Combining Mission Capsules and PWS&D Bulletin Bits, the new Mission Moments resource highlights the mission and ministry that we are doing together in Canada and around the world through Presbyterians Sharing and Presbyterian World Service & Development. Use the brief story and photo from each Mission Moment in your weekly church bulletin to show how Presbyterians in Canada are making a difference! Use the powerpoint during your announcements or coffee hour or use one slide a week for a Mission Moment!
See week-by-week text and photos below.
Mission Moments – Text Only – October 2013 to January 2014
Mission Moments PowerPoint – October 2013 to January 2014
Mission Moments PDF – October 2013 to January 2014
Mission Moments Text Only – June to September 2013
Mission Moments PowerPoint – June to September 2013
Mission Moments PDF – June to September 2013
September Week 1 – A Home Away from Home
Established by a partnership between The Presbyterian Church in Canada and the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, the Nigerian Presbyterian Mission ministers in the Greater Toronto area. The Mission is a family, a supportive faith community where people experiencing life in a new country can feel like they belong. Recently, a young Nigerian man arrived in Toronto from Vancouver, hoping to get in touch with a relative. Instead, he found himself stranded in a vast city where he knew no one. The Mission helped him to get settled. He is now in school, attends church and Bible studies regularly, and sings in the choir. He is thrilled to have an adopted family, and a home away from home. Presbyterians Sharing is helping this Mission to reach out to and welcome Nigerians in the name of Christ.
With support from the Government of Canada, PWS&D is partnering with Western University and Canadian Foodgrains Bank to help six thousand farming families learn more about sustainable food production. Through this innovative program, farmers struggling to provide enough food for their families will learn from fellow farmers how to protect soils, increase crop production and diversity, and improve their family’s nutrition. Farmers and youth will also develop small food-based businesses to boost their incomes and grow local economies. “We are pleased that Canadians are willing to support us,” says Rodgers Msachi, a community promoter at Ekwendeni Hospital. By responding together, Presbyterians are helping communities help themselves.
Since 1927, Tyndale St-Georges Community Centre has offered educational programs and services to the community of Little Burgundy in Montreal. While full of potential, this community struggles with poverty and social marginalization. Amidst these challenges, Tyndale St-Georges is a place where grace is at work, bringing opportunities and new growth. It promotes early literacy, school readiness, academic and social development for children and youth, as well as pre-employment training for adults. Last year nearly 300 volunteers gathered to rebuild the Jesse Maxwell Smith Park in front of the centre. This was an amazing experience for all the volunteers and will have lasting impact on the community. Already, the once seldom-used playground is full of families. Gifts to Presbyterians Sharing are helping to bring hope and change in the Little Burgundy community.
It’s that time of year again— Presbyterian World Service & Development’s annual resources are now available! This year’s package highlights the many different ways Presbyterians in Canada are responding together to build sustainable futures free from poverty, hunger and injustice. Learn more about how you and your congregation can help marginalized and vulnerable people around the world. Resources include Advent and Lent liturgies, bulletin inserts, posters and PWS&D’s annual report. To place an order, please contact the Book Room (1-800-619-7301, bookroom [at] presbyterian [dot] ca) or view them online at www.WeRespond.ca.
We are Presbyterians who share. It’s who we are. It’s what we do. Together, we are supporting new church developments and equipping congregations across Canada. We are supporting and encouraging theological students and new ministers. We are advocating for justice and human rights. We are helping refugees find compassion and support through Action Réfugiés Montréal. We are helping translate the Bible into indigenous languages in Taiwan. We are bringing Presbyterians from across Canada together at General Assembly to learn, share and make decisions about the future of our Church. These are our ministries. This is our mission. September 29 is Presbyterians Sharing Sunday. Let us celebrate the ministry we do together, in the name of Christ!
Sunday, October 6 – Support Team PWS&D!
On Sunday, October 20, Presbyterians are running in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon to raise support for men, women and children in some of the poorest areas of the world. Runners will be joined by Webster Moya, project coordinator for Presbyterian World Service & Development’s HIV and AIDS program in Malawi. With race day only two weeks away, Team PWS&D needs your support to reach their goal of $10,000. You can make a donation online, mail a cheque to the PWS&D office or call 1-800-619-7301 ext. 291. Please mark all donations “Team PWS&D.” Keep Webster and Team PWS&D in your prayers as they embark on this exciting endeavor. Good luck to the team!
Respond with Team PWS&D!
Sunday, October 13 – Helping Farmers in Pakistan Recover from Floods
October 16 is World Food Day – a day to raise public awareness of world food production and the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. 870 million people worldwide suffer from chronic hunger. PWS&D is working to end hunger by providing food in times of emergency and by helping smallscale farmers increase crop yields. After devastating floods in 2012, thousands of families in Pakistan were desperate for food and supplies. In partnership with Canadian Foodgrains Bank, PWS&D provided 4,000 families with food rations, rice seed, and training in disaster plan management. With this support families were able to get by until the next harvest. To learn more about how you can help end hunger, visit WeRespond.ca.
PWS&D responds to hunger in Pakistan
Sunday, October 20 – Sharing the Good News
Asian Christ Church in Surrey, BC is a South Asian outreach ministry serving Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu-speaking communities in the lower mainland of British Colombia. This church, which started out by worshipping in a house, is now working towards becoming an established congregation with its own building. The church is reaching out in public parks, stores and malls, and the ministers even go door to door, praying, sharing the Gospel and inviting people to church. Their television show Jeewan Kee Raah (The Way of Life) reaches over 100,000 viewers every week! Gifts to Presbyterians Sharing are helping Asian Christ Church to reach out into its community and share the good news of the gospel.
Presbyterians Sharing shares the good news
Sunday, October 27 – Rising above Hardship
Gifts to Presbyterians Sharing support Anamiewigummig (Kenora Fellowship Centre), which has opened its doors every night for the past three years. Low income housing is hard to find in this area, and many people who need emergency shelter come to the centre. No one is judged, and everyone receives care and respect. The center helps people like Debra, who once lived a hard life compounded by alcohol addiction, family violence and family breakdown. She stayed at the emergency shelter for over a year until she was able to secure a home. With the center’s help and her own faith, she was able to rise above her hardships and now serves in the very same place where she got the help she needed. Debra is an active, on-call shelter worker for the center and is an inspiration to others in and around the centre.
Presbyterians Sharing is changing lives
Sunday, November 3 – Training Teachers in Afghanistan
Presbyterian World Service & Development has been working in Afghanistan for five years to raise awareness about the importance of girls’ education. We have seen the positive impact—a total of 5,400 girls have enrolled since the project began. PWS&D is also taking steps to improve the quality of education children receive. Through a series of trainings, teachers are learning how to make the classroom one that is welcoming for students, where education is interactive and student participation matters. “Since we started using these methods within our classes, it seems that the students are really motivated and coming to school with lots of passion,” says Nasreen, a teacher at the Bibi Maryam School.
PWS&D Responds with education and training
Sunday, November 10 – Making a Difference in Nicaragua
Gifts to Presbyterians Sharing support Denise Van Wissen, a nutritionist serving as a technical advisor with SOYNICA in Nicaragua. SOYNICA helps people access their right to food through advocacy and education in nutrition and agriculture. The all-female team works with resource-poor families both in rural and urban areas of Nicaragua. Denise helps the SOYNICA staff continue their education in nutrition and related topics, and assists the child nutrition and development team. She shares, “I’m happy to be working with SOYNICA because even after all these years of trying to improve the nutritional status of children, there’s still a great need. It’s hard to see people—especially kids—in need, without doing something to help.”
Presbyterians Sharing sends mission staff
Sunday, November 17 – Providing Christian community
Adjusting to life in a new country can be an isolating and daunting experience for many new immigrants. It can be difficult to find a sense of community. Montreal’s Siloé Christian Community grew out of a desire to serve people immigrating to Quebec from Francophone countries in Africa – people like William. When William first arrived in Canada from Cameroun, he attended various churches but never felt quite at home. Then a friend invited him to worship at Siloé and he felt a real sense of belonging. William explains, “My experience in Siloé is rewarding. There is human warmth and closeness between Christians. What strikes me most is the mutual brotherhood among the people.” Presbyterians Sharing helps Siloé to provide a welcoming community for new immigrants in Montreal.
Presbyterians Sharing provides supportive communities
Sunday, November 24 – Take the Advent Challenge!
Every year at Christmas we find ourselves wrapped up in the busyness of the season—wandering the malls, browsing online and finding new things to add to our to-do lists. Take a break from these preparations and take the Advent Challenge. Each week of Advent, Presbyterian World Service & Development challenges individuals and congregations to learn more about PWS&D and give the gifts of hope, peace, joy and love. The real spirit of Christmas is not the spectacle of lights and gifts, but your willingness to give to those you have never seen or met. In the midst of poverty and disaster, the Christ light shines. To take the Advent Challenge, sign-up at WeRespond.ca
Respond with us and take the Advent Challenge
Sunday, December 1 – World AIDS Day
The Presbyterian Church in Canada, through Presbyterian World Service & Development, continues to support HIV and AIDS programs that work against stigma and discrimination, teach and equip people to prevent the spread, and provide home based care and medications to help those living with the disease cope. PWS&D works with partners to prevent the transmission between mother and child, provide counselling and testing, and support and care for orphans and vulnerable children. Take the lead, inspire others to learn more, and raise funds for PWS&D’s AIDS programs. To learn more about our church’s work in the fight against HIV and AIDS, visit WeRespond.ca.
PWS&D responds to HIV and AIDS
Sunday, December 8 – Singing Praises to God
Gifts to Presbyterians Sharing support Brian Johnston as he teaches English and music at the Protestant Theological College in Cluj, Romania. Brian leads two choirs consisting of theological students. Choir members can practice their English and share their faith through music. Karikas Orsolya, a second year student and member of the girls’ choir, writes, “In this choir we can develop and we can learn beautiful songs. Through the singing we can express our feelings. Everybody has the same importance and is treated with equal respect. I like singing here. I like that we learn religious songs, in which we can glorify God who has given us all individual gifts.”
Presbyterians Sharing equips students
Sunday, December 15 – Rewarding Initiative in Mozambique
Asuncion grew up in a community abundant with cattle before moving to Nacala ten years ago. After realizing there was no butchery in her new town, she decided to open her own business and has become a very successful entrepreneur. With support from Presbyterian World Service & Development and partner COCAMO—an organization that supports community development through grassroots micro-enterprise in Mozambique—Asuncion joined a savings group and received a small loan, which she used to purchase a single cow. With subsequent loans she expanded her business by investing in a refrigerator and a portable barbeque. “I believe that any hard working woman with initiative could get a lot from these services,” affirms Asuncion.
PWS&D empowers vulnerable women
Sunday, December 22 – Reaching Out to Young Moms
St. David’s Inner City Outreach in Hamilton, Ontario, provides programming and outreach to residents in Hamilton’s north end community, one of the most poverty stricken areas in Ontario. This area is densely populated, with no amenities. Poverty, crime and hunger are chronic. The ministry’s “Young Moms” program is making a big difference. It is designed to promote healthy living, teach life skills and encourage young mothers to discuss issues and have fun. Teenaged moms do not have much support at home, and enjoy coming to a place where they feel accepted. Moms in their twenties enjoy fellowship, share a meal together, and discuss current issues. Supplies such as diapers, formula, clothing, gift cards and bus tickets are available for those who need them. Presbyterians Sharing is making a difference in the lives of these young moms.
