Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Newsline Special Report

Global mission executive travels to North Korea for university opening

The Church of the Brethren has sent a representative to the opening of a unique educational venture in North Korea--the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), reported to be the first privately funded university allowed in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The ceremony culminated years of effort to build the school by the sponsoring nonprofit agency, the faith-based Northeast Asia Foundation for Education and Culture.

Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of the Church of the Brethren's Global Mission Partnerships, attended on behalf of the church. His presence continues the long-standing relationship that the Brethren have built in North Korea through the hunger relief and food security programs of the church's Global Food Crisis Fund.

The Church of the Brethren has worked in North Korea since 1996, with most recent efforts since 2004 focused on a cluster of farm cooperatives supported through annual grants from the Global Food Crisis Fund. In the intervening years, the productivity of the four farms in the North Korea Farm Rehabilitation program has virtually doubled.

The four farms feed and house a community of some 15,000 people and caught the attention of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Dec. 2007 when he visited one of the communities and publicly commended its use of advanced farming techniques.

The Brethren work in North Korea has been carried out in partnership with Agglobe Services International and a local Ryongyon Joint Venture enterprise. Agglobe president Pilju Kim Joo makes regular visits to the farm cooperatives. In 2008, the Foods Resource Bank also became a partner and nine of its member denominations have joined in an annual $100,000 grant for the Ryongyon program.

In early 2008, in an act yet rarely extended to Americans, a delegation from the Church of the Brethren including Global Food Crisis Fund manager Howard Royer, was invited to visit the farms in North Korea. Wittmeyer's visit to North Korea from Sept. 15-17 follows up on that relationship.

Wittmeyer was one of a delegation of foreign dignitaries that attended the opening ceremony of the new university, celebrating completion of campus construction and the appointment of Chin-Kyung (James) Kim as co-president. Kim is an American businessman turned educator and an evangelical Christian who emigrated to the United States from South Korea in the 1970s. He gained international attention when he was imprisoned for a time by North Korea in 1998, while on one of his frequent visits to the country to work on famine relief (see his story at, go to
). A second co-president for the university will be named by North Korea.

A sister university--Yanbian University of Science and Technology (YUST) in China--also is sponsored by the Northeast Asia Foundation for Education and Culture and run with South Korean non-governmental funding. Yanbian University is located in an ethnically Korean area of China.

The Pyongyang university has been built on a 200-plus acre campus on the outskirts of the capital city of North Korea. The project to develop and build it began in 2001 with the permission of both the North and South Korean governments. "Actual construction began in 2004, and, after five years, the campus is finally complete despite numerous interruptions and delays," reported a release from the Northeast Asia Foundation for Education and Culture.

"This university seeks to establish reconciliation, cooperation, and mutual prosperity of the Korean people through education and to form a firm foundation for peace with the ultimate goal of reunification," the foundation said. "PUST hopes to nurture the future leaders who will play a crucial role in realizing this goal and hopes to become the bridge between the international community and North Korea."

The first 150 students at the university will be accepted in the fields of information and communications engineering; agricultural biotechnology and food engineering; and industrial management, Kim said in a release. Eventually the school is expected to serve some 600 graduate students. Lectures will be in English, and students will be required to meet or exceed a certain score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). North Korea already has recruited prospective students among "carefully chosen elites" who studied at top North Korean schools like Kim Il Sung University and Kim Chaek University of Technology, the release said.

Wittmeyer was among some 120 people from around the world who attended the opening ceremony along with about 100 North Koreans from educational and other affiliated institutions. Attendees from South Korea included Sun-Hee Kwak, chair of the trustees of the Northeast Asia Foundation for Education and Culture. From the US, attendees included John Dickson, chair of the World Trade Center Association; Ronald Ellis, president of California Baptist University; Deborah Fikes, advisor to the Harvard Medical School Center for Health and Global Environment; and Gary Alan Spanovich, head trustee of the Wholistic Peace Initiative, among others.

The foundation reported that the US Department of State also expressed its interest in a congratulatory message to the new university.

Find online a photo album of the university opening and other events during the delegation's visit in North Korea, and a photo album of the Brethren-funded North Korea farm rehabilitation program.


Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren, or 800-323-8039 ext. 260. Jay Wittmeyer and Howard Royer contributed to this report.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

NOAC makes connections between wisdom and legacy.

The Church of the Brethren held its 10th National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) on Sept. 7-11 at Lake Junaluska (N.C.) Conference and Retreat Center. The event is for people 50 and older. Registered participants numbering 928 came from across the country to attend.

The theme of "Legacies of Wisdom: Weaving Old and New" (1 Corinthians 2:6-7) and images of weaving informed the conference. Keynote speakers and preachers addressed the connections between legacies of life, faith, and wisdom, and ways to create new possibilities of hope.

Rachael Freed, founder of Life-Legacies and author of "Women’s Lives, Women’s Legacies," gave a keynote address on her work to reclaim the ancient Jewish tradition of the ethical will or legacy letter. She proposed the tradition of writing a legacy letter as a useful tool for older adults to pass on legacies of wisdom and faith to future generations. The idea is quite simple: a letter that a person writes to children, grandchildren, or other descendants in order to impart life lessons, values, meaningful stories, and blessings. Freed described it as "one of the examples of weaving the old to meet the needs in a new world."

David Waas, Church of the Brethren member and emeritus professor of history at Manchester College, asked NOAC, "What will be said about how we witnessed to our time?" Explaining that he asked the question from the point of view of two identities--Brethren and American--he said, "You and I have helped fashion not only our church, but...our nation." He traced current crises in the US, such as the economy and health care, focusing on the "crisis that we never seem to be able to talk about ... a shift to massive, ever-present military strength." He called for an alternative legacy that followers of Christ may offer. "We should adopt and reinvigorate the Christian vision to call the state to its highest ideals," he said. "We must work as never before to advocate for peace. You and I are citizens of a great land and we carry the mantle of ... a rich Brethren heritage which our nation needs."

Michael McKeever, a Brethren member who teaches at Judson University in Elgin, Ill., took NOAC "on the road" tying together biblical themes of people on the move with themes from popular film to talk about how a life journey may lead to reconciliation. He has taught a course on "Luke and the American Road Movie," also the subject of an upcoming book. He discussed three parables from Luke 15 about God’s search for the lost. Christians are portrayed as on the road or "followers of the way" in the New Testament, he reminded his audience, just as Americans identify with the Hollywood portrayal of "a restless people who go out on the road to find ourselves." The search for what has been lost--whether sheep, coin, or family relationship--takes "active and concerted effort," he noted. The work to seek what has been lost may seem foolish to the world, but it is the foolishness of God, McKeever said. And for the wise seeker, "giving up is not an option."

Also addressing NOAC were preachers for the three worship services: Christopher Bowman, pastor of Oakton Church of the Brethren in Vienna, Va., who preached on the story of the rebuilding of the temple from Ezra 3, in which the sounds of the crying of the old and the rejoicing of the young become blended together. "When the voices of the young and the voices of the old were united in one sound, the temple was born," he told the group of older adults. "We need each other."

Cynthia L. Hale, founding and senior pastor of Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Ga., spoke on the theme of growing older gracefully. "I like to think we get better with time," she said. "When we have Christ in our life we have the courage to live fully until the day we die."

Dennis Webb, pastor of Naperville (Ill.) Church of the Brethren, gave the closing message on "Hometown Showdown Downtown Your Town: Nazareth" (Mark 6:1-6). Focusing on the healing that Jesus performed despite the doubt that met him in his hometown, Webb assured that Jesus is able to act in our lives despite physical, spiritual, or emotional burdens--even for those who may have borne hurts or endured disabilities for decades. "The Bible is right. Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength," he asserted.

A series of morning Bible studies were given by Bob Neff, former professor of Old Testament at Bethany Seminary, former general secretary of the Church of the Brethren, and former president of Juniata College. He led the group in considering the legacies of family, service, and devotion, inspired by passages in Matthew.

Evening concerts were given by Quaker singer and songwriter Carrie Newcomer, and Andy and Terry Murray, well-loved musicians in the church whose songs have focused on the legacy of Brethren values and the stories of Brethren heroes.

In other activities, some 175 people joined in a Hike for Haiti that raised $3,541 for theological training in the Church of the Brethren in Haiti. A total of $25,124 was received in offerings, including $720 raised by the "Share to Shear" effort of the NOAC News team. The comic NOAC News video reports from the team of David Sollenberger, Chris Stover-Brown, and Larry Glick were a highlight of the conference.

A new NOAC record was set by the service project to collect Church World Service kits for disaster relief. A total of 1,299 kits were received including 4 clean-up buckets, 535 personal hygiene kits, and 760 kits of school supplies. Other events during the week included early morning devotions, hikes, bird watching, a golf tournament, ice cream socials, craft lessons, and interest groups on a wide variety of topics, among others.

Standing on the stage for the opening worship was a large loom into which worship leaders wove strands of fabric or ribbon during the service. Then the loom was moved to the exhibit hall for the rest of the week, and each NOAC participant was invited to add a piece to the weaving. The completed weaving stood on the stage for closing worship, a symbol of the way disparate legacies may come together to create something beautiful and new.

