Friday, June 28, 2013

Newsline: June 28, 2013


Standing Committee holds special session about On Earth Peace statement of inclusion

On Earth Peace executive director speaks with Standing Committee
Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
On Earth Peace executive director Bill Scheurer (at center, third from left) speaks with Standing Committee members during a specially called session on the agency's Statement of Inclusion.
The Standing Committee of district delegates began meeting yesterday, June 26, prior to the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in Charlotte, N.C. The meetings of Standing Committee are led by moderator Bob Krouse, assisted by moderator-elect Nancy Sollenberger Heishman and Conference secretary James Beckwith.

Today the delegates from the 23 districts in the Church of the Brethren held a specially called session with On Earth Peace executive director Bill Scheurer to continue conversation about the agency’s Statement of Inclusion.

The session concluded with a decision to send a second Standing Committee delegation to meet with the On Earth Peace board “to explore a way to attempt to find a resolution.”

Concerns date back to 2012

Last year’s Standing Committee issued “A Way Forward” statement of concern that “trust in leadership has been broken” by three events, one of them being the Statement of Inclusion made by the board of On Earth Peace, which is an Annual Conference agency.

The On Earth Peace statement reads: “We are troubled by attitudes and actions in the church, which exclude persons on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or any other aspect of human identity. We believe God calls the church to welcome all persons into full participation in the life of the faith community.”

In “A Way Forward” Standing Committee urged On Earth Peace “to re-examine its statement of inclusion regarding ‘full participation’ so that it will be consistent with Annual Conference decisions regarding Human Sexuality from a Christian Perspective [the 1983 Conference statement] and the polity regarding ordination.” (Read “A Way Forward” in full at

Since then, in September last year, a three-member delegation from Standing Committee visited with the board of On Earth Peace to talk about the Statement of Inclusion.

Today moderator Bob Krouse and Standing Committee member Kathy Mack, who were both part of the group, reported back. “It is clear that the OEP board heard the concern expressed by Standing Committee,” said Krouse’s report, in part. “However, the members of the board were unanimous in expressing their reluctance to change the language of the statement of inclusion,” he added, listing several of the reasons expressed by On Earth Peace board members.

Mack added that the On Earth Peace board also acknowledged the hard feelings caused by their statement, and the need to bridge gaps and restore faith in their board.

After a discussion in which several Standing Committee members raised continuing concerns, there was a motion “in the spirit of Matthew 18" to approach On Earth Peace leaders to find a time for more conversation. The meeting took place this evening.

OEP executive called to special session

On Earth Peace executive director Bill Scheurer readily agreed to the specially called session, where he reiterated the conviction that because the agency does not marry or ordain, its Statement of Inclusion does not transgress Annual Conference polity and falls within the scope of the entire 1983 paper.

He said he did not view the On Earth Peace statement as an attempt at prophetic witness or an attempt to direct action by the denomination, but simply a way of “sharing an immense pain and sharing what we heard in response to that pain. We’re not telling anyone what to do. We are just one voice.”

Standing Committee members responded by characterizing the Statement of Inclusion as a statement of advocacy, with the implication that it advocates for a change in Annual Conference polity. Scheurer acknowledged that the phrase “full participation” means full inclusion in the church of people who he said are not fully included at present because of Annual Conference decisions.

Several changes of wording of the On Earth Peace statement were offered as suggestions to resolve the issue, which Scheurer said he would take back to the On Earth Peace board, but did not hold up any hope that the board would make changes.

Scheurer openly talked of the possibility of On Earth Peace losing its status as a Conference agency if enough members of Standing Committee push the issue, and it is brought to the full Annual Conference. He said that On Earth Peace recognizes that it is “well within the scope” of Annual Conference “to remove our agency status...and we would live with that. And we would still live and minister within the Brethren community,” he said. “It is conceivable it would come to that. We’d accept it in goodwill and with a sense of innocence.”

However, he added, “I would consider it a tragic step backward.”

The session concluded with a solid majority of Standing Committee voting for the officers to appoint another delegation to meet with the On Earth Peace board again, “to explore a way to attempt to find a resolution.”

The Standing Committee member who made the motion, Bob Kettering, said he hoped the delegation would be a next step in the Matthew 18 process for resolving differences in the church, and that a second delegation would take the conversation “to the next level.”

Source: 6/28/2013 Newsline

CDS volunteers in Oklahoma care for more than 1,000 children

CDS volunteers care for children in Moore, Okla., following a devastating tornado
Photo by Patty Henry
CDS volunteers care for children in Moore, Okla., following a devastating tornado
The number of children served by Children’s Disaster Services volunteers working in Moore, Okla., has now passed 1,000. The CDS volunteers are serving children and families affected by the tornado that devastated the town of Moore in May.

As of June 20, CDS has worked in Moore for more than 4 weeks and has served more than 1,020 children. Two teams of CDS volunteers have each finished two weeks of service, and another team started work in Moore this past weekend. John Elms is currently serving as project manager.

The volunteers last week visited the Plaza Tower Elementary School memorial and left a CDS smock, which they all wear to identify themselves as they work with disaster survivors in facilities set up in cooperation with the American Red Cross and FEMA.

“All had signed a CDS smock with verses, names and states. This was hung on the fence along with a CDS lanyard,” reported Elms. “A young man, Ian, approached us and took photos of our team next to the smock.

“The young man started telling us his story,” Elms wrote in an e-mail report. “His home of 15 years was across the street from the school. He was not there when the tornado hit and destroyed his home. He raced to his home to check on his mom and sister. The home had been totally destroyed and he started digging to try and find his family. Mom and sister arrived and had gone to a friend’s shelter. They continued to dig for their seven dogs and cats. It took them a week to find the animals and they all survived. However, eight of his neighbors died.”

“As of Thursday, 6/20, we have surpassed the milestone of 1,000 children, averaging about 40-60 daily for 4 weeks,” reported Hallie Pilcher, a Brethren Volunteer Service worker serving with Brethren Disaster Ministries. “We are sending in a third team of volunteers today and tomorrow. So far we have had 19 volunteers with 10 headed in for the next team. We continue to serve in the West Moore High School.

“We are not sure at this point how much longer we will be there, as the numbers continue to be unusually high for this late after a disaster,” Pilcher added. “On Weds., 6/19, we saw 60 children again, so there is no decline in numbers yet.”

For more reflections from the CDS response in Moore, Okla., see Kathy Howell's blog at or Katie Nees’ blog at . To give to the Children’s Disaster Services response in Moore, Okla., donate to the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) online at or by mail to Emergency Disaster Fund, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120.

Source: 6/28/2013 Newsline

Moore overwhelmed by donations of unneeded goods

The Brethren Disaster Ministries office has issued an alert that the Moore, Okla., tornado area has been overwhelmed with unneeded donated goods. Disaster response agencies have requested help in stemming the tide.

“Please help spread the word that in-kind donations are not needed in Oklahoma for the tornadoes!” said an e-mail from the Brethren Disaster Ministries office. “If you hear of local drives for food, clothing, or other donated goods, please advise the organizers NOT to send additional donated goods into Oklahoma.”

Instead of sending goods, several more helpful options are suggested:
  • Sell collected items and donate the cash to the Emergency Disaster Fund to aid Brethren Disaster Ministries work. Donated online at or send checks by mail to the Emergency Disaster Fund, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120.
  • There is a general appeal for Church World Service (CWS) relief kits, which are collected and warehoused at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Right now, supplies of Emergency Clean-Up Buckets and Baby Care Kits are low and need to be replenished. For instructions on kit assembly, see .
  • Donate non-food items to local thrift stores or other nonprofits.
  • Donate food to local food banks, which might ultimately benefit Oklahoma via the Feeding America network, if food is needed.
  • Donate blood yourself or organize a blood drive at your church or workplace.
“Please help the Moore, Okla., tornado relief effort by sharing this message widely!” said the Brethren Disaster Ministries e-mail. “Thank you!”

Source: 6/28/2013 Newsline

Brethren Disaster Ministries directs disaster grants to Angola, Palestine

Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed allocations from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to SHARE to support schoolchildren in Angola, and to the Shepherd Society of Bethlehem Bible College in Palestine.

An allocation of $17,000 responds to a SHARE appeal aimed at providing food resources, bicycles, wheelchairs, school materials, and hygiene kits to children affected by almost three decades of protracted civil war in Angola. SHAREcircle has been a partner organization to Brethren Disaster Ministries, along with the IECA Church in Angola, for more than a decade. The grant will support students in three schools in Bié, Kwanza Norte, and Kuando Kubango provinces and will provide shipping of material aid to Angola from the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. As part of a larger coordinated relief program, the resources and material aid increases the likelihood of SHARE receiving a USAID grant for a food package program.

An allocation of $15,000 to the Shepherd Society in Bethlehem, Palestine, the charitable arm of Bethlehem Bible College, will aid Palestinian people living in the West Bank who find themselves confined to their towns without adequate employment. “Bethlehem is under occupation and the separation wall makes business difficult,” said the grant request. “The poorer segments of society lack insurance and social security. The result is a despairing people reaching for hope.” The allocation will provide support and relief to a minimum of 500 needy people in the Bethlehem area with urgent medical care and a family food subsidy. The Global Food Crisis Fund also is making a similar allocation (see related report from the GFCF).

In more disaster relief news:

A week of rain in eastern New York State resulted in some minor flooding in the small town of Middleburg on June 14. Middleburg is about six miles south of the current Brethren Disaster Ministries project housing in Schoharie, and is in the service are of partner agencies to Brethren Disaster Ministries. The majority of the homes affected only experienced flooding in the basements, though a handful did have water in the first floor. The creekbeds in the region were still loaded with silt that had been deposited during the flooding in Aug. 2011, resulting in a considerable mess, reports team leader Tim Sheaffer. The Brethren volunteers who were in Schoharie for the week had already left, but the leadership team of Sheaffer along with Larry and Alice Petry and Adam Braun, joined with associates from World Renew and local volunteers the next day to assist in clearing out ruined furniture, flooring, and carpeting, and clearing driveways and basements and a couple of first floor homes. The effort was coordinated by partners at Schoharie Recovery.

Florin Church of the Brethren in Mount Joy, Pa., is hosting a district Emergency Clean-Up Bucket assembly to help replenish the depleted supply of buckets warehoused at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The two-day event June 28-29 starts each day at 9 a.m., with lunch provided. The project is sponsored by the Brethren Disaster Auction and organizers hope to assemble a total of 1,700 buckets. RSVP to 717-898-3385 or 717-625-4918.

Source: 6/28/2013 Newsline

Global Food Crisis Fund supports Shepherd Society, ECHO with grants

Recent grants have been given from the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) to a partnership project with the Shepherd Society of Bethlehem Bible College in Palestine, and to an agriculture project of ECHO, Inc., in the Dominican Republic.
An allocation of $10,000 has been given for a partnership with the Shepherd Society of Bethlehem Bible College, a non-profit organization that was visited recently by Church of the Brethren staff and Mission and Ministry Board members. The Shepherd Society makes contacts with NGOs and municipal organizations seeking to identify short-term jobs for unemployed Palestinian workers. Its micro-projects program provides loans to help families start their own small businesses or develop already-established businesses. The grant provides assistance for job creation and micro-projects. It is given in coordination with a grant from the Emergency Disaster Fund (see related report from the EDF).

An allocation of $4,400 has been given to ECHO Inc. for scholarships for participants attending ECHO’s Caribbean-wide agricultural conference in Santo Domingo, D.R., in October.  The Conference will provide a network and training opportunity for those involved in alleviating hunger and poverty in the Caribbean Region. This conference will be offered in Spanish, Haitian Creole and English. Registration for the conference costs $220 per person; the grant will provide scholarships for 20 participants. ECHO is assuring the Church of the Brethren up to five scholarships to be used for Brethren coming from Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The balance of the scholarships will be awarded to other participants by ECHO staff, based on financial need.

For more about the Global Food Crisis Fund go to

Source: 6/28/2013 Newsline

WCC plans 2013 Assembly on the theme ‘God of Life, Lead Us to Justice and Peace.’

Peace doveThe World Council of Churches (WCC) 10th Assembly will be held Oct. 30-Nov. 8 in Busan, South Korea, on the theme, “God of Life, Lead Us to Justice and Peace.” The Church of the Brethren delegation has already begun preparing for the event. Delegates from each worldwide member communion of the WCC are expected to attend the assembly, which is held every seven years and is considered the largest international gathering of Christians.

Church of the Brethren congregations are invited to use WCC worship resources to connect with this important gathering. Resources and more information are at .

Christian groups around the world are beginning to prepare for the gathering. Recently, delegations from American churches gathered for an orientation at the headquarters of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in the Chicago area.

