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Seed fund from Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) will benefit mid councils, congregations and other entities

Decade to End Gun Violence grants available for prevention and advocacy projects

by Darla Carter | Presbyterian News Service

Philadelphia’s “Memorial to the Lost” features T-shirts with the names of those who have died from gun violence. In this archived photo, Overbrook Presbyterian Church hosts the display to help raise awareness and get conversations started. (Photo courtesy of Overbrook Presbyterian Church)

LOUISVILLE — The 225th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) declared the years 2022 to 2032 to be the Decade to End Gun Violence and called on the church to recommit itself to the work.

As part of that effort, the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program is taking applications for grants to help PC(USA) congregations, mid councils, worshiping communities and institutions conduct events to combat gun violence.

The grants are the latest example of the PC(USA)’s commitment to gun-violence prevention as reflected in various actions over the years, including the publication of “Gun Violence, Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call,” a policy and study paper approved by the 219th General Assembly (2010).

Although some progress has been made, gun violence continues to be a major problem in the United States. In fact, more Americans died of gun-related injuries in 2021 than in any other year on record, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the wake of tragedies, such as the Tops Supermarket shooting in East Buffalo and the killing of 19 children and two adults at a school in Uvalde, Texas, “the Assembly agreed that we needed to really commit to 10 years of work on gun violence,” said the Rev. Carl Horton, Coordinator of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.

The grants are one way of helping to facilitate action, which the General Assembly said should occur at all levels of the church. Peacemaking anticipates that the grants will range from $1,000 to $2,000, and primarily will be used to fund advocacy and prevention efforts.

“We have $20,000 to give away to mid councils (and other eligible entities) to help them accomplish something related to gun violence, whether it be a rally, a demonstration, a gun buyback program, a screening of a documentary, a panel discussion — something locally that would move the ball forward a bit in a particular region,” Horton said.

Applications will be reviewed by the Decade to End Gun Violence Working Group. There is no application deadline, but the grants are intended for distribution in 2023 and 2024.

For more information, including the grant criteria, go to grant invitation online.

Read about a recent PC(USA) webinar on gun violence prevention here and an “A Matter of Faith: A Presby Podcast” episode on a similar subject here.

The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program is one of the Compassion, Peace and Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

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