We emphasize mission and are always looking to ways to extend God’s mercy, justice, and compassion. We are always looking for new ways to help people in need and to help the environment.
Since 1990 we have provided a popular and delicious Pasta Dinner for the community on the first Friday of November. We serve homemade spaghetti, fettuccini alfredo, bread, salad, and pie to over 500 residents. The meal is served around family tables and take-outs are also available. Proceeds from the ticket sales are given to support local social service agencies.
Small Wonders Preschool
Our Small Wonders Preschool is a mission ministry that we offer to the children and parents of our community. Our quality staff and facility provide an ideal setting for children to learn and become comfortable with the expectations of school and teachers. Small Wonders was begun by Emily Brown, one of our members, in 2000 and was moved to the church in 2011.
Milk Club for Kids
Just $5 provides milk for one child each month at Maple (K-2) and Honeywell (3-4) grade schools. Since more than 60% of the children in our community qualify for free and reduced lunches, many go without milk. We provide $450 every month to the schools to help about 90 children in need. The Milk Club is an ongoing ministry. Members and friends give to the fund throughout the year.
Meals on Wheels
We support the CRIS senior lunch program by delivering meals every six weeks a year to about fifty homes in Hoopeston.
Change for Change
A special loose change offering is received on the third Sunday of each month and supports a variety of local needs. Recipients have included: Multi-Agency Teen Reach, families who have lost homes in fires or other disasters; Infant Needs Center, Grant Township Miracle Tree, Blessings in a Backpack, Feed My Lambs, Ministerial Association’s emergency fund, and Church World Service Blanket Sunday. When a need arises, we look to help.
Pasta Dinner Mission Support
Proceeds from our annual community Pasta Dinner are given to support local social service agencies. About $1,200 a year is distributed.
Community Vegetable Garden
We provide 24 garden plots to families to grow their own vegetables. Some of the harvest from several plots is given to the Grant Township Food Cupboard.
Denominational (PCUSA) Mission Support
Every year, about $5,000 in proceeds from the Maude Evans Permanent Endowment Fund, established by the church in 1976, is given to support the mission programs of the larger church, including the General Assembly, Synod of Lincoln Trails, and Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois.
Denominational Special Offerings
We participate in all four of the PCUSA special offerings every year. Members give about $2,000 each year to:
- One Great Hour of Sharing: national and international disaster assistance
- Pentecost Offering: programs serving at-risk youth
- Peacemaking Offering: agencies and organizations that work for peace and conflict resolution
- Christmas Joy Offering: racial/ethnic college students and retired church workers
Vacation Bible School Missions
Our annual VBS program includes two mission components. About $400 in offerings is given to help local Hoopeston children in need. Also, gifts are made during the VBS program and sent to an international outreach program for distribution to children in need who live far away.
Community Use of Building
We offer our facility to several organizations for use in helping others, including: Vermilion County preschool screening program, Hoopeston Area School’s annual teacher appreciation dinner and student awards breakfast, and others. We are also the emergency evacuation center for the Hoopeston Area High School.
Hoopeston Area Ministerial Association
Our pastors and congregation participate in the ecumenical HAMA organization. We worship with other congregations in town on Good Friday and Thanksgiving. We support HAMA’s emergency assistance fund for area residents in need. We provide devotions at the nursing home. We encourage congregations and pastors to talk with one another and to share ministry together.
Grant Township Food Cupboard
We support the Grant Township Food Cupboard with monthly collections of food items and financial support.
Hoopeston Animal Shelter
We support the Hoopeston Animal Shelter with a monthly collection of items and financial support.
Fair Trade Coffee
All coffee served during fellowship and meals is fair trade coffee. The fair trade ministry provides third world farmers a direct market for their goods. It pays them fair prices for their labors, bypassing middlemen, and encourages environmentally friendly farming practices.
We participate in the Hoopeston recycling service and recycle all our paper, cardboard, glass, and plastic. We also have bins to collect used ink jet cartridges, batteries, and CFL light bulbs, and old cell phones and take them to recycling centers. We want to keep these hazardous materials out of our landfills.
During our community Pasta Dinner in early November, we offer a Greater Gifts sale of seasonal crafts made by artisans around the world. All proceeds from this sale go directly to the artists. This provides them a market for their goods and a fair price.
Our youth group participates in the State of Illinois’ Adopt-a-Highway program. Several times a year they clean a two-mile stretch of Route 9, from Route 1 to the east end of town. They walk both sides of the road picking up paper, bottles, cans, car parts, and any other trash they might find.
Youth Mission Trip
Every summer our middle school and high school youth, along with adult leaders, go on a mission trip to help serve God by helping others. In recent years they have done mission work in Lexington, KY, Atlanta, GA; Washington D.C.; New Orleans, LA; and Pittsburgh, PA.