The Brethren Faith in Action Fund (BFIA) has distributed grants to five congregations in recent months. The fund gives grants to Church of the Brethren congregations and camps 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.
Germantown Brick Church of the Brethren in Rocky Mount, Va., has received $5,000 for construction of a playground for use by the community. Although only two children have been attending regularly, scout groups meet at the church and community people often use the church parking lot for bike riding and basketball. An existing wooden playset has become a safety hazard. This project’s primary goal is to provide a safe play environment for community children. The equipment planned for the playground is suitable for ages 2-5 and 5-12. Funds will help purchase and install playground equipment and landscaping. The playground is expected to be completed by July.
The Jesus Lounge Ministry in Delray Beach, Fla., a multicultural church plant in Atlantic Southeast District, has received $4,905 for equipment and materials for a media ministry that includes streaming services, a website, and a social media presence to promote the church; and also for a local partnership with Living Hungry. More than 330 people connect by accessing the church’s digital space. The congregation worships by Zoom and pastor Founa Augustin Badet preaches for two radio programs every month. The partnership with Living Hungry includes volunteer work to help organize and distribute resources with an elementary school and a middle school and several dentists in the area. The outreach supports children, youth, and families with hygiene supplies, clothes, food, and other items.
Ephrata (Pa.) Church of the Brethren received $3,300 to provide food and health kits for outreach in the city’s downtown area, which “has a significant homeless and low-income population,” said the grant announcement. A ministry called City Gate is trying to help meet those needs. Each Saturday, a local church serves a free lunch to some 160 to 200 people. The Ephrata congregation has signed up to provide and serve the lunch on five dates in 2022 and has committed to substituting if another church or organization cannot provide the meal. In addition, children in the church will put together health kits and members of the congregation will put together feminine hygiene bags to have available when the church serves lunches.
Peace Church of the Brethren in Portland, Ore., has received $3,271.64 to purchase technology equipment to enhance its capacity to offer hybrid–both in-person and online–worship services. The church planned its return to in-person worship in March but also has had new visitors discovering it online. The congregation now spans state lines, time zones, and occasionally continents.
Northview Church of the Brethren in Indianapolis, Ind., has received $2,500 to purchase audio visual equipment to enhance its capacity to offer hybrid–both in-person and online–worship services. During COVID shutdowns, church leaders learned that congregants wanted an online option for worship, even after the church re-opened for in-person services. So the congregation is investing in new AV capabilities including sound system, laptop-driven mixer, Zoom cameras and microphones, laser-powered projector, and motorized screen.
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