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 PDF – February 2015 May 2015
Mission Moments – Text Only – February 2015 May 2015
Mission Moments Powerpoint – February 2015 May 2015
Mission Moments PDF – October 2014 to January 2015
Mission Moments – Text Only – October 2014 January 2015
Mission Moments Powerpoint – October 2014 – January 2015
* Within Flickr, right click on each image to save the file
January 4 – Your voice is powerful. Let it be heard!
Take part in the Harvest of Letters campaign and write to your MP urging the Canadian government to invest in smallholder agriculture in developing countries. Up to 80 per cent of the world’s poor depend on farming to feed their families year round. With changing weather patterns, drought and the rising cost of seeds, farming is becoming more difficult and unpredictable, leaving smallholder farmers vulnerable to hunger. Financial support for innovative farming practices is one of the best ways to alleviate hunger and can make a big difference in the lives of farmers, their families and their communities. For more information visit WeRespond.ca.
PWS&D supports the needs of small-scale farmers
January 11 – Preserving PCC history
Your gifts to Presbyterians Sharing support the work of Kim Arnold and Bob Anger in the Presbyterian Church Archives office. Kim and Bob work to collect, preserve and make available to researchers the significant collections of records generated by our Church, its officials, ministers, congregations and organizations. Archives holdings date from 1775 to the present and consist of documents, photographs, audio visual recordings, architectural plans and microfilm. The facility is used by over 3,000 researchers annually. Please pray for Kim and Bob as they work diligently to preserve the records of the life and work of The Presbyterian Church in Canada.
Presbyterians Sharing supports the work of the PCC Archives
January 18 – Proud to Send My Daughter to School
Sayed Mohammad makes bricks to support his family. He works during the hot summers, as well as the cold winters. For a time, his ten-year-old daughter, Saima, worked alongside him. Through a Presbyterian World Service & Development project in Afghanistan, Sayed learned that his daughter was too young to be doing hard labour at the brick factory and that it was his responsibility to send her to school. “I feel really proud of myself now, because everyone at home appreciates that I am sending my daughter to school.” Not only is Sayed sending his enabling his daughter to pursue an education, he is working hard to raise awareness about how education can change children’s futures. Since PWS&D started supporting the girls’ education project in Afghanistan, over 4,000 girls have been enrolled in school.
PWS&D is helping vulnerable girls receive an education
January 25 – Serving in Ukraine
Gifts to Presbyterians Sharing support David and Anna Pandy as they serve with the Reformed Church of Sub-Carpathian Ukraine, a church of ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine. Anna is a teacher and is principal and founder of Nagybereg Reformed Church secondary school. David coordinates four Christian secondary schools and helps supervise RCCU missionaries. Making personal connections is an important aspect of this work. David shares, “We exchange news within our immediate family and within our larger church family on both sides of the Atlantic by means of internet communication. In the mission field, in our endeavours to build God’s family, we communicate mostly in person, which takes more time and more energy but decidedly is also more rewarding.”
Presbyterians Sharing supports David and Anna Pandy in Ukraine
February 1 – PWS&D Sunday
February 1 is PWS&D Sunday – a time to remember the work of our church in supporting marginalized and vulnerable people through programs in international development and emergency relief. Today, think of those who struggle for basic necessities such as nutritious food, clean water, adequate health care, quality education and basic human rights. Inspired by God’s promise of abundant life, PWS&D envisions a sustainable, compassionate and just world. By participating in the work of PWS&D and its global partners, we do what Jesus taught us and help to make this vision a reality. We respond together.
PWS&D responds to need around the world
February 8 – Mentoring vulnerable youth
Gifts to Presbyterians Sharing support Kenora Fellowship Centre as it offers shelter and comfort to vulnerable, disadvantaged and displaced people in downtown Kenora, Ontario. It is the only place in this area offering people refuge from the streets. Its mentorship program offers hands-on experience to young people like Donovan. Youth help with the daily lunch program and take care of the elders, among other tasks. Donovan and others in the mentorship program enjoyed helping establish a vegetable garden, working alongside three elders who helped till and prepare the earth. An Ojibway elder blessed the garden and made suggestions on how to plant according to his teachings. Please pray for KFC as it reaches out to vulnerable youth and young adults through its mentorship program.
Presbyterians Sharing reaches out to vulnerable people
February 15 – Typhoon Haiyan Survivors Moving Forward
Hanie Ablona looks at her freshly harvested rice stalks with happiness—her rice and corn crops have almost doubled in size this year. Providing a much-needed source of food and income, the seed for her crops was provided through a Presbyterian World Service & Development project helping recover livelihoods in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. Many farmers lost all of their planted crops and available seed but are now starting to recover thanks to the project. Communities like Hanie’s are also receiving assistance in reconstructing homes and ensuring that they will be resistant to future natural disasters. Communities are starting to see great progress and PWS&D continues to support long-term rehabilitation and recovery in response to the typhoon.
