Thursday, October 20, 2011

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

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