Saturday, January 5
The Presbytery of Riverside
How many loaves have you?” With an unemployment rate of 15 percent, the Inland Empire was particularly hard-hit by the recession. The Presbytery of Riverside’s congregations respond to Jesus’ question in creative ways, and every congregation is engaged in feeding hungry people.
In the mountain community of Idyllwild, the local Presbyterian congregation is known for praying and for providing “treasure boxes.” Each box contains enough food to feed a family for a month. The congregation also maintains a thrift shop. People without shelter are given a place to clean up, and their old clothes are replaced with new ones.
First Presbyterian, Redlands, assists young people (14–20 years) experiencing homelessness by providing space and volunteers for the Youth Hope program. The mission offers meals, clothing, art classes, and encouragement to youth escaping abusive homes and others who have “graduated” from foster care.
About one-fourth of the members of Mountain View Presbyterian in Wildomar participate every Tuesday in Circle of Care. Hungry people receive both food and spiritual sustenance. Some have joined the congregation.
In addition to asking “How many loaves have you?” First Presbyterian of San Bernardino asks, “How many solar panels have you?” This large urban congregation secured a loan from the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program to cover the church roof with solar panels, a move that won First Presbyterian an Energy Oscar from California Interfaith Power & Light in 2011. The congregation is reducing its electrical costs by 90 percent, expects to pay off its loan in a few years, contributes to the energy grid, and is helping create a healthier environment in the Inland Empire.
The presbytery’s 32 congregations and three worshiping communities have a total of 5,947 members.
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray
Jesus, you multiply what you have already given, and we are thankful. Help us to entrust to you all that we are and all that we have. Amen.