News Archives


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


New unit of Brethren Volunteer Service completes orientation (November 5, 2015)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Unit 311 has completed orientation, and the volunteers in the unit have begun work at their project sites. Following are the names, congregations or hometowns, and project sites of the new BVS volunteers: Read more »


Summer orientation held by Brethren Volunteer Service and Brethren Revival Fellowship (October 14, 2015)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Unit 310 is an orientation unit held in cooperation with the Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF). The volunteers in Unit 310 completed training this summer and have begun work at their project site. All of the volunteers are serving at the Root Cellar in Lewiston, Maine. Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service unit begins work at project sites (August 25, 2015)

The summer unit of Brethren Volunteer Service, which is the 309th BVS unit, has completed training and the volunteers have been assigned to their project sites. The names, home towns, and project sites of the members of BVS Unit 309 follow: Read more »


BVS announces Partners in Service Awards for 2015 (May 20, 2015)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) is pleased to announce the 2015 Partners in Service Award. Three congregations will share this award, which will be presented at the BVS luncheon on Monday, July 13, at the Annual Conference in Tampa, Fla. The Partners in Service Award is presented each year to an individual, group, or organization that has shown an exceptional commitment to the work of sharing God’s love through acts of service. Read more »


Volunteers for the Church of the Brethren gather for a retreat in Honduras (April 29, 2015)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) and Global Mission and Service workers gathered for four days in late March at the PANACAM park in Cortes, Honduras, for a time of retreat. The group gathers once a year for reflection, devotion, and support. The retreat was led by Dan McFadden, director of BVS. All of the volunteers, including those in BVS, receive financial support for their work from the Global Mission and Service program of the Church of the Brethren. Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 308 completes orientation (March 4, 2015)

Unit 308 of Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) completed orientation on Jan. 25-Feb. 14 at Camp Ithiel in Gotha, Fla. The members of the unit, their home congregations or hometowns, and the project placements follow: Read more »


Youth ministry webinar series continues with focus on ‘Life and Time’ (February 24, 2015)

The third webinar in a series on Christian practices for teens, offered for adult leaders of youth, will be on the topic “Life and Time.” Emily Tyler, coordinator of workcamps and volunteer recruitment for the Church of the Brethren, will be leading the webinar which takes place the evening of Tuesday, March 3, at 8 p.m. (eastern time). Read more »


Youth Peace Travel Team is named for 2015 (February 3, 2015)

The 2015 Youth Peace Travel Team has been announced. The team is cooperatively sponsored by the Outdoor Ministries Association, On Earth Peace, Bethany Theological Seminary, and the Church of the Brethren’s Advocacy Office and Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office. Read more »


Jocelyn Snyder to coordinate orientation for Brethren Volunteer Service (December 10, 2014)

Jocelyn Snyder begins Jan. 5 as orientation coordinator for Brethren Volunteer Service. Her work will be based at the BVS office at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 307 begins service (October 22, 2014)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Unit 307 has completed its orientation and the volunteers have been placed at their projects. This Fall unit held orientation on Sept. 28-Oct. 17 at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The volunteers, their home congregations or hometowns, and project placements follow: Read more »


‘Every single person was just so kind’: BVSers talk about their cross-country bicycle trek (October 14, 2014)

In this Newsline interview, Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) workers Chelsea Goss and Rebekah Maldonado-Nofziger talk about their cross country bicycling adventure “BVS Coast to Coast.” They started off May 1 from the Atlantic coast of Virginia, and completed the trek Aug. 18 on the Pacific coast of Oregon. On the way they visited church communities and friends and family to promote BVS, and participated in three Church of the Brethren conferences. Their major learning? The kindness and caring of the people they met: Read more »


Laminating with a BA: Learning how to make a life in Brethren Volunteer Service (September 16, 2014)

It was Thursday morning, four days into my first week at Highland Park Elementary School, and I was sitting on the floor in the office cutting out still more newly laminated classroom decorations for the teachers. The principal turned to me and said, “After you’re done with that, I have a terribly mundane and tedious job for you.” Read more »


Annual BRF unit of Brethren Volunteer Service begins a year of service (September 11, 2014)

The annual Brethren Revival Fellowship unit of Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) has completed orientation and begun a year of volunteer service. All of the members of the unit are serving at the same project site, the Root Cellar in Lewiston, Maine, where one volunteer also will do work connected with the neighborhood around Horton Street House. Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 305 completes orientation, begins service (September 3, 2014)

The summer unit of Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) completed orientation on Aug. 8 at Camp Mardela on the eastern shore of Maryland. The group of 12 volunteers is the 305th unit of BVS. Following are the names of the volunteers, their home congregations or home towns, and project placements: Read more »


‘100 Years for Nonviolence’ is celebrated at the IFOR centennial gathering  (September 3, 2014)

