The Ministry Assistance Fund (MAF), approved by the Annual Conference in 1998, was created to assist all ordained persons, hereafter referred to as ministers. While continuing to assist those in crisis, the MAF is also proactive in that it is designed to assist people before they are in crisis situations.
Ministers and families who face professional or personal hardship and stress may be eligible to receive assistance from the Fund. Hardship means the depletion of resources to the extent that basic living conditions are affected, requiring the need for time and support to pursue career or personal counseling and/or the inability to find funds to pursue a new location or other employment. Because factors that indicate crises or emergencies vary from person to person and are complex, definition of the same must be general, allowing for flexibility in consultation and negotiation.
The Ministry Assistance Fund, an outreach ministry for districts, congregations, and ministers, will accumulate from annual cash contributions, which will be designated gifts outside the Church of the Brethren core ministry annual budget.
Congregations are encouraged to include the Fund in their annual budgeting, apart from self-allocation, on the recommended minimum of:
Up to 100 members $ 50.00
100 – 200 members $ 75.00
200 – 300 members $ 100.00
Over 300 members $ 125.00
Ministers are encouraged to contribute to the Fund. District Boards and/or District Ministry Commissions, as well as concerned lay people, may contribute to the Fund. Contributions can be sent at any time to:
Ministry Assistance Fund
Church of the Brethren
1451 Dundee Avenue
Elgin, IL 60120-1694
The Fund will be operative on the basis of available balances at any given time. Applications for grants will be channeled through the District Executive/Minister or designee of the minister/family experiencing hardship. There is no limitation on the origin of the applications, except that the origin be identified. The District Executive/Minister or designee, the Church of the Brethren’s Director of Ministry, and the president of the Ministers’ Association will consider applications on the basis of need and available Fund balances and determine the amount of the grant to be made, in consultation with the applicant.
The grant may take the form of cash, career assessment scholarship, insurance coverage, or other forms of assistance, depending on the need. Grants are meant to provide assistance for short-term needs, e.g., assistance with medical insurance premiums for two or three months, several sessions with a personal/professional counselor, emergency housing needs, etc. A grant to a minister/family is not to exceed $2000 in a calendar year. Applications for assistance with long-term needs should be made to the Church Workers Assistance Plan of Brethren Benefit Trust.