Thursday, August 11, 2011

Brethren Bits: Upcoming events and more
  • Cindy Laprade Lattimer has been called to fill a vacancy on the Program and Arrangements Committee. Thomas Dowdy, elected to the Program and Arrangements Committee by the 2011 Annual Conference delegate body, has resigned his position. Nominating Committee chairperson Ed Garrison and the current members of the Nominating Committee of Standing Committee called Cindy Laprade Lattimer to fill the vacancy left by Dowdy's resignation. Lattimer was the other candidate on the ballot for the Program and Arrangements Committee.

  • Stan Noffsinger, Church of the Brethren general secretary, will be the preacher for the 41st Annual Dunker Church Service on Sunday, September 18, at 3:00 pm, at the Antietam National Battlefield, near Sharpsburg, Md. This worship service will be in the restored Mumma Meeting House, commonly referred to today as the Dunker Church. It was built in 1853 and heavily damaged by the September 17, 1862, Battle of Antietam. After extensive repairs were made, services resumed in the summer of 1864. This service is sponsored by area Church of the Brethren congregations. For more information, call Eddie Edmonds at 304-267-4135 or Tom Fralin at 301-432-2653.

  • On November 7, 2011 a continuing education event, The Witness of the Hebrew Bible for the New Testament Church will be held at Elizabethtown College in the Susquehanna Room. Although the church affirms that its Scriptures include both the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the New Testament, Christians often down play or ignore the witness of its "first testament." In a 2010 Brethren Press publication titled The Witness of the Hebrew Bible for a New Testament Church, thirteen Brethren scholars address the question "Of what relevance is the Old Testament for Christians today?" This event is sponsored by the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center and the Elizabethtown College Department of Religious Studies. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the course will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The cost for this event is $50 with an additional $10 charge for those wishing to receive CEU documentation. The registration deadline is October 24, 2011. For more information contact Donna M. Rhodes, executive director of the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center 814-599-3680

  • Six Church of the Brethren youth gathered at Bethany Theological Seminary this summer for Exploring Your Call, held June 17-27. This unique program brings high school juniors and seniors together to reflect on their own faith, explore concepts of ministry, and form supportive relationships as they consider God's presence and call in their lives. The full schedule included shadowing pastors in their work; site visits, such as the Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville, Ohio; class sessions with Bethany faculty; and leading and participating in worship. The group also traveled further afield to the Church of the Brethren general offices in Elgin, Ill., and Reba Place Fellowship, an intentional Christian community in Chicago, Ill.

  • There is a great need for Church World Service Emergency Clean up Buckets following the spring storms in many areas in the U.S. The Mechanicsburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren Witness Team challenged the congregation to complete 10 buckets in less than a month. The response was more than double the challenge. Twenty-two buckets were sent to the Material Resources program at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.

  • Peter Becker Community celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Located in Harleysville, Pa. it is a Continuing Care Retirement Community and a member of the Fellowship of Brethren Homes. According to an article in the Souderton Independent, "The idea of building an assisted living and nursing home on 20 acres of open fields began with several families at Indian Creek Church of the Brethren in Vernfield, Pa. Four decades later, the continuing care retirement community expanded to cover 100 acres in Franconia Township, employ more than 250 people and become home to almost 500 people."

  • Manchester College is taking the lead on an interfaith initiative to boost literacy rates and reduce hunger in North Manchester, Ind. The college was among about 200 representatives from higher education and seminaries who gathered at the White House to kick off the President's Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge. "In a partnership with local churches, we will use education and coordinated service to improve the literacy rates in our community and combat the poverty level," said Carole Miller-Patrick, coordinator of the Manchester College Center for Service Opportunities. Miller-Patrick and campus Pastor Walt Wiltschek will lead the challenge.

  • Bridgewater College dedicated Stone Village a new environmentally sustainable student residences on August 9, 2011. Stone Village, which is located at East College and College View streets, is registered as a potential Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver project. The five residences adhere to an internationally recognized green building certification system and represent significant energy savings, water efficiency and improved indoor environmental quality. Everything about Stone Village - landscaping, building materials, electrical systems and appliances - reflects a carefully thought-out respect for the environment and commitment to sustainability. Funding for the project was provided through a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development loan.

  • The Bridgewater College Alumni Choir will present a concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21, at the Bridgewater (Va.) Church of the Brethren located at 420 College View Drive. The Alumni Choir was co-founded by Jesse E. Hopkins, the Edwin L. Turner Distinguished Professor of Music at Bridgewater College, and Jonathan Emmons, a 2005 graduate of Bridgewater College. The choir will perform works by Byrd, Debussy, Fissinger, Mozart and Whitacre. The concert is open to the public at no charge.

  • A Peace Pole will be dedicated in honor of Jim and Mary Miller for their years of servant leadership to the Shenandoah District! The dedication service, led by Pastors for Peace, will be held on Tuesday, August 16, at 7 p.m. on the front lawn of the District Office. Fellowship and refreshments will follow the service.

  • The July edition of "Brethren Voices" features Special Moments at Song & Story Fest which was held on June 26 - July 2, 2011. Copies of the newsletter can be obtained from Ed Groff, Peace Church of the Brethren at The August edition of "Brethren Voices" will feature Heifer International. -

  • "Spread the Word" is the theme of the fall disciplines folder that will begin August 28 in the Springs of Living Water Initiative in church renewal. In addition to the Sunday lectionary readings from the Church of the Brethren bulletin series, the folders has daily scripture texts for persons to read, meditate on and use as a guide for daily discipleship. Bible study questions for the daily texts are written by Vince Cable, pastor of the Uniontown Church south of Pittsburgh, and can be used by individuals or small groups. Information is available on the Springs website at

  • The Missouri and Arkansas District Conference will be held at Windermere Conference Center in Roach, Mo., on Sept. 9-10.

  • Three districts will meet on Sept. 16-17: Northern Indiana District Conference at Middlebury (Ind.) Church of the Brethren; Southern Pennsylvania District Conference at Mechanicsburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren; and West Marva District Conference at Moorefield (W.Va.) Church of the Brethren.

  • Two district conferences will take place on the weekend of Sept. 23-25: Oregon and Washington District Conference at Camp Koinonia in Cle Elum, Wash., on Sept. 23-25; and South Central Indiana District Conference at Logansport (Ind.) Church of the Brethren on Sept. 24.

  • On every August 6 and 9 since 1945 there has been a profound moment of sorrow and reason for hope as the world remembers the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 66-years-ago during World War II. In a statement released on Friday, August 5, Rev. Dr Olav Fkyse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, remembers this tragedy as one that can never be repeated."For as long as nuclear weapons exist, each year brings us new reasons to build a world where such a tragedy can never happen again," Tveit said To read the full statement click here

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