Brethren bits for May 16, 2012




-- Shawn Flory Replogle has accepted the position of district youth coordinator for Western Plains District. The announcement in the district newsletter was made by the Congregational Resourcing Fulfillment Vision Team. He began his work in March participating with the planning team for Regional Youth Conference. Replogle served as moderator of the 2010 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren.

For the latest Brethren news go to the main Newsline page

-- The Brethren Service Center, located in New Windsor, Md., is looking for a CDL driver for occasional runs to support worldwide development, relief, and disaster response programs. The driver will be supporting people experiencing poverty, hunger, starvation, famine, violence, or a natural disaster through this ministry. A volunteer is preferred, but a stipend is available for the right driver. Must be at  least 25 years of age with class A CDL and a good driving record. Contact Loretta Wolf at lwolf@brethren.org or 410-635-8795 for more information.

-- June 1 is the deadline to register for National Young Adult Conference (NYAC). This once-every-four-years Church of the Brethren event is June 18-22 at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, on the theme, “Humble, Yet Bold: Being the Church.” Young adults ages 18-35 are invited to register or find more information at www.brethren.org/yac .

-- The New Church Planting Conference on the theme, “Plant Generously, Reap Bountifully,” begins the evening of May 16, hosted at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. “For those of you not able to attend, please continue to uphold this gathering in your prayers,” said a Facebook note from Congregational Life Ministries executive Jonathan Shively.

-- A new online photo album displays pictures from the recent Christian Citizenship Seminar for Church of the Brethren youth in New York and Washington, D.C. Go to www.brethren.org/album/ccs2012 .

-- Also new online: statistics from the training workshops held by Children’s Disaster Services last year. In 2011, this innovative Church of the Brethren program trained 156 people to care for children following disasters. This Spring, yet more people have been trained in a 2012 workshop series. Go to www.brethren.org/cds/stats.html .

-- Brethren Press is advertising consignment sales at Annual Conference. Brethren Press makes space available at Annual Conference for individuals and groups to sell items to Conference attendees on a consignment basis. Consignment space must be reserved by June 1. Contact Brethren Press Consignments, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120-1694; kstocking@brethren.org .

-- The Church of the Brethren Ministry Advisory Council met May 7-8 at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. A group created by and responsible to Annual Conference, the council brings together representatives from the Church of the Brethren denominational staff, Bethany Seminary, Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, Council of District Executives, and Brethren Higher Education Association. For the last several years, this group has been working diligently to draft new polity for ministerial leadership in the denomination. The paper nears completion as it comes before Annual Conference this summer for a first read. In addition to its work on the Ministerial Leadership Paper, the council heard reports from each represented body and discussed current trends and questions in ministry, education, and placement of ministers.

-- A new “Brethren in the News” page is online at www.brethren.org/news/2012/brethren-in-the-news-may-15-2012.html featuring links to recent news coverage of Brethren individuals, congregations, and denominational programs.

-- June 10 is the 100th anniversary celebration for Ivester Church of the Brethren in Grundy Center, Iowa. On June 24, Panora (Iowa) Church of the Brethren celebrates its 150th anniversary.

-- Trotwood (Ohio) Church of the Brethren is hosting the Manchester College A Cappella Choir on May 21 at 7 p.m. The choir, an auditioned ensemble of 40-50 singers directed by Debra Lynn, tours each spring after May commencement ceremonies. Tours have included performances at Carnegie Hall in New York,  the Vatican in Rome, and other prestigious venues. Trotwood is a stop on this year's tour to other churches in Pennsylvania.

-- Mill Creek Church of the Brethren in Port Republic, Va., hosts the CrossRoads’ spring Civil War bus tour on May 26 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. CrossRoads is a Brethren and Mennonite heritage center. The tour stops at the Widow Pence Farm, Port Republic museum, and other landmarks.

-- At a March 27 meeting, Roann (Ind.) Church of the Brethren voted to leave the denomination, according to a note in the South/Central Indiana District newsletter. Those who voted to remain Church of the Brethren continue to meet weekly at the district office to worship and share. “They would appreciate your prayers as they work through this difficult time,” the newsletter reported.

-- Middle Pennsylvania District Brethren Disaster Ministries is sponsoring a Benefit Dinner/Auction on June 2 at Albright Church of the Brethren in Roaring Spring, Pa. Doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner is served at 7. Tickets are $20. Call 814-932-4040 for tickets.

-- “How Can I Afford to Retire?” is the title of a workshop co-sponsored by the South/Central Indiana District Ministry Excellence Project and Timbercrest Senior Living Community. The workshop takes place June 2, 9- 11:30 a.m., in the Assembly Room at Timbercrest in North Manchester, Ind. The workshop is primarily designed for clergy and others who serve the church. More details and registration information can be found at www.ministryexcellenceproject.com/2.html .

-- Virlina District Developmental Disabilities Ministries Committee holds a Potluck Lunch for families of special needs children and adults on June 2, from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. at Summerdean Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va. “Anyone interested in ministry to persons with developmental disabilities are also invited to attend,” said the district newsletter. For additional information, contact Emma Jean Woodard at 540-362-1816 or 800-847-5462 or virlina2@aol.com .

-- Shenandoah District has reported a successful Kit Depot project to collect Church World Service kits for relief. The district newsletter reported that when the truck arrived to load up the several weeks-long collection, “we had at least 1,463 health kits, 315 school kits, 240 emergency clean-up buckets, and six baby kits. In addition, 133 quilts plus other boxes full of quilts and blankets were contributed through Lutheran World Relief. What a blessing that area congregations (not all of them from the Shenandoah District and not all of them Brethren either!) responded with such generosity to those in need both in this country and around the world.”

-- Camp Mt. Hermon’s “Come Along With Me Weekend Camp” has become a tradition and will be offered again this year on June 1-3. “Mark your calendars now, as this is a weekend not to be missed!” said an announcement from the camp in Tonganoxie, Kan. The weekend camp is for children who have finished kindergarten through 2nd grade and an adult over 21 who would like to accompany them. It is a time that the child and adult can worship, learn, play, and work together. For more information contact camp director Dalene Ward at daleneward5555@gmail.com or 402-476-8350.

-- Bridgewater (Va.) College students recognized by the Department of Philosophy and Religion for academic excellence at the annual awards convocation on May 1 included two Church of the Brethren members: Rebekah L. Miller of Bridgewater Church of the Brethren and Jesse Winter of Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren. Miller was presented the Outstanding Senior Award in Philosophy. Winter, a junior, was selected for the Ruth and Steve Watson Philosophy Scholarship Award, receiving a scholarship for the 2012-2013 academic year. Also receiving an award from the department was Blake Strother, who received the Outstanding Senior Award in Religion.

-- In more news from Bridgewater, five students including Church of the Brethren member Tyler Goss, are recipients of a 2012 Summer Christian Experience Scholarship and will spend 10 weeks in the summer working at church camps. Each student was awarded $2,500 from the scholarship program, which is funded by the Bridgewater College endowment fund. Goss will serve at Camp Bethel near Fincastle, Va. Also receiving the scholarship are Morgan Elkins and Whitney Fitzgerald, who will serve at Shepherd’s Spring in Sharpsburg, Md.; Stina Kang, who will serve at Camp Swatara in Bethel, Pa.; and Emily Ridenour, who will serve at Camp Eder in Fairfield, Pa.

-- “Jordan’s Stormy Banks,” a theatrical production presented by the Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center in Harrisonburg, Va., will be staged at Eastern Mennonite University’s MainStage Theater in June. A drama in two acts, “Jordan’s Stormy Banks” tells of one Shenandoah Valley family’s struggles during the Civil War and how they reconciled loyalty to family, to country, and to their Lord. “Jordan’s Stormy Banks” is an original production commissioned by the heritage center and written by Elizabeth Beachy Hansen, wrestling with the deep questions of what it means to be true to one’s faith in the midst of extreme trials and challenges. Last performed in 2003, it is being presented as a part of Civil War Sesquicentennial commemoration events. Matinee performances are 3 p.m. on June 3, 10, and 17; evening performances are 7:30 p.m. on June 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students, and $6 for children ages 7-12. Ticket sales and more information can be found at www.vbmhc.org or by calling 540-438-1275.

-- Michael G. Long, associate professor of religious studies and peace and conflict studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, has edited the book "I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin's Life in Letters," a collection of writings by the civil rights activist. According to a college release, the book published on the centennial of Rustin’s birth in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights March on Washington, held in 1963, is Rustin's life story told in his own words. It includes over 150 of his letters, with correspondents including the major progressives of his day, for example, Eleanor Holmes Norton, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, Ella Baker, and Martin Luther King, Jr. The book is published by City Lights Publishers, San Francisco. Visit www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100330920 for information about the multiple stop book tour Long is undertaking to promote the book's release.

-- Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., is hosting "Sequential SmArt" on May 18-19, a conference designed for college faculty and secondary school teachers interested in using comics as teaching tools. The conference is the brainchild of several Juniata faculty, said a release: Jay Hosler, associate professor of biology, David Hsuing, professor of history, and Jim Tuten, associate professor of history. Workshop leader is Matt Madden, a comic book author who teaches at Yale University's School for the Visual Arts, with the keynote address by Eric Shanower, author-illustrator of the graphic novel "Age of Bronze," a retelling of Homer's "Illiad." Cost is $75 for the full event or $45 for just the Saturday conference. To register and for more information, go to www.sequentialsmart.com .

-- McPherson (Kan.) College has announced its first graduate-level courses in education starting this Fall. Mark Malaby, director of the graduate courses in education and associate professor of education at McPherson, has spent the last academic year developing the unique curriculum, a release said. McPherson is seeking initial accreditation in fall of 2012 from the regional accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), with the hopes of gaining HLC approval to offer a Master’s in Education degree based on the course offerings. The courses have received the endorsement of the McPherson, Little River, and Smoky Valley school districts, which are encouraging their teachers to enroll in the classes. About half of the classes will be taught by working school administrators and superintendents in the area. The initial graduate level courses are “Issues in Education” and “Foundations of Education.” To apply for the graduate level courses contact Teresa Graham, graduate admissions officer, at graham@mcpherson.edu or 620-242-0485. More information about the program is at www.mcpherson.edu/mastersed .

-- The 39th Annual Brethren Bible Institute, sponsored by the Brethren Revival Fellowship, will be July 23-27 at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. Participants may take one, two or three of nine courses offered during the week. Cost, which includes dormitory housing, meals, and tuition, is $200. The fee for commuting students is $70. Application forms are available from Brethren Bible Institute, 155 Denver Road, Denver, Pa., 17517. Applications must be completed by June 29.

-- The Brethren Heritage Center in Brookville, Ohio, is making a newly updated book available for purchase: "Roots by the River: The History and Doctrine of the Old German Baptist Brethren Church in Miami County, Ohio,” revised and updated in 2011. The book first published by author Marcus Miller in 1973 covers the history of the very early Brethren moving from the east to the then-wilderness called Ohio, said a release. The book also explains the doctrines and traditions of the early Brethren and their place in local society, with several maps and photographs of early Old German Baptist Brethren leaders. It has expanded and updated to include the story of the latest division in 2009. An index has a large collection of personal and family names, with photographs listed in bold. This first printing was limited to 400 copies. Price is $40 or $36 plus tax for Heritage Friends. Go to http://brethrenheritagecenter.org for more information or to contact the center.

-- Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is holding its 2012 Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C., on June 18-19. Participants will enrich their knowledge about the conflict and the work for peace in the Holy Land, said a release. Morning and afternoon workshops will include a variety of topics such as “Jerusalem Update,” “Water in a Dry Land,” and “Middle East Peace and US Federal Elections,” among others. The morning plenary session is on Iran and Middle East peace with Trita Parsi, an expert on US-Iranian relations, Iranian foreign policy, and the geopolitics of the Middle East. An afternoon roundtable discussion on perspectives for peace will feature, among others, Daniel Kurtzer, former US Ambassador to Israel (2001-2005) and Ambassador to Egypt (1997-2001). The Church of the Brethren is a member denomination of CMEP. For conference details go to www.cmep.org/content/advocacy-conference-2012 .

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