By Robert Houser
Greg Smith and I of Des Moines Presbytery are members of the National Response Team (NRT) of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA). As NRT members we are deployed as much as four weeks out of each year in response to a variety of disasters. This is done without pay although our expenses are covered. There are presently about 80 NRT members located across the country.
In the summer of 2014 the Presbytery of Des Moines voted to establish a Mission Center in the former Cottage Grove Presbyterian Church building, located at the corner of Cottage Grove Avenue and 24th Street in Des Moines. Since that time, a team of volunteers (called the Covenant Council) has been diligently working to transform the building into a welcoming, safe and sacred place to meet the needs of many.
By Nancy Lister-Settle, Hunger Action Enabler
On May 29, four members of the Presbytery of Des Moines left for their final Joining Hands visit to our partners in Egypt. There was a bittersweet feeling as preparations were made, but this quickly changed to an air of celebration when the group arrived in Egypt. Since the launch of the Joining Hands initiative in 2000, the Presbytery of Des Moines has partnered with a network of churches, nongovernmental organizations, and grassroots associations to identify and address root causes of hunger and poverty through collaboration and advocacy.