Brethren bits for Feb. 3, 2017




Nigeria workcamp puts roof on new church building 

Global Mission and Service has lifted up two international workcamps: Eleven members of Buffalo Valley Church of the Brethren in Mifflinburg, Pa., served with Iglesia de los Hermanos, the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic, to repair the church in San Jose and to begin construction on a new church building in La Batata. In Nigeria, a workcamp was recently completed with Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), where Nigerian and American Brethren joined together to continue work started by a previous group that served in November, building a church in Pegi for EYN members displaced from Chibok. “They completed the block walls and finished most of the roof,” the mission office reported. “Participants finished the workcamp by worshipping in the new building with more than 200 EYN members.” The new roof is shown above.

-- Remembrance: Elmer Q. Gleim, a prolific writer of Brethren history and a historian of York County, Pa., died Jan. 26 at Cross Keys Brethren Home. He wrote at least 17 books and various articles of church history and local history as well as genealogical research. His contributions as a Brethren historian included “Change and Challenge; A History of the Church of the Brethren in Southern Pennsylvania,” “From These Roots; A History of the North Atlantic District of Pennsylvania,” “A Child in Their Midst, Children’s Aid Society History,” “The Brethren in the Upper Cumberland Valley (1800-1989),” “Brethren History Along the Big Conewago (1741-1991),” “Antietam Antecedents, Vol. I, and Vol. 11,” “The Brethren Home Centennial Volume, New Oxford,” “Born of a Dream, Fifty Year History of Camp Eder, Southern District of Pennsylvania,” histories of congregations, biographies, and numerous articles for the “Brethren Encyclopedia” and “Brethren Life and Thought,” among other publications. He was a regular contributor to the “Journal of York County Heritage.” He also was a Church of the Brethren minister and was a public school teacher for more than 30 years, retiring in 1980. He attended Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, the University of Pittsburgh, and Crozer Theological Seminary. He is survived by his wife of nearly 75 years, Ruth, and daughters Dianne Bowders and Robin Stahl, son Robert Gleim, and grandchildren. Find an obituary at www.ydr.com/story/news/2017/01/30/well-known-teacher-preacher-writer-historian-dies-100/97236780 .

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-- A reminder from the Youth and Young Adult Ministry office: “Don't forget that Ministry Summer Service applications are due on Monday, Feb. 6th! Click the link to apply! www.brethren.org/yya/mss .” Ministry Summer Service is an opportunity for young adults and college students to explore different ministries in congregations and church-related settings through summer internships. One opportunity for MSS is the annual Youth Peace Travel Team (YPTT).

-- “Seeking to Live the Peace of Jesus Publicly” is the title of a conversation with the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness sponsored by Pacific Southwest District. The event takes place on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 10-11:30  a.m. at Restoration Church of the Brethren in Los Angeles, Calif. The speakers are Nathan and Jennifer Hosler, who served together as mission workers in Nigeria some years ago. Nathan Hosler currently is director of the Office of Public Witness. “Our public witness is larger than legislative advocacy,” the announcement said. “Public witness points to working to find coherence between congregation life, service, advocating on policy, and questioning the values that undergird our politics. We have been reconciled and have been given a ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18). As disciples of Jesus called to go out and make disciples, we are called to embodied reconciliation.”

-- On Feb. 23, Bethany Seminary president Jeff Carter will fly to Ethiopia to attend the World Council of Churches 54th Meeting of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs in Addis Ababa. The meeting will take place from Feb. 27-March 1, according to an announcement from Carter. “I’m looking forward to this opportunity as I now serve as the Church of the Brethren’s representative to the Central Committee,” he wrote.

-- Special Valentine’s Day events are planned at the Zigler Hospitality Center at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. “Celebrate the people you love and support ministries you love!” said an invitation. An event on Feb. 11 will feature “makeovers, tea, coffee and homemade cookies, a SERRV gift certificate, and a donation supporting Brethren Disaster Ministries, Children's Disaster Services, Material Resources, and Serrv International.” A Valentine’s Brunch will be held on Feb. 12, with “a complete country brunch, plus soup and salad, scrambled eggs, home fries, sausage, bacon, chipped beef gravy, biscuits, pancakes, French toast, grits, fresh fruit, homemade sticky buns, muffins, coffee cake, sweet rolls, cookies, juice, and hot beverages. Children four and under eat for free!” Find out more at www.brethren.org/ziglerhospitality . Call 410-635-8700 with questions or to make reservations.

-- The Dayton International Peace Museum in Ohio is the newest site partner offering Agape-Satyagraha Training, reports On Earth Peace. The training will be offered as part of Teens Invention Peaceful Solutions (TIPS). Marie Benner-Rhoades, director of Youth and Young Adult Peace Formation, led a training for mentors who will work with youth each Saturday.

-- Virlina District’s Pilgrimage XXI will be held March 24-26 at Camp Bethel. In past years, “people from 58 congregations in our district have attended this event which is a spiritual retreat for adults of all ages,” reports the district newsletter. “It is for the young and old, for the new Christian and the one who has been a Christian for decades. Pilgrimage is for everyone because no matter where a person is on his or her faith journey, it is always good to take another step and draw closer to God.” The weekend will include talks, small groups, fun times, inspiring worship services, and more. For more information, go to www.experiencepilgrimage.com .

-- The 25th annual Shenandoah District Disaster Ministries Auction will be held at the Rockingham County fairgrounds in Virginia on May 19-20. Information is being sent to auction representatives in each congregation and soon will be posted on the district’s web site at www.shencob.org .

-- Northern Ohio District’s peace advocate Linda Fry is posting a blog, with the most recent post offering peacemaking tips to reduce our use of violent images in language. Find the list of tips at www.nohcob.org/blog/2017/01/31/practical-peace-making-tips .

-- Camp Mack near Milford, Ind., will hold a mortgage-burning celebration on Sunday, Feb. 19, from 2-4 p.m.

-- Brethren Woods, a Church of the Brethren camp and outdoor ministry center, has announced a “‘Trouble I’ve Seen’ Book Club” in February and March. The group will meet on Thursday evenings at Panera Bread in Harrisonburg, Va., to discuss a chapter each week. “This winter we'll be reading ‘Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism’ by Drew Hart,” said the announcement. Hart is a graduate of Lutheran Theological Seminary and has spoken at the Church of the Brethren National Young Adult Conference. Participants are asked to purchase the book and cover their own food orders, but registration is free. Brethren Woods staff will help facilitate group discussion. Visit www.brethrenwoods.org/bookclub to register.

A group of Manchester University students at the Women's March in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, 2017. A reflection on the event written by Mandy North, pastor of faith formation at Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren, has been published in Messenger Online. Find it at www.brethren.org/messenger/articles/2017/womens-march-reflection.html
Photo by Addie Neher

A group of Manchester University students at the Women's March in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, 2017. A reflection on the event written by Mandy North, pastor of faith formation at Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren, has been published in Messenger Online. Find it at www.brethren.org/messenger/articles/2017/womens-march-reflection.html

-- Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind., “sent over a hundred students and community members to the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21,” reported On Earth Peace in an e-mail newsletter this week. “The overall atmosphere of the march was peaceful; no arrests were made, and the group witnessed nothing other than kindness and respect between the police force and the marchers,” the report said, in part. Addie Neher, who has begun as the newsletter editor, commented, “As a racially diverse woman living in the United States, I felt a responsibility to attend the march. Not only for me, but for my fellow people who are losing their footing in this forever-altered world.... Love is what brings us together. Hate will tear us apart. Nonviolence, compassion, and understanding will lead me forward in this struggle.”

-- Bridgewater (Va.) College will present an international film festival Feb. 15-16. Both films will be shown at 7 p.m. in the Boitnott Room on campus. “American East” will be screened on Wednesday, Feb. 15. “A 2008 film, American East is a drama about Arab-Americans living in post-9/11 Los Angeles,” said a release. “The story highlights the pressures under which many Arab-Americans live by focusing on the points-of-view of three main characters.” The film “A Bottle in the Gaza Sea” will be shown on Thursday, Feb. 16. The release described it as “a 2011 drama about the friendship that develops between a 20-year-old Palestinian and Tal Levine, a 17-year old Israeli immigrant. When a terrorist explosion kills a young woman at a café in Jerusalem, Levine writes a letter, puts it in a bottle, and sends it to Gaza--to the other side--beginning a correspondence with a young Palestinian man that will open their eyes to each other’s lives and hearts.” Both films are open to the public at no charge.

-- “Lent Is a Time of Reflection” is the title of the Lenten Spiritual Disciplines folder put out by Springs of Living Water, an initiative for church renewal. The folder offer a theme with a scripture for each day of the season. Springs initiative also is suggesting additional resources for use by congregations during Lent, to enhance spiritual reflection. For more information go to  the Springs website at www.churchrenewalservant.org or contact David and Joan Young at davidyoung@churchrenewalservant.org or 717-615-4515.

-- “Subscribe now to the NCC Podcast!” invites the National Council of Churches. Every week NCC communications director Steven D. Martin interviews faith leaders, activists, and people from across the NCC’s 38 member communions and affiliated organizations. This week the podcast features Churches for Middle East Peace and two Israeli leaders who have traveled across America on a “Pilgrimage for Peace.” “Hear their perspectives, their concerns for their land, and their hopes for peace and reconciliation,” said the announcement. Subscribe to the podcast in the iTunes Store, Stitcher Radio, and iHeartRadio, or go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/national-council-churches/id1082452069 for more information. 

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