In response to the growing gap between the rich and poor, and in recognition of the interrelation between our affluence and the suffering of others, The Presbyterian Church in Canada first formed a special committee to collect funds from congregations and individuals over and above the General Assembly budget in 1947, in the wake of World War II.
In the 1970s, the scope of the committee was expanded from focusing on relief work to include development projects aimed at long-term solutions to poverty. PWS&D has grown from an ad hoc committee with staff seconded from other departments into a standing committee with 11 staff members.
For more than 65 years, Presbyterian congregations across Canada have demonstrated strong support for the development and relief work of PWS&D. The Women’s Missionary Society (WMS) and the Atlantic Mission Society (AMS) – long active in Presbyterian mission work – support overseas projects through PWS&D. Many congregations undertake ambitious fundraising campaigns to support programs around the world and individuals provide prayer and financial support to help vulnerable people, through one-time or monthly contributions.
While the global context has evolved since 1947, what has not changed is the commitment of The Presbyterian Church in Canada to Christ’s message of love through caring, sharing and service to others. Together, we are working to break cycles of poverty and create new futures of hope and opportunity.
Read the Presbyterian Record’s story on PWS&D’s 65th anniversary.