PWS&D provides support after natural disasters
February 22 – Equipping congregations
Gifts to Presbyterians Sharing help equip and strengthen congregations through workshops and events. In the past year, Stewards By Design helped congregations discover how stewardship connects to all aspects of a congregation’s mission and ministry. Dr. Stanley Ott’s workshops helped congregations learn basic strategies for growing disciples. PCC ministers and lay leaders attending the Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s leadership seminar explored generational differences and how they impact stewardship and philanthropy. As congregations grow and learn together, mission happens!
Presbyterians Sharing equips congregations
March 1 – Experiencing God’s transforming love
The Presbyterian Church of East Africa’s Theological Education by Extension program in Kenya provides practical, interactive theological courses to help lay leaders understand scripture, apply it to their context and put it into practice. The course is also offered to prisoners who are eager to learn about God and turn their lives around. Joseph Wanyama, who is serving a life sentence for robbery in Kingongo Maximum Prison,was one of the first inmates to enroll in the course at Kingongo. He became a Christian on his graduation day. Joseph shares, “This course has both liberated and transformed me. I now feel freer inside this prison than I felt before I was imprisoned. I am happy that I can now understand God from my own perspective.” Presbyterians Sharing helps people like Joseph experience God’s transforming love.
Presbyterians Sharing is transforming lives
March 8 – International Women’s Day
Zahida is an accomplished teacher at a high school in Afghanistan, where not long ago cultural norms forced her to abandon her dream of teaching. After graduating, she pursued a teaching career and got married shortly thereafter. While her husband initially supported her choice to work, he soon worried what his friends and family would think about her career and Zahida was forced to quit. Thankfully a Presbyterian World Service & Development program working to change cultural attitudes and raise awareness about the importance of education interceded. After explaining to Zahida’s family about how important her work is, Zahida was able to return to the school. “Teaching is not just a job for me, but it is my dream to help children learn. Through the support of this project, I am once again living my dream,” she shares.
PWS&D supports women’s empowerment
March 15 – Connecting through music
Gifts to Presbyterians Sharing help share the gospel with Korean immigrants in North York, Ontario. Sohrae Church, which was started with support from Presbyterians Sharing, is well known to the community for its work with the Sohrae Youth Orchestra. The orchestra, which began as an ensemble that played during Sunday worship, soon grew into an independent non-profit organization. It develops and realizes the musical talent of Korean youth, and allows them to serve the local community with a Christian spirit. A recent concert raised $4,000 for three charities. Sohrae’s music classes also reach out to and build connections with the community. The majority of students come from outside of the Sohrae congregation, and some of the students’ families have started to attend Sunday services.
Presbyterians Sharing builds community
March 22 – World Water Day
Access to clean water in Chimbonano village in southern Malawi used to be a huge challenge. Community members had to drink from unclean water sources or travel far distances to access clean water. Flonnie Mpunga knows how dangerous the situation was for her village. “Waterborne diseases were common and we spent a lot of time nursing each other. We couldn’t work hard in our fields, so we experienced food shortages.” But all that has changed thanks to a Presbyterian World Service & Development program providing access to safe water by digging boreholes and wells. Flonnie shares, “Our lives have improved. We no longer spend long hours fetching water. I have enough time to prepare my field and take care of my family. The well has improved my family’s health, as well as the health of the whole community.”
PWS&D responds to provide clean water
March 29 – Serving congregations
Equipping congregations. Providing tools for growth and renewal. Encouraging generous giving. Developing worship resources. Equipping leaders. Engaging in justice issues. Supporting new ministers. And so much more! Your gifts to Presbyterians Sharing support staff at our national office as they work with ministers, lay leaders, treasurers, clerks, presbyteries and synods across Canada in many ways. More than just an office, 50 Wynford Drive is a meeting place where Presbyterians come together to plan, vision and share ideas. Do you have a question about mission trips? Need information about General Assembly? Want to make the internet work for your congregation? Are you running out of bulletin inserts? Staff at our national church office are just a phone call or email away!
Presbyterians Sharing connects congregations
April 5 – World Health Day
Worldwide, women make up more than half of the 35 million people living with HIV around the world. Frustina was in denial when she first started experiencing symptoms. Her husband had died of AIDS seven years earlier and she was concerned that she might have contracted HIV. Finally, Frustina was tested and it was confirmed that she was HIV positive. While she was initially concerned about how her community would react, Frustina has been overwhelmed by their support. Home based care volunteers— supported by a Presbyterian World Service & Development program—came to help with household work, brought food and provided medication for pain relief. She also joined an HIV support group that comes together and supports and encourages each other. Frustina shares, “I am staying positive. I am healthy and able to work on my own.”
PWS&D supports people living with HIV
April 12 – Being present with people
The Reverends John Wyminga and Shannon Bell-Wyminga find that it is often in the unplanned, informal times that God works most effectively in Cariboo Ministry’s Nazko and Area Dakelh Outreach. At a recent anniversary celebration, John and Shannon experienced many opportunities to share and pray with people, who shared stories of grief, spiritual concerns and thankfulness. Shannon shares, “No church building in sight, no formal worship or organized programs. We were just present with people. Our presence is a reminder that there is a Creator out there who cares for them and wants a relationship with them.” Gifts to Presbyterians Sharing support this ministry in British Columbia’s remote Cariboo region.
