Each month the UPC Mission Committee partners with one local mission to support with our time, talent, and treasure. We call it the Mission of the Month. We focus support on one mission project so we can learn about that mission and find new ways to partner with it. For a long time many people knew what missions UPC gave money to, but did not know what exactly those mission organizations did. We work with, learn about, and invite speakers from the Mission of the Month to speak during worship on the fourth Sunday of the month, in an effort to understand better what our mission partner does and how we can help. We select a project to do with the mission, whether it be working at their facility or sponsoring a toy or resources drive for them. We also give each mission $1000 to support their work. Listed below are some of the organizations that have been the Mission of the Month and some information about each. The current month's Mission of the Month is always listed in the Chimes along with information about that mission.
August’s Mission of the month was Common Place, a social service agency on the south side of Peoria that helps people overcome poverty and injustice through education. Common Place’s educational programs are offered to school-aged children through adults. Youth programs include tutoring during the summer and the school year and a work-study program during the summer where youth complete chores and studies to earn a modest weekly allowance. Some of the educational services offered to adults include individual or small group tutoring in reading and writing, math classes, GED study groups, cooking and sewing classes, computer instruction, book clubs, and other special interest groups. In addition to educational opportunities, Common Place also is a SHARE host site, holds an emergency food pantry every week, and offers some home improvement help to residents of the South Side. Common Place is funded by the United Way, grants, and donations from churches, businesses, groups and clubs, individuals as well as their annual fundraiser, The Fun/Walk in September, in which members of UPC often participate. UPC donated $1,000 to Common Place in August and donated 60 hours of labor to improve the building and grounds of Common Place.
July’s mission focus was Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 as a non-profit Ecumenical Christian housing organization. Its mission is to provide well-built homes at low cost for people in need. More than 75 new homes have been built in 20 years in central Illinois.
Habitat for Humanity Greater Peoria offers a unique program where individuals, corporations, churches, and organizations work together to eliminate poverty housing.
The Mission of the Month in June was the Crittenton Center. Crittenton Centers strives to decrease the number of children who become victims of violence, abuse, or neglect. The Center empowers families to provide a nurturing environment for their children.
The Mission of the Month for May was the Pentecost Offering, one of the four PC(USA) denominational offerings we collect every year. The Pentecost Offering is traditionally received on the day of Pentecost and/or the Sundays immediately preceding or following Pentecost. The offering provides a direct way to meet the needs of at risk children, youth, and young adults.
Our April Mission of the Month was the Westminster Infant Care Center (WICC). WICC is a ministry of Westminster Presbyterian Church of Peoria that allows teen parents to have a stable source of quality child care so that the teen parent can stay in school after having an infant.