RPC members support a number of mission ministries on an ongoing basis. Among those are:
School SuppliesThe RPC annual school supplies drive will focus on items for elementary school for needy children in west suburban communities serviced by Community Support Services (headquartered in Brookfield). Please bring items to the appropriate baskets in the church lobby for distribution in early August.
Shoe DriveThe CARERS will have a box next to the monthly collection trunk for donations of lightly used shoes, and your gifts will be the first step out of poverty for many men, women and children around the world. Your gently worn or new shoes of any kind are going to people who may have never even owned a pair.
Share-A-Meal at BoulevardOnce a month we provide a Share-A-Meal (SAM) at The Boulevard (formerly the Interfaith House).
How you can serve:
Prepare a menu item that serves 10-12 (menus will be announced each month, with recipes if necessary)
Serve the dinner meal (approximate time commitment – 3 ½ hours, including travel)
Now you can look ahead for several months at opportunities for providing food and service at our monthly Share-A-Meal mission activity at The Boulevard. There are menus and opportunities to sign up on SignUpGenius.com
Contact Ellen Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Cantata & Scottish Home ServicesRPC provides worship services for residents and guests of the Scottish Home and Cantata (formerly the British Home). The Cantata service is on the first Sunday of the month at 2:00 p.m., and the Scottish Home service is on the third Sunday at 2:00 p.m. All are welcome to attend the services.
CARERS CommitteeThe CARERS Committee is a sub-committee of the RPC Deacons. Their mission is to help people in need in the Chicago area. Through our affiliation with the First Presbyterian Church of Chicago in the Woodlawn Area:
We collect and deliver food for the First Presbyterian Food Pantry each month. RPC members are helping approximately 150 people/families who receive food items every Thursday.
Once a year, we have a collection of warm coats, jackets, hats, gloves and scarves to help keep many people warm during Chicago’s cold winter months.
We have a loose coin offering on the first Sunday of the month. The money that is collected is sent directly to First Presbyterian Church of Chicago to help with their Food for Life program. This program serves 150 to 200 individuals (adults and children) every Tuesday.
Every month, we notify the congregation of the “Food of the Month,” which is collected for First Presbyterian Church in Chicago, the Riverside Township Food Pantry, or other local charities.
Blankets+Blankets+ is a special mission opportunity to assist people in need around the world. Your contributions provide the means to transform lives and communities when they are faced with an emergency or simply struggling to put food on the table. For 65 years, Church World Service has worked in partnership with local communities to identify their needs and access the resources they need to build the foundation for a more viable future, including: blankets, tents, food and other emergency supplies in the wake of a disaster; tools and seeds for refugees returning home to replant their fields; wells for families living in drought-prone areas to provide clean, safe water to drink and to irrigate crops and gardens; literacy training and microcredit for women struggling to feed their families. Checks should be made out to Riverside Presbyterian Church and marked Blankets+.
BEDSFor twenty years, BEDS has been offering a warm meal and safe sleeping locations for the west suburban homeless community from October 15 to April 30. Individuals from RPC have volunteered at the BEDS church sites in Western Springs, LaGrange, LaGrange Park, Brookfield, Indian Head Park and Lyons. Volunteer opportunities include helping to prepare and serve meals, and assisting in preparing for overnight stays.
The Boulevard (formerly Interfaith House)The Boulevard is a respite facility for homeless men and women who are recovering from a recent illness or hospitalization and have nowhere to go. It provides a temporary home for about 64 adults with a 3 months’ duration. The staff provides trips to doctors, nourishing food, clothing, and contact with social services and counselors. They have a 72% success rate (2010) in locating suitable work and housing for these formerly homeless individuals.
Your contributions will help supply them with the means to regain their dignity and face the challenges of returning to everyday living. A list of wishes is posted in the CARERS’ Corner adjacent to the pastor’s office.
Garden MinistryShare the Harvest is a network of partners committed to direct, hands-on action to alleviate hunger in our communities by sharing God’s grace and compassion through gifts from their gardens. In addition to produce grown in members’ home gardens, a garden at the church produces fresh vegetables for local food banks. In 2015, to help care for God’s creation, RPC planted a butterfly and hummingbird garden on church grounds.
Project LinusProject Linus is a non-profit organization that provides homemade blankets to children in need. Several RPC members make 4-inch crocheted or knitted squares that are sewn together for afghans for Project Linus.
Heifer InternationalDan West (1893-1971), a Christian aid worker in Spain during their civil war, agonized over the life-and-death decisions involving cups of reconstituted milk he gave to starving children. It was never enough, and infants who received no milk died. These children don’t need a cup of milk; they need a cow, he thought. He dreamed of bringing some cows from his native Indiana so they could produce their own milk. Then he got another idea: Why not send pregnant cows, so those who receive the gift of life in the name of Jesus Christ can pass it along to others and become part of the chain?
When he returned home in 1938, he told dairy farmers in his town of his idea. When WW II ended, West and others began to ship cows and then sheep, goats, chickens, and rabbits to people on both sides of the conflict. The idea grew and many churches joined in. Since then, millions of animals have been given to people in 128 different countries by the organization Dan West founded: Heifer International. (Reprinted from The Upper Room daily devotional of December 4, 2006.)
The children of RPC are carrying on West’s dream by proving that every penny, nickel and dime can make a difference! Their weekly offerings support the purchase of animals for people around the world.