Shared Mission

Heartland Presbytery is in the top 10 of presbyteries giving to Shared Mission, but many may know little about shared mission because as a whole it does not get a lot of recognition.


In 2016, the Stewardship Division began putting out a newsletter, called the “Heartland Flash”  Take a look at what your mission dollars are accomplishing in and around our presbytery:

Stewardship Division Newsletter Issue #1

Stewardship Division Newsletter Issue #2


Here are the previously posted “Shared Mission Snapshots”.  Each “Snapshot” features a certain ministry of Heartland Presbytery connected with Shared Mission each month.

November 25, 2015

Interfaith Community Services

As a shared mission institution with the Heartland Presbytery, Interfaith Community Services, Inc. in St. Joseph, Missouri provides much needed services to the immigrant workers and families in northwest Missouri – over 300 of them.

As a program which began with funding from PCUSA and the Heartland Presbytery, it has flourished under a director who has felt the direct effects and experienced the story of an immigrant coming to America in search of a better life – her own flesh and blood.

Donna Salcido has overseen the Immigration Program at InterServ for the past four years, coming to St. Joseph from Liberal, Kansas – a place in which her mother, an immigrant from Mexico – also needed such services as the ones provided by InterServ in order to achieve legal status in the United States to grow and nurture a loving, caring family.

Donna, who is certified by the Board of Immigration Appeals as a professionally trained advocate, has lived the life of an immigrant family and her experiences provide much knowledge of what our immigrant population is in need of and how her InterServ program can help them achieve their life goals.

Services provided through InterServ include – family petitions to become legal permanent residents, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and the every changing naturalization processes for those who want to become citizens. And not all immigration cases that Donna deals with involve people that enter from the southern part of our country. She recently helped a couple from Canada who was in need of a marriage certificate in order for the husband to be a legal citizen. Donna also deals with translation issues from our court system, provides leadership and advice to our local Social Welfare Board and has been a key component in addressing the cultural proficiency aspect of a recently developed Interfaith Alliance on Immigrants in St. Joseph.

With no immigration expertise within the legal system in northwest Missouri, the closest lawyer that would be able to aid immigrants is located in Kansas City and through our mission partnership with the Heartland Presbytery, InterServ is able to provide these services. Donna makes sure that the immigrant community in St. Joseph knows who she is and what her program offers as to limit the amount of unnecessary dues or fees paid by immigrants for services by outside entities that are mostly free of charge.

Donna has been a blessing to our program at InterServ and with new businesses entering St. Joseph that frequently cater to the hiring of immigrant workers, she will be busy providing the necessary services to those who come to St. Joseph and the surrounding area.

You can find out more information about the Immigration Program and other programs at InterServ at

Submitted by Maggie Blankers

Shared in the August 25th Connection –

Cherith Brook

Cherith Brook is an intentional Christian community in the Catholic Worker tradition, founded by a group that includes a Presbyterian minister, and funded, at least in part, by shared mission giving to Heartland Presbytery.

Located near the intersection of 12th and Benton, Cherith Brook offers a unique witness to the work of God in the heart of Kansas City. They offer ministries of hospitality to the homeless and home-endangered that are rooted in a life of solidarity with the poor. This orientation enables the community to partner with people on the edge of society, and draws them into forms of ministry that are gracious and humanizing. At Cherith Brook, homeless people know they are not objects to be helped—but equal partners in the work that God is doing.

Members of the community work part-time outside of the community, contribute their earnings to a common pot, and rely on the community for their financial needs (as in Acts 2:45). These acts of radical dependence do more than shape the community’s ministry to people in need; they also propel Cherith Brook into powerful ministries of environmental stewardship, education, and activism.

Casual visitors to Cherith Brook’s physical space will note the chickens, the rain barrels, the terraced gardens, the solar panels, and other means of protecting and nurturing God’s creation. Visitors who come to monthly roundtable discussions, or pick up one of the community’s quarterly newspapers, will witness a vision of the Kingdom of God rooted in passionate hope and deep faith. And visitors who come during acts of Gospel witness—nonviolent action with a telos of peace in our time—will discover that our vision of the Kingdom need not be limited by what those in power deem “possible.”

