Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Brethren bits: Prayer request, remembrance, personnel, jobs, and more.
  • The Church of the Brethren General Board is requesting prayer for the Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb, Ill., following shootings on campus yesterday, Feb. 14. A former graduate student at NIU opened fire in a class at Cole Hall on the DeKalb campus, and then shot himself. News reports today said that at least five students have died, and up to 18 others were wounded with three in critical condition. The students who were killed are from communities across northern Illinois and the Chicago area. There are Church of the Brethren students attending NIU, but no word has been received that any were hurt in the shooting. The campus is about 30 miles southwest of the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The prayer request lifted up students and their families, university faculty and staff, and first responders affected by the shootings. "As a church, we are deeply grieved at this senseless loss of life," the e-mail note said. "Please join us in prayer."

  • Donald J. Dunn, dean of the University of La Verne (ULV) College of Law, died Jan. 5 at home of complications related to cancer. ULV is a Brethren related university in La Verne, Calif. "As dean, he provided keen leadership that helped carry our College of Law over the initial threshold of American Bar Association accreditation," said ULV president Stephen Morgan in a remembrance on the school’s website. In 2003, Dunn joined ULV as dean and professor of law at the College of Law. While at ULV, he guided the law school through the process of applying for national accreditation, with the American Bar Association granting provisional ABA approval in 2006. Dunn was a nationally-recognized law librarian whose 38-year career began at the University of Texas and continued at Western New England College School of Law in Springfield, Mass. In 1977 began as a site evaluator for law schools seeking national accreditation, over time serving on more than 40 site evaluation teams. Dunn also co-authored "Fundamentals of Legal Research"--the eighth edition published in 2002 is used in first-year and advanced research courses in law schools and paralegal programs. ULV College of Law has set up a Dean Donald J. Dunn Memorial Scholarship Fund in his honor. Dunn is survived by his wife, Cheryl, son, Kevin, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.

  • On March 1, Cynthia Benthusen will begin in the position of general office services representative with the Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT). In this new position, Benthusen will be the staff member who welcomes guests to BBT, and also will route telephone calls, carry some work for the Pension and Brethren Foundation departments and the Church of the Brethren Credit Union, as well as hold other responsibilities. Benthusen is currently working for BBT as support staff for general office services.

  • Jillian Baker left Feb. 4 on a two-year assignment in Central America, working for the Global Mission Partnerships of the Church of the Brethren General Board as a volunteer with Brethren Volunteer Service. She will serve as community development staff for the Foundation for Self Sufficiency in El Salvador, organizing sustainable development projects in the areas of reforestation, micro-enterprise, and health. Her first task will be to help the foundation conduct a community needs and skills survey to study the potential for micro-enterprise projects. She is from Woodbridge, Va., and holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and Hispanic studies from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

  • The New Windsor (Md.) Conference Center is welcoming back Olive Provost, who will serve as volunteer hostess in the Old Main building for the month of February.

  • Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) seeks an assistant to the director of office operations, to fill a fulltime hourly position at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The starting date is April 1, or as negotiated. Responsibilities include to assist the director of office operations, type letters and other documents, coordinate special events such as employee/retiree recognitions and a fitness challenge, create and maintain a database of human resource records, establish and maintain a congregational database, maintain a central key system, maintain vacation records for staff, maintain a filing system for board documents, maintain subscriptions, assist with record retention, assist with mailings, back up the general office services representative as needed. Qualifications include confidentiality--which is critical to this position, proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite Software specifically Word and Excel, grammar and writing skills, organizational skills, ability to multitask, and a positive, committed, and collaborative working style. Education and experience required includes a bachelor’s degree or at least five years of experience of secretarial or general office duties. Submit a resume, letter of interest, and three references to Donna March, Director of Office Operations, Brethren Benefit Trust, 1505 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; 800-746-1505 ext. 371; Interviews will begin later in February.

  • The Church of the Brethren’s Western Pennsylvania District seeks a fulltime district children/youth ministries coordinator. The District Core Leadership Team approved a position description for this emerging ministry need. The position will be filled as soon as interviews are conducted and a candidate is approved by the Core Leadership Team. This position, in part, will spend time in district leadership development and resourcing, but most time and effort will be expended working closely with the program director of Camp Harmony to provide a wide range of programs for children and youth. The person called to this position must be willing and able to work in collaboration with others to develop programs and provide leadership in implementing programs. A person with a passion and desire to be in ministry to youth and children should consider this position. Apply for the position by requesting a position description from Western Pennsylvania District, 115 Spring Rd., Hollsopple, PA 15935-7412; 814-479-2181; 866-279-2181; Along with the position description, applicants will receive an application form and background check form to be completed before an interview is considered. The deadline for receiving applications is March 1.

  • Cross Keys Village-The Brethren Home Community in New Oxford, Pa., seeks a human resources director. The community is seeking an experienced human resources professional with 7-10 years generalist experience. The ideal candidate will possess a bachelor’s degree, excellent recruiting skills, employee relations and internal consulting skills, knowledge of employment laws, excellent interpersonal skills, and compensation and benefits expertise in a healthcare setting. SPHR desirable. The community offers a competitive salary and benefits package. E-mail a resume with salary requirements to Cross Keys Village, Ref: HR, at No telephone calls, please. EOE.

  • Sharing Services Agency/MutualAid eXchange (MAX), a property and casualty insurance company serving Anabaptists across the US and Canada, has announced a producer/agent career opportunity. The agency seeks a candidate desiring a career opportunity using relationship building and sales skills in an insurance environment within a Christian faith community. MAX is faith-based, and provides property and casualty insurance products and Mutual Aid Ministries programs. To learn more visit Resumes may be e-mailed to or faxed to 877-785-0085.

  • A re-lighting project has been underway at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., beginning last week. The project consists of changing all tubes and ballasts in every light fixture in the building from T12 to the more energy efficient T8 lamps. A total of 587 fluorescent fixtures will be changed.

  • Three employees received service honors recently at the annual Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village recognition dinner. Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village is a Church of the Brethren continuing care retirement community near Boonsboro, Md. Kelli Lichtenberg, assistant director of accounting, received the Grace Grimm Award as Employee of the Year. Jenna Hoffman, MDS (Minimum Data Set) coordinator in nursing and an LPN, received the Customer Service Award. Melissa Ward, who started as an LPN and was promoted to an LPN team leader position, was named Rookie of the Year.

  • Human rights activist John Prendergast will lead discussions on genocide on Feb. 18 at Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind. The public is invited to a 10 a.m. convocation in Cordier Auditorium and a 4 p.m. panel discussion in the College Union. Prendergast will deliver the convocation address on conditions in Darfur and Rwanda, and participate in the panel discussion along with Sudanese refugee and Manchester senior peace studies major Felix Lohitai, two Darfurian refugees, and Holocaust scholar Glenn Sharfman, vice president and dean of academic affairs. Prendergast is co-founder of ENOUGH, a joint initiative of the International Crisis Group and the Center for American Progress seeking to build a permanent constituency to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Underwriting Prendergast’s visit is a grant from Plowshares, the consortium of Indiana's three historic peace colleges--Manchester, Goshen, and Earlham, funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.

  • Fourteen Brethren were among participants in the New Community Project's inaugural Learning Tour to Nepal in early January. The delegation was hosted by Women Empowerment, a grassroots organization working in poor rural communities. The New Community Project has supported efforts by Women Empowerment to provide skills training for village women along with scholarships for girls' education. The Church of the Brethren's Global Women's Project also has lent support for the training workshops. The tour visited women's groups, a Fair Trade factory, and took in Nepali cultural attractions. On the way to Nepal, the tour group was hosted in Delhi, India, by the Center on Science and the Environment. For more go to

  • The Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) Committee has reorganized, with an election of officers at its Oct. 2007 meeting, as announced in the "BRF Witness." J. Eric Brubaker has succeeded Kenneth Leininger as secretary; Leininger will continue to serve as events coordinator and assistant secretary-treasurer; Craig Alan Myers continues as chair; and Carl Brubaker continues as treasurer. Also serving on the committee are Mervin C. Groff, Walter K. Heisey, Jordan P. Keller, Paul E. Schildt, John A. Shelly, and David R. Wenger. The BRF also announced that its next Brethren Alive event will be July 25-27 at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College on the theme, "The Future of the Church of the Brethren," preceded by the group’s annual Brethren Bible Institute on July 21-25 also at Elizabethtown. More information will be made available at
Source: 02/13/2008 Newsline

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