Thursday, November 04, 2010

Brethren couple begin teaching in North Korea.

Classes started Nov. 1 for Robert and Linda Shank, Church of the Brethren workers who have now begun teaching at a new university in the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea. The Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, located at the edge of North Korea’s capital city, has opened and is in operation.

A call to prayer for the Shanks was issued by the Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission Partnerships. "Pray that they get sorted out in the first months, that they have good rapport with their students and colleagues from around the world," said executive director Jay Wittmeyer.

For several months the couple have been at a sister university in China, preparing curriculum, as they and other faculty got ready to teach at the brand new institution.

From Kansas, the Shanks’ road to North Korea has taken them through a succession of agricultural assignments in developing countries: Ethiopia, Liberia, Nepal, and Belize. Robert Shank holds a doctorate in wheat breeding and has conducted rice research. Linda Shank holds a master’s degree in counseling and learning disabilities.

They are working in North Korea under the auspices of Global Mission Partnerships and the church’s Global Food Crisis Fund. Since 1996, the fund has provided grants in North Korea for hunger relief, agricultural development, and farm rehabilitation, and currently supports a cluster of farm cooperatives in order to help North Koreans boost agricultural production and equip their country to avert periodic famine.

At Christmastime the Shanks are expected to visit family in the United States and Dubai, and then continue teaching in North Korea in the winter and spring.

For more about the new Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, read a report on a visit to the school made by Global Mission Partnerships executive Jay Wittmeyer last September, go to Also available is a photo album from the university’s dedication ceremony, go to

Medical initiative is announced for Haiti; island braces for storm.

A tent encampment in Haiti, following the earthquake
One of the tent encampments that sprung up in Haiti following the January earthquake that devastated the nation. The island is currently bracing for a storm, Tropical Storm Tomas that may turn into a hurricane before hitting later this week--even as millions still live in tent cities and makeshift shelters on the street. A hurricane warning is active for Haiti and parts of the Dominican Republic, with up to 10 inches of rain expected. Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

A new Church of the Brethren medical initiative is in the early stages of development for Haiti. Members of the Brethren Disaster Ministries medical team sent to Haiti in March to serve survivors of the Jan. 12 earthquake have been reaching out to others in the denomination with experience in Haiti, in order to develop a more comprehensive approach to medical needs there.

The intention for the new initiative is to hire Haitian medical professionals to help develop the plan. It will likely begin as a one-year pilot project serving five different communities where Eglise des Freres Haitiens (the Haitian Church of the Brethren) already has a church presence.

The medical operation will be mobile, operating out of the back of a large van or small bus. The same communities will be visited each week, in order to establish relationships between caregiver and patients. Haitian staff, once hired, will be charged with the task of learning about other medical initiatives in those communities such as clinics, hospitals, or community health organizations, and nurturing mutually beneficial connections to existing programs.

The Church of the Brethren’s Haiti mission coordinator Ludovic St. Fleur, and Brethren Disaster Ministries Haiti response coordinator Jeff Boshart plan to travel to Haiti on Nov. 5 for several days of meetings with Haitian church leaders and others, including the head of IMA World Health's Haiti operations.

The announcement of the new medical initiative comes at a time when Haiti is struggling through an outbreak of cholera, noted Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission Partnerships. At least one member of Eglise des Freres Haitiens has died of cholera. Wittmeyer asked for prayer for those affected by the cholera outbreak, and noted that other ongoing efforts by the Brethren will help support health for the Haitian people such as the building of wells and water collection systems alongside the rebuilding of homes and churches destroyed by the earthquake.

A Benefit Dinner on Nov. 6 at McPherson (Kan.) Church of the Brethren will raise "seed money" for the initiative. The menu will feature Ethiopian and Ghanian food. Funds to support the new medical initiative in Haiti can be sent to the Emerging Global Mission Fund, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120.

For more information contact Jeff Boshart at or call the Global Mission Partnerships office at 800-323-8039.

In other news from Haiti, the island is bracing for Tropical Storm Tomas, which is predicted to hit late this week. As of today, a hurricane warning has been issued, with five to ten inches of rain expected in Haiti and parts of the Dominican Republic.

In Haiti, the storm threatens a nation still struggling with cholera and the earthquake devastation that has made millions homeless. Those in tent cities and make-shift shelters on the streets will be particularly vulnerable to the high winds and strong rains of a tropical storm.

