Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Newsline: August 19, 2014


Disaster ministry directs grant to CWS work with unaccompanied child refugees, Material Resources sends supplies following floods in Detroit

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed a grant of $25,000 from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support the Church World Service response to the surge of unaccompanied child refugees entering the United States.
In other disaster response news, the denomination’s Material Resources program has shipped supplies to areas of Michigan affected by flooding. The program received an urgent CWS request to ship 2,000 Clean-Up Buckets to Detroit. The shipment left the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., yesterday, to be delivered today to the American Red Cross in Michigan.

Grant to CWS for unaccompanied child refugees

The staff of Brethren Disaster Ministries requested the allocation of $25,000 for CWS efforts responding to the needs of thousands of unaccompanied children into the US from Central America. The combination of poor economics and high levels of violence in Central America has resulted in a surge of more than 57,000 unaccompanied children coming into the country already in 2014.

As children seek to escape the violence in Central America, and in many cases reunite with family already in the US, the result is a growing humanitarian challenge and crisis for these children, said the grant request.

The funds will provide Spanish-speaking legal aid to unaccompanied children in Austin, Texas;  religious services, pastoral support, and basic supplies (food, water, clothing, medical care, and housing) to children in New Mexico; and support to children who have been returned to Honduras (not admitted into the US) in the form of food, healthcare, and hygiene services while they live in a designated shelter.

For more about the work of Brethren Disaster Ministries go to www.brethren.org/bdm. For more about the Emergency Disaster Fund see www.brethren.org/edf.

Source: 8/19/2014 Newsline

Children’s Disaster Services contracts with new Gulf Coast coordinator

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has contracted with Joy Haskin Rowe to work as the CDS Gulf Coast regional coordinator. She lives in North Port, Fla., and also serves part-time in a pastoral ministry position with Central Christian Church in Bradenton, Fla. In other news from CDS, a volunteer in Hawaii worked with the American Red Cross to provide some care for children affected by Hurricane Iselle.

CDS Gulf Coordinator
Joy Haskin Rowe
Gulf Coast regional coordinator

This position is a partnership with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Joy Haskin Rowe holds a master of divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary and is an ordained minister with the Disciples of Christ. She has had experience in program planning and implementation, ecumenical and mission work, congregational ministry, children's ministry, and chaplaincy.

Rowe is working with Kathy Fry-Miller, the associate director of Children's Disaster Services, to expand CDS efforts in the Gulf Coast states. In particular, she will network with other disaster response organizations, set up volunteer training, call CDS leaders, and support the creation of Rapid Response teams to be able to respond to disasters in the area with more urgency and flexibility.

She already has begun the networking effort. Last week, she and Fry-Miller met with staff from the American Red Cross, county government, Children's Board, local VOADs (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), and the state VOAD chair, in Tampa, Fla., hosted by the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. The two also met with the American Red Cross Division Disaster Director in Sarasota, Fla. Contact Rowe at CDSgulfcoast@gmail.com.

Photo courtesy of CDS

CDS and American Red Cross volunteer interacts with childrren at a DARC center in Hawaii following Hurricane Iselle

One of the trained Children's Disaster Services volunteers in Hawaii worked briefly with the American Red Cross to provide some care for children affected by Hurricane Iselle. The program had put volunteers on alert last week to help out at the Disaster Assistance and Recovery Center (DARC) at Pahoa Community Center on the big island of Hawaii.

“Candy Iha, CDS and Red Cross volunteer, reported that there was not enough space for setting up a children's center and no accommodations for volunteers, but that they were able to offer some comfort to children for the short time they were there with their parents in the center,” Fry-Miller posted on Facebook. The CDS volunteer distributed crayons and paper for children to draw while their family filled out forms.

Previously, as the hurricane was approaching the islands, Iha already had been providing support for children. “I have been providing support these past few days to keiki [children] in our town who are rightfully very frightened,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “The schools are closed and everyone is home waiting for it to be over. We also had a 4.3 earthquake up here this morning, so folks are being tested. Mahalo [thank you] for your prayers.”

For more about the work of Children’s Disaster Services go to www.brethren.org/cds.

Source: 8/19/2014 Newsline

Christian Peacemaker Teams issues urgent call to help displaced Yazidi people

The following release was sent out today by Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) concerning the urgent situation of the Yazidi people who have fled the Islamic State forces in northern Iraq. CPT has a longterm team of volunteers working in Iraqi Kurdistan:
CPT Iraqi Kurdistan, together with the Wadi and Alind organizations, spent two days with the Yazidi people who fled the terror of the Islamic State (IS) forces in the areas of Shangal/Sinjar. We visited two IDP camps in the Duhok governorate and interviewed more than 50 displaced people, who lost their relatives in IS attacks. The militias killed the men, kidnapped and raped the women, and many children and elderly died of dehydration and exhaustion as they fled.

The Yazidis spent a number of days on the mountain and in the semi-desert with very little food or water under the intense summer heat. The conditions they face in Iraqi Kurdistan are difficult and far from sufficient. Seeking for ways to better respond to this crisis, we are sending out an urgent call to action to the international community.

Photo courtesy of CPT

Refugees from Islamic State violence in Syria and Iraq
Full statement from the CPT Iraqi Kurdistan team:

Help the Displaced Yazidi People from Shangal: Civil Society Organizations’ Urgent Call to the International Community

Representatives of three human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs), a German-Kurdish organization Wadi, a North American-based international organization Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), and Duhok-based Alind Organization, conducted a two day visit on 15 and 16 August 2014 to areas in the Duhok Governorate of Iraqi Kurdistan where Yazidi Iraqis who fled the violence of the Islamic State (IS) forces from the Shangal (Sinjar) area are now staying. The representatives spoke with an official at the Peshabur (Faysh Khabur) Iraqi-Syrian border crossing, who estimated that since 5 August more than 100,000 people have entered seeking refuge.

