Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Brethren bits: Corrections, remembrances, personnel, jobs, more.
  • Corrections: The Newsline of March 12 omitted “Messenger” magazine from the financial report of the Church of the Brethren General Board for 2007. “Messenger” is a self-funded budget, and ended the year with a net income of $20,080 and gross sales of just over $255,000, in pre-audit figures. The financial report also should have noted that the total expended from the Emergency Disaster Fund includes support for the program of Brethren Disaster Ministries and Children’s Disaster Services as well as grants, and the total expended from the Global Food Crisis Fund includes support for the Global Food Crisis program. The total offering received from board members and staff toward a new capital campaign was $2,284.

  • Harold Z. Bomberger, 89, died on March 17 at Lebanon Valley Brethren Home in Palmyra, Pa. He was an ordained Church of the Brethren minister and moderator of Annual Conference in 1971. He was a member of the Church of the Brethren General Board for a five-year term beginning in 1966. He also served in key denominational positions as executive minister of Atlantic Northeast District from 1971-83, and during the 1950s as executive secretary of the church’s Eastern Region. At one time he worked as an editorial associate for the "Gospel Messenger" magazine (now the "Messenger"). His volunteer work for the church included two terms on the Standing Committee of Annual Conference, service on the Committee on Interchurch Relations, presidency of the Kansas Council of Churches, membership on the Pennsylvania Council of Church’s Governing Board, charter membership of the Pennsylvania Conference on Interchurch Cooperation, service as president of the Alumni Association of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, membership in the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the Biblical Archeological Society, and service on the executive committee of Lebanon County (Pa.) Christian Ministries. In 1980, he was honored for his leadership as a member of the board of Mennonite Mental Health Services, and in 1993 was named “Peacemaker of the Year” by the Brethren Peace Fellowship of Atlantic Northeast District. Bethany Theological Seminary awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 1965. In 1967, he was an exchange preacher to the British isles, which included an invitation to attend Queen Elizabeth’s garden party at Buckingham Palace, and a later audience with Pope Paul V. Born in Lebanon County, Pa., he was the son of Howard B. and Venona Zug Bomberger. He was a graduate of Lebanon High School, Elizabethtown College, Bethany Seminary, and Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pa. He began in ministry in 1939 at Annville (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. He also served pastorates in Allentown, Pa.; Westminster, Md.; and McPherson, Kan., and in retirement served as interim pastor to seven Pennsylvania congregations. Prior to his ministerial career, he worked in farming and radio and television engineering. Surviving is Betty, his wife of 64 years, their children Timothy, Lane, and Venona, and their families, including nine grandchildren and ten great grandchildren. A celebration of his life was held at Annville Church of the Brethren on March 24. Memorial contributions may be made to the Fund for Humanities, care of Annville Church of the Brethren, 495 E. Maple St., Annville, PA 17003.

  • May H. Patalano, 52, secretary for Northern Ohio District, passed away at home on March 6. “She was at peace and we know she is now in the Lord’s house,” said a request for prayer from the district. Patalano was diagnosed with metastatic cancer of the pancreas on Jan. 20, and had been at home under hospice care. She served as secretary to the district executive since 1995. From 1993-95, she and her husband, Robert, were volunteer church and community workers in Big Creek, Ky., through Brethren Volunteer Service. She taught Bible at Westmoreland Christian High School in Greensburg, Pa., from 1992-93, and was previously a customer service manager for C-K Composites in Mt. Pleasant, Pa. She was born Oct. 23, 1955, in Seymour, Ind., to Durward and Idabelle Hays, and moved to Ashland, Ohio, in 1961 when her father became pastor of Ashland Dickey Church of the Brethren. She was a graduate of Ashland High School; Taylor University in Upland, Ind.; Greensburg (Pa.) Business School; and St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. She married Robert Patalano in 1986. She was a member of the Ashland Dickey Church where she was a deacon and Sunday school teacher, active in music ministry, and a youth advisor from 1979-2005. She is survived by her husband and two stepchildren Andrea and Rob, who with his wife, Kay, are expecting the Patalanos’ first grandchild in May. A "Going Home" celebration was held at the Ashland Dickey Church on March 10. Memorials may be made to Hospice of North Central Ohio, 1050 Dauch Dr., Ashland, OH 44805; or to Ashland Dickey Church of the Brethren Memorial Fund, 1509 Twp. Road 655, Ashland, OH 44805. Condolences may be sent to

