- Dr. Julian Choe and Mark Zimmerman of Frederick (Md.) Church of the Brethren have received donations of more than $3,000 from members of their congregation to support a trip to Haiti to provide medical care. Accompanied by "Frederick News-Post" reporter Ron Cassie, the two flew to the DR on Jan. 22, where they were met by Dominican Brethren pastor Onelis Rivas who is now traveling with them in Haiti. Cassie has been posting regular reports and photos from the trip at www.fredericknewspost.com. His report from Port-au-Prince on Jan. 26, "Searching in vain: Bodies remain on Port-au-Prince streets; food and water not reaching those in need," can be found at www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/display.htm?storyID=100528.
- The Brethren Historical Library and Archives in Elgin, Ill., has an opening for an archival intern beginning in July. The archive is the official repository for Church of the Brethren publications and records. The one-year internship seeks to develop interest in vocations related to archives, libraries, and Brethren history. Work will include processing archival materials, writing descriptive inventories, preparing books for cataloging, responding to reference requests, and assisting researchers. For more information contact the Brethren Historical Library and Archives at email@example.com or 800-323-8039 ext. 294. To request an application packet, contact Karin Krog in the Office of Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- "Thirsting for God" by Amy S. Gall Ritchie is the annual Lenten devotional from Brethren Press. This paperback booklet offers a daily scripture and meditation for each day of Lent, and is suitable for individual use or for a congregation to provide to its members. Cost is $2.50 per copy, plus shipping and handling. Or seasonal subscribers may receive both the Lent and Advent devotional booklets for only $4 per year, plus shipping and handling. Call 800-441-3712.
- Registration for the Church of the Brethren’s 2010 workcamps opened online on Jan. 25. Go to www.brethren.org/site/PageServer?pagename=grow_youth_ministry_workcamps for registration and information about the workcamp experiences offered this summer.
- A church-wide "NYC Prayer Day" has been scheduled for June 20--the Sunday one month before National Youth Conference. "We are going to have some commissioning materials and prayers for congregations to use to ‘send’ the participants to NYC," reported coordinators Audrey Hollenberg and Emily LaPrade. Materials will be made available at www.brethren.org/site/PageServer?pagename=grow_youth_ministry_national_youth, where participants also may register for NYC online.
- The Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., has welcomed back IMA World Health staff Rick Santos, Sarla Chand, and Ann Varghese. The three received a warm welcome at the IMA offices on the center campus after a time of rest and recovery following their two days trapped in the rubble of Port-au-Prince’s Hotel Montana. For news coverage of their ordeal and return to work, read "Freed from rubble, back on the job" in the "Baltimore Sun" at www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/carroll/bal-md.ima26jan26,0,1864004.story; and "Aid workers recall ordeal in Port-Au-Prince rubble" in the "Frederick News-Post" at www.wtop.com/?nid=25&pid=0&sid=1874097&page=1.
- Bethany Theological Seminary's spring courses will include offerings especially for those interested in Brethren history or church planting. Jeff Bach, director of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies and associate professor of religious studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, will teach "History of the Church of the Brethren" at the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center in Elizabethtown. The course will meet two weekends in March and two weekends in April. Applications are due Feb. 12. Jonathan Shively, executive director of Congregational Life Ministries for the Church of the Brethren, will teach "Foundations of Church Growth" on May 17-28 at Bethany's campus in Richmond, Ind. Students also will attend the denomination’s Church Planting Conference as part of their course work. Applications are due April 17. For more visit www.bethanyseminary.edu/educational-opportunities or contact Elizabeth Keller, director of admissions, at email@example.com or 800-287-8822 ext. 1832.
- The New Windsor Conference Center on the campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., is incorporating a line of environmentally responsible products for carry out from its food service and diningroom. "After research into a variety of options and consideration of both cost and performance, we have chosen to work with a company called EarthSmart products," said a note from the Dining Services staff. The "to go" containers will be made from "bagasse," a by-product of sugarcane. Disposable cutlery will be made from plant starches including potato and corn starch. The products are compostable and biodegradable, as well as safe for use in the refrigerator, freezer, microwave, or convection ovens.
- The Church of the Brethren’s Regional Youth Conference for the plains area will be held at McPherson (Kan.) College on April 9-11 with leadership by Paul Grout, new church planter and a former Annual Conference moderator. The theme is based on John 10:10, "Fully Alive: Taking Hold of the Life that Is Really Life in Body, Mind and Spirit." Activities will include sessions studying the theme, a campus tour of McPherson College, an evening coffeehouse with table games and a jazz pianist, and Sunday morning worship with McPherson Church of the Brethren.
- The Senior High Roundtable, one of the Church of the Brethren’s regional youth conferences, will be held March 19-21 at Bridgewater (Va.) College. Senior high youth from the entire east coast region are expected to attend. The weekend will include worship, workshops, and fellowship. The theme, "Come to the Mountain," will be led by Joel and Linetta Ballew, pastor of Lebanon (Pa.) Church of the Brethren and program director at Camp Brethren Woods, respectively.
- The Polo (Ill.) Growing Project this past growing season raised $26,240 in support of agricultural programs in the developing world. Proceeds are divided between a Foods Resource Bank program in Honduras and the Church of the Brethren member account that invests in sustainable community development in a score of countries. The project is in its fifth season and is jointly supported by Polo Church of the Brethren, Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill., and Faith United Presbyterian Church in Tinley Park, Ill. Jim and Karen Schmidt head the project, with farm acreage owned by Bill and Betty Hare, all members of the Polo Church.
