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Living Waters for the World Project

Mission Partners

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me... Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.
Matthew 25:35-40 (NRSV)

In 2014 Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church (RCLPC) celebrated its 175th anniversary. As we continue serving God's people, we offer a look at our current mission partners.

We invite you to explore this directory. You will find our mission partners listed alphabetically with information giving the history of their work, overviews of RCLPC's relationships with them, and suggested ways to be involved.

Our time, talents, and financial gifts support our neighbors, near and far, through local charitable agencies, RCLPC congregational events, and our national denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA).

RCLPC's mission statement closes with these words:

We go in grace, challenged and strengthened by the Spirit to do God's work and show God's love in the world. We seek to look beyond our walls and beyond ourselves - to see God's image in every face, and to serve God's people in every place life leads us.

May this directory help to guide our steps.

The information included in the directory came from partners' websites, RCLPC publications, and the congregation. Please contact the Mission Outreach Ministry Team through the church office for further information.

Mission Outreach Ministry

Adult Literacy Program
McHenry County College

The mission of the Two Learn Together Literacy Program at McHenry County College is to provide basic literacy instruction to adults using trained volunteers.
Adult Literacy Program
The adult literacy program at MCC recruits, trains, and provides support to volunteers who give individual or small group instruction to students who need basic skills in reading or English as a Second Language (ESL). ESL volunteers help those from other countries learn to understand, speak, and read English.

Volunteers attend five required training workshops, complete a practicum, and are assigned to work with individuals, groups, or in classrooms, according to their preferences.

Did you know? More than 7% of the population of McHenry County is foreign born. Students come from Mexico, Poland, Germany, Ukraine, the Philippines, and other countries.

A number of RCLPC members serve as ESL tutors for students who have come to our country and need to improve their English skills. Some tutors meet at the church, while others meet at local sites.

Bread for the World

Feed Our Children Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

God's grace in Jesus Christ moves us to help our neighbors, whether they live next door, the next state, or another continent. Confronting the problem of hunger can seem overwhelming. But by changing policies, programs, and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist, we provide help and opportunity far beyond the communities where we live. By making our voices heard in Congress, we make our nation's laws more fair and compassionate to people in need. We can end hunger in our time.
Offering of Letters
Each year, Bread for the World invites churches across the country to take up a nationwide Offering of Letters to Congress on an issue that is important to hungry and poor people. Since 2007 the people of RCLPC have been invited to learn about hunger needs and then act by writing to their Senators and/or Representative. Writing materials and background information are provided in Fellowship Hall, with time available before and after services for composing hand-written letters. We mail an average of 80 letters each year. This offering typically takes place in the spring when Congress is considering legislation that will affect hungry people.

Church World Service KitsCWS Hygiene Kits

Church World Service Church World Service (CWS) works with partners to eradicate hunger and poverty and to promote peace and justice around the world.

CWS kits are small packages of supplies assembled by volunteers and shipped to people in need both in the United States and around the world. CWS provides school kits, hygiene kits, and emergency cleanup buckets. The contents of each kit have been selected with care based on years of experience to make them as useful as possible, wherever and whenever they are sent. Toothbrushes and washcloths, notebooks and pencils, scrub brushes and laundry detergent - all provide critical help in times of emergency.

CWS School KitsFor the past several years the Mission Team has coordinated the creation of the kits. Both adults and children work together to collect items that are donated to create the kits, along with money to send the kits where they are needed. The completed kits are dedicated at a Blackhawk Presbytery meeting in November. The Presbytery sends them to a CWS warehouse, from where the kits will be shipped to those in need.

Colegio Americano - Apartadó,Colombia

The Colegio Americano de ApartadoFacebook page: Colegio Americano de Apartadó

Colegio Americano studentsThe Colegio Americano de Apartadó is an institution of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, which has been present in the country for more than 150 years. The Colegio is dedicated to developing independent, analytical, and creative students who support a culture of peace in the family, in relationships with their neighbors, and with nature.

This school, which was founded in 1986, is located in the Urabá region, an area very affected by the violence in Colombia. Many of its students are children of displaced families. Education is based on reformed principles in order for the students to contribute to the betterment of the quality of life for the inhabitants of the Urabá region and the country.

