Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Brethren bits: Personnel, jobs, economy letter, flu resource, and more.
  • Camp Swatara has announced a program coordinator staff change. Natasha Stern has ended her service as program coordinator as of Sept. 30. She has served in this position for the last two years. On Oct. 12, Aaron Ross will begin as the new program coordinator at Camp Swatara. Ross has spent the last three summers on the program staff at the camp and has been a student at Millersville University.

  • The New Windsor (Md.) Conference Center is welcoming Maxine and Wade Gibbons of Denver, Colo., as volunteer hosts for the Old Main building in October and November.

  • Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., seeks applicants for a faculty position in Brethren Studies. The seminary invites applications for a three-year renewable part-time faculty position beginning Fall 2010. A candidate holding a PhD degree is preferred; ABD will be considered. The appointee will be expected to teach two graduate-level courses per year (at least one as an online offering), and offer one academy-level course biennially. Other duties will include student advising and the supervision of MA theses in the area of Brethren Studies as needed. The area of expertise and research may come from a variety of fields, such as historical studies, theological studies, Brethren heritage, or sociology and religion. Commitment to the values and theological emphases within the Church of the Brethren is essential. The seminary encourages applications from women, minorities, and persons with disabilities. The application deadline is Dec. 1. More information is available online at To appply, send a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and names and contact information for three references to Brethren Studies Search, Attn: Dean’s Office, Bethany Theological Seminary, 615 National Rd. West, Richmond, IN 47374; .

  • Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) seeks a director of Financial Operations to fill a fulltime salaried position based in Elgin, Ill. BBT is a nonprofit agency of the Church of the Brethren that provides pension, insurance, foundation, and credit union services for 6,000 members and clients nationwide. The primary responsibility of the position is to direct the accounting operations of BBT, insuring an accurate reflection of its financial position through reporting and interpretation of financial information. In addition, the director is responsible to design, implement, and maintain systems as they affect financial reporting in order to provide management with timely and accurate information; direct all activities related to the supervision of Finance staff; assist staff in planning, operating, and controlling financial operations; direct reporting for the accounting of all entities under BBT; direct planning and budget activities; direct, prepare, and file all required tax returns and communication with the Internal Revenue Service; travel to board meetings and other events as appropriate. Knowledge and experience required includes a graduate degree in accounting, business, or related field, along with advanced certifications or degrees such as CPA or MBA; eight years of experience in finance, administration, and personnel supervision, preferably for not-for-profit organizations; with strong knowledge of accounting systems and business planning desired; current and active membership in the Church of the Brethren preferred; current and active membership in a faith community required. Salary is competitive with Church Benefits Association agencies of comparable size and scope of services. Full benefits package is included. Apply as soon as possible by sending a letter of interest, resume, three references (one supervisor, one colleague, one friend), and salary-range expectation to Donna March, 1505 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; For questions call 847-622-3371. For more about BBT see

  • The Church of the Brethren seeks a coordinator of online gift invitation to fill a fulltime position in the Stewardship and Donor Development department, working at the church’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Starting date is Dec. 1 or as negotiated. A position description and application form are available on request. Responsibilities include promotiong and securing of online gifts to support ministries of the Church of the Brethren; working with multiple areas to develop and follow a comprehensive plan for e-community building and online giving; working with outside contractors if necessary for e-mail communications and to streamline online giving systems; working collegially with Brethren Press and communications staff on electronic media messages; developing and maintaining the Stewardship and Donor Development website pages and other web-based donor communication and gift invitation activities. Qualifications include public relations or customer service experience; familiarity with web-based communications (Convio database preferred); commitment to Church of the Brethren goals and objectives; positive, affirming, collaborative style of team participation; membership in the Church of the Brethren preferred. Required education and experience include a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience. Contact the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120-1694; or 800-323-8039 ext. 258.

  • The Church of the Brethren’s Inter-Agency Forum, made up of executives of the four Annual Conference agencies, has released a pastoral letter on the economy. The letter signed jointly by Church of the Brethren general secretary Stan Noffsinger, Bethany Theological Seminary president Ruthann Knechel Johansen, Brethren Benefit Trust president Nevin Dulabaum, and On Earth Peace executive director Bob Gross, was distributed by e-mail to Brethren congregations, pastors, districts, and denominational staff. "The economic crisis we are experiencing this year continues to demand attention from all levels of the church," the letter says in part. "We have been led during this particular crisis to review the bigger issues and to refocus our life and work together to move beyond fear to a renewed emphasis on our spiritual gifts and strengths.... We have been heartened to remember particular gifts that we believe God has given to the Brethren--gifts that may help us move forward with energy, vitality, and vision for our faith and the work of Christ in the world." The letter invites the church to join in considering a list of eight Brethren gifts, such as "courage, and a radical commitment to Jesus Christ," and "the study of scripture in community." The full text of the letter is available at linked to an index page of a number of related resources offered by the agencies.

  • An upgrade has been completed for "Find a Church" at The tool allows visitors to search for a Church of the Brethren congregation. New features include options to search by proximity by entering the first three numbers of a zip code; to search by district by choosing one of the 23 Church of the Brethren districts from a drop-down box; and to use a "new search" button that clears all previously entered information. Go to and click on the link to "Find a Church" at the top of the page.

  • Caring Ministries staff are recommending a government website that offers helpful advice for churches concerned about the flu. Heddie Sumner, a member of the Older Adult and Disability Ministry cabinets, has provided the recommendation. The site offers a document on the H1N1 flu with sections on what organizations can do to help people stay healthy, suggestions for reducing the spread of flu at religious meetings and gatherings, child and youth programs, vaccine distribution, vulnerable populations, and more. Also at is a Church of the Brethren document with suggestions for congregations in the event of a serious pandemic.

  • Brethren in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia have created a tax-exempt enterprise called the John Kline Homestead to preserve the house and other historic buildings on the original farm of Elder John Kline, a Brethren leader and peace martyr during the Civil War era. The homestead is in Broadway, Va. "If we do not purchase the property by Dec. 31, 2009, we will lose the opportunity to preserve the homestead as a Brethren heritage center to share the legacy of Elder John Kline’s life and ministry," reports a bulletin insert that is being made available about the effort. The group has set up a "Rescue Fund" that has received about $150,000 in gifts and pledges toward the needed $425,000 to purchase the house and one acre of property. The nearby Linville Creek Church of the Brethren has given $60,000, and pastor Paul Roth is a leading member of the preservation effort. In a related event, Bridgewater (Va.) Church of the Brethren is hosting a benefit performance of the play "The Final Journey of John Kline," on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m. The play was written by Lee Krahenbuhl for the 1997 John Kline Bicentennial, and is performed by the New Millennium Players of Everett (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. An online photo album of the John Kline Homestead is available at . For more information contact the John Kline Homestead Rescue Fund, P.O. Box 274, Broadway, VA 22815; or go to .

  • Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in Boonsboro, Md., has unveiled a newly designed website. The website designed by InfoPathways Inc. in Westminster, Md., features an extensive list of services, multiple event calendars, rotating photographs, an online employment application, and more. Go to

  • Enrollment has reached a record high at McPherson (Kan.) College this fall. A release from the college announced that the enrollment of 542 fulltime students represents a number that has not been surpassed at the college since the late ’60s. "The college has been on a steady increase since 2003 when full-time enrollment was at 386," the release said. "The swift increase in enrollment can be attributed to two key factors--recruitment and retention.... Spring to fall retention was 88 percent, the highest McPherson College has seen in over 15 years."

  • The New Community Project is lead organizer for the One Mile Challenge, an initiative to encourage non-car forms of transportation for shorter daily trips. "In the United States, 25 percent of all travel is under two miles in length, and these short trips are the most environmentally harmful as emissions are at their worst in the first few minutes of vehicle operation," said a release from director David Radcliff. The challenge was launched on Oct. 3 in Harrisonburg, Va., with the hope that other communities will follow the city's example in promoting alternative transportation. Go to for more information.
Source: 10/7/2009 Newsline

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