Outreach, How We Serve the Community Around Us

All aspects of our church are involved in serving our neighbors. From the children, to Deacons and our dedicated Mission Committee, see below our many efforts to help those in need and see how you might assist. Click here to view our volunteer opportunities and contact us to help. Make a Difference Today!

Community Alliance Banking Program

Boiling Springs Savings Bank, a long-time neighbor and friend of FPC, has provided us for a number of years with an unprecedented opportunity for fundraising. Through the Community Alliance Banking Program, Boiling Springs will make a quarterly donation, without cost to you, to FPC. The donation is based on the average balances in the participating member’s/friend’s designated accounts. Eligible accounts include checking, savings, CD’s, Premium Checking, Money Markets and Individual Retirement accounts. Both new and existing accounts are eligible.

When you open your new account at Boiling Springs, simply tell the customer service rep that you would like this account to be included as part of the Community Alliance Banking Program for First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford. If you already have an existing account with Boiling Springs, just visit one of their branches to fill out an enrollment form designating the account to be included in the Community Alliance Banking Program for FPC. It is very important to note that all of your account information is kept strictly confidential within Boiling Springs. No one from FPC will have any knowledge of the donor’s account information or account balance. To ensure complete privacy, when Boiling Springs makes their quarterly donation, they do not even provide a list of those who have named FPC for receipt of the funds. We encourage all members and friends of FPC to enroll because, to put is simply, the more members and friends that enroll the larger the quarterly bank donation becomes. For more information, please contact the Church office.

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.

Mission Committee News

The Mission Committee wishes to thank its member, Mary Hadrava, for cooking a dinner of beef tacos and chicken fajitas (which were a hit) and Dimitra Skenderi for assisting her in serving at the First Presbyterian Church of Lyndhurst on October 15th. Desserts were baked by local Brownie Troop 9689 including rice krispie bars and chocolate chip cookies. The troop also put together goody bags for the children for Halloween. The young children were delighted. We thank the Brownies for their community service and concern for others. We served three families of parents and 8 children plus the workers at the church. This is a Family Promise program where families spend one week in one location to get a sort of home feel until they have a permanent place to live. 

Family Promise also runs the Walk-In Dinner. We will serve dinner on November 6th in Hackensack with help from the congregation and friends.

We will be collecting toys for Oasis again this Christmas. Watch for announcements as we will be starting November 12, asking people to take an envelope with a suggested age of a gift for a boy or girl. Oasis in Paterson is a Haven for Women and Children. They provide training and education for women to obtain gainful employment, after school care, infant care plus clothing and seasonal items as needed. If you wish to know more about Oasis, you may speak to any Committee member.

Shave & Haircut for Veterans on Memorial Day

The Mission Committee asked for your support with our “shave and haircut” project and your response was generous and sincerely appreciated. Many organizations provide meals and clothing, but often personal appearance becomes a vital part of one’s outlook on life. We wanted to aid veterans with having the means to accomplish that goal. With the assistance of an active American Legion in Kearny who see veterans on a daily basis, this collection provided haircuts and other hygiene items to help the veterans returning to civilian life, seeking employment, aging veterans on fixed incomes, and those who find themselves homeless.

We want to thank the Sunday school children for their beautiful cards and thoughtful messages to our veterans for Memorial Day. Eight delightful girls with wonderful smiles and lots of enthusiasm from our Sunday school helped collect your gifts at the doors with patriotic red, white and blue baskets. We thank them for their participation in honoring our veterans.

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!

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: 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!

  • 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 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.

  • 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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