Who We Are
Littlefield Mission Statement
Who we are:
We are a community of ordinary people committed to growing together as disciples of Jesus Christ, through worship, fellowship, learning, prayer and mission.
Why we exist:
To love God, one another, and all people. To show God’s love in our work for peace and justice.
Littlefield Core Values
We are a work in progress. We trust in the Holy Spirit to lead and empower us to live into these core values.
As children of God we seek to embody God’s compassion in our ministry to the poor, the marginalized, the hurting, and all who are in need of the love and care of Christ.
Through our preaching, teaching, music, fellowship, service, and in our daily lives, we practice our faith joyfully.
In a divided world we are committed to building bridges with our neighbors and working with them to achieve justice for all. We work to teach mutual respect, promote understanding, nurture relationships, and bring wholeness to our community.
We seek to be open to new directions and ideas in order to respond faithfully to changing times.
As children of God, we see all persons as God’s children. As Christ welcomes all to the table of fellowship, so we also invite, respect, and accept all—regardless of social/economic/marital status, sexual identity/orientation, race/ethnicity, and faith orientation.
Littlefield Presbyterian Church has always been a mission church. When the neighborhood began to change in the 1960s, the congregation’s mission changed in order to reach out to our new neighbors in friendship and to offer needed assistance. Over time, we developed a focus on peacemaking – on promoting understanding and cooperation.
In 1979, the Rev. Dr. William G. Gepford was called to Littlefield to head up a new Arab American Ministry; this was to be a ministry of reconciliation and understanding in the City of Dearborn, the church community and as a consultant with the Presbytery of Detroit. This position was, in part, funded by the Presbytery of Detroit, the Synod of the Covenant and the General Assembly. This ministry was instrumental throughout the region as the country and the world began to recognize the need to know more about Islam and its followers, Muslims. Even in retirement, Dr. Gepford is called upon for his wisdom and connections to the interfaith community of the metropolitan area. Through the years, Littlefield became the place where people of all religions were all comfortable coming for educational seminars, interfaith worship and meetings.
The Rev. Frances Hayes was called to Littlefield in 1997. She has immersed herself in interfaith activities and is a strong community advocate. She has led this congregation during the dramatically changing neighborhood demographics encouraging continuing peacemaking activities and new visions for ministry into the future.
For 14 years, Littlefield Church has hosted Peace Camp in mid-summer. In 2013, the 29 campers included children from the church neighborhood, a few members’ grandchildren and some children from First Presbyterian Church of Saline. Others came from Dubai and Minnesota. Each year, Peace Camp is an opportunity to make new friends, talk about living in a peacefilled world and community and to use summer energy for fun and projects. Campers individually decorated sweat-free t-shirts, made a “Pinwheel for Peace” (www.pinwheelsforpeace.org) and decorated their own take-home picture frame. In addition, they built a neighborhood of peace from packing boxes and household odds and ends. We completed Peace Camp with the annual parade around the neighborhood and an ice cream social with parents. The pinwheels were planted near the church sign at the end of the march. We closed with singing and chanting favorites for parents.
Small group conversations gave the children an opportunity to discuss how they feel when they are rejected or bullied in some way. The graffiti wall was the place for the children to write their feelings about issues in their lives. Questions discussed included:
- What is peace to you?
- What makes you feel peaceful?
- What makes you angry?
- What do you do when you are angry?
- What can you do when faced with conflict to make a peaceful choice?
- How do you feel when you are a peacemaker?
Everyone leaves with the words of songs and chants in their hearts and pictures of their building group to put on the wall. There is no doubt that the neighborhood is looking for the 2014 Littlefield Peace Camp, August 12 – 14.
Littlefield has always been blessed by incredible musically talented members and friends. When the most recent part-time music director left in the summer of 2013, it was time to talk about how to continue this important part of Littlefield’s ministry using these gifted volunteer musicians. The music ministry is organic ever evolving and team-led. Littlefield is a place where you might hear Mozart and sing a song from the African church in the same worship. One member has been known to say that she looks forward to seeing/hearing who will sing or play on a particular Sunday always knowing that whatever happens, it will be good.
Through the years, Littlefield has nurtured a series of interns from the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, who seek the interfaith and intercultural experience that Littlefield can offer.
While the future is uncertain, the members and friends of Littlefield Presbyterian Church are committed to continue glorifying God through ministries of peace and reconciliation and music.
In recent decades, Littlefield was the home for ESL classes, a Head Start program and other community programs, which provided a huge part of the income that funded the church mission. These programs have now moved to other homes, which has challenged us to find ways to cut expenses and find other/new ways to fund our mission, including working to develop various kinds of mission partnerships. We believe there are reasons to hope.
We are so thankful for several recent unexpected gifts from outside the congregation, and are praying for discernment as we seek God’s direction for the future. We will be grateful for your prayers and encouragement.
2 Corinthians 5:18
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to God's self through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation...”