Thursday, October 20, 2011

Newsline: October 20, 2011


Board decides to cease operation of New Windsor Conference Center, gives provisional approval to Ministerial Leadership Paper, makes grant to Haiti earthquake response.

In addition to its decision to cease operation of the New Windsor (Md.) Conference Center (reported in Newsline on Sunday, Oct. 16, go to, the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board in its Fall meeting appointed LeAnn Wine as treasurer, and Ed Woolf as assistant treasurer; gave provisional approval to a revision of the denomination's Ministerial Leadership Paper; and approved a $300,000 grant from the Emergency Disaster Fund to continue disaster relief and rebuilding in Haiti following the earthquake of 2010.

The Executive Committee of the board also named chair-elect Becky Ball-Miller as Church of the Brethren representative to a National Council of Churches delegation to Cuba this November.

Find a photo album at

Ministerial Leadership Paper
The board gave provisional approval to the Ministerial Leadership Paper, which is a proposed revision of an existing polity document of the denomination. The action ensures a place for the paper on the Annual Conference business docket next year, where delegates will be asked to consider it as a study paper before it is brought back for final approval a year later.

In the meantime, the paper will undergo further development with leadership from associate general secretary Mary Jo Flory-Steury, who also supervises the Ministry Office. The document will go back to the Ministry Advisory Council and the Council of District Executives for continued refinements, and then return to the Mission and Ministry Board next March for recommendation to Annual Conference.

The document's revision is aimed at more consistency and accountability in the credentialing and quality of ministerial leadership in the denomination, and enhancement of the calling process for ministers. The concepts of the priesthood of all believers and of circles of ministry are key for the paper. Ministry circles are conceived as offering both accompaniment and accountability for people discerning a call to ministry and for established ministers, helping ensure healthy connections in the congregation, among peers, with mentors, and with the wider community.

"No paper is perfect," Flory-Steury commented, "but a paper can point us toward healthy practices for sustaining our ministers."
Disaster relief in Haiti, Horn of Africa
Roy Winter of Brethren Disaster Ministries gave a 20-month report on the church's work following the Haiti earthquake. With the $300,000 grant approved at this meeting, the program will have come close to spending all of the more than $1.3 million donations to the Emergency Disaster Fund that were earmarked for Haiti earthquake response.

Continuing aspects of the earthquake response include home reconstruction and repair, several agricultural development projects, capacity building for the Church of the Brethren in Haiti, volunteer housing combined with a denominational offices for the Haitian Brethren, a health care initiative in partnership with IMA World Health, and trauma recovery with STAR Haiti.

Winter described the drought in the Horn of Africa as "a real tragedy that nobody is talking about." For example, Church World Service (CWS) has had only a meager response to its appeal for $1.2 million toward relief in areas of northeast Africa where 20 percent of people are without food and 30 percent of children are acutely malnourished. Of the $283,484 that CWS has received so far, the Church of the Brethren has given $65,000 to date--the most of any US denomination, Winter said. He plans further grants to aid the millions of Africans faced by starvation. Brethren grants to the Horn of Africa famine have come from both the Emergency Disaster Fund and the Global Food Crisis Fund.
In other business, departing employees were recognized following recent layoffs, and appreciation and thanks were expressed for their years of service. The meeting also included reports on the "remapping" process for staff as new strategic goals are implemented, finances, a denominational vision statement, Brethren Disaster Ministries domestic and international work, conferences for junior highs and older adults, the Outdoor Ministry Association, a Global Christian Forum in Indonesia, the Lybrook ministry of Western Plains District, digital communication and forthcoming Brethren Press books, and exploration of a mission relationship in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board held its Fall meeting Oct. 15-17 at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The meeting was led by Ben Barlow, who started his term of service as chair with this meeting, and Becky Ball-Miller, who also started her term as chair-elect. In addition, the board welcomed six new members. The board worked with a consensus model of decision making.

As at every Mission and Ministry Board meeting, the group spent time in worship and devotions. Decisions such as that made about the Conference Center were marked by time for prayer, hymns, and silence.

Source:10/20/2011 Newsline

On Earth Peace releases statement of inclusion.

During its fall meeting, the On Earth Peace board of directors issued a statement of inclusion, stating: "We are troubled by attitudes and actions in the church which exclude persons on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or any other aspect of human identity. We believe God calls the church to welcome all persons into full participation in the life of the faith community."

The biannual gathering of the board of directors took place on Sept. 16-17 at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The statement of inclusion was specifically discussed and approved in light of events at the 2011 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. The organization is committed to eliminating violence in all forms.

Other major items of business included approving the organization's budget for the 2012 fiscal year and exploring new ways to enhance program services. The board also reorganized for 2012, calling Madalyn Metzger of Bristol, Ind., to continue as board chair; Robbie Miller of Bridgewater, Va., to continue as board vice chair; and Ben Leiter of Washington, D.C., to continue as secretary. On Earth Peace conducts discussion and decision-making by consensus.

During the meeting, the board thanked outgoing member Phil Miller of Warrensburg, Mo., for his service to the organization. In addition, the board welcomed new members Ken Wenger of Lorton, Va., Lauree Hersch Meyer of Durham, N.C., and Patricia Ann Ronk of Roanoke, Va.

-- Madalyn Metzger is chair of the On Earth Peace board of directors.

Source:10/20/2011 Newsline

Religious leaders arrested in Rotunda in July have day in court.

The 11 religious leaders arrested on July 28 while praying in the Capitol Rotunda on behalf of the nation's most vulnerable were in court on Oct. 11 to discuss the misdemeanor charge against them. In the group was Jordan Blevins, advocacy officer and peace coordinator for the Church of the Brethren and the National Council of Churches (NCC). Those arrested also included Michael Livingston, past president of the NCC and director of its Poverty Initiative, and Martin Shupack, director of advocacy for Church World Service, along with United Methodist, Presbyterian, and United Church of Christ leaders, among others.

The United States Attorney agreed to dismiss the charges of intention to disrupt Congress if each religious official stays out of the Capitol Building for the next six months.

The civil disobedience was the highlight of a "Faithful Budget Campaign" encouraging the administration and Congress to maintain commitment to domestic and international poverty programs by lifting up faithful voices on behalf of the nation's most vulnerable. In July, the campaign organized high-level meetings with policymakers, a Washington fly-in of religious leaders, daily prayer vigils near the Capitol, culminating with the arrest of the 11 faith leaders after praying for 90 minutes and refusing to leave the Rotunda after repeated requests from police. The arrests came just days before Congress passed the debt ceiling compromise.

Since then the Faithful Budget Campaign has expanded into the hometowns of the Deficit "Super Committee" members. As a result, numerous churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship in the states and districts of members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, as well as congressional leaders, are hosting prayer vigils and other demonstrations to encourage Super Committee members to recommend a fair deficit reduction plan that exempts programs from budget cuts that assist the most at-risk families and children in the US and abroad.

The faith community has worked alongside the US government for decades to protect those struggling to overcome poverty. Without a sustained federal commitment, houses of worship will not be able to solely support the country's most vulnerable. More about the campaign is at

-- Philip E. Jenks is communications staff for the National Council of Churches.

Source:10/20/2011 Newsline

Peace Witness Ministries takes up food stamp challenge.

"Up to the challenge?" asks an Action Alert from the Church of the Brethren Peace Witness Ministries. "From Oct. 27-Nov. 3, this office will be taking the Food Stamp Challenge. Will you join us?" The Food Stamp Challenge is raising awareness of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program SNAP (formerly food stamp program) to make sure the 45 million people who depend on it aren't left hungry. It is a focus of the ecumenical "Fighting Poverty with Faith" campaign.

SNAP "is one of the programs on tap to be cut in the current round of budget negotiations, along with many other programs that serve the most vulnerable in our society at home and around the world," the Action Alert reported. "All of this happens while our military budget only continues to grow."

Those who join the Food Stamp Challenge will attempt to eat for a day or series of days from Oct. 27-Nov. 3 on the amount of money that a SNAP participant receives--roughly $4.50 per day--donating the difference from what they typically spend on food to the Global Food Crisis Fund. Participants also are encouraged to call on their members of Congress to join in the challenge. (Find out more about the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) at

Source:10/20/2011 Newsline

GFCF grants go to work in Honduras, Niger, Kenya, Rwanda.

The Global Food Crisis Fund, a fund of the Church of the Brethren that fights hunger by promoting sustainable development, has announced several recent grants. The four grants total $26,500.

In Honduras, $15,000 is supporting a new hunger program in cooperation with Proyecto Alden Global (PAG). This grant will support the micro-financing of impoverished Lenca families for the purchase and the raising of small livestock. A portion of the grant, $2,500, is a gift designated for PAG from the home district (Western Pennsylvania) of Chet Thomas, director of PAG. This is the district's second gift of that amount; the first was remitted earlier this year. To complete the GFCF's commitment to PAG, an additional grant of $12,500 will be proposed either late this year or early in 2012, as funds permit.

In Niger, an allocation of $5,000 has gone to to Water for Life. This is the third GFCF grant issued to Water for Life. The first for $10,000 was issued in 2010. A second $10,000 grant was issued early in 2011. This partial third grant is being accelerated to enable response to urgent needs. Funds are being used to dig community wells, plant trees, and diversify garden produce in villages across northeastern Niger.

A grant of $4,000 has been given tor Care for Creation Kenya (CCK). A previous grant of $4,000 in 2010 helped to establish an agricultural demonstration farm, expand an indigenous tree nursery, and conduct training events. Funds from this grant will support training for low-income farmers in agriculture and forestry. One key group of 40 farmers from the Ndeiya and Mai Mahai community in the Rift Valley will engage in continuing in-depth training.

In Rwanda, $2,500 is supporting a project promoting self-sustainability through agriculture among the Pygmie population. Funds from the grant will be used to cover cost of potato and maize seed, hand tools, sprayers and chemicals, and rental of land.

Source:10/20/2011 Newsline

Tracy Stoddart Primozich to oversee admissions at seminary.

Tracy Stoddart Primozich begins Oct. 28 as director of admissions at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. Her responsibilities will include designing and implementing a recruitment plan, and working with Church of the Brethren congregations and districts to identify and call prospective students.

She is a 2010 graduate of Bethany Seminary and a licensed minister, holding a master of divinity degree with emphases in youth and young adult studies and peace studies. In past work for the church she has been assistant to the coordinator of orientation and assistant for recruitment for Brethren Volunteer Service, and service opportunities coordinator at McPherson (Kan.) College, where she also was a resident director and advisor to the Student Government Association and Student Activities Board. Her volunteer positions in the denomination have included directing workcamps, serving on the planning committee for Powerhouse Regional Youth Conference and at Camp Colorado, and coordinating worship at National Youth Conference.

Source:10/20/2011 Newsline

Workcamps are announced for 2012.

"Ready to Listen" (1 Samuel 3:10) is the theme for the Church of the Brethren workcamps in 2012. A list of workcamp sites , dates, and costs for next summer is available at along with a downloadable flier that can be printed out for distribution to congregations and youth groups.

Workcamps are offered for junior high and senior high youth, young adults, and intergenerational groups. A "We Are Able" workcamp is offered for youth with intellectual disabilities.

Junior high workcamps are offered from late June through early August in seven US locations. Senior high workcamps are offered from mid June through mid August in 14 locations in the US and the Caribbean. One young adult workcamp will be held in Haiti on May 27-June 4. Two intergenerational workcamps will be held, in Haiti on June 17-25 in cooperation with the Brethren Revival Fellowship, and in Idaho on June 24-July 1. We Are Able is planned for July 17-20 in New Windsor, Md.

Young adults interested in serving as a workcamp coordinator through Brethren Volunteer Service are invited to apply. The fulltime volunteer position is based at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The job description is at . Applications are due Nov. 18.

Online registration for the 2012 workcamps will open Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. central time (8 p.m. eastern). For more information go to or contact

Source:10/20/2011 Newsline

Brethren bits: Remembrance, personnel, jobs, anniversaries, more.

  • Remembrance: Brethren Disaster Ministries has learned that Glenn Kinsel passed away on Oct. 19 after suffering a stroke while caning a chair, one of his favorite hobbies. He was to turn 89 on Oct. 31. A retired Church of the Brethren pastor, Kinsel was an administrative volunteer in the BDM office for many years together with his wife, Helen. While a pastor in Virlina District he served as district disaster response coordinator. The Kinsels also were onsite disaster project leaders. He was an outspoken advocate not only for Brethren Disaster Ministries, but for the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., helping to greet guests and volunteers and making them feel welcome. "His friendship, his example, his wisdom, and his spiritual counsel will be missed immensely," said a prayer request from Brethren Disaster Ministries. The Kinsels have been living at the Brethren Home Community in New Oxford, Pa.
  • Ron Anders retires Nov. 4 from the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., where he has been maintenance mechanic since Sept. 1989. The challenges of maintaining aging buildings and their related infrastructure have offered many opportunities to utilize his wide variety of skills. He has served as a heating and cooling technician, plumber, electrician, painter, remodeler, wallpaper hanger, vehicle mechanic, and more. He has been a loyal and invaluable member of the Buildings and Grounds staff and has earned respect with his hard work and a dry sense of humor. He is active in Monocacy Church of the Brethren in Rocky Ridge, Md.
  • Ilexene Alphonse will serve in Haiti through Brethren Disaster Ministries as a Church of the Brethren program volunteer. He will manage the new guesthouse and church headquarters building in the Croix des Bouquets area near Port-au-Prince. One of the goals of his work will be to establish the finances, rates, and procedures for the guesthouse while training others to take over this leadership. He also will provide support to the Haitian Church of the Brethren and to the wider Global Mission and Service program in Haiti. Alphonse will begin his work in Haiti later this month. He is a member of the Haitian Brethren community in Miami, Fla., and has served the denomination previously on the Committee on Interchurch Relations. He and his wife, Michaela Camps-Alphonse, who is program director for Camp Ithiel in Gotha, Fla., also are founders of the church-related New Covenant School of St. Louis du Nord, Haiti.
  • Denise Prystawik, a Brethren Volunteer Service worker from Kronberg, Germany, has joined the Congregational Life Ministries team at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill. She will assist the Youth/Young Adult Ministry and Congregational Life Ministries with administrative tasks.
  • The following position openings have been announced by the Church of the Brethren. All are located at the General Offices in Elgin Ill.:

