Newsline for April 29, 2016




The Church of the Brethren General Offices in springtime
Photo by Eric Thompson

The Church of the Brethren General Offices in springtime

“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come” (Song of Solomon 2:12a).

NEWS 
1) Annual Conference moderator calls for special day of prayer and fasting on Pentecost

2) Brethren Disaster Ministries begins work at new rebuilding project site in Detroit

3) Children’s Disaster Services presents new training program in Nigeria

4) GFCF grants support church projects in Illinois, Maryland, Spain, Honduras

5) Fellowship of Brethren Homes holds Forum, elects new executive committee

6) International delegation completes racial justice pilgrimage to the United States

PERSONNEL
7) Leslie Frye resigns as director of the Ministry of Reconciliation

UPCOMING EVENTS
8) Bethany Seminary to hold commencement ceremonies

9) Brethren bits: Remembering Harriett Finney and Bryan Boyer, BBT seeks employee benefits specialist, Betty Ann Cherry gives Juniata College commencement address, Heifer special event in Chicago, more


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Quote of the week:

In honor of National Poetry Month, a few lines of the poem “Bird Flight” by the late Ken Morse, a former editor of the Church of the Brethren’s “Messenger” magazine, from a 1972 issue:

“Watching birds in flight
     is listening to a language
     no one yet has learned to read. . . .

“Watching them in flight
     even I can trace
     the moving of God's grace.”

-- Find the full poem posted on the “Messenger” Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Messengermagazine .
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1) Annual Conference moderator calls for special day of prayer and fasting on Pentecost

Carry the Light, logo for the 2016 Annual Conference

Andy Murray, moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, is planning Pentecost Sunday, May 15, as a special day of prayer and fasting in preparation for the annual meeting of the denomination. The 2016 Annual Conference will take place June 29-July 3 in Greensboro, N.C.

Murray has sent the following letter to the pastor(s) of each congregation in the Church of the Brethren, issuing an invitation for churches and members across the denomination to join in this special effort:

Dear Pastor,

Pentecost Sunday, May 15, is celebrated by many Christians as the “birthday” of the Church. We take time that day to make a special remembrance of the Holy Spirit coming to those faithful apostles that were gathered, after the ascension of our Lord, in prayer and expectation.

It was the power of that Spirit that transformed a small, discouraged, and disorganized group of followers into a courageous movement of disciples that took the Gospel, in a few decades, to nearly all of the known world. More than 2,000 years later, we remember the exhilaration and might of that moment as part of our own “birth” story. 

I plan to make May 15 a special day of prayer and fasting in preparation and expectation for the gathering of the Brethren in Greensboro this summer. I ask that you join me and that you take Pentecost Sunday as an opportunity to remember Annual Conference in the prayers of your church. 

Pray that we might be open to, and guided by, the Spirit in our worship, our study, and our deliberations. Pray that we will be given the grace to treat each other as brothers and sisters in Christ in the best tradition of the Church of the Brethren. Pray for safe travels for those that give of their time and talent by serving the church at Annual Conference. Pray that each person that gathers in Greensboro, in the name of the church, will experience a renewed anointing of the Spirit that will give energy and courage in abundance for moving Christ’s church into a confident future.

Thank you for taking a few moments to share these thoughts with me and for your consideration of this request. Thank you most graciously for all you do on behalf of our Lord and his Church. 

Grace and peace be with you,

Andy Murray
Moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference

-- For more about Annual Conference and the plans for the 2016 annual meeting in Greensboro this summer, go to www.brethren.org/ac .


2) Brethren Disaster Ministries begins work at new rebuilding project site in Detroit

Brethren Disaster Ministries received help from Shenandoah District volunteers to clean up and move equipment as it closed a rebuilding site in West Virginia and opened a new site in Detroit, Mich.: (from left) Robin De Young, Brethren Disaster Ministries program assistant, and volunteers Valerie Renner and Nancy Kegley bundle up unneeded items that were donated to another charity.
Photo courtesy of Shenandoah District

Brethren Disaster Ministries received help from Shenandoah District volunteers to clean up and move equipment as it closed a rebuilding site in West Virginia and opened a new site in Detroit, Mich.: (from left) Robin De Young, Brethren Disaster Ministries program assistant, and volunteers Valerie Renner and Nancy Kegley bundle up unneeded items that were donated to another charity.

“There has been a lot going on at the BDM office over the past few weeks,” said a recent report from Brethren Disaster Ministries director Jenn Dorsch. A major new effort of Brethren Disaster Ministries is a rebuilding project in Detroit, Mich., in an area affected by flooding in August 2014.

Also in recent weeks, the ministry closed its rebuilding project site in Harts, West Virginia. The last volunteer group left the Harts site on March 26. Shenandoah District volunteers helped move Brethren Disaster Ministries vehicles and trailers to the district’s warehouse to clean and organize them in preparation for moving them on to the new project in Michigan earlier this month.

Work in northwest Detroit is expected to continue through October. On Aug. 11, 2014, a large storm system drenched the area with up to six inches of rain in just a few hours, overwhelming many drain systems, which then flooded roadways and homes. The record one-day rainfall damaged more than 129,000 homes throughout the greater Detroit area. FEMA declared the event the worst disaster of 2014, according to a Brethren Disaster Ministries report.

“Even now, over a year and a half later, there are still families living in homes that they have not been able to clean out and sanitize on their own,” the report said. “While this might not be their primary living space, the mold that is present is a very serious health hazard, as they are still living in the houses with no other place to go.”

Brethren Disaster Ministries is working in partnership with the Northwest Detroit Recovery Project (NwDRP) which has received funding from the United Methodist Church. The Church of the Brethren will be providing volunteer labor for the work of drywall repair, painting, and basement finishing. The work also may include cleaning out basements that have been flooded, and the safe removal of flooded materials. Volunteer housing will be at St. Raphael of Brooklyn Orthodox Church in Detroit, which is a historic monastery building.

Brethren Disaster Ministries also continues a rebuilding project in the area of Loveland, Colo., and is providing volunteers to a DRSI project in South Carolina. For more information about Brethren Disaster Ministries go to www.brethren.org/bdm .





3) Children’s Disaster Services presents new training program in Nigeria

Children's Disaster Services holds training in Nigeria, teaching a new curriculum for trauma healing for children.
Photo courtesy of Kathy Fry-Miller

Children's Disaster Services holds training in Nigeria, teaching a new curriculum for trauma healing for children.

By Kathleen Fry-Miller

Along with Paul Fry-Miller, John Kinsel, and Josh Kinsel (John’s son), I returned this week from a trip to Nigeria. While John Kinsel and I presented a new training program on trauma healing for children, on behalf of Children’s Disaster Services, Paul Fry-Miller and Norm Waggy presented medical training to 16 community health workers.

In the meantime, 10 CDS volunteers have been responding to the spring storms and flash flooding in Houston, Texas. They have cared for 154 children as of Thursday morning, April 28. The American Red Cross videotaped an interview with the CDS team in Houston, find it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQVf5lVZrpE .

Nigeria training

Fourteen women theologians including our host Suzan Mark, Women’s Ministry Director for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), attended the two-day training on trauma healing for children.

Day 1 of training was spent learning to know each other and learning about how people respond to trauma and how to support resilience. The group was then presented with the Healing Hearts Curriculum that consists of nine sessions based on the Beatitudes in Matthew 5, with accompanying Bible stories from “Shine On: A Story Bible.”

Participants received a small version of the Kit of Comfort that CDS volunteers use with children who are affected by disasters, with art materials, bean bags, and beautiful hand-made dolls and animals that Church of the Brethren congregations and individuals across the country created for this work.

Day 2 was spent completing the nine sessions and planning for the afternoon practicum at Favored Sisters school and orphanage. The practicum work was enthusiastically received by the children, as well as the trainers. A trainer shared, “One boy said he grieved before and God comforted him. Our coming also comforted him.”

Our time with the people of EYN was rich and full and our hearts grew bigger.

-- Kathleen Fry-Miller is associate director of Children’s Disaster Services. For more information go to www.brethren.org/cds .
 

4) GFCF grants support church projects in Illinois, Maryland, Spain, Honduras

Recent grants from the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) are providing support to Church of the Brethren-related projects in Illinois, Maryland, Spain, and Honduras. The four grants total $28,456.

Illinois

An allocation of $10,000 supports the community food outreach program of Champaign (Ill.) Church of the Brethren. Funds will be used for the expansion of the congregation’s community food outreach programs through the purchase and installation of a walk-in cooler. Approximately $3,500 of this grant will go to electrical work and kitchen modifications to meet local building codes.

Spain

An allocation of $5,826 supports the community garden work of Una Luz en las Naciones (A Light to the Nations), a congregation of the Church of the Brethren in Spain, located in Gijon, Asturias. This project serves between 70-75 families that have little or no employment. The grant will help cover land rental and preparation costs, the purchase of vegetable seedlings for transplanting, irrigation hoses, and fertilizers. A previous grant to this project was given in May last year, totaling $3,251.

An allocation of $5,630 supports the community garden work of Cristo la Unica Esperanza (Christ the Only Hope), a congregation of the Church of the Brethren in Spain, located in Lanzarote, the Canary Islands. This project serves between 60-70 families that have little or no regular employment. The fresh produce from the garden complements the congregation’s work with the Spanish Red Cross on canned and boxed food distributions. The grant will help cover land rental and preparation costs, and the purchase of water, seeds, and fertilizers. A previous grant to this project was given in April last year, totaling $1,825.

Honduras

An allocation of $5,000 supports Iglesia Cristiana Viviendo en Amor y Fe (VAF), a church congregation in Honduras. VAF has received support in the past from Church of the Brethren congregations in western Pennsylvania, and receives technical support from Proyecto Aldea Global (Project Global Village), a GFCF partner founded by Church of the Brethren member Chester Thomas. Funds will be used in VAF’s Culture of Peace and Economic Development project that includes both peace education and business development classes. It is anticipated that this project will have 330 direct beneficiaries in two communities, including children, teenagers, women, and men.

Maryland

An allocation of $2,000 supports expansion of the community garden work of Community of Joy Church of the Brethren in Salisbury, Md. This congregation helped to found a community gardening effort that goes by the name of Camden Community Gardens. The project wants to add two new garden sites. The grant funds will purchase lumber for raised beds and soil for the gardens. Previously this congregation received a $1,000 mini-grant through the Going to the Garden initiative of the GFCF and the Office of Public Witness.

For more about the Global Food Crisis Fund, go to www.brethren.org/gfcf .




5) Fellowship of Brethren Homes holds Forum, elects new executive committee

Participants in the Fellowship of Brethren Homes Forum 2016
Photo courtesy of the Fellowship of Brethren Homes

Participants in the Fellowship of Brethren Homes Forum 2016

By Ralph McFadden

Forum 2016 of the Fellowship of Brethren Homes took place at Brethren Hillcrest Homes in La Verne, Calif., on April 19-21. The forum was hosted by Matthew Neeley, CEO and president, and attended by 21 people. Of the 22 retirement communities in the fellowship, 13 were represented. 

The agenda for the two days included fellowship time, in-depth discussions on fundraising and development, reflections on the state of the industry, marketing, and social accountability. Business items encompassed a rich variety of topics: the budget and fee structure of the fellowship, election of the executive committee, updates on Fellowship of Brethren Homes presence at the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in Boonsboro, N.C., this summer, a video proposal from David Sollenberger, and an invitation for Forum 2107.

The executive committee for 2017 will include Jeff Shireman, CEO/president of Lebanon Valley Brethren Home in Palmyra, Pa.; Chris Widman, executive director of Good Shepherd Home in Fostoria, Ohio; Maureen Cahill, administrator of Spurgeon Manor in Dallas Center, Iowa; Ferol Labash, CEO of Pinecrest Community in Mount Morris, Ill.; and Carma Wall, CEO of the Cedars in McPherson, Kan.

David Lawrenz, administrator of Timbercrest Senior Living Community in North Manchester, Ind., invited the Fellowship of Brethren Homes to Timbercrest for the 2017 Forum. The dates for Forum 2017 will be April 17-21, 2017. 

-- Ralph McFadden is executive director of the Fellowship of Brethren Homes. Find out more about the fellowship and the Church of the Brethren-related retirement communities at www.brethren.org/homes .




6) International delegation completes racial justice pilgrimage to the United States

By Jim Winkler, from a National Council of Churches release

A World Council of Churches delegation led by WCC moderator Agnes Aboum and general secretary Olav Fykse Tveit, has just completed a two-week Racial Justice Pilgrimage to the United States. The National Council of Churches of Christ in the US (NCC) assisted in the organizing of the pilgrimage and accompanied the WCC delegation on their journey through Washington, D.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Ferguson, Mo.; and Chicago, Ill.