RCLPC has provided scholarships for 3-4 students at the Colegio since 2011. The cost varies, but averages around $560 a year per student. Each January there is a financial appeal for Care for Children Overseas, and the RCLPC congregation may donate whatever amount they choose.

Compassion, Peace, and Justice Action Alerts

Presbyterian Peace and Justice news alerts

The Compassion, Peace, and Justice ministry area helps Presbyterians respond to the needs of the world's most vulnerable people, address injustice in all areas of life, and advocate for peaceful solutions to conflict.

Whenever a member of the church becomes aware of an action opportunity that supports one of the Compassion, Peace, and Justice Team's focus areas, a designated member of the team sends an action alert to church members who have indicated a desire to receive the alerts. Most often the alerts originate with the Compassion, Peace, and Justice ministry of the PC(USA) in its Office of Public Witness and ask participants to call, email, or write to government officials.

About 35 members of RCLPC have signed up to receive the alerts. If you wish to be added to the list, let the church office know.

RCLPC Cookie Walk RCLPC Cookie Walk

For nearly 25 years, our church has sponsored an annual Cookie Walk in December. The purpose of the Cookie Walk is to support our mission work at Fairhaven School in Egypt, provide financial assistance to local agencies in the community, and support our church and youth programs.

RCLPC Cookie WalkThe Cookie Walk, usually held on the second Saturday of December, involves dozens of cookies and dozens of church volunteers coming together for fun and fellowship. Community people return each year looking for their favorite cookies, candies, breads, and holiday specialties.

Bakers are needed by the dozen. Volunteers decorate Fellowship Hall, assist with cookie drop-off, weigh cookies, wash dishes, donate cider and donuts, provide tablecloths, clean up Fellowship Hall, and more. There is something for everyone.

The Cookie Walk is all about giving of our time, sharing in fellowship, and then showing God's love to our Community. Plan now to join the fun next Christmas season.

Covenant Network

The mission of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians is to strengthen the church of Jesus Christ, with the help of God's grace. The Network is called to achieve this goal by furthering the inclusion of LGBTQ persons, and by working for the unity of the PC(USA).

The Covenant Network of Presbyterians was formed in 1997 to support and encourage networking among like-minded clergy and congregations.

In 2009 RCLPC's Session approved joining the Covenant Network of Presbyterians. With this action RCLPC united with other Presbyterians in a commitment to a church as generous and just as God's grace. RCLPC also agreed to the Network's Call to Covenant Community, which includes bearing witness to Christ's love with kindness and compassion as we seek to live together with differences in perspectives, beliefs, and practices, and welcoming all whom God calls into community and leadership in God's church.

Denominational action was taken in March 2015 when a majority of the 171 presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (USA) approved an amendment to the church's Book of Order that describes marriage as "a unique relationship between two people, traditionally a man and a woman."


CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty)

CROP WalkThe CROP Hunger Walks are community-wide events sponsored by Church World Service (CWS) and organized by religious groups, businesses, schools, and others to raise funds to end hunger in the U.S. and around the world.

Grain and food commodities were first sent to Europe and Asia by CROP in 1947, after the devastating war. Now CWS works in over 30 countries as a response to hunger and poverty in an ever-changing world.

RCLPC and other churches in the community partnered with CWS in the 1970s to organize and begin Walks to raise funds and draw attention to poverty in the world. The CROP Hunger Walk in our community is usually held in late September or early October. RCLPC members are always needed to participate in the Walk, assist in organizing, raise funds, promote the Walk in the community, and attend leadership meetings. This is a mission in which most family members can become involved. One-fourth of the funds raised remain in our community, going to the Food Pantry or PADS.

Crystal Lake Food Pantry

RCLPC Members at Food PantryThe mission of the pantry is to provide quality food
to individuals and families in need.

In 1982, Caryl Thomas, a member of RCLPC, was an original organizer of the Crystal Lake Food Pantry. At that time, eight churches participated and provided the food. Now 22 churches are actively involved in the operation of the pantry. Food is purchased from the Northern Illinois Food Bank, provided by local markets, and donated by churches, individuals, and many local agencies. The pantry is supervised by a Board of Directors. Each member church provides a board member and an alternate for the monthly meetings.

