Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Brethren bits: Correction, remembrances, personnel, jobs, disaster giving, more.
  • Correction: The Newsline report from the Mission and Ministry Board meeting omitted the board's appointment of Melissa Bennett to a second term of service on the Committee on Interchurch Relations.

  • Remembrance: Mildred Grimley of Ephrata (Pa.) Manor died on March 21. She and her late husband John Grimley, who died on Sept. 17, 1997, served 21 years as Church of the Brethren missionaries in Nigeria. She also was the author of several books including Children of the Bush Country (Brethren Press, 1959) and Mattie Loves All (Brethren Press, 1985). She is survived by her daughters Milly (Phil) Kruper, Joane (Ron) Eby, Peg Grimley, and son, John (Iris Brower) Grimley. The funeral was held on March 27 at Akron (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. Memorial contributions are received to Akron Church of the Brethren.

  • Remembrance: Elizabeth 'Dianne' Morningstar, 65, composer of the music for the hymn, "For We Are Strangers No More" (#322 in "Hymnal: A Worship Book"), died on March 22 at Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center after a 10-year journey with metastatic melanoma. She was born April 30, 1944, in Timberville, Va., a daughter of Paul H. and Anna Crist Huffman, who both survive her.She is also survived by her daughter, Amy Rist (Brian) Korsun, and a granddaughter. As a young adult she served as organist at Timberville (Va.) Church of the Brethren. She earned a degree in Music Education at Bridgewater (Va.) College and later entered the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, Ill., and pursued postgraduate study at Westminster Choir College, Princeton, N.J. She held teaching positions in Illinois at Glen Ellyn High School and at Elmhurst College, and was director of the Bethany Theological Seminary Choir. In Pennsylvania, she taught at Elizabethtown High School and Messiah College. She was a published hymn-writer and church music clinician. In 1999 she was honored by the National Association of Performing Arts Educators as guest clinician and performer at the Winter Choral Festival at Carnegie Hall. For 27 years she was minister of music at Trinity United Methodist Church in New Cumberland, Pa. Memorial contributions are received by Trinity United Methodist Church or Timberville Church of the Brethren.

  • Mary Osborne will begin a one-year internship in the Brethren Historical Library and Archives on Aug. 16. She currently is completing two degrees at Indiana University--a master of Library Science and a master of arts in Public History--and works for the Indiana Historical Bureau assisting with historical marker applications. Previously she served an internship with the Indiana Historical Society.

  • The Church of the Brethren seeks candidates for the new position of website producer. The website producer oversees the Church of the Brethren website, and seeks ways to build community through the church's web presence. Candidates should have the relational skills to collaborate with other individuals and organizations within the Church of the Brethren, the technical skills to work closely with the website vendor, the organizational skills to manage complex projects, and the communication skills to create and oversee the content of the website. The position is based at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., and strong preference will be given to an active member of the Church of the Brethren. Request a copy of the position description and application from the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120-1694; 800-323-8039 ext. 258;

  • The Church of the Brethren seeks candidates for the position of director of Interpretation. The director of Interpretation communicates the mission and ministry of the church using a variety of media including web, e-mail, print, and graphic display. This person writes extensively, serving the needs of both the Communication Team and the Stewardship and Donor Development Team. Candidates should have a deep understanding of the Church of the Brethren, experience with the denominational scope of the church's identity and ministries, superior skills in writing and editing, and experience with digital media. The position is based at the church's General Offices in Elgin, Ill., and strong preference will be given to an active member of the Church of the Brethren. Request a copy of the position description and application from the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120-1694; 800-323-8039 ext. 258;

  • The Church of the Brethren seeks candidates for a coordinator of Donor Invitation. The position will serve as part of the stewardship and donor development team, building relationship and inviting participation in Church of the Brethren mission and ministries through electronic and traditional communication strategies. This work will require the applicant to be a "team player" working closely with the communications staff toward a consistent Brethren voice. Also desired are above average Internet communication experience, experience with CONVIO if possible, as well as excellent writing abilities that are at once inspirational, motivational, and invitational. The position is expected to be full-time and located at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The position is open until filled. Request a copy of the position description and application packet from the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120-1694; 800-323-8039 ext. 258;

  • The Church of the Brethren's Material Resources program is seeking volunteers at its warehouse facilities at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. "Due to the AMAZING response we have had for kits to be sent to Haiti, Material Resources is in need of volunteers and are now scheduling for the month of April," said an announcement. "We welcome any help age 18 and older. Benefits of volunteering are not only the joy of giving but if you work a full day (six hours) lunch is provided at no cost." Youth ages 14-18 also can volunteer, but must come with supervision. A typical volunteer work day is Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., but volunteers can set their own hours within that time frame. The program will take groups as small as one person and as large as 25. Call Terry Riley at 410-635-8794 to schedule a volunteer opportunity.

  • Gifts to the Church of the Brethren's Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) this year have now exceeded $1 million. The total given to the EDF from Jan. 1 through March 31 comes to $1,028,759--a huge jump in disaster relief giving compared to the $74,840 received by the fund during the same period in 2009.

  • The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, jointly funded by the Church of the Brethren and Bethany Theological Seminary, is offering a new series of Lilly Endowment Inc. funded educational experiences for Church of the Brethren pastors. New cohort groups will be started in August for the Advanced Foundations for Church Leaders program, and in September for the Vital Pastor program. While open to all ordained pastors who have not previously participated in the SPE program, special invitations will be extended to pastors who have served congregations for 2-10 years. Contact Linda and Glenn Timmons at Bethany Seminary, 800-287-8822 or or or

  • The once-a-decade Religion Communication Congress begins today in Chicago. RCCongress 2010 is held on the theme, "Embracing Change, Communicating Faith in Today's World." The Church of the Brethren is one of the cooperating organizations, with youth director Becky Ullom on the planning committee, and former denominational staff Stewart M. Hoover as one of the presenters. Hoover, professor of Media Studies in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder, is co-leader for the opening seminar on "Global Media, Global Religion: Research on Popular Media and the Remaking of Religions." Go to for more.

  • Shiloh Church of the Brethren near Kasson, W. Va., which lost its church building to a fire on Jan. 3, reports that the congregation has received a "string of blessings." Pastor Garry Clem's comments came in an e-mail to the denominational communication staff. Blessings include a local contractor who cleaned up the site without charge. "We had a wrap up meeting with our contractor, architect, and the company that is going to build our building yesterday, March 23, and all our plans are now in place," Clem wrote. "We are hoping to get into our new building by the end of summer or early fall." He also expressed appreciation to the church members, writing: "We are able to build so quickly because of the total cooperation of the congregation.... Our council meetings have progressed with a spirit of cooperation and the determination to move forward." A shortfall in insurance coverage of about $75,000 "is being made up by the generosity of people all across the country," he added. "To this point we have had contributions from 11 Churches of the Brethren, 18 donations from churches of other denominations, two businesses, and 60 individuals." Donations include 80 copies of the old red Brethren Hymnal from Brethren Press, which was specially requested by the congregation.

  • The Church of the Brethren's Southern Pennsylvania District has a work project scheduled in the Dominican Republic on April 13-20, working with members of Mendoza Haitian Church of the Brethren as they continue work building a second floor to the church building.

  • The annual Sounds of the Mountains Festival at Camp Bethel in Fincastle, Va., will be held on April 16-17 featuring the musical talents of Bill Harley, Beth Horner, Kevin Kling, and Acoustic Endeavors. Tickets, schedule, and more are at

  • The board of directors of the Indianapolis Peace Institute (formerly Indianapolis Peace House) has announced that it has discontinued on-site student programming. The program is a six-year-old inner-city collaboration of Indiana's three historic peace colleges. "The economic downturn has put an unbearable burden on the nonprofit project of Earlham, Goshen, and Manchester colleges," said a release. The institute provided an innovative urban service learning opportunity for students interested in peace-building. Over the six years, institute students contributed almost 22,200 volunteer hours to some 100 community organizations. The board has placed its 6,500-square-foot, four-level historic structure in the Old Northside neighborhood of Indianapolis on the market. The institute opened in 2004, and generous funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. supported peace studies initiatives on the three campuses as well as creation of the institute.

  • Two Bridgewater (Va.) College alumni will be honored at an annual Alumni Weekend celebration on April 16-18: Samuel H. Flora Jr. and Gerald W. Roller will receive the 2010 Ripples Society Medals. The Ripples Society comprises alumni who graduated from the college 50 or more years ago. Flora is honored for his role as peacemaker, extending back to 1944-46 when he was pastor of North Baltimore (Md.) Church of the Brethren, a small group expelled from a larger congregation in a theological disagreement. During a lengthy career as a pastor he also was on several district boards including the Shenandoah District Board, moderated the Second Virginia District Conference, was a member of the Annual Conference Standing Committee, and was involved on the committee that purchased and developed Brethren Woods. Roller, a physician, is recognized for his life devoted to medicine. "His was one of the first medical offices in Roanoke to have a single, desegregated waiting room, reflecting his commitment to and support of equality," the announcement said. He is a member of the Church of the Brethren and has served on many local and Virlina District committees, and was district moderator in the 1970s. Since retirement, he and his wife have been medical consultants to the Church of the Brethren Nigeria mission five times since 2000. They also have led marriage-strengthening seminars and retreats both in the US and Nigeria.

  • Bridgewater College also has announced the establishment of two new academic chairs and a science institute. The A. LeRoy and Wanda Harmon Baker Chair of Science honors the couple's contributions to science, society, the community, and the college, and their commitment to education. The late A. LeRoy Baker, who graduated from Bridgewater in 1961, was a prominent national leader in the development of recombinant DNA technology for human health care applications. Wanda Harmon Baker, who also graduated from Bridgewater in 1961, was present at the Founder's Day ceremony for the announcement of the establishment of the chair. The John W. Martin Summer Science Research Institute has been established to honor the late Bridgewater professor and his expertise as a teacher and exceptional caring and mentoring for students. He taught chemistry at the college from 1961-85. The William Thomas Chair of Humane Letters was established to honor the late William W. Thomas, class of 1954, who bequeathed nearly $2 million to the college through his will. He was a professor of philosophy and religion at James Madison University from 1971-97.

  • Ellen Catlett and Bill Wantz have joined the board of directors at Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in Boonsboro, Md. Catlett is a retired registered nurse from Fairplay, Md., and a member of Grossnickle Church of Brethren in Myersville, Md., and an associate member of First Christian Church in Hagerstown, Md. Wantz of Hagerstown practices law in Washington County.

  • For four consecutive years, "Brethren Voices"--the community television program of Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren--has produced programs featuring interviews with Annual Conference moderators. Shawn Flory Replogle, 2010 moderator, is interviewed in the April edition. In the program, Replogle shares about some experiences while serving in Brethren Volunteer Service from 1992-94 that have changed his life, discusses his thoughts about being the moderator as well as his hopes and goals, and shares his perceptions of the needs of the various generations that today make up the Church of the Brethren. For more information about "Brethren Voices" contact Ed Groff at Copies are available from Peace Church for a donation of $8. The May edition of "Brethren Voices" will feature storytellers from the annual Song and Story Fest family camp co-sponsored by On Earth Peace.

  • The New Community Project has given a grant of just over $25,000 to programs in Nimule and Narus, Sudan. The majority of the funds will support girls' education, women's tailoring and gardening projects, and a reforestation initiative partnering with the Girl Child Education and Development Association. A portion of the funds sent to Nimule were donated by Northview Church of the Brethren in Indianapolis, in honor of the late Phil and Louise Rieman, former pastors and long-time advocates for Sudan. In Narus, a smaller grant will support girls' education in a Toposa community partnering with the Sudan Council of Churches. This summer, the New Community Project also plans to send solidarity workers to Sudan for the fourth year of the program, with volunteers to be stationed in Nimule and assisting in schools, with women's programs and with the reforestation effort. A Learning Tour to Sudan is set for February 2011. For more information, contact

  • The 2010 Earth Day Sunday Resource from the National Council of Churches, "Sacred Spaces and an Abundant Life: Worship Spaces as Stewardship," is available to download from The resource is intended to empower congregations to practice stewardship of their sacred spaces by providing practical ideas to help conserve energy, reduce toxic materials and products, and conserve water and land. It includes worship resources and study guides to reflect on God's call to care for creation. Earth Day Sunday this year is scheduled for April 18.

  • The National Council of Churches is calling for a common Easter date, after this year's celebration was observed on April 4 in all Christian traditions. Most years, Easter is celebrated on different dates in western and most Orthodox churches because of ancient discrepancies in calculating the calendar. In a letter to member communions, NCC general secretary Michael Kinnamon and Antonios Kireopoulos, senior program director for Faith and Order and Interfaith Relations, lamented the fact that "almost every year the Christian community is divided over which day to proclaim this Good News. Our split, based on a dispute having to do with ancient calendars, visibly betrays the message of reconciliation." The letter proposes continued movement toward a common Easter date based on the recommendations of the Aleppo Conference of 1997, to adhere to the decision of the first ecumenical council at Nicea to celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox, thus maintaining the biblical association between Jesus' death and Passover.

  • Church World Service (CWS) has become a founding member of the new ACT Alliance, one of the world's largest humanitarian bodies. The new alliance includes more than 100 member churches and church-based humanitarian groups working in 125 countries with a combined operating budget of $1.5 billion. The new alliance combines the former ACT International (est. 1995), which focused on longtime disaster relief and rehabilitation with the former ACT Development, which focused on sustainable development and further expands its work to include advocacy. Alliance members retain individual identities while working collaboratively.
Source: 4/7/2010 Newsline

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