In a broken and fearful word, the Spirit gives us courage – to pray without ceasing, to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior, to unmask idolatries in church and culture, to hear the voices of peoples long silenced, and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.
- Getting to Know Our Neighbors: In U.S. cities today, folks don’t always know or care about their neighbors, but at GPPC, we place a high value on being neighborly. Great neighbors take responsibility for the health of their neighborhoods. The first step, of course, is to know your neighbors. We’ve begun hosting block parties with that as our goal. During these gatherings, we share free food, interesting conversation, and a bounce house for the kids (and an occasional grown-up.) At our recent block party, we served 200 hamburgers, 130 hotdogs, 30 veggie burgers, enjoyed lots of kids in the bounce house and shared wonderful conversations. Information will be posted here when a date has been set for our next block party.
- RISC (Richmonders Involved to Strengthen Our Communities): We began partnering with RISC in 2015 and are continuing this partnership in 2016. By participating in small group meetings at GPPC, we have input into identifying social justice needs that should be identified in our area. Contact the Church Office for more information about RISC.
- Helping Children in City Schools: Presbyterians have a long history of valuing and supporting public education. GPPC partners with an interfaith organization called the Micah Initiative to support the students and teachers of Ginter Park Elementary School by mentoring, tutoring, and volunteering at the school.
- Adult Home Ministry: GPPC members work with other churches in our neighborhood to minister to residents of the adult homes on Chamberlayne Avenue. With our neighboring congregations we hold an annual Christmas party for the homes with 75-100 participants. On the third Friday of every month, GPPC members visit the Palace adult home (one block from GPPC) for an evening of activities including snacks and Bingo or outdoor activities (depending on the gifts of GPPC participants). We remember each resident’s birthday with a card which includes a small monetary gift. Each Christmas GPPC members provide gifts and needed items for the Palace residents; each resident gets to request a needed or desired gift. Every Sunday various members of GPPC deliver milk to the Palace; it’s a chance to visit Palace residents while taking them a beverage they don’t often get to enjoy. To sign up to deliver milk, please click HERE. To read more about our ministry with adult home residents, click HERE.
- Night Shelter: With CARITAS (Congregations Around Richmond Involved to Assure Shelter) GPPC offers food and shelter in our Fellowship Hall for approximately forty homeless adults for one week each year. We also work with a team of churches in Northside Richmond to host a second week of CARITAS. You can become involved with this ministry of hospitality by cooking or serving the food, helping to clean after meals, driving guests to the YMCA for showers, washing their laundry, or staying the night to address other needs as they arise. Our next hosting of CARITAS guests will be March 4 – 11, 2017. Click HERE to sign up to help.
- Feeding Ministries: GPPC conducts a quarterly food drive for the Central Virginia Food Bank. We receive offerings of food on the same Sundays we celebrate the Lord’s Supper – to remember that God feeds us, so we are able to feed each other. During the summer, GPPC members share the abundance of their gardens in our “Garden Faire.” Donations help to Feed More at the Central Virginia Food Bank.
- Community Garden: We’re transforming our little corner of the food desert in which we live, so it’s a place of nourishment and hope. Neighbors help plant and harvest the fruits of God’s earth.
- Financial Assistance: As a member congregation of ACTS (Area Congregations Together in Service) GPPC makes referrals for individuals whose temporary financial needs threaten them with homelessness. ACTS provides financial assistance and coordinates professional social services for those in need.
- Advocacy: GPPC supports the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy assisting faith communities across the state to fulfill their call to advocate for dignity and justice for all people. Along with the Interfaith Center, we encourage our members to learn about the issues challenging our communities, pray for guidance and discernment, and act to make Virginia a more just and compassionate Commonwealth. Speakers from the Center have conducted workshops at GPPC on the Care of God’s Creation, Health Care and Payday Loan reform.
- Special Offerings: GPPC participates in the four annual churchwide offerings of the PC(USA). These offerings are received during our Sunday morning worship. Through financial contributions and gifts of supplies, we also support the YWCA Women’s Shelter, the Daughters of Zelophehad transitional housing program, and Boaz and Ruth.