Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Brethren bits: Correction, job openings, upcoming events, more.
  • Correction: The new online page from the Brethren Historical Library and Archives is titled "Hidden Gems," not "Hidden Treasures" as incorrectly reported in the Newsline of Jan. 26.

  • The 2011 Youth Peace Travel Team has been announced: Mark Dowdy of Stone Church of the Brethren in Huntingdon, Pa.; Tyler Goss of West Richmond (Va.) Church of the Brethren; Kay Guyer of Manchester Church of the Brethren in North Manchester, Ind.; and Sarah Neher of McPherson (Kan.) Church of the Brethren. As they spend time with junior and senior high youth at camps across the denomination this summer, the team will teach about peace, justice, and reconciliation. Follow the team’s ministry at The team is sponsored by the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Brethren Volunteer Service, On Earth Peace, and the Outdoor Ministry Association.

  • Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) seeks a chief operating and compliance officer for a full-time salaried position based at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The chief operating and compliance officer will provide daily administrative oversight for BBT’s ministries and compliance leadership for all of BBT’s operations. As COO, this person will supervise directors of the Church of the Brethren Pension Plan, Brethren Foundation, Brethren Insurance Services, and Church of the Brethren Credit Union, as well as directors of the Communications and Information Technology departments. The COO will take the lead, in collaboration with the CEO and CFO, in working with department directors to develop annual budgets and business plans that reflect the organization’s strategic goals. As compliance officer, this person will direct internal and external risk assessments and will lead the organization in implementation of compliance-related procedures and practices. This person also will lead the development and implementation of the organization’s business continuity plan. BBT seeks candidates with undergraduate degrees in accounting, business, or related fields. Candidates should have eight years of experience in administration and personnel supervision, and five years of experience working with compliance or compliance-related issues. This person must be proficient with technology and systems. Experience in business planning and project leadership is desired. Current and active membership in the Church of the Brethren is preferred; current and active membership in a faith community is required. The COO and compliance officer will travel on occasion to fulfill the responsibilities of the position, including events related to denominational activities, the Church Benefits Association, and professional growth. Salary and benefits are competitive with Church Benefits Association agencies of comparable size and scope of services. A full benefits package is included. Apply by Feb. 25 by sending a letter of interest, resume, three references (two supervisors and one colleague), and salary-range expectation to Donna March, 1505 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120, or For questions or clarification about the position, call 847-622-3371.

  • Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) seeks applications for a full-time co-director to work with Carol Rose, current co-director. The position begins in July. The job description is flexible depending on the intersection of applicant’s skills with current co-director. Applications from members of racially marginalized groups and from outside North America are warmly welcomed. Compensation is a stipend based on need. The initial appointment is for a period of three years. Qualifications include spiritual grounding in Christianity; strong skills in organizational processes and administration; experience leading or working in an international organization committed to violence reduction, nonviolent resistance campaigns, and movement building; strong English with at least minimal Spanish; background and skill in undoing oppressions; ability to mobilize economic and human resources; knowledge of CPT and how the organization works. Needed traits include the ability to articulate and promote the CPT mission and vision; make collaborative decisions; listen well; be flexible; articulate and promote an organizational vision; lead in organizational change; and network between religious, political, geographical, and social groups. See for more information. Must participate in a CPT delegation and month-long training and discernment process prior to final appointment. Contact Susan Mark Landis at with expressions of interest by March 1. She will respond with a more complete job description and application materials.

  • Bread for the World seeks an associate for Denominational Women’s Organization Relations, a motivated professional to engage denominational women’s organizations in partnerships and promote their involvement in the 1000 Days Campaign on maternal and child nutrition. Must have a bachelor’s degree and three-to-five years of related work experience; excellent relational skills; experience in planning and coordinating small group events, including travel; excellent written and verbal communication skills; and knowledge of Christian scripture, theology, and church organization. Familiarity with denominational women’s organizations preferred. This is a full-time grant-funded position until Oct. 2012. Apply by Feb. 18. Bread is an EOE. Contact Rev. Diane Ford Jones, Senior National Church Relations Associate, Bread for the World, 425 3rd St. SW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20024; 202-639-9400;

  • Camp Brethren Heights in Rodney, Mich., has announced the hiring of camp director Randall Westfall. He began his duties on Jan. 15.

  • Young adults from all denominations are encouraged to participate in the Eco-Stewards Program, in a note from Greg Davidson Laszakovits, Brethren representative to the National Council of Churches’ Eco-Justice Working Group. The program is for young adults ages 20-30 who are interested in exploring connections between faith and environmental stewardship. The 2011 program will take place June 2-9 with the theme "Living with and from the Land on the Crow Reservation in Montana: Sustainability and Reconciliation Through Agriculture, Health, and Green Building." The program will be held at Greenwood Farm, an organic farm on the Crow Reservation just outside Hardin, Mont. Apply by March 1, find the application form and more information at

  • Church of the Brethren general secretary Stan Noffsinger has signed on to a letter to President Obama supporting a pending United Nations Security Council resolution on the Middle East. The letter was signed by leaders of 13 denominations and church related organizations that are members of Church for Middle East Peace (CMEP). It said, in part. "We believe that the United States must now respond positively to the resolution on Israeli settlement construction activity and related issues." In a separate release, CMEP said it is "deeply concerned" that the resolution pass the Security Council. The CMEP described the resolution as "calling on Israel to stop illegal construction of settlements in the territories over which it gained control in 1967, including East Jerusalem.... CMEP calls on the Obama Administration not to stand in the way of this resolution in a Security Council vote." For more go to

  • Church of the Brethren leaders also have written and signed letters in support of the National Council of Churches’ call for an end to gun violence, responding to the tragic shooting in Tucson. A letter has been written to President Obama and signed by the Inter-Agency Forum, including the officers of Annual Conference, representatives of the districts, and top executives and board chairs of the church agencies. A similar letter was sent to governor Pat Quinn of Illinois, the state in which the Church of the Brethren is incorporated. Both letters encouraged the initiation of "legislation that will limit access to hand guns and assault weapons."

  • Bethany Seminary president Ruthann Knechel Johansen will give the address to commemorate the purchase and preservation of the John Kline Homestead. "A Service of Celebration: Honoring the Legacy" is Feb. 27, at 3 p.m. at Linville Creek Church of the Brethren in Broadway, Va. Her address, "The Legacy of Radical Middleness," follows a child’s reading of the Brethren Press book "The Middle Man." Visitors will be able to tour the Linville Creek Church Historical and Kline Rooms and the John Kline house after the service. Also, seats are still available for Candlelight Dinners in the John Kline house, where re-enactors share concerns for the approaching War Between the States and its impact on home, farm, and faith. Seats are available Feb. 19, March 18, April 15 and 16. $40/plate, limit of 32 per evening. Contact 540-896-5001 or for reservations. Groups welcome.

  • Bethany Theological Seminary is offering "Sabbath space" on its campus in Richmond, Ind., on March 27-28. An announcement said: "At this moment in our national and denominational life, and taking Jesus seriously, Bethany Seminary is opening a Sabbath space for all people beginning on Sunday, March 27, at 5 p.m. with a simple fellowship meal and closing on Monday, March 28, by 3 p.m. The purpose of our gathering is to remember together that God is our creator, that we belong to God, and that we find our freedom and our joy in reconciliation with God and one another." The event will include worship, opportunities for prayer in small groups, and space for individual meditation. There is no charge, but those who plan to attend are requested to register. A registration form is at

  • Stan Dueck, director of Transforming Practices, is recommending several books on the evangelism resources page at The books can be purchased through Brethren Press for a discount. "Two books may be of particular interest due to the conversation in many congregations pertaining to ministry with youth and young adults," he writes: "Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church," by Kenda Creasy Dean, and "Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults" by Christian Smith and Patricia Snell.

  • Brethren Disaster Ministries is offering a Haiti Workcamp on March 14-20, working with Eglise des Freres Haitiens (the Church of the Brethren in Haiti). Register with deposit by Feb. 14. The workcamp will help rebuild homes in the Port-au-Prince area and outlying villages that have received earthquake victims. Cost is $900, with a $300 deposit due with registration. Participants purchase their own round-trip transportation to Port-au-Prince. Requirements include good health, stamina for hard work in a hot climate, age 18 or older, a passport, vaccinations and medications, sensitivity and flexibility with regard to cultural differences. Go to

  • Nursing scholarships are available from the Church of the Brethren’s Caring Ministries. The program awards a limited number of scholarships each year to individuals enrolled in an LPN, RN, or nursing graduate program who are members of the Church of the Brethren. Scholarships of up to $2,000 for RN and graduate nurse candidates and up to $1,000 for LPN candidates will be awarded. A preference is given to new applications, and to individuals who are in their second year of an associate’s degree or third year of a baccalaureate program. Scholarship recipients are eligible for only one scholarship per degree. Applications and supporting documentation must be submitted by April 1. Candidates who are awarded scholarships will be notified in July and funds will be sent directly to the appropriate school for the Fall term. To apply, print or download the instructions and application from

  • The Mid-Atlantic District Peace and Justice Committee on March 26 is sponsoring a Peace Symposium titled, "Is Pacifism a Core Christian Value?" The symposium will be held at University Park Church of the Brethren in Hyattsville, Md., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Keynote speaker will be Stan Noffsinger, general secretary of the Church of the Brethren. A panel discussion also will be offered with local and denominational representatives. Attendees are invited to read "Christian Understanding of War in an Age of Terror(ism)," a paper under discussion by the National Council of Churches, in preparation for the symposium. Find the document at, scroll down to "Visioning Conversations" and click "Full Text of the Five Vision Papers." Contact Illana Naylor at

  • The January and February episodes of "Brethren Voices" cable television program from Peace Church of the Brethren in Portland, Ore., feature Melanie Snyder, author of the Brethren Press book "Grace Goes to Prison" and a member of Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. The March edition will feature Randy Miller, interim editor of "Messenger." For copies contact

  • The first World Interfaith Harmony Week was held the first week in February 2011, following a resolution adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations last October. To mark the event, Church of the Brethren UN representative Doris Abdullah attended an Interfaith Breakfast of the Committee of Religious NGOs, in New York on Feb. 3.

  • The National Council of Churches (NCC) joined with the Coptic Orthodox Church to observe a three-day period of prayer and fasting for events in Egypt. NCC general secretary Michael Kinnamon said he prayed that "the people of Egypt will experience a just and hopeful resolution of the current crisis." The World Council of Churches also issued a statement of concern for Egypt: "Our hopes and prayers are for the safety of citizens, for wisdom and compassion on the part of the authorities and for a non-violent and just resolution of conflicts and grievances."

  • The National Religious Campaign Against Torture has released a statement hoping that this time of change in Egypt ensures the end of the use of torture there. The statement from NRCAT executive director Richard Killmer said, "There is strong evidence that in the past the US rendered suspected terrorists to Egypt with the knowledge that they would be tortured. It is our hope that this time of change in Egypt ensures that no government of Egypt will allow the use of torture. Further, we call upon the US government to create a Commission of Inquiry to investigate all aspects of its past use of torture." For more go to

No comments: