DPC’s partnership with Bethel Presbyterian Church located in North Philadelphia has been one of love, encouragement, and a shared passion to help those in need.
Joint mission efforts have been in place for years, but as both churches set out on their own Matthew 25 journeys – with DPC striving to stamp out structural racism and its intersectionality with poverty – additional avenues of working together have been explored.
In recent months, DPC members Tanner Benson, Amy Edenson, Marie Stevens, Brynne Hunter, and Katie Toner have helped distribute food during Bethel’s community meal, often bringing along baked goods, dinner rolls, or fresh fruit.
“Without this meal many of Bethel’s neighbors who rely on these meals would go hungry,” said Amy. “I feel that if they can at least feel some companionship and have a good meal it means a lot. It can lift them up a bit. If we can do that, I think we might really be making a difference – even if its small. The whole experience is humbling.”
Bags of produce are distributed throughout the week as well as schools supplies and books.
For Katie, this is an opportunity to break down barriers and build relationships between communities.
“We may be geographically separated and culturally different, but when we look to bridge those gaps, we will, in real time, be able to understand the pressures and stresses we all share – and allow us to support each other better,” she added. “Bethel has been doing amazing work for a long time.”
Giving back to Bethel and its neighbors has been a family affair for DPC member Maureen Arnold for years. Her husband rents a truck to help deliver nearly 300 winter coats and clothing donated each year by DPC members and the local community – an effort she spearheads along with help from fellow DPCers Kim Nardo and Louise Watkins. Maureen’s children have also chipped in.
“There’s just so much need,” said Maureen, who noted that the Bethel community is one of “the hungriest zip codes in the area.” Maureen has become close with Bethel’s Mission Coordinator Grace Marable over the years.
“We just really hit it off and work so well together,” said Maureen, describing Bethel’s efforts as “very grassroots, down to earth, direct to the person who needs it.”
“You know that what you give, goes right to those in need.”
Upcoming Mission Opportunities:
Have you always wanted to know more about the mission organizations DPC supports? Join us on Wednesday, March 2, in the Celtic Cross Room at 1 pm to hear Veda Gill, Executive Director of the Presbyterian Education Board, speak about the work this Christian school system in Pakistan is doing. PEB educates children of all religions from grade school through high school, and DPC supports their scholarship program, which allows children living in poverty who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend school at all, to be educated. This opportunity often is the gateway out of servitude for many families, who have who have been paying off their debts for generations. Though PEB educates both boys and girls, this is particularly a valuable opportunity for young girls in Pakistan, who many times are not able to attend school if their families cannot afford it. Veda will share with us this history of the Presbyterian Church’s schools in Pakistan and the important work they are doing there today.
Community Meal: Though we have not gone back to a full community meal post-Covid, we are still feeding our homeless and food-insecure neighbors on the 3rd Sunday of each month. We are always looking for donations to our meal – either through meal donations or $5 gift cards to Wawa, McDonalds, and Wendy’s that we can share with our guests.
Food Drive: We are continuing to hold our monthly food drive to benefit our Bucks County food pantries and the Bethel Community Meal on the 3rd Sunday of each month. Those attending the 8:30 worship service can leave their donations in the food collection box by the elevator on the ground floor of the Sanctuary building (under the bridge). Volunteers will be on hand under the bridge from 10:15 am to 11:30 am to collect donations outside via in-person or drive-by-drop-off.
Caring for Friends – DPC volunteers meet on the 3rd Tuesday of each month in Andrews Hall to pack meals for homebound friends in our area. If you are interested in donating food or volunteering, contact Erin Rizk at email@example.com.
Care and Share – A small group from DPC volunteers at the Care and Share Thrift Store in Souderton on the 3rd Friday of each month, and new volunteers are always welcome. For more information, please contact Erin Rizk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Work and Cultural Trip to New Mexico – June 18-25 – The trip includes 2 ½ days of volunteer work experience and a number of cultural experiences. Beside airfare, the cost is estimated between $500 and $600 per person for double occupancy, and $250-$350 for the third member of the family staying in the same room. This is a unique opportunity to learn more about Native Americans in the Southwest and see life on a reservation. You will see DPC’s continued involvement and commitment to helping Native Americans in need. This trip is designed for families with children ages 12 and older and activities will be family friendly. Email email@example.com with the subject “SW Trip” for registration form, brochure, and/or questions.
DPC In Action
September 1, 2022