The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at all levels…will be open to opportunities for conversation, cooperation, and action with other ecclesiastical groups….seeks new opportunities for conversation and understanding with non-Christian religious entities….[and] seeks to initiate and respond to approaches for conversation and common action with secular organizations and agencies where such approaches show promise of serving the mission of the Church in the world.
– Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) Book of Order
First Presbyterian Church of Urbana has a long history of partnering with others. We currently have formal partnership arrangements with the Korean Church of Champaign-Urbana; the Jeanes Church of Domasi, Malawi; the Cooperative Nursery School of Champaign-Urbana; and Boy Scout Troop 6.
Korean Church of Champaign-Urbana
Since 1974, First Presbyterian Church of Urbana has shared its building with the Korean Church of Champaign-Urbana. This vital congregation has grown into one of the largest and most dynamic churches in the Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois. Its mission is to grow stronger through worship, grow deeper through discipleship, grow larger through mission and evangelism, grow warmer through fellowship, and grow broader through ministry.
In 2006, the two churches signed a Covenant of Partnership, agreeing to work closely together to further the mission of each church for many years to come.
More information on the Korean Church of Champaign-Urbana is available on their their web page.
Jeanes Church, Domasi, Malawi
We began our relationship with the Jeanes Church in Domasi, Malawi in the mid-90’s, inspired by the Illinois-based Marion Medical Mission, which was involved in improving water quality through shallow wells; and by a Malawian family who joined the church. Our relationship evolved into a formal partnership by 1998.
Jeanes is a congregation in the Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian. Our partnership has allowed both groups to better understand the strengths of and challenges faced by our respective congregations, communities and countries; and to grow in our faith.
We have worked with our sister church on many joint projects, including building shallow wells, providing fertilizer for crops, improving educational opportunities and expanding the church campus. Click here for information on on some of the outcomes of this partnership.
Cooperative Nursery School
The Cooperative Nursery School, a parent-owned and operated preschool, began using space in our Education Building in 1999. This was actually a return to our facility. In 1949, a house belonging to the church became the meeting place for one of the school’s original play groups.
This unique school, based on strong parent involvement in the classroom, was established by Katherine Whiteside Taylor as part of a nationwide effort to educate the young children of WWII vets.
The sights and sounds of the nursery school children in our building are a joy for our congregation. We also engage in joint projects, such as summer activities in a local park and participating together at a recent fall Family Carnival held in our front courtyard.
Boy Scout Troop 6
Our tie with the Boy Scouts began in the late 1920’s when the church Men’s Club began working with local Scouts. Our sponsorship of Troop 6 has continued since then with only a few brief lapses. Troop 8 and Senior Scout Post 66 have also been sponsored at different times. In 1927, the need for more space for Scout activities was a major part of the impetus for an addition to the 1902 church building.
The lively troop meets regularly in our present church building. The program’s high values of character and citizenship are always evident. Greatly appreciated are the projects completed by those working to qualify for Eagle Scout rank, such as improving our landscaping by laying paving stones and bricks, mulching and installing plants. Every February, Scouts participate in our Scout Sunday service. And not to be forgotten are the delicious apple fritters made by the Scouts that we enjoy at various church events.