- Western Plains District is holding a series of installation services for its new district executive minister Sonja Griffith. Her first installation service took place Jan. 3 at her home congregation, First Central Church of the Brethren in Kansas City, Kan. Additional celebrations are to be held on Feb. 20 at 3:30 p.m. at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community Church of the Brethren; and March 6 at 2 p.m. at Bethel Church of the Brethren in Arriba, Colo.
- The Juniata College Campus Ministry is trying a new outreach activity--a concert featuring Lucio Rubino at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13, in Ellis Hall. "Lucio Rubino, one of Christian radio's top artist/writer/producers, is the main act of the show titled ‘Rockin' in a Winter Wonderland,’" reports a release from the college in Huntingdon, Pa. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Students who attend a Church of the Brethren student open house that afternoon and stay for the concert will be given a discounted rate. Tickets can be purchased by calling 814-641-3361. "This concert is something that will offer a great experience for Juniata students as well as area churches and their youth groups," said campus chaplain David Witkovsky.
- The Global Women’s Project is offering a 2010 Lenten Calendar "as a way to have a daily time of spiritual centering throughout Lent. This is also an important way for us to share our wealth with our sisters and brothers around the world who are working for empowerment and sustainability." The group is related to the Church of the Brethren. Order a calendar by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 3. Those who are interested also may receive calendar entries daily by e-mail. Go to www.globalwomensproject.org to download the daily donation log that accompanies each day's meditation.
- The National Council of Churches (NCC) is supporting a "Nationwide Faith Call-in Week for Health Care." The effort started on Jan. 25. "After decades of work, and a historic grassroots effort this year, advocates for national health care reform have come further than ever before toward enduring and meaningful change. Congress, which had reached the final stages of passing health care reform legislation, is now at a standstill," an NCC release said. "In this partisan climate people of faith and others of goodwill join together to remind Congress of the moral imperative of insuring that none of our brothers or sisters are left sick or dying due to insufficient access to quality, affordable to health care."
- In response to the Haiti earthquake, the World Council of Churches (WCC) has called on the international community to cancel Haiti's foreign debt. An "immediate and full cancellation" of Haiti's foreign debt would be "only an initial step," as Haiti needs a broader "plan to support recovery, poverty eradication, and sustainable development," said the WCC general secretary in a statement on Jan. 25. Such a plan "must be developed with the full ownership of the people of Haiti and with the support of the international community under the coordination of the United Nations.... Any financial assistance should come in the shape of grants, not loans that would burden the country with more debt," the statement said. For the full text go to www.oikoumene.org/?id=7517.
- Church World Service (CWS) on Jan. 27 called for Wall Street's financial industry leaders to tithe their bonuses for the reconstruction of Haiti. "This month's catastrophic earthquake is not only an unforgettable tragedy but a wake-up call to rich nations of the world," said executive director John L. McCullough. CWS is also urging complete forgiveness of Haiti's remaining debts. Referring to the telethon for Haiti that was held on several US television channels last weekend, McCullough noted that, "Despite a continuing tough economy, persistently high jobless rate, and the alarming increase of homeless families in the US, the American people managed to contribute to the $61 million raised." The "Bonus4Haiti" tithing call to Wall Street is available on the CWS Causes page on Facebook.
- Springs of Living Water, the congregational renewal initiative led by David and Joan Young, has been invited to conduct a seminar at the Parish Resource Center in Lancaster, Pa. The seminar will be held on March 13, from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. It will offer sessions on "Rediscovering Spiritual Disciplines," "Grounding in Servant Leadership," and "Using Spiritual Discernment to Discover Direction." Early registration (before March 5) costs $45 for subscribers to the center, or $55 for non-subscribers. Lunch is included. Contact email@example.com.
- "Brethren Voices," a community television program produced by Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren, will share the short documentary "12 Stones" by filmmaker Sandy Smolan as its February edition. This evocative film documents the work of Heifer International with women of Nepal, and their journey out of poverty to self reliance. With cinematography by Jacek Laskus and narration by Diane Lane, "12 Stones" captures the transformation the women undergo and Heifer’s mission to work with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the earth. "12 Stones" has won awards for best short documentary at the Newport Beach Film Festival and the Tallahassee Film Festival. Heifer International began as the Church of the Brethren’s Heifer Project, since then becoming an ecumenical venture receiving widespread support from many different denominations. In March, "Brethren Voices" will take viewers to Hiroshima, Japan, and a visit to the World Friendship Center where BVS volunteers have served as hosts for more than 20 years. For more about "Brethren Voices" contact producer Ed Groff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Copies of the program cost $8, with donations forwarded to Portland Peace Church of the Brethren, 12727 SE Market St., Portland, OR 97233.
- Brethren Disaster Ministries is sharing the information that eligible Haitians living in the United States on or before Jan. 12 may begin applying for Temporary Protected Status. The announcement of the special status came from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services on Jan. 21. Details and procedures for applying are provided in the US government’s online "Federal Register" publication. The special status designation for Haitians came as a result of the earthquake, and will remain in effect through July 22, 2011. It means that eligible Haitian nationals will not be deported and will be eligible to apply to work in the US. A registration period to apply ends on July 20.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Internship, Haiti relief, Lenten devotional, NYC prayer day, more.
at 8:18 PM