Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Brethren bits: Correction, personnel, job openings, and more.
  • Correction: The Dec. 17 Newsline gave incorrect information about one of the coordinators for National Youth Conference 2010. Matt Witkovsky is a graduate of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College.

  • The Church of the Brethren seeks a director for the New Windsor Conference Center at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. This position leads the ministry of hospitality for meetings, retreats, and volunteer groups at the New Windsor Conference Center. The conference center provides hospitality to a number of service-oriented international agencies located on the campus and visiting retreat or conference groups. The director is responsible for all aspects of providing excellent customer service including dining services, conference coordination, housekeeping, and volunteer management. The director leads the development and implementation of a strategic marketing plan for the conference center, with the primary goal to increase the total number of bookings and meals served. A successful applicant will have the ability to relate with integrity and respect, have at least two years of experience developing and implementing a successful marketing plan and at least two years of staff supervision/leadership experience. Strong general management skills, knowledge and experience in budget development and management are part of these expectations. Hospitality experience and volunteer coordination experience are elements which are preferred. A bachelor's degree is required, preferably in management or marketing. EOE/ADA. Please send resumes with a cover letter to Joan McGrath, Human Resources Coordinator, at or Brethren Service Center, 500 Main St., P.O. Box 188, New Windsor MD 21776. Applications are due no later than Jan. 26.

  • Brethren Benefit Trust seeks an administrative office assistant to fill a fulltime hourly position at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Starting date is as soon as possible. Responsibilities include assisting the director of Office Operations and the director of Information Technology, typing letters and other general documents, assisting with travel arrangements and performing other clerical duties for the President and administrative office, coordinating special events, creating and maintaining a database of human resource records, functioning as the operations go-to person for a new phone system and a new CRM system and an e-mail system, maintaining a central key system, maintaining vacation records as well as a filing system (electronic and paper) for board documents and contracts, maintaining BBT subscriptions, assisting with current and historical record retention, assisting with mailings, supporting the creation and implementation of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans, administering backup tape rotation. Qualifications include ability to keep confidentiality; proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite software, especially Word, Excel, and Outlook; grammar and writing skills; organizational skills; ability to multitask; a positive, committed, and collaborative working style; and practicing membership in a faith community. Education experience required includes at least five years of secretarial or general office duties or a bachelor’s degree. 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; or 800-746-1505, ext. 371.

  • The Brethren Witness/Washington Office has invited members of the Church of the Brethren who will be attending the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States to stop by the office at Washington City Church of the Brethren. The Brethren Witness/Washington Office and the church will be open Jan. 20 to provide hospitality. All are invited to drop in for restroom facilities, rest, and nourishment. A light lunch will be provided and visitors will have an opportunity to learn more about the ministry of the Brethren Witness/Washington Office.

  • Brethren also are invited to Washington, D.C., by the Brethren Witness/Washington Office to participate on Jan. 19 in a national celebration of the life and ministry of Martin Luther King, Jr. The event will be at All Souls Unitarian Church. Speakers will include James Forbes, Vincent Harding, Joan Brown Campbell, Michael Kinnamon, and others. The service begins at 4:30 p.m. Visit for details. Contact the Brethren Witness/Washington Office, 337 N. Carolina Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20003; 202-546-3202 or 800-785-3246;

  • The Church of the Brethren Workcamp Program has had an enthusiastic response to the first week of registration for this summer’s workcamps. "Many of the workcamps are closed but there are still many great workcamp opportunities," said director Jeanne Davies. Workcamp locations that are still open include the John Kline Homestead (June 15-19); Innisfree (June 21-25); the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. (July 5-9); Ashland, Ohio (July 6-10, July 12-16); the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. (July 13-17); Richmond, Va. (July 22-26); Idaho (June 14-21); Camp Myrtlewood, Ore. (July 12-18); Chicago and Lombard, Ill. (July 20-26); Keyser, W.Va. (July 26-Aug 1); Los Angeles (July 27-Aug 2); Germantown, Pa. (July 27-Aug 2); the Dominican Republic (Aug 1-9); N. Fort Myers, Fla. (Aug 3-9); Tijuana, Mexico (Aug 3-9). There are still openings available for the "We Are Able" workcamp for intellectually disabled and service partner participants (July 6-10); and "Passing on the Peace Witness," an intergenerational workcamp for adults and youth (Aug 2-7), both at the Brethren Service Center. Go to to register or contact or 800-323-8039.

