The Brethren Faith in Action Fund (BFIA) has aided six congregations and one camp with its latest round of grants. The fund provides grants using money generated by the sale of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Find out more at www.brethren.org/faith-in-action.
Please pray… For God’s blessings to the grant recipients and the outcomes of their work on behalf of their congregations and communities.
$5,000 has gone to Alpha & Omega Church of the Brethren in Lancaster, Pa., for construction of a driveway and street entrance to enable food deliveries for a food outreach ministry. For 29 years, the congregation has provided a vital food ministry that is a point of contact with the community around the church. On first and third Tuesdays each month, church volunteers travel to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank in Harrisburg, and the Community Action Partnership in Lancaster, to pick up food. Driveway and street access are required for a box truck to deliver food to a storage room located in the church facility.
$5,000 has been given to Camp Pine Lake near Eldora, Iowa, to help fund a community meal outreach program using the camp kitchen during the off season, from late fall to early spring. Envisioned is a ministry feeding 200 people on the first Sunday of each month starting this month and concluding next May. Helping out with distribution of the meals will be partner organizations Eldora Community Garden, the Pine Lake Food Shelf, and Hardin County Helps Warehouse. Core camp staff, including the head chef and assistant director, will help lead this effort, with the camp director and volunteers. An additional grant of $500 is being given to this project by the Church of the Brethren’s Northern Plains District.
$5,000 is received by Daleville (Va.) Church of the Brethren to upgrade audio and video equipment for streaming worship and meetings online. Daleville responded to the COVID pandemic by providing online worship and meetings, via Zoom, but in mid-2021 resumed in-person worship with safety guidelines. However, due to the age and health of many, more than half of the members still attend online. This grant will help improve the digital capability and the online experience of the congregation.
$5,000 will help Eden (N.C.) First Church of the Brethren as its soup kitchen ministry becomes a USDA Soup Kitchen Partner. Through this program, the church receives food from the USDA to distribute ready-to-eat meals to the community. Expenses include new kitchen equipment as well as additional food purchases. The church planned to start the program this month, with small steps to evaluate and adjust as the ministry grows. The congregation requested and was granted a waiver of the matching funds requirement.
$5,000 went to Living Faith Church of the Brethren in Concord, N.C., for its food pantry and blessing box outreach. Food purchase expenses have increased since 2021, from an average of $1,000 to $2,020 in 2022. Since early 2022, the food pantry has had to put in place a series of cost-cutting measures. This grant will help maintain a viable ministry.
$1,500 has gone to McPherson (Kan.) Church of the Brethren to host a performance of We Own This Now by Ted and Co., featuring Ted Swartz. This dramatic presentation of the ongoing implications of the Doctrine of Discovery and land ownership was presented at the 2022 Annual Conference. One of the pillars of the congregation’s 10-year strategic plan is racial justice and the congregation is seeking more opportunities to engage in related conversation. The performance will be offered to the community free of charge, with area high school and middle school classes invited. A follow-up dialogue after the show will provide further education and awareness of indigenous rights.
$5,000 has gone to Tabernacle the Restoration, a Church of the Brethren congregation in Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., for a food pantry and distribution of groceries to those in need in the community. The effort responds to rising grocery prices and will be in place from October 2022 through September 2023, with food distributions twice a week. On the last Saturday of each month, a buffet luncheon will be offered. The congregation will work with Feeding South Florida and Farm Share to access food.
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