Newsline for April 26, 2006

“It shall be said, `Build up, build up, prepare the way….” — Isaiah 57:14


1) Workcamp builds bridges in Guatemala.
2) Womaen’s Caucus steering committee works on women’s concerns.
3) Disaster Child Care staff, volunteers attend special trainings.
4) Nigerian Brethren hold 59th annual church conference.
5) Brethren bits: Correction, job opening, and much more.


6) Dana Weaver is hired as Annual Conference assistant.
7) Christina Bucher named dean of faculty at Elizabethtown College.


8) International Brethren engage in conversation about a global church.

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1) Workcamp builds bridges in Guatemala.

“We were in Union Victoria after Hurricane Stan to build two kinds of bridges,” said Tony Banout, coordinator of a workcamp held March 11-18 in the Guatemalan village. The delegation, co-sponsored by the Emergency Response network and Global Mission Partnerships of the Church of the Brethren General Board, was called together to work alongside villagers to rebuild the remote highlands community of Union Victoria.

Other workcampers were Ray Tritt of Boulder Hill Church of the Brethren, Montgomery, Ill.; Josiah Nell, Josh Yohe, and John Hilty of Pleasant Hill Church of the Brethren, Spring Grove, Pa; and Ken Gresh of Denton (Md.) Church of the Brethren. The trip was hosted by Rebecca Allen, Global Mission Partnerships staff and Brethren Volunteer Service worker in Union Victoria.

Banout had known Union Victoria before October when all crops were destroyed, over 60 mudslides occurred, and the community’s only bridge was washed away by the hurricane. He had been a mission worker with Global Mission Partnerships and a Brethren Volunteer Service worker. “Fortunately, no one there was killed by the storm, although one seven-month pregnant woman was caught in the river and later delivered a stillborn child,” said Banout. “One home was completely destroyed. Most of the damage, however, was clearly psychological,” he added.

“We called our expression of solidarity with materially poor, disenfranchised, and largely voiceless Mayans the main bridge we would build,” he emphasized. The workcampers “lived in the simple homes of the villagers, eating with families and sharing stories.”

“We hoped to visit as fellow brothers and sisters concerned about their plight and history,” Banout added. He explained some of the village’s history. “Virtually every person in the community was profoundly affected during the war,” he said, “from firsthand experiences of torture to having loved ones killed or disappeared. We were open to learning from them.” There was also a profound need to speak of their recent trauma stemming from the hurricane, Banout said.

The physical bridge that the workcampers helped repair had been destroyed by Hurricane Stan. The village of Union Victoria is situated alongside a mountainous river. “Fed by incessant rains and the ensuing hurricane, the river grew to dramatic proportions and entirely wiped out a bridge that provided vital access to the two sides of the community, coffee plantations, crops, and even the children’s school,” Banout said. The workcampers “hauled wood boards out of the forest where they had been cut for the bridge, through the mountain terrain, and out to the site. We also worked with members of the community to prepare the foundations of the bridge by collecting and hauling sand from the river banks and digging the holes for the buttresses,” he said.

“As if to emphasize our role as accompaniers in solidarity,” Banout added, “on the day we were leaving the community, a shipment of additional supplies which we had expected earlier arrived for the bridge.”

Workcamper Ray Tritt commented on the difficulties of making a “solidarity” visit to the village, rather than a visit focused on the construction work. “At first it was hard for me,” Tritt said, describing himself as “a hands-on guy who has been in construction for 50 years…. The Mayans gained respect for us as individuals because we listened to them rather than told them what to do. It was educational and inspirational.”

Ken Gresh, a veteran of Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, and denominational faith expeditions, said, “This workcamp hit home because it was not just a hands-on, doing-what-was-needed effort. It was moving beyond words to hear the stories of people who experience multiple injustices.”

“Others will speak of our building bridges of identification and support with each other,” Gresh said, “but I think more of the way the people of Union Victoria showed me resilience for living and enjoying life in spite of their difficulties. They had a grateful attitude for all we did and for our presence without judgment of our prosperity…. It was a good trip there and back which helped me to not desire fast food French fries and quick fix coffees from kiosks.”

For more information about Global Mission Partnerships of the Church of the Brethren General Board, go to


2) Womaen’s Caucus steering committee works on women’s concerns.

Audrey deCoursey, Jan Eller, Carla Kilgore, Lucy Loomis, and Deb Peterson gathered in Fort Wayne, Ind., March 24-26 as the Steering Committee for Womaen’s Caucus. They worshiped, sang, and prayed together, and worked on the business of women’s concerns in the Church of the Brethren. Members of Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren hosted the committee members.

During three days of meeting, the steering committee celebrated the positive comments they had received regarding the last issue of the Womaen’s Caucus newsletter, “Femailings,” which was on family planning, and planned future issues of “Femailings.”

Meeting time also included planning for several activities at the 2006 Annual Conference: a luncheon with Mary Cline Detrick, pastor of Daleville (Va.) Church of the Brethren, as speaker; participation in an insight session on domestic violence sponsored by On Earth Peace; hosting a booth in the exhibit hall; and supporting a hospitality center sponsored by Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Interests (BMC) with Voices for an Open Spirit (VOS).

In addition to this practical work, steering committee members discussed how the role of women in the church has been changing, and held a carry-in dinner and discussion time with Womaen’s Caucus supporters from six congregations in the region. The discussion included how people can be supportive of women in the set-apart ministries, as well as supportive of all women in the Church of the Brethren.


3) Disaster Child Care staff, volunteers attend special trainings.

In an update from Disaster Child Care (DCC), staff and volunteers have participated in special training events, and volunteer staff have assessed needs for child care following a recent tornado in Tennessee. Disaster Child Care is a ministry of the Church of the Brethren General Board.

DCC staff and volunteers were invited to participate in a special one-day training event on April 14 titled “Managing the Mental Health Consequences of Disaster.” Maryland Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (MDVOAD) partnered with Sheppard Pratt Health System of Ellicott City, Md., to provide special training for disaster volunteers, educators, and health care workers. The training was designed for people who wish to be better prepared to address the psychological needs of disaster survivors and their families. Attending the event were Patricia Black of Virginia, Carol and Duane Strickler of West Virginia, Donna Uhig of Pennsylvania, and DCC coordinator Helen Stonesifer. Robert and Peggy Roach of Virginia attended the training on April 19.

On April 6, Stonesifer traveled to the National Transportation Safety Board Academy in Ashburn, Va., to share information about Disaster Child Care and its Critical Response Childcare Team with those participating in an American Red Cross Critical Response Team Training. The DCC Critical Response team is a component of the American Red Cross team that responds to mass casualty events.

Robert Roach, child care volunteer from Phenix, Va., traveled to Dyersburg, Tenn., to assess the need for child care services following an F3 tornado on April 7 that cut a path of destruction 24 miles long across 21 counties in western and central Tennessee. Roach made contact with local American Red Cross chapters and FEMA staff, as well as other disaster relief personnel. It was reported that the area was a small community and many people had family or churches taking care of immediate needs.

A DCC Level 1 Training Workshop will be held at Deer Park United Methodist Church in Westminster, Md., April 28-29. A registration form can be downloaded from or call 800-451-4407 ext. 5.


4) Nigerian Brethren hold 59th annual church conference.

Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN–the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) held its 59th annual “majalisa” or assembly meeting of its legislative body on March 28-April 1, with some 1,000 church delegates in attendance. The theme of this year’s majalisa was “Fixing Our Eyes on Jesus,” which was also the theme for the 2005 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. Guest speaker for each evening worship session was Robert Krouse, Nigeria mission coordinator for the Global Mission Partnerships office of the Church of the Brethren General Board. Krouse also supplied this report from the majalisa.

Messages for worship focused on the first three groups to first fix their eyes on Jesus (the angels, shepherds, and wise men); the foot washing passage in John 13; and fixing our eyes on the cross from 1 Corinthians 2:2. “Sharing the good news, and an attitude of worship will continue to be the experience of those who fix their eyes on Jesus,” Krouse said. “Jesus washed…feet to illustrate four important activities in the life of a believer: walk humbly, live as a servant, love your enemies (Jesus wash Judas’ feet knowing that he would betray him), continue the work of Jesus…. The power of God is conferred upon those who deny themselves, take us the cross and follow Jesus,” he said.

