Our local food pantry, housed in Pierre Area Referral Offices (PARS), is a tremendous community resource that we support each year with a food and monetary drive called Souper Bowl of Caring! Our children take the lead by setting a goal for our collection each year, and they make sure to keep us updated on our progress! The campaign comes to a finale with a soup potluck celebration after worship, some years falling on Super Bowl Sunday. The following week, our children drop off the donations and learn about food insecurity at our local food bank. It's a wonderful partnership we celebrate each year!
The Love Fund offering helps alleviate financial distress for our neighbors. We offer $50 and $100 Dakotamart Food Vouchers for those most in need in our community. We also help with various household needs, such as rental assistance and utilities, up to $200/yr for a household. The unique nature of this fund is its relational impact:
1. All money is collected from generous members and friends of our congregation. 2. All referrals are received from engaged members and friends of our congregation who identify a need within their neighborhood.
In October & May of each year, we collect special offerings to supplement our established scholarship funds. This tremendous ministry honors our baptismal vows to our young people, affirming and supporting their pursuit of educational opportunities. Higher education is expensive, and this scholarship effort ensures we remain connected with our young people as they leave home AND that we back up our promises with tangible help.
One Thing Campaign
Our One Thing Campaign collects a simple and practical product that our partnering service agencies identify as "needed essentials." Bug spray and SPF lotion for the Boys and Girls Club, diapers for Pierre Area Referral Service, blankets and coats for our Lakota UCC sister churches, shampoo and conditioner for Missouri Shores, and cat and dog treats for PAWS Animal Rescue are all items we've collected in the past. We continue to expand according to known need. The true joy of the ONE THING we collect each month is the benefit it offers our neighbors AND the connection and concern it evokes in those who offer it.
Containers are placed in our sanctuary & in front of the office to collect these items each month.
PILC Halloween Treats
Each Halloween, our deacons prepare hundreds of Halloween treat bags for the kindergarten through 8th grade students who attend Pierre Indian Learning Center. Larry Christiansen's dedication to the students at PILC ensures we remain connected. Halloween is a favorite holiday for these students, so we celebrate them with a simple gift of love. Each year we look forward to reading all the thank you cards they create, including requests for next year's candy choice! It's a relationship built on a steady promise that come Halloween, candy is in hand!
Serving at The Banquet
Southeast Community Center in Pierre offers a hot meal on Thursdays to the community. We help by preparing and serving that meal during the month of July. It's more than a meal served here, because the folks who join are truly a community. In this small way each year, we contribute to the continuance of a vital community resource and the community gathering itself.
Veteran's Benefit Pheasant Feed
Our deacons take the lead in preparing and serving a delicious pheasant breast meal in support of our closest Veterans Home. After long-time deacon and veteran advocate George Summerside passed away, our pheasant feed is now in tribute to him. This event is a community-favorite, hosted the week of Veteran's Day each year. The funds raised are given entirely in support of our Veterans.
The Christmas Store
Each Advent, our congregation re-stocks a variety of gifts that become our children's Christmas store! Every child is welcome to purchase gifts for their loved ones for only $1. It it is a tremendous success each year, offering young ones the dignity and surprise-factor of selecting gifts for their parents, siblings and grandparents, among others. Before and after service each Advent Sunday, our young ones select AND wrap these gifts, assisted by the Christian Ed. crew and other adult volunteers. Be sure to join the fun next Christmas- there's a role for everyone to play!