Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Brethren bits: Personnel, job opening, registration deadlines, more.
  • Jeremy McAvoy on March 7 began a term of service with the Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) office in Elgin, Ill. He will work as a volunteer for recruitment alongside Katherine Boeger, recently hired as coordinator of recruitment and service advocate for BVS and Global Mission Partnerships. Previously he served one year with Brethren Disaster Ministries in Indiana. He is a member of Live Oak (Calif.) Church of the Brethren.

  • The New Windsor (Md.) Conference Center is expressing gratitude to volunteer hosts Dick and Erma Foust of New Lebanon, Ohio, who served in the Old Main building in January and February. The center also welcomed Tom and Maryellen Foley from Cape Porpoise, Maine, as volunteer hosts in Zigler Hall for March and April.

  • Pinecrest Community, a Church of the Brethren-affiliated continuing care retirement community in Mount Morris, Ill., is seeking a director of development to plan, develop, and maintain a comprehensive fundraising program through grants, bequests, trusts, and donations to enhance Pinecrest’s mission. The director coordinates and leads the efforts of the Capital Fundraising Campaign and supervises the Annual Giving Manager. Demonstrated success in activities to coordinate, attract, and close major gift funding support including face-to-face solicitation of gifts is sought. The ideal candidate will possess knowledge of marketing strategies and techniques, knowledge of long-range planning processes, interpersonal skills, and be an organized and professional representative of Pinecrest. Qualifications include a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of four years of experience including knowledge of annual giving, capital campaign, foundation/corporate solicitations, and deferred giving. Submit application to Victoria Marshall, Pinecrest Community, 414 South Wesley Ave., Mt. Morris, IL 61054.

  • March 19 is the deadline to register for the Church of the Brethren’s annual Intercultural Consultation and Celebration on April 28-30 in Mills River, N.C. Register at

  • "Re:Thinking Church" (Acts 2:1-4) is the theme for the Young Adult Conference on May 28-30 at Camp Inspiration Hills near Burbank, Ohio. The event is for young adults ages 18-35. Cost is $95 prior to April 22, $120 thereafter. Register online at

  • A letter to members of Congress raising concerns about the federal budget has been signed by Church of the Brethren general secretary Stan Noffsinger along with Christian leaders from a wide range of denominations and ecumenical organizations. The letter opened: "Our witness as faith leaders is grounded in love for God and neighbor and all Creation. Accordingly, we are compelled to speak out against the proposed deep cuts in FY2011 discretionary domestic and poverty-focused foreign aid spending. Jesus challenged people to define themselves by the measure of their love for one another, with particular concern for those struggling in poverty and marginalized by society. His Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) transforms and broadens our definition of the neighbor and lifts up a model of relationship with our neighbors that should define and sustain our community, national, and international life." The 16 signers included top leaders of some of the largest denominations in the country including the United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Episcopal Church, American Baptist Churches USA, Presbyterian Church USA, and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Find the letter at

  • "The national initiative, Let’s Move!, is focused on solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation. As parents, as Christ-followers, as human beings, we cannot ignore the reports that for the first time in two centuries, the current generation of children in America may have shorter life expectancies than their parents." These are the opening words in a letter signed by general secretary Stan Noffsinger encouraging Church of the Brethren congregations to take up this challenge locally. A Toolkit for Faith-based and Neighborhood Organizations offers lots of ideas ( ). Over the next few months denominational staff will be holding up the "Let’s Move!" imperative with challenges specific to the Brethren identity of "peacefully, simply, together," continuing the healing work of Jesus in support of children. Find the general secretary’s letter at

  • Churches have the opportunity to become sites providing food to hungry children this summer through the federal Summer Food Service program, recommended to Brethren by Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission Partnerships. "When school is finished, the 20 million children who receive free or reduced-price lunch during the school year through USDA’s National School Lunch Program will be in trouble," said an announcement from Max Finberg, director of the USDA Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. "We want to make sure that no child in the US goes to bed hungry, whether school is in session or out." Churches can help by being a site or sponsor in the program. Go to

  • On Earth Peace has announced four new peace retreats for youth programming: "Agape Community Peace Retreat" invites youth to consider Jesus' call to agape love of enemy and neighbor alike. "Meeting Place Peace Retreat" teaches strategies for healthy communication and alternatives to violence. "Enemy Love Peace Retreat" encourages youth to follow Jesus' call to "love our enemies" and will consider what scripture and tradition have to say about violence and war; alternatives to military service through conscientious objection are introduced. "Who Is My Neighbor Peace Retreat" for middle school youth engages the parable of the Good Samaritan. Contact Chelsea Goss, peace retreat coordinator, at

  • Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren is having a Peace Forum on March 20 led by Jordan Blevins and Greg Laszakovits. Blevins will speak at the two traditional worship services, at 8 a.m. and 10:15 a.m., on the topic, "Who Are We Called to Be?" (Acts 2:43-47) and he will lead a Thoughtful Life adult Sunday school class at 9:15 a.m. Laszakovits will speak at the two contemporary worship services at 9 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. on the topic, "The Gospel of Peace Is Dead" (Matthew 5:38-45). The senior high youth will serve lunch, after which the speakers will make presentations and respond to questions. Church member Jay Weaver has written hymn text for the occasion to the tune of St. Thomas, titled, "My Peace I Give to You." In other news from Lancaster Church, after the Outreach Ministry Team challenged the congregation to give $6,500 to help Brethren Disaster Ministries build a house in Haiti, over $22,000 has been received. "Enough to build more than three houses," said a note from moderator Allen Hansell. "Our drive remains open until March 13. We are so excited about the congregation's response."