    • Data analyst and registration specialist, a fulltime hourly position with responsibility to ensure accurate and timely data flow between organizational databases; create online registration and donation forms; build, test, and support those forms; run routine processes related to databases including data synchronization; work with various organizational databases and reconcile discrepancies between them; assist in or manage other website-related projects as assigned. Skills should include database management, problem-solving, multi-tasking, attention to detail, teamwork, customer service orientation, and ability to maintain confidentiality. Computer experience required, with MPAct or other CRM solution experience helpful, and Convio or other web-building solution experience helpful. Associates or bachelor degree preferred.
    • Office support specialist, a fulltime hourly position to coordinate and provide the services of the Buildings and Grounds Department. No experience required. Responsibilities are to serve as event planner, including scheduling, coordination, catering services, tours, employee functions, and special events; receive and deliver incoming mail and provide support for outsourced mail processing; break room operations including ordering, stocking, and overall appearance; office supplies including purchasing following established guidelines; overseeing photocopier needs; receiving, loading, and coordinating trailer replacement; set up of conference rooms; support for office moves of employees within the building; operation of a vehicle; storage and organization of warehouse and dock; serve as back up for selected tasks when director is absent; visitor and delivery door monitoring. Occasional weekend or after hours work required. Other requirements include good oral and written communication, ability to maintain detailed records and to lift and move up to 75 pounds, valid driver's license, high school diploma or equivalent preferred.
    • Program assistant, fulltime, to support the executive director and staff of Congregational Life Ministries. Requirements include excellent computer skills, strong interpersonal communication, and ability to prioritize and follow through on a diversity of simple clerical and more complex organizational responsibilities. The preferred candidate will be proficient in both verbal and written English; demonstrate accuracy with basic financial transactions; efficiently collect, organize, and manage data; work easily with e-mail and web-based applications; have experience coordinating meetings and events; and effectively manage multiple tasks. Sensitivity to other cultures is essential; fluency in Spanish is welcome.
    Applications will be reviewed until Nov. 5. Request an application packet from Karin Krog, director of Human Resources, at
  • The Church of the Brethren General Offices hosted the fall meeting of the Church World Service Board of Directors, on Oct. 19-20. Board chair Johncy Itty, a bishop in the Episcopal Church, led the General Offices community in chapel. During its meeting, the CWS board adopted an important new strategic direction called "CWS 2020." A lively celebration of "CWS 2020" was held in the General Offices cafeteria complete with cake, noisemakers, funny hats, and oversized glasses emblazoned with the 2020 logo. A parting gift to the Church of the Brethren was one of the CWS "Shells into Bells" from Cambodia, made out of recycled shell casings and landmines left from the reign of terror of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. The bell is a symbol of the transformation underway in Cambodia, and how CWS walks with the Cambodian people.
  • The Material Resources program at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., has been working on several shipments of relief goods: IMA World Health hospital supplies and equipment shipped to New York for a container to Nigeria; a shipment of 525 cartons of School Kits to Iraq in a cooperative venture between Lutheran World Relief and International Relief and Development; a 40-foot container of solar equipment, computer equipment, and other items destined for Sudan on behalf of IMA; a container of solar equipment, sterilizers, exam tables, and other hospital supplies for the Congo; and 525 cartons of School Kits sent to Iraq on behalf of Lutheran World Relief. In addition, staff have picked up a trailer load of donations for CWS from the Missouri Festival of Sharing, including 5,220 School Kits, 5,150 Hygiene Kits, 1,095 Baby Care Kits, 605 Emergency Cleanup Buckets, 12 IMA World Health Medicine Boxes, and Lutheran World Relief kits.
  • The Global Mission and Service program has announced dates for Mission Alive 2012: Nov. 16-18, 2012, at Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. The mission conference will focus on 2 Corinthians 5:19-20. The planning group includes C. Earl Eby, Carol Mason, Bob Kettering, Anna Emrick, Carol Waggy, and Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission and Service, who is not a member of the team but instrumental in the planning process.
  • Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann will speak for the 2012 Ministers' Association event in advance of Annual Conference in St. Louis, Mo. The event is July 6-7 on the theme, "Truth Speaks to Power." Discussion will focus on the question, How can the witness of the gospel be uttered and enacted in the midst of a public domain that now features immense concentrations of money, power, and control? Sessions will explore biblical models for witness today including the stories of Moses, Solomon, and Elisha. Registration and more information will be made available. For questions contact Chris Zepp at 540-828-3711 or
  • Registration remains open for the 2011 Powerhouse regional youth conference on Nov. 12-13 at Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., for youth grades 9-12 and advisors. Cost for the weekend, including three meals, is $50 for youth, $40 for advisors. There is no late fee for any registration postmarked by Nov. 7. Keynote speaker Jeff Carter, pastor of Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren, will share on the theme "Follow: If You Dare." Details and registration forms are at
  • Doris Abdullah, Church of the Brethren representative to the United Nations, is sharing ways women may join in the "Road to Rio+20." The UN Conference on Sustainable Development or "Rio+20" will take place June 4-6, 2012, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 20 years after the historic Earth Summit. "Women's participation in the process and input on the themes and objective are crucial to a successful outcome," said an announcement. Ways for women to connect include joining an online community at, completing a survey/questionnaire at, and following updates on Twitter and Facebook. Discussions and activity generated with these tools will inform the official input of the Women's Major Group/Rio+20 Steering Committee.
  • Happy Corner Church of the Brethren, Clayton, Ohio, celebrated its 200th anniversary on Oct. 16.
  • Northern Plains District has recognized a number of ordained ministers: Cliff Ruff for 60 years of ministry, Charles Grove for 25 years, Tim Peter for 20 years, Lucy Basler for 15 years.
  • Western Plains District has produced a "Plains People's Cookbook," available for purchase at the Gathering on Oct. 28-30. The hardcover book sells for $20, with proceeds going to the district's Projects Unlimited program. Contact 620-241-4240 or
  • The October "Brethren Voices" community television show from Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren features David Sollenberger. For over 25 years, he has been the man behind the camera in videos produced for the Church of the Brethren. The show includes an interview and a look at some of his creations including "NOAC News" and the music video "I Want to See a New Day." Copies are available from Portland Peace Church of the Brethren. A donation of $8 is requested for the program on DVD. Contact producer Ed Groff at
  • The University of La Verne (Calif.) is inaugurating its new president, Devorah A. Lieberman, on Oct. 21. Events include an academic symposia at 9 a.m. following by a luncheon, with the inauguration ceremony at 4 p.m. Homecoming weekend continues on Oct. 22-23. A Recognition Day Service will be held on Sunday at La Verne Church of the Brethren.
  • Bridgewater (Va.) College will hold a CROP Meal from 4:45-7 p.m. on Oct. 27 in the main dining hall. Faculty, staff, and community members may purchase meals surrendered by students ($6 for adults, $4 for children) and enjoy "dinner out" paid for on the student meal plan. Proceeds go to CROP's hunger relief. The college community also is participating in the Bridgewater area CROP Hunger Walk on Oct. 30. CROP and its annual Hunger Walk are sponsored by Church World Service, and is the only US charity walk that raises funds to help feed people both in local communities and around the world. The 2011 walks are occurring in a heightened climate of need, according to CWS, following a 2010 US Census report that pegs poverty at a 52-year high. Last year, across the nation more than 172,400 people participated in some 1,500 CROP Walks, raising $14,189,341. For more go to
  • Elizabethtown (Pa.) College's Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies on Oct. 18 welcomed the 2011 Dale Brown Book Award winners: David L. McConnell, professor of anthropology at the College of Wooster (Ohio) and Charles E. Hurst, emeritus professor of sociology at the College of Wooster. The two are authors of "An Amish Paradox," a study of Amish attempts to adapt and yet stay true to their heritage. Other upcoming events at the Young Center include a lecture by Steve Longenecker, professor of history at Bridgewater College, on "Civil War-Era Anabaptists and the Modern Nation-State," at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 27.
  • McPherson (Kan.) College is hosting Martin E. Marty on Oct. 30. He will give the Religious Heritage Lecture at 7 p.m. at McPherson Church of the Brethren on the topic "What If We Weren't Polarized? Other Ways for Americans to Proceed." Marty is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago, a columnist for "The Christian Century," and author of "Righteous Empire," which won the National Book Award.
  • Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., has received $552,200 from the National Science Foundation's Scholars in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics funding initiative to give students at junior colleges financial aid toward the completion of a bachelor's at Juniata, with the ultimate aim of attaining a graduate degree. The five-year grant will provide $10,000 scholarships, renewable for a second year at Juniata for students who have associate degrees to pursue two additional years of undergraduate education.
  • New Community Project has released a list of Learning Tours for 2012: Nepal on Jan. 5-17; Harrisonburg, Va., on April 19-23, where participants will learn about organic gardening, greenhouse construction, and more; the Ecuadorian Amazon on June 13-22; Guatemala or the Dominican Republic on July 12-21; Denali/Kenai Fjords, Alaska, on Aug. 2-9; the Arctic Village and Arctic National Wildlife Range, Alaska, on Aug. 9-17. David Radcliff or Tom Benevento, along with on-site partners, provide leadership. Costs run from $250 to $1,150. For more go to
  • A new movement is building interest among Brethren, according to a release from one of the organizers. "Called Feast of Love, this movement emerged following the 2011 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. Brethren came together via social media to grieve the brokenness within the denominational family of faith, and to find new ways to come together as brothers and sisters in Christ," said the release. A group of 16 people held a meeting on Oct. 7 to determine next steps. "The 16 who gathered in northern Indiana met to discuss priorities for Brethren communities of faith: women in leadership, LGBTQ inclusion, calling and credentialing justice, building cultures of peace, creation care, and collaboration in all things," the release said. The group will make a presentation at the Progressive Brethren Gathering on Nov. 11-13 at Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill. For more about the Progressive Brethren Gathering go to
  • Former Annual Conference executive director Lerry W. Fogle has written his second book, "Blueprint for the Kingdom: The Purpose of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness." The book addresses how the tabernacle in the Old Testament was a blueprint or pattern for kingdom realities of the New Testament. Purchase at or or e-mail Cost is $12.95 plus $4 shipping and handling.
  • Peggy Gish of Christian Peacemaker Teams is one of the religious peacemakers featured in "'Waging Peace," an ABC-TV documentary airing between Oct. 23 and Dec. 18. The film highlights Christian and Muslim efforts to reach out to one another for understanding and reconciliation. It was distributed to ABC stations by the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission in cooperation with the National Council of Churches, and produced by Third Way Media, a department of MennoMedia. A preview is at
  • Eleanor and Gerald Roller of Roanoke (Va.) First Church of the Brethren have received the 2011 Peacemaker of the Year award from the Plowshare Peace Center in Roanoke.
  • Viola Nicholson of Nettle Creek Church of the Brethren in Hagerstown, Ind., is celebrating her 101st birthday this Sunday, according to the "Palladium-Item." She was born Oct. 25, 1910.
Source:10/20/2011 Newsline


