Mission Committee News

Family Promise Walk-In Shelter

On Monday, January 14th, Mission Committee members Barbara Treacy and Mary Hadrava prepared and served dinner for families participating in the Bergen County Family Promise and being hosted for the week at the Lyndhurst Presbyterian Church. The families spend the night at the Church, work/school during the day and return each evening for a meal provided by local Churches and service groups. This is temporary until permanent housing can be obtained. We had 2 families on the 14th, a mother and her 3 daughters and a couple and their 11-month son. The meal was sliced steak, twice-baked potatoes, broccoli, salad and Brownies for dessert. We enjoyed a fun evening visiting with the families especially the Children!

The Mission Committee is beginning to prepare for our participation in serving dinner at the Family Promise walk-

in shelter in Hackensack on Monday, February 25th. Because we have a day at the end of the month, and also due to colder weather, the attendance for dinner at the shelter will increase. Therefore, our committee will need to provide

additional casseroles. We will be asking for up to 5 cooks to prepare our main dish of ground beef, macaroni and

vegetables. The committee will supply the required 2 pounds of meat, box of pasta, two casserole pans, and recipe.

Carol Geragotelis will be in Parish House after service on Sunday February 17th to give out casserole ingredients.

Casseroles would be returned, defrosted, on Sunday, February 24th. Carol, Diane, and

Kathy will be available after service each Sunday to answer any questions you may have

and hopefully you will able to assist us. Thank you.

Project Christmas Morning

Project Christmas Morning is supporting Oasis, an agency that assists women and children in changing their lives through programs designed to feed, clothe, educate and empower women and their children in need. They offer educational programs for GED exams, computer skills, and job training for women and youth development programs after school for children. They now serve 600 women and children daily. It is the hope of the Mission Committee that we again share our generosity this holiday season by giving gifts for children ages 5 to 12 years of age. Please stop by our table today during Fellowship so you can bring joy to a child on Christmas morning. Envelopes will be available through November 26th and will be dedicated on Advent Sunday, December 5th.

On November 6th, with help from the congregation and friends, the Mission Committee served meals for the Family Promise walk-in dinner in Hackensack. Pictured left to right below: Kathy Savino, Bing Qiang Lu, Dylan Cabri, Diane DeSantis, Kathy Kazalis, Luann Poch, Mary Hadrava, Fran Bowers, Dimitri Skendari. Not pictured - Carol Geragotelis.

On March 6th we served over 100 meals at Family Promise in Hackensack. It was a wonderful experience, which we offer several times a year. Thanks to our generous Mission Committee and kind volunteers who cooked and served the meal!

  • Help is needed for WALK-IN SUPPER

    MARCH 5, 2018

    The Mission Committee is preparing for our participation in serving a meal

    at the Family Promise walk-in shelter in Hackensack on March 5. We are in need of five cooks to prepare our main dish of ground beef, macaroni and vegetables. The committee will supply the required meat, casserole pans, and recipe. The meat will be available next Sunday, February 25, and the casseroles can be returned March 4. Please see Diane DeSantis or Kathy Kazalis after service today.

A Note from our Mission Committee

The Mission Committee had a busy 2016 Christmas season. The first week of December, we delivered to OASIS 2 large wheeled totes of toys from the congregation. They were surprised at our generosity. I received a tour and was told of the many things they do to help women improve their lives and their children. See me for more information on what they do.

We also helped several other groups:

  • Stuff a Backpack for Vets-sweats, thermals, socks and gloves given to homeless vets.
  • Norman S. Weir School—special education students treated to the movie “Moana” as part of their study of world culture. Some had never seen a movie in a theater.
  • Center for Hope and Safety-formerly Shelter Our Sisters- received items for their monthly birthday parties for the children.
  • Santa Rosa in Guyana, SA-received basis school supplies
  • We helped 3 families of children in Rutherford receive Christmas presents.

All we do is done in the name of God and the First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford.

The Mission Committee is always on the lookout for new projects and would welcome your ideas! Sometimes you read or hear about an organization that is working towards changing lives for the better. We welcome your suggestions and would surely welcome some new members. We are a friendly group that works well together. We meet the 1st Wednesday of the month at 7pm in the CE room, for about one hour. Please consider joining us!

Diane DeSantis

Mission Committee

Deacon's Annual Coat Drive

First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford collected new and gently used coats again this year for Jersey Cares annual coat drive.

