Just before the pandemic shutdown in March 2020, the Mission Committee launched a free Lenten series of “Justice Desserts”, in which community members on the front lines led candid conversations on Wednesday evenings that explored systemic injustice issues in several areas. Sessions were held on immigration and the criminal justice system.
Even during the pandemic, we continued many of our regular Mission activities and have added new initiatives. At the start of the pandemic, for example, we provided meals, through the former Honest John’s restaurant in Homestead, to health care workers and housekeeping/maintenance staff at West Penn and Allegheny General hospitals.
In 2020, Waverly became an institutional mission partner with the National Black Presbyterian Caucus and a member of the Wilkinsburg Sanctuary Project for Peace. Waverly also became a Matthew 25 church, in which we pledge to be actively engaged in the world around us and to compassionately serve people who are hungry, oppressed, imprisoned or poor.
In 2022, we opened our doors to the emergency workers addressing the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse. We welcomed the opportunity to live out our call to serve our neighbors and were humbled by the support and encouragement we received. We truly witnessed God’s hand in all those who donated and gave of their time.
Quarterly Financial Disbursements
We donate 10% of our pledged giving each year to local organizations, mission partners, and causes, with major support provided to long-time partner, the Wilkinsburg Community Ministry, a nonprofit that serves 5,000 people a year, including senior citizens, people with disabilities and at-risk youth and families who are economically challenged, underemployed or facing emergency situations.
Serving our Neighbors Year Round
- Paper Bank – We previously ordered and assembled 60 bags of paper supplies to distribute monthly during a food pantry at Second United Presbyterian Church in Wilkinsburg, and now provide toiletries and paper goods to Wilkinsburg Community Ministry
- Crop Walk Hunger Relief – We are one of the leading participants in the annual fundraising walk through Church World Services in Pittsburgh’s East End.
- Advent offerings – During Sundays in Advent, Waverly invites leaders of local organizations to speak about their programs, and church members and the mission committee support them with a special offering.
- Members participate in various efforts with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
- Women’s Shelter Meals — Members serve meals at Miryam’s House in Uptown.
- Coat Drive — We collect winter coats in the fall to serve youth through Wilkinsburg Community Ministry and Wilkinsburg schools.
- “Seats and Feets” Drive — We collect socks and underwear for youth in the Wilkinsburg School District.
- Wilkinsburg Community Ministry support — Waverly provides regular financial assistance, donations of food supplies and volunteer time, especially during holiday food drives, etc. One of our Mission Committee members serves on the WCM board to strengthen that connection.
- Pittsburgh Pride – As part of LAMP, we stand in solidarity with our LGBTQIA + siblings at Pride and beyond.
Adults — Mission Trips Far and Near
Waverly Presbyterian Church partners with Arlene Brown (also known as “Mama Arlene“) and the Urukundo Village and Learning Center. Urukundo is about an hour from the Rwandan capital of Kigali and was founded in 2006 by Mama Arlene. In 2016, a team from Waverly transported 10 laptops donated by the Forest Hills Rotary Club to set up a computer lab at the center and contributed other supplies. Waverly has continued its close relationship with Urukundo and Mama Arlene since that trip, donating supplies and financial support over the years.
Other mission trips have taken Waverly members and friends to Camp Crestfield in Butler County, Presbyterian Disaster Relief sites and Mexico.
Waverly Youth have a long tradition of joining together in service. As one of many such trips, Waverly youth joined 50 others from Pittsburgh Presbytery for the Crestfield Super Mission Possible week with a theme of Fearless Faith. They painted rooms and hallways, cooked and served a meal to local children, and worked for CityServe on housing projects for people in need of help.