Thursday, October 21, 2010

Brethren bits: Personnel, jobs, jr. high Sunday, Chronicles webcast, more.
  • Emily Osterhus has begun as advocacy assistant in the Washington (D.C.) office of the Church of the Brethren and the National Council of Churches, after finishing a year of Brethren Volunteer Service with the Capital Area Food Bank. Born and raised in coastal North Carolina, she joined BVS after receiving a degree in Political Science and English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was president of the UNC Wesley Campus Ministry.

  • The New Windsor (Md.) Conference Center is thanking volunteer host couples who served this summer: Ed and Betty Runion of Markle, Ind., and Ric and Jan Martinez of Live Oak, Calif.

  • The Church of the Brethren seeks a coordinator for recruitment and service advocate for Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) and Global Mission Partnerships. The position will coordinate and lead recruitment efforts and activities for BVS along with attention to the open mission positions. This includes relating to Brethren congregations, districts, camps, colleges, and Annual Conference. The coordinator will connect with Brethren organizations in many ways, through communication vehicles as well as attendance and leadership at functions such as youth events. Primary recruitment efforts are within the denomination, however this position will also lead BVS efforts to recruit outside the denomination. The service advocate component will provide leadership at national, district, and congregational events focused on the peace and justice goals of BVS with knowledge of the conscientious objection witness of the denomination and BVS relationship to the Selective Service System. Requirements include a bachelor’s degree, with a master’s or equivalent work experience helpful; grounding in Church of the Brethren heritage, theology, and polity; ability to articulate and operate out of the vision of the Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren; recruitment experience in a college or equivalent volunteer service setting helpful; interpersonal skills and ability to take initiative without regular supervision; organizational abilities and ability to work on the road and in an office setting; general financial understanding. Previous experience with a volunteer service organization helpful but not required. Location is the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Request an application, criminal background check authorization, and position description from Karin Krog, Director of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60123;; 847-742-5100 ext. 258. The position is open until filled.

  • Pinecrest Community, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in Mt. Morris, Ill., seeks a CEO. Pinecrest, a faith-based CCRC, serves 200 residents in independent living, skilled nursing, intermediate care, and dementia care. The CEO will play a pivotal role in guiding Pinecrest through its current five-year strategic planning and the current capital campaign that benefits the skilled nursing facility. Expectations include expertise in planning, financial and operational management, fundraising, a team style of leadership, willingness to be significantly involved in the local communities, effective communication, and commitment to a faith-based philosophy. Deadline for applications is Dec. 31. The position is to begin July 15, 2011. Resume and indication of interest may be submitted to Search Consultant Ralph McFadden at Questions may be directed to home/office phone 847-622-1677 or home/office address 352 Shiloh Ct, Elgin, IL 60120.

  • Camp Brethren Heights near Rodney, Mich., is seeking two staff: a part-time camp director with responsibility for administration of the camp, and a part-time camp manager responsible for maintenance of the camp. Responsibilities of the camp director include, but are not limited to, marketing the camp to the Michigan District and outside groups, booking retreat groups, coordinating and supervising camp staff, making sure inspections and regulations for the camp are current, keeping financial records, and updating staff files. The camp director must be at least 21 years of age and have at least a high school diploma (or equivalent). The camp director must have excellent communication and organizational skills, with preference for applicants who have experience or training in marketing. Responsibilities of the camp manager include, but are not limited to, cleaning for groups using the camp, organizing work groups, mowing and trimming brush and trees, general repair jobs, snow plowing. The camp manager must have a high school diploma (or equivalent), should have basic maintenance knowledge, and must be able to work with a team. The camp manager will be expected to maintain the camp at a high level of cleanliness and safety. Individuals do not need to be part of a married couple to apply. The camp board is looking to fill the position in a non-traditional way. Send applications and resumes to Tara Wise, 7270 Brown Rd., Lake Odessa, MI 48849-9432. Applications can be found at under "forms," select the "staff" application. Questions may be directed to Wise at 269-367-4824 or Applications are due by Nov. 1.

