At First Pres, we live our faith through service. We love and serve in response to Christ’s call and the needs around us - read more about the current needs of our partners below.

We share God’s love with the world by partnering with local, national, and global organizations, diverse in their missions and locations. They share a common goal of Christ love in action. We send our members into these partnerships in fun, creative ways. Engage partners have structured ongoing and unique opportunities to serve together, whether through tutoring, family fun nights, work projects, social interaction, or mission trips.

We invite you to learn more about all of our mission partners, and take the next step. Discover how offering your God-given time and talent to these worthy partners will change you forever.

Our Local Partners

Bridge of Hope Ministry

A First Pres mission for more than 30 years, Bridge of Hope is a transitional housing program for homeless families of DuPage County that is supported by our congregation in conjunction with program partner Bridge Communities, Inc. The typical beneficiaries of the program consist of a single mother with dependent children, who embark on a journey with us for approximately two years, moving from hopelessness and homelessness to stability and opportunity. We have “graduated” two families in the past year. They entered our program as homeless and in debt, and built credit and savings to allow them to secure their own housing, changing their lives.  That also means that we have recently welcomed two new families in need of help. First Pres Liaison: Chris Symons

How can I get involved?

  • Become a Mentor – From budgeting to life skills, vital to the program are volunteer mentors from our congregation, who develop caring and supportive relationships with our guest families, helping them and coaching them in making good choices for their families as they strive to move from homelessness to a new life. Opportunities and time commitments vary, but typically average about an hour per week.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for the two new families who are headed by single mothers – – that they find the strength to meet the needs of caring for their children, while also doing the hard work to develop new skills, and improve their education or employment situations.

Central DuPage Pastoral Counseling Center (CDPCC)

Central DuPage Pastoral Counseling Center was founded 48 years ago, born out of FPGE, and embedded in the community providing pastoral counseling to children, adolescents, couples (premarital and marital), and individuals of all ages. Our mission is to provide services which combine theology and psychology to all who come to our door, regardless of their ability to pay. First Pres Liaison: Erik Peterson

  • We depend on contributions to provide assessments, and therapy sessions.
    The Mental Health America survey reported that there has been an increase of 28% in symptoms of depression and anxiety symptoms worldwide in the year following the pandemic compared to prior. Of those adults reporting current symptoms, 42% reported that they could not afford treatment for their symptoms. We have experienced a similar trend in our community of the need increasing with the ability to pay decreasing at a similar rate.
  • We have hired two new staff in 2023 and are currently recruiting one more therapist to meet these needs.
  • We are committed to our APA accredited training program that allows us to prepare future mental health providers and potentially have them join our full-time staff upon completion.

How can I get involved?

  • Individuals may volunteer for board membership, help/participate in fundraising events, or help raise awareness by supporting our Mental Health Awareness traveling exhibit.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray that each patient who comes to the Central DuPage Pastoral Counseling Center will receive the spiritual and psychological care that they need, regardless of their ability to pay for treatment. Pray that the staff will be able to continue to grow to meet the increasing needs in our community.

Emmaus Ministries

EMMAUS works with male survivors of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation in Chicago, aiding them in their journey into lives of restored purpose and wholeness. These men and boys who, through various heartbreaking life experiences, have come to believe this lifestyle is all that is available to them, often come to EMMAUS hopeless, feeling unseen, unheard, and uncared for. Through engagement, EMMAUS seeks to give them hope that God has a better and redeeming plan for their lives. At their Survivor Support Center, EMMAUS staff and volunteers build relationships of trust with these men and boys, working together to help restore their hope for a better future. This is done through assisting to get housing, employment, medical benefits, food, emotional support, and much more. EMMAUS also works tirelessly on outreach and education of the community, hoping to prevent trafficking and exploitation before it even happens. First Pres Liaison: Jonathan Hancock

How can I get involved?

  • EMMAUS has several volunteer opportunities: Engaging with the men in relationships and service in the context of our Survivor Support Center or serving alongside EMMAUS staff doing outreach in the streets of Chicago. The Board of Directors always needs fresh and gifted servants; Prayer is a tremendous gift and need – for the strength of our staff and healing for our clients; And as always, providing funds is critical to enable EMMAUS to find vulnerable men and intercede on their behalf online, on the streets, or at our center.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for God’s gentle grace upon the clients of Emmaus as they continue to move away from life on the streets, and find growth, healing and protection from the challenges and struggles of daily life.


