News Archives


Roxanne Aguirre resigns from Brethren Academy (August 22, 2019)

Roxanne Gaxiola Aguirre, coordinator of Spanish-language ministry training programs for the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, has resigned her position as of Aug. 30. The academy is a ministry training partnership of the Church of the Brethren and Bethany Theological Seminary. Read more »


Colleen Michael retires, Pacific Northwest District appoints interim team (August 22, 2019)

J. Colleen Michael retired July 31 as district executive minister for Pacific Northwest District, having served for more than seven years since Jan. 1, 2012. The district has appointed a three-member interim team to care for essential functions during a time of discernment regarding organizational structures that will serve the district in the future. Read more »


Director of Ministry writes to pastors following shootings (August 16, 2019)

The Church of the Brethren director of Ministry, Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, wrote a letter to pastors across the denomination after the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Her letter followed on that of general secretary David Steele, and encouraged pastors in their work to reduce violence in their own communities. Read more »


Newsline for Aug. 16, 2019 (August 16, 2019)

NEWS 1) In response to the shootings in El Paso and Dayton 2) Director of Ministry writes to pastors following shootings 3) Touched and challenged: Reflections from a trip to Haiti PERSONNEL 4) Nate Inglis resigns from Bethany Seminary 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 16, 2019 (August 16, 2019)

In this issue: Turnover in the Workcamp Ministry and other personnel notes, job openings, Annual Conference meetings, Haiti annual conference, Zoom webinar to prepare for Peace Day, 49th Annual Dunker Church Service, as well as news from congregations, districts, colleges, and more. Read more »


Touched and challenged: Reflections from a trip to Haiti (August 13, 2019)

Twenty members of McPherson (Kan.) Church of the Brethren were among 33 participants in a mission education conference in Mirebalais, Haiti, sponsored by Haiti Medical Project from July 19-23. The five days in Haiti were spent learning about needs of communities served by the Haiti Medical Project. Participants were eager to meet Haitian leaders and members of the communities served. Read more »


In Response to the Shootings in El Paso and Dayton (August 5, 2019)

“A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more” (Matthew 2:18). Read more »


ESPANA 2025: Congregations in Spain work on a new strategy plan (July 29, 2019)

Close to 65 people gathered for 2 full days to brainstorm about the future of the church of the Brethren in Spain under the theme “Un Lider Para las Naciones” (a leader for the nations) The idea of this gathering was in the making since the last Mission Alive conference where leaders from Spain first heard about becoming a global Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for July 29, 2019 (July 29, 2019)

NEWS 1) Church of the Brethren reaffirms its historic commitment to opposing the death penalty 2) Global Food Initiative makes grants for community gardens, pig raising, more 3) ESPANA 2025: Congregations in Spain work on a new strategy plan PERSONNEL 4) Kendra Harbeck resigns as manager of Global Mission and Service office 5) Hannah Schultz to begin as coordinator of short-term service UPCOMING EVENTS 6) Children’s Disaster Services announces fall trainings 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for July 29, 2019 (July 29, 2019)

In this issue: Corrections, job openings, continuing updates from Annual Conference, letter on the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, seminary open house, Nigeria news, SVMC seminar on preaching, Voices of Conscience display, webinar on “A Religious Perspective on Carbon Pricing,” news from districts and congregations, and more. Read more »


Hannah Shultz to begin as coordinator of short-term service (July 29, 2019)

Hannah Shultz has been hired by the Church of the Brethren as coordinator of short-term service, working as staff of Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS). She will begin her new position at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., on Aug. 5. Read more »


Kendra Harbeck resigns as manager of Global Mission and Service office (July 29, 2019)

Kendra Harbeck has resigned as manager of the office of Global Mission and Service for the Church of the Brethren, effective Aug. 31. She has worked in the position for six years, since Sept. 1, 2013. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services announces fall trainings (July 29, 2019)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has announced its fall training workshop line-up. The training workshops are for those interested in volunteering with CDS, and for returning volunteers to re-certify. Go to www.brethren.org/cds for more information and to register. Read more »


Church of the Brethren reaffirms its historic commitment to opposing the death penalty (July 29, 2019)

On July 25, 2019, Attorney General William Barr announced that the federal government would resume the use of the death penalty, after a 16-year halt, and directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBP) to schedule the executions of five inmates currently on death row. Read more »


Global Food Initiative makes grants for community gardens, pig raising, more (July 29, 2019)

The Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Initiative (GFI) has announced several grants for community gardens related to church congregations in various US states. Also listed among recent grant recipients are a pig raising project in Rwanda and a refrigeration project for Navajo families. Read more »


Conference sets aside regular business for compelling vision conversation, celebrates love feast (July 13, 2019)

Compelling vision conversations were the highlight of the 2019 Annual Conference held July 3-7 in Greensboro, N.C. Other business was set aside--except necessary items such as elections and reports--to make time for the process intended to help the Church of the Brethren discern a compelling vision to guide the denomination into the future. Read more »


Newsline for July 13, 2019 (July 13, 2019)

ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2019 - JULY 3-7 - GREENSBORO, N.C. 1) Conference sets aside regular business for compelling vision conversation, celebrates love feast 2) Compelling vision conversations: ‘We have put our hearts on the table’ 3) ‘We love each other despite our differences’: The story of ND9 4) David Sollenberger to serve as moderator-elect, among other election results 5) Conference affirms additional leadership appointments 6) Standing Committee approves revision of appeal process, among other business 7) The 2019 Annual Conference...by the numbers 8) Annual Conference bits and pieces 9) Mission and Ministry Board approves budget parameter for 2020, large grant for Nigeria Crisis Response PERSONNEL 10) Brian Bultman resigns as CFO of the Church of the Brethren 11) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for July 13, 2019 (July 13, 2019)

In this issue: Register for NOAC before July 15, personnel, Brethren Disaster Ministries new project site, addressing statelessness, opposing war with Iran, news from congregations, 4th annual “Sing Me High” festival, #SacredResistance campaign, NCC statement on threatened deportation raids, recognitions for Harold Martin and Stephen L. Longenecker, more. Read more »


‘We love each other despite our differences’: The story of ND9 (July 13, 2019)

“We shared what was on our hearts, the words that were needed,” said Bob Johnson, one of those seated at Nondelegate Table Number Nine--known in the common parlance of the 2019 Annual Conference as “ND9.” Read more »


The 2019 Annual Conference...by the numbers (July 13, 2019)

A review of some of the numbers and statistics that describe the 2019 annual meeting of the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Annual Conference bits and pieces (July 13, 2019)

Snippets of information and news from the 2019 Annual Conference. Read more »


Brian Bultman resigns as CFO of the Church of the Brethren (July 12, 2019)

Brian Bultman has resigned as chief financial officer and executive director of organizational resources for the Church of the Brethren to pursue an opportunity as vice president of finance and CFO at Central Credit Union of Illinois in Bellwood. Over the course of his career he has held leading management positions at several credit unions in Illinois and Maryland. Read more »


Today in Greensboro - Sunday, July 7 (July 7, 2019)

A review of the closing day of the 2019 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren. Today in Greensboro - Sunday, July 7 Read more »


Big dreams are in order: Compelling vision conversations conclude...for now (July 6, 2019)

It was good that we came to the table refreshed after a night’s sleep, because our first task in the compelling vision process today was to dream big. Big dreams are in order as we realize that Jesus has been calling and equipping us to serve the hurting world. Read more »


Today in Greensboro - Saturday, July 6 (July 6, 2019)

A brief overview of the penultimate day of Annual Conference in Greensboro, N.C. Today in Greensboro - Saturday, July 6 Read more »


Conference affirms additional leadership appointments (July 6, 2019)

In addition to elections the Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren affirms board-elected and constituency-elected appointments and also receives reports of appointments. The delegate body made the following affirmations: Read more »


Annual Conference celebrates love feast (July 6, 2019)

The two-hour service was the closing event of business and a worshipful conclusion to the compelling vision conversations. It included the four elements of self-examination, feetwashing, a simple meal, and a service of communion. Read more »


David Sollenberger to serve as moderator-elect, among other election results (July 5, 2019)

In election results, the Annual Conference chose David Sollenberger as moderator-elect after nominations from the floor forced a run-off election for moderator-elect and Mission and Ministry Board Area 4. Read more »


We have put our hearts on the table: Compelling vision conversation deepens (July 5, 2019)

We have put our hearts on the table: Compelling vision conversation deepens. A “view from the table” by Frances Townsend Read more »


Today in Greensboro - Friday, July 5 (July 5, 2019)

Today in Greensboro - Friday, July 5. The day's events at the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in Greensboro, N.C., in brief. Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board approves budget parameter for 2020, large grant for Nigeria Crisis Response (July 5, 2019)

A budget parameter for core ministries of the Church of the Brethren in 2020 and a large grant to continue the Nigeria Crisis Response program into next year were on the agenda of the Mission and Ministry Board in pre-Conference meetings. Read more »


The Holy Spirit is loose in the room: Compelling vision conversations begin (July 4, 2019)

The Holy Spirit is loose in the room: Compelling vision conversations begin - a “view from the table” by Frances Townsend Read more »


Today in Greensboro - Thursday, July 4 (July 4, 2019)

A review of the 2nd day of the 2019 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren. Today in Greensboro - Thursday, July 4 Read more »


Standing Committee approves revision of appeal process, among other business (July 3, 2019)

Standing Committee has approved a revision of the appeal process during its pre-Annual Conference meetings in Greensboro, N.C. The group of delegates from the 24 Church of the Brethren districts met June 30-July 3, presided over by Conference moderator Donita J. Keister, moderator-elect Paul Mundey, and secretary James M. Beckwith. Read more »


Today in Greensboro - Wednesday, July 3 (July 3, 2019)

Today the 2019 Annual Conference officially began with evening worship led by moderator Donita Keister. Find a review of the day on this page. Read more »


Today in Greensboro - Tuesday, July 2 (July 2, 2019)

Brethren are gathering in Greensboro for the Annual Conference to begin tomorrow, but lots has already gone on this week! Read more »


Newsline for July 1, 2019 (July 1, 2019)

NEWS 1) Bethany Theological Seminary celebrates commencement 2) Junior high conference inspires youth to be strong and courageous 3) Office of Peacebuilding and Policy signs letter for World Refugee Day 4) Remembering cost of following Jesus at May 15 service for WWI conscientious objectors UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Annual Conference 2019: Bits and pieces 6) Peace Day 2019: Making the case for peace 7) Upcoming Brethren Academy courses are announced REMEMBRANCE 8) Bethany remembers president Warren Groff 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for June 29, 2019 (June 29, 2019)

In this issue: Monroe Good memorial service, personnel notes, job openings, BVS newsletter, BHLA News and Notes, news from congregations and districts, IMA World Health works in ebola hot zone, call for “ecological conversion,” and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Annual Conference 2019: Bits and pieces (June 28, 2019)

The 2019 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren takes place next week July 3-7 in Greensboro, N.C. Presiding will be moderator Donita Keister, moderator-elect Paul Mundey, and Conference secretary James Beckwith. Keister preaches for opening worship Wednesday evening. Pre-Conference meetings include the Ministers’ Association annual continuing education event and the Standing Committee meetings of district delegates, among others. Read more »


Remembering cost of following Jesus at May 15 service for WWI conscientious objectors (June 28, 2019)

On May 15, International Conscientious Objection Day, a group representing local congregations from each of the historic peace churches and the Community of Christ (an emerging peace church) came together for a memorial service honoring the conscientious objectors during World War I. Approximately 84 people attended from local congregations and Scott Holland attended from the faculty of Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. Read more »


Junior high conference inspires youth to be strong and courageous (June 28, 2019)

With the theme song “Strong and Courageous” by Kyle Remnant and Jon Wilson still ringing in their ears, 250 Brethren who had come together for National Junior High Conference prepared to leave Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. Read more »


Upcoming Brethren Academy courses are announced (June 26, 2019)

The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership has announced upcoming courses open to TRIM and EFSM students, pastors (who may earn 2 continuing education units per course), and other interested people. The academy is a joint program of Bethany Theological Seminary and the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Peace Day 2019: Making the case for peace (June 25, 2019)

On Earth Peace announces its 13th annual campaign to promote Peace Day, the International Day of Peace, on Sept. 21, 2019. The theme for Peace Day 2019 is “The Case for Peace.” This year’s campaign helps participants build the case for peace from a Christian perspective. Read more »


Compelling Vision Process Team publishes report on district conversations (June 20, 2019)

The Compelling Vision Process Team has published a report on the district conversations of the past year, to share with the denomination in advance of compelling vision conversations planned for Annual Conference. The report is titled, “Unfolding Journey: A Report on the District Conversations.” Find this and other information about the compelling vision process at www.brethren.org/compellingvision . Read more »


Office of Peacebuilding and Policy signs letter for World Refugee Day (June 20, 2019)

The Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy has signed a letter asking Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to strengthen US refugee resettlement as a core part of a robust international religious freedom agenda. The 42 signatories to the letter, which was coordinated by World Relief, represented a wide range of faith traditions. It was sent to the appropriate officials at the State Department and to the Vice President’s office. Read more »


Atlantic Northeast District ministry commission shares update on recent work (June 15, 2019)

Following the action of the 2018 Atlantic Northeast District Conference to not approve the proposed same gender marriage policy, the district ministry commission began discussions on next steps in continuing their work on this issue. Discussion included the 1983 Annual Conference statement “Human Sexuality from a Christian Perspective” as well as acknowledging the importance of all the Annual Conference statements in the life of the church and all those who serve as set-apart ministers. Read more »


General secretary signs letter about war in Yemen (June 15, 2019)

Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele is one of 21 Christian leaders from across the country to sign a letter regarding the war in Yemen. Coordinated by Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), the letter was sent to Congress, including the leadership of the House and Senate and relevant committees. Read more »


Christine and Josiah Ludwick complete year of work in Rwanda (June 15, 2019)

Christine and Josiah Ludwick have completed their year of service as Global Mission workers with the Church of the Brethren in Rwanda. They traveled to Rwanda in August 2018 with their children Rachel and Asher. Read more »


Thriving in Ministry completes survey of multivocational pastors (June 15, 2019)

The Thriving in Ministry program, a new denominational initiative supporting multivocational congregational pastors, has completed a large-scale online survey gathering information about the joys and challenges of pastors working in bivocational and part-time ministry. Between two-thirds and three-fourths of Church of the Brethren pastors serve as multivocational leaders, and more than 600 were invited to take part in this survey. The results of the survey will inform the next steps for the program. Read more »


Pacific Southwest District shares support to those affected by Camp Fire (June 15, 2019)

More than six months have passed since the destructive Camp Fire burned through most of the northern California town of Paradise and the surrounding area. The work in the community at recovery efforts and the making of plans for rebuilding the town continue to move forward, but the pace has been slow--in part because of a rainy winter and spring that settled over much of the area. Read more »


Xenos Project is launched by Intercultural Ministries (June 15, 2019)

The Intercultural Ministries of the Church of the Brethren has launched a venture called the Xenos Project. The word Xenos is a Greek word meaning stranger or alien. The purpose of Xenos is to build a community of congregations feeling called to speak up, stand up, and take action supporting immigrants within our nation. Read more »


Brethren bits for June 15 (June 15, 2019)

In this issue: National Jr. High Conference, personnel, job opening, Nigeria Crisis Response update, We Are Able workcamp, Conference on Drone Warfare, “Why We Can’t Wait,” course on Brethren history, Juneteenth at First Chicago, “Candid Conversations” from Denver, continuing tornado response in S. Ohio and Kentucky District, cuts at Elizabethtown College, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for June 15, 2019 (June 15, 2019)

1) Anabaptist Church Consultation on the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service 2) Thriving in Ministry completes survey of multivocational pastors 3) General secretary signs letter about war in Yemen 4) Xenos Project is launched by Intercultural Ministries 5) Atlantic Northeast District ministry commission shares update on recent work 6) Pacific Southwest District shares support to those affected by Camp Fire 7) Christine and Josiah Ludwick complete year of work in Rwanda 8) Ministry Summer Service interns begin ministry placements 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Ministry Summer Service interns begin ministry placements (June 15, 2019)

The Ministry Summer Service (MSS) participants for this summer have completed orientation and 4 interns have begun serving for 10 weeks in ministry placements. MSS orientation began May 31 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Mentors arrived June 3, and orientation ended on June 5. Read more »


Anabaptist Church Consultation on the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service (June 7, 2019)

Anabaptist Church Consultation on the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service Read more »


Brethren bits for June 1, 2019 (June 1, 2019)

In this issue: Remembering Monroe Good, personnel notes, job openings, Pentecost Offering, workcamp in China, Candlelight Vigil on Family Separation, African Dialogue Series at the UN, continued prayer for Nigeria, action alert on civilian casualty reporting, letter on Cuba, more. Read more »


Church and Peace celebrates 70 years of active peace work in Europe (June 1, 2019)

About 150 people from peace churches, peace organizations, communities, friends, and guests--from 10 denominations and Christian traditions and 14 countries--met to mark the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the European ecumenical network Church and Peace. They gathered on May 18 for a ceremony in the Reformation Church of Moabit in Berlin to celebrate the network’s past, present, and future with the theme, “‘I will give you future and hope’ (Jeremiah 29:11): 70 years of living nonviolence and resisting militarization.” Read more »


Newsline for June 1, 2019 (June 1, 2019)

NEWS 1) Children’s Disaster Services responds to Missouri and Iowa tornadoes 2) Southern Ohio and Kentucky Brethren begin tornado response 3) Eastern Shore Brethren celebrate sesquicentennial 4) Faith leaders gather in Flint for environmental justice tour, plan for ecumenical water justice action 5) Church and Peace celebrates 70 years of active peace work in Europe PERSONNEL 6) Lamar Gibson resigns from On Earth Peace staff 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Faith leaders gather in Flint for environmental justice tour, plan for ecumenical water justice action (June 1, 2019)

From May 13-14 in Flint, Mich., 23 board members of Creation Justice Ministries, an ecumenical eco-justice organization, gathered to pray, learn, and act for water justice. The Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy is an active member, and membership affords opportunities to network with other Christian communions, denominations, and fellowships with active commitments to protect, restore, and more rightly share God’s creation. Read more »


Eastern Shore Brethren celebrate sesquicentennial (June 1, 2019)

About 80 people gathered at Camp Mardela in Denton, Md., on May 19 to mark the 150th anniversary of the first Brethren arriving on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. In 1869, Jacob Kline and his family settled in Caroline County, near where the camp is now located. Brethren built their first meeting house about a decade later, in 1880, near Easton. Seven Mid-Atlantic District congregations are located on the Eastern Shore today. Read more »


Lamar Gibson resigns from On Earth Peace staff (June 1, 2019)

On Earth Peace has announced that Lamar Gibson, development director for the agency, has resigned as of May 25. Gibson began work for On Earth Peace in September 2016, coming out of a background of almost a decade of experience in both private business and the nonprofit sector as a fundraiser and a consultant on business operations and development. Read more »


Southern Ohio and Kentucky Brethren begin tornado response (May 31, 2019)

Members of the Church of the Brethren’s Southern Ohio and Kentucky District have begun responding to those affected by the tornadoes that hit west-central Ohio, in and around the city of Dayton, on Monday, May 27. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services responds to Missouri and Iowa tornadoes (May 31, 2019)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has begun a response to the tornadoes that devastated areas of Missouri and Iowa in recent days. CDS is a program of Brethren Disaster Ministries that since 1980 has been meeting the needs of children and families by setting up child care centers in shelters and disaster assistance centers. CDS volunteers are specially trained to respond to traumatized children by providing a calm, safe, and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos created by disasters. Read more »


Brethren Press highlights new resources for congregations (May 17, 2019)

New resources of note from Brethren Press include new quarterly materials from the Shine curriculum, which is jointly produced by Brethren Press and MennoMedia; new quarterly materials for A Guide for Biblical Studies; new Covenant Bible Studies titles; a Spanish-language version of “Another Way of Believing” by Dale W. Brown titled “Otra Manera de Creer”; Living Word Bulletins for the next church year; and the Advent devotional for 2019 titled “Ready” by Frank Ramirez. Read more »


Leadership Team clarifies congregational withdrawal process to districts (May 17, 2019)

The Leadership Team of the Church of the Brethren has provided district executives with a congregational withdrawal process. This “best practices” document was developed in consultation with the Council of District Executives in keeping with current polity. It was prepared for district leaders who are working with congregations that may be considering withdrawing from the denomination. Read more »


Brethren bits for May 17, 2019 (May 17, 2019)

Brethren bits for May 17, 2019 Read more »


Looking at life through the lenses of faith and science (May 17, 2019)

“Look at Life: A Conference Where Faith Meets Science” started with a big bang. No, not the Big Bang, although that came up in discussion over the course of the three-day event April 25-27 at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. Isaac Wilhelm, a graduate student at Rutgers University, spoke on “The Big Bang, Fine-Tuning, and the Existence of God,” with an overwhelming energy and enthusiasm that helped dissipate all the travel weariness of the more than 100 participants. Read more »


Newsline for May 17, 2019 (May 17, 2019)

NEWS 1) Church of the Brethren renews memorandum of understanding with Selective Service 2) Ministerial ethics training uses newly commissioned workbook 3) Christian Citizenship Seminar seeks creative solutions to violent conflict 4) Leadership Team clarifies congregational withdrawal process to districts 5) Bethany Seminary conference explores intersection of faith and science 6) Looking at life through the lenses of faith and science RESOURCES 7) Brethren Press highlights new resources for congregations 8) Brethren Life & Thought offers digital access 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Christian Citizenship Seminar seeks creative solutions to violent conflict (May 17, 2019)

The Christian Citizenship Seminar gathered 47 high school youth and advisors from Church of the Brethren congregations throughout the US, beginning on April 27 in New York City and ending in Washington, D.C., on May 2, focused on the theme “Creative Solutions to Violent Conflict Worldwide.” The event was led by five Church of the Brethren staff from the Youth and Young Adult Ministry and the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy. Read more »


Brethren Life & Thought offers digital access (May 17, 2019)

In the Brethren Journal Association (BJA) annual report to the spring 2019 meeting of the Bethany Theological Seminary board of trustees, association president Jim Grossnickle-Batterton reported the following: Read more »


Ministerial ethics training uses newly commissioned workbook (May 9, 2019)

A newly commissioned ministerial ethics workbook is being featured during the current renewal cycle. Every five years ordained and commissioned ministers in the Church of the Brethren are required to take ministerial ethics advanced level training in order to renew their credentialing. Licensed ministers and those new to the denomination are required to take the basic level of training as part of the credentialing process. The ministerial ethics training is the responsibility of the Office of Ministry, working with district leadership and ministry commissions. Read more »


Church of the Brethren renews memorandum of understanding with Selective Service (May 6, 2019)

The Church of the Brethren has renewed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Selective Service System, the federal department responsible for the nation’s preparation for a military draft and draft registration. Selective Service also has worked with the historic peace churches to plan for alternative service for conscientious objectors in the event of a draft. Read more »


Gathering will dedicate memorial stones for conscientious objectors  (May 4, 2019)

An ecumenical gathering on Wednesday, May 15, will hold a ceremony related to the 2019 International Conscientious Objection Day, and all are invited. A special focus of this gathering will be to dedicate engraved stones remembering those who, in the spirit of two cherished Bible passages (Isaiah 2:4 and Luke 19:42), were conscientious objectors during World War I. Read more »


Brethren bits for May 4, 2019 (May 4, 2019)

In this issue: Remembering Sue Snyder and Ruby Shenk, compelling vision prayer calendar, job openings at the World Council of Churches, Bethany Seminary commencement, Brethren Disaster Ministries online store, mission prayer requests, anti-drone warfare conference, barrier-free grant program, choir celebrations, and much more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Global Food Initiative announces numerous grants (May 4, 2019)

In recent months, numerous grants have been made by the Global Food Initiative (GFI) of the Church of the Brethren. Grants have been given for agriculture-related and hunger relief projects in Haiti, Mexico, and Spain, and in the United States to projects related to Church of the Brethren congregations in Maryland, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Illinois. Read more »


Hoovers close out their work with Global Mission and Service (May 4, 2019)

Jason and Nicole Hoover have concluded their work with the Church of the Brethren Global Mission and Service program in the Dominican Republic in order to begin working with Solid Rock International. Read more »


Newsline for May 4, 2019 (May 4, 2019)

NEWS 1) Emergency Disaster Fund grants totaling $70,000 support Africa cyclone relief 2) Global Food Initiative announces numerous grants 3) On Earth Peace adopts new values, vision, and mission PERSONNEL 4) Hoovers close out their work with Global Mission and Service UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Pre-NOAC event offers ‘Labor Day Sabbath rest’ 6) Gathering will dedicate memorial stones for conscientious objectors 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Emergency Disaster Fund grants totaling $70,000 support Africa cyclone relief (May 4, 2019)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed two grants from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support relief efforts in southern Africa following Cyclone Idai. The two grants are given to longterm partner organizations of the Church of the Brethren. A grant of $40,000 has been given to ACT Alliance, and a grant of $30,000 has been given jointly to IMA World Health and Lutheran World Relief. Read more »


Pre-NOAC event offers ‘Labor Day Sabbath rest’ (April 25, 2019)

The Office of Ministry is holding a continuing education event on the opening day of National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) titled “Labor Day Sabbath Rest.” The event on Monday, Sept. 2, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Atkins House at Lake Junaluska, N.C., is open to ministers and spouses and all laity. The 50-plus age requirement for NOAC does not apply. Ministers may earn 0.6 continuing education credits. Read more »


Newsline for April 19, 2019 (April 19, 2019)

NEWS 1) Planting potatoes, harvesting choirs in Rwanda 2) Office of Peacebuilding and Policy signs on to letter about Syria 3) EAD 2019 stirs up ‘good trouble’ for healing of national and global problems PERSONNEL 4) Gimbiya Kettering resigns from Intercultural Ministries UPCOMING EVENTS 5) NOAC registration begins May 1 6) Brethren Volunteer Service announces orientation units REFLECTION: ON THE 20th ANNIVERSARY OF COLUMBINE 7) This journey is one that no one should have to bear 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for April 29, 2019 (April 19, 2019)

In this issue: Celebrating love feast in Rwanda, correction, remembering George Kreps and Jay Stevens and Janet Flory Flaten, job opening, Clergywomen’s Annual Conference Breakfast, Donnels Creek celebrates 210 years, 46th annual Brethren Bible Institute, Mother’s Day Gratitude Project, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


This journey is one that no one should have to bear (April 19, 2019)

On April 20, 1999, Tom and Linda Mauser joined a club that no one wanted to join: the parents of a child victimized by gun violence. Their son, Daniel Mauser, was a victim of the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colo. Read more »


Office of Peacebuilding and Policy signs on to letter about Syria (April 19, 2019)

The Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy has signed on to a letter to President Trump regarding Syria. The letter signed by seven faith-based denominations and organizations, some of whom are engaged in providing support for peacebuilding efforts in Syria and humanitarian assistance to displaced Syrians, called for the complete withdrawal of US troops from Syria. It also urges the US administration to address root causes of insecurity in the region. Read more »


EAD 2019 stirs up ‘good trouble’ for healing of national and global problems (April 19, 2019)

Over the first weekend of April, members of various Christian churches gathered in Washington, D.C., to learn about and advocate for political action. This national gathering, called Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD), is a three-day conference headed by leaders of many Christian denominations and attended by Christians from across the United States. This year’s theme was “Troubling the Waters for the Healing of the World,” and participants were encouraged to stir up “good trouble” to initiate positive change. Read more »


NOAC registration begins May 1 (April 19, 2019)

Registration begins May 1 for National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) to be held Sept. 2-6 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in western North Carolina. The theme is “Reaching Across Generations, Beyond Differences, Through Conflict, into Joy.” Read more »


Gimbiya Kettering resigns from Intercultural Ministries (April 18, 2019)

Gimbiya Kettering has resigned as director of Intercultural Ministries for the Church of the Brethren, effective May 31. She has served in the position since Jan. 7, 2013. As director of Intercultural Ministries, she has been a member of the staff of Discipleship Ministries (formerly Congregational Life Ministries) and has worked closely with the Intercultural Ministries Advisory Committee. Read more »


Planting potatoes, harvesting choirs in Rwanda (April 18, 2019)

In 2012, the Global Food Initiative (GFI) began supporting a potato project of Evangelistic Training Outreach Ministries of Rwanda (ETOMR) among the Twa people in the village of Bunyove in northwest Rwanda. Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service announces orientation units (April 18, 2019)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) has announced the dates and locations of orientation units for the rest of the year. BVS offers orientations to train prospective volunteers to serve fulltime for one or more years at projects across the United States and in several other countries around the world. For more about BVS go to www.brethren.org/bvs . Read more »


Three special concerts to be offered at Annual Conference (April 8, 2019)

The 2019 Annual Conference to be held July 3-7 in Greensboro, N.C., will feature concerts by the Blackwood Brothers Quartet, Jonathan Emmons, and Friends with the Weather. Register for the Conference and find out more about the schedule and other special events at www.brethren.org/ac . Read more »


Newsline for April 8, 2019 (April 8, 2019)

NEWS 1) Brethren programs begin response to flooding in Midwest and plains states 2) Bridgewater forum looks at ‘demise and momentum’ in church institutions 3) Church of the Brethren offers vacant land for sale in Elgin 4) Brethren Benefit Trust signs Turkmen Cotton Pledge 5) New master's degree highlights Bethany's revised curriculum 6) EYN holds 72nd Majalisa on theme ‘Jesus the Author and Finisher of Our Faith’ PERSONNEL 7) Dan Poole named to faculty position at Bethany Seminary UPCOMING EVENTS 8) Three special concerts to be offered at Annual Conference 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for April 8, 2019 (April 8, 2019)

In this issue: Three rural historic black Baptist churches burn down in St. Landry Parish, La.; remembering Dan McRoberts and Naomi Kulp Keeney; personnel notice; Brethren Disaster Ministries signs letter supporting Legal Services Corporation; groups hold meetings at the General Offices; action alert on “How to Celebrate Earth Day”; new life and growth among Brethren in Spain and Rwanda; and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Brethren Benefit Trust signs Turkmen Cotton Pledge (April 8, 2019)

Brethren Benefit Trust and its affiliate, Brethren Foundation Funds, on April 4 signed the Turkmen Cotton Pledge to show opposition to unacceptable human rights conditions in Turkmenistan, as the government there has been using forced labor to harvest cotton. Turkmenistan is the 11th-largest exporter of cotton in the world, but produces its commodity by threatening adult citizens with dismissal or salary deductions from their regular jobs if they do not assist with the annual cotton harvest. Read more »


EYN holds 72nd Majalisa on theme ‘Jesus the Author and Finisher of Our Faith’ (April 8, 2019)

At her 72nd Annual General Church Council Conference, or Majalisa, Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) appointed three directors and an advisor and awarded six members. The conference title “Jesus the Author and Finisher of Our Faith” was taken from the book of Hebrews 12:2, and held between April 2-5 at the EYN Headquarters, Kwarhi, Hong LGA, Adamawa State. About 1,700 participants attended the highest decision-making body of the 96-year-old denomination, which has faced the terrible experience of insurgent activities. Read more »


Bridgewater forum looks at ‘demise and momentum’ in church institutions (April 8, 2019)

“The Status of Brethren Organizations: Demise and Momentum 1994-2019" was the topic of the Bridgewater (Va.) College Forum for Brethren Studies on March 15. The day-long forum featured speakers on four institutions in the Church of the Brethren: Bethany Theological Seminary, Annual Conference, Brethren Press, and the Mission and Ministry Board. Read more »


Brethren programs begin response to flooding in Midwest and plains states (April 5, 2019)

Heavy and widespread mid-March snowstorms led to the beginning of major flooding in the US Midwest. Rivers are still rising and flooding may worsen with the expected heavy rains that may fall in the next several weeks. Flooding along the Mississippi River, James River, and Red River of the North, and many of their tributaries, is causing extensive flooding in Nebraska, Missouri, South Dakota, Iowa, and Kansas. Already many homes, businesses, crops, stored grain, roads, and bridges have been destroyed in these communities. Read more »


Church of the Brethren offers vacant land for sale in Elgin (April 5, 2019)

The Church of the Brethren denomination has retained the services of A. Rick Scardino of Lee & Associates for the purpose of selling excess vacant land at its address at 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, Ill. Dundee Avenue is also Illinois State Route 25. Read more »


Newsline for March 22, 2019 (March 22, 2019)

NEWS 1) Housing allowance is upheld by appeals court 2) Faith, civil, and human rights groups join to urge official visit by UN independent expert to investigate racism in the United States 3) Sili buried beside husband at Chibok, among recent losses of EYN members 4) Nigeria Crisis Response work continues amidst the violence PERSONNEL 5) BVS volunteers complete first ‘fast track’ orientation UPCOMING EVENTS 6) Summer workcamps still have openings, registration closes April 1 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for March 22, 2019 (March 22, 2019)

In this issue: Remembering Charles Lunkley, personnel notes, job openings, Messenger Online offers “So many changes! How the new tax code affects you” by Deb Oskin, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy recommends “Faith Over Fear” training, “Look at Life” conference at Bethany Seminary, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Sili buried beside husband at Chibok, among recent losses of EYN members (March 21, 2019)

Ma Sili Ibrahim, aged 102, was buried beside her late husband Ibrahim Ndiriza in a round heart at her home town of Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria. She was among recent losses of members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). In two releases this week, EYN reported losses among members and an attack on the town of Michika. Read more »


Summer workcamps still have openings, registration closes April 1 (March 21, 2019)

The Workcamp Ministry of the Church of the Brethren reports that several of this summer’s workcamps still have openings, but registration must be received by April 1. That date also is the deadline for full payment by those who already have registered, and for all forms to be received by the Workcamp Office. Read more »


BVS volunteers complete first ‘fast track’ orientation (March 21, 2019)

A new venture of Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) is a “fast track” for orienting and placing volunteers. The arrangement allows for quicker filling of openings at projects and earlier placement of volunteers between regularly scheduled orientation units. Of the initial three fast-track volunteers, two filled assignments in Northern Ireland and one in Pennsylvania. Read more »


Faith, civil, and human rights groups join to urge official visit by UN independent expert to investigate racism in the United States (March 21, 2019)

Today, March 21, a broad coalition of religious and civil rights leaders will deliver a letter to Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo requesting an official invitation to professor E. Tendayi Achiume, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance, to the United States. The Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy has signed the letter and its staff were at the initial planning meeting, reports director Nathan Hosler. Read more »


Housing allowance is upheld by appeals court (March 20, 2019)

The housing allowance provision that provides pastors with a tax benefit for their housing expenses is constitutional. That decision was announced on March 15 by the Seventh Circuit Appeals Court, which is located in Chicago. Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board turns down proposal to increase delegate numbers (March 13, 2019)

The Mission and Ministry Board has turned down a proposal to change delegate representation at Annual Conference, which had potential to increase the number of delegates that some larger congregations could send to Annual Conference and the number of delegates that some larger districts could appoint to Standing Committee (see story below). The decision came during the board’s spring meeting March 8-11 held at the Church of the Brethren General Offices, Elgin, Ill. Read more »


Brethren bits for March 13, 2019 (March 13, 2019)

In this issue: Stan Noffsinger starts as CEO at Timbercrest, EYN requests prayer, Ware Lecture at Elizabethtown College features artists from Silkroad, BVS Unit from fall 1969 plans 50th anniversary get together, Earth Day Sunday toolkit, remembering Mac Wiseman, and more Read more »


Roundtable 2019 brings more than 150 together for 78th anniversary (March 13, 2019)

Over the weekend of March 1-3, more than 150 youth and advisors took part in the annual Roundtable regional youth conference held at Bridgewater (Va.) College. This marked the 78th anniversary of Roundtable, which invites senior high youth from the districts of the southeastern region (Atlantic Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Shenandoah, Virlina, West Marva, and Southeastern) as well as the Pennsylvania districts (Atlantic Northeast, Middle Pennsylvania, Southern Pennsylvania, and Western Pennsylvania). Read more »


Newsline for March 13, 2019 (March 13, 2019)

NEWS 1) Mission and Ministry Board turns down proposal to increase delegate numbers 2) New parking lot tax may affect some congregations 3) Compelling vision conversations at Annual Conference 4) Germantown Church of the Brethren is celebrating 300 years 5) New students welcomed at Bethany Seminary 6) Brethren Academy students explore ‘Race and the Congregation’ 7) Roundtable 2019 brings more than 150 together for 78th anniversary 8) University of La Verne community gathers in solidarity for candlelight vigil 9) Manchester Student Senate approves ‘Refugees Welcome’ resolution UPCOMING EVENTS 10) New registration open date is announced for National Older Adult Conference 11) Webinar to develop ‘conflict competent leadership’ 12) Ventures online course to focus on healthy and safe congregations 13) Brethren bits Read more »


Ventures online course to focus on healthy and safe congregations (March 13, 2019)

The April offering from the “Ventures in Christian Discipleship” program at McPherson (Kan.) College will focus on “Healthy and Safe Congregations.” Almost all congregations aspire to welcome the stranger into our midst. Our tradition, sacred texts, doctrines, teachings, and cultural values can be a resource to visitors, members, and the community. But sometimes those very things we love become a roadblock to others. This course will look specifically at how congregations can be a safe place for those who are vulnerable. Read more »


New registration open date is announced for National Older Adult Conference (March 12, 2019)

May 1 has been announced as opening date for registration for the 2019 National Older Adult Conference. This year’s NOAC takes place Sept. 2-6 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in western North Carolina. The theme is “Reaching Across Generations, Beyond Differences, Through Conflict, into Joy.” Read more »


Webinar to develop ‘conflict competent leadership’ (March 12, 2019)

"Conflict Competent Leadership" is the title of a "New and Renew Webinar" offered through the Discipleship Ministries. The webinar is scheduled for March 19 at 1-2 p.m. (Eastern time). Participants in the live event may earn 0.1 continuing education credit. Read more »


Compelling Vision Conversations at Annual Conference (March 12, 2019)

As we gather in Greensboro, N.C., during Annual Conference to “Proclaim Christ, Reclaim Passion,” business sessions will feel different to Conference-goers. Worship, Bible study, and conversations designed to help us discern God’s call for us as the body of Christ will be the focus of the business agenda at the 2019 Annual Conference. Read more »


Brethren Academy students explore ‘Race and the Congregation’ (March 8, 2019)

What does the affirmation “All War Is Sin”* mean when wars are waged on drugs, on crime, on poverty, when the designated enemy is not a soldier on foreign soil, but citizens of one’s own country? Read more »


New parking lot tax may affect some congregations (February 28, 2019)

A change to the Internal Revenue Code imposes a new tax on parking facilities owned by nonprofits, and may affect some churches. This new business income tax provision is found in Section 512(a)(7) of the code. Read more »


Germantown Church of the Brethren is celebrating 300 years (February 28, 2019)

Germantown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren is starting a five-year celebration of its 300th anniversary this year. The congregation located in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia is considered to be the “mother church” of the denomination as the first congregation that the Brethren established in the Americas. Read more »


Brethren bits for February 22, 2019 (February 22, 2019)

Remembrance, personnel notes, prayer requests from Nigeria and Haiti, Bridgewater College project, Dunker Punks podcast, and more Read more »


Global Food Initiative manager visits sites in Ecuador (February 22, 2019)

In January GFI manager Jeff Boshart visited Fundación Brethren y Unida in Picalqui, Ecuador, making several field visits and attending a board of directors meeting as a new member. Read more »


Newsline for February 22, 2019 (February 22, 2019)

NEWS 1) Annual Conference registration opens March 4, business schedule will focus on compelling vision 2) Compelling vision online conversation is offered March 23 3) Interfaith letter opposes CIA lethal drone strikes, Brethren invited to May 3 rally against drone warfare 4) Global Food Initiative manager visits sites in Ecuador 5) National Youth Cabinet is named for 2019-2020 6) Brethren bits: Remembrance, personnel notes, prayer requests from Nigeria and Haiti, Bridgewater College project, Dunker Punks podcast, and more Read more »


National Youth Cabinet is named for 2019-2020 (February 21, 2019)

A Church of the Brethren National Youth Cabinet has been named for 2019-2020. The group will work with the Youth and Young Adult Ministry director Becky Ullom Naugle to select the theme and write worship resources for National Youth Sunday in 2019 and in 2020. Read more »


Annual Conference registration opens March 4, business schedule will focus on compelling vision (February 21, 2019)

Annual Conference 2019 will be a very different event this year, according to Conference director Chris Douglas. Instead of a usual business schedule, the delegate body will spend much of its time in compelling vision conversations. Nondelegates may reserve seats at tables during the business sessions in order to fully participate in those conversations. And the Conference will hold a love feast for the first time in decades. Read more »


Interfaith letter opposes CIA lethal drone strikes, Brethren invited to May 3 rally against drone warfare (February 21, 2019)

The Church of the Brethren has signed an interfaith letter to the US Congress about CIA drone strikes. The sign-on by the denomination’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy represented one of 25 faith-based organizations that together released the statement on Feb. 19. The letter asks members of Congress to end the CIA’s use of armed drones to carry out lethal attacks. Find the full text of the letter below. Read more »


Compelling vision online conversation is offered March 23 (February 21, 2019)

The Compelling Vision Process Team is hosting an online compelling vision conversation on Saturday, March 23, at 3 p.m. (Eastern time). This is an opportunity for those who have been unable to participate in one of the district-based gatherings to take part in a compelling vision conversation. Read more »


Newsline for February 9, 2019 (February 9, 2019)

NEWS 1) Joe A. Detrick and David Sollenberger top Annual Conference ballot for 2019 2) Brethren are invited to spiritual preparation for visioning at Annual Conference 3) National commission considers changes to Selective Service 4) Boko Haram attack three villages in Adamawa State, Nigeria PERSONNEL 5) Emily Tyler begins as director of Brethren Volunteer Service 6) Thriving in Ministry program begins, Dana Cassell hired as manager 7) Shannon McNeil to be on team of advocates for Mission Advancement UPCOMING EVENTS 8) Children’s Disaster Services schedules training workshops for 2019 9) Haiti mission education trip is announced 10) Brethren bits Read more »


Haiti mission education trip is announced (February 8, 2019)

The Church of the Brethren is offering a mission education trip to Haiti for persons interested in exploring and supporting the church’s Haiti development initiatives in partnership with Eglise des Freres d’Haiti (the Church of the Brethren in Haiti). The trip from July 19-23 can accommodate up to 45 participants who will join 5 members of the Haitian staff for the experience. It will be based in two small hotels about 50 miles north of Port au Prince. Read more »


Boko Haram attack three villages in Adamawa State, Nigeria (February 8, 2019)

Attackers believed to be Boko Haram insurgents attacked three villages--Shuwari, Kirchinga, and Shuwa--in Madagali Local Government area in Adamawa State, Nigeria, on Feb. 4. The villages are in the northernmost part of the state, north of Mubi. Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 9, 2019 (February 8, 2019)

In this issue: Remembering John Heisel, job opening with BBT, “Calling Stories” project, Intercultural Ministries director preaching for Living Stream, call to prayer for Nigeria abductions, Poor People’s Campaign online discussion, Ventures course on “Growing an Inclusive Multicultural Church,” Brethren participation in Martin Luther King Day events, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Shannon McNeil to be on team of advocates for Mission Advancement (February 8, 2019)

Shannon McNeil has been hired by the Church of the Brethren as a fulltime Mission Advancement advocate, working out of the General Offices in Elgin, Ill. She and Nancy Timbrook McCrickard will serve as a team of advocates working at relationship-building with donors. Read more »


Joe A. Detrick and David Sollenberger top Annual Conference ballot for 2019 (February 8, 2019)

The ballot to be presented to the 2019 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren has been released. Topping the ballot are two nominees for moderator-elect: Joe A. Detrick and David Sollenberger. Other offices to be filled by election are positions on the Program and Arrangements Committee, the Mission and Ministry Board, and the boards of Bethany Seminary, Brethren Benefit Trust, and On Earth Peace. Elections will be held during the Conference on July 3-7 in Greensboro, N.C. Read more »


Brethren are invited to spiritual preparation for visioning at Annual Conference (February 8, 2019)

The Compelling Vision Process Team is inviting all Brethren to connect with a Facebook page dedicated to spiritual preparation for the visioning conversations that will happen during the 2019 Annual Conference in Greensboro, N.C. The page is titled, “COB Compelling Vision Spiritual Connection Page” and may be found at www.facebook.com/COB-Compelling-Vision-Spiritual-Connection-Page-1050919648604889 . Read more »


Emily Tyler begins as director of Brethren Volunteer Service (February 7, 2019)

Emily Tyler started a new position as director of Brethren Volunteer Service on Feb. 4. She continues to work out of the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., where she has been coordinator for BVS recruitment and the Workcamp Ministry for more than six years, since June 27, 2012. BVS is located within the denomination’s Global Mission and Service program. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services schedules training workshops for 2019 (February 7, 2019)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has announced its 2019 training workshop calendar for the year. An online map of the locations and dates is available at https://maps.esp.tl/maps/_CDS-2019-Training-Workshops/pages/map.jsp?geoMapId=620310&TENANT_ID=178622&fbclid=IwAR0cOJkkd1sBKF4WgVt44d82P8zyQfYqyMaGehROjAj6UwSzBrP9i9-80cE . Go to www.brethren.org/cds for more information and to register for a workshop. Read more »


Thriving in Ministry program begins, Dana Cassell hired as manager (January 28, 2019)

The Office of Ministry has begun work on a new Thriving in Ministry program, a grant-funded initiative offering support for multivocational Church of the Brethren pastors. Dana Cassell, pastor of Peace Covenant Church of the Brethren in Durham, N.C., has been hired as manager. She started in this half-time position on Jan. 7 while continuing in her pastoral role. Read more »


National commission considers changes to Selective Service (January 23, 2019)

The Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy attended a press conference of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 23. This commission is tasked with exploring national attitudes toward military and volunteer service, and potentially recommending changes to the Selective Service system. Read more »


Spring academy courses cover race and congregation, Bible survey, thinking theologically, church polity (January 18, 2019)

Several courses are offered by the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership in the spring. These are open to students in the Training in Ministry (TRIM) and Education for Shared Ministry (EFSM) programs, ministers seeking continuing education, and others. The fee per course is $295. Read more »


Brethren Faith in Action Fund allocates first grants (January 18, 2019)

The Brethren Faith in Action Fund provides grants to outreach ministry projects of Church of the Brethren congregations that serve their communities, strengthen the congregation, and expand the reign of God. It was created by the Mission and Ministry Board with monies generated by sale of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Ministries that receiving grants will honor and continue the legacy of service that the center has epitomized, while also addressing the dynamics of the present age. Read more »


Newsline for Jan. 18, 2019 (January 18, 2019)

NEWS 1) BBT president signs on to letter from denominational benefit plans 2) Brethren Faith in Action Fund allocates first grants 3) New theological focus at Bethany Seminary is funded by AAAS grant 4) Global Food Initiative gives grants to agriculture-related projects in Spain, Nigeria, East Africa, the US 5) Nigerian Brethren host the Fellowship of Christian Churches in Nigeria 6) Nigeria Crisis Response helps thousands in 2018 7) Church of the Brethren awards nursing scholarships UPCOMING EVENTS 8) Summer workcamp registration is open for jr. and sr. high youth and young adults 9) Youth and young adult events include CCS, National Jr. High Conference, Young Adult Conference 10) Spring academy courses cover race and congregation, Bible survey, thinking theologically, church polity 11) Bridgewater College holds symposium on status of Brethren organizations 12) Outdoor Ministries board members offer innovative retreat 13) Brethren bits Read more »


Bridgewater College holds symposium on status of Brethren organizations (January 18, 2019)

On March 14-15, Bridgewater (Va.) College will present a symposium on “The Status of Brethren Organizations: Demise and Momentum.” The event is open to the public. Read more »


Church of the Brethren awards nursing scholarships (January 18, 2019)

Two nursing students are recipients of Church of the Brethren Nursing Scholarships for 2018. This scholarship, made possible by the Health Education and Research Endowment, is available to members of the Church of the Brethren enrolled in LPN, RN, or nursing graduate programs. Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 18, 2019 (January 18, 2019)

Brethren bits for Jan. 18, 2019 Read more »


Summer workcamp registration is open for jr. and sr. high youth and young adults (January 17, 2019)

Church of the Brethren summer workcamps are offered for junior high and senior high youth and young adults. This year’s theme is “Grow” (2 Peter 1:5-8). Read more »


Youth and young adult events include CCS, National Jr. High Conference, Young Adult Conference (January 17, 2019)

A number of events are offered in 2019 for youth and young adults in the Church of the Brethren: Christian Citizenship Seminar (CCS) on April 27-May 2, Young Adult Conference on May 24-26, and National Junior High Conference on June 14-16. Read more »


Global Food Initiative gives grants to agriculture-related projects in Spain, Nigeria, East Africa, the US (January 17, 2019)

The Global Food Initiative (GFI) of the Church of the Brethren has made several grants in the last two months. The grants support long-term hurricane recovery for farmers in Puerto Rico, church-related community garden projects in the US and in Spain, an orchard in Nigeria, a refrigeration project of Lybrook Community Ministries in New Mexico, and Brethren participation in an ECHO East Africa Symposium. Find out more at www.brethren.org/gfi . Read more »


BBT president signs on to letter from denominational benefit plans (January 16, 2019)

The president of Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT), Nevin Dulabaum, has signed on to a letter to Congressional leaders sent by chief executive officers of denominational benefit plans. The November letter expressed concern about two separate sections of the Internal Revenue Code, one with potential to restrict participation in church retirement income account plans, and the other to potentially impose a tax on church parking lots. Read more »


Nigerian Brethren host the Fellowship of Christian Churches in Nigeria (January 15, 2019)

Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has hosted the 64th annual assembly of TEKAN at EYN headquarters in Kwarhi, Nigeria. TEKAN stands for the Fellowship of Christian Churches in Nigeria and includes 15 primarily Hausa-speaking denominations, making it the largest Christian ecumenical body in Nigeria. Read more »


Outdoor Ministries board members offer innovative retreat (January 15, 2019)

An innovative weekend retreat is offered this spring by board members of the Church of the Brethren Outdoor Ministries Association (OMA). Randall Westfall and Jonathan Stauffer are leading “Cultivating a Verdant Faith” at Camp Emmaus in Mount Morris, Ill., on March 8-10. Read more »


‘You Deserve Love’ project addresses prisoners and Congress (December 20, 2018)

A preschooler is sending a message to Capitol Hill and death row--“You deserve love no matter what.” Read more »


Michigan and West Marva Districts call interim executives (December 20, 2018)

Michigan District has called Edward “Ike” Porter to serve as interim district executive minister beginning Jan. 1, 2019. West Marva has called John Ballinger to serve as interim district executive minister beginning Jan. 14. Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec 20, 2018 (December 20, 2018)

Brethren bits for Dec 20, 2018 Read more »


Register for youth and young adult events in 2019 (December 20, 2018)

Registration is open or is opening soon for several events and opportunities for youth and young adults in the Church of the Brethren, including the 2019 workcamps, Christian Citizenship Seminar, National Junior High Conference, and Young Adult Conference. Application deadlines are coming up for Ministry Summer Service and the Youth Peace Travel Team. Read more »


Newsline for December 1, 2018 (December 1, 2018)

NEWS 1) Global Mission visit to Nigeria strengthens relationships, finds hope in EYN’s continuing ministry despite crisis 2) Paradise Church of the Brethren lost in fire 3) Children’s Disaster Services continues Camp Fire response 4) Yearbook Office announces changes for collecting congregational information UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Children’s Disaster Services offers volunteer training workshops in early 2019 RESOURCES 6) Advent resources are available from Brethren Press 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Global Mission visit to Nigeria strengthens relationships, finds hope in EYN’s continuing ministry despite crisis (November 30, 2018)

A visit with Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) by Global Mission and Service executive director Jay Wittmeyer and News Services director Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford took place Nov. 1-19. Read more »


Advent resources are available from Brethren Press (November 30, 2018)

Advent begins in just a few days, on Sunday, Dec. 2, and there are new Brethren Press resources to help prepare for this special season. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services continues Camp Fire response (November 30, 2018)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) continues to aid children and families affected by the Camp Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise in northern California. Two new CDS teams are being deployed this week. Read more »


Brethren bits for November 30, 2018 (November 30, 2018)

In this issue: Compelling Vision conversations, nominations sought for 2019 ballot, disaster volunteer needed in Puerto Rico, CCS registration opens soon, Global Mission prayer request, Bethany podcasts, chuch anniversaries, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Yearbook Office announces changes for collecting congregational information (November 30, 2018)

Changes are forthcoming in the way directory and statistical data will be collected. No Form B will be mailed this fall but instead will be combined into a later mailing. Read more »


Paradise Church of the Brethren lost in fire (November 30, 2018)

The Camp Fire in Butte County in northern California overran the town of Paradise and other smaller communities on Thursday, Nov. 8. Lost in the fire were all of the buildings on the property of Paradise Church of the Brethren, which includes the main church facility and sanctuary, the parsonage, a youth building, and two rental cottages. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services offers volunteer training workshops in early 2019 (November 30, 2018)

A series of volunteer training workshops will be offered by Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) in early 2019 Read more »


Conference examines Native American boarding school history (November 16, 2018)

The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition on Oct. 2-3 held their first-ever boarding school healing conference, called “The Spirit Survives: A National Movement Toward Healing.” Read more »


Newsline for November 16, 2018 (November 16, 2018)

NEWS 1) Fire likely destroys Paradise (Calif.) congregation 2) SVMC celebrates its silver anniversary 3) Haiti Medical Project makes progress on pure water program 4) Conference examines Native American boarding school history PERSONNEL 5) Office of Ministry seeks program manager for new initiative UPCOMING EVENTS 6) Workcamp Office announces 2019 summer schedule 7) NOAC planning committee unveils 2019 logo RESOURCES 8) Brethren Academy offers “Christianity in the Early-Modern and Modern Worlds” 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Workcamp Office announces 2019 summer schedule (November 16, 2018)

The Church of the Brethren Workcamp Office has released dates and locations for the 2019 workcamp schedule. A total of 18 different workcamps will be offered for junior high, senior high, young adult, and “We Are Able” participants. Read more »


Brethren bits for November 16, 2018 (November 16, 2018)

In this issue: Remembrance, personnel, Brethren Historical Committee, Action Alert, district conferences and news, workshops, recognitions, “Brethren Voices,” and more. Read more »


Office of Ministry seeks program manager for new initiative (November 16, 2018)

The Office of Ministry is seeking a part-time program manager for the Lilly Endowment, Inc.-funded program “Part-Time Pastor; Full-Time Church.” The program manager will work with an advisory committee to implement this new program initiative that addresses the practical needs of multivocational ministers in the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Haiti Medical Project makes progress on pure water program (November 16, 2018)

The efforts of the Church of the Brethren’s Haiti Medical Project (HMP) to provide pure water to 20 communities via two dozen projects by the end of 2020 are taking root. Read more »


NOAC planning committee unveils 2019 logo (November 16, 2018)

Planners of the 2019 Church of the Brethren National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) have unveiled the logo for the event, highlighting the conference theme, “Reaching … across generations, beyond differences, through conflict … into joy,” based on Romans 15:7. Read more »


Fire likely destroys Paradise congregation (November 12, 2018)

Paradise (Calif.) Community Church of the Brethren, located about 15 miles east of Chico in the northern part of the state, is assumed to be destroyed, along with its parsonage. Read more »


SVMC celebrates its silver anniversary (November 8, 2018)

The Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center (SVMC) celebrated its 25th anniversary Nov. 3 at Chambersburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren Read more »


Newsline for November 2, 2018 (November 2, 2018)

NEWS 1) Three new grants support disaster recovery, farming efforts 2) Elizabethtown College re-opens expanded Young Center 3) Manchester’s new Intercultural Center offers unique space 4) Western Pennsylvania District adopts “Resolution on Biblical Marriage” PERSONNEL 5) Gail Connerley named executive director of institutional advancement at Bethany 6) Bethany seeks faculty position in Ministry Formation UPCOMING EVENTS 7) Brethren Academy offers “Race and the Congregation” course 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Elizabethtown College re-opens expanded Young Center (November 2, 2018)

Elizabethtown (Pa.) College’s Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies officially re-opened on Oct. 20 following a $2 million renovation and expansion Read more »


Brethren bits for November 2, 2018 (November 2, 2018)

In this issue: Correction, vigils for shooting victims, BDM and CDS update, remembrances, anniversary, congregational and district news, evangelism conference, Outdoor Ministries Association, job opening, and more. Read more »


Three new grants support disaster recovery, farming efforts (November 2, 2018)

Church of the Brethren funds will aid projects in Honduras, Indonesia, and Haiti, responding to disasters and assisting training for farmers. Read more »


Western Pennsylvania District adopts “Resolution on Biblical Marriage” (November 2, 2018)

Western Pennsylvania became the latest district to pass a policy on same-sex weddings and related issues as delegates gave overwhelming support to a measure while meeting Oct. 20 at Camp Harmony (Hooversville, Pa.). Read more »


Manchester’s new Intercultural Center offers unique space (November 2, 2018)

Manchester University has created a unique new space for discussions about diversity and inclusion, civic engagement, and civil discourse Read more »


Brethren Academy offers “Race and the Congregation” course (November 1, 2018)

The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership will offer a course on “Race and the Congregation” Feb. 21-24 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Read more »


Denominational board holds Fall meeting, adopts 2019 budget, hears from SCN delegation (October 26, 2018)

The Mission and Ministry Board adopted a budget for Church of the Brethren ministries in 2019, received news of a large grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Thriving in Ministry, and participated in a Compelling Vision Process session, among other agenda at the fall meeting Oct. 19-22. Read more »


Newsline Special for Oct. 26, 2018: Fall meeting of the Mission and Ministry Board (October 26, 2018)

NEWS 1) Denominational board holds Fall meeting, adopts 2019 budget, hears from SCN delegation 2) Thriving in Ministry Initiative JOB OPENING 3) Church of the Brethren seeks director for Brethren Volunteer Service Read more »


Thriving in Ministry Initiative (October 22, 2018)

The Church of the Brethren has received a grant of $994,683 to help establish its Part-Time Pastor; Full-Time Church program. It is part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Thriving in Ministry Read more »


Bethany welcomes nine new students this fall (October 19, 2018)

When fall semester classes at Bethany Theological Seminary (Richmond, Ind.) began on Aug. 30, nine new students joined the seminary community. Four are entering the Master of Divinity program, two are entering the Master of Arts program, and three are pursuing a Certificate in Theopoetics and Theological Imagination. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries responds to Hurricane Michael, other needs (October 19, 2018)

Brethren Disaster Ministries and Children's Disaster Services work in Florida, North Carolina, Haiti, Texas, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board gathers for fall meeting (October 19, 2018)

The Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board (MMB) holds its fall meeting in Elgin, Ill., this weekend. Read more »


Brethren bits for October 19, 2018 (October 19, 2018)

In this issue: Remembrances, BVS project need, congregational and district news and events, Clergy Women’s Retreat, tax seminar, and more. Read more »


Newsline for October 19, 2018 (October 19, 2018)

NEWS 1) Brethren Disaster Ministries responds to Hurricane Michael, other needs 2) Atlantic Northeast District rejects “Policy on Same-Sex Marriage” 3) On Earth Peace board meets, addresses anti-racism initiatives 4) Bethany welcomes nine new students this fall PERSONNEL 5) Church of the Brethren seeks Mission Advancement Advocate UPCOMING EVENTS 6) Mission and Ministry Board gathers for fall meeting 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Atlantic Northeast District rejects "Policy on Same-Sex Marriage" (October 18, 2018)

A proposed “Policy on Same-Sex Marriage” in Atlantic Northeast District did not receive the two-thirds majority necessary to pass as delegates met at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College Oct. 5-6. Read more »


Church of the Brethren seeks Mission Advancement Advocate (October 16, 2018)

The Church of the Brethren is seeking a Mission Advancement Advocate. Major responsibilities include strengthening and nurturing the individual and congregational stewardship, direct gift, planned-giving, and enlistment programs of the Church of the Brethren through face-to-face visits with individuals and congregations and individuals. Read more »


Brethren bits for October 5, 2018 (October 5, 2018)

In this issue: Remembrance, personnel notes, district conference dates, anniversaries, disaster ministries, Nobel Prize, coming events, camp and college news, and more. Read more »


Newsline for October 5, 2018 (October 5, 2018)

NEWS 1) Districts consider policies on same-sex marriage 2) Annual Conference announces preachers, worship leadership for 2019 3) Emergency Disaster Fund grants aid work in Nigeria, Iowa 4) Global Food Initiative grants benefit wide range of projects PERSONNEL 5) Church of the Brethren seeks Manager of Buildings and Grounds UPCOMING EVENTS 6) Christian Citizenship Seminar will focus on “Creative Solutions” 7) November opportunities help to honor Native American Heritage Month 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Districts consider policies on same-sex marriage (October 5, 2018)

Items on same-sex marriage are receiving attention at several district conferences this fall, with agenda items seeking to formalize district policies following the actions of the 2017 Annual Conference that affirmed the role of districts in handling manners of ministerial conduct. Read more »


November opportunities help to honor Native American Heritage Month (October 5, 2018)

A variety of resources and a weekly call through November will provide ways for “Continuing Together the Conversation” and honoring Native American Heritage Month. Read more »


Church of the Brethren seeks Manager of Buildings and Grounds (October 4, 2018)

The Church of the Brethren Inc. has announced an opening for Manager of Buildings and Grounds at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Read more »


Emergency Disaster Fund grants aid work in Nigeria, Iowa (October 4, 2018)

The Church of the Brethren Emergency Disaster Fund has issued a major grant for the Nigeria Crisis Response and a smaller one to assist with tornado recovery efforts in Iowa. Read more »


Global Food Initiative grants benefit wide range of projects (October 4, 2018)

The Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Initiative (GFI) fund has made recent grants to projects in the US, the Caribbean, Africa, and Latin America, totaling more than $42,000 in aid. Read more »


Annual Conference announces preachers, worship leadership for 2019 (October 4, 2018)

The Church of the Brethren Annual Conference Office has announced speakers and other worship leadership for the 2019 Annual Conference, which will take place July 3-7 in Greensboro, North Carolina, with the theme “Proclaim Christ: Reclaim Passion.” Read more »


Christian Citizenship Seminar will focus on “Creative Solutions” (October 4, 2018)

The Church of the Brethren 2019 Christian Citizenship Seminar will be held April 27-May 2 in New York and Washington, D.C., with the theme “Creative Solutions to Violent Conflict Worldwide.” Read more »


Newsline for Sept. 21, 2018 (September 22, 2018)

NEWS 1) Brethren Disaster Ministries begins Hurricane Florence response 2) Brethren Volunteer Service units 319, 320 hold orientation 3) Church of the Brethren workcamps announce 2019 theme 4) Camp Swatara celebrates 75 years of ministry PERSONNEL 5) Church of the Brethren seeks director of Brethren Volunteer Service RESOURCES 6) Online mutual support proposed for young women in ministry 7) Fall “Ventures” courses to focus on trauma informed care 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Church of the Brethren workcamps announce 2019 theme (September 21, 2018)

Inspired by 2 Peter 1:5-8 (The Message), the theme for the 2019 Church of the Brethren workcamp season is “Grow.” This theme focuses on complementing basic faith with qualities that encourage steady and active growth. Read more »


Brethren Bits for Sept. 21, 2018 (September 21, 2018)

In this issue: Personnel notes, book signing, Peace Day, Election Day, webinar, anniversaries, district news, college news, and more news for, by, and about Brethren. Read more »


Online mutual support proposed for young women in ministry (September 21, 2018)

On behalf of the Church of the Brethren Office of Ministry, Amy Ritchie—a spiritual director and former Bethany Theological Seminary staff—has extended an invitation to women in ministry, ages 25-40, for a monthly virtual gathering. Read more »


Church of the Brethren seeks director of Brethren Volunteer Service (September 21, 2018)

The Church of the Brethren is seeking an individual to fill the full-time salaried position of director of Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS). Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries begins Hurricane Florence response (September 21, 2018)

Brethren Disaster Ministries (BDM) and its associated programs have monitored Hurricane Florence’s advance toward the United States and begun response efforts following the hurricane’s landfall on the North Carolina coast. Read more »


Fall “Ventures” courses to focus on trauma informed care (September 21, 2018)

October and November course offerings from the “Ventures in Christian Discipleship” program at McPherson (Kan.) College will be a series on trauma informed care. Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service units 319, 320 hold orientation (September 19, 2018)

Two Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) units held orientation over the summer and have begun their service at project locations across the country and around the world. Read more »


Camp Swatara celebrates 75 years of ministry (September 14, 2018)

Camp Swatara celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2018 with a full year of special events and programs on the theme “Tell the Story: 75 Years at the Base of Blue Mountain.” Read more »


Newsline for September 7, 2018 (September 8, 2018)

NEWS 1) Samuel Dali joins Bethany seminary community 2) Atlantic Northeast District issues response to Elizabethtown church PERSONNEL 3) Camp Harmony seeks executive director RESOURCES 4) Brethren Academy announces upcoming courses 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Atlantic Northeast District issues response to Elizabethtown church request (September 7, 2018)

Atlantic Northeast District has issued a response to a letter from the Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, as reported in the Aug. 24 Newsline Read more »


Brethren Bits for Sept. 7, 2018 (September 7, 2018)

In this issue: Corrections, Remembering Matthew Meyer and Laura Abernathy, anniversaries, Brethren college news, Election Day love feast, district conferences, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Samuel Dali joins Bethany seminary community (September 7, 2018)

Samuel Dante Dali of Nigeria is serving as current international scholar in residence at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. Read more »


Newsline for August 24, 2018 (August 25, 2018)

NEWS 1) Sixth Brethren World Assembly examines ‘Crosscurrents’ of Brethren movement 2) Emergency Disaster Fund grants aid children in border region, Middle East 3) District conversations begin as part of Compelling Vision process 4) Foods Resource Bank announces new name, leadership 5) Elizabethtown requests Atlantic Northeast District withdraw “Same-Gender Marriage” proposal REFLECTIONS 6) Returning to a wounded but healing Nigeria 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Sixth Brethren World Assembly examines ‘Crosscurrents’ of Brethren movement (August 24, 2018)

The Sixth Brethren World Assembly happened Aug. 9-12 at Winona Lake (Ind.) Grace Brethren Church. It was sponsored by the Brethren Encyclopedia Foundation with the theme “Brethren Intersections: History, Identity, Crosscurrents.” The event, held every five years, gathers Brethren from various denominations tracing back to the original 1708 group in Germany. Read more »


Reflection: Returning to a wounded but healing Nigeria (August 24, 2018)

Kucheli Shankster Beecham reflects on a recent visit to camps for Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 24, 2018 (August 24, 2018)

In this issue: Remembering Sue Cushen Snyder, job openings, Dunker Church, district events, Brethren college news, anniversaries, immigration statement, safe church grants, and more. Read more »


District conversations begin as part of Compelling Vision process (August 24, 2018)

Shaped by the conversations that took place at Annual Conference, the Compelling Vision Process Team has designed a two-hour event to engage members in deeper conversation around God’s call for us as a church. Read more »


Foods Resource Bank announces new name, leadership (August 24, 2018)

FRB announced that a new name, Growing Hope Worldwide, will go into effect Oct. 1. The new name emphasizes the organization's goal to “plant seeds of hope for generations to come.” Max Finberg will be the new president/CEO. Read more »


Emergency Disaster Fund grants assist children (August 23, 2018)

The Church of the Brethren Emergency Disaster Fund has made several recent allocations, supporting efforts on the Texas border and refugee work in the Middle East. Read more »


Elizabethtown requests Atlantic Northeast District withdraw "Same-Gender Marriage" proposal  (August 23, 2018)

The Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren board has responded to the passage of “Policy on Same-Gender Marriage” by the Atlantic Northeast District board, “respectfully requesting” the board to withdraw the item from consideration at this year’s district conference. Read more »


Newsline for August 17, 2018 (August 18, 2018)

NEWS 1) Fire narrowly misses Camp Peaceful Pines in California 2) Global Food Initiative grants sow seeds 3) Bethany Theological Seminary unveils new branding PERSONNEL 4) Kendal Elmore announces retirement as West Marva District executive 5) Lisa Crouch is hired as Associate Director, Children’s Disaster Services 6) Shaye Isaacs resigns as executive assistant to president at Bethany 7) Bethany Theological Seminary seeks executive assistant to the president 8) Virlina District seeks associate district executive RESOURCES 9) Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership offers fall courses 10) Brethren bits: Annual Conference, Global Mission, action alert, refugee resettlement, media, anniversaries, fundraisers, and more. Read more »


Fire misses Camp Peaceful Pines (August 17, 2018)

Camp Peaceful Pines in Pacific Southwest District is still standing after a close call with a wildfire this week. Read more »


Elmore retires as West Marva District executive (August 17, 2018)

Kendal Elmore has announced his retirement as district executive minister of West Marva District effective Aug. 31 Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 17, 2018 (August 17, 2018)

Annual Conference officer meetings, Rwanda missionaries, Action Alert, #Welcome75k, "Welcoming the Stranger: A Call for Just Immigration Reform", DunkerPunks podcast, "Brethren Voices," fall curriculum from Brethren Press, Bridgewater College recognition, news from local churches, COBYS Bike and Hike Read more »


Global Food Initiative grants sow seeds (August 14, 2018)

Over $36,000 in grants this summer have aided US community garden projects, an agriculture conference in Haiti, an educational initiative in Nigeria, and hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico Read more »


Newsline for Aug. 2, 2018 (August 2, 2018)

NYC 2018 1) National Youth Conference coverage is online 2) NYC by the numbers NEWS 3) CDS helps care for immigrant children and families on the border 4) Prince of Peace hears first-hand experience of Manzanar 5) ‘Our Boys and Girls’ antique quilt blocks displayed at Annual Conference PERSONNEL 6) Mark Flory Steury retires as donor relations representative for the denomination 7) Karen Duhai is new director of Student Development at Bethany Seminary UPCOMING EVENTS 8) Next Nigeria workcamp is scheduled for November 9) Brethren bits Read more »


NYC by the numbers (August 2, 2018)

In the end, National Youth Conference 2018 is defined by the numbers--how many individuals were involved, and how many others will be helped by this conference. But of course, much of the NYC impact can't be measured by numbers. Read more »


Next Nigeria workcamp is scheduled for November (August 2, 2018)

Dates for the next workcamp in Nigeria are Nov. 2-19, sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Global Mission and Service. American Brethren and others who are interested in joining in a workcamp with members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) are invited to consider this opportunity. Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 2, 2018 (August 2, 2018)

In this issue: Personnel notes, BVS Unit 319, theme for Peace Day 2018, church anniversaries, Manchester University coaches accompany workcamp to New York, new CWS CROP Hunger Walk worship resources, and more new by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Prince of Peace hears first-hand experience of Manzanar (August 1, 2018)

All they could take was one suitcase and what they could wear. That is what President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 told Japanese and Japanese-Americans who were living on the west coast after the attack on Pearl Harbor, in 1942. They reported to relocation camps with only one week’s notice. Read more »


Deep dive: Playing hooky from NYC (August 1, 2018)

Like most Brethren, my deep Dunker guilt means I keep my nose to the grindstone long after the job is done. I always feel like I haven’t done enough to deserve my good fortune, so I work and work and work. But I have never regretted those rare occasions when I give myself permission to play hooky. Read more »


Mark Flory Steury retires as donor relations representative for the denomination (August 1, 2018)

Mark Flory Steury will retire as donor relations representative for the Church of the Brethren effective Aug. 31. He has worked as part of the Mission Advancement team at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill., and remotely from Bridgewater, Va. Read more »


EYN national youth group leader observes National Youth Conference (August 1, 2018)

Elisha Shavah attended National Youth Conference in Fort Collins, Colo., as an international guest and an observer from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Back home he is an accountant by profession at a private company specializing in irrigation and hydropower. He also is national chairman of Kungiyan Bishara EYN, which translates to the “Gospel Team” of the church in Nigeria, part of the work of EYN’s national youth ministry. Read more »


‘Our Boys and Girls’ antique quilt blocks displayed at Annual Conference (August 1, 2018)

The Association for the Arts in the Church of the Brethren, in cooperation with the Brethren Heritage Center in Ohio, has highlighted quilt block patterns featured in the Dec. 7, 1929, issue of the Brethren youth magazine of the time, “Our Boys and Girls.” Read more »


CDS helps care for immigrant children and families on the border (July 31, 2018)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) over this past weekend sent a team of volunteers to work at the Catholic Charities Rio Grande Valley Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas. In the first two days, the team served more than 150 children. Read more »


A Dunker connection (July 26, 2018)

There’s an unusual connection between the Brethren Press apparel at National Youth Conference, a recipe for chocolate cake, and a 93-year-old woman in Fort Collins, Colo. Read more »


Today at NYC - Thursday, July 26, 2018 (July 26, 2018)

A view of the closing morning of National Youth Conference 2018 Read more »


Deep dive: NYC small groups explore ideas, broaden their faith together (July 25, 2018)

The small group experience at National Youth Conference (NYC) felt similar to Sunday school for Aubrey, a youth participant from Maryland. Her small group was a setting that encouraged everyone to contribute to the discussions as they wished. Read more »


Deep dive: National Youth Cabinet loves contributing to NYC  (July 25, 2018)

Six youth and two advisors from across the denomination came together for a year and a half of meetings and brainstorming sessions before finally arriving at Fort Collins, Colo., for National Youth Conference (NYC). Each member was recommended for the job of working with Kelsey Murray, NYC coordinator, and Becky Ullom Naugle, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, to create NYC. Read more »


Today at NYC - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 (July 25, 2018)

A brief review of some of the days events at NYC Read more »


Today at NYC - Tuesday, July 24, 2018 (July 24, 2018)

Reviewing the day at National Youth Conference, including quotes from worship speakers, and a "Top 12" important things learned at NYC. Read more »


Today at NYC - Monday, July 23, 2018 (July 23, 2018)

A glimpse of the day at National Youth Conference Read more »


Today at NYC - Sunday, July 22, 2018 (July 22, 2018)

An overview of some of the many events at the Church of the Brethren National Youth Conference on Sunday, July 22. Read more »


Deep dive: Finding God’s Spirit moving among the nations  (July 22, 2018)

Sisters Julia and Marina Moneta Facini travelled from São Paulo, Brazil, to attend National Youth Conference. They were two of six international participants who were able to get visas to attend the conference through the Church of the Brethren Global Mission and Service. Read more »


Creative ‘Brethren Block Party’ is filled with fun (July 22, 2018)

When a Viking, an Egyptian king, and a flamingo get together to eat ice cream, toss a chicken, and test their geography skills, National Youth Conference organizers call it a success. Read more »


Top 10 ‘You know you’re Brethren if...’ (July 22, 2018)

Top 10 ‘You know you’re Brethren if...’ from the Church of the Brethren's National Youth Conference (NYC) 2018 Read more »


Top 10 first impressions of National Youth Conference (July 22, 2018)

Top 10 first impressions of National Youth Conference Read more »


Eat. Pray. Love. (July 22, 2018)

At least one person listened to Jeff Carter’s sermon. I can guarantee it. Read more »


Waiting for the bus(es) (July 21, 2018)

In the morning, there is the calm before the storm. Everyone is hard at work--staff, youth workers, volunteers--but there are only a few precious hours before the youth arrive. Their buses are being loaded somewhere two, three, five hours away. Or perhaps they have been on buses for one, two, or more days. Some are walking through airport security now, some are preparing for their first flights. Experienced travelers are mixed together with the homesick, who may be leaving home for the first time. Read more »


Today at NYC - Saturday, July 21, 2018 (July 21, 2018)

A glimpse of the opening day of National Youth Conference (NYC) 2018, the every-four-years conference for Church of the Brethren youth. Read more »


Newsline for July 14, 2018 (July 14, 2018)

ANNUAL CONFERENCE OVERVIEW 1) Task of seeking a ‘compelling vision’ is begun with conversation among Conference-goers 2) Delegates affirm the ecumenical and interfaith work of the church 3) ‘Creation Care: Faith into Action’ recommendations are adopted 4) Conference adopts new vision for a global Church of the Brethren 5) ‘Vitality and Viability’ report focuses on providing resources for renewed vitality 6) Changes to the Church of the Brethren bylaws are approved, among other business 7) Paul Mundey to serve as moderator-elect of Annual Conference, among other elections and appointments 8) Standing Committee discusses Michigan District situation 9) Annual Conference welcomes new projects, fellowships, and congregations 10) ‘Witness to the Host City’ aids women in rehabilitation treatment, and their children 11) Annual Conference by the numbers, and more from Cincinnati NEWS 12) Vietnam initiative focuses on babies with Retinopathy of Prematurity 13) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for July 14, 2018 (July 14, 2018)

In this issue: Remembrance, personnel notes, job openings, Camp Swatara’s 75th anniversary, Pinecrest Community’s 125th anniversary, Indian Creek’s new Peace Pole, World Week of Peace in Palestine and Israel, “Playback Social Entrepreneurs®,” Brethren author new book “September Mourn: The Dunker church of Antietam Battlefield,” and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Vietnam initiative focuses on babies with Retinopathy of Prematurity (July 9, 2018)

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Dec. 10, 2015: Global Mission and Service worker Grace Mishler receives an urgent email from the American Eye Center medical director: “We need your help to find donors.... Within 10 days Baby Hoa will go blind with Retinopathy of Prematurity. Baby needs immediate surgery.” Read more »


A road to freedom (July 8, 2018)

In downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, there is a museum dedicated to the Underground Railroad and slavery in the United States. As soon as I began viewing the first part of the exhibit, I was overcome with emotion, seeing the portrayals of men bound in chains staring down the barrel of a gun. My eyes filled with tears. Read more »


Annual Conference by the numbers, and more from Cincinnati (July 8, 2018)

Where to find more online coverage on the 2018 Annual Conference, Conference “by the numbers,” “The Not-so-big Church” video report, Bethany’s new logo, Revelation 7:9 Award, Open Roof congregations, international guests, 5K top finishers, clergywomen’s retreat, more. Read more »


Today in Cincinnati - Sunday, July 8, 2018 (July 8, 2018)

A brief overview of the final day of the 2018 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


‘Vitality and Viability’ report focuses on providing resources for renewed vitality (July 7, 2018)

The report titled “Vitality and Viability” and its recommendations were adopted by the 2018 Annual Conference. The study committee that brought this report was formed to address concerns raised at the 2015 Annual Conference, which returned a query about district structure but assigned to this committee the broader topic of viability within congregations, districts, and the denomination. Read more »


Conference adopts new vision for a global Church of the Brethren (July 7, 2018)

Annual Conference on July 7 adopted the paper, “Vision for a Global Church of the Brethren.” This document was brought by the Mission and Ministry Board at the initiative of staff of Global Mission and Service, and has been in process for some time. Those involved in its development include the Mission Advisory Committee and church leaders from several countries. Read more »


Changes to the Church of the Brethren bylaws are approved, among other business (July 7, 2018)

Amendments to the bylaws of the Church of the Brethren and two business items originally brought by Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) in 2017--and then deferred for a year--were approved by the 2018 Annual Conference. Also approved were business items related to the Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee. A proposal for a denominational leadership gathering was turned down. Read more »


Today in Cincinnati - Saturday, July 7, 2018 (July 7, 2018)

A review of some of the events of the day at the 2018 Annual Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Read more »


‘Creation Care: Faith into Action’ recommendations are adopted (July 7, 2018)

In 2016, a Creation Care study committee was authorized in response to a query on continuing the study of our Christian responsibility to care for God’s creation. Their report, titled “Creation Care: Faith into Action,” includes a list of recommendations that have been adopted by the 2018 Annual Conference. Read more »


‘Poetry is something you discover’ (July 7, 2018)

As Wendy McFadden introduced the session “Poetry: Read It. Write It,” she remarked that it is the first or only insight session on the specific topic of poetry that she is aware of in her history with Annual Conference. If that is the case, Ken Gibble stepped up to the plate. Read more »


‘Witness to the Host City’ aids women in rehabilitation treatment, and their children (July 6, 2018)

Witness to the Host City is an acknowledgment each year in which Annual Conference comes together to give back to a special organization in the host city. This year’s recipient is First Step Home, a women’s rehabilitation facility that allows women to receive treatment while still having custody of their children. Read more »


Bethany Seminary unveils new logo, recognizes Tara Hornbacker’s retirement (July 6, 2018)

Bethany Theological Seminary held its annual luncheon July 6 during the 2018 Annual Conference. The event provided opportunity to recognize recent graduates of both the seminary and the Brethren Academy, and a time to fellowship with new and old friends. This year president Jeff Carter gave those gathered a preview of the full report he would give to the delegate body of the Conference that afternoon. Read more »


A BRF leader reflects on how a divided house can stand (July 6, 2018)

Eric Brubaker, a member of the ministry team at Middle Creek Church of the Brethren, admitted his apprehension at wrestling with the ramifications of the assigned topic, “How can a divided house stand?” at an insight session sponsored by the Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF). In keeping with the Annual Conference theme, “Living Parables,” the selected scripture was Mark 3:20-26. Key verses are 24-26, referring to a kingdom and a house divided, and Satan risen up against himself. Read more »


Today in Cincinnati - Friday, July 6, 2018 (July 6, 2018)

An overview of some of the events at Annual Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 6. Read more »


World War I and the Church of the Brethren (July 6, 2018)

On June 28, 1914, Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated and a month later Europe was plunged in war. As described by Steve Longenecker, Edwin L. Turner Distinguished Professor of History at Bridgewater (Va.) College, it was the first time modern industrial nations engaged in total war involving entire populations and whole industries. Tens of thousands of soldiers died in a single day of fighting. Economies crumbled. Life changed. Read more »


Task of seeking a ‘compelling vision’ is begun with conversation among Conference-goers (July 6, 2018)

The 2017 Annual Conference set the church to the task of framing a “compelling vision” for how the entire denomination will continue the work of Jesus together, by adopting a recommendation from the Leadership Team and the Council of District Executives. Read more »


Delegates affirm the ecumenical and interfaith work of the church (July 6, 2018)

The 2018 Conference approved “Vision of Ecumenism for the 21st Century,” and in doing so reaffirmed the historical identity of the Church of the Brethren as a denomination active in ecumenical work and in relationship with other Christian bodies. The paper also calls the church to build and nurture positive interfaith relationships. Read more »


Annual Conference welcomes new projects, fellowships, and congregations (July 5, 2018)

Ten new worshiping groups located in six districts across the denomination were welcomed by the 2018 Annual Conference. They include two new congregations, two new fellowships, and six new projects. Read more »


Today in Cincinnati - Thursday, July 5, 2018 (July 5, 2018)

An overview of some of the events on the 2nd day of the 2018 Annual Conference. Read more »


Brethren Benefit Trust business items are approved (July 5, 2018)

Two business items originally brought by Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) in 2017, which were deferred to the 2018 Annual Conference, have been approved by the delegate body. Read more »


Elephants, faith, and focus: Notes from the Almuerzo (July 5, 2018)

The Almuerzo, a Spanish-language lunch event sponsored by Discipleship Ministries (formerly Congregational Life Ministries), took place July 5 during Annual Conference in Cincinnati, gathering 51 people including more than 20 pastors and church planters. Read more »


Paul Mundey to serve as moderator-elect of Annual Conference (July 5, 2018)

In election results today, the Annual Conference chose Paul Mundey of Frederick, Md., as moderator-elect. He will serve as moderator-elect for one year, and then in 2020 he will serve as moderator of the Annual Conference. Read more »


Today in Cincinnati - Wednesday, July 4, 2018 (July 4, 2018)

An overview of the first day of the 2018 Annual Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Read more »


Candlelight vigil prays for separated families (July 4, 2018)

A “Families Belong Together” candlelight vigil sponsored by the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy gathered outside the main doors of the convention center in Cincinnati, where Annual Conference is taking place this week. Read more »


Standing Committee discusses Michigan District situation (July 4, 2018)

Several unusual attempts to open the Standing Committee agenda to new business led to lengthy discussions of a situation in Michigan District and led to action to begin to address “gaps” in the Standing Committee appeals processes. Read more »


Newsline for June 25, 2018 (June 25, 2018)

NEWS 1) Bethany Seminary president takes part in ecumenical meeting with Pope Francis 2) Resilience amidst staggering needs in Nigeria 3) Young Adult Conference: Teaching with our lives 4) Young adult workcamp goes to Burundi 5) Bethany Seminary receives ATS Peer Group Grant RESOURCES 6) ‘Inglenook Desserts,’ Joseph Bible study, children’s Advent devotional now available from Brethren Press 7) Church World Service provides online 'Interfaith Toolkit to End Family Separation' REFLECTIONS 8) Christ on the run 9) ‘The most challenging letters I've ever written’ 10) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for June 25, 2018 (June 25, 2018)

In this issue: Job openings, Brethren Service Center partnership with IMA World Health ends, offerings at National Youth Conference, Ministry Summer Service orientation, moderator-elect attends advocacy summit of Churches for Middle East Peace, prayer request for violence and suffering in Yemen, Mission Advancement insight session at Annual Conference, Brethren Disaster Ministries “Meet & Greet” at Annual Conference, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


‘Inglenook Desserts,’ Joseph Bible study, children’s Advent devotional now available from Brethren Press (June 25, 2018)

Three new Brethren Press books are now available: “Inglenook Desserts,” the latest in the Inglenook cookbooks series offering recipes from Brethren kitchens; “25 Days to Jesus: A Children’s Advent Devotional written by Christy Waltersdorff and illustrated by Mitch Miller; and “Joseph,” a new Covenant Bible Study written by Eugene F. Roop. Read more »


Church World Service provides online 'Interfaith Toolkit to End Family Separation' (June 23, 2018)

Church World Service (CWS) has put together an extensive online resource titled "Interfaith Toolkit to End Family Separation and Keep Families Together." The Church of the Brethren is a member denomination of Church World Service, and partners with CWS through Brethren Disaster Ministries. CWS has worked for decades with refugee resettlement and support for migrants. Read more »


Bethany Seminary president takes part in ecumenical meeting with Pope Francis (June 23, 2018)

Bethany Seminary president Jeff Carter attended World Council of Churches (WCC) biennial meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, June 15-21. He is the Church of the Brethren representative to the WCC Central Committee, a group of 150 people who represent nearly 40 percent of the WCC’s 348 member churches. Read more »


Welcoming the stranger: A call for just immigration reform (June 18, 2018)

Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele is recommending to the Church of the Brethren a blogpost from Office of Peacebuilding and Policy associate Victoria Bateman. The post, dated Friday, June 15, reaffirms the longstanding stance of the Church of the Brethren on immigration, outlined in 1982 Annual Conference statement on “Undocumented Persons and Refugees in the United States” ( www.brethren.org/ac/statements/1982refugees.html ), and the biblical basis for extending welcome to refugees and immigrants. Read more »


Brethren are warned of email scam (June 18, 2018)

Scam email messages have been received by some Church of the Brethren members recently, asking for donations to help with refugee resettlement. These are scam messages and should be deleted. Read more »


Newsline Special: Call for just immigration reform; Brethren warned of email scam (June 18, 2018)

NEWS 1) Welcoming the stranger: A call for just immigration reform 2) Brethren are warned of email scam Read more »


Business item on delegate representation withdrawn from Annual Conference agenda (June 9, 2018)

The Leadership Team of the Church of the Brethren will be seeking Standing Committee affirmation to withdraw the new business item titled “Change in Delegate Representation at Annual Conference” due to an oversight in process. Read more »


Newsline for June 9, 2018 (June 9, 2018)

NEWS 1) Business item on delegate representation withdrawn from Annual Conference agenda 2) CDS sends new team to respond to Hawaii volcano 3) Nigeria project aims to save records of victims of Boko Haram violence 4) Devastated Nigerian church denomination conducts Interfaith Peace Conference PERSONNEL 5) Kathy Fry-Miller retires from Children’s Disaster Services UPCOMING EVENTS 6) Intercultural Ministries offers ‘Continuing Together’ call series FEATURE 7) ‘I have been meaning to reach out to the Church of the Brethren for 40 years’ 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for June 9, 2018 (June 9, 2018)

In this issue: Personnel notes, McPherson College seeks a spiritual life coordinator, Bethany president Jeff Carter to represent the Brethren at World Council of Churches Central Committee, Brethren Disaster Ministries seeks volunteers to go to St. Thomas US Virgin Islands, “Voices of Conscience: Peace Witness in the Great War” exhibit to be at the Brethren Heritage Center, the Global Day of Prayer to End Famine is set for Sunday, June 10, and more. Read more »


‘I have been meaning to reach out to the Church of the Brethren for 40 years’ (June 8, 2018)

From the early 1980s, I have fond memories of the nice young lady asking for volunteers at a small college in western North Carolina. I raised my hand and volunteered to work for hours beside her, and a big draft horse. Little did I know I’d spend several days hand cutting sorghum cane on the steep slopes of a Virginia mountain farm. Read more »


CDS sends new team to respond to Hawaii volcano (June 8, 2018)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has sent a new team to Hawaii to continue the response to the volcanic eruption that was begun by local volunteers Petie Brown and Randy Kawate. The American Red Cross had requested a CDS team to respond on the Big Island of Hawaii. The new team arrived at the Pahoa shelter on Wednesday, June 6. Read more »


Nigeria project aims to save records of victims of Boko Haram violence (June 7, 2018)

The Centre for Caring, Empowerment, and Peace Initiatives (CCEPI) Humanitarian Analysis project tells many stories. Dr. Rebecca S. Dali started the non-governmental organization (NGO) 29 years ago, in 1989 before Boko Haram violence began to plague northern Nigeria. She started CCEPI because she herself experienced hunger, gender-based violence, and extreme poverty growing up. Her passion for those struggling to live in northeast Nigeria led Dali to provide livelihood, trauma healing, protection monitoring, as well as basic food, clothing, and shelter, and most recently re-integration of abducted women into society. Read more »


Kathy Fry-Miller retires from Children’s Disaster Services (May 30, 2018)

Kathy Fry-Miller is retiring as associate director of Children’s Disaster Services (CDS), effective Sept. 13. She began leading CDS on Feb. 1, 2014, working from her home in North Manchester, Ind., and from the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Read more »


Devastated Nigerian church denomination conducts Interfaith Peace Conference (May 30, 2018)

Devastated church denomination Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has organized a day-long Interfaith Peace Conference in Yola, the state capital of Adamawa State. President of the denomination, Joel S. Billi, spoke at the occasion urged participants from the major religions, Christians and Muslims, to be ambassadors of peace. Read more »


Brethren bits for May 26, 2018 (May 26, 2018)

In this issue: Remembering John Crumley, personnel notes, job openings, commissioning materials for Workcampers, prayer requested for tensions between Dominicans and Haitians in the DR, new podcasts from Frederick Church of the Brethren and Dunker Punks, Brethren Woods celebrates 60 years, “Farm to Table Dinners” at Shepherd’s Spring, and more. Read more »


Newsline for May 26, 2018 (May 26, 2018)

ANNUAL CONFERENCE PREVIEW 1) Living parables: A preview of Annual Conference 2018 2) Conference business ranges from changes in delegate representation to a new vision for mission to creation care and more NEWS 3) ‘New and Renew’ conference: Reflections from one participant 4) Children’s Disaster Services volunteers respond to Hawaii eruption 5) Bethany Seminary holds commencement 6) Brethren attend ‘Reclaiming Jesus’ event in nation’s capital 7) Ecumenical delegation visits North Korea PERSONNEL 8) Todd Bauer ends service with BVS as Latin America coordinator 9) Fellowship of Brethren Homes announces leadership transition UPCOMING EVENTS 10) Sixth Brethren World Assembly set for August in Indiana 11) Brethren bits Read more »


Fellowship of Brethren Homes announces leadership transition (May 25, 2018)

Leadership of the Fellowship of Brethren Homes is in transition following the resignation of executive director Ralph McFadden, who resigned earlier this year. McFadden had been staying on until a successor was found. The fellowship in mid-May announced that Dave Lawrenz, who recently retired from leadership of Timbercrest, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in North Manchester, Ind., has agreed to take the executive director role. Read more »


‘New and Renew’ conference: Reflections from one participant (May 25, 2018)

On May 17-19, with a pre-conference worship service on May 16, people from across the country met at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., to worship and renew. The event was “New and Renew: Revitalize, Plant, Grow,” the Church of the Brethren’s church planting and church development conference for 2018. The event was sponsored and organized by the Discipleship Ministries (formerly Congregational Life Ministries) of the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Brethren attend ‘Reclaiming Jesus’ event in nation’s capital (May 25, 2018)

More than half a dozen Brethren attended the major “Reclaiming Jesus” witness event held at National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C., on May 24. The event, organized by a variety of progressive-leaning Christian leaders, was centered around a series of declarations against lying, misogyny, authoritarianism, xenophobia, and other issues that recently have dominated cultural discourse. Read more »


Sixth Brethren World Assembly set for August in Indiana (May 25, 2018)

Registrations are now being received for the Sixth Brethren World Assembly, to be held Aug. 9-12 in Winona Lake, Ind. This gathering happens every five years for Brethren groups descended from Alexander Mack in 1708 and it is sponsored by the Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc. Read more »


Todd Bauer ends service with BVS as Latin America coordinator (May 25, 2018)

Todd Bauer’s contract with Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) as Latin America coordinator will come to an end at the end of May. BVS is reevaluating how it coordinates its work in Latin America in light of lower numbers and tightening budgets. Bauer has served in the position for nearly 11 years. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services volunteers respond to Hawaii eruption (May 25, 2018)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) volunteers Petie Brown and Randy Kawate have cared for children at the shelter in Pahoa on the “Big Island” of Hawaii. The effort has aided children and families affected by the volcanic eruption that has displaced hundreds of residents. Read more »


Conference business ranges from changes in delegate representation, to a new vision for mission, to creation care, and more (May 25, 2018)

Delegates to this year’s Annual Conference will address 11 new and unfinished items of business. Read more »


Living parables: A preview of Annual Conference 2018 (May 25, 2018)

Annual Conference 2018 takes place at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 4-8. The theme is “Living Parables” (Matthew 9:35-38). Online registration is open through June 11 at www.brethren.org/ac . After that date, registration will take place onsite in Cincinnati, at an increased cost. Read more »


Brethren bits for May 4, 2018 (May 4, 2018)

In this issue: Job openings, Global Mission executive visits with CNI, Miami Haitian Church of the Brethren plans “March for Equality” for immigrants, Pinecrest Community celebrating 125 years, Virlina District holds Ministry and Mission event, Mid-Atlantic District Disaster Response Auction is Saturday, Bridgewater College breaks ground for “learning commons,” NCC welcomes progress toward peace on the Korean Peninsula, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for May 4, 2018 (May 4, 2018)

NEWS 1) Annual Conference 2019 forced to change locations 2) Process team lays out road map for development of ‘compelling vision’ 3) Meeting promotes conversation about biblical inspiration and authority 4) Gathering prays for future direction of the Church of the Brethren UPCOMING EVENTS 5) NYC speech contest winners are announced 6) Young Adult Conference to meet at Brethren Woods RESOURCES 7) Brethren Press publishes book of poetry by Ken Gibble, among new resources 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Meeting promotes conversation about biblical inspiration and authority (May 4, 2018)

“What kind of authority does the Bible have for us?” asked Karoline Lewis, one of the keynote presenters at the “Biblical Authority Conversations” on April 23-25. The Marbury E. Anderson Chair in Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary, she joined with Jason Barnhart, director of Brethren Research and Resourcing for the Brethren Church’s denominational office, in leading a group of about 100 Church of the Brethren ministers and lay people at a meeting called by the midwestern districts. Read more »


Brethren Press publishes book of poetry by Ken Gibble, among new resources (May 4, 2018)

Brethren Press has published a book of poetry by Ken Gibble, titled “A Poetry of the Soul,” among new resources from the Church of the Brethren denominational publishing house. The summer quarter of the Shine curriculum, jointly produced by Brethren Press and MennoMedia, is now available to order on the theme “God’s Creation.” A new children’s Advent devotional by Christy Waltersdorff and Mitch Miller is anticipated in June. Read more »


Annual Conference 2019 forced to change locations (May 3, 2018)

The Church of the Brethren Annual Conference planned for summer 2019 has been forced to change locations, according to director Chris Douglas. Unexpected delays with major renovations at the Town and Country resort in San Diego, Calif., where the Conference was to have been held, have forced this change. “Town and Country cancelled our contract,” she reported. Read more »


NYC speech contest winners are announced (May 3, 2018)

It is with great excitement and anticipation that we announce the winners of the National Youth Conference (NYC) 2018 Speech Contest. These two youth will get to share their speeches with those attending NYC this summer in Fort Collins, Colo. Read more »


Young Adult Conference to meet at Brethren Woods (May 3, 2018)

The 2018 Church of the Brethren Young Adult Conference will meet at Brethren Woods on May 25-27. The location is a camp and outdoor ministry center near Keezletown, Va. The conference brings together young adults ages 18-35 on the theme “Teach with your Life” (1 Timothy 4:11-16), sponsored by the denomination’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Read more »


Gathering prays for future direction of the Church of the Brethren (May 3, 2018)

“Thanks for coming to do something new, something different,” said Grover Duling, chair of the West Marva District board, to the close to 400 people at the “Brethren Prayer and Worship Summit” April 20-21 in Harrisonburg, Va. People came to the event from 14 of the 24 Church of the Brethren districts. Read more »


Process team lays out road map for development of ‘compelling vision’ (May 2, 2018)

This group brought a diversity of gifts and perspectives as it worked to lay out a general roadmap for the development of a compelling vision for the Church of the Brethren. This first meeting was led by Keister, who guided the team through its first stages of planning and the calling of the chair. Pittman Gingrich was called to be chair, and will work in partnership with the Annual Conference moderator to lead the work of the team going forward. Read more »


Brethren Academy lists upcoming courses (April 20, 2018)

The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership has announced its course offering for the rest of this year and into next, see the following listing. These courses are for everyone, with Training in Ministry (TRIM) and Education for Shared Ministry (EFSM) students receiving 1 unit per course, credentialed clergy earning 2 continuing education units, and others enrolling for their own personal and spiritual enrichment. To register for one of the following courses, go to bethanyseminary.edu/brethren-academy or contact academy@bethanyseminary.edu or 765-983-1824. Read more »


Reflections from the National Mall (April 20, 2018)

Two people who were on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on April 4 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. reflect on the experience: Read more »


Mission Alive gathers Brethren around the concept of a global church (April 20, 2018)

A vision for a global Church of the Brethren was a point of discussion and focus for Mission Alive 2018, a conference for mission-minded church members from across the United States and around the world. The conference was organized by the Global Mission and Service office working with the Mission Advisory Committee, and hosted by Frederick (Md.) Church of the Brethren on April 6-8. Read more »


Newsline for April 20, 2018 (April 20, 2018)

NEWS 1) Mission Alive gathers Brethren around the concept of a global church 2) Global Food Initiative issues grants for community gardens, agriculture initiatives 3) Class of 2018 to graduate from Bethany Seminary 4) Chiques kicks off 150th anniversary with old-time worship service PERSONNEL 5) Dan McFadden resigns as director of Brethren Volunteer Service UPCOMING EVENTS 6) Brethren Academy lists upcoming courses FEATURE 7) Reflections from the National Mall 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for April 20, 2018 (April 20, 2018)

In this issue: Global Mission executive remembers a warm welcome from new Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel, Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) deploys a team to aid families affected by wildfires in Oklahoma, recent meetings at the Church of the Brethren General Offices, Bethany Seminary hosts the Council of District Executives, and more new by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Global Food Initiative issues grants for community gardens, agriculture initiatives (April 20, 2018)

The Global Food Initiative of the Church of the Brethren has given a number of grants in the first few months of 2018 to support community gardening efforts, agriculture initiatives, and other work to support food security in a variety of areas across the globe. Grants have been given to projects in the United States, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Spain. For more information go to www.brethren.org/gfi . Read more »


Chiques kicks off 150th anniversary with old-time worship service (April 20, 2018)

Chiques Church of the Brethren, located near Manheim, Pa., kicked off its 150th anniversary celebration on Sunday, April 15, with a morning worship service that incorporated practices from earlier years. Men and women sat on separate sides of the sanctuary. Ministers and deacons, dressed in plain white shirts, were seated facing toward the congregation, in order of their call to lifetime office. Read more »


Dan McFadden resigns as director of Brethren Volunteer Service (April 20, 2018)

Dan McFadden has resigned as director of Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) effective Nov. 2. He began his work with the Church of the Brethren on Dec. 1, 1995. He has worked out of the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., for more than 22 years. Read more »


Brethren bits for April 7, 2018 (April 7, 2018)

Brethren bits for April 7, 2018 Read more »


Compelling Vision Process Team to begin its work (April 7, 2018)

The nine people who will make up the Compelling Vision Process Team have been named. The team’s first meeting will be April 17-19 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Read more »


EYN celebrates its 95th anniversary (April 7, 2018)

President Joel S. Billi of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has said EYN will remain one until Christ returns, and warns any attempt to divide the denomination. He said this in a message at EYN’s 95th Anniversary during Sunday service at Kulp Bible College Chapel on March 18. March 17 is the date of the anniversary and considered “Founder’s Day” by the Nigerian church. Read more »


April 4 events mark 50 years since death of Martin Luther King Jr. (April 7, 2018)

The Church of the Brethren was represented at the “A.C.T.--Awaken, Confront, Transform--to End Racism” rally in Washington, D.C., on April 4 by Gimbiya Kettering, director of Intercultural Ministries. Also in attendance were Tori Bateman of the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy and the denomination’s representative to the United Nations, Doris Abdullah, along with other church members from various parts of the country. Read more »


‘Mission Advancement’ is new name for denomination’s Donor Relations (April 7, 2018)

The office of Donor Relations is delighted to announce a new team name, the office of Mission Advancement. This new name better clarifies the intentional focus to cultivate passion to advance the mission of the Church of the Brethren. The team is working to provide ways for passionate supporters to offer each gift as “a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God” (from Philippians 4:18) to sustain and support the ministry of the larger church. Read more »


Newsline for April 7, 2018 (April 7, 2018)

NEWS 1) April 4 events mark 50 years since death of Martin Luther King Jr. 2) Compelling Vision Process Team to begin its work 3) ‘Mission Advancement’ is new name for denomination’s Donor Relations 4) EYN celebrates its 95th anniversary 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Leadership Team issues call to Christ-like discourse (March 23, 2018)

The Leadership Team of the Church of the Brethren has issued a letter calling for Christ-like discourse at this time in the life of the church. The Leadership Team of the denomination includes the general secretary, the Annual Conference officers, a representative of the Council of District Executives, and the director of the Annual Conference office. Read more »


Office of Peacebuilding and Policy director signs letter on militarization of Middle East (March 23, 2018)

Nathan Hosler, director of the Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy in Washington, D.C., was one of the ecumenical leaders to sign a letter on the militarization of the Middle East. Some 15 Christian leaders signed the letter, dated March 14, that was sent to members of Congress. Read more »


Denominational ministries experience positive financial results in 2017 (March 23, 2018)

Positive financial results for the Church of Brethren denominational ministries in 2017 include increased nets assets, positive investment returns, increased giving to core ministries, and increased giving to some restricted funds. Concerns include the continued use of designated funds to supplement income and a few self-funding ministries that sustained a net expense. Read more »


Newsline for March 23, 2018 (March 23, 2018)

NEWS 1) Leadership Team issues call to Christ-like discourse 2) Denominational ministries experience positive financial results in 2017 3) Office of Peacebuilding and Policy director signs letter on militarization of Middle East 4) Northern Plains District task force issues letter on child sexual abuse prevention UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Junior high students invited to ‘Immerse!’ at Bethany Seminary 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for March 23, 2018 (March 23, 2018)

Job openings, National Youth Sunday materials, Intercultural Ministries conversation about “Black Panther,” Children’s Disaster Services training, March for Our Lives breakfast in DC, ACT NOW: Unite to End Racism, On Earth Peace endorses Poor People’s Campaign, “This Evil Thing” at Highland Avenue Church and Manchester University, Ventures Course on culture of call, and more Read more »


Brethren bits for March 13, 2018 (March 13, 2018)

In this issue: Personnel, job opening, Mission Alive webcasts, action alert on Yemen, Lifetime Achievement Award for BHLA archivist, the latest Dunker Punk Podcast, Nobel Peace Prize winner to speak at Bridgewater College, NOAC planning committee meets, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


‘Lukewarm No More’ calls for repentance and action on gun violence (March 13, 2018)

The Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren adopted a statement on gun violence at its spring meetings held at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill., on March 9-12. The statement was initiated by staff of Global Mission and Service, and quotes from the Bible and previous Annual Conference statements in its call to the wider church. Read more »


Discipleship Ministries represents new name, new vision for former Congregational Life Ministries (March 13, 2018)

At the spring meeting of the Mission and Ministry Board, Congregational Life Ministries staff announced a new team name and strategy. Now titled Discipleship Ministries, the team envisions a “people of God, new and renewed, that embodies and articulates their faith.” Along with a new name, staff of Discipleship Ministries also outlined new strategic emphases and a staffing plan to carry out the work. Read more »


Brethren Press announces summer release for Inglenook Desserts (March 13, 2018)

Brethren Press has announced a summer release date for a new cookbook in the Inglenook series, called “Inglenook Desserts.” “Keep your fork--something sweet is coming!” says the publishing house. Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board approves grants, adopts statement on gun violence, holds conversations on race and mission at spring meetings (March 13, 2018)

A large Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) allocation for long-term hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico, a statement on gun violence, Wieand Trust grants to Chicago-area projects, and new names for some denominational ministries were on the agenda of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board. The board held spring meetings March 9-12 at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill., led by chair Connie Burk Davis and chair-elect Patrick Starkey. Read more »


Newsline for March 13, 2018 (March 13, 2018)

NEWS 1) Mission and Ministry Board approves grants, adopts statement on gun violence, holds conversations on race and mission at spring meetings 2) ‘Lukewarm No More’ calls for repentance and action on gun violence 3) Discipleship Ministries represents new name, new vision for former Congregational Life Ministries 4) Brethren Disaster Ministries, Puerto Rico District plan for long-term hurricane recovery 5) Brethren Disaster Ministries closes out site in Missouri, continues work in Carolinas 6) Boko Haram attacks, abductions affect Nigerian Brethren 7) Special relief benefits 658 Muslim and Christian families in Nigeria 8) New steering committee of women in ministry is created 9) Comité directivo de ocho mujeres en el ministerio PERSONNEL 10) Tara Hornbacker to retire from Bethany Seminary UPCOMING EVENTS 11) Diana Butler Bass headlines Ministers’ Association continuing education event RESOURCES 12) Brethren Press announces summer release for Inglenook Desserts 13) Brethren bit Read more »


New steering committee of women in ministry is created (March 13, 2018)

A steering committee of eight women in ministry has been called by the Office of Ministry to facilitate programming, projects, and initiatives designed to support and encourage Brethren clergywomen. Read more »


Comité directivo de ocho mujeres en el ministerio (March 13, 2018)

Un comité directivo de ocho mujeres en el ministerio ha sido llamado por la Oficina del Ministerio para facilitar la programación, los proyectos y las iniciativas diseñadas para apoyar y alentar a las clérigas Hermanas. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries closes out site in Missouri, continues work in Carolinas (March 12, 2018)

Brethren Disaster Ministries is completing a rebuilding project site in Eureka, Mo., by the end of March. A rebuilding project site in Marion County, S.C., continues as the program seeks to extend its work into additional communities in North Carolina. Read more »


Diana Butler Bass headlines Ministers’ Association continuing education event (March 12, 2018)

Theologian and author Diana Butler Bass is the featured speaker for the Church of the Brethren Ministers’ Association annual continuing education event this year, held just prior to Annual Conference. “Gratitude: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks” is the theme for the gathering on July 3-4 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Read more »


Boko Haram attacks, abductions affect Nigerian Brethren (March 9, 2018)

A thanksgiving service to celebrate the release of 10 women--including two members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria)--who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram in June 2017 is planned this Sunday in Maiduguri, Nigeria. The service is planned by the EYN Maiduguri congregation and the Mdurvwa family. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries, Puerto Rico District plan for long-term hurricane recovery (March 9, 2018)

Brethren Disaster Ministries is working with Puerto Rico District to plan its response following last year’s hurricanes. An allocation of $200,000 from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) has been approved by the denomination’s Mission and Ministry Board to provide funding for the effort. Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 23, 2018 (February 23, 2018)

In this issue: Remembering J. Wayne Judd and Betty Alverta Young, job openings and internships, annual Advocacy Summit of Churches for Middle East Peace, upcoming courses from the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for Feb. 23, 2018 (February 23, 2018)

NEWS 1) Leadership Team moves compelling vision process forward 2) New international partnership welcomes seminary students PERSONNEL 3) Bethany Seminary hires new executive director of finance 4) Brethren bits Read more »


Leadership Team moves compelling vision process forward (February 23, 2018)

Through recent Annual Conference decisions* the delegate body has called the Leadership Team along with the Council of District Executives to develop a process through which the church will engage in conversations that will lead us to a “compelling vision” for our life together. Read more »


A pastoral letter for a time of grief and fear (February 16, 2018)

“A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.” --Matthew 2:18 Read more »


Just by our being there: Reflections on a workcamp in Nigeria (February 8, 2018)

One of the older Nigerian workcampers came up to me in our second week in Michika and said, “You are an inspiration. If you can leave your comfortable lives to come here and work with us, then I too can come out of my home to work on my church.” Read more »


Midwestern districts sponsor conference on biblical authority (February 8, 2018)

Six midwestern districts of the Church of the Brethren including Illinois and Wisconsin, Michigan, Northern Indiana, Northern Ohio, South Central Indiana, and Southern Ohio, are sponsoring a conference titled “Conversations about Biblical Authority.” Read more »


Speakers for National Youth Conference are announced (February 8, 2018)

The NYC office has announced the list of speakers for the event. The speakers, including new and familiar names this year, will address the theme “Bound Together, Clothed in Christ” (Colossians 3:12-15). Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 8, 2018 (February 8, 2018)

In this issue: Remembrance, personnel notes, job openings, goats distributed in Nigeria, prayer for Syria, tell the government your service story, BVS featured in Dunker Punks podcast, Pottstown 100th anniversary, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Church of the Brethren and EYN volunteers intermingle in Nigeria church rebuilding (February 8, 2018)

In continued work together to rebuild the devastated church denomination in Nigeria, members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and the Church of the Brethren in the US converged at the tumble-down church building of EYN’s LCC No. 1, Michika congregation in Adamawa State. This is the place where EYN president Joel Billi pastored until Sept. 7, 2014, when the church was attacked, and some members were killed. Assistant pastor Yahaya Ahmadu was shot to death and the entire church structure including the pastorium, offices, schools, library, stores, church building, and property, was set ablaze by the Islamist Jihadists known as Boko Haram. Read more »


Newsline for Feb. 8, 2018 (February 8, 2018)

NEWS 1) Paul Mundey and Pam Reist top Annual Conference ballot for 2018 2) Congregational Life Ministries issues invitation to a conversation about white supremacy 3) Church of the Brethren and EYN volunteers intermingle in Nigeria church rebuilding 4) ConocoPhillips resumes in-person annual shareholder meetings with Internet availability 5) UN implementing plan of action for religious leaders to prevent incitement to violence 6) Global Women’s Project helps EYN women attend Bethany extension courses 7) Forty years of the Global Women’s Project UPCOMING EVENTS 8) Church planting conference has new name, new focus 9) Speakers for National Youth Conference are announced 10) Midwestern districts sponsor conference on biblical authority REFLECTION 11) Just by our being there: Reflections on a workcamp in Nigeria 12) Brethren bits Read more »


Church planting conference has new name, new focus (February 8, 2018)

The Church of the Brethren’s every-other-year conference on new church development has a new name and a new focus: “New and Renew: Revitalize Plant Grow.” Sponsored by Congregational Life Ministries and held at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., the conference is planned for May 16-19. “The Risk and Reward of Embodying Jesus Locally” is the theme. Read more »


Paul Mundey and Pam Reist top Annual Conference ballot for 2018 (February 6, 2018)

The ballot that will be presented to the 2018 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren has been released. Topping the ballot are two nominees for Annual Conference moderator-elect: Paul Mundey and Pam Reist. Other offices to be filled by election of the delegate body are positions on the Program and Arrangements Committee, Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee, Mission and Ministry Board, and the boards of Bethany Theological Seminary, Brethren Benefit Trust, and On Earth Peace. Read more »


Global Women’s Project helps EYN women attend Bethany extension courses (February 5, 2018)

The Global Women’s Project (GWP) provided financial help to women members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) participate in courses at the new Bethany Seminary technology center in Jos, Nigeria. The GWP is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. It is a Church of the Brethren-related nonprofit working for women’s empowerment and economic justice and provides grants to a variety of projects for economic empowerment of women all around the world. Read more »


Forty years of the Global Women’s Project (February 5, 2018)

In July of 1978, Church of the Brethren women gathered at Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., to share our stories and our concerns as women to live and serve responsibly in the church and in the world. It was a time when as a nation we had just lived through the Vietnam War and the tensions of the civil rights movement, and now it seemed we were moving precariously closer to a nuclear holocaust. Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 26, 2018 (January 26, 2018)

In this issue: Remembering Roger Forry, Owen Stultz, and Claude Hess; QSEHRA extended to February; prayers of thanksgiving for the rescue of a Chibok girl; Mission Alive 2018; a Seminar on Christian Minority Communities; Lindsay (New Harvest) Church of the Brethren closes; and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services offers spring training workshops (January 26, 2018)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) is offering several training workshops for volunteers this spring, in a variety of locations across the country. CDS volunteers work at the invitation of the American Red Cross and FEMA to care for children and families affected by disaster. Find out more about the ministry of CDS and how to become involved at www.brethren.org/cds . Read more »


Ventures in Christian Discipleship offers courses to empower small churches (January 26, 2018)

The Ventures in Christian Discipleship initiative hosted at McPherson (Kan.) College offers series of courses aimed at empowering small congregations. The courses offered in coming months cover the topics of “How the Bible Came to Be the Bible,” “Revitalizing Worship Through the Arts,” and “Congregations Nurturing a Culture of Call.” Read more »


Newsline for Jan. 26, 2018 (January 26, 2018)

NEWS 1) Brethren from Dominican Republic and Spain start house churches in Europe 2) EDF gives grants to Brethren Disaster Ministries projects 3) GFI grants support gardens and gardeners, aquaponics, feeding program PERSONNEL 4) Amy Gall Ritchie to resign from Bethany Seminary UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Children’s Disaster Services offers spring training workshops 6) SVMC celebrates 25 years, offers continuing education events 7) Ventures in Christian Discipleship offers courses to empower small churches REFLECTION 8) Emergency alert! Being in Hawaii on Jan. 13 9) Brethren bits Read more »


SVMC celebrates 25 years, offers continuing education events (January 26, 2018)

The Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center (SVMC) is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018. “To commemorate this milestone, we will be sharing devotions on the 25th day of each month,” said an announcement. The first devotion is written by the center’s executive director Donna Rhodes. In related news, SVMC is publicizing several upcoming continuing education events. Read more »


EDF gives grants to Brethren Disaster Ministries projects (January 26, 2018)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to the Disaster Recovery Support Initiative and the task of developing new project sites following the 2017 hurricane and fire season. In addition, a grant has been given to assist families displaced by violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read more »


GFI grants support gardens and gardeners, aquaponics, feeding program (January 26, 2018)

The Global Food Initiative (GFI) of the Church of the Brethren has made several grants in recent months. The grants support a Going to the Garden retreat, an aquaponics system in Haiti, two community gardens in Spain, and a feeding ministry in Mexico. Read more »


Brethren from Dominican Republic and Spain start house churches in Europe (January 26, 2018)

In the 1990s, a wave of Dominicans began leaving their home country to look for a better life in Spain. Members of Iglesia de los Hermanos (the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic) were among them. In time they established the Church of the Brethren in Spain and continue to plant new fellowships across the country. Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 13, 2018 (January 13, 2018)

In this issue: Remembering Samsudin Moledina, personnel notes, job openings, Jan. 25 is the next moderator’s Town Hall, mission vehicle arrives in South Sudan, worship resources for Service Sunday on Feb. 4, Office of Public Witness involved with upcoming events in D.C., Global Women’s Project celebrates 40th anniversary, World Council of Churches begins 70th anniversary with delegation to China, and more. Read more »


Brethren Microfinance Bank Board of Directors is inaugurated by EYN (January 13, 2018)

A Brethren Microfinance Bank Board of Directors was inaugurated by Joel S. Billi, president of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) on Saturday, Jan. 5, at the EYN Headquarters, Kwarhi. The seven-person board is to be chaired by Eugenia L. Zoaka, and has Daniel Y. C. Mbaya as its secretary. Other members include Paul Mele Gadzama, Samuel Wiam, Sani Drmbi Zira, Rebecca S. Dali, and Joseph Yabwa. Read more »


EYN commissions multi-million Naira project with Bethany Seminary (January 13, 2018)

A multi-million Naira Technological Centre was dedicated and commissioned by Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) president Joel S. Billi on Monday, Jan. 8, in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. In his address at the occasion, the president stated that the facility would not be standing today if it were not for the tremendous financial support received from brothers and sisters in America. Read more »


Brethren Press publishes Lenten devotional, distributes ‘Shine On’ story Bible to churches (January 13, 2018)

This year’s Lenten devotional from Brethren Press, written by Erin Matteson, is titled “Growing in God’s Garden.” The pocket-sized paperback includes daily devotions, scriptures, and prayers for Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14, through Easter Sunday, April 1. Read more »


Roxanne Aguirre to coordinate Spanish-language ministry training (January 13, 2018)

Roxanne Aguirre begins Jan. 16 as part-time coordinator of Spanish-language ministry training programs at the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership. She will work from her home in central California. The academy is a ministry training partnership of Bethany Theological Seminary and the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


New units of BVS volunteers at work across US, N. Ireland, Japan (January 13, 2018)

Volunteers in the latest units of Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) have been placed and are at work at project sites across the United States, Northern Ireland, and Japan. The volunteers in BVS orientation units 316 and 318 trained in the summer and fall of 2017. (Unit 317, which would have been a joint unit with the Brethren Revival Fellowship, was cancelled because of a lack of participants.) Read more »


Newsline for Jan. 13, 2018 (January 13, 2018)

NEWS 1) Ending of temporary protected status affects Haitian Brethren and their churches 2) Nigeria Crisis Response celebrates work and achievements in 2017 3) Building dedication marks beginning of classes in EYN-Bethany partnership 4) EYN commissions multi-million Naira project with Bethany Seminary 5) Brethren Microfinance Bank Board of Directors is inaugurated by EYN PERSONNEL 6) Roxanne Aguirre to coordinator Spanish-language ministry training 7) New units of BVS volunteers work across US, N. Ireland, Japan RESOURCES 8) Brethren Press publishes Lenten devotional, distributes ‘Shine On’ story Bible to churches UPCOMING EVENTS 9) National Youth Conference registration opens next week 10) Brethren bits Read more »


National Youth Conference registration opens next week (January 12, 2018)

Registration for the 2018 National Youth Conference of the Church of the Brethren opens in six days on Thursday, Jan. 18, at 6 p.m. (central time). NYC takes place at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., on July 21-26. Read more »


Ending of temporary protected status affects Haitian Brethren and their churches (January 12, 2018)

In November, the Trump administration rescinded the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) that gave protections against deportation for some 60,000 Haitians who came to the US after a massive earthquake hit their country. Today is the eighth anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010. Read more »


Nigeria Crisis Response celebrates work and achievements in 2017 (January 12, 2018)

I am amazed at the end of each year when I add up and record all the work that has been done in Nigeria by the Nigeria Crisis Response, a joint effort of the Church of the Brethren with Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Last year, 2017, was no different. Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec. 21, 2017 (December 21, 2017)

In this issue: Holiday closings, personnel notes, job openings, Annual Conference moderator’s Christmas greeting, update from Children’s Disaster Services, Global Mission prayer requests, Clergy Tax Seminar, plus more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


NYC 2018 service projects to take place on campus (December 21, 2017)

New to National Youth Conference in 2018: all service projects will take place on the campus of Colorado State University. NYC will be hosted at CSU in Fort Collins, Colo., on July 21-26, 2018. Registration opens online on Jan. 18, 2018, at 6 p.m. (central time) at www.brethren.org/nyc . Read more »


Puerto Rico churches continue to develop hurricane response  (December 21, 2017)

Hurricane Maria recovery in Puerto Rico is slow, but there is progress. When a whole island has extensive damage to basic services like electricity, running water, and cellular communication, recovery is difficult and long. Power is returning to more areas, but less than half the residents have power. Cellular service is improving, and church leaders are able to communicate better. Read more »


EYN disaster team aids sick Chibok girl (December 21, 2017)

Rev. Yuguda, head of the Disaster Team of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) sent information about their trip to Chibok to take money to one of the Chibok schoolgirls who is sick. The government was not paying her medical bills. Read more »


Waiting on the Lord: A reflection from Nigeria (December 21, 2017)

The report of the Nigerian government to the outside world is that Boko Haram have been defeated. But the government is still losing soldiers, losing billions of Naira for security, and also losing lives. The internal situation is clearly different from the government report. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 21, 2017 (December 21, 2017)

NEWS 1) Puerto Rico churches continue to develop hurricane response 2) Brethren leaders endorse Christmas letter regarding federal budget 3) Global Mission helps fund repairs to school of theology in India 4) Church of the Brethren Yearbook is published on a USB flash drive card 5) EYN disaster team aids sick Chibok girl UPCOMING EVENTS 6) NYC 2018 service projects to take place on campus REFLECTION 7) Waiting on the Lord: A reflection from Nigeria 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Global Mission helps fund repairs to school of theology in India (December 21, 2017)

A grant of $15,000 has been given by the Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission and Service office to Gujarat United School of Theology (GUST) in India. The grant assists the school with much-needed repairs to classrooms and other facilities. Read more »


Brethren leaders endorse Christmas letter regarding federal budget (December 21, 2017)

Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele and Office of Public Witness director Nathan Hosler have given endorsement to a Christmas letter to Vice President Mike Pence “to protect the humanitarian, diplomatic, and peacebuilding budget in the FY19 budget” of the federal government. Read more »


Church of the Brethren Yearbook is published on a USB flash drive card (December 20, 2017)

Brethren Press has released the “Church of the Brethren Yearbook 2017” in a new format. Previously, the Yearbook was published as a searchable pdf file on a CD. The 2017 Yearbook is a searchable pdf on a USB flash drive that looks like and is the size of a credit card. Read more »


Elizabethtown pastor stands in support of ‘Dreamers’ (December 9, 2017)

On Dec. 5 and 6, Greg Davidson Laszakovits, pastor of Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, and constituent of Senator Pat Toomey, Senator Bob Casey, and Congressman Lloyd Smucker (PA-16), traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with policy staff in each of these offices to push support for a clean Dream Act. The legislation serves as a means to prevent deportation of 800,000 undocumented youth who came to the United States as children. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 9, 2017 (December 9, 2017)

NEWS 1) Children’s Disaster Services responds to fires in southern California 2) EYN disaster team coordinates housing repairs in remote areas 3) Action alert from Office of Public Witness calls for action on drone warfare 4) National Trust for Historic Preservation offers tour of denominational offices 5) Pacific Southwest District celebrates a weekend of witness and ‘withness’ 6) Atlantic Northeast District delivers 455 clean-up buckets to New Windsor 7) Elizabethtown pastor stands in support of ‘Dreamers’ 8) Unique quilt supports ongoing needs in Nigeria PERSONNEL 9) Mark Hartwig retires as IT director for the Church of the Brethren 10) Patrice Nightingale retires as Brethren Benefit Trust manager of production UPCOMING EVENTS 11) National Youth Conference registration opens in January 12) January Ventures course to focus on ‘Congregation in Mission’ 13) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec. 9, 2017 (December 9, 2017)

In this issue: personnel announcements, job openings, volunteer opportunities, send Christmas cards to BVSers, Bethany Day at Seminaries that Change the World, the next Clergy Tax Seminar, “Brethren Voices” features Brethren Disaster Ministries, and more news from congregations, districts, colleges, and ecumenical partners. Read more »


Patrice Nightingale retires as Brethren Benefit Trust manager of production (December 8, 2017)

Patrice Nightingale has announced her retirement as manager of production for Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT), as of Dec. 31. She joined the BBT communications staff on May 5, 2008. On Oct. 20 of the same year, she succeeded Nevin Dulabaum as director of communications. In late 2011, BBT went through an organizational change due to economic factors, and she was transitioned to her current position. Read more »


Mark Hartwig retires as IT director for the Church of the Brethren (December 8, 2017)

Mark Hartwig is retiring as director of Information Technology for the Church of the Brethren, effective Dec. 22. He has worked at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill., for more than 12 years. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services responds to fires in southern California (December 8, 2017)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) is responding to the fires in southern California, at the end of a week in which wildfires stoked by strong Santa Ana winds started northwest of Los Angeles and now have begun in the San Diego area as well. CDS will be deploying a team of eight volunteers to serve affected children and families in southern California beginning this weekend. Read more »


National Youth Conference registration opens in January (December 8, 2017)

National Youth Conference (NYC) registration opens in a little over a month. Sample registrations are available online at www.brethren.org/nyc . NYC is a Church of the Brethren conference held every four years for youth who have completed grade 9 through the first year of college or age equivalent, and their adult advisors. Read more »


Atlantic Northeast District delivers 455 clean-up buckets to New Windsor (December 8, 2017)

What a wonderful God we serve! In August, Church World Service (CWS) announced the need for more disaster relief clean-up buckets in the warehouse at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. This request was prompted by Hurricane Harvey’s devastation of Houston, Texas. Little did they know Irma, Jose, and Maria were on their way, as well as a devastating earthquake in Mexico. Read more »


January Ventures course to focus on ‘Congregation in Mission’ (December 5, 2017)

The next course offering from the “Ventures in Christian Discipleship” program at McPherson (Kan.) College will be “Congregation in Mission.” Congregational life provides settings for persons in community to flourish in their faith. What are the dynamics to allow this to happen? What are the impediments that get in the way of this flourishing? These and other questions can be a spring board for drawing us into a lively discussion. Read more »


Pacific Southwest District celebrates a weekend of witness and ‘withness’  (December 5, 2017)

Gathering together with a worship focus on the Beatitudes, the 54th annual Pacific Southwest District Conference brought together folk from 23 of our congregations for time in worship, study, business, and fellowship. Friday evening’s sermon was brought by author and public theologian Brian McLaren, who invited the district into an examination of the Beatitudes. Read more »


Unique quilt supports ongoing needs in Nigeria (December 4, 2017)

I inquired about the availability of the red fabric worn by the Women’s Fellowship, and Carl and Roxane Hill graciously sent some yards for a payment made to the Nigeria Crisis Fund. Since that time, I have been working to make something special with it, to support the ongoing needs in Nigeria through the Nigeria Crisis Fund and Brethren Disaster Ministries. Read more »


National Trust for Historic Preservation offers tour of denominational offices (December 4, 2017)

The Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., last month was on a tour of the PastForward Conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. About 40 people from around the country took the bus tour from Chicago to Elgin for a “field study” of mid-20th century buildings. “Working Around the Clock to Preserve the Mid-Century” provided the theme. Read more »


Brethren bits for Nov. 21, 2017 (November 21, 2017)

In this issue: Remembering Julie Mader Hostetter, job opening at CPT, Belita Mitchell and Nancy Sollenberger Heishman experience a Sankofa Journey, UN representative queries the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Nigeria situation, Brethren Academy offers the next Clergy Tax Seminar, variety of news from congregations, CWS Action Alert on the termination of Temporary Protected Status designation for Haiti, and more. Read more »


Newsline for Nov. 21, 2017 (November 21, 2017)

1) Church of the Brethren workcamps repair church buildings, homes in Puerto Rico 2) Brenda Reish concludes employment at Bethany Seminary 3) South Central Indiana District goes above and beyond in collection for Nigeria, Haiti 4) Illinois and Wisconsin District Conference proclaims good news 5) West Marva District adopts resolution on same-sex marriage. 6) President of EYN meets with Nigeria’s vice president 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Church of the Brethren workcamps repair church buildings, homes in Puerto Rico (November 21, 2017)

Church of the Brethren volunteers have done repairs to church buildings and homes in Puerto Rico this month. The church buildings receiving repair are connected with Segunda Iglesia Cristo Misionera (Caimito Church of the Brethren) and some nearby homes. Two groups of volunteers, totaling seven people, assisted with the project which received support from Brethren Disaster Ministries. Read more »


South Central Indiana District goes above and beyond in collection for Nigeria, Haiti (November 21, 2017)

South Central Indiana District has raised $28,800 to support the Church of the Brethren’s work in Nigeria and in Haiti, in a special district-wide project. The concept for the special giving emphasis started last fall at the district board’s annual retreat, when board member Brad Yoder suggested raising money to build wells in Haiti. Read more »


West Marva District adopts resolution on same-sex marriage. (November 21, 2017)

A resolution on same-sex marriage was approved by West Marva District at its district conference held Sept. 16 at Moorefield (W.Va.) Church of the Brethren. The resolution was adopted by a simple majority, with two dissenting votes. Read more »


President of EYN meets with Nigeria’s vice president (November 20, 2017)

Joel S. Billi, president of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) visited Nigerian Vice President Yomi Osinbanjo on Nov. 16, at the Presidential Villa in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja. Read more »


Illinois and Wisconsin District Conference proclaims good news (November 17, 2017)

The Illinois and Wisconsin District Conference on Nov. 3-4 was held at York Center Church of the Brethren in Lombard, Ill., on the theme, “Don’t Be Afraid, I Bring You Good News” based on Luke 2:10. The conference was capably led by moderator Allegra Hess, a member of the York Center congregation. Read more »


Debbie Eisenbise concludes work with Congregational Life Ministries (November 10, 2017)

Debbie Eisenbise’s work with the Church of the Brethren’s Congregational Life Ministries has concluded, as of Wednesday, Nov. 8. She had worked for about two and a half years as director of Intergenerational Ministries. Read more »


Brethren bits for Nov. 10, 2017 (November 10, 2017)

In this issue: Remembrances, personnel notes, job openings, NYC speaker announcements, Congressional Briefing on Nigeria, BVS Christmas card list, PowerHouse regional youth conference, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


‘The Magnificent Story’ is the 2017 Advent devotional from Brethren Press (November 10, 2017)

This year’s Advent devotional booklet published by Brethren Press is titled “The Magnificent Story” and written by James H. Lehman. The Brethren Press devotional series is published twice a year, in anticipation of the Advent and Lenten seasons. The pocket sized paperback booklet is suitable for individual devotions as well as for congregations to give to their members, and costs $3.50 for regular print, or $6.95 for large print. Read more »


Young Adult Conference 2018 will ‘Teach with Your Life’ (November 10, 2017)

Young adults are invited to attend Young Adult Conference 2018. YAC will be held at Camp Brethren Woods (near Keezletown, Va.) on May 25-27, and is planned specifically to enrich the faith journeys of those aged 18-35. This year’s theme is “Teach with Your Life,” based on 1 Timothy 4:11-16. Read more »


Newsline for Nov. 10, 2017 (November 10, 2017)

NEWS 1) Brethren staff take part in Churches for Middle East Peace delegation meeting with Palestinian president 2) Food distributions in Nigeria continue during 'lean period' 3) Soybean Value Chain initiative advances in Nigeria PERSONNEL 4) Debbie Eisenbise concludes work with Congregational Life Ministries UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Young Adult Conference 2018 will ‘Teach with Your Life’ 6) Sixth Brethren World Assembly is set for August in Indiana RESOURCES 7) ‘The Magnificent Story’ is the 2017 Advent devotional from Brethren Press 8) Brethren bits: Remembrances, personnel, jobs, NYC speakers, Congressional Briefing on Nigeria, BVS Christmas card list, PowerHouse regional youth conference, and more Read more »


Food distributions in Nigeria continue during 'lean period' (November 9, 2017)

The months from July until late October are called the “lean period” in Nigeria because food from last year’s harvest is almost gone, and the new crop is not yet ready. The Boko Haram insurgency has compounded this problem with a decreased ability to even plant crops. Statistics from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Nigeria) states that 8.5 million people in the area are still in need of humanitarian assistance. Read more »


Sixth Brethren World Assembly is set for August in Indiana (November 9, 2017)

Plans are being finalized for the Sixth Brethren World Assembly, to be held Aug. 9-12, 2018, in Winona Lake, Ind. This gathering happens every five years for Brethren groups descended from Alexander Mack in 1708, and is sponsored by the Brethren Encyclopedia Project, Inc. Read more »


Soybean Value Chain initiative advances in Nigeria (November 9, 2017)

The Soybean Value Chain initiative is led by a steering committee of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) with the goal to increase awareness of soybeans as a commercial crop and develop a soybean value chain that will provide sustainable economic benefits to farmers and farming communities. Read more »


Brethren staff take part in Churches for Middle East Peace delegation meeting with Palestinian president (November 2, 2017)

A Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) delegation that included two Church of the Brethren staff members--Nathan Hosler, director of the Office of Public Witness, and Roy Winter, associate executive director of Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries--has met with Palestinian President Abbas on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. Read more »


A statement from the Executive Committee of the Mission and Ministry Board (October 30, 2017)

Newsline Special: A statement from the Executive Committee of the Mission and Ministry Board Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board adopts vision for a global Church of the Brethren (October 25, 2017)

The Mission and Ministry Board adopted a “Vision for a Global Church of the Brethren,” and recommended this new mission philosophy to Annual Conference, at its meeting on Oct. 20-23 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The board also adopted a budget for 2018, approved two large allocations from the Emergency Disaster Fund, and acted on Review and Evaluation Committee recommendations that were directed to the board by Annual Conference, among other business. Read more »


Renacer Hispanic Ministry announces new strategy plan (October 20, 2017)

The board of Renacer Hispanic Ministry has developed and adapted a new strategy plan to widely reach the denomination. The new strategy plans has three foundational components: Read more »


Being the church after a catastrophe: Response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico (October 20, 2017)

After the devastating damage of hurricanes like Maria, civil society often breaks down. Desperate or opportunistic people start looting or stealing and stresses keep increasing. Another part of society pulls together and helps each other, bringing out the very best in human nature...and our faith often brings out the very best of being the church. The Puerto Rican churches are an inspiring example of being the church in a crisis. While burdened with many hardships, the Puerto Rican Brethren are coming together supporting each other and reaching out to their communities. Read more »


Workcamp Ministry sets 2018 schedule of events (October 20, 2017)

The Church of the Brethren Workcamp Ministry has released the 2018 workcamp dates and locations. This programming for next summer will offer 10 locations for service, focusing on junior high opportunities because it will be a National Youth Conference year. Read more »


Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a call to peacemaking (October 20, 2017)

At last month’s National Older Adult Conference (NOAC), Jim Wallis, president and founder of Sojourners, spoke to us of faithfulness and of living our Christian witness. This month, Sojourners reminds us that this is a call to peacemaking in the context of our daily lives. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time for us to consider that while “one in three women experience intimate partner violence in their lives...95 percent of church-going women report they have never heard a sermon on abuse preached from the pulpit of their church.” Read more »


Openings are available for continuing education opportunity in urban ministry (October 20, 2017)

There is still time to register for a special continuing education travel course: “A Place of Refuge: Ministry in an Urban Context” on Jan. 2-12, 2018, in Atlanta, Ga. An immersive urban experience with a focus on the ministries of care, this travel seminar is an educational partnership between Bethany Theological Seminary, the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, Congregational Life Ministries of the Church of the Brethren, and City of Refuge ministries in Atlanta. Read more »


Grant to EYN supports church rebuilding effort in Nigeria (October 20, 2017)

The Church of the Brethren has provided a second large grant to Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) to support the church rebuilding efforts of EYN members. Out of this grant of $109,000, 20 EYN churches will receive grants of $5,000 each. Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 20, 2017 (October 20, 2017)

In this issue: Remembering Wally Landes, Ella Mae Weaver, and Merle Brown, plus how to join the moderator’s second online “town hall,” invitation to Brethren Disaster Ministries’ first repair/rebuilding project after Hurricane Harvey, districts receive offerings for hurricane relief, Mission Alive 2018 registration, prayer services for food justice, along with lots of news from congregations and districts, and more. Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 20, 2017 (October 20, 2017)

NEWS 1) Being the church after a catastrophe: Response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico 2) Insurance check will fund denomination’s envisioning work 3) Grant to EYN supports church rebuilding effort in Nigeria 4) Global Food Initiative grants support agriculture in several nations 5) Renacer Hispanic Ministry announces new strategy plan PERSONNEL 6) Traci Rabenstein to lead Church of the Brethren donor relations team 7) Amy Beery to direct youth programs at Bethany Seminary UPCOMING EVENTS 8) Openings are available for continuing education opportunity in urban ministry 9) Workcamp Ministry sets 2018 schedule of events RESOURCES 10) Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a call to peacemaking 11) Brethren bits Read more »


Traci Rabenstein to lead Church of the Brethren donor relations team (October 18, 2017)

Traci Rabenstein has assumed leadership of the Church of the Brethren Donor Relations team, as of Oct. 9. John Hipps has concluded his work with the Church of the Brethren as director of Donor Relations, a position he has held since Sept. 24, 2012. Read more »


Insurance check will fund denomination’s envisioning work (October 18, 2017)

The Church of the Brethren earlier this year received a check of $50,000 from Brethren Mutual Aid Agency and Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company, representing a benefit earned through the Ministry Partner Program. The denomination’s Leadership Team has decided to use the money to fund work to frame a “compelling vision” for the denomination, with $1,000 provided to the Finance Office to cover costs of administering the money. Read more »


Global Food Initiative grants support agriculture in several nations (October 18, 2017)

The most recent grants from the Global Food Initiative (GFI) bolster agriculture in several nations including Burundi, Ecuador, India, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. Find out more about the work of the GFI and how to support it at www.brethren.org/gfi . Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries executive travels to Puerto Rico, Children’s Disaster Services sends teams to northern California (October 13, 2017)

Roy Winter is on a trip to Puerto Rico this week to assess needs following Hurricane Maria and to meet with Church of the Brethren leaders in Puerto Rico District. Winter is associate executive director of Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries. Read more »


Mission Alive 2018 to be hosted at Frederick church (October 7, 2017)

Mission Alive 2018, a conference sponsored by the Global Mission and Service program of the Church of Brethren, will take place April 6-8 at Frederick (Md.) Church of the Brethren. The theme is “A Gathering of God’s People...a Global Church of the Brethren,” seeking inspiration from Revelation 7:9. Read more »


Next Nigeria workcamp is scheduled for January (October 7, 2017)

Global Mission and Service invites participants to join a workcamp organized by Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Workcamp dates, including travel to and from Nigeria, are Jan. 5-22, 2018. Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 7, 2017 (October 7, 2017)

In this issue: Personnel, job opening, disaster response efforts, district conferences, and more. Read more »


Atlantic Northeast hires Pete Kontra as district executive (October 7, 2017)

Atlantic Northeast District of the Church of the Brethren has called Pete Kontra to the position of district executive minister effective Jan. 1, 2018. He has been in pastoral ministry for more than 20 years, and currently is senior pastor at Hempfield Church of the Brethren in Atlantic Northeast District. Read more »


CDS deploys Critical Response Childcare team to Las Vegas (October 7, 2017)

Children's Disaster Services (CDS) has deployed a specially trained team of Critical Response Childcare volunteers to Las Vegas, Nev., following the mass shooting there. The team was requested by the American Red Cross, and are serving in a Family Assistance Center, reported CDS associate director Kathleen Fry-Miller. Read more »


Northern Indiana District issues resolution against racism (October 7, 2017)

Among other business accomplished by Northern Indiana District at its district conference this year was the affirmation of the resolution “We Reaffirm that Racism is a Sin Against God and Our Neighbors.” The conversation was characterized by a unified desire to express the pain felt by the gathered body on the heels of the protests and counter-protests witnessed in Charlottesville, Va., and in other places around this country. Read more »


NYC registration will open Jan. 18, youthworker applications are due Nov. 1 (October 7, 2017)

National Youth Conference (NYC) takes place next summer, July 21-26, 2018, in Fort Collins, Colo., at Colorado State University. This Church of the Brethren conference is held every four years for youth who have completed grade 9 through 1 year of college (or the age equivalent). Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 7, 2017 (October 7, 2017)

NEWS 1) CDS deploys Critical Response Childcare team to Las Vegas 2) Iran deal represents meaningful step to prevent nuclear conflict 3) New students begin at Bethany Seminary 4) Northern Indiana District issues resolution against racism 5) Nobel prize-winner ICAN says it will work for full nuclear ban PERSONNEL 6) Atlantic Northeast hires Pete Kontra as district executive UPCOMING EVENTS 7) NYC registration will open Jan. 18, youthworker applications are due Nov. 1 8) Mission Alive 2018 to be hosted at Frederick church 9) Next Nigeria workcamp is scheduled for January 10) Brethren bits Read more »


Disaster staff to visit Puerto Rico, CDS work continues in Texas, prayer requested for DR Congo (September 28, 2017)

Brethren Disaster Ministries is organizing the Church of the Brethren response in Puerto Rico, following Hurricane Maria. The response will include--in the short term--the shipping of a container of disaster relief supplies and a visit by associate executive director Roy Winter, tentatively scheduled for next week. In the long-term, plans are being developed for relief and long-term recovery programs, including home repair. Read more »


Newsline for Sept. 21, 2017 (September 21, 2017)

NEWS 1) Call to prayer for those in the path of Hurricane Maria, and related hurricane relief news 2) Leadership Team statement to the denomination 3) Congregational Life Ministries announces Renaissance 2017-2020 initiative 4) Pre-tax insurance savings are available for some pastors PERSONNEL 5) Debbie Roberts resigns from Bethany Seminary faculty UPCOMING EVENTS 6) Workcamp Ministry announces 2018 theme 7) ‘Justice Like Water’: Reflecting on a retreat planned for Virlina District INSPIRATION 2017: NATIONAL OLDER ADULT CONFERENCE 8) Inspiration 2017: NOAC by the numbers 9) Inspirational quotes from the week at NOAC 10) Brethren bits Read more »


Inspirational quotes from the week at NOAC (September 21, 2017)

National Older Adult Conference this year featured an inspiring line up of speakers and preachers. These quotes give just a taste of their messages. Recordings of each of these keynote presentations, Bible studies, and worship services are available to view in full online. Find a link to view the NOAC webcasts at www.brethren.org/news/2017/noac2017 . Read more »


Inspiration 2017: NOAC by the numbers (September 21, 2017)

Inspiration 2017: National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) brought older adults from across the denomination and across the country together for a week of worship, fellowship, laughter, and learning in early September. From Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 4, through Friday, Sept. 8, the conference was hosted at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in western North Carolina, in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. Find the onsite coverage of Inspiration 2017 including photo albums, webcasts, daily news sheets, a form to order the NOAC 2017 DVD, and more at www.brethren.org/news/2017/noac2017 . Read more »


Call to prayer for those in the path of Hurricane Maria, and related hurricane relief news (September 21, 2017)

Brethren Disaster Ministries issued a prayer request for those in the path of Hurricane Maria, before the storm hit Puerto Rico. Following are portions of that prayer request: Read more »


Congregational Life Ministries announces Renaissance 2017-2020 (September 20, 2017)

Congregational Life Ministries is committed to empowering every person to make a positive difference in their world through demonstrating the extraordinary God. If we are to be faithful to our commitment to transform the world, we will reach out with an open, genuine hospitality to people wherever they are, inviting and welcoming them as we seek to renew existing congregations, start new faith communities, and inspire faithful discipleship. Read more »


‘Justice Like Water’: Reflecting on a retreat planned for Virlina District (September 20, 2017)

After everything that has happened this summer, it can be hard to believe that just four years ago, we gathered to talk about intercultural ministries as the wider nation was marking the second term of the first Black president and an era often described as “post-racial.” Read more »


Brethren bits for Sept. 20, 2017 (September 20, 2017)

In this issue: Remembering Donna Derr, personnel, job opening, government recognizes Church of the Brethren in Venezuela, BVS Unit 318, CWS kits collected by NOAC volunteers and many more across the denomination, Elizabethtown offers course on Simple Living, Brethren Nutrition Program in Washington, D.C., to close, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Workcamp Ministry announces 2018 theme (September 20, 2017)

The Church of the Brethren Workcamp office is excited to announce the 2018 workcamp theme: “Loving God, Loving People.” The theme is developed from the scripture 1 John 4:19-21 (The Message) which touches on the necessity for loving others in order to truly love God. Read more »


Newsline Special: Update on hurricane response (September 15, 2017)

More CDS teams go to Florida, Brethren Disaster Ministries assesses post-hurricane needs Read more »


How best to help: Advice from Brethren Disaster Ministries (September 9, 2017)

“Financial donations are best,” said a communication from Brethren Disaster Ministries about how best to help aid those affected by the hurricanes. Also needed are donations of Church World Service (CWS) kits and clean-up buckets that are specifically designed to meet the immediate needs of disaster survivors. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services prepositions team in Florida, in advance of Irma (September 9, 2017)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has prepositioned volunteers in Florida, in advance of Hurricane Irma, at the request of the American Red Cross. CDS staff have learned that the Red Cross anticipates there will be over 120,000 people in evacuee shelters in Florida. Read more »


Newsline Special: Hurricane update, Action Alert on DACA (September 9, 2017)

HURRICANE UPDATE 1) Children’s Disaster Services prepositions team in Florida, in advance of Irma 2) Brethren Disaster Ministries monitoring hurricane situation in US and Caribbean 3) Material Resources ships relief to Texas, seeks urgently needed donations of clean-up buckets 4) How best to help: Advice from Brethren Disaster Ministries ACTION ALERT 5) Office of Public Witness Action Alert on DACA Read more »


Material Resources ships relief to Texas, seeks urgently needed donations of clean-up buckets (September 9, 2017)

Material Resources staff have put out an urgent call for donations of clean-up buckets for distribution by Church World Service (CWS). The program also has been shipping relief supplies to Texas to aid people who were affected by Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent flooding. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries monitoring hurricane situation in US and Caribbean (September 9, 2017)

“Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have been monitoring the situation in the areas already, or soon to be, affected by the hurricanes,” reports Roy Winter, associate executive director of Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries. Staff are “coordinating response efforts and planning with Church World Service and other church partners.” Read more »


Thursday's inspiration - National Older Adult Conference 2017 (September 6, 2017)

National Older Adult Conference happenings on Thursday, Sept 7. Read more »


Wednesday's inspiration - National Older Adult Conference 2017 (September 6, 2017)

National Older Adult Conference happenings on Wednesday, Sept 6 Read more »


Tuesday's inspiration - National Older Adult Conference 2017 (September 5, 2017)

National Older Adult Conference happenings on Tuesday, Sept 5 Read more »


Monday's inspiration - National Older Adult Conference 2017 (September 4, 2017)

National Older Adult Conference happenings on Monday, Sept 4. Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 31, 2017 (August 31, 2017)

Personnel, job openings, Chibok girls baptized, stories requested for ‘Inglenook Desserts,’ ‘Justice Like Water–Examining Racism,’ Peace Day 2017, and much more Read more »


Rebecca Dali: My faith in God motivates me every second (August 31, 2017)

The following release from the World Council of Churches (WCC) notes an unprecedented honor for a member of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Rebecca Dali, founder of the Center for Compassion, Empowerment, and Peace Initiatives (CCEPI), has received the 2017 Humanitarian Award from the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation at a ceremony at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Read more »


Program and Arrangements Committee announces preachers for Annual Conference 2018 (August 31, 2017)

The Program and Arrangements Committee for the 2018 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren has announced preachers for the denomination’s next annual meeting. The Conference takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Duke Energy Convention Center, on July 4-8. The Sunday morning sermon will be brought by Leonard Sweet, a popular preacher and Christian author who is the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University. Read more »


‘Living Parables’: About the Annual Conference theme (August 31, 2017)

The simple understanding of a parable is literally from Jesus’ parables, which were stories that were cast alongside a truth in order to illustrate that truth, or the telling of a familiar story to illustrate big truths. Jesus’ parables were teaching aids and can be thought of as extended analogies or inspired comparisons. A common description of a parable is that it is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Read more »


Michigan District approves motion from churches wanting to form new district (August 31, 2017)

Michigan District Conference has approved a motion from seven congregations seeking to leave the district and form a new district of the Church of the Brethren in the state. The 50 delegates voted 37 to 10 in favor of the motion after many hours of discussion over two days. The separating group must now be in conversation with the Annual Conference officers in order for the proposal to move forward. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services deploys teams to three cities in Texas (August 31, 2017)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) is now deploying teams of volunteers to aid children and families in shelters in three Texas cities: San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas. “We have 24 people as of today and another 30 will be arriving over the next week to replace those teams,” reported CDS staff. Read more »


Newsline for Aug. 31, 2017 (August 31, 2017)

NEWS 1) Children’s Disaster Services deploys teams to three cities in Texas 2) Moderator invites denomination to online ‘townhall meetings’ 3) Program and Arrangements Committee announces preachers for Annual Conference 2018 4) Michigan District approves motion from churches wanting to form new district FEATURES 5) ‘Living Parables’: About the Annual Conference theme 6) Rebecca Dali: My faith in God motivates me every second 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Moderator invites denomination to online ‘townhall meetings’ (August 30, 2017)

Annual Conference moderator Samuel K. Sarpiya is issuing an invitation to Brethren across the denomination to join in online “townhall meetings” that he plans to hold once a month beginning Sept. 28. The online “townhalls” will explore the theme for the 2018 Annual Conference, “Living Parables.” Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services aids families affected by Harvey (August 28, 2017)

Twelve volunteers with Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) traveled to San Antonio on Sunday, Aug. 27, to serve children and families in Red Cross shelters. The families are among those who were evacuated or voluntarily left the area of southeast Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey and the torrential rain that has caused severe flooding. Read more »


Events at “Inspiration 2017" (NOAC) to be live streamed (August 17, 2017)

“Inspiration 2017" will be the first National Older Adult Conference to be live-streamed on the Internet. All keynote addresses, worship services, afternoon programs, and daily Bible studies will be available to view live online through a partnership with Enten and Mary Eller and Living Stream Church of the Brethren. This is especially important for conference “alumni/ae” who are no longer able to travel to the conference location in Lake Junaluska, N.C., and who long to be part of the NOAC community. Read more »


Nancy S. Heishman named director of the Office of Ministry (August 17, 2017)

The Church of the Brethren has called Nancy Sollenberger Heishman as director of the Office of Ministry. She will begin in this role on Nov. 6, working out of the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., and from her home in Tipp City, Ohio. Read more »


Many Brethren across the country gather, pray, speak about Charlottesville (August 17, 2017)

Many Brethren across the country have been involved in prayer gatherings, prayer walks, vigils, and other gatherings responding to the events in Charlottesville, Va., while others have helped issue a variety of statements. Here is a sampling: Read more »


Newsline for Aug. 17 2017 (August 17, 2017)

NEWS 1) Shenandoah District shares prayerful reflection following Charlottesville 2) Many Brethren across the country gather, pray, speak about Charlottesville PERSONNEL 3) Nancy S. Heishman named director of the Office of Ministry UPCOMING EVENTS 4) Support and sponsorship grows for ‘Inspiration 2017' 5) Events at ‘Inspiration 2017' (NOAC) to be live streamed 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 17, 2017 (August 17, 2017)

Brethren bits for Aug. 17, 2017 Read more »


Support and sponsorship grows for ‘Inspiration 2017'  (August 17, 2017)

This is the 25th anniversary year (and 14th gathering) of the National Older Adult Conference (NOAC), and we are especially grateful for the sponsorship and leadership of denominational agencies, Fellowship of Brethren Homes communities, and other nonprofits who have an opportunity to share their mission with the conference participants. Read more »


And who is my neighbor? The Good Samaritan, or how we justify ourselves (August 14, 2017)

Samuel K. Sarpiya, moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, has shared this reflection in response to the weekend’s events in Charlottesville, Va. This is the first in a series of reflections on the 2018 Conference theme, “Living Parables”: Read more »


Brethren clergywoman shares about Charlottesville experience (August 14, 2017)

“It was extremely grim and sobering to be face-to-face with such hatred and racism--and more so because of what seemed almost an inevitability about the clash between white supremacists and others,” said Kim McDowell, pastor of University Park Brethren and Baptist Church in Hyattsville, Md. She was one of the clergy who provided a presence in Charlottesville, Va., during the white supremacist rally on Saturday. She was not aware of other Church of the Brethren clergy who may have been present. Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 5, 2017 (August 5, 2017)

In this issue: Updated remembrance for Florence Daté Smith, personnel notes and job openings, Rebecca Dali honored by United Nations, Nigerian Brethren report Boko Haram attacks, Material Resources shipments, Brethren Volunteer Service newsletter, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Minister’s manual project will not continue (August 5, 2017)

Staff from the Office of Ministry and Brethren Press have announced the decision to conclude work on the new minister’s manual resource. This project has stretched over several years, in which transitions in the make up of the volunteer team and the staff in the Office of Ministry have brought significant challenges. Read more »


Newsline for Aug. 5, 2017 (August 5, 2017)

NEWS 1) Brethren Academy launches EFSM program in Spanish 2) La Academia Hermanos lanza el programa de EPMC 3) New urban ministry experience is offered by Bethany Seminary 4) Minister’s manual project will not continue 5) UN holds hearing on Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons PERSONNEL 6) William Wenger to serve as executive minister for Western Pennsylvania District UPCOMING EVENTS 7) Children’s Disaster Services offers volunteer training workshops 8) SVMC offers continuing education on Christology and ministry with older and younger people 9) Annual Dunker Church Service will be 47th held at Antietam 10) Springs initiative offers new class designed for laity 11) Brethren bits Read more »


Annual Dunker Church Service will be 47th held at Antietam (August 5, 2017)

The 47th Annual Dunker Church Service will be held in the restored Dunker Church at the Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Md., on Sunday, Sept. 17, at 3 p.m. This service will take place on the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, and commemorates the peace witness of the Brethren during the Civil War. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services offers volunteer training workshops (August 5, 2017)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) workshops are scheduled for this fall. The website link for registrations is www.brethren.org/cds/training/dates.html . CDS and its trained and certified volunteers provide care for children and families following disasters. Read more »


William Wenger to serve as executive minister for Western Pennsylvania District (August 5, 2017)

Western Pennsylvania District has called William Wenger to serve as district executive minister beginning Sept. 1. He has served as interim district executive since January. Read more »


Springs initiative offers new class designed for laity (August 5, 2017)

The Springs Academy for the Saints is the newest addition to the Springs Academy and is designed for laity. Its format is similar to the Springs Academy for Pastors, introduced in 2013. The Springs Academy for the Saints enables laity to discover their gifts and train for ministry as saints, as Paul says in Ephesians 4:12, “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ.” Read more »


La Academia Hermanos lanza el programa de EPMC (August 5, 2017)

Durante más de treinta años, el programa de Educación para un Ministerio Compartido (EPMC) ha estado nutriendo y equipando ministros y laicos en pequeñas iglesias angloamericanas. Ahora, el programa está siendo puesto a disposición de las congregaciones en cual se habla español. El diseño único de EPMC ofrece oportunidades para que los ministros en formación y líderes laicos disciernen objetivos y metas juntos y se animen mutuamente a afilar sus habilidades mientras aprenden sobre la fe cristiana y los ministerios de la iglesia. La fuerza del programa es enfocarse en el equipamiento de toda la congregación, ya que apoyan a sus ministros apartados en el cumplimiento de los requisitos educativos y teológicas para sus credenciales. Read more »


UN holds hearing on Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons (August 5, 2017)

While we rightly call attention to the awful atrocities of Boko Haram in Nigeria, we often overlook the other great tragedy of trafficking in girls and women from Nigeria. The Central Mediterranean Route report show that nearly 80 percent of Nigerian girls and women, between the ages of 13-24, arriving in Europe are victims of sex trafficking. Read more »


SVMC offers continuing education on Christology and ministry with older and younger people  (August 5, 2017)

The Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center on the campus of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College announces three upcoming continuing education events: “Go and Do Likewise: The Practices of Christology,” “Enriching the Lives of Older Adults,” and “Science, Theology, and the Church Today--Ministry with Youth and Young Adults.” Registration forms are available at www.etown.edu/programs/svmc/continuing-education or by contacting Karen Hodges at 717-361-1450 or svmc@etown.edu . Read more »


Brethren Academy launches EFSM program in Spanish (August 5, 2017)

For over 30 years, the Education for Shared Ministry (EFSM) program has been nurturing and equipping ministers and laity together in small Anglo churches. Now the program is being made available to Spanish-speaking congregations. The unique design of EFSM offers opportunities for ministers in training and lay leaders to discern goals and objectives together and to encourage one another in sharpening their skills while learning about the Christian faith and ministries of the church. The program’s strength is in equipping the entire congregation as they support their set-apart ministers in meeting the educational and theological requirements for credentialing. Read more »


Brethren bits for July 20, 2017 (July 20, 2017)

In this issue: Job openings, We Are Able workcamp, NCC podcast features director of Office of Public Witness, Global Food Initiative manager interviewed by “Seed World,” and more news from congregations, districts, and ecumenical partners. Read more »


CDS serves in New York, puts teams together for California wildfire response (July 20, 2017)

Children’s Disaster Services volunteers have responded following flooding in New York State, and the program has been put on alert to send teams to respond to wildfires in California. Read more »


Newsline for July 20, 2017 (July 20, 2017)

NEWS 1) Raising awareness and solutions on Capitol Hill for the crisis in Nigeria 2) Latest Brethren grants from the EDF and GFI are announced 3) CDS serves in New York, puts teams together for California wildfire response UPCOMING EVENTS 4) Disabilities Ministry celebrates 27 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act 5) Unmuting silenced voices: Planning a gathering to remember those who resisted World War I FEATURE 6) One year in: An interview with EYN president Joel S. Billi 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Disabilities Ministry celebrates 27 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act (July 20, 2017)

July 26 marks the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Find more information at https://www.adaanniversary.org . This year at Annual Conference, Congregational Life Ministries welcomed the 27th congregation into the Open Roof Fellowship. Over the past 13 years, these congregations have intentionally embraced and invested themselves in disabilities ministries. Read more »


Latest Brethren grants from the EDF and GFI are announced (July 20, 2017)

The latest grants from two Church of the Brethren funds--the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) and the Global Food Initiative (GFI)--have been given to Brethren Disaster Ministries work following flooding in the area of Columbia, S.C.; the church’s mission in South Sudan, where staff are responding to needs of people affected by the country’s civil war; the Shalom Ministry for Reconciliation in the Democratic Republic of Congo serving people affected by conflict; and community gardens related to Church of the Brethren congregations. Read more »


One year in: An interview with EYN president Joel S. Billi (July 20, 2017)

Joel Stephen Billi was elected president of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and assumed his duties on May 3, 2016, alongside other principal officers of the church. He came into leadership at a time when the church was in a state of disarray following the incessant attacks on its members by insurgents. After spending one year in office, this interview was conducted to take stock of his stewardship as the leader of the church at such a hard time in the history of EYN. Here are excerpts from the interview: Read more »


Unmuting silenced voices: Planning a gathering to remember those who resisted World War I (July 20, 2017)

“The First World War was a tragic and unnecessary conflict.” These are the first words of British historian John Keegan in his book, The First World War. It was unnecessary because it was preventable--a local conflict that did not need to escalate. Eventually, 100 countries were involved. It was tragic because at least 10 million people died and 20 million were injured in the war, and another 50 million died from the Spanish flu epidemic that incubated in the trenches. Read more »


Raising awareness and solutions on Capitol Hill for the crisis in Nigeria (July 20, 2017)

One week after attending the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in Grand Rapids, Mich., on July 10 leaders of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) attended several meetings in Washington, D.C., organized by the denomination’s Office of Public Witness. Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board approves 2018 budget parameter, among other business (July 8, 2017)

The Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren has approved a $5,192,000 budget parameter for its Core Ministries in 2018, which is the same as the current 2017 budget. On June 28 in its pre-Annual Conference meeting in Grand Rapids, Mich., the board also heard a report on the sale of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., among other business. Read more »


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

In this issue: Remembrances, job openings, new fellowships and congregations, listening sessions in Michigan District, donations for Annual Conference webcasts, Snapchat views of Conference, Nigeria briefing for legislators, children’s books for Flint, WCC appeal against escalation on the Korean peninsula. Read more »


Insight session tells the story of the Solingen Brethren (July 8, 2017)

Six Brethren were arrested 300 years ago in Solingen, Germany. What was their crime? In 1716, the six men, ages 22 to 33, had been baptized as adults. This crime was a capital offense, the punishment could be execution. The six men were first marched to Dusseldorf for interrogation. It is said they sang hymns as they walked to their imprisonment. Read more »


Congregational Life Ministries gives Intercultural Award, welcomes new members of Open Roof Fellowship (July 8, 2017)

Congregational Life Ministries gave awards and citations during the Mission and Ministry Board’s pre-Annual Conference meeting in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Revelation 7:9 Award from the Intercultural Ministry was given to Don and Belita Mitchell. Citations to congregations joining the Open Roof Fellowship were given to two congregations in Illinois: Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren and York Center Church of the Brethren, represented by their respective pastors Katie Shaw Thompson and Christy Waltersdorff. Read more »


New Annual Conference officers are consecrated (July 8, 2017)

A contingent of family, friends, and church representatives gathered on the stage during the closing worship of the 2017 Annual Conference for the consecration of new leadership. The service consecrated Samuel Sarpiya as Annual Conference moderator, Donita Keister as moderator-elect, and James Beckwith for a second term as Conference secretary. Sarpiya will preside over the 2018 Annual Conference. Read more »


Brethren Revival Fellowship dinner, insight session address inspiring questions (July 8, 2017)

The Brethren Revival Fellowship hosted several events during the 2017 Annual Conference, including an annual dinner on Saturday evening, July 1, and an insight session focused on the Conference theme, among other events that included a BRF luncheon on Friday, June 30, with Annual Conference moderator-elect Samuel Sarpiya. Both the dinner and the insight session addressed inspiring questions. Read more »


Newsline for July 8, 2017 (July 8, 2017)

1) New Annual Conference officers are consecrated 2) Mission and Ministry Board approves 2018 budget parameter, among other business 3) Congregational Life Ministries gives Intercultural Award, welcomes new members of Open Roof Fellowship 4) Minister’s Association hears from Lillian Daniel, discusses relating to ‘Nones’ 5) Bethany and Brethren Academy luncheon senses ‘Spirit Moving’ 6) Brethren Revival Fellowship dinner, insight session address inspiring questions 7) Insight session tells the story of the Solingen Brethren 8) Banning nuclear weapons, 122 governments take leadership where nuclear powers have failed 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Bethany and Brethren Academy luncheon senses ‘Spirit Moving’ (July 5, 2017)

Faculty, staff, and graduates of Bethany Theological Seminary and the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership were joined by others at an Annual Conference luncheon. The theme of “Spirit Moving” was expressed succinctly when seminary president Jeff Carter noted that, thanks to what he called “our Anabaptist/Pietist vision, he said, “The world needs us.” Because of this, Carter said of the seminary’s reach: “It is broad. It is deep. It is moving.” Read more »


Newsline Special: A review of business decisions made by Annual Conference 2017 (July 3, 2017)

1) On Earth Peace retains agency status, as delegates make decisions on the Review and Evaluation Committee report 2) Delegates adopt report from Leadership Team and CODE, approve new vision effort 3) On Earth Peace call for new polity for agencies is acted on by the Conference 4) Delegate body receives insights from ‘Patient Hope in Matters of Conscience’ 5) Donita J. Keister to serve as moderator-elect, among election results 6) Annual Conference by the numbers Read more »


Today in Grand Rapids – Sunday, July 2, 2017 (July 2, 2017)

A review of the closing day of the 2017 Annual Conference Read more »


Annual Conference by the numbers (July 2, 2017)

A round up of some statistics on the 2017 Annual Conference, including registration numbers, offering amounts, blood drive donations, and more. Read more »


Today in Grand Rapids – Saturday, July 1, 2017 (July 1, 2017)

An overview of the day at Annual Conference Read more »


On Earth Peace retains agency status, as delegates make decisions on the Review and Evaluation Committee report (July 1, 2017)

The Annual Conference on Saturday, July 1, did not adopt a Recommendation #6 from the Review and Evaluation Committee “that On Earth Peace no longer remain an agency of the Church of the Brethren.” The vote came as the delegate body addressed 10 recommendations in the Review and Evaluation Committee report. As has happened every 10 years in recent decades, in 2015 a committee to review and evaluate the organization and structure of the Church of the Brethren was charged with carrying out a study and bringing recommendations to this year’s Conference. Read more »


On Earth Peace retains agency status (July 1, 2017)

The Annual Conference this afternoon did not adopt a recommendation from the Review and Evaluation Committee “that On Earth Peace no longer remain an agency of the Church of the Brethren.” The vote came as the delegate body addressed the 10 recommendations in the Review and Evaluation Committee’s report, and was announced as there were still two recommendations still to be acted upon. Read more »


Delegate body receives insights from ‘Patient Hope in Matters of Conscience’ (July 1, 2017)

The document “Patient Hope in Matters of Conscience” was brought by On Earth Peace for consideration by Annual Conference. The delegates adopted a recommendation from the Standing Committee of district delegates to not delay other items of business, as called for in the document, but to receive the insights of the document and ask the Mission and Ministry Board in consultation with On Earth Peace and other experts to provide resources to better implement the 2008 Annual Conference resolution “Urging Forbearance” in the life of the church. Read more »


Delegates adopt report from Leadership Team and CODE, approve new vision effort (June 30, 2017)

Annual Conference on Thursday, June 29, adopted a recommendation from the denomination’s Leadership Team and Council of District Executives (CODE) during consideration of the report, “The Authority of Annual Conference and Districts regarding the Accountability of Ministers, Congregations, and Districts.” The action receives the report as a response to the concerns of “Query: Same Sex Weddings” and sets in motion a new vision effort in the church. Read more »


On Earth Peace call for new polity for agencies is acted on by the Conference (June 30, 2017)

The 2016 Annual Conference has processed a recommendation from On Earth Peace titled “Polity for Agencies,” by adopting a Standing Committee recommendation to return the query with appreciation and respect, but to accept the concern of the recommendation regarding a lack of polity with regard to agencies of the Conference. Read more »


Today in Grand Rapids - Friday, June 30, 2017 (June 30, 2017)

An overview of the day at the 2017 Annual Conference Read more »


Today in Grand Rapids – Thursday – June 29, 2017 (June 29, 2017)

An overview of the day at Annual Conference Read more »


Donita J. Keister to serve as moderator-elect of Annual Conference (June 29, 2017)

In election results today, the Annual Conference chose Donita J. Keister of Mifflinburg, Pa., as moderator-elect. She will serve as moderator-elect for one year, and then in 2019 she will serve as moderator of the Annual Conference in San Diego, Calif. Read more »


Review and Evaluation Committee holds hearing (June 28, 2017)

The Review and Evaluation Committee is organized anew every 10 years to review and evaluate the organization and structures of the Church of the Brethren denomination. The first five recommendations in the report the committee is bringing to the 2017 Annual Conference relate directly to that mandate. (The report is at www.brethren.org/ac/2017/business/UB-2-Review-and-Evaluation.pdf .) Read more »


Today in Grand Rapids – Wednesday, June 28, 2017 (June 28, 2017)

A review of the first day of the 2017 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren, held in Grand Rapids, Mich. Read more »


Standing Committee acts on items of business received from On Earth Peace (June 28, 2017)

In pre-Annual Conference meetings, Standing Committee made recommendations on two items of new business coming to the Conference from On Earth Peace. One of the functions of the Standing Committee of district delegates is to recommend action on new business items to the full delegate body. Read more »


Minister’s Association hears from Lillian Daniel, discusses relating to ‘Nones’ (June 28, 2017)

“In the age of the new atheists we have to figure out how to talk about why religion matters without sounding like jerks. Between burning in hell, and anything goes, there is a lot we can talk about,” said Lillian Daniel, presenter for the Minister’s Association pre-Conference continuing education event. Read more »


Standing Committee agrees to new process for its deliberations this year, recommends adoption of new business items from Brethren Benefit Trust (June 26, 2017)

The Standing Committee of district delegates has begun its work ahead of the 2017 Annual Conference. Standing Committee meetings began Sunday evening, June 25, in Grand Rapids, Mich., and continue through Wednesday morning, June 28. The meetings are presided over by Annual Conference moderator Carol Scheppard, with moderator-elect Samuel Sarpiya and Conference secretary James Beckwith. Read more »


Newsline Special: Updates from Global Mission and Service (June 22, 2017)

UPDATES FROM GLOBAL MISSION AND SERVICE 1) Brethren compound in South Sudan is looted by security forces 2) Linda and Robert Shank to stay in the US for the summer Read more »


EYN loses five church members in Boko Haram attack (June 17, 2017)

Five members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) were killed in a recent Boko Haram attack in Adamawa State. Reporting the incident happened in a no-network area of Adamawa State, EYN district church secretary Mildlu Rev. Bitrus Kabu said Wakara Village was attacked from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, June 8. Read more »


Stop the violence, end the famine (June 17, 2017)

It now seems undeniable that famines in our global world are directly related to war and violence. A famine is usually the intersection of deep political, racial, or social injustices compounding food insecurity, malnutrition, and drought found in at-risk communities. If we mix in war and uncontained violence, humanitarian response actors can’t respond and the crisis is elevated to a famine. Read more »


Brethren bits for June 17, 2017 (June 17, 2017)

In this issue: Job openings, church anniversaries, news from districts, new Springs Academy for laity, opposition to proposed federal budget cuts, a new Brethren hymn for Father’s Day, Chibok schoolgirls graduate from high school in the United States, and more. Read more »


Newsline for June 17, 2017 (June 17, 2017)

NEWS 1) Stop the violence, end the famine 2) The denomination’s spiritual directors hold annual retreat 3) Brethren join Heifer for earthquake reconstruction in Nepal 4) Global Mission worker carries out ministry of presence in Vietnam 5) EYN loses five church members in Boko Haram attack 6) Brethren bits Read more »


The denomination’s spiritual directors hold annual retreat (June 17, 2017)

Each May, spiritual directors from throughout the Church of the Brethren meet for an annual retreat and continuing education. Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministry and Retreat Center in Sharpsburg, Md., provides a beautiful and quiet setting for this event, which includes opportunities for worship, prayer, silence, creative expression, peer supervision, and keynote presentations. Read more »


Brethren join Heifer for earthquake reconstruction in Nepal (June 16, 2017)

Fourteen young adults from various Church of the Brethren districts traveled to Nepal to assist in post-earthquake recovery in Dhading District, east of Kathmandu. Assisted by Heifer International staff in Nepal, the young adult workcamp worked at two school sites in the mountain community of Kebalpur, which was not far from the epic center of the April 2015 earthquake that killed over 9,000 people. The workcamp group was led by Church of the Brethren staff members Emily Tyler and Jay Wittmeyer. Read more »


Global Mission worker carries out ministry of presence in Vietnam (June 16, 2017)

The life of this program volunteer: a ministry of presence means being with a family when they find out, “Indeed, your infant is blind.” Read more »


Next Church Planting Conference is set for May 2018 (June 8, 2017)

Christiana Rice will be a keynote speaker and presenter at the Church Planting Conference hosted at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., on May 16-19, 2018. The conference is sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Congregational Life Ministries. Read more »


Gerald Karn and Ron Anders end their service with the Church of the Brethren (June 8, 2017)

With the sale of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., June 2 marked the end of service for the following two employees: Read more »


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

In this issue: Personnel, job opening, sale of Brethren Service Center upper campus completed, disaster volunteers sought for DRSI response in Illinois, ecumenical letter urges end to Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territories, EYN disaster response staff ask for prayer for Maiduguri, junior highs gather at Elizabethtown College, and more. Read more »


‘Women of the Hebrew Bible’ is among new resources from Brethren Press (June 8, 2017)

New resources from Brethren Press include “Women of the Hebrew Bible” by Paula Bowser, the latest in the Covenant Bible Studies series. Also available this summer is curriculum for adults from A Guide for Biblical Studies, and a new summer quarter from the Shine curriculum for children jointly published by Brethren Press and MennoMedia. Read more »


Newsline for June 8, 2017 (June 8, 2017)

NEWS 1) Young Adult Conference calls the church to focus on love 2) MSS interns to serve at congregations, camps, Office of Public Witness PERSONNEL 3) Gerald Karn and Ron Anders end their service with the Church of the Brethren UPCOMING EVENTS 4) Next Church Planting Conference is set for May 2018 RESOURCES 5) ‘Women of the Hebrew Bible’ is among new resources from Brethren Press 6) Brethren bits Read more »


MSS interns to serve at congregations, camps, Office of Public Witness (June 8, 2017)

Ministry Summer Service orientation began June 2, when the six interns to serve in MSS this summer arrived at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Their mentors arrived Monday, June 5, and the orientation ended Wednesday. Read more »


Young Adult Conference calls the church to focus on love (June 8, 2017)

What a joy it was to take part in the 2017 Young Adult Conference over Memorial Day weekend. Dozens of young adults (ages 18-35) gathered together at Camp Harmony in Western Pennsylvania District for a weekend of reflection, fun, and worship. Read more »


Vigil against hate draws hundreds in Ambler (June 3, 2017)

More than 300 members of the greater Ambler, Pa., community packed the Church of the Brethren, where the resonating message by religious and civic leaders was “there is no place for hate in our community.” The May 25 candlelight vigil was a reaction to Ku Klux Klan literature left in the driveways of Maple Glen homes and “KKK” and four-letter words found spray-painted along the Power Line Trail in Horsham 10 days before. Read more »


Most of the Chibok girls released in May were prayed for by Church of the Brethren congregations (June 3, 2017)

Sixty of the Chibok girls who were released in a prisoner swap in early May were among those who have been held in prayer by Church of the Brethren congregations since 2014. Each of those congregations has received a letter from the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Brethren bits for June 3, 2017 (June 3, 2017)

In this issue: Personnel notes, job openings, Listening Sessions in Northern Ohio District, Ministry Summer Service orientation begins, Children’s Disaster Services wraps up in Missouri, prayer requested for workcamp in Nepal, webinar organized by the Christian Peace Circle, Deacon Workshop presented at Chambersburg Church, “A Biblical Basis for Befriending Foreigners” offered at Bethany Seminary, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Two ‘Crucible Webinars’ are offered this summer (June 3, 2017)

Congregational Life Ministries is partnering with organizations in the United Kingdom to present “Crucible Webinars” in June and July, on the topics “The Virtual Self” and “The Art of Resilience: Nurturing Practices for Flourishing.” Sponsors include the Church of the Brethren Congregational Life Ministries, Anabaptist Network UK, Bristol Baptist College, Mennonite Trust, and Urban Expression UK. Read more »


Newsline for June 3, 2017 (June 3, 2017)

NEWS 1) Most of the Chibok girls released in May were prayed for by Church of the Brethren congregations 2) Nigeria Crisis Response shares updates on its relief work 3) Bethany Seminary and EYN form educational partnership 4) EYN general secretary is first to receive doctorate from Bossey Ecumenical Institute 5) Vigil against hate draws hundreds in Ambler UPCOMING EVENTS 6) Two ‘Crucible Webinars’ are offered this summer REFLECTIONS 7) Moderator’s Bible study for June focuses on the ‘chosen of God’ 8) Remember when: Church of the Brethren statements on care for Creation 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Nigeria Crisis Response shares updates on its relief work (June 3, 2017)

Nigeria Crisis Response coordinator Roxane Hill has shared updates on the relief work ongoing in northeast Nigeria. The Nigeria Crisis Response is a joint effort of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria and the Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries of the Church of the Brethren, working with several partner organizations in Nigeria. (Learn more at www.brethren.org/nigeriacrisis .) Read more »


Remember when: Church of the Brethren statements on care for Creation (June 2, 2017)

As early as 1991, the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference adopted a statement titled “Creation: Called to Care." “Why should Christians care about the environment?” the statement reads, in part. “Simply because we learn in Genesis that God has promised to fulfill all of creation, not just humanity, and has made humans the stewards of it. ..." Read more »


EYN president warns pastors of bowing to material things, at KBC graduation (May 22, 2017)

Joel S. Billi, president of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), warned pastors of bowing to material things and called them to be different in society, at the 52nd graduation ceremony of EYN’s Kulp Bible College in Kwarhi. The president, who expressed his joy in this occasion at EYN’s highest theological institution, was represented by vice-president Anthony A. Ndamsai. Read more »


Districts announce new leadership (May 22, 2017)

Three districts in the Church of the Brethren have announced new leadership. David Banaszak has been hired to lead Middle Pennsylvania. Kris Hawk will be the new district executive minister for Northern Ohio. Tabitha H. Rudy is interim associate district executive for Virlina. Read more »


Brethren Benefit Trust adopts 2017 Department of Defense investment screens (May 22, 2017)

The Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) board has adopted 2017 Department of Defense screens for investments. Each year as part of its Brethren values investing initiatives, BBT’s Board of Directors approves investment screens by adopting two Department of Defense lists comprised of companies that earn significant revenue from US military operations. Read more »


Newsline for May 22, 2017 (May 22, 2017)

NEWS 1) EDF grants go to Kenya drought, flood responses in Missouri and W. Virginia 2) GFI grants go to China, Africa Great Lakes region, the DR, community gardens, nutrition program in DC 3) Christian groups begin global prayer and fasting ‘For Such a Time’ 4) Millions join hearts and minds to pray for end to famine 5) Prayer requested for the millions of people facing famine 6) Brethren Benefit Trust adopts 2017 Department of Defense investment screens 7) EYN president warns pastors of bowing to material things, at KBC graduation ANNUAL CONFERENCE 8) Annual Conference 2017 offers special programming, opportunities for spiritual enrichment, continuing education PERSONNEL 9) Districts announce new leadership 10) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for May 22, 2017 (May 22, 2017)

In this issue: Correction, remembering Allen Hansell, personnel notes and job openings, “Another way of living” statements sought for use at Annual Conference, August workcamp in Nigeria needs more participants, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Annual Conference 2017 offers special programming, opportunities for spiritual enrichment, continuing education (May 22, 2017)

Organizers of the 2017 Annual Conference highlight special programming for this year’s annual meeting of the Church of the Brethren, taking place in Grand Rapids, Mich., June 28-July 2. In addition to business sessions for delegates, all attendees will have opportunities for spiritual enrichment, continuing education, fellowship, and family oriented activities. Read more »


EDF grants go to Kenya drought, flood responses in Missouri and W. Virginia (May 22, 2017)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed its most recent allocation from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support Church World Service (CWS) response to a drought in Kenya. Another recent grant funds the start of a Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding project site in Missouri. Earlier this year, a similar grant funded a limited project in West Virginia. Read more »


GFI grants go to China, Africa Great Lakes region, the DR, community gardens, nutrition program in DC (May 22, 2017)

The most recent grant from the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Initiative will help improve the diets of clients of a hospice in China. Other grants approved in recent months aid agricultural work in the Africa Great Lakes region, the education of leaders among Brethren in the Dominican Republic, and several community gardens in the United States that are connected with Church of the Brethren congregations. An additional domestic allocation supports the Brethren Nutrition Program of Washington (D.C.) City Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Prayer requested for the millions of people facing famine (May 20, 2017)

More people face famine today than at any time in modern history, with 20 million people at risk of starvation and millions more suffering drought and food shortages. In light of this, the All Africa Conference of Churches and the World Council of Churches invite us to take part in a Global Day of Prayer to End Famine on May 21. Read more »


Christian groups begin global prayer and fasting ‘For Such a Time’ (May 20, 2017)

In a concerted effort identifying the need to work on hunger and famine relief, a number of Christian groups in the US and internationally have announced a season of prayer and fasting that began on Sunday, May 21. According to the United Nations and other experts, 20 million people are at risk of starvation in four regions--northeastern Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen--and millions more are suffering from drought and food shortages. Read more »


Sandy Schild retires from Brethren Benefit Trust (May 12, 2017)

Sandy Schild has announced her retirement from Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) as of June 1. She has been BBT’s Finance Project manager and Operations Support. She began as director of Financial Operations on Dec. 14, 2009. Read more »


Newsline for May 12, 2017 (May 12, 2017)

NEWS 1) Bethany Seminary honors new graduates 2) Bethany trustees focus on new Strategic Plan 3) Office of Public Witness signs on to letter opposing deportations of Haitians 4) CCS 2017 studies Native American rights and food security REFLECTION 5) CCS: Sparking a passion for social justice PERSONNEL 6) Two units of Brethren Volunteer Service are placed at project sites 7) Sandy Schild retires from Brethren Benefit Trust RESOURCES 8) Ecumenical Stewardship Center offers resources 9) Brethren bits Read more »


CCS: Sparking a passion for social justice (May 12, 2017)

I’ve found that social media does an amazing job of keeping track of timelines I could never have kept straight for myself. While scrolling through my Facebook feed during a time of leisure at this year’s Christian Citizenship Seminar, I stumbled upon pictures of me and other 2015 CCS participants enjoying the city life in Washington, D.C. and New York. The energy of my companions and the dynamic cities we explored together left me even more excited to learn about the issues surrounding immigration, which was the theme of CCS the year that I attended as a high school junior. Read more »


Brethren bits for May 12, 2017 (May 12, 2017)

Correction, remembering Evie Toppel and Lila McCray, personnel notes, CDS continues work in Missouri, Brethren Press seeks dessert recipes for new cookbook, and more Read more »


Office of Public Witness signs on to letter opposing deportations of Haitians (May 12, 2017)

The Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness has signed on to a letter to the US administration from the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. The letter responds to signals from the administration that a decision may be made not to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nearly 50,000 Haitians living in the United States. Read more »


Ecumenical Stewardship Center offers resources (May 12, 2017)

The 2017 edition of “Giving” magazine titled “Live Generously,” and related materials, are now available from the Ecumenical Stewardship Center. The Church of the Brethren partners with the center in stewardship resources and other initiatives. Read more »


Two units of Brethren Volunteer Service are placed at project sites (May 12, 2017)

In recent months, two units of Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) have been placed at project sites across the United States and in a variety of international settings. The units are listed below by volunteer names and project placements. Read more »


CCS 2017 studies Native American rights and food security (May 12, 2017)

This year’s Christian Citizenship Seminar (CCS) took place from April 22-27. The theme was based on Native American rights and food security. Thirty-eight high school aged youth and their advisers from as far as California to as close as Pennsylvania, and states like Kansas in between, were a part of this year’s CCS. Read more »


EYN confirms release of 82 Chibok schoolgirls in prisoner swap (May 8, 2017)

President Joel S. Billi of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has confirmed news reports of the release of 82 of the Chibok schoolgirls who were abducted by Boko Haram in April 2014. Media are reporting that the girls were released to the Nigerian government by Boko Haram on Saturday, in exchange for five Boko Haram suspects. Read more »


Newsline for May 5, 2017 (May 5, 2017)

NEWS 1) Worship service closes upper campus of the Brethren Service Center 2) Employees end service with the church upon closing of the Brethren Service Center upper campus 3) Wieand Trust gives grants to church plants in Chicago area 4) Messenger magazine receives awards UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Manchester University commencement marks 100th anniversary of Dan West’s graduation REFLECTION 6) May Bible study on the Annual Conference theme: The people of God made new 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Wieand Trust gives grants to church plants in Chicago area (May 5, 2017)

Congregational Life Ministries staff are supporting and overseeing grants from the David J. And Mary Elizabeth Wieand Trust to two church plants in the Chicago area. The Wieand Trust explicitly names Christian work in Chicago as one of three purposes for its grants. Read more »


Brethren bits for May 5, 2017 (May 5, 2017)

In this issue: Personnel notes, Brethren Disaster Ministries responds to Missouri flooding, new tractors for the Nigeria Crisis Response, BVS office hosts its annual Think Tank meeting, upcoming auctions support disaster relief, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Employees end service with the church upon closing of the Brethren Service Center upper campus (May 5, 2017)

With the closing of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., 10 employees of the Church of the Brethren end their work with the denomination. A few more will do so in coming weeks. Read more »


Messenger magazine receives awards (May 4, 2017)

Messenger, the Church of the Brethren magazine, has received two awards from the Associated Church Press. The first is an award of excellence for publisher Wendy McFadden’s online essay “A Playlist of Mercy and Hope.” The second award is an honorable mention for redesign of the Messenger website. Read more »


Worship service closes upper campus of the Brethren Service Center (May 2, 2017)

A worship service on Sunday afternoon, April 30, closed the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Some 125 people gathered on the lawn in front of the Old Main building on a warm, sunny afternoon to remember and celebrate the ministries that have taken place at the campus. Read more »


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 »


‘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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


Large sum released from Emergency Disaster Fund continues Nigeria Crisis Response  (March 26, 2017)

The Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board has approved the release of $500,000 from the Emergency Disaster Fund to support Nigeria Crisis Response programing. The Nigeria Crisis Response is a joint effort of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria with the Church of the Brethren's Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries. Read more »


Brethren Bits for March 24, 2017 (March 25, 2017)

News from local congregations, jobs, remembrance: Dora Belle Showalter, Venezuela baptisms, Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) volunteers in Missouri, book donations needed, Gaza live stream, Nigeria workcamp reflections, Hillcrest School anniversary, Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation training, "Explore Your Call" for high school students., Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies banquet, Global Women’s Project steering committee meeting, Christian Peacemaker Teams, IMA health report on South Sudan, Happy birthday to Pearl Beard Read more »


Filipenses puede guiar a la iglesia en relación con personas indocumentadas (March 25, 2017)

Filipenses es un buen recurso para la iglesia para consultar, ya que reflexiona sobre cómo responder a los indocumentados que viven en nuestro país. El escritor primario de la carta, el apóstol Pablo, no era muy diferente de muchos Mexico-Americanos de hoy. Era un ciudadano, pero muchos de su pueblo no lo eran. Read more »


Shamek Cardona hired as Church of the Brethren manager of Human Resources (March 25, 2017)

Shamek Cardona of Hanover Park, Ill., has begun work as manager of human resources for the Church of the Brethren, working at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Read more »


Newsline for March 25, 2017 (March 25, 2017)

NEWS 1) Large sum released from Emergency Disaster Fund continues Nigeria Crisis Response PERSONNEL 2) Michigan District executive Nate Polzin resigns 3) Program assistants resign from Brethren Disaster Ministries 4) Shamek Cardona hired as Church of the Brethren manager of Human Resources UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Closing service to be held for upper campus of Brethren Service Center 6) Continuing education events for ministers address Leviticus, elder care challenges 7) Ventures courses are offered on Chronicles and faith formation 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Philippians may guide the church in relating with undocumented people  (March 24, 2017)

Philippians is a good resource for the church to consult as it ponders how to respond to undocumented people living in our country. Read more »


Closing service to be held for upper campus of Brethren Service Center (March 24, 2017)

A worship service is planned as a closing event for the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., on April 30. Sale of the upper campus is expected to be completed in early May. Read more »


Continuing education events for ministers address Leviticus, elder care challenges (March 24, 2017)

The Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center (SVMC) will offer two continuing education events this spring: “Ten-Plus Reasons to Love Leviticus” at Elizabethtown College, and “Cultivating Conversations...Navigating Elder Care Challenges” at Cross Keys Village in New Oxford, Pa. Read more »


Ventures courses are offered on Chronicles and faith formation (March 24, 2017)

McPherson (Kan.) College’s online Ventures program is offering upcoming courses on the book of Chronicles and faith formation. Read more »


Michigan District executive Nate Polzin resigns (March 23, 2017)

The Michigan District Leadership Team has received a letter of resignation from Nate Polzin, district executive, effective July 7. Read more »


Program assistants resign from Brethren Disaster Ministries (March 23, 2017)

Robin DeYoung has resigned from the Brethren Disaster Ministries Rebuild program and Kristen Hoffman from Children’s Disaster Services. Read more »


Brethren bits for March 18, 2017 (March 18, 2017)

Job openings, personnel, new dates for Nigeria workcamp, next webinars on “Mental Health” and “What Have the Children Done for Us?” new Brethren Disaster Ministries video, remembrance and celebration weekend at Brethren Service Center, annual assembly of the Brazilian Brethren, Office of Public Witness blogpost on indigenous opposition to pipeline, and more news by, for, and about Brethren Read more »


Newsline for March 18, 2017 (March 18, 2017)

NEWS 1) Mission and Ministry Board approves new areas of global mission 2) CCT issues call to prayer for Congress in upcoming decisions affecting those in poverty 3) Christian Churches Together holds forum on ‘the persecuted church’ 4) Haiti Medical Project has a new focus on pure water for Haiti UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Jubilee afternoon will be a breath of rejuvenation for Annual Conference 6) National Youth Conference 2018 theme is announced FEATURE 7) Please help them: Reflection of a Latino Brethren 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Christian Churches Together holds forum on ‘the persecuted church’ (March 17, 2017)

More than 40 leaders from Christian Churches Together (CCT) joined a forum in Newark, N.J., on March 2-3 to discuss the ongoing persecution of Christians around the globe. I was invited to speak on behalf of the Church of the Brethren regarding the impact of Boko Haram on the Christian community in Nigeria. Read more »


CCT issues call to prayer for Congress in upcoming decisions affecting those in poverty (March 17, 2017)

Citing scripture reminding of God’s concern for the poor, Christian Churches Together (CCT) has issued a call to prayer for the US Congress, noting that “during the last three weeks of March, the US Congress will make critical decisions that will affect the lives of millions of our brothers and sisters living in poverty. The right decisions could alleviate and pull people out of poverty; the wrong decisions will increase poverty and put the lives of hundreds of thousands at risk.” CCT is an ecumenical organization made up of five “families” of Christian denominations across the country. The Church of the Brethren is a member denomination. The full text of the document follows: Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board approves new areas of global mission (March 17, 2017)

Fledgling Church of the Brethren mission projects in two areas of the world--Venezuela and the Great Lakes region of Africa--have been formally approved by the denomination’s Mission and Ministry Board, at its March 3-8 meeting. Read more »


Jubilee afternoon will be a breath of rejuvenation for Annual Conference (March 17, 2017)

For a second year in a row the 2017 Annual Conference schedule will include a Jubilee break from business on Friday afternoon. To understand how Jubilee came to be a part of Annual Conference, it is helpful to look at its origins in scripture. Read more »


Haiti Medical Project has a new focus on pure water for Haiti (March 17, 2017)

For the past 18 months, the Church of the Brethren has been addressing the need for pure drinking water in our related communities in Haiti through the work of the Haiti Medical Project in cooperation with l’Eglise des Freres Haitiens (Church of the Brethren in Haiti). The mobile medical clinics offered since late 2011 treat many children and adults suffering from dysentery and other serious infectious diseases that often result from untreated water. Read more »


National Youth Conference 2018 theme is announced (March 17, 2017)

Participants in National Youth Conference (NYC) 2018 will focus on the theme “Bound Together: Clothed in Christ.” The scriptural theme is from Colossians 3:12-15: “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.” Read more »


Please help them: Reflection of a Latino Brethren (March 17, 2017)

The result of the presidential election and the politics in regards to immigration issues has impacted America in so many ways. Being a Latino pastor in a country where the Latino population reaches close to 60 million people gives me the opportunity to not only share the gospel in Spanish, but also to be concerned with the issues that affect my community. Read more »


Brethren bits for March 3, 2017 (March 3, 2017)

In this issue: Correction, Brethren affected by Pennsylvania tornado, remembrance for Martin Gauby, personnel notice and job openings, prayer requested for areas affected by famine, EYN grieves death of young minister and victims of Boko Haram, Healthy Boundaries 101 training session is offered in May, On Earth Peace offers racial justice organizing clinic, and more news from congregations, districts, colleges, Fellowship of Brethren Homes, and ecumenical partners. Read more »


More listening sessions with the general secretary are scheduled (March 3, 2017)

Additional listening sessions with David Steele, general secretary of the Church of the Brethren, have been announced. Steele is holding listening sessions in church districts around the denomination. The meetings are a way for him to listen closely to people within the church, and an opportunity for church members to meet the general secretary. Read more »


Disaster Recovery Support Initiative launches (March 3, 2017)

When a natural or technological disaster strikes a community, beginning the process of long-term recovery quickly is essential. Yet, it can be a daunting task for local leaders who may not have experience in disaster recovery and may have suffered damage and loss themselves. Read more »


Newsline for March 3, 2017 (March 3, 2017)

1) Moderator’s Bible study for March asks, ‘Can these bones live?’ 2) Business items coming to the 2017 Annual Conference are now online 3) Disaster Recovery Support Initiative launches UPCOMING EVENTS 4) More listening sessions with the general secretary are scheduled 5) Bridgewater College to present symposium on nonviolence in 21st century 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Intercultural Ministry seeks to connect with churches in ‘sanctuary’ jurisdictions (February 25, 2017)

A letter from the Church of the Brethren Intercultural Ministry, signed by director Gimbiya Kettering, is part of a new effort to connect with congregations located in areas considered to be “sanctuary” jurisdictions across the country. Read more »


Newsline for Feb. 25, 2017 (February 25, 2017)

NEWS 1) Intercultural Ministry seeks to connect with churches in ‘sanctuary’ jurisdictions 2) Nursing scholarships announced for 2016, applications are received for 2017 3) Church of the Brethren members invited to Oregon Senate for key vote UPCOMING EVENTS 4) Big Rapids Song and Story Fest to be in Michigan following Annual Conference REMEMBER WHEN 5) From Gimbiya’s desk: Those who came before me 6) Remembering internment: Days of infamy 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Church of the Brethren members invited to Oregon Senate for key vote (February 25, 2017)

Florence Daté Smith and her daughter Barbara Daté on Feb. 16 were among at least 17 Japanese-Americans invited to sit on the chamber floor of the Oregon State Senate for a vote unanimously approving Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 14. The resolution recognizes the historical significance of Feb. 19, 1942, the date President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed executive order 9066 setting in motion the internment of some 120,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II. Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 25, 2017 (February 25, 2017)

CDS completes work in Oroville, BDM winter newsletter, prayer request for gatherings in DR and Venezuela, Shine spring curriculum, On Earth Peace plans Palestine delegation, Ventures course explores Lent, Holmesville returns to Founders Day tradition, more Read more »


Nursing scholarships announced for 2016, applications are received for 2017 (February 24, 2017)

Six nursing students were named as recipients of Church of the Brethren Nursing Scholarships for 2016. This scholarship, made possible by the Health Education and Research Endowment, is available to members of the Church of the Brethren enrolled in LPN, RN, or nursing graduate programs. Read more »


Values of retirement community cooperative group live on (February 18, 2017)

The Peace Church Risk Retention Group and the Peace Church Health Insurance Program hold two annual meetings, in which the Fellowship of Brethren Homes participates. In a recent meeting of the Peace Church Retention Group, which is served by Phil Leaman as COO and Russ Shaner as executive director, we were reminded of the group’s mission and values statements. Read more »


Brethren Benefit Trust announces staffing changes (February 18, 2017)

Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) has announced staffing changes, including a resignation and a new hire at its offices located at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Eric Thompson has tendered his resignation as director of operations for Information Technology. Jeremiah Thompson has accepted the position of director of BBT’s Insurance Operations. Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 18, 2017 (February 18, 2017)

In this issue: ACT Alliance names new general secretary, job opening, news from congregations and camps, ULV class on leadership and culture gains attention, Bread for the World reports decreases in poverty and hunger among African Americans, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


General secretary continues to hold listening sessions (February 18, 2017)

David Steele, general secretary of the Church of the Brethren, is holding listening sessions in church districts around the denomination. The meetings are a way for him to listen closely to people within the church, and an opportunity for church members to meet the general secretary. Last fall, several listening sessions were held--mostly in conjunction with district conferences. Read more »


Newsline for Feb. 18, 2017 (February 18, 2017)

NEWS 1) Children’s Disaster Services sends team to aid evacuees in northern California 2) Global Food Initiative supports soybean consultation in Africa, community garden in Illinois 3) Nigeria Crisis Response volunteers visit rebuilt church, IDP camp in Maiduguri 4) EYN disaster ministry conducts Hepatitis B screening, aids Bdagu refugees UPCOMING EVENTS 5) General secretary continues to hold listening sessions 6) Global Mission and Service offers more Nigeria workcamps PERSONNEL 7) Brethren Benefit Trust announces staffing changes REFLECTION 8) Values of retirement community cooperative group live on REMEMBER WHEN 9) Resolution on Justice for Japanese-American World War II Internees: An action of the former General Board of the Church of the Brethren 10) Brethren bits Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services sends team to aid evacuees in northern California (February 18, 2017)

A team of eight volunteers with Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) are serving in Oroville, Calif., at the request of the American Red Cross. The team is offering child care for families affected by the evacuation of the area under threat from the emergency at the Oroville Dam. Read more »


EYN disaster ministry conducts Hepatitis B screening, aids Bdagu refugees (February 18, 2017)

Following the EYN president’s statement declaring a state of emergency on health, the Disaster Relief Ministry of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) moved to conduct Hepatitis B screening starting with staff and students of Kulp Bible College in Kwarhi. Read more »


Global Mission and Service offers more Nigeria workcamps (February 18, 2017)

More Nigeria workcamp opportunities have been announced by the Global Mission and Service office of the Church of the Brethren. American Brethren and others who are interested in joining in a workcamp with members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) are invited to consider one of two workcamps to be held in April and August. Read more »


Nigeria Crisis Response volunteers visit rebuilt church, IDP camp in Maiduguri (February 18, 2017)

On Feb. 9, John and I visited the Wulari EYN Maiduguri church of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) in the large northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri. We met the EYN HIV/AIDS Project staff, and met the new pastor Joseph T. Kwaha. The church was rebuilt in 2015 after it was bombed by Boko Haram and totally destroyed in June 2009. We also visited the EYN IDP camp of 8,000 displaced persons located nearby on an old church compound. Read more »


Global Food Initiative supports soybean consultation in Africa, community garden in Illinois (February 18, 2017)

With a grant of $2,500, the Church of the Brethren Global Food Initiative (GFI) is supporting a soybean consultation and exchange visit between Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and Church Aid Inc. in Liberia. Another recent grant of $1,000 supports a community gardening initiative of Rockford (Ill.) Community Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Christianity was on trial: The Smeltzers stand with Japanese-Americans (February 11, 2017)

The following is an excerpt of the late Mary Blocher Smeltzer’s story about how she and her husband, Ralph Smeltzer, aided Japanese-American families who were interned by the US government during World War II. The Smeltzers began teaching at the Manzanar internment camp and then worked to relocate Japanese-American families to Chicago and New York with help from the Church of the Brethren and Bethany Seminary. This story was included in the chapter titled “Japanese-American Resettlement Work” in the book “To Serve the Present Age: The Brethren Service Story,” edited by Donald F. Durnbaugh and published by Brethren Press in 1975: Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 11, 2017 (February 11, 2017)

In this issue: Emma Jean Woodard resigns from Virlina District and other personnel and job announcements, Capstone founder reports from New Orleans after tornado, Ministers’ Association pre-Conference event features Lillian Daniel, mission worker in Vietnam aids children who need eye care, BBT offers webinar on long-term care, and more. Read more »


Chiques members work for the Kingdom in Haiti (February 11, 2017)

Sixteen members of Chiques Church of the Brethren spent a week in Haiti in January. Their primary goal was to work on upgrades to the Brethren guesthouse in Croix des Bouquets. The group served with l’Eglise des Freres Haitiens (Church of the Brethren in Haiti). Read more »


Remember when: The Brethren Service Committee finds its charter (February 4, 2017)

This week’s Newsline "remember when" moment from Brethren history is the decision that created the Brethren Service Committee, the forerunner of the Brethren Service Commission. The BSC went on to become the main implement for the Church of the Brethren’s extensive service activities and witness for peace in Europe and elsewhere following World War II. From the minutes of the 1941 Annual Conference: Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 3, 2017 (February 3, 2017)

Brethren bits for Feb. 3, 2017 Read more »


Nigerian Brethren in Lassa help shelter people displaced by renewed attacks (February 3, 2017)

Following the recent attacks on Bdagu village, Lassa is hosting another hundreds of refugees fleeing the village. Bdagu was attacked last week. Six men and four women were taken away by the Boko Haram, and four people were killed including one old woman burnt in her house. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services serves people affected by tornado in Georgia (February 3, 2017)

A team of volunteers from Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) set up yesterday morning at a MARC (Multi Agency Resource Center) in Albany, Ga. CDS provides child care for families affected by disasters, often offering care for children while parents apply for aid or take care of other necessary tasks in the wake of disasters. Read more »


Brethren Press offers Lenten devotional focused on mercy (February 3, 2017)

“Medicine of Mercy” is the title of the Lenten devotional from Brethren Press. The Lenten devotional is one of two annual devotional booklets published by Brethren Press, along with the Advent devotional. This year’s Lenten devotional is written by Theresa Eshbach. Read more »


A call for prayer in our troubled times (February 3, 2017)

Shenandoah District executive minister John Jantzi invites us to prayer as our country struggles with issues relating to immigration and refugee resettlement. He writes: Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries completes its work in Detroit (February 1, 2017)

FEMA stated that the six-inch rain event of August 2014 in Detroit, Mich., was the major disaster of that year for FEMA. But our US government disaster program did not allocate funds for that disaster, which had its most negative impact on African-American families. Read more »


Global Food Initiative connects with Bittersweet Ministries, Haitian refugees in Mexico (January 31, 2017)

The following is a brief report posted this past weekend from Tijuana, Mexico, by Jeff Boshart, manager of the Global Food Initiative and the Emerging Global Mission Fund for the Church of the Brethren: Read more »


TOGETHER global initiative is launched by United Nations (January 28, 2017)

“TOGETHER is a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life.” Read more »


Donita Keister and J. Roger Schrock top Annual Conference ballot for 2017 (January 28, 2017)

The Conference Office has released the ballot that will be presented to the 2017 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren this summer. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services workshop series will train volunteers (January 28, 2017)

Children's Disaster Services (CDS) is offering a series of workshops for volunteer training. Read more »


National Junior High Conference to call youth to a ‘greater cause’ (January 28, 2017)

National Junior High Conference 2017 will invite youth and their advisors to consider Jonah’s story through the theme “Called for a Greater Cause: Jonah’s Journey.” The conference will be held June 9-11 on the campus of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. Read more »


Brethren bits for January 28, 2017 (January 28, 2017)

Personnel news, jobs, Heifer Ranch workcamp added, CDS update, BLM land sale news, EYN prayer request, updates from congregations and more Read more »


Church of the Brethren general secretary among 2,000 religious leaders signing letter supporting refugee resettlement (January 27, 2017)

General secretary David Steele on behalf of the Church of the Brethren has signed a letter to President Trump and members of Congress expressing support for refugee resettlement. The letter, which has now been signed by more than 2,000 religious leaders from across the country--and is still open to receiving more signatures--is an initiative of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition. Read more »


Deborah Brehm resigns as manager of human resources (January 27, 2017)

Deborah Brehm resigns as manager of human resources Read more »


CWS reports on effects of executive orders on immigration and refugees (January 27, 2017)

Church World Service has issued a release outlining the consequences of the executive order on immigration and asking for help to protect immigrants and asylum seekers. CWS also outlines how President Trump’s executive order on refugees will affect the staffing and financing of Church World Service, as well as the lives of individual refugees. Read more »


Mission executive responds to question on refugees, denomination supports work of CWS (January 26, 2017)

“We are the church, we’ll continue to be the church, and we will welcome refugees in need from all religious backgrounds. This is in keeping with our Christian faith,” said Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission and Service, when contacted by the Huffington Post about the Church of the Brethren position on refugees. Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 20, 2017 (January 20, 2017)

Remembering Terry L. Shumaker, job openings, Church of the Brethren General Offices hosts MLK Day food drive, BVS gets recognition as a service program that “changes the world,” Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, dates for this year’s Meat Canning Project, new peacemaking infographic website from Elizabethtown College, lots of news from congregations, and more. Read more »


Global Mission and Service executive joins delegation to Cuba (January 20, 2017)

Heads of mission for US religious institutions visited Cuba from Jan. 9-13, and met with key religious and political leaders to discuss the relationship between Cuba and the United States and the role the institution church can have in improving that relationship. As executive director of Global Mission and Service, I joined the delegation on behalf of the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Spiritual direction Blooms at Shepherd’s Spring (January 20, 2017)

Since the beginning of operations at Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministry and Retreat Center in Mid-Atlantic District, there has been a focus on hospitality and spirituality. A year ago, it was decided to take this a step further. Several spiritual directors, board members, and staff met to discuss ways we can open the facility to a deeper spiritual awareness. Read more »


Denominational leaders request prayer for upcoming meetings (January 20, 2017)

Partnership in prayer is requested Jan. 22-27 as the Council of District Executives, the Church of the Brethren Leadership Team, and the Inter-Agency Forum hold their annual January meetings. Read more »


Kelsey Murray to serve as National Youth Conference coordinator (January 20, 2017)

Kelsey Murray of Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren will serve as coordinator for the 2018 National Youth Conference (NYC). Murray is a 2014 graduate of Bridgewater (Va.) College, where she studied art with concentrations in ceramics, graphic design, and photography. As NYC coordinator, she will provide vision and leadership for the event, which she will plan with the National Youth Cabinet. Read more »


Young Adult Conference to address ‘Loving Neighbor’ (January 20, 2017)

As disciples of Jesus, we have been working out what those words mean. How do I love God with all of my heart, soul, and mind? Who is my neighbor and how do I love them as I love myself--not just in theory, but in practice? Am I ready to receive, as well as give, in relationship with “my neighbors”? Read more »


Emergency Disaster Fund supports aid for Haitians affected by Hurricane Matthew (January 20, 2017)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed a grant of $50,000 from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support the next phase of response to devastation in Haiti caused by Hurricane Matthew. The storm hit the island on Oct. 4, 2016, as a powerful category 4 hurricane, causing widespread damage and considerable losses, and up to 1,600 deaths. Read more »


Janet L. Ober Lambert to lead Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership (January 17, 2017)

Janet L. Ober Lambert has been hired as director of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, a ministry training partnership of the Church of the Brethren and Bethany Theological Seminary. Read more »


Inspiration 2017 (NOAC) announces leadership (January 14, 2017)

The next National Older Adult Conference, Inspiration 2017, will be held in Lake Junaluska Conference Center, in western North Carolina, from Sept. 4-8. The theme is “Generations” from Psalm 145:4: “One generation shall laud God’s works to another and shall declare God’s mighty acts.” The theme reflects the intergenerational community that gathers at NOAC and the importance of generations engaging each other in meaningful conversations about relationships, leaving a legacy, and faith. Read more »


Ventures course at McPherson College will address Brethren history (January 14, 2017)

Frank Ramirez, Church of the Brethren storyteller, historian, and pastor, will be the presenter for the next Ventures course from 9 a.m. to 12 noon (central time) on Saturday, Jan. 21. His topic will be “The Real Deal in Brethren History: What Really Happened Out There, and What Does It Mean For Today?” Read more »


Violence continues in Nigeria, report Church of the Brethren and EYN staff (January 14, 2017)

Although we have seen Facebook posts and news releases stating that the Nigerian army has defeated the Boko Haram, violence still continues in northeast Nigeria. Most of the ongoing attacks in the Madagali and Gwoza area are not reported anywhere. One big attack, killing or injuring over 100 people in a Madagali market in December, did make the news. Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 14, 2017 (January 14, 2017)

In this issue: Remembering Wayne Geisert, Elsie Hall, Ann Burger, and Marylee Lang, plus personnel announcements and job openings, ordinations in Haiti--including the first woman ordained in Eglise des Freres d’Haiti, plans for Roundtable, and more. Read more »


Faith groups send letter in support of ACA, BBT and Disabilities Ministry express support (January 14, 2017)

The National Council of Churches USA (NCC) has joined with the Conference of National Black Churches, the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative, and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference in issuing a statement in support of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other federal “safety net” programs that may be under threat as the new administration enters office. Two Church of the Brethren ministries--Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) and the Disabilities Ministry that is a part of Congregational Life Ministries--have expressed support for the statement and for the ACA as a means for access to health care for Americans, and for vulnerable populations in particular. Read more »


Nigeria Crisis Response provides overview of work in 2016 (January 14, 2017)

A summary of the Nigeria Crisis Response work carried out in 2016 has been provided to Newsline by coordinator Roxane Hill. The Nigeria Crisis Response is a joint effort of the Church of the Brethren and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). The Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries are both involved in the effort. The following summary covers the year through November and includes tallies of accomplishments in the seven areas of focus. For more about the Nigeria Crisis Response go to www.brethren.org/nigeriacrisis . Read more »


General secretary signs letter to new administration calling for defense of dignity of all people (January 14, 2017)

Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele is one of the American faith leaders who have sign a letter to president-elect Donald Trump calling on the incoming administration to robustly defend the dignity of all people. The letter also was copied to the members of the 115th Congress. Read more »


We rejoice this Advent season': Annual Conference moderator sends Christmas letter (December 17, 2016)

Grace and Peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. We rejoice this Advent season as we celebrate the incarnation--God’s astounding act of love to become human, live among us, and lead us out from our darkness. “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec. 16, 2016 (December 16, 2016)

Personnel news, Annual Conference moderator-elect receives City of Rockford award, “Night Circle” of Crest Manor Church makes and shares Christmas stockings, people of goodwill in Lancaster County--including Brethren and Mennonites--get a “shout out” from local media. Read more »


Trip to Nigeria connects with peacebuilding efforts, food crisis needs (December 16, 2016)

Jennifer Hosler and I recently traveled to Nigeria to consult, connect with, and support the development and peacebuilding work of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Jennifer traveled to Nigeria in her role as a member of the advisory committee of the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Initiative. In this role, she met with EYN leaders and members who had traveled to Ghana in September 2016, together with Jeff Boshart (Global Food Initiative director) to learn about soybean projects. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 16, 2016 (December 16, 2016)

1) ‘We rejoice this Advent season’: Annual Conference moderator sends Christmas letter 2) CDS continues Healing Hearts training in Nigeria 3) Trip to Nigeria connects with peacebuilding efforts, food crisis needs 4) Brethren bits Read more »


CDS continues Healing Hearts training in Nigeria (December 16, 2016)

We are so grateful that John Kinsel was able to return to Nigeria earlier this month and provide additional Healing Hearts training, trauma healing for children, and follow-up on behalf of Children’s Disaster Services (CDS). He was again hosted by Suzan Mark, director of EYN (Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) Women’s Ministry. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 10, 2016 (December 11, 2016)

NEWS 1) Creation Care Study Committee invites responses to survey 2) World Council of Churches issues statement on climate justice 3) Bethany is among 'Seminaries That Change the World' 4) Multicultural tour to the Holy Land is a success PERSONNEL 5) National Youth Cabinet is named for 2017-18 6) Bethany Seminary fills positions in admissions and student services RESOURCES 7) ‘Art for Nigeria’: Nigeria has given me much, I hope to give some back 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec. 10, 2016 (December 11, 2016)

In this issue: Correction, Clergy Tax Seminar, congregations support their Muslim neighbors, “Practical Peacemaking Tips” from N. Ohio District, special Christmas events, ecumenical Christian leader detained and deported from Israel, and more Read more »


Creation Care Study Committee invites responses to survey (December 10, 2016)

