News Archives March, 2015


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 »


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 »


‘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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


‘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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


‘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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »