Newsline for April 25, 2007

“…From every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages…” — Revelation 7:9b


1) Cross-Cultural Celebration meets on the theme of peace.
1a) La Celebración Intercultural se reúne con el tema de la paz.
2) Consultation receives report from Intercultural Study Committee.
3) Christian Citizenship Seminar explores ‘The State of Our Health.’
4) Brethren give $50,000 to agriculture in N. Korea, among recent grants.
5) Disaster Child Care continues work in New Orleans.
6) Brethren bits: Corrections, remembrances, personnel, and much more.


7) Linda McCauliff resigns as associate for W. Pennsylvania District.

Go to for this week’s Church of the Brethren webcast from Bethany Theological Seminary. On May 5, Christopher Zepp of Bridgewater, Va., will become the seminary’s first Master of Divinity graduate through the Connections program that allows students to complete their degree without fulltime residency on the campus in Richmond, Ind., by combining online courses, short-term intensives, and courses at offsite locations. The webcast features an interview with Zepp, who shares his experience as a Connections student, and his thoughts about call, theological education, and pastoral ministry.

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1) Cross-Cultural Celebration meets on the theme of peace.

“Paz (peace). Croyez (believe). Joy….” The theme banner in five languages at the Cross-Cultural Consultation and Celebration also featured the words for “It is good” in Japanese, and “The good path” in Cree. The banner made by Dena Lee, a physician from Ohio and member of the On Earth Peace board, followed the scriptural theme from John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you….”

The gathering April 19-22 at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., attracted some 100 Brethren of a wide variety of backgrounds from across the US and Puerto Rico, to share daily worship, Bible study, fellowship, and opportunities for conversation about cross-cultural issues. Main sessions were offered with Spanish translation.

Daily Bible study sessions were offered for small groups, some in multiple languages. The scriptures and questions for study focused on peace, but participants also had an opportunity to share personally from their lives and experiences, and to develop new relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ. Youth had an opportunity to make new friends at an overnight retreat hosted by Union Bridge (Md.) Church of the Brethren. The conference also included a report from the Intercultural Study Committee (see story below).

Worship and music in many languages and styles formed the heart of the celebration. Members of the Bittersweet music ministry led by Gilbert Romero, pastor of Bella Vista Church of the Brethren in Los Angeles, were joined by many other musicians and singers as the Spirit led. Opportunities were given for participants to bring testimonies, prayers, songs, and dance. Don Mitchell of Harrisburg (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren led congregational singing. Youth helped lead the Saturday morning worship, when the music included some favorites from National Youth Conference.

Preachers included Stephen Breck Reid, academic dean of Bethany Theological Seminary, who spoke about the meaning of Christian baptism. “What does it mean to be a people in water that might carry you away?” he asked. Reid called the church to participate in the baptism of Jesus Christ in order to claim a new identity, and to transform the world into the Kingdom “that is beyond racial and class distinctions.”

“There is no peace in the world without Christ,” said Gaston Pierre Louis in the Friday evening sermon. Louis serves as a pastor at Eglise des Freres Haitiens, a Haitian Church of the Brethren in Miami, Fla. His message was given in French Creole, and translated by Founa Augustin, a member of his congregation. “If we don’t have peace together, how can we share it with the world?” he asked. “Let’s walk in peace with Christ. Let’s live in peace together…even with those that hate us. Christ will say, come here my children, this is my Kingdom.”

Among other speakers, the gathering also heard from Annual Conference moderator Belita Mitchell, who sang “What a mighty God we serve” as she walked to the podium; from Carol Mason, coordinator of Congregational Life Teams, Area 3, who spoke for closing worship; and from On Earth Peace board member Doris Abdullah of Brooklyn, N.Y., who gave a prayerful meditation on the stations of the cross. She asked for remembrance of suffering people around the world, just as Christians remember the suffering Christ. “We remember the dark CIA prisons… we remember the two million in the camps (in Darfur, Sudan)… we remember those crossing the borders,” she prayed. “We remember how you loved us to your death. Help us peacemakers to change the world.”

A presentation by Mennonite guests Conrad Moore and Titus Peachey received a standing ovation. The two men told their personal stories: one was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, the other a Vietnam veteran who has become an advocate for peacemaking. They challenged the church to provide opportunities for employment and service to members of all ethnic and minority backgrounds. “The issue is access to opportunities,” Moore said. Inviting youth in the congregation to rise and be seen, he said, “Stand up young woman. Stand up young man. We need to make sure he has an opportunity to go to the mission field.”

The board of On Earth Peace held its spring meetings concurrently with the consultation, and joined in worship and Bible studies. A presentation about On Earth Peace prompted questions about the agency’s work against military recruitment, what resources are available for those faced with gang recruitment, violence against immigrants, and whether peace resources are available in Spanish. Several invitations were extended for On Earth Peace staff to visit in congregations.

Closing worship featured the newly formed Best Friends group, dedicated to sharing music from the African-American tradition. Founder James Washington Sr., an ordained Church of the Brethren minister from Whitehouse, Texas, introduced a set of songs that ranged from a soulful a cappella “Precious Lord,” to upbeat praise. The set included two of five original compositions that the group has in its repertoire. Best Friends performed a short tour of congregations earlier this year. It will be featured at Annual Conference in July.

The Cross Cultural Ministries Team Steering Committee that plans the annual celebration includes Barbara Date, Thomas Dowdy, Renel Exceus, Sonja Griffith, Robert Jackson, Marisel Olivencia, Gilbert Romero, and Dennis Webb, with Duane Grady as staff support from the General Board’s Congregational Life Teams. Carla Gillespie, a student at Bethany Theological Seminary, assisted with coordination of the event.

Find a photo journal of the event at, click on “Photo Journals.” The dates of next year’s Cross Cultural Consultation and Celebration are April 24-27, 2008, in Elgin, Ill.


1a) La Celebración Intercultural se reúne con el tema de la paz.

“Paz. Croyez (creer). Joy (alegría).…” La bandera del tema de la Consulta y Celebración Intercultural, que estaba en cinco lenguas, tenía también en relieve las palabras en japonés “Es bueno”, y en Cree “El buen camino”. Esta bandera fue hecha por Dena Lee, una médica de Ohio y miembra de la junta directiva de la institución En la Tierra Paz, de acuerdo con el tema de las escrituras de John 14:27, “Les dejo la paz…”

Esta reunión se llevó a cabo del 19 al 22 de Abril, en el Centro de Servicios de los Hermanos en New Windsor, MD., y atrajo a unos 100 Hermanos de una gran variedad de procedencias de todo Estados Unidos y Puerto Rico, quienes diariamente compartieron cultos, estudios bíblicos, convivencias y conversaciónes acerca de temas interculturales. Las sesiones principales fueron traducidas al español.

Diariamente hubo sesiones de estudio bíblico para grupos pequeños, algunos en varios lenguas. Las escrituras y temas a estudiar estuvieron enfocados en la paz, pero los participantes también tuvieron oportunidad de compartir experiencias personales y de hacer nuevas amistades con hermanos y hermanas en Cristo. Los jóvenes también tuvieron oportunidad de hacer nuevos amigos durante un retiro, del cual fue anfitrión la Iglesia de los Hermanos de Union Bridge (MD.). La conferencia también incluyó un informe del Comité de Estudios Interculturales (vea el relato abajo).

Los cultos y la música en muchos lenguas y estilos estuvieron al centro de la celebración. Movidos por el Espíritu, muchos otros músicos y cantantes se unieron al grupo Bittersweet, dirigido por Gilberto Romero, pastor de la Iglesia de los Hermanos Bella Vista en Los Ángeles. Los participantes ofrecieron testimonios, oraciones, canciones y bailes. Don Mitchell, de la Primera Iglesia de los Hermanos en Harrisburg (PA.) dirigió la congregación con cánticos. Los jóvenes ayudaron con el culto del sábado por la mañana, cuya música incluyó algunas canciones favoritas de la Conferencia Anual de Jóvenes.

Los oradores incluyeron a Stephen Breck Reid, decano del Seminario Teológico Bethany, quien habló del significado del bautismo cristiano. El preguntó, “qué quiere decir ser un pueblo en el agua que puede arrastrarte”? Reid hizo un llamado a la iglesia para participar en el bautismo de Jesucristo para poder reclamar una nueva identidad, y para transformar al mundo en el Reino “que está más allá de distinciones y clases raciales.”

”Sin Cristo no hay paz en la tierra,” dijo Gastón Pierre Louis durante su sermón del viernes por la noche. Louis es pastor de la Eglise des Freres Haitiens, una Iglesia Haitiana de los Hermanos en Miami, Fla. Su mensaje, en creole francés, fue traducido por Founa Augustin, miembra de su congregación. “Si no tenemos paz nosotros juntos, como podemos compartirla con el mundo?” “Caminemos en paz con Cristo. Vivamos en paz juntos…aun con aquellos que nos odian. Cristo dirá, vengan aquí niños, este es mi Reino.”

