Thursday, May 05, 2011

Brethren bits: Remembrance, personnel, jobs, call for photos, more.
  • Remembrance: C. Wayne Zunkel, author of the popular Brethren Press book, "To Follow in Jesus’ Steps," passed away on April 21 at Brethren Village, Lancaster, Pa., after residing there six years. Born on March 4, 1931, in Lima, Ohio, he was the son of the late Charles and Cleda Zunkel. He was the husband of Linda Zunkel of Elizabethtown, Pa., and former husband of Grace (Schrock) Morentz. He held degrees from Manchester College, Bethany Theological Seminary, and Fuller Theological Seminary. He was an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren, serving pastorates in Pennsylvania and California. He was a published author of seven books relating to church growth and ministry. His final book, "To Follow in Jesus' Steps," has been published in five languages: English, Spanish, Creole, Korean, Hausa. In volunteer positions in the church, he was a delegate to the National Council of Churches 1963-68, chairing the Brethren delegation 1966-68; served on the denomination’s Parish Ministries Commission 1968-71, and in 1974; and on the General Board in the early 1970s. He was founder and editor of the Brethren Peace Fellowship newsletter 1967-97. He is survived by his wife, Linda; children Lynn Shire, Debra (Roy) Peters, Jan Zoya, Dave Zunkel, and Jonathan Zunkel; and three grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on May 7 at Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. Memorial contributions are received to the C. Wayne Zunkel Memorial Fund for the translation of Brethren materials, care of the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill.

  • The Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center ( ) in Harrisonburg, Va., invites applications for the position of full-time executive director. The successful candidate will have expertise in fundraising, marketing, administration, public relations, volunteer coordination, and interpreting the vision of the center to the church and community. The director should be committed to the heritage that Brethren and Mennonites share, especially in the Shenandoah Valley. Salary and benefits as determined by the Board of Directors. Send letter of application, resume, and three recommendations to Beryl H. Brubaker, Chair, Search Committee, 965 Broadview Dr., Harrisonburg, VA, 22802 ( ). Position open until filled.

  • The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has announced a Fellowship Program for People of African Descent, from Oct. 10-Nov. 4, 2011. The program is recommended to Brethren by the denomination’s UN representative, Doris Abdullah. The program will provide the opportunity to deepen understanding of the UN human rights system, with a focus on issues of particular relevance to people of African descent. The candidate must be an African descendant, have a minimum of four years of experience dealing with Afro-descendant or minority issues, be fluent in English, and have a letter of support from an Afro-descendant organization or community. All documents submitted must be in English. The selected candidate is entitled to a stipend to cover accommodation, basic living expenses in Geneva, Switzerland, basic health insurance, as well as a return economy class plane ticket. Submit applications by e-mail to or by fax to 004122-928 9050 with a cover letter clearly indicating "Application to the 2011 Fellowship Programme for People of African Descent" with the following documents: application form; curriculum vitae; letter of motivation (max. 1 page) in which the candidate explains his/her motivation for applying, what he/she hopes to achieve through this fellowship, and how he/she will use what they learn to promote the interests and rights of Afro-descendents; and aA letter of support from an organization/entity the candidate is affiliated with. Download the application form at The deadline is May 31.

  • Photographs of Brethren "extending the table" are sought for a presentation during the closing worship service of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. The service is July 6 in Grand Rapids, Mich., on the theme, "Jesus Extends the Table to Us." Photographs will be displayed on large screens during an act of commissioning for the congregation. The worship planning team seeks help from Brethren photographers in acquiring photos of ways in which congregations extend hospitality and welcome others, because Jesus welcomed us. Images may be from celebrations of Love Feast, but also may show ways congregations greet people as they arrive for worship, reach out into the community, and engage in service ministries. Photographers are requested to contribute only their own original works, and to have the permission of people pictured in any photos submitted. Send photographs as jpg attachments to an e-mail to Rhonda Pittman Gingrich at, along with credit information and written permission for their use by the Annual Conference.

  • General secretary Stan Noffsinger is among 50 Christian leaders signing a joint statement on the federal budget--called "the strongest and most unified Christian voice in the budget debate," in a release from the National Council of Churches. The document attempts to "form a Circle of Protection around programs that meet the essential needs of hungry and poor people at home and abroad." It outlines eight principles for ethical decision-making to be considered in a moral budget including protecting and improving "poverty-focused development and humanitarian assistance to promote a better, safer world" and ensuring that budget discussions "review and consider tax revenues, military spending, and entitlements in the search for ways to share sacrifice and cut deficits." It also calls for creating jobs. Go to

  • Over 30 congregations answered a call from the Workcamp Office and blessed youth workcamp participants with nearly 2,000 small gifts as a token of their support. "That’s enough for each workcamper to receive at least one small gift and a bookmark," reports coordinator Jeanne Davies. "We are grateful for this tangible demonstration to our youth of the Body of Christ!" Summer workcamps begin in early June.

  • The final Spring deacon workshops are this month. Southern and Western Pennsylvania Districts are hosting deacon workshops in mid-May: on May 14 at Sugar Valley Church of the Brethren in Loganton, Pa.; on the afternoon of May 15 at County Line Church of the Brethren in Champion, Pa. Both sessions will include the workshop, "What are Deacons Supposed to Do, Anyway?" "Deacons and Pastors: The Pastoral Care Team" will be the second workshop offered at Sugar Valley. For more information and to register, visit The deadline is May 9. Go to the website also for details about the pre-Annual Conference deacon workshops on July 2 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

  • The Church of the Brethren "Messenger" magazine won an Award of Excellence from Associated Church Press (ACP) for Ken Gibble's poem "Entry Room." The poem appeared in the Dec. 2010 issue. The Award of Excellence is the equivalent of a first-place award from ACP.

  • The Church of the Brethren representative to the United Nations, Doris Abdullah, attended the UN Commission on the Status of Women earlier this year. In a follow up report, she notes helpful new websites for information on women’s issues: and In a new appointment at the UN, Michelle Bachelet, a medical doctor and former President of Chile, has been named Under-Secretary General of the UN and director of UN Women. This appointment "gives women a seat at the table of world government policy and decision making for the first time in history," Abdullah said.

  • A university student Social Media Club has posted a YouTube video about Grace Mishler’s disabilities ministry in Vietnam. Mishler teaches in the Department of Social Work at National Vietnam University of Social Sciences and Humanities, supported in part by the Church of the Brethren Global Mission Partnerships.

  • May's edition of "Brethren Voices" community television program from Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren, honors the Haitian Church of the Brethren. Host Brent Carlson joined a Brethren Disaster Ministries workcamp in Haiti building homes with Haitian Brethren for families who suffered from the earthquake. Carlson filmed building efforts and interviewed recipients of homes. For its April edition, "Brethren Voices" featured "The Peace Church Journey to Becoming a Welcoming Congregation," the story of the Portland church. June will feature an interview with Annual Conference moderator Robert Alley. Contact A donation of $8 is requested.

  • Two district disaster auctions in May benefit Brethren Disaster Ministries. The 31st Annual Mid-Atlantic District Disaster Response Auction will be May 7 at the Carroll County Agricultural Center, Shipley Arena in Westminster, Md. The 19th Annual Disaster Ministries Auction is scheduled for May 20-21 at Rockingham County Fairgrounds in Harrisonburg, Va.

  • All is well at Pleasant Hill Village, a Brethren retirement center in Girard Ill., after a tornado struck the area April 19. "Our neighbors did not fair so well as the path of the twister ran across the field just north of the facility," said a note from chaplain Terry Link. "The outbuildings and home of some elderly neighbors were hard hit. We have given them shelter here at the home as clean up and repairs are underway. The home itself was passed over on Passover Tuesday and thankfully there were no reports of deaths from the storm. Praise God."

  • In another tornado update, Heifer Ranch in Perrysville, Ark., sustained damage in the strong storms that moved through the state. Several buildings including the horse, dairy, and lambing barns were destroyed, as well as a pump house and yurts in the Global Village section. Several roofs were damaged as well. "All Heifer Ranch employees, residents, volunteers are safe," said an e-mail forwarded by Brethren member and Heifer supporter Florence Crago. Photos are on the Today’s THV Channel 11 website

  • Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, a Church of the Brethren retirement community near Boonsboro, Md., hosts a Spring Open House on May 14 from 1-4 p.m. Guests will receive tours, meet the staff, and have the opportunity to take a horse-drawn carriage ride. To RSVP or for more information call 301-671-5015 or 301-671-5016 or visit

  • A "Homeless Horizons Bike Tour" began May 1 as Brethren Housing Association director of development Christopher Fitz spends a week touring Dauphin, Lebanon, Lancaster, York, Adams, and Cumberland Counties of Pennsylvania via bicycle highlighting the plight of the homeless. The association is a Brethren program based in Harrisburg, Pa. The tour kicked off with a block party, where the Ray Diener House was dedicated. The house is named for a long-time supporter of the association, who was murdered in 2007. "The legacy of compassion and redemption that he embodied...will live on in this former crack house, soon to be a home for two more homeless families," said a release. Contact 717-233-6016 or

  • The University of La Verne, Calif., is celebrating outgoing president Steve Morgan with an "Ann and Steve Morgan Out the Door BBQ and Dance" on May 14 at 4 p.m. Register at

  • David Goodman Jr., CEO of D.C. Goodman and Sons and a trustee on the Juniata College board, will receive an honorary degree during the college’s 133rd commencement ceremony May 14. The commencement address will be given by Maryanne Wolf, professor of child development and director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University. Beulah Baugher, former director of housekeeping at Juniata, received an honorary doctor of humane letters at a special dinner April 30.

  • Paul Fike Stutzman of Germantown Brick Church of the Brethren and a member of the Virlina District Board, is the author of "Recovering the Love Feast: Broadening our Eucharistic Celebrations" (Wipf and Stock). The book will be a resource for an insight session on the Love Feast at Annual Conference in Grand Rapids, Mich., at 9 p.m. on July 5.

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