The ministry of the deacons as set forth in Scripture is one of compassion, witness, and service, sharing in the redeeming love of Jesus Christ for the poor, the hungry, the sick, the lost, the friendless, the oppressed, those burdened by unjust policies or structures, or anyone in distress. (Book of Order, G-2.02). To that end our deacons serve not only those in need within our community of faith, but also members of our larger neighborhood who may or may not have any connection to our congregation. In addition to being available to meet with members and neighbors for support, the deacons currently run a food assistance program where families can receive food vouchers to grocery stores several times a year, and an emergency financial assistance program where families can receive assistance with monthly bills in times of crisis. Members of our church can support the deacons ministry by designating part of their offering to go to the deacon’s fund. All loose offering received every Sunday benefits the deacons fund.
We rejoice to be able to meet our Jewish, Muslim and Hindu neighbors through different interfaith events each year. We participate in dinners and vigils as the opportunity arises, believing in our need to know our neighbors to be able to live in love for all. We also support larger denominational initiatives to work for peace and justice in the world through special initiatives led by the Presbytery of Chicago and the Four Special Offerings of the PCUSA. The four special offerings are the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering (collected at Easter), the Pentecost Offering (collected on Pentecost Sunday), the Peace and Global Mission Offering (collected on the first Sunday in October) and the Christmas Joy Offering (collected on the last Sunday of Advent). You can read more about the four special offerings here: http://specialofferings.pcusa.org/
Kid’s Hope USA
Throughout the school year members of our congregation serve as mentors to several children from Laurel Hill Elementary School in Hanover Park through our Kid’s Hope USA chapter. Mentors are supported in their weekly work by prayer partners. A party is held at the end of each term to celebrate the relationships between mentors, mentees and prayer partners alongside mentee’s families.
Summer Fun Zone
For eight weeks through the summer we host the Summer Fun Zone, which gathers children from our neighborhood (ages 5-12) once a week in the afternoon to learn about the life and love of Jesus Christ through songs, stories, games, arts and crafts. Our neighborhood kids learn about our Savior and we get to rejoice in new relationships with our neighbors!
Christmas Blessing Program
Each year our mission team leads our congregation in an opportunity to meet families from our nearby community and support them through the season. Support may mean financial assistance or presence during a rough time, depending on the need of each of our neighbors.
Support for Feed My Starving Children
Our mission team organizes a church-wide volunteering trip to pack meals for hungry children around the world through the non-profit Feed My Starving Children. Members and friends are encouraged to bring their friends who have never participated to join us for this easy and yet impactful opportunity for service. Sometimes we have even packed meals to go to our own countries of origin!
Food Pantry Shelf
Members of our congregation are encouraged to contribute to our food-pantry shelf with non-perishable grocery items (canned veggies, canned meat, grains, etc.) and basic household items (soap, detergent, toilet paper, paper towels). Anyone who comes to our doors, whether a member of our congregation or not, can take needed items from the shelf as they have need. No questions are asked.