Belita Mitchell, la moderadora de la Conferencia Anual, fue una de los conferenciantes, y mientras caminaba al podio cantó “Que Dios tan poderoso servimos”; Carol Mason, coordinadora de los Equipos de Vida Congregacional, area 3, hizo una presentación durante el culto de clausura; y Doris Abdullah, de Brooklyn, N.Y. miembra de la junta directiva de En la Tierra Paz, hizo una meditación y oración acerca de las estaciones de la cruz. Ella pidió que recordemos a la gente que sufre en todo el mundo, así como los cristianos recuerdan el sufrimiento de Cristo. En su oración ella dijo, “recordamos las oscuras prisiones de la CIA…recordamos los dos millones en los campos (en Darfur, Sudan)…recordamos aquellos cruzando las fronteras.” “Recordamos como nos amaste hasta la muerte. Ayúdanos a ser hacedores de paz para cambiar al mundo.”

Una presentación de los invitados menonitas, Conrad Moore y Titus Peachey, recibió una ovación de pie. Ellos dos compartieron sus historias personales: uno fue objetor de conciencia durante la Guerra de Vietnam, el otro es un veterano de Vietnam que se ha convertido en partidario por la paz. Ellos retaron a la iglesia para que provea oportunidades de trabajo y servicio a personas minoritarias de todos los grupos étnicos. “Lo importante es tener la oportunidad,” dijo Moore. Cuando él invitó a los jóvenes de la congregación a que se pararan y fueran vistos dijo, “párate mujer joven. Párate hombre joven. Necesitamos estar seguros que tienen la oportunidad de ir al campo de misión.”

La junta directiva de En la Tierra Paz tuvo su reunión de primavera al mismo tiempo que esta consulta, y sus participantes asistieron a los cultos y estudios bíblicos. La presentación de En la Tierra Paz recibió preguntas acerca de lo que está haciendo para prevenir el reclutamiento militar, que recursos hay para aquellos que están siendo reclutados por pandillas, la violencia en contra de los inmigrantes, y si hay recursos en español. Hubo varias invitaciones para que el personal de En la Tierra Paz visitara congregaciones.

El culto de clausura puso en relieve el nuevo grupo musical Mejores Amigos, que se ha dedicado a compartir música de la tradición africana-americana. El fundador, James Washington Sr., quien es ministro ordenado de la Iglesia de los Hermanos en Whitehouse, Texas, lanzó un grupo de canciones, incluyendo desde conmovedoras a acapela como “Señor Precioso,” hasta música animada de alabanza. La música incluyó dos de las cinco composiciones originales que compusieron. A principio de este año, el grupo Mejores Amigos hizo una pequeña gira a varias congregaciones. El grupo aparecerá en la Conferencia Anual en julio.

El equipo de la Comisión de Iniciativas del Ministerio Intercultural que planea la celebración anual incluye a Bárbara Date, Thomas Dowdy, Renel Exceus, Sonja Griffith, Robert Jackson, Marisel Olivencia, Gilbert Romero, y Dennis Webb, con Duane Grady como empleado ayudante del equipo de Vida Congregacional de la Junta Nacional. Carla Gillespie, estudiante del Seminario Teológico Bethany, ayudó con la coordinación del evento.

Vea la publicación de fotos del evento en, haga click en “Photo Journals.” Las fechas de la Consulta Intercultural del año próximo son abril 24-27, 2008, en Elgin, Ill.


2) Consultation receives report from Intercultural Study Committee.

Revelation 7:9 is “a revelation of the true intended nature of God’s church in the here and now,” not just a description of God’s church at the end of time, said chair Asha Solanky as the Intercultural Study Committee presented its work to the Cross-Cultural Consultation and Celebration. The committee’s report will be a major item of business when the 2007 Annual Conference meets in Cleveland on June 30-July 4.

Committee members reviewed their recommendations for the denomination, and explained their study of the situation of the church, outlined the findings of their work, and talked about how they came to agreement on recommendations. They highlighted as a major recommendation the suggestion that the Church of the Brethren adopt Revelation 7:9 as the denominational vision for the remainder of the 21st century.

