Middle Eastern Fellowship News

 MIDDLE EASTERN PRESBYTERIAN FELLOWSHIP NEWS

We continue to be bombarded by media stories of violence and suffering coming from the Middle East.  Time magazine reports that “more than 600,000 people have entered Europe so far this year, cascading in at a rate—sometimes 10,000 a day—that underprepared, overwhelmed governments quickly declared a crisis.[1]

Almost lost in this flood of tragic news are stories of Arabic speaking people here in The U.S. and particularly those coming to Tucson. 

Time quotes a Gallup poll stating, “13% of earth’s residents would like to move to another country—perhaps 700 million people.”  Of course, it’s no surprise that the U.S. is prized as the top destination.  If our borders weren’t in place, the population “might swell by 150 million.[2]

Our church acknowledges these horrific accounts of ongoing tragedy but tells a different story.  In Presbyterians Today, Amgad Beblawi (World Mission’s Coordinator for the Middle East), brings out the truth regarding the Islamic State, the 2011 Arab Spring, and our government’s position.  He says, “’Long after the peaceful demonstrations ended, and the Arab Spring in Syria was hijacked by militants, the us congress kept insisting [that] the Syrian government was fighting a brutal war against peaceful demonstrators—moderates—ignoring the fact that the movement had been hijacked.[3]’”

At Mountain Shadows, we have had active participation in forums Of Christianity In The Middle East: Past And Present (October 11) and Middle Eastern Christians In The U.S. And Tucson: A Story Of Displacement And Resettlement (October 18).

 



[1]Time Magazine, October 19, 2015.

[2] P. 46.

[3] Syria, The Untold Story, Presbyterians Today, September/October 2015

Missions

Mountain Shadows Presbyterian Church is a small church with a big heart. We take our commitment to care for community and our world seriously. The Mission & Outreach Ministry exists to encourage, assist and educate the members of the congregation carry out its discipleship with Christ in “loving our neighbors as ourselves." The ministry attempts to balance our local, regional and global mission efforts, keeping in mind the priorities of Presbytery de Cristo and the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA. We continually strive to meet the needs of others in a spirit of love and respect that honors the dignity of all peoples.

In local mission we support the following nonprofit organizations through an annual financial pledge:

  • Presbyterian Campus Ministry offers Christian fellowship to the students attending the University of Arizona and Pima Community College.
  • Interfaith Community Services provides multiple services and are often the "safety net" that help people remain or become stabilized, enabling them to lead independent lives. We are providing services for thousands of people in need.
  • Middle Eastern Presbyterian Fellowship is in the process of developing into a full-fledged church and a member of Presbytery de Cristo. It ministers to Christian refugees from the Middle East.

We are committed to assisting our brothers and sisters along the Arizona-Mexico border develop business opportunities, allowing many families to remain in their home towns reducing the need for them to illegally migrant into the USA. We carry out this commitment through an annual financial pledge to Frontera de Cristo. Frontera de Cristo is a border ministry of the Presbyterian Church (USA). As part of our efforts, twice a month Just Coffee is available for purchase at Mountain Shadows Presbyterian Church. So what is this endeavor all about? First of all the Just Coffee (Café Justo) Cooperative is a successful grower-owned entrepreneurial, international coffee business in Salvador Urbina, Chiapas and Agua Prieta, Mexico. This Cooperative is assisted by the Just Trade Center functioning under the auspices of Frontera de Cristo. The Just Trade Center recently established a ministry team composed of committed people who have been asked to engage in critical thinking related to expansion of the Center’s scope of work. Mountain Shadows is represented on the ministry team.

Local Ministry Activities

  • Food collections on the first Sunday of each month are donated Catalina Community Services (renamed IMPACT), Tri-Community Food Bank and Interfaith Community Services.
  • Each year the congregation prepares Thanksgiving food baskets that are then donated to Catalina Community Services for distribution.
  • Each year will participate in the Adopt-A-Family program providing food and gifts for families at Christmas.
  • We have annual fundraisers in order to be able to provide additional assistance to community agencies.
  • We make every effort to come to the aid of the community in times of crisis.