America’s First Gun Violence Minister Says ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ Aren’t Enough

To the strains of the hymn “If We Just Talk of Thoughts and Prayers,” the PCUSA ordained The Rev. Deanna Hollas as its first minister of gun violence prevention in July.

Ms. Hollas is believed to be the first person in the country to be given a national ecclesiastical role of this kind. And the choice of the hymn was a deliberate underlining of what she sees as a desperate need: to do more than react to the latest mass shooting with an offer of benedictions.

From her place of ministry, Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, Tex., Ms. Hollas will oversee about 800 supporters of gun violence prevention in all 50 states.

These are the reasons why we all need to speak out about gun violence in the United States:

  • Americans kill each other with guns at 25 times the rate of other high income countries.
  • Every 10 hours, a woman is shot dead by her current or former partner.
  • Gun Violence is estimated to cost $229 Billion EVERY YEAR!
  • 40,000 people are killed by guns each year.

Opportunities for Action

  • Contact your member of congress to ACT NOW TO STOP GUN VIOLENCE

Peace and Justice Network,

 Presbytery of the Grand Canyon


Betty Forsberg -b4sberg@gmail.com

Banner Offers Grief Recovery Groups

Grief Recovery Schedule Summer 2019

New Hymn Celebrates Neighbors

O God You Give Us Neighbors – hymn by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette

International Peacemaker coming to Phoenix

The Peace and Justice Network uses its grant funding for multiple activities, including hosting an International Peacemaker each year.  Last year, we were honored to host Mary Mikhael from Syria.  Mary spoke at multiple events throughout her visit and approximately 517 participants heard her message in various forums.

This year we will host Thang Van Lian from Myanmar in late September. He will speak about the Rohingya crisis, the current civil war on ethnic minority groups, the silence of the Myanmar churches and what a faithful response of Christians and the Christian church might look like to a humanitarian crisis such as the one being faced in Myanmar today.

Native American Presbyterian Women’s Conference

“Anchored in Faith”



~JULY 12-14, 2019~

A three-day event located near the Puget Sound in the state of Washington! Please join us on the Port Madison Indian Reservation in Suquamish, WA at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort! We welcome you to this momentous occasion to reflect upon and celebrate women’s roles in society and how to grow and continue our walk in faith with Jesus Christ!


2232 E. 28th St.

            TACOMA, WASHINGTON 98404

Please contact: Reverend Irvin Porter at irvporter@aol.com (cell) 253-740-7180 / Danelle McKinney at dmckinneypw@gmail.com / Donna Bradley at dcbpix@yahoo.com or April Paddock at kaprilpaddock@hotmail.com

Anchored In Faith

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain” –Hebrews 6:19

Registration form 2019

An appeal for help from Border Ministries (REVISED)

My Dear Christian Brothers and Sisters,

In John 21:15-17, Jesus asks Peter three times if Peter loves him. Each time Jesus tells him to care for and feed his sheep. Jesus is our shepherd. We are his sheep. In the case of these displaced humans, seeking asylum from gangs and oppression, we are Peter and have been called to feed the sheep. The need at our border is real.  In addition to praying for a safer and better life for the migrants and their families, we are being called to feed God’s sheep.

The Congregational Resourcing Team (CRT) of which I am a member, has given us full backing—–not just for this one time, but as ongoing work. We need continued humanitarian efforts and prayers for our brothers and sisters, who are trying to make better lives for themselves and their families.

My hope is that you can collect these supplies from your congregations starting as soon as possible. Please contact me at teri.conrad@hotmail.com   when you’d like us to pick up the items.We originally planned to take everything to Douglas on the weekend of June 8-9. We found that we needed more time, so have changed our trip date to the weekend of June 22 and 23. We welcome others to make the trip with us, in celebration of the season of Pentecost, and the birth of our Christian Church. What better way to celebrate Christ than continuing his ministry?

Many Blessings,

Teri Conrad, CRT Member      Shannon Langston, CRT Chair
teri.conrad@hotmail.com        srlangston@gmail.com

Items Needed:








Bars of soap

Diapers in many sizes

*Underwear for *children and adults

*Socks for *children and adults

Shoes for children and adults

Toilet paper



Trash bags

Feminine hygiene supplies

*Cleaning supplies – of all kinds

*Cleaners – like Fabulosa

*Laundry soap


Coloring books


Books in Spanish




* = Items most in need of right now

With exception of deodorant, they need large volume packages, not the individual containers you get at hotels. These supplies will help the asylum seekers, who are waiting for a place in line. The are currently staying in a crowded Catholic shelter.

Thank you for your generosity.

Mission Priority Grant Workshop

The next opportunity for Mission Priority Grant awards will be August 2019. The application deadline is July 15th.

To help congregations prepare, the Congregational Resourcing Team will host a Grant Writing Workshop

When: Saturday, June 1st at 9am – 1pm
Please arrive between 8:35-8:45am to check-in.
There will be refreshments and light snacks provided prior to and throughout the workshop.

Where: Memorial Presbyterian Church, 4141 E Thomas Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85018

To help walk you through the grant application process-what qualifies for a grant, how to address each question and how to strengthen your application, the CRT Grant Sub-Committee members will be leading this workshop.

Applications will be made available online on May 17th on the Presbytery website, as well as a hard copy to the workshop participants the day of.

There are 3 general Mission Priority Grant qualifications:

  • Congregational Development and / or Collaboration Among Congregations:
    • Congregational development includes both programmatic and leadership development that help churches gain clarity, purpose, focus, energy to fulfill God’s call to them. Most of this development work must come from within a congregation, its members and leaders.
  • Starting New Worshiping Communities:
    • We affirm God’s continuing call to this mid-Council of the Presbyterian Church that growth in the membership and mission of our part of the body of Christ can and needs to happen, in part, by adding more worshipping communities. However, the most promising energy in recent years has come from people with a passion for this work, coupled with the commitment of one or more congregations to nurture and support.
  • Supporting Regional Programs:
    • Regional programs will support existing congregations and Presbytery sponsored organizations in their serving or nurturing the faith development of its members. Examples of programs include: Montlure Camp, UKIRK, and the Arizona Faith Network.

Mission Priority Grants are grants funded from the Presbytery’s Mission Pledges. Since October of 2017, we have been able to fund $158,800 out of $359,275 in application requests.

Click here to register for this workshop
by May 29th

If you have any questions please let us know. We hope to see you there!


Shannon Langston
Chair, Congregational Resourcing Team
Presbytery of the Grand Canyon



“With God all things are possible “

– Matthew 19:26

Presbyterian Women/Synod Fall Gathering



Toll free: 886-737-5751 Office Phone: (520) 744-3400; FAX: (520) 744-8021; Website:  www.desertrenewal.org

7101 West Picture Rocks Road, Tucson, AZ 85743-9645
Click here for REGISTRATION form

Send registration form and make payment to:

Presbyterian Women Synod Southwest
Susan Keil-Smith, 3813 Inca St NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111

From Foster Care to Trafficking, Children at Risk: Pentecost Offering

The practice of child sex trafficking has grown into a massive industry. Professional traffickers know where and how to find vulnerable victims. In the United States, that often means preying on children involved in the child welfare system. (source: www.ecpatusa.org)

In 2015, California Attorney General Kamala Harris reported that 59% of children arrested on prostitution-related charges in Los Angeles County had previously been in foster care. According to Dr. Gerald Mallon, children in care have an increased susceptibility to being manipulated by false promises of security and acceptance.

Another author, Withelma Pettigrew writes: “[Children] who grow up in foster care express how it is common household knowledge that many caregivers take them in primarily for the paycheck…Therefore when youth are approached by traffickers…they don’t see much difference between their purpose of bringing money into their foster home or to traffickers.”

According to statistics from the OL Pathy Foundation, 75% of all child sex  trafficking victims were at one point homeless, and 1 in 3 homeless teens are lured into commercial sex trafficking within 48 hours of leaving home.

Running away from home is not the only pathway to homelessness for foster children. 22% of youth who “age out” of the system end up homeless. Between 1999 and 2013, a staggering 230,000 youths were discharged from foster care in the U.S.

Approximately 25 states and the District of Columbia have extended foster care to age 21. Arizona did not extend foster care as of November, 2018, but may allow some extended services for housing and educational assistance. Most youth in Arizona, however, do not receive these services.

Opportunities for Action

  • Ask your Arizona representatives to pass The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, which would allow our state to receive federal reimbursement of costs associated with helping youth remain in foster care.
  • Become a member of and familiarize yourself with ECPAT-USA’s programs that combat child sex trafficking.
  • Most parents charged with neglect do not desire to hurt their children, and are rarely malicious. Child traffickers, however, are. Encourage and redirect Arizona’s efforts away from foster care and toward preventive, family preservation services. Offer to mentor and provide support to parents within your congregation and community.
  • Learn to recognize and report signs of trafficking.
  • Request that policy makers, case workers and foster parents be required to educate foster children on the risks of trafficking, and for them to be aware how to handle encounters with traffickers.
  • Use your congregation’s portion of the Pentecost Offering for programs that help at-risk children.


Joan Fenton  rjfenton5@gmail.com

Older Adult Ministry in a Changing Era

Major demographic changes are taking place in our society.  This provides both challenges and opportunities for today’s churches.  Several articles in this issue of PNN share insights on some of the opportunities that folks are addressing:
· MEMO from Membership by Linda Rauenbuehler
· NEXT Church Gathering by Quentin Holmes
· A Renewed Approach to Aging: Wise Eyes – Fresh Eyes by Michele Hendrix
· Addressing the Challenges of Aging Well in a Remote Location by Lynnette Wood

Other articles in this issue include:
· We Just Wanted to Serve Our Neighbors A Bowl of Soup! by Carrie Macaluso
· A Contemplative Article by Wesley Lachman

Click here to download and read the complete Spring PNN.