Almost Heaven visits the Big Apple

The James A. Farley Post Office Building here in New York bears the insciption, “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

For an intrepid group from the Presbytery of West Virginia, not even the aftermath of Hurricane Irene could keep them from coming to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations for a seminar on human trafficking. The plans had been made for some time. As the day drew near and so did the hurricane, texts flew between New York and Charleston, prayers were said, weather forecasts consulted, and conversations held. Finally the decision was made: on to New York!

Ryan Smith and Presbytery of West Virginia group

Ryan Smith directs the seminar group across the street to the United Nations. Photo by Nellie Howard.

As they traveled on Monday August 29, additional anxiety was experienced. The UN building was closed due to some minimal flooding.

The trip went well and Monday evening the group arrived in New York. And we learned that the UN building would be open. On Tuesday morning they made their way to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.

The seminar began with worship. We engage as in the global neighborhood as followers of Jesus. Our faith roots us and guides us.

An explanation of the work of the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations followed. An introduction to the work of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Human Trafficking Roundtable was provided. A discription of the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations works against human trafficking with our partners in the NGO community at the United Nations wrapped up this portion of the seminar.

The group then crossed First Avenue to visit the UN building. Through the tour, group members learned about the many ways in which the UN system seeks to improve life around the world. After visisting the book store and the gift store, the group returned to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations for lunch.

Two speakers made presentations in the afternoon.

Meg Gardinier of Arigatou International’s New York Office told about the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children and invited the seminar participants to find ways to observe the day in their congregations.

Clara Sommarin, Child Protection Specialist for UNICEF, talked about ways UNICEF is involved in the effort to end the trafficking of children.

Both speakers shared information about international efforts to end human trafficking. They also talked about human trafficking in the United States – and in West Virginia – and how the folks of the Presbyery of West Virginia can join efforts to end human trafficking in this country and in their communities.

After the speakers left, the group members and the staff of the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations engaged in a time of questions and answers and conversation. A brief break followed.

The closing worship service included the opportunity to create a Ribbon of Hope for the display being created for the 10th Anniversary observance of September 11, 2001.

Presbytery of West Virginia group at the end of the UN Tour

The group gathers at the end of their UN tour.

Words of appreciation were shared and the group members went forth to explore New York City.

Thanks to the group members and the organizers! It was a great day.

Your gifts to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations help make possible the seminar program and our work against human trafficking. Contact us to schedule a seminar for your group.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)