  • The Ecumenical Stewardship Center, of which the Church of the Brethren is a member, seeks a CEO/executive director. Successful candidates will demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit, successful program development experience, strong business acumen, board experience, and a stewardship passion grounded in a strong personal faith. Relocation is not required. Additional information is available at Interested candidates should contact Kirk Stiffney, MHS Alliance, 234 S. Main St., Suite A, Goshen, IN 46526; 574-537-8736;

  • A call for writers from the Ecumenical One Great Hour of Sharing Committee seeks submissions of liturgy, sermon starters, and activities for all ages. The deadline for submissions is Nov. 15. "Share your unique voice as a writer of resources for the ecumenical community across the US, collecting the 2012 One Great Hour of Sharing Offering," said an invitation. For information and a compensation schedule visit and click the "Writer Call for Entries" button. Be sure to review the guidelines for submissions. For more information contact

  • Junior High Sunday on Nov. 7 will focus on the theme, "Piece by Piece: Finding Our Place Within God's Story" (Ephesians 2:19-22). Resources at include a bulletin cover, Bible study, lectionary commentary, worship resources such as invocations and litanies, a drama, and a scripture jam. For more contact the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office at 800-323-8039.

  • "Join three Old Testament scholars as they share information, ideas, and insights on the book of Chronicles," said an invitation to a webcast sponsored by the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership on Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. (eastern). Presenters are Robert W. Neff, professor emeritus at Bethany Theological Seminary, former general secretary of the Church of the Brethren, president emeritus of Juniata College, and current associate for resource development at the Village at Morrison's Cove; Frank Ramirez, writer, president of the Brethren Journal Association, and pastor of Everett (Pa.) Church of the Brethren; and Steven Schweitzer, Bethany’s academic dean and associate professor of Old Testament Studies. The three also will record a series of 15-minute podcasts based on the chapters of "The Chronicler," a Brethren Press Bible study by Neff and Ramirez. Tune in at Those who attend the live broadcast may earn .15 continuing education units.

  • The Church of the Brethren is part of a new ecumenical partnership, "After the Spill: Religious Communities Restoring the Gulf," through its advocacy office in Washington, D.C. Find more information at The effort will focus on an ongoing response to the oil disaster and dedication to long-term Gulf restoration, as the nation approaches the six-month anniversary of the BP oil spill. The website offers a resource on "Gulf Coast Restoration: Five Ways to Get Involved" and "What’s Next for the Gulf?" highlighting ways to engage.

  • The Seminary Consortium on Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE) in Chicago is holding a 2011 biennial conference on "Peacemaking in a Culture of Violence." Details of the March 1-4 event are at Announced speakers include Shane Claiborne, Renita Weems, and Walter Brueggemann. There are opportunities to submit a proposal to provide a workshop for the conference. "This event is a wonderful event for Brethren to learn and to share from our expertise, so consider sending a workshop suggestion and offering your leadership," said an announcement from Jonathan Shively, executive director of Congregational Life Ministries for the Church of the Brethren and a member of the planning committee for the event. Early registration of $220 is offered until Nov. 15, along with special rates for students.

  • The Arc of Carroll County, Md., is being honored as Nonprofit Organization of the Year at the fifth annual Carroll County Philanthropists of the Year Awards, given by the Community Foundation of Carroll County. The organization advocates for and supports people with developmental disabilities and their families, and partners with the Church of the Brethren’s New Windsor Conference Center in a Carroll County Training Academy. The program provides employment training for Arc participants who "shadow" Brethren Service Center workers and receive hands-on experience, conference center head Shelly Wagner told the "Carroll County Times." See

  • Douglas Park Church of the Brethren in Chicago, Ill., celebrated its centennial on Oct. 17.

  • Brooklyn (N.Y.) First Church of the Brethren is "having a birthday" on Sunday, Oct. 24, at noon. The church is rededicating its renovated church building, originally built in 1908. "Many congregations and individuals of the Atlantic Northeast and Southern Pennsylvania Districts made these necessary upgrades possible," said an announcement. "In appreciation to you and to our Lord Jesus Christ who is always faithful, we seek your presence during the rededication." Earl Ziegler, district organizer of the project, will be guest speaker. A luncheon will follow. RSVP with number attending to or 718-439-8122.

  • One of the Foods Resource Bank Growing Projects in which the Church of the Brethren participates--the Polo project in northern Illinois--has reported a bumper crop this year. Sponsored by Polo Church of the Brethren, Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, and Faith United Presbyterian Church in Tinley Park, the project has produced 40 acres of soybeans this year, averaging 65 bushels an acre, sold for $28,000 to benefit hunger relief.

  • "Freedom Lies Just North--The Underground Railroad in Adams County" is a bus tour on Oct. 30, sponsored by York (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren. The intergenerational educational opportunity will help congregation members learn about the Underground Railroad.

  • Western Pennsylvania District Conference is this Saturday, Oct. 23, at Camp Harmony near Hooversville, Pa. Moderator Ruby F. Mader will lead the meeting.

  • Western Plains District is planning its sixth annual "Gathering" for Oct. 22-24 in Salina, Kan., on the theme "Melt Me, Mold Me, Fill Me, Use Me." In-depth Bible study about congregational and individual renewal will be led by Stephen Breck Reid, professor of Christian Scriptures at George Truett Theological Seminary and former academic dean at Bethany Theological Seminary. Mutual Kumquat will perform "Melting and Molding Hymn Classics."

  • The University of La Verne in southern California is hosting Preview Days on Oct. 23 and Nov. 20 in the university’s Campus Center. Participants will have an opportunity to speak with faculty and students and go on campus tours. Contact the Office of Admission, 1950 Third St., La Verne, CA 91750; 800-876-4858;

  • Bridgewater (Va.) College is hosting a "Fall Bash at BC" on Oct. 24 as a "harvest party/National Youth Conference reunion/youth worship," said an announcement. Participants should check in at the Boitnott Room at 3 p.m. (in the Kline Campus Center). The evening ends with worship led by NYC co-coordinator Audrey Hollenberg and the college’s band, Outspoken. Contact chaplain Robbie Miller at

  • The John Kline Homestead preservation project in Broadway, Va., has announced that $374,500 has been raised toward the purchase of the property. "We only need $50,500 to meet our $425,000 goal by the end of December," said a note from Paul Roth, one of the leaders of the project. Fundraising continues with six Candlelight Dinners offered in the John Kline house on Nov. 13, 14, 20, and 21, and Dec. 11 and 12. "Enjoy a traditional 1860s meal in a Valley Brethren home. Hear the family discuss rumors of war and its implications for their family and farm. The $40 per plate will also go to preserve the John Kline Homestead," said an invitation. Reservations may be made with Roth at 540-896-5001 or Contributions to the preservation effort may be sent to John Kline Homestead, P.O. Box 274, Broadway, VA 22815. Find a photo album of the homestead at

  • A number of Learning Tours are offered by New Community Project in 2011: Burma (Myanmar), Jan. 5-16, cost $1,050 ($950 student); Sudan, Feb. 2-16, cost $1,400; the Ecuadorian Amazon, June 11-21, cost $1,150/$1,075; El Salvador and sites related to Oscar Romero’s martyrdom, July 12-21, cost $675/$600; Denali/Kenai Fjords, Alaska, Aug. 2-11, cost $850/$750; Arctic Village, Alaska, and the Gwich’in community, Aug. 11-19, cost $875 (from Fairbanks). Tours are open to all ages. Cost does not include airfare from the United States. For tour details go to or contact 888-800-2985 or

  • Church communicators are urging the Federal Communications Commission to protect freedom of the Internet. At meetings in mid-October, the National Council of Churches Communications Commission issued a resolution stating that "faith communities have experienced uneven access to and coverage by mainstream media and wish to keep open the opportunity to create their own material describing their faith traditions.... As faith communicators, we see every day the vital connection between a free and fair communications system and the achievement of important social justice goals." The resolution warned, "If vital net neutrality protections are not assured by the FCC, large for-profit companies providing Internet services may have a commercial incentive to favor their own content over others and as a result could limit the activity and equal access of members of faith communities and other non-commercial organizations online." Full text is at

  • "The Amish Way: Patient Faith in a Perilous World" (October 2010, Jossey-Bass) is a new book by the authors of "Amish Grace": Donald Kraybill, a Church of the Brethren member and senior fellow at the Young Center at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College; Steve Nolt, professor of history at Goshen College; and David Weaver-Zercher, professor of American religious history at Messiah College. The book offers an "inside look" at how Amish Christian beliefs and practices inform every aspect of Amish daily life, according to a release. Order through Brethren Press for $18.95 plus shipping and handling, call 800-441-3712 or go to

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