These powerful ministries of communal life, service, stewardship, education, and Gospel witness are made possible, in part, by shared mission giving, but they truly come to life when those who give are willing to “come and see.”

-By Margaret Blankers

Printable Bulletin insert – Cherith Brook


Shared in the July 28th Connection –

Presbyterian World Mission

30% of the Total Shared Mission Budget from Heartland Presbytery goes to the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the mission arm of the General Assembly. One ministry area is Presbyterian World Mission.  Your Share Mission dollars go directly to support Presbyterian projects and relationships around the world.

Presbyterian World Mission connects God’s global family in order to heal wounds of poverty and violence;  to proclaim God’s saving love by sending and supporting almost 200 mission coworkers in more than 50 countries; and bringing global partners and US Presbyterians together to form communities of mission practice. World Mission is currently focusing on three critical global issues Evangelism: training pastors for community transformation; Poverty alleviation: educating 100,001 children by 2020; Reconciliation: ending violence against women and children.

Many churches support Presbyterian World Mission through Shared Mission Support and through individual gifts to specific Mission Co-Workers. If you are interested in supporting Presbyterian World Mission on top of the Shared Mission Support your church already gives through Heartland Presbytery, please contact: , who will connect you with Mission Co-Workers who are in deep need of prayer and support.

To learn more, please visit

Click here for a Printable Bulletin Insert Presbyterian World Mission to be shared with your congregation.

Shared in the July 21st Connection –

Office of Public Witness

30% of the Total Shared Mission Budget from Heartland Presbytery goes to the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the mission arm of the General Assembly. One program support by Shared Mission giving is the Office of Public Witness.

“The Presbyterian Office of Public Witness is the public policy information and advocacy office of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Its task is to advocate, and help the church to advocate, the social witness perspectives and policies of the Presbyterian General Assembly. The church has a long history of applying these biblically and theologically-based insights to issues that affect the public — maintaining a public policy ministry in the nation’s capital since 1946.Ministry in Washington offers a chance to translate the church’s deep convictions about justice, peace and freedom from words into reality. The political process is where decisions are made that help or harm people; decisions that help to make the kind of world God intends.

“Office of Public Witness staff members visit national policy-makers and their staff, write letters, make phone calls and occasionally testify before Congress or facilitate the testimony of church leaders. This involvement helps to clarify the moral and ethical issues at stake in public policy. The goal is to make clear to people in government what the General Assembly is concerned about, why, and what can be done to respond to those concerns.

“In 1936, the former United Presbyterian Church in the USA developed the Department of Social Education and Action. Presbyterians have always been known as political advocates; however this new Department created the first organized national effort. Knowing the value of Washington representation, the Department hired Fern Colborn in 1946 to maintain an office and a secretary on Eleventh St. NW in Washington, DC. This became the first Presbyterian Washington Office. Since then, the Washington Office has been led by several directors and many dedicated issue staff.

To learn more, please visit:

Click here for a printable Bulletin Insert Office of Public Witness

Shared in the July 14th Connection –

Office of Theology and Worship

30% of the Total Shared Mission Budget from Heartland Presbytery goes to the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the mission arm of the General Assembly. One ministry area is the Office of Theology, Worship, and Education, which teaches people to think, pray, and live their faith within congregations; through theological education; by publishing top-notch discipleship curricula in English, Spanish, and Korean; by supporting military chaplains in their ministry.

“The Office of Theology and Worship encourages the whole church—its congregations, ministers, and members—in faithful thinking, praying, and living. The Office of Theology and Worship focuses its work in four areas:

Ministers: The Office of Theology and Worship supports pastors and other church leaders in claiming the church’s theological and liturgical tradition. The office strives to enhance the church’s ability to think faithfully about the reign of God in the world.

Congregations: The Office of Theology and Worship supports congregations in fostering faithful worship and deeper engagement in the Christian faith, assisting them in interpreting the gospel and the Reformed tradition in the North American context.

