What’s New at the Mission Commission- April 2015


Well, mission trips, for one. If you read about our mission trips in February’s Disciple, you know we’ve got a trip for everyone. And for those of us who aren’t physically going on a trip, we have ways to support the trips through prayer and sponsorship – more to come about that. And a special thanks to the “mission trip team” – Heidi Haring, Stephanie Hare and Margery Rossi who have volunteered to organize and lead these trips.

The Mission Commission is also leading a church-wide effort to becoming GreenFaith Certified church, which is an interfaith group of congregations that pledge to support the environment. By becoming GreenFaith Certified, we will also become an EarthCare Congregation in PC(USA).  We hope to be part of a cohort of congregations beginning the GreenFaith two-year certification process starting May 1, 2015. Right after Easter we’ll have a table at coffee hour with information about sponsorship of our mission trips and more about our GreenFaith initiative, and our “Green Team.”

And have you noticed a change in our coffee? We are proudly serving Dean’s Beans, the coffee that we’ve sold at our Alternative Giving fair. Dean’s Beans are organic, fair traded products. Here’s their mission from their website: “To use high quality specialty coffee as a vehicle for progressive change throughout the coffeelands of Asia, Africa and the Americas. We do this through activism, ecological responsibility and innovative direct development programs with our cooperative partners. “ Thanks Heidi Haring and Pat Prauda for making this happen.

Our Confirmation Class participated in a Midnight Run on March 6. Here are some of their reflections.

  • I thought the Midnight Run was a fascinating experience, and it went very well. Instead of just seeing statistics about the state of homeless people, you are able to learn about who they are and realize they aren’t what society makes them out to be. It’s a very personal experience and I would highly recommend it! ~Margaret
  • I really learned a lot on the Midnight Run. I learned just how many people are in need and how they live. I wondered how they survived this long and cold winter and after about the second stop I realized that it is because of the Midnight Run organization. It was a reality check for me, seeing those in need. If you don’t see people like that, then there is no way to know to help them. In addition to learning, I also had fun with my friends and had the opportunity to bond with the other members of our confirmation class! I am glad I went on the Midnight Run and had the opportunity to help others. ~Brielle
  • Traveling all around New York City at one o’clock in the morning, while it felt -15 degrees, wasn’t my ideal way to spend Friday night. In the past years, my family would donate hats, coats and pants and make lunches. It all seemed very noble and generous of us to do this stuff, but I never felt a real connection with the Midnight Run Program until last Friday. Participating in the Midnight Run really opened my eyes to the fact of how fortunate I am. That while I might be freezing that one night, I realized how many people are living out in the cold for the past harsh and cold winter. While handing out the clothes and food, the people were always very friendly and understanding, for example if we didn’t have what they were looking for, they would always say thank-you anyway. The Midnight Run was a great experience and really opened my eyes to how fortunate people are without realizing it. For example, while people are spending hundreds of dollars on their new iphone watch, they should spend twenty dollars on a good pair of jeans and a pair of gloves. ~Sarah

One of our confirmation class leaders sums it up:

What a generous church family we have, we asked and received tenfold! God is good, our congregation rocks! We are blessed! Thank you!  Our team of nine confirmation ninth graders and five adults met at the church to load the van and SUV and head to NY City to do the Midnight Run. Your generosity filled our vehicles with almost 200 meals (hearty and healthy and filled with love) and coats, sweatshirts, sweaters, long johns, toiletry kits, and hats/gloves! We had coffee, yummy soup and water bottles to offer the homeless people we met throughout the night. How wonderful that we had enough clothing to give our new friends choices! We definitely had the Holy Spirit by our side. Your support was a great gift! Thank you!

How proud we should all be of our caring, sensitive “Midnight Run team”! They were God’s voice and hands that cold night in the city! When you give you also receive…..and we did! ~Pam Darreff