- Roger Lynn Ingold (83), of Hershey, Pa., died on May 11 at his home. He was a former Church of the Brethren mission worker in Nigeria, and former Africa representative for the denomination. He served in Nigeria for 15 years from 1960-75, starting as a teacher at Waka Schools, then quickly taking on the position of Nigeria field secretary with responsibility for supervision of the entire Brethren mission including scores of mission workers serving in evangelism, health care, agriculture, and education. He helped usher the mission through the process of indigenization over succeeding years, when much of the work and many institutions were turned over to Nigerian staff of Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) or to the state governments. He lived in Nigeria through a time of military coups and the Biafran War (the Nigerian civil war), when he was credited for personally being involved in peacemaking efforts mediating on behalf of Nigerians who had fled violence, and at one point arranging for a special train and guards to evacuate eastern Nigerians who were in imminent danger of massacre in the north of the country. After the war, in 1969, he was seconded to the Christian Council of Nigeria to work with its Relief and Rehabilitation Commission, helping to provide food and medical services to more than a million people in the former war zone. Later, his staff role was enlarged to become World Ministries representative for Africa involvements, and for an interim period he added Asia to his portfolio. In 1975 he returned to the US and continued to serve as Africa representative, working out of the General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Through 1983, he continued to guide the church's work in Nigeria and Niger, and helped begin a Lafiya-type health program in Sudan. He also chaired the National Council of Churches' Africa Committee. Prior to his service in Nigeria, he taught high school science for 12 years. He was born in Akron, Ohio, on April 4, 1926, son of the late Ralph and Alta Ingold. He was a graduate of Manchester College. During college he spent time as a "seagoing cowboy," and registered as a conscientious objector. His volunteer service to the church also included membership on the district mission board in the former Northeastern Ohio District, where he also was vice chair of the district council of boards and served as district "Call" director. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, and sons David and John, step-children, and their spouses, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. A memorial service will be held at Spring Creek Church of the Brethren in Hershey, Pa., at 11 a.m. on May 30. Memorial contributions are received to the Heifer Foundation for the Seagoing Cowboy Endowment.
- The Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission Partnerships staff is calling for prayer following the death of pastor Delouis St. Louis (38), a young church leader among the Brethren in Haiti. He was one of the leaders of Eglise des Freres Haitiens (Haitian Church of the Brethren) who was interviewed for licensing or ordination earlier this year. He fell ill unexpectedly, staff reported, and other church leaders were on their way to take money to his family so that he could go to the hospital when they received the news of his death. St. Louis was born in Aug. 1970, and was the caretaker for his 14 younger siblings. In his licensing interview, he spoke of coming to know Jesus at age 16, his studies at seminary, his entry into ministry work through the Messianic Church of God, and his gifts of starting churches and helping those in need. He told the interviewer that, "The Church of the Brethren has a lot of work to do in Haiti." As a minister in the Haitian Church of the Brethren, he had begun seven preaching points and was working with the disaster response project that is rebuilding homes destroyed by last year’s hurricanes in the areas of Fond Cheval and Mont Boulage. His own family was one of those made homeless by the storms. Brethren Disaster Ministries is providing funds to help cover funeral costs, and will be working to get the St. Louis family into their own home as soon as possible, staff reported. Haiti mission coordinator Ludovic St. Fleur, who also serves as pastor of Eglise des Freres Haitiens in Miami, Fla., has met with St. Louis’ family in Haiti. Memorial contributions are being received by Eglise des Freres Haitiens in Miami, to aid the family. St. Louis is survived by his wife, his siblings, two stepchildren, and his mother.
- The Church of the Brethren’s Northern Ohio District has an opening for camp director at Inspiration Hills, an outdoor ministry center located near Burbank, Ohio. Experience and/or training in Christian education, management, finance, conservation, maintenance of facilities and grounds, marketing skills, and camp management experience (a bachelor’s degree or five-to-ten years of business management experience) are preferable in interested candidates. Go to www.cob-net.org/church/ohio_northern.htm to find a downloadable PDF job description and application form. Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and completed application to Curt Jacobsen, c/o Northern Ohio District Office, 1107 East Main St., Ashland, OH 44805. Applications will be accepted until May 31.
- Brethren are traveling to Angola to help celebrate the 125th anniversary of Igreja Evangelica Congregacional em Angola (Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola), a partner for development work supported by Brethren Disaster Ministries. SHAREcircle, based in Evanston, Ill., also has been a development partner and is organizing the delegation that includes Roy Winter, executive director of Brethren Disaster Ministries, and Dale Minnich of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board. The delegation left May 19.
- The Church of the Brethren has endorsed a "Religious Statement on Foreign Assistance Reform," an effort of a coalition of denominations and organizations including the National Council of Churches, Church World Service, and World Relief, convened by Bread for the World. Headed by a verse from Isaiah 58, the statement says in part, "The willingness to fight poverty and other barriers to human dignity is one of the marks of a wise nation, and since the end of the Second World War, foreign assistance from the United States has been the single largest financial contributor to human development around the world. Today, US foreign aid is essential not only to meet humanitarian necessity and promote economic growth and progress, but also to build a world of stability and security for generations to come." The statement calls for a new system of foreign assistance and advocates specific reforms including making poverty reduction a primary goal, doubling funding for poverty-focused development assistance by 2012, and affirming that humanitarian relief and development assistance is under the control, authority, and direction of civilian agencies and partners including faith-based institutions, reversing a trend toward greater involvement by the Department of Defense. The statement is linked to the Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009 (H.R. 2139). Reforming the foreign assistance system is the focus of Bread for the World's Offering of Letters campaign. Go to www.bread.org.
- A trial begins May 26 for the 12 people arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience at Colosimo’s Gun Center in Philadelphia in January, as part of the Heeding God’s Call peace church conference. Among those arrested were two members of the Church of the Brethren, Phil Jones and Mimi Copp. The Church of the Brethren’s Mission and Ministry Board is helping to support the legal defense for Phil Jones, who at the time of the arrest was serving as director of the Brethren Witness/Washington Office, reported general secretary Stan Noffsinger. "The upcoming trial should have our attention," Noffsinger said. Heeding God’s Call marked the beginning of a new faith-based initiative against gun violence and illegal weapons in America’s cities. Those arrested were part of a campaign to pressure Colosimo’s Gun Center to sign a Code of Conduct for Responsible Gun Dealers, and followed several weeks of discussion between the gun shop owner and a delegation of local religious leaders. The defendants include community advocates from Camden, N.J., and Philadelphia, ordained Christian clergy from three denominations, and a Jewish rabbi. The following events will be held in Philadelphia on May 26: a vigil at 8 a.m. to support the defendants and to pray for all whose lives are threatened by gun violence, at Arch Street United Methodist Church; an invitation to supporters to attend the court session that opens at 9 a.m. in Room 1003 of the Criminal Justice Center; and a 12:30 p.m. rally on the theme, "Inspiring HOPE, Raising VOICES, Taking ACTION!" at Dilworth Plaza. Go to www.HeedingGodsCall.org or contact info@HeedingGodsCall.org or 267-519-5302.
- Donnels Creek Church of the Brethren in Springfield, Ohio, celebrated its 200th anniversary on May 17 with Mel Menker as guest speaker for the morning worship services, followed by a dinner, a horse drawn carriage, beard and pie contests, and a quilt unveiling. "We praise the Lord for His faithfulness," commented pastor Tad Hobert. An article about the history of the church appeared in the "Springfield News-Sun"; go to http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/news/springfield-news/donnels-creek-church-marks-200-years-of-living-water-123277.html to find it online.
- Troy (Ohio) Church of the Brethren celebrates its 100th anniversary on Saturday, June 13. Call 937-335-8835 for more information.
- Welty Church of the Brethren in Smithsburg, Md., is donating choir robes to any church that can use them. The accepting church assumes shipping costs. Description: 18 Murphy robes, excellent condition, 100 percent polyester, washable, tan with burgundy neck overlay, zip front, various sizes and lengths, long sleeve, hangers included. Call Hazel Shockey at 717-762-4195.
- Pamela H. Brubaker, a Church of the Brethren member and professor of religion at California Lutheran University, has been invited to be on the World Council of Churches’ Advisory Group for Economic Matters. The first meeting of the group was held in Switzerland on May 14-16. Brubaker teaches courses in Christian ethics and gender studies and serves on the Board of the Society of Christian Ethics.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Brethren bits: Remembrances, job opening, anniversaries, and more.
at 9:41 PM