Newsline for August 30, 2006

“Ascribe power to God….” — Psalm 68:34a


1) ‘Proclaim the Power of God’ is theme for Annual Conference 2007.
2) El Tema de la Conferencia Anual de 2007 es ‘Proclamar el Poder de Dios.’
3) Brethren Service Center committee holds first meeting.
4) Shipments of relief materials continue one year after Katrina.
5) ‘Being the Body of Christ’ is theme for Northern Ohio conference.
6) Brethren bits: Remembrance, personnel, job openings, and more.


7) Connie Burkholder resigns from Northern Plains District.
8) Jim Chinworth resigns as campus pastor at Manchester College.
9) Stephen Mason will direct the Brethren Foundation.


10) Brethren are invited to Counter-Recruitment Conference.

For more Church of the Brethren news, go to, click on “News” to find a news feature, more “Brethren bits,” links to Brethren in the news, and links to the General Board’s photo albums and the Newsline archive.

1) ‘Proclaim the Power of God’ is theme for Annual Conference 2007.

“Proclaim the Power of God” (Psalm 68:34-35) is the theme for the 221st Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren, to be held in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 30-July 4, 2007. The theme and accompanying scripture was announced by the Program and Arrangements Committee after its mid-August meeting at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill.

“As we continue our Together: Conversations on Being the Church, I challenge you to join me as we ‘Proclaim the Power of God,’” said 2007 moderator Belita D. Mitchell in her statement on the theme. Mitchell is pastor of First Church of the Brethren in Harrisburg, Pa. “I believe now is the time for us to become more ethnically diverse, more spiritually alive, and more united to continue the work of Jesus across the United States and around the world. Let us prepare to come together in Cleveland celebrating the Power of God in our midst.”

Daily scriptures and expressions of the theme also have been announced (see below). The logo for the Conference has not been designed yet, and will be released after the committee meets again in November.

The moderator’s full theme statement follows:

“Throughout my years of service to Christ and the church in our beloved denomination, I have been acutely aware of the tremendous blessing God has poured out upon us. We have been endowed with many spiritual gifts. We have been inspired to ministries that have been embraced by the ecumenical community. With an evangelistic zeal, we have established missions around the world, seeing the fruits of our labor in India, China, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and now Haiti and Brazil. Our newly launched initiative in Sudan is still greater evidence of our desire to follow Christ and comply with the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

“In spite of this entire remarkable mission legacy, we see many congregations in our own country that continue to decline in vitality, flounder in vision, and who face difficulty in becoming ethnically and culturally diverse. I have heard the voices of many who are asking the questions, ‘How do we respond to the stumbling blocks that stunt our spiritual and numerical growth?’ ‘How do we overcome eroding energy and decreasing hope?’ ‘When will we unite with Christ to tear down strongholds and become like the church John saw in Revelation 7:9?’

“These questions and others have guided me through the scriptures and remained a focal part of my meditations on naming a theme for our 221st Annual Conference convening in Cleveland, Ohio, June 30-July 4, 2007. As we continue our Together: Conversations on Being the Church, I challenge you to join me as we ‘Proclaim the Power of God’ (Psalm 68:34-35).

“I envision exploring and living out this theme not only by our deeds but also by our words. Let us be bold in our proclamation of God’s power that enables us to tear down barriers which separate us and build bridges that connect us in stronger ecumenical partnerships. Proclaim God’s power to guide us in effective evangelistic outreach, to equip us for intercultural inclusion, to lead us in developing cross congregational relationships and to instill within us a life of fervent prayer.

“I believe now is the time for us to become more ethnically diverse, more spiritually alive, and more united to continue the work of Jesus across the United States and around the world. Let us prepare to come together in Cleveland celebrating the power of God in our midst. Start by praying for a mighty movement of the Holy Spirit to illumine our hearts and minds to the need for changes that will bind us together, strengthen our resolve to work for those changes, and inspire us to be open for God to do a new thing among the Brethren.”

Daily scriptures and expressions of the theme:

–June 30: “Ecumenical partnerships and cross congregational relationships are ways that we can ‘Proclaim the Power of God.’ We gain benefit through connecting with brothers and sisters across denominational and congregational lines, demonstrating for the world what the fullness of God looks like” (Ephesians 3:13-16 and 4:3-6; 2 Corinthians 13:11).

–July 1: “Prayer is a means to release the power of God and should be the hallmark of every believer, the foundation of every worshiping community, and the force behind every ministry endeavor. The focus would be on the importance of prayer” (Matthew 7:7; John 16:23-24; Acts 16:25-26).

–July 2: “Intercultural inclusion is an expression of the power of God as we work together toward racial reconciliation and unity with diversity. We cannot adequately reflect the kingdom of God as exclusive conclaves of homogenous groups” (Acts Chapter 2, 8:25, and 15:8; Galatians 3:26-28; Revelation 7:9).

–July 3: “Effective evangelistic outreach is an outgrowth of the power of God. Sharing the good news is not optional for disciples of Christ. We are commissioned to speak with boldness the confession of our faith and the availability of salvation for all who will believe” (Matthew 28:15; Acts 10:34-38; John 1:12 and 4:28-29; Romans 10:13-15).

–July 4: “We serve an awesome God whose power and strength are available to us for every good work and for every need in kingdom building. Let us ‘Proclaim the Power of God’ in our speech and in our service. Let us return to our ‘first love,’ keeping Christ central to everything we say and do” (Acts 4:33; Psalm 107:1-3 and 8-9; John 4:39-42).

2) El Tema de la Conferencia Anual de 2007 es ‘Proclamar el Poder de Dios.’

El tema de la 221ava Conferencia Anual de la Iglesia de los Hermanos es “Proclamar el Poder de Dios” (Salmos 68:34-35). La conferencia se llevará a cabo en Cleveland, Ohio, del 30 de junio al 4 de julio. El tema y sus respectivas Escrituras fueron anunciados por el Comité de Programa y Arreglos después de su junta a mediados de agosto en las oficinas de la Iglesia de los Hermanos, en Elgin, IL.

Belita D. Mitchell, moderadora para 2007 anunció el tema de la Conferencia Annual y nos recordó de “Al continuar Juntos: Conversaciones sobre cómo somos la iglesia les estoy retando a todos que nos unamos a “Proclamar el Poder de Dios.” Mitchell es pastora de la Primera Iglesia de los Hermanos en Harrisburg, PA. “Yo creo que ahora es el tiempo cuando debemos ser mas étnicamente diversos y estar más vivos y unidos espiritualmente mientras continuamos el trabajo de Jesús en todos los Estados Unidos y en todo el mundo. Preparémonos para reunirnos en Cleveland a celebrar el Poder de Dios Entre Nosotros.”

También fueron anunciadas las Escrituras y expresiones diarias del tema (vea abajo). El logo de la conferencia todavía no ha sido diseñado, pero será revelado en noviembre, después de la junta del comité.

Declaración del tema que hizo la moderadora:

“A través de mis años de servicio a Cristo y a la iglesia en nuestra amada denominación, he estado muy al tanto de las grandísimas bendiciones que Dios nos ha dado. Nos ha dotado con muchos regalos espirituales. Hemos sido inspirados a ministerios que han sido recibidos con brazos abiertos por la comunidad ecuménica. Con entusiasmo evangelista hemos establecido misiones en todo el mundo y hemos visto los frutos de nuestra labor en India, China, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, la República Dominicana, y ahora en Haití y Brasil. La nueva iniciativa en Sudán es todavía la más grande evidencia de nuestro deseo de seguir a Cristo y cumplir con la Gran Comisión y el Gran Mandamiento.”

