Thursday, March 20, 2008

More Annual Conference bits and pieces.
  • A tour guide of Brethren historical sites in the mid-Atlantic region is available from the 300th Anniversary Committee. With Richmond, Va., as the site of the 2008 gathering, conference-goers may want to take advantage of the opportunity to visit historical sites in the region. The Anniversary Committee has developed a tour guide listing sites and giving background information, photos, hours, contact information, and directions. The guide can be downloaded from The project was inspired by the late Donald F. Durnbaugh, and completed by committee member Dean Garrett.

  • The 2008 Conference will offer continuing education opportunities for ministers:

    • Insight sessions sponsored by ABC offer .1 continuing education credit each: "Temperament: Understanding Your Child’s God-Given Individual Nature" at 6:45 p.m. on July 14; "The High Cost of Not Managing Your Health" at 6:45 p.m. on July 14; "LTC with TLC" co-sponsored by Brethren Benefit Trust at 12:30 p.m. on July 15; "The Legacy and Character of Deacons" at 12:30 p.m. on July 15; "A Heritage of Health: Reclaiming Our Wellbeing" at 12:30 p.m. on July 15; and "Passing on Sacred Legacies: Memory, Identity and Ritual" at 6:45 p.m. on July 15.

    • Insight sessions sponsored by On Earth Peace offer .1 credit each: "Deacons Guiding Us Toward Peace/Los Diáconos y Las Diaconisas guiándonos hacía la Paz" at 12:30-1:30 p.m. on July 14; "What I Wish Every Christian Knew About Islam" at 12:30-1:30 p.m. on July 14; "Working for Peace in the Middle East" at 12:30-1:30 p.m. on July 14; "Another Way of Believing--A Conversation with Dale Brown" at 6:45-7:45 p.m. on July 14; "Singing and Proclaiming Peace to a Troubled World" at 6:45-7:45 p.m. on July 14; "Exploring Your Faith Through Games" at 12:30-1:30 p.m. on July 15; "Prayerful Community Change" at 12:30-1:30 p.m. on July 15; "The Proclamation of Peace in the Old Testament" at 6:45-7:45 p.m. on July 15; and "Positive Futures for Youth: Alternatives to the Military" at 6:45-7:45 p.m. on July 15.

    • The Congregational Life Ministries Dinner offers .1 credit. It will be held at 5 p.m. on July 15 at the Richmond Marriott, on the theme, "Launching a Spiritual Strategic Journey" with speaker George Bullard, a church growth strategist and authority in conflict management who has written extensively on a life cycle model for congregations.

    • The Global Ministries Dinner offers .1 credit. It will be held at 5 p.m. on July 14 at the Richmond Marriott with speaker Baldemar Valásquez, president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, on the topic, "Immigration and Farm Labor: Toward Faithful Policy."

  • Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) holds a retirement reception honoring Wil Nolen, BBT president, on July 13 at 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Richmond Marriott. Nolen will be celebrated for his 25 years of guiding BBT ministries, and 42 years of service to the Church of the Brethren.

  • The Fitness Challenge sponsored by BBT will be held July 13, beginning at 7 a.m. The 5K race is a measured course for runners and walkers of all ages. Registration costs $15. For a registration form contact Donna March at 800-746-1505 ext. 371 or

  • Bethany Theological Seminary is offering an insight session for dialogue with the school's new president Ruthann Knechel Johansen, on July 14 at 6:45-7:45 p.m. at the Richmond Marriott.

  • The Association of Brethren Caregivers (ABC) is advertising two special meal events at the 2008 Conference. The ABC Recognition Dinner on the theme, "Finding Your Healing Gifts," takes place July 13 at 5 p.m. at the Richmond Marriott, with speaker and "chefnurcian" Laura Pole. She is president of "Eating for a Lifetime," and is a Health Supportive Gourmet Chef, a registered nurse and clinical nurse specialist, a certified Nia Fitness Instructor, and a professional musician. The Denominational Deacon Luncheon will be held on the theme, "Grief, Hope, and Healing," on July 14 at 12 noon at the Marriott. Leadership will be provided by Ray Donadio, who will share from his experience of grief, hope, and the beginnings of healing following a car accident that took the life of his young adult daughter. Donadio is an attorney in Greenville, Ohio, a member of Oakland Church of the Brethren, and currently vice-chair of the Bethany Theological Seminary board of directors.

