2013 Grant Recipient: Paul Gibson

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YOUTH MINISTRY: Open Doors, Sparks, NV: Paul Gibson: $2,000.

This grant provides assistance to creating Open Doors, a drop-in center for LGBTQ youth and young adults. The drop in center will be located in Lord of Mercy Lutheran Church in Sparks, Nevada. The drop-in center will create a positive impact in the LGBTQ youth community. It will provide a space for spiritual and individual growth. The space will also allow for social activities such as concerts, games, dancing, movies and discussion groups. Paul Gibson is an ELCA seminarian and interning at Lord of Mercy.  Specifically the grant ELM is providing allows for advertising and promotion of Open Doors and purchasing equipment and supplies.

How will this ELM grant help you in your ministry?

Paul Gibson: Lord of Mercy has been an RIC congregation for two years and they are eager to be a force for good and for change in the Reno/Sparks metropolitan area. The idea for Open Doors came from members of the congregation who saw an urgent need for mentoring and community-building and hoped the church could provide it. I am the first gay intern that Lord of Mercy has had, and they have been quick to recognize the gifts I offer to them and their community. This grant will enable me to lay the groundwork for a project that will continue even after I return to seminary. The project will allow me to serve an age group with which I have very little experience. It will also provide me the opportunity to work with area businesses and community leaders.

For more on ELM’s Ministry Grant program go to: https://www.elm.org/elm-grants/