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Ongoing Response to COVID-19

Weekday Email to Members and Friends – 2020-07-06

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Monday July 6 2020
A daily e-mailer from
Matt Matthews
 
To Members and Friends of 
First Presbyterian Church
Champaign, Illinois
 
Dear Friends,
 
            Unimaginable.
 
            There are things in life we never want to face. We know we may. We know that no one is immune. But we don’t want to face them. 
 
            In WWII—not that long ago—my grandmother hung four stars in the front window of her house signifying that she had four men in the war: her husband (a stateside major inspecting training camps, my grandfather), both sons (my father and Uncle Jim), and a son-in-law (Aunt Mary Louise’s husband, Joe). The thought of losing a son must be unimaginable.
 
            In the Broadway smash “Hamilton,” Alexander and his wife Eliza face the death of a son. It’s “unimaginable” the chorus sings.
 
Chorus: If you see him in the street/ 
walking by her side/
talking by her side/
have pity. 

He is trying to do the unimaginable/
See them walking through the park/
long after dark/
Taking in the sights of the city.

They are trying to do the unimaginable. 
 
            That’s what dealing with loss sometimes seems: unimaginable. We can’t get our minds around it. We have nothing in our play book to help us. Our emotional tool box is empty.
 
            I love this song because it reminds us that the strangers we pass by on our walk around the park may be dealing with the unimaginable. Show pity. Be kind. You never know what they may be thinking about, suffering through, grieving. It just might be unimaginable.
 
            One of our DREAAM families is working through the death last week of a young daughter in a car accident. Laketia Thomas’s daughter Leondra Hopkins died. Melo, the brother, is a DREAAMer. Tracy Dace and his staff have responded with care and grace.
 
            And on Wednesday near midnight, Todd Ledbetter, a homeless man who sat and slept (and sometimes preached) on the park bench in front of the Episcopal Church across State Street from West Side Park was brutally beaten to death. On Friday, Damon Rowell and I sat on that bench awhile and visited his friends who grieved. We brought cold Gatorade, but they were drinking stronger stuff. We prayed. A parking lot service lead by Rev. Beth Maynard will happen soon.
 
            Unimaginable.  
 
            Your church is attempting to walk alongside those who grieve. It would be unimaginable if we didn’t. We are a part of something bigger that transcends our small lives. Your contributions matter. Thank you for your prayers. 

News
Men’s Breakfast Bible Study Tuesdays 8 am

Email zoom@firstpres.church for the link.

 
Take on Race:
 
  Racism
 
            When the wound stops bleeding,
            Will it heal?
            Will the rent flesh clot, scab, peel?
            Will the skin be as smooth to the touch,
                        as wondrous a sight,
            As Black or as Yellow,
            As Red or as White?   (C. Moore Grace)
  
* * *
 
Let America Be America Again
By Langston Hughes
 
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.
 
(America never was America to me.)
 
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.
 
(It never was America to me.)
 
O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.
 
(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)
 
Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?
 
I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.
 
I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!
 
I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.
 
Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”
 
The free?
 
Who said the free?  Not me?
Surely not me?  The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.
 
O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.
 
Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!
 
O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!
 
Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!
 
Good Word: 
 
Romans  7:14-25        
14 For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. 15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17 But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23 but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
 
So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.
 
Let us pray 
 
From Desmond Tutu:
 
The right hand of God is writing in our land,
Writing with power and with love.
Our conflicts and our fears, our triumphs and our tears
Are recorded by the right hand of God.

The right hand of God is pointing in our land,
Pointing the way we must go.
So clouded is the way, so easily we stray,
But we’re guided by the right hand of God.

The right hand of God is striking in our land,
Striking out at envy, hate and greed.
Our selfishness and lust, our pride and unjust
Are destroyed by the right hand of God.

The right hand of God is lifting in our land,
Lifting the fallen one by one.
Each one is known by name, and rescued now from shame,
By the lifting of the right hand of God.

The right hand of God is healing in our land,
Healing broken bodies, minds and souls,
So wondrous is its touch, with love that means so much,
When we’re healed by the right hand of God.

