Mission Groups and Initiatives


ABC Prison Literacy

ABC Prison Literacy supports programs in our county and state prison system that teach reading and writing, particularly to inmates who have learning differences or speak other languages. The committee helps volunteers find a suitable placement within the county and state prison educational departments and programs run by other community organizations. Volunteers who can teach other subjects such as math, science, history, poetry and memoir writing are needed. The library at Mercer County Correctional Center, set up by volunteers, needs staffing. We collect calendars annually, find books that the inmates request and encourage them through letter writing. An advocacy group is needed to witness to the importance of education in the rehabilitation process. Our efforts are to reassure prisoners that they are not forgotten and to help them gain much needed skills.

www.abcliteracy.org

Marcia VanDyck (609-924-7597, mvandyck1@gmail.com)


Arm in Arm

Formerly the Crisis Ministry of Mercer County. Founded and cosponsored by Nassau Presbyterian and Trinity churches of Princeton and supported by the community, Arm in Arm helps to meet basic needs for food and housing and to ensure long-term stability for low-income people in Mercer County. One of the largest pantry programs in the area, it provides nutritious food and nutrition education to alleviate food insecurity and promote health. Located at Nassau Church and at two sites in Trenton, Arm in Arm also provides emergency financial assistance to prevent homelessness and workforce development services to help people gain employment. Volunteers assist in the food pantry, in the homelessness prevention and workforce development programs and in community outreach.

arminarm.org

Arm in Arm Office (609-396-9355 x36, info@arminarm.org)


Bread for the World

Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice that speaks to America’s decision makers on behalf of the poor and hungry, encouraging them to end hunger at home and abroad. Nassau Church participates as a covenant member.

www.bread.org


Camp Johnsonburg

In 1959, Johnsonburg Presbyterian Center was established to provide experiential Christian education in support of the Presbyterian Church in New Jersey. Johnsonburg today is a place where city kids meet country kids, where black and white discover common ground, where the rich and poor of means and spirit are valued equally, and where each is encouraged to take another vital step toward realizing oneness in Christ. Each year, Nassau Church provides Johnsonburg with financial support and sends youth and children to camp.

www.campjburg.org

Joyce MacKichan Walker (609-924-0103 x103, joyce@nassauchurch.org)


Centurion Ministries

CM is an investigative agency with no religious affiliation. Since its founding in 1980, as of the end of 2014, it has freed 53 innocent people who together had spent 1,083 years in prison. Centurion works through a network of attorneys and forensic experts throughout the U.S. and Canada. It also relies on a dedicated group of volunteers from the Princeton community who help to identify and develop cases.

www.centurionministries.org

Jim McCloskey (contact church office)


Churches for Middle East Peace

Nassau Church has long worked for both Israeli security and Palestinian justice, through denominational activities and organizations supportive of the peace process. We sponsored an overture to the 2006 General Assembly that called for the financial support of intercommunity peacemaking groups in the region, including Mar Elias Educational Institutions, the Oasis of Peace and the Parents Circle.

www.cmep.org

Tom Charles (609-731-1402, twc48@msn.com)


Coalition for Peace Action

CFPA is a grassroots organization that brings together people of all ages, backgrounds, professions and political persuasions in support of three goals: global abolition of nuclear weapons, a peace economy and a halt to weapons trafficking at home and abroad. Begun in Princeton in 1980 as an interfaith effort to reverse the nuclear arms race, CFPA has since developed strong political advocacy and public education components.

www.peacecoalition.org


Friends for Health in Haiti (FHH)

Seven hundred miles off the coast of the richest country in the world lies the most impoverished nation in the hemisphere – Haiti. Its 8 million inhabitants have the worst health status of all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Friends for Health in Haiti is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization registered in Wisconsin. Its mission is to improve the health status of the people of Haiti, through high-quality health care, provided in a caring, compassionate and respectful manner, as a means of demonstrating God’s love in this world and as a reflection of faith in Jesus Christ. FHH was founded and is directed by Dr. Catherine Wolf, a daughter of Kingston Presbyterian Church. In January 2012 seven members of Nassau Church joined with seven others in the presbytery to travel to Haiti to work with Dr. Katie Wolf Dr. Wolf is building a medical mission in the hills above Jeremie, Haiti, in a small rural mountain village named, Gatinaeu. The vision for Sant de Sante de Gatineau (Health Center of Gatineau) is to develop a primary care clinic and maternity center. We continue to be in touch with the Kingston Presbyterian Church and look forward to sharing information about future trips to FHH.

friendsforhealthinhaiti.org

Joyce MacKichan Walker (609-924-0103 x103, joyce@nassauchurch.org)


Housing Initiatives of Princeton Charitable Trust

HIP helps low-income working families and individuals in and around Princeton avoid homelessness. While providing transitional housing and temporary rental assistance, HIP equips families with tools for self-sufficiency, acting as a bridge between homelessness and hope. Since 2004, 13 families, including 27 children, and six adult women in recovery have lived in HIP homes. HIP is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit and all-volunteer organization. For more information, or to make a tax-deductible contribution, visit

www.housinginitiativesofprinceton.org
www.facebook.com/housinginitiativesofprinceton

Ruth Thurmond Scott (info@housinginitiativesofprinceton.org)


Hunger Offering

The monthly Hunger Offering of Nassau Presbyterian Church is a designated special offering whose purpose is to alleviate hunger directly in our neighborhood, community and around the world. This offering is currently divided evenly among five organizations:

HomeFront . HomeFront’s mission is to end homelessness in Central New Jersey.  Our contributions are used to help keep the HomeFront food pantry stocked and to help underwrite the cost of meals served to residents of the Family Preservation Center in Ewing.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. PDA enables congregations and mission partners of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) to witness to the healing love of Christ through caring for communities adversely affected by catastrophic events. Our contribution is currently designated to the “Bread of Life” Fund supporting the feeding programs of partner churches around the world responding to the immediate crises with direct food relief in the form of church and school canteens, “people’s restaurants,” meals on wheels for shut-ins and the distribution of food for home preparation.

Send Hunger Packing Princeton. SHUPP provides weekend food to children in the Princeton Regional School population who qualify for free or subsidized school lunches during the week. SHUPP works in partnership with the Princeton Human Services Commission, Mercer Street Friends and the Princeton Regional School District.

Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. TASK responds to the needs of people in the Trenton area by providing meals to the hungry; offering services to encourage self-sufficiency and improve quality of life; Informing the wider community of the needs of the hungry; and advocating for resources to meet these needs.

Uniting Reformed Church of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Our contributions support three programs: one feeds about 200 poor children during school vacations; a second manages 13 soup kitchens; a third battles the combination of poverty, hunger and drug abuse among teenagers and children.


Immigration Reform Advocacy

Members of Nassau Church who share a concern for recent immigrants carry out a variety of support activities. They advocate for broad-based immigration reform and tuition equity, provide ESL tutors, and mentor immigrant youth. Through the Mission and Outreach Committee, they support First Friends of NY & NJ and the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF) with financial grants and volunteers.

Bill Wakefield (609-306-5299, bill.wakefield0@gmail.com)


International Mission Worker Support

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) works with partner churches and organizations in more than 100 countries and has appointed mission personnel to serve in more than 50 countries. Nassau Church has long sponsored international mission workers through its Shared Mission Giving to PC(USA), with approximately one-half of such funds now supporting mission individuals and/or families, including Rev. Jonathan Seitz and Emily Seitz (Taiwan Theological College, Taiwan) and Rev. Dr. Karla Ann Koll (Latin American Biblical University, Guatemala).

www.pcusa.org/worldwide

Rev. Dr. Karla Ann Koll (karla.koll@pcusa.org)
Rev. Dr. Jonathan Seitz (jonathan.seitz@pcusa.org).


Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund Inc.

From an office at 669 Chambers Street in Trenton, LALDEF assists families with a wide range of needs: filing tax returns, obtaining American citizenship, seeking redress when victimized, and complying with legal processes. LALDEF also distributes the Mercer County Area Community ID Card, available to any resident and honored by municipal agencies, health-care providers and local businesses. In Princeton, the card is available at the Princeton Public Library on Thursdays from 12PM – 2PM and 5PM – 7PM, and on the first Sunday of each month from 2PM – 4PM.

www.laldef.org

LALDEF Office (609-688-0881, info@laldef.org)


Mass Incarceration Task Force

The devastating effects of mass incarceration (over-incarceration) can be addressed on several fronts:

+ pre-incarceration: providing tutoring and mentoring for children and teens to help them avoid getting caught up in crime and jail time.

+ incarceration: providing tutoring for men and women in prison so they can increase their chances of succeeding upon release from prison.

+ post-incarceration: helping men and women find jobs, housing and support upon their release from prison.

The MI Task Force helps NPC members connect with organizations already involved in these areas.

Task Force meetings are held the first Sunday of each month from 12:15-1:15 in Niles Chapel.

Mass Incarceration Task Force

Co-chairs: Mary Beth Charters, 609.937.6318, Marybeth.charters@ptsem.edu and Jonathan Shenk, 609.314.6953, JShenk@greenleafpainters.com


Mercer Project TEACH

TEACH (Teen Education and Child Health) is an alternative educational program under the supervision of the New Jersey Department of Human Services—Office of Education. TEACH offers a comprehensive program for pregnant and parenting adolescents that builds the skills needed to create a positive life for themselves and their children. The program includes instruction in basic hand and machine sewing skills. Students create items for their children, such as holiday crafts, quilts, pillows and tote bags. Nassau funds this sewing program directly, and Nassau volunteers participate as sewing teachers every other Wednesday, October through June.

Loretta Wells (609924-0983, lorwells4@gmail.com)


Nassau Stitchers

This group is for people who are interested in knitting, embroidery, hand sewing and quilting. The Stitchers meet throughout the year on the second and fourth Mondays (1:00PM to 3:00PM) in the Nassau Church Conference Room, unless the church office is closed. They hold additional workdays to create sunshine quilts and prayer shawls that are distributed to the ill and grieving by the deacons and local mission organizations. All are welcome to join.

Ginger August (609-924-6391)
Sue Rodgers (609-921-7171)


The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT)

NRCAT is a growing membership organization committed to ending U.S.-sponsored torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Since its founding here in Princeton in January 2006, over 250 religious groups have joined NRCAT, including representatives from the Roman Catholic, evangelical Christian, mainline Protestant, Orthodox Christians, Unitarian, Quaker, Orthodox Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Baha’i, Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh communities. Members include national denominations and faith groups, regional organizations and congregations. Nassau Church is a “Participating Member” of NRCAT.

www.nrcat.org


Paul Robeson House

Witherspoon Street Presbyterian, a historically African-American church, and other local organizations and houses of worship, are developing Paul Robeson House, 110 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, as a community center. The Rev. William Drew Robeson, a former slave, lived at the house while he served as pastor of Witherspoon Church for more than two decades. His son, Paul, was born there in 1898 and became a brilliant scholar, an All-American athlete, extraordinary actor and singer, and passionate advocate for human rights. As a community center consistent with Robeson’s life and ideals, PRH promotes dialog and reconciliation among people of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds and supports research and analysis relevant to human rights and constructive relations among nations. Space is provided for people in transitional phases of their lives. Nassau Church provides financial support in recognition of 250 years of Presbyterians working together in Princeton, and Nassau members are included on the PRH Board of Directors. For more information about the house, see the video on YouTube.

