Thursday, May 03, 2012

Brethren bits: Personnel, job openings, district news, and much more.

  • Michelle Mahn, NHA, is the new administrator at Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, following two interim assignments at the Boonsboro, Md., continuing care retirement community. She served for three months in 2010 and, upon departure of Nola Blowe, returned in January and has agreed to stay. Prior to her times at Fahrney-Keedy, she worked at facilities in Gettysburg, Pa.; and in Frederick and Rockville, Md. Since 2010 she had some interim assignments. Born and raised in Bloomsburg, Pa., she graduated from York (Pa.) College and earned her graduate degree at Hood College in Frederick. She and her family live in Boyds, Md.
  • Jonathan L. Reed has been named to the post of dean of the University of La Verne (ULV) College of Arts and Sciences. ULV is a Church of the Brethren related school in La Verne, Calif. Reed has served in the position of interim dean for most of the past three years, and previously was professor of religion for 16 years. He was selected for the permanent position from a group of 55 candidates according to a release from the university. He is a recipient of the Excellence in Faculty Teaching Award, the Ellsworth Johnson Service Award, and is a founding member of The Academy at La Verne. He has also written many articles and reviews, and has authored several books, such as “In Search of Paul,” “Excavating Jesus,” and “Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus.”
  • Brethren Village, a 1,000-plus resident CCRC retirement community affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, located in Lancaster, Pa., seeks a president. This role requires an individual with vision, relational ability, and strategic planning and implementation skills. The successful candidate will be a strong communicator with business and financial acumen. Required is a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in health sciences, and 5-7 years of experience in executive leadership in senior services, health care, or related field. An NHA license in Pennsylvania is a plus. Brethren Village offers a competitive salary, comprehensive benefits, and a collaborative, professional work environment. Resumes will be received through May 25. Please forward resume and letter of qualification to consultants: North Group Consultants, Inc., e-mail:, fax: 717-299-9300.
  • The Church of the Brethren seeks to fill a fulltime position of facility janitor at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Required skills and knowledge include ability to work independently and prioritize daily tasks, skilled in oral and written communication, ability to work a varied schedule, ability to work in extreme environments in or outdoors, ability to record inventory and purchase department supplies, ability to relate with integrity and respect within and beyond the organization, ability to handle physical labor including lifting 50 pounds, bending, stooping, climbing, lifting, carrying, and crawling. Practice safety at all times adhering to safety protocols. Practice good stewardship of church resources, properties, and the earth. The preferred candidate will have at least 3 years of experience in janitorial services, housekeeping, or related profession. A high school diploma or equivalent is required. Applications will be received immediately with interviews beginning May 1 until the position is filled. Request an application packet from the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120-1694; 800-323-8039 ext. 258;
  • Eleven district administrative assistants from 10 Church of the Brethren districts held meetings at the church’s General offices in Elgin, Ill., last week. The Ministry Office hosted the group.
  • Testing of recipes for the new Inglenook Cookbook began April 24. Karen Dillon is the cookbook coordinator for this publication project of Brethren Press. Some 130 testers are trying out more than 500 recipes for the new cookbook. For more go to
  • This summer the Gather 'Round curriculum from Brethren Press and MennoMedia invites all ages to learn more about what it means to “Seek Peace and Pursue It.” Each week, children and leaders will add a new peace treasure to a peace tree or bulletin board. “Talk to teachers, parents, and other church leaders and plan now to involve the whole congregation in this theme,” suggests the Gather ’Round newsletter. For more about the summer curriculum go to To order curriculum call Brethren Press at 800-441-3712.
  • The new “Hidden Gems” webpage of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives gives an update on Ven Pak Studebaker, widow of Vietnam era Brethren peace martyr Ted Studebaker. Find it at
  •  Pleasant Chapel Church of the Brethren, in Ashley, Ind., is celebrating 100 years of life and ministry. Centennial celebrations have been scheduled throughout the year, but on July 15, former pastors have been invited to join in a special celebration worship service at 9:15 a.m. and lunch following. Afterward, all who can are invited to join in singing to and visiting with Pleasant Chapel's older member, Ruth Stackhouse, who will be turning 100 on that day. “She was in her mother's womb when the church first met in 1912,” said an announcement from pastor Valerie Kline. “All are welcome!”
  • Southern Ohio District has reached its goal of collecting $10,000 to purchase 300 Church World Service Clean Up Buckets. The kits will be shipped to the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., at no charge thanks to the generosity of a local business, reports the district newsletter. Kit assembly is at Eaton (Ohio) Church of the Brethren at 6:30 p.m. on May 22.
  • Southern Pennsylvania District Witness Commission and York (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren are sponsoring an event May 19, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at York First Church titled “Biblical Hospitality: Creating Spaces for Inviting and Welcoming Visitors.” Led by Fred Bernhard, former pastor of the 520-member Oakland Church of the Brethren in Ohio, and a past Annual Conference moderator, the seminar makes a connection between the church’s health and its willingness to “entertain the stranger in its midst.” Registration deadline is May 14. Cost is $15 and includes lunch. Light refreshments will be available upon arrival at 8:30 a.m. Contact Southern Pennsylvania District, P.O. Box 218, New Oxford, PA 17350-0218.
  • The 20th annual Shenandoah District Disaster Ministries Auction is May 18-19 at the Rockingham County (Va.) Fairgrounds. The disaster fundraiser also includes a May 11-13 Sporting Clays Tournament at Flying Rabbit near Mt. Crawford, and a golf tournament May 18 at Heritage Oaks. Activities at the fairgrounds begin at 1 p.m. May 18 with a silent auction and booths offering arts, crafts, baked goods, and plants. An oyster-ham dinner will be served, and two evening auctions are scheduled including livestock and arts, furniture, and handwork. May 19 events begin with breakfast and include morning worship at 8:45 a.m., the auction that includes quilts, children’s activities, lunch, and a theme basket auction. See
