Newsline for May 16, 2012




"... And apply your mind to my teaching" (Proverbs 22:17b).

NEWS
1) Bethany Seminary grants 16 degrees at 107th commencement.
2) Annual Conference ‘Witness to Host City’ will be school collection.
3) EDF grants support disaster rebuilding in Alabama, food crisis in Africa.
4) Brethren disaster volunteer Steve Keim receives awards.
5) BVSers in Hiroshima help organize peace concert with Brethren singer.

PERSONNEL
6) Manchester College executive vice president will lead School of Pharmacy.

UPCOMING EVENTS
7) Young Center holds conference on legacy of Alexander Mack Jr.
8) Brethren World Assembly planned for July 2013.

RESOURCES
9) ‘Joshua’ is newest Believers Church Bible Commentary.

10) Brethren bits: Personnel, NYAC, CCS photo album, Brethren Press consignment sale, much more.

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1) Bethany Seminary grants 16 degrees at 107th commencement.

Bethany Seminary graduates at 2012 commencement
Photo by: courtesy of Bethany Seminary
Bethany Theological Seminary held its 107th commencement on May 5, 2012, with some 150 people present to celebrate the achievements of 16 graduates. The graduating class and their degrees include: (front from left) Jeanne Davies (MDiv), Linda Waldron (CATS), Jiae Paik (MA), Rebekah Houff (MDiv), Katie Shaw Thompson (MDiv); (standing from left) Aaron Shepherd (MA), Andrew Duffey (MDiv), Benjamin Harvey (MA), Dennis Webb (MA), Vivek Solanky (MA), Nicolas Miller-Kauffman (MA), Parker Thompson (MDiv), Jerramy Bowen (MA), Matthew Wollam-Berens (MDiv), Brandon Hanks (MDiv); (not pictured) Diane Mason (CATS).

Bethany Theological Seminary held its 107th commencement the morning of May 5, in Nicarry Chapel on the Bethany campus in Richmond, Ind. Approximately 150 were present to celebrate the achievements of 16 graduates.

Nadine S. Pence, director of the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion in Crawfordsville, Ind., gave the commencement address. Pence also previously held the position of professor of theological studies at the seminary. Entitled “Border Crossings,” her comments drew on the scripture texts John 21:1-14 and Acts 10:34-48, recounting the period
between Christ’s resurrection and Pentecost.

“You are a border crosser...someone who stands between the places of your life--in the gaps and interstices of life--and who will work to know the people and contexts to which you are called, and the vocation you are to serve among them,” she said. “We are called, as Christians, to live as border crossers, testifying to the presence of the Spirit, to the presence of the Christ when he appears among us.”

President Ruthann Knechel Johansen addressed the gathering with appreciation for both the contributions of faculty and staff to the success of the graduates and the graduates’ own personal and academic gifts. “I mention with gratitude an amazing array of attributes that our faculty and
ministry placement supervisors have identified in the students we honor today: deep thinking, compassionate hearts, impressive scriptural knowledge, self-confidence, wonderful wit and humor, humility, strong relationality, teachable spirits, and commitments to social justice.”

Professional accomplishments by the faculty also were noted, among them the promotion of Tara Hornbaker to professor of Ministry Formation; the completion of a doctor of ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary by Amy Gall Ritchie, director of Student Development; and the promotion of Julie M. Hostetter to executive director of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership.

Special music was performed by Community of Song, a men’s ensemble from the Richmond, Ind., and Dayton, Ohio, areas. Music for the ceremony consisted of organ-piano duets by Nancy Faus-Mullen and Jenny Williams.

An afternoon worship service, planned and led by the graduates, also took place in Nicarry Chapel. Class members Andrew Duffey, Rebekah Houff, and Jeanne Davies reflected on the themes in the scripture text Ephesians 4:1-16: unity in the Spirit through the bond of peace, the bestowing of spiritual gifts, and the contributions of all to the body of Christ. Each new graduate was given a blessing by members of the faculty to mark the conclusion of their years at Bethany.

Seven graduates received master of divinity degrees: Jeanne Davies of Elgin, Ill.; Andrew Duffey, Westminster, Md.; Brandon M. Hanks, Hatfield, Pa.; Rebekah L. Houff, Palmyra, Pa.; Katie Shaw Thompson, Grundy Center, Iowa; Parker Ammerman Thompson, Grundy Center, Iowa; Matthew Wollam-Berens, Middlebury, Vt.

Seven graduates received master of arts degrees: Jerramy D. Bowen, West Milton, Ohio; Benjamin Wil Harvey, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Nicolas Miller Kauffman, Goshen, Ind.; Jiae Paik, Seoul, South Korea; Aaron Russell Shepherd, Richmond, Ind.; Vivek A. Solanky, Valsad-Gujarat, India; Dennis John Richard Webb, Naperville, Ill.

Two students received certificates of achievement in theological studies: Diane E. Mason, Unionville, Iowa, in absentia; Linda S. Waldron, Clayton, Ohio.

Graduates’ future endeavors include pastoral and congregational ministry, further graduate study, and social service. Bethany Theological Seminary was founded in 1905 and is the graduate
school and academy for theological education for the Church of the Brethren.

-- Jenny Williams is director of communications and alumni/ae relations for Bethany Seminary.


2) Annual Conference ‘Witness to Host City’ will be school collection.

Pencils collected as part of a kit donation by the youth at Annual Conference
Photo by Sarah Kovacs

Delegates to the 2008 Annual Conference in Richmond, Va., processed an item of business entitled “Query: Conference Witness to the Host City.” The query acknowledges that because Annual Conference is held in various cities, it would be good to give witness to a shared faith in Jesus Christ in these places. Delegates in Richmond adopted the concern of the query and referred it to Program and Arrangements Committee for implementation.

The Annual Conference witness to the city of St. Louis, Mo., will involve the collection of school supplies for the St. Louis Public School system. During the 2012-13 school year, the St. Louis Public Schools will serve approximately 28,000 students in 72 different schools.

Several Church of the Brethren congregations around the denomination have learned recently that a significant part of urban revitalization involves a strong public school support system. Churches, including Churches of the Brethren, are providing leadership in their local communities through their involvement with the local school system. Through these ministries, the churches are finding renewed life in Christ as well.

The list of school supplies was provided by the St. Louis Public Schools, and includes the following: 2 pocket letter size portfolios, glue sticks, ball point pens--medium tip, highlighters, washable markers--10 pack, rulers--12-inch plastic, colored pencils--12 pack, protractors--6-inch plastic, pencils #2, crayons--16 pack, paper filler--3 hole college rule, erasers, primary writing paper, backpacks (black only). (This list also is posted online at www.cobannualconference.org/StLouis/ConferenceWitnessToTheHostCity.pdf .)

Annual Conference moderator Tim Harvey recently went to a local store and purchased the entire list of supplies--not including the backpack--for under $18. The color of the backpacks was requested by the St. Louis school staff, and may be difficult to find at this time of year.

Conference attendees who participate in this outreach are invited to bring their donations of supplies to the Sunday morning worship service at Annual Conference on July 8, where they will be received during the offering. Representatives from the St. Louis Public Schools will receive the supplies during the afternoon business session on Tuesday, July 10.

The latest “Moments with the Moderator” video highlights the school collection. Go to www.cobannualconference.org/StLouis/ModeratorMoments.html .


3) EDF grants support disaster rebuilding in Alabama, food crisis in Africa.

Brethren Disaster Ministries has received an Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) grant for $17,000 to continue its work in Arab, Ala., following an EF 4 tornado that hit the town on April 27 last year. In another recent EDF grant, $8,000 has been given to aid food security in the Sahel region of north Africa.

In other news from Brethren Disaster Ministries, associate director Zach Wolgemuth has been elected to the board of National VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster).

At the rebuilding project site in Alabama, in the area of Arab, more than 200 volunteers have given more than 1,400 days of service to build two new homes and repair 20 others. Brethren Disaster Ministries’ current case load includes one additional new home and approximately six home repairs. The grant will underwrite operational expenses related to volunteer support including housing, food, and travel expenses incurred onsite as well as volunteer training, tools, and equipment needed for rebuilding and repair. Previous EDF allocations to the project total $30,000.

The allocation of $8,000 responds to a Church World Service (CWS) appeal following unusually low rainfall, low crop production, and food insecurity in the Sahel region of north Africa. Also a factor in the food insecurity is political strife/violence in north and west Africa. This complex humanitarian crisis affects more than 15 million people. The Church of the Brethren grant supports CWS as it leads a response to the emergency working with partner organization Christian Aid in providing emergency food assistance, seeds, and other emergency assistance to more than 83,000 people in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Senegal.


4) Brethren disaster volunteer Steve Keim receives awards.

