Calvary Presbyterian Church has an active history of mission support. Calvary’s mission program can be traced back to the early efforts of Presbyterian World Mission 175 years ago in the Western Pennsylvania area. Those beginning efforts have transformed into a vibrant mission ministry with involvement in worldwide as well as local efforts. Calvary’s mission objectives are to:
- Provide congregational learning opportunities
- React quickly to world emergencies
- Offer local assistance
- Minister to those in need, whether near or far
- Interact through congregational and community fellowship
- Share with all “communities,” whether within the family, congregation, Indiana, Indiana County, or worldwide community
- Empathize with and provide for those in need.
1 John 4:21: “And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love his brother” (and sister). In pursuit of that pledge, during the year 2013 Calvary is undertaking major mission effort for our sister church Nyarubuye Mpushi Church in the Gitarama Region of Rwanda.
Over the years, Calvary has had close ties with our sister church Nyarubuye Mpushi Church and we have supported the water project, constructed a banner to be hung in their church, and sent dresses and shorts through Little Dresses for Africa. Now, we have learned that there are additional needs.
The Mission and Outreach Committee is excited about opportunities to provide further assistance to our sister church! The Committee, with Session’s approval, has pledged to support the agricultural needs of the congregation by supplying heifers for up to 36 member families (Project Phase 1), helping to fund the purchase of land and construction of a new church (Project Phase Two), and assisting with mission trip expenses for one Calvary member to travel to Rwanda (Project Phase Three). This is a very ambitious project, and will continue over the next year (February 1, 2013, through January 31, 2014). This project will be coordinated through the Kiskiminetas Presbytery.
This project will be funded partially through the mission budget, congregational pledges of support and through these and other activities:
- Sponsor Calvary Days at Hoss’s Restaurant on the third Thursday of February, March, April and May.
- Serve a Mission Lunch on Sunday, April 14, 2013.
- Sponsor a Strawberry Festival after church on June 23, 2013.
- Interweave the Rwanda mission project into Vacation Bible School in June.
- Provide opportunities for giving, utilizing special Rwanda envelopes in the pews for the duration of the project.
- Designate the loose offering for Mission: Rwanda for the third Sunday of each month in 2013.
So that everyone will know where the project stands financially throughout the next year, a special Mission: Rwanda banner displayed in the Chalice Room graphically depicts our progress. Watch as the number of heifers increases in the pasture during Phase One; then, a church will appear representing Phase Two; lastly, a missionary will arrive on the scene, representing Phase Three.
While we have designated Mission: Rwanda as our 2013 priority, the Calvary Mission and Outreach Committee continues to support local needs and traditional giving projects through its mission budget and through congregational volunteerism. 2013 should prove to be a highly gratifying giving year for all of us as we seek to follow the commandment of a loving God to love our brothers and sisters.
Calvary has supported Haiti Clean-up (post earthquake), Family Promise of Indiana County (hosting partnership with Graystone Presbyterian Church), Habitat for Humanity, Little Dresses for Africa, National Presbyterian Missions, Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, CareNet, Back to School Bash, Indiana County Church Crisis Committee, Visiting Nurses Association (VNA), Crop Hunger Walk, Presbyterian Camps, Presbyterian Disaster Relief, Torrance State Hospital, Indiana County Community Action Program (ICCAP), and partial funding for individual short-term missionary trips, and assistance to congregation members and community individuals in need. The Committee encourages suggestions from the congregation regarding potential projects.
Through the years the Mission and Outreach Committee, in cooperation with the Salvation Army, Calvary adopted three Indiana County families for the Christmas Season. The congregation generously providing gifts for the parents and children as well as gift cards for their Christmas dinner. In addition, a donation was forwarded to the Salvation Army to support other individuals and families with needs during and following the Advent Season. In 2012, funds were also donated for employees and families of the tragic Creps Publications fire. Some congregation members also independently volunteer to help with registration for Treasures for Children and preparation and serving of the annual free community Thanksgiving Dinner.
