Emergency Relief Board (General Conference Mennonite Church)
Emergency Relief Board of the General Conference Mennonite Church was organized as a standing body of the General Conference in 1899 under the name of Emergency Relief Commission. The immediate occasion was a famine in India. This Commission had been preceded by the Mennonite Board of Guardians formed on behalf of the Mennonites then planning to migrate to the United States and Canada from Russia. After contributing $7,000 and 800 bushels of corn for relief in India in 1900, the Emergency Relief Commission continued to function as a relief agency among members of local churches in the conference.
At its regular session in 1920, the General Conference authorized the Emergency Relief Commission to give aid to the needy Mennonite brethren in Russia and to send a representative to that country to investigate the conditions and to help in relief work; it further authorized the commission to unite its relief efforts with those of the all-Mennonite organization then in the process of formation, the Mennonite Central Committee, with which it has continued its affiliation by the regular election of two members.
In 1933 the Emergency Relief Commission was recognized by the General Conference as a permanent board known as the Board of Emergency Relief, consisting of five members. Since 1938 the Emergency Relief Board has co-operated with the Mennonite Central Committee in its war relief and rehabilitation program, in the Civilian Public Service program, and other projects. In addition its work included relief to needy members of local Mennonite churches of the conference, co-operation with the home and the foreign mission boards in relief projects in the mission fields, and co-operation with other boards and organizations in various conference projects. In 1950 the board was merged with the Board of Christian Service by action of the General Conference of that year.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 202. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Bauman, I. W. "Emergency Relief Board (General Conference Mennonite Church)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/emergency_relief_board.
APA style: Bauman, I. W. (1956). Emergency Relief Board (General Conference Mennonite Church). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/emergency_relief_board.