Thursday, December 03, 2009

Correction, personnel, job openings, end-of-year giving, more
  • Correction: An incorrect post office box number was given for the John Kline Homestead Preservation Trust in a recent issue of Messenger magazine. The correct address is John Kline Homestead Preservation Trust, Linville Creek Church of the Brethren, P.O. Box 274, Broadway, Va 22815.

  • The Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc., has announced that James C. Gibbel has accepted the responsibility of assistant treasurer, filling a position formerly held by Ronald G. Lutz. Lutz had served as a volunteer for 32 years, as the primary contact person for the Brethren Encyclopedia receiving book orders and payments, managing financial matters, and reporting to the board. Gibbel is a member of the Church of the Brethren and president of Gibbel Insurance Agency in Lititz, Pa. In other volunteer leadership positions in the church he has served on the board of Brethren Benefit Trust, has been a district delegate to the Standing Committee of Annual Conference, and was chair of the Brethren Peace Fellowship Coordinating Committee. Also joining the board of the Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc. is Isaac (Ike) V. Graham, pastor of Orrville (Ohio) Grace Brethren Church and a member of Conservative Grace Brethren Churches International.

  • The New Windsor (Md.) Conference Center is thanking Alene Campbell for her service as volunteer hostess in the Old Main building for the month of November.

  • Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) seeks a manager of Pension Operations to fill a full-time salaried position based at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Functions include to manage the daily operations of the Pension Plan and assist the director of the Pension Plan and Employee Financial Services with plan administration. The scope of duties includes managing the daily operations of the Pension Plan, assisting and coordinating activity with staff associated with the pension department as needed, developing proficiency with pension software, overseeing and maintaining integrity and functioning of electronic and hardcopy records, providing direct customer service, reviewing and maintaining administrative policies and practices that support regulatory compliance. The Pension manager travels to the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, BBT Board meetings, and other denominational events as assigned. BBT is seeking a candidate with excellent communication skills who has an undergraduate degree in human resources or business. The ideal candidate will have experience and expertise in compensation and employee benefits management, with human resources and employee benefits certifications/designations a plus. Active membership in the Church of the Brethren is preferred, active membership in a faith community is required. Salary and benefits are competitive with Church Benefits Association agencies of comparable size and scope of services. A full benefits package is included. Send a letter of interest, resume, three references (one or two supervisors and one or two colleagues), and salary-range expectation to Donna March, 1505 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120 or For questions about the position, call 847-622-3371. For more information about BBT visit Interviewing will begin by Dec. 17, and the position should be filled on or after Jan. 2, 2010.

  • Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) is seeking a manager of sales for health and welfare benefits. This is a full-time salaried position in Insurance Services. The primary responsibility is to sell insurance plans and services to agencies and groups of the Church of the Brethren and to similar organizations. The scope of duties includes working with staff to develop a progressive strategic plan for the sales of all insurance products. Critical to the role is developing and maintaining relationships with those whom BBT exists to serve, which includes providing insurance consultations to both employers and employees. Sensitive to these consultations, the manager will collaborate with staff for the creation of resources and implementation of procedures to support BBT’s insurance ministry. The manager is expected to spend significant time traveling. BBT is seeking a candidate with an undergraduate degree in business, economics, or a related field of study. At least five years working in the health and welfare benefits insurance industry is expected. Willingness to develop an understanding of church insurance plans is important. The successful candidate will be a licensed Life and Health Insurance Agent or willing to become licensed. Current and active membership in the Church of the Brethren is preferred; current and active membership in a faith community is required. Salary and benefits are competitive with Church Benefits Association agencies of comparable size and scope of services. A full benefits package is included. The position will be filled as soon as possible. Send a cover letter, resume, three references (one supervisor, and two colleagues or work associates), and salary expectation to Donna March, 1505 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120 or For questions about the position, call 847-622-3371. For more information about BBT visit

  • 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 extended to Dec. 18.

  • The Church of the Brethren’s finance staff are reminding donors to postmark 2009 gifts to the church by Dec. 31. Donations must be dated and postmarked by Dec. 31 in order for the donor to receive 2009 charitable gift tax credit.

  • On Earth Peace staff member Marie Rhoades is one of the panelists at a fall program of the United Nations Sub-Committee for the Elimination of Racism of the NGO Committee on Human Rights. Rhoades is program coordinator for Peace Education for On Earth Peace. Joining her on the panel will be Sasha Simpson, a graduate of the Agape Satyagraha program of On Earth Peace and First Church of the Brethren in Harrisburg, Pa. "On Earth Peace is a participant because the sub-committee found their Agape Satyagraha (program) to fit this year's theme on ‘making a difference,’ " reported Doris Abdullah, the Church of the Brethren’s UN representative and a member of the sub-committee. The panel presentation is open to the public. It will take place Dec. 3, at 1-3:30 p.m. in the Boss Room at the UN Church Center in New York City.

  • The reverse offering from National Junior High Conference has now topped $7,000, reports Becky Ullom, director of the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Each participant in the conference received $10, made possible through a $4,000 grant from the church’s Core Ministries Fund and the office of Stewardship and Donor Development, and were invited to take the money home and increase the investment.

  • Nathan and Jennifer Hosler, mission workers with Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) have shared the following prayer requests: prayer for trauma healing for those in Maiduguri and Jos who have experienced violence, loss of life, and property; and prayer for a movement for peace. "The main training school in EYN is implementing a Peace and Reconciliation curriculum in its two programs--Diploma in Theology and Diploma in Christian Ministry--in order to train future leaders with a foundation of peace," the Hoslers report. "Please pray that the curriculum being prepared would be insightful and would equip students to be peacemakers in their contexts. Please pray for young leaders who are concerned with peace." The couple added a request for prayer for strength as they are separated from family this holiday season, and for their own health and safe travel to various events in the next few weeks--including invitations to visit the home villages of students at Kulp Bible College.

  • The SERRV Store at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., is holding a "75 Percent Off Sale" on Dec. 2-6. SERRV is a nonprofit fair-trade organization started by the Church of the Brethren, working to eradicate poverty by buying and selling crafts and food produced by low-income artisans and farmers around the world (

  • Stone Church of the Brethren in Huntingdon, Pa., celebrates its 100th Anniversary on Dec. 12-13.

  • The Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) is celebrating its 50th year. "Brethren Revival Fellowship began in 1959 as a loyal concern movement within the Church of the Brethren," report Harold S. Martin and Craig Alan Myers in an article in the "BRF Witness" newsletter. "We have been calling the church to stand firmly for the veracity of the Bible, urging Brethren not to discard her historic doctrines, and pressing for an ‘as it reads’ understanding of New Testament truth." The article goes on to review the beginnings of the movement following the 1959 Annual Conference at Ocean Grove, N.J., the specific concerns of the BRF, current activities such as publishing of the Brethren New Testament Commentary series, the service of the BRF Committee, and more. Go to or contact BRF, P.O. Box 543, Ephrata, PA 17522.

  • The first annual Brethren Colleges Abroad (BCA) International Student Conference on Divided Societies and Victimhood took place in Northern Ireland on Nov. 12-14, according to a release from Bridgewater (Va.) College. The conference was co-sponsored by AEGEE-The European Students’ Forum, the Foundation for International Education in London, the University of San Diego, and the University of Ulster. BCA organized the conference as part of its efforts to provide international education and study abroad with a focus on peace, justice and global citizenship. Founded in 1962 as a consortium of seven institutions of higher education with historic ties to the Church of the Brethren, BCA now operates academic study centers around the world for students from hundreds of US institutions of higher education.

  • The Manchester College Spartans tied for second in the Heartland conference, "our highest football conference ranking since 1968!" according to an e-mail note from college president Jo Young Switzer. Senior Chris Cecil was chosen as the conference Most Valuable Special Teams Player, in Manchester’s first-ever Most Valuable Player in football. In other news from the college in North Manchester, Ind., the public is invited to a Dec. 10 celebration of Jerry Sweeten, who has received a national honor as 2009 Indiana Professor of the Year. A program and reception will begin at 5 p.m. in Flory Auditorium.

  • "The Art of the Book," a CBS Religion Special about art and the Bible, will be broadcast on Dec. 6 (check local listings for station and time). The special is produced with the cooperation of the National Council of Churches, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Islamic Society of North America, the Union for Reform Judaism, and the New York Board of Rabbis. Featured experts are Bill Voelkle, curator of the Department of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, who reviews the 1,400 illuminated manuscripts collected by the financier Pierpont Morgan; and David Kraemer, a librarian and professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at Jewish Theological Seminary. The program also visits the new Museum of Biblical Art.

  • "A Place for All: Faith and Community for People with Disabilities" is an interfaith documentary airing on ABC-TV affiliates nationwide beginning Dec. 6. It is presented by the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission, a coalition of Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, Orthodox, and Catholic faith groups, as part of ABC’s Vision and Values series. "The issue addressed by the program is critical, as it is estimated that one out of five Americans has a disability," said National Council of Churches general secretary Michael Kinnamon, who appears in the documentary. The film features Rabbi Darby Leigh of Congregation Bnai Keshet in New Jersey and one of the handful of deaf rabbis in the world; members of a Lutheran program for "Definitely Abled Youth"; pastor Beth Lockard of Christ the King Deaf Church; and Brandon Kaplan, a boy with limited sight and speech who recently had the privilege of becoming a Bar Mitzvah.

  • The New Community Project has launched an e-mail campaign to President Obama in preparation for the United Nations Climate Change Conference on Dec. 7-18 in Copenhagen, Denmark. "We are asking folks to make their own commitments to turn down the a way of supporting a strong US position to reduce greenhouse gases (and) to show that US consumers need to take responsibility for our role in global warming," said a note from director David Radcliff. Participants pledge to take personal action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as hanging clothes to dry, or turning down the thermostat this winter. Go to

  • The logo for the 2010 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren was released this week by the Conference Office. Designed by Debbie Noffsinger, the logo illustrates the 2010 theme from John 14:15. The Conference takes place July 3-7 in Pittsburgh, Pa. A theme statement from moderator Shawn Flory Replogle is available online, go to
Source: 12/3/2009 Newsline

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