Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Brethren bits: Personnel, job openings, Annual Conference, more.
  • Brandy Fix Liepelt and Paul Liepelt, who have been mission workers in Nigeria with the Global Mission Partnerships of the Church of the Brethren General Board, completed their term of service on Aug. 3. They taught Bible and Christian doctrine at Kulp Bible College, a major training institution for the church leadership of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). The college has an enrollment of approximately 200 students and is located at EYN Headquarters near Mubi. Paul Liepelt began his term of service in July 2004. Brandy Fix Liepelt began her term of service in July 2005. The couple, who married in Nigeria, plan to make their home in Everett, Pa.

  • Rose Ingold has begun a temporary position as information services assistant for the Church of the Brethren General Board in Elgin, Ill. She began in the position on July 23. She will assist with setting up office procedures, scheduling, creation of training documents, and other administrative functions. Previously, Ingold served as Conference assistant for the Annual Conference Office.

  • The Church of the Brethren General Board seeks an executive director of Congregational Life Ministries, to fill a fulltime position located at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Responsibilities include seeking to discern the needs of the larger church; articulating the vision of the General Board through collaborative work with districts and congregations, in conjunction with General Board staff; developing a plan of oversight and assisting the three units within Congregational Life Ministries including the Congregational Life Team coordinators, workcamps, and the Youth and Young Adult Ministry; overseeing networking and training for church plants and coaching for new church development; providing executive leadership and management of centralized and deployed staff. Qualifications and requirements include a Master of Divinity degree; active Church of the Brethren membership; five years of experience in work with congregational life, program development, mentoring, supervision, team development, and administrative work; current ordination in the Church of the Brethren; a minimum of 10 years of pastoral ministry; and interest areas of church renewal, revitalization, evangelism, youth, and young adult ministries. Starting date is Nov. 1, or as negotiated. Applications will be received through Aug. 31. Interviews will take place at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill., in September and October. A position description and application form are available on request. Qualified candidates are invited to 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 Church of the Brethren General Board seeks a program assistant for its Global Mission Partnerships. The position supports and extends the ministry of Global Mission Partnerships by providing administrative and secretarial functions for the international mission operations of the denomination. Responsibilities include administrative coordination and support for the office of the executive director for Global Mission Partnerships, responsibilities for unit-wide organizational functions, facilitation of financial processes, arranging travel for individuals and groups, and facilitation of personnel processes and documentation. Required skills and knowledge include communication skills in English, both verbal and written; skills in computer applications, particularly Word, with the capability and willingness to learn new software applications; ability to problem solve; good judgment in prioritizing tasks; knowledge of basic financial processes; organizational skills, ability to work with details and simultaneous tasks; three-to-five years of administrative or secretarial experience; some college education preferred. The application deadline is Aug. 10. Request a copy of the position description and application form from the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren General Board, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120-1694; 800-323-8039 ext. 258;

  • McPherson (Kan.) College is seeking an outgoing, organized, energetic, self-motivated person who will serve as executive director of Development. This position reports to the vice president of Advancement. The executive director will plan and carry out fundraising events, meet with existing and new constituents to solicit funds, should be able to lead a team, have good relationship building skills, and understand the benefits of a small-college education. This position involves travel, salary is flexible. A Bachelor’s degree is required. Send a cover letter, resume, and references to Lisa Easter, Human Resources, P.O. Box 1402, McPherson, KS 67460; or e-mail No phone calls please. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. EOE.

  • Final blood collection results at the 2007 Annual Conference have been announced: a total of 187 units of blood were collected at the Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. "The Red Cross informs us that this tremendous result will sustain the life of 561 patients needing whole blood or blood products," said Annual Conference executive director Lerry Fogle. "On behalf of the American Red Cross, thanks to each person who donated blood at Annual Conference."

  • A reminder to ministers who attended sessions qualifying for continuing education credit sponsored by Congregational Life Ministries at Annual Conference: please send stamped name tag with mailing address to Joy Willrett, Church of the Brethren General Board, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120. Call 800-323-8039 ext. 208 for more information.

  • The National Youth Cabinet of the Church of the Brethren met at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill., on Aug. 1-3. The group spent three days focusing on the national youth program, selecting a 2008 Youth Ministry Theme, and developing resources for the next National Youth Sunday scheduled for May 4, 2008. Cabinet members are Seth Keller of Dover, Pa.; Heather Popielzarz of Prescott, Mich.; Turner Ritchie of Richmond, Ind.; Joel Rhodes of Huntingdon, Pa.; Elizabeth Willis of Tryon, N.C.; Tricia Ziegler of Sebring, Fla.; adult advisor Dena Gilbert of La Verne, Calif.; and Chris Douglas, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.

  • Dates have been announced for the next Song and Story Fest: July 6-12, 2008, at Camp Brethren Woods in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Ken Kline Smeltzer is the founder and dean of the week-long music and story-telling camp. For several years On Earth Peace has been the organizational sponsor. The 2007 Song and Story Fest attracted more than 130 people to Camp Inspiration Hills in northern Ohio, this past June.

  • First Church of the Brethren in Rocky Mount, Va., is celebrating 50 years of service and ministry as a congregation on Sunday, Aug. 12.

  • A service of dedication for the property of a new church start in Virlina District--Lake Side Church of the Brethren Project--will be held on Sunday Aug. 26, at 6:30 p.m.

