Mission and Insight Trips

Mission and Insight Trips 2019 | Trip Team Expectations
Application Forms | Contact

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 and Insight Trips

Cuba | Guatemala | Civil Rights

Havana, Cuba: May 6–13, 2019

To apply, please click here.  

Fourth Presbyterian Church has had a sister relationship with First Presbyterian Church of Havana for more than eighteen years. This trip reinforces that relationship as we live into our shared faith.

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
Nanette Sawyer, Associate Pastor
Gretchen Wahl, Church Member

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

$1,500 per person; includes airfare
(Some scholarships may be available)

Application due
January 18, 2019
(with $750 deposit)

To apply, please click here.  

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Guatemala: August 4–11, 2019

To apply, please click here.  

This trip is hosted by Common Hope, which serves Guatemalans through programs in education, health care, and housing. Mission teams will work in small groups with Common Hope staff, who will provide language translation along with the trip leaders.

Participants may

  • visit families in a local community, help construct a simple home, or sort supplies in a warehouse
  • learn about the culture, history, economics, challenges faced by, and gifts of the people of Guatemala
  • be enriched by exploration of Antigua and the surrounding area, learn how coffee is grown, and climb a volcano

Accommodations will be comfortable dormitory-style facilities at Common Hope’s project site. Meals will blend traditional Guatemalan cuisine and typical American fare.

Trip leaders
Tom Schemper, Director of the Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being
Sue Schemper, Spiritual Director and Pastoral Counselor

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

$2,250 per person, plus air fare (can assist with fundraising). Children under 14 receive a $500 discount. Some scholarships may be available. ($500 of the cost is a donation to Common Hope.)

Application due
January 15, 2019
(with $1,125 deposit)

To apply, please click here.  

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Insight Trip on the Civil Rights Movement:
      Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma, Jackson
October 26–November 2, 2019

To apply, please click here.  

Journey through the Deep South and learn the history of the civil rights movement. Bond with other participants and ancestors of faith by hearing powerful stories of the freedom struggle for African Americans. Be inspired by resilient heroes. Share in daily reflection and prayer. This opportunity is brought to you by the Fourth Church Racial Equity Council.

Places we will visit include

Birmingham: Civil Rights Institute, Kelly Ingram Park, 16th Street Baptist Church

Montgomery: Freedom Rides Museum, Legacy Museum, National Memorial for Peace and Justice, Rosa Parks Museum, Civil Rights Memorial, Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church

Selma: National Voting Rights Museum, the Slavery and Civil War Museum,
the Edmund Pettus Bridge

Jackson: Mississippi Civil Rights and History Museums, Medgar Evers Home Museum, State Capitol

Nature of trip
Educational, addressing racism and oppression, building interracial relationships

Robert Crouch, Director of Volunteer Ministry
Vicky Curtiss, Associate Pastor
Derrick Dawson, Co-Program Coordinator for Chicago
Organizing for Antiracism (CROAR)

Age range
18 years and older

Estimated cost (not including air fare)
Double room: $1,375 per person
Single room: $1,975 per person
Room accommodations will be in hotels. Rides between cities will be by bus. Participants must arrange their own travel to arrive in Birmingham, Alabama and to depart from Jackson, Mississippi.

Applications due May 1, 2019
A deposit of $800 is required

To apply, please click here.  

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

Trip 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 percdent 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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