Brethren bits for Jan. 6, 2015




For the latest Brethren news go to the main Newsline page

COBYS names three new board members
Wilbur Rohrer, Suzanne Schaudel, and Robert Wintsch have been called to serve on the COBYS Family Services Board of Directors, effective Jan. 1. Motivated by Christian faith, COBYS Family Services educates, supports, and empowers children and adults to reach their full potential through adoption and foster care services, counseling, and family life education. COBYS is affiliated with Atlantic Northeast District of the Church of the Brethren. Rohrer retired in April after serving 52 years as owner and operator of Rohrer’s Quarry, Inc., and also serves as an ordained member of the ministry team at Middle Creek Church of the Brethren in Lititz, Pa. He served 34 years on the Board of Directors at Brethren Village and also chaired the Church Development Commission for the Atlantic Northeast District Board. Suzanne Schaudel is a retired German teacher who taught for 27 years, and is active at Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren where she serves as secretary of the board and previously served on the board of the Alpha and Omega Community Center in Lancaster. Robert Wintsch is an employee benefits specialist consultant for Wells Fargo Insurance and a member of Mechanic Grove Church of the Brethren in Quarryville, Pa. He served as Atlantic Northeast District moderator and a member of the district board, chairing the Stewards Commission. He recently completed service on the board of the Brethren Housing Association in Harrisburg, Pa. (Photos courtesy of COYS)

-- Applications for the position of workcamp assistant coordinators for 2016 are due this Friday, Jan. 9. The workcamp assistant coordinators serve through Brethren Volunteer Service and help plan and lead the Church of the Brethren summer workcamps for the year, working with Emily Tyler, coordinator of Workcamps and BVS Recruitment. The position begins Aug. 2015 and runs through the summer of 2016. A position description and application form are available at www.brethren.org/workcamps .

-- Jan. 15 is the deadline for applications to serve on the new Anti-Racism Transformation Team of On Earth Peace. Since 2002, On Earth Peace has been engaged in an intentional process to understand how racism and other social oppressions prevent the organization from fully living in to its purpose of answering Christ’s call through powerful peace programs of training and accompaniment. Recognizing that racism affects all institutions and in an effort to live out the mission of the organization, On Earth Peace is seeking volunteer members to serve on an institutional Anti-Racism Transformation Team. For more information go to www.onearthpeace.org/artt . Applications are available online at http://bit.ly/oep-artt . Please submit questions to ARTT@onearthpeace.org .

-- Mennonite Central Committee is seeking an MCC Nigeria representative to serve in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, starting June 15. The MCC Nigeria representative oversees all aspects of Mennonite Central Committee’s program in Nigeria including program planning, financial management, supervising personnel, maintaining partner relationships, and program evaluating and reporting. In Nigeria, MCC currently works in the areas of HIV/AIDS, income generation, literacy, water, peace building, trauma healing, and interfaith bridge building. For more information see http://mcc.org/get-involved/serve/openings/mcc-nigeria-representative . Please send inquiries to inq@mcc.org by Feb. 15.

-- Delegate registration for the 2015 Annual Conference on July 11-15 in Tampa, Fla., is now open online at www.brethren.org/ac . Delegate registration opened yesterday, Jan. 5, and continues through Feb. 24. The early registration fee is $285 per delegate. Beginning Feb. 25 the fee increases to $310. Congregations may pay by credit card or by check. Registration for nondelegates and housing reservations for delegates and nondelegates will begin on Feb. 25. More information about the Conference including hotels, airport transportation, directions, and conference theme and worship leadership can be found at www.brethren.org/ac .

-- The Workcamp Office has posted a sample registration at www.brethren.org/workcamps . By viewing the sample registration ahead of time, participants and advisors may be prepared to have all of the information they need when workcamp registration opens Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. (central time). This summer, workcamps are offered for junior and senior high youth, young adult, “We Are Able,” and intergenerational participants. The wide variety of locations and projects allows participants to express their faith through action in new and unique ways. View the sample registration, workcamp schedule, and descriptions of workcamps at www.brethren.org/workcamps .

-- The webinar series on Christian practices for teens continues Jan. 6 at 8 p.m. (eastern) on the topic “Work and Choices” led by Bekah Houff of the Bethany Seminary staff. This is one in a series of webinars offered jointly by staff of the Church of the Brethren, Bethany Theological Seminary, and On Earth Peace, geared to pastors, parents, and anyone who works with youth. This series takes the form of a book study of “Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens” edited by Dorothy C. Bass and Don C. Richter. Having a copy of the book is helpful but not required. The book may be purchased through Brethren Press at www.brethrenpress.com or by calling 800-441-3712. To join the webinar participants need to join the video and audio portions separately. To join the video portion, go to www.moresonwebmeeting.com and enter the phone number and access code given below (the technology used for this webinar works best with non-mobile devices). After joining the video portion, participants need to join the audio portion by dialing 877-204-3718 (toll free). The access code is 8946766. For those who wish to view the web portion via an iPad, please download the link from the iTunes store (Level 3), and have the conference telephone number and access code available to enter. You still need to join the audio portion with the Audio Login credentials. The name of the app is Level 3. To request continuing education credit contact Houff at houffre@bethanyseminary.edu prior to the webinar.

Webinar

-- “Telling the Truth and Shaming the Devil: A Postcolonial Take on Urban Mission in the 21st Century,” is the title of a Jan. 22 webinar jointly sponsored by the Church of the Brethren, Baptist Mission Society, Baptists Together, Bristol Baptist College, and Urban Expression UK. This webinar was originally set for last October but had to be postponed to Thursday, Jan. 22, at  2:30-3:30 p.m. (Eastern time). The online workshop will offer an assessment of urban mission in the 21st century “by means of a Black theological analysis, offering critical reflections on the challenges of undertaking urban mission and the post-colonial realities to be found across the global north, where issues of plurality and power abound, within the all-enveloping shadow of empire,” said an announcement from Stan Dueck, director of Transforming Practices for the Church of the Brethren. Presenter Anthony Reddie is professor of Christian theology at Bristol Baptist College and editor of the academic periodical “Black Theology,” who has written numerous articles and books on Christian education and Black theology. Register at www.brethren.org/webcasts . Attendance is free but donations are appreciated. Ministers may receive 0.1 continuing education unit for attending the live event online. For more information contact Stan Dueck at sdueck@brethren.org .

-- Jan. 12, at 8 p.m. (eastern time) On Earth Peace is offering an Agape-Satyagraha Training Webinar for adults, titled “Kingian Nonviolence Part 1.” The webinar is for interested people to learn more about the Agape-Satyagraha Training that On Earth Peace offers for youth at various sites throughout the country, and is intended for adult mentors, site coordinators, parents, and other interested adults. The second part of this webinar is scheduled for March 9. For log-in information, contact Marie Benner-Rhoades at mrhoades@onearthpeace.org .

-- Musa Mambula is continuing his speaking tour in Pennsylvania in early January. He is the national spiritual adviser to Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Mambula will speak about the crisis situation in Nigeria at Indian Creek Church of the Brethren on Jan. 11 at 5 p.m. and at 7 p.m. Both presentations are open to the public, the second will focus on the Church of the Brethren response and will include fundraising. Mambula will speak at Coventry Church of the Brethren on Sunday, Jan. 18, at 8 p.m. He also will speak for chapel at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School on the morning of Monday, Jan. 12. “It’s just kind of mind-boggling in terms of having the chance to have somebody from another country talk about how a church that preaches non-violence is living out in the midst of this extreme violence,” Indian Creek pastor Mark Baliles told a newspaper who has published a lengthy article about the upcoming events and the Brethren involvement in the Nigeria crisis. Find the “Souderton Independent” article by reporter Bob Keeler at www.montgomerynews.com/articles/2015/01/01/souderton_independent/news/doc54a44bdf30da8888482460.txt?viewmode=fullstory .

-- Enders Church of the Brethren in Nebraska will not be repaired, the “Imperial Republican” newspaper is reporting. “What was once a school and then a church now stands empty,” the news report said. “The building that housed the Enders Church of the Brethren for many years will not be repaired, according to church members.” Last June a storm took much of the roof off the church and caused serious water damage. Church member Charlotte Wine told the paper that the congregation is “at a standstill as to what will become of the building and property.” Find the news report at www.imperialrepublican.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7565:no-plans-to-repair-enders-church-of-the-brethren&catid=36:news&Itemid=76 .