The representatives observed Yazidi families camping out under makeshift tents along the roads throughout the area, under highway overpass bridges, or in the open sided concrete buildings under construction. They visited the displacement camp for an estimated 2,000 people (no official numbers given) in the Khanke municipality near the town of Semel, and the Bajet Kandala Refugee Camp, near the Peshabur crossing. At these camps, they spoke with over 50 displaced persons. Those interviewed shared many common experiences. Families reported men in their family killed and women raped or kidnapped by IS forces, escaping to Mount Shangal, watching relatives die for lack of food and water and suffering extreme heat exposure. They appeared deeply traumatized, and spoke of shame and despair about their future. The majority of the interviewees said they feared to stay in Iraq and wanted to emigrate to Europe, the USA, or Canada.

Khanke camp has been set up on a field next to a small town to care for the rapid influx of the displaced Yazidis. More than 100 white UNHCR tents are spread around the field. People sat in the shade of the tents on cardboard or dusty mats. A local organization has delivered mattresses to a small portion of the residents. There were no water systems for consumption or bathing near the tents. Residents hauled water in buckets from a local school, but had bottles of water for drinking. According to the residents, the camp had only two latrines. Local people of the town served the residents of the camp a warm meal about 5 p.m., consisting of rice and bulgur wheat. Apart from one police car, the NGO representatives saw no security system for the camp, which might put women and children, especially, at risk of abuse. People are in dire need of sufficient sanitation, food, vitamins, and medical attention as well as administration and security.

Bajet Kandala Refugee Camp, situated just several kilometers from the Peshabur border crossing, was meant to serve as a reception/transit camp for the Syrian refugees. In an older portion of the camp, the visiting human rights workers saw canvas shelters, electricity, latrines, and water spigots. The other part, filled with several hundred white tents, was not finished. Residents of the new part, mostly families, had to cross a highly trafficked road to the older camp to haul buckets of water and get a tray of what appeared to be subsistence amounts of cooked food, mainly rice.

According to the administrator of the camp, a representative of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), around 20,000 people resided there as of 16 August. The camp is run by a KRG-related agency that appeared to be overwhelmed with the numbers of people already present and those arriving at the camp daily. A 15-member family sitting under a makeshift shelter at the side of the camp told an NGO representative that they had not eaten for three days. No international aid agencies were present at the camp.

Call to Action: Wadi, Christian Peacemaker Teams, and Alind, as international and Kurdish civil society organizations, call on the United Nations and all international aid agencies, government and non-governmental bodies to help the Yazidi people of Shangal!

The Kurdistan Regional authorities, along with local communities, are doing much to provide help for those in need, but the region is overwhelmed by the enormity of the influx of the hundreds of thousands displaced Yazidis, Christians, Shabaks, Turkmen, and others fleeing the horrific violence perpetuated by the Islamic State forces.

We ask the Iraqi government to act quickly and provide financial support from the central budget and try to find and release the missing persons, especially the women, remembering that Iraq signed resolution 1325 UNSCR in 2013, which calls on governments to protect women and children in conflict.

We urge the UN and other aid agencies to act quickly to provide necessary infrastructure to meet basic needs for the displaced--inside and outside the camps--such as food, sufficient sanitation systems, medical care, and protection.

We urge nations of the world to open their borders for those displaced by violence and to provide a process for them to immigrate and the financial and legal assistance needed.

Photographs from the camps can be found at www.flickr.com/photos/51706128@N00. Individual stories of people can be found at www.facebook.com/cpt.ik. An online pdf version of the call for aid is available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwFG-gDIQtW8amVyTk4tbjNTVzBaMEp2VWptcDRPSVdMcGxF/edit?usp=sharing . For more about the work of Christian Peacemaker Teams, go to www.cpt.org.

Source: 8/19/2014 Newsline

Callie Surber resigns from Brethren Volunteer Service staff

Callie Surber has resigned as orientation coordinator for BVS
Callie Surber has resigned as orientation coordinator for Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS), a position she has held since September 2007. Her last day at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., will be Sept. 19. She has accepted a position at the Q Center, a corporate retreat center in St. Charles, Ill.

Surber’s primary responsibility has been running the BVS orientation units. During her tenure, she has led 23 orientations and oriented 372 volunteers. She has co-led 14 BVS mid-term retreats, 4 end-of-service retreats, and 2 BVS retreats in Central America. She oversaw the application process for new volunteers, and provided significant support to BVS volunteers in the field. She gave oversight to the social media and web presence of BVS and led an effort to redesign and improve communication resources.

She served in BVS herself from 2003-06 in Nigeria, where she taught English Arts and African Literature at the EYN Comprehensive Secondary School of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).

Source: 8/19/2014 Newsline

BBT announces new communications director and assistant director of financial operations

Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) has hired Alaska Jean Bednar as director of communications, and has hired Julie Kingrey as assistant director of financial operations.

Alaska Jean Bednar begins tomorrow, Aug. 20, as director of communications for BBT, working at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Jim Lehman concluded his four-month service as BBT’s interim director of communications on July 25.

Bednar most recently was director of Advancement for Judson University in Elgin. She also has done freelance and volunteer work and is deeply involved in the community of Elgin. She serves as vice president of the Gail Borden Public Library Board and is a member and board member of the Gifford Park Association. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. Bednar grew up in Kenai, Alaska, and Chicago, Ill.. She and her family live in Elgin.

Julie Kingrey begins as assistant director of financial operations for BBT on Aug. 25. She and her family recently relocated to the Chicago area from Farmville, N.C. Prior to the move, she was employed for more than 10 years as fund accounting manager for the Nottingham Company in Rocky Mount, N.C.  The Nottingham Company is a vendor of BBT’s and Kingrey worked on account managing BBT funds along with more than 40 others.

Kingrey holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting with a minor in management from Pennsylvania State University. She and her family now reside in Wheaton, Ill.

For more about the work of Brethren Benefit Trust go to www.brethrenbenefittrust.org.

Source: 8/19/2014 Newsline

Bethany Seminary and ESR hire new computing specialist

By Jenny Williams

Bethany Theological Seminary and Earlham School of Religion, both located in Richmond, Ind., have hired Ryan Frame as seminary computing specialist. Frame began his duties on Aug. 5.

