Sunday afternoon worship service at the Kings Nursing & Rehabilitation Center on the first Sunday of each month.
Hanford & Kings County Organizations First CRC Supports:
A. Corcoran & Avenal Prison Ministries
B. Gideons Ministry
C. Hanford Hospital Prayer Ministry (Stephen Ministry Initiative)
D. Kings County Action Organization (KCAO)
E. Visalia Rescue Mission
F. Salvation Army
G. Kings Gospel Mission
H. Champion's Men's Shelter
I. KCAO Women's Shelter
J. High School Chaplaincy (Hanford East & West, Sierra Pacific, Earl F. Johnson)