Ben Colbert, Chair of the PRH Board of Directors (colbertben@aol.com)
Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church (609-924-1666)


Princeton Community Housing

Nassau Church is a founding member and long-time supporter of Princeton Community Housing, a nonprofit developer and property manager of affordable rental housing in Princeton. Since the 1970s, PCH has built more than 450 homes for families and seniors in Elm Court, Griggs Farm, Harriet Bryan House and Princeton Community Village.

www.princetoncommunityhousing.org

Tom Charles (609-731-1402)


Princeton-Parramos Partnership, Guatemala

The Princeton-Parramos Partnership brings together Americans and residents of a rural village in the Guatemalan highlands. Because of this relationship, New Dawn Three Languages Education Center (CETNA), a private, parent-run school, is able to serve more than 500 children in grades K through 12. Most are of Maya descent and they learn their ancestral language, Kachiquel, along with Spanish and English. Nassau Church and the Latin American Task Force of Princeton raise money each year to provide tuition scholarships for the neediest children, free breakfasts for all of the primary students and a variety of special projects. In 2014, they gave $100 scholarships to 114 children. Donations to the scholarship, breakfast and project funds are welcome. Make checks payable to Nassau Presbyterian Church, memo Guatemala, and send them to the church at 61 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542. In addition, Nassau Church has sponsored service trips to Guatemala nearly every year since 2002.

Jonathan Holmquist (609-771-3744, jholmqui@temple.edu)


Refugee Resettlement Committee

Nassau Presbyterian Church’s Refugee Resettlement Committee was established about 25 years ago to help refugee families who had recently been admitted to the USA. The committee has sponsored families, from Europe, Africa and Asia, including Bosnia, Sudan, Myanmar, and Syria. All refugees have fled their homelands because of war or political and religious persecution. The committee helps families find housing, jobs and medical care; enroll children in school, serves as their advocate; tutors the adults in English as a Second Language; provides modest help with start-up expenses; and assistance with getting the government benefits to which refugees are entitled.

Sue Jennings (susancjennings@gmail.com)


Trenton Children’s Chorus (TCC)

Founded in 1989 by Nassau Church, Trenton Children’s Chorus is a unique after-school program that provides exceptional musical, academic, personal, and social opportunities for 140 young people in grades K-12 in the Greater Trenton area. Under the direction of Executive Artistic Director Patricia Thel, TCC offers choral music education and performance opportunities as well as drumming instruction, music theory instruction, tutoring, homework assistance, SAT prep, college application help, and summer camp scholarships. Tuition is on a sliding scale; no child is ever denied participation because of limited resources. In an urban area where the high school drop out rate is greater than fifty percent, 100% of TCC’s graduates attend college. TCC has performed at the White House, United Nations, the National Cathedral, the Library of Congress, the inauguration of Gov. Chris Christie, Princeton University, in concert with Bobby McFerrin and Dave Brubeck, and for corporate, community, church and private events in the greater Trenton area. Volunteers are needed to serve snack, tutor, and help with homework.

www.trentonchildrenschorus.org

Maureen Llort (609-466-4882, development@trentonchildrenschorus.org)


United Front Against River Blindness

UFAR is an African-inspired, US-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to participate in the eradication of onchocerciasis, commonly known as “river blindness,” a major public health problem in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Dr. Daniel L. Shungu, the founder and executive director of UFAR, is a former Nassau Church member. In 2009, the Nassau Church youth group became involved with UFAR, and has since partnered with the Nassau Church Mission and Outreach Committee to support UFAR through educational events and financial assistance.

www.riverblindness.org


Young Adult Volunteer program of the Presbyterian Church (USA)

The Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program is a one year service opportunity for young adults from 19 to 30 years. YAVs live in intentional Christian community, deepening and developing their faith while serving alongside partners in sites across the United States and around the world. YAVs serve for one academic year, August to July, as they explore God’s calling in their lives. They are exposed to some of the hardest problems in the world – poverty, violence and reconciliation, and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ – while living and reflecting with other volunteers on the meaning and motivation of their Christian faith. The whole cost for year year is $3,000 for a domestic placement and $4,000 for an international placement. Nassau believes so strongly in the gifts of young adults and vocational discernment that it pays half of those costs for applicants accepted by YAV.

YAV one-page 2016
Read about Nassau’s 2015-16 YAVs
www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/yav/yavexperience

Joyce MacKichan Walker (609-924-0103 x103, joyce@nassauchurch.org)