Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Brethren bits: Corrections, job openings, BVS units, more.
  • Corrections: Newsline on Jan. 12 included incorrect information about online registration for delegates to the 2011 Annual Conference. Delegate registration at does not end on Feb. 22, however after that date the delegate registration fee goes up from $275 to $300. Housing reservations and nondelegate registration also open at the same web address on Feb. 22 at 12 noon (central time). In addition, the correct link for One Great Hour of Sharing offering materials is

  • The Church of the Brethren’s Southeastern District seeks a district executive minister. This is a half-time position that could be filled by an individual or a team. The position is available immediately. Southeastern District includes 41 congregations in the states of Alabama, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and a portion of North Carolina and Virginia. The churches are in rural settings, with many small congregations. The district is has two camps, one in Linville, N.C., and the other in Blountville, Tenn. The preferred candidate is someone who upholds the teachings of the New Testament and recognizes that the Bible is the inspired word of God. Responsibilities include serving as executive officer of the District Board, giving general oversight to the planning and implementation of the ministries as directed by District Conference and the board, providing linkages to congregations and other denominational agencies and ministries, assisting congregations and ministers with pastoral placement, encouraging pastors and congregations to have open communication and good working relationships, articulating and promoting the vision and mission of the district, facilitating and encouraging the calling and training of persons to set-apart ministry and lay leadership. Qualifications include a strong personal faith expressed through membership in and commitment to the Church of the Brethren, an ordained minister with a minimum of five years of pastoral experience, a commitment to the New Testament and its values, strong communication skills, experience in leadership development and church growth, following biblical precepts in problem solving, addressing the needs of all parties involved for a peaceful Godly solutions. Apply by sending a letter of interest and a resume via e-mail to Applicants are requested to contact three or four people to provide letters of reference. Upon receipt of the resume, the applicant will be sent a candidate profile that must be completed and returned before the application is considered complete. The application deadline is April 30.

  • The Brethren Historical Library and Archives (BHLA) has an opening for an archival intern. The purpose of this Archival Internship Program is to develop interest in vocations related to archives and libraries and/or Brethren history. The program will provide the intern with work assignments in BHLA and with opportunities to develop professional contacts. Work assignments will include processing archival materials, writing descriptive inventories, preparing books for cataloging, responding to reference requests, and assisting researchers in the library. Professional contacts may include attending archival and library conferences and workshops, visits to libraries and archives in the Chicago area, and participation in a Brethren Historical Committee meeting. The BHLA is an official repository for Church of the Brethren publications and records. The collection consists of over 10,000 volumes, over 3,500 linear feet of manuscripts and records, over 40,000 photographs, plus videos, films, DVDs, and recordings. BHLA is located at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Term of service is one year, beginning July 2011 (preferred). Compensation includes housing, a stipend of $540 every two weeks, and health insurance. Requirements include graduate student preferred, or undergraduate with at least two years of college, interest in history and/or library and archival work, willingness to work with detail, accurate word processing skills, ability to lift 30 pound boxes. Request an application packet from the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; All submissions must be completed by March 1. For additional information about the position contact the Brethren Historical Library and Archives at 800-323-8039 ext. 294 or

  • Nancy and Irv Heishman, recently returned from more than seven years in the Dominican Republic as Church of the Brethren mission coordinators, are available for mission interpretation in congregations and districts during the coming months. They currently are based in Harrisonburg, Va., and can be contacted at 540-383-1274 or

  • Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) is holding its Winter orientation unit Jan. 30-Feb. 18 at Camp Ithiel in Gotha, Fla. This will be the 292nd BVS unit and will consist of 14 volunteers from across the US, Holland, and Germany, including several Church of the Brethren members. A highlight will be a weekend immersion in Miami. In Miami and Orlando areas the group will have the opportunity to work at area food banks, Habitat for Humanity, and other nonprofit organizations. They also will experience a Toxic Tour showing the devastation of agricultural chemicals for the land and water of Lake Apopka and for farmworkers in the area. A BVS potluck is open to all those who are interested on Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. at Camp Ithiel. Come and welcome the new BVS volunteers and share your own experiences."As always your thoughts and prayers are welcome and needed," said orientation coordinator Callie Surber in an announcement. "Please remember this new unit and the people they will touch during their year of service through BVS." For more information contact the BVS office at 800-323-8039 ext. 423.

  • BVS also is inviting older adults to its spring orientation unit on March 28-April 8 at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The unit is open to anyone age 50 or older. Older adult volunteers are asked to commit to a project for a minimum of six months, but may attend orientation without making a commitment to serve in BVS. One project in particular, the World Friendship Center in Hiroshima, Japan, is seeking two volunteers for a two-year commitment. The volunteers would begin at the center this spring, serving as co-directors to manage and operate international guest services that include scheduling, welcoming, correspondence, breakfast preparation, and a full spectrum of cleaning and maintenance duties. For more information about the orientation and BVS projects see

  • The Information Packet for the 2011 Annual Conference is now available on CD as well as online at This includes information about housing and hotels, conference schedule, special events and meal tickets, age group activities, and more. The CD has been sent to each Church of the Brethren congregation and each registered delegate.

  • Feb. 6 is the annual Service Sunday in the Church of the Brethren. The day celebrates those who serve, offers an opportunity to discover ways to serve through Church of the Brethren ministries and in local communities, and calls church members to be transformed by serving one another in the name of Christ. Worship resources are available at

  • The Material Resources program that warehouses and ships disaster relief supplies from the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., has made several shipments recently. A 40-foot container of 11,620 quilts has been sent to UNHCR in Azerbaijan on behalf of Lutheran World Relief. Another 40-foot container with blankets, Hygiene Kits, baby items, and medical supplies for Global Assistance has gone to Zambia. Church World Service has released shipments of woolen blankets and Hygiene Kits to be distributed to homeless and low-income families and shelters in New Mexico, New Jersey, California, Michigan, and Florida.

  • Congregational Life Ministries executive Jonathan Shively recommends an upcoming Congress on Urban Ministry on the theme "Peacemaking in a Culture of Violence" on March 1-4 in Chicago. Among keynote speakers are James Forbes, senior minister emeritus at Riverside Church in New York; Renita Weems, an AME elder considered one of the top preachers in the country; Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann; and Shane Claiborne, a leader in the new monastic movement, who spoke for the Church of the Brethren’s National Youth Conference last summer, among others. Church planter Samuel Sarpiya and On Earth Peace will be presenting a workshop related to peace-building in the Rockford, Ill., community, and Gerald Rhoades from Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren also will present a workshop on the Agape-Satyagraha youth mentoring program. Efforts are being made to have urban Brethren participate in this conference, and individuals who wish to be included in a group registration/discount process. A few scholarships may be available. Contact For registration and schedule information go to Early registration deadline is Jan. 31.

  • Over 700 people of faith are expected to attend the ninth annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C., on March 25-28. The theme will be "Development, Security, and Economic Justice: What's Gender Got to Do with It?" Among speakers and preachers confirmed so far are husband-wife team John Nunes, president and CEO of Lutheran World Relief, and Monique Nunes, administrator for the Baltimore Lutheran School; Peg Chemberlin, president of the National Council of Churches and executive director of the Minnesota Council of Churches; and Daisy Machado, academic dean and professor of Church History at Union Theological Seminary, New York. Plenary sessions and workshops will address a range of issues from ending violence against women to empowering and educating women. Participants will meet with members of Congress to discuss ways of addressing these concerns through legislation or budget priorities. Student scholarships are available. More information is at or contact Jordan Blevins, advocacy officer for the Church of the Brethren, at

  • Daniel Rudy, a senior at Bethany Theological Seminary, was featured in a press release on the National Festival of Young Preachers. The event brought together 130 young people for a preaching festival in Lousville, Ky. "The national festival has given me the opportunity to receive and provide support for my sisters and brothers as we explore what it means to be young people called by God to preaching ministry," Rudy said. Also attending from Bethany was Brandon Grady, who served as a preaching mentor and a session convener; and director of admissions Elizabeth J. Keller, who was Bethany’s representative at an evening "Preachapalooza." Bethany is among the 50 Founding Partners of the Academy of Preachers, which sponsors the festival.

  • "Where the Designer and Design Artfully Awakens" is the theme for Bethany Theological Seminary’s Campus Visit Day on March 4. Meet students and faculty, tour the campus, share a meal, and learn more about the call to leadership and scholarship in the church and the world. Register at or contact

  • Co-authors of "The Chronicler"--Bob Neff and Frank Ramirez--along with Bethany Seminary academic dean Steve Schweitzer are developing a series of podcast discussions to accompany chapters of the book. "The Chronicler" is part of the Covenant Bible study series from Brethren Press and offers insights on the Old Testament book of Chronicles. Earlier this Fall, Neff and Ramirez joined Schweitzer at the seminary in Richmond, Ind., for a webcast discussion available to view at The podcasts are available at the same site. Purchase "The Chronicler" from Brethren Press at 800-441-3712.

  • Northern Plains District staff have new e-mail addresses: Tim Button-Harrison, district executive,; Nancy Davis, secretary,

  • Mill Creek Church of the Brethren in Port Republic, Va., is hosting the CrossRoads Heritage Center's Annual Dinner on Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 540-438-1275 by Jan. 31 for reservations. During the meeting Paul Roth will portray Elder John Kline.

  • University of La Verne, Calif., observed Martin Luther King Day with a community service workday for students and faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences, according to a release. "At the heart of the University of La Verne’s mission is to contribute to and share the responsibility and rewards of serving the human and ecological community," said Zandra Wagoner, assistant dean and assistant professor of Religion. Service activities took place at a variety of locations including a Habitat for Humanity ReStore, the Woods Health Services at the Hillcrest Retirement Community, and the community garden at La Verne Church of the Brethren, among others.

  • McPherson (Kan.) College next month will sponsor presentations by Shane Claiborne, a leader of the Potter Street Community (formerly Simple Way) in Philadelphia, and who spoke at last year’s National Youth Conference. At McPherson he will be the featured speaker for the Religious Heritage Lecture Series. He will speak to area high school students on Feb. 9 on "The Irresistible Revolution" and to McPherson College students on Feb. 10 during the day, followed at 7:30 p.m. with a free public event in Brown Auditorium titled "Resurrecting Church."

  • Ludovic St. Fleur, pastor of Eglise des Freres Haitiens in Miami, Fla., and a leader of the Church of the Brethren mission in Haiti, has received the Robert and Myrna Gemmer Peacemaking Award from Atlantic Southeast District.

  • Audrey deCoursey of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill., is one of the young clergy planning a conference on "Leading Progressive Christian Congregations in an Interfaith Age," with sponsorship by the Plymouth Center for Progressive Christianity through its Emerging Leaders Institute. The event for clergy in their first five years of parish ministry takes place in Minneapolis, Minn., on April 28-May 1 with keynote presenter is Diana Butler Bass. The institute is limited to around 30 participants, and the Plymouth Center will cover costs beyond travel. Apply by Feb. 10. Go to

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