Brethren Faith in Action grants go to camps and congregations

The Brethren Faith in Action Fund has announced its latest round of grants to Church of the Brethren congregations and camps. The fund created with monies generated by sale of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., gives grants to ministries that honor and continue the legacy of service that the center has epitomized, while also addressing the dynamics of the present age. Guidelines and application forms are in English, Kreyol, and Spanish at in action.

Akron (Ohio) First Church of the Brethren received $5,000 to expand its radio ministry from one broadcast per week to two. This small congregation has a radio ministry outreach to the broader community and its homebound members, with as many as 3,000 people tuning in each week from hospitals, homes, and vehicles. The congregation works with a radio station in Canton, Ohio, where a Church of the Brethren member is on staff. The radio ministry is fully supported by the congregation and listeners are not asked for donations.

Camp Alexander Mack in Milford, Ind., received $5,000 to increase wireless connectivity throughout the camp in order to expand its ability to serve working retreat groups, provide supervised virtual education with support activities to families, assist staff in the productivity of their work, and serve a broader and more diverse population with its hospitality ministry. The camp was granted a waiver of the matching fund requirement.

Camp Carmel in Linville, N.C., received $5,000 for three projects: a virtual camp, rebuilding an existing rain shelter, and construction of an outdoor classroom/amphitheater. Funds supported the purchase of a subscription for Zoom, materials for each building project, meals for volunteers, hiring a contractor if necessary, and maintenance of construction tools.

Camp Mardela in Denton, Md., received $5,000 to help replace the King Retreat facility’s 30-year-old roof. In addition to housing summer staff, the facility also hosts the camp office and is the only winterized facility for Fall and Winter weekend retreats. Due to its versatility, the facility is used by many community groups free of charge during the offseason.

Camp Placid in Blountville, Tenn., received $5,000 for renovation of an existing building to serve as an Outdoor Learning Center. Work began this summer, while the camp was closed due to the pandemic and local regulation. Improvements include installing a floor, improving the walls, installing electricity and a water source, roof repair, siding, steps, and doors.

Circle of Peace Church of the Brethren in Peoria, Ariz., received $5,000 for outdoor “pop up” worship services. This growing congregation has a small worship space in a church building with low ceilings and narrow hallways that are inappropriate in the era of COVID 19. The grant helped procure audio and livestreaming gear, children’s ministry supplies, sanitary supplies including hand sanitizer and masks, supplies for hospitality and signage, and publicity Circle of Peace was granted a waiver of the matching fund requirement.

Haitian Church of the Brethren Fellowship in Naples, Fla., received $5,000 to purchase audio/visual hardware and musical instruments. The congregation is working to strengthen its presence in the surrounding community to make worship and church life more contemporary. The purchase of a laptop and accessories supports virtual worship services, web presence, and fundraising capacity. Acquiring musical instruments engages youth and young adults as musicians.

Memorial Church of the Brethren in Martinsburg, Pa., received $3,500 for the church’s Family Pantry outreach, started at the beginning of the COVID 19 outbreak to provide food for people in the community and congregation. People can come to the church and receive shelf stable, refrigerated, and frozen food to meet their household needs. The effort is meeting spiritual needs as well, as some people coming to the pantry for food have started to attend the Wednesday Night Meal and programs. The congregation hopes to continue the pantry after the pandemic.

Sebring (Fla.) Church of the Brethren received $5,000 for facility improvement projects to upgrade accessibility. The congregation was recognized in 2019 as a member of the Open Roof Fellowship for its efforts for people with disabilities. It has a significant ministry with the elderly. The congregation requested funding for enhancements that strengthen the congregation’s commitment to providing an ADA accessible space. The grant also helps free up funds to provide meals to the community, after priorities shifted during the pandemic to focus on feeding people in the community through a weekly free hot meal in addition to a weekly food pantry.

Shepherd’s Spring, a camp and outdoor ministry center in Sharpsburg, Md., received $2,400 to cover the cost of the accreditation application process with the American Camping Association. ACA accreditation assures partner organizations that the camp meets national standards of operation for safety and quality, assures parents of their children’s safety, and is an indication to donors that the camp is being responsible with funds. The camp received a waiver of the matching funds requirement.


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