The right hand of God is planting in our land,
Planting seeds of freedom, hope and love,
In these Caribbean lands, let his people all join hands,
And be one with the right hand of God.

 
AMEN.
 
PEACE to you all,
 
Matt Matthews
Cell: 864.386.9138
Matt@FirstPres.Church



Weekday Email to Members and Friends – 2020-07-03

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Friday 3 July 2020
 
Members and Friends of 
First Presbyterian Church
Champaign, Illinois
 
Dear Friends,  
 
            “Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) 
 
* * *
 
            When my grandfather (Deda) died, my grandmother (Baba) slowly adjusted to life without him. She eventually emptied his closets and his drawers. 
 
            Deda’s workshop was in the garage. He threw his scraps in a chest-high wooden box, and fed these scraps into the potbellied stove, which took the chill off Tidewater Virginia’s winters. While she gave a lot away, Baba kept that box filled with scraps. Piece by piece she’d rescue and sand down Deda’s scraps. She’d glue them together into sculpture, staining or painting as necessary. One of my favorites, signed from 1973, is called “Extravaganza.” 
 
            I loved what she did with Deda’s leftovers. She handled each scrap gently, in a holy way, looking at each piece with imagination. Baba thought, “What can I do with this piece?” And, “What piece would go nicely with this piece?” With sandpaper, glue, patience, and love my grandmother made something extraordinary from simple scraps of wood. 
 
            When you look at these ‘sculptures,’ some just see scraps of wood. I see Baba and Deda and their love for each other, and their love for their eight-year-old grandson named Matt.
 
            On the night of his betrayal, Jesus took bread and wine and did something extraordinary with it. This bread and wine were already sacred, symbolizing the mighty acts of God in the Passover. But on that night, he said, amazingly, “This is my body, given for you.” And, “This cup is the new covenant, sealed in my blood, shed for the forgiveness of your sin.”
 
            It’s just ordinary bread and juice. There’s nothing gourmet about it. But the bread and juice remind us powerfully of Jesus. Do this in remembrance of me, he said. And we do.
 
            Some see just bread and juice. 
 
            We see the love of God. 
 
Matt Matthews
* * *
 
Rachel reminds me that my birthday is today. It’s poor form for a pastor to ask his flock for a present, but I’m asking. Consider making a donation to DREAAM House in my honor (or in anybody’s honor). I’d be SUPER glad if you did that. I love DREAAM, what they stand for, how they work, and the love the DREAAM Team has for its “dreamers.” Write a check to DREAAM and send it to the church address. Help a young person dream!
 
* * *
 
I’m preaching this Sunday about sin. This topic is sure to cause a large turnout(!) It’s also communion Sunday, so bring some bread and juice.
 
I love worshiping with you on Sundays. 
 
Invite a friend.
 
* * *
 
Pay attention to God’s activity in the world around you.
            Be amazed.
                        Tell somebody.
 
PEACE,
 
Matt Matthews
864.386.9138
Matt@FirstPres.Church
 
 
* * *
 
From your Nurture Team — We didn’t have anyone successfully guess Kathy Schoeffmann in last week’s Photo Challenge! 

   
Here’s a new photo challenge. 

Visit http://fb.com/groups/firstpreschampaign to make your guesses, or email them to photos@firstpres.church.  
 
Please join in the fun!  We would like you to select a photo from your younger years (grade school, high school or early adulthood). Photos need not be professional. Candid shots are welcome. Please send your photos to photos@firstpres.church.
 
* * *
 
A birthday song…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cs5vUfddkT8
 
Aretha!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWANdsaWhG4
 



Weekday Email to Members and Friends – 2020-07-02

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Thursday July 2 2020
A daily e-mailer from
Matt Matthews
 
To Members and Friends of 
First Presbyterian Church
Champaign, Illinois
 
 Dear Friends,
 
            Thank you for those who joined the Wednesday service for wholeness. Eric Corbin crafted a beautiful service, and he and Judi Geistlinger led it beautifully. God is good.  
 
Take on Race:
 
Racism is anti-Christian. In 2016, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved a comprehensive churchwide anti-racism policy called “Facing Racism: A Vision of the Intercultural Community.” The policy states:
Racism is a lie about our fellow human beings, for it says that some are less than others. It is also a lie about God, for it falsely claims that God favors parts of creation over the entirety of creation. Because of our biblical understanding of who God is and what God intends for humanity, the PC(USA) must stand against, speak against and work against racism. Anti-racist effort is not optional for Christians. It is an essential aspect of Christian discipleship, without which we fail to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Structural racism is not only the “opposite of what God intends for humanity,” but is also an example of how sin is systemic rather than simply personal. As the PC(USA)’s anti-racism policy states, “Reformed theology offers a nuanced understanding of sin. Calvin did not understand sin to be simply an individual belief, action, or moral failing (Calvin, 1960). Rather, he viewed sin as the corporate state of all humanity. It is an infection that taints each of us and all of us. No part of us — not our perception, intelligence, nor conscience — is unclouded by sin.”
Psalm 14:3 and Romans 3:10 remind us, “There is no one just, not even one.” The PC(USA)’s policy also reminds us that this realization “does not mean that human beings are awful. Rather, it means that we must have humility about our own righteousness, and that we must cling to the grace of God in Jesus Christ.”
 
NEWS:
 
Make a donation to DREAAM for anyone’s birthday. Send  them to the church, or directly to DREAAM at  https://www.dreaam.org/take-action

Fridays

Men’s Prayer 8:30 am
Email zoom@firstpres.church for the link.

Friday Night Lights Bible Study 7:30 pm
Email zoom@firstpres.church for the link.

Good Word: 
 
Ephesians 2:19-22
 
19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21 In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.
 
Let us pray 
 
As the wind is your symbol, so forward our goings. As the dove, so launch us heavenwards.
As water, so purify our spirits.
As a cloud, so abate our temptations. 
As dew, so revive our languor.
As fire, so purge out our dross. Amen. 
Christina Rossetti (1830–1894) 
 
PEACE to you all,
 
Matt Matthews
Cell: 864.386.9138
Matt@FirstPres.Church



Weekday Email to Members and Friends – 2020-07-01

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Wednesday July 1 2020
A daily e-mailer from
Matt Matthews
 
To Members and Friends of 
First Presbyterian Church
Champaign, Illinois
 
Dear Friends,
 
            Wholeness.
 
            That’s what we need and want for our world, for ourselves and neighbors, and our beloved church. The Hebrew tradition calls it “shalom,” which means an all-encompassing peace. Wholeness. Well-being. Welfare.
 
            This kind of wholeness transcends physical health. It’s a spiritual thing. It’s what Herbert Richardson felt in the movie “Just Mercy” right before he was executed. Since Vietnam, his mind was unsettled, and his life was addled by night sweats and terror. His time on death-row equalled constant emotional anguish. In the death chamber he said, “I have no ill feeling and hold nothing against anyone.” And for the first time in the film we see a placid man.
 
            “Shalom” is what Auther Moses “Truluv” felt even though he was sad upon the death of his wife Nola. It’s the feeling he shared with a frightened, pregnant teenager, and a grieving nextdoor neighbor in Elizabeth Berg’s novel The Story of Arthur Truluv. (A member of our church wrote me and said she wishes she could be more like Arthur, and to me, she is.)
 
            Shalom is what my family felt for a few moments last night when we watched the brief movie from their childhood, “The Snowman” based on Raymond Briggs’ classic picture book. (All three of my boys are home for my birthday.)
 
            Join us tonight for our WEDNESDAY evening gathering for a “Service of Wholeness.” We start at 7:00 and we end no later than 8:00. Together, let’s pray for shalom.
 
            See you there.  Email zoom@firstpres.church for the link.
 
