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Congregants at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Madison, Wisconsin are getting a snapshot of four countries around the world this month through the lens of Presbyterian mission work. The ministries of Presbyterian mission co-workers in Guatemala, Peru, Indonesia and South Sudan are being highlighted in worship during the first four Sundays in July.
The Rev. Dr. Niles Reimer is an unassuming presence in any setting and that’s the way he likes it. For Reimer, a return visit in January to Gambella town in Western Ethiopia was the chance to see dear friends and make new memories with generations of young Christians. His many contributions include translating the Anywaa Bible, which made it possible for the Anywaa people to read the scriptures in their own language.
Every March, goats hold a place of honor at Sherrill’s Ford Presbyterian Church. Inspired by the Presbyterian Giving Catalog, the North Carolina congregation highlights how goats improve people’s lives in the developing world. Then members are invited to give toward the congregation’s collective purchase of goats through the catalog.
Members of the Fumbisi congregation of the recently expressed their generosity in big bundles: two large farm sacks filled with fresh peanuts. They sold the peanuts in the local marketplace and donated the $65 they received to the sending and support of Presbyterian mission co-worker Josh Heikkila.
The minister was giving a sermon on “total giving.” When it came time to take up the offering, the plate came to a pew where there was a very small boy. He looked up at the usher and said, “Could you lower the plate?” Thinking that he wanted to see into the plate, the usher held it down a bit. “No,” said the boy, “a little lower, please.” The usher lowered it a bit more. “More; could you just put it on the floor?” the boy asked. The usher was aghast but finally put it on the floor. The boy stepped into it, stood there, and said, “This is what I give to the Lord.” — A Stewardship Scrapbook
Presbyterian mission co-workers Jeff and Christi Boyd developed a floor and board game several years ago to help U.S. Presbyterians appreciate the joint efforts of students, parents, communities and churches to improve education in Africa. The game also prompts players to ponder the plight of African children.
Four mission co-workers have accepted new calls within Africa, including Jim and Jodi McGill, Ruth Brown and Dr. Martha Sommers.
If there is a revered profession in my family, it is a life given to the ministry of the Presbyterian Church. In 1884, my great-grandfather J. Vernon Bell began his ministry as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Dubois, Pennsylvania, almost 100 years to the day that I entered Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
The United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), a long-time Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) global partner, joined the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) requesting prayers for an end to the ongoing violence in Marawi City, on the island of Mindanao.
At Chasefu Theological College in Zambia, future pastors learn to tend the soil as well as nurture Christian faith.