Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Brethren bits: Personnel, job opening, Caring Ministries, and more.
  • The dining services at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., has welcomed Elena Cutsail as a summer worker. Cutsail is a high school junior, and is enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at the Carroll County (Md.) Career Center.

  • The Church of the Brethren General Board seeks a fulltime salaried staff person to fill a new position: Congregational Life Team, Intercultural Ministries. Primary responsibilities will be congregational, district, and denominational resourcing, consultation, leadership development, and networking in intercultural ministries. Other functions include planning, developing, and implementing intercultural events and training; sharing in development of work objectives based on priorities established by the General Board; serving as a bridge between the board and its staff, and districts and congregations; serving as a voice for intercultural ministries to the board; availability to consult with leaders in intercultural church planting efforts; cooperating, coordinating, and collaborating as needed in the Congregational Life Team and other work relationships. Required skills, knowledge, and experience include knowledge of Church of the Brethren heritage, theology, and polity; ability to articulate and operate out of the vision of the General Board; intercultural understanding and competency; interpersonal skills that contribute to effective work with the Congregational Life Team, congregations, and districts; computer aptitude and experience; five or more years of participation in intercultural ministries or experiences with experience developing and implementing program and the ability to build relational bridges between established and emerging groups; and ability to communicate in written and oral forms. Bilingual skills are preferred. A bachelor’s degree is required; a master’s degree in a related field is preferred. Travel across the denomination will be required. The position begins Sept. 17. The application deadline is Aug. 15. 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;

  • Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) has announced the start of its summer orientation, July 22-Aug. 10 at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. This will be the 275th orientation unit for BVS and will consist of 16 volunteers. The unit will spend three weeks exploring project possibilities and topics of community building, peace and social justice, faith sharing, diversity training, and more. The volunteers also will have the opportunity for several work days, both in the area of New Windsor and in Baltimore, Md. A BVS potluck will be held as part of the orientation, on Saturday, July 28, at 6 p.m. at Union Bridge (Md.) Church of the Brethren. All who are interested are welcome at the potluck, to meet new BVS volunteers and to share about experiences of volunteering. For more information contact the BVS office at 800-323-8039.

  • On July 9 two summer workcamp groups were hosted at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. One group of 28 was a joint workcamp from East Chippewa Church of the Brethren and Smithville Ashland Brethren Church in northern Ohio. A second group of 19 was one of the national youth workcamps sponsored by the Church of the Brethren General Board, with participants from across the denomination. The two groups enjoyed tours of the General Offices and the Brethren Historical Library and Archives, talked with a number of staff persons, and ate a cook-out lunch. The group of 19 also did its work project at the offices, including planting trees, cement repair work on a stone wall on the front terrace, and unloading boxes returning from the exhibit hall and the book store at the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.

  • Church of the Brethren members interested in attending the Caring Ministries Assembly sponsored by the Association of Brethren Caregivers (ABC) in September can register for the full conference at the rate of $125 until Aug. 1. After that date, the fee increases to $150. Single-day registration also is available. The Sept. 6-8 conference about "Being Family: Reality and Renewal," will be held at Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. ABC sponsors the biennial conference for deacons, pastors, chaplains, and those interested in family life ministry. Register at A video of keynote presenter David H. Jensen is available at

  • Pipe Creek Church of the Brethren in Union Bridge, Md., is beginning planning for its 250th anniversary next year. The church invites anyone who has been part of the congregation over the year to an all-day celebration on Sept. 28, 2008. The congregation also wants to contact Brethren Volunteer Service workers who attended Pipe Creek while training or serving at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Contact Gertrude Robertson, 122 N. Main St., Union Bridge, MD 21791; 410-775-7357.