The orientation included the Brethren who will be attending: elected delegate Michael Hostetter, elected alternate R. Jan Thompson, general secretary Stan Noffsinger and director of the Office of Public Witness Nathan Hosler who are both delegates by appointment by the WCC Executive Committee, and director of News Services Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford.

At this year’s German Protestant Kirchentag more than 1,000 participants offered prayers for the Busan assembly. The service also featured reflections from WCC general secretary Olav Fykse Tveit. “We are praying, working, and walking together on a pilgrimage to justice and peace,” Tveit said. “The image of a pilgrimage as the framework for our way to justice and peace offers a link between spirituality and work that is urgently needed.” He highlighted the significance of churches to “be together” in their journey toward peace. “We are on the way, with one another, with the God of life, with a clear purpose.”

 “An Ecumenical Call to Just Peace,” which is a key document for the Historic Peace Churches (Church of the Brethren, Mennonites, and Quakers) emerging from the Decade to Overcome Violence, will serve as a background document for the WCC Assembly. The WCC Central Committee adopted the document earlier this year and announced that it will be provided to the delegate body of the assembly.

So far, a brief and recently created paper on Christian unity is the only ecumenical statement that has been announced as coming for action at the assembly. However, delegates will be busy with a number of matters related to finance and governance, including proposed changes to the WCC constitution, a strategic plan for the work of WCC staff, elections, and reports from staff and committees including joint working groups with the Roman Catholics and Pentecostal Christians.

Delegates also will worship and fellowship with other Christians from around the world, do Bible study in small groups, take part in the many committees that meet during each assembly, and choose from a “marketplace” of workshop opportunities offered under the Korean name “madang.” Speakers at thematic plenaries will address the assembly theme as well as the subtopics of Asia, mission, unity, justice, and peace. Blocks of time are set aside for ecumenical conversations, regional meetings, and meetings of similar “confessions” of Christians.

Those not named to committees have the opportunity to go on weekend excursions that may include a public peace witness, and will worship with Korean churches.

Pre-assembly gatherings are planned for young adults, women, indigenous people, and the Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network. There will be a Global Ecumenical Theological Institute for seminarians. Young adult “stewards” who serve as volunteer assembly staff also begin their training prior to the assembly.

At the orientation for US participants, the Brethren group had a chance to meet and begin thinking about how to share responsibilities and make the best of an important opportunity to represent the denomination and learn from other Christians. The orientation included a focus on WCC assemblies as key turning points for the worldwide church, times when the Holy Spirit has moved in unexpected ways to guide the Christian movement into new directions of discipleship and witness.

The WCC is an ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948. By the end of 2012 the WCC had 345 member churches representing more than 500 million Christians from Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican, and other traditions in over 110 countries. Brethren bodies that are member communions include the US Church of the Brethren and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).

Source: 6/28/2013 Newsline

Intercultural Gathering scheduled for October on theme ‘The Great Multitude: A Symposium Bringing Us Together.’

Intercultural Advisory Committee
Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh Cayford
The Intercultural Ministry office, advisory committee, and Virlina District have announced the 2013 Intercultural Gathering, titled “The Great Multitude: A Symposium Bringing Us Together.” The gathering will be held Oct. 25-27 at the Skelton 4-H Center, 775 Hermitage Rd., Wirtz, Va.

The theme scripture comes from Revelation 7:9: "After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands.”

The event is a new way of bringing together those who are passionate about intercultural work within the denomination and their communities. It builds on the former Intercultural Ministries Celebration and Consultation and a partnership with districts. Participants from all walks of life and all districts are invited for an intercultural experience of prayer, study of the theological basis for an ethnically diverse church, conversation about contemporary trends in intercultural ministry, fellowship with new people and neighbors in the region, and worship with the Bittersweet Gospel Band and one another.

Speakers for the event include Barbara Daté, Daniel D’Oleo, Dava Hensley, Samuel Sarpiya, Dennis Webb, and Jonathan Shively, executive director of Congregational Life Ministries. Participants are invited to join host congregations Roanoke (Va.) First Church of the Brethren and Roanoke Renacer Fellowship for the Sunday morning service at 2001 Carroll Avenue in Roanoke.

