Five presbyteries within the Synod of the Trinity have been awarded “Sowing the Future: Gifts of Abundance Grants” during the first phase of distribution. The Abundance Grant is a new grant created in honor of the Synod of the Trinity’s year-long 300th birthday celebration to recognize and honor the region’s continuing participation in world mission. Presbyteries are invited to apply for a matching grant of $3,000 toward a world mission project or partnership of their choice, and presbyteries that partner for world mission projects or that undertake a new partnership or new aspect of a partnership received an additional $1,000 each.
The deadline for Abundance Grant applications is Dec. 1, and a second wave of recipients will be announced in the coming weeks. More information on Abundance Grants and the application can be found by clicking here. The following describes how each awarded Abundance Grant is being used.
Pittsburgh, Redstone, Shenango
The three presbyteries are receiving $4,000 each for their continued work with the South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church. The presbyteries have been building relationships as well as constructing physical projects for many years, and with the Abundance Grant they hope to provide hunger relief for the region. Money will be sent to individuals at the South Sudan PEC who have been overseeing the distribution of resources in their area.
Shenango has had a partnership with the Sudan PEC since 1996 and the South Sudan PEC since 2011.
“We have gained so much by seeing the faith and dedication to God that our South Sudanese partners have shown in times of persecution, war and famine that we feel a deep desire to help in this small way. Hopefully our example of giving will show others (non-religious groups) the need for help and financial giving.”
Redstone’s partnership with the Sudan PEC began in 2004, and through the years the presbytery has helped fund things like fishing projects that were identified by the Sudan church.
“By collaborating together in addressing this critical need, we hope to generate greater resources in responding to this urgent and heartbreaking crisis of starvation in this region and for members of our partner churches.”
Pittsburgh has had a partnership with the Synod of Blantyre in Malawi since 1991, and three years ago it was expanded to include the South Sudan PEC.
“Our presbytery has had a long history of responding to humanitarian crisis in Malawi and we feel called to do the same with South Sudan. We have been tremendously blessed by what our African brothers and sisters have brought to us in this partnership.”
The Presbytery of Carlisle has received a $3,000 Abundance Grant to be used toward the housing ministry partnership it has with the Presbytery of Honduras. Since 2010, 12 homes have been built in Tegucigalpa, with Carlisle providing money for the building supplies and, normally, going to the area to help start the house. For two of the homes, the presbytery provided only the money. In all cases, church members have partnered with the presbytery for the work on these homes. They always finish the homes in a timely manner after the volunteers leave. The cost of a home is around $3,000.
Through this ministry, the churches in Tegucigalpa alternate identifying families in need of a decent home or in need of serious improvements to their current home. To make these choices, the churches in Tegucigalpa have formed mission committees that review applications and make selections.
A video on this partnership is available here.
The Presbytery of Lake Erie was awarded a $3,000 Abundance grant to continue its work with the Upper Northern Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Ghana.
Since 2010, these two presbyteries have been in partnership to mutually benefit and build a larger sense of the Kingdom of God. Delegations from Ghana have visited Lake Erie Presbytery and three groups from Lake Erie have visited Ghana. In September 2017, a group of eight or nine people from Pennsylvania are visiting Ghana to continue to develop the partnership. Included in the group are pastors as well as educators, an IT person and one who has medical equipment expertise.
The goal of the trip is to participate in the annual Ghana Mission Network meeting, which includes participants from several presbyteries and mission partners in the PCUSA and in Ghana. Every third year this meeting is held in Ghana. There will be a strong emphasis on the Wapuli Clinic as well as discussion around enhancing the training of pastors in the northern part of the country. Following that conference, the group will travel to northern Ghana to meet with partners in communities there.
“Over the course of this partnership, more than one-third of the churches in Lake Erie Presbytery have been active participants with prayers, financial support, sending of people and hosting of visitors from Ghana. A united focus in our partnership in Ghana has connected congregations within Lake Erie Presbytery in new ways and has provided more opportunities to be in mission together as the larger body of Christ.”