Brethren-Related Organizations Receive Large Grants

Interchurch Medical Assistance (IMA), whose offices are hosted by the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., and Every Church a Peace Church, which was begun six years ago by an ecumenical group including Church of the Brethren representatives, have both received large grants.

Every Church A Peace Church has received a grant of $500,000 from the Shumaker Family Foundation of Kansas for a national expansion program. The foundation cited the organization’s interests in spirituality and social justice, and its innovative approach, as factors in awarding the grant. “The donors apparently share our belief that the church could turn the world toward peace if every church lived and taught as Jesus lived and taught,” said coordinator John Stoner. Every Church a Peace Church has hired Michael Hardin, director of the School of Peace Theology and member of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion, as education coordinator; and Lorri Hardin as executive administrator. A search for a new national director is underway. Founder and coordinator John Stoner will continue with the organization in a writing and speaking role. Every Church a Peace Church also plans a series of eight conferences in major cities to create a network engaged in just peacemaking, and plans a National Registry of Peace Churches. For more information visit

IMA has been awarded $40 Million for a health care project in the Democratic of Congo (DRC). An estimated eight million adults and children in the DRC will have access to improved health care through Project AXxes, a three-year program designed to deliver basic health care services and rebuild the health system. IMA has been named as the lead agency for the project, which will be managed in collaboration with the DRC Ministry of Health and implemented through four Project AXxes partners including the Protestant Church of Congo (ECC) and international agencies World Vision International, Catholic Relief Services and Merlin. Project AXxes is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). “I.M.A. is extremely pleased to be able to extend the work that was begun six years ago through the SANRU III rural health project, also implemented in partnership with the Protestant Church of Congo” stated Paul Derstine, IMA president. Project AXxes will work in 60 health zones in Eastern and Southern DRC including regions caught up in what has been called the world’s deadliest war. Since 1998 an estimated four million persons have died, either as a direct result of fighting or because of disease and malnutrition. Even now as the country is moving to a democratically elected government, life expectancy for men and women is only 46 and 51 years, respectively, according to a release from IMA. The Church of the Brethren is one of the network of faith communities affiliated with IMA. For more information go to

The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Vickie Johnson contributed to this report. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To receive Newsline by e-mail go to Submit news to the editor at For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.


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