Update on our Refugee Families
We are thrilled to share the news that our two refugee families now have homes! Both families moved into two-bedroom apartments just south of Devon Avenue in Rogers Park in early November, and they are beginning to adjust to their new lives in America. Lots has happened over the past few weeks:
-Children from both families have started school at Clinton School in Rogers Park, and we are looking for pre-school/special ed programs for their younger siblings.
-Both families are now receiving food stamp assistance until they are able to offset the costs of purchasing food through employment income. Fortunately, many stores in their new Rogers Park neighborhood offer food options that are similar to those found in their home countries.
-Adults have applied for and received social security cards which enable them to seek active employment. Dads in both families are looking for jobs.
-Both apartments are furnished with basic furniture provided by World Relief…and generous contributions from members of our congregation who donated bunk beds, tables, chairs, lamps, toys, books, microwaves and many other household items to make their new lives in America more comfortable. Thanks to everyone who has aided in setting up these two new homes.
– Both the Beshara (Sudanese) and Habib (Afghani) families have warm winter outerwear, thanks to the contributions of the fpcw congregation. Everyone now has a winter jacket, boots, hat, scarf, and mittens/gloves…as well as many other items of clothing suitable for braving the cold Chicago winters. The weather here is definitely a lot different from the more temperate climates of the refugee camps in Ethiopia (Besharas) and Pakistan (Habibs) where the families lived before coming to Chicago.
In a complex and ever changing world, our mission outreach efforts focus on sharing our gifts and spreading God’s love to our neighbors and to the world God made and loves.
Our Mission Partners are a vital part of the fpcw community. Their partnership allows us to share our gifts of time, talent, and resources to create positive change as we work to become a more faithful community.
For more on all of our current Mission Partners, download the Mission Partner Catalog.
Come BE Mission at fpcw
What is mission? How would you describe mission to a friend who doesn’t go to church?
When we describe mission only as “doing” we reduce and limit mission to a transaction – we have more and you have less, so we’ll give you more, so you have more.
However, when we describe mission at “being” we add relationship and joy and spiritual growth. Mission is not just doing good for the sake of doing good. Because we are all children of God, mission is being Christ in the world AND receiving Christ from the world, from those whom we serve.
Family Matters has been developing youth and their leadership skills to facilitate positive social change in the North of Howard community since 1987. Through fpcw, you can sign up to tutor a student (all grades, all subjects) one day a week (Adults).
Good News Partners is a faith-based, asset-based community development organization (ABCD), focused on housing, education, and economic development. Through fpcw you can…attend the fpcw/GNP joint bible study each first Thursday (Adults); volunteer one, two or three days at the after school program from 3:30 to 6:30 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays (Adults).
To sign up for GNP after school tutoring/activities: Sign up Genius link
To signup to provide GNP meals: Sign up Genius link
The Night Ministry is a Chicago-based organization that works to provide housing, health care and human connection to members of our community, struggling with poverty or homelessness. Through fpcw, you can…at 4:30 on the second Tuesdays of each month, make sandwiches (Families) and/or drive food to Humboldt Park and pass out sandwiches (Adults).
Sign up to participate in the Night Ministry: Sign up Genius link
Our overall goal in Malawi is to be present to what God is doing at fpcw and in the CCAP (Church of Central Africa Presbyterian) so as to broaden our understanding of who God is and how God is at work in the world. Through fpcw, you can…build our partnership with the Katawa congregation through prayer, regular Skype communication (Adults); be in relationship and provide support for the widows’ group, men’s group or youth as they seek economic sustainable ventures to support their ministries and their care of the most vulnerable among them (Adults).
To join the Malawi team, and help support our partnership here or there, contact Bob Bobesink.
Family Promise’s mission is to help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence. Through fpcw, you can…volunteer to cook dinner and eat with our guests (Families) or stay overnight (Adults) when we host here at fpcw or at Congregation Sukkat Shalom, our community hosting partner; volunteer at the Day Center in Evanston or be part of the team to coordinate our hosting (Adults).
Sign up to participate: Sign up Genius link
Children, Youth, Family ministries will continue to foster the joy in helping others through mission. Through fpcw,you can…design and coordinate a family mission project; participate in family mission service opportunities.
The New Trier Food Pantry is an important service for residents whose incomes do not cover all their needs. Through fpcw, you can…create a team to organize the collection and delivery of food donations to the New Trier Pantry; commit to donating food monthly to the fpcw Food Donation Basket (located in the entrance way closest to the parking lot).
Good News Partners is a faith-based, asset-based community development organization (ABCD), focused on housing, education, and economic development. Through fpcw, you can…attend the Homeless Awareness Workshop after worship service (Date TBA) and attend outings (bowling, movies, the zoo) with GNP families (Dates TBA).
The Giving Tree allows those without resources to receive Christmas gifts through Association House, Erie House, Orchard Village and Good News Partners. Requests for gifts are hung from a Christmas tree in the narthex each year during November.
Good News Partners Christmas Store is a discount gift store open in mid-December for Good News Partner residents where our assistance is always welcome to greet and wrap gifts purchased.
Orchard Village Holiday Gathering holiday cheer is shared in mid-December with residents of Orchard Village, an organization that seeks to optimize personal outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities through a community-integrated approach.
YWCA Race Against Hate is an annual memorial race and walk in mid-June to raise funds for the YWCA that is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity.
Come join us for informative panel discussions on topics that include Domestic Violence (TBA in October) and Mental Health and Healing (TBA). For each, we bring in a group of experienced professionals to provide perspective and lead the dialog (Adults).
Annual Fundraising Benefits that fpcw members sponsor and attend include Family Matters, Family Promise, Warming House Youth Center, Seraj Library Project, Good News Partners, Connections for the Homeless, Orchard Village, and more.
