Friday, September 09, 2011

Brethren Bits: Upcoming events, Milestones and More

  • In a report sent to Global Mission Partnerships by Markus Jauro Gamache, a staff member of Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa (EYN-the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), describes violence that occurred on August 26, 2011 in Gombi, Nigeria. It was reported that a radical sect, Boko Haram, bombed a police station and raided banks, leaving 12 people dead including policemen and a soldier. EYN lost one person who was a member of the security staff working with UBA Bank. Three members of Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN) also died in the attack.

  • Juniata College names eight new members to Board Of Trustees. The Juniata College board of trustees has added eight new members to begin the 2011-2012 academic year. The new trustees appointed to begin service Sept. 1, 2011, through August 2014, are: Henry Siedzikowski, of Blue Bell, Pa.; Glenn O'Donnell (church trustee), of Royersford, Pa.; Carole Calhoun (alumni trustee), of Rehoboth Beach, Del.; Carol Ellis, of Vienna, Va.; Bruce Moyer, of Takoma Park, Md., Robert McMinn (church trustee), of Huntingdon, Pa.; Todd Kulp, of Houston, Tex. and Patrick Chang-Lo, of San Rafael, Calif.

  • Manchester College has surpassed its strategic enrollment goal, starting classes Wednesday with more than 1,300 students, up 27 percent since fall 2007. Once again, the independent college is setting records, with its largest enrollment in 40 years.

    The College is riding a three-year momentum of large incoming class sizes, as well as an increase in transfer students and retention of students into their sophomore year, said President Jo Young Switzer. Manchester will announce its official enrollment within two weeks.

    More than 40 students are enrolled in a growing two-year pre-pharmacy program that will prepare them for the College's School of Pharmacy doctoral program slated to open next fall in Fort Wayne. The strongest enrollments continue to be in education, accounting and business, the sciences, and athletic training.

  • Elizabethtown College's Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies will host a one-day conference Thursday, Sept. 22, focusing on the topic of forgiveness. Using the fifth anniversary of the Nickel Mines Amish schoolhouse shooting as a springboard for the event, scholars, authors and practitioners will offer insights into the process and power of forgiveness in daily life. The conference includes two major addresses and five seminar options as well as a free evening session open to non-attendees of the conference at 7:30 p.m.

    The conference will tackle questions such as "How do forgiveness, pardon and reconciliation differ?" and "How does forgiveness relate to justice?" Donald B. Kraybill, senior fellow at the Young Center, will give the opening address, "Forgiveness in the Face of Tragedy: Five-Year Lessons." The keynote address, presented by L. Gregory Jones, senior strategist and professor of theology at Duke Divinity School, follows. Other speakers and seminar leaders include Linda Crockett, Terri Roberts, Steven M. Nolt, Frank Stalfa, Maria Erling, and David Weaver-Zercher. Seminar topics include forgiveness in the face of sexual abuse and domestic violence and the Lutheran-Mennonite reconciliation in 2010. To register and for a conference brochure, visit

  • Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) will host this fall's annual meeting of Anabaptist Communicators in Harrisonburg, Va., Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28-29, 2011. The conference title is "Anabaptism in a Visual Age." The plenary speaker is Jerry Holsopple, PhD., visual and communication arts professor at EMU. A Friday evening conference banquet will feature Ted Swartz, well-known actor and comedian, on his book in progress Laughter is Sacred Space: The Not-so-typical Journey of a Mennonite Actor (expected release by Herald Press, spring, 2012). Conference breakout sessions will include input from Gravity Group, a Harrisonburg-based marketing consultant group, visits to MennoMedia headquarters and Crossroads Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center, and other options. Registration and more information are available at

  • The Lake Side Church, a new church development project of the Virlina District, will hold a Ground Breaking Service on Sunday, September 11, at 5:00 p.m. They are beginning construction of the second phase of their building project. This will comprise a sanctuary seating approximately 100 persons and an addition to the parking to accommodate this increase. The congregation is located on Virginia Route 122 just north of the intersection with Virginia Route 24. Refreshments will be served following the service.

  • The 35th Annual Brethren Disaster Relief Auction will be held at the Lebanon Valley Expo, 80 Rochery Road, Lebanon, Pa., on September 23 & 24, 2011. It is a joint effort by the Southern Pennsylvania and Atlantic Northeast Districts of the Church of the Brethren to raise funds to respond to disasters both locally and around the world.

  • "Climate Change: What, Why, and What Now?" On Saturday, September 24, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, David Radcliff of New Community Project will be in the church fellowship hall of Central Church of the Brethren, 416 Church Avenue SW, Roanoke, Va., for a discussion of the causes and consequences of climate change. Included will be suggested actions that can be taken to protect God's earth, our neighbors, and future generations. The morning will feature the latest information on our changing climate; a discussion of how humans contribute to a warming world; photos and stories of the impact on Africa, Asia, the Arctic, and the Amazon; and practical examples of personal and community action.

