The Hands and Feet initiative builds upon the grassroots and community work congregations, mid councils, and the national office are already doing; and dovetails with the biennial General Assembly gathering. Mission and ministry projects at the site for the upcoming 224th General Assembly (2020) in Baltimore and previous General Assembly in St. Louis are inspiring examples what you can do in your own community. We encourage Presbyterians to engage in these projects; or to participate in or launch projects and ministries at home.
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 effect change in their own communities.
224th General Assembly Service Opportunities
During GA 224 and as a part of the OGA’s Hands and Feet initiative, The Center: Mission Outside the Box will offer hands-on service opportunities for GA-affiliated visitors, family members, youth groups, and friends. We will offer up to 4 service options, from 8:30-noon, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, June 22, 24, 25 and 26.
The Center’s model places visiting group volunteers with local congregations and community partners who are engaged in long-term, partnership-based ministry with their neighbors. This model depends on prioritizing the cultivation and nurturing of relationships across a complex web of people and institutions, often across lines of race, class, theology, and culture. As a result, our partners’ concrete needs sometimes fall between the cracks.
Volunteers wanting to serve in Baltimore while attending GA 224 will be placed with one of The Center’s partners to support their neighborhood ministry. For instance, a highly-used food pantry may need to be cleaned out and organized. A growing neighborhood after school program may need its room painted and cleaned. An urban church with runoff challenges may need help installing a rain garden to stem runoff from sidewalks and roofs. Service options will vary, but all options will arise from projects designed by our partners.
Per day, per person, no housing = $30
Per day, per person, housing = $50
More details and registration information will be available in late fall of 2019.
A mission experience week at AMEN St. Louis is jam packed with hands-on service projects, reflection, and education about the issues facing our community! On a week-long stay with us in St. Louis, you will have the opportunity to volunteer with local organizations that serve those in our community experiencing homelessness, crisis, poverty, and food insecurity. We’ll reflect on the deeper systems underlying these issues, and we’ll grow in faith formation as we learn together how to be an agent for change. And of course, you will have LOTS of fun! Tuesday nights at Great American Human Foosball and St. Louis attractions like the Zoo and the Arch make your trip an amazing experience. Your mission experience week is coordinated by AMEN St. Louis staff, so you don’t have to worry about setting up service sites or planning out your week. A typical week at AMEN St. Louis (.PDF) is structured so that you to have plenty of time for work, play, and rest. Check out all of our offerings at www.amenstlouis.org and come see us in St. Louis for your next mission trip!
You can contact Amen Saint Louis at 314-664-5525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about how you and your Mission Team can enjoy an Urban Mission experience in the Heart of America. https://amenstlouis.org/
Flood Recovery in Missouri with the The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army in St. Louis is hosting volunteers willing to help with cleanup and rebuilding in response to the winter floods of 2015. Download a promotional flyer here.
Volunteer Site Missouri
PDA is currently working to establish a long term recovery plan with a PDA host site. In the meantime, they are encouraging Presbyterians to support the Salvation Army efforts.
Missouri River Basin Flooding
PDA is responding to floods along the Missouri River Basin, including Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas.
STL Urban Missions – A Ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Ferguson
We provide a mission camp experience at a reasonable cost with non-traditional work projects which we plan for you such as: improving neighborhoods by helping clean eyesore properties, working/learning at an Organic Farm School in Ferguson and tutoring Ferguson area youth, Kindergarten through Middle School in a local Church facility. Our website has feedback from other groups about these work sites.
You’ll stay in our comfortable, air conditioned facility which includes a dedicated kitchen plus restrooms with 4 showers and a washer/dryer. Once you are settled in we will welcome you with a one hour presentation/discussion giving you an overview of the racial makeup of the St Louis area with an emphasis on how local and national legislation along with White Flight influenced the Ferguson area. We also cover a review of the Michael Brown killing timeline and discuss its impact on the community.
We are flexible in scheduling to allow time for sightseeing. We can also arrange a tour of a historic black neighborhood and/or a seminar on racial reconciliation. We realize that each group is unique and we want to maximize your work camp experience.
Tips for Becoming the Hands and Feet of Christ in Your Community
Don't Go Solo
Team up with others groups, organizations or ministries who are already assisting those in need. Remember, mission is not about reinventing the wheel — and many groups would welcome the extra hands.
Offer More Education
Tap into the many resources offered by the Presbyterian Mission Agency. There are resources for gun control, dismantling racism, fighting hunger. Go to: presbyterianmission.org/programs-services.
Get Out into the Community
Hold meetings in a local coffee shop, go on a prayer walk in the neighborhood and notice who is on the street.