The Annual Conference Office would like to have some COVID test kits available in Omaha, Neb., during the Church of the Brethren annual meeting on July 10-14.
As we begin this new year, it is with great joy that Middlebury (Ind.) Church of the Brethren’s Little Lites Daycare Ministry celebrates receiving a “Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization” grant from Indiana’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning. The grant was made possible by funding that the state of Indiana received from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act. Little Lites received $134,300–the amount of three months’ estimated expenses.
Many congregations have added an online option to weekly worship as part of their response to the pandemic. Last year’s survey by the Church of the Brethren Yearbook staff showed that 84 percent of Church of the Brethren congregations responding said they had worshiped online during the pandemic. When asked if they planned to continue this in the future, 72 percent said yes. That means online worship numbers are now a meaningful part of total worship participation.
Emma Green, a staff writer at The New Yorker where she covers cultural conflicts in academia, will headline the symposium on “Brethren and the Polarizing Pandemic: What Next?” at Bridgewater (Va.) College on March 10-11. The sponsor of the event is the Forum for Brethren Studies. The event is open to the public.
On March 10-11, Bridgewater (Va.) College and the Forum for Brethren Studies will present a symposium on “Brethren and the Polarizing Pandemic: What Next?” The event is open to the public.
The following letter was shared with all of the pastoral leaders in Pacific Southwest District by district executive minister Russ Matteson. The Church of the Brethren’s Office of Ministry provided it for use in Newsline
Earlier this year, the Church of the Brethren Yearbook Office conducted a survey asking congregational leaders to weigh in on their worship habits during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 300 Church of the Brethren congregations participated in the survey, representing more than a third of the close to 900 total number of congregations in the denomination.
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 staff have directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to Honduras, where relief work continues following last year’s Hurricanes Eta and Iota; to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the Brethren in Goma continue aid to those affected by the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo; to India, in support of the COVID-19 response of IMA World Health; and to Northern Plains District, which is helping organize rebuilding following the derecho that left a trail of destruction in Iowa last August.
An additional allocation of $40,000 supports the Church World Service (CWS) rehabilitation program in Honduras for families affected by Hurricanes Eta and Iota. CWS has longterm partners in Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala that provided emergency relief programs and were supported by an initial EDF grant of $10,000. CWS has updated its response plan to include the rehabilitation of livelihoods and housing in Honduras. The goal of the program is to support 70 highly at-risk families in rebuilding their homes and livelihoods.
A grant of $30,000 for the Proyecto Aldea Global (PAG) response to the hurricanes was approved concurrently with this grant. All programing will be coordinated by and between CWS and PAG, a long-time partner of Brethren Disaster Ministries. In the past 10 years, support has been given through the shipping of canned meat and EDF grants for PAG’s relief work following various storms. After Hurricane Eta, PAG quickly organized a relief program that included providing 8,500 family food bags for a week of provision, used clothing, mattresses, health kits, blankets, shoes, and family hygiene kits. These items reached 50 communities before Hurricane Iota struck. The relief work has continued after Hurricane Iota, reaching more communities and providing medical aid in more remote regions.
“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.