Weekday Email to Members and Friends – 2020-07-28

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                                                                   The Heart of Mission
                                                                           July 28, 2020 

Raindrop Offering 2020 – www.firstpres.church/raindropoffering
As July comes to a close so does our Raindrop Offering. If you intended to give but just never got around to it, the link is still active and the church office will still accept checks. Thank you to everyone who contributed their time and monetary gifts to help alleviate the impact of COVID19 on our neighbors on the border. I am so grateful to the World Mission Committee who was so thoughtful about who they chose to be our recipient, Frontera de Cristo, and the plan they made to get the word out to you all through minute for missions, newsletter articles, and interviewing Claudia Kirby. It took some time and planning. I learned a little more about web design and iMovie in the process! And I really enjoyed reconnecting with Frontera de Cristo on their “Coffee, Conversation and Compassion” Thursdays. Note the reminder below on when they resume.
And, speaking of the impact of raindrops, and quietly while we have been huddled in our homes, the garden at the church has grown. Thank you to Mark and Kathy Schoeffmann for their work and all the Environmental Committee “Green Team” who helped plant the pollinator gardens and have been keeping the church gardens looking good. Below are a few of these beautiful pictures Kathy sent in answer to Matt’s question, “Where have you seen God lately?”

Rachel Matthews, Temporary Mission Coordinator

News from Frontera de Cristo
On Thursday, August 6th, we will resume our “Conversations.” We welcome your ideas and suggestions for topics or ministries that you’d like to know more about. Please send your ideas to mark@fronteradecristo.org
The coffee “special” will continue through August 31st. You can continue to order your coffee online here and help your sisters and brothers during the pandemic. You will receive delicious 100% organic coffee cultivated, roasted, and shipped by the Café Justo cooperative and your purchase will continue to help families affected by COVID-19. We invite you to comment on the campaign on our Facebook page and invite friends to order Café Justo.
More Mission Announcements:
Community Mission Deacons 4th Tuesday meeting July 28, 4:30pm Zoom.

Matthew 25 Congregation News from the Presbyterian Mission Agency:
As a Matthew 25 church, you are invited to join us as we celebrate the common mission that calls all of us to actively engage in the world around us.

The three focuses of the Matthew 25 vision are to build congregational vitality, eradicate systemic poverty and dismantle structural racism. In view of the current unrest and protest in our nation, the call to be a Matthew 25 church is more compelling than ever. This may very well be one of the first ways that churches can take steps to bring about racial justice.

Mid council leaders will share how they are using Matthew 25 to impact their ministries and communities and lead in the challenge to do something every day to raise awareness about the perniciousness of racism and encourage action in response to that awareness.
At this virtual gathering, we will:

  • celebrate your commitment to become a Matthew 25 church
  • learn how your congregation can go deeper with Matthew 25, even during this challenging time
  • inspire you to become actively engaged in changing the community and world around you.

All Matthew 25 churches are invited to join our next online gathering, July 29 at 2 p.m. (EDT) via Zoom.

Register now

Faith in Place has two webinars TODAY, Tuesday, July 28th! that you might want to attend. If you miss these, they have others if you sign up for their newsletter. This is an organization First Presbyterian Church supports through our Green Team.

·How to Save Money on Your Electric Bills

     How you can save money on your electric bills – Hosted by Christina Krost at 12 pm CSTthis informative webinar will give you the skills you need to go green at home and reduce the cost of your energy usage – a win-win!

  • Engaging Faith in Place: Covid-19, Climate Change, and Racism

     At 2pm on July 28th, Isioma Odum and Stone Temple Baptist Church will explore how you and your faith community can address Covid-19, climate change, and racism through partnering with Faith in Place.
CU at Home Prayer and Praise from their Thursday time of fasting newsletter:

  • Would you join us in prayer for one of our close friends who recently was tested for thyroid cancer? We pray God would work in ways that only He can and that test would be negative. 
  • Please pray for another one of our close friends without an address who unfortunately has relapsed and is caught in a downward spiral. We seek divine intervention in his life right now. 
  • Would you also pray for a friend who recently broke her leg? We ask God to heal her body and help her continue to turn her life around. 
  • Thank you God for a beautiful graveside service for our friend, Todd Ledbetter, last weekend. This intimate gathering gave his family and those of us who were close to him a chance to say goodbye. Many tears were shed but there was also much celebration as Todd is now in a better place! 
  • Praise the Lord for one of our friends in our housing program who has stepped into a management role where he works!  
  • Praise to Jesus for the continued health of our friends without an address and our staff as we continue to be on the front lines of COVID-19 each and every day!

