Social Justice Ministry
Led by Christian beliefs, our Presbyterian heritage and a collective desire to make the world more reflective of God's peace and justice, the Social Justice Ministry at Village Presbyterian Church seeks to identify priority areas for advocacy, and responds through bold and faithful education and action in our church, denomination, city, state and nation. In all endeavors, we aim to live toward God's promised day.
GO BEYOND THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS
“Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers…For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act–they will be blessed in their doing.”
“Presbyterians affirm the value of conscientious decision-making empowered by the Holy Spirit. While there is a diversity of opinion regarding women’s rights related to abortion, no biblical texts condemn or prohibit abortion. The church affirms the ability and responsibility of women in the context of their communities of faith, to make faithful moral choices in regard to problem pregnancies.” (Source) Read more on abortion and reproductive issues from the Presbyterian Church (USA) here.
"We take life seriously and consider it sacred, therefore we believe that abortion must be a free choice to make for pro-quality-life.” - Dr. Bob Meneilly, founding pastor
Above: In the wake of the Uvalde, Texas tragedy, Rev. Tom Are joined Kansas City faith and community leaders at Martin Luther King Jr. Park on May 26, 2022 to call for gun control. They urged lawmakers to take immediate action to end the surge of gun violence.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) advocates licensing, registration, background checks and waiting periods when purchasing guns. Additionally, it calls for the banning of semiautomatic assault weapons and the raising of the age for handgun ownership to the age of twenty-one. (Source) Click here for more information about the PC(USA) position on gun control.
Village Social Justice ministry is a sponsor of Grandparents for Gun Safety, a local nonprofit founded after the Sandy Hook tragedy to advocate for gun control. Grandparents for Gun Safety is holding its 9th Annual Community Forum Monday, October 10, 2022, 9-11:30 am, at Colonial Church in Prairie Village (7039 Mission Road). The keynote speaker is Josh Koskoff, the Connecticut attorney who won a $73 million settlement from Remington Arms for nine Sandy Hook families. The forum is open to the community — attend to show your support and learn more about firearm safety issues.
Village Church believes fighting racial inequality begins with examining your own heart and mind and educating yourself regarding cultural biases. Click for a list of antiracism resources and educational materials compiled by Rev. Hallie Hottle. We are committed to pursuing racial justice starting with ourselves and extending to our community, our nation, and the earth.
For the first time in Jan. 2022, Village hosted a community celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and work (pictured above). This event was also sponsored by STAND Up for Black Lives+ Prairie Village, the City of Prairie Village Diversity Committee, the Johnson County NAACP, Race Project KC and Shawnee Mission East High School. We are excited to host this event again in Jan. 2023.
Above: Village Church pastors and congregants participate in Prairie Village’s 2nd Annual Juneteenth celebration, June 2022. Local school children, including some from Village, participated in a Juneteenth poster contest.
Immigration & refugee issues
Above: Our Young Adult Ministry participates in the Refugee Resettlement Project, sponsoring a new apartment for an Afghan refugee family in Kansas City in collaboration with Jewish Vocational Service. Volunteers donated furnishings and supplies for the apartment and helped prepare for the arrival of its new residents.
Our Scriptures are very clear about our call to welcome the stranger among us: “When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:33-34). In Matthew, Jesus tells a parable to his followers emphasizing specific classes of people who should serve as if Christ himself. Immigrants are one of those groups. “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35c). In fact, the call to care for immigrants is reiterated thirty-seven times throughout the Bible. Click to read more about immigration and refugee work at Village.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) advocates for the “establishment by law of a comprehensive legalization program for undocumented persons already living and working in the United States.” The PC(USA) also calls for “reform of current immigration policies and procedures to ensure a more timely and humane process, with special attend to family reunification and to those persons who have been waiting for their immigrant visas and for naturalization.” (Source)
Village Church partners with Frontera de Cristo, one of five different PC(USA) Presbyterian Border Region Outreach sites situated along the 2,000-mile U.S./Mexico border. Beginning in 2017, Village Church members have participated in immersion trips through Frontera de Cristo under the leadership of Rev. Hallie Hottle. Learn more about our border ministry and how you can participate.
Above: As of summer 2022, Village Church Food Pantry has begun participating in a compost program to ethically dispose of expired produce.
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) advocates for reducing waste, recycling and composting. It calls upon the church to eat a plant-based diet, to take public transportation, and to reduce energy use by replacing light bulbs with LEDs, adding insulation, air drying clothes and planting trees. “When we work to protect creation, we are answering God’s call to till and keep the garden (Genesis 2:15). In the face of deepening ecological crises caused by climate change, our call to act as earth’s caretakers takes on more meaning.” (Source)
We are committed to making Village Church more environmentally aware and sustainable as an institution by reducing its environmental impact and by practicing, modeling and teaching faithful and responsible stewardship of God's Creation. Our call is to promote earth-keeping within and beyond the walls of our church. Learn more about environmental action at Village.
Rev. Dr. Rodger Nishioka
Senior associate pastor
Members of Social Justice Ministry
Carol Lynne Ellis