Rural Ministry Grants will help Youth, Domestic-violence Victims

Dec 05, 2002 12:39 PM EST

LOUISVILLE - The Rural Ministry Advisory Committee (RMAC) of the National Ministries Division (NMD) has awarded grants totaling $34,000 to nine community-enrichment projects around the country. Five of the grants went to programs for young people; two others went to projects that include aid to victims of domestic violence.

"This year the grant proposals once again demonstrate that rural churches and communities are reaching out to youth and providing safe places for them to gather, learn and discuss issues," said Diana Stephen, associate for network support for rural and small-church ministries for the Presbyterian Church (USA). "Through these projects, youth are affirmed during these critical years of their lives and are invited to be beacons of hope in their communities."

The RMAC chair is Fred Brust, a retired farmer from Union Mills, IN. The committee chose the grant recipients during a Sept. 21 meeting in Spokane, WA. The program was created by action of the 1991 General Assembly and has awarded annual grants since 1992.

Committee members are elected by GA and accountable to NMD. The money is from the budget of the evangelism and church development office.

The programs:

* Bridge to Kids, Roseville, OH (Muskingum Valley Presbytery, Synod of the Covenant): $3,000 for an after-school program for young people and their families.

* Northern Plains Presbytery, Synod of Lakes and Prairies: $10,000 to support a statewide ecumenical coalition in North Dakota that offers counseling, financial aid, supplemental food assistance and other support to farm families.

* Bison Area Ecumenical Youth Group, Bison, SD (South Dakota Presbytery, Synod of Lakes and Prairies): $3,000 in "seed money" for a youth group co-sponsored by four area churches.

* Herington Roadhouse Youth Center, Herington, KS (Northern Kansas Presbytery, Synod of Mid-America): $3,000 for equipment.

* With This Much Love, Lindsay, CA (San Joaquin Presbytery, Synod of the Pacific): $3,000 for a local-history project intended to generate community pride and create a forum for discussion of community issues.

* Proyecto La Nueva Esperanza Inc., San Antonio, PR (Northwest Presbytery, Synod of Puerto Rico): $3,000 for a community project initiated by the Hewlett-Packard Co. and the government of Puerto Rico to address issues related to domestic violence, substance abuse and illness, and to support volunteerism.

* Las Mariposas, San Manuel, AZ (DeCristo Presbytery, Synod of the Southwest): $3,000 for a program to help domestic-violence survivors establish themselves in small businesses.

* Horses for Youth, Frederick, OK (Indian Nations Presbytery, Synod of the Sun): $3,000 for a program to instruct "at-risk" youth in life skills and leadership as an instrument of evangelism.

* Children Today-Our Future, Huttonsville, WV (West Virginia Presbytery, Synod of Trinity): $3,000 for a group that provides supervised educational and recreational activities for young people in a small rural community.

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By Evan Silverstein