2013 D.Thomason Grants

First Presbyterian Church Shreveport

First Presbyterian Church is blessed to have many members who have remembered the church through testamentary and life-time gifts to the Legacy Fund. These permanent gifts have enabled us to minister to the needs of others in the name of Jesus Christ above and beyond the work and gifts made possible through the church’s annual operating budget. D. Thomason is one member in particular whose testamentary gift has made possible the making of grants approaching $5,000,000 to support the work of our Outreach partners and Presbyterian ministries locally, nationally, and around the world.

D. Thomason grants for 2013 totaled $111,600. The recipients of the 2013 D. Thomason Grants were recognized and thanked for their good work during worship on February 9, 2014. Those receiving grants were:

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, for the seminary’s capital campaign

Church of Bangladesh, to fund laptop computers for a number of the church’s pastors

First Presbyterian Church-Natchitoches, to help fund HVAC repairs and sanctuary lighting

Holmes Chapel Presbyterian Church-Monticello, AR, to fund a program to assist students to stay in school and graduate

Joy to the World Ministries, to help fund a secondary school project in Dzuwa region of Malawi

Montreat Conference Center, to fund a new LCD projector for Anderson Auditorium

Mo-Ranch Assembly Center, to remedy a particular accessibility issue at the King Dining Hall

Providence House, to replace futons at the Cotton St. facility

Volunteers for Youth Justice, to support its youth diversion programs

The ARC of Caddo-Bossier, to support its pre-school/daycare program

Common Ground Community, Inc., to fund a portion of the cost of replacing a floor in its main building

Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana, to fund the replacement of sorting tables

Highland Center Ministries, LLC, to fund the purchase of school uniforms (Maggie Lee’s Closet) and support for men’s clothing closet

Hope for the Homeless, for furnishings for the main day room of the drop-in center at the new Hope Connections

Interfaith Pharmacy, for prescription medications for its clients

Literacy Volunteers, for computers and furnishings for its students

Martin Luther King Health Center, to fund an upgrade of its electronic medical records system

Samaritan Counseling Center, to help convert to an electronic records system

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Caddo Council on Aging

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Ever wonder what the Caddo Council on Aging does? Well, it’s more than just Meals on Wheels (as important as that is to many of our neighbors in Highland and all around the city). Here’s a link to a video that gives an overview of the complete program work of this outreach partner of ours and a video that covers the Meals on Wheels program in particular. These videos were produced with the help of a grant from this church. The co-star of the Meals on Wheels video, in addition to the wonderful volunteer delivering the meals, happens to be the homeowner we helped in the 1HouseAtATime project in June 2012.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtCUDi628ag (Meals on Wheels)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu27iEYaF2o (Caddo Council on Aging)

Kamp Keachi

I am so grateful to the members of First Presbyterian Church who helped drive nine girls from the LightHouse down to Kamp Keachi and back for a week earlier in June. Here is what First Presbyterian facilitated by doing this:

Kids learning about God’s creation.  When they arrive, the girls are terrified of many animals and plants that make up the wild Louisiana ecosystem. By the end they are learning to treat even spiders with calm respect and care.

Adults and kids of different socioeconomic levels being in community.  Camp is community. As volunteers, we get into community with campers and learn to love them as we serve them. Singing along to a bunch of silly songs together also bonds us.  (“O Hail to the Bus Driver!”)

Appropriate risk-taking.  Camp is about getting out of one’s comfort zone, but in the presence of loving adults and encouraging peers. We hope the girls will remember what it feels like to take a good risk when they’re faced with bad risks.

Sincere thanks to First Pres for helping these lovely little girls have a Great Outdoors experience! 

-Rebecca Prosino

Kamp Keachi

PS: Here’s a cute article with some pictures of Kamp on the VOA’s website. http://www.voanorthla.org/lighthouse-girls-explore-camp-keachi/

4th of July Cookout

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HIGHLAND BLESSING DINNER 4TH OF JULY COOKOUT

Volunteers from all area churches are needed to help our neighbors in Highland celebrate Independence Day. Noel Methodist volunteers will grill, and FPC will help by providing servers and hosts. Wear your red, white, and blue, and come join us before you and the family head out for the fireworks!

July 4th from 5-7pm at the Highland Center

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MLKHC Clinic Days

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“A typical MLKHC patient is an African American female between 31 and 64 years old who resides in Caddo Parish and earns less than $12,000 per year. The annual services provided to this typical patient are valued between $10K and $15K.”

–MLKHC Annual Report (May 2012)

 

The Martin Luther King Health Center, serving the community since 1986, is the oldest free clinic and licensed pharmacy in Louisiana. They currently hold 13 monthly clinics and see nearly 200 patients a month who are insured or underinsured. Last year alone, nearly $1.2 million worth of medications were donated and distributed to their patients.

First Presbyterian Church is sponsoring three clinic days at the Martin Luther King Health Center this spring: April 9, May 14, and May 23. In addition to sponsoring these clinics, we would like to have members of our congregation volunteer during these clinics. Non-medical volunteers would help by signing people in, directing traffic in the clinic, and organizing mail outs. The clinics last from 8:30am-3:30pm, and we will split up the days into shifts, the first 8am-11:30am and the second noon-3:30pm. We will need 2-3 volunteers for each shift. It would be great to have some sort of First Presbyterian representation, so please contact our Outreach Coordinator Lauren Rogers at the church office if you’re interested.

Welcome to the Community College of First Presbyterian!

