Welcome to First Presbyterian Church of Independence Iowa!
Last Sunday I shared an overview of some of what FPC has done. For instance over the last 5 years our Community Dinner and Silent Auction has distributed almost $18,000 into ministries that benefit our community. In the last 5 years our Adopt A Family at Christmas program has put the merry in Christmas for 450 children. This is truly amazing stuff.
I could go on and talk about our Help Our Teachers (HOT) program that assists classroom teachers with needed supplies. I could mention the Backpack Program which this past school year sent a bag of food home each week with 154 kids. I could talk about our Winter Warmth For Kids program that makes sure kids have a warm jacket or mittens for the cold months. I can go on. My point is this. When Jeremiah wrote to the exiles in Babylon and reminded them to “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” it was a reminder that we are to positively affect the places God has put us.
We are doing just that. We can be proud of the things that FPC does and thankful to God for all we are doing to help our community prosper. A community is made up of individuals. I want to share one individual’s story.
Three years ago FPC wrote a grant. The grant was intended to make sure that any child that wanted to have a bike could have a bike. The Community Foundation awarded us a $5,000 grant. Along with Indee Go Healthy we began the 3rd grade Bike Rodeo. At the rodeo any child who needs a bike gets one and every child gets a bike helmet. Our grant pays for these things. The Rodeo occurs in May and this year was our third one. We discovered that we were not giving away as many bikes as we would like. So we contacted East and West Elementary to assist us in identifying any child who could use a new bike. This spring, in partnership with our local Hardware Hank store, we will give away about 30 bikes to kids who can use one. Let me share a story with you.
One young man received a bike. His mom sent this email. “I just want to send back a note of THANK YOU for the bike rodeo. Blake was given a bicycle and helmet and is NOW finally riding a bike. He just never was interested or even tried until that day. He learned how to ride that bike in about an hour. This is going to be great fun all SUMMER. Thanks again and thanks to whomever gave him the bike.” That would be us.
We each have the capacity to positively affect the life of another person. When we work together to do that there is no telling how much good we can do. I believe that’s one of the reasons the church exists. I think we need reminders that we are positively affecting our community. That it matters. And it’s exactly what God wants us to be doing.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Avri's youth group video from this past year... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfjPEPIpeBY&feature=youtube_gdata_player&app=desktop