me wait for my instructions. It is amazing, how He provides exactly what is needed, who is needed, and the direction for our next steps.
product needs. We are here to serve our community year-round. Because of our volunteers, we have opened our doors to serve our community by offering a Hand up instead of a Hand out.
I would like to share with you what some of our volunteers, church members, and mission partners have said about their involvement with the 1st. Pres Neighborhood Closet.
Matt’s thoughts took us back to our beginnings, “The evolution of this ministry has been absolutely inspirational to so many. We are very grateful to those who have so faithfully worked to make it happen. There are so many ways this project has blessed the members of our church, the mission partners that we coordinate with, and the people we serve. From its inception as a remake of the successful historic closet event that we have been hosting annually for decades to the point that we now have a dedicated & aesthetically pleasing permanent facility, along with some very faithful and resourceful core volunteers. Many have used their time & talents to create this new vision of serving our community that allows relationships to thrive and needs to be met on a more regular and personal basis. My hope is that 1st Pres continually becomes a 1st line of support for local kids in need through the resources we share; that we become a critical ongoing part of the support of their families – showing the love of Christ and how we are called to offer it. It would also be great to continue to inspire more members of our congregation, along with our youth, to participate in hosting & caring for the families we serve to further develop their sense of missional service. This is a great way to share HIS love and the good news of hope and healing. I love that it gives us an opportunity to approach people in need from the position of a potential relationship, rather than just a place for resources!”
Carolynn wrote in, “I have been a member of First Presbyterian Church for over 40 years. In those early years, I was proud to be a Deacon and be involved in our annual one-day Clothing Give Away. Over the years it became apparent that we needed to look at this distribution differently. While I am no longer a deacon, I am so proud that the group formed a task force, of which I was involved, to create something new and much more personal. The Clothing Closet volunteers will now be meeting the families one on one through appointments to assist them, not only with their clothing needs but also getting to know them on a personal level.”
Jeannie let us know that "The Redemptive Compassion class was an eye-opening, thought-provoking experience that created my desire to participate in planning this ministry. However, it was observing the commitment of so many who recognized the value for so many that spoke volumes about our mission to bring this ministry to life. Most importantly, it was our leadership that kept us focused on the ultimate goal! A great accomplishment and a ministry that will serve our community for years to come. I am proud to say that 1st Pres is doing God’s work in reaching out to those in need."
Susan noted, “I was reluctant to take on the responsibility of Clothing Closet Services Coordinator, but I was slowly being nudged into it by God. I feel so blessed to have been able to design and equip the Neighborhood Closet. I smile and pause to thank God every time I enter the Closet. My prayer is that the Closet will assist many children now and in the future, and that they leave our church with a smile!”
Our 1st Pres Neighborhood Ministry Closet has brought such joy and gratitude to our hearts. Joy for the happiness in our families' eyes with their lovely bags of clothing and toiletries. The gratitude is for our wonderful volunteers (affectionately known as "Closeteers") who serve our families with such dignity, compassion, kindness, and caring. Open only a month, we have been able to serve over twenty families already. God is so good!
"Our blessed ministry is an exciting one to surround our guest families with love, as we start building relationships with them,” said Suzy.
Paula, also one of our community partners, stated, “The Coeur d'Alene School District is pleased to partner with the 1st Pres Neighborhood Community Closet. The ability to refer homeless and under-served students and families to the Neighborhood Closet for a shopping experience that is safe and provides dignity to those served is a tremendous blessing. It has been a distinct privilege and inspiration to work with the 1st Pres team from conception to operational implementation to make this resource available to the community. There is no doubt that with the energy, passion, and Love 1st drive, this endeavor will be a success.”
In closing, I would like to share that there are so many more people involved in this ministry than those who gave content to this blog. There are people on the front lines, others who have been working behind the scenes, some who have moved away, and many who are still actively involved. To each and every person who breathed life into this ministry thank you. Thank you for sharing the gifts and skills that our Heavenly Father gave you with this Ministry. Psalm 37:3 tells us to “Trust in the Lord and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land and verily thou shalt be fed.”
Yes, you have asked the Lord: let me be your messenger, your hands, your feet, your voice, as I walk in the world today. You are the ones who are building relationships with our community and Living the Love 1st Mission of our Church.