“A pesar de nuestro impresionante legado de misión, observamos que muchas congregaciones en nuestro país continúan declinando en vitalidad, cuya visión no es clara, y tienen problemas cambiando a ser más diversas hablando cultural y étnicamente. He escuchado las voces de muchos que nos preguntan ‘Qué hacemos con los problemas que nos están previniendo crecer espiritualmente y en membrecia?’ ‘Cómo podemos sobreponernos a la energía negativa y falta de esperanza?’ ‘Cuándo nos reuniremos con Cristo para derrumbar las fortalezas y convertirnos como la iglesia que Juan vio en Apocalipsis 7:9?”

“Estas y otras preguntas me han guiado a través de las Escrituras, y me han recordado el enfoque de mis meditaciones tratando de encontrar el tema de nuestra 221ava Conferencia Anual, que se llevará a cabo en Cleveland, Ohio, del 30 de junio al 4 julio de 2007. Al continuar Juntos: Conversaciones sobre cómo somos la iglesia, les reto a que se me unan a ‘Proclamar el Poder de Dios’ (Salmos 68:34-35).”

“Tengo la visión de explorar y vivir este tema no solamente con nuestras acciones sino también con nuestras palabras. Seamos audaces en nuestra proclamación del poder de Dios que nos permite destruir las barreras que nos separan. En su lugar construyamos puentes que nos conecten fuertemente a nuestros socios ecuménicos. Proclamemos el poder de Dios para que nos guíe en un alcance evangélico efectivo, para que nos equipe para una inclusión entre culturas, para que nos guíe al desarrollar relaciones con congregaciones de otras culturas, y que infunda en nosotros una vida ferviente de oración.”

“Yo creo que ahora es el tiempo cuando debemos ser étnicamente diversos, más vivos espiritualmente y más unidos para continuar el trabajo de Jesús en todos los Estados Unidos y en todo el mundo. Preparémonos para reunirnos en Cleveland y celebrar el Poder de Dios entre nosotros. Comiencen a orar para que el Espíritu Santo ilumine nuestras mentes y corazones para que comprendamos la necesidad de estos cambios que nos unirán, nos fortalecerán en nuestra determinación de hacer estos cambios, y nos inspirarán a tener una mente abierta para que Dios haga cosas nuevas entre los Hermanos. ”

Escrituras diarias y expresiones del tema:

–Junio 30: “Los socios ecuménicos y las relaciones entre congregaciones son maneras de ‘Proclamar el Poder de Dios.’ Nos beneficia estar conectados con hermanos y hermanas de otras denominaciones y congregaciones, demostrándole al mundo como se verá la plenitud de Dios.” (Efesios 3:13-16 y 4:3-6; 2 Corintios 13:11)

–Julio 1: “La oración es una manera de desatar el poder de Dios y debería ser la marca de todo creyente, los cimientos de toda comunidad que venera, y la fuerza detrás de toda empresa hacia el ministerio. El enfoque debe ser la importancia de la oración.” (Mateo 7:7; Juan 16-23-24; Hechos 16:25-26)

–Julio 2: “La inclusión entre culturas es una expresión del poder de Dios al trabajar juntos hacia una reconciliación racial y unidad entre grupos diversos. No podemos adecuadamente reflejar el reino de Dios como conclaves exclusivos y grupos homogéneos.” (Hechos 2, 8:25, y 15:8; Gálatas 3:26-28; Apocalipsis 7:9)

–Julio 3: “Un alcance evangelístico efectivo es una consecuencia del poder de Dios. El compartir las buenas nuevas no es una disciplina opcional para los discípulos de Cristo. Nosotros tenemos la responsabilidad de proclamar audazmente la confesión de nuestra fe y la salvación que está al alcance de todos aquellos que creen.” (Mateo 28:15; Hechos 10:34-38; Juan 1:12 y 4:28-29; Romanos 10:13-15)

–Julio 4: “Nosotros servimos a un Dios maravilloso, cuyo poder y fuerza está a nuestro alcance para cada trabajo y cada necesidad al construir el reino. “Proclamemos el Poder de Dios” en nuestro hablar y en nuestro servicio. Regresemos a nuestro ‘primer amor,’ teniendo a Cristo en el centro de todo lo que decimos y hacemos.” (Hechos 4:33; Salmos 107:1-3 y 8-9; Juan 4:39-42)

Para más información de la Conferencia Anual vaya a


3) Brethren Service Center committee holds first meeting.

