Friday, July 23, 2010

Brethren bits: Corrections, personnel, job opening, district conferences, more.
  • Corrections to the Newsline of July 7: Elaine Gibbel’s name was misspelled. She was among those confirmed to agency boards by Annual Conference, as a trustee for Bethany Theological Seminary. Also, in news from the New Community Project, Sarah Parcell’s church membership was given incorrectly. She is from Indian Creek Church of the Brethren in Harleysville, Pa.

  • The Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Ministry has announced assistant coordinators for workcamps in 2011: Carol Fike, a graduate of Manchester College from Illinois and Wisconsin District; and Clara Nelson, a graduate of Virginia Tech from Virlina District. Assistant coordinators serve through Brethren Volunteer Service at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. They work from September-May to plan for summer workcamps, and during the summer are on the road leading workcamps for junior highs through young adults.

  • Brethren Disaster Ministries volunteers Leonard and Helen Stoner of First Church of the Brethren in York, Pa., will be traveling to American Samoa on July 25. Leonard Stoner will be serving as the Brethren building project manager, leading others from Brethren Disaster Ministries, United Church of Christ, and Christian Reformed World Relief Committee. The group will be continue to build a home for an elderly couple on the Pacific island of American Samoa following an earthquake and tsunami in 2009.

  • SERRV International is seeking an administrative coordinator for a New Haiti Design Center at the Fondation pour le Développement de l’Artisanat Haïtien (FDAH)/ Comite Artisanal Haitien in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Following the devastating earthquake in January, FDAH is launching a new design center to help grow sales of handmade products to increase artisan incomes. The coordinator will be responsible for all logistics of the center, including establishing and managing center space and equipment, finance and management systems, a database of artisans and skills, as well as coordinating local Haitian designers, international designers, and international funders in their work with the center. The position requires an 18-month commitment to working in Haiti, with the possibility of longer employment. Salaried at $1,200 US dollars a month plus housing. Air travel to Haiti and return airfare at the end of 18 months, along with a modest stipend to ship additional luggage to Haiti will be provided. Qualifications include sme university or college education, with a bachelor’s or master’s degree preferred, basic computer skills, strong communication skills, strong organizational skills with some management or supervisory experience, basic financial and accounting skills or the ability to learn such skills quickly, a sensitivity to appropriate product design and handmade product retailing strategies for the US and European markets, fluency in spoken and written French or Haitian Creole, experience living or traveling in a developing country. Comite Artisanal Haïtien (CAH) represents more than 170 individual Haitian artisans and groups, including the artisans from Cite Soleil and other poor areas in and around Port-au-Prince, who create beautiful works of art from recycled metal drums, baskets, painted wood products, stone carving and more which have become hallmarks of Haitian craftsmanship. Comite Artisanal Haitien and SERRV International have been partners for more than 20 years. Apply by sending or faxing a resume and letter of application to or 712-338-4379. Include in a cover letter reasons for interest in working in Haiti as well as personal perspective on living in one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere in the wake of a devastating earthquake, and French and/or Haitian Creole language abilities. Position is open until filled. Start date is not firm, but preference is for someone to begin as soon as possible. Questions (but not applications) can be addressed to Cheryl Musch, Director of International Development, SERRV International,

  • The Church of the Brethren is one of the faith groups and organizations signing an advertisement calling for reauthorization of a strong child nutrition bill in the US Congress. The church is one of 128 groups signing on to the advertisement, which is sponsored by Feeding America and includes other Christian denominations such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, as well as Church Women United, Catholic Charities, and others. The ad ran on Wednesday this week. A coordinated national call-in day also was to be held to further amplify the message to Congress to care for American children. "With 1 in 4 kids at risk of hunger and 1 in 3 obese or overweight, the time for strong action is now," the advertisement was to proclaim. "Congress must pass a robust, well-funded child nutrition bill this summer to help reach the national goals to end child hunger by 2015 and solve child obesity in a generation. The health and future of America’s children depend on it." View the advertisement at

  • Before Aug. 2, On Earth Peace is seeking 25 faith and community groups to sign up to organize public prayer vigils with other local churches and groups in their communities during the week of Sept. 21 for the International Day of Prayer for Peace. New registrants will receive additional training for themselves and other participating groups from their communities. For more information or to sign up to participate visit the On Earth Peace campaign website for the International Day of Prayer for Peace at

  • Zach Wolgemuth of Brethren Disaster Ministries has been in Nashville, Tenn., meeting with local leaders involved in flood recovery efforts. He also is a member of a subcommittee of the National VOAD (an organization of voluntary groups working on disaster recovery) that has been charged with rewriting a manual to help guide communities recovering from disasters. "This has been a long and process but is very important and necessary due to changes in disaster response and the way communities recover following disasters," Wolgemuth reported. The manual "is considered one of the most important and necessary resources for local long-term recovery group formation and overall recovery in communities impacted by disaster."

