First Presbyterian Church in Iowa City, Iowa is a very active church locally, nationally and internationally in a variety of mission and social justice work. As Christians, we believe God is calling us to reach out to "the least of these" in ways that will exhibit the love of Christ. This is reflected in the church's mission statement which reads,
In response to the grace of God in Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Mission of the First Presbyterian Church of Iowa City is to witness to the presence of Christ in the world by:
- Celebrating the good news of Jesus Christ as a gathered community in the reverence, beauty, joy and dignity of Christian worship;
- Nourishing the faith and commitment of children, youth and adults through study, prayer and Christian fellowship;
- Sharing our faith with our families, neighbors and strangers;
- Dedicating our individual spiritual gifts, talents, time and material blessings to God’s use every day of the week;
- Working for peace and justice.
Some of our current initiatives can be found below and on the right-hand side of this page. You can jump there with these links:
We invite you to join us at any time! Contact the church
for more information.
The following is a list with brief descriptions of some of our local mission work. For more information or to participate in any of these opportunities, please contact the agency listed or feel free to contact us anytime.
Consultation of Religious Communities – an ecumenical group which coordinates efforts to address various needs in our community. Our church is represented with a member on their board and with contributions to their Common Fund as well as to the following special projects:
To Gather Together – Our volunteers publicize, help organize, and distribute school clothing and supplies.
Winter Clothing Distribution – Our volunteers donate items (coats, sweaters, and other cold weather clothing needs), set up and help distribute the collections.
Christmas Gifts for Parents – Our volunteers donate items from which children can “shop” for gifts for their parents. Volunteers also assist the children in shopping.
Crisis Center – a local agency addressing various needs of persons in the community who are in crisis. FPC involvement includes financial support, volunteer support as needed/requested and an on-going collection of needed items for their food bank.
DVIP (Domestic Violence Intervention Program) – includes a shelter and support for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. FPC supports DVIP with annual contributions as well as volunteer support from members.
Ecumenical Housing Corporation – a group of low income apartments in downtown Iowa City. Our congregation has a representative to the Ecumenical Towers Board, publicizes their needs as they arise and periodically supports them with financial contributions.
Free Lunch Program – a free meal available six days a week in downtown Iowa City. Our church gives some financial support to the overall program and is responsible to prepare and serve a meal every 3rd Thursday by donating both food and manpower.
Habitat for Humanity (Iowa City) – is a local branch of the broader national agency whereby houses are built by local volunteers and sold at cost to families who qualify as needing this sort of assistance. Our church sponsored the building of two homes, gave ongoing support to some of the owner families and continues to supply volunteer builders to other houses built in the area.
Home Ties Preschool - is a day care center for young children of persons (many who are in the Homeless Shelter) who are working to find jobs and get their lives back on track. Our church gives financial support to the center for various needs such as a playhouse, other educational equipment and art supplies.
Iowa City Hospice – is a local part of the greater Hospice effort across the country. Several members support this program with their time and talent as well as monetary support.
Shelter House - is a citywide effort to offer short term housing to persons in crisis. We have supported them financially from Mission Funds and we serve as a collection point for specifically requested items.
Table to Table – is a food reclamation agency whereby route volunteers pick up food from various stores about town and distribute it to agencies that can use it. FPC donates money, as well as leftover food from various church events, members volunteer in many capacities for the program and the church bought a van for them to use in their food collections.
The following is a list with brief descriptions of some of our national and international mission work. For more information or to participate in any of these opportunities, please contact us.
Christian Girls School in Pasrur Pakistan – our church built a dormitory on Pasrur School campus for impoverished girls from nearby rural villages. Each year, we work to find sponsors for scholarships for 100 girls to attend the boarding school. By providing these girls with an education, we impact not only the girls but their families and communities as well. Read more to find out how to help.
CROP Walk – is a nationwide effort to raise money to help feed the hungry. Our church takes an active role in raising awareness of these needs while many of our members generously support those who walk with the First Presbyterian Team, raising significant amounts of money.
Denominational Offerings – opportunities for “extra mile giving” to support established programs of the larger Presbyterian Church. Some offerings also include a local recipient component chosen by the Mission Council.
Mission Trips – work trips and/or educational trips. Both youth and adults have participated in several trips in this country. There have also been several trips to Pakistan for our assistance with the Pasrur Christian Girls School.
Su Casa de Esperanza – is a large Family Center in southern Texas. Individual members donate requested items and our church sends financial support.
Wheels for the World – is a national organization that refurbishes used wheel chairs for use by those in this country and abroad who have need of them. Some members are actively involved as volunteers interpreting the needs of the organization to others and FPC is also a financial supporter.
Gun Violence Prevention
We recently viewed the movie, "TRIGGER: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence" and are discussing ways to take action to prevent gun violence. Here are some helpful links for you to take action!
Use the links on the right of the page under "Make Your Voice Count" to contact our representatives in government. Use these facts to support your case:
- The U.S. firearm homicide rate is 20 times higher than the combined rates of 22 countries that are our peers in wealth and population.
- One in three people in the U.S. know someone who has been shot and nearly one in four American teens have witnessed a shooting.
- American children die by guns 11 times as often as children in other high-income countries.
- Firearm homicide is the second-leading cause of death (after motor vehicle crashes) for young people ages 1-19 in the U.S.
- In 2007, more pre-school-aged children (85) were killed by guns than police officers were killed in the line of duty.
- Youth (ages 0 to 19) in the most rural U.S. counties are as likely to die from a gunshot as those living in the most urban counties. Rural children die of more gun suicides and unintentional shooting deaths. Urban children die more often of gun homicides.
- Although guns can and have been used successfully in self-defense in the home, a gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used to kill or injure in a domestic homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting than to be used in self-defense.
- Medical treatment, criminal justice proceedings, new security precautions, and reductions in quality of life are estimated to cost U.S. citizens $100 billion annually.
- The lifetime medical cost for all gun violence victims in the United States is estimated at $2.3 billion, with almost half the costs borne by taxpayers.
The PCUSA has study materials regarding gun violence prevention. Click here for more information.
Click here for the PCUSA's report, "Gun Violence, Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God's Call." This is a document outlining the church's gun violence policy.
Here is a link to frequently asked questions regarding Iowa's weapons permits: FAQs on Iowa's Gun Law
Click here to view Presbytery of New York City's resolution on gun violence.
Here are some organizations working to prevent gun violence:Presbyterian Voices for Justice: http://www.pv4j.org/Brady Campaign: www.bradycampaign.org Heeding God's Call: www.heedinggodscall.org Demand Action, a campaign of Mayors Against Illegal Guns: www.demandaction.org
Contact the Iowa City Mayor and Council
for information on contacting council members by email, mail, fax or in person.
Studies show that children perform better in school when they eat three balanced meals a day. Operation Backpack provides children whose families are low-income with nutritious, kid-friendly foods. The food is packed and delivered to the school by volunteers each Friday that school is in session. Each child brings home approximately 6.5 pounds per food a week.
Our congregation has partnered with Lucas Elementary School in Iowa City, and has committed to picking up, packing, and delivering food to their students. We need everyone’s help to ensure that Lucas students have enough to eat on the weekends. Volunteers of all ages are welcome!
Sign up to pick up food at HACAP in Hiawatha, IA:
(HACAP employees will help load food into your vehicle; volunteers will help unload at church.)
Sign up to pack food at First Presbyterian Church:
Sign up to deliver food to Lucas School in Iowa City:
(One person is needed, but two is ideal, as bins of food are heavy for one person to lift alone.)