Blessings to All
readings, and honestly, it's the emotion that overwhelms me when I look at my sweet daughter.
What is joy? According to Oxford, joy is a great feeling of pleasure and happiness. It's also one of my favorite fruits of the Spirit. But did you know that the Greek translation for JOY, comes from the same word family as GRACE? A few weeks ago, Pastor McLane talked about grace and peace, and that in order to find that deep peace, we must first accept grace. A question popped into my head as I was reading about joy… could it be that joy too, like peace, is linked to the grace of God that's been given to us? That to experience the fullness of joy, is to walk humbly in grace? That even in our challenges, we can have joy because of the grace of Christ? Letting go of our own expectations, can free us to experience joy in new ways.
Thinking back to Barth's quote about joy, that it is the simplest form of gratitude, I'm challenging myself to enter this season of Thanksgiving, letting go of my own expectations that hold me back, with gratitude for grace and walking in the joy that follows.
In His Name, Kierstie
Many verses talk about love, why we must love others, and how to love others. But this verse drives me to a change in attitude and behavior more than most. I’ve heard 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient, love is kind…” many times growing up. I hate to say it, but it often goes in one ear and out the other without fully sinking in. But Ephesians 4:2 always makes me, Naomi, feel personally convicted and encouraged.
Here is a fun tidbit about me. I have big, fast, intense emotions. I cry easily, I laugh easily, and I get angry easily. I get mad when I’m hungry, tired, in a hurry, and when there is any unfairness.
My dad used to ask me if I liked being angry. I denied it, but I think you can guess the truth! Anger makes me feel powerful. It makes me feel righteous. But I’ve learned it’s not very helpful in my relationships. I may be eager to run into battle, but sometimes I forget who my enemies and allies are.
This verse always makes me stop and change my attitude. It challenges me to make four changes to my approach.
After reading this verse, I am usually able to take a deep breath and relax my shoulders. I can let the little things go and face the big things as a teammate instead of an opponent. I can treat others how I want to be treated. Gently, with kindness and grace.
Have a Wonderful Week,
Did you attend the Redemptive Compassion training this past June? If you did, you’ll already have had a taste of Lois Tupyi and her dynamic and compelling message. She is an inspirational speaker! Whether or not you saw her on-screen in June, we all have the opportunity to see her in-person this weekend!
Our local Love INC (Love in the Name of Christ) affiliate and our very own Love 1st Neighborhood Ministry task force are hosting a Redemptive Compassion event this weekend. Even if you attended the training this summer, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to meet Lois in person and listen to her as she shares her vast experience in partnering with local churches to serve, love, and assist those in need in the name of Christ.
The seminar will be inspirational and thought-provoking, and the training will allow for the opportunity to ask some tough questions and talk through real-life examples in a small-group setting. This event is an exciting opportunity not to be missed. Whether you can attend both the seminar and workshop or are only able to attend one of them, you will gain much in how to help others while loving them as God loves us. It will be an opportunity you won’t soon forget. (We are especially blessed to have Lois coming here as she will retire at the end of the year.)
This is a free event, and all are welcome! We hope you will attend and share this unique opportunity with your family and friends.
Friday, October 14, 6 - 8:30 pm | Sanctuary
Saturday, October 15, 9 am - 12 noon | Krueger Hall
divided our churches, our schools, and even many of our families. And it has certainly divided our entire nation to extremes we have never before experienced in our lifetimes. The question every one of us needs to consider is For What and Why? Is it for POWER? Is it for GREED? We live in the world’s richest nation and have been blessed in so many ways and yet, we are surrounded by so many unhappy people. Their stress, from wherever it comes, leads to Drastic People Doing Drastic Things.
For most people, the mind is like a freeway. They let anything drive through it. They watch shows that are full of junk and nonsense, scroll through social media sites that are polarizing, and listen to gossip that makes them envious. Then they are surprised when their mind’s freeway becomes polluted with all of these things. And, they wonder why their stress level is so high.
I say: With God’s help we can do better.
Let us pray
In Jesus’ name we pray.
Our staff is voluntold each week and with grace they share their thoughts.