Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brethren bits: Personnel, jobs, Sudan, bullying, Lent devotional, more.
  • Steve Mason, director of the Brethren Foundation Inc. and the socially responsible investing activities of Brethren Benefit Trust, has been called as interim chief financial officer of BBT. This temporary role will last up to one year. He will work from his home office in North Manchester.

  • Jerry and Connie Reynolds have retired as managers of Camp Emmanuel in Astoria, Ill., as of Nov. 1, after serving five years in the position. Mike and Ruth Siburt of Decatur (Ill.) Church of the Brethren, began as the new camp managers on Nov. 11. The new Camp Emmanuel e-mail address is

  • The University of La Verne, Calif., seeks an interfaith chaplain to promote and advance a campus culture that values religious diversity, community service, and social awareness. A doctorate in an appropriate field is preferred, but a master of divinity or equivalent degree will be considered. The position requires a minimum of three years experience in college administration or related religious leadership. Preference will be given to candidates with ordination in a religious tradition. Benefits include a comprehensive health and welfare plan, tuition remission program for employee, spouse, and dependent children, and a generous 10 percent contribution to the university’s 403B retirement plan. Review of applications begins Jan. 3, 2011. For a full job description and to apply go to

  • The Gather ’Round curriculum, a project of Brethren Press and Mennonite Publishing Network, is accepting applications to write for the 2012–13 year. Writers are hired for one or two quarters for a particular age unit: preschool, primary, middler, multiage, junior youth, or youth. Writers produce well-written, age-appropriate, and engaging material for teacher’s guides, student books, and resource packs. All writers will attend an orientation conference March 6-10, 2011, in Chicago, Ill. For more information, visit the Job Opportunities page at The deadline for applications is Jan. 1, 2011.

  • Brethren are asked to commit themselves to prayer for Sudan, which is on the brink of renewed hostilities as it enters into a crucial stage of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005. This request comes from Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of the church’s Global Mission Partnerships. "On Jan. 9, a historic referendum vote is scheduled to determine if the predominantly Christian South will secede from Sudan and form an independent state, the Government of Southern Sudan," Wittmeyer said. "At the best of times, elections and referendums are difficult processes, but given Sudan’s tumultuous history, ethnic tensions, and disputed oil fields and water resources, this referendum could spark violence and even outright war. Brethren are asked to pray that this historic event takes place in a peaceful, timely, and credible manner, and that the results of the vote are respected on all sides."

  • Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has announced the planting of a local church council in the neighboring country of Cameroun. The announcement came in a Nov. 24 e-mail from EYN general secretary Jinatu L. Wamdeo to the US church’s Global Mission Partnerships. "We are happy to inform you that we have witnessed big events of God’s work through the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) in Cameroun yesterday where autonomy is given to Zamga Cameroun," Wamdeo wrote. "It is the first in EYN History to install a Local Church Council (LCC) EYC outside Nigeria."

  • Church of the Brethren resources on the problem of bullying are available online, including a pastoral letter signed by general secretary Stan Noffsinger, a video clip of Noffsinger speaking about the issue, "Safe Places" materials originally prepared for a Health Promotion Sunday, and more. "Our response to bullying, at its base, is a response to violence. Bullying, for any reason and in any manner, is inconsistent with the Good News of Jesus Christ," the letter says, in part. Find resources at

  • Brethren Press is offering a pre-publication price for its 2011 Lent devotional, "The Cost of Following Jesus: Devotions for Ash Wednesday through Easter" by J.D. Glick. Order by Dec. 17 to get the special discount price of $2 per copy and $5 for large print. After Dec. 17 the cost is $2.50 per copy, $5.95 for large print. Become a seasonal subscriber to the annual devotional series and receive both Lent and Advent devotionals at the discounted price, with your subscription automatically renewed each year. Call Brethren Press at 800-441-3712 or go to

  • Brethren Disaster Ministries associate director Zach Wolgemuth has been involved in meetings with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) around disaster housing initiatives and how to work with government partners. He reports that a core working group has been established, unofficially called the Collaborative Housing Work Group, with one representative each from Habitat for Humanity, Christian Reform World Relief Committee, Mennonite Disaster Service, and Brethren Disaster Ministries. "This is a unique opportunity with lots of promise," he wrote. "Communication and collaboration among agencies will be keys to success. We hope to develop a framework for our response to housing needs in the wake of disaster, to understand each other’s strengths and capacities so that we might better serve those in need. We then hope to develop a decision tree to help guide responders after an event."

  • Michigan District has a new address at P.O. Box 6383, Saginaw, MI 48608-6383.

  • Shane Claiborne, one of the keynote speakers at National Youth Conference, will be featured at a meeting at Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren at 7 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2011. "Another way of Doing Life" will be the subject of his presentation. The announcement of the event notes that his message is a needed one during a time of unemployment, war, environmental disaster, and political corruption. All are welcome, including parents and grandparents. A free-will offering will pay for the expenses of the evening. Claiborne’s appearance is sponsored by the Taxes for Peace Interest Group of the Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness and 1040 for Peace. For more information, contact John Stoner at 717-859-3388.

  • Harold Martin of the Brethren Revival Fellowship is this quarter’s speaker for a half-hour radio program of the Sunday School Meditations Association. The program offers commentary on the International Sunday School lessons, produced out of Lancaster, Pa. Listen at

  • IMA World Health’s Safe Motherhood Kit is to be featured on ABC’s "20/20" program this Friday. IMA is headquartered at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The special episode titled "Be the Change: Save a Life" will focus on six common health problems from around the world and what can be done to fix them. The Dec. 17 program kicks off ABC News’ new year-long global health care series. For a promotional video from ABC go to

  • Springs of Living Water, a Brethren-based church renewal program, is making a Christmas eve spiritual disciplines folder available for use by congregations this season. "Guided by the Light of Christ Jesus" is available online at, along with study questions written by Vince Cable, pastor of Uniontown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. The folder is designed to be distributed at Christmas eve services, so individuals will have a daily scripture to meditate on and follow into the new year, according to an announcement from Springs leader David Young. The texts follow the international lectionary, with themes from the Brethren bulletin series. An insert offers options for spiritual growth, anything from a commitment to Sunday worship to a family discerning how to carry the light of Christ daily. Contact

  • Kathryn Grim, oldest member of First Church of the Brethren in York, Pa., will celebrate her 100th birthday at an Open House at the Brethren Home Community on Dec. 18. The church newsletter reports that today Willard Scott was scheduled to honor her on NBC’s "Today Show."

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