625 Hamilton Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301

fax 650.323.3923


Outreach and Social Action

Being There for Mission at First Church Palo Alto

Bread for Mission

Bread sales raise money for global missions at First Church Palo AltoHelp our global mission work by buying a loaf of bread.

After worship on Sunday, please head to the patio and purchase a loaf of bread, or a pie, or some bagels, or maybe some cupcakes. Each wee there is a different selection to choose from, and 100% of the proceeds goes to support our global mission programs.

All of this is made possible through the donation of day-old baked goods by a local market, and by Mona and Peter who each week pick up the bread and sell it on the patio.

Over $6000 has been raised since the program started.

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A Letter From Our Missionary

The missionary we support, Paul Jeffrey, recently sent us this update.

Dear friends in my supporting churches,

In the wake of General Conference, it has become fashionable to moan about
the future of our denomination, including griping about the general agencies
that extend the ministry of the church around the world. As someone who has
worked for one of those agencies for 27 years, I can certainly muster up a
few gripes of my own. But I continue to be amazed by the way that lives are
being transformed around the world because of our church's mission.

I was in Thailand last week, where I spent two days photographing Gary and
Cindy Moon. They're United Methodist missionaries who manage an orphanage
for HIV-positive children in Chiang Mai, in the north of the country. They
also support the development of United Methodist faith groups, and I went
with them to document the baptism of three new members of a small
congregation among the hill tribes near the Myanmar border.

Show rest of 'A Letter From Our Missionary'...

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Servers and Greeters Needed - Breaking Bread Monday Meal

Serving meals to the homeless at First Church Palo AltoCan you spare just 3 hours a month to serve as a server or greeter at the Breaking Bread Monday Meal?

Every Monday night our church, in cooperation with LifeMoves, hosts a meal in our Kohlstedt Hall for the homeless in our community. This meal is part of Innvisoin's Breaking Bread program.

Breaking Bread currently offers a free hot meals every day of the week, six in Palo Alto and one in Menlo Park. The meals are at the same church on the same day each week, and are intentionally spread out among various locations so that people with transportation issues will always have at least some services near their home.

Their staff members deliver food for each meal from various food storage areas. There, a team of volunteers prepares the meal, then serves it and cleans up. Each of the meals has five teams of volunteers that rotate, so that each team cooks and serves once every five weeks.

The Outreach committee of First Palo Alto provides two volunteers to monitor the our building during a time when the building would otherwise be closed, and also a team to help serve meals.

We are asking you to volunteer just 1 Monday a month from 4pm to 7pm.

For more information, please contact the Church Office 650-323-6167

Show rest of 'Servers and Greeters Needed - Breaking Bread Monday Meal'...

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What's our missionary doing?

We support Paul Jeffries in his mission work around the world. Here's a video he sent to update us on his work.

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Centennial Endowment Funds

ceRed150149.gifIn 1988 a group of church members had an idea to start a fund to raise money to support mission projects around the world, as well as providing an ongoing source of funds to support projects around the church.

The money that was raised wouldn't be spent all at once, but would be invested, and a portion of the funds would be made avaialble each year in the form of grants. With an eye to having the fund up and running for First Palo Alto's 100th anniversary, the Centennial Endowment Funds were born.

Over $800,000 in grants have been distributed since the inception of the funds.

For more information please contact Rebecca Smith:endowment@firstpaloalto.com

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Fiji Mission Trip Photos and Videos

Pastor Michael and Fijian Lay Leader Lepani Verebasaga went to Fiji on a connectional United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) trip to Fiji with Bishop Brown and 24 others from our California-Nevada Conference.

During his trip Pastor Michael took almost 500 photos and lots of videos. Check them out on our new Fiji Mission trip page.

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Hotel de Zink

HotelDeZink175.gifHotel de Zink is a shelter for the homeless in Palo Alto. In partnership with LifeMoves, twelve churches in Palo Alto take turns hosting the homeless. Each of the twelve churches provides shelter for a month for up to 16 guests, and June is our month. Our church houses the shelter in Kohlstedt Hall and its kitchen. Individual families and groups of the church take turns providing a hot meal each night throughout the month of June.

In 1987, Jim Burklo visited Church shelter programs in Santa Cruz and Berkeley and began planning for a homeless shelter with Urban Ministries of Palo Alto. After many community and planning committee meetings the first homeless shelter on the peninsula opened in May 1989 in Palo Alto. Programs in Mountain View and San Jose were then modeled after ours.

