USA Mission Experience
Every three years, a group of Presbyterian Women travels within the United States to connect concerns raised by past Global Exchanges with similar issues in the United States. With local mission projects as partners, the participants combine education with hands-on ministry during the weeklong trip. Participants encounter challenges to God’s promise of a beloved community and witness the faithful responses of Christians living and working in difficult situations.
For two years following the trip, participants are available to share their experiences in their synods and raise awareness of the ways people of faith confront the issues that divide us.
2016 USA Mission Experience to San Francisco Bay Area
Out of the Darkness . . . into the Light
A group of Presbyterian women will travel to the San Francisco Bay Area in California, September 22–30, 2016, for PW’s fourth USA Mission Experience. They will connect concerns raised by past USA Mission Experiences and Global Exchanges with similar issues in the Bay Area. Participants will encounter challenges to God’s promise of a beloved community and witness to the faithful work being done by our sisters in the San Francisco and San Jose presbyteries.
The USA Mission Experience equips women with an understanding of the region’s history and culture, the existing ministry of the church and the challenges faced by local women and children. On this trip, participants will
- learn about human trafficking, domestic violence and immigration issues;
- develop skills to advocate for immigrants and survivors of human trafficking;
- identify resources women can use to help eliminate slavery and domestic violence;
- examine the myths and realities of immigration; and
- explore personal immigration stories.
The application window has closed. Leading up to the trip, Horizons will include information about this region and the issues to be studied. Be sure to check out the July/August 2015 issue of Horizons, which includes an article about the Bay Area's Cameron House and its legacy of working with immigrants and victims of human trafficking.
2013 USA Mission Experience to Appalachia
Unto these hills
June 18–26, 2013
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord
who made heaven and earth.
—Psalm 121:1–2, NRSV
In June 2013, a group of Presbyterian women will travel to North Carolina and Tennessee for the third USA Mission Experience.
- meet with local historians and Appalachian women to better understand the unique history and culture of the area,
- tour and fellowship with local organizations serving women, children and families, and
- see the evolution of the PC(USA) mission and ministry programs in rural Appalachia.
Learn more about Appalachia (including recommendations for books and films).
2010 USA Mission Experience to South Dakota
Meeting Our Sisters in South Dakota
September 9–16, 2010
A group of Presbyterian women travelled to South Dakota in 2010 for the second USA Mission Experience, connecting issues raised during past Global Exchanges with similar issues in South Dakota.
- Meet Native American women and learn about the issues that concern them — land development, food, farming, church leadership, health and social issues.
- Visit reservations, schools, churches, tribal colleges and historical sites.
- Hear the voices of our sisters and respond, building mutually supportive relationships.
Learn more about the 2010 USA Mission Experience and the most pressing issues for Native American women, men and children by reading the March/April 2011 issue of Horizons. The magazine contains articles written by participants and hosts of the USA Mission Experience. The magazine has sold out, but may still be available in your church or presbytery libraries.
2008 USA Mission Experience to the United States–Mexico Border
Beyond Borders: PW Focus on Immigration
For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:17-19)
Presbyterian Women will focus on immigration and its relationship to violence, poverty, racism, exploitation of women and children and global economic policies by
- Hearing the voices of our sisters and responding with compassion.
- Working for the end of all forms of violence.
- Advocating for the rights of women and children.
- Supporting our domestic partners.
- Allowing ourselves to be transformed by partnership experiences.
Presbyterian Women’s first USA Mission Experience took place April 12–19, 2008. Participants (at least one woman from each synod) on the trip visited El Paso, Texas, to learn about immigration, detention centers and related issues.
You can also learn more about the USA Mission Experience, immigration and issues relevant to the U.S.-Mexico border by reading the September/October 2008 issue of Horizons. The magazine contains articles about border issues as well as reflections from participants. The magazine contains articles written by participants and hosts of the USA Mission Experience. The magazine has sold out, but may still be available in your church or presbytery libraries.
Hope to join you
Hi Maggie! I checked with Yvonne Hileman, a member of PW's Social Media team (who will be on this trip) and she will be posting on PW's Facebook page during the trip. So be looking for photos and text next month from the USAME!
Will someone be 'real time' tweeting or facebook so we can journey with the group next month?
I have been praying about a way to connect with the people of Appalachia, and I can't think of a better way than the USA Mission Experience. Patricia, thank you, thank you for asking the question. I will be watching for the chance to apply.
Hi Judy! Thanks for your question about the next USA Mission Experience and the next Global Exchange. The next USA Mission Experience is to Appalachia – Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina in 2013. The location for the next Global Exchange will be decided after the 2012 Gathering. For more information, please contact Kathy Reeves at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!