News Archives December, 2015


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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. 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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »