Mission and Service
Jesus Calls Us to Serve
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me." --Matthew 25: 35-36.
First & Franklin promotes peacemaking and social justice in the City of Baltimore, nationally, and throughout the world. We do this through education, advocacy and hands-on projects. Generous financial and volunteer support enables us to witness in these ways:
Within the Church
- First & Franklin has been a member of More Light Presbyterians since 1980. We are proudly supportive of full LGBTQ+ inclusion and participation in the life of the Church.
- First & Franklin supports the mission of That All May Freely Serve: to gain full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people within the Presbyterian Church (USA) and society; the committee also advocates on current issues such as the death penalty.
Within Our City
- Baltimore is a city deeply affected by gun violence. In 2017, First and Franklin began our Purple Ribbon Project in worship, prayer and as a challenge to our community life.Every ribbon represents a life lost, but also a prayer for that individual and our community. During worship, we pray for the victims, their friends and families, the perpetrators, and the broader community afflicted by violence. After the service, the ribbons, along with the names they represent, are displayed along the sidewalk as a reminder to passersby and to ourselves of the ongoing toll of violence in our city.
- In addition to a remembrance, the ribbons are a challenge. Our prayers are on the move. To work for the peaceful world we believe in, First and Franklin has joined BUILD; supported Safe Streets; delivered ribbons to legislators in Annapolis; hosted government leaders, police, and family survivors of shooting victims; and marched in the streets.
- On Saturday, September 17, 2022 First&Franklin Presbyterian Church hosted a Guns 2 Gardens gun buyback program that allowed people to safely turn in unwanted firearms in exchange for gift cards. Guns 2 Gardens is a National safe Surrender Network inspired by the work of Raw Tools (rawtools.org). Its vision is to create a network of congregations across the country that have an ongoing ministry of disarming unwanted guns.
- Our Food Pantry strives to serve the hungry and homeless in the City of Baltimore by providing nutritious, non-perishable and sustainable food, as well as a Baltimore Street Outreach card. Packed with love by the congregation after worship, each bag is a small act of love for a person in need.
- The church also offers its space and support to such diverse groups as Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon, and the Baltimore School for the Arts.
Throughout the World
- First & Franklin is a member of Bread for the World, a collective Christian voice, urging our nation’s policy makers to prioritize bringing an end to end hunger at home and abroad.
- First & Franklin proudly partners with and supports our sister congregation in Taguasco, Cuba.
- First & Franklin’s annual Alternative Christmas Market generates support for additional peacemaking and social justice organizations via a festive, educational, non-commercial event.