The Presbyterian Project
Five Presbyterian churches (Parkwood, Elfinwild, Glenshaw, Fox Chapel, and Calvert) within the north branch of the Pittsburgh Presbytery joined together to create a group called the Presbyterian Project. This group works together on mission projects and trips.
This started in 2012 when the churches were independently collecting buckets of supplies to be sent to the devastated areas from Hurricane Sandy. The five churches decided to put their efforts together and send the buckets as a group. They took this collaboration one step further and decided to combine their efforts to serve together in mission work. This started the Presbyterian Project.
The first trip was to New Jersey in 2013 to help with Hurricane Sandy recovery work. The group sent 16 volunteers the first week and 20 the second week. Cots were set up in a local church, the local YMCA provided facilities for showering, etc. and the groups quickly organized themselves into work groups to take turns with providing meals.
Subsequent trips have gone to New Orleans, New York, and North Carolina. On several of these trips, Samaritan’s Purse, the nondenominational Christian organization that provides physical and spiritual help for victims of disasters around the globe, was already at the site and was the “anchoring” organizing group. They provided an 18-wheel shower trailer, a fully equipped kitchen trailer, and other large equipment, depending on the disaster.
The opportunity to serve in the name of Jesus Christ was a blessing to both the participants and the victims However, not everyone who wanted to help could give the time needed for the week-long mission trips. So, the group started to look at doing local projects and as a result, they have worked on a house in West Mifflin, a house in Butler, Tom’s house (from our GPC congregation), and multiple locations at Camp Crestfield. Many other landscaping opportunities have also been completed.
In addition, they applied for a grant to the Pittsburgh Presbytery asking for help with buying and supplying a tool trailer that could be used to complete local and distant mission work. From over a hundred grant requests to the Presbytery, the Presbyterian Project was one of three organizations who received a $12,000 grant. They now have a fully loaded trailer with many power tools and almost any other tool needed to complete a project.
The group will be organizing more local day mission work in the coming year and are planning trips to Florida and Texas. All age and skill levels are welcome! The victims of these disasters are so grateful for the help and for the participants, it is so rewarding to hear their stories, help them rebuild, and offer hope. If you have any questions, please see Krista DeLuca, our GPC representative to the Presbyterian Project.