News Archives July, 2020


Giveaway Garden produces good food and good will (July 31, 2020)

The youth Giveaway Garden was planted the first week of June next to the church playground. The team of 11 working that day transformed the new bed from grass to garden in under four hours. At that point we had no idea if our labor would be fruitful, or if anyone from the neighborhood would stop by to pick up some free produce. The answer to those questions has been yes and yes! Read more »


Southeastern District Conference approves withdrawal of 19 congregations (July 31, 2020)

The Southeastern District Conference on July 25 at Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren in Jonesborough, Tenn., approved the withdrawal of 19 congregations from the district and from the Church of the Brethren denomination. The withdrawing churches represent close to half of the 42 congregations that have been part of the district that covers Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, and the western parts of North Carolina and Virginia. Read more »


Illinois and Wisconsin District issues statement of response to racial injustice (July 31, 2020)

The Church of the Brethren’s Illinois and Wisconsin District has issued a statement of response to racial injustice, signed by district executive minister Kevin Kessler on behalf of the District Leadership Team. Read more »


EYN members are among aid workers executed by insurgents in Nigeria (July 25, 2020)

Two members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) were among the five humanitarian aid workers who have been killed execution-style by a faction linked to Boko Haram. Read more »


Newsline for July 25, 2020 (July 25, 2020)

NEWS 1) Creating community at virtual National Young Adult Conference 2) Brethren Mutual Aid Share Fund responds to COVID-19 crisis, Mutual Aid Agency announces new name 3) Brooklyn First voices speak in the midst of COVID-19 and racism pandemics 4) EYN members are among aid workers executed by insurgents in Nigeria PERSONNEL 5) Jon Kobel’s service with the Annual Conference Office ends UPCOMING EVENTS 6) Brethren Volunteer Service fall orientation is going virtual RESOURCES 7) New Brethren Press resources include a Bible study on the Psalms and a new book for children’s worship 8) Brethren bits: Remembering Gene Hipskind and Timothy Sites, celebrating the class of 2020, personnel, jobs, free webinars and online courses, Global Mission prayers, news from districts, World Council of Churches executive committee, music by women at Ephrata Cloister, a children’s book by Gimbiya Kettering, and more Read more »


Brethren bits for July 25, 2020 (July 25, 2020)

Brethren bits for July 25, 2020 Read more »


Brethren active in health care (July 25, 2020)

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


Brethren Volunteer Service fall orientation is going virtual (July 25, 2020)

In June, Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) made the decision to transition the summer orientation for Unit 325 from in-person to virtual. As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in communities around the country, the staff have made the decision to also offer a virtual orientation for the fall orientation for Unit 327. BVS staff are excited to be able to continue sending volunteers to project sites while prioritizing the health and safety of incoming volunteers and the communities where they will be serving. Read more »


Jon Kobel’s service with the Annual Conference Office ends (July 24, 2020)

Due to Annual Conference budget shortfalls, Jon Kobel will conclude his work with the Church of the Brethren as conference assistant on July 31. He has worked for the Church of the Brethren denomination for 21 years, serving at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Read more »


Brooklyn First voices speak in the midst of COVID-19 and racism pandemics (July 21, 2020)

The men, women, and children at Brooklyn (N.Y.) First Church of the Brethren speak with a wide variety of voices based in their identities as people of color, trapped for 100 days in their homes by the twin pandemics of coronavirus and racism. Listen carefully and you will hear their anger, beliefs, Christian praises, fears, joys, and hopes for tomorrow. Read more »


Brethren Mutual Aid Share Fund responds to COVID-19 crisis, Mutual Aid Agency announces new name (July 21, 2020)

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Brethren Mutual Aid Share Fund is announcing that any grant requests related to the virus will be eligible for double matching through the fund. The fund’s parent agency is announcing a name change in celebration of its 135th anniversary. The former Brethren Mutual Aid Agency is now known as the Mutual Aid Agency, or MAA. Read more »


Creating community at virtual National Young Adult Conference (July 21, 2020)

The tagline for the Church of the Brethren is “Continuing the Work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together.” Because of COVID-19, the “together” part for the 2020 National Young Adult Conference presented a difficulty in our ability to create a sense of community. Young adult conference favorite activities include playing late-night board games, singing hymns and campfire songs, gathering for meals, dissecting the scripture in messages and in small groups, and generally just being together. Read more »


Brethren bits for July 18, 2020 (July 18, 2020)

In this issue: Racial justice resources from Intercultural Ministries, personnel notes, COVID-19 grants at work, “Inhabit 2020 at Home,” webinars on various topics, another district conference goes online, Bridgewater College announces test-optional admission policy, Christians advocate to keep Hagia Sophia as shared heritage site, and more news by, for, and about Brethren. Read more »


Moderator’s Town Hall on ‘Faith, Science, and COVID-19: Part 2' slated for Aug. 13 (July 18, 2020)

Church of the Brethren Annual Conference moderator Paul Mundey has announced plans for another Moderator’s Town Hall on Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. (Eastern time). The topic will be “Faith, Science, and COVID-19: Part 2.” A special focus will be the current reality of the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the reopening of churches. Read more »


Newsline for July 18, 2020 (July 18, 2020)

NEWS 1) Mission and Ministry Board holds July 1 meeting via Zoom 2) Committee recommends small increase to minimum cash salary table for pastors in 2021 3) Nominations are sought for 2021 Annual Conference ballot 4) Global Mission creates Country Advisory Teams 5) Brethren Disaster Ministries celebrates Puerto Rico completion and new Ohio project, among updates 6) Bethany Seminary details reopening plans 7) EYN Majalisa holds election for leadership 8) A report on the work of Nigeria’s Disaster Ministry Team PERSONNEL 9) Scott Kinnick resigns as district executive minister for Southeastern District UPCOMING EVENTS 10) Webinar to explore Holy Spirit as ‘mover and shaker of ideas and actions’ 11) Moderator’s Town Hall on ‘Faith, Science, and COVID-19: Part 2' slated for Aug. 13 REFLECTION 12) Death Row Support Project reflects on first federal executions in 17 years 13) Brethren bits: Racial justice resources, personnel, COVID-19 grants at work, “Inhabit 2020 at Home,” webinars, another district conference goes online, Bridgewater College announces test-optional admission, Christians advocate to keep Hagia Sophia as shared heritage site, more Read more »


A report on the work of Nigeria’s Disaster Ministry Team (July 18, 2020)

The Disaster Ministry of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria’s (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has been operating for more than five years. The staff work in numerous humanitarian sectors specifically in Nigeria’s northeast. One of their constant struggles is knowing who to help, as there is always more need than funds and materials to go around. Read more »


Webinar to explore Holy Spirit as ‘mover and shaker of ideas and actions’ (July 17, 2020)

The Office of Ministry is sponsoring a webinar titled “Exploring the Holy Spirit: Mover and Shaker of Ideas and Actions” on July 30 from 1-2 p.m. (Eastern time). Leading the event will be Grace Ji-Sun Kim, professor of theology at Earlham School of Religion, and Denise Kettering-Lane, associate professor of Brethren Studies at Bethany Theological Seminary. Both schools are located in Richmond, Ind. Read more »


New Brethren Press resources include a Bible study on the Psalms and a new book for children’s worship (July 17, 2020)

“People of faith across the centuries have used the Psalms, laden with powerful images and emotions, in their devotional life,” said an announcement from Brethren Press about its newest Covenant Bible Study. “God’s Steadfast Love in the Psalms” is written by Christina Bucher, a professor of religion at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. Read more »


Nominations are sought for 2021 Annual Conference ballot (July 17, 2020)

The Nominating Committee is now seeking nominations for the elections to take place at the 2021 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren. The nomination form and the nominee information form are both found online at www.brethren.org/ac/nominations . Read more »


EYN Majalisa holds election for leadership (July 17, 2020)

The 73rd Annual General Church Council Conference (Majalisa) of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) was held July 14-16 at the EYN Headquarters in Kwarhi, Hong Local Government Area, Adamawa State. The highest decision-making body of the church denomination was initially scheduled for March 31 to April 3, but was postponed due to the global pandemic. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries celebrates Puerto Rico completion and new Ohio project, among updates (July 16, 2020)

Brethren Disaster Ministries is celebrating completion of a rebuilding project in Puerto Rico in partnership with the Puerto Rico District of the Church of the Brethren. The project worked on homes that were destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Maria, and completed 100 homes. Brethren Disaster Ministries also celebrates the opening of a new project site in Dayton, Ohio--the first resumption of volunteer work since a shut-down due to COVID-19 that began in mid-March. Read more »


Death Row Support Project reflects on first federal executions in 17 years (July 16, 2020)

The federal government’s actions this past week are tragic on so many levels. What are the motives for ending a 17-year hiatus of the federal death penalty? The federal government has carried out the executions of two death row inmates this week: Daniel Lee on July 13 and Wesley Purkey on July 16. Read more »


Scott Kinnick resigns as district executive minister for Southeastern District (July 16, 2020)

Scott Kinnick has announced his resignation as district executive minister for the Church of the Brethren’s Southeastern District, a position he has held for the past four years. He began as district executive in Sept. 2016 and will officially conclude his service on Dec. 31, 2020. Read more »


Global Mission creates Country Advisory Teams (July 13, 2020)

The Global Mission office of the Church of the Brethren has instituted a new communication tool named Country Advisory Teams (CATs). These teams are a way for the Global Mission leadership to stay informed and better understand each country or region where Church of the Brethren partners are involved. Read more »