Boshart reported that at least three Brethren churches in the Port-au-Prince area are planning to open their worship buildings as community shelters during the storm. Also timely as the storm approaches was a food distribution for Brethren communities in the Port-au-Prince neighborhoods of Marin and Croix des Bouquets, and the mountain village of Tonm Gato.

Church World Service (CWS) said yesterday it is "pre-positioning" aid as Tomas threatens. The agency is planning for a response in Haiti and the DR. The aid being prepared in advance of the storm includes about 10,000 tarps and a sizeable stock of hygiene kits.

For more see an interview with Roy Winter, executive director of Brethren Disaster Ministries, by Disaster News Network at

Brethren periodicals to be digitized.

The committee developing a Brethren Digital Archives is closing in on its goal of raising enough money to send the first phase of documents for digitizing by the end of the year. The longterm mission is to digitize Brethren periodicals dating back to 1851, when Henry Kurtz began publishing the "Monthly Gospel-Visitor," forerunner of "Messenger" magazine.

The Brethren Digital Archives (BDA) is a collaborative effort of publishers, libraries, and archives affiliated with the various Brethren groups that trace their spiritual ancestry back to Alexander Mack. To accomplish the digitizing, the BDA committee has partnered with Lyrasis, the nation’s largest regional membership organization serving libraries and information professionals. Grant funds make it possible to scan these publications for approximately $50,000, far less than the original estimate of $150,000, and the group is seeking to raise this amount by the end of the year.

The Brethren Historical Library and Archives has been represented at the BDA by the late Ken Shaffer. Those who attended the group’s September meeting included Steve Bayer of the Old German Baptist Brethren; Eric Bradley of the Morgan Library, Grace College and Seminary; Darryl Filbrun of the Old German Baptist Brethren, New Conference; Shirley Frick of the "Bible Monitor"; Liz Cutler Gates of the "Brethren Missionary Herald"; Larry Heisey and Paul Stump of the Brethren Heritage Center; and Gary Kochheiser of the Conservative Grace Brethren. For a full list of the partner Brethren groups and the periodicals to be digitized, or to make a donation, visit .

-- Wendy McFadden is publisher and executive director of Brethren Press.

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.

BVS Fall unit volunteers begin work.

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) unit 291 held orientation on Sept. 26-Oct. 15 in Oregon at Camp Myrtlewood in Myrtle Point and in Portland. The unit was the largest for several years, with more than 30 volunteers. Volunteers, congregations or hometowns, and placements follow:

Bahirah Adewunmi of College Park, Ga., to the Church of the Brethren/National Council of Churches office in Washington, D.C.; Jonathan Bay of La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren, to Hopewell Inn in Mesopotamia, Ohio; Alicia Camden of Virginia Beach (Va.) Christian Church Uniting, to the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C.; Michelle Cernoch of Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren, to L'Arche in Cork, Ireland; Alissa Cook of Dublin, Ohio, to Quaker Cottage in Belfast, N. Ireland; Britta Copeland of Middlebury (Ind.) Church of the Brethren, to the Palms Retirement Community in Sebring, Fla.; A.J. Detwiler of Fairview Church of the Brethren in Williamsburg, Pa., to Camp Blue Diamond in Petersburg, Pa.; Han and Tim Dowdle of Lelystad, Netherlands, to CooperRiis in Mill Spring, N.C.

Carol Fike of Freeport (Ill.) Church of the Brethren, and Clara Nelson of Cloverdale (Va.) Church of the Brethren, to the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministries in Elgin, Ill.; Elvira Firus of Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany, to Meeting Ground in Elkton, Md.; Rider Frey of Riley, Kan., to Camp Myrtlewood in Myrtle Point, Ore.; Rachel Gehrlein of Glenmoore, Pa., and Rebecca Rahe of Bad Salzuflen, Germany, to Family Abuse Center in Waco, Texas; Chelsea Goss of West Richmond Church of the Brethren in Henrico, Va., to On Earth Peace in Portland, Ore.; Thorsten Hagemeier of Berlin, Germany, to Talbert House in Cincinnati, Ohio; Sarah Hall of Manchester Church of the Brethren in N. Manchester, Ind., to Emmanuel Baptist Church in El Salvador; Malea Hetrick of Port Matilda, Pa., to Colegio Miguel Angel Asturias in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

Jamie Jamison of Ottawa (Kan.) Community Church of the Brethren, to Cincinnati (Ohio) Church of the Brethren; Elias Knoechelmann of Gieboldehausen, Germany, to Project PLASE in Baltimore, Md.; Rachel McBride of North Liberty (Ind.) Church of the Brethren, to Camp Courageous in Monticello, Iowa; Mike Nicolazzo of Ambler (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, to Kilcranny House in Coleraine, N. Ireland; Shannon Pratt-Harrington of Athens, Ohio, and Josh Schnepp of Beaverton, Mich., to Brethren Disaster Ministries in New Windsor, Md.

Ashley Reber of Roanoke Rapids, N.C., to San Antonio (Texas) Catholic Worker House; Andreas Rohland of Bayreuth, Germany, to Lancaster (Pa.) Area Habitat for Humanity; Jonathan von Rueden of Wiesloch, Germany, to Interfaith Hospitality Network in Cincinnati, Ohio; Caroline Ryan of Brookhaven, Pa., to East Belfast Mission in Belfast, N. Ireland; Jacob Short of Stryker, Ohio, to Center on Conscience and War in Washington, D.C.; and Jeremiah Zeek of 28th Street Church of the Brethren in Altoona, Pa., to Camp Mardela in Denton, Md.

Camp Mack board names new building, construction begins.

At its Oct. 30 meeting, the Indiana Camp Board chose names for the building that will house the office and dining services formerly located in Becker Lodge at Camp Mack in Milford, Ind. The lodge was destroyed in a July 11 fire.

All facilities at Camp Mack are named for Brethren leaders, with the camp itself named for Alexander Mack Sr., the founder of the Church of the Brethren.

The first new building will be called the John Kline Welcome Center. John Kline, a minister and doctor from Broadway, Va., during the Civil War era traveled across the Mason-Dixon line treating the injured or sick on both sides of the conflict. Soldiers allowed him to move freely as he traveled north on his horse, Nell, to preside over the church’s Annual Meeting. In 1864 Kline was killed in an ambush, while returning home after getting new shoes put on his horse.

The kitchen and dining rooms will be named the Kate Warstler Dining Center in honor and memory of Kate Warstler, a longterm and beloved Camp Mack cook. She was the first fulltime cook at Camp Mack, beginning in 1977 at a time when food service was incorporated into one new facility built in the lower level of Becker Lodge.

The new offices will be called the Manly Deeter Office Complex in memory of Manly Deeter, a member of the locating committee that chose the land for Camp Mack and also a member of the Incorporating Committee. Deeter Cabin, a log cabin built in 1925 and demolished in 1985, was the first office building and camp gift shop at Camp Mack.

On Nov. 1, construction began on this large multipurpose structure. Earth was moved preparing for the foundations that are expected to be completed as soon as possible. The goal is to have this building operational by June 1, ready to serve the coming summer’s campers. The general contractor for the job is D.J. Construction from Goshen, Ind.

As soon as blueprints are finalized for the John Kline Welcome Center, work will begin on blueprints for Becker Retreat Center, a building to replace the lodging and meeting rooms lost in the fire.

The Camp Board recognized that funds from the insurance will not cover all the construction costs of buildings that together will provide the services once housed in Becker Lodge. Much financial support will be needed to help pay for buildings that will serve the current generation and hopefully campers and retreat participants for years to come. Therefore the board has established a building fund and invites donors to give to it in any amount. The fund is receiving gifts at Camp Mack, P.O. Box 158, Milford, IN 46542 or online at

-- Phyllis Leininger is office manager for Camp Mack.

Outdoor Ministry Association plans annual retreat.

"Beside Still Waters" is the theme for the 2010 annual retreat of the Church of the Brethren’s Outdoor Ministry Association, to be held Nov. 14-18 at Camp Eder near Fairfield, Pa. The retreat is for camp leaders serving in a variety of roles (directors, program coordinators, maintenance and food service personnel, administrative assistants, seasonal staff, etc.).

The keynote speaker will be Nancy Ferguson, an ordained minister and certified Christian educator in the Presbyterian Church (USA), who has served as project manager for the New Earth curriculum. She will lead the group in learning more about how camp leaders can better provide retreat spaces and programs for campers, program participants, and rental/user groups.

The schedule includes worship, keynote presentations, workshops, roundtable discussions, the association’s annual membership meeting, and times for recreation and fellowship such as evening campfires and a hayride. A field trip will be offered to Gettysburg National Battlefield.

Workshop topics include "Seeing the Sacred in the Ordinary" led by Linda Alley; "Got Spirit?" "Training Staff to be Environmental Leaders," and "Training Staff to be Spiritual Leaders" led by Ferguson; "Delectable Programming" led by Shannon Kahler; and two workshops on marketing led by Melissa Troyer.

Find a brochure and more information at

Deadline nears to attend workshop on intercultural competency.

Registration closes Nov. 7 for the workshop "Intercultural Competency/Competencia Intercultural: Being an Effective Leader in a Diverse Changing World." The workshop is scheduled for Nov. 11, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at First Church of the Brethren in Harrisburg, Pa.

The event will be offered in both English and Spanish, and is jointly sponsored by the Church of the Brethren, On Earth Peace, and Mennonite Central Committee.

Designed for pastors, church members, and district leaders, the event will be led by Eric H.F. Law, adjunct faculty for the Doctor of Ministry program at McCormick Theological Seminary, ACTS Doctor of Ministry program in Preaching, and the Mexican American Cultural Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Law will speak on viewing intercultural communities of faith through the lens of theology and will lead the group in exploring the questions: What is culture? Why are there intercultural conflicts? How do racism, power, and privilege affect the way we can be effective leaders in a diverse community?

The $25 registration fee includes lunch with a vegetarian option. A continuing education credit of 0.5 is available for $10. Register online at or contact Stan Dueck, director of Transforming Practices at or 717-335-3226.

Church of the Brethren Yearbook goes to electronic format.

The 2010 Yearbook of the Church of the Brethren is now available from Brethren Press in an electronic format on CD. The Yearbook will no longer be available in printed form.

"The CD yearbook is an essential resource for Church of the Brethren information," says a description from Brethren Press. The disc format is searchable, easy to navigate, and contains contact information for congregations, districts, pastors, ministers, moderators, and Church of the Brethren agencies. The disk also includes the previous year's Statistical Report for 2009.

New features made possible by the electronic format, which also can be downloaded to a personal computer, include searchable navigation such as bookmarks, clickable links to other sections of the book or to websites, clickable e-mail addresses, and a "find" tool that enables quick searches of the entire listings.

Packaging for the new CD format also is friendly to the environment, using vegetable inks and a minimum of 10 percent post-consumer recycled content, as well as a 100 percent recycled tray and the option for the user to only print what is needed on paper.

The Yearbook on CD is available from Brethren Press for $21.50, plus shipping and handling. For more information or questions about the new electronic format, contact managing editor James Deaton at 800-323-8039 or

Also new from Brethren Press:

The Winter quarter’s "Guide for Biblical Studies," the Bible study and small group curriculum for adults. The theme for the Winter, "Assuring Hope," is addressed by author Harold S. Martin, and by "Out of Context" writer Frank Ramirez. "Guide for Biblical Studies" is available from Brethren Press for $4 per copy, or $6.95 for large print, plus shipping and handling.

Pre-publication orders are being accepted for the Brethren Press annual devotional guide for the Lenten season. "The Cost of Following Jesus: Devotions for Lent and Easter 2011" is written by J.D. Glick. This pocket-sized paperback is designed for congregations to provide to their members, and for individual use. Each day’s entry includes a scripture text, meditation, and prayer. Order for $2.50 each, or $5.95 large print, plus shipping and handling. Save 20 percent by ordering by Dec. 17.

To order any of these products from Brethren Press call 800-441-3712 or order online at

Brethren bits: Corrections, remembrances, personnel, jobs, more.
  • Corrections: In the Newsline of Oct. 21, an incorrect link was given for Church of the Brethren workcamps. Find the correct page at Caption information for the photo from the Church of North India’s 40th anniversary celebration also was incorrect. At the head table at CNI’s anniversary were Annual Conference moderator Robert Alley (second from right), seated among CNI church leaders and the Archbishop of Canterbury (second from left). In the Oct. 7 remembrance for Brett K. Winchester, his church membership was incorrect. He was a member of Mountain View Church of the Brethren in Boise, Idaho.

