News Archives July, 2011


Newsline for July 29, 2011 (July 29, 2011)

Stories include: 1. East Africa gripped by drought and famine. 2. Religious leaders requesting a Circle of Protection. 3. Church World Service celebrates 65th Anniversary. 4. Heeding God’s Call rally and peace march. 5. Peace Corps partners with the University of La Verne College of Law. 6. Georgia Markey to serve as acting district executive. 7. Elizabeth Keller to resign from Bethany Seminary. 8. Idaho and Western Montana District. 9. Bethany Seminary. 10. Brethren Benefit Trust. 11. Brethren Bits: Reflections, Milestones and More. Read more »


Church of the Brethren pastor arrested, relinquishes credentials (July 14, 2011)

Dennis L. Brown, who has served since Nov. 2006 as interim pastor and then pastor of Ivester Church of the Brethren in Grundy Center, Iowa, was arrested July 8. He is charged with sexual abuse in the third degree. Read more »


Interfaith coalition says houses of worship cannot cover cuts to poverty programs (July 14, 2011)

An interfaith coalition of religious leaders has launched a new campaign to encourage policymakers to maintain a robust US commitment to domestic and international poverty programs. The group includes Church of the Brethren general secretary Stan Noffsinger. Read more »


BBT Board calls new leadership following resignation of its chair (July 14, 2011)

Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) Board chairwoman Deb Romary unexpectedly resigned from the BBT Board of Directors on July 5, immediately following the action by the Annual Conference delegate body on two business items related to issues of human sexuality. She had served as chairwoman of the BBT Board since July 2010. She was elected by the BBT Board in Nov. 2010 to serve a second four-year term; that election was affirmed on July 4 by the Annual Conference delegate body. Read more »


Open Roof Award is presented to Oakton Church of the Brethren (July 14, 2011)

Mark 2:3-4 (the story of people breaking through a roof to bring a paralyzed man to Jesus) was the inspiration for the creation of the Open Roof Award in 2004, established to recognize a congregation or district in the Church of the Brethren that has made great strides in its attempt to serve, as well as be served by, people with disabilities. Read more »


Newsline for July 14, 2011 (July 14, 2011)

Stories include 1. Open Roof Award is presented to Oakton Church of the Brethren. 2. Interfaith coalition says houses of worship cannot cover cuts to poverty programs. 3. McPherson College group returns from Haiti with new perspective. 4. Church of the Brethren pastor arrested, relinquishes credentials. 5. International Day of Prayer for Peace organizers seek 200 churches. 6. Next church webinar is on ‘Befriending a New Vision.’ 7. BBT Board calls new leadership following resignation of its chair. 8. Karn to direct buildings and grounds at New Windsor Service Center. 9. Williams named to new position at Bethany Seminary. 10. From the Moderator: Charge to the 2011 Annual Conference. 11. Brethren bits: Correction, remembrance, CDS to Minot, and more. Read more »


From the Moderator: Charge to the 2011 Annual Conference (July 14, 2011)

A reflection from Annual Conference moderator Tim Harvey: "During this past year (and especially during the week at Grand Rapids) I’ve learned how deeply you love the church.... I’ve also learned that although we love the church, we have a lot of work to do--more than we expected--to learn what it means to love one another.... I pledge to you that as I travel around the denomination over the coming months, I am willing to have any conversation with any person about any aspect of life and ministry. I will do what is in my power and ability to make those conversations safe. Already, some of you have reached out to me to continue these conversations." Read more »


Annual Conference attendee receives death threat (July 12, 2011)

A credible death threat was received by an attendee of the 2011 Annual Conference. The recipient of the threat is a gay person, and the threat made reference to the person’s sexuality. A statement about the threat was shared with the Conference at the start of the extra evening business session on July 5, which was made necessary by the length of time taken for Special Response discussions related to human sexuality. Read more »


La Conferencia Anual de 2011 ha actuado sobre dos artículos relacionados al tema de la sexualidad (July 9, 2011)

La Conferencia Anual de 2011 ha actuado sobre dos artículos relacionados al tema de la sexualidad: “Una declaración de Confesión y Compromiso” y “Pregunta: Lenguaje sobre relaciones de acuerdo entre individuos del mismo sexo”. Los mismos han sido tema de un proceso de Respuesta Especial durante los últimos dos años en la Iglesia de los Hermanos. Read more »


Newsline Overview of the 2011 Annual Conference (July 7, 2011)