The Creation Care Study Committee was created at the 2016 Annual Conference in response to a query that challenges us to respond more fully to two resolutions on climate change (1991 and 2001). Our charge is to catalyze action, particularly in relation to transitioning to renewable energy and reducing fossil fuel* usage (www.brethren.org/news/2016/creation-care-study-committee.html . Read more »


Multicultural tour to the Holy Land is a success (December 10, 2016)

Nineteen people enjoyed the opportunity to visit Israel while having fellowship, sharing meaningful scripture readings on biblical sites, and bringing scripture alive in their souls and minds. The trip was organized by the Renacer Hispanic Ministry under the leadership of Stafford Frederick and Daniel D’Oleo as a fundraising event to support the vision and ministry of the Renacer Hispanic Ministry. Read more »


National Youth Cabinet is named for 2017-18 (December 10, 2016)

The Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Ministry has named a 2017-18 National Youth Cabinet. Members of the group are: Read more »


‘Art for Nigeria’: Nigeria has given me much, I hope to give some back (December 10, 2016)

On the night of April 14 and early morning of April 15 in 2014, militants of the terror group Boko Haram attacked the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok. The militants quickly overwhelmed the small paramilitary contingent based in Chibok and abducted around 276 high school-age girl students, most of whom were members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec. 3, 2016 (December 3, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering Ferne Baldwin and Barbara McFadden, On Earth Peace internship opportunities, update of the Manual of Organization and Polity, Healthy Boundaries 101 webcast, registration opens for Christian Citizenship Seminar 2017, distributions of food in Haiti, and much more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 3, 2016 (December 3, 2016)

NEWS 1) Annual Conference moderator shares Bible study for December 2) EDF grants are directed to aid refugees from Syria, Burundi 3) Global Food Initiative supports agricultural work in Haiti, garden projects in US 4) Brethren complete Nigeria workcamp 5) Interfaith vigil at University of La Verne responds to hate letter RESOURCES 6) Brethren Press carries new study resources for Advent, Winter quarter 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Interfaith vigil at University of La Verne responds to hate letter (December 3, 2016)

An interfaith vigil held at the University of La Verne (ULV), a Church of the Brethren-related school in southern California, in collaboration with the Inland Valley Interfaith Network. The vigil was held after an anonymous threatening letter was received at the Islamic Center of Claremont, Calif., one of several such hate letters that have been sent to mosques and Islamic centers. Read more »


Brethren complete Nigeria workcamp (December 2, 2016)

With blue and yellow t-shirts marking the occasion, a group of Brethren from the United States joined Nigerian counterparts in a workcamp with the motto, “Come Let Us Rebuild.” The workcamp was sponsored by the Brethren Evangelical Support Trust (BEST) and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Nine American Brethren led by Global Mission and Service executive director Jay Wittmeyer traveled to Nigeria for a two-week church construction project from Nov. 7-18. Read more »


Brethren Press carries new study resources for Advent, Winter quarter  (December 2, 2016)

Several new study resources for the Advent season and the Winter curriculum quarter are now available from Brethren Press. The new resources include “Unwrapping the Gift of Advent” in the Vital Ministry Journey study series; the Winter quarter of the Shine curriculum exploring the life and ministry of Jesus as told in the Gospel of Matthew; a new Believers Church Bible Commentary on Philippians. Read more »


Global Food Initiative supports agricultural work in Haiti, garden projects in US  (December 2, 2016)

The Global Food Initiative of the Church of the Brethren is giving grants to support agricultural work in Haiti and garden projects in the United States. Other grants will help carry out program evaluations in a number of African nations. Read more »


EDF grants are directed to aid refugees from Syria, Burundi (December 2, 2016)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to aid Syrian and other refugees sheltering in Lebanon, and refugees from Burundi who have fled to Tanzania. Read more »


Newsline for Nov. 18, 2016 (November 18, 2016)

NEWS 1) Christ the King Sunday letter calls the denomination to renewed discipleship 2) Leadership Team and CODE leaders express thanks for prayer support 3) Workcamp constructs church for displaced Nigerians 4) Office of Public Witness sponsors congressional briefing on Nigeria 5) EYN president urges churches to be strong in faith with endurance 6) On Earth Peace board holds fall meeting UPCOMING EVENTS 7) Webinars to focus on urban and church planting ministries RESOURCES 8) ‘The Disturbances’ tells of Christians saving lives during 1966 genocide in Nigeria 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Workcamp constructs church for displaced Nigerians (November 18, 2016)

The first of a series of workcamps to rebuild churches has been taking place in Nigeria. The series is connected with the Nigeria Crisis Response, a joint effort of the Church of the Brethren and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). At this workcamp, a group of nine Brethren from several different congregations have helped construct a church for displaced Nigerians. Read more »


Upcoming webinars to focus on urban and church planting ministries (November 17, 2016)

The next two webinars offered through the Church of the Brethren Congregational Life Ministries are based on the Crucibles Course offered by the Anabaptist Network, UK. The webinars will focus on urban and church planting-based ministries. Read more »


EYN president urges churches to be strong in faith with endurance (November 17, 2016)

Joel S. Billi, president of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), is calling on members to be strong with endurance in times of hardship. He said this in a sermon during the granting of church autonomy to the Lumba congregation on Sunday, Nov. 13. This is the sixth granting of church autonomy by the present EYN administration, and is to a church established from EYN’s LCC (Local Church Council) Mararaba church in the DCC [district of] Hildi. Read more »


‘The Disturbances’ tells of Christians saving lives during 1966 genocide in Nigeria  (November 17, 2016)

“The Disturbances” is a new feature-length documentary film telling the story of how Christian missionaries and Nigerian pastors helped intervene in violence in northern Nigeria in 1966, during a time of tribal genocide that preceded the Biafra War. Among missionaries from several denominations, Church of the Brethren mission workers are featured including Roger Ingold, who was Nigeria field secretary at the time. Children of Brethren mission children also were among those interviewed for the film. Read more »


Office of Public Witness sponsors congressional briefing on Nigeria (November 17, 2016)

This past Tuesday the Office of Public Witness along with members of the Nigeria working group and the Congressional African Staff Association hosted a briefing to discuss the food crisis in northeast Nigeria. Over 40 congressional staffers attended, packing the room. Read more »


Brethren bits for Nov. 17, 2016 (November 17, 2016)

In this issue: Remembrance, personnel and job openings, Canton church okay after gas explosion, SERRV honors retiring staff, the Clergy Tax Seminar 2017, church anniversaries, Brethren receive awards and honors, RNS reports on “spikes in anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic incidents,” United Nations raises alarm about more displacement in Nigeria...and more news by, for, and/or about Brethren. Read more »


Leadership Team and CODE leaders express thanks for prayer support (November 17, 2016)

The Leadership Team of the Church of the Brethren and the executive committee of the Council of District Executives (CODE) met Nov. 1-2 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., and have expressed their gratitude for everyone who prayed with them during that time. The combined leadership experienced God’s presence and guidance and has begun to discern what they believe the Lord wants the church to say in response to the task assigned to them by Annual Conference. Read more »


Christ the King Sunday letter calls the denomination to renewed discipleship (November 16, 2016)

A letter has been written to the Church of the Brethren by Annual Conference moderator Carol Scheppard and general secretary David Steele, calling the church and its members to renewed discipleship to Jesus Christ on Christ the King Sunday, Nov. 20. The Sunday between Thanksgiving and the start of Advent is called “Christ the King” or “Reign of Christ” Sunday in the church calendar and invites Christians to be reminded--before a season of waiting--of whom we await. Read more »


Church of the Brethren signs purchase agreement for ‘upper campus’ of Brethren Service Center  (November 14, 2016)

The Church of the Brethren has signed a purchase agreement with Shanghai Yulun Education Group for the “upper campus” of the Brethren Service Center property in New Windsor, Md. The purchaser intends to establish a private school on the property. The agreement is effective today, Nov. 14, 2016, but it is anticipated that a sale will not be finalized until spring 2017. Read more »


On Earth Peace board holds fall meeting (November 14, 2016)

The On Earth Peace board and staff met together on Oct. 6-8 and were hosted by West Charleston Church of the Brethren near Tipp City, Ohio. On Earth Peace board members Carla Gillespie and co-pastor Irv Heishman hosted the meeting with the expectation that a congregation that welcomes diversity in its midst, with Spanish and English speakers, would be a welcoming place for all members of the On Earth Peace board and especially welcoming to persons of color. Read more »


Newsline for Nov. 5, 2016 (November 5, 2016)

NEWS 1) Grants support disaster rebuilding following flooding in Michigan and S. Carolina PERSONNEL 2) Julie M. Hostetter to retire from leadership of the Brethren Academy 3) Introducing the 2017 Young Adult Steering Committee REFLECTION 4) The Challenge of Abundance: Moderator’s reflection for November 2016 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for Nov. 5, 2016 (November 5, 2016)

In this issue: Personnel announcements and job openings, BBT insurance services, district conferences, special services of communion and love feast on Election Day. Read more »


Introducing the 2017 Young Adult Steering Committee (November 5, 2016)

The Young Adult Steering Committee met in September to discuss and plan the upcoming 2017 Young Adult Conference. The committee includes: Rudy Amaya (Pasadena, Calif.), Jessie Houff (Hurleyville, N.Y.), Amanda McLearn-Montz (Iowa City, Iowa), Renee Neher (Lombard, Ill.), Kyle Remnant (Cincinnati, Ohio), and Mark Pickens (Harrisburg, Pa.). Read more »


Grants support disaster rebuilding following flooding in Michigan and S. Carolina (November 3, 2016)

Grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund support rebuilding projects in South Carolina and Detroit, as well as disaster relief work in South Sudan. Read more »


Julie M. Hostetter to retire from leadership of the Brethren Academy (October 31, 2016)

Julie Mader Hostetter, executive director of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, has announced her retirement effective Jan. 31, 2017. She has served in this role since 2008. The Brethren Academy is a partnership of the Church of the Brethren and Bethany Theological Seminary. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services team begins work in N. Carolina, Material Resources ships to hurricane-affected areas (October 29, 2016)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) is responding in North Carolina following Hurricane Matthew. Areas of the state suffered severe flooding caused by the hurricane that hit the east coast of the United States after sweeping over Haiti and other areas of the Caribbean. A CDS team of volunteers traveled to Fayetteville, N.C., on Tuesday to begin serving children and families affected by the flooding. Read more »


Healthy Boundaries 101 training to be offered via webcast in January (October 29, 2016)

Healthy Boundaries 101 training to be offered via webcast in January Read more »


Christian Citizenship Seminar 2017 will focus on Native American rights and food security (October 29, 2016)

Christian Citizenship Seminar (CCS) will happen on April 22-27, 2017. The theme will be “Native American Rights and Food Security,” related to the scripture from Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 29, 2016 (October 29, 2016)

In this issue: BBT announces new insurance offering for Open Enrollment Month, Mark Pickens has begun as a field associate for Anabaptist Disabilities Network, Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele will be holding a listening session in Shenandoah District, Nate Hosler speaks at United States Institute of Peace event for governors from states in northern Nigeria, World Council of Churches offers a “Webinar on Ending Statelessness,” and more new by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 29, 2016 (October 29, 2016)

NEWS 1) Children’s Disaster Services team begins work in N. Carolina, Material Resources ships to hurricane-affected areas 2) Historic cloth map receives Virginia honor, reveals part of the Brethren mission legacy 3) WCC general secretary: What have we learned from the Reformation? UPCOMING EVENTS 4) Healthy Boundaries 101 training to be offered via webcast in January 5) Christian Citizenship Seminar 2017 will focus on Native American rights and food security REFLECTION 6) An island of civility and compassion in a sea of hostility 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Historic cloth map receives Virginia honor, reveals part of the Brethren mission legacy (October 29, 2016)

A unique cloth map that was created with the help of Helen Angeny, a Church of the Brethren mission worker in China, has been honored as one of the top 10 artifacts to be saved by a Virginia museum association. Angeny’s daughter Phyllis Hochstetler has shared the news of this honor with Newsline. Read more »


UN Working Group on People of African Descent presents findings (October 19, 2016)

The Working Group of Experts on the People of African Descent was established in 2002 following the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance. Their mandate was renewed by the Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Council in various resolutions during the subsequent years leading up to their 2016 findings which were put forward at the Sept. 26 meeting of the council. Read more »


Budget for 2017, grants for hurricane relief, discussion of state of the church on the agenda of Mission and Ministry Board (October 19, 2016)

Financial reports and a budget proposal for 2017, grants for disaster relief following Hurricane Matthew, along with discussion of the state of the church and root causes of current tensions were all on the agenda of the fall meeting of the Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 19, 2016 (October 19, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering Galen and Doris Beery, personnel notes, Workcamp Ministry announcement, Christian women’s letter, Musa Mambula receives award, webinar on Syria, Harrisburg First celebrates anniversary, Miami congregation collects for Haiti, the Gathering, Election Day Love Feast at Brethren Woods, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Partnership in prayer is requested throughout the church (October 19, 2016)

Partnership in prayer throughout the church is requested as the Leadership Team of the Church of the Brethren and the executive committee of the Council of District Executives meet Nov. 1-2 to work on the task assigned from this past summer’s Annual Conference. The delegate body referred the concerns of the “Query: Same Sex Weddings” to the Leadership Team in consultation with the Council of District Executives “to bring clarity and guidance concerning the authority of Annual Conference and districts regarding the accountability of ministers, congregations, and districts, bringing recommendations to the 2017 Annual Conference.” Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 19, 2016 (October 19, 2016)

NEWS 1) Partnership in prayer is requested throughout the church 2) Budget for 2017, grants for hurricane relief, discussion of state of the church on the agenda of Mission and Ministry Board 3) UN Working Group on People of African Descent presents findings 4) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 13, 2016 (October 13, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering Parker Marden, National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund seeks volunteers, Lick Creek ice cream social benefits Habitat, Western Pennsylvania to hold its 150th annual district conference, World Hunger Auction distributions, Bridgewater College students give up meals for CROP, “Seek Peace and Pursue It” exhibit at Bridgewater, and more. Read more »


Global Food Initiative supports medical training for Brethren in DR, cultural/garden exchanges (October 13, 2016)

The Global Food Initiative (formerly the Global Food Crisis Fund) issued a grant of $660 for representatives of Iglesia de los Hermanos (the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic) to travel to Santiago, DR, for a week of training with Medical Ambassadors International. Other recent grants support cultural/garden exchanges partnering indigenous communities in Lybrook, N.M., and Circle, Alaska. Read more »


‘Vision for new hope’ is theme of Advent Offering for Church of the Brethren ministries (October 13, 2016)

The annual Advent Offering for Church of the Brethren ministries is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 4, the second Sunday of Advent. The theme, “Vision for New Hope,” is inspired by Isaiah 11:1-10 from the lectionary. Read more »


National Junior High Sunday calls youth to ‘Grow in Wisdom’ (October 13, 2016)

The theme for the 2016 National Junior High Sunday in the Church of the Brethren is “Grow in Wisdom” with a scripture theme from 1 Timothy 4:12-15. The suggested date for the annual observance is Sunday, Nov. 6. Find worship resources, logos, and more free downloads at www.brethren.org/yya/jr-high-resources.html . Read more »


Group of Chibok schoolgirls are released from captivity (October 13, 2016)

The Nigerian government says 21 of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in April 2014 have been freed in negotiations with the insurgents, according to reports from media outlets today including the Associated Press and ABC News. The negotiations were carried out with help from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss government. Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 13, 2016 (October 13, 2016)

NEWS 1) Group of Chibok schoolgirls are released from captivity 2) Disaster ministries, mission staff assess hurricane damage, begin planning for response 3) Global Food Initiative supports medical training for Brethren in DR, cultural/garden exchanges UPCOMING EVENTS 4) National Junior High Sunday calls youth to ‘Grow in Wisdom’ 5) ‘Vision for new hope’ is theme of Advent Offering for Church of the Brethren ministries 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Hurricane Matthew updates (October 8, 2016)

As Hurricane Matthew batters Florida today, Brethren Disaster Ministries continues to monitor the situation and is working to determine response plans in the Caribbean and on the east coast. Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has put volunteers on alert. Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 7, 2016 (October 8, 2016)

NEWS 1) ‘Risk hope’ is a recurring chorus: Annual Conference moderator shares monthly reflection 2) Hurricane Matthew update: Mission staff to assess damage in Haiti, BDM monitors Florida 3) Disability ombudsman serves at the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference 4) Atlantic Southeast holds 10th Annual Family Peace Camp 5) Christian, Muslim leaders agree to stand against religious extremism UPCOMING EVENTS 6) October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month 7) Bridgewater College to hold symposium on ‘Anabaptist Nonresistance in Age of Terror’ 8) Brethren bits Read more »


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October 7, 2016)

Throughout October, congregations are encouraged to raise awareness about the serious problem of domestic violence. Activities may include providing members with information through a bulletin insert (available at www.brethren.org/family/domestic-violence.html ); creating a bulletin board with facts about domestic violence; publicizing the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (7233) and 800-787-3224 (TDD); hosting a speaker from a local domestic violence shelter or the YWCA; and remembering in prayer people who have been affected by domestic violence. Read more »


Atlantic Southeast holds 10th Annual Family Peace Camp (October 7, 2016)

Atlantic Southeast District held its 10th Labor Day Weekend Family Peace Camp at Camp Ithiel, Fla., on Sept. 2-4. The theme for the camp was “Pathways to Inner Peace.” The resource leaders were pastor Belita and Don Mitchell from Harrisburg, Pa. Belita Mitchell, a former Annual Conference moderator, provided the focus for the five sessions, while Don Mitchell provided meaningful and stirring music. Read more »


Bridgewater College to hold symposium on ‘Anabaptist Nonresistance in Age of Terror’ (October 7, 2016)

Bridgewater (Va.) College’s Forum for Brethren Studies and the Kline-Bowman Institute for Creative Peace-building will host a 2017 symposium, “Anabaptist Non-Resistance in the Age of Terror.” Read more »


Brethren bits for Oct. 7, 2016 (October 7, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering Stewart Kauffman, job openings, Nigeria Crisis Response continues to collect books for Nigeria, BBT open enrollment for insurance services, Children’s Sabbath resources, church anniversaries, district conferences, Bread for the World comments on statements released by presidential candidates about hunger and poverty, CPT team visits Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, Friends with the Weather, and more. Read more »


Got inspiration? (October 1, 2016)

The 14th NOAC is being billed as “Inspiration 2017” with the theme “Generations” (Psalm 145:4). Dates are Sept. 4-8, 2017, at Lake Junaluska (N.C.) Conference and Retreat Center. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services completes its service in Baton Rouge (September 30, 2016)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has completed six weeks of volunteer work caring for children and families affected by severe flooding in Louisiana. The 29 CDS volunteers who took part set up childcare centers in multiple locations in Baton Rouge, including shelters, and worked with two partner organizations--FEMA and the American Red Cross. Read more »


Newsline for Sept. 30, 2016 (September 30, 2016)

NEWS 1) Children’s Disaster Services completes its service in Baton Rouge 2) Northeast Nigeria experiencing food crisis, Brethren response team continues food distributions 3) Brethren bits Read more »


Northeast Nigeria experiencing food crisis, Brethren response team continues food distributions (September 30, 2016)

UNICEF and other groups are warning of a serious and worsening humanitarian crisis in areas of northeast Nigeria where food and other assistance is not reaching people in need, in particular young children. The Associated Press has published an interview with UNICEF nutrition chief for Nigeria, Arjan de Wagt, who spoke of the likelihood of thousands of deaths of children to famine and associated diseases. Read more »


Brethren bits for Sept. 30, 2016 (September 30, 2016)

In this issue: Personnel notices, job openings, next listening session with the general secretary, prayers needed for South Sudan, invitation to a webinar from a conference on justice and peace held in Rome, last day for “early bird” orders for new books from Brethren Press, church anniversaries, news of a gift from a Haitian congregation to the Nigerian Brethren, and more. Read more »


Newsline for Sept. 23, 2016 (September 23, 2016)

NEWS 1) Celebrating Peace Day as part of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace 2) Religious leaders of many faiths talk peace in Assisi 3) Nigerian Brethren welcome Church of the Brethren executive staff, continue relief efforts 4) Manchester University Intercultural Center will be named for Jean Childs Young UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Workcamp Ministry announces staffing, theme for summer 2017 events 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Workcamp Ministry announces staffing, theme for summer 2017 events (September 23, 2016)

The Workcamp Ministry of the Church of the Brethren has welcomed Shelley Weachter and welcomed back Deanna Beckner as assistant coordinators for the 2017 summer workcamp season. The theme developed by the workcamp team for the 2017 season is “Say Hello,” which is a phrase pulled from 3 John 13-14 in “The Message” version. The theme will focus on communication with God, each other, and the world. Read more »


Brethren bits for Sept. 23, 2016 (September 23, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering Esther Eichelberger, Brethren in Spain celebrate their fourth annual conference, deadline for Brethren Press “early bird” offers, Carlisle Truck Stop Ministry announces new co-chaplains, Renacer holds Hispanic leadership conference, “12 Baskets and a Goat” to be performed three times in October, Virlina District announces more than $45,000 for West Virginia Flood Offering, and more. Read more »


Manchester University Intercultural Center will be named for Jean Childs Young (September 23, 2016)

Manchester University’s future Intercultural Center at College Avenue and East Street [in North Manchester, Ind.] will be named in memory of alumna educator and activist Jean Childs (’54) Young. Read more »


Nigerian Brethren welcome Church of the Brethren executive staff, continue relief efforts (September 23, 2016)

Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has welcomed a visit from Global Mission and Service executive staff Jay Wittmeyer and Roy Winter, who also heads up Brethren Disaster Ministries. The two church staff from the US have been meeting with Nigerian church leaders including EYN president Joel S. Billi and leaders of EYN’s Disaster Relief Ministry, as well as other groups. Read more »


Atlantic Northeast District hosts Christian/Muslim workshop with Musa Mambula (September 16, 2016)

On Oct. 13 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Atlantic Northeast District office in Elizabethtown, Pa., Dr. Musa Mambula will teach about Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). He will speak about EYN in an age of persecution and terrorism, facing the challenges of Boko Haram, and building Christian/Muslim relations. Read more »


Brethren bits for Sept. 16, 2016 (September 16, 2016)

In this issue: Personnel notes and job openings, meeting of Venezuelans interested in becoming Brethren, World Mission Offering is this Sunday, Bethany Seminary’s next Campus Visit Day, On Earth Peace seeks hosts for MoR’s Matthew 18 workshop, church anniversaries, a banner weekend for district conferences, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services sends another team to continue work in Baton Rouge (September 16, 2016)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has sent another team of volunteers to continue caring for children and families who have been affected by the extreme flooding in Louisiana. On Thursday, CDS staff shared via Facebook, “While we thought our team that left yesterday would be our final Baton Rouge team, things changed and we were asked to send in another team. Read more »


Gardening project continues to enrich nutrition for Alaskan communities (September 16, 2016)

This was our tenth summer of traveling to Alaska to encourage, teach, and promote vegetable gardening. Bill went to Circle at the beginning of April, six weeks earlier than the usual mid-May arrival, hoping to make this year the most beneficial and successful yet. Read more »


Newsline for Sept. 16, 2016 (September 16, 2016)

NEWS 1) Ministry adds four new locations, involves 350 participants in summer workcamps 2) Children’s Disaster Services sends another team to continue work in Baton Rouge 3) Alaska gardening project continues to enrich nutrition for communities 4) Nigerian Fellowship Tour visits IDP camps, schools, and other crisis response sites 5) Ecumenical leaders of WCC and NCC issue joint statement on Holy Land PERSONNEL 6) Lamar Gibson hired as development director for On Earth Peace UPCOMING EVENTS 7) Peace Day 2016 is scheduled for Sept. 21, Brethren will be participating 8) Atlantic Northeast District hosts Christian/Muslim workshop with Musa Mambula 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Ministry adds four new locations, involves 350 participants in summer workcamps (September 16, 2016)

Eighteen workcamps blazed with holiness this summer as about 320 workcampers and 30 directors and guest coordinators gathered together to serve in the name of Christ, sharing their time and talents. “Blazing with Holiness” (1 Peter 1:13-16) was the theme for the Church of the Brethren workcamps in 2016. Read more »


Peace Day 2016 is scheduled for Sept. 21, Brethren will be participating (September 16, 2016)

A number of Church of the Brethren congregations, districts, colleges, and other church-related organizations and groups from across the country will be participating in Peace Day 2016 on or around Sept. 21. This year’s theme is “Called to Build Peace.” Read more »


Lamar Gibson hired as development director for On Earth Peace (September 16, 2016)

Lamar Gibson has been hired as development director for On Earth Peace. He has worked for nine years in both private businesses and the nonprofit sector as a fundraiser and as a consultant on business operations and development. His work for On Earth Peace will include engaging existing supporters while also expanding the community to include people “from even more denominations and walks of life,” said an announcement in the agency’s e-mail newsletter. Read more »


Nigerian Fellowship Tour visits IDP camps, schools, other crisis response sites (September 16, 2016)

In August, a group of seven Church of the Brethren members traveled to Nigeria with the goal of building relationships, encouraging, praying with, and physically standing by our brothers and sisters of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Read more »


Huma Rana to become director of Financial Operations for Brethren Benefit Trust (September 10, 2016)

Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) has announced that Huma Rana has accepted the role of director of Financial Operations, effective Sept. 19. She has served as assistant director of Financial Operations since July 21, 2015. Read more »


Entrenamiento en Limites Saludables y en La Ética de Relaciones Ministeriales  (September 10, 2016)

Entrenamiento en Limites Saludables y en La Ética de Relaciones Ministeriales Dirigido por Ramón L. Torres. El sábado, 22 de octubre, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. hora estándar del este (descansado para el almuerzo a las 1-2 p.m.). Read more »


BVS Unit 313 volunteers begin their terms of service (September 10, 2016)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Unit 313 has completed orientation and the 14 volunteers in the unit have begun work at their project sites. The volunteers, their congregations or hometowns, and their project sites follow: Read more »


Brethren bits for Sept. 10, 2016 (September 10, 2016)

In this issue: Corrections, remembering Kaydo Petry and P. David Leatherman, Terry Goodger ends her service as office coordinator in Material Resources, Bethany Seminary welcomes nine new students this fall, a walking team honors Ted Studebaker at Dayton’s Peace Heroes Walk, Linda and Robert Shank return for another semester at PUST, the history of the sinking of the Zam Zam, Bridgewater College enjoys record enrollment, and more. Read more »


Brethren Academy offers ‘Healthy Boundaries 201' training as a Spanish language webcast (September 10, 2016)

The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership will offer a Spanish language version of the Healthy Boundaries 201 training on Oct. 22, as a webcast led by Ramon Torres. This is offered for ministry training students and newly licensed or ordained clergy. Read more »


Newsline for Sept. 10, 2016 (September 10, 2016)

NEWS 1) New connections for Bethany Seminary in Brazil 2) Brethren sponsor capacity-building conference for Batwa from Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo PERSONNEL 3) Huma Rana to become director of Financial Operations for Brethren Benefit Trust 4) BVS Unit 313 volunteers begin their terms of service UPCOMING EVENTS 5) General secretary to hold listening sessions across denomination 6) Brethren Academy offers ‘Healthy Boundaries 201' training as a Spanish language webcast 7) Entrenamiento en Limites Saludables y en La Ética de Relaciones Ministeriales 8) Brethren bits Read more »


General secretary to hold listening sessions across denomination (September 10, 2016)

David Steele, who began Sept. 1 as general secretary of the Church of the Brethren, is planning to hold listening sessions across the denomination over the next several months. He describes the sessions as an opportunity to get acquainted and to share hopes and dreams for the church. Read more »


Brethren sponsor capacity-building conference for Batwa from Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo (September 10, 2016)

Working through a nascent Brethren church in the region, the Church of the Brethren sponsored a capacity-building conference to bring Batwa together from Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The following is excerpted from a report by Dr. David Niyonzima, detailing the conference and some of the learnings gained from the interaction: Read more »


Traci Rabenstein to begin work for Church of the Brethren donor relations (September 2, 2016)

Traci Rabenstein begins Oct. 1 as congregational support representative for Church of the Brethren donor relations. Initially she will work from her home in Enola, Pa. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services sends fifth team to Louisiana, Material Resources ships more aid (September 2, 2016)

A fifth team of volunteers from Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) arrived in Baton Rouge, La., on Thursday, Sept. 1. Four CDS teams already have completed their service there. The CDS volunteers have been caring for children and families who have been displaced by flooding and are living in American Red Cross shelters. Read more »


Preachers are announced for Annual Conference 2017, nominations are sought for the ballot (September 2, 2016)

The preachers have been announced for the Church of the Brethren’s 2017 Annual Conference, which will be held Wednesday, June 28, through Sunday, July 2, in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Conference Office also is accepting nominations for all offices to be elected at next summer’s Annual Conference. Read more »


Brethren bits for Sept. 2, 2016 (September 2, 2016)

In this issue: Personnel announcement, job openings, support for the Nigeria Crisis Response from 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, National Suicide Prevention Week, Cedar Creek Church celebrates 100 years, Inspiration Hills celebrates 50 years, Staunton Church to host “12 Baskets and a Goat,” new contact information for Southeastern District, Powerhouse dates are announced, Young Center presents “China Friends,” and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for Sept. 2, 2016 (September 2, 2016)

NEWS 1) Preachers are announced for Annual Conference 2017, nominations are sought for the ballot 2) Children’s Disaster Services sends fifth team to Louisiana, Material Resources ships more aid 3) Northern Plains District group enjoys Brethren heritage tour PERSONNEL 4) Traci Rabenstein to begin work for Church of the Brethren donor relations 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren couple carry out mission in China focused on hospice care (August 26, 2016)

Ruoxia Li and Eric Miller, Church of the Brethren members who are living in Pinding, China, spoke about their work at the Global Mission and Service Dinner and related insight sessions at Annual Conference this summer. Read more »


New resources from Brethren Press offer aids for worship, Bible study, devotions (August 26, 2016)

Among new resources from Brethren Press are the 2016-17 Living Word Bulletin Series, the Sept.-Nov. 2016 book in the curriculum for adult Bible studies, “A Guide for Biblical Studies,” and this year’s Advent devotional titled “Witnesses to Jesus.” Brethren Press also is taking pre-publication orders for “Speak Peace: A Daily Reader,” which offer a discount for orders placed before Oct. 1. Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 26, 2016 (August 26, 2016)

In this issue: Nigerian lamps are still available, Action Alert to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, United Nations warning of a new multi-nation crisis of hunger related to Boko Haram, a Death Penalty Symposium in memory of Miami pastor Bill Bosler, Manchester University honors two inspirational faculty, and more. Read more »


Peace Day bulletin inserts and posters are available from On Earth Peace (August 26, 2016)

“Looking for a bulletin insert or poster to use at your Peace Day event? Check out our resources!” said an announcement from On Earth Peace. The agency has made bulletin inserts and posters available in advance of Peace Day 2016, which is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 21. Many congregations hold Peace Day worship services, prayer vigils, or other commemorations on a Sunday close to the Sept. 21 date. Read more »


Q&A: Disaster response (August 26, 2016)

Brethren Disaster Ministries executive Roy Winter answers frequently asked questions about the role of the church’s disaster response in the wake of heart-wrenching recent disasters in Louisiana and in Italy. Read more »


Newsline for Aug. 26, 2016 (August 26, 2016)

NEWS 1) Brethren couple carry out mission in China focused on hospice care 2) Legacy of the Church of the Brethren mission in China 3) Negotiate a nuclear weapons ban next year, says UN group with broad support RESOURCES 4) New resources from Brethren Press offer aids for worship, Bible study, devotions 5) Shine curriculum shares a teacher blessing for the fall quarter 6) Peace Day bulletin inserts and posters are available from On Earth Peace UPCOMING EVENTS 7) Webinar to discuss Jesus as focal point of God’s revelation 8) Q&A: Disaster response 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Shine curriculum shares a teacher blessing for the fall quarter (August 26, 2016)

The Shine curriculum, which is a joint project of Brethren Press and MennoMedia, has shared a teacher blessing for the start of the Sunday school year. The blessing first appeared in the Shine e-newsletter, which is available by e-mail. For more about Shine go to https://shinecurriculum.com . Order curriculum items from Brethren Press by calling 800-441-3712. The Shine theme for Fall 2016 is “God Restores the People.” Read more »


Legacy of the Church of the Brethren mission in China (August 26, 2016)

It has been 60 years since Church of the Brethren missionary work ended in China. However, the Brethren presence there is not only remembered by a few people, the fruits of that mission are still active today. At a Brethren Historical Society insight session at Annual Conference this summer, hosted by Brethren Historical Library and Archives archivist Bill Kostlevy, Eric Miller and Ruoxia Li along with Jeff Bach shared photographs and information. Read more »


Webinar to discuss Jesus as focal point of God’s revelation (August 24, 2016)

A new webinar in the “Heart of Anabaptism” series will be offered on Sept. 1, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. (eastern time) on the topic “Jesus, the Focal Point of God’s Revelation.” Leading the webinar is LaDonna Sanders Nkosi, a poet, preacher, and church planter from Chicago, Ill. Read more »


Series of workcamps is planned for church rebuilding in Nigeria (August 19, 2016)

The Church of the Brethren is planning a series of workcamps in Nigeria, as part of the new effort to rebuild churches of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Nearly 70 percent of EYN’s churches in northeast Nigeria have been destroyed in the Boko Haram insurgency. A Nigeria Church Rebuilding Fund has been developed to help provide support to EYN congregations who are working to rebuild. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services aids children displaced by flooding in Louisiana (August 19, 2016)

Two teams of Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) volunteers have begun work in Baton Rouge, La., this week, and more teams have been requested to help care for children and families who have been displaced by massive flooding. Read more »


Newsline for Aug. 19, 2016 (August 19, 2016)

NEWS 1) Children’s Disaster Services aids children displaced by flooding in Louisiana 2) Haiti Theological Training program celebrates graduation of 22 ministers 3) Song and Story Fest gathers multiple generations for relaxation, reflection, rejuvenation UPCOMING EVENTS 4) Ventures webinar will train leaders for congregational ethics self-study 5) Series of workcamps is planned for church rebuilding in Nigeria 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Ventures webinar will train leaders for congregational ethics self-study (August 19, 2016)

A Ventures online course is planned to aid congregations in training leaders to help them study the Congregational Ethics document adopted recently by Annual Conference. Ventures is a ministry training initiative hosted at McPherson (Kan.) College. Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 19, 2016 (August 19, 2016)

In this issue: Congratulations to Olympian Clayton Murphy who grew up in the Church of the Brethren, plus corrections, remembering Bill Kaysen, personnel notes, mission prayer requests, church anniversaries, and more news by, for, and about Brethren Read more »


Song and Story Fest gathers multiple generations for relaxation, reflection, rejuvenation (August 19, 2016)

Every summer, multiple generations gather at a Church of the Brethren camp for a time of relaxation, reflection, and rejuvenation. For 20 years now, some 120 to 180 people come together for Song and Story Fest, one week each year set aside for singing, playing music, and hearing and telling stories. Read more »


Haiti Theological Training program celebrates graduation of 22 ministers (August 19, 2016)

Aug. 13 was a day of celebration for the inaugural class of the Haiti Theological Training program, Ecole Theologie de la Mission Evangelique des Eglises des Frères D’Haïti. The graduation ceremony witnessed 22 graduates walking across the stage to receive diplomas and shake hands with professors and guests of honor. Read more »


SVMC continuing education events look at art in worship, preaching the reign of God (August 12, 2016)

The Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center (SVMC) based at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College is publicizing two continuing education events for ministers and other church leaders: “Reimagining Art for Worship” on Sept. 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, led by Diane Brandt; and “Preaching the Reign of God: Prophets, Poets, and Conversations” on Nov. 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Von Liebig Center at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., led by Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm. Read more »


Carl Hill resigns from Nigeria Crisis Response, Roxane Hill to continue part-time (August 12, 2016)

Carl Hill has resigned as co-director of the Nigeria Crisis Response, a joint program of the Church of the Brethren and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). He and his wife, Roxane, have served as co-directors since Dec. 1, 2014. Roxane will continue supporting the Nigeria Crisis Response, working half time as coordinator. Carl ends his term Aug. 31, to become pastor of Potsdam (Ohio) Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for Aug. 12, 2016 (August 12, 2016)

NEWS 1) BBT updates ministers on IRS rule changes for medical insurance premiums 2) BBT offers new Periodic Payment Plan for members of the Pension Plan NIGERIA UPDATES 3) Nigeria Crisis Response continues food aid in response to new food shortages, but begins to shift to long-term recovery 4) Initiatives for Nigeria will rebuild churches, collect books for children and Bible college PERSONNEL 5) Carl Hill resigns from Nigeria Crisis Response, Roxane Hill to continue part-time UPCOMING EVENTS 6) SVMC continuing education events look at art in worship, preaching the reign of God 7) Brethren Academy announces upcoming courses 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Nigeria Crisis Response continues food aid in response to new food shortages, but begins to shift to long-term recovery  (August 12, 2016)

As the situation in northeast Nigeria becomes more stable and many displaced people move back home, the Nigeria Crisis Response program is beginning to transition to long-term recovery activities, while still supporting basic needs of displaced Nigerians and members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). This week, EYN leaders confirmed food shortages in some areas of the northeast, and have requested continued food aid at least through the end of 2016. Read more »


Initiatives for Nigeria will rebuild churches, collect books for children and Bible college (August 12, 2016)

The Nigeria Crisis Response and Brethren Disaster Ministries are offering new ways to support Ekklesiyar Yan’ua a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), including a collection of “Books for Nigeria” and a new church rebuilding program. Read more »


Brethren Academy announces upcoming courses (August 12, 2016)

Upcoming courses offered through the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership are open to students in the Training in Ministry (TRIM) and Education for Shared Ministry (EFSM) programs, pastors and other ministers, and all interested persons. Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 12, 2016 (August 12, 2016)

In this issue: A correction, Pleasant Dale Church and Plymouth Church celebrate 100 years, Robins Church holds closing service, “Justice Like Water” event is hosted at Lancaster, Renacer Fall Fundraiser, World Hunger Auction is this Saturday, plus festivals and auctions and other special events across the denomination, among other news. Read more »


Brethren bits for Aug. 6, 2016 (August 6, 2016)

Remembering Jack McCray, job openings, video highlights Capstone 118 in New Orleans, seagoing cowboy celebration at Staunton Church of the Brethren, caregiving event in Virlina District, new address for N. Indiana District, prayer for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, more Read more »


Creation care study committee is named (August 6, 2016)

The Standing Committee of district delegates to Annual Conference has concluded its work of electing a Creation Care Study Committee. Three members have been elected to the new study committee. Read more »


A ‘can-do’ attitude marks the 2016 We Are Able workcamp (August 6, 2016)

This past July, 12 people joined me in the hills of Maryland for the We Are Able workcamp. This annual Church of the Brethren program is for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and volunteers who serve as their assistants. The adults with disabilities and the assistants come together for four days to do service projects, fun recreational activities, and devotions. The workcamp is a time of building community and strengthening faith. Read more »


Congregational Life Ministries offers resources to assist congregations (August 6, 2016)

The Congregational Life Ministries of the Church of the Brethren “provide coaches, collaborators, and consultants to assist congregations in reaching out and connecting with their local communities,” according to the ministries’ webpage. Currently, Congregational Life Ministries staff are making resources available for congregations to discern their gifts, explore their vitality, and teach others about the practices of the church. Read more »


Newsline for Aug. 6, 2016 (August 6, 2016)

NEWS 1) Creation care study committee is named 2) A ‘can-do’ attitude marks the 2016 We Are Able workcamp 3) Global Food Initiative supports water workshops, farmer training, soybean training RESOURCES 4) Congregational Life Ministries offers resources to assist congregations 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Global Food Initiative supports water workshops, farmer training, soybean training (August 6, 2016)

Grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Initiative (formerly Global Food Crisis Fund) support water workshops and farmer training in Burundi, and the attendance by a group from Liberia at a training event at the Soybean Innovation Lab in Ghana. Read more »


Office of Public Witness staff connect with visiting Korean church delegation (July 30, 2016)

The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) hosted a delegation from the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) this week to advocate for a permanent peace treaty between North and South Korea. The Church of the Brethren is a member organization of the NCC, and staff of the Office of Public Witness participated in events with the Korean delegation. Delegation members visited with key members of Congress, White House officials, and members of the ecumenical community to discuss prospects for peace. Read more »


Newsline for July 30, 2016 (July 30, 2016)

NEWS 1) EDF grants go to refugee resettlement, Burundi refugee crisis, Ecuador earthquake, and more 2) Material Resources ships aid to West Virginia, among other work 3) Bethany Seminary re-accreditation visits are scheduled 4) Crisis in Puerto Rico affects wellbeing of islanders, church members 5) Office of Public Witness staff connect with visiting Korean church delegation 6) BRF annual dinner receives message to ‘Carry the Light into the Workplace’ 7) War looms on their borders, but life goes on: A report from Iraqi Kurdistan RESOURCES 8) ‘Ventures’ program aims to serve more congregations with donation-based model 9) Brethren bits Read more »


BRF annual dinner receives message to ‘Carry the Light into the Workplace’ (July 30, 2016)

The Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) held its annual dinner meeting in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday evening July 2, during the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. The room was well filled and the sounds of fellowship abounded. Special music shared by the Glory Girls from the area of White Oak Church of the Brethren in Atlantic Northeast District preceded the evening’s message. Read more »


Material Resources ships aid to West Virginia, among other work (July 30, 2016)

During the month of July, 480 clean-up buckets and approximately 510 school kits were sent to aid flood relief efforts in West Virginia, shipped by the Church of the Brethren Material Resources program based at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The aid was shipped on behalf of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) in partnership with Church World Service (CWS). Read more »


EDF grants go to refugee resettlement, Burundi refugee crisis, Ecuador earthquake, and more (July 30, 2016)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to assist with refugee resettlement in the United States, the Brethren Church of Rwanda response to Burundi refugees, Heifer International’s response to the earthquake in Ecuador, Church World Service (CWS) emergency preparedness and home construction in Haiti, and Proyecto Aldea Global’s work toward emergency preparedness in Honduras. Read more »


‘Ventures’ program aims to serve more congregations with donation-based model (July 29, 2016)

Since it started four years ago, the “Ventures in Christian Discipleship” program at McPherson (Kan.) College has focused on providing small church congregations with useful, affordable education. With the course offerings in 2016-17, Ventures is about to become even more affordable and, therefore, even more useful. Read more »


