Category Archives: Mission

Leading the Way: Education, Culture and Community Outreach in Bethlehem Palestine

rana_khouryRana Khoury, Vice President of DAK University College/Diyar, shares the challenges and history of the work in Bethlehem. In its 21st year, it is the third largest private employer, touching the lives of 60,000 in the Bethlehem Region, which is under Israeli occupation.

The conversation will include:

  • Civic Engagement – a program for young adults
  • Publishing
  • Awards
  • Building
  • Womens’ Soccer in Palestine
  • Dar al-Kalima (DAK) University College/Diyar
  • Life Long Learning
  • Artistic Expressions

The Partnership the Presbytery of Ohio Valley shares with this work in Bethlehem includes education. Rana is here as part of that partnership. Find a location and come. Hope is what they do in Bethlehem.

Saturday, March 12, 3:00-4:00, Womens’ Retreat, Henryville
Saturday, March 12, 5:00 pm, Jeffersonville First, Saturday Worship
Sunday, March 13, 11:00-noon, First Presbyterian Columbus, 512 Seventh St.
Sunday, March 13, 3:30-5:00 pm, Corydon Presbyterian Church
Monday, March 14, 2:00-4:00 pm, Franklin College Classes
Monday, March 14, 6:30-8:00 pm, Bartholomew Library Red Room, Columbus
Tuesday, March 15, 3:00-5:00 pm, Hanover College, 137 Science Center, Hanover

Information: email Jo Lucas or call 812-342-4850.

Mission Opportunity at Dale Presbyterian Church

It is said that one of the most powerful experiences a Christian can have is to go on a mission trip, experience a different culture and work among the poor.

We at Dale Presbyterian Church invite your church to consider a Mission Trip to Dale, Indiana to work with our Summer Community Adventure Program.

Summer Community Adventure is a free program for children in the North Spencer area who are living in poverty or below poverty.  The children are invited through the local school at the end of the school year.  Usually 40-60 children, K-6th grade, attend.  About 75% are Latino/Hispanic ESL (English as Second Language) students.  All funding for this program comes from donors and foundations.

This program provides experiences–educational, religious, social, physical–for these children.  The children meet at the Micah Center of Dale Presbyterian Church every Thursday in June from 12:00-3:30 where, besides having a wonderful program, are fed a meal and given a bag of non-perishable food to tide them through the week.

This year, we are excited to not only offer the afternoon program on Thursdays, but will be partnering with PYOCA to have an entire week of Summer Day Camp (9:00-3:30) for our students!

Our theme for the summer is POWERED BY LOVE.  Our students will be memorizing 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7.  Here is our schedule for this summer:

June 2:  Orientation/2 hour Sexual Misconduct workshop for volunteers

June 9:  Brain Powered by Love:  Math skill taught through fun and games taught and led by Dr. Janet Tassel from Western Kentucky University and her education students

June 13-17: Faith Powered by Love: Summer Day Camp with the PYOCA counselors  ALL-IN-ONE FEARLESS FAITH

June 23:  Friendship Powered by Love: Boom Squad, an African-American Drum Team from Evansville, Indiana, share music, faith, self-discipline and teamwork

June 30: Creative Expression Powered by Love: Art and Movement featuring instruction from artists Corie Eckerle and Rosemary Chamberlain and physical education instructors from the school.

Why your church might want to consider a day or the week experience:

  • Dale Presbyterian Church is within driving distance from every church in our presbytery
  • This is a less expensive opportunity for people wanting a “missional” experience
  • This is a cross cultural experience
  • This gives an opportunity to put Christ’s love in action and share the good news of Jesus Christ with children
  • This is an opportunity for anyone 16 to 150!  Our building is fully accessible and the level of “work” can be tailored to any individual
  • This work will change your life!

What Dale Presbyterian provides for you

  • free lunch with Summer Community Adventure and supper at Community Table
  • instruction and orientation
  • housing/lodging can be a possibility
  • prayer
  • a great experience!
  • there is no cost to you or your team

We invite and would welcome your participation.  Please contact Rev. Dr. Martha FrizLanger if you are interested or need more information by email or calling 812.937.2560.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance responds to Southeast coastal flooding

From the Presbyterian Mission Agency:

On either side of the river is the tree of life . . . and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Rev. 22:2)

The Southeast coast is experiencing severe and unprecedented flooding. At its height, more than 400 roads, 150 bridges and two major interstates (I-20 and I-95) were closed, isolating the communities that were most in need of comfort and assistance. South Carolina has borne the brunt of the devastation, enduring what has been described as a 1,000-year flood, and for some, more is still to come.

