Wednesday, September 09, 2009

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

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