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Mission Yearbook

Congregational vitality

West Gambella Bethel Synod, found in the Gambella region of Western Ethiopia, is a member of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus. It was founded in 1962 as a result of the gospel preaching of the missionaries from the PC(USA) after Dr. Thomas Lambie and his teammates erected the first Nuer-Christian church in Nasir in present day South Sudan.

‘Mission in reverse’

Around the world, international partners of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) often invite our mission personnel to share in the ministry of their local congregations. The Church of Central Africa Presbyterian Synod of Zambia, for example, expressed to Sherri Ellington, a mission co-worker who coordinates the Young Adult Volunteer program in that country, how they appreciate the presence of YAVs in their communities as it enriches their life of faith. The Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana has welcomed me to serve as an associate pastor of one of their church districts in Ghana’s capital, Accra, where I live.

Learning from our siblings in the Church of Scotland

A Young Adult Volunteer working this year with a youth group at a church in Dundee, Scotland, sees parallels between an aging Church of Scotland and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) — with both churches having an opportunity to pivot in order to appeal more broadly to people of all ages.

Welcoming the stranger

As part of his sabbatical from Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina, a few years ago, the Rev. Brad Smith brought his wife, Nancy, and their three young adult children to Taiwan to experience the richness of both Taiwan’s culture and church life.

No senior discount here

The Presbyterian Older Adults Ministries Network took the opportunity recently to honor “the saints among us” with a hybrid worship service originating from Hunting Ridge Presbyterian Church in Baltimore and witnessed by people in nearly 20 states.

Minute for Mission: Gifts of New Immigrants

Rola Al Ashkar is a Presbyterian Christian from Lebanon. She grew up in a non-religious family, in a culture drenched in religion. Her parents took her and her brothers to church and Sunday school on occasions. When she had her confirmation class, she received her first Bible, and even as a teenager, she read the Bible with critical eyes, questioning parts of it and searching for answers. Her curiosity led her to regularly attend Sunday services, youth meetings and church summer camps, and through those experiences her faith grew, and she found a community in the Presbyterian Synod of Syria and Lebanon.

Using our setbacks as steppingstones

The Rev. Dr. Jerry Cannon used his prodigious and engaging hermeneutical skills to cap a NEXT Church National Gathering that has taken a deep look at rest and restoration.

One farmer’s take on the Creation narrative

The Rev. Dr. Nathan Stucky serves Princeton Theological Seminary as director of the Farminary Project, a place “where theological education is integrated with small-scale regenerative agriculture to train faith leaders who are conversant in the areas of ecology, sustainability and food justice.”

Minute for Mission: Native American Day

America’s history with Indigenous peoples hasn’t always been neighborly. In the past five years, the General Assembly has taken actions to change that legacy, and to be neighbors not conquerors.

Minute for Mission: International Day of Peace

Today is the International Day of Peace, also known as “Peace Day.” For the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), every day should be Peace Day, but this is a special day, set aside by a unanimous U.N. resolution in 1981 and observed around the world. It provides “a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a culture of peace.”