A Just World

Stamp Out Despair



A Lenten project is in motion for us as a Church to pick up where we left off last March and continue participation in the Stamp Out Despair program.  This involves preparing writing kits to be distributed to detainees.  The kits are designed, so the detainees have everything needed to communicate with folks outside the prison.  Here are the items making up one kit.


  • Two-Pocket Folder-No metal Clips
  • 20 Sheets Lined Paper (8.5” x 11”)
  • 10 Sheets Small Paper (5” x 8”)
  • 10 Sheets Colored Paper (8.5” x 11”) Not construction paper
  • 10 Large Business Size Envelopes
  • 5 Forever Stamped Envelopes
  • 3 Greeting Cards with Envelopes, for example, birthday, get well, thinking of you, thank you. No holiday cards
  • 1 Note of Encouragement from the kit preparer
  • 1 Pen
  • 1 Set of information flyer (Provided by First Friends of NY/NJ)
  • Manilla Envelope (depending on size, multiple kits may fit in one envelope)


Please place all the items for an individual kit in a manilla envelope.  Multiple kits can be placed in one envelope.  There will be envelopes in the bin if you need some. Containers will be placed behind the Church by February 17th to drop off kits.  If putting together full kits doesn't work for you, we also welcome the donation of supplies that make up the kits. This may be especially good for those not going into stores these days but relying on on-line purchasing.  It is a great project for families to do together.  It is something our children can do and really make a difference.  We want to complete the kits and deliver them to First Friends on March 25th. 

We thank God by working for a just and loving world.


Quite a concept. We strive to fill this grand idea with life. A just world — just think about it… what a noble goal. Hands-on is how we pledge to work turning the abstract into action. Resources not being unlimited, one can’t do justice to a dozen worthwhile causes out there, so we decided on key focus areas.


Our goal is to affect change through

  • Awareness
  • Education
  • Aspiration
  • Action

within three areas of focus:



Our church participates in the GreenFaith Bergen Circle a group of religious and humanist communities focused on a common goal to address and work to mitigate climate issues.


There are essentially three levels where we can be responsible and contribute to a healthier, more sustainable planet:

— individually,

— as a community (as in school, congregation, company)

— governmentally on a town/state/federal level.



As an Open and Affirming congregation, here’s how we feel, and not just in our sanctuary: because you are here, you are welcome.

Rockland County Gay Pride Festival

Our church participates in the Festival to spread awareness and our commitment to the inclusiveness of all people as an Open and Affirming congregation.

GSA Coffee House

In December we hosted a GSA Coffee House with the clubs from Park Ridge, Pascack Valley, and Pascack Hills High Schools. A good time was had by all on a wonderful evening of conversation, poetry, music, and bonding.

Coffee Houses are held twice each year.



As part of our endeavor to immerse ourselves in a better understanding of the challenges those facing immigration face while also providing support where we can, we’ve begun conversations with two organizations, First Friends of NJ/NY and New Sanctuary Coalition. 


First Friends of NJ/NY

Their purpose is to uphold the dignity & humanity of detained immigrants & asylum seekers.  They provide compassion & hope through volunteer visitation, resettlement assistance, and advocacy.  

How to get involved: 

  • “Stamp Out Despair” letter writing kits are being created:  Many detainees lack the finances to write to friends & family. In the narthex is a basket for donating stationery, envelopes, writing paper, and stamps to create the kits.
  • Be a Pen Pal and write letters of encouragement to a detainee 
  • Visit a detainee that may be without friends or family nearby, click here for more information and training. 


New Sanctuary Coalition:

Within their Accompaniment Program, we are looking for volunteers to accompany those that have been called by ICE and need to go to court.  We would attend as emotional support.  We will be publishing upcoming training sessions so please be on the look for those notifications and let us know if you are interested.  



Contact Us

First Congregational

United Church of Christ

131 Pascack Rd.

Park Ridge NJ 07656

Email Us!



Office Hours


9:00 a.m.-12 noon




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