Take on Race:
 
Structural racism can show up in multiple ways, including:
  • Housing discrimination that limits where people of color can live and steers them to rental markets rather than home ownership.
  • Laws and policies that deny people of color access to quality education, employment and adequate health care.
  • Food apartheid — areas deliberately devoid of quality, affordable fresh food.
  • Mass incarceration and criminal justice systems that disproportionately target people of color with lengthier sentences, “stop-and-frisk” laws, the over-policing of communities of color, the school-to-prison pipeline, etc.
  • Environmental racism — the dumping of hazardous waste, inadequate infrastructure, and lack of access to clean water that results in a range of serious health problems in communities of color.

Where have you seen racism at work?
 
NEWS:
 
Make a donation to DREAAM for your friend’s upcoming birthday!

Thursdays

Compassion, Peace & Justice 11 am
Email zoom@firstpres.church for the link.

Youth Meeting 4 pm
Email zoom@firstpres.church for the link.
 
Good Word: (read this several times…)
 
Song of Solomon 2:8-13
8   The voice of my beloved! 
          Look, he comes, 
     leaping upon the mountains, 
          bounding over the hills. 
9   My beloved is like a gazelle 
          or a young stag. 
     Look, there he stands 
          behind our wall, 
     gazing in at the windows, 
          looking through the lattice. 
10  My beloved speaks and says to me: 
          “Arise, my love, my fair one, 
          and come away; 
11  for now the winter is past, 
          the rain is over and gone. 
12  The flowers appear on the earth; 
          the time of singing has come, 
          and the voice of the turtledove 
          is heard in our land. 
13  The fig tree puts forth its figs, 
          and the vines are in blossom; 
          they give forth fragrance. 
     Arise, my love, my fair one, 
          and come away.”

Let us pray 
 
Thank you, Lord, for 
sweaty-high humidity 
that reminds me
of what I’m made of.
 
Thank you for hot 
temperatures that 
remind me of what I 
hoped for last January.
 
Thank you for long days 
to enjoy you and the 
sweet, sweet memory of
neighbors and friends.
 
AMEN.
 
PEACE to you all,
 
Matt Matthews
Cell: 864.386.9138
Matt@FirstPres.Church
 



Weekday Email to Members and Friends – 2020-06-30

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News:
Education is the Pathway to Peace 1:30 pm Wednesdays
Email zoom@firstpres.church for the link.

Midweek Online Gathering 7 pm Wednesdays
Email zoom@firstpres.church for the link.

 
 
   
                                                       

                                                                   The Heart of Mission
                                                                           June 30, 2020 

           
On June 26, 2020 Rev. Daniel Izquierdo from Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada en Luyanó, Habana, our sister church posted a sermon on Facebook called “Hold on to Hope,” based on Romans 15:13, ′′May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace that believe in him, that you may be filled with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.′′ June 26 is Cuba Presbyterianism Day. Daniel writes,

            Remembering the beginnings of our Presbyterian church in Cuba, 130 years ago, the theme of hope highlights since its founding. Evaristo Collazo, the initiator of the work, begins it justly imbued with a hope, and so writes in letter addressed to the Board of Foreign Missions of the Southern United States Presbyterian Church in March 1890: ′′ I feel inspired by the hope that this seed that the Lord, by his Spirit, has driven me to plant, will never disappear.”
            We live difficult times, it is a tangible and evident reality worldwide and in our own homeland. To our poor and inexperienced economies add damage caused by climate phenomena, plus the havoc of epidemics, especially that of Covid-19, and the possibilities for international cooperation are reduced due to the greatest economic crisis experiencing the planet, for its multiple dimensions in the social, financial, energy and ecological. Harsh realities we face and with unforgettable forecasts! It seems like we have no visible short-term solutions and hopes often fade.
            The history of the beginnings of the Presbyterian work in Cuba shows us Evaristo Collazo starting work without resources or proper preparation, only trusting by faith and hope. By faith he seeks help and asks for it, by faith he trusts to become a pastor, by faith he launches himself into distant missionary camps, amidst strong opposition then by the Catholic Church. By faith he leaves his home in Havana when he is ordered to move to Santa Clara to settle there and continue his evangelizing effort. We certainly can’t help but exclaim what a man of faith!, what a man of God!, What a vigorous hope!
            The Cuban Presbyterian church lived moments of hopelessness in the 1980’s, due to the state of its facilities, the low membership, the exhaustion of its reduced pastoral body and the lay leadership, due to the external pressures of a society declared atheist. When his forces were over, when he did not glimpse much light on the horizon, the God of history created crisis situations that caused many to look back at Him, and came the growth experienced in the 90’s, which is maintained still. And it’s valid to wonder: what did the believers then keep their choice for a ′′decadent ′′ church before human eyes, and persevere in their attempt? Can hope and a certainty of faith even if they lack the necessary answers?
            If we don’t see the way out to problems and obstacles that seem unbeatable to us, we usually surrender, we are prey to discouragement, pessimism and inaction. But the Church of the Lord, when horizons seem to collapse, must continue to seek guidance in the Word, a handle.
            God calls us to live a life of faith and hope, in love and service. It’s time to cry out to God, and humbly wait for the Lord to make us come out strengthened, it’s time to sow hope for those who have totally lost it, it’s time to be salt and light for this Cuban land. The always present God has called us to follow and serve Him, and hopes of our faithfulness, of a testimony that responds to our convictions, to continue celebrating many years of the presence of our Presbyterian church in our homeland. In these times, clinging to hope is vital. May God continue to bless us. Amen.
 