While South Carolina is the area most recently experiencing severe flooding, other parts of the country, including Texas, are still struggling to recover from massive floods that impacted multiple counties and left numerous Presbyterian churches damaged. As the rains finally subside in South Carolina and essential aid begins to arrive, we pray for a community of healing and hope for all those in the midst of this adversity.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is walking alongside impacted mid councils to bring God’s hope and healing to all affected by flooding. Gifts from One Great Hour of Sharing are helping Presbyterian congregations as they reach out to their affected communities to provide emergency provisions like water, food and other supplies to neighbors in need. Members of the PDA National Response Team have been helping with assessments, connecting with long-term recovery groups and serving as a present witness of the larger church during this difficult time.

You can join in the response and encourage those in need by standing in the “GAP”—Give. Act. Pray.

Financial support for relief efforts can be designated to DR000191 to help address the needs of those impacted by the flooding. Gifts can be made online, by phone at 800-872-3283 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. (EST), or by check; mail to:

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700


Pray for families impacted by flooding through loss of property and livelihood; for first responders and all others who put themselves in harm’s way to care for those impacted; that communities will work together and build stronger relationships and connections; for God’s sustaining grace through it all.

For more information, visit

Presbyterian Mission Agency, an agency of the Presbyterian Church
100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202
800-728-7228 | 502-569-5000
Website | Email

Bloomington Fringe

Bloomington Fringe is a loose collective of clergy, churches and campus ministries seeking to collaborate on worship and work in the community.

In the Neighborhood: Building Coalition and Finding Your Cause
Saturday, February 28 @ First Presbyterian – Bloomington
10 am – 330 PM

We are gathering to revision Church and how to be church in the public square, how to do church collaboratively as those rooted (in our traditions) and unrooted (in ecumenical efforts). Our posture is global and local because we believe they are intertwined – What we do here in Bloomington is connected to what is happening in Ferguson, Paris, Nigeria, because we are bringing the kingdom of peace to bear in this place in the here and now.

We’ve invited two creative and dynamic pastors two speak from their context, but the experience will be participant driven and focus on conversations with local service agencies.

Please join us! It is free and open to all clergy and churches.

Sometimes the most powerful work is not done in the center but from the fringes and margins.

For more information please contact or check out

CTS Alum Develops App to Assist Those in Need

San Diego, CA – Sojourners recently sought the 50 “Greatest Social Justice Leaders We’ve Never Heard Of” to participate in “The Summit” at Georgetown University. Those leaders included Columbia Theological Seminary graduate Dr. Bill Jenkins (D.Min. ’85).

Founded in 1970 by Jim Wallis, Sojourners is the Washington DC community of leaders who care about changing the world through faith and justice. The Summit was their inaugural gathering of leaders from across the globe on issues affecting poverty, immigration, racial justice, women and girls rights, and the environment.

Jenkins, 66, who grew up in rural Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement, seemed unlikely to become either an urban minister or social justice advocate. But the United Methodist minister is setting a new model for how struggling urban churches may transition into new life and mission as urban ministry centers. He is also developing a revolutionary way churches, charities and social agencies can work together to meet the needs of the hungry, homeless, helpless and hurting.

From Church to Urban Ministry Center

In 1999, Bill Jenkins became pastor of Christ United Methodist Church (UMC) in the heart of San Diego. “Like many urban churches, each year we became a bit smaller, grayer, and had less money in the offering plate,” he said. In 2006, with church closure inevitable, he challenged the remaining congregation to transition from a traditional church into an “urban ministry center”. It took a bit of convincing, but with the approval of his Bishop, Christ UMC closed in 2011. Jenkins retired from the pulpit. Immediately, with no clear blueprint, he set out to create Christ Ministry Center.