Business at the majalisa included reports from the president, general secretary, Executive Committee, Office of Evangelism, external and internal auditors, director of Finance, Ministers Council, District Church Council, and Integrated Community Based Development Program, which includes the Rural Health Department with its dispensaries and Rural Health Posts. The meeting also received a report on a new Conference Center, a report on a new HIV/AIDS project, and heard from a new Peace Committee.

Delegates passed a 2006 budget of 59,261,500 Naira ($440,000). The group also approved a new pension plan proposal, a project that was carried out with help from Tom and Janet Crago, short-term mission staff of the Church of the Brethren General Board.

Delegates took up a love offering of about 40,000 Naira ($300) to express their support to the churches in Maiduguri that were damaged and destroyed in inter-religious violence in March. The majalisa received with gratitude the letter of support and solidarity penned during the March meeting of the Church of the Brethren General Board. Filibus Gwama, EYN president, read the letter to the delegate body.


5) Brethren bits: Correction, job opening, and much more.
  • Correction: Mary Hooker Weybright, one of the recipients of the Ripples Society award from Bridgewater (Va.) College, attends Nokesville Church of the Brethren in Virginia, rather than in Maryland as was incorrectly reported in the Newsline of April 12.
  • Pacific Southwest District of the Church of the Brethren seeks a director of Missions. The district is looking for a visionary leader who has a passionate desire to plant and revitalize Church of the Brethren congregations. The preferred candidate will be an entrepreneur who can recruit, coach, mentor, train, and provide support for church planters, and continue the development and oversight of a comprehensive church planting and revitalization program. This individual must be a person of faith who is knowledgeable and accepting of denominational polity and authority, values the principles of the Church of the Brethren, and is skillful at adapting to the needs of the district and local situations. The candidate must have strong communication skills in both English and Spanish. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree and additional ministry training is required. The position may be fulltime, or divided into two half-time positions. The position is not housed in the district office in La Verne, Calif., but the individual must reside within the district and is reportable to the district executive minister. Contact the Pacific Southwest District Office with a cover letter and resume testifying to personal faith, history, and competency in church planting and revitalization. Pacific Southwest District, P.O. Box 219, La Verne, CA 91750-0219; 909-392-4049;
  • The upcoming week marks “Cover the Uninsured Week,” an national campaign of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that has been promoted by the Association of Brethren Caregivers (ABC) to raise awareness of the nearly 46 million American who lack healthcare insurance. ABC encourages Church of the Brethren congregations to participate in events planned for their areas during the week of May 1-7. This year, the campaign has plans for 2,240 events coast-to-coast, and offers many resources including information for people without health insurance at its website, Activities include press conferences, health and enrollment fairs, business leader summits, interfaith activities, small business seminars, campus outreach, and more. ABC has posted a “Call to Prayer” at
  • On Earth Peace has started a new blog, “Nonviolence News,” at It includes all current postings from On Earth Peace’s Peace Witness Action List, and links to devotions and resources for Christians exploring radical discipleship and Jesus’ call to peacemaking. “For those seeking examples and inspiration for creative and spiritually-rooted peacemaking, this is it,” said Matt Guynn, coordinator of peace witness for On Earth Peace. For more information go to
  • Antioch Church of the Brethren in Woodstock, Va., collected about $10,000 worth of donated garden seeds from many different companies and individuals this past winter to send to families in Haiti. The seeds were counted, bagged, labeled, and packaged with 18 vegetable varieties in each packet to provide seeds for a garden for the average size Haitian family. Some 1,200 packets of the seeds were assembled and mailed to a pastor in Haiti, for distribution in Haitian churches this spring. “There were 38 boxes of seeds in all,” reported Antioch pastor George Bowers, “and many, many folks in the congregation helped including children’s church, youth Bible study, older folks.” With the seeds, planting instructions were included and a Haitian Creole Bible verse.
  • West Goshen (Ind.) Church of the Brethren will celebrate 175 years in ministry with an Anniversary Sunday on June 4 beginning at 10 a.m. In 1830, the congregation became the first organized church in northern Indiana, according to an invitation letter from the church, which has “given life” to 31 Church of the Brethren congregations in five northern Indiana counties. The Anniversary Sunday will include a “plain dress” worship service. Please RSVP to Jerry Miller at 574-831-6522.
  • Members of Oakley Brick Church of the Brethren in Cerro Gordo, Ill., “were among those helping get roads cleared and debris picked up” following tornados and storms on Easter Sunday in central Illinois, according to the “Herald and Review Newspaper” of Decatur, Ill. Severe weather damaged several homes and outbuildings and flooded roads, according to the newspaper report, as well as knocked down power lines and trees, and dropped large hail and heavy downpours of rain. The worst damage occurred near Oakley, the paper said.
  • A women’s group at Downsville Church of the Brethren in Williamsport, Md., have finished a quilt described as “exquisite” by Williamsport’s “Herald Mail” newspaper. The quilt will be sold at the Mid-Atlantic Disaster Response Auction May 6 at Westminster (Md.) Ag Center. Proceeds will help provide disaster relief. The piece is called “The Baltimore Quilt” and is hand-appliqued. It will be on display at the church along with other pieces during morning worship on Sunday, April 30, at 10:35 a.m. The newspaper reported that the mission of the women’s group is “Hands to Quilt, Hearts to God!”
  • Mill Creek Church of the Brethren in Port Republic, Va., is one of the stops on the annual Home and Garden Tour of the Spotswood Garden Club today, April 26, according to the “Daily News-Record” of Shenandoah Valley. The church, which is on the tour list with four historic homes, will host refreshments and musical entertainment. “Visitors may also enjoy touring the historic church, which was organized in 1840 and was used as a hospital during the Battle of Cross Keys in June 1862,” the newspaper said.
  • Regional Youth Conference at Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., will be held April 29-30. Chris Douglas, director of youth and young adult ministry for the Church of the Brethren General Board, is the keynote speaker. The weekend includes worship, workshops, a coffee house, free time for recreation, and opportunities for fellowship. Cost is $50 for youth, $30 for advisors. For more information contact Wendi Hutchinson at or 260-982-5232.
  • Anabaptist spirituality will be the topic of this year’s Durnbaugh Lectures April 27 at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. C. Arnold Snyder, professor of history at Conrad Grebel University College in Ontario, Canada, will discuss “The ‘Catholic’ Roots of Anabaptist Spirituality” at 7:30 p.m. in Myer Hall’s Susquehanna Room. Snyder’s talk is open to the public free of charge and is presented as part of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies’ annual banquet. A reception for Snyder begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by the banquet at 6 p.m. Snyder will also present a seminar titled “Contemporary Anabaptist Spirituality” 9 a.m.-3 p.m., April 28, at the Young Center. For more information call 717-361-1470 or go to
  • Juniata College dedicated its new Marlene and Barry Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on April 21 in Huntingdon, Pa. The center is an $8.3 million renovation and construction project that has renovated the college’s performance hall, Rosenberger Auditorium, and added a new theater space and classroom facilities. For more information go to
  • The 7th annual C.A.R.S. (College Automotive Restoration Students) Club Car Show takes place at McPherson College 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 6. More than 150 cars are expected to be on display. There is no charge to attend the show. “Two cars will be featured on display for this year’s show: a 1911 Stanley Steamer race car, and a 1950 Ford Woody Wagon,” according to Ross Barton, president of C.A.R.S. There will also be three Lamborghinis and a 1922 Stanley Steamer on display. According to Jonathan Klinger, director of automotive restoration development, “A tremendous amount of work goes into the annual car show. The students work very hard and do a great job of putting on a first-class show.” Tours of Templeton Hall, the home of the automotive restoration program, will be open to the public from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. For more go to
  • Two teams of Manchester College students spent spring break in the sunny South–but they were not tanning on the beaches or partying hearty through the night. The students worked in Mississippi and New Orleans, helping with Hurricane Katrina cleanup, joining an estimated 10,000 college students who mucked out houses and helped the area rebuild. The college Habitat for Humanity chapter has spent its last 19 spring breaks in the South, building homes. This year, 17 Manchester students and two faculty members were in Meridian, Miss., building two to four homes. At the same time, 17 Manchester students, four staff members, and a spouse were helping New Orleans residents clear muck and mold, gutting houses for restoration and picking up neighborhoods. The team worked with Operation Helping Hands, a volunteer program of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans. For more go to
  • Camp Bethel in Fincastle, Va., is holding its annual Sounds of the Mountains Festival on April 28-29 featuring Syd Lieberman, Barbara McBryde-Smith, Willy Claflin, Joseph Helfrich, and Marshall Brothers. Performance schedule, performer biographies, and ticket information is at The camp also has announced the theme for its summer camping program, “Peace by Peace” from Colossians 3:15.
  • Art Gish, a Church of the Brethren member from Athens, Ohio, who has been working with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in the Middle Eastern city of Hebron, called in to the Rush Limbaugh show on March 23 to offer his perspective. In an e-mail from the “Peace Witness Action List” of On Earth Peace giving the transcript of Gish’s call, it was noted that “Limbaugh has been quite critical of CPT through the captivity of CPTers in Iraq.” The call included the following exchange: Gish: “…If we want peace and are opposed to war, then we ought to be willing to take the same risks that soldiers take and go into violent situations and be a nonviolent presence in the middle of….” Limbaugh: “Yeah, but, you know, peacemakers have never won wars with peace. They do it with guns and soldiers and….” Gish: “Well, we have another idea….” Limbaugh: “You win wars by killing people and breaking things, and then you institute the peace.” Gish: “We believe that the only way to overcome evil is through nonviolent suffering love, the way of the cross….” A full transcript can be obtained from On Earth peace, contact For more about On Earth Peace go to
  • A reunion of graduates of Hillcrest School in Jos, Nigeria, is planned for July 1-4 in Westlake, Texas, in the Dallas area. Hillcrest is an ecumenical international school that originally was begun by the Church of the Brethren. Reunion planners are in search of contact information for Hillcrest graduates and former teachers, staff, and house parents from the Church of the Brethren. Contact Holly (Strauss) Plank at For more about the reunion go to


