News Archives July, 2017


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 – Sunday, July 2, 2017 (July 2, 2017)

A review of the closing day of the 2017 Annual 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 »


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 »


Today in Grand Rapids – Saturday, July 1, 2017 (July 1, 2017)

An overview of the day at Annual Conference Read more »