Mission trips enable us, as representatives of Fourth Presbyterian Church, to live with and learn from our brothers and sisters from around the world, from Central America to Chicago’s South Side. We share their struggles with hunger and violence. We do what we can to help, but mostly we show that we care.
We also discover that when we break away from our routines, we see new connections and make lasting friendships with each other.
If you are unable to travel, you can still participate in global mission by attending special programs featuring our partners from around the world. Events are announced in the News@FourthChurch e-newsletter (request a subscription via email@example.com) and the Sunday bulletin insert “News and Opportunities.”
Occasionally calls go out for items needed by our hosts, such as medications and church school supplies, which our travelers can take with them. We invite you to consider supporting this aspect of global mission.
The material things, though, are secondary. Invariably our hosts make one request we all can honor: “Pray for us.”
Mission Trips | Mission Team Expectations | Application Forms
Contact | Read about the 2012 Urban Plunge trip
2014 Mission Trips
Villages in Guatemala
February 21–March 1, 2014
Celebrating Christian harmony
Do you enjoy making or listening to music? Join members of the choir of Fourth Presbyterian Church on a mission trip to Guatemala. Our host will be Centro Evangélico Estudios Pastorales en Centro América (CEDEPCA), a seminary in Antigua.
- learn about the culture, history, economics, challenges, and gifts of Guatemalan people
- be enriched by Mayan spirituality and the faith expressions of congregations, church workers, and seminary students
- offer our gift of music as we sing in several concerts and worship services in various indigenous churches in villages around Antigua and the capital city of Guatemala
Trip leaders: John Sherer, Organist and Director of Music at Fourth Church
Vicky Curtiss, Associate Pastor for Mission
Nature of trip: Building relationships; cross-cultural learning;
Age range: Adults, high school age and older
Estimated cost: $1,950 per person
Applications due: December 15, 2013 (with $975 deposit)
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March 8–15, 2014
Accessing drinkable water
The indigenous Ch’ol people live in the village of Xpujil, Mexico (pronounced shpoo-HEEL) surrounded by Mayan ruins in the southern part of the beautiful Yucatan Peninsula. They face a basic problem that stymies sustained development: a lack of drinkable water.
Todd Luke serves as a lay missionary in this community, working through the Campechano Presbytery of Mexico and the Outreach Foundation of the Presbyterian Church (USA). He and his family host visiting work teams to help resident families build concrete cisterns that capture clean rainwater off the metal rooftops of village houses.
The week will include
- shoveling sand and gravel for the cisterns
- observing and learning about projects that involve agriculture
- sharing in the spiritual growth of people who are new to the church
- a recuperative day and night in Cancun before flying home
Trip leaders: Edwin Estevez, Pastoral Resident
Rick Bogaard, Fourth Church member
Nature of trip: Cross-cultural learning; physical labor with community
Age range: Intergenerational; those under eighteen must be accompanied
by an adult
Group size: Up to eight persons
Estimated cost: $2,525 per person
Applications due: January 8, 2014 (with $1,265 deposit)
Web resource: www.yucatanmission.com
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March 21–29, 2014
congregations in faith: a women’s trip
Fourth Presbyterian Church has had a sister relationship with the congregation of First Presbyterian Church of Havana for more than a decade. This trip for women reinforces that relationship as we live into our shared faith.
- become familiar with the historical, political, economic, and cultural context for Christian witness in Cuba
- be inspired by the resiliency of a church thriving amid scarcity and learn about particular ministries of First Church in Havana
- share in a midweek worship service in a parishioner’s back yard and sing some Latin American hymns and songs
- deepen relationships among the women of both congregations
Sights to see may include the Ernest Hemingway Museum, a cigar factory, an art museum, and the beach.
Trip leaders: Judy Watt, Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care; Gretchen Wahl
Nature of trip: Building relationships among women; cross-cultural learning;
Age range: Women college age and up
Estimated cost: $2,500 per person
Applications due: December 15, 2013 (with $1,250 deposit)
Web resource: Presbiteriana de la Habana on Facebook
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Urban Plunge | Regeneration Chicago
May 16–18, 2014
Working and worshiping with First Presbyterian Church in Woodlawn
When First Presbyterian Church was founded in 1833, Chicago consisted of a fort and a few log cabins. The church addressed social and spiritual needs of the time in part by seeding additional churches, including Fourth Church. First Church’s commitment to social ministry, which has traced the history of some of the city’s more impoverished neighborhoods, lives on today in the Woodlawn neighborhood.
This weekend provides a special opportunity for members, families, and friends of both Fourth Church and First Church to work and share together and support each other in an ongoing relationship centered around fun and productive work projects.
- work together doing building maintenance and spring cleanup on the historic grounds of First Church
- learn how First Church works with Angelic Organics and other organizations and groups to improve local access to fresh, healthy food
- share a meal and Sunday worship with the First Church congregation
Trip leader: Stanley Smith, Fourth Church member
Nature of trip: Productive work projects; relationship building
Age range: Intergenerational; those under eighteen should be accompanied
by an adult
Estimated cost: $50 per person
Applications due: April 22, 2014 (with $25 deposit)
Web resources: www.firstpreschicago.org; www.learngrowconnect.org
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Mission Team Expectations
God calls us to receive and share the love of Jesus Christ, a love that crosses all cultural, geographic, economic, and generational boundaries. Mission trips provide opportunities for serving, learning, advocacy, peacemaking, spiritual inspiration, and building relationships and cross-cultural awareness.
As we interact with brothers and sisters from around the world, we honor their dignity and show respect through mutuality, learning and receiving from them while giving support in solidarity. It is essential for us to follow their lead and wisdom on addressing the quality of life and witness of faith in their context.
Mission trip participants are asked to bring an open and humble mind of a beginner.
- Reflective worship is an important part of every trip.
- Mission trips start well before the date of departure and extend beyond our return home. All participants are expected to participate in orientations, trip-related activities, and debriefing and post-trip activities. Articles or books may be recommended reading.
- Mission team members need to be flexible, cooperative, and positive, supporting the team leaders and our hosts as they need to adapt to unexpected circumstances and changes in plans.
- Accommodations are purposely modest to lower the cost of the trip and to benefit from the hospitality of our hosts.
- Estimated costs include airfare, most meals, lodging, ground transportation, and in some cases a contribution toward the project or people served. Actual costs may vary depending on changes in airfare and the number of participants who register.
- Each team member must pay a 50% deposit of fees by the stated deadline, $100 of which is nonrefundable. Limited scholarships may be available upon request.
- Unless stated otherwise, persons of all ages and abilities are welcome to apply.
- For international trips, you must have a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your return date. A copy of the first two pages of the passport must be submitted with trip applications.
For more information, please contact Vicky Curtiss, Associate Pastor for Mission, at 312.981.3598.
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An online application form is available here;
or a PDF of the application form to download is available here.
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For More Information
Contact Vicky Curtiss
Associate Pastor for Mission, Fourth Presbyterian Church
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