Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Newsline: October 31, 2012


Denomination’s ministries to be supported by $8.2 million budget in 2013.

A budget exceeding $8.2 million has been set for the Church of the Brethren’s denominational ministries in 2013. The budget was approved by the Mission and Ministry Board in meetings Oct. 18-21 at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Also on the agenda were financial updates to date for this year, including giving to the church’s ministries and communications with donors.

Ben Barlow chaired the meetings, in which decisions were made by consensus. The board discussed the possibility of by-law changes after being referred a query from Annual Conference calling for more equality of district representation on the board.  The board also talked about how to schedule time for “generative” thinking on larger issues facing the denomination, and received a number of reports among other business.

A board development session was led by Jayne Docherty, who with her husband Roger Foster were process observers at Annual Conference. A class from Bethany Theological Seminary observed the meetings, and led Sunday morning worship on the theme “Jesus moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14, The Message).

2013 budget

A total budget for all Church of the Brethren denominational ministries in 2013 was approved: $8,291,820 in income, $8,270,380 in expense, with an anticipated net income of $21,400. This action included approval of a budget of $5,043,000 for the church’s Core Ministries.

The 2013 budget includes a 2 percent cost of living increase for employees, and a few new items such as a travel scholarship program to encourage congregations who otherwise would not be able to afford a delegate to Annual Conference, and one-time use of $35,000 in bequest funds to start a new congregational support position.

Treasurer LeAnn Wine reminded the board that approval of the annual budget also represented allocations from the Emergency Disaster Fund and the Global Food Crisis Fund to pay for operational expenses of related programs Brethren Disaster Ministries and Global Food Crisis.

Financial reports

The board heard good and bad news in year-to-date results for 2012. Giving to Church of the Brethren ministries is up 17.9 percent compared to the same time last year, and expenses have remained below budget. Overall, giving by individuals is ahead of last year, while giving from congregations is lagging somewhat behind. However, the rate of giving this year still falls under budget expectations by 7.3 percent.

The treasurer noted that in the fall, the year’s financial outcomes are still in flux because of factors such as outstanding income and expenses not yet been booked from large summer events like Annual Conference and workcamps. Also, upcoming seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas typically are times of increased giving to the church.

Wine reported a one-time “write off” of $765,000 in 2012 related to closure of the New Windsor Conference Center, which represents accumulated losses at the conference center since 2008 and will be the final bookkeeping entry. The conference center was located on the campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., and closed in June.

Other ministries at the Brethren Service Center continue, and the staff is actively seeking new uses for facilities formerly filled by the conference center. Wine told the board, “We’re doing our best to keep the buildings functional and safe,” although she added this is a challenge because of maintenance issues that arise in underutilized buildings. One former conference center building that includes the campus kitchen and diningroom--now called the Zigler Hospitality Center--continues to serve volunteers who come to New Windsor to work at the warehouses of Material Resources and SERRV.

In other business
  • Approval was given for the naming of a committee to follow up on the issue of more equitable district representation on the board. Time was spent in “table talk” discussion in small groups of related questions such as the possibility of changes to the board’s by-laws.
  • The Audit and Investment Committee reported a substantial increase in value in the denomination’s investments since the start of 2012. The committee also requested an additional member with expertise in accounting or investment, perhaps to be appointed from the new board members added next year or recruited as an ad hoc member or consultant from outside the board.
  • Work on a spiritual gifts resource from a Brethren perspective, for use in congregations, was presented by Congregational Life Ministries staff Josh Brockway. The project is in process, with Bible studies expected to be available soon and a gifts inventory process to be developed.
  • Don Fitzkee, a board member and ordained minister from Manheim, Pa., was named as next chair-elect of the Mission and Ministry Board, as of the conclusion of the 2013 Annual Conference. He will serve two years as chair-elect and then two years as chair. Current chair-elect Becky Ball-Miller begins as chair at the conclusion of the 2013 Conference.
  • The Executive Committee reappointed Ken Kreider to another term as one of the Church of the Brethren representatives to the Germantown Trust--a group responsible for the first Brethren meetinghouse in the Americas. Germantown Church of the Brethren meets in the historic building in a neighborhood of Philadelphia. Also under the trust’s care are a parsonage and cemetery.
  • Terry Barkley received a staff citation on his resignation as director of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives, effective Oct. 31.
  • John Hipps was introduced as director of Donor Relations. He presented an analysis of 10 years of giving to the Church of the Brethren and outlined his expectations for future fundraising to support the work of the denomination.
Source: 10/31/2012 Newsline

Disaster response to Sandy begins, Brethren still without power in some areas.

As the relief effort following Hurricane Sandy gets underway, Brethren Disaster Ministries has announced an urgent need for Church World Service (CWS) clean-up buckets, but also is encouraging Brethren to consider cash donations to the Emergency Disaster Fund to support a Brethren response including the deployment of Children’s Disaster Services volunteers (go to ).

CWS has announced that it is focusing its relief effort on those most affected by the storm in New Jersey, and also sending material aid to those affected in Cuba, the agency said in a release.

By e-mail, some Brethren in affected areas report still being without power, and having to deal with other after-effects of the giant storm.

Donations are needed to support relief work

“Efforts to assemble CWS clean-up buckets are extremely important and encouraged,” said Zach Wolgemuth, associate director of Brethren Disaster Ministries. He noted, however, that donors should keep in mind the most effective and useful donation is a financial contribution.

“Unfortunately there are already reports of mounds of used clothing piling up,” Wolgemuth said by e-mail this morning. “As individuals and congregations reach out to survivors, they should be certain that any in-kind donations being sent to the disaster affected area have been specifically requested by a response organization.

“Recovery from such an event will be long-term and financial support will be important as resources often diminish and media coverage wanes.”

Support the Brethren response effort at .

Emergency Clean-Up Buckets

The Emergency Clean-Up Bucket is one of the relief kits shipped from the Brethren Service Center on behalf of CWS and other ecumenical partners. The denomination’s Materials Resources program does the work of collecting, processing, and warehousing the relief materials at the center in New Windsor, Md.

The bucket kit provides a home owner or volunteer tools for basic cleaning after a disaster like a storm or flood. The kit includes items such as sponges, brushes, gloves, and detergent, all contained in a five-gallon plastic bucket with a resealable lid. Find a list of contents at .

Already this morning, district disaster coordinators are distributing the appeal for clean-up buckets to Brethren congregations. For example, Southern Ohio District disaster coordinators Dick and Pat Via have put together an effort “to try to fund the largest shipment we can make as quickly as possible” with the help of the district’s Bucket Committee. They have announced a Bucket Assembly on Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. at Eaton (Ohio) Church of the Brethren.

Some Brethren still feeling storm’s after effects

“A number of persons from across the country have been wondering about the effects of Hurricane Sandy on congregations in Atlantic Northeast District,” wrote district executive minister Craig Smith by e-mail today. “We have been checking with each of our congregations in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, as well as the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania. It appears at this time that there have been some power outages, tree damage, and minor water problems, but no significant structural damage.... Reports are still coming in.”

Among other Brethren still without power today is Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren, which shared by e-mail that Wednesday programs at the church have been canceled, although a trick or treating event for the junior highs is being held at the pastor’s home.

CWS sends relief materials to New Jersey

Church World Service has said its initial response to Sandy will target those in immediate need in New Jersey and in Cuba. An expansion of the response is anticipated, as CWS assesses recovery needs along with partners, said a release.

At the request of the New Jersey Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NJ VOAD), CWS will ship the following items this week to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey: 2,000 blankets, 3,000 school kits, 3,000 hygiene kits, 300 clean-up buckets, and 100 baby layette kits.

This and other likely shipments will require CWS to restock its supply of emergency relief items. In addition to clean-up buckets, according to CWS Director of Development and Humanitarian Assistance Donna Derr, the agency also is concerned to restock its supply of blankets.

Church of the Brethren members and congregations are encouraged to donate to the Emergency Disaster Fund, which supports the response efforts of Brethren Disaster Ministries and Children’s Disaster Services. Go to

Source: 10/31/2012 Newsline

EDF grants support Brethren Disaster Ministries projects in Virginia and Alabama.

Two grants have been made from the church’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to fund Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding projects in Pulaski County, Va., and Arab, Ala.

Brethren Disaster Ministries requested an additional allocation of $20,000 to continue rebuilding work following two devastating tornadoes in Pulaski County, Va. The grant underwrites operational expenses related to volunteer support including housing, food, and travel expenses incurred on site, as well as volunteer training, tools, and equipment needed for rebuilding and repair.

Since late summer 2011, Brethren volunteers working in Pulaski area have given over 4,200 days of service, completed 10 new homes, and helped repair dozens more. This past spring, Brethren Disaster Ministries agreed to participate in a pilot project coupling its volunteer labor with block grant funds received by a local partner. With these projects well underway, it is anticipated that the last of the new buildings will be completed this fall.

Brethren Disaster Ministries requested an additional allocation of $9,000 to close out its work in Arab, Ala., following an EF 4 tornado that hit the town April 27. As of mid-summer, the program completed its response by repairing 28 homes and building 3 new homes for affected families. In total, over 370 volunteers served 2,690 days. While the project in Arab has been completed, this additional allocation covers project-related expenses that were missed in the final accounting.

Source: 10/31/2012 Newsline

Global Food Crisis Fund gives $50,000 grant to Haitian Brethren.

A $50,000 grant from the Global Food Crisis Fund for agriculture projects in Haiti will be implemented together with L'eglise des Freres Haitiens (the Church of the Brethren in Haiti). The grant funds a program intended to build on the work of Brethren Disaster Ministries in Haiti over the past three years, which starts as disaster relief work related to the 2010 earthquake comes to a close.

The grant actually is composed of 18 "mini-grants" serving 18 different communities, the grant request explains. These grants cover projects ranging from animal raising to vegetable growing, water systems, grain mills, and the loans of seeds to farmers who struggle to afford seed at planting time. Each "mini-grant" was submitted to Haitian Brethren agronomists and approved by the National Committee of L'eglise des Freres in an August meeting.

“For the church in Haiti, this program plans to move not only local communities, but the church itself forward towards more sustainable development efforts,” the grant request stated.

Brethren staff in Haiti, Ilexene and Michaela Alphonse, will work closely with the leadership of L'eglise des Freres in financial administration of the program. Individual projects and mini-grants will be supervised by Haitian Brethren agronomists.

Source: 10/31/2012 Newsline

Workcamp office alerts parents of junior highs to new requirement.

As the Church of the Brethren Workcamp office prepares for registration opening on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. (central), the staff would like junior high youth and their parents and advisors to be aware of a new privacy policy that is being put in place. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires any website to get parental permission before collecting personal information from children online.

In order for junior high youth to register for a Church of the Brethren denominational activity (workcamps, National Junior High Conference, etc.), parents must give permission for their child’s information to be collected.

This permission form is already available on online at . By creating an account, parents will be able to log in and see what information is collected from their child. Parents also will be sent a record number that they will need to have available when their youth is registering for a workcamp in January.

Junior high youth will not be able to register without this number, so parents should be sure to save it. Parents may request that their child’s information be removed after their workcamp is over by e-mailing or calling 800-323-8039.

The Workcamp Ministry hopes that by getting the word out about this new policy as early as possible, most of the confusion at registration time will be eliminated. Please share this information with any junior high students, advisors, parents, or others who may be affected by this new step in the registration process. As always, if there are any questions don’t hesitate to call the Workcamp office at 800-323-8039 or e-mail

-- Emily Tyler is coordinator of Workcamps and Brethren Volunteer Service Recruitment.

Source: 10/31/2012 Newsline

Progressive Brethren gather in California.

More than 150 Brethren from across the US gathered at La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren Oct. 26-28 for the fifth annual Progressive Brethren Conference. The weekend of worship, workshops, music, study, and celebration was built around the theme “Holy Work: Becoming a Beloved Community.”

A colorful banner hung from the church’s bell tower as conferees registered in the courtyard Friday afternoon, beneath cobalt skies and in shirt sleeve weather brought on by warm Santa Ana winds blowing westward from the desert. The event got off to a rousing start with “Annual Conference: The Musical,” which featured show tunes fitted with new lyrics--some taken verbatim from Conference floor dialogue.

Workshops the next day led by Abigail Fuller and Katy Brown Gray of the faculty at Manchester University, provided an overview of recent progressive and conservative dynamics in the United States--both in society and in the church. The workshops offered data showing a gradual shift toward openness and acceptance in the culture and the church, although the church tended to drag its feet behind the culture, they pointed out.

This was the first Progressive Brethren Conference to take place west of the Mississippi, and the first since the newly formed Open Table Cooperative assumed a leadership role along with Womaen’s Caucus and BMC (Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests). In previous years, Voices for an Open Spirit had been instrumental in coordinating the conferences. VOS announced at Annual Conference this summer that it was discontinuing operation after 10 years and transferred the reins of leadership to others in the progressive movement.

“There have been times when these conferences have been places for lamenting, for wondering, ‘What are we doing to do now?’” said Daisy Schmidt, chair of Womaen’s Caucus. “This year, it feels like we’re moving forward.”

Father Gregory Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries and author of the best seller book “Tattoos on the Heart,” told conferees at Sunday worship that reconciliation and genuine connection--“becoming a beloved community,” referring to the conference theme--can and does happen. “There is reason to hope,” he said. “I’ve seen former gang bangers work side-by-side. And when you work with someone, you get to know them. And when you get to know someone, you can’t be enemies.”

-- Randy Miller is editor of the Church of the Brethren “Messenger” magazine.

Source: 10/31/2012 Newsline

Brethren Press publishes new Bible study, DVD resources.

Brethren Press has published a number of new resources including the DVD “What Holds Brethren Together,” the 2012 Yearbook for the Church of the Brethren on CD, and the winter quarter of “A Guide for Biblical Studies” on the theme “Jesus Is Lord.” Also new and free to each congregation is a DVD of the Annual Report of Church of the Brethren ministries, videotaped at the 2012 Annual Conference.

A shipping and handling fee will be added to the listed price. Order by calling 800-441-3712 or go to .

“What Holds Brethren Together?” is a 34-minute DVD of an address by Guy E. Wampler to the Brethren Press and Messenger Dinner at Annual Conference. As Brethren navigate differences in church and society, Wampler reflects on who we are and what holds us together. Study questions included. $10.99.

“The Church of the Brethren Yearbook,” updated with 2012 information, may be purchased in CD format. One per user. Included are directories of denominational  agencies and staff, districts, congregations, and ministers, and the 2011 statistical report. $21.50.

“Jesus Is Lord,” the winter quarter of A Guide for Biblical Studies, offers a weekly Bible study for adults for December 2012 and January and February 2013. The author is Duane Grady, pastor of Cedar Lake Church of the Brethren in Auburn, Ind., with the “Out of Context” feature written by Frank Ramirez, pastor of Everett (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. $4.25 or $7.35 for large print.

A free DVD of the Annual Report of Church of the Brethren ministries 2012--recorded from the “live report” given at Annual Conference in St. Louis--has been mailed to each congregation. The theme is “Jesus Moved into the Neighborhood.” The video also may be viewed online at

Source: 10/31/2012 Newsline

Brethren bits.

