I am very pleased to announce that we have an exciting opportunity for a 2023 Summer missions trip to Appalachia Service Project! PCWS has done Summer work trips with ASP many times in the past, and I am excited to carry on this tradition of mission and service in the coming summer.

Since this will be my (Ben’s) first time organizing an ASP trip, I’ve accepted an invitation from Hattie Koher, the youth minister for First United Methodist Church of LaGrange to join their team this summer. What does this mean? It means that we will be registering alongside FUMC for our trip, will attend all of their trip preparation meetings (beginning in Jan), and will eventually drive down to Kentucky and work alongside the FUMC teens and adults.

Hattie has been leading ASP trips for FUMC for years, and before her work as a youth minister at FUMC, she was working for ASP. Needless to say, we are in capable hands, and I am planning to learn a lot about these missions trips from her, and her team. 

Here is what I need from you:

  1. View or download PDF file below from Hattie with all the details for our potential trip.
  2. Talk with your teens (current 8th grade-Current 12th grade) about whether they would like to attend a trip like this. Identify any hesitations you or your teen might have, and make sure to emphasize that we are welcoming friends of PCWS teens. Anyone who registers will be expected to participate in preparation meetings and fundraising, but registrants do not have to be members of PCWS.
  3. Connect with me about any further questions you might have, and what hesitations or reservations (if any) you might be feeling
  4. Register your teen(s) using the link below.
  5. Pay the non-refundable $50 Deposit to PCWS by November 1.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any thoughts, questions, or requests! Hattie is willing to host an info meeting if that would be helpful for us. I’m so excited for this opportunity to join with a great mission with our fantastic teens!

Ben Mertz

ASP Trip Info Packet

PCWS ASP 2023 Trip Registration

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Let’s Fill the Can!

We all know that during cold weather more expense needs to go to warming a house or apartment and other cold-related expenses. This means that the need for food donations increases. As you do your regular shopping this week, would you consider picking up some items for the food bank at our ministry partner Second Baptist Church of La Grange? You can bring the nonperishable items by the church any time. A large garbage can with a hand-lettered sign encouraging each other, friends, family, and neighbors to “Fill The Can!”

We give grateful praise, along with our newly-arrived family, for their safe (and long) journey which brought them to Chicago last Thursday evening. Several PCWS members gathered at O’Hare, along with RefugeeOne staff, to welcome this weary family into our church family and to bring them to their new apartment home in the city, where a familiar, hot meal was ready and waiting for them. We all shared in the wonder of Pastor Lesley and the matriarch, Jeannette, sharing in a beautiful moment of praise and blessing for their safe journey, for their new home, and for the future now ahead of them.

Since Thursday, we have been in fairly regular contact with the family via WhatsApp (thanks to Google Translate) and paid an extended visit on Sunday afternoon where, with the help of our newest team-mate Jean Baptiste, who speaks Kinyarwanda, we were able to have a really productive and meaningful conversation with the group.

The result of this is a somewhat urgent request for clothing and quarters. Having arrived with just a suitcase and 3 or 4 duffle bags, they are in need of additional clothing, including:

  • current, casual pants (athletic pants ok), shirts, and jackets for both young men, aged 17 and 27. The best we can do regarding size at this point is 32-waist and tall. Information on clothing for the women to follow.
  • clothing for an 18-month-old little girl
  • quarters for laundry machines

If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Wennerstrum.

There will be a collection basket on the opposite side of the food pantry collection area under the coat racks near the office. If you drop off during the week and the office is closed, you can leave the donations in the black bin outside.

We look forward to continuing to introduce the family to you further in the coming weeks!