ESSE Adult Day Services

ESSE’s (Ecumenical Support for the Elderly) mission is to provide adult day care options that promote the physical, emotional, and spiritual, well-being for older adults and their families. Participants find companionship, purpose, structure, activities, enrichment, and assistance when needed at ESSE. ESSE allows family members time to maintain their personal schedules, knowing that their loved one is in a safe, caring environment. Learn more by contacting Cathy Davit, the Executive Director at 630-260-3773. First Pres Liaison: Cherie and Read Boeckel 

How can I get involved?

  • ESSE welcomes visitors to share a hobby, talent, or game with the participants.

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray for the families in need of respite as they care for their elderly loved ones as well as the ESSE staff and volunteers who lovingly provide activities and care for the participants.

Exodus World Service

Exodus World Service mobilizes the Christian community to welcome and befriend refugees. Exodus does this by educating churches and individuals about the plight of refugees, connecting volunteers with refugees through practical service projects, and empowering people to be champions for refugees. During the past year Exodus has worked with First Pres Glen Ellyn to identify new Refugee families that needed the support at their time of arrival and identifying families that could benefit from the New Neighbor program. In partnership with First Pres Glen Ellyn, Exodus opened a walk-in center for refugees in Wheaton. This center provides after school programs along with space for language training, work and legal support, and refugee meetings to take place. First Pres Liaison: Lynn Day

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for the wellbeing of refugees who come to the US, as well as those who are waiting in refugee camps around the world. Pray for more available, affordable housing here in DuPage County. Please pray for the continued support of our partners both financially and in staffing New Neighbor programs. Pray that God will find new ways to use our walk in center. Pray that our refugee families will feel Christ’s love through our ministry and the hands and feet of the volunteers.

Refugee Mission Ministry

The mission of the FPGE Refugee Mission Ministry (RMM) is to empower the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of Glen Ellyn to walk in the way that Jesus did by welcoming and befriending refugees who have relocated to the Chicago area. The committee works with the congregation to educate them on the challenges faced by a refugee in assimilating to their new home. RMM offers volunteer service opportunities to connect with these individuals and families as well as through donations for & delivery of items needed to begin anew. We are currently partnering with Exodus World Service to provide these opportunities to the FPGE congregation. First Pres Liaison: Lynn Day and Steve Nelson

How can I get involved?

In partnership with Exodus World Service, the Refugee Mission Ministry offers the following opportunities to become involved and serve:

  • Welcome to America Pack: Collection and delivery of basic household items for the kitchen, bath, and bedroom. The intention is to meet a refugee individual or family on the day they arrive in the US and personally welcome them to their new home. Requires a background check for those making the delivery.
  • New Neighbor: Visit a newly arrived refugee family or individual in DuPage County once a week for three months. This is a hands-on way to “welcome the stranger” in our midst. Volunteers answer basic questions about life in the US, help refugees practice their English, and introduce them to their community. Training through Exodus and background check are required.
  • Other opportunities (through Exodus World Service) include but are not limited to donations to and delivery of other care packs (no training necessary, background check required) along with New Neighbor for Youth, New Neighbor Conversations, and New Neighbor Citizenship, which are a once-a-week, three-month commitment with background check and training through Exodus. A list of items to help make their house a home has been put together by Exodus and can be found here.

Prayer Requests

  • Please guide and be with the newly resettled refugee families and individuals as they find comfort and peace in their new homes and communities. Watch over those throughout the world who are still seeking safety and peace. We pray with gratitude for the volunteers who are helping to familiarize these people to their new homes and communities as they walk alongside them on their journey.

ALL IN First Pres Refugee Mission Initiative

The ALL IN initiative at First Pres Glen Ellyn is to provide secure housing and mentoring for refugee families who are struggling to assimilate and thrive in the US Families eligible for the program are identified by either Exodus World Services or through World Relief. Once identified the families are informed of the mentoring process and if they agree to the process they are relocated to local apartments and mentors are introduced. The mentoring program is designed to stabilize, and equip the family to thrive on their own. (Job, transportation, housing, education, and community assimilation) First Pres Liaison: Lou Simon

How can I get involved?

  • The most pressing need is the Mentor Program: You will enter a long-term relationship with refugees by providing coaching, help budgeting, encouragement, and advocacy. Training and support is provided by Exodus and Bridge Communities.

