Current News

The Spirit of MDS Fund

April 28, 2020

Helping Canadian Anabaptist-Mennonite congregations respond to COVID-19

Is your congregation responding to COVID-19 needs in your community? Are there more needs than you can handle? Do you need additional financial resources? Mennonite Disaster Service Canada may be able to help through its Spirit of MDS Fund.

About MDS Canada

MDS Canada is a volunteer network of Canadian Anabaptist-Mennonite churches. Our vision is to inspire and equip every Anabaptist-Mennonite congregation in Canada to respond in Christian love to those affected by natural disasters—hurricanes, floods, tornados, earthquakes, fires.

Although MDS Canada responds to natural disasters, COVID-19 is a disaster, too. It has negatively impacted the lives of millions of Canadians.

About the Fund

Due to the pandemic, MDS Canada has shut down all its projects and suspended operations until it is safe to reopen. Although we are unable to respond organizationally to this disaster, we still want to be of practical assistance to those on the frontlines: Local congregations. That’s why we created the Spirit of MDS Fund to offer financial support to Canadian Anabaptist-Mennonite congregations that want to reach out to their neighbours in Christian love—in the spirit of MDS.

How it Works

Timeline. This Fund will be in operation from April 24 to August 31. An extension is possible, depending on the future situation.

Eligibility. Preference will be given to congregations that are part of an Anabaptist-Mennonite denomination (part of the MDS Canada support network). Applications from other churches will be considered.

Grants. A total of $100,000 is being a made available. Grants will be a maximum $1,000, although there can be some flexibility on a case-by-case basis. Projects that can be funded include replenishing a deacon’s fund, restocking a food pantry, assisting with a family’s emergency financial needs, purchasing technology to help seniors or shut-ins connect with family and friends, assisting with rent for a refugee or other family, etc. Salaries will not be funded.

Applications. Click here for a fillable and printable application form. It can be sent to somds@mds.mennonite.net or mailed to MDS, 200-600 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R3P 2J1. Congregations should expect to hear back in 7-10 days if their application is  approved.

Reporting. Congregations that receive funding must report back to MDS Canada how they used the funds.

Sharing Stories. Congregations are invited to share stories of how they used the funds with MDS Canada. We want to tell the story of how the church was in action responding to this crisis.

The Spirit of MDS

Through the Fund, we want to help local congregations respond in the spirit of MDS. That spirit is based in:

Faith in Action. We believe in and practice a life of service and proclamation founded on the Bible and modeled after the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Caring Relationships. Through our service we want to build relationships of mutual respect, humility and accountability.

Service. We believe all Christians are called to serve others, and we welcome all who share our values to join us in volunteering, praying and giving.

Compassion. Our service is offered freely to all. 

Integrity. We work in an ethical, honest, moral and legal manner.

Sustainability. As God’s stewards, we strive to use resources entrusted to us wisely and carefully.