Presbyterians United for Refugee Support

Presbyterians United for Refugee Support

Presbyterians United for Refugee Support

“For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger, and you invited me in…”

This familiar passage from the Gospel according to Matthew challenges us as Christians to extend our hands in friendship and support to include those He referred to as “strangers” and that we might likely refer to today as “the displaced”, immigrants”, “asylum seekers”, and “refugees”.

Understanding the needs of refugees is critical in assuring that the support we offer is meaningful and relevant. It is for that reason that we are extending an invitation to hear one of the nation’s leading experts on refugee policies and services.

Please mark your calendars for Sunday, March 5, 2023, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.  

At that time, Central Presbyterian Church of Des Moines will be hosting Mr. Vinh Nguyen, recently appointed member of the United States Refugee Advisory Board and currently Education Coordinator for the Des Moines Office of Lutheran Services in Iowa. Mr. Nguyen has also served as Director of ESL Education for Des Moines Public Schools and is himself a former refugee, having arrived in the United States from Vietnam in the 1970s. He brings a unique, personal perspective to the issues faced by refugee families and can speak with authority as to the difficulties refugee families encounter and the needs that these difficulties create.

Start discussing this with your congregations and friends, and plan to join us to explore ways to expand our connections and partner with each other to welcome our new brothers and sisters to Iowa.

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NCI Presbytery PDA Trip

NCI Presbytery PDA Trip

NCI Presbytery PDA Trip

The Presbytery of North Central Iowa’s 2023 PDA mission trip will be to Madisonville, Kentucky to help with rebuilding after the area was hit by a tornado outbreak on December 10, 2021. The cost will be $175 per person. Participants will also be responsible for the cost of their travel and lodging to Madisonville and back.

We will be staying at First Presbyterian Church in Madisonville, arriving February 5 and departing February 11. The church can accommodate up to 35 volunteers in converted classrooms with 5-8 twin beds in each room. Volunteers need to bring a pillow, twin size sheets and a blanket or a sleeping bag along with towels and toiletries. The site has a gym, kitchen, dining and laundry facilities. Photos are available at For those that do not wish to stay in a dormitory-style setting, there are numerous hotels within 15 minutes of the church.

Repair work is being coordinated by the Hopkins County Long Term Recovery Group and will be done in the Bremen, Barnsley, or Dawson Springs areas. Most work will be in 12-15 homes that have been framed up by Habitat for Humanity volunteers.

COVID-19 vaccinations are strongly encouraged, but not required to participate in the trip.

Completed registration forms may be emailed to Jeannie at the Presbytery Office or mailed with your registration fee to Jeannie at the Presbytery Office (address on form). Applications must be received no later than January 18, 2023. Registration will not be considered complete without the full $175 fee and all completed forms. If you have questions or need more information, contact Angie Jewett by e-mail or phone (515-370-0839) or Dave Little by e-mail or phone (641-420-2816).

2023 Mission Trip Application and Release Forms

Hopkins County Long Term Recovery Group Waiver

Des Moines Presbytery Meeting – November 12

Des Moines Presbytery Meeting – November 12

Des Moines Presbytery Meeting – November 12

The 528th Stated Meeting of the Presbytery of Des Moines will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 12, 2022, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 4114 Allison Ave., Des Moines, Iowa.

The meeting will be offered as a hybrid meeting, meaning you may attend in person at Westminster Presbyterian Church or virtually (the meeting will be recorded).

No matter how you will attend, minister members and ruling elder commissioners must register here.

Box lunches will be offered for those attending in-person. The cost of the lunch will be $15.00 payable to Westminster Presbyterian Church.

  • If you plan to eat the lunch provided, you MUST register by noon on Friday, November 4, 2022.
  • If you plan to attend the meeting in-person and not eat the lunch provided, or if you plan to attend the meeting virtually, you MUST register by noon on Friday, November 11, 2022.

Read the Call to the Meeting


Living Legacy Grants Support Leaders and Ministries in Des Moines Presbytery

Living Legacy Grants Support Leaders and Ministries in Des Moines Presbytery

Living Legacy Grants Support Leaders and Ministries in Des Moines Presbytery

Team members checking vitals at the clinic in Honduras

The Presbytery of Des Moines established the Living Legacy Fund to empower and support the congregations of the presbytery as they labor in God’s mission and witness to God’s grace in Jesus Christ.

In 2022, the Living Legacy Committee awarded grants to pastors and congregations. Here’s an overview of who received funding and how the grant monies were used to further the ministry of leaders and churches.

Leadership Development Grants were awarded to:
• Rev. Doug Basler ($2000). The grant supported participation in a DMin program focused on the sacred art of writing. Rev. Basler is exploring the relationship between reading good literature and spiritual formation.
• Rev. Philip Beisswenger ($2000). The awarded funds covered the cost of a DMin residency and course books. Rev. Beisswenger is studying congregational revitalization and focusing on how congregations, pastors, and mission co-workers respond to crises spanning from John Calvin’s time to the present.
• Rev. Ekram Kachu ($2000). The grant supported participation in a DMin program with emphasis on ministry in immigrant communities.

Mission Grants were awarded to:
• United Presbyterian Church, Lenox. ($1500). As one of eight congregations in southwest Iowa working together as part of an ongoing partnership, Lenox Presbyterian Church used this funding toward home repair on a collaborative mission trip to northwest Oklahoma.
• First United Presbyterian Church, Winterset ($1300). This congregation continued to serve their community following a devastating EF-4 tornado through clean-up efforts and meeting the needs of affected families.
• First Arabic Presbyterian Church, Des Moines ($2000). The church’s outreach arm, the Arabic Outreach Center, used the grants money to offer transportation to community service locations for Arabic-speaking neighbors and their families. They also helped with translation at the service destination, helping these immigrants and refugees meet their needs and set a path toward integration into the community.
• First Presbyterian Church, Audubon ($1000). The funds supported a medical mission trip to Honduras, as they returned to a clinic that has served 900 patients at no cost. While there, they also led worship for the community, delivered prayer shawls to homebound and older adults, and served in a tutoring program.

Team dentist treating children of a village in Honduras

The Living Legacy Fund is funded by the proceeds of church property sales within the presbytery.
Teaching elders and ruling elders pursuing ministry-related continuing education or theological education can apply for Leadership Development Grants. Churches and presbytery committees can apply for Mission Grants to help fund mission activities and mission trips.

Would a Living Legacy Grant help you continue your study or further your participation in God’s mission? Apply today!

Iowa Presbyterian Gathering Celebrates Community with Worship and Fellowship

Iowa Presbyterian Gathering Celebrates Community with Worship and Fellowship

Iowa Presbyterian Gathering Celebrates Community with Worship and Fellowship

On Saturday, August 27, almost 100 Presbyterians from across Iowa gathered at First Presbyterian Church in Boone for worship, fellowship, and – of course – a good meal.

The gathering’s theme of “Celebrating CommUNITY” was evident to those gathered in person as they truly celebrated solidarity with each other, in the denomination, and with Christians around the world. “It is very worthwhile to spend time with those beyond our own congregations – it gives me a broader view that enhances my faith,” reflected elder Jan Davison of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Des Moines.

During worship, preachers Rev. Ekram Kachu, pastor of First Arabic Presbyterian Church in Des Moines, and CRE Kristin Ward, from the Presbytery of East Iowa, both shared the Word of God while exploring church as community. The Sudanese Choir from First Arabic sang three songs that moved the Body of Christ to their feet — without being asked!

A variety of workshops encouraged and supported the work of our congregations. In one workshop, Rev. Ian McMullen, Rev. Beth Hamilton, and Rev. Sara Sutter led a discussion on the opportunities and challenges of small churches. In another offering, which was also shared with participants on Zoom, elder Sheryl Puderbaugh led a workshop on engaging mission and building community with refugees, immigrants, and migrants in our neighborhoods. Another workshop explored a theological and missional understanding of Creation, with Rev. Alex Thornburg tying these themes to an integral experience of the church community.

Those who gathered were grateful for the opportunity for fellowship and to worship and learn together.

“Going to the Iowa gathering of Presbyterians was revitalizing,” said Rev. Anna Small, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Glidden. She said a highlight for her was attending the workshop celebrating small churches, adding, “It became a time to share what works with people who all know what it is to be part of a small church.”

Other attendees also expressed gratitude for the workshops. Davison said: “I attended the workshop on Creation in the afternoon and I was inspired by the connections made between our faith and the planet/nature/the environment. I left with much to contemplate, and those thoughts continue today!”

Rev. Richard Francis of the Presbytery of Prospect Hill summarized the gathering well: “I was very pleased with the Iowa Gathering. We had a great turnout from the presbyteries and there was a lot of energy and enthusiasm. The worship was outstanding and the workshops I attended were very good. Finally, the hospitality provided by the folks at Boone was most appreciated.”

Thank you to all who joined us on August 27 — and especially to First Presbyterian Church in Boone for their incredible hospitality!