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A mission-minded scavenger hunt

During some spirited scavenging, churches in the Presbytery of Boise learn more about mission and each other

by Rachel Yates, Presbytery of Boise | Special to Presbyterian News Service

Last month’s scavenger hunt held by the Presbytery of Boise included the Rev. Katey Schwind Williams of Boone Memorial Presbyterian Church in Caldwell, Idaho, and the Rev. TJ Remaley of Southminster Presbyterian Church in Boise. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Yates)

At its recent meeting, the Presbytery of Boise invited congregations and denominational partners to display their mission activities in a presbytery-wide mission fair. To add some fun and competition, meeting participants were given a scavenger hunt list to track down answers that could be found only on the tables or by asking the mission fair participants. The first person to return a correct answer sheet won $100 to donate to one of the mission activities being displayed.

Energy was high in the room as people tried to find “which congregation was thanked with licks, purrs, tweets, and clucks” for its mission support, or asked about the origins of the Presbyterian Women’s Birthday Offering.  “We also tried to lift up core values in faithful and effective mission, such as partnership, dignity and empowerment,” said Rachel Yates, the presbytery’s transitional presbyter and stated clerk, “by asking questions that pointed to mutuality in relationships between the congregations and their mission partner. The scavenger hunt gave us the chance to celebrate the many ways we are engaging in God’s mission in our communities and around the world.”

Participation in the denominational Special Offerings was often highlighted, and one question led people to track down which congregation has been a 4 for 4 congregation (participating in all four of our Special Offerings) for 25 years. King Hill Community United Presbyterian Church, with 10 members, received this distinction, though other churches are also 4 for 4 congregations. Mission Engagement Advisor René Myers of the Presbyterian Mission Agency spoke later in the business meeting to thank the entire presbytery for its mission support and Matthew 25 engagement.

Mission Engagement Advisor René Myers shares about opportunities for connection at the Presbyterian Mission Agency. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Yates)

Laughter erupted as three people raced to turn in their answers, with maneuvers to physically block out other competitors or toss their answer sheets into the air. Even with a time penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, the Rev. TJ Remaley of Southminster Presbyterian Church in Boise was the first to turn in a correct answer sheet and donated the $100 gift to Boone Memorial Presbyterian Church in Caldwell, Idaho, for its domestic violence work.

“The most important questions we asked,” remarked Rev. JoAnn Thiry, presbytery moderator, “required meeting participants to go beyond what is happening now, to what might happen with collaboration.” The scavenger hunt list asked which congregation or ministry would be a good mission partner and how opportunities for collaboration might be explored. “That is how this fun exercise will bear the most fruit.”

Among the scavenger hunt questions:

Q: How did the Birthday Offering get its name?

A: This offering taken by Presbyterian Women began in 1922 when Hallie Paxson Winsborough, the superintendent of women’s work in the Presbyterian Church (US), visited Miss Dowd’s School for Girls in Kochi, Japan. Seeing its needs, she challenged women to give one penny for each year of their lives (or a dollar if they didn’t want to reveal their age!) as a birthday gift to the school.

Q: Which church is thanked for its mission with licks, purrs, tweets and clucks?

A: Boone Memorial Presbyterian Church in Caldwell, Idaho, supports the West Valley Humane Society.

Q: How many mission co-workers are serving the PC(USA) and its mission partners?

A: World Mission has 78 mission co-workers deployed in 80 countries around the world.  If you’d like to learn more about them, check out the Mission Opportunities guide.

Q: Which congregation turns scraps and remnants into a patchwork of comfort for those suffering trauma or abuse?

A: First Presbyterian Church in Boise has a Quilting from the Heart ministry.

Q: What is the monthly cost for a child sponsorship with Compassion International?

A:  $38.  This is a special mission of members of First United Presbyterian Church in Nampa, Idaho.

Q: Which congregation worked under the direction of mission partners to bring a hospital to life with solar power?

A:  Covenant Presbyterian Church in Boise works with Ethiopian partners in Maji on a number of projects, including powering a hospital.

Q: What special painting gift did one of our congregations receive from its mission partner, Communidad de Fe, reflecting mutuality in mission?

A:  The mission partner of Bethany Presbyterian Church in Ontario, Oregon, restriped their shared parking lot.

Q: Which church sends over 10% of the Camp Sawtooth attendees to camp and provides all expenses, many camping items, Bibles and transportation for them?

A:  First Presbyterian Church of Homedale, Idaho, has a deep connection with Camp Sawtooth and brings campers from all over the community.

Q: Strengthening our denominational connections, this congregation reflects the widow’s mite, having given to all four of our Special Offerings for 25 years in a row.

A:  Community Presbyterian Church of King Hill, Idaho, has been a Four for Four congregation for a quarter century!

Q: Showing good stewardship of its property, this church offers Come and Play, a fun space for neighborhood families with children to gather. What day of the month is the church open for neighborhood play?

A: The Come and Play mission of Southminster Presbyterian Church in Boise is held on the second Saturday of each month.

Q: Which congregation’s generosity in filling more backpacks than larger nearby churches surprised and delighted its mission partner, Love in the Name of Christ, and demonstrated the power of working together?

A:  Church of the Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Weiser, Idaho, is a visible witness of Christ’s love through Love INC.

Q: Which congregation or ministry would be a good mission partner for you? How will you explore opportunities with them?

A: For you to complete!

Rachel Yates is transitional presbyter and stated clerk for the Presbytery of Boise.


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