News Archives April, 2014


Congregations are invited to join in Annual Conference Sunday (April 29, 2014)

Church of the Brethren congregations and individuals are invited to join in a special Annual Conference Sunday worship service from around the country on July 6. The Conference Office is inviting churches to join in the webcast of worship that Sunday, in order “to worship together as one virtual church.” Read more »


New Annual Conference App designed to aid Conference-goers (April 29, 2014)

A new Annual Conference App has been created to aid Conference-goers and delegates as they attend the Church of the Brethren annual meeting this year on July 2-6 in Columbus, Ohio. Read more »


National Youth Conference registration fee to increase May 1 (April 29, 2014)

Youth and advisors have a day to register for this summer’s National Youth Conference (NYC) before the price goes up to $500 on May 1. All participants are encouraged to register as soon as possible to avoid a late fee. For all information regarding the conference, visit www.brethren.org/NYC . Read more »


Brethren bits for April 29, 2014 (April 29, 2014)

Christian response to waterboarding comment, Warrensburg Church to celebrate its 100th, a Caregiver’s Day in Southern Ohio, Mutual Kumquat asks, ‘Are you still glowing like we are?!’ and much more news by and for Brethren Read more »


Revision to Ministerial Leadership Polity heads up Annual Conference business agenda (April 29, 2014)

The business agenda for the Church of the Brethren’s 2014 Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio, on July 2-6 includes proposed revisions to the Ministerial Leadership Polity, along with other returning business items that deal with guidelines for implementing the Congregational Ethics Paper, guidance for responding to the changing of Earth’s climate, a Vision of Ecumenism for the 21st century, and more equitable representation on the Mission and Ministry Board. Read more »


Newsline for April 29, 2014 (April 29, 2014)

1) Nigerian churches urge global prayer for 230 missing girls, most from EYN. 2) Bethany Seminary to hold commencement. 3) Revision to Ministerial Leadership Polity heads up Annual Conference business agenda. 4) New Annual Conference App designed to aid Conference-goers. 5) Congregations are invited to join in Annual Conference Sunday. 6) National Youth Conference registration fee to increase May 1. 7) May is Older Adult Month: Celebrate the gift of aging. 8) Mission across margins is topic for webinars in May and June. 9) Protests reveal a country’s struggle: A BVSer reports from Bosnia. 10) Brethren bits Read more »


Mission across margins is topic for webinars in May and June (April 29, 2014)

Two webinars with Mike Pears will explore the theme of mission in marginal places. They are sponsored by the Church of the Brethren and its Congregational Life Ministries, with partners in the UK: Urban Expression, Bristol Baptist College, and BMS World Mission. Read more »


May is Older Adult Month: Celebrate the gift of aging (April 29, 2014)

Each May, the Church of the Brethren observes Older Adult Month, an opportunity to celebrate God’s gift of aging and the contributions of older adults to our lives and our congregations. This year, the denomination’s Older Adult Ministry invites the church to consider the “Rhythms of Life: For Everything There Is a Season…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). Read more »


Nigerian churches urge global prayer for 230 missing girls, most from EYN (April 29, 2014)

Church of the Brethren leaders in the US are joining Nigeria’s largest church network, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), to call for prayer and fasting for the safe release of hundreds of teenage school girls abducted April 14 from a school in Chibok, Nigeria, by an extremist Islamist terror group. Most of the affected families are part of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN--Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria). Read more »


Protests reveal a country’s struggle: A BVSer reports from Bosnia (April 23, 2014)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) worker Stephanie Barras provided this report from Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, where she has been living since Sept. 2013. She is working at OKC Abrasevic, a youth cultural center: Read more »


Church of the Brethren Benefit Trust supports Church Alliance filing of Amicus Brief in clergy housing exclusion case (April 22, 2014)

The Church Alliance--a coalition of the chief executive officers of 38 denominational benefit programs including Church of the Brethren Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT)--has filed an amicus curiae brief in the Seventh Circuit US Court of Appeals (Chicago) in the case challenging the constitutionality of the clergy housing exclusion under Section 107(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Code). Read more »


Brethren bits for April 22, 2014 (April 22, 2014)

In this issue: Medical volunteers needed at Annual Conference, project leaders needed by Brethren Disaster Ministries, continued prayer needed for Nigeria, plus the SVMC board meeting, May 1 registration deadline for NYC, 150th anniversary of Elder John Kline’s death, and lots of news from congregations, districts, colleges, and more. Read more »


Newsline for April 22, 2014 (April 22, 2014)

1) Presidential inauguration highlights Bethany Seminary trustee meeting. 2) Church of the Brethren Benefit Trust supports Church Alliance filing of Amicus Brief in clergy housing exclusion case. 3) Global Food Crisis Fund to assist Fisherfolk’s Association in Philippines. 4) Brethren Press offers summer curriculum. 5) Water, Holy Water: Praising God on Earth Day. 6) The history of International Cane Awareness Day in Vietnam. 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Global Food Crisis Fund to assist Fisherfolk’s Association in Philippines (April 22, 2014)

A grant of $10,000 from the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) has been allocated for replacement of fishing equipment in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. The recipient of the grant is Barangay District 1 Fisherfolk's Association of Babatngon, Leyte, the Philippines. Read more »


The history of International Cane Awareness Day in Vietnam (April 22, 2014)

The first event of International Cane Awareness Day in Vietnam occurred in October 2011, at Nguyen Dinh Chieu Blind School, Ho Chi Minh City. An overall theme was chosen for this event: “The white-tipped cane is an adaptive, functional cane used by blind persons, which alerts people to give priority to the person using the cane.” Read more »


Brethren Press offers summer curriculum (April 16, 2014)

Brethren Press is offering a variety of curriculum for this summer, including the final quarter of Gather ’Round, the predecessor to the new Shine curriculum; A Guide for Biblical Studies on the topic “The People of God Set Priorities” written by Al Hansell; and a Vacation Bible School curriculum from MennoMedia focused on biblical hospitality, titled “Give and Receive God’s Great Love.” Read more »


‘Shine’ fall quarter and starter kits are now available for children’s Sunday school (April 16, 2014)

“Shine,” the new Christian education curriculum from Brethren Press and MennoMedia, is now available to congregations for the fall quarter. Also available now are two starter kits: The Shine Starter Kit with a quarter’s worth of Shine materials; and the Shine Multiage Starter Kit for congregations with a range of age groups. Read more »


Volunteers to set out on ‘BVS Coast to Coast’ bicycle tour (April 15, 2014)

Two Brethren Volunteer Service workers are setting out on a bicycle tour called “BVS Coast to Coast.” Chelsea Goss, of Mechanicsville, Va., and Rebekah Maldonado-Nofziger, of Pettisville, Ohio, plan to cross the country on their bicycles in support of the Church of the Brethren program. Read more »


General secretary, mission and service executive visit with Brethren in Nigeria (April 15, 2014)

Church of the Brethren general secretary Stanley J. Noffsinger has visited Nigeria for the Majalisa or annual meeting of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), with Global Mission and Service executive Jay Wittmeyer. Noffsinger wrote this e-mail report April 14 from the capital city of Abuja on the last day of the trip. Read more »


Newsline for April 15, 2014 (April 15, 2014)

1) General secretary, mission and service executive visit with Brethren in Nigeria. 2) Volunteers to set out on ‘BVS Coast to Coast’ bicycle tour. 3) Going to the Garden grants are available. 4) ‘Shine’ fall quarter and starter kits are now available for children’s Sunday school. 5) Courtney Hess to direct Lilly Grant project at Bethany. 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Going to the Garden grants are still available (April 15, 2014)

As this time of year rolls around, we begin witnessing the appearance of new life, both the new life Jesus Christ gives us all through the miracle of Easter resurrection, and the new life we see in our environment as we move into Spring. Read more »


Brethren bits for April 15, 2014 (April 15, 2014)

In this issue: A correction, remembering Josh Copp, Material Resources seeks truck driver/warehouser, Bridgewater College celebrates the installation of president David Bushman, a new Springs folder for the Easter Season, Earth Day Sunday resources from Creation Justice Ministries. Read more »


Ecumenical Advocacy Days resist violence, build peace (April 8, 2014)

The vision of “peace in the community, peace among the peoples, peace in the marketplace, and peace with the earth” was explored at the 12th annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) in Washington, D.C. This conference took place March 21-24, and brought together nearly 1,000 Christians from Sri-Lanka to Alaska to learn about the call to peace in our world. Read more »


Church of the Brethren co-sponsors ‘Church and Post-Christian Culture’ event (April 8, 2014)

Missio Alliance has announced a conference titled “Church and Post-Christian Culture: Christian Witness” in the Way of Jesus. “Church and Post-Christian Culture” seeks to gather historic Anabaptist groups along with a growing group of leaders who have found a new home in the theological visions of the tradition. The Church of the Brethren is co-sponsoring the gathering with Missio Alliance. The event is scheduled for Sept. 19-20 at Carlisle (Pa.) Brethren in Christ Church. Read more »


Newsline for April 8, 2014 (April 8, 2014)

1) Bethany Seminary’s Presidential Forum takes a look at the love feast. 2) Children’s Disaster Services responds to Washington mudslide. 3) Brethren mission workers serve alongside Nigerian group aiding refugees. 4) Ecumenical Advocacy Days resist violence, build peace. 5) Church of the Brethren co-sponsors ‘Church and Post-Christian Culture’ event. 6) Touching lives deeply: Reflecting on a workcamp in Haiti. 7) We continue the mission of the church: A report from Falfurrias, Texas. 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for April 8, 2014 (April 8, 2014)

In this issue: Letter on Israel-Palestine, extension of TPS for Haitians, Pacific Northwest District collects mudslide donations, Easter sunrise service at CrossRoads, 13th Sounds of the Mountains festival, Antibiotic Stewardship Program at Fahrney-Keedy, alumni honors at Bridgewater College, new book series in the works called “Passing the Privilege,” and much more. Read more »


Bethany Seminary’s Presidential Forum takes a look at the love feast (April 8, 2014)

“Living Love Feast” was the theme of the sixth Presidential Forum held at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. A pre-forum gathering April 3-4 was led by Bethany faculty and alumni. The forum on April 4-5 featured guest speakers and presenters including activist and peacemaker Shane Claiborne, actor and playwright Ted Swartz, Janet R. Walton of Union Theological Seminary, and Ruth Anne Reese of Asbury Theological Seminary. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services responds to Washington mudslide  (April 7, 2014)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) deployed seven volunteers in response to the catastrophic mudslide in Snohomish County, Wash. CDS is a program of Brethren Disaster Ministries. The CDS team served in Darrington, a community near the slide location. The response ended Sunday, April 6, having made a total of 83 child contacts, according to CDS associate director Kathy Fry-Miller. Read more »


Brethren mission workers serve alongside Nigerian group aiding refugees (April 2, 2014)

Over the weekend of March 14-16, the Center for Caring, Empowerment, and Peace Initiatives (CCEPI) served 509 refugees around the Headquarters and Kulp Bible College of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). CCEPI distributed 4,292 articles of clothing and shoes, 2,000 kilograms of corn, along with buckets and cups. Read more »


Touching lives deeply: Reflecting on a workcamp in Haiti (April 2, 2014)

The week of Feb. 1-8, a team of 23 people traveled to Haiti on a short-term mission trip. The trip was arranged and facilitated by New Fairview Church of the Brethren in York, Pa. There were at least five denominations represented. I know of no other experience that touches lives so deeply. Read more »


Brethren bits for April 1, 2014 (April 1, 2014)

This issue remembers Carl Myers and Millie Mundy, shares personnel news from Shenandoah District, notes the 100th anniversary of Carlisle Church of the Brethren, celebrates seagoing cowboys with Pastors for Peace, and offers more news for and about Brethren. Read more »


Youth have a month to register for National Youth Conference before price goes up (April 1, 2014)

Youth and advisors only have one month left to register for this summer’s National Youth Conference (NYC) before the price goes up to $500 on May 1. All participants are encouraged to register as soon as possible to avoid a late fee. For all information regarding the conference, visit www.brethren.org/NYC . Read more »


Newsline for April 1, 2014 (April 1, 2014)

1) Conferees discuss bridge-building at Pacific Southwest District gathering. 2) Youth have a month to register for National Youth Conference before price goes up. 3) On Earth Peace begins 40th anniversary celebrations, board establishes team for elimination of racism work. 4) Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 304 completes orientation. 5) Donna Kline resigns as director of Deacon Ministries. 6) Brian Solem resigns from communications post with BBT. 7) Carol Berster retires as president of Peter Becker Community. 8) Bridgewater College scholar to speak on John Kline martyrdom. 9) Brethren bits Read more »


We continue the mission of the church: A report from Falfurrias, Texas (April 1, 2014)

Falfurrias (Texas) Church of the Brethren is one of the congregations receiving support from the Global Food Crisis Fund and the Office of Public Witness through the “Going to the Garden” initiative that gives grants for community gardens. Recently, church members reported to GFCF manager Jeff Boshart how the church’s mission is continuing. The following is excerpted from a lengthier report: Read more »


Donna Kline retires as director of Deacon Ministries (April 1, 2014)

Donna Kline has announced her retirement as director of Deacon Ministries for the Church of the Brethren, as of July 11. She has held this position in Congregational Life Ministries for more than five years, since Oct. 20, 2008. Read more »


Conferees discuss bridge-building at Pacific Southwest District gathering (April 1, 2014)

Brethren from Pacific Southwest District congregations met recently to talk about how to put hands and feet on a unity statement they adopted in 2007. Some 30 Brethren gathered March 28-30 at Principe de Paz Church of the Brethren in Santa Ana, Calif., to talk about how they could be more intentional in their efforts to build bridges across racial, cultural, ethnic, and religious boundaries. Read more »


Carol Berster retires as president of Peter Becker Community (April 1, 2014)

Carol Berster, president/CEO of the Peter Becker Community since February 2006, will be retiring in March 2015. She plans to move to Delaware to be closer to her family. Peter Becker is a Church of the Brethren-related continuing care retirement community in Montgomery County, Pa. Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 304 completes orientation (April 1, 2014)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Unit 304 has completed the Winter orientation, held Jan, 26-Feb. 14 at Camp Ithiel in Gotha, Fla. Following are the names of the volunteers, their home congregation or home town, and placement sites: Read more »