The NOAC Planning Committee included Deanna Brown, Barbara and Lester Kesselring, Joyce Nolen, and Glenn and Linda Timmons, and coordinator Kim Ebersole, who serves as director of Family and Older Adult Ministries for the Church of the Brethren. For more about the conference, including links to daily reports and online photo albums, go to

Source: 9/24/2009 Newsline
Leadership Team welcomes invitation from German church.

The Leadership Team of the Church of the Brethren dealt with a varied agenda in its Aug. 19 meeting at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The agenda included response to a communication from a church in Germany, follow-up to the 2009 Annual Conference, a progress check on the creation of a Moderators Manual, and issues related to updating polity and by-laws of the denomination.

The group provided counsel to general secretary Stan Noffsinger regarding an invitation for dialogue and relationship with the Evangelische Kirche von Westfalen (the Protestant Church of Westphalia) in Germany. A leader of the German church, Ingo Stucke, addressed the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Brethren movement that was held in Schwarzenau, Germany, last August.

In his message, Stucke invited the Church of the Brethren to continue dialogue with the German church on "our differing understandings of baptism and our differing practices of child and adult baptism." Additionally, he expressed hope that conversations may lead to "a reconciliation among us in our diversity ... as a testimony to the world .. of Christian unity."

The Leadership Team gave counsel to welcome this opportunity for further dialogue and relationship, and informally identified members of the Church of the Brethren who might take part in a delegation to the German Church. The Committee on Interchurch Relations and the Mission and Ministry Board will be asked to ratify and follow up on the interchange.

The decisions of the 2009 Annual Conference were reviewed and responses were sent to the districts that presented queries. The Conference officers are to follow up with Standing Committee regarding the two-year denomination-wide study of two business items identified as controversial. The Leadership Team learned that the committee appointed to develop related study materials already has begun its task.

A Moderators Manual called for by the 2007 Annual Conference paper on "Doing Church Business" is being developed by the Leadership Team. Writers for chapters have been recruited and nine former Conference moderators have contributed reflections and suggestions from their experiences. The Leadership Team hopes to have the manual completed by the end of 2009.

A first draft of a revision of the by-laws of the Church of the Brethren was introduced to the 2009 Annual Conference in late June. Since then, the Leadership Team has received several suggestions for refinements. The Leadership Team plans to review all suggestions and present a revised draft to the Mission and Ministry Board in October. A final draft will be brought to the 2010 Annual Conference for approval.

Members of the 2009-10 Leadership Team are general secretary Stan Noffsinger, Annual Conference moderator Shawn Flory Replogle and moderator-elect Robert Alley, and secretary Fred Swartz, who provided this report.

Source: 9/24/2009 Newsline
Brethren funds give grants for disaster and hunger relief.

The Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) has announced grants supporting hunger relief projects in Guatemala and Honduras. The church’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) has given grants to begin a new disaster rebuilding site in Indiana and to support relief efforts following storms in the United States.

An allocation of $25,000 from the EDF has been given for Brethren Disaster Ministries work along the Tippecanoe River in Indiana following heavy rains and flooding in the winter of 2008. The funds will support the opening of a new project site in Winamac, Ind., as well as volunteer housing, food, on-site expenses, tools, and equipment.

An EDF grant of $25,000 has been given in response to a Church World Service (CWS) appeal following extreme storms that caused flooding and damage in several areas of the US. The funds will support CWS shipments of cleanup buckets, hygiene kits, and school kits to Kentucky, Florida, Maine, and New York, as well as supporting local partner recovery efforts.

A GFCF grant of $8,500 has been given to an organization named Pastoral Social for operation of a tree nursery at San Ildefonso Ixtahuacan in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Pastoral Social is a long-time partner of the Church of the Brethren. The grant was recommended by Todd Bauer, a Brethren Volunteer Service worker who has assisted with the program for several years.

A GFCF grant of $4,700 has been given to SERRV International for a rural project in Honduras planting new cashew trees. The project is replenishing aging cashew trees that are basic to the Just Cashew organization with which SERRV partners.

Source: 9/24/2009 Newsline
New Brethren Disaster Ministries project site opens in Indiana.

"We're excited to offer an additional volunteer opportunity for disaster response volunteers this fall," read an announcement from Brethren Disaster Ministries office. "The new project in Winamac, Ind., will be ready to get started the week of Sept. 27."

Volunteers are needed at the new project site to help rebuild homes following destruction caused by a storm system with heavy rain that flooded the area in the winter of 2008. Many communities along the Tippecanoe River in northern Indiana were affected, leaving many homes damaged or destroyed.

"While over 1,300 households in the region applied for FEMA assistance, many families did not receive enough assistance to fully recover and return home," said the announcement from Brethren Disaster Ministries. "The local disaster recovery agency has called upon Brethren Disaster Ministries to help with the needed reconstruction."

The program currently is recruiting volunteers to help rebuild two homes, seeking volunteer groups of 6-8 volunteers for each week from Sept. 27 through Nov. 21. Volunteers should be in good health, physically fit, and able to do heavy lifting. Skills in new construction will be helpful. Initial work will includes framing, roofing, sheeting, subfloor, and window and door installation. Volunteer housing will be at Bethel Bible Church in Winamac, where the Shenandoah District bunk trailer and tool trailer will be available.

District Disaster Coordinators are being requested to share this information with potential disaster volunteers in their districts. For more detailed information go to or call 800-451-4407 ext. 7.

Source: 9/24/2009 Newsline
Ministers Association officers hold annual planning meeting.

Officers of the Church of the Brethren Ministers Association held their annual planning meeting on Aug. 26-27 at the church’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The group spent time evaluating the association activities of 2009 and planning for next year’s continuing education event that will once again take place ahead of Annual Conference on July 2-3 in Pittsburgh, Pa.

The presenter for the 2010 event will be Nancy Ferguson, a Presbyterian minister, author, and certified Christian educator. Her topic will be, "Faith Forming Outside the Box." Advance registration fees will remain the same: $60 for individuals and $90 for couples. The association will continue to offer one-half off discount registration fees for first-time participants. Online registration will be available again next year. Additional details will be made available in the "Lead" section of the denominational website

The Ministers Association officers include chair Nancy Fitzgerald of Arlington, Va.; vice-chair Sue Richard of Lima, Ohio; vice-chair Chris Zepp of Bridgewater, Va.; and treasurer Rebecca House of Union Bridge, Md. Mary Jo Flory-Steury, executive director of Ministry for the Church of the Brethren, also met with the group.

The officers at this meeting welcomed Dave Kerkove of Adel, Iowa, who is replacing newly confirmed officer Myrna Wheeler. She is unable to serve due to illness.

-- Sue Richard is vice-chair of the Ministers Association.

Source: 9/24/2009 Newsline
Western Plains District focuses on ‘all things new.’

The Western Plains District Conference convened July 31-Aug. 2 at McPherson, Kan. The 229 registered participants included 65 delegates from 30 congregations, 18 youth, and 17 children. District moderator Leslie Frye led the conference under the theme from Rev. 21:5, "Behold, I Make All Things New!"

Speakers for the worship services included Frye, of Monitor Church of the Brethren; Shawn Flory-Replogle of McPherson (Kan.) Church of the Brethren and current Annual Conference moderator; and Chris Bowman, pastor of Oakton Church of the Brethren in Vienna, Va. Conference offerings totaled $6,247.

A pre-conference workshop on "Faith, Family, and Finances: How to Live Faithfully within Your Means and Keep Peace in the Family" was led by Steve Bob, director of the Church of the Brethren Credit Union, and Bob Gross, executive director of On Earth Peace.

Twelve ministers were recognized for "Milestones in Ministry": Dean Farringer, Merlin Frantz, and Charles Whitacre were recognized for 65 years of ordination; Lyall Sherred for 50 years; John Carlson for 40 years; Francis Hendricks and Jean Hendricks for 30 years; Edwina Pote for 20 years; Stephen Klinedinst for 15 years; and Sonja Griffith, Lisa Hazen, and Tom Smith for 10 years.

In conference business sessions, Robert W. Dell was elected moderator-elect. Those elected to the District Board included Becki Bowman, Kip Coulter, Eldon Luker, Joe McFadden, Catherine Price, Richard Schmalzreid, and Les Shenefelt. Re-elected for second terms were Rita Suiter and Andy Ullom. David Smalley was elected to the Nominating Committee and Cheryl Mishler was elected for a second term on the District Conference Planning Committee.

The District Board reorganized as follows: Lisa Hazen, chair; Emilie Dell, vice-chair;

George Hinton, chair of Church Development and Renewal; Phil Adams, chair of Ministry; Beverly Minnich, chair of Nurture; Andy Ullom, chair of Outdoor Ministry; Lauren Worley, chair of Stewards; Darrell Barr, chair of Witness.

District Board proposals of a 2010 operating budget of $126,939 and 2010 budget for restricted-invested funds of $36,175 were approved by the delegates. The board brought a proposed structure revision for discussion. Delegates will take the proposal to their congregations for discussion, and it will come to the 2010 District Conference for action.

Following the Friday evening worship service The Cedars retirement community hosted an ice cream social with music provided by Guitars, Etc. of Monitor Church of the Brethren, the Funk Sisters of Quinter Church of the Brethren, and Roger Cooper and Tom Harrison of Eden Valley Church of the Brethren. The Projects Unlimited Auction netted $3,278.50 for various projects.

Next year’s Western Plains District Conference will be held in McPherson, Kan., on July 30-Aug. 1 with moderator Keith Funk, pastor of Quinter Church of the Brethren.

-- Elsie Holderread is co-district executive for Western Plains District.

Source: 9/24/2009 Newsline
Workcamp Ministry announces schedule for 2010.

The Workcamp Ministry of the Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Office has announced a theme and schedule for the workcamps that will be offered in the summer of 2010. The theme, "With glad and generous hearts," is taken from Acts 2:46. Online registration will open on Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. (Central) at

The Workcamp Ministry recorded a successful season this summer, with a total of 723 participants, 16 more than in 2008. "It is exciting and encouraging in this difficult economy, when many are struggling, that parents and congregations are making it a priority to send their youth on short-term service trips," said coordinator Jeanne Davies. "Workcamps give our youth an opportunity to put their faith into action, an experience that can be life-changing."

Twelve workcamps are planned for next summer, with a focus on junior high events because it is a National Youth Conference year. Following are dates and locations. The registration fee is $245 unless otherwise indicated:

Junior high workcamps are planned for Elgin, Ill., on June 16-20; Brooklyn, N.Y., on June 23-27; Indianapolis, Ind., on June 23-27; Ashland, Ohio, on June 28-July 2; Roanoke, Va., on July 28-Aug 1; Harrisburg, Pa., on Aug 2-6; and Richmond, Va., on Aug 3-7.

Senior high workcamps sponsored by the Brethren Revival Fellowship are planned for the Dominican Republic on June 20-27 ($695) and for Reynosa, Mexico, on July 31-Aug 7 ($595).

An intergenerational workcamp for ages 11 and up, co-led with On Earth Peace, will take place at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., on June 14-19 ($295).

A young adult workcamp will go to Haiti on May 23-30 ($695).

A "We Are Able" workcamp for intellectually disabled youth and young adults, and youth and young adult service partners, will be offered at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., on June 28/29-July 2 ($350).

For more information go to or contact or 800-323-8039 ext. 286.

Source: 9/24/2009 Newsline
World Mission Offering resources are available.

"Called... by Example" is the theme for this year’s World Mission Offering to benefit the mission work of the Church of the Brethren. The suggested offering date is Sunday, Oct. 11. Materials have been provided by the church’s Office of Stewardship Formation and Education.

This is the third year that the World Mission Offering theme highlights calling. "We follow last year’s focus on communion with another Church of the Brethren ordinance--footwashing," said an announcement from Carol Bowman, coordinator of Stewardship Formation and Education. "These timely (and timeless) themes celebrate 301 years of the Brethren movement and help us look ahead into our fourth century--a time of discerning God’s call to those of us who choose the Brethren way of following Jesus."

Resources include sheet music for two songs that may be used in a worship service highlighting the church’s mission work: "A Simple Act" by Merry Titus, and "Power of the Towel" by Jonathan Shively. Also offered are worship resources in English and Spanish, a bulletin insert in English and Spanish, and a poster. A sample packet of the resources has been sent to each congregation.

Congregations without a standing order for printed materials can order more inserts or offering envelopes from Brethren Press, call 800-441-3712 or use the form provided in the packet. Also materials may be ordered online at For more information contact Carol Bowman at or 509-663-2833.

Source: 9/24/2009 Newsline
Brethren Bits
  • Corrections: In a Newsline story of Sept. 9 on the Eagle Creek Church, the word "with" was inadvertently left out of the following corrected sentence: "Ballinger consulted with other district executives and found that churches have done this before with approval from their districts." Also, in the Newsline Extra of Sept. 7, the correct title of David Leiter's book is "Neglected Voices: Peace in the Old Testament."

  • Churches for Middle East Peace has issued a letter supporting strong US leadership to achieve a negotiated, sustainable resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Church of the Brethren general secretary Stan Noffsinger is one of the numerous religious leaders who have added their signatures to the letter. "The letter asserts that this is a time of great opportunity and urgency and a comprehensive Middle East peace is a fundamental American interest that crosses racial, ethnic, and religious lines," said a release. "It expresses support for the President's determination to bring the conflict to an end and to six principles including Israel's right to exist in security and the right of the Palestinian people to a viable, sovereign, and secure state of their own." The full text of the letter can be found at .

  • SERRV celebrated its 60th anniversary on Sept. 11 with a special event held at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. SERRV was begun by the Church of the Brethren, one of the first fair-trade organizations in the country, with a mission to "Eradicate poverty wherever it resides." It continues to have its warehouses and a retail store at the Brethren Service Center.

  • Registration remains open for the Church of the Brethren’s Nigeria Workcamp to be held Jan. 9-30, 2010. Registrations are due by Oct. 9. Workcamp volunteers will worship, learn, create relationships, and work with Christians from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and Mission 21. The group will work in Kwarhi, tour Kulp Bible College, Hillcrest, and other schools, and visit a game reserve in Yankari. Cost is $2,200, which includes the round-trip flight to Nigeria, meals, lodging, in-country transportation, and overseas travel insurance. For more information and a registration form go to

  • Labor Day weekend marked the 49th Annual Labor Day Coffee held at the junction of Highways 36 and 75 south of Sabetha, Kan. The event was started by Russell Kiester, then pastor of Trinity/Sabetha Church of the Brethren, to provided rest and refreshment for the many people traveling over Labor Day in a time before convenience stores and the numerous restaurants of today. A special 50th celebration of this event is being planned for next year, reports Western Plains District.

  • Nampa (Idaho) Church of the Brethren on Oct. 8-9 is hosting a workshop sponsored by On Earth Peace. The workshop will be on the topic of handling conflict and will offer "Matthew 18 Training for Trainers." It will be led by Rick Polhamus, a Ministry of Reconciliation trainer from Fletcher, Ohio. The event is intended to equip leaders for Matthew 18 Workshops, described as "a practical, faith-centered resource for strengthening a congregation s ability to deal with differences." Contact

  • Stover Memorial Church of the Brethren in Des Moines, Iowa, has begun offering office space for the Iowa Peace Network. Christine Sheller, a member of Ivester Church of the Brethren and a part-time student at Bethany Theological Seminary, has begun an internship with the network and has been working to set up the office at Stover Memorial.

  • Upcoming district conferences include the Missouri and Arkansas District Conference on Sept. 25-26 in Roach, Mo.; and the Oregon and Washington District Conference on Sept. 25-27 at Camp Koinonia in Cle Elum, Wash.

  • The 29th Annual Heritage Fair sponsored by Camp Blue Diamond and Middle Pennsylvania District will be held Sept. 26 at the camp. Activities for all ages including food, fun and fellowship, will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. A quilt and basket auction begins at 11 a.m., a children’s auction at 1 p.m., and the district quilt will be auctioned at 2:30 p.m. Proceeds are split between the camp and district outreach ministries. For more information call at 814-667-2355.

  • The 11th Annual Camp Mack Festival will be held on Oct. 3 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The festival featured a variety of booths, exhibits, and activities including silent auctions, entertainment, a scarecrow contest, a train ride, a hay ride, a horse-drawn carriage, pontoon rides, and children’s activities.

  • A Fall Banquet for the Carlisle (Pa.) Truck Stop Chaplain Ministry will be held on Oct. 3 at New Fairview Church of the Brethren in York, Pa.

  • The Juniata College board of trustees has added three new members: alumni trustee Geoffrey Clarke of Huntingdon, Pa., who is vice president of construction at New Enterprise Stone and Lime Co.; Gayle Pollock of Lewisburg, Pa., director of student recruitment with George Dehne Associates and part-time senior associate director of admissions at Bucknell University; and Eric Jensen of Indianapolis, Ind., a senior research fellow at Eli Lilly and Co. In addition, Jenifer Cushman, Juniata's dean of international programs and associate professor of German, has been named a Presidential Fellow by the Association of International Education Administrators.

  • The Global Women's Project Steering Committee met at the end of August in North Manchester, Ind. The project is affiliated with the Church of the Brethren. "We welcomed new board member Kim Hill Smith from Minneapolis to the committee and heard from Yvonne Dilling, who shared insights she learned from working with development projects in Central America," said a report in the Global Women’s Project newsletter. The group also celebrated the beginning of collaboration with a new project: Growing Grounds, a collaborative effort between Education for Conflict Resolution Inc. of North Manchester, Ind., and Wabash (Ind.) Church of the Brethren serving the needs of women in prison. The committee also noted receipt of over $3,000 from a Mother’s Day Project and the sale of Lenten Calendars. The steering committee will meet next in March 2010 in Indianapolis.

  • A Progressive Brethren Gathering on the theme, "Ready at the Thresholds," is planned for Nov. 13-15 hosted by Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. "The gathering will offer opportunities to reflect on the theological, social, and political thresholds that we engage as progressive people of faith and vision in changing times," said an announcement. Guest speaker Gordon Kauffman, professor emeritus at Harvard Divinity School, will give a presentation titled "Mystery, God, and the Human Imagination." Cost of $100 includes most meals. A discount is available for students. To register, go to The gathering is jointly sponsored by Womaen’s Caucus, Voices for an Open Spirit, and the Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Interests.

