These three words describe us pretty well. We help plant seeds for new community services, as well as seeds of faith. We have deep roots in this community and our Presbyterian heritage. And we branch out beyond our walls to work and worship together with our neighbor, the other, the suffering, and the rejected.
Here are a few concrete examples, many of which combine two or more of the words.
Samaritan House is the primary support agency for the hungry and for the homeless in Las Vegas. Many years ago, First United Presbyterian helped plant the seeds that have grown to become the effective agency of today. The original homeless shelter was housed in the Old Town Mission, as was the thrift store. Our church prepares a meal each Friday evening to help Samaritan House feed the hungry.
The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which someone took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds: but when it is full-grown it is larger than the garden plants, and becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches. Matthew 13:31-32
This scripture inspired the Mustard Seed Program which was started in 1999 as a community outreach program and has awarded more than $150,000 in small grants to the Las Vegas community and beyond.
First United Presbyterian Church has been around for 150 years. Our roots grow deep. As we enter our next 150 years, we want to honor that rich heritage and continue the legacy we have been given.
We are rooted in deep spiritual connection to God through scripture, tradition and experience. We work individually and collectively to deepen our roots in God.
Many years ago, FUPC planted the seeds for the annual CROP Walk in Las Vegas. This event continues to raise money to end hunger. It has since grown to be independent of the church, but we remain active participants.
Friday Night Fun events for children, youth and families started in 2019 at the Old Town Mission Community Center. Led by The SPOT Youth Team, we provide free pizza, games, dancing, singing, and an all-around good time for UWC students, high school students, and others from all sides of town.
Our branches spread wide as we continue to be a church with a mission to love our neighbor, even when that neighbor disagrees with us or makes us feel uncomfortable. All are welcome here, and we try to make sure that everyone feels that welcome when they join us at a worship service or event.
We are committed to building community, so the branches that shade us might just as easily come from a friend, colleague, or sister organization as it might come from our own tree, and vice versa.
The roots of Presbyterianism in Las Vegas began in this building in 1870. It is now a community center, providing space for groups from all over town. FUPC partners with the United World College and members of the Las Vegas community to operate the space for children, youth, and adults from all sides of town.
Deep and Wide contemplative services started in 2016. Here we pray beyond words. With repetition of simple Taizé songs and with silence, we welcome everyone of any faith and no faith to come and spend time together in love.