MISSIONS and OUTREACH at First Presbyterian Church of Avenel

Family Promise/Interfaith Hospitality Network

Our church is one of the five Woodbridge churches partnered with seven churches in the Plainfield/Dunellen area that house and feed temporarily homeless persons. Our church is generally a host three times a year for one week each time. Being a host church takes approximately 50 volunteers. The volunteers shop, cook and deliver a hot and nourishing dinner; set up and break down portable beds; serve dinner and socialize with guests, including children; make beds; wash, fold and pack the linens for the next time; stay overnight with the guests; and load up trucks and vans and transport our guests to the next host church.
The mission of Family Promise is to help low-income families nationwide to achieve lasting independence and to redress the underlying causes of poverty and homelessness.
Family Promise was founded on the belief that Americans are compassionate people who want to make a difference. Its promise has been to link those in need with those who want to help.
Family Promise works to accomplish its mission through 4 programs areas: (1) Interfaith Hospitality Networks, which provide shelter, meals and comprehensive support services to homeless families; (2) Family Mentoring, which helps prevent homelessness by training volunteers to be advisors and advocates to low-income families; (3) Just Neighbors, an interactive educational program which raises awareness of the root causes of poverty and homelessness as the first step in establishing community-based responses; and (4) Community Initiatives, which foster local Interfaith Hospitality Network outgrowth programs such as transitional housing, job training, childcare and literacy.

One Great Hour of Sharing

Each year at Easter, our church takes a collection for the One Great Hour of Sharing program. Since 1949, Presbyterians have joined with millions of other Christians through One Great Hour of Sharing to share God's love with people experiencing need. Our gifts support ministries of disaster response, refugee assistance and resettlement, and community development that help people find safe refuge, start new lives, and work together to strengthen their families and communities.

Elijah's Promise

Elijah's Promise is a New Brunswick based soup ministry. Since Elijah's Promise began in 1989, it has been helping low-income people in the central New Jersey community. From nutritious meals, to social services and health screening, to culinary arts job training and entrepreneurial training, to its own catering business, Elijah's Promise has been moving people from hunger to wholeness. 

Church World Service Blankets+ Program

Each Mother's Day, we invite our members to honor their mothers and grandmothers with a special gift to the Church World Service Blankets+ Program.
Through the Blankets+ Program, congregations and groups around the country reach out in compassion to people in need in more than 80 countries. Simply said, the right tool at the right time can make a world of difference in the lives of a family or a community.
Church World Service responds to disasters in a "wholistic" manner. They respond immediately after a disaster happens, but also commit to stand with people in the long process of recovery and rehabilitation as well.

Tooling Around the Township

Tooling Around the Township is an annual program that organizes teams of local community volunteers to make repairs to the homes of senior citizens, disabled and low-income residents unable to do so themselves or residents presently facing a financial hardship. Our church members help fill the need for skilled and unskilled volunteers each year.  

Operation Christmas Child  (Samaritan's Purse)

Each year, Operation Christmas Child delivers millions of gift-filled shoe boxes to hurting children around the world. Our church supports this mission by filling shoe boxes with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and other presents in time for the Christmas holidays.

Two Cents a Meal

This church program is a way for the whole family to get involved in helping the needy. It works like this: For each meal you have during the day, each family member contributes 2 cents to a family "pot," "bank" or "collection jar." Then, once a month, you place your savings in the water jug located at the back of the Sanctuary. If you prefer to give one or two dollars a month instead of 2 cents a meal, your gift will be most appreciated. All monies collected are given to the Family Promise program to help people who are temporarily homeless.

Additional Mission and Outreach Projects

Some of our additional mission projects are the Navajo Mission, Elizabethport Children's Programs, Christian Appalachian Project, Camp Johnsonburg, The Salvation Army, Gambell Presbyterian Church (Alaska), International Justice Mission, Reliant Mission, Boy's Town, St. Jude and the World Vision.

Scars remind us of where we've been, but they don't have to dictate where we're going.