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Marcy Stroud, the warden at the minimum-security Mt. Pleasant Correctional Facility in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, remembers very well the day she received a cold call from the Rev. Trey Hegar, pastor of First Presbyterian Church.
After leading the congregation in prayer, the Rev. Dr. Greg Bolt knelt next to the golden retriever in her blue and white service dog jacket.
“Brinley, God has given you a calling to help a person in need with tasks of daily living, companionship and love. We give thanks for you and your willingness to serve, and to help. May your example inspire us to help and to love more in our daily lives. Brinley —” The dog placed her paw over Bolt’s arm and gave him a kiss. “You are commissioned to service.”
First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown in Yorktown Heights, New York, recently became a Hunger Action Congregation, capping off a long tradition of serving the community through a food pantry and other endeavors.
The people of First Presbyterian Church of Plano are adding blessings to the showers a local organization provides for homeless people.
The church, north of Dallas, has operated a clothes pantry for 53 years, but that ministry was paused when the building was closed due to the pandemic. Thankfully, this turned out to be not an ending but a new opportunity for the church to serve others.
Members of First Presbyterian Church in Winchester, Virginia, as young as 4 and as old as 84 years old recently participated in a program designed to eliminate hunger. The church has gathered twice in the past two years to pack meals for Rise Against Hunger, a program that turns pallets of food supplies into meals for the hungry.
There’s no need to have an empty church on Sunday mornings, even in the midst of coronavirus social distancing directives.
Co-pastors Tami Seidel and Chip Low of First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown, New York, aren’t encouraging disobedience to stay-at-home orders. Rather, they’ve placed photos of church members in the pews for them to look out on as they offer livestreamed Sunday morning services from the church sanctuary.
It’s anything but business as usual for guests and staff at the Ladle Fellowship, the homeless outreach ministry of First Presbyterian Church in San Diego. As cases of COVID-19 increase across the nation, volunteers and church staff are continuing to serve their neighbors in need.
The Rev. Peg Roy of First Presbyterian Church in Auburndale, Florida, is being recognized by the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle as a Game Changer in her community, as part of the organization’s #iamagamechanger campaign.
What has become an annual ritual for many churches—the “Blessing of the Backpacks”—has taken on special importance at First Presbyterian Church in Findlay, Ohio. This year the event was integrated into the larger concept of commemorating milestones within the life of the church and its members, with “back to school” being just one of them.