With deep sadness, the Church of the Brethren Leadership Team acknowledges news received of the withdrawal of all six congregations in the Puerto Rico District from the Church of the Brethren, as of Oct. 26, 2023.
Church of the Brethren ministries are assisting survivors of Hurricanes Ian and Fiona through shipments by Material Resources, Children’s Disaster Services teams in Florida, and acts of love and compassion in Puerto Rico.
Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support relief efforts by the denomination’s Puerto Rico District following Hurricane Fiona, and in the African nations of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda. To financially support the work of Brethren Disaster Ministries, and to give to these and other EDF grants, go to www.brethren.org/edf.
Hurricane Ian caused catastrophic damage along Florida’s southwest coast on Sept. 28 when it made landfall near Fort Myers. More than a week later, first responders are still out searching the hardest hit neighborhoods for survivors. With the death toll over 100, this storm is one of the deadliest in the state’s history. The level of damage has impeded relief and response efforts as volunteers come to help. Shelter and rental cars are scarce in the state, with many volunteers driving over two hours to get to the damage zone each day.
Brethren Disaster Ministries staff and the Atlantic Southeast District leadership are continuing to reach out to affected churches and communities to learn of the impact of the storm and the needs that have developed. So far there are no reports of injury among church members, but there is news of minor damage in two churches.
In a joyful spirit, pastor Carmen Mercado, Puerto Rico District executive minister José Callejas, and pioneer leaders of Montesion Church of the Brethren of Rio Prieto in Puerto Rico, celebrated a glorious service in gratitude to our God for walking with us for the past 44 years.
By Jenn Dorsch Messler Brethren Disaster Ministries is sharing updates including a schedule change for the Carolinas rebuilding site, news of the opening of a new rebuilding site in Ohio, and an update from Puerto Rico. Carolinas schedule change The Brethren Disaster Ministries Carolinas project has not hosted weekly volunteers since mid March due to
In recent weeks the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) has disbursed several grants, directed by the Brethren Disaster Ministries staff. The largest are helping to continue hurricane recovery work in Puerto Rico ($150,000), the Carolinas ($40,500), and the Bahamas ($25,000). Grants for COVID-19 response are going to Honduras (two grants for $20,000
By Jenn Dorsch Messler The Church of the Brethren Puerto Rico District continues to ask for prayer for those affected by earthquake aftershocks and tremors continuing daily. More than 1,200 small earthquakes have occurred in Puerto Rico since Dec. 28, 2019. Several quakes over magnitude 5.0 have caused great damage, especially in the south, with
Brethren Disaster Ministries has announced several changes in its rebuilding project sites as 2019 closes out and the new year begins. In related news, volunteers are urgently needed at two rebuilding locations in the Carolinas and Puerto Rico: In the Carolinas, volunteers are needed for the week of Dec. 15-21 to complete the rebuilding schedule