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 John Tassone, 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 - April 2018
Kristin Coon was blessed to visit the village of Nzige, Rwanda in February 2016 with a group from Pearce Church. A public school music teacher for 17 years, Kristin loves to share her love of Jesus with others through music. She was honored to sing with the Gikondo Free Methodist Children's choir on her trip to Rwanda.
"Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers" Galatians 6:10
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!”
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.”
Carol loves teaching children, providing teacher training, and short term missions. She has been the team leader for two trips to Nzige, Rwanda where a wonderful partnership with the preschool and local Free Methodist Church is developing. She finds the Christians in Rwanda inspiring.
Carol has been an elementary school teacher for twenty-nine years, adjunct professor at Roberts Wesleyan and Hope Africa University, workshop presenter, and Bible teacher for children.
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.
John is the chair of the GCLT. If you have questions about the GCLT or missions at Pearce, you may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Linked with Love is Pearce’s partnership with the Nzige Preschool: located on a hilltop in southeastern Rwanda, Africa. In Kinyarwanda, the language spoken in Nzige, "We are linked with love" is translated "Duhujwe n'urukundo." This school helps more than 300 children, between the ages of 4-7, prepare for public school. Started a few 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, more than 100 children in Nzige have been sponsored by families at Pearce, but there are still children waiting for sponsors. If you would like to join other families from Pearce and support one of these children in Nzige, 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.
Several mission teams have been sent from Pearce to Nzige since our Linked with Love partnership began in 2015. You can stay connected with all that’s happening on the Linked with Love facebook page: facebook.com/Linked with Love/Pearce FM Church.
Our partnership with the Nzige preschool in Rwanda was highlighted in the International Childcare Ministries October 2015 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.
- The Andersons (International Youth Workers, Young Life, younglife.org)
- A couple working with Bridges for Peace (bridgesforpeace.com)
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
The Heart & Soul Free Methodist Church – Pearce volunteers assist regularly with the Sunday children’s ministry, with a Saturday community food distribution, and have helped both financially and by construction labor in the refurbishing of the church located on North Clinton Avenue in Rochester.
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.
Opportunity Knocks – Scholarship program allowing inner-city students to attend The Charles Finney School.
Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network (RAIHN) - a not-for-profit organization that assists homeless families to achieve sustainable independence by supporting them with tailored services including shelter, food, and case management. On the recommendation of Pearce’s Great Commission Leadership Team (GCLT), the Official Board has approved Pearce to become a Support Congregation for RAIHN. This means that we will provide additional volunteers and meal support to hosting congregations, which are St. Luke's and St. Cyrene's Episcopal Church on Fitzhugh Street in Rochester (known as "Two Saints").
Neighborly Help - a branch of Pearce Men’s Ministry made up of teams of men who help widows, widowers, seniors, single parents, and others [mostly within our congregation] who find themselves in need because of “stage of life” situations. “Stage of life” situations can be due to things such as advancing age, deteriorating health or mobility, loss of income, or changing stages of raising a family. The focus of this ministry is to help this target group with home safety and maintenance issues, which provides a reduction of stress and risk in their lives. Warm new friendships have resulted with both the volunteers and the homeowners.
In April of each year (typically the last Friday & Saturday of April), Pearce holds a Mission Garage Sale. People in our church, Pearce 4 Kids family, and community give of their time and talents, donate items for the sale, and shop at the sale, all for the purpose of helping mission initiatives.
In 2018, funds went to provide scholarships for two teens living in the city to attend The Charles Finney School; land and a new building for the school in Nzige, Rwanda; and provide backpacks with food for the weekends for food-insecure children in the Churchville-Chili School District.
From 2010-2018, over $150,000 has been raised for missions here and abroad through our Mission Garage Sale.