  • The San Diego (Calif.) Friends Center, in which San Diego First Church of the Brethren is a partner, is holding its Opening Celebration on March 11-13. San Diego First Church and its partners--the Peace Resource Center, American Friends Border Project, and the San Diego Friends--are sponsoring the center.

  • The Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center connected with Bethany Seminary is offering "Alternative Stories in the Bible" with instructor Robert Neff on March 29 at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., or Sept. 20 at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. Cost is $50 with an additional $10 charge for continuing education units. For more details or to register contact Amy Milligan at 717-361-1450 or Registration deadline is March 14.

  • Cliff Kindy, an organic farmer and member of Christian Peacemaker Teams, is the speaker for Regional Youth Conference at McPherson (Kan.) College on March 11-13 on the theme "New Order Breaking In" (Mark 1). Brian Kruschwitz will lead songs, stories, and activities. Youth in middle school and high school may attend. The registration form is at or contact Tom Hurst, director of Campus Ministries, 620-242-0503 or

  • "I Believe I Can Fly" (1 Timothy 4:12) is the theme of the Southeastern Youth Roundtable on March 18-20 at Bridgewater (Va.) College. David Radcliff of New Community Project will be guest speaker. The event is planned and sponsored by the Interdistrict Youth Cabinet. Cost: $50.

  • Employees at Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, a Church of the Brethren retirement community near Boonsboro, Md., have been recognized for their service. Eight received Service Excellence Awards, and 19 were honored for their years worked. Those honored for their service were Pam Burger, Deb Manahan, Tammy Payne, Mary Moore, Beth Phebus, Airey Smith, and Pam Miley, all in nursing; and Nick Hill, IT. Employees were recognized for length of time at Fahrney-Keedy in multiples of five years: Recipients with five years were Tina Saunders, LPN, Grace Irungu, LPN, Nadine Christie, GNA, Sue Scalia, GNA, Angel Burris, GNA, Stacy Petersheim, GNA, Pam Miley, GNA, Brittany Smith, GNA, Ann Thomas, GNA; Angie Howard, transportation; Nick Hill, director of IT; Gary Heishman, maintenance, and Wayne Stouffer, CFO. At 10 years was Sandy Morgan, CMA; 15 years, Susie Lewis, dietary; 20 years, Wanda McIntyre, CMA; 30 years, Denise Painter, laundry; and at 45, Ruth Moss, GNA-CMA.

  • Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) is on track to publish the last of the 18 volumes of its Brethren New Testament Commentary series this month. "The Gospel of Mark" by Ray Hileman, pastor of First Church of the Brethren in Miami, Fla., will be the final volume in the series (280 pages, $18). The entire 18-volume set, covering all 27 books of the New Testament, will be available for $243.90 (includes shipping and discount). For more information, go to

  • A New Community Project Learning Tour returned from Southern Sudan on Feb. 18 after visits in the communities of Nimule and Narus. The delegation was led by director David Radcliff and included 10 Church of the Brethren members. Hosting the group were the Girlchild Education and Development Association, and the Sudan Council of Churches. "We found the people buoyed by the results of the January referendum for southern independence," reported Radcliff. "For the common people, however, many of the same challenges remain amid the euphoria--the need for clean water, fire wood, education, and adequate food production in the face of a changing climate." For more go to

  • Jan West Schrock, a former director of Brethren Volunteer Service and a daughter of Heifer Project founder Dan West, is one of those leading a course on "Cultivating Peace: Heifer International’s Work as a Peacemaker" on April 28-May 1 at the Heifer Learning Center in Los Altos Hills, Calif. "I believe members of the Church of the Brethren would love learning how Heifer wages peace at the grassroots by bringing communities together...climbing out of poverty and making plans to avoid civil strife in the future," Schrock said. The $225 fee includes all programming, double occupancy lodging, and meals. Register at

  • Pilju Kim Joo of Agglobe Services International, a ministry partner with the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF), has been named one of "150 Women Who Shake the World" by "Newsweek" and the "Daily Beast." The two create a list of extraordinary women every year. Dr. Joo is chair of the Ryongyon Joint Venture that oversees a farming and agricultural development enterprise in N. Korea that receives GFCF grants. Find the list of 150 women at Find a photo album featuring Joo’s work in N. Korea at

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