Together in Service (TIS)
Presbyterian Women's hands-on mission opportunities program
For generations, Presbyterian women have responded to God's love by offering this love back to the world in tangible ways. With our wide variety of talents, resources and our sincere desire to help others, we can continue to make a difference in the lives of people everywhere.
Through the Together in Service program, Presbyterian women can share ideas for a whole range of projects. From sewing hats for newborns in Africa to selling fair-trade coffee at church events, we all can find a place to offer our gifts.
Updates to Together in Service program
The Together in Service program and guide are being updated in response to a sharp rise in international shipping charges and customs fees, changing needs among mission partners, changing international markets and new opportunities for hands-on mission. Program updates include an expanded list of ecumenical mission partners, updates to sewing and other hands-on mission project summaries, and a new Together in Service guide (to be available at the 2012 Churchwide Gathering). Changes to the program apply to items shipped to the Brethren Service Center. For example, women are urged to contribute hygiene kits rather than sheets and blankets, for use in underserved areas.
New partner added
Little Dresses for Africa, a nondenominational Christian mission organization that provides simple clothing for orphans and schoolchildren in Africa, Appalachia and Idaho, is being added as a new Together in Service partner! The organization’s mission is to “plant in the hearts of little girls that they’re worthy.” Patterns for the clothing are on the Little Dresses for Africa website. Over 500,000 dresses and shorts have been sewn and shipped to needy children since the organization was founded. Encourage your PW group to host a sewing day. And see Rachel O’Neill, the founder of Little Dresses for Africa, at the 2012 Churchwide Gathering in Orlando this July!
Torn bandages being repurposed
You may remember tearing sheets into 3- to 4-inch strips and rolling them tightly to form simple bandages. At one time, these were an important part of the Together in Service program. They were sent to medical clinics in developing countries. However, that project has outlived its usefulness. The bandages now sit in boxes in the Brethren Service Center in Maryland, awaiting a new purpose. With that in mind, PW’s Churchwide Coordinating Team and the Brethren Service Center have made an agreement to offer the fabric strips to anyone who wants them.
The strips are now available to crafters, quilters, rug makers and other creative textile artists! They come in all colors and a variety of widths. Since the staff at the Brethren Center is mostly volunteer and very busy, they are unable to sort the rolls, but they will stuff them in boxes and mail them to people who would put them to good use. An order form is available by clicking here. Note that only full boxes may be ordered, and payment should accompany the order form. If you are able to complete a project with the strips before the Gathering, bring it to share; there will be a display area!
Stay tuned for additional updates on the Together in Service program. In the meantime, read about the rest of the TIS program on this page.
Together in Service in Eastern Europe
Following Presbyterian Women’s Global Exchange to Eastern Europe in 2008, Presbyterian Women made a commitment to support the impoverished and marginalized Roma women and men they met. Like the successful Palm Development Project, the Roma Development Project is a sustainable, income-generating mission opportunity.
In April 2011, members of Presbyterian Women joined their voices with others around the world who are concerned with justice for the Roma, who are marginalized throughout Europe. Presbyterian Women published a 10-day prayer and study guide to lead up to International Day of the Roma. Although the 10 days of coordinated prayer and study are over, the resource contains useful information and moving prayers about the Roma. Download the guide.
Together in Service in Congo
“They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:4b)
On July 30, 2006, millions of Congolese participated in one of the most significant elections in Africa’s history — free elections for a president and parliament. These elections marked a turning point in which the people demonstrated their commitment to seeking stability. After years of suffering and violence, the people of Congo now have an opportunity to pursue Isaiah’s vision.
With the promise of peace in their sights, the people of Congo can transform implements of war into tools for prosperity. Presbyterian Women can be a part of it.
- Learn about the PW Palm Project
- Learn about the need for mattresses
- Learn about the need for bicycles
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.
Together in Service featured project
Alternative Gift Cards for Congo
Holiday time or ordinary time, there is no better time than now to give a gift that will help spread the promise of peace and prosperity in Congo. Give funds to the Together in Service programs to help purchase bicycles, mattresses or palms for our Presbyterian partners in Congo and send a card to your loved ones telling them that you have made a gift in their honor.
Each package contains five different cards featuring photos of a mission partner in Congo. Descriptions of the projects are also included.
Send donations for the Together in Service projects in Congo to:
PW Remittance Processing
PO Box 643652
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3652
Checks are payable to Presbyterian Women. Write “palms,” “mattresses” or “bicycles” on the memo line.
Order the Congo Gift Cards from Presbyterian Distribution Services (PDS).
$5 for a package of 5
Call (800) 524-2612 or order online.
Do you have a project to share? Tell us about it!
Presbyterian Women are together, living in service
Together in Service was launched at the 2006 Presbyterian Women Churchwide Gathering to update the Mission Opportunities program. The name is not the only change. Instead of having the national office assign mission projects, Presbyterian women now have the freedom to choose our own activities. We can look around our community, dialogue with our PW groups and listen for the needs that God is calling us to answer.
Be together in service by:
- Making or purchasing items and sending them where needed, both locally and internationally
- Donating money to fund mission initiatives such as healthcare, education and Bible study
- Supporting existing denominational and ecumenical programs
- Providing mission interpretation and education to the whole church
- Developing personal relationships with mission workers
- Sharing stories and wisdom gained from service experiences
Participate together in:
- Mission Pledge
- Birthday Offering
- Thank Offering
- Global Exchange
- U.S.A. Mission Experience
- Honorary Life Memberships
- Hunger Program
- Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
- Enough for Everyone
- Presbyterian Peacemaking Program
- Little Dresses for Africa
- Fellowship of the Least Coin
- Heifer Project International
- Habitat for Humanity
- Bread for the World
- Church World Service
Thank you all for your interest in PW Together in Service projects. You will find patterns and instructions for baby gowns and caps on pages 29 and 30 of the Together in Service guidebook, 2012 edition (item PWR12433 from PDS; 800.524.2612 or www.pcusa.org/store). As noted on the Together in Service web page, we have partnerships with several organizations, including Church World Service, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, IMA World Health and Little Dresses for Africa. Church World Service receives health and hygiene kits at Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Maryland. IMA receives layette items (including baby gowns and caps) for mother/baby kits at Brethren Service Center. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Presbyterian Women both recommend contributing these and other kits (Gift of the Heart kits) to Church World Service and IMA (through Brethren Service Center). Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center also collects Gifts of the Heart kits. Information about what makes up these kits and how to ship them may be found at www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/pda/making-gift-heart-kits. Little Dresses for Africa has patterns on its website at www.littledressesforafrica.org. There are patterns for dresses (http://www.littledressesforafrica.org/blog/pillow-case-pattern/) and there are patterns for washable sanitary pads (http://www.littledressesforafrica.org/blog/sani-panti-sewing-instructions/). Presbyterian Women offers other ideas for service projects in the Together in Service guidebook, as well as sharing stories of hands-on mission work through Horizons magazine. If you are not a subscriber, call 866.802.3635. Thank you for your inquiries.
When was this site last updated? How do I find the latest info on the Mission projects? Where are the patterns for the hands on projects? Thanks
I found a mission opportunities handbook in my TIS box,dated revised 1999.Crocheted Baby Cap: Sport weight yarn.Size G or H crochet hook.Chain enough stiches for 7 inches.Entire cap is worked in single crochet through the back loop of each stich.For the first row,work S C in second chain from hook and in each remaining Ch 1,turn.Row 2: S C in each st. of previous row to within 4 st. of the end.Do not work these 4. Ch 1,turn. Row 3: S C to end of row. Ch 1,turn. Row 4: S C in all st.,including the skipped st. of Row 2.Ch 1, turn.Row 5:S C to end of row.Ch 1,turn.Repeat rows 2 through 5 until there are 26 ridges. The end where you have been skipping rows should be pulled up into a tight circle and a pom pom attached.Sew up side seam and turn up bottom edge to form a cuff.
Years ago we crocheted baby hats from a pattern listed in the mission handbook. Is that pattern still available? It use to be on the PW website, but I have not been able to find it. Thank you for your assistance in locating this pattern.