When the floor was opened for questions, participants asked about the feasibility of cross-cultural requirements for church committees, the advice to congregations to become acquainted with their communities, the nature of mentoring that the church may offer to new leaders from ethnic and minority backgrounds, the need for a directory of church leaders with experience working interculturally, recognition of different cultures among Anglos, and the requirements for a new Congregational Life Teams position that is being advocated by the committee.

Solanky’s response to several questions was to reiterate that although the recommendations may seem difficult, they are necessary to accomplish the goal of becoming an intercultural church. “If we’re serious about this, we have to start somewhere. Yes, it will be hard,” she said.

“It’s not like our church can’t do it,” added committee member Nadine Monn. “We can do it. We are able.”

Asked if the committee considered homosexuality as a culture to be included in the concerns of its report, committee members said that this had not been addressed. They cited the two queries that led to the formation of the study, which dealt with the inclusion of racial and ethnic groups, as setting the parameters for the study.

The committee received expressions of encouragement and support, as it brings the report to Annual Conference. “We need to pray about this (report), that something is going to happen,” said Gene Yeazell of Arden, N.C.

“I know how difficult it has been for you to work on this,” said Ruben DeOleo of Maranatha Multicultural Fellowship in Lancaster, Pa. “What they (the committee) have been doing is for us,” DeOleo then said to the gathering. “We need to go to Cleveland to Annual Conference to support what they’re going to say there. That’s our report to the church. What they’ve been finding is our life in the Church of the Brethren.”

Committee members are chair Asha Solanky, recorder Nadine L. Monn, Darla Kay Bowman Deardorff, Thomas Dowdy, Neemita Pandya, Gilbert Romero, and ex-officio member Glenn Hatfield of the American Baptist Churches USA. Find the full report and recommendations at


3) Christian Citizenship Seminar explores ‘The State of Our Health.’

Seventy-two senior high youth and advisors explored questions related to “The State of Our Health” in the US and abroad at this year’s Church of the Brethren Christian Citizenship Seminar (CCS). The event began March 24 in New York and concluded five days later in Washington, D.C., with an assortment of presentations, small-group discussions, a United Nations tour, worship, and sightseeing in between.

Many speakers focused on the merits of a “single-payer” health care system, which would eliminate the insurance companies as an intermediary in the process. Instead, standard rates would be negotiated by the government in each region, similar to what is done in Canada and in many nations in Europe and elsewhere. While funded publicly, care would still be delivered privately.

Each worker would pay a small percentage from his or her paycheck to fund the system, providing resources for those who cannot afford health care on their own. Recent government estimates put the number of Americans without health insurance at about 46 million. Many companies are also being squeezed by the cost of health care coverage.

“The present system is sick and just doesn’t get the job done,” said Bill Davidson, a Church of the Brethren cardiologist from Lebanon, Pa. “Health care is the next big social battle that’s going to take place, and you as young people have a front-row seat.” Davidson noted that the World Health Organization currently ranks the US number 37 in overall health care worldwide.

Marilyn Clement, national coordinator of Healthcare-NOW, focused on House Resolution 676, which proposes a US National Health Insurance Act, guaranteeing universal access to high-quality and cost-effective health care. Clement’s organization is leading a petition drive for the bill to be passed. “Getting there is going to be hard,” said Clement, who noted that health care costs could top 20 percent of the gross national product (GNP) by 2020 under the current system. “It’s not going to be easy.”

Palmyra (Pa.) Church of the Brethren pastor Wally Landes observed in an opening session that Brethren have often not chosen the easy road in a quest for mutuality. “Issues of health and wholeness are in our bones as Brethren,” Landes told the group. “I think God’s will is for wholeness, and sometimes stuff gets in the way.” He emphasized that health is a theological and spiritual issue, that Brethren “have always taken health and healing seriously,” and the ability of Brethren to do big things despite their relatively small size. Often, he added, some have made sacrifices to bring about justice for the larger community.

One day of the seminar focused on the more specific health issue of AIDS, which is still running rampant, especially in Africa. Church World Service (CWS) policy analyst Kathleen McNeely outlined the work being done through the CWS Africa Initiative, tackling issues of water, hunger, and poverty in addition to HIV/AIDS, while Brooklyn (N.Y.) Church of the Brethren pastor Phill Carlos Archbold related his personal story of caring for AIDS patients, using photos to show the devastation the disease brings.

Youth later in the week lobbied their representatives in Washington on the Senate and House bills they had learned about, following a session on advocacy by Greg Howe, who grew up in York (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren. Howe, now a senior policy manager on health care reform issues under Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, described his call to advocacy work and offered pointers. He said that while many states are working at the issue, “we need a federal solution.”

Christian Citizenship Seminar is sponsored annually except in National Youth Conference years by the General Board’s Youth and Young Adult Ministries and Brethren Witness/Washington Office. Details are at

–Walt Wiltschek is editor of the Church of the Brethren “Messenger” magazine.


4) Brethren give $50,000 to agriculture in N. Korea, among recent grants.

Six recent grants from the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) and the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) of the Church of the Brethren General Board total $90,500–among them $50,000 to support agriculture in North Korea, which continues to experience periodic famine.

The GFCF allocation of $50,000 for the Sustainable Agriculture and Community Development Program in North Korea represents the fourth year of supporting Agglobe International with the endeavor. Funds will help purchase seed, plastic sheeting, and fertilizer for farms in the program.

The alleviation of periodic famine in North Korea remains a compelling factor, said the grant request. “The Church of the Brethren’s reaching out to North Koreans goes beyond the matter of food security,” said GFCF manager Howard Royer. “It is a testament to risk-taking, bridge-building, and reconciliation in witness to the compassion and love of Jesus Christ for all peoples, and especially for the impoverished and estranged.”

In other grants from the EDF, $24,000 responds to a Church World Service (CWS) appeal to provide aid to Indonesia following flooding; $5,000 responds to a CWS appeal following severe storms and tornados in Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, and Arkansas in March; $4,000 responds to the United Farm Worker Foundation following a freeze that destroyed citrus crops and has affected some 28,000 farm workers; and $2,500 responds to a CWS appeal to support thousands who have been displaced by fighting in southern Colombia. The GFCF also has given $5,000 to help rebuild Liberia’s food capacity, in a grant requested by CWS and Church Aid, Inc.


5) Disaster Child Care continues work in New Orleans.

Disaster Child Care volunteers continue to serve in New Orleans as part of the FEMA Louisiana Welcome Home Center, established to help returning families in their recovery. As of April 9, 27 child care volunteers had interacted with 595 children since opening of the project on Jan. 3.

Barbara Weaver, previous Disaster Project Manager in New Orleans, included this story in her report from the project: “One morning a mom brought her young boy to be with us. He was so excited to stay and play. When she returned, he didn’t want to leave. So she sat down and chatted with us for a while. She had been evacuated up ‘North’ and finally was coming back home. When we gave her the photo of her child and her, with big tears coming down her cheeks she said, ‘I don’t have any pictures of my boy and me since the flood came. Thank you so much.’”

Disaster Child Care also is providing support for children at two special events: On April 11, a child care center at the Soldiers and Sailors National Military Museum in Pittsburgh, Pa., provided support to veterans’ young children during a “Returning Veterans Training Workshop” sponsored by Alleghany County; on May 30 volunteers also will care for children during a “Resiliency Event” in Lancaster, Pa., providing support to emergency responders and their families following the Nickel Mines Amish school shootings. Mental health professionals think children of responders may have been affected by their parent’s response to the incident, reported Disaster Child Care coordinator Helen Stonesifer.

Eight experienced Disaster Child Care volunteers have received specialized training to prepared them to work with grieving and traumatized children following an aviation incident or mass casualty event. The DCC Critical Response Childcare Orientation and ARC Critical Response Team Training took place in Las Vegas on March 26-30. Volunteers who received the training were John and Sue Huffaker, Treva Markey, Dorothy Norsen, Derrick Skinner, Kathleen Steffy, John Surr, and Samantha Wilson.


6) Brethren bits: Corrections, remembrances, personnel, and more.

Corrections to the Newsline Extra of April 11: The Annual Conference flier from the Association of Brethren Caregivers incorrectly listed the amount of continuing education credit available for a series of insight sessions: each session offers .1 credit, not .01 credit as incorrectly reported. Continuing education units offered for the series of sessions on “Evangelism and Church Renewal” cost only $10 for the series, not $10 for each session. Also, the correct online address for Brethren Benefit Trust insurance plan information is

