— Presbyterian Church (@Presbyterian) July 16, 2019
The Grace Presbytery, part of the Presbyterian Church USA, has congregations in north and northeast Texas. The Presbytery recently ordained its first minister of gun violence prevention.
“With all the gun violence in our country, it is easy to lose hope and ask: where is God? But I am hopeful,” [Rev. Deanna] Hollas said. “I see God raising up so many people and churches to study and speak out and work towards ending the violence that is plaguing our nation. Change is coming.”
Hollas holds a Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology and a Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction from San Francisco Theology Seminary. In addition to her work as a Dallas gun violence prevention activist, she is co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, Texas, a covenant community of spiritual directors. Her husband, Chris Hollas, and children Eleanor, Emily and John joined her at the service.
Presided over by Rev. David Schaefers, the Moderator of Grace Presbytery, and a special ordaining commission, the ordination service included traditional elements such as the serving of communion, the hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy” and the participation of Hollas’ Presbyterian parents, Dr. Richard and Sharon Morgan of Plainview, Texas.
At the same time, it also introduced a new hymn about gun violence prevention, “If We Just Talk of Thoughts and Prayers” by Presbyterian pastor and lyricist the Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. Representing the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, Rev. Jan Orr-Harter presented Hollas with an orange stole, the color of the nationwide gun violence prevention movement. The stole included faces of children, a reminder of the lives at stake.
– Presbyterian Peace Fellowship in First-known minister of Gun Violence Prevention ordained July 7