The Presbyterian Church in Basking Ridge has always had a heart for mission, for serving others and helping to build God’s kingdom here on earth. Our mission work has changed through these 300 years, and for us mission now means much more than just sending missionaries to far-away lands. Now each of us, from children to adults of any age, can share God’s love with others anywhere . . . from right here in our local area, throughout the US, and even around the world.
One of our former pastors John Chambers Rankin was influential in establishing missions as a focus for BRPC. In 1840, he graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary and was licensed and ordained as a missionary by the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. He then sailed for India with his wife Sarah Comfort, the daughter of a minister in Kingston, NJ. They worked as missionaries in Hindustan for eight years; four of their children were born there. The family was forced to return to America in 1848 for health reasons and Dr. Rankin became pastor of BRPC in 1851.
A Christian Endeavor Society was started in our church during Dr. Rankin’s pastorate, and in April of 1872 The Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society was organized with Mrs. Rankin as its first president. By 1875, there were 100 members sending contributions to schools in India and Syria. Later, money was also given to home mission work in Liberty Corner. These were the beginnings of organizational missions in our congregation.
Today each of us has many meaningful opportunities to share God’s love and help meet the needs of local and international communities. Whether collecting and distributing food for the Food Pantry; serving dinner for IHN guests, Morristown shelter clients, or Elizabethport area residents; donating money, food or other items; working on homes in Maine as a high school student or adult counselor; or supporting or traveling to work with our mission partners in Haiti, Ecuador, Kenya or Malawi; there is a special way for each of us to share God’s love with others.
Beloved, let us love one another because love is from God.— I John 4:7a
What will YOU personally do?
You and your family have many opportunities to offer ‘a cup of cold water’ to someone who needs to experience God’s love in a tangible way. Opportunities appear frequently in the bulletin and e-mails ~ let your own heart for mission be drawn to action and be in touch with the appropriate contact person noted below to get involved!
Will you offer a few hours of ‘home’ to children and adults who need it?
Interfaith Hospitality Network Contact: Joan Eichhorn
Several times each year BRPC provides a week of shelter, fellowship and meals to families in need of housing through IHN. Most of our guests are children, and opportunities include serving and joining guests for dinner, acting as an evening host for two hours, staying overnight in the church house, or helping with set-up.
Will you offer food to people who are hungry?
God’s Co-Op Food Pantry Contact: Janet Bentley
BRPC operates a food pantry in partnership with Bernardsville Presbyterian Church for those in our area who are limited in their ability to buy food. Opportunities include buying food, packing bags, distributing food in the pantry, and driving the van and speaking conversational Spanish with clients.
Will you offer a hot meal to families in need?
Homeless Solutions Contact: Abbie Sorge
Several times a year, groups of four BRPC members shop, cook dinner on site, and serve residents (adults and children) at this Morristown shelter.
Will you make this Thanksgiving Day an active giving of thanks?
Elizabethport Presbyterian Center (“E-Port”) Contact: Tom Eicher
E-port provides a caring, loving witness to Jesus Christ for the disadvantaged residents of Elizabeth. Services include day care, after school programs, summer camp, tutoring, scholarships, social services, job readiness, senior citizens outreach, and family strengthening classes. Make your Thanksgiving Day more meaningful by spending your morning delivering meals to seniors, shut-ins, and needy in the E-port area. We gather at the E-Port center, and families are welcome!
Will you help young people realize how much they can help others?
Maine Work Camp Contact: Cathi Reckenbeil
Each July, high school students and adult counselors spend a week at the Carpenter’s Boat Shop in Pemaquid, Maine, working to repair the homes of people in need. When the students share their work camp stories, we hear how it opens their eyes to the ways they can make a real difference by helping others.