Committee recommends small increase to minimum cash salary table for pastors in 2021 (July 13, 2020)

In light of the cancellation of this year’s Annual Conference, the Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee is offering a recommendation rather than a delegate-approved decision. The committee is recommending a 0.5 percent (one half of one percent) increase to the 2021 recommended Minimum Cash Salary Table for Pastors. Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board holds July 1 meeting via Zoom (July 13, 2020)

The Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren met via Zoom on July 1 for a summer meeting usually held onsite at Annual Conference. Main items of business included setting a budget parameter for core ministries in 2021, approving a revised budget for 2020, other financial matters, and consideration of a new strategic plan for the ministries overseen by the board. Read more »


Brethren bits for July 7, 2020 (July 7, 2020)

In this issue: Group of denominational staff offer “Checklist for Reopening Church Buildings” in Spanish and English, job openings, Children’s Disaster Services seeks donations for Individual Kits of Comfort, N. Indiana District Conference is different this year, Womaen’s Caucus “virtual luncheon” is an online panel discussion, cooking class and fundraiser for Fundacion Brethren y Unida in Ecuador, Bread for the World’s 2020 Hunger Report. Read more »


Newsline for July 7, 2020 (July 7, 2020)

NEWS 1) Denominational events bring a new level of virtual experience to the Church of the Brethren 2) Standing Committee holds elections for Nominating Committee and Appeals Committee 3) Ministerial ethics training shifts to online format 4) Push back against the imposition of mandatory draft registration for women and support H.R. 5492 5) Press conference by EYN president brings attention to recent Boko Haram attacks, calls on government and international community for action 6) Elizabethtown Church ‘walks to Nigeria’ in virtual challenge 7) Chambersburg Church of the Brethren gets record attendance at virtual VBS PERSONNEL 8) Ministry Summer Service interns for 2020 serve home congregations or serve remotely 9) Brethren bits: Group of denominational staff offer “Checklist for Reopening Church Buildings” in Spanish and English, job openings, Children’s Disaster Services seeks donations for Individual Kits of Comfort, N. Indiana District Conference is different this year, Womaen’s Caucus “virtual luncheon” is an online panel discussion, cooking class and fundraiser for Fundacion Brethren y Unida in Ecuador, Bread for the World’s 2020 Hunger Report Read more »


Denominational events bring a new level of virtual experience to the Church of the Brethren (July 6, 2020)

Three online denominational events last week have brought a new level of virtual experience to the Church of the Brethren: a children’s worship and a denominational worship service on the evening of Wednesday, July 1, and a Church of the Brethren concert on the evening of Thursday, July 2, with both worship experiences available in Spanish as well as English. These virtual events were timed to happen on what would have been the first two evenings of the now-canceled 2020 Annual Conference. Recordings of all three events including the worship experiences in Spanish are available at www.brethren.org/ac/virtual . Read more »


Standing Committee holds elections for Nominating Committee and Appeals Committee (July 6, 2020)

The 2020 Standing Committee of district delegates to the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference met by Zoom on the evening of Sunday, June 28. The meeting took place at the time when the committee would have gathered in Grand Rapids, Mich., to begin an in-person meeting in advance of the now-canceled 2020 Annual Conference. Read more »


Chambersburg Church of the Brethren gets record attendance at virtual VBS (July 3, 2020)

“It went really well” was an understatement from Jamie Rhodes, director of Christian Education and Youth at Chambersburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. In fact, the congregation’s virtual vacation Bible school (VBS) was a smash hit, connecting with close to double the children and families than in a usual year. “We were tickled pink,” she said. Read more »


Press conference by EYN president brings attention to recent Boko Haram attacks, calls on government and international community for action (July 3, 2020)

"While we remain committed as Nigerian citizens in supporting the government of the day in achieving its mandate, EYN was shocked at the Democracy Day Speech of President Buhari on June 12, where he said, “All the local governments that were taken over by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa have long been recovered and are now occupied by the indigenes of these areas who were hitherto forced to seek a living in areas far from their ancestral homes.” That was unfortunate, misleading, and demoralizing...." Read more »


Elizabethtown Church ‘walks to Nigeria’ in virtual challenge (July 3, 2020)

Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren is holding a “Walk to Nigeria Team Challenge” in which church members and friends of the congregation are invited to log walking miles in their own neighborhoods toward enough miles to walk to Nigeria. “That’s 5,710 miles!” said an announcement. Read more »


Ministerial ethics training shifts to online format (July 1, 2020)

Church of the Brethren ministers needing to complete the advanced level ethics training requirement for credentialing renewal have found increased options in today’s virtual world. In mid-March the Office of Ministry began transitioning to offering such sessions online. Read more »


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