“Pray and resist!” That was the message from Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, Northern Ireland Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 1976, at the Aug. 1 opening ceremony of the Centennial of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR). The centennial celebration was held in Konstanz, Germany, on Aug. 1-3. Read more »


Callie Surber resigns from Brethren Volunteer Service staff (August 19, 2014)

Callie Surber has resigned as orientation coordinator for Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS), a position she has held since September 2007. . Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service workers are in five nations across Europe (June 11, 2014)

Fifteen Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) workers are serving in five nations across Europe. Here is an update on BVS project sites in Europe, where three volunteers are the first to serve in new projects for the program. The following listing is provided with help from Kristin Flory of the BVS staff, who works in the Brethren Service Europe office in Geneva, Switzerland: Read more »


Protests reveal a country’s struggle: A BVSer reports from Bosnia (April 23, 2014)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) worker Stephanie Barras provided this report from Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, where she has been living since Sept. 2013. She is working at OKC Abrasevic, a youth cultural center: Read more »


Volunteers to set out on ‘BVS Coast to Coast’ bicycle tour (April 15, 2014)

Two Brethren Volunteer Service workers are setting out on a bicycle tour called “BVS Coast to Coast.” Chelsea Goss, of Mechanicsville, Va., and Rebekah Maldonado-Nofziger, of Pettisville, Ohio, plan to cross the country on their bicycles in support of the Church of the Brethren program. Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 304 completes orientation (April 1, 2014)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Unit 304 has completed the Winter orientation, held Jan, 26-Feb. 14 at Camp Ithiel in Gotha, Fla. Following are the names of the volunteers, their home congregation or home town, and placement sites: Read more »


Global Food Crisis grants support new BVS position in public witness, agriculture in DRC Congo and Rwanda (March 11, 2014)

The Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) this week announces three grants, to support a new Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) position at the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness, and for agriculture work in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Read more »


The building of a shared society: The work of one BVS project site in Northern Ireland (March 4, 2014)

East Belfast Mission, one of the project sites in Northern Ireland where Brethren Volunteer Service workers are placed, was in the news early this year when a peacebuilding event it hosted was met with violent protests. Here, BVS volunteer Megan Miller explains the groundbreaking work of the mission. Read more »


Many state laws link Selective Service registration to driver’s licenses (January 25, 2014)

When young American men turn 18, they are required to register with the Selective Service System (SSS) because of federal law (50 U.S.C. App. 451 et seq). That law requires almost every male citizen, as well as immigrant men living in the United States, to register in the event of a military draft. To make sure there is 100 percent compliance, a lot of states have created legislation that links SSS registration with the process of applying for a driver’s license or state identification card. Read more »


Service Sunday 2014 will focus on serving God by serving all (January 17, 2014)

The theme for the Church of the Brethren’s observance of Service Sunday 2014 is “Serving God by Serving All” inspired by John 12: 26, “If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me” (The Message version). Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 303 begins service (October 30, 2013)

Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 303 has completed orientation and the volunteers have been sent across the US and into Europe and Latin America to begin a term of service. Read more »


The 301st unit of Brethren Volunteer Service begins work (August 22, 2013)

The volunteers in Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Unit 301 completed their orientation on July 16-Aug. 3 at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The members of the unit, home congregations or home towns, and project placements follow. Read more »


BVS announces its Partners in Service Award for 2013 (May 29, 2013)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) is presenting its 2013 Partners in Service Award to its network of healing communities during the 2013 Annual Conference. The award typically recognizes an individual, project, or congregation that has demonstrated exceptional commitment in partnering with BVS to share God’s love through acts of service. Read more »


Brethren Disaster Ministries trains project leaders for 2013 (May 16, 2013)

On April 23, I traveled to Prattsville, N.Y., to undergo training to become a Disaster Project Leader. Disaster Project Leaders are wonderful men and women called to lead and guide volunteers who come out to Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding sites for a week. I was very excited to learn all that happened behind the scenes to keep the project sites running. Read more »


Dinner celebrates completion of Prattsville, N.Y., rebuilding project (May 16, 2013)

On May 1, more than 75 people gathered at Prattsville Community Church in the New York Catskills to celebrate all the work Brethren Disaster Ministries volunteers have done. Delicious dinner and desserts were provided by the church and community for volunteers and homeowners. Read more »


BVS Unit 300 completes orientation (March 21, 2013)

The 300th unit of Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) completed winter orientation from Jan. 27-Feb. 15 in Gotha, Fla. The new volunteers, their home towns or home congregations, and project placements are listed below. Read more »


Service Sunday is scheduled for February 3 (January 23, 2013)

“Let Your Light Shine” is the theme for the Church of the Brethren’s 2013 Service Sunday. The theme comes from Matthew 5:14-16, which closes, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and give glory to God in heaven.” Read more »


