Mission and Outreach
We join with community volunteers at Food for Families
A new partner for Covenant Presbyterian is the local Food for Families that operates out of the yellow school bus at Centennial High school. They are distributing just once a month this summer, but the fall they will resume twice a month openings, starting with Sept. 8 and Sept. 22. A member of Covenant took the photo above, from July 28, during a time when masking was not required outdoors for those who were fully-vaccinated. Her fellow volunteers were from the local community and even one PSU student! Volunteers select the day or days they can work and complete a form online. Food for Families needs volunteers for both set-up and distribution. Set-up runs from 12:30 to 3 p.m.
People who help with distribution get clients to sign in, give them a shopping bag, and help them understand how many of which type of foods their family can receive. Distribution volunteers work from 3:30 to 7 p.m. When the weather and pandemic rules permit, distribution volunteers help clients board the school bus and select from donated food items. When it’s too hot, or pandemic restrictions apply, distribution is drive-by. Clients check in, volunteers put packages of items on tables, and clients drive by, loading the packages into the vehicle.
At our church, our Handmade with Love group knits, crochets and makes quilts to be donated to SnowCap. During the school year, a Head Start preschool program uses the back wing of our building. We share our facilities with a local Hispanic church that holds services Friday and Sunday nights. We are working with another community organization to utilize our back lot.
Loose coins in the offering plate go toward scholarships to send our young people to church-related events.
In our community, we donate our money and our time as volunteers at SnowCap Community Charities. Over 50 years ago, Covenant’s pastor at that time joined with other East County churches to start an ecumenical effort to feed the hungry in our area. Since then, SnowCap has grown to include both food and clothing assistance to needy families. Although SnowCap has evolved into a laic non-profit, many of their volunteers still come from those first church ties. Our yearly mission budget includes financial support for SnowCap and for another local program aimed at getting food to home-bound seniors: Meals on Wheels.
We are excited to work with another local food effort, Food for Families. Because Centennial High School is just blocks away from our church, we are eager to develop a mission relationship with this organization. Food for Families began in 2014 with students from Centennial’s FBLA class and still relies on students for much of the volunteer work sorting food and helping clients to come to the big school bus parked on their property.
Covenant also supports Zarephath Kitchen, a food pantry in downtown Gresham, with an annual special offering called the “Souper Bowl of Caring.” The offering is collected after the service every Super Bowl Sunday.
Guatemala – Covenant has made several co-mission trips to Guatemala, working with CEDEPCA, the Protestant Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America. CEDEPCA is a mission partner with the Presbyterian Church (USA), focusing on education as a way of transforming lives.
We have witnessed CEDEPCA’s Biblical Studies, Women’s Ministry and Disaster Ministry as they transform the lives of the poor and marginalized in Guatemala.
Together with other Presbyterian churches in the Northwest and across the nation, we have been traveling to Guatemala since 2009.
Cuba – Since 2001, Covenant has joined with Eagle Creek Presbyterian Church to support a sister Presbyterian church in Camajuani, Cuba.
With other Presbyterian churches throughout Oregon, we have made trips to Camajuani, bringing supplies, helping with Vacation Church School and witnessing to our faith together.