News Archives January, 2014


Congregational Life Ministries announces new ‘Basin and Towel’ series (January 31, 2014)

To celebrate its fifth year of publication “Basin and Towel” is beginning a new series on congregational vitality with the January 2014 issue. “Basin and Towel” is a quarterly magazine published by the Church of the Brethren Congregational Life Ministries. Read more »


Work and prayer on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic (January 31, 2014)

A highlight from a recent Brethren mission trip to Haiti and the Dominican Republic was a time of prayer on the border between the two countries. Two groups of volunteers traveled to the Dominican Republic in December and January to help build a church in La Descubierta, with funding from Global Mission and Service, Brethren World Mission, and both volunteer groups. Located near the border with Haiti, La Descubierta is a community comprised primarily of Haitian immigrants. Read more »


Puerto Rico churches to become 24th district in the Church of the Brethren (January 31, 2014)

The Church of the Brethren congregations in Puerto Rico acted Saturday, Jan. 25, to begin the process of becoming the denomination’s 24th district. Up to now, the Puerto Rico churches have been part of Atlantic Southeast District, grouped together with the congregations in Florida. Read more »


Chinese healthcare professionals visit with Brethren during study tour on aging (January 31, 2014)

Eric Miller and Ruoxia Li hosted a small group of Chinese healthcare professionals and business people who visited the United States from Jan 7-20. The mission of their trip was to learn about elder care and hospice in America. Read more »


EYN staff report more deaths in another terrorist attack in Nigeria  (January 31, 2014)

“It is always very difficult to report about a Boko Haram attack,” writes one of the staff of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN–the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), reporting yet more violence in northeastern Nigeria. The EYN staff member wrote in an e-mail to the Global Mission and Service office this week that the attack on Sunday in his village at Wagga Chakawa “came as a surprise to many people.” Read more »


Shine partners with Faith Forward for 2014 children’s ministry event (January 31, 2014)

Shine, the new curriculum from Brethren Press and MennoMedia, has joined Faith Forward as a presenting partner for their 2014 gathering. Faith Forward is an organization dedicated to bringing together children’s and youth ministry leaders for collaboration, resourcing, and inspiration toward innovative theology and practice. The 2014 Faith Forward gathering will be May 19-22 in Nashville, Tenn. Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 25, 2014 (January 25, 2014)

In this issue: New employees at the Brethren Service Center, district executive opening in N. Indiana, planning worship in Lent, Brethren at the National Farm Worker Ministry board, chicken canning project in S. Pennsylvania and Mid-Atlantic, Shenandoah peace fest, BHA breaks ground on project in Harrisburg, Fahrney-Keedy approves master plan, and more. Read more »


Newsline for Jan. 25, 2014 (January 25, 2014)

1) Many state laws link Selective Service registration to driver’s licenses. 2) Global Food Crisis Fund gives $50,000 for agricultural projects in Haiti. 3) Disaster grants go to South Sudan, Honduras. 4) NPR finds Peace Studies class in story about detained immigrants. 5) Carrie Eikler to serve as TRIM and EFSM coordinator. 6) Annual Clergy Tax Seminar is offered online and at Bethany Seminary. 7) ‘Jesus Weeps--Resisting Violence, Building Peace’ is theme for advocacy days. 8) Action Alert: End the violence in Syria. 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Many state laws link Selective Service registration to driver’s licenses (January 25, 2014)

When young American men turn 18, they are required to register with the Selective Service System (SSS) because of federal law (50 U.S.C. App. 451 et seq). That law requires almost every male citizen, as well as immigrant men living in the United States, to register in the event of a military draft. To make sure there is 100 percent compliance, a lot of states have created legislation that links SSS registration with the process of applying for a driver’s license or state identification card. Read more »


‘Jesus Weeps--Resisting Violence, Building Peace’ is theme for advocacy days (January 24, 2014)

The Office of Public Witness invites Brethren to the 12th Annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) that will take place in Washington, D.C., from on March 21-24. This year’s theme is “Jesus Weeps--Resisting Violence, Building Peace.” Read more »


Carrie Eikler to serve as TRIM and EFSM coordinator (January 24, 2014)

Carrie Eikler has been named half-time coordinator of the Training in Ministry (TRIM) and Education for Shared Ministry (EFSM) programs at the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership. She will begin her duties on Feb. 1. The academy is a ministry training partnership of the Church of the Brethren and Bethany Theological Seminary. Read more »


