Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare Association
The Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare Association (PHEWA) is a community of ministries:
- Seeking and voicing God’s shalom
- Proclaiming the inclusive gospel of justice and mercy
- Sharing in Christ’s work of compassion and love
- Witnessing the Spirit’s prophetic activity in church and world
Our purpose is to provide resources, peer support and networking connections for Presbyterians involved in social welfare and justice ministries. PHEWA has also worked, since its creation by General Assembly action in 1956, to make the church more responsive to the needs of those too often excluded or on the margins of the church and of society, providing those much needed voices and perspectives.
PHEWA encourages the church to be responsive to the needs of the excluded and suffering by providing programmatic, organizational and technical assistance to Presbyterians working for justice. PHEWA is organized around ten mission networks:
- Presbyterian Association for Community Transformation (PACT)
- Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network (PADVN)
- Presbyterian AIDS Network (PAN)
- Presbyterians Affirming Reproductive Options (PARO)
- Presbyterian Association of Specialized Pastoral Ministries (PASPM)
- Presbyterian Child Advocacy Network (PCAN)
- Presbyterian Criminal Justice Network (PCJN)
- Presbyterians for Disability Concerns (PDC)
- Presbyterian Health Network (PHN)
- Presbyterian Serious Mental Illness Network (PSMIN)
Members of the various networks are volunteers who give thousands of hours working with individuals, congregations and middle governing bodies.
At a PHEWA Social Justice Conference, a participant said, as he surveyed the crowd, “I’ve never seen a gathering that looked more like the kingdom of God.” What he saw was a gathering where all persons were invited, accepted and honored. PHEWA is the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at its most faithful!
What We Do
- We carry out work that is mandated by the General Assembly
- We consult with individuals, congregations and mid councils to help them as they seek to bring justice to persons who are often marginalized by the church and society
- We identify leadership with expertise for use churchwide in the areas of our network ministries
- We provide leadership development and a Leadership Development Event
- We host a Biennial Social Justice Conference and other training events
- We develop and/or partner in the development of resources
- We monitor, support and advocate for ministries of justice within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
How are we structured for ministry?
A volunteer Leadership Team guides each of our 10 networks. These teams are made up of persons who share a passion for their network’s ministry; they come through a variety of avenues—professionals in the ministry area, pastors, seminary or college educators, involved family members, consumers of services. They all volunteer because they want to see the church a place of welcome. Each of the networks has a link to one or more programmatic offices in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). We also partner with the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP).