Mission Matters includes four main programs.
Mission matters to Presbyterian Women. In addition to being one of the points of the PW Purpose, support for mission is a thread running through all the work PW does in congregations, presbyteries, synods and churchwide. Mission takes many forms for Presbyterian Women — participation in or support of the Global Exchange, giving money to PW and ecumenical offerings as well as the PW mission pledge and sharing in hands-on mission activities.
The diversity of mission programs encourages participation of women at all stages of their lives. We tell the story of mission to others. We offer emotional and financial support to mission workers and projects around the world. We pledge through our congregations and the PW organization. We make and purchase hospital supplies for Malawi, Congo and Haiti. We promote specia offerings, such as the Fellowship of the Least Coin and the Presbyterian Hunger Fund along with our own Birthday and Thank Offerings. We provide much-needed assistance to projects in our own communities. All of these forms of service show how PW can live out Mission Matters.
PW’s hands-on mission opportunities program
For generations, Presbyterian women have shared God’s love in tangible ways. With our wide variety of talents and resources, and our sincere desire to help others, we continue to make a difference in the lives of people everywhere through PW’s Together in Service program. Through this program, Presbyterian women share ideas for a whole range of projects—whether sewing for newborns in Africa, selling fair-trade coffee at church events, or putting together health and hygiene kits for flood victims, we find ways to offer our gifts. Learn more.
Every three years, a group of Presbyterian Women travels to another part of the world to listen to the pain and the joy that their sisters experience and to share their faith stories and ministries with each other.
It is an exchange because, the following year, a group of women from the same part of the world are invited to attend the Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women to tell their stories to their North American sisters. Upon their return, Global Exchange participants share their experiences with PW groups around the country. Learn more about the Global Exchange.
Every three years, 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. When they return, participants share their experiences in their synods and raise awareness of the ways people of faith confront the issues that divide us.
Learn more about the 2013 USA Mission Experience and past trips.
The Birthday Offering is a PW offering collected in the spring of each year to celebrate the blessings in the lives of Presbyterian Women. The offering funds up to five projects that are not included in ongoing General Assembly mission support, such as agricultural development, child care, community organization, criminal justice, drug counseling, economic justice, elderly care, employment training, homelessness, literacy, violence and women’s concerns.
The Thank Offering is a PW offering collected in the fall of each year that gives women a tangible way to express their gratitude for the special blessings in their lives. The offering funds projects such as agricultural development, child care, community organization, criminal justice, drug counseling, economic justice, elderly care, employment training, homelessness, literacy, violence and women’s concerns. At least 40 percent of this offering supports health ministries throughout the world. The remaining 60 percent funds new creative ideas for mission.
Other mission work
Travel study Seminars
One way to build mission partnerships is through travel study seminars, which take participants to another part of the country or world to meet sisters and brothers in Christ and learn about their lives.
Central American Travel Study Seminar
Presbyterian mission co-workers have designed a travel study seminar to Central America that focuses on nutrition, food security and food sovereignty. Participants will learn about these issues as they affect Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, and find ways they can become involved in the region. Women from North and Central America will study, reflect, worship and pray together.
The trip is scheduled for January 19–31, 2015 and is open to all women in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The application deadline is July 9, 2014. Learn more or download an application and promotional materials at www.pwtrip.org. The cost is $1,800, which covers all expenses while in Central America, but does NOT include the flights between the United States and Central America.
Presbyterian Women supports development projects in areas of critical need. During the 2009–2012 triennium, the Roma Development Project was initiated to help Roma women in Eastern Europe develop basket-weaving as a microenterprise. Women from two Roma communities in Carpath Ukraine handweave baskets and trivets, which Presbyterian Women make available in the United States. Shop for baskets and trivets (which range in price from $5 to $50) or email Carissa Herold to learn about consigning baskets.
You may also contribute to PW’s Roma Development Project outside of purchasing baskets. Make checks payable to Presbyterian Women, specify PWUND11 in the memo line and mail to PW Remittance Processing, PO Box 643652, Pittsburgh PA 15264-3652.
Presbyterian Women also continues to support the Roma people, who became our mission partners during the 2008 Global Exchange to Eastern Europe, through prayer. For the third year, Presbyterian Women has helped create a resource of prayer and thanksgiving for Roma. Download the resources.
Celebrating mission and Mission partners
An awareness of our historic mission activities and connections with other churches and denominations is integral to the way Presbyterian Women does mission.
Meeting Congolese partners
In March 2010, a PW delegation traveled to Congo to see PW’s mission dollars and prayers at work. They met Congolese people with incredible faith and commitment to improving their dire living situations. Read more about the trip and the projects and people making a difference in Congo.
Understanding peace and war in South Sudan
In November 2010, two representatives of Presbyterian Women’s Churchwide Coordinating Team attended a peace and trust building meeting in Akobo, Sudan. They witnessed the suffering and hope of the Anuak, Murle and Nuer women, who have a long history of conflict, yet are committed to building peace. Read more about the trip and how women are engaged in the peace process.
Presbyterian Women committed to making Sudan and Sudanese women a mission focus for the 2009–2012 triennium. Learn more about Sudan and about the prayers and support you can offer our Sudanese sisters. Download a brochure in black and white or color.