Friends of P.E.B.  Thank you to all who support our students in Pakistan. They appreciate any extra you send to help defray the extra costs involved due to COVID19.
            Our First Presbyterian Church Pakistan group has paused our Wednesday afternoon book study until September. We are in the process of thinking about a new book to read. If you have one that covers the topic of education, peace through education, women empowerment and/or education on Pakistani culture, please let Rachel Matthews or Sallie Hutton know and the group will consider reading it.
Cuba Partner Network – We want to be in solidarity with our Cuba partners in Luyano and other places in Cuba. In a recent newsletter, we were asked to pray for connection, healing and support and the sick. We want to add prayers to alleviate their food shortage. I loved the scripture verses that direct us in those prayers –

  • Prayers for connection “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many..” (1 Corinthians 12: 13-14):  
  • Oraciones para conexión “porque por un solo Espíritu fuimos todos bautizados en un cuerpo, tanto judíos como griegos, tanto esclavos como libres; y a todos se nos dio a beber de un mismo Espíritu. Además, el cuerpo no es un solo miembro, sino muchos.” (1 Corintios 12,13 y 14):
  • Prayers for solidarity amongst US American and Cuban Christians as we support each other in our journeys through the pandemic. May you bring Hope and your presence into our lives.
  • Oraciones de solidaridad entre los cristianos estadounidenses y cubanos mientras nos apoyamos mutuamente en nuestros viajes a través de la pandemia. Que traigas esperanza y tu presencia a nuestras vidas.
  • Prayers for healing and support “I was sick, and you looked after me … Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.” (Matthew 25: 36, 40):  
  • Oraciones para sanar y apoyo “Estuve enfermo, y me visitaron… Les aseguro que todo lo que hicieron por uno de esos hermanos míos más humildes, por mí mismo lo hicieron.” (Mateo 25,36 y 40):
  • Prayers for the recovery of Raquel Cardona from her illness. Please wrap your loving arms around Raquel and heal her.
  • Oraciones por la recuperación de Raquel Cardona de su enfermedad. Por favor, abraza a Raquel con tus brazos amorosos y cúrala.
  • Prayers for recently hospitalized:
  • Oraciones por hospitalizados recientemente:
  • Praise for Tony’s discharge from the hospital. May he continue to feel better.
  • Alabado sea el regreso de Tony del hospital a casa. Que siga sintiéndose mejor.

DREAAM HOUSE has a safe, fun Summer program just for you! Safe outdoor recreation, academic tutoring, STEM enrichment, online mentoring, family activities, virtual field trips, programs for boys and girls, chances to earn incentives and prizes! In partnership with The Well Experience and Mahomet Area Youth Club. Special thanks to their funders Champaign County Mental Health Board, United Way of Champaign County, CommUnity Matters, and Teen REACH. For more information, call/text/email Mr. Tracy 217-560-2194 Trace@DREAAM.org
Salt and Light: Quarantine Cleanout! Eagle Scout Community Service Project.
Salt and Light is taking winter clothes for kids ages 0-12. Ava Clark from Scout Troop 10 is coordinating a children’s winter clothes drive for Salt and Light to help families in need, especially those affected by COVID. Quarantine is the perfect time to go through clothes. Coats! Gloves! Scarves! And more! Spread the warmth! We will come to you – curbside pickup! Text 217-766-9606 or 217-898-3617, or email quarantinecleanout@gmail.com and schedule a time. Curbside pickup! Because of COVID, please put donations in plastic bags before pick up! Accepting donations until August 17.

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 Maldonado Escobar (Mexico)
Farsijanna Adeney-Risakotta (Indonesia)
Jeff and Christi Boyd (Central Africa)
Jo Ella Holman (Caribbean 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
Here at First Presbyterian Church
FPCC Amateur Preachers
FPCC Environmental Committee working with Faith in Place
FPCC Presbyterian Women
FPCC Children, Youth and Families
FPCC Mission Possible/Go and Serve

             302 W. Church Street
             Champaign, IL 61820