We respond, as God’s ministers all, to human needs wherever found,
Working for peace and justice,
Helping feed the hungry,
Reaching out to those in need of spiritual support,
Dedicating our time, our talents and resources.
From the United Churches of Olympia Mission Statement
Our members minister to the community in many ways. While some of our members offer their service in the work they do everyday and others volunteer at SideWalk and other resources our community offers, these are the ways that we share in the ministry of meeting human needs. Below our descriptions of current ministries. If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please call the Church Office at 360.943.1210 so we can direct you to the contact for the particular ministry opportunity. There is a also a Community Volunteer Binder which provides more information on these organizations in our library.top
Thurston County Food Bank
On the first Sunday of the month, when we celebrate communion, we remember the hungry in our community by collecting non-perishable food for the Thurston County Food Bank.top
Quixote Village started as Camp Quixote — a tent city that provides safe haven for people experiencing homelessness. The camp is a member run, democratic community that operates with the aid of a broad-based support committee known as the Panza group. It was initially created to protest the new sidewalk law passed by the City of Olympia. As the street community watched their access to public space shrink, they gathered to organize and stake their claim to exist – openly and without shame. After six years of living in tents and moving from one church parking lot to another, Camp Quixote residents are excited about moving into Quixote Village, which is under construction now. They are hoping to move in to their new home (walls! doors! windows!) in mid-December. The journey from protest to self-governing tent camp to the Village has been a truly Quixotic quest for justice.
Every second Tuesday of the month, we prepare and serve a hearty dinner meal for homeless and less privileged folk who visit the Community Kitchen at the Salvation Army located on 5th and Plum Streets in downtown Olympia.
Costs for these dinners are financed through contributions from our congregation. Our diners are treated respectfully as our “guests” on these occasions, which provide a wonderful opportunity for service and for conversation with these folk.
For persons who would like to participate in preparing and serving these meals or to otherwise assist in this outreach, our sign-up chart is posted on the Mission, Peace and Justice Ministry bulletin board in the church, located in the hallway leading to the Fireside Room.
Emergency Overflow Shelter
The Emergency Overflow Shelter provides refuge for homeless women and families with children from the first Friday night of November through the last Thursday night of March. The shelter opens its doors when space at other shelters is exhausted. People in need call the Emergency Shelter Network at 528-8999.
Interfaith Works recruits member faith communities to house and staff the emergency shelter for homeless women and families for two to four week shifts. IW provides mattresses and other bedding, bus passes as needed, and employs Emergency Shelter Network to screen and refer potential clients, and provides training for volunteer shelter staff. This program, begun in 1991, provides about 500 bednights per year.
- 3 committee members to oversee the recruiting scheduling of faith communities and to consult on special financial expenditures. Time commitment about 6 hours per year.
- One Shelter coordinator for each faith community.
- Two or more volunteer staff per night to host. (Training provided.)
Food for Kidstop