Our Philosophy of Missions

 The purpose of the Outreach Committee is to engage our congregation in reaching out to the local community and the world to preach Christ to all people and nations. We define missions as any endeavor outside our local congregation to fulfill the Great Commission of Christ by proclaiming the Gospel of Christ, making disciples and relating to the whole need of mankind—spiritual and physical. As stated in Guidelines adopted by the Committee:

Desiring to be faithful to all the commands of Christ, we seek to have a balanced missions program, with respect to location (urban and rural; developed and undeveloped; local, state and national, and world), target population (youth, elderly, minorities, frontier missions, urban and suburban dwellers, etc.) and type of missionary activity (evangelism, including Bible translation and distribution; medical; educational; agricultural; etc.).

To carry out these objectives, currently annual funds are allocated for about 20 overseas missionaries and mission projects and New England area and state projects sponsored by Presbyterian or independent mission boards.

We encourage and support short-term missions, both group and individual. Short-term mission trips have included summer youth missions to The Boston Project Ministries and New Orleans, adult missions to Alternative Mission’s ministry on the island of Helene, Honduras, and most recently, family missions to World Vision’s ministry program in Grafton, West Virginia. We have sponsored summer stays in China under the English Language Institute/China program, whose goal is to place Christians in that country to teach the English language. 

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An important focus of the First Presbyterian Church’s outreach program is those in need on Aquidneck Island. Locally, we partner with the Newport Corps of the Salvation Army to support their programs that assist those in need.  We do so through our mission giving and church members who serve as volunteers to assist with the weekly Friday soup kitchen provided by the Salvation Army,  pick up bread and pastries from local merchants for the daily bread pantry, assist with the food  pantry and serve as Red Kettle bell ringers and collection counters during the Christmas season.  Individual members of the congregation support the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program with their gifts for children.

Reaching out beyond our shores, every year we send dozens of shoeboxes to Good Samaritan’s Operation Christmas Child. The countries that have received our boxes include: South Sudan, Tanzania, Iraq, Malawi, and Democratic Republic of Congo.

We also support Joe and Averyl Morris, missionaries in South Africa with Alternative Missions, who wear many hats.  Their primary ministry is outreach to AIDS-affected families and child-headed households in Natal Province, South Africa, sharing the love of Jesus with food, clothing, shoes, blankets, and medical screening and supplies.  They also seek to meet the immediate needs of migrants and refugees streaming into South Africa from all parts of Africa.  They distribute donated Bibles, conduct Bible studies and Life Skills education (using Christ-centered HIV/AIDS teaching), and host short-term mission trips.

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Joe and Averyl minister to families in South Africa
The Outreach Committee—putting our mission philosophy to work

Every year members of First Presbyterian Church are asked to pledge and donate specifically to the missions program. The Outreach Committee develops and manages a missions budget (reviewed and approved by the Session) to allocate the monies given to support the mission work of the church.

The Committee also promotes a special Palm Sunday offering each year during Lent. This offering is dedicated to a particular mission need. The Missions Treasurer receives and distributes all missions income, including funds specially designated to missionaries not regularly supported by the Church.

To keep FPC members informed of the work of our missionaries, we provide occasional "Minutes for Mission" during worship services, special presentations to Sunday School classes, bulletin inserts, special speakers and films, and a bulletin board display featuring a “Missionary of the Month,” Occasionally Committee members attend missions conferences to learn how to do their jobs better.

Keeping in touch with our missionaries is a high priority. In addition to correspondence by regular mail and e-mail, the Committee commits to pray for missionaries. The Outreach Committee also hosts visiting missionaries, arranging for transportation, housing and meals. Committee members coordinate the missionaries' schedules while in Newport so they can give presentations and meet FPC congregants.
FPC members are directly involved in several local and national missions projects. These include a monthly soup kitchen, an annual Operation Christmas Child, the Angel Tree, and the Young Lives ministry for unwed mothers.
We're a busy committee! And we could use your help. If you are a part of the FPC family and are interested in missions, join the team! We're part of a great cause for the King of Kings! Anyone interested in joining us should
contact the church office.