As Rev. Greg and Amy Behrend reflect on You Belong’s first year of ministry, they see God at work, “weaving together a beautiful tapestry in this developing faith family.” You Belong’s Wonderfully Made program continues to be at the center of that work. The growing group has now welcomed 62 people to all kinds of inclusive and accessible events. Many are attending on a frequent basis.
Thanks to your generosity, The Moravian Ministries Foundation in America (MMFA) awarded a $1,000 grant from the Moravian Health and Healing Field of Interest Fund to You Belong in 2021. This money supported:
- Better Together Events (cooking classes, game nights, bowling, karaoke and more)
- Walking in Faith small group
- Mission Outreach (a day trip to Tricklebee Café in Milwaukee)
- All Abilities Athletic Camp (campers from ages 3 to 57!)
Gifts to MMFA Field of Interest Funds on the Moravian Day of Giving and throughout the year turn into grants that support God’s work.
Rev. Behrend said, “It is a joy to see people who were once strangers become very close friends as we come together as followers of Christ and human beings in this world.”
A second grant in 2021 for $750 came from the Moravian Clothing Field of Interest Fund. The grant money, along with additional in-kind and monetary donations from 13 congregations, enabled You Belong to provide 175 family care packages. Each care package included: pajamas and boots, as well as diapers, wipes, bottles, and more. You Belong was able to provide packages to:
- The local NICU
- We All Rise African American Resource Center
- Foster the Village
- Families in You Belong’s Family Classes
Growing good things
Finally, in 2022 You Belong received a $10,000 grant from the Moravian Hunger and Thirst Field of Interest Fund to start an accessible gardening program in Green Bay. With the funding they received, the You Belong team constructed 11 raised garden beds and put them to use this past growing season. They planted, tended to and harvested a variety of produce:
After harvesting, You Belong hosted a cooking class to help individuals living with disabilities learn some fundamental garden-to-plate processes. They wonderfully made over 20 gallons of soup and chili that were donated to families living with disabilities, and harvested 34 pumpkins for carving and painting that were also donated to people living with disabilities.
Rev. Behrend shared, “We had several people from the community express interest in having similar planters for their homes or apartments. This led us to help build garden beds for some seniors in our local community who struggle with mobility limitations.”
He went on to say, “It was wonderful to see people come alive about gardening with this program. People who we never met before found their home in this new program that helped them renew a love for gardening. Others are developing that love for the first time.”
To learn more about You Belong’s ministry for all people in an inclusive and accessible family of faith, visit their website here.