Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Brethren bits: Dunker service at Antietam, federal budget, NOAC, much more.

  • Stanley J. Noffsinger, general secretary of the Church of the Brethren, spoke for Sunday’s packed worship service in the Dunker Church at Antietam National Battlefield. He is shown here speaking with attendees after the service (photo by Eddie Edmonds). The event was the 41st annual service in the old Brethren meetinghouse on the Civil War site. A report in the "Herald-Mail" newspaper reviewed Noffsinger’s remarks highlighting a new way of life through the peace found in Jesus Christ in a nation where large amounts of money are spent on war and weapons. Several ministers helped lead the service including Eddie Edmonds of Moler Avenue Church of the Brethren in Martinsburg, W.Va.; Tom Fralin of Sharpsburg (Md.) Church of the Brethren; Ed Poling of Hagerstown (Md.) Church of the Brethren; and Mid-Atlantic District executive Gene Hagenberger. Read the story at,0,4006749.story. Video is at

  • "Few know that in the 2012 federal budget, development assistance has to compete with military spending," said Global Food Crisis Fund manager Howard Royer, highlighting an urgent request from partner organization Bread for the World. The organization is asking concerned citizens to contact their representatives in Congress to support fiscal year 2012 funding for poverty-focused development assistance. Bread president David Beckmann reported that "Congress passed a debt deal in August that enabled our country to avoid defaulting on its bills. Under the deal, development assistance that is focused on alleviating poverty--such as aid to small farmers so they can feed their families, and nutrition programs for mothers and children in poor countries--will now have to compete with military spending for federal dollars in the fiscal year 2012 budget. Poverty-focused development assistance could bear the brunt of the budget cuts under the new spending plan, set to start Oct. 1." More at

  • In an update on National Older Adult Conference, the total offering received for the denomination’s Core Ministries was $26,174.33. Full news coverage of NOAC is at To order videos of many of the NOAC sessions on DVD, along with the conference summary DVD that includes NOAC News segments, either call 800-323-8039 ext. 302 or e-mail to request an order form, or go to the link at

  • New on the "Hidden Gems" webpage of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives are photographs from Ernestine Emrick Hoff’s family album. Virginia Harness, archival intern, writes that "a few weeks ago, the BHLA received a rather unique donation: the personal family photo album of Ernestine Hoff Emrick, granddaughter of Emanuel B. Hoff.... E.B. Hoff, along with A.C. Wieand, founded the school that would become Bethany Theological Seminary in 1905. The photographs chronicle the family’s development over four generations." Go to

  • A new e-mail address has been announced for those interested in next year’s National Young Adult Conference, to take place at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville on June 18-22. The address is More information is at
  • Brethren Volunteer Service holds its Fall orientation Sept. 25-Oct. 14 at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. This will be the 295th unit of BVS and will consist of 30 volunteers--12 from Germany, 1 from Ireland, and the remaining 17 (8 of whom are Brethren) from around the US. The group will spend three weeks exploring project possibilities and topics of community building, peace, social justice, faith sharing, vocation, and more. They will have several work days in the community and in Washington, D.C. A potluck for friends and alumni of BVS is Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. at Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren. Please bring a dish to pass. Call 800-323-8039 ext. 425 for information.

  • Virlina District executive and former Annual Conference moderator David K. Shumate writes this quarter’s "Guide for Biblical Studies," the Brethren Press curriculum for adults. The guide offers a weekly study from Sept. 4 through Nov. 27. Texts on "Tradition and Wisdom" come from Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, and Matthew. Order for $4.25, or $7.35 for large print, plus shipping and handling. Call 800-441-3712 or go to

  • The New Church Development Advisory Committee is accepting workshop proposals for the church planting conference next May in Richmond, Ind. Workshop selections will be made beginning Oct. 15. Go to

  • Wakeman’s Grove Church of the Brethren near Edinburg, Va., celebrates 110 years Sept. 25.

  • All 12 of the active churches in the Martinsburg (Pa.) Ministerium--including Brethren congregations--held a joint worship service to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Curryville Church of the Brethren pastor David Stiles is president of the ministerium and sent a link to a YouTube video promoting the service.

  • Upcoming district conferences include South/Central Indiana District Conference at Logansport (Ind.) Church of the Brethren on Sept. 24, and Oregon and Washington District Conference at Camp Koinonia in Cle Elum, Wash., on Sept. 23-25.

  • "US News & World Report" has ranked Manchester College fourth in the Midwest for Best Value, according to a release from the school. The college moved up from a ranking of eighth as a Best Value last year.

  • McPherson (Kan.) College is starting a mentoring program for freshman called "Serve 2 Succeed" which will help the community through service at the same time it gets freshmen active and involved, leading to better retention, said a release. A grant from Kansas Campus Compact, funded by AmeriCorps, is supporting the program. Serve 2 Succeed Corps will match students to a peer mentor to help them connect in academics, social life, and service learning.

  • Bruce Davis, recently retired executive director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, returns to Juniata College Oct. 3 for a week-long residency. The Juniata alum and former professor who taught at the college in 1968, will host showings of classic movies at the Clifton Theater in Huntingdon, Pa. Free tickets are at the Information Desk in Ellis Hall in the days prior to the movie. After each showing, Davis will preside over a question-and-answer session: "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m., Federico Fellini's "81/2" Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m.

  • The Global Women’s Project steering committee met in August, sharing stories and successes from project partners in Rwanda, Nepal, Sudan, Uganda, and Indiana. The committee joined in worship with York Center Church of the Brethren in Lombard, Ill., and Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill. It welcomed newest member Emily Matteson, a sophomore at Scripps College in California, who joins Nan Erbaugh, Carrie Eikler, Kim Hill Smith, Emily Matteson, and Anna Lisa Gross on the steering committee.

  • The Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) held its annual meeting Sept. 10 at Shiloh Church of the Brethren near Kasson, W.Va., on the theme, "Identifying Our Loyalty in Turbulent Times." In other news from the BRF, the group’s Brethren Mission Fund along with the Brethren World Mission group is sponsoring a year of theological training for two church leaders in Spain. The two are leaders in a group that is requesting recognition from the Church of the Brethren. The $5,000 is being provided in cooperation with the denomination’s Global Mission Partnerships. The fund also is contributing $5,000 to a piece of land for the Cape Haitian Church of the Brethren, working with the Haitian National Committee of Brethren in Haiti.

  • Two short films have been released by the Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Interests: "On the Male Side of Middle" the story of Calvin Neufeld and his Canadian Mennonite family and his transition from Caitlin to Calvin, and "In-Between" the story of Carrie Fry-Miller, a Brethren woman whose license for ministry was rescinded when she came out as a lesbian to her district committee.

  • Three Church of the Brethren camps are holding festivals. On Sept. 24 Camp Blue Diamond holds its Heritage Fair-30th Anniversary, which also supports Middle Pennsylvania District. On Oct. 1, Camp Bethel near Fincastle, Va., is having its 27th Brethren Heritage Day Festival, preceded by an "Apple Butter Overnight." The Camp Mack Festival at the camp in Milford, Ind., also is Oct. 1 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. with dedication of the John Kline Welcome Center at 3 p.m.

  • "Pressing on, No Turning Back" is the theme for the Progressive Brethren Gathering on Nov. 11-13 hosted by Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill. The gathering is sponsored by Womaen’s Caucus, Voices for an Open Spirit, and the Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Interests. Keynote speaker Sharon Welch is professor of Religion and Society at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, and author of five books including "Real Peace, Real Security: The Challenges of Global Citizenship" and "After Empire: The Art and Ethos of Enduring Peace." Registration is $100, with daily rates and reduced rates for students and children. Go to

  • Peggy Gish was the resource leader for the 5th Annual Family Peace Camp in Atlantic Southeast District. The event was at Camp Ithiel on Sept. 2-4, on the theme, "Dare to Act for Peace." Gish told stories from her experiences in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel with Christian Peacemaker Teams. The 53 participants--children, youth, and adults--represented four Church of the Brethren congregations plus Mennonites, Quakers, Roman Catholics, and a non-denominational group named "The New Way." The event is co-sponsored by the Action for Peace Team of the district and Camp Ithiel.

  • Christian Peacemaker Teams’ Peacemaker Congress XI is Oct. 13-16 in Chicago, Ill., celebrating the organization’s 25th anniversary. More information is at
Source: 9/21/2011 Newsline

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