Action is defined as the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim. There are many good ways to take action, and while it is less important which action you take, it is of the utmost importance that we act and act together in ways that get us closer to our goal. During the month of May, the mass shootings at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, N.Y., and Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, spurred the Washington, D.C.-based faith community to take action to address the scourge of gun violence in a few different ways.
Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to various needs in recent weeks. A main focus has been the needs of Ukrainian refugees, with major grants going to Church World Service (CWS) relief focused on Ukrainian refugees sheltering in Moldova, to aid displaced Ukrainians with disabilities through L’Arche International, and to Child Life Disaster Relief programming for an orphanage in Ukraine.
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.
Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) is changing its orientation and placement process. Beginning with the upcoming summer and fall units, volunteers will engage in a process in which they will be pre-placed prior to the start of orientation. Orientation, in turn, will be shortened from three weeks to one week.
On June 7, the NCC signed onto a faith letter to the US Congress regarding US budget priorities. Among our partners in this effort were the Alliance of Baptists; American Friends Service Committee; Church of the Brethren, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy; Friends Committee on National Legislation; Pennsylvania Council of Churches; Presbyterian Church (USA); Presbyterian Peace Fellowship; United Methodist Church–General Board of Church and Society; and United Church of Christ, Justice and Local Church Ministries.
The Global Food Initiative (GFI), a Church of the Brethren fund, has made several grants in these first months of 2022. Funds are supporting agricultural efforts of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and La Fundación Brethren y Unida (FBU-the United and Brethren Foundation), a training workshop related to THARS (Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services) in Burundi and Eglise des Freres au Congo (the Church of the Brethren in the Democratic Republic of Congo or DRC), and a number of church-related community gardens.
In this issue: Remembering Donna Forbes Steiner, personnel note, ULV announces new mural showing “Our Citrus Roots,” Brethren Voices remembers Chuck Boyer, and more.
Zechariah Houser has resigned as the Church of the Brethren’s coordinator of short-term service, effective Aug. 12. He has worked for the denomination for close to a year, having started on Aug. 9, 2021. He will be entering a chaplaincy internship.
Material Resource staff Scott Senseney and Jeffrey Brown loaded three 40-foot containers with a total of 1,120 bales of Lutheran World Relief Quilts, shipping them to the Republic of Georgia. The two men are on the staff of the Material Resources program based at warehouse facilities at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.
Six CRC-trained CDS volunteers have been in Uvalde for the past week and to date have had 157 child contacts during their time in the Family Assistance Center.