Second Wave of Covenant Fund Grant Recipients Announced!
Ambler, Seeds of Joy: In January 2021 with a small class, following all CDC guidelines and recommendations as they apply to early childhood education, they hope to introduce a new generation to Jesus Christ and welcome local members of the community who may or may not have access to quality childcare by offering scholarships for reduced tuition for families who may need financial help to access early education for their children.
The Anchor, Online Ministry: The Anchor, like many churches, was forced to re-imagine what church looks like and how community can be fostered in this new season. Currently utilizing Zoom for online live worship, Children’s Ministries, and Bible Studies, they were surprised to see their reach had doubled! In addition to their regular attendees, they have extended outreach to folks from out of state and even participants living out of the country, and are continuing to develop worshiping and community services online.
Bethesda, Virtual Church: Their virtual church seeks to meet people where they are; engage shut ins by bringing church to them, people whose wounds keep them from setting foot inside a church building and individuals who have questions about faith but are intimidated by organized religion. Bethesda’s virtual church will adapt to the growing needs of a changing world, bringing the Mission and Ministry of the Gospel in more flexible and resilient ways.
Chestnut Hill, Souls Shot Portrait Project: This project pairs fine artists who are passionate about the issue of gun violence with family members or friends of victims of gun violence. The artist meets with the family members or friends, then creates a portrait using their choice of styles, approaches, and mediums. The portraits memorialize and humanize these victims. The resulting portraits are put on display for the public, in exhibitions that travel to various host venues for one year, changing locations each month to six weeks. Through our project, they are able to tell the story of their loved one and see that story interpreted into a portrait.
Christ’s Community, Liberian Outreach and Co-ops: The Liberia Outreach Mission when a congregant, now Elder, Eric Myers, himself a Liberian immigrant, expressed interest in organizing social and economic self-help initiatives in the rural community of Zahn, Liberia. Through this initiative, 12 rural farmer cooperatives have already been organized in the Zahn chiefdom where citizens are growing and marketing local agricultural produce in their communities and generating income.
New Spirit (now Salt & Light), Urban Gardens and Food Co-ops: Salt & Light (the unified congregations formally known as New Spirit Community Church and Grace Christian Fellowship), does ministry in the Southwest section of Philadelphia, a largely under-served and often forgotten cluster of neighborhoods. Among the many issues that community residents face is the injustice of food insecurity. Southwest Philadelphia is designated as a “food dessert”, meaning that the area is vapid of fresh, affordable, nutrient dense and accessible foods. It is the intent of Salt & Light to address this issue by establishing an affordable produce market to be housed within our facility.
Tree of Life, Worshipping Community for People with Disabilities: Tree of Life Church has been involved in ministry with people with differing abilities and their families for six years. The core of this ministry has been a weekly coffeehouse serving dinner and offering social opportunities and live music. That format no longer seems safe or viable in the COVID-19 era. Tree of Life is committed to expanding their ministry with people with a wide variety of abilities and disabilities, examining the possibilities in the current context, re-forming a ministry that is central to their congregation’s identity.
West Kensington Ministry, Food Distribution Programs: Providing regular church services every Sunday, pastoral care to the community, youth programs, a one-on-one mentoring program to youth 10-16 years of age. West Kensington Ministry serves a predominately Latino community in an economically disadvantaged section of the city that includes immigrants, unemployed, mostly single head of household young families as well as an elderly population. Though improving, drugs, violence, nutrition issues and unemployment continue to plague this community. Recently, as a result of the Corona Virus, we began providing 5000 meals per week of primary food assistance to those in need in our community.