Pearce’s local and global mission involvement is overseen by the Great Commission Leadership Team (GCLT), a wonderful and dedicated group of people who are committed to spreading the love of our Savior in tangible ways. The mission of the GCLT is to promote, support, and coordinate Pearce’s mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Its purpose is to educate, send, and support members who go into the world and into their communities to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission to the Church.
This team, under the leadership of Becky Draper, meets monthly to oversee the mission involvement of our congregation.
The GCLT embraces the following values in seeking to fulfill its mission:
- We are committed to indigenous leadership. We desire to encourage the raising up of leaders who are from the area in which they minister. Thus, our primary goal is to transfer leadership as soon as possible and then to assume a supportive role as needed.
- We are committed to fostering financial independence of the various projects and ministries in which we are involved. We recognize that some ministries may never become self-supporting; other ministries may require long-term or ongoing support for an extended period. In these cases, we are committed to long-term funding that strengthens the sense of ownership, accountability, and partnership rather than dependency.
- We are committed to reproducing ministries. We will engage in ministries that can be reproduced and maintained by local leaders.
- We are committed to the wise and strategic investment of our resources under the discernment of the Holy Spirit. Our first priority is to assist in the harvest of the Kingdom.
- We are committed to caring for the poor, the marginalized, and those held captive in our region and around the world.
- We are committed to supporting an existing Christian ministry rather than developing duplicate ministries.
We are committed to encouraging those led by God in our congregation to develop new ministries where human needs exist in the absence of a Christian response.
GCLT Members – February 2016
Mark feels it is an honor for him to serve on the GCLT team. He writes, “I believe that all the calls on our lives come from our Lord, through the Great Commission found at the conclusion of the Gospel of Matthew. I’ve been blessed by parents that lived this out in their lives and taught me, from my earliest days, to serve others.”
Mark has a passion for Pearce to reach out to people in need, both next door and around the world. He is convinced that it is “an exciting adventure” to spread the Gospel.
Becky and her family have participated in the life of Pearce for nearly 15 years. During that time, Becky acknowledges that God has opened her eyes to “opportunities to do His work everywhere around us.” She adds, “I think that prior to my time at Pearce, I saw missions as something that other people did in remote areas of our world. My heart has been opened to the reality that there are possibilities for us to engage in ‘missions’ all around, even as close as our backyard!”
Becky began serving as the chair of the GCLT in January 2016. If you have questions about the GCLT or missions at Pearce, you may contact Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bev credits her passion for making a difference for the marginalized and disadvantaged to her summers as a college student, when she worked with inner city children at a Salvation Army camp in Buffalo. That experience also confirmed her vocation as a pediatric nurse for nearly 40 years. Her passion for children inspired her to help found the Pearce 4 Kids ministry at Pearce in the 1990s.
Bev is passionate about followers of Christ becoming involved in efforts to eliminate structural injustice, racism, and poverty. She writes, “I want to make our community and world a place where children can be healthy and have hope for a future that is better than today.”
Lydia has been instrumental in helping launch Pearce’s “Linked with Love” partnership with the Free Methodist church and pre-school in Nzige, Rwanda. She was a member of the original exploratory team that traveled to Rwanda in January 2015 to explore the possible partnership. She returned to Rwanda in 2016 with two other educators to explore ways to provide teacher training for the Nzige school staff. As the Executive Director of Pearce 4 Kids, Lydia has worked to involve the families of our own preschoolers in the “Linked with Love” partnership.
Gina Teresi Spear
A recently retired podiatrist, Gina embarked on her first medical mission trip in 2014. Traveling to Belize, she was able to put her 30 years of medical experience to work in helping to provide care in that Latin American country.
Gina writes, “Life is a mission trip in progress. There are plenty of opportunities all around us; we just need to be aware of the needs of those in our midst, as well as abroad.”
John acknowledges that his growing desire to show Christ’s love in both word and deed has taken different forms over the past fifteen years. In 2004, John and his family made a long-term commitment to see churches planted in Muslim villages in Senegal, Africa. Annually, he travels to work with a church planter in sharing the gospel in those villages.
John also enjoys tutoring inner city children and looks for opportunities to share his faith among friends, co-workers, and others in the local community. Ordained as a pastor, John assists in leading Pearce’s Saturday evening worship service.