With your support, we were able to provide 132 coats to others in need in connection with the New Jersey Cares Coat Drive. We appreciate your giving spirits and financial support in our endeavors. We would not be able to accomplish all that we do without your encouragement and support!

Thanksgiving Dinner 2016

On November 24, 2016 we hosted Thanksgiving dinner complete with all the fixings. The event took place in the Karen Kaiser Parish House with the dedication and service of numerous people within the church and community.  Thanks to all who assisted and gave so graciously of their time.

Mission Committee Serving with Whole Hearts...

The Mission Committee provided (and served) 150 meals this March for the walk-in supper at the shelter in Hackensack (in conjunction with the Family Promise of Bergen County). Pictured to the left above  Kathy Kazalis, Kathryn Kittredge, Bonnie Sheppard, Babs McGill, and Diane DeSanris.  A special thanks to the First Pres Kids for assisting with the preparation of the fruit cups during Sunday School. Pictured to the right, above, Servers Fran Blowers, Diane DeSantis and Kathryn Kittridge getting the salads ready...that's Stuart Sheppard in the back lending a hand.

The Mission Committee gives a big thank you to Fran Blowers, Barbara Hoover, Bonnie and Stuart Sheppard, Babs McGill, Kathryn Kittredge, Chris Bologna, Kathy Kazalis, Diane and Liz DeSantis and Kathy Savino.  It is a group effort and we on Mission could not get it done without our volunteers.  Our next date to serve is June 6th.  Mark your calendars!   If you are available to assist, drop us a note through our volunteer form

Thank you for your donations!

Sunday, February 7th, 2016 was more than Super Bowl Sunday—it was also Souper Bowl of Caring. On this special day, our youth held soup pots at the church doors and the congregation gave with tremendous generosity!  We raised $451 for our local Food Pantry! Our First Pres Kids joined young people in churches and organizations all across the country to collect money for those who are hungry and  hurting. As always, thank you everyone for your support of those in need.

  • Valentines for Veterans - February 2016

    The Missions Committee has teamed up once again with our fabulous First Pres Kids to give to others.  This February, as part of the monthly missions outreach, the special group of Korean and World War II veterans at Chestnut Hill Rehab Center (Passaic) received Valentines made by our creative children.  The veterans were also given hooded sweatshirts from First Presbyterian Church. Thank you Missions Committee! Thank you First Pres Kids!

    See the kids in action on our First Pres Kids Webpage.

  • greetings from the deacons

    The Board of Deacons would like to thank you for all of the support that we have received from the Congregation and friends during 2015. This Holiday Season, the church collected 185 gently used coats as part of Jersey Cares' 20th Annual Coat Drive. The event was a huge success! Thanks to the church and community for helping those in need this Christmas.

    The Deacons would also like to wish you and your family a Happy and Healthy 2016!         

Past Service and Community Outreach Events

  • mission committee and First Pres Kids pair up to help those in need

    This November the Mission Committe and First Pres Kids teamed up for the event Pizza, Pack & Play.  150 care packages were complied for the Family Promise Shelter residents. Read More about this and our kids program here.

  • project christmas morning, giving to families in need

    Each Christmas we ask the congregation to help us as we assist those in need so that they can have a Merry Christmas. Kathy Kazalis has done an excellent job though the years spearheading Project Christmas Morning for Mission.  Children’s Aid and Family Service is a nonprofit organization in Northern New Jersey.  They cater to the needs of children who have no family and families who are transitioning through the everyday challenges of life.  In 2014, Project Christmas Morning was directed to Zoe’s Place in Garfield where we provided kitchen items, sheets, toiletries, baby stroller, car seat and a couple kindles.

  • thanksgiving dinner 2015

    On November 26, 2015 we hosted 150 people for Thanksgiving dinner. The event took place in the Parish House with the dedication and service of numerous people within the church and community.  Thanks to all who assisted and gave so graciously of their time.

  • first pres kids, serving through the gift of art

    During the November Sunday School sessions, our kids have been making decorations for the Thanksgiving Dinner event. We are proud to see the fine example of our youth in the giving to others.

