Latest BFIA grants aid six congregations

The Brethren Faith in Action Fund (BFIA) has aided six congregations 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.

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Please pray… For the congregations receiving BFIA grants and for the success of their various projects.

Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Ind., received $5,000 for the congregation’s effort to sponsor a refugee family through the Welcome Corps. Beacon Heights aims to help some refugees secure a better, safer, and more stable place to live and thrive, free from violence and oppression. A core group from the church has been meeting to learn about and receive training from Welcome Corps in order to welcome a refugee family through an accountable agency. The congregation is planning a detailed program to provide housing, transportation, furniture, food, childcare, English-language learning, social companionship, cultural orientation, and orientation to the Fort Wayne area, and in addition providing access to social workers, educators, and long-time community volunteers within the congregation as appropriate.

Harrisburg (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren received $5,000.00 to upgrade audio/visual technology in the church. The congregation has grown to include families for whom regular, in-person attendance isn’t possible due to distance, health, and other factors. Enhancing worship streaming equipment will improve access to a quality virtual experience, enable people to better participate, and make events more broadly available. Services and events will also be recorded and posted online

Oakton Church of the Brethren in Vienna, Va., received $5,000 for its outreach ministry, Oakton Partners in Learning. The ministry provides direct one-to-one tutoring services to students in Fairfax County schools. Tutors include church members and community members with math, science, and English skills. This grant will help the program take next steps including creating funds to provide books at no cost to students and supplies for a summer program, purchase iPads to replicate the school experience of kindergarten students, purchase and install an AV system for large classes, extend the building’s Wi-Fi capabilities, and purchase an Adult English for Speakers of other Languages curriculum.

Unify Christians, a predominantly Haitian Church of the Brethren congregation in Atlantic Southeast District, received $4,950 to purchase a projector, screen, and accessories to enhance ministry in multiple languages. The church’s primary language is Haitian Creole but it also is reflective of a neighborhood that is increasingly intercultural with Haitian, Anglo, African American, Hispanic, and on occasion, some Russian worshipers. Unify Christians involves translators for various language groups and when needed also creates sermon and worship presentations for the respective language groups. The projection unit and screen will enhance the church’s capability to communicate in various languages.

La Iglesia de los Hermanos Nuevo Comienzo (New Beginning Church of the Brethren) in Kissimmee, Fla., received $4,500 for its community support outreach ministry serving the Hispanic community. This project supports low-income families who are struggling to pay for food, utilities, and medical costs. The congregation’s volunteers have networked with groups such as Fiat Outreach Ministries, Medicare Guided Solutions, and Ministry of Worship and Praise, and have been organizing monthly events to distribute food and meals, as well as sharing gift cards for food.

Springfield Church of the Brethren in Akron, Ohio, received $2,662.20 for its Back-to-School Blast community event providing fun, games, food, clothing, and school supplies for Spring Hill Elementary students, their parents, and church families. Spring Hill Elementary is the church’s neighborhood school. Most students in the community qualify for free or reduced breakfasts and lunches. The Kids Closet, an ongoing ministry of the congregation, also serves these families.


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