Hundreds of First Pres members are active participants in local, regional, national, and international outreach. Vision: Building the Future is a major initiative, a concentrated effort to help local families and others in our immediate geographical area.
Other focus activities include participating in local and international mission trips, hosting and cooking for people who are homeless or hungry, supporting and working alongside local community service agencies through our annual Service Day, and helping to build houses for low-income families by partnering with local Habitat for Humanity affiliates.
Watch our blogs and the Events section for opportunities to serve the community throughout the year.
Vision: Building the Future
Through Vision: Building the Future, First Pres members and friends are working together to put faith into action: to choose love so that we can be the light that changes the world. Through Vision, we are reaching out to the local community to provide help with housing support, training, mentoring, and other resources for those at risk of "falling through the cracks" and slipping into poverty and homelessness.
“All things are possible.” - Matthew 19:26
Through Vision, First Pres is actively partnering with Faith Community Homes to assist underserved, under-resourced families in the Arlington Heights area. In early 2017, Vision expanded to include working with a group of young immigrant men (ages 18-21) from countries all over the world who are seeking asylum in the United States.
Currently, First Pres offers a Family Night, which provides a time for families from the community and First Pres to come together to share dinner and fellowship time. Family Night also includes adult education and mentoring classes, adult Christian education, and programs for youth and children, all for free.
By partnering with these asylum seekers, Vision 2017 allow these young men to benefit from a healthy meal and social time with our community as well as educational and enrichment classes offered each week at Family Night.
Vision seeks to harness the strength of a community that unites and works together to make a deep and lasting difference in the local community, both outside and inside of the church. Vision seeks to empower us to build the future, together.
PADS stands for Public Action to Deliver Shelter. First Pres is one of many partner churches who work with Journeys | The Road Home, the umbrella organization for PADS. The purpose of the PADS program is to provide hospitality, food, and emergency shelter from October 1 through April 30 of each year to families and individuals who are homeless.
The First Pres PADS program is staffed entirely by volunteers who prepare, supervise, and clean sleeping accommodations. Volunteers also provide, prepare, and offer dinner, breakfast, and a sack lunch, all in a welcoming, supportive, safe environment.
Teams of volunteers are needed for several different shifts as well as to purchase or prepare food. If you or your small group would like to participate in this ministry, please contact the church office at 847-255-5900.
- First shift: 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm (set up, serve dinner, clean up)
- Second shift: 11:00 pm - 3:00 am (monitor site and make lunches)
- Third shift: 3:00 am - 7:00 am (monitor site, serve breakfast, and begin cleanup)
- Fourth shift: 6:00 am - 8:00 am (clean up and put everything back)
- Purchase or prepare food
To learn more about this ministry, please check out Journeys | The Road Home.
South Dakota Partnership
The 2017 family mission trip South Dakota will take place June 24-30.
Families and people of all ages can serve in this annual trip to partner with the Dakota Sioux community in Sisseton. First Pres is a member of the Dakota Partnership, a coalition of churches and other organizations that work alongside Sioux communities and the Dakota Presbytery to equip people for better lives. Activities include hosting a Vacation Bible School program for hundreds of local children and teens and serving in work groups to repair and maintain church facilities. Contact the church office to learn more.
Dominican Republic Partnership
For more than 30 years, First Pres members have worked in partnership with our Dominican Republic brothers and sisters in two different locations. For the past 20+ years we have focused on the Gaspar Hernandez area. We have provided training, labor, and supplies for church construction and maintenance, water purification systems, medicine and health services, Christian education, English education, and women’s programs and crafts. We support a scholarship program that enables many young people and adults to attend high school, university, seminary, and medical and other professional schools.
Our Dominican partners now host their own medical clinics and education classes both for their own community as well as for immigrants from Haiti who have settled in remote villages. We continue to have a major impact on the churches and community of Gaspar Hernandez. To get involved in this mission, contact the church office.
Additional International Outreach
Democratic Republic of the Congo
We have helped the Build Congo Schools efforts of the Congolese Presbyterian Church in partnership with churches in the Presbyterian Church (USA). We have helped to build, furnish, and supply many schools in Kasai and other areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
We worked as part of an exciting Presbytery partnership with Presbyterian congregations in Ghana, helping to build a school and a church and provide furnishings and supplies.
Contact Judy Hockenberry with questions about First Pres outreach actvities.