Welcome to the First Presbyterian Church mission page for external mission opportunities

Listed below you will find many potential volunteer service opportunities offered by ministries and organizations with which our church currently partners, with which it has worked in the past or that our church helps to fund financially. We hope that you will find this information helpful as you consider where your talents might best be put to use in the service of your “neighbors.” “For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment,

‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’     – Galatians 5:14.

Every person must discern for themselves the mission service that the Holy Spirit is leading them into and what will be most satisfying to them in terms of living out their faith. The listing below is only a guide for places that will allow you to start the discernment process. There are hundreds of other wonderful and worthwhile ministries that work in the greater Virginia Beach area and this listing is not meant in any way to foreclose your evaluation of those ministries. Only your discernment of where the Holy Spirit is calling you to serve can inform your decision-making about where to get involved. Each of us has been given different gifts to utilize in fulfillment of our calling as Christians.

“Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.”    –1 Peter 4:10.

We trust that you will be able to find somewhere to serve your “neighbors” outside the walls of our church and perhaps some way to do so through this church’s involvement with the listed organizations. The important point, however, is to get involved somewhere in service to others in gratitude for the grace of God at work in your life.

If you have an idea for a new external mission project or volunteer opportunity, please contact the Director of Missions to discuss your idea. We always remain open to being led by the Holy Spirit in new directions consistent with our core values.

If you have any questions about the external mission life of First Presbyterian Church, please feel free to speak with me at church, call or text me at 757-672-1797 or contact me by email at missions@firstpresvb.org.

Randy DuVall, Director of Missions
July 2023

Ministries and organizations are described below in alphabetical order.
Scroll down to read more about these ministries and how you might get involved.

 

About Angel Tree
The purpose of this ministry, conducted through the auspices of the City of Virginia Beach Department of Social Services, is to provide Christmas gifts to children who would otherwise be without gifts at Christmas including children at Birdneck Elementary School. Families are vetted by Social Services and school personnel. Social Services and Birdneck select the children to participate and provide First Presbyterian with the wish list of the children for whom gifts will be provided.

Volunteer Opportunities
Members of First Presbyterian are given the opportunity to select the name and wish list of children from the Angel Tree that is set up in November at the church. Members then shop for the child selected and return their gift to the church. There may be additional opportunities to help set up the tree and distribute the gifts.

First Presbyterian point of contact: Carla Stevenson, cstevenson910@gmail.com

Six days every week, Eastern Shore Chapel conducts Food Pantry operations at the church on Laskin Road. Volunteer opportunities include sorting food, shelving food, packing food and assisting people who arrive to “shop” for food that is displayed grocery store style. Since the beginning of the pandemic the Food Pantry has been serving more than 300 families every week. Food distribution occurs Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Foodbank and local grocery store deliveries occur Monday, Wednesday and Friday, when food is sorted, shelved, packed, etc. To learn more about this project or sign up to volunteer, click the link or cut and paste it into your browser

https://signup.com/client/invitation2/secure/1137020005516782045/false#/invitation

About Faith Works

Faith Works Coalition is a faith-based ecumenical ministry that was established to eliminate substandard living conditions in the Virginia Beach community by repairing homes for the elderly, disadvantaged and disabled low-income families. Faith Works also periodically provides emergency relief through repair and reconstruction of homes in out-of-state communities affected by natural disasters. FWC collaborates with the City of Virginia Beach and other community organizations that share Faith Works’ goals and objectives. Service opportunities enhance the joy of fellowship inherent in faith-based volunteer organizations.

Volunteer opportunities

 Faith Works undertakes construction projects several times each month that typically require the assistance of six to eight volunteers per day. These projects are usually completed Wednesday through Friday under the supervision of retired professional general contractors. Volunteers help rebuild floors, paint, hang drywall including taping and mudding, repair bathroom plumbing and work on roofing. A volunteer does not need a large skill set but simply needs to have a willingness to listen and take instruction from a professional. Faith Works supplies all tools. Men from FPC have traveled out-of-state periodically to undertake one week rebuilding projects for families affected by natural disasters, most recently in October 2022 in New Bern, North Carolina.

First Presbyterian point of contact

To receive regular email calls for volunteers, contact Randy DuVall, missions@firstpresvb.org to be added to the distribution list.

About Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and Eastern Shore

Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and Eastern Shore hosts an extensive volunteer opportunity bulletin board calendar on its website. Dozens of volunteer opportunities appear on this calendar for nearly every day of the month. If you would like to participate in a food related project serving those with food insecurity issues, click the link below or type it into your browser for the full calendar of projects.

https://foodbankonline.volunteerhub.com/vv2/lp/seva/

About the Food Pantry

This ministry now serves the community by taking food weekly to hungry people through partnerships with Gethsemane Community Fellowship Baptist Church and New Horizons Presbyterian Church, both predominantly black congregations in Norfolk, on alternating weeks. The food pantry is included in the church budget but also requires the willingness of church members to provide food purchased for it.