BVS marks milestones of Unit 300, 65th year (January 23, 2013)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) is marked by two key milestones in 2013: the 65th anniversary of the program’s enactment by Annual Conference, and the volunteer Unit 300. Read more »


Applicants sought for Ministry Summer Service, Youth Peace Travel Team (January 10, 2013)

The denomination’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry is seeking applicants for Ministry Summer Service and the 2013 Youth Peace Travel Team. Registration for both of these summer programs closes on Friday, Jan. 11. Read more »


Peace Camp 2012 in Bosnia-Herzegovina: A BVS reflection (November 28, 2012)

The following report on Peace Camp 2012 held in Bosnia-Herzegovina is from Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) worker Julianne Funk, originally published in the BVS Europe newsletter. Kristin Flory, coordinator for Brethren Service in Europe, notes that “20 years ago this year, we started sending BVSers to peace groups in ex-Yugoslavia.” Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 299 begins work (October 15, 2012)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Unit 299 completed orientation on Sept. 16-Oct. 5. The fall orientation was held at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Following are the new volunteers, their home congregations or home towns, and the projects where they will serve through BVS. Read more »


BVS-BRF orientation unit completes training (September 19, 2012)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) unit 298, a unit held jointly with the Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF), completed orientation on Aug. 19-28 at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Read more »


Southern Plains District dedicates ‘Pop’s House’ at Falfurrias (August 22, 2012)

The highlight of the Southern Plains District Conference was dedication of "Pop's House," the cottage in which the founders of the Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) project at Falfurrias, Texas, lived in the early years of that project. Read more »


Peace: A world without borders (August 7, 2012)

Borders are everywhere. There are borders separating countries/nations, borders drawn between states or municipalities, and even borders that define factory areas or commerce areas within cities. Some say we have to have borders. But what if borders between countries didn’t exist? What if people could travel from one area to another without hostility? The Peace Bell in Hiroshima’s Peace Park in Japan imagines such a world. Read more »


BVS summer unit begins work at project sites (July 25, 2012)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Unit 297 has completed its orientation and begun work at a number of project sites in the United States, Ireland, and El Salvador. The summer unit held orientation on June 10-29 in Chicago and Elgin, Ill. Following are the new BVS volunteers, their home congregations or home towns, and projects sites. Read more »


BVS director participates in conference call with Selective Service (June 14, 2012)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) director Dan McFadden today participated in a telephone conference call with the Selective Service System. The Selective Service System hosted the call to update participants about Alternative Service plans in the event that a draft is ever called for by the US Congress. The call was hosted by Cassandra Costley, manager of the Alternative Service Program for SSS. Read more »


MSS interns begin a summer of service to the church (June 6, 2012)

The 2012 class of Ministry Summer Service interns have been holding orientation June 1-6 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The mentors for each intern joined the orientation for the last two days of the event. Below is a list of interns and mentors, as well as the ministry settings in which they will serve for the next 10 weeks: Read more »


Brethren Volunteer Service holds summer orientation unit (May 31, 2012)

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) announces the start of the 2012 Summer Orientation. To be held June 10-29 at the Brother David Darst Center in Chicago, Ill., this orientation will be the 297th unit for BVS and will consist of eight volunteers from across the US and Germany. Read more »


BVSers in Hiroshima help organize peace concert with Brethren singer (May 14, 2012)

Brethren Volunteer Service workers at the World Friendship Center in Hiroshima, Japan, recently helped organize a concert for peace given by American Brethren folk singer Mike Stern on April 13. Read more »


New unit of BVS volunteers begins service (March 21, 2012)

The Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Winter Orientation Unit 296 completed training from Jan. 29-Feb. 17 in Gotha, Fla. Following are the volunteers, their congregations or hometowns, and placement sites... Read more »


Tyler to serve as coordinator of workcamps and volunteer recruitment (March 7, 2012)

Emily Tyler will begin June 27 as coordinator of workcamps and volunteer recruitment for the Church of the Brethren. The job combines oversight and administration of the youth and young adult workcamps with recruitment of volunteers for Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS). Read more »


Youth Peace Travel Team is named for 2012 (February 16, 2012)

The 2012 Youth Peace Travel Team has been named. As they spend time with junior and senior high youth this summer at camps across the Church of the Brethren, the team will teach about peace, justice, and reconciliation. Read more »


What makes for peace? A nomination for Okinawa Peace Prize (January 25, 2012)

Since 1895 the world recognizes individuals through the Nobel Prize for achievements in various fields such as economics, physics, literature, or medicine. The Nobel Peace Prize is the best known and perhaps the most revered prize as it recognizes a peacemaker in a world that is often in conflict. There is another peace prize award. It is not as well known and has a history only since 2001. It is the Okinawa Peace Prize. Read more »


BMC approved as project site for BVS (January 19, 2012)

The Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Interests (BMC) has been accepted as a placement site for Brethren Volunteer Service volunteers. Read more »


BVS Europe welcomes largest number of volunteers since 2004 (December 29, 2011)

The Europe program of Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) welcomed many new BVS volunteers this year, 2011--16 in all, “which is more than we’ve seen since 2004,” reports coordinator Kristin Flory in a recent newsletter. Flory works out of an office in Geneva, Switzerland. Read more »


Newsline (December 29, 2011)

The Dec. 29, 2011, issue of the Church of the Brethren Newsline offers the following stories: 1) GFCF gives grants to Rural Service Center, Brethren group in Congo; 2) EDF sends money to Thailand, Cambodia for flood response; 3) Brethren staff leave North Korea for Christmas break; 4) Hoslers conclude their service in Nigeria, report on peace work; 5) NCC condemns attack on worshipers in Nigeria; 6) BVS Europe welcomes largest number of volunteers since 2004; 7) Juniata takes action during Sandusky investigation; 8) Royer retires as manager of Global Food Crisis Fund; 9) Blevins resigns as advocacy officer, ecumenical peace coordinator; 10) World Interfaith Harmony Week is Feb. 1-7; 11) Peace meditation: Reflections from a BVS volunteer in Europe; 12) Brethren bits. Read more »


Peace meditation: Reflections from a BVS volunteer in Europe (December 29, 2011)

Brethren Volunteer (BVS) worker Susan Pracht has completed a term of service with Church and Peace in Laufdorf, Germany--the first BVSer to serve there since the late 1980s. Church and Peace is an ecumenical organization of more than 110 corporate and individual members from all over Europe. Before departing Europe, Pracht posted this meditation on Facebook. Read more »


Newsline for Nov. 2, 2011 (November 2, 2011)

News items include: 1) Assisi event calls for peace as a human right. 2) Brethren faculty report on conference at N. Korean university. 3) BBT goes green' with e-mail publications, simplifies e-mail addresses. 4) Global Food Crisis Fund showcases projects for holiday giving. 5) Brethren Volunteer Service unit begins its work. 6) BBT co-sponsors financial and benefits seminar for congregations. 7) New Bible studies, Yearbook available from Brethren Press. 8) Brethren bits: Remembrance, personnel, college news, more. Read more »


Newsline for Oct. 5, 2011 (October 5, 2011)

Annual Conference officers provide theme, prayer calendar for 2012. Nigerian Brethren make progress on interfaith peace work. J. Colleen Michael to lead Oregon Washington District. Family Life Ministry highlights October observances. Junior High Sunday to be celebrated November 6. ‘Witness of Hebrew Bible’ event is offered by SVMC. Children’s Disaster Services announces upcoming workshops. Feature: Helping turn helplessness into hope. Brethren bits: Corrections, remembrance, personnel, anniversaries, more. Read more »


Newsline for Sept. 21, 2011 (September 21, 2011)

This week's issue includes news of the International Day of Prayer for Peace bringing communities together, a Peace Prayer Wall posted by the World Council of Churches, a presentation by a WCC leader on peace and justice, upcoming events including preachers for the 2012 Annual Conference and the next Brethren webinar, order info for the Advent Devotional from Brethren Press, a report from the Brethren representative to the UN, and more "Brethren bits." Read more »


BVS Summer Orientation Unit 293 begins service (August 1, 2011)

The BVS Summer Orientation Unit 293 met at the New Windsor Service Center from June 12 to July 1, completing their training and eagerly anticipating their next exciting and rewarding BVS adventure. The eleven participants have been assigned to their posts in Europe, Japan, and various locations in the United States. Read more »


Newsline for June 30, 2011 (June 30, 2011)

News stories: 1) Conference business addresses issues related to sexuality, church ethics, climate change, decorum. 2) Ministries of reconciliation and listening will offer assistance at Annual Conference. 3) Church leader signs on to letters about Afghanistan, Medicaid budget. 4) Group is encouraging local CPS anniversary celebrations. 5) Disaster fund gives $30,000 to start Pulaski Country rebuilding project. 6) Hiroshima monument is dedicated to founder of friendship center. 7) Joan Daggett resigns from Shenandoah District leadership. 8) Jorge Rivera ends service as associate executive for Puerto Rico. 9) Pérez-Borges to serve as associate executive in Atlantic Southeast District. 10) BBT calls John McGough to serve as CFO. 11) Brethren bits: Personnel, job openings, college news, more. Read more »


AmeriCorps education awards cut off to faith-based volunteer network (June 3, 2011)

After 15 years of participation in the AmeriCorps education award program, Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) has learned that its access to the program has been cut off. Federal budget cuts mean the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is not funding such grants to the volunteer networking organization of which BVS is a member, for the 2011-2012 term. Read more »