Mission & Outreach
Wondering how you can carry out Christ’s mission in tangible ways? First Presbyterian is a leader in putting Christ’s mission into action. You can do so locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. To that end, our congregation’s Mission Committee organizing missions each year on the following basis:
Local missions are devoted to all sorts of projects right here in Fargo-Moorhead, such as serving meals at Churches United for the Homeless, collecting pillows for the YWCA shelter, preparing and distributing Thanksgiving dinners, volunteering for the Street Fair clean-up, welcoming and feeding students on Wednesdays through our United Campus Ministry—Downtown program, and many more.
Regional/National missions reach out across the Dakotas and the country. Examples include our missions to congregations in the Dakota Presbytery, such as Bdecan Presbyterian at Spirit Lake and Mayasan Presbyterian at Lake Traverse, and the Blue Bayou Presbyterian Church in Houma, Louisiana, as well as the flood recovery missions to Minot that we started in 2012 and expect to continue as long as the volunteer Hope Village remains open, through at least summer 2014.
International missions take us abroad. Several operate in partnerships with several sites in Kenya, including dental clinics in Chogoria and Kikuyu, plus the Valley Reading Council, which promotes literacy in Kenya. Another ongoing partnership is with the Casita Linda Project in San Miguel, Mexico.
To find out more, including how to join, please contact Mission Committee member Becky Henderson, email@example.com or 701-212-5000.
LOCAL MISSION OPPORTUNITIES:
Churches United for the Homeless (CUFH)
Every second Thursday of the month, we are scheduled to provide dinner at an ecumenically supported homeless shelter, CUFH. Various groups and teams in the congregation take turns fulfilling this mission project each month. If this sounds interesting to you, contact Pastor Mary Holtey at 293-6311 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s do lunch…again! By now it’s well known that the lunches that our congregation served on Wednesdays during the preceding academic year, as part of United Campus Ministry Downtown, have exceeded all expectations. On several occasions, our volunteer staff was often serving more than 100 meals each week, as whole classes came in waves.
Lunches began again this semester on Wednesday, Aug. 29, during the second week of the NDSU’s academic year. With the previous collegiate ministry coordinator, Ashley Rosser, having moved to Atlanta to start seminary at Emory University (on a full scholarship, no less!), UCM has placed intern Wil Wilson into the role.
Last year’s volunteers, in addition to Ashley and Wil, are what make the lunches such a success. Not only do they arrange tables and chairs and prepare and serve the food; most importantly, they build ongoing relationships with the students who come week after week. Many, many thanks go to all.
To participate as a volunteer, see the sign-up sheet on the volunteer bulletin board, talk to Wil on Sunday mornings, e-mail him at email@example.com, or call the UCM Center telephone at 701-235-0672.
Once again this year, we will provide over 500 meals for those in our community who might otherwise go without. We prepare these meals here in the church, and then they are delivered to people who have signed up to receive them.
For this meal to be successful we need dozens and dozens of volunteers ~ potato peelers, gravy makers, bread slicers, turkey carvers, potato mashers, salad and dessert preparers, and cleaner-uppers. What a great way to express genuine thanksgiving for all of God’s blessings! To sign up to help with this project, there is a special volunteer sign up binder at the Welcome Desk. It will be out and available with all the information and helper slots by the end of October. If you have questions, please contact Becky Henderson at 237-3079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pillows, Pillow Pillows
For the year 2012, we are the YWCA’s “pillow church.” This means we supply pillows for every resident who stays at the shelter that they can take with them when they secure more permanent housing.
Holy Buckets is a mission opportunity to give various goods to people in need. This September we are joining other Presbyterian churches in our presbytery to collect new and gently used winter coats and gear for the children and adults at Bdecan Presbyterian Church on the Spirit Lake reservation. Green buckets are in the foyer by the west doors awaiting your donations. Pastor Mary will bring them to the next presbytery meeting on September 29.
In October we will be collecting supplies for the Gift of Life Transplant House. Sometime in the next few months, our organist, Sally Harmon, will be moving to Rochester, Minnesota for six to eight weeks to be a caregiver for her husband, David, during his stay at the Gift of Life Transplant House. He will be having a stem-cell transplant procedure at the Mayo Clinic. This is a treatment used in the fight against multiple myeloma cancer. The Gift of Life Transplant House is a non-profit organization which encourages those people who stay there to bring donations of supplies from their faith communities. No flowers or plants are allowed in the house. If the congregation wishes to send greetings to Sally during her absence, donations to the Transplant House are preferred. Cards and letters can be mailed to:
The Gift of Life Transplant House
705 2nd St. SW
Rochester, MN 55902
Suggested Donations are:
Regular or decaf ground coffee
Liquid dish soap
Hand sanitizer refills
Antibacterial hand soap refills
Reams of white paper
Money for ink cartridges
Arrangements will be made to transport donated supplies to Rochester. For further information about the Transplant House, go to: www.gift-of-life.org.
Festival of Trees
During Advent, the Mission Committee sponsors The Festival of the Trees. Each tree provides you with a way to respond to specific needs. These include The Giving Tree (gifts for needy children in the FM area); The Mitten Tree (gifts of mittens, scarves, hats, etc. for Nokomis Childcare Center); The Toothbrush Tree (gifts in support of our Kenyan ministries); and other needs as they emerge closer to the holiday season.
REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL MISSION OPPORTUNITIES:
- Bdecan Presbyterian Church, a Native American church and congregation of the PC (USA) is located in Tokio, N.D., south of Devil's Lake. With the leadership of First Presbyterian, the Presbytery of the Northern Plains built a new church building for the Bdecan congregation in 2002. The Presbytery's Mission Initiatives committee is overseeing projects with the congregation.
Please contact the Presbytery of the Northern Plains at www.northernplainspresbytery.com if you have any questions about upcoming projects with Bdecan Presbyterian Church.
- For over ten years, First Presbyterian Church has had a friendship/partnership with Kikuyu Hospital, near Nairobi, Kenya. Kikuyu Hospital is one of the projects of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA). Our congregation has participated in the building and maintaining of the hospital's new dental clinic.
The Presbytery of the Northern Plains has begun a partnership with the Kenyan Presbytery of Chogoria. First Presbyterian Church is in partnership with one of the churches. For inquiries and updates on this partnership, contact the Presbytery of the Northern Plains.
PRESBYTERIAN SPECIAL OFFERINGS:
Four times a year, we ask you to support with your financial resources, special offerings that are used so that the collective gifts of Presbyterians all over the country can make a significant impact in specific programs and ministries of our denomination.
Peacemaking Offering, received on World Communion Sunday—October 7th. The theme this year is Blessed are the Peacemakers. The Peacemaking Offering was created to support the efforts of the PC(USA) to live out a deeper commitment to peacemaking as part of our faithfulness to God. This year the offering will help promote the church’s effort to support antibullying, respectful and civil dialogue, antiviolence, and human rights and human trafficking. Of this offering, 25% stays local for peacemaking endeavors in our own community.
Christmas Joy Offering, received during Advent and dedicated on December 23. This year’s theme: Good News of Great Joy. Gifts to the Christmas Joy Offering will be distributed equally to the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and to support student scholarships at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges.
One Great Hour of Sharing, received Palm Sunday-March 24. Since 1949, Presbyterian have joined with millions of other Christians through One Great Hour of Sharing to share God’s love with people experiencing need. Our gifts support Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Hunger Program, and Self Development of People.
Pentecost Offering, received Pentecost Sunday-May 19. This special offering provides a direct way to meet the needs of children at risk, youth, and young adults. We are encouraged to keep 40% of the offering to support ministry with children at risk in our communities.