Matthew 25 grants will support vulnerable congregations facing COVID-19

Presbyterian Mission Agency president sets aside funds to be administered by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

by Rich Copley | Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett is setting aside $300,000 in Presbyterian Mission Agency funds to pay for grants of up to $7,500 to congregations whose survival may be in question as a result of COVID-19.

LOUISVILLE — Like many small businesses, the dynamics of the coronavirus pandemic are putting a strain on a lot of churches — some of which were already hanging on by a thread.

That is why the Presbyterian Mission Agency is offering Matthew 25 Continuity of Ministry Grants of up to $7,500 to congregations whose survival may be in question due to the impact of COVID-19.

“We are beyond grateful for the ways Presbyterians are reaching out to their communities to serve and to heal as we live through this pandemic together,” the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency wrote in a letter announcing the grants.

“But we also know this: In this season of challenge, many of our own congregations who were getting by and getting God’s work done are now at risk. These congregations, whose work is among the most vulnerable, in communities of color who live with oppression and who serve our refugees and immigrants, are continuing to serve while themselves being unsure how to keep the lights on, pay the pastor or the mortgage. As you have shown up for the least of these, we are here to show up for you.”

The Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, is show preaching earlier this year to a combined meeting of the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly and the PMA Board. (Photo by Rich Copley)

Moffett is making $300,000 set aside for her office available to fund the grants that will be administered by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA). “$300,000 is a start and a way for us to lead by example in serving those congregations whose work is among the most vulnerable,” she said.

Last week, PDA announced $2.7 million in grants available to mid councils (synods and presbyteries), congregations, and international partners to support work in response to and impacted by COVID-19. The gifts were possible in part due to One Great Hour of Sharing, the Special Offering that culminates its 2020 campaign Holy Week.

Click here to make a gift to One Great Hour of Sharing

The Matthew 25 grants will be given alongside the previously announced grants through the Emergency Grant Program of PDA.

“As PDA works to provide an equitable and useful distribution of its COVID-19 designated funds to support congregations in their emergency outreach ministries during the pandemic, the additional provision of $300,000 from our PMA executive director is a very welcome blessing, allowing us to also support congregational continuity during a very challenging season,” said the Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus, director of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. “Being able to offer grants both for outreach and for internal congregational support is a demonstrable way of balancing self-care with service in our congregations and presbyteries, as together we face the impact of the pandemic.

“PDA is grateful to be part of a church that seeks to stand with those most vulnerable and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.”

Click here to apply for a Matthew 25 grant

Application for the grants will be made through presbyteries, and Kraus said they will be asked to prioritize the requests based on the vulnerability of the church, considering historic disenfranchisement and exclusion.

Moffett’s letter concludes, “We hope that these resources, modest though they may be, will support you and your churches as you see and come alongside those who are hungry, thirsty, strangers, imprisoned and sick, serving them as you gladly serve our Lord.”

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is one of the Compassion, Peace & Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

Give to One Great Hour of Sharing to enable Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to respond quickly to catastrophic events.

Read more:

PDA ready to make COVID-19 grants thanks to One Great Hour of Sharing


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