Prayer Requests

  • Give thanks for our partners World Relief, Exodus World Service, and Bridge Communities. Pray for additional volunteers to serve as mentors. And pray for the refugees we serve to feel welcomed in their new home, find gainful employment and financial stability. Give thanks for all the volunteers who have given so generously in service of refugees.   

Glen House Food Pantry

The Glen House Food Pantry, formerly known as the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry, last year opened a new location at 55 N. Park Blvd in Glen Ellyn. The pantry is an ecumenical endeavor of 14 area churches collaborating with the greater community to provide essential groceries and support to our DuPage County neighbors at risk of hunger. In 2023, the pantry provided food through 5071 appointments, and 4085 walk-ins to its clients. Collectively, community volunteers provided 15,504 hours of their time to assist those in need. The pantry partners with other organizations, such as DuPage PADS, Bridge Communities, and GE Kiwanis, to reach more of our neighbors who are in times of difficulty. First Pres members have a long history of volunteering at the Pantry. First Pres Liaison: Bob Clauss

How can I get involved?

  • Food recovery – Pick up and/or sort food donated by local grocery and retail establishments.
  • Client relations – Work with clients to make food choices that fit their
    needs, interests, and lifestyle.
  • Donate food – Participate in First Pres-sponsored food drives or drop off food during pantry hours.
  • Donate funds – The pantry is 100% funded by private donations and grants.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray that the First Pres bus will provide an opportunity for those with food needs to be transported safely from their homes to the Food Pantry. This will provide a safe mode of transportation and will keep a sense of community with the Pantry staff, its volunteers, and the Pantry’s clients.

Glen Ellyn Walk-In Ministry (GEWIM)

Glen Ellyn Walk-in Ministry is housed at First United Methodist Church and was organized by Glen Ellyn churches in 1994 to provide short-term resources to those in need. Glen Ellyn Walk-in Ministry clients are members of our community who face great economic challenges.  The clients include PADS referrals, Glen Ellyn residents, and members of Glen Ellyn churches.  Many face housing and food insecurity. Volunteers act as Christ’s hands and voice as they compassionately serve people by providing emergency assistance with food, gas, utility, and car repair bills, among other items. Volunteers also direct clients to agencies that can provide longer term assistance and pray for their well-being. First Pres Liaison: Barb Rundell

How can I get involved?

  • Consider volunteering in our office serving clients one morning per month. Volunteer hours are 10am-Noon, Monday-Thursday. You will be serving Christ as you help the underserved in our community. We are also grateful for prayers and financial support.

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray that we will serve our clients with God’s compassion and wisdom. Please also pray that we will find ways to procure adequate funds and will receive additional volunteers in order to continue to serve our clients’ many needs.


Outreach is based in DuPage County and partners with churches to offer faith-based community services to area residents free of charge. First Pres partners with Outreach through after-school tutoring and through involvement with Jubilee Village, Outreach’s transitional housing program for young mothers. Jubilee Village staff work with young adult women and single mothers for up to two years to assist the women in transitioning to stable, independent living. “Having been affiliated with Outreach since 1975, I have watched the ministry grow from providing resources to street kids to a vital partner to the communities in DuPage County through services to immigrants and disadvantaged families.” In 2023 Outreach has recovered from the COVID era to renew and enlarge its afterschool programs in Carol Stream, West Chicago, Warrenville, and Oakbrook Terrace. The housing program for teens, young mothers has been restructured and is growing to include young men’s housing. Jubilee Furniture’s work-study programs have grown with the second facility opened in Lombard and the Carol Stream expansion has been completed. First Pres Liaison: Bob Duncan

How can I get involved?

  • Members of First Pres can become actively involved through tutoring elementary, junior high, and high school students at the Carol Stream Center. There are opportunities to serve the young single moms living in Jubilee Village. Or, you can work at the Jubilee Furniture store in Carol Stream as sales staff, warehouse support, or pick up/delivery services.
  • In early December First Pres Glen Ellyn provides support in staffing the annual Christmas Store at the Carol Stream Center.

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray for Outreach and its staff for wisdom and guidance in supporting the wide array of participants in their programming. Pray that staffing and volunteer positions be filled. Pray for the young men and single moms to find support and personal growth at Jubilee Village.

YMEN of North Lawndale

Young Men’s Educational Network (YMEN) prepares young men and women who live in North Lawndale in Chicago for leadership by helping them grow in their faith and character, develop a love for learning, and use their talents to serve the broader community. Beginning in 1999, the partnership between YMEN and First Pres has grown significantly, including joint mission trips to Montana and Uganda, and now with a focus on activities that bring First Pres members together into one-on-one relationships with the youth of YMEN. These young people seek to learn and grow; they need your friendship and encouragement along the way. In 2023 we began to provide Saturday morning meals to residents of the community. This opportunity to interact with disadvantaged adults through a common meal has been an extraordinary new ministry of our church. Our church’s support in planting a Community Garden has grown to become several gardens along with an enterprise growing hot peppers for conversion to a commercially produced Hot Sauce. First Pres Liaison: Bob Duncan

How can I get involved?

  • Community Garden planting – Each June, First Pres families travel to North Lawndale to prepare garden beds in the community vegetable garden.
  • My Brothers Kitchen – On the first Saturday of each month First Pres Glen Ellyn prepares and serves a meal to any resident of North Lawndale who walks into the YMEN Center. Volunteer opportunities to prepare meals or serve attendees is a unique way to come to know the community.
  • Provide mentoring and support supervision to afterschool programs at the YMEN Center in North Lawndale.

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray for the safety and stability of students and staff at YMEN as they live and work in a difficult neighborhood of Chicago. Pray for YMEN as it grows in leadership and programming to the community. Pray for the YMEN students’ families as they navigate growing up, learning, and thriving in Chicago.

Our National Partners

Covenant Pathways/James and Joyce Skeet

James and Joyce Skeet, founders and directors of Covenant Pathways, are utilizing their farm, Spirit Farm, as a means to help Navajos and others in their area to combat food insecurity, and health concerns. The farm is a “teaching” farm with, Heal the Soul – as a driving force behind what they do. The farm engages in regenerative agriculture which helps create more fertile soil, sequesters water in a dry area, and produces nutritious food. Local area people work the farm, learn how to grow food and care for animals, and come together to worship. Worship and meetings take place in a large hogan on the property.  First Pres Liaison: Marj Dobleer

How can I get involved?

  • First Presbyterian members are encouraged to come to the farm, stay in the eco cabin funded by the church, and work and worship alongside the farm team. Come care for the animals, gather eggs, cook for the team, help with building projects, and learn from and with others. Live and learn and laugh with a wonderful group of people!

Prayer Requests

  • Healing and connections for people who are searching.
  • Continued energy and joy for James and Joyce in working the farm and providing witness to a deeply meaningful way of life for local indigenous people.
  • Workers to help maintain the farm and help educate others about healthy food and lifestyle.
  • Restoration of faith and independence, rather than dependency, for those struggling to get by.
  • Resources to reach more people.

Dakota Partnership

Dakota Partnership was formed in 1990 and is comprised of Presbyterian Churches in the Chicago area. They partner with Native American churches that are members of the Dakota Presbytery located in South Dakota and Montana. In 2023 Dakota Partnership reimbursed the Red Eagle and Maciacu churches in Montana for propane heating costs. They also provided funding to replace the furnace in the Macaicu Church opening the church for winter services. First Pres Liaison: Kathy Duncan

How can I get involved?

  • Each Summer there are two mission trips: one to Sisseton, South Dakota and one to Ft Peck, Montana. Each trip conducts a Bible School and work projects as needed. The Montana trip is coordinated through First Presbyterian Church of Glen Ellyn. The South Dakota trip is coordinated through Knox Presbyterian Church in Naperville, IL.

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray for the trips to Sisseton and Ft. Peck this Summer. Pray for the Churches and their members as they walk with Christ in reservation communities.

Ft. Peck Reservation in Montana

The Montana Mission is a family-friendly, intergenerational trip to the Ft. Peck Reservation in northeastern Montana. This is a long-standing annual mission trip to northeastern Montana where we host a Vacation Bible School for the children in Ft. Kipp and complete a variety of construction projects at the Red Eagle and Macaicu Churches. We continue our years-long relationship with these churches and the surrounding communities, understanding their issues, sharing in the native American culture and traditions, and making new friends. The VBS week for the kids in Ft. Kipp is an important summer event that everyone looks forward to. First Pres Liaison: Mary Clauss

How can I get involved?

  • Join First Pres on our annual mission trip July 13-20, 2024. We host Vacation Bible School, complete construction projects on the churches, and fellowship with our friends on the reservation.

