Calling itself a “Community Beacon of Faith, Love and Hope,” First Presbyterian Church in St. Albans is inviting new and former members, as well as all who wish to attend as first-time visitors, to a “Back to Church Sunday” service this weekend.
The worship service will get underway at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, followed by a free luncheon, starting at 11:15 a.m., immediately afterward.
“This Back to Church is Sunday is a new kind of national effort,” First Presbyterian Pastor the Rev. Doug Jenkins said last week. “Generally, we’ve used the Sunday at the end of September as an evangelism Sunday, but, this year, we moved into the national effort.”
Jenkins said the Back to Church Sunday services will be basically straightforward and an upfront representation of the congregation and their ministry.
“We’re hoping to get people to reconnect with the church,” he said, “in a way that reminds them that the fall period is when everything starts back, with school and everything like that. It’s an invitation to people who haven’t been to church for a while or who are looking for a new church. We welcome them to see what God is doing and hoping to do with our church, with them, as a part of the community as well.
“As one of our people spearheading Back to Church Sunday said to me, we’re not doing anything special that day. There’s not any special music and we’re not doing anything to wow anybody, because we won’t be doing that the next week. We don’t want to present a false face to the community. We’ll just be saying come and join us,” Jenkins said.
Some of the current and upcoming activities of First Presbyterian Church include the Littles Storytime program, the pastor said.
“We started the Littles Storytime in May,” Jenkins said. “It’s one of our new efforts, where we invite parents to bring their children up to age 5. We have a story, a craft and singing, all in only 45 minutes. Children have a chance to interact with others, especially those who may not be in a pre-K situation.
“We borrowed the idea from the local library,” Jenkins said. “Where we are, we can offer a Bible story, which they cannot do at the library.
“We’ve averaged about 10 weekly in the program, even through the summer, so it’s been exciting.”
Jenkins also mentioned the church’s food truck program, which winds up this month.
“We have had a food truck at the church on the first Thursday of each month. This way, people who are coming home and don’t want to fix dinner, we have a food truck available and a place to stop by. We’ve had all kinds of different foods available,” Jenkins said.
“Those are the kinds of things doing here that are kind of special,” he said, “to add on to the mission work we do here and the outreach we do through the St. Albans Ministry Alliance with our food pantry, Christ’s Kitchen, the Jubilee Emergency Fund and the local women’s shelter here.”
Jenkins added that First Presbyterian will be among the sponsors of the 30th-anniversary St. Albans Walk for Hunger, which is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 28.
“We’re hoping to raise $10,000 for this year’s event,” he said. “It’s one of the ways how we are interacting with the churches in the area with outreach ministries to help those in need.”
The church observed its 150th anniversary last year.
First Presbyterian Church is located at 201 Kanawha Terrace in St. Albans.
More information about the church and its programs is available at www.FirstPresbyChurch.com. The church telephone number is 304-727-2241.