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 to May 2014
Mission Moments – Text Only – February to May 2014
Mission Moments PowerPoint – February to May 2014
Mission Moments PDF – October 2013 to January 2014
Mission Moments – Text Only – October 2013 to January 2014
Mission Moments PowerPoint – October 2013 to January 2014
View and Download all Photos
* Within Flickr, right click on each image to save the file
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
Sunday, February 2 – PWS&D Sunday
February 2nd 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, let’s take a moment to think of those who struggle for basic necessities such as nutritious food, clean water, adequate health care, quality education and basic human rights. As Christians we are called to love both neighbour and stranger. By participating in the work of PWS&D and its global partners, we do what Jesus taught us. By imitating Jesus Christ, we experience and share God’s radical hope and power to transform.
We respond together
February 9 – Witnessing in Palestine and Israel
The Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel brings people from around the world to provide a protective presence to vulnerable communities, monitor and report human rights abuses and support Palestinians and Israelis working together for peace. With support from Presbyterians Sharing, International Ministries has recently sent Jake Fraser from Montreal and Magan Haycock from Lloydminster, Alberta. Jake shares, “The opportunity to sit and talk with Palestinians who have lived through so much adversity in their lives yet remain strong and defiant is incredible. I feel extremely fortunate to have experienced this amazing culture and people.” Please pray for the people in Palestine and Israel who are working for peace.
Presbyterians Sharing promotes peace
February 16 – Providing the best care possible
Christopher Chalunda had been working in the labour and delivery ward at the Mulanje Mission Hospital for just one year when he received an amazing opportunity. Christopher had been selected to take part in a special training— conducted as part of PWS&D’s government-funded maternal and child health program in Malawi— to equip clinicians and midwives with the knowledge and skills necessary to combat the country’s high maternal and child mortality rates. “We have learned new attitudes in how to approach patients. We are assisting in providing the best care possible,” says Christopher.
PWS&D supports health workers
February 23 – Caring for people in need
In the midst of a busy day preparing and serving food at Saskatoon Native Circle Ministries, the Rev. Stewart Folster often receives requests for prayer. “Prayer happens spontaneously and I am pleased to do it,” he shares. “The cold weather is upon us and there are many reasons for prayer, because there are many struggles.” Raised by his grandparents, it particularly hurts Stewart to see elderly people who must rely on soup kitchens and missions in order to survive. “I see so many who remind me of my grandparents. I love them and wish I could just take them home with me!” he says. “I ask for your prayers. I hope our mission will be here for a long time and that we can do a lot more for people in the future.” Presbyterians Sharing is helping this vibrant ministry reach out to people in great need.
Presbyterians Sharing cares for vulnerable people
March 2 – A Commitment to change in Afghanistan
Atiq Ullah used to plant his crops without considering how much seed to use or when they should be cultivated. This was not the result of carelessness, but a lack of knowledge about proper agriculture techniques. In December 2012, Atiq Ullah and 1,200 farmers in Afghanistan received training through a PWS&D-supported project. “After attending this training, I realized that we have been wasting much of our resources,” said Atiq. He has since reported a 90 per cent increase in his crop yield. “As I have observed the change in my crops, I want to teach the same skills to other farmers in my village.”
PWS&D promotes food security
March 9 – Reaching out to refugees
Action Réfugiés Montréal advocates for and empowers refugees as they rebuild their lives in Canada. ARM’s Detention Program Coordinator Jenny Jeanes meets detainees twice a week to explain the refugee process and provide support and advice. Most cases are complex, but sometimes small actions can change lives. One day Jenny gave a $5 calling card to a refugee claimant in detention who later visited ARM’s office. Executive Director Paul Clarke shares, “He was determined to thank us. As a result of our card he was able to reach his family back home to have his identity papers sent to Montreal. His refugee claim was accepted. It took only $5 to give a person his freedom; sometimes $5 is all that it takes.” A grant from Presbyterians Sharing helps Action Réfugiés Montréal reach out to refugees in the name of Christ.
Presbyterians Sharing cares for refugees
March 16 – Sharing and caring in Malawi
Through PWS&D’s “Building Sustainable Livelihoods” program, groups of women are being supported as they form self-help groups. Although they are often the poorest in their communities, they are learning to save and lend generously amongst themselves in order to build better futures. Prior to joining her self-help group, Mary Jere cut grass and sold thatch for income. She often struggled to afford enough food to feed her family. Today, Mary’s main source of income comes from the group. Two small loans totaling about $30 allowed her to grow vegetables and buy fertilizer. She has used the profits to build her family a new brick house and help others in her community as well.
PWS&D responds to meet community needs
March 23 – Translating the Bible in Taiwan
Presbyterians Sharing supports the Rev. Dr. Paul McLean, who works with four indigenous translation teams in Taiwan as they translate the Bible into Amis, Bunun, Drekay and Paiwan. Paul advises the teams as they face many challenging questions, such as how to translate the words for “God” or “Lord” and abstract concepts such as “love,” “peace” or “justice” into Taiwan’s indigenous languages. Paul explains that together they are looking for ways to “communicate the truths about God written down 3000-2000 years ago in the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament in a way that both elderly and young people can understand clearly and correctly in their mother-tongue.” It is an ongoing adventure – one that Paul and the translation teams are facing with enthusiasm and trust in God’s guidance. Pray that the words they translate will speak to people’s hearts.
Presbyterians Sharing shares the word of God
March 30 – CY2014
From July 7-12, 2014, Brock University will be alive with energy as Presbyterians from across Canada come together for Canada Youth 2014. The week of worship, workshops, recreation and faith-filled connections will change lives as people grow in their relationship with one another and with God. Participants return home affirmed and strengthened in their faith, equipped with tools to connect in deeper ways to their congregations. Larissa McCormick from Victoria, British Colombia shares: “Saying Canada Youth affected the way I view my faith would be far too much of an understatement. It has completely transformed the way I perceive my future, friends and relationship with God.” Gifts to Presbyterians Sharing make Canada Youth possible. Please pray for our young people as they gather for this life-changing event. Registration deadline is June 1, 2014.