We follow Christ’s lead as disciples and feed those who come to the table. To relieve hunger and help break the cycle of homelessness, we work with a number of nonprofit community agencies that help put families back on their feet with counseling, job-hunting assistance, safe shelter, food, and transitional housing.
The mission of Family Promise Chicago North Shore is to help families with young children in homeless situations return quickly to permanent housing.
Good News Partners
Good News Partners is a faith-based organization with a mission to end homelessness and hopelessness for everyone God brings to them and to foster justice and build bridges of reconciliation.
The Night Ministry
The Night Ministry was founded with the goal of reaching out at night to the homeless and disenfranchised in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago.
Sarah’s Circle is a refuge for women who are homeless or in need of a safe place by providing housing assistance, case management, referral services, and life necessities.
The Boulevard (formerly Interfaith House)
Interfaith House provides a healing environment and resources to help ill and injured homeless adults restore their health, rebuild their lives and regain self-sufficiency.
RHINO (Rebuilding Hope in New Orleans) helps families rebuild their lives, both physically and spiritually, in the wake of natural disasters.
Through our Mission Partners and special events we provide year-round support to a variety of organizations that help build self-sufficiency, strengthen low-income families, build important skills, and promote physical and emotional health and wellness.
Samaritan Counseling Center
Samaritan Counseling Center’s mission is to offer hope, healing and restoration to wholeness in a confidential manner that is professional, ethical, caring and accessible to all.
Family Service Center
Family Service Center provided therapeutic counseling to individuals, couples and families and serves on the crisis support teams of New Trier and Northfield Townships.
Haven Youth and Family Services collaborates with schools and other community agencies to help youth and their families in crisis.
The mission of Orchard Village is to partner with families and communities to optimize personal outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities through a community-integrated approach.
To help alleviate continued suffering in areas of conflict, we sustain the efforts of organizations that work to foster a just and lasting peace in the Middle East through education and advocacy. Closer to home, we also support organizations that strive to reduce aggression in our neighborhoods, end domestic violence, and remind us of God’s love for all of His children.
Friends of Sabeel
Friends of Sabeel seeks to amplify the voice of Palestinian Christians and to work with peace builders of all faiths and convictions to create a just peace in Palestine/Israel.
Hands of Peace
Through the process of dialogue among multi-cultural youth, Hands of Peace engages its participants to challenge stereotypes, question how conflict is portrayed in the media and in school, form deep friendships with their “enemies,” and think critically about how peace might be achieved.
Between Friends focuses on a mission of eradicating domestic violence throughout Chicagoland.
YWCA Evanston (Domestic Violence Services, Race Against Hate)
The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
Encouraging literacy, helping at-risk high school students graduate with employable skills, and helping students stay in touch with their Christian heritage are the three primary goals of our support to education.
Lake View Academy
Lake View Academy, a program of Lake View Presbyterian church since 1972, is a small diverse alternative high school.
Family Matters (including the fpcw-Family Matters Partners in Education)
Family Matters has partnered with the North of Howard community since 1987, developing leadership that facilitates positive social change – at the individual, family, community and systematic levels.
Erie Neighborhood House
Erie Neighborhood House was founded as a Presbyterian mission in 1870 to create a welcoming, supporting community for Chicago’s low-income and immigrant residents.
Holy Cross School Belize
The mission of Holy Cross Anglican School and Education Foundation is to strive to provide the highest quality primary education to the disadvantaged children in San Mateo and San Pedro, Belize.
Seraj Library Project
Seraj Library Project’s mission is to assist in the education of Palestinian villagers of all ages and faiths through the development of high quality and accessible library programs.
Warming House Youth Center
The Warming House Youth Center in Wilmette provides participants with a supportive environment and teen-focused programming.
Through our Mission Partners, we seek to sustain and advance Christianity around the world. We support the work of Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) and its Presbytery, Synod, and General Assembly, which support clergy, churches, service and witness, ecumenical partnerships, and mission recruitment. In addition, we also join fellow Presbyterians in special Sunday offerings and support those who are suffering in the midst of natural and man-made tragedies through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.
Shared Mission – Presbytery, Synod, General Assembly
Shared Mission Giving from all churches in the presbytery helps assure professional, inspired, and compassionate efforts toward filling these needs: building partnerships, advancing justice, empowering ministry, developing congregations, providing resources and supporting churches.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
PDA is the emergency and refugee program of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.
We also support our local and global Christian neighbors in many ways as well. Of note is our joy-filled, fruitful relationship with our friends in Central Church of Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), Katawa congregation in Malawi. We are grateful for the ongoing exchange of gifts and prayers between our churches.
Malawi Engagement and Annual Trip/Visit
Our shared goal with our friends in Katawa, Malawi is to be present to what God is doing at fpcw and in the CCAP (Church of Central Africa Presbyterian) so as to broaden our understanding of who God is and how God is at work in the world.
Read our Malawi Blog
PCUSA World Mission Co-Worker sponsorship (the McGills and Holms)
We have supported Jim and Jodi McGill with their focus on clean water, sanitation and healthcare (malaria, HIV/AIDS prevention) in partnership with the CCAP since 1995.
Gatina United Church
The Gatina United Church, located in a slum of Nairobi, Kenya, was officially established in 2006 as a result of a major gift from fpcw. In partnership with the Lavington United Church and Winnetka Presbyterian Church, we continue to support the operations of Gatina United.
University Christian Ministry
UCM focuses on serving the spiritual needs of faculty, staff and students at Northwestern University.
Youth Work Trip
Each year, our youth bring the message of Christ’s love to a hurting community — they bring a message of hope, as well as having the opportunity to grow in their own Christian faith.