United Presbyterian Church takes very seriously Jesus’ command to spread His good news and love to all people. Therefore, our mission is to grow and nurture followers of Christ in a welcoming community. We go about this in a variety of ways. We minister to one another through small groups and volunteer efforts within the church that meet needs and encourage each other in our walks with Christ.
We also care very deeply about the needs of our community. We share our time and resources with many devoted organizations through our Peoria Partners program. We partner with these agencies to meet the physical, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual needs of many who are struggling, and to bring the hope of the Gospel into their lives.
We sponsor programs such as Northmoor Snack Packs, the Family Christmas Shop, and Appreciation Parties and Story Times for foster children and their families. We reach out to local nursing homes and bring worship and music to the residents. We help neighbors in need through our Faith in Action Program, and work for justice in Peoria. We have a food pantry which we use to contribute to local pantries. Every fourth Sunday we have a special collection of food during worship that the children participate in.
We support national missions like World Impact, and through our World Missions program we support missionaries and justice workers in Ethiopia, and partner with a learning center in Brazil- Projeto Amar.
Currently, we are focusing many of our efforts on the Foster Community in Peoria. We want to invest in, support, partner with, and learn from foster families and children in Peoria. We host special events for foster families, provide emergency supplies and resources to displaced children, provide Christmas gifts, sponsors drives for clothes, school supplies, and school uniforms for children, and we have members who are mentors to youth through the Goodwill Good Guides program.
We partner with Vision Trust to support a Learning Center in Goiania, Brazil. We raise funds to support their current needs. We have provided learning kits, sleeping mats, books, televisions, and helped provide salaries for teachers. The UPC Discovery Preschool also collected school supplies to be sent to them. Each year we receive the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering during Lent and 100% of the offering goes to Projeto Amar. Below is one of the Thank You videos we have received.
We partner with PCUSA missionary Carolyn Weber to provide scholarships to women to attend Mekane Yesus Seminary in Addis Ababa. We also support a local women's justice worker, Hirut, and her family. We love to receive letters from Hirut to hear about how her children are doing and how her husband, an evangelist, is spreading the good news of the Gospel.
United Presbyterian Church is dedicated to bringing hope, peace, joy, and love to Peoria, but we cannot do it alone. We partner with local charitable and mission organizations who are uniquely suited to meet specific needs in Peoria. We sponsor drives, work days, and contribute funds to these organizations. On select fourth Sundays of the month special guests from our Peoria Partners share the good news of the lives touched by their mission. Our historic Peoria Partners include:
Snack Pack Program
United Presbyterian Church has teamed up with Northmoor Elementary to provide healthy food to children who go hungry every weekend. Teachers identify the students in need and receive permission from the parents to send a snack pack bag home with the children every Friday.Currently we provide bags for 40 students a week, but the number continues to increase. Some of the items we put into the bags include 100% fruit juice, vegetable straws, fruit cups and applesauce, cheese and crackers, and granola bars.
UPC is responsible for collecting the food and assembling the bags. Each month, a list of requested items will appear in the Chimes that you can bring to the church and place in the Snack Pack Donation shelf outside the church offices. We assemble the bags every fourth Sunday of the month after worship so it becomes an intergenerational communal experience of service.
Family Christmas Shop
The Family Christmas Shop is a ministry of United Presbyterian Church to assist families and bring hope in the name of Jesus Christ at Christmas.
The Family Christmas Shop is an opportunity for families to pick out presents for both children and parents. We welcome about 50 families into our church and provide family portraits, refreshments, activities for children, gifts, and wrapping paper. Children are able to decorate gift bags and pick out presents for their parents. Parents look through close to 1,000 gifts and select several for their children.
The Family Christmas Shop is always the second Saturday of December from 4:00-6:00 pm. A sign-up sheet to volunteer is located at the Church Welcome Center starting in November. We begin collecting gifts and wrapping paper at the beginning of October. If you would like more information on how you can help please contact the church office.
Share the Warmth
Share the Warmth provides fleece tie blankets to those in need of warmth in their lives such as victims of disaster, illness, and tragedy. We give blankets to the Peoria chapter of the Red Cross, to the Sugar Plum Project which gives beds and bedding to children in need, and t 9 members and friends in hospital, hospice, or treatment.
It takes 4 yards of fleece (2-2 yard pieces) for an adult blanket and costs around $20.00. We accept donations of fleece, JoAnn Fabric coupons and/or monetary donations to help fund this project. Volunteers cut and tie the blankets together and then sew on a Sharing the Warmth label. We don't just purchase blankets to give out, but we make them with love, prayer, and compassion. Share the Warmth meets on the second Saturday at 9:30 am to work on blankets and is a frequent Faith in Action project.