Thursday, June 17, 2010

Personnel, job openings, hunger advocacy, more.
  • Jan Fischer Bachman began June 7 as website producer for the Church of the Brethren, working on a contract basis from Chantilly, Va. A member of Oakton (Va.) Church of the Brethren, she is a writer for the Gather ’Round curriculum published by Brethren Press and Mennonite Publishing Network. In other work, she has provided consultation in editing, design, and marketing for a wide range of clients in several countries, most recently in the Gambia, where she used to live. During a stint with the Foreign Service Institute at the US Department of State, she was a writer, editor, and manager of the organization’s websites.

  • Sam Smith has joined the Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission Partnerships staff in a 12-week position as Peace Witness Consultant. His responsibilities will include strengthening the conscientious objector program, developing peace-related print resources, populating the Church of the Brethren website peace pages, and nurturing relationships with Brethren-affiliated peace entities. He is an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren. He and his family live in West Chicago, Ill. Since 1995 he has served as a youth pastor in Mennonite, Brethren, and United Methodist congregations. Currently he is a youth speaker/evangelist with Heavy Light Ministries and most recently started a youth church called Upper Xtreme Fellowship, which meets in the western suburbs of Chicago.

  • Ray and Bev Ax have begun as managers at Camp Wilbur Stover in New Meadows, Idaho. Both grew up on farms in the Nampa area where Bev Ax attended Bowmont and Nampa Churches of the Brethren. They are currently members of First Church of the Nazarene in Nampa. Retired in 2003 and 1995 respectively, the couple are members of ROAM (RVers On A Mission), a ministry of the Nazarene Church, and have worked at small Nazarene congregations and campgrounds in Arizona, Oregon, and Washington States. In other news, the camp was struck by flash floods recently, pictures of damage are at, click on "News" and choose "Goose Creek Murmurs" Vol. 2, Issue 4. "Due to the flash floods this year we are in need of your prayers," said the camp newsletter. "Also we are in need of donations for gravel and other repairs." Send love offerings to Gary Ackerman, 44 N. Pit Ln., Nampa, ID 83687.

  • Southern Ohio District seeks a district executive minister for a part-time position available Jan. 1, 2011. The district includes 52 congregations and 3 fellowships in Ohio and Kentucky, and is entering a time of transition and visioning new mission and ministry as it moves from full-time to part-time executive staffing. Congregations are rural, suburban, and urban, with the majority in the greater Dayton area. It is theologically diverse while able to celebrate its unity in Jesus Christ. The preferred candidate is a spiritual leader who offers inspiration and works collaboratively. The district office is at Mill Ridge Village of the Brethren Retirement Community in Union, Ohio. Responsibilities include serving as executive officer of the board of the district, facilitating and giving general oversight to planning and implementation of ministries as directed by the District Conference and District Board, providing linkages to congregations and denominational agencies, articulating and promoting the vision of the district, assisting congregations and pastors with placement, building and strengthening relationships with congregations and pastors, using mediation skills to work with congregations in conflict, facilitating and encouraging the calling of people to set-apart ministry and lay leadership, and promoting unity in the district. Qualifications include a clear commitment to Jesus Christ demonstrated by a vibrant spiritual life, commitment to New Testament values, commitment to Church of the Brethren faith and heritage, a minimum of 10 years of pastoral experience, respect for theological diversity, flexibility in working with staff and volunteers and pastoral and lay leadership, and strong skills in communication, mediation, conflict resolution, administration, management, and budget. Ordination in the Church of the Brethren is required, with a master of divinity degree preferred. Send letter of interest and resume to Applicants are requested to contact three or four people to provide a letter of reference. A candidate profile must be completed and returned before the application is complete. The application deadline is Aug. 1.

  • With the announced retirement of president Steve Morgan, the University of La Verne Board of Trustees, through the Presidential Search Advisory Committee and national search firm of Witt/Kieffer, is conducting a nationwide search for a new president to take office July 2011. The University of La Verne is a Church of the Brethren related school located in La Verne, Calif. Visit the Presidential Search webpage at to review the "Position Specification." Submit letters of nomination or expressions of interest to Witt/Kieffer through the Presidential Search webpage by selecting "How to Submit or Nominate" for details and contact information.

