News Archives


Brethren Disaster Ministries executive travels to Puerto Rico, Children’s Disaster Services sends teams to northern California (October 13, 2017)

Roy Winter is on a trip to Puerto Rico this week to assess needs following Hurricane Maria and to meet with Church of the Brethren leaders in Puerto Rico District. Winter is associate executive director of Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries. Read more »


Atlantic Northeast hires Pete Kontra as district executive (October 7, 2017)

Atlantic Northeast District of the Church of the Brethren has called Pete Kontra to the position of district executive minister effective Jan. 1, 2018. He has been in pastoral ministry for more than 20 years, and currently is senior pastor at Hempfield Church of the Brethren in Atlantic Northeast District. Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 7, 2017 (October 7, 2017)

NEWS 1) CDS deploys Critical Response Childcare team to Las Vegas 2) Iran deal represents meaningful step to prevent nuclear conflict 3) New students begin at Bethany Seminary 4) Northern Indiana District issues resolution against racism 5) Nobel prize-winner ICAN says it will work for full nuclear ban PERSONNEL 6) Atlantic Northeast hires Pete Kontra as district executive UPCOMING EVENTS 7) NYC registration will open Jan. 18, youthworker applications are due Nov. 1 8) Mission Alive 2018 to be hosted at Frederick church 9) Next Nigeria workcamp is scheduled for January 10) Brethren bits Read more »


NYC registration will open Jan. 18, youthworker applications are due Nov. 1 (October 7, 2017)

National Youth Conference (NYC) takes place next summer, July 21-26, 2018, in Fort Collins, Colo., at Colorado State University. This Church of the Brethren conference is held every four years for youth who have completed grade 9 through 1 year of college (or the age equivalent). Read more »


Mission Alive 2018 to be hosted at Frederick church (October 7, 2017)

Mission Alive 2018, a conference sponsored by the Global Mission and Service program of the Church of Brethren, will take place April 6-8 at Frederick (Md.) Church of the Brethren. The theme is “A Gathering of God’s People...a Global Church of the Brethren,” seeking inspiration from Revelation 7:9. Read more »


Next Nigeria workcamp is scheduled for January (October 7, 2017)

Global Mission and Service invites participants to join a workcamp organized by Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Workcamp dates, including travel to and from Nigeria, are Jan. 5-22, 2018. Read more »


CDS deploys Critical Response Childcare team to Las Vegas (October 7, 2017)

Children's Disaster Services (CDS) has deployed a specially trained team of Critical Response Childcare volunteers to Las Vegas, Nev., following the mass shooting there. The team was requested by the American Red Cross, and are serving in a Family Assistance Center, reported CDS associate director Kathleen Fry-Miller. Read more »


Northern Indiana District issues resolution against racism (October 7, 2017)

Among other business accomplished by Northern Indiana District at its district conference this year was the affirmation of the resolution “We Reaffirm that Racism is a Sin Against God and Our Neighbors.” The conversation was characterized by a unified desire to express the pain felt by the gathered body on the heels of the protests and counter-protests witnessed in Charlottesville, Va., and in other places around this country. Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 7, 2017 (October 7, 2017)

In this issue: Personnel, job opening, disaster response efforts, district conferences, and more. Read more »


Disaster staff to visit Puerto Rico, CDS work continues in Texas, prayer requested for DR Congo (September 28, 2017)

Brethren Disaster Ministries is organizing the Church of the Brethren response in Puerto Rico, following Hurricane Maria. The response will include--in the short term--the shipping of a container of disaster relief supplies and a visit by associate executive director Roy Winter, tentatively scheduled for next week. In the long-term, plans are being developed for relief and long-term recovery programs, including home repair. Read more »


Newsline for Sept. 21, 2017 (September 21, 2017)

NEWS 1) Call to prayer for those in the path of Hurricane Maria, and related hurricane relief news 2) Leadership Team statement to the denomination 3) Congregational Life Ministries announces Renaissance 2017-2020 initiative 4) Pre-tax insurance savings are available for some pastors PERSONNEL 5) Debbie Roberts resigns from Bethany Seminary faculty UPCOMING EVENTS 6) Workcamp Ministry announces 2018 theme 7) ‘Justice Like Water’: Reflecting on a retreat planned for Virlina District INSPIRATION 2017: NATIONAL OLDER ADULT CONFERENCE 8) Inspiration 2017: NOAC by the numbers 9) Inspirational quotes from the week at NOAC 10) Brethren bits Read more »


Inspirational quotes from the week at NOAC (September 21, 2017)

National Older Adult Conference this year featured an inspiring line up of speakers and preachers. These quotes give just a taste of their messages. Recordings of each of these keynote presentations, Bible studies, and worship services are available to view in full online. Find a link to view the NOAC webcasts at www.brethren.org/news/2017/noac2017 . Read more »


Call to prayer for those in the path of Hurricane Maria, and related hurricane relief news (September 21, 2017)

Brethren Disaster Ministries issued a prayer request for those in the path of Hurricane Maria, before the storm hit Puerto Rico. Following are portions of that prayer request: Read more »


Inspiration 2017: NOAC by the numbers (September 21, 2017)

Inspiration 2017: National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) brought older adults from across the denomination and across the country together for a week of worship, fellowship, laughter, and learning in early September. From Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 4, through Friday, Sept. 8, the conference was hosted at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in western North Carolina, in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. Find the onsite coverage of Inspiration 2017 including photo albums, webcasts, daily news sheets, a form to order the NOAC 2017 DVD, and more at www.brethren.org/news/2017/noac2017 . Read more »


Brethren bits for Sept. 20, 2017 (September 20, 2017)

In this issue: Remembering Donna Derr, personnel, job opening, government recognizes Church of the Brethren in Venezuela, BVS Unit 318, CWS kits collected by NOAC volunteers and many more across the denomination, Elizabethtown offers course on Simple Living, Brethren Nutrition Program in Washington, D.C., to close, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


‘Justice Like Water’: Reflecting on a retreat planned for Virlina District (September 20, 2017)

After everything that has happened this summer, it can be hard to believe that just four years ago, we gathered to talk about intercultural ministries as the wider nation was marking the second term of the first Black president and an era often described as “post-racial.” Read more »


Workcamp Ministry announces 2018 theme (September 20, 2017)

The Church of the Brethren Workcamp office is excited to announce the 2018 workcamp theme: “Loving God, Loving People.” The theme is developed from the scripture 1 John 4:19-21 (The Message) which touches on the necessity for loving others in order to truly love God. Read more »


Congregational Life Ministries announces Renaissance 2017-2020 (September 20, 2017)

Congregational Life Ministries is committed to empowering every person to make a positive difference in their world through demonstrating the extraordinary God. If we are to be faithful to our commitment to transform the world, we will reach out with an open, genuine hospitality to people wherever they are, inviting and welcoming them as we seek to renew existing congregations, start new faith communities, and inspire faithful discipleship. Read more »


Newsline Special: Update on hurricane response (September 15, 2017)

More CDS teams go to Florida, Brethren Disaster Ministries assesses post-hurricane needs Read more »


How best to help: Advice from Brethren Disaster Ministries (September 9, 2017)

“Financial donations are best,” said a communication from Brethren Disaster Ministries about how best to help aid those affected by the hurricanes. Also needed are donations of Church World Service (CWS) kits and clean-up buckets that are specifically designed to meet the immediate needs of disaster survivors. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries monitoring hurricane situation in US and Caribbean (September 9, 2017)

“Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have been monitoring the situation in the areas already, or soon to be, affected by the hurricanes,” reports Roy Winter, associate executive director of Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries. Staff are “coordinating response efforts and planning with Church World Service and other church partners.” Read more »


Material Resources ships relief to Texas, seeks urgently needed donations of clean-up buckets (September 9, 2017)

Material Resources staff have put out an urgent call for donations of clean-up buckets for distribution by Church World Service (CWS). The program also has been shipping relief supplies to Texas to aid people who were affected by Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent flooding. Read more »


Newsline Special: Hurricane update, Action Alert on DACA (September 9, 2017)

HURRICANE UPDATE 1) Children’s Disaster Services prepositions team in Florida, in advance of Irma 2) Brethren Disaster Ministries monitoring hurricane situation in US and Caribbean 3) Material Resources ships relief to Texas, seeks urgently needed donations of clean-up buckets 4) How best to help: Advice from Brethren Disaster Ministries ACTION ALERT 5) Office of Public Witness Action Alert on DACA Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services prepositions team in Florida, in advance of Irma (September 9, 2017)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has prepositioned volunteers in Florida, in advance of Hurricane Irma, at the request of the American Red Cross. CDS staff have learned that the Red Cross anticipates there will be over 120,000 people in evacuee shelters in Florida. Read more »


Thursday's inspiration - National Older Adult Conference 2017 (September 6, 2017)

National Older Adult Conference happenings on Thursday, Sept 7. Read more »


Wednesday's inspiration - National Older Adult Conference 2017 (September 6, 2017)

National Older Adult Conference happenings on Wednesday, Sept 6 Read more »


Tuesday's inspiration - National Older Adult Conference 2017 (September 5, 2017)

National Older Adult Conference happenings on Tuesday, Sept 5 Read more »


Monday's inspiration - National Older Adult Conference 2017 (September 4, 2017)

National Older Adult Conference happenings on Monday, Sept 4. Read more »


Newsline for Aug. 31, 2017 (August 31, 2017)

NEWS 1) Children’s Disaster Services deploys teams to three cities in Texas 2) Moderator invites denomination to online ‘townhall meetings’ 3) Program and Arrangements Committee announces preachers for Annual Conference 2018 4) Michigan District approves motion from churches wanting to form new district FEATURES 5) ‘Living Parables’: About the Annual Conference theme 6) Rebecca Dali: My faith in God motivates me every second 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services deploys teams to three cities in Texas (August 31, 2017)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) is now deploying teams of volunteers to aid children and families in shelters in three Texas cities: San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas. “We have 24 people as of today and another 30 will be arriving over the next week to replace those teams,” reported CDS staff. Read more »


‘Living Parables’: About the Annual Conference theme (August 31, 2017)

The simple understanding of a parable is literally from Jesus’ parables, which were stories that were cast alongside a truth in order to illustrate that truth, or the telling of a familiar story to illustrate big truths. Jesus’ parables were teaching aids and can be thought of as extended analogies or inspired comparisons. A common description of a parable is that it is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Read more »


Rebecca Dali: My faith in God motivates me every second (August 31, 2017)

The following release from the World Council of Churches (WCC) notes an unprecedented honor for a member of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Rebecca Dali, founder of the Center for Compassion, Empowerment, and Peace Initiatives (CCEPI), has received the 2017 Humanitarian Award from the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation at a ceremony at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Read more »


Program and Arrangements Committee announces preachers for Annual Conference 2018 (August 31, 2017)

The Program and Arrangements Committee for the 2018 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren has announced preachers for the denomination’s next annual meeting. The Conference takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Duke Energy Convention Center, on July 4-8. The Sunday morning sermon will be brought by Leonard Sweet, a popular preacher and Christian author who is the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University. Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 31, 2017 (August 31, 2017)

Personnel, job openings, Chibok girls baptized, stories requested for ‘Inglenook Desserts,’ ‘Justice Like Water–Examining Racism,’ Peace Day 2017, and much more Read more »


Michigan District approves motion from churches wanting to form new district (August 31, 2017)

Michigan District Conference has approved a motion from seven congregations seeking to leave the district and form a new district of the Church of the Brethren in the state. The 50 delegates voted 37 to 10 in favor of the motion after many hours of discussion over two days. The separating group must now be in conversation with the Annual Conference officers in order for the proposal to move forward. Read more »


Moderator invites denomination to online ‘townhall meetings’ (August 30, 2017)

Annual Conference moderator Samuel K. Sarpiya is issuing an invitation to Brethren across the denomination to join in online “townhall meetings” that he plans to hold once a month beginning Sept. 28. The online “townhalls” will explore the theme for the 2018 Annual Conference, “Living Parables.” Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services aids families affected by Harvey (August 28, 2017)

Twelve volunteers with Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) traveled to San Antonio on Sunday, Aug. 27, to serve children and families in Red Cross shelters. The families are among those who were evacuated or voluntarily left the area of southeast Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey and the torrential rain that has caused severe flooding. Read more »


Nancy S. Heishman named director of the Office of Ministry (August 17, 2017)

The Church of the Brethren has called Nancy Sollenberger Heishman as director of the Office of Ministry. She will begin in this role on Nov. 6, working out of the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., and from her home in Tipp City, Ohio. Read more »


Events at “Inspiration 2017" (NOAC) to be live streamed (August 17, 2017)

“Inspiration 2017" will be the first National Older Adult Conference to be live-streamed on the Internet. All keynote addresses, worship services, afternoon programs, and daily Bible studies will be available to view live online through a partnership with Enten and Mary Eller and Living Stream Church of the Brethren. This is especially important for conference “alumni/ae” who are no longer able to travel to the conference location in Lake Junaluska, N.C., and who long to be part of the NOAC community. Read more »


Newsline for Aug. 17 2017 (August 17, 2017)

NEWS 1) Shenandoah District shares prayerful reflection following Charlottesville 2) Many Brethren across the country gather, pray, speak about Charlottesville PERSONNEL 3) Nancy S. Heishman named director of the Office of Ministry UPCOMING EVENTS 4) Support and sponsorship grows for ‘Inspiration 2017' 5) Events at ‘Inspiration 2017' (NOAC) to be live streamed 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Support and sponsorship grows for ‘Inspiration 2017'  (August 17, 2017)

This is the 25th anniversary year (and 14th gathering) of the National Older Adult Conference (NOAC), and we are especially grateful for the sponsorship and leadership of denominational agencies, Fellowship of Brethren Homes communities, and other nonprofits who have an opportunity to share their mission with the conference participants. Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 17, 2017 (August 17, 2017)

Brethren bits for Aug. 17, 2017 Read more »


Many Brethren across the country gather, pray, speak about Charlottesville (August 17, 2017)

Many Brethren across the country have been involved in prayer gatherings, prayer walks, vigils, and other gatherings responding to the events in Charlottesville, Va., while others have helped issue a variety of statements. Here is a sampling: Read more »


Brethren clergywoman shares about Charlottesville experience (August 14, 2017)

“It was extremely grim and sobering to be face-to-face with such hatred and racism--and more so because of what seemed almost an inevitability about the clash between white supremacists and others,” said Kim McDowell, pastor of University Park Brethren and Baptist Church in Hyattsville, Md. She was one of the clergy who provided a presence in Charlottesville, Va., during the white supremacist rally on Saturday. She was not aware of other Church of the Brethren clergy who may have been present. Read more »


And who is my neighbor? The Good Samaritan, or how we justify ourselves (August 14, 2017)

Samuel K. Sarpiya, moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, has shared this reflection in response to the weekend’s events in Charlottesville, Va. This is the first in a series of reflections on the 2018 Conference theme, “Living Parables”: Read more »


La Academia Hermanos lanza el programa de EPMC (August 5, 2017)

Durante más de treinta años, el programa de Educación para un Ministerio Compartido (EPMC) ha estado nutriendo y equipando ministros y laicos en pequeñas iglesias angloamericanas. Ahora, el programa está siendo puesto a disposición de las congregaciones en cual se habla español. El diseño único de EPMC ofrece oportunidades para que los ministros en formación y líderes laicos disciernen objetivos y metas juntos y se animen mutuamente a afilar sus habilidades mientras aprenden sobre la fe cristiana y los ministerios de la iglesia. La fuerza del programa es enfocarse en el equipamiento de toda la congregación, ya que apoyan a sus ministros apartados en el cumplimiento de los requisitos educativos y teológicas para sus credenciales. Read more »


William Wenger to serve as executive minister for Western Pennsylvania District (August 5, 2017)

Western Pennsylvania District has called William Wenger to serve as district executive minister beginning Sept. 1. He has served as interim district executive since January. Read more »


Brethren Academy launches EFSM program in Spanish (August 5, 2017)

For over 30 years, the Education for Shared Ministry (EFSM) program has been nurturing and equipping ministers and laity together in small Anglo churches. Now the program is being made available to Spanish-speaking congregations. The unique design of EFSM offers opportunities for ministers in training and lay leaders to discern goals and objectives together and to encourage one another in sharpening their skills while learning about the Christian faith and ministries of the church. The program’s strength is in equipping the entire congregation as they support their set-apart ministers in meeting the educational and theological requirements for credentialing. Read more »


Minister’s manual project will not continue (August 5, 2017)

Staff from the Office of Ministry and Brethren Press have announced the decision to conclude work on the new minister’s manual resource. This project has stretched over several years, in which transitions in the make up of the volunteer team and the staff in the Office of Ministry have brought significant challenges. Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 5, 2017 (August 5, 2017)

In this issue: Updated remembrance for Florence Daté Smith, personnel notes and job openings, Rebecca Dali honored by United Nations, Nigerian Brethren report Boko Haram attacks, Material Resources shipments, Brethren Volunteer Service newsletter, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


UN holds hearing on Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons (August 5, 2017)

While we rightly call attention to the awful atrocities of Boko Haram in Nigeria, we often overlook the other great tragedy of trafficking in girls and women from Nigeria. The Central Mediterranean Route report show that nearly 80 percent of Nigerian girls and women, between the ages of 13-24, arriving in Europe are victims of sex trafficking. Read more »


Newsline for Aug. 5, 2017 (August 5, 2017)

NEWS 1) Brethren Academy launches EFSM program in Spanish 2) La Academia Hermanos lanza el programa de EPMC 3) New urban ministry experience is offered by Bethany Seminary 4) Minister’s manual project will not continue 5) UN holds hearing on Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons PERSONNEL 6) William Wenger to serve as executive minister for Western Pennsylvania District UPCOMING EVENTS 7) Children’s Disaster Services offers volunteer training workshops 8) SVMC offers continuing education on Christology and ministry with older and younger people 9) Annual Dunker Church Service will be 47th held at Antietam 10) Springs initiative offers new class designed for laity 11) Brethren bits Read more »


Annual Dunker Church Service will be 47th held at Antietam (August 5, 2017)

The 47th Annual Dunker Church Service will be held in the restored Dunker Church at the Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Md., on Sunday, Sept. 17, at 3 p.m. This service will take place on the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, and commemorates the peace witness of the Brethren during the Civil War. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services offers volunteer training workshops (August 5, 2017)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) workshops are scheduled for this fall. The website link for registrations is www.brethren.org/cds/training/dates.html . CDS and its trained and certified volunteers provide care for children and families following disasters. Read more »


SVMC offers continuing education on Christology and ministry with older and younger people  (August 5, 2017)

The Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center on the campus of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College announces three upcoming continuing education events: “Go and Do Likewise: The Practices of Christology,” “Enriching the Lives of Older Adults,” and “Science, Theology, and the Church Today--Ministry with Youth and Young Adults.” Registration forms are available at www.etown.edu/programs/svmc/continuing-education or by contacting Karen Hodges at 717-361-1450 or svmc@etown.edu . Read more »


Springs initiative offers new class designed for laity (August 5, 2017)

The Springs Academy for the Saints is the newest addition to the Springs Academy and is designed for laity. Its format is similar to the Springs Academy for Pastors, introduced in 2013. The Springs Academy for the Saints enables laity to discover their gifts and train for ministry as saints, as Paul says in Ephesians 4:12, “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ.” Read more »


Newsline for July 20, 2017 (July 20, 2017)

NEWS 1) Raising awareness and solutions on Capitol Hill for the crisis in Nigeria 2) Latest Brethren grants from the EDF and GFI are announced 3) CDS serves in New York, puts teams together for California wildfire response UPCOMING EVENTS 4) Disabilities Ministry celebrates 27 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act 5) Unmuting silenced voices: Planning a gathering to remember those who resisted World War I FEATURE 6) One year in: An interview with EYN president Joel S. Billi 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Unmuting silenced voices: Planning a gathering to remember those who resisted World War I (July 20, 2017)

“The First World War was a tragic and unnecessary conflict.” These are the first words of British historian John Keegan in his book, The First World War. It was unnecessary because it was preventable--a local conflict that did not need to escalate. Eventually, 100 countries were involved. It was tragic because at least 10 million people died and 20 million were injured in the war, and another 50 million died from the Spanish flu epidemic that incubated in the trenches. Read more »


Brethren bits for July 20, 2017 (July 20, 2017)

In this issue: Job openings, We Are Able workcamp, NCC podcast features director of Office of Public Witness, Global Food Initiative manager interviewed by “Seed World,” and more news from congregations, districts, and ecumenical partners. Read more »


CDS serves in New York, puts teams together for California wildfire response (July 20, 2017)

Children’s Disaster Services volunteers have responded following flooding in New York State, and the program has been put on alert to send teams to respond to wildfires in California. Read more »


Disabilities Ministry celebrates 27 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act (July 20, 2017)

July 26 marks the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Find more information at https://www.adaanniversary.org . This year at Annual Conference, Congregational Life Ministries welcomed the 27th congregation into the Open Roof Fellowship. Over the past 13 years, these congregations have intentionally embraced and invested themselves in disabilities ministries. Read more »


Latest Brethren grants from the EDF and GFI are announced (July 20, 2017)

The latest grants from two Church of the Brethren funds--the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) and the Global Food Initiative (GFI)--have been given to Brethren Disaster Ministries work following flooding in the area of Columbia, S.C.; the church’s mission in South Sudan, where staff are responding to needs of people affected by the country’s civil war; the Shalom Ministry for Reconciliation in the Democratic Republic of Congo serving people affected by conflict; and community gardens related to Church of the Brethren congregations. Read more »


One year in: An interview with EYN president Joel S. Billi (July 20, 2017)

Joel Stephen Billi was elected president of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and assumed his duties on May 3, 2016, alongside other principal officers of the church. He came into leadership at a time when the church was in a state of disarray following the incessant attacks on its members by insurgents. After spending one year in office, this interview was conducted to take stock of his stewardship as the leader of the church at such a hard time in the history of EYN. Here are excerpts from the interview: Read more »


Raising awareness and solutions on Capitol Hill for the crisis in Nigeria (July 20, 2017)

One week after attending the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in Grand Rapids, Mich., on July 10 leaders of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) attended several meetings in Washington, D.C., organized by the denomination’s Office of Public Witness. Read more »


Congregational Life Ministries gives Intercultural Award, welcomes new members of Open Roof Fellowship (July 8, 2017)

Congregational Life Ministries gave awards and citations during the Mission and Ministry Board’s pre-Annual Conference meeting in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Revelation 7:9 Award from the Intercultural Ministry was given to Don and Belita Mitchell. Citations to congregations joining the Open Roof Fellowship were given to two congregations in Illinois: Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren and York Center Church of the Brethren, represented by their respective pastors Katie Shaw Thompson and Christy Waltersdorff. Read more »


Insight session tells the story of the Solingen Brethren (July 8, 2017)

Six Brethren were arrested 300 years ago in Solingen, Germany. What was their crime? In 1716, the six men, ages 22 to 33, had been baptized as adults. This crime was a capital offense, the punishment could be execution. The six men were first marched to Dusseldorf for interrogation. It is said they sang hymns as they walked to their imprisonment. Read more »


New Annual Conference officers are consecrated (July 8, 2017)

A contingent of family, friends, and church representatives gathered on the stage during the closing worship of the 2017 Annual Conference for the consecration of new leadership. The service consecrated Samuel Sarpiya as Annual Conference moderator, Donita Keister as moderator-elect, and James Beckwith for a second term as Conference secretary. Sarpiya will preside over the 2018 Annual Conference. Read more »


Brethren Revival Fellowship dinner, insight session address inspiring questions (July 8, 2017)

The Brethren Revival Fellowship hosted several events during the 2017 Annual Conference, including an annual dinner on Saturday evening, July 1, and an insight session focused on the Conference theme, among other events that included a BRF luncheon on Friday, June 30, with Annual Conference moderator-elect Samuel Sarpiya. Both the dinner and the insight session addressed inspiring questions. Read more »


Newsline for July 8, 2017 (July 8, 2017)

1) New Annual Conference officers are consecrated 2) Mission and Ministry Board approves 2018 budget parameter, among other business 3) Congregational Life Ministries gives Intercultural Award, welcomes new members of Open Roof Fellowship 4) Minister’s Association hears from Lillian Daniel, discusses relating to ‘Nones’ 5) Bethany and Brethren Academy luncheon senses ‘Spirit Moving’ 6) Brethren Revival Fellowship dinner, insight session address inspiring questions 7) Insight session tells the story of the Solingen Brethren 8) Banning nuclear weapons, 122 governments take leadership where nuclear powers have failed 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for July 8, 2017 (July 8, 2017)

In this issue: Remembrances, job openings, new fellowships and congregations, listening sessions in Michigan District, donations for Annual Conference webcasts, Snapchat views of Conference, Nigeria briefing for legislators, children’s books for Flint, WCC appeal against escalation on the Korean peninsula. Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board approves 2018 budget parameter, among other business (July 8, 2017)

The Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren has approved a $5,192,000 budget parameter for its Core Ministries in 2018, which is the same as the current 2017 budget. On June 28 in its pre-Annual Conference meeting in Grand Rapids, Mich., the board also heard a report on the sale of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., among other business. Read more »


Bethany and Brethren Academy luncheon senses ‘Spirit Moving’ (July 5, 2017)

Faculty, staff, and graduates of Bethany Theological Seminary and the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership were joined by others at an Annual Conference luncheon. The theme of “Spirit Moving” was expressed succinctly when seminary president Jeff Carter noted that, thanks to what he called “our Anabaptist/Pietist vision, he said, “The world needs us.” Because of this, Carter said of the seminary’s reach: “It is broad. It is deep. It is moving.” Read more »


Newsline Special: A review of business decisions made by Annual Conference 2017 (July 3, 2017)

1) On Earth Peace retains agency status, as delegates make decisions on the Review and Evaluation Committee report 2) Delegates adopt report from Leadership Team and CODE, approve new vision effort 3) On Earth Peace call for new polity for agencies is acted on by the Conference 4) Delegate body receives insights from ‘Patient Hope in Matters of Conscience’ 5) Donita J. Keister to serve as moderator-elect, among election results 6) Annual Conference by the numbers Read more »


Today in Grand Rapids – Sunday, July 2, 2017 (July 2, 2017)

A review of the closing day of the 2017 Annual Conference Read more »


Annual Conference by the numbers (July 2, 2017)

A round up of some statistics on the 2017 Annual Conference, including registration numbers, offering amounts, blood drive donations, and more. Read more »


Delegate body receives insights from ‘Patient Hope in Matters of Conscience’ (July 1, 2017)

The document “Patient Hope in Matters of Conscience” was brought by On Earth Peace for consideration by Annual Conference. The delegates adopted a recommendation from the Standing Committee of district delegates to not delay other items of business, as called for in the document, but to receive the insights of the document and ask the Mission and Ministry Board in consultation with On Earth Peace and other experts to provide resources to better implement the 2008 Annual Conference resolution “Urging Forbearance” in the life of the church. Read more »


On Earth Peace retains agency status (July 1, 2017)

The Annual Conference this afternoon did not adopt a recommendation from the Review and Evaluation Committee “that On Earth Peace no longer remain an agency of the Church of the Brethren.” The vote came as the delegate body addressed the 10 recommendations in the Review and Evaluation Committee’s report, and was announced as there were still two recommendations still to be acted upon. Read more »


Today in Grand Rapids – Saturday, July 1, 2017 (July 1, 2017)

An overview of the day at Annual Conference Read more »


On Earth Peace retains agency status, as delegates make decisions on the Review and Evaluation Committee report (July 1, 2017)

The Annual Conference on Saturday, July 1, did not adopt a Recommendation #6 from the Review and Evaluation Committee “that On Earth Peace no longer remain an agency of the Church of the Brethren.” The vote came as the delegate body addressed 10 recommendations in the Review and Evaluation Committee report. As has happened every 10 years in recent decades, in 2015 a committee to review and evaluate the organization and structure of the Church of the Brethren was charged with carrying out a study and bringing recommendations to this year’s Conference. Read more »


Delegates adopt report from Leadership Team and CODE, approve new vision effort (June 30, 2017)

Annual Conference on Thursday, June 29, adopted a recommendation from the denomination’s Leadership Team and Council of District Executives (CODE) during consideration of the report, “The Authority of Annual Conference and Districts regarding the Accountability of Ministers, Congregations, and Districts.” The action receives the report as a response to the concerns of “Query: Same Sex Weddings” and sets in motion a new vision effort in the church. Read more »


On Earth Peace call for new polity for agencies is acted on by the Conference (June 30, 2017)

The 2016 Annual Conference has processed a recommendation from On Earth Peace titled “Polity for Agencies,” by adopting a Standing Committee recommendation to return the query with appreciation and respect, but to accept the concern of the recommendation regarding a lack of polity with regard to agencies of the Conference. Read more »


Today in Grand Rapids - Friday, June 30, 2017 (June 30, 2017)

An overview of the day at the 2017 Annual Conference Read more »


Today in Grand Rapids – Thursday – June 29, 2017 (June 29, 2017)

An overview of the day at Annual Conference Read more »


Donita J. Keister to serve as moderator-elect of Annual Conference (June 29, 2017)

In election results today, the Annual Conference chose Donita J. Keister of Mifflinburg, Pa., as moderator-elect. She will serve as moderator-elect for one year, and then in 2019 she will serve as moderator of the Annual Conference in San Diego, Calif. Read more »


Today in Grand Rapids – Wednesday, June 28, 2017 (June 28, 2017)

A review of the first day of the 2017 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren, held in Grand Rapids, Mich. Read more »


Standing Committee acts on items of business received from On Earth Peace (June 28, 2017)

In pre-Annual Conference meetings, Standing Committee made recommendations on two items of new business coming to the Conference from On Earth Peace. One of the functions of the Standing Committee of district delegates is to recommend action on new business items to the full delegate body. Read more »


Minister’s Association hears from Lillian Daniel, discusses relating to ‘Nones’ (June 28, 2017)

“In the age of the new atheists we have to figure out how to talk about why religion matters without sounding like jerks. Between burning in hell, and anything goes, there is a lot we can talk about,” said Lillian Daniel, presenter for the Minister’s Association pre-Conference continuing education event. Read more »


Review and Evaluation Committee holds hearing (June 28, 2017)

The Review and Evaluation Committee is organized anew every 10 years to review and evaluate the organization and structures of the Church of the Brethren denomination. The first five recommendations in the report the committee is bringing to the 2017 Annual Conference relate directly to that mandate. (The report is at www.brethren.org/ac/2017/business/UB-2-Review-and-Evaluation.pdf .) Read more »


Standing Committee agrees to new process for its deliberations this year, recommends adoption of new business items from Brethren Benefit Trust (June 26, 2017)

The Standing Committee of district delegates has begun its work ahead of the 2017 Annual Conference. Standing Committee meetings began Sunday evening, June 25, in Grand Rapids, Mich., and continue through Wednesday morning, June 28. The meetings are presided over by Annual Conference moderator Carol Scheppard, with moderator-elect Samuel Sarpiya and Conference secretary James Beckwith. Read more »


Newsline Special: Updates from Global Mission and Service (June 22, 2017)

UPDATES FROM GLOBAL MISSION AND SERVICE 1) Brethren compound in South Sudan is looted by security forces 2) Linda and Robert Shank to stay in the US for the summer Read more »


Stop the violence, end the famine (June 17, 2017)

It now seems undeniable that famines in our global world are directly related to war and violence. A famine is usually the intersection of deep political, racial, or social injustices compounding food insecurity, malnutrition, and drought found in at-risk communities. If we mix in war and uncontained violence, humanitarian response actors can’t respond and the crisis is elevated to a famine. Read more »


The denomination’s spiritual directors hold annual retreat (June 17, 2017)

Each May, spiritual directors from throughout the Church of the Brethren meet for an annual retreat and continuing education. Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministry and Retreat Center in Sharpsburg, Md., provides a beautiful and quiet setting for this event, which includes opportunities for worship, prayer, silence, creative expression, peer supervision, and keynote presentations. Read more »


EYN loses five church members in Boko Haram attack (June 17, 2017)

Five members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) were killed in a recent Boko Haram attack in Adamawa State. Reporting the incident happened in a no-network area of Adamawa State, EYN district church secretary Mildlu Rev. Bitrus Kabu said Wakara Village was attacked from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, June 8. Read more »


Newsline for June 17, 2017 (June 17, 2017)

NEWS 1) Stop the violence, end the famine 2) The denomination’s spiritual directors hold annual retreat 3) Brethren join Heifer for earthquake reconstruction in Nepal 4) Global Mission worker carries out ministry of presence in Vietnam 5) EYN loses five church members in Boko Haram attack 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for June 17, 2017 (June 17, 2017)

In this issue: Job openings, church anniversaries, news from districts, new Springs Academy for laity, opposition to proposed federal budget cuts, a new Brethren hymn for Father’s Day, Chibok schoolgirls graduate from high school in the United States, and more. Read more »


Global Mission worker carries out ministry of presence in Vietnam (June 16, 2017)

The life of this program volunteer: a ministry of presence means being with a family when they find out, “Indeed, your infant is blind.” Read more »


Brethren join Heifer for earthquake reconstruction in Nepal (June 16, 2017)

Fourteen young adults from various Church of the Brethren districts traveled to Nepal to assist in post-earthquake recovery in Dhading District, east of Kathmandu. Assisted by Heifer International staff in Nepal, the young adult workcamp worked at two school sites in the mountain community of Kebalpur, which was not far from the epic center of the April 2015 earthquake that killed over 9,000 people. The workcamp group was led by Church of the Brethren staff members Emily Tyler and Jay Wittmeyer. Read more »


Newsline for June 8, 2017 (June 8, 2017)

NEWS 1) Young Adult Conference calls the church to focus on love 2) MSS interns to serve at congregations, camps, Office of Public Witness PERSONNEL 3) Gerald Karn and Ron Anders end their service with the Church of the Brethren UPCOMING EVENTS 4) Next Church Planting Conference is set for May 2018 RESOURCES 5) ‘Women of the Hebrew Bible’ is among new resources from Brethren Press 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Gerald Karn and Ron Anders end their service with the Church of the Brethren (June 8, 2017)

With the sale of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., June 2 marked the end of service for the following two employees: Read more »


Next Church Planting Conference is set for May 2018 (June 8, 2017)

Christiana Rice will be a keynote speaker and presenter at the Church Planting Conference hosted at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., on May 16-19, 2018. The conference is sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Congregational Life Ministries. Read more »


Young Adult Conference calls the church to focus on love (June 8, 2017)

What a joy it was to take part in the 2017 Young Adult Conference over Memorial Day weekend. Dozens of young adults (ages 18-35) gathered together at Camp Harmony in Western Pennsylvania District for a weekend of reflection, fun, and worship. Read more »


Brethren bits for June 8, 2017 (June 8, 2017)

In this issue: Personnel, job opening, sale of Brethren Service Center upper campus completed, disaster volunteers sought for DRSI response in Illinois, ecumenical letter urges end to Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territories, EYN disaster response staff ask for prayer for Maiduguri, junior highs gather at Elizabethtown College, and more. Read more »


MSS interns to serve at congregations, camps, Office of Public Witness (June 8, 2017)

Ministry Summer Service orientation began June 2, when the six interns to serve in MSS this summer arrived at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Their mentors arrived Monday, June 5, and the orientation ended Wednesday. Read more »


‘Women of the Hebrew Bible’ is among new resources from Brethren Press (June 8, 2017)

New resources from Brethren Press include “Women of the Hebrew Bible” by Paula Bowser, the latest in the Covenant Bible Studies series. Also available this summer is curriculum for adults from A Guide for Biblical Studies, and a new summer quarter from the Shine curriculum for children jointly published by Brethren Press and MennoMedia. Read more »


Two ‘Crucible Webinars’ are offered this summer (June 3, 2017)

Congregational Life Ministries is partnering with organizations in the United Kingdom to present “Crucible Webinars” in June and July, on the topics “The Virtual Self” and “The Art of Resilience: Nurturing Practices for Flourishing.” Sponsors include the Church of the Brethren Congregational Life Ministries, Anabaptist Network UK, Bristol Baptist College, Mennonite Trust, and Urban Expression UK. Read more »


Brethren bits for June 3, 2017 (June 3, 2017)

In this issue: Personnel notes, job openings, Listening Sessions in Northern Ohio District, Ministry Summer Service orientation begins, Children’s Disaster Services wraps up in Missouri, prayer requested for workcamp in Nepal, webinar organized by the Christian Peace Circle, Deacon Workshop presented at Chambersburg Church, “A Biblical Basis for Befriending Foreigners” offered at Bethany Seminary, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for June 3, 2017 (June 3, 2017)

NEWS 1) Most of the Chibok girls released in May were prayed for by Church of the Brethren congregations 2) Nigeria Crisis Response shares updates on its relief work 3) Bethany Seminary and EYN form educational partnership 4) EYN general secretary is first to receive doctorate from Bossey Ecumenical Institute 5) Vigil against hate draws hundreds in Ambler UPCOMING EVENTS 6) Two ‘Crucible Webinars’ are offered this summer REFLECTIONS 7) Moderator’s Bible study for June focuses on the ‘chosen of God’ 8) Remember when: Church of the Brethren statements on care for Creation 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Most of the Chibok girls released in May were prayed for by Church of the Brethren congregations (June 3, 2017)

Sixty of the Chibok girls who were released in a prisoner swap in early May were among those who have been held in prayer by Church of the Brethren congregations since 2014. Each of those congregations has received a letter from the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Nigeria Crisis Response shares updates on its relief work (June 3, 2017)

Nigeria Crisis Response coordinator Roxane Hill has shared updates on the relief work ongoing in northeast Nigeria. The Nigeria Crisis Response is a joint effort of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria and the Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries of the Church of the Brethren, working with several partner organizations in Nigeria. (Learn more at www.brethren.org/nigeriacrisis .) Read more »


Vigil against hate draws hundreds in Ambler (June 3, 2017)

More than 300 members of the greater Ambler, Pa., community packed the Church of the Brethren, where the resonating message by religious and civic leaders was “there is no place for hate in our community.” The May 25 candlelight vigil was a reaction to Ku Klux Klan literature left in the driveways of Maple Glen homes and “KKK” and four-letter words found spray-painted along the Power Line Trail in Horsham 10 days before. Read more »


Remember when: Church of the Brethren statements on care for Creation (June 2, 2017)

As early as 1991, the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference adopted a statement titled “Creation: Called to Care." “Why should Christians care about the environment?” the statement reads, in part. “Simply because we learn in Genesis that God has promised to fulfill all of creation, not just humanity, and has made humans the stewards of it. ..." Read more »


EYN president warns pastors of bowing to material things, at KBC graduation (May 22, 2017)

Joel S. Billi, president of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), warned pastors of bowing to material things and called them to be different in society, at the 52nd graduation ceremony of EYN’s Kulp Bible College in Kwarhi. The president, who expressed his joy in this occasion at EYN’s highest theological institution, was represented by vice-president Anthony A. Ndamsai. Read more »


EDF grants go to Kenya drought, flood responses in Missouri and W. Virginia (May 22, 2017)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed its most recent allocation from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support Church World Service (CWS) response to a drought in Kenya. Another recent grant funds the start of a Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding project site in Missouri. Earlier this year, a similar grant funded a limited project in West Virginia. Read more »


GFI grants go to China, Africa Great Lakes region, the DR, community gardens, nutrition program in DC (May 22, 2017)

The most recent grant from the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Initiative will help improve the diets of clients of a hospice in China. Other grants approved in recent months aid agricultural work in the Africa Great Lakes region, the education of leaders among Brethren in the Dominican Republic, and several community gardens in the United States that are connected with Church of the Brethren congregations. An additional domestic allocation supports the Brethren Nutrition Program of Washington (D.C.) City Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Districts announce new leadership (May 22, 2017)

Three districts in the Church of the Brethren have announced new leadership. David Banaszak has been hired to lead Middle Pennsylvania. Kris Hawk will be the new district executive minister for Northern Ohio. Tabitha H. Rudy is interim associate district executive for Virlina. Read more »


Newsline for May 22, 2017 (May 22, 2017)

NEWS 1) EDF grants go to Kenya drought, flood responses in Missouri and W. Virginia 2) GFI grants go to China, Africa Great Lakes region, the DR, community gardens, nutrition program in DC 3) Christian groups begin global prayer and fasting ‘For Such a Time’ 4) Millions join hearts and minds to pray for end to famine 5) Prayer requested for the millions of people facing famine 6) Brethren Benefit Trust adopts 2017 Department of Defense investment screens 7) EYN president warns pastors of bowing to material things, at KBC graduation ANNUAL CONFERENCE 8) Annual Conference 2017 offers special programming, opportunities for spiritual enrichment, continuing education PERSONNEL 9) Districts announce new leadership 10) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for May 22, 2017 (May 22, 2017)

In this issue: Correction, remembering Allen Hansell, personnel notes and job openings, “Another way of living” statements sought for use at Annual Conference, August workcamp in Nigeria needs more participants, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Brethren Benefit Trust adopts 2017 Department of Defense investment screens (May 22, 2017)

The Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) board has adopted 2017 Department of Defense screens for investments. Each year as part of its Brethren values investing initiatives, BBT’s Board of Directors approves investment screens by adopting two Department of Defense lists comprised of companies that earn significant revenue from US military operations. Read more »


Annual Conference 2017 offers special programming, opportunities for spiritual enrichment, continuing education (May 22, 2017)

Organizers of the 2017 Annual Conference highlight special programming for this year’s annual meeting of the Church of the Brethren, taking place in Grand Rapids, Mich., June 28-July 2. In addition to business sessions for delegates, all attendees will have opportunities for spiritual enrichment, continuing education, fellowship, and family oriented activities. Read more »


Prayer requested for the millions of people facing famine (May 20, 2017)

More people face famine today than at any time in modern history, with 20 million people at risk of starvation and millions more suffering drought and food shortages. In light of this, the All Africa Conference of Churches and the World Council of Churches invite us to take part in a Global Day of Prayer to End Famine on May 21. Read more »


Christian groups begin global prayer and fasting ‘For Such a Time’ (May 20, 2017)

In a concerted effort identifying the need to work on hunger and famine relief, a number of Christian groups in the US and internationally have announced a season of prayer and fasting that began on Sunday, May 21. According to the United Nations and other experts, 20 million people are at risk of starvation in four regions--northeastern Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen--and millions more are suffering from drought and food shortages. Read more »


CCS 2017 studies Native American rights and food security (May 12, 2017)

This year’s Christian Citizenship Seminar (CCS) took place from April 22-27. The theme was based on Native American rights and food security. Thirty-eight high school aged youth and their advisers from as far as California to as close as Pennsylvania, and states like Kansas in between, were a part of this year’s CCS. Read more »


Two units of Brethren Volunteer Service are placed at project sites (May 12, 2017)

In recent months, two units of Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) have been placed at project sites across the United States and in a variety of international settings. The units are listed below by volunteer names and project placements. Read more »


Office of Public Witness signs on to letter opposing deportations of Haitians (May 12, 2017)

The Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness has signed on to a letter to the US administration from the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. The letter responds to signals from the administration that a decision may be made not to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nearly 50,000 Haitians living in the United States. Read more »


Newsline for May 12, 2017 (May 12, 2017)

NEWS 1) Bethany Seminary honors new graduates 2) Bethany trustees focus on new Strategic Plan 3) Office of Public Witness signs on to letter opposing deportations of Haitians 4) CCS 2017 studies Native American rights and food security REFLECTION 5) CCS: Sparking a passion for social justice PERSONNEL 6) Two units of Brethren Volunteer Service are placed at project sites 7) Sandy Schild retires from Brethren Benefit Trust RESOURCES 8) Ecumenical Stewardship Center offers resources 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for May 12, 2017 (May 12, 2017)

Correction, remembering Evie Toppel and Lila McCray, personnel notes, CDS continues work in Missouri, Brethren Press seeks dessert recipes for new cookbook, and more Read more »


Sandy Schild retires from Brethren Benefit Trust (May 12, 2017)

Sandy Schild has announced her retirement from Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) as of June 1. She has been BBT’s Finance Project manager and Operations Support. She began as director of Financial Operations on Dec. 14, 2009. Read more »


Ecumenical Stewardship Center offers resources (May 12, 2017)

The 2017 edition of “Giving” magazine titled “Live Generously,” and related materials, are now available from the Ecumenical Stewardship Center. The Church of the Brethren partners with the center in stewardship resources and other initiatives. Read more »


CCS: Sparking a passion for social justice (May 12, 2017)

I’ve found that social media does an amazing job of keeping track of timelines I could never have kept straight for myself. While scrolling through my Facebook feed during a time of leisure at this year’s Christian Citizenship Seminar, I stumbled upon pictures of me and other 2015 CCS participants enjoying the city life in Washington, D.C. and New York. The energy of my companions and the dynamic cities we explored together left me even more excited to learn about the issues surrounding immigration, which was the theme of CCS the year that I attended as a high school junior. Read more »


EYN confirms release of 82 Chibok schoolgirls in prisoner swap (May 8, 2017)

President Joel S. Billi of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has confirmed news reports of the release of 82 of the Chibok schoolgirls who were abducted by Boko Haram in April 2014. Media are reporting that the girls were released to the Nigerian government by Boko Haram on Saturday, in exchange for five Boko Haram suspects. Read more »


Wieand Trust gives grants to church plants in Chicago area (May 5, 2017)

Congregational Life Ministries staff are supporting and overseeing grants from the David J. And Mary Elizabeth Wieand Trust to two church plants in the Chicago area. The Wieand Trust explicitly names Christian work in Chicago as one of three purposes for its grants. Read more »


Newsline for May 5, 2017 (May 5, 2017)

NEWS 1) Worship service closes upper campus of the Brethren Service Center 2) Employees end service with the church upon closing of the Brethren Service Center upper campus 3) Wieand Trust gives grants to church plants in Chicago area 4) Messenger magazine receives awards UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Manchester University commencement marks 100th anniversary of Dan West’s graduation REFLECTION 6) May Bible study on the Annual Conference theme: The people of God made new 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for May 5, 2017 (May 5, 2017)

In this issue: Personnel notes, Brethren Disaster Ministries responds to Missouri flooding, new tractors for the Nigeria Crisis Response, BVS office hosts its annual Think Tank meeting, upcoming auctions support disaster relief, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Employees end service with the church upon closing of the Brethren Service Center upper campus (May 5, 2017)

With the closing of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., 10 employees of the Church of the Brethren end their work with the denomination. A few more will do so in coming weeks. Read more »


Messenger magazine receives awards (May 4, 2017)

Messenger, the Church of the Brethren magazine, has received two awards from the Associated Church Press. The first is an award of excellence for publisher Wendy McFadden’s online essay “A Playlist of Mercy and Hope.” The second award is an honorable mention for redesign of the Messenger website. Read more »


Worship service closes upper campus of the Brethren Service Center (May 2, 2017)

A worship service on Sunday afternoon, April 30, closed the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Some 125 people gathered on the lawn in front of the Old Main building on a warm, sunny afternoon to remember and celebrate the ministries that have taken place at the campus. Read more »


Celebrate the generations during Older Adult Month, National Youth Sunday (April 21, 2017)

Each May congregations are encouraged to celebrate the contributions of members of all generations to our life together. The first Sunday in May (May 7) is National Youth Sunday, a day when youth are engaged in planning, organizing, and leading worship. The entire month is designated as Older Adult Month, an opportunity for congregations to celebrate God’s gift of aging and the contributions of elders in our midst. Read more »


Group receives training in ‘Farming God’s Way’ in Africa (April 21, 2017)

Brethren Disaster Ministries and the Global Food Initiative recently worked together to send representatives from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), representatives from South Sudan, and a Church of the Brethren representative from the United States to Kenya to receive training in a program called Farming God’s Way with an organization called Care of Creation, Kenya. Read more »


On Earth Peace board continues its anti-racism emphasis (April 21, 2017)

The On Earth Peace Board met April 6-8 in Harrisburg, Pa. The meetings were hosted by First Church of the Brethren, a Christ centered, multi-ethnic community in the inner city. This was in keeping with an ongoing board commitment to meet in people of color majority spaces. First Church included the board in its regular Friday morning bilingual Spanish and English worship service. This service is jointly led by First Church and its partner congregation, Living Waters, for community people arriving for a weekly food distribution. Read more »


Newsline for April 21, 2017 (April 21, 2017)

NEWS 1) Group receives training in ‘Farming God’s Way’ in Africa 2) New scholarship program is offered by Bethany Seminary 3) On Earth Peace board continues its anti-racism emphasis PERSONNEL 4) Bob Chase retires from leadership of SERRV, Loreen Epp named president and CEO UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Celebrate the generations during Older Adult Month, National Youth Sunday 6) Bethany Seminary commencement is scheduled REFLECTION 7) ‘Feetwashing’ in the garden: The most meaningful love feast ever! 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Bob Chase retires from leadership of SERRV, Loreen Epp named president and CEO (April 21, 2017)

Bob Chase has announced his retirement from his long-term leadership of SERRV International, Inc., as of the end of April. SERRV is a fair trade organization that had its start as a Church of the Brethren program. Chase is retiring as president and CEO, and has been part of the SERRV team and part of the global fair trade community for more than 27 years. Read more »


Brethren bits for April 21, 2017 (April 21, 2017)

In this issue: Correction, remembering Marie Flory, personnel, job openings, congregational news, “Becoming a Leader in Memory Care” webinar, the 2017 Brethren Bible Institute, an Easter hope message from South Sudan, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


‘Feetwashing’ in the garden: The most meaningful love feast ever! (April 21, 2017)

In my 27 years of pastoral ministry tonight was the most meaningful Maundy Thursday love feast experience ever for me! Any other church I have been part of would have fired me on the spot for messing with the “Holy Ground,” but not Community of Joy. Read more »


Newsline Special for Good Friday 2017 (April 14, 2017)

1) Action Alert for the third anniversary of the Chibok kidnappings 2) Global Mission and Service executive visits Chibok during recent trip to Nigeria 3) Church of the Brethren gives grants to rebuild Nigerian churches 4) Remembering Chibok at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University 5) Carrying the cross without fear: How the Coptic Church in Egypt deals with the constant threat 6) Love feast at Princeton Read more »


Church of the Brethren gives grants to rebuild Nigerian churches (April 14, 2017)

The Church of the Brethren has granted $100,000 to Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) to support the church rebuilding efforts of EYN members. The grants will be given to 20 churches at $5,000 a piece. Read more »


Remembering Chibok at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University (April 14, 2017)

For the third year in a row, Kristie Hammond of Olivet Church of the Brethren in Ohio--now a senior at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University (MVNU)--arranged for a social justice speaker to commemorate each passing year of the Chibok abductions. She says she was personally affected by this horrific event because the girls were her age, or younger, and were kidnapped for trying to get a post-secondary education just as she is doing. Read more »


Global Mission and Service executive visits Chibok during recent trip to Nigeria (April 13, 2017)

I went to Chibok last week. The security is extremely tight, and there is little space to do much, but I felt compelled to go along with three brothers from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria): Marcus Gamache, Dr. Yusuf Yokubo, and the district secretary of Chibok. It was partially for my own understanding, partially to encourage EYN, and more specifically, the local Brethren families who continue to live and farm in Chibok. Read more »


Love feast at Princeton (April 13, 2017)

Last month, I received an invitation to officiate at a love feast at Princeton Theological Seminary, where I am a visiting scholar. Surprised to learned there would be a love feast at Princeton, I jumped at the chance to help, but discovered the date conflicted with my responsibilities as a trustee at Bridgewater (Va.) College. Read more »


Nigerian church holds annual conference after insurgency (April 8, 2017)

The largest church denomination in northeastern Nigeria convened its annual conference at its Headquarters in Kwarhi, the first to be held there since the two years since the Boko Haram insurgency overran the area. Read more »


Camp cohort completes the Sustaining Ministerial Excellence Advanced Seminar (April 8, 2017)

The fourth and final retreat for the Camp Cohort of the Sustaining Ministerial Excellence Advanced Seminar took place March 19-22 at Quaker Hill Retreat Center in Richmond, Ind. Congratulations to Barbara Wise Lewczak of Camp Pine Lake, Northern Plains District; Karen Neff of Camp Ithiel, Atlantic Southeast District; Linetta and Joel Ballew of Camp Swatara, Atlantic Northeast District; Jerri Wenger of Camp Blue Diamond, Middle Pennsylvania District; and Wallace Cole of Camp Carmel, Southeastern District. Read more »


Nigerian Brethren leaders make trip to Cameroon refugee camp (April 8, 2017)

I was privileged to travel to visit a Christian and Muslim refugee camp in Cameroon. The president of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) Joel S. Billi, the general secretary, administrative secretary, EYN spiritual adviser, and and six others including myself traveled to Minawawuoa in Maruoa Province, Cameroon, to visit a refugee camp on March 11. Read more »


Brethren bits for April 8, 2017 (April 8, 2017)

In this issue: Corrections, remembrances, personnel notes, job openings, SERRV offers tours of its Distribution Center at the Brethren Service Center on April 30, We Are Able workcamp seeks for assistants ages 18-plus, pre-NOAC gathering for pastors is announced for September, Healthy Boundaries 101 training session takes place May 8, “Pray for Christian Citizenship Seminar 2017" asks Office of Public Witness, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for April 8, 2017 (April 8, 2017)

NEWS 1) Statement from Annual Conference moderator, general secretary mourns cycle of violence in Syria 2) Camp cohort completes the Sustaining Ministerial Excellence Advanced Seminar 3) Nigerian church holds annual conference after insurgency 4) Nigerian Brethren leaders make trip to Cameroon refugee camp SPECIAL SECTION: CONCERNS OF IMMIGRANT BRETHREN 5) Intercultural leaders share concern for immigrant members: ‘The fears are real’ 6) Please help them: Reflection of a Latino Brethren 7) Filipenses puede guiar a la iglesia en relación con personas indocumentadas 8) Philippians may guide the church in relating with undocumented people REFLECTIONS 9) God lives! Now repent and be faithful 10) Sing, sing, sing: A reflection to prepare for Palm Sunday 11) Brethren bits Read more »


Intercultural leaders share concern for immigrant members: ‘The fears are real’ (April 8, 2017)

Pastors of intercultural congregations are working to serve church members who are immigrants during a time when the nation’s immigrant community is feeling threatened. Leaders connected with the Church of the Brethren Intercultural Ministries are expressing concerns for the wellbeing of immigrants--documented and undocumented--in their congregations. Read more »


Statement from Annual Conference moderator, general secretary mourns cycle of violence in Syria (April 7, 2017)

As citizens under the reign of God, we mourn the violence of these days.... Read more »


Sing, sing, sing: A reflection to prepare for Palm Sunday (April 7, 2017)

“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord” (Psalm 118:26a). Read more »


Large sum released from Emergency Disaster Fund continues Nigeria Crisis Response  (March 26, 2017)

The Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board has approved the release of $500,000 from the Emergency Disaster Fund to support Nigeria Crisis Response programing. The Nigeria Crisis Response is a joint effort of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria with the Church of the Brethren's Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries. Read more »


Brethren Bits for March 24, 2017 (March 25, 2017)

News from local congregations, jobs, remembrance: Dora Belle Showalter, Venezuela baptisms, Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) volunteers in Missouri, book donations needed, Gaza live stream, Nigeria workcamp reflections, Hillcrest School anniversary, Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation training, "Explore Your Call" for high school students., Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies banquet, Global Women’s Project steering committee meeting, Christian Peacemaker Teams, IMA health report on South Sudan, Happy birthday to Pearl Beard Read more »


Newsline for March 25, 2017 (March 25, 2017)

NEWS 1) Large sum released from Emergency Disaster Fund continues Nigeria Crisis Response PERSONNEL 2) Michigan District executive Nate Polzin resigns 3) Program assistants resign from Brethren Disaster Ministries 4) Shamek Cardona hired as Church of the Brethren manager of Human Resources UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Closing service to be held for upper campus of Brethren Service Center 6) Continuing education events for ministers address Leviticus, elder care challenges 7) Ventures courses are offered on Chronicles and faith formation 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Filipenses puede guiar a la iglesia en relación con personas indocumentadas (March 25, 2017)

Filipenses es un buen recurso para la iglesia para consultar, ya que reflexiona sobre cómo responder a los indocumentados que viven en nuestro país. El escritor primario de la carta, el apóstol Pablo, no era muy diferente de muchos Mexico-Americanos de hoy. Era un ciudadano, pero muchos de su pueblo no lo eran. Read more »


Shamek Cardona hired as Church of the Brethren manager of Human Resources (March 25, 2017)

Shamek Cardona of Hanover Park, Ill., has begun work as manager of human resources for the Church of the Brethren, working at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Read more »


Closing service to be held for upper campus of Brethren Service Center (March 24, 2017)

A worship service is planned as a closing event for the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., on April 30. Sale of the upper campus is expected to be completed in early May. Read more »


Ventures courses are offered on Chronicles and faith formation (March 24, 2017)

McPherson (Kan.) College’s online Ventures program is offering upcoming courses on the book of Chronicles and faith formation. Read more »


Philippians may guide the church in relating with undocumented people  (March 24, 2017)

Philippians is a good resource for the church to consult as it ponders how to respond to undocumented people living in our country. Read more »


Continuing education events for ministers address Leviticus, elder care challenges (March 24, 2017)

The Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center (SVMC) will offer two continuing education events this spring: “Ten-Plus Reasons to Love Leviticus” at Elizabethtown College, and “Cultivating Conversations...Navigating Elder Care Challenges” at Cross Keys Village in New Oxford, Pa. Read more »


Program assistants resign from Brethren Disaster Ministries (March 23, 2017)

Robin DeYoung has resigned from the Brethren Disaster Ministries Rebuild program and Kristen Hoffman from Children’s Disaster Services. Read more »


Michigan District executive Nate Polzin resigns (March 23, 2017)

The Michigan District Leadership Team has received a letter of resignation from Nate Polzin, district executive, effective July 7. Read more »


Newsline for March 18, 2017 (March 18, 2017)

NEWS 1) Mission and Ministry Board approves new areas of global mission 2) CCT issues call to prayer for Congress in upcoming decisions affecting those in poverty 3) Christian Churches Together holds forum on ‘the persecuted church’ 4) Haiti Medical Project has a new focus on pure water for Haiti UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Jubilee afternoon will be a breath of rejuvenation for Annual Conference 6) National Youth Conference 2018 theme is announced FEATURE 7) Please help them: Reflection of a Latino Brethren 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for March 18, 2017 (March 18, 2017)

Job openings, personnel, new dates for Nigeria workcamp, next webinars on “Mental Health” and “What Have the Children Done for Us?” new Brethren Disaster Ministries video, remembrance and celebration weekend at Brethren Service Center, annual assembly of the Brazilian Brethren, Office of Public Witness blogpost on indigenous opposition to pipeline, and more news by, for, and about Brethren Read more »


Jubilee afternoon will be a breath of rejuvenation for Annual Conference (March 17, 2017)

For a second year in a row the 2017 Annual Conference schedule will include a Jubilee break from business on Friday afternoon. To understand how Jubilee came to be a part of Annual Conference, it is helpful to look at its origins in scripture. Read more »


Haiti Medical Project has a new focus on pure water for Haiti (March 17, 2017)

For the past 18 months, the Church of the Brethren has been addressing the need for pure drinking water in our related communities in Haiti through the work of the Haiti Medical Project in cooperation with l’Eglise des Freres Haitiens (Church of the Brethren in Haiti). The mobile medical clinics offered since late 2011 treat many children and adults suffering from dysentery and other serious infectious diseases that often result from untreated water. Read more »


Christian Churches Together holds forum on ‘the persecuted church’ (March 17, 2017)

More than 40 leaders from Christian Churches Together (CCT) joined a forum in Newark, N.J., on March 2-3 to discuss the ongoing persecution of Christians around the globe. I was invited to speak on behalf of the Church of the Brethren regarding the impact of Boko Haram on the Christian community in Nigeria. Read more »


CCT issues call to prayer for Congress in upcoming decisions affecting those in poverty (March 17, 2017)

Citing scripture reminding of God’s concern for the poor, Christian Churches Together (CCT) has issued a call to prayer for the US Congress, noting that “during the last three weeks of March, the US Congress will make critical decisions that will affect the lives of millions of our brothers and sisters living in poverty. The right decisions could alleviate and pull people out of poverty; the wrong decisions will increase poverty and put the lives of hundreds of thousands at risk.” CCT is an ecumenical organization made up of five “families” of Christian denominations across the country. The Church of the Brethren is a member denomination. The full text of the document follows: Read more »


National Youth Conference 2018 theme is announced (March 17, 2017)

Participants in National Youth Conference (NYC) 2018 will focus on the theme “Bound Together: Clothed in Christ.” The scriptural theme is from Colossians 3:12-15: “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.” Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board approves new areas of global mission (March 17, 2017)

Fledgling Church of the Brethren mission projects in two areas of the world--Venezuela and the Great Lakes region of Africa--have been formally approved by the denomination’s Mission and Ministry Board, at its March 3-8 meeting. Read more »


Please help them: Reflection of a Latino Brethren (March 17, 2017)

The result of the presidential election and the politics in regards to immigration issues has impacted America in so many ways. Being a Latino pastor in a country where the Latino population reaches close to 60 million people gives me the opportunity to not only share the gospel in Spanish, but also to be concerned with the issues that affect my community. Read more »


Disaster Recovery Support Initiative launches (March 3, 2017)

When a natural or technological disaster strikes a community, beginning the process of long-term recovery quickly is essential. Yet, it can be a daunting task for local leaders who may not have experience in disaster recovery and may have suffered damage and loss themselves. Read more »


Brethren bits for March 3, 2017 (March 3, 2017)

In this issue: Correction, Brethren affected by Pennsylvania tornado, remembrance for Martin Gauby, personnel notice and job openings, prayer requested for areas affected by famine, EYN grieves death of young minister and victims of Boko Haram, Healthy Boundaries 101 training session is offered in May, On Earth Peace offers racial justice organizing clinic, and more news from congregations, districts, colleges, Fellowship of Brethren Homes, and ecumenical partners. Read more »


More listening sessions with the general secretary are scheduled (March 3, 2017)

Additional listening sessions with David Steele, general secretary of the Church of the Brethren, have been announced. Steele is holding listening sessions in church districts around the denomination. The meetings are a way for him to listen closely to people within the church, and an opportunity for church members to meet the general secretary. Read more »


Newsline for March 3, 2017 (March 3, 2017)

1) Moderator’s Bible study for March asks, ‘Can these bones live?’ 2) Business items coming to the 2017 Annual Conference are now online 3) Disaster Recovery Support Initiative launches UPCOMING EVENTS 4) More listening sessions with the general secretary are scheduled 5) Bridgewater College to present symposium on nonviolence in 21st century 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 25, 2017 (February 25, 2017)

CDS completes work in Oroville, BDM winter newsletter, prayer request for gatherings in DR and Venezuela, Shine spring curriculum, On Earth Peace plans Palestine delegation, Ventures course explores Lent, Holmesville returns to Founders Day tradition, more Read more »


Newsline for Feb. 25, 2017 (February 25, 2017)

NEWS 1) Intercultural Ministry seeks to connect with churches in ‘sanctuary’ jurisdictions 2) Nursing scholarships announced for 2016, applications are received for 2017 3) Church of the Brethren members invited to Oregon Senate for key vote UPCOMING EVENTS 4) Big Rapids Song and Story Fest to be in Michigan following Annual Conference REMEMBER WHEN 5) From Gimbiya’s desk: Those who came before me 6) Remembering internment: Days of infamy 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Church of the Brethren members invited to Oregon Senate for key vote (February 25, 2017)

Florence Daté Smith and her daughter Barbara Daté on Feb. 16 were among at least 17 Japanese-Americans invited to sit on the chamber floor of the Oregon State Senate for a vote unanimously approving Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 14. The resolution recognizes the historical significance of Feb. 19, 1942, the date President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed executive order 9066 setting in motion the internment of some 120,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II. Read more »


Intercultural Ministry seeks to connect with churches in ‘sanctuary’ jurisdictions (February 25, 2017)

A letter from the Church of the Brethren Intercultural Ministry, signed by director Gimbiya Kettering, is part of a new effort to connect with congregations located in areas considered to be “sanctuary” jurisdictions across the country. Read more »


Nursing scholarships announced for 2016, applications are received for 2017 (February 24, 2017)

Six nursing students were named as recipients of Church of the Brethren Nursing Scholarships for 2016. This scholarship, made possible by the Health Education and Research Endowment, is available to members of the Church of the Brethren enrolled in LPN, RN, or nursing graduate programs. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services sends team to aid evacuees in northern California (February 18, 2017)

A team of eight volunteers with Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) are serving in Oroville, Calif., at the request of the American Red Cross. The team is offering child care for families affected by the evacuation of the area under threat from the emergency at the Oroville Dam. Read more »


Newsline for Feb. 18, 2017 (February 18, 2017)

NEWS 1) Children’s Disaster Services sends team to aid evacuees in northern California 2) Global Food Initiative supports soybean consultation in Africa, community garden in Illinois 3) Nigeria Crisis Response volunteers visit rebuilt church, IDP camp in Maiduguri 4) EYN disaster ministry conducts Hepatitis B screening, aids Bdagu refugees UPCOMING EVENTS 5) General secretary continues to hold listening sessions 6) Global Mission and Service offers more Nigeria workcamps PERSONNEL 7) Brethren Benefit Trust announces staffing changes REFLECTION 8) Values of retirement community cooperative group live on REMEMBER WHEN 9) Resolution on Justice for Japanese-American World War II Internees: An action of the former General Board of the Church of the Brethren 10) Brethren bits Read more »


General secretary continues to hold listening sessions (February 18, 2017)

David Steele, general secretary of the Church of the Brethren, is holding listening sessions in church districts around the denomination. The meetings are a way for him to listen closely to people within the church, and an opportunity for church members to meet the general secretary. Last fall, several listening sessions were held--mostly in conjunction with district conferences. Read more »


Values of retirement community cooperative group live on (February 18, 2017)

The Peace Church Risk Retention Group and the Peace Church Health Insurance Program hold two annual meetings, in which the Fellowship of Brethren Homes participates. In a recent meeting of the Peace Church Retention Group, which is served by Phil Leaman as COO and Russ Shaner as executive director, we were reminded of the group’s mission and values statements. Read more »


Global Food Initiative supports soybean consultation in Africa, community garden in Illinois (February 18, 2017)

With a grant of $2,500, the Church of the Brethren Global Food Initiative (GFI) is supporting a soybean consultation and exchange visit between Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and Church Aid Inc. in Liberia. Another recent grant of $1,000 supports a community gardening initiative of Rockford (Ill.) Community Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Brethren Benefit Trust announces staffing changes (February 18, 2017)

Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) has announced staffing changes, including a resignation and a new hire at its offices located at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Eric Thompson has tendered his resignation as director of operations for Information Technology. Jeremiah Thompson has accepted the position of director of BBT’s Insurance Operations. Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 18, 2017 (February 18, 2017)

In this issue: ACT Alliance names new general secretary, job opening, news from congregations and camps, ULV class on leadership and culture gains attention, Bread for the World reports decreases in poverty and hunger among African Americans, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


EYN disaster ministry conducts Hepatitis B screening, aids Bdagu refugees (February 18, 2017)

Following the EYN president’s statement declaring a state of emergency on health, the Disaster Relief Ministry of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) moved to conduct Hepatitis B screening starting with staff and students of Kulp Bible College in Kwarhi. Read more »


Global Mission and Service offers more Nigeria workcamps (February 18, 2017)

More Nigeria workcamp opportunities have been announced by the Global Mission and Service office of the Church of the Brethren. American Brethren and others who are interested in joining in a workcamp with members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) are invited to consider one of two workcamps to be held in April and August. Read more »


Nigeria Crisis Response volunteers visit rebuilt church, IDP camp in Maiduguri (February 18, 2017)

On Feb. 9, John and I visited the Wulari EYN Maiduguri church of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) in the large northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri. We met the EYN HIV/AIDS Project staff, and met the new pastor Joseph T. Kwaha. The church was rebuilt in 2015 after it was bombed by Boko Haram and totally destroyed in June 2009. We also visited the EYN IDP camp of 8,000 displaced persons located nearby on an old church compound. Read more »


Chiques members work for the Kingdom in Haiti (February 11, 2017)

Sixteen members of Chiques Church of the Brethren spent a week in Haiti in January. Their primary goal was to work on upgrades to the Brethren guesthouse in Croix des Bouquets. The group served with l’Eglise des Freres Haitiens (Church of the Brethren in Haiti). Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 11, 2017 (February 11, 2017)

In this issue: Emma Jean Woodard resigns from Virlina District and other personnel and job announcements, Capstone founder reports from New Orleans after tornado, Ministers’ Association pre-Conference event features Lillian Daniel, mission worker in Vietnam aids children who need eye care, BBT offers webinar on long-term care, and more. Read more »


Christianity was on trial: The Smeltzers stand with Japanese-Americans (February 11, 2017)

The following is an excerpt of the late Mary Blocher Smeltzer’s story about how she and her husband, Ralph Smeltzer, aided Japanese-American families who were interned by the US government during World War II. The Smeltzers began teaching at the Manzanar internment camp and then worked to relocate Japanese-American families to Chicago and New York with help from the Church of the Brethren and Bethany Seminary. This story was included in the chapter titled “Japanese-American Resettlement Work” in the book “To Serve the Present Age: The Brethren Service Story,” edited by Donald F. Durnbaugh and published by Brethren Press in 1975: Read more »


Remember when: The Brethren Service Committee finds its charter (February 4, 2017)

This week’s Newsline "remember when" moment from Brethren history is the decision that created the Brethren Service Committee, the forerunner of the Brethren Service Commission. The BSC went on to become the main implement for the Church of the Brethren’s extensive service activities and witness for peace in Europe and elsewhere following World War II. From the minutes of the 1941 Annual Conference: Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 3, 2017 (February 3, 2017)

Brethren bits for Feb. 3, 2017 Read more »


Brethren Press offers Lenten devotional focused on mercy (February 3, 2017)

“Medicine of Mercy” is the title of the Lenten devotional from Brethren Press. The Lenten devotional is one of two annual devotional booklets published by Brethren Press, along with the Advent devotional. This year’s Lenten devotional is written by Theresa Eshbach. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services serves people affected by tornado in Georgia (February 3, 2017)

A team of volunteers from Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) set up yesterday morning at a MARC (Multi Agency Resource Center) in Albany, Ga. CDS provides child care for families affected by disasters, often offering care for children while parents apply for aid or take care of other necessary tasks in the wake of disasters. Read more »


Nigerian Brethren in Lassa help shelter people displaced by renewed attacks (February 3, 2017)

Following the recent attacks on Bdagu village, Lassa is hosting another hundreds of refugees fleeing the village. Bdagu was attacked last week. Six men and four women were taken away by the Boko Haram, and four people were killed including one old woman burnt in her house. Read more »


A call for prayer in our troubled times (February 3, 2017)

Shenandoah District executive minister John Jantzi invites us to prayer as our country struggles with issues relating to immigration and refugee resettlement. He writes: Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries completes its work in Detroit (February 1, 2017)

FEMA stated that the six-inch rain event of August 2014 in Detroit, Mich., was the major disaster of that year for FEMA. But our US government disaster program did not allocate funds for that disaster, which had its most negative impact on African-American families. Read more »


Global Food Initiative connects with Bittersweet Ministries, Haitian refugees in Mexico (January 31, 2017)

The following is a brief report posted this past weekend from Tijuana, Mexico, by Jeff Boshart, manager of the Global Food Initiative and the Emerging Global Mission Fund for the Church of the Brethren: Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services workshop series will train volunteers (January 28, 2017)

Children's Disaster Services (CDS) is offering a series of workshops for volunteer training. Read more »


Donita Keister and J. Roger Schrock top Annual Conference ballot for 2017 (January 28, 2017)

The Conference Office has released the ballot that will be presented to the 2017 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren this summer. Read more »


TOGETHER global initiative is launched by United Nations (January 28, 2017)

“TOGETHER is a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life.” Read more »


Brethren bits for January 28, 2017 (January 28, 2017)

Personnel news, jobs, Heifer Ranch workcamp added, CDS update, BLM land sale news, EYN prayer request, updates from congregations and more Read more »


National Junior High Conference to call youth to a ‘greater cause’ (January 28, 2017)

National Junior High Conference 2017 will invite youth and their advisors to consider Jonah’s story through the theme “Called for a Greater Cause: Jonah’s Journey.” The conference will be held June 9-11 on the campus of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. Read more »


Deborah Brehm resigns as manager of human resources (January 27, 2017)

Deborah Brehm resigns as manager of human resources Read more »


Church of the Brethren general secretary among 2,000 religious leaders signing letter supporting refugee resettlement (January 27, 2017)

General secretary David Steele on behalf of the Church of the Brethren has signed a letter to President Trump and members of Congress expressing support for refugee resettlement. The letter, which has now been signed by more than 2,000 religious leaders from across the country--and is still open to receiving more signatures--is an initiative of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition. Read more »


CWS reports on effects of executive orders on immigration and refugees (January 27, 2017)

Church World Service has issued a release outlining the consequences of the executive order on immigration and asking for help to protect immigrants and asylum seekers. CWS also outlines how President Trump’s executive order on refugees will affect the staffing and financing of Church World Service, as well as the lives of individual refugees. Read more »


Mission executive responds to question on refugees, denomination supports work of CWS (January 26, 2017)

“We are the church, we’ll continue to be the church, and we will welcome refugees in need from all religious backgrounds. This is in keeping with our Christian faith,” said Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission and Service, when contacted by the Huffington Post about the Church of the Brethren position on refugees. Read more »


Kelsey Murray to serve as National Youth Conference coordinator (January 20, 2017)

Kelsey Murray of Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren will serve as coordinator for the 2018 National Youth Conference (NYC). Murray is a 2014 graduate of Bridgewater (Va.) College, where she studied art with concentrations in ceramics, graphic design, and photography. As NYC coordinator, she will provide vision and leadership for the event, which she will plan with the National Youth Cabinet. Read more »


Denominational leaders request prayer for upcoming meetings (January 20, 2017)

Partnership in prayer is requested Jan. 22-27 as the Council of District Executives, the Church of the Brethren Leadership Team, and the Inter-Agency Forum hold their annual January meetings. Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 20, 2017 (January 20, 2017)

Remembering Terry L. Shumaker, job openings, Church of the Brethren General Offices hosts MLK Day food drive, BVS gets recognition as a service program that “changes the world,” Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, dates for this year’s Meat Canning Project, new peacemaking infographic website from Elizabethtown College, lots of news from congregations, and more. Read more »


Global Mission and Service executive joins delegation to Cuba (January 20, 2017)

Heads of mission for US religious institutions visited Cuba from Jan. 9-13, and met with key religious and political leaders to discuss the relationship between Cuba and the United States and the role the institution church can have in improving that relationship. As executive director of Global Mission and Service, I joined the delegation on behalf of the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Emergency Disaster Fund supports aid for Haitians affected by Hurricane Matthew (January 20, 2017)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed a grant of $50,000 from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support the next phase of response to devastation in Haiti caused by Hurricane Matthew. The storm hit the island on Oct. 4, 2016, as a powerful category 4 hurricane, causing widespread damage and considerable losses, and up to 1,600 deaths. Read more »


Young Adult Conference to address ‘Loving Neighbor’ (January 20, 2017)

As disciples of Jesus, we have been working out what those words mean. How do I love God with all of my heart, soul, and mind? Who is my neighbor and how do I love them as I love myself--not just in theory, but in practice? Am I ready to receive, as well as give, in relationship with “my neighbors”? Read more »


Spiritual direction Blooms at Shepherd’s Spring (January 20, 2017)

Since the beginning of operations at Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministry and Retreat Center in Mid-Atlantic District, there has been a focus on hospitality and spirituality. A year ago, it was decided to take this a step further. Several spiritual directors, board members, and staff met to discuss ways we can open the facility to a deeper spiritual awareness. Read more »


Janet L. Ober Lambert to lead Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership (January 17, 2017)

Janet L. Ober Lambert has been hired as director of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, a ministry training partnership of the Church of the Brethren and Bethany Theological Seminary. Read more »


General secretary signs letter to new administration calling for defense of dignity of all people (January 14, 2017)

Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele is one of the American faith leaders who have sign a letter to president-elect Donald Trump calling on the incoming administration to robustly defend the dignity of all people. The letter also was copied to the members of the 115th Congress. Read more »


Violence continues in Nigeria, report Church of the Brethren and EYN staff (January 14, 2017)

Although we have seen Facebook posts and news releases stating that the Nigerian army has defeated the Boko Haram, violence still continues in northeast Nigeria. Most of the ongoing attacks in the Madagali and Gwoza area are not reported anywhere. One big attack, killing or injuring over 100 people in a Madagali market in December, did make the news. Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 14, 2017 (January 14, 2017)

In this issue: Remembering Wayne Geisert, Elsie Hall, Ann Burger, and Marylee Lang, plus personnel announcements and job openings, ordinations in Haiti--including the first woman ordained in Eglise des Freres d’Haiti, plans for Roundtable, and more. Read more »


Nigeria Crisis Response provides overview of work in 2016 (January 14, 2017)

A summary of the Nigeria Crisis Response work carried out in 2016 has been provided to Newsline by coordinator Roxane Hill. The Nigeria Crisis Response is a joint effort of the Church of the Brethren and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). The Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries are both involved in the effort. The following summary covers the year through November and includes tallies of accomplishments in the seven areas of focus. For more about the Nigeria Crisis Response go to www.brethren.org/nigeriacrisis . Read more »


Inspiration 2017 (NOAC) announces leadership (January 14, 2017)

The next National Older Adult Conference, Inspiration 2017, will be held in Lake Junaluska Conference Center, in western North Carolina, from Sept. 4-8. The theme is “Generations” from Psalm 145:4: “One generation shall laud God’s works to another and shall declare God’s mighty acts.” The theme reflects the intergenerational community that gathers at NOAC and the importance of generations engaging each other in meaningful conversations about relationships, leaving a legacy, and faith. Read more »


Faith groups send letter in support of ACA, BBT and Disabilities Ministry express support (January 14, 2017)

The National Council of Churches USA (NCC) has joined with the Conference of National Black Churches, the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative, and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference in issuing a statement in support of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other federal “safety net” programs that may be under threat as the new administration enters office. Two Church of the Brethren ministries--Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) and the Disabilities Ministry that is a part of Congregational Life Ministries--have expressed support for the statement and for the ACA as a means for access to health care for Americans, and for vulnerable populations in particular. Read more »


Ventures course at McPherson College will address Brethren history (January 14, 2017)

Frank Ramirez, Church of the Brethren storyteller, historian, and pastor, will be the presenter for the next Ventures course from 9 a.m. to 12 noon (central time) on Saturday, Jan. 21. His topic will be “The Real Deal in Brethren History: What Really Happened Out There, and What Does It Mean For Today?” Read more »


We rejoice this Advent season': Annual Conference moderator sends Christmas letter (December 17, 2016)

Grace and Peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. We rejoice this Advent season as we celebrate the incarnation--God’s astounding act of love to become human, live among us, and lead us out from our darkness. “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec. 16, 2016 (December 16, 2016)

Personnel news, Annual Conference moderator-elect receives City of Rockford award, “Night Circle” of Crest Manor Church makes and shares Christmas stockings, people of goodwill in Lancaster County--including Brethren and Mennonites--get a “shout out” from local media. Read more »


Trip to Nigeria connects with peacebuilding efforts, food crisis needs (December 16, 2016)

Jennifer Hosler and I recently traveled to Nigeria to consult, connect with, and support the development and peacebuilding work of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Jennifer traveled to Nigeria in her role as a member of the advisory committee of the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Initiative. In this role, she met with EYN leaders and members who had traveled to Ghana in September 2016, together with Jeff Boshart (Global Food Initiative director) to learn about soybean projects. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 16, 2016 (December 16, 2016)

1) ‘We rejoice this Advent season’: Annual Conference moderator sends Christmas letter 2) CDS continues Healing Hearts training in Nigeria 3) Trip to Nigeria connects with peacebuilding efforts, food crisis needs 4) Brethren bits Read more »


CDS continues Healing Hearts training in Nigeria (December 16, 2016)

We are so grateful that John Kinsel was able to return to Nigeria earlier this month and provide additional Healing Hearts training, trauma healing for children, and follow-up on behalf of Children’s Disaster Services (CDS). He was again hosted by Suzan Mark, director of EYN (Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) Women’s Ministry. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 10, 2016 (December 11, 2016)

NEWS 1) Creation Care Study Committee invites responses to survey 2) World Council of Churches issues statement on climate justice 3) Bethany is among 'Seminaries That Change the World' 4) Multicultural tour to the Holy Land is a success PERSONNEL 5) National Youth Cabinet is named for 2017-18 6) Bethany Seminary fills positions in admissions and student services RESOURCES 7) ‘Art for Nigeria’: Nigeria has given me much, I hope to give some back 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec. 10, 2016 (December 11, 2016)

In this issue: Correction, Clergy Tax Seminar, congregations support their Muslim neighbors, “Practical Peacemaking Tips” from N. Ohio District, special Christmas events, ecumenical Christian leader detained and deported from Israel, and more Read more »


Creation Care Study Committee invites responses to survey (December 10, 2016)

The Creation Care Study Committee was created at the 2016 Annual Conference in response to a query that challenges us to respond more fully to two resolutions on climate change (1991 and 2001). Our charge is to catalyze action, particularly in relation to transitioning to renewable energy and reducing fossil fuel* usage (www.brethren.org/news/2016/creation-care-study-committee.html . Read more »


Multicultural tour to the Holy Land is a success (December 10, 2016)

Nineteen people enjoyed the opportunity to visit Israel while having fellowship, sharing meaningful scripture readings on biblical sites, and bringing scripture alive in their souls and minds. The trip was organized by the Renacer Hispanic Ministry under the leadership of Stafford Frederick and Daniel D’Oleo as a fundraising event to support the vision and ministry of the Renacer Hispanic Ministry. Read more »


National Youth Cabinet is named for 2017-18 (December 10, 2016)

The Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Ministry has named a 2017-18 National Youth Cabinet. Members of the group are: Read more »


‘Art for Nigeria’: Nigeria has given me much, I hope to give some back (December 10, 2016)

On the night of April 14 and early morning of April 15 in 2014, militants of the terror group Boko Haram attacked the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok. The militants quickly overwhelmed the small paramilitary contingent based in Chibok and abducted around 276 high school-age girl students, most of whom were members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec. 3, 2016 (December 3, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering Ferne Baldwin and Barbara McFadden, On Earth Peace internship opportunities, update of the Manual of Organization and Polity, Healthy Boundaries 101 webcast, registration opens for Christian Citizenship Seminar 2017, distributions of food in Haiti, and much more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 3, 2016 (December 3, 2016)

NEWS 1) Annual Conference moderator shares Bible study for December 2) EDF grants are directed to aid refugees from Syria, Burundi 3) Global Food Initiative supports agricultural work in Haiti, garden projects in US 4) Brethren complete Nigeria workcamp 5) Interfaith vigil at University of La Verne responds to hate letter RESOURCES 6) Brethren Press carries new study resources for Advent, Winter quarter 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Interfaith vigil at University of La Verne responds to hate letter (December 3, 2016)

An interfaith vigil held at the University of La Verne (ULV), a Church of the Brethren-related school in southern California, in collaboration with the Inland Valley Interfaith Network. The vigil was held after an anonymous threatening letter was received at the Islamic Center of Claremont, Calif., one of several such hate letters that have been sent to mosques and Islamic centers. Read more »


Brethren complete Nigeria workcamp (December 2, 2016)

With blue and yellow t-shirts marking the occasion, a group of Brethren from the United States joined Nigerian counterparts in a workcamp with the motto, “Come Let Us Rebuild.” The workcamp was sponsored by the Brethren Evangelical Support Trust (BEST) and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Nine American Brethren led by Global Mission and Service executive director Jay Wittmeyer traveled to Nigeria for a two-week church construction project from Nov. 7-18. Read more »


Brethren Press carries new study resources for Advent, Winter quarter  (December 2, 2016)

Several new study resources for the Advent season and the Winter curriculum quarter are now available from Brethren Press. The new resources include “Unwrapping the Gift of Advent” in the Vital Ministry Journey study series; the Winter quarter of the Shine curriculum exploring the life and ministry of Jesus as told in the Gospel of Matthew; a new Believers Church Bible Commentary on Philippians. Read more »


Global Food Initiative supports agricultural work in Haiti, garden projects in US  (December 2, 2016)

The Global Food Initiative of the Church of the Brethren is giving grants to support agricultural work in Haiti and garden projects in the United States. Other grants will help carry out program evaluations in a number of African nations. Read more »


EDF grants are directed to aid refugees from Syria, Burundi (December 2, 2016)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to aid Syrian and other refugees sheltering in Lebanon, and refugees from Burundi who have fled to Tanzania. Read more »


Newsline for Nov. 18, 2016 (November 18, 2016)

NEWS 1) Christ the King Sunday letter calls the denomination to renewed discipleship 2) Leadership Team and CODE leaders express thanks for prayer support 3) Workcamp constructs church for displaced Nigerians 4) Office of Public Witness sponsors congressional briefing on Nigeria 5) EYN president urges churches to be strong in faith with endurance 6) On Earth Peace board holds fall meeting UPCOMING EVENTS 7) Webinars to focus on urban and church planting ministries RESOURCES 8) ‘The Disturbances’ tells of Christians saving lives during 1966 genocide in Nigeria 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Workcamp constructs church for displaced Nigerians (November 18, 2016)

The first of a series of workcamps to rebuild churches has been taking place in Nigeria. The series is connected with the Nigeria Crisis Response, a joint effort of the Church of the Brethren and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). At this workcamp, a group of nine Brethren from several different congregations have helped construct a church for displaced Nigerians. Read more »


Upcoming webinars to focus on urban and church planting ministries (November 17, 2016)

The next two webinars offered through the Church of the Brethren Congregational Life Ministries are based on the Crucibles Course offered by the Anabaptist Network, UK. The webinars will focus on urban and church planting-based ministries. Read more »


EYN president urges churches to be strong in faith with endurance (November 17, 2016)

Joel S. Billi, president of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), is calling on members to be strong with endurance in times of hardship. He said this in a sermon during the granting of church autonomy to the Lumba congregation on Sunday, Nov. 13. This is the sixth granting of church autonomy by the present EYN administration, and is to a church established from EYN’s LCC (Local Church Council) Mararaba church in the DCC [district of] Hildi. Read more »


‘The Disturbances’ tells of Christians saving lives during 1966 genocide in Nigeria  (November 17, 2016)

“The Disturbances” is a new feature-length documentary film telling the story of how Christian missionaries and Nigerian pastors helped intervene in violence in northern Nigeria in 1966, during a time of tribal genocide that preceded the Biafra War. Among missionaries from several denominations, Church of the Brethren mission workers are featured including Roger Ingold, who was Nigeria field secretary at the time. Children of Brethren mission children also were among those interviewed for the film. Read more »


Office of Public Witness sponsors congressional briefing on Nigeria (November 17, 2016)

This past Tuesday the Office of Public Witness along with members of the Nigeria working group and the Congressional African Staff Association hosted a briefing to discuss the food crisis in northeast Nigeria. Over 40 congressional staffers attended, packing the room. Read more »


Brethren bits for Nov. 17, 2016 (November 17, 2016)

In this issue: Remembrance, personnel and job openings, Canton church okay after gas explosion, SERRV honors retiring staff, the Clergy Tax Seminar 2017, church anniversaries, Brethren receive awards and honors, RNS reports on “spikes in anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic incidents,” United Nations raises alarm about more displacement in Nigeria...and more news by, for, and/or about Brethren. Read more »


Leadership Team and CODE leaders express thanks for prayer support (November 17, 2016)

The Leadership Team of the Church of the Brethren and the executive committee of the Council of District Executives (CODE) met Nov. 1-2 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., and have expressed their gratitude for everyone who prayed with them during that time. The combined leadership experienced God’s presence and guidance and has begun to discern what they believe the Lord wants the church to say in response to the task assigned to them by Annual Conference. Read more »


Christ the King Sunday letter calls the denomination to renewed discipleship (November 16, 2016)

A letter has been written to the Church of the Brethren by Annual Conference moderator Carol Scheppard and general secretary David Steele, calling the church and its members to renewed discipleship to Jesus Christ on Christ the King Sunday, Nov. 20. The Sunday between Thanksgiving and the start of Advent is called “Christ the King” or “Reign of Christ” Sunday in the church calendar and invites Christians to be reminded--before a season of waiting--of whom we await. Read more »


Church of the Brethren signs purchase agreement for ‘upper campus’ of Brethren Service Center  (November 14, 2016)

The Church of the Brethren has signed a purchase agreement with Shanghai Yulun Education Group for the “upper campus” of the Brethren Service Center property in New Windsor, Md. The purchaser intends to establish a private school on the property. The agreement is effective today, Nov. 14, 2016, but it is anticipated that a sale will not be finalized until spring 2017. Read more »


On Earth Peace board holds fall meeting (November 14, 2016)

The On Earth Peace board and staff met together on Oct. 6-8 and were hosted by West Charleston Church of the Brethren near Tipp City, Ohio. On Earth Peace board members Carla Gillespie and co-pastor Irv Heishman hosted the meeting with the expectation that a congregation that welcomes diversity in its midst, with Spanish and English speakers, would be a welcoming place for all members of the On Earth Peace board and especially welcoming to persons of color. Read more »


Newsline for Nov. 5, 2016 (November 5, 2016)

NEWS 1) Grants support disaster rebuilding following flooding in Michigan and S. Carolina PERSONNEL 2) Julie M. Hostetter to retire from leadership of the Brethren Academy 3) Introducing the 2017 Young Adult Steering Committee REFLECTION 4) The Challenge of Abundance: Moderator’s reflection for November 2016 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for Nov. 5, 2016 (November 5, 2016)

In this issue: Personnel announcements and job openings, BBT insurance services, district conferences, special services of communion and love feast on Election Day. Read more »


Introducing the 2017 Young Adult Steering Committee (November 5, 2016)

The Young Adult Steering Committee met in September to discuss and plan the upcoming 2017 Young Adult Conference. The committee includes: Rudy Amaya (Pasadena, Calif.), Jessie Houff (Hurleyville, N.Y.), Amanda McLearn-Montz (Iowa City, Iowa), Renee Neher (Lombard, Ill.), Kyle Remnant (Cincinnati, Ohio), and Mark Pickens (Harrisburg, Pa.). Read more »


Grants support disaster rebuilding following flooding in Michigan and S. Carolina (November 3, 2016)

Grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund support rebuilding projects in South Carolina and Detroit, as well as disaster relief work in South Sudan. Read more »


Julie M. Hostetter to retire from leadership of the Brethren Academy (October 31, 2016)

Julie Mader Hostetter, executive director of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, has announced her retirement effective Jan. 31, 2017. She has served in this role since 2008. The Brethren Academy is a partnership of the Church of the Brethren and Bethany Theological Seminary. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services team begins work in N. Carolina, Material Resources ships to hurricane-affected areas (October 29, 2016)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) is responding in North Carolina following Hurricane Matthew. Areas of the state suffered severe flooding caused by the hurricane that hit the east coast of the United States after sweeping over Haiti and other areas of the Caribbean. A CDS team of volunteers traveled to Fayetteville, N.C., on Tuesday to begin serving children and families affected by the flooding. Read more »


Healthy Boundaries 101 training to be offered via webcast in January (October 29, 2016)

Healthy Boundaries 101 training to be offered via webcast in January Read more »


Christian Citizenship Seminar 2017 will focus on Native American rights and food security (October 29, 2016)

Christian Citizenship Seminar (CCS) will happen on April 22-27, 2017. The theme will be “Native American Rights and Food Security,” related to the scripture from Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 29, 2016 (October 29, 2016)

In this issue: BBT announces new insurance offering for Open Enrollment Month, Mark Pickens has begun as a field associate for Anabaptist Disabilities Network, Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele will be holding a listening session in Shenandoah District, Nate Hosler speaks at United States Institute of Peace event for governors from states in northern Nigeria, World Council of Churches offers a “Webinar on Ending Statelessness,” and more new by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 29, 2016 (October 29, 2016)

NEWS 1) Children’s Disaster Services team begins work in N. Carolina, Material Resources ships to hurricane-affected areas 2) Historic cloth map receives Virginia honor, reveals part of the Brethren mission legacy 3) WCC general secretary: What have we learned from the Reformation? UPCOMING EVENTS 4) Healthy Boundaries 101 training to be offered via webcast in January 5) Christian Citizenship Seminar 2017 will focus on Native American rights and food security REFLECTION 6) An island of civility and compassion in a sea of hostility 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Historic cloth map receives Virginia honor, reveals part of the Brethren mission legacy (October 29, 2016)

A unique cloth map that was created with the help of Helen Angeny, a Church of the Brethren mission worker in China, has been honored as one of the top 10 artifacts to be saved by a Virginia museum association. Angeny’s daughter Phyllis Hochstetler has shared the news of this honor with Newsline. Read more »


UN Working Group on People of African Descent presents findings (October 19, 2016)

The Working Group of Experts on the People of African Descent was established in 2002 following the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance. Their mandate was renewed by the Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Council in various resolutions during the subsequent years leading up to their 2016 findings which were put forward at the Sept. 26 meeting of the council. Read more »


Budget for 2017, grants for hurricane relief, discussion of state of the church on the agenda of Mission and Ministry Board (October 19, 2016)

Financial reports and a budget proposal for 2017, grants for disaster relief following Hurricane Matthew, along with discussion of the state of the church and root causes of current tensions were all on the agenda of the fall meeting of the Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 19, 2016 (October 19, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering Galen and Doris Beery, personnel notes, Workcamp Ministry announcement, Christian women’s letter, Musa Mambula receives award, webinar on Syria, Harrisburg First celebrates anniversary, Miami congregation collects for Haiti, the Gathering, Election Day Love Feast at Brethren Woods, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Partnership in prayer is requested throughout the church (October 19, 2016)

Partnership in prayer throughout the church is requested as the Leadership Team of the Church of the Brethren and the executive committee of the Council of District Executives meet Nov. 1-2 to work on the task assigned from this past summer’s Annual Conference. The delegate body referred the concerns of the “Query: Same Sex Weddings” to the Leadership Team in consultation with the Council of District Executives “to bring clarity and guidance concerning the authority of Annual Conference and districts regarding the accountability of ministers, congregations, and districts, bringing recommendations to the 2017 Annual Conference.” Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 19, 2016 (October 19, 2016)

NEWS 1) Partnership in prayer is requested throughout the church 2) Budget for 2017, grants for hurricane relief, discussion of state of the church on the agenda of Mission and Ministry Board 3) UN Working Group on People of African Descent presents findings 4) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 13, 2016 (October 13, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering Parker Marden, National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund seeks volunteers, Lick Creek ice cream social benefits Habitat, Western Pennsylvania to hold its 150th annual district conference, World Hunger Auction distributions, Bridgewater College students give up meals for CROP, “Seek Peace and Pursue It” exhibit at Bridgewater, and more. Read more »


Global Food Initiative supports medical training for Brethren in DR, cultural/garden exchanges (October 13, 2016)

The Global Food Initiative (formerly the Global Food Crisis Fund) issued a grant of $660 for representatives of Iglesia de los Hermanos (the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic) to travel to Santiago, DR, for a week of training with Medical Ambassadors International. Other recent grants support cultural/garden exchanges partnering indigenous communities in Lybrook, N.M., and Circle, Alaska. Read more »


‘Vision for new hope’ is theme of Advent Offering for Church of the Brethren ministries (October 13, 2016)

The annual Advent Offering for Church of the Brethren ministries is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 4, the second Sunday of Advent. The theme, “Vision for New Hope,” is inspired by Isaiah 11:1-10 from the lectionary. Read more »


National Junior High Sunday calls youth to ‘Grow in Wisdom’ (October 13, 2016)

The theme for the 2016 National Junior High Sunday in the Church of the Brethren is “Grow in Wisdom” with a scripture theme from 1 Timothy 4:12-15. The suggested date for the annual observance is Sunday, Nov. 6. Find worship resources, logos, and more free downloads at www.brethren.org/yya/jr-high-resources.html . Read more »


Group of Chibok schoolgirls are released from captivity (October 13, 2016)

The Nigerian government says 21 of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in April 2014 have been freed in negotiations with the insurgents, according to reports from media outlets today including the Associated Press and ABC News. The negotiations were carried out with help from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss government. Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 13, 2016 (October 13, 2016)

NEWS 1) Group of Chibok schoolgirls are released from captivity 2) Disaster ministries, mission staff assess hurricane damage, begin planning for response 3) Global Food Initiative supports medical training for Brethren in DR, cultural/garden exchanges UPCOMING EVENTS 4) National Junior High Sunday calls youth to ‘Grow in Wisdom’ 5) ‘Vision for new hope’ is theme of Advent Offering for Church of the Brethren ministries 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Hurricane Matthew updates (October 8, 2016)

As Hurricane Matthew batters Florida today, Brethren Disaster Ministries continues to monitor the situation and is working to determine response plans in the Caribbean and on the east coast. Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has put volunteers on alert. Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 7, 2016 (October 8, 2016)

NEWS 1) ‘Risk hope’ is a recurring chorus: Annual Conference moderator shares monthly reflection 2) Hurricane Matthew update: Mission staff to assess damage in Haiti, BDM monitors Florida 3) Disability ombudsman serves at the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference 4) Atlantic Southeast holds 10th Annual Family Peace Camp 5) Christian, Muslim leaders agree to stand against religious extremism UPCOMING EVENTS 6) October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month 7) Bridgewater College to hold symposium on ‘Anabaptist Nonresistance in Age of Terror’ 8) Brethren bits Read more »


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October 7, 2016)

Throughout October, congregations are encouraged to raise awareness about the serious problem of domestic violence. Activities may include providing members with information through a bulletin insert (available at www.brethren.org/family/domestic-violence.html ); creating a bulletin board with facts about domestic violence; publicizing the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (7233) and 800-787-3224 (TDD); hosting a speaker from a local domestic violence shelter or the YWCA; and remembering in prayer people who have been affected by domestic violence. Read more »


Atlantic Southeast holds 10th Annual Family Peace Camp (October 7, 2016)

Atlantic Southeast District held its 10th Labor Day Weekend Family Peace Camp at Camp Ithiel, Fla., on Sept. 2-4. The theme for the camp was “Pathways to Inner Peace.” The resource leaders were pastor Belita and Don Mitchell from Harrisburg, Pa. Belita Mitchell, a former Annual Conference moderator, provided the focus for the five sessions, while Don Mitchell provided meaningful and stirring music. Read more »


Bridgewater College to hold symposium on ‘Anabaptist Nonresistance in Age of Terror’ (October 7, 2016)

Bridgewater (Va.) College’s Forum for Brethren Studies and the Kline-Bowman Institute for Creative Peace-building will host a 2017 symposium, “Anabaptist Non-Resistance in the Age of Terror.” Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 7, 2016 (October 7, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering Stewart Kauffman, job openings, Nigeria Crisis Response continues to collect books for Nigeria, BBT open enrollment for insurance services, Children’s Sabbath resources, church anniversaries, district conferences, Bread for the World comments on statements released by presidential candidates about hunger and poverty, CPT team visits Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, Friends with the Weather, and more. Read more »


Got inspiration? (October 1, 2016)

The 14th NOAC is being billed as “Inspiration 2017” with the theme “Generations” (Psalm 145:4). Dates are Sept. 4-8, 2017, at Lake Junaluska (N.C.) Conference and Retreat Center. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services completes its service in Baton Rouge (September 30, 2016)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has completed six weeks of volunteer work caring for children and families affected by severe flooding in Louisiana. The 29 CDS volunteers who took part set up childcare centers in multiple locations in Baton Rouge, including shelters, and worked with two partner organizations--FEMA and the American Red Cross. Read more »


Newsline for Sept. 30, 2016 (September 30, 2016)

NEWS 1) Children’s Disaster Services completes its service in Baton Rouge 2) Northeast Nigeria experiencing food crisis, Brethren response team continues food distributions 3) Brethren bits Read more »


Northeast Nigeria experiencing food crisis, Brethren response team continues food distributions (September 30, 2016)

UNICEF and other groups are warning of a serious and worsening humanitarian crisis in areas of northeast Nigeria where food and other assistance is not reaching people in need, in particular young children. The Associated Press has published an interview with UNICEF nutrition chief for Nigeria, Arjan de Wagt, who spoke of the likelihood of thousands of deaths of children to famine and associated diseases. Read more »


Brethren bits for Sept. 30, 2016 (September 30, 2016)

In this issue: Personnel notices, job openings, next listening session with the general secretary, prayers needed for South Sudan, invitation to a webinar from a conference on justice and peace held in Rome, last day for “early bird” orders for new books from Brethren Press, church anniversaries, news of a gift from a Haitian congregation to the Nigerian Brethren, and more. Read more »


Newsline for Sept. 23, 2016 (September 23, 2016)

NEWS 1) Celebrating Peace Day as part of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace 2) Religious leaders of many faiths talk peace in Assisi 3) Nigerian Brethren welcome Church of the Brethren executive staff, continue relief efforts 4) Manchester University Intercultural Center will be named for Jean Childs Young UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Workcamp Ministry announces staffing, theme for summer 2017 events 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Workcamp Ministry announces staffing, theme for summer 2017 events (September 23, 2016)

The Workcamp Ministry of the Church of the Brethren has welcomed Shelley Weachter and welcomed back Deanna Beckner as assistant coordinators for the 2017 summer workcamp season. The theme developed by the workcamp team for the 2017 season is “Say Hello,” which is a phrase pulled from 3 John 13-14 in “The Message” version. The theme will focus on communication with God, each other, and the world. Read more »


Brethren bits for Sept. 23, 2016 (September 23, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering Esther Eichelberger, Brethren in Spain celebrate their fourth annual conference, deadline for Brethren Press “early bird” offers, Carlisle Truck Stop Ministry announces new co-chaplains, Renacer holds Hispanic leadership conference, “12 Baskets and a Goat” to be performed three times in October, Virlina District announces more than $45,000 for West Virginia Flood Offering, and more. Read more »


Manchester University Intercultural Center will be named for Jean Childs Young (September 23, 2016)

Manchester University’s future Intercultural Center at College Avenue and East Street [in North Manchester, Ind.] will be named in memory of alumna educator and activist Jean Childs (’54) Young. Read more »


Nigerian Brethren welcome Church of the Brethren executive staff, continue relief efforts (September 23, 2016)

Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has welcomed a visit from Global Mission and Service executive staff Jay Wittmeyer and Roy Winter, who also heads up Brethren Disaster Ministries. The two church staff from the US have been meeting with Nigerian church leaders including EYN president Joel S. Billi and leaders of EYN’s Disaster Relief Ministry, as well as other groups. Read more »


Atlantic Northeast District hosts Christian/Muslim workshop with Musa Mambula (September 16, 2016)

On Oct. 13 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Atlantic Northeast District office in Elizabethtown, Pa., Dr. Musa Mambula will teach about Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). He will speak about EYN in an age of persecution and terrorism, facing the challenges of Boko Haram, and building Christian/Muslim relations. Read more »


Brethren bits for Sept. 16, 2016 (September 16, 2016)

In this issue: Personnel notes and job openings, meeting of Venezuelans interested in becoming Brethren, World Mission Offering is this Sunday, Bethany Seminary’s next Campus Visit Day, On Earth Peace seeks hosts for MoR’s Matthew 18 workshop, church anniversaries, a banner weekend for district conferences, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services sends another team to continue work in Baton Rouge (September 16, 2016)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has sent another team of volunteers to continue caring for children and families who have been affected by the extreme flooding in Louisiana. On Thursday, CDS staff shared via Facebook, “While we thought our team that left yesterday would be our final Baton Rouge team, things changed and we were asked to send in another team. Read more »


Gardening project continues to enrich nutrition for Alaskan communities (September 16, 2016)

This was our tenth summer of traveling to Alaska to encourage, teach, and promote vegetable gardening. Bill went to Circle at the beginning of April, six weeks earlier than the usual mid-May arrival, hoping to make this year the most beneficial and successful yet. Read more »


Newsline for Sept. 16, 2016 (September 16, 2016)

NEWS 1) Ministry adds four new locations, involves 350 participants in summer workcamps 2) Children’s Disaster Services sends another team to continue work in Baton Rouge 3) Alaska gardening project continues to enrich nutrition for communities 4) Nigerian Fellowship Tour visits IDP camps, schools, and other crisis response sites 5) Ecumenical leaders of WCC and NCC issue joint statement on Holy Land PERSONNEL 6) Lamar Gibson hired as development director for On Earth Peace UPCOMING EVENTS 7) Peace Day 2016 is scheduled for Sept. 21, Brethren will be participating 8) Atlantic Northeast District hosts Christian/Muslim workshop with Musa Mambula 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Ministry adds four new locations, involves 350 participants in summer workcamps (September 16, 2016)

Eighteen workcamps blazed with holiness this summer as about 320 workcampers and 30 directors and guest coordinators gathered together to serve in the name of Christ, sharing their time and talents. “Blazing with Holiness” (1 Peter 1:13-16) was the theme for the Church of the Brethren workcamps in 2016. Read more »


Peace Day 2016 is scheduled for Sept. 21, Brethren will be participating (September 16, 2016)

A number of Church of the Brethren congregations, districts, colleges, and other church-related organizations and groups from across the country will be participating in Peace Day 2016 on or around Sept. 21. This year’s theme is “Called to Build Peace.” Read more »


Lamar Gibson hired as development director for On Earth Peace (September 16, 2016)

Lamar Gibson has been hired as development director for On Earth Peace. He has worked for nine years in both private businesses and the nonprofit sector as a fundraiser and as a consultant on business operations and development. His work for On Earth Peace will include engaging existing supporters while also expanding the community to include people “from even more denominations and walks of life,” said an announcement in the agency’s e-mail newsletter. Read more »


Nigerian Fellowship Tour visits IDP camps, schools, other crisis response sites (September 16, 2016)

In August, a group of seven Church of the Brethren members traveled to Nigeria with the goal of building relationships, encouraging, praying with, and physically standing by our brothers and sisters of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Read more »


Huma Rana to become director of Financial Operations for Brethren Benefit Trust (September 10, 2016)

Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) has announced that Huma Rana has accepted the role of director of Financial Operations, effective Sept. 19. She has served as assistant director of Financial Operations since July 21, 2015. Read more »


Entrenamiento en Limites Saludables y en La Ética de Relaciones Ministeriales  (September 10, 2016)

Entrenamiento en Limites Saludables y en La Ética de Relaciones Ministeriales Dirigido por Ramón L. Torres. El sábado, 22 de octubre, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. hora estándar del este (descansado para el almuerzo a las 1-2 p.m.). Read more »


BVS Unit 313 volunteers begin their terms of service (September 10, 2016)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Unit 313 has completed orientation and the 14 volunteers in the unit have begun work at their project sites. The volunteers, their congregations or hometowns, and their project sites follow: Read more »


Brethren bits for Sept. 10, 2016 (September 10, 2016)

In this issue: Corrections, remembering Kaydo Petry and P. David Leatherman, Terry Goodger ends her service as office coordinator in Material Resources, Bethany Seminary welcomes nine new students this fall, a walking team honors Ted Studebaker at Dayton’s Peace Heroes Walk, Linda and Robert Shank return for another semester at PUST, the history of the sinking of the Zam Zam, Bridgewater College enjoys record enrollment, and more. Read more »


Brethren Academy offers ‘Healthy Boundaries 201' training as a Spanish language webcast (September 10, 2016)

The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership will offer a Spanish language version of the Healthy Boundaries 201 training on Oct. 22, as a webcast led by Ramon Torres. This is offered for ministry training students and newly licensed or ordained clergy. Read more »


Newsline for Sept. 10, 2016 (September 10, 2016)

NEWS 1) New connections for Bethany Seminary in Brazil 2) Brethren sponsor capacity-building conference for Batwa from Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo PERSONNEL 3) Huma Rana to become director of Financial Operations for Brethren Benefit Trust 4) BVS Unit 313 volunteers begin their terms of service UPCOMING EVENTS 5) General secretary to hold listening sessions across denomination 6) Brethren Academy offers ‘Healthy Boundaries 201' training as a Spanish language webcast 7) Entrenamiento en Limites Saludables y en La Ética de Relaciones Ministeriales 8) Brethren bits Read more »


General secretary to hold listening sessions across denomination (September 10, 2016)

David Steele, who began Sept. 1 as general secretary of the Church of the Brethren, is planning to hold listening sessions across the denomination over the next several months. He describes the sessions as an opportunity to get acquainted and to share hopes and dreams for the church. Read more »


Brethren sponsor capacity-building conference for Batwa from Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo (September 10, 2016)

Working through a nascent Brethren church in the region, the Church of the Brethren sponsored a capacity-building conference to bring Batwa together from Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The following is excerpted from a report by Dr. David Niyonzima, detailing the conference and some of the learnings gained from the interaction: Read more »


Traci Rabenstein to begin work for Church of the Brethren donor relations (September 2, 2016)

Traci Rabenstein begins Oct. 1 as congregational support representative for Church of the Brethren donor relations. Initially she will work from her home in Enola, Pa. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services sends fifth team to Louisiana, Material Resources ships more aid (September 2, 2016)

A fifth team of volunteers from Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) arrived in Baton Rouge, La., on Thursday, Sept. 1. Four CDS teams already have completed their service there. The CDS volunteers have been caring for children and families who have been displaced by flooding and are living in American Red Cross shelters. Read more »


Preachers are announced for Annual Conference 2017, nominations are sought for the ballot (September 2, 2016)

The preachers have been announced for the Church of the Brethren’s 2017 Annual Conference, which will be held Wednesday, June 28, through Sunday, July 2, in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Conference Office also is accepting nominations for all offices to be elected at next summer’s Annual Conference. Read more »


Brethren bits for Sept. 2, 2016 (September 2, 2016)

In this issue: Personnel announcement, job openings, support for the Nigeria Crisis Response from 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, National Suicide Prevention Week, Cedar Creek Church celebrates 100 years, Inspiration Hills celebrates 50 years, Staunton Church to host “12 Baskets and a Goat,” new contact information for Southeastern District, Powerhouse dates are announced, Young Center presents “China Friends,” and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for Sept. 2, 2016 (September 2, 2016)

NEWS 1) Preachers are announced for Annual Conference 2017, nominations are sought for the ballot 2) Children’s Disaster Services sends fifth team to Louisiana, Material Resources ships more aid 3) Northern Plains District group enjoys Brethren heritage tour PERSONNEL 4) Traci Rabenstein to begin work for Church of the Brethren donor relations 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren couple carry out mission in China focused on hospice care (August 26, 2016)

Ruoxia Li and Eric Miller, Church of the Brethren members who are living in Pinding, China, spoke about their work at the Global Mission and Service Dinner and related insight sessions at Annual Conference this summer. Read more »


New resources from Brethren Press offer aids for worship, Bible study, devotions (August 26, 2016)

Among new resources from Brethren Press are the 2016-17 Living Word Bulletin Series, the Sept.-Nov. 2016 book in the curriculum for adult Bible studies, “A Guide for Biblical Studies,” and this year’s Advent devotional titled “Witnesses to Jesus.” Brethren Press also is taking pre-publication orders for “Speak Peace: A Daily Reader,” which offer a discount for orders placed before Oct. 1. Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 26, 2016 (August 26, 2016)

In this issue: Nigerian lamps are still available, Action Alert to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, United Nations warning of a new multi-nation crisis of hunger related to Boko Haram, a Death Penalty Symposium in memory of Miami pastor Bill Bosler, Manchester University honors two inspirational faculty, and more. Read more »


Peace Day bulletin inserts and posters are available from On Earth Peace (August 26, 2016)

“Looking for a bulletin insert or poster to use at your Peace Day event? Check out our resources!” said an announcement from On Earth Peace. The agency has made bulletin inserts and posters available in advance of Peace Day 2016, which is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 21. Many congregations hold Peace Day worship services, prayer vigils, or other commemorations on a Sunday close to the Sept. 21 date. Read more »


Q&A: Disaster response (August 26, 2016)

Brethren Disaster Ministries executive Roy Winter answers frequently asked questions about the role of the church’s disaster response in the wake of heart-wrenching recent disasters in Louisiana and in Italy. Read more »


Newsline for Aug. 26, 2016 (August 26, 2016)

NEWS 1) Brethren couple carry out mission in China focused on hospice care 2) Legacy of the Church of the Brethren mission in China 3) Negotiate a nuclear weapons ban next year, says UN group with broad support RESOURCES 4) New resources from Brethren Press offer aids for worship, Bible study, devotions 5) Shine curriculum shares a teacher blessing for the fall quarter 6) Peace Day bulletin inserts and posters are available from On Earth Peace UPCOMING EVENTS 7) Webinar to discuss Jesus as focal point of God’s revelation 8) Q&A: Disaster response 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Shine curriculum shares a teacher blessing for the fall quarter (August 26, 2016)

The Shine curriculum, which is a joint project of Brethren Press and MennoMedia, has shared a teacher blessing for the start of the Sunday school year. The blessing first appeared in the Shine e-newsletter, which is available by e-mail. For more about Shine go to https://shinecurriculum.com . Order curriculum items from Brethren Press by calling 800-441-3712. The Shine theme for Fall 2016 is “God Restores the People.” Read more »


Legacy of the Church of the Brethren mission in China (August 26, 2016)

It has been 60 years since Church of the Brethren missionary work ended in China. However, the Brethren presence there is not only remembered by a few people, the fruits of that mission are still active today. At a Brethren Historical Society insight session at Annual Conference this summer, hosted by Brethren Historical Library and Archives archivist Bill Kostlevy, Eric Miller and Ruoxia Li along with Jeff Bach shared photographs and information. Read more »


Webinar to discuss Jesus as focal point of God’s revelation (August 24, 2016)

A new webinar in the “Heart of Anabaptism” series will be offered on Sept. 1, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. (eastern time) on the topic “Jesus, the Focal Point of God’s Revelation.” Leading the webinar is LaDonna Sanders Nkosi, a poet, preacher, and church planter from Chicago, Ill. Read more »


Series of workcamps is planned for church rebuilding in Nigeria (August 19, 2016)

The Church of the Brethren is planning a series of workcamps in Nigeria, as part of the new effort to rebuild churches of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Nearly 70 percent of EYN’s churches in northeast Nigeria have been destroyed in the Boko Haram insurgency. A Nigeria Church Rebuilding Fund has been developed to help provide support to EYN congregations who are working to rebuild. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services aids children displaced by flooding in Louisiana (August 19, 2016)

Two teams of Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) volunteers have begun work in Baton Rouge, La., this week, and more teams have been requested to help care for children and families who have been displaced by massive flooding. Read more »


Newsline for Aug. 19, 2016 (August 19, 2016)

NEWS 1) Children’s Disaster Services aids children displaced by flooding in Louisiana 2) Haiti Theological Training program celebrates graduation of 22 ministers 3) Song and Story Fest gathers multiple generations for relaxation, reflection, rejuvenation UPCOMING EVENTS 4) Ventures webinar will train leaders for congregational ethics self-study 5) Series of workcamps is planned for church rebuilding in Nigeria 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Ventures webinar will train leaders for congregational ethics self-study (August 19, 2016)

A Ventures online course is planned to aid congregations in training leaders to help them study the Congregational Ethics document adopted recently by Annual Conference. Ventures is a ministry training initiative hosted at McPherson (Kan.) College. Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 19, 2016 (August 19, 2016)

In this issue: Congratulations to Olympian Clayton Murphy who grew up in the Church of the Brethren, plus corrections, remembering Bill Kaysen, personnel notes, mission prayer requests, church anniversaries, and more news by, for, and about Brethren Read more »


Song and Story Fest gathers multiple generations for relaxation, reflection, rejuvenation (August 19, 2016)

Every summer, multiple generations gather at a Church of the Brethren camp for a time of relaxation, reflection, and rejuvenation. For 20 years now, some 120 to 180 people come together for Song and Story Fest, one week each year set aside for singing, playing music, and hearing and telling stories. Read more »


Haiti Theological Training program celebrates graduation of 22 ministers (August 19, 2016)

Aug. 13 was a day of celebration for the inaugural class of the Haiti Theological Training program, Ecole Theologie de la Mission Evangelique des Eglises des Frères D’Haïti. The graduation ceremony witnessed 22 graduates walking across the stage to receive diplomas and shake hands with professors and guests of honor. Read more »


SVMC continuing education events look at art in worship, preaching the reign of God (August 12, 2016)

The Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center (SVMC) based at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College is publicizing two continuing education events for ministers and other church leaders: “Reimagining Art for Worship” on Sept. 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, led by Diane Brandt; and “Preaching the Reign of God: Prophets, Poets, and Conversations” on Nov. 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Von Liebig Center at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., led by Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm. Read more »


Carl Hill resigns from Nigeria Crisis Response, Roxane Hill to continue part-time (August 12, 2016)

Carl Hill has resigned as co-director of the Nigeria Crisis Response, a joint program of the Church of the Brethren and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). He and his wife, Roxane, have served as co-directors since Dec. 1, 2014. Roxane will continue supporting the Nigeria Crisis Response, working half time as coordinator. Carl ends his term Aug. 31, to become pastor of Potsdam (Ohio) Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for Aug. 12, 2016 (August 12, 2016)

NEWS 1) BBT updates ministers on IRS rule changes for medical insurance premiums 2) BBT offers new Periodic Payment Plan for members of the Pension Plan NIGERIA UPDATES 3) Nigeria Crisis Response continues food aid in response to new food shortages, but begins to shift to long-term recovery 4) Initiatives for Nigeria will rebuild churches, collect books for children and Bible college PERSONNEL 5) Carl Hill resigns from Nigeria Crisis Response, Roxane Hill to continue part-time UPCOMING EVENTS 6) SVMC continuing education events look at art in worship, preaching the reign of God 7) Brethren Academy announces upcoming courses 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Nigeria Crisis Response continues food aid in response to new food shortages, but begins to shift to long-term recovery  (August 12, 2016)

As the situation in northeast Nigeria becomes more stable and many displaced people move back home, the Nigeria Crisis Response program is beginning to transition to long-term recovery activities, while still supporting basic needs of displaced Nigerians and members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). This week, EYN leaders confirmed food shortages in some areas of the northeast, and have requested continued food aid at least through the end of 2016. Read more »


Initiatives for Nigeria will rebuild churches, collect books for children and Bible college (August 12, 2016)

The Nigeria Crisis Response and Brethren Disaster Ministries are offering new ways to support Ekklesiyar Yan’ua a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), including a collection of “Books for Nigeria” and a new church rebuilding program. Read more »


Brethren Academy announces upcoming courses (August 12, 2016)

Upcoming courses offered through the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership are open to students in the Training in Ministry (TRIM) and Education for Shared Ministry (EFSM) programs, pastors and other ministers, and all interested persons. Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 12, 2016 (August 12, 2016)

In this issue: A correction, Pleasant Dale Church and Plymouth Church celebrate 100 years, Robins Church holds closing service, “Justice Like Water” event is hosted at Lancaster, Renacer Fall Fundraiser, World Hunger Auction is this Saturday, plus festivals and auctions and other special events across the denomination, among other news. Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 6, 2016 (August 6, 2016)

Remembering Jack McCray, job openings, video highlights Capstone 118 in New Orleans, seagoing cowboy celebration at Staunton Church of the Brethren, caregiving event in Virlina District, new address for N. Indiana District, prayer for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, more Read more »


Creation care study committee is named (August 6, 2016)

The Standing Committee of district delegates to Annual Conference has concluded its work of electing a Creation Care Study Committee. Three members have been elected to the new study committee. Read more »


A ‘can-do’ attitude marks the 2016 We Are Able workcamp (August 6, 2016)

This past July, 12 people joined me in the hills of Maryland for the We Are Able workcamp. This annual Church of the Brethren program is for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and volunteers who serve as their assistants. The adults with disabilities and the assistants come together for four days to do service projects, fun recreational activities, and devotions. The workcamp is a time of building community and strengthening faith. Read more »


Congregational Life Ministries offers resources to assist congregations (August 6, 2016)

The Congregational Life Ministries of the Church of the Brethren “provide coaches, collaborators, and consultants to assist congregations in reaching out and connecting with their local communities,” according to the ministries’ webpage. Currently, Congregational Life Ministries staff are making resources available for congregations to discern their gifts, explore their vitality, and teach others about the practices of the church. Read more »


Newsline for Aug. 6, 2016 (August 6, 2016)

NEWS 1) Creation care study committee is named 2) A ‘can-do’ attitude marks the 2016 We Are Able workcamp 3) Global Food Initiative supports water workshops, farmer training, soybean training RESOURCES 4) Congregational Life Ministries offers resources to assist congregations 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Global Food Initiative supports water workshops, farmer training, soybean training (August 6, 2016)

Grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Initiative (formerly Global Food Crisis Fund) support water workshops and farmer training in Burundi, and the attendance by a group from Liberia at a training event at the Soybean Innovation Lab in Ghana. Read more »


Office of Public Witness staff connect with visiting Korean church delegation (July 30, 2016)

The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) hosted a delegation from the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) this week to advocate for a permanent peace treaty between North and South Korea. The Church of the Brethren is a member organization of the NCC, and staff of the Office of Public Witness participated in events with the Korean delegation. Delegation members visited with key members of Congress, White House officials, and members of the ecumenical community to discuss prospects for peace. Read more »


Newsline for July 30, 2016 (July 30, 2016)

NEWS 1) EDF grants go to refugee resettlement, Burundi refugee crisis, Ecuador earthquake, and more 2) Material Resources ships aid to West Virginia, among other work 3) Bethany Seminary re-accreditation visits are scheduled 4) Crisis in Puerto Rico affects wellbeing of islanders, church members 5) Office of Public Witness staff connect with visiting Korean church delegation 6) BRF annual dinner receives message to ‘Carry the Light into the Workplace’ 7) War looms on their borders, but life goes on: A report from Iraqi Kurdistan RESOURCES 8) ‘Ventures’ program aims to serve more congregations with donation-based model 9) Brethren bits Read more »


BRF annual dinner receives message to ‘Carry the Light into the Workplace’ (July 30, 2016)

The Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) held its annual dinner meeting in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday evening July 2, during the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. The room was well filled and the sounds of fellowship abounded. Special music shared by the Glory Girls from the area of White Oak Church of the Brethren in Atlantic Northeast District preceded the evening’s message. Read more »


Material Resources ships aid to West Virginia, among other work (July 30, 2016)

During the month of July, 480 clean-up buckets and approximately 510 school kits were sent to aid flood relief efforts in West Virginia, shipped by the Church of the Brethren Material Resources program based at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The aid was shipped on behalf of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) in partnership with Church World Service (CWS). Read more »


EDF grants go to refugee resettlement, Burundi refugee crisis, Ecuador earthquake, and more (July 30, 2016)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to assist with refugee resettlement in the United States, the Brethren Church of Rwanda response to Burundi refugees, Heifer International’s response to the earthquake in Ecuador, Church World Service (CWS) emergency preparedness and home construction in Haiti, and Proyecto Aldea Global’s work toward emergency preparedness in Honduras. Read more »


‘Ventures’ program aims to serve more congregations with donation-based model (July 29, 2016)

Since it started four years ago, the “Ventures in Christian Discipleship” program at McPherson (Kan.) College has focused on providing small church congregations with useful, affordable education. With the course offerings in 2016-17, Ventures is about to become even more affordable and, therefore, even more useful. Read more »


Brethren bits for July 29, 2016 (July 29, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering L. Gene Bucher, personnel and job openings, Youth Peace Travel Team blog, African Great Lakes Batwa Conference, Brethren Academy hosts TRIM/EFSM orientation, 46th Annual Dunker Church Service at Antietam, disaster ministry events in Ohio, “Sing Me High” at CrossRoads, and more. Read more »


CDS deployments to California, W. Virginia, mark record number so far this year (July 23, 2016)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) volunteers recently returned from deployments in the areas of Kernville, Calif., and White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. CDS has had a record number of 9 responses so far in 2016, in addition to the Nigeria Healing Hearts response. Read more »


Brethren sign on to letter urging steps to mend divisions between communities, law enforcement (July 23, 2016)

Church of the Brethren interim general secretary Dale Minnich has signed on to a letter from an interfaith coalition to Congressional leaders, which urges that steps be taken to mend divisions between communities and law enforcement. Read more »


Haiti Medical Project expands to include maternal care, water projects, dispensaries (July 23, 2016)

The Haiti Medical Project began as a partnership of American and Haitian Brethren responding to health needs in the wake of a devastating earthquake in 2010. In the time since, the project has grown tremendously with the help of grants from the Global Food Initiative (formerly the Global Food Crisis Fund) and the Royer Family Foundation, and the drive of passionate individuals from both the Church of the Brethren and L’Eglise des Freres Haitiens (Church of the Brethren in Haiti). Read more »


Brethren bits for July 23, 2016 (July 23, 2016)

In this issue: Two-page Wrap Up of Annual Conference is available, personnel notices and job openings, workcamp group gets media attention, 45th anniversary celebration of National Farm Worker Ministry, prayer requests from Global Mission and Service, On Earth Peace Anti-Racism Transformation Team meets, annual World Hunger Auction scheduled for Aug. 13, and more news by, for, and about Brethren--including sales of new items emblazoned with the classic Brethren slogan “When Jesus said, ‘Love your enemies...’” that benefit Brethren Press. Read more »


Amy Beery named admissions counselor for Bethany Seminary (July 23, 2016)

Bethany Theological Seminary announces that Amy Beery of Indianapolis, Ind., has been hired as part-time admissions counselor as of June 29. She earned a master of divinity from Bethany in 2013 and most recently has worked in chaplaincy for Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. Read more »


Craig Smith to retire from leadership of Atlantic Northeast District (July 23, 2016)

Atlantic Northeast District executive minister Craig H. Smith has announced his retirement, as of the end of this year. He has served in the position for 19 years. Read more »


Situation in South Sudan deteriorates, Brethren donate vehicle to relief effort (July 23, 2016)

As the situation in South Sudan deteriorates, with recent eruption of renewed armed conflict and United Nations reports that 4.8 million people face food shortages, the Church of the Brethren has donated a vehicle to aid staff in food distribution and other relief work. Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board addresses budget concerns, sets stage for new financial campaign (July 23, 2016)

The Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren held its summer meeting on June 29 in Greensboro, N.C., with a focus on finances. On the agenda were approval of a 2017 budget parameter for the Core Ministries of the denomination, approval of budget revisions for this year 2016, and affirmation of plans for a new financial campaign, among other business. Read more »


Newsline for July 23, 2016  (July 23, 2016)

NEWS 1) Mission and Ministry Board addresses budget concerns, sets stage for new financial campaign 2) Brethren sign on to letter urging steps to mend divisions between communities, law enforcement 3) Mission and service executive joins in meetings at White House, State Department 4) Situation in South Sudan deteriorates, Brethren donate vehicle to relief effort 5) CDS deployments to California, W. Virginia, mark record number so far this year 6) Haiti Medical Project expands to include maternal care, water projects, dispensaries 7) EYN embarks on nationwide ‘Sympathy, Reconciliation, and Encouragement Tour’ PERSONNEL 8) Craig Smith to retire from leadership of Atlantic Northeast District 9) Amy Beery named admissions counselor for Bethany Seminary 10) Brethren bits Read more »


Mission and service executive joins in meetings at White House, State Department (July 23, 2016)

Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission and Service, met with White House officials to raise concerns about the US drone warfare program. The meeting in Washington, D.C., included other denominational leaders from other faith traditions with statements challenging US drone warfare. Read more »


EYN embarks on nationwide ‘Sympathy, Reconciliation, and Encouragement Tour’ (July 23, 2016)

Joel S. Billi, president of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has embarked on a “Sympathy, Reconciliation, and Encouragement Tour” to 14 zones nationwide in Nigeria. Read more »


Church leaders call the Brethren to be ‘a landmark of refuge’ in a time of ‘great civil violence’ (July 12, 2016)

Church of the Brethren leaders have released a statement following on a week of shootings that have rocked the nation. The statement is signed by Carol A. Scheppard, moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference; Samuel Sarpiya, moderator-elect of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference; and Dale E. Minnich, interim general secretary of the Church of the Brethren. The statement follows in full: Read more »


Un punto de referencia y de refugio (July 12, 2016)

Los Líderes de la Iglesia de los Hermanos, ante las olas de tiroteos, y violencias que ha sacudido nuestra Nación, pronunciaron las siguientes declaraciones’ firmada por Carol A. Scheppard, quien es la Moderadora de la Conferencia anual, Samuel Sarpiya, Moderador electo de la conferencia anual, y Dale E. Minnich, Secretario general interino de la Iglesia de los Hermanos Read more »


Delegate body refers queries regarding On Earth Peace, living together (July 5, 2016)

On the final afternoon of the 2016 Annual Conference, delegates dealt with the last of the queries still on the business agenda: two queries having to do with On Earth Peace’s agency status and accountability to Annual Conference, and a query titled “Living Together as Christ Calls.” Find links to the full texts of these queries online at www.brethren.org/ac/2016/business . Read more »


‘Witness to the Host City’ collections support two organizations in Greensboro (July 5, 2016)

‘Witness to the Host City’ collections support two organizations in Greensboro Read more »


Former Bethany Seminary president Wayne L. Miller passes away (July 5, 2016)

Wayne Lowell Miller, 91, who was for many years a leader in the Church of the Brethren, passed away on June 24 at the Courtyards, Brethren Village, in Lancaster, Pa. Throughout a lengthy career of service to the church he held academic and leadership positions at four Church of the Brethren-related colleges and universities--Manchester, McPherson, Elizabethtown, and La Verne--and was president of Bethany Theological Seminary, the Church of the Brethren’s graduate school of theology. Read more »


Newsline for July 5, 2016 (July 5, 2016)

A REVIEW OF THE 2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE 1) Delegates refer ‘Query: Same Sex Weddings’ to Leadership Team and CODE 2) Annual Conference names new leadership, Samuel Sarpiya chosen moderator-elect 3) Study committee to work in consultation with BBT on financial, investment concerns related to care for creation 4) Delegate body refers queries regarding On Earth Peace, living together 5) Greensboro’s Civil Rights Museum offers learning opportunity for Brethren 6) Open Roof Fellowship welcomes six new churches 7) Minister’s Association hears from speaker Fr. John Dear on ‘Walking Toward Peace’ 8) ‘Witness to the Host City’ collections support two organizations in Greensboro 9) Annual Conference by the numbers 10) Annual Conference bits and pieces 11) Former Bethany Seminary president Wayne L. Miller passes away Read more »


Greensboro’s Civil Rights Museum offers learning opportunity for Brethren (July 5, 2016)

According to the Christian folk song, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going.” There were certainly many bright lights shining in the darkness during the epic Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and ’60s. Read more »


Minister’s Association hears from speaker Fr. John Dear on ‘Walking Toward Peace’ (July 5, 2016)

Participants in this year’s Church of the Brethren Minister’s Association were privileged to receive the teaching and story telling of Fr. John Dear, a Jesuit priest, author, and activist for nonviolence. John (who preferred that we call him that and not “father dear”) came to speak with the Brethren with the strong conviction to affirm who we are as a living peace church, and to challenge us to step further into that calling. Read more »


Annual Conference bits and pieces (July 5, 2016)

A theme is announced for Annual Conference 2017, an increase is approved for the pastors’ recommended cash salary table, six new congregations and fellowships join the denomination, international guests attend in Greensboro, Global Mission shares sad news of the death of a Haitian church leader, and more. Read more »


Delegates refer ‘Query: Same Sex Weddings’ to Leadership Team and CODE (July 5, 2016)

Delegates to the 2016 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren have referred the concerns of “Query: Same Sex Weddings” to the Leadership Team of the Church of the Brethren in consultation with the Council of District Executives (CODE). The vote to refer the query was close to unanimous. Read more »


Annual Conference by the numbers (July 5, 2016)

Annual Conference by the numbers Read more »


Today in Greensboro - Sunday (July 3, 2016)

Today in Greensboro - Sunday Read more »


Study committee to work in consultation with BBT on financial, investment concerns related to care for creation (July 2, 2016)

As a result of a query on caring for God’s creation, a study committee is to be formed. The delegates to Annual Conference voted to appoint the study committee in response to “Query: Continuing the Study of Our Christian Responsibility to Care for God’s Creation.” A vote of 57.6 percent supported the creation of the study. The vote required only a simply majority. Read more »


Delegate body deals with final set of queries regarding On Earth Peace, living together (July 2, 2016)

This afternoon the delegates dealt with the final set of queries on the business agenda, including two queries having to do with On Earth Peace’s agency status and accountability to Annual Conference, and a query titled “Living Together as Christ Calls.” Find links to the full texts of these queries online at www.brethren.org/ac/2016/business . Read more »


Delegates refer ‘Query: Same Sex Weddings’ to Leadership Team and CODE (July 2, 2016)

Delegates to Annual Conference have approved a motion to refer the concerns of “Query: Same Sex Weddings” to the Leadership Team of the Church of the Brethren, in consultation with the Council of District Executives (CODE). The query was referred with a vote that was close to unanimous. Read more »


Today in Greensboro - Saturday (July 2, 2016)

Today in Greensboro - Saturday Read more »


Bethany Theological Seminary luncheon panel discusses being salt and light (July 1, 2016)

Friday at noon Bethany Seminary alumni, faculty, students, and friends gathered for fellowship, to hear remarks from Bethany president Jeff Carter, and to be challenged by words from a panel of presenters. Read more »


Standing Committee recommendation on ‘Query: Same Sex Weddings’ fails to gain two-thirds majority (July 1, 2016)

After a morning of spirited discussion among delegates, “Query: Same Sex Weddings” continues to be on the business floor of Annual Conference. A Standing Committee recommendation on the query failed to gain a two-thirds majority vote. A motion to return the query was made immediately before the end of the morning business session. Read more »


‘Carry the Light’: A dialogue with Steven Schweitzer about the Conference Bible studies (July 1, 2016)

“It sounds trite, but it’s true,” said Steven Schweitzer at a Jubilee Insight Session this afternoon, “We are to be the light of the world.” Read more »


Today in Greensboro - Friday (July 1, 2016)

Today in Greensboro - Friday Read more »


New fellowships and congregations are welcomed into the Church of the Brethren (June 30, 2016)

New fellowships and congregations are welcomed into the Church of the Brethren Read more »


Delegates open business floor to ‘Query: Same Sex Weddings,’ among other business (June 30, 2016)

Among other business, the Annual Conference today began consideration of “Query: Same Sex Weddings,” but did not conclude discussion of the item. First, the delegate body took a vote to open the floor to accept a query related to human sexuality as an item of business, because the Conference in 2011 had decided “to continue deeper conversations concerning human sexuality outside of the query process.” Read more »


Today in Greensboro - Thursday (June 30, 2016)

Today in Greensboro - Thursday, an overview Read more »


Annual Conference names new leadership, Samuel Sarpiya chosen moderator-elect (June 30, 2016)

In election results, Samuel Kefas Sarpiya was chosen as moderator-elect. He will serve alongside moderator Carol Scheppard at the 2017 Annual Conference, and will be moderator of the 2018 Conference. Read more »


EYN declares a day of prayer for the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference (June 30, 2016)

Rev. Daniel Mbaya, general secretary of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), in a text he passed across the church asked all the EYN DCC [church district] secretaries, heads of programs, and institutions to a one-day fasting and prayer for the Church of the Brethren in the United States. Read more »


Bethany Seminary sponsors concert and hymn sing (June 29, 2016)

Shawn Kirchner, Mutual Kumquat, and Andy and Terry Murray performed in a hymn sing and concert sponsored by Bethany Theological Seminary, after worship on the first evening of the 2016 Annual Conference. The Guilford Ballroom at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, N.C., was packed with Brethren eager to sing their hearts out and hear the work of these fine musicians. Read more »


Today in Greensboro - Wednesday (June 29, 2016)

An overview of the first day of the 2016 Annual Conference held in Greensboro, N.C. Read more »


Open Roof Fellowship welcomes six new churches (June 29, 2016)

Six churches were welcomed into the Open Roof Fellowship at the Mission and Ministry Board meeting in advance of Annual Conference in Greensboro, N.C. The fellowship recognizes Church of the Brethren congregations that have made great strides in becoming more accessible to people with disabilities. Read more »


Queries on care for creation, living together as Christ calls receive recommendations from Standing Committee (June 28, 2016)

In today’s meetings of Standing Committee, two queries--“Continuing the Study of Our Christian Responsibility to Care for God’s Creation” and “Living Together as Christ Calls”--were acted on, and received recommendations. Read more »


Standing Committee makes response to Query: Same Sex Weddings (June 27, 2016)

This morning in Greensboro, N.C., the Standing Committee of district delegates to the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference voted on a response to Query: Same Sex Weddings. Read more »


Standing Committee recommends referring queries about On Earth Peace to Review and Evaluation Committee (June 27, 2016)

The Standing Committee of district delegates has made a recommendation to refer two queries about On Earth Peace to the Review and Evaluation Committee. The recommendation begins by “recognizing that the Review and Evaluation Committee has the responsibility to consider the balance and unity of the agencies,” and will be shared with the delegate body when the two queries come to the Annual Conference business session later this week. Read more »


Brethren bits for June 24, 2016 (June 24, 2016)

In this issue: Former general secretary of the Church of the Brethren named to staff of the World Council of Churches, Bethany Seminary hires admissions counselor, Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center seeks executive director, BHLA celebrates 200-year legacy of James Quinter, congregations celebrate anniversaries, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for June 24, 2016 (June 24, 2016)

1) On Earth Peace issues response to queries coming to Annual Conference 2) Global Food Initiative announces new name for continuing program, new gardening grants 3) Children’s Disaster Services sends third team to Houston, Orlando team completes service 4) Brethren bits Read more »


Global Food Initiative announces new name for continuing program, new gardening grants (June 24, 2016)

Global Food Initiative (GFI) has been announced as the new name for the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF). The program of the former GFCF continues under the new name, and with a new logo and a redesigned website. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services sends third team to Houston, Orlando team completes service (June 24, 2016)

“We have another team headed out to Houston, Texas, this week, third one this summer,” reports Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) associate director Kathleen Fry-Miller. “I know the people there are getting very weary of all the flooding and water. I’m so grateful that we have volunteers willing to go.” Read more »


Reflejando el rostro de Dios (June 20, 2016)

Comunicado de Andy Murray, moderador de la Conferencia Anual de Hermanos, sobre lo que podemos hacer como Iglesia y como podemos atender mejor a la gente en duelo de Orlando Read more »


Newsline for June 18, 2016 (June 18, 2016)

1) Reflecting the face of God that we see in Jesus: Annual Conference moderator issues letter to the church 2) CDS team cares for children, offers a supportive presence in Orlando 3) Scott Kinnick to serve as executive minister for Southeastern District 4) Brethren bits Read more »


Scott Kinnick to serve as executive minister for Southeastern District (June 17, 2016)

Southeastern District has announced that Scott Kinnick will serve as district executive minister, beginning Sept. 1. He is a life-long member of the Church of the Brethren and an ordained minister. Read more »


CDS team cares for children, offers a supportive presence in Orlando (June 17, 2016)

Our Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) Orlando team has reported that they feel they are at the right place to offer support. The team is serving in the Family Assistance Center (FAC) that was set up starting Wednesday for families of those who were killed early Sunday morning and for survivors and their families. Read more »


Brethren bits for June 17 (June 17, 2016)

In this issue: Brethren participate in events for Orlando victims, personnel notes and job openings, David Steele welcomed to General Offices, Youth Peace Travel Team starts work, Bethany hosts Nigerian scholar, Nigerian Brethren visit Mill Creek Church on their way to Annual Conference, Southeastern District aids school in Haiti, Northern Plains District presents “Breaking Bread with Elizabeth Ripley,” and more. Read more »


Reflecting the face of God that we see in Jesus: Annual Conference moderator issues letter to the church (June 16, 2016)

Annual Conference moderator Andy Murray has issued the following letter to the Church of the Brethren, following the shootings in Orlando, Fla., and in advance of the denomination’s annual meeting on June 29-July 3 in Greensboro, N.C. It was first shared in an e-mail to delegates and others who are registered to attend the Conference: Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services team to work in Orlando following gun massacre (June 14, 2016)

In response to the horrific shooting in Orlando, Fla., the American Red Cross has asked Children's Disaster Services (CDS) to send a team of caregivers. Since 1980, CDS has been meeting the needs of children by setting up child care centers in shelters and disaster assistance centers across the nation. Specially trained to respond to traumatized children, volunteers provide a calm, safe, and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos created by natural and human-caused disasters. CDS is a ministry of the Church of the Brethren and is part of Brethren Disaster Ministries. Read more »


Leaders on the Church of the Brethren staff call for courage to proclaim and embody peace (June 13, 2016)

Today leaders on the Church of the Brethren denominational staff released the following statement responding to the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla.: Read more »


On Earth Peace announces theme for Peace Day 2016 (June 11, 2016)

“Called to Build Peace” is the theme for Peace Day 2016, held annually on Sept. 21, which is the International Day of Prayer for Peace. This year’s campaign from On Earth Peace invites churches, peacebuilders, and seekers of justice to participate. “Plan a prayer service or community action event and reflect on how you and your community are called to build peace during the week surrounding Sept. 21, 2016,” said an invitation from organizer Bryan Hanger. Read more »


Network of spiritual directors meets for annual retreat (June 11, 2016)

For over a decade, spiritual directors from throughout the Church of the Brethren have met annually for a retreat and continuing education. Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministry and Retreat Center in Sharpsburg, Md., provides a beautiful and quiet setting for this event, which includes opportunities for worship, prayer, silence, creative expression, peer supervision, and keynote presentations. Read more »


Ministry of Reconciliation manual is made available as an online resource (June 11, 2016)

About a year ago, in the wake of celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Ministry of Reconciliation (MoR) as a program of On Earth Peace, program director Leslie Frye wondered if it might be worthwhile to revise the 1995 “Ministry of Reconciliation Discipleship and Reconciliation Committee Handbook.” Read more »


India Brethren hold 101st annual meeting (June 11, 2016)

The 101st Jilla Sabha was held in Champawadi, Vyara District, Tapi, on May 12-13. The meeting included the appointment of new leadership for the First District Church of the Brethren in India. Read more »


Interfaith letter raises concerns, urges greater transparency on drone warfare  (June 11, 2016)

Church of the Brethren interim general secretary Dale Minnich and On Earth Peace executive director Bill Scheurer were among 28 faith leaders from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh traditions who sent an interfaith letter on drone warfare to President Barack Obama. Staff of the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Public Witness were among those who created the letter on behalf of the Interfaith Drone Network. Read more »


Newsline for June 11, 2016 (June 11, 2016)

NEWS 1) Interfaith letter raises concerns, urges greater transparency on drone warfare 2) India Brethren hold 101st annual meeting 3) Network of spiritual directors meets for annual retreat 4) Northern Indiana congregations sponsor project to share Nigeria t-shirts UPCOMING EVENTS 5) On Earth Peace announces theme for Peace Day 2016 RESOURCES 6) Ministry of Reconciliation manual is made available as an online resource 7) New Covenant Bible Studies series invite readers to ‘love Leviticus,’ study Jesus’ miracles 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for June 11, 2016 (June 11, 2016)

Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Sentencing Reform, next webinar, Global Mission executive recommends report on “Nigeria Fractured and Forgotten,” Children's Disaster Services needs 100 more hand-made toys for traumatized children in Nigeria, “Racial Justice Field Report from Flint” on June 21, and more. Read more »


Northern Indiana congregations sponsor project to share Nigeria t-shirts (June 11, 2016)

Sometimes the Spirit moves in mysterious ways--even with turquoise tie-dyed t-shirts! As a pastor of Creekside Church of the Brethren in Northern Indiana District, I attended a Pastor’s Sabbath at Camp Alexander Mack in April. It was led by Carl and Roxane Hill, co-directors of the Nigeria Crisis Response. My congregation, and others in the district, had raised money for crisis relief in Nigeria through a benefit auction in June 2015, and have been considering ways to continue to generate spiritual and financial support for our brothers and sisters of EYN. Read more »


New Covenant Bible Studies series invite readers to ‘love Leviticus,’ study Jesus’ miracles (June 11, 2016)

There are two new books in the Covenant Bible Studies series from Brethren Press: “Ten Reasons to Love Leviticus” and “More Miracles of Jesus.” Also newly available from the Church of the Brethren publishing house is the 2016 camping curriculum on DVD, titled “Branching Out.” Read more »


Lengthy court case over church property in Los Angeles draws to a close (June 4, 2016)

A lengthy court case over church property in Los Angeles, Calif., is finally drawing to a close. This was one of two cases in recent years that have involved the Church of the Brethren denomination in local and district struggles over ownership of church buildings and property. In each case, a congregation decided to leave the Church of the Brethren but continued to claim ownership of church buildings and property, in contradiction to denominational polity. Read more »


National Young Adult Conference seeks to create harmony (June 4, 2016)

Over Memorial Day weekend, more than 45 young adults from across the country met at Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind., for National Young Adult Conference (NYAC). The weekend was filled with worship, workshops, and Bible study focused around the theme of creating harmony in everyday life. Read more »


Nigerian Brethren president Joel S. Billi inaugurates EYN 100th anniversary committee (June 4, 2016)

Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) was founded by the American Church of the Brethren in 1923 at Garkida, Nigeria, where it had its 75th anniversary in 1998. EYN president Joel S. Billi has inaugurated a 13-member committee for a 100 Years Anniversary of EYN-Church of the Brethren in Nigeria. This is coming less than one month after he assumed office as the EYN president, and is coming from a decision of the EYN National Executive Committee at its meeting held on April 12. Read more »


Brethren bits for June 4, 2016 (June 4, 2016)

In this issue: Remembrance, personnel, On Earth Peace openings for development director and for interim coordinator of Ministry of Reconciliation, MSS interns begin orientation, Brethren Disaster Ministries chosen for nomination to receive Rebate for Mission funds from Everence Federal Credit Union, New Community Project featured in “Brethren Voices,” and more. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services deploys to Houston, again, following flooding (June 4, 2016)

“The Houston team is in a shelter where people are taken to after being rescued,” reported Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) associate director Kathy Fry-Miller. CDS has deployed a team of volunteers to Houston, Texas, for the second time since April in response to severe flooding. Read more »


Newsline for June 4, 2016 (June 4, 2016)

NEWS 1) Lengthy court case over church property in Los Angeles draws to a close 2) Bethany Theological Seminary announces its class of 2016 graduates 3) National Young Adult Conference seeks to create harmony 4) Children’s Disaster Services deploys to Houston, again, following flooding UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Nigerian Brethren president Joel S. Billi inaugurates EYN 100th anniversary committee 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Funding is made available for hosting ‘12 Baskets and a Goat,’ among other grants (May 27, 2016)

New funding has been made available for congregations to host performances of the original play by Ted and Co. Theaterworks that benefits Heifer International, called “12 Baskets and a Goat.” The total allocation of $10,000 comes jointly from the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) and the Office of the General Secretary. Read more »


Newsline for May 27, 2016 (May 27, 2016)

NEWS 1) New church planting conference calls for development of hope and imagination 2) Congregational Life Ministries announce interim plan for sharing executive duties 3) Funding is made available for hosting ‘12 Baskets and a Goat,’ among other grants 4) Community gardeners converge in Wisconsin to discuss their work 5) Nigeria Crisis Response continues to meet needs in the face of devastating trauma 6) EYN and CAMPI receive the Michael Sattler Peace Award in Germany UPCOMING EVENTS 7) Annual Conference ‘Witness to the Host City’ supports children, job readiness 8) Annual Conference Sunday invites Brethren to a joint ‘virtual worship’ 9) On Earth Peace offers opportunities to learn about Kingian nonviolence, anti-racism 10) Brethren bits Read more »


On Earth Peace offers opportunities to learn about Kingian nonviolence, anti-racism (May 27, 2016)

On Earth Peace is offering opportunities to learn about Kingian nonviolence and to get involved in anti-racism work. “Kingian Nonviolence is a philosophy and curriculum which applies agape love to relationships and community problems,” explained an announcement. “The approach was developed by David Jehnsen and Bernard Lafayette Jr., who both worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s.” Read more »


EYN and CAMPI receive the Michael Sattler Peace Award in Germany (May 27, 2016)

“Now I’m back to my roots!” said pastor Ephraim Kadala of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) as he waded in the Eder River in Schwarzenau, Germany. “This is where we come from!” Read more »


Brethren bits for May 27, 2016 (May 27, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering Grady Snyder and Beth Burnette, personnel announcements and job openings, Heifer CEO visits the General Offices, NYAC and the summer workcamp season begin, Bethany Seminary’s president on panel presentation at Princeton, BVS seeks applicants for summer orientation, and news from Brethren congregations, districts, colleges, and more. Read more »


New church planting conference calls for development of hope and imagination (May 27, 2016)

“Hope, Imagination, Mission”--the theme of the Church of the Brethren new church planting May 19-21 in Richmond, Ind., hosted by Bethany Theological Seminary--prompted a new call to the whole church to develop its imagination and foster a new hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some 100 people participated in worship, keynote presentations, workshops, and a special training track in Spanish. The conference was sponsored by Congregational Life Ministries. Read more »


Annual Conference Sunday invites Brethren to a joint ‘virtual worship’ (May 27, 2016)

“Join congregations and individuals from around the country as we worship together as one virtual church on Annual Conference Sunday, July 3,” said an invitation from the Conference Office. The 2016 Annual Conference takes place in Greensboro, N.C., on June 29-July 3. Read more »


Congregational Life Ministries announce interim plan for sharing executive duties (May 27, 2016)

The Congregational Life Ministries of the Church of the Brethren has announced an interim plan for staff to share executive duties, following the resignation of former executive director Jonathan Shively. Using a collaborative team approach, the plan focuses on sharing oversight of the work of the department and development of staffing and programming. Read more »


Annual Conference ‘Witness to the Host City’ supports children, job readiness (May 27, 2016)

Two local organizations in Greensboro, N.C., will receive support from Conference-goers who attend the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference this summer. The Conference will receive a collection of hygiene items for a project called BackPack Beginnings that supports school children, and a collection of clothing and shoes for the Encore! Boutique Thrift Store and a “Step Up” program for job readiness training. Read more »


Nigeria Crisis Response continues to meet needs in the face of devastating trauma (May 27, 2016)

The response to the Nigeria crisis from the Church of the Brethren has been nothing short of spectacular. Over the last 16 months we have been able to provide support for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and five NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations). Read more »


Community gardeners converge in Wisconsin to discuss their work (May 27, 2016)

Earlier this month, gardeners converged on Wisconsin from many corners of the country to discuss their work and dream about the next phase of the Going to the Garden initiative. Gardeners hailed from New Mexico, Alaska, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Washington D.C. Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board names new general secretary for the Church of the Brethren (May 24, 2016)

David A. Steele has been named general secretary-elect of the Church of the Brethren by the denomination’s Mission and Ministry Board. His appointment was announced yesterday, May 23, at a specially called meeting at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Read more »


Nuevo secretario general de la Iglesia de los Hermanos (May 24, 2016)

David A. Steele ha sido nombrado secretario general electo de la Iglesia de los Hermanos por la Junta de Misiones y el Ministerio de la denominación. Read more »


CCS participants learn about the root causes of mass incarceration (May 14, 2016)

“Brethren, our game is strong…and the story ain’t over yet!” This call to action from Richard Newton heralded the start of Christian Citizenship Seminar (CCS) 2016. Each year CCS brings together high school youth to learn about a social justice issue and put their faith into practice through political advocacy on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Read more »


Daggett hired as project director for Shine, following Stutzman retirement (May 14, 2016)

Joan Daggett of Bridgewater, Va., has accepted the position of project director for Shine: Living in God’s Light, the children’s Sunday school curriculum produced by Brethren Press and MennoMedia. Read more »


New resources include summer Guide for Biblical Studies, curriculum guide for ‘Seagoing Cowboy’ (May 14, 2016)

New resources from Brethren Press include a summer quarter of A Guide for Biblical Studies--the Bible study curriculum for adult Christian education--on the theme “Toward a New Creation,” and a new curriculum guide for the illustrated children’s book “The Seagoing Cowboy.” Read more »


Joe Detrick to serve as interim director of ministry (May 14, 2016)

The Church of the Brethren has hired Joe Detrick as interim director for the Office of Ministry. He will begin in this position on June 22, working out of the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., and from his home in Seven Valleys, Pa. This interim assignment is expected to continue for one year. Read more »


Brethren letter urges US to take part in talks about nuclear disarmament (May 14, 2016)

The Church of the Brethren’s interim general secretary Dale Minnich has sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging the United States to participate in international talks about nuclear disarmament. Read more »


Newsline for May 14, 2016 (May 14, 2016)

NEWS 1) Brethren letter urges US to take part in talks about nuclear disarmament 2) When to ban nuclear weapons is key issue at UN working group 3) CCS participants learn about the root causes of mass incarceration PERSONNEL 4) Joe Detrick to serve as interim director of ministry 5) Daggett hired as project director for Shine, following Stutzman retirement UPCOMING EVENTS 6) Preaching seminar is offered by Bethany alumnae RESOURCES 7) New resources include summer Guide for Biblical Studies, curriculum guide for ‘Seagoing Cowboy’ 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for May 14, 2016 (May 14, 2016)

In this issue: Remembrances, personnel notes, job openings, volunteer positions, news from congregations and districts, Brethren Bible Institute dates, Juniata College honors faculty, Bridgewater College recognizes philosophy and religion students, Bridgewater students to work at Brethren camps, WCC protests treatment of staff and partners by Israel, bill to impose draft registration on women makes inroads in Senate, more. Read more »


May is Older Adult Month (May 6, 2016)

Youth Sunday, graduations, Pentecost, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day--May is a busy month! The Office of Intergenerational Ministries encourages congregations to also celebrate May as Older Adult Month. Read more »


Newsline for May 6, 2016 (May 6, 2016)

1) ‘In Tune’ event at Bethany creates a beautiful dissonance 2) May is Older Adult Month 3) Song and Story Fest celebrates its 20th anniversary 4) Brethren bits Read more »


Song and Story Fest celebrates its 20th anniversary (May 6, 2016)

This year’s Song and Story Fest, a family camp and gathering of Brethren musicians and storytellers, will mark a milestone: the 20th anniversary of the annual event. The 2016 Song and Story Fest is scheduled for July 3-9 at Camp Blue Diamond near Petersburg, Pa. Read more »


Brethren bits for May 6, 2016 (May 6, 2016)

Personnel notices, job openings, call for dessert testers for new Inglenook cookbook, developments in legislation regarding military draft, Brethren Voices features moderator Andy Murray, Elizabethtown College’s interfaith leadership studies major gets attention from the New York Times, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


‘In Tune’ event at Bethany creates a beautiful dissonance  (May 6, 2016)

Dissonance is the tension created from the use of two or more musical notes that just don’t seem to go together. When produced correctly or added into a larger chord, however, they create a lovely tension. A lot of churches are facing this dissonance in a metaphorical way as they attempt to include all musical preferences in a single worship service. But this dissonance doesn’t have to be disastrous. Out of the clash of genres can come something even more beautiful. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services presents new training program in Nigeria (April 29, 2016)

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


Annual Conference moderator calls for special day of prayer and fasting on Pentecost (April 29, 2016)

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


Fellowship of Brethren Homes holds Forum, elects new executive committee (April 29, 2016)

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


Newsline for April 29, 2016 (April 29, 2016)

NEWS 1) Annual Conference moderator calls for special day of prayer and fasting on Pentecost 2) Brethren Disaster Ministries begins work at new rebuilding project site in Detroit 3) Children’s Disaster Services presents new training program in Nigeria 4) GFCF grants support church projects in Illinois, Maryland, Spain, Honduras 5) Fellowship of Brethren Homes holds Forum, elects new executive committee 6) International delegation completes racial justice pilgrimage to the United States PERSONNEL 7) Leslie Frye resigns as director of the Ministry of Reconciliation UPCOMING EVENTS 8) Bethany Seminary to hold commencement ceremonies 9) Brethren bits Read more »


GFCF grants support church projects in Illinois, Maryland, Spain, Honduras (April 29, 2016)

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


Brethren Disaster Ministries begins work at new rebuilding project site in Detroit (April 29, 2016)

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


Brethren bits for April 29 (April 29, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering Harriett Finney and Bryan Boyer, Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) seeks an employee benefits specialist, Betty Ann Cherry to give this year’s Juniata College commencement address, Heifer International holds special event in Chicago, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Majalisa of the Nigerian Brethren focuses on ‘Building EYN for Better Future’ (April 22, 2016)

Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) held its 69th General Church Council (Majalisa) from April 12-16 at the Annex Headquarters in Jos, Nigeria. The Majalisa issued a communique noting official actions of the conference, including the naming of new top leadership for the denomination. Read more »


Newsline for April 22, 2016 (April 22, 2016)

NEWS 1) Brethren Disaster Ministries supports work of Heifer International in Ecuador 2) Children’s Disaster Services deploys to Texas following floods 3) Majalisa of the Nigerian Brethren focuses on ‘Building EYN for Better Future’ 4) Elizabethtown College joins Brethren collaboration on Nigeria research 5) World Council of Churches sends team to US for racial justice listening and support PERSONNEL 6) Cindy Sanders to serve as executive for Missouri and Arkansas District 7) Terry Grove to serve as executive for Atlantic Southeast District UPCOMING EVENTS 8) Youth are invited to explore their call at Bethany Seminary 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries supports work of Heifer International in Ecuador (April 22, 2016)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed a grant of $10,000 from the Church of the Brethren Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support the work of Heifer International in Ecuador following a massive earthquake last weekend. Read more »


Brethren bits for April 22, 2016 (April 22, 2016)

In this issue: Correction, job openings with the World Council of Churches, prayer for start of Christian Citizenship Seminar, new National Refugees Welcome Campaign, Emir of Kano warns of starvation in northeast Nigeria, disaster auction season begins soon, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services deploys to Texas following floods (April 22, 2016)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has deployed a team of 10 volunteers to Houston, Texas, in response to heavy flooding. The CDS volunteers were to arrive mid-day April 21, and have tentative plans to continue childcare through the beginning of May. Read more »


Cindy Sanders to serve as executive for Missouri and Arkansas District (April 19, 2016)

Missouri Arkansas District of the Church of the Brethren has called Cindy Sanders to serve as district executive minister beginning May 1. She is a 1995 graduate of Education for Shared Ministry (EFSM), a ministry training program of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership. She was ordained in the Church of the Brethren in 1995. Read more »


Terry Grove to serve as executive for Atlantic Southeast District  (April 19, 2016)

The Atlantic Southeast District of the Church of the Brethren has called Terry Grove to serve as district executive minister beginning May 1. Most recently he has been a member of Winter Park Church of the Brethren and New Covenant Church of the Brethren, where he serves as quarter time pastor. He also has been treasurer for the district and Camp Ithiel, and previously served briefly as interim district executive. Read more »


Jonathan Shively resigns as executive for Congregational Life Ministries (April 18, 2016)

Jonathan Shively has resigned as executive director of Congregational Life Ministries for the Church of the Brethren, effective April 30. He has served in the position since July 2008, working out of the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Read more »


Newsline for April 15, 2016 (April 15, 2016)

1) Developments at the Brethren Academy offer opportunities for students 2) Emergency Disaster Fund grants help begin new disaster rebuilding site in Detroit 3) Old meets new as Bermudian meets Bittersweet 4) Global Women’s Project Steering Committee meets in Virginia 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Developments at the Brethren Academy offer opportunities for students (April 15, 2016)

At the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, women and men are equipped for leadership in the church through four training programs: Training in Ministry (TRIM), Education for a Shared Ministry (EFSM), Seminario Biblico Anabautista Hispano (SeBAH-CoB), and district-based Academy Certified Training Systems (ACTS). The academy also offers continuing education opportunities for those who have completed seminary degrees or ministry training programs. Read more »


Emergency Disaster Fund grants help begin new disaster rebuilding site in Detroit (April 15, 2016)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed recent grants from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to begin a new rebuilding project site following flooding in Detroit, Mich.; to continue an ongoing rebuilding project site in Colorado; and to help support the work of Brethren volunteers at an ecumenical Disaster Recovery Support Initiative (DRSI) in South Carolina. Read more »


Brethren bits for April 15, 2016 (April 15, 2016)

In this issue: Heifer International posts seagoing cowboy video stories, Ken Medema’s song for Children’s Disaster Services is available online, new church starts are announced by Illinois/Wisconsin District, Shenandoah District is again a collection depot for CWS kits, lots of college news, and more. Read more »


Global Women’s Project Steering Committee meets in Virginia (April 15, 2016)

Harrisonburg, Va., was the site for the March Global Women’s Project Steering Committee meeting. Members enjoyed the warmth of the valley of Virginia both in weather and welcome. Read more »


Old meets new as Bermudian meets Bittersweet (April 15, 2016)

When the founders of Bermudian Church of the Brethren in East Berlin, Pa., stood on their hill and looked over the river where baptisms occurred, they must have felt like they were on holy ground. As pastor Larry Dentler says, “We have been here since before America was America.” Read more »


Special events, vigils mark second anniversary of Chibok abductions (April 13, 2016)

Here is information about some of the special events and prayer vigils planned to commemorate this anniversary, including a first-ever memorial event at the school in Chibok for the parents and families that will integrate both Christian and Muslim faiths: Read more »


Live your life in the hand of God: An interview with Rebecca Dali  (April 13, 2016)

The following is excerpted from an interview with Rebecca Dali made during last year’s Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in July 2015. It was shortly after she had been able to go back home to Michika for the first time since Boko Haram had taken over the area, and then had been forced back out by the Nigerian military. Dali heads up CCEPI, a humanitarian nonprofit serving widows, orphans, and others affected by violence. Now there is significantly less violence than last summer, but Dali’s comments give insight into the suffering of many in Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and their Christian and Muslim neighbors. She shares about the spiritual foundations of her work, and helps explain how young Nigerian men are enticed into joining Boko Haram: Read more »


Newsline Special Marking the 2nd Anniversary of the Chibok Abductions (April 13, 2016)

1) Still no definitive answers: What Brethren should know on this second anniversary of the Chibok abductions 2) Special events, vigils mark second anniversary of Chibok abductions 3) ‘Long Journey Home’ video updates Brethren about the Nigeria Crisis Response 4) Fellowship tour to Nigeria is planned for August 5) United Nations notes sharp increase in use of child suicide bombers 6) Live your life in the hand of God: An interview with Rebecca Dali Read more »


‘Long Journey Home’ video updates Brethren about the Nigeria Crisis Response (April 13, 2016)

The Global Mission and Service office has released a new DVD which updates the Church of the Brethren about the Nigeria Crisis Response for 2016. The video called “The Long Journey Home” outlines what has been accomplished with funds raised by the church and mission partners during 2015, and provides a blueprint for the church’s support of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) for 2016. Read more »


Still no definitive answers: What Brethren should know on this second anniversary of the Chibok abductions (April 13, 2016)

On April 14, 2014, 276 schoolgirls were abducted from a secondary school in Chibok, in northeast Nigeria. Since the night the girls were taken some 56 have escaped and one reportedly was executed in a vicious stoning incident. That leaves 219 of the girls unaccounted for and, at last report, no one has any concrete information concerning their whereabouts. Read more »


Brethren sew dolls, stuffed toys for Nigeria training by Children's Disaster Services  (April 9, 2016)

Several churches and sewing groups have made dolls and stuffed toys for use by Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) in an upcoming training in Nigeria. CDS associate director Kathleen Fry-Miller and volunteer trainer John Kinsel will travel to Nigeria to train Nigerian Brethren women leaders to provide trauma healing for children. Read more »


Brethren bits for April 9, 2016 (April 9, 2016)

In this issue: Remembrances, personnel notes, job opening in DC, CDS volunteers serve in Louisiana, ‘Our Calling to Racial Justice,’ ADNet financial planning seminar, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for April 9, 2016 (April 9, 2016)

1) New graduate certificates offered at Bethany Seminary 2) Brethren sew dolls, stuffed toys for Nigeria training by Children's Disaster Services 3) Fellowship of Brethren Homes holds annual Forum in April 4) Early registration discount still available for @HIM #Hope #Imagination #Mission 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Fellowship of Brethren Homes holds annual Forum in April  (April 9, 2016)

The Fellowship of Brethren Homes, an organization of the Church of the Brethren-related retirement communities, will hold its annual Forum 2016 on April 19-21 at Hillcrest in La Verne, Calif. The event will begin with a dinner on Tuesday, April 19, and end with a session on Thursday morning, April 21. Read more »


Early registration discount still available for @HIM #Hope #Imagination #Mission (April 9, 2016)

Register by April 15 to take advantage of early registration discount for the new church development conference, @HIM #Hope #Imagination #Mission. This event is for church planters, anyone considering becoming a church planter, planting teams, and leaders eager to explore a vision of the church that includes vital established congregations and dynamic emerging mission points. Read more »


German Mennonite peace prize to go to EYN and Muslim partners (March 25, 2016)

A peace prize will be awarded to Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and its Muslim partners who have cooperated in the “Christian and Muslim Peace Initiative” known as CAMPI. The announcement of the prize was made in a release from Mission 21, a partner organization of EYN that is based in Switzerland. Read more »


Disaster grants support W. Virginia bridge project, displaced people in Rwanda and DR Congo, DRSI project, Sudan mission, deported Haitians (March 25, 2016)

Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund to a variety of projects in recent weeks. Among them are a bridge rebuilding project in West Virginia, assistance for refugees from Burundi living in Rwanda, assistance for people displaced by violence in the DR Congo, a Disaster Recovery Support Initiative aiding a longterm recovery group in South Carolina, food assistance in South Sudan, and aid for Haitian migrants returning to Haiti from the Dominican Republic. These grants total $85,950. Read more »


Insurance company issues another large dividend to the Church of the Brethren (March 25, 2016)

The Church of the Brethren has received another large dividend amounting to $63,784 from Brethren Mutual Aid and Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company, through the company’s Partnership Group Program. Read more »


Newsline for March 25, 2016  (March 25, 2016)

1) Insurance company issues another large dividend to the Church of the Brethren 2) Disaster grants support W. Virginia bridge project, displaced people in Rwanda and DR Congo, DRSI project, Sudan mission, deported Haitians 3) Global Food Crisis Fund grants support Lybrook ministries, agriculture in Rwanda and the DR Congo 4) German Mennonite peace prize to go to EYN and Muslim partners 5) One-and-a-half years in Cameroon: An interview with an EYN district secretary 6) Webinars to focus on urban ministry 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Webinars to focus on urban ministry (March 25, 2016)

A new series of webinars will focus on urban ministry, co-sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Congregational Life Ministries. Dates and times, topics, presenter information, and brief descriptions follow: Read more »


Brethren bits for March 25, 2016 (March 25, 2016)

In this issue: Churches invited to provide pictures on Annual Conference theme, personnel announcements, the new Messenger Online, an Earth Day Sunday focus on animals, Jones Chapel Church celebrates 75 years, Staunton holds renewal weekend with Carol Scheppard, Washington congregations pray together for Nigeria, and much more Read more »


One-and-a-half years in Cameroon: An interview with an EYN district secretary (March 25, 2016)

Luka Tada was a district secretary of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) serving the District Church Council (DCC) Attagara in Gwoza Local Government in Borno State. He began his service as a district secretary before the Christian population of the area was forced out of Nigeria by the Boko Haram insurgents, and fled to Cameroon. Among other surviving pastors in the area, he fled with his church members to Cameroon where UNICEF placed them in a camp in Minawawo. Read more »


Global Food Crisis Fund grants support Lybrook ministries, agriculture in Rwanda and the DR Congo (March 25, 2016)

Recent grants allocated from the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) support expansion of community gardening at the Lybrook Communities Ministries in New Mexico, and two agriculture projects that serve the Twa people in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These three grants total $36,180. Read more »


Newsline for March 17, 2016 (March 17, 2016)

NEWS 1) Mission and Ministry Board releases $1 million to continue Nigeria Crisis Response, begins new effort for financial support of ongoing ministries 2) Winners of the Bethany peace essay contest are announced 3) Project sends Bibles to Nigeria 4) Rockford Community Church sends mobile library to Nigeria UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Conference attendees are invited to participate in Jubilee Service Projects 6) Bethany Seminary hosts ENGAGE campus visit day on April 14 7) National Young Adult Conference speakers to focus on ‘Creating Harmony’ 8) Applications are welcomed for Summer and Fall Brethren Volunteer Service orientations PERSONNEL 9) Brethren Volunteer Service unit begins work 10) Brethren bits: Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 312 begins work (March 17, 2016)

Volunteers who underwent orientation in the Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Unit 312, the Winter 2016 unit, have been assigned to their project sites. The volunteers, their hometowns, and project assignments follow: Read more »


National Young Adult Conference speakers to focus on ‘Creating Harmony’ (March 17, 2016)

National Young Adult Conference 2016 will take place May 27-30 on the campus of Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind. Participants will focus on Colossians 3:12-17 and the theme “Creating Harmony.” The schedule includes worship, fellowship, recreation, Bible study, and service projects. Speakers include Christy Dowdy, Jim Grossnickle-Batterton, Drew Hart, Eric Landram, Waltrina Middleton, and Richard Zapata. Read more »


Brethren bits for March 17, 2016 (March 17, 2016)

In this issue: Remembrances, personnel notes, job openings, new online resources featuring Brethren speakers, reporting from Africa Great Lakes delegation, a reminder of upcoming events from SVMC, extended deadline for group orders for “The Seagoing Cowboy,” EYN’s theme for the year, and much more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Conference attendees are invited to participate in Jubilee Service Projects (March 17, 2016)

What does an afternoon of no business session, plus service opportunities, equal at this year’s Annual Conference? Jubilee Service Projects! The Annual Conference Programs and Arrangements committee has set aside the afternoon of Friday, July 1 as a time for Conference-goers to participate in a Jubilee Afternoon. Read more »


Rockford Community Church sends mobile library to Nigeria (March 17, 2016)

With an eye on helping young people and promoting peace, a mobile library has been sent to northeast Nigeria by Rockford (Ill.) Community Church of the Brethren, with help from many other donors. Read more »


Project sends Bibles to Nigeria (March 17, 2016)

When Galen Hackman retired from pastoring Ephrata (Pa.) Church of the Brethren last October, the congregation collected money in his name in order to provide Bibles to Nigeria. The congregation knew that he had a heart for Nigeria because back in the 1990s he and his wife spent time there teaching at Kulp Bible College. The church raised more than $3,000 to purchase Bibles. This money along with a self-inking stamp to mark each Bible was sent with us to Nigeria this past January. Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board allocates $1 million to continue Nigeria Crisis Response, begins new effort for financial support of ongoing ministries (March 17, 2016)

A major action at the Spring meeting of the Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren allocated another $1 million of donated funds to continue the Nigeria Crisis Response. The board also engaged in significant conversation about financial shortfalls for ongoing denominational ministries, and how to develop more support and foster relationship-building across the wider church. Read more »


Applications are welcomed for Summer and Fall Brethren Volunteer Service orientations (March 17, 2016)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) is scheduled to run three more orientations in 2016, already having completed one orientation in February. BVS is a fulltime volunteer program that places volunteers in a one- to two-year assignment in the United States and locations around the world. Read more »


Church of the Brethren mourns loss of associate general secretary Mary Jo Flory-Steury (March 4, 2016)

Mary Jo Flory-Steury, associate general secretary of the Church of the Brethren and executive director of the denomination’s Office of Ministry, died this morning at Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center. Read more »


CCEPI graduates first set of orphans and widows in skill acquisition (February 27, 2016)

Director of the Center for Caring and Peace Initiative (CCEPI) in Nigeria, Rebecca S. Dali, charged the first graduates of the Livelihood Skill Acquisition Center established by CCEPI to work hard by utilizing the materials such as knitting machines, sewing machines, and computers given to them to make them economically independent. Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 27, 2016 (February 27, 2016)

In this issue: SVMC personnel announcement, job openings at SVMC and the Church of the Brethren General Offices, BRF group serves in Haiti, theology session at 2016 Ecumenical Advocacy Days, Ventures features Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm, Mutual Kumquat concert at Beavercreek Church benefits Nigerian family, Roundtable registration is open, spring candlelight dinners at John Kline Homestead, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Congregational Life Ministries and ADNet extend agreement to work together (February 27, 2016)

In January 2016, Anabaptist Disabilities Network (ADNet) and the Church of the Brethren Congregational Life Ministries extended an agreement to work together to advocate for persons with disabilities in the church. Since 2014, the Church of the Brethren has had a representative serving on the ADNet board of directors and has worked in cooperation with ADNet’s mission to “support Anabaptist congregations, families, and persons touched by disabilities to nurture inclusive communities.” Read more »


Newsline for Feb. 27, 2016 (February 27, 2016)

NEWS 1) Christian Churches Together holds 10th annual convocation 2) Office of Public Witness urges reduction of military spending in 2017 federal budget 3) Congregational Life Ministries and ADNet extend agreement to work together 4) CCEPI graduates first set of orphans and widows in skill acquisition PERSONNEL 5) Ronald Beachley to retire from leadership of W. Pennsylvania District UPCOMING EVENTS 6) Bethany Seminary holds second annual young adult event 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Ronald Beachley to retire from leadership of W. Pennsylvania District (February 27, 2016)

Ronald D. Beachley has announced his plans to retire as district executive of the Western Pennsylvania District effective Dec. 31, 2016. He began his ministry as district executive on Sept. 15, 1985. Read more »


Christian Churches Together holds 10th annual convocation (February 27, 2016)

At the 10th annual convocation of Christian Churches Together in the USA (CCT), held in early 2016 in Arlington, Va., member churches and organizations deepened their work on racism and other issues of common concern. Read more »


Newsline Special: Requests for prayer (February 22, 2016)

Over the weekend, a tragedy involving students at Manchester University, the sudden hospitalization of associate general secretary Mary Jo Flory-Steury, and a fire at Cross Keys Village-one of the Church of the Brethren-related retirement communities, have prompted calls for prayer. Read more »


Churches invited to take part in Bread for the World’s Offering of Letters (February 20, 2016)

As part of our call to work toward ending global hunger and poverty, the Office of Public Witness invites congregations to participate in Bread for the World’s 2016 Offering of Letters. This year’s theme, “Survive and Thrive,” focuses on the impact of malnutrition on women and children. Read more »


Lamps represent gifts shared between Brethren on two continents (February 20, 2016)

Dale Ziegler was one of the “Take 10/Tell 10" group from Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren who made a trip to Nigeria in January, accompanied by Nigeria Crisis Response co-directors Carl and Roxane Hill. Here he tells the story of the “Lamps for Nigeria” project: Read more »


Simple hand-sewn dolls and stuffed toys needed for Nigeria (February 20, 2016)

Later this spring representatives of Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) will be traveling to Nigeria to work on trauma healing with children, working with women theologians of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Read more »


Congregations are sought for Heifer fundraising  (February 20, 2016)

Recently the Church of the Brethren, Heifer International, and Ted & Co, a professional touring theater company, formed a partnership around a project to highlight and support the work of Heifer International. At the heart of this partnership is an event called “12 Baskets and a Goat,” a live theater show that includes an auction to raise funds for Heifer. Read more »


Newsline for Feb. 20, 2016 (February 20, 2016)

NEWS 1) Brethren leaders attend 25th Asamblea in Dominican Republic 2) Congregations are sought for Heifer fundraising 3) Churches invited to take part in Bread for the World’s Offering of Letters NIGERIA SPECIAL SECTION 4) Nigeria Crisis Response co-directors visit unstable areas of northeast Nigeria 5) Seeds and farming supplies are next step for Nigeria Crisis Response 6) Reflections on a distribution of relief good by CCEPI in Nigeria 7) Lamps represent gifts shared between Brethren on two continents 8) Simple hand-sewn dolls and stuffed toys needed for Nigeria 9) ‘We can recreate a new and better tomorrow’: An address by the EYN president 10) Brethren bits Read more »


Seeds and farming supplies are next step for Nigeria Crisis Response (February 20, 2016)

As the church’s Nigeria Crisis Response is in its second year, we are constantly seeking ways to help the church in Nigeria become more stable and help people recover from the violence and security issues they have had to endure over the last few years. As expected, there is no simple solution. But on our most recent visit to Nigeria one thing became apparent--the people of Nigeria are resilient and will only require a little assistance in certain areas to begin helping themselves. Read more »


‘We can recreate a new and better tomorrow’: An address by the EYN president (February 20, 2016)

The following is the text of an address by Samuel Dante Dali, president of Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), to the EYN Ministers’ Council. The council met at the EYN Headquarters in Kwarhi on Feb. 17-20. Newsline was sent this address by the EYN communications staff, in order to share it with the wider Church of the Brethren: Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 20, 2016 (February 20, 2016)

In this issue: Personnel announcements from Bethany Seminary, job openings, reminder to register for the 2016 Clergy Tax Seminar, 2015 allocations from the Global Food Crisis Fund, Action Alert on Israeli settlement expansion, Ventures seminar and Illinois and Wisconsin District workshop are led by Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm, two districts send leaders to Africa’s Great Lakes region, Michigan District holds love offering for Flint, and much more. Read more »


Nigeria Crisis Response co-directors visit unstable areas of northeast Nigeria (February 20, 2016)

On our recent trip to Nigeria to meet with and encourage the Disaster Team of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), we took the opportunity to travel into unstable and potentially dangerous areas of the northeast. Read more »


Brethren leaders attend 25th Asamblea in Dominican Republic (February 20, 2016)

A delegation of the Mission Advisory Committee enjoyed a formal visit with Iglesia de los Hermandos Dominicano (Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic), visiting churches, touring outreach ministries, speaking with church members, and attending the 25th annual gathering, “Asamblea,” of the Dominican Brethren held Feb. 12-14. Read more »


Reflections on a distribution of relief good by CCEPI in Nigeria  (February 20, 2016)

Karen Hodges was one of the “Take 10/Tell 10" group from Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren who made a trip to Nigeria in January, accompanied by Nigeria Crisis Response co-directors Carl and Roxane Hill. Here is her reflection after participating in a food distribution: Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service holds connection dinners in Pennsylvania, Kansas (February 12, 2016)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) staff will be visiting and holding “Connection” meal events in McPherson, Kan., on Feb. 28, and in Elizabethtown, Pa., on March 13. These meal events are an opportunity for prospective volunteers, those interested in BVS, and BVS alumni and friends to enjoy food, fellowship, and stories about the volunteer experience. Read more »


Four members join the Youth Peace Travel Team for 2016 (February 12, 2016)

The members of the 2016 Youth Peace Travel Team have been announced. As the team spends time with youth this summer at camps across the denomination, they will teach about peace, justice, and reconciliation, all core values throughout the Church of the Brethren’s 300-plus year history. Read more »


Newsline for Feb. 12, 2016 (February 12, 2016)

1) Sarpiya and Wiltschek top Annual Conference ballot for 2016 2) Spiritual preparation for Annual Conference in Greensboro 3) Four members join the Youth Peace Travel Team for 2016 4) Church of the Brethren signs letter urging federal action to aid Flint 5) Brethren Volunteer Service holds connection dinners in Pennsylvania, Kansas 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Church of the Brethren signs letter urging federal action to aid Flint (February 12, 2016)

In response to the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Mich., the Church of the Brethren and a number of other Christian groups who represent Creation Justice Ministries, the former National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program, have signed onto a letter praising the charitable actions of faith groups while also urging Congress and the Obama administration to take action to resolve the situation. Read more »


Spiritual preparation for Annual Conference in Greensboro (February 12, 2016)

In his Lenten devotional, “Let Us Also Go,” Chris Bowman summons us for a challenging journey that leads through the darkness of Good Friday to the Light of Easter Sunday. It is a good reminder that for Christians to “carry the light” we must also prepare ourselves with confession, prayer, and discipline that acknowledges the darkness that surrounds us and, at times, occupies us. Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 12, 2016 (February 12, 2016)

In this issue: Personnel news from Juniata College, a report from CODE and IAF meetings, prayer requests for an Asamblea in the DR and theological training and a special medical clinic in Haiti, Mutual Kumquat to record music for Shine, an honor for the founder of Circleville Church of the Brethren, Regional Youth Conferences, and more. Read more »


Sarpiya and Wiltschek top Annual Conference ballot for 2016 (February 10, 2016)

The Conference Office has released the ballot that will be presented to the delegate body at the 2016 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren this summer. Topping the ballot are two nominees for Annual Conference moderator-elect: Samuel Sarpiya and Walt Wiltschek. Other offices to be filled by election of the delegate body are positions on the Program and Arrangements Committee, Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee, Mission and Ministry Board, Bethany Seminary board of trustees, Brethren Benefit Trust board, and On Earth Peace board. Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 5, 2016 (February 5, 2016)

In this issue: Remembrances, personnel announcements from Bethany Seminary and BBT and Shepherd’s Spring, job openings at the Brethren Housing Association and Pinecrest Community, encouragement to “keep thinking long term” from BBT’s president, next webinar in the “Heart of Anabaptism” series, new members on the COBYS Board of Directors, a tour by Bittersweet Gospel Band, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Intercultural Ministries staff leads ‘Ministry in Two Americas’ at seminary (February 5, 2016)

On Feb. 11-12, the Church of the Brethren’s Intercultural Ministries staff Gimbiya Kettering will lead events at Bethany Theological Seminary on the theme “Ministry in Two Americas.” The campus of Bethany Seminary is located in Richmond, Ind. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries works on new Disaster Recovery Support Initiative (February 5, 2016)

Brethren Disaster Ministries is partnering with the disaster ministries of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to form a Disaster Recovery Support Initiative (DRSI). The new initiative is intended to help speed up the process of getting volunteers in place to begin repair and rebuilding work following a disaster. Read more »


SVMC continuing education events highlight memory care, Chronicles and the church (February 5, 2016)

The Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center (SVMC) is offering three upcoming continuing education events for ministers and others who are interested. Two address memory care, and one offers a study of the Old Testament book of Chronicles and its meaning for the church today. Read more »


Newsline for Feb. 5, 2016 (February 5, 2016)

NEWS: 1) Brethren Disaster Ministries works on new Disaster Recovery Support Initiative. 2) Flint Church of the Brethren is a water distribution center during crisis. 3) Disabilities ministry announces creation of Open Roof Fellowship. 4) Nursing students receive Church of the Brethren scholarships. 5) South Sudan church leaders request prayer for peace this Saturday. 6) Manchester University to offer new interfaith literacy certificate. 7) Marrakesh Declaration affirms rights of religious minorities in Muslim countries. UPCOMING EVENTS: 8) Intercultural Ministries staff leads ‘Ministry in Two Americas’ at seminary. 9) SVMC continuing education events highlight memory care, Chronicles and the church. RESOURCES: 10) Children’s book tells about seagoing cowboys who delivered livestock--and hope. 11) Brethren bits Read more »


Children’s book tells about seagoing cowboys who delivered livestock--and hope (February 5, 2016)

Beginning in 1945, while Europe struggled with the desolation left by years of war, more than 7,000 men and boys traveled by ship on missions of mercy. They were seagoing cowboys--farmhands and folks from all walks of life: teachers, students, bankers, preachers, carpenters--who were recruited to care for the thousands of horses and heifers sent for reparations. Read more »


South Sudan church leaders request prayer for peace this Saturday (February 5, 2016)

South Sudan church leaders have requested Christians around the world to join them in a time of prayer for peace in their nation on this Saturday, Feb. 6, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The request is being shared with the Church of the Brethren by members of a delegation that recently visited South Sudan and met with church leaders there. Read more »


Flint Church of the Brethren is a water distribution center during crisis (February 3, 2016)

The following report from Bill Hammond of First Church of the Brethren in Flint, Mich., was received Feb. 2. He reports on the water crisis in Flint and the role the Brethren there are playing in helping to serve the community: Read more »


Disabilities ministry announces creation of Open Roof Fellowship (February 3, 2016)

Mark’s Gospel reminds us that we are called to reach out to persons of all needs and abilities and to go to extraordinary lengths to bring them to Jesus: “Then some people came, bringing to Jesus a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him” (Mark 2:3-4). Church of the Brethren congregations committed to and actively engaged in ministry to and with persons with disabilities are therefore recognized as Open Roof congregations. Read more »


Nursing students receive Church of the Brethren scholarships (February 3, 2016)

Five nursing students are recipients of Church of the Brethren Nursing Scholarships for 2015. This scholarship, made possible by the Health Education and Research Endowment, is available to members of the Church of the Brethren enrolled in LPN, RN, or nursing graduate programs. Read more »


Newsline for Jan. 23, 2016 (January 23, 2016)

1) Grant of $50,000 will send aid for Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon 2) Yearbook reports denominational membership in 2014, and other statistics 3) New Church of the Brethren Yearbook is available on CD 4) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 23, 2016 (January 23, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering Virginia (Ginny) M. Stockton, Steven M. Nolt named senior scholar at Elizabethtown’s Young Center, Brethren Press and MennoMedia seek a project director for Shine, “early bird” registration discount for National Young Adult Conference ends Jan. 31, prayer sought for delegation to South Sudan, BVS highlights project sites on Facebook, worship resources are available for Service Sunday Feb. 7, and much more news about and for Brethren. Read more »


New Church of the Brethren Yearbook is available on CD (January 23, 2016)

The 2015 Church of the Brethren Yearbook is now available for purchase from Brethren Press. The yearbook is the annual directory of the Church of the Brethren denomination, and is published in pdf format on CD. The 2015 Yearbook may be purchased for $21.50, plus shipping and handling. Read more »


Grant of $50,000 will send aid for Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon (January 23, 2016)

The staff at Brethren Disaster Ministries have directed an allocation of $50,000 from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support the Syrian refugee relief programs of Lebanese Society for Education and Social Development (LSESD). Read more »


Yearbook reports denominational membership in 2014, and other statistics (January 23, 2016)

The Church of the Brethren denominational membership was 114,465 in 2014, according to data from the “2015 Church of the Brethren Yearbook.” Compared to 2009, when denominational membership was 122,810, this represents a decline of 8,345 members over the previous five years. Read more »


Brethren funds distribute $77,958, Brethren Disaster Ministries starts new project in West Virginia (January 15, 2016)

A total of $77,958 has been distributed in recent grants from two funds of the Church of the Brethren, the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) and the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF). The grants provide funding for the completion of a Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding project in New Jersey and the start up of a new rebuilding project in West Virginia, as well as a rabbit project in Haiti and assessment of GFCF-sponsored projects in the Africa Great Lakes region. Read more »


Church of the Brethren among 500 groups signing letter in support of Syrian refugees (January 15, 2016)

The Church of the Brethren, through action of general secretary Stanley J. Noffsinger and the Office of Public Witness, has signed on to a letter to the US Senate in support of Syrian refugees. The letter also expresses opposition to a piece of legislation being sent to the Senate by the House of Representatives, the “American Security Against Foreign Enemies” (SAFE) Act of 2015 (H.R. 4038). Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 15, 2016 (January 15, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering Marianne Michael, Brethren Woods hires program directors, Southeastern District seek district executive, Lancaster Church holds 30 years of prayer breakfasts, Nominating Committee meets, BVS announces start of Winter Orientation, Latvian Christians provide resources for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and much more. Read more »


‘Let Us Also Go’ is theme for 2016 Lenten devotional from Brethren Press  (January 15, 2016)

The 2016 Lenten devotional from Brethren Press is written by Chris Bowman and titled, “Let Us Also Go: Devotions for Ash Wednesday Through Easter.” Brethren Press publishes a Lenten and Advent devotional each year, in a pocket-sized format suitable for individual use and for congregations to supply to their members. Read more »


Newsline for Jan. 15, 2016 (January 15, 2016)

1) Brethren funds distribute $77,958, Brethren Disaster Ministries starts new project in West Virginia 2) Church of the Brethren among 500 groups signing letter in support of Syrian refugees 3) Manchester University reaches $1.5 million goal for endowed Peace Studies professorship RESOURCES:4) ‘Let Us Also Go’ is theme for 2016 Lenten devotional from Brethren Press 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board announces conclusion of Noffsinger’s service, appointment of interim general secretary (January 12, 2016)

The Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren has reached agreement with Stanley J. Noffsinger that he will conclude his service as general secretary on Friday, Feb. 12. Read more »


‘Heart of Anabaptism’ webinars continue in 2016 (January 8, 2016)

Four new webinars continue the theme, “The Heart of Anabaptism,” in 2016, announces the Congregational Life Ministies staff. The webinar presenters will explore the core convictions of the Anabaptist Network in the United Kingdom. Read more »


Vietnam blind school holds training with slogan ‘Understanding Eliminates Darkness’ (January 8, 2016)

On Nov. 18, 2015, Thien An Blind School of Ho Chi Minn City, Vietnam, hosted a one-day training for 30 sociology students as a part of Service Learning at the University of Humanities and Social Sciences. Participating in this training day were Grace Mishler, a Church of the Brethren member who serves in Vietnam with Global Mission and Service; her program assistant Nguyen Xuan; and program trainee Nguyen Thi My Huyen. Read more »


CDS volunteers work in Oregon over holidays, deploy to area flooded by Mississippi (January 8, 2016)

Volunteers from Children’s Disaster Services (CDS), a program of the Church of the Brethren and its Brethren Disaster Ministries, were deployed to a Red Cross shelter in Oregon City, Ore., after an apartment building was evacuated. The evacuation was carried out because of concerns about landslides in the aftermath of strong storms on the Pacific coast. Read more »


Sustaining Ministerial Excellence Advanced Seminar brings together cohort of camp leaders (January 8, 2016)

The first retreat for the SMEAS (Sustaining Ministerial Excellence Advanced Seminar) Camp Leaders Cohort took place Nov. 19-21, 2015, at Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministry and Retreat Center in Mid-Atlantic District. Participants had completed their annual Outdoor Ministries Association Retreat and stayed onsite for this new continuing education program. Read more »


Registration opens for church planting event in May (January 8, 2016)

Registration is now open for the new church development conference, @HIM #Hope #Imagination #Mission, scheduled for May 19-21 in Richmond, Ind. The conference will feature Efrem Smith and Mandy Smith as keynote speakers, and will be marked by passionate worship, informative workshops, valuable networking, and prayerful support. Read more »


Don Knieriem resigns as database administrator for Church of the Brethren (January 8, 2016)

Don Knieriem has tendered his resignation as database administrator for the Church of the Brethren. His last day of work at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill., will be Jan. 20. Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 8, 2016 (January 8, 2016)

In this issue: Correction, remembering Makanlal Mangaldas Gameti, updates on district leadership, Brethren Benefit Trust seeks member services representative for Employee Benefits among other job openings including searches for executives in Atlantic Southeast and Missouri/Arkansas Districts, BVS director monitors situation for women conscientious objectors after military opens combat to women, Ministry Summer Service applications are due, registration opens for National Young Adult Conference, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Update is available for Church of the Brethren ‘Manual of Organization and Polity’ (January 8, 2016)

The Church of the Brethren “Manual of Organization and Polity” has been updated to incorporate polity decisions adopted by Annual Conference since the last edition of the manual, and to review and update endnotes to ensure that the manual reflects as much as possible the exact wording of the Annual Conference decisions which established or updated the polity. Go to www.brethren.org/ac/ppg to find the updated files. Read more »


Global Mission and Service worker honored in Vietnam  (January 8, 2016)

On Nov. 8, 2015, Grace Mishler, a Church of the Brethren member and a Global Mission and Service worker in Ho Chi Minh City, was honored for her work with disabled persons by Vietnamese government officials. Selected individuals from the southern region of Vietnam were recognized for their contributions to the disabled community including blind and partially sighted persons, the area of Mishler’s expertise. Read more »


Newsline for Jan. 8, 2016 (January 8, 2016)

1) Preachers are announced for Annual Conference 2016 2) CDS volunteers work in Oregon over holidays, deploy to area flooded by Mississippi 3) Global Mission and Service worker honored in Vietnam 4) Vietnam blind school holds training with slogan ‘Understanding Eliminates Darkness’ 5) WCC leaders express concern over situation on the Korean peninsula 6) Update is available for Church of the Brethren ‘Manual of Organization and Polity’ 7) Sustaining Ministerial Excellence Advanced Seminar brings together cohort of camp leaders 8) Don Knieriem resigns as database administrator for Church of the Brethren 9) Registration opens for church planting event in May 10) Brethren Academy announces upcoming courses 11) ‘Heart of Anabaptism’ webinars continue in 2016 12) Brethren bits Read more »


Preachers are announced for Annual Conference 2016 (January 8, 2016)

The line-up of preachers for the 2016 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren has been announced. The Annual Conference takes place at the Koury Convention Center and Sheraton Hotel in Greensboro, N.C., on June 29-July 3. Registration opens online on Feb. 17 for both delegates and nondelegates. The Conference theme is “Carry the Light” (John 1:1-5). Read more »


Brethren Academy announces upcoming courses (January 8, 2016)

The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership has announced is upcoming course schedule. Courses are open to students in TRIM (Training in Ministry) and EFSM (Education for Shared Ministry) as well as pastors and all interested persons. Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec. 22, 2015 (December 22, 2015)

In this issue: Church of the Brethren districts seek executive ministers, Children’s Aid Society seeks executive director, job opening in Brethren Press customer service, workcamp registration opens online Jan. 7, prayer requested for nation of Burundi, Dominican Republic pastors hold retreat, Waterford Church of the Brethren closes, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 22, 2015 (December 22, 2015)

NEWS 1) Queries address same-sex marriage, On Earth Peace, life together in the church, Creation care 2) District terminates ordination of pastor who performed same-sex marriage 3) EYN president Samuel Dali addresses Nigerian nation in Christmas message 4) EYN choir tour proves ‘phenomenally successful’ 5) BBT Board increases benevolent grant levels 6) Pacific Southwest District Conference meets on the theme of ‘Justice’ 7) New Ventures session offer opportunity for story of grief, healing 8) Brethren bits Read more »


BBT Board increases benevolent grant levels (December 22, 2015)

Pastors and church workers within the Church of the Brethren who are in severe financial need could soon qualify for a little more assistance. Read more »


New Ventures session offer opportunity for story of grief, healing (December 22, 2015)

The newest offering in the Ventures sessions hosted at McPherson (Kan.) College comes up on Jan. 16, titled “The Road We Travel...a Journey Shared.” Deb and Dale Ziegler will share about their journey of loss, grief, and healing since September 2012 when their 19-year-old son--a college student at McPherson--was killed while riding his bicycle. Read more »


EYN choir tour proves ‘phenomenally successful’ (December 22, 2015)

This update on the EYN Women’s Fellowship Choir and BEST tour has been prepared by the secretary and chair of the EYN Visit Planning Committee from Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren and Atlantic Northeast District. The EYN 2015 Fraternal Visit turned out to be a phenomenally successful “God event.” It strengthened the bond of Christian love and fellowship between EYN (Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria) and the Church of the Brethren more than any other experience in recent years. Read more »


EYN president Samuel Dali addresses Nigerian nation in Christmas message (December 22, 2015)

Samuel Dante Dali, president of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), addressed the nation of Nigeria from the capital city of Abuja as part of a national Christmas celebration. Dr. Dali spoke to the country in a televised address on Sunday, Dec. 13, from the National Christian Center. The theme of his presentation was, “We Thank Thee, O Lord.” Read more »


Pacific Southwest District Conference meets on the theme of ‘Justice’  (December 22, 2015)

Brethren from Arizona and California gathered the second weekend of November for the 52nd District Conference of the Pacific Southwest District in La Verne, Calif. Eric Bishop was this year’s moderator, choosing the theme of “Justice: Called to Be Just Christians” from Matthew 5 and 25. Read more »


District terminates ordination of pastor who performed same-sex marriage (December 22, 2015)

On Dec. 10 the Shenandoah District Leadership Team “terminated with possibility of reinstatement” the ordination of Chris Zepp, associate pastor of Bridgewater (Va.) Church of the Brethren. This action was taken at the recommendation of the district’s Ministerial Leadership Team, after Zepp officiated at a same-sex marriage. Read more »


Queries address same-sex marriage, On Earth Peace, life together in the church, Creation care (December 22, 2015)

Five queries have been acted on by district conferences this year and received by the officers of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, for consideration in 2016 by the Standing Committee and/or the Annual Conference. The Standing Committee of district delegates makes recommendations about the business items that will be presented to the Conference. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 12, 2015 (December 12, 2015)

1) Church of the Brethren general secretary speaks out against anti-Muslim rhetoric 2) Haiti Service Ministry Consultation strengthens partnerships, assesses ministries 3) Review and Evaluation Committee holds second meeting 4) Press conference urges support for US refugee resettlement 5) Congregations host Ted & Co. event, help raise funds for Heifer Arks 6) Kindness is good for your health, research shows UPCOMING EVENTS 7) Winter and spring workshops are offered by Children’s Disaster Services 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Kindness is good for your health, research shows (December 11, 2015)

Research shows that kindness and generosity have positive physiological effects. Researchers sometimes call this “helper’s high.” Two studies found that older adults who did volunteer work were living longer. Another study found a significant reduction in early death for people who volunteered often. This actually had a larger effect than regular exercise. In the 1990s, a study looked at personal essays written by nuns in the 1930s. The nuns who expressed the most positive emotions lived about 10 years longer than those who were less positive. Read more »


Press conference urges support for US refugee resettlement (December 11, 2015)

On Tuesday, the Office of Public Witness attended a press conference where Senators Leahy, Durbin, and Kaine, and several faith leaders urged Congress to support resettlement of Syrian refugees. Even though 4.3 million Syrians seek refuge from the violence in Syria, policy riders on a budget bill threaten to bar even a small fraction of this vulnerable population from the United States. Read more »


Brethren bits (December 11, 2015)

In this issue: Invitation to simulcast Christmas Service from Bethlehem, alert for nonprofits about proposed IRS rule changes, Highland Avenue church to host special music and worship weekend led by Shawn Kirchner, S. Pennsylvania District plans “Man 2 Man,” National Council of Churches announces new leaders, NCC welcomes Assyrian church, and more. Read more »


Winter and spring workshops are offered by Children’s Disaster Services (December 11, 2015)

Children's Disaster Services (CDS) has issued a winter-spring workshop schedule for 2016. The CDS training obtained at these workshops is a unique kind of disaster preparedness training. The trainings will include logistics of disaster response work, all through the lens of compassionate care for children and their families, as well the caregivers themselves. Read more »


Congregations host Ted & Co. event, help raise funds for Heifer Arks (December 11, 2015)

Two Church of the Brethren congregations have hosted the new Ted & Co. production, “Twelve Baskets and a Goat,” which is a cooperative venture to raise funds for Heifer International. Between them, the two events at West Charleston Church of the Brethren in Tipp City, Ohio, and Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren raised enough funds to support two “arks” for Heifer–a goal for the series of events. Read more »


Church of the Brethren general secretary speaks out against anti-Muslim rhetoric (December 11, 2015)

Church of the Brethren general secretary Stanley J. Noffsinger has issued a statement against the current escalation of rhetoric that seeks to demonize Muslims. Citing Jesus’ commands to love God, and love neighbor as self, and the parable of the Good Samaritan, the statement also calls church members to revisit portions of the 1991 Annual Conference statement “Peacemaking: The Call of God’s Peace in History” that direct the church to “explore avenues of interfaith dialogue leading toward a visible expression of God's plan for human unity.” Read more »


Haiti Service Ministry Consultation strengthens partnerships, assesses ministries (December 11, 2015)

Thirty leaders of Eglise des Freres Haitiens (the Church of the Brethren in Haiti) gathered with about 20 persons from the United States for the first Haiti Service Ministries Consultation on Nov. 19-23. The focus was learning about Brethren ministries underway in Haiti, and building bridges of partnership among the Haitian Brethren and American Brethren. It was sponsored by the Global Mission and Service of the Church of the Brethren and organized by Dale Minnich, a volunteer with the Haiti Medical Project. Read more »


Review and Evaluation Committee holds second meeting (December 11, 2015)

The Review and Evaluation Committee has met twice this fall to begin the work given to them by the Annual Conference. The first meeting was a conference call in late October, which focused on understanding the full scope of the mandate. The second meeting occurred Dec. 1-2 at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The committee comprises Tim Harvey (chair), Leah J. Hileman (recorder), Robert Kettering, David K. Shumate, and Ben Barlow. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 5, 2015 (December 5, 2015)

1) EDF grants support rebuilding project in Colorado, PAG in Honduras 2) Outdoor Ministries Association retreat considers ‘Seeds of Change’ 3) Bread for the World issues annual hunger report 4) Christians gather amid UN talks to pray for Creation at Notre Dame in Paris PERSONNEL 5) John Ballinger resigns from leadership of Northern Ohio District 6) Paynes resign as co-executives for Southeastern District UPCOMING EVENTS 7) Racial injustice and mass incarceration will be focus of CCS 2016 8) Brethren bits Read more »


EDF grants support rebuilding project in Colorado, PAG in Honduras (December 5, 2015)

The Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed two recent grants from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support continued rebuilding work at a project site in Colorado, and a response by PAG to flooding in Honduras. Read more »


Paynes resign as co-executives for Southeastern District (December 5, 2015)

Russell and Deborah Payne have announced their resignation as co-district executives of the Southeastern District, effective July 31, 2016. The Paynes began their ministry with the district on June 1, 2012. Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec. 5, 2015 (December 5, 2015)

In this issue: Personnel notes, job openings at church agencies, a change for Annual Conference registration in 2016, a letter to Congress urging support for the US refugee resettlement program, a new ministry of Dunker Punks Podcasts, an NCC statement, “Keep Our Elections Free from Hateful Rhetoric,” and the comment “Goats have accents. Who knew?” from Ted & Co., among other news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Racial injustice and mass incarceration will be focus of CCS 2016 (December 5, 2015)

he Christian Citizenship Seminar to be held next year on April 23-28, 2016, will focus on the theme, “Proclaiming Freedom: The Racial Injustice of Mass Incarceration.” The theme scripture is taken from Hebrews 13:3, “Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.” Read more »


John Ballinger resigns from leadership of Northern Ohio District (December 5, 2015)

John Ballinger has announced his resignation as district executive minister of the Church of the Brethren’s Northern Ohio District, effective Feb. 13, 2016. He has served the district for almost 13 years, since Feb. 1, 2003. Read more »


Bread for the World issues annual hunger report (December 5, 2015)

On Nov. 23, members of the faith community, the press, and the government came together in Washington, D.C., for the release of Bread for the World’s 2016 Hunger Report. During this event, panels of medical professionals, leaders of government agencies, and activists who have experienced hunger firsthand spoke on the report’s theme: “The Nourishing Effect: Ending Hunger, Improving Health, Reducing Inequality.” Staff from the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness was present to support the work of Bread for the World. Read more »


Outdoor Ministries Association retreat considers ‘Seeds of Change’ (December 5, 2015)

Every year in mid-November, those engaged and interested in Church of the Brethren outdoor ministries gather for a conference and retreat. Camp managers, administrators, program coordinators, board members, and those who love and support outdoor ministries come together for a week of sharing, learning, and enjoying each other’s company, and of course, the great outdoors. Read more »


Newsline for November 20, 2015 (November 20, 2015)

1) Brethren staff visit Nigeria, assess crisis response with EYN and mission partners 2) NCC issues statement on recent Middle East violence and acts of terrorism 3) Your voice is needed on behalf of refugees: An action alert from the Office of Public Witness 4) Church of the Brethren gardener is honored as a Purpose Prize Fellow 5) Lancaster County church stands with Nigerian terror victim 6) Share the light of Advent through Shine 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren staff visit Nigeria, assess crisis response with EYN and mission partners (November 20, 2015)

Global Mission and Service staff have made a trip to Nigeria to meet with Nigerian Brethren leadership and mission partners, and to assess the Nigeria Crisis Response. They attended meetings and visited various sites with Nigerian Brethren leaders. Read more »


Brethren Bits (November 19, 2015)

Request for refugee resettlement stories, prayer request for Haiti Medical Project, job opening, San Diego peace gathering, SERRV meeting, Brethren college news and more Read more »


Share the light of Advent through Shine (November 19, 2015)

During Advent, children and junior youth will read about God’s promises in Jeremiah 33 and Psalm 25 and will hear the stories of Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph, Simeon, and Anna Read more »


Church of the Brethren gardener is honored as a Purpose Prize Fellow (November 18, 2015)

For her community garden work, Dawn Blackman Sr. of Champaign (Ill.) Church of the Brethren was among 41 Purpose Prize Fellows selected from more than 600 nominees. Read more »


NCC issues statement on recent Middle East violence and acts of terrorism (November 18, 2015)

"As we approach the celebration of the birth of Christ our hearts are filled with sorrow and fear that peace will remain out of reach in the Middle East for much longer than we could ever have imagined." Read more »


Lancaster County church stands with Nigerian terror victim (November 18, 2015)

Upon reading about a 14 year-old Nigerian girl and member of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN) who lost her leg after being kidnapped by the Boko Haram, Hempfield Church of the Brethren decided to act. Read more »


Brethren are called to prayer in the face of extremist violence (November 14, 2015)

As the world begins to comprehend the magnitude of yesterday’s terror attacks in Paris, Church of the Brethren general secretary Stan Noffsinger is calling the church to prayer for those affected by extremist violence in Paris, and around the world. Read more »


Newsline for Nov. 13, 2015 (November 13, 2015)

1) Global Food Crisis Fund gives grant to Haitian Brethren agriculture project; 2) EDF grants go to families in Myanmar and Haitians in the DR, CDS receives UMCOR grant; 3) Photographer of Beaver Creek; 4) BBT announces Medicare Supplement open enrollment through November; 5) Ventures course at McPherson College will explore congregational ethics; 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Global Food Crisis Fund gives grant to Haitian Brethren agriculture project (November 13, 2015)

The Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) of the Church of the Brethren has given a grant of $35,000 to support the agricultural work of Eglise des Freres Haitiens, the Church of the Brethren in Haiti. This grant is in addition to three previous grants to the project. This is the fourth year for the agriculture program, which was planned to last five years as a post-disaster response effort following the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010. Read more »


Brethren bits for Nov. 13, 2015 (November 13, 2015)

In this issue: Mennonites review their “sibling” relationship with the Church of the Brethren, Brethren Historical Committee and the new Vitality and Viability Committee will hold meetings, the Workcamp Ministry seeks assistants for 2017, “12 Baskets and a Goat” premieres at Sunny Slope Farm, last two district conferences of the season are in Virlina and Pacific Southwest, gleanings from the Brethren plans for Advent and Christmas, and more. Read more »


EDF grants go to families in Myanmar and Haitians in the DR, CDS receives UMCOR grant (November 13, 2015)

The staff of Brethren Disaster Ministries have directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to aid families in Myanmar (Burma) who were affected by Cyclone Komen, and to help people of Haitian descent who are living in the Dominican Republic. Read more »


BBT announces Medicare Supplement open enrollment through November (November 12, 2015)

If you missed signing up for Medicare Supplement insurance during the six-month enrollment period that immediately follows your Medicare eligibility date, you now have a one-time opportunity to do so. Read more »


Ventures course at McPherson College will explore congregational ethics (November 11, 2015)

The next Ventures course at McPherson (Kan.) College titled “Congregational Ethics: Patterns of Healthy Communities” will be led by Joshua Brockway, director of Spiritual Life and Discipleship for the Church of the Brethren and a member of the staff of Congregational Life Ministries. Brockway has provided leadership for a new emphasis on congregational ethics in the Church of the Brethren. This online webinar is offered on Nov. 21 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon (central time). Read more »


Brethren bits for Nov. 6, 2015 (November 6, 2015)

In this issue: Personnel notes, volunteer positions open with Youth Peace Travel Team and Heifer Farm, experiential learning trip to South Sudan, Congregational Life leader attends ethical evangelism event, BDM leader visits Syria refugee camps, Shoulder to Shoulder campaign issues pledge challenge, Congregational Outreach Forms due soon, and more news from congregations, districts, colleges, and ecumenical partners--plus a sermon award contest. Read more »


Newsline for Nov. 6, 2015 (November 6, 2015)

1) Presidential Forum at Bethany Seminary explores the intersections of Just Peace. 2) New unit of Brethren Volunteer Service completes orientation. 3) Office of Public Witness issues action alert on refugee crisis. 4) Heifer partners with the Brethren and Ted & Co. for new creative funding initiative. 5) Material Resources program logs a busy October. 6) BBT announces Medicare Supplement open enrollment through November. 7) EYN Disaster Team brings relief for Maiduguri’s displaced. 8) EYN offers seminar on trauma healing for displaced pastors. 9) At UN, anti-nuclear majorities challenge nuclear-dependent minority. 10) Advent Offering supports Church of the Brethren ministries, focuses on the Magnificat. 11) Advent devotional, winter quarter of Guide for Biblical Studies provide seasonal focus on gifts. 12) Brethren bits Read more »


Presidential Forum at Bethany Seminary explores the intersections of Just Peace (November 6, 2015)

An array of speakers addressed many intersections of Just Peace at the 2015 Presidential Forum at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., on Oct. 29-31. With a focus on “Rejecting Cruelty, Creating Community, Rediscovering Divinity” the event juxtaposed a variety of ways to address and understand the concept of Just Peace. It was the seventh Presidential Forum held by the seminary and the first hosted by Bethany’s president Jeff Carter. Read more »


Advent Offering supports Church of the Brethren ministries, focuses on the Magnificat (November 5, 2015)

The annual Advent Offering for Church of the Brethren ministries is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 13, the third Sunday of Advent. The theme, “Rejoice: The Lord Has Done Great Things,” is inspired by Luke 1:46-49, the opening verses of Mary’s “Magnificat.” Read more »


Material Resources program logs a busy October (November 5, 2015)

“October was just crazy (in a wonderful way),” said an update on the work of the Material Resources program of the Church of the Brethren, provided by office coordinator Terry Goodger. Material Resources processes, warehouses, and ships disaster relief goods and other humanitarian aid on behalf of a number of ecumenical partners, based at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Read more »


Heifer partners with the Brethren and Ted & Co. for new creative funding initiative (November 5, 2015)

A new original play by Ted and Co. Theaterworks, titled “12 Baskets and a Goat,” will begin a campaign in partnership with the Church of the Brethren to support Heifer International. The campaign begins in Harrisonburg, Va., on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. when “12 Baskets and a Goat” will be performed at the restored old Sale Barn on Sunny Slope Farm. All proceeds from the production, including an auction of home-made breads, will support Heifer’s work to bring families and communities out of poverty. Read more »


New unit of Brethren Volunteer Service completes orientation (November 5, 2015)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Unit 311 has completed orientation, and the volunteers in the unit have begun work at their project sites. Following are the names, congregations or hometowns, and project sites of the new BVS volunteers: Read more »


Advent devotional, winter quarter of Guide for Biblical Studies provide seasonal focus on gifts (November 5, 2015)

New resources from Brethren Press provide a seasonal focus on gifts, with the 2015 Advent Devotional on the topic “In the Fullness of Time,” written by Anita Hooley Yoder, and the Winter quarter of A Guide for Biblical Studies on the theme “Sacred Gifts and Holy Gatherings,” written by Herb Smith, with the Out of Context feature written by Frank Ramirez. Read more »


EYN offers seminar on trauma healing for displaced pastors (November 5, 2015)

A seminar on trauma healing for displaced pastors of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), was offered at Yola from Sept. 7-12. This seminar was organized by the office of the Ministers Council in conjunction with the EYN Disaster Relief Management financed by the Church of the Brethren. It was offered for 100 displaced pastors. Read more »


Church of the Brethren issues position posting for General Secretary (October 22, 2015)

The Church of the Brethren has posted a position opening for General Secretary, as the next step in the search process for a candidate to fill the top executive staff position in the denomination. The application deadline is Dec. 15. Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board adopts 2016 budget of $9.5 million for denominational ministries (October 22, 2015)

The Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren held its Fall meeting on Oct. 15-19 at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The meeting was led by chair Don Fitzkee, and chair-elect Connie Burk Davis. Read more »


Districts take action addressing same-sex marriage (October 22, 2015)

At least three Church of the Brethren districts are addressing the topic of same-sex marriage. One of them has adopted a query on same-sex marriage, which will be sent on to Annual Conference. Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 22, 2015 (October 22, 2015)

In this issue: Remembering Tracy Stoddart Primozich, registration remains open for the 2015 Presidential Forum at Bethany Seminary, Global Mission and Service requests prayer for the presidential election in Haiti, 160 participate in Cane Awareness Day in Vietnam, Brethren Disaster Ministries holds leadership training, Kulp Bible College has reopened in Kwarhi, Nigeria, Outdoor Ministries Association plans annual retreat, ecumenical partners express concern for violence in Israel and Palestine, and more. Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 22, 2015 (October 22, 2015)

1) Denomination records stellar giving, but Core Ministries giving suffers. 2) Mission and Ministry Board adopts 2016 budget of $9.5 million for denominational ministries. 3) Church of the Brethren issues position posting for General Secretary. 4) Districts take action addressing same-sex marriage. 5) Workcamp schedule is announced for 2016. 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Workcamp schedule is announced for 2016 (October 22, 2015)

A schedule of Church of the Brethren workcamps for the summer of 2016 has been announced by the Workcamp Ministry. Workcamp experiences are offered for junior high youth, senior high youth, young adults, intergenerational groups, and those living with disabilities. The Workcamp Ministry theme for the year is “Blazing with Holiness,” inspired by the scripture text from 1 Peter 1:13-16 in “The Message.” Read more »


Denomination records stellar giving, but Core Ministries giving suffers (October 22, 2015)

The Church of the Brethren is recording exceptionally generous giving to its denominational ministries this year, the Mission and Ministry Board learned at its Fall meeting. The financial reporting was given by treasurer Brian Bultman and assistant treasurer Ed Woolf. For a full report from the meeting, and a report of the 2016 budget decision, see the story below. Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 15, 2015 (October 15, 2015)

1) Brethren representative reports from United Nations 70th anniversary event. 2) World Council of Churches condemns escalation of conflict in Syria. 3) Atlantic Southeast District holds its ninth Family Peace Camp. 4) Fred Bernhard resigns from Bethany Seminary. 5) Summer orientation held by Brethren Volunteer Service and Brethren Revival Fellowship. 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 15, 2015 (October 14, 2015)

In this issue: Mission and Ministry Board fall meeting, general secretary speaks at Bridgewater Forum for Brethren Studies, materials for Bethany Sunday, On Earth Peace interns, Food Week of Action, Camp Mack celebrates program director, Young Center’s Brethren Heritage Festival, “Come to the Well” Sabbath rest for ministers, prayer for Iraqi Kurdistan, and more. Read more »


Summer orientation held by Brethren Volunteer Service and Brethren Revival Fellowship (October 14, 2015)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Unit 310 is an orientation unit held in cooperation with the Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF). The volunteers in Unit 310 completed training this summer and have begun work at their project site. All of the volunteers are serving at the Root Cellar in Lewiston, Maine. Read more »


Atlantic Southeast District holds its ninth Family Peace Camp (October 14, 2015)

The ninth Family Peace Camp was held at Camp Ithiel in Gotha, Fla., from Friday evening to Sunday noon, Sept. 4-6, just before labor Day. This year the resource leader was Kathryn Bausman, co-pastor of Community Church of the Brethren in Twin Falls, Idaho, with her husband Mark Bausman. Both Kathryn Bausman as speaker, and the theme, “Living into Scripture, Today! Building Justice and Peace,” were chosen with the help of On Earth Peace. Read more »


Brethren representative reports from United Nations 70th anniversary event (October 14, 2015)

The 193 nations of the United Nations opened the UN’s 70th anniversary (Sept. 23-Oct. 2) at the headquarters in New York with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that reflect the desires of the world’s people. Read more »


World Council of Churches condemns escalation of conflict in Syria (October 14, 2015)

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has expressed grave concern over the escalation of conflict in Syria, in an official statement issued on Oct. 12. The statement strongly condemns all foreign military operations “especially since hope has been raised for a political process in line with the proposals made by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, and approved by the UN Security Council last August,” said a WCC release. Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 9, 2015 (October 9, 2015)

1) GFCF supports agriculture in DR Congo and Alaska, nutrition in Roanoke area, BVSer in DC. 2) Alaska and Louisiana: A tale of two tillers. 3) Query focuses on relationship of On Earth Peace to the denomination. 4) Bethany Seminary’s peace essay contest to highlight peacemakers. 5) Manchester University students are pen pals with death-row inmates. 6) NCC laments Umpqua shooting, asks NRA to join in gun violence reduction efforts. 7) Bethany’s Presidential Forum promises to be intriguing event. 8) National Junior High Sunday will be observed on Nov. 1. 9) We are addicted to guns today: A reflection from the president of the NCC. 10) Brethren bits Read more »


Query focuses on relationship of On Earth Peace to the denomination (October 8, 2015)

West Marva District Conference has adopted a query titled “On Earth Peace Reportability / Accountability to Annual Conference.” This query, initiated by Bear Creek Church of the Brethren, asks “if it is the will of Annual Conference for On Earth Peace to remain an agency of the Church of the Brethren with reportability and accountability to Annual Conference.” Read more »


National Junior High Sunday will be observed on Nov. 1 (October 8, 2015)

National Junior High Sunday in the Church of the Brethren will be observed on Nov. 1. The 2015 theme is based on James 2:14-17 from “The Message”: “Faith Without Works Is Outrageous Nonsense.” Worship resources and other resources for the special Sunday are made available online and are free to download from www.brethren.org/yya/jr-high-resources.html . Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 8, 2015 (October 8, 2015)

In this issue: Positions at Camp Mack and Camp Pine Lake among other job openings, young adult committee sets dates for NYAC 2016, prayer requests for Nigeria and Haiti, Bread for the World Sunday, On Earth Peace Anti-Racism Transformation Team, Children’s Aid Society pictorial history, Elizabethtown College master of education degree to focus on peace education, and more news from churches, districts, camps, and colleges Read more »


GFCF supports agriculture in DR Congo and Alaska, nutrition in Roanoke area, BVSer in DC (October 8, 2015)

The Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) of the Church of the Brethren has provided several grants in recent months that support agriculture by a Brethren group in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a gardening project in Alaska, nutrition education and cooking classes for Spanish speaking population living around Roanoke, Va., and the work of a Brethren Volunteer Service worker at the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C. Read more »


Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center offers event on the Gospel of Mark (October 2, 2015)

“The Gospel of Mark and 21st Century Ministry” is the theme of a continuing education event sponsored by the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center and held on the campus of Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa.. The event is planned for Monday, Nov. 9, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the college’s Von Liebig Center. Read more »


Frederick Church hosts Children’s Disaster Services Volunteer Workshop (October 2, 2015)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) is offering a workshop to train volunteers on Friday, Oct. 30, at 5 p.m., to Saturday, Oct. 31, at 7:30 p.m., at Frederick Church of the Brethren, 201 Fairview Avenue, Frederick, Md. Read more »


Freed from the smoke and ashes: Reflecting on Pope Francis’s service of prayer for 9/11 (October 2, 2015)

We lined up two by two in rows on Liberty Street in Manhattan to enter onto the Foot Prints grounds where the Twin Towers had once stood. In the line were the families of survivors and those like myself, representatives of our faith communities. As the line began to move you first hear the sounds of the water flowing, and then all eyes beheld the sight of the mighty pool of never-ending, streaming waters. Read more »


Annual Conference registration fees to remain the same for next year (October 2, 2015)

Basic costs for the 2016 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren, to be held in Greensboro, N.C., have been shared by the Conference Office. “Program and Arrangements Committee met and decided to make no increases in registration costs for delegates or non-delegates,” reported Conference director Chris Douglas. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services cares for families affected by California fire (October 2, 2015)

“Our California team has cared for over 218 children in Calistoga, Calif., in response to the wildfires,” reports Children’s Disaster Services associate director Kathy Fry-Miller. “They are serving at a Local Assistance Center for families.” Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 2, 2015 (October 2, 2015)

Newsline for Oct. 2, 2015 Read more »


Kim Ebersole resigns as director of Family Life and Older Adult Ministries (October 2, 2015)

Kim Ebersole has tendered her resignation effective Oct. 9. She has been serving on the Church of the Brethren denominational staff as director of Family Life and Older Adult Ministries. Read more »


The stones cry out: Displaced people face difficult situation in Nigeria, Boko Haram attacks continue (October 2, 2015)

As the crowd cheered Jesus on Palm Sunday, the Pharisees told him to quiet the crowd. Jesus responded, “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” Later Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem and its future destruction, saying, “They will not leave one stone on another.” These are two opposing references to stones in Luke 19; one of celebration and acknowledgement of Christ, the second of destruction for those who did not recognize him. Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 2, 2015 (October 2, 2015)

Brethren bits for Oct. 2, 2015 Read more »


Newsline for Sept. 25, 2015 (September 25, 2015)

1) Brethren Disaster Ministries directs $50,000 in grants to refugee and migrant crisis; 2) Global Food Crisis Fund allocates money to evaluate work in Haiti; 3) Haitian Brethren hold march in Port-au-Prince to mark Peace Day 2015; 4) Church of the Brethren volunteer honored by Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria; 5) Youth explore faith and call at Bethany Seminary; 6) Brethren Academy announces upcoming courses for fall, winter, spring; 7) Workcamp Ministry celebrates 2015 season, announces theme for 2016; 8) Strengthening our core: A letter from the Mission and Ministry Board chair; 9) Church vitality: Nurturing the strong heartbeat of God within us; 10) Brethren bits Read more »


Strengthening our core: A letter from the Mission and Ministry Board chair  (September 25, 2015)

I used to be a cross country runner (emphasis on “used to be”). Cross country always has been a fairly simple sport with the object to run far and run fast, or at least faster than members of other teams. During my years of running, the training was also simple: we were supposed to log a certain number of miles each week of the summer (emphasis on “supposed to”), adding up to hundreds of miles before the season even began. The way to train for long races, it seemed, was to run even longer in practice. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries directs $50,000 in grants to refugee and migrant crisis (September 25, 2015)

Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed $50,000 from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support ecumenical partners who are serving people affected by the refugee and migrant crisis. Other recent EDF grants include the allocation of $30,000 to continue the Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding project in Spotswood, N.J. Read more »


Haitian Brethren hold march in Port-au-Prince to mark Peace Day 2015 (September 25, 2015)

Eglise des Freres d’Haiti (the Church of the Brethren in Haiti) marked the International Day of Prayer for Peace 2015 with a march to the center of Port-au-Prince, the Haiti’s capital city. Read more »


Church of the Brethren volunteer honored by Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (September 25, 2015)

The leadership of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) conducted a get-together fellowship in honor of Jim Mitchell, one of the three Church of the Brethren volunteers completing terms of service with the Nigeria Crisis Response. Mitchell had been in Nigeria for three months, where he participated in different events at various regions. Read more »


Brethren Academy announces upcoming courses for fall, winter, spring (September 25, 2015)

The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership has announced courses for fall 2015, and winter and spring 2016. Courses are open to Training in Ministry (TRIM) and Education for Shared Ministry (EFSM) students, pastors seeking continuing education units, and all interested persons. Read more »


Workcamp Ministry celebrates 2015 season, announces theme for 2016 (September 25, 2015)

“Side by side” is truly how the 341 youth and advisors worked this summer during the 2015 Church of the Brethren Workcamps. Thank you to all of those who participated, as well as the 39 who contributed their time and talents through their leadership of the workcamps. Read more »


Global Food Crisis Fund allocates money to evaluate work in Haiti (September 25, 2015)

An allocation from the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) of the Church of the Brethren will fund an evaluation of the agricultural and community development work being undertaken by Eglise des Freres d’Haiti (the Church of the Brethren in Haiti). Read more »


Brethren bits for Sept. 25, 2015 (September 25, 2015)

In this issue: Remembrances, an update from CDS volunteers in northern California, prayers for the reopening of EYN’s Bible college and a secondary school in Kwarhi, Nigeria, personnel notes, job openings, a new Ice Bucket Challenge from Denver Brethren, congregations in the news, more than $250,000 raised by Southern Pennsylvania District, and much more. Read more »


Church vitality: Nurturing the strong heartbeat of God within us (September 25, 2015)

Nurturing the strong heartbeat of God within us. This came through vibrantly at Annual Conference this year through the Nigerian witness, the invitation of Roger Nishioka to have God’s heartbeat live strongly in us, and the insight of Standing Committee about the hope for church vitality. Read more »


Dialogue urges Christians to work intentionally across racial divides (September 18, 2015)

A lot of well meaning people assume that the Civil Rights struggle is over and that we won, said Alexander Gee Jr., during an afternoon dialogue event at NOAC 2015. “We don’t talk about it in seminary, in churches, or from the pulpit,” he said. “Like polio or tuberculosis, we say we’ve solved it!” Read more »


Newsline for Sept. 18, 2015 (September 18, 2015)

A REVIEW OF NOAC 2015 1) Deanna Brown focuses first NOAC keynote on women’s stories 2) Brian McLaren calls NOAC to get back to the Bible, in a different way 3) Bob Bowman’s Bible studies focus on Prodigal Son parable 4) Dialogue urges Christians to work intentionally across racial divides 5) Chief Junaluska of the Cherokees: A story from the NOAC Coffeehouse 6) ‘You’re the bear, Kim’: An interview with Dub, the NOAC bear 7) NOAC by the numbers 8) ‘Today at NOAC’ pages, photo albums offer daily view of the conference 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits: A focus on the refugee and migrant crisis (September 18, 2015)

In this issue: A focus on the refugee and migrant crisis, plus news of Children’s Disaster Services response to California wildfires, Sept. 20's Mission Offering Emphasis, the 39th annual Brethren Disaster Relief Auction, personnel notes and job openings, prayer requests from Global Mission, a “March for Peace” in Haiti, church anniversaries, Brethren in the news, and more. Read more »


Brian McLaren calls NOAC to get back to the Bible, in a different way (September 18, 2015)

“I can tell you love each other,” Brian McLaren said to the NOAC congregation as he began his morning keynote address. McLaren is a popular author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. His two most recent books are “Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World” and “We Make the Road By Walking.” Read more »


NOAC by the numbers (September 18, 2015)

The 2015 National Older Adult Conference, which was the Church of the Brethren’s 13th NOAC, gathered 906 people at the Lake Junaluska (N.C.) Conference Center on Sept. 7-11. This number includes registered participants, staff, volunteers, guest speakers, and young adult assistants. Here are some more NOAC numbers: Read more »


Today at NOAC - Friday (September 11, 2015)

A review of events on the concluding day of NOAC 2015 Read more »


Today at NOAC - Thursday (September 10, 2015)

Reviewing the day at NOAC 2015 in Lake Junaluska, N.C.a Read more »


‘You’re the bear, Kim’: An interview with Dub, the NOAC bear (September 10, 2015)

Frank Ramirez of the NOAC Communication Team recently had an opportunity to interview Dub the Bear, who has been seen almost everywhere at this year’s NOAC. Dub, it appears, came specifically to NOAC this year to honor Kim Ebersole for her contributions to the Church of the Brethren through this ministry and many others. At least we think that’s what she’s telling us. Read more »


Today at NOAC - Wednesday (September 9, 2015)

Some highlights from the day at the 2015 National Older Adult Conference Read more »


Today at NOAC - Tuesday (September 8, 2015)

An overview of the second day of NOAC 2015, the National Older Adult Conference of the Church of the Brethren. NOAC is being held in Lake Junaluska, N.C., Sept. 7-11. Read more »


Deanna Brown focuses first NOAC keynote on women’s stories (September 8, 2015)

Why would the Celtic Christian church choose the image of a wild goose for the Holy Spirit instead of a dove? Read more »


Chief Junaluska of the Cherokees: A story from the NOAC Coffeehouse (September 8, 2015)

This is one of the stories shared at the NOAC Coffeehouse, submitted by Willard “Duly” Dulabaum: Read more »


Bob Bowman’s Bible studies focus on Prodigal Son parable (September 8, 2015)

“You’ve probably taught this parable yourself...but its my turn this time,” said Bob Bowman, introducing the first of his three daily Bible studies at NOAC, focused on Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son from Luke 15. Read more »


Today at NOAC - Monday (September 7, 2015)

A review of the first day of the 2015 National Older Adult Conference (NOAC), an event for 50-plus participants. The conference is held in Lake Junaluska, N.C., from Sept. 7-11. Read more »


Trauma healing is the path to forgiveness in Nigeria (September 3, 2015)

Is it truly possible to forgive someone who has hurt you so grievously that you can hardly function? Some of the IDPs (Internally Displaced People) in Nigeria have been hurt in ways that most of us can only imagine. To understand the healing process let me begin with a definition of trauma and move through some of the important steps necessary to accomplish this goal. Read more »


Newsline for Sept. 3, 2015 (September 3, 2015)

NEWS 1) An open letter to members and clients of Brethren Benefit Trust 2) John Mueller resigns from leadership of Atlantic Southeast District NIGERIA UPDATES 3) Nigeria Crisis Response co-directors report from trip to Nigeria 4) Nigerian children face dangers as they seek education 5) Volunteer observes a Trauma Healing Workshop in Nigeria 6) Trauma healing is the path to forgiveness in Nigeria 7) Small-scale ‘Wall of Healing’ display is available from Global Mission office UPCOMING EVENTS 8) Living Stream worship webcast from Lake Junaluska to kick off the 13th NOAC 9) Nominations are sought for Annual Conference-elected offices 10) McPherson College offers ‘Ventures in Christian Discipleship’ courses 11) Powerhouse Regional Youth Conference to celebrate an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ SPECIAL SECTION: REFLECTING ON FERGUSON 12) Ferguson: An invitation for the church to participate in dismantling racial discrimination 13) Thinking About Ferguson--again 14) This is an effort which the faith community must lead 15) In wake of Ferguson, Rockford church works to build nonviolent community 16) Brethren bits Read more »


Living Stream worship webcast from Lake Junaluska to kick off the 13th NOAC (September 3, 2015)

“This Sunday, we are lucky to get a sneak peek at the fun happening at Lake Junaluska next week,” said an announcement of a webcast worship service by Living Stream Church of the Brethren, an online ministry. The service will be webcast from the Lake Junaluska (N.C.) Conference Center where the National Older Adult Conference is set to begin Monday, Sept. 7. Read more »


Volunteer observes a Trauma Healing Workshop in Nigeria (September 3, 2015)

The Trauma Healing Workshop is held at a displacement camp that is filled with EYN members from the northeast area of Nigeria where the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency has done much of its terror, killing, and destruction. EYN stands for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Read more »


In wake of Ferguson, Rockford church works to build nonviolent community (September 3, 2015)

Since the Michael Brown incident, as a congregation we have been looking for ways to avert such from happening in Rockford, knowing that back in 2009 we had a similar incident. We have been working with the Police Department to build a healthy and positive Nonviolence Community Policing and Community relationship. Read more »


Brethren bits for Sept. 3, 2015 (September 3, 2015)

In this issue: Remembrances, note from General Secretary Search Committee, job openings at Bethany and Camp Mack, NRCAT seeks human rights fellow, Haitian Dominican Brethren get temporary work permits, Brethren Service Center hosts fashion show, 45th annual Dunker Church Service at Antietam, ecumenical webinar on evangelism, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


This is an effort which the faith community must lead (September 3, 2015)

On Tuesday evening, Sept. 1, the African Methodist Episcopal Coalition held a worship service in Washington, D.C. I had received the invitation from the National Council of Churches (NCC) the week before in my capacity with the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Public Witness, but it was also relevant for my role as a minister in Washington City Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Powerhouse Regional Youth Conference to celebrate an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ (September 3, 2015)

The Powerhouse Regional Youth Conference will return to Camp Mack in Milford, Ind., again this year for its sixth edition, providing a weekend of worship, workshops, music, recreation, and more for Midwest senior high youth and their advisors. We hope you can join us Nov. 21-22 for this great weekend! Our theme will be “An Attitude of Gratitude,” looking at ways we live out and express thankfulness. Read more »


John Mueller resigns from leadership of Atlantic Southeast District (September 3, 2015)

John Mueller has announced his resignation as district executive of Atlantic Southeast District, effective Dec. 31. He began his ministry with the district on July 1, 2013. Read more »


Small-scale ‘Wall of Healing’ display is available from Global Mission office (September 3, 2015)

At this year’s Annual Conference, Global Mission and Service presented the “Wall of Healing,” a poster exhibit commemorating the thousands of Nigerians who have been killed in recent years through terrorist violence and persecution. The exhibit is based on the information collected by Rebecca Dali and the Center for Caring, Empowerment, and Peace Initiatives, and was put together by Brethren Volunteer Service workers Pat and John Krabacher. Read more »


Nigeria Crisis Response co-directors report from trip to Nigeria (September 3, 2015)

Having recently returned from a short trip to Nigeria, we were encouraged by the relief efforts headed by the EYN Disaster Team of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). The church’s large-scale program of assistance is funneling money to EYN with a five-pronged approach. We were happy that progress has been made in all five areas that we have designated. Read more »


Nominations are sought for Annual Conference-elected offices (September 3, 2015)

Nominations are being accepted for all Annual Conference-elected offices in 2016 including Annual Conference moderator-elect; Program and Arrangements Committee member; Mission and Ministry Board members for Areas 3, 4, and 5; On Earth Peace Board member; Brethren Benefit Trust board member; Bethany Theological Seminary laity and college representatives; and Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Committee member. Descriptions of these offices are available at www.brethren.org/ac . Read more »


Covenant Bible Studies shed light on 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Peter, Jude (August 26, 2015)

New Covenant Bible Studies from Brethren Press are tailored for small group Bible studies or for adult Sunday school classes. Most recent titles in the series focus attention on the Old Testament books of 1 and 2 Kings, and the New Testament books of 1 and 2 Peter and Jude. Read more »


Called to help rebuild, we became part of a new family (August 26, 2015)

When we watched the news in 2005 that Hurricane Katrina had hit the Gulf Coast, we were pretty sure that Brethren Disaster Ministries would be available to help with the rebuilding. We had no idea that it would mean a major change for us, that it would bring us into an experience that we now consider to be one of the highlights of our lives. Read more »


Brethren volunteers in Nigeria renew wedding vows after 48 years of marriage (August 26, 2015)

Tom and Janet Crago, Church of the Brethren volunteers in Nigeria, celebrate their 48th year of marriage at the Annex Office of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), located in north central Nigeria where they assist the Brethren who relocated from the church’s headquarters at Kwarhi in Adamawa State. The event took place during the morning devotion of the EYN headquarters staff. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services changed the lives of children and families after Katrina (August 26, 2015)

Hurricane Katrina changed the lives of children and families. They were profoundly affected throughout the evacuation process, as they moved into new states and communities or returned to rebuild, and as their families created a way forward over the past 10 years. Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 26, 2015 (August 26, 2015)

In this issue: Annual Conference officers and committees meet, SVMC announces “The Gospel of Mark and 21st Century Ministry,” Brethren are invited to a Day of Confession on Sept. 6 called by the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, a informational webinar focuses on hunger issue in Congress’ fall agenda, Jonathan Shively to be the main speaker for Virlina District’s “Growing Leaders in New (and Older) Congregations,” several districts are offering special events around their annual district conferences, the FOR celebrates 100 years, and more. Read more »


Christian leaders urge Congress to vote for diplomatic agreement with Iran (August 26, 2015)

Two Church of the Brethren denominational staff have signed on to a letter from Christian leaders to the US Congress, urging approval of the diplomatic agreement with Iran. General secretary Stanley J. Noffsinger and Office of Public Witness director Nathan Hosler are among some 50 Christian leaders who have signed the letter, according to a release from the National Council of Churches and the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Read more »


Prayer is requested for those affected by wildfires in western states (August 26, 2015)

Prayers have been requested for those in the state of Washington and other areas of the western United States who are affected by wildfires. Late last week, Pacific Northwest District executive Colleen Michael reported that the community of Tonasket, Wash.--where there are two Church of the Brethren congregations--has been affected by mandatory evacuations. Read more »


Newsline for Aug. 26, 2015 (August 26, 2015)

1) Called to help rebuild, we became part of a new family 2) Brethren Disaster Ministries notes accomplishments of Hurricane Katrina response 3) Children’s Disaster Services changed the lives of children and families after Katrina 4) On the road to Damascus: When the scales fall from our eyes 5) Christian leaders urge Congress to vote for diplomatic agreement with Iran 6) Prayer is requested for those affected by wildfires in western states 7) Brethren volunteers in Nigeria renew wedding vows after 48 years of marriage 8) Brethren Disaster Ministries restructures, makes personnel changes 9) Brethren Volunteer Service unit begins work at project sites 10) Congregations invited to plan special prayers, events for Peace Day 11) Covenant Bible Studies shed light on 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Peter, Jude 12) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries notes accomplishments of Hurricane Katrina response (August 26, 2015)

The largest and longest domestic response in Brethren Disaster Ministries history ended when the work at its sixth and final Hurricane Katrina recovery project, in St. Bernard Parish, La., was completed in June 2011. During the nearly 6-year response, Brethren Disaster Ministries volunteers repaired or rebuilt homes for 531 families in 6 communities along the Gulf Coast, giving an estimated value of $6,776,416.80 in labor (2010 dollar value). Project consultants John and Mary Mueller oversaw this project for more than four years. Read more »


Congregations invited to plan special prayers, events for Peace Day (August 26, 2015)

Peace Day, Sept. 21, is quickly approaching, and On Earth Peace is urging your congregation to participate in building peace in your community by planning special prayers for peace that week, or including peace-focused prayers in Sunday services on Sept. 20. The Church of the Brethren holds the belief that seeking and standing for peace is the duty of followers of Jesus, holding to verses such as Romans 14:19, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries restructures, makes personnel changes (August 25, 2015)

Brethren Disaster Ministries is restructuring and reshaping its staff and support staff positions to better serve a growing rebuilding ministry and Children’s Disaster Services. Three new positions have been created and filled: office manager for Brethren Disaster Ministries, a salaried staff position; program assistant for Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding program, a support staff position; and program assistant for Children’s Disaster Services, a support staff position. Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service unit begins work at project sites (August 25, 2015)

The summer unit of Brethren Volunteer Service, which is the 309th BVS unit, has completed training and the volunteers have been assigned to their project sites. The names, home towns, and project sites of the members of BVS Unit 309 follow: Read more »


Carolyn Schrock retires from district executive position in Missouri and Arkansas (August 20, 2015)

Carolyn A. Pieratt Schrock has announced her retirement as executive minister of the Church of the Brethren’s Missouri and Arkansas District, effective Dec. 31. She has served as district executive minister for almost eight years, since Jan. 1, 2008. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries begins new partnership for ‘Disaster Recovery Support Initiative’ (August 20, 2015)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has begun a new partnership for a Disaster Recovery Support Initiative, joining in with disaster programs of other Christian denominations. The ministry has requested an allocation of $5,000 from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to help fund this pilot program to more quickly and effectively support the formation of Long Term Recovery Groups (LTRGs) in communities affected by disaster. Read more »


Believers Church Commentaries among new resources available from Brethren Press (August 20, 2015)

Believers Church Bible Commentaries: accessible to lay readers, useful in preaching and pastoral care, helpful for Bible studies and Sunday school, and academically sound. This commentary series offers a unique Anabaptist reading of scripture. For all who seek more fully to understand the original message of scripture and its meaning today, the series is based on the conviction that God is still speaking to all who will listen, and that the Holy Spirit makes the Word a living and authoritative guide. Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 20, 2015 (August 20, 2015)

In this issue: Remembering Harold Mack, Youth Peace Travel Team finishes up its summer, cook needed for Zigler Hospitality Center, Mission Offering resources are available, Nov. 1 is National Jr. High Sunday, National Young Adult Conference is announced for 2016, the Taize Community celebrates 75 years, Mason Cove Church and Bassett Church celebrate their 90th anniversaries, CPT issues a plea for aid for migrants in Greece, and much, much more. Read more »


Nigeria: A land of many possibilities (August 20, 2015)

Traveling back and forth between Nigeria and the United States is one of the great joys my wife and I share in our role as co-directors of the Nigeria Crisis Response. It has been truly amazing to witness the sacrificial giving of our denomination toward the recovery of the church in Nigeria, and assisting the thousands of people who have been displaced by the senseless violence perpetrated by the radical insurgent group, Boko Haram. Read more »


Devotional calls readers to prepare for Advent ‘In the Fullness of Time’ (August 20, 2015)

The 2015 Advent Devotional from Brethren Press, “In the Fullness of Time,” is written by Anita Hooley Yoder. It focuses readers’ attention on the birth of Jesus Christ as a gift from God “when the fullness of time had come” (Galatians 4:4). Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services offers additional training workshops (August 20, 2015)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) is offering three additional volunteer training workshops this fall and winter. CDS is a ministry of the Church of the Brethren and part of Brethren Disaster Ministries. For online registration and a list of previously announced trainings go to www.brethren.org/cds/training/dates.html . Read more »


Newsline for Aug. 20, 2015 (August 20, 2015)

1) Brethren Disaster Ministries begins new partnership for ‘Disaster Recovery Support Initiative’ 2) Food, aid distributions reach thousands of people in remote districts in Nigeria 3) Carolyn Schrock retires from district executive position in Missouri and Arkansas 4) Children’s Disaster Services offers additional training workshops 5) Dates are announced for next year’s church planting conference 6) Creators of new Church of the Brethren ministers’ manual seek submissions 7) Devotional calls readers to prepare for Advent ‘In the Fullness of Time’ 8) Believers Church Commentaries among new resources available from Brethren Press 9) Nigeria: A land of many possibilities 10) Brethren bits Read more »


Creators of new Church of the Brethren ministers’ manual seek submissions (August 20, 2015)

Creation of a new ministers’ manual for the Church of the Brethren is underway, and the planning committee is seeking submissions for the manual. “For All Who Minister,” the current manual, was published in 1993, and much has happened to the ways in which we understand and participate in ministry since that time. Read more »


Food, aid distributions reach thousands of people in remote districts in Nigeria (August 20, 2015)

The EYN Crisis Management Team of Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has been very busy with food distributions. In the last few weeks, your donations have provided food for more than 988 families (about 6,000 individuals). Food was distributed to three remote districts that had never received help because they were still in dangerous and unsafe areas. Read more »


Dates are announced for next year’s church planting conference (August 20, 2015)

Save the dates for the next church planting event offered by the Congregational Life Ministries of the Church of the Brethren. The event is planned for May 19-21, 2016, in Richmond, Ind., hosted in part at Bethany Theological Seminary. Read more »


Material Resources contributes to shipment of relief supplies for Syrian refugees (July 31, 2015)

The Church of the Brethren Material Resources program has loaded two 40-foot containers filled with Hygiene Kits and School kits, and shipped them to aid Syrian refugees fleeing from the violence afflicting the Middle East. This shipment was arranged by the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) in partnership with Church World Service (CWS), reports Material Resources office coordinator Terry Goodger. Read more »


On Earth Peace invites congregations to participate in Peace Day 2015 (July 31, 2015)

Peace Day (Sept. 21) is quickly approaching, and On Earth Peace is urging your congregation to participate in praying for peace and building a culture of peace this year. The Church of the Brethren holds the belief that creating and standing for peace is a duty of followers of Jesus, holding to verses like Romans 14:19, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Read more »


Activity book will help children understand Nigeria crisis, among other new Nigeria-related resources (July 31, 2015)

A children’s activity book “Children of the Same Mother” aims to help American children understand the crisis affecting Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). It is just one of the new Nigeria-related resources offered by Brethren Press, and debuted at the bookstore at the 2015 Annual Conference in Tampa. Read more »


Brethren bits for July 31, 2015 (July 31, 2015)

In this issue: Correction; remembering David Huffaker, Conrad Snavely, Jerry Rodeffer, and Emlyn Harley Kline; Kate Edelen to work with Office of Public Witness; job opening at World Student Christian Federation; Mission and Ministry Board sets 2016 budget parameter at Annual Conference meeting; and more news from the 2015 Conference and around the church. Read more »


Newsline for July 31, 2015 (July 31, 2015)

1) Open Roof Award honors disabilities efforts of two Church of the Brethren congregations 2) Material Resources contributes to shipment of relief supplies for Syrian refugees 3) Southeastern District begins consideration of query focused on On Earth Peace, adopts ‘Resolution on Same-Sex Marriage’ 4) US and Nigerian Brethren gather for love feast at Camp Ithiel in Atlantic Southeast District 5) Rare Bible at Bridgewater College nominated for statewide preservation program 6) Nancy Sollenberger Heishman named to Brethren Academy staff 7) NOAC to meet in September on the theme ‘Then Jesus Told Them a Story’ 8) Webinar ‘Healthy Boundaries 201' meets requirements for ordination review 9) On Earth Peace invites congregations to participate in Peace Day 2015 10) Bethany Seminary’s Presidential Forum weekend to explore ‘Just Peace’ 11) Activity book will help children understand Nigeria crisis, among other new Nigeria-related resources 12) After Amen 13) Brethren bits Read more »


NOAC to meet in September on the theme ‘Then Jesus Told Them a Story’ (July 31, 2015)

Interest in attending the 2015 National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) is running high, with more than 850 people already registered. The event takes place Sept. 7-11 in Lake Junaluska, N.C. Registration continues up to the start of the conference, with a $25 first-timer discount on the registration fee available to people who are attending for the first time. Read more »


Nancy Sollenberger Heishman named to Brethren Academy staff (July 31, 2015)

Nancy Sollenberger Heishman has been named part-time coordinator of the Spanish-Language Ministry Training Programs for the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, beginning July 22. Read more »


Open Roof Award honors disabilities efforts of two Church of the Brethren congregations (July 31, 2015)

The 2015 Open Roof Award was presented on behalf of the Disabilities Ministry of Congregational Life Ministries to two Church of the Brethren congregations: Cedar Lake Church of the Brethren in Northern Indiana District, and Staunton (Va.) Church of the Brethren in Shenandoah District. The award was given to representatives of the two churches during the Mission and Ministry Board meeting in Tampa, Fla., in advance of Annual Conference. Read more »


Southeastern District begins consideration of query focused on On Earth Peace, adopts ‘Resolution on Same-Sex Marriage’ (July 31, 2015)

Southeastern District’s 2015 conference has given support to consideration of a query focused on On Earth Peace, which has the potential to come to the 2016 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren. The district conference also adopted a resolution on same-sex marriage, according to a review of the district conference written by district moderator Gary Benesh and distributed by the district office. Read more »


US and Nigerian Brethren gather for love feast at Camp Ithiel in Atlantic Southeast District (July 31, 2015)

Following the closing worship service of the 229th Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren, in Tampa, Fla., there was a second gathering of Brethren at Camp Ithiel in Atlantic Southeast District. The EYN Women’s Fellowship Choir and a number of other guests from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) stayed at the camp for a time of rest and recovery following a demanding tour that took them to Church of the Brethren congregations across the United States. Read more »


Newsline for July 16, 2015 (July 18, 2015)

This issue of Newsline reviews events and outcomes of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference held in Tampa, Fla., on July 11-15, 2015. Read more »


Conference celebrates the service of general secretary Stan Noffsinger (July 17, 2015)

Stanley Noffsinger’s term as General Secretary will conclude before the 2016 Annual Conference, and so a celebration of his service to the church was held at this Conference, and became a highlight of the meeting. Through a video and the reflections of many speakers, Conference-goers were reminded of the many aspects of his leadership of the denomination since he accepted the call to that position in 2003. Read more »


Annual Conference bits and pieces (July 16, 2015)

Conference by the numbers, new Nigeria books and resources, a special celebration for the Brethren Foundation, Fitness Challenge results, people and groups received recognition or honors during the Conference, more on the round tables, how to get more Annual Conference coverage online, and how to order the “2015 Annual Conference Wrap-up and Sermons” DVD. Read more »


My favorite Annual Conference moments (July 16, 2015)

Toddlers playing on the floor at the back of the hall during worship services, and the way surrounding adults watch with indulgent smiles.... Read more »


Resolution expresses support for Christian minority communities, among other Conference business (July 16, 2015)

A Resolution on Christian Minority Communities brought by the Mission and Ministry Board was adopted by the Annual Conference. In other business, the Conference dealt with a number of business items deferred from the 2014 annual meeting of the Church of the Brethren including changes to bylaws of the Church of the Brethren Inc. and a polity change related to Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT). Read more »


Today in Tampa - Wednesday, July 15, 2015 (July 15, 2015)

An overview of the final day of Annual Conference 2015 in Tampa, Fla. The day included consecration of Andy Murray as the new moderator of the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Today in Tampa - Tuesday, July 14, 2015 (July 14, 2015)

An overview of the day in Tampa at Annual Conference 2015, including a highlight celebration of the work of outgoing general secretary Stanley J. Noffsinger. Read more »


Mandate for Review and Evaluation Committee is adopted (July 13, 2015)

The mandate passed by the Annual Conference delegates formally sets in motion the work of a Review and Evaluation Committee to review and evaluate the denomination’s organization, structure, and function. Read more »


Address to the Annual Conference by EYN President Rev. Dr. Samuel Dante Dali (July 13, 2015)

An address by Samuel Dante Dali, president of Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), to the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, July 13, 2015. Read more »


General Secretary's Luncheon with Higher Education asks ‘Who Was Jesus?’ (July 13, 2015)

University of La Verne, Calif., was the institution highlighted this year at the General Secretary’s Luncheon with Higher Education. Keynote speaker Dr. Jonathan Reed addressed the luncheon on the topic of “Who Was Jesus?” Read more »


Delegates receive presentation on crisis response in Nigeria (July 13, 2015)

Much of Monday afternoon’s business session was devoted to the crisis of sister church in Nigeria, Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). EYN has been facing the assault of violent extremist Islamist group Boko Haram. Read more »


Today in Tampa - Monday, July 13, 2015 (July 13, 2015)

An overview of the day at Annual Conference 2015 Read more »


Carol Scheppard chosen as moderator-elect, among other election results (July 13, 2015)

Carol Scheppard has been chosen as moderator-elect of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, in an election of new denominational leadership. She will serve as moderator-elect for next year’s Conference in 2016, and as moderator for the 2017 Conference. Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board approves timeline and Search Committee for General Secretary search (July 13, 2015)

During its Annual Conference meetings in Tampa the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board approved a report from its General Secretary Transition Team, which included naming a seven-member Search Committee and included a proposed timeline for the search. Read more »


Today in Tampa - Sunday, July 12, 2015 (July 12, 2015)

A review of the day, Sunday, July 12, at Annual Conference 2015 in Tampa, Fla. Read more »


Ken and Ted: Awesome! (July 12, 2015)

Sunday night... 7 p.m. End of a long day. People gather in Tampa convention center, East Hall. Ken Medema and Ted & Co are presenting “Heart to Heart.” Read more »


Conference welcomes new fellowship in North Carolina (July 12, 2015)

One joy of the first day of Annual Conference business is the time when new fellowships and congregations are introduced. This year, Jonathan Shively, executive director of Congregational Life Ministries, introduced one new group. Rios de Agua Viva (Rivers of Living Water) is a fellowship in Leicester, N.C., started by pastor Mario Martinez and his wife, Evelyn. They have been working since Sept. 2013 and were granted fellowship status in 2014 by Southeastern District. Read more »


Today in Tampa - Saturday, July 11, 2015 (July 11, 2015)

An overview of the day as Annual Conference 2015 gets underway Read more »


Standing Committee calls for new study of vitality in the church (July 11, 2015)

The Standing Committee of district delegates met in advance of the 2015 Annual Conference in Tampa, Fla., on July 8-11. The meetings were presided over by Annual Conference moderator David Steele, assisted by moderator-elect Andy Murray and secretary James Beckwith. In a decision with potential for far-reaching consequences, the Standing Committee decided to propose a new study committee on vitality in congregations, districts, and the denomination, in response to a query on future district structure. It also held conversations in closed session about concerns related to same sex marriage. Read more »


Newsline for July 2, 2015 (July 2, 2015)

1) Nigerian Brethren send letter of condolence to Emanuel AME Church. 2) AME bishops issue alert after seventh church fire since Charleston shootings. 3) Brethren Disaster Ministries directs $70,500 in EDF grants to Burundi refugee crisis. 4) Dominican Brethren receive support for effort to naturalize Haitian members. 5) Wenatchee wildfire affects Pacific Northwest Brethren. 6) Mission 21 adopts resolution on Nigeria crisis. 7) Reception at Annual Conference will honor general secretary Stanley J. Noffsinger. 8) Thomas Dowdy to speak at Congregational Life Ministries Dinner. 9) Webinar ‘Healthy Boundaries 201' meets requirements for ordination review. 10) Brethren bits Read more »


Mission 21 adopts resolution on Nigeria crisis (July 2, 2015)

The Mission 21 assembly unanimously approved a resolution on June 12 clearly condemning terror by Boko Haram, reaffirming the obligation of Christian organizations to assist the people of Nigeria, and making a point to state that the support and aid should benefit all people in Nigeria--Christians as well as Muslims. Read more »


Thomas Dowdy to speak at Congregational Life Ministries Dinner (July 2, 2015)

There has been a change of the speaker and topic for the Congregational Life Ministries Dinner at the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in Tampa, Fla. Thomas Dowdy, an African American pastor serving at Imperial Heights Church of the Brethren in Los Angeles, Calif., will speak on the topic “Keeping the Faith, Acting in Faith,” Read more »


Reception at Annual Conference will honor general secretary Stanley J. Noffsinger (July 2, 2015)

“You are cordially invited to be our special guest to honor and celebrate 12 years of faithful and excellent service of Stanley J. Noffsinger, general secretary of the Church of the Brethren,” states an invitation from the Mission and Ministry Board to a recognition event during Annual Conference in Tampa, Fla., on the morning of July 14. Read more »


Webinar ‘Healthy Boundaries 201' meets requirements for ordination review (July 2, 2015)

A webinar from the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership titled “Health Boundaries 201 and Ethics in Ministry Relations Training” will offer ordained ministers another opportunity to complete requirements for ministerial ethics training for the 2015 ordination review. The webcast is scheduled for Aug. 15, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Eastern time), with a break for lunch. Read more »


Nigerian Brethren send letter of condolence to Emanuel AME Church (July 2, 2015)

A letter of condolence has been sent to Emanuel AME Church from leadership of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). The letter, sent through the General Secretary’s Office of the Church of the Brethren in the United States, expresses caring on behalf of the entire membership of EYN, following the shooting attack in which nine members including the pastor of Emanuel AME were murdered during a Bible study. Read more »


Wenatchee wildfire affects Pacific Northwest Brethren (July 2, 2015)

Brethren Disaster Ministries reports that a wildfire on the outskirts of Wenatchee, Wash., has destroyed 24 homes and 4 businesses. No lives have been lost. “We need and appreciate your prayers for my home town,” said Colleen Michael, executive minister of the Church of the Brethren’s Pacific Northwest District. Read more »


Brethren bits for July 2, 2015 (July 2, 2015)

In this issue: Correction, Nigerian tour is a big hit, Workcamp Ministry names assistant coordinators for 2015-16, Connie Bohn joins staff at Zigler Hospitality Center, Monica Rice takes on new duties at Bethany Seminary, three job openings at Brethren Disaster Ministries, Southeastern District seeks director for School of Spiritual Learning, 32nd World Hunger Auction, Black Rock VBS gives to Haiti Medical Project, project supports On Earth Peace in honor of Chuck Boyer, and more. Read more »


AME bishops issue alert after seventh church fire since Charleston shootings (July 2, 2015)

The African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church bishops have issued an alert after an AME church became the seventh predominantly black church to suffer a fire since the shootings at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., two weeks ago. Through a release issued by the National Council of Churches, the AME Church shared information about an interfaith call to action that its bishops were to issue yesterday in New Orleans, La. Read more »


Dominican Brethren receive support for effort to naturalize Haitian members (July 2, 2015)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed a grant of up to $8,000 from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) supporting the work of Iglesia de los Hermanos (the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic) to assist the naturalization of ethnic Haitians living in the DR. This grant is in addition to funding of $6,500 from the budget of Global Mission and Service, for a total of up to $14,500. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries directs $70,500 in EDF grants to Burundi refugee crisis (July 2, 2015)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed another two grants from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) totaling $70,500 to the Burundi refugee crisis, in addition to a grant of $11,500 that was made in June. Read more »


Tour schedule for EYN Women’s Fellowship Choir and BEST (June 24, 2015)

A Women’s Fellowship (ZME) Choir and BEST group from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) will tour the US this summer, June 22-July 15, 2015. Some 60 Nigerian Brethren women and men are expected. Read more »


Lightsabers and communicating with junior highs: An interview with Bethany dean Steve Schweitzer (June 24, 2015)

When pondering the best tools to use to communicate with junior high youth, lightsabers may not appear on the top of the list. However, according to Bethany Theological Seminary academic dean and professor Steve Schweitzer, they may have their place. Read more »


Junior high conference helps youth address change, while keeping a focus on God (June 24, 2015)

An acorn. Small, ordinary, even insignificant. Yet that small seed transforms into a massive, rooted, solid oak tree. Read more »


Brethren bits for June 24, 2015 (June 24, 2015)

In this issue: EYN Women’s Fellowship Choir and BEST begin summer tour, media covers tour, Office of Public Witness holds lunch with choir in DC, BHLA interns change up, new warehouse assistant for New Windsor, Beacon Heights pastor in NY Times, On Earth Peace developing work for racial justice, and more. Read more »


Work/learning group makes trip to South Sudan (June 24, 2015)

South Sudan has experienced nearly continuous war since 1955. Although a peace accord was signed between North Sudan and South Sudan in 2005, the people of South Sudan have continued to suffer under ineffective South Sudanese government, lingering military engagement with North Sudan, and tribal conflicts. Read more »


Newsline for June 24, 2015 (June 24, 2015)

1) Junior high conference helps youth address change, while keeping a focus on God. 2) Lightsabers and communicating with junior highs: An interview with Bethany dean Steve Schweitzer. 3) Work/learning group makes trip to South Sudan. 4) Fahrney-Keedy announces appointment of Stephen Coetzee as president/CEO. 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Church of the Brethren sends letter of condolence to African Methodist Episcopal Church (June 18, 2015)

A letter from the Church of the Brethren, signed by general secretary Stan Noffsinger and Intercultural Ministry director Gimbiya Kettering, has been sent to members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. The letter shares condolence, in response to the shooting there Wednesday, June17, which has been characterized as a hate crime. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries volunteers help clean up after Colorado tornado (June 17, 2015)

On June 4, around 6:30 p.m., an EF3-rated tornado touched down in Berthoud, Colo. The tornado was 200 yards wide with maximum sustained winds of 135-140 miles per hour. It tracked 5 miles during the 13 minutes it was on the ground. On Friday evening volunteers with the Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding project site in Greeley, Colo., decided to drive to the area that was struck to see if there was anything we could do to help. Read more »


National Junior High Conference worship will be webcast (June 17, 2015)

Worship services at the National Junior High Conference taking place this weekend at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College will be webcast. The conference is offered by the Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Junior high youth from across the denomination will gather the weekend of June 19-21 for a faith formation experience that will include worship, fellowship, workshops, recreation, and more. Link to the webcasts at https://livestream.com/livingstreamcob/NJHC2015 . Read more »


Brethren bits for June 17, 2015 (June 17, 2015)

Corrections to Nigerian Brethren tour schedule, Fahrney-Keedy acting president, Spurgeon Manor seeks development officer, NRCAT letter, Senate acts on torture legislation, BVS events in Maryland, BHLA newsletter, videos from Bethany event, more Read more »


‘Basin and Towel’ publication is discontinued (June 17, 2015)

Congregational Life Ministries of the Church of the Brethren has announced that the magazine “Basin and Towel” will discontinue publication following the July release of Vol. 6, Issue 2 titled “Transitions.” Read more »


Newsline for June 17, 2015 (June 17, 2015)

1) Brethren Disaster Ministries volunteers help clean up after Colorado tornado. 2) ‘Basin and Towel’ publication is discontinued. 3) Bethany Seminary calls new executive director of institutional advancement. 4) National Junior High Conference worship will be webcast. 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Message from the moderator of Annual Conference 2015 (June 10, 2015)

Dear Friends, grace and peace to you in the name of our God whose love is a powerful gift to us and to the world. Read more »


EYN teams available to visit churches this summer, choir tour itinerary is updated (June 10, 2015)

Nigerian Brethren teams will be available to visit churches this summer, in addition to the tour by the EYN Women’s Fellowship (ZME) Choir and the BEST group, according to the EYN Planning Committee. The committee is made up of members of three Pennsylvania congregations--Lancaster, Elizabethtown, and Mountville Churches of the Brethren--and is chaired by former Nigeria mission worker Monroe Good. Read more »


‘Glory of Gardening’ webinar discusses spiritual benefits, wellness brought by gardening (June 10, 2015)

A webinar titled “The Glory of Gardening: The Hidden Promises of Community Gardening” will take place on Monday, June 15, at 7 p.m. (Eastern time). This is the final event in a webinar series sponsored by the Going to the Garden initiative of the Office of Public Witness and the Global Food Crisis Fund. Read more »


Interfaith community is built for Nigerians displaced by Boko Haram  (June 10, 2015)

Children sat watching, under a shady tree. Women in colorful Nigerian dress, carrying babies on their backs, wandered by to greet us. The sound of hammers filled the air at the building site, shortly after I arrived in Nigeria in late March. Men were nailing sheets of metal roofing on the three-room houses that would make up the Gurku Interfaith Camp for families who fled the violence of Boko Haram and lost everything. Read more »


Registration closes soon for Ministers’ Association pre-Conference event (June 10, 2015)

Registration closes on Monday, June 15, for the Minister’s Association pre-Annual Conference event in Tampa, Fla., on July 10-11. This continuing education event for licensed and ordained ministers is titled “Delving Deeply into Compassion,” and will be led by Joyce Rupp, an author and speaker on the topic of compassion. Read more »


Emergency Disaster Fund grants support Shalom in Burundi, CWS aid to Haitian Dominicans (June 10, 2015)

The Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed two grants from the Church of the Brethren Emergency Disaster (EDF) to support the Shalom ministry’s work with Burundi refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and to the work of Church World Service to assist Haitians living in the Dominican Republic. Read more »


Newsline for June 10, 2015 (June 10, 2015)

1) Emergency Disaster Fund grants support Shalom in Burundi, CWS aid to Haitian Dominicans. 2) Interfaith community is built for Nigerians displaced by Boko Haram. 3) EYN teams available to visit churches this summer, choir tour itinerary is updated. 4) ‘Glory of Gardening’ webinar discusses spiritual benefits, wellness brought by gardening. 5) Registration closes soon for Ministers’ Association pre-Conference event. 6) Message from the moderator of Annual Conference 2015. 7) WCC general secretary urges a ‘spirituality of justice and peace’. 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for June 10, 2015 (June 10, 2015)

In this issue: Remembering Kathy Hess, Youth and Young Adult Ministry seeks volunteer, Brethren Disaster Ministries assess needs after Colorado tornado, Brethren leader signs letter about Israel’s plan to forcibly transfer Palestinians from West Bank, EYN president interviewed by Nigerian news, N. Indiana District hosts auction in support of Nigeria Crisis Response, Bill and Betty Hare celebrate 50 years at Camp Emmaus, and more. Read more »


Brethren bits for June 3, 2015 (June 3, 2015)

In this issue: Betsy Mullich resigns from Brethren Disaster Ministries, Aaron Neff to serve as Brethren Historical Library and Archives intern, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) seeks a personnel coordinator and Palestine Project support coordinator, Nigerian Brethren give thanks for people who escaped from Gwoza, Brethren Academy provides “Healthy Boundaries 201" training at Annual Conference, webinar about World Refugee Day, and more. Read more »


Transforming ‘thorns’ into joyful action at Young Adult Conference (June 3, 2015)

Collect. Plant. Grow. Tend. When we came together as a group for Young Adult Conference over Memorial Day weekend, our focus during worship, workshops, and small groups was on these four themes. Overall, we reflected on and discussed how we can take the negative and painful “thorns” of our world and transform them into “joyful action” meant to bring God’s kingdom into this world. Read more »


Trauma healing in Nigeria: A cathedral of tears and forgiveness (June 3, 2015)

Musa* grew up in a close-knit family that did not change even as they became adults. The siblings looked out for each other and their parents. When Boko Haram insurgent activity increased in 2014, the family became concerned for the welfare of their parents and tried to get them to move to a safer place. The parents refused, saying that at their age, they had no interest in running away from home. Read more »


District executives sponsor conference celebrating gifts, calling for leadership (June 3, 2015)

“Are you fanning into flame your gift? Have you started any fires yet?” asked Belita Mitchell, who spoke for the opening plenary of a conference on leadership sponsored by the Council of District Executives (CODE). The conference on May 14-16 was the first such CODE event, and was hosted by Frederick (Md.) Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services cares for children affected by Texas storms, flooding (June 3, 2015)

“Our Children's Disaster Services team in Houston is keeping busy,” reported Kathy Fry-Miller, associate director of Children’s Disaster Services (CDS). A CDS volunteer team has been caring for children and families affected by the storms that have hit Texas recently, causing tornados and also widespread flooding in north-central areas of the state. Read more »


Global Food Crisis Fund gives more than $90,000 in grants (June 3, 2015)

The Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) has allocated a number of grants totaling more than $90,000. The allocations support Proyecto Aldea Global in Honduras, THARS in Burundi, a community garden related to Mountain View Church of the Brethren in Idaho, two community garden projects in Spain, and agricultural training in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read more »


Ministry Summer Service pairs interns with mentors for church ministry (June 3, 2015)

Ministry Summer Service (MSS) orientation is being held this week at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Interns arrived over the weekend, mentors arrived on Monday afternoon, and the group continues its orientation through Wednesday. Read more »


Newsline for June 3, 2015 (June 3, 2015)

1) Children’s Disaster Services cares for children affected by Texas storms, flooding. 2) District executives sponsor conference celebrating gifts, calling for leadership. 3) Transforming ‘thorns’ into joyful action at Young Adult Conference. 4) Global Food Crisis Fund gives more than $90,000 in grants. 5) Ministry Summer Service pairs interns with mentors for church ministry. 6) The EYN pastor’s wives’ conference: A joyful reunion. 7) Trauma healing in Nigeria: A cathedral of tears and forgiveness. 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for May 27, 2015 (May 27, 2015)

In this issue: Remembering Gerald Neher who served in Chibok, new leadership for ADNet, Brethren Academy seeks coordinator of Spanish Language Ministry Training Programs, two Bethany courses to be offered at Brethren-related colleges this fall, last webinar in the “After Christendom” series, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


First District Church of the Brethren in India celebrates 100th Jilla Sabha (May 27, 2015)

Indian Brethren gathered in Valsad, Gujarat, for the church’s 100th Jilla Sabha (district conference). The two-day event began on May 13 with worship and the regular business of the denomination, while May 14 was dedicated to a full day of celebration that ran late into the evening. Attending on behalf of the Church of the Brethren was David Steele, moderator, and Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission and Service. Read more »


Breaking the chains: A reflection from Ecumenical Advocacy Days (May 27, 2015)

I don’t often watch the news anymore; it is too frustrating. I read my fair share of articles while scrolling through my Facebook feed that describe just what state of disarray our world is falling toward. There are few things more terrifying than seeing the brilliantly dramatized retelling of the things that are going on around me, and many days it is hard to find comfort in knowing too much about the world that I live in. Some days I cry. Read more »


Newsline for May 27, 2015 (May 27, 2015)

1) First District Church of the Brethren in India celebrates 100th Jilla Sabha. 2) Nigeria Crisis Response staff provide details of the relief effort. 3) New Humanitarian Pledge to ban nuclear weapons advances as troubled treaty stalls. 4) Breaking the chains: A reflection from Ecumenical Advocacy Days. 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Nigeria Crisis Response staff provide details of the relief effort (May 22, 2015)

Church of the Brethren staff working with the Nigeria Crisis Response have provided financial details and accounting of the relief effort in Nigeria, which responds to needs of those affected by the violent Islamist insurgency in the northeast of the country. The crisis response is a cooperative effort of the Church of the Brethren and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Read more »


Re: Targeted lethal drones program (May 20, 2015)

Church of the Brethren general secretary Stanley J. Noffsinger and On Earth Peace executive director Bill Scheurer are among a number of American faith leaders to sign a letter to President Obama expressing “grave concerns” about the United States’ lethal drones policy. The letter follows on the recent drone strike killing of US citizen Warren Weinstein. The letter was put together by an interfaith working group on drones that includes staff of the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness. Read more »


Newsline for May 20, 2015 (May 20, 2015)

1) Church of the Brethren general secretary attends EYN Annual Conference. 2) EYN Church of the Brethren General Church Council (Majalisa) issues communique. 3) Commencement celebrated at Bethany Theological Seminary. 4) CDS volunteers serve children and families affected by tornados in Oklahoma. 5) Churches partner to support trash day in Pomona. 6) Special speakers, unique events, continuing education opportunities, family fun highlight Annual Conference 2015. 7) General Secretary’s Luncheon in 2015 continues a focus on higher education. 8) BVS announces Partners in Service Awards for 2015. 9) Mountain Meadows Song and Story Fest is hosted by Camp Wilbur Stover in Idaho. 10) Message of the presidents of the World Council of Churches at Pentecost 2015. 11) Re: Targeted lethal drones program. 12) #SendItBack on International Conscientious Objectors Day: Michael Himlie’s example. 13) Brethren bits. Read more »


Mountain Meadows Song and Story Fest is hosted by Camp Wilbur Stover in Idaho (May 20, 2015)

The 2015 Mountain Meadows Song and Story Fest on the theme, “Moving in Time With...” is planned for July 26-Aug. 1 at Camp Wilbur Stover, New Meadows, Idaho. Song and Story Fest is an annual intergenerational family camp featuring Brethren musicians and storytellers, co-sponsored by On Earth Peace. This is the 19th summer in a row for Song and Story Fest. Read more »


CDS volunteers serve children and families affected by tornados in Oklahoma (May 20, 2015)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) set up a children’s center in a Multi Agency Resource Center in Oklahoma City, Okla., this past weekend, in response to the tornadoes and floods in the area. CDS is a part of Brethren Disaster Ministries. Read more »


Brethren bits for May 20, 2015 (May 20, 2015)

In this issue: Nigerian Brethren summer tour, Young Adult Conference is coming soon, Global Mission lifts up PAG volunteers, La Verne Church awards Benton Rhoades Peacemaker Scholarships, youth from Dupont Church are honored, Modesto Church dedicates Thelma and Hurley Couchman labyrinth, Shenandoah Disaster Ministries Auction early results, and more. Read more »


Church of the Brethren general secretary attends EYN Annual Conference (May 20, 2015)

Church of the Brethren general secretary Stanley J. Noffsinger traveled to Nigeria on May 3-11 to attend the Majalisa of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Noffsinger was billed as the guest speaker for EYN’s 68th annual meeting. Roxane and Carl Hill, co-directors of the Nigeria Crisis Response, accompanied the general secretary to Nigeria and were also given an opportunity to share before this large gathering. Read more »


Churches partner to support trash day in Pomona (May 20, 2015)

The Pomona Fellowship and Cristo Scion congregations of the Church of the Brethren partnered with the City of Pomona, Calif., to clean up the town on May 9. Who could know what this day would hold even with all the explanations given ahead of time? It became everything and more than we thought it would be. Read more »


Special speakers, unique events, continuing education opportunities, family fun highlight Annual Conference 2015 (May 20, 2015)

Planning for Annual Conference 2015 in Tampa, Fla., on July 11-15, is in place and the Conference officers and staff are highlighting the number of special speakers, unique events, continuing education opportunities, and possibilities for church fellowship and family fun offered at this Conference. The Conference centers on the theme “Abide in My Love... and Bear Fruit” (John 15:9-17). David A. Steele, district executive of Middle Pennsylvania District, will preside as moderator, assisted by moderator-elect Andy Murray and secretary James Beckwith. Chris Douglas is the Conference director. Read more »


General Secretary’s Luncheon in 2015 continues a focus on higher education (May 20, 2015)

A General Secretary’s dinner at last year’s Annual Conference was the first in a series to engage educators in topics of importance to the church and society. The events have the overarching goal to work at the church’s relationship with the Brethren-related institutions of higher education: Bridgewater College in Virginia, Elizabethtown College and Juniata College in Pennsylvania, the University of La Verne in California, McPherson College in Kansas, Manchester University and Bethany Theological Seminary in Indiana. Read more »


BVS announces Partners in Service Awards for 2015 (May 20, 2015)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) is pleased to announce the 2015 Partners in Service Award. Three congregations will share this award, which will be presented at the BVS luncheon on Monday, July 13, at the Annual Conference in Tampa, Fla. The Partners in Service Award is presented each year to an individual, group, or organization that has shown an exceptional commitment to the work of sharing God’s love through acts of service. Read more »


Intercultural Retreat brings a rainbow of humanity together to say ‘Amen!’ (May 13, 2015)

Two of the organizers of the 2015 Intercultural Retreat held in early May in Harrisburg, Pa., write their impressions of the gathering: “All God’s People Say Amen” was the rousing theme for an inspiring weekend intercultural retreat at Harrisburg (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren where Belita Mitchell serves as lead pastor. Almost 150 people from 9 districts of the Church of the Brethren gathered to participate in this three-day event....” Read more »


Christian Citizenship Seminar 2015 takes on the topic of immigration (May 13, 2015)

Two of the senior high youth who participated in this year’s Christian Citizenship Seminar--Jenna Walmer and Corrie Osborne--report on the event and its impact: “On April 18, Church of the Brethren youth gathered in New York City at the start of Christian Citizenship Seminar (CCS), a conference that allows youth to explore the connections between a specific topic and our faith. This year the topic was immigration. The seminar culminates with congressional visits in Washington, D.C. Throughout the seminar, we discussed the importance of our faith’s connection with citizenship and how immigration impacts our lives. It is a busy week filled with learning, fun, and spiritual growth....” Read more »


Mount Morris Church celebrates immigrant member Isabelle Krol (May 13, 2015)

Mount Morris (Ill.) Church of the Brethren on a recent Sunday held a service and celebration for member Isabelle Krol, on the 50th anniversary of her becoming an official citizen of the United States. She came to the United States from Belgium, following World War II. Following is part of her life story, taken from an interview by Dianne Swingel: Read more »


Second Haitian Peace Seminar is held in Miami (May 13, 2015)

From Friday evening April 24, until noon Sunday, April 26, the Second Haitian Peace Seminar was held at l’Eglise des Freres Church of the Brethren in Miami, Fla. During the three-day conference 100 attendees registered. Of these registrants 22 were youth. Registrants represented five Haitian churches in Florida and a Church of the Brethren in Haiti. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries directs $70,000 to joint response in Nepal, among other grants (May 13, 2015)

Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed a grant of $70,000 from the Church of the Brethren Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to help fund a joint response in Nepal with Church World Service (CWS) and Lutheran World Relief, Heifer International, and local partners. Read more »


Newsline for May 13, 2015 (May 13, 2015)

1) The Armenian genocide is commemorated at the Washington National Cathedral. 2) Armenian Genocide sparked 100 years of Brethren response to disaster and conflict. 3) ‘I have decided to stay with my orphans’: Remembering Brethren work during the genocide. 4) NCC annual gathering marks new ecumenical focus on interfaith peacemaking, mass incarceration. 5) Brethren Disaster Ministries directs $70,000 to joint response in Nepal, among other grants. 6) Intercultural Retreat brings a rainbow of humanity together to say ‘Amen!’ 7) Christian Citizenship Seminar 2015 takes on the topic of immigration. 8) Second Haitian Peace Seminar is held in Miami. 9) Church of the Brethren general secretary to receive honorary degree from Manchester. 10) Alaska project receives Going to Garden grant to support ‘far north’ gardening. 11) Mount Morris Church celebrates immigrant member Isabelle Krol. 12) Brethren bits. Read more »


NCC annual gathering marks new ecumenical focus on interfaith peacemaking, mass incarceration (May 13, 2015)

The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) held its second annual Christian Unity Gathering on May 7-9 near Washington, D.C. The gathering focused on interfaith peacemaking and mass incarceration, and related topics including Christian responses to police brutality. Some 200 people attended, including leaders from a wide spectrum of Christian traditions. Read more »


Alaska project receives Going to Garden grant to support ‘far north’ gardening (May 13, 2015)

A unique gardening project in Alaska is one of the sites receiving grants through the Going to the Garden initiative of the Church of the Brethren Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) and Office of Public Witness. “I was just floored by what they are doing,” commented GFCF manager Jeff Boshart. The Alaska effort is a personal mission of Bill and Penny Gay and an outreach project of their congregation at Pleasant Dale Church of the Brethren in Decatur, Ind. Read more »


Brethren bits for May 12, 2015 (May 12, 2015)

In this issue: Church of the Brethren members invited to contribute to memory book honoring general secretary Stan Noffsinger, Tim McElwee named to new VP post at Manchester University, Office of Public Witness supports call for end to family detention in Immigration Detention Centers, Mother's Day 5K for Peace in Nigeria raises more than $5,000, Nigerian television reports on Brethren visit to Chibok, and more. Read more »


The Armenian genocide is commemorated at the Washington National Cathedral (May 8, 2015)

A major event for the Christian Unity Gathering of the National Council of Churches on May 6-9 near Washington, D.C., was a commemoration of the Armenian genocide at the Washington National Cathedral. This year 2015 marks a century since the start of the genocide in 1915, perpetrated by Ottoman Turkey, in which 1.5 million people died in mass killing that continued to 1923. Read more »


Armenian Genocide sparked 100 years of Brethren response to disaster and conflict (May 8, 2015)

The commemoration of 100 years since the beginning of the Armenian genocide in 1915 also marks nearly a century of Church of the Brethren compassionate response to those affected by disasters and conflicts. An estimated 1.5 million Armenians perished at the hands of the Ottoman Turks in the genocide that occurred from 1915 to 1923. Brethren began responding to the needs of Armenian survivors and refugees beginning in 1917. Read more »


EYN Church of the Brethren General Church Council (Majalisa) issues communique (May 8, 2015)

The following communique from the 68th General Church Council (Majalisa) of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) was issued by the Majalisa meeting from May 5-8 at the new Annex Headquarters of EYN in central Nigeria. Read more »


‘I have decided to stay with my orphans’: Remembering Brethren work during the genocide (May 8, 2015)

“Ten thousand Armenians are reportedly massacred and now the French troops are evacuating the city. I have decided to stay with my orphans and take what comes. This may be my last letter. Whatever happens, rest assured God’s in heaven and all’s well. I am working in the day time and often in the night at the emergency hospital. Believe me, war is hell.” Read more »


Brethren bits for May 5, 2015 (May 5, 2015)

In this issue: Job opening in hospitality at Brethren Service Center, DC peace organizations seek executive director, Annual Conference seeks medical staff to volunteer, upcoming webinars, BVS dinners, Cliff Kindy featured on video of panel discussion about Nigeria crisis, Central Church in Roanoke celebrates 90 years, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


‘Brethren Life and Thought’ is celebrating 60 years (May 5, 2015)

The journal “Brethren Life and Thought” is celebrating 60 years and editor Denise Kettering-Lane has planned two exciting issues to help us celebrate. Read more »


Newsline for May 5, 2015 (May 5, 2015)

1) Action alert: Support immigrant mothers on Mother’s Day. 2) NCC calls for justice, end to violence in Baltimore. 3) Office of Ministry provides forms meeting new IRS standards. 4) Global Mission is renewing partnership with Prisoner Visitation and Support. 5) ‘Brethren Life and Thought’ is celebrating 60 years, 6) New Puerto Rico District names Jose Calleja Otero as district executive. 7) Brethren bits Read more »


New Puerto Rico District names Jose Calleja Otero as district executive (May 5, 2015)

The Puerto Rico District has announced that Jose Calleja Otero has accepted the call to serve as district executive minister. Otero already has begun his work. In July, the Puerto Rico District officially will be welcomed as the Church of the Brethren’s 24th district at Annual Conference in Tampa, Fla. Read more »


Global Mission is renewing partnership with Prisoner Visitation and Support (May 5, 2015)

Through the office of Global Mission and Service, the Church of the Brethren is renewing its partnership of grant support to the organization Prisoner Visitation and Support (PVS). In addition to the denomination’s grant support, which began in 1985, PVS has benefited from Brethren serving as prison visitors and as representatives on PVS’ board of directors. Read more »


Office of Ministry provides forms meeting new IRS standards (May 5, 2015)

The roller coaster ride of receiving and responding to updates regarding implications of the Affordable Care Act for support of our pastors’ medical insurance premiums continues. Thank you for your continuing care and concern as we seek to understand the situation and care for our pastors’ well-being. Read more »


Brethren bits for April 29, 2015 (April 29, 2015)

In this issue: District administrative assistants meet, Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village seeks CEO, Material Resources seeks warehouse assistant, Youth and Young Adult Ministry seeks 2015-2016 assistant to serve through BVS, Bethany featured in the “Palladium-Item,” Shenandoah District Disaster Ministries Auction is May 15-16, and more news from colleges and the John Kline Homestead. Read more »


Responding to the Nepal earthquake  (April 29, 2015)

“Through the heartbreak of so much destruction and death, Brethren Disaster Ministries is organizing a multilevel response” to the Nepal earthquake, reported Roy Winter, associate executive director of Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries. Read more »


In living memory of Thao (April 29, 2015)

Nguyen Thi Thu Thao, age 24, died Easter morning, April 5. She held a degree from Ho Chi Minh City University of Agriculture and Forestry. She battled for seven years with thyroid cancer, kidney disease, and eye pain. Read more »


‘Way to Live: Justice and Forgiveness’ webinar is offered May 5 (April 29, 2015)

“Way to Live: Justice and Forgiveness” is part of a continuing series of webinars for those involved in youth and young adult ministry. It is offered Tuesday, May 5, at 8 p.m. (Eastern time), with leadership from Marie Benner-Rhoades of the staff of On Earth Peace. For more information go to the Facebook event page at www.facebook.com/events/1407556442833102 . Read more »


Volunteers for the Church of the Brethren gather for a retreat in Honduras (April 29, 2015)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) and Global Mission and Service workers gathered for four days in late March at the PANACAM park in Cortes, Honduras, for a time of retreat. The group gathers once a year for reflection, devotion, and support. The retreat was led by Dan McFadden, director of BVS. All of the volunteers, including those in BVS, receive financial support for their work from the Global Mission and Service program of the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Foods Resource Bank receives annual Church of the Brethren contribution (April 29, 2015)

The Church of the Brethren through its Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) has contributed an annual gift of $10,000 to the Foods Resource Bank (FRB). The contribution represents the payment of the denomination’s 2015 commitment as an implementing member of FRB. Read more »


Newsline for April 29, 2015 (April 29, 2015)

1) Responding to the Nepal earthquake. 2) Foods Resource Bank receives annual Church of the Brethren contribution. 3) Volunteers for the Church of the Brethren gather for a retreat in Honduras. 4) Bethany Seminary event explores Anabaptism for today. 5) Manchester University Medical Practicum: Three decades of service and counting. 6) Faith rising out of the ashes: Brethren make visit to EYN headquarters in Kwarhi. 7) Meeting EYN leadership: Working toward normalcy. 8) Chiques Church of the Brethren is a giving church. 9) Bethany Seminary commencement scheduled for May 9. 10) ‘Way to Live: Justice and Forgiveness’ webinar is offered May 5. 11) WCC launches new websites promoting pilgrimage of justice and peace. 12) In living memory of Thao. 13) Brethren bits Read more »


Chiques Church of the Brethren is a giving church (April 29, 2015)

In mid-April, Chiques Church of the Brethren in Manheim, Pa., sponsored a dinner and silent auction to help support the Nigeria Crisis Fund. Jennifer Cox, one of the event organizers, said, “Church of the Brethren in the United States has responded to the crisis with an outpouring of resources to bring relief and hope to our brothers and sisters in Nigeria who are living daily with the threat of violence.” Read more »


Meeting EYN leadership: Working toward normalcy (April 29, 2015)

Nigeria Crisis Response co-directors Carl and Roxane Hill continue a series of articles introducing leaders of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). In today’s piece, the Hills interview EYN general secretary Rev. Jinatu Wamdeo, and his late brother Bulus Libra, a lay pastor and a leader in the Margi-speaking community: Read more »


Meeting EYN leadership: It’s all in the name (April 21, 2015)

In this two-part article, Nigeria Crisis Response co-directors Carl and Roxane Hill introduce two leaders of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria): Rev. Mbode M. Ndirmbita, who serves as EYN vice president; and Rev. Ayuba, pastor of the EYN church in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city. Read more »


Camp Mack marks 90 years with August Homecoming (April 21, 2015)

The Church of the Brethren’s longest-running camps are becoming nonagenarians. Camp Mack (Milford, Ind.), the second-oldest camp in the denomination, is commemorating its 90th anniversary on the shores of Lake Waubee this year with a full slate of events. It follows Camp Harmony (Hooversville, Pa.), which turned 90 a year ago. Read more »


Don Knieriem is hired as database administrator (April 21, 2015)

Don Knieriem’s work in the Information Technology department of the Church of the Brethren has transitioned to the salaried position of database administrator, starting April 20. This position is responsible for coordinating changes to the denomination’s computer databases, testing and implementing databases, as well as planning, coordinating, and implementing changes to the computer databases. Read more »


Brethren bits for April 21, 2015 (April 21, 2015)

In this issue: Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village seeks CEO, Churches for Middle East Peace seeks interns, Global Food Crisis Fund review panel welcomes new members, prayer requested for service and learning trip to S. Sudan, Knobsville Church celebrates its 60th, 45th Annual Dunker Church Service at Antietam Civil War battlefield, Shenandoah consecrates new Brethren Disaster Ministries utility building and kit assembly room, and much more. Read more »


Fellowship of Brethren Homes Forum focuses on strategic planning (April 21, 2015)

The Fellowship of Brethren Homes met in its annual Forum on April 14-16 in Des Moines, Iowa, and Dallas Center, Iowa. The Forum was hosted by Maureen Cahill, administrator of Spurgeon Manor retirement center in Dallas Center. Fourteen of the twenty-two Church of the Brethren-related retirement communities were represented. With guests, there were 21 people present. Read more »


Newsline for April 21, 2015 (April 21, 2015)

1) Mission 21 and Church of the Brethren sign MOU for cooperative work in Nigeria with EYN. 2) Fellowship of Brethren Homes Forum focuses on strategic planning. 3) Bethany Theological Seminary dedicates student housing. 4) Don Knieriem is hired as database administrator. 5) NOAC attendees are invited to take a bus to National Older Adult Conference. 6) Camp Mack marks 90 years with August Homecoming. 7) Churches launch resource to end corporal punishment of children. 8) Circle of hands, circle of hope. 9) Meeting EYN leadership: It’s all in the name. 10) Brethren bits. Read more »


NOAC attendees are invited to take a bus to National Older Adult Conference (April 20, 2015)

National Older Adult Conference is only a few months away! If you don’t have a way to get there, why not take a bus? Four buses from around the country will be heading to Lake Junaluska, N.C., for NOAC in September. Read more »


Mission 21 and Church of the Brethren sign MOU for cooperative work in Nigeria with EYN  (April 20, 2015)

Mission 21, a longstanding partner of the Church of the Brethren mission in Nigeria and of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding about continuing cooperation in the Nigeria Crisis Response. Read more »


Remembering the Chibok girls, one year later (April 14, 2015)

With the one-year anniversary of the abduction of Nigeria’s Chibok girls, many are wondering, “Where are the girls now?” This is a great question and one for which there is no definitive answer at this time. Read more »


Endless horror: Stories from the parents of the Chibok girls (April 14, 2015)

My sixth visit to Chibok from April 8-10, 2015, was a very risky journey, but I decided to go and deliver letters from the Church of the Brethren congregations in America and express how brothers and sisters from the Church of the Brethren love, care, and have great concern for the abducted Chibok girls’ parents. A lot of people from other churches and other individuals’ hearts ache for them as well. Read more »


A Newsline Special in Honor of the Chibok Girls (April 14, 2015)

1) Remembering the Chibok girls, one year later. 2) Endless horror: Stories from the parents of the Chibok girls. 3) Tales of escape: Bible college student interviews displaced Nigerians. 4) Spiritual resources to remember and honor the Chibok girls. 5) Office of Public Witness offers webinar on Nigeria conflict and the environment Read more »


Spiritual resources to remember and honor the Chibok girls (April 14, 2015)

The following resources for worship and individual meditation on the one-year anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls were prepared by Joshua Brockway, director of Spiritual Life and Discipleship for the Church of the Brethren: Read more »


Newsline for April 8, 2015 (April 8, 2015)

1) Grants from EDF support Brethren Disaster Ministries projects in New Jersey, Colorado. 2) On Earth Peace Board meets in March at New Windsor, Md. 3) A chat with ‘spirited Brethren’ Carl and Roxane Hill. 4) Religious leaders urge a ban on fully autonomous weapons. 5) Director of Educational Technology named at Bethany Seminary. 6) Summer tour itinerary for Nigerian BEST group and women’s choir is released. 7) Bucher publishes new commentary, discusses ‘Lamentations, Song of Songs’ April 29 at Elizabethtown College. 8) From the General Secretary: Letter to congregations regarding Armenia and Nigeria. 9) A time for humility and service: Love Feast in Nigeria. 10) Silence and real talk: On teaching about the Bible and race in the USA. 11) Brethren bits Read more »


Bucher publishes new commentary, discusses ‘Lamentations, Song of Songs’ April 29 at Elizabethtown College (April 8, 2015)

Christina A. Bucher, the Carl W. Zeigler Chair in Religious Studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, recently published a Bible commentary on the book Song of Songs, as part of the Believers Church Bible Commentary series. Bucher’s commentary shares space in the volume, “Lamentations, Song of Songs,” with Wilma Ann Bailey, who explores Lamentations. Read more »


Summer tour itinerary for Nigerian BEST group and women’s choir is released (April 8, 2015)

The itinerary for a summer tour by Nigerian groups from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has been released by the planning committee. The two groups are the Brethren Evangelism Support Trust (BEST), a group of businesspeople and professionals, and an EYN Women’s Fellowship Choir. Read more »


Grants from EDF support Brethren Disaster Ministries projects in New Jersey, Colorado (April 8, 2015)

Two Brethren Disaster Ministries project sites in the United States are receiving support through grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF), totaling $75,000. Brethren Disaster Ministries also has directed an EDF grant to the island nation of Vanuatu after it was hit by Tropical Cyclone Pam. Read more »


Brethren bits for April 8, 2015 (April 8, 2015)

Personnel, Iran agreement, Fellowship of Brethren Homes 2015 Forum, Shine sponsors “Faith Forward,” Stone Church holds Nigerian Benefit Concert, Dranesville holds “Eat Out” fundraiser, Bridgewater College celebrates 135 years, Mother’s Day Gratitude Project, more Read more »


A chat with ‘spirited Brethren’ Carl and Roxane Hill (April 8, 2015)

The Church of the Brethren co-directors of Nigeria Crisis Response, Carl Hill and his wife Roxane from the United States of America, were here once again to assess the impact of the donations made by American Brethren on the activities of EYN (Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria, or the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Read more »


Report from Nigeria elections: Continuing to hope and pray (March 31, 2015)

According to leaders of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), as reported by Markus Gamache, director of the Lifeline Compassionate Global Initiatives (LCGI), the 2015 Nigerian General Elections were more peaceful, and more people were able to vote than ever expected. Yes, there were sporadic incidents of violence around the country, but not the massive violence many had feared. Read more »


Thompson Fund makes grants (March 31, 2015)

The Joel K. Thompson Memorial Endowment Fund, administered by Brethren Foundation, is helping to underwrite the planned visit of Dr. Alexander Gee Jr. to the National Older Adult Conference. Dr. Gee is the founder and president of The Nehemiah Urban Leadership Institute in Madison, Wis. He will speak on “In Search of Racial Righteousness” on Sept. 9, 2015. Read more »


Summer workcamp to be at new Brethren Disaster Ministries project site in Colorado (March 31, 2015)

Brethren Disaster Ministries is opening a new disaster recovery project in Greeley, Colo., in May. Several days of heavy rain in the fall of 2013 turned five rivers into raging torrents through the hills and canyons north of Denver. The flooding destroyed 1,882 homes and left 5,566 others with major damage. Read more »


Open Roof Award recognizes churches who welcome those dealing with disabilities (March 31, 2015)

The Open Roof Award is presented annually to congregations who widen their welcome to include those who have to deal with significant physical or mental disabilities. Fourteen congregations have received this award in the eight years since it was initially established. Congregations are recognized during the Mission and Ministry Board meeting just prior to Annual Conference. Read more »


Newsline for March 31, 2015 (March 31, 2015)

1) Summer workcamp to be at new Brethren Disaster Ministries project site in Colorado. 2) Open Roof Award recognizes churches who welcome those dealing with disabilities. 3) Thompson Fund makes grants. 4) New book shows Mister Rogers as quiet political pacifist. 5) Trip to Nigeria yields testimonies of thanks for support from American Brethren. 6) Report from Nigeria elections: Continuing to hope and pray. 7) ‘They called to us to come closer’: An interview with a Chibok girl who escaped. 8) Retreat to be held for Church of the Brethren spiritual directors. 9) Ethics in Ministry Relations Training offered in advance of Annual Conference. 10) Questions still surface. 11) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for March 31, 2015 (March 31, 2015)

In this issue: Remembering WCC leader Philip Potter and 1978 Annual Conference moderator Ira Peters, gardening webinar is tonight, letter asks President to address root causes of violence in Syria and Iraq, Material Resources shipments, May 3 is National Youth Sunday, “Mother's Day 5K for Peace” in Bridgewater benefits Nigeria crisis response, and much more. Read more »


Trip to Nigeria yields testimonies of thanks for support from American Brethren (March 31, 2015)

This report from Roxane and Carl Hill’s recent trip to Nigeria highlights testimonies about how the aid of the Church of the Brethren is appreciated by members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Carl and Roxane Hill are co-directors of the Nigeria Crisis Response of the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Ethics in Ministry Relations Training offered in advance of Annual Conference (March 31, 2015)

A training event for ministers, “Healthy Boundaries 201: Ethics in Ministry Relations Training,” will be offered in advance of the 2015 Annual Conference in Tampa, Fla. The training is scheduled for July 10, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at the Marriott Waterside hotel in Tampa. Read more »


Retreat to be held for Church of the Brethren spiritual directors (March 31, 2015)

A Spiritual Directors retreat is being planned for May 18-20 at Shepherd’s Spring, an outdoor ministry center and retreat center of Mid-Atlantic District, located near Sharpsburg, Md. The retreat is sponsored by the Congregational Life Ministries of the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


‘They called to us to come closer’: An interview with a Chibok girl who escaped (March 31, 2015)

On the night of April 14, 2014, Hauwa was in her room at school when she heard voices outside. When she looked outside she saw soldiers coming toward their dormitory. “They called to us to come closer,” Hauwa recalls. “When we got closer to the men, they asked us where our teachers were. When we told them that our teachers were staying in town, they wanted us to show them where the food was being stored. It became clear to us that these men were not soldiers but Boko Haram. We were all very frightened. Before we realized what was happening, they began shoving us into cars and driving us away.” Read more »


Brethren bits for March 18, 2015 (March 18, 2015)

In this issue: Remembering Wilfried Warneck, National Farm Worker Ministry seeks executive director, Congregational Life Ministries executive leads vitality workshop, four issue Basin and Towel series is available, Material Resources ships to Congo hospitals, Pike Run Church of the Brethren celebrates 100 years, and other news from congregations, districts, camps, and more. Read more »


Applications for nursing scholarships are due soon (March 18, 2015)

The Church of the Brethren awards a limited number of scholarships each year to individuals enrolled in a nursing program. Candidates for the scholarships must be enrolled in an LPN, RN, or nursing graduate program and must be members of the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board meets in Pennsylvania, discusses mission and church vitality among other business (March 18, 2015)

The Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board met at Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren over the weekend of March 13-16. Meetings were led by board chair Becky Ball-Miller, who is completing her term of service on the board by mid-2015. Read more »


Church of the Brethren dividend from Brethren Mutual and Brotherhood Mutual is largest ever (March 18, 2015)

The Church of the Brethren denomination has received an insurance dividend of $182,263 from Brethren Mutual Aid and Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company, through the company’s Partnership Group Program. Brethren Mutual Aid is the sponsoring agency for the program, which rewards the annual claims experience of the congregations, camps, and districts that make up the group along with the denominational organization. Read more »


Young Adult Conference is planned for Pennsylvania in May (March 18, 2015)

The 2015 Young Adult Conference will be held at Camp Swatara near Bethel, Pa., from May 22-24. The conference for those that are age 18-35, sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Ministry. The theme for the conference, that will shape worship and workshops is: “You Shall Go Out With Joy: Transforming the World’s Thorns with Joyful Action” based on Isaiah 55:12-13. Read more »


‘Resolution on Christian Minority Communities’ adopted by board, recommended to Annual Conference (March 18, 2015)

The denomination’s Mission and Ministry Board has approved a “Resolution on Christian Minority Communities” and recommended it to the 2015 Annual Conference for adoption. Read more »


‘Early bird’ registration for National Junior High Conference ends soon (March 18, 2015)

Thinking about attending National Junior High Conference 2015? Online registration is open! We encourage you to register soon to take advantage of special early bird rates. Through March 31, the cost is $160 per person. After March 31, the cost for regular registration is $185 per person. Travel scholarships are available to those who live west of the Mississippi River. For more information and to register, visit www.brethren.org/njhc or call 847-429-4389. Read more »


Newsline for March 18, 2015 (March 18, 2015)

1) Mission and Ministry Board meets in Pennsylvania, discusses mission and church vitality among other business. 2) ‘Resolution on Christian Minority Communities’ adopted by board, recommended to Annual Conference. 3) Church of the Brethren dividend from Brethren Mutual and Brotherhood Mutual is largest ever. 4) Applications for nursing scholarships are due soon. 5) Dynamics of violence in Nigeria changing dramatically, aid still needed as displaced begin return home. 6) EYN district leader in Maiduguri helps provide ‘an island in the desert’. 7) Internally displaced people in Nigeria experience disempowerment as well as loss. 8) ‘Early bird’ registration for National Junior High Conference ends soon. 9) Young Adult Conference is planned for Pennsylvania in May. 10) Brethren evangelicalism topic of panel discussion at Bridgewater College. 11) Brethren bits Read more »


Church of the Brethren General Secretary to conclude service as contract ends July 1, 2016 (March 17, 2015)

At the Oct. 2014 meeting of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board, discussions began around the General Secretary’s approaching contract end date of July 1, 2016. After a several-months-long process of discovery, discussion, and deliberation, general secretary Stanley J. Noffsinger and the Mission and Ministry Board members mutually decided at a meeting held March 13-16 at Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, that Noffsinger’s service will not extend beyond the end of his current contract. Read more »


Newsline for March 11, 2015 (March 11, 2015)

1) Nigerian BEST group, Women’s Fellowship Choir to be at Annual Conference, tour districts. 2) BBT explores feasibility of offering group medical insurance for church employees. 3) Winners of Bethany Seminary’s Peace Essay Contest are announced. 4) New faculty in Theological Studies named at Bethany Seminary. 5) On Earth Peace calls Anti-Racism Transformation Team. 6) One Great Hour of Sharing offering emphasis is March 15. 7) Webinar will help those planning community gardens. 8) Breaking the chains: Criminal justice reform and God’s liberation. 9) Brethren bits. Read more »


BBT explores feasibility of offering group medical insurance for church employees (March 10, 2015)

Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) is carrying out a feasibility study on the question: Has the time come for Brethren Benefit Trust to offer group medical insurance to employees of Church of the Brethren congregations, districts, and camps? The agency has posted an online survey to help with the study. Employees of Church of the Brethren congregations, districts, and camps are encouraged to take the survey at http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07eanzl66ji6xsvq3c/start . Read more »


Brethren bits for March 10, 2015 (March 10, 2015)

Camp Harmony seeks program director, stuffed toys for Nigeria, general secretary’s “selfie” with Staunton Church, BVS Connections Dinners, updated video on Nigeria, Roundtable at Bridgewater, International Women’s Day, Mennonite pastor facing deportation, Capstone gets media attention, and more from congregations and districts Read more »


One Great Hour of Sharing offering emphasis is March 15 (March 10, 2015)

The suggested date for the One Great Hour of Sharing offering emphasis is Sunday, March 15. Gifts given through this special offering empower ministries like the Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission and Service, Congregational Life Ministries, Brethren Volunteer Service, workcamps, and many others. Read more »


Nigerian BEST group, Women’s Fellowship Choir to be at Annual Conference, tour districts (March 10, 2015)

Two Nigerian Brethren groups will be attending the 2015 Annual Conference and touring in the eastern and midwestern districts from June 22-July 16. Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren is the sponsoring congregation. A 2015 EYN Planning Committee includes members from Lancaster and two other Pennsylvania churches: Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren and Mountville Church of the Brethren. Monroe Good, a former mission worker in Nigeria, is chairing the committee. Read more »


Mary Ann Grossnickle begins as manager of Zigler Hospitality Center (March 4, 2015)

Mary Ann Grossnickle begins as manager of Zigler Hospitality Center, at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 308 completes orientation (March 4, 2015)

Unit 308 of Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) completed orientation on Jan. 25-Feb. 14 at Camp Ithiel in Gotha, Fla. The members of the unit, their home congregations or hometowns, and the project placements follow: Read more »


Brethren bits for March 4, 2015 (March 4, 2015)

In this issue: Clergy Tax Seminar postponed, personnel notes, Zigler Hospitality Center seeks volunteers, Mission and Ministry Board to meet in Lancaster, E. Chippewa Church celebrates 125 years, Staunton to host general secretary Stan Noffsinger, Atlantic Southeast’s Venture Fun(d) Day, Camp Blue Diamond sponsors Mutual Kumquat concert, Elizabethtown College first to offer major in Interfaith Leadership Studies, Gun Violence Sabbath Weekend, and more. Read more »


Giving to Nigeria Crisis Fund tops $1 million, staff provide summary of accomplishments (March 4, 2015)

Donations of more than $1,061,400 have been posted to the Nigeria Crisis Fund, from October 2014 through part of Feb. 2015, received from individuals, congregations, and other groups. Read more »


Bring Back Our Girls: The story of artist Sandra Ceas’ rendition of the Chibok abductions (March 4, 2015)

In December 2014 Larry and Donna Elliott, former Church of the Brethren mission workers in Nigeria, attended a concert at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colo. While strolling through the art gallery before the concert, a big piece of artwork caught their eye--many tiny gingham dresses--and they saw the caption, “Bring Back Our Girls.” They discovered this piece was telling a story that was near and dear to them: the abduction of the schoolgirls from Chibok, Nigeria. Read more »


Addressing the changing face of faith: The Christian Churches Together annual meeting (March 4, 2015)

The following report from the annual convocation of Christian Churches Together in the USA (CCT) originally appeared on the “God’s Politics Blog” at the Sojourners website Sojonet. Representing the Church of the Brethren at the CCT meeting were Annual Conference moderator David Steele, moderator-elect Andy Murray, and Brethren Press publisher Wendy McFadden, who serves as president of the Protestant “family” of churches in CCT. Read more »


Newsline for March 4, 2015 (March 4, 2015)

1) Addressing the changing face of faith: The Christian Churches Together annual meeting. 2) Giving to Nigeria Crisis Fund tops $1 million, staff provide summary of accomplishments. 3) Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 308 completes orientation. 4) Registration is open for 2015 NOAC on the theme ‘then Jesus told them a story...’ 5) Don Kraybill announces June retirement from Elizabethtown College. 6) Bring Back Our Girls: The story of artist Sandra Ceas’ rendition of the Chibok abductions. 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Registration is open for 2015 NOAC on the theme ‘then Jesus told them a story...’ (March 4, 2015)

Register for NOAC now! National Older Adult Conference is Sept. 7-11 at Lake Junaluska, N.C. Register for the conference online at www.brethren.org/NOAC or by mail or fax. Registration forms are available online and in the registration brochure, which has been mailed to past NOAC participants and to the Church of the Brethren congregations. For a brochure contact 800-323-8039 ext. 305 or NOAC2015@brethren.org . Read more »


Nigerian Brethren leaders visit refugees in Cameroon (February 25, 2015)

Leaders of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and the manager of the EYN Disaster Team traveled to Cameroon last week to visit and support Nigerian refugees who have fled across the border into the neighboring country. This camp hosts more than 30,000 refugees mainly from Gwoza Local Government Area. Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 25, 2015 (February 25, 2015)

Remembering Pete Roudebush, Margie Petry, June Kindy; National Youth Cabinet; webinar on Syria and Iraq; jobs at BBT and Timbercrest; Seniors for Peace meet on Nigeria; registration for leadership conference; La Verne Church celebrates 125 and Casa de Modesto 50 years; “Keep Calm and Be a Dunker Punk” with Mutual Kumquat and Ted and Co. Read more »


Newsline for Feb. 25, 2015 (February 25, 2015)

1) IRS issues new ruling regarding Affordable Care Act. 2) Nigerian Brethren leaders visit refugees in Cameroon. 3) Nigerian initiative declares ‘Education Must Continue’. 4) Bethany Seminary recognized for ‘Education That Engages’. 5) Peace churches hold sixth annual gathering in Florida. 6) ‘Together for Nigeria’ event in Michigan raises funds, brings attention to the crisis. 7) Jenn Dorsch begins as director of Brethren Disaster Ministries. 8) Tina Christian to be Gulf Coast coordinator for Children’s Disaster Services. 9) Youth ministry webinar series continues with focus on ‘Life and Time’. 10) Webinar will focus on ‘Reading the Bible after Christendom’. 11) ENGAGE to welcome prospective students to Bethany Seminary. 12) Spring issue of Guide for Biblical Studies seeks the Holy Spirit. 13) Brethren bits. Read more »


Webinar will focus on ‘Reading the Bible after Christendom’ (February 25, 2015)

Although regarded as a classic of Western civilization, the contents of the Bible are not well known. Christendom marginalized the teachings of Jesus, resulting in ways of reading scripture alien to the earliest church. Read more »


Spring issue of Guide for Biblical Studies seeks the Holy Spirit (February 25, 2015)

“A Guide for Biblical Studies,” the Brethren Press curriculum for adults, this spring will have a focus on the Holy Spirit. The theme for the quarter--March, April, and May 2015--is “The Spirit Comes.” Read more »


Tina Christian to be Gulf Coast coordinator for Children’s Disaster Services  (February 24, 2015)

Tina Christian has been named as the new part-time Gulf Coast coordinator for Children’s Disaster Services (CDS), a ministry within Brethren Disaster Ministries. She will serve as an independent contractor committed to the ecumenical mission of CDS in the Gulf Coast. The Gulf Coast project of CDS is a partnership between the Church of the Brethren and the Disciples of Christ. Read more »


Youth ministry webinar series continues with focus on ‘Life and Time’ (February 24, 2015)

The third webinar in a series on Christian practices for teens, offered for adult leaders of youth, will be on the topic “Life and Time.” Emily Tyler, coordinator of workcamps and volunteer recruitment for the Church of the Brethren, will be leading the webinar which takes place the evening of Tuesday, March 3, at 8 p.m. (eastern time). Read more »


Peace churches hold sixth annual gathering in Florida (February 24, 2015)

The sixth annual “Gathering” of the Historic Peace Churches in Florida was held Jan. 31 at Bay Shore Mennonite Church in Sarasota. Organized by the Peace Coordinating Committee of the Historic Peace Churches, the day-long conference featured speakers who pursued their passion for peace in various ways. Read more »


‘Together for Nigeria’ event in Michigan raises funds, brings attention to the crisis (February 24, 2015)

In the fall last year, Tim Joseph conceived the idea of holding a big event at Onekama (Mich.) Church of the Brethren on Jan. 31 as a fundraiser for the Nigeria Crisis Fund. The struggle that the Nigerian Brethren are undergoing right now may be the biggest crisis the Church of the Brethren movement has ever suffered, particularly considering the sheer number of people involved, the number of churches destroyed, the number of deaths. Of course we should do all we can to send aid. Read more »


Nigerian initiative declares ‘Education Must Continue’ (February 24, 2015)

Paul* and his wife, Becky* have a passion for the education of displaced children in Nigeria. They are members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and have started an organization called “Education Must Continue.” Their main goal is to get displaced children back in school. They know the value of a good education and what it means for the future of these children and the country of Nigeria. *Full names have been omitted for security purposes. Read more »


Jenn Dorsch begins as director of Brethren Disaster Ministries (February 24, 2015)

The Church of the Brethren has hired Jenn Dorsch of Frederick, Md., as director of Brethren Disaster Ministries, beginning February 24, 2015. Most recently she has been part-time interim program assistant in the Brethren Disaster Ministries office at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., while also working part-time at Frederick (Md.) Church of the Brethren as director of communications. Read more »


Julie Kingrey resigns as assistant director of Financial Operations for Brethren Benefit Trust (February 10, 2015)

Julie Kingrey has tendered her resignation as assistant director of Financial Operations for Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT). Her resignation comes after her husband’s work was relocated to North Carolina. Read more »


Newsline for Feb. 10, 2015 (February 10, 2015)

1) Ballot is announced for the 2015 Annual Conference. 2) General registration and hotel reservations for Annual Conference 2015 begin soon. 3) Opportunities at Tampa Conference include meaningful worship, Florida sights, and the work of the church. 4) Brethren mission worker involved in auto accident in Nigeria. 5) Brian Bultman begins as CFO, executive for Organizational Resources for the Church of the Brethren. 6) Julie Kingrey resigns as assistant director of Financial Operations for Brethren Benefit Trust. 7) ‘Dear Ms. Grace, my name is Linh’: Vietnamese students learn from a Brethren life story. 8) Death Row Support Project: DRSP News, Issue 7, February 2015. 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Ballot is announced for the 2015 Annual Conference (February 10, 2015)

The ballot has been announced for the 2015 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren, to take place in Tampa, Fla., on July 11-15. The Nominating Committee of the Standing Committee of district delegates developed a slate of candidates, and the Standing Committee then voted to create the ballot that will be presented to the delegate body in July. Read more »


General registration and hotel reservations for Annual Conference 2015 begin soon (February 10, 2015)

General registration and hotel reservations open online on Feb. 25 for the Church of the Brethren 2015 Annual Conference. The Conference takes place in Tampa, Fla., on July 11-15. General registration will be available at www.brethren.org/ac where online registration for delegates already has begun. Read more »


Brethren mission worker involved in auto accident in Nigeria (February 10, 2015)

At the end of a busy work week, Church of the Brethren mission worker Cliff Kindy was involved in an auto accident while traveling from Yola to Jos, Nigeria (approximately 200 miles). He and his party appeared unhurt, but the driver of another car suffered a broken leg in the accident. Read more »


Brian Bultman begins as CFO, executive for Organizational Resources for the Church of the Brethren (February 10, 2015)

Brian Bultman, CPA, of Plainfield, Ill., has been appointed chief financial officer and executive director of Organizational Resources for the Church of the Brethren. He began work at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., on Feb. 9. Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 10, 2015 (February 10, 2015)

Remembering Sidney King, “All God’s People Say Amen,” Congregational Life exec. leads Shenandoah meeting, new playground at Camp Placid, recommendations of Interfaith Conference on Drone Warfare, and more. Read more »


Opportunities at Tampa Conference include meaningful worship, Florida sights, and the work of the church (February 10, 2015)

The Conference Office is highlighting a number of special opportunities on the schedule of the 2015 Annual Conference in Tampa, Fla., July 11-15, in addition to doing the work of the church together. Conference-goers this year may enjoy activities unique to Florida--such as outings to view dolphins in their natural habitat--as well as worship opportunities including a Sunday evening with the music of Ken Medema and the comedy and drama of Ted and Co. Read more »


‘Dear Ms. Grace, my name is Linh’: Vietnamese students learn from a Brethren life story (February 9, 2015)

On Friday, Jan. 30, the English Communication Skills Class at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, had the pleasure of celebrating Ms. Grace Mishler’s and Miss Lan’s birthdays in the classroom. Our guest, Grace Mishler, took center stage as the 12 students in attendance introduced themselves. She is a Social Work Project Developer at the university. Read more »


Co-directors of Nigeria Crisis Response praise God for ‘phenomenal’ giving (February 3, 2015)

“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise.... The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made” (Psalm 145:3a, 9). Read more »


Newsline for Feb. 3, 2015 (February 3, 2015)

1) Church of the Brethren funds give grants for work in Africa and Haiti. 2) Co-directors of Nigeria Crisis Response praise God for ‘phenomenal’ giving. 3) Youth Peace Travel Team is named for 2015. 4) White Gift Offerings, an Ivester tradition of ministry and outreach. 5) Concerned about uncertainties of the Affordable Care Act? Help is on the way. 6) Ministers’ Association ‘Delving Deeply into Compassion’ at pre-Conference event. 7) Romans 12 provides theme for National Junior High Conference. 8) Bethany Seminary to host ‘Anabaptism, the Next Generation’ 9) Drone warfare: Easy and cheap. 10) Brethren bits Read more »


Ministers’ Association ‘Delving Deeply into Compassion’ at pre-Conference event (February 3, 2015)

The Minister’s Association invites you to join them and Joyce Rupp in Tampa, Fla. Registration is up and running for the pre-Conference Meeting, “Delving Deeply into Compassion,” with Joyce Rupp. Read more »


Church of the Brethren funds give grants for work in Africa and Haiti (February 3, 2015)

Grants have gone to several ministries in Africa and Haiti from two funds of the Church of the Brethren, the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) and the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF). The four grants total $49,330. Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 3, 2015 (February 3, 2015)

In this issue: Fahrney-Keedy CEO Keith Bryan announces his retirement, Jeff Bach represents the Church of the Brethren on the Brethren Encyclopedia board, a plea to help the Alexander Mack Museum in Schwarzenau, Larry Glick as Elder John Kline is available to present program with Nigeria focus, Roundtable to gather at Bridgewater College in March, Southern Pennsylvania issue challenge to raise $250,000 for Nigeria, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


White Gift Offerings, an Ivester tradition of ministry and outreach (February 3, 2015)

Following the aftermath of World War II, members of Ivester Church of the Brethren in Grundy Center, Iowa, began what has become a long tradition--the White Gift Offering. It began as an offering of clothing, bedding, or other household items for people in need. On a designated Sunday in Advent, members of the congregation were invited to bring a gift, wrapped in white, to place under the church Christmas tree during worship. The gifts were then sent to Church World Service for distribution to needy people. Read more »


Youth Peace Travel Team is named for 2015 (February 3, 2015)

The 2015 Youth Peace Travel Team has been announced. The team is cooperatively sponsored by the Outdoor Ministries Association, On Earth Peace, Bethany Theological Seminary, and the Church of the Brethren’s Advocacy Office and Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office. Read more »


Romans 12 provides theme for National Junior High Conference (February 3, 2015)

National Junior High Conference will be held June 19-21 on the campus of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. The conference will invite youth and their advisors to consider Romans 12:1-2. The theme, “Living the Change: Our Offering to God,” asks participants to consider taking their everyday, ordinary life--our sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life--and place it before God as an offering. Read more »


Newsline for Jan. 27, 2015 (January 27, 2015)

1) Interfaith community calls for halt to drone attacks. 2) Reports from EYN staff, BDM volunteer focus on recent attack on Maiduguri, Nigeria. 3) Summer Bible School helps sponsor cornea transplant for student in Vietnam. 4) Merger celebrates 'One in Christ.' 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Reports from EYN staff, BDM volunteer focus on recent attack on Maiduguri, Nigeria (January 27, 2015)

Muslims and Christians are fleeing Maiduguri, a large city in northeastern Nigeria, looking for safer places after Boko Haram insurgents attacked the area over the weekend and the Nigerian army responded, reports EYN staff liaison Markus Gamache. In a separate report Cliff Kindy, a short-term volunteer in Nigeria with Brethren Disaster Ministries, writes about efforts of Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) to serve the thousands who have fled into Maiduguri to escape continuing violent attacks of Boko Haram insurgents on other communities in northeast Nigeria. Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 27, 2015 (January 27, 2015)

In this issue: Remembering C. Wendell Bohrer, Camp Swatara seeks food service manager, dates announced for annual TRIM and EFSM orientation, York First and Bermudian in annual Brethren Souper Bowl competition, Ken Medema concert will be “A Night to Remember,” Camp Emmaus to celebrate 50 years of leadership by the Hares, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Summer Bible School helps sponsor cornea transplant for student in Vietnam (January 27, 2015)

Nam is one of the amazing blind students at Thien An Blind School. He is easy going and optimistic. He was awarded as an excellent student in the first semester of this school year. Every day, he goes to school together with other students and he is a group leader. Read more »


Interfaith community calls for halt to drone attacks (January 27, 2015)

More than 150 people of faith came to Princeton, N.J., this past weekend to learn from legal, ethical, and theological experts about drones and discern together a unified religious response to the horrors of drone warfare. This Interfaith Conference on Drone Warfare drew participants from all over the country and from many religious backgrounds including Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Sikh. Read more »


Suffering under Boko Haram: The horror of what everyday life in northeast Nigeria has become (January 21, 2015)

Last July the small community of Wagga was attacked by the Boko Haram, an extremist Islamist insurgent group. Over 300 of these terrorists came into the village riding on motorbikes and in cars. Most of the Christians fled the village realizing that they would become the primary targets if they stayed. Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 21, 2015 (January 21, 2015)

In this issue: Bethany Seminary seeks executive for institutional advancement and other job openings, General Offices provides warehouse space for MLK Food Drive, Service Sunday is Feb. 1, Winter Park church celebrates 90 years, Frederick hosts Ken Medema concert, Rais Bhuiyan is Anna Mow lecturer at Bridgewater, and much much more. Read more »


Groundbreaking consultation explores the meaning and practice of ‘believers baptism’ for the future unity of the church  (January 21, 2015)

A three-day consultation took place in early January involving representatives from six different “believers baptism” church traditions to share their understandings and practices of baptism and to explore how their thinking has changed in light of the emerging theological convergence on baptism and growing ecumenical encounter over the past 30 years. This was the first time such a gathering has taken place, and thus represents an historic moment in the life of these traditions. Read more »


GFCF supports agriculture in North Korea, garden project for inmates in Brazil, farmer’s market in New Orleans (January 21, 2015)

The Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) of the Church of the Brethren has announced several recent grants totaling $22,000. A grant of $10,000 supports agricultural education in North Korea via the work of Robert and Linda Shank at PUST university in Pyongyang. A grant of $10,000 supports a Brethren-led gardening project involving prisoners in Brazil. A grant of $2,000 supports the work of Capstone 118 to begin a small farmer’s market in New Orleans, La. Read more »


Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center offers series of continuing education events (January 21, 2015)

The Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center (SVMC) based at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College is holding a series of continuing education events. Heading the series is “Lives of Devotion: Biblical Approaches to Spiritual Life” taught by biblical scholars Bob Neff and Christina Bucher. Read more »


Newsline for Jan. 21, 2015 (January 21, 2015)

NIGERIA NEWS: 1) Donations to Nigeria Crisis Fund meet board’s matching challenge. 2) Some Nigerian Brethren are attacked again after returning to their homes. 3) Suffering under Boko Haram: The horror of what everyday life in northeast Nigeria has become. MORE NEWS: 4) Groundbreaking consultation explores the meaning and practice of ‘believers baptism’ for the future unity of the church. 5) GFCF supports agriculture in North Korea, garden project for inmates in Brazil, farmer’s market in New Orleans. 6) Lancaster Church purchases uniforms and supplies for homeless students. UPCOMING EVENTS: 7) Intercultural retreat to be hosted in Atlantic Northeast District in May. 8) Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center offers series of continuing education events. 9) Brethren bits. Read more »


Lancaster Church purchases uniforms and supplies for homeless students (January 21, 2015)

Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren has been purchasing supplies and uniforms for the 1,200 homeless students in the city of Lancaster since 2009. The Hunger and Poverty Group formed in 2008, and one of the members suggested the name "Be An Angel" for the school program. It was quickly accepted. Read more »


Intercultural retreat to be hosted in Atlantic Northeast District in May (January 21, 2015)

A weekend intercultural retreat with the theme “All God’s People Say Amen” will be hosted in Atlantic Northeast District at Harrisburg (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren on May 1-3. The retreat is co-sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Congregational Life Ministries and Intercultural Ministries. Read more »


Some Nigerian Brethren are attacked again after returning to their homes (January 21, 2015)

“Since Christmas many displaced persons had returned to their homes in northeast Nigeria,” the Hills report. “They had begun holding services outside burnt and destroyed churches. But last week Boko Haram again attacked some of the same areas causing another wave of confusion and terror. Read more »


Donations to Nigeria Crisis Fund meet board’s matching challenge (January 21, 2015)

More than $500,000 has been raised for the Nigeria Crisis Fund, meeting a matching challenge issued by the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board last fall. As of Dec. 31, 2014, the Nigeria Crisis Fund had received a total of $506,100.50 in donations. Read more »


Newsline for Jan. 14, 2015 (January 14, 2015)

1) National Council of Churches stands with Muslims in condemning French attack. 2) World Council of Churches expresses shock over killings in Nigeria. 3) A Nigerian’s response to the Baga news. 4) Five years after the earthquake: A ‘God thing’ in Haiti. 5) Congregational Life Ministries makes personnel changes. 6) Brethren Benefit Trust announces new Client Relations department and related personnel changes. 7) Clergy Tax Seminar is offered onsite at Bethany Seminary and online, other upcoming webinars address family matters and ministry ‘after Christendom’. 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Congregational Life Ministries makes personnel changes (January 14, 2015)

The Church of the Brethren has hired Debbie Eisenbise to fill a director-level position in Congregational Life Ministries, effective Jan. 15. The main focus of her work will be the National Older Adult Conference (NOAC). Read more »


Brethren Benefit Trust announces new Client Relations department and related personnel changes (January 14, 2015)

“Serving the members and organizations of the Church of the Brethren is the directive Brethren Benefit Trust has been given by the Annual Conference,” said BBT president Nevin Dulabaum. “At the forefront of that service are strong relationships with the denomination’s members and organizations. Thus, the creation of a new department that focuses on service, product development, and resources for the benefit of those we serve will help ensure that BBT fulfills its mandate for years to come. This is an exciting new chapter in the life of BBT!” Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 14, 2015 (January 14, 2015)

Remembering Eleanor Rowe and R. Jan Thompson, celebrations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nominating Committee meets, new interns at On Earth Peace, service and learning trip to South Sudan, HIS Way co-hosts Spanish-speaking convocation, “Together for Nigeria” in Michigan, and much more. Read more »


Clergy Tax Seminar is offered onsite at Bethany Seminary and online, other upcoming webinars address family matters and ministry ‘after Christendom’ (January 14, 2015)

The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership will host a Clergy Tax Seminar on Feb. 23. The seminar is recommended for all pastors and seminary students as well as other church leaders who wish to understand clergy taxes including church treasurers, steward commission chairs, and church board chairs. Attend in person at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., or online. The schedule includes a morning session from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (eastern) and an afternoon session from 2-4 p.m. (eastern). Read more »


Newsline for Jan. 6, 2015 (January 6, 2015)

1) Children’s Disaster Services cares for children affected by California building collapse. 2) Church of the Brethren leaders attend annual Anabaptist leadership meeting. 3) Youth ministry names National Youth Cabinet for 2015-2016. 4) Matt DeBall is hired as coordinator of Donor Communications. 5) Church of the Brethren offers ‘We Are Able’ workcamp. 6) CCEPI distribution: A story from the relief effort in Nigeria. 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services cares for children affected by California building collapse (January 6, 2015)

Children's Disaster Services (CDS) has responded in Pico Rivera, southern California, following evacuation of a multi-apartment complex due to a partial collapse of the building. The CDS response ended today. CDS is a ministry of the Church of the Brethren and part of Brethren Disaster Ministries. Read more »


Church of the Brethren leaders attend annual Anabaptist leadership meeting (January 6, 2015)

Denominational leaders attended the annual meeting of the Council of Moderators and Secretaries (COMS) of Anabaptist denominations and groups, on Dec. 12-13, 2014. Representing the Church of the Brethren were Annual Conference moderator David Steele and moderator-elect Andy Murray, and general secretary Stan Noffsinger. Read more »


Church of the Brethren offers ‘We Are Able’ workcamp (January 6, 2015)

During the summer months, the Church of the Brethren holds a variety of workcamps in various locations around the country. Every other year, the “We Are Able” workcamp is offered to youth and young adults with intellectual disabilities, ages 16-23. In the summer of 2015, this workcamp will be hosted by the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., from June 29-July 2. Read more »


CCEPI distribution: A story from the relief effort in Nigeria (January 6, 2015)

On Dec. 10 the Center for Caring, Empowerment, and Peace Initiatives (CCEPI) team gathered food supplies at the temporary headquarters of Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Displaced families had gathered and were already registered for ease in distribution. CCEPI is one of the EYN-connected NGOs that is being funded by Brethren Disaster Ministries through its Nigeria relief appeal. Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 6, 2015 (January 6, 2015)

In this issue: Job openings, delegate registration for Annual Conference, workcamp registration, webinars, update on Enders church, church leadership conference planned for May, new members of the COBYS board, more. Read more »


Youth ministry names National Youth Cabinet for 2015-2016 (January 6, 2015)

A new National Youth Cabinet has been named by the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry, led by director Becky Ullom Naugle. She reported that the new cabinet hopes to hold its first meeting in February. Read more »


Matt DeBall is hired as coordinator of Donor Communications (January 6, 2015)

Matt DeBall has accepted the position of coordinator of Donor Communications for the Church of the Brethren. He began his work in this position on Dec. 15, 2014. Read more »


US and Cuban councils of churches issue joint statement (December 22, 2014)

In the wake of last Wednesday’s announcement of President Obama’s intentions to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba, which would end a half century political stand off between the two nations, the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) and the Cuban Council of Churches issued a joint statement expressing “great joy and celebration.” Following is the full statement, as published in a press release from the NCC: Read more »


Brethren Disaster Relief Auction gives half million dollars for Nigeria relief (December 22, 2014)

After a special request for support of the Nigeria Crisis Response, the Brethren Disaster Relief Auction board has allocated $500,000 to the Church of the Brethren Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) which is administered by Brethren Disaster Ministries. This is the auction’s largest grant ever to the EDF and the disaster relief work of the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 22, 2014 (December 22, 2014)

NEWS 1) Brethren Disaster Relief Auction gives half million dollars for Nigeria relief 2) Brethren Disaster Ministries leader returns from trip to Nigeria, reports on EYN progress in midst of crisis 3) US and Cuban councils of churches issue joint statement UPCOMING EVENTS: 4) Webinar series takes a look at ‘family matters’ 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec. 22, 2014 (December 22, 2014)

In this issue: Important e-mail sent to pastors and church board chairs about IRS changes for church employees, remembering Mary Petre and Sam Smith, personnel notice from Bethany, Juniata seeks director for Baker Institute, denomination seeks donor relations program assistant, registration opens soon for Annual Conference and other 2015 events, applications due for Ministry Summer Service and Youth Peace Travel Team, youth ministry and clergy tax webinars Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries leader returns from trip to Nigeria, reports on EYN progress in midst of crisis (December 22, 2014)

How can we find ways to find hope in this crisis in Nigeria? The core leadership of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) is safely settling into temporary homes and establishing an annex or temporary headquarters for the church. In our many meetings with EYN leadership the challenge is clearly daunting, but we found time to laugh and rejoice in God. Read more »


Webinar series takes a look at ‘family matters’ (December 22, 2014)

A webinar series titled “Family Matters” is offered by the Church of the Brethren Congregational Life Ministries and partners in the United Kingdom. Although the initial webinar in the series has already taken place, “Family Matters” webinars will continue in 2015 with one offered each month from January through May. Read more »


Brethren Academy updates course list for 2015 (December 10, 2014)

The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership has issued an updated list of courses for 2015. The Brethren Academy is a partnership of the Church of the Brethren and Bethany Theological Seminary. Read more »


Church of the Brethren general secretary attends launch of Ecumenical Peace Advocacy Network (December 10, 2014)

To build just and sustainable peace, engaging churches as well as ecumenical organizations and civil society, the World Council of Churches (WCC) has launched an Ecumenical Peace Advocacy Network (EPAN). The launch came out of a consultation on Dec. 1-5 in Sigtuna, Sweden. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 10, 2014 (December 10, 2014)

NEWS: 1) Church of the Brethren general secretary attends launch of Ecumenical Peace Advocacy Network. PERSONNEL: 2) Jocelyn Snyder to coordinate orientation for Brethren Volunteer Service. UPCOMING EVENTS: 3) Children’s Disaster Services workshops offer training opportunities. 4) Brethren Academy updates course list for 2015. FEATURES: 5) The Pastor’s Study: Leaning into the Light. 6) Iraqi Kurdistan: Project ‘Bringing Hope and Fun’ begins in Arbat IDP camp. 7) Brethren bits. Read more »


The Pastor’s Study: Leaning into the Light  (December 10, 2014)

Advent is upon us. The four Sundays before Christmas are set apart by the church as a season of waiting with anticipation for the Light of the World. Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec. 10, 2014 (December 10, 2014)

In this issue: Peter Becker Community announces leadership transition, Bethany Seminary seeks director of educational technology, Kulp Bible College resumes classes in new location in Nigeria, Little Swatara celebrates a 50th, Living Stream online worship features the Mambulas, and much much more. Read more »


Jocelyn Snyder to coordinate orientation for Brethren Volunteer Service (December 10, 2014)

Jocelyn Snyder begins Jan. 5 as orientation coordinator for Brethren Volunteer Service. Her work will be based at the BVS office at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services workshops offer training opportunities (December 10, 2014)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS), which is a Church of the Brethren program and a part of Brethren Disaster Ministries, has announced a number of workshops in early 2015. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 2, 2014 (December 2, 2014)

NEWS 1) Haiti Medical Project receives second grant from Royer Family Charitable Foundation. 2) Congregational Life Ministries leader addresses Powerhouse at Camp Mack. PERSONNEL 3) Carl and Roxane Hill to co-direct Nigeria crisis response RESOURCES 4) Congregational Life blog adds dimension to Brethren Press Advent devotional FEATURES 5) Reflections on returning to South Sudan. 6) Borderlands reflection: ‘What did you go out to the desert to see?’ Luke 7:26. 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Haiti Medical Project receives second grant from Royer Family Charitable Foundation (December 2, 2014)

For the second year the Royer Family Charitable Foundation of Lancaster, Pa., is providing major support to the Church of the Brethren Haiti Medical Project. The current grant of $126,300 will support an expanded program of mobile clinics, a first Social Ministries Consultation in Haiti, a new thrust into community health and pure water projects, and an endowment fund. Read more »


Carl and Roxane Hill to co-direct Nigeria crisis response (December 2, 2014)

Carl and Roxane Hill have been named co-directors of the Nigerian Crisis Response for the Church of the Brethren, beginning Dec. 1. They will be working as part of the Global Mission and Service department and Brethren Disaster Ministries, and will be based at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Read more »


Congregational Life Ministries leader addresses Powerhouse at Camp Mack (December 2, 2014)

More than 80 youth and advisors met at Camp Mack in Milford, Ind., on Nov. 15-16 for the Powerhouse regional youth conference sponsored by Manchester University. All six Midwest districts of the Church of the Brethren were represented, covering Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec. 2, 2014 (December 2, 2014)

In this issue: Correction, Fellowship of Brethren Homes personnel announcements, Brethren Disaster Ministries seeks volunteers to work in Nigeria, registration is open for CCS 2015, LOVE EYN at Frederick, and more. Read more »


Congregational Life blog adds dimension to Brethren Press Advent devotional (December 2, 2014)

Congregational Life Ministries staff are posting a daily blog on www.brethren.org to accompany the 2014 Advent devotional published by Brethren Press. The blogposts are provided each day from the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 30, through Epiphany on Jan. 6, 2015. Read more »


Reflections on returning to South Sudan (December 2, 2014)

“Malέ?” the Nuer greeting of “peace” filled the air as I reconnected with Nuer people of the Mayom/Bentiu area of South Sudan after 34 years. What a joyous occasion to again see these friends and to be able to introduce them to Jay Wittmeyer on our recent trip to South Sudan. This meeting confirmed the importance of the presence of the Church of the Brethren personnel from the 1980s to the present as we worked on issues of development and peace. Read more »


Musa Mambula speaking tour to extend into mid-January (November 25, 2014)

Nigerian Brethren church leader Musa Mambula has begun a speaking tour in the Pennsylvania area, giving presentations at a variety of Church of the Brethren congregations. His list of speaking engagements extends through December and into January. His presentations focus on the persecution of Christians by Boko Haram terrorists in northern Nigeria and the church’s response. Read more »


Newsline for Nov. 25, 2014 (November 25, 2014)

1) Brethren Disaster Ministries surpasses goal of Sandy recovery grant from Red Cross 2) EYN Compassion Fund has distributed more than $200,000 to aid Nigerian Brethren 3) Musa Mambula speaking tour to extend into mid-January 4) Global Food Crisis Fund grant supports agriculture training in east Africa RESOURCES 5) Advent worship resources are online for the 2014 Advent offering 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for Nov. 25, 2014 (November 25, 2014)

BDM trains ecumenical partners, DC briefing on Nigeria, first mission point in Nigeria suffers attack, selection of Advent and Christmas events, Indiana Court of Appeals ruling, ecumenical and interfaith statements on immigration and Ferguson, more Read more »


Advent worship resources are online for the 2014 Advent offering (November 25, 2014)

This quote from an invocation prayer written by Tim Harvey for the 2014 Advent offering in the Church of the Brethren provides a sample of the free Advent worship materials that are now available online. Read more »


EYN Compassion Fund has distributed more than $200,000 to aid Nigerian Brethren (November 25, 2014)

Since a special appeal for the Nigeria crisis at the 2014 Annual Conference in early July, giving to the EYN Compassion Fund topped $168,459, according to the Church of the Brethren finance office. That amount is in addition to the $120,210.45 collected in the first half of this year. Read more »


Global Food Crisis Fund grant supports agriculture training in east Africa (November 25, 2014)

An allocation of $4,300 from the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) has been given to support the attendance of six people at an agriculture training event in Kenya. The training is being provided by Care of Creation, Kenya (CCK), a former GFCF grant recipient. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries surpasses goal of Sandy recovery grant from Red Cross (November 25, 2014)

A Hurricane Sandy recovery grant that Brethren Disaster Ministries was awarded last year from the American Red Cross (ARC) provided the financial backing needed to expand Brethren Disaster Ministries’ efforts in New Jersey from one project in Toms River to a second project based in Spotswood. Read more »


Washington, D.C., briefing on Nigeria features interfaith delegation connected with EYN (November 21, 2014)

A briefing on the crisis in Nigeria planned for Tuesday, Nov. 25, at 1 p.m. in the Methodist Building (100 Maryland Ave, NE) in Washington, D.C., is co-sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness, the Islamic Society of North America, and the National Council of Churches, USA. Read more »


Communication informs about new IRS rule on pre-tax health insurance premium contributions for pastors, church workers (November 18, 2014)

A communication with important information about how churches report their pastors’ (and lay employees’) income with regard to health insurance premiums is being sent to each Church of the Brethren congregation. The joint letter is from Mary Jo Flory-Steury, associate general secretary of the Church of the Brethren and executive of the Ministry Office, and Scott W. Douglas, BBT director of Employee Benefits. An additional letter from Douglas gives information about IRS rules for Section 105 HRA pre-tax insurance contributions. Read more »


Brethren bits for Nov. 18, 2014 (November 18, 2014)

In this issue: Church of the Brethren seeks chief financial officer, ADNet seeks half-time director, registration opens Dec. 1 for Christian Citizenship Seminar, youth group starts a Dunker Punks Café, dates for 2015 Meat Canning Project are set, E’town School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers new Health Care Administration degree program, UNHCR release numbers Nigerians in the thousands fleeing into neighboring countries, and more news from and for Brethren. Read more »


National Council of Churches governing board issues statement from Ferguson (November 18, 2014)

As Missouri governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency yesterday in anticipation of the imminent indictment, or lack thereof, of officer Darren Wilson, the National Council of Churches (NCC) gathered in St. Louis for a meeting of its governing board. The atmosphere was tense in the room as the governor's order to ready the National Guard came during a panel discussion featuring four pastors and community leaders from Ferguson, Mo. Read more »


Newsline for Nov. 18, 2014 (November 18, 2014)

NEWS: 1) National Council of Churches governing board issues statement from Ferguson 2) In addition to constant prayer, funds are needed in Nigeria 3) Court rules to ‘vacate’ clergy housing allowance case 4) Communication informs about new IRS rule on pre-tax health insurance premium contributions for pastors, church workers UPCOMING EVENTS: 5) Congregational Life Ministries offers webinars on ‘Just Friendship’ and ‘Youth Work after Christendom’ 6) On Earth Peace to host informational webinar on Anti-Racism Transformation Team FEATURE REFLECTION: 7) How a concern becomes a value 8) Brethren bits Read more »


On Earth Peace to host informational webinar on Anti-Racism Transformation Team (November 18, 2014)

On Earth Peace invites interested individuals to participate in an informational webinar to learn more about the organization’s Anti-Racism Transformation Team. Read more »


Court rules to ‘vacate’ clergy housing allowance case (November 18, 2014)

“We have good news to share!” said an update from Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) about a court case that had the potential to seriously affect the tax status of clergy housing allowances. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the clergy housing allowance case brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. is to be vacated (eliminated) and remanded (sent back) to the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin with instructions to dismiss the case. The court ruled that the plaintiffs have no standing to bring a complaint. Read more »


In addition to constant prayer, funds are needed in Nigeria (November 18, 2014)

The following is the script from a short video report on the Nigeria crisis by Church of the Brethren videographer David Sollenberger. He returned last week from a reporting trip to Nigeria on behalf of Brethren Disaster Ministries and Global Mission and Service. In the video, this script is interspersed with brief interviews not quoted here. View the video at www.brethren.org or on YouTube at http://youtu.be/T_Y9hlxuBfo : Read more »


Congregational Life Ministries offers webinars on ‘Just Friendship’ and ‘Youth Work after Christendom’ (November 18, 2014)

Congregational Life Ministries is a co-sponsor of two webinars scheduled for this week: on Wednesday, Nov. 19, Anthony Grinnell will present a webinar related to ministry and evangelism and justice titled “Just Friendship”; and on Thursday, Nov. 20, Nigel Pimlott is the presenter of a webinar on the topic “Youth Work after Christendom-Revisited.” Both webinars start at 2:30 p.m. (eastern time). Read more »


Office of Public Witness helps plan conference on drone warfare (November 12, 2014)

The Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness is helping to plan an upcoming conference on drone warfare. The event is scheduled for Jan. 23-25 at Princeton (N.J.) Theological Seminary. “We want to reach out to see if any Brethren would be interested in attending and also let Brethren know that the conference is happening to raise awareness about the issue,” reported Bryan Hanger, advocacy assistant at the Office of Public Witness. Read more »


Brethren Press offers Advent devotional, winter Guide for Biblical Studies, Yearbook on CD (November 12, 2014)

Brethren Press has a number of new resources available including “Awake: Devotions for Advent Through Epiphany,” “Church of the Brethren Yearbook: 2014 Directory, 2013 Statistics” in CD format, and the winter quarter of “A Guide for Biblical Studies” on the theme “Acts of Worship.” Purchase from Brethren Press at www.brethrenpress.com or order by calling 800-441-3712. Read more »


Brethren bits for Nov. 12, 2014 (November 12, 2014)

Retirement party honors Rex Miller, BDM interim staffing, jobs with the Church of the Brethren, EYN leader to speak at Young Center, W. Pennsylvania challenged to pray daily for Nigeria, Illinois/Wisconsin returns query, and more. Read more »


Newsline for Nov. 12, 2014 (November 12, 2014)

NEWS: 1) Global Food Crisis-funded project in Nigeria is lost along with EYN headquarters compound 2) WCC general secretary: Dismay over attacks on churches in Nigeria 3) Reflections on the destruction of the Armenian church in Deir Zor PERSONNEL: 4) LeAnn Harnist resigns as treasurer of the Church of the Brethren UPCOMING EVENTS: 5) Office of Public Witness helps plan conference on drone warfare RESOURCES: 6) Brethren Press offers Advent devotional, winter Guide for Biblical Studies, Yearbook on CD 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Global Food Crisis-funded project in Nigeria is lost along with EYN headquarters compound (November 12, 2014)

An agriculture project of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) which has received funding from the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF), has been lost in the overtaking of EYN headquarters by Boko Haram insurgents. Read more »


LeAnn Harnist resigns as treasurer of the Church of the Brethren (November 12, 2014)

LeAnn Harnist has resigned as executive director of Organizational Resources and treasurer of the Church of the Brethren, effective Jan. 16, 2015. She has served on the denominational staff for more than 10 years, since March 2004. Read more »


Brethren bits for Nov. 4, 2014 (November 4, 2014)

Bethany seeks faculty in theological studies, Workcamp Ministry seeks 2016 coordinators, Manchester inaugurates new president, how to get your church online, Anabaptist Response to WWI, and much more. Read more »


‘We need urgent help from the international community’ writes EYN president, Church of the Brethren calls for international attention to crisis in Nigeria (November 4, 2014)

EYN president Samuel Dante Dali is calling for urgent help from the international community for the people affected by violence in northeast Nigeria. In a letter he sent to the Church of the Brethren in the US this weekend, he also called for the Nigerian government to give serious attention to the suffering of the people. Read more »


Newsline for Nov. 4, 2014 (November 4, 2014)

NEWS 1) ‘We need urgent help from the international community’ writes EYN president, Church of the Brethren calls for international attention to crisis in Nigeria 2) New Church Development Advisory Committee reorganizes 3) Polo Growing Project reaches market UPCOMING EVENTS 4) Youth and young adult ministries director leads evening webinar on ‘Grieving’ 5) International scholar to speak at Bethany Seminary 6) Musa Mambula of EYN to speak on Nigeria persecution at Chiques Church of the Brethren 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Polo Growing Project reaches market (November 4, 2014)

The 2014 Polo (Ill.) Growing Project has completed harvest of 40 acres of soybeans with a yield averaging 60 bushels per acre, reports Jim Schmidt, grower and project coordinator. With a portion of the grain contracted for in advance, the sale averaged roughly $11 a bushel, well above the current market price of $8.85 for out-of-the-field transactions. The Polo Growing Project is a joint project of the Dixon, Highland Avenue, and Polo Church of the Brethren congregations in Illinois, and Tinley Park Presbyterian Church. Read more »


Musa Mambula of EYN to speak at Chiques Church of the Brethren about Nigeria persecution (November 4, 2014)

Chiques Church of the Brethren in Manheim, Pa., will host a presentation by Nigerian Brethren leader Musa Mambula on Sunday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. Mambula is a writer, educator, and current National Spiritual Advisor for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). He will speak about the persecution of Christians by Boko Haram terrorists in northern Nigeria and the church’s response. The evening will conclude with a time of prayer. Read more »


New Church Development Advisory Committee reorganizes (November 4, 2014)

The National New Church Development Advisory Committee of the Church of the Brethren recently went through reorganization as it continues to give input and direction to denominational support for church planting. Read more »


Youth and young adult ministries director leads evening webinar on ‘Grieving’ (November 3, 2014)

The first webinar in a series on Christian practices for teens, offered for adult leaders of youth, will be on the topic “Grieving” led by Becky Ullom Naugle, director of the Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Ministry. The webinar is this evening, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m. (eastern time). Read more »


Nigerian Brethren headquarters property overtaken by insurgents (October 29, 2014)

The Nigeria Brethren church headquarters property has been overtaken by Boko Haram extremist insurgents. The news was shared in the early hours of this morning in an e-mail from the staff liaison of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), who wrote: Read more »


Presenters are announced for NOAC 2015 (October 28, 2014)

The major presenters, preachers, and performers at the 2015 National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) have been announced. The event on the theme “then Jesus told them a story...” (Matthew 13:34-35, CEV) is planned for Sept. 7-11 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in western North Carolina. Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 28, 2014 (October 28, 2014)

UPCOMING EVENTS: 1) Brethren workcamps schedule for 2015 is released 2) Presenters are announced for NOAC 2015 3) Webinar will explore relationship between farm workers and gardens PERSONNEL: 4) Russell Matteson named district executive for Pacific Southwest District 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Webinar will explore relationship between farm workers and gardens (October 28, 2014)

A webinar on the topic “For We Are Co-Workers in God’s Service” is planned for Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. (eastern time) to explore the relationship between farm workers and gardens. Read more »


Russell Matteson named district executive for Pacific Southwest District (October 28, 2014)

Russell L. Matteson has accepted a call to serve Pacific Southwest District as district executive, beginning Jan. 16, 2015. He has 18 years of experience in ministry, currently serving as co-pastor of Modesto (Calif.) Church of the Brethren with his wife, Erin Matteson. Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 28, 2014 (October 28, 2014)

In this issue: Remembering Wilbur Mullen, personnel, job openings, letter on Iran, Bethany travel seminar to Germany, Mark Yaconelli event at New Carlisle, 'tis the season for church holiday fairs and bazaars, the last of the 2014 district conferences, and more. Read more »


Brethren workcamps schedule for 2015 is released (October 28, 2014)

The Church of the Brethren Workcamp Office has released the workcamp schedule for 2015, which is now available at www.brethren.org/workcamps . The theme for the year, “Side by Side: Imitating Christ’s Humility” is inspired by Philippians 2:1-8. A brochure will be mailed soon to congregations. For questions, contact the Workcamp Office at cobworkcamps@brethren.org . Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 22, 2014 (October 22, 2014)

Remembrance for Irven Stern, personnel, Shine calls for curriculum writers, On Earth Peace accepting applications for new anti-racism team, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, change in series of webinars on “Opportunities and Challenges of Post-Christendom,” Ted and Co. to be at Bridgewater, more news from congregations. Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board approves up to $1.5 million for expanded crisis response in Nigeria, authorizes marketing of Brethren Service Center property (October 22, 2014)

At its fall meeting the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board took a number of significant actions, including approval of up to $1.5 million in funding for a greatly expanded response to the crisis in Nigeria; authorizing marketing of the Brethren Service Center property in New Windsor, Md.; and approval of a budget for denominational ministries in 2015. Chair Becky Ball-Miller led the meeting on Oct. 17-20 at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Read more »


Academic symposium on the book of Job features leading Brethren scholars (October 22, 2014)

An academic symposium on “The Book of Job and Brethren Tradition” will be held at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College on Nov. 5, featuring leading Brethren scholars. The registration deadline is today, Oct. 22. Download a registration form from www.etown.edu/SVMC or contact 717-361-1450 or svmc@etown.edu . Read more »


Mandy Garcia resigns from Church of the Brethren donor communications (October 22, 2014)

Mandy Garcia has resigned as associate director of donor communications for the Church of the Brethren. Her last day in this position will be Nov. 14. Read more »


Global Food Crisis Fund supports agriculture in Haiti, Burundi (October 22, 2014)

Recent grants to support agriculture in Haiti and Burundi from the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) total $40,000. Read more »


Brethren pastors attend first Latino leaders meeting of Christian Churches Together (October 22, 2014)

Please see this report as gratitude for the opportunity to be part of the first Latino meeting organized by Christian Churches Together on Oct. 14-16. I felt humbly privileged by the opportunity to spend time with the directors of Latino Ministry of several denominations, among them: Catholics Pentecostals, American Reformed, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Presbyterian, American Baptist, Disciples of Christ, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and of course the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 22, 2014 (October 22, 2014)

NEWS 1) Mission and Ministry Board approves up to $1.5 million for expanded crisis response in Nigeria, authorizes marketing of Brethren Service Center property 2) ‘Once and Future Mission’ event identifies Anabaptism as resource for post-Christian culture 3) Brethren pastors attend first Latino leaders meeting of Christian Churches Together 4) Global Food Crisis Fund support agriculture in Haiti, Burundi 5) Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 307 begins service PERSONNEL 6) Mandy Garcia resigns from Church of the Brethren donor communications UPCOMING EVENTS 7) Webinar offers faith perspective on Pentagon spending 8) Academic symposium on the book of Job features leading Brethren scholars 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Webinar offers faith perspective on Pentagon spending (October 22, 2014)

Join us for a webinar for a Faith Perspective on Pentagon Spending on Wednesday, Oct. 29. Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 307 begins service (October 22, 2014)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Unit 307 has completed its orientation and the volunteers have been placed at their projects. This Fall unit held orientation on Sept. 28-Oct. 17 at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The volunteers, their home congregations or hometowns, and project placements follow: Read more »


‘Once and Future Mission’ event identifies Anabaptism as resource for post-Christian culture (October 21, 2014)

On Sept. 19-20, a group of 400 people gathered in Carlisle, Pa., to ask the question: What does following Jesus look like in North America as it is increasingly clear that we now live in a post-Christian culture? The gathering “Church and Post-Christian Culture: Christian Witness in the Way of Jesus” was one in a series on the over-arching topic, “Once and Future Mission,” hosted by Missio Alliance. Co-sponsors included the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


‘Every single person was just so kind’: BVSers talk about their cross-country bicycle trek (October 14, 2014)

In this Newsline interview, Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) workers Chelsea Goss and Rebekah Maldonado-Nofziger talk about their cross country bicycling adventure “BVS Coast to Coast.” They started off May 1 from the Atlantic coast of Virginia, and completed the trek Aug. 18 on the Pacific coast of Oregon. On the way they visited church communities and friends and family to promote BVS, and participated in three Church of the Brethren conferences. Their major learning? The kindness and caring of the people they met: Read more »


‘Honor God by Honoring Others’ is theme for Junior High Sunday (October 14, 2014)

Churches of the Brethren are encouraged to celebrate Junior High Sunday on Nov. 2. The theme for the 2014 observance of Junior High Sunday is “Honor God by Honoring Others,” based on Matthew 7:12, “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.” Read more »


Progressive Brethren Gathering to discuss growth of the ‘not religiously affiliated’ population (October 14, 2014)

“Spiritual but Not Religious: Living Faith in the World Today” is the theme of the 7th annual Progressive Brethren Gathering on Nov 7-9, hosted by Stone Church of the Brethren in Huntingdon, Pa. Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 14, 2014 (October 14, 2014)

NEWS 1) ‘Every single person was just so kind’: BVSers talk about their cross-country bicycle trek 2) Brethren attend 15th Ordinary Synod of the Church of North India UPCOMING EVENTS 3) ‘Honor God by Honoring Others’ is theme for Junior High Sunday 4) Christian Citizenship Seminar 2015 to focus on immigration 5) Progressive Brethren Gathering to discuss growth of the ‘not religiously affiliated’ population 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren attend 15th Ordinary Synod of the Church of North India (October 14, 2014)

Church of the Brethren leaders general secretary Stan Noffsinger and mission executive Jay Wittmeyer joined the Church of North India (CNI) at its 15th Ordinary Meeting of the Synod. The triennial event was held Oct. 1- 4 at Sherwood College in the hill station community of Nainital, Uttrakhand, and was build around the theme “Come; Let Us Rebuild...” (Nehemiah 2:17). Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 14, 2014 (October 14, 2014)

In this issue: Job openings with BVS and Camp Placid, New Fairview hosts deacon training, Briery Branch restores a house, “Peace and Mental Health,” Fahrney-Keedy’s Autumn Social, CROP events in Bridgewater, blogpost plugs McPherson’s Automotive Restoration Program, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Christian Citizenship Seminar 2015 to focus on immigration (October 14, 2014)

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2). This theme scripture will help guide the Christian Citizenship Seminar for 2015 in a study of US immigration. Read more »


On Earth Peace board meeting helps mark 40 years, celebrates Bob Gross (October 7, 2014)

During the 40th anniversary of the ministry of On Earth Peace, board and staff met for their fall board meeting at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., on Sept. 17-20. Throughout this anniversary year, On Earth Peace is leading a Visions and Dreams of Building Peace campaign, including recorded interviews of hopes for peace for the next 40 years. Read more »


Nigerian and American Brethren continue aid to those displaced by violence, MMB members to engage in advocacy for Nigeria (October 7, 2014)

Efforts continue by Nigerian and American Brethren to aid those displaced by violence in northeastern Nigeria, where news media report continued fighting and EYN members report more attacks in which members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) were abducted or killed. Read more »


Bob Gross announces departure from On Earth Peace (October 7, 2014)

On Earth Peace's development director, Bob Gross, has announced his departure from the staff, effective Dec. 31. Gross has served with On Earth Peace since 1994, when he joined the staff as part-time coordinator of the Ministry of Reconciliation. Read more »


Grants support BDM project site in New Jersey, war recovery in Gaza, Ebola response in Liberia (October 7, 2014)

The Brethren Disaster Ministries staff is directing a total of $54,000 from the Church of the Brethren Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to the disaster rebuilding project at Toms River, N.J., war recovery work by the Shepherd Society in Gaza, and the fight against the spread of Ebola in Liberia. Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 7, 2014 (October 7, 2014)

In this issue: Correction, remembering Charles Bieber and Wayne Zook, new staff in Southeastern District, job opening at Pinecrest Community, webinar postponed, new volunteer training for Children’s Disaster Services offered in Florida, Shine wants to hear from teachers, art gallery gives to Global Food Crisis Fund, and much more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Ecumenical study committee shares preliminary work, plans for Annual Conference 2015 (October 7, 2014)

The Annual Conference study committee on an Ecumenical Vision for the 21st Century met Aug. 27-28 in Seattle, Wash. With gorgeous weather and a stunning view of Mt. Rainier, the group was blessed to receive the hospitality of Columbia-Lakewood Community Church in Seattle, which is jointly affiliated with the Church of the Brethren and the United Church of Christ. Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 7, 2014 (October 7, 2014)

1) Grants support BDM project site in New Jersey, war recovery in Gaza, Ebola response in Liberia 2) Nigerian and American Brethren continue aid to those displaced by violence, MMB members to engage in advocacy for Nigeria 3) Ecumenical study committee shares preliminary work, plans for Annual Conference 2015 4) On Earth Peace board meeting helps mark 40 years, celebrates Bob Gross 5) Theme announced for Bethany Seminary Peace Essay Contest 6) Bob Gross announces departure from On Earth Peace 7) Enten Eller resigns position at Bethany Seminary 8) Statelessness and the Least of These: Nationality, identity, and when you have neither 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Newsline Special: ‘EYN is severely damaged’ Nigerian Brethren leader reports (September 30, 2014)

‘EYN is severely damaged’ reports Nigerian Brethren church president Samuel Dali. Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries this week have received new reports from Samuel Dali, president of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Read more »


‘Side by Side: Imitating Christ’s Humility’ is 2015 workcamp theme (September 26, 2014)

The Workcamp office announces the theme for the 2015 Church of the Brethren Workcamp season: “Side by Side: Imitating Christ’s Humility” (Philippians 2:1-8). Read more »


Cori Hahn resigns from Zigler Hospitality Center at Brethren Service Center (September 26, 2014)

Cori Hahn has tendered her resignation as hospitality coordinator at the Zigler Hospitality Center, located at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Her last day at the hospitality center will be Nov. 14. Read more »


General secretary and Public Witness staff reiterate support for nonviolent measures in Syria and Iraq, CPTer comments from Iraqi Kurdistan (September 26, 2014)

In a week when US President Barack Obama has announced new air strikes on Islamic State in Syria by a coalition of the US military and several Arab nations, Church of the Brethren general secretary Stan Noffsinger and the denomination’s Office of Public Witness have reiterated a commitment to nonviolent means of change in Syria and Iraq. Read more »


Brethren bits for Sept. 26, 2014 (September 26, 2014)

In this issue: Correction, personnel notes, position openings in Congregational Life and Material Resources, BVS orientation, invitation to a teleconference on just peace in Palestine and Israel, new posts on the Brethren Blog, a breakfast for Heifer’s 70th, district and camp celebrations, Bittersweet Gospel Band tour, and more. Read more »


Newsline for Sept. 26, 2014 (September 26, 2014)

1) Disaster grant of $100,000 is directed to Nigeria 2) EYN leaders visit refugee camps, pilot relocation project starts 3) General secretary and Public Witness staff reiterate support for nonviolent measures in Syria and Iraq, CPTer comments from Iraqi Kurdistan 4) Global Mission executive returns from visit to Democratic Republic of Congo 5) ‘Side by Side: Imitating Christ’s Humility’ is 2015 workcamp theme 6) Webinar on urban mission offered under title ‘Telling the Truth and Shaming the Devil’ 7) Lowell Flory to retire from Bethany Seminary 8) Cori Hahn resigns from Zigler Hospitality Center at Brethren Service Center 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Global Mission executive returns from visit to Democratic Republic of Congo (September 25, 2014)

Global Mission and Service executive director Jay Wittmeyer spent several days visiting the fledgling Brethren group in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), returning on Sept. 18. Wittmeyer flew into Bujumbura, Burundi, and then traveled overland into the Congo, first to Uvira in South Kivu and then south to Fizi and Ngovi. Read more »


Disaster grant of $100,000 is directed to Nigeria (September 25, 2014)

Brethren Disaster Ministries is directing a grant of $100,000 to provide for the basic needs of displaced Nigerians and other needs in Nigeria, where members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) as well as families of EYN denominational staff are among the thousands of people who have fled violence. Read more »


EYN leaders visit refugee camps, pilot relocation project starts (September 25, 2014)

Over the past couple of weeks, leaders and staff of Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) have shared about the hardships faced by Brethren and others fleeing the violence in northeast Nigeria, and the struggle of EYN and its leadership in the midst of the crisis. The news has come through reports to Church of the Brethren staff in the US, and piecemeal through brief e-mails, calls, texts, and Facebook posts. Read more »


Webinar on urban mission offered under title ‘Telling the Truth and Shaming the Devil’ (September 18, 2014)

“Telling the Truth and Shaming the Devil: A Postcolonial Take on Urban Mission in the 21st Century,” is the title of an Oct. 9 webinar jointly sponsored by the Church of the Brethren, Baptist Mission Society, Baptists Together, Bristol Baptist College, and Urban Expression UK. Read more »


Haiti Medical Project attains 30-month milestone, Lancaster church raises more than $100,000, Brethren World Mission continues support (September 16, 2014)

The Haiti Medical Project attained a 30-month milestone this summer in June, reports Dale Minnich who serves as a volunteer fundraiser for the project. Also this summer, Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren surpassed its fundraising goal of $100,000 to raise an actual amount of $103,700, reported by Lancaster member Otto Schaudel. Read more »


Brethren bits for Sept. 16, 2014 (September 16, 2014)

New staff in Northern Plains, Mission Offering, Bethany Sunday, CDS trainings in Hawaii, churches and mosques raise funds and prayer for Nigerian Brethren, Adult Bible School (ABS?) in Southern Ohio, continuing ed on