Newsline for Feb. 23, 2018

Write the vision
Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

“Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain” (Habakkuk 2:2).

1) Leadership Team moves compelling vision process forward
2) New international partnership welcomes seminary students

3) Bethany Seminary hires new executive director of finance

4) Brethren bits: Remembering J. Wayne Judd and Betty Alverta Young, job openings, internships, Advocacy Summit of Churches for Middle East Peace, upcoming courses from the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, and more


1) Leadership Team moves compelling vision process forward

A release from the Leadership Team of the Church of the Brethren

Through recent Annual Conference decisions* the delegate body has called the Leadership Team along with the Council of District Executives to develop a process through which the church will engage in conversations that will lead us to a “compelling vision” for our life together.  

The Council of District Executives has joined hands with the Leadership Team to form a Compelling Vision Working Group (CVWG), comprising general secretary David Steele, 2018 Annual Conference moderator Samuel Sarpiya, 2019 Annual Conference moderator Donita Keister, Annual Conference director Chris Douglas, and two district executives chosen by council, Colleen Michael and John Janzi. The 2020 Annual Conference Moderator will join this group following the 2018 Annual Conference.

In recent months, this group has set in place a process by which the church will be led through a time of visioning beginning with Annual Conference 2018 and continuing through Annual Conference 2019. It is our hope that this process will result in a distinctive new beginning for our life together as the Church of the Brethren. The process is intended to move us beyond our conversations, debates, and official statements to living out the steps that will move us forward with vision and purpose as we proclaim and serve Christ together.  

One might inquire as to what kind of vision would be so attention-grabbing, convincing, powerful, and irresistible that it would merit a description of “compelling”? While we cannot anticipate how God will work through a body of believers seeking his vision, we can answer that such a vision can only be anchored in Jesus Christ. As leadership of this visioning process, the Compelling Vision Working Group has embraced the following guiding statement as foundational to the visioning framework and process:

“Confessing Jesus Christ as Teacher, Redeemer, and Lord, we desire to serve Him by proclaiming, professing, and walking in His way together bringing His peace to our broken world. Join us in reclaiming a new passion for Christ and helping set a course for our future as the Church of the Brethren serving Him in our communities and in the world!”

It is our intention that conversations about this vision will start with Jesus Christ as the center of our existence as a denomination. The CVWG is in the process of calling out seven individuals from across the denomination who will work during Annual Conference 2018 and 2019 and also alongside district gatherings to engage the church in conversations that will generate themes which lead us to a compelling vision with a distinctive direction for the Church of the Brethren. These seven individuals along with the 2018 moderator Samual Sarpiya, 2019 moderator Donita Keister, and Annual Conference director Chris Douglas will form the Compelling Vision Process Team. Both the CVWG and the Compelling Vision Process Team will remain constant in their membership until the process reaches its conclusion.

During Annual Conference 2018, one full business session and a portion of a second will be structured to begin the visioning process. Following the 2018 Annual Conference, it is hoped that each district will have at least one district gathering in order to provide input to the development of a denominational vison statement. At Annual Conference 2019 the Conference will be primarily dedicated, including most of the business sessions, to the development of a compelling vision for the Church of the Brethren. The Compelling Vision Process Team will plan these Annual Conference sessions, compile the data generated during sessions, synthesize themes that emerge, and report those themes back to the Annual Conference for affirmation. Following Annual Conference 2019 the CVWG, in consultation with the Compelling Vision Process Team, will oversee the articulation of the final Compelling Vision product that will inform our life together going forward.

The Leadership Team and Council of District Executives are aware that this process will be greeted in a variety of ways across the denomination. For some it may be difficult to imagine a denomination divided around issues of biblical interpretation and authority can ever find a common vision together. For others, cynicism and mistrust of leadership may cause disinterest in the process. Whatever our challenges, it is our hope and prayer that the longing to be the church Christ has called us to be, and the desire to see God’s Holy Spirit work a miracle in and among us will compel us forward to see God’s vision revealed as we gather and seek him together. We ask for your prayers as these groups work to plan and carry out this process. We encourage all congregations to be present in these conversations bringing your unique contributions and sharing in the hard work of discovering God’s plan for how we will continue to be the body of Christ in this broken world.    

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible’” (Mark 10:27).

