Wednesday, January 28
Presbytery of St. Augustine
The Presbytery of St. Augustine has a treasure in its midst—Peace Presbyterian Church, where compassionate and prophetic discipleship is expressed in outreach ministries. Both the food pantry and clothes closet of Peace Presbyterian began with member energy and prayer as well as a desire to meet the physical needs of people in Jacksonville.
The food pantry was started in late 2005—literally in a closet—to address the needs of an African immigrant congregation that rented space from the church. When the economy went into steep decline in late 2007, the ministry expanded and the pantry was moved to a larger room. Each Saturday, volunteers come in and bag groceries that are apportioned by family size to around 100 families the following day.
The clothes closet started as a clothing drop-off and pick-up point but has expanded to include display cases and clothing racks, so that people can come in and select up to 15 items of clothing or personal items at no cost. Today, the ministry has separate shopping rooms for men and women and encompasses the entire lower level of the education building.
The purpose of these ministries is not simply to disperse food and clothes but to build relationships with the clients, so that they can come to know the Christ of life and enjoy a fuller life themselves. The number of clients now regularly attending worship—some having chosen to join the church—is a cause of great joy.
“Our goal,” says pastor Mark Lemmenes, “is to walk humbly with God, acknowledging our own shortcomings while honestly seeking to understand and to call for the best in others.”
Peace Presbyterian Church, one of 63 congregations in the Presbytery of St. Augustine, strives to live up to its name by seeking peace and justice for its city and all who dwell in it.
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Lord, help us to reflect your compassion by using our gifts, time, and talents to help those in need. And embolden us to further your mission by bringing them your good news, so that they too can experience your mercy. Amen.