In ancient Israelite society, the Law commanded the people to care for the poor as a reflection of God’s eternal justice. In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Here at The Packanack Community Church, we take seriously God's call in our lives to recognize the needs of our neighbors, and to meet those needs with the love of God. The following programs and activities are just a few of the ways in which we live out that call every day of our lives.
"Angels Calling" Charitable Gift Program
For many years, our congregation provided Christmas presents for families-in-need, most of whom were residents of surrounding communities. Ever since Hurricanes Irene and Sandy hit our state, however, we have become much more aware of the critical need within our own town. We also don't want to wait until the Christmas season to make that assistance available. Instead, we have developed a relationship with the Director of Wayne Township's Department of Social Services as well as the school nurses in order to identify families that our congregation can assist while maintaining their confidentiality. For many of those families, our assistance continues throughout the year in the form of food store gift cards and other resources that we are able to make available to them.
Donations of the following items are needed at this time and can be dropped off at the church (please leave in the donation box on the stage in Simmons Hall):
SCHOOL SNACKS: any gummy snacks, cheese and crackers with the little red stick, pretzels, gold fish, any type of cookies (chocolate chip, Oreos, etc.), Juicey Juice juice boxes (any flavors), juice for the kids (Juicy Juice or some brand like that), popcorn (or boxed assortment that comes with small bags of potato chips, corn chips, nacho chips, etc.)
OTHER: paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, paper plates/bowls, plastic forks, knives and spoons, crock pot liners, aluminum foil, fabric softener, dishwasher detergent
Community Outreach Team
In keeping with our Open and Affirming covenant, the Community Outreach TEAM of the Packanack Community Church continues to bring an extravagant welcome to our community and beyond. The TEAM is a dedicated group committed to putting God’s love in motion through educational and charitable endeavors. The TEAM hosts a Coffee House Speaker Series on timely topics meant to inform and enlighten. In addition, the TEAM sponsors charitable work to improve the lives of those in need. All are invited to be part of the TEAM. Click on the button on the home page to learn more.
Wayne VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster)
In the wake of Hurricane Irene in September 2011, Wayne VOAD was founded by Rev. Dr. Karyn Ratcliffe as a way of helping the community respond to the needs of our neighbors for food, shelter, cleaning supplies, school supplies, personal care items and financial assistance. Wayne VOAD is based upon a national model and works cooperatively with Wayne Township officials. It is operational only during a time of disaster and serves to facilitate a cooperative interfaith effort among various groups of people to offer relief and support. During the extended power outages following Superstorm Sandy, Wayne VOAD served hot meals to the community, provided volunteers to operate the town shelter, and distributed food store gift cards to help replace food that was lost in refrigerators and freezers. We also offer food store and toy store gift cards to families-in-need during the Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday season.
To find out more about Wayne VOAD, please see our Facebook page and our website at www.WayneVOAD.com. You are also encouraged to sign onto our e-mail distribution list so that we can contact you quickly in the event of another disaster. To do so, send a request along with your full name to WayneVOAD@gmail.com.
Appalachia Service Project
For 11 consecutive years (2004 - 2014), senior youth and adult leaders from our congregation travelled to Appalachia to spend a week helping to make homes warmer, safer and drier. We participated in a program sponsored by the United Methodist Church called "Appalachia Service Project" (ASP), which offers one of the most rewarding service opportunities in the nation for making a lasting difference in the world. The ASP Senior Youth Mission Trip was a year-round activity during which participants bonded with each other, planned for the trip, learned about Appalachia, and raised funds to cover the cost of building materials and trip expenses. It was a unique opportuity for adults and youth to work side-by-side for an extended period of time in a region of our country where poverty is widespread but faith is very deep. While our church is not currently planning another ASP trip, we do hope to return to Appalachia in the future. For more information, go to www.ASPHome.org.
Packanack Cooperative Nursery School
The Packanack Cooperative Nursery School (PCNS) was founded in 1951 as a pre-school program that encourages parents to participate in the early education of their children. Today it has a long and proud tradition of excellence in early childhood development. The PCNS Board is solely comprised of parents who work cooperatively with school staff to provide a safe place that is not only strong on academics but also nurturing in spirit. As one of very few schools in the wider region that still offers a cooperative program, PCNS is flexible enough for working parents yet structured around a stay-at-home routine. For more information, go to www.packanackco-op.com.