The Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support the work of Church World Service (CWS) responding to the Ukraine refugee crisis; to support long-term programing and a new house construction phase of the 2021 Haiti earthquake response; and to finance the opening and initial phase of a new Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding project site doing flood recovery in Waverly, Tenn.; among other recent grants.
As director of Humanitarian and Disaster Response for World Relief, and someone who has attended a Church of the Brethren congregation for many years, I am stunned and saddened by what is happening in Ukraine. As a member of the Integral Alliance, World Relief has witnessed many natural and man-made disasters over the years. Nothing quite compares to this.
A statement on the war in Ukraine topped the agenda of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board at its meeting on March 11-13, held in person at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill., and via Zoom. Chair Carl Fike led the meeting, assisted by chair-elect Colin Scott and general secretary David Steele.
Church World Service (CWS) is circulating a faith sign-on letter urging the administration to support Ukrainians and uphold protections for displaced and at-risk populations. The deadline for signatures is Wednesday, March 23.
The Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board issued a statement on Ukraine during its Spring meeting at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Board chair Carl Fike, who led the meeting, signed the statement with the unanimous consent of the members of the board.
Responding to this crisis will be a massive, multi-year effort. Brethren Disaster Ministries is working with partners to determine the best avenues of support, including immediate assistance as well as a longer-term response. An initial Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) grant of $10,000 has been given to CORUS International.
Nathan Hosler, director of the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, is one of the more than 100 Christian leaders in the United States who have signed an open letter to Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, asking him to speak out against his country’s invasion of Ukraine.
In this issue: Updates on recent kidnappings and violence in Nigeria, Ash Wednesday, job openings, One Great Hour of Sharing, March Messenger features composer Perry Huffaker, BVS love stories, church events for peace in Ukraine, and much more.
Lisa Crouch, associate director of Children’s Disaster Services, a program within Brethren Disaster Ministries, has offered some helps and hints for talking with children about the situation in Ukraine.
Quinter (Kan.) Church of the Brethren pastor Keith Funk has shared updates this week on the situation in Chernigov, Ukraine, received from pastor Alexander Zazhytko of the Chernigov Brethren. The two pastors are in daily communication.