Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Brethren bits: Correction, personnel, and more.
  • Correction: The e-mail and website addresses for "Brethren Life and Thought" were given incorrectly in the Newsline of June 20. The correct e-mail address is; the correct Internet address is

  • Mary Munson is retiring as program assistant for the Global Mission Partnerships Office of the Church of the Brethren General Board, located in Elgin, Ill. Effective date of her retirement is Sept. 30. She has worked for the General Board for 18 years, beginning as secretary for Africa and the Middle East in May of 1989, and transitioning to secretary for Global Mission Partnerships during the General Board's restructuring in 1997. Munson's current position began in 2000. Her responsibilities have included supporting the work of the executive director, facilitating the sending and supporting of numerous mission workers, delegations, and workcamps during this time, bridging many transitions in staffing, and engaging constituency concerns in the work of supporting the Church of the Brethren's international mission.

  • Elaine Hyde, who has served as conference coordinator at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., since 1999, has announced her decision to retire effective June 30. She has been an integral part of the growth of the New Windsor Conference Center into a retreat venue for many groups of varying religious beliefs, and for many secular groups. She is looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren and to travel with her daughter, Tara.

  • Peggy Bruell has tendered her resignation from Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) as of June 29, following almost 20 years of work for the agency. She began working for BBT on Oct. 14, 1987, serving for most of her tenure with Brethren Insurance Plans. One of her main responsibilities and specialties was understanding and working with medical claims. However, as the insurance department was downsized due to moving to a fully insured medical plan and then subsequently back to a self-insured model with a third party administrator, Bruell was shifted to also work in Information Services, Pension, and, most recently, in a shared status between General Office Services and Brethren Foundation. On July 2, she began a new job with a firm where she now bills for providers of medical services. "Peggy will be missed at BBT as a colleague and a friend among the BBT staff and the General Offices community, but we wish her the best as she returns to fulltime work in the medical claims field," said Wil Nolen, BBT president.

  • The Church of the Brethren General Board seeks a coordinator of Orientation for Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS), to fill a fulltime, salaried position beginning Sept. 17. The coordinator is responsible for directing and coordinating the application process and the orientation programs of BVS, including organizing and scheduling facilities, resource people, and volunteers; provides administrative back up in the absence of the BVS director; and participates as an active member of the BVS staff team. Required skills and knowledge include grounding in Church of the Brethren heritage and theology; communication at a professional level, both verbally and in writing; demonstrated administrative and management skills; ability to maintain flexibility with evolving program needs; demonstrated expertise in group dynamics; and ability to supervise and utilize volunteers. Previous BVS experience will be helpful, experience in group training and experience in cross-cultural awareness is required. A minimum of a bachelor's degree in a relevant field is required. The application deadline is Aug. 3. To apply, complete the General Board application form, submit a resume and letter of application, and request three references to send letters of recommendation to the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren General Board, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120-1694; 800-323-8039 ext. 258;

  • The search is under way for a new general secretary of the National Council of Churches (NCC) to succeed Bob Edgar, who is leaving the council to be president of the national advocacy group Common Cause. The NCC is the leading ecumenical organization among Christians in the US. It encompasses 35 member communions including Protestant, Anglican, and Orthodox communions. The Church of the Brethren is a member communion. The NCC Governing Board is seeking candidates with extraordinary qualifications to take on a challenging job. The position description calls for a man or woman who is "proactive, creative, and entrepreneurial," and--whether ordained or lay--is "committed to Christ," and "a visionary with the maturity, confidence, wisdom, and collaborative skills necessary to garner the trust and confidence of a diverse and complex organization." The search committee is also looking for a person who is "emotionally mature with a healthy ego in check; even-tempered, approachable, thick-skinned and resilient." For a job description go to

  • The NCC also is accepting applications for young adult "stewards" to volunteer at its 2007 General Assembly on Nov. 6-8 in Woodbridge, N.J. The assembly is the annual gathering of more than 250 delegates from the 35 member communions of the NCC for legislation, worship, fellowship, and ecumenical sharing. A group of young adults from across the country participate in the assembly as stewards and benefit from the opportunity to network with other young adults, discover particulars about a variety of different communions, encounter a rich multicultural environment, worship in an ecumenical setting, experience the church at work, living its unity in Jesus Christ, and interact with national church leaders. Stewards must arrive for orientation on Nov. 4. All expenses, except personal expenses will be covered by the assembly. Deadline for applications is Sept. 14. For an application form go to

  • A new book, "Faith in Children: Stories from Faith-Based Children's Centers," by Roberta R. Owens of the Legacy of Caring organization, features a chapter on the Church of the Brethren program Children's Disaster Services (formerly Disaster Child Care). The 264-page book was published by Providence House Publishers in April this year. Legacy of Caring will use profits from the sale of the book to publish future volumes in a "Faith in Children" series and to provide grants to faith-based early care and education programs for innovative projects. For more about Legacy of Caring contact Owens at 229-247-9959 or

  • On Earth Peace has announced the "next round" of its counter-recruitment networking telephone conference calls. On Earth Peace is a peace education and action agency of the Church of the Brethren. The phone calls are for those working against military recruitment in high schools and communities where recruitment for the military takes place. On Earth Peace regularly sponsors these national networking calls as an opportunity for mutual support among those working on issues of military recruitment. The next general networking call is planned for Wed., July 11, at 1-2:30 p.m. eastern time. A call focused on the theme, "Counter-Recruitment in Schools: Access, Legal Information, Success Stories, and Words from the Wise" is planned for Wed., July 18, 1-2:30 p.m. eastern. There will be eight slots available in each call. Facilitators are Matt Guynn, coordinator of Peace Witness for On Earth Peace; and Deb Oskin, peace minister at Living Peace Church of the Brethren in Columbus, Ohio. Contact Matt Guynn at or 765-962-6234 to reserve a place in the conference calls.

  • York Center Church of the Brethren in Lombard, Ill., and Illinois and Wisconsin District of the Church of the Brethren are co-sponsoring a "Green Fair: An Interfaith Initiative to Sustain Creation," on July 21 from 2-6 p.m. at the church. The objective of the fair is to engage faith communities in the west suburban area of Chicago in a discussion of how to promote an appropriate response to global warming. Participants include keynote speaker Ned Stowe III, senior legislative secretary for the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Other speakers will represent Faith in Place, an affiliate of the national Regeneration Project/Interfaith Power and Light, the Illinois Renewable Energy Association, the New Community Project, DuPage County Solid Waste Education Center-SCARCE, and Argonne Transportation Research Center. The congregation requests attendees to contact 630-627-7411 or More information is at
Source: 07/04/2007 Newsline

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