“The seminary is committed to developing ways in which changing technology can increase classroom accessibility for individuals and congregations and can also enable greater efficiency for faculty and staff,” said Jeff Carter, president of Bethany. “Ryan is joining us at an exciting time of innovation and creativity.”

As the onsite technology employee for both seminaries, Frame is responsible for maintenance and upgrades of hardware and software systems and provides advice and support for end users in both office and classroom settings. He will carry out his duties in liaison with the seminaries’ external technology provider, ASLI Inc., and will work with Earlham College Computing Services on campus-wide technology issues as needed.

“Ryan brings a wealth of expertise and technical background to his new position,” said Steven Schweitzer, academic dean. Frame has been the proprietor of Simplify Systems in Richmond, providing technology services to individuals and small businesses. Beginning in 2005 he also held managerial positions for Venture Management, including training of supervisors and crew, managing inventory and business expenditures, and conducting inventory audits for Wendy’s restaurants in the region. Frame earned an associate’s degree in computer information systems from Ivy Tech Community College and a bachelor’s degree in business, specializing in management information systems, from Indiana University.

-- Jenny Williams directs communications and alumni/ae relations for Bethany Seminary.

Source: 8/19/2014 Newsline

Many Brethren commit to a week of prayer and fasting for Nigeria

Roy Winter of Brethren Disaster Ministries (second from left above) and Jay Wittmeyer of Global Mission and Service (second from right above) spent two days in meetings with EYN leadership to discuss plans for a disaster relief effort focused on the needs of refugees and people displaced by violence. Below, Winter and EYN president Samuel Dali, shown with papers of notes during the meetings. The two executive staff of the Church of the Brethren returned to the US on Aug. 19. During their time in Nigeria, they also visited refugee camps and other sites in the Abuja and Jos areas.
Many Church of the Brethren congregations, groups, and individuals are taking part in a week of prayer and fasting for Nigeria, from Sunday, Aug. 17, through Sunday, Aug. 24. The denomination committed to the week of emphasis on Nigeria as part of a resolution adopted by the 2014 Annual Conference. Brethren are called to pray during a time of violence and suffering in Nigeria, in support of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).

The Church of the Brethren has had a mission in northeastern Nigeria since 1923, from which EYN grew into an independent indigenous African Christian denomination. Find the resolution at www.brethren.org/news/2014/delegates-adopt-nigeria-resolution.html. Find resources for prayer and fasting at www.brethren.org/partners/nigeria/week-of-prayer-and-fasting.html.

In related news, Church of the Brethren executive staff returned today from a trip to Nigeria to assist EYN in planning a disaster relief effort focused on refugees and those displaced by violence. Jay Wittmeyer of Global Mission and Service and Roy Winter of Brethren Disaster Ministries spent two days meeting with EYN leadership, and visited refugee camps and other sites in the areas of Abuja and Jos. (Look for a report from their trip in the next Newsline).

Brethren across the United States commit to pray and fast

“I would offer us a challenge,” wrote Annual Conference moderator David Steele in his letter inviting Brethren to take part in the week of prayer and fasting. “Imagine sisters and brothers offering 192 continuous hours of prayer around the globe. Imagine the Church of the Brethren being at prayer somewhere for the entire week for our EYN sisters and brother in Christ. This of course means that some will rise early in the morning, go to bed a bit later, or even awake during the night in order to be in prayer for our sisters and brothers.

“In Matthew 17 Jesus instructed us that even mountains can be moved by faith, that there is nothing we cannot do by faith.... May we, as followers of Jesus, witness to the peace of God and companion our sisters and brothers in Nigeria and around the world with our prayers. May we encircle the globe with the prayer of faith!”

As evidenced by the list of groups that signed up online for the effort, prayers of Brethren are going up for Nigeria from across the country. At least 63 congregations, groups, and organizations of Brethren are listed, and there may be more that are taking part in the effort whose names have not made it on to the web listing.

In the Goshen area of Indiana, a group of eight congregations are each hosting a special service one evening this week. Several churches are hosting day-long prayer vigils, or are having a special Nigeria emphasis during a Sunday morning worship service. Groups of neighboring congregations are cooperating in a common effort in parts of the country. Some churches are gathering their members together every day for a time of focused prayer.

Several wrote prayers for the online listing. Others offered ideas for fasting: "We are invited to fast one meal a day and give the money we would have spent on that meal to the EYN Compassion Fund." "Fast from meals, or Facebook or news or TV or books or ???" "Folks in our congregation...are being encouraged to give up something to make more time for prayer."

Among other efforts of Brethren groups is a letter issued by the Shenandoah District Pastors for Peace. The letter decries the violence in Nigeria and commends EYN for its peaceful witness and faithful discipleship. “We lift up their faith as a light to all of us.... Could such a faith as theirs be possible among us?” the letter says, in part, as quoted in the district newsletter.

The online schedule where individuals can commit to pray for a hour or hours this week shows almost every hourly slot filled. (Still to be filled with prayer are the hours of 2-3 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 23, and the hours of 2-3 a.m., 3-4 a.m., 10-11 a.m., and 11 a.m.-12 noon on Sunday, Aug. 24.) Some hours list eight or more people committing to that time of prayer.

It is not too late to take part in the effort to fill every hour with prayer, go to www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0544acaa2aa7fa7-week. Find the listing of congregations and groups holding services or vigils at www.brethren.org/partners/nigeria/prayer-events.html.

A special chapel service at the General Offices

Every Wednesday morning the staff who work at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., gather for a weekly chapel service. Tomorrow’s chapel will be a time of focused prayer for Nigeria. The special service from 8:30-9 a.m., will be the opening event of an August gathering for Church of the Brethren staff.

The chapel service will focus on the four elements of “The resolve of the church” section of the Nigeria resolution: lament, prayer, fasting, and bearing witness. Following the service, in place of the usual “Goodie Wednesday” coffee break, the staff of the Church of the Brethren and Brethren Benefit Trust, which share in the weekly gatherings, are invited to join in fellowship and share in a cup of cold water.

Find out more about this week of fasting and prayer for Nigeria, and links to information about the Church of the Brethren’s mission in Nigeria and sister denomination Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria, at www.brethren.org/partners/nigeria/week-of-prayer-and-fasting.html.

