Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Brethren bits: Personnel, news from congregations, and more.
  • Matt and Kristy Messick will be delaying their participation in the Sudan mission initiative, announced Bradley Bohrer, director of the Sudan mission for the Church of the Brethren General Board. The Messicks were introduced as members of the lead team of mission workers for Sudan at the 2007 Annual Conference in July. "After prayerful consideration during this preparatory time, the decision has been made that they and their family will be able to serve the church and the Sudan initiative at a later date. This precludes them from being part of the lead team of mission workers, but allows for them being part of later staffing options," Bohrer said. "We regret this loss to the team and to this vital ministry."

  • Westernport (Md.) Church of the Brethren celebrated a Homecoming on Aug. 5 marking the 50th anniversary that the church has held services at its present site, and its 80th anniversary as a congregation. The theme for the event was "Precious Memories." Former pastor Ervin Huston was the guest speaker, with current pastor William C. Shimer Sr. as worship leader.

  • Becky and Harry Rhodes, interim pastors at Good Shepherd Church of the Brethren in Blacksburg, Va., are interested in contacting Brethren students at Virginia Tech, especially incoming freshmen. The congregation is located close to the university campus, and the pastors hope to continue the church’s care for students and offer hospitality to students who are living away from their home churches, according to the Virlina District e-mail newsletter. Contact Becky Rhodes at, 540-588-3252, or 540-343-5781.

  • Atlantic Southeast District’s Action for Peace Team has designed a "Peacemaking Within Ministerial Leadership Questionnaire" for use in interviews of pastoral candidates by district ministerial examining committees and by congregational search committees. The questionnaire was developed in collaboration with the Brethren Witness/Washington Office and On Earth Peace, and offers committees help to discern a candidate’s familiarity with biblical and Brethren positions on peacemaking. For a copy of the questionnaire contact Phil Lersch, Chair, Action for Peace Team, 6301 56th Avenue, N., St. Petersburg, FL 33709; 727-544-2911;

  • Bicycle tours are planned in Middle Pennsylvania District, announced in the district newsletter. A "Tour de Dunker Ride" Sept. 9 starts at Memorial Church of the Brethren in Martinsburg, Pa., at 8:30 a.m. The tour of about 60 miles includes a 30-mile ride in the morning, lunch at the church, and the 20-plus mile Martinsburg leg of the Tour de Toona race in the afternoon. A ride is tentatively planned for Oct. 14 on Little Pine Creek Trail. Call 814-793-3451 for more details.

  • During Camp Bethel's 80th Anniversary Celebration and Potluck Dinner on Sunday, Sept. 2, Fonda Wilson will be honored as the camp’s director of food services from 2004-07. Her last day at camp was Aug. 15. Camp Bethel’s 23rd Heritage Day Festival fundraiser also is planned for this fall, on Oct. 6. Information is at

  • Three more Manchester College graduates have received Fulbright scholarships, continuing the college's leadership in the state of Indiana of Fulbrights per capita/student, with 22 Fulbrights in the past 12 years. The three latest recipients are Stacey A. Carmichael of South Bend, Ind., who received a bachelor's degree in elementary education in May and will be teaching English in South Korea; Samuel A. Cox of Kokomo, Ind., who received a bachelor's degree in history and German in May and will teach English in Germany; and Rachel A. Paske of Fort Wayne, Ind., who received a bachelor's degree in sociology and German in 2004 and also will teach English in Germany. For more about Manchester, visit

  • The 2007 Brethren Revival Fellowship General Meeting is set for Saturday, Sept. 8, 10 a.m.-3:45 p.m., at Shanks Church of the Brethren near Greencastle, Pa. Held on the theme, "The Future of the Church of the Brethren," the meeting will be moderated by John A. Shelly. The morning message will be brought by Craig Alan Myers and the afternoon message by Harold S. Martin. Participants are invited to bring their own lunch; beverage will be provided by the host church.

  • Eight members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) including Church of the Brethren member Cliff Kindy were arrested while attempting to deliver roses to Alliant Techsystems Inc. headquarters in Edina, Minn., on Hiroshima Day, Aug. 6. CPT said the arrests followed a gathering of some 40 people to offer prayers for those who have suffered the effects of depleted uranium, and to commemorate those who died in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 62 years ago. A CPT release said Alliant is the world's largest producer of depleted uranium weapons, and produces motors for launching nuclear missiles. The Church of the Brethren General Board in late June issued a resolution against the use of depleted uranium weapons and in support of the work of CPT and the World Council of Churches against the weapons. Kindy has been a leader of the CPT campaign against depleted uranium. He and the other seven who were arrested each received a citation for trespassing that carries a $142 fine. 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.

  • Brethren were involved in two New Community Project Learning Tours this summer. A July trip to Honduras included 22 Church of the Brethren members. The group lived and worked in the Chorti Mayan community of Barbasco in the western part of Honduras, helping install water lines and latrines, and learning about poverty and the racial and gender discrimination facing the indigenous community. Twelve Brethren joined an August trip to Alaska's Denali/Kenai Fjords National Parks. Sightings of lynx, bears, caribou, sheep, moose, and a variety of sea life were highlights, along with a visit to a native center. For more about the New Community Project go to

  • The World Council of Churches (WCC) has announced its internship program for 2008. The WCC will welcome five young people aged 18-30 to serve as interns in its offices in Geneva, Switzerland, from Feb. 2008-Jan. 2009. Interns will be assigned to one of the WCC working areas. Each intern will be expected to plan an ecumenical project to implement in his or her home context when they return home in Feb. 2009. Along with an application, applicants must send background information about their church or Christian youth network that will help them in implementing their proposed ecumenical project. Closing date for receiving applications is Sept. 20. More information and an application form are at
Source: 08/29/2007 Newsline

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