Wednesday, September 12, 2007

300th Anniversary bits and pieces.
  • The opening celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Church of the Brethren takes place this weekend, Sept. 15-16, at Germantown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren near Philadelphia--the "mother church" of the Brethren in the United States. On the schedule for Saturday afternoon are children’s activities, a historic simulation of crossing the Atlantic ocean, and a number of short afternoon presentations such as a Bible study on the anniversary scripture, guided exploration of the Germantown Cemetery, and a presentation of the current work and vision of Germantown Outreach Ministries, among many others. On Saturday evening Coventry Church of the Brethren will hold a Historical Presentation and Hymn Sing. On Sunday morning, worship is planned by the Germantown congregation led by pastor Richard Kyerematen, with guest preacher Earl K. Ziegler. Afternoon worship will feature guest preacher Belita Mitchell, moderator of the 2007 Annual Conference, marking the official opening of the anniversary year. For more information go to

  • Registration is required by Sept. 20 for an academic conference titled "Honoring a Legacy, Embracing a Future: Three Hundred Years of Brethren Heritage" hosted by the Young Center at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College from Oct. 11-13. Designed for scholars, pastors, church leaders, and others in various forms of ministry, the conference will feature plenary speakers and more than two dozen papers related to Brethren history and contemporary issues. On Oct. 13 following the conference, at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m., Young Center director Jeff Bach will lead and interpret a special Love Feast celebration. The service will last approximately two hours and will combine scripture readings, devotional commentary, and hymn singing. A traditional meal of beef-and-bread soup will be served, and a freewill offering will be taken. Registration is required to attend the conference and the Love Feast. Contact the Young Center at 717-361-1470 or visit for more information.

  • Additional 300th anniversary events at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College include an exhibit of artifacts, pictures, and descriptive material about the Brethren Love Feast from Sept. 4, 2007, through March 15, 2008, in the lobby of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies. A hymnody exhibit will open in late March 2008 at the Young Center, featuring a display of historic hymnbooks and interpreting some of the hymn traditions of Lutherans, Anabaptists, and Pietists. In conjunction with this, the Elizabethtown College Concert Choir will present a concert of Anabaptist and Pietist hymns on April 5, 2008, in the Leffler Chapel and Performance Center.

  • The 300-day deadline--Sept. 16--is approaching for those who plan to take up the 300-Day Anniversary Challenge issued by the Wellness Ministry of the Church of the Brethren. Participants in the challenge are invited to commit to doing at least one health-promoting activity a day to celebrate the anniversary, and to mark it on a personal chart. "Are you up to the challenge?" asked Wellness director Mary Lou Garrison. "Brethren individuals, congregations, and agency staff are already taking on the challenge to be well in body, mind, and spirit. Sept. 16 is exactly 300 days before Annual Conference 2008, so start today!" Details are at Share stories, successes, and photos with the Wellness Ministry by sending them to The ministry is a joint program of the Church of the Brethren General Board, Association of Brethren Caregivers, and Brethren Benefit Trust.

  • Sept. 23 is the date for the kick-off 300th anniversary event hosted by Atlantic Northeast and Southern Pennsylvania Districts. An inspirational worship service will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23, at the Sight and Sound Millennium Theatre located six miles east of Lancaster, Pa. The speaker will be Stan Noffsinger, general secretary of the Church of the Brethren General Board. Music will be provided by the Brethren Heritage Singers. There is no charge for the event. A freewill offering will be taken toward expenses and disaster relief. Brochures are available from the Annual Conference office at 800-688-5186.

  • The 300th Anniversary District Committee for Northern Indiana District has been hard at work, according to the district newsletter. Northern Indiana’s 300th Anniversary District Celebration is planned for April 20, 2008. Every church in the district also is encouraged to have a congregational celebration during the year of 2008, and are invited to request a visit from the district’s Youth Heritage Team. The committee has been planning an exhibit and insight session at District Conference, with 300th anniversary calendars also available for purchase. The district plans to make a District Quilt for the 300th anniversary, with fabric pieces sent to every congregation.

  • Hollins Road Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va., celebrated the 300th anniversary of the denomination on Sept. 9 with a special worship service in the morning, a lunch, and activities for children including sack races, face painting, a giant fun slide, and mini moonwalk. Music was to be provided by "Larry and the Gang." The Homecoming Committee created a bookmaker with anniversary logo and logo explanation, a picture DVD, and booklet of the church's rich past that was given to each family. In addition, at each table at the luncheon, picture centerpieces were placed, with albums of remaining pictures displayed in a hallway named "Memory Lane." The event was planned to "celebrate our past, witness in the present, and look to Christ Jesus for the future," said the Virlina District newsletter.
Source: 9/12/2007 Newsline Extra

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