General Assembly offering yields $13,500 for ministries in Detroit, around the world

LOUISVILLE (PNS)  Worshipers at the 221st General Assembly’s opening worship last month in Detroit gave more than $13,500 to ministries both local and global.

Selected by the Rev. Neal Presa, moderator of the 220th Assembly (2012), the five designated recipients were Living Waters for the World, International Justice Mission, Near East School of Theology and the Presbytery of Detroit’s Gift Project and the Barnabas Youth Opportunities Center.

“The 221st General Assembly gathered under the theme ‘Abounding in Hope,’ inspired by Romans 15:13,” Presa said in a statement, adding that the ministries selected abound in hope and are rooted in a deep love for God and neighbor.

Presa asked leaders of the Presbytery of Detroit to select local ministries to receive the offering. The presbytery’s Committee on Local Arrangements organized the Gift Project, which collected more than 30 boxes of school supplies for local tutoring and literacy programs, most of which are associated with Presbyterian congregations.

The Barnabas Youth Opportunities Center, established as a ministry of the presbytery in 1983, promotes the development of young people’s social and individual responsibility through meaningful work, educational opportunities and mentoring relationships.

The Gift Project and the Barnabas Youth Opportunities Center each received about $1,300 from the offering.

The international ministries selected serve a variety of needs.

Living Waters for the World, a ministry of the Synod of Living Waters, provides sustainable clean water to communities in need while fostering long-term partnerships between volunteers and those communities. It received $4,000.

International Justice Mission focuses on human trafficking, with an emphasis on rescuing victims, bringing criminals to justice, restoring survivors and strengthening justice systems. It received $4,000.

“IJM doesn’t merely study human rights and the global problem of human and sex trafficking; they act, they advocate, they work with in-country authorities, harnessing the full weight of the criminal and judicial systems to set people free, all based on the freedom that we have in Jesus Christ,” Presa said.

The Near East School of Theology in Beirut, Lebanon, was founded by Presbyterian missionaries and is a partner of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It received $3,000.

The school is “a phenomenal ministry that offers a critical witness in the Middle East,” Presa said, adding that it “provides an essential space for ecumenical and interreligious dialogue and engagement.”

by Bethany Daily