Christian Food Pantry
The Christian Food Pantry was opened in 1982 by First Christian Church. It’s located at 7 Chicago Street in Valparaiso and provides food for 400-700 people a month. We started it as the first such pantry in the area and still provide most of the leadership, but six other congregational families in the community have joined the ministry: 1st Methodist, St. Andrews, Trinity Lutheran, 1st Presbyterian, Living Hope Community Church, and St. Paul’s Catholic. The U.S. Post Office’s Food Drive and a variety of local businesses and individuals have also joined us in providing enhanced food security for our community. Each summer, “Kids Kits” are given out to supplement meals lost during school summer break; special meals are given out for holidays; and “regular food” is given out all year.
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Through regionally sponsored summer camps, children and youth get to experience the beauty of creation, the stories of Scripture, and the power of Christian community.
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Growing Hope Globally (GHG)
We sponsor a farm family that grows 20 acres of soybeans and/or corn. They supply the labor and land, our money helps pay for seeds and fertilizer. The crops are sold locally and all the profits are donated to the Week of Compassion, which creates food security around the world by giving people the means and information to better grow their own food. Our congregation, through Week of Compassion (WOC) directs that half of our crop’s yearly earnings go toward food security for the Haitian people. The remainder is used by WOC to meet pressing crises around the world — everything from hurricane relief to fighting Covid-19.
In special, once-per-year offerings, we support the following ministries:
- Week of Compassion: Week of Compassion is a network of organizations that respond to humanitarian needs in the world. This February offering enables us to be part of bringing help and hope to hurting people in every corner of the world.
- General Ministries: We collect money each Easter to support the General Ministries of our denomination. They give oversight and management to a range of denominational functions. (see “Regional & National Offices,” below)
- New congregations: We help plant new congregations in Northwest Indiana and around the world with this offering each Pentecost.
- Reconciliation Ministry: One of our most important missions is to be pro-reconciling; and to fight racism, homophobia, sexism and such in ourselves and others. A special “Reconciliation Offering” is collected each September.
- Education and Seminary: We support Disciples colleges, universities and theological institutions with this offering each Thanksgiving.
- Regional Ministries: Every Christmas we collect money to support the Christian Church in Indiana. It oversees the camping program, plants new churches, helps with ministerial relocation, counsels congregations in distress, and otherwise nurtures Disciple churches in Indiana. (see below)
Regional and General Offices
When The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) started on the American frontier, our founding fathers and mothers wanted to break their ties to existing denominations (Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, and the like) and simply be known as what we ALL are: Christians. That ecumenical impulse is still our guiding star, and we are proud to proclaim that — while we are Christians only — we are NOT the only Christians. But over the years, we have found it useful to do many things together and, for better or worse, have started to at least look like a denomination, one that we call “The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).” This helps local congregations support outreach and evangelism projects that spread God’s love and the Good News (Gospel) throughout the United States and the world. To find out more, go to:
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana http://indianadisciples.org/
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada https://disciples.org/