Thursday, October 22, 2009

Brethren Bits: Seminary courses, anniversaries, and other upcoming events.
  • The Outdoor Ministries Association of the Church of the Brethren will hold its National Conference on Nov. 13-15 at Woodland Altars in Peebles, Ohio. The theme for the event is "Christ as Cornerstone." Richard Dawson, executive director at Camp Highroad in Virginia, will bring the keynote address. He has led a camp visioning team for the Southeast Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church which produced "The Seven Foundation Documents of Christian Camping," and has established an EcoEternity Forest at Camp Highroad, becoming the first such forest in the US. The schedule also includes worship, a concert, an OMA Auction to benefit the work of the association, and "break out sessions" featuring a nature hike, challenge course, and arts and crafts projects. Cost is $100 or $75 for Saturday only, with a late fee of $25 applying after Oct. 25. For more information contact or 937-417-1184.

  • A new deadline of Nov. 10 has been given to register for the annual Nigeria workcamp sponsored by the Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission Partnerships. The workcamp is scheduled for Jan. 9-30, 2010. Workcampers 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 inclusive of a round-trip flight to Nigeria, meals, lodging, in-country transportation, and overseas travel insurance. Requirements include a passport (valid for at least six months after the workcamp) and appropriate vaccinations and medications. Participants must be 18 or older. Those 14-17 years of age may participate if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who also is participating in the workcamp. Contact Global Mission Partnerships at 800-323-8039 or

  • Bethany Theological Seminary will offer two courses focusing on Brethren heritage in the Spring semester of 2010. Jeff Bach, director of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies and associate professor of religious studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, will teach "Church of the Brethren History" at the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center in Elizabethtown. Adjunct faculty member Denise Kettering will teach "Brethren Beliefs and Practices" as a weekend intensive at the seminary’s campus in Richmond, Ind. For more details see Application deadline is the beginning of December. Contact Elizabeth Keller, director of admissions, at or 800-287-8822 ext. 1832.

  • Celebrations of the 125th anniversary of First Church of the Brethren in York, Pa., continue on Oct. 25, "Heritage Sunday," with performance of an anthem specially written for the anniversary. The anthem, "Generations Now," is by Greg Bachman of Tallahassee, Fla., a former member of the church. On Sunday, Nov. 22, the church holds its 125th Anniversary Celebration Banquet at 12:15 p.m. with former pastor Curtis Dubble speaking.

  • Common Spirit Church of the Brethren is celebrating its new fellowship status on Nov. 1, from 3-6 p.m. The celebration will be held at Open Circle Church of the Brethren in Burnsville, Minn., and will include entertainment provided by musicians from within Northern Plains District, a meal, and worship. Contact 612-724-0264 or

  • Daleville (Va.) Church of the Brethren plans a "Marathon Bible Study" on Oct. 24 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. "The marathon will provide a quick study of the 66 books in the Bible in an instructive, but fun way," said the Virlina District newsletter. Contact 540-992-2042.

  • Western Plains District is holding its "Gathering V" on Oct. 23-25 at the Webster Conference Center in Salina, Kan., on the theme, "Transformed by Jesus to Make Disciples." Plenary sessions and some other sessions at the gathering will be webcast in a joint effort of the denomination’s Congregational Life Ministries, Bethany Seminary, and the district. Plenary sessions will be led by Annual Conference moderator Shawn Flory Replogle and Congregational Life Ministries executive director Jonathan Shively. Continuing education units (CEUs) are available for those who view the events live--no recordings will qualify. The CEU fee is currently being waived for webcast events in October and November. To obtain credit, submit an online CEU request following a webcast to the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership at For the detailed schedule of webcasts go to

  • The inauguration of Michael P. Schneider as the 14th president of McPherson (Kan.) College will be held on Nov. 7 at 2 p.m. Go to for more details.

  • An International Day of Climate Action is being organized with the help of a number of faith communities, focusing attention on new scientific data about the pace of climate change. The major day for activities is Oct. 24. In one example, the Episcopal Church will hold bell ringings and is sponsoring a postcard campaign to call for a fair climate treaty when world leaders gather in Copenhagen in December. More information about the effort is available at, named for the 350 parts per million considered to be the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in earth's atmosphere.

  • Church World Service and a coalition of other faith groups are supporting this week’s 2009 Media Violence Fast. The focus is the impact of anti-immigrant hate speech in the media. The initiative signs up thousands of people from across the nation to consciously abstain from violence on television and radio, at least for one week. Join at
Source: 10/22/2009 Newsline Special Report

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