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Mission Yearbook

Partnership key to Presbyterian youth workers resurgence

Feedback from cohort groups sponsored by the Office of Christian Formation for Presbyterian Youth Workers Association has been so positive that the organization is considering making it part of it regular life.

Grace Presbytery shows grace to migrant teens

Nearly 19,000 unaccompanied minors entered U.S. border custody in March, an all-time monthly record. The onslaught of lone minors overwhelmed the U.S. government’s infrastructure and intake process. The largest Border Patrol facility for migrant children was at 1,640% capacity in late March, holding more than 3,200 unaccompanied minors in a facility designed for 250 people.

Two struggling churches triumph together

Like many churches across America, First Presbyterian Church of Lake Charles, Louisiana, had long been on a downward spiral, struggling with an aging congregation, declining membership and dire financial concerns.

‘No matter how deep evil goes, God goes deeper’

“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.”

Bluebirds find a home in a church garden

The Presbyterian Church of Washington, Missouri, likes bugs — outdoors, that is. So much so that Jolene Patterson, described by many in the congregation as the “capable and creative” chairman of the mission committee, recently wrote and obtained three grants to fund an expansion of the church’s mission garden. The garden was started about six years ago by longtime member David Brunworth, a recently retired family physician. As all gardeners know, larger gardens attract more insects — and more insects mean more birds. That’s the short story of how the Eastern Bluebird discovered one lone nesting box in the church’s backyard.

A partnership across cultures grounded in the Body of Christ

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) supports Christian witness in the Czech Republic through a long and active partnership with the Evangelical Church of the Czech Brethren (ECCB), which strengthened after the fall of communism in 1989. Old friendships were renewed, and new friendships were built.

The end of theological education?

To Presbyterians and others concerned about the future of theological education, the Rev. Dr. Ted A. Smith had these words of comfort: We’ve been here before.

A brewery where faith is always on tap

As the Rev. Brent Raska finishes up another order from customers in the states he distributes beer to, he remembers how he felt on Dec. 31, 2017. How he wept after preaching a final sermon at the small church he’d served for five years, which was down to 12 people. “I couldn’t help but think I was a failure,” he said, “even though I knew I wasn’t.”

Minute for Mission: Peace & Global Witness Offering/World Communion Sunday

It was a daring prayer, all things considered, to ask the Thessalonians to pray — and it is also a daring one for us, I imagine. The second letter to the Thessalonians arrived at a time of turmoil, strife and confusion. The Christian community was experiencing persecutions so severe that some believed the time of judgment had come, while others took advantage of their doubt, spreading misinformation and sowing dissent. The letter ends with a benedictory prayer: for God’s peace to be granted at all times in all ways. It might have been daring enough to consider asking them to imagine peace at “any time,” much less at “all times,” or to imagine peace in some sort of way at all, much less in all of them. Have you ever felt so far from God’s peace that you couldn’t even imagine it?