Governing Bodies: The Office of Theology and Worship supports the ministry of the General Assembly, synods, and presbyteries. The office fulfills mandates from the General Assembly and assists all governing bodies to engage theological, confessional, ethical, and liturgical issues.

The Church Ecumenical: The Office of Theology and Worship works to engage Presbyterians in the search for the visible unity of Christ’s Church, for the sake of the gospel. The office facilitates participation in national and international conversations concerning common faith, common worship, and common witness.

“The Office of Theology and Worship serves the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) by enabling reflection on the resources of the Christian faith to illumine our thinking, enliven our praying, and empower our living for the sake of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

To learn more, please visit:

Click here for a printable Bulletin Insert Office of Theology and Worship to be shared with your congregation.

The Shared Mission Snapshot for YAV:

Shared in the July 7th Connection –


The Young Adult Volunteer program is a one year service opportunity for young adults from 19 to 30 years. YAVs live in intentional Christian community, deepening and developing their faith while serving alongside partners in sites across the United States and around the world. YAVs serve for one academic year, August – July, as they explore God’s calling in their lives.

In 2014/15, there were 90 Young Adult Volunteers, serving 20 sites: 6 international and 14 national. 71 of the YAVs were from PCUSA and two were from the Synod of Mid America. Heartland Presbytery had one YAV in 2014/15, she served in Washington, DC and will serve a second year in New York in 2015/16.

Volunteers are placed in community agencies or local churches, with jobs depending on the needs of partners and the skills of the Young Adult Volunteer. YAVs are exposed to some of the hardest problems in the world – poverty, violence and reconciliation, and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ – while living and reflecting with other volunteers on the meaning and motivation of their Christian faith.

The Young Adult Volunteer Program is partly supported by shared mission giving, by the Pentecost Offering and by individual giving. Without shared mission, the program could not be as success as it is.  Each dollar goes to support young people serving in the world.

If you are a young person, 18-30 years old, or know a young person who would like to serve in this capacity, please fill out the application at the following link.

To learn more, visit:

Click for a Printable Bulletin Insert – YAV to share with your congregation.

The Shared Mission Snapshot for PDA:

Shared in the June 30th Connection –

Snapshot #1


Heartland Presbytery Shared Mission Snapshot – PDA

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is a program supported by your shared mission dollars going to the Presbyterian Mission Agency. PDA provides assistance to areas devastated by natural and human-made disasters international and domestically.

The storms in May throughout the Mid-West and Texas caused damage to many areas. PDA reached out to presbyteries to provide support. For example, John Knox Ranch in Wimberley, TX sustained over $500,000 worth of damage to their campus included a demolished cafeteria. PDA worked with Mission Presbytery and John Knox Ranch to secure a kitchen trailer and a shower trailer to keep the camp running until a more permanent solution is in place.

PDA could not run without sustaining funds nor without volunteers. You might be familiar with the iconic blue PDA shirt. Someone does not receive one until she has volunteered at a PDA worksite.  Individuals and churches can sign up to volunteer at any of the worksites. An individual can also volunteer to be a member of the National Response Team, those who first respond to disasters, or a member of the Advisory Committee. Volunteers carry out the work of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

PDA is partly funded by shared mission dollars, funds from One Great Hour of Sharing and individual donations. Without shared mission to help fund overhead costs, PDA could not provide assistance to numerous places in the nation and world.

To learn more, visit:

Click here for a Printable Bulletin Insert – Shared Mission – PDA.

The Shared Mission Snapshot for the Synod of Mid-America:

Shared in the June 2nd Connection –

Snapshot #4


In 2014, the Synod of Mid-America (SoMA) released two video-based, education series for use in congregations under the name: Theocademy. The first series was a set of five lessons for congregations to use in introducing potential New Members to our denomination, and the second was a set of 13 lessons for use in training new Deacons and Ruling Elders. You can find both at

In 2015, the SoMA is producing FOUR MORE SERIES!

In July, we will be releasing a 10-part Sunday School series called “This Strange Book of Books.” These videos and study guides will serve as an introduction to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, and highlight just how unique (and strange!) our Bible is.

