The Outreach Ministry of our church is based on Jesus' teaching of compassionate service to others. This for us includes hosting a weekly Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry through which we provide food and fellowship for people of the Patchogue Community. Through our special offerings at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, we support the national and worldwide ministries of Church World Service and other partners of the United Church of Christ. These offerings are supplemented by special mission projects in which we invite our members' participation
WORKERS WITHOUT WHEELS
This project began with a simple premise: help people who have a job but no predictable way to get to it. Many people cannot afford a car. Some are unable to drive for medical or judicial reasons. Taxis are expensive. Public busses are scarce and do not go down side streets. That concept was the birth of Workers Without Wheels. On our first effort, we gave away ~ free and with no questions asked ~ over 100 new and used bikes in good working order in one day.
There is an ancient saying that if you give someone a fish, you feed them for a day; but if you teach them to fish, you feed them for a lifetime. And so, the following year we started a new program in which we took seven disadvantaged people and trained them as bicycle mechanics. We gave them a new bike to assemble; a used bike to repair; a set of tools; training by a professional bike mechanic; and an hourly honorarium of $10 per hour for the training. And then we gave away another 100 bikes.
The immense spirituality of the event was immediately obvious. We were providing more than bicycles. We were providing hope. And one byproduct of that hope was unbridled joy. One young woman, a part-time check-out girl in a supermarket, literally burst into tears of joy when we wheeled out a bright yellow, brand new bike for her.
We continue to receive donated bikes in good working order as well as money to purchase parts