The vision of our local outreach ministry is to share the love of God by serving Lancaster County through various service projects. We connect with local ministries to combat needs in our community such as poverty, homelessness, addictions, and abortion. If you would like to get involved or for more information, please contact the church office or contact person listed below for ways that you can be involved.
Hands-On Work Projects: This church team participates in ‘mission’ projects wherever there is a need from locally to the far reaches of the world. This may include Habitat for Humanity, LUMINA, Ephrata Project, and others, or simply a family in need. These individuals serve others using construction skills, food prep, teaching, serving, and administration skills.
Boy Scouts: Local Boy Scout troop 73 and Cub Scout Pack 73 are sponsored by First Church and meet at the church.
Church Contact: Keith Weiss
Good Samaritan Shelter: A Christian ministry that provides safe, comfortable housing and supportive services to men, women, and women with children experiencing homelessness in Chester and Lancaster counties. www.goodsamshelter.org; 717-733-3395
Church Contact: Karen Heffner
Homes of Hope: Offers homeless individuals/families a 4-6 month stay in transitional housing, a time that must be dedicated to overcoming the obstacles that led to their homelessness. The residents are responsible to actively work on their Program Goals, regularly work with other Professional Case Management, and utilize all available resources offered. www.loveinclancaster.org;
Church Contact: Bea Strenger
Susquehanna Valley Pregnancy Services (SVPS): Exists to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and uphold the sanctity of human life through sexual integrity education, unplanned pregnancy intervention, and post-abortion restoration. The annual baby bottle boomerang collection goes to support this ministry. www.svps.org; 717-274-5128
Ephrata Area Social Services (EASS): Supports people in need throughout the Ephrata and Cocalico Regions of Northern Lancaster County. They run many different programs that feed and clothe thousands of people in our community. They also provide transportation services for senior citizens. First Church participates in ongoing food collection as well as the Ephrata Parade Night Food Collection for EASS. A shopping cart at church is always ready to receive food donations. www.ephrataareasocialservices.org; 717-733-0345
Church Contacts: Merv Witmer, Becky Hartranft
Stockings for Soldiers: Provides cards and Christmas stockings for military families. Learn more here.
Church Contact: Dennis & Louise Headington
Kentucky Mission Trip: First Church sponsors and leads a work trip to Kentucky each year, usually in the spring. View video slide show of the 2017 trip here.
Contact: Norm Strenger
Community Dinners: A free dinner is served every Thursday evening in Ephrata for all who come. Our church is the serving location every third month. Since many churches in the area take turns providing and serving the meal, we serve and provide the meal just 3-4 times a year.
Contact: Elaine Blakeslee
Mennonite Central Committee work days: The third Tuesday of each month, we have an opportunity to serve at the MCC Material Resource Center preparing hygiene and school kits and similar projects. Some quilting projects are also available.
Church Contact: Becky Hartranft
Vacation Bible School (VBS): We reach out to children in the community through our children's ministry.
Meals on Wheels: Individuals assist Ephrata Area Social Services in cooking and delivering meals.
Special Olympics: Our youth ministry takes a group to serve in this annual outreach.
The Giving Tree: In December and January, donations are received for a number of needs beyond the church walls.
Things We Collect for Missions: Labels/box tops for education, Redner's Save-A-Tape receipts for mission outreach, tabs from aluminum cans, and aluminum cans themselves can all be dropped off at the church to help others. Please place aluminum cans in the containers provided at the parking lot entranceway and the other items in designated containers in the Info Center at the rear of the sanctuary.
& more as needs and opportunities present themselves.