Thursday, April 18, 2013

Brethren bits.

  • Correction: The Newsline of April 5 mistakenly listed On Earth Peace as a co-sponsor of this fall’s Progressive Brethren Gathering to be hosted by Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren. 
  • Remembered: Emilio Castro, 85, a Methodist pastor and theologian from Uruguay who served as general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) 1985-92. He passed away in Montevideo, Uruguay, on April 6. A WCC release noted his role as a leading ecumenist of the late 20th century. Castro initially joined the WCC as director of its Commission on World Mission and Evangelism in 1973. During social unrest in Uruguay in 1970s, he played a significant role in fostering dialogue between political groups and in the creation of a broad coalition of democratic forces. For his efforts in defending human rights in Latin America in the 1980s, he was awarded Orden de Bernardo O'Higgins, the Chilean government’s highest honor. Read the WCC tribute at .
  • Remembered: Frederick W. Wampler, 80, former Church of the Brethren mission doctor in India, passed away April 13 at Bridgewater (Va.) Home. He was born on July 1, 1932, in Harrisonburg, Va. He served as the physician surgeon for nine years in Maharastra, India, at the Brethren Mission Hospital at Dahanu. He was an active member of the Church of the Brethren, having served as a past moderator of Southeastern District and was currently a member of Bridgewater Church of the Brethren. Previously he was a faithful member of Walnut Grove Church of the Brethren before moving to Bridgewater. He is survived by his wife Josephine and three daughters--Amanda Marie Smith and husband David; Ruth Virginia Seaberg and husband James, all of Mountain City, Tenn.; and Rosalie Wamper of Baltimore, Md.--and grandchildren. The family received friends and held a graveside service on April 16 in Harrisonburg. A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 20, at Bridgewater Church of the Brethren, at 11 a.m. There will a second memorial service at Walnut Grove Church of the Brethren on Sunday, April 28, at 1:30 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120. Online condolences may be made to the family at .
  • Remembered: Harold B. Statler passed away April 12. A Church of the Brethren minister, he served for several decades in executive positions with state and county councils of churches. He was born April 28, 1927, in Huntingdon, Pa., and was a graduate of Manchester College and Bethany Theological Seminary. While in college he met Ruth Ludwick. They were married June 5, 1950, and enjoyed a 57-year marriage. Beginning in 1957, he had a 28-year career in the ecumenical movement serving as executive of the Indiana Council of Churches, Kansas Council of Churches, and York County (Pa.) Council of Churches. In volunteer positions, he was a representative of the denomination to the National Council of Churches General Assembly, Governing Board, and various commissions and departments. Following retirement in 1986, he lived in West Virginia and he and his wife volunteered at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., and at the Brethren House at Bethany Seminary. He also was a regional coordinator for Brethren Vision for the ’90s. He moved to Timbercrest in North Manchester, Ind., in 2008 after Ruth died the previous January following a car accident. He is survived by son Michael Statler of Muncie, Ind., daughter Suzanne Statler (husband Tom List) of Port Costa, Calif., and daughter Amy Statler Bahnson (husband Poul Bahnson) of Palm Springs, Calif., grandchildren, step-grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at the Timbercrest Chapel on April 26 at 2 p.m. Memorial contributions are received to Timbercrest Senior Living Community, Manchester University, Bethany Seminary, and On Earth Peace.
  • Southern Ohio District has called Karen and Tom Dillon of Salem Church of the Brethren as interim directors of Outdoor Ministries. Karen is a retired elementary school teacher and currently serves at Salem as Christian Education director. Tom has many talents related to management and maintenance of property. “Please keep Karen and Tom (as well as all those who serve with Outdoor Ministries) in your prayers,” said the district announcement.
  • Camp Brethren Woods in Shenandoah District has hired Emily LaPrade as program director to succeed Linetta Ballew. A native of Boones Mill, Va., and a 2008 graduate of Bridgewater College, LaPrade has served in various capacities at Camp Bethel in Virlina District. She also has served in Brethren Volunteer Service, was a co-coordinator of the 2010 National Youth Conference, and a former workcamp coordinator for the denomination. She will begin her work at Brethren Woods on April 29.
