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Leaning into Visions that Transform Individuals and Communities – Part Two

A Letter from Paula Cooper, serving as regional liaison for East Central Africa

Spring 2023

Write to Paula Cooper

Individuals: Give online to E132192 in honor of Paula Cooper’s ministry

Congregations: Give to D500115 in honor of Paula Cooper’s ministry

Churches are asked to send donations through your congregation’s normal receiving site (this is usually your presbytery)

 


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Lenten greetings dear friends and family,

Grateful! Thank you for your prayers, thoughts, kind words and text messages during my three-month stay in the hospital battling COVID-19 last year. I came through a survivor only by the Grace of God and your sympathetic actions!

My previous newsletter focused on our international partners’ visions in Zambia and Kenya as they related to our vision derived from the passage Matthew 25:31-46. In this newsletter, I will introduce you to the vision and work of the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Zambia (UPCZ) Synod of Zambia.

If you recall, we learned that our international partners’ “patterns of Christian praxis in Church and Society” are validated in the ministries they govern to cultivate and nurture spiritual growth and encourage their members and the communities surrounding their churches.

Let me introduce you to UPCZ and how they are leaning into their vision for their ministries for the next 10 years, inspired by Hosea 10:12.

VISION, MISSION, MISSION PRIORITIES, AND VALUES OF THE UNITING PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF SOUTHERN AFRICA (UPCSA) TO WHICH THE UNITING PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN ZAMBIA (UPCZ) SYNOD OF ZAMBIA IS A MEMBER

WHO IS THE UNITING PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN SOUTHERN AFRICA?
We are a diverse community of reformed Christians led by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, prayerfully seeking the will of God for our lives together and the world.

 OUR VISION
To be a reconciled community of Christians exercising a prophetic witness to Christ.

 OUR MISSION
We will proclaim our Triune God in Southern Africa through

  • Bearing witness to the saving love of Jesus Christ.
  • Building vital, reforming congregations for worship, ministry and discipleship.
  • Visibly proclaiming the Kingdom of God through unity, justice, peace, and love.

 OUR MISSION PRIORITIES
We will adopt specific and measurable targets for the denomination against the following priorities and report on progress against these targets to the denomination through the General Assembly:

  • Evangelism
  • Support the development of missional congregations.
  • Health, well-being, and securing justice.
  • Engaging in reconciliation and unity.
  • Stewardship

OUR VALUES
Together we have ascertained the following values to guide our behavior to each other and the world:

  • Love.
  • Holiness.
  • Scriptural.
  • Integrity.
  • Spiritual growth.
  • Servanthood

NINE UPCSA STRATEGIC GUIDELINES
The nine tools we are working on within our strategic plan are:

  • The UPCSA will be a Missional Church. (i.e., the Church is sent out).
  • The UPCSA will have mission oriented and holistically developed ministry.
  • The UPCSA will promote the equality of all its members and congregations
  • The UPCSA will be attractive to all, including the youth.
  • The UPCSA will reflect the demographics of its membership at all decision-making levels and forums.
  • The UPCSA will have a cohesive, efficient, and effective administration.
  • The UPCSA will be financially sustainable.
  • The UPCSA will promote a positive image and raise its profile.
  • The UPCSA will be a reconciled Church.

In my next newsletter, I will introduce you to the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda (the EPR for the French name “Église Presbyteriénne au Rwanda”) and its vision.

I am forever grateful for your continued support to these partners and the ministry that God has called us to live into! We do not take your prayers, engagements and financial contributions in vain!

You are a blessing to this ministry and for that we are appreciative.

Shalom,

Paula

As we move through the Lent Season, may our time spent with the LORD be transformative and restorative!

 


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