Friday, November 19, 2010

Celebration of Community Ministries Outreach and Global Missions At The Old Stewpot Dining Room

Sunday November 21, 2010
Noon - 1 pm

The congregation of First Presbyterian church has historically designated the Sunday before Thanksgiving as Community Ministries Sunday. Worship highlights this shared ministry of the church. Following worship, a light lunch will be served in the Stewpot in the Community Ministries Building. This year, the after worship festivities will include a Celebration of Community Ministries Outreach and Global Missions. Enjoy the complimentary light lunch and explore the alternative holiday gift opportunities that benefit a variety of local, regional and global missions.

The Stewpot served its first meal in the hallway adjacent to the Koinonia Room in October 1975. This fall, 35 years later, the 4 millionth Stewpot meal was served at the 2nd Chance Café.

The Stewpot has, from its inception, been more than a place to eat. A wide variety of community resources and the talents of a multitude of volunteers have helped create valuable programs for homeless and at risk inner-city children and youth.

The strength, vitality and success of the Community Ministries programs is a credit to the ongoing commitment of First Presbyterian Church to provide a "home" and leadership for the program. Community wide financial support funds its $1.6 million budget and over 1,300 volunteers every month help provide services.

The Stewpot Open Art Studio is a most colorful example of resourceful programs that showcase "outsider art". Painted canvas, jewelry, stain glass, ceramic and fabric art is on display across our city. The annual Downtown Dallas Library gallery show of stewpot Art opens the afternoon of Sunday, December 5th to the public.

Hundreds of Dallas homeless daily access the full time casework services, alcohol and drug outreach, HIV testing, full time primary and prosthetic dental care, weekly legal, medical and mental health clinics, daily Bible study, employment counseling.

The Stewpot provides 700 voice mail phone numbers to Dallas not-for-profits and our own clients to assist in job searches. STREETZine newspaper is distribute throughout Dallas. Providing income for its vendors and a medium for creative expression. It's modest goal of becoming the paper of record for the City of Dallas is progressing.

The Community Ministries Children and Youth Programs provide educational
enrichment programs for 1st grade thru High School. Saturday school, Summer Day Camp, Summer Visiting Youth Program, Scholars Program, ESL classes, adopt a Family and Venturing Crews (Jr & Sr) have helped to grow and encourage several generations of talented young people. Becoming role models for youthful eyes to emulate.

Recently, as a part of the extensive renovation and building expansion of First Presbyterian a longstanding "Stewpot" landmark surrendered its pride of place to the emerging new structures at the church. The basement mural reminded all of the Stewpot's fundamental mission and the Biblical imperative which gave it both roots and wings. "Bread for myself is a worldly matter; Bread for my brother is a spiritual matter." Located alongside the exit ramp of the former home of the Stewpot in the basement of the church activities building (Byrd Hall) the mural's black highlighted letters were framed in a red background. Its message still reminds us all of our calling. As was the case 35 years ago, so now, our city needs Good Samaritans.

Rev. Dr. Bruce A. Buchanan
Executive Director/The Stewpot
Associate Pastor for Community Ministries/First Presbyterian Church

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