Early registration (by Sept. 1) costs $199 for those staying onsite, or $99 for commuters. (After Sept. 1 the registration fee will increase). Resident participants will have hotel-style lodgings, linens and towels provided, in shared double rooms at the 4-H Skelton Center. The registration fee will include meals from Friday dinner through Sunday brunch. Continuing education credit is available.

Find a schedule and printable brochure at . For more information or if you need financial assistance to attend, contact Gimbiya Kettering, Intercultural Ministries coordinator, at or 847-429-4387.

Source: 6/28/2013 Newsline

Remembering Slim Whitman, the church’s ‘Mr. Songman.’

Photo by courtesy of Brethren Press
"Mr. Songman" biography of the country singer Slim Whitman, published by Brethren Press in 1982
Country singer Slim Whitman, 90, who was a longtime member and deacon emeritus at Jacksonville (Fla.) Church of the Brethren, passed away June 19 at Orange Park (Fla.) Medical Center. He was the subject of the book “Mr. Songman,” written by Kenneth L. Gibble and published by Brethren Press in 1982.

Remembered by friends in the congregation and Atlantic Southeast District as a gentle and loving man, Whitman retained his Brethren simplicity even as he gained in popularity as a performer. He is remembered in media reports as “the high-pitched yodeler who sold millions of records” and whose song saved the world in the film comedy "Mars Attacks!" He recorded more than 65 albums, and was known for his three-octave singing range.

His obituaries have recorded his musical influence on early rock, and how he popularized country music, particularly in the UK. “Whitman also encouraged a teen Elvis Presley when he was the headliner on the bill and the young singer was making his professional debut,” noted one report.

“His career spanned six decades, beginning in the late 1940s, but he achieved cult figure status in the 1980s. His visage as an ordinary guy singing romantic ballads struck a responsive chord with the public,” said the Huffington Post, which quoted Whitman’s good humored comment about a famous TV advertisement for his music: "It buys fuel for the boat."

"I don't think you've ever heard anything bad about me, and I'd like to keep it that way,” he was quoted in the Huffington Post. “I'd like my son to remember me as a good dad. I'd like the people to remember me as having a good voice and a clean suit."

The Messenger Dinner program that featured a drawing of Slim Whitman by Messenger editor Kermon Thomasson, Annual Conference 1982
Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
The Messenger Dinner program that featured a drawing of Slim Whitman by Messenger editor Kermon Thomasson, Annual Conference 1982
Slim Whitman performed at the Messenger Dinner at the Annual Conference in Wichita, Kan., in 1982. For the occasion, “Messenger” editor Kermon Thomasson drew him for the cover of the dinner program, shown playing his guitar and adorned with sequins. Brethren Press publisher Wendy McFadden, at the time on the Messenger staff, recalls the flurry of activity to prepare for the dinner and how the “sequins” on the program illustrations were created by hand with glue and glitter.

Whitman was for many years a deacon at Jacksonville Church of the Brethren, where his wife Alma Geraldine (Jerry) often cooked the love feast meal, reported family friend Ruby Raymer. “They were good church members,” Raymer said.

The Jacksonville congregation would gather for a Sunday evening Bible study in the 1960s and ’70s, when Jerry would play the piano and Slim would lead a hymn sing.

Whitman also was a good fisherman, taking out his boat “Chicken of the Sea” to fish off the Florida Keys. He loved animals, Raymer said, to the point of taking in a stray cat he named Roadkill, and once buying a new ladder when the short ladder he was going to use to fix his roof was of a length to disturb a dove’s nest. He couldn’t bear to destroy the doves’ home, she recalled.

“I want him remembered as just a simple, living person,” Raymer said, telling of the Whitmans’ simple lifestyle. While he was still able, Whitman cared for his property himself, and maintained his own equipment. “He didn’t take advantage of the fact that he was famous.”

Ruby and her husband Bill accompanied the family on Slim Whitman’s Farewell Tour when--at close to 80--he toured England, Scotland, and Ireland for the last time. His shows were sold out. “He didn’t miss a cue,” Raymer said. “He didn’t have a prompter. The only thing he had at the show was a piece of notebook paper with the songs he would do that night.”

At one of Slim’s last shows in Ireland, the crowd began to hum along softly to “Rose Marie.” Hearing them, as Raymer tells it, Whitman paused and invited the people to sing along. He always went out front after each performance to meet his fans, and during the Farewell Tour emotional fans crowded around wanting a last chance to give Slim Whitman a hug.

