Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Personnel, curriculum writers, Ministry Summer Service, and much more.
  • Juniata College president Thomas R. Kepple Jr. has agreed to extend his current employment contract through May 2013. Juniata is a Church of the Brethren-related school in Huntingdon, Pa. Kepple was scheduled to retire in May 2011. In addition, the contracts of Kepple's senior management team--James Lakso, provost, and John Hille, executive vice president of enrollment and retention--also have been extended. Kepple arrived at Juniata from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was vice president for business and community from 1989-98. Previously, at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., he served as director of administrative services 1975-81, dean of administrative services 1981-86, and provost 1986-89. He holds a bachelor's degree in business and economics from Westminster College, and a master's degree in business administration and a doctorate in education from Syracuse University.

  • 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.

  • Applications for the 2010 Ministry Summer Service program are due Feb. 1. Ministry Summer Service is a leadership development program for college students in the Church of the Brethren. Students accepted into the program will spend 10 weeks of the summer working in the church, either in a local congregation, a district office, a camp, or a denominational program. "Through MSS, God is calling congregations to reach out in the ministry of teaching and receiving. God is calling young adults to explore the possibility of church work as their vocation," said an announcement. Students will receive a $2,500 tuition grant, food and housing for 10 weeks, $100 per month spending money, transportation from orientation to their placement, and transportation from their placement to home. Churches who host a student are expected to provide an atmosphere for learning, reflection, and development of leadership skills; a setting for a student to engage in ministry and service for a 10-week period; a stipend of $100 a month, plus room and board, transportation on the job, and travel of the intern from orientation to the placement site; a structure for planning, developing, and implementing ministry projects in a variety of areas; and financial resources and time for the pastor or a mentor to attend two days of orientation. Students and congregations must apply by Feb. 1, 2010. Go to for the application form and more information.

  • "The brochure for the 2010 workcamps has arrived!" says an announcement from the Youth and Young Adult Office of the Church of the Brethren. "In a National Youth Conference year, most workcamps offered are for junior high youth but there are still options for senior high youth, including an intergenerational workcamp co-led by On Earth Peace and the 'We Are Able' workcamp co-sponsored by Caring Ministries." In addition, a young adult workcamp in Haiti is scheduled for the end of May. Registration opens Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. central time. For more information or to request a brochure, go to or contact or 800-323-8039 ext. 286.

  • On Earth Peace continues to receive applications for its annual Middle East Delegation, which will travel to Israel and Palestine on Jan. 5-18, 2010. The delegation is co-sponsored by Christian Peacemaker Teams. "Are you ready for the trip of a lifetime?" asks an announcement. "This is not a typical guided tour of the Holy Land. It is a journey in faith and forgiveness. Meet the ordinary Israelis and Palestinians who are seeking to come together for peace." For more information go to or contact delegation leader and On Earth Peace executive director Bob Gross at or 260-982-7751.

  • On Earth Peace is inviting young adult artists and graphic artists affiliated with the Church of the Brethren to submit a design for the an annual report poster. Each year, On Earth Peace designs a poster, with the annual report appearing on the back. "However, it is the poster on the front side that (people) tend to look forward to the most!" said the announcement. "Some posters remain relevant and popular for years, encouraging peace." The theme for the 2010-11 poster is taken from Jeremiah 29: 4-7 and 10-11, with a focus on verse 11: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Submissions must be high-resolution electronic submissions only; able to be reproduced on a 22 inch by 17 inch poster; with the scriptural theme (Jer. 29:11) written out. Submissions with the additional verses also are welcomed. Submissions should include the artist's contact information (telephone and e-mail). An award/honorarium of $300 is given to the artist of the poster selected. Eligibility: artists age 18-35 years, affiliated with the Church of the Brethren (through a congregation, church-related college, or family connection). Deadline for submissions is Dec. 31. Send submissions and questions to Gimbiya Kettering Lim, On Earth Peace communications coordinator, at or 202-289-6341. For more information go to

  • Church of the Brethren general secretary Stan Noffsinger was one of more than 40 American faith leaders to sign a letter calling for Congress to do everything in its power to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The letter sponsored by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) states in part, "Guantanamo is the symbol of our country's violation of our deepest values. Regardless of how it is operated now compared to how it was operated in earlier years, it stands, in the minds of hundreds of millions of people in our nation and around the globe, as a place where America broke faith with itself and used torture as an interrogation technique."

  • NRCAT is offering two resources for congregations and clergy this winter: "Advent 2009: Resources for Christian Clergy" gives worship resources for clergy to address the issue of torture during this Advent season, a free download is at A "300 in 30" campaign aims to recruit 300 congregations in at least 30 states to view and study a 20-minute video about torture, titled "Ending US-Sponsored Torture Forever," between now and April 1, 2010. The video can be viewed online, ordered for $5 in DVD format, or downloaded as an .m4v file. Discussion guides, online help for facilitators of congregational discussions of torture, and other resources are provided as part of the campaign. Go to

  • New from Brethren Press is the Winter quarter's "A Guide for Biblical Studies," the Brethren Bible study curriculum for adults. "Christ, the Fulfillment" is written by Chris Bowman, pastor of Oakton Church of the Brethren in Vienna, Va. The study focuses on Jesus' coming as the Messiah, and how he fulfills Old Testament prophecies. The study includes a daily scripture and a weekly lesson for the quarter, and questions for individual preparation and classroom use. Order from Brethren Press for $4 per copy, or $6.95 for large print, plus shipping and handling. Call 800-441-3712.

