From the Interim Executive,

Last year, the Synod awarded eleven Matthew 25 grants to congregations and ministries in five presbyteries. These grants (up to $5000) targeted building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism, and eradicating systemic poverty. (You can read about recipients here.)

I recently received an update on the food pantry for which First Presbyterian Church of Pontiac (in Detroit Presbytery) received $5000. This church, with 130 members, initiated this ministry at the beginning of the pandemic. It is inspiring to me that all of the changes that came suddenly in March of 2020 turned their attention outward to those in need, while also tending to new ways to offer worship services and other ministries primarily focused on their own members.

The growth in this ministry has been impressive. Of course when it first opened, word had yet to spread so numbers were fairly modest. In 2021, however, they served a little more than 300 families and 200 individuals in the first quarter. By the fourth quarter, the number of families had tripled to almost 900, with 300 individuals to boot.

I love that this small-to-medium sized church took on a God-sized task, and are helping families all over their community to experience more of the abundant life that Jesus wants for them.

I know there are stories like this all throughout the Synod—I’d love to know what your congregation or ministry has undertaken to join Christ’s mission to the world!  Maybe I’ll get to tell your story in a month to come!

Your partner in ministry,

Rev. Charles B Hardwick, PhD
Interim Executive