  • mission committee: 2015, a year in review

    The Mission Committee meets the first Wednesday of the month at 7:00pm for about one hour.  Here's is what we accomplished this year:

    Rutherford Food Pantry:  Deliver weekly food collection from congregation, provided school supplies and snacks at the beginning of school year;
    Pizza, Pack & Play:  In conjunction with the children of Christian Ed, 144 Blessing Bags of daily care items were delivered to the Family Promise Shelter in Hackensack;
    Camp Lots Fun:  Provided a pizza lunch to campers and counselors;
    Family Promise Overnights:  Served dinner for families who stay overnight for one week at Lyndhurst Presbyterian Church
    Veterans:  Sponsored activities for Veterans of the Chestnut Hill Nursing Home through the  American Legion Post 109;
    Newark Sunday Feed the Homeless: Provided hats, scarves, gloves and socks for 150 people;
    Project Christmas Morning:  Envelopes prepared with children's wishes for Christmas through Children's Aid and Family Service.  The congregation helped and 75 gifts were delivered
    Project Homeless Connect:  Donated through United Way
    Provided gift cards to Center ford Hope and Safety for Christmas
    Christmas Day Dinner:  Made gift bags for guests;
    Presbyterian Church USA:  Donation made in response to earthquake in Nepal
    Presbyterian General Mission:  Made annual pledge.
    Was it a busy year?  Yes and no.  This is very typical of what we do each year.  Some things we've done for years, some are new.  Each year, we tweak it a little and come up with new areas of need.  Do you have something you'd like to see us do?  Come join us at our next meeting.  We would love your input and we welcome new faces. ~ Chris Bologna

  • christmas dinner 2015

    Thank you to all the volunteers and to all our guests who joined us for Christmas luncheon. Another great event for the community of Rutherford and beyond!

  • Deacons provide more than $1,200.00 dollars of fresh produce to Those in need!

    The Rutherford Farmers Market Bucks program has now concluded for the 2015 year.  Under the program, Rutherford Food Pantry clients were able to purchase fresh produce at the Farmers Market.  This year the Deacons provided more than $1,200.00 dollars of fresh produce to these families.

Mission in Action

The below pictures show the mission committee in service at the Walk in Supper at the shelter in Hackensack. Set up through the Family Promise of Bergen County, each night a different church group (or organization) provides a meal. Many guests are residents of the shelter, however the program is open to anyone in the community. Up to 150 people may show up. This particular night, below, 115 people were served. First Pres serves here four times each year.

Mission Commitee: Chris Bologna, Diane DeSantis, Carol Geragotelis, Kathy Kazalas, Kathryn Kittredge, Micki Roth, Kathy Savino, Kathie Cockroft, Dimitra Skenderi, Pat Yenkosky

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Opportunities to Serve

A warm thank you to those who joined Kathy Kazalis at the Kip Center on Saturday, September 17th, in serving the seniors lunch. They are Fran Blowers, Helen Joerger, Pat Ruggiero-Porter and John Slater.

On November 7th, the Committee and members of the congregation prepared and served dinner at the Hackensack Homeless Shelter. A homemade hamburger casserole along with corn muffins, salad and brownies was served to about 114 people. They received huge portions since we had been given extra trays. One person told me it was his only meal of the day and we are not allowed to serve seconds. People must eat and leave so others may come in.

We will be serving in March, June and November next year. Plenty of time to think of helping. Ask any Committee member what planning and prep goes into the meal. Please see Diane DeSantis or Carol Geragotelis, fill out the volunteer form below or message us via Facebook if you are available to help us out. Thank you.


Join the The Mission Committee to help serve those in need in our community.

Opportunities arise often, please fill out the general volunteer form below and we will be in touch with you!

Pictured below are Kathy Kazalis, Kathryn Kittredge, Bonnie Sheppard, Babs McGill, and Diane DeSanris.

Help Is Needed: Thanksgiving Day Dinner

First Presbyterian Church will hold its annual Thanksgiving Day Dinner for the needy on Thursday, November 23rd, from 1 - 4 p.m. We are looking for volunteers to serve, set-up, do dishes, clean up, pick up seniors and deliver dinners. We are also looking for donations of turkeys by November 17th and store-bought pies by November 22nd. Cash donations are also welcome. Our Thanksgiving Dinner has become a wonderful tradition not only for our guests but our volunteers as well. Volunteers are welcome to dine with us after we are done serving our guests. 

Please email Jaimie Winters at jaimw@aol.com if you would like to volunteer. Pie and turkey donations can be dropped off at the church office between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.