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 – October 2015 January 2016
Mission Moments – Text Only – October 2015 January 2016
Mission Moments Powerpoint – October 2015 January 2016
Mission Moments PDF – June 2015 September 2015
Mission Moments – Text Only – June 2015 September 2015
Mission Moments Powerpoint – June 2015 September 2015
Mission Moments PDF – February 2015 May 2015
Mission Moments – Text Only – February 2015 May 2015
Mission Moments Powerpoint – February 2015 May 2015
* Within Flickr, right click on each image to save the file
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
June 7 – General Assembly: Imagining the Kingdom
This Sunday, Presbyterians from across Canada are gathering in Vancouver, BC for our annual General Assembly. Tristan Gerrie, a young adult representative at last year’s Assembly, shares, “I felt the Spirit amongst us during our worship services, heard of God’s work around the world through our ecumenical speakers and felt the warm embrace of fellowship amongst my brothers and sisters in the church. I am grateful for this opportunity to have been involved.” This year, under the theme Imagining the Kingdom commissioners will once again come together to discuss policy, approve budgets, share stories from their ministries and dream for the future.
Presbyterians Sharing supports General Assembly
June 14 – World Refugee Day
Ongoing civil war in Syria has resulted in one of the largest refugee movements in modern times. Presbyterian World Service & Development is responding with Canadian Foodgrains Bank to ensure people like Zakaria and his wife are able to feed their family. Unable to find work after fleeing to Lebanon, their children often went to bed hungry—having had only one meal to eat all day. The food vouchers he receives through the project means Zakaria is able to purchase enough food to feed and support his family, instilling hope for the future and helping him regain self-esteem and confidence. In addition to providing humanitarian assistance, The Presbyterian Church in Canada is supporting congregations to sponsor Syrian refugees to resettle in Canada.
PWS&D responds to refugees
June 21 – Responding to God’s call for justice
Presbyterians Sharing supports Justice Ministries as it works with congregations to sow seeds of hope and respond to the justice imperatives of the gospel. Staff work with churches and presbyteries that are caring for creation, advocating for stronger social programs to assist low income neighbours and building up relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. In June, congregations are invited mark the closing event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Aboriginal Day Sunday, June 21, 2015.
Presbyterians Sharing promotes justice
June 28 – Responding to floods in Malawi
Flooding in Malawi earlier this year destroyed homes and left many in need of shelter, food and other sanitation supplies—including toilets. The loss of latrines in a flood zone is a serious problem. When proper sanitation is no longer possible, the risk of contracting waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, malaria and even cholera increases significantly. Presbyterian World Service & Development, in collaboration with local partners and health workers in Malawi, is helping rebuild 1,000 latrines. PWS&D will continue to work to reduce the risk of disease, improve sanitation and ensure that families affected by the flooding are able to continue to rebuild their lives.
PWS&D responds to provide sanitation
July 5 – Seeing faith in action
Mission trips engage participants in meaningful mission as they meet our international and Canadian partners and learn about work that is supported by Presbyterians Sharing and Presbyterian World Service and Development. Murray MacCausland recently accompanied young adults to Eastern Europe as an adult advisor for Youth in Mission. He shares, “We often read about “faith in action” but don’t always see it. It was a real eye-opener to see how central faith and the church were in the communities we visited on our trip. What we witnessed through David Pandy’s PCC-supported ministry is the real kind of faith in action. From a new school for young Roma children to an orphanage for young girls, the work that our partners in Ukraine are doing is really an example of practicing Christianity as well as preaching.”
Presbyterians Sharing engages people in mission
July 12 – Cultivating hope in Malawi
Mussa Mwakasungula, a farmer and father of six, was worried about the frequent dry spells in Nyungwe, Malawi. The lack of rain made it difficult for his crops to grow. In order to provide enough food for his family, Mussa decided to participate in a Presbyterian World Service & Development supported conservation agriculture project. Thanks to the program, Mussa learned about using mulch to hold moisture in soil. Despite the fact that mulch was scarce, he was determined to salvage as much as he could. Mussa was able to mulch his plot and quickly began to notice a difference in his fields, “Usually two to three days with no rain would leave my fields dry, but this does not happen on the conservation agriculture plot.”