In September, we will release a 17-part Confirmation curriculum, complete with student study guides. This series will introduce youth to the Presbyterian Church by focusing on the “Great Themes of the Reformed Tradition” as outlined in the Book of Order. Click here for a Behind the Scenes preview:

We have also begun production on two series that will be released in 2016. In early 2016, we will release a curriculum for presbyteries to use in training and nurturing Commissioned Ruling Elders. In total, there will be 16 hours of video instruction, covering eight different topic areas (Old Testament, New Testament, Biblical Interpretation for Teaching and Preaching, Polity, Reformed Worship, Church history, and Christian Practices). This curriculum will also include written study materials.

Due in June 2016, SoMA is joining with the Synods of the Southwest and Sun to produce a full Spanish Language reproduction of the current Theocademy series (New Members, Deacons and Ruling Elders). When available, you will be able to locate this series at

We are so grateful for your continued support of the SoMA’s mission, and we hope these educational offerings will bring enormous benefit to your congregations.

Find your printable bulletin insert here: SOMA Shared Mission Snapshot

(submitted by Landon Whitsitt on behalf of the SoMA)

Shared in the May 12th Connection –

Snapshot #3

Pause, Reflect, and Renew.   We Got it Covered.

Church leaders are busy, busy, and busy doing the important work of the church.  Often times for these pastoral leaders there is little time  to pause and reflect  and find renewal. After spending time at presbytery meetings listening to pastors and church leadership, it became clear that pastors in the SoMA needed an opportunity to have time to reflect and renew.  So this year with the help of your mission dollars, pastors in the SoMA will have the opportunity to attend a new synod sponsored pastor’s retreat, which we are calling Selah.

Selah is a word used seventy-four times in the Hebrew Bible-seventy-one times in the Psalms and three times in Habakkuk. The meaning of the word is not known, though various interpretations exist. Selah is probably either a liturgical or musical mark giving instructions on the reading of the text, something like “stop and listen.”

The Selah retreat will be an intentional space designed to offer  pastoral leaders time to stop and listen.   This time of pausing will also allow for renewal and encourage time to refresh.  The retreat will feature a keynote speaker, worship times, and ample open time for fun, fellowship, or quiet personal time.

The first Selah retreat is scheduled April 12-15 at the Great Wolf  Lodge in Kansas City.  The event will feature author and speaker, Dr. Andrew Root , professor at  Luther(n) Seminary.  Andy’s keynotes will be focusing on exploring what it means to be in pastoral ministry heading into a changing church and culture.

Costs for Selah participants are minimal and covered largely by the generous mission dollars from our presbyteries. We are very grateful for the support that our congregations are willing to give to enhance their pastoral leadership.  With your continued support we are excited about future ways we can partner to offer training and encouragement to leaders in your presbytery and the Synod of Mid-America.

Click here for a printable bulletin insert to be shared with your congregation.

(submitted by Landon Whitsitt on behalf of the SoMA)


Shared in the May 6th Connection –

Snapshot #2

Putting our Resources to Work for You

The Synod of Mid-America (SoMA) exists for two reasons: to further the life and mission of the church throughout Kansas and Missouri, and to support presbyteries as they support the mission and witness of their congregations. The Commissioners to the SoMA have many different ways of accomplishing these two goals, but one of the most simple is also one of the most joyous: providing financial assistance to presbyteries.

In 2012, the SoMA primarily concerned itself with rebuilding its infrastructure, reforming its governance, and revisioning its goals and programs. While a lot of critical internal work was done, external programs were retired and much of the Per Capita and Shared Mission sent from presbyteries sat unused. The Commissioners did not skip a beat. That year, they voted unanimously to rebate a significant portion of unused Per Capita and Shared Mission pledges to all six presbyteries. Vital presbyteries are the goal of our work, and the Synod Assembly committed to honoring the trust of the presbyteries by not hording resources but rather return it to work within their congregations.

Ordinarily, financial assistance comes through utilizing the wise investments of women and men before us and providing various grants. Last year, the SoMA has awarded Heartland Presbytery a $20,000 grant from the Innovation Fund for the genesis of The Dotte Initiative. This year, the Commissioners voted to provide each presbytery that fulfilled their 2014 Per Capita pledge and participated in Mission Giving a $10,000 grant that would help presbyteries directly assist congregations.

The SoMA Commissioners are grateful that our six presbyteries have joined us in mission, and are regularly looking for ways to ensure that our resources stimulate vital and healthy mission.

(Follow the link to share the above article with your congregation: Bulletin Insert – SOMA Snapshot #2)


Continued from the April 28th Connection –

Snapshot #1

The Synod of Mid-America: We’re Here for You. No, really!

When the Synod of Mid-America (SoMA) rewrote its governance documents in 2013, a significant addition was the inclusion of a set of Missional Priorities, a list of goals that the Commissioners believed were to be the work of the SoMA. Among those Missional Priorities are several that clearly spell out ways in which the SoMA wants to support presbyteries as they support the mission and witness of congregations.

4-5 times a year, the SoMA gathers the Executive Leadership of the six SoMA presbyteries together for a time of reflection and study with their colleagues. The EPs/GPs come together to brainstorm, pray for one another, learn with one another, and support one another on their shared journey. Since 2014, the SoMA has committed to gathering the Stated Clerks together as well. In both cases, the SoMA covers all expenses because the Commissioners believe that good energized leadership is key to the functioning of healthy presbyteries.

The SoMA has also committed to providing education and resources for Presbytery Moderators (by providing grants to send Moderators to the annual PCUSA Moderators Conference), COM/CPM Moderators (by providing educational materials on the changing nature of the church), and Commissioned Ruling Elders (by planning retreats and, in 2015, producing a full Theocademy curriculum for their training and nurture).

These commitments compliment our already successful program for New Pastors, Gathering for Pastoral Sustenance, which brings pastors in their first call together 5 times over 2 years to learn from the likes of Dr. Andrew Root, Peter Stienke, Rev. Chip Andrus, Dr. Eileen Campbell-Reed, and Rev. John Wimberly. Small group interactions with these scholars is an opportunity most pastors would be envious of. In GPS it is common practice.

In other cases, the direct presbytery support is less formal. Executive Landon Whitsitt and Assistant Executive James Gale attend multiple presbytery meetings a year, support and resources presbytery councils, and have served as the staff resources for two presbytery search committees as they sought new Executive Leadership.

Your presbytery’s commitment to a Shared Mission pledge goes a long way to providing leaders in your area with vital times of nurture, rest, and study. The result: dynamic congregations who freely share the Grace and Peace of Christ.

Click  for a printable copy of  The Synod of Mid-America bulletin insert to share with your congregation.

The Shared Mission Snapshot for Mission and Social Justice:

Shared in the April 14th Connection –

Snapshot #3


Interfaith Community Services – InterServ – is a shared mission partner with Heartland Presbytery and has been serving families in St. Joseph and the surrounding area of Northwest Missouri since 1909.

As a partner with the Heartland Presbytery and its “shared mission giving”, InterServ was able to touch the lives of hundreds of people each day with supportive services in 2014, serving over 11,000 people through seven different programs.

InterServ’s mission provides for the basic needs of people, especially those in the human family who have the fewest alternatives in life.  We provide financial help to families in their efforts to avoid eviction and homelessness and to provide access to food from our food pantry at our Calvin Center in order to counter the impact of hunger and poverty. Last year 7,500 food orders were given at our Calvin Center – a former Heartland Presbyterian Church in North St. Joseph. The InterServ Immigration Program began with funding from PCUSA and the Heartland Presbytery, now providing services to over 300 immigrant workers and families annually, permitting greater participation and inclusion into the community. As an example, Marie, a high school graduate now part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), now has an opportunity to continue her formal education and to have gainful employment without fear of being separated from her family. In our natural aging process, as we move from active to needing greater assistance to frailty, InterServ provides homecare with home delivered meals provided by volunteers, delivering 15 meal routes in St. Joseph and rural Buchanan County.  This is an offering and blessing that keeps us in contact with elderly to assess their living conditions, helping them to avoid isolation and provides nourishment for body, mind and spirit.

These are just a few snapshots of the programming that InterServ, as shared mission partner, undertakes on a daily basis. It is the support of Presbyterian congregations in St. Joseph and throughout Heartland Presbytery that helps InterServ with vital ministries to children, youth, families and elderly – the human family.

Shared mission giving supports the work of servant and advocate. Bringing the faithful together to promote dialogue, gathering the community to help gain awareness of the unmet needs and to gain understanding of who’s affected and how by the social conditions of our day. And through that community dialogue we create opportunities for a compassionate response that reflects and carries out the social teachings of the Gospel.

For more information InterServ and the services, opportunities and faith connections it provides, visit

Let us continue to pray for one another


David G. Howery, LCSW

Executive Director

The Human Family Heartland Connections (2) bulletin insert


The Shared Mission Snapshot for the Resource Center:

Shared in the April 7th Connection –

Snapshot #3

In addition to the library of resources, support of Malinda Spencer, labyrinths for check out, curriculum and video resources to borrow, the Resource Center also supports churches by sharing the cost of ordering materials.  If you want to purchase material but aren’t sure the cost makes sense for something you will only use once, the Resource Center can often split the cost of an item with your church, then your church can use the material first before turning it over to the Resource Center for other churches to check out and use.  This is a great way to lower your cost on a special purchase, keep your shelves from piling up with used curriculum, and to support the Heartland Presbytery.

The Resource Center is an amazing treasure trove of ideas and support for your ministry and your Shared Mission giving makes it possible.

 Follow the link to learn more about Shared Mission giving, or check out this printable bulletin to be shared with your congregation.

Shared in the March 31st Connection –

Snapshot #2

          We’ve already learned that the Resource Center has great resources available for your use.  You can preview curriculum, new (and old) books, videos, and gather ideas for your Christian Education program.  You can also make use of Malinda Spencer’s deep knowledge in a variety of areas.

           The Resource Center offers yearlong subscriptions at a nominal fee.  For just $80 you can access all of the above listed resources AND have the ability to check out and use books, study materials, and even popular video studies.  Two very popular items for check out are the traveling Prayer Labyrinths.  These offer churches a way to set up prayer or devotional stations on a temporary basis.  Another very popular resource is the Dewitt Jones videos.  Each video costs hundreds of dollars if your church were to buy it.  However, the Resource Center can check these out to subscribing churches for no additional cost.

           Follow the link to learn more about Shared Mission giving, or check out this printable bulletin to be shared with your congregation.

Shared in the March 17th Connection –

Snapshot #1

Shared Mission is the undesignated mission contribution your congregation makes to the wider church, through which you join with other congregations to accomplish mission in the presbytery and in the world that none of us could do alone. Read more:

Did you know that your Shared Mission giving helps to support the Resource Center for the Presbytery?

The Resource Center contains a library of resources that churches in Heartland Presbytery are welcome to preview. You can head over to the Presbytery office to discover what new curriculum is available, or search for resources on prayer, confirmation, the book of Job, or any other topic you can dream up.

The Resource Center offers much more than just print material.  Malinda Spencer is one of the resources that is available to you and your church.  She is available to consult with your session, CE committee, adult study class, or other interested parties.  Malinda can make suggestions for curriculum, books, video studies, and things to consider when offering a class.  Malinda also culls through the vast amount of published work on our behalf, and saves us time by pointing us to only the best resources available.

But wait, the Resource Center does even more than that.  Be sure to catch next week’s edition of the Heartland Connection to learn even more.

Here is a  Bulletin insert – resource center to be shared with your congregation!


The Shared Mission Snapshot for February/March is from the Mission & Social Justice Division:

Shared in the March 3rd Connection –

Earth Day is Wednesday, April 22nd and many congregations are celebrating in their churches on April 19th or the 26th.  This year, the resource is available online only and there is a web page to accompany the resource.  It includes many extras like sermon prep, Christian education ideas, song suggestions, denominational resources and much more. Use this page in conjuction with the resource for an exciting and meaningful Earth Day Sunday.

Download the resource here.

Creation Justice Ministries is a longstanding partner of Environmental Ministries with the PCUSA as well as with Presbyterians for Earth Care.  CJM has supplied Earth Day resources for the denomination for several years, and we hope they will be useful for you in your congregation.

Submitted by Diane Waddell, Moderator, Earthkeepers Moderator, PEC


   LAMP Construction Progress Photo1_001

LAMP’s Ministry of Service: ReDiscover

by David Warm, moderator Linwood Area Ministry Project (LAMP)

Since its founding in 1897, Linwood Church has aimed to transform lives.  That ministry continues with Heartland Presbytery’s Linwood Area Ministry Place, which is redeveloping the former landmark Linwood Presbyterian Church at Linwood and Bruce Watkins Drive into a campus of community services anchored by two important agencies with strong traditions of serving this community– ReDiscover and Front Porch Alliance.

ReDiscover started out in Lee’s Summit, MO as a group of volunteers in the basement of a local church.  Incorporated in 1969, the non-profit agency has been known by several names, but its mission has remained constant for 45 years: To deliver mental health and substance abuse services to help individuals and families achieve healthier and more productive lives.

ReDiscover offers a full spectrum of programs and services for people whose lives have been affected by serious mental illness and/or substance abuse, including men, women, and children who have limited income, no insurance or who are under-insured.

The agency’s primary services at the LAMP location will be for Women with Children, as well as its Alt Care day treatment program serving women on probation. ReDiscover offers one of the few programs in the area that allows children to stay with their mother during recovery, accepting pregnant women as well as mothers who need to bring their children with them to treatment.   The LAMP campus will provide a caring space for children.

“We are excited to be located at the LAMP campus,” Marsha Page-White, Clinical Director. “The location is ideal for our clients and the space is inspiring. Equally important, ReDiscover counts on partnerships with a broad range of community and faith organizations, and we are pleased to be part of this new partnership to rebuild lives and communities.”

Watch for the next edition of “Heartland Connection” to learn more about LAMP’s other major anchor, Front Porch Alliance.

LAMP Project Take Shape

by David Warm, moderator Linwood Area Ministry Project (LAMP)

After some twenty years of planning, partnering and praying, Linwood Area Ministry Place is now well underway, teaming with construction crews working to re-open the historic landmark Linwood Presbyterian Church, located at Linwood and Bruce Watkins Drive in the heart of Kansas City, and the adjacent Harold Thomas Center, in Spring 2015.

Initiated and supported by Heartland Presbytery, LAMP is a ministry of presence, service, and leadership. By reinvesting in this site, the Presbytery is making a strong commitment to be an active, positive presence in a distressed area, working as neighbor and friend to people in need. As a ministry of service, LAMP is creating a vibrant campus of service ministries to meet urgent human needs. And as a ministry of leadership, LAMP brings church and community resources together to restore this highly visible site and to be a catalyst for restoration of the surrounding community.

LAMP will house the midtown operations of ReDiscover, a major regional mental health agency, and Front Porch Alliance, a Presbyterian led community partnership providing life-changing youth, senior and neighborhood services in the Ivanhoe area, along with other community agencies. Heartland Presbytery also plans to return its offices to the site.

Scott Associates is leading the redevelopment team, and Kelly Construction Group is the general contractor. Simmons First Bank, Central Bank of Kansas City, Kansas City Missouri Community Development Entity and U.S. Bank forged a unique financial partnership to provide construction financing that involves Historic Preservation and New Markets Tax Credits. Private fundraising will continue into 2015 to match lead grants from area foundations and Presbytery churches and families. Watch for upcoming editions of Heartland Connection to learn more about how Presbyterians can support this important and exciting ministry.


Our Camp Ministry at Heartland Center

By Dan Scheneman, Heartland Center Executive Director

alphapointe-lily-swimmingOur Shared Mission of Camp Serving the Community

Each June, our mission dollars help to provide a great camp experience for a special group of visually impaired youth.  Here is a testimonial from Jake McLaughlin, the youth service manager for Alphapointe, about their experience at Heartland Presbyterian Center.

“I just wanted to tell you I have really enjoyed spending time out there in the summer. Everyone really loves the facility and the staff. Alphapointe is a non-profit whose mission is to empower individuals with vision loss to achieve their goals and aspirations. The camp experience that Heartland Center provides, helps us introduce children to a variety of traditional outdoor skills.

Our camp focuses on the particular needs and considerations of visual impaired youth. Camp activities (horseback riding, swimming, archery, climbing walls, etc.) help Alphapointe instill and enhance key values of our visually impaired campers to meet everyday challenges. Our camp is all about CAN do attitude! Most importantly, campers have a fantastic week with other visually impaired peers.

One of Alphapointe’s adventure campers, Lily, had this to say about her time spent at the Heartland Center, “Today at camp, we started the day off with crafts! Then got to try archery. I almost hit the bull’s-eye on my first try. The pool was a lot of fun! My new friend, Ashley, and I had a great time taking pictures underwater!”

In addition to more than the 2,000 children and youth who attend Heartland Center’s Christ-centered programs, they also build relationships and share the hospitality of Jesus Christ with over 1,000 kids from other groups like Alphapointe each summer.  Thank you for making these experiences happen through our shared mission offering.

From the November 5 Heartland Connection:

By Dan Scheneman, Heartland Center Executive Director

HC Snap Shot #1 - Campers at Vesper PointThe churches in Heartland Presbytery believe that our summer camp programs at Heartland Center impact lives for Jesus Christ.  At camp, Christ-centered relationships are built in a nurturing environment where all are welcomed and valued as God’s children. Through our shared mission giving, the churches of Heartland Presbytery invest in our young people’s faith development and help keep the cost of camp more affordable for over 2,100 children and youth each summer.

Heartland Center’s distinguishing factor is our exceptional college age summer staff who invest in our young people through the love of Jesus Christ.  At camp, our kids come alive in their faith as they witness the example of Christ through the staff and in each other.

Heartland Camps are where kids go to be kids, have great adventures in the outdoors, and be a part of the Body of Christ. Registration is now open for summer camp 2015!  Sign up with a $75 deposit by December 1st and get 15% off.  Don’t have your summer schedule figured out yet? It is easy to switch sessions later. So register now and save!  Get more details at

Link to a bulletin insert of this article to share with your congregation.

From the October 27 Heartland Connection:

A Positive Meeting Experience

By Teaching Elder Heather Jepsen, First Presbyterian Church, Warrensburg, MO

        The Shared Mission Snapshot focus for the month of October has been the Commission on Preparation for Ministry.  So far we have discussed how we use shared mission funds for scholarships, for required psychological evaluations, and for book grants.  The fourth and final way we use shared mission funds is to provide in-person meeting opportunities and support for those under care of our Presbytery.

Each year, those in the ordination process, are required to meet with the Preparation for Ministry committee at least once, in person.  We have students attending seminaries all over the country, so traveling to the Kansas City area can be a costly and time consuming endeavor.  We use shared mission funds to help pay the travel expenses of our students as they come to the area for their required meetings.

As a component of this requirement, the CPM of Heartland Presbytery encourages students to all come to an annual retreat that we hold in the spring.  This retreat is an opportunity for students to check in with members of the committee, to attend helpful workshops and seminars, and also to visit and get to know each other.  This is a wonderful chance for students who go to different seminaries to connect around their common experience.  It also provides a chance for committee members to meet with many students at one time.

Your shared mission dollars go to support this annual CPM retreat.  From helping with travel expenses to providing meals for those in attendance, this is just another wonderful way that your shared mission dollars are at work in Heartland Presbytery.

The members of the Commission on Preparation for Ministry would like to thank you for your generosity in Heartland Presbytery.  With your support, we are able to provide the encouragement and support our students need as they prepare to answer God’s call to ministry.  Thank you!

Link to a bulletin insert of this article to share with your congregation.