-- A church leadership conference on the theme “Gifted by God... Called by the Church... Empowered by the Holy Spirit” is planned for May 14-16 at Frederick (Md.) Church of the Brethren. The conference is sponsored by the Council of District Executives of the Church of the Brethren and will feature worship, workshops, and plenary sessions. Speakers will include Jeff Carter, president of Bethany Theological Seminary; Belita Mitchell, a past moderator of Annual Conference and pastor of First Church of the Brethren in Harrisburg, Pa.; and Leroy Solomon, vice president for institutional advancement at Ashland Theological Seminary. The event is for all church leaders, and “congregations are encouraged to bring the entire board or leadership team,” said an announcement. More information and details will shared as they become available.

-- Virlina District has announced an “Older Adult Escapade” on March 21, sponsored by the district’s Commission on Nurture. The event takes place 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Summerdean Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va., for everyone over 50 years old and it is free. “Come enjoy lunch, fellowship, fun, laughter, and be spiritually refreshed!!!” said the announcement. “Bring a friend, meet new friends, rekindle old friendships!”

Northern Plains District Conference logo for 2015
Image courtesy of Northern Plains District

Northern Plains District Conference logo for 2015

-- Northern Plains District has changed venues for its 2015 district conference on July 31-Aug. 2. The new venue is South Waterloo (Iowa) Church of the Brethren. The change was made to better accommodate technology, keyboard, and acoustic needs of guest leader Shawn Kirchner, who is a well known Church of the Brethren musician and member at La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren. “As you may know Shawn grew up in the South Waterloo congregation so they are very excited to be able to host him for the ‘big meeting,’” said an announcement. The conference will include a district-wide choir led by Kirchner. The meeting will focus on the theme of joy and a text from 1 Chronicles 18:8-10, the Message version, which reads in part: “Sing to God! Play songs for God! Broadcast all God’s wonders! Revel in God’s holy name, God-seekers, be jubilant!”

-- Wilbur Rohrer, Suzanne Schaudel, and Robert Wintsch have been called to serve on the COBYS Family Services Board of Directors, effective Jan. 1. Motivated by Christian faith, COBYS Family Services educates, supports, and empowers children and adults to reach their full potential through adoption and foster care services, counseling, and family life education. COBYS is affiliated with Atlantic Northeast District of the Church of the Brethren. Rohrer retired in April after serving 52 years as owner and operator of Rohrer’s Quarry, Inc., and also serves as an ordained member of the ministry team at Middle Creek Church of the Brethren in Lititz, Pa. He served 34 years on the Board of Directors at Brethren Village and also chaired the Church Development Commission for the Atlantic Northeast District Board. Suzanne Schaudel is a retired German teacher who taught for 27 years, and is active at Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren where she serves as secretary of the board and previously served on the board of the Alpha and Omega Community Center in Lancaster. Robert Wintsch is an employee benefits specialist consultant for Wells Fargo Insurance and a member of Mechanic Grove Church of the Brethren in Quarryville, Pa. He served as Atlantic Northeast District moderator and a member of the district board, chairing the Stewards Commission. He recently completed service on the board of the Brethren Housing Association in Harrisburg, Pa.

-- Enrollment continues for pastors and ministers who wish to attend the next Springs Academy in church renewal, said an announcement from the Springs initiative. “Pastors enter a refreshing spiritual journey, participate in spiritual disciplines, and take a thorough course in church renewal that builds on the strengths of a church,” said the announcement. “Participants have lively discussion on how to assist a congregation in spiritual growth using disciplines folders. Pastors receive training in servant leadership to work in concert with their congregation to discern a vision and carry out units of revitalization.” To view a video about the Springs Academy made by David Sollenberger, go to the Springs website at www.churchrenewalservant.org . Also available at the website is an academy brochure. The textbook for the class is “Springs of Living Water, Christ-centered Church Renewal” by David S. Young with foreword by Richard J. Foster. Sessions are held by telephone conference call with five sessions to be spaced from Feb. 4 until April 29. In order to accommodate everyone’s schedules, interested participants are asked to identify the best days of the week for them to participate in the class. Continuing education units are available. Contact David and Joan Young at 717-615-4515.

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