Friends, I am so grateful to our sisters and brothers in Cuba. Their hope gives me hope. So great a cloud of witnesses we have to help us grow in faith and walk the walk.
 
Peace,
Rachel Matthews,
Temporary Mission Coordinator
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS:
 
DREAAM and the Pentecost Offering – Prayers for Jessie  Riley’s fiancé, Ora Currie, who had cancer surgery June 24.  Jessie  is a saint who  works for DREAAM House.
            Praise to God for the generous givers to the Pentecost Offering which, to date, raised $5,150.  40% of that is $2,060 which goes to DREAAM. Earlier Heart of Mission newsletters have described how the other 60% is used by the PC(USA).
PUT JULY 8, 7PM ON YOUR CALENDAR  – Our Wednesday Night zoom gathering will have a mission focus.
Presbyterian Mission – The Vital Congregations team hosts weekly Zoom conversations on Wednesdays at 3pm through July 20 on the Seven Marks of a Vital Congregation. Guests from around the denomination and globe will discuss how God is using the marks to transform congregational life – as they navigate COVID and post-COVID waters. Join via https://zoom.us/j/95057957584
 
Canteen Run Remember volunteers go out Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. 
They welcome The Phoenix back to their regular place, at 70 E. Washington in Champaign, beginning on June 26. Their current need is Men’s underwear. They thank their wonderful volunteers who do the Canteen Run, those who organize the shed where we take the ambulance, the people who donate sandwiches, and those who hand in items, such as: men’s and women’s underwear, socks, blankets, coats, gloves, hats , scarves.  All of this is done though donations, people who makes the sandwiches, and volunteers and coordinator’s, and volunteer’s, without a salary. They can be reached at canteenrun@gmail.com.  Follow them on facebook and twitter at Barb Davies@canteenrun.
 
Sangla Hill, our PEB school in Pakistan – Mrs. R. Kashif, Principal, PEB School System, CG Higher Secondary Branch, Sangla Hill, wrote us a note:


A close up of a sign Description automatically generated

            Dear Friends of Sangla Hill,
                        Hoping you all will be under His hand and safe. No doubt we all are facing a very tough time due to this COVID-19. 
                        Our school remains closed and most of our parents are not in a position to pay the school fee as many have lost jobs or are unable to find daily wage jobs in the current situation.
                        But this is the grace of our Lord that we are blessed with great leadership and generous people like you who are supporting us a lot and we are still getting salaries, despite the schools having been closed for the last 3 months.
                        Thank God, with your kind prayers, we all at Sangla Hill are safe and sound and we are doing our level best to facilitate our students academically online. All teachers are working hard and have prepared notes for the students and we are providing them the hard-copies of notes. A few teachers were not able to work and help the students online, so they willingly refused to take salaries in order to reduce the financial burden on PEB. They will rejoin us when the schools will reopen.
                        Although we are working hard to continue the study of our students, we are all missing our school and students very much.
                        May our Lord Jesus Christ forgive our sins and restore our World! Amen.
            Regards, 
            Mrs. R. Kashif
            Principal, PEB School System, CG Higher Secondary Branch, Sangla Hill
 
