From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
PRESBYTERIAN WORLD SERVICE REVAMPS GRANT
05 May 1996 13:18:44
95203 PRESBYTERIAN WORLD SERVICE REVAMPS GRANT
PROGRAM ON IMMIGRANTS
by Jerry L. Van Marter
NEW YORK CITY--Troubled by criticisms it said were the result of
misunderstanding and misreporting by the secular press, the Presbyterian
World Service (PWS) Advisory Committee has reworked a grant program
designed to help religious communities respond to the needs of immigrants.
In late April, PWS announced that it had set aside $20,000 of One
Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) funds "for grants to church coalitions working
against anti-immigrant initiatives in their communities or states." (see
May 26 "News Briefs," #95148).
According to the Rev. Dan Rift, PWS coordinator, the action was
misunderstood by some as a lobbying effort against specific legislation.
The Religion News Service and "Washington Post," for instance, tied the
program to California Proposition 187, which voters in that state approved
In a prepared statement issued at its June 6 meeting here, the PWS
Advisory Committee said, "We regret that this action has been misunderstood
and miscast as supporting action against particular ballot propositions."
The committee rescinded its April action and voted to provide grants
to middle governing bodies to:
* "provide places where the voices of refugees and immigrants can be
heard and their contributions to our common life can be celebrated"
* "provide ways that congregations and communities might understand
the impact of proposed programmatic and legislative changes in services to
refugees and immigrants"
* "address places where untruth is being spread and where the basic
rights of people are being denied purely because they are immigrants."
"We want to be very explicit about what we're trying to do and are
willing to support," Rift explained.
The committee also agreed to fund the program out of appropriate
restricted funds rather than with OGHS money. "We know of some churches
that may want to use their Peacemaking Offering money to support these
efforts as well," Rift added.
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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