  • Virlina District’s “Mission and Ministry” event takes place at Germantown Brick Church of the Brethren in Rocky Mount, Va., on May 5. Several workshops are led by denominational staff including “Help! There’s Too Much Month at the End of the Money” and “The Business Side of the Church” with Brethren Benefit Trust president Nevin Dulabaum, and “The Social Media Craze” and “Faith That Sticks” with Becky Ullom, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Annual Conference moderator Tim Harvey provides a briefing. Go to
  • COBYS Family Services will recognize Dennis and Ann Saylor of West Green Tree Church of the Brethren in Elizabethtown, Pa., for 25 years of service as foster parents. The recognition is part of a Resource Parent Appreciation Banquet at the Inn at Leola Village, Pa., on May 7. The Saylors have provided care for 54 foster children, helping them overcome mental and physical challenges and preparing them either to return home to their biological families or to transition to adoptive families. COBYS also is recognizing five foster/adoptive resource families for five years of service: Donald and Sarah Beiler, Ronks; David and Kelle Bell, Mt. Joy; Marlyn and Jodi Gaus, Quarryville; Marty and Mary Sommerfeld, Lancaster; and Tom and Sylvia Wise, Womelsdorf. The dinner is held in conjunction with National Foster Care Month in May. “There is an ongoing need for foster/adoptive resource families,” a release said. “COBYS holds free monthly informational meetings in Lancaster and Wyomissing for families wanting to explore foster care or adoption.” COBYS Family Services is affiliated with Atlantic Northeast District.
  • Bridgewater College has a new strategic plan to guide the college through 2020. “BC 2020: The Strategic Plan for Bridgewater College” identifies key areas critical to success in the next eight years and strategies for achieving goals in those areas, said a release. Areas include student success, the Bridgewater Experience, enhanced and new programs, access and affordability, alumni and community, and facilities. Nathan H. Miller, chair of the board, noted that in the future, higher education must focus on realities of living in an international community, fast-changing technological environment, and an educational environment in which new majors and curricula abound. For more go to
  • McPherson College holds its second annual “Blake Reed Miracle Mile” on May 12. The event remembers Blake Reed, manager for the college football team, who died at age 22 on Aug. 3, 2010 from complications of muscular dystrophy. On May 4, the college’s C.A.R.S. Club Show features an open house reception in the popular automotive restoration facility and a presentation by Wayne Carini, host of “Chasing Classic Cars” on the new Velocity Channel by Discovery.
  • “And great grace was upon them all.” Those words from Acts 4 describe the Renovare Conference at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, according to a release from the Springs of Living Water initiative for church renewal. “Powerful themes of grace were opened as Richard Foster and Chris Webb delved into themes of the transforming power of Christ,” said the release from David Young. “The group considered entering spiritual disciplines, how God pursues us in love, and how we can develop a balanced Christian life. Vibrant singing, small group sharing of God moving in our lives, and discerning next steps in our Christian walk took place during the day. The conference closed with anointing and commitments.” One special aspect of the conference were the children’s lessons on the spiritual disciplines, written and taught by Jean Moyer. Follow-up to the conference has already begun, with the Spiritual Renewal Team of Atlantic Northeast District active in follow-up. Contact
  • A Midwestern round of the Christian Peacemaker Teams “Peace, Pies, and Prophets” tour with Ted Swartz of Ted & Co. has been announced. The show, “I’d Like to Buy an Enemy” is interspersed with a “stealth auction” of pies to benefit CPT. The first three shows in Pennsylvania raised over $15,000. The next shows are May 3 at 7 p.m. at Kern Road Mennonite Church South Bend, Ind.; 7:30 p.m. on May 4 at Living Water Community Church in Chicago; and 6 p.m. on May 6 at Madison (Wis.) Mennonite Church.
  • The next “Brethren Voices” features author, historian, and storyteller Jim Lehman of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill. This April edition of the community television program from Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren is the first of a two program series. The second in May allows Lehman to discuss writing and storytelling and features a story about the beginnings of Brethren Volunteer Service. The June edition features youth of Palmyra (Pa.) Church of the Brethren instrumental in beginning the community’s Caring Cupboard. Subscribe or order a copy of “Brethren Voices” by contacting
  • The World Council of Churches (WCC) urges prayer for Christians under fire in Nigeria and Kenya, and in a joint statement with the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) is highlighting concerns for Christians in Sudan. “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and God’s ears are open to their cry,” said Georges Lemopoulos, WCC deputy general secretary, quoting from Psalm 34 in a release. According to media reports, at least four people were killed in Maiduguri and 15 were killed in Kano, Nigeria, and many more injured in a series of bombings during Sunday morning services. A church service in Nairobi, Kenya, was the target of an attack where one person was killed and 15 wounded. Also, the WCC and AACC expressed "grave concern over the increasing incidents of attacks on Christians and destruction of church property in Sudan" where the groups report the public burning of Bibles and government occupation of buildings of the Sudan Council of Churches and Sudan Aid in Dafur province.
  • A webinar from the National Council of Churches’ Eco-Justice Program will address “Healthy Aging for an Abundant Life” on May 15 at 2 p.m. (eastern). The webinar will include information about how chemical exposures, diet, and exercise can contribute to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer, and will offer tips on ways to reduce risks. Speakers are Dr. Ted Schettler and Maria Valenti from the Collaborative on Health and the Environment. Sign up at
Source:5/3/2012 Newsline

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