PC(USA)'s Rural Ministry Network Awards Grant to Many Ministerial Projects

A Presbyterian Rural Ministry Network has awarded $37,600 grant to 13 community-enrichment projects across the country.

The PC(USA)’s Rural Ministry Network is a voluntary association of people throughout the church involved or interested in rural ministry. The network chose the grant recipients during a Sept. 23 conference call.

PC(USA) reported that five of the grants went to programs involving young people or the elderly; three grants went to multicultural-related programs, while three others were awarded to projects involving parish nursing or heath-care.

The grant program which was founded by the 1991 General Assembly, has been ongoing since 1992. Money is derived from the budget of the Evangelism and Church Development office of the National Ministries Division.

“This year we continue to be reminded of the needs of children, youth and the elderly in rural communities as well as the need for preventative health care,” said Diana Stephen, associate for Network Support for Rural and Small Church Ministries for the Presbyterian Church (USA). “We are thankful that this grant program is able to affirm the PC(USA)’s commitment to rural churches and communities.”

Here is the list of the programs that received the grant:
· Parish Partner Youth Project, DeTour Village, MI (Mackinac Presbytery, Synod of the Covenant): $3,000 to support community outreach program to unchurched middle school and high school youth.
· Latino Advocacy Project of the Ohio Region, Dayton, OH (Miami Presbytery, Synod of the Covenant): $2,600 to support project aimed at changing public policy in Ohio allowing driver’s licenses to be issued to agricultural workers in the region without requiring a Social Security card or visa.
· HOPE for the Heartland, Williamsburg, IA (East Iowa Presbytery, Synod of Lakes and Prairies): $3,000 to support volunteer program that will bring youth and adults to rural communities to experience rural life, serve people living in poverty, and assisting in the rehabilitation of rural housing.
· Radio Postville, Postville, IA (John Knox Presbytery, Synod of Lakes and Prairies): $3,000 to support community-owned radio station in Postville seeking to reach Hispanic and Russian-Jewish populations who have moved to the area to work in the meat packing plants and to build bridges between long-term residents and newcomers.
· Befriender Ministry, Grandin, ND (Northern Plains Presbytery, Synod of Lakes and Prairies): $2,500 to support training volunteers to serve ecumenical Parish nursing program.
· Dream Catchers of Lawrence County, Bridgeport, IL (Southeast Illinois Presbytery, Synod of Lincoln Trails): $3,000 to support new after-school enrichment center for elementary school children.
· Houstonia Youth Outreach, Sedalia, MO (Missouri Union Presbytery, Synod of Mid-America): $3,000 to support outreach program to respond to spiritual and nutritional needs of at-risk children in this small town and its surrounding rural communities.
· Kansas Farmers and Hunters, Feeding the Hungry, Harper, KS (Southern Kansas Presbytery, Synod of Mid-America): $2,500 to support processing of donated deer meat to be distributed to the rural poor and Native Americans through food banks located in seven counties of south central Kansas.
· Foothills Rural Community Ministry, Holland Patent, NY (Utica Presbytery, Synod of the Northeast): $3,000 to help purchase computer and for supporting staff person for the project, which addresses symptoms of rural poverty and works to counter rural isolation by encouraging people from all economic segments to interact and exchange ideas.
· Pine Eagle Economic Development Corp., Halfway, OR, (Eastern Oregon Presbytery, Synod of the Pacific): $3,000 to purchase tools for construction of affordable assisted living center. Project attempts to respond to needs of the elderly to allow them to remain in their community.
· Planning Activities for the Total Care Parish Nursing Ministry, Jefferson, SC (New Harmony Presbytery, Synod of South Atlantic): $3,000 to support parish nursing and racial reconciliation programs.
· Blackburn Playground, Brady, TX (Mission Presbytery, Synod of the Sun): $3,000 to support transformation of a vacant lot at Brady Presbyterian Church into a recreational area for children.
· Children’s Health Pantry, Bridgeport, WV (West Virginia Presbytery, Synod of the Trinity): $3,000 to assist in the provision of health kits that will help low-income families resolve the problems of cleanliness and infestations.