  • Southern Pennsylvania District is seeking a district executive minister to fill a full-time position available Jan. 1, 2014. The district includes 41 congregations and 3 fellowships (find map at ). The district is theologically diverse ranging from moderate to conservative, including plural non-salaried ministries Congregations are primarily rural, some suburban, and a few urban. The largest have fewer than 400 members with half having less than 100 members. The district’s mission is “To create New Testament communities committed to personal transformation through Jesus Christ.” District ministries include Camp Eder, Brook Lane Health Care Services, Carlisle Truck Stop Ministry, Children’s Aid Society, Cross Keys Village, and Elizabethtown College. The preferred candidate is committed to the authority of scripture and affirms the historic positions of the Church of the Brethren as reflected in Annual Conference statements. The district office is located at 6035 York Rd., New Oxford, Pa. Responsibilities include serving as executive of the board of the district, facilitating and giving general oversight to the planning and implementation of the ministries as directed by District Conference and the District Board, providing linkages to congregations, the Mission and Ministry Board, and other denominational agencies; developing and utilizing team models for district ministry making use of the gifts and skills of board members and others in the district; overseeing the work of ministerial leadership and pastoral placement including calling and forming ministers; building and nurturing relationships with congregations and pastors; modeling a balanced approach to ministry personally and professionally. Desired characteristics include clear commitment to Jesus Christ demonstrated by a vibrant spiritual life with a commitment to New Testament values and Church of the Brethren faith and heritage; doctrinally sound and biblically based belief; a bridge person who models integrity and is able to relate to, understand, appreciate, and respect diversity in the district. Required qualifications include ordination in the Church of the Brethren, minimum 10 years in congregational ministry, completion of Brethren-approved ministry training. Other qualifications include being an excellent communicator and proven administrator with organizational, budget, and technical skills. Send letter of interest and resume to . Applicants are requested to contact three or four people to provide a letter of reference. Upon receipt of resume applicant will be sent a candidate profile that must be completed and returned before the application is complete. The application deadline is June 15.
  • The World Council of Churches (WCC) is seeking to fill two full-time staff positions: program executive of the Ecumenical Office to the United Nations in New York, and director of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs located in Geneva, Switzerland.

    The program executive of the Ecumenical Office to the United Nations in New York coordinates the Ecumenical Office to the UN in New York; builds up relations with main players in the UN system, with the WCC Geneva team; analyzes trends and issues in the UN agenda relevant to the concerns in the ecumenical movement; engages the competencies available in the ecumenical movement and in advocacy, action and reflection on behalf of the WCC and with member churches and other ecumenical partners; facilitates the advocacy role of leaders in the ecumenical movement, in particular the general secretary and the associate general secretary for Public Witness and Diakonia of the WCC. Qualifications include at least a university degree, preferably a doctorate or equivalent in a relevant field (e.g. law, political science, international relations, political theology); a minimum of five years of experience and a strong track record in project management, preferably in an international, ecumenical, and/or church-related environment; a minimum of five years of experience in advocacy work, preferably in the UN; ability to represent, interpret, and communicate the positions of the WCC to partners, UN organizations, other stakeholders, and WCC constituencies; sensitivity to multicultural and ecumenical settings with respect to gender and age diversity; willingness to travel and work on a regular basis in Geneva, Switzerland; and excellent command of written and spoken English. Knowledge of other working languages of the WCC (French, German and Spanish) is an asset. Starting date is Jan. 1, 2014. The deadline for applications is June 15. More information is at .

    The director of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs directs the WCC’s work on international affairs and engages in advocacy, action, and reflection on behalf of the WCC and with member churches and other ecumenical partners. Qualifications include a doctorate or equivalent qualifications (demonstrated through publications and experience), preferably in a field related to international affairs; demonstrated high level knowledge of the UN system; minimum of five years of professional engagement at a leadership level in the area of advocacy in an ecumenical and multicultural environment; experience in project management, including result oriented planning, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting; experience in working sensitively in multi-cultural and ecumenical settings and with gender related issues; and good command of written and spoken English. Knowledge of the other working languages of the WCC (French, German, and Spanish) is an asset. Starting date is Feb. 1, 2014. The deadline for applications is May 15. For more see .