6) Dana Weaver is hired as Annual Conference assistant.

Dana Weaver has accepted the position of Annual Conference assistant. She brings to the position a background in office management, administration, and computers in her 20 years with Maryland Public Television and Cranberry Graphics.

She begins her work in the Annual Conference Office on June 5, and will be present at the 2006 Annual Conference. She will spend several weeks at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., for training before the end of August when the Annual Conference Office moves to the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Weaver and her family live in Westminster, Md.


7) Christina Bucher named dean of faculty at Elizabethtown College.

Christina Bucher has been named dean of the faculty at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. She is a 1975 graduate of Elizabethtown who has served as a member of the religious studies department faculty for nearly 20 years. She is a scholar of the Hebrew Bible and teaches in the field of biblical studies.

The Carl W. Zeigler Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Bucher served as chair of the Department of Religious Studies from 1995-2005. She also has edited the Church of the Brethren quarterly journal “Brethren Life and Thought” from 1991-1997, and is on the editorial board. Bucher has been active in the Society of Biblical Literature and is former chair of the society’s “Study of Peace in Scripture” research group.


8) International Brethren engage in conversation about a global church.
By Merv Keeney

Leaders from the Churches of the Brethren in Brazil, Nigeria, and the United States gathered in Campinas, Brazil, Feb. 27-28 to learn about each other’s churches and to discuss what it means to be globally interconnected. It was the second such gathering of the global Church of the Brethren from several countries, with the first being in Elgin, Ill., in 2002.

The 9th Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Brazil brought together leadership of the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN–the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and the Church of the Brethren in the US, and placed them in proximity to easily engage the leadership of Igreja da Irmandade-Brasil (Church of the Brethren in Brazil).

Leaders who were present included Filibus Gwama, president of EYN; Marcos Inhauser, president of Igreja da Irmandade-Brasil; Ron Beachley, 2006 Annual Conference moderator of the Church of the Brethren in the US; and Stan Noffsinger, general secretary of the General Board. Suely Inhauser, co-national director of the Brazil mission, and Greg Davidson Laszakovits, Brazil representative of the General Board, also were present along with several other Brazilian church leaders.

Each church introduced itself to the others through a brief overview of its history, structure, and current joys and challenges. The Brazilian church was given the largest portion of time and attention, as participants pressed to learn more about this emerging church.

