Thursday, February 25, 2010

Brethren bits: Corrections, personnel, job opening, Annual Conference, more.
  • Correction: The Conference Office is making a correction to the listed price of tickets for the McPherson College Alumni Luncheon at Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa., this July. The correct price for the McPherson luncheon is $8 per ticket. The price has been corrected for those purchasing tickets online.

  • Brethren Disaster Ministries has welcomed Jeremy McAvoy of Live Oak (Calif.) Church of the Brethren as a new Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) worker. He will be staying on campus at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., for the next few weeks learning more about Brethren Disaster Ministries and preparing for his work on disaster projects.

  • The New Windsor (Md.) Conference Center is thanking volunteer hosts Dick and Erma Foust, who return home to New Lebanon, Ohio, on Feb. 28. They served as hosts of the Old Main building for the months of January and February.

  • Shenandoah District has called Janet Elsea as a volunteer Mission Servant to help the district coordinate and share support and information between members and congregations that are joining in the denominational response to the earthquake in Haiti, and those that have long-established relationships with other mission and service efforts in Haiti. Elsea will work with a Mission Servant Advisory Team in an initial six-month process. For more information contact Janet Elsea at or 540-271-3000.

  • Tony Keck is the new food service director at Camp Alexander Mack near Milford, Ind. He is a member of Maple Grove Church of the Brethren in New Paris, Ind., and brings years of experience in the Food Service Industry. Also, Camp Mack recently welcomed Alex Bahn as a Brethren Volunteer Service worker. Bahn comes from York, Pa.

  • The Church of the Brethren’s Southeastern District seeks a district executive minister to fill a half-time position. The position can be filled by an individual or a team. The position is available Aug. 1. Southeastern District includes 41 congregations in Alabama, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and portions of North Carolina and Virginia. The churches are in rural settings, with many small congregations. The district also has two camps, one in Linville, N.C., and the other in Blountville, Tenn. The preferred candidate is someone who upholds the teachings of the New Testament and recognizes that the Bible is the inspired word of God. Responsibilities include serving as executive officer of the District Board, giving general oversight to the planning and implementation of the ministries as directed by District Conference and the District Board, providing linkages to congregations and other denominational agencies and ministries, assisting congregations and ministers with pastoral placement, encouraging pastors and congregations to have open communication and good working relationships, articulating and promoting the vision and mission of the district, facilitating and encouraging the calling and training of people to set-apart ministry and lay leadership. Qualifications include a strong personal faith expressed through membership in and commitment to the Church of the Brethren, ordination, a minimum of five years of pastoral experience, commitment to the New Testament and its values, experience in leadership development and church growth, and skills in communication, mediation, and conflict resolution. Apply by sending a letter of interest and a resume to Applicants are requested to contact three or four people who are willing to provide a letter of reference. A candidate profile must be completed and returned before the application is considered complete. The application deadline is April 12.

  • "Brethren are coming to Pittsburgh!" reports the Conference Office. As of this morning, 65 percent of hotel rooms have been reserved for the Annual Conference to be held in Pittsburgh, Pa., on July 3-7. Sold out locations include the Westin, Courtyard, and Renaissance hotels. Rooms are still available at the Omni, Marriott, and Hilton. Register at

  • The ‘early bird’ registration fee of $425 for National Youth Conference (NYC) has been extended to March 1. The fee will increase to $450 after that date. This Church of the Brethren conference for senior high youth and adult advisors will be held in Fort Collins, Colo., on July 17-22. Register by logging in to and then going to Questions should be directed to the Youth and Young Adult Office at or 800-323-8039 ext. 246.

  • The spring issue of "A Guide for Biblical Studies" is now available from Brethren Press. This quarterly Bible study for adults is one of the longest-running curricula from the Church of the Brethren publishing house. The March-May book on "Teachings on Community" is written by Eugene Roop, president emeritus of Bethany Theological Seminary. Frank Ramirez writes the "Out of Context" column. Order from Brethren Press for $4 each, or $6.95 for large print, plus shipping and handling; call 800-441-3712.

  • Nursing scholarships are available from the Church of the Brethren’s Caring Ministries. The program awards a limited number of scholarships each year to individuals enrolled in an LPN, RN, or nursing graduate program who are members of the Church of the Brethren. Scholarships of up to $2,000 for RN and graduate nurse candidates and up to $1,000 for LPN candidates will be awarded. A preference is given to new applications, and to individuals who are in their second year of an associate’s degree or third year of a baccalaureate program. Scholarship recipients are eligible for only one scholarship per degree. Applications and supporting documentation must be submitted by April 1. Candidates who are awarded scholarships will be notified in July and funds will be sent directly to the appropriate school for the Fall term. To apply, print or download the instructions and application from

  • Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., is holding a Campus Visit Day for prospective students on March 5. Register at

  • Two volunteer workshops are offered by Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) in April/May, and June. A workshop on April 30-May 1 will be held at Los Altos (Calif.) United Methodist Church (local contacts are Janice Maggiora and Patricia Parfett at 650-383-9322). Another workshop on June 11-12 will be held at Baker Memorial United Methodist Church in East Aurora, N.Y. (local contact is Rick Koch at 716-652-0500). Early registration cost is $45. Children’s Disaster Services volunteers provide a calm, safe, and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos that follows disasters by setting up and operating special child care centers in disaster locations. Workshop participants will experience a simulated shelter, sleeping on cots and eating simple meals. Once the training is completed, participants have the opportunity to become certified CDS volunteers by providing two personal references and a criminal and sexual offender background check. Workshops are open to anyone over 18 years of age. Children’s Disaster Services has been meeting the needs of children since 1980, and is a Church of the Brethren ministry. For more information contact the CDS office at 800-451-4407 ext. 5 or, or go to www.childrensdisaster

  • The Ministry of Reconciliation (MoR) is celebrating 20 years with On Earth Peace. "When limited staff and budget resources for the Church of the Brethren General Board World Ministry Commission's Peace Consultant became stretched beyond capacity, something had to give. So it was decided that the young Ministry of Reconciliation program would be handed over to the On Earth Peace Assembly. The year was 1990," explained an announcement from MoR coordinator Leslie Frye. She is requesting interested people to contact her with a "favorite MoR story or to suggest how MoR could be even better in the next 20 years." Contact

  • New from On Earth Peace and Kids as Peacemakers Inc. is a program suitable for a one-week summer camp, summer Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, or a Fall kick-off to the next year’s Christian education program. The program culminates in a Kids as Peacemakers Mural Project that invites children to envision peace and create a mural to share with their community. A faith-based curriculum accompanies the mural project, to help children connect what Jesus says about peacemaking to their own lives. The program offers five two-hour sessions that can be adapted to 10 one-hour sessions. For more information contact Marie Rhoades, On Earth Peace program coordinator for peace education, at 717-917-9392 or

  • COBYS Family Services is holding its 30th Anniversary Banquet on March 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Middle Creek Church of the Brethren in Lititz, Pa. "Jimmy Carter was president, hostages were languishing in Iran, Mount Saint Helens was spewing ash, the government was bailing out Chrysler (hmm), CBS News icon Walter Cronkite called it quits, KFC’s Colonel Sanders ate his last drumstick...and the US Olympic hockey team defeated the heavily favored Soviets in the ‘Miracle on Ice.’ With so much happening, who could have guessed that the founding of COBYS Family Services would end up being the most significant event of 1980?" said an announcement from director of development Don Fitzkee. COBYS is a family service agency with an annual budget of $3.3 million, affiliated with the Church of the Brethren’s Atlantic Northeast District. It offers adoption and foster care services, including a specialized permanency unit in Lancaster, Pa., as well as counseling, family life education, and a home for teen mothers and their children. The banquet also will commission recently named executive director Mark Cunningham. Banquet invitations with directions to Middle Creek Church are available at While there is no cost to attend, reservations are required and an opportunity to support COBYS ministries will be given. To reserve a place contact Fitzkee as soon as possible at 800-452-6517 or The registration deadline is March 4.

  • Church World Service (CWS) is seeking congregations to help assist Haitians who have been brought to the US to receive medical treatment for injuries suffered in the earthquake. Receiving communities should be prepared to make at least a three-month commitment to assist with rides (or funds for transportation) to the hospital and appointments, funds for housing and food for the accompaniers and for the medical evacuees upon release from the hospital, clothing and footwear, translation services, and emotional support. "Severely injured Haitians airlifted to US hospitals need not only urgent medical care, but also material, logistical, and social support. Church World Service has stepped forward to organize that support," said a release. CWS's affiliate Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta, Ga., has received 45 medical evacuees including their accompaniers; the CWS Durham (N.C.) Office has received five; and the CWS Miami (Fla.) Office has received 62. To ensure proper coordination, CWS asks that offers of assistance be communicated directly to its New York Office at 212-870-3300 or

  • The "Brethren Voices" program for March features the World Friendship Center in Hiroshima, Japan. BVS has provided volunteer co-directors for the World Friendship Center for 22 years. In 1964, Barbara Reynolds founded the center to serve survivors (Hibakusha) of the atom-bomb attacks. WFC also has been a witness for a peaceful world without nuclear weapons. Today, the center also provides hospitality to visitors from all over the world who come to Hiroshima and its Peace Park. "Brethren Voices" features an interview with the current BVSers serving at WFC, Ron and Barbara Siney of West Charleston Church of the Brethren in Tipp City, Ohio. Copies of this community TV program are available from Portland Peace Church of the Brethren for an $8 donation. Contact Ed Groff at

  • An upcoming event held by the Center for Parish Development is recommended by Stan Dueck, director of Transforming Practices for the Church of the Brethren. A Missional Church Convocation on July 22-24 in the Chicago area is designed to help congregations make connections between church and world. The theme is, "Contrast and Companionship: The Way of the Church with the World." Featured speaker is George Hunsberger, coordinator of the "Gospel and Our Culture Network" in North America and a past president of the American Society of Missiology. More information is at
Source: 2/25/2010 Newsline

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