Prayer Requests

  • We lift up the children and extended families on the Ft. Peck Reservation. May the children find school routines that help them learn and nurture them. We pray for the teachers at the Culbertson, Brockton, and Poplar schools. Guide them and instill in them a spirit of caring and patience. We lift up the bus drivers who travel in the winter weather to get the children to school.
  • We pray for the Macaicu and Red Eagle Churches as they support families in the community through faith and an abiding love of God through Christ Jesus.

Our Global Partners

Frontier Fellowship/Dan McNerney

First Presbyterian Glen Ellyn has been supporting Dan McNerney, Senior Associate with Frontier Fellowship, for 28 years. Frontier Fellowship’s goal is to educate, inspire, gather, and equip American churches to partner with mission organizations in parts of the world that still have little or no access to the Gospel. These partner organizations are primarily led and staffed by native persons from unreached countries and are sharing the Good News in the context of their own language and culture. For the last 20 years, Dan has been engaged in supporting Middle Eastern mission initiatives including church planting in the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt, discipleship and leadership training for Muslim Background Believers from the Middle East, and support and encouragement for the leadership of the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Cairo. For many years Dan has built meaningful relationships and dialogued with members of the Muslim community in the Northern Chicago suburbs. First Pres Liaison: Michelle Mote

How can I get involved?

  • Financial contributions can be made to Frontier Fellowship to support Dan’s ministry and Frontier Fellowship’s ministry partners around the world.

  • Dan will be leading a vision trip to Saudi Arabia in the Fall of 2024. Those who would like to engage with those sharing the Gospel in the Middle East are encouraged to join the group.

Prayer Requests

  • Dan McNerney and others at Frontier Fellowship as they support and equip the underground church in Iran since much of the current violence in the Middle East is being propagated by the totalitarian regime of the Ayatollah Khamanei. They are actively helping the underground church grow in Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt. Dan says, “There will continue to be little peace in the Middle East until the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, is more fully and broadly embraced, followed and worshiped.”

Kids Alive

Kids Alive International provides Christian care and education to orphans and at-risk children, serving them through its residential homes and schools at locations around the world. First Pres has a long-standing relationship with Ark Constanza in the Dominican Republic. The Ark is a refuge of hope and safety for up to 40 children and youth who have come from hard places. When a child’s own home is no longer a safe option, Kids Alive cares for them in family-like units with loving Christian house parents. There are currently four brightly colored homes where the kids live as “families” and learn what it means to belong. Holistic care is the goal, and the children attend school, receive counseling to cope with trauma, and hear about the love of Jesus. The homes share a property with the Kids Alive school in Constanza, where the children receive an excellent education. Including those in the Ark residential homes, the Constanza School provides more than 200 impoverished children in this valley town with K-8 education, soon to include high school. Kids Alive believes that education can help break the poverty cycle. In a country where only 14% of the population attend college and 8% will graduate college, in 2023 approximately 70% of the eligible students at Kids Alive in Constanza were attending college, with a graduation rate of 80%. First Pres Liaison: Keith Mote

How can I get involved?

  • Mission Trips    First Pres organizes trips to Constanza for individuals and families to experience how God is working in the lives of the children and staff at the Ark and School. On these trips you can play games with the children, engage with and encourage the Kids Alive staff, interact with the local community, participate in building projects, and perform campus upkeep and maintenance. Please consider joining one of these life-changing trips! “People say things are life changing to them, but it really, really was this amazing experience.”- Andrea Scott McCluskey, Team Member – 2023 First Pres Mission Trip to Constanza.
  • Sponsor a child – Make a lasting impact on a child’s life by providing monthly financial support. Several First Pres members have met their sponsor children on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic.

Prayer Requests

For the ministry kids in Constanza to be healed of their traumas.


Living Hope for Children

Living Hope’s vision is to see orphans and other vulnerable children in Uganda, Africa, achieve their full potential and impact their communities for Christ. It is our mission to provide education, discipleship, and health services to encourage and equip orphans, vulnerable children, and their communities. We are a registered 501c(3) and members of EFCA and CAFO. Living Hope is a gold-level charity at Candid. First Pres Liaison: Jeff Seifert

We are grateful for these accomplishments:

  • 944 children are benefitting from our program, and a record-breaking 139 new children were sponsored!
  • An amazing 36 sponsored students who are prepared to impact their communities for Christ graduated from university and vocational school, adding to more than 175 graduates from our program. Currently there are 60 more in university and 29 in vocational school.
  • Education is the cornerstone of the ministry. Our devoted staff successfully managed our highly acclaimed and fully accredited Christian schools – three primary and one secondary – ensuring a robust foundation for academic success.
  • Essential medical care was a priority, and caregivers and students were equipped with crucial knowledge and skills on how to prevent and treat various diseases, with special attention to malaria, typhoid, and other contagious diseases.
  • The Health Outreach program played a vital role providing children with access to dental, hearing, visual, nutrition, and mental health services. In addition, along with the children’s guardians, communities benefited from health screenings and outreach.

How can I get involved?

  • Become a sponsor of a Ugandan child and encourage him in his faith and education. Volunteers are needed to do light office work.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for the welfare of the Ugandan children and their families that they will prosper and grow in their faith in Christ. Pray that Living Hope will be able continue to work effectively to provide education, health, Christian discipleship, and other support within Ugandan communities.

Partners in Mission (PIM) in Uganda

Partners in Mission (PIM) is an indigenous fellowship of brethren based in Uganda. First Pres has a longstanding and fruitful relationship with PIM that has been instrumental in building the Kamwenge Secondary and Vocational School (KSVS) and Good Shepherd Primary School in Kamwenge. At KSVS, students receive Christian discipleship, mentorship, a strong education, and are graduating to become young adult leaders in their communities. They now are building families and businesses, advancing and revitalizing the entire Kamwenge community. First Pres has helped to build the campus and support the school in a significant way.

  • Modern kitchen for teaching the latest culinary techniques and dining hall that doubles as worship space on Sundays.
  • STEM Center with science and computer labs, a library, and internet facilities.
  • Housing for students and teachers.
  • Student Champions sponsoring students’ tuition.
  • Supporting teachers’ salaries.
  • Modern Carpentry and Metalworking Vocational building.
  • Agriculture projects including cows, chickens, and coffee.

First Pres Liaison: Barb Retelny

How can I get involved?

  • The Fox and the Hound Bike: Ride, volunteer, or sponsor a rider for the ride on August 3, 2024. Riders raise funds for building projects and operational expenses at Kamwenge Secondary and Vocational School in Uganda.

  • Become a Student Champion: A student champion helps cover the basic cost of a student’s tuition and essential living expenses. A champion impacts a student and his/her family, the school, the staff, and the entire community of Kamwenge. You can expect to receive yearly letters from your student, and you will have a chance to encourage them through your letters. Your recurring yearly gift of $480 provides support for a student at KSVS for a year.

  • Vision trips: Groups from First Pres visit Kamwenge to meet students and staff, and learn about Kamwenge Secondary & Vocational School and Good Shepherd Kindergarten & Primary School. There are opportunities to attend and take part in classes and various school clubs, worship with students and teachers, and visit university students on their campuses.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for the community to embrace income generation activities like coffee, cocoa projects and other agricultural projects so they will have dignity and ably meet the needs of their families. As part of our drive to improve household incomes, we will distribute 300,000 coffee seedlings raised in our nursery. We pray for success of this project.


Pioneers International in central Asia/Carolyn and James

James and Carol are working with an indigenous Mslm people group in a central Asian country. They have developed an orchard business to help sustain their work. First Pres Liaison: Barb Retelny

How can I get involved?

Opportunities for people to become involved and serve in their work include:

  • Vision trip – The family welcomes visitors to witness their work.
  • Financial support.
  • Prayer for their work.

Prayer Requests

Pray for

  • The orchard to thrive and be a means of reaching the indigenous people.
  • Unity among the indigenous people with whom James and Carolyn work.
  • Opportunities Carolyn has to develop her songwriting skills; wisdom and discernment around what topics/ skills would be most helpful.

ReachGlobal/Tom and Dora Becker

Tom works with ReachGlobal to mobilize mission work among the 12 million marginalized Roma in Europe. Working with national partners, he facilitates the training and resourcing of Roma pastors. His main ministries include: mobilizing prayer, advancing research, creating awareness, facilitating partnerships, and coaching nationals. Dora works for ReachGlobal as an Education Specialist. Education and Employment for Roma/Banjara around the world has been identified as one of the most pressing needs in the community. Churches in Europe and India often provide tutoring or start after school programs. In Mumbai, they have started schools in the slums for the Banjara people. Dora is working together with the Global Banjara Foundation and others to help provide education specifically to girls, who are often disallowed from going to school.

