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A Letter from Elmarie and Scott Parker, serving in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria

Fall 2022

Write to Elmarie Parker
Write to Scott Parker

Individuals: Give online to E132192 in honor of Elmarie and Scott Parker’s ministry

Congregations: Give to D500115 in honor of Elmarie and Scott Parker’s ministry

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

 


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Dear Partners in Ministry,

Elmarie and I want to share with you the adventurous year we have ahead, and the exciting possibilities this holds for our continued commitment to our shared ministry and work with partners in the Middle East. 

As of this writing, I am in my first month of an advanced Chaplain Residency with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, specializing in Pediatric Psychiatry. This is a one-year appointment, after which I intend to return to our work in the Middle East. This opportunity emerged during the busy lead-up to General Assembly and staff taking summer vacations, so it was not something I could share publicly until we could ensure that various colleagues were all in the loop. 

I am thrilled to spend this year learning from the third ranked children’s hospital in the country, and a leader in child and adolescent mental health. As you know, my role over the past several years has involved the development of trauma resiliency programs for vulnerable refugee children (Strong Kids/Strong Emotions) with Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) colleagues and serving as an “accompaniment chaplain” with Blessed School and Home of Hope. These ministries, along with the growing stress and trauma impacting children globally, have pressed upon me, and the partners with whom I work, the absolute necessity of my being further equipped to help address these urgent mental health needs. This program will make me eligible for credentialing as a Board-Certified Chaplain (BCC) with the Association for Professional Chaplains (APC) with a certification in Pediatric Psychiatry. I believe that this professional development will exponentially increase my ability to work effectively with partners serving the critical needs facing children and adolescents in the Middle East. 

I have been in Cincinnati since late August and will be returning to our home in Beirut after August 25, 2023. Elmarie will remain in Beirut, continuing her regional liaison work with partners across the region. There have been multiple times throughout our marriage in which we learned to thrive together while living apart (including six months on different continents during COVID). Although we absolutely prefer to be in the same space, we are invested in the shared life and work to which God has called us. 

To complete this Residency with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Presbyterian World Mission and the Presbyterian Mission Agency has generously granted me a one-year educational leave of absence. I am grateful. I will continue to work in my mission co-worker capacity on a limited basis to ensure the development of agreed upon work with partners. I will continue to coach the leadership involved in Strong Kids (although space issues are pushing our next class back until early 2023) and will be available to work with PC(USA) congregations who are interested in using trauma resiliency programs in their own contexts here in the States. Please contact me if you would like to further discuss this opportunity.

We remain so very grateful for your continuing partnership with us and with those we are privileged to serve alongside both here in the U.S.A. and in the Middle East. Thank you for your prayers, continuing correspondence by email and messaging, invitations to meet with you by Zoom or in person, and your financial partnership. Your faithfulness with us over the past nine years, the work of Presbyterian World Mission and the wider Presbyterian Mission Agency, and the work of our partners in the Middle East continues to nourish our spirits with hope, gratitude and resiliency. Thank you.

Continuing in Christ’s Service Together,

Scott (and Elmarie) Parker


Please read the following letter from Rev. Mienda Uriarte, acting director of World Mission:

Dear Partners in God’s Mission,

What an amazing journey we’re on together! Our call to be a Matthew 25 denomination has challenged us in so many ways to lean into new ways of reaching out. As we take on the responsibilities of dismantling systemic racism, eradicating the root causes of poverty and engaging in congregational vitality, we find that the Spirit of God is indeed moving throughout World Mission. Of course, the past two years have also been hard for so many as we’ve ventured through another year of the pandemic, been confronted with racism, wars and the heart wrenching toll of natural disasters. And yet, rather than succumb to the darkness, we are called to shine the light of Christ by doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with God.

We are so grateful that you are on this journey as well. Your commitment enables mission co-workers around the world to accompany partners and share in so many expressions of the transformative work being done in Christ’s name. Thank you for your partnership, prayers and contributions to their ministries.

We hope you will continue to support World Mission in all the ways you are able:

Give – Consider making a year-end financial contribution for the sending and support of our mission personnel (E132192). This unified fund supports the work of all our mission co-workers as they accompany global partners in their life-giving work. Gifts can also be made “in honor of” a specific mission co-worker – just include their name on the memo line.

Pray – Include PC(USA) mission personnel and global partners in your daily prayers. If you would like to order prayer cards as a visual reminder of those for whom you are praying, please contact Cindy Rubin (cynthia.rubin@pcusa.org; 800-728-7228, ext. 5065).

Act – Invite a mission co-worker to visit your congregation either virtually or in person. Contact mission.live@pcusa.org to make a request or email the mission co-worker directly. Email addresses are listed on Mission Connections profile pages. Visit pcusa.org/missionconnections to search by last name.

Thank you for your consideration! We appreciate your faithfulness to God’s mission through the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Prayerfully,

 

 

Rev. Mienda Uriarte, Acting Director
World Mission
Presbyterian Mission Agency
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

To give, please visit https://bit.ly/22MC-YE.

For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6

 


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