First Presbyterian point of contact

 To obtain the preferred shopping list for food needed by this project, contact Cathy Benton, catherine@jumperassociates.com.

About Judeo-Christian Outreach Center (“JCOC”)

JCOC exists to break the cycle of homelessness in Virginia Beach by empowering homeless families and individuals to recover from crisis situations and return to being self-supporting, productive and independent members of our community. Its Frank Bragg Dining Hall on Virginia Beach Boulevard serves 70,000 free meals annually. Meals are served 365 days a year and are available to the community, homeless or not. Its Food Pantry provides over 9,000 packages of groceries every year to those in need. JCOC doesn’t want any of its neighbors who have a home to be forced into making the decision between a utility bill and groceries and it believes this is a preventive measure against homelessness. Since 1991, JCOC has provided six-month emergency housing for up to 50 individuals at a time through its men’s dorm and its women/family dorm, as well as food and essential clothing. In 2011, it opened its West Lane apartment complex with 14 units designated for homeless veterans (to live up to two years rent free through a grant from the Veterans Administration) and eight units for permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless with disabilities. To date, more than 6,000 individuals and families have found shelter with JCOC. Beyond serving the immediate needs of food and shelter, JCOC is equally committed to providing long-term support by empowering people to forge a life of independence, self-sufficiency and strength. To that end, it employs professional case managers to provide substance abuse counseling, education resources and direction, vocational support, employment services, job placement and, of course, personal counseling and encouragement. The Blumenthal/Schor Education Building, which helps residents and low-income neighbors prepare for the G.E.D. test and develop computer skills, and the new Job Skills Academy, are two of the most visible components of this effort.

Volunteer opportunities

First Presbyterian is one of many churches and synagogues that shop for, pack and deliver for distribution the evening meal at JCOC. There are many other volunteer opportunities available to serve through JCOC. People are needed to unload food trucks from the Foodbank and to sort the food that comes off the truck. Drivers are needed to transport residents to doctors’ appointments, job interviews and other places. Life and technical skills instructors are also needed in a number of areas including computer skills, addiction and self-esteem sessions, budget and finance management, healthy relationships and nutrition.

Contact

To access service opportunities available through JCOC, visit its volunteer signup here.

Meals on Wheels addresses food insecurity issues by delivering meals to people in Virginia Beach who are in need of assistance. It does so through volunteers. FPC has participated in this ministry for many years through dedicated volunteers. FPC delivers meals during the fourth week of every month. Fully prepared meals are picked up at a central location. Currently, there are four volunteers and several substitutes. To participate, contact Sandy Parsons at 757-481-3821.

The Nimmo Community Garden is a ministry of Nimmo United Methodist Church on Princess Anne Road south of the Oceanfront. It is a living testament to God’s work through them and volunteers as they grow and harvest over 2,000 pounds of organic vegetables and fruit for the food insecure in our community annually.  The garden has been in existence since 2009.  It was expanded during the Covid pandemic to add two additional growing plots (10 X25) to support the increased demand for fresh produce.  

Volunteers are the driving force in accomplishing the mission to share God’s love by growing and distributing fresh, organic fruits and vegetables to community members and by providing an opportunity for discipleship through service, education, and community.  The garden would not exist without faithful volunteers and the Garden always needs more. You could become one!

Visit the website www.nimmogarden.com to find a link to the volunteer information form and for more information. The Facebook page is accessed at: https://www.facebook.com/nimmogardens.

About PiN Ministry

PiN Ministry is located off Birdneck Road at the Oceanfront. Its mission is to provide food, clothing, shelter, and free medical care for people who are either homeless or working poor. The ultimate focus is to help the homeless of Virginia Beach transform their lives by meeting them where they are and sharing the Good News of a God who loves them and wants a relationship with them. PiN values prayer and creative approaches to helping the homeless of Virginia Beach. It values relationships with Jesus Christ that build up the body of disciples. It values partnerships and unity that result in tangible, repeatable outcomes. It values accountability, which enhances its ability to minister to the people of God. PiN envisions formerly homeless people who are no longer bound by addictions and habits of their past. PiN is a Christ-based non-profit that believes Christian principles can lead individuals and families from dependency toward financial and personal independence. PiN envisions generational brokenness healed and lives changed by a God who loves and heals people completely.

Volunteer opportunities

There are several volunteer opportunities available to individuals and groups.

Sign up to volunteer here.

  • First Presbyterian provides the midday meal the second Wednesday of every month. Volunteers stay to serve that meal 1:00pm-3:30pm. Volunteers are needed to shop for and cook the meals.

