Community and Mission
First Presbyterian Church of Baraboo takes seriously our calling to be a light in our community and our world. On this page you’ll find information about some of the many missions we are involved in.
This project started as our church outreach and now is administered by the Greater Sauk County Community Foundation. Our church family supports the needs of local students by collecting donations of new backpacks and school supplies every fall.
This pantry is administered by the St Vincent De Paul Society in Baraboo. It helps low-income people who need food. Our church family supports the project by collecting food and non-food items year-round and delivering them to the pantry. A group of church family members have also volunteered at the pantry on a weekly basis.
This organization provides shelter, advocacy and education to people affected by domestic violence and sexual assault in our county and 4 other surrounding counties. Our church family supports Hope House by donating funds and items like food and supplies to the residents.
- Hope House of South Central Wisconsin, Inc. – www.hopehousescw.org
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
PDA is the emergency and refugee program of the Presbyterian Church USA. It cares for communities adversely affected by crisis and catastrophic events. Our church family supports PDA by donating funds. Recently these funds have helped the people of Ukraine and the people of Turkey and Syria.
- Presbyterian Disaster Assistance – www.presbyterianmission.org
Sauk County Giving Tree
We host the Giving Tree projects in December and March when they use our fellowship hall to organize giving gifts to local low-income children. We also help this project by shopping for gifts when people make monetary donations to the projects.
Soup for the Soul
In January, February and March our church family offered monthly meetings about mental health. We served soup suppers on Sunday evenings followed by speakers about different topics such as suicide and depression. We hope to bring awareness to these topics which are often not openly talked about in our society. The result is that those suffering mental illness feel very alone. These meetings were open to the public and well received.
The Period Project
This project helps high school girls get needed feminine hygiene supplies. Church members donate cosmetic bags and hygiene supplies are bought to put in the bags. The supplies are purchased with the help of a grant we received and the bags are distributed by the school nurses.
St Vincent de Paul
St. Vincents is a large network of faith-inspired people building a more just world through personal relationships with and service to people in need. They have a Baraboo store which our church family supports with monetary donations generated by our Outreach Ministry.
- St Vincent de Paul of Baraboo – Visit on Facebook
Fellowship Hall Meetings
We welcome area groups who need meeting space to use our fellowship hall when it doesn’t conflict with our church family usage, primarily weekdays. This opportunity is provided free of charge to non-profits. Groups currently on our meeting calendar are three Powered Up Baraboo Action Teams, two Girl Scout troops and two PEO groups.
The American Red Cross holds blood drives in many area locations and our church has volunteered to provide our fellowship hall for them three days a year. We also provide volunteers to staff each day’s event.
Crop Hunger Walk
The Crop Walk is an annual event where walkers come together nationwide to raise funds and awareness for hunger relief. Walkers ask their friends and family to pledge dollars for the walk participation. These donations provide life-saving support like emergency food along with the seeds, tools and programs that will help families feed themselves in the future. We recruit a team of walkers from our church family every year for this walk.
Our church family would not be complete without the Presbyterian Women group which has been active since our church was organized. They have monthly meetings with inspiring speakers and they sponsor many fund-raising projects which help offer God’s love to our church family and various area groups. Currently PW is supporting the following groups with funds and in-kind donations:
- Baraboo Food Pantry
- The Period Project
- Hope House
- Baraboo Area Homeless Shelter
- First Responders
- Single Mom Adoption
- Giving Tree
- Community Heroes
- St. Vincent De Paul Store
Church family members who love to knit or crochet create prayer shawls using donated yarn. Each stitch represents a prayer from our members. The finished shawls are offered in a basket in our Narthex to anyone who would like to give a shawl to another church family member or anyone else they know who is going through a difficult time of any sort. The shawls are given along with a note telling the recipient that our church family is praying for them.
Special Worship Services
Our church family carries a strong tradition of special worship services annually. We always welcome non-members to join us and to enjoy these unique gathering to worship our Lord. We have also shared Lent services with Baraboo’s First United Methodist and First Congregational United Church of Christ churches. The services include:
- Ash Wednesday Service
- Thanksgiving Service
- Maundy Thursday Service
- Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
- Good Friday Service
Open Church Doors
Our church location one block off the downtown Baraboo square provides us with the unique opportunity to open our church as a public warming spot and restroom location and for fellowship during special events. Among these annual events on the square are the Circus Parade and Christmas Lights Parade and art festivals.
The Green Team is a group of our church members interested in helping to care for God’s earth. The team meets monthly to discuss issues and projects. Since 2019 our church has been certified as an Earth Care Congregation by the PCUSA. We have committed to the “Earth Care Pledge” which accomplishes actions in four categories of worship, education, facilities, and outreach. This year the Green Team plans to promote alternatives to single-use disposable items, investigate getting a solar system for our church building and offer viewings of films with topics about climate change and saving energy.
Just Water Project
Our Green Team initiated a project to teach church members and others in our area about the overabundance of plastic water bottles that are being used by so many people and then not recycled. The team received a grant to purchase Just Water containers made of paper and then distribute them to non-profit groups to sell in their fund raisers. Just Water containers are reusable, recyclable and put less carbon emission in the air than plastic bottles.
After worship on Sundays we offer refreshments in our fellowship hall to all who wish to attend. This is an ideal time for us to get to know each other better as well as to welcome visitors to our church. Of course, we hope they will consider coming again! Church members volunteer to provide and serve the treats. It’s a special way for us to bond and discuss how we plan to do God's work in the following week and beyond!
We sponsor and staff a three-week program (one day a week) for children at the Baraboo outdoor swimming pool. It offers a sack lunch with swimming time and a faith-based enrichment time with an emphasis on having fun. We welcome all interested area children under 13 to attend.
The Neighborly Store is sponsored and housed by the First United Methodist Church in downtown Baraboo. They collect gently used clothing and give it away free to needy people. Our church family supports this project by collecting clothing donations and delivering them to the store.