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Mission & Social Justice 

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Mission in Haiti

Govans supports an orphanage in Kay Papa Nou.

 More about Kay Papa Nou

At Govans Presbyterian we believe our primary mission work is done through the daily lives of our members out in the world. The way each member lives, treats others and cares for the earth will affect the greatest change. Beyond the way we live our individual lives we also work together as a congregation to build relationships with people from many walks of life. Sometimes we do this through efforts right here at Govans and sometimes we do this by supporting the work of organizations doing great work with specific groups of people.


Local Mission


GEDCO

Support for the Govans Ecumenical Development Corporation (GEDCO) is a primary way we build relationships with those in our community. 

GEDCO began with the realization that the elderly members of our congregation and other congregations in North Baltimore were in need of affordable housing and dignified care as they aged.  It has grown to become a stand-alone non-profit corporation with the following mission:

"In partnership with faith communities, GEDCO provides affordable housing with supportive services and assists in meeting emergency needs of area residents."

GEDCO now has 53 member organizations including Govans Presbyterian who support the following projects:

Affordable Housing for Seniors
Stadium Place (Ednor Apartments, Venable Apartments II, Weinberg Court Apartment, Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Senior Housing at the Gallagher Mansion and Epiphany House and the Green House)

Transitional housing for homeless men and women
Harford House and Micah House

Housing for the mentally ill
Ascension Homes (3 locations)

CARES Program
Food Pantry, Emergency Financial Assistance, CARES Career Connection, and North East Food Pantry. 
For information about making a donation, please go to the GEDCO website, www.gedco.org, and click on CARES.

Senior Network of North Baltimore
The Senior Network is located at Govans Presbyterian and offers a variety of programs, classes, services and social opportunities for local senior. 

GEDCO Web site

SOUL KITCHEN

Soul Kitchen is a free community meal offered every Sunday night at Govans Presbyterian Church. It was started as a partnership between Govans Presbyterian Church and Gimme Shelter Productions. Church and community members work together to provide and share a meal. 30-60 people are served each Sunday at 6:30pm. All are welcome to eat, or serve, or both. 

GOVANS NEIGHBORHOOD FOOD DRIVE

Twice a year we deliver about 800 paper grocery bags to our neighbors around the church. The bags include a note asking for donations of non-perishable food to the CARES Food Pantry. The bags go out on Wednesday. One Saturday morning we pick up the bags that have been left on porches. We collect over 1000 pounds of food each time we do the food drive. This is a great way to involve our neighbors in our mission to help those in need. 

WOODBERRY CROSSING

Woodberry Crossing was started by Govans members Beth and Barry Bryant. It is a non-profit organziation with mission to educate and nurture children, youth and adults using the natural environments of field stream and forest as a medium for building self-esteem, challenging people with new experiences and creating opportunities for cooperative learning.

Woodberry Crossing was started in 1997 as a non-profit organization. Woodberry Crossing gives urban children, youth and families the opportunity to broaden their vision and understanding of life through meeting and interacting with a variety of people, animals, and the natural world.

 Woodberry Crossing Web site 

PEACE STUDY CENTER, INC

The Peace Study Center, Inc. was founded by Cindy Woodruff and Hannah Pickworth, school librarians in Baltimore.  Inspired by a conference with the theme "Children's Books, Messengers of Peace”, Cindy was determined to return to Baltimore and connect children's books about peace with educators of young children.  With encouragement from other participants, Cindy and Hannah began the journey to found a center for the study of peace and justice through children's literature.

What does it mean to teach peace and justice?
To us it means building a child's self-esteem and sense of their place in the world through print and audio-visual experiences. For the youngest students it means understanding the concepts of friendship, compassion and forgiveness. It means practicing kindness to animals and participating in outreach efforts to the poor and the homeless in our own communities. For the middle grades it includes working through conflicts, making choices to use nonviolence, expanding one's vocabulary to express emotions and identifying character traits and how to make them part of daily life. Using books to create meaningful discussions in and out of the classroom is our path to teaching peace and justice. Please join us on the journey!

More information and contact information for Cindy and Hannah are available Peace Study Center Web site.

 Peace Study Center Web site

CENTRAL MARYLAND ECUMENICAL COUNCIL

The Central Maryland Ecumenical Council is the common instrument of the Christian community in Baltimore City and the counties west of the Chesapeake Bay and south of the Susquehanna. We focus our efforts in the areas of human services/social justice, interfaith dialogue and ecumenical worship. We support the goals of the Christian community and are expanding our mission to reach out and partner with other faiths.​

CMEC is one way Govans Presbyterian cooperates with other churches in our area to make a difference in the world.

4 E University Pkwy
Baltimore MD  21218
410-467-6194

GAY AND LESBIAN COMMUNITY CENTER, YOUTH PROGRAM

GLBT youth are at particular risk of violence and discrimination in our world today. By supporting the youth programs of the GLCC in Baltimore we hope to help make life better for these great young people.

MD CENTER FOR VETERANS EDUCATION AND TRAINING

As a church that advocates for peace and non-violence Govans believes that our own service men and women are victims too. The MCVET is serving more than 250 veterans daily, through Five (5) distinct programs -- a Day Drop-In Program, an Emergency Program (13 weeks), a Transitional Housing Program (up to two years), a Follow-up Program, and 80 Single Room Occupancy apartments (SRO). A natural progression will be to go from the Day Drop-in Program, to the Emergency Program, to the Transitional Housing Program, to the SRO. Veteran applicants from outside MCVET's program, including female veterans, are also accepted into the SRO program, provided they meet the eligibility requirements. As the veterans enrolled at MCVET travel through this continuum, they receive an array of services that support our primary goal of empowering them to return to the families and communities.

GOVANS COMMUNITY GARDEN

Govans Community Garden is literally a "home grown" mission of our church. Church members meet each season to prepare and plant three seperate plots on the church grounds. Everything we grow is given to the CARES for pantry where fresh fruits and vegatables are a great addition to their offering, or they produced is prepared right in the Govans kitchen at Soul Kitchen.


National and International Mission


KAY PAPA NOU ORPHANAGE, HAITI

Our work in Haiti began in 2007 when a small group went to visit missions and ministries in Port-au-Prince to learn more about what we could do in this poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Through our contacts we met Dani and David Guillame who were caring for 20 children orphaned or displaced after civil unrest. David and Dani and the children were facing eviction, so our group came back to Govans, presented the need and the church immediately paid the rent for a year. We have continued to pay their rent ever since. Further our support has grown to a sponor a child program and now to a seperate non-profit called Neighbors Near and Far. We have found partners in this work through Roland Park Presbytrerian Church and other churches in our area.

 more about our mission in Haiti

ST. ANDREWS REFUGEE PROGRAM, EGYPT

St. Andrew’s United Church is a very small church in downtown Cairo, but it has a huge Refugee Ministry.  Jean Isteero, a member here at Govans, started an English and General Education program at St. Andrew’s in 1986 and it has grown in all directions since then.  Refugees feel safe to be on the St. Andrew’s compound where they can sit and talk with their friends and attend worship and educational activities.  Today, there are about 700 adults registered in the English and computer classes and 195 children in the daily Children’s program.  Children and teens receive a breakfast sandwich and study an American curriculum, which includes English, math, science, art, music and social studies.

St. Andrew’s United Church of Cairo depends upon contributions from churches like ours to be able to continue its very valuable work.

FRIENDS OF BUTOKE (CONGO)

Friends of Butoke supports the work of Butoke, a humanitarian NGO in the Democratic of Congo ministering to the nutritional, emergency, primary health care and educational needs of the area's poor people. Butoke also maintains an orphanage, an agrarian program and a clinic and pharmacy.

At Govans we started supporting Butoke at the request of an active church member who has sense past away. However, we believe it is a way we can help the poorest of the poor in this region of the world.

MORE LIGHT PRESBYTERIANS

Govans Presbyterian has made been a More Light Presbyterian Church for decades. More Light means that we support and actively work for the full inclusion of GLBT people in the church and society. It means we do not discriminate against people in our own church based on their sexual orientation or idenity and in fact we celebrate our diversity.


Baltimore Presbytery Mission


We support several mission projects through our support of the Presbytery of Baltimore. Through our Presbytery we work with other Presbyterian churches in our area to provide support for people in need in our area and throughout the world.

MCCABE HABITAT FOR HUMANITY PROJECT

Govans is a part of the Uptown Ministry Group which is 12 churches within the Presbytery who work together for specific projects. Throgh the Uptown Ministry Group we are the lead sponsors of a major city block renovation through Habitat for Humanity. In additon to supporting this project our Ministry Group has also hired a community organizer to help improve the standard of living for everyone in the McCabe Neighborhood.

BALTIMORE DAKOTA LEARNING CAMPS
Baltimore Dakota Learning Camps Web site

The Baltimore Dakota Learning Camps were born out of a tutoring project that started in 1998 as an afternoon component of the morning VBS project. It was apparent that working on learning activities with the Lakota children was a beneficial endeavor for both the learners and the tutors as relationships were easily formed in this small group or one on one setting.  The VBS/tutoring program was stopped in 1999 and a new model was born in 2003 - the elementary learning camp model.  This first camp was an activity based model but lacked structure and the need for a different model was identified.  The Hau Kola Learning Camp station rotation model started in 2004 and was very successful.  The campers were guided by counselors to 5 different learning stations which were lead by one or two additional staff members.  This rotation model was used in 2005 and 2006 and continues to be the model for the elementary learning camp at the Makasan site.

Mission:
To follow the teachings of Jesus Christ by honoring and nurturing the lives of children, youth, and adults through educational partnerships with the ministries of the Native American churches which comprise the Dakota Presbytery

Vision:
Through programs all participants are transformed into the people God calls them to be. Through the Dakota/Baltimore Presbytery relationship all community members experience Christian unity and love

Goals and Objectives:
Create an environment of mutual learning in all programs
Build trusting and caring relationships
Strengthen Dakota Presbytery churches
Strengthen Dakota/Baltimore Presbytery relationship

Over the years, over 20 churches in the Presbytery of Baltimore have sent youth to camps.  For more information, please visit the Baltimore Dakota Learning Camps Web site.

THE CENTER

The Center is another project Govans supports through our support of the Presbytery. The Center's goal is to inspire churches to engage in their neighborhoods - to find those places in their local communities where compassion meets justice, and get involved. 

They host church groups of all ages for mission experiences that allow participants to engage in hands-on service, while also taking time to reflect theologically and learn about the intersection between compassion, justice, and faith.

CUBA PARTNERSHIP

The Cuba Partnership between Baltimore and El Centro Presbytery, Cuba is a mission of accompaniment. It was formalized in 2004. Prior to that date it existed as a congregational partnership between Ashland Presbyterian Church and the IPR in Cabaiguan, Cuba.

Structurally, it consists of two elements: the first being biannual presbytery to presbytery events (Encuentros) that involve delegates from existing congregational partnerships as well as Baltimore Presbytery churches inquiring. The second being congregational visits organized at the church level with support and oversight from the Cuba Task Force of Baltimore Presbytery.

All Baltimore Presbytery churches are welcome to participate in this rich and rapidly expanding partnership.


PC(USA) General Assembly Programs


In addtion to our regular support of the General Assembly we give extra support to the following groups within the national Presbyterian Church:

FUND FOR THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION

The Fund for Theological Education provides scholarships for seminary students at Presbyterian (USA) seminaries throughout the country. We this fund supports those who are called to ministry but may have limited means. We value and rely on our seminary educated pastors and believe this support is an investment in the future of the church. 

PC(USA) WASHINGTON OFFICE

The Presbyterian Office of Public Witness is the public policy information and advocacy office of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Its task is to advocate, and help the church to advocate, the social witness perspectives and policies of the Presbyterian General Assembly. The church has a long history of applying these biblically and theologically-based insights to issues that affect the public — maintaining a public policy ministry in the nation's capital since 1946. The Generaly Assembly often makes social progressive policy statements that advocate for equality and justice for all people. Supporting the Washington Office helps us support these causes.

PRESBYTERIAN HEALTH, EDUCATION & WELFARE ASSOCIATION (PHEWA)

The Presbyterian Health, Education & Welfare Association is a voluntary membership organization. Its purpose is to provide resources for Presbyterians involved in social welfare and justice ministries. PHEWA has also worked, since its creation by General Assembly action in 1956, to make the church more responsive to the needs of the excluded and suffering. PHEWA is a ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Ten networks are organized under PHEWA to address special concerns.

The networks of PHEWA are:

  • Presbyterian Association for Community Transformation (PACT) - Faithful to Jesus' prophetic vision, the Presbyterian Association for Community Transformation (PACT) is a network of community-based ministries of compassion, justice, worship and witness. PACT provides spiritual and practical resources for engaging in the prophetic ministry of transformation of communities and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
  • Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network (PADVN) - Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network (PADVN) welcomes those who promote non-violence in all relationships. They provide advocacy and resources for the prevention of and healing from societal and domestic violence.
  • Presbyterian AIDS Network (PAN) - The Presbyterian AIDS Network (PAN) welcomes those who advocate and care for persons and families who have been infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. They encourage the Church to live out Jesus' ministry of love and justice.
  • Presbyterians Affirming Reproductive Options (PARO) - Presbyterians Affirming Reproductive Options (PARO) welcomes those who support the full range of reproductive options that ensure that every child is loved and wanted. They are committed to ensuring that the policy of the PC(USA) is articulated, understood and preserved for future generations.
  • Presbyterian Association of Specialized Pastoral Ministries (PASPM) - The Presbyterian Association of Specialized Pastoral Ministries (PASPM) welcomes those involved in institutional chaplaincies, pastoral counseling and other specialized ministries. Members represent the PC(USA) at national professional organizations and work to ensure that the church recognizes their ministries.
  • Presbyterian Child Advocacy Network (PCAN) - The Presbyterian Child Advocacy Network (PCAN) welcomes those involved in ministries of education, direct service and advocacy for children. The network strives to extend the Baptismal embrace by lifting up the needs of children in the church, the community, nation and world.
  • Presbyterian Criminal Justice Network (PCJN) - The Presbyterian Criminal Justice Network brings Presbyterians together to transform our nation's broken criminal justice system, equipping congregations for ministries of compassion and grace. Find more resources here.
  • Presbyterians for Disability Concerns (PDC) - Presbyterians for Disability Concerns (PDC) welcomes those who affirm, support and advocate for the gifts, rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities in the total life of the church.
  • Presbyterian Health Network (PHN) - The Presbyterian Health Network (PHN) includes parish nurse ministry, presbytery and congregational health ministries and advocacy for health, healing and wholeness and welcomes your participation.
  • Presbyterian Serious Mental Illness Network (PSMIN) - The Presbyterian Serious Mental Illness Network (PSMIN) welcomes those who advocate in the church and greater community for those who have been touched by mental illness. They seek equity, justice, human dignity and full acceptance into the life of the church.

Presbyterian Health, Education & Welfare Association website


SEASONAL MISSION PROJECTS

Seasonal projects can change from year to year. We have collected presents for low income seniors or families, thanksgiving baskets for needed families, school supplies or uniforms for our local elementary, and food for the Harford House Thanksgiving Dinner.  

In additon we collect a monthly Communion Offering which supports a variety of different missions, local and international. 

 

Baltimore Pre-school and Kindergarten
Youth & Children
Adult Fellowship Activities at Govans
Mission and Social Justice
Senior Center
The Woodbrook Players

SUNDAY at GOVANS

9:00 a.m. - Family and Children Service
10:00 a.m. - Sunday School and Adult Education (AKA Options)
10:45 a.m. - Traditional Service

NOTE: Occasionally this schedule changes when we come together for a combined 10:30 a.m. worship service. Check the homepage for updates.

Pastor Tom Harris

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Govans Presbyterian Church
5828 York Road
Baltimore, MD 21212
Phone: (410) 435-9188
Fax: (410) 323-4409

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