Testimonial: Commitment to Social Mission
The pandemic posed challenges for direct service to our sisters and brothers in need. But, we creatively sought new ways to serve. The Walk In Ministry expanded its reach by using electronic means to connect with those who needed assistance for rent and utilities resulting from a loss of income due to COVID. The ministry wrote grants and received financial gifts from our congregation, community organizations, and other churches to support those calling for assistance. Through virtual means, we served over 800 individuals and families with a focus on preventing evictions.
First Presbyterian Church has also played a major role in the expansion of the food pantry at Iglesia Emanuel Church. Volunteers organized the purchase, packing, and distribution of food on a weekly basis. Many additional members worked at home packing rice and beans to be taken to the church. Others made financial donations and one member had a fundraising event. During heat and cold, the pantry distributed groceries every Wednesday to approximately 500 families that had been financially affected by COVID. In addition to these major commitments, members have been involved in activism concerning affordable housing issues and eviction prevention, our two care teams have continued to meet with their partners recently released from prison, and members have distributed frozen meals through Meals on Wheels. Although not always face-to-face, our relationships with those in material need gave meaning to our service.
— Jane Williams