PHEWA seeks nominations for 2014 social justice ministries awards
Deadline is March 31, 2014 to submit nominations for awards to be celebrated at the 221st General Assembly in Detroit
The Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare Association (PHEWA) is seeking nominations for five ministry awards that will be celebrated during the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in Detroit, Michigan in June.
Five awards will be presented by PHEWA, part of the Compassion, Peace & Justice Ministry of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. We will appreciate your help in spreading this call for nominations widely, and perhaps yourself nominating a worthy ministry.
Health Awareness and Day of Prayer for Healing and Wholeness
FEBRUARY 16, 2014
PHEWA’s Presbyterian Health Network (PHN) offers resources to assist in observing Health Awareness and Day of Prayer for Healing and Wholeness. Our 2014 focus is on living with depression and the valuable role of the faith community. This emphasis can be observed at any time/times in the life of your worshiping community, throughout the year. It is our hope and prayer that, beyond observation of a Health Awareness Sunday, we will all work together to ensure a place for everyone at the Lord’s Table where the gifts of all God’s people are valued, supported, and affirmed.
Presbyterian Criminal Justice Sunday, 2014
PHEWA’s Presbyterian Criminal Justice Network (PCJN) members offer these worship resources in observation of Presbyterian Criminal Justice Sunday. This year, according to the Presbyterian Planning Calendar, Presbyterian Criminal Justice Sunday falls on January 26. Whether you observe Criminal Justice Sunday on this designated date or set a different time that works better for your congregation or worshiping community, we hope that you find this material to be useful. It is also our hope and prayer that, beyond observation of Criminal Justice Sunday, we will all work together to ensure a place for everyone at the Lord’s Table where the gifts of all God’s people are valued and affirmed.
In her 2009 Reflection for Criminal Justice Sunday, one of the founding members of PHEWA’s Presbyterian Criminal Justice Network (PCJN), our beloved Annie Rawlings (1957-2013), shared this prophetic word which may be helpful to you as you plan your own observance of Presbyterian Criminal Justice Sunday, and consider ongoing programming and actions throughout the year, toward reform of this country’s criminal justice system:
“… And I hope we can all draw on the best of our theological understanding, and the best strengths gleaned from whatever suffering any of us has endured, to remember that within the human family the question of how we stay family after we have hurt each other is one of the principal challenges of community. There are people in prison who have caused harm – sometimes deadly harm. We have ALL hurt someone. We have hurt each other through exclusion. We have hurt each other through scapegoating. We have hurt each other through a tolerance for poverty around the world and close to home. We have hurt each other through any number of things we have done or not done. The need for confession is upon us ALL. The need for reconciliation is before us ALL. We must not let people in prison become the “demonized other” upon whom we project the shadows of our own impulses towards violence of greater or lesser degree. We instead must connect with the humanity of people in prison, and who have been in prison, from that place in each of us that wants to be part of the whole, that wants to feel worthy, that wants a chance, that longs to experience the dignity associated with being a child of God, and longs to have that dignity affirmed by others.” (Full text of Annie Rawlings’ Reflection is available at:http://presweldevotional.blogspot.com/2009/02/reflection-for-criminal-justice-sunday.html)
Presbyterian Criminal Justice Sunday Resource: Download
The Power of Presence
The Rev. Caitlin Werth, member of PHEWA’s Presbyterian Criminal Justice Network (PCJN) and one of the organizers of our January 24-25, 2014 Ecumenical Gathering Event, PLACE-MAKING, writes powerful reflections on ministry, with call to action, in her November 4, 2013 article “The Power of Presence,” in Unbound; An Interactive Journal of Christian Social Justice. Caitlin serves as the director of the HOPE Pre-Release Program at Allegheny County Jail, an inter-faith, rehabilitative, re-entry program for men and women who want to restore their relationship with their God, rebuild their lives, and reconcile to their community.
Excerpt from "The Power of Presence":
She, like many others, had asked me about her case. Her rights as a parent were in danger of being terminated, and she wanted to get into a housing program before her approaching hearing. I explained to her that I am not a social worker and offered to connect her to one, but I felt compelled to look into her case as well. Like many others who work in a jail full of people eager to find their way out, I am frequently approached with these requests.
I found out that she would not be cleared to get into any alternative housing program, as there were warrants out for her arrest in other counties. I debated how to (or even whether I should) share this information with her. Later that day, I went to her housing pod to speak with her again and pass on the message.
Download the 2013 World AIDS Day Worship, Awareness, and Advocacy Resources
'SHARED RESPONSIBILITY: STRENGTHENING RESULTS FOR AN AIDS-FREE GENERATION'
'Getting to Zero'
December 1, 2013 marks World AIDS Day (WAD), a day of awareness and action in the struggle to eradicate HIV and AIDS. World AIDS Day brings together people from around the world to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS and to demonstrate international solidarity. The day is an opportunity to spread awareness about the status of the pandemic and to encourage progress in HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment, and care.
In every congregation and worshiping community, there are those sitting in the pews waiting for HIV and AIDS to be addressed from the pulpit and discussed in adult education. They are listening for words of recognition, understanding, comfort and healing, hoping to hear that their church stands with them and will walk the journey beside them. The Presbyterian AIDS Network (PAN), a network of the Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare Association (PHEWA) offers these worship, awareness, and advocacy resources to encourage your observance of World AIDS Day and to assist you in planning worship around HIV and AIDS emphases throughout the year.
2013 Worship, Awareness, and Advocacy Resources
Celebrate Caregiver Sunday
November 10, 2013
Rest for your soul...
PHEWA’s Presbyterian Health Network (PHN) offers annual resources for recognizing and celebrating those who Offer Care. The Presbyterian Planning Calendar designates November 10, 2013 as Caregiver Sunday, but this can be done at any time in the life of your congregation or worshiping community. More than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member or friend during any given year. The responsibilities and challenges of caring for a loved one can cause significant stress to the family caregiver. The Church is in a unique position to pray for and offer practical help to caregivers through a variety of means to share hope, care, and provide rest for the soul. We offer these resources, and those from previous years, to guide you in this ministry.
2013 Children's Sabbath Weekend: "Beating Swords Into Plowshares: Ending the Violence of Guns and Child Poverty"
OCTOBER 18-20, 2013 (WITH FOLLOW-UP THROUGHOUT THE YEAR)
The shocking shooting of more than a dozen people in Washington, D.C.’s Navy Yard has again transfixed our nation in horror, shining a spotlight on gun violence. Still in the shadows outside that spotlight, are the dozen children and teens who were killed by guns over the preceding two days…and the dozen children and teens who will lose their lives to guns in the two days that follow the shooting. And it goes on and on.
We can do better to protect children, not guns. On the weekend of October 18-20, hundreds of places of worship spanning the religious spectrum all across the country will be participating in the 22nd annual National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths celebration. Download the free Children’s Sabbath resources provided by The Children’s Defense Fund for help in observing The Children’s Sabbath. Together, we can focus attention on the violence of guns and poverty that are harming the children God has entrusted to our care and galvanize faithful, sustained action to end it so that finally, in the words of Micah, “no one shall make them afraid.”
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
our 2013 packet theme is 'stories of hope and restoration'
When domestic violence occurs, hope and restoration are never easily attained. Sometimes they are decades in the making, especially if the victim or survivor of domestic violence and her family have no community of support to assist them on their long journey. This is precisely where the Church should be. As Christ’s agent of hope, we are charged to be “a light, shining in the darkness,” to those whose hope has been thwarted and do not know where to turn.
This annual packet for Observing Domestic Violence Awareness, developed by PHEWA’s Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network (PADVN), includes resources that faith communities might find useful in worship, in your own work with victims and survivors of domestic violence, and in educating congregational members on how to be effective agents of hope, that may empower others toward restoration (and in doing so, be restored, themselves). We hope that you will use these resources in the month of October and throughout the year, working to Break The Silence around domestic violence.
PHEWA Ministry Report, Mid-Year 2013
PHEWA shares with you a summary of our work in the first six months of 2013, and how our ministry aligns with goals set by the Presbyterian Mission Agency. The scope, depth, and breadth of this work is pretty amazing, considering that it is carried out by volunteers; volunteers with tremendous expertise, doing transformational ministry on behalf of, and in the name of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Well done, good and faithful servants!
Disability Access/Inclusion Sunday 2013
Before and Beyond the Benediction: Inclusion of People of All Abilities
June 23, 2013 is designated on the Presbyterian Planning Calendar as Disability Inclusion Sunday. PHEWA’s Presbyterians for Disability Concerns (PDC) has developed our annual Worship & Awareness Resource Packet to help in observing this day- on June 23 or whenever works best in the life of your worshiping community. This year’s theme, Before and Beyond the Benediction: Inclusion of People of All Abilities, reaches to the very heart of our mission: full inclusion of all “beloved children of God.” We are excited to share with you some stories of the amazing gifts that worshiping communities in our Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have nurtured through caring and creative ministries of inclusion. PDC members believe that every Sunday – and every day between Sundays – should be a day for including all members of the body of Christ in the life of the community, and we dedicate these resources toward that reality. For the first time, in addition to our full packet, we offer a “scaled down” version, perhaps for those observing this emphasis for the first time? We will be grateful to hear, via the Response Form in this packet, if you found these resources helpful and how they were used by you. Find more information
PCAN’s Shannon Daley-Harris writing in the Huffington Post
The Rev. Shannon Daley-Harris, Religious Affairs Director of The Children’s Defense Fund & member of PHEWA’s Presbyterian Child Advocacy Network (PCAN) Leadership Team, challenges us with a prophetic call to action in “The Right to Bear Dreams: It's Time to End the Nightmare of Child Gun Deaths” and theological reflection in “God’s Call Is to Seek Change, Not Comfort, to Keep Our Children Safe.”
Celebrate Caregiver Sunday
PHEWA’s Presbyterian Health Network (PHN) has developed resources for your congregation as you recognize Caregiver Sunday. While Caregiver Sunday was listed on the Presbyterian Planning Calendar for November 11, 2012, we encourage you to consider a Caregiver emphasis throughout the year.
Our current theme is "Shelter from the Storm" with a focus on helping family caregivers plan for evacuation events. These resources were released just as Superstorm Sandy was poised to strike the east coast of the U.S.A. Preparedness is key, and these resources can help to serve toward that preparedness for us all.
2012 Caregiver Sunday packet
PHEWA Ministry Awards Celebration at the 220th General Assembly
A capacity crowd of over one hundred gathered on Monday, July 2nd, in the accessible gymnasium of the historic downtown Smithfield United Church of Christ in Pittsburgh, PA to honor individual Presbyterians and congregations who call their faith into action through exemplary outreach ministries. In PHEWA tradition, hot and cold hors d’oeuvres were served at this dinnertime gathering, to keep ticket costs low.
It was a privilege to be able to recognize and celebrate those involved in ministries that are making a real difference, as the work seems never ending, short-term results are rarely apparent, and work on the margins can be lonely and isolating. These are the individuals and congregations that help to remind us of God’s call to love kindness and to do justice. You are now part of the PHEWA family of connectedness, and we give thanks for you!
PHEWA and the 220th General Assembly (2012), Pittsburgh, PA
You can be proud of the good work done by your fellow PHEWA members and friends at the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania* June 30 - July 7, 2012. (Click here to read Assembly in Brief). Although this Assembly did not move forward with divestment or marriage equality, substantial progress was made in a number of areas that directly impact PHEWA concerns.
In addition to PHEWA's inspiring awards reception and PARO luncheon, PHEWA sponsored two new and very successful events. A well attended "Occupy Movement, the Faith Witness Luncheon/Discussion," was facilitated by PHEWA representative to the Presbyterian Mission Agency (formerly GAMC) Bob Brashear whose own New York City church, West-Park Presbyterian, (include that web link, please) has been deeply involved in the development of a faith response to the Occupy Movement. PHEWA members work hard at General Assemblies, so took an opportunity for some well-earned relaxation and fellowship on the evening of July 4th to celebrate our nation’s birthday. Forty PHEWA folks piled into the "PHEWA party bus" and proceeded up Mt. Washington, to the Urban Mountain Gathering Place, established by PHEWA President, the Rev. Bebb Stone during her tenure as pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Mt. Washington. The perch from Mt. Washington made Pittsburgh's fireworks all that much more spectacular. Good food, good friendship, and time to relax and enjoy the stunning views were appreciated by all.
People, Not Profit: Presbyterians Form Criminal Justice Network
By Patrick David Heery
Last Thursday, March 1, 2012, Presbyterians all across the country hand-delivered letters to their governors, saying no to private prisons: not in our state, not anywhere. Forty-eight governors in total received letters faxed, emailed, and delivered. It was the first act of the newly formed Presbyterian Criminal Justice Network, based squarely on General Assembly policy. And it was in direct response to the “corrections investment initiative” from Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) seeking to purchase state-owned correctional facilities. To ensure profitability, the states would need to commit to privatizing their prisons for 20 years and guarantee a 90% prisoner occupancy rate. So much for rehabilitation and ending recidivism.
Find resources for observing Criminal Justice Sunday
In 2010, the General Assembly voted to reinstate observance of "Criminal Justice Sunday" in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), as well as approving some funding “to support a broad convocation of interested individuals, to be called by PHEWA, to consider and propose the creation of a Presbyterian Health, Education, and Welfare Association (PHEWA) network on criminal justice for education and advocacy ministries…”
The resources available here grow out of the ministry of a Presbyterian lay pastor, and former PHEWA board member, who has worked with incarcerated women in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the past eleven years.
While the Presbyterian Planning Calendar designates January 29 as Criminal Justice Sunday in 2012, additional resources will be identified and added throughout the year in the hope that congregations will designate a Sunday of their own choosing to emphasize criminal justice issues in the context of worship.
For more information or to share your own ideas, contact the Rev. Trina Zelle, PHEWA National Organizer/Executive Director.
2012 General Assembly action On Instructing Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) to Study and Report Corporate Practices of Health Insurance Companies and Possible Divestment of Same
Serving as Overture Advocate from the Mid-Kentucky Presbytery for this item of business was a labor of love and justice for the Rev. Dr. Johanna W.H.van Wijk-Bos, as you will read in her report on this action of the General Assembly. Read more to access web link to the action and for Johanna’s moving and powerful “Advocacy Statement,” delivered to the Health Issues Committee of the 220th General Assembly (2012).
A crisis in ministry
by The Rev. Doug Mitchell
Associate Pastor for Faith in Action
Westminster Presbyterian Church
MINNEAPOLIS — Frequently in our church ministry, members and staff come into contact with people who have problems that go beyond their capacity to respond with caring and effectiveness. It is always our desire to respond to those who need our help with the utmost compassion, but on occasion we are faced with situations that are beyond our personal expertise. The Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare Association (PHEWA) provides the link between presbyteries, congregations, ministers and others with specialized, professional expertise at no cost to those asking for assistance. For more than 50 years, the PHEWA umbrella of networks has helped congregations and the church at large learn how to offer an inclusive welcome. They provide assistance in developing strategies for effective responses to a wide variety of needs encountered in the practice of ministry, both in the congregation and in the surrounding community.
Giving opportunity to support the PHEWA National Organizer/Executive Director staff position
Here is the number you will need to designate monies from individuals, churches, presbyteries, and/or synods to support this critical lead organizer position for the PHEWA justice ministry networks around the country. Our sincere thanks for your continued and faithful support.
E052108 - PHEWA Faith-Based Community Organizer Position
Please consider yourself personally and respectfully requested to organize any of the Presbyterian communities where you serve to set aside some of their budgeted mission money for this purpose.
To make a gift to the PHEWA ECO account by check, note E052108 PHEWA and mail it to:
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700
The Rev. Trina Zelle called to serve as the new National Organizer for the Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare Association (PHEWA)
By the Rev. Bebb Stone
President of PHEWA
LOUISVILLE — The Rev. Trina Zelle has accepted the newly-formed position of National Organizer for the Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare Association (PHEWA), a ministry of Compassion, Peace, and Justice Ministry, General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC), Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Rev. Zelle writes, “I am excited at the prospect of collaboration with experienced and committed leadership in strengthening and expanding this incredible organization.”
Responding to the Word
Celebrate the witness of PHEWA’s 2011 John Park Lee Award and Rodney T. Martin Award recipients.
2011 John Park Lee Award
2011 Rodney T. Martin Award
Thank you for writing, John, to express vocational interest in the ministries of PHEWA and our ministry networks addressing addictions, disabilities, serious mental illness, health & wholeness, and specialized pastoral ministries. I'll reply directly to you via email. We appreciate your interest! susan stack phewa
the phewa interests me as a vocation. where do i start?