How We Serve
Faith Day of Service
As we worship together we learn that we must step outside of our building to do as Christ did and serve those in need. This has led to the creation of the Faith Day of Service that offers the opportunity for Faith members and friends to work together for a day in an area within a short drive of our location. In 2012 the group traveled to Henryville, IN to join in tornado relief efforts. Early in 2013, the workers assembled at Westminster Neighborhood Ministries on the near eastside of Indianapolis to clean, organize, mow, landscape, and plant at the facility. Watch for more information later in 2013 regarding the next Faith Day of Service opportunity.
Congo Helping Hands
Faith partners with Congo Helping Hands, a non-profit Christian organization,that works in partnership to improve the quality of life in the Democratic Republic of the Congo through involvement in the areas of health, education, agriculture, and microeconomics.
The ultimate goal is to assist the Congolese now so that they can provide for themselves in the future. We have been involved with the drilling of wells to provide a reasonably accessible source of safe drinking water, by providing hospital and educational supplies, and by supporting the Congo Palm Project to plant trees and harvest palm oil for personal use and to create micro-businesses. You can learn more by visiting www.congohelpinghands.org or by speaking with its President Woody Collins, a member of this congregation.
Interfaith Hospitality Network
According to the Indianapolis Interfaith Hospitality Network (Indy IHN), a faith-based community-focused program, since 1994 it has provided emergency shelter, case management, and supportive services to single parents and married couples with children. Indy IHN helps break the cycle of recurrent homelessness by assisting families to find affordable housing and stability. IHN accepts homeless families with children in a 24-hour comprehensive program. The Day Center provides day accommodations with showering facilities, storage space for personal belongings, computer access-training, use of telephones, transportation, medical emergency triage, case management and agency referrals. To learn more you may visit the website at www.indyihn.org.
Faith members serve as hosts for a week several times during the year. Volunteers are vital and many are needed each time we host. Opportunities include: transporting beds to and from the host churches, setting up and tearing down the rooms used at Faith, preparing and serving a meal, sharing a meal with the families in the evening, acting as an overnight host, and providing food for lunches and breakfasts. In addition to providing overnight accommodations with shower and laundry facilities, we provide transportation to and from the Day Center. As volunteers we can make a difference by offering dignified and compassionate assistance to families who have suffered the ordeal of losing their homes.
Westminster Neighborhood Ministries
Westminster Neighborhood Ministries is a Christian community on the near eastside of Indianapolis that works with the neighborhood, religious organizations, and community partners to serve local families by providing children’s programs that meet nurturing, safety, educational, and developmental needs;providing food and clothing to meet the basic needs of neighborhood families, and providing supportive services.
Faith is involved in a variety of ministries at WNM. Every Thursday members travel to Westminster to work in the Food Pantry delivering food to approved clients and serving a hot lunch to area residents who drop in. On the second Saturday of each month, members and friends are invited to Westminster for the chance to engage in maintenance of the facility. Multiple times during the year our Deacon’s sponsor Bag-It Sunday. On one Sunday paper grocery sacks are distributed with a list of needed items and on the following Sunday the filled bags are returned to Faith. The Thursday volunteers deliver the Bag-It bags to Westminster so the clients can shop for items that they need. Each Christmas we donate 400+ cans of tuna and 400+ boxes of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix to go into the Christmas food baskets. In addition, we purchase and wrap gifts for the children of families who participate in the Christmas Basket program. Members gather at Westminster on a weekend early in December to fill the food baskets and distribute the food baskets, clothing, and gifts to the registered families. You can learn even more about Westminster programs by visiting www.westmin.org.
Outreach, Inc. describes itself as a ministry reaching out to homeless and at-risk young adults with the compassion of Jesus Christ. They provide street outreach, a drop-in center, holistic social services, case management and emergency referral services, and it strives to do these things in an environment of God’s love. Outreach works with local churches, equipping and supporting the body of Christ and community to minister to this population with the goal of empowering the youth to exit the street life. In spring 2013, over 22 clients earned a high school diploma or GED.
Faith has participated by making financial contributions, collecting “street food” donations, and donating toiletries and Subway and Wal-Mart gift cards. In addition, we have recently accepted the opportunity to provide an evening dinner for the youth every fifth Thursday of the year. We include birthday recognitions for all who have had a birthday since the previous Fifth Thursday meal. Our next meal will be October 31,, 2013. You can learn more about Outreach, Inc. by speaking with the Mission Team leaders or at www.outreachindiana.org.
Souper Bowl of Caring
Each year on Super Bowl Sunday, Faith youth participate in Souper Bowl of Caring. Youth hold soup pots at the sanctuary doors following both worship services. They join young people in churches across the country to collect money for those who are hungry and hurting. Millions of dollars are collected each year and none of the money is sent to Souper Bowl headquarters. Churches choose a local charity where the money will be donated. “Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat.”
Boutique Sales for Mission
The Boutique group is a very talented group of ladies who put their crafting skills to work to create items that are sold at the Christmas Bazar, the Easter Boutique, the Strawberry Festival, and the Pig Roast. The money raised from these sales is just another way that Faith contributes to mission. In 2012 the Boutique group funds were used for donations to the Pre-school and After-school programs at Westminster Neighborhood Ministries, Church World Service for Baby Kits, Teacher’s Treasures in Indianapolis, Interfaith Hospitality Network, Faith’s Building Fund, and Faith’s Deacons’ Benevolence Fund. Keep watching for the next sale and your chance to shop and support mission, it’s a win, win for everyone.
Faith Presbyterian Church is a chartering organization for Boy Scout Pack 275. In addition, eight scout groups meet at the church through the week. To participate in Boy Scouts or Girls Scouts please contact Kristen Ziegler at email@example.com or 317-577-9389.
