Imagine if, in the eyes of the government, you did not exist. You would not have access to health care. Your children could not go to school. You would find it difficult if not impossible to get a job. Even securing a home or apartment would be unreachable.
That’s what millions of people in our country live through daily, and at least one Presbyterian congregation is working to change that for thousands every year.
Westminster Presbyterian Church in downtown Dayton, Ohio, began getting requests in 2009 for help in obtaining state identification cards and birth certificates. Witnessing the impact on families in their community, church members decided to help. Twenty-two dollars for a birth certificate and $8.50 for a state-issued photo ID seemed a small price to pay to help neighbors in need.
Now, every Tuesday afternoon, people from across Dayton come to Westminster, including many women and children fleeing domestic abuse, people newly released from prison, and homeless people. They line the hallways seeking assistance. The documents make it possible for hundreds every year to get employment, education, and access the social services they need.
Church members say the stories they hear are amazing, and they feel blessed to have the opportunity to provide lasting help to those in need. Many of those served ask the church about worship services or for prayers.
Want to learn how Westminster supports its program with trained volunteers? Get the full story in the 2013 Mission Yearbook. Order yours now.
Tell us what Presbyterian mission means to you, how you use the Mission Yearbook, and why daily prayers, such as those offered in the yearbook, are important to all of us as Presbyterians.