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 has also been 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 was 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 2019, 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, supported 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 2020:
For more information on mission partners at Fourth Presbyterian Church, contact Nancy Davis, Coordinator for Mission and Evangelism (312.274.3815).