The Church is called to be Christ’s faith evangelist,
- participating in God’s activity in the world through its life for others by
- healing and reconciling and binding up wounds
- ministering to the needs of the poor, the sick, the lonely, and the powerless
- engaging in the struggle to free people from sin, fear, oppression, hunger, and injustice
- giving itself and its substance to the service of those who suffer
- sharing with Christ in the establishing of his just, peaceable, and loving rule in the world
BOOK OF ORDER, PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (U.S.A.)
Local Mission and Volunteer Opportunities: In addition to determining how much financial support local agencies receive, the team stays abreast of local opportunities for the congregation to respond in service and then plans, implements, and coordinates those opportunities. This includes participation with Faith in Action in donating volunteer time and money, along with congregational collections for school supplies, canned foods, diapers and wipes and our support for their fund raising/food collection activities. This group formulates the policies of the congregation regarding assistance to those in need and seeks ways to be proactive in making our congregation a community of hospitality, love, and local outreach to our neighbors. Examples of this ministry include the Social Club, a twice a year activity providing a meal and fun bingo time for mentally challenged adults, Presbyterian Children’s home, Friends of Santa, the Community Christmas program and most recently, Meals on Wheels, Crossroads Medical Mission, Camp Holston, and the Bristol Virginia Crisis Center. We also support the Hands and Feet, and Good News Prison Ministries. We collected over 200 tubes of toothpaste as a part of the Good News Christmas in August project for the local jail inmates. This year our congregation provided Christmas gifts for over 50 residents of Abingdon Manor/Renaissance House through our new Angel Tree program. These are individuals who have no or limited financial or family support and in many cases have absolutely nothing and no one who cares.
National and Global Missions: The team determines which national and global organizations our congregation will support, prayerfully and financially. This past year assistance was provided to our Sister Congregation in Malawi, Africa. The Luwerezi Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), is a congregation of approximately 2,500 members and growing. Hathor Moni recently became the new pastor for the Luwerezi Church when the former pastor, Lewis Mwazembe, was transferred to a different church. Malawi once again is experiencing hunger needs which plague their region and asked for our prayers and financial assistance. The members of the Luwerezi Congregation thanked Sinking Spring for its caring, its prayers, and its generosity. The SSPC After-School children participate in a ministry to collect empty/clean medicine bottles to be shipped to Malawi. Other national and global outreach efforts included: our “adopted” scholarship student, Clinton, from Uganda; the Church World Service Blanket Fund; National Presbyterian Disaster Assistance donations for West Virginia flood victims and Gatlinburg wildfires relief efforts this year.
Evangelism and Community Relations: Service and Outreach is responsible for SSPC’s image in the community and for seeking ways for SSPC to partner with and engage the community for the sake of the Gospel. AA and Al-Anon meet regularly at the church and have recently added an additional meeting time. Our committee supports and provides assistance to Healthy Families/Family Farms, to help fund a “seconds produce” program, providing vegetables to local communities. We increased our participation with the Abingdon Elementary Backpack Program and assisted with two summer food distributions reaching over 100 area students to insure the entire year food needs are met for hungry children.
Social Witness and Creation Care: It is this team’s responsibility to determine which, if any, justice issues our congregation should advocate for on a state or national level and make recommendations to the Session accordingly. This team also has responsibility for assuring that the congregation practices responsible stewardship and care of the beautiful and bountiful world that God has provided.
Service/Work Trips: This team organizes all mission work trips of the congregation, regardless of age group or affiliated entity. They work in concert with the Ministry of Spiritual Formation and Discipleship to make sure each work trip is spiritually formative, in addition to being a witness for Christ in the world. The S&O team allocated financial support to the Appalachian Service Project. We hope this will generate an interest in hands-on service.