News from The Mission Team
Thanks for your support! We encourage you to contribute your piece to our church mission work.
The Mission Team of First Presbyterian Church is blessed with the opportunity and responsibility to discern where and how God’s Spirit directs us to invest the energy and resources of this congregation, and to work to promote and expand mission opportunities to FPC and the larger community. Mission Team frames its work around this core value: “To love and serve neighbors near and far in their physical, spiritual, social, and emotional needs.”
As we continue with many established areas of outreach ministry, we also are looking for new opportunities to live our core value. An exciting ministry that is developing is Welcoming the Stranger. We are using a mini-grant from Winnebago Presbytery to support our efforts as a congregation to demonstrate welcome and hospitality to the immigrant population in our community. Activities have included: congregational education; reaching out in fellowship to the new Wausau Masjid of the Islamic Society of Central Wisconsin; hosting Voces de la Frontera and the Mexican Consulate for a “Know Your Rights” workshop; co-sponsoring a meeting on immigration issues for regional faith leaders; and presently spearheading a community event on immigration issues with WIPPS/One Wausau to be held this coming spring.
The excitement of new possibilities continues with our progress with the Free Medical Clinic. An Internal Operations Committee composed of church and community volunteers was created to guide efforts. The IOC developed a detailed business plan, obtained zoning approval from the city, solicited sufficient supplies and equipment to operate the clinic, organized a community advisory committee, started a major capital campaign which has already raised over $100,000, opened an outreach clinic at Catholic Charities Warming Center this fall, received recognition from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for liability coverage, and began the process of accreditation with the Wisconsin Association of Free and Charitable Clinics.
Our feeding ministries continue be our largest community outreach providing opportunities to help with food insecurity issues within our community. During 2018, the Food Pantry served 1,078 family units, totaling 2057 adults and1068 children. Twenty-one congregations and community organizations served the Sunday Community Suppers to 3,426 guests. The Food Pantry Garden Project, yielded over 155 pounds of produce for our pantry, a 25% increase over our largest harvest. The 49th Annual Friends Thanksgiving Dinner, provided a Thanksgiving meal to 142 individuals and delivered 487 dinners. FPC youth and adults joined over 100 community volunteers to again make this a successful community outreach.
Other Mission supported projects include:
- Support of the Wausau Community Warming Center with volunteers providing a meal on the first and third Fridays of each month from November through April, as well as volunteering and collecting donated supplies for the Center.
- NAOMI, a faith-based organization working to make a positive difference in the lives of area residents.
- Salvation Army Bell Ringing
- Support of the Community Center of Hope
- Several Produce Sundays and Egg and Cheese Sunday
- Support of the Human Trafficking Initiative
- Help for the Homeless Hygiene Drive
- Support of Bike to Build
FPC supports the Colombia Partnership through Winnebago Presbytery. This February, Jeff Todd and Rev. Matt Sauer will represent Winnebago Presbytery in a meeting of the Colombia Network in Bogota.
The Mission Team is charged with interpreting the mission of the Presbytery, Synod, and General Assembly and to encourage and facilitate our congregation’s participation. Throughout the year our contributions not only support the general mission of the Presbytery and General Assembly but include these special offerings:
- One Great Hour of Sharing – $1,592. Our gifts assist those affected by natural disasters, provide food to the hungry, and help build strong communities.
- Pentecost Offering – $1126. These gifts help the church encourage, develop, and support its young people, and also address the needs of at-risk children. 40% of this offering stays in our local community, this year given to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services.
- Peace and Global Witness Special Offering – $843. This offering supports PCUSA’s Global Peacemaking Program. 25% was presented to the Wausau Community Warming Center.
- Christmas Joy Offering – $1,260. The gifts from this offering are split between the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and to support student scholarships at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges.
Countless individuals are blessed through your compassionate and generous support of the mission work of FPC. You affect the lives of so many. You are a blessing.