Brethren Faith in Action Fund issues grants

Formed by funds generated from the sale of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., the Brethren Faith in Action Fund provides grants to fund outreach ministry projects that serve their communities, strengthen the congregation, and expand the reign of God. Such ministries will honor and continue the legacy of service that the Brethren Service Center has epitomized while also addressing the dynamics of the present age.

Recent grants include:

— $5,000 to Tabernacle Restoration Church of God, a new Haitian church project in Atlantic Southeast District located in Lauderdale Lakes, Broward County, Fla., to support a food pantry. The project will identify families in the community struggling to have sufficient food and will distribute groceries to individuals and families in need. The congregation will collaborate with Feeding South Florida and Farm Share to secure the food. The pantry will be open every Wednesday and a community lunch will be provided on the last Saturday of each month.

— $4,250 to Inspiration Hills Camp and Retreat Center near Burbank, Ohio, for a “Virtual Camp” this summer. Daily camp activities will be incorporated into a virtual experience to renew and build on participants’ relationship with Christ. Daily Bible lessons and devotions led by chaplains will give campers a connection to camp and help develop their spiritual foundation. Crafts, nature segments, and campfire songs will tie into the spiritual learning. Registered campers will receive a variety of resources including a water bottle, a t-shirt, a name tag, a daily message and Bible verse, song sheets, craft packets, and ways parents can talk to their children about the lessons. Throughout the week, age-appropriate live-streamed and pre-recorded segments will be available. Live segments will be interactive and led from various camp buildings and sites so that participants can still feel a part of camp. Camp Inspiration Hills was granted a waiver of the matching funds requirement.

— $4,000 for repair of a lagoon at Camp Mount Hermon near Tonganoxie, Kan. The camp must meet Kansas state regulations regarding water capacity and condition of the lagoon in order to schedule and host camp activities. Repairs will enable the camp to continue to offer an outdoor ministry to campers. The work includes fixing the banks, cleaning out and replacing the clay, site excavation, and seeding sections of the campground where clay is drawn for the lagoon. Total cost of the project is $6,000.

— $3,500 to Príncipe de Paz Church of the Brethren in Santa Ana, Calif., to purchase audio/visual hardware and software to enhance and expand a live streaming ministry. The church has been using Facebook Live to provide worship services and Bible meditations. Some 2,000 to 5,000 people have viewed the live stream worship service on Sundays, in part because church members have shared about it family and friends in different parts of the US and around the world. The church reports that hundreds are viewing the Bible meditations. A team of young adults with technical skills work on the video, lighting, editing, and set up, using personal cell phones and free video editing applications. Principe de Paz envisions this virtual church project to continue as an active congregation after the pandemic.

For information on the fund and how to apply for grants see www.brethren.org/faith-in-action .

Go to www.brethren.org/Newsline to subscribe to the Church of the Brethren Newsline free e-mail news service and receive church news every week.