The Out of the Cold program was initiated by Knox Presbyterian Church in 1995. The purpose of the program is to welcome disadvantaged members of the community into our church and to serve them a hot meal each Saturday night during the cold months, beginning in November and continuing until the end of March. An average of 120 people are served each week. The program involves about 200 volunteers who come from within the congregation, and from Grace Presbyterian Church in Orleans, St. Andrews (Ottawa & Kars), St. Giles and St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Churches, Dominion-Chalmers United Church, St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, and from the Ottawa community. While primarily funded by Knox member donations, outside churches and organizations do donate to the program with either money or food. Since 1995 we have served over 43,000 meals and the number of guests has been increasing annually for the last eight years.
In 1980 Knox was one of seven Centretown churches which formed Daybreak Housing to provide affordable, minimal support housing for low income singles. In 1982 the first house was opened, followed by four more in 1983, 1985, 1990 and 2001. Now Daybreak operates 3 houses for men and 2 for women, for a total of about 45 residents. With a small professional staff and dedicated volunteers it is supported by individuals, churches, service clubs, foundations, and federal and provincial programs. Knox is a strong supporter, providing donations and volunteers.
Through this ecumenical group of 24 churches, Knox reaches out into the community. CCSAC’s main project is the Emergency Food Centre located in McLeod-Stewarton United Church. On the second Sunday of each month donations are brought to Knox and collected during the children’s hymn.
The Management Committee of EFC recently established the Betty Neelin Distinguished Service Award. Two members of the congregation, Betty Neelin and Betty Campbell, both having made significant contributions to the centre over many years, were the first recipients of this award.
PWS&D is the official development and relief agency of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. The world of PWS&D includes responding to emergency situations, long-term community development with international partners working in health, education, agriculture and income-generation and refugee sponsorship by Canadian congregations. PWS&D is also responsible for educating Canadian Presbyterians about global needs and issues and supports churches and organizations seeking to transform their communities by promoting justice, peace and the integrity of creation. PWS&D support people and communities in Africa, Asia, Central American and Eastern Europe according to their need and regardless of their faith.
Presbyterians Sharing is the national church fund that supports the overall mission and ministry of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. This fund is supported by gifts of the congregations. All gifts are pooled and distributed to a wide variety of ministries in Canada and overseas. This includes the work of the Life and Mission Agency and its departments, International Ministries, Justice Ministries, Ministry and Church Vocations, Education in Discipleship and Communications. It also includes the work of the General Assembly, Financial Support Services and the theological colleges in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
Presbyterians Sharing focuses on church development, evangelism and theological education in Canada and around the world. Presbyterians Sharing is not to be confused with Presbyterian World Services & Development (PWS&D), which has a specific focus on development and emergency relief.