Source: 8/19/2014 Newsline

EYN leaders share updates on recent violence in Nigeria, interfaith relief efforts

Two leading members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) have sent reports detailing recent violence and continuing relief efforts to aid refugees and those fleeing violent attacks by the Boko Haram insurgent group. Reports have been received from Rebecca Dali, who heads up an NGO aiding survivors and who represented EYN at the 2014 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren, and Markus Gamache who serves as EYN staff liaison.
Following are excerpts from their reports. Readers are warned that some details about the violence are graphic and may be disturbing:

Insurgent attacks are ‘getting worse’

The insurgents continued killing and bombing people, burning churches, and vandalizing and destroying property, according to a report from Rebecca Dali. “Nigerian violence is getting worse,” she wrote, in a report that detailed the deaths of many EYN members and the destruction of churches. “Continue to pray for us.”
Photo courtesy of CCEPI

EYN churches in Dille and the EYN Pastorium were burned in recent insurgent attacks
  • June 30: insurgents blocked the only terrain road to Gavva West, Ngoshe, and other places.
  • July 6 and 13: insurgents attacked Chibok villages of Kwada and Kautikari during church services, killing 72 and 52 people respectively.
  • July 14: an attack on Dille killed almost all the men in church, 52. Dali added: “One woman they kidnapped three of her children and killed her husband. They took her six-month baby boy and throw him on fire.”
  • July 18: a woman who was forced to go with the insurgents to treat their patients refused. “They cut off her head and placed it on her back,” Dali wrote, and included a photo of the body.
  • July 26: in Shaffa three people were killed and the insurgents took cars.
  • July 28: in Garkida, which was the first mission point of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, insurgents killed four soldiers and three other people.
  • July 30: Boko Haram went to  five villages and burnt their churches, including Kwajaffa 1 and 2, Kurbutu, Tasha Alade, Man Jankwa.
  • Early August: Four female suicide bombers blew themselves up and killed many people.
  • Also earlier this month: the Boko Haram militants overran and took over the town of Gwoza, killing at least 100 people.
Dali’s report included news of the destruction and loss of a number of EYN church buildings and parsonages. She reported that part of EYN Dille No. 1 and 2 Churches, and the EYN Pastorium in Dille were burned.

The attack on Garkida may have occurred on July 27, according to Gamache’s report. Garkida is the place where the Church of the Brethren was first started in Nigeria in 1923. Residents of Garkida believe the attack was launched on the town to find a chief who fled there for refuge from Kilba land, Gamache said. “One watchman was killed who is attached to the military house in Garkida. Police station was burnt, one house was partly destroyed.

Photo courtesy of CCEPI

Rebecca Dali of CCEPI comforts a widow who lost her husband and children in an attack by the Boko Haram insurgent group
Report from the Gwoza attack

Jauro Markus Gamache provided details about the insurgent attack on the town of Gwoza, which is located in northeastern Nigeria near the border with Cameroon.

“Greetings from people in refugee camps and myself,” he wrote, in part. “About three days now since Boko Haram took over the whole main town of Gwoza. This recent attack led the Emir of Gwoza to escape to unknown destination.... Some people thought that he was kidnapped by the group but we still have some hope that he is hiding somewhere in Maiduguri.

“They killed more than 100 people in Gwoza main town, mostly Muslims.” A Muslim man who rescued the EYN DCC (district) secretary for Gwoza, Shawulu T. Zigla, was killed by insurgents. “I was told by EYN church assistant pastor in Jos that they group killed that Muslim for doing that,” Gamache reported.

Among Christian leaders who were murdered was a woman leader from a COCIN church (formerly Church of Christ in Nigeria, now Church of Christ in All Nation).

Gwoza is near Gamache’s home village, and he added that an elderly many who was a distant relative, Zakariya Yakatank, also was killed during an attack on the nearby Limankara. “They killed four solders in Limankara, which helped my people to run away during the intense fight between the Boko Haram, military, mobile police.”

The insurgent group burned most of the homes in Gwoza including the Emir’s palace, and government buildings including the local government secretariat. “More houses belonging to Muslims were destroyed,” Gamache wrote.

Churches were destroyed in the attack. The local Muslim community had attempted to protect the Gwoza EYN Church and the Catholic Church which were close by, “but during this attack they [the insurgents] did not spare any body,” he added.

His report highlighted the needs of refugees, including a Muslim woman who called him “crying on phone because of fear and lack of enough food. One of her sons is sick and her husband is taking care of the sick in the hospital so she is left at home with the little ones.”

More Muslims from Gwoza have been fleeing into the town of Madagali, and more Christians from Madagali, Wagga, and other villages are “running further for safety,” he wrote. “All this took place after the government sent thousands of solders into the bush.”

Photo courtesy of EYN

During a presentation of relief goods to Muslim widows, donated through an interfaith group in Jos, an imam prays for peace.
Relief efforts include aid to Muslim widows

“Despite all the challenges we still meet to discuss how CCEPI through its Christian and Muslim Dialogue Peace Initiatives will bring peace in Nigeria,” Rebecca Dali wrote. She heads up CCEPI, a nonprofit organization that Dali founded in order to aid widows and orphans who have lost husbands and parents in the violence, as well as refugees and families who have been displaced.

CCEPI has continued to distribute relief goods to widows who have lost husbands--and often children--in attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents. The photos she provided with her report showed a roomful of people displaced by the attacks in the Dille and Chibok areas, and widows from Dille and Chibok who received aid from CCEPI.

In photos of car- and truckloads of relief goods for distribution, was a picture of a pick up truck loaded down with sewing machines to help widows earn a living.

Dali also provided photos of a meeting of Christian and Muslim women sponsored by CCEPI’s Christian Muslim Dialogue Peace Initiatives (CCMDPI).

An interfaith group in Jos has been sharing aid with Muslims affected by the violence, Gamache reported. “All the Muslim community I visited are really grateful for all the support from the Church of the Brethren because I always tell them the source of my salary, water project, donation to EYN in general, and your visits/meetings to Muslim communities.”

The interfaith group in Jos, called Lifeline Compassionate Global Initiatives, has delivered items to widows and the less privilege among the Muslim community. The group “is enjoying the cooperation of faithful Muslims to create public awareness to embrace peace,” Gamache reported.

In a set of photos that Gamache sent with his report, the chief imam of a Muslim community in Anguwan Rogo received a presentation from the interfaith group, and offered prayers for peace and for the two faiths to love one another.

He also sent pictures from a visit to refugee facilities on the outskirts of Abuja, which have been provided to refugee families with help from the EYN church in Abuja and its pastor, Musa Abdullahi Zuwarva. The pastor donated the place for the refugees to live, and Gamache is involved in supporting them.

Photo courtesy of EYN

A refugee family living on the outskirts of Abuja, with help from the EYN church in Abuja, poses for a picture with pastor Musa Abdullahi Zuwarva.
“We will support in putting what we can to help the refugees have a little comfort, more especially for the sake of children,” he said.

In the photos, two families are shown using an uncompleted building. The families fled from Gavva in Gwoza Local Government area near the eastern border with Cameroon, to Nassarawa State, and finally to Abuja, “running for life,” Gamache wrote.

“Both Muslims and Christians are always on the run. Since the Emir of Gwoza was killed many village heads, district heads are under attack.”

He added news of two prominent Nigerians targeted in Kano in late July, Sheik Dahiru Bauchi and former president of Nigeria Mohammed Buhari. “This has created mixed feelings to both Christians and Muslims, to where is this violence leading the country,” he wrote. “Sheik Dahiru Bauchi delivered a speech at Government House Kano on June 27, when the Governor of Kano Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso called us for prayers and mutual relationship among the interfaith workers. I was privileged to listen to Sheik Dahiru who always condemn the work of Boko Haram.”

Peace by peaceful means

In reflections which he titled, “Peace by Peaceful Means,” Gamache noted the Christian scriptures from Matthew 5:43-47, in which Jesus teaches about loving enemies, and Romans 12:18, and a Muslim text from Quran 45 that “also emphasized about forgiving and loving your enemies.”

“How do we transform our enemies to be our friends?” he asked. “Only by love and forgiveness. Islam and Christianity are a way of life that is believed to take you to heaven (Aljana) but...the two faiths have bad eggs who want to satisfy their emotions, madness, and personal frustration in life. The work of interfaith on the [Jos] Plateau has really helped me to understand the love from both sides.”

Source: 8/19/2014 Newsline

Why sing in worship? A reflection from Nigeria

In the midst of violence and distress in his nation, Zakariya Musa found time to write this reflection on the meaning of singing in church, and how music and praise bring hope. Musa works in communications for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and is pursuing a degree in communications at the University of Maiduguri:

“Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp” (Psalm 149:3, KJV).

Photo by Carol Smith

Directing the women's choir at the 2012 Majalisa or annual meeting of Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (EYN-the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). The women's choir is accompanied by rhthym instruments like drums and gourds as well as instruments that use the reverberate sounds that can be made with clay pots.
Music is one of the things we admit in life on casual or serious occasions of human endeavor. Music, according to Webster's University Dictionary, is "the art of arranging tones in an orderly sequence so as to produce a unified and continuous composition." Researchers say music does not have any one concrete meaning, that it has different meanings for different people. For others, music is a hobby, a pastime.

The casual fan may learn about music, how to read music, how to sing, or how to play a musical instrument, but they do not have the all-encompassing passion a musician possesses. Music is a means of relaxation for some, while others simply enjoy listening to the sounds, melodies, and rhythms that music brings to their ears, minds, and hearts.

Singing is an accepted art form that is taught in most public and private schools. It can be a fun activity and a casual entertainment. To get engaged in music and singing requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lips, cheek, and facial muscles, in addition to control of the diaphragm, back, stomach, and chest muscles, which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets.

The physical act of singing occurs as air passes through the larynx, throat, and mouth, and it's interesting to note that vocal resonance in singing involves seven areas of the human body: chest, tracheal tree, larynx, pharynx, oral cavity, nasal cavity, and sinus.

Music is history. Music usually reflects the environment and times of its creation, often even the country of its origin. Music is physical education, especially among youth who would take it as fun.

Most of all music is art. It allows a human being to take all these dry, technically boring (but difficult) techniques, and use them to create emotion.

The history of singing goes back to the earliest recordings of mankind (as early as 800 B.C.) and songs are believed to have been used even before the development of modern languages. In Western culture, singers were often restricted to only singing in churches until the 14th century. But it has been in practice long time ago in Africa, even before the introduction of Christianity and Islam.

In Nigeria, for example, singing took the stage during festivals, weddings, group farming, while grinding, at burials, and other occasions.

Photo by Carol Smith

EYN women's choir singing at 2012 Majalisa. The women's choir of Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, is a striking and lively presence in worship services.
What does singing mean to church?

I have developed an interest in knowing what singing means to churches, and what people say about music, since it dominates most of the times during church services where all worshipers are participating. Church groups such as choirs, the women’s fellowship, gospel teams, youth bands, and other groups present songs at church services. Could this be to arouse interest and pleasure?

One pastor gave his testimony that he was convinced by the women’s fellowship singers on a good Sunday when the group sang in Hausa, “Bin Yesu Da Dadi” meaning “following Christ is nice,” backed by a traditional music instrument.

Many pastors, evangelists, deacons, and even church elders have passed through singing groups. Many have become preachers, church planters, and evangelists as a result of music or singing.

Some people see singing as part of church service. Song composers and instructors see it as an appropriate form or medium of worshiping and praising God, and as a medium of preaching the gospel. It removes boredom and makes the church service lively.

Youths see music and singing as a ministration, just as any other part of worship. It moves people, it connects them with God, and it brings liberty in worship. It prepares one’s heart to meet the Creator during the worship.

Today, youth sees churches that lack musical instruments as weak churches. This feeling has created conflict between youth and the elders in the church, to the extent of losing many youth from the so called weaker congregations to the congregations assumed to be stronger or more modern.

