Together with donors, InFaith Community Foundation addresses a number of pressing and unmet needs facing our shared community. Over time, donors gave directly to InFaith to impact ever-changing community needs. The issues addressed are inspired by donor interests and informed through our relationship with the community. InFaith identifies key issues and develops initiatives to achieve effective, positive and lasting change.
Grant support to FaithTrust Institute ($105,000) for the Safe & Healthy Churches program.
In partnership with Faith Trust, The Safe & Healthy Churches initiative equips parish-based teams of church and lay leaders to respond to domestic violence and sexual abuse by providing tools and resources on how to adequately address the religious issues of domestic violence and child abuse through in-person trainings and webinars. An estimated 100,755 individuals have been in the five year history of the program through the trainings, webinars and overall initiative.
- Since its pilot in 2010, the program has been successfully executed in six US cities, training 470 people and 140 churches, as well as delivered 50 webinars.
- Over 71% of participants state their church is now actively working to address domestic violence and child abuse.
- After attending the training, 93% report it has raised their awareness of the prevalence of domestic violence and child abuse, and the importance of a faith-community response.
Read the full announcement here.
InFaith’s Creation Care Initiative works to build capacity, help churches reduce their energy footprint, promote leadership and engage InFaith donors around the concern of creation care. InFaith staff and donors often reflect on outcomes from each initiative and explore possibilities for continued impact. From these discussions related to the Creation Care Initiative, the concept of water as a guiding focus within the initiative arose. Access to clean water is a basic and essential right, yet is increasingly compromised by droughts, pollution, rising tides, flooding and other natural disasters.
Why Water as a Focused Issue
Water makes life possible. It is an essential element to physical and spiritual existence. Storms and wildfires of unprecedented magnitudes have caused environmental stresses and impact on humanity all over the world. Some one-third of the world’s population is living in either water-scarce or water-short areas. It is predicted both climate change and population growth will take this number to one-half of humanity.
InFaith is uniquely positioned as a catalyst and connector throughout communities. Thanks to the generosity of InFaith donors, grants from this initiative will aid in building transformational capacity of faith leaders to create change in communities where help is an utmost necessity.
The Creation Care initiative with a focus on water begins its work with three new grantee partners:
- Creation Justice Ministries (CJM) $40,000 – Started in 1983 by the National Council of Churches, CJM represents a broad coalition of ecumenical members (38 denominations) in the work of educating and mobilizing Christian denominations, churches and individuals to protect, restore and rightly share God’s creation. CJM has responded on the front lines of water crises, such as Flint, Detroit and Appalachia. This grant will deepen Christian engagement on water issues on a national level, with specific focus on Appalachia and Michigan.
- Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA (MAS) $40,000 – The largest synod of the ELCA, MAS is the first and only ELCA synod to have on staff a Congregational Organizer for Environmental Justice. One initiative of MAS is the EcoFaith Network, which is leading “Our Watershed Moment”, engaging communities of faith in dialogue and action around water. This grant will replicate their organizing structure ecumenically with local judicatories, including AME (African Methodist Episcopal Church).
- Ecumenical Water Network of the World Council of Churches (EWN of WCC) $20,000 – The WCC is a fellowship of 348 churches representing 560 million Christians in more than 110 countries, the broadest and most inclusive expression of the modern ecumenical movement. This grant will support one of its networks, EWN, in holding its second annual Eco-School on Water, Food and Climate Justice. In 2018 this training will bring together 25 young people from Latin America and the Caribbean in an ecumenical setting to study the local, regional, and international manifestation and causes of the world’s water crisis, challenges to food security and the effects of climate change.
Grant support to Lutheran World Relief ($30,000) for rebuilding efforts in the Caribbean, in partnership with Thrivent Employee Giving Campaign.
Through this initiative, InFaith collaborates with Lutheran World Relief (LWR) to continue life-saving work around the world with determination and dedication, remaining committed to “forgotten emergencies” even after media attention fades. Beyond working to meet basic needs, such as food and clean water, LWR works in partnership with global neighbors to increase their capacity for change that is lasting and meaningful.
Most recently, InFaith recently distributed a grant to LWR to assist with relief and reconstruction efforts in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Northern Haiti and Cuba. LWR has 75 years of demonstrated expertise helping to transform some of the hardest-to-reach places in the developing world. Workers are currently on the ground rebuilding with local partners to respond to the needs of people in remote villages that have been decimated by hurricanes and are still cut off from basic services.
Details from LWR:
In September of 2017, Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean, leaving a trail of destruction and devastation. As communities were assessing the damage and just starting the rebuilding process, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 5 hurricane, dealing a crippling blow to island nations. Both hurricanes Irma and Maria registered as some of the most powerful hurricanes in recorded history, with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph. The most affected islands to date are Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St. Thomas, St. John, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Due to the overwhelming devastation and need in Puerto Rico, LWR will support the assessment of immediate needs and support relief efforts. They will work collaboratively with the ELCA to respond to the needs of people in remote villages on the island that have been decimated by the hurricane and are still cut off from basic services.
LWR continues to support families in Northern Haiti affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria. Efforts are focused on local coffee and cacao cooperatives to help families recoup agricultural livelihood losses, as well as building capacity in emergency preparedness for future hurricanes. In Cuba, LWR supports a project that aims to provide shelter and food security to affected populations.
InFaith Field of Interest Grants
Provides immediate relief to communities and victims of disasters
Camp Noah of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota was awarded a $10,000 grant supporting to support their work with children in disaster impacted communities.
Camp Noah is a program of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. Camp Noah is a resiliency and preparedness day camp for elementary aged children whose communities have been impacted by disaster. Camps are held in disaster-impacted communities, in partnership with local organizations.
Parents in disaster impacted areas report that their children demonstrate withdrawal, sadness, fear of the weather, sleep problems including nightmares and bedwetting, hostile or aggressive behavior and clinginess. Through partnerships with local churches, these camps provide recovery and resiliency skills to children and their families.
Camp Noah is a long-term recovery program; as such, camps typically are held 6-18 months (and sometimes up to two years) after the disaster/trauma. Each camp is five days long and serves 30-50 children.
Supports services designed to improve the health and well-being of individuals and families
Project Feast ($10,000) for general support to train refugees for jobs in healthy food preparation and catering.
Project Feast was founded in early 2013 by women for women with the premise that refugee and immigrant cooks have valuable experiences and knowledge to contribute to our communities. Project Feast set out to transform the lives of refugees and immigrants by providing pathways to sustainable employment in the food industry, and enriching communities through intercultural exchange.
Addresses issues and needs in the area of Christian education at all levels
Works to improve the quality of life of individuals and families within the Christian community
Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest ($10,000) for the Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program (I-HELP) to house homeless women and families.
I-HELP is a unique, cost effective program that uses what churches have in abundance (space, volunteers, the desire to help the stranger) to provide overnight emergency shelter to those experiencing homelessness and case management to help them move from crisis to stability.
ELCA and related organizations
Supports urgent and unmet needs of the ELCA and its ministries
Southeastern Synod of the ELCA ($10,000) for the establishment Good Samaritan Ministry for refugees.
The Good Samaritan Ministry (GSM) is a welcoming faith community for refugees grounded in hospitality and the Lutheran tradition. Although refugees receive many different services from welcoming agencies, there is a great need for pastoral care for refugees who have experienced the trauma of displacement. The Southeastern Synod has identified that need as an opportunity to develop a special pastoral ministry to respond to the needs of our brothers and sisters coming to America. This pastoral response will focus on worship, celebrating marriages, baptisms, funerals and building a welcoming faith community for refugees.
LCMS and related organizations
Supports urgent and unmet needs of the LCMS and its ministries
The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod received a multi-year $70,000 grant for its Parish Nurse Program, which strengthens the physical and spiritual health of LCMS parishes across 35 districts.
WELS and related organizations
Support urgent and unmet needs of the WELS and its ministries
No recent grants.
Ecumenical / interfaith organizations
Support urgent and unmet needs of interfaith ministries
No recent grants.