January: Thornwell Home for Children in Clinton, South Carolina A ministry of the Presbyterian Church USA Synod of the South Atlantic, which includes and serves our area. Its goals are to provide loving homes for abused, abandoned and neglected children, to offer an opportunity for healing by providing proper healthcare and mental health counseling.
February: CROP Hunger Walk Preparations CROP Hunger walks are a part of Church World Service which came together after World War II. 17 denominations came together to do what “none of us could hope to do as well alone” in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick, comforting the aging, and sheltering the homeless. Money raised locally supports Church World Service programs, Daystar Life Center in St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg Free Clinic and Food Bank
March – April: Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) missions and preparation for One Great Hour of Sharing (celebrated on Easter or another selected Sunday). One Great Hour of Sharing is another offering program that is supported by several denominations. The money raised is divided among three mission endeavors, the Hunger Program, Disaster Response, and the Self Development of People.
May-August: Presbyterian Women Birthday Offering) This offering provides financial assistance to numerous worthwhile programs. Each year, as many as five new projects —domestic and international—are carefully and prayerfully selected.
September-October: Presbyterian Peacemaking Offering This offering supports many peacemaking endeavors and educational programs around the world. 25 percent stays with the local congregation for it to use or disperse in ways that promote peace. Gulfport has given money to a high school in support of a teacher’s efforts to encourage youth. The offering is collected on the first Sunday in October, World Communion Sunday.
November: Presbyterian Women Thank Offering This offering funds projects such as agricultural development, child care, community organization, criminal justice, drug counseling, economic justice, elderly care, employment training, homelessness, literacy, violence and women’s concerns. At least 40 percent of this offering supports health ministries throughout the world. The remaining 60 percent funds new creative ideas for mission.
December: Beth-El Farmworker Ministry We reach out to a local ministry by buying toys and other items needed by the children served by this vital ministry.
Gulfport Elementary School: During the school year, we are emphasizing a mission relationship with the Elementary School. Our primary focus is providing supplies that this school needs. Each month we have a different focus.
3 Cents a Meal: A program of the Presbytery of Tampa Bay (“a spiritual discipline to expand the table”) – Monthly offering to support our presbytery’s partnership with the Presbytery of Honduras and the work of their congregations; the work of Beth-El Farmworker Ministries; and selected local mission.
Bear Ministry: Stuffed animals that have been present at our worship services and have been loved are passed on by members and friends to those who might be ill, lonely, bereaved, or otherwise hurting (and to little ones who come to our sanctuary).
Ministry of Hospitality: We share our facilities in many ways. We have had a long relationship with the Sunflower School. In 2016, Kya Creative Preschool began to call a portion of our Fellowship Hall home.
Duvall Home: Located in Glenwood, FL, the home serves people with developmental disabilities. We support their training in life skills and job preparation by collecting various materials as requested.
Gulfport Senior Center Food Pantry and other local food pantries: Donation of non-perishable food and pet food.
Occasional Needs: Disaster response, both material and financial, as called for by our presbytery, denomination, or local churches – for instance clean-up buckets for Pasco County flood victims; personnel, food, and clothing for the Gulfport Cold Night Shelter; and funds for global earthquake victims. Special requests, such as sewing, cooking, and other household items to go in a container to partner congregations in Honduras, and sandals for Beth-El kids going to summer camp at Cedarkirk, our presbytery’s camp and conference center.