"If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,' and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead." James 2:15-17
The First Presbyterian Church is involved in a variety of mission projects designed to meet the needs of people at the national and international levels, as well as holding out a helping hand for those in our own community.
University of Dubuque Theological Seminary
Equally visible, but perhaps less commonly understood as a mission, is our commitment to regularly work with students from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, helping to train and shape their ministries to the Christian church at large. We, in turn, benefit from their new ideas and enthusiasms. As a congregation, we have worked directly with sixteen students in the past eighteen years. In addition, through our pastor, we have worked with an additional ten seminary students based in other Jo Daviess County towns. After completing their Supervising Practice of Ministry program with us (or with our pastor) these students have gone on to lead churches located almost literally from coast to coast, serving congregations in Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia and Wisconsin, as well as overseas in Korea. For photos and more information about our Supervised Practice of Ministry program, click here.
We also have or had relationships with several missions overseas: Chenoa Stock, who works with the Evangelical Church of Peru (IEP) and the Joining Hands Peru Network in Peru; Dr. Doug Tilton, who is the regional liaison for PC(USA) mission co-workers in Southern Africa; the biblical translation work of one of our own families in South Asia—in an area where identifying them further could cause them danger; and our on-going relationship with Linus Waruiru Day Care Centre in Kanyakine, Kenya. We previously supported the work of Rev. Doug and Elaine Baker in Northern Ireland and Rev. Brenda Harcourt, with the Presbyterian Church of East Africa in Kenya prior to their respective retirements. For photos and more information on these projects, click here.
Our most popular hands-on mission is our twice-a-year trip to serve lunch at the Dubuque Rescue Mission, which is a ministry to homeless people. For photos of one of our most recent service at the Mission, click here.
Cup of Cold Water Fund
We also set aside a certain amount of money each year in the Cup of Cold Water fund to meet the emergency needs of individuals in the community, regardless of whether those in need happen to be members or non-members. For more specific information about the mission work of our congregation for the last year that data is available, click here.
Fall Tour of Homes (1950-2005)
For 50 years, the most visible project of our congregation was the annual Fall Tour of Homes, which enabled us to generate income for a wealth of local agencies, such as CHOICES, the Son Shine Center, the Riverview Center, and so on.
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United Churches of Galena
We strongly support local ecumenical work through the United Churches of Galena and through ad hoc partnerships with other local congregations. We're particularly proud of our involvement with the Jo Daviess County chapter of Habitat for Humanity, the Galena Food Pantry and the annual CROP Walk. For more information about Habitat, click here.
Freedom Writers Project of Amnesty International
We have a group associated with the Freedom Writers project of Amnesty International, writing letters on behalf of people around the globe who have been imprisoned for their peaceful beliefs. For more information on Amnesty International, click here.
As for financial donations, we more than tithe as a congregation as well as accepting four special offering each year: three national Presbyterian collections (One Great Hour of Sharing, Peacemaking Offering and the Christmas Joy Offering) and a summertime drive for Heifer Project. For more information about the PCUSA special offerings, click here. For more information on the Heifer Project, click here.
This video from a previous year attempts to show how donations given by our members are used
by the church to carry out our congregational mission statement.