Presbyterians Sharing reaches out to rural and remote regions
April 19 – Earth Day
Maria de los Angeles used to depend on purchasing expensive produce at the market in order to feed her family. All that has changed now because of a Presbyterian World Service & Development program working to help farmers in her region end hunger by planting new types of fruits and vegetables and diversifying diets. The program is also ensuring that farmers know how to deal with Nicaragua’s often-dry climate. Maria has learned how to collect and recycle leaves to help trap moisture in the soil and make organic fertilizers. This resourcefulness is allowing Maria and other farmers like her to succeed. Maria is careful to give back what she takes, by helping to nurture her small piece of land by planting new trees and using environmentally sustainable farming techniques—and sharing this knowledge with her children and community to help ensure better futures for all.
PWS&D helps farmers care for creation
April 26 – World Malaria Day
Malaria is one of Africa’s most severe health challenges and one of its most prevalent childhood diseases. Presbyterian World Service & Development is working to reduce the incidence of malaria by teaching communities how to prevent the spread. Community leaders are taking an active role in teaching about prevention and control of malaria. By teaching people how to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds and how to properly use and care for bed nets that provide protection while sleeping, communities are seeing fewer cases of the disease. When someone does contract malaria, volunteers know how to respond quickly with medical care in order to ensure fewer people die as a result of the disease.
PWS&D supports communities fighting malaria
May 3 – Partnering with Chinese educators
Gifts to Presbyterians Sharing send Canadian Presbyterians to help rural Chinese middle school English teachers develop their listening and speaking skills. Last August, a team of four representatives from Knox, Waterloo spent a month in Weifang, China with the Amity Foundation’s summer English program. Both the Knox team and the Chinese students learned from the experience. Athena, a grade one teacher in rural China, shares, “Learning about the traditions and beliefs of Canadians and comparing them to Chinese practices has shown that we are all similar; we all have the same goal, to share our love of language and to help our students be the best they can be. Janice Harper adds, “My own approach to teaching has even changed as a result of our experiences, and that is after being a teacher for 32 years!”
Presbyterians Sharing strengthens partnerships
May 10 – Families Find Shelter and Safety
The dire humanitarian and human rights situation in Iraq has left many families without access to shelter or food. Many of the more than one million who have fled their homes left with nothing but the clothes they wore and whatever they could carry with them. Presbyterian World Service & Development has been supporting the provision of immediate assistance to families fleeing violence and persecution. Families have received relief packages of food, water, hygiene kits, pots and kettles. Sedardar Rashid fled his home with his wife and three children and is now sheltering in a school. “It’s safe here,” he says. “We no longer have to fear for our lives. We get food and water.” To learn more about how to support PWS&D’s response to violent conflict, visit WeRespond.ca/be-a-peacemaker.
PWS&D responds to violent conflict
May 17 – Serving up food security
After many faithful years of serving with SOYNICA in Nicaragua, PCC Mission staff Denise Van Wissen is now serving as a nutritionist with the Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua, a long-standing partner of The Presbyterian Church in Canada. Denise is assisting with a new Food and Environmental Security project funded by Presbyterian World Service & Development and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. She develops reference material and facilitates continuing education around food and nutritional security with CEPAD staff. She is also helping to strengthen and support families by bringing new ideas and resources to a women’s project and culinary arts initiative. Presbyterians Sharing supports Denise as she shares her gifts with CEPAD. Please pray for her as she settles into her new role.
Presbyterians Sharing strengthens partnerships
May 24 – Educating for Peace in Afghanistan
“I became a teacher to serve the country. After three decades of war, Afghanistan needs reconstruction through education,” says Mirwas, the head teacher at a school in Laghman province. Presbyterian World Service & Development’s girls education project in Afghanistan is not only working to raise awareness about the importance of education for all children, it is also building the capacity of students and teachers to handle social, political, cultural and human rights issues. In a country struggling to rebuild after decades of conflict, female students and their teachers are learning about child rights and human rights—an incredibly important issue. The focus on education for girls is helping to raise a generation of young leaders who want to be teachers, lawyers, human rights workers and politicians. These girls will be forces of renewal and peace for their communities and their country.
PWS&D supports education and rights training
May 31 – Building a vibrant community
Presbyterians Sharing is helping Tyndale St-Georges Community Centre transform lives in Montreal’s Little Burgundy neighbourhood. Through empowering programs, Tyndale is helping each member of the community to have the opportunities and skills needed to realize their potential. Volunteer and former Little Burgundy resident Idil shares that Tyndale made a difference in her childhood and teen years. “Why do I volunteer at Tyndale? I do it because I strongly believe in the power of community service and because I know what it did for me and others.” A scholarship from the Centre helped Idil attend university and she has now started a Masters degree in Social Sciences and Humanities. She shares, “I can honestly say I would have never been able to do it without the support of my community.”
Presbyterians Sharing strengthens communities
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.