Presbyterian Mission Agency catalogues service for commissioners

June 15, 2014

From Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to New Beginnings to Young Adult Volunteers and more, the Presbyterian Mission Agency outlined for commissioners to the 221st General Assembly (2014) the many ways it serves the needs of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

“Christ says that the church will get all it needs, and we tend to think of this in terms of money, budgets, buildings and programs,” Linda Valentine, PMA executive director, told commissioners. “But Jesus is saying that we are the resources. We are the church. We are the change. We have the Holy Spirit. The people are the body of Christ.”

To illustrate the ways the PMA touches the church and world, Valentine ran through a litany of programs – PDA, curriculum development, Youth Triennium, UKirk college ministries, international mission, New Beginnings small church pastoral residencies and more – and asked commissioners to stand if they had been involved in them.

By the time she was done, all the commissioners were on their feet.

“Look around, we are all Presbyterian Mission, and you are engaged with the Presbyterian Mission Agency,” Valentine said. “In these and dozens of other ways, we work to inspire, equip and connect the church for God’s mission.”

PMA Chair Matt Schramm, a pastor from Bay City, then lifted up the agency’s Young Adult Volunteers program, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary and has sent about 1,500 volunteers around the world as mission co-workers.

“From working with young adults in Northern Ireland, laying foundations for peace, to teaching sustainable food programs to inner-city families in Boston, to working with those affected by the typhoon disaster in the Philippines, each one of the YAVs has developed their faith while sharing their gifts in communities of need,” Schramm said.

“Last year, we had our most diverse group of YAVs,” he said. “And this year, we are sending our largest class of YAVs ever, more than 90 young adults are going out to serve in the U.S. and around the world.”

“This work, the YAV program, is not Louisville’s work,” he said. “It’s yours; it’s mine.”

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