Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Brethren bits: Remembrance, personnel, jr. hi conference, and more.
  • Diane Gosnell passed away on Sept. 8. She was serving as secretary for Brethren Disaster Ministries at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Gosnell served in the position for almost 19 years, since July 31, 1989. Gosnell's duties also have included work for Children's Disaster Services, clerical work and some communications work on behalf of Brethren Disaster Ministries and Children's Disaster Services, and helping to represent Brethren Disaster Ministries at community and church events. In an article she wrote for a staff newsletter last year, Gosnell expressed appreciation for the many volunteers with Brethren Disaster Ministries, as well as "the loving concern and support my co-workers extend to me as I continue the challenges of fighting cancer. A favorite scripture of mine is Psalm 71. From verse 12 it reads, 'Be not far from me, O God; come quickly, O my God to help me.'" The Church of the Brethren requests prayer for Gosnells' parents, Fred and Imogene, her sister Karen Edwards, and all those who have stood by her during her long battle with cancer. A memorial service will be held at Union Bridge Church of the Brethren on Sept. 13 at 11 a.m. A memorial planting will be placed on the grounds of the Brethren Service Center later this fall. Cards of condolence are being received by the Brethren Service Center, P.O. Box 188, New Windsor, MD 21776.

  • Steve Mullaney of Plymouth, Minn., began a two-year assignment with the Church of the Brethren's Global Mission Partnerships on Aug. 4 at Miguel Angel Asturias Academy in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. He will serve through Brethren Volunteer Service as an office and volunteer coordinator at the school, which offers high-quality experiential learning opportunities to indigenous students.

  • Camp Bethel, the outdoor ministry of Virlina District located near Fincastle, Va., is accepting applications for a fulltime assistant director, and a fulltime food services director. Go to for application forms, position descriptions, and more information about each position.

  • The dates of June 19-21, 2009, have been set for the Church of the Brethren's second National Junior High Conference, to be held at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. Presenters will include Ken Medema and Ted Schwartz (formerly of "Ted and Lee"). Registration will begin online on Jan. 15. Cost will be $125 per person for junior high youth and adult advisors. People living west of the Mississippi will be eligible for a $150 travel scholarship. More information will be posted at as available.

  • After only four years of operation, the Peace Church Risk Retention Group has rewarded its 45 member organizations with a $1 million dividend distribution. The Peace Church Risk Retention Group is for organizations that are members of the Church of the Brethren's Caring Ministries, the Mennonite Health Services Alliance, and Friends Services for the Aging, and provides general and professional liability insurance. The announcement was made by Phil Leaman, chief executive officer of AARM, based in Lancaster, Pa., which provides overall administration for the group. The $1 million distribution follows a $500,000 dividend in 2007. According to Kathy Reid, executive director of Caring Ministries, the group "provides a tremendous opportunity for the members of the Fellowship of Brethren Homes." New members from eligible nonprofit longterm care providers are welcomed, contact Leaman at or 717-293-7840.

  • Codorus Church of the Brethren in Dallastown, Pa., is celebrating its 250th anniversary with a Sept. 14 worship service led by Jeff Bach, director of the Young Center for the Study of Anabaptist and Pietist Groups at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College.

  • Hatfield (Pa.) Church of the Brethren holds its 175th anniversary at 6 p.m. on Sept. 20 at Franconia Heritage Banquet and Conference Center. Cost is $26, call the church at 215-855-3064.

  • On Sept. 7, a final worship service was held at Maxwell (Iowa) Church of the Brethren. "Maxwell Church of the Brethren, previously Indian Creek Church of the Brethren, was an important congregation in our district through the years," said an announcement from Northern Plains District. Indian Creek was organized in 1856 and gave rise to a number of other congregations including Ankeny, Dallas Center, Panora, Panther Creek, and Prairie City.

  • Upcoming district conferences include the Southern Pennsylvania District Conference on Sept. 19-20 at First Church of the Brethren in York, Pa., on the theme is "Be Still and Know I Am God" (Psalm 46:10); and the Northern Indiana District Conference on Sept. 19-20 at Camp Alexander Mack on the theme "Love is " (1 Corinthians 13).

  • The Church of North India (CNI) closed its educational institutions on Aug. 29 and encouraged members to join in a protest and prayer rally for the situation of Christians in the Indian state of Orissa. CNI has been a partner with Brethren mission efforts in India. In a release on the situation in Orissa, the World Council of Churches (WCC) said the state has seen "indiscriminate killing, burning of church buildings, and destruction of institutions." Some 20 people have been killed, 50,000 people displaced, and 4,000 homes destroyed over a period of 10 days in late August, according to the WCC. The violence started after the killing of a prominent radical Hindu leader on Aug. 23. Although a Maoist rebel group claimed responsibility, Hindu militants blame Christians for it, the release said. Go to for more information.
Source: 9/10/2008 Newsline

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