Throughout the year, you will have opportunities to get directly involved in mission work. Whether volunteering to teach Sunday School, welcoming people to church on Sunday as a greeter, or making meals to be sent to areas affected by natural disasters, you will be encouraged to be involved in mission work. For more information, contact Dr. Holyan.
Some of the Hands-On Mission Projects we get involved in are:
|ALTERNATIVE GIFT MARKET
On the Sundays just after Thanksgiving, we host an Alternative Gift Market in the Gathering Space providing wonderful Christmas presents, the sale of which empowers small artisans throughout the world and invites us to consider how our spending can become missional.
|BIDDLE HOUSE CASSEROLE PROGRAM
The St Louis Biddle House Casserole program is a community-wide effort to provide nutritional support for people who are homeless and impoverished. We join with other church groups and thousands of volunteers to donate casseroles that are reheated and served piping hot to those in need.
CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE
|STOP HUNGER NOW
In the hour between worship services on certain Sunday mornings, we are able to package meals that can be sent anywhere in the world where there is need for emergency food. Recently we packaged over 10,000 meals.
Working with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, our congregation has a long history of responding to the need for disaster recovery work following major storms. We have taken trips to the Gulf Coast following Katrina and to Tuscaloosa, Joplin and Little Rock following tornadoes, and Lafayette after flooding. These trips provide a hands-on way to make a difference, be a blessing, and enjoy some wonderful fellowship.
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|SENIOR HIGH WORK CAMP
Each summer since 1969 youth and adult volunteers spend two weeks somewhere in the USA working to make life better for people, having fun, and enjoying fellowship. Past trips have been to: Alamosa, CO; Grand Rapids, MI; Charleston, SC; Milwaukee, WI; Little Rock, AR; Louisville, KY, and numerous other destinations.
|FALL SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE
As school approaches, we collect needed items for school children in Kirkwood, the St. Louis region, and Africa. Supplies and donations are collected for several weeks and are then distributed to those in need.
|KIRKCARE FOOD DRIVES
Kirkcare is our local community food and financial assistance organization that helps citizens in Kirkwood. Yellow Kirkcare bags are distributed several Sundays throughout the year, or whenever a need arises. Several of the board members of Kirkcare are members of First Pres.
|CHRISTMAS GIVING TREES
Just after Thanksgiving, giving trees are put up throughout the building in order to help support needy families and children. Our Sunday School children decorate ornaments for the trees which list items of need. Congregants are encouraged to purchase those items, which are collected and transported in time for Christmas.
You can find a bright red Kirkwood shirt worn by the large number of our volunteers who walk a mile or three miles in support of St. Louis? The walks support our local larder of food as well as Church World Services and Operation Food Search.
|ROOM AT THE INN
Every month for nearly 20 years we have hosted an overnight gathering of people from Room At The Inn, a shelter for homeless people as individuals or families. During the day they are at a shelter, each evening people from churches all over the metropolitan area pick up, welcome, feed and house those without a home for the night. The saying "Many hands make for light work" is true here as well, for many people help to make this overnight possible. Our volunteers drive people from the shelter to our church, make dinner, welcome them, spend the night as innkeepers, make breakfast or drive them back to the shelter on Sunday mornings.
|CHILDREN AND MISSION
We believe it is important to provide children with opportunities to serve others. Our children’s programs Logos, Vacation Bible Camp, and Camp Kirkapresqua all include hands on mission elements. Every year at Logos we assemble cookie mixes and sell them to raise funds for mission.
Bridge Bread is a social enterprise designed to provide job opportunities for people experiencing homelessness or those who are housing insecure. The goal of the program is to help the disadvantaged engage in a financially rewarding effort that enhances self-worth, promotes dignity and enables them to help themselves. First Pres is proud to help by selling Bridge Bread products each Sunday in the Gathering Place.
|LITTLE DRESSES FOR AFRICA
Volunteers from First Pres and all over the world join together to make little dresses out of pillow cases or other simple patterns. Little Dresses for Africa sends the donated dresses through mission teams, mails them directly to verified communities or takes them personally with their short term teams.