Friday, August 27, 2010

Brethren bits: Personnel, job openings, WCC stewards program, Jr. High Conference, more.
  • Kirk Carpenter, customer service specialist for Brethren Press, has resigned effective Sept. 17. He began working for Brethren Press on May 12, 2008, just after completing a bachelor of arts degree in Biblical and Theological Studies from North Park University in Chicago. He has helped maintain an e-commerce site, monitored inventory, and assisted with the book store at National Youth Conference. He and his family are moving to Seattle, Wash.

  • Sue Snyder has begun a volunteer position at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., providing administrative support for several departments. Her previous work for the church has included coordinating the General Secretary’s office.

  • Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) seeks to fill the position of chief financial officer. This full-time salaried position is based at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. BBT is an agency of the Church of the Brethren and is a not-for-profit organization that provides pension, insurance, foundation, and credit union services for 6,000 members and clients nationwide. The CFO’s chief responsibility is to safeguard BBT’s assets and assets under management, providing oversight of the Finance Department, the budgeting process, annual audit and audit functions, investment managers, and compliance issues. The CFO works with each program unit to develop the annual budget and then monitors all expenses against the budget; serves on the senior management team and is charged with planning strategically to help ensure that each BBT ministry meets the needs of members and clients and is self-sustaining; manages all aspects of the organization’s work and relationships with BBT’s custodian, investment managers, audit firm, and related consultants, and serves as the staff liaison to the BBT Board’s Investment and Budget and Audit Review Committees; coordinates all of BBT’s tax filings and insurance needs; ensures that BBT remains compliant with all applicable organizational and industry-related laws, policies, procedures, rules, and regulations. The CFO travels to the Annual Conference, BBT Board meetings, and other events as appropriate. BBT seeks candidates with undergraduate degrees in accounting, business, or related fields, along with advanced certifications or degrees, such as CPA or MBA. Candidates should have eight years of experience in finance, administration, and personnel supervision, preferably for not-for-profit organizations. Strong knowledge of investments and experience in business planning is desired. Current and active membership in the Church of the Brethren is preferred; current and active membership in a faith community is required. The salary is competitive with Church Benefits Association agencies of comparable size and scope of services. A full benefits package is included. Apply by sending a letter of interest, resume, three references (one supervisor and two colleagues), and salary-range expectation to Donna March at 1505 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120, or For questions or clarification about the position call 847-622-3371. For more information about BBT, visit The interviewing process will begin Sept. 14. The position will be filled as soon as possible.

  • Brethren Press seeks a customer service inventory specialist to work at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Responsibilities include providing professional customer service functions by handling telephone, fax, mail, and Internet orders; maintaining a thorough knowledge of products offered by Brethren Press; optimizing the e-commerce site with consistent product additions, updates, and promotions; specializing in providing resource information to congregations and individuals; maintaining inventory levels in an accurate and timely way through the use of purchase orders, invoices, credit memos, monthly reports, and journals; providing sales and marketing support services; assisting in coordinating and developing standardized procedures and maintaining written documentation. Qualifications include ability to become familiar with Church of the Brethren organization and beliefs and to operate out of the vision of the denomination; ability to relate with integrity and respect in and beyond the organization; strong interpersonal skills that contribute to effective interaction with customers and with colleagues; fundamental understanding of accounting theory and practice; good listening and telephone skills and competency in oral and written communication; proficient abilities in typing and data entry; ability to work well in a team environment, juggling several tasks simultaneously; knowledge of Christian education and the resourcing of congregations. Required education and experience include customer service functions; computer literacy; experience with sales, marketing, inventory management, and reporting; with Christian education experience desirable. A high school diploma is required, some college education preferred. Applications are accepted immediately and will be received until the position is filled. A position description and application form are available on request. Apply by completing the application form and submitting a resume and letter of application, and requesting three references to send letters of recommendation to the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120-1694; 800-323-8039, ext. 258;

  • The World Council of Churches (WCC) is accepting applications for its Stewards Program 2011. Young adult Christians ages 18-30 from around the world are invited to apply for one of two hands-on learning experiences: the WCC Central Committee meeting on Feb. 8-24 in Switzerland; and the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation on May 12-26 in Jamaica. During the meetings stewards will work in the areas of worship, conference room, documentation, press office, sound, and other administrative and support tasks. Send in application forms by Sept. 30 for the Central Committee meeting, by Nov. 30 for the IEPC. More information is at

  • Fees for next year’s National Junior High Conference have been set by the Youth and Young Adult Ministry: $150 for registrations received between Jan. 10 and April 15, after which costs go up to $175. Travel scholarships of $175 are available for those who live west of the Mississippi. The event is June 17-19 at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College ( ).

