Mission Trips

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 news@fourthchurch.org) 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
| Read about the 2012 Urban Plunge trip

2014 Mission Trips

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.

Participants will

    • 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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September 21–26, 2014

Cosponsored by Fourth Church and Opportunity International

Immerse yourself in the country of Colombia, its culture, and the lives of those who benefit from the microfinancing programs of Opportunity International. See how Colombian churches are coming alongside local people to build income-generating microbusinesses to help sustain their families and community.

During this trip, cosponsored by Fourth Presbyterian Church and Opportunity International, you will experience how poverty robs people of their dignity and dreams and witness the hope and transformation that Opportunity International brings to people through microfinancing. More information is available at www.opportunity.org/insight.

Sunday, September 21

Arrive in Bogotá, Colombia. Go to hotel for a good night’s rest.

Monday, September 22
Visit a local branch and then embark on visits with clients in their homes and businesses.

Tuesday, September 23
Visit with clients at a Trust Group meeting and in their businesses. Depart on a late-afternoon flight to Cartagena.

Wednesday, September 24
Tour another branch and meet more clients. Dig into a local service project.

Thursday, September 25
Learn about benefits from the roof and floor project. See a demonstration of their work and hear stories of personal transformation. Depart in the morning for the airport.

Optional excursion
Friday, September 26
Journey from Cartagena to Tayrona National Park, home of some of Colombia’s most unspoiled  beaches. Go on a guided trip to Arrecifes Beach.

Saturday, September 27
Discover the natural beauty and crystal clear waters of the Waterfalls of Valencia.

Sunday, September 28
Depart for home with wonderful memories, lasting friendships, and a renewed spirit as you reflect on your role in Opportunity International’s work to end poverty.

The deadline to register is Monday, July 21, 2014.
Please contact Nancy Davis (312.274.3815) of your interest or with questions.

$3,392 payment to Opportunity International with excursion
$2,661 payment to Opportunity International without excursion
Includes all meals and beverages, gratuity, local transportation, airport transfers, hotel accommodations (based on double occupancy and excluding incidentals), translator services, emergency evacuation insurance, and partner and staff costs.  Does not include U.S.-Colombia roundtrip airfare, incidentals, shots, passports, or souvenirs.

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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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Application Forms

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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