News Archives May, 2020


Brethren bits for May 30, 2020 (May 30, 2020)

In this issue: Ecumenical statements on the killing of George Floyd and a statement from Central Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va.; Annual Conference Moderator’s Town Hall on “Faith, Science, and COVID-19"; first-ever virtual graduation at McPherson College; and more. Read more »


Newsline for May 30, 2020 (May 30, 2020)

NEWS 1) National Day of Mourning and Lament on Monday, June 1, is a joint effort of faith leaders and mayors 2) Workcamp Ministry will offer seven weeks of virtual workcamps 3) Global Food Initiative grants support community gardens, agriculture in Haiti and Ecuador 4) Financial support is encouraged for Outdoor Ministries Association camps 5) Brethren bits: Ecumenical statements on the killing of George Floyd and a statement from Central Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va.; Annual Conference Moderator’s Town Hall on “Faith, Science, and COVID-19"; first-ever virtual graduation at McPherson College; and more Read more »


Church of the Brethren congregations offer online worship services (May 30, 2020)

Here is a listing of Church of the Brethren congregations that are offering online worship services during the time when COVID-19 is preventing the church from gathering in-person for worship. Read more »


Brethren active in health care (May 30, 2020)

This listing is provided by the Church of the Brethren Newsline in order to help us recognize, thank, and pray for Church of the Brethren members who are caring for people’s health right now. Read more »


National Day of Mourning and Lament on Monday, June 1, is a joint effort of faith leaders and mayors (May 30, 2020)

Faith leaders from around the country are working with the US Conference of Mayors to make Monday, June 1, a National Day of Mourning and Lament as the nation surpassed the grim milestone of 100,000 people lost to COVID-19. Read more »


Workcamp Ministry will offer seven weeks of virtual workcamps (May 29, 2020)

The Workcamp office is excited to announce that we will be holding seven weeks of virtual workcamps this summer! Virtual workcamps will be held from 4-5 p.m. (Eastern time) every Monday from June 22 to Aug. 3. Each week will focus on one of the daily themes from our workcamp devotional book. Participants will hear a short reflection from one of our awesome workcamp directors, engage in small and large group discussions, and play some fun games with us! Read more »


Financial support is encouraged for Outdoor Ministries Association camps (May 29, 2020)

In these extraordinary times, camps are faced with significant challenges. Many have already lost months of rental/retreat group income which helps to off-set summer camp and other program costs. More cancellations are anticipated moving forward. Difficult decisions are being made about whether or not to proceed with summer camps as the health and safety of campers and staff/volunteers is weighed. While some have been able to apply for and receive loans or grants through government support programs, the possibility of staff reductions and salary reductions is real for many. Read more »


Global Food Initiative grants support community gardens, agriculture in Haiti and Ecuador (May 28, 2020)

The Global Food Initiative (GFI) of the Church of the Brethren has given several grants in recent weeks, supporting community garden projects, agriculture in Haiti, a consultant for assessment of the programs of Fundacion Brethren y Unida in Ecuador. Read more »


Intercultural Ministries conversation with Mungi Ngomane is a success (May 22, 2020)

Recently, Intercultural Ministries hosted #ConversationsTogether with Mungi Ngomane, author of “Everyday Ubuntu: Living Better Together the African Way.” The online event was a success, wtih 46 participants from churches and districts across the US sharing in conversation. Read more »


Church districts offer recommendations regarding in-person gatherings (May 22, 2020)

Leadership teams of several Church of the Brethren districts have issued recommendations recently regarding congregations gathering in buildings. Districts that have begun sharing guidance include, among others, Mid-Atlantic, Middle Pennsylvania, and Southern Ohio and Kentucky. Read more »


Brethren in Brazil facing major COVID-19 outbreak (May 22, 2020)

The Global Mission office has received emails from Marcos Inhauser of Igreja da Irmandade (Church of the Brethren in Brazil) with updates about the situation in one of the globe’s “hot spots” for COVID-19. The city of São Paulo has become one of the largest localized outbreaks, according to media reports this week. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries shares updates on rebuilding sites in the Carolinas, Ohio, Puerto Rico (May 22, 2020)

