Disability Access/Inclusion Sunday 2013
Before and Beyond the Benediction: Inclusion of People of All Abilities
June 23, 2013
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.”
Presbyterian AIDS Network’s 2012 HIV and AIDS Awareness materials
'Getting to Zero'
December 1, 2012 marked 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. But that day should not be the only day in the life of your worshiping community to focus on HIV and AIDS awareness. These resources are offered to you for use in worship and study, to life up this emphasis throughout the year.
Between years 2011-2015, World AIDS Days will have the theme of "Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths." The World AIDS Campaign’s emphasis on "Zero AIDS-related deaths" signifies a push towards greater access to treatment for all. The 2012 focus "Working Together for an AIDS-Free Generation," brings attention to the need for strong partnerships in order to achieve effective action.
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’s Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network (PADVN) offer awareness & worship resources
Our current theme is 'Entering the Brokenness'
Whenever the trauma of domestic violence occurs within a faith community, it is a gross violation of not only the victim of the violence and the immediate family; it also violates the spiritual integrity of the whole community of faith and each of its members. This is especially true when the victim has been murdered. The focus of this packet centers on addressing this grievous issue. It also provides liturgical resources that are designed to help congregations address and cope with the death of a community member, through their worship life together. We see this packet as being the beginning steps of a work in progress as Christian communities develop effective worship resources that enter the brokenness of domestic violence.
The resources that follow:
- Violent Death in the Community of Faith
- One Pastor’s Response to Tragedy, Part I, What Happened
- One Pastor’s Response to Tragedy, Part II, Education
- One Pastor’s Response to Tragedy, Part III, A Service of Remembrance and Healing
- Clinging To the Threshold of Hope, A Sermon
- When Words Fail… The Psalms Speak
- Prayers of Invocation
- A Service of Commitment to Survivors of Family Violence
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.
On Becoming an HIV/AIDS Competent Church and Church Leader
Nov. 29 – Dec. 1, 2012 Conference at Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary, Atlanta, GA
The conference will be part of certificate program offered by Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary that grounds participants in the fundamentals of both HV/AIDS and practical theology. Participants in the program will be equipped to provide prophetic witness and compassionate action that facilitates both spiritual and social change.
The Office of Public Witness, which will be presenting information on advocacy as discipleship and ministry, is offering a limited number of partial scholarships. Download the save the date flier!
To apply for a scholarship, complete this application form and return it via email. Details on the conference, including registration, are posted on the John C. Smith website, with more information to come. Join us there!
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?