Newsline is produced by the news services of the Church of the Brethren. Contact the editor at to this issue of Newsline include Jordan Blevins, Carol Blouch, Lesley Crosson, Chris Douglas, Anna Emrick, Kendra Flory, Anna Lisa Gross, Elizabeth Harvey, Mary Kay Heatwole, Genna Welsh Kasun, Karin Krog, Nancy Miner, Howard Royer, John Wall, Jenny Williams, Walt Wiltschek, Roy Winter, Jane Yount, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Board makes decision to cease operating New Windsor Conference Center

The Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board has determined that "operating the New Windsor Conference Center is not in alignment with the directional goals of our strategic plan and not financially sustainable." The decision was made this afternoon through a consensus process during the board’s regular Fall meeting at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill.

The board’s decision is not about the Brethren Service Center property as a whole nor the other ministries located at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.

The board has directed the General Secretary to develop and implement plans to cease Conference Center operations as soon as is practical. Conference Center operations will not cease immediately. Staff has indicated that a minimum transition time of six months is expected.

The General Secretary and executive staff will be in close conversation with partner organizations at the Brethren Service Center about the decision to cease operations of the Conference Center. Those conversations will include continuing needs for hospitality for the many volunteers that serve at the Material Resources program, IMA World Health, and SERRV.

Financial background of the decision includes previous board consideration of the viability of the Conference Center dating back to 2007 and previous years. The Conference Center is a self-funded ministry and has been hit hard by the national economic downturn, beginning in 2008 and continuing through 2011. The past four years have seen annual financial losses at the Conference Center, this year already close to $145,000. The Conference Center’s net asset balance has been in negative territory for some years. As of Aug. 31 it exceeds $660,000. These financial losses reflect a continuing annual fall in number of nights of occupancy at the Conference Center and number of meals eaten in the Conference Center’s dining facility.

Associate executive director Roy Winter has been in communication with Conference Center staff concerning the board’s decision and is returning to New Windsor to be present personally as staff begin carrying out the board’s directive.

During the discussion of the New Windsor Conference Center, board members expressed concern for the effects of their decision on staff and on the wider Church of the Brethren, as well as ecumenical partners. The board recognized the tremendous place the Conference Center has held in the denomination, and members expressed concern for those in the church and beyond who have a passion for the Brethren Service Center. Board members spoke with deep appreciation for efforts of staff to mitigate expenses of the Conference Center, which were characterized as "heroic," and how staff has cared for needs of Brethren Service Center partners.

The board discussion also called for clear recognition that the Conference Center ceasing operations does not mean that other ministries at the Brethren Service Center will cease operations. Ministries continue at the Brethren Service Center including Brethren Disaster Ministries, Children’s Disaster Services, Material Resources, On Earth Peace, SERRV, IMA World Health, and the Mid-Atlantic District Office.

Source:10/16/2011 Newsline

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Newsline: October 5, 2011


Annual Conference officers provide theme, prayer calendar for 2012.

The Annual Conference officers have announced the theme for next year’s Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren: "Continuing the Work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together" (Matthew 28:19-20). The Conference will take place in St. Louis, Mo., on July 7-11, 2012.

The officers invite Church of the Brethren members to join them in prayer on Wednesday mornings at 8 a.m. (each in their own time zone) until the start of next year’s Conference. The officers have provided an online prayer calendar guide for this time of prayer each week.

"The Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20 stands at an important intersection of New Testament faith," writes moderator Tim Harvey in his theme statement, in part. "Jesus has just completed his earthly ministry, a time when his life and teaching gave evidence of another kingdom among us. This kingdom is hidden from those who will not see, and yet made clearly present through his life and ministry. Jesus taught, healed, felt deep sorrow at the suffering of others, confronted injustice, invited other persons into this kingdom life, and finally was crucified. Three days later, he was raised. And now, perhaps moments before his ascension into Heaven, Jesus gives the disciples this instruction, words that will serve the Brethren as the theme verses for the 2012 Annual Conference: ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age’ (Matthew 28:19-20, NRSV).

"As 2012 Annual Conference moderator, I look forward to hearing stories of how the Brethren are ‘Continuing the Work of Jesus’ in our congregations around the world," Harvey’s statement concludes. "Along the way to St. Louis, we will be reminded of the way Brethren of years past continued the work of Jesus in their time. And I will strive to challenge all of us to greater faithfulness. The world needs the testimony of Jesus. Brothers and Sisters, let us dedicate ourselves to ‘Continuing the Work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together.’"

In addition to the overall theme for the Conference, daily themes and scriptures also have been announced, drawn from the newly identified "Directional Goals" of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board. "The directional goals have the potential to become the spiritual disciplines of our denomination," Harvey writes, "faith practices that both nurture us in our faith and challenge us to continue the work of Jesus in very specific, disciplined ways."

Daily themes and scriptures are as follows: Saturday, July 7, "International Mission," Philippians 1:3-6; Sunday, July 8, "Brethren Voice," Matthew 28:19-20, Luke 1:79; Monday, July 9, "Congregational Vitality," Hebrews 10:23-25 and 1 Corinthians 12:13-27; Tuesday, July 10, "Service," 1 John 3:16-18; Wednesday, "Church Planting," 1 Corinthians 3:6.

Find the moderator’s statement at Find the prayer calendar at General information about the Conference is at

Source:10/5/2011 Newsline

Nigerian Brethren make progress on interfaith peace work.

Following is the September update from Nathan and Jennifer Hosler, Church of the Brethren peace and reconciliation workers with Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). They work at EYN’s Kulp Bible College near Mubi in northeastern Nigeria:

Since June 2010, a group of Muslims and Christians have been meeting together as an interfaith peace planning group under the name CAMPI, or Christians and Muslims for Peacebuilding Initiatives. The goal of CAMPI is to bring together peace-minded Muslims and Christians in the Mubi area to plan and implement projects that promote understanding and harmony between the two religious groups.

Preparation on the first project began a year ago, with preparation, hurdles, and obstacles including illness, prohibitive schedules, the elections and subsequent violence in April, and religious observances such as Easter and Ramadan. We are happy to say that that project--an intergroup dialogue and conflict resolution training for imams and pastors--has finally begun.

We arrived back in Nigeria just at the start of Ramadan, the month of fasting that Muslims observe every year as one of five crucial tenets of their faith. Muslims do not eat or drink during daylight hours of Ramadan and also prepare meals to break the fast each evening. Due to this, we held off for the month of August and then quickly gathered the interfaith planning group together after the end of Ramadan.

Our first intergroup dialogue session brought three imams and three pastors together in Mubi on Sept. 10. CAMPI members introduced themselves, as did the imams and pastors. Our Muslim and Christian facilitators re-explained the purpose of the group and the need to increases ties and understanding between religious leaders (this was discussed earlier during the recruitment of the imams and pastors).

Each meeting includes a resource person’s mini-tutorial on conflict and peace, followed by group discussion. The Sept. 10 meeting included an overview of conflict and peace, broadly understood. Conflict is a normal part of life and can be either good or bad, depending on how people handle it. Peace is not simply "no violence" but also includes the presence of good relationships, health, and well-being. Peace is food to eat, clean water, health care for all, children attending quality schools, and the ability for people to provide for their families. Peace is diverse groups of people trying to understand each other’s similarities and differences, respecting the differences, and living alongside each other cooperatively.

We are encouraged by the discussions and openness present in the first meeting and also in the second, held Sept. 24. Two resource persons (a Christian man and a Muslim woman) presented on Christian and Islamic scriptures for peace. There was engaging dialogue on religious understandings of "Who is our neighbor?" One Christian participant shared how he and his Muslim neighbor share a wall and a well. The Muslim family crosses into his compound every day because of the water available in the Christian household. According to the participant, a visitor to their households would not know whose children are whose because of how the two families intermingle. We are thankful for the openness of participants to share stories such as this.

Kulp Bible College held its first event to mark the International Day of Prayer for Peace on Sept. 21. Three surrounding churches were invited to attend a prayer service hosted by KBC Chapel, which included presentations from the Women’s Fellowship (ZME--Zumuntar Matan a Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria) at KBC and the KBC Peace Club. The Peace Club performed a drama that highlighted ongoing conflicts in the world, dramatizing the problem of leaders clinging to power, and terrorist attacks. They illustrated that violence is the wrong way to handle problems and that prayer in addition to action is a necessary ingredient to achieving peace.

-- In their September newsletter, the Hoslers announced that after two years in Nigeria they plan to return to the US on Dec. 15. They also shared prayer requests for the Interfaith Dialogue Group, for the KBC Peace Club, for their work in Nigeria to finish on strong note, for EYN and its president Samuel D. Dali, and for creative, energetic, and skilled Nigerian staff to join the Peace Program coordinated by Toma H. Ragnjiya.

Source:10/5/2011 Newsline

J. Colleen Michael to lead Oregon Washington District.

J. Colleen Michael begins a quarter-time position as district executive for Oregon Washington District on Jan. 1, 2012. Joe and Merry Roy have been appointed interim district executives in a volunteer capacity through Dec. 31.

Michael is a life-time member of Wenatchee (Wash.) Brethren-Baptist Church United. In the district she has chaired the Strategic Planning Team, Ministry Commission, and Stewards, and has served as district clerk and moderator. Denominationally, she served on the board of the Association of Brethren Caregivers that transitioned to the Mission and Ministry Board, where she was on the Strategic Planning Team. She also has chaired the denomination’s Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee. She holds an Associate Nursing Degree (Licensed Practical and Registered) and is a graduate of St. Joseph’s College in Maine with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in science in Health Services Administration. She holds a National Certification in Healthcare Quality 1987-2011.

The Roys also are members of Wenatchee Brethren-Baptist Church United. Joe Roy is an ordained minister, holds a doctorate in counseling psychology, and works in a long-established practice as a pastoral psychotherapist. Merry Roy is a retired public school teacher. They will use the present district office contact information: P.O. Box 5440, Wenatchee, WA 98807; 509-662- 3211; Office location and contact information beginning Jan. 1 is pending.

Source:10/5/2011 Newsline

Family Life Ministry highlights October observances.

The Church of the Brethren Family Life Ministry webpage is offering resources for two observances held in October: Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a month-long national observance mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived, and connecting those who work to end violence. Among the resources on the webpage are links to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the Domestic Violence Awareness Project, and the FaithTrust Institute. Visitors may download information about how individuals, pastors, and congregations can respond to domestic violence.

The National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths on the third weekend of October is sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund. The observance is a way for faith communities to celebrate God’s gift of children and to live out their responsibility to care, protect, and advocate for all children. Congregations are encouraged to join in shared concern for children and a common commitment to improving childrens’ lives and working for justice on their behalf. Worship resources and prayers in the annual "National Observance of Children's Sabbaths Manual: A Multi-faith Resource for Year Round Child Advocacy" can be used the third weekend of October or throughout the year.

Source:10/5/2011 Newsline

Junior High Sunday to be celebrated November 6.

"Piece by Piece: Finding our Place within God's Story" is the theme for the Church of the Brethren celebration of Junior High Sunday on Nov. 6. A number of resources are available to help congregations involved junior high youth in the celebration.

Go to to find the online resources to download in pdf format. Resources include a theme commentary, Bible study, bulletin cover, worship resources such as calls to worship and prayers, a scripture jam, a dramatic reading of Luke 9, three skits, and an idea for a children’s story. Also offered is a link to webcasts from National Junior High Conference 2011.

For more about National Junior High Sunday contact Becky Ullom, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, at

Source:10/5/2011 Newsline

‘Witness of Hebrew Bible’ event is offered by SVMC.

The Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center (SVMC), in collaboration with Elizabethtown (Pa.) College Department of Religious Studies, will host a continuing education event titled "The Witness of the Hebrew Bible for a New Testament Church." The event takes place Nov. 7 from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., on the Elizabethtown College campus in the Susquehanna Room, with speakers who contributed to a recent Brethren Press book of the same name.

In the 2010 Brethren Press publication, 13 Brethren scholars addressed the question, "Of what relevance is the Old Testament for Christians today?" Robert Neff and Eugene Roop will speak to this question in the morning session, and Jeff Bach will address Brethren approaches to the Old Testament from a historical perspective. Afternoon sessions will include two panel discussions on the themes of holiness, peacemaking, education, and our concept of God. In addition to the morning speakers, other panelists include John David Bowman, Christina Bucher, David Leiter, Mike Long, Frank Ramirez, Bill Wallen, and David Witkovsky.

Cost for the event is $50 plus $10 if continuing education credit is requested. Contact SVMC at 717-361-1450 or to register by Oct. 24.

Source:10/5/2011 Newsline

Children’s Disaster Services announces upcoming workshops.

Children’s Disaster Services (, a Church of the Brethren program serving children and families affected by disasters, has announced three workshops this fall. Each offers basic training for volunteers who are interested in working with the program. To attend a workshop contact the local coordinator or the Children’s Disaster Services office at 800-451-4407 option 5. Each workshop is held from 5 p.m. Friday through 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
  • Oct. 7-8 at Central United Methodist Church in Sedro-Woolley, Wash. (contact coordinator Sharon McDaniel at 360-724-3246).
  • Nov. 4-5 at Bethany Christian Church in Tulsa, Okla. (contact coordinator Myrna Jones at 918-749-6612 or 918-688-0240).
  • Nov. 11-12 at Somerset (Pa.) Church of the Brethren (contact coordinator Paul Liepelt, 814-445-8853).
Source:10/5/2011 Newsline

Helping turn helplessness into hope.

June 2. 9 a.m. Lisa, five years old, walked through the maze of cots in the Joplin Red Cross Shelter with her mother to the Children's Disaster Services (CDS) child care center. Lisa's family lost everything in the Joplin tornado, and had been living in the shelter more than a week.

As soon as her mom signed her in to our center, Lisa found me and we began our daily ritual. "It's time for you to go to bed now," she told me as she gently led me to the corner of the child care center and directed me to lie down on blankets on the floor. She put a soft pillow under my head, covered me with soft blankets, and put a teddy bear between my arm and my chest. After getting several books from the reading center, she asked, "Which of your books would you like to hear tonight?" I chose a book, and Lisa sat beside me and "read" me the book while pausing to pat me each time she turned a page. I pretended to sleep, awaken, and then we went to play with the other children and caregivers in the centers.

We had fun with puppets, easel painting, playdough, dress-up clothes, puzzles, and many other creative opportunities that offered Lisa and the other young children in the center a therapeutic release and opportunity to play. After lunch, Lisa asked if we could "rock." She snuggled on my lap in a rocking chair, and was immediately asleep--perhaps dreaming of the bed that she lost, and so convincingly recreated for me earlier in the day.

While Lisa, other children, and their volunteer caregivers were playing in the CDS center, their parents were meeting with representatives of the American Red Cross, FEMA, Salvation Army, and other agencies who could help them with the process of rebuilding their lives out of the chaos left by the storm. When the tired parents retrieved their children from our center at the end of the day, they were a few steps closer to having a home other than the shelter that was now their refuge, and their children were full of stories about the fun they had experienced.

Lisa is just one of the thousands of children and families whose lives have been turned upside down by storms, floods, hurricanes, and other disasters. Working in shelters and service centers under the umbrella of Red Cross and FEMA, CDS has cared for tens of thousands of children, the ones most likely to be forgotten while adults address emergency needs after a disaster. Unfortunately, disasters continue to occur, families continue to be displaced from their homes, and children continue need a safe and nurturing environment to play and learn while their parents cope with their new reality. To fill this need, more volunteer childcare givers will be needed.

I've been privileged to serve as a volunteer caregiver for CDS after floods in Georgia and the Joplin tornado. Few experiences in my life have given me the deep personal satisfaction and sense that I was meeting a tangible need as providing a calm, safe, and reassuring presence for these young children and their families. If you have a warm heart, patience, team spirit, and a sense of adventure, I hope that you'll consider attending one of the CDS training sessions.

-- Myrna Jones, retired director of admissions at Phillips Theological Seminary and member of Bethany Christian Church in Tulsa, Okla., wrote this reflection for a Week of Compassion publication of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It is reprinted here with permission.

Source:10/5/2011 Newsline

Brethren bits: Corrections, remembrance, personnel, anniversaries, more.

  • Corrections: Annual Conference preacher Walter Brueggemann was incorrectly identified in the Newsline of Sept. 21. He is a minister in the United Church of Christ. In further corrections, Tuesday evening worship leaders for the Conference are Katie Shaw Thompson and Parker Thompson. The Renacer congregations to which Conference preacher Daniel D’Oleo is related are an initiative of Virlina District. Also, Virlina District did not hold its first International Day of Prayer for Peace service this year, it has been holding such services for a number of years.

  • Remembrance: Joyce Snyder McFadden passed away Sept. 21 in North Manchester, Ind. She and her husband, Wilbur, served as missionaries in Indonesia 1961-1965 and 1968-1969, as well as a one-year stint in Puerto Rico while awaiting visas. Seconded by the Church of the Brethren to the Indonesian Council of Churches, they served the church in Minehasa, in northern Sulawesi. A graduate of Manchester College and the University of St. Francis, Joyce worked as a schoolteacher and later as a counselor in the Addiction Care Center in Wabash, Ind., which she and her husband helped found. In the late 1980s she was involved in developing the addictions ministry for the Brethren Health and Welfare Association. She helped to de-stigmatize addiction by telling her story to the 1990 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. She is survived by her husband, Wilbur; sons Dan (Wendy), Elgin, Ill.; Dave (Renee), North Manchester; Tim (Rosanna), Goshen, Ind.; daughter Joy, Goshen, Ind.; and 11 grandchildren. A memorial service is planned for Oct. 23 at Manchester Church of the Brethren. Memorial gifts are received to Manchester College or Timbercrest Retirement Home. 
  • LethaJoy Martin’s position as secretary and program assistant for Children’s Disaster Services ended on Sept. 30. She had served in the position at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., for almost four years, since 2007. Her work included providing office support for the CDS staff and the numerous volunteers that serve through the program.

  • "Growing Together: To Share the Good News of Jesus / Creciendo Juntos: Para Compartir el Gran Mensaje de Jesús" (Romans 1:12) is the theme for the Global Mission Offering in the Church of the Brethren. Suggested date for the annual offering is this Sunday, Oct. 9. Each congregation has received a packet of resources including a flier in English and Spanish, bulletin insert/envelope, and an open invitation to any US Brethren who are interested in taking part in annual gatherings of Brethren in the Dominican Republic, Nigeria, Brazil, India, and Haiti. Resources also are online at

  • Doug Pritchard has stepped down as a co-director of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) and Merwyn De Mello has been appointed to the position starting January. De Mello will work alongside co-director Carol Rose. According to a release from CPT, he will bring a wide range of international and administrative experience to the position. He grew up in Kenya and India, and has worked professionally in Japan, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. He currently is recruitment manager for Maryknoll Lay Missioners. He is a graduate of Eastern Mennonite University’s Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding program.

  • The Fall meeting of the Mission and Ministry Board will be held Oct. 15-17 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., led by chair Ben Barlow and chair-elect Becky Ball-Miller. On the agenda for the meeting are financial reports and funding reports for 2011, the 2012 budget, a revision of the denomination’s Ministerial Leadership Paper, a denominational vision document forwarded from the Standing Committee of district delegates to Annual Conference, among a variety of other business items and reports. 

  • Following the Mission and Ministry Board meeting the General Offices hosts the Church World Service (CWS) Board of Directors on Oct. 19-20. Johncy Itty, a bishop in the Episcopal Church who has served as chair of the CWS Board 2008-11, will lead chapel on Wednesday morning, Oct 19. The meeting will include consideration of the new strategic organizational plan CWS 2020; an address by executive director and CEO John L. McCullough at 11 a.m. on Oct. 19; and a missiological reflection on the CWS theme of "Hope and Change in a Fragile World" given by Bo Myung Seo of the Chicago Theological Seminary on Oct. 20 at 9 a.m. A community reception will be held at the Hoosier Grove Barn in Streamwood, Ill., at 7 p.m. on Oct. 19. RSVP to Rose Mumford at by Oct. 14.  
  • This week’s Action Alert from the Church of the Brethren’s advocacy and peace witness office calls attention to the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan on Oct. 7. The alert invites Brethren to contact their representatives to urge an end to the failed war strategy, in accordance with the 2011 Annual Conference resolution calling for the war to come to an end. In this time of economic hardship the alert also highlights the more than $400 billion spent on the war. Find the alert at  
  • The Youth and Young Adult Ministry is issuing reminders of the dates for National Young Adult Conference--June 18-22, 2012, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville--and Christian Citizenship Seminar on April 14-19, 2012, in New York and Washington D.C. Brochures are circulating for both events. For more information or brochures contact Carol Fike, or 800-323-8039 ext. 281.

  • In addition to Newsline, several e-mail newsletters from Brethren ministries are available including "Connecting Generations" for older adults, a monthly update for deacons, Action Alerts from the advocacy and peace witness office, the twice-yearly Brethren Volunteer Service newsletter, a Nigeria mission newsletter, youth and young adult updates, and a periodic newsletter from the Death Row Support Project. Find the sign up box at

  • Register now for the remaining fall deacon training workshops: Oct. 22 at Quakertown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren ($10) and Nov. 12 at Lakeview Church of the Brethren in Brethren, Mich. ($15). Continuing education units are available for an additional $10. Go to

  • Fall is a busy season for the Material Resources program at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The program has loaded six 40-foot containers of Lutheran World Relief quilts and baby kits to be shipped to Thailand; shipped Church World Service (CWS) blankets, hygiene kits, school kits, and baby kits to Pennsylvania, Virginia, Minnesota, Colorado, and New Mexico; received shipments of CWS clean-up buckets from a gathering in Ohio, Shenandoah District, and Midland Church of the Brethren; and picked up over 35,000 pounds of CWS kits from an ingathering at Otterbein College in Ohio as well as locations in Pennsylvania. An unusual delivery to Congo on behalf of IMA World Health contained two BUVs (Basic Utility Vehicles), a water well driller, a sawmill, and other supplies.

  • Bethany Theological Seminary is holding its fifth Campus Visit Day on Nov. 4. "Come imagine with us as we strive to integrate wisdom, the arts, and theology toward just peace, curious intellect, and wild hope!" said an announcement. "All are invited: those who feel clearly called to set-apart ministry, lay leaders searching for deeper study, and anyone seeking insight on vocational or theological questions." Participants will engage students and faculty through theological discussion and worshipful work, tour the campus, share a meal, and learn more about their call to leadership and scholarship. Register at or contact

  • This past weekend saw milestone anniversaries at several congregations: Bear Creek Church of the Brethren in Dayton, Ohio, celebrated 200 years; Cedar Run Church of the Brethren near Broadway, Va., began its 115th anniversary celebration (continuing Oct. 8), and 100 years each for Bethel (Colo.) Church of the Brethren and Williamsburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. In late September, Welty Church of the Brethren in Smithsburg, Md., celebrated 175 years (covered by the "Herald-Mail" at,0,1667694.story). On Oct. 9, Madison Avenue Church of the Brethren in York, Pa., celebrates its 75th anniversary.

  • A district-wide Love Feast in Middle Pennsylvania District on Sept. 23 at Camp Blue Diamond celebrated the district’s 150th anniversary and 30 years of its Heritage Fair.

  • The disaster rebuilding project in Pulaski, Va., is "moving right along" according to the Disaster Ministries Coordinating Team in Shenandoah District. The project is rebuilding homes damaged in a tornado. Five houses are under construction, with the expectation for all five to be under roof before cold weather sets in so that interior work can continue through the winter.

  • A number of district conferences are planned for the next two weekends including the 150th recorded district conference for Middle Pennsylvania on Oct. 14-15 at Carson Valley Church of the Brethren. On Oct. 7-8, Atlantic Northeast District meets at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, Atlantic Southeast District meets at Winter Park (Fla.) Church of the Brethren, Idaho District meets at Community Church in Twin Falls, Idaho, and Mid-Atlantic District meets at Hagerstown (Md.) Church of the Brethren. On Oct. 14-15, Southern Ohio District meets at Eaton (Ohio) Church of the Brethren. Western Pennsylvania District meets Oct. 15 at Camp Harmony.

  • The regularly scheduled Annual Membership Meeting of the Lebanon Valley Brethren Home (LVBH) will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, in the DiMatteo Worship Center at LVBH, 1200 Grubb St., Palmyra PA 17078. Reports will be made by the administration, the Board of Directors, and the Auxiliary, and a slate of nominees will be presented for the election of new directors whose terms start in 2012. Also, a proposed amendment to the By-Laws will be presented for ratification, providing for the repeal of present By-Law II Members and the adoption of a new By-Law II Members, vesting responsibility for all matters in the Board of Directors in accordance with the Pennsylvania Nonprofit Corporation Law of 1988, as amended. For more information, contact LVBH President Jeff Shireman at 717-838-5406 ext. 3057 or

  • Elizabethtown (Pa.) College is launching a two-year Inaugural Scholarship Lecture Series celebrating inauguration of 14th president Carl J. Strikwerda. An evening with faculty member Mark Harman on the topic, "Smoke and Mirrors: Translating the Uncanny Imaginings of Franz Kafka" opens the series at 7 p.m. on Oct. 11 in the Bucher Meetinghouse at the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies.

  • Bridgewater College has helped digitize the first five volumes of a 19th century publication "The Brethren at Work," made available for free online viewing by the college and the Brethren Digital Archives Project. The mission of the project is to digitize periodicals produced from 1851 to 2000 by each of the Brethren bodies that trace their origin to the first Brethren baptisms in 1708. The publication is one of several titles from Bridgewater College Special Collections that have been lent to the project. The periodical was published 1875-83 as a weekly magazine describing doctrinal policy and practice in the church. Go to or

  • The September "Brethren Voices" community television show from Peace Church of the Brethren in Portland, Ore., features "The Story of a Father’s Love" as told by Terry Green. The show follows up on alarming rates of suicide among various groups, including young people in the US and members of the military who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Green, a member of Morgantown (W.Va.) Church of the Brethren, shares his story and that of Tom Reynolds Green, who had been adopted and came to live with the Green family at two months old. Copies are available for an $8 donation from producer Ed Groff at

  • The Springs of Living Water church renewal initiative has posted its next Spiritual Disciplines folder for the third season after Pentecost. The initiative is active in several districts of the Church of the Brethren. Titled "Restore Us, O God," the folder follows the lectionary readings and topics used for the Brethren Press bulletin series. Along with suggested Sunday texts and messages there are daily scriptures and an insert gives options for each member of the congregation to discern next steps for spiritual growth. Find it at or contact Joan and David Young at

  • The Global Women’s Project of the Church of the Brethren is one of several religious groups sponsoring a new PBS series, "Women, War, and Peace." The series uncovers stories of women's roles in global conflict and peacemaking. It premieres Oct. 11, narrated by Matt Damon, Geena Davis, Tilda Swinton, and Alfre Woodard. Filmed in conflict zones in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Colombia, and Liberia, "Women, War, and Peace" will be aired on five consecutive Tuesday evenings through Nov. 8, at 10 p.m. (check local listings). Go to

  • The World Council of Churches in cooperation with on Sept. 23 launched the first online digital library covering theology and ecumenism, called GlobeTheoLib. Find the resource at   
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls are now available online through a cooperative effort between the Israel Museum, where they are housed, and Google. The Dead Seas Scrolls Digital Project, launched Sept. 26, allows users to examine the ancient biblical manuscripts at an unprecedented level of detail. Go to
Source:10/5/2011 Newsline


Newsline is produced by the news services of the Church of the Brethren. Contact the editor at to this issue of Newsline include Jan Fischer Bachman, Chris Douglas, Kim Ebersole, Carol Fike, Mary Jo Flory-Steury, Ed Groff, Mary Kay Heatwole, Michael Hostetter, Donna Kline, Donna M. Rhodes, Jeff Shireman, David Shumate, Jenny Williams, David Young, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren.