Presbyterian Mission Agency president sets aside funds to be administered by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
by Rich Copley | Presbyterian News Service
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.
“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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
Give to One Great Hour of Sharing to enable Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to respond quickly to catastrophic events.
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Categories: Disaster Response, Matthew 25, Presbyterian Mission Agency, Special Offerings
Tags: compassion peace & justice, coronavirus, covid-19, matthew 25 continuity of ministry grants, matthew 25 invitation, One Great Hour of Sharing, presbyterian disaster assistance, presbyterian mission agency, rev. dr. diane moffett, rev. dr. laurie kraus, Special Offerings
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