Mission Update…5/16/23

Local Mission Team – Alameda Park Outreach

Romans 12:20 says “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink” God calls us to meet the needs of those in our community who are in need.  As of 2006 Nonprofit Volunteers began serving meals to individuals in need every Thursday evening at Alameda Park.  This ministry has grown from just a few meals to now offering showers, on site doctors, and helping to house the homeless.  Our participation in this is part of what our Mission Ministry Team supports.  First Presbyterian Church along with Ocean Hills Covenant Church serves this community the second Thursday of every month. First Presbyterian Church provides the hot meal and Ocean Hills provides other food and volunteer staff in serving those who come to the park.  If you would like to find out more about this program and how you can help, please contact either Chuck Curtis or Cheryl Long.


We are so grateful to God for Joy’s health, though a continued challenge, as she has been bed ridden over two years, she never got COVID and on the whole has been very resilient, patient and a good patient. Grateful for Tania’s company and help, and now Marco’s also. Please pray that Joy will be able to get out of bed into a chair and be taken places.

Marcos has been teaching Biblical Greek through our mission center. He finished teaching Biblical Greek II and is starting BG III. We have a small group of interested pastors and leaders as part of the class. We are also excited that Marcos has joined our leadership team in CEMAA on a part time basis.  Please pray for Marcos support and the appropriate mission organization to join in his work with us at CEMAA.


Update from Tito Paredes, First Pres member and founder of CEMAA, the Center for Evangelical Missiology in the Andes and Amazon, which is based in Lima, Peru.

Tito just participated in a Latin American continental gathering with 75 leaders of 16 different countries, The theme was “Missio Dei in new times”,  another way of expressing it, The Mission of God in Latin America in these new changing times.  It was great to see the convergence and dialogue between two strong movements among evangelicals:  those who emphasized primarily cross-cultural missions and those who emphasized holistic mission. This is especially refreshing as the church in Latin America is very polarized.  Our role was to see points of convergence and bridge building between these two important mission movements. Our mission center, CEMAA, supported this effort.

Back in Lima, we are excited that a new church has been initiated across the street of our CEMAA headquarters, we are inviting and contacting neighbors to attend Sunday night evangelistic conferences, please pray for a neighbor Tomas,a retired university professor, who is very interested and has been attending the meetings. Tito has befriended him!

We have begun our academic year at CEMAA offering courses on mission, theology and biblical languages.  We were practically closed for two years due to the COVID, we are learning the new technologies of the internet, virtual classes etc in this new stage of our ministry.  Please pray that we will be open to God’s guidance as the pandemic is subsiding and we are able to meet face to face again.

We have fixed our web page, which was not working for more than two years, we are learning how to use it and make changes in it.  The web page address is www.cemaa.org

Please continue to pray for Peru’s socio-political turmoil and polarization.  Unfortunately we are experiencing a civil-military type regime that has curtailed individual rights and democratic practices.  Please pray, if so lead,  that president Dina Boluarte will resign as  about 90 % of the people want her out of office, her resignation will, constitutionally, lead to the closing of congress(most unpopular, only 6% approval rate) and general elections for president and congress,  Thus avoiding more death and discontent. This is humanly speaking impossible but we continue to pray for that end.

The Commission of Human Rights of the Organization of American States (OEA) found that the response of State forces had not been uniform across the country and that there had been some serious instances involving an excessive use of force. The information gathered by the IACHR in Lima, Ica, Arequipa, and Cusco shows that the disproportionate, indiscriminate, and lethal use of force was a major element of the State response to the protests. This is supported by factors including the high numbers of people killed and injured with shots (including pellets) to the top half of their bodies and the fact that a significant number of victims were not even involved in the protests or simply happened near the areas where clashes erupted. Please pray that justice and truth will prevail.”

Please pray for thousands of families that have lost homes and have been affected by heavy rainfall and floods due to the unusual Yuka tornado and warm oceans.  About 60 people have also died as a result of this unusual phenomenon.

Thank you so much again for your partnership, prayer and support for our ministry in and from Peru.  We pray for you, We pray for God’s strength and special company in the days ahead!