Presbyterians Sharing equips young people
April 6 – Responding with indigenous people in Guatemala
In Guatemala, members of the indigenous Maya-Mam community face both discrimination and poverty. Working with local partner AMMID, PWS&D is providing farmers with agricultural training. Using traditional knowledge and locally available resources, they are able to grow more nutritious food and protect the environment. In addition, men and women – who are confronted with discrimination and the ongoing threat of local mining operations – are learning about their collective rights. On behalf of the families and communities he works with, Ruben Feliciano, director of AMMID, says he is grateful to Presbyterians for their solidarity, human touch and contributions to improve the quality of life for Mam families.
PWS&D supports indigenous people
April 13 – HIV and AIDS education in Kenya
The Presbyterian Church in Canada and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa are working together to address the issue of HIV and AIDS in Kenya. Presbyterians Sharing supports Dr. Rick Allen, who has been working with the PCEA for the past 19 years on public health issues. Each year, Rick teaches an introductory class on HIV to about 300 students at the Presbyterian University of East Africa, fulfilling the government requirement that all university students take a course on HIV. He also teaches classes on nutrition and health, and helps the PCEA run week-long workshops for pastors on HIV and AIDS. So far, almost 450 pastors have completed the course, which is designed to give ministers the skills they need when dealing with HIV in their parishes and communities. Rick’s work has helped change people’s approach to HIV and AIDS, transforming stigma and discrimination into love and support.
Presbyterians Sharing shares God’s love
April 20 – Confident, cheerful and filled with thanks
At the age of five John Avoka suffered from meningitis and a stroke, which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Years later, feeling dejected, helpless and hopeless, John finally received the care and support he needed to realize his full potential. Through the PWS&D-supported Garu Centre in Ghana, John received a tricycle so he could move independently. The program also offered him agricultural training. Today, John is no longer helpless or hopeless, but confident, cheerful and filled with thanks. He is a successful farmer and grows more than enough food to feed his wife and children. Recognizing his tremendous achievements, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has earmarked him for their “best farmer” award.
PWS&D responds to vulnerable persons
April 27 – Equipping clerks
From April 24-28 presbytery and synod clerks and national staff of The Presbyterian Church in Canada are gathering in Mississauga for a Clerks’ Consultation. Steeped in sacred worship, joyful laughter, good food and casual conversation, this four day event offers the clerks an opportunity to discuss the church, governance issues and their dreams and challenges. Participants return home with new knowledge, friends and contacts, helping them provide even more effective leadership across our denomination. While registration fees help cover some costs, gifts to Presbyterians Sharing make this vital gathering possible. The clerks are grateful and the church is blessed.
Presbyterians Sharing equips leaders
May 4 – Helping Syrian refugees resettle in Canada
The crisis in Syria has resulted in one of the largest refugee movements in modern times – over two million Syrians have sought refuge outside their borders. The Canadian government announced in 2013 it would resettle 1,300 Syrian refugees from Jordan and Lebanon with the assistance of official sponsorship agreement holders. The Presbyterian Church in Canada – with the assistance of Presbyterian congregations – is able to help sponsor ten people to resettle in Canada. Meanwhile, Action Réfugiés Montréal (with support from PWS&D, Canadian Ministries and the Anglican Diocese of Montreal) is helping the Syrian community in Quebec to sponsor those in greatest need.
PWS&D responds to refugees
May 11 – Changing lives through Youth in Mission
In 2013 a Youth in Mission team of nine young people travelled to Malawi where they spent three weeks visiting PCC and PWS&D partners and projects in Mulanje and Blantyre. Participant Katie Hubley from New Glasgow, NS, shares, “This trip was easily the most life-changing event I have ever experienced and I thank God every day for the opportunity to serve Him. I am so thankful for what I’ve learned from our brothers and sisters in Malawi – their warm welcome, their love of worship, their contentment, and their willingness to praise God and experience true joy in less than perfect circumstances.” Presbyterians Sharing supports the Youth in Mission program, enabling young people to learn first-hand about The Presbyterian Church in Canada’s mission and ministry around the world.
Presbyterians Sharing changes lives
May 18 – Empowered to prosper
We frequently hear about poverty in the developing world—the billions of people who do not have access to clean water or health care or enough nutritious food to eat. It is difficult to imagine what their lives must be like, or why they are so drastically different from our own lives in Canada. PWS&D’s new youth game “Empowered to Prosper” aims to help young people understand the causes of poverty and how they can make a difference. Representing families living in developing countries, players will experience the everyday realities of poverty, while moving across the game board. Order your copy today by contacting the Book Room (1-800-619-7301).
PWS&D responds to break cycles of poverty
May 25 – Ministry through house churches
What is house church ministry? The Rev. David Webber says it is people who meet in small gatherings week after week to share worship, scripture, prayer, a meal and the sacrament of communion. “But I think it is what comes out of these little gatherings that makes our Lord smile,” he says. “It’s the member that stays for weeks by the bedside of a cowboy dying from cancer, and then weeps with his widow. It’s the hours spent serving children’s programs in the community. It’s standing by a neighbour who has been abused. It’s weeping and praying with someone who wouldn’t be caught dead in a church. It’s all this and so much more.” Gifts to Presbyterians Sharing support this unique house church ministry in the Cariboo region of British Columbia.
Presbyterians Sharing supports unique ministries
View and download all photos on Flickr
* Within Flickr, right click on each image to save the file
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.