Thursday, July 30, 2009

Brethren bits
  • Correction: The Northern Ohio District Conference was left out of a list in the Newsline of July 16 of upcoming district conferences. Northern Ohio gathered on July 24-26 in Ashland, Ohio, with Wes Richard as moderator. The conference theme was "Partners in a Heavenly Calling" (Hebrews 3:1).

  • Remembrance: Philip N. Zinn, 89, passed away on July 25 at the Bridgewater (Va.) Retirement Community. He had served as director of the Church World Service/Brethren Service Center in Houston, Texas, for seven years, according to a remembrance from Shenandoah District. In other work for the church, he served as an ordained minister in for 61 years, at churches in California, North Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida; and was chaplain for John Knox Retirement Village in Tampa, Fla., for 12 years. He was married to Margaret Ruth Seller, who preceded him in death in August 2007. He is survived by five of their six children: Rebecca and husband Wayne Liskey, of Harrisonburg, Va.; Marty and husband Pete Hill, of Athens, Ohio; Dan and wife Anneliese, of Colrain, Mass.; John and wife Sandy, of Fountain Hills, Ariz.; and Tim and wife Sara, of Houston, Texas.; 11 grandchildren; and 9 great-grandchildren. A memorial service is tentatively planned for Sept. 19 at the Bridgewater Retirement Village. Memorial donations are received Bridgewater Healthcare Foundation. Condolences may be sent at

  • Personnel notes:

    • Stephen Breck Reid has been appointed by the Church of the Brethren’s Mission and Ministry Board to the denomination’s Committee on Interchurch Relations. Reid is a former academic dean at Bethany Theological Seminary, and currently is professor of Hebrew Bible at George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas.

    • Gabriel Welsch, assistant vice president of marketing at Juniata College since 2007, has been promoted to vice president for advancement and marketing. Juniata College is a Church of the Brethren school in Huntingdon, Pa. Welsch will continue to oversee Juniata's marketing efforts, supervise the alumni relations office and development department, and the office of corporate and foundation support. He came to Juniata from Penn State's College of Liberal Arts, where he had worked in several positions including assistant to the dean for advancement, manager of publications and public relations, associate director of the Master of Fine Arts Program in the Department of English, and assistant director of communications. He also is a poet and novelist, and has received Kent State University's Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Award.

  • Job openings:

    • Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) seeks a manager of Publications to fill a full-time salaried position based at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The manager of Publications provides oversight of BBT’s publications--newsletters, press releases, website, and other special projects--and serves as a senior writer and copy editor; will report on news and information related to BBT’s ministry areas of pension, insurance, Foundation, and Credit Union, with some writing serving the wellness component of BBT’s mission, both financially and in body/spirit; report on how BBT promotes Brethren values with socially responsible investing initiatives through its management of $331 million in Pension and Foundation monies; manage schedule and coordinate content for various publications, determine writing and photo assignments; work with production coordinator and contracted designers; provide oversight for the redesign and maintenance of the BBT website; and travel to the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, BBT Board meetings, and other denominational events as assigned. BBT is seeking a candidate with an undergraduate degree in communications, English, business, or a related field, with experience and expertise in writing, copyediting, and/or project management. Knowledge in the areas of personal investments and website design is helpful. Active membership in the Church of the Brethren is preferred; active membership in a faith community is required. Salary is competitive with Church Benefits Association agencies of comparable size and scope of services. A full benefits package is included. To apply send a letter of interest, a resume, three references (one supervisor, one colleague, one friend), and salary-range expectations to Donna March, Brethren Benefit Trust, 1505 Dundee Ave., Elgin IL 60120; . For questions or clarification about the position, call 847-622-3371. For more information about Brethren Benefit Trust, visit . Interviews will begin as soon as possible.

    • The Church of the Brethren seeks a program coordinator in its Global Mission Partnerships department. The position supports and extends the ministry of Global Mission Partnerships by providing administrative and communicative functions for the international mission operations of the denomination. Responsibilities include unit-wide organizational support for the offices of the executive director for Global Mission Partnerships, Brethren Volunteer Service, and the Global Food Crisis Fund, such as facilitation of financial processes, coordination of travel requirements for individuals and groups, and facilitation of personnel processes. Responsibilities also require generating text and multi-media for website publishing. Required skills and knowledge include excellent communication skills in English, both verbal and written, (bi-lingualism preferred); knowledge of international mission programs and/or community development programs; and skills in computer applications, particularly Excel and Outlook with the capability and willingness to learn new software applications; ability to communicate the program's activities and needs through oral communication, written text, and multi-media; ability to problem solve and function independently; good judgment in prioritizing tasks; knowledge of basic financial processes; organizational skills and ability to work with details and simultaneous tasks; and three-to-five years of administrative or community development experience, with some college education preferred. The application deadline is Aug. 10. Request a copy of the position description and application form from the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; 800-323-8039 ext. 258;

    • The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) seeks a director of Donor Relations. The NCC is the leading ecumenical organization among Christians in the United States. It encompasses 35 member communions including Protestant, Anglican, and Orthodox communions; African-American denominations; and historic peace churches. The director of Donor Relations identifies, cultivates, and solicits major and planned gift prospects; manages a portfolio of major gift prospects and donors around the country; and consults and advises council officers and staff on major gift programs and resource development issues. Travel is required. This position is non-exempt and non-bargaining unit. Qualifications include a college degree and demonstrated human relations and effective communications skills. Fundraising experience that demonstrates the ability to successfully establish long-term relationships with contributors also is required. Knowledge of the ecumenical movement, the council, and its member communions is preferred. It is preferred that a candidate be a member in good standing of one of the NCC member communions. Location is the NCC’s New York office. The NCC does not reimburse relocation expenses. Salary is commensurate with experience. Application deadline is the close of business on Aug. 7. Send a cover letter, a resume, and a writing sample to: Director of Donor Relations Search, Attn: Joan Gardner, National Council of Churches, 475 Riverside Dr., Suite 800, New York, NY 10115; . Electronic applications are preferred. No calls please. The NCC is an equal opportunity employer. Go to for more information.

  • Jabani Adzibiya, a pastor from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) who is currently enrolled at Bethany Theological Seminary, is available to speak in congregations over the summer, and over the Christmas break this winter. He arrived at Bethany in January this year, having served as pastor of three churches in Nigeria and most recently as a district church council secretary for EYN, overseeing 14 congregations and nearly 9,000 members. The seminary and the Church of the Brethren are working together to make Adzibiya's study possible, including substantial financial support from both agencies. Contact Amy Ritchie, Bethany’s director of Student Development, at or 765-983-1806.

  • Bethany Theological Seminary's "Educational Opportunities Brochure" has a new look for the 2009-10 academic year. Instead of a paper brochure as in previous years, the information is now available online at . The listing includes the types of classes and courses offered by the seminary, including courses that meet the ministry credentialing requirements of several districts. For more information contact Elizabeth Keller, director of Admissions at or 765-983-1832; or Amy Gall Ritchie, director of Student Development, at or 765-983-1806.

  • Donations of Church World Service (CWS) Hygiene Kits and School Kits are sought by the Church of the Brethren’s Material Resources program at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The program warehouses, processes, and ships disaster relief materials on behalf of ecumenical partners including CWS. Go to
    for information about how to assemble a kit. This fall there will be pick-up points for kits in Pennsylvania and Missouri: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Zelienople, Pa., will accept kits Mondays from Sept. 21-Oct. 5; Zion Lutheran Church in Indiana, Pa., will accept kits Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the same time period; and the Festival of Sharing at the State Fairgrounds in Sedalia, Mo., will collect kits on Oct. 16-17.

  • A letter expressing concern for Christians in Iraq has been sent to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton by Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP). The Church of the Brethren is a member denomination of CMEP, and Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of the church’s Global Mission Partnership, serves on the CMEP board. The letter dated July 22 expressed distress at the resurgence of violence against the Christian community in Iraq, deplored acts of violence especially against vulnerable minorities, and urged policies to protect faith communities there. The letter was signed by CMEP executive director Warren Clark and board chair James Fine. "According to reports seven churches in Baghdad and Mosul were attacked over the weekend of July 12, resulting in the loss of several innocent lives and many injuries, mostly women and children," the letter said in part. "We hope you will work closely with the Iraqi government to ensure that all possible security measures are taken to combat these violent attacks."

  • The SERRV Store at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., holds an overstock sale on Aug. 5-12, "with many new markdowns and great deals on old favorites!" said an announcement. For a limited time, Cafe Justo Morning Roast Decaf will be on sale for $6.50.

  • A new website has been announced by East Chippewa Church of the Brethren in Orrville, Ohio. "Our new website address is ," said the church in an invitation for people to visit and view the new site.

  • The annual community ice cream social in Abilene, Kan., was hosted by Buckeye Church of the Brethren on July 12. Freewill donations were accepted for the Buckeye Disaster Relief Fund.

  • A "Vegetable Basket Program" in the North Penn and Indian Valley areas of Pennsylvania includes Hatfield (Pa.) Church of the Brethren as a partner. The program donates excess fresh produce to food banks, according to a local newspaper article. Go to

  • A $1.8 million addition to White Hill Church of the Brethren in Stuarts Draft, Va., is one of $70 million worth of projects recently procured in Virginia by Harrisonburg-based Nielsen Builders Inc., according to the "Daily News Record."

  • An information session for the Springs of Living Water church renewal initiative will be offered at Linville Creek Church of the Brethren in Broadway, Va., on Sept. 29, from 7-8:30 p.m., sponsored by Shenandoah District. Go to for a registration form.

  • The Northwest Brethren Arts Gathering takes place Aug. 7-9 at Camp Koinonia near Cle Elum, Wash. On the agenda are arts, crafts, stories, and songs. The planning committee includes Mike Titus, Nancy-Louise Wilkinson, Pat Liley, and Rocci Hildum.

  • The dining service at Peter Becker Community has begun doing on-site composting, with the compost to be used for the residents’ vegetable gardens. Peter Becker is a Church of the Brethren retirement community in Franconia, Pa. The new program was reviewed in an article in the "Reporter News" of North Penn, Pa. The community is "reaping tasty new rewards for recycling" through the program with its dining service, Cura Hospitality. "So far it's been very successful," Bill Richman, the Cura general manager, told the paper. Go to
    for the full article.

  • Church of the Brethren minister Jeannine Leonard presided over a wedding that has become a YouTube sensation, according to "The Lutheran" magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. A couple who was married at Christ Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minn., have become celebrities thanks to a video of their dance down the aisle, which they posted on YouTube to share with family and friends. The wedding of Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz took place on June 20, and by July 24 there were more than 1.5 million views of the five-minute aisle dance. "The Lutheran" reported that the wedding party was scheduled to do an encore dance for the Today Show.
Source: 7/30/2009 Newsline

No comments: