You shall love your neighbor as yourself.— Matthew 22:39
This is a foundational teaching of our faith. Because when we love our neighbor in need, including those who are hungry or thirsty or naked, we are loving our Lord himself. Likewise, we are called to be neighbors, bringing compassion, hope and help to all who are in need and doing so on Christ’s behalf.
Christ in Action
Our hope is that everyone in our congregation will participate in at least one hands-on mission program. Be a neighbor, love a neighbor. Here are some of the local groups we are supporting. Any of them would be a great place to get involved.
Elizabethport Presbyterian Center
Founded in 1965 by the Presbytery of Elizabeth, Elizabethport Presbyterian Center (affectionately known as “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, vacation bible school, job readiness, senior citizens outreach, and family strengthening classes. (Local contact: Tom Eicher.) [eportpres.org]
God’s Co-Op Food Pantry
BRPC operates a cooperative food pantry in partnership with Good Shepherd Church in Bernardsville for those in our area who are limited in their ability to buy food. Click the heading above for more information. (Local contact: Suzanne Van Loon.) [God’s Co-Op Food Pantry ]
Haitian Leadership Foundation
The Haitian Leadership Foundation began its’ vital work about three years ago, after the terrible earthquake. It encompasses a holistic rural development program, which is incorporating agriculture, health care, education, clean water, solar power, micro enterprise, housing, while fostering greater collaboration between existing NGOs and faith based groups. Through this group, we support the Nod Dorcilien Village, a Christian school and health center. (Local contact: Jacques Delli Paoli)
HOME of Somerset County (formerly Interfaith Hospitality Network)
Several weeks during each year, BRPC becomes a home to several local families in need of housing. We provide shelter, fellowship and meals, and HOME provides support and education in parenting, life, & job skills. (Local contact: Carol Skidmore.) [homescnj.org]
Homeless Solutions, Inc.
Homeless Solutions provides a hands on opportunity to help feed adults, children and families. Three to four times a year, faithful members of our congregation volunteer their time to shop and cook dinner for the Homeless Solutions Shelter in Morris Plains. Click here for more details, and our 2022 dates. (Local contact: Joelle Strona.) [www.homelesssolutions.org]
Ridge Oak Senior Housing
In 1971, BRPC and five other local churches formed Ridge Oak Senior Housing, which is a private, non-profit organization established to provide rent-subsidized apartments to age and income eligible senior citizens. It’s philosophy is to support independence, safety and dignity. (Local contact: Maureen Paterson.) [ridgeoak.org]
Refugee Assistance Partners NJ (RAPNJ)
RAPNJ assists refugee individuals and families as identified by the United Nations, who have already arrived in the US and are beginning their resettlement in Union County. RAPNJ’s mission is to help these families achieve long-term self-sufficiency while safeguarding their dignity and uniqueness. An all-volunteer organization, RAPNJ assists by welcoming, attending to material and educational needs, and offering friendship and hospitality. RAPNJ works with other helping groups and national agencies contracted by the United States government to manage refugee resettlement.
Since its founding in 2015, RAPNJ has helped over 250 refugees from the Middle East and Africa and is now assisting refugees from Afghanistan. Volunteers provide transportation, assistance in understanding mail and documents, tutoring for ESL, financial literacy and life skills, budgeting, networking (e.g for housing), and donations for urgent material needs. RAPNJ complements the work done by official resettlement agencies by establishing close, positive relationships with resettled families and individuals.
Other Areas & Organizations We Support
Oak Tree Quilters — Since 2000, these volunteers have shared fellowship while creating over 500 quilts to give to those needing warmth and comfort.
Somerset Chaplaincy to the Elderly — provides regular chaplaincy services to residents in all eldercare facilities in Somerset County not being served by another agency, and supports and enhances the role of those who care for the elderly.
Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity — Since 1994, Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity has built 35 homes in Somerset and Hunterdon counties. These homes now provide safe, decent, affordable housing for 126 low-income residents, including 84 children.
Sr. High Youth Workcamp — For one week in July, youth and advisors from our church and community travel to Maine to rebuild homes in rural areas for those in need. This is an awesome opportunity for our young people to see how their hard work and spirit really does make a difference in the lives of others. View our Youth Ministries Page for more information.
Global Support — We also support organizations and individuals working in many other parts of the world:
- Africa – Malawi, Uganda, & Kenya
- Latin America – Ecuador & Nicaragua
- Mid-East & Asia – Lebanon & Indonesia
Our Mission partner in Malawi is the Rev. Cheryl Barnes. View more here:
For more information or to get involved in any of these ministries, please contact Dr. Maureen Paterson.