  • PiN provides health care through volunteer medical professionals including dental care.

  • PiN provides transitional housing for families that are homeless.

  • PiN accepts donations of clothing and personal items at its facility.

First Presbyterian point of contact: Randy DuVall missions@firstpresvb.org

About Potter’s House

VBUMC conducts this ministry from a building it owns between 17th and 18th Streets at the Oceanfront. Serving much the same population as PiN Ministry, it feeds homeless members of our community and provides them with services designed to get them off-the-street. Potter’s House collaborates with other local churches and non-profits to create a support system for individuals experiencing homelessness and serves the working and non-working poor by striving to assist them with their immediate needs. Assistance is available for sack lunches, food pantry, rent, utilities including electricity, natural gas, water, sewer, & heating oil and securing government identification paperwork.

Volunteer opportunities

Volunteers are needed to assist with food and to assist families in securing the assistance they need. Contact Mandi Cutchins, Director of Missions at VBUMC and director of Potter’s House at 757-428-3014.

About the Blood Drive

Partnering with the local branch of the American Red Cross, First Presbyterian hosts, sets up and conducts a blood collection center four times annually. The blood collection center is conducted in Fellowship Hall. The blood collected by the Red Cross is used in local health care facilities to meet the blood needs of the local community. Red Cross personnel do the actual collection and safekeeping of the blood through their highly trained professionals.

Volunteer opportunities

Volunteers staff the check-in tables. Volunteers serve as greeters. Volunteers complete needed paperwork thereby freeing up Red Cross personnel to concentrate on technical aspects of the blood drive. There is also an opportunity for food preparation to feed blood donors a snack after they have donated blood.

First Presbyterian point of contact: Dan Unger dvunger@cox.net

Every Wednesday from its parking lot on First Colonial Road, volunteers distribute non-perishables and fresh foods to more than 300 families through volunteers. This is a drive-through distribution. Most volunteers are not members of Scott. On the third Wednesday of every month, FPC has committed to provide 10 volunteers to distribute food, a project of FPC announced through Realm requiring prior registration. Other volunteer opportunities necessary to conduct this ministry include driving the delivery truck to pick up food and packing boxes and bags with food items. To learn more about this project or sign up to volunteer, click the link or cut and paste https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090545aca82faaf94-fresh1#/ into your browser.

About Untamed Spirit

Untamed Spirit is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 2010 that provides therapeutic riding and educational programs for children and adults in the Hampton Roads area with special needs and challenges. It operates at Forward Motion Farm in the Pungo area of Virginia Beach. Director Barbe Ford has been providing therapeutic riding services for people with special needs since the 1980s in Virginia Beach. In the works for Untamed Spirit is the introduction of an integrative approach to wellness combining a multi-disciplinary approach to better health. The concept of moving forward is the basis for this ministry.  The program provides a blended equine community, bringing both able-bodied and special needs individuals together in a positive and encouraging outdoor farm environment.  The farm encompasses almost 25 acres of farmland, surrounded by aged trees in an idyllic and tranquil setting. Facilities include a 28-stall barn, Indoor Riding Arena, outdoor jumping ring, outdoor Dressage ring, round pen and numerous pastures. Benefits derived from the therapeutic approach employed include one-on-one interaction with staff and volunteers, increase in self-confidence and self-awareness, increase in gross and fine motor skills and muscle tone and enhancement of verbalization and awareness. All instructors are professionals with combined instructional experience of over 45 years and are PATH, International certified and members of the Therapeutic Riding Association of Virginia (TRAV).

Volunteer opportunities

Horse side walkers. Gardeners. Landscaping workers to keep the grounds looking nice. Volunteers needed to work at periodic fundraising events. Contact info@untamedspirit.org

About Winter Shelter

People in Need Ministry (“PiN Ministry”) conducts a winter program to house and feed homeless people in Virginia Beach for the City of Virginia Beach in conjunction with church partners for 18 weeks every winter. First Presbyterian Church in partnership with Virginia Beach United Methodist Church participates for two weeks in this program in January. One week the churches operate at FPC and the second week we move to VBUMC. Crossover involvement by the membership of the churches is encouraged in this joint ecumenical project. Upwards of one hundred volunteers are needed each week to prepare and serve dinner and breakfast every day, to transport guests from the Housing Resource Center in the PiN Ministry vans in the evenings and transport them back the following mornings, to provide entertainment for our guests and supervise the guests overnight. We host a website sign up portal where members can choose volunteer activities for service to make Winter Shelter happen. That website goes live around Thanksgiving. Watch church media announcements for the launch of our website. For further information contact Mary Clemons maryr.clemons@gmail.com or Randy DuVall missions@firstpresvb.org