*231st Recorded Annual Conference, Minutes June 28-July 2, 2017, p. 281

2) New international partnership welcomes seminary students

by Jenny Williams, Bethany Seminary

Dan Ulrich leads the combined class of Bethany and EYN students
Photo courtesy of Bethany Seminary

Dan Ulrich leads the combined class of Bethany and EYN students

On Jan. 2, six students in Jos, Nigeria, joined 11 students at Bethany Theological Seminary for class without so much as noticing the ocean between them. It marked the realization of the new educational partnership between Bethany and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), which will make Bethany courses available to EYN students at a distance.
To reach this milestone in little more than a year took the work of administrators, contractors, construction workers, faculty in both countries, donors, technology experts, admissions and student development staff, EYN leaders, and the students themselves. Offering courses in real time between continents required the construction of a technology center in the city of Jos with classrooms patterned after the technology classrooms at Bethany. Cameras capture images of all students in the classroom on each campus, and the images are transmitted via Zoom technology to a large wall monitor in the partner classroom halfway around the world. Planning of the facility began in late 2016, and construction extended from July to December 2017 (see photos on the Bethany website).
The EYN students were required to take orientation sessions over a period of three weeks in late fall 2017, which included English classes and preparation for an English proficiency test. In the following weeks, they prepared for the first course offered through the partnership, “Global Perspectives on Scripture: 1 Corinthians.” The two-week intensive course was team taught by Dan Ulrich, Wieand Professor of New Testament Studies at Bethany, and Pandang Yamsat, New Testament scholar and chief executive director of the Center for Value and Attitudinal Reawakening in Nigeria. EYN students were able to take the course at no charge.
A primary outcome for both Nigerian and US students, Ulrich says, was learning that Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians is relevant in different ways in dramatically different cultural contexts. In these discussions, the class also noted different causes of division. “Tribal loyalties play a different role in Nigeria than in the United States, and political polarization looks very different in the United States than in Nigeria. Yet in each case, divisions in surrounding cultures are challenging the unity of Christ's body. The work of healing communities may look different in our diverse contexts, but we each could affirm that the values Paul taught, such as humility and love, are essential to that work. Also essential is the hard work of communicating across cultural and theological differences.”
Connections student Naomi Kraenbring says that “it was encouraging to speak in real time with our sisters and brothers on the other side of the globe, interpreting scripture together. I left excited about discovering additional intercultural connections in my own life where I can engage with others to come to deeper understandings of our sacred texts, varied cultural contexts, and unique personhoods.”
A dedication ceremony for the new technology center was held on Jan. 8 with approximately 200 in attendance, including dignitaries from EYN and other denominations, government, and higher education. Bethany was represented by president Jeff Carter; Mark Lancaster, executive director of institutional advancement; and Musa Mambula, international scholar in residence from Nigeria. Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission and Service for the Church of the Brethren, and Jay Oberholtzer accompanied the group. Oberholtzer is a deacon at Middle Creek Church of the Brethren, a strong supporter and promoter of the partnership project.
Carter gave one of the addresses during the ceremony. “Our educational partnership was born out of a common vision to create pathways for students in Nigeria to study with students in the United States, either physically or virtually via technology.... By learning together and engaging the work of ministry founded upon the study of scripture, the church gains a larger vision of the world God loves.”
Lancaster’s reflection on the event acknowledges the many people who made the technology center possible. “As together we lived in to the reality that this incredible technology center had been completed on time and together we had launched our first global class, it began to dawn upon us all that what we had created was much more than a high tech building: it was the beginning of hope for the future for EYN.” The $200,000 cost of the center was covered by individual and congregational donors within the Church of the Brethren and with $25,000 from Bethany to complete the project.
Beginning Feb. 19, a new advisory board for the partnership will begin its work to maintain the program, meeting virtually from the Bethany classroom and the technology center in Jos. EYN and Bethany will each appoint their respective members. Bethany will take the lead on an education plan, and EYN will develop a business plan and budget, working toward self-sustainability of the center. The education director for EYN will also be directly involved in recruiting future students for graduate-level study.

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

3) Bethany Seminary hires new executive director of finance

by Jenny Williams, Bethany Seminary
Tammy Glenn of Centerville, Ind., has been hired as executive director of finance and administration at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. She will assume her new duties on March 1.
In her role as controller for the seminary, Glenn will oversee financial planning and accounting operations and will manage seminary investments in consultation with the consultant firm, Concord Advisory Group. Additional responsibilities include human resources, routine and long-term maintenance of and improvements to buildings and grounds, and oversight of lease agreements for residents of Bethany housing. Glenn also will serve as treasurer for the board of trustees, enabling her to act in legal capacities for the seminary.
Glenn brings 13 years of experience as controller for the city of Richmond, preparing and managing the city budget, addressing all departmental financing needs, overseeing accounting and payroll, reporting to state government bodies, and serving as financial analyst for the mayor and city council. More recently she held the positions of payroll and account services coordinator for Indiana University East and finance manager for Area 9 In-Home and Community Services Agency, both in Richmond.
-- Jenny Williams is director of communications at Bethany Theological Seminary.

4) Brethren bits

Dominique Gilliard, director of Racial Righteousness and Reconciliation for the Evangelical Covenant Church, led the Church of the Brethren staff gathering this week at our denomination's General Offices.
Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

Dominique Gilliard, director of Racial Righteousness and Reconciliation for the Evangelical Covenant Church, led the Church of the Brethren staff gathering this week at our denomination's General Offices.

-- Remembrance: J. Wayne Judd, 82, of Bridgewater, Va., passed away on Feb. 14. In addition to pastoral ministry in Illinois, Idaho, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, he served the larger denomination as a member of the former Church of the Brethren General Board from 1996 to 2001. He was born in Luray, Va., in 1935, son of the late J. E. Bergie Judd and Pearl (Cave) Judd. He was married in 1963 to Patricia (Stinson) Judd. During his term in Brethren Volunteer Service, he worked at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation with the Lakota people. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Bridgewater College, a master of divinity from Bethany Theological Seminary, and a doctor of ministry from Bethany. In addition, he received certification in Clinical Pastoral Education. His volunteer service for the church included participation in Pastors for Peace, which led him to drive in a convoy of trucks to Nicaragua. In addition he was involved in Brethren Disaster Relief in Puerto Rico as well as other locations. Surviving in addition to his wife are two sons, Phil Judd, and wife, Michele, of Harrisonburg, Va., and Marty Judd and wife, Courtney, of Weyers Cave, Va., and grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at Bridgewater Church of the Brethren, where he was a member, on Sunday, Feb. 25, at 4 p.m. A full obituary is at .

-- Remembrance: Betty Alverta Young, 93, former long-time employee at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., died on Feb. 8 in Westminster, Md. She served for 22 years at the Brethren Service Center as manager of the International Gift Shop, retiring in 1984. Born in 1924 in New Windsor, she was the daughter of the late Russell A. and Gwendolyn Cartzendafner Lindsay. She was married to Ralph M. Young, who predeceased her in 2000. She was a member of Westminster Church of the Brethren. Surviving are two sons, Gary L. Young and wife Vicki of New Windsor, and William B. Young of Westminster; grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. She was predeceased by daughter Susan Young. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Find a full obituary at .

-- The following two open positions at Bethany Theological Seminary are in the Admissions and Student Services Department and have immediate start dates.
     Admissions Recruiter to oversee direct contact with potential students to help generate robust enrollment at Bethany Theological Seminary and work with students to complete the full application process. This person will engage in face-to-face interactions and must be able to demonstrate excitement and enthusiasm in a wide variety of recruitment situations. This position requires extensive travel within the United States. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications. Qualifications include admissions experience and a bachelor’s degree in a theological field, preferred; a bachelor’s degree in a nontheological field with admissions experience is acceptable. Affinity with the values and mission of the seminary is required and an understanding of the Church of the Brethren, in the Anabaptist-Pietist tradition, is preferred. Applicant should demonstrate knowledge of multicultural competency and the ability to communicate and interact with potential students. Communication will be needed with individuals at all levels of denominational involvement as well as higher educational structures (e.g., program chairs, school officials and faculty). Applicants should demonstrate strong interpersonal and oral and written communication skills, a collaborative working style, self-motivation, and task-management skills. The use of social media and electronic communication is expected.
     Director of Student Development and Alumni Relations to have primary responsibility to design, implement, and review a student development plan and a retention plan for Bethany students. The director will lead a vibrant program to engage Bethany alumni, collaborating with the Institutional Advancement Department when appropriate. This is an opportunity for a person with strengths in caring for details and supporting colleagues in the mission of the Admissions and Student Services Department. Qualifications include a minimum of a master’s degree; a master of divinity is preferred. Affinity with the values and mission of the seminary is required. Qualified applicants will be personable and able to be self-directed, manage a complex workload with attention to details, offer support to colleagues, and have the ability to connect with current students as they become alumni. Multitasking skills are needed to manage the current student development needs while working to connect with alumni, regionally and nationally, in various ways.
     For a complete job descriptions, visit . Application review will begin immediately and will continue until appointments are made. To apply send a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for three references to or by mail to Attn: Lori Current, Bethany Theological Seminary, 615 National Road West, Richmond, IN 47374. Bethany Theological Seminary’s policy prohibits discrimination in employment opportunities or practices with regard to race, gender, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, or religion.