  • The Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministries has announced a change in the website link for National Junior High Conference registration. Go to to register, starting Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. central time. For more information contact Bekah Houff at 800-323-8039, ext. 281.

  • The Church of the Brethren’s Wellness Ministry has issued an invitation to subscribe to "Lighten UP, Brethren!" list serve. "If you have determined that some lifestyle behavior changes are among your top priorities, join the group of Church of the Brethren members who have registered for weekly e-mails written by a variety of Brethren professionals, with tips, recipes, and thought-provoking ideas for healthy minds and souls--all with a faith-based perspective," said director Mary Lou Garrison. She also alerted current subscribers that during the change to the new website, some members may not be receiving the e-mails. Contact Garrison at to subscribe or if you have missed e-mails.

  • Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) has announced the start of the 2009 Winter orientation unit to be held Jan. 25-Feb. 13 at Camp Ithiel in Gotha, Fla. This orientation will be the 283rd unit of BVS and will consist of 13 volunteers from across the US and Germany. Several Church of the Brethren members will attend, and the remaining volunteers come from varied faith backgrounds. A highlight of the three-week orientation will be a weekend immersion in Miami. In both the Miami and the Orlando areas, the group will have the opportunity to work at food banks, nature preserves, and other nonprofits. The group also will experience a "Toxic Tour" of the devastation of agricultural chemicals on land and farmworkers. A BVS potluck is open to all those who are interested on Monday, Feb. 9, at 6 p.m. at Camp Ithiel. "Please feel free to come and welcome the new BVS volunteers and to share your own experiences," said an invitation. For more information contact the BVS office at 800-323-8039, ext. 423.

  • Two programs about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the popular Union Baptist Church Mass Choir will highlight Manchester College’s annual Service of Remembrance and Celebration. Keynote speaker is Quinton Dixie, co-author of "This Far by Faith: Stories from the African American Religious Experience." The public is invited to the Jan. 16, speech and music at 7 p.m. in Wine Recital Hall. On Jan. 19, the public also is invited to a dramatic reading of "The Meeting," an imagined encounter between King and Malcolm X. The reading begins at 7 p.m. in the campus Petersime Chapel.

  • As part of its Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative week, Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., is presenting "The Right to Dream" telling the story of the struggle for civil rights through the experience of a young, African-American woman in 1960s Mississippi, on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall. In addition, Juniata will host a panel discussion of the role of religious organizations in civil rights issues at 4 p.m. on Jan. 22, in Rosenberger Auditorium. The panelists are Phil Jones, director of the Brethren Witness/Washington Office; Imam Yahya Hendi, Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and founder of Clergy Beyond Borders; Michael Penn, professor of psychology at Franklin and Marshall College; and Rabbi Serena Fujita, Jewish chaplain at Bucknell University.

  • Responding to the Gaza humanitarian crisis, Church World Service (CWS) has reported that three trucks laden with emergency food and medical supplies were unloaded at the Gaza border earlier this week for transport to the Al-Ahli Hospital un by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. The shipment included nearly $68,000 in medical supplies, 12,000 cartons of high protein biscuits for children, 20,300 liters of fortified milk, blankets, and quilts. The hospital continues to receive and care for up to 40 patients each day who are injured, wounded, or burned, the CWS release said. Also, on Jan. 10, Israeli missiles struck and leveled the CWS- and ACT-assisted Shaja-ih clinic in Gaza City. "The poorest have lost their only health care," said a spokesperson. Minutes before the strike, Israeli forces fired a warning missile next to the site, so the building was evacuated and no one was injured. The Middle East Church Council ran the clinic, which had concentrated its service on pregnant women and children.
Source: 1/14/2009 Newsline

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