Each year PGV congregations partner with community agencies or other churches to reflect God’s love and impact the community in a positive way. These efforts are funded by the Presbytery’s Collaborative Ministries Grants administered through the PGV Grants Working Group. Collaboration among churches and organizations is also encouraged through the Peacemaking Grants that are awarded throughout the year and support churches, organizations, or individuals that are working toward restorative justice and addressing oppression.
2022 Mission Collaboration Highlights
Job Training for formerly Homeless Persons, Irondequoit Presbyterian Church with Coffee Connection and Person-Centered Housing Options
This project provides employment through the Coffee Connection for individuals working with Person Centered Housing Options (PCHO). “The holistic approach of both nonprofit organizations, supported by the congregation, includes compassionate services in areas of health care, mental health therapy, personal relationship skills, housing, professional coaching, and other recovery support. This is love in action.” The grant helps support the training, and administrative cost for the program.
Boldly Addressing Hunger, First Presbyterian, Chili with Foodlink
As this small congregation became aware of families in their geographical area who were lacking in nutritional needs, the idea for establishing their own Food Cupboard grew out of brainstorming sessions shared last year at our Board of Deacons’ Meetings. Linking with Food Link their Food Cupboard has grown “beyond expectations”–feeding over 120 people a month. The process allows participants to “shop” the shelves for the foods they need and want. The grant helps to upgrade the space for food storage and client shopping.
Jennifer’s Closet, Bethany Presbyterian with Jennifer’s Closet
“What the neighborhood really needs is a clothing closet and household furnishings shop.” This project is a new neighborhood initiative that combines Bethany volunteers and neighborhood residents to establish a new resource for the community. They collaborate to determine the best items to collect, scheduling, and operating guidelines. Bethany volunteers assist in filing for non-profit status and an equal number of congregation and neighborhood volunteers make up the new Board of Directors for Jennifer’s Closet.
Black/White Churches Addressing Racism Workshop, John Knox Presbyterian with Greater Rochester Community of Churches (GRCC)
This congregation knows that “The church and society have, for generations, behaved in racist ways. This must change if we expect to flourish and break down racial barriers in our current culture.” These workshops are designed to help the participants see how racism and racist attitudes are outside of God’s understanding of love. The goal, over time, is that the work will result in building awareness of the impact racism has on all involved and it will create not only opportunities, but a willingness and desire to work together as allies to reduce the impact of systemic racism on individuals affected daily by racism, poverty, and other systemic marginalization and oppression throughout the Greater Rochester region.
Family First, Brick Presbyterian Church with Hope Chapel Free Methodist Church
This is a comprehensive partnership project that ”brings together a variety of support and educational services for young parents, single parents, grandparents and other parental units raising young children. It inlcudes hands-on demonstrations such as preparing healthy meals on a budget, basic sewing skills, basic computer skills, including using the internet and keeping children safe on-line, and basic car care–how to check oil in a car, check tire pressure and windshield washer fluid.”
Witness Palestine Film Festival, Third Presbyterian with Penfield Presbyterian
This collaboration combines funding from around the faith community to offer the October 2022 Witness Palestine Film Festival (WPFF). The festival includes a film panel discussion and other interactive opportunities to spotlight the continued suffering of the Palestinian people who have lived under Israeli occupation for over 70 years. Their stories, their histories and their cries for justice have rarely been told in the United States. The WPFF helps to educate the Rochester community by telling these stories and showing these cries for justice through film.
Presbyterian Church of South Sudan-Merle, Uganda
Peacemaking Grant funds support training 30 women in the Rhino Refugee Camp in restorative/retributive justice, peace, reconciliation and forgiveness.
Building Minds in South Sudan partnered with Downtown United Presbyterian.
Peacemaking Grant funds help to underwrite college costs for two women.