Carol is quick to point out that she has never been on a short-term mission trip, yet her organizational skills have been put to good use on the GCLT by serving as the group’s secretary. She does have a heart for ministry, having worked in recent years by helping refugee families in Rochester secure donations of furniture and house supplies and she is planning in 2016 to participate in Flower City Work Camp.
Carols writes, “If I have a passion when it comes to missions, it is to do whatever tasks need doing so that Pearce can carry out the Great Commission. I’m happy to do those unseen tasks that help the GCLT members carry out their awesome tasks.”
“Linked with Love” is Pearce’s partnership with the Nzige Preschool, located on a hilltop in southeastern Rwanda, Africa. This school helps more than 300 children, between the ages of 4-7, prepare for public school. Started only a couple of years ago by the Free Methodist congregation in Nzige, the preschool is making a significant impact on families with young children.
Pearce families are asked to consider making a commitment to sponsor a child from the school. To date, 100 children in Nzige have been sponsored by families at Pearce. More sponsorship packets are still available. If you would like to sponsor a child in Nzige, but have not been able to do so yet, you may contact the Pearce Church office at 594-9488 at any time and ask for more information. Those choosing to sponsor a child will commit to monthly financial support ($30 per month), regular prayer support, and occasional communication with the child to encourage them in their studies and in their walk with Christ.
In February 2016, a team of educators from Pearce Church will travel to Rwanda to spend a few days at the Nzige Preschool. The team will observe the teachers and classrooms “in action” to better understand the school’s curriculum as well as develop relationships with the teachers and staff. The primary purpose of the trip is to identify ways in which Pearce may assist the preschool’s staff in their vocational development. Plans are that a second team will visit Nzige in early August 2016 to provide workshops and training for teachers at the preschool. You can stay connected with all that’s happening on their Facebook page: facebook.com/Linked with Love/Pearce FM Church.
Our partnership with the Nzige preschool in Rwanda was highlighted in International Childcare Ministries newsletter. You can find that article here: http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/
This partnership is the result of the work of Pearce’s Great Commission Leadership Team, a group committed to helping our congregation to be involved in Kingdom work, both at home and around the world.
Click on the names below to see their page on the “Free Methodist World Missions” website.
- Al & Stacy – Young Life European regional director
- A couple in the Middle East
Clear Blue Water Project – Drilling of fresh water wells in developing countries.
International Child Care – support a child @ $30 a month
Hope Africa University – Free Methodist University located in Bujumbura, Burundi
Compassion International – scholarship and child sponsorship @ $38 per month
Food Cupboard Ministry – Each year Pearce volunteers provide a generous supply of food for over 1,000 individuals through the food cupboard. A great team of volunteers and generous food donations from our congregation make this outreach to needy families possible.
Mobile Food Pantry – In partnership with Foodlink, Pearce hosts Foodlink Mobile Food Pantries once a quarter in our Family Life Center. Everyone in our community is invited to benefit from these pantries which offer free perishable food items to families in need.
Clothing Distribution Ministry – Clean, used and new clothing is collected in large bins in the hallway outside of the Friendship Center. The clothing is then distributed to several of Rochester’s mission locations.
Aurora Hospice House – Over the last few years, Pearce has provided funding and logistical support for the construction of the Aurora Hospice House, located on Union Street in Spencerport. The two-bed hospice center is open to serve the needs of the dying and their families. Volunteer opportunities are numerous for individuals from Pearce.
Grace House Rochester – Pearce supports this local transitional housing ministry that works closely with men returning to their communities from prison. At Grace House, people are taught life-skills and Christian principles that will benefit t hem in their daily lives.
Thanksgiving Baskets – Approximately 1,000 boxes, containing generous amounts of food and a frozen turkey, are distributed in November to families in the greater Rochester region.
Operation Christmas Child – Pearce participates each year in preparing and collecting shoe boxes filled with gifts for children in developing countries that are distributed through Operation Christmas Child.
Clothes for Kids – Help our sister congregation, Heart & Soul Free Methodist Church, in inner-city Rochester, and other churches in their ministry to children. Pearce families purchase winter clothing for children through our “Clothes for Kids” program.
Urban Choice Charter School – Pearce’s Nicole Berg is the principal of this charter school in the City of Rochester. We support her school in various ways and in August we have a supply drive to help students in need have the resources to be successful.
Opportunity Knocks – Scholarship program allowing inner-city students to attend The Charles Finney School.
In April of each year, funds for missions are raised through the sale of donated “garage sale” items. Between 60 and 70 thousand dollars has been raised over the last six years.