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In the midst of the pandemic last fall, Sheri Dittman, the commissioned pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Brownsville, Texas, gained some fame in Presbyterian circles as the mastermind of a photo scavenger hunt with a purpose — getting parishioners at the church she serves and at First Presbyterian Church in Mission, Texas, where she’s part-time coordinator for Congregational Development, more familiar with multiple options available through the Presbyterian Giving Catalog.
“I am so excited,” said the Rev. Samuel Son, the PC(USA)’s Manager of Diversity and Reconciliation, “that we get to hear from this philosopher, prophet and preacher.”
That was the cue for Dr. Jonathan Tran, Associate Professor of Philosophical Theology and George W. Baines Chair of Religion at Baylor University, to start preaching remotely during a Wednesday Chapel Service attended by more than 80 of the PC(USA)’s national staff, a service offered by the denomination’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team.
And preach Tran did.
For the past few months, the Rev. Jim Kirk has been managing Presbyterian Disaster Assistance’s (PDA) response to situations across the country.
On behalf of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the Mission Development Resources Committee (MDRC) has approved Mission Program Grants to 23 new worshiping communities.
For Magha Garcia, farming is how she honors her ancestors.
“Everything I learned about agriculture came through my great-grandparents, grandparents and parents,” she said. “These people worked so hard, and what they were paid for their crops was so little, it makes me really sad.”
Mama O is a wounded healer.
Her moment of greatest need intersected with the critical healing and support services provided by Black Women’s Blueprint, a civil and human rights organization specifically focused on the needs of Black women and girls since 2008. At 65 years of age, she is among the eldest survivors of sexual violence in the organization.
And now, she’s returning the gift.
Nearly two centuries after many of their ancestors were displaced from their native homelands in the southern United States, a group of Native Americans is preserving their language and traditions in a unique community in Alabama.
Immigrants who make their way to Florida to work in the agricultural industry find an ally in the Farmworker Association of Florida, a partner of multiple Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ministries.
As June turned to July, Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles needed a place to store food.
Its direct food service to people in need had skyrocketed from 120 households a week before the COVID-19 pandemic to more than 2,000 a week as the virus staged a resurgence in California that has resulted in it being the state with the most coronavirus infections in the country. Immanuel, in L.A.’s Mid-Wilshire/Koreatown area, was running out of space to keep food – at one point jerry-rigging cooling ducts in a hallway to create improvised, temporary cold storage. Then church leaders cast their eyes on its Westminster Chapel.
A nonprofit rooted in the idea that fresh food is a human right continues to make an impact in the Louisville and Southern Indiana area despite the pandemic.