Befriending, Knowing, Uniting with Neighbors
“ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ … ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” — Mark 12:30-31
Through Shadyside Presbyterian Church, members and friends engage our community in a variety of ways. Embracing Christ’s claim that the Kingdom of God is among us, we are called to serve and support mission partners, and together we witness God’s love in action. We join these efforts of building for the Kingdom as we engage both with and alongside neighbors locally and around the world. In journeying together, we come to know more fully others and ourselves.
This refreshed vision for our mission structure is “Befriending Neighbors, Knowing Neighbors, and Uniting with Neighbors.”
Befriending Neighbors (one-time opportunities)
“For I was hungry, and you gave Me food, I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was naked and you gave Me clothing, I was sick and you took care of Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.” — Matthew 25:35-36
We befriend our neighbors as we assist them with their immediate needs. Though Shadyside Presbyterian is committed to fulfilling these needs on a long-term basis, members and friends can join the ministry as their schedules allow. Opportunities such as providing meals at East End Cooperative Ministry and buying gifts for the Giving Tree which supports Sojourner House and POWER (Pennsylvania Organization for Women in Early Recovery) are examples of Befriending Neighbors.
Knowing Neighbors (longer term opportunities)
“As long as Moses held up his hands, Israel prevailed. But when he lowered them, Amalek prevailed. … When Moses’ hands grew weary, Aaron and Hur held his hands up, one on each side, so that his hands remained steady until the sun went down.” — Exodus 17:11-12
Frequent and consistent interactions — either in a group or one-to-one — allow us to know our neighbors. In journeying together, we know that Christ is present, and these relationships may become long-lasting as we uphold our mutual goals. Opportunities such as mentoring a student at The Neighborhood Academy or helping refugee families arriving through Jewish Family and Community Services are examples of Knowing Neighbors.
Uniting with Neighbors (opportunities to engage more fully with our partners)
“… And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” — Micah 6:8
As we befriend and know our neighbors, we also must serve as advocates to address the barriers that prevent God’s love from being felt by all. We look for opportunities to link arm and arm with our mission partners to transform our world, do justice, and love kindness. Uniting with Neighbors is the third branch of our mission work.
A Request to Hear from You
Very soon, two requests will be shared: an anonymous survey and a personalized skills inventory will be published on paper and in email. The Uniting with Neighbors workgroup is keen to learn how mission work generates enthusiasm and what talents exist across our congregation. Your feedback will guide how we sustain awareness of the great work accomplished by our collaborations with mission partners. The skills inventory will help us link respondents to rousing activities directly suited to their interests.
These requests to hear your voice will be shared during the spring of 2022. The results will be shared in the summer, guiding the development of the calendar for fall 2022 through spring 2023.
If you have questions about the request for information or feel called to support any aspect of our mission framework, please contact Elder Laura Duncan through the church office.