Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Brethren bits: More upcoming events!
  • The Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., will host a meeting of the National Council of Churches (NCC) Governing Board on May 18-19. The meeting is expected to gather about 60 people from a variety of Christian denominations to consider an agenda that may include action on a budget, panel presentations on a Peace Church Gathering and on the ecumenical document Joint Declaration of Justification, and a number of reports from committees and commissions of the NCC and related organizations including Church World Service. H.E. Archbishop Vicken Aykazian will preside. Church of the Brethren staff will lead the opening chapel service.

  • The SERRV Store at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., is holding a World Fair Trade Day on May 9. "Come and have a Fair Trade Coffee Break with us," said an invitation. "Sample some of our Amazing Coffees, Divine Chocolates, and delicious jams and jellies, all out for our customers to enjoy." Copies of the new Brethren Press history of the Brethren Service Center written by R. Jan and Roma Jo Thompson, "Beyond our Means: How the Brethren Service Center Dared to Embrace the World," are available in the SERRV Store.

  • The annual Ministers’ Association Continuing Education Event takes place prior to the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in San Diego, Calif., on June 25-26. The theme will be, "Paradoxes of Congregational Conflict: Pastoral Leadership in Interpersonal Peacemaking."

    Celia Cook Huffman, professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., will be the presenter. Go to to register online. Registrations are due by June 10. For more information contact Dave Miller, chair of the Ministers' Association, at or 717-637-6170.

  • A trial date of May 26 has been set for the 12 people arrested for civil disobedience at Colosimo’s Gun Center in Philadelphia, Pa., as part of the "Heeding God’s Call" gathering of the three Historic Peace Churches that took place in January. The trial will take place at Philadelphia’s Criminal Justice Center. Those arrested included Church of the Brethren members Phil Jones and Mimi Copp, along with community advocates from Camden, N.J., and Philadelphia, Christian clergy from three denominations, and a Jewish rabbi. The "Heeding God’s Call" gathering launched a faith-based initiative against gun violence in America’s cities, requesting gun dealers to sign a code of conduct for responsible gun sales. "Please join us in supporting these individuals during their trial and help continue Heeding God’s Call movement to end gun violence," said an e-mail notice from Therese Miller, one of the coordinators of the gathering. Miller also announced a second Gathering of Partner Faith Communities in the initiative against gun violence, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on May 16 at Cookman United Methodist Church in Philadelphia. Five new partner communities have joined the group, bringing the total number of congregations involved to 38 including among others Mennonite, Friends, Episcopal, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Jewish, and Muslim congregations.

  • A Second Annual Southern Ohio District FIESTA celebration of Hispanic ministry takes place May 16 from 5-7 p.m. at Iglesia de los Hermanos Cristo Nuestra Paz (Christ Our Peace Church of the Brethren), hosted by New Carlisle Church of the Brethren. The menu will be prepared by chef Ramona Rivera and will include arroz con pollo, Puerto Rican chicken rice, along with habichuelas (beans), ensalada (salad), pan con ajos (garlic bread), and a postre or dessert of sweet rice with coconut. A love offering will support the ministry of Iglesia de Los Hermanos Cristo Nuestra Paz.

  • Fundraising events leading up to the 2009 World Hunger Auction in Virlina District have been scheduled. A Mini-Golf Tournament will be held at Hot Shots in Smith Mountain Lake on May 16 at 1 p.m. The Hunger Bike Ride starts at Antioch Church of the Brethren in Rocky Mount, Va., on May 30 at 8 a.m., with a choice of short courses or 25 or 50 mile routes. A Family Fun Day will be held at Monte Vista Acres on June 20 at 4 p.m. An organ concert by Jonathan Emmons, who has been an Annual Conference organist and currently is an instructor at Wesley College Department of Music, will be offered Aug. 2 at 3 p.m. at the Antioch Church. The 26th Annual World Hunger Auction will be on Aug. 8 at 9:30 a.m. at the Antioch Church. Go to for more information and pledge sheets for events.

  • Germantown Brick Church of the Brethren in Rocky Mount, Va., is sponsoring its third annual E.J. Smith Memorial canoe outing on the James River, on May 16. Contributions will be received for Relay for Life. Contact Ronnie Hale at 540-334-2077.

  • An "iCare NOLA Workcamp" on June 13-20 will take a group of youth and adults to do disaster relief work in New Orleans, sponsored by Camp Ithiel and NOLA East Brethren Home, and the Atlantic Southeast District Brethren Disaster Team. The group will help reconstruct homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Contact or 407-293-3481.

