Friday, October 23
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Presbytery of Northern New York
It was October 2012. Food pantry boundaries had recently been realigned, and the pantry once responsible for the village of Dexter had been replaced by a new one. The poor of Dexter had become accustomed to receiving food and toys at Christmastime, but the new food pantry announced that it wouldn’t be doing anything for Christmas. When pastor Gail Roberts and the deacons of First Presbyterian Church in Dexter became aware of the situation, they decided that First Presbyterian would step up to meet the need.
The Dexter congregation has a membership of 54 and an average attendance of 15. Its annual budget is less than $40,000, and most of the people are of retirement age. The deacons took a great risk by taking on the project. When they began it, they had no idea what would be involved or how much it would cost. God provided.
That first year, another local church helped with sign-ups and toys for the program. First Presbyterian provided the food and coordinated the effort. Fifty-six families requested and received assistance.
In 2013, First Presbyterian was responsible for the entire project. The needs of 61 families were met. Toys, Christmas dinner, and food for threeto four additional days were provided. Parents had the opportunity to select mittens, hats, scarves, and gloves as well as books for their children.
First Presbyterian receives monetary support from local churches,the Boy Scouts, the local elementary school, church members, community members, and the Presbytery of Northern New York.
A tiny congregation full of God’s faithful people took a big risk—and God provided.
First Presbyterian Church in Dexter is one of 36 congregations in the Presbytery of Northern New York.
—Rachel Roberts, commissioned ruling elder, Presbytery of Northern New York
Let us join in prayer for:
Rev. Dr. Rich Wil, moderator
Pieter Visscher, stated clerk
George Davis, treasurer
Joan Merritt, administrative coordinator
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Gracious God, when we are presented with need that seems overwhelming, let us be reminded that you fed thousands with the few loaves and fish that Jesus offered to you in thanks. Amen.