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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Pillars of the Church commemorates five-year anniversary


Program builds sustainable community of donors

January 28, 2020

Jesus taught us to love God and to love our neighbor. These are the pillars of our faith and part of what compels Presbyterians to make a difference in people’s lives.

Five years ago, the Pillars of the Church initiative launched as one way to build a faithful community of donors who prefer to give online. It originally began with the ministries of Compassion, Peace & Justice; it’s since branched out to include all ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA). Today, nearly 800 faithful Pillars support PMA mission by designating a sustaining gift that can be allocated for a specific ministry or used where needed most.

“Jesus taught us that the greatest commandments are to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength and the second is like it: to love our neighbor as our self. On these two hang all the law and the prophets. These are the pillars of our faith,” said the Rev. Rosemary Mitchell, senior director of Mission Engagement and Support. “As we live into these words, we become Pillars of the Church, the Body of Christ.”

Individuals interested in becoming a Pillar of the Church can visit, where they can choose to direct their gifts toward unrestricted shared mission (which allows funds to be used where they are most needed), one of the four Church-wide Special Offerings, the Presbyterian Giving Catalog, or a specific ministry. Make sure to indicate that your gift is a recurring donation.

The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, moderator of the 218th General Assembly, is a Pillar of the Church. He and his family give to help mission co-workers do the work they were called to do. (Contributed photo)

As one might imagine, the motivation for becoming a Pillar is as varied and diverse as the denomination itself. Pillars including the Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, moderator of the 218th General Assembly in 2008, and his wife, Robin Pugh, support those who are best equipped to respond.

“With so many situations in the world in need of a healing, thoughtful and just response from the church, we give to the Pillars program because we want to support those who are best equipped to respond,” they said. “The Pillars program puts into practice the idea that ‘together we can do so much more than we could do alone.’”

Steve and Cinda Gorman support mission co-workers with their Pillar donations.

“We support mission co-workers on a monthly basis not only to sustain their efforts but also because being in touch with them inspires us to live out our faith in Jesus Christ in a worldwide context,” the Gormans said.

Heath Rada, a longtime Pillar and moderator of the 221st General Assembly, added, “I continue to participate in the ongoing work of the PC(USA) at both the national and local levels because I believe our denomination seeks to follow Jesus’ teachings in more appropriate ways than many others.”

Sheila Louder, a ruling elder at New Life Presbyterian Church in College Park, Georgia, was moved to become a Pillar because of her involvement with PMA, the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations and Ecumenical Advocacy Days.

“Both the U.N. ministry and Ecumenical Advocacy Days have been the most meaningful and educational experiences of my faith journey in the denomination,” said Louder.

For more information or questions about the Pillars program, contact Joan Gray in Mission Engagement and Support at, or visit

Scott O’Neill, Communications Strategist/Project Manager, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Today’s Focus:  Pillars of the Church

Let us join in prayer for: 

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Alicia Samuels, Presbyterian Publishing Corporation
Elizabeth Sanders, Presbyterian Publishing Corporation

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, we thank you for your example of your Son, Jesus, and his desire to reach out to help those in need. Help us to recognize our own opportunities to spread the love of Christ as your ambassadors. Amen.