The power of singing in church cannot be overemphasized, because it means people are growing in the spiritual realm, feeling refreshed and liberated while singing. In many ways people tend to forget their sorrows. In Nigeria for instance, with the violence, killings, destructions, and threats, people open up joyfully together under the roof in worship when they sing.

We need to see music as part of worship and ministry. Appreciate and enhance music. Develop positive feelings about music and encourage those who are into it. Elders who see music as a modern thing need to accept the power of praise. The church should also be reminded not to forget their native songs and to emphasize their use to praise God, organize workshops for choristers and teach on the efficacy of singing praises to God, and encourage the youth by providing musical instrument for the church worship services.

-- Zakariya Musa serves in communications for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).

Source: 8/19/2014 Newsline

Brethren bits

 “We were able to film Chelsesa Goss and Rebekah Maldonado Nofziger completing their BVS Coast to Coast bicycle trip today, being greeted by the Pacific Ocean at 5:47 p.m. PDT in Cannon Beach, Ore.--approximately 110 days after they began from Virginia Beach, Va., on May 1,” reports Ed Groff, producer of the “Brethren Voices” community television show from Peace Church of the Brethren in Portland. The two bicycling BVSers are the subject of “Brethren Voices” in September. “WE MADE IT!! 5200 miles coast to coast!” was the tweet from the two as they posted this picture on the Pacific coast yesterday, Aug. 18. Groff tells this story from the last leg of their journey: “As they entered the Pacific with their bicycles, a vacationing couple from Indiana came over and greeted them. Chelsea and Rebekah discussed what they had just accomplished and the couple were impressed with their works and effort of bicycling across country in support of BVS and shared that they are familiar with the Brethren back in their home state of Indiana. I'm sure that when they return home to Indiana, they will talk about their experience of being on a beautiful beach in Oregon and watching two young ladies ride their bikes into the waters of the Pacific.” In more news from Brethren Voices, the show in August meets with Sharon and Ed Groff as they serve in Brethren Volunteer Service at CKV-TBHC and experience life as volunteers at Cross Keys Village-The Brethren Home Community of New Oxford, Pa. Contact Ed Groff at groffprod1@msn.com for further information and view "Brethren Voices" on WWW.Youtube.com/Brethrenvoices.
  • The Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Church of the Brethren has welcomed Kristen Hoffman as coordinator for National Junior High Conference and Christian Citizenship Seminar in 2015. Hoffman will serve in the position as a volunteer through Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS), working at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Her home church is McPherson (Kan.) Church of the Brethren.
  • Shine: Living in God’s Light, the new Sunday school curriculum from Brethren Press and MennoMedia, is accepting applications for curriculum writers. The curriculum is for children age three through grade 8. Accepted writers must attend  a Writers Conference in Indiana on March 6-9, 2015. Shine pays for meals and lodging during the conference and covers reasonable travel expenses. Applications and sample sessions are due by Dec. 15. More details are available at ShineCurriculum.com/Write.
  • Several Annual Conference groups are meeting at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., this week. The Conference Office is welcoming the Annual Conference officers, the Program and Arrangements Committee, and the Worship Planning Team for their annual August meetings. The Conference officers are moderator David Steele of Huntingdon, Pa.; moderator-elect Andy Murray, also of Huntingdon; and secretary Jim Beckwith of Lebanon, Pa. The Program and Arrangements Committee includes elected members Christy Waltersdorff of Naperville, Ill.; Shawn Flory Replogle of McPherson, Kan.; and Rhonda Pittman Gingrich of Minneapolis, Minn. On the Worship Planning Team are Audrey Hollenberg-Duffey of Hagerstown, Md.; Russ Matteson of Modesto, Calif.; Dave Witkovsky of Huntingdon, Pa.; Carol Elmore of Roanoke, Va.; and Terry Hershberger of Woodbury, Pa. The Conference director Chris Douglas also meets with these committees as staff.
  • “Gaza: Prayers for a Peace That Endureth” is the title of an Action Alert from the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness. Dated Aug. 12, the alert called attention to the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, and the destruction and loss suffered by the innocent civilians caught in between. “These recent horrific events are making the headlines, but the unaddressed root causes of these calamities have a long history,” the alert said, in part. “Gaza has been blockaded for years, and because of this its people can hardly move and are economically oppressed.... Things have also deteriorated outside of Gaza, as Israeli settlements continue to be built in the West Bank and Palestinian families continue to be displaced. Hamas’ rocket-fire into Israel continues to strike fear, and behind all of these on-the-ground realities is a deep mistrust between Palestinians and Israelis that has made any attempt at negotiating a peace ring hollow.” The alert called church members to support conditions for a long-lasting peace, that “will not be established by simply stopping the rocket fire and removing the ground troops.... If the United States and other involved parties don't honestly re-examine how their support, both militarily and financially, exacerbates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it will be impossible for a just peace to be imagined, let alone established.” Action steps include lifting up the situation in prayer, and advocating to Congress to support cease-fire efforts that set in place the framework for a lasting peace. A sample letter is provided. Find the Action Alert at http://cob.convio.net/site/MessageViewer?dlv_id=36981&em_id=29561.0.
  • Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., will take part in the 2014 Seminary and Theological Grad School Virtual Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 17. This is Bethany's second year participating in the event with nearly 50 other seminaries across the country. “If you, or someone you know, has been thinking about seminary...REGISTER TODAY!” said an invitation from director of admissions Tracy Primozich. “The Virtual Seminary and Theological Grad School Fair will allow you to have your admissions questions answered by representatives from multiple graduate institutions during this live event.” The event is free for those who register for the live chat sessions online, with the option to upload a personal resume prior to the event. Live chat hours are from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Register at www.CareerEco.com/Events/Seminary. Contact Primozich at 800-287-8822 or admissions@bethanyseminary.edu.
  • In more news from Bethany, at the 2014 Annual Conference the seminary continued its exhibit theme of inviting Conference-goers to “join the conversation.” This year, moderator Nancy Heishman and Bethany president Jeff Carter posed questions about discipleship: “Through what scripture text has Jesus been calling you to a deeper discipleship?” and “My witness is seen, heard, and felt when I....” Visitors were invited to write a brief personal response on a sticky note and add their voices to the faith journey mosaic. Now, Bethany has posted the responses online and hopes to share these voices as widely as possible. Read the posted responses by going to Bethany's Annual Conference web page at www.bethanyseminary.edu/news/AC2014 and clicking on the sentence: “Read the responses shared by Brethren sisters and brothers!”
  • Oak Grove Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va., and Madison Avenue Church of the Brethren in York, Pa., have made the news in their communities for providing backpacks and other supplies for children at the start of the new school year. The Oak Grove Church sponsors a Backpack Ministry for some children at Oak Grove Elementary School in Roanoke, according to the “Roanoke Times.” “This program provides non-perishable food items for the children to take home each weekend during the school year,” the newspaper reported. The program is co-sponsored by several other churches and groups as well as businesses. Find the report at www.roanoke.com/community/swoco/oak-grove-church-of-the-brethren-sponsors-backpack-ministry-for/article_295d67f0-9c29-5a1c-85a2-59205fd31414.html. The Madison Avenue Church is one of several lauded by the “York Daily Record” for donating school supplies. After learning that some students were bringing their supplies to school in grocery bags, church members thought, “Oh my gosh, we can certainly do something to help that,” Ruth Duncan of the Ladies Labor of Love group told the paper. “The church decided to focus on nearby Devers K-8 school, where it already works on some other programs. Before the last school year began, they solicited supplies to fill backpacks to give to the school.” The group hoped to donate 75 backpacks, including supplies. See www.ydr.com/local/ci_26349355/churches-community-groups-help-prep-students-school.
  • Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren is planning a celebration on the theme “Living the Legacy, Peacefully, Simply, Together: Piecing Together the Brethren Way Through Song and Story” on Sept. 6-7. Performances by Mutual Kumquat will highlight the celebration. Mutual Kumquat has performed at many Brethren events, most recently this summer’s Annual Conference and National Youth Conference. Events open at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, with a gathering in the church sanctuary, followed by workshops focused on peace for elementary age children (K-5), youth, and adults, an evening meal, and a Mutual Kumquat concert starting at 7 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 7, Mutual Kumquat will provide music for worship at 9:30 a.m. followed by Sunday school, and an “Inglenook” potluck lunch. Nursery care will be provided during workshops. For more information contact Westminster Church of the Brethren at 410-848-8090.
  • Brethren in the area of Lebanon, Pa., have donated 527 school kits to Church World Service, according to a report on PennLive. “Twenty-five volunteers from local Churches of the Brethren and Mount Lebanon Campmeeting on Aug. 6 filled 527 school kits for Church World Service,” the report said. Organizers told the news site that the drive was dedicated to the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok in mid-April. “As school kits were assembled at Mount Lebanon, each girl's name was placed in a kit, and a prayer were said on their behalf,” PennLive reported. Volunteers came from Lebanon Church of the Brethren, Conestoga Church of the Brethren, Annville Church of the Brethren, Mount Zion Church of the Brethren, Mount Wilson Church of the Brethren, Palmyra Church of the Brethren, Spring Creek Church of the Brethren, and McPherson (Kan.) Church of the Brethren. Read the full article at www.pennlive.com/east-shore/index.ssf/2014/08/brethren_churches_donate_527_s.html.
  • Sept. 26-27 are the dates for the Brethren Disaster Relief Auction held at Lebanon (Pa.) Valley Expo. Events include a Main Hall Auction, a Heifer Auction, a Pole Barn Auction, a Farmers Market, and sales of arts and crafts, baked goods and other food, coins, quilts, and theme baskets, among others. Children's activities include balloon twisting, barrel train rides, pony rides, a children's store, and a children's auction.
  • This year’s COBYS Bike and Hike aims to raise $110,000, according to a release. The event has added a silent auction this year as well. It will be the 18th annual Bike and Hike for COBYS Family Services, which is a Church of the Brethren related organization that “educates, supports, and empowers children and adults to reach their full potential” through adoption and foster care services; counseling for children, adults, and families; and family life education programs offered in partnership with church, school, and community groups. The Bike and Hike is slated for Sunday, Sept. 7, starting at Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. Goals of 600 participants and $110,000 have been set. The Bike and Hike consists of a 3-mile walk, 10- and 25-mile bicycle rides, and 65-mile Dutch Country Motorcycle Ride. Participants choose their event, and then donate a registration fee, raise money from sponsors, or some of both. At the conclusion of the event, everyone gathers at the Lititz Church for ice cream and other refreshments, fellowship, and prizes. Each participant receives a t-shirt, refreshments, and an opportunity to win one of about 100 door prizes. Those who raise certain levels of money can earn additional prizes. Church youth groups who raise $1,500 or more earn a gym and pizza night. All expenses of the event are covered by business sponsors. Last year, 538 participants raised more than $104,000. “We were thrilled to finally reach the $100,000 mark last year,” said COBYS director of development Don Fitzkee. “Now the challenge is to build on that momentum.” For more information or to donate a silent auction item, contact don@cobys.org or 717-656-6580. The event brochure and cue sheets for the walk and rides are available at cobys.org/news.htm.
  • Hagerstown (Md.) pastors Audrey and Tim Hollenberg-Duffey will preach at the 44th Annual Dunker Church Remembrance Service at Antietam National Battlefield Park, a Civil War battlefield in Sharpsburg, Md. This annual worship service will be held in the restored Dunker Church at Antietam on Sunday, Sept. 14, at 3 p.m.  This will be a remembrance worship service reflecting on what the Dunker Church symbolizes for 1862 and 2014, said an announcement. The Hollenberg-Duffeys will speak on “Left with Peace.” This service is sponsored by area Churches of the Brethren and is open to the public. For more information, contact Eddie Edmonds at 304-267-4135; Tom Fralin at 301-432-2653; or Ed Poling at 301-766-9005.
