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JoinHands passes $1 million mark in grants to congregations

   

September 11, 2003
Joint Mennonite Church Canada, MC USA, and Mennonite Men release
-by Gordon Houser

Newton, Kan.—In January, with the first part of a grant to Faith Chapel in Los Angeles, Mennonite Men’s church building-program passed the $1 million mark in grants to new congregations for building projects. MM executive director Jim Gingerich called this a milestone but says he hopes the next million comes more quickly.

Mennonite Men, an organization related to both Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA, began its church-building program, then called Tenth Man, in 1985. In March the name of the program changed to JoinHands.

Since that beginning the program has provided grants to 37 congregations in Canada, the United States and overseas. Grants have been approved through 2006 for building projects totaling $303,000 in the following seven congregations:

  • Trinity Mennonite Church, Calgary;
  • Iglesia Cristiana Menonita Encuentro de Renovacion, Miami;
  • Los Angeles Faith Chapel;
  • Austin (Texas) Mennonite Church;
  • Lao Christian Fellowship, St. Catharines, Ont.;
  • Dayspring Christian Fellowship, North Canton, Ohio;
  • Unity Pentecostal, Miami.

Requests for help continue to come in from emerging congregations. Meanwhile, JoinHands continues to enlist donors to help provide the grants these congregations need. JoinHands invites individuals—both men and women—and groups to contribute $100 twice per year and sends letters twice per year that provide information about the churches receiving grants. The grants are up to 20 percent of the church building but do not exceed $50,000.

JoinHands gives priority to congregations less than 10 years old. Often these are urban and include many nonwhite congregations. Since 1999, a tithe of all grants has been given to help build churches overseas.

For more information about JoinHands, contact Mennonite Men, 600 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R3P 0M4, toll free 1-866-888-6785 (local: 203-888-6781), witness@mennonitechurch.ca, or visit www.mennonitechurch.ca.