  • Camp Eder near Gettysburg, Pa., seeks a seasoned and dynamic full-time executive director to lead the organization to new levels of growth in its mission to provide creative camping ministry for children, youth, and adults in a place of natural beauty where people can experience God’s creation in a loving and caring environment. The executive director works with the camp board to carry out the strategic goals of Camp Eder. Responsibilities include managing personnel and fiscal operations, fundraising, agency relations, communications, assuring compliance with governmental regulations, assessing organizational needs, and implementing improvements. The executive director will foster development and implementation of organizational strategic direction, reporting directly to the camp board and nurturing a strong relationship with Southern Pennsylvania District. Camp Eder is eight miles west of Gettysburg on a 400-acre facility. As a ministry of the Southern Pennsylvania District, Camp Eder is a faith-based agency grounded in values and beliefs of the Church of the Brethren. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to lead an organization rooted in central Pennsylvania’s history for 50 years and whose future will build on the agency’s exemplary record of creative camping ministry for children, youth, and families. Qualifications and required skills: A Christian with a growing faith and a heart for evangelism as well as an understanding and acceptance of Church of the Brethren core values. Strong spiritual leader with a passion for outdoor ministry. Ability to implement the strategic vision plan as directed by the camp board. A bachelor's degree or equivalent life/work experience. Previous administration and camping experience preferred with strong fiscal, management, organizational, computer, and communication skills. Capability and enthusiasm for interpreting the mission and vision of the camp to area congregations and beyond. Submit a cover letter, resume, and three or four references (personal and professional) along with salary expectations to Joe Detrick at The deadline for submissions is Aug. 7.

  • Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) seeks a full-time administrative office assistant at its Elgin, Ill., office as soon as possible. This person will assist the director of office operations by typing general documents; assisting with logistics for special events and travel; maintaining records; assisting with document retention (electronic and paper) for Board documents, contracts, and more; and performing other administrative duties as requested. This position also assists the director of information technology by functioning as the operations go-to person for the VOIP phone system, training employees to use BBT’s e-mail system, helping with backup tape rotation, and administering BBT’s Internet conferencing system. Qualifications for this role include maintaining confidentiality (which is critical to the position), proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, and excellent writing, grammar, organizational, and multi-tasking skills. The candidate must possess a positive, committed, collaborative working style and be a member of a faith community. Candidates must have at least five years of experience performing secretarial or general office duties or a bachelor’s degree. Submit a resume, letter of interest, salary requirement, and three references to Donna March, Director of Office Operations, Brethren Benefit Trust, 1505 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; 800-746-1505 ext. 371; More information about the position can be found at, click on "About BBT" and then "Job Openings."

  • Brethren Disaster Ministries is in need of long-term volunteer cooks at its Winamac, Ind., and Chalmette, La., projects, willing to spend three or more weeks cooking for groups of volunteer disaster workers. The ministry will pay transportation costs and provide separate sleeping quarters when possible. Cooks are needed during the months of July and August at both sites. Contact Zach Wolgemuth at or 800-451-4407.

  • Several Brethren were part of hunger events in Washington, D.C., this week. Among religious leaders in a meeting with US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of the Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission Partnerships. The meeting was organized by Bread for the World and addressed domestic hunger issues. Also sponsored by Bread was a training for 75 young adult hunge justice advocates including former National Youth Conference coordinator Beth Rhodes. In addition, Herb and Jeanne Smith of McPherson, Kan., participated in the Foods Resource Bank's "Heart of the Hill" witness on hunger to legislators.

  • Congregational Life Ministries executive director Jonathan Shively is on the planning committee for the 2011 Congress on Urban Ministry, titled "Peacemaking in a Culture of Violence." Sponsored by the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education in Chicago, Ill. (SCUPE), the event will be held March 1-4, 2011, at Hyatt McCormick Place in Chicago.

  • The Church of the Brethren’s Facebook page now has more than 3,000 fans as of yesterday. "Thanks for being part of the Church of the Brethren online community," wrote Wendy McFadden, Brethren Press publisher who posts on behalf of the denomination. "Thanks for all the ways you continue the work of Jesus." The 3,000 mark is roughly double the number of fans in late January. The country with the second highest number of fans after the United States is Nigeria, with 19, and top cities are Philadelphia, Roanoke, Harrisburg, and Chicago. Find the page at

  • "Join us live in Colorado!" says an invitation to the first-ever webcast from National Youth Conference. On July 19, from 8:30-9:55 a.m. mountain time (10:30-11:55 a.m. eastern), streaming video of the worship service from NYC will feature the youth speech and music contest winners. A recording will be made for those unable to tune in at the time of the live broadcast. All that will be needed to view the broadcast is a computer connected to the Internet. The webcast will be produced by Bethany Seminary in collaboration with the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry. To view the webcast or access the recording go to and click on the National Youth Conference link.

  • The Sustaining Pastoral Excellence program of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership continues this year with some "tweaking," reports the academy newsletter. Recruitment of pastors began this April, an initial retreat for the Advanced Foundations for Congregational Leaders will be Aug. 24-27, and a first retreat/workshop for Vital Pastor cohorts will be Sept. 13-16. Recruitment will continue through the summer while there is time for the pastors entering this fall’s cohorts to complete their pre-retreat reflections or until each educational track is filled. Pastors can contact coordinators Linda and Glenn Timmons at or or 800-287-8822 ext. 1810.

  • "Peace Among the Peoples: Overcoming the Spirit, Logic, and Practice of Violence" is planned for July 28-31 in Elkhart, Ind. The Church of the Brethren is one of the sponsors of this ecumenical peace conference focused on contemporary North American responses to war in preparation for the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation culminating event of the Decade to Overcome Violence in Jamaica next year. For more information and to register go to

  • Erwin (Tenn.) Church of the Brethren has opened its new sanctuary for worship, two years after a fire touched off by lightning destroyed its church building on June 9, 2008 (see the Newsline report of the fire at A piece from News Channel 11 posted at last Sunday, June 13, reported on the first worship service open to the public at the new building. "That new church smell greeted dozens of regulars--and several guests," the report said, quoting pastor Phil Graeber: "A lot of times I hear people say, ‘Well you all have done a tremendous job.’ It’s not me that’s done a tremendous job, it’s everyone. Because everyone has had a hand in it." A video report is at

  • Shiloh Church of the Brethren near Kasson, W.Va., has started rebuilding following a fire on Jan. 3 this year (see the Newsline report of Jan. 5 at Financial secretary Doug Mills reports the congregation hopes to have its new building enclosed and weather proofed by the end of this week, at this point focusing on first completing the sanctuary and restrooms. So far, about $474,000 has been received from the church’s insurance plan and in donations, toward a total rebuilding estimate of $528,000, Mills said. Virlina District churches have contributed more than $8,000, and some 20 other Brethren congregations also have sent donations. "You never can get enough insurance, and we voted not to borrow any money," Mills commented. For more information about the rebuilding effort contact Shiloh Church of the Brethren, Attn: Doug Mills, Rt. 1, Box 284, Moatsville, WV 26405; 304-457-2650 or

  • May 16 marked the Open House service for the new Glory to Glory Ministries, a church plant of Illinois and Wisconsin District in the Douglas Park neighborhood of Chicago. "The house was packed with all 64 seats taken," reported the district newsletter. "Please continue to keep this ministry and the work in Chicago in your prayers."

  • Colorful fabric bags were made out of used t-shirts by women at Skyridge Church of the Brethren in Kalamazoo, Mich., on May 15. Carie Gross had seen the pattern in her "Family Fun" magazine as an idea for your child's favorite t-shirts that have been outgrown. Seeing a possible outreach project, she began in February collecting donations. Thanks to the letter she wrote to the local paper, the church not only received donations, but two women from the community joined in the first work day alongside six from the congregation. Over 600 t-shirts were donated and the women finished 180 bags that first day. The bags were blessed the following day during worship, and delivered to Ministry with Community, a daytime drop-in shelter that serves the homeless.

  • Atlantic Southeast District has a new website:

  • Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., has recognized five people with its Alumni Honor Award including physician Phil Wright of Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Ind., who serves as medical director for Physicians Health Plan. Also receiving the award are Marvin L. Bittinger of Carmel, Ind., mathematics textbook author and honorary professor emeritus of mathematics education for Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis; Carolyn Hardman, long-time board member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the American Pianists Association; Edward L. Hollenberg of Winamac, Ind., family physician and author; and Anita Sherman of Indianapolis, senior audit partner of Greenwalt CPAs.

  • The Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats will perform at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., on June 29 starting at 7:30 p.m. in Rosenberger Auditorium in Oller Hall. "The awe-inspiring acts of acrobatics used by the Golden Dragon troupe date back more than 2,000 years" and include routines such as the human pagoda, rope-walking, and the "dancing horse," the release said. For tickets and information call 814-641-JTIX (5849). General admission is $12. Juniata College students are admitted free with a student ID.

  • Louise Nolt, a resident at Timbercrest Senior Living, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in North Manchester, Ind., is collecting stories from people who served in Civilian Public Service (CPS) or alternative service during World War II. Nolt is undertaking a history of CPS camps and alternative service projects during the war. Write to Louise Nolt, c/o Timbercrest Senior Living, 2201 East St., North Manchester, IN 46962.

  • Nine Ministry Summer Service interns participated in orientation in early June. Interns serve in congregations and denominational programs and include the Youth Peace Travel Team. Above from left are interns Hannah Wysong, Bethany Clark, Allen Bowers, Marcus Harden, Jenna Stacy, Cambria Teter, Hannah Miller, Sarah Neher, and Tim Heishman. Find a blog from the 2010 Youth Peace Travel Team (Harden, Heishman, Teter, and Wysong) at

  • Artist and minister David Weiss painted pictures inspired by the New Church Development Conference. This painting illustrates the text for the conference, 1 Corinthians 3:6. View the photo album from the conference at
Source: 6/17/2010 Newsline

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