Justice and WitnessWe are a community focused on spreading God’s love in our community and the world. We are pledged to actively oppose injustices toward any person or group, locally, nationally and globally. Our work addresses poverty, hunger, homelessness and environmental justice.
Faith In Action
We provide many ongoing volunteer opportunities and hands-on service projects that allow our members to experience firsthand the satisfaction and joy of sharing their gifts with those in need while learning about how we can be of even greater assistance in their often systemically desperate situations. The value of serving others begins early with our children and youth who participate in mission activities throughout the year, including annual summer work trips for our middle and high school students.
We have a long-standing relationship with three Narcotics Anonymous groups who provide an invaluable service to those trying to become and stay clean. They meet in the church during the week.
Hands-On Service Projects
360 Communities delivers safety and stability that improves lives. With three effective program areas and community partnerships, we build trusting relationships, break cycles of violence, and produce measurable success. FPC-SSP has been working with 360 Communities during our all church service projects where over 100 members, of all ages, participate in raising funds and then creating hygiene kits for Dakota County schools to distribute as needed.
Fare for All
Fare for All began in Minnesota in 1986 as Fare Share, part of a nationwide network of Cooperative Food Purchasing programs. It was run locally by Ramsey Action Program (RAP), a non-profit in St. Paul. RAP started Fare Share to encourage volunteerism and stretch food budgets. The mission committee shares the monthly Fare for All calendar with our congregation.
A social service agency providing emergency and supportive services to the communities of northern Dakota County in MN. FPC-SSP regularly contributes to Neighbors food shelf, houses the Come As You Are program twice a month, supports the Holiday Gift Program, and many other programs.
Union Gospel Mission
Union Gospel Mission helps people rebuild their lives through a variety of time-tested and proven life-changing programs. FPC-SSP is proud to support the Union Gospel Mission by contributing bags of food for Twin Cities’ families during Thanksgiving.
Project Home engages area faith communities to provide emergency shelter space and volunteer support for Ramsey County families facing homelessness. Each month, two different area faith communities host 20 emergency shelter beds. FPC-SSP supports Project Home by providing an overflow shelter one month of the year.
American Red Cross Blood Drive
The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. FPC-SSP along with other South St. Paul churches host and co-ordinate quarterly blood drives.
Blessing Bags for Homeless
The mission committee of FPC-SSP encourages members to minister to those in our community by offering blessing bags, or self-created bags that can be handed out to people while sitting at a red light. Multiple suggestions for contents can be found on the internet.
Catholic Charities Family Service Center Dinners
Catholic Charities is the largest comprehensive social service nonprofit in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul region, serving thousands of people through 36 different programs at over 17 locations. Members from FPC-SSP prepare a delicious meatloaf dinner bi-monthly for a local homeless shelter.
Feed My Starving Children
As a Christian non-profit organization, Feed My Starving Children is called to feed God’s starving children hungry in body and spirit. Many youth and adults of FPC-SSP regularly volunteer at Feed My Starving Children throughout the year.
Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels is a community-based service that provides fresh, nutritious meals delivered directly to the homes of seniors and individuals with disabilities throughout the Twin Cities. In addition to regularly providing healthy food, caring volunteers provide social connections that help meal recipients live independently in their own homes. FPC-SSP supports Meals on Wheels and some members are regular volunteers.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance enables congregations and mission partners of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to witness to the healing love of Christ through caring for communities adversely affected by crises and catastrophic events. FPC-SSP both contributes money to the Disaster Assistance and well as members volunteering to serve.
We strive to remove barriers to equal justice and opportunity in our society; to support community involvement and legislation to effect social justice goals; and to promote educational opportunities that encourage critical thinking, while providing resources for research and fact checking.
Our goals are to:
- Promote Social justice for all of God’s children
- Affirm BIPOC Lives Matter (Black, Indigenous and People of Color)
- Support LGBTQIA+ people locally and via the More Light movement
- Promote Environmental Stewardship and be an Earth Care Congregation
- Serve Others
“And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
We are committed to be informed and active advocates for peace and justice, advising our government’s local, national and international public policies.
Social Justice Opportunities
More Light Presbyterians
We believe, as a child of God to include in the umbrella of God’s welcome – that gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons are created in the image of God; a counter to the prevailing assumption that we were an abomination in the eyes of God. That LGBTQ people are welcome in the life of the church just like any other sibling in Christ. At FPC-SSP we are proud to be a more light church where all are welcome here.
Narcotics Anonymous is a global, community-based organization with a multi-lingual and multicultural membership. FPC-SSP houses NA meetings twice a week.
Office of Public Witness
The Presbyterian Office of Public Witness is the public policy information and advocacy office of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Its task is to advocate, and help the church to advocate, the social witness perspectives and policies of the Presbyterian General Assembly. Members of FPC-SSP are informed about public policy information and encouraged to be advocates through emails and information shared by the Social Justice in Action committee.
Interfaith Action of the Twin Cities
We unite the people, resources, and voice of the faith community to build a more just, safe, and livable Greater Saint Paul for all.
Earth Care Congregations commit to the “Earth Care Pledge” and must accomplish a specific number of actions each year toward caring for God’s earth in four categories: worship, education, facilities and outreach. We have been in the program since 2012.
We also support organizations advocating policies that protect the earth and its environment.
Earth Care Congregations have committed to the “Earth Care Pledge” and accomplish a specific number of actions toward caring for God’s earth in four categories: worship, education, facilities, and outreach. FPC-SSP continues to be an Earth Care Congregation.
To build long-term trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound, to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers and to demonstrate, through our success, the contribution of worker co-operatives and Fair Trade to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world. FPC-SSP sells equal exchange products in our office.
Adopt-A-Street is open to community groups, civic groups, churches, families and individuals. FPC-SSP has adopted a portion of Wentworth Avenue in West St. Paul. Twice a year members of the church clean up trash along the street.
Garden on the Hill
First Presbyterian is committed to protecting God’s creation. In 2013, we transformed unused land into an organic garden. Twenty-two plots are rented to members and neighbors to grow nutritious food for their families. Master Gardeners use a section to run seed trials for the University of Minnesota and grow produce for the food shelf. Volunteers use additional plots to grow produce for the food shelf and to offer at the Sunday morning Farmer’s Market.
Since 2013, we have donated 8856 pounds of organic vegetables and $4,215 cash from the Community Garden and Sunday Farmer’s Market to the food shelf at Neighbors, Inc. in South St. Paul.
How to get involved:
- Volunteer to help with the food shelf garden.
- Rent an organic garden plot. They will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis with priority given to church members and neighbors.
- Visit the Master Gardener’s plot and attend their free classes to learn more about organic gardening.
The primary goal of this garden is to give people a place to grow fresh, nutritious food for their families and the food shelf. We welcome people of all cultures, with little or lots of gardening experience.
Gardeners must agree to use only organic gardening methods. Commercial chemical products, including herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, are not allowed in this garden.
One of the greatest benefits of community gardening is learning from other gardeners. Master Gardeners will teach free classes and demonstrate organic gardening methods in their Seed Trial Garden. Experienced gardeners are almost always on hand and eager to share their knowledge and skills with gardening novices.