The Brethren Service Center Ministry Options Exploration Committee held its initial meeting in New Windsor, Md., Aug. 22-24. The group is a committee of the Church of the Brethren General Board, and was formed following the action of the board in March as it dealt with stewardship of property issues related to use of its main properties in New Windsor and Elgin, Ill.

The committee’s charge is “to explore ministry options for ministries related to properties associated with the Brethren Service Center.” The group has been asked to recommend an answer to the question, “What will be the best use of the New Windsor property to support, grow, and extend the ministry of the General Board on behalf of the Church of the Brethren?” said chair Dale Minnich in his report from the meeting.

As background for its work, the committee reviewed the history of the Brethren Service Center since the property was purchased by the denomination in 1944, reviewed the recent history of the stewardship property study and subsequent General Board action, toured the facility, and visited with staff. The group discussed reports of the four areas of General Board ministry located at the Brethren Service Center: Service Ministries, Emergency Response, the New Windsor Conference Center, and New Windsor Buildings and Grounds.

The committee also met with two working groups of staff and community members launched by the center’s executive director Roy Winter, in order to generate thinking for the process of the committee’s study.

A number of assignments were made both to committee members and to staff, Minnich reported. The assignments will help the committee “flesh out possibilities to strengthen the Brethren Service Center’s ministries,” his report said. The group will receive reports of the assignments at its next meeting on Nov. 10-12.

Members of the committee are Jim Stokes-Buckles of New York, N.Y.; Kim Stuckey Hissong of Westminster, Md.; David R. Miller of Dayton, Va.; Fran Nyce of Westminster, Md.; Janet Ober of Upland, Calif.; Dale Roth of State College, Pa.; Jack Tevis of Westminster, Md.; and Dale Minnich, General Board representative, of Moundridge, Kan. General Board staff who met with the committee throughout its first meeting were general secretary Stan Noffsinger, service center executive director Roy Winter, and director of financial operations LeAnn Wine.


4) Shipments of relief materials continue one year after Katrina.

On the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, shipments of relief materials responding to the Gulf coast hurricanes is continuing by the Service Ministries program of the Church of the Brethren General Board. The program based at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., prepares and ships relief supplies following disasters around the world.

This month’s shipments included hurricane response supplies for Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi, sent on behalf of Church World Service (CWS). A shipment on Aug. 7 sent 716 cartons of Gift of the Heart Baby Kits, School Kits, Health Kits, blankets, and cleanup buckets.

Service Ministries staff this month also facilitated shipments to Lebanon through CWS, including a 40-foot container with 59 bales of blankets, 232 cartons of Gift of the Heart Health Kits, and seven pallets of five-gallon water jugs shipped to Beirut on Aug. 18; and at the end of the month a shipment of 40 medicine boxes. Today a shipment of 525 cartons of Gift of the Heart Health and School Kits are being picked up to ship via Mercy Flights to Jordan for Lebanon relief.

August has been a busy month for the program, which has moved tons of supplies, reported director Loretta Wolf. Staff have pulled and loaded 13 40-foot containers weighing 474,374 pounds, Wolf said. “Each pound is lifted and packed into the containers in the form of bales or cartons, the beginning of a labor-intensive process to move the requested supplies to the areas in need,” she said.