  • Winni (Sara) Wanionek has been hired as materials packer for the Material Resources program, to work in the warehouses at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. She was a temporary employee in Material Resources for several months in the last half of 2011, when she folded quilts and blankets and assisted with unloading relief materials from trucks. Her work will include those same tasks along with additional responsibilities to work with volunteer groups, receive donations, and serve as a back-up packer for other Material Resources programs. She currently is studying psychology, with an interest in pursuing a career in counseling, and lives in Westminster, Md.
  • The Church of the Brethren continues to seek a director for the Brethren Historical Library and Archives (BHLA) located at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The BHLA director promotes the history and heritage of the Church of the Brethren by administering the Brethren Historical Library and Archives and facilitating research and the study of Brethren history. Responsibilities include providing reference services, assuring the cataloging of books and processing of archival records, formulating policies, budgeting, developing the collection, recruiting and training interns and volunteers. Required are a master’s degree in library science/archival studies and extensive knowledge of Church of the Brethren history and beliefs. The preferred candidate will have a graduate degree in history or theology and/or certification by the Academy of Certified Archivists. Also required are the ability to articulate and operate out of the vision of the Church of the Brethren, grounding in library and archival disciplines, customer service skills, research and problem-solving skills, proficiency in Microsoft software and experience with OCLC products, 3-5 years experience in a library or archives. Request an application packet from and return completed application with a cover letter, resume, background check authorization, and three letters of reference to Deborah Brehm, Program Assistant, Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120-1694; 847-742-5100 ext. 367; fax 847-742-8212; .
  • The Workcamp Ministry is now accepting applications for a 2014 assistant workcamp coordinator who will serve through Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS). Applications are due by Dec. 21. Contact Emily Tyler, coordinator of Workcamps and BVS Recruitment, to request a position description and application. Contact or 800-323-8039 ext. 396.
  • Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministry Center in Sharpsburg, Md., seeks an energetic person as program director. Responsibilities include working with a team to provide programs for all ages including summer camps, Road Scholar, and Heifer Global Village programs. A strong faith background, good communication, and organizational skills are needed. Submit three reference letters with an application and a resume to Shepherd’s Spring, P.O. Box 369, Sharpsburg, MD 21782; or e-mail to . For more information go to .
  • The “Wonder of It All” webinar with Anabel Proffitt originally scheduled for Oct. 29 has been rescheduled to Nov. 5 at 1:30 p.m. (eastern). The webinar planned for Nov. 1 will be webcast at 8 p.m. (eastern) at the scheduled time.
  • This week’s Action Alert from the Advocacy and Peace Witness Ministries asks for help to call on national leaders “to stop torture in America and set an ethical example for the world.” Referencing Proverbs 31:8, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed" (NLT), the alert notes that although President Obama signed an executive order banning the use of torture during detainee interrogation, “torture and abuse in US prisons, immigration detention centers, and other places of confinement is becoming more apparent every day.” Among other things, the alert notes that the Church of the Brethren continues to speak out against torture as a member of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT). The organization is gathering signatures to present a petition calling on the President to join 63 other countries in signing the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture. Find out more by going to the full text of the alert at .
  • Ly Ba Bo Phan Duc Long with Global Mission and Service program volunteer Grace Mishler, who has helped make it possible for his wife Bui Thi Hong Nga to participate in the Asia Pacific Disabilities Forum on Oct. 26-30 in Seoul, Korea. Mishler serves in Vietnam, working on issues experienced by people with disabilities. Nga leads a Vietnamese disabilities self-help group, and has worked closely with Mishler in a grassroots movement to implement national disabilities policies. Mishler reports that Nga was chosen to present her story at the forum--a great honor, but expensive because of the need for a personal assistant to travel with her, as she uses a wheelchair. Mishler helped find funds to pay for Long to go with Nga to the event. “We are grateful for the contribution of $700 by June and Marvin Pulcini, former Brethren Volunteer Service workers, and the Ngoc Trong Tim Foundation, for this project. Without her husband’s accompaniment and contribution, she would not be able to attend,” Mishler wrote. “It would be a great loss of Vietnam history not to have this well-known, deserved leader attend this Disabilities Forum.”
  • Dec. 1 is the Spring Semester application and financial aid deadline at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. For more from the seminary admissions office go to .
  • On Earth Peace is publicizing a number of blogs: "The Faithful Steward" at began as a stewardship accountability tool for Bill Scheurer as executive director of On Earth Peace, says the organization's e-newsletter. Now other staff are joining him in posting this blog "to provide transparency to our work and to support interaction among the board, staff, supporters, and anyone interested in our direction and activities." "Praying for Ceasefire" at is an online home for the 2012 Peace Day partners and presents Peace Day stories. Following the success of the Peace Day blog, On Earth Peace takes the same approach with the new "Living Peace Church" blog at . The blog of the Step Up! network of youth and young adults is at . On Earth Peace is the sponsoring organization for a blog posted by John and Joyce Cassel, who are spending three months in Palestine and Israel with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program of the World Council of Churches. Find their blog at .