Today, Christ Ministry Center touches the lives of over 1,000 individuals each week. A dozen ecumenical, multi-ethnic congregations share worship space in the large building. In addition, a dozen charities and ministries focused on serving the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, prisoners and immigrants (Matthew 25:35) call Christ Ministry Center home. That includes a grocery distribution, women’s prison ministry, satellite wellness clinic, outreach to battered women, orphans, and a safe haven for refugees who have at times even lived in the former church building.

Jenkins stated, “Two Methodist Bishops expressed Christ Ministry Center could serve as a model for how dying inner-city churches may find renewal in urban ministry. But it has to be more than just keeping the doors open. It must involve following Christ’s example and getting your hands dirty in meeting the spiritual and physical needs of the poor.”

The Fount of Blessings

Jenkins soon learned the biggest problem in urban ministry is matching those in need with the resources provided by churches and charities. He discovered an abundance of supplies and services being offered for the poor. But finding and sharing information about those resources was almost non-existent. “Two churches just blocks apart were unaware of what each other are doing to help those in need,” Jenkins said. “That leads to inefficiency, ineffectiveness, duplication of efforts, and failed opportunities in achieving our mission in helping the helpless.”

That is when he got a vision of creating a free website that allows both those providing help and those seeking help to find the basics they are looking for. Calling upon his tri-vocational experience as a technology manager, graduate school professor and ordained minister, Jenkins created The Fount of Blessings ( It is a central directory of hundreds of resources available in San Diego from churches, charities and social agencies to assist the poor.

Using metaphors from the 1757 A.D. hymn, “Come Thou Fount”, Jenkins explained “‘Founts’ are churches, charities or social agencies providing services, and ‘Streams of Mercy, never ceasing’ are the services each Fount provides, such as food, clothing and shelter. Even a small church may use The Fount to become a ‘virtual ministry center’ connecting those in need with these resources nearby.”

A short video at explains how The Fount of Blessings works.

“The Fount has the potential to revolutionize the way organizations can more easily and effectively work together to direct those in need to almost any resource available in their area,” Jenkins explained.

Going Nationwide

The free, ecumenical, non-profit website ( is meeting wide approval among clergy, social workers, non-profit managers, and government leaders in San Diego.

As the pilot project in San Diego nears completion, Jenkins plans to take The Fount nationwide as a smartphone app called AbundantHELP. He envisions the day when ministers, social workers and those seeking help will be able to find the closest food, clothing, shelter or two dozen other services nearest them with the click of a finger. “If it works in San Diego, it will work in New York, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles and all points between,” he added.

Jenkins concluded, “In 1984 I wrote my doctoral dissertation at Columbia Theological Seminary on the use of technology in the church. Technology has changed dramatically since then. But my thesis that churches should embrace technology remains more true today than when I wrote it. As I enter the final chapter of my ministry, it gives me great joy to combine technology and theology in providing a way for us all to do a better job in helping those in need.”

To learn more or to schedule an interview, please contact

The Rev. Dr. Bill Jenkins, Director
Christ United Methodist Ministry Center
3295 Meade Avenue
San Diego CA 92116
(619) 723-1371 mobile

2014 Trip to Bethlehem

Travel to Bethlehem and stay at the Guesthouse of the International Center of Bethlehem October 21 – 30, 2014

Trip Itinerary:

  • Tue Oct 21: Depart USA Overnight flight to Tel Aviv.
  • Wed Oct 22: (TelAviv/Bethlehem) Upon arrival in Tel Aviv, meet your guide and transfer to Lutheran Guesthouse at the International Center of Bethlehem (ICB)All overnights will be at the Guesthouse.(meals in flight,D)
  • Thur Oct 23: (Bethlehem) Visit Dar al-Kalima Academy and Health and Wellness Center, an outgrowth of ICB, for the health and development of Bethlehem-area people, Christians and Muslims alike. Visit Deheishe Refugee Camp and Shepherds? Field. (B,D)
  • Fri Oct 24: (Jerusalem/ Bethlehem) Green Oive Tours will take you to a settlement and the Separation Wall, helping in understanding the impact of this action. Savor the Mt. of Olives, the Garden of Gesemane, the church of all Nations. Dinner and overnight in Bethlehem.(B,D)
  • Sat Oct 25: (Galilee/ Bethlehem) Travel to Galilee and enjoy a boatride on the Sea of Galilee. Visit the ancient Synagogue and St. Peter?s house at Capernaum. Stop at the Jordan River enroute back to Bethlehem.(B,D)
  • Sun Oct 26: (Bethlehem) Start the day with worship (in Arabic) at Christmas Lutheran Church, and join Rev.Dr. Mitri Raheb and the congregation for fellowship following the service. Walking tour of Bethlehem and Church of the Nativity, built over the cave-stable where tradition says Jesus was born. (B,D)
  • Mon Oct 27: (Jerusalem/Bethlehem) Tour the Old City, starting at the Western Wall; followed by the Temple Mount and the Golden Dome of the Rock. Walk the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Visit the Garden Tomb. Enjoy free time. Return to Bethlehem (B,D)
  • Tues Oct 28: (Bethlehem) A volunteer work project at Dar al Kalima Academy or College. (B,D)
  • Wed Oct 29: (Bethlehem) The day is for your leisure in exploring Bethlehem and the work of the International Center of Bethlehem. No guide or motorcoach today. Farewell dinner at the Guesthouse B,D)
  • Thur Oct 30: Return to USA Early morning transfer for flight to USA. (B,Meals in-flight)

