Summer, 2022 Summary:
Summer is typically a bit slower than other months, so during the last 3 months, we were able to assist 25 families. Eight families asked for assistance with utility bills, 4 with rental support, 1 food support, 1 medical assistance request, 4 requests for new mattresses (via our special program). We were also able to offer additional assistance with help from the Family Resource Center, offered food vouchers and food from the Deacon Cupboard, and assisted with a clothing voucher. Sometimes our assistance to the community takes a more personal form as we assisted an elderly resident who we take shopping every other week!
What is a Deacon and what do they do?
There are 12 Deacons at the Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church, and they are charged with the job of “Blessing our Community”. We do this by helping many of these people financially, and by offering each of them comfort in the knowledge of God. Praying with every requester is part of our calling. Each Deacon serves a 3 year period and is chosen by the church.
Who Do The Deacons Help?
The growing popularity of San Juan Island has led to an ever-increasing population here. Many of these people are not aware of the higher costs of living on, or even visiting, a small island. As a result, we have had growing numbers of people in need come to the church for aid. In addition, there seems to be larger numbers of homeless individuals who occasionally request help from us. A number of these people are mentally and/or emotionally challenged in coping with the responsibilities of normal living. The Deacons are sometimes stretched to come up with suitable accommodations, or other help, that is needed for these folks. This is a question that we haven’t been able to comfortably answer yet. We are pleased to have the Family Resource Center and the Episcopal Church working with us in many of these situations.
Do I Have To Be A Member of The Church To Get Help?
No. The Deacons help the community at large as well as members of the Congregation. These requests are treated with a little more care to help maintain the privacy of our fellow members. Although it is a true blessing to help others in our community, it is special to be able to give aid to our church family.
Other Deacon responsibilities include the Community Outreach Seating on July 4th-a fun and pleasant way to interact with the community. We pack Christmas boxes of food each year to those in need. And we prepare and serve an Easter Brunch before that special service each year. Going with Pastor Greg to those who would like to receive communion.
Besides these special occasions, Deacons prepare Communion on the first Sunday of each month. We also are in charge of coffee hour on Communion Sundays, and we take care of the cleanup after the coffee hour.
If I Get Assistance, Do I Need To Pay It Back?
There is absolutely no obligation to pay back any funds you receive. You are not required to work it off.
I NEED ASSISTANCE.
You can call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our phone has voicemail that is checked frequently by the Deacon of the Month. Just call 360-378-4544 and follow the prompts. You can also email your request HERE.
Severe Weather Shelter
This activates at our 395 Spring Street location on a rotating basis during periods of severe weather. Guests are supplied with food and a warm place to sleep. The SWS is supported by donations through United Way of San Juan County, and is staffed by local, trained volunteers. This is a new ministry for us and our church’s participation in this community-wide program is spearheaded by 1 member of our church.