MC USA seeks new churches for grants

Pastor Naun Cerrato, second from left, is joined by the Piedra Viva Mennonite Church leadership team. — Piedra Viva Mennonite Church Pastor Naun Cerrato, second from left, is joined by the Piedra Viva Mennonite Church leadership team. — Piedra Viva Mennonite Church

Mennonite Church USA is accepting applications for its Thrive Church Planting Grant, a $5,000 renewable grant created to nurture ministry needs of new, missional peace churches in the United States.

“Thrive is an outgrowth of MC USA’s ongoing church-planting initiatives,” said Michael Danner, associate executive director for church vitality. “We’re excited about the opportunity to partner with church plants that are engaging their neighbors with the good news of Jesus in fresh ways.”

MC USA established Thrive in 2020 and awarded its first two grants to Brooklyn Peace Center in New York, a community organization that promotes and embodies peace by equipping residents to be peacemakers, and Piedra Viva Mennonite Church, a Spanish-language church seeking to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the growing Hispanic community in Elkhart County, Ind.

Jason Storbakken, pastor of Manhattan Mennonite Fellowship and church planter of the Brooklyn Peace Center, said the funding “helps us to actually do the work, and it gives us confidence to know that the denomination supports our important work in New York City.”

Piedra Viva Pastor Naun Cerrato said the funding came at a critical time for the young church, as the congregation was struggling to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and local riots.

“Thanks to these funds, we were able to buy musical instruments, equipment and a subscription to Zoom so we could transmit our worship service online,” he said. “We made the funds stretch and were even able to assist some single-parent families from the church.”

Thrive supports new MC USA congregations with grants that can be used for any ministry purpose or for coaching through Mennonite Mission Network.

Church plants that continue to be viable and demonstrate effective use of funds are eligible for renewal for a total of three grants or $15,000.

Church planters applying for Thrive must be credentialed by an MC USA conference. Additional information is available at mennoniteusa.org/ministry/church-vitality/church-planting.

Applicants are encouraged to complete a grant application and email it to Michael Danner by Aug. 1 at michaeld@mennoniteusa.org.

Sign up to our newsletter for important updates and news!