THE PRESBYTERY OF SAN FERNANDO

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The Presbytery of San Fernando
and
San Gabriel Presbytery


From the desk of Wendy Gist,

the Mission Advocate for Hunger, Poverty, and Peacemaking Issues

 


Hunger Action This season

Itís summer!  Itís a time when Godís bountiful earth produces an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables.  This is something most of us look forward to and enjoy!  This abundance is also something we can share. 

A number of Presbyterian churches are addressing hunger in their communities with church gardens and by gleaning fruit from neighborsí trees.  They are donating the harvest to food pantries or soup kitchens - which often don't have fresh produce - as part of their local hunger ministry. Other churches are supporting local farmers by hosting Farmerís Markets or by becoming a drop-off point for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes.

Does your church have a vegetable garden or fruit trees on its property?  Do members of your church pick fruit for a local food pantry or soup kitchen?  Is your church a drop-off site for CSA boxes or does it host a Farmerís Market?  Are you interested in involving your church in any of these possibilities?  We want to know about it!

Our Presbytery and the Presbyterian Hunger Program are interested in finding out which churches support local produce growth and distribution and how they do so.  As the Mission Advocate, this is a very interesting topic for me as well.  So, I am asking you to click on any appropriate link below and answer a mere 10 questions (2 minutes of your time per survey), so we can find out what is being done at PC(USA) churches in our area.

The Presbytery will make results of the surveys available, so we can learn who is doing what and how we can coordinate our efforts to support each other and distribute local produce.  We hope to hear from you!

1. For those of you who attend churches that grow fruit and/or vegetables AND for those who are interested in this possibility, please click on the following link.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GN6HC5R

2. For those of you who attend churches that host a Farmerís Market or that are a drop-off site for Community Supported Agriculture boxes AND for those of you who are interested in this possibility, please click on the following link.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GP2GB3G

3. For those of you who attend churches that have members who have picked produce for local distribution or who have members who are willing and able to do so but have not had the opportunity as yet, please click on the following link.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BKYS95K

Thank you for your participation!


Itís time to prepare for:

2011 Peacemaking Offering

 

Received by most churches on World Communion Sunday, October 2, 2011

The theme for the 2011 Offering is ďA Harvest of Justice Is Sown in PeaceĒ (James 3:18).

 

Santa Cena by Josť Ignacio Fletes Cruz

The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and the Peacemaking Offering celebrated their thirtieth anniversary in 2010. The Offering was organized following the adoption by the General Assembly of Peacemaking: The Believersí Calling, which called for an emphasis on peacemaking across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This year as your church plans to receive this Offering, remember the peacemakers of years past ó in your congregation, presbytery, synod and the denomination as a whole. Make this year a time to renew your commitment to peacemaking as part of your calling as a follower of Christ, who not only taught us the ways of peace but is our peace.

Each congregation is encouraged to retain 25 percent of the Offering it receives to use for local ministries of peacemaking within the church and its community. Twenty-five percent is used by presbyteries and synods, and 50 percent is used by the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.

All churches should have received a Peacemaking Offering packet by now.  If you have not or do not know where your packet is or if you want more information please visit the website: http://gamc.pcusa.org/ministries/specialofferings/peacemaking-offering/


CROP Walks Ė Fall 2011

This Fall there will once again be the opportunity for many of us to participate in CROP Walks in our communities to raise awareness about hunger in our communities and around the globe and to raise funds to help end hunger.  CROP Walks are community-wide events sponsored by Church World Service and organized by local congregations.

CROP Hunger Walks help to provide food and water, as well as resources that empower people to meet their own needs. From seeds and tools, to wells and water systems, to technical training and micro-enterprise loans, the key is people working together to identify their own development priorities, their strengths and their needs.

CROP Walks this Fall are occurring in:

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Santa Clarita on September 5

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Antelope Valley (Lancaster) on October 1

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San Fernando Valley (Sherman Oaks) on November 6

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Pasadena on November 6

 To learn more about CROP Walks and to get involved visit:

http://www.churchworldservice.org/site/PageServer?pagename=crop_main


Follow-Up

Souper Bowl of Caring 2011

To date as reported by participating groups, the 2011 Souper Bowl of Caring has raised over 5.1 million dollars and collected over 4.3 million pounds of food for local food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and other ministries combating hunger across the United States.  A number of churches in San Gabriel Presbytery and the Presbytery of San Fernando participated by collecting non-perishable food items and cash donations on Super Bowl Sunday or another Sunday early this year.

I would like to acknowledge the participation and good work of those churches who participated in 2011 that I am aware of.  If your church participated, but is not listed, please let me know!

A round of applause for:

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Lancaster Presbyterian Church

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Westminster Presbyterian, Westlake Village

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Woodland Hills Presbyterian Church

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Westminster Presbyterian, Temple City

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First Presbyterian, Baldwin Park

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Community Presbyterian, West Covina

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Northminster Presbyterian, Diamond Bar

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Claremont Presbyterian Church

 Thank you for your work in combating hunger in your community!!!

 
ideas and Programs

Living Waters for the World

Living Waters for the World (LWW) trains and equips mission teams to share the gift of clean water with communities in need.

Living Waters for the World is the global mission resource of the Synod of Living Waters (Presbyterian Church USA).  Their mission is to serve as a resource to churches of all denominations, civic organizations and others in mission, enabling them to share clean water with their partners in needLWW water treatment systems and related educational programs fill a critical niche in the world water crisis - communities with available but contaminated water.

San Gabriel Presbytery has begun the process of building relationships in Peru with members of several Presbyterian churches and people in the communities that these churches serve in the towns of Ayacucho, Huanta, and Maynay.  We look forward to return trips during which we can continue to build and strengthen relationships, create Covenant documents to guide our work together, and train the local people to construct, maintain, and correctly use the water treatment system.

We would love you to join us and become part of the LWW team!  Training at Clean Water U should be occurring at Calvin Crest once or twice in 2011.  Call or email the Presbytery Office if you would like to attend training or get involved in another way.

For more information on LWW, please visit their website at: http://www.livingwatersfortheworld.org/index.php and/or contact me or one of the other SGP LWW team members.

 

hunger, poverty, and peacemaking calendar

 

Summer:      

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Participate in a work trip or study trip or a work-study trip.  For example, you can help rebuild the Gulf Coast or travel to another country to learn about the realities there.

 

Fall:

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Peacemaking Offering: promote it at your church and your funds will support peacemaking initiatives and peace education throughout the church

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CROP Walks: Participate and/or sponsor a walker

        Santa Clarita
        Antelope Valley (Lancaster)
        Pasadena
        San Fernando Valley

Winter:

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Christmas Joy Offering: promote it at your church and your funds will provide support to retired and active church workers and their families and to Presbyterian-related racial ethnic education through the National Ministries Division of the General Assembly Council.

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Souper Bowl of Caring: On Super Bowl Sunday youth groups collect nonperishable food donations for the local food pantry or soup kitchen or charity of their choice.  For more information go to: www.souperbowl.org.

 

Spring: 

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OGHS Offering: promote it at your church and your funds will support the work of the Presbyterian Hunger Program, Self-Development of People, and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

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Hold an Offering of Letters at your church.  For more information visit www.bread.org or call David Gist, CA Organizer for Bread for the World, at 626-568-3233.

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Pentecost Offering: promote it at your church and your funds will support children at risk, ministries for youth and young adults, young adult volunteers, and child advocacy ministries.

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CROP Walks: Participate and/or sponsor a walker

        East San Gabriel Valley
        Glendale
        Arcadia


Things you can do year round:

 

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Buy fair trade products

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Buy local and organic products at farmer's markets and in your grocery store

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Write or call your Congress persons regarding hunger, poverty, and peacemaking legislation

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Support PC(USA) special offerings

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Help serve a meal and/or volunteer at your local soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or food pantry

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Participate in PC(USA)'s Enough for Everyone campaign by buying sweatfree clothing, serving fair trade coffee at your home and church, practicing responsible stewardship of God's creation by becoming an Energy Steward Congregation, and/or investing church funds and/or personal funds with Oikocredit or another socially responsible investment fund.    For more information visit www.pcusa.org/enough.
 


How you can contact me:

 

Email me at MissionAdvocate@sfpresby.org

 

Phone me at the Presbytery of San Fernando office on Thursdays between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. or you can leave a message anytime.  The phone number is:

818-891-4781. 

 

Phone me at my home: 626-564-0678.  Feel free to leave a message if Iím not home.

 

I look forward to hearing from you or meeting with you to discuss your church's involvement in hunger, poverty, and peacemaking issues.  Together we can work to bring an end to hunger and poverty locally, nationally, and globally.  We can also look for and urge others to look for peaceful solutions to situations we face. 

 

I am available to meet with any group at your church with an interest in mission work, lead an adult education program, or take part in your worship service.  Just let me know where and how I can fit into your schedule. 

 

I look forward to connecting with you!