MISSION OPPORTUNITIES

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, and to "Be the Church" in our own community. Here are some ways that we are the hands and feet of Jesus Christ here at home.

Monthly mission cart collection

Each month of the year we dedicate prayers to different mission partners. The Mission Team identifies one nonprofit partner for each month.  Our church then further supports those prayers by focusing on each nonprofit’s specific needs by collecting items they request in our Mission Cart during the month assigned to them. Here is the mission calendar listing the twelve organizations we are helping this year:

  • Dream Oaks
  • Selah Freedom
  • The Haven
  • Our Daily Bread
  • Thornwell
  • Hearts Afire
  • Beth-El Farmworkers Ministry
  • Project Heart
  • My Choice Pregnancy Center
  • Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box
  • Anchor House
  • SOLVE Maternity Homes

CHILDREN'S LENDING LIBRARY

Kirkwood received a donation of one hundred books from the Early Learning Coalition to kick off our children’s book drive at the beginning of the year. Since then our members have not only converted a shed into the location for our Children’s Lending Library, but we have amassed over eleven hundred more books! We want to make sure the children in our community have access to books at home, so any child in our neighborhood will be invited to visit our library and take books home to read.   

COMMUNITY GARDEN

To further provide for our neighborhood, Kirkwood began plans to establish a Community Garden open to church members and neighbors in our community. Kirkwood aims to help neighbors learn to affordably grow food to feed their families. We look forward to growing plants as well as relationships. We want to see what seeds God will grow in our hearts and in each other's lives when we step out of the sanctuary and into the garden!   

GRADE LEVEL READING

In the Fall of 2016, Kirkwood embarked on a new partnership with Sea Breeze Elementary School, a neighborhood school for our church. Reports document that students not reading at grade level by third grade never catch up and continually struggle to succeed. In Manatee County fifty per cent of our third graders are not reading at grade level. Our members were trained for this Suncoast Grade Level Reading initiative and provided over 360 volunteer hours for the Sea Breeze one on one Fluency Reading program for Kindergarten through second grade students. Due to last year’s documented reading success of participating students, in the 2017-2018 school year, the program will be expanded to include third grade students as well. If at risk children do not receive reading help in elementary school, they will need much more help as they grow and try to enter the workforce. Kirkwood volunteers give students one hour a week as we stay committed to help Sea Breeze students read at grade level by third grade!