Our Ministry Among Our Neighbors
At First Presbyterian Church of Elkhart...
Our commitment to share Christ’s love, begins in our own community. Whether or not an “official” member of our church, we welcome participation of local residents in our ministries – whether as a volunteer or donor.
Please review some of our activities in our own neighborhood and city. If you wish to help, please contact our church office.
Habitat for Humanity Home Building
Over the past 35 years, FPCE has participated in two annual Elkhart County builds: “Women Build” in springtime, and the larger “Faith Build” in autumn. Volunteers also provide donations and meals for builders.
This is a major outreach of our church, which has continued throughout the pandemic – masked! Builder volunteers are invited, and need not be church members … nor skilled carpenters!
Beardsley Elementary School Mentoring
For many years, FPCE members have mentored students one-on-one at nearby Beardsley School. These efforts have helped make a great improvement in many students’ proficiency test scores – and made lifelong friends. Although the current pandemic has placed these tutoring efforts on hold, we look forward to their resuming in the future.
On annual cycles, we also provide backpacks, school supplies, and Christmas mittens and hats to children who need them. When special school needs arise, we often assist with special contributions. Mentors need not be church members.
The Presbyterian Developmental Basketball League
In conjunction with Beardsley School and the Boys’ and Girls’ Club athletic facility, we sponsor and administer a voluntary league of youth basketball players.
Led in a manner encouraging respectful competition, this has also been on hold during the pandemic – with plans to resume when safe.
The Peacemaking Awards for Youth
For the past two decades, FPCE has conducted Student Peacemaking Recognition among area high school seniors. Through this, we actively recognize student leaders who promote justice, reconciliation and conflict resolution among their peers. Selected individuals receive a cash grant in May, at their respective graduation award ceremonies.
This program intentionally fosters youth leaders in our own community – who will hopefully be inspired to amplify these behaviors in life.
The Church Community Services Food Pantry
Each week we collect food and personal care items for our local food pantry. Items are placed in grocery carts located near our worship spaces. CCS picks up these items on the first Tuesday of each month, adding them to their Pantry offerings to residents in need. Each November, we emphasize this ministry as a special “Thanksgiving” offering.
[Welcome (long shelf-life) items include: hot & cold cereal; canned soups, meats, fish and vegetables; boxed rice, potatoes, pasta and hamburger helper; peanut butter & jelly; and personal care items: diapers, toothpaste & brushes, soap & laundry detergent, etc.]
The Church Community Services Emergency Fund
This traditional FPCE funding helps Elkhart’s Church Community Services assist families and individuals in need, to cover utility expenses and other “life-changing improvement” investments.
The Rent Assistance Ministry
In partnership with nearby St. Paul’s United Methodist Church – who screen and qualify recipients – we contribute varying amounts to assist area residents in need of rent coverage, through the “Saving Grace” ministry.