Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Canada’s operations may be suspended until fall due to the pandemic, but the organization still wants to be active in responding to COVID-19. To do that, the organization has created The Spirit of MDS Fund to help Canadian churches respond to people in their communities facing hardship due to the virus. Through the $100,000 fund, which received unanimous support from the MDS Canada board at its April 15 meeting, Canadian congregations can apply for grants of up to $1,000 to help with various COVID-19-related needs. This could include replenishing a church’s food pantry, helping a family with emergency bills or rent, assisting seniors to connect with family members, or other practical forms of service. Preference will be given to congregations that are part of an Anabaptist-Mennonite denomination that supports MDS Canada, but applications from other churches will be considered. “I deeply appreciate how MDS is offering to support local congregations with this proposal,” says Doug Klassen, executive minister of Mennonite Church Canada. “This models beautifully how the arms of the church can pull back in to help sustain the torso. This is truly in the Spirit of MDS.” Congregations that want to apply for funding can find an application form online at mds.mennonite.net or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Mennonite Disaster Service Canada