Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Brethren bits
  • Brethren Disaster Ministries has opened a disaster recovery project in Hammond in northwestern Indiana, having closed the Johnson County project in Greenwood, Ind. The Hammond area was hit with storms and flooding from remnants of Hurricane Ike last September. Approximately 17,000 residences were affected. With nearly 900 homes in this lower income, urban area still in need of assistance, Brethren Disaster Ministries has been called upon by the local recovery agency to assist with repair and reconstruction needs.

  • A team of five volunteers from Children’s Disaster Services responded to flooding in Silver Creek and Gowanda, N.Y., in mid-August. "The need was brief, so we were only there for two days," reported associate director Judy Bezon. If the area becomes a nationally declared disaster, she reported, there will be a more significant need for child care and Children’s Disaster Services will be called to help. In unofficial estimates, more than 500 homes in Gowanda were affected.

  • "Material Resource shipments have increased during August," reports Loretta Wolf, director of the Church of the Brethren’s Material Resources program that warehouses and ships disaster relief materials from the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Recent international shipments include a 20-foot container of baby, school, and hygiene kits shipped to Jordan on behalf of Church World Service (CWS); a 20-foot container of blankets and baby, school, and hygiene kits to Help the Children in Moldova, on behalf of CWS; a 40-foot container shipped to Israel on behalf of Lutheran World Relief’s Jerusalem program, with 525 cartons of school kits; five 40-foot containers shipped to Burkina Faso for Lutheran World Relief with blankets, clothing, soap, and quilts, and sewing, school, layette, and health kits, as well as 20 cartons of IMA World Health medicine boxes. Domestic shipments included baby, school, and hygiene kits and 1,150 emergency cleanup buckets sent on behalf of CWS in response to flooding in New York State. "Both Church World Service and Lutheran World Relief are in need of kit donations," Wolf added. "Please encourage your church or civic group to consider assembling kits as a service project." For instructions to assemble kits go to

  • Panther Creek Church of the Brethren in Adel, Iowa, will celebrate its 140th anniversary on Aug. 30. An Inglenook Cookbook Potluck will follow the morning worship service with dishes made using a recipe from the Inglenook Cookbook of 1901.

  • Peter Becker Community held a "Meet the Authors" event for two residents of the Church of the Brethren retirement community in Harleysville, Pa. The event on Aug. 26 honored Bob Nace and Ronn Moyer, two writers who have produced two very different books, according to a release from the community. "Life Has Never Been Dull" by Bob Nace is recommended "if you like to laugh," the release said. The book is a collection of short stories sharing some of the author’s most embarrassing life moments. "Swimming with Crocodiles" by Ronn Moyer is the second book he has authored and tells the story of his choice to do alternative service as a young man and a conscientious objector. Moyer ended up working to improve education and nutrition for the people of northern Nigeria, an experience that propelled him into a lifetime of humanitarian service. For more information contact or 267-446-0327.

  • Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., has posted significant gains in the rankings of "America’s Top Colleges 2009" poll in and the ratings published by "US News & World Report," according to a release from the school. Juniata now ranks 75th in the nation in the Forbes poll, up from 113th last year; and has jumped 13 slots in the "US News & World Report" ratings. Juniata was ranked 85th in the top 100 liberal arts colleges in "US News & World Report," up from a 98 ranking last year. "College presidents aren't supposed to say that we are surprised by our ratings, but Juniata's move up the rankings means that more and more people are aware of our educational successes and outcomes and we are overjoyed at that recognition," said Juniata president Thomas R. Kepple. Of the other five Church of the Brethren colleges and university, Bridgewater (Va.) College is ranked in Tier 3 of the liberal arts colleges nationally; the University of La Verne, Calif., is in Tier 3 of the national universities rankings; McPherson (Kan.) College is in Tier 4 of the liberal arts colleges, having been named in the national rankings for two consecutive years according to a release from the school; Elizabethtown (Pa.) College is ranked 4th in the category of Baccalaureate Colleges (North); and Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., is ranked 18th in the category Baccalaureate Colleges (Midwest) and 6th in the "Great Schools, Great Prices" Midwest rankings, having been named in the "US News & World Report" listing of America’s best colleges for the 15th consecutive year.

  • The World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee starts an eight-day meeting today, Aug. 26, in Geneva, Switzerland. "Messenger" editor Walt Wiltschek will be on the communication team for the meeting, seconded to the WCC from the Church of the Brethren staff. The committee is expected to elect a new general secretary for the WCC, to succeed Samuel Kobia who is not seeking a second term in office. According to Ecumenical News International, a news service related to the WCC, the ecumenical organization now has 349 member churches around the world. The Church of the Brethren is one of its member denominations.
Source: 8/26/2009 Newsline

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