Mission Moment

World Food Day (October 16)

Today, 800 million people worldwide go to bed with an empty stomach. The majority of the world’s hungry people are subsistence farmers. These farmers struggle to cultivate plentiful harvests in the midst of a changing climate, which brings unpredictable and extreme weather events that devastate crops. The Canadian Foodgrains Bank’s Climate Fund is a way for Canadians to respond to families impacted by climate change. This year, donations to the Climate Fund will support PWS&D’s agro-ecological and food security project in Guatemala. The project has been transformative for Catalina, a farmer who received support to adapt to climate change, grow more vegetables and improve her family’s nutrition. “I am grateful that we can see another way to live a healthy life,” she says.

PWS&D helps small-scale farmers adapt to climate change

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving – Harvest festivals have been celebrated around the world for as long as people have been practising agriculture.  Thanksgiving, our own Canadian version of the annual harvest festival, is essentially an import from the United States, having been brought to British North America by Loyalists during and after the American Revolution.  Thanksgiving Day became an official annual observance in Canada in 1879, twelve years after Confederation, although the date and focus of the occasion varied over the next several decades.  From 1921 to 1930, Thanksgiving was celebrated on the same day as Armistice Day (commemorating the end of World War 1), on the Monday in the week of the 11th of November.  In 1931, the two observances were separated, Armistice Day being renamed Remembrance Day, and Thanksgiving typically (although not always) being celebrated on the second Monday of October.  Finally, in 1957, the date of Thanksgiving was fixed on the second Monday of October, and the purpose of the day was proclaimed by Parliament as being “a day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed”.

Mission Moment

October 1 – A journey toward reconciliation

Presbyterians Sharing helps congregations and individuals walk alongside Indigenous people on a journey toward reconciliation. In June, 33 Presbyterians from across Canada visited three of the PCC’s seven Indigenous ministries, worshipped at Mistawasis church and visited the sites where two residential schools were run by the PCC. The group listened to stories of anger and pain and offered apologies. They also witnessed some of the ways in which PCC ministries are transforming lives. At Birdtail Sioux First Nation, site of the Birtle residential school, Doug Hanska thanked the visitors with an honour song. He explains, “The stop they did in Birdtail, I know it may not mean much to a lot of people, but to some of us it means a lot,” he said. “We can forgive and move on, like our teachings tell us.”

Presbyterians Sharing supports the journey of healing and reconciliation

Presbyterians Sharing Sunday

September 24th is Presbyterians Sharing Sunday, so designated by the General Assembly of our church — a day to reflect on, celebrate, and pray for the various ministries and missions of our church funded by people’s givings to Presbyterians Sharing.  All congregations of our church contribute to Presbyterians Sharing.  It funds mission work in Canada and around the world, our three theological colleges, the annual meeting of the General Assembly, and the work of our national church staff at 50 Wynford Drive in Toronto.  For our service today, we are making use of a worship resource for this Sunday written by the Rev. Jeff Lackie, minister of a two-point charge in Nova Scotia.  The Theme Time was written by Heather Chappell, Stewardship and Planned Giving Coordinator at Church Offices in Toronto

FOCUS

FOCUS – The Canadian Foodgrains Bank grow project FOCUS (“Feed Other Countries, Undo Starvation”) is planning an in-field harvest celebration event.  It will take place in a soybean field located 5 km west of Elie on Highway 1.  If you are interested in seeing a 120-acre field of soybeans being harvested by up to ten combines, you should plan to be at this event!  You will have the opportunity to ride along in one of those huge harvesters as they clean up the field.  After that, you will be able to enjoy an old fashioned in-field harvest meal.  All of the proceeds from this field will be donated to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.  Current projections are that the harvest will take place in early October.  Keep an eye on the weekly announcements for more precise timing information.

Mission Moment

Making Presbyterian connections
Presbyterian Connections is a new newspaper designed to unite Presbyterians by sharing stories, reflections, interviews and articles from across Canada. By equipping leaders, connecting congregations and missions and facilitating communication, the paper will help strengthen denominational ties across the country. Presbyterians are encouraged to subscribe, and stay connected! After reading the first issue, one reader shared, “This publication is just what we need to keep connected across the country. I especially appreciated the very positive, hopeful and encouraging vibe of this issue. Thank you!”

Presbyterians Sharing helps connect Presbyterians across Canada.

Mission Moment

Mission Moment

September 8 is International Literacy Day

In Guatemala, the Francisco Coll School sits on a landfill site surrounded by shelters built by families trying to make ends meet by collecting trash. With the support of Presbyterian World Service & Development, Francisco Coll is providing vulnerable boys and girls with a proper education in a safe environment. Maria Herrera, a student at Francisco Coll, dreams of graduating from university and becoming an administrator. Her mother doesn’t have a reliable income, but with support from PWS&D, she can continue going to the school she loves. In a letter thanking PWS&D for its support she says, “I ask God that every day you have good health and blessings and that you continue to be able to help adolescents achieve their dreams and goals, like me.”

PWS&D supports education and literacy training