Brethren volunteer project director Steve Keim receives awards
Photo by Gene Borochoff, NECHAMA
Steve Keim, a volunteer project director for Brethren Disaster Ministries, received awards at the 2012 National VOAD conference on May 8. He was named Volunteer of the Year by National VOAD, and received the President’s Volunteer Service Award. He is shown here (at left) with Daniel Stoecker, executive director of National VOAD.
Brethren volunteer project director Steve Keim receives awards
Photo by Gene Borochoff, NECHAMA
Steve Keim, a volunteer project director for Brethren Disaster Ministries, received awards at the 2012 National VOAD conference on May 8. He was named Volunteer of the Year by National VOAD, and received the President’s Volunteer Service Award. He is shown here (at left) with Daniel Stoecker, executive director of National VOAD.

Steve Keim, a volunteer project leader for Brethren Disaster Ministries, was named Volunteer of the Year by National VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) on May 8, during the 2012 Annual VOAD Conference in Norfolk, Va.

A second and completely unexpected award, the President’s Volunteer Service Award, was facilitated by Points of Light and presented to Keim by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Then, to top off the award-giving, FLASH (Federal Alliance for Safe Homes) presented him with tickets to Disney World.

The National VOAD Team selected Keim “for exemplifying the core values of the VOAD movement: Coordination, Cooperation, Communication, and Collaboration,”--known as the four Cs. Brethren Disaster Ministries executive director Roy Winter reported that Keim had a standing ovation from the 500-plus people present at the awards ceremony.

The ovation was well deserved. Since the beginning of last year, Keim has served 349 days at Church of the Brethren disaster recovery projects in Indiana, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Alabama. While serving in his leadership role with Brethren Disaster Ministries, he consistently embodies the “4 Cs” of National VOAD in his relations with clients, partner agencies, local businesses, building inspectors, local churches, and disaster volunteers.

“Steve understands the value of volunteers, and he always ensures that each volunteer, regardless of skill level or background, is made a part of the team,” said Zach Wolgemuth, associate director of Brethren Disaster Ministries. “He makes safety a priority and provides proper training, directions, and appropriate work.”

Building inspectors have been impressed by the quality of work done by volunteer crews under Keim’s leadership. “Inspectors would comment about how great it was to work with groups that constructed to code and wanted homes to be built correctly,” said Wolgemuth.

Lisa Warren, who is president for the Marshall County VOAD and recently worked with Keim in Arab, Ala., said she “has heard nothing but good things from all the clients he had been working with. Steve goes out of his way to do extra things for the clients and treats them all with the utmost respect possible.” One disaster survivor affirmed Keim is an “instrument of God’s hands for the edification of the church and the betterment of the world.”

What does Keim make of all the excitement? He admits, “I don't deal well with fussing, especially about me.” He prefers to be an “invisible force behind things,” adding that “it’s all about the volunteers.”

Nonetheless, “Steve is a truly deserving candidate for the National VOAD President’s Award,” said Wolgemuth, who had nominated Keim for the award. “He has proven to be an invaluable volunteer with an unquenchable passion and dedication to service.”

-- Jane Yount is coordinator for Brethren Disaster Ministries.


5) BVSers in Hiroshima help organize peace concert with Brethren singer.

Mike Stern gives peace concert in Hiroshima, Japan
Photo by JoAnn Sims
Brethren folk singer Mike Stern (center, at microphone) gave a peace concert in Hiroshima, Japan, at the invitation of the World Friendship Center. WFC directors JoAnn and Larry Sims, who work at the center through Brethren Volunteer Service, helped organize the event that also featured the WFC Peace Choir and other Japanese musicians.

Brethren Volunteer Service workers at the World Friendship Center in Hiroshima, Japan, recently helped organize a concert for peace given by American Brethren folk singer Mike Stern on April 13.

“Congratulations!” was the comment of one participant after over 400 people attended the concert on a rainy April evening in Hiroshima. BVSers JoAnn and Larry Sims, who are volunteer directors of the World Friendship Center, wrote in an e-mail report on the event: “Surely the spirit of Peace is gaining strength!”

The World Friendship Center sponsored and organized the concert. Steve Leeper, chairperson of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of the World Friendship Center, served as Stern's translator. The Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation is the city organization that directs all events at the famous Peace Park and directs the Peace Memorial Museum and the International Peace Conference Center.

In addition to Stern, the concert featured Asaka Watanabe, World Friendship Center Peace Choir director, and Japanese musicians sharing songs of peace. The concert was held in the Memorial Cathedral for Peace to an audience of over 400.

The World Friendship Center’s office manager has put together an online “peek” at the concert at https://picasaweb.google.com/worldfriendshipcenter/MikeSternOneWorldPeaceConcertInHiroshima2012413?feat=email#slideshow/5737007319381758690 . Photography and editing are by Naomi Kurihara.


PERSONNEL

6) Manchester College executive vice president will lead School of Pharmacy.

Ending a nationwide search, Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., is turning to executive vice president Dave McFadden as its new dean for the School of Pharmacy.

McFadden, who was influential in establishment of the professional Doctor of Pharmacy program in Fort Wayne, Ind., has served as interim dean for five months. Founding dean Phil Medon resigned in November for health reasons.

“Dave was at the forefront in our thinking and planning for the Pharmacy School and has immersed himself in learning about pharmacy for the past five years,” said president Jo Young Switzer in announcing the appointment, effective May 4. “He worked with the core team that developed the successful $35 million grant proposal for the School of Pharmacy to Lilly Endowment Inc.”

Pharmacy classes begin Aug. 13 on the new campus in north Fort Wayne. Working from a national pool of 470 applicants, Manchester is close to filling its first class of 70 students for the four-year program.

McFadden has more than 20 years of higher education leadership experience. At Manchester, he has led enrollment, strategic planning, and marketing initiatives, as well as the name change to Manchester University scheduled for July 1. He has served as interim dean of academic affairs and assistant professor of political science. He is a 1982 graduate of Manchester College and holds a Ph.D. from Claremont (Calif.) Graduate School.

A search committee reviewed a strong pool of applicants and brought two finalists to the campuses. Afterward, both the committee and Manchester’s national pharmacy consultant recommended McFadden for the position. McFadden will continue as executive vice president, retaining an office on the North Manchester campus but spending the majority of his time in Fort Wayne. For more about the Manchester School of Pharmacy, visit www.manchester.edu/pharmacy .

-- Jeri S. Kornegay is director of Media and Public Relations for Manchester College.


UPCOMING EVENTS

7) Young Center holds conference on legacy of Alexander Mack Jr.

The Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College is holding a conference June 6-8 titled, “Pietist and Anabaptist Intersections in Pennsylvania: The Life and Influence of Alexander Mack Jr.”

This study conference commemorates the 300th birthday of Mack, an important Brethren leader, minister, weaver, and writer of poetry, doctrinal, and devotional works. He was born in Germany, the son of Alexander Mack Sr.--founder of the Brethren movement--and then moved to the Netherlands and then to Pennsylvania, where he eventually became minister of the Germantown congregation.

“Scholars from multiple disciplines will use various methodologies to illumine Mack’s career and writings,” said the flier for the conference. “Some of the presentations will invite reflection on the lasting legacy of Mack in the Brethren context and beyond.”

Speakers include Dale R. Stoffer of Ashland Theological Seminary; Carl Desportes Bowman of the University of Virginia; Stephen Longenecker of Bridgwater (Va.) College; William Kostlevy of Tabor College; Hedda Durnbaugh of Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa.; Michael Showalter, museum curator of the Ephrata Cloister; Bethany Theological Seminary faculty Russell Haitch, Scott Holland, Denise Kettering Lane, and Daniel Ulrich; Frank Ramirez, pastor and frequent contributor Brethren Press publications and “Brethren Life & Thought”; Karen Garrett, business manager of “Brethren Life & Thought”; and Young Center director Jeff Bach, among others.

In addition, the preliminary agenda for the event includes preconference tours to Germantown and the Ephrata Cloisters, an evening hymn festival, and daily times of devotion. Those who attend the full conference are eligible for 1.85 continuing education units. Registration costs $120, or $135 after May 18. Student and single day rates are available. The tour and housing are additional costs. For more information and a registration form go to www.etown.edu/centers/young-center/files/mack-conference/Mack_conference_brochure.pdfcall or call 717-361-1443.

As a special event during the weekend, Brethren Colleges Abroad (BCA) will celebrate its 50th anniversary, “BCA Study Abroad: 50 Years 1962-2012.” The anniversary dinner is June 8 immediately following the close of the conference, with speaker Robert Johansen, fellow at the Joan Kroc Institute of Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. BCA also will honor its longest serving president, Allen Deeter. Cost is $30. BCA is a cooperative organization begun by the Church of the Brethren-related colleges, currently sending nearly 400 students to study in 15 countries around the world and bringing international students to study at BCA partner colleges in the US.


8) Brethren World Assembly planned for July 2013.

A Brethren World Assembly, consisting of constituents and friends of the Brethren groups descended from the German Anabaptist/Radical Pietist religious leader Alexander Mack in the early 1700s, will be held in the Dayton, Ohio, area Thursday-Sunday, July 11-14, 2013.

The meetings will be hosted by the Brethren Heritage Center in Brookville, Ohio, with evening worship services at Salem Church of the Brethren and Brookville Grace Brethren Church.

Utilizing the theme “Brethren Spirituality: How Brethren Conceive of and Practice the Spiritual Life,” the program will include daily plenary addresses, workshops, and panel discussions on such topics as “Brethren Hymnody,” “Separation from the World and Engagement with the World,” “Brethren Devotional Literature and Poetry,” and more. Friday and Saturday afternoon tours will be offered to historic Brethren sites in the proximity of Brookville and southern Ohio.

A planning committee for the event has been meeting regularly and is being led by Robert Alley, immediate past moderator of the Church of the Brethren. Other groups participating in the event include the Brethren Church, the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, Conservative Grace Brethren Churches International, Dunkard Brethren Church, Old German Baptist Brethren Church, and Old German Baptist Brethren Church, New Conference.

The Brethren movement had its origin in Schwarzenau, Germany, in late summer of 1708 when reformer Alexander Mack and seven others participated in believer’s baptism in the Eder River. According to Alley, the purpose of the gathering is to provide an opportunity for all who value the Brethren heritage to join together in conversation around a common theme. He said, “We would seek to balance study and worship, to enhance dialogue among our Brethren bodies, and to acquaint Brethren with their historic roots. Hopefully, there will be international guests from some of our Brethren bodies.”

Registration will open at 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 11, 2013, and the assembly will conclude with Sunday worship services at congregations of the various Brethren groups. Further details regarding lodging, registration costs, and specific program details will be released as the event draws closer. Updates will be available through www.brethrenencyclopedia.org and through the Brethren Heritage Center at www.brethrenheritagecenter.org .


RESOURCES

9) ‘Joshua’ is newest Believers Church Bible Commentary.

Joshua Believers Church Bible Commentary by Gordon Matties"Joshua" by Gordon Matties has been released as the newest volume in the Believers Church Bible Commentary series. The series is a cooperative project of the Church of the Brethren, Brethren in Christ Church, Brethren Church, Mennonite Brethren Church, Mennonite Church USA, and Mennonite Church Canada. The series is published by Herald Press and MennoMedia, and is available to purchase through Brethren Press.

Also new from Brethren Press is the summer quarter of “A Guide for Biblical Studies.” Written by Kim McDowell, pastor of University Park Church of the Brethren in Hyattsville, Md., the lessons for June-August focus on the theme “God Calls for Justice” and study texts from Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and the Kings and Chronicles books, as well as the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.

“Joshua” is the 25th volume in the commentary series. In it, Matties calls for “an openness to the unexpected” in the book, and suggests that reading Joshua carefully will open windows into how and why we read scripture at all. “In an age of fear and insecurity, in which ethnic nationalism continues to give rise to conflict and war, we dare not avoid critical engagement with biblical texts that have been used to justify colonialism, conquest, occupation, and ethnic cleansing,” said a publisher’s release. “Building on the idea of scripture as dialogue partner, Matties advocates for the book of Joshua even as he engages in a difficult conversation with it.”

Matties is professor of biblical studies at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Most recently he served as dean of humanities and sciences at CMU, led numerous study tours to Israel/Palestine, and dabbled in film studies. He holds a doctorate in Old Testament from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and is a member of River East Mennonite Brethren Church in Winnipeg where he serves as moderator of the church.
 
“A Guide for Biblical Studies” may be purchased from Brethren Press for $4.25 per book, or $7.35 for large print--buy one for each member of a study group. “Joshua” may be purchased from Brethren Press for $29.99 plus shipping and handling. Call 800-441-3712 or order from www.brethrenpress.com .


10) Brethren bits: Personnel, NYAC, CCS photo album, Brethren Press consignment sale, much more.

-- 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.

-- 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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Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Robert Alley, Dana Cassell, Joan Daggett, Neal Fitze, Tim Harvey, Mary Kay Heatwole, Nancy Miner, Amy J. Mountain, JoAnn Sims, Karen Stocking, John Wall, Roy Winter, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren. Look for the next regularly scheduled issue on May 30. Newsline is produced by the News Services of the Church of the Brethren. Contact the editor at cobnews@brethren.org. Newsline appears every other week, with special issues as needed. Stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To unsubscribe or change your e-mail preferences go to www.brethren.org/newsline.

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