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!