  • Congregations are invited to "Celebrate 2008" by creating a block for the Conference Quilting Bee sponsored by the Association for the Arts in the Church of the Brethren (AACB). The bee will make "historic 2008 Conference quilts," according to an invitation in the Annual Conference Packet. Congregations are asked to mail quilt blocks postmarked by May 15. Proceeds from the quilt auction will benefit projects to alleviate hunger. Mail blocks to: Mary Cline, 2321 Long Meadow Rd., Waynesboro, VA 22980; 540-363-5230. Enclose a check for $1 payable to AACB to help offset costs. For information about size, design, and fabric requirements, see the Annual Conference Packet or

  • The Brethren Disaster Ministries program is sponsoring a "Gift of the Heart Kit Challenge" on the theme, "Because Little Things Mean a Lot." Conference participants are invited to collect and bring Church World Service kits providing essential supplies to disaster survivors. These kits are processed, warehoused, and shipped from the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. "Let's see if we can surpass our goal of collecting 5,000 kits this year at Annual Conference!" said the invitation, which noted that School Kits are most needed. Kits will be collected at the Brethren Disaster Ministries booth in the exhibit hall. For a list of kits and content requirements, see the flier in the Annual Conference Packet or go to

  • "Brethren Life and Thought" is celebrating the 300th Anniversary with a luncheon on July 14 at 12-1:30 p.m., with speaker Dale R Stoffer, dean of Ashland Theological Seminary. Stoffer will present faith perspectives from the Brethren Church. An insight session sponsored by "Brethren Life and Thought" on July 14 from 6:45-7:45 p.m. features a panel on "Kassel House, Katrina, and Karbala: The WWII Brethren Service Explosion and Possibilities for Longterm Recovery after Katrina and the Iraq War."

  • The Brethren Press Breakfast on July 14 will feature Donald B. Kraybill, one of the authors of the book "Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy." Kraybill will speak about the book was written and researched. He is a senior fellow at theYoung Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College and a member of Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren. He will sign copies of his book in the Brethren Press Bookstore (a schedule of book signings will be announced at Annual Conference).

  • The "Messenger" Dinner at the 2008 Conference will feature keynote speaker Tom Ehrich, a nationally syndicated religion columnist, author, and church consultant. His topic will be, "On a Journey: Encountering God in Everyday Life." The dinner is at 5 p.m. on July 13.

  • The Church of the Brethren Credit Union holds its Open House and Members Meeting on July 12 at 2 p.m. at the Richmond Marriott. By the time of Annual Conference, the credit union will be offering new checking accounts with debit cards, usable at thousands of surcharge-free ATMs nationwide. Membership in the credit union is open to all Church of the Brethren members. Learn more at the meeting or contact Dennis Kingery at 888-832-1383 or

  • The Mutual Aid Association (MAA) 2008 Members Meeting will be held on July 14 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Richmond Marriott. MAA invites its constituents to attend the meeting to say farewell to outgoing president Jean Hendricks, who has served as MAA president from 2001-08, and to welcome new leadership. The incoming MAA president will be introduced at the event.

  • Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) will celebrates its 60th anniversary with a luncheon on July 14. The theme will be, "Oaks of Righteousness: BVSers in the 21st Century," with speaker James H. Lehman. He is a writer and publisher in Elgin, Ill., author of "Living the Story," a booklet celebrating BVS's 50th anniversary in 1998, and BVS facilitator for Volunteers Exploring Vocation, a program funded by the Lilly Endowment and administered by the Fund for Theological Education encouraging volunteers to consider their calling.

  • The Committee on Interchurch Relations (CIR) has announced its Ecumenical Luncheon to take place July 15 at 12 noon at the Richmond Marriott, on the topic, "How the Closed Brethren Became Open." The speaker will be leading Brethren Church historian Dale R. Stoffer, professor of historical theology and academic dean at Ashland Theological Seminary. He is involved on the Brethren Encyclopedia Board, and is program coordinator of the Fourth Brethren World Assembly to be held in Schwarzenau, Germany, in August. The 2008 Ecumenical Citation will be presented at the luncheon.
Source: 3/20/2008 Newsline

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