News Archives June, 2020


Ministry Summer Service interns for 2020 serve home congregations or serve remotely (June 29, 2020)

Seven interns are serving as a part of Ministry Summer Service (MSS) despite alterations to the program due to COVID-19. Instead of meeting in-person for a week-long orientation and then spending nine weeks serving alongside a ministry mentor in a local setting, interns are meeting weekly for education, formation, and fellowship sessions via video conference. Interns offer leadership to their home congregations, as possible given local COVID-19 guidelines where they live, or to another congregation through technology. Read more »


EYN officials dedicate church for IDP camp funded in the name of a ‘spirited sister’ (June 26, 2020)

Officials of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) have dedicated a 500-person capacity church auditorium for more than 300 worshipers at an IDP (internally displaced person) camp in Wuro Jabbe, Yola South Local Area, Adamawa State. The project, which cost about 4 million Naira, was sponsored in the name of the late Chrissy Kulp, granddaughter of Stover Kulp--one of the founders of the Church of the Brethren Mission in Nigeria in the 1920s. She enjoyed traveling and had recently re-visited her childhood home in Nigeria. Born Dec. 26, 1954, Kulp passed away on July 8, 2019, at the age of 64, in Waynesboro, Pa. She was the daughter of Mary Ann (Moyer) Kulp Payne of Waynesboro and the late Philip M. Kulp. Read more »


Webinar series will focus on ‘Lessons from the Latinx Church’ (June 26, 2020)

“Lessons from the Latinx Church” is a webinar series provided by the Freedom Road Institute for Leadership and Justice to help church leaders and pastors learn and live into the new possibilities for ministry. A free introductory session is taking place on June 30 at 12 noon (Eastern time). Sessions will continue at 12 noon (Eastern time) every Tuesday through July 28. Read more »


Brethren active in health care (June 26, 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 »


Newsline for June 26, 2020 (June 26, 2020)

NEWS 1) Young adult webinar is dedicated to uncovering the complexity of racism 2) EYN officials dedicate church for IDP camp funded in the name of a ‘spirited sister’ 3) Digital hymn sing keeps West Green Tree singing all week long UPCOMING EVENTS 4) Webinar series will focus on ‘Lessons from the Latinx Church’ RESOURCES 5) Brethren Press digital curriculum for the Fall offers Christian formation options during pandemic 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for June 26, 2020 (June 26, 2020)

In this issue: Denominational staff to continue to work from home through August, Brethren Press offers new face masks, personnel and job openings, a “loaves and fishes” story from Venezuela, need for prayer for Nigeria, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Brethren Press digital curriculum for the Fall offers Christian formation options during pandemic (June 26, 2020)

The Shine curriculum from Brethren Press is helping congregations provide Christian formation while maintaining social distancing. With the Sunday school landscape changing, most churches will either rely on parents to teach their own children or have teachers host online classes. These new downloadable options from Shine work in conjunction with the fall curriculum and will assist leaders by supplying useful resources to accommodate multiple formats and class settings. Read more »


Church of the Brethren congregations offer online worship services (June 26, 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 »


Young adult webinar is dedicated to uncovering the complexity of racism  (June 26, 2020)

Two days before George Floyd’s murder, National Young Adult Conference (NYAC) participants gathered to watch Drew Hart present on the systemic racism that was about to once again become front-page news. But for far too many of us in the church, particularly those of us who are white, it is all too easy to ignore when it doesn’t dominate the headlines. Read more »


Digital hymn sing keeps West Green Tree singing all week long (June 26, 2020)

Our first Digital Hymn Sing went live on April 20 and had an estimated 200-plus participants. Each Monday night since, we have been consistent at about 200 live viewers, with hundreds of additional views after the video posts to YouTube, where people can view it days or weeks later. Read more »


July Ventures course is on ‘Brethren in the Age of Pandemic’ (June 19, 2020)

A special course from the Ventures in Christian Discipleship program at McPherson (Kan.) College is coming up in July. “Brethren in the Age of Pandemic: A Century Ago and today” will be presented by Frank Ramirez. The class will be held online on Tuesday evening, July 7, at 6:30 to 8 p.m. (Central time). Read more »


Jocelyn Siakula resigns as orientation coordinator for Brethren Volunteer Service  (June 19, 2020)

Jocelyn Siakula has resigned as orientation coordinator for Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS), a position that she has held since Jan. 5, 2015. She will conclude her work with the Church of the Brethren on July 18. Read more »


Celebrating Juneteenth with news of Brethren actions, statements, and opportunities (June 19, 2020)

Today is Juneteenth, and To join in this celebration, Newsline shares some of the recent actions, statements, and opportunities from Church of the Brethren congregations, pastors, and church members, and the denomination’s Intercultural Ministry: Read more »


Denomination invited to gather online for worship and music on July 1 and 2 (June 19, 2020)

The Church of the Brethren is holding online celebrations for the whole denomination on July 1 and 2, the days when the now-canceled 2020 Annual Conference would have begun. These events are planned and sponsored by the Annual Conference Program and Arrangements Committee. Read more »


Newsline for June 19, 2020 (June 19, 2020)

NEWS 1) Brethren Volunteer Service makes statement supporting Black Lives Matter 2) Celebrating Juneteenth with news of Brethren actions, statements, and opportunities 3) Brethren Faith in Action Fund issues grants 4) Fellowship of Brethren Homes member communities share gratitude for grant 5) Fall reopening plans announced by Bethany Theological Seminary 6) Church World Service kit depots to re-open in mid-August PERSONNEL 7) Jocelyn Siakula resigns as orientation coordinator for Brethren Volunteer Service UPCOMING EVENTS 8) Denomination invited to gather online for worship and music on July 1 and 2 9) Bethany Seminary announces new courses 10) July Ventures course is on ‘Brethren in the Age of Pandemic’ 11) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for June 19, 2020 (June 19, 2020)

In this issue: Personnel notes, Peacebuilding and Policy director signs letter to Congress calling for police reforms and demilitarization of law enforcement, holds virtual celebration of volunteer houses in Elgin, latest children’s video from Children’s Disaster Services, Elizabethtown goes “back to the future” with “Drop the Needle” sermon series, Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) newsletter includes article on work with EYN, and more. Read more »


Church World Service kit depots to re-open in mid-August (June 17, 2020)

“CWS is planning to open many of its spring kit depots from Aug. 17-Sept 4!” Brethren Disaster Ministries shared on its Facebook page this week. “Thank you for continuing to care for and send blessings to those affected by disasters. These kits make a real difference!” Read more »


Fellowship of Brethren Homes member communities share gratitude for grant (June 16, 2020)

Several of the member communities of the Fellowship of Brethren Homes have sent thank you notes expressing gratitude for a large grant of $500,000 given by the Church of the Brethren’s Health Education and Research Fund. The grant was given to defray expenses of the retirement communities related to the pandemic, and several communities shared information about how the money is being used. Read more »


Brethren Faith in Action Fund issues grants (June 16, 2020)

Formed by funds generated from the sale of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., the Brethren Faith in Action Fund provides grants to fund outreach ministry projects that serve their communities, strengthen the congregation, and expand the reign of God. Such ministries will honor and continue the legacy of service that the Brethren Service Center has epitomized while also addressing the dynamics of the present age. Read more »


Denominational Worship Gathering will center on the theme 'New World Coming!' (June 5, 2020)

On July 1, a Denominational Worship Gathering for the Church of the Brethren, planned by the Annual Conference Program and Arrangements Committee, will take place virtually starting at 8 p.m. (Eastern time). It will center around the theme, “New World Coming!” Read more »


Brethren bits for June 5, 2020 (June 5, 2020)

In this issue: Remembering Mark Ray Keeney, church-related retirement communities suffer COVID-19 cases or outbreaks recently, a reminder to fill out the Annual Conference Refund/Donation Form, Camp Mardela seeks an administrator, staff of Material Resources return to work at the Brethren Service Center, Brethren Disaster Ministries asks for cloth face masks and announces receiving a grant to support a short-term response in Nebraska, ‘Love Your Neighbor’ is the latest devotional video from Children's Disaster Services, and much more. Read more »


Children of all ages are welcome to a denominational children’s worship experience (June 5, 2020)

Children of all ages, welcome to worship! Mark your family calendar for a 25-minute children’s worship experience on Wednesday, July 1, at 7:30 p.m. (Eastern time). You will meet Louise Boid, a colorfully opinionated bird from Brooklyn, N.Y., as she moves to central Pennsylvania to get away from those noisy New York City ducks and pigeons! Louise Boid is brought to us by the Puppet and Story Works founded by Dotti and Steve Seitz of Manheim, Pa. Read more »


Withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty signals pattern in international relations and arms control  (June 5, 2020)

In a 1980 Annual Conference statement titled “The Time Is so Urgent: Threats to Peace,” Brethren recognized a potential nuclear arms race as one of the most pressing political problems for peacebuilders to address. Amazingly, 40 years later we find ourselves on similarly shaky ground where the barrier between stability and hostility appears increasingly thin. By recently committing to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, the current US administration has compromised the systems set in place to avoid an arms race or military engagement--and the church should take notice. Read more »


Newsline for June 5, 2020 (June 5, 2020)

NEWS 1) Giving to denominational ministries falls behind last year’s totals 2) We cannot do the work without you 3) EDF makes first grants to congregations for COVID-19 humanitarian relief in US communities 4) EDF grants go to Ohio tornado response, COVID-19 relief in the US, Rwanda, Mexico 5) Denomination to sell longterm BVS house in Elgin, purchases new house near General Offices 6) Bethany Seminary president makes statement ‘Condemning Racism and Working for Change’ 7) Withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty signals pattern in international relations and arms control UPCOMING EVENTS 8) Denominational Worship Gathering will center on the theme 'New World Coming!' 9) Children of all ages are welcome to a denominational children’s worship experience 10) Denominational Concert is planned for July 2 as an online event 11) Brethren Volunteer Service summer orientation is going virtual 12) Brethren bits Read more »


Denomination to sell longterm BVS house in Elgin, purchases new house near General Offices (June 5, 2020)

Since 1948, the Victorian-style house at 923 West Highland Ave. in Elgin, Ill. has been called home by countless Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) workers and Church of the Brethren staff. It originally was purchased by the denomination to supply emergency rental quarters for staff, on a temporary basis, and then over the decades became the residence of BVS volunteers and interns who were serving at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin. Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service summer orientation is going virtual (June 5, 2020)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) staff have made the decision to transition the summer orientation unit 325 from an in-person to a virtual event. Amid COVID-19 restrictions, BVS is committed to the health of incoming volunteers and leadership while still providing much-needed volunteer support to BVS project sites. Read more »


Denominational Concert is planned for July 2 as an online event (June 5, 2020)

An hour-long music celebration featuring Church of the Brethren musicians from across the denomination will be presented online on July 2, the evening after the Denominational Worship Gathering and Children’s Worship Service. The concert will start at 8 p.m. (Eastern time). Read more »


What does the Lord require? A statement from David Steele, General Secretary, Church of the Brethren (June 4, 2020)

Our hearts break for the loss of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others who have lost their lives due to the color of their skin. Each death represents injustices disproportionately affecting the Black community. Read more »


EDF makes first grants to congregations for COVID-19 humanitarian relief in US communities (June 3, 2020)

Brethren Disaster Ministries is directing the first round of grants from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to congregations carrying out pandemic-related humanitarian relief work in their communities. The new COVID-19 Pandemic Grants program began in late April and provides grants to Church of the Brethren congregations and districts in the United States and Puerto Rico. Read more »


EDF grants go to Ohio tornado response, COVID-19 relief in the US, Rwanda, Mexico (June 3, 2020)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to finance its tornado rebuilding work in the area around Dayton, Ohio, and to aid COVID-19 responses by Church World Service (CWS), Bittersweet Ministries in Mexico, and the Rwandan Brethren. Another EDF grant also funds a second round of the COVID-19 Pandemic Grants program offering grants to Church of the Brethren congregations and districts in the United States and Puerto Rico who are carrying out pandemic-related humanitarian work in their communities. Read more »


Giving to denominational ministries falls behind last year’s totals (June 3, 2020)

Giving to Church of the Brethren denominational ministries as of the end of April has fallen short of giving during the first four months of 2019. The shortfall is significant, with total combined giving by congregations and individuals falling behind last year by more than $320,000. Read more »


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