Son Byron Whitman “was half of his show for many years,” Raymer said. Byron played the keyboard organ and would introduce his father. “Do what you do do well,” Slim had told Byron when he was a little boy, Raymer remembers--advice that stuck with him, and was picked up by others who were struck by its wisdom.

Born in Tampa, Fla., on Jan. 23, 1923, he was named Ottis Dewey Whitman Jr. Before his singing career he worked as a meatpacker and a postman and also worked at a shipyard. Whitman’s wife Jerry passed away in 2009. After her death, he produced a last album on CD titled “Twilight on the Trail,” in her memory. He is survived by his son Byron, daughter Sharron Beagle who is married to Roy Beagle, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on June 29 at The Rock Bible Church, a Church of the Brethren congregation in Middleburg, Fla. Jerry Whitman’s father, A.D. Crist, helped build the congregation, formerly named Clay County Church of the Brethren.

Source: 6/28/2013 Newsline

Brethren bits.

    Group from Little Swatara Church that made crosses for Annual Conference 2013
  • Little Swatara Church of the Brethren in Bethel, Pa., and pastor Bob Krouse, who is serving as moderator of the 2013 Annual Conference, held a consecration ceremony last Sunday for the wooden crosses that will be handed out at the Conference. Krouse and a team from the church hand-made the 3,000 small crosses to share with Brethren from across the country and around the world. Shown here: a blessing of the crosses, with a picture of all of the church members who helped make them by hand, identified by name by photographer and church member Glenn Riegel.
  • Andrew Pankratz of Abilene, Kan., begins Monday, June 24, as archival intern for 2013-14 in the Brethren Historical Library and Archives at the General Offices in Elgin. He is a student at Emporia State University in Kansas, where he is working on a master of arts in history degree, and is planning to work on a master’s degree in library science. His past experience has included work as a student archival assistant at the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies in Hillsboro, Kan.; a summer internship at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene; and volunteer experiences at the Lyon County Archives in Emporia and the Heritage Center (Dickinson County Museum) in Abilene. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Tabor College in Hillsboro.
  • Deborah Brehm has been promoted to manager, Office of Human Resources for the Church of the Brethren. This salaried staff position is a reflection of the breadth and depth of responsibilities of the Office of Human Resources. Responsibilities include managing human resource activity at Elgin and New Windsor, promoting trust and confident relationships among employees, facilitating recruitment and hiring processes, managing the human resource outsourced benefits system and processes, and facilitating hospitality services at the Church of the Brethren General Offices. Deborah began her employment January 30, 2012. 
  • Fahrney Keedy Home and Village, a Church of the Brethren retirement community near Boonsboro, Md., seeks a director of activities. The position is responsible for the development, implementation, and supervision of recreational activities for Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village residents. Experience and/or certification in therapeutic recreation preferred. Resumes may be submitted to: Cassandra Weaver, Vice President of Operations, . In addition to a resume a completed employment application must be received. Applications may be submitted online or completed in person. For more information go to . EOE. Fahrney Keedy Home and Village is located at 8507 Mapleville Rd., Boonsboro, MD 21713; fax: 301-733-3805. 
  • Lancaster (Pa.) Mennonite Historical Society (LMHS) is seeking a full-time director of development. Primary responsibilities include building a development program; cultivating relationships with individuals, congregations, and businesses; and managing capital campaigns. The person should have experience and training with development activities in nonprofit organizations. Applicants must embrace Anabaptist Mennonite faith and be active in an  Anabaptist congregation. An application form and a job description are available in pdf format at . Submit application and resumé by e-mail to Dorothy Siegrist by July 12 at or by mail to LMHS, Attn: Office Manager, 2215 Millstream Rd., Lancaster, PA 17602.
  • View a new digital edition of the Church of the Brethren Annual Report at . The digital version includes enhanced content like video clips, live links, and click throughs where readers can get more information about the denomination’s ministries across the nation and around the world.
  • Global Mission executive Jay Wittmeyer and members of his family were interviewed about Heifer International and the Church of the Brethren in a recent segment of "Different Drummers," a television show produced by Greater Chicago Broadcast Ministries. The interview centers on their living in Nepal a decade ago and the recent visit Jay and his wife Sarah made there. It also reflects the transformation Heifer enterprises are bringing about in remote mountain communities. Wittmeyer represents the Church of the Brethren on the Heifer International board. Different Drummers is geared to a teen audience, and daughter Alysson also was part of the interview. The video segment is posted at and on the Global Mission and Service main webpage.
  • Online photo albums are being posted from Church of the Brethren summer workcamps. Find links at .
  • On Earth Peace is bringing the “3,000 Miles for Peace” campaign to Annual Conference in Charlotte, N.C. “This means you can participate in a national movement of active peacemaking--just by showing up,” said an announcement. There will be several opportunities to log miles for peace and join the fundraising campaign for On Earth Peace: Participants in the Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) Fitness Challenge at Annual Conference (scheduled for Sunday morning, June 30) may join the 3,000 Miles for Peace campaign online, and invite family and friends to sponsor the walk/run for peace, or may choose to sponsor another participant. Go to . “In addition to your Fitness Challenge $25 registration fee, which you should pay for at the BBT booth, we also ask that you consider making a $25 donation to the Paul Ziegler Young Peacemakers Fund,” the announcement said. Conference-goers also can use stationary bicycles at the On Earth Peace booth in the Annual Conference exhibit hall to log miles with the campaign. The bikes are provided by Flywheel Sports. For more information call the campaign hotline at 260-982-7751 or e-mail .
  • On Pentecost Sunday, Brooklyn (N.Y.) First Church of the Brethren welcomed two new members who were baptized into the church from unique backgrounds. Brooklyn member Doris Abdullah sent a celebratory note to Newsline: “Maybe your readers would be interested to know that we Brethren have two new Sisters. Zizhao Ding is a graduate student here in New York and comes to us from Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China. Sara Martinez is from Guayaquil, Ecuador.... On the first Sunday that Zizhao came, Caroline is her English name, we gave her the only Chinese Bible that we had ever had. It was given to us one week before she came. Our Lord is always on time.... Our new Sister Sara adds to our Central and South American family. We are indeed blessed to have Pentecost worship every Sunday. The scriptures are now read in Chinese each Sunday in addition to Spanish, French, and English.”
  • Dunkard Valley Live, a Christian music festival sponsored by Codorus Church of the Brethren in Dallastown, Pa., will celebrate a 10th anniversary on Saturday, Aug. 3. The festival will be held from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Aug. 3 and continues on Sunday, Aug. 4, from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. at the church’s ball field. Rain dates are Aug. 10 and 11. The festival is free and open to the public. It features local groups and soloists who will perform a variety of music styles. Performers include Dane Hartman, Maria Lytle, The Edge, Red Letter Stance, Freely Captured, Codorus Men’s Chorus, The Deacons, New Season, Soul Purpose, Keith Grim, and more. Saturday will feature an Ultimate tournament for youth groups. To participate in the tournament contact Megan Miller at . Sunday morning worship will be held at 10:30 with guest speaker Christy Waltersdorff, pastor of York Center Church of the Brethren in Lombard, Ill. Attendees are asked to bring blankets or chairs. Parking is on site. Food will be available for purchase. For more information visit or call 717-428-3301.
  • World Hunger Auction events in Virlina District continue in July with a Jonathan Emmons organ concert on July 14 at 4 p.m. at Antioch Church of the Brethren in Rocky Mount, Va. The World Hunger Auction itself is Saturday, Aug. 10, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Antioch Church, culminating the year-long, fund-raising activities. The auction includes the sale of crafts, quilts, toys, produce, baked and canned goods, special services, and much more. “Come early for the best selection,” said the Virlina District newsletter. “Let the highest bidder win, for doing what we can opens the door for God to do much more.” Last year the World Hunger Auction Committee disbursed a total of $53,000 from the auction and other related events. The first World Hunger Auction was held in 1984, planned by the Antioch Church. Now several other Church of the Brethren congregations are involved including Bethany, Bethlehem, Boones Mill, Cedar Bluff, Germantown Brick, Monte Vista, Oak Grove (South), Roanoke-Ninth Street, and Smith Mountain Lake. For more information go to .
  • Camp Pine Lake near Eldora, Iowa, is preparing for its first Music Fest on Aug. 31 reports Katie Shaw Thompson in the Northern Plains District newsletter. “All manner of storytellers, musicians, square dancers, and merry-makers will descend upon Camp Pine Lake for a day of fundraising, community building, and fun-having,” she wrote. The event kicks off at 1 p.m. and that evening at 7 p.m. will welcome singer, songwriter, and storyteller Garrison Doles. Free-will donations will support the ministry of camp. The Music Fest also marks the opening of a weekend All Ages Camp organized by camp program coordinator Barbara Wise Lewczak, which will run from 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, through 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2, and will include a Sunday morning worship service led by Garrison Doles. Visit to register. Direct questions to Katie Shaw Thompson at .
  • The Springs of Living Water initiative for church renewal has announced a summer spiritual disciplines folder for scripture reading and prayer written by Thomas Hanks of Franklin, W.Va., who pastors the yoked parish of Smith’s Creek and Friend’s Run Church of the Brethren. Hanks was in the first class of the Springs Academy and both congregations are creatively working together in renewal as a yoked parish, where the spiritual disciplines folders have been a vital part of their new life, said a release. The folder is titled, “When Did You First Think of Me?” and explores themes of God’s mindfulness, and how the tree of life is still available to all. Guidelines for a personal devotional time are included along with space for journaling. Access and receive permission to copy it from the Springs website at .
Global Womens' Project is auctioning dolls during Annual Conference 2013, in celebration of its 35th anniversary
Photo by courtesy of GWP
Global Womens' Project is auctioning dolls during Annual Conference 2013, in celebration of its 35th anniversary
  • Global Women’s Project is celebrating its 35th anniversary with a silent auction of three hand-made dolls representing an “enlivened” version of the organization’s logo. The dolls were made by Global Women’s Project Steering Committee member Anke Pietsch. Two have been revealed (see photo) with a third to be revealed next week. The three dolls will be up for silent bid throughout Annual Conference in Charlotte, N.C., at the Global Women’s Project booth in the exhibit hall. Those who cannot bid in person may bid by e-mail; send bid to . All money received from the highest bidder for the three dolls (sold together), will support the organization’s Partner Projects. The winner will be announced at the Global Women’s Project Tea Time on Tuesday, July 2, at 4:45 p.m. (eastern) in the Annual Conference exhibit hall.
  • The John Kline Homestead is holding a silent auction of woodcraft items made from the John Kline maple tree. A large branch from the tall maple tree that stands in front of the John Kline house in Broadway, Va., broke off during a wind storm on June 29, 2012. Joe Glick of Harrisonburg, Va., crafted bowls and cylinder boxes from the wood as fundraisers for the John Kline Homestead. Photos of the silent auction items are linked from the John Kline Homestead website at . Bids may be sent to Paul Roth by e-mail at . Please specify the item(s) with your bid. The silent auction will close and the highest bidders will be informed on July 31. Early bids on each of the items are at $25 each. All proceeds benefit the John Kline Homestead. Go to .
  • Heeding God’s Call marked the six-month anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on June 14 with a statement of concern for “the families and friends of those innocent victims who continue to try to put their lives back together while bearing their heavy sadness,” it said, in part. “Many of the Newtown families are finding meaning in their loss by dedicating themselves to preventing more massacres. Specifically, they know that if there had been universal background checks, and a ban on assault weapons and limitation of ammunition magazines their loved ones might still be alive. They are translating their grief into action, so that other families will not have to suffer the loss of their loved ones.” Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren pastor Belita Mitchell is one of the Pennsylvania leaders in Heeding God’s Call.
  • West Marva District newsletter recently congratulated members of the May family. Diane May, pastor of Westernport Church of the Brethren, had an article titled “Voices of Experience" printed in the second edition of the Manual for Fire Service Instructors Principles and Practice, a textbook endorsed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Fire Service Instructors, and National Fire Protection Association. Walt May received the North American Wildlife Enforcement Association “Officer of the Year.” He also was named the State of Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police “Officer of the Year” for the second time.
Source: 6/28/2013 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 Doris Abdullah, Duane Bahn, Judy Bezon-Braune, Jeffrey S. Boshart, Deborah Brehm, John Elms, Jan Fischer Bachman, Jon Kobel, Wendy McFadden, Nancy Miner, Glenn Riegel, Paul Roth, Howard Royer, Tim Sheaffer, Roy Winter, David S. Young, Jane Yount, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren.