Newsline for June 15, 2019




Candle with scripture text: Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom
Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).

NEWS
1) Anabaptist Church Consultation on the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service
2) Thriving in Ministry completes survey of multivocational pastors
3) General secretary signs letter about war in Yemen
4) Xenos Project is launched by Intercultural Ministries
5) Atlantic Northeast District ministry commission shares update on recent work
6) Pacific Southwest District shares support to those affected by Camp Fire

PERSONNEL
7) Christine and Josiah Ludwick complete year of work in Rwanda
8) Ministry Summer Service interns begin ministry placements

9) Brethren bits: NJHC, personnel and jobs, Nigeria update, We Are Able, Conference on Drone Warfare, “Why We Can’t Wait,” course on Brethren history, Juneteenth in Chicago, “Candid Conversations” in Denver, tornado response in S. Ohio/Kentucky, cuts at Elizabethtown, more


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Quote of the week:

“Celebration rises, up from the deep places,
finding voice in the light and air no longer denied.”
 
-- An excerpt from Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) worship resources for Juneteenth. The National Council of Churches shared the ELCA worship resources for the annual June 19 celebration of freedom from slavery. It was on June 19, 1865--more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was made on Jan. 1, 1863--before slaves were freed in the last two states to do so, Texas and Louisiana. Find the worship resources at http://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Juneteenth_observance_0619.pdf .

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Anabaptist Church Consultation on the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service on June 4, 2019, in Akron, Pa., was hosted by Mennonite Central Committee US (MCC). Speakers included (from left) J. Ron Byler, executive director of Mennonite Central Committee U.S.; Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach, director of the MCC U.S. Washington Office; Donald Kraybill, senior fellow emeritus of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College.
Photos by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

Anabaptist Church Consultation on the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service on June 4, 2019, in Akron, Pa., was hosted by Mennonite Central Committee US (MCC). Speakers included (from left) J. Ron Byler, executive director of Mennonite Central Committee U.S.; Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach, director of the MCC U.S. Washington Office; Donald Kraybill, senior fellow emeritus of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College.


1) Anabaptist Church Consultation on the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service

An Anabaptist Church Consultation on the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service was held in Akron, Pa., on June 4, 2019, hosted by Mennonite Central Committee US (MCC). At the table were representatives from 13 Anabaptist bodies.

The day included a review of the commission, a presentation by Donald Kraybill, senior fellow emeritus of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, and time spent articulating responses to the commission’s interim recommendations.

The commission was established by Congress in 2017 with a mandate to review Selective Service registration, particularly whether women should be required to register for the draft, and to recommend ways to increase participation in military, national, and public service. The commission is expected to present final recommendations to Congress next spring.





2) Thriving in Ministry completes survey of multivocational pastors

By Dana Cassell

The Thriving in Ministry program, a new denominational initiative supporting multivocational congregational pastors, has completed a large-scale online survey gathering information about the joys and challenges of pastors working in bivocational and part-time ministry. Between two-thirds and three-fourths of Church of the Brethren pastors serve as multivocational leaders, and more than 600 were invited to take part in this survey. The results of the survey will inform the next steps for the program.

An insight session at Annual Conference in Greensboro, N.C., titled “Part-Time Pastor, Full-Time Church” (Friday, July 5, at 12:30 p.m. in the Pebble Beach Room) will share key learnings from the survey and plans for the program’s next steps.

The Thriving in Ministry program, which will include one-on-one conversation and support from experienced pastoral leaders, opportunities to connect with other multivocational and part-time pastors, and access to resources, education, and support designed especially with multivocational, part-time pastors in mind, will begin welcoming participants in the fall of 2019.

The advisory committee for the Thriving in Ministry program includes Mayra Calix, a multivocational pastor from Atlantic Northeast District; Dana Cassell, Thriving in Ministry program manager; Ken Frantz, representative of the Church of the Brethren Ministers Association and a multivocational pastor from Western Plains District; Nancy Heishman, director of the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Ministry; Mark Kell, a multivocational pastor from Northern Ohio District; Janet Ober Lambert, director of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership; Russ Matteson, district executive minister of Pacific Southwest District; and Steve Schweitzer, academic dean at Bethany Theological Seminary.

-- Dana Cassell is program manager for Thriving in Ministry. Direct questions to her at dcassell@brethren.org or 847-429-4330.





3) General secretary signs letter about war in Yemen

Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele is one of 21 Christian leaders from across the country to sign a letter regarding the war in Yemen. Coordinated by Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), the letter was sent to Congress, including the leadership of the House and Senate and relevant committees.

“Now entering its fifth year, [the war] has brought unimaginable horrors upon the Yemeni people, especially children,” the letter said, in part. Noting that the war has sparked the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, the letter urged elected leaders “to exhaust every possible legislative option to end US support for the war in Yemen; hold all warring parties accountable; and help foster peace that people of Yemen desperately need and deserve.”

The full text of the letter follows:

Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, and Minority Leader McCarthy,

“As Christian faith leaders from across the United States, we write to you about the war in Yemen. Now entering its fifth year, it has brought unimaginable horrors upon the Yemeni people, especially children. Collectively, we represent tens of millions of constituents in every state. We thank you and Congress for playing a key role in pushing for humanitarian relief and ensuring the U.S. government does more to apply pressure to the warring parties, as most recently demonstrated through its unprecedented passage of the Yemen War Powers Resolution. We believe that the President’s veto of that Resolution must strengthen the resolve of Congress to ratchet down the fighting and help broker peace.

“We therefore urge you, as elected leaders, to exhaust every possible legislative option to end U.S. support for the war in Yemen; hold all warring parties accountable; and help foster peace that people of Yemen desperately need and deserve. Given the magnitude of human suffering as a result of this war, we call for the immediate end to any policy that continues military support in the form of intelligence, logistical support and through the sale and transfer of weapons.

“The war in Yemen has sparked the world’s largest humanitarian crisis and all parties are to blame. The fighting has killed innocent civilians, destroyed health clinics, schools, factories, farms, and precipitated a severe cholera epidemic that has spiked in the number of confirmed cases in recent months. Yemen’s economy has been halved since 2015. Food prices have soared even as household incomes have dwindled. 80% of Yemenis now live below the poverty line, and as a result, nearly 16 million Yemenis do not know where their next meal is coming from. Children, in particular, are among the most vulnerable; with more than one million children malnourished. Given the incredibly bleak humanitarian situation, we call upon Congress to support robust humanitarian assistance to the people of Yemen.

“A recent report by the United Nations Development Program reveals perhaps the grimmest statistic to date: nearly 250,000 Yemenis will have died as a result of this war by the end of this year; “of the dead, 60 percent are children under the age of five.”1

“We ask that you take advantage of the political momentum built in Congress to push for an end to the fighting and to help broker peace.

“Our faith compels us to care for the most vulnerable and work for peaceful ends to conflict. Like the prophet Amos, we long for the day when “justice will roll down like waters” (Amos 5:24) for the people of Yemen and throughout the world. As people of faith we will continue to pray for peace in Yemen, and a future for her children, but we call on you, our elected leaders, to make the tangible actions to put an end to this conflict.”





4) Xenos Project is launched by Intercultural Ministries

By Mary Ann Grossnickle and Stan Dueck                                                     

The Intercultural Ministries of the Church of the Brethren has launched a venture called the Xenos Project. The word Xenos is a Greek word meaning stranger or alien. The purpose of Xenos is to build a community of congregations feeling called to speak up, stand up, and take action supporting immigrants within our nation.

The 1982 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference statement on “Undocumented Persons and Refugees in the United States” ( www.brethren.org/ac/statements/1982refugees.html ) reaffirms the longstanding position of the church on immigration and the biblical basis to extend welcome to immigrants and refugees. “We need to affirm that everything belongs to God and that we are an immigrant people.... Our brother and sister immigrants are reminders of who we are and whom we serve.”

Intercultural Ministries has created a Xenos website where congregations that are involved and working on immigration can communicate with each other and with other congregations interested in becoming involved, connecting congregations that are passionate and want to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this area.

The Xenos website will be a place for a respectful, biblically centered conversation and response to family separations occurring at the nation’s borders, the plight of immigrants, and sanctuary churches in the United States, building a network of those concerned about brothers and sisters in need and about immigration, refugee, and asylum issues and justice.

Learn more about the Xenos Project by visiting www.brethren.org/xenos . Begin by taking a survey on concerns and actions about immigrant, refugee, and asylum issues. Ir a la encuesta en español. Pran sondaj nou an an Kreyol.

For additional information or to become involved in the project contact Mary Ann Grossnickle at xenos@brethren.org .

-- Mary Ann Grossnickle is coordinator of the Xenos Project, working with Stan Dueck, co-coordinator of Discipleship Ministries.





5) Atlantic Northeast District ministry commission shares update on recent work

Following the action of the 2018 Atlantic Northeast District Conference to not approve the proposed same gender marriage policy, the district ministry commission began discussions on next steps in continuing their work on this issue. Discussion included the 1983 Annual Conference statement “Human Sexuality from a Christian Perspective” as well as acknowledging the importance of all the Annual Conference statements in the life of the church and all those who serve as set-apart ministers. 

As a result of the ministry commission’s work and discernment, following is their report:

“The Atlantic Northeast District (ANE) Ministry Commission affirms all of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference Statements, and strongly encourages all ANE licensed and ordained ministers to give them ‘serious attention.’1

“In the service of Ordination of Ministers in ‘For All Who Minister,’ the fourth set of questions to be asked by the district representative is: ‘Do you affirm your devotion to the church of Jesus Christ, and specifically to the Church of the Brethren, which calls you to ministry? And do you promise to live in harmony with its principles, ordinances, and doctrines, being at all times subject to its discipline and governance?’2

“Chapter 5 of the ‘Manual of Organization and Polity’ makes clear that the district has authority for the credentialing of ministers: ‘All licensed, commissioned and ordained ministers are accountable to both the district and the denomination. Annual Conference charges districts with the responsibility of credentialing ministers in the Church of the Brethren, and the denominational Office of Ministry works to resource and support districts in this process.’3

“In questions involving ministerial conduct, the District Ministry Commission affirms the Polity and standard practices established by Annual Conference and the District Executives.

“If a District Executive receives a report based on direct knowledge that a minister has engaged in questionable conduct, the information shall be reported to the district's credentialing body as a matter of ministerial conduct where it will be determined if further action is necessary. 

“If, through their discernment, the District Ministry Commission determines it is a potential ethics violation, the process for dealing with complaints of ministerial misconduct will be followed as outlined in the 2008 Ethics in Ministry Paper.

“The ANE District Ministry Commission, May 2, 2019"

1. 2008 “Ethics in Ministry Relations”: C. Code of Ethics for Ministerial Leaders; 1.d. Integrity of the Ministerial Life.
2. “For All Who Minister: A Worship Manual for the Church of the Brethren” (Elgin, IL: Brethren Press, 1993), 299. 
3. 2014 Minutes, “Revisions to Ministerial Leadership Polity,” 244.





6) Pacific Southwest District shares support to those affected by Camp Fire

Paradise Church of the Brethren (before)

Paradise (Calif.) Church of the Brethren before the fire (above) and after (below).

Paradise Church of the Brethren (after)

By Russ Matteson

More than six months have passed since the destructive Camp Fire burned through most of the northern California town of Paradise and the surrounding area. The work in the community at recovery efforts and the making of plans for rebuilding the town continue to move forward, but the pace has been slow--in part because of a rainy winter and spring.

Pacific Southwest District has been blessed to be able to pass along funds to seven families who lost their homes and possessions in the fire, thanks to the generosity of Church of the Brethren congregations and individuals. More than $103,000 was donated to support those Brethren affected by the Camp Fire and this has been distributed to those in need. About 80 congregations and 80 individuals sent funds in support. The funds have been used to replace belongings, from something as simple as a pair of scissors to purchasing clothes and furniture that were needed to start again. 

Waiting and filing paperwork

For the few Brethren and the church property, things to do right now are waiting and filing paperwork. Individual Brethren have been going through what is left of their homes to see what memory items may be salvaged. Crews are busy clearing trees that have been burned but not fallen, and cutting trees that are deemed to be too near to power lines.

The first step in clean up was a hazardous material inspection and removal performed by county crews, which has been completed. Property owners, including the church property, now wait for the next phase of debris removal by crews. Following that work, owners will be responsible for the removal of retaining walls, foundations, and other structural pieces that remain.

Plans to rebuild the community are being worked on, but much work is needed on improving roadways and exit routes, determining how utilities will be upgraded and replaced, and putting in place plan reviews that include the California Wildlife-Urban Interface requirements for all of the reconstruction.

Many homeowners are still waiting on settlements with their insurance companies. Those receiving support from the church have been most grateful for the generous response of sisters and brothers in Christ who do not know them but shared love through their relief support.

-- Russ Matteson is executive minister of the Church of the Brethren’s Pacific Southwest District.

The Ludwick family recently celebrated daughter Rachel’s baptism alongside Rwandan Brethren.
Photo courtesy of Christine Ludwick

The Ludwick family recently celebrated daughter Rachel’s baptism alongside Rwandan Brethren.

7) Christine and Josiah Ludwick complete year of work in Rwanda

Christine and Josiah Ludwick have completed their year of service as Global Mission workers with the Church of the Brethren in Rwanda. They traveled to Rwanda in August 2018 with their children Rachel and Asher.

The Ludwicks incorporated their skills with pastoral and medical care, youth work, teaching, and conflict resolution to serve with the Rwandan Brethren.

The Ludwicks are members of Harrisburg (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren, where Josiah has been associate pastor. They are returning to Harrisburg, where Josiah will resume his work at First Church and Christine will seek opportunities to provide health care services to underserved communities.









The 2019 Ministry Summer Service group

The 2019 Ministry Summer Service group


8) Ministry Summer Service interns begin ministry placements

The Ministry Summer Service (MSS) participants for this summer have completed orientation and 4 interns have begun serving for 10 weeks in ministry placements. MSS orientation began May 31 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Mentors arrived June 3, and orientation ended on June 5.

Interns, their ministry placements, and mentors:

Connor Ladd from Columbia City (Ind.) Church of the Brethren is serving with mentor Ben Lattimer at Stone Church of the Brethren in Huntingdon, Pa.

Nolan McBride from Union Center Church of the Brethren in Napanee, Ind., is serving as this summer’s Youth Peace Advocate. His mentor is Ben Bear.

Andrew Rodriguez Santos from Harrisburg (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren is serving with mentor Dennis Beckner at Columbia City (Ind.) Church of the Brethren.

Briel Slocum from Harrisburg (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren is serving with mentor Irvin Heishman at West Charleston Church of the Brethren in Tipp City, Ohio.

-- Becky Ullom Naugle and Dana Cassell contributed to this report.





9) Brethren bits

 2019 NJHC logo

National Junior High Conference 2019 began yesterday, Friday, June, 14, at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. Meeting on the theme “Strong and Courageous” (Joshua 1:9), the event is for junior youth who have completed grades 6 through 8 and their adult advisors. It is intended to help the youth “sing, laugh, worship, make friends from all over the country, and spend time with God!” said the website for the conference. Youth and Young Adult Ministry director Becky Ullom Naugle and Brethren Volunteer Service worker Emmett Witkovsky-Eldred are the main organizers, with help from volunteer leadership for worship, music, and other activities throughout the weekend. For more information see www.brethren.org/yya/njhc .

-- National Junior High Conference 2019 began yesterday, Friday, June, 14, at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. Meeting on the theme “Strong and Courageous” (Joshua 1:9), the event is for junior youth who have completed grades 6 through 8 and their adult advisors. It is intended to help the youth “sing, laugh, worship, make friends from all over the country, and spend time with God!” said the website for the conference. Youth and Young Adult Ministry director Becky Ullom Naugle and Brethren Volunteer Service worker Emmett Witkovsky-Eldred are the main organizers, with help from volunteer leadership for worship, music, and other activities throughout the weekend. For more information see www.brethren.org/yya/njhc .

-- Karen Garrett, office manager for the Brethren Journal Association, will resign her position as of Sept. 30. She has served the association and its publication, “Brethren Life & Thought,” since September 2007. “On behalf of the Brethren Journal Association board, I am writing to express our thanks to Karen for her 11 years of dedicated work in this role,” said Jim Grossnickle-Batterton, association president. Garrett, who earned a master of arts degree from Bethany Theological Seminary in 2009, also works as coordinator of assessment for the seminary and will continue in that role.

-- Andie Garcia has been hired by the Church of the Brethren as systems specialist in the information technology department at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill. He has worked as a Level 1 Technician for School District U-46 and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a bachelor of general studies and an emphasis in computer science. He is pursuing a master of science degree in management information systems. He begins his work on July 15.

-- On Earth Peace has welcomed two new interns, according to its recent newsletter: Arielys Liriano, a junior at Southern New Hampshire University with double majors in law and politics and sociology and a minor in world languages and culture, will serve as migrant justice organizer. Katie Feuerstein, a junior at Oberlin College majoring in English with minors in philosophy and Hispanic studies, will serve as gender justice organizer. On Earth Peace offers paid internships in positions across the organization for young adults, college students, and recent graduates. More information, including all current openings and application instructions, can be found at www.onearthpeace.org/internships .

-- Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice is seeking an event planner-conference director for the April 17-24, 2020, Advocacy Days event. The event planner-director will build on the tradition established by 17 successful previous annual meetings and will be committed to facilitating an ongoing exploration of ways to make the 2020 event even more exciting and powerful, with an expanded impact on the domestic and international policies addressed. To apply, submit a resume and cover letter to Martin Shupack, Church World Service, email: mshupack@cwsglobal.org , 110 Maryland Ave. NE, Suite 110, Washington, DC 20002.

-- Food distributions and trauma care continue in northeast Nigeria following recent continued violence by Boko Haram, reports the Nigeria blog from the Nigeria Crisis Response. The disaster team of Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) also continues work to complete a wall around EYN headquarters and Kulp Theological Seminary and continues work to re-roof homes destroyed in the violence, among other activities. Find the blogpost at https://blog.brethren.org/2019/home-repairs-security-wall-and-emergency-food-distribution-in-may .

We Are Able workcamp 2019 leads a chapel service at the General Offices

The We Are Able workcamp took place in Elgin, Ill., this week, hosted for a portion of the time by the Church of the Brethren General Offices. Workcampers led the Wednesday chapel service followed by a special cupcake break for the staff, and also worked on projects for the Annual Conference office. Participants came from a variety of states including Jasmine Brown from Indiana, Megan Maclay from Pennsylvania, Jonah Neher from Illinois, Aubrey Steele from Pennsylvania, and Krista Suess from Michigan, along with assistants Karen Biddle and Lorijeanne Campbell from Pennsylvania, and nurse Amy Hoffman from Indiana. Jeanne Davies of West Dundee, Ill., and Dan McFadden of Elgin led the event.

The We Are Able 2019 workcampers pose with the sign at the Church of the Brethren General Offices

-- An Action Alert from the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy invites Brethren to attend a Conference on Drone Warfare organized by the Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare. Scheduled for Sept. 27-29 at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, N.J., this, national training conference will equip people of faith interested in organizing on the issue of drone warfare within the faith community. “The use of drone strikes by the US government has increased dramatically in the last few years,” said the alert. “There has never been a more urgent time for members of the Church of the Brethren to speak out against these immoral drone strikes, which kill civilians and destabilize communities. The Church of the Brethren’s 2013 resolution against drone warfare called for ‘individual members to study this issue in relation to our Brethren history of peacemaking and our biblical understanding of peace, so that Brethren may continue to be dynamic and prophetic peacemakers in a world riddled with violent behavior.’” Those attending should be willing to organize their communities on drone warfare until at least Feb. 1, 2021. Cost including room, board, and registration fee, is $50, and some financial help will be provided to cover travel costs. Contact Nathan Hosler at nhosler@brethren.org .
   
-- On Earth Peace reports that on May 21, 10 people completed a 6-week webinar series called “Why We Can’t Wait: Learn Organizing in the Tradition of King” co-facilitated by Matt Guynn from the agency’s staff and Curtis Renee from Black Lives Matter Detroit and the Detroit Safety Team. “The group included members of the Church of the Brethren congregations in Illinois, Indiana, and California, alongside individuals from other faith and community organizations in Washington, Colorado, Michigan, and Oregon. The series was sponsored by PeoplesHub, together with On Earth Peace,” said the newsletter report. In related news, the Kingian Nonviolence Coordinating Committee supported by On Earth Peace has recruited the first several participants for an intensive 18-month “deep dive” into the Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation Curriculum. The course will begin in September this year.

-- A two-weekend course on “The History of the Church of the Brethren,” taught by Jeff Bach, will be offered by the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College on Sept. 27-28 and Nov. 15-16. TRIM/EFSM students will receive one credit in Ministry Skills; continuing education students will receive 2 credits. This course is also available for laypersons for their own personal enrichment. The registration deadline is Aug. 15. Go to www.etown.edu/programs/svmc/History%20of%20the%20COB%20Registration.pdf .

