News Archives December, 2013


Brethren Press announces curriculum resources for 2014 (December 20, 2013)

Brethren Press has announced curriculum resources for the coming year. In the spring, the Christian education curriculum Gather ’Round is offered for children and youth classes, and A Guide for Biblical Studies for adult classes and small group Bible studies. In the summer, Gather ’Round offers a quarter for multi-age groups of children and for youth, and a Vacation Bible School package is available. In the fall, Brethren Press and MennoMedia will roll out Shine: Living in God’s Light, the successor curriculum to Gather ’Round. Read more »


Brethren attend ECHO Caribbean conference in the DR, GFCF manager assesses situation of Haitian Dominicans (December 20, 2013)

Brethren representatives from the Dominican Republic and the United States were part of an ECHO Caribbean conference this fall, including Jeff Boshart, manager of the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF). Read more »


A passion for teaching God’s word: Interview with mission workers Carl and Roxane Hill (December 20, 2013)

An interview with Church of the Brethren mission workers Carl and Roxane Hill by Zakariya Musa of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec. 20, 2013 (December 20, 2013)

In this issue: A note on year-end donations, a date correction, remembering Larry Ulrich, Sarah Thompson to lead CPT, Material Resources seeks an office assistant, Bethany Seminary seeks a project director related to a Lilly grant, mission staff watch situation in South Sudan, registration for NYC and Clergy Women’s Retreat, and much more. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 20, 2013 (December 20, 2013)

1) A passion for teaching God’s word: Interview with mission workers Carl and Roxane Hill; 2) Brethren attend ECHO Caribbean conference in the DR, GFCF manager assesses situation of Haitian Dominicans; 3) Dominican Republic court ruling from the international perspective; 4) Brethren Academy issues updated course listing; 5) Brethren Press announces curriculum resources for 2014; 6) Feature: Deacon Ministry reminds churches to welcome new friends this holiday season; 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Feature: Deacon Ministry reminds churches to welcome new friends this holiday season (December 20, 2013)

Things were a little sparse in the primary Sunday school class the weekend after Thanksgiving. Only two little girls were there, one of them a visitor. Elbow-deep in the glitter and glue of the construction paper Advent wreathes they were making, the visiting kindergartner smiled at the other and said, "Wanna make friends?" Read more »


Dominican Republic court ruling from the international perspective (December 20, 2013)

By Doris Abdullah, Church of the Brethren representative to the United Nations: The Sept. 25 Dominican Republic court ruling denies Dominican nationality to children of undocumented migrants who have been born or registered in the country after 1929 and who do not have at least one parent of Dominican blood. This comes under a 2010 constitutional clause declaring these people to be either in the country illegally or in transit. Read more »


Brethren Academy issues updated course listing (December 20, 2013)

The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership has issued an updated listing of courses to be offered. Courses are open to Training in Ministry (TRIM) students, pastors who may earn 2 continuing education units per course, and all interested persons. Read more »


Zach Wolgemuth resigns as associate director of Brethren Disaster Ministries (December 16, 2013)

Zach Wolgemuth has resigned as associate director of Brethren Disaster Ministries. He has served in this position, working out of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., for almost eight years. Read more »


Shine On storybook Bible will offer new way to teach children the faith  (December 16, 2013)

Coming in March from the creators of the Shine curriculum for Christian education: “Shine On: A Story Bible.” This new children’s storybook Bible will feature over 150 engaging Bible stories for use by families and congregations. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 16, 2013 (December 16, 2013)

1) Shine On storybook Bible will offer new way to teach children the faith; 2) Zach Wolgemuth resigns as associate director of Brethren Disaster Ministries; 3) Kathy Fry-Miller to lead Children’s Disaster Services; 4) Lent devotional ‘Real Rest’ to focus on themes of grace, light living; 5) Bethany Seminary invites junior high youth to ‘Immerse!’; 6) Covenant Bible Study will take a look 'Behind the Drama'; 7) Manchester $1 million grant brings new degree in sales, internships, collaborations to bolster employment opportunities for graduates; 8) Juniata College faith-based service program among those honored by White House; 9) Virlina District produces new stewardship curriculum; 10) ‘Summertime Children’ re-released to mark 40th anniversary of first NYC theme song; 11) Brethren bits Read more »


‘Summertime Children’ re-released to mark 40th anniversary of first NYC theme song (December 14, 2013)

Church of the Brethren musicians Andy and Terry Murray have announced the release of a CD version of their first recording featuring the first theme song for a National Youth Conference, “Summertime Children.” The song was introduced at NYC in Glorieta, N.M., in 1974. The 40th anniversary of that conference, along with continuing requests for some of the songs, prompted the Murrays to undertake the project, said a release. Read more »


Bethany Seminary invites junior high youth to ‘Immerse!’ (December 14, 2013)

Next summer Bethany Seminary’s Institute for Ministry with Youth and Young Adults holds an event for junior high students: Immerse! will bring youth who have completed seventh, eighth, and ninth grades together to share questions, experiences, and ideas about faith. Although Immerse! happens to have the same location and similar date range to the Church of the Brethren National Junior High Conferences, it is a separate, grant-funded program of the seminary. The next National Junior High Conference is being planned for June of 2015. Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec. 16, 2013 (December 14, 2013)

In this issue: CPT director Carol Rose announces her retirement, celebration for Georgia Markey’s 25 years in ministry, Brethren Service Center seeks maintenance mechanic, Shine curriculum seeks writers, help spread word about New Inglenook Cookbook, Lititz Church’s 100th anniversary, dates to save in April, and much much more. Read more »


Virlina District produces new stewardship curriculum (December 14, 2013)

“Give of the First Fruits: A Study of Stewardship for the 21st Century” has just been published by the Church of the Brethren’s Virlina District. This fresh, practical approach to the Christian concept of “stewardship” is a 13-lesson quarterly with each lesson written by a different church leader or couple from the Virlina and Shenandoah Districts. Read more »


Covenant Bible Study will take a look 'Behind the Drama' (December 14, 2013)

"Behind the Drama: The Old Testament You Missed" is an upcoming Covenant Bible Study by Eugene F. Roop, Old Testament scholar and former Bethany Seminary president, available from Brethren Press this spring for $7.95 plus shipping and handling. Call 800-441-3712 or order online at www.brethrenpress.com . Read more »


Lent devotional ‘Real Rest’ to focus on themes of grace, light living (December 14, 2013)

The Brethren Press 2014 devotional booklet for Lent, offering devotions for Ash Wednesday through Easter, is written by Duane Grady. Each day will feature a scripture, meditation, and prayer in a pocket-sized booklet suitable for individual use or for congregations to offer to members. Pre-order now for $2.25 per copy, plus shipping and handling. Read more »


Kathy Fry-Miller to lead Children’s Disaster Services (December 14, 2013)

Kathy Fry-Miller has been named associate director of Children’s Disaster Services, a Church of the Brethren program that is part of Brethren Disaster Ministries. Since 1980, Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has been meeting the needs of children by setting up child care centers in shelters and disaster assistance centers across the nation. Read more »


Ministry Office offers information on clergy housing ruling, BBT involved in appeal through the Church Alliance (December 7, 2013)

On Nov. 22, a judge of the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin ruled that the housing allowance that is made available to clergy by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is unconstitutional. The decision has no immediate impact because it is not yet effective, and the ruling is on hold until all appeals are exhausted. Read more »


Royer Family Charitable Foundation offers major support to Haiti Medical Project (December 7, 2013)

The Haiti Medical Project is receiving a major multi-year grant from the Royer Family Charitable Foundation that will enable a doubling of the number of communities in Haiti that are served by mobile clinics. The grant in addition will help the project purchase a truck and will contribute to an endowment fund. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries opens rebuilding site in New Jersey, Illinois tornado clean up (December 7, 2013)

At the same time that Brethren Disaster Ministries is closing out project sites following Hurricane Irene in Schoharie and Binghamton, N.Y., the program is opening a new project site in Spotswood, N.J. In other disaster relief news, Illinois and Wisconsin District disaster coordinator Rick Koch has called for volunteers to help in the clean up of tornado destruction in Illinois. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 7, 2013 (December 7, 2013)

1) Royer Family Charitable Foundation offers major support to Haiti Medical Project, 2) Brethren Disaster Ministries opens rebuilding site in New Jersey, Illinois tornado clean up, 3) Ministry Office offers information on clergy housing ruling, BBT involved in appeal through the Church Alliance, 4) Seminary receives Lilly Endowment grant to improve economic well-being of future ministers, 5) Crop breeding success in North Korea, 6) Powerhouse 2013 gathers youth from the midwest region, 7) ‘Pioneering in a Global Context’ webinar set for Dec. 11, 8) Gather ’Round staff complete employment with Brethren Press and MennoMedia, 9) Michigan, Atlantic Southeast Districts announce staffing changes, 10) Reflecting on the anniversary of Newtown, 11) Brethren bits Read more »


‘Pioneering in a Global Context’ webinar set for Dec. 11 (December 6, 2013)

“Pioneering in a Global Context,” a webinar co-sponsored by the Congregational Life Ministries of the Church of the Brethren, BMS World Mission, Bristol Baptist College, and Urban Expression U.K., takes place Dec. 11 at 2:3-4 p.m. (Eastern). Register at www.brethren.org/webcasts . Read more »


Reflecting on the anniversary of Newtown (December 6, 2013)

Dec. 14 marks the one-year anniversary of the deadly mass shooting that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn. As we take time to reflect on the anniversary of this terrible loss of life, Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence has organized a letter signed by over 50 national religious leaders, including Church of the Brethren general secretary Stan Noffsinger. Below is an excerpt from the letter that will be released to the public and sent to every member of Congress on Monday, Dec. 9. Read more »


Crop breeding success in North Korea (December 6, 2013)

Global Mission and Service staff in North Korea, Robert Shank, reports important strides in the rice, soybean, and corn breeding research at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), where he and his wife Linda are teaching. A new crop, barley, has been added to this work in 2014, and a Global Food Crisis Fund grant is helping expand the work to include small fruits. Read more »


Michigan, Atlantic Southeast Districts announce staffing changes (December 6, 2013)

Nathan (Nate) Polzin has been called to serve as district executive minister for Michigan District, and Héctor Pérez-Borges has announced his plans to retire as associate executive for Atlantic Southeast District, in staffing changes for Church of the Brethren districts. Read more »


Gather ’Round staff complete employment with Brethren Press and MennoMedia (December 6, 2013)

Anna Speicher and Cyndi Fecher are completing their employment with Gather ’Round, the Christian education curriculum produced jointly by Brethren Press and MennoMedia. Gather ’Round is in its final year of production and will be available through the summer of 2014. The successor curriculum, Shine, will be available beginning next fall. Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec. 6, 2013 (December 6, 2013)

In this issue: Remembering former missionary Rolland Smith, NCC hires general secretary/president, Leininger retires from Camp Mack, Workcamp Ministry seeks assistant coordinator for 2015, Ministry Summer Service applications, congregations host live nativities, candlelight dinners at the John Kline Homestead, and much much more. Read more »