“Go and Do Likewise”
Presbyterian Women” has long been synonymous with mission. The earliest groups of Presbyterian women formed in the 1780s because they recognized need in the world and felt called to help. Scripture offered a vision of wholeness that was not yet a reality; people were hungry, in need, falling through the cracks. Presbyterian women’s responses took many forms.
They raised money for particular causes, from helping feed children in their communities to financially supporting the call of Presbyterian mission workers around the world. They put their hands to work, sewing dresses, serving meals. They comforted, they advocated. And today, Presbyterian Women still do all of these things, and more.
First, and most importantly, Presbyterian Women have recognized that the most transformational mission happens in a context of relationship and respect. Mission continues to help ensure that everyone has clothing, food and shelter. But, mission can, and should, work in tandem with advocacy so that we do not perpetuate systems that grant some an excess of material wealth, and others, a scarcity. In addition to mission transforming the way our needs are met, mission can also transform us. We understand that sharing God’s love and the good news of the gospel are calls that work hand-in-hand. Developing relation-ships with and respect for other children of God is foundational to building the beloved community. We experience a glimpse of the fullness of God in our interactions with others, in experiencing delights, challenges and growth together.
The contributors to this issue share what this vision and this journey can look like. They celebrate the moments when we—as Presbyterian Women, as a denomination or as Christians—have improved lives, but also the times when we have faltered. Bruce Reyes-Chow reflects on how the first two Great Ends of the Church call us to mission. Sara Lisherness offers a glimpse at the evolu-tion of denominational mission, includ-ing insights about how past harmful mission practices are being redressed and how mission approaches are changing today. Then, with knowledge of “why” and “how,” you’ll find stories and photos that highlight how Presbyterian Women do mission, in partnership and with Purpose—including the list of projects funded by PW’s Thank Offering. You’ll see the ways that people of faith, particularly in times of struggle and despair like the last year, have continued to reach out to support health and wholeness for all.
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Justice, Equity and Mutuality: The Future of Ministry in the Global Context
Sara Pottschmidt Lisherness provides insights into Presbyterian mission engagement over nearly 200 years. She acknowledges the harm inflicted and celebrates the lives improved through mission efforts and looks forward to new ways that all people can work together to share God’s love.
Young Adult Volunteers: A Year of Service for a Lifetime of Change
Destini Hodges spotlights the Young Adult Volunteer program—an ecumenical, faith-based year of service. She describes how the hallmarks of flexibility and community have helped the program to continue despite Covid-19 and will keep this mission engagement year vital and meaningful in the future.
Zooming Into the Light
Jan Albert, Barbara Clark, JyungIn Lee, Chris Murphy, Sue Nispel and Betsy Ensign-George offer a look behind the scenes of a trial national, online Bible study. Read the feedback of the participants and consider if this model may work for your group!
2021 Thank Offering Recipients
2021 Thank Offering Dedication Service
Anna H. Bedford Bible Study Resource
Melva Lowry offers reflections and questions for use in studying Lessons One and Two of the 2021–2022 PW/Horizons Bible study, What My Grandmothers Taught Me: Learning from the Women in Matthew’s Genealogy of Jesus by Merryl Blair.
Cecilia Amorocho Hickerson
Unpacking the Theme: Scripture Study
Called to God’s Mission
A Network of Care
Amy Starr Redwine
Building Inclusive Community
Love God, Love Others
Micah Rose Emerson
Working for Justice and Peace
United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
After the Offering
Kits, Buckets and Boxes
Pages Worth Turning
Church Outside the Walls
Stories from the Ages
Hillary Moses Mohaupt
News and Information about Presbyterian Women and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Strengthening the PC(USA)
Go and Do Likewise
Jo Ann Burrell