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.
2023 Mission Collaboration Grants
Caring For Our Community by Providing Emergency Food, Hope and a Bridge to Self-sufficiency, First Presbyterian Church of Chil, $1,000
The grant will help the First Presbyterian Church of Chili’s Food Cupboard realize it’s mission to offer emergency food to those in the neighborhood who are struggling to provide for their families. The food cupboard partners with Foodlink of Rochester and is run by a committee of seven congregational members. In March 2023 they served 87 households and fed 301 people, amazing work for a church with 92 members. Local community service organizations have also joined in this work as well as 45 additional volunteers. In just one year the Food Cupboard has grown from 29 households to the 87 served in March. Specifically, the grant will be used to purchase a flatbed cart and moveable shelves to enhance food distribution.
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.
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.
Supporting Mental Health Needs, Webster Presbyterian with State Road Elementary School
The goal of this partnership is to enhance the school experience for the school’s large number of high needs children and essentially help equalize the playing field for their most vulnerable students. The project capitalizes on the relationship between reading and playing music, learning notes on a staff, playing rhythms, and focusing on parts and the whole. Specifically this will be accomplished through providing a set of chimes for the music department and books for children who have no books at home.