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Washington, D.C., briefing on Nigeria features interfaith delegation connected with EYN (November 21, 2014)

A briefing on the crisis in Nigeria planned for Tuesday, Nov. 25, at 1 p.m. in the Methodist Building (100 Maryland Ave, NE) in Washington, D.C., is co-sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness, the Islamic Society of North America, and the National Council of Churches, USA. Read more »


Newsline for Nov. 18, 2014 (November 18, 2014)

NEWS: 1) National Council of Churches governing board issues statement from Ferguson 2) In addition to constant prayer, funds are needed in Nigeria 3) Court rules to ‘vacate’ clergy housing allowance case 4) Communication informs about new IRS rule on pre-tax health insurance premium contributions for pastors, church workers UPCOMING EVENTS: 5) Congregational Life Ministries offers webinars on ‘Just Friendship’ and ‘Youth Work after Christendom’ 6) On Earth Peace to host informational webinar on Anti-Racism Transformation Team FEATURE REFLECTION: 7) How a concern becomes a value 8) Brethren bits Read more »


National Council of Churches governing board issues statement from Ferguson (November 18, 2014)

As Missouri governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency yesterday in anticipation of the imminent indictment, or lack thereof, of officer Darren Wilson, the National Council of Churches (NCC) gathered in St. Louis for a meeting of its governing board. The atmosphere was tense in the room as the governor's order to ready the National Guard came during a panel discussion featuring four pastors and community leaders from Ferguson, Mo. Read more »


In addition to constant prayer, funds are needed in Nigeria (November 18, 2014)

The following is the script from a short video report on the Nigeria crisis by Church of the Brethren videographer David Sollenberger. He returned last week from a reporting trip to Nigeria on behalf of Brethren Disaster Ministries and Global Mission and Service. In the video, this script is interspersed with brief interviews not quoted here. View the video at www.brethren.org or on YouTube at http://youtu.be/T_Y9hlxuBfo : Read more »


Court rules to ‘vacate’ clergy housing allowance case (November 18, 2014)

“We have good news to share!” said an update from Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) about a court case that had the potential to seriously affect the tax status of clergy housing allowances. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the clergy housing allowance case brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. is to be vacated (eliminated) and remanded (sent back) to the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin with instructions to dismiss the case. The court ruled that the plaintiffs have no standing to bring a complaint. Read more »


Communication informs about new IRS rule on pre-tax health insurance premium contributions for pastors, church workers (November 18, 2014)

A communication with important information about how churches report their pastors’ (and lay employees’) income with regard to health insurance premiums is being sent to each Church of the Brethren congregation. The joint letter is from Mary Jo Flory-Steury, associate general secretary of the Church of the Brethren and executive of the Ministry Office, and Scott W. Douglas, BBT director of Employee Benefits. An additional letter from Douglas gives information about IRS rules for Section 105 HRA pre-tax insurance contributions. Read more »


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