A great debate within the Presbyterian Church involves the nature of mission. The questions arise: “Is mission social justice & outreach? or “Is mission gospel witnessing & membership? At James Island, our response is mission must be both. Outreach is one arm of mission and Membership is the other. Both must be done for mission to be complete. Christians are known not only by what we do, but also by what we say.
Most churches are able to do mission only through their general budget. At James Island, 20% of our budget is designated for mission. However, we have an opportunity to do much more. Some years ago, our leadership established a foundation for outreach ministry. Under the direction of our coordinator, the foundation has grown until almost one-half of the church’s and the foundation’s combined budgets go to mission.
The following ministries offer church members opportunities to be involved in outreach:
Closet Treasures Thrift Store is at 827 Folly Road. The store sells or donates pre-owned clothes and furniture to people in need.
Child Care is available for children ages 2-5 years, 6:30 AM-6:00 PM, M-F, in our Education Building.
After School Care serves children 5-12, 2:00-6:00 PM, M-F, and on holidays.
Summer Camp serves children 5-12 daily during the summer.
Farmers Market is provided space in our parking lots on Saturdays throughout the year.
James Island Outreach is a coalition of churches to provide food and financial relief for individuals on the island.
Crisis Ministries provides meals and accommodations for homeless individuals in the greater Charleston area.
Prime Time is a ministry of fellowship and travel for older adults.
Community Service is done by providing facilities for AA, Al Anon, and work groups from around the country.
One Great Hour of Sharing constructs Habitat homes and coordinates mission projects in Mexico on alternating years.
Christmas Giving Tree provides presents and food for indigent families on James Island.
Evangelism here involves making visitors feel welcome and encouraging them to consider membership in our church family. This involves letters, calls, home visits by lay people, and meetings with the minister when desired.
Six times yearly, we offer an Inquirer’s Class, designed to help prospective members come to understand what commitment to our church means. At the end of the class, those who desire are received into membership by our Session. Attending the class, of course, in no way obligates participants to join the church. Our next series of classes will run the 4 Sundays in June, with a Service of Uniting scheduled for July 2nd. For more information, contact the church office, email@example.com.
Once people have joined, the Membership Committee endeavors to find a place for each new member within our congregation by evaluating their talents and offering opportunities for service. This committee also helps members who move find new church homes where they relocate.