  • A gun store in Philadelphia that has been the focus of witnesses against gun violence has been charged with breaking the law, and may close. The initiative against gun violence in America’s cities started at the Heeding God’s Call gathering of the Historic Peace Churches in January. The Associated Press reported on Sept. 23 that Colosimo’s Gun Center has been charged in federal court with making false statements and failing to keep records required by law. Colosimo's was chosen as a focus for witnesses "because of the number of guns sold there that end up being used in crimes," in the words of the AP report. On Sept. 24, the "Philadelphia Daily News" reported that the business may close (see ). "Our thanks to anyone who has participated in any way in this faith-based movement to end gun violence," said an e-mail from those organizing the witnesses, which have continued consistently since the January gathering. A number of Philadelphia religious leaders have supported the effort including Jewish rabbis, Roman Catholic leaders, a variety of Protestant clergy, and Thomas Swain, clerk of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
Source: 9/24/2009 Newsline
Alan Bolds resigns from online gifts development position.

Alan Bolds has resigned as the Church of the Brethren’s coordinator of Online Gifts and Development, effective Sept. 30. He has worked in the position since Dec. 1, 2008.

Bolds has helped in implementation of Convio software for the church’s website, and has created and launched the "eBrethren" e-mail newsletter of the Stewardship and Donor Development Office. He came to the Church of the Brethren from a position as a fundraising professional with Awana International, where he also implemented Convio, the same web-based constituent relationship management software currently used by .

He will be taking up an opportunity to assist in the fight against Alzheimer's disease, working for the Alzheimer’s Association in Chicago, Ill. He and his family attend Wheaton (Ill.) Evangelical Free Church.

Source: 9/25/2009 Newsline Extra
Shannon Kahler called as director at Inspiration Hills.

Shannon Kahler has been called as director at Inspiration Hills Camp and Retreat Center beginning Nov. 10, in an announcement from Northern Ohio District of the Church of the Brethren. Inspiration Hills is the district camp located in Burbank, Ohio.

Kahler has served as food services/marketing manager at Camp Alexander Mack in Milford, Ind., since 2004. Previously she served as head chef/assistant food services manager at the Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, Mich., and as district retail operations manager for the Great Harvest Bread Company in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. She has owned and operated a food service management company in Farmington, Mich., called Campus Cuisine, which offered a variety of services to schools, ministries, and nonprofit organizations.

She holds a degree in business administration and marketing from William Tyndale College, a degree in culinary management and culinary arts from Schoolcraft College, and a degree in elementary education and biblical literature from Fort Wayne Bible College. She is a member of the Church of the Brethren Outdoor Ministries Association, the Christian Camp and Conference Association, and the American Camp Association. She is married to Allen Kahler, district executive of South-Central Indiana District.

Source: 9/25/2009 Newsline Extra
Youth workers are needed for National Youth Conference.

"Are you interested in volunteering at National Youth Conference 2010?" asks an invitation from the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry. "Serving as a youth worker is a serious task," the invitation continues. "Youth workers are an essential part of the NYC staff, helping to carry out the programs and plans of the National Youth Cabinet as well as making sure that no details are missed."

Volunteer youth workers are expected to commit for the entire week of National Youth Conference, which is scheduled for July 17-22 in Fort Collins, Colo. Responsibilities include assisting the NYC coordinators, the National Youth Cabinet, and the director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry in required tasks for carrying out the conference.

"Youthworkers often miss sessions, meals, and sleep in order to get the job done, often meaning 10-12 hour days or longer," the invitation warned. "These responsibilities are not meant to scare you out of applying, but rather to emphasize the importance and responsibility of being a youth worker. We need committed, focused, and enthusiastic people to make NYC run smoothly."

Youth workers are expected to arrive on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., in the early afternoon of Friday, July 16, and to be present at the conference through the evening of Thursday, July 22. As compensation, registration fees will be waived (the fee covers lodging and meals) and travel expenses will be covered provided the Youth and Young Adult Ministry office books the airline tickets. Youth workers must have completed at least their second year of college. Adults of all ages are encouraged to apply as well.

Completed applications must be postmarked by Nov. 1 and final decisions will be made in early 2010. Go to to find the application online.

Source: 9/25/2009 Newsline Extra
Brethren Bits
  • IMA World Health has announced the appointment of Richard "Rick" Santos as the organization’s new president and CEO. IMA World Health has its main offices and warehouse space at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., and the Church of the Brethren is a member denomination. Santos begins working with IMA World Health on Oct. 12 as president-elect, to assume full duties after a short transition with retiring CEO Paul Derstine. Santos brings more than 15 years of experience in international development, joining IMA from International Relief and Development, where he was director of Communications and Advocacy, and prior to that Church World Service, where he held a series of positions including coordinator of Strategic Planning and Evaluation, coordinator of Technical Resource, country director for Indonesia, and program officer in Bangladesh and Vietnam.

  • Nathan and Jennifer Hosler departed for Nigeria on Sept. 18, to take up their new positions as mission workers. They will be serving as teacher of peace and reconciliation at Kulp Bible College and peace and reconciliation worker with Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). "Please include them in prayers," asked Karin Krog, director of the Church of the Brethren’s Human Resources department.

  • Grace Mishler has returned to Vietnam as a mission worker and program volunteer for the Church of the Brethren. She has worked in Vietnam previously, in a placement jointly sponsored by the Church of the Brethren and Eastern Mennonite Missions, when she was a teacher and social worker at National Vietnam University in Ho Chi Minh City and counted among her accomplishments the creation of a course on Social Awareness of People with Disabilities. In an e-mail to the Global Mission Partnerships office dated Sept. 11, Mishler reported on her first week back at work at the university. "They want me to help in social work curriculum development in teaching students, disabilities, and English Social Work Practice Skill." She also has begun teaching an English Bible study class for the Foreign Language Department.

  • Don Knieriem has joined the Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) team as staff volunteer. His primary responsibilities will be to assist Callie Surber, the orientation coordinator. Knieriem just completed his first volunteer term as disaster project assistant with Brethren Disaster Ministries, based in New Orleans assisting with work following Hurricane Katrina. He is a member of Wilmington (Del.) Church of the Brethren and a graduate of the University of Delaware.

  • The New Windsor (Md.) Conference Center is thanking volunteer hosts Ric and Jan Martinez, who hosted for the Old Main building in August and September, and Ed and Betty Runion, who hosted for Windsor Hall in September. Both couples will depart for home on Sept. 30. The Conference Center welcomes back Mike and Barb Hodson of Troy, Ohio, as hosts for Old Main in October.

  • SERRV is welcoming longterm volunteers Valetta and Roland Kesler of Quinter, Kan., who will be in their 20th year of volunteering on the Brethren Service Center campus in New Windsor, Md.

  • The Church of the Brethren is still accepting applications for the position of director of Brethren Identity and Relations, who holds responsibility to communicate the mission and ministry of the Church of the Brethren to those affiliated with the church and to those outside who seek information about the church. A major responsibility is oversight of the denominational website, along with responsibility for annual reports, connections with district conferences, and meeting other communication needs. Candidates should have proven experience in communication and website development; a deep understanding of the Church of the Brethren; active membership in the Church of the Brethren; experience with the denominational scope of the church’s life and work; superior skills in writing, editing, and public speaking; and the technical and relational skills to manage a complex website and collaborate with others. The position is located at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., and is part of the Brethren Press communication team. Applications are being accepted until the position is filled. Request a position description and an application from Karin Krog, Office of Human Resources, at or 800-323-8039 ext. 258.

  • Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., seeks a fulltime campus pastor. Responsibilities include planning and coordinating weekly chapel services and other regular worship services; participating in planning activities for Focus on Faith Week, Peace Week, and other programming that facilitates religious life, promotes understanding of different faith traditions, and helps integrate faith and learning in the campus community; overseeing religious life groups; participating on a number of committees; organizing special services such as Baccalaureate and the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration; attending department meetings; supervising student workers; serving on the counseling staff; maintaining relationship with the Church of the Brethren; developing a congregational communication program with the director of church relations; managing a budget and other administrative functions. Qualifications include minimum of a Master of Divinity or equivalent degree; appreciation for the religious diversity of a college campus; experience in conducting worship services; training and experience in personal counseling; presentation skills; proficiencyt in spoken and written English; organizational and administrative skills; team orientation; ability to prioritize responsibilities, meet deadlines, and respond to students’ legitimate needs in a timely manner; ability to work with students of all backgrounds; ability and willingness to perform clerical work as necessary; leadership, financial, and supervisory skills; proficiency in word processing, spreadsheet, e-mail, and Internet use. Ordination in the Church of the Brethren preferred. Some weekend and evening work required, 10 months per year, August through May. Submit a cover letter, resume, and completed application ( ) by Oct. 8 to Human Resources, Manchester College, 604 E. College Ave., North Manchester, IN 46962;; fax 260-982-5449. Manchester College is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants who further diversify faculty and staff are warmly welcomed.

