The Mission and Outreach Committee attempts to provide a balance of global mission projects and localized missions. Although many international projects are a clear-cut task of collecting donations toward a particular need, one project at Calvary (Mission: Rwanda) stands out as a year-long event that has directly involved a large percentage of the congregation who participated and donated toward a need that is historically close to the hearts of the Calvary congregation.
Mission: Rwanda. Over the years, Calvary has had a close relationship with our sister church Nyarubuye Mpushi Church and we have supported their water project, provided a handmade church banner and sent dresses and shorts through Little Dresses for Africa. The Mission and Outreach Committee completed a ten-year project entitled Mission: Rwanda 2014. It has been an exciting three-phase project to (1) provide 36 members families of Nyarubuye Mpushi Church with one heifer each, (2) assist with the building of a new church, and (3) assist with the expenses for one Calvary member to travel to Rwanda for a short-term mission project in the future. A second Rwandan Mission work trip was completed in 2016 as a part of a Kiskiminetas Presbytery project and it doubled as both a celebration of ten years and a work trip for preliminary work on a Presbytery church/office.
Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty (CROP) Hunger Walk. Calvary serves in a leadership role on the steering committee for this project, which has both international and local impact. The Indiana County Event has raised well of over $129,000 in the 20 years since its local inception. The 2016 CROP Hunger Walk totaled over $9,000 in donations, 25% benefiting Indiana County Community Action Program, Inc. (ICCAP) and 75% benefiting world hunger. Calvary joined Trinity United Methodist Church, Christ Episcopal Church, Creekside United Methodist Church and First Christian Church in coordinating this important event that raises awareness and funding for international relief and development. Calvary serves as the host church, with the CROP Hunger Walk registration beginning near the Church Street entrance to Calvary and ending at Calvary, for tallying and refreshments. The 2016 CROP Hunger Walk event totaled over $9,000 in donations.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA). Calvary financially supports Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) which enables congregations and mission partners of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) to witness to the healing love of Christ through caring for communities adversely affected by crisis and catastrophic events. PDA is the emergency and refugee program of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. The core budget, including staff and administrative costs, is funded through the One Great Hour of Sharing, and its program work is additionally funded through designated gifts. PDA focuses on the long-term recovery of disaster-impacted communities, providing training and disaster preparedness for presbyteries and synods. PDA works collaboratively with church partners and members of the ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) internationally, and nationally with other faith-based responders and connects partners locally and internationally with key organizations active in the response — United Nations, NVOAD (National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster), World Food Program, Red Cross, FEMA and others. A recent Calvary project involved the gathering of supplies for “Clean-up Buckets” to be delivered personally to the Church World Service warehouse in New Windsor, Maryland. A group of twelve Calvary missionaries then volunteered in the Church World Service Warehouse and SERRV headquarters in New Windsor.
Financial Assistance for Individuals Participating in Short-Term Mission Trips. In an effort to encourage short-term mission trips, the Mission and Outreach Program provides small stipends to individuals connected with the Calvary congregation who wish to participate in an organized short-term local, national or international mission program. Assistance has been provided for mission trips to Rwanda, Haiti, Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland and Pittsburgh (youth) over the last three years.