This article was originally published by The Mennonite World Review

MCC U.S., MDS, Everence launch COVID relief fund

Mennonite Disaster Service, Everence and Mennonite Central Committee U.S. have launched a COVID-19 Congregational Relief Fund to aid churches facing financial crisis due to the pandemic.

The fund was seeded with a combined $550,000 commitment from MDS, Everence and MCC U.S. The fund will be administered by Everence Foundation. A committee with representation from MDS, Everence and MCC has been formed to review requests and allocate grants.

“The Anabaptist faith tradition has a long history of stepping forward to help those in our midst with extraordinary needs,” said Kevin King, MDS executive director. “The COVID-19 global health emergency . . . will require a broad response to help neighbors and communities recover spiritually, physically and financially.”

The fund will accept grant requests of up to $5,000. Recipient churches may use the grants to meet congregational financial needs or to assist families and individuals.

Churches with historic roots or relationships with the Anabaptist faith community are eligible.

Priority will be given to racially and ethnically diverse churches serving under-resourced communities.

A portion of the fund will support global partners through the Mennonite World Conference Global Sharing Fund.

“The coronavirus disease and its accompanying impacts will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable populations, particularly those who are part of racial or ethnic communities,” said J Ron Byler, MCC U.S. executive director. “It’s imperative that we recommit ourselves to caring for our neighbors.”

To apply for a grant, visit everence.com/covid-19-congregational-relief-fund.

The fund is accepting donations.

“Everence, MDS and MCC were all founded decades ago to extend mutual aid to others during a time of need,” said Ken Hochstetler, Everence president and CEO. “We welcome the opportunity to work together in support of our shared faith communities.”

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