Quite often members and friends of Faith engage in Mission by leaving the comforts of home to serve in areas of need. In the past some have joined with Congo Helping Hands and ventured far from home to serve for several weeks in the Congo to get a close look at the work being done there, to evaluate the needs of the Congolese, and to become acquainted with the people who are served by this mission.
For four years, Faith members and friends partnered with Principe de Paz in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. There was some manual labor constructing walls of the church, but the major emphasis was helping the members of the church in Mexico provide a full week of Vacation Bible School by offering curriculum, leadership, and materials. There was always time for sharing of cultures and learning about the area while building relationships with the people in Playa.
Prior to the partnership in Playa del Carmen Faith had been involved with Puentes de Cristo, the border ministry in the McAllen, Texas/Reynosa, Mexico area. That mission involved some construction, a medical and dental clinic, and Vacation Bible School. It was always a joy to worship together and build relationships with the people there as a core group of people returned year after year.
In 2012 the mission area of service was closer to home with a trip to Nashville, Tennessee to work with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. One portion of the trip involved working on a house that had been damaged in the floods that devastated the area in 2009. Another component was working with a homeowner in the Fifty Forward program and repair on a wheelchair ramp was completed there. One evening, the owners of the two homes, the local mission coordinators, and the Faith team were able to share dinner together. The opportunity for devotion was a vital part of every evening.
We look forward to planning other mission trips in the future. Discussions are already underway for planning a trip for 2014. The Mission Team always welcomes your input to what trips are planned and to your participation on the trips.
Youth Mission Trips
Youth at Faith take part in local mission opportunities throughout the year. In the past, they have gone to Build-a-Bear to make bears for children in hospitals, made lasagnas for church families needing a meal, packed college care packages, and participated in an evening of random acts of kindness. In the summer, youth often participate in Montreat Mission Experience with Asheville Youth Mission prior to attending Montreat Youth Conference. In the summer of 2014, a group of youth went to Washington, Illinois, to help with tornado relief.
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Opportunities to Give
Back to School Backpacks
As the Back-to-School ads begin to appear, Faith members begin shopping for school supplies to donate to those for whom outfitting their children for a new school year is a costly burden. For three years we supported the students of Crestview Elementary with our Stock the Shelves campaign. In the fall of 2013, we will be purchasing backpacks and supplies for the pre-school children and the after-school program participants at Westminster Neighborhood Ministries.
The arrival of fall also means it is time to lace up walking shoes to participate in the CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Walk. Walkers cover a 3.2 mile route beginning and ending at the Christian Theological Seminary. Water stops, portable toilets, and entertainment are available along the way. Walkers young and old are welcome as are strollers, wagons, and even well-behaved dogs. The funds collected by the walkers from their sponsors are channeled through Church World Service to fight hunger around the world. CWS provides grants equivalent to 25 percent of the total collected in our CROP Walk to local agencies in the fight against hunger. The Greater Indianapolis CROP Walk is the 6th largest in the nation. Mark your calendars to walk or sponsor a walker on October 20, the date for the 2013 CROP Walk.
As the weather turns colder coats, hats and mittens are in order as Faith families and individuals take their turns ringing the bell at the Salvation Army red kettle. Shoppers at the Marsh on 96th Street drop coins and bills into the red kettle as they are greeted and thanked for their donations by loyal bell-ringers. Many at Faith have made this service one of their Christmas traditions.
Indy Reads is a local not-for-profit organization that works to promote adult literacy in Central Indiana. Faith has supported Indy Reads with monetary donations in the past, and in 2013 a memorial gift has been designated for Indy Reads as part of Faith’s mission giving. When Indy Reads opened its independent bookstore, Indy Reads Books, on Mass Ave., Faith members donated used books, CDs, and DVDs. The revenue from Indy Reads Books is used to support Indy Reads. The bookstore offers used and new books for sale, makes space available for meetings, sponsors reading-related events, and provides a location for tutoring for adults. In 2013 the mission team will be sponsoring an ongoing materials collection and will make periodic deliveries to Indy Reads Books.
When we share our time, talents, and gifts with others, we also share our faith!
The Crafty Foxes members use their talents to create items that are donated to bring comfort to others. In 2012 they created and donated 28 Warm Up America (WUA) afghans, 12 winter hats, and 22 scarves to the Julian Center, 50 scarves to Westminster for the Christmas Basket program, 213 chemo caps to various organizations (Simon Cancer Center, Community Hospitals, friends of Faith, etc.), 27 lap blankets to Lawrence Manor Nursing Home, and two prayer shawls to members/friends of Faith. In 2013 graduating high school seniors each received a specially crafted blanket to take with them to college. Please speak with Stefanee Townsend if you would like to join or learn more about this group and its mission activities.
When Disaster Strikes
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is the emergency and refugee program of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. This program is funded through the One Great Hour of Sharing offering received on Palm Sunday and through designated gifts.
PDA focuses on the long-term recovery of disaster impacted communities. In advance of disaster situations, it provides training and disaster preparedness for presbyteries and synods. In order to work effectively, PDA joins with church partners and members of the ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) internationally and nationally with other faith-based responders. When disaster does strike, PDA connects partners locally and internationally with key organizations active in the response — United Nations, NVOAD (National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster), World Food Program, Red Cross, FEMA, and others.
In another area of concern, PDA cooperates with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services in providing service structure for asylum seekers in the United States, and it cooperates with Church World Service in the resettlement of refugees to the United States.
Individuals can respond through prayer, action, and giving. To learn even more about what PDA does and how you can help visit their website at www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/pda.