In his report to synod, global mission director Jhonny Alicea-Baez gave thanks for congregations’ and individuals’ faithful support of RCA missionaries and mission personnel around the world.
He announced that due to rising costs worldwide, the pledge amount for a full mission share needed to be raised to $6,300, which synod approved. (To learn more about Partner in Mission shares or sign up for one, please contact Scott Engelsman, firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The RCA currently has 89 missionaries and mission partners in 32 countries.
Synod also heard about a new initiative to equip congregations for global missional engagement. An RCA equipping team will come alongside congregations at their invitation to help them engage mission or take mission engagement to the next level. Daniel Teerman, associate director of global mission, said resources are being developed to help equip congregations for global and local mission engagement, volunteer engagement, missional community outreach, advocacy, and more. (If your congregation is looking for help to maximize its impact in any of these areas, please get in touch at email@example.com.)
Synod passed a resolution to honor Judy Estell, who has retired after 42 years of service with the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, teaching at Yu Shan Theological College and Seminary and a men’s prison and leading Bible studies at a YMCA.
“I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have truly partnered with us,” she said, referring to the support of people across the RCA throughout her service. She added that prayer support was most important of all. “My prayer is that all that was done in those 42 years may truly have been of honor and glory to the Lord.” Delegates gave Estell a standing ovation.
Newly-appointed missionary JJ Ten Clay closed the plenary session with prayer. She is a certified social worker and will resource Waldensian congregations in Italy as they receive and respond to the many immigrants, primarily from Africa, arriving on Italian shores.
Synod also honored and offered congratulations to Jicarilla Apache Reformed Church, a Native American congregation in Dulce, New Mexico, that is celebrating its 100th anniversary.