Marcos Inhauser recounted the history of the Brazilian church beginning with the first effort in the 1980s, and the new start in 2001. The list of fellowships now includes Campinas, Campo Limpo, Hortolandia, Indiatuba, and Rio Verde. He reflected on the theological context and highly competitive Christian environment that affect the effort to start a church in Brazil. A theme used by the Brazilian Brethren has been “a different church, making a difference.” Brazilian leaders who have come from a variety of church backgrounds commented that, “parts of me were Anabaptist, but I did not know it,” recognizing that as they learned to know Brethren theology and practice, it resonated with some of their core understandings of faith. Minimal membership growth during the past year and transitions of leadership have been discouraging, yet new leadership is arising and new ministries are emerging. The annual conference held in November was the church’s fifth, and some said it was the best.

Gwama reported on EYN, with nearly 160,000 members and over 200,000 people attending worship in 43 districts, 404 congregations, and some 800 fellowships. He gave an explanation of the church’s structure and long history, and listed the many church programs and ecumenical linkages. Gwama asserted that the church continues to grow because members talk about their faith, and all the church groups help to share the Good News with others. He reported mission efforts active in the neighboring countries of Togo, Niger, and Cameroon. He also reported a new office for peace and reconciliation headed by Toma Ragnjiya, who has completed a degree in conflict transformation at Eastern Mennonite University. Violence and destruction of church buildings at Maiduguri, a city of northeastern Nigeria, had just been reported in the media when the global church meeting took place, and Gwama voiced concern for the people of EYN and all of Nigeria.

John 17:20-25, Jesus’ prayer for his disciples and the world, began the report from the Church of the Brethren in the US. Noffsinger gave an overview of the church in statistics, noting challenges of pastoral leadership, aging membership, and membership decline. He observed that a question among young people is whether or not the church is relevant, and mentioned “Together: Conversations on Being the Church.” Beachley noted the theme for Annual Conference from 1 Timothy 4:6-8, “Together: Exercise Daily in God,” and reported that he has been encouraging reading scripture aloud, fasting one day each month, and praying daily for someone who needs Christ. Participants from the other church bodies expressed amazement at the number of church programs and structures in the US church. Presentation of a statement from leaders of the US churches that are members of the World Council of Churches, apologizing “that we have failed to raise a prophetic voice loud enough and persistent enough to deter our leaders from this path of preemptive war,” prompted discussion and encouragement for this courageous message by the US churches.

Noffsinger also asked the counsel of the group about his participation in the World Council of Churches, saying that “it is presumptive for the US church to take this seat without consultation with Brethren in other places.” Participants were reluctant to make any other recommendation, noting the absence of the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic. They encouraged the US church to continue to represent the global Brethren.

As the conversation turned to the question of what does it mean to be a global church, Marcos Inhauser noted that for Brethren, gathering together in worship, fellowship, and service are central to our identity. “So,” he asserted, “we must gather to be the church.” The group observed that valuing our gathered community of faith is built into our church structures in the annual conference or assembly. There was encouragement to visit each other’s annual conference when possible. Several voices emphasized that each church has something to give as well as to receive through our deeper relationship with each other. Hope was expressed for a regularized global meeting of the Church of the Brethren at some point in the future.

Gwama observed that “the possibility to visit each other has long been a dream of EYN. This meeting was really a blessing for me.” The Inhausers reported that members of the Brazilian church, who have been feeling discouraged by transitions, “felt valued” and honored to be visited by Brethren from other countries.

–Merv Keeney is executive director of Global Mission Partnerships for the General Board, and is the staff responsible for relationships with Church of the Brethren bodies in other countries. He facilitated and hosted both meetings of the global Brethren.


Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Contact the editor at or 800-323-8039 ext. 260. Janice England, Carla Kilgore, Jeri Kornegay, Robert Krouse, Janis Pyle, and John Wall contributed to this report. Newsline appears every other Wednesday, with the next regularly scheduled Newsline set for May 10; other special issues may be sent as needed. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. Newsline is available and archived at, click on “News.” For more Church of the Brethren news and features, go to and click on “News,” or subscribe to Messenger magazine, call 800-323-8039 ext. 247. To receive Newsline by e-mail or to unsubscribe, go to