  • On Sunday, Dec. 2, Principe de Paz Church of the Brethren in Santa Ana, Calif., celebrates 100 years of Church of the Brethren in the building. A special service will start at 11:30 a.m. with music and worship. A celebration event follows at noon. At 1:30 p.m. the service will end and a meal will be provided for all who attend. Special guests are expected including congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, US Representative for California's 47th congressional district, California state senator Lou Correa, other pastors, and leaders in the community. Each will have a time to share some words. Pacific Southwest District executive minister Don Booz will preach.
  • “It is God’s church. Not your pastor’s or the leaders’ or of any group of people,” commented Al Huston, one of the speakers for the 100th anniversary homecoming celebration at Dranesville Church of the Brethren in Herndon, Va. Huston was one of those quoted in the church newsletter report on the celebration, which welcomed 125 people and received an offering of over $14,000.
  • At least three of the congregations in Shenandoah District--Bethel Church of the Brethren in Keezletown, Va.; Garbers Church of the Brethren; and Mt. Zion / Linville Church of the Brethren--have suffered burglaries and vandalism in recent weeks. “Keep these congregations in prayer as they deal with both the physical losses and the anxiety that results when trust surrenders to suspicion and fear,” said the district newsletter. “All congregations should use this experience to review security issues relating to the church building and its assets.” The district suggested sending notes of encouragement, addresses for congregations may be found in the Church of the Brethren Yearbook.
  • Stover Memorial Church of the Brethren in Des Moines, Iowa, is partnering with a United Methodist congregation to provide an after-school program called Kidz Haven, created in response to the fact that school is let out early on Wednesdays and students do not always have a place to go after school. Stover pastor Barbara Wise-Lewczak schedules programing for the initiative. According to the Northern Plains District newsletter she is seeking volunteers to help Wednesdays from 2-4:30 p.m., and people willing to share a gift or hobby during this time. Contact 515-240-0060.
  • In July 2011 members of the Community Outreach Team at Mount Morris (Ill.) Church of the Brethren began planning monthly breakfasts to offer a good, hot meal to those in the community with limited income, and to get community groups together to help serve, according to the Illinois and Wisconsin District newsletter. Since then over 15 breakfasts have been served and 24 community groups have helped including former high school classes, businesses, fraternal organizations, clubs, churches, library, Post Office, fire and police departments.
  • The SERRV Shop at Mack Memorial Church of the Brethren in Dayton, Ohio, begins Christmas shopping hours on Nov. 24, according to the Southern Ohio District newsletter. The shop also will be open Dec. 1, 8, 15, and 22 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. SERRV, which was begun by the Church of the Brethren, works to eradicate poverty by providing opportunities and support to artisans and farmers worldwide through the sale of handcrafted and fair trade items.
  • Two Southern Ohio District pastors--Nan Erbaugh of Lower Miami Church of the Brethren, and Terrilynn Griffith who attends Mack Memorial Church of the Brethren--graduated from the first Police and Clergy Together academy of the Dayton (Ohio) Police Department. According to an announcement from the district, P.A.C.T. participants pray for law enforcement, do ride-alongs with police officers twice a month, and are available for call-outs when an officer feels the presence of clergy would be helpful at the scene of a crime or accident.
  • “Profiles of Courage in the Gospel of Matthew” is the topic of a workshop led by Bethany Theological Seminary professor Dan Ulrich at the Illinois and Wisconsin District Conference. The workshop will be at Lake Williamson Christian Center in Carlinville, Ill., on Friday, Nov. 2, at 1-4:30 p.m. An announcement from the district listed some questions that will be asked in the workshop, such as, What aspects of your ministries call for courage? How do Matthew’s portrayals of Jesus and Jesus’ followers teach courage? How can we receive and develop the gift of courage? Cost is $40, or $50 for those who want to receive .3 continuing education units. Contact .
  • On Nov. 2-4 Illinois and Wisconsin District Conference meets in Lake Williamson Christian Center in Carlinville, Ill., hosted by Virden Church of the Brethren. The Virden Church is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The Illinois and Wisconsin District Conference theme is “The Courage of Daniel” and leadership will be by moderator Fletcher Farrar. The Friday evening message will be brought by Dan Ulrich, professor of New Testament at Bethany Theological Seminary. Mutual Kumquat is singing Saturday evening.
  • Nov. 2-3 Shenandoah District Conference meets at Mill Creek Church of the Brethren. Centered on the theme “Word. Truth. Faith,” the conference will feature stories from throughout the district on how the discipline of reading through the Bible this year has affected individuals, families, study groups and congregations. One story from each of the five district sections will be included in the Friday evening worship, and others will be woven into the schedule throughout the weekend, according to the district newsletter.
  • Nov. 9-10 Virlina District Conference meets in Roanoke, Va., on the theme, “God Makes All Things New” (Romans 12:1-2). The 2012 Virlina District Conference officers will be Beth Middleton moderator, Frances Beam moderator-elect, and Rosalie Wood clerk.
  • On Nov. 9-11 Pacific Southwest District Conference meets on the theme “People Serving with Devotion (PSWD)” (Matthew 25:35-40), led by moderator Jack Storne of Live Oak Church of the Brethren. “Meeting the Bible Again--For a Second Time,” is the title of a special pre-conference workshop led by Richard F. Ward on Nov. 9 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. “In our time together we will refresh our relationship with the Bible through storytelling, story listening, journaling, and contemplative prayer. Our goal is to open new windows into the Bible in fresh and meaningful ways,” said a district announcement. The workshop is designed for “preachers, ‘wanna be’ preachers. and all those who listen to preachers,” the announcement said. Ward is professor of Preaching and Worship at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Okla. The workshop is free with District Conference registration and provides .5 continuing education units for ordained ministers.
  • The John Kline Homestead Board of Directors will recognize contributors at a Donor Dinner on Friday, Nov. 9, 6 p.m., at Linville Creek Church of the Brethren in Broadway, Va. The Shenandoah District announces that the program includes Linda Waggy of Montezuma Church of the Brethren speaking on the importance of telling the John Kline story, and J. Paul Wampler speaking about why he is a donor to the John Kline Homestead. A visual review of events at the homestead over the past year, and highlights of development at the homestead, will invite guests to continue to support this Brethren heritage site. The dinner is $20 per plate. E-mail or call 540-896-5001 to make reservations by Nov. 2.
  • In more news from the John Kline Homestead, Candlelight Dinners will be held in November and December in the historic home of Civil War-era Brethren leader John Kline. The dinners are 6 p.m. on Nov. 16 and 17 and Dec. 14 and 15. Actors converse around each table as in the fall of 1862, sharing concerns about the continuing war, recent drought, and rampaging diphtheria. Enjoy a family-style meal and experience the daily struggles and resilient faith of the family and neighbors of Elder John Kline. Dinners are $40 per plate. Groups are welcome; seating is limited to 32. Call 540-896-5001 for reservations.
  • The Leffler Lecture at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College originally scheduled for Oct. 31 has been postponed because of the extreme weather. A rescheduled event date will be announced. The lecture is to feature Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund.
  • In more news from Elizabethtown, the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies will host famed pediatrician Dr. D. Holmes Morton who will present the Durnbaugh Lectures on Nov. 8. Morton will speak about his experiences working in Old Order Amish and Mennonite communities. The lectures take place in Gibble Auditorium. At 3:45 p.m., Morton presents "Caring for the Patient in the Time of Genomics: Small Science at the Clinic for Special Children." At 7:30 p.m., he presents "Plain People and Modern Medicine: The Clinic for Special Children as a Model for Health Care in North America's Plain Communities." Both lectures are free and open to the public. Morton is a graduate of Trinity College and Harvard Medical School. His work has included developing methods for diagnosing and treating the Amish variant of glutaric aciduria type 1, an inherited disorder in which the body is unable to properly process certain proteins. The Durnbaugh Lectures are funded by an endowment created to honor the work of Don and Hedda Durnbaugh, two of the original Young Center fellows.
  • Bridgewater (Va.) College seniors are seeking entrepreneurial projects in Harrisonburg-Rockingham County. “Small businesses with big entrepreneurial plans sometimes can’t reach their goals due to limited creative manpower. That’s where a special service-learning project at Bridgewater College hopes to make a difference,” said a release from the college. Twenty seniors in an entrepreneurship course want to form working partnerships with five Harrisonburg and Rockingham County small businesses or non-profits for the spring 2013 semester. The goal is to help these businesses with marketing plans, consumer research, feasibility studies for new products or services, logo and publication development, and more. In order to participate, small businesses and nonprofits should present projects that are entrepreneurially oriented, designed to fit student capabilities, can be completed over a three-month period, and have enough substance to merit course credit. Express interest by contacting or 540-828-5418. The deadline is Dec. 7.
  • John McCarty, director of choral music at Bridgewater College, presents his debut choral concert directing the College Chorale, Concert Choir, and Oratorio Choir, on Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. at the Carter Center for Worship and Music. The centerpiece of the performance will be Carol Barnett’s “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass,” to be performed with the 50-member Oratorio Choir and a five-member bluegrass band. The concert is free and open to the public.
  • Frank Ramirez, pastor of Everett (Pa.) Church of the Brethren and a frequent contributor to Brethren Press publications, has written a new Christmas play, "Breakdown on Bethlehem Street." The play is available through CSS Publishing Company at . Ramirez also is in his fifth year of writing Lectern Resource, which provides a number of worship resources such as a call to worship, prayers, offering message, and children’s story for each week of the year. It is published quarterly and is available from
Source: 10/31/2012 Newsline


Newsline is produced by the news services of the Church of the Brethren. Contact the editor at Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Jeff Boshart, Beth Carpentier, Stan Dueck, Elizabeth Harvey, Mary Kay Heatwole, Nancy Miner, Joe Vecchio, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren.