Outreach commitments are a high priority for our congregation at First United Presbyterian Church. Individual members commit to life-long active service and join together to extend their reach beyond what an individual can achieve. Far beyond the corner of Calvin and Knox, our mission extends God’s love and compassion around our community, the Presbytery of Arkansas, the U.S.A. and the world. The Outreach Committee plays a small role to help support some of the many efforts of individual members.
We stress hands-on involvement, and becoming personally involved in serving as Christ’s hands and heart in the world is a goal for each member as emphasized in our congregational vision. These practical involvements sustain and uplift members who undertake them, and encourage the whole church family.
Some of us devote time for purchasing and sorting needed food and supplies or interviewing patrons at the food bank of Fayetteville’s Cooperative Emergency Outreach. Others may plan, prepare or deliver a lunch meal for 100 patrons of Fayetteville’s Seven Hills Homeless Shelter. Others may join building crews at local Habitat sites or in more distant hurricane relief home rebuilding projects on the gulf coast, or those affected by tornados. Still others may teach and escort Sunday School children to the headquarters of Arkansas’ own Heifer International, which provides animals for sustainable agriculture around the world. We are working on new ways of organizing “hands on” service and outreach in order to make it more feasible for a larger percentage of our congregation.
We have also set a goal of a longer term involvement with one global outreach involvement that can become a sustained relationship of mutual support over a number of years. Our ministry with the Presbytery of Honduras includes working through PC(USA) missionaries, and Heifer Project International Regional Directors Tim and Gloria Wheeler to serve alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ building homes in rural Honduras. We also have partnered with other Presbyterian congregations in Northwest Arkansas and across Arkansas in extending Solar Under the Sun into Honduras, bringing sustainable power to communities “off the grid.” Scholarships for children to continue their education past the 6th grade, when tuition is required, and Spanish language children’s Bibles are another part of our NW Arkansas ministry in Honduras.
Our legacy is firmly grounded. Individual members through the years have been instrumental in helping to found or direct important community outreach organizations in Northwest Arkansas, such as Butterfield Trail Village, Cooperative Emergency Outreach, The Richardson Center, Fayetteville Creative School, Life Styles, Single Parent Scholarship Fund, local chapters of Habitat for Humanity, First School and others.
Financial support from First United Presbyterian Church continues to embrace local, regional and world-wide outreach efforts, in cooperation with the national PC(USA), the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. We strive to educate and inform members of the good their contributions do in spreading the gospel, serving the common good, and helping the world to better reflect God’s purpose of wholeness for it.