Urban Plunge 2012:
   Returning to Our Roots,
      Partnering in Mission

Now mission partners, Fourth Church and the First Presbyterian Church of Chicago share a long history—one that goes back more than 150 years. Founded in 1833, when Chicago consisted of a fort and a few log cabins, First Church later planted a mission church north of the river: Westminster Presbyterian Church, founded in 1855. Just sixteen years later, that new congregation joined with North Church to become Fourth Church.

Since its earliest years, First Church leaders have seen and understood an urgent need to address social and spiritual ills, and that commitment to social ministry continues to this day. Since 2009, Fourth Church has been honored to partner with that South Side congregation of modern urban pioneers as they serve their Woodlawn neighborhood, one of the city’s poorest.

Through the annual “Urban Plunge” mission trip, volunteers from Fourth Church join members of First Church for a spring weekend of painting, landscaping, and working on mural projects at the church at 6400 S. Kimbark. The next chapter in First Church’s urban mission includes welcoming new members, families, and the Woodlawn community, and these weekend work projects help create the warm and inviting backdrop against which that ministry takes place.

On Friday, May 18, 2012, First Church hosted Fourth Church volunteers for a Friday evening dinner and orientation, followed on Saturday by a day of work projects. On Sunday morning, the host congregation and its former mission church came together again to join in worship at First Church. We join them in celebrating this long relationship, ongoing partnership, and the many talents and skills brought to the work by the participants.

Photos from the 2012 Urban Plunge are posted online.

Learn about upcoming mission trips by visiting the Fourth Church
mission trips page