The Anglican Foundation of Canada (AFC) Board of Directors met via ZOOM on September 14, 2023, and approved $270,500 in 3rd quarter grants to 24 applicants, including 2 from the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador: $15,000 to the Home Again Furniture Bank and $5,000 to St. Paul’s Church in Goulds for Sowing Seeds—Growing Community, a parish farming project that aims to provide fresh vegetables for local food banks and address food insecurity.”
“The Board was pleased to be able to support both of these projects in the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador,” says Dr. Scott Brubacher, Executive Director, AFC. “This is the third grant to Home Again since 2020 for a total of $45,000 in funding. And the project at St. Paul’s was celebrated by the Grants Committee as a ‘very creative solution to food insecurity in the community.’”
Also noteworthy in this grant cycle was the approval of the first-ever Category C grant of $50,000 to the Huron Farmworkers Ministry (HFM) in the Diocese of Huron. It is also the largest-ever grant in AFC history. Category C grants of up to $50,000 were created by the AFC Board in 2022 to enable AFC to be a more flexible funding partner in cases where a diocese might want to rally around a single transformational project in any given year.
“There was a real sense of excitement at the Board meeting in being able to wholeheartedly support this incredible outreach ministry to more than 5,000 migrant workers across the Diocese of Huron,” says Brubacher. “It was poignant, too, to see a community ministry like this as the first-ever Category C grant recipient.” In recent years AFC has driven its granting program to new heights by intentionally shifting the balance of funding in favour of Community Ministries, which now comprise more than one third of AFC’s funding since 2010.
Brubacher says that while the Huron Farmworkers Ministry is unique, it shares much in common with the increasing number of community ministries across Canada—including Home Again—that are coming to AFC for assistance to grow and expand. “On behalf of the Board, I can say that it is our great pleasure and privilege to support them.”
During his address to General Synod delegates this past June, Brubacher highlighted Home Again as emblematic of the “spirit of compassion to serve the vulnerable” that many of these ministry share. “They are often born in the basement of one of our Anglican churches to meet a pressing community need. These ministries get nurtured by a small group of clergy and laity, until they are ready to flourish in the world as beacons of hope and hospitality.”
Brubacher explains that as this list of Anglican-led community ministries grows longer every year, AFC’s “call to enable and support them will become more pressing and urgent every year as well.”
Since 2010, AFC has awarded $335,000 to 79 applicants in all three NFLD dioceses. Community Ministries currently comprise about 17% of that total. “We hope that more parishes in the three dioceses will begin to see AFC as a funding partner for their outreach activities, as well as for Diverse Infrastructure projects. There is so much more we can do to fund transformational ministry across Canada.”