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The concept of the Community College of First Presbyterian arose from the strategic planning work of the Adult Ministry. The Ministry selected as one of its focus areas to “Love God with our hearts, souls and mind as we: Nurture and provide opportunities to encounter and experience the living God.” We felt we could live out this goal by engaging with the Highland Community through educational offerings. This has been done successfully for other groups through The University of First Presbyterian. The Ministry felt however that many of our neighbors in the Highland area may feel out of place, or not connected, to some of the content offered in The University. It was from our desire to provide a truly meaningful program, and encounter our neighbors in their neighborhood, that the Community College concept arose.

The first thought of the Adult Ministry was, why not tie this into the already existing Highland Blessing Dinner. A needs/wants assessment was done and planning begun to select our first topic. Various obstacles needed to be overcome, not the least of which was one of our Ministry facilitators, Georgia Morgan, being sidelined by an encounter with a motor vehicle. In the process of meeting with Rev. Henson at Church of the Highlands, we were introduced to Dewanna Lovelace and Tiffany Waters who run the Teen Club as part of the Lighthouse Program. They were very excited about the possibility of offering some structured activities in the evening for their high school kids who come two nights a week to work on homework and to fellowship. The idea for a painting class was decided upon, and the Holy Spirit led us directly to our own Communications Director, Susan Abney. Susan was enthusiastic about offering a four week watercolor class and the first session was held on February 13th to rave reviews from the teens.

The Ministry is continuing the planning process and will hopefully be able to offer classes on jewelry making, cooking, crocheting, and budgeting in the near future. Anyone with a skill they would like to share would be most welcome as we expand into classes for the adult population.

Written by Dr. Joe McCulloch, moderator for the Adult Ministry.

The Hunger Game: Volunteer Days

In addition to our Virtual Food Drive – The Hunger Game – the Outreach Ministry has coordinated several volunteer days during the season of Lent for those in our congregation who want to be more hands-on while helping our neighbors who are battling physical hunger. Contact Lauren Rogers for more information: lrogers@fpcshreveport.com.

February 27- Packing senior boxes at the Food Bank from 9am-noon on a Wednesday (come for communion at Open Space that morning before you volunteer) 

March 13- Packing senior boxes at the Food Bank from 9am-noon on a Wednesday (come for communion at Open Space that morning before you volunteer)

March 14- Serving a meal at the Highland Blessing Dinner from 5-7pm on a Thursday evening

March 16- Volunteering at the Noel Food Pantry from 11:30am-1pm on a Saturday morning

Link to the Virtual Food Drive for the Food Bank of NWLA: http://vad.aidmatrix.org/vadxml.cfm?driveid=7486

FoodBank noel neighborhood highland_blessing_dinner_working

Relieving Hunger in Our Neighborhood

The Noel Food Pantry is one of our Outreach partners at First Presbyterian.  On the third Saturday of each month we staff the pantry from 11:30 – 1 pm and during the week there are a number of volunteers from First Presbyterian at the Pantry.

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Some statistics from the pantry:
  • Last year the Pantry gave out 10,217 bags of groceries amounting to about 309,780 pounds.
  • In December, 2012 there were 789 bags distributed —702 households served — 23.670 pounds of food distributed.
  • There are about 100 regular volunteers at the pantry, with an estimate of 6250 hours worked.
  • Working with Red Cross they distributed 46 Startup kits to victims of fire.
How can you help?

1) Join us this Saturday February 16 from 11:30 – 1pm at the Pantry. The job is simple- we bag groceries, stock shelves, fill Ziploc bags with rice and cornmeal, greet guests, and well, just about anything they need us to do we do! This is a great activity for kids and adults. The Noel Food Pantry is located at Noel Methodist Church.  It is on the Highland St. side of the church. You can just show or email Lisa Schrott – lisaschrott@gmail.com if you need more information.

2) The Noel Food Pantry receives the bulk of its food from the NW Louisiana Food Bank. Participate in the FPC Shreveport Virtual Food Drive starting Sunday February 17.  A virtual food drive allows participants to get involved with ending hunger in their communities in an easy, immediate, and highly effective way. Rather than going to the grocery store and buying food items to donate, you can take a virtual shopping trip in the comfort of your own home or office and do just as much good. It’s almost like a video game! Once you fill up your virtual grocery cart, you can “check out,” and donate money for the items in your basket using a major credit card for payment on a secure site.For every $1 you donate, the Food Bank can turn that into $12 worth of food! Starting February 17thand running through March 24th, the Outreach Ministry will have laptops set up in the gathering area after worship on Sundays to help walk donors through the process. They will also have instructions to hand out for those who want to do it on their own time.

The Hunger Game

What is a Virtual Food Drive?

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…”   Matthew 25:35

A virtual food drive allows participants to get involved with ending hunger in their communities in an easy, immediate, and highly effective way. Rather than going to the grocery store and buying food items to donate, you can take a virtual shopping trip in the comfort of your own home or office, and do just as much good. It’s almost like a video game! Once you fill up your virtual grocery cart, you can “check out,” and donate money for the items in your basket using a major credit card for payment on a secure site.

First Presbyterian is taking part in a Virtual Food Drive with the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana. For every $1 you donate, the Food Bank can turn that into $12 worth of food! Starting February 17th and running through March 24th, the Outreach Ministry will have laptops set up in the gathering area after worship on Sundays to help walk donors through the process. They will also have instructions to hand out for those who want to do it on their own time.

The season of Lent is an opportunity for us to reflect upon our lives and the way we are disciples in this world. As we open ourselves up to God, seeking to relieve our spiritual hunger, please take some time and help others to alleviate their physical hunger.

For more information, go to: http://www.foodbanknla.org/.

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 *For those who would like to participate, but who would prefer not to submit their credit card information, checks can be made out to the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana.