Our Wider Mission in the Church
The mission program of the First Presbyterian Church of Elkhart (“FPCE”) has been characterized,
“... to foster and support activities that reach beyond our walls with our time, energy and resourcesto assist and comfort our human family in need: locally, domestically and internationally.”
Many of our programs and efforts focus – appropriately – on local “hands-on” needs and concerns – from Habitat for Humanity builds, to Community Food Pantry contributions, and mentoring at Beardsley Elementary School. They are described in detail on the page titled: “Our Ministry Among Our Neighbors.” Please visit there to learn more about these efforts in our own community.
While many activities that manifest Christ’s love involve giving of individuals’ time, energy and talents – those efforts that assist in our broader nation and the greater world – by their very nature, necessitate giving financial resources.
Chuck Vetter participated in over 150 Habitat for Humanity builds from 1987 until his recent passing, and was a faithful and active member of our congregation for many years.
Over fifty people participated in the August 2023 build in his memory, where the complete frame of exterior and interior wall sections were constructed in just under two and a half hours.
Helping those stricken by natural disasters beyond our own locale, is greatly facilitated by our denomination’s national presence: The Presbyterian Church-USA. Such assistance has included substantial aid for:
• Tsunami’s in Indonesia
• Earthquakes and hurricanes in the Caribbean
• Floods in Louisiana, Texas and The Carolinas
• Devastating wildfires in California
• Tornadoes across the Southern United States
These are a few of the situations that PC-USA Disaster Assistance has deployed resources in the aftermath of terrible devastation, with commensurate human need for food and shelter. By giving to this organization – through the One Great Hour of Sharing offering – we are truly able to reach “beyond our walls” with the love of Christ.
We also participate in international aid efforts of Elkhart-based Church World Service – through their autumn CROP Walk Against Hunger, and winter Blanket Drive.
Our PC-USA also conducts seasonal offerings, in which we participate: Pentecost Offering and Christmas Joy Offering. These efforts help support retired pastors in need, and development of youth – especially through Presbyterian schools fostering church leaders.
Our annual “per capita” contributions to our Presbytery of Wabash Valley (made by the church), further support the giving of grants to enhance ministries in our own region.
In summary, these forms of financial giving are very real manifestations of Christ’s love – and thankfully have continued despite the “up-close” constraints of the pandemic that began in 2020.