Global Food Crisis Fund gives $50,000 for agricultural projects in Haiti (January 24, 2014)

The Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF), a fund of the Church of the Brethren dedicated to developing food security, is making an allocation of $50,000 for the continuation of agriculture development projects in Haiti. A previous grant of $50,000 was given to this project in September 2012. Read more »


Disaster grants go to South Sudan, Honduras (January 24, 2014)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed grants from the church’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to the needs of people displaced by armed conflict in South Sudan, and to people threatened by food insecurity after Honduras declared a state of national emergency due to a disease affecting the coffee harvest. Read more »


Annual Clergy Tax Seminar is offered online and at Bethany Seminary (January 24, 2014)

The annual tax seminar for clergy will be held March 3. Students, pastors, and other church leaders are invited to attend either in person at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., or online. Read more »


Brethren in the News (January 23, 2014)

Snippets of news featuring Brethren members and congregations across the country, with links to read the full news articles and obituaries online. Read more »


Joint representative for Syria to deliver urgent call from churches to Geneva 2 talks  (January 20, 2014)

With the Geneva 2 talks on Syria scheduled for Jan. 22, some 30 church leaders from Syria and around the world gathered a week ahead of time at the headquarters of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva, Switzerland, and called for substantial action be taken at the talks to end the armed conflict. Church of the Brethren general secretary Stan Noffsinger was one of the American church leaders who participated. Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 17, 2014 (January 18, 2014)

Heifer CEO visits Brethren in Puerto Rico, MLK Day celebrations and events, archival internship, opening for part-time project director at Bethany Seminary, BVS orientation, and more. Read more »


COMS meeting brings together leaders of Anabaptist denominations (January 17, 2014)

At the beginning of December 2013, leaders of a number of Anabaptist denominations gathered for the annual Council of Moderators and Secretaries meeting. Attending from the Church of the Brethren were general secretary Stanley J. Noffsinger and Annual Conference moderator Nancy Sollenberger Heishman. The gathering was hosted by the Conservative Mennonite Conference at its Rosedale International Center in Columbus, Ohio. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries staff to evaluate state of response to Typhoon Haiyan (January 17, 2014)

Roy Winter, associate executive director of Brethren Disaster Ministries, will travel to the Philippines to evaluate the current state of the response to Typhoon Haiyan. The trip is part of a Brethren Disaster Ministries-facilitated response in the Philippines following the destruction and loss of life caused by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. Read more »


Newsline for Jan. 17, 2014 (January 17, 2014)

1) Joint representative for Syria to deliver urgent call from churches to Geneva 2 talks. 2) Brethren Disaster Ministries staff to evaluate state of response to Typhoon Haiyan. 3) COMS meeting brings together leaders of Anabaptist denominations. 4) Service Sunday 2014 will focus on serving God by serving all. 5) Youth ministry webinar series continues with event on Jan. 21. 6) Nigerian Brethren hold Christmas celebrations despite the threat of violence. 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Nigerian Brethren hold Christmas celebrations despite the threat of violence (January 17, 2014)

The Global Mission and Service office is sharing a letter from Samuel Dali, president of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), about the Christmas celebrations of the Nigerian Brethren that were held despite the constant threat of violence from the Boko Haram extremist Islamist sect. Excerpts from the letter follow below. Read more »


Service Sunday 2014 will focus on serving God by serving all (January 17, 2014)

The theme for the Church of the Brethren’s observance of Service Sunday 2014 is “Serving God by Serving All” inspired by John 12: 26, “If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me” (The Message version). Read more »


Youth ministry webinar series continues with event on Jan. 21 (January 17, 2014)

“Call and Gifts Discernment,” is the third webinar of a series on ministry with youth and young adults. It will be offered on Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. central time (8 p.m. eastern). It will be led by Bekah Houff, Bethany Seminary’s coordinator of Outreach Programs for the Institute for Ministry with Youth and Young Adults. Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 10 (January 10, 2014)

A correction, Bethany’s Nicarry Chapel suffers water damage, Haitian Brethren request prayer, 12th anniversary of the first detainees at Guantanamo, Nominating Committee meets, a BVS survey, Shenandoah District resignation, job opening at Camp Peaceful Pines, and more news from across the denomination and around the world. Read more »


Virlina District Conference supports peace efforts of Nigerian Brethren  (January 10, 2014)

Virlina District has had individuals connected with ministry in Nigeria and has given support and prayers for the Nigerian Brethren for a long time. Because of the violence, destruction, and deaths that have taken place in Nigeria, the District Peace Affairs Committee decided to emphasize the peace efforts of Nigerian Brethren at the Sept. 2012 Virlina District Peace Sunday Service. Read more »


Newsline for Jan. 10, 2014 (January 10, 2014)

1) Church youth groups get together to register for National Youth Conference; 2) Strategic pathways work continues by Brethren Benefit Trust board; 3) Virlina District Conference supports peace efforts of Nigerian Brethren; 4) Today is opening day for workcamp registration, last day to apply for Ministry Summer Service, Youth Peace Travel Team; 5) Church Planting Conference looks toward an intercultural future; 6) Living Love Feast is theme of Bethany's 2014 Forum; 7) Church of the Brethren member leads peace training in Democratic Republic of Congo; 8) New Year’s resolutions: A reflection for January 2014 from the Older Adult Ministry; 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Today is opening day for workcamp registration, last day to apply for Ministry Summer Service, Youth Peace Travel Team (January 10, 2014)

Today is opening day for workcamp registration, and the last day to apply for Ministry Summer Service, Youth Peace Travel Team for the summer of 2014. Read more »


Church of the Brethren member leads peace training in Democratic Republic of Congo (January 9, 2014)

Church of the Brethren member Cliff Kindy, who also has worked with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), visited Brethren in the Democratic Republic of Congo from Dec. 14-23. This was not Kindy’s first visit to the Congo, where he has traveled with CPT. This trip was made at the request of pastor Ron Lubungo and the Brethren in the DRC. Read more »


Church youth groups get together to register for National Youth Conference (January 7, 2014)

Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren youth and advisors were among the youth groups that got together the evening of Jan. 3 for a National Youth Conference (NYC) registration party. The youth at Highland Avenue Church in Elgin, Ill., decided to hold their party so that they would be among the first to register for NYC 2014. They were just seven of more than 200 people who registered in the first two hours after online registration opened. Read more »


Church Planting Conference looks toward an intercultural future (January 6, 2014)

The Church Planting Conference to be held May 15-17, sponsored by the Church of the Brethren through the office of Congregational Life Ministries and the New Church Development Advisory Committee. and hosted at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., will be forward-looking with the theme, “Plant Generously, Reap Bountifully--Toward an Intercultural Future.” Read more »


Annual Conference moderator shares New Year’s greetings with the church (January 3, 2014)

Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, is sharing greetings with the denomination and its members in this New Year 2014. The following letter offering encouragement for a life of Christian discipleship, is being sent to congregational delegates by mail. For more information about Annual Conference go to www.brethren.org/ac . Read more »


Church of the Brethren aids refugees in South Sudan, some mission staff leave the country (January 3, 2014)

“We’re actively purchasing supplies for distribution to refugees” in South Sudan, reports Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission and Service for the Church of the Brethren. One of three Brethren mission workers remains in South Sudan, while two have left the country, after violence broke out shortly before Christmas. The violence is linked to a coup attempt by a recently deposed vice president, and fears of the exacerbation of ethnic tensions in the nation. Read more »


Online registration for National Youth Conference begins this evening (January 3, 2014)

Online registration for National Youth Conference (NYC) 2014 opens this evening, Jan. 3, at 7 p.m. central time. The conference will be held July 19-24 on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., and all youth who have completed 9th grade through one year of college are eligible to attend. To register, beginning at 7 p.m. (central), visit www.brethren.org/NYC . Read more »


Newsline for Jan. 3, 2014 (January 3, 2014)

1) Annual Conference moderator shares New Year’s greetings with the church; 2) Church of the Brethren aids refugees in South Sudan, some mission staff leave the country; 3) Online registration for National Youth Conference begins this evening; 4) Press Conference with King Herod: A contemporary reflection on the murder of the Bethlehem children; 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Press Conference with King Herod: A contemporary reflection on the murder of the Bethlehem children (January 2, 2014)

"When Herod knew the magi had fooled him, he grew very angry. He sent soldiers to kill all the male children in Bethlehem and in all the surrounding territory who were two years old and younger" (Matthew 2:16a). Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 3, 2014 (January 2, 2014)

In this issue: Remembering Brethren Colleges Abroad’s Allen Deeter, personnel notes from the Church of the Brethren and BBT, Timbercrest chaplain to retire, Brethren Mission Fund committee change and grant to EYN Compassion Fund, “Keeping Our Children Safe” in Virlina District, Camp Harmony celebrates its 90th, and more news about and for Brethren. Read more »