Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Brethren bits: Correction, NYAC, church planting, more.
  • Correction: In the "Brethren bit" of Oct. 24, listing new trustees of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, Warren Eshbach’s home town was given incorrectly. It is Dover, Pa.

  • National Young Adult Conference is offering a gift certificate option through the Youth and Young Adult Ministries Office of the General Board. Family and friends of young adults can purchase a gift certificate for 50 percent ($162.50) or 100 percent ($325) of the registration cost. "As Christmas is approaching, consider giving the gift of National Young Adult Conference to your favorite young adult!" said coordinator Rebekah Houff. Visit for more information, or contact Houff at 800-323-8039 ext. 281 or

  • The church planting conference sponsored by New Church Development, Bethany Theological Seminary, and the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership now has its own web address at This page will offer online registration after Jan. 1, 2008. The conference on the theme, "Plant Generously, Reap Bountifully! Plantando y Regando con Dios Cultivando! Planting and Watering What God Is Growing!" will be held May 15-17, 2008, at Bethany Seminary in Richmond, Ind.

  • The Association of Brethren Caregivers (ABC) is seeking information about upcoming anointing services that individuals and congregations plan to hold. ABC is creating a video about the power and comfort of the anointing service for congregational and individual use. Planners hope to illustrate the recording with actual anointing events. If you have a planned event or are calling for a more private service of anointing, please e-mail this news to If time and production details allow for the event to be recorded, ABC will send videographer David Sollenberger to the event. Recordings will take place over the next six months.

  • On Earth Peace has extended an invitation to Church of the Brethren peacemakers to join a delegation to the Middle East (Israel/Palestine) led by On Earth Peace executive director Bob Gross on Jan. 8-21, 2008. The group will travel to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Hebron; meet with Israeli and Palestinian peace and human rights workers; join Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in Hebron and the village of At-Tuwani in a limited amount of accompaniment and documentation; and engage in a public witness to nonviolently confront injustice and violence. The trip is being led in conjunction with CPT, which since June 1995 has maintained a team of trained peacemakers in Hebron. On Earth Peace will assist Brethren in raising funds for the cost of the trip by offering ideas, networking, and limited scholarships. Applications are available through the On Earth Peace website and are due in November. For more information go to Contact On Earth Peace executive director Bob Gross at 260-982-7751 or; or contact Claire Evans at Christian Peacemaker Teams, 773-277-0253 or

  • On Earth Peace is offering a new pamphlet for reflection and evangelism, titled "Clenched Fists, Open Hands: A Meditation on God's Love and Peace in the Christian Life." The pamphlet is intended to help individuals, study groups, and congregations connect the dots between Christian faith and a commitment to peace and peacemaking. It is available in English and Spanish, for distribution in public space and church literature racks, and for membership classes. Download from or order for 10 cents each by calling 410-635-8704.

  • Edgewood Church of the Brethren near New Windsor, Md., celebrated its 100th anniversary with a banquet on the afternoon of Nov. 4, at the Brethren Service Center.

  • Olympia, Lacey (Wash.) Community Church of the Brethren celebrates its centennial on Nov. 17-19 with a Love Feast, Thanksgiving dinner, worship, times for sharing, and the opening of a cornerstone from 1956.

  • The Virlina District Conference is Nov. 9-10 at Bonsack Baptist Church, Botetourt County, Va.

  • A national Concerned Philosophers for Peace conference on the theme, "Nonviolence: Critiquing Assumptions, Examining Frameworks" was hosted by Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., on Nov. 1-4. The conference was sponsored by the college’s Peace Studies Institute and Department of Religion and Philosophy. About 40 philosophers from around the nation made presentations. Plenary sessions were open to the public and addressed topics such as "Gandhi vs. bin Laden: Nonviolent Strategies against Terrorism," with David Cortright, Fourth Freedom Forum president and research fellow with the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame; and "Finding Hope in the World: Peace Activism," with Barbara Wien, co-director of Peace Brigades International/USA. For more go to or contact Dr. Steve Naragon, professor of philosophy, at or 260-982-5041.

  • An Elizabethtown (Pa.) College professor has written a textbook to introduce students to the current global social problems they may face. Susan Mapp’s "Human Rights and Social Justice in a Global Perspective: An Introduction to International Social Work" (Oxford University Press) addresses difficult topics such as healthcare, violence against women, war and conflict, forced labor, and child soldiers. The book analyzes problems in their cultural contexts to help readers understand how they developed, why they persist, and what the local and international responses, both governmental and nongovernmental, have been. She also offers suggestions for what students can do to create change, and what they will be able to do as professionals. Mapp is an assistant professor of social work and has led Elizabethtown students on short-term study abroad trips to Ireland and Thailand, and a service-learning trip to Vietnam.

  • McPherson (Kan.) College enrollment has increased for the fifth year in a row, with 498 fulltime students enrolled this fall--the largest enrollment the college has seen since 1976. The college also honored three recipients of its 2007 Young Alumni Awards at Homecoming in October: Church of the Brethren member and physician Shannan Kirchner-Holmes of Port Townsend, Wash., who is associated with the Jefferson Medical Group in Port Townsend; Church of the Brethren member Jenny Stover-Brown of Wichita, Kan., who since 2001 has served as a school social worker with the Sedgwick County Special Education Cooperative where she has created a "Reading Buddies" program; and Doug Lengel of Carlsbad, Calif., secretary to the pastors at the Carlsbad Presbyterian Church and formerly an instructor at McPherson, an assistant bank examiner with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, an associate professor of business at Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., and an associate professor of business and associate academic dean at Sterling College in Kansas.

  • Garbers Church of the Brethren in Harrisonburg, Va., will host a CrossRoads (Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center) lecture on Nov. 10, at 4 p.m. Nancy Heisey, president of Mennonite World Conference and chair of the Bible and Religion Department at Eastern Mennonite University, will speak on the topic, "They Also Serve: The Brethren-Mennonite Service Experience." A Historic House Tour sponsored by CrossRoads takes place on Nov. 17 featuring three historic homes and a church. Mill Creek Church of the Brethren will provide refreshments. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Contact CrossRoads at 540-438-1275.

  • "Brethren Voices," a community access television program sponsored by Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren and produced by Ed Groff, is now being aired in a dozen communities across the country, Groff reports. The list includes York, Pa.; Westminster, Md.; Richmond, Ind.; Dayton, Ohio; La Verne, Calif.; and McPherson, Kan. Longtime Brethren who are not served by a Church of the Brethren in Montana and Massachusetts are airing the show as well, and it is being seen in Arctic Village, Alaska. Upcoming editions include, in December, "What Would Jesus Give" on Heifer International and alternative Christmas giving, with five Brethren members sharing personal experiences; and in January, a show with representatives of American Friends Service Committee and "Nightmare Beyond Borders," with speakers Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi political analyst, and Noah Baker Merrill, who has worked with Iraqi refugees in Jordan and Syria. Contact Ed Groff at Portland Peace Church of the Brethren, or 360-256-8550.

  • MutualAid eXchange (MAX) is marking its 50th anniversary of service to the Anabaptist community with insurance and mutual aid services, with an evening of commemoration and celebration at the Kansas City Airport Marriot Hotel on Nov. 16. For more about the event, contact Denise Dietz at 877-971-6300 ext. 100 or

  • Thanksgiving worship resources are being offered by the National Council of Churches (NCC) Eco-Justice Program: "At the Lord's Table: Everyday Thanksgiving" and "Our Daily Bread: Harvesters of Hope and Gardeners of Eden." The resources are intended to help lead congregations in theological conversations about food and faith, and may be downloaded from The Eco-Justice Program also seeks prayers for the nation’s farmers as part of a "Thanksgiving Prayer Offering" through Dec. 15. People of faith are encouraged to submit prayers, which will be collected in a web-based anthology to highlight the connection between the food we eat and the farmers who plant, grow, and harvest. Prayers can be submitted at

  • "Raising UP: Women of India," a documentary produced by a filmmaker with Church of the Brethren connections--Susan Baumel--is being aired on various PBS television stations around the country, most recently by Georgia Public Broadcasting on Oct. 7. It received a CINE Golden Eagle award in 2006, and among other honors was previewed at the National Press Club’s International Women’s Day event, and was screened at the United Nations in honor of International Women’s Day. Following ideas about micro-credit made famous by Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammad Yunus, the story follows a vegetable vendor in India who raised herself out of extreme poverty with the help of a small loan that allowed her to go into business. It includes interviews with women from different socio-economic levels, as well as leading economists such as Columbia University professors Jeffrey Sachs and Mark Malloch Brown, former administrator of the UN Development Program. Baumel is a former news correspondant and network producer who grew up in Church of the Brethren congregations in Pennsylvania and Florida, and currently lives and works in Washington, D.C. A clip can be viewed at
Source: 11/07/2007 Newsline

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