  • Southeastern District executive minister Russell Payne will be one of those joining in the Jonesborough (Tenn.) Area Ministerial Association walk benefiting an area food pantry. "Community Churches Coming Together to Provide Hunger Relief and Hope" sponsors the walk on Saturday, Aug. 23, from 9-11 a.m. beginning at Wetlands Water Park Pavilion. For more information or a sponsorship form contact 423-753-9875 or 423-753-3411.
  • A spiritual retreat, "Prayer Practices--Beyond Wow, Thanks, and Help," will be held Oct. 10-11 in the Heritage Lodge at Camp Bethel near Fincastle, Va. Registration and snacks will begin at 6 p.m. and the retreat will start at 7 p.m. on Oct. 10, and will conclude at 4 p.m. on Oct. 11. The theme “Pray Without Ceasing” is from 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Leading the retreat will be Tara Hornbacker, professor of Ministry Formation at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. Four sessions will address water droplet prayer, Lectio Divina, Visio Divina, and incarnational prayer. In addition there will a prayer service and free time for walks, journaling, reflection, and praying. The Virlina District Spiritual Development Retreat Committee is sponsoring and planning the retreat. Continuing education credit of .45 units will be available. Cost including snacks and two meals is $50 for those wanting lodging at the camp Friday night. Commuter cost is $25. Pre-registration is required. A flier and registration form is available by e-mailing nuchurch@aol.com ; use SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT for the subject line.
  • On Saturday, Aug. 23, at 3:30 p.m., Southern Ohio District will gather at Troy Church of the Brethren to assemble school kits for Church World Service, under the theme “We Are God’s Servants Working Together.” The group will then join in a celebration of what God has done for the district, supporting the district conference theme taken from 1 Corinthians 3:1-9. Monetary donations will be received to purchase supplies for the kits. Contribute to the project by mailing a check to Southern Ohio District, 2293 Gauby Rd., New Madison, OH 45346.
  • “Help us build a house!” said an invitation from Shenandoah District. The district’s Disaster Ministries Committee is ready to start building a house for a widowed mother and her two children in Moyers, W.Va. “The family lost its home to fire and has received help from the community and local churches to start construction. Now, the committee needs volunteer workers,” said the district newsletter. Work days are scheduled for each Wednesday and Saturday in the coming weeks, with the goal of having the house under roof by mid-September. Carpenters and helpers are needed. The committee will provide a bus for transportation, water, and the evening meal. Volunteers are asked to bring a packed lunch and beverage. Call Jerry Ruff at 540-447-0306 or 540-248-0306 or Warren Rodeffer at 540-471-7738.
  • Camp Mardela in Denton, Md., holds Family Camp on Aug. 29-31 with Larry Glick as guest speaker. Glick will portray Civil War-era Brethren elder and martyr for peace John Kline, and Brethren founder Alexander Mack Sr. (popularly known as A. Mack). “There will be lots of things to do and free time to relax in God’s beautiful world,” said an invitation. Contact Camp Mardela at mardela@intercom.net .
  • Berry bakers are invited to submit a favorite cake, pie, or bread/pastry recipe that includes berries in a competitive Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center Berry Bake-Off in Harrisonburg, Va., on Saturday, Sept. 6, during CrossRoads' Harvest Day Festival. Ribbons will be awarded to the top three entries in each category. Bakers will submit two items for each entry, one to be judged, the other sold at the baked goods booth. The winning baked goods will be auctioned at noon.
  • The Manchester University College of Pharmacy in Fort Wayne, Ind., will host a reception and lecture by award-winning National Public Radio (NPR) correspondent Kelly McEvers, announced Northeast Indiana Public Radio (89.1) WBOI. Events take place Monday, Aug. 25. WBOI will be hosting the reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. At 6:30 McEvers will begin her lecture followed by a question and answer session with the audience. Tickets are available by calling 260-452-1189.
  • Patriarchs of ancient Christian traditions in the Near East have issued an appeal for aid against forces of religious extremism, according to a release from the World Council of Churches. The statement denounced the emergence of armed extremist groups who “murder, shatter, and violate the sacred nature of the churches” and other suffering communities. The church leaders call upon the international community, by action of the United Nations Security Council and the International Court of Justice, to restore the rights and homes of civilian populations and guarantee a return to land that has been taken from them. The statement describes religious extremism as “a disease” and calls on governments that are supplying terrorists groups to cut off all funding and material support. Churches throughout the world are invited to show solidarity through prayer and encourage continuing relief for refugees and those affected by violence, in particular in Mosul and the Nineveh Valley in Iraq, parts of Syria and Lebanon, and Gaza. The church leaders represented the following Christian traditions: Maronite Patriarchate of Antioch, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, Armenian Catholic; Syriac Catholic, Assyrian Orthodox, Chaldean Patriarchate of Babylon. See the WCC release at http://hcef.org/publications/hcef-news/790793990-the-patriarchs-of-the-east-religious-extremism-is-a-major-threat-for-the-area-and-the-whole-world.
  • The National Council of Churches (NCC) has made a statement deploring the police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. The statement supports a complete investigation of the circumstances, and expresses concern about other recent killings by police of African-American men including 43-year-old Eric Garner, killed in Staten Island, N.Y., on July 17; 22-year-old John Crawford, killed in Beavercreek, Ohio, on Aug. 5; and 25-year-old Ezell Ford, killed in Los Angeles, Calif., on Aug. 11. “These killings, as well as those of hundreds of other Americans each year at the hands of increasingly militarized police forces is of great and growing concern. A peaceful, healthy society requires trust and positive relationships between citizens and law enforcement. That can best occur in circumstances in which deep-seated social problems such as racism and inequality are being addressed. The NCC remains committed to addressing the legacy of racism, to ending gun violence in our nation, to responding to the scourge of mass incarceration, and through our local congregations to providing Christ’s healing touch,” said NCC president Jim Winkler. The Church of the Brethren is a member denomination of the NCC.
Source: 8/19/2014 Newsline


Newsline is produced by the news services of the Church of the Brethren. Contact the editor at cobnews@brethren.org. Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Jan Fischer Bachman, Deborah Brehm, Don Fitzkee, Mary Jo Flory-Steury, Mandy Garcia, Ed Groff, Philip E. Jenks, Jon Kobel, Donna March, Zakariya Musa, Becky Ullom Naugle, Russell and Deborah Payne, Glenna Thompson, Jay Wittmeyer, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren.