Kirkwood continues to grow in our partnerships with local ministries who meet the needs of our neighbors throughout the community. While we have partnered with some of the ministries for many years, we keep watch for new possible mission partners that meet the values of our church’s vision. Kirkwood has an active Mission Committee that prayerfully considers opportunities for our church family to experience our faith through missions and service.
Entering our Narthex, you will see a wicker trunk right inside the doors (or a wooden well at The Wel). This is no ordinary basket. This is one of the simplest ways that allows every person worshiping with us to become a missionary and share the love of Christ through our Mission Cart Collection. Each month a list goes out of items needed from the organization, and people have the opportunity to help meet those needs.
The some of the local groups that we support with the Mission Cart Collection:
- Migrant Children Program of Manatee County Schools
- Our Daily Bread
- Selah Freedom
- The Haven
- SOLVE Maternity Homes
- Turning Points
- Beth-El Farmworkers Ministry
- Anchor House - Port Manatee
- My Choice Pregnancy Center
- Operation Christmas Child – Children's Christmas Shoebox Collection through Samaritan's Purse
- Project Heart My Choice Pregnancy Center
Kirkwood also collects aluminum can pop tops, which are delivered to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Florida. We also participate in the Box Tops for Education and the Labels for Education programs. Collection containers are available for participating box tops and food labels marked for dollars for education. Check your pantry and just deposit your labels and Kirkwood volunteers will trim, count, and deliver them to local neighborhood schools to help the schools purchase equipment and supplies. These are easy ways you can be a missionary without having to travel beyond our church!
During the Season of Lent, groups set out to go to a different mission partner and offer time and manpower to meet whatever needs each of the organizations we're working it. We call it Significant Service experience. Groups have painted porch walls, washed windows, floors and A/C vents, deep cleaned a kitchen, prepared packages for military troops, and read stories and played with children. Our Significant Service experiences have been so positive that we continue to plan Significant Service opportunities throughout the year.
Members of Kirkwood can apply for a grant to offset the expenses needed for their personal involvement in a mission ministry. A Mission Grant, when awarded, links a portion of our mission dollars to actual service by a member. And through that link, Kirkwood grows in our mission experience.