About Local Mission

First Pres is engaged broadly in local mission. She was among the few churches who organized Transition House in 1984. First Pres has served there continually since its founding. Once a month First Pres volunteers provide dinner for about 70 guests and pack next-day lunches for all. Freedom Warming Center began in 2011, and First Pres is one of four local churches opening its doors on nights when it is rainy or unusually cold. A screening agency moderates the guests without homes, and the church provides dinner, comfortable overnight accommodation, and a breakfast-to-go. She joined the ministry in Santa Barbara’s Alameda Park in 2014. At the park several churches and other non-profits serve people without homes. First Pres teams up with Oceanhills Church to serve the dinner once a month. Having a certified commercial kitchen is a blessing; it allows S.B. County to approve this food ministry. Doctors without Walls and Showers of Blessing are among the other organizations serving at Alameda Park. The “Sonshine” ministry, bringing the love of Christ to nursing home residents, has been conducted by First Pres volunteers for 20 years. One Sunday afternoon each month a First Pres elder brings God’s word  and hymn singing to the Channel Islands Post-Acute rest home. First Pres is also involved in Jail Ministry; a long-time member of the congregation leads Bible study at the Santa Barbra County Jail. Several local ministries receive from First Pres financial support, if not hands-on participation. The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission is a lauded organization, and members of the congregation have served on their board. First Pres lends the use of spaces in its parking lot for overnight parking by people without homes, in a ministry supervised by Santa Barbara’s Safe Parking Program. First Pres’ financial support goes also to Young Life in Santa Barbara and to Front Porch, Santa Barbara Presbytery’s thriving college ministry at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Our community outreach activities:

Transition House

Transition House is dedicated to the solution of family homelessness in the Santa Barbara community. Capable and motivated families with children are offered respectful, non-sectarian residential services and the life skills needed to alleviate their poverty, and to restore self-sufficiency and dignity.

In 1984, Transition House was created by volunteers from the Santa Barbara area who stepped forward to give food and shelter to their homeless neighbors. Transition House’s program is based on the understanding that the root cause of family homelessness is poverty. There may be other and varied contributing factors to homelessness, but underlying it is always poverty.

The first Monday of each month FPCSB serves at Transition House

Community Kitchen

Casa Esperanza Homeless Center

Our mission is to assist homeless individuals and families achieve self-sufficiency, by helping as many as possible access the services they need to transition to stable employment and housing.

Casa Esperanza is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Offering a wide array of services for the homeless, with an emphasis on both emotional and physical health, 12 different program partners collaborate to bring recovery to the homeless — all under one roof.

Each Friday a team from FPCSB serves at Community Kitchen.

Santa Barbara Rescue Mission

Mission Statement: The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission is a ministry of Christian people bringing physical, emotional, educational and spiritual resources to men, women and children in need, particularly those struggling with addictions.

The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission has served the city and county of Santa Barbara for 46 years, providing emergency services and long-term recovery for the homeless and addicted. With 80 beds for men and 20 for women and children, they are the only emergency shelter from Santa Maria to Ventura that is open 365 nights of the year. In 2010, they provided 159,140 meals and 61,025 safe nights of shelter for individuals with no other place to turn. The mission offers homeless guest services, 12-month residential recovery, outpatient services, family support, and men’s sober living. Components of the recovery program include counseling and group processing, covering topics such as anger- management, alcohol and drug awareness, HIV and Hepatitis awareness, self-esteem, parenting, and relapse prevention. Their Learning Center provides academic and career assessments, literacy assistance, GED preparation, computer skills training, and career development. Services are available to all men and women 18 years and older without discrimination on the basis of religion, national or ethnic origin, marital status, criminal history, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status. Over eighty percent of the clients are residents of Santa Barbara County.

Sonshine at Central Coast Nursing Center

“Sonshine Ministry” is an organized program coming from State of Washington to provide Christ-centered care for rest home residents. It was brought to our mission team by Anabel Miller (Esther Hur’s mother) in about 2002 when she recognized that the facility on Via Lucero (then known as Beverly La Cumbre) could use God’s love.  Yvonne Bazinet now coordinates a monthly worship service at 2:00 pm on the second Sunday of each month.

Safe Parking

Due to the alarming increase in vehicle dwellers in south Santa Barbara County, coupled with the crackdown on overnight parking enacted by the City of Santa Barbara, New Beginnings currently operates a program to provide safe overnight parking for individuals and families who find themselves living in their vehicles. The program is a cooperative between New Beginnings, area churches and non-profits whereby participating institutions provide parking places for vehicle dwellers registered with the New Beginnings program. The program currently includes various dispersed locations in the county. The purpose of the program is to provide a level of stability needed for vehicle dwellers to effectively make positive changes in their lives. A safe place to park, together with the social services and case management provided by New Beginnings case workers, are the tools used to achieve this end. Interested parties should contact New Beginnings at (805) 845-8492.

FPCSB hosts five vehicles each night for the Safe Parking Program.

Warming Shelter

Santa Barbara has always been known for its gorgeous weather. Here, we rarely see extreme changes in the climate, although temperatures can still drop significantly during the winter months. Most of us can simply put on extra layers of clothing or stay in the comforts of our homes to stay warm. For the homeless, it is more of a challenge to get through the cold months when they are at a higher risk of exposure and illnesses such as the flu and pneumonia.

The warming shelters are a collaboration of various groups to assist the homeless through the cold winter season. Various churches host these shelters when temperatures are predicted to drop below 40 degrees or when there is a 50 percent chance of rain from November to March. In the shelters, volunteers provide guests with their own bedding, a hot meal, and a sack lunch.

For more information about getting involved in our Local or Global Missions, please contact Chuck Curtis.