RPC members support a number of mission ministries on an ongoing basis. Among those are:
Little Food Pantry
RPC keeps a glass-front cupboard right outside the pre-school doors stocked with non-perishable food items that are available to anyone who needs them, 24/7/365. Starting in 2019, thanks to the generous donations of a local ALDI store and a tireless group of volunteers, we have been able to supplement the non-perishable food offerings with fresh produce every Monday and Friday, located in two refrigerators directly across from the Little Food Pantry. If you would like to donate to the Little Food Pantry, non-perishable food items can be dropped off inside during office hours or in the designated donation bins on top of the refrigerators whenever the building is closed.
On the second Sunday of every month, RPC hosts a free community dinner at 11:15 for anyone interested in joining us for good food and good conversation. Members of the congregation should bring a dish to share; members of the community should just bring themselves. All are welcome!
For twenty years, BEDS Plus has been offering a warm meal and safe sleeping locations for the west suburban homeless community. Individuals from RPC have volunteered at the BEDS Plus church sites in Western Springs, LaGrange, LaGrange Park, Brookfield, Indian Head Park and Lyons. Volunteer opportunities include helping to prepare and serve meals, and assisting in preparing for overnight stays.
Share-A-Meal at The Boulevard
The Boulevard is a respite facility for homeless men and women who are recovering from a recent illness or hospitalization and have nowhere to go. It provides a temporary home for about 64 adults with a 3 months’ duration. The staff provides trips to doctors, nourishing food, clothing, and contact with social services and counselors. Once a month we provide a Share-A-Meal at The Boulevard. You are welcome to help with Share-A-Meal by donating food, money, or time to serve the dinner meal (approximate time commitment - 3 1/2 hours, including travel). You can look ahead for several months at opportunities for providing food and service at our monthly Share-A-Meal mission activity at The Boulevard. Contact Ellen Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The CARERS Committee conducts a monthly donation drive to help people in need. CARERS’ monthly drives benefit organizations like the Constance Morris House, Stars & Stripes, Companions Journeying Together, and our own Little Food Pantry. Additionally, we have a loose coin offering on the first Sunday of the month. The money that is collected is sent to the Presbytery of Chicago’s Hunger Fund.
Share the Harvest is a network of partners committed to direct, hands-on action to alleviate hunger in our communities by sharing God’s grace and compassion through gifts from their gardens. In addition to produce grown in members’ home gardens, a garden at the church produces fresh vegetables for local food banks. In 2015, to help care for God’s creation, RPC planted a butterfly and hummingbird garden on church grounds.
Dan West (1893-1971), a Christian aid worker in Spain during their civil war, agonized over the life-and-death decisions involving cups of reconstituted milk he gave to starving children. It was never enough, and infants who received no milk died. These children don’t need a cup of milk; they need a cow, he thought. He dreamed of bringing some cows from his native Indiana so they could produce their own milk. Then he got another idea: Why not send pregnant cows, so those who receive the gift of life in the name of Jesus Christ can pass it along to others and become part of the chain?
When he returned home in 1938, he told dairy farmers in his town of his idea. When WW II ended, West and others began to ship cows and then sheep, goats, chickens, and rabbits to people on both sides of the conflict. The idea grew and many churches joined in. Since then, millions of animals have been given to people in 128 different countries by the organization Dan West founded: Heifer International. (Reprinted from The Upper Room daily devotional of December 4, 2006.)
The RPC annual school supplies drive will focus on items for elementary school for needy children in west suburban communities serviced by Community Support Services (headquartered in Brookfield). Please bring items to the appropriate baskets in the church lobby for distribution in early August.