  • Nappanee (Ind.) Church of the Brethren awarded its "Waging Peace" Scholarship to Christina Prochna of Northwood High School. The church worked with the school’s "Dollars for Scholars" committee to award the scholarship. The committee chose Prochna for her positive role model, random acts of kindness, and positive influence in the community.

  • A cookbook compiled by members of Mount Zion Road Church of the Brethren in Lebanon, Pa., is a fundraiser for a multi-purpose room for the church, according to an article in "Lancaster Farming." Roxanne Molnar, former employee of the Pennsylvania Beef Council, is coordinating the cookbook along with a committee of women from the church. The committee hopes the cookbook also will be a tool to tell others about Jesus, Molnar said. The cookbook includes intriguing recipes such as "Elvis Presley’s Favorite Banana Pudding." For more information contact Mount Zion Church of the Brethren, 2087 Mount Zion Rd., Lebanon, PA 17046.

  • Districts holding their conferences this month are Michigan District on Aug. 9-12 at Hastings, Mich.; and Northern Plains on Aug. 3-4 at South Waterloo (Iowa) Church of the Brethren. The month of July also saw several district conferences: Northern Ohio on July 27-29 at Ashland (Ohio) University; Southeastern on July 27-29 at Mars Hill, N.C.; Southern Plains on July 26-27 at Clovis, N.M.; and Western Plains on July 27-29 at McPherson (Kan.) Church of the Brethren.

  • Manchester College anticipates 350 new students this fall, a 13 percent increase in class size. Manchester is on pace to enroll its largest first-year class in more than 15 years. An intense campus-wide focus on enrollment, and restructuring of the admissions team, appears to be paying off for the college, according to a recent release. The 119th year of the college in North Manchester, Ind., begins Aug. 29. For more go to

  • IMA (Interchurch Medical Assistance) World Health has been invited by the World Bank to participate in meetings in southern Sudan with bank officials and the ministry of health. The Church of the Brethren is one of the denominational members of IMA. Charles Franzen, IMA's international grants manager, will travel to southern Sudan to meet with officials and negotiate financial terms for two proposals to be funded by the bank's Multi-Donor Trust Fund. The projects will provide a basic package of health services in two states, Upper Nile and Jonglei. In related news, IMA also has been working on a Sudanese Physician Reintegration Program, jointly implemented with Samaritan's Purse and the Capacity Project. The program is helping 15 Sudanese-born doctors return to their homeland after a 20-year absence. As teenagers, the doctors were transported out of southern Sudan to get an education. Ongoing civil unrest prevented their return. The program has given the doctors a refresher course to prepare them for practicing medicine in their home country and help to get them reintegrated into southern Sudan. IMA reports that southern Sudan currently has about 50 doctors for 10 million people.

  • "Peacemaker Congress IX--Tearing Down Walls, Restoring Communities" will be held Sept. 20-23 in Toronto, Canada. The event is the ninth congress held by Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). Keynote speakers include James Loney, who along with Harmeet Singh Sooden and Norman Kember was a member of a CPT delegation kidnapped in Iraq in Nov. 2005. CPT Iraq team member Tom Fox also was kidnapped, and later murdered on March 9, 2006. Loney has been a member of CPT since 2000 and has served on CPT projects in Palestine, Canada, and Iraq. Workshops will address topics such as "Stop Depleted Uranium," "Undoing Racism," and "War Tax Resistance," among others. The congress also features worship, caucus meetings, social time, and child care. Contact CPT Canada at or 416-423-5525; or visit for more information.

  • James Loney has contributed an essay in the National Public Radio series, "This I Believe," for the "All Things Considered" radio program of July 2. Loney, along with Harmeet Singh Sooden, Norman Kember, and Tom Fox, was a member of a Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) delegation kidnapped in Iraq (see "Peacemaker Congress" notice above). "I believe all things and all beings are interconnected. I saw this most clearly in the time I was a hostage," his essay begins. The full essay is available at

  • Mark A. Ray, an ordained Church of the Brethren minister, gave the message on July 18 at a combined worship service of the 119th General Conference of the Brethren Church and the Brethren Youth in Christ Conference, at Ashland (Ohio) University. Ray currently is serving as a missionary in Ireland for the Brethren Church; he previously served as youth pastor for Blue River Church of the Brethren in Columbia City, Ind.

  • A seminar on the topic, "Will Our Children Be Stewards?" is sponsored by the Ecumenical Stewardship Center on Nov. 26-29 in St. Pete Beach, Fla. The annual event is for congregational leaders, stewardship staff, Christian educators, and youth leaders. This year’s seminar has the purposes of identifying the culture of materialism targeted toward children, offering an understanding of the spirituality of children, and exploring ways to teach stewardship to children. Speakers include Dick Hardel from the Youth and Family Institute; Sandy Sasso, rabbi and teacher of children’s spirituality and author of children’s books; Nathan Dungan, founder and president of Share-Save-Spend; and Bryan Sirchio, who works with Crosswind Music and HarvestTime ministries. The seminar offers a group discount registration per denomination, a discount for "early-birds," and a discount for "first-timers." Please be in touch with Carol Bowman, coordinator of Stewardship Formation and Education for the Church of the Brethren General Board (509-663-2833 or, to help Brethren participants take advantage of these specials. For more information about the seminar visit
Source: 8/1/2007 Newsline

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