-- First Church of the Brethren in Chicago, Ill., is one of the community groups across the city that will be celebrating Juneteenth this year. First Church’s celebration will take place 5-8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19, at 425 S. Central Park Blvd. “Juneteenth may not be a national holiday yet, but Chicago will be celebrating,” said the article published by BlockClubChicago.org. This year’s celebrations mark 154 years since slavery was abolished in the United States. Find the article at https://blockclubchicago.org/2019/06/11/juneteenth-may-not-be-a-national-holiday-yet-but-chicago-will-be-celebrating .

-- Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren in Littleton, Colo., located in the Denver area, has begun publishing a series of videos titled “Candid Conversations.” Filmed by church member Paul Rohrer, with original music by Scott “Shack” Hackler, the videos record leaders in the congregation discussing various topics in response to the denomination’s invitation to seek a compelling vision together. “Candid Conversations I” features David Valeta and Lyall Sherred in conversation about their own paths into the church, the Church of the Brethren peace position, conscientious objection, how to love God and neighbor, and more (58 minutes); find it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=OknpCOfpwVI . “Candid Conversations II” features Vickie Samland and Lyall Sherred in conversation about their deep connections with the church, being in ministry and experiencing seminary education, Pentecost and where people are finding the Spirit of God, connections between peace and justice, and more (38 minutes); find it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl-RfpjnS5o .

-- Cabool (Mo.) Church of the Brethren is hosting a workshop on racism and breaking down barriers on Saturday, June 22. “Being the Body of Christ: Separate No More” starts at 9 a.m., includes lunch, and is offered free of charge. Presenters are Jerry and Becky Crouse, former Church of the Brethren mission coordinators in the Dominican Republic and members of the pastoral team at Warrensburg Church of the Brethren. Find the Ozark Radio News report at www.ozarkradionews.com/local-news/church-workshop-on-race-to-be-held-in-cabool .

-- Buffalo Valley Church of the Brethren has been recognized by the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) for its annual paper drive donation. “What a donation it was!” said a CAS e-newsletter. “They donated 1,540 diapers, 2,930 wipes, 285 rolls of toilet paper, 147 rolls of paper towels , and the list goes on! Thanks to the children (and the parents) at Buffalo Valley Church of the Brethren for their continued support of the children of CAS!”

-- Southern Ohio and Kentucky District is continuing to respond to the needs of those affected by tornadoes in west-central Ohio. The district has completed registration with the Ohio VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) and are now accepting unaffiliated volunteers outside of the Church of the Brethren to serve with them, reports Jenn Dorsch-Messler of Brethren Disaster Ministries. She added that Northern Ohio District’s co-coordinator for disaster Brenda Hostetler has been serving as assistant secretary for the Ohio VOAD and helping to monitor and share information about the response across the state. The Southern Ohio and Kentucky volunteers have scheduled workdays each week through June to help affected families clear debris and brush, cover damaged roofs with tarpaulins, and help move belongings into storage. The volunteer groups gather each morning at Happy Corner Church of the Brethren and several other congregations in the district have been providing breakfast. Oakland Church of the Brethren held a garage sale June 26-28 with all proceeds going to the district’s disaster ministry. This Saturday, June 15, volunteers are picking up donations including a refrigerator, freezer, and beds for a family who is beginning anew after surviving the tornadoes. For more information or to offer volunteer help contact Sam Dewey at 937-684-0510.

-- Elizabethtown (Pa.) College has announced cuts in program and staffing beginning this fall, according to ABC Channel 27 News in Lancaster, Pa. “A college spokesperson said E-town will phase out majors in philosophy and theater and minors in theater, peace and conflict studies, and film studies over the next academic year,” said the news report. “Seven faculty/instructional staff positions will be furloughed on July 1, 2020.... Seven staff positions were eliminated. Fourteen open positions at the college will remain vacant at this time.” Read the full report and find a video at www.abc27.com/news/local/lancaster/elizabethtown-college-announces-program-staff-cuts/2077312400 .

-- “Thanks to a grant, a Bridgewater student and professor, along with a few others, will work on researching food insecurity in Rockingham County throughout the summer and teach children in the community about it,” reports ABC TV's WHSV Channel 3 in Harrisonburg, Va. The TREB grant from Bridgewater (Va.) College supports student research projects. This is the second year that student Sydney McTigue has received the grant for her and professor Tim Kreps to plant a garden to serve local food pantries. “The garden is behind the Bridgewater Church of the Brethren on ground the church owned but was not using,” WHSV reports. Read the full report at www.whsv.com/content/news/College-students-research-local-food-insecurity-educate-children-with-summer-project-511190741.html .

-- Cross Keys Village-Brethren Home Community in New Oxford, Pa., is celebrating “the longest day” as a Day of Light and Love on June 21. This day-long event for affected individuals and their allies recognizes June as Alzheimer’s Disease and Brain Awareness Month. An announcement said that “the Alzheimer’s Association encourages its partners to schedule ‘Longest Day’ celebrations on the day of the Summer solstice. This year, Cross Keys Village is participating in a big way, with a community event scheduled to stretch over the entire day! Our Memory Care Coach Kim Korge hopes you will come and enjoy the lineup of activities during this amazing day.” Find a schedule, cost information, and more at www.crosskeysvillage.org/blog/planning-a-memorable-day .

-- The Brethren Revival Fellowship is offering its 46th Brethren Bible Institute on July 22-26 hosted at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. The event is for those 16 years of age or older. Students may take one, two, or three courses. Cost is the same regardless of how many courses are taken. It is expected that dormitory students take three classes, unless special arrangements have been made. Classes meet every day, Monday through Friday. Cost for dormitory students (including room/board/tuition) is $300 for the week. Cost for commuting students is $125 for the week. Applications must be received by June 25 at BBI, 155 Denver Road, Denver, PA 17517. For more information see www.brfwitness.org/brethren-bible-institute .

-- In the latest Dunker Punks Podcast, Warrensburg (Mo.) Church of the Brethren and Jesus Saves Pentecostal Church are working on race relations in their small town and Christian communities by building new relationships with each other. “A lot has changed in American society since 1954 but it’s said that Sunday at 11 o’clock is still the most segregated hour. How do we challenge this stigma?” Listen to “Unity in Christ, Not Segregation by Color” at http://bit.ly/DPP_Episode85 .

-- North Woods Song and Story Fest will be held July 14-20 on the theme “Voices in the Wilderness,” hosted by Camp Myrtlewood in Bridge, Ore. This annual family camp is co-sponsored by On Earth Peace and features Brethren musicians and storytellers. The theme scripture, Psalm 19:1-3, proclaims, “The heavens are telling the glory of God and the universe proclaims God’s handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares understanding...their voice goes out through all the earth.” Said a statement on the event page: “We will be listening for these voices in the fields and forests of Camp Myrtlewood. And we will be using our own voices as we join in proclaiming the light of God’s presence in a time of conflagration, global warming, and the scorched earth policies being pursued by many. Can you hear God calling you to the mountain to lift up song and spirit in grace and gladness amidst the confusion and cacophony? Why not answer the call and join with the moon and stars that sing together in wonder and praise!” For more information including leadership, schedule, and cost, go to www.onearthpeace.org/song-story-fest-2019 . Contact Ken Kline Smeltzer at bksmeltz@comcast.net .

-- Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is requesting prayer for a delegation of seven people going to Colombia at the end of June. The delegation will be hosted by CPT Colombia and will focus on measures of self protection for social leaders and the work to defend human rights in the country, said a recent email alert. “Since the signing of the Peace Agreements in December 2016, more than 500 social leaders and human rights defenders have been assassinated. Colombian authorities have tried to minimize the issue of assassinations, not recognizing the connection of this violence to the work of human rights defenders. In some declarations, the victims have been accused of involvement with criminal activities, raising the stigmatization and threat against them.” The alert asked for prayer for those “living under threat and for those leaders who have fallen. And pray for our delegates and for our team so we can provide the necessary support to the communities and organizations we will meet.” Find out more at www.cpt.org

-- The June episode of “Brethren Voices” meets with Annual Conference moderator Donita Keister, who will preside over the Conference to be held in Greensboro, N.C., from July 3-7.  Instead of a usual business schedule, the delegate body will spend much of its time in “compelling vision conversations.” Non-delegates may reserve seats at tables during the business sessions in order to fully participate in those conversations. Carl Hill and Judy Miller are also interviewed about the outreach of Potsdam Church of the Brethren to provide funding for various Nigerian Brethren families in need. View “Brethren Voices” on YouTube or contact produced Ed Groff for more information, at groffprod1@msn.com .
 
-- Dinesh Suna, coordinator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Water Network, spoke at the G20 Interfaith Forum on June 7-9 in Tokyo, Japan. This year’s theme was “Peace, People, Planet: Pathways Forward,” reported a WCC release. About 2,000 participants attended the gathering, which precedes the G20 summit in Osaka. The interfaith forum submitted recommendations for G20 leaders. “Suna spoke as part of a panel on ‘Food and Water: Resources of Life,’” said the release. “He emphasized two good practices of the Ecumenical Water Network: promoting the concept of Blue Communities and the ‘10 Commandments of Food.’ Suna attributed the loss of forests the size of 30 football fields every minute to meat industries, encouraging participants to eat locally sourced food to reduce the water footprint. ‘Given that 70 percent of fresh water is used for agriculture and food production and only 10 percent for drinking and sanitation, we can save a lot of water by choosing our food wisely,’ he said. He urged participants to become ‘Blue Communities’ by respecting the human right to water and saying no to the privatization of water and to the bottled water industries.”

-- Pastor Don Judy of White Pine Church of the Brethren in Purgitsville, W.Va., is one of the community advocates leading an effort for Purgitsville residents to sign up for public water, reports the “Hampshire Review.” Water issues have been discovered in local wells, leading to the effort to access public water from lines out of Moorefield in neighboring Hardy County, the newspaper said. “Water testing in the area has shown Purgitsville to have high levels of radium, arsenic, lead, methane and ethane gases, although they do not exceed state standards.” Read more at www.hampshirereview.com/article_e07ecd70-8d17-11e9-8846-53f9f97f1f73.html .

-- Irricana United Church in Alberta, Canada, is marking 100 years since it was first built as a Church of the Brethren. Irricana United Church had its start when “members of the Church of the Brethren migrated from North Dakota around 1908 and began to settle in the Irricana area,” reports the “Rocky View News” of Airdrie, Alberta. “It wasn’t until 1918 a decision was made to build a church. The church was originally a Church of the Brethren...but in 1969, members voted to join the United Church of Canada. In October 1919, construction of the present building was finished.” The report continued, “The historic building is mostly original, save for the loss of its windows in a devastating hailstorm in 2016. In 2011, the church was designated a Provincial Heritage Resource, which means the structure cannot be destroyed, restored, or altered in any way without permission from the government.” Read more at www.airdrietoday.com/rocky-view-news/irricana-united-church-to-celebrate-100-years-1469197 .

-- Jim and Mary White of Antioch Church of the Brethren near Callaway, Va., are featured in an article titled “In sickness and in health: Husband shares his unconditional love for a wife with dementia” by Leigh Prom for the “Franklin News-Post.” Prom reports that “Jim’s faithfulness in caring for Mary is a testimony to those around them. Eric Anspaugh was the Whites’ pastor for six years before retiring. He and his wife Bev remain friends with the Whites. The Anspaughs described Jim and Mary as ‘faithful to their church and their beliefs and always willing to serve.’ Eric added, ‘Jim deeply loves Mary. He embodies those [wedding] vows. [In sickness and in health, ‘til death do us part.]” The article is published in part to recognize June as Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Read it in full at www.thefranklinnewspost.com/news/in-sickness-and-in-health-husband-shares-his-unconditional-love/article_97827db2-c9c0-561c-b99c-11ceb3a8ca6f.html .


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Newsline is the email news service of the Church of the Brethren. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. Jan Fischer Bachman, Shamek Cardona, Dana Cassell, Jacob Crouse, Stan Dueck, Ed Groff, Mary Ann Grossnickle, Kendra Harbeck, Nathan Hosler, Pete Kontra, Russ Matteson, Nancy Miner, Becky Ullom Naugle, Paul Rohrer, David Steele, Jenny Williams, and Newsline editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren, contributed to this issue. Please send news tips and submissions to cobnews@brethren.org . Find the Newsline archive at www.brethren.org/news . Sign up for Newsline and other Church of the Brethren emails, or make changes to your subscription, at www.brethren.org/intouch .

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