DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE — April 2020
Mission Program Grants —
Supporting New Worshiping Communities in the PC(USA)
From the Director Column by Rhashell D. Hunter
“… to equip the saints for the work of ministry…”
– Ephesians 4:12
Mission Program Grants are grants made available through Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. The grants support the transforming work of new worshiping communities and mid councils.
Mission Program Grants are awarded to new worshiping communities in order to encourage an environment where new worshiping communities thrive.
In Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries, our vision is to “create an awareness of systemic racism in the church, and create an environment where Presbyterians of color, new immigrants, and women in congregations, mid councils and other groups can serve fully in ministry and leadership.”
Many of our new worshiping communities are communities of color. One new worshiping community is a Presbyterian and Lutheran partnership that is making a difference in the lives of African refugees.
Foundation of Life Faith Community, a new worshiping community in Minneapolis, serves the Anuak refugee and immigrant population. The pastor, the Rev. Gilo Agwa Gora, is a part-time Ethiopian pastor who works closely with families that have relocated from Ethiopia and South Sudan.
“When I listen to the stories of the people forced from their land in Ethiopia, I hurt for them,” he said. A rising divorce rate and tensions between parents and children play out in complicated ways in the refugee community, as they acclimate to North American culture.
Gora seeks to bridge spiritual and cultural concerns in this ministry partnership between Presbyterians and Lutherans. Gora is grateful that Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries has walked with him at pivotal times in his ministry. He participated in the Seminarians of Color Conference when he attended Dubuque Seminary, the Mentoring Event and a yearlong mentoring program for leaders of color serving in pastoral ministry, and his new worshiping community received support though the Office of Mission Program Grants in Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries. Gora also works as a nursing home chaplain and wants to find funding to become a full-time pastor.
Be the Change!
Connect with the Office of Mission Program Grants and contact your mid council or congregation to establish a new worshiping community.