Brethren Disaster Ministries is sharing updates including a schedule change for the Carolinas rebuilding site, news of the opening of a new rebuilding site in Ohio, and an update from Puerto Rico. Read more »


Brethren bits for May 22, 2020 (May 22, 2020)

In this issue: Update on flooding in Michigan, personnel, “The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Ahmaud Arbery,” urgent need for sewing PPE gowns, Pacific Southwest District Conference is going online, “Cooking Up a Healthy Community” webinar, Manchester choir performs “We Shall Overcome,” Principe de Paz senior appears on “Graduate Together,” more. Read more »


Newsline for May 22, 2020 (May 22, 2020)

NEWS 1) Continued engagement around the compelling vision is planned 2) Brethren Academy celebrates students who have completed their ministry training 3) Brethren Disaster Ministries shares updates on rebuilding sites in the Carolinas, Ohio, Puerto Rico 4) Intercultural Ministries conversation with Mungi Ngomane is a success 5) EYN is in a state of mourning 6) National commission focuses on strengthening the country’s ability to go to war RESOURCES 7) Church districts offer recommendations regarding in-person gatherings UPCOMING EVENTS 8) Denominational children’s worship time, worship gathering, and concert scheduled as virtual events 9) Webinar will offer tips for churches doing social media INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES 10) Brethren in Brazil facing major COVID-19 outbreak 11) Brethren bits Read more »


Webinar will offer tips for churches doing social media (May 22, 2020)

“There Is No ‘Should’ in Social Media” is the title of a webinar sponsored by the Discipleship Ministries with leadership from Jan Fischer Bachman, website producer for the Church of the Brethren. The webinar is scheduled twice, on June 11 at 2 p.m. (Eastern time) and on June 16 at 8 p.m. (Eastern time). Read more »


Denominational children’s worship time, worship gathering, and concert scheduled as virtual events (May 21, 2020)

The Program and Arrangements Committee of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference has announced plans for a series of denominational virtual events on July 1 and 2. Although the 2020 Annual Conference that would have taken place in Grand Rapids, Mich., has been cancelled, the committee decided it is important for the denomination to gather, albeit in a different way, in recognition of the church’s ongoing life together. Read more »


Continued engagement around the compelling vision is planned (May 21, 2020)

With the news that Annual Conference has been cancelled this summer, the Compelling Vision Working Group has outlined a plan for continued engagement around the compelling vision even as affirmation by the Conference body has been delayed. Read more »


EYN is in a state of mourning (May 19, 2020)

President Joel Billi of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has said that “EYN is in a state of mourning.” He made this statement to the EYN congregation at LCC Jigalambu in his address at the funeral services of a key staff of the organization, the director of EYN’s Integrated Community Based Development Programme (ICBDP). The late Marcus Vandi, aged 59, died on May 12 after a brief illness. The president, who also read from the book of Psalms 49:1-10, encouraged the wife of the deceased to look unto God and be strong to take care of their children. Read more »


Brethren Academy celebrates students who have completed their ministry training (May 19, 2020)

The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership celebrates 10 students who have completed their ministry training program this year. Four students will receive certificates from the Training in Ministry (TRIM) program. Six students will receive certificates from Seminario Bíblico Anabautista Hispano de la Iglesia de Los Hermanos (SeBAH-COB). These six represent the first-ever graduating class from SeBAH-COB. Read more »


National commission focuses on strengthening the country’s ability to go to war (May 19, 2020)

The Commission on Military, National, and Public Service released its final report, with 49 detailed recommendations to Congress, and a companion bill, HR 6415. Unfortunately, the majority of its recommendations are focused on preserving and strengthening the country’s ability to go to war, including upholding the apparatus of the draft (the Selective Service System) and extending the draft to include women. Read more »


Church of the Brethren Leadership Team statement in response to On Earth Peace’s decision to join the Supportive Communities Network (May 18, 2020)

The recent announcement from On Earth Peace to become a member of the Supportive Communities Network (SCN) has raised polity questions for the Leadership Team of the denomination, which is responsible for interpreting Annual Conference decisions and denominational polity. Read more »


Newsline for May 16, 2020 (May 16, 2020)

NEWS 1) Thirteen graduates earn Bethany degrees PERSONNEL 2) Michigan District announces new district executive team UPCOMING EVENTS 3) ‘Best Practices for Online Worship’ is topic for upcoming webinar 4) Webinar addresses ‘Brethren Distinctives in Church Planting’ 5) Moderator’s Town Hall on ‘Faith, Science, and COVID-19' slated for June 4 6) Plans for a denominational virtual choir are moving forward RESOURCES 7) CDS updates children’s resources for use by congregations 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for May 16, 2020 (May 16, 2020)

In this issue: New from Messenger magazine, remembrance for EYN staff, Jeanne Davies to lead Anabaptist Disabilities Network, E-town church sponsors webinar series “A Call to Faith Communities During COVID-19: Healing and Helping,” new ecumenical effort “Strengthening Hope for US Churches,” and more. Read more »


CDS updates children’s resources for use by congregations (May 16, 2020)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has been actively reviewing and updating the COVID-19 resource page with new resources for families since the beginning of the pandemic. The Church of the Brethren COVID-19 Response Planning Committee requested a small children’s committee to form to assess additional outreach for church congregations at this unique time in our history. Read more »


Moderator’s Town Hall on ‘Faith, Science, and COVID-19' slated for June 4 (May 16, 2020)

Church of the Brethren Annual Conference moderator Paul Mundey has announced plans for a Moderator’s Town Hall on June 4 at 7 p.m. (Eastern time), held in online webinar format. The topic will be “Faith, Science, and COVID-19” with leadership from Dr. Kathryn Jacobsen, professor in the Department of Global and Community Health at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va. Read more »


Webinar addresses ‘Brethren Distinctives in Church Planting’ (May 16, 2020)

A webinar on “Brethren Distinctives in Church Planting” is offered this coming Tuesday, May 19, at 3 p.m. (Eastern time). This one-hour free webinar is offered through the Discipleship Ministries of the Church of the Brethren. Leadership is provided by Ryan Braught, church planter/pastor of the Veritas Community in Lancaster, Pa., and Nate Polzin, pastor of two Michigan congregations, the Church in Drive in Saginaw, and Midland Church of the Brethren. Read more »


‘Best Practices for Online Worship’ is topic for upcoming webinar (May 16, 2020)

“Best Practices for Online Worship: Considerations and Strategies” is the topic for a webinar offered by Discipleship Ministries with leadership by Enten Eller. The event is offer twice, on May 27 at 2 p.m. (Eastern time), register in advance at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-TmNI1wVR-ybvbwQ3Sfo2A ; and on June 2 at 8 p.m. (Eastern time), register in advance at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_wtCjgIzcRh-XTjdPPKorvA . The content on May 27 will be repeated on June 2. Each webinar session is limited 100 attendees Read more »


Plans for a denominational virtual choir are moving forward (May 16, 2020)

Church of the Brethren Annual Conference moderator Paul Mundey has announced plans for a denominational virtual choir. A webpage will be available shortly, with resources that will allow people from across the church to add their voice to a mass Church of the Brethren choir. Three hymns are projected to be a part of the overall project: “Blessed Assurance,” “I See a New World Coming,” and “Move in Our Midst.” Read more »


Michigan District announces new district executive team (May 11, 2020)

The Leadership Team of the Michigan District of the Church of the Brethren has appointed a district executive team to care for the essential functions of the district. In addition, the district is seeking a part-time administrative assistant. Read more »


Emergency Disaster Fund grant supports COVID-19 efforts in Nigeria (May 9, 2020)

A grant of $14,000 has been given from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) directed by the Brethren Disaster Ministries staff to COVID-19 response in Nigeria. This allocation supports Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) for two months of its pandemic response. Read more »


Brethren offer music online for inspiration, solace, healing (May 9, 2020)

