Brethren Bits for Sept. 7, 2018




In this issue: Corrections, Remembering Matthew Meyer and Laura Abernathy, anniversaries, Brethren college news, Election Day love feast, district conferences, and more news by, for, and about Brethren.

Corrections: In the Aug. 24 edition of Newsline, the final speaker at the Sixth Brethren World Assembly was misidentified. Jared Burkholder of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches gave the final address on Saturday evening. And in the same issue, Barbra Davis’ position was incorrectly given in the “Brethren bits” section. Davis grew up in the Ankeny (Iowa) congregation but now serves as pastor of several congregations in the Kansas City area. Barbara Wise Lewczak is serving as interim pastor at Ankeny.

Matthew Meyer

Matthew Meyer, who served the Church of the Brethren General Board from 1979 to 1993, passed away on Aug. 27 in Geneva, Ill. Meyer, 90, served as director of evangelism and Annual Conference manager during his denominational tenure and also helped to re-establish National Youth Conference in the early 1970s. An ordained minister, he also served pastorates in California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, and he served as a Seagoing Cowboy with Heifer International in 1946. He was an alumnus of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, Bethany Theological Seminary, and Claremont (Calif.) School of Theology. A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at 11 a.m. Sept. 22 at Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill.

Laura Abernathy, who was a significant contributor to the disability ministries of the Association of Brethren Caregivers through the Disabilities Network, died Aug. 10. Abernathy, 96, was for many years the voice of “Messenger on Tape” that was distributed to visually impaired people throughout the United States. She was an alumnus of Manchester College (North Manchester, Ind.), Michigan State University, and DePaul University. A celebration of life service will be held Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. at Fairwood Golf & Country Club in Renton, Wash.

Laurel Branch Church of the Brethren in Floyd County, Va., will celebrate its 100th anniversary on Sept. 30. It was a meeting point of the Topeco Church of the Brethren prior to becoming a separate congregation.

Spring Run Church of the Brethren (McVeytown, Pa.) will celebrate the 160th anniversary of the dedication of its church building Oct. 6-7. It will include love feast Saturday evening and worship, a fellowship lunch, and program on Sunday, along with a historical display.

Beaver (Iowa) Church of the Brethren will hold a closing worship service at 11 a.m. this Saturday, Sept. 8, followed by lunch. The service will celebrate 117 years of ministry at the church.

Brethren Woods (Keezletown, Va.) will again hold an Election Day love feast, on Tuesday, Nov. 6. “Another divisive election season is heating up,” said an announcement from the camp, located in Shenandoah District. “No doubt we will sit next to people in the pews who vote differently than we do. This doesn’t have to divide us. Come together on election night to make the same choice together, Jesus Christ.”

For the latest Brethren news go to the main Newsline page

Camp Blue Diamond (Petersburg, Pa.) will hold its annual Heritage Fair on Sept. 22. The day includes food, a 5K run, music, crafts, children’s activities, a dunk tank, and an auction.

Bridgewater (Va.) College will mark Constitution Day and the International Day of Peace with a lecture from Allen W. Groves, university dean of students at the University of Virginia, on Sept. 19. His topic: “Free Speech at a Crossroads: How a Core Constitutional Value Can Move Us Towards a Deeper Understanding of Difference, Critical to Peace.”

McPherson (Kan.) College is marking the 100th anniversary of its theater program with a production of “The Hourglass,” by William Butler Yates, Sept. 6-8, according to a report in the “McPherson Sentinel.” The play was first performed in the college’s Mingenback Theater in 1918.

The fifth “Asamblea” (annual conference) of Iglesia Evangélica de los Hermanos—Una Luz en Las Naciones (the Church of the Brethren in Spain) is taking place this weekend in Gijon, Spain. The conference theme is “Widening the Harvest.”

District conference season continues with several meetings scheduled in the next few weeks. Northern Indiana meets Sept. 14-15 at Camp Mack in Milford, Ind.; South/Central Indiana meets Sept. 15 at Grandview Church of the Brethren (Pendleton, Ind.); Missouri/Arkansas also meets Sept. 14-15 at the Windermere Conference Center (Roach, Mo.), as does Southern Pennsylvania at Newville (Pa.) Church of the Brethren; Pacific Northwest meets Sept. 21-23 at Camp Myrtlewood (Myrtle Point, Ore.); and West Marva meets Sept. 21-22 at Moorefield (W.Va.) Church of the Brethren.

Northern Plains held its district conference Aug. 3-5 at South Waterloo (Iowa) Church of the Brethren. Delegates called Lucinda Douglas as moderator-elect, voted to disorganize Beaver Church of the Brethren, and adopted a budget of $109,160.

Shenandoah District is leaving the moderator position open this fall after the sudden death of district moderator Richi Yowell in July. The district leadership team has instead called four people to provide leadership: former moderator Jonathan Brush will convene Saturday business; Jon Prater of the District Discernment Team will share the first read of that team’s work; David Miller will oversee action on the constitution; and district leadership team chair Wayne Pence will do the delegate briefing. Shenandoah’s district conference is scheduled for Nov. 2-3 at Antioch Church of the Brethren (Woodstock, Va.).

Bittersweet Gospel Band concert invitation

The Bittersweet Gospel Band is doing a five-district tour this fall. Stops include Antioch Church of the Brethren (Rocky Mount, Va.) Sept. 26; Verona (Va.) Community Center Sept. 27; Easton (Md.) Church of the Brethren Sept. 28; Lampeter (Pa.) Church of the Brethren Sept. 29; and Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren and Bermudian Church of the Brethren (East Berlin, Pa.) Sept. 30, with worship concerts at each location. Band members include Gilbert Romero, Scott Duffey, Thomas Dowdy, Leah Hileman, Trey Curry, Andy Duffey, David Sollenberger, and Tyler Roebuck.

Jay and Marlene Grossnickle, members of Lakeview Church of the Brethren, served as grand marshals of this year’s “Brethren Days” parade in Brethren, Mich., on Sept. 2, according to a report in the Manistee (Mich.) News Advocate.

Brethren writer Frank Ramirez and composer Steve Engle have penned a new musical, “The White Buggy,” which will premiere at the Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres in Nappanee, Ind., Sept. 17. Ramirez and Engle have been working on the production for the past four years. The action centers around the workings of an Amish-Mennonite weekly newspaper.

The White Buggy cast photo

Episode 65 of the “Dunker Punks Podcast” features Manchester University student Nolan McBride, sharing after his semester spent in England about his experience of a pilgrimage and confirmation ceremony. The latest episode is available at http://bit.ly/DPP_Episode65, or subscribe on iTunes:http://bit.ly/DPP_iTunes.

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