  • The Gather ’Round curriculum seeks freelance curriculum writers to write for the 2011-12 year. Gather ’Round is a project of Brethren Press and Mennonite Publishing Network. Writers are needed for Preschool (ages 3-4), Primary (K-grade 2), Middler (grades 3-5), Junior Youth (grades 6-8), and Youth (grades 9-12). All writers will attend an orientation conference in April 2010 and begin writing thereafter, with deadlines staggered quarter by quarter. Writers prepare weekly materials for teacher’s guides, student books, and resource packs. Compensation varies according to the age group and the number of weeks (12-14) in a given quarter. For more information and to apply, visit the "Contact us" page at Deadline for applications is Nov. 30.

  • Jan Eller has resigned as administrator of the Womaen’s Caucus of the Church of the Brethren, after more than six years in the role. She is an ordained minister, living in Portland, Ore. The Womaen's Caucus seeks a part-time administrator to begin work in January. The Caucus administrator is responsible for arranging Steering Committee meetings, coordinating Annual Conference activities, sustaining denominational relationships, maintaining organizational correspondence and records, and serving as Caucus treasurer. The successful candidate will be a Church of the Brethren feminist who is familiar with church structure, possesses strong administrative and secretarial skills, and is eager to take the initiative and articulate Caucus goals to the Caucus community and wider church. Qualified candidates will have strong writing skills and be fluent in using e-mail, the Internet, and appropriate computer programs for communication, database management, and financial management. Attendance at two multi-day meetings per year, one in late January and the second at Annual Conference, is required. The contract is renewable in two-year intervals. The position is estimated to require an average of 25 hours per month at $10 per hour plus expenses. Applications are due by Nov. 30. A downloadable application, full job description, and more information are available online at or by contacting Audrey deCoursey at
Source: 9/25/2009 Newsline Extra

Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren, or 800-323-8039 ext. 260. Kris Bair, Kim Ebersole, Mary Jo Flory-Steury, Mary Ann Grossnickle, Cori Hahn, Audrey Hollenberg, Judy Keyser, Karin Krog, Nancy Miner, Sharon Nearhoof May, Anna Speicher, John Wall, and Jane Yount contributed to this report.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Annual Conference announces 2010 theme, study committees organize.

The 224th recorded Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren will be held in Pittsburgh, Pa., on July 3-7, 2010. The theme statement for the Conference will be "Taking Jesus Seriously" from John 14:15, "If you love me, you will obey what I command" (NIV).

In another announcement from retiring Conference director Lerry Fogle, two Annual Conference study committees are organizing to begin their work.

The Resource Committee on Secret Oath-Bound Societies, appointed by the Annual Conference officers at the direction of the delegates to the 2009 Conference, organized on Aug. 27. The committee includes Dan Ulrich, professor of New Testament studies at Bethany Theological Seminary, as chair; Harold Martin, recorder; and Judy Mills Reimer. The group will develop a list of resources that affirms the Conference action of 1954 to educate and inform the church concerning membership in secret oath-bound societies. The committee is charged with completing its assignment by the time of the 2010 Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa.

The other committee formed by the 2009 Conference is the Special Response Resource Committee. It will hold its organizational meeting on Oct. 12-13. The group includes Karen Long Garrett, Jim Myer, Marie Rhoades, John E. Wenger, and Carol Wise. This committee will develop study materials and a discussion guide for use in congregations, districts, and denominational groups, focused on the content of the paper "A Statement of Confession and Commitment" and the query "Language on Same-Sex Covenantal Relationships." The committee has been asked to create study materials by April 1, 2010.

Information created by both resource committees will be made available on the Annual Conference website, in Source, and through other denominational communication vehicles.

Available online now is a statement from Annual Conference moderator Shawn Flory Replogle giving background for the 2010 theme. "We live in challenging times...," he writes in part. "The Church of the Brethren is made for such a time as this," his statement adds. "Among the most central ways the Brethren have lived out their spiritual inheritance--taking Jesus seriously--is through honest reading of the Gospels, followed by straightforward discipleship...." Go to to find the full statement.

In related news, the move of the Conference Office has been accelerated. The office is moving from the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., to the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., on Sept. 8-11. The Church of the Brethren Annual Conference contact information will be: Annual Conference, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL, 60120; Chris Douglas, Conference Director, 800-323-8039 ext. 228; Jon Kobel, Conference Assistant, 800-323-8039 ext. 229; fax 847-742-1618. Douglas will function as Conference Director starting Sept. 14. Retiring director Lerry Fogle will be in Elgin for training of new staff during multiple periods in September through November.

Source: 9/9/2009 Newsline
Junior High Conference exceeds seed grant in 'reverse offering.'

Junior high youth who took part in this year's National Junior High Conference have exceeded the seed money they were given for a "reverse offering" that has been collected since the June event. Reports on the collection has been issued by the Church of the Brethren's Youth and Young Adult Ministry.

In an update, youth and young adult ministry director Becky Ullom called the effort a "fantastic response from the junior high youth."

The worship planning team at the National Junior High Conference "wanted to have an offering experience that didn't put additional financial strain on families sending their youth to the conference," Ullom said. "Because the conference was focused on the theme of transformation, we decided a to try a reverse offering to benefit the ministries of the Church of the Brethren."

Each youth who attended the conference received $10, made possible through a $4,000 grant from the Church of the Brethren's Core Ministries Fund and the church's office of Stewardship and Donor Development.

"We encouraged the youth to consider how they might 'transform' the money into more," Ullom said. "If the youth were unsure of how to transform the money or didn't want to participate for some other reason, they could offer the money back immediately."

Staff returned from the conference with about $800 given during the event. Since then, many more donations have been received from junior high youth and youth groups, for a total of $6,277. Yet more donations are expected through the fall, Ullom said.

"I just wanted to share this great news with you," she wrote in her e-mail about the program. "What an example these youth and their advisors, families, and congregations are providing!"

Source: 9/9/2009 Newsline
Workcamp aids Haitian Brethren in rebuilding effort.

A workcamp sponsored by Brethren Disaster Ministries took place in Haiti on Aug. 7-16. The group spent more than a week helping with disaster relief and rebuilding of homes following major destruction caused by four hurricanes and tropical storms that hit Haiti last year.

The workcamp worshiped and fellowshiped with Haitian Brethren, and arrived in Haiti in time to join in a special worship service of ordination and licensing of the first ministers of Eglise des Freres Haitiens. The service took place on the last day of a theological training for the Haitian church that was held on Aug. 3-7.

The workcamp was led by Jeff Boshart, Haiti disaster response coordinator, and Klebert Exceus, Haitian consultant from Orlando, Fla. Workcampers were David Bradley of Lebanon, Pa.; Steve Ditzler of Lebanon, Pa.; James Eby of Litiz, Pa.; Ecclesiaste Frederick of Miami, Fla.; Wanda Lyons of Glade Valley, N.C.; Joel Postma of La Porte, Ind.; and Brad Yoder of North Manchester, Ind. The group was accompanied by members of Exceus' family, and two Brethren pastors from the Dominican Republic--Mardouchee Catalice, who is of Haitian background, and Onelys Rivas Florentino, of Dominican background.

Following the special worship service with the Haitian Brethren, the workcamp went on to a variety of disaster rebuilding projects working alongside Haitian Brethren and local Haitian communities.

One project was to finish rebuilding a home for the widow and family of the late Pastor Delouis St. Louis, a Haitian Brethren pastor and church planter who died unexpectedly of illness in late May. His family had lost their home in last year's storms. Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of the Church of the Brethren's Global Mission Partnerships, reported that Louis' life and ministry continues through the work to build a church for the Haitian Brethren in the village of Ferrier, where he had founded a preaching point.

Workcampers spent part of a day helping to build the church in the rural, mountainous area near Mirabilais, where Brethren Disaster Ministries has completed 21 homes. Impetus for the project came from the local community who, according to Wittmeyer, was impressed that homes were built for non-Brethren families in a place where the Haitian Brethren had only a simple lean-to as a preaching point. Another impetus to construct the church in Ferrier came from plans to hold a Kids' Club there, according to Roy Winter, executive director of Brethren Disaster Ministries.

The Church of the Brethren's Emerging Global Mission Fund provided funds to purchase the land for the church, Winter reported. Local people gave of their own time and money to start construction of the church building, and the workcamp group joined in to support the effort.

While the workcamp was in the area, a community gathering was held to dedicate the new homes and community members were given a chance to speak. "The community obviously had never done anything like this," Wittmeyer said. "It was a recognition of all they had done. It was up in the mountains. They had to carry water. They had to carry cement...and the houses look great."

In addition, during the trip members of the workcamp helped lead Kids' Club, an event similar to Vacation Bible School. A Baptist group joined the Kids' Club, Wittmeyer said, and hundreds of children participated.

The workcamp spent a couple of days in the city of Gonaives working on more homes affected by the storms. Brethren Disaster Ministries has a goal of rebuilding 60 homes in Gonaives. Ten have been completed and 20 more are currently under construction, Winter reported. Children's programs continued in Gonaives as well.

"I am forever changed because of the opportunity to serve in Haiti," said workcamper Wanda Lyons in her evaluation of the experience. "I was pretty much involved with the Kid's Club throughout the entire trip.... The children were such a blessing to me. How appreciative they were of everything we did for them. Seeing the happy smiles on those precious children and the hugs and thanks for the little things that seemed to make them so happy amid such difficult circumstances."

For a photo album from the workcamp, go to A second Haiti workcamp is planned for Oct. 24-Nov. 1. Go to
for more information or contact or 800-451-4407. Grants from the church's Emergency Disaster Fund are supporting the work in Haiti, with a total of $370,000 given so far.

Source: 9/9/2009 Newsline
World Council of Churches names new general secretary.

The election of Norwegian theologian and pastor Olav Fykse Tveit as the new general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the selection of a venue for its next assembly were highlights of the WCC Central Committee meeting that took place in Geneva, Switzerland, on Aug. 26-Sept. 2.

Tveit, 48, was elected 7th general secretary of the WCC, succeeding outgoing general secretary Samuel Kobia who completes his tenure at the end of 2009.

The Central Committee, the main governing body of the WCC between assemblies, also issued a series of statements and minutes on wide-ranging religious, political, and social matters, and discussed issues of governance and finances, according to a WCC release.

The city of Busan in the Republic of Korea was chosen as venue for the WCC 10th Assembly in 2013. Park Jong-wha, chair of the international committee of the National Council of Churches in South Korea, expressed hope that the WCC's presence could "contribute greatly toward peaceful reconciliation and reunification" for the divided peninsula.

The Central Committee reviewed the WCC's programmatic work and acknowledged the unsustainability of programs as presently organized. It recommended that programs be restructured, and stressed the need for prioritization and a more modest, limited, and sustainable approach. A number of recommendations related to the 2010 budget were adopted as well, and the moderator of the finance committee said that further reductions in 2010 income for the WCC could be in the range of 5-10 percent.

Statements on specific international issues addressed situations in Pakistan, Israel, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Fiji, and Darfur, Sudan. Other statements addressed caste-based discrimination, just finance and the economy of life, eco-justice and ecological debt, and anti-Christian violence. Two additional statements called for Christians to seek a nuclear-weapon-free world, and reiterated WCC support for the right of conscientious objection to the military. The committee called on member churches to "uphold the right of refusal to bear and use arms" wherever possible.

For more information, photos from the meeting, and links to the full statements adopted by the WCC Central Committee, go to

Source: 9/9/2009 Newsline
Northern Plains meets under the banner of 'Faith, Hope, Love.'

Sisters and brothers in Christ gathered from across Northern Plains District July 31-Aug. 2 at Pine Lake Christian Conference Center in Eldora, Iowa, for the 2009 District Conference. The official registration was 137 adults including 66 delegates from 21 congregations.

Moderator Alice Draper led the conference under the theme from 1 Corinthians 13:13, "Faith, Hope, Love.... The Greatest of These Is Love."

The Friday evening worship service heard Annual Conference moderator Shawn Flory Replogle preach on John 21:15-19, "Loving the Idea of Church Is not Enough." The Saturday evening service consisted of love feast and communion provided by the deacons of Ivester Church of the Brethren and led by a group of ministers from the district. The Sunday morning service heard Jonathan Shively, executive director of Congregational Life Ministries for the Church of the Brethren, preach on 1 John 4:7-21, "Fear Not" (his sermon has been posted online at as the Aug. 10 post). Offerings totaled $3,353.71.

The business session on Saturday, Aug. 1, consisted of four business items, elections, and a number of reports. A 2010 budget totaling $111,805 was passed by the delegates. Delegates also approved the closing of Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren in York, N.D., where a final worship celebration will be held on Sept. 30; and approved fellowship status for the Common Spirit Project in Minneapolis, Minn. Approval was given to explore both the Baptist and Brethren Camps at Pine Lake as possible locations for the 2010 District Conference.

In elections, Richard Gingrich was chosen as moderator-elect. Those elected to the district's Board of Administration included Kathy Mack, Paul Little, Sandi Cox, Ronald Steege, Ernest Dicks, David Oliver, and Terri Hansen. Laura Leighton-Harris was elected to the Program Committee. Doyle Harper and Raechel Sittig were elected to the Nominating Committee.

Marge Smalley was consecrated as the new moderator of Northern Plains District. The District Board reorganized for 2009-10 naming Kathy Mack as president, Mark Gingrich as vice-president, Barb Lewczak as chair of the Ministry Commission, Linda Lantz as chair of the Nurture Commission, Roger Emmert as chair of the Stewards Commission, and Ida Van Weston as chair of the Witness Commission.

Eight ministers were recognized for "Milestones in Ministry": Richard Burger, ordained for 65 years; Vernon Merkey, ordained for 55 years; Lorene Moore, ordained for 30 years; Marge Smalley and Lucinda Douglas, ordained for 20 years; Marlene Neher, ordained for 15 years; and Dave Kerkove and Alan McLearn-Montz, ordained for 10 years. New pastors and newly ordained and licensed ministers were recognized by the district executive during his report. Also named were beginning seminary students and those approved for licensing.

Following the business session, the annual district auction was held with a total of $4,000 raised for a general fund and to purchase a "mud-out trailer" for flood clean-up efforts. Also, the Witness Commission invited members to bring items for Church World Service Health Kits. A total of 373 Health Kits and 4 Clean-Up Buckets were presented, along with $221.85 donated for the kits.

At last year's District Conference, Panther Creek Church of the Brethren distributed quarter tubes to each church to raise funds for Heifer International, with the goal of raising $5,000 to purchase an "Ark." As of Aug. 10, $4,204.68 had been collected and turned in to the district.

Another service project was done by roughly 11 youth, under the leadership of Matt Tobias, McPherson College admissions counselor. The youth spent time working with the Little Rock Ministry Center that operates out of a mobile home park in Eldora. The youth helped with outdoor maintenance, some indoor cleaning, and picking up trash with neighborhood children. When the work was done, the youth gathered up the neighborhood children and led them in games and playing, then cooked hot dogs and led in a time of singing camp songs. (This article is excerpted from a report in the district newsletter.)

Source: 9/9/2009 Newsline
Life of Eagle Creek Church continues through its generous gifts.

Eagle Creek Church of the Brethren, a 164-year-old congregation in Forest, Ohio, was officially disorganized this summer. But the ministry of the congregation is continuing through a series of generous gifts from funds generated through sale of church-owned property, with approval from Northern Ohio District.

The sales totaled something close to a half million dollars, according to district executive minister John Ballinger.

In February, with membership dwindling to just a couple of families, the congregation petitioned the district to be allowed to disorganize, Ballinger said. Two couples requested a meeting with him, to talk over how to close the church.

"They had tears in their eyes," Ballinger remembered of the meeting. "It's just so painful to come to this point" in the life of a congregation, he said. During the meeting, the district executive suggested an analogy that proved helpful, comparing the closing of the church to the way hospice care can help a person dealing with end-of-life issues. "To have purpose as the end of life nears provides a way for a person--or a church--to die with dignity," he commented.

After the remaining Eagle Creek members asked about the possibility of liquidating the church property "with a notion about what they could do with the proceeds," Ballinger consulted with other district executives and found that churches have done this before approval from their districts.

The congregation already was connected with the Church of the Brethren's Global Food Crisis Fund and the Foods Resource Bank through two big tracts of farmland it owned, in addition to other church property. "They were really tickled to make a difference using that farmland," Ballinger said.

In July, the Northern Ohio District Conference approved the closing of Eagle Creek Church with the distribution of proceeds. A number of denominational funds received gifts, including $20,000 to the Global Food Crisis Fund, $20,000 to disaster relief, and $9,500 to the Church of the Brethren's Core Ministries Fund. Another $20,000 went to the Foods Resource Bank, and $10,000 to Heifer International.

In addition, generous gifts were given to the district and to some of its ministries including the Good Shepherd Home, Inspiration Hills Camp and Retreat Center, and youth workcamp scholarships. Other gifts were given to a hospice and other local outreach organizations.

Items from the sanctuary of Eagle Creek Church were placed on the worship center during the district conference: a Bible, candlesticks, and vases from the church's altar table, and the congregation's offering plates. A litany read by the delegate body gave a special blessing to the congregation as it made its final decision.

"It was a celebration of life," said Ballinger of the event at the district conference. The Eagle Creek gifts "will be a legacy of continued life and ministry."

Source: 9/9/2009 Newsline
Brethren bits: Remembrance, personnel, anniversaries, more.
  • A photo album from the workcamps offered this summer by the Church of the Brethren's Youth and Young Adult Ministry is now available. Click here to find photos from a variety of workcamps for junior and senior high youth and advisors, young adults, and intergenerational groups. Above, former Youth and Young Adult director Chris Douglas joins senior highs at a workcamp in Putney, Vt., at the Place Apart intentional Christian community.

