Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Brethren bits: Corrections, remembrance, personnel, and more.
  • Corrections: In the Newsline of May 23, the name of the individual receiving the Ecumenical Citation was given incorrectly--Anna N. Buckwalter is the recipient; also, in the listing of Bethany Seminary graduates, Michael Benner's yoked congregation should be listed as Koontz Church of the Brethren in New Enterprise, Pa., and Waterside (Pa.) Church of the Brethren.

  • Raymond W. Bowman, 86, the first administrator of the "new" Pinecrest Manor (now Pinecrest Community) built in 1963 in Mount Morris, Ill., died May 20 at St. John's Hospice in Springfield, Ill. Pinecrest Manor replaced the Brethren Home in Mount Morris. Under Bowman’s leadership, 25 residents moved from the old building, and in less than a year the population of Pinecrest Manor numbered over 100, according to a history of the Brethren homes. Residency at Pinecrest also was no longer restricted to members of the Church of the Brethren. Bowman and his family served as Lutheran missionaries during the 1950s in Nigeria, where his association with the Church of the Brethren began. Soon after returning to the family home in St. Louis, he was asked to accept the role of administrator of the Brethren Home. He served as administrator of Pinecrest until 1974, when he accepted a position as administrator of Heritage Square, a retirement facility under development in Dixon, Ill. During his tenure in longterm care administration he also was a member of the Board of Directors for the Illinois Association of Homes for the Aging. Upon his retirement in 1986, he served as an accountant for the nonprofit organization Trees for Life, headquartered in Wichita, Kan. Bowman is survived by his wife of 65 years, Anna Ruth Bowman of Springfield, as well as his six children, 12 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.

  • The University of La Verne (ULV) in La Verne, Calif., has welcomed Alden Reimonenq as its new provost and vice president of academic affairs. Reimonenq previously spent 17 years teaching at St. Mary’s College in California, and then continued his career in administration at California State University, Northridge, and California State University, East Bay, after leaving St. Mary’s in 1999. Since 2003 he served as dean of the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences at CSU East Bay. He holds a master’s degree and doctorate in English literature, and has studied at the University of New Orleans, Purdue University, the British Museum in London, and the University of Arizona. He also is a poet and Shakespeare scholar. He started in the position at ULV on March 1.

  • Laura Barlet of Elizabethtown, Pa., will work as an intern in the Brethren Historical Library and Archives in Elgin, Ill., for the months of June and July. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College in May.

  • The US Conference Board of the World Council of Churches (WCC) seeks a Young Adult Ecumenical Formation coordinator to fill a half-time position located in New York City. Responsibilities include serving as staff for the Young Adult Task Force, working with the youth body and young adult program executive of the WCC and colleagues at other ecumenical organizations; working to connect young adults with member communions; facilitating planning of young adult gatherings; promoting interaction and communication with young adults through visits to member church colleges, universities, and seminaries, and representation at denominational gatherings and ecumenical events; creation and maintenance of a website, web-blogs, listservs, etc.; sharing "best practices" and stories of young adults in ecumenical leadership; and assisting the Decade to Overcome Violence to nurture links with young adult ecumenical interfaith networks for justice and peace; among many others. Deadline for applications is July 16; start date is Oct. 1. For the full job description including qualifications, compensation, and application process go to

  • The Material Resources program (formerly Service Ministries) seeks volunteers to work with Church World Service Gift of the Heart Kit program at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Thousands of kits are processed and shipped to disaster locations, refugee camps, and programs throughout the world. Help is needed to check items in donated kits so that each recipient is assured a complete and appropriate kit. This requires standing, as well as some lifting and stretching. Volunteer opportunities are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Lunch is provided for volunteers who work six hours or more. For more information or to schedule a date to volunteer, contact the New Windsor Conference Center at 410-635-8700.

  • Stan Noffsinger, general secretary of the Church of the Brethren General Board, recently signed on to ecumenical letters and statements on current issues. On the issue of global warming, Noffsinger and the Brethren Washington/Witness Office endorsed a statement of Faith Principles on Global Warming; the National Council of Churches will submit a list of the religious communities that have endorsed the statement to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on June 7; the principles focus on justice, stewardship, sustainability, and sufficiency (go to On the issue of health insurance, Noffsinger signed a letter to Max Baucus, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, urging increased commitment to health care services for children, and asking for fulfillment of a commitment Congress made to include $50 billion over five years in additional funding for children’s health, following up on efforts to reauthorize the State Child Health Insurance Program funding. On the subject of travel to Cuba, Noffsinger was invited by Church World Service to support the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act (S 721); Noffsinger noted a 1985 Annual Conference resolution on Normalizing Relations with Cuba and a 1992 General Board resolution on Humanitarian Aid to Cuba. The letter asks specifically to end restrictions on religious travel by national, regional, and local church bodies and by ecumenical and interfaith organizations.

  • The annual Ministry Summer Service orientation began June 2 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., and continues through the morning of June 7. This is the first time the orientation has been held at the General Offices. The orientation includes 15 interns and their mentors. Interns will serve congregations and church agencies. Ministry Summer Service is a leadership development program for college students in the Church of the Brethren, sponsored by the General Board’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office and Office of Ministry. Four of the Brethren colleges--Bridgewater, Elizabethtown, Manchester, and McPherson--provide $2,500 scholarships to students who participate; Ministry Summer Service provides $2,500 tuition grants to students from other colleges. Interns also receive room and board and a stipend.

