Thursday, June 02, 2011

Brethren bits: Remembrance, personnel, jobs, Annual Conference, more.
  • N. Geraldine Plunkett, 86, died May 20. An educator and writer from Roanoke, Va., she served as registrar at Bethany Theological Seminary (where she earned a master's degree) and earlier as administrative assistant for the Foreign Mission Commission of the Church of the Brethren's General Brotherhood Board. She also taught school in Virginia and Illinois and was a senior editor for Scott Foresman and Company. Plunkett was the author of two children's books published by Brethren Press, "Nathan's Secret" (2000) and "Sarah Beth's Problem" (2003).

  • Shenandoah District has named Joan Daggett as acting district executive minister, and has called John Foster, Bernie Fuska, and John W. Glick as the 2011 Placement Team to work with her on pastoral placement. Daggett will work closely with the district's Leadership Team in giving oversight to district ministries during the transition following the retirement of former district executive James E. Miller. She has been associate district executive since 1998.

  • Roseanne Segovia is the new editorial assistant for the Gather 'Round curriculum. From Oak Lawn, Ill., she is a graduate of Loyola University with a degree in journalism and English.

  • Rebekah Houff is serving in the Church of the Brethren's Youth and Young Adult Ministry this summer as part of a ministry formation elective through Bethany Theological Seminary. She began her work on May 30 with Youth Peace Travel Team orientation, and will assist with the Ministry Summer Service orientation. She also will work with the National Junior High Conference, youth activities at Annual Conference, and a few workcamps. She previously served as a volunteer and program assistant for the Youth and Young Adult Ministry from 2007-09.

  • Camp Alexander Mack in Milford, Ind., seeks a Gift Shoppe manager/office assistant to fill a two-thirds time year-round position. Primary responsibilities are to maintain merchandise for the Gift Shoppe, organize and price items for sale, oversee design and ordering of merchandise, run the shop including programming of cash register, provide support to the office manager and other management team staff, assist in creation of brochures, posters, and other marketing items. Compensation includes a competitive salary, medical expense reimbursement plan, life and long term disability insurance, conference and continuing education allowance, some meals, and one week paid vacation. Qualifications include a bachelor's degree or comparable education/experience, store sales and management experience, functional knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite and Photoshop, participation in a Christian church or fellowship, age 21 or older. Apply by sending a cover letter of intent, employment application (available at, and resume to Rex Miller, Executive Director, Camp Mack, P.O. Box 158, Milford, IN 46542; or by e-mail to

  • Camp Mack also seeks a finance assistant for a half time year-round position that could grow into a fulltime position. Responsibilities are to assist in the financial management operations of the camp, run financial systems for Accounts Payable and store receipts including related filing and check preparation, file reports and applications for government funds for food service programs, assist the executive director in the Donor Development program. Compensation includes a competitive salary, medical expense reimbursement plan, life and long term disability insurance, conference and continuing education allowance, and some meals. Qualifications include a bachelor's degree or comparable education/experience, working knowledge of financial software especially Dac-Easy, functional knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, participation in a Christian church or fellowship, age 21 or older. Send a cover letter of intent, employment application (available at, and resume to Rex Miller, Executive Director, Camp Mack, P.O. Box 158, Milford, IN 46542; or by e-mail to .

  • June 6 is the last day of online registration for the Church of the Brethren's 2011 Annual Conference- at -and the last day to get the advance registration price of $95 for nondelegates. Annual Conference is July 2-6 in Grand Rapids, Mich. After 11 p.m. (central) on June 6, the registration website will be taken down. The next time to register will be onsite in Grand Rapids beginning at 3 p.m. July 1. The onsite fee for nondelegate adults increases to $130. Other registration costs also increase including the delegate fee--which will go up to $350 from $300--the daily registration rate, registration for those age 12-20, and age group activity fees. Children under age 12 register for free, although an activity fee will apply if they plan to take part in age group activities. All children who attend Annual Conference must be registered. To register online or more information about the fee schedule and activities at the 2011 Annual Conference, go to

  • With just a few more days left to register online for Annual Conference, Congregational Life Ministries is encouraging Conference-goers to be sure to include the new Congregational Life Ministry Fair in their plans. "Join your brothers and sisters on Monday for an early light supper and share best practices for ministry areas including partnering with other churches, using the arts in worship planning, church planting, stewardship, deacons, older adults, children's ministry, and much more," said an invitation. Those who already have registered and would like tickets may go to
    and click on "Meal Tickets." Scroll down to the Congregational Life Ministries Fair, enter the number of tickets needed, and click on "Add and Continue." Continue to follow the prompts to enter contact and payment information. Pick up tickets at the "Will Call" table in the Annual Conference registration area in Grand Rapids.

  • Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) is holding its summer orientation June 12-July 1 at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. This will be the 293rd BVS orientation unit and will consist of 15 volunteers--two from Germany and the remainder from the United States. They will spend three weeks exploring project possibilities and topics of community building, peace and social justice, faith sharing, and conflict resolution. A highlight will be spending a Saturday at the Church of the Brethren's National Junior High Conference. For more information contact the BVS office at 800-323-8039.

  • The church's Material Resources program has been busy recently with several shipments made for flood relief. International Orthodox Christian Churches in cooperation with Lutheran World Relief and Church World Service (CWS) sent a trailer load of health, hygiene, and school kits to Birmingham, Ala. CWS shipped 100 clean-up buckets, baby, school, and hygiene kits to Butler, Ala. Tuscaloosa received 432 CWS clean-up buckets, 10 bales of blankets, and baby, school, and hygiene kits. CWS blankets, baby, school, and hygiene kits were shipped to Atlanta. Two hundred CWS clean-up buckets and 1,200 hygiene kits were shipped to Little Rock, Ark.

  • June is "Torture Awareness Month" and resources for the observance are available from the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT). A reminder of the observance came in a recent action alert from Jordan Blevins, Church of the Brethren and National Council of Churches advocacy officer (find the alert at Brethren resources on torture include the 2010 Annual Conference "Resolution Against Torture" at Resources at include videos and discussion guides, worship resources, banners to display at churches, and opportunities to take action. Contact Blevins at for more information and to let his office know what your congregation is planning.

  • Have posts from the Church of the Brethren Facebook page stopped showing up on your wall? In a change made by Facebook, the default setting now shows posts only from friends and pages with whom you interact most. To show all posts, find "Edit Options" at the lower right. Click there and choose "All your friends and pages." Another setting, at the top right of the wall, lets you choose between "Top News" and "Most Recent." The default setting is Top News, in which posts appear based on popularity. Most Recent provides a chronological listing. This selection has to be made every time you log in to Facebook. The Church of the Brethren Facebook page at now has more than 4,000 fans.

  • The Sunnyslope Church in Wenatchee, Wash., hosted a Foods Resource Bank (FRB) weekend in mid-May. Events included a Sunday morning sermon by Ron DeWeers of the FRB. The congregation also planted an eight-language Peace Pole and had German, French, Hebrew, Spanish, and English speakers share a song or prayer. "It was really a faith expanding experience," commented Ken Neher, director of stewardship and donor development for the Church of the Brethren, who attends the congregation.

  • The sixth annual fishing derby held by East Chippewa Church of the Brethren near Orrville, Ohio, was a big success according to a release from the congregation. "At one time we had 122 fishing," said pastor Leslie Lake, minister of youth and music. Two-year-old Marley, with her grandfather, won a gift certificate for catching one of two golden trout that were placed in the pond.

  • Proceeds from the 19th Annual Disaster Ministries Auction at the Rockingham County (Va.) Fairgrounds netted an estimated $193,000, according to Shenandoah District. A total of $11,600 (including matching funds) was raised for the tornado rebuilding project in Pulaski, Va.

  • Virlina District has reported on the Pulaski tornado offering that is in progress. Approximately 400 homes were damaged or destroyed in Pulaski, Va., as the result of a tornado on April 8. So far the district has received $29,347 to support rebuilding work, with collections taken in more than 40 congregations. Also individuals and the West Marva Women's Rally contributed.

  • The John Kline Memorial Trail Riders are holding their annual ride June 3-5 in the Roanoke (Va.) area. The group of horseback riders re-enacts the ministry of Civil War-era Brethren leader and elder John Kline, who is one of the peace martyrs of the Brethren movement. On Friday and Saturday, the group will ride the trails of Carvins Cove. Friday evening they will travel to Camp Bethel to present a program to the Parent-Child Retreat group. Sunday morning they will ride (weather permitting) to Cloverdale Church of the Brethren to worship with the congregation and lead the Sunday school hour. Cloverdale will be the 40th church this group has visited. This year 14 riders will take part along with at least eight support team or family members. "We ask for your prayers as we continue to bring the message of Brother John Kline to our churches as well as to those we meet on the trails," said a note in the Shenandoah District newsletter.

  • Five McPherson (Kan.) College students are on a trip to Haiti as the winning team in a "Global Enterprise Challenge," according to a release. Last November, McPherson students were challenged to come up with a sustainable venture to help the people of Haiti. The winning team, who departed for Haiti's "La Tortue" (Tortuga) Island on May 30, came up with "Beyond Isles"--a community market that would incorporate a physical market for agricultural and clothing products in Haiti, a global market through Internet channels, and an educational component for Haitians to continue to develop their skills. The students are Melisa Grandison, Steve Butcher, Tori Carder, Nate Coppernoll, and Ryan Stauffer, accompanied by professor Ken Yohn and college provost Kent Eaton, who said the priority for the trip is to partner with and help the people of Tortuga, with the winning concept a secondary concern. Howard Royer of the church's Global Food Crisis Fund reports the McPherson group plans to connect with a GFCF project on Tortuga, and that Haitian Brethren may help out as hosts.

  • Several Brethren colleges have been named to the 2010 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, including McPherson (Kan.) College; Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa.; Manchester College in N. Manchester, Ind.; and Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. McPherson was named "with distinction."

  • An interview with Annual Conference moderator Robert E. Alley is featured in the June edition of "Brethren Voices," the Brethren community television program provided by Peace Church of the Brethren in Portland, Ore. Alley discusses the theme of Annual Conference as well as the business items coming up in Grand Rapids. Copies are available from Portland Peace Church of the Brethren. Contact

  • CrossRoads, the Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center in Harrisonburg, Va., is inviting new members to join its mission, according to a release. The center was founded 10 years ago by Mennonites and Brethren in the Shenandoah Valley, and is guided by a board and committees consisting of Brethren and Mennonites who are developing the center "to capture the essence of the Anabaptist vision and pass it on to new generations." Congregations and individuals may purchase a $100 membership that supports the center and its "Chronicles" and "Legacy Alive" publications. During the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, "Legacy Alive" will carry features that focus on how the war affected the Brethren and Mennonites. Learn more at

  • Wilbur Mullen of Greenville, Ohio, a former staff member of the Church of the Brethren General Board, was inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame on May 26. His nomination by Theresa Crandall noted his extensive history of service within and outside the church: more than four years in Civilian Public Service camps as a conscientious objector during World War II; direction of the Brethren Service International Work Camp in Hamburg, Germany, beginning in 1949, and leadership of related study tours and peace seminars; participation in UNESCO events in Europe in the 1950s; presidency of the Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville beginning in 1976, during a time of financial crisis for the home; disaster recovery work after a tornado hit Xenia, Ohio, in 1978; and even his "famous lemon shakes that are served at the Darke County Fair," benefiting college scholarships through Rotary International. His name is among 350 inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame since 1977, alongside people like Bob Hope, John Glenn, Erma Bombeck, and Paul Newman. "Life must be a joyful journey," he wrote to Newsline, "one filled with constant surprises."

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