Plans with the Presbytery of Baltimore, host presbytery of the 224th General Assembly (2020), are well underway. Earlier this summer their mission outreach organization, The Center, announced the hiring of Melva Lowry and Olivia Thomas, who will serve from September 2018 through August 2019 as our very first set of Hands and Feet Fellows. They will help coordinate the activities of visiting groups, working with them in the community as well as leading them in Bible study and theological reflection.
Hands and Feet Celebration
On the evening of Thursday, June 21, the 223rd General Assembly (2018) took a break from the business for a concert by jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum and to celebrate the ministry and mission the Hands and Feet initiative seeks to lift up. The Reverend J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, spoke of the intentions of this work. “We don’t want the Presbyterians to be simply another convention that comes to town, meets and spends some money, and then leaves without engaging the people and communities there in a sustained effort to support our Presbyterian brothers and sisters in making an impact.” The Stated Clerk was followed by leaders from the Presbyteries of Giddings-Lovejoy and Baltimore who lifted up the work that’s been done over the last two years in St. Louis and some of the opportunities available in Baltimore. Proceeds from the concert’s ticket sales, per capita dollars, and other special gifts will help fund Hands and Feet efforts in Baltimore, the site of the 224th General Assembly (2020). Please consider making a contribution today. Give Now
The Center—Mission Outside the Box
The Center offers a different kind of mission experience. Through our model of pairing visiting church groups with local congregations, your group will be led by local leaders to join ongoing ministry in the Baltimore area. Visiting groups are immersed in hands-on experiences with our partners. Groups also spend time with The Center staff, reflecting on shared experiences through the lenses of Christian faith and social change.
Our goal is to send participants home with a renewed sense of call, energized to affect change in their own communities.
We encourage you to start planning a trip for you and your group right away. The Center has a wonderful website that outlines their program, space, and an online calendar that shows availability. During the summer, they offer only weeklong trips (Saturday–Saturday). During the school year, their programs can be more flexible: they host groups for a day, one night, a weekend, or a weeklong trip.
For more information please visit https://www.thecenterbaltimore.org/.
Traveling to Baltimore is not the only way to participate. We encourage you to read the stories coming out of the work being done on the ground and look for similar opportunities in your own communities. Send us stories along with photos of how your community of faith is living out being the Hands and Feet of Christ so that we can share these with the church. Please keep the mission and ministry of the whole church in your thoughts and prayers.
Office of the General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)