By Jerry L. Van Marter, Presbyterian News Service
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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) World Mission (WM) has hired three “catalysts” to help the church engage with the three critical global issues ― poverty, reconciliation and evangelism ― around which World Mission has chosen to focus its work. .
The three critical global issues, which address the changing mission realities of the 21st Century, were defined as key mission issues by WM’s global partners, mission co-workers and PC(USA) congregations through an extensive survey and feedback process completed last year.
The three catalysts are Frank Dimmock, the Rev. Haemin Lee and Shannon Beck. They will start work this spring and will be available to speak to congregations, mission committees and presbyteries about the these issues as they network passionate Christians together to address poverty, especially as it impacts women and children, share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ and work towards reconciliation in cultures of violence, including our own.
“These catalysts will bring a level of expertise and attention to these concerns that has previously not existed within the church,” said the Rev. Hunter Farrell, director of World Mission. “They will also be a key resource to help inspire, equip and connect churches and individuals who have passion and energy to work in the areas of poverty, evangelism and reconciliation. They will be the ‘catalysts’ to start a movement of Presbyterians involved in God’s mission in the world in each of these areas."
The reconciliation catalyst is Shannon Beck, a graduate of Seattle Pacific University and Fuller Theological Seminary. She is an educator, singer-songwriter, poet, blogger and peace-seeker who currently serves as director of young people’s ministries at First United Methodist Church of Seattle. She has worked for peace and justice concerns in various capacities, including seven years as chair of Seattle’s Presbytery’s Peacemaking Committee and on the Peacemaking Committee of the Synod of Alaska-Northwest. She helped found the PC(USA)’s Israel/Palestine Network, has done organizing for the Washington State affiliate of the National Religious Campaign against Torture and co-wrote the 2012 “Season of Peace” for the PC(USA).