Brethren bits for July 29, 2016 (July 29, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering L. Gene Bucher, personnel and job openings, Youth Peace Travel Team blog, African Great Lakes Batwa Conference, Brethren Academy hosts TRIM/EFSM orientation, 46th Annual Dunker Church Service at Antietam, disaster ministry events in Ohio, “Sing Me High” at CrossRoads, and more. Read more »


CDS deployments to California, W. Virginia, mark record number so far this year (July 23, 2016)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) volunteers recently returned from deployments in the areas of Kernville, Calif., and White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. CDS has had a record number of 9 responses so far in 2016, in addition to the Nigeria Healing Hearts response. Read more »


Brethren sign on to letter urging steps to mend divisions between communities, law enforcement (July 23, 2016)

Church of the Brethren interim general secretary Dale Minnich has signed on to a letter from an interfaith coalition to Congressional leaders, which urges that steps be taken to mend divisions between communities and law enforcement. Read more »


Haiti Medical Project expands to include maternal care, water projects, dispensaries (July 23, 2016)

The Haiti Medical Project began as a partnership of American and Haitian Brethren responding to health needs in the wake of a devastating earthquake in 2010. In the time since, the project has grown tremendously with the help of grants from the Global Food Initiative (formerly the Global Food Crisis Fund) and the Royer Family Foundation, and the drive of passionate individuals from both the Church of the Brethren and L’Eglise des Freres Haitiens (Church of the Brethren in Haiti). Read more »


Brethren bits for July 23, 2016 (July 23, 2016)

In this issue: Two-page Wrap Up of Annual Conference is available, personnel notices and job openings, workcamp group gets media attention, 45th anniversary celebration of National Farm Worker Ministry, prayer requests from Global Mission and Service, On Earth Peace Anti-Racism Transformation Team meets, annual World Hunger Auction scheduled for Aug. 13, and more news by, for, and about Brethren--including sales of new items emblazoned with the classic Brethren slogan “When Jesus said, ‘Love your enemies...’” that benefit Brethren Press. Read more »


Amy Beery named admissions counselor for Bethany Seminary (July 23, 2016)

Bethany Theological Seminary announces that Amy Beery of Indianapolis, Ind., has been hired as part-time admissions counselor as of June 29. She earned a master of divinity from Bethany in 2013 and most recently has worked in chaplaincy for Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. Read more »


Craig Smith to retire from leadership of Atlantic Northeast District (July 23, 2016)

Atlantic Northeast District executive minister Craig H. Smith has announced his retirement, as of the end of this year. He has served in the position for 19 years. Read more »


Situation in South Sudan deteriorates, Brethren donate vehicle to relief effort (July 23, 2016)

As the situation in South Sudan deteriorates, with recent eruption of renewed armed conflict and United Nations reports that 4.8 million people face food shortages, the Church of the Brethren has donated a vehicle to aid staff in food distribution and other relief work. Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board addresses budget concerns, sets stage for new financial campaign (July 23, 2016)

The Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren held its summer meeting on June 29 in Greensboro, N.C., with a focus on finances. On the agenda were approval of a 2017 budget parameter for the Core Ministries of the denomination, approval of budget revisions for this year 2016, and affirmation of plans for a new financial campaign, among other business. Read more »


Newsline for July 23, 2016  (July 23, 2016)

NEWS 1) Mission and Ministry Board addresses budget concerns, sets stage for new financial campaign 2) Brethren sign on to letter urging steps to mend divisions between communities, law enforcement 3) Mission and service executive joins in meetings at White House, State Department 4) Situation in South Sudan deteriorates, Brethren donate vehicle to relief effort 5) CDS deployments to California, W. Virginia, mark record number so far this year 6) Haiti Medical Project expands to include maternal care, water projects, dispensaries 7) EYN embarks on nationwide ‘Sympathy, Reconciliation, and Encouragement Tour’ PERSONNEL 8) Craig Smith to retire from leadership of Atlantic Northeast District 9) Amy Beery named admissions counselor for Bethany Seminary 10) Brethren bits Read more »


Mission and service executive joins in meetings at White House, State Department (July 23, 2016)

Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission and Service, met with White House officials to raise concerns about the US drone warfare program. The meeting in Washington, D.C., included other denominational leaders from other faith traditions with statements challenging US drone warfare. Read more »


EYN embarks on nationwide ‘Sympathy, Reconciliation, and Encouragement Tour’ (July 23, 2016)

Joel S. Billi, president of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has embarked on a “Sympathy, Reconciliation, and Encouragement Tour” to 14 zones nationwide in Nigeria. Read more »


Church leaders call the Brethren to be ‘a landmark of refuge’ in a time of ‘great civil violence’ (July 12, 2016)

Church of the Brethren leaders have released a statement following on a week of shootings that have rocked the nation. The statement is signed by Carol A. Scheppard, moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference; Samuel Sarpiya, moderator-elect of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference; and Dale E. Minnich, interim general secretary of the Church of the Brethren. The statement follows in full: Read more »


Un punto de referencia y de refugio (July 12, 2016)

Los Líderes de la Iglesia de los Hermanos, ante las olas de tiroteos, y violencias que ha sacudido nuestra Nación, pronunciaron las siguientes declaraciones’ firmada por Carol A. Scheppard, quien es la Moderadora de la Conferencia anual, Samuel Sarpiya, Moderador electo de la conferencia anual, y Dale E. Minnich, Secretario general interino de la Iglesia de los Hermanos Read more »


Delegate body refers queries regarding On Earth Peace, living together (July 5, 2016)

On the final afternoon of the 2016 Annual Conference, delegates dealt with the last of the queries still on the business agenda: two queries having to do with On Earth Peace’s agency status and accountability to Annual Conference, and a query titled “Living Together as Christ Calls.” Find links to the full texts of these queries online at www.brethren.org/ac/2016/business . Read more »


‘Witness to the Host City’ collections support two organizations in Greensboro (July 5, 2016)

‘Witness to the Host City’ collections support two organizations in Greensboro Read more »


Former Bethany Seminary president Wayne L. Miller passes away (July 5, 2016)

Wayne Lowell Miller, 91, who was for many years a leader in the Church of the Brethren, passed away on June 24 at the Courtyards, Brethren Village, in Lancaster, Pa. Throughout a lengthy career of service to the church he held academic and leadership positions at four Church of the Brethren-related colleges and universities--Manchester, McPherson, Elizabethtown, and La Verne--and was president of Bethany Theological Seminary, the Church of the Brethren’s graduate school of theology. Read more »


Newsline for July 5, 2016 (July 5, 2016)

A REVIEW OF THE 2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE 1) Delegates refer ‘Query: Same Sex Weddings’ to Leadership Team and CODE 2) Annual Conference names new leadership, Samuel Sarpiya chosen moderator-elect 3) Study committee to work in consultation with BBT on financial, investment concerns related to care for creation 4) Delegate body refers queries regarding On Earth Peace, living together 5) Greensboro’s Civil Rights Museum offers learning opportunity for Brethren 6) Open Roof Fellowship welcomes six new churches 7) Minister’s Association hears from speaker Fr. John Dear on ‘Walking Toward Peace’ 8) ‘Witness to the Host City’ collections support two organizations in Greensboro 9) Annual Conference by the numbers 10) Annual Conference bits and pieces 11) Former Bethany Seminary president Wayne L. Miller passes away Read more »


Greensboro’s Civil Rights Museum offers learning opportunity for Brethren (July 5, 2016)

According to the Christian folk song, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going.” There were certainly many bright lights shining in the darkness during the epic Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and ’60s. Read more »


Minister’s Association hears from speaker Fr. John Dear on ‘Walking Toward Peace’ (July 5, 2016)

Participants in this year’s Church of the Brethren Minister’s Association were privileged to receive the teaching and story telling of Fr. John Dear, a Jesuit priest, author, and activist for nonviolence. John (who preferred that we call him that and not “father dear”) came to speak with the Brethren with the strong conviction to affirm who we are as a living peace church, and to challenge us to step further into that calling. Read more »


Annual Conference bits and pieces (July 5, 2016)

A theme is announced for Annual Conference 2017, an increase is approved for the pastors’ recommended cash salary table, six new congregations and fellowships join the denomination, international guests attend in Greensboro, Global Mission shares sad news of the death of a Haitian church leader, and more. Read more »


Delegates refer ‘Query: Same Sex Weddings’ to Leadership Team and CODE (July 5, 2016)

Delegates to the 2016 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren have referred the concerns of “Query: Same Sex Weddings” to the Leadership Team of the Church of the Brethren in consultation with the Council of District Executives (CODE). The vote to refer the query was close to unanimous. Read more »


Annual Conference by the numbers (July 5, 2016)

Annual Conference by the numbers Read more »


Today in Greensboro - Sunday (July 3, 2016)

Today in Greensboro - Sunday Read more »


Study committee to work in consultation with BBT on financial, investment concerns related to care for creation (July 2, 2016)

As a result of a query on caring for God’s creation, a study committee is to be formed. The delegates to Annual Conference voted to appoint the study committee in response to “Query: Continuing the Study of Our Christian Responsibility to Care for God’s Creation.” A vote of 57.6 percent supported the creation of the study. The vote required only a simply majority. Read more »


Delegate body deals with final set of queries regarding On Earth Peace, living together (July 2, 2016)

This afternoon the delegates dealt with the final set of queries on the business agenda, including two queries having to do with On Earth Peace’s agency status and accountability to Annual Conference, and a query titled “Living Together as Christ Calls.” Find links to the full texts of these queries online at www.brethren.org/ac/2016/business . Read more »


Delegates refer ‘Query: Same Sex Weddings’ to Leadership Team and CODE (July 2, 2016)

Delegates to Annual Conference have approved a motion to refer the concerns of “Query: Same Sex Weddings” to the Leadership Team of the Church of the Brethren, in consultation with the Council of District Executives (CODE). The query was referred with a vote that was close to unanimous. Read more »


Today in Greensboro - Saturday (July 2, 2016)

Today in Greensboro - Saturday Read more »


Bethany Theological Seminary luncheon panel discusses being salt and light (July 1, 2016)

Friday at noon Bethany Seminary alumni, faculty, students, and friends gathered for fellowship, to hear remarks from Bethany president Jeff Carter, and to be challenged by words from a panel of presenters. Read more »


Standing Committee recommendation on ‘Query: Same Sex Weddings’ fails to gain two-thirds majority (July 1, 2016)

After a morning of spirited discussion among delegates, “Query: Same Sex Weddings” continues to be on the business floor of Annual Conference. A Standing Committee recommendation on the query failed to gain a two-thirds majority vote. A motion to return the query was made immediately before the end of the morning business session. Read more »


‘Carry the Light’: A dialogue with Steven Schweitzer about the Conference Bible studies (July 1, 2016)

“It sounds trite, but it’s true,” said Steven Schweitzer at a Jubilee Insight Session this afternoon, “We are to be the light of the world.” Read more »


Today in Greensboro - Friday (July 1, 2016)

Today in Greensboro - Friday Read more »


New fellowships and congregations are welcomed into the Church of the Brethren (June 30, 2016)

New fellowships and congregations are welcomed into the Church of the Brethren Read more »


Delegates open business floor to ‘Query: Same Sex Weddings,’ among other business (June 30, 2016)

Among other business, the Annual Conference today began consideration of “Query: Same Sex Weddings,” but did not conclude discussion of the item. First, the delegate body took a vote to open the floor to accept a query related to human sexuality as an item of business, because the Conference in 2011 had decided “to continue deeper conversations concerning human sexuality outside of the query process.” Read more »


Today in Greensboro - Thursday (June 30, 2016)

Today in Greensboro - Thursday, an overview Read more »


Annual Conference names new leadership, Samuel Sarpiya chosen moderator-elect (June 30, 2016)

In election results, Samuel Kefas Sarpiya was chosen as moderator-elect. He will serve alongside moderator Carol Scheppard at the 2017 Annual Conference, and will be moderator of the 2018 Conference. Read more »


EYN declares a day of prayer for the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference (June 30, 2016)

Rev. Daniel Mbaya, general secretary of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), in a text he passed across the church asked all the EYN DCC [church district] secretaries, heads of programs, and institutions to a one-day fasting and prayer for the Church of the Brethren in the United States. Read more »


Bethany Seminary sponsors concert and hymn sing (June 29, 2016)

Shawn Kirchner, Mutual Kumquat, and Andy and Terry Murray performed in a hymn sing and concert sponsored by Bethany Theological Seminary, after worship on the first evening of the 2016 Annual Conference. The Guilford Ballroom at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, N.C., was packed with Brethren eager to sing their hearts out and hear the work of these fine musicians. Read more »


Today in Greensboro - Wednesday (June 29, 2016)

An overview of the first day of the 2016 Annual Conference held in Greensboro, N.C. Read more »


Open Roof Fellowship welcomes six new churches (June 29, 2016)

Six churches were welcomed into the Open Roof Fellowship at the Mission and Ministry Board meeting in advance of Annual Conference in Greensboro, N.C. The fellowship recognizes Church of the Brethren congregations that have made great strides in becoming more accessible to people with disabilities. Read more »


Queries on care for creation, living together as Christ calls receive recommendations from Standing Committee (June 28, 2016)

In today’s meetings of Standing Committee, two queries--“Continuing the Study of Our Christian Responsibility to Care for God’s Creation” and “Living Together as Christ Calls”--were acted on, and received recommendations. Read more »


Standing Committee makes response to Query: Same Sex Weddings (June 27, 2016)

This morning in Greensboro, N.C., the Standing Committee of district delegates to the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference voted on a response to Query: Same Sex Weddings. Read more »


Standing Committee recommends referring queries about On Earth Peace to Review and Evaluation Committee (June 27, 2016)

The Standing Committee of district delegates has made a recommendation to refer two queries about On Earth Peace to the Review and Evaluation Committee. The recommendation begins by “recognizing that the Review and Evaluation Committee has the responsibility to consider the balance and unity of the agencies,” and will be shared with the delegate body when the two queries come to the Annual Conference business session later this week. Read more »


Brethren bits for June 24, 2016 (June 24, 2016)

In this issue: Former general secretary of the Church of the Brethren named to staff of the World Council of Churches, Bethany Seminary hires admissions counselor, Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center seeks executive director, BHLA celebrates 200-year legacy of James Quinter, congregations celebrate anniversaries, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for June 24, 2016 (June 24, 2016)

1) On Earth Peace issues response to queries coming to Annual Conference 2) Global Food Initiative announces new name for continuing program, new gardening grants 3) Children’s Disaster Services sends third team to Houston, Orlando team completes service 4) Brethren bits Read more »


Global Food Initiative announces new name for continuing program, new gardening grants (June 24, 2016)

Global Food Initiative (GFI) has been announced as the new name for the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF). The program of the former GFCF continues under the new name, and with a new logo and a redesigned website. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services sends third team to Houston, Orlando team completes service (June 24, 2016)

“We have another team headed out to Houston, Texas, this week, third one this summer,” reports Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) associate director Kathleen Fry-Miller. “I know the people there are getting very weary of all the flooding and water. I’m so grateful that we have volunteers willing to go.” Read more »


Reflejando el rostro de Dios (June 20, 2016)

Comunicado de Andy Murray, moderador de la Conferencia Anual de Hermanos, sobre lo que podemos hacer como Iglesia y como podemos atender mejor a la gente en duelo de Orlando Read more »


Newsline for June 18, 2016 (June 18, 2016)

1) Reflecting the face of God that we see in Jesus: Annual Conference moderator issues letter to the church 2) CDS team cares for children, offers a supportive presence in Orlando 3) Scott Kinnick to serve as executive minister for Southeastern District 4) Brethren bits Read more »


Scott Kinnick to serve as executive minister for Southeastern District (June 17, 2016)

Southeastern District has announced that Scott Kinnick will serve as district executive minister, beginning Sept. 1. He is a life-long member of the Church of the Brethren and an ordained minister. Read more »


CDS team cares for children, offers a supportive presence in Orlando (June 17, 2016)

Our Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) Orlando team has reported that they feel they are at the right place to offer support. The team is serving in the Family Assistance Center (FAC) that was set up starting Wednesday for families of those who were killed early Sunday morning and for survivors and their families. Read more »


Brethren bits for June 17 (June 17, 2016)

In this issue: Brethren participate in events for Orlando victims, personnel notes and job openings, David Steele welcomed to General Offices, Youth Peace Travel Team starts work, Bethany hosts Nigerian scholar, Nigerian Brethren visit Mill Creek Church on their way to Annual Conference, Southeastern District aids school in Haiti, Northern Plains District presents “Breaking Bread with Elizabeth Ripley,” and more. Read more »


Reflecting the face of God that we see in Jesus: Annual Conference moderator issues letter to the church (June 16, 2016)

Annual Conference moderator Andy Murray has issued the following letter to the Church of the Brethren, following the shootings in Orlando, Fla., and in advance of the denomination’s annual meeting on June 29-July 3 in Greensboro, N.C. It was first shared in an e-mail to delegates and others who are registered to attend the Conference: Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services team to work in Orlando following gun massacre (June 14, 2016)

In response to the horrific shooting in Orlando, Fla., the American Red Cross has asked Children's Disaster Services (CDS) to send a team of caregivers. Since 1980, CDS has been meeting the needs of children by setting up child care centers in shelters and disaster assistance centers across the nation. Specially trained to respond to traumatized children, volunteers provide a calm, safe, and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos created by natural and human-caused disasters. CDS is a ministry of the Church of the Brethren and is part of Brethren Disaster Ministries. Read more »


Leaders on the Church of the Brethren staff call for courage to proclaim and embody peace (June 13, 2016)

Today leaders on the Church of the Brethren denominational staff released the following statement responding to the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla.: Read more »


On Earth Peace announces theme for Peace Day 2016 (June 11, 2016)

“Called to Build Peace” is the theme for Peace Day 2016, held annually on Sept. 21, which is the International Day of Prayer for Peace. This year’s campaign from On Earth Peace invites churches, peacebuilders, and seekers of justice to participate. “Plan a prayer service or community action event and reflect on how you and your community are called to build peace during the week surrounding Sept. 21, 2016,” said an invitation from organizer Bryan Hanger. Read more »


Network of spiritual directors meets for annual retreat (June 11, 2016)

For over a decade, spiritual directors from throughout the Church of the Brethren have met annually for a retreat and continuing education. Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministry and Retreat Center in Sharpsburg, Md., provides a beautiful and quiet setting for this event, which includes opportunities for worship, prayer, silence, creative expression, peer supervision, and keynote presentations. Read more »


Ministry of Reconciliation manual is made available as an online resource (June 11, 2016)

About a year ago, in the wake of celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Ministry of Reconciliation (MoR) as a program of On Earth Peace, program director Leslie Frye wondered if it might be worthwhile to revise the 1995 “Ministry of Reconciliation Discipleship and Reconciliation Committee Handbook.” Read more »


India Brethren hold 101st annual meeting (June 11, 2016)

The 101st Jilla Sabha was held in Champawadi, Vyara District, Tapi, on May 12-13. The meeting included the appointment of new leadership for the First District Church of the Brethren in India. Read more »


Interfaith letter raises concerns, urges greater transparency on drone warfare  (June 11, 2016)

Church of the Brethren interim general secretary Dale Minnich and On Earth Peace executive director Bill Scheurer were among 28 faith leaders from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh traditions who sent an interfaith letter on drone warfare to President Barack Obama. Staff of the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Public Witness were among those who created the letter on behalf of the Interfaith Drone Network. Read more »


Newsline for June 11, 2016 (June 11, 2016)

NEWS 1) Interfaith letter raises concerns, urges greater transparency on drone warfare 2) India Brethren hold 101st annual meeting 3) Network of spiritual directors meets for annual retreat 4) Northern Indiana congregations sponsor project to share Nigeria t-shirts UPCOMING EVENTS 5) On Earth Peace announces theme for Peace Day 2016 RESOURCES 6) Ministry of Reconciliation manual is made available as an online resource 7) New Covenant Bible Studies series invite readers to ‘love Leviticus,’ study Jesus’ miracles 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for June 11, 2016 (June 11, 2016)

Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Sentencing Reform, next webinar, Global Mission executive recommends report on “Nigeria Fractured and Forgotten,” Children's Disaster Services needs 100 more hand-made toys for traumatized children in Nigeria, “Racial Justice Field Report from Flint” on June 21, and more. Read more »


Northern Indiana congregations sponsor project to share Nigeria t-shirts (June 11, 2016)

Sometimes the Spirit moves in mysterious ways--even with turquoise tie-dyed t-shirts! As a pastor of Creekside Church of the Brethren in Northern Indiana District, I attended a Pastor’s Sabbath at Camp Alexander Mack in April. It was led by Carl and Roxane Hill, co-directors of the Nigeria Crisis Response. My congregation, and others in the district, had raised money for crisis relief in Nigeria through a benefit auction in June 2015, and have been considering ways to continue to generate spiritual and financial support for our brothers and sisters of EYN. Read more »


New Covenant Bible Studies series invite readers to ‘love Leviticus,’ study Jesus’ miracles (June 11, 2016)

There are two new books in the Covenant Bible Studies series from Brethren Press: “Ten Reasons to Love Leviticus” and “More Miracles of Jesus.” Also newly available from the Church of the Brethren publishing house is the 2016 camping curriculum on DVD, titled “Branching Out.” Read more »


Lengthy court case over church property in Los Angeles draws to a close (June 4, 2016)

A lengthy court case over church property in Los Angeles, Calif., is finally drawing to a close. This was one of two cases in recent years that have involved the Church of the Brethren denomination in local and district struggles over ownership of church buildings and property. In each case, a congregation decided to leave the Church of the Brethren but continued to claim ownership of church buildings and property, in contradiction to denominational polity. Read more »


National Young Adult Conference seeks to create harmony (June 4, 2016)

Over Memorial Day weekend, more than 45 young adults from across the country met at Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind., for National Young Adult Conference (NYAC). The weekend was filled with worship, workshops, and Bible study focused around the theme of creating harmony in everyday life. Read more »


Nigerian Brethren president Joel S. Billi inaugurates EYN 100th anniversary committee (June 4, 2016)

Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) was founded by the American Church of the Brethren in 1923 at Garkida, Nigeria, where it had its 75th anniversary in 1998. EYN president Joel S. Billi has inaugurated a 13-member committee for a 100 Years Anniversary of EYN-Church of the Brethren in Nigeria. This is coming less than one month after he assumed office as the EYN president, and is coming from a decision of the EYN National Executive Committee at its meeting held on April 12. Read more »


Brethren bits for June 4, 2016 (June 4, 2016)

In this issue: Remembrance, personnel, On Earth Peace openings for development director and for interim coordinator of Ministry of Reconciliation, MSS interns begin orientation, Brethren Disaster Ministries chosen for nomination to receive Rebate for Mission funds from Everence Federal Credit Union, New Community Project featured in “Brethren Voices,” and more. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services deploys to Houston, again, following flooding (June 4, 2016)

“The Houston team is in a shelter where people are taken to after being rescued,” reported Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) associate director Kathy Fry-Miller. CDS has deployed a team of volunteers to Houston, Texas, for the second time since April in response to severe flooding. Read more »


Newsline for June 4, 2016 (June 4, 2016)

NEWS 1) Lengthy court case over church property in Los Angeles draws to a close 2) Bethany Theological Seminary announces its class of 2016 graduates 3) National Young Adult Conference seeks to create harmony 4) Children’s Disaster Services deploys to Houston, again, following flooding UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Nigerian Brethren president Joel S. Billi inaugurates EYN 100th anniversary committee 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Funding is made available for hosting ‘12 Baskets and a Goat,’ among other grants (May 27, 2016)

New funding has been made available for congregations to host performances of the original play by Ted and Co. Theaterworks that benefits Heifer International, called “12 Baskets and a Goat.” The total allocation of $10,000 comes jointly from the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) and the Office of the General Secretary. Read more »


Newsline for May 27, 2016 (May 27, 2016)

NEWS 1) New church planting conference calls for development of hope and imagination 2) Congregational Life Ministries announce interim plan for sharing executive duties 3) Funding is made available for hosting ‘12 Baskets and a Goat,’ among other grants 4) Community gardeners converge in Wisconsin to discuss their work 5) Nigeria Crisis Response continues to meet needs in the face of devastating trauma 6) EYN and CAMPI receive the Michael Sattler Peace Award in Germany UPCOMING EVENTS 7) Annual Conference ‘Witness to the Host City’ supports children, job readiness 8) Annual Conference Sunday invites Brethren to a joint ‘virtual worship’ 9) On Earth Peace offers opportunities to learn about Kingian nonviolence, anti-racism 10) Brethren bits Read more »


On Earth Peace offers opportunities to learn about Kingian nonviolence, anti-racism (May 27, 2016)

On Earth Peace is offering opportunities to learn about Kingian nonviolence and to get involved in anti-racism work. “Kingian Nonviolence is a philosophy and curriculum which applies agape love to relationships and community problems,” explained an announcement. “The approach was developed by David Jehnsen and Bernard Lafayette Jr., who both worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s.” Read more »


EYN and CAMPI receive the Michael Sattler Peace Award in Germany (May 27, 2016)

“Now I’m back to my roots!” said pastor Ephraim Kadala of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) as he waded in the Eder River in Schwarzenau, Germany. “This is where we come from!” Read more »


Brethren bits for May 27, 2016 (May 27, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering Grady Snyder and Beth Burnette, personnel announcements and job openings, Heifer CEO visits the General Offices, NYAC and the summer workcamp season begin, Bethany Seminary’s president on panel presentation at Princeton, BVS seeks applicants for summer orientation, and news from Brethren congregations, districts, colleges, and more. Read more »


New church planting conference calls for development of hope and imagination (May 27, 2016)

“Hope, Imagination, Mission”--the theme of the Church of the Brethren new church planting May 19-21 in Richmond, Ind., hosted by Bethany Theological Seminary--prompted a new call to the whole church to develop its imagination and foster a new hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some 100 people participated in worship, keynote presentations, workshops, and a special training track in Spanish. The conference was sponsored by Congregational Life Ministries. Read more »


Annual Conference Sunday invites Brethren to a joint ‘virtual worship’ (May 27, 2016)

“Join congregations and individuals from around the country as we worship together as one virtual church on Annual Conference Sunday, July 3,” said an invitation from the Conference Office. The 2016 Annual Conference takes place in Greensboro, N.C., on June 29-July 3. Read more »


Congregational Life Ministries announce interim plan for sharing executive duties (May 27, 2016)

The Congregational Life Ministries of the Church of the Brethren has announced an interim plan for staff to share executive duties, following the resignation of former executive director Jonathan Shively. Using a collaborative team approach, the plan focuses on sharing oversight of the work of the department and development of staffing and programming. Read more »


Annual Conference ‘Witness to the Host City’ supports children, job readiness (May 27, 2016)

Two local organizations in Greensboro, N.C., will receive support from Conference-goers who attend the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference this summer. The Conference will receive a collection of hygiene items for a project called BackPack Beginnings that supports school children, and a collection of clothing and shoes for the Encore! Boutique Thrift Store and a “Step Up” program for job readiness training. Read more »


Nigeria Crisis Response continues to meet needs in the face of devastating trauma (May 27, 2016)

The response to the Nigeria crisis from the Church of the Brethren has been nothing short of spectacular. Over the last 16 months we have been able to provide support for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and five NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations). Read more »


Community gardeners converge in Wisconsin to discuss their work (May 27, 2016)

Earlier this month, gardeners converged on Wisconsin from many corners of the country to discuss their work and dream about the next phase of the Going to the Garden initiative. Gardeners hailed from New Mexico, Alaska, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Washington D.C. Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board names new general secretary for the Church of the Brethren (May 24, 2016)

David A. Steele has been named general secretary-elect of the Church of the Brethren by the denomination’s Mission and Ministry Board. His appointment was announced yesterday, May 23, at a specially called meeting at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Read more »


Nuevo secretario general de la Iglesia de los Hermanos (May 24, 2016)

David A. Steele ha sido nombrado secretario general electo de la Iglesia de los Hermanos por la Junta de Misiones y el Ministerio de la denominación. Read more »


CCS participants learn about the root causes of mass incarceration (May 14, 2016)

“Brethren, our game is strong…and the story ain’t over yet!” This call to action from Richard Newton heralded the start of Christian Citizenship Seminar (CCS) 2016. Each year CCS brings together high school youth to learn about a social justice issue and put their faith into practice through political advocacy on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Read more »


Daggett hired as project director for Shine, following Stutzman retirement (May 14, 2016)

Joan Daggett of Bridgewater, Va., has accepted the position of project director for Shine: Living in God’s Light, the children’s Sunday school curriculum produced by Brethren Press and MennoMedia. Read more »


New resources include summer Guide for Biblical Studies, curriculum guide for ‘Seagoing Cowboy’ (May 14, 2016)

New resources from Brethren Press include a summer quarter of A Guide for Biblical Studies--the Bible study curriculum for adult Christian education--on the theme “Toward a New Creation,” and a new curriculum guide for the illustrated children’s book “The Seagoing Cowboy.” Read more »


Joe Detrick to serve as interim director of ministry (May 14, 2016)

The Church of the Brethren has hired Joe Detrick as interim director for the Office of Ministry. He will begin in this position on June 22, working out of the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., and from his home in Seven Valleys, Pa. This interim assignment is expected to continue for one year. Read more »


Brethren letter urges US to take part in talks about nuclear disarmament (May 14, 2016)

The Church of the Brethren’s interim general secretary Dale Minnich has sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging the United States to participate in international talks about nuclear disarmament. Read more »


Newsline for May 14, 2016 (May 14, 2016)

NEWS 1) Brethren letter urges US to take part in talks about nuclear disarmament 2) When to ban nuclear weapons is key issue at UN working group 3) CCS participants learn about the root causes of mass incarceration PERSONNEL 4) Joe Detrick to serve as interim director of ministry 5) Daggett hired as project director for Shine, following Stutzman retirement UPCOMING EVENTS 6) Preaching seminar is offered by Bethany alumnae RESOURCES 7) New resources include summer Guide for Biblical Studies, curriculum guide for ‘Seagoing Cowboy’ 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for May 14, 2016 (May 14, 2016)

In this issue: Remembrances, personnel notes, job openings, volunteer positions, news from congregations and districts, Brethren Bible Institute dates, Juniata College honors faculty, Bridgewater College recognizes philosophy and religion students, Bridgewater students to work at Brethren camps, WCC protests treatment of staff and partners by Israel, bill to impose draft registration on women makes inroads in Senate, more. Read more »


May is Older Adult Month (May 6, 2016)

Youth Sunday, graduations, Pentecost, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day--May is a busy month! The Office of Intergenerational Ministries encourages congregations to also celebrate May as Older Adult Month. Read more »


Newsline for May 6, 2016 (May 6, 2016)

1) ‘In Tune’ event at Bethany creates a beautiful dissonance 2) May is Older Adult Month 3) Song and Story Fest celebrates its 20th anniversary 4) Brethren bits Read more »


Song and Story Fest celebrates its 20th anniversary (May 6, 2016)

This year’s Song and Story Fest, a family camp and gathering of Brethren musicians and storytellers, will mark a milestone: the 20th anniversary of the annual event. The 2016 Song and Story Fest is scheduled for July 3-9 at Camp Blue Diamond near Petersburg, Pa. Read more »


Brethren bits for May 6, 2016 (May 6, 2016)

Personnel notices, job openings, call for dessert testers for new Inglenook cookbook, developments in legislation regarding military draft, Brethren Voices features moderator Andy Murray, Elizabethtown College’s interfaith leadership studies major gets attention from the New York Times, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


‘In Tune’ event at Bethany creates a beautiful dissonance  (May 6, 2016)

Dissonance is the tension created from the use of two or more musical notes that just don’t seem to go together. When produced correctly or added into a larger chord, however, they create a lovely tension. A lot of churches are facing this dissonance in a metaphorical way as they attempt to include all musical preferences in a single worship service. But this dissonance doesn’t have to be disastrous. Out of the clash of genres can come something even more beautiful. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services presents new training program in Nigeria (April 29, 2016)

Along with Paul Fry-Miller, John Kinsel, and Josh Kinsel (John’s son), I returned this week from a trip to Nigeria. While John Kinsel and I presented a new training program on trauma healing for children, on behalf of Children’s Disaster Services, Paul Fry-Miller and Norm Waggy presented medical training to 16 community health workers. Read more »


Annual Conference moderator calls for special day of prayer and fasting on Pentecost (April 29, 2016)

Andy Murray, moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, is planning Pentecost Sunday, May 15, as a special day of prayer and fasting in preparation for the annual meeting of the denomination. The 2016 Annual Conference will take place June 29-July 3 in Greensboro, N.C. Read more »


Fellowship of Brethren Homes holds Forum, elects new executive committee (April 29, 2016)

Forum 2016 of the Fellowship of Brethren Homes took place at Brethren Hillcrest Homes in La Verne, Calif., on April 19-21. The forum was hosted by Matthew Neeley, CEO and president, and attended by 21 people. Of the 22 retirement communities in the fellowship, 13 were represented. Read more »


Newsline for April 29, 2016 (April 29, 2016)

NEWS 1) Annual Conference moderator calls for special day of prayer and fasting on Pentecost 2) Brethren Disaster Ministries begins work at new rebuilding project site in Detroit 3) Children’s Disaster Services presents new training program in Nigeria 4) GFCF grants support church projects in Illinois, Maryland, Spain, Honduras 5) Fellowship of Brethren Homes holds Forum, elects new executive committee 6) International delegation completes racial justice pilgrimage to the United States PERSONNEL 7) Leslie Frye resigns as director of the Ministry of Reconciliation UPCOMING EVENTS 8) Bethany Seminary to hold commencement ceremonies 9) Brethren bits Read more »


GFCF grants support church projects in Illinois, Maryland, Spain, Honduras (April 29, 2016)

Recent grants from the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) are providing support to Church of the Brethren-related projects in Illinois, Maryland, Spain, and Honduras. The four grants total $28,456. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries begins work at new rebuilding project site in Detroit (April 29, 2016)

“There has been a lot going on at the BDM office over the past few weeks,” said a recent report from Brethren Disaster Ministries director Jenn Dorsch. A major new effort of Brethren Disaster Ministries is a rebuilding project in Detroit, Mich., in an area affected by flooding in August 2014. Read more »


Brethren bits for April 29 (April 29, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering Harriett Finney and Bryan Boyer, Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) seeks an employee benefits specialist, Betty Ann Cherry to give this year’s Juniata College commencement address, Heifer International holds special event in Chicago, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Majalisa of the Nigerian Brethren focuses on ‘Building EYN for Better Future’ (April 22, 2016)

Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) held its 69th General Church Council (Majalisa) from April 12-16 at the Annex Headquarters in Jos, Nigeria. The Majalisa issued a communique noting official actions of the conference, including the naming of new top leadership for the denomination. Read more »


Newsline for April 22, 2016 (April 22, 2016)

NEWS 1) Brethren Disaster Ministries supports work of Heifer International in Ecuador 2) Children’s Disaster Services deploys to Texas following floods 3) Majalisa of the Nigerian Brethren focuses on ‘Building EYN for Better Future’ 4) Elizabethtown College joins Brethren collaboration on Nigeria research 5) World Council of Churches sends team to US for racial justice listening and support PERSONNEL 6) Cindy Sanders to serve as executive for Missouri and Arkansas District 7) Terry Grove to serve as executive for Atlantic Southeast District UPCOMING EVENTS 8) Youth are invited to explore their call at Bethany Seminary 9) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries supports work of Heifer International in Ecuador (April 22, 2016)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed a grant of $10,000 from the Church of the Brethren Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support the work of Heifer International in Ecuador following a massive earthquake last weekend. Read more »


Brethren bits for April 22, 2016 (April 22, 2016)

In this issue: Correction, job openings with the World Council of Churches, prayer for start of Christian Citizenship Seminar, new National Refugees Welcome Campaign, Emir of Kano warns of starvation in northeast Nigeria, disaster auction season begins soon, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Children’s Disaster Services deploys to Texas following floods (April 22, 2016)

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has deployed a team of 10 volunteers to Houston, Texas, in response to heavy flooding. The CDS volunteers were to arrive mid-day April 21, and have tentative plans to continue childcare through the beginning of May. Read more »


Cindy Sanders to serve as executive for Missouri and Arkansas District (April 19, 2016)

Missouri Arkansas District of the Church of the Brethren has called Cindy Sanders to serve as district executive minister beginning May 1. She is a 1995 graduate of Education for Shared Ministry (EFSM), a ministry training program of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership. She was ordained in the Church of the Brethren in 1995. Read more »


Terry Grove to serve as executive for Atlantic Southeast District  (April 19, 2016)

The Atlantic Southeast District of the Church of the Brethren has called Terry Grove to serve as district executive minister beginning May 1. Most recently he has been a member of Winter Park Church of the Brethren and New Covenant Church of the Brethren, where he serves as quarter time pastor. He also has been treasurer for the district and Camp Ithiel, and previously served briefly as interim district executive. Read more »


Jonathan Shively resigns as executive for Congregational Life Ministries (April 18, 2016)

Jonathan Shively has resigned as executive director of Congregational Life Ministries for the Church of the Brethren, effective April 30. He has served in the position since July 2008, working out of the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Read more »


Newsline for April 15, 2016 (April 15, 2016)

1) Developments at the Brethren Academy offer opportunities for students 2) Emergency Disaster Fund grants help begin new disaster rebuilding site in Detroit 3) Old meets new as Bermudian meets Bittersweet 4) Global Women’s Project Steering Committee meets in Virginia 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Developments at the Brethren Academy offer opportunities for students (April 15, 2016)

At the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, women and men are equipped for leadership in the church through four training programs: Training in Ministry (TRIM), Education for a Shared Ministry (EFSM), Seminario Biblico Anabautista Hispano (SeBAH-CoB), and district-based Academy Certified Training Systems (ACTS). The academy also offers continuing education opportunities for those who have completed seminary degrees or ministry training programs. Read more »


Emergency Disaster Fund grants help begin new disaster rebuilding site in Detroit (April 15, 2016)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed recent grants from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to begin a new rebuilding project site following flooding in Detroit, Mich.; to continue an ongoing rebuilding project site in Colorado; and to help support the work of Brethren volunteers at an ecumenical Disaster Recovery Support Initiative (DRSI) in South Carolina. Read more »


Brethren bits for April 15, 2016 (April 15, 2016)

In this issue: Heifer International posts seagoing cowboy video stories, Ken Medema’s song for Children’s Disaster Services is available online, new church starts are announced by Illinois/Wisconsin District, Shenandoah District is again a collection depot for CWS kits, lots of college news, and more. Read more »


Global Women’s Project Steering Committee meets in Virginia (April 15, 2016)

Harrisonburg, Va., was the site for the March Global Women’s Project Steering Committee meeting. Members enjoyed the warmth of the valley of Virginia both in weather and welcome. Read more »


Old meets new as Bermudian meets Bittersweet (April 15, 2016)

When the founders of Bermudian Church of the Brethren in East Berlin, Pa., stood on their hill and looked over the river where baptisms occurred, they must have felt like they were on holy ground. As pastor Larry Dentler says, “We have been here since before America was America.” Read more »


Special events, vigils mark second anniversary of Chibok abductions (April 13, 2016)

Here is information about some of the special events and prayer vigils planned to commemorate this anniversary, including a first-ever memorial event at the school in Chibok for the parents and families that will integrate both Christian and Muslim faiths: Read more »


Live your life in the hand of God: An interview with Rebecca Dali  (April 13, 2016)

The following is excerpted from an interview with Rebecca Dali made during last year’s Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in July 2015. It was shortly after she had been able to go back home to Michika for the first time since Boko Haram had taken over the area, and then had been forced back out by the Nigerian military. Dali heads up CCEPI, a humanitarian nonprofit serving widows, orphans, and others affected by violence. Now there is significantly less violence than last summer, but Dali’s comments give insight into the suffering of many in Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and their Christian and Muslim neighbors. She shares about the spiritual foundations of her work, and helps explain how young Nigerian men are enticed into joining Boko Haram: Read more »


Newsline Special Marking the 2nd Anniversary of the Chibok Abductions (April 13, 2016)

1) Still no definitive answers: What Brethren should know on this second anniversary of the Chibok abductions 2) Special events, vigils mark second anniversary of Chibok abductions 3) ‘Long Journey Home’ video updates Brethren about the Nigeria Crisis Response 4) Fellowship tour to Nigeria is planned for August 5) United Nations notes sharp increase in use of child suicide bombers 6) Live your life in the hand of God: An interview with Rebecca Dali Read more »


‘Long Journey Home’ video updates Brethren about the Nigeria Crisis Response (April 13, 2016)

The Global Mission and Service office has released a new DVD which updates the Church of the Brethren about the Nigeria Crisis Response for 2016. The video called “The Long Journey Home” outlines what has been accomplished with funds raised by the church and mission partners during 2015, and provides a blueprint for the church’s support of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) for 2016. Read more »


Still no definitive answers: What Brethren should know on this second anniversary of the Chibok abductions (April 13, 2016)

On April 14, 2014, 276 schoolgirls were abducted from a secondary school in Chibok, in northeast Nigeria. Since the night the girls were taken some 56 have escaped and one reportedly was executed in a vicious stoning incident. That leaves 219 of the girls unaccounted for and, at last report, no one has any concrete information concerning their whereabouts. Read more »


Brethren sew dolls, stuffed toys for Nigeria training by Children's Disaster Services  (April 9, 2016)

Several churches and sewing groups have made dolls and stuffed toys for use by Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) in an upcoming training in Nigeria. CDS associate director Kathleen Fry-Miller and volunteer trainer John Kinsel will travel to Nigeria to train Nigerian Brethren women leaders to provide trauma healing for children. Read more »


Brethren bits for April 9, 2016 (April 9, 2016)

In this issue: Remembrances, personnel notes, job opening in DC, CDS volunteers serve in Louisiana, ‘Our Calling to Racial Justice,’ ADNet financial planning seminar, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Newsline for April 9, 2016 (April 9, 2016)

1) New graduate certificates offered at Bethany Seminary 2) Brethren sew dolls, stuffed toys for Nigeria training by Children's Disaster Services 3) Fellowship of Brethren Homes holds annual Forum in April 4) Early registration discount still available for @HIM #Hope #Imagination #Mission 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Fellowship of Brethren Homes holds annual Forum in April  (April 9, 2016)

The Fellowship of Brethren Homes, an organization of the Church of the Brethren-related retirement communities, will hold its annual Forum 2016 on April 19-21 at Hillcrest in La Verne, Calif. The event will begin with a dinner on Tuesday, April 19, and end with a session on Thursday morning, April 21. Read more »


Early registration discount still available for @HIM #Hope #Imagination #Mission (April 9, 2016)

Register by April 15 to take advantage of early registration discount for the new church development conference, @HIM #Hope #Imagination #Mission. This event is for church planters, anyone considering becoming a church planter, planting teams, and leaders eager to explore a vision of the church that includes vital established congregations and dynamic emerging mission points. Read more »


German Mennonite peace prize to go to EYN and Muslim partners (March 25, 2016)

A peace prize will be awarded to Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and its Muslim partners who have cooperated in the “Christian and Muslim Peace Initiative” known as CAMPI. The announcement of the prize was made in a release from Mission 21, a partner organization of EYN that is based in Switzerland. Read more »


Disaster grants support W. Virginia bridge project, displaced people in Rwanda and DR Congo, DRSI project, Sudan mission, deported Haitians (March 25, 2016)

Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund to a variety of projects in recent weeks. Among them are a bridge rebuilding project in West Virginia, assistance for refugees from Burundi living in Rwanda, assistance for people displaced by violence in the DR Congo, a Disaster Recovery Support Initiative aiding a longterm recovery group in South Carolina, food assistance in South Sudan, and aid for Haitian migrants returning to Haiti from the Dominican Republic. These grants total $85,950. Read more »


Insurance company issues another large dividend to the Church of the Brethren (March 25, 2016)

The Church of the Brethren has received another large dividend amounting to $63,784 from Brethren Mutual Aid and Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company, through the company’s Partnership Group Program. Read more »


Newsline for March 25, 2016  (March 25, 2016)

1) Insurance company issues another large dividend to the Church of the Brethren 2) Disaster grants support W. Virginia bridge project, displaced people in Rwanda and DR Congo, DRSI project, Sudan mission, deported Haitians 3) Global Food Crisis Fund grants support Lybrook ministries, agriculture in Rwanda and the DR Congo 4) German Mennonite peace prize to go to EYN and Muslim partners 5) One-and-a-half years in Cameroon: An interview with an EYN district secretary 6) Webinars to focus on urban ministry 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Webinars to focus on urban ministry (March 25, 2016)

A new series of webinars will focus on urban ministry, co-sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Congregational Life Ministries. Dates and times, topics, presenter information, and brief descriptions follow: Read more »


Brethren bits for March 25, 2016 (March 25, 2016)

In this issue: Churches invited to provide pictures on Annual Conference theme, personnel announcements, the new Messenger Online, an Earth Day Sunday focus on animals, Jones Chapel Church celebrates 75 years, Staunton holds renewal weekend with Carol Scheppard, Washington congregations pray together for Nigeria, and much more Read more »


One-and-a-half years in Cameroon: An interview with an EYN district secretary (March 25, 2016)

Luka Tada was a district secretary of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) serving the District Church Council (DCC) Attagara in Gwoza Local Government in Borno State. He began his service as a district secretary before the Christian population of the area was forced out of Nigeria by the Boko Haram insurgents, and fled to Cameroon. Among other surviving pastors in the area, he fled with his church members to Cameroon where UNICEF placed them in a camp in Minawawo. Read more »


Global Food Crisis Fund grants support Lybrook ministries, agriculture in Rwanda and the DR Congo (March 25, 2016)

Recent grants allocated from the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) support expansion of community gardening at the Lybrook Communities Ministries in New Mexico, and two agriculture projects that serve the Twa people in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These three grants total $36,180. Read more »


Newsline for March 17, 2016 (March 17, 2016)

NEWS 1) Mission and Ministry Board releases $1 million to continue Nigeria Crisis Response, begins new effort for financial support of ongoing ministries 2) Winners of the Bethany peace essay contest are announced 3) Project sends Bibles to Nigeria 4) Rockford Community Church sends mobile library to Nigeria UPCOMING EVENTS 5) Conference attendees are invited to participate in Jubilee Service Projects 6) Bethany Seminary hosts ENGAGE campus visit day on April 14 7) National Young Adult Conference speakers to focus on ‘Creating Harmony’ 8) Applications are welcomed for Summer and Fall Brethren Volunteer Service orientations PERSONNEL 9) Brethren Volunteer Service unit begins work 10) Brethren bits: Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 312 begins work (March 17, 2016)

Volunteers who underwent orientation in the Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Unit 312, the Winter 2016 unit, have been assigned to their project sites. The volunteers, their hometowns, and project assignments follow: Read more »


National Young Adult Conference speakers to focus on ‘Creating Harmony’ (March 17, 2016)

National Young Adult Conference 2016 will take place May 27-30 on the campus of Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind. Participants will focus on Colossians 3:12-17 and the theme “Creating Harmony.” The schedule includes worship, fellowship, recreation, Bible study, and service projects. Speakers include Christy Dowdy, Jim Grossnickle-Batterton, Drew Hart, Eric Landram, Waltrina Middleton, and Richard Zapata. Read more »


Brethren bits for March 17, 2016 (March 17, 2016)

In this issue: Remembrances, personnel notes, job openings, new online resources featuring Brethren speakers, reporting from Africa Great Lakes delegation, a reminder of upcoming events from SVMC, extended deadline for group orders for “The Seagoing Cowboy,” EYN’s theme for the year, and much more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Conference attendees are invited to participate in Jubilee Service Projects (March 17, 2016)

What does an afternoon of no business session, plus service opportunities, equal at this year’s Annual Conference? Jubilee Service Projects! The Annual Conference Programs and Arrangements committee has set aside the afternoon of Friday, July 1 as a time for Conference-goers to participate in a Jubilee Afternoon. Read more »


Rockford Community Church sends mobile library to Nigeria (March 17, 2016)

With an eye on helping young people and promoting peace, a mobile library has been sent to northeast Nigeria by Rockford (Ill.) Community Church of the Brethren, with help from many other donors. Read more »


Project sends Bibles to Nigeria (March 17, 2016)

When Galen Hackman retired from pastoring Ephrata (Pa.) Church of the Brethren last October, the congregation collected money in his name in order to provide Bibles to Nigeria. The congregation knew that he had a heart for Nigeria because back in the 1990s he and his wife spent time there teaching at Kulp Bible College. The church raised more than $3,000 to purchase Bibles. This money along with a self-inking stamp to mark each Bible was sent with us to Nigeria this past January. Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board allocates $1 million to continue Nigeria Crisis Response, begins new effort for financial support of ongoing ministries (March 17, 2016)

A major action at the Spring meeting of the Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren allocated another $1 million of donated funds to continue the Nigeria Crisis Response. The board also engaged in significant conversation about financial shortfalls for ongoing denominational ministries, and how to develop more support and foster relationship-building across the wider church. Read more »


Applications are welcomed for Summer and Fall Brethren Volunteer Service orientations (March 17, 2016)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) is scheduled to run three more orientations in 2016, already having completed one orientation in February. BVS is a fulltime volunteer program that places volunteers in a one- to two-year assignment in the United States and locations around the world. Read more »


Church of the Brethren mourns loss of associate general secretary Mary Jo Flory-Steury (March 4, 2016)

Mary Jo Flory-Steury, associate general secretary of the Church of the Brethren and executive director of the denomination’s Office of Ministry, died this morning at Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center. Read more »


CCEPI graduates first set of orphans and widows in skill acquisition (February 27, 2016)

Director of the Center for Caring and Peace Initiative (CCEPI) in Nigeria, Rebecca S. Dali, charged the first graduates of the Livelihood Skill Acquisition Center established by CCEPI to work hard by utilizing the materials such as knitting machines, sewing machines, and computers given to them to make them economically independent. Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 27, 2016 (February 27, 2016)

In this issue: SVMC personnel announcement, job openings at SVMC and the Church of the Brethren General Offices, BRF group serves in Haiti, theology session at 2016 Ecumenical Advocacy Days, Ventures features Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm, Mutual Kumquat concert at Beavercreek Church benefits Nigerian family, Roundtable registration is open, spring candlelight dinners at John Kline Homestead, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Congregational Life Ministries and ADNet extend agreement to work together (February 27, 2016)

In January 2016, Anabaptist Disabilities Network (ADNet) and the Church of the Brethren Congregational Life Ministries extended an agreement to work together to advocate for persons with disabilities in the church. Since 2014, the Church of the Brethren has had a representative serving on the ADNet board of directors and has worked in cooperation with ADNet’s mission to “support Anabaptist congregations, families, and persons touched by disabilities to nurture inclusive communities.” Read more »


Newsline for Feb. 27, 2016 (February 27, 2016)

NEWS 1) Christian Churches Together holds 10th annual convocation 2) Office of Public Witness urges reduction of military spending in 2017 federal budget 3) Congregational Life Ministries and ADNet extend agreement to work together 4) CCEPI graduates first set of orphans and widows in skill acquisition PERSONNEL 5) Ronald Beachley to retire from leadership of W. Pennsylvania District UPCOMING EVENTS 6) Bethany Seminary holds second annual young adult event 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Ronald Beachley to retire from leadership of W. Pennsylvania District (February 27, 2016)

Ronald D. Beachley has announced his plans to retire as district executive of the Western Pennsylvania District effective Dec. 31, 2016. He began his ministry as district executive on Sept. 15, 1985. Read more »


Christian Churches Together holds 10th annual convocation (February 27, 2016)

At the 10th annual convocation of Christian Churches Together in the USA (CCT), held in early 2016 in Arlington, Va., member churches and organizations deepened their work on racism and other issues of common concern. Read more »


Newsline Special: Requests for prayer (February 22, 2016)

Over the weekend, a tragedy involving students at Manchester University, the sudden hospitalization of associate general secretary Mary Jo Flory-Steury, and a fire at Cross Keys Village-one of the Church of the Brethren-related retirement communities, have prompted calls for prayer. Read more »


Churches invited to take part in Bread for the World’s Offering of Letters (February 20, 2016)

As part of our call to work toward ending global hunger and poverty, the Office of Public Witness invites congregations to participate in Bread for the World’s 2016 Offering of Letters. This year’s theme, “Survive and Thrive,” focuses on the impact of malnutrition on women and children. Read more »


Lamps represent gifts shared between Brethren on two continents (February 20, 2016)

Dale Ziegler was one of the “Take 10/Tell 10" group from Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren who made a trip to Nigeria in January, accompanied by Nigeria Crisis Response co-directors Carl and Roxane Hill. Here he tells the story of the “Lamps for Nigeria” project: Read more »


Simple hand-sewn dolls and stuffed toys needed for Nigeria (February 20, 2016)

Later this spring representatives of Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) will be traveling to Nigeria to work on trauma healing with children, working with women theologians of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Read more »


Congregations are sought for Heifer fundraising  (February 20, 2016)

Recently the Church of the Brethren, Heifer International, and Ted & Co, a professional touring theater company, formed a partnership around a project to highlight and support the work of Heifer International. At the heart of this partnership is an event called “12 Baskets and a Goat,” a live theater show that includes an auction to raise funds for Heifer. Read more »


Newsline for Feb. 20, 2016 (February 20, 2016)

NEWS 1) Brethren leaders attend 25th Asamblea in Dominican Republic 2) Congregations are sought for Heifer fundraising 3) Churches invited to take part in Bread for the World’s Offering of Letters NIGERIA SPECIAL SECTION 4) Nigeria Crisis Response co-directors visit unstable areas of northeast Nigeria 5) Seeds and farming supplies are next step for Nigeria Crisis Response 6) Reflections on a distribution of relief good by CCEPI in Nigeria 7) Lamps represent gifts shared between Brethren on two continents 8) Simple hand-sewn dolls and stuffed toys needed for Nigeria 9) ‘We can recreate a new and better tomorrow’: An address by the EYN president 10) Brethren bits Read more »


Seeds and farming supplies are next step for Nigeria Crisis Response (February 20, 2016)

As the church’s Nigeria Crisis Response is in its second year, we are constantly seeking ways to help the church in Nigeria become more stable and help people recover from the violence and security issues they have had to endure over the last few years. As expected, there is no simple solution. But on our most recent visit to Nigeria one thing became apparent--the people of Nigeria are resilient and will only require a little assistance in certain areas to begin helping themselves. Read more »


‘We can recreate a new and better tomorrow’: An address by the EYN president (February 20, 2016)

The following is the text of an address by Samuel Dante Dali, president of Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), to the EYN Ministers’ Council. The council met at the EYN Headquarters in Kwarhi on Feb. 17-20. Newsline was sent this address by the EYN communications staff, in order to share it with the wider Church of the Brethren: Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 20, 2016 (February 20, 2016)

In this issue: Personnel announcements from Bethany Seminary, job openings, reminder to register for the 2016 Clergy Tax Seminar, 2015 allocations from the Global Food Crisis Fund, Action Alert on Israeli settlement expansion, Ventures seminar and Illinois and Wisconsin District workshop are led by Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm, two districts send leaders to Africa’s Great Lakes region, Michigan District holds love offering for Flint, and much more. Read more »


Nigeria Crisis Response co-directors visit unstable areas of northeast Nigeria (February 20, 2016)

On our recent trip to Nigeria to meet with and encourage the Disaster Team of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), we took the opportunity to travel into unstable and potentially dangerous areas of the northeast. Read more »


Brethren leaders attend 25th Asamblea in Dominican Republic (February 20, 2016)

A delegation of the Mission Advisory Committee enjoyed a formal visit with Iglesia de los Hermandos Dominicano (Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic), visiting churches, touring outreach ministries, speaking with church members, and attending the 25th annual gathering, “Asamblea,” of the Dominican Brethren held Feb. 12-14. Read more »


Reflections on a distribution of relief good by CCEPI in Nigeria  (February 20, 2016)

Karen Hodges was one of the “Take 10/Tell 10" group from Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren who made a trip to Nigeria in January, accompanied by Nigeria Crisis Response co-directors Carl and Roxane Hill. Here is her reflection after participating in a food distribution: Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service holds connection dinners in Pennsylvania, Kansas (February 12, 2016)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) staff will be visiting and holding “Connection” meal events in McPherson, Kan., on Feb. 28, and in Elizabethtown, Pa., on March 13. These meal events are an opportunity for prospective volunteers, those interested in BVS, and BVS alumni and friends to enjoy food, fellowship, and stories about the volunteer experience. Read more »


Four members join the Youth Peace Travel Team for 2016 (February 12, 2016)

The members of the 2016 Youth Peace Travel Team have been announced. As the team spends time with youth this summer at camps across the denomination, they will teach about peace, justice, and reconciliation, all core values throughout the Church of the Brethren’s 300-plus year history. Read more »


Newsline for Feb. 12, 2016 (February 12, 2016)

1) Sarpiya and Wiltschek top Annual Conference ballot for 2016 2) Spiritual preparation for Annual Conference in Greensboro 3) Four members join the Youth Peace Travel Team for 2016 4) Church of the Brethren signs letter urging federal action to aid Flint 5) Brethren Volunteer Service holds connection dinners in Pennsylvania, Kansas 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Church of the Brethren signs letter urging federal action to aid Flint (February 12, 2016)

In response to the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Mich., the Church of the Brethren and a number of other Christian groups who represent Creation Justice Ministries, the former National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program, have signed onto a letter praising the charitable actions of faith groups while also urging Congress and the Obama administration to take action to resolve the situation. Read more »


Spiritual preparation for Annual Conference in Greensboro (February 12, 2016)

In his Lenten devotional, “Let Us Also Go,” Chris Bowman summons us for a challenging journey that leads through the darkness of Good Friday to the Light of Easter Sunday. It is a good reminder that for Christians to “carry the light” we must also prepare ourselves with confession, prayer, and discipline that acknowledges the darkness that surrounds us and, at times, occupies us. Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 12, 2016 (February 12, 2016)

In this issue: Personnel news from Juniata College, a report from CODE and IAF meetings, prayer requests for an Asamblea in the DR and theological training and a special medical clinic in Haiti, Mutual Kumquat to record music for Shine, an honor for the founder of Circleville Church of the Brethren, Regional Youth Conferences, and more. Read more »


Sarpiya and Wiltschek top Annual Conference ballot for 2016 (February 10, 2016)

The Conference Office has released the ballot that will be presented to the delegate body at the 2016 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren this summer. Topping the ballot are two nominees for Annual Conference moderator-elect: Samuel Sarpiya and Walt Wiltschek. Other offices to be filled by election of the delegate body are positions on the Program and Arrangements Committee, Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee, Mission and Ministry Board, Bethany Seminary board of trustees, Brethren Benefit Trust board, and On Earth Peace board. Read more »


Brethren bits for Feb. 5, 2016 (February 5, 2016)

In this issue: Remembrances, personnel announcements from Bethany Seminary and BBT and Shepherd’s Spring, job openings at the Brethren Housing Association and Pinecrest Community, encouragement to “keep thinking long term” from BBT’s president, next webinar in the “Heart of Anabaptism” series, new members on the COBYS Board of Directors, a tour by Bittersweet Gospel Band, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Intercultural Ministries staff leads ‘Ministry in Two Americas’ at seminary (February 5, 2016)

On Feb. 11-12, the Church of the Brethren’s Intercultural Ministries staff Gimbiya Kettering will lead events at Bethany Theological Seminary on the theme “Ministry in Two Americas.” The campus of Bethany Seminary is located in Richmond, Ind. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries works on new Disaster Recovery Support Initiative (February 5, 2016)

Brethren Disaster Ministries is partnering with the disaster ministries of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to form a Disaster Recovery Support Initiative (DRSI). The new initiative is intended to help speed up the process of getting volunteers in place to begin repair and rebuilding work following a disaster. Read more »


SVMC continuing education events highlight memory care, Chronicles and the church (February 5, 2016)

The Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center (SVMC) is offering three upcoming continuing education events for ministers and others who are interested. Two address memory care, and one offers a study of the Old Testament book of Chronicles and its meaning for the church today. Read more »


Newsline for Feb. 5, 2016 (February 5, 2016)

NEWS: 1) Brethren Disaster Ministries works on new Disaster Recovery Support Initiative. 2) Flint Church of the Brethren is a water distribution center during crisis. 3) Disabilities ministry announces creation of Open Roof Fellowship. 4) Nursing students receive Church of the Brethren scholarships. 5) South Sudan church leaders request prayer for peace this Saturday. 6) Manchester University to offer new interfaith literacy certificate. 7) Marrakesh Declaration affirms rights of religious minorities in Muslim countries. UPCOMING EVENTS: 8) Intercultural Ministries staff leads ‘Ministry in Two Americas’ at seminary. 9) SVMC continuing education events highlight memory care, Chronicles and the church. RESOURCES: 10) Children’s book tells about seagoing cowboys who delivered livestock--and hope. 11) Brethren bits Read more »


Children’s book tells about seagoing cowboys who delivered livestock--and hope (February 5, 2016)

Beginning in 1945, while Europe struggled with the desolation left by years of war, more than 7,000 men and boys traveled by ship on missions of mercy. They were seagoing cowboys--farmhands and folks from all walks of life: teachers, students, bankers, preachers, carpenters--who were recruited to care for the thousands of horses and heifers sent for reparations. Read more »


South Sudan church leaders request prayer for peace this Saturday (February 5, 2016)

South Sudan church leaders have requested Christians around the world to join them in a time of prayer for peace in their nation on this Saturday, Feb. 6, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The request is being shared with the Church of the Brethren by members of a delegation that recently visited South Sudan and met with church leaders there. Read more »


Flint Church of the Brethren is a water distribution center during crisis (February 3, 2016)

The following report from Bill Hammond of First Church of the Brethren in Flint, Mich., was received Feb. 2. He reports on the water crisis in Flint and the role the Brethren there are playing in helping to serve the community: Read more »


Disabilities ministry announces creation of Open Roof Fellowship (February 3, 2016)

Mark’s Gospel reminds us that we are called to reach out to persons of all needs and abilities and to go to extraordinary lengths to bring them to Jesus: “Then some people came, bringing to Jesus a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him” (Mark 2:3-4). Church of the Brethren congregations committed to and actively engaged in ministry to and with persons with disabilities are therefore recognized as Open Roof congregations. Read more »


Nursing students receive Church of the Brethren scholarships (February 3, 2016)

Five nursing students are recipients of Church of the Brethren Nursing Scholarships for 2015. This scholarship, made possible by the Health Education and Research Endowment, is available to members of the Church of the Brethren enrolled in LPN, RN, or nursing graduate programs. Read more »


Newsline for Jan. 23, 2016 (January 23, 2016)

1) Grant of $50,000 will send aid for Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon 2) Yearbook reports denominational membership in 2014, and other statistics 3) New Church of the Brethren Yearbook is available on CD 4) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 23, 2016 (January 23, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering Virginia (Ginny) M. Stockton, Steven M. Nolt named senior scholar at Elizabethtown’s Young Center, Brethren Press and MennoMedia seek a project director for Shine, “early bird” registration discount for National Young Adult Conference ends Jan. 31, prayer sought for delegation to South Sudan, BVS highlights project sites on Facebook, worship resources are available for Service Sunday Feb. 7, and much more news about and for Brethren. Read more »


New Church of the Brethren Yearbook is available on CD (January 23, 2016)

The 2015 Church of the Brethren Yearbook is now available for purchase from Brethren Press. The yearbook is the annual directory of the Church of the Brethren denomination, and is published in pdf format on CD. The 2015 Yearbook may be purchased for $21.50, plus shipping and handling. Read more »


Grant of $50,000 will send aid for Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon (January 23, 2016)

The staff at Brethren Disaster Ministries have directed an allocation of $50,000 from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support the Syrian refugee relief programs of Lebanese Society for Education and Social Development (LSESD). Read more »


Yearbook reports denominational membership in 2014, and other statistics (January 23, 2016)

The Church of the Brethren denominational membership was 114,465 in 2014, according to data from the “2015 Church of the Brethren Yearbook.” Compared to 2009, when denominational membership was 122,810, this represents a decline of 8,345 members over the previous five years. Read more »


Brethren funds distribute $77,958, Brethren Disaster Ministries starts new project in West Virginia (January 15, 2016)

A total of $77,958 has been distributed in recent grants from two funds of the Church of the Brethren, the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) and the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF). The grants provide funding for the completion of a Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding project in New Jersey and the start up of a new rebuilding project in West Virginia, as well as a rabbit project in Haiti and assessment of GFCF-sponsored projects in the Africa Great Lakes region. Read more »


Church of the Brethren among 500 groups signing letter in support of Syrian refugees (January 15, 2016)

The Church of the Brethren, through action of general secretary Stanley J. Noffsinger and the Office of Public Witness, has signed on to a letter to the US Senate in support of Syrian refugees. The letter also expresses opposition to a piece of legislation being sent to the Senate by the House of Representatives, the “American Security Against Foreign Enemies” (SAFE) Act of 2015 (H.R. 4038). Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 15, 2016 (January 15, 2016)

In this issue: Remembering Marianne Michael, Brethren Woods hires program directors, Southeastern District seek district executive, Lancaster Church holds 30 years of prayer breakfasts, Nominating Committee meets, BVS announces start of Winter Orientation, Latvian Christians provide resources for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and much more. Read more »


‘Let Us Also Go’ is theme for 2016 Lenten devotional from Brethren Press  (January 15, 2016)

The 2016 Lenten devotional from Brethren Press is written by Chris Bowman and titled, “Let Us Also Go: Devotions for Ash Wednesday Through Easter.” Brethren Press publishes a Lenten and Advent devotional each year, in a pocket-sized format suitable for individual use and for congregations to supply to their members. Read more »


Newsline for Jan. 15, 2016 (January 15, 2016)

1) Brethren funds distribute $77,958, Brethren Disaster Ministries starts new project in West Virginia 2) Church of the Brethren among 500 groups signing letter in support of Syrian refugees 3) Manchester University reaches $1.5 million goal for endowed Peace Studies professorship RESOURCES:4) ‘Let Us Also Go’ is theme for 2016 Lenten devotional from Brethren Press 5) Brethren bits Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board announces conclusion of Noffsinger’s service, appointment of interim general secretary (January 12, 2016)

The Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren has reached agreement with Stanley J. Noffsinger that he will conclude his service as general secretary on Friday, Feb. 12. Read more »


‘Heart of Anabaptism’ webinars continue in 2016 (January 8, 2016)

Four new webinars continue the theme, “The Heart of Anabaptism,” in 2016, announces the Congregational Life Ministies staff. The webinar presenters will explore the core convictions of the Anabaptist Network in the United Kingdom. Read more »


Vietnam blind school holds training with slogan ‘Understanding Eliminates Darkness’ (January 8, 2016)

On Nov. 18, 2015, Thien An Blind School of Ho Chi Minn City, Vietnam, hosted a one-day training for 30 sociology students as a part of Service Learning at the University of Humanities and Social Sciences. Participating in this training day were Grace Mishler, a Church of the Brethren member who serves in Vietnam with Global Mission and Service; her program assistant Nguyen Xuan; and program trainee Nguyen Thi My Huyen. Read more »


CDS volunteers work in Oregon over holidays, deploy to area flooded by Mississippi (January 8, 2016)

Volunteers from Children’s Disaster Services (CDS), a program of the Church of the Brethren and its Brethren Disaster Ministries, were deployed to a Red Cross shelter in Oregon City, Ore., after an apartment building was evacuated. The evacuation was carried out because of concerns about landslides in the aftermath of strong storms on the Pacific coast. Read more »


Sustaining Ministerial Excellence Advanced Seminar brings together cohort of camp leaders (January 8, 2016)

The first retreat for the SMEAS (Sustaining Ministerial Excellence Advanced Seminar) Camp Leaders Cohort took place Nov. 19-21, 2015, at Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministry and Retreat Center in Mid-Atlantic District. Participants had completed their annual Outdoor Ministries Association Retreat and stayed onsite for this new continuing education program. Read more »


Registration opens for church planting event in May (January 8, 2016)

Registration is now open for the new church development conference, @HIM #Hope #Imagination #Mission, scheduled for May 19-21 in Richmond, Ind. The conference will feature Efrem Smith and Mandy Smith as keynote speakers, and will be marked by passionate worship, informative workshops, valuable networking, and prayerful support. Read more »


Don Knieriem resigns as database administrator for Church of the Brethren (January 8, 2016)

Don Knieriem has tendered his resignation as database administrator for the Church of the Brethren. His last day of work at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill., will be Jan. 20. Read more »


Brethren bits for Jan. 8, 2016 (January 8, 2016)

In this issue: Correction, remembering Makanlal Mangaldas Gameti, updates on district leadership, Brethren Benefit Trust seeks member services representative for Employee Benefits among other job openings including searches for executives in Atlantic Southeast and Missouri/Arkansas Districts, BVS director monitors situation for women conscientious objectors after military opens combat to women, Ministry Summer Service applications are due, registration opens for National Young Adult Conference, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Update is available for Church of the Brethren ‘Manual of Organization and Polity’ (January 8, 2016)

The Church of the Brethren “Manual of Organization and Polity” has been updated to incorporate polity decisions adopted by Annual Conference since the last edition of the manual, and to review and update endnotes to ensure that the manual reflects as much as possible the exact wording of the Annual Conference decisions which established or updated the polity. Go to www.brethren.org/ac/ppg to find the updated files. Read more »


Global Mission and Service worker honored in Vietnam  (January 8, 2016)

On Nov. 8, 2015, Grace Mishler, a Church of the Brethren member and a Global Mission and Service worker in Ho Chi Minh City, was honored for her work with disabled persons by Vietnamese government officials. Selected individuals from the southern region of Vietnam were recognized for their contributions to the disabled community including blind and partially sighted persons, the area of Mishler’s expertise. Read more »


Newsline for Jan. 8, 2016 (January 8, 2016)

1) Preachers are announced for Annual Conference 2016 2) CDS volunteers work in Oregon over holidays, deploy to area flooded by Mississippi 3) Global Mission and Service worker honored in Vietnam 4) Vietnam blind school holds training with slogan ‘Understanding Eliminates Darkness’ 5) WCC leaders express concern over situation on the Korean peninsula 6) Update is available for Church of the Brethren ‘Manual of Organization and Polity’ 7) Sustaining Ministerial Excellence Advanced Seminar brings together cohort of camp leaders 8) Don Knieriem resigns as database administrator for Church of the Brethren 9) Registration opens for church planting event in May 10) Brethren Academy announces upcoming courses 11) ‘Heart of Anabaptism’ webinars continue in 2016 12) Brethren bits Read more »


Preachers are announced for Annual Conference 2016 (January 8, 2016)

The line-up of preachers for the 2016 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren has been announced. The Annual Conference takes place at the Koury Convention Center and Sheraton Hotel in Greensboro, N.C., on June 29-July 3. Registration opens online on Feb. 17 for both delegates and nondelegates. The Conference theme is “Carry the Light” (John 1:1-5). Read more »


Brethren Academy announces upcoming courses (January 8, 2016)

The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership has announced is upcoming course schedule. Courses are open to students in TRIM (Training in Ministry) and EFSM (Education for Shared Ministry) as well as pastors and all interested persons. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 22, 2015 (December 22, 2015)

NEWS 1) Queries address same-sex marriage, On Earth Peace, life together in the church, Creation care 2) District terminates ordination of pastor who performed same-sex marriage 3) EYN president Samuel Dali addresses Nigerian nation in Christmas message 4) EYN choir tour proves ‘phenomenally successful’ 5) BBT Board increases benevolent grant levels 6) Pacific Southwest District Conference meets on the theme of ‘Justice’ 7) New Ventures session offer opportunity for story of grief, healing 8) Brethren bits Read more »


EYN choir tour proves ‘phenomenally successful’ (December 22, 2015)

This update on the EYN Women’s Fellowship Choir and BEST tour has been prepared by the secretary and chair of the EYN Visit Planning Committee from Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren and Atlantic Northeast District. The EYN 2015 Fraternal Visit turned out to be a phenomenally successful “God event.” It strengthened the bond of Christian love and fellowship between EYN (Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria) and the Church of the Brethren more than any other experience in recent years. Read more »


Queries address same-sex marriage, On Earth Peace, life together in the church, Creation care (December 22, 2015)

Five queries have been acted on by district conferences this year and received by the officers of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, for consideration in 2016 by the Standing Committee and/or the Annual Conference. The Standing Committee of district delegates makes recommendations about the business items that will be presented to the Conference. Read more »


BBT Board increases benevolent grant levels (December 22, 2015)

Pastors and church workers within the Church of the Brethren who are in severe financial need could soon qualify for a little more assistance. Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec. 22, 2015 (December 22, 2015)

In this issue: Church of the Brethren districts seek executive ministers, Children’s Aid Society seeks executive director, job opening in Brethren Press customer service, workcamp registration opens online Jan. 7, prayer requested for nation of Burundi, Dominican Republic pastors hold retreat, Waterford Church of the Brethren closes, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


New Ventures session offer opportunity for story of grief, healing (December 22, 2015)

The newest offering in the Ventures sessions hosted at McPherson (Kan.) College comes up on Jan. 16, titled “The Road We Travel...a Journey Shared.” Deb and Dale Ziegler will share about their journey of loss, grief, and healing since September 2012 when their 19-year-old son--a college student at McPherson--was killed while riding his bicycle. Read more »


District terminates ordination of pastor who performed same-sex marriage (December 22, 2015)

On Dec. 10 the Shenandoah District Leadership Team “terminated with possibility of reinstatement” the ordination of Chris Zepp, associate pastor of Bridgewater (Va.) Church of the Brethren. This action was taken at the recommendation of the district’s Ministerial Leadership Team, after Zepp officiated at a same-sex marriage. Read more »


EYN president Samuel Dali addresses Nigerian nation in Christmas message (December 22, 2015)

Samuel Dante Dali, president of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), addressed the nation of Nigeria from the capital city of Abuja as part of a national Christmas celebration. Dr. Dali spoke to the country in a televised address on Sunday, Dec. 13, from the National Christian Center. The theme of his presentation was, “We Thank Thee, O Lord.” Read more »


Pacific Southwest District Conference meets on the theme of ‘Justice’  (December 22, 2015)

Brethren from Arizona and California gathered the second weekend of November for the 52nd District Conference of the Pacific Southwest District in La Verne, Calif. Eric Bishop was this year’s moderator, choosing the theme of “Justice: Called to Be Just Christians” from Matthew 5 and 25. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 12, 2015 (December 12, 2015)

1) Church of the Brethren general secretary speaks out against anti-Muslim rhetoric 2) Haiti Service Ministry Consultation strengthens partnerships, assesses ministries 3) Review and Evaluation Committee holds second meeting 4) Press conference urges support for US refugee resettlement 5) Congregations host Ted & Co. event, help raise funds for Heifer Arks 6) Kindness is good for your health, research shows UPCOMING EVENTS 7) Winter and spring workshops are offered by Children’s Disaster Services 8) Brethren bits Read more »


Congregations host Ted & Co. event, help raise funds for Heifer Arks (December 11, 2015)

Two Church of the Brethren congregations have hosted the new Ted & Co. production, “Twelve Baskets and a Goat,” which is a cooperative venture to raise funds for Heifer International. Between them, the two events at West Charleston Church of the Brethren in Tipp City, Ohio, and Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren raised enough funds to support two “arks” for Heifer–a goal for the series of events. Read more »


Winter and spring workshops are offered by Children’s Disaster Services (December 11, 2015)

Children's Disaster Services (CDS) has issued a winter-spring workshop schedule for 2016. The CDS training obtained at these workshops is a unique kind of disaster preparedness training. The trainings will include logistics of disaster response work, all through the lens of compassionate care for children and their families, as well the caregivers themselves. Read more »


Review and Evaluation Committee holds second meeting (December 11, 2015)

The Review and Evaluation Committee has met twice this fall to begin the work given to them by the Annual Conference. The first meeting was a conference call in late October, which focused on understanding the full scope of the mandate. The second meeting occurred Dec. 1-2 at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The committee comprises Tim Harvey (chair), Leah J. Hileman (recorder), Robert Kettering, David K. Shumate, and Ben Barlow. Read more »


Church of the Brethren general secretary speaks out against anti-Muslim rhetoric (December 11, 2015)

Church of the Brethren general secretary Stanley J. Noffsinger has issued a statement against the current escalation of rhetoric that seeks to demonize Muslims. Citing Jesus’ commands to love God, and love neighbor as self, and the parable of the Good Samaritan, the statement also calls church members to revisit portions of the 1991 Annual Conference statement “Peacemaking: The Call of God’s Peace in History” that direct the church to “explore avenues of interfaith dialogue leading toward a visible expression of God's plan for human unity.” Read more »


Brethren bits (December 11, 2015)

In this issue: Invitation to simulcast Christmas Service from Bethlehem, alert for nonprofits about proposed IRS rule changes, Highland Avenue church to host special music and worship weekend led by Shawn Kirchner, S. Pennsylvania District plans “Man 2 Man,” National Council of Churches announces new leaders, NCC welcomes Assyrian church, and more. Read more »


Kindness is good for your health, research shows (December 11, 2015)

Research shows that kindness and generosity have positive physiological effects. Researchers sometimes call this “helper’s high.” Two studies found that older adults who did volunteer work were living longer. Another study found a significant reduction in early death for people who volunteered often. This actually had a larger effect than regular exercise. In the 1990s, a study looked at personal essays written by nuns in the 1930s. The nuns who expressed the most positive emotions lived about 10 years longer than those who were less positive. Read more »


Press conference urges support for US refugee resettlement (December 11, 2015)

On Tuesday, the Office of Public Witness attended a press conference where Senators Leahy, Durbin, and Kaine, and several faith leaders urged Congress to support resettlement of Syrian refugees. Even though 4.3 million Syrians seek refuge from the violence in Syria, policy riders on a budget bill threaten to bar even a small fraction of this vulnerable population from the United States. Read more »


Haiti Service Ministry Consultation strengthens partnerships, assesses ministries (December 11, 2015)

Thirty leaders of Eglise des Freres Haitiens (the Church of the Brethren in Haiti) gathered with about 20 persons from the United States for the first Haiti Service Ministries Consultation on Nov. 19-23. The focus was learning about Brethren ministries underway in Haiti, and building bridges of partnership among the Haitian Brethren and American Brethren. It was sponsored by the Global Mission and Service of the Church of the Brethren and organized by Dale Minnich, a volunteer with the Haiti Medical Project. Read more »


Outdoor Ministries Association retreat considers ‘Seeds of Change’ (December 5, 2015)

Every year in mid-November, those engaged and interested in Church of the Brethren outdoor ministries gather for a conference and retreat. Camp managers, administrators, program coordinators, board members, and those who love and support outdoor ministries come together for a week of sharing, learning, and enjoying each other’s company, and of course, the great outdoors. Read more »


Newsline for Dec. 5, 2015 (December 5, 2015)

1) EDF grants support rebuilding project in Colorado, PAG in Honduras 2) Outdoor Ministries Association retreat considers ‘Seeds of Change’ 3) Bread for the World issues annual hunger report 4) Christians gather amid UN talks to pray for Creation at Notre Dame in Paris PERSONNEL 5) John Ballinger resigns from leadership of Northern Ohio District 6) Paynes resign as co-executives for Southeastern District UPCOMING EVENTS 7) Racial injustice and mass incarceration will be focus of CCS 2016 8) Brethren bits Read more »


EDF grants support rebuilding project in Colorado, PAG in Honduras (December 5, 2015)

The Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed two recent grants from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support continued rebuilding work at a project site in Colorado, and a response by PAG to flooding in Honduras. Read more »


Racial injustice and mass incarceration will be focus of CCS 2016 (December 5, 2015)

he Christian Citizenship Seminar to be held next year on April 23-28, 2016, will focus on the theme, “Proclaiming Freedom: The Racial Injustice of Mass Incarceration.” The theme scripture is taken from Hebrews 13:3, “Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.” Read more »


Paynes resign as co-executives for Southeastern District (December 5, 2015)

Russell and Deborah Payne have announced their resignation as co-district executives of the Southeastern District, effective July 31, 2016. The Paynes began their ministry with the district on June 1, 2012. Read more »


Brethren bits for Dec. 5, 2015 (December 5, 2015)

In this issue: Personnel notes, job openings at church agencies, a change for Annual Conference registration in 2016, a letter to Congress urging support for the US refugee resettlement program, a new ministry of Dunker Punks Podcasts, an NCC statement, “Keep Our Elections Free from Hateful Rhetoric,” and the comment “Goats have accents. Who knew?” from Ted & Co., among other news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


John Ballinger resigns from leadership of Northern Ohio District (December 5, 2015)

John Ballinger has announced his resignation as district executive minister of the Church of the Brethren’s Northern Ohio District, effective Feb. 13, 2016. He has served the district for almost 13 years, since Feb. 1, 2003. Read more »


Bread for the World issues annual hunger report (December 5, 2015)

On Nov. 23, members of the faith community, the press, and the government came together in Washington, D.C., for the release of Bread for the World’s 2016 Hunger Report. During this event, panels of medical professionals, leaders of government agencies, and activists who have experienced hunger firsthand spoke on the report’s theme: “The Nourishing Effect: Ending Hunger, Improving Health, Reducing Inequality.” Staff from the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness was present to support the work of Bread for the World. Read more »


Newsline for November 20, 2015 (November 20, 2015)

1) Brethren staff visit Nigeria, assess crisis response with EYN and mission partners 2) NCC issues statement on recent Middle East violence and acts of terrorism 3) Your voice is needed on behalf of refugees: An action alert from the Office of Public Witness 4) Church of the Brethren gardener is honored as a Purpose Prize Fellow 5) Lancaster County church stands with Nigerian terror victim 6) Share the light of Advent through Shine 7) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren staff visit Nigeria, assess crisis response with EYN and mission partners (November 20, 2015)

Global Mission and Service staff have made a trip to Nigeria to meet with Nigerian Brethren leadership and mission partners, and to assess the Nigeria Crisis Response. They attended meetings and visited various sites with Nigerian Brethren leaders. Read more »


Share the light of Advent through Shine (November 19, 2015)

During Advent, children and junior youth will read about God’s promises in Jeremiah 33 and Psalm 25 and will hear the stories of Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph, Simeon, and Anna Read more »


Brethren Bits (November 19, 2015)

Request for refugee resettlement stories, prayer request for Haiti Medical Project, job opening, San Diego peace gathering, SERRV meeting, Brethren college news and more Read more »


Church of the Brethren gardener is honored as a Purpose Prize Fellow (November 18, 2015)

For her community garden work, Dawn Blackman Sr. of Champaign (Ill.) Church of the Brethren was among 41 Purpose Prize Fellows selected from more than 600 nominees. Read more »


NCC issues statement on recent Middle East violence and acts of terrorism (November 18, 2015)

"As we approach the celebration of the birth of Christ our hearts are filled with sorrow and fear that peace will remain out of reach in the Middle East for much longer than we could ever have imagined." Read more »


Lancaster County church stands with Nigerian terror victim (November 18, 2015)

Upon reading about a 14 year-old Nigerian girl and member of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN) who lost her leg after being kidnapped by the Boko Haram, Hempfield Church of the Brethren decided to act. Read more »


Brethren are called to prayer in the face of extremist violence (November 14, 2015)

As the world begins to comprehend the magnitude of yesterday’s terror attacks in Paris, Church of the Brethren general secretary Stan Noffsinger is calling the church to prayer for those affected by extremist violence in Paris, and around the world. Read more »


EDF grants go to families in Myanmar and Haitians in the DR, CDS receives UMCOR grant (November 13, 2015)

The staff of Brethren Disaster Ministries have directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to aid families in Myanmar (Burma) who were affected by Cyclone Komen, and to help people of Haitian descent who are living in the Dominican Republic. Read more »


Newsline for Nov. 13, 2015 (November 13, 2015)

1) Global Food Crisis Fund gives grant to Haitian Brethren agriculture project; 2) EDF grants go to families in Myanmar and Haitians in the DR, CDS receives UMCOR grant; 3) Photographer of Beaver Creek; 4) BBT announces Medicare Supplement open enrollment through November; 5) Ventures course at McPherson College will explore congregational ethics; 6) Brethren bits Read more »


Brethren bits for Nov. 13, 2015 (November 13, 2015)

In this issue: Mennonites review their “sibling” relationship with the Church of the Brethren, Brethren Historical Committee and the new Vitality and Viability Committee will hold meetings, the Workcamp Ministry seeks assistants for 2017, “12 Baskets and a Goat” premieres at Sunny Slope Farm, last two district conferences of the season are in Virlina and Pacific Southwest, gleanings from the Brethren plans for Advent and Christmas, and more. Read more »