Once each month, on a scheduled day, about 20 RCLPC volunteers contribute their time to the Pantry. Volunteers may work between 9:30 AM and 2:15 PM. Tasks include assisting the clients as they make food selections, filling orders, stocking shelves, and being there to provide a caring and friendly presence. RCLPC contributes to the pantry with designated funds, individual monetary and food donations, and active volunteer participation at the pantry and in its fundraisers.

Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia

ColombiansThe purpose of Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia is to show solidarity with millions of displaced Colombians.

Every year communities across the United States, including RCLPC, come together and join in solidarity with our Colombian brothers and sisters in an effort to show policymakers that we want real change in U.S.-Colombia policy. With the Colombian government and the largest guerrilla group, the FARC, currently engaged in peace negotiations, there is renewed hope for an end to the war in Colombia. After five decades of unspeakable violence, forced displacements, widespread massacres, threats against unionists and human rights activists, and the economic and social exclusion of indigenous and Afro-descendant communities, we join Colombians in saying it's time for peace. This work is supported by Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, which provides information and opportunities for engaging in God's work of love, peace, and justice in Colombia.

RCLPC usually has a Colombia focus in the spring of each year. Watch for announcements in The Spirit and opportunities for action on the Compassion, Peace, and Justice table in the Connecting Link. We write letters to members of Congress; provide scholarships to students at the Colegio Americano in Apartado, Colombia, a school run by the Presbyterian Church of Colombia; and invite Colombian pastors and Presbyterian mission co-workers to preach or lead adult education classes.

Diaper Bank of Northern IllinoisDiaper Bank

The mission of the Diaper Bank of Northern Illinois (DBNI) is to provide diapers for infants and children of low-income families, children and adults with disabilities, the elderly, and the sick, in an effort to improve the daily health, safety, and conditions of their lives.

DBNI is a not-for-profit organization that distributes diapers, free of charge, to people in need throughout McHenry County. The Diaper Bank was the first to be created in Illinois and is the ONLY diaper bank in McHenry County. DBNI currently distributes no less than 250,000 diapers a year, through direct service and through 14 McHenry County partner not-for-profit organizations. It is currently focusing on the growth of the "New Mothers Program," which offers education, support, diapers, and needed supplies to new and expectant mothers and their babies.

The RCLPC Mission Outreach Ministry conducts a diaper collection and fundraising event. Donations are always welcome at the church or can be sent to the Diaper Bank of Northern Illinois, P.O. Box 2014, McHenry, IL 60051.

Earth Care CongregationEarth Care Team

Earth Care SealIn 1990 the 202nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) adopted a "Call to Restore the Creation." Congregations were invited to participate in a certification program to become an Earth Care Congregation. These congregations agree to answer the call to the human vocation of "tilling and keeping" the garden from Genesis 2:15.

Our church as been certified as an Earth Care Congregation since 2011. This certification requires the church to commit to the PC(USA) Earth Care Pledge and to accomplish a specific number of actions toward caring for God's earth in four categories: worship, education, facilities, and outreach.

At RCLPC we maintain and add earth-friendly practices: set-back thermostats, on-demand water heaters, motion-operated room lights, recycling, and green cleaning products. We hold energy audits and a Green Living Fair. Adult education classes are offered each spring.

The Earth Care Team is always glad to add new members and their fresh ideas. We meet only a few times per year, but with the support of this church's people and its teams, we continue to be good stewards of God's world.

Fair Trade Coffee and Palestinian Olive OilEqual Exchange Coffee

Zatoun Olive Oil Fair trade allows farmers to earn a fair price for their product, have access to affordable credit, and gain a long-term trading partner. By purchasing fair trade, we help small-scale farmers to support themselves, their families, and their communities.

Equal Exchange is our partner through the Presbyterian Coffee Project and supplier of our cart's coffee, tea, and chocolate, as well as the brewed pots in Fellowship Hall. Use of the products directly supports the Presbyterian Hunger Program's essential relief and development work around the world. In 2013 Presbyterian congregations and communities across the U.S. purchased 107,425 pounds of fairly traded products from Equal Exchange. As a result, Equal Exchange made a $16,113 donation to PC(USA).

Zatoun olive oil is also available in Fellowship Hall. Its purchase supports the farmers of Palestine in the struggle for their livelihood and land. A share of the proceeds helps support Project Hope, an arts and education program for young people in Palestine, and an additional amount goes to replant olive trees in Palestine that have been destroyed by the occupation.

We are always glad to order your favorite products; just leave a note on the cart with your request. The products are self-serve, with directions provided. Join us in fair trade. After all, your purchases count twice.

Fairhaven SchoolFairhaven School in Alexandria, Egypt
Alexandria, Egypt

Members of the congregation sponsor students at Fairhaven School in Egypt through RCLPC's Care for Children Overseas Student Sponsorship Program. Fairhaven is the special school for youth with disabilities that was started by our sister church, El Saray. Our goal is for the children to learn and grow with the compassion and support of their teachers and staff.

Fairhaven studentOur Egyptian connection began in 1979, when a "reverse mission" program brought the Rev. Gendi Rizk from Egypt to RCLPC. The following summer, 21 people from our church visited Gendi's church in Samalut, Egypt. As a result of that visit, a young man from Samalut came to Crystal Lake to obtain training in special education and returned to Samalut to establish a school for developmentally disabled students.

Later, Gendi became pastor of the El Saray Church in Alexandria, Egypt, and in 1993 he had an opportunity to start such a school in Alexandria - Fairhaven School. Since 2008, we have chosen to support three students at Fairhaven: Sara, Randa, and Safaa. For $150 a month each, these young women receive board and room, vocational training, and an opportunity to live productive lives surrounded by a supportive staff.

During January each year, the congregation is invited to sponsor the students, but contributions are welcome at any time. Thank you for helping us reach out in love and support to these young people in need.

Family Alliance Comprehensive Care Services

www.familyallianceinc.orgMemory Care Respite

Family Alliance provides comprehensive healthcare services to meet the needs of the growing adult population in McHenry County and surrounding areas.

Family Alliance offers a wide program of services aimed at enhancing the quality of life for not only their clients, but for the families as well. These services include the following:

  • Adult Day Health Program offers a variety of activities and opportunities for clients to work on overall wellness while meeting individual needs and connecting with peers.
  • Adult Primary Care Services offers patient-centered, comprehensive healthcare for those 18 and older.
  • Behavioral Health and Counseling Services are provided to individuals who are experiencing difficulties due to mental illness.
  • Memory Care and Respite Program offers persons suffering memory loss day programs, in-home assessments, caregiver education, mentoring, and support groups.
  • Support Groups are available to care partners and the public. These include: Alzheimer's and Dementia support groups for caregivers and spouses, and bereavement support groups.

Family Alliance has been a recipient of our local designated mission funds for many years. Several church members volunteer their time to the various programs and services offered by Family Alliance.

Family Health Partnership Clinic

www.hpclinic.orgFamily Health Partnership Clinic

The Family Health Partnership Clinic improves the health status of the community and reduces the negative impact of poor access to care by providing a broad spectrum of services to the underserved with compassion and respect. FHPC recognizes that as a community, we are responsible for each other.

Family Health Partnership ClinicWhen the clinic began in April 1996, it was estimated that there were 15,000 uninsured in McHenry County. Census figures from 2010 indicate that there were at least 34,500 uninsured in the county. With the implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act, there are still an estimated 20,000 people in McHenry County who are uninsured and underinsured. The clinic is often the only place they can go for health care. The clinic operates on a sliding-fee scale, although no patient is turned away due to an inability to pay. All the doctors and some of the nurses volunteer their time.

The clinic relies on volunteers and community support to serve those without insurance. To learn about volunteering opportunities, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 770-220-9318. Family Health Partnership Clinic has been a regular recipient of our church's annual designated mission funds for a number of years.

