The Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team (MDT) has awarded three grants totaling $15,225. The MDT approved these grants at its meeting on Aug. 18, 2022. Grants will provide funds toward the following projects:

Community Garden — Grant funds will be given toward the creation of a community garden in Archbold. The goal of this project is to provide gardening space for residents of a subsidized housing complex in the area. Partnering organizations will include Zion Mennonite Church, the village of Archbold and the Archbold FISH Food Pantry.

Van for Akron Swahili Mennonite Church — Grant funds will be given toward the purchase of a used 15-passenger van for use by the Akron Swahili Mennonite Church. Other congregations working with the Akron congregation to fund this purchase are Crown Hill Mennonite Church, Martins Mennonite Church, Orrville Mennonite Church, Wooster Mennonite Church, Oak Grove Mennonite Church in Smithville and Salem Mennonite Church in Wooster. Note: This grant was previously approved in 2019, but funds were not distributed at that time due to some outstanding issues regarding ownership and insurance. Now that Akron Swahili Mennonite Church has established itself as a church in the state of Ohio, the congregation can legally own the vehicle.

3rd Street Family Green Space — First Mennonite Church in Canton and Lighthouse Ministries are receiving funding toward the creation of 3rd Street Family Green Space. The project calls for investment in the empty lot across the street from the church building as a green space which will be available for the church’s neighbors and neighborhood, while still remaining functional for various church and Lighthouse activities. Note: The EPA defines “green space” as land that is partly or completely covered with grass, trees, shrubs, or other vegetation. Some examples include parks, community gardens, cemeteries, public seating areas, public plazas, and playgrounds. Grant funds will be used for signage, a picnic table and trash can.

Since 2012, the Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team has awarded Ministry Grants to Ohio Conference congregations and related groups for ministry projects.

Funding for these grants comes from funds accumulated in years in which the Conference completed the fiscal year with a surplus.