Delegation members were deeply troubled by the pervasiveness and depth of racism in our nation and the present climate of hostility to immigrants, Islamophobia, and racially charged rhetoric in the presidential campaign. I have little doubt their final report will be difficult for many Americans to read, but it is essential, at times, for Christian sisters and brothers from other parts of the world to hold up a mirror to us. That is part of what it means to be connected through faith to believers throughout God’s Creation.

In Ferguson, young people indicted the church and church leaders at all levels for failing to stand with them in protest against systemic racism that manifests itself in all facets of life. One of the delegation members reported that people are tired of initiatives and dialogues and said that it may be time that we take positions that will make people want to throw us off the cliff (see Luke 4:29) and that we must change our methodologies to stand more effectively alongside people who have no recourse.

We were reminded that Christians outside the United States pray that churches here will use our influence in the midst of our democratic system of government to fight for justice and peace. Doing so provides hope to them as well.

The delegation attended Wednesday night Bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston--the same Bible study at which nine church members were martyred a year ago. The pilgrimage included a visit to Ferguson, to the site of the murder of Michael Brown two years ago. And they toured the south side of Chicago to become better aware of the realities in one of the most segregated cities in the nation.

The good news is that a great deal of anti-racism work takes place in and among churches in the United States, but it sometimes feels as if it is but a drop in the bucket compared to the racism embedded in a land stolen from its native peoples and built on the backs of slaves.

It is time for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the United States. Canada, Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, and other nations have followed this course to name the ugly truths and histories they have experienced and to initiate a process of healing.

In the United States, among other things, we must account for our history of racism and of covert and overt military operations that have resulted in the deaths of millions and millions of people. There will be great resistance to this process in a land where nearly every politician worships at the altar of American exceptionalism, but if the church of Jesus Christ cannot help the nation account for its sins and ask for redemption, what is it good for?

-- Jim Winkler is president and general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA. This was first published in the NCC’s e-mail newsletter yesterday, April 28.




PERSONNEL

7) Leslie Frye resigns as director of the Ministry of Reconciliation

By Marie Benner-Rhoades, from an On Earth Peace release

Leslie Frye, director of the Ministry of Reconciliation, has resigned her position effective in June. She began work for On Earth Peace in July 2008. Throughout her tenure, she has supported and expanded the work of the Ministry of Reconciliation and On Earth Peace.

Most notably, Frye led the design, coordination, and training of the Ministers of Reconciliation. These theologically and demographically diverse teams provide a pro-active reconciliation presence in an effort to encourage safe space and to help people be their best and most faithful selves in the midst of tensions and controversy. Identified by their yellow lanyards, they served at the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in 2012, 2013, and 2014, and at National Youth Conference in 2014.

Over the years, Frye has worked closely with district Shalom Teams, key practitioners, agencies, and congregations. Upon leaving, she will remain active in reconciliation ministries and continue to serve as co-pastor of Monitor Church of the Brethren in McPherson, Kan.

-- Marie Benner-Rhoades is on the staff of On Earth Peace as Youth and Emerging Adult Peace Formation Director.




UPCOMING EVENTS

8) Bethany Theological Seminary to hold commencement ceremonies

By Jenny Williams, from a Bethany Seminary release

On Saturday, May 7, Bethany Theological Seminary will hold its commencement activities for 2016. The academic ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. in Nicarry Chapel on the campus in Richmond, Ind., with 13 students expected to graduate from the master of divinity, master of arts, and Certificate of Achievement in Theological Studies programs.
 
This year’s commencement speaker will be David Witkovsky, who has served as campus chaplain at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., since 1999. The title of his address will be “Deep Calls to Deep,” drawing from the story of Jesus and the demon-possessed man among the tombs in Mark 5:1-20. Witkovsky is an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren, having earned a master of divinity from Bethany in 1983.
 
Prior to his position at Juniata, Witkovsky served in pastoral ministry at Roaring Spring and Williamsburg Churches of the Brethren in Pennsylvania. He is also a graduate of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College and has done postgraduate work in the field of psychology. He is currently vice chair of Bethany’s board of trustees and has periodically taught courses for the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership. On the denominational level, Witkovsky has provided leadership for the Middle Pennsylvania District and convened the Voices for an Open Spirit Coordinating Council. In 2015 he completed a three-year term on the executive committee of the National Association of College and University Chaplains.
 
Admittance to the academic ceremony is by ticket only. However, the public is invited to attend a worship service that afternoon at 2:30 p.m., also in Nicarry Chapel. Planned and led by the graduates, the service will be on the theme of anointing for ministry, including a ritual of blessing for the graduates. Steven Schweitzer, academic dean, has been chosen by the graduates to speak.
 
The academic ceremony will be webcast live, and both events will be available to view as recordings. Both the live and recorded webcasts can be accessed at www.bethanyseminary.edu/webcasts .

-- Jenny Williams is director of communications for Bethany Theological Seminary.
 

9) Brethren bits

Heifer International is holding a special event at DePaul Art Museum in Chicago, Ill., titled “Beyond Hunger 2016: Communities of Change.” The event on May 19, from 6:30-8 p.m., will honor and recognize the contributions Heifer’s community of donors and volunteers make to ending hunger and poverty around the world. Participants will have an opportunity to hear about Heifer’s plans for 2016 and beyond, as well as explore the current exhibits at the museum from 6-6:30 p.m. and enjoy live music by guitarist Bruno Alcalde. The program will include Heifer International’s CEO, Pierre Ferrari, as keynote speaker. For more information contact Beth Gunzel, Community Engagement Coordinator, at 312-340-8866 or Beth.Gunzel@heifer.org .

-- Remembrance: Harriet Finney, 75, a former moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference and a former district executive for South Central Indiana District, died on April 26 at Timbercrest Senior Living Community in North Manchester, Ind. She was born Dec. 8, 1940, in Chicago, Ill., to Ammon and Blanche (Miller) Wenger. She held a degree in elementary education from Manchester College (now Manchester University); a master’s degree in education from Ball State University; and a Master of Divinity from Bethany Theological Seminary. On Aug. 19, 1962, she married Ron Finney. Early in her professional career she worked as an elementary teacher in Indiana and Colorado. Her career in ministry began at Northern Colorado Church of the Brethren, now Peace Community Church of the Brethren in Windsor, Colo., where she was licensed and ordained. She also served pastorates at churches in Indiana. From 1993-2004 she was a co-team district executive minister for South Central Indiana District, serving with her husband Ron. In 2003 she served as the moderator of Annual Conference. She retired in 2004. She was a member of Eel River Community Church of the Brethren in Silver Lake, Ind. She is survived by husband Ron Finney of North Manchester, Ind.; son David (Kate) Finney of Plymouth, Ind.; daughter Susan Finney of North Manchester, Ind.; and grandchildren. A funeral service will be held at Eel River Community Church of the Brethren in Silver Lake, Ind., at 3 p.m. today, Friday, April 29. A fellowship time will follow the service. Memorial gifts are received to Manchester Early Learning Center care of the Community Foundation of Wabash County. Find the full obituary at http://mckeemortuary.com/Obituaries.aspx .

-- Remembrance: Bryan L. Boyer, 57, a former district executive for Pacific Southwest District, and husband of Susan Boyer, a pastor at La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren, died unexpectedly on April 23. He was born in Anaheim, Calif., to Margaret and James Boyer, the youngest of four children. He held a degree in history and psychology from the University of La Verne, Calif.; a master’s degree in counseling from Cal State Fullerton; a Master of Divinity degree from Bethany Theological Seminary; and a Psy.D. degree from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. While in college he met Susan Stern and they were married in 1982. Together they had two sons, Matthew Boyer (San Francisco, Calif.) and Brett Boyer (Oakland, Calif.) who is married to Brendon Wilharber. His work life was varied and included service as a pastor, district executive minister, adjunct professor, licensed clinical psychologist, and clinic supervisor. In previous years he ran four different outpatient clinics in Indiana. For the last eight years he worked for the Department of Behavioral Health in San Bernardino County, Calif., as a clinic supervisor working with the severely and persistently mentally ill. In addition to service as a pastor, his work for the Church of the Brethren included leadership of Pacific Southwest District as district executive minister from 2003-2007. He was a member of La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren, where his memorial service will be held on Wednesday, May 4, at 2 p.m. All who wish to share in celebrating his life, mourning his death, and supporting his family are welcome to attend. Memorial gifts are received to the New Community Project.

-- Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) seeks an employee benefits specialist to fill a full-time position based at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The primary function is to perform the daily operations of the pension, insurance, and Church Workers’ Assistance Plans, and provide plan information to staff and participants, as requested. Duties include maintaining a working knowledge of all pension and insurance systems and products; reviewing and analyzing Church Workers’ Assistance Plan grant applications; maintaining/processing daily operational work for Pension and Insurance; assisting with maintaining the Pension Plan Summary Plan Description and Plan Highlights; and maintaining the Legal Plan Document Supplements. The ideal candidate will have knowledge in employee benefits, including an understanding of pension and health and welfare plans. This position requires a person who is very detail oriented, with the ability to prioritize workloads; proficient with computer systems and applications; exceptional organizational and telephone skills; and, impeccable follow-up abilities. The candidate must be able to interact effectively with customers to provide information in response to inquiries about products and services and to handle and resolve complaints. BBT seeks candidates with strong verbal and written communications skills, proficiency in Microsoft Office, and a demonstrated track record of providing superior customer service and a willingness and ability to expand knowledge and effectiveness through classes, workshops, and pursuit of professional designations. Current and active membership in the Church of the Brethren is preferred; current and active membership in a faith community is required. Salary and benefits are competitive with Church Benefits Association agencies of comparable size and scope of services. A full benefits package is included. Send a letter of interest, résumé, three professional references, and salary-range expectation to Donna March at 1505 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120, or dmarch@cobbt.org . For more information visit www.cobbt.org/careers .

-- Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill., is holding a series of Sunday school classes for adults in May focused on the subject of mental illness. The adult elective church school class on May 1, 8, and 15 will focus on mental health as a social justice issue. Speakers will include a member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and a panel of professionals working to divert mentally ill persons from the criminal justice system in Kane County, Ill., including Clint Hull, presiding judge in the Mental Health Court in the 16th Judicial Circuit Court, as well as an officer with the City of Elgin Police Department, and a supervisor of Mental Health Services at the Kane County Jail, and Rick Vander Forest, director of Social Services and Facilities.

-- The Virlina District Historical Committee is sponsoring a “150 Year Anniversary Celebration of District Work in Virginia” at Camp Bethel near Fincastle, Va., on June 11. Annual Conference moderator Andy Murray, a native of Cloverdale Church of the Brethren in Botetourt County, Va., will be the keynote speaker.

-- Residents and staff at Spurgeon Manor, a Church of the Brethren-related retirement community in Dallas Center, Iowa, will be celebrating National Nursing Home Week on May 8-14 with the theme, “It’s a Small WORLD with a Big HEART!” Events will include a Fun Fair, with games, entertainment, food, and more, as well as an afternoon of bingo on Friday, May 13 starting at 2 p.m. and followed by ice cream sundaes. An announcement noted the spirit of the celebration: “Staff and residents view each other in the spirit of family, and the daily pursuit of health and happiness occurs while recognizing the staff who face each day with a sense of purpose and compassion.” Family, friends, and community are invited to stop in to the manor during this special week.

Betty Ann Cherry

Betty Ann Cherry

-- The Juniata College commencement address will be delivered by Betty Ann Cherry of Huntingdon, Pa., a Church of the Brethren member and professor emerita of history at the college in Huntingdon. The ceremony on May 14 at 10 a.m. will be Juniata's 138th commencement. “A historian by profession, Cherry’s background is interwoven with the history of Juniata College,” said a release. The daughter of Calvert Ellis, president of Juniata College 1943-68, and Elizabeth Wertz Ellis, she was professor of history 1962-98, and was married to the late Ronald Cherry, professor of economics and business administration 1958-98. During her teaching career at the college, she taught a variety of general education courses most notably the “Great Epochs” courses, which were the first interdisciplinary, team-taught courses at Juniata. She also taught courses in the history of science, ancient Greece and medieval history. Cherry received the Beachley Award for Distinguished Academic Service in 1990 and received the Beachley Distinguished Professor Award in 1998. She was named Juniata’s “Woman of the Year” in 1995 and 1998. She is a member of the American Historical Association and Phi Alpha Theta. She received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree in 2005. Cherry remains active in the Church of the Brethren and is a former moderator at Stone Church of the Brethren in Huntingdon. She is in her second term as chair of the Middle District Pennsylvania Coordinating Team.


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Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Marie Benner-Rhoades, Jeff Boshart, Jenn Dorsch, Chris Douglas, Kathy Fry-Miller, Beth Gunzel, Russ Matteson, Nancy Miner, Andy Murray, John Wall, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren. Newsline is produced by the News Services of the Church of the Brethren. Contact the editor at cobnews@brethren.org . Newsline appears every week, with special issues as needed. Stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. The next regularly scheduled issue of Newsline is set for May 5.

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