News Archives April, 2017


Celebrate the generations during Older Adult Month, National Youth Sunday (April 21, 2017)

Each May congregations are encouraged to celebrate the contributions of members of all generations to our life together. The first Sunday in May (May 7) is National Youth Sunday, a day when youth are engaged in planning, organizing, and leading worship. The entire month is designated as Older Adult Month, an opportunity for congregations to celebrate God’s gift of aging and the contributions of elders in our midst. Read more »


Group receives training in ‘Farming God’s Way’ in Africa (April 21, 2017)

Brethren Disaster Ministries and the Global Food Initiative recently worked together to send representatives from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), representatives from South Sudan, and a Church of the Brethren representative from the United States to Kenya to receive training in a program called Farming God’s Way with an organization called Care of Creation, Kenya. Read more »


‘Feetwashing’ in the garden: The most meaningful love feast ever! (April 21, 2017)

In my 27 years of pastoral ministry tonight was the most meaningful Maundy Thursday love feast experience ever for me! Any other church I have been part of would have fired me on the spot for messing with the “Holy Ground,” but not Community of Joy. Read more »


Brethren bits for April 21, 2017 (April 21, 2017)

In this issue: Correction, remembering Marie Flory, personnel, job openings, congregational news, “Becoming a Leader in Memory Care” webinar, the 2017 Brethren Bible Institute, an Easter hope message from South Sudan, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Bob Chase retires from leadership of SERRV, Loreen Epp named president and CEO (April 21, 2017)

Bob Chase has announced his retirement from his long-term leadership of SERRV International, Inc., as of the end of April. SERRV is a fair trade organization that had its start as a Church of the Brethren program. Chase is retiring as president and CEO, and has been part of the SERRV team and part of the global fair trade community for more than 27 years. Read more »


Newsline for April 21, 2017 (April 21, 2017)

NEWS 1) Group receives training in ‘Farming God’s Way’ in Africa 2) New scholarship program is offered by Bethany Seminary 3) On Earth Peace board continues its anti-racism emphasis PERSONNEL 4) Bob Chase retires from leadership of SERRV, Loreen Epp named president and CEO UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Celebrate the generations during Older Adult Month, National Youth Sunday 6) Bethany Seminary commencement is scheduled REFLECTION 7) ‘Feetwashing’ in the garden: The most meaningful love feast ever! 8) Brethren bits Read more »


On Earth Peace board continues its anti-racism emphasis (April 21, 2017)

The On Earth Peace Board met April 6-8 in Harrisburg, Pa. The meetings were hosted by First Church of the Brethren, a Christ centered, multi-ethnic community in the inner city. This was in keeping with an ongoing board commitment to meet in people of color majority spaces. First Church included the board in its regular Friday morning bilingual Spanish and English worship service. This service is jointly led by First Church and its partner congregation, Living Waters, for community people arriving for a weekly food distribution. Read more »


Church of the Brethren gives grants to rebuild Nigerian churches (April 14, 2017)

The Church of the Brethren has granted $100,000 to Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) to support the church rebuilding efforts of EYN members. The grants will be given to 20 churches at $5,000 a piece. Read more »


Newsline Special for Good Friday 2017 (April 14, 2017)

1) Action Alert for the third anniversary of the Chibok kidnappings 2) Global Mission and Service executive visits Chibok during recent trip to Nigeria 3) Church of the Brethren gives grants to rebuild Nigerian churches 4) Remembering Chibok at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University 5) Carrying the cross without fear: How the Coptic Church in Egypt deals with the constant threat 6) Love feast at Princeton Read more »


Remembering Chibok at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University (April 14, 2017)

For the third year in a row, Kristie Hammond of Olivet Church of the Brethren in Ohio--now a senior at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University (MVNU)--arranged for a social justice speaker to commemorate each passing year of the Chibok abductions. She says she was personally affected by this horrific event because the girls were her age, or younger, and were kidnapped for trying to get a post-secondary education just as she is doing. Read more »


Global Mission and Service executive visits Chibok during recent trip to Nigeria (April 13, 2017)

I went to Chibok last week. The security is extremely tight, and there is little space to do much, but I felt compelled to go along with three brothers from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria): Marcus Gamache, Dr. Yusuf Yokubo, and the district secretary of Chibok. It was partially for my own understanding, partially to encourage EYN, and more specifically, the local Brethren families who continue to live and farm in Chibok. Read more »


Love feast at Princeton (April 13, 2017)

Last month, I received an invitation to officiate at a love feast at Princeton Theological Seminary, where I am a visiting scholar. Surprised to learned there would be a love feast at Princeton, I jumped at the chance to help, but discovered the date conflicted with my responsibilities as a trustee at Bridgewater (Va.) College. Read more »


Camp cohort completes the Sustaining Ministerial Excellence Advanced Seminar (April 8, 2017)

The fourth and final retreat for the Camp Cohort of the Sustaining Ministerial Excellence Advanced Seminar took place March 19-22 at Quaker Hill Retreat Center in Richmond, Ind. Congratulations to Barbara Wise Lewczak of Camp Pine Lake, Northern Plains District; Karen Neff of Camp Ithiel, Atlantic Southeast District; Linetta and Joel Ballew of Camp Swatara, Atlantic Northeast District; Jerri Wenger of Camp Blue Diamond, Middle Pennsylvania District; and Wallace Cole of Camp Carmel, Southeastern District. Read more »


Newsline for April 8, 2017 (April 8, 2017)

NEWS 1) Statement from Annual Conference moderator, general secretary mourns cycle of violence in Syria 2) Camp cohort completes the Sustaining Ministerial Excellence Advanced Seminar 3) Nigerian church holds annual conference after insurgency 4) Nigerian Brethren leaders make trip to Cameroon refugee camp SPECIAL SECTION: CONCERNS OF IMMIGRANT BRETHREN 5) Intercultural leaders share concern for immigrant members: ‘The fears are real’ 6) Please help them: Reflection of a Latino Brethren 7) Filipenses puede guiar a la iglesia en relación con personas indocumentadas 8) Philippians may guide the church in relating with undocumented people REFLECTIONS 9) God lives! Now repent and be faithful 10) Sing, sing, sing: A reflection to prepare for Palm Sunday 11) Brethren bits Read more »


Nigerian Brethren leaders make trip to Cameroon refugee camp (April 8, 2017)

I was privileged to travel to visit a Christian and Muslim refugee camp in Cameroon. The president of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) Joel S. Billi, the general secretary, administrative secretary, EYN spiritual adviser, and and six others including myself traveled to Minawawuoa in Maruoa Province, Cameroon, to visit a refugee camp on March 11. Read more »


Nigerian church holds annual conference after insurgency (April 8, 2017)

The largest church denomination in northeastern Nigeria convened its annual conference at its Headquarters in Kwarhi, the first to be held there since the two years since the Boko Haram insurgency overran the area. Read more »


Brethren bits for April 8, 2017 (April 8, 2017)

In this issue: Corrections, remembrances, personnel notes, job openings, SERRV offers tours of its Distribution Center at the Brethren Service Center on April 30, We Are Able workcamp seeks for assistants ages 18-plus, pre-NOAC gathering for pastors is announced for September, Healthy Boundaries 101 training session takes place May 8, “Pray for Christian Citizenship Seminar 2017" asks Office of Public Witness, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Intercultural leaders share concern for immigrant members: ‘The fears are real’ (April 8, 2017)

Pastors of intercultural congregations are working to serve church members who are immigrants during a time when the nation’s immigrant community is feeling threatened. Leaders connected with the Church of the Brethren Intercultural Ministries are expressing concerns for the wellbeing of immigrants--documented and undocumented--in their congregations. Read more »


Statement from Annual Conference moderator, general secretary mourns cycle of violence in Syria (April 7, 2017)

As citizens under the reign of God, we mourn the violence of these days.... Read more »


Sing, sing, sing: A reflection to prepare for Palm Sunday (April 7, 2017)

“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord” (Psalm 118:26a). Read more »