Help TPPC Help Others

Shared Use Community Kitchen   |   Shepherd's Table Inc.   |   Gleaners at the Takoma Park Farmers Market   |   Takoma Park Neighborhood Food Project

As a socially aware congregation, the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church recognizes our obligation of service to those in need.

To spotlight our work in these areas with continueing needs, TPPC frequently schedules a "Minute for Mission" during worship.

Our church went through a listening campaign in 2011 within our congregation to explore what should be our mission priorities as a congregation. More information on the listening campaign can be found on this website.

Shared Use Community Commercial Kitchen

The mission of the Takoma Park Presbyterian Shared Use Community Commercial Kitchen is to be a resource within the community to alleviate hunger and economic inequality by providing a haven for local food production. The Community Kitchen hosts three components: micro-enterprise development, cooking and nutrition classes, and preparation of food for distribution to low-income individuals. The kitchen plays a small, but important, role in developing a healthy, safe and secure local food system.

Here's a brief video with perspectives on what the kitchen means to our community!

Want to learn more? Please visit the kitchen webpage (

For a complete list of all the vendors using the Community Kitchen, go to the Crossroads Community Food Network,

The Kitchen is available to the Church for all regularly scheduled Church functions and in addition is available all day Sunday every week for projects the Church envisions as part of mission or to foster community building within the congregation.

TPSSCK's First Year!

Lots has happened since the TPSS Community Kitchen opened a year ago. Another 48 entrepreneurs have graduated from the Microenterprise Training Program (MTP) offered through Crossroads Community Food Network, and 11 MTP participants have gone on to become regular kitchen users. These entrepreneurs source their produce locally, purchasing from 17 farmers in Maryland and bordering states, and nearly 150 different food items are now being produced at the kitchen. Four food businesses hired one or more new employees, and six businesses have expanded into new sales outlets, including special events, retail stores, farmers markets, and private events. Two businesses achieved or exceeded their annual revenue goals, and across the six businesses who set revenue goals this past year, more than $130,000 of revenue was earned.

One of the first businesses to use the kitchen, Gypsy Diva Fresh, is now selling tilapia sliders and kale salads at the Takoma Park Silver Spring Food Co-op. Look for them in the refrigerator section!

Crossroads also offers "Lunch & Learn" sessions at the TPSS Community Kitchen on the first Monday of every month. This is a great opportunity for aspiring food entrepreneurs to tour the kitchen, ask questions, find out more about our Microenterprise Training Program, and build connections within our community of food business experts, community members, and other local entrepreneurs. Contact Jennifer Underwood, Kitchen Manager at for more information.

Shepherd's Table Inc.

Takoma Park Presbyterian Church (TPPC) is one of many churches and synagogues in the Takoma Park-Silver Spring area that serves an evening meal at the Shepherd's Table. TPPC has a roster of over 30 members and friends of TPPC that volunteer at various times to prepare and serve dinner the first Sunday of the month, including an enthusiastic group of senior high school students. Students earn community service credit hours through volunteering at Shepherds Table.

We can always use more volunteers to help serve the first Sunday of the month. From 4 PM - 5:30 PM, we need people to help set tables, prepare salads and desserts. From 5:45 PM - 8 PM, we also need volunteers to help serve the meals, wash dishes and clean up afterwards.

If you're interested in serving at Shepherd's Table please contact Carrie Noel-Nosbaum at

For more information about Shepherd's Table, click here.

Resources for helping Children deal with tragedy

Our prayers continue to be with the survivors of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut and other such incidents since then. It can be difficult to reach out to ou r young children and help them with their feelings during times like these. Here are some resources for dealing in the midst of trying times.

Also, here is a link to the text from Rev. Greiner's sermon the Sunday after the tragedy.

We need Gleaners at the Takoma Park Farmers Market!

What: Church's ministry of gleaning at the Takoma Park Farmer's Market: Leviticus 23:22 "When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God."

Who: Volunteers from TPPC gather on the second Sunday of each month, year-round. We need volunteers! This is a family-friendly activity that takes less than two hours. At least two adults with two cars are needed each time we glean. More is great! Children are most welcome to assist; the farmers love them.

Why: To assist Shepherd's Table, a local non-profit, whose mission is to "provide help to people who are homeless or in need by providing basic services, including meals, social services, medical support, clothing, and other assistance in an effective and compassionate manner." (See

Where: We meet at the Clock Tower in Takoma Park at the intersection of Carroll and Laurel Avenues at the Farmer's Market. Bring new paper yard waste bags and boxes (Costco is a great source - and you don't have to be a member).

When: Approximately 1:40 pm to start offering boxes and bags to farmers; we go back and collect them just before and after 2:00 pm when the market officially closes. Some farmers will give early, whereas others will wait until after 2:00 pm. All are expecting you. Folks from different churches volunteer every Sunday. Our dates are: June 14, July 12, Aug 9, Sept 13, Oct 11, Nov 8, and Dec 13 for 2015.

Then what? After we gather all the food by 2:15 or so, we load it into two cars (suggest volunteers park at either end of the market) and take to Shepherd's Table. There, Scotty, their cook, warmly accepts it and will be happy to give you a tour of the kitchen where he turns out meals for up to 150 people a week. You're usually finished by 3:15 pm at the latest.

How can you get involved? 1) Contact: or 2) sign up at church on the poster at the back of the sanctuary. Mark your calendar! Our upcoming dates are: June 14, July 12, Aug 9, and Sept 13. We'll go through the fall and into the winter: Oct 11, Nov 8, and Dec 13.

P.S. Attention high school youth: You can get two hours of volunteer service for each time you participate. Scotty will sign your form.

MUSST: TPPC's Extended Ministry to Neighbors in Need

In 1996, our congregation was one of the founding churches of Ministries United Silver Spring/Takoma Park, Inc., or MUSST.

Since its beginning, MUSST, in close partnership with the Montgomery County government and the Emergency Assistance Coalition, has helped to prevent evictions, utility cut-off, and offer assistance with medical prescriptions for zip code areas 20901, 20910, 20912 and 20783. Our participation in MUSST enables us to provide assistance to individuals and families who come seeking help.

Masiki Akwei, the dynamic program manager, says volunteers have always been at the heart of MUSST's work. On-the-job training is provided for anyone (over 18 years) who would like to volunteer. Interviewers, case workers, administrative assistants, a Web master, and a translator who can write documents in Spanish and Amharic, are all needed. If you would like to learn more, you can call the office at 301-495-4699.

Takoma Park Neighborhood Food Project

The Food Project is a sustainable way to ensure food security for those in need in our community because it is a donor drive, not a food drive. Instead of asking for one-time contributions of food the Neighborhood Coordinators enlist their neighbors to become long-term Food Donors.

With your provided Food Project green bag you are armed and ready to start accumulating food for the regularly scheduled donations every other month (the evenly numbered months). Simply fill your bag and bring it to church on the assigned Sunday(s), usually the first Sunday of every other month. I will make sure the donations get to where they need to go, leaving you with an empty green bag for the next scheduled pick-up.

The way you fill your bag is up to youpick up a can or two each week or do one big buy the week of collection. This is an opportunity to be generous, not to feel guilty about "not doing enough." Every little bit helps, and we greatly appreciate it. For a list of specific items being requested by the food pantry please refer to a list on the Food Project website.

All donations go to the Takoma Park Food Pantry housed at Grace United Methodist Church on New Hampshire Avenue. The pantry is open to patrons every 1st Saturday in the month from 11:00 - 2:00PM and by appointment only Mon-Fri.

Webmaster : Brian C. Monsell