  • Irvin and Nancy Heishman, mission coordinators for the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic, will travel on June 14 to the US for a bi-annual home service visit. They will be visiting among churches, attending Annual Conference, and enjoying a time of rest and refreshment. Church visits include Chiques Church of the Brethren in Manheim, Pa., on June 15 during evening Vacation Bible School; Wolgamuth Church of the Brethren in Dillsburg, Pa., on Sunday morning June 17; Pottstown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren on June 24 in the morning; Indian Creek Church of the Brethren in Harleysville, Pa., on June 24 in the evening; and HIS Way Fellowship/Iglesia Jesucristo El Camino in Hendersonville, N.C., on Sunday, July 8.

  • The Ministers' Association has extended the deadline for pre-registration for the continuing education event scheduled ahead of Annual Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, on the theme, "Excellence in Ministry." The deadline has been extended until June 15. The event will be held June 29-30 in the Crown Plaza Hotel. Greg Jones, event leader and dean of the Duke Divinity School, will speak on another way of understanding excellence, rooted in the Christ hymn of Philippians 2 that sings praise to Christ's humility. Find the pre-registration form at

  • Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., has honored four “alumni who make a difference,” including Association of Brethren Caregivers (ABC) executive director Kathy Goering Reid. She is a 1973 graduate, has served on several task forces concerned with child welfare, is a former executive director of the Texas Homeless Network, and while in Texas founded a Mennonite congregation. As executive director of ABC, she fosters a Brethren agency dedicated to ministries of giving and receiving care, connecting and undergirding people and communities in lifelong journeys toward wholeness. The others honored are 1987 graduate Cara M. Bergen, 1959 graduate Harry L. Keffer, and 1968 graduate J. Michael Jarvis, who also serves on the college board of trustees. For more go to

  • The Debate Team of the University of La Verne, Calif., went head to head with Ivy League schools and top colleges and universities across the nation, and finished ranked number one in the country, according to the university’s “Voice” magazine. Students Josh Martin and Rob Ruiz earned top honors at the 2007 US Universities Debating Championships March 31-April 1.

  • Church World Service (CWS) has urged action on immigration with a “Take 5” campaign, calling on participants to take five minutes each day June 5-8 to call their senators about the immigration bill before Congress. CWS has called for reforms to improve the system to reduce waiting times for separated families, who currently wait many years to be reunited; legal avenues for immigrants to work in the US with employee rights protected; opportunity for earned legalization for all people who already contribute to the economy, to keep families together and remedy abuse of undocumented workers; safeguards for asylum seekers by ensuring a fair legal process without penalizing them with increased bureaucracy; and implementation of “smart, targeted enforcement, not fences.” For action alerts go to

  • World Council of Churches (WCC) member churches and related organizations have been holding a week of prayers, seminars, and advocacy on June 3-9, to mark this month's anniversary of the start of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war (go to A Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum also will be launched at a conference June 17-21 in Jordan to coordinate church advocacy work and promote new efforts for peace.

  • The Tears and Ashes bus tour sponsored by CrossRoads Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center on July 21 will feature Civil War battlefields in the Cross Keys, Port Republic, and New Hope areas of eastern Rockingham County, Va. Murphy Wood, an authority on the battlefields, will serve as tour guide. The tour begins and ends at Mill Creek Church of the Brethren in Port Republic. The $60 fee includes a lunch served by the Mill Creek Church youth and a tour booklet. Call 540-438-1275 by July 16 to register.

  • The Brethren Revival Fellowship is sponsoring the 34th Annual Brethren Bible Institute on July 23-27, to be held on the campus of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. The scripture theme is from Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” For registration forms, write to Brethren Bible Institute, 155 Denver Rd., Denver, PA 17517. The registration deadline is June 28.

  • “For Just Such a Time: Living Out the Call,” on June 30-July 1 in San Francisco, is sponsored by the Supportive Communities Network, the Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Interests (BMC), First Mennonite Church of San Francisco (host), and MennoNeighbors. Keynote presenter is Jay E. Johnson, an Episcopal priest on the faculty at Pacific School of Religion and acting executive director of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry in Berkeley. Contact

  • James Loney has refused to testify against his kidnapers, because he believes they will not receive a fair trial, according to a letter from him published in the May 23 issue of “The Toronto Star,” a Canadian newspaper. Loney was one of four members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) kidnapped in Iraq on Nov. 26, 2005, and held by Iraqi insurgents for four months. One of the four, Tom Fox, was killed, and the others were freed by British and American soldiers. Those alleged to be the kidnappers are in US custody, Loney wrote. “The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Scotland Yard want us to testify in a trial to be conducted in the Central Criminal Court of Iraq. An RCMP officer told us, ‘The death penalty is on the table.’” Loney said he has learned everything he can about the court, quoting among other sources a UN report that the court “consistently failed to meet minimum fair trial standards.” His letter said, “I cannot participate in a judicial process where the prospects of a fair trial are negligible, and more crucially, where the death penalty is a possibility.”

  • A resident of Peter Becker Community, a Church of the Brethren retirement center in Harleysville, Pa., celebrated her 105th birthday on June 5. Marion Schaul was surrounded by friends, family, and staff members at a party in her honor. She has been a resident at Peter Becker Community since 1999, and has attended Bible Fellowship Church in Harleysville.
Source: 06/06/2007 Newsline

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