The Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy has signed an interfaith letter encouraging action by the US administration to ensure everyone has equitable access to a COVID-19 vaccine and other tools necessary to contain the pandemic. The letter gained 81 signatories.
Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed grants from the Church of the Brethren Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to help Eglise des Freres au Congo (the Church of the Brethren in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or DRC) respond to the eruption of a volcano near the city of Goma and to respond to the families displaced by violence who have fled to the city of Uvira. Grants for COVID-19 relief work also are being given to the Church of the Brethren in Venezuela and to Bittersweet Ministries in Mexico.
“In person” is the mode for most Church of the Brethren camps this summer. Representatives of several of the camps reported on their planning for the 2021 season in a recent Zoom meeting of the Outdoor Ministries Association, chaired by Gene Hollenberg with Linetta Ballew as vice-chair.
Churches are being asked to help support COVID-19 vaccination efforts across the United States. A COVID-19 Community Corps has been launched, inviting churches among other community groups to help build vaccine confidence in their communities. Also, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is collecting a list of churches and other community organizations that can help support the national vaccination effort.
“What Will Be the ‘New Normal’? Anticipating a Post-Pandemic World” is the title of the next Moderator’s Town Hall sponsored by Paul Mundey, moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. The online event takes place May 19 at 7 p.m. (Eastern time) with leadership from Mark DeVries and Dr. Kathryn Jacobsen.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) will convene a global online prayer service on March 26 at 9 a.m. (Eastern time, or 2 p.m. Central European Time) as part of “A Week of Prayer in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic.” The week of prayer begins Monday, March 22, to commemorate a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic.
An upcoming webinar on Friday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m. (Eastern time) will focus on the ways congregations are navigating the challenges of gathering together and some of the creativity of their initiatives in the midst of the pandemic.
Children and families continue to face isolation, and challenges abound with the pandemic continuing. Mental health for all ages has been impacted on some level. As we approach the one‐year anniversary of “flattening the curve” to slow the virus down, some may be feeling like this will never end. So, how can we face this year with hope and a plan to keep our families moving in the right direction?
Annual Conference moderator Paul Mundey is offering the next Moderator’s Town Hall on “Faith, Science, and COVID-19–Part Three” on Jan. 21, 2021, at 7 p.m. (Eastern time). Dr. Kathryn Jacobsen, who has been the resource person for the previous two town halls on this topic, will again be featured.
At least three districts in the Church of the Brethren have this week shared updated COVID-19 guidance with their congregations, including Southern Ohio and Kentucky District, Middle Pennsylvania District, and Virlina District.