Fourth Presbyterian Church supports mission outreach efforts in our city and our world.
World Mission | Urban Mission
Fourth Church has a sister relationship with the First Presbyterian Church of Havana, Cuba, which hosts a group from Fourth Church for an annual mission trip there. Groups have also traveled to Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Cameroon, and Northern Ireland for mission trips. In Guatemala, Common Hope and CEDEPCA have served as hosts. Please see below for more information on Cameroon and Northern Ireland.
Global mission is also supported through Fourth Church’s gift of $1 million towards the Joining Hearts and Hands campaign of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Joining Hearts and Hands is a denomination-wide effort, launched in 2002, in partnership with individuals, congregations, and presbyteries to raise $40 million for national church growth and the expansion of the PCUSA’s mission work abroad.
The $1 million gift to Joining Hearts and Hands was made from the church’s invested funds and contributed in the amount of $250,000 annually in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. During the first two years, the pledge supported mission coworkers in such countries as Ghana, Cuba, Colombia, and Haiti. During the latter two years, the gifts supported the South Sudan Education and Peace Initiative.
The World Mission and Social Justice Committee also allocates small grants to world mission projects each year. In 2018, Fourth Church financially supported the following programs:
Africa Circle of Hope (www.africacircleofhope.org)
Raises funds to provide aid and support to African women and children in Kenya impacted by AIDS and poverty, so that they can develop skills and resources to raise themselves out of poverty and improve their quality of life. Its founder, Patricia Kay Felkins, is a member of Fourth Church.
Chicago Fair Trade (chicagofairtrade.org)
Chicago Fair Trade (CFT) is the largest fair trade coalition in the USA, comprised of members of businesses, education institutions, congregations, non-profit organizations, and individual activists. CFT increases support for economic and environmental justice through consumer education, advocacy, and promotion of local fair trade businesses.
Christian Peacemaker Teams (www.cpt.org)
Christian Peacemaker Teams build partnerships to transform violence and oppression. They are committed to work and relationships that: honor and reflect the presence of faith and spirituality; strengthen grassroots initiatives; transform structures of domination and oppression; and embody creative non-violence.
Faith in Practice (www.faithinpractice.org)
Faith in Practice improves the physical, spiritual, and economic conditions of the poor in Guatemala through short-term surgical, medical, and dental mission trips and health-related educations programs. Former member of Fourth Church, Linda McCarty, is the President and CEO.
International Justice Mission (www.ijm.org)
Protects the poor from violence by rescuing victims, bringing the criminals to justice, restoring survivors to safety and strength, and helping local law enforcement build a safe future that lasts.
Light & Leadership Initiative (www.lightandleadership.org)
Light & Leadership Initiative (LLI) responds to the needs of the women in the Ate-Vitarte district of Lima, Peru by improving the availability and quality of education offered to women and children. Founded by Lara DeVries, whose parents are members of Fourth Church.
Living Waters for the World (www.livingwatersfortheworld.org)
Living Waters for the World (LWL) answers the call to provide clean water for God’s children across the world and fosters long-term, mutually beneficial relationships between volunteers and communities in need. This is a ministry of the Synod of the Living Waters, PC(USA).
Prevent AIDS Africa (preventaidsafrica.net)
Inspired by the vision of Dr. Francis Ntowe, a native of Cameroon and elder at Fourth Church, and Dr. Bernard Blaauw, also a member of FPC and formerly an HIV/AIDS specialist at Rush University Medical Center, this mission treats people affected by HIV/AIDS and helps prevent the spread of the disease in Africa through education.
Rabbis for Human Rights (rhr.org.il/eng)
Based in Isarael and Palestine, Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) gives expressing to the traditional Jewish responsibility for the safety and welfare of the stranger, the different and the weak, the convert, the widow, and the orphan. Among other actions, RHR has worked to legally prevent or reverse the takeover of Palestinian lands, ensure Palestinian farmers can safely work, and stop forced displacement of communities by freezing wide-spread demolition orders.
Water 1st International (water1st.org)
Equips communities with community-managed water and sanitation projects that are truly transformational. $15 million funds 2,051 projects in Honduras, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh, servicing over 172,000 people.
Helping Africans achieve a better quality of life
Fourth Presbyterian Church supports mission work in the West African nation of Cameroon, where average life expectancy is low and the infant mortality rate is high. Presbyterians are engaged in the efforts to tackle these problems. The Joining Hands against Hunger and RELUFA programs, for example, support grain banks to provide security to Cameroonian farmers. The Cameroon America AIDS Alliance (CAAA), founded by two members of Fourth Church, cares for those who are suffering from AIDS and educates people in ways to prevent disease and seek treatment.
Building peace, promoting reconciliation
Fourth Church supports the peace and reconciliation efforts of 174 Trust in Belfast. The 174 Trust has been facing down “the Troubles” through a vigorous community development process dedicated to demonstrating Christ’s values in action. Based in a former Presbyterian church and led by a Presbyterian pastor, Bill Shaw, the nondenominational organization has earned the respect of local Protestants and Catholics alike.
Information about mission trip opportunities through Fourth Presbyterian Church is available here.
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Both with volunteers and small funding grants, Fourth Church supports the outreach efforts of numerous organizations in Chicago. In 2018, the World Mission and Social Justice Committee allocated grants to organizations whose focus paralleled their own priorities for outreach and advocacy: antiviolence, poverty and hunger, and care for creation. The following organizations received small grants in 2018:
Poverty and Hunger
All Chicago Making Homelessness History (www.allchicago.org)
Unites our community and resources to provide solutions that ensure and sustain the stability of home.
Angelic Organics Learning Center (www.learngrowconnect.org)
Builds sustainable local food and farm system through experiential education and training programs in partnership with rural and urban people.
Arise Chicago (www.arisechicago.org)
Partners with immigrants and leaders from the religious, government, legal, labor, and academic communities to end workplace abuse.
The Boulevard of Chicago (www.blvd.org)
Provides high quality, cost-effective medical respite care, holistic support and housing services to help ill and injured homeless adults break the cycle of homelessness, restore their health and rebuild their lives.
C24/7: Father’s Arms Ministries (www.c247fam.org)
Improves the lives of children and young adults in the North of Howard neighborhood by providing them with the necessary tools, security, and environment for them to thrive economically, socially, and spiritually.
Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic (www.cgla.net)
A single arrest can result in a cascade of barriers for an individual—the loss of employment, the loss of housing, and the break-up of families. Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic (CGLA) works to prevent these consequences from happening and to remove the collateral damage of arrest and conviction
Prepares and inspires motivated individual to break the cycles of homelessness and poverty, transform their lives, strengthen our communities, and forge paths to real and lasting success. Through classes and exercises, students learn to look at the world around them with new eyes and unlock their infinite potential within.
Career Transitions Center of Chicago (www.ctcchicago.org)
Provides resources, training, coaches, and all around support through career transition. Founders include members of Fourth Church.
Community Health NFP (www.communityhealth.org)
Delivers comprehensive, high-quality, patient-centered health care at no cost to low-income, uninsured adults in need of a medical home.
Deborah’s Place (www.deborahsplace.org)
Provides housing and services that are vital for women on their journey out of homelessness to permanent housing, sustainable income, and greater self-sufficiency. Many Fourth Church members are involved.
Erie Family Health Center (www.eriefamilyhealth.org)
Serves nearly 69,000 patients at thirteen health centers throughout Chicago and the northern suburbs, each strategically located in an area lacking essential medical resources.
Gads Hill Center (www.gadshillcenter.org)
Since 1898, Gads Hill Center creates opportunities for children and their families to build a better life through education, access to resources and community engagement.
Greater Chicago Broadcast Ministries (www.gcbm.org)
Uses the medium of television and on-line video to reveal the mystery of God’s love manifested in all creation. Acts as an extension of our faith communities to embrace diversity, to heal, to offer a vision of hope, to serve the whole human family.
Holy Family Ministries (www.holyfamilyministries.org)
Provides opportunities for children and adults from Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods to excel academically, grow spiritually, expand life experiences, and become effective leaders.
Inspiration Corporation (www.inspirationcorp.org)
Helps people who are affected by homelessness and poverty to improve their lives and increase self-sufficiency thought the provision of social services, employment training and placement, and housing.
Lincoln Park Community Shelter (www.lpcsonline.org)
Brings communities together to empower men and women experiencing homelessness in making and sustaining life changes.
The Night Ministry (www.thenightministry.org)
Works to provide housing, health care, and human connection to people in Chicago struggling with poverty or homelessness.
North Side Housing & Supportive Services (www.northsidehousing.org)
Seeks to end homelessness in the lives of individuals by providing housing and comprehensive supportive services. Also strives to eradicate the conditions that cause, contribute to, and exacerbate homelessness.
Ravenswood Community Services (www.ravenswoodcommunityservices.org)
Provides resources to neighbors in need and creates opportunities for individual and community outreach in the Ravenswood and Uptown neighborhoods. Connects neighbors with the basics of food and supplies, health screenings and information, and life skills education so that they can achieve health, stability, and dignity.
Sarah’s Circle (www.sarahs-circle.org)
Serves as a refuge for women who are homeless or in need of a safe space. By providing life necessities, housing, case management, and clinical and social services, women are encouraged to empower themselves by rebuilding both emotionally and physically; realizing their unique potential.
Teen Living Programs (www.tlpchicago.org)
Focuses on 14-24 year olds who are experiencing homelessness. Offers comprehensive, year-round services to address everything from emergency needs and housing to education, job readiness, and embracing a healthy lifestyle. Services are available on Chicago’s south side, in neighborhoods of high poverty and violence and where critical supportive services are lacking.
Violence Prevention and Environmental Stewardship
Between Friends (www.betweenfriendschicago.org)
Provides a safe, violence-free, supportive, self-help environment for individuals and families in crisis. Counselors empower individuals to make their own decisions and choices and help victims and children to recognize that their experience is shared and that the problem of domestic violence is social and political.
Community Renewal Society (www.communityrenewalsociety.org)
Works with people and communities to address racism and poverty. Community Renewel Society (CRS) works to transform society towards greater justice and compassion by dismantling poverty and racism through congregational organizing, leadership development, policy analysis, and advocacy.
Court Appointed Special Advocates of Cook County (CASA)
Speaks up in court for abused and neglected children and ensures that children live in safe, permanent homes. CASA’s trained volunteers research cases and communicate with children to provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on this additional information to make the best decisions about children’s futures.
Erie Neighborhood House (www.eriehouse.org)
Empowers community—Latinx immigrants alongside individuals and families of all backgrounds—through education, access to critical services and advocacy, and working together to create a just and inclusive society.
Faith in Place (www.faithinplace.org)
Provides faith-inspired, climate resilient, and environmental justice programs and services to protect the Earth. Empowers Illinois people of all faiths to be leaders in caring for the Earth.
Free Write Arts & Literacy (www.faithinplace.org)
Engages incarcerated and court-involved youth and young adults in the performing, visual, and literary arts so that they become the narrators of their own stories and the authors of their futures. Supports youth as they develop educational and career opportunities that reduce recidivism while also contributing to the public discourse around issues of youth incarceration. Forner program of Chicago Lights.
Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (www.ichv.org)
Continues to grow and become an even stronger voice for gun violence prevention in Illinois and our nation, as well as increase the reach of our legislative advocacy and education programming.
Builds strong youth and families through compassionate healing, education, and empowerment with the vision that youth who have suffered trauma may become our future leaders.
For more information on mission partners at Fourth Presbyterian Church, contact Vicky Curtiss, Associate Pastor for Mission (312.981.3598).