    To apply for a WCC staff vacancy, obtain full details for the open position together with the general conditions of service and application forms from the Human Resources Office, World Council of Churches, P.O. Box 2100, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland; . Applicants are requested to apply online within the planned time frame.
  • The Brethren Historical Library and Archives at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., has an opening for an archival intern. The purpose of the internship program is to develop interest in vocations related to archives and libraries and/or Brethren history. The program will provide the intern with work assignments in the BHLA and with opportunities to develop professional contacts. Work assignments will include processing archival materials, writing descriptive inventories, preparing books for cataloging, responding to reference requests, and assisting researchers in the library. Professional contacts may include attending archival and library conferences and workshops, visits to libraries and archives in the Chicago area, and participation in a Brethren Historical Committee meeting. BHLA is an official repository for Church of the Brethren publications and records. The collection consists of over 10,000 volumes, over 3,500 linear feet of manuscripts and records, over 40,000 photographs, plus videos, films, DVDs, and recordings. Term of service: one year, beginning July 2013 (preferred). Compensation: housing, stipend of $540 every two weeks, health insurance. Requirements: graduate student preferred or undergraduate with at least two years of college; interest in history and/or library and archival work; willingness to work with detail; accurate word processing skills; ability to lift 30-pound boxes. Request an application packet from the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; . All submissions must be completed by June 1. For additional information about the position contact the BHLA at 800-323-8039 ext. 368 or 847-429-4368 or .
  • The National Farm Worker Ministry is seeking an executive director. This faith-based organization committed to justice for and empowerment of farm workers, seeks a dynamic, passionate leader with demonstrated commitment to social justice. Since its organization in 1971, the ministry has worked with farm workers in their struggle for justice and equality and supported farm-worker-led efforts to improve wages and working and living conditions. The organization has partnered and engaged with farm workers in their communities and campaigns with a focus on educating, equipping, and mobilizing member organizations, other faith communities and justice seekers for effective support of those efforts both regionally and nationally. Review of resumés will begin on April 30 and continue until the position is filled.  For more information and application instructions, visit .
  • Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) invites expressions of interest in and nominations for the half time position of Aboriginal Justice Team project support coordinator. The coordinator will provide leadership and support for the team and will serve as primary link between the project and the rest of CPT. Job description, qualifications, and application are at . Preferred starting date is Sept. 1. Appointment will be for a period of three years, renewable upon mutual agreement. Compensation includes a need-based stipend of up to $1,000 per month. Preferred location is Turtle Island/North America. Must be able to spend time in Toronto, Canada, and in the context of partner communities, and to travel elsewhere occasionally. Persons with the required experience and skills who have not yet been members of CPT are welcome to apply. If chosen as the most promising applicant, that individual will need to participate in a CPT delegation or an internship with the AJT, and a month-long training/discernment process July 19-Aug. 19 in Chicago, Ill., prior to finalizing the appointment. The next AJT delegation is May 3-13. CPT is engaged in an organization-wide process of transformation to undo racism and other oppressions and is working toward more truly reflecting the strong diversity of God’s creation. Persons of the global majority are encouraged to apply. Contact with nominations, questions, and expressions of interest. Application materials are due by May 2.
  • Brethren Press staff would like to thank everyone for the great response to The New Inglenook Cookbook pre-publication offer. To date, more than 7,300 cookbooks have been ordered. The deadline for pre-publication orders may be over but you still have until April 30 to add quantity to a previously placed order and those additional books will come under the discounted rate. For those who missed the pre-publication ordering deadline, you can still receive a 25 percent discount by ordering 10 or more cookbooks. Call Brethren Press 800-441-3712. The New Inglenook Cookbook is expected to be ready for distribution early this summer.
  • “Messenger,” the Church of the Brethren magazine, inaugurated its digital version with the April issue. The new digital edition comes as a free bonus for print subscribers, and does not replace the print edition. “The full-color digital edition of ‘Messenger’ is searchable and has one-click access to online resources mentioned in articles,” said an announcement. “You'll also find occasional links to related short videos and music. There are several ways to navigate through the pages, and text can be enlarged for easier viewing.” For subscription information contact Diane Stroyeck at .
  • Robert and Linda Shank, Church of the Brethren members who have been teaching at a university in North Korea through the Global Mission and Service program, have returned unexpectedly to the US for personal reasons including a death in the family. The couple expect to return to their teaching positions at PUST, Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, in upcoming weeks. “We assured the students we expected to return,” said a recent e-mail message from the Shanks explaining their plans. “Robert needs to teach botany in a condensed form to the Sophomores and Linda will continue with (English) thesis projects. We are, however, delaying buying tickets to return with the hope that tensions will ease a bit,” they added. “We continue to feel strengthened by the loving/concerned contacts from church friends and the General Offices.”
  • Brethren Disaster Ministries’ Zach Wolgemuth has been part of discussions with the Isaiah Fund on strategies for responding to Superstorm Sandy. A meeting Wolgemuth took part in was attended by approximately 40 individuals representing CDFI (Community Development Financial Institutions), foundations, and disaster response agencies, he reported. “The Isaiah Fund is a multi-faith-based permanent disaster response loan fund that invests in the revitalization of disaster-torn communities over the long haul,” he said in a note about the meeting. It was founded in May 2008 as the result of a collaborative initiative by the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, CHRISTUS Health, Highland Good Steward Management, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, and Everence Community Investments. “This was an opportunity for BDM to help guide discussion, share best practices, and engage the various funds in conversation around disaster recovery work that seeks to provide a holistic approach to community re-development,” Wolgemuth wrote. “The Isaiah Fund has already verbally committed an initial $100 million to the Sandy affected region and will be tasking an advisory council to help guide future decisions. I have been asked to join this advisory council.” For more about the work of Brethren Disaster Ministries, go to .
  • Coming up in 2014: the next clergywomen’s retreat. The Ministry Office reports that the retreat will be held Jan. 13-16, 2014, in southern California with leadership provided by Melissa Wiginton, vice president for Education Beyond the Walls at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and former vice president for Ministry Programs and Planning at the Fund for Theological Education. She holds degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and the Candler School of Theology, Emory University.
  • A member from First Church of the Brethren in Chicago, Ill., will testify at a hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline on April 18. Duane Ediger, who is congregational chair of First Church, will travel to Grand Island, Neb., to testify at the State Department hearing on environmental impacts of the proposed pipeline. "Completion of the pipeline would commit us to decades of contamination and make it impossible to avoid catastrophic consequences of climate change," Ediger said in a release about his testimony. He plans to bring into his testimony “the spirit and letter” of a 2001 Church of the Brethren resolution calling on the US to "move beyond its dependence on high carbon fossil fuels that produce emissions leading to climate change," "concentrate on reducing carbon dioxide emissions within the US and not rely on mechanisms such as emission trading with other countries to meet our targets for emission reductions," and develop renewable and small-scale, decentralized energy systems.
  • West Marva District has issued an invitation to its 2013 Praise Gathering on May 5, beginning at 3 p.m. at Bethel Church of the Brethren in Petersburg, W.Va. Leading the event is Annual Conference moderator Bob Krouse. The theme will be the 2013 Annual Conference theme from the Kenneth Morse hymn "Move in Our Midst." The scripture focus will be 2 Chronicles 7:14. A District Mass Choir is being formed and led by Krista Hayes of Maple Spring Church of the Brethren. An offering to support District Ministries will be received.
  • Northern Plains District is dedicating the third Heifer International $5,000 Ark it has purchased to all the "Seagoing Cowboys" who cared for animals onboard ships traveling to overseas destinations at part of the Church of the Brethren’s Heifer Project (predecessor to Heifer Int.). “The list of names of those who served as seagoing cowboys is not completely documented and the district would very much like to make it more complete,” said an announcement. Panther Creek Church of the Brethren is the clearinghouse to receive names of sea-going cowboys from the people and churches of the district. Send information to: Panther Creek Church of the Brethren, 24529 J Ave., Adel, IA 50003; 515-993-3466 or .
  • Brethren Woods, a camp and retreat center near Keezletown, Va., is holding a celebration of Linetta Ballew and her work as the camp's program director on Sunday, May 5, at 4:30 p.m. A short program and refreshments are planned, and photos, cards, or letters are sought for a memory book for Linetta as she leaves Brethren Woods for Camp Swatara.
  • In more news from Brethren Woods, the camp holds its Spring Festival on April 27 from 7 a.m.-2 p.m., rain or shine. The event will raise money to support the district outdoor ministry program. Events include a fishing contest (7 a.m.), pancake breakfast (7:30-9:30 a.m.), craft demonstrations, paddle boat rides, hike-a-thon (starts at 8:30 a.m.), children’s games, petting zoo, entertainment, zip line rides, and a live auction, as well as a BBQ chicken and pork and ham pot pie lunch. The Dunk the Dunkard Booth will be part of the action along with a “Kiss the Cow” contest and a new Cornhole Tournament. “There’s something for everyone!” said an announcement. Find out more at .
  • “We now have six 100 year olds living at Peter Becker Community,” says Colleen Algeo, public relations coordinator for the retirement community in Harleysville, Pa. Recently celebrating 100th birthdays were Kathryn Alderfer, who turned 100 on April 7, and Evelyn Weber, who turned 100 on March 28. A release noted that Weber is the recent winner of the community’s blue ribbon in the “Our Favorite Things” resident houseplant competition. As for Alderfer, she was honored by citations from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the Governor of Pennsylvania. In the home’s release about her birthday, Alderfer offered this advice to people who want to live to 100: “Go do your thing; do what is right, don’t hurt anyone. Use your imagination to see what you should do next.” For more go to
  • Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, a Church of the Brethren retirement community near Boonsboro, Md., is having a Spring Open House on May 11. This is the community’s fourth annual Spring Open House and will take place from 1-4 p.m.  Guests may tour the village and available residences, chat with staff members and residents, and ride a horse-drawn wagon. Refreshments will be provided. On display will be renovated skilled nursing dayrooms, newly expanded physical therapy gym, and walking trail. “We want everyone to get to know Fahrney-Keedy’s lifestyle,” said Deborah Haviland, director of Marketing. “Very likely there will be people who visit us that day who will come away motivated to move here.” To RSVP or to obtain additional information, call 301-671-5016 or 301-671-5038 or visit .
  • COBYS Family Services is hosting an Open House for its new Family Life Center at 171 E. King Street, Lancaster, Pa., on Sunday, April 28, and Monday, April 29, from 1-4 p.m. each day. Staff will be available to give tours and light refreshments will be served. COBYS purchased the 5,400-square-foot facility in October. Family Life Education staff moved from the COBYS main office in Leola, Pa., to the new building in early December, and began hosting programs there in January. Motivated by Christian faith and connected to the Church of the Brethren, COBYS Family Services educates, supports, and empowers children and adults to reach their full potential, and offers family life education, foster care, and adoption services, in cooperation with LCCYSSA, as well as providing therapy at three counseling centers in Lancaster and Lebanon Counties. A printable invitation to the Open House is at open_house_invitation.pdf .
  • David Radcliff, founder and director of the New Community Project, will speak at Bridgewater (Va.) College’s Earth Day convocation April 22 in Cole Hall. The event is free and open to the public. Radcliff is a former member of the Church of the Brethren denominational staff and a noted environmentalist. During the week he also will speak to a number of classes on topics that include women’s and girls’ roles and challenges around the world, as well as environmental challenges facing key global ecosystems, and native cultures in the Arctic and Amazon.
  • The Alexander Mack Memorial Library at Bridgewater (Va.) College turns 50 this year, and is celebrating with an exhibition of items that reflects the history of the library. The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, will be on display Friday, April 19, from 9 am.-5 p.m.; Saturday, April 20, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; and Sunday, April 21, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The exhibition will feature a diorama of the Alexander Mack Memorial Library created by Bridgewater junior Chris Conte; photographs from Bridgewater College Special Collections depicting the library in its several campus locations through the years; and a range of college-related items from the Reuel B. Pritchett Museum.
  • The McPherson (Kan.) College Choir will be appearing at “unconventional” venues during its spring tour, according to a release from the school. “In the middle of a quiet art gallery. Underneath the wings of an SR-71 Blackbird spy plane. Not the sort of places one normally associates with a choir performance,” said the release. The tour on April 24-28 led by Josh Norris, assistant professor of music and choir director, will take the singers to the Kansas Cosmosphere in Hutchinson on April 24, and the Wichita CityArts Gallery on April 27, both of which fit into the tour theme “Earth, Sea and Sky.” Other more conventional locations are First Plymouth Church in Lincoln, Neb., on April 25, and First Central Church of the Brethren in Kansas City, Kan., on April 26. The tour wraps up with a homecoming performance on April 28 at McPherson Opera House. All performances start at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public.
  • Mike Long, associate professor of religious studies and peace and conflict studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, has added another book title explores the man behind the legend, baseball great Jackie Robinson. Long has edited "Beyond Home Plate: Jackie Robinson on Life After Baseball," reports a release from the college. The book comes out in tandem with the Warner Bros. movie about Robinson titled "42." This is Long’s second book focusing on the famous baseball player. His first, “First Class Citizenship: The Civil Rights Letters of Jackie Robinson,” gives insight into Robinson’s passionate fight to rid the country of racism. Long is traveling to speak about his newest book and will appear at Fenway Park in Boston on May 9, and the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian on a date yet to be announced.
  • The 2013 Peace Week at Manchester University in N. Manchester, Ind., focuses on the theme, “Opening New Doors: Acting for Peace” according to a Facebook announcement. Events culminate with a Concert on the Lawn by Mutual Kumquat on the afternoon of Saturday, April 20. Previously in the week were a workshop on “Theater for Social Change” with Jane Frazier, a Refior Peace Lecture featuring “No Place Called Home” and a workshop with playwright Kim Schultz, a Yom Hashoah service, chapel led by Cliff Kindy, a meeting of the Simply Brethren campus group, and a service project in the Peace Garden. For more go to!/peacestudies.coordinator .
  • Global Women's Project says, “Mother's Day is coming up, and we encourage you to participate in our annual Mother's Day Gratitude Project!” The project steering committee invites church members to express their gratitude to mothers “with a gift that supports women around the world.” Donors designate a loved one to receive a hand-written card indicating that a gift was made in her honor. Contact Global Women's Project, c/o Nan Erbaugh, 47 S. Main St., West Alexandria, OH 45381-12433. Deadline for a mother’s day card is May 6.
  • “Move in Our Midst” is the theme of the next spiritual disciplines folder from the Springs of Living Water initiative in church renewal, in preparation for the 2013 Annual Conference on the same theme. Beginning May 5, the folder has a description of the Conference theme by moderator Robert Krouse, and suggested scriptures “to invite God’s spirit to work in us afresh,” said an announcement. The folder gives a scripture reading and prayer format for daily use along with a weekly prayer focus. An insert helps participants identify their next steps in spiritual growth. Vince Cable, pastor of Uniontown Church of the Brethren, provides Bible study questions. The spiritual disciplines folder and study questions are on the Springs of Living Water website at (select the Springs button and locate a description under B and the folder and Bible study questions under C). For more details contact David Young at .
  • “The Bread Basket: Thoughts for Daily Living”  (224 pp., clothbound) by Paul W. Brubaker, a leader in the Brethren Revival Fellowship, is being distributed by the BRF for a suggested donation of $15 plus $2 postage and handling. “In this book, Paul Brubaker has included devotionals he has written over nearly 40 years,” said a release. “These one-page essays were all printed in the bi-monthly ‘BRF Witness.’ ... Many of the devotionals Paul gleaned from his own life's experiences, or from reading and hearing about the experiences of others.” Brubaker is an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren, a Bethany Seminary trustee, and a retired banker. For more information go to .  
Source: 4/18/2013 Newsline

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