top of page
Streamers

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

...for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.’

Matthew 25: 35–40 NRSVUE

Matthew25 Banner.jpg

Our Community Outreach Programming is Driven by the Matthew 25 Movement:

In the spring of 2021, the First Presbyterian Session voted to become a Matthew 25 congregation. Matthew 25 is a movement within the larger Presbyterian Church, designed to focus the hearts and minds of disciples on the challenging, justice-focused ministry priorities taught by Jesus in the twenty-fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.

 

As a Matthew 25 Church we are called to act boldly and compassionately to see our neighbors through Jesus’ eyes and serve those who are marginalized or in need — people who are hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, imprisoned, strangers, poor or oppressed in other ways and in need of welcoming.

Strategies:

  1. Worship. We emphasize worship, learning, relationships, actions and sharing to dismantle structural racism, eradicate systemic poverty and enhance our church vitality.

  2. Learn. We educate ourselves and others to deepen our understanding, and address our lack of knowledge about poverty, racism and church vitality.

  3. Relate. In order to prepare ourselves to form genuine and mutual relationships, we first examine our own cultural assumptions, privilege, and life encounters mentioned in Matthew 25.

  4. Act. We act to make a difference in the lives of those living in poverty, living with the disparities of racism and within our congregation to enhance our vitality as members of the church body.

  5. Share. We share what we learned with others in our homes, in church, in community and in the world.

The themes of the Matthew 25 invitation are grounded in the gospel. Jesus calls us to serve with and for “the least of these” — not as a group to be pitied, but as people who are deeply loved by Jesus. The Matthew 25 movement has three foci: dismantling structural racism, eradicating systemic poverty, and building congregational vitality. To learn more about individual programs, click the links below, or scroll down.

5-Spiritual-Practices-Puzzle-with-Mt25-in-center-jpg-500x495.jpg

To get involved, contact mission@kirkwoodpres.org for more information unless otherwise noted.

Nursery Care (Sunday morning care for children under 5-years-old)
Building Congregational Vitality

BUILDING CONGREGATIONAL VITALITY

By challenging congregations and their members to deepen and energize their faith and grow as joyful leaders and disciples actively engaged with their community, seeing new disciples engaged in ministry, and longstanding believers develop in faith as the gospel of Jesus Christ is shared in word and deed.

  • Supporting Refugee Afghan Families: In January of 2021, our Congregation met our first Afghan family...a Mom, a 26-year-old son, and two teenage children. In April of 2021, we connected with our second family...a 50-something-year-old woman, her daughter and her husband (early 30s) and her 12-year-old grandson. We immediately found that both families were eager to move on in their lives and were most appreciative of our assistance and friendship. If you are interested in providing assistance to one of our families, please contact mission@kirkwoodpres.org.

  • Participating in the Greentree Festival: In September of 2023, we hosted a Cooling Station booth at the annual Kirkwood Greentree Festival. We're looking forward to participating again in 2024! Reach out if you are interested in volunteering.​

unnamed-10_edited.jpg
Dismantling Structural Racism

DISMANTLING STRUCTURAL RACISM

By fearlessly applying our faith to advocate and break down the systems, practices and thinking that underlie discrimination, bias, prejudice and oppression of people of color.

  • Upcoming Book Discussion:

    • We will continue the book study of White Fragility by Robin Diangelo  - stay tuned for the next date!

81nY3giC9NL._AC_UF1000,1000_QL80_.jpg
Eradicating Systemic Poverty

ERADICATING SYSTEMIC POVERTY

By acting on our beliefs and working to change laws, policies, plans and structures
in our society that perpetuate economic exploitation of people who are poor.

  • Mission Trips: We've responded to disaster recovery needs in various locations, offering a hands-on way to make a difference while enjoying fellowship. Stay updated for future opportunities. Continue reading to learn about our most recent adult mission trip.​

    • Adult Mission Trip to Western Kentucky 2023:           Thirteen First Pres members and friends spent the week of May 14 in western Kentucky on an adult mission trip. Many of the members of the team volunteered in the same area last fall. The local Habitat for Humanity affiliate is building new homes in Dawson Springs for former renters whose homes were destroyed in a December 2021 tornado. We thank our First Pres congregation for their support, and encourage you to join a future mission trip. Not only do we learn new skills and get lots of good work done; we also grow close to one another through the shared experience and have so much fun! 

    • Senior High Work Camp: Youth and adult volunteers spend two weeks working to improve lives and enjoy fellowship. Past trips have been to various destinations. Join us for a meaningful experience.

  • Breakfast Casseroles for St. Patrick's Center:             Support St. Patrick's Center in providing self-sufficiency and dignity to those who are homeless or at risk. Prepare a delicious breakfast casserole to contribute.​

  • Bridge Bread: Support Bridge Bread Bakery in St. Louis, MO, a non-profit providing employment to people without housing. Visit their retail store or consider making a donation. Learn more at Bridge Bread's website.

  • First Pres Vegetable Garden: Calling all gardeners! Help us plant and maintain our vegetable garden, where we grow fresh produce to donate to local food banks. 

  • Little Free Pantry: Our Little Free Pantry is a part of the solution for those with food insecurities. Our Little Free Pantry is located near the Jefferson Avenue entrance of the church. Whether there is a need for food, or a need to give, our Little Free Pantry helps feed neighbors, and nourishes all of us. Please give what you ‘can’ (we especially need canned meals/meats, fruit, and veggies).

  • St. Joseph Housing Initiative (SJHI): Join the First Pres team in renovating and preparing safe, peaceful home environments for those in need. 

  • Kirk Care Food Drives: Support Kirk Care in providing food assistance to needy families in the Kirkwood R-7 school district. Donate non-perishable food items by placing them near the cabinet on the first floor, next to the restrooms. Check the suggested food items listed on the cabinet display and printed on the Kirk Care bags. Your contribution makes a meaningful impact!

  • Alternative Gift Market: Support small artisans worldwide and make your spending missional at our Alternative Gift Market held after Thanksgiving. Find unique Christmas presents while empowering communities. 

  • Christmas Giving Trees: Participate in supporting needy families and children during the holiday season. Choose items from the giving trees to purchase and contribute. Spread joy and kindness.

  • Room at the Inn (RATI): Room at the Inn provides shelter and support to homeless women and families. They're currently looking for volunteers as they transition to expanding their facilities. For more information, contact RATI Volunteer Coordinator, Cindy Warren, at (314) 209-9181.

  • Clothing, Food, School Supple and Personal Hygiene Drives: Throughout the year, our congregation may hold collection drives to donate items to underserved populations. 

Screenshot_20230519_143529.jpg
bottom of page