Food Distribution

food distribution at RCLPCA food distribution day for 75-100 families is held at RCLPC twice each year. Many volunteers from our congregation respond to this call to help feed the hungry in our county.

food distribution at RCLPCEach year the Mission Team tries to find the best way to help feed our hungry neighbors. Whatever the focus, food distribution days bring out as many as 50 church volunteers to serve our guests. The congregation provides money for the food, donates supplies or gifts, assists with parking or food distribution, and provides hospitality to our guests at the events. Typically, one distribution is scheduled for summer and another for either late fall or the Christmas season. Children, youth, and adults - even entire families - help at the events.

The Giving Tree

The Giving TreeThe Giving Tree was started at RCLPC several years ago as part of our community outreach in McHenry County. The congregation brings Christmas gifts for children and adults, and supplies for the community agencies.

Recently RCLPC has partnered with Family Health Partnership Clinic, Home of the Sparrow, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Pioneer Center, and Turning Point. Items requested on the Giving Tree tags include toys, clothes, and gift cards; or copy paper, coffee, and cleaning supplies for the agencies. The tree is usually decorated with the tags before Thanksgiving, with gifts to be returned in the following few weeks.

Big Brothers Big Sisters, one of the agencies supported, provides adult mentors to children who reside in McHenry County. Several members of RCLPC have volunteered their time for this worthy organization.

Pioneer Center is a non-profit organization in McHenry County that provides adult and youth mental health services, developmental disability programs, traumatic brain injury services, and homeless services to over 4,800 community members each year. It oversees the McHenry County PADS program, a service that involves several of the RCLPC congregation by providing lunches for the various shelters.

Join us next Christmas season to help bring a smile to many people in our community.

Global Gift Shop
Fair Trade Products

Fair Trade ProductsBy hosting a gift shop of fair-trade items, RCLPC helps provide artisans and farmers around the world with the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and support their families.

Global Gift ShopHere at RCLPC we share in the growing worldwide movement for fair trade. Each purchase the congregation makes at our annual Global Gift Shop is a small step toward making a difference for our world. With fair-trade products, we purchase goods bought directly from farmers and artisans. They are guaranteed fair prices and paid in advance for their products to ensure an ongoing source of income. Products are crafted responsibly, using sustainable natural resources and often recycled materials. Artisans and farmers work in safe environments, send their children to school, and save for the future with the reliable income earned through fair trade.

RCLPC has hosted a gift shop annually since 2006. It is usually held the third Sunday of November throughout the morning. Products have been provided over the years by SERRV, Equal Exchange, Hands Along the Nile, and Global Hands, which is a fair trade shop located in Lake Geneva. Hands Along the Nile is an economic and social development program in Egypt. The special items offered at the gift shop provide ways to use our dollars in a manner that offers the world's desperately poor both justice and dignity.

Good Samaritan Ministries

Good Samaritan's mission is to aid those who are less fortunate by offering services and financial support to help those in need get back on their feet and start more productive, more joyful lives.

The Good Samaritan Ministry of Crystal Lake is dedicated to helping those who need assistance by paying for rent, utilities, or medical supplies. Money is also available for gas or car insurance to enable clients to get to medical appointments or to search for employment. Any resident of Crystal Lake can apply for these emergency funds three mornings a week at Bethany Lutheran Church. Volunteers are trained to process the applications, then payments are made to the landlord or the utility company. Of the total Good Samaritan budget, 98% goes directly to fulfilling clients' needs.

Approximately three-fourths of the contributions to Good Samaritan Ministry come from member churches. RCLPC is one of the founding churches of this ministry and continues to have a liaison on the Good Samaritan Ministry board. RCLPC also supports Good Samaritan with financial donations from the Cookie Walk and the Mission Outreach Ministry budget.

Home of the Sparrow

The mission of Home of the Sparrow is to provide hope, opportunity, and support to empower women and children as they journey from homelessness to self-sufficiency.

Since December 15, 1986, Home of the Sparrow has provided transitional housing and supportive services to more than 2,400 women and children. Currently, transitional shelters are located in McHenry and Crystal Lake, along with 19 scattered transitional apartments. Volunteers are the backbone of this organization, without which they would not be able to provide the extensive services incorporated in the program. Volunteers provide child care, speakers, tutors for G.E.D., book buddies, retail clerks in the Sparrow's Nest stores, and administrative help.

Six thrift stores/donation centers are active in Algonquin, Cary, McHenry, Mundelein, Palatine, and Woodstock. Gently used and new items, including clothing, shoes, furniture, jewelry, small appliances, and other household items are for sale to the public and to clients to help furnish their apartments.

RCLPC provided a representative on Home of the Sparrow's Seeking Committee in 1985 and has continued to be active in volunteer and staff positions. Sunday School children fill Easter baskets for children living at Home of the Sparrow sites with items the congregation donates. Families receive gifts each year from the Christmas Giving Tree. Designated Mission Funds are donated to the organization every year.

Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants/Pastoral Care

Immigrant Sisters and BrothersAs people of faith, we are called to accompany our immigrant sisters and brothers who are caught in the detention and deportation system and to work for more just immigration policies.

The ministries of this organization include: prayer vigil at the Broadview, Ill. Immigration Processing Center to support those who are in immigration detention and their families; praying on the buses, sending prayers to accompany deported immigrants in their difficult journey; and pastoral care at both Broadview and the McHenry County Jail, where teams of clergy and lay leaders visit weekly to provide pastoral care for detainees.

Since 2008 members of our church have been participating in the pastoral care ministry at McHenry County Jail. Teams of clergy and lay leaders of many faiths are able to meet with detainees face to face, offering them some small contact with the outside world. With their simple presence and conversation, pastoral care givers are able to show that people do care. The caregivers are often transformed by these experiences, having been moved by the strength, courage, and faith that these men and women possess.

Food Distribution in KenyaKenya Partnership

Blackhawk Presbytery has had a partnership with the Imenti Presbytery in Kenya for over 20 years. Additionally, RCLPC has a partnership with the Ngirine Parish composed of 8 different congregations served by one pastor. We communicate regularly with the Ngirine Parish sharing photos and information about our respective ministries.

Food Distribution in Kenya"Coins for Kenya" is an on-going project of Blackhawk Presbytery to provide funds to purchase food for drought-stricken areas in Kenya. Thank you to all who have put your spare change in the Coins for Kenya jars. Each November we will send all the coins collected to Blackhawk Presbytery which will then wire donations from all the churches in the presbytery to Kenya.

Living Waters for the World

Living Waters for the

Living Waters for the World mission teams empower their partners to provide clean, sustainable water and health education for their communities.

children with clean waterThe most precious natural resource on earth is clean water, especially for children, and many don't have it available. 780 million people around the world lack access to clean water, and 5,000 children die each day from preventable, waterborne illnesses.

Living Waters for the World, a mission project of the PC(USA) for more than 20 years, serves communities that have only contaminated water available. LWW has developed a simple, clean water filtration system that is easy to install and maintain. The systems are usually installed in public buildings, such as a church or school, and are supervised by a committee from the community. LWW also teaches people to become trainers of good health practices, without which the clean water would not be effective. LWW partners have installed and operate over 700 clean-water systems in developing areas of the world. Over 85% of these installations continue to operate.

water filtration systemLWW has been a mission project of our congregation since 2015. RCLPC has partnered with Belén Presbyterian Church, Ciudad de Refugio Presbyterian Church, and Monte Los Olivos Presbyterian Church to bring pure water and health education to their villages. Each church is part of the National Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Guatemala. They are located in small communities in the western part of Guatemala near the Pacific Coast.

You can support the LWW project by keeping team members and partners in your prayers, supporting the project's fundraisers-Fiesta Agua Viva in April and summer dinner theater performances by RCLPC Theater, donating items or providing funds towards the purchase of materials, preparing teaching materials, or driving the team to and from the airport. You are invited to consider traveling to Guatemala to work with our partners to install the water system or to provide health training to those who will teach others in the community. We look forward to this journey together to improve the lives of many, especially the children.

To make a financial gift to RCLPC's Living Waters for the World mission, write "Living Waters" on the memo line of your check, and place it in the offering. We look forward to this journey together to improve the lives of many, especially the children.
See more informative videos here.

PADS Lunches


The mission of PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) is to provide shelter for the homeless. RCLPC supports PADS by providing lunches for those without shelter.

In 1987 the McHenry County faith community became concerned about the homeless. Some churches were able to open their doors from October 1 through April 30 and provide dinner, sleeping accommodations, showers, and breakfast. RCLPC was and has been active in contributing lunches of sandwiches, fruit, chips, sweets, and juice or water. In 2006 the PADS organization merged with Pioneer Center for Human Services, which provides the broadest range of human services in the County. PADS can now offer clients and families emergency and transitional shelter, transportation, case management, and counseling.

RCLPC volunteers purchase food and assemble 30 to 50 lunches twice a month from October-April and deliver them to the churches that provide overnight shelter. These lunches are taken by the clients when they leave the shelter the next morning. From May-September, RCLPC volunteers purchase food and assemble 30 lunches each Friday morning. These lunches are delivered to the PADS emergency and transitional shelter in Woodstock. Currently RCLPC is the only church in the County serving these Friday lunches, a mission that was suggested by one of our teens. The youth groups are much appreciated for their assistance in this mission project.

Help is always needed to assemble and deliver the lunches. Funding is provided by individual donations and many RCLPC fundraisers.

PC(USA) Special Offerings


The four church-wide Special Offerings of the Presbyterian Church (USA) play an important role in the life of the church as a collective witness to the love of Jesus Christ.

One Great Hour of Sharing enables the church to share God's love with our neighbors-in-need around the world by providing relief to those affected by natural disasters, providing food to the hungry, and helping to empower the poor and oppressed. The offering is received on Palm Sunday each year.

The Pentecost Offering invests in the church's greatest resource, our youth. It assists children at risk and provides faith-building opportunities for youth and young adults. RCLPC designates 40% of this offering to local efforts that focus on children at risk and development of youth. The Pentecost Offering is traditionally received on the day of Pentecost.

The Peace and Global Witness Offering funds programs devoted to education, conflict resolution, and advocacy for justice in communities at home and abroad. It is received during the Season of Peace, which ends on World Communion Sunday. Recent recipients of RCLPC's 25% were the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants and Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

The Christmas Joy Offering provides much-needed assistance to PC(USA) church workers and their families. It supports leadership development and education at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges. RCLPC receives this offering every year during the Christmas season for this purpose.

Scrip Gift CardsSCRIP Gift Cards

RCLPC uses Scrip Gift/Shopping cards as a means to increase the mission funding for support of the PADS Lunches.

Recently RCLPC received $29 towards our mission fund, and not one person gave one cent. How can that be? Through the purchase of Scrip cards. We are able to raise money for missions just by making regular household purchases, but instead of using cash or credit cards, we use prepaid gift cards from your favorite retailers. You order your gift cards and pay face value ($10, $25, $100... whatever you choose) for the gift card. After we place the order, we get an automatic cash rebate back from the retailer that goes into our mission fund. These cards work just like any gift card, and they do not expire. We use the cash rebate to support our PADS lunches. And that $29 was earned from just five orders!

To share in this program, look for order forms on the mission bulletin board in the Connecting Link. Follow the directions on the form, and look for your cards about two weeks after the order deadline.

It is fundraising while you shop. Purchase Scrip gift cards for your everyday purchases - groceries, clothes, gas, dining out, as well as gifts, and the cash rebate will go towards our RCLPC PADS program. We invite you to take advantage of this wonderful program and help raise funds for our church missions.

Senior Care Volunteer NetworkSenior Care Volunteer Network

Senior Care Volunteer Network (SCVN) helps seniors maintain their independence, dignity, and quality of life by staying in their own homes or the home of a loved one for as long as possible.

Senior Care Volunteer NetworkVolunteers help achieve this mission by providing services such as transportation to life-sustaining as well as life-enriching destinations, friendly visits, minor home repairs, yard work, and short-term respite care - all at absolutely no charge to the senior. In the last fiscal year, volunteers drove more than 220,000 miles and dedicated 24,000 volunteer hours to assist 1,000 local seniors. These services saved seniors and their families over $540,000. McHenry County has one of the fastest growing senior populations in the state, and research indicates our county's senior population will increase 157% by 2030.

Many in our congregation assist seniors, work in the scheduling center, or sit on the Board of Directors. The Mission Outreach Ministry Team also supports SCVN with designated mission funds each year. Please consider volunteering with SCVN. An hour of your time is all it takes to make a real difference in the life of a senior who needs you!

Stronghold Camp & Retreat CenterStronghold Camp & Retreat Center is a year-round camping and retreat facility located on the bluffs overlooking the Rock River near Oregon, Illinois. Blackhawk Presbytery owns Stronghold and operates it as a ministry of the presbytery. The facilities include wilderness cabins, a camping area, dining and meeting rooms, and seven retreat houses able to accommodate 6-56 guests.

Stronghold Old English FaireStronghold's programming includes summer camps for ages 6-18, challenge courses, and confirmation retreats. In October, Stronghold hosts the Olde English Faire for the public. Stronghold is ideally suited for seminars, business meetings and professional development programs, church picnics, and family reunions.

Stronghold camps

RCLPC supports Stronghold financially and promotes and uses its programs and facilities. Youth from RCLPC attend as campers. Others serve as counselors or camp nurse. RCLPC's confirmands participate in retreats at Stronghold. Just ask a young person who's been there about the castle and its secret rooms!

Turning Point

Turning Point confronts violence against women and children in McHenry County.

Turning PointTurning Point provides secure emergency shelter, crisis intervention, individual and group counseling, mental health therapy, partner abuse intervention programs, violence prevention education programs, and referrals. The agency serves women, children and men who reside in McHenry County. Fees are on a sliding-fee scale for each client, and services are free for victims of abuse.

RCLPC has been supportive of Turning Point since its beginning in 1981. For those who want to become directly involved, Turning Point offers volunteers the chance to help with crisis programs, group facilitating, shelter volunteers, or child care. There are also opportunities for office help, building and grounds maintenance, fundraising, and supporting special events for more indirect involvement.

Many of Turning Point's clients move on to Home of the Sparrow once they are no longer in danger. Several RCLPC volunteers donate their time and talents to the Home of the Sparrow, offering direct assistance to its clients.

Youth and Mission

The RCLPC mission statement applies to the young as well as the older: " to look beyond our walls and beyond ourselves - to see God's image in every face, and to serve God's people in every place life leads us."

RCLPC clean-up daysThe youth of RCLPC share in mission events with the adults of the church. Together we help with food distribution, the Cookie Walk, the Giving Tree, PADS lunches, and the community CROP Walk.

The children and youth also take part in other events with their teachers and leaders. The children fill Easter baskets for Home of the Sparrow families. At Vacation Bible School, they have supplied a family moving into a new Habitat for Humanity home with kitchen supplies. They've prepared hygiene kits for people coping with natural disasters and sent school supplies to children in Africa. Confirmands do a community service project together and another on their own. The youth have worked at the Woodstock Christmas Clearing House. They have gone on recent summer mission trips to Chicago; Montreat, N.C.; the Appalachian area of Kentucky; and Rosebud Indian Reservation, S.D. They participate at the Crystal Lake Earth Day Clean-Up and make "Padwiches" for PADS clients.

The children and youth of RCLPC find many ways to participate in mission, showing God's love in the world.

Mission Calendar

One-time mission events are listed in a typical calendar month.
Missions in italics received gifts from RCLPC's designated mission funds in 2015.
Missions in bold are PC(USA) Special Offerings.


Care for Children Overseas

Senior Care Volunteer Network

Diaper Bank

Offering of Letters

One Great Hour of Sharing
(Palm Sunday)

Family Alliance

Earth Care Month

Family Health
Partnership Clinic

Day of Prayer & Action
for Colombia

Good Samaritan Fund

Pentecost Offering


Food Distribution

Home of the Sparrow

World Service Kits

Hunger Walk

Turning Point

Cents-Ability Banks

Peace & Global
Witness Offering

Family Health
Partnership Clinic

Global Gift Shop

Giving Tree

Food Distribution

Good Samaritan Ministry

Cookie Walk

Giving Tree

Christmas Joy