At Hamilton Union, the term “mission” refers to supporting and helping people in need outside our congregation.
We are aware of and concerned with current local, regional, national and international issues, and we value social justice.
Our Social Witness & Mission ministry team plans programs and activities for mission projects and current social issues. This year’s theme is Hunger. The team also promotes the four Presbyterian Denominational Offerings (One Great Hour of Sharing, Pentecost, Peace and Global Witness, Christmas Joy) and recommends where church financial resources for mission should be spent. As a matter of policy, a minimum of 10% of the proceeds from each of our fundraising events goes to mission, which gives us a continuing stream of resources with which to work.
Here are some of the organizations and groups Hamilton Union supports:
Banda Bola Sports Foundation
Kalekeni Banda, an Elder in our congregation and native of Malawi, started and is growing this organization that focuses on keeping children in school through sports in Chituka Village, Malawi. It supports building school and sports facilities; providing school supplies, meals and sports equipment; and is currently focusing on keeping girls in school and giving them opportunities to play sports. Hamilton Union supports this organization through donations of materials and money, and our Pastor and members have visited Chituka Village.
Cornerstone Protestant Campus Ministry
Hamilton Union has a long relationship with this major student organization on the UAlbany campus. The students hold bake sales at our church and participate in worship each semester. Our members provide food and conversation at Food and Faith dinners with the students on campus. As a congregation, we provide financial support to students participating in service trips and we financially support one Peer Minister work study position at the Campus Ministry.
This event is held each year in May to raise funds for the poverty-fighting efforts of Church World Service around the globe. One-fourth of the funds raised go to fight hunger in the Capital District. Hamilton Union usually fields a team of walkers.
Guilderland Food Pantry
The Guilderland Food Pantry began at Hamilton Union in 1979 and was housed here until 2018, when it moved to Christ Church Guilderland. There is a donation box in the Sanctuary for food and household needs, and a percentage of our monthly “Two Cents a Meal” collection goes to the Food Pantry. At Christmas, we provide gift cards and winter clothing accessories for Food Pantry clients.
Mayan Hands is a fair trade nonprofit organization dedicated to providing economic and educational opportunities to Mayan women so that they can bring their families out of extreme poverty as they continue to live within the culture they cherish. Hamilton Union sponsors a sale of handmade goods by these women each year at holiday time.
New Faith for Women at the Capital City Rescue Mission
The Mission serves the homeless and those in need in Albany by providing food, shelter, clothing, job training and more. Hamilton Union donates Christmas gifts, Easter baskets, winter clothing accessories and personal items through Presbyterian Women.
Schenectady City Mission
The Mission serves the homeless and those in need in Schenectady by providing food, shelter, clothing, job training and more. Hamilton Union donates Easter baskets, Christmas cookies and winter clothing accessories through Presbyterian Women.
This organization links inner-city children in Albany with adult tutors to help them read, write and explore the wonderful world of books. Hamilton Union provides financial support and a member has served as a tutor.
In addition to the above, Hamilton Union Church provides meeting space for several community organizations, including a Boy Scout troop and a Girl Scout troop. A Moorish Dance group and a yoga class also use our facilities and Twinkling Stars Place Preschool is housed in our building. We have also hosted benefit concerts for local charitable organizations.