How did Hotel de Zink get its name? In the great depression of the early 30’s many people were homeless. Tents were put up near the railroad tracks, where the Sheraton on El Camino Real is now, to house the homeless of that era. The local police chief spent a lot of time there to make sure that nothing untoward happened and to help provide the services that the tent people needed, and, as is the custom in the jails, the tent city was named after their keeper by the residents. Thus, Police Chief Zink was so honored, and is honored today with the present manifestation of the homeless shelters.

During the month of June we need our church members to provide hot meals each night. Each evening a LifeMoves staff person and the participants in the Hotel de Zink program will arrive by 9pm. Volunteers bring a meal to serve up to 18 adults. Dinner is served from the kitchen in Kohlstedt Hall. Meal volunteers may stay and socialize with the guests, as each feels comfortable. Volunteers may also provide food for breakfast (e.g., juice, milk, bread, cereal) and food that can be used to pack lunches (e.g., sandwiches and fruit).

To sign up, contact Chuck Hebel.

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Breaking Bread Hot Meal


"The hum of chatter, clink of plastic spoons on plastic dishes, scrape and thuds of chairs sliding on hardwood floor, laughter, sounds like a joy filled community when the homeless gather for dinner. Its still warm, the pianist came in barefooted as usual, many others wear shorts and sandals, jackets in back packs.

Some travel light, one has a bike with trailer loaded. A woman carries several bags. I sit by the door, welcoming people and watching over the church, will lock it when they leave. Tonight I decide to surreptitiously draw the scene and some of the characters, but they look over my shoulder, recognize people they know, and encourage me.

I’m beginning to know them now, I have seen on University Avenue, others in front of stores begging and often stop to chat. One fellow, who I knew well before the Coop grocery failed, recognized me before I could place him. I know few by name. It’s getting to be fun. Our watch is only once monthly, but we always look forward to it."

Clint McClintic, one of our parishioners who wrote the text and drew the graphic above, is one of many volunteer greeters for LifeMoves Breaking Bread Meal. Every day LifeMoves serves a hot meal at a different church, to the area folk in need of food. First Church hosts the Breaking Bread meal every Monday evening.

LifeMoves has one paid staff member here each week. This staff member is in charge of five or six volunteers who cook, set up, serve and cleanup. We provide the use of Fellowship Hall and kitchen plus two greeters. The greeters will need to be at church from 4-7 pm to the area of our reception desk. They will greet those who come to eat; giving directions, answering questions and representing our church.

To become a greeter, please contact the church office.

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Special Mission Visitors

Special Mission Visitors are a new Outreach initiative based on a suggestion by Pastor Michael Love an Outreach Committee Meeting. The purpose is to better acquaint our congregation with the extensive range of mission activities being conducted to help fulfill the broad mission of the United Methodist Church, namely, to witness to and make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

The visitors will come from across the spectrum of missions associated with the United Methodist Church and nominally funded in part through a variety of UMC sources such as Apportionments, General Board of Global Missions, etc.

Special Mission Visitors are being planned throughout the year. In conjunction with their witness/sermon on a Sunday morning, our First UMC Finance Committee has approved an opportunity for our congregation to make a “plate offering” to further the work of that particular mission.

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Food Drive

FoodDriveBasket100127.jpgHelp feed and clothe the needy in our community.

The Outreach Committee is collecting canned food for the Food Closet. Every Monday morning we deliver the collected food to the LifeMoves Food Closet.

Please bring items to the collection bin in the Narthex .

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Campbell Soup Labels - UPC Codes

Please collect the UPC (bar codes) from Campbell products (including Pepperidge Farms) for a UMW mission project at McCurdy School.

A container is in the lobby of the Education building with a poster showing various products that qualify. It will be greatly appreciated if you cut or tear off only the section with the UPC code - please do not submit the entire label. This will be a great time saver.

Thank you for your help.

Nancy Olson, UMW President

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Join us in worship this Sunday:

8:45 am – Upstream (a casual service)

10:45 am – Traditional Service (with choir and organ)

1:00 pm – Tongan language worship service

2:00 pm – Fijian language worship service

Can't make it to church? Watch our 10:45 am service online.