The year 2012 marks the 175th anniversary of Presbyterian World Mission. On Wednesday, July 4, at the commissioning ceremony for new mission workers at the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that anniversary will be recognized. The commissioning, open to the public, is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. during the plenary session at the David Lawrence Convention Center.

Presbyterian World Mission is also inviting attendees of GA and others who are not attending GA but would like to help celebrate 175 years of world mission to a Presbyterian World Mission Family Reunion Luncheon Thursday, July 5, 2012, noon–2 p.m. at the Convention Center, Room 302-305. Cost of $35 includes a simple meal. Those interested may purchase tickets in advance when they register online (choose the “tickets only” option).

It was originally mission-minded Western Pennsylvanians who persistently urged the denomination in the 1820s and ’30s to establish its own mission-sending organization until the idea was finally adopted at the GA in Philadelphia in 1837.

Over the years this Presbyterian mission agency has operated under a variety of names. When the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America merged with the United Presbyterian Church of North America (UPCNA) in 1958 to form the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (UPCUSA), their joint mission board was dubbed the Commission on Ecumenical Mission and Relations.  When the southern and northern branches of the Presbyterian Church united in 1983, their mission boards were combined five years later under the name Global Mission Ministry Unit. In 1993 this became the Worldwide Ministries Division, which eventually became simply Presbyterian World Mission.

World Mission will kick off its 175th anniversary at GA and continue to celebrate throughout 2012-2013.