A World Beyond our Steeples

A WORLD BEYOND OUR STEEPLES

By Henry Newbold
Communications Team of the PCT

The churches of Newton Presbytery have long been involved in outreach and partnerships both here at home and far beyond our shores.

Locally, congregations have been involved in relief work, sustaining populations in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters – hurricanes, floods, fires – feeding, clothing and housing those affected. After giving immediate assistance, they have returned to continue in the reconstruction of those communities. United and concentrated efforts, as well as individual volunteerism, have had a positive impact on lives and relief of devastation.

Many of our congregations have offered shelter and sustenance to the homeless through our engagement with Family Promise as well as the brand-new Phillipsburg multi- church sponsored pantry the Presbyterian Depot offering new household goods to those reestablishing homes and rebuilding their lives.

Our youth and adult mentors have been for many years engaged in summer service projects/work camps at home, in Appalachia, rural New York state, nearby in Dover, Newton, Washington, and Newark as well as abroad in the Caribbean – Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In these various locales, they’ve been invigorating communities with home repairs, church construction and medical support.

Abroad, individuals and various congregations have supported missionaries in several African nations, including Togo, Zaire and Zimbabwe. Presbytery-wide commitments within the Kenyan nation have led to a rural medical outpost at Kasasule, which we founded and now has become a proposed template for Kenyan rural healthcare. Our development of a water supply to arid rural environs had been fulfilled, was challenged by natural forces, failed and now moves forward once more sustained by the perseverance and determination of the partners involved. Our efforts in Kenya have made an impact on young people through primary and secondary scholarship aid. As a religious community, we have fostered congregational growth with evangelical training and support, and we have initiated personal sustainability through vocational education with a focus on marketable domestic skills and productivity.

As a Presbytery, we have maintained and used various means to support challenged congregations, as well as encouraging new initiatives for growth within our local churches through the New Thing grant. Many of our congregations reach local people in need through their food pantries serving a large and growing number of recipients. Several also aid in distribution of food by packaging bulk deliveries for the Sussex County Food Bank which connects with those in need via schools, churches, community social agencies and through emergency response.

As we reach our 200th year, we can be encouraged by our support of and learning from, as well as a recommitment to, our outreach to the world around us. These efforts, engaging in the teachings of our LORD, are one of the true pillars of our Christian faith, and are how our Newton Presbytery churches are reaching out in Jesus’ name.

 

Hear about Partnerships of yesterday and today.