ReachGlobal Roma Ministries is developing partnerships in India and the USA. They are also exploring potential partnerships in Latin America and the Middle East. They have worked closely with many of the Global Equipping missionaries and want to continue close cooperative work with them in promoting community development and sharing the Gospel to marginalized communities around the world.

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray for their ongoing mission.

Other Ways to Support Missions

Mission Trip Scholarships

First Pres is active in mission work, some local, some nearby, and some at greater distances from home. Trips can be costly when considering travel, meals and lodging expenses. We do not want this financial burden to defer congregants’ participation in mission trips that touch their hearts. 

Scholarship funds are available for these trips. For more details or to apply, contact the church office or one of the Missions Elders.


Engage Families & Youth

Just before the pandemic started, I took a group of teenagers to set up an apartment for a newly arriving family of refugees. Then 4-year-old Hope tagged along. Afterwards, as we traveled home, teenagers (and Hope!) wondered: Why did this family need help? Where were they from and why did they have to leave? Why didn’t they have any of their own stuff? Who’s gonna help them now? Their questions gave us the opportunity to talk about injustice as well as how as followers of Jesus, we are called to serve others. Often, in the midst of serving others, we encounter God in powerful ways.  I’ve got dozens of stories like this, all of which point to this simple truth: If you want to help your child or teenager follow Jesus: Serve with them. Regardless of their age, nothing teaches young people more about the kingdom of God than engaging them in local and global missions. Through missions experiences near and far, young people learn how they can use their gifts to serve God. They meet all kinds of people, many of whom are different from them in some way. Through this, they start to see God’s image in others. Coming face to face with injustice makes them wrestle with their role in contributing to and ending those injustices. Knowing this, here are five ways to help your kids (of any age!) engage in mission. 

1. Pay attention to what your kids care about. Young people are magnets for injustice. They intuitively know when something is unfair or wrong. Listen to what they’re telling you. Notice when they get angry over something they learn about at school, in books, or on the news. Then find ways to serve in those areas. Look through this guide to find organizations that are already doing important work in the areas your kids care about.
2. Start small. When you see a need, meet it.
3. Let your kids do it. Engaging in missions is a great way to figure out what you’re good at. But for that to happen, you’ve got to let your kids actually do it. They’re way more capable than you think. So, don’t come to your kid’s rescue. Let them problem solve. Let them try things they wouldn’t otherwise get to attempt.
4. Process, process, process. Engaging in missions will prompt questions for your kids. After you serve, take time to process your experience together. Car rides and meals are great opportunities for this. If you’re not sure where to start, use these questions:

• What did you notice about what we did?
• What was easy for you about that experience? Hard? Frustrating?
• Why did those we were serving today need help to begin with? 
Who’d you meet who was interesting? How were they like you? Different from you? How’d you see God’s image in them?
• Where did you see God?

5. Explicitly connect what you did to your faith. Oftentimes, engaging in mission makes us uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to name that. It’s often in our discomfort that we most encounter God.

For ideas, contact, Jen Bradbury, Senior Director of Family Ministries.

How can I get involved?

  • VBS, Mission Trips, Volunteering – Encourage your kids to play together and serve together, whether in Vacation Bible School (doing service projects), Spark, TNT or mission trips to Montana or the Dominican Republic. 

Engage Preschoolers

Almost every month, Westminster Preschool hosts Children’s Church in the Sanctuary on the first Tuesday & Wednesday of the month. We ask families to provide an “offering” which is an item to be given to a local agency or mission partner. We reach out to the agency/mission partner to collect an item that is of high need to them, not just a random donation. A typical collection is 300-400 items from the 250 students enrolled. We are truly grateful for our generous families and humbled each month by their donations.

A recap of the year is below:

September – no Children’s Church, assimilating into the school year.

October – Granola bars and snacks for Glen Ellyn Children’s Resource Center. (coordinator FPGE member, Marci Myers)

November – Facial Tissue for the Parent Pantries of Bridge Communities. (connecting through FPGE member, Janet Carlson)

December – Hats and Mittens for the Outreach Christmas Store.

January – Boxed Pasta for the Glen House Food Pantry.

February – Ramen Noodles for DuPage PADS.

MarchToothbrushes & Toothpaste for Exodus World Service. (coordinated through FPGE member Lynn Day)

April – Canned Mandarin Oranges for the Glen House Food Pantry.

May – Coins for Coffee: A coin collection collaborating with Children’s Ministry to help Partners In Mission purchase coffee seedlings.