  • Jane Bankert has announced her retirement as secretary for the Material Resources program of the Church of the Brethren General Board as of April 30, after 33 years of work at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. She first began her work with Material Resources in 1973. With a short break for 22 months in 1976-78, she has continued working for the program up to the present time. She has witnessed the growth and change of the Material Resources department over the years, as she has helped facilitate shipments of relief materials around the world, and fulfilled wishes of the ecumenical programs that are the Material Resources clients. Her retirement plans include spending time boating with her husband, gardening, and playing golf.

  • Eric Miller has submitted his resignation as customer service/inventory specialist for Brethren Press, located at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., in order to accept a position with Tyndale House Publishers. His resignation is effective March 31, his last day in the office is March 26. He began with Brethren Press in August 2006, and over his year-and-a-half of customer service work brought a high level of dedication and professionalism to the position.

  • Kathy Maxwell begins April 1 as assistant to the director of Office Operations at the Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT), located at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. She will work in the administrative office of BBT. She is a resident of Elgin, and previously was a longterm employee of the Neighborhood Housing Services of Elgin.

  • Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) seeks a manager of publications to fill a fulltime salaried position based in Elgin, Ill. Responsibilities include oversight of BBT publications such as newsletters, press releases, website, and special projects; serving as a senior writer and copy editor; reporting on news and information related to BBT ministry areas of pension, insurance, Foundation, and credit union; some writing covering the wellness component of BBT’s mission, including financial wellness and wellness of body/spirit; reporting of socially responsible investing initiatives through management of $450 million in pension and Foundation monies; working with a production coordinator and contracted designers; assisting with marketing and promotional efforts; representing the department/agency at meetings and events; travel to the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, BBT Board meetings, and other denominational events as assigned. BBT seeks a candidate with an undergraduate degree in communications, English, business, or a related field; and experience and expertise in writing, copyediting, and/or project management. Knowledge in personal investments is helpful, and an active member of the Church of the Brethren is preferred. Active membership in a faith community is required. Salary and benefits are competitive with Church Benefits Association agencies of comparable size and scope of services. A full benefits package is included. The application deadline is April 25. Send a letter of interest, resume, three references (one supervisor, one colleague, one friend), and salary-range expectation to Donna March, 1505 Dundee Ave., Elgin IL 60120; or For questions about the position, call 847-622-3371. For more information about BBT visit

  • The Palms Estates, a Church of the Brethren 55-and-over independent living retirement community in central Florida, seeks executive staff. The community includes 71 homes and 40 RV sites. “This is an excellent employment opportunity for an experienced husband and wife team,” said an announcement of the position opening. Responsibilities include leadership and management of the total operation of the Palms Estates. Candidates should possess strong organizational, administrative, accounting, verbal and written communication, and interpersonal skills acquired through training and experience. Knowledge of budgets, financial statements, and computer technology related to all office functions also is required. Qualified applicants need the ability to manage multiple tasks involving residents’ needs and concerns, maintain harmonious relations with related organizations, insure compliance with governmental regulations, and manage a small citrus grove and maintenance staff. Onsite residence and office are provided in addition to salary and other benefits. Send a resume and three references by April 15 to The Palms Estates, P.O. Box 364, Lorida FL, 33857, Attn: Verna Forney; or via e-mail to For more information about the community go to

  • The funding and stewardship office of the Church of the Brethren General Board is calling attention to the upcoming economic stimulus package for taxpayers. “The check is in the mail,” says a note from the funding office. “Your government says spend it, but your church says share it! Anything that is of value in life only multiplies when it is given. Thanks be to God!” For more information go to

  • Brethren Disaster Ministries staff will be at a national domestic disaster ministry forum titled “Economics and Justice in Disasters,” on March 29-April 1 in Nashville, Tenn. The conference will address how issues such as global warming, predatory lending, recovery privatization, battered local economies, and changing immigration laws worsen the effects of disasters and add to post-disaster burdens for the poor. The forum is presented by Church World Service (CWS). Church of the Brethren staff member Zachary Wolgemuth is on the planning committee. Participants are expected to include leaders from national faith groups and denominations with disaster ministries, as well as representatives of FEMA, the American Red Cross, and VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters). A registration form and information may be downloaded from

  • Brethren Volunteer Service worker Dana Cassell, serving in the Ministry Office of the Church of the Brethren General Board, plans to participate in a conference titled, "Breakthrough: The Women, Faith, and Development Summit to End Global Poverty" at the Washington National Cathedral on April 13-14. The event kicks off the Women, Faith, and Development Alliance, a partnership of faith, development, and women's organizations with the purpose of including support for women and girls in the poverty agendas of organizations and global leaders. Cassell became involved through the National Council of Churches. Organizers expect presidential candidates to attend the summit, which will be co-chaired by a group of world leaders including Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, and former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. For more information or to register to attend, go to

  • The Paul Taylor Dance Company will perform a new dance, "De Suenos," as part of a performance at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., on April 3 at 7:30 p.m. The dances "Cloven Kingdom" and "Antique Valentine" also will be performed in the event at Rosenberger Auditorium. The Paul Taylor Dance Company tour in Pennsylvania is part of "American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius," an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts with support from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (see "De Suenos," which means "of dreams," is set to the music of Mexican composers and performed to the music of the Kronos Quartet. General admission is $20, or $12 for seniors over age 65 and children 18 and under. For tickets and information call 814-641-3608.

  • The Steering Committee of the Womaen's Caucus of the Church of the Brethren is inviting attendance at an event on April 12 at 6-8 p.m. at Bethany Theological Seminary, “to hear about our current projects, to share your own experiences and insights, and to break bread with other local feminist men and women.” The event will take place in the Student Lounge of the seminary in Richmond, Ind., and will include a meal. The main course will be provided, with vegetarian options, and participants are invited to bring a salad or dessert. E-mail questions and RSVP to The Steering Committee includes Carla Kilgore, Jan Eller, Anna Lisa Gross, Sharon Nearhoof May, Deb Peterson, Peg Yoder, Jill Kline, and Audrey deCoursey.

  • The April edition of "Brethren Voices," a community cable television program offered by Peace Church of the Brethren in Portland, Ore., features Brethren Volunteer Service. The show will celebrate BVS’s 60 years of service and the opportunities for over 6,000 volunteers to serve in the US and 30 countries around the world. The 30-minute show includes a video made by David Sollenberger. Individual copies are available for a contribution of $8 to Portland Peace Church of the Brethren, 12727 SE Market St., Portland, OR 97233. Contact producer Ed Groff at or 360-256-8550.

  • Special programs tomorrow, March 27, at the United Nations in New York commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21) and the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (March 25). Doris Abdullah represents the Church of the Brethren on the organizing group, the NGO Human Rights Subcommittee for the Elimination of Racism. A briefing on “Lest We Forget: Breaking the Silence on the Transatlantic Slave Trade” and a premiere of the documentary “The Slave Route: A Global Vision” will take place from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium (the event may be webcast at An afternoon program, “Eliminate Racism: Prevent Mass Atrocities,” will be held from 1:30-4:15 p.m. at The Church Center (1st Ave. and 44th St.) and is open to the public. A panel will include architect Rodney Leon, designer of the African Burial Ground National Monument; Yvette Rugasaguhunga, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide; Mark Weitzman of the Simon Weisenthal Center; and others.
Source: 3/26/2008 Newsline

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