The 2012 Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty (CROP) Hunger Walk was a record-breaking year for Indiana County organizers. Calvary partnered with several other Indiana County churches to sponsor this event and $12,000 was raised as a result of the event to fight world hunger with $3,000 retained locally for the Indiana County Community Action Program (ICCAP). Calvary joined Trinity United Methodist Church, Graystone Presbyterian Church, Christ Episcopal Church, Grace United Methodist Church and First Christian Church in coordinating this important event that raises awareness and funding for international relief and development, as well as local hunger-fighting agencies.
Souper Bowl Sunday on February 3, 2013, netted nearly $400 in cash donations which were sent to Indiana County Community Action Program, Inc. (ICCAP). This donation will be used by ICCAP to help replenish the food pantry shelves.
Focusing on housing needs, Calvary supports the local Indiana County Habitat for Humanity Chapter by helping to sponsor the Habitat Triathlon which takes place at Yellow Creek State Park. Those who wish to volunteer as a Habitat worker may contact Habitat for Humanity directly or call the Calvary office. The current project is to build a home in Blairsville for an Indiana County family.
Through Little Dresses for Africa, a continuing project, Calvary has produced over 300 dresses and 70 pairs of little britches These garments were sent to the Gitarama Region of Rwanda, as well as other parts of Africa by the national organization for Little Dresses for Africa.
The Back to School Bash, Indiana County’s school supply drive for school-age children of low income families, transforms the Church Street area into a carnival of games, information, free haircuts, back packs stuffed with school supplies, new and gently used clothing, gift cards, door prizes and lots of food – all free of charge to qualifying children of school age. Calvary’s congregation plays a huge part in this event, providing donations of school supplies, used clothing, underwear and socks, refreshments and cash. In addition, the church property is utilized and volunteers contribute by coordinating and helping to staff various components of the event. Calvary appreciates the opportunity to unite behind Indiana County school-age children so that they can look forward to the new school year with excitement and enthusiasm. The 2013 Back to School Bash is August 17.
Another Indiana County effort, the Church Crisis Committee (CCC), works with ICCAP to help lower income families with heat and water needs. Calvary participates as a member of the CCC Steering Committee and also schedules fundraisers to help keep this fund at a level that can help to alleviate fuel and heating emergencies.
Calvary and Graystone Presbyterian Churches have formed a partnership to serve as host churches for Family Promise of Indiana County. The focus of this ministry is to provide temporary housing for area homeless families. This is managed by a network of churches that provide space periodically for housing with church volunteers preparing meals, conducting fellowship activities and serving as sleepover hosts. Calvary’s congregation hosted (with Graystone’s assistance) January 13 – 20, 2013 and will host again October 20 – 27, 2013. Graystone will host (with Calvary’s assistance) August 4 – 18, 2013.
For more information about the Mission and Outreach Program at Calvary Presbyterian Church, please contact Mark Phoebus, Chairman, or Becky Becker, Director of Community Outreach and Mission.
The Prayers & Squares Prayer Quilt Ministry at Calvary Presbyterian Church makes prayer quilts, prayer squares and military prayer squares for those in need of prayer. If you know of someone who is in special need of the healing power of prayer; whether member or non-member, child or adult, ill, facing surgery, or in a difficult life situation, you may request a prayer quilt for that person. The process is: Ask the person’s permission. The person must agree to accept the gift of prayer in the form of a quilt. Make sure the person knows it is a gift of love. Call Marcia Buriok (724-463-3291) with the request. *Prayer squares (a 4 inch square with 5 prayer knots) are available for mailing or to give to a friend.
We meet every Tuesday from 11 am–1 pm (on a come and go basis) on the second floor next to the nursery. We can always use help ironing, pinning, sewing, cutting, organizing the fabric, and pulling the yarn through the quilts. Anyone is welcome. There are many jobs with a tremendous amount of reward! We can always use donations of 100% cotton fabric and money to purchase supplies! Anyone who wishes to do so, contact the church office.
Please pray for the Prayer Quilt Ministry. “It’s not about the quilts, it’s about the prayers.”