Mission at Valley Presbyterian Church Mission embodies and extends God’s eternal kingdom in the world.
Our Vision:Through mission, our VPC family lives the Word.
Our Mission Statement:
Putting self aside, we allow God’s grace to transform us, individually and corporately, and to help us humbly reach out to our brothers and sisters, sharing with each other our suffering, our resources, and our love.
by Ann Weems
He said, “Feed my sheep.”
There were no conditions:
Least of all, Feed my sheep if they deserve it.
Feed my sheep if you feel like it.
Feed my sheep if you have any leftovers.
Feed my sheep if the mood strikes you.
if the economy’s OK...
if you’re not too busy...
No conditions....just, “Feed my sheep.”
Could it be that God’s Kingdom will come when each lamb is fed?
We who have agreed to keep covenant
are called to feed sheep
even when it means the grazing will be done
on our own front lawns.
Mission is a very important component in the life of Valley Presbyterian Church. Each year, between 13% and 20% of the church operating budget is allocated to Mission programs. Approximately one third of that amount is sent to PCUSA General Assembly and San Francisco Presbytery. Some of that supports Presbyterian missionaries with whom VPC has established a relationship.
The remaining funds are administered by the VPC Mission Committee. We attempt to strike a balance between US and non-US programs, and among programs that benefit at-risk youth, the elderly, the hungry, the homeless, and the disadvantaged. We emphasize preventative, up-stream programs while trying not to neglect immediate food and shelter needs. We limit the number of continuing mission partners in order to give a funding amount that makes a difference to the partner, and we insist that each mission partner have a sponsor in the VPC community who can verify need and appropriate use of the funds we donate, as well as coordinate activities between the partner's organization and VPC. And finally, we attempt to select as many hands-on programs as possible, giving VPC members and families many choices for giving of their time and talents, in addition to their financial gifts.
In 2010, the Mission committee approved a partnership with the village of Zang Tabi in Cameroon. This is the village of our member, Gideon Ticha. In June 2011, we were sad to bid farewell to the Ticha family as Gideon has been redeployed (with the US Army) to Atlanta, but a plan is in place to fund ongoing projects in Zang Tabi over 4 years. Approved projects (as of 2012) include milling equipment for farmers and bringing electricity to the local school. Read about our Cameroon project here.
In May 2011, we held our first Christmas in May week, 10 days of mission opportunities for VPC families. We created and delivered hygiene packages for the women in Safe House in San Francisco (Network Ministries), worked on school yard renovation for Habitat for Humanity, served a weekday meal at St. Anthony Padua dining room, built and planted a raised vegetable garden at Quetzal House (Bill Wilson Center), and finally, on our last day, filled 10,000 meal pouches in Lane Family Hall for the Stop Hunger Now program. The success of this celebration has led us to make this an annual event, with our 2012 Christmas in May week held May 6-14 with much the same projects.
The VPC Mission committee also manages scholarship funds for approved VPC members who attend seminary, sends budgeted funds for global emergencies (usually through the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance or PDA), and maintains a "Members' Passions" budget item where VPC members can request funding (in the $50 - $200) range for organizations consistent with the goals of the Mission Committee. Read here the guidelines for approving Members' Passions funds.
In addition to our allocated Mission funds, our congregation is very generous throughout the year, donating to One Great Hour of Sharing at Easter and Alternative Gifts International at Christmas, in addition to other special requests for disaster/emergency donations, usually to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.
The Mission committee is continually seeking to honor God's call as the Holy Spirit moves among us. If you have a mission passion, maybe God is inviting you to contact the Mission committee. We welcome all who wish to join.