  • The Church World Service inventory of clean-up buckets and school kits for disaster relief work is extremely low, according to an alert from CWS. "The need is great as we are in the midst of tropical storm and hurricane season where clean-up buckets often are requested, and for the school kits we are getting in numerous requests as overseas partners prepare for the fall school year," said the alert. The buckets and kits are processed through the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. For more information about the contents of buckets and kits, and how to assemble and ship them, go to

  • Children’s Disaster Services is offering a volunteer workshop in Los Altos (Calif.) United Methodist Church on Oct. 29-30. Local contacts are Janice Maggiora or Patricia Parfett, call 650-383-9322. Cost is $45 for early registration, or $55 after Oct. 8. Children’s Disaster Services volunteers provide a calm, safe and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos that follows disaster by setting up and operating special child care centers in disaster locations. Parents are then able to apply for assistance and begin to put their lives back together, knowing their children are safe. This workshop is designed to train potential volunteers to understand and respond to children who have experienced a disaster, but the information learned at the workshop can be beneficial to anyone working with children. Once the training is completed, participants have the opportunity to become a certified Children’s Disaster Services volunteer by providing two personal references and a criminal and sexual offender background check. Children’s Disaster Services has been meeting the needs of children since 1980, and is a Church of the Brethren Disaster Ministry. For more about Children’s Disaster Services go to

  • Beaver Run Church of the Brethren near Burlington, W.Va., now has a web site. Go to

  • National Youth Conference keynote preacher Jarrod McKenna will speak at Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill., on Sunday, July 25, at 6 p.m. The event is co-sponsored by Fox Valley Citizens For Peace and Justice. McKenna is an Australian peace and environmental activist who is active in The Peace Tree Community, Together for Humanity, and the award-winning initiative Empowering Peacemakers in Your Community in western Australia. A time for discussion will follow the presentation. Call 847-742-6602 for more information.

  • South Central Indiana District is holding its District Conference on July 30-31 in Anderson, Ind.

  • Northern Plains District holds its District Conference on July 31-Aug. 2 at Camp Pine Lake in Eldora, Iowa. The conference will be led by moderator Marge Smalley on the theme, "LET GOD: Lighten up, Energize, Tell, Go Out Disciples."

  • Western Plains District Conference will meet in McPherson, Kan., from July 30-Aug. 1. Several of the district conference sessions will be webcast, with district member Andy Ullom as host. Connect to the webcasts at

  • Manchester Church of the Brethren in North Manchester, Ind., is one of the congregations helping support Camp Mack following a fire that destroyed Becker Lodge. Last Sunday church members had an opportunity to write messages and sign a banner for the Camp Mack staff. During Sunday School, the children decorated the banner and wrote their own messages on it. The church distributed a letter from Barry Bucher of the camp board of directors on July 15, reporting that "Camp Mack is still moving forward with two groups in residence this week and more scheduled for the remainder of the summer." A portable kitchen under a tent is providing an outdoor eating space for campers, the camp office has been moved next door to the staff house, and copier and computers have been replaced. "A computer and the server were rescued by firemen from the fire so most of the camp records were saved. Most of the paper files were lost," Bucher wrote. Donations of clothing and gift cards have been received for staff who lost belongings in the fire. "Now begins the process of salvaging what is still useful and planning for the future," Bucher reported. The camp is calling for volunteers to help salvage and clean equipment, help with the demolition of the burned building, and perform other work in coming weeks. Contact the camp office at 574-658-4831.

  • Middle Pennsylvania District and Camp Blue Diamond hold their annual Brethren Open Golf Tournament on Aug. 10 at Iron Masters in Roaring Spring, Pa. Cost is $60 per golfer and includes dinner at Albright Church of the Brethren following the tournament. Contact 814-653-0601.

  • A Tubing Adventure Day on the Shenandoah River on Aug. 21 is sponsored by Brethren Woods, a Church of the Brethren outdoor ministry center. Participants in the afternoon of tubing will gather at 1 p.m. at Mountain View-McGaheysville Church of the Brethren. Brethren Woods staff, including a certified lifeguard, will provide a brief orientation to tubing and safety. The group will float down a stretch of river from Power Dam Road to Island Ford and return to the church at about 4 p.m. Cost is $15 per person and includes transportation, certified staff leadership, inner-tube, lifejacket, and some additional gear. Registrations are due Aug. 13. Contact 540-269-2741 or

  • Fundraising to purchase the historic John Kline Homestead in Broadway, Va., continues as a deadline nears to raise the total by the end of this year. One of the organizers of the effort, Paul Roth, reports that the total of contributions and pledges now comes to nearly $241,000, "leaving just under $85,000 to be raised by the end of 2010." Contributions may be sent to John Kline Homestead, P.O. Box 274, Broadway, VA 22815. Contact Linville Creek Church of the Brethren at 540-896-5001 to schedule a tour of the homestead for your church or family group. The Board of Directors are planning several events at the homestead beginning in 2011 as part of the four-year Sesquecentennial Commemoration of the Civil War. Included in the plans are a lecture series and interpretive dinners.
Source: 7/23/2010 Newsline

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