Many Church of the Brethren musicians have been stepping up to provide online performances, concerts or festivals, music downloads, and other offerings for inspiration, comfort, solace, and healing. Following are just a few of these musicians (if you have been inspired by a Brethren musician during this crisis, let Newsline know by sending an email to cobnews@brethren.org ): Read more »


Brethren Benefit Trust updates its Department of Defense screening lists for 2020 (May 9, 2020)

Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) has released the 2020 Department of Defense lists that are used for screening investments under its management. All investments managed for members, clients, and donors follow Brethren Values Investing guidelines that are consistent with Church of the Brethren Annual Conference statements. Read more »


Sunday worship under lock down in Nigeria (May 9, 2020)

Following the lock down measures put in place by the Nigerian government to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infection among its citizens, the preventives measure are considered differently depending on the environment or level of understanding. Some states are in the fifth week of the total lock down, while others are in the third week. Adamawa State is among the recent states to place the order of lock down. Churches conducted Sunday services in unusual ways by splitting the congregation into cells. I compiled a situation report on how the Sunday services were conducted on April 26: Read more »


Newsline for May 9, 2020 (May 9, 2020)

1) Denominational board amends BFIA grant guidelines to help churches and camps 2) Emergency Disaster Fund grant supports COVID-19 efforts in Nigeria 3) Sunday worship under lock down in Nigeria 4) Brethren Benefit Trust updates its Department of Defense screening lists for 2020 5) On Earth Peace reports from Spring meeting, announces decision to join SCN 6) Brethren offer music online for inspiration, solace, healing 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for May 9, 2020 (May 9, 2020)

In this issue: Remembering the Kent State shooting, remembrance for Josephine S. Wampler, prayer requests from Global Mission, youth scripture jam, Northern Plains district conference going virtual, more Bridgewater College student awards, global prayer day on May 14, and more Read more »


Denominational board amends BFIA grant guidelines to help churches and camps (May 8, 2020)

COVID-19 has created programming and financial stress on Church of the Brethren camps and congregations. Due to the coronavirus, the Mission and Ministry Board of the denomination made the following changes to the Brethren Faith in Action Fund guidelines. The amendments are in place through Dec. 31, 2020. Read more »


Church of the Brethren Annual Conference will not be held this summer (May 7, 2020)

The Standing Committee of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference met by video conference call for a specially called meeting on Thursday, May 7. The Standing Committee, which is made up of district delegates to Annual Conference, discussed a recommendation from the denomination’s Leadership Team, in consultation with the Annual Conference Program and Arrangements Committee, to cancel the Annual Conference scheduled for July 1-5 in Grand Rapids, Mich. Read more »


EDF grants support international COVID-19 responses and flooding response in the DRC (May 1, 2020)

The staff of Brethren Disaster Ministries have directed several grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to COVID-19 responses by sister churches and groups in Haiti, Spain, and Ecuador, as well as to response to flooding in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read more »


Brethren bits for May 1, 2020 (May 1, 2020)

In this issue: Recognitions for the high school and college/university classes of 2020, naming Brethren serving in health care, special Mother’s Day package offers from Brethren Press (order now to get delivery by May 10!), and much more. Read more »


Many complex new challenges face our senior living communities  (May 1, 2020)

Operating a senior living community is challenging under normal circumstances. Staffing, regulations, reimbursement, uncompensated care, occupancy, public relations, natural calamities, and more offer an unlimited source of challenges and threats on a regular basis. Now, one can only try to imagine the challenges in this unprecedented time--the constant, ever-changing, seemingly insurmountable challenges involved with battling the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more »


Newsline for May 1, 2020 (May 1, 2020)

NEWS 1) Church of the Brethren distributes $500,000 to Brethren retirement communities 2) Many complex new challenges face our senior living communities 3) Children’s Disaster Services to provide individual Kit of Comfort 4) EDF grants support international COVID-19 responses and flooding response in the DRC 5) NCC governing board shares ecumenical statement envisioning a just future UPCOMING EVENTS 6) Church of the Brethren’s summer workcamps are canceled 7) Brethren bits Read more »