Mission Trips

Mission trips enable us, as representatives of Fourth Presbyterian Church, to live with and learn from our brothers and sisters from around the world, from Central America to Chicago’s South Side. We share their struggles with hunger and violence. We do what we can to help, but mostly we show that we care.

We also discover that when we break away from our routines, we see new connections and make lasting friendships with each other.

If you are unable to travel, you can still participate in global mission by attending special programs featuring our partners from around the world. Events are announced in the News@FourthChurch e-newsletter (request a subscription via news@fourthchurch.org) and the Sunday bulletin insert “News and Opportunities.”

Occasionally calls go out for items needed by our hosts, such as medications and church school supplies, which our travelers can take with them. We invite you to consider supporting this aspect of global mission.

The material things, though, are secondary. Invariably our hosts make one request we all can honor: “Pray for us.”

Mission Trips | Mission Team Expectations | Application Forms
| Read about the 2012 Urban Plunge trip

Mission Trips

Arizona | Cuba

Immigrants and the United States
July 22–29, 2017

This mission study trip will be hosted by BorderLinks, in Tucson, Arizona. BorderLinks educates people—through a variety of experiences—about borders, immigration, and social justice along the Mexican-Arizonan border as well as the ways people of faith are responding.

Participants will have opportunity to

  • witness the desert where people cross the border
  • learn about key border and immigration policies and history
  • hear stories of migrants, refugees, and social justice activists
  • explore the gospel imperative to work for justice for immigrants and refugees
  • visit community organizations, economic development organizations, churches, and business cooperatives that support immigrants and refugees
  • reflect on the challenges and opportunities that exist around immigration and our own context
  • rest during a final recreational day exploring Tucson

Modest accommodations will be provided at the Borderlinks site.

Trip leader 
Abbi Heimach-Snipes, Pastoral Resident

Age range
18 years and older

$2,200, including air fare (Some group fundraising assistance will be available)

Applications due
March 26, 2017 (with $1,100 deposit)
Your passport must be valid for six months after the trip dates.

For more information about this trip or to sign up, please contact Abbi.

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Havana, Cuba
March 25–April 1, 2017

Fourth Presbyterian Church has had a sister relationship with First Presbyterian Church of Havana for more than sixteen years. This trip provides opportunity to continue to nurture this relationship and learn about the changing realities of Cuba.

Participants will

  • become familiar with the historical, political, economic, and cultural context for Christian witness in Cuba
  • be inspired by the resiliency of a church thriving amid scarcity and learn about particular ministries of First Church in Havana
  • share in a midweek worship service in a parishioner’s backyard, singing Latin American hymns and songs

Sights to see may include the Ernest Hemingway Museum, a cigar factory, the United States embassy, an art museum, and the beach. Overnight accommodations will be in the church dorm or in a modest hotel near the church.

Trip leaders 
Judy Watt, Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care
Shelley Donaldson, Senior High Youth Coordinator

Nature of the trip
Building relationships; cross-cultural learning; supporting ministry of mission partner

Age range
Twelve years and up; those under eighteen must be accompanied by an adult

$2,400 per person; includes airfare
(Some scholarships may be available)
To register, please use the online registration form at www.bit.ly/HavanaCuba2017

For more information about this and other mission trip opportunities, contact Vicky Curtiss at 312.981.3598.

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Mission Team Expectations

God calls us to receive and share the love of Jesus Christ, a love that crosses all cultural, geographic, economic, and generational boundaries. Mission trips provide opportunities for serving, learning, advocacy, peacemaking, spiritual inspiration, and building relationships and cross-cultural awareness.

As we interact with brothers and sisters from around the world, we honor their dignity and show respect through mutuality, learning and receiving from them while giving support in solidarity. It is essential for us to follow their lead and wisdom on addressing the quality of life and witness of faith in their context.
Mission trip participants are asked to bring an open and humble mind of a beginner. 

  • Reflective worship is an important part of every trip.  
  • Mission trips start well before the date of departure and extend beyond our return home. All participants are expected to participate in orientations, trip-related activities, and debriefing and post-trip activities. Articles or books may be recommended reading.
  • Mission team members need to be flexible, cooperative, and positive, supporting the team leaders and our hosts as they need to adapt to unexpected circumstances and changes in plans. 
  • Accommodations are purposely modest to lower the cost of the trip and to benefit from the hospitality of our hosts. 
  • Estimated costs include airfare, most meals, lodging, ground transportation, and in some cases a contribution toward the project or people served. Actual costs may vary depending on changes in airfare and the number of participants who register.
  • Each team member must pay a 50% deposit of fees by the stated deadline, $100 of which is nonrefundable. Limited scholarships may be available upon request.
  • Unless stated otherwise, persons of all ages and abilities are welcome to apply.
  • For international trips, you must have a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your return date. A copy of the first two pages of the passport must be submitted with trip applications.

For more information, please contact Vicky Curtiss, Associate Pastor for Mission, at 312.981.3598.

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Application Forms

Please see the individual trip descriptions for online registration links.

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For More Information

Contact Vicky Curtiss
Associate Pastor for Mission, Fourth Presbyterian Church

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