-- The World Council of Churches (WCC) seeks a director for the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism, a position located in Geneva, Switzerland. Starting date is Sept. 1. Contract duration is four years. Objectives are to lead, inspire, and direct the work of Mission and Evangelism, sustaining and developing close relationship with the commission and promoting programmatic work conducted within the framework of the WCC towards the visible unity of church. Responsibilities include to support the work of the commission, prepare its meetings and coordinate reporting follow up; give leadership to the mission and evangelism team, ensuring the planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting projects and activities and the implementation of plans within the approved WCC budgets and policies; help churches and missionary bodies or movements to dialogue on each other’s understanding and practices of mission and evangelism, with a view to enhance common witness and mission in unity; develop a network of relationships with persons and bodies responsible for and/or involved in mission and evangelism within the WCC’s member churches, affiliated bodies and a wider constituency, including Evangelical and Pentecostal churches and movements; be responsible for training in mission and evangelism, and for organizing seminars on these and related topics in different parts of the world, if needed in cooperation with the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey; inspire theological reflection on the ecumenical understanding and practices of mission and evangelism through regular publication of the International Review of Mission; work together with staff in other programmatic and transversal areas ensuring an integrated approach in the council’s work. Qualifications include a university degree in theology, preferably in missiology; a minimum of five years of experience and a strong track record in project management, preferably in an international, ecumenical, and/or church-related environment; ability to represent, interpret, and communicate the positions of the WCC to partners, intergovernmental organizations, other stakeholders, and WCC constituencies; excellent command of written and spoken English; knowledge of other working languages of the WCC (Spanish, French, and/or German) is an asset; sensitivity to multicultural and ecumenical settings with respect to gender, race, disability, and age diversity; prepared to travel up to 20 percent of work time. The deadline for applications is April 30. Full applications (curriculum vitae, motivation letter, application form, copies of diplomas, and recommendation letters) are to be sent to . The application form is available at . The WCC is an equal opportunity employer. The sole criteria for recruitment, training, and career opportunities are qualification, skills, experience, and performance to all its staff members.

-- The World Council of Churches (WCC) invites applications of church-engaged young adults to undertake an internship with the council at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2018. Through the participation of young adults already actively involved in their churches, the program’s overarching goal is to strengthen church and ecumenical relations among member churches as well as to create benefits for young adults through capacity building, ecumenical formation, international and multicultural exposure, among other things. The internship offers an 18-month program for four young people aged 21-29. Interns are assigned to work for 12 months at the WCC offices in Geneva in one of the program areas of the WCC. This is then followed by a six-month work placement in the intern’s own country. Available work areas include Communication, Health and Healing, Just Community of Women and Men, and Commission of the Churches on International Affairs. The application deadline is March 15. For more information, contact .

-- Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is seeking applicants for its Peacemaker Corps. “Join us in building partnerships to transform violence and oppression!” said an invitation. The application deadline is March 15. Direct questions and send completed applications to . Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have participated in, or plan to participate in, a short-term CPT delegation or internship. Qualified applicants will be invited to participate in CPT’s intensive, month-long training from July 7-Aug. 7, in which membership in the Peacemaker Corps is discerned. Trained Peacemaker Corps members are eligible to apply for open positions on CPT teams. Contact for the location of the July 2018 training. CPT builds partnerships to transform violence and oppression in situations of lethal conflict around the world, and seeks individuals who are capable, responsible, and rooted in faith and spirituality to work for peace as members of violence-reduction teams trained in the disciplines of nonviolence. For more go to .

-- The Seminar on Christian Minority Communities that was to be hosted by the Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C., on March 2 has been cancelled due to a lack of registrations.
-- The Office of Public Witness is sharing information about the 2018 annual Advocacy Summit of Churches for Middle East Peace, to be held in Washington, D.C. The theme “And Still We Rise” is inspired by the Maya Angelou poem. The summit will highlight women peacemakers from the Middle East from multiple faith traditions. Dates are June 17-19. Location is Lutheran Church of the Reformation at 212 E. Capitol St. NE. Men and women are invited to participate. Register before March 1 for an early-bird discount. Register at .

-- Upcoming courses from the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership include “What Brethren Believe,” a weekend intensive at McPherson (Kan.) College on April 12-15, taught by Denise Kettering-Lane (registration deadline is March 5); “Bi-Vocational Ministry,” an online course held from Aug. 8-Oct. 2 with instructor Sandra Jenkins (registration deadline is July 3); “Introduction to Hebrew Scriptures” on Oct. 17-Dec. 11 with instructor Matt Boersma (registration deadline is Sept. 12). The Brethren Academy is a ministry training partnership of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Bethany Theological Seminary. Most courses offered through the academy are open to ministry students, pastors, and laypeople. Course formats include residential intensives at Bethany Seminary, intensives at a variety of locations around the United States, and online courses. Find more information at .

-- The latest Boko Haram mass kidnapping in Nigeria recalls the kidnapping of the Chibok schoolgirls in 2014, says a blogpost on the Council of Foreign Relations website. The blogpost was shared with Newsline by the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness. “On February 20, Boko Haram attacked the Government Girls Science and Technical School, a girls’ boarding school roughly equivalent to a high school in the United States, in Dapchi, less than 50 miles south of the Niger border in Yobe state,” the blogpost says. “Witnesses told US media that the Boko Haram convoy consisted of nine vehicles, including two with machine guns on the roof. The uniformed Boko Haram fighters opened fire as they entered the village and proceeded directly to the school. There are contradictory reports about the number of girls they kidnapped and how many were subsequently rescued by the Nigerian army. Witnesses credibly say that more than 90 were kidnapped, more than 70 were rescued, and that 2 girls were killed.”

-- In more news from Nigeria, the staff liaison for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) Markus Gamache has reported on continuing presence of Boko Haram in some communities in Yobe and Borno States. “Contrary to some reports from the federal forces that the Boko Haram hangouts in Sambisa Forest have been cleared, we still live in fear in some towns, villages, and federal roads,” he wrote in a recent email to Global Mission and Service. “On 17th of February some of our EYN pastors narrowly escaped attack by Boko Haram from Chibok, Damboa, and Maiduguri roads.” At the time, Gamache was in Chibok working on a well drilling project. He added that some EYN pastors that traveled the roads that day were lucky to travel early and were not among those robbed by Boko Haram fighters, who succeeded in robbing trucks and cars full of food stuffs and other valuables. No casualties were recorded.

-- Kevin Kinsey, pastor at Central Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va., is featured in a news article about a coalition of five downtown churches planning a six-week Wednesday night discussion series. “From Confession to Communion” centers on how privilege and marginalization affect the lives of community members. The idea developed out of a meeting to discuss how to improve community relations across race and class. The group chose a historically black congregation as the location for the series. Find the full article online at .

-- First Church of the Brethren in York, Pa., gathered Sunday night to honor victims of the Florida school shooting, reports Fox 43 News. “Pastor Joel Gibbel has a message for many of us who have concerns about the safety and out country's future,” the report said, quoting the pastor: “Go and do work, go and do advocacy, go serve neighbors in need. Go with hope instead of fear. I think as a nation we need to begin to live courageously with love instead of fear.” Find a video report of the event at .

-- The leadership team of Illinois and Wisconsin District has approved moving forward with Joshua Longbrake in developing the Church of the Table, a new church plant in Chicago, Ill. Church of the Table will begin meeting on Saturday, May 26, at 5:30 p.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church (3857 N. Kostner Rd, Chicago). Services will be held on Saturdays weekly thereafter. Find out more at .

-- Northern Ohio District’s Fellowship Commission is sponsoring a Disabilities Ministry Training on March 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mohican Church of the Brethren. Lunch will be provided. A $5 donation is suggested for attendance. Register online at .

