News Archives May, 2015


Brethren bits for May 27, 2015 (May 27, 2015)

In this issue: Remembering Gerald Neher who served in Chibok, new leadership for ADNet, Brethren Academy seeks coordinator of Spanish Language Ministry Training Programs, two Bethany courses to be offered at Brethren-related colleges this fall, last webinar in the “After Christendom” series, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for May 27, 2015 (May 27, 2015)

1) First District Church of the Brethren in India celebrates 100th Jilla Sabha. 2) Nigeria Crisis Response staff provide details of the relief effort. 3) New Humanitarian Pledge to ban nuclear weapons advances as troubled treaty stalls. 4) Breaking the chains: A reflection from Ecumenical Advocacy Days. 5) Brethren bits Read more »


First District Church of the Brethren in India celebrates 100th Jilla Sabha (May 27, 2015)

Indian Brethren gathered in Valsad, Gujarat, for the church’s 100th Jilla Sabha (district conference). The two-day event began on May 13 with worship and the regular business of the denomination, while May 14 was dedicated to a full day of celebration that ran late into the evening. Attending on behalf of the Church of the Brethren was David Steele, moderator, and Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission and Service. Read more »


Breaking the chains: A reflection from Ecumenical Advocacy Days (May 27, 2015)

I don’t often watch the news anymore; it is too frustrating. I read my fair share of articles while scrolling through my Facebook feed that describe just what state of disarray our world is falling toward. There are few things more terrifying than seeing the brilliantly dramatized retelling of the things that are going on around me, and many days it is hard to find comfort in knowing too much about the world that I live in. Some days I cry. Read more »


Nigeria Crisis Response staff provide details of the relief effort (May 22, 2015)

Church of the Brethren staff working with the Nigeria Crisis Response have provided financial details and accounting of the relief effort in Nigeria, which responds to needs of those affected by the violent Islamist insurgency in the northeast of the country. The crisis response is a cooperative effort of the Church of the Brethren and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Read more »


Churches partner to support trash day in Pomona (May 20, 2015)

The Pomona Fellowship and Cristo Scion congregations of the Church of the Brethren partnered with the City of Pomona, Calif., to clean up the town on May 9. Who could know what this day would hold even with all the explanations given ahead of time? It became everything and more than we thought it would be. Read more »


General Secretary’s Luncheon in 2015 continues a focus on higher education (May 20, 2015)

A General Secretary’s dinner at last year’s Annual Conference was the first in a series to engage educators in topics of importance to the church and society. The events have the overarching goal to work at the church’s relationship with the Brethren-related institutions of higher education: Bridgewater College in Virginia, Elizabethtown College and Juniata College in Pennsylvania, the University of La Verne in California, McPherson College in Kansas, Manchester University and Bethany Theological Seminary in Indiana. Read more »


Newsline for May 20, 2015 (May 20, 2015)

1) Church of the Brethren general secretary attends EYN Annual Conference. 2) EYN Church of the Brethren General Church Council (Majalisa) issues communique. 3) Commencement celebrated at Bethany Theological Seminary. 4) CDS volunteers serve children and families affected by tornados in Oklahoma. 5) Churches partner to support trash day in Pomona. 6) Special speakers, unique events, continuing education opportunities, family fun highlight Annual Conference 2015. 7) General Secretary’s Luncheon in 2015 continues a focus on higher education. 8) BVS announces Partners in Service Awards for 2015. 9) Mountain Meadows Song and Story Fest is hosted by Camp Wilbur Stover in Idaho. 10) Message of the presidents of the World Council of Churches at Pentecost 2015. 11) Re: Targeted lethal drones program. 12) #SendItBack on International Conscientious Objectors Day: Michael Himlie’s example. 13) Brethren bits. Read more »


BVS announces Partners in Service Awards for 2015 (May 20, 2015)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) is pleased to announce the 2015 Partners in Service Award. Three congregations will share this award, which will be presented at the BVS luncheon on Monday, July 13, at the Annual Conference in Tampa, Fla. The Partners in Service Award is presented each year to an individual, group, or organization that has shown an exceptional commitment to the work of sharing God’s love through acts of service. Read more »


Mountain Meadows Song and Story Fest is hosted by Camp Wilbur Stover in Idaho (May 20, 2015)

The 2015 Mountain Meadows Song and Story Fest on the theme, “Moving in Time With...” is planned for July 26-Aug. 1 at Camp Wilbur Stover, New Meadows, Idaho. Song and Story Fest is an annual intergenerational family camp featuring Brethren musicians and storytellers, co-sponsored by On Earth Peace. This is the 19th summer in a row for Song and Story Fest. Read more »


CDS volunteers serve children and families affected by tornados in Oklahoma (May 20, 2015)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) set up a children’s center in a Multi Agency Resource Center in Oklahoma City, Okla., this past weekend, in response to the tornadoes and floods in the area. CDS is a part of Brethren Disaster Ministries. Read more »


Church of the Brethren general secretary attends EYN Annual Conference (May 20, 2015)

Church of the Brethren general secretary Stanley J. Noffsinger traveled to Nigeria on May 3-11 to attend the Majalisa of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Noffsinger was billed as the guest speaker for EYN’s 68th annual meeting. Roxane and Carl Hill, co-directors of the Nigeria Crisis Response, accompanied the general secretary to Nigeria and were also given an opportunity to share before this large gathering. Read more »


Brethren bits for May 20, 2015 (May 20, 2015)

In this issue: Nigerian Brethren summer tour, Young Adult Conference is coming soon, Global Mission lifts up PAG volunteers, La Verne Church awards Benton Rhoades Peacemaker Scholarships, youth from Dupont Church are honored, Modesto Church dedicates Thelma and Hurley Couchman labyrinth, Shenandoah Disaster Ministries Auction early results, and more. Read more »


Re: Targeted lethal drones program (May 20, 2015)

Church of the Brethren general secretary Stanley J. Noffsinger and On Earth Peace executive director Bill Scheurer are among a number of American faith leaders to sign a letter to President Obama expressing “grave concerns” about the United States’ lethal drones policy. The letter follows on the recent drone strike killing of US citizen Warren Weinstein. The letter was put together by an interfaith working group on drones that includes staff of the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness. Read more »


Special speakers, unique events, continuing education opportunities, family fun highlight Annual Conference 2015 (May 20, 2015)

Planning for Annual Conference 2015 in Tampa, Fla., on July 11-15, is in place and the Conference officers and staff are highlighting the number of special speakers, unique events, continuing education opportunities, and possibilities for church fellowship and family fun offered at this Conference. The Conference centers on the theme “Abide in My Love... and Bear Fruit” (John 15:9-17). David A. Steele, district executive of Middle Pennsylvania District, will preside as moderator, assisted by moderator-elect Andy Murray and secretary James Beckwith. Chris Douglas is the Conference director. Read more »


Christian Citizenship Seminar 2015 takes on the topic of immigration (May 13, 2015)

Two of the senior high youth who participated in this year’s Christian Citizenship Seminar--Jenna Walmer and Corrie Osborne--report on the event and its impact: “On April 18, Church of the Brethren youth gathered in New York City at the start of Christian Citizenship Seminar (CCS), a conference that allows youth to explore the connections between a specific topic and our faith. This year the topic was immigration. The seminar culminates with congressional visits in Washington, D.C. Throughout the seminar, we discussed the importance of our faith’s connection with citizenship and how immigration impacts our lives. It is a busy week filled with learning, fun, and spiritual growth....” Read more »


Second Haitian Peace Seminar is held in Miami (May 13, 2015)

From Friday evening April 24, until noon Sunday, April 26, the Second Haitian Peace Seminar was held at l’Eglise des Freres Church of the Brethren in Miami, Fla. During the three-day conference 100 attendees registered. Of these registrants 22 were youth. Registrants represented five Haitian churches in Florida and a Church of the Brethren in Haiti. Read more »


NCC annual gathering marks new ecumenical focus on interfaith peacemaking, mass incarceration (May 13, 2015)

The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) held its second annual Christian Unity Gathering on May 7-9 near Washington, D.C. The gathering focused on interfaith peacemaking and mass incarceration, and related topics including Christian responses to police brutality. Some 200 people attended, including leaders from a wide spectrum of Christian traditions. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries directs $70,000 to joint response in Nepal, among other grants (May 13, 2015)

Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed a grant of $70,000 from the Church of the Brethren Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to help fund a joint response in Nepal with Church World Service (CWS) and Lutheran World Relief, Heifer International, and local partners. Read more »


Alaska project receives Going to Garden grant to support ‘far north’ gardening (May 13, 2015)

A unique gardening project in Alaska is one of the sites receiving grants through the Going to the Garden initiative of the Church of the Brethren Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) and Office of Public Witness. “I was just floored by what they are doing,” commented GFCF manager Jeff Boshart. The Alaska effort is a personal mission of Bill and Penny Gay and an outreach project of their congregation at Pleasant Dale Church of the Brethren in Decatur, Ind. Read more »


Intercultural Retreat brings a rainbow of humanity together to say ‘Amen!’ (May 13, 2015)

Two of the organizers of the 2015 Intercultural Retreat held in early May in Harrisburg, Pa., write their impressions of the gathering: “All God’s People Say Amen” was the rousing theme for an inspiring weekend intercultural retreat at Harrisburg (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren where Belita Mitchell serves as lead pastor. Almost 150 people from 9 districts of the Church of the Brethren gathered to participate in this three-day event....” Read more »


Mount Morris Church celebrates immigrant member Isabelle Krol (May 13, 2015)

Mount Morris (Ill.) Church of the Brethren on a recent Sunday held a service and celebration for member Isabelle Krol, on the 50th anniversary of her becoming an official citizen of the United States. She came to the United States from Belgium, following World War II. Following is part of her life story, taken from an interview by Dianne Swingel: Read more »


Newsline for May 13, 2015 (May 13, 2015)

1) The Armenian genocide is commemorated at the Washington National Cathedral. 2) Armenian Genocide sparked 100 years of Brethren response to disaster and conflict. 3) ‘I have decided to stay with my orphans’: Remembering Brethren work during the genocide. 4) NCC annual gathering marks new ecumenical focus on interfaith peacemaking, mass incarceration. 5) Brethren Disaster Ministries directs $70,000 to joint response in Nepal, among other grants. 6) Intercultural Retreat brings a rainbow of humanity together to say ‘Amen!’ 7) Christian Citizenship Seminar 2015 takes on the topic of immigration. 8) Second Haitian Peace Seminar is held in Miami. 9) Church of the Brethren general secretary to receive honorary degree from Manchester. 10) Alaska project receives Going to Garden grant to support ‘far north’ gardening. 11) Mount Morris Church celebrates immigrant member Isabelle Krol. 12) Brethren bits. Read more »


Brethren bits for May 12, 2015 (May 12, 2015)

In this issue: Church of the Brethren members invited to contribute to memory book honoring general secretary Stan Noffsinger, Tim McElwee named to new VP post at Manchester University, Office of Public Witness supports call for end to family detention in Immigration Detention Centers, Mother's Day 5K for Peace in Nigeria raises more than $5,000, Nigerian television reports on Brethren visit to Chibok, and more. Read more »


Armenian Genocide sparked 100 years of Brethren response to disaster and conflict (May 8, 2015)

The commemoration of 100 years since the beginning of the Armenian genocide in 1915 also marks nearly a century of Church of the Brethren compassionate response to those affected by disasters and conflicts. An estimated 1.5 million Armenians perished at the hands of the Ottoman Turks in the genocide that occurred from 1915 to 1923. Brethren began responding to the needs of Armenian survivors and refugees beginning in 1917. Read more »


EYN Church of the Brethren General Church Council (Majalisa) issues communique (May 8, 2015)

The following communique from the 68th General Church Council (Majalisa) of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) was issued by the Majalisa meeting from May 5-8 at the new Annex Headquarters of EYN in central Nigeria. Read more »


‘I have decided to stay with my orphans’: Remembering Brethren work during the genocide (May 8, 2015)

“Ten thousand Armenians are reportedly massacred and now the French troops are evacuating the city. I have decided to stay with my orphans and take what comes. This may be my last letter. Whatever happens, rest assured God’s in heaven and all’s well. I am working in the day time and often in the night at the emergency hospital. Believe me, war is hell.” Read more »


The Armenian genocide is commemorated at the Washington National Cathedral (May 8, 2015)

A major event for the Christian Unity Gathering of the National Council of Churches on May 6-9 near Washington, D.C., was a commemoration of the Armenian genocide at the Washington National Cathedral. This year 2015 marks a century since the start of the genocide in 1915, perpetrated by Ottoman Turkey, in which 1.5 million people died in mass killing that continued to 1923. Read more »


Global Mission is renewing partnership with Prisoner Visitation and Support (May 5, 2015)

Through the office of Global Mission and Service, the Church of the Brethren is renewing its partnership of grant support to the organization Prisoner Visitation and Support (PVS). In addition to the denomination’s grant support, which began in 1985, PVS has benefited from Brethren serving as prison visitors and as representatives on PVS’ board of directors. Read more »


Newsline for May 5, 2015 (May 5, 2015)

1) Action alert: Support immigrant mothers on Mother’s Day. 2) NCC calls for justice, end to violence in Baltimore. 3) Office of Ministry provides forms meeting new IRS standards. 4) Global Mission is renewing partnership with Prisoner Visitation and Support. 5) ‘Brethren Life and Thought’ is celebrating 60 years, 6) New Puerto Rico District names Jose Calleja Otero as district executive. 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Office of Ministry provides forms meeting new IRS standards (May 5, 2015)

The roller coaster ride of receiving and responding to updates regarding implications of the Affordable Care Act for support of our pastors’ medical insurance premiums continues. Thank you for your continuing care and concern as we seek to understand the situation and care for our pastors’ well-being. Read more »


Brethren bits for May 5, 2015 (May 5, 2015)

In this issue: Job opening in hospitality at Brethren Service Center, DC peace organizations seek executive director, Annual Conference seeks medical staff to volunteer, upcoming webinars, BVS dinners, Cliff Kindy featured on video of panel discussion about Nigeria crisis, Central Church in Roanoke celebrates 90 years, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


New Puerto Rico District names Jose Calleja Otero as district executive (May 5, 2015)

The Puerto Rico District has announced that Jose Calleja Otero has accepted the call to serve as district executive minister. Otero already has begun his work. In July, the Puerto Rico District officially will be welcomed as the Church of the Brethren’s 24th district at Annual Conference in Tampa, Fla. Read more »


‘Brethren Life and Thought’ is celebrating 60 years (May 5, 2015)

The journal “Brethren Life and Thought” is celebrating 60 years and editor Denise Kettering-Lane has planned two exciting issues to help us celebrate. Read more »