  • Northern Ohio District holds its 2007 district conference on July 27-29 at Ashland (Ohio) University on the theme, "Faith Is in the Following," from Mark 10:35-45. The moderator will be Larry Bradley, pastor of Reading Church of the Brethren. The conference will include worship services led by the Senior Performing Arts Camp and the Junior Performing Arts Camp, pastor William Brown of Marvelous Light Ministries in Canton, and moderator Bradley. Business items include a recommendation to grant fellowship status to Faith in Action of Toledo, a 2008 district budget, a district leadership ballot, affirmation of Manchester College trustees, "Conversations on Being the District," and district and denominational reports. A silent auction will benefit the Peace Endowment Fund. In response to Church World Service (CWS) appeals to replenish the supply of Gift of the Heart Kits for disaster relief around the world, the Mission and Social Action Commission and the District Disaster Coordinator are sponsoring a truck to receive donations of kits.

  • The annual Heritage Scramble Golf Tournament hosted by Middle Pennsylvania District and Camp Blue Diamond will be held on Aug. 14 at Iron Masters Country Club in Roaring Spring, Pa. Registration begins at 11:30-12:30 p.m. and start time is 1 p.m. A banquet will follow at Albright Church of the Brethren in Roaring Spring at 6:15 p.m. Cost is $60 per person and includes 18 holes, cart, dinner, and prizes. Registration deadline is Aug. 1 or until the limit of 120 golfers is met. Contact Middle Pennsylvania District at 814-643-0601 or Camp Blue Diamond at 814-667-2355.

  • Camp Bethel in Fincastle, Va., holds its 13th Annual Benefit Golf Tournament and Banquet on Aug. 22 at Botetourt Country Club. Tee off is at 12:45 p.m. with a "shotgun start." The fee of $65 per person includes green fees, team photo, cart, and dinner at camp ($15 for dinner only). Mulligans are sold at the course for $5 each. Prizes also will be awarded. "Assemble your dream team for a day of fun on the greens while supporting the ministries of Camp Bethel," invited the camp newsletter. For more information go to

  • Camp Alexander Mack in Milford, Ind., is sponsoring two golf "fun"draisers in 2007. The first was held at Sycamore Golf Club at North Manchester, Ind., on May 12. The second is scheduled for Maxwelton Golf Course at Syracuse, Ind., on Aug. 11, with registration at 7 a.m. and a shot-gun start at 8 a.m. The event will "help us meet the increasingly large challenge of providing camper scholarships to those who would otherwise be unable to experience the sanctuary of camp. Let us work together to make a difference in the life of a child," said the Northern Indiana District newsletter. Contact the camp office for a registration form, at 574-658-4831 or

  • Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., has announced that J. Bentley Peters will continue his service on the board of trustees with honorary status. Peters has served as a representative of the Church of the Brethren’s Illinois and Wisconsin District and as a trustee-at-large. He is one of two longtime board members and former chairs of the board who are returning as honorary members, along with William N. Harper of Scottsdale, Ariz. Both will serve in an ongoing advisory role, and are invited to participate in board meetings and discussions in a nonvoting capacity. Peters is a 1962 religion and philosophy graduate of the college, a retired senior vice president of Mutual Aid Exchange, and owner of a consulting company. For more go to

  • Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, a Church of the Brethren retirement center near Boonsboro, Md., hosts its 3rd Annual Heritage Festival on Aug. 4 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The event is free to the public. This year’s entertainment includes Classic Cars with a Disc Jockey, the 61st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment Civil War Living History, craft vendors, a petting zoo from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., a scrap booking table, and a book signing by local author Catherine Reese. The event also will include a chicken barbeque, bake sale, fresh produce, and food vendors. For more information or to volunteer, sponsor, or participate as a vendor in the festival contact Mike Leiter, director of Marketing and Development, at 301-671-5015.

  • A new DVD resource on Sudan produced by the National Council of Churches (NCC) includes three short contemplative videos of "Prayers for Sudan" by Church of the Brethren staff member Janis Pyle, coordinator of Mission Connections for the General Board. The video from the NCC’s Program Committee on Education and Mission is titled, "Touch the World, Touch Sudan," and contains prayers, stories, and factual updates on the situation in Sudan and the situation of Sudanese refugees. The material on the DVD may be downloaded from Order the DVD from the Education and Leadership Ministries Commission, 475 Riverside Dr., Suite 812, New York, NY 10115; or contact Janis Pyle at 800-323-8039.

  • The Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches (NCC) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer with an eye on the next generation of theological leaders, according to a release. The commission has launched an online electronic journal written and edited by younger theologians and judged by senior scholars. The journal was developed by R. Keelan Downton, postdoctoral fellow with Faith and Order, in conjunction with staff, members of the commission, and colleagues from the World Council of Churches. An editorial board from a broad range of Christian traditions has been instrumental in reviewing submissions and constructing a comprehensive evaluation process. Access to the articles is free at The commission will celebrate its 50th anniversary at Oberlin, Ohio, from July 19-23 (

  • Gearing up for a heavier than usual influx of refugees over the next three months, Church World Service (CWS) refugee service affiliates in several states are looking to congregations for help in welcoming the newcomers, according to a recent CWS press release. For the whole US Refugee Program, that means as many as 25,000 arrivals in three months toward a fiscal year 2007 total of 50,000. For CWS, that could mean between 600 to 700 refugees arriving each month, double the monthly average so far this year. The majority will be ethnic Karen and Chin Burmese and Africans, a significant number of them "1972 Burundians." The 1972 Burundians are refugees, primarily Hutus, who fled widespread ethnic violence in Burundi in 1972 and have been in refugee camps ever since. CWS is one of 10 agencies that work with the Department of State to resettle refugees in the US. For more information and to locate local CWS offices by state, go to

  • As the longterm recovery work continues in response to the tsunami in South Asia, Interchurch Medical Assistance (IMA) World Health has announced that it is designating its remaining donated funds to support rebuilding and rehabilitation projects. The program’s initial response provided emergency medicines and medical supplies at the request of Church World Service (CWS), Lutheran World Relief, and other disaster relief agencies. Emergency medical products are no longer needed, IMA said, but CWS continues to support reconstruction activities. The IMA program has provided $35,000 to CWS for its work, and $100,000 to Church's Auxiliary for Social Action in India for similar rehabilitation and rebuilding projects.

  • Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) has announced a delegation to investigate and challenge use and manufacture of depleted uranium munitions. The Church of the Brethren General Board on June 30 issued a resolution against the use of depleted uranium weaponry, in partnership with the work of CPT and the World Council of Churches (see the Newsline of July 4). The delegation is scheduled for Oct. 26-Nov. 4 starting in Jonesborough, Tenn., the location of one of the main production facilities in the US. Delegates will meet with government officials and people affected by the weapons, including military veterans, hospital administrators, and plant employees. The delegation also will organize and carry out a nonviolent public witness. Delegates arrange their own transportation to Knoxville or Jonesborough, Tenn., and raise $300 to cover on-ground travel, two meals a day, simple accommodations, and honorariums and delegation fees. Delegates should have plans to share about the trip upon return to their home communities and congregations. For more information or to apply, go to or contact CPT, P.O. Box 6508, Chicago, IL 60680; 773-277-0253; Originally a violence-reduction initiative of the historic peace churches (Church of the Brethren, Mennonite, and Quaker), CPT now enjoys support and membership from a wide range of Christian denominations.

  • Church of the Brethren members Emily Young and Melanie Blevins are among four young adults who are working this summer in the southern Sudanese community of Nimule, through the New Community Project. The team also includes Sophie Beya and Ian Christie. The Sudan Council of Churches invited the volunteers and is coordinating their work, according to project director David Radcliff. The group arrived in Sudan in early June. Their work includes teaching in six schools, providing carpentry training, strengthening a sports program for children, organizing a human rights club, and giving teacher training workshops.
Source: 7/18/2007 Newsline

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