In coronavirus news this week, the MB Foundation COVID-19 Church Relief Fund continues to accept applications from USMB congregations and Tabor College has reported cases on its campus in Hillsboro, Kansas.
At least 1,176 new coronavirus deaths and 33,200 new cases were reported in the United States on Sept. 9. Over the past week, there have been an average of 36,733 cases per day, a decrease of 13 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
As of Thursday afternoon, more than 6,390,000 people in the U.S. have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 191,000 have died, according to a New York Times database.
MB Foundation COVID-19 Church Relief Fund accepting applications
The MB Foundation COVID-19 Church Relief Fund continues to accept applications for grants. The fund was created to support Mennonite Brethren congregations facing financial crisis due to the pandemic and is administered by Don Morris, USMB national director, and the five USMB district ministers.
As of Sept. 8, 53 churches have received grants totaling $269,228.
Morris says that while some churches that received initial grants are doing better, others continue to struggle. Morris encourages churches to apply for additional funding as needed.
For more information on MB Foundation’s response to COVID-19: https://mbfoundation.com/covid19/
Tabor College reports reduced number of students in isolation
Tabor College announces that protocols being used to combat the COVID-19 virus have mitigated and helped contain the virus. Out of an abundance of caution, health practices have worked in limiting the exposure to the student body.
The number of students in isolation due to a positive test is currently at five, and there are 50 quarantined due to close contact with someone who tested positive. None of the positive cases have been of a serious nature and the college continues to work closely with the Marion County Department of Health and the Hillsboro Community Hospital.
Additionally, there are no new cases this week.
“If this trend continues, by next week there will be no one left in isolation and very few in quarantine,” says President Jules Glanzer.
Updates from Tabor College are posted on the college website: https://tabor.edu/home/openandready/
MWC granting COVID-19 relief funds
“I have seen entire families in the garbage dumps looking to quench their hunger” said Erwin Francisco Mirabal González, a Mennonite pastor in Venezuela. “I have also watched with sadness as they return the elderly from the hospitals because there are no possibilities to attend them, nor medicines to supply them.”
González coordinated COVID-19 relief for his church in partnership with Mennonite Mission Network and the Colombian Mennonite church (IMCOL) until he became infected and died.
Mennonite World Conference’s COVID-19 inter-agency task force has approved 35 relief proposals with several more approvals in process, including assistance for Mennonites in Venezuela.
Read more about the MWC COVID-19 global relief fund: https://mwc-cmm.org/deacons-commission/stories/covid-19-global-response-fund-helps-churches-1
MWC adjusts terms of service, financial policies due to COVID-19
MWC’s Executive Committee met virtually a second time in 2020, from August 18-19, to replace cancelled in-person meetings and a postponed Renewal 2027 event in British Columbia, Canada.
The decision to postpone the global Assembly planned for Indonesia until 2022 prompted additional decisions, including changing the term endings for General Council and Executive Committee members and MWC officers, including the MWC president.
Financially, giving is in line with previous years at this point, reports Chief Operations Officer Len Rempel. Expenses are below budget due to reduced travel; however, Fair Share contributions from national churches have been coming in slower than anticipated.
For a full report on the decisions made, read the article on the MWC website.
Connie Faber joined the magazine staff in 1994 and assumed the duties of editor in 2004. She has won awards from the Evangelical Press Association for her writing and editing. Faber is the co-author of Family Matters: Discovering the Mennonite Brethren. She and her husband, David, have two daughters, one son, one daughter-in-law, one son-in-law and one grandson. They are members of Ebenfeld MB Church in Hillsboro, Kansas.