PWS&D supports food security for families
July 19 – Bringing worship to the people
Presbyterians Sharing supports Hanmaum Presbyterian Church in Langley, BC which serves a growing Korean community. Through worship, Bible studies, family ministry and outreach, Hanmaum is fulfilling its mission to glorify God and to let people know Jesus. The congregation’s seniors’ ministry reaches out to local Korean seniors who are unable to attend church. Every Wednesday, members bring worship to residents living at Amenida care home in Surrey. The ministry serves the spiritual and emotional needs of the residents as they connect with the church, share in the good news of the gospel and enjoy worship and special musical performances. The Rev. Philip Kim shares, “Our mission is service, a call to help people in need and to permeate all life with the compassion of God.”
Presbyterians Sharing reaches out to seniors
July 26 – Relief for survivors of Cyclone Pam
From March 13 to 14, Cyclone Pam, one of the strongest cyclones to hit the Pacific Islands, devastated the island nation of Vanuatu. As a result, many families are living in temporary, unstable shelters and unable to access clean drinking water or necessary health facilities. In response, Presbyterian World Service & Development is working with local partners to help rebuild the lives of those who have suffered. PWS&D is helping provide emergency shelter kits, hygiene kits, household water purification systems and food aid to 500 households. This lifesaving assistance is providing relief and meeting the needs of the people of Vanuatu during this difficult time.
PWS&D provides support after natural disasters
August 2 – Promoting health in India
Presbyterians Sharing supports Michelle Verwey, a nurse serving with the CNI Central Regional Board of Health Services and the MIBE Graduate School for Nurses in Indore. Michelle is working as an advisor for the PWS&D-supported community health program in five different regions in Madhya Pradesh. She also works with the MIBE faculty in planning and organizing learning activities for the nursing students. Although she is based in Canada, Michelle makes regular trips to India for an average of four weeks at a time. Michelle previously served as a volunteer intern at the Graduate school for Nurses in 2010-2011 and in 2012-2013. She is excited to work once again at the school and to share her skills in project monitoring and evaluation with the community health leaders of the CRBHS project.
Presbyterians Sharing supports mission staff
August 9 – International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
Presbyterian World Service & Development responds to situations where indigenous people are marginalized and denied their basic human rights. PWS&D supports local partners in Guatemala to develop programs to train and teach indigenous Maya-Mam women about health, nutrition, environmental awareness and entrepreneurship. By building their self-esteem and leadership qualities, PWS&D helps create opportunities for the women to expand their social capacity and their livelihoods. Aurelia is one of these women—she was initially trained and now shares this knowledge with others in her community. She shares: “I hope to continue working with my community so we can improve our living conditions—especially for our children, who are our future.”
PWS&D supports the rights of indigenous people
August 16 – World Humanitarian Day (August 19)
In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan—a humanitarian disaster of enormous scope—striking the Philippines, many families lost their homes, crops and seed. One year after the devastating storm, survivors are moving forward as they restore their homes and rebuild their lives. Analyn Azure Banogon is one of these survivors. “I was sad. After our suffering, all we wanted was a house that was safe.” She and her family now have that—a new, storm-resistant structure on a hill, constructed with assistance from Presbyterian World Service & Development, is providing safety and security. Analyn is just one of the over 4,000 people who have benefited from shelter repair or construction, providing much hope for the future.
PWS&D responds to humanitarian disasters
August 23 – Sowing seeds of hope
Presbyterians Sharing supports ARISE ministry in Toronto, ON, a mission that ministers to people who need support exiting the sex trade. When the Rev. Deb Rapport began working with Brooklyn six years ago, Brooklyn was homeless, addicted to crack and involved in the sex trade to support her habit. Through counseling, friendship and support, Brooklyn journeyed from addiction to sobriety, from homelessness to being housed, from near-death to new life. Now a new mom attending school, she wants ARISE to share her story so that it might inspire others to reach out for help and to know that they are not alone. Deb shares, “ARISE Ministry prays that seeds of hope will be planted in the lives of all involved in prostitution; that they may know that change is possible.”
Presbyterians Sharing inspires hope
August 30 – If you’re scared, go to Stew’s
Presbyterians Sharing supports Saskatoon Native Circle Ministry as it reaches out to homeless people through counseling, a clothing bank, a weekly worship service and a drop-in centre where people can come for food, coffee, a visit and sometimes a prayer and a hug. Program Manager Dylon Nipp shares, “Trust is a huge thing around here, and these people will not open up to you if they don’t trust you or know you by name.” Dylon describes the drop-in centre as a house of comfort, where people know they will be safe. He has even heard people on the street say, “If you’re scared, go to Stew’s. They’ll protect anyone.” The Rev. Stewart Folster adds, “Pray for us. When you think of us, think about John 21:17, where Jesus says, ‘Feed my sheep.’ Our vision is to feed the people more than food.”
Presbyterians Sharing reaches out to the homeless
September 6 – International Literacy Day
In Guatemala, the Francisco Coll School was constructed in a landfill amongst shelters built by families trying to make ends meet by searching through the dump. With the support of Presbyterian World Service & Development, Francisco Coll is providing vulnerable boys and girls with a proper education in a secure environment. One student, Patricia Benavides, has recently graduated with an accounting certificate and plans to pursue a career as a public accountant or an auditor. In a letter thanking PWS&D for its support she says, “You will be always in my prayers and I will remember that thanks to you I am a girl who finished her studies. Please know that you have changed the life of this young woman.”
PWS&D supports education and literacy training
September 13 – Over 20 years in Kenya
With support from Presbyterians Sharing, Dr. Rick Allen has served with the Presbyterian Church of East Africa in Kenya for over 20 years. His work has mainly involved conducting and facilitating HIV & AIDS training courses. To date, a large majority of ministers in the PCEA have received training, either through intensive one-week residential courses or as theological students at the Presbyterian University of East Africa, where Rick teaches. Rick will be retiring at the end of 2015. He shares, “I have mixed feelings about ending my time here in East Africa, but I thank The Presbyterian Church in Canada for a very interesting and meaningful experience. With guidance from God, I look forward to the future.” We celebrate Rick’s faithful and dedicated service in Kenya, and pray for him as he transitions into retirement.
Presbyterians Sharing supports mission staff
September 20 – International Day of Prayer for Peace (September 21)
Ongoing conflict in Syria has left refugees in Lebanon and Jordan in desperate need of shelter, clothing and food. Om Mohammed lives in Lebanon with her three children. Without a husband, she is the sole provider for her family. Presbyterian World Service & Development is helping provide food aid for Syrian refugees like Om through food vouchers. Om is able to purchase essential items like rice, sugar, milk, yogurt, cheese and eggs that will help keep her children healthy and strong. Om enjoys being able to shop in the grocery store and decide which food items she wants to purchase. PWS&D continues to respond to injustices and conflict in our global village.
PWS&D responds to violent conflict
September 27 – Presbyterians Sharing Sunday
Through Presbyterians Sharing, Presbyterians across Canada are sharing in a wide range of ministries. We encourage and equip congregational renewal and development. We support inner city, native and refugee ministries. We send mission personnel and provide grants to support and accompany our international partners in leadership development, Bible translation, Christian education, theological education and evangelism. We support theological colleges, ministry candidates and new ministers. We equip congregations for Christian education, worship, evangelism, stewardship, youth ministry, leadership development and justice work. We host events which bring people from across Canada together to share experiences and learn new skills. And so much more! Today is a day to celebrate the mission and ministry we are doing together in Canada and around the world, in the name of Christ.
Presbyterians Sharing is making a difference
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.