- Correction: The Newsline of April 22 incorrectly listed Bob Gross, executive director of On Earth Peace, as helping plan the upcoming "Peace Among the Peoples" conference.
- Remembrance: Henry Barton, who served Brethren Press as a bindery helper for close to 40 years, died on April 28. He worked for the denominational publishing house in Elgin, Ill., from Feb. 1948 to his retirement in Oct. 1984. Survivors include daughter Brenda Hayward, who is the receptionist at the Church of the Brethren General Offices. The funeral service was held at Wesley United Methodist Church in Elgin on May 2. Memorials are being received to Wesley United Methodist Church or American Legion Post 57.
- Staffing changes at the New Windsor (Md.) Conference Center took effect May 3. The changes are intended "to reduce costs while also increasing efficiency," said an announcement. The housekeeping department will consist of Harry Torres, who will handle coordination with community service and volunteer agencies and programs such as the ARC of Carroll County, in addition to his current responsibilities; Christine Watson, who will take on additional responsibilities to inventory and order supplies and provide leadership when supervisors are absent; and Ella Patterson, who while continuing in her housekeeping position will be cross trained in dining services to provide assistance in each area as needed. Fay Reese has accepted a transfer to a fulltime position in dining services.
- Randy and Jill Emmelhainz of Ostrander, Ohio, have been appointed resident directors of Lybrook (N.M.) Community Ministries, beginning June 1. They will replace David and Maria Huber, whose term of service will end the last of July. Lybrook Community Ministries is related to Western Plains District and Tokahookaadi Church of the Brethren, located in a Navajo community of New Mexico. Jill Emmelhainz is working on an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) degree and has done course work in intercultural studies. Her experience in community involvement has included organizing community events and participating in a variety of community arts activities, recruiting and supporting community volunteers, producing curriculum for homeschoolers, arranging workshops for a national conference, working as a ski patroller and Outdoor Emergency Care instructor, and writing and editing newsletters. Randy Emmelhainz is completing a master’s degree in intercultural studies at Columbia (S.C.) International University. He is certified in secondary education in mathematics, has taught math and adult education computer classes, has been part-time pastor for an African Methodist Episcopal church, and has formed a small consulting business. The couple will serve through Brethren Volunteer Service.
- The Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., is extending appreciation to Brad and Bonnie Bohrer of Brook Park (Ohio) Community Church of the Brethren, who volunteered from April 20-May 5 to organize and prepare for shipment the family household kits for Haiti.
- The Church of the Brethren seeks a fulltime coordinator of donor invitation to be part of the Stewardship and Donor Development team, working at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The position builds relationship and invites participation in Church of the Brethren mission and ministries through electronic and traditional communication strategies. The applicant should be a team player, working closely with the communications staff toward a consistent Brethren message. Also desired are above average Internet communication skills, experience with CONVIO, and excellent writing ability that is inspirational, motivational, and invitational. Responsibilities include promoting and securing online and direct mail gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations; writing invitation and newsletter materials; working with staff to develop and follow a comprehensive plan for e-community building and giving invitation; work with outside contractors for e-mail campaigns, donation page site design, online giving, and/or direct mail; responding to inquiries regarding stewardship and donation concerns; serving as a website sub-administrator; developing and maintaining alumni and donor lists, contacts, and related records; representing and interpreting the stewardship concerns of the church. Desired skills and knowledge include a strong Christian faith and membership in good standing in a Church of the Brethren congregation; grounding in Brethren heritage, theology, and polity; ability to articulate and operate out of the vision, mission, and core values of the denomination; familiarity with youth and young adult culture; positive, affirming, collaborative working style; commitment to denominational and ecumenical objectives; basic knowledge of financial planning tools and estate and tax laws; communication, fundraising, public relations, or customer service experience; leadership experience at the congregational, district, or denominational level of the Church of the Brethren; experience with web-based communication and e-mail systems; a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience. The position is open until filled. Request 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; firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Church of the Brethren general secretary Stan Noffsinger has signed an ecumenical letter supporting Christians and minorities in Iraq. Leaders of the National Council of Churches from a number of Christian denominations have signed the letter of concern sent April 26 to Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense, and Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State. Christians in Iraq have suffered more than a dozen violent deaths so far this year, the NCC reported, including a three-year old child in Mosul who died on March 27 after a bomb exploded next to his home. A release link to the full text of the letter is at www.ncccusa.org/news/100427iraqchristians.html.
- Registration for summer workcamps has topped 350. "We now have a total of 361 participants in 2010 workcamps, including leaders!" said an e-mail from coordinator Jeanne Davies. Youth and Young Adult Ministry director Becky Ullom notes that "this number is pretty remarkable in a year when there are almost no senior high workcamps due to National Youth Conference." For Young Adult Conference, registration stands at 73. Young adults are encouraged to register at www.brethren.org/yac.
- The 2011 National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) planning committee held its initial meeting May 3-5 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Committee members include Peggy Redman (California), Elsie and Ken Holderread (Kansas), Deanna Brown (Indiana), Guy Wampler (Pennsylvania), and Kim Ebersole of the Congregational Life Ministries staff who serves as NOAC coordinator. "Passion and Purpose in a Changing World" was chosen as the conference theme, reflecting the desire older adults have to be aware of, involved in, and connected to the dynamic world in which they live. NOAC will be held next year on Sept. 5-9, at the Lake Junaluska (N.C.) Conference and Retreat Center.
- "Take Charge. Solve the Conflict," is the title of a webinar led by Celia Cook-Huffman--the third of a three-part series on "Developing Conflict-Healthy Congregations." Cook-Huffman is professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., and associate director of the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies. Her webinar will be repeated May 6 at 5:30-6:30 p.m. (Pacific time) or 8:30-9:30 p.m. (eastern). Connect to the webinar at www.bethanyseminary.edu/webcast/
- A preaching camp for youth and young adults ages 16-28 will be hosted by Bethany Theological Seminary and Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Ind., on June 13-18. Part of the Academy of Preachers, the event is one of three held across the country to help young preachers find a unique voice, better articulate beliefs and practices, connect with the living Word, and deepen confidence in God. Cost is $500, with $300 in scholarships provided, leaving the fee for each young preacher at $200. The camp has space for only 24. Preaching will be on texts related to the Ten Commandments. Sermons are video-recorded and used in a coaching process through the week, with each young preacher assigned a coach. For more information and a registration form go to www.academyofpreachers.net/2010camps.
- Harmony Church of the Brethren is celebrating its 140th year of ministry in the Middletown/Myersville area of Maryland. The successor of the Anna Maria Moser branch, logs from the Fisher Hollow Road site were brought to Harmony and the meetinghouse was finished in 1870. As a fundraiser, 140 afghans are being commissioned by a company and will be sold. An anniversary celebration is planned for Nov. 14.
- East Chippewa Church of the Brethren near Orrville, Ohio, holds its 5th Annual Fishing Derby for children on May 15 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Activities are free of charge and the public is welcome, said a release from the church. It is sponsored by the senior high youth and held at a pond on the property of youth advisors Larry and Lysa Boothe (8435 Fox Lake Rd. north of Rte. 585). The youth provide bait and many of the fishing poles, and clean the trout that are caught. "The pond is also stocked with perch, small mouth bass, crappie, and blue gill, however, if someone catches one of these fish we ask that they are released back into the pond," said the announcement. Junior high help teach fishing techniques. The Recreation and Family Life committee provide hot dogs and chips, and a grill is ready for those who like to eat their catch right away. Guests are welcome to bring their own poles and lures. "The derby has opened a whole new way for our church to expand its doors," explained Lysa Boothe. "The fishing derby is our way of showing that God is everywhere and in everything and is not just for church." For more information call 330-669-3262 or visit www.eastchip.wordpress.com.
- A five-star rating from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has been awarded to Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in Boonsboro, Md. The rating is the best possible, according to a release from the home. "Each nursing home in the nation receives an overall rating of from 1 to 5 stars, with 5 indicating the home is considered ‘much above average’ in quality of its services," the release said. The ratings are updated numerous times each year, see www.medicare.gov/NHCompare. The overall rating is based on a combination of three others for each home: health inspection findings, data on nurse-staffing hours, and clinical data relating to the care provided. Fahrney-Keedy also has received high scores in the latest state survey of residents’ families. Questions covered staff and administration, care provided, food and meals, autonomy and resident rights, and physical aspects of the home. Fahrney-Keedy was rated higher by its responsible parties than were other homes in the state average. "Our dedicated staff and a wonderful core of volunteers are the reasons for our growing success and high ratings," said Keith Bryan, interim president.
- Bridgewater (Va.) College president Phillip C. Stone will deliver the 2010 commencement address in his last commencement as chief executive of the college, at 2 p.m. on May 16, on the campus mall. Some 300 seniors are expected to receive degrees. Stafford C. Frederick, pastor of Summerdean Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va., will deliver the message at the 10 a.m. baccalaureate service in Nininger Hall. Stone took office on Aug. 1, 1994, as the seventh president of Bridgewater College. His retirement from Bridgewater will be effective June 30.
- The commencement address at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., will be given by Harriet Richardson Michel, president of the National Minority Supplier Development Council and a 1965 graduate. Juniata's 132nd commencement ceremony takes place at 10 a.m. on May 15. Michel's work for civil rights and minority opportunity dates back to her college career at Juniata, according to a release from the college, when in her senior year she was one of a group of students to travel to Alabama as part of an effort to bring attention to civil rights abuses. During one event, police attacked the demonstrators including some of the Juniata students. Photographer Charles Moore took photos of Richardson tending to a bloodied Galway Kinnell, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who was serving as a Juniata artist-in-residence in 1965. The photo was featured in "Life" magazine. Michel has been honored by numerous awards, among them the 2006 "50 Most Powerful Women in Business" by "Black Enterprise" magazine, a 2005 induction into the Minority Business Hall of Fame, and the 2004 Hall of Fame Award from "Enterprising Woman Magazine." She has taught or lectured at Harvard Law School, Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, and the University of Florida.
- The May program from "Brethren Voices," the community television program of Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren, features storytellers from the annual Song and Story Fest, a family camp co-sponsored by On Earth Peace. Featured are Rocci Hildum and Mike Titus of Wenatchee, Wash.; Jim Lehman of Elgin, Ill.; and Jonathan Hunter of San Diego, Calif. The June issue of "Brethren Voices" will feature Chuck Boyer of La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren, who has served on the denominational staff and as moderator of Annual Conference in 1993. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Chuck as he continues to battle cancer while living at Hillcrest Homes in La Verne," said a release from producer Ed Groff. For more about "Brethren Voices" contact Groffprod1@msn.com. Copies are available for a donation of $8.
- The new immigration law in Arizona is being critiqued by Christian leaders including the National Council of Churches (NCC) and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. The bishops denounced the law as "draconian" and called on Congress to stop political "gamesmanship" and pass immigration reform, according to Religion News Service. Michael Kinnamon, NCC general secretary, reiterated the view of member denominations and Arizona religious leaders that "this legislation will not contribute to the reform of our nation's immigration system." Church of the Brethren statements on immigration available online include a 1982 Annual Conference "Statement Addressing the Concern of Undocumented Persons and Refugees in the United States" at www.cobannualconference.org/ac_statements/82Refugees.htm and a 2006 pastoral letter from the former General Board at www.brethren.org/site/DocServer/ImmigrationIssuesEnglishEspanol.pdf?docID=8161.
- Nuclear weapons "are a crime against humanity" and must be removed from the face of the earth, NCC general secretary Michael Kinnamon told a rally held in New York on May 2, on the eve of a United Nations conference on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons treaty. A resolution against nuclear weapons was enacted by the General Assembly of the NCC and Church World Service last November. Kinnamon also cited a statement by the World Council of Churches made just three years after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. "It is only eight words, but I wish these words could be chiseled above the door of every church: ‘War is contrary to the will of God.’" The rally in Times Square was attended by an estimated 40,000 people, hours after a failed attempt to explode a car bomb. Participants included Kimura Hisako, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, and mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
- The National Council of Churches has released a new education and worship resource on domestic poverty. "The crisis of poverty calls on the church as the body of Christ to be ‘hands and feet’ in our community, working to eradicate poverty and provide everyone an equal opportunity to prosper," said an announcement. Download the resource from www.nccendpoverty.org/index.html.
- The "Akron Beacon Journal" has marked the 40th anniversary of the Kent State shootings on May 4 with an interview with Dean Kahler, one of the students hit in the shooting and paralyzed from the waist down. The interview notes that "As a member of the pacifist Church of the Brethren, he was against the war in Vietnam--and, in fact, any war," but simply wanted to see what went on at a student demonstration. Kahler remains upbeat, he told the paper. ''I had some things that really helped me through--a strong family, cadre of friends, belief in my faith." The interview is online at www.ohio.com/news/92610749.html.
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Brethren bits: Correction, remembrance, personnel, job opening, more
at 6:03 PM