Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Brethren bits: One Great Hour, Annual Conference blog, and more on upcoming events.
  • March 14 is the date for the One Great Hour of Sharing offering emphasis. Gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing empower the Church of the Brethren to share the good news of Jesus Christ that strengthens people and improves lives and communities. The theme of this year's offering is "Do You Love Me? Feed My Sheep" (John 21). Related resources are available at including worship resources in English and Spanish, children's and youth activities, a dramatic interpretation of the scripture, and more. For more information contact Carol Bowman, coordinator of Stewardship Formation and Education, at 509-663-2833.

  • Shawn Flory Replogle, moderator of the 2010 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren, has been blogging about preparations for the Conference and his visits to congregations and events around the country. Find the moderator's blog at More about the schedule and online registration for the Annual Conference on July 3-7 in Pittsburgh, Pa., is at

  • On Earth Peace is offering a Agape-Satyagraha Retreat on the theme, "Peace in the City" (Jeremiah 29) to be held May 14-16 at Camp Eder in Fairfield, Pa. Youth, mentors, and site coordinators from all Agape-Satyagraha sites are coming together for a weekend of connecting with others involved in the program and deepening skill development. Registration deadline is May 5. Cost is $83 per person, with scholarships and financial aid available. Contact On Earth Peace, P.O. Box 188, 500 Main St., New Windsor, MD 21776.

  • A leadership training event in April on the topic, "Unlocking Effectiveness: Leading with Focus and Passion," is being advertised jointly by the Church of the Brethren's Area 1, the Brethren in Christ, the Evangelical Covenant Church, and the Evangelical Free Church, in collaboration with the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center that is related to Bethany Seminary. Among the leaders is Atlantic Northeast District executive minister Craig Smith. The event will be held on April 10 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Hanoverdale Church of the Brethren in Hummelstown, Pa. Cost is $39 per person, or group rates are available. Continuing education credit of 0.6 is offered for a fee. Register at or call 717-314-5809.

  • Vinton (Va.) Church of the Brethren is planning a 60th Anniversary celebration on Sunday, April 18. For more information contact the church office at 540-344-8002.

  • Church of the Brethren members of a growing project are giving impetus to a regional gathering of the Foods Resource Bank at Hempfield Church of the Brethren in Manheim, Pa., on March 22 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Brethren take part in the Foods Resource Bank through the denomination's Global Food Crisis Fund, and several congregations are involved in helping sponsor growing projects. The regional gathering will provide an opportunity to meet Foods Resource Bank president Marv Baldwin, hear stories of the organization's work, and network with other participants. Some 16 farmers from seven congregations are receiving specific invitations to the event, according to Howard Royer, manager of the Global Food Crisis Fund.

  • Camp Bethel in Fincastle, Va., holds its annual Sounds of the Mountains Story and Music Festival on April 16-17, featuring the talents of two-time Grammy winner Bill Harley, Beth Horner, Kevin Kling, and Acoustic Endeavors. Tickets, schedule, and more are at

  • Camp Pine Lake near Eldora, Iowa, is offering a "Man vs. Nature River Trip" led by pastor Tim Peter of Prairie City Church of the Brethren. Men young and old are invited for this weekend trip down the Iowa River, from May 14-16. Those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The fees is $35. Register online at or contact or 641-939-5334.

  • The annual Religious Heritage Lecture at McPherson (Kan.) College will be given by Robert Johansen on the topic, "Can Preparations for Peace Enhance Our Security in an Age of Violence?" The lecture takes place at 4 p.m. on March 14 at McPherson Church of the Brethren. Johansen is a Church of the Brethren member and senior fellow and director of Doctoral Studies, and professor of Political Science, at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind. He specializes in issues of international ethics and global governance, the United Nations and the maintenance of peace and security, and peace and world order studies. He is founding editor-in-chief of "World Policy Journal."

  • Phillip C. Stone, who will retire as president of Bridgewater (Va.) College this June after 16 years of leading the institution, is to receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Juniata College when he lectures there on March 15. He is to be on the campus of Juniata in Huntingdon, Pa., to give a lecture on Abraham Lincoln--his specialty as a historian. The lecture is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on March 15, with the conferring of the honorary degree immediately prior in the Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science.

  • The World Council of Churches (WCC) has issued a call for peace workshop proposals for the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation to take place in Jamaica in May 2011. Proposals must be submitted by March 31. The convocation marks the conclusion of the Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV). "It will be both the harvest festival of the DOV and a planting season for fresh initiatives," said an announcement from the WCC. "Reasoning" is the name given to the series of workshops that will offer an opportunity to share concrete examples of peacemaking, learn from the experience of others, and deepen reflections on the four convocation themes: Peace in the Community, Peace with the Earth, Peace in the Marketplace, and Peace among the Peoples. The workshops are intended to be a place to meet people from different regions and traditions in order to discern together how to be agents of God's transforming presence in the world. Further background information as well as a proposal form can be downloaded from

  • "Fight climate change with the flick of a switch!" says an invitation for US Christians to join in the "Earth Hour" event to take place worldwide on March 27. The invitation comes from the EcoJustice program of the National Council of Churches. "On March 27 at 8:30 p.m. local time, millions of people around the world will call for action on climate change by doing something simple--turning off their lights for one hour." Earth Hour is led by the World Wildlife Fund, with more information and resources available at
3/11/2010 Newsline Extra

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