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While Lent is widely viewed as a journey of introspection, some Ohio Presbyterians, inspired by their support for One Great Hour of Sharing, also see it as an opportunity for mission activities.
For nearly three decades the Synod of the Covenant (Michigan and Ohio) has continued to participate in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Mission to the USA program. The synod began participating in the effort which links congregations in the synod with mission partners including international church leaders as well as both clergy and lay leaders in 1989.
The original idea was to simply schedule screenings of the most recent Presbyterian Disaster Assistance documentaries on immigration detention and refugee resettlement (Locked in a Box and To Breathe Free) at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dayton. What Sally Dyer didn’t realize, was a number of organizations across the city were planning their own awareness events around these issues.
When members of Canfield (Ohio) Presbyterian Church began raising funds for a remodeling project and addition in 2008 they made sure 10 percent of the capital raised was reserved for mission activities. Several years later, and another remodel of existing facilities, the church opened its mission housing space to those engaged with area service organizations.
In 2006, Wayne Presbyterian Church, a midsized church in Wooster, Ohio, started looking at how we could make ourselves more inviting for other members of the community. To start, we did a needs survey of the congregation. One of the top five priorities, according to the survey, was to increase accessibility for those with disabilities. The last major renovation, in 1957, had not provided such accessibility to the sanctuary; there were steps at every entrance.