Identifying those in need

December 4, 2012

Members of Westminster Presbyterian Church meet with those who need help obtaining identification for work, school, healthcare, and more.

Members of Westminster Presbyterian Church meet with those who need help obtaining identification for work, school, healthcare, and more.

Dayton, OH

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.

  1. Prayer is not only important to us as Presbyterians, but for every facet of life and living. Prayer is the language of God and the true bridge of communicating to ourselves and people globally. We can reach more people sitting in prayer, at home, than through prayerless world new networks. Prayer, is the power beyond belief, and therefore should be used on and for all occasions. We should take to prayer before moving forward with large or small decisions. Prayer is the greatest tool available to mankind. I use tool rather than weapon, for the obvious reasons. As Christians we are victors, saved by grace and the blood of Jesus. Let us remain victorious by standing in constant prayer, never ceasing. All thanks be to God, for teaching us how to pray. Charles Johnson, Bel Air Presbyterian Church, Deacon

    by charles johnson

    January 8, 2013