With an annual budget of approximately $138,000.00, the Local Missions Committee is responsible for coordinating both the financial and in-person support that Westminster provides to a number of important agencies throughout the Durham community. Having been called as a congregation to “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly,” the Local Missions committee helps coordinate that effort with our neighbors here in Durham County.
In 2017, using the budget provided, the Local Missions committee coordinated Westminster’s support of and partnership with 18 different local agencies. Agencies that we support can be most easily grouped into one of five different categories of local benevolence: Housing, Education, Mental Health, Food, and Other Support. Many of the agencies have been our partners for several decades. Whether a partner for three or thirty years, each of these agencies is not only supported by a member of our congregation who serves as a liaison, but they have also undergone a thorough evaluative process conducted by the Local Missions Committee and approved of by the Diaconate.
2017 also saw the full implementation of the Neighborhood Mission Team, a sub-committee of Local Missions designed to help us connect more deeply with the neighbors that most closely surround us. Key initiatives of this group in 2017 included a Community Work Day in April and a Back To School Clothing Sale in September. Focused on supporting our local neighbors and schools, this initiative has been an important part of living into Westminster’s current strategic plan.
In addition to the ongoing partnerships supported by Local Missions, this committee also supports the identification and selection of recipients of both the Easter and Christmas Eve offerings. Several local agencies apply for consideration each year, and the Local Missions Committee thoroughly reviews and considers each request and makes recommendations that are then voted on by the Diaconate. WPC has a long history of generosity during these key moments in our church year, and the Local Missions Committee strives to allocate these funds in a way that aligns with the collective wishes of our generous congregation.
As you may imagine, supporting our partner agencies and the needs of the local community requires an ongoing supply of willing and excited volunteers. If you or someone you know is interested in joining or simply learning more about the Local Missions Committee, please contact Forrest Perry.