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An Urgent Message from the Great Commission Ministry Team of Piittsburgh Presbytery: A Mission Crisis for the PC(USA)

Recently Hunter Farrell, the Director of Presbyterian World Mission for the PC(USA) visited Pittsburgh.  He shared information which is like a bomb-shell concerning mission for all of us in our denomination. Hunter shared there is a critical funding crisis for the continued support for mission co-workers. The office of World Mission reported to the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board there will be a funding gap of $925,000 in 2016.  This means there will not be replacement of four retiring mission co-workers and prematurely ending the service of as many as five mission co-workers in 2016.  In 2017, the financial gap is $4.5 million resulting in the RECALL of 40 mission co-workers from the current 162 we have in service.

The causes of this crisis are numerous and systemic, but the mission giving and accumulated gifts from prior years have decreased and extra commitment funds are drying up. With gifts from prior years nearly depleted and limited mission program fund reserves, World Mission will have to rely solely upon donations made throughout the year.

Think about the consequences of these decisions.  World Mission began in Pittsburgh. The PC(USA) was the first denomination to send mission co-workers. There are hospitals and clinics which exist because of the funding through the PC(USA). Think about doctors, nurses, teachers, workers for peace and reconciliation, all who have had tremendous impact in countries all over the world, leaving the place where God has called them because of the lack of money.

I believe when God calls, God will direct people to supply the need. What can Pittsburgh Presbytery do to meet this crisis?  Pray -- yes, but I believe congregations and individuals can give sacrificially so that at least one mission co-worker will remain where God has placed them.  For more information you may email Nicole Gerkins at or call her at 502-569-5611.

Thank you for your prayerful consideration.

Linda Ruby, Moderator of the Great Commission Team

Following is an excerpt from profound letter written by Michael Weller, Presbyterian World Mission regional liaison for the Horn of Africa, to Jacob and Aliamma George, PC(USA) mission co-workers, who are being compelled to depart South Sudan because of funding cuts:

"I must confess a compounded sense of grief because I did not foresee this consequence of funding disturbing the essential and significant work taking place in South Sudan at this critical juncture in their early history as a new but war torn nation.   I did not anticipate the displacement of any of our Co-workers from South Sudan."