Matthew 25


“‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ “

Our Session has approved our becoming a Matthew 25 congregation. The Matthew 25 commitment is a partnership with the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to build congregational vitality, dismantle racism and all other “isms,” and eradicate poverty. This committed us to focus educational efforts and actions around three focus areas: 

Building congregational vitality by challenging people and congregations to deepen their faith and get actively and joyfully engaged with their community and the world.

Dismantling structural racism by advocating and acting to break down the systems, practices and thinking that underlie discrimination, bias, prejudice and oppression of people of color.

Eradicating systemic poverty by working to change laws, policies, plans and structures in our society that perpetuate economic exploitation of people who are poor. 

The Presbyterian Mission Agency more succinctly states: “The work of Matthew 25 is a direct response to the good news of Jesus and a faithful expression of what it means to be Christ’s disciples in this time and place.” 

Learn more about the Matthew 25 vision here: bit.ly/3tXChWc 


Since our decision to become a Matthew 25 congregation, we have raised awareness of this initiative by becoming more purposeful in our social witness outreach.  Now, a Matthew 25 team is moving forward with ACTIONS – activities, relationships, advocacy, financial support, and continued education – to address the three focus areas of Matthew 25. 


PCCH Mission Partners

Your financial support of PCCH through the annual stewardship campaign enables the Social Witness Committee to provide support, through the budgeted mission tithe of congregational response, to the Presbytery of Philadelphia’s mission budget as well as to a number of partner organizations:

  • Achievability – strives to permanently break the generational cycle of poverty for West Philadelphia families through higher education, affordable housing, supportive services, community and economic development and accountability.
  • Dawn’s Place – Philadelphia’s first residential recovery home and program for women recovering from the trauma of sex trafficking.
  • Face to Face – relieves suffering in their guests by giving them support to meet their immediate needs through the core programs of Meals, Legal Center, Health Center, and Social Services. 
  • Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry – connects at-risk Northwest Philadelphia residents to resources within themselves and the community that resolve their crises, stabilize their lives and equip them to take the next step(s) toward self-sufficiency.
  • Northwest Victim Services – provides prompt, effective, holistic services to all victims of crime in Northwest Philadelphia while increasing strategies to elevate community safety.
  • Souls Shot Portrait Project – brings attention to and memorializes the lives lost and tragically altered due to gun violence by linking fine artists with families or friends of victims of gun violence, to create artwork that has the unique ability to call out the souls and profoundly affect those who see them. 
  • Urban Resources Development Corporation – works to stabilize housing and communities in Germantown, Mt. Airy and East/West Oak Lane through rehabilitation of homes for seniors and low-income people.
  • West Kensington Ministry – West Kensington Ministry (WKM) is a faith community of the Presbyterian Church, USA. WKM seeks to be relevant to those we serve as we follow Christ’s lead to serve others. WKM meets its community members where they are and serves as a one-stop-shop fulfilling basic needs and offering hope and healing. WKM transforms its community by connecting residents with access to food, clothing, weekly worship and youth and adult programming.
    WKM gives voice to activism on critical issues such as immigration and criminal justice reform and participates in ongoing civic engagement opportunities. Our strength is listening to the community and responding in real time to the constant cycle of changing needs. WKM is a place of gathering in a neighborhood where all are welcome.
  • Whosoever Gospel Mission – provides shelter, food, clothing, education, counseling, rehabilitation and other assistance to homeless and/or needy men, women and children in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, specifically Germantown.

The Presbyterian Mission Agency states: “The work of Matthew 25 is a direct response to the good news of Jesus and a faithful expression of what it means to be Christ’s disciples in this time and place.”  Your donations of money, time, food, gifts, and other in-kind support means the world to these organizations, and help PCCH as it strives to live its Matthew 25 commitment to build congregational vitality, dismantle structural racism, and eradicate systemic poverty.


Ongoing Events

GERMANTOWN AVENUE CRISIS MINISTRY FOOD CUPBOARD
Please help with your donations of: canned tuna and chicken, rice, pasta, peanut butter, canned vegetables and beans, hearty soups and stews, and breakfast cereals.  Regular size products (not “family size”) packaged in non-glass containers are appreciated.  Donations are collected on the first Sunday of each month during the last hymn of morning worship, or throughout the month on the bookshelf in the reception room or the bookshelf in the lower hallway.   

FACE TO FACE
We will be sending teams to help with meal preparation on the following Saturdays:  March 24, April 20, and May 18, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  This is open to families and youth.

The Social Witness Committee meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. We would love to have you join us. For more information about any of the above, contact Beth Nell Vaccaro, at bethnellvaccaro@gmail.com.


News and Upcoming Events

On behalf of the Social Witness Committee, THANKS to all who helped us live out our Matthew 25 vision by making casseroles and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, assembling toiletry kits, and donating supplies and financial support to the cause!  Our mission partners are appreciative of PCCH’s support.

Remember that we continue to collect non-perishable food for Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry, particularly on the first Sunday of each month, and have three dates coming up to help prep meals at Face to Face – check the Social Witness bulletin board or our Matthew 25 webpage for details.


Recent Events

DAY OF SERVICE – January 14, 2024

Day of Service to help Face to Face. Click HERE for details.

HOLIDAY GIVING

Here are several opportunities to help our neighbors in need during the holidays:

ACHIEVEability
Help brighten the holidays by providing gifts to children in West Philadelphia. This Advent season, PCCH has committed to providing gifts for 50 children through ACHIEVEability.


Face to Face Service Day on December 23
We will be sending a team of six people to help with meal preparation at Face to Face, from 9:30am-1:00pm.  

Collections for Our Mission Partners
Each Sunday during Advent, we will be collecting food and toiletries for our mission partners Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry and Face to Face. In addition to suggested items, we will have a basket for monetary donations to purchase needed items for organizations.

December 3Food Collection for Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry: canned tuna and chicken, rice, pasta, peanut butter, canned vegetables and beans, hearty soups and stews, and breakfast cereals.  Regular size products (not “family size”) packaged in non-glass containers are appreciated.

December 10Face to Face Collection
Full size deodorant, shampoo (6 oz. or larger), conditioner (6 oz. or larger)

December 17 – Food Collection for Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry (see above)

December 24 – Face to Face
Individually wrapped toothbrushes, full size toothpaste.

Youth Mission Giving Tree

All December long, the mission giving tree will be set up in Widener hall.  Consider purchasing an ornament on the mission giving tree to support the Youth Mission Trip to Montana in Summer 2024.  All ornaments have been hand painted by some talented youth (and less than talented youth leaders). A table will be set up each Sunday during the second hour for purchasing a mission ornament via cash, check or Paypal.  

THANK YOU to all who contributed food and funds toward Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry’s Thanksgiving basket drive.  We collected 68 bags of food and 14 chickens or turkeys, along with over $700 in cash contributions, from the congregation (including those who reached out to their workplaces) and preschool.

You made a significant contribution toward over 150 baskets distributed to individuals and families in greater Germantown, which brighten their Thanksgiving holiday


WEEKEND OF SERVICE – October 14 -15, 2023
URDC’s mission is to help stabilize neighborhoods in Germantown and surrounding communities by addressing the housing needs of seniors and low-income families through its Owner-Occupied Repair Program.  Unfortunately on Saturday, October 14, our home repair and improvement project was canceled due to the weather. Contact Jeff Podraza for more information about upcoming home repair projects. On Sunday, October 15, PCCH members and children met following worship to make peanut butter sandwich, assemble lunch bags, and cook delicious casseroles for Face to Face.


SUMMER VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES WITH URDC

URDC’s annual volunteer week with the Interfaith Community Building Group (ICBG) ran from Monday, 7/24 through Thursday, 7/27. ICBG is an interdenominational collaboration of contractors between URDC members St. Vincent’s and Mishkan Shalom synagogue. During that time, 10-15 members of ICBG (and other volunteers) repaired the homes of up to 7 low-income, senior homeowners.

A volunteer day sponsored by First United Methodist Church of Germantown (FUMCOG) on Saturday, 8/12.

WEEKEND OF SERVICEMay 6-7, 2023

Our congregational Day of Service helped to provide food (casseroles and sandwiches and much more), health supplies, books and clothing to our neighbors. In May, a group made home repairs and improvements for senior homeowners in Germantown, Mount Airy and West Oak Lane. You also helped to increase awareness of the increasing toll of gun violence in our community, and improved our gardens at PCCH – providing food for community fridges in Northwest Philadelphia. Many congregants participated with enthusiasm and joy, and we hope to have MORE opportunities to serve in the near future!

As part of the Weekend of Service, the Social Witness Committee worked with a new mission partner, Urban Resources Development Corporation (URDC) to assist homeowners in the Germantown area with necessary home repairs. Home repair projects included indoor projects helping URDC clients with painting, demolition, drywall, and spackling. 

The mission of Urban Resources Development Corporation (URDC) is to help stabilize neighborhoods in Germantown, Mt. Airy, East/West Oak Lane, and surrounding communities by addressing the housing needs of seniors and low-income families through its Owner-Occupied Repair Program.  For more information now, their website is buildgermantown.org.

DAY OF SERVICEJANUARY 15, 2023

To recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend and to build on our Matthew 25 commitment, we will engage in several acts of service.  After a shortened worship service we will move to the kitchen, Widener Hall and the reception room to begin our service projects. A light lunch will be provided. Click HERE to find out details. Click HERE to sign up to provide ingredients for casseroles or lunches to be prepared for Face to Face.

GERMANTOWN AVENUE CRISIS MINISTRY HOLIDAY BASKET PROJECT THANK YOU!

Thanks to all who contributed food and financial support to the Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry Thanksgiving basket drive, and to those PCCH members who volunteered their time.  Over 100 baskets were given out to community members on Friday, November 18, with even more scheduled to be distributed on Monday, November 21.  Eileen Jones, Executive Director of GACM, said “it was such a rewarding day receiving the gifts of generous food donors and volunteers – also seeing so many people helped!”  Your contributions have great impact – thank you again!

DAY OF SERVICEOCTOBER 16, 2022

Thank you to all who participated in our first Day of Service. We accomplished a lot…

  • We made nearly 200 PB&J sandwiches for Face to Face, with lunch bags creatively decorated by our children and youth.
  • We prepared 14 large pans of ziti casserole for Face to Face.
  • We installed the Memorial to the Lost T-shirt exhibition in the front yard as a poignant reminder of murder victims in Philadelphia. Decorate lunch bags and cards for Face to Face (a great activity for children and families)
  • We sorted coats and gloves for Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry. Collection of coats, scarves, and other warmth items for Germantown Avenue Crisis Ministry’s Warmth Drive.

Dozens and dozens of you—from preschool to our most senior members—contributed your time and energy and love to help serve our neighbors, in the spirit of Matthew 25. And we had
fun doing so!



More events and initiatives are being planned by the Matthew 25 team – we welcome your suggestions and participation!  Reach out to John Wilkinson (jwilkinson@chestnuthillpres.org) for more information.