Community Mission Deacons – Using Matthew 25 as a guideline at the June 23 CMD meeting the community mission deacons voted to donated above budgeted quarterly amounts of local mission money to the following agencies Salt and Light $1000, Jesus is the Way $1000, RUM (Restoration Urban Ministries) $1000, Faith in Action $100.
 
CU at Home – Thank you for joining them in prayer and reminds everyone that each Thursday is a special day of prayer for their ministry. They ask, “Would you consider fasting in some way (from food, television, or the computer) and praying during that time for C-U at Home? The work that we do is founded on prayer!
As a reminder, the services CU at Homes provides to our friends without an address are deemed “essential services” and we remain committed to serving those in need during this COVID-19 situation. Our Phoenix Drop-In Center hours have EXPANDED AGAIN and we are now open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat/Sun 9am-4pm.
Recently, they also announced both the men’s and women’s emergency shelters would remain OPEN for year-round services! The season was set to end April 15th but due to the needs of those they serve, and because of AMAZING community support, both shelter will remain open for the summer, fall, and beyond!
Their prayers and praise are as follows:

  • Would you join us in prayer for a friend without an address who recently had a little baby boy? As she seeks treatment for her substance abuse issues, we pray that she would find sobriety and healthy living so that she may be in her son’s life for years to come! 
  • Please pray for all our friends without an address as businesses and the places they used to hang out open back up this week. We pray that they would be welcomed and not shunned as they integrate back into the community. 
  • Would you also pray for a friend who is having knee surgery next week? We ask God to be present with the doctors and nurses and that this young lady will be up and around in no time!
  • Thank you God for the men’s and women’s shelter being fully staffed and ready to take on the summer, fall, and the rest of 2020! 
  • Praise the Lord for a friend who is getting a second chance! As we lead with grace, we thank God for the second (and sometimes third and fourth) chances He gives us! 
  • Praise to Jesus for one of our friends who stayed at the men’s shelter for 90 nights this season but last week, he moved into his own apartment! Praise God that hard work and perseverance pays off! 

 
Let us keep all our mission partners in our prayers, those who are waiting to go back to their place of ministry and those who are able to work where they are. Listen for God’s call to you in their ministry.
 
Our PC(USA) Mission CoWorkers:
Mark Adams and Miriam Maidonado Escobar (Mexico)
Farsijanna Adeney-Risakotta (Indonesia)
Jeff and Christi Boyd (Central Africa)
Jo Ella Holman (Carribean and Cuba)
Bob and Kristi Rice (South Sudan)
 
Our regional and global mission partners:
Kemmerer Village (and Camp Carew)
Lifeline Pilots
Marion Medical Mission
Mission Aviation Fellowship
Opportunity International
Friends of Presbyterian Education Board in Pakistan Presbyterian Cuba Partnership
Special Offerings of the PC(USA)
Theological Education Fund
Young Adult Volunteers
 
Here in Champaign – Urbana:
CU Better Together
CU at Home
CANAAN S.A.F.E. HOUSE
CANTEEN RUN
COURAGE CONNECTION
DREAAM
eMPTY TOMB, INC
FAITH IN ACTION
JESUS IS THE WAY PRISON MINISTRY
THE REFUGEE CENTER
RESTORATION URBAN MINISTRY
SALT & LIGHT
 
Here at First Presbyterian Church
FPCC Amateur Preachers
FPCC Environmental Committee working with Faith in Place
FPCC Presbyterian Women
FPCC ESL
FPCC Children, Youth and Families
FPCC Mission Possible/Go and Serve
 
 
 


             302 W. Church Street
             Champaign, IL 61820
             217-356-7238
             info@firstpres.church

 
   
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