code: B-breakfast D-dinner

  1. Travel dates October 21-30, 2014
  2. Trip cost includes airfare from Indianapolis (other cities available), luggage handling, housing, meals, transfers, guides $3499.00
  3. The Partnership of the Presbytery of Ohio Valley (POV) and the International Center of Bethlehem (ICB) includes travel opportunities.
  4. Local Host: Brad Napier, Pastor at or 812-528-0977 Full Brochure available from
  5. Trip arrangements are with Group Travel Directors- Kate Peer
  6. Sign up today Group G#141006 800-747-2255 e-mail:

The Presbytery of Ohio Valley(POV) Partnership with the International Center of Bethlehem (ICB) has been a work of the POV since August 2006. The Partnership provides scholarship dollars for students, funds for Dar al-Kalima College, used hearing aids to serve the 3000 audiology patients seen annually at the ICB Health and Wellness Center, travel and education, daily prayer and support for the Churches for Middle East Peace. The ICB is committed to education, health care,intercultural dialog and promoting the building of civil
society. The work is directed by Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb.

Individuals, 12 congregations two foundations and the Presbytery have given dollars and have sent 10 shipments of used hearing aids for the ICB Health and Wellness Center. The POV has hosted three staff members of the ICB and made 92 formal presentations. Travel to Bethlehem and see this partnership at work. The place where Jesus was born blesses the world today.

This partnership is a work of Peacemaking. The ICB is an Extra Commitment Opportunity (ECO) of the Presbyterian Church USA. What a gift, when we hear news of Israel/Palestine, to know the good work being done and that we are part of that work. As Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb says, “We are not called to be spectators, but actors in shaping a new identity that
includes all peoples in this land and in God’s lands.”

Bright Stars of Bethlehem Presentation in Columbus, IN

Rev. Scott Hill and Beth Nelson Chase

Rev. Scott Hill and Beth Nelson Chase talk.

On Sunday, July 14th, Beth Nelson Chase, VP of Bright Stars of Bethlehem, brought greetings and thanks from the Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, to First Presbyterian Church, Columbus, Indiana. The Presbytery of Ohio Valley has a Partnership with the International Center of Bethlehem.  Beth reports that this Partnership, which is now seven years old, is a model for other denominations, and she expressed gratitude for all that the Partnership means in Bethlehem.

Beth reports that the Presbyterian Church (USA) Foundation recently announced investments in the work the POV has been partnered with for these seven years. The Foundation has researched work being done in Palestine, and have agreed to oversite of investments of the work under the direction of Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb. This is an opportunity to work with the people of Bethlehem, who are touching the lives of 60,000 a year in the city and surrounding villages with the services for elders, young families, children, young adults, students and in health and wellness.

In addition, Beth reports that the Dar al-Kalima College is now accredited as a four-year institution of higher education. This accreditation opens possibilities for exchange and the sharing of resources with institutions around the globe. The Dean of the college, Dr. Nuha Khoury declares, “This is a work of life for young people in Palestine.”

The morning event included a Brunch such as is served at the Guesthouse in Bethlehem.  The tables were full of flowers and photos taken by the people from the Presbytery of Ohio Valley who have traveled to Bethlehem as part of the Partnership work.