News Archives July, 2012


Brethren bits for July 26, 2012 (July 26, 2012)

Brethren bits remembers Philip West, a son of Dan West, and former New Windsor staff Wolfgang Spreen, and marks several anniversaries of congregations, announces a job opening with the BHLA, new district and retirement community staff, new resources available on the brethren.org website, and much much more. Read more »


Brethren leader sends update on violence in Nigeria, interfaith delegation issues report (July 26, 2012)

A leader of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN--the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has sent an e-mail report on recent violence in Nigeria. Also, a new Christian and Muslim alliance committed to solving tensions in Nigeria has been announced by the World Council of Churches. Read more »


Disaster projects in New York, Alabama, Virginia are extended (July 26, 2012)

Brethren Disaster Ministries has announced a decision to extend the timeline for three of its disaster rebuilding project sites. The projects in Prattsville, N.Y., and Town Creek, Ala., will be extended through October, and the site in Pulaski, Va., will continue through September. Read more »


Ministry of Reconciliation seeks feedback on expanded Conference role (July 26, 2012)

This year the officers of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference invited On Earth Peace to expand its Ministry of Reconciliation (MoR) presence. The expanded presence included the entire Conference, not just the business sessions. As On Earth Peace prepares a report for the Annual Conference officers to help in planning for next year, we welcome feedback. Read more »


New Brethren Press resources include Advent devotional, ‘Brethren Beliefs,’ Guide and Covenant studies (July 26, 2012)

New from Brethren Press are a host of resources for personal devotions, for Bible studies and small groups, and for maintaining connection with Church of the Brethren ministries and Annual Conference. Order any of the following by calling 800-441-3712 or going to www.brethrenpress.com . A shipping and handling charge will be added to the listed price. Read more »


Barkley resigns from the Brethren Historical Library and Archives (July 26, 2012)

Terry Barkley has announced his resignation as archivist and director of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives (BHLA) at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Oct. 31 will be his last day at the BHLA, allowing him to complete two full years in the position. His resignation is due to family changes in Alabama, which require his daily assistance at home. Read more »


Peace Day 2012 theme is ‘Praying for Ceasefire’ (July 26, 2012)

On Earth Peace has announced a theme and a new name for its campaign encouraging churches and communities to observe the International Day of Prayer for Peace on Sept. 21. This is the sixth year that On Earth Peace has held its campaign. Peace Day is the new name for the campaign, centered this year on the theme, “Praying for Ceasefire.” Read more »



A thank you letter from Plowsharing Crafts (July 25, 2012)

Annual Conference director Chris Douglas has shared the following letter from the staff of Plowsharing Crafts, sent in response to the generosity of Conference-goers after the SERRV store suffered a robbery during the Conference. The store lost some $1,000 worth of jewelry merchandise, but donations given by concerned Conference-goers virtually made up for the loss. 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 »


Annual Conference 2012 - bits and pieces (July 12, 2012)

Lots more information about the Conference in St. Louis includes statistics on attendance and offerings, service project and blood drive results, the Quilt Auction, and much more. Read more »


Delegate seating at round tables facilitates face-to-face conversation, prayer (July 12, 2012)

“Watching you all hold hands around the tables and pray is one of the most beautiful things I have seen in my life,” said Annual Conference moderator Tim Harvey to the delegate body after one morning’s devotions during the 2012 Conference, held July 7-11 in St. Louis, Mo. This is the first year in recent memory that the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference has used table groups for face-to-face discussion, giving feedback on items of business, and prayer in small groups. Read more »


Brethren Revival Fellowship Dinner considers story of Zacchaeus (July 11, 2012)

Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) has existed since 1959 with a mission to revive the Church of the Brethren and hold the denomination to scripture. The BRF sponsors an annual dinner meeting at Annual Conference for fellowship and edification. Read more »


Today at Annual Conference - Wednesday (July 11, 2012)

Today at Annual Conference - Wednesday Read more »


Conference approves variety of polity changes, discontinues the CIR (July 11, 2012)

In other business, the Annual Conference approved a variety of polity changes for districts and the Program and Arrangements Committee, approved a recommendation to discontinue the Committee on Interchurch Relations (CIR) in anticipation of a new vision for ecumenical witness, gave two groups additional time to work on revisions to the Ethics for Congregations document and response to climate change, and recommended a cost of living increase for pastor salaries. Read more »


VOS celebrates 10 years, holds final dinner (July 11, 2012)

Jim Lehman, who planted the seeds for Voices for an Open Spirit (VOS) at Annual Conference 10 years ago, invited guests at the group’s yearly banquet to take a look back, but also to look forward. Read more »


Up for the challenge, weather or not  (July 11, 2012)

The St. Louis pavement was steamy Sunday morning, July 8, as runners and walkers gathered at Forest Park for the Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) Fitness Challenge. Despite the humidity, 81 athletically-minded Brethren turned out at 7 a.m. to participate in this popular Annual Conference event. Read more »


Elections query is returned, Call to Accountability reaffirmed (July 10, 2012)

The delegate body of the 2012 Annual Conference has acted on a query about elections. The body adopted a recommendation from the Standing Committee of district delegates that “the query respectfully be returned and that the 1979 statement, ‘Call to Accountability,’ be reaffirmed.” Read more »


Recommendations for revitalization of Annual Conference are accepted (July 10, 2012)

If Annual Conference is to survive and thrive, planners will need to make some changes according to a Revitalization Task Force report. One of the most significant is that economic realities will limit the number of future Conferences held west of the Mississippi. Read more »


Today at Annual Conference - Tuesday (July 10, 2012)

Today at Annual Conference - Tuesday Read more »


Delegates affirm need for more equity on Mission and Ministry Board (July 10, 2012)

Addressing a business item requesting more equitable representation for districts on the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board, the 2012 Annual Conference adopted the query and referred its concerns to the denominational board. Read more »


A Church of the Brethren Vision Statement is adopted for 2012-2020 (July 9, 2012)

On Monday morning, July 9, the following vision statement was adopted by the delegate body for denomination-wide use: “Through Scripture, Jesus calls us to live as courageous disciples by word and action: To surrender ourselves to God, To embrace one another, To express God’s love for all creation.” Read more »


District executives present award at first CODE Dinner (July 9, 2012)

CODE, the Council of District Executives, held its first ever Annual Conference dinner, July 9. Craig Smith, chair of the executive committee and executive minister for Atlantic Northeast District, opened the meeting stating that the dinner was to be a “Celebration of Leadership.” A highlight of the dinner was a new award for pastoral excellence. Read more »


Revision to Ministerial Leadership polity document receives a first reading (July 9, 2012)

Delegates engaged in a first reading of a proposed revision of the denomination’s ministerial leadership polity, paving the way for a year of study and potential approval at the 2013 Annual Conference. If approved, the new polity would replace previous ministry polity documents and be implemented beginning January 1, 2014. Read more »


Election results are announced for 2012 (July 9, 2012)

Election results were announced today during the Annual Conference business session. Agency appointees also were confirmed by the Conference. Read more »


Today at Annual Conference - Monday (July 9, 2012)

Bits and pieces about the day on July 9, 2012, at the Annual Conference in St. Louis Read more »


Along for the intercultural ride (July 9, 2012)

Gilbert Romero and friends made wonderful, foot-tapping-good music as diners arrived at the Intercultural Luncheon July 9 in St. Louis. Lots of energy and welcoming hugs were passed among friends, new and old. Read more »


Today at Annual Conference - Sunday (July 8, 2012)

Tidbits from the day at Annual Conference in St. Louis on Sunday, July 8 Read more »


What holds the Brethren together (July 8, 2012)

“Some fear the current conflict over homosexuality will tear the church apart,” Guy Wampler told the Brethren Press/ Messenger dinner in his keynote address. “I think we Brethren can work through the current controversy.” Read more »


‘Way Forward’ statement released by Standing Committee (July 8, 2012)

The Standing Committee of district delegates has released a statement out of its meetings in advance of the 2012 Annual Conference in St. Louis, Mo. The statement follows in full. Read more »


Morning begins with an all-Conference Bible study (July 8, 2012)

The following review of the Sunday morning Bible study presented by Bob Neff is written by Frank Ramirez, pastor of Everett (Pa.) Church of the Brethren: Read more »


Act like Jesus is raised from the dead: Walter Brueggemann preaches for Annual Conference (July 7, 2012)

No doubt several in the congregation who listened to Walter Brueggeman in the opening worship service of the 2012 Annual Conference may have visited a prisoner in the local jail, or perhaps in a state prison. Read more »


Three churches receive Open Roof Award (July 7, 2012)

Three churches were chosen to receive the annual Open Roof Award, presented Saturday during the Mission and Ministry Board meeting. The award recognizes Church of the Brethren congregations or districts that have made great strides in becoming more accessible to people with disabilities. Read more »


Standing Committee makes recommendations on new business, appoints committee to update Special Response process (July 7, 2012)

The Standing Committee of district delegates ended pre-Annual Conference meetings today in St. Louis, Mo. Meetings began the afternoon of July 4, led by Annual Conference moderator Tim Harvey. He was assisted by moderator-elect Robert Krouse and Conference secretary Fred Swartz. Delegates from the Church of the Brethren’s 23 districts made recommendations to Annual Conference on new business items. They also set up a committee to update the denomination's Special Response procedure for highly controversial issues, among other business. Read more »


Today at Annual Conference - Saturday (July 7, 2012)

A review of the opening day of the 2012 Annual Conference in St. Louis, Mo. Read more »


Mission and Ministry Board optimistic, despite challenges (July 7, 2012)

The Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board tackled a handful of business items interspersed with reports from staff and others during its Saturday meeting prior to the start of Annual Conference. Also on the agenda were adoption of a budget parameter for 2013, recognitions of board members and staff concluding their terms of service, and numerous reports. Read more »