Wednesday, October 05, 2011

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

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