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Toolkits on Christian-Muslim relations, HIV/AIDS and short-term mission trips available now
by Tammy Warren | Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian World Mission has several online toolkits to help individuals, congregations, mission committees and others engage in God’s mission in their communities and around the world.
LOUISVILLE — World Mission staff has created a variety of online resources to equip Presbyterians to prepare for, engage in and reflect on God’s mission.
“Through these toolkits, church leadership, Christian educators and mission committees will find resources to better understand, connect with and advocate for God’s people at home and around the world,” said Ellen Sherby, World Mission’s coordinator of Equipping for Mission Involvement.
Three mission toolkits — Christian Muslim Relations, HIV/AIDS and Short-Term Mission Trips — are currently available online and a Mission Committee Toolkit should be online sometime this fall. Each toolkit includes specific components to assist in learning, worshiping, connecting and taking action, as well as instructions on “How to use this toolkit.”
“In the Gospel of Matthew (Matt. 22:36-40), we are called by God to live out the great commandment to ‘love God’ and to ‘love your neighbor as yourself,’” Sherby said. “Presbyterians seek to live in fellowship with people of all faiths, striving for understanding and learning to work together to create positive change in our world.”
The Christian-Muslim Relations toolkit provides resources for PC(USA) congregations interested in better understanding, connecting with and engaging in advocacy on behalf of their Muslim neighbors. By learning how to better relate with their Muslim neighbors, toolkit users are equipped to engage in faithful, humble and respectful interfaith relations.
According to the World Health Organization’s most recent data from 2017, 36.9 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. Church leaders, including pastors, mission and outreach committees, sessions, youth group leaders and Christian education teachers will be able to use these resources to better understand HIV/AIDS, how they can support people who are infected by and affected by HIV/AIDS, and how they can act locally and internationally to help prevent the resurgence of infections.
Preparing for short-term mission trips for the mutual benefit of the people who go and the people who receive the group takes time and careful planning. Leaders of short-term mission experiences help congregants discern whether to go, where to go and how to prepare for the sharing of time and talents with mission partners from other cultures and realities in the U.S. and around the world. Through the trip participants learn from one another and from their hosts as they worship and serve God together.
“It is vital to approach a short-term mission trip with open hands and hearts, realizing that God is already present in the place you are going,” Sherby said. “This toolkit offers suggestions and practical tools to establish the groundwork for a meaningful and mutually beneficial mission trip experience.”
Fourth in the series is a Mission Committee Toolkit, which will be available this fall. Since the mission committee serves as the heart of its congregation, this toolkit will focus on evaluating current mission involvement and assisting the congregation to discern its missional focus moving forward. Allocating funds, choosing mission projects, beginning and sustaining partnerships — all this work, although life-giving, can be challenging. The Mission Committee Toolkit will include resources to help equip and strengthen mission committees for this important work.
If you’d like to join with other mission committee leaders in sharing experiences and resources during virtual mission committee roundtables this fall, contact Stephanie Caudill in World Mission’s Equipping for Mission Involvement Office, at 800-728-7228, ext. 5279, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All World Mission online resources, including mission toolkits, are available at pcusa.org/missionresources.