  • Correction: The General Secretary's office has provided a full list of all the other leaders of denominations who participated in Monday's meeting with President Obama (see the Newsline Special report of Nov. 1): Bishop Johncy Itty of Church World Service, Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Bishop John R. Bryant of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Sharon Watkins of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt Jr. of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Archbishop Khajag S. Barsamian of the Armenian Church of America, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of the Episcopal Church, Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Church of America, Gradye Parsons of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Betsy Miller of the Moravian Church, Thomas Swain of the Religious Society of Friends, Wesley S. Granberg-Michaelson of the Reformed Church in America, Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Rader of the United Methodist Church, Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America, Geoffrey Black of the United Church of Christ, and Walter L. Parrish III of the Progressive National Baptist Convention.

  • Kenneth M. Shaffer Jr., 64, director of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives (BHLA) at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., passed away on Oct. 23 at his home in Elgin. In May he had announced his retirement date as Dec. 31. He had served as BHLA director since Jan. 1989, holding responsibility for the extensive archival collection housed in the basement of the General Offices. With documents dating back to a 1539 German New Testament, the archive preserves Brethren publications, records, and items of historical importance. Shaffer regularly aided researchers, provided information for church programs and projects, served as staff liaison for the Brethren Historical Committee, oversaw the work of interns, and wrote about Brethren history. He began work for the Church of the Brethren in Aug. 1970 as consultant for curriculum development for the former General Board. From 1972-88 he worked at Bethany Theological Seminary in Oak Brook, Ill., where his positions included bookstore manager, acquisitions librarian, administrative assistant to the Doctor of Ministry program, and library director. He served as book review editor for the journal "Brethren Life and Thought" from 1986-99. From 1987-89 he was editor of "A Guide for Biblical Studies," the Brethren Press Bible study curriculum for adults. Most recently he had contributed to a new project to digitize Brethren periodicals, in a cooperative endeavor with several other Brethren bodies, and along with co-author Graydon Snyder was writing articles for "Brethren Life and Thought" to bring their books on "Texts in Transit" up to date. He also compiled the third supplement to the Brethren Bibliography and wrote numerous articles for "Messenger" magazine, of note recently his contributions to the coverage of the 300th anniversary of the Brethren movement. Originally from the eastern shore of Maryland, Shaffer was born Dec. 10, 1945, in Greensboro, Md. He graduated from North Caroline High School in 1963, and from Bridgewater (Va.) College in 1967. He received a master of divinity degree from Bethany Theological Seminary in 1970. In 1983 he also completed a master of arts degree in Library Science from Northern Illinois University. Professional memberships included the American Library Association, the American Theological Library Association, Beta Phi Mu (a library science honor society), the Chicago Area Theological Library Association, and the Midwest Archives Conference. He was an ordained minister and early in his career filled two summer pastorates. Most recently he was active in Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin. He is survived by his sister Jean Shaffer, aunts Kathleen Cole and Betsy Bareford, and numerous cousins. His funeral was held Oct. 27 at Denton (Md.) Church of the Brethren. A memorial service is planned at Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren, at a date yet to be determined.

  • Kenneth L. Brown, 77, died yesterday, Nov. 3, at the Cleveland (Ohio) Clinic of complications stemming from vasculitis, an auto-immune disease. He was a national peace studies pioneer and professor emeritus at Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., a nonviolent activist, and an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren."Ken was an amazing man," said Manchester president Jo Young Switzer in a release sent out by the college late yesterday. "For decades, his name was synonymous with our Peace Studies program. His students grappled with big questions and ambiguities. We respected him for all that and more." For 25 years, beginning in 1980, he directed the nation’s oldest peace studies program--the Peace Studies Institute and Program in Conflict Resolution at Manchester College. He also served as a consultant to peace studies programs across the country and around the world, and led study teams to Vietnam, Brazil, Northern Ireland, Haiti, Thailand, India, Jamaica, Colombia, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Cuba. After retiring in 2006, Brown continued to teach and with his wife, Viona. The couple also had hosted weekly discussions for students in their home, since their arrival in North Manchester in 1961. In 2005, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Peace and Justice Studies Association, of which more than 300 colleges and universities are members. He also was a founder of several organizations, including the Brethren Action Movement and the War Tax Resisters Penalty Fund. A native Kansan, he graduated from Wichita East High School in 1951, and from McPherson College in 1955. He attended Wichita State University and pursued graduate work at the University of Kansas. He held degrees from Bethany Theological Seminary and Duke University, where he received his doctorate in 1964, and also attended Garrett School of Theology and the University of California. Early in his career, he held pastorates at two Church of the Brethren congregations, and taught in the Chicago school system. He is survived by his wife, Viona, sons Chris Brown and Michael P. Brown, and daughter Katy Gray Brown. A memorial service will be planned.

  • Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) is mourning a death in the family of a denominational leader. Barka Filibus, a son of EYN president Filibus Gwama, died on Oct. 24 in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, perhaps of a heart attack. "He has a family with four children," report Nigeria mission workers Nathan and Jennifer Hosler in an e-mail asking for the American church’s support for the Gwama family and EYN as a whole. The Hoslers drove to the family’s home village of Gava to attend the burial service, where they were asked to bring condolences on behalf of the Church of the Brethren in the United States. Notes of condolence may be sent to EYN President Filibus Gwama at

  • Pierre U. Ferrari has been named CEO of Heifer International, an organization that originally started as the Church of the Brethren’s Heifer Project. He succeeds interim CEO Charles Stewart and Heifer’s longtime president and former CEO Jo Luck. Ferrari, who was born in Africa in 1950 in then the Belgian Congo, has more than 40 years of business experience ranging from Coca-Cola USA to socially oriented organizations like CARE and the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund. He is chair of the board for Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream, where he led the board to firm up its global commitment to fair trade by 2013 with its vanilla, cocoa, and coffee farmers; is a board member of the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund; sits on the advisory council for the Emory Ethics Center in Atlanta, Ga.; is a director of Guayaki Sustainable Rainforest Products; is president of "Hot Fudge" community development venture capital fund; and teaches (Sustainable) MBA Marketing at Bainbridge Graduate Institute. He holds a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from Harvard Business School. In a release from Heifer, Ferrari noted its "amazing legacy" but added that he has been hired "at a time where the urgency to end poverty is even greater. Heifer has a totally relevant set of values and model for today. My task will be to serve our various communities to empower more people much more rapidly, with a sense of passionate urgency."

  • Camp Bethel seeks a food services director. Camp Bethel is the outdoor ministry of the Church of the Brethren’s Virlina District, located near Fincastle, Va. This fulltime salaried position is available for a dependable, caring worker with good interpersonal and leadership skills. Starting date is as early as Jan. 1, 2011, and no later than April 30, 2011. Culinary experience or training is required, and staff management experience is preferred. Starting benefits package includes salary of $29,000, family medical insurance plan, a pension plan, travel allowance, and professional growth funds. An application, a position description, and more information is available at, or call 540-992-2940, or send a letter of interest and an updated résumé to Barry LeNoir, Camp Director, at (note that this is a new e-mail address for the camp).

  • 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, multi-age, 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.

  • Applications are being received for the 2011 Youth Peace Travel Team. The team is sponsored annually by the Church of the Brethren's Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Brethren Volunteer Service, On Earth Peace, and the Outdoor Ministries Association. Dates of service for the 2011 team are May 30-Aug. 15. Members of the team travel to Brethren camps throughout the US with the goal of talking with other young people about the Christian message and the Brethren tradition of peacemaking. College-age Church of the Brethren young adults (19-22 years old) will be selected. A stipend is paid to team members. Find the application at For more information contact the Youth and Young Adult Ministry office at 800-323-8039 ext. 289. Applications are due Jan. 19, 2011.

  • Assistant coordinators for the 2012 workcamp ministry are sought by the Church of the Brethren. "Are you a young adult who loves workcamps?" said an invitation. "Would you like to serve through Brethren Volunteer Service?" To learn more, go to or contact the workcamp office at or 800-323-8039.

  • The deadline is Dec. 1 for nominations for Annual Conference-elected positions. Conference director Chris Douglas is issuing an urgent call for nominations, as she noted in an e-mail reminder very few nominations have been given to the Nominating Committee. Nomination forms are available online at Those who make nominations should inform the nominees, who will receive an e-mail notice from the Conference Office and must fill out the Information Form that is also available on the website. Both forms must be filled out to complete a nomination. Find a list of the leadership positions that are open for 2011 at

  • The 2011 youth and young adult workcamp video has been released. This year’s workcamp theme is "We Are the Body." To view the video, go to Request a copy from the workcamp office at 800-323-8039. Copies are also available from district offices.

  • The final deacon training of the year will be held at Bermudian Church of the Brethren in East Berlin, Pa., on Nov. 14. The afternoon of workshops is sponsored by the Church of the Brethren’s Deacon Ministry and will include workshops on the Pastoral Care Team (deacons and pastors) and the "Art of Listening." Details and registration information can be found at The following deacon events are planned for 2011: Feb. 5 at Mexico Church of the Brethren in Peru, Ind.; March 19 at Freeport (Ill.) Church of the Brethren; and May 15 at County Line Church of the Brethren in Champion, Pa.

  • A series of presentations on "Faith Essentials for Anabaptists" with Stuart Murray Williams begins this afternoon, sponsored by the Church of the Brethren’s Congregational Life Ministries. Murray, an English scholar known for his most recent book, "The Naked Anabaptist: The Bare Essentials of a Radical Faith" (order from Brethren Press for $13.99 plus shipping and handling, call 800-441-3712), is to speak about the core components of Anabaptism, and the contemporary significance of a faith tradition of following Jesus. One event in the series is free and open to the public--an evening lecture today at 7 p.m. at the Young Center at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. Contact Congregational Life Ministries at 800-323-8039.

  • IMA World Health was forced to lay off a number of staff in mid-October, after the organization was not awarded an expected contract with USAID in the African country of the Democratic Republic of Congo. IMA World Health is a partner organization of the Church of the Brethren, with office headquarters at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. "IMA World Health’s mission is to advance health and healing to vulnerable and marginalized people the world over," said an IMA statement. "Funding for that work is provided primarily by grants from public funding sources. As a direct result of the ending of a significant grant, IMA has reduced its workforce to reflect its current income level. Staff losses are difficult and regrettable, but IMA’s staffing and cost structure must be appropriate for its funding levels. IMA is now leaner, but still strong and vital as we continue our mission to those in need."

  • A sermon by pastor Tim Ritchey Martin of Grossnickle Church of the Brethren in Myersville, Md., is featured on the Foods Resource Bank website. He gave the message at the Oct. 24 harvest celebration of the Grossnickle growing project in western Maryland, which involves six Brethren congregations, a United Church of Christ congregation, and a Catholic parish. Find "You're Not You When You're Hungry," at

  • Four Church of the Brethren districts are holding conferences over the next two weeks: Illinois and Wiconsin District Conference is Nov. 5-7 in Shannon, Ill., with Orlando Redekopp as moderator. Shenandoah District Conference is Nov. 5-6 at Bridgewater (Va.) Church of the Brethren, with Bernie Fuska as moderator. Virlina District Conference is Nov. 12-13 in Roanoke, Va., with Sharon S. Wood as moderator. Pacific Southwest District Conference is Nov. 12-14 at Hillcrest Retirement Village in La Verne, Calif., with Felton Daniels as moderator.

  • Theodore Long, president of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, will lecture at Juniata College on "Educating for Global Citizenship" at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 8 in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science. Before the lecture, according to a release from Juniata, Long will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Juniata president Thomas R. Kepple. Long will retire from the Elizabethtown presidency in July 2011, after a 15-year career

  • In news from McPherson (Kan.) College, those receiving annual Young Alumni Awards this year included two Church of the Brethren members: Becky Ullom, the denomination’s director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, and Iowa farmer Paul Neher of Ivester Church of the Brethren in Grundy Center, whose family opened their doors in 2004 to a Sudanese family of eight.

  • The World Council of Churches has condemned the killings on Sunday at a church in Baghdad, Iraq, when gunmen took hostages in the Sayidat al-Nejat Church. The WCC "is deeply troubled by the continuous suffering of Christians in Iraq and continues to stand in solidarity with all churches as they pass through turbulent and challenging times and witness to the love and peace of God in Jesus Christ even amidst hatred and aggression," a statement said.

Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren, or 800-323-8039 ext. 260. Judy Bezon, Kathleen Campanella, Lina Dagnew, Jeanne Davies, Chris Douglas, Nathan and Jennifer Hosler, Cindy Kinnamon, Donna Kline, Don Knieriem, Jeri S. Kornegay, Rene Rockwell, Howard Royer, John Wall, Walt Wiltschek, and Roy Winter contributed to this report.