The overview of the Conference includes the following stories: Delegates return Special Response business items, reaffirm 1983 paper (including a sharing about a serious situation of threat made during the Conference); Bob Krouse chosen moderator-elect, more election results; Resolution on war in Afghanistan calls for withdrawal of troops; Congregational Life Ministries to facilitate revision of congregational ethics; Conference adopts query on climate change, returns query on decorum; Standing Committee accepts new vision statement; Board adopts Afghanistan resolution, reduces budget parameter for 2012; Ministry of Reconciliation offers post-Conference insight session; Offering the table; Conference by the numbers. Read more »


Today at Annual Conference - Wednesday, July 6, 2011 (July 6, 2011)

The final "today" page for the 2011 Annual Conference features quotes of the day, photos, an announcement from MoR, and "Conference by the numbers." Read more »


Malinda Berry speaks for Bethany Theological Seminary Luncheon (July 5, 2011)

Speaker for the Bethany luncheon was Malinda Berry, associate professor of Theology and director of the Master of Arts program at the seminary. Her presentation, “Breaking Stone, Set in Bread: How the Arts Change Our Perspective,” included visual images to show ways theology is expressed through art. Read more »


Brethren Revival Fellowship dinner considers ‘Hope in the Darkness’ (July 5, 2011)

The Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) held its dinner meeting on July 5. A large number of people gathered for fellowship, food, music, and inspiration. The Zumbrum Singers from Blue River Church of the Brethren in Northern Indiana District brought the musical part of the meeting. Jordan Keller, a licensed minister from Lewiston (Maine) Church of the Brethren, brought the message on “Hope in the Darkness.” Read more »


In stitches!  (July 5, 2011)

Over 100 nimble hands, equipped with needle and thread, participated in the quilting project of the Association for the Arts in the Church of the Brethren (AACB). The quilting began on Friday, July 1, and continued through the afternoon of July 5, each stitch made to raise money to feed hungry people. Read more »


Global Ministries Dinner hears from Rita Nakashima Brock (July 5, 2011)

“It took Jesus a thousand years to die.” Rita Nakashima Brock, director of Faith Voices for the Common Good, began her presentation with this startling statement. What she meant, she said, is “there is an absence of his image hanging on the cross dead until the year 960.” Brock said that thanks to her study of early Christian art, “We began to see an entirely different message of Christian faith.” Read more »


Conference adopts query on climate change, returns query on proper decorum (July 5, 2011)

The 2011 Annual Conference acted on two queries brought to the delegate body on Tuesday, July 5. The Conference returned the “Query: Proper Decorum” brought by Mountain Grove Church of the Brethren and Shenandoah District, and adopted the “Query: Guidance for Responding to the Changing of Earth’s Climate” brought by Circle of Peace Church of the Brethren and Pacific Southwest District. Read more »


Today at Annual Conference - Tuesday, July 5, 2011 (July 5, 2011)

The "today" page for July 5 includes quotes of the day, photos, Conference by the numbers, and a question of the day for six lucky "Brethren on the street." Read more »


Delegates act on Special Response business, return business items, reaffirm 1983 paper on human sexuality (July 5, 2011)

The 2011 Annual Conference has acted on two business items related to issues of sexuality--"A Statement of Confession and Commitment" and “Query: Language on Same-Sex Covenantal Relationships”--have been the subject of a two-year Special Response Process across the denomination. The Conference approved a recommendation from the Standing Committee of district delegates, and an amendment that added a sentence to the recommendation. Read more »


From bullets to Bibles: Brethren ministers and Civil War veterans (July 4, 2011)

Monday night at the 2011 Annual Conference wasn’t lacking for distractions. But that didn’t prevent more than 200 Brethren from crowding together to hear Jeffrey Bach, director of the Young Center at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, share a few of the stories that are part of his study of the over 170 soldiers in the Union or Confederate armies during the Civil War who later became Brethren ministers. Read more »


Bob Krouse is chosen as moderator-elect, in election results (July 4, 2011)

Election results for the 2011 Annual Conference were announced in business today. Elections were held during yesterday’s business sessions. Bob Krouse, who was nominated from the floor, was elected to the position of moderator-elect. He is a resident of Fredericksburg, Pa., and serves as pastor of Little Swatara Church of the Brethren in Atlantic Northeast District Read more »


Brethren Journal Association reports on strategic plan for ‘Brethren Life and Thought’ (July 4, 2011)

The Brethren Journal Association (BJA) met July 4 for its annual luncheon meeting, with approximately 55 people in attendance. Announced presenter Dawn Ottoni Wilhelm had to cancel due to health concerns. The BJA board chose to use the program time for an expanded report on a strategic plan for the journal. Read more »


Congregational Life Ministries holds its first Ministry Fair (July 4, 2011)

A dozen round tables filled the Ambassador West ballroom at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Mich., on the afternoon of July 4--ready for the first Congregational Life Ministry Fair at Annual Conference. The tables were topped with signs reading “Stewardship,” “Young Adult Ministry,” “Church Planting,” and several other congregational ministry areas. Read more »


Today at Annual Conference - Monday, July 4, 2011 (July 4, 2011)

Today's page on Annual Conference offers quotes of the day, Brethren on the street responding to a question of the day, Conference by the numbers, and more. Read more »


Conference approves report of Congregational Ethics Study Committee (July 3, 2011)

In response to the “Guidelines for Implementation of the Congregational Ethics Paper” query adopted in 2010, a study committee brought recommendations to this year’s Annual Conference. The committee recommended that the 1993 “Ethics in Congregations” paper be reviewed, revised, and updated. Read more »


Newsline Special: Standing Committee report and recommendation on Special Response (July 3, 2011)

The Annual Conference officers today released the Standing Committee report and recommendation on the two “Special Response” business items related to issues of sexuality--"A Statement of Confession and Commitment" and “Query: Language on Same-Sex Covenantal Relationships.” The Standing Committee of district delegates held its discussions of the two items in closed sessions during prea-Conference meetings. Read more »


Today at Annual Conference - Sunday, July 3, 2011 (July 3, 2011)

Today at Annual Conference - Sunday, July 3, 2011: quotes of the day, Conference "by the numbers," an invitation from Brethren Press to contribute to the new Inglenook Cookbook, and the daily "Brethren on the Street" interviews. Read more »


Brethren Press and Messenger Dinner hears from Pentecostal peacemaker Paul Alexander (July 3, 2011)

For Paul Alexander, speaker at the Brethren Press and Messenger Dinner on Sunday evening, the opportunity to speak also was an opportunity to say thank you to the Brethren for the lessons that helped draw him away from the atheism he adopted during his college years, and back to a faith in Jesus. Read more »


Facing the race at Annual Conference (July 3, 2011)

A light cloud cover and the cool early hour made the morning of July 3 a great time for a walk or run. The Annual 5K Fitness Challenge sponsored by Brethren Benefit Trust took place at Millennium Park, six miles outside of downtown Grand Rapids, at 7 a.m. sharp. As the sleepily--though energetic--crowd of 150 gathered at the starting line. Read more »


Standing Committee accepts new vision statement, Afghanistan resolution, responds to queries (July 2, 2011)

The Standing Committee of district delegates ended its pre-Annual Conference meetings today. The committee has accepted a vision statement for the Church of the Brethren for the decade, and recommended it to the 2012 Annual Conference for adoption. Standing Committee also recommended a resolution on the war in Afghanistan received from the Church of the Brethren’s Mission and Ministry Board. Recommendations were made on queries on climate change and proper decorum. Read more »


Genealogists hear from Emmert Bittinger, receive report on Brethren Digital Archives (July 2, 2011)

The Fellowship of Brethren Genealogists (FOBG) held their Annual Meeting on July 2, 2011. Featured speaker Emmert Bittinger is one of the persons working on studying nearly 300 families of Rockingham County, Va., and their experiences during the Civil War. Their research is being published in a six volume set. Read more »


Offering the table (July 2, 2011)

Offering the table. Offerings taken during worship services are often assumed to be only money, but during the July 2 worship service of Annual Conference, attendees offered much more than that. As a way of tangibly “extending Jesus’ table,” moderator Robert Alley suggested a special opportunity for Brethren to offer gifts other than their dollars to people around the world. So a special offering of comforters and school supply kits was taken during worship, and many people participated. Read more »


Today at Annual Conference (July 2, 2011)

Saturday, July 2, 2011 -- the first day of the 2011 Annual Conference in Grand Rapids, Mich. This page features quotes of the day, "Brethren on the Street" interviews on a question of the day, initial registration figures, and more. Read more »


Philip Gulley speaks for Voices for an Open Spirit (VOS) dinner (July 2, 2011)

“Justice should not have to wait until some people die. The dogmas of our quiet past are inadequate. It is time to think anew. It is time to act anew, lest God say to us what God said to our ancestors--what took you so long?” Read more »


Board sends Afghanistan resolution for Conference approval, sets reduced parameter for 2012 budget (July 2, 2011)

In a partial-day meeting on July 2, the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board approved a resolution on Afghanistan, sharply reduced the budget for 2012, heard several reports, and participated in presentation of this year's Open Roof Award. The resolution on Afghanistan was forwarded to Standing Committee for Annual Conference consideration. Read more »