  • Sat., Oct. 1 is the 27th Brethren Heritage Day Festival at Camp Bethel in Fincastle, Va. It is biggest day of the year! Please encourage everyone in your church to participate and attend this vitally important fund raiser for Camp Bethel. Heritage Day forms, fliers and information are available at, from your Pastor, Camp Rep, or at (540) 992-2940. Breakfast begins at 7:30am and booths open from 9:00am to 2:30pm. For what to expect, check the Heritage Day A-to-Z at Apple Butter Overnight is Friday, September 30!

  • Bethel Church of the Brethren, located 9 miles north of Arriba, Colo., will celebrate their 100th Anniversary on October 2, 2011. Worship Service will begin at 9 a.m. Introductions, history review and sharing of pictures and stories will begin at 10 a.m. A Time Capsule Dedication will begin at 11:45 followed by a meal and fellowship.

  • Pulaski disaster response offering is underway. As of August 31, donations in the amount of $43,612.35 from 67 congregations and a number of individuals in Virlina, West Marva and Southeastern District have been received for the Pulaski Tornado relief effort.

  • Four district conferences take place on Oct. 7-8: Atlantic Northeast District Conference at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College; Atlantic Southeast District Conference at Winter Park (Fla.) Church of the Brethren; Idaho District Conference at Community Church of the Brethren in Twin Falls, Ida; and Mid-Atlantic District Conference at Hagerstown (Md.) Church of the Brethren.

  • Three district conferences are planned for the weekend of Oct. 14-15: Southern Ohio District Conference is at Eaton (Ohio) Church of the Brethren on Oct. 14-15; Middle Pennsylvania District Conference is at Carson Valley Church in Duncansville, Pa., on Oct. 14-15; and Western Pennsylvania District Conference is at Camp Harmony in Hooversville, Pa., on Oct. 15. This will be the 150th Middle Pennsylvania District Conference.

  • New Community Project announces 2012 Learning Tours. Encounter amazing people and places while exploring the challenges they face-join an NCP Learning Tour to Nepal (January 5-17-poverty and beauty in the shadow of the Himalaya); Harrisonburg, Va. (April 19-23-learn about organic gardening, greenhouse construction and more); Ecuadorian Amazon (June 13-22-explore the rainforest and the threats to it, guided by Siona leader Delio); Guatemala or Dominican Republic (determined by 12/11) (July 12-21-communities filled with gracious but impoverished people); Denali/Kenai Fjords, Alaska (August 2-9-Mt. McKinley, moose, and more in Denali; whales, glaciers at Kenai); Arctic Village, Alaska (August 9-17-Gwich'in native culture in sight of the Brooks Range; camp in Arctic National Wildlife Range). Leaders include David and Daniel Radcliff, Tom Benevento. For more information, contact or visit the NCP website.

  • Frank Ramirez, pastor of the Everett (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, and author of "Out of Context" in A Guide for Biblical Studies, has written a six-week faith formation resource including a family Christmas devotional and a celebration for the Season of Christmas. The series made available on CDRom, by Logos Productions Inc., consists of six 4-page devotionals, written under the title of "Wonder," and includes interactive devotions to help families build on the weekly Bible stories through at-home rituals and simple activities.

  • "Refugee Resettlement: Faith Communities Making A Difference," a CBS religion special about refugees who resettle in the United States, will be broadcast Sunday, September 25, on the CBS Television Network. Please check your local station for exact time.

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that in 2010 more than 43 million people were forcibly displaced by conflicts. Those fleeing persecution can apply to live elsewhere in the world, but must undergo an extensive screening process and prove they are living with a well-founded fear of persecution. Only one-half of one percent of those who apply will be resettled in a new country.

    "Refugee Resettlement" interviews volunteers from the interfaith co-sponsorship teams, as well as refugees from Eritrea and Somalia, who are adjusting with the help of their new friends, many of whom are now like family. "There's simply no solution in resettlement alone," Erol Kekic, Director of Immigration and Refugee Program for Church World Service, tells CBS. "Resettlement needs to be seen as a part of the solution, not the only solution, that we can offer the complex humanitarian emergencies such as the one in Somalia and the Horn of Africa at large."

  • Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is seeking staff for its two project sites in Palestine, one in the southern West Bank city of Hebron (Al-Khalil) and the other twenty-five kilometers (fifteen miles) further south in the village of At-Tuwani. For the past few months, these teams have experienced staff shortages.

    Tarek Abuata, CPT Palestine project support coordinator urges prospective CPTers, "People living in Middle Eastern countries are demanding peace and justice. New members of CPT's Palestine team can become part of that movement by joining a project that has for seventeen years supported Palestinian-led nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation, and helped to create a space for peace and justice to grow."

    Interested persons must first go on a CPT delegation and then attend a CPT training. Delegations link communities experiencing violence with concerned individuals and groups and offer participants a first-hand experience of CPT's on-the-ground experiment in active peacemaking. The next available delegation to Palestine/Israel takes place November 15-28 2011. For more information go to
Source: 9/9/2011 Newsline