  • The Gather 'Round curriculum Fall quarter started Aug. 30 on the theme, "Exile and Restoration" with Bible stories of the Israelite exile in Babylon, God's restoration of the people, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem. This quarter's "Talkabout" take-home piece for congregations to provide to families (above) is a set of building cards on the theme of God restoring the people and helping them rebuild. Gather 'Round is a Sunday school curriculum produced by Brethren Press and the Mennonite Publishing Network. Go to for more. For prices and to order, call Brethren Press at 800-441-3712. Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

  • The Church of the Brethren's National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) is taking place Sept. 7-11 at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in North Carolina, with 925 older adults from across the country. Online coverage of the conference is at The website offers reports from worship and main session, "Today at NOAC" pages, and photo albums.

  • Remembrance: Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) is remembering the life and ministry of James Bulama, who was a minister in the church and a faculty member at Kulp Bible College. Bulama died suddenly on Aug. 21, at age 70. His funeral was held Aug. 29.

  • Matt Witkovsky has resigned as one of the co-coordinators of the 2010 National Youth Conference (NYC). He plans to continue in Brethren Volunteer Service on another assignment. Since he started in the position earlier this year, he has helped out at Christian Citizenship Seminar and with the workcamp ministry. He is a graduate of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College and was a member of the Church of the Brethren's Youth Peace Travel Team in 2006. NYC planning will move forward with co-coordinators Emily Laprade and Audrey Hollenberg, youth and young adult ministry director Becky Ullom, and the National Youth Cabinet.

  • The New Windsor (Md.) Conference Center is expressing appreciation for the work of Ron and Jean Strine of St. Petersburg, Fla., volunteer hosts for the Old Main building and Windsor Hall in July and August.

  • Jim Lehman of Elgin, Ill., has begun as interim director of Identity and Relations for the Church of the Brethren. The major part of his work will be to administer the denominational website. He will serve until a search for a new director is completed. Lehman is a writer, publisher, and workshop leader who has carried a number of assignments for the church previously, including serving as interim publisher of Brethren Press and as a marketing consultant. He is a member of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin.

  • A director of Academic Services is sought to fill a joint administrative faculty position at Bethany Theological Seminary and Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Ind. The director functions as registrar for both schools in liaison with Earlham College, and facilitates the cooperative academic operation of the two seminaries. Applicants must have an undergraduate college degree. A graduate degree in theological education is preferred. Commitment to the vision and mission of the two seminaries is essential, as are strong skills in communication, critical thinking, computer databases, and administration. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Qualified applicants may send a letter of application and curriculum vitae electronically to or by mail to Jay Marshall, Earlham School of Religion, 228 College Ave., Richmond, IN 47374.

  • The World Council of Churches (WCC) will welcome five young people ages 18-30 to serve as interns in Geneva, Switzerland, from Feb. 2010-Jan. 2011. The interns will be assigned to one of the WCC working areas. Applicants must send, along with their application, background information about their church or Christian youth network that will help them in implementing their project. Closing date for receiving applications is Sept. 30. More information is at

  • First Church of the Brethren in York, Pa., celebrates its 125th anniversary with guest speakers for worship: on Sunday, Sept. 13, "Messenger" editor Walt Wiltschek will bring the message; on Sunday, Oct. 4, well-known speaker and popular preacher Tony Campolo will speak.

  • Three congregations in Virlina District are celebrating anniversaries: on Sept. 13 Duncans Chapel Church of the Brethren in Willis, Va., celebrates its 50th anniversary; on Sept. 20 Bethel Church of the Brethren near Arrington, Va., celebrates its 100th, and Collinsville (Va.) Church of the Brethren celebrates its 50th.

  • Two Brethren pastors took part in a first "Blessing of the Schools" interfaith prayer service for the Roanoke (Va.) City Public schools. Central Church of the Brethren pastor Tim Harvey was an organizer of the event, and Williamson Road Church of the Brethren pastor Mike Huffaker took part in the service on Aug. 30. Offering prayers were leaders from a number of Christian congregations, an Islamic center, and a Jewish synagogue. The event was sponsored by Congregations in Action, which also includes Hollins Road Church of the Brethren. With a theme from Jeremiah 29:7--"But seek the welfare of the city"--the service featured a welcome from Roanoke City Public Schools Superintendent Rita Bishop, and a keynote address from the chair of the Roanoke City School Board. "The Roanoke Times" reported that Bishop stands by the Supreme Court's ruling that prayer in schools is unconstitutional, but told the gathering, "Through your work, you have put everything that prayer is about back in schools." In his closing challenge, Harvey said, "It is our job to seek the welfare of the children of this city."

  • Olympia, Lacey (Wash.) Community Church of the Brethren this year has provided food resources for the hungry "that weigh more than the combined weight of the congregation"--well over three tons, according to the church newsletter. The giving has included food items for the Thurston County Food Bank and cash donations, as well as livestock through Heifer International and support for a CROP Walk. In addition the congregation this summer has hosted a tent city of the homeless, called Camp Quixote, on its lawn through Aug. 28.

  • Camp Pine Lake in Eldora, Iowa, has called for volunteers to help repair damage caused by a recent hail storm. "Every building at Camp Pine Lake will need to be re-roofed," said an announcement. Contact or 641-939-5334.

  • Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., is preparing for another year of record enrollment, according to a release. "We haven't had such strong numbers since the '70s," reported Jeri S. Kornegay, director of Media and Public Relations. The college anticipates some 1,200 students and a first-year class of more than 400, representing 50-plus more students than last fall. It is adding more than 21 class sections, enhancing its dining options, and moving in more beds to accommodate the growth. Classes began Sept. 2.

  • The Juniata College Early Childhood Education Center has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, a leading organization of early childhood professionals, for a five year-period through mid-2014. Juniata is a Church of the Brethren college in Huntingdon, Pa. "We are among the first in the nation to complete this updated, more rigorous, process," said co-director Christine Breene in a release.

  • McPherson (Kan.) College has exceeded a million dollar annual fund goal for 2009 by raising $1,018,332. The annual fund dollars support scholarships, departmental needs, and serve as a budget relieving component of the college's overall fundraising, said a release. The college is also in the middle of "MC: Forward," a comprehensive campaign launched in Oct. 2008 raising over $7.2 million in gifts and pledges--56 percent of its $13 million goal. The campaign includes funding for a new campus entrance and a new residence hall. "With fall enrollment and retention projected to be strong, the need for a new residence hall becomes even more pressing," the release said.

  • Ralph McFadden will be installed as president of the Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Interests (BMC) at a special three-year planning retreat for the BMC Board. The retreat is scheduled for Sept. 18-20 in northern Indiana. BMC members and friends are invited to a potluck on that Saturday evening at the home of David and Renee McFadden in North Manchester, Ind.

  • The New Community Project, a Brethren-related nonprofit, has announced a number of grants to support the welfare of women and girls in various countries. In El Salvador, the organization has pledged $3,000 per year for three years to help women have options such as micro-loans to start small businesses and training programs to learn new skills, partnering with Emmanuel Baptist Church. In Sudan, the project recently gave $4,000 for a women's gardening project and tailoring program in Nimule, and $3,000 to support women's programs in Narus, "adding to the $20,000 already sent for girls' education and women's development in Sudan in 2009," reported director David Radcliff. The project has given $2,000 to Women Empowerment in Nepal. Go to for more information.

  • The September edition of Brethren Voices, a community access television program offered by Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren, features "The Seagoing Cowboys and the Story of Paul Libby." Paul Libby, now 87, served as a seagoing cowboy at the age of 24 on the Victory Ship Christian Pass, helping deliver 700 Holstein cattle to Poland. Between the summers of 1945-47 more than 7,000 men and boys over the age of 16 volunteered to care for and accompany livestock shipments to war-torn countries following World War II, in a program administered by the Brethren Service Committee and the UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. For more information contact producer Ed Groff at

  • Christian leaders in southern Sudan have become alarmed at violence in the area, according to a report received by the Church of the Brethren's Global Mission Partnerships. Various churches "are faithfully in prayer as the only means to attain peace and to bring an end to dire humanitarian need in the region," said a report from the Sudan Advocacy Action Forum. Archbishop Daniel Deng of the Episcopal Church of Sudan made an appeal for humanitarian assistance to thousands of displaced and wounded people, saying, "Unless the guarantor governments of the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement) act now the peace is in grave danger." The violence ranges from attacks by the Lord's Resistance Army, a guerrilla group based in Uganda, to tribal violence. Among those killed in recent attacks was an archdeacon who was shot at the altar during a morning service, according to a letter from Archbishop Deng that was included with the report. The report calls Christians to join in prayer for a just and lasting peace, protection for the people, and humanitarian aid to violated communities.

  • Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is seeking participants for a delegation to northern Iraq on Nov. 7-21. Applications are due Sept. 20. The delegation will visit in the Kurdish area of Iraq, where the people faced discrimination under the regime of Saddam Hussein, and where thousands of displaced people fled during the Iraq War. Recently, northern border villages have suffered military attacks by Turkey and Iran. CPT has had a presence in Iraq since Oct. 2002. Fundraising expectation is $3,500, which includes roundtrip airfare from a designated US or Canadian city. Contact or 773-277-0253.

  • Marie Atwood of English River Church of the Brethren in S. English, Iowa, was inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame during the state fair on Aug. 23. "She joined 4-H in 1934, continued to serve as a leader, and at age 89 has stayed active by exhibiting in the open classes at the Keokuk County Expo and sponsoring trophies for the 4-H exhibiters," the church newsletter said.

  • Claire Mock celebrated his 104th birthday on July 25 with a motorcycle ride, according to the Middle Pennsylvania District newsletter. He attends Bedford (Pa.) Church of the Brethren.
Source: 9/9/2009 Newsline

Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren, or 800-323-8039 ext. 260. Lerry Fogle, Cori Hahn, Cindy Dell Kinnamon, Jeri S. Kornegay, Ralph McFadden, Marcia Shetler, Becky Ullom, and John Wall contributed to this report.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Congregations plan for the International Day of Prayer for Peace.

Brethren congregations are invited to take part in the On Earth Peace campaign to observe the International Day of Prayer for Peace on Sept. 21--and so far more than 100 congregations and groups have registered to take part through On Earth Peace. The International Day of Prayer for Peace is an initiative of the World Council of Churches.

Following are just a few of the stories from congregations and groups that are planning events, provided by the On Earth Peace campaign organizers Michael Colvin and Mimi Copp.

Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren and Unity in Community:
The congregation is taking part in a vigil with Unity in Community, a local multi-faith organization in Manassas. Unity in the Community has been observing the International Day of Prayer for Peace since the beginning of the On Earth Peace campaign three years ago. Illana Naylor, one of the organizers, said that working on the event "has been a joy." The event carries the theme "Healing for Our Community," and will take place at the Reformed Jewish synagogue, Congregation Ner Shalom. Rabbi Jennifer Wiener attended the event last year at the Islamic center in Manassas, the Dar Al Noor Masjid, held in the middle of the Muslim holy days of Ramadan. The rabbi was warmly greeted by Muslims at the mosque, and spontaneously offered to hold this year's International Day of Prayer for Peace event at her congregation. This year, Sept. 20 marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and so it was agreed to hold the event on Sept. 13. Naylor is particularly excited about having the composer of the "Suite for Peace," Ahmad Nadimi, on hand to conduct a performance of his orchestral work for choir. She reports that accommodations to the customs and traditions of the participating groups has grown each year, resulting in greater tolerance between faith groups.
First Church of the Brethren in San Diego, Calif.:
The congregation is part of an exciting listening initiative. Linda Williams, one of the organizers, reports, "The San Diego church has wanted for years to get more closely connected with--and to better serve--our immediate neighborhood. We were recently blessed with the most perfect open door one could imagine!" Marigold Hernly, who has recently become a part of the church family, is closely connected with neighborhood groups and put the church in contact with a facilitator for the listening process connected with the California Endowment Grant. The endowment has chosen City Heights, the area of San Diego where the church is located, for a Healthy Cities Grant, part of the "Building Health Communities Initiative." "This grant will provide more than $10 million over the next 10 years to work on youth and health issues--including preventing Youth Violence!" Williams reports. "The California Endowment has given grants to 14 other locations in California, but the grant to City Heights is the only one where the decision about what project to pursue is being made at the grassroots level via a listening initiative." First Church of the Brethren San Diego is opening its building to host a listening process meeting for neighbors to give input about how grant money may be used. Williams anticipates that in the City Heights neighborhood, the focus may include gang violence, school attendance, and nutrition. The issues that arise from listening efforts in City Heights will form the substance of the prayers that will be raised by San Diego First Church of the Brethren and the other participating congregations during their International Day of Prayer for Peace vigil.
Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren, South Bend, Ind.:
The South Bend International Day of Prayer for Peace committee formed three years ago with On Earth Peace's first campaign, at the impetus of Lois Clark, a member of the congregation. This year the group is holding a vigil on Sept. 21 and then an extended listening initiative that will culminate on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Clark reports the group has "given the spirit full reign here" in their desire to have a season of listening particularly about youth violence, which they see as a public health crisis. Driving this effort is a diverse group of people and organizations including United Religious Community, Church Women United, CURE (a group that holds a prayer circle on each Thursday after a shooting or killing), TAP (Transforming Action into Power), Mennonite pastor Andre Stoner who has organized the Center for Peace and Nonviolence, Michiana Peace and Justice Coalition of union leaders and Notre Dame University professors and other community members, community outreach staff from a local hospital, the director of the Charles Martin Center (named after a young man who was killed in South Bend), and a person who works in the criminal justice system.
Green Tree Church of the Brethren, Oaks, Pa.:
Two years ago, pastor David Leiter got a call from pastor Nathan at Bethel Baptist Church, a neighboring African-American congregation, who had read Leiter’s book "Neglected Voices: Peace in the New Testament" and wanted to talk more about it. That phone call started a friendship between the pastors, and has brought the two to organize a joint worship service for their congregations on the International Day of Prayer for Peace. The service will be held Sept. 20 at Bethel Baptist, followed by a meal. The two congregations are inviting the community to attend and asking other local clergy to participate in leadership. Pastor Nathan will preach on "Peace and Violence: Broadening our Definitions." After the sermon, Leiter will offer a challenge about where the community may go from here.
Mack Memorial Church of the Brethren, Dayton, Ohio:
The congregation has a whole weekend of activities planned for the International day of Prayer for Peace. On Saturday, Sept. 19, the church will participate in a peace festival at the Dayton Peace Museum. On Sunday, Sept. 20, they will worship with five other churches at Island Park, where two rivers converge. The theme will be, "Peace Like a River." On Monday, Sept. 21, the congregation will hold a vigil in front of the church, and has invited other churches in the area to join in the vigil. The theme will be, "Peace in the Community." The Dayton area, since the economic crisis, has experienced an increase in petty theft, juveniles breaking into houses, more gang activity, and violent crime, according to a report from the church. Mack Memorial is interested in finding ways to gather people together and listen to their needs. Even though the congregation is smaller than in the past, it has adopted a vision calling for the church to be the hands and feet of the community.
Middlebury (Ind.) Church of the Brethren:
According to the website of this small town (population 3,191), "Middlebury is everyone’s idea of a small town: the neighborhood butcher, the Main Street hardware store, the proud shop owner; all busy serving residents and visitors alike in a thriving Main Street historic district. Amish and ‘English’ come to Middlebury to do business and trade." Yet Middlebury, in the heart of Elkhart County, has been hit hard by the economic downturn. Melissa Troyer, the congregation’s coordinator for the International Day of Prayer for Peace, reports that in previous years, participating churches have been the four or five Mennonite and Brethren congregations in the area. This year, to focus on the economic situation, the community is going to hold an International Day of Prayer for Peace celebration "with all the groups around town who have worked towards the struggles of our 18 percent unemployment.... It won't be a quiet vigil, rather we're having probably eight churches and five different music groups involved. The theme will be taken from Matthew 5:23-24." The celebration will have three focus areas: a story of reconciliation between two Mennonite congregations that split 80 years ago over issues that are no longer relevant, and are now beginning to merge in light of their economic circumstances; activities of the Middlebury Ministerium including the Community Food Pantry that used to feed 12 families a week and is now feeding 200; and recognition of the new Middlebury Area Recovery Committee--an effort to coordinate church and civic programs that are helping people.
Mechanic Grove Church of the Brethren, Quarryville, Pa.:
The congregation’s peace committee has made an intentional and concerted effort to involve the children of the church in learning and talking about peacemaking, according to a report from pastor Jim Rhen. The church participated this year in a "Kids as Peacemakers" mural project as part of a larger initiative through the Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness. The church used curriculum and resources provided by Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness for a six-week teaching time with the 20-30 children in their congregation, culminating in the children painting two mural boards. The murals incorporated what the children experienced in learning and talking about peacemaking. The murals will be displayed in an Art Walk, along with others from the county, on Sept. 19 at the Lancaster Clipper baseball stadium. The Barnstormers team will donate $4 from the price of admission to that day's game to the Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness.
Bridgewater (Va.) Church of the Brethren:
The congregation is hosting a premier showing of "I’d Like to Buy an Enemy" by Ted & Company Theater Works on Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. Other congregations are invited to attend. The show by Mennonite comedian Ted Swartz and company will be "an evening of drama...poignant and hilarious," according to an announcement in the Shenandoah District newsletter. The Russian Baptist youth choir also is scheduled to sing. A donation of $5 is suggested to cover costs. "In the meantime, we trust you will be praying for peace in your community and in the world. There are so many situations people are facing where prayer can make a difference," the announcement said. For more information contact Roma Jo Thompson at or 540-515-3581.
Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren:
On Sunday, Sept. 20, the congregation plans a whole day of peace-related activities, including a morning worship service led by Brethren folksinger Mike Stern, an afternoon prayer vigil with the Metanoia Peace Community, an afternon children's folk music concert by Stern, and an evening program with a delegation from the World Friendship Center in Hiroshima, Japan.
Church of the Brethren General Offices, Elgin, Ill.:
General secretary Stan Noffsinger will lead a special chapel service for employees, volunteers, and guests to observe the International Day of Prayer for Peace. Because chapel services at the General Offices are held every Wednesday at 9:15 a.m., this special service will be on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
Source: 9/7/2009 Newsline Extra