Presbyterians Sharing provides support and encouragement
Sunday, December 29 – Bringing Hope to Prisoners
Presbyterians Sharing supports the Rev. Todd Statham as he serves at Zomba Theological College in Malawi. Recently Todd visited Mikuyu prison with students and staff from the college. With a small grant from Presbyterians Sharing, they were able to bring the prisoners gifts of soap, sugar and even a few goats for their meals. Todd shares that the officer in charge of the prison was full of gratitude to the College and the PCC. As the prisoners cheered and clapped, she mentioned that funds are so scarce that their one meal a day is often missed. She also made a point that struck Todd: “Don’t look too hard in judgment on these boys, for maybe the next Nelson Mandela is among them.”
Presbyterians Sharing brings hope
Sunday, January 5 – Hunger and a Changing Climate
At least 70% of the people who regularly go to bed hungry are farmers in developing countries. While it may be surprising, it is often the people who produce food that do not have enough to eat. Climate change means higher temperatures, drought, parched crops and flooding. For many people, it also means more hunger. PWS&D and Canadian Foodgrains Bank are teaching farmers strategies to adapt to climate change and grow more food. We also work to end global hunger by influencing public policies. Join the Harvest of Letters campaign and write a letter to your MPs urging the Canadian government to provide support to vulnerable populations dealing with climate change. To learn more, visit WeRespond.ca.
PWS&D responds to hunger and climate change
Sunday, January 12 – Experiencing Mission in Taiwan
Each year, young Christians from around the world gather in Taiwan for two weeks to work with our partner church, The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan. In July 2013, Abbey Poser and Tom Ball travelled to Taiwan to teach English to children at day camps, learn about Taiwanese culture and share their faith journey with others. Abbey writes, “One day I was sitting and playing my ukulele during the break and a little boy brought over his book so I would play the camp theme song for him. He made me play it over and over so he could sing it. A small group of children formed and they all sang while I played. It gave me a real feeling of worth.” Gifts to Presbyterians Sharing help support Youth in Mission so that young Presbyterians can experience mission in life-changing ways.
Presbyterians Sharing equips young people
Sunday, January 19 – Supporting People with Disabilities in Malawi
Life in Malawi is hard enough for the majority of people without the compounded struggle of a physical or mental disability. Through the Tidzalerana Club in Blantyre, people with disabilities are discovering that disability is not inability. Tidzalerana means “we care for one another,” and rightly so. Led by dedicated volunteers, the club provides a place where those with physical and developmental disabilities feel loved and accepted. Participants of all ages receive a nutritious meal while learning practical skills such as sewing, mat weaving and business management. Club members also meet weekly to listen to one another’s concerns, learn new skills and sing songs together. Programs like these are made possible thanks to the compassionate support of Presbyterians.
PWS&D responds to people with disabilities
Sunday, January 26 – Discerning Where God is at Work
Two Rivers Mission in Guelph, Ontario, is a new worshipping community which is reaching out to people who are open to conversations about faith and spirituality and looking for community. Under the leadership of the Rev. Glen Soderholm, the congregation is exploring ways to be present and attentive to where God is at work amongst their neighbours and friends in the places they inhabit. They gather in people’s living rooms for worship, work together in a community garden, prepare and serve meals for one another and their neighbours, host coffeehouses with local entertainment, and participate in a movie club. Presbyterians Sharing supports new church developments as they reach out to their communities in new ways.
Presbyterians Sharing supports new churches
Two Funds, One Mission
Proclaiming Christ in Word and Deed
Presbyterians Sharing is the national church fund that supports the overall mission and ministry of The Presbyterian Church in Canada. Congregations commit to raising an accepted allocation each year.
Presbyterian World Service & Development is the PCC’s development and relief agency. PWS&D raises funds directly from congregations and individuals and through government grants – over and above gifts to Presbyterians Sharing. International Ministries mission personnel, funded through Presbyterians Sharing, often work with PWS&D partners.