Brethren Disaster Ministries extends suspension of its rebuilding sites

Brethren Disaster Ministries has announced an extended suspension of its rebuilding sites. This will temporarily move the reopening date of the Carolinas site to May 3 and the Puerto Rico site to April 25, extending the current suspension for two additional weeks. As was previously planned, the Tampa, Fla., site has closed and the location

EDF grants respond to COVID-19 pandemic in Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo

The staff at Brethren Disaster Ministries have directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in two countries in central Africa: Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In response to the pandemic, governments all over the world are closing borders, restricting travel, and

Brethren bits for March 28, 2020

—Brethren Benefit Trust through the Church Workers Assistance Fund has created a COVID-19 Emergency Grant Program. The program has a streamlined application process to provide financial support to church workers (pastors, office staff, etc.) whose financial situation is adversely affected because of COVID-19 related issues. This would include help for bi-vocational pastors whose non-church work

Church World Service closes kit depots, affects Material Resources ministry

A decision by the Church World Service (CWS) leadership team to close all of the kit depots in local congregations through May 31 will affect the Church of the Brethren’s Material Resources ministry based at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The Material Resources warehouse facility receives, processes, and distributes CWS disaster relief

Denominational facilities are closed to visitors, most staff to work from home

The Church of the Brethren denominational staff are minimizing the number of personnel present at both the General Offices in Elgin, Ill., and the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., in light of health authorities’ advice to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. At this time, both sites are closed to visitors and

Lockdown already ended for church workers in China

Eric Miller reports that the lockdown at his home in Pingding, China, has ended. Miller and his wife, Ruoxia Li, have returned to work in the offices of their local partner, You’ai Hospital. They spent about a month at home with only two trips to the grocery store for supplies. Li and Miller recently signed

BVS continuing to support volunteers through COVID-19 crisis

By Emily Tyler Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) has been working with its project partners and volunteers around the world to encourage caution and safety during this COVID-19 crisis. Its mid-year retreat for domestic volunteers that was scheduled for March 23-27 has been cancelled and, instead, volunteers will gather virtually for a day of retreat activities

New and Renew conference is canceled for 2020, postponed until 2021

By Stan Dueck After prayerful discernment over the ongoing health concerns and the safety of people due to the coronavirus, the New Church Advisory Committee and Discipleship Ministries of the Church of the Brethren are canceling the New and Renew Conference scheduled for May 13-15, 2020. The event was to be held at the Church

Children’s Disaster Services shares Covid-19 resources for children

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) associate director Lisa Crouch has shared Covid-19 resources for children. These include online resources from trusted sources for talking with children about the virus, a comic for exploring the situation, downloadable resources for working through emotions and helping children cope, among others: “Talking with Kids” from PBSwww.pbs.org/parents/thrive/how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-coronavirus “Just for Kids: A

Brethren Press makes free, downloadable resources available

By Jeff Lennard We know that many congregations are cancelling services as the COVID-19 virus spreads. Brethren Press wants to make it as easy as possible for your congregation to study and worship together–even from afar. Therefore, each week during this outbreak, Brethrenpress.com will be updated with free resources to help people in your church