In addition to shipments to the Gulf and Lebanon, “currently three 40-foot containers of quilts for India are being loaded…110,800 pounds of quilts,” said Wolf. “We will be working on eight containers for Sierra Leone during the next two weeks.” Other shipments include more than 10,000 pounds of medicine and supplies to Azerbaijan on behalf of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, via Interchurch Medical Assistance (IMA); 10 bales of CWS blankets and seven cartons of Gift of the Heart Health Kits to Tulsa, Okla., for homeless and disadvantaged families; and container shipments of quilts, clothing, soap, and kits to Lutheran World Relief programs in Niger, Malawi, and Tanzania.

For more about the disaster relief ministries of the General Board, go to


5) ‘Being the Body of Christ’ is theme for Northern Ohio conference.

The theme for the 142nd Northern Ohio District Conference on July 28-30 was, “Being the Body of Christ.” Delegates and other district members gathered at Ashland University for worship, business, fellowship, and information sharing. Moderator Andy Hamilton, pastor of Center Church of the Brethren in Louisville, Ohio, presided over business. Registration totaled 347.

Hamilton spoke for worship Sunday morning on the conference theme. Other preachers were Patrick Bailey, pastor at North Bend Church of the Brethren in Danville, Ohio, who challenged attendees to reaffirm the basics of their Christian faith as they minister in the Body of Christ; and Paul Bartholomew, pastor of Mohican Church of the Brethren in West Salem, Ohio, whose message “Head Games” focused on Christ as the head of the body. Worship services also included praise teams from the Mohican church and from County Line Church of the Brethren in Harrod, Ohio. Offerings received in worship totaled $2,687.08.

A Junior Performing Arts musical, “We Are United,” was based on the theme, “One Body, Many Parts,” from 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. A Senior Performing Arts musical, “Apex of Love,” was presented Sunday morning.

In business, delegates approved the disorganization of First Church of the Brethren in Canton, Ohio. Altar items from the Canton church were used for the conference worship center. Other business included approval of the 2007 district budget; approval to form a committee to oversee employment of a fundraising firm to assist with raising approximately $1.2 million for construction of a lodge at Inspiration Hills Camp and Retreat Center in Burbank, Ohio; affirmation of Manchester College trustees; and election of district leadership. Doug Price, associate pastor at Dupont (Ohio) Church of the Brethren, was selected moderator-elect. Larry Bradley, pastor at Reading Church of the Brethren in Homeworth, Ohio, will serve as moderator for 2007.

In other events, youth and advisors who had just returned from National Youth Conference treated the delegates to songs and a slide show of activities at the conference. The Ministry Commission recognized special anniversaries of 21 ordained ministers, ranging from one year of ministry to 63. Conference attendees also had opportunity to say farewell to Kyle McCord, a Brethren Volunteer Service worker who has spent the past year working on a district project on evangelism.

A silent auction raised $2,195.85 for the Peace Endowment Fund, which provides funding for the district’s peace and conciliation staff person. Linda Fry has accepted the call to this position beginning Sept. 1.

A collection for Gift of the Heart kits for disaster relief received $2,741. All who gathered at the conference were invited to bring kits, and the Mission and Social Action Commission provided a truck with the challenge to “fill it up!” The final collection included 1,098 Gift of the Heart Health Kits, 403 School Kits, 27 Baby Kits, and 1 clean up bucket. A prayer of dedication for the kits was held during business. On Monday morning after the conference, district disaster coordinator Mort Curie drove the truck to the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., to deliver the kits.


6) Brethren bits: Remembrance, personnel, job openings, and more.
  • Galen S. Young Sr., 94, a major contributor to the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethown (Pa.) College, died on July 8 at his home in Fort Myers, Fla. The center was named in his honor in 1989. “The Young Center exists today largely because of the vision and generosity of Galen S. and Jessie B. Young,” said a statement in the fall issue of the “Young Center News.” An obituary in the “Philadelphia Inquirer” described Young as “a hero” for the osteopathic profession. He was a chancellor of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he served as a surgeon for 45 years, and was a past president of the American Osteopathic Association. According to the Inquirer, a conversation between Young and then-presidential candidate Dwight Eisenhower was what prompted Eisenhower to include funds for osteopathic medical schools in his first national budget. Young was a 1934 graduate of Elizabethtown and received an honorary doctorate of science degree from the college in 1951. He served as an Elizabethtown trustee for more than 30 years, joining the board in 1973 and achieving emeritus status in 2004. He received the college’s Outstanding Alumni Award and Educate for Service Award and was a charter member of the President’s Club. In other church involvements, he helped found Brethren congregations in Philadelphia and Paoli, was a founder and moderator of Drexel Hill (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, and was a moderator of North Atlantic District Conference. For the past 10 years he lived in Fort Myers and Ocean City, N.J. He is survived by his daughter Sandra and sons Galen and Jeffrey, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. A life celebration was held at Arlington Cemetery Chapel in Drexel Hill on July 14.
  • Three Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) workers have begun terms of service for the Church of the Brethren General Board in Elgin, Ill. Rachel McFadden and Travis Beam have begun one-year terms as workcamp assistant coordinators in Youth and Young Adult Ministries. McFadden is from North Manchester, Ind. Beam is from Concord, N.C. Tim Stauffer will work for the board’s information services department. Stauffer is from Polo, Ill.
  • Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., is accepting applications for the position of campus pastor, to plan and coordinate religious services and oversee religious life programming. Additional responsibilities include serving on the counseling staff and maintaining relationships with the Church of the Brethren and ecumenical agencies. A minimum of a Master of Divinity or equivalent master’s degree and ordination in the Church of the Brethren is required. The college offers a competitive pay and benefits package including health insurance, retirement, and tuition. Submit a cover letter, resume, and employment application (see to Human Resources, Attn: CP/B, Manchester College, 604 E. College Ave., North Manchester, IN 46962. Applications will be reviewed beginning immediately and continue until the position is filled.
  • The Brethren Home Community of New Oxford, Pa., seeks a fulltime chaplain for its Cross Keys Village. Primary responsibilities include visitation (scheduled and during crisis), leading devotions and Bible study, on-call coverage, leading worship, and some preaching. Qualified candidates should be licensed into Christian ministry and moving to ordination with good standing in their denomination. Clinical Pastoral Education experience is highly desired. The Brethren Home Community is looking for a caring and motivated person to join its Pastoral Care and Brethren Home team. Interested candidates should contact Merv Wunderlich, Director of Pastoral Care, by e-mail at The position will be open until Sept. 30.
  • Older adults from Church of the Brethren congregations across the country will converge on Lake Junaluska Assembly in North Carolina next week for National Older Adult Conference. The conference Sept. 4-8 is sponsored by the Association of Brethren Caregivers to offer inspiration, renewal, and community for adults age 50 and older. More than 1,100 participants are expected to meet on the theme, “Walk in the Light” (Matthew 5:14).