  • The Bridgewater (Va.) College 2009 commencement address will be given by Edward Ayers, American historian and president of the University of Richmond, speaking on "Graduating in Unusual Times." The ceremony takes place at 2 p.m., on Sunday, May 17. Nearly 300 seniors are expected to receive degrees. Jeffrey Carter, pastor of Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren, will deliver the message at the 10 a.m. baccalaureate service in Nininger Hall, speaking on the topic "Thinking and Doing What Is Right."

  • The Juniata College commencement address will be given by Peter Marzio, director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, and Juniata graduate. Juniata College is located in Huntingdon, Pa. Marzio also will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree at Juniata's 131st Commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. on May 16.

  • A Study Tour of Israel/Palestine and Jordan will be led by Bridgewater (Va.) College chaplain Robbie Miller in Jan. 2010. The 15-day tour will be part of the "Religion 315: Lands of the Bible" interterm course. The tour will be conducted by the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem, and will visit sites of biblical and religious importance including Jericho, Petra, Qumran, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Capernaum, Masada, and more. Cost including airfare will be approximately $3,400. The Church of the Brethren’s Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center will grant 8 continuing education units for the tour. Contact Miller at or 540-828-5383.

  • "Beyond SECURITY: 2009" is a North American Stewardship Conference recommended by the Church of the Brethren’s stewardship staff. The event takes place on June 18-20 in Toronto. Featured presenters include Blair Clark, Associate General Secretary of Canadian Baptist Ministries; Eleanor Clitheroe, rector of St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Smithville, Ontario, and Executive Director of Prison Fellowship Canada; Nathan Dungan, founder and president of Share Save Spend; Bev Foster, director of music at Church of the Ascension in Port Perry, Ontario, and executive director of the Room 217 Foundation; Bill Phipps, co-founder and chair of Faith and the Common Good; Rick Tobias, CEO of Yonge Street Mission in Toronto; and Henry Wildeboer, who has served as Regional Director for the Christian Reformed Church in Ontario and Eastern Canada and as Associate Professor at Tyndale Seminary. A wide variety of workshops will be offered on topics such as "Multiplying the Gift: Tax-Effective Giving," and "Soul-Mapping: Discovering Abundance in Personal Time and Space" and "Food: Eating Ethically." Hotel reservations may be made for $94 (single) or $99 (double). Cost of registration is $325 by May 15, $350 thereafter. A one-day rates is available. Go to for more information.

  • Churches in many countries are preparing for a "World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel," according to a release from the World Council of Churches (WCC). The week of June 4-10 is intended to generate joint church action for a just peace in Israel and Palestine. The WCC-led week of action is in its fourth year. Participants are invited to pray, educate, and advocate, with a 2009 focus on Israeli settlements in occupied territory. A prayer offered by the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem has been sent to more than 120 countries. Among ideas for activities during the week, a Palestinian community organization is offering a way for people to join in by sending peace prayers to Bethlehem. A church-related community organization there will share the prayers for worldwide use online and to be read aloud locally at the Separation Wall, near settlements, and in Palestinian parishes and schools including in Gaza. Go to for resources including a message, prayers, and liturgies.

  • "Israeli-Palestinian Peace: Hope for Things Unseen" (Hebrews 11:1) is the title of the conference of Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) on June 7-9 in Washington, D.C., at Gallaudet University. "The conference is an occasion to reflect on the challenging and complex situation in the Holy Land," said an announcement. "The facts on the ground are discouraging and give few reasons for optimism. In fact many doubt the possibility of peace. But faith leads us to a hope that perceives a reality beyond optimism. Faith affirms our role as advocates for a just and lasting peace--two states living side by side with dignity and security for all the peoples of the region." Speakers include Amjad Attalah and Daniel Levy, co-directors of the Middle East Task Force at the New America Foundation; Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council and an expert on US-Iranian relations; and Danny Seidemann, founder and legal advisor for 'Ir Amim', a nonprofit association dedicated to an equitable, stable, and sustainable Jerusalem, and a practicing attorney in Jerusalem. Participants will have an opportunity to meet with elected officials. Go to for schedule and cost information and to register.

  • The National Council of Churches (NCC) Eco-Justice Program is offering resources and action ideas for Endangered Species Day on May 15. "The call to protect species lies not in human-centered benefits, but in a biblically centered directive to protect species for the sake of God," said an announcement. This year, the program is encouraging Christians to contact government representatives about the construction of a fence along the southern border of the US, with concerns for its impact on endangered species as well as public lands and water. More than 35 environmental laws may be waived in order to complete the fence, the release said. Go to to contact Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano about the waiver of environmental laws. Go to for education and worship resources on biodiversity and endangered species.
Source: 5/07/2009 Newsline Extra

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