-- The Global Women’s Project (GWP) has published a “Year of Challenges” to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2018, issuing one challenge each month. January’s was to think of “one woman who is at least 40 years old who inspires you and empowers you to be a force for good” and to contact her or write about her. In February, the challenge is to supporters to invite friends to join in the project’s voluntary “luxury tax” as a way to support women. In March, for International Women’s Day, donations are received in honor of all women and girls. In April, GWP is encouraging donations of basic personal hygiene items to a women’s or family shelter near you. In May, Global Women’s Project has an annual event for Mother’s Day, receiving donations in honor of physical and/or spiritual mothers. In June, Brethren are invite to tax themselves a dollar for each ice cream or other frozen dessert eaten. July’s challenge is to thank a woman who is a church or spiritual leader, or to nominate a woman for a leadership position in the church. The challenge for August is a “Refrigerator Tax” of a quarter for every condiment in your refrigerator (post photos of condiment collections at ). September, during back-to-school month, find out the percentage of children on free or reduced lunch in your local school district and donate a pantry item to your local food bank for each percentage point. In October, participants are invited to visit the project’s website and learn more about one of the GWP’s partner projects, at . In November, supporters may count the number of books by female authors on their shelves and share about a favorite on Facebook. December’s challenge is for a “Reverse Advent Calendar” in which one item is donated to a food pantry, shelter, or other local humanitarian group for each day of Advent.

-- A group of students from Bridgewater (Va.) College “will trade suntan lotion and swim suits for hammers and tool belts” over spring break, reports a release from the school. The group will spend spring break volunteering as construction workers with Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge Spring Break 2018. The four students and Robbie Miller, chaplain, will work with Habitat for Humanity’s Washington County affiliate in Abingdon, Va., from March 4-10. “This is the 26th year that Bridgewater College students have used spring break to work on various Habitat projects, including three trips to Miami and one each to Atlanta, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Independence, Mo. and Austin, Texas,” the release said.

-- A new Dunker Punks Podcast Episode has been uploaded. “Where does social power come from? Laura Weimer joins us again to go in depth on privilege and power and some new insights she’s gained through studying social work. She asks some challenging questions for us to reflect on,” said an announcement. The Dunker Punks Podcast is an audio show created by more than a dozen Brethren young adults from across the country. Listen to the latest on the episode page: or subscribe on iTunes:

-- The Inner Light Academy at Cross Keys Village-the Brethren Home Community in New Oxford, Pa., has been offering an Early Stage Support Group to persons living with a diagnosis of dementia their and caregivers since 2015. The next eight-week session will start on March 12 in Gettysburg, Pa. “The first months and years following a diagnosis of dementia are especially difficult for the person living with the disease and for close caregivers,” said an announcement. “Life appears near-normal one minute, hopeless the next, and it is tempting to shy away from all social situations. This isolation, in turn, can worsen some effects of the disease.” Find details and registration at .

--  This spring semester, the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College holds its annual lecture series focusing on the culture of the Church of the Brethren, Amish, and Mennonites. On Feb. 20, Janneken Smucker, recipient of the Dale Brown Book Award, presented a lecture on the deeper meaning of quilts. On March 22, as part of the Durnbaugh Lecture Series, Samuel and Rebecca Dali present the annual Durnbaugh Lecture on the Boko Haram crisis and the Centre for Caring, Empowerment and Peace Initiatives (CCEPI), at 7:30 p.m. in the Gibble Auditorium. That evening, the Young Center holds its annual banquet starting at 6 p.m. in the Susquehanna Room of Myer Hall. Cost is $23, reservations must be made by March 8. Prior to the banquet, a reception welcoming the Durnbaugh Lecture speakers begins at 5:30 p.m. Continuing the Durnbaugh Lecture series, the Dalis will further discuss the impact of the Boko Haram at 10 a.m., Friday, March 23, in the Susquehanna Room of Myer Hall. On April 17 Tony Walsh presents the Kreider Fellow Lecture on the Old German Baptist Brethren at 7:30 p.m. in Hoover 212. Walsh is director of the Centre for the Study of Irish Protestantism and co-director of the Centre for Transformative Narrative Research at Maynooth University, County Kildare, Ireland. All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Young Center at 717-361-1470 or .

-- Every year since 2008, during the Lent season, the Ecumenical Water Network connects with churches, faith-based organizations, and individuals through the Seven Weeks for Water effort that raises awareness around World Water Day on March 22. The World Council of Churches’ Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace has a regional focus on Latin America in 2018. Accordingly, the Seven Weeks for Water in 2018 will takes participants on a pilgrimage of water justice in Latin America via online resources and reflections. Find out more at .

Newsline is the e-mail news service of the Church of the Brethren. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. Please send news tips and submissions to the editor, Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren, at . Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Victoria Bateman, Jacob Crouse, Markus Gamache, Kendra Harbeck, Kevin Kessler, Nancy Miner, Tina Rieman, Jenny Williams.

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