Thursday, November 04, 2010

Church staff participate in conference call with Selective Service.

Jordan Blevins, advocacy officer and ecumenical peace coordinator for the Church of the Brethren and the National Council of Churches, and Dan McFadden, director of Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS), participated in a conference call with the Selective Service System on Oct. 13.

Programs and agencies of other denominations, along with a number of interested groups, also participated. The call was hosted by Cassandra Costley, manager of the Alternative Service Program of the Selective Service System, and the meeting was opened by Selective Service director Lawrence Romo. The purpose was to update the group on what’s been happening with the Alternative Service component of Selective Service.

There was a clear emphasis from the Selective Service staff that there in no expectation of a draft being implemented by Congress. They do not anticipate one in the future, yet reminded the group of their intent to be ready in that event.

Costley reported there are now three groups that have signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with the Selective Service System: the Church of the Brethren, including BVS; the Mennonite Church USA, including Mennonite Voluntary Service; and Christian Aid Ministries’ CASP (Conservative Anabaptist Service Programs). She added that these were the first memorandums of understanding completed by Selective Service in over 20 years. Selective Service will continue to pursue memorandums of understanding with other branches of the peace churches and interested agencies. The conference calls also will continue to be held twice a year.

-- Dan McFadden is director of Brethren Volunteer Service.

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