  • "Footprints" (formerly the Eastern Regional Youth Conference) will be held Nov. 20-22 in Chambersburg, Pa. David Radcliff, director of the New Community Project, will be the keynote speaker. "This year it has a brand new look and a new name," said an announcement of the event. "The title comes from the idea that each of us is on a journey. Our footprints are taking us in new and exciting directions as each of us strives, in our own way, to follow in the footsteps of Christ." The event will include workshops and a service project. Cost is $125 for youth and advisors. Contact Karen Duhai at 814-643-0601 or

  • Bethel Ministries, a nonprofit faith-based program connected with Mountain View Church of the Brethren in Boise, Idaho, helps men leaving incarceration change their lives to become law-abiding, productive members of society. The ministry is holding its 2009 Graduation and Resident Testimonials Banquet on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. at the church. "You are invited to join us for a wonderful evening of celebration and praise!" said the announcement. "A unique opportunity to hear what God has accomplished through Jesus Christ, not only for the graduating Bethel residents but also our community." The guest speaker is Michael Johnson, a deputy warden at Idaho Maximum Security Institution. Contact or 208-345-5988.

  • Sunnyslope Brethren/United Church of Christ in Wenatchee, Wash., held its first "Harvest Celebration" on Oct. 11, celebrating a year of sponsoring a growing project with the Foods Resource Bank. The Church of the Brethren participates with the Foods Resource Bank through the Global Food Crisis Fund. The Sunnyslope growing project supports the Totonicapan Program in Guatemala.

  • The John Kline Homestead Preservation Trust has received statements of support from the Broadway (Va.) Town Council and the Shenandoah District Board. Paul Roth, a leader in the effort and pastor of the nearby Linville Creek Church of the Brethren, reported that the district board expressed "unanimous affirmation of support" for raising funds to purchase the homestead. "We hold in the highest esteem your efforts to preserve what may be the most important historical preservation project ever undertaken on behalf of the Brethren," the statement said. "Elder John Kline certainly stood for and lived the very principles that we still hold in highest regard. For that reason alone this undertaking is one that will, Lord willing, provide education to the young and old of our denomination and valley for many years to come." The John Kline Homestead Preservation Trust has been created in hopes of preserving the home of Elder John Kline, a Civil War-era Brethren leader and peace martyr. At the end of October, the trust received a check for $3,250 from the Margaret Grattan Weaver Foundation in Harrisonburg, Va., which supports preservation of the religious heritage of the Shenandoah Valley. Brethren across Shenandoah District are raising funds for the John Kline Homestead at a Spaghetti Supper Extravaganza on Dec. 11 at Briery Branch Church of the Brethren in Dayton, Va. "Momentum is building!" Roth said "We have raised over 50 percent of the money for our goal of $425,000. Gifts and pledges thus far total over $215,000."

  • Shenandoah District senior high youth will participate in a "30-Hour Famine" at Dayton (Va) Church of the Brethren on Nov. 20-21. The event raises awareness of hunger and poverty.

  • Members of Lower Deer Creek Church of the Brethren in Camden, Ind., have been having fun with a food collection project called "Raise the Turkey, Hide the Pastor." The church is collecting food for the Carroll County Food Pantry, and stacking it in front of the pulpit with the goal of eventually hiding pastor Guy Studebaker.

  • South Waterloo (Iowa) Church of the Brethren has a new website:

  • WFMY News 2 in North Carolina reports that a rural area of about 2,300 acres in southwest Forsyth County with ties to Fraternity Church of the Brethren and Hope Moravian Church is "one step closer to becoming a national historic rural district." The station reports that the North Carolina National Register Advisory Committee agreed on Oct. 8 to put the historic rural district application for the Hope-Fraternity area on the North Carolina Study List, a step toward National Register recognition. See the story at

  • Virlina District in October delivered about 650 pounds of Gift of the Heart Kits for disaster relief to the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The district collects clean-up buckets, hygiene kits, school kits, or other kits donated by congregations at its District Resource Center.

  • The 25th annual Brethren Heritage Day held at Camp Bethel near Fincastle, Va., netted $30,769.91 in support of ministries of the camp and Virlina District.

  • Brethren Village, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in Lancaster, Pa., has opened its new Courtyards and Welcome Center, according to the "Lancaster Intelligencer Journal." The new facilities include 120 private rooms in a home-like environment. A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 8 featured Atlantic Northeast District executive minister Craig Smith as the keynote speaker.

  • Brethren Village has announced the appointment of board members F. Barry Shaw of Elizabethtown, Pa., who was appointed chair of the Board of Directors; along with Douglas F. Deihm and Alan R. Over, both from Lancaster, Pa.

  • Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., and Parkview Health Systems have announced a collaboration on the college's new School of Pharmacy campus in central Fort Wayne, Ind. In 2012, the college will assume the Fort Wayne Cardiology building on Parkview Health's Randallia campus, according to a release from the college. The release added that Manchester will now focus on hiring a dean for the new campus, carrying out the extensive pre-accreditation process for a School of Pharmacy, and raising $10 million in start-up costs. Manchester expects to enroll 265 students into the School of Pharmacy, with 30 faculty and 10 staff members.

  • In more new from Manchester, the leader of the college's environmental studies, Jerry Sweeten, will be honored in Washington, D.C., as the 2009 Indiana Professor of the Year on Nov. 19. Sweeten and his family attend North Manchester (Ind.) Church of the Brethren. He is among 38 state winners being honored, along with the 2009 US Professor of the Year. The award is given by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Sweeten is the second member of the Manchester College faculty to receive the award; art professor emeritus James R.C. Adams was the 2002 US Professor of the Year.

  • Nathan H. Miller, an attorney and businessman from Harrisonburg, Va., has been named chair of the Bridgewater (Va.) College Board of Trustees. Miller also is a former representative to the Virginia House of Delegates from 1972-75, and a former state senator from 1976-83. He replaces outgoing chairman James L. Keeler of Moneta, Va.

  • Bridgewater College has announced two major construction projects, one of which will improve two existing student residence halls and another which will provide new village-style student housing. The first phase of both projects will get under way in Feb.-March 2010 and be completed by August, in time for the 2010-11 academic year.

  • The November edition of "Brethren Voices," the monthly community television program offered by Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren, utilized seven photographic sources for the half-hour show about the International Day of Prayer for Peace. Photos and video segments were submitted by congregations from as far away as Philadelphia to San Diego. "This seemed to exemplify the opportunities that exist for this Brethren community television program," said producer Ed Groff in an invitation for other Brethren congregations to submit photos or video. "Brethren Voices is requesting video footage or photographs and stories about your experiences as a volunteer with Brethren Disaster Ministries or your congregation's involvement with Heifer International," Groff wrote. The December show will feature the work of Brethren Disaster Ministries, along with an interview with director Roy Winter. The January program will take a look at the Heifer International Global Village at Camp Shepherd Springs in Maryland. Another program in the works will feature interviews at the World Friendship Center in Hiroshima, Japan, where the directors serve through Brethren Volunteer Service. For more information contact Ed Groff at

  • Record numbers of Americans are going hungry, according to new data released by the US Department of Agriculture this week. More than one in seven, or 14.6 percent of American households, suffered from food insecurity in 2008. The 3.5 percentage point increase from 2007 is the largest one-year increase since the USDA first began publishing data. However, Bread for the World president David Beckmann commented in a release that the new data "is not surprising," as he commented on skyrocketing unemployment and the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs. "What should really shock us is that almost one in four children in our country lives on the brink of hunger," Beckmann said. According to the USDA report, in 2008, 16.7 million children, or 22.5 percent, were "food insecure"--4.2 million more than the year before. "We must make serious progress against child hunger when Congress renews child nutrition programs next year," Beckmann said. "To end hunger, our leaders need to strengthen nutrition programs and provide steady jobs that allow parents to escape the cycle of poverty and feed their families for years to come."

  • SERRV is announcing new markdowns of more than 150 items from its Fall/Winter Catalog, "just in time for holiday shopping!" The announcement assured shoppers that "while you are getting a great deal, as always, our artisans have been paid fairly and in full." SERRV is a nonprofit fair trade organization with the mission "to eradicate poverty wherever it resides by providing opportunity and support to artisans and farmers worldwide," and began as a Brethren program. For more go to

  • Tana Durnbaugh of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill., is the 2009 recipient of the Elgin-South Elgin Church Women United Human Rights Award. Her peace and justice ministry includes activities with Fox Valley Citizens for Peace and Justice and Christian Peacemaker Teams.

  • Paula Worley of Wichita, Kan., received the Young Alumni Award from McPherson (Kan.) College on Oct. 2 during Honors Convocation at homecoming. She is a family physician at GraceMed Health Clinic.

  • Virginia Meadows, director of programs at the Second Mile in State College, Pa., received the 2009 Church College Young Alumni Leadership Award from Juniata College at an Oct. 16 ceremony at the Middle Pennsylvania District Conference. She received the award for her work at Camp Blue Diamond in Petersburg, Pa., where she worked as program director from 2004-07.

  • New at is a video about the 2009 Christian Citizenship Seminar. The event was held this spring in New York City and Washington, D.C., for high school age youth to engage the issue of modern-day slavery.

Source: 11/18/2009 Newsline

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