  • The Ministry of Reconciliation (MOR) of On Earth Peace is offering “Advanced Reconciliation Skills: A Systems Approach to Conflict and Self Understanding,” a fall practitioner workshop, on Nov. 15-17 at Camp Mack in Milford, Ind. Participants will learn a biblical approach to consulting and healing broken communities, the dynamics of emotional fields, brain function and co-causal understandings of human interaction, and skills for self-understanding and differentiation in healing ministries. Leadership is provided by Jim Kinsey, a member of the General Board’s Congregational Life Teams and a certified trainer, consultant, and practitioner of the Bowen, Friedman, Steinke Systems Process. Cost of $120 covers tuition, materials, meals, and two nights lodging. Commuters pay $84 for tuition, materials, three meals, and day-use fees. The workshop begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and concludes at 4 p.m. Friday. Time for worship and fellowship is included. One continuing education unit is available to Church of the Brethren ministers through the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership. Registration deadline is Oct. 15. To register or for more information, contact Annie Clark, MOR coordinator, at
  • A fire destroyed much of the parsonage of Denton (Md.) Church of the Brethren on Sunday, Aug. 20. “The fire started in the kitchen area and spread throughout the house with the major damage to the downstairs area,” reported Mid-Atlantic District executive minister Don Booz, who added that church members are surrounding pastor Alan Kieffaber and his wife, Marilyn, “with care, love, and support.” The district is receiving contributions to a replacement fund for the family.
  • Three Church of the Brethren colleges–Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., and Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind.–made the “best schools” listings for 2007 from “US News & World Report.” The magazine publishes an annual study of colleges and universities in the US. Juniata was ranked 95th in the listing of “top schools” among liberal arts colleges. In listings for comprehensive colleges in the north, Elizabethtown was ranked second for “best value” and third of the “top schools.” In listings for comprehensive colleges in the midwest, Manchester was ranked third for “best value” and 20th of the “top schools.” A release from Manchester said the magazine uses 15 indicators of academic excellence and bases 25 percent of its ranking on the opinions of presidents, provosts, and deans of peer institutions. “We’re thrilled to be near the top of the Best Value list year after year,” said David F. McFadden, executive vice president of Manchester, which has made the rankings for 12 consecutive years. The listings are available at
  • A Church of the Brethren advocate to halt capital punishment, SueZann Bosler, will speak on Sept. 6 at McPherson (Kan.) College in conjunction with the Kansas premiere of “Frozen,” the first play of the college’s new theater season. The play about a serial pedophile, and the human capacity for forgiveness, is described as “powerful and disturbing…about forgiving the unforgivable,” in a release from the college. Bosler has spoken against the death penalty following the 1986 murder of her father, Billy Bosler, when he was pastor of First Miami Church of the Brethren in Florida. “Frozen” by playwright Bryony Lavery will be performed Sept. 7-9 as a senior project. The play premiered in England in 1998 and was a Tony Award Nominee for Best Play in 2004. “Frozen” is not the usual offering from McPherson theater department, the college said, and is not recommended for children; some viewers may be disturbed by content and language. For more go to
  • Camp Bethel in Fincastle, Va., is offering free bluegrass concerts by Brethren musicians over Labor Day weekend. “The Comptons” will play on Sept 1, 8-9 p.m. “Wow! What talent in the Church of the Brethren!” commented the camp newsletter. “Makeshift” plays on Sept. 2, from 8-9 p.m., described as “an exciting, young, upcoming band” ranging in age from 14-17. “Enjoy hearing Makeshift live before they hit the big time, (or at least before they all turn 18!),” said the newsletter. “The Whispering Pines” performs on Sept. 3, 8-9 p.m., featuring Matt Spence and family, based at Masons Cove Church of the Brethren in Salem, Va. See the entire Labor Day Family Weekend schedule of activities and meals at
  • A “Brethren tree” is one of several trees nominated for inclusion in the book, “Remarkable Trees of Virginia,” according to the “Daily News-Record” of Harrisonburg. “Ruth Fifer of Bridgewater nominated the black oak on the lawn of Summit Church of the Brethren” in Bridgewater, Va., the paper said in an article that includes a stanza of Fifer’s poem written in honor of the tree. The poem and a picture of the tree may be found at the Remarkable Trees website


7) Connie Burkholder resigns from Northern Plains District.

Connie R. Burkholder has resigned as executive minister of Northern Plains District, effective Nov. 15. She has served in the position for 10 years. Burkholder also has pastored churches in Kansas and Ohio.

Highlights of her work with the district include establishment of three new church projects, numerous people who received training for new church planting, development of an e-mail connection among far-flung churches and members, and a focus on inviting members to deepen their spiritual lives.

Her denominational responsibilities have included service on the Council of District Executives and volunteer positions on the boards of Western Plains District and Northern Ohio District; a term as a Brethren representatives to the National Council of Churches 1997-2000; and service as pianist for Annual Conference this July. She also is a member of the Ministry Advisory Council.

Ecumenical involvements have included terms on the boards of Ecumenical Ministries of Iowa, Minnesota Council of Churches, and North Dakota Council of Churches, among several others. For several years she wrote religious perspective articles for the “Kansas City Kansan”; and is the author of “Exodus,” a Covenant Bible Study to be published by Brethren Press this fall.

A graduate of Bethany Theological Seminary and Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania, Burkholder holds certification in spiritual direction from Creighton University in Nebraska. Her future plans include pastoral ministry and pursuing a call to the ministry of spiritual direction.


8) Jim Chinworth resigns as campus pastor at Manchester College.

Campus pastor Jim Chinworth, who has led Manchester College’s spiritual life program for eight years, will join Manchester Church of the Brethren as associate pastor for youth ministry and congregational life in January. Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., is a Church of the Brethren school.

Chinworth has served a campus community of almost 30 denominations and faiths including Roman Catholic, mainline Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim. The campus religious life program that he has led includes weekly chapel services, retreats and Bible study, and other spiritual development and enrichment. He has served on the college’s counseling team, and provided personal and pre-marital counseling.

His prayers have opened campus ceremonies and celebrations, and he has led development of the annual community Martin Luther King Jr. service, student involvement in spirituality groups, and Holocaust remembrance programs. Chinworth also has worked to dissipate liberal-conservative tension on campus, according to a release from the college, and was influential in creating a new format for acclimating first-year students to academic life.

Chinworth holds a master of divinity degree from Lancaster (Pa.) Theological Seminary.


9) Stephen Mason will direct the Brethren Foundation.

Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) has announced the appointment of Stephen O. Mason as director of the Brethren Foundation, Inc. In addition to the foundation, Mason will assume the responsibilities of director of Investments for BBT.

Mason will work closely with Darryl Deardorff, BBT’s chief financial officer, to phase into the investment work over the next two to three years.

He brings extensive experience in institutional advancement focusing on gift development and administration. Most recently Mason has served as executive director of the Community Foundation of Wabash County, Ind. Previous work in the Church of the Brethren has included positions as executive director of the Association of Brethren Caregivers, vice president for Financial Services and director of Development at McPherson (Kan.) College, and vice president for College Advancement at Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind.

Mason will begin with BBT on or about Nov. 1, working out of the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill.


10) Brethren are invited to Counter-Recruitment Conference.

A Counter-Recruitment Conference sponsored by Mennonite Central Committee US (MCC US) will be held in San Antonio, Texas, on Nov. 3-5. On Earth Peace is planning a delegation from Church of the Brethren congregations, led by Matt Guynn, coordinator of Peace Witness.

“This is an open invitation event which a group of Mennonites who are mostly people of color have had the major hand in planning,” reported Guynn. “The conference is going to be a special opportunity to worship, share, learn, and plan together as we prepare to respond actively to the impact of military recruitment on communities.”

The conference will bring together youth and adults from communities heavily targeted by military recruitment. It was inspired by the Anabaptist Consultation that took place at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., in March 2005, which focused on the potential for military conscription.

“Given the strong military recruitment efforts in communities burdened by poverty and racism, a people-of-color caucus at the (March 2005) consultation issued a strong call for a conference focusing on military recruitment,” said the announcement of the event from MCC US.

The event is planned for youth and young adults, youth sponsors, Sunday school teachers, pastors and youth pastors, district and conference youth ministers, peace committee members, school teachers, and guidance counselors. Organizers hope to equip congregations to help youth find meaningful nonmilitary opportunities for education, job training, employment, and leadership development; network and share resources and strategies for outreach in schools and other public settings; and ground the work of counter recruitment in commitment to Christ’s way of peace and reconciliation through worship and biblical study.

Register and get more information at To attend as part of the Brethren delegation, contact Guynn at or 765-962-6234.

A truth-in-recruiting organizing and outreach packet is now available from On Earth Peace, including a 10-minute DVD to be used as a conversation starter related to questions of military recruitment. The packet will be useful for Sunday school classes and youth groups. For more information go to the On Earth Peace website


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