News Archives August, 2017


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 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 »


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 »


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 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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »