The Brethren Faith in Action Fund has given eight grants to outreach ministry projects of Church of the Brethren congregations since the first of the year. These grants are given to projects that serve the community, strengthen the congregation, and expand the reign of God.
The fund was created with monies generated by the sale of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Ministries that receive the grants will honor and continue the legacy of service that the center epitomized, while addressing dynamics of the present age.
Grants given so far this year:
Altoona (Pa.) 28th Street Church of the Brethren received $5,000 to help purchase a walk-in freezer for its food outreach ministries. The congregation began a free lunch ministry more than 10 years ago, which expanded 5 years ago to include a food pantry now assisting more than 650 households in the community.
Bayamon (PR) Church of the Brethren, Iglesia de Los Hermanos de Bayamon, received $4,989.57 to increase its capacity to feed and serve homeless people and families and individuals in need in an outreach ministry called “House of Bread.” The ministry began in 2008 and over the years has impacted more than 10,000 people. The project expansion includes construction and completion of a 1,120-square-foot facility including a new dining hall contiguous to the main church building, as well as furnishing of a commercial-style kitchen.
Brook Park (Ohio) Community Church of the Brethren received $5,000 to expand its food bank, “a large project of supporting the people in the community with tremendous needs.” Twice a week the church provides food, dry goods, clothing, and other items to those in need. A senior's luncheon is held every month, and a community dinner every other month. During the summer, the church hosts a monthly breakfast/lunch give away for students of Berea School District.
Central Church of the Brethren, Roanoke, Va., received $2,356.20 to purchase additional nutritional foods for weekend snack bags provided to students in “food insecure homes” through the local Congregations in Action program. The program is a partnership with several nearby congregations, initiated by Central church approximately 10 years ago. Congregations in Action currently serves students and families of Highland Park Elementary School. Each Friday about 90 students receive a “Pack a Snack” bag of food obtained from the local food bank.
Grace Way Church of the Brethren, Dundalk, Md., received $5,000 to support its Coffee House Ministry as “a witness to the city, which is burdened with drug addiction, poverty, and other related abuses.... to provide a casual, simple, and relaxed atmosphere for people who are unchurched to come in and enjoy the music.” Church members are being trained to appropriately interact with guests to build and develop friendships.
Harrisburg (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren received $4,300 to expand, revitalize, and promote existing community outreach ministries in its South Allison Hill neighborhood including outreach resources of the congregation and bcmPEACE, social media platforms, youth program activities of Agape-Satyagraha, community development efforts of bcmPEACE, new curricular materials for recruiting and training volunteers, activities for interfacing with other local nonprofit and faith-based ministries.
Oakton Church of the Brethren, Vienna, Va., received $5,000 to purchase educational and technology supplies and equipment for a new youth and adult outreach ministry targeting educational equity imbalance in Fairfax County by offering free tutoring and access to learning materials. Funds will purchase a projector and ceiling mount, netbooks, Wifi upgrade, security cabinet, printer supplies, school supplies, electrical accessories, and background checks of volunteers. The congregation is contributing $2,500.
Warrensburg (Mo.) Church of the Brethren received $711 to fund the attendance of two senior high youth at the 2019 Youth Action Project Conference, and two members of the congregation at the 2019 White Privilege Conference. The events were held on March 20-23 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Total cost was $2,133.50 with the remainder paid by the congregation and Missouri Arkansas District.
For more information go to www.brethren.org/faith-in-action .