  • Two events are underway at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.: The annual joint orientation of Brethren Volunteer Service and Brethren Revival Fellowship, with 11 volunteers; and a Brethren Disaster Ministries Leadership Seminar for about 100 people.

  • Two resources on evangelism are recommended by Jonathan Shively, executive director of Congregational Life Ministries: The upcoming "Evangelism in the Community" meeting focused on smaller churches in cities, Nov. 3-7 in Detroit, Mich. "Through our denomination’s Evangelism Connections partnership, this United Church of Christ event is open to Church of the Brethren participants as well," he reported (go to The second resource, EvangeLectionary, is at and offers reflections on the lectionary text, a brief meditation, related quotation, illustration, and a worship resource. Shively is a regular contributor to the site and prepared the lectionary reflections for Aug. 8.

  • Sparked by World Food Day on Oct. 16, the Global Food Crisis Fund is encouraging congregations to observe a hunger or food emphasis this fall. "In an era when a billion people endure chronic hunger and 18,000 children die each day from hunger-related causes, the 2010 World Food Day theme, ‘Food for All: Working Together Works!’ holds special meaning for the Church of the Brethren," said an announcement. Congregations may join the emphasis either on Oct. 16 or another date such as a harvest celebration or Thanksgiving. "As donations to the Global Food Crisis Fund are running 50 percent behind those of a year ago, heightened support becomes crucial," the announcement said. Give to the fund through "My 2-Cents Worth" offerings, designations for a specific program or country, memorials, or tributes to loved ones. For more visit The latest grants from the fund are to the Church of the Brethren in Haiti for water conservation on the island of La Tortue and to Care of Creation Kenya for construction of a tree nursery in the Rift Valley. Each grant was $4,000.

  • The first of this fall’s denominational deacon trainings is Sept. 11 at Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. Register by Sept. 6 with the church at 717-626-2131 or Cost is $15, which includes lunch. Continuing education units are available for an additional $10. For other fall training sessions visit or contact Donna Kline, director of the Church of the Brethren’s Deacon Ministry, 800-323-8039 or

  • On Earth Peace is offering conference calls to prepare congregations for the International Day of Prayer for Peace on Sept. 21. The next two calls on Aug. 31 at 12:30 p.m. (eastern) and Sept. 2 at 5 p.m. (eastern) will cover basic information about getting the word out to media about IDPP events--or any other event a congregation may be planning. Resource people are On Earth Peace communications coordinator Gimbiya Kettering and Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren. Call 712-338-8730 and use access code 173#.

  • Mount Bethel Church of the Brethren near Eagle Rock, Va., celebrates 125 years on Aug. 29.

  • Brethren Housing Association is holding a benefit "Concert of Hope" with Ken Medema--who performed at the National Youth Conference--at Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren on Sept. 9 from 6-9 p.m. The ministry provides housing to homeless families. A free will offering will be taken, and a dessert reception follows. Obtain tickets at

  • An annual Labor Day Coffee Break in Kansas begun in 1961 by pastor Russell Kiester and the Men’s Fellowship at the Church of the Brethren in Sabetha, continues this year coordinated by Trinity Church of the Brethren. The ministry offers refreshments to travelers at the "4-Mile Corner" rest stop at the junction of Highways 75 and 36. Cheryl Mishler, one of the organizers, reports that over the years an estimated 100,000-plus people have been served with over 4, 500 dozen cookies, 500 pounds of coffee, and 300 gallons of orange juice. More than 16,000 volunteers have taken part. Many businesses in Sabetha have provided supplies and a variety of churches have helped out. "What began as a ministry of service by the Sabetha Church of the Brethren men," Mishler reported, "has now become a service of the community of Sabetha."

  • Manchester College in Indiana is expecting record numbers for a third straight year. The college expects more than 1,270 students when classes begin Sept. 1--its largest enrollment since the Vietnam era and at least 5 percent more than last fall.

  • In September the Brethren Voices community cable show from Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren interviews Kay Guyer, Manchester College student and a member of the National Youth Cabinet of the Church of the Brethren. Guyer has received recognition for her creative videos such as "Brethren We Have Met to Jump," which won the video contest at the 300th Anniversary Annual Conference. Order a copy from producer Ed Groff at

  • The family of Art Gish, Brethren peacemaker who died in a farming accident in July, has established a memorial "Art Gish Peacemaking Fund" to help young people get started in peacemaking. New Covenant Fellowship in Athens, Ohio, is receiving contributions to the fund.
Source: 8/27/2010 Newsline

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