Tim Hissong, president and chief executive officer of the Brethren Retirement Community of Greenville, Ohio, and an Association of Brethren Caregivers (ABC) board member, died on April 15 after battling cancer. Hissong joined the ABC board in January 2006 in his role as chair of the Fellowship of Brethren Homes. He had a long history with the Brethren Retirement Community, having served since 2005 as president and CEO, and previously for 13 years as vice president of operations and treasurer. A member and former board member of Happy Corner Church of the Brethren in Clayton, Ohio, Hissong also had a long history of serving in Southern Ohio District. He served as moderator, board member, and board chair for the district, and was on the board of Camp Woodland Altars. He also was a board member for the Association of Ohio Philanthropic Homes, Housing and Services for the Aging, and the Senior Resource Alliance; was involved with the Greenville Rotary, having served on its board and as president; and taught for many years as adjunct instructor for the Business Technologies Division of Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. He held an MBA in management from Wright State University. He is survived by his wife, Dawn, and son and daughter-in-law, Bryan and Kim Hissong. On the evening of April 23 an informal community gathering at Oakland Church of the Brethren in Bradford, Ohio, was held to remember Hissong. A private service for staff and residents of the Brethren Retirement Community was held April 20. Memorial contributions may be made to the Brethren Retirement Community Resident Aid Fund, 750 Chestnut St., Greenville, OH 45331.

Leland B. Newcomer, former president of the University of La Verne, Calif., died on April 9 at age 86. He is credited with growing the student body of the school from less than 1,000 to 5,000 students, developing an adult education program, and adding satellite campuses, several on military bases in the US and Europe. Newcomer became president of then-named La Verne College in 1968, following the retirement of Harold Fasnacht. Under his leadership, the school’s curriculum was overhauled, students took a more active role in their own education, and were given the option to design their own majors and the choice of direct or independent study programs. His administration also created adult off-campus programs, which offered working adults classes at night and on weekends so they could get their degrees while working a traditional job during the day; initiated a weekend series of classes for teachers; began a child care center to serve student-parents as well as the university staff and community; and in 1974 built the student center nicknamed the “Super Tents,” which is still considered a landmark structure. Newcomer was born in La Verne in 1921, graduated from La Verne College in 1942, and earned a master’s degree from Claremont Graduate University and a doctorate from the University of Southern California. His career included positions as superintendent of school districts in Nevada and California. He was married for many years to Barbara Newcomer, with whom he raised four children. She passed away in 2003. In 2005 he met Mae Henderson at Brethren Hillcrest Homes in La Verne, where they both lived; they were married in 2005. Newcomer is survived by his wife, Mae Henderson Newcomer, and four children, twelve grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

The board of the Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville, Ohio, has appointed John L. Warner as acting president and CEO, following the death of president and chief executive officer Tim Hissong. Warner has held the position of Chief Financial Officer of the Brethren Retirement Community and will continue to carry those duties in the interim. The board will meet again in early May to consider next steps.

The Youth and Young Adult Ministries of the Church of the Brethren General Board has named a new National Youth Cabinet, to help plan youth events for the year 2007-08. The six youth who have been named to the cabinet are Seth Keller of Dover, Pa.; Heather Popielarz of Prescott, Mich.; Joel Rhodes of Huntingdon, Pa.; Turner Ritchie of Richmond, Ind.; Elizabeth Willis of Tryon, N.C.; and Tricia Ziegler of Sebring, Fla. Adult advisors are Dena Gilbert of La Verne, Calif., youth ministries coordinator for Pacific Southwest District; and Chris Douglas of Elgin, Ill., the General Board’s director of Youth and Young Adults Ministries.

Great Harvest Church Planting of Illinois and Wisconsin District seeks individuals who desire to fulfill the biblical mandate of the Great Commission by starting new, multiplying congregations of believers in the district. “Church planting is considered the most effective means of evangelism,” said the announcement from Lynda Lubbs-DeVore, apostle for the district’s New Church Development Board. “Great Harvest Church Planting is working hard to develop systems and strategies in order to equip church planters to launch healthy, missional churches in the district,” she said. Great Harvest Church Planting will offer help to church planters including help with assessment, training and coaching, and grant funds to get started. Contact DeVore at or 630-675-9740.

Brethren Hillcrest Homes, a CCRC retirement community in La Verne, Calif., seeks a director of nursing to provide planning, direction, and coordination of nursing services. The position is competitively salaried. Resumes will be received through June 15. Requirements include an RN degree with a current California license, five years of nursing experience with at least two years of supervisory experience. An MSD or certification as a geriatric nurse is preferred. Candidates should be computer literate. This is a confidential search, all inquiries will be treated with sensitivity. Send an e-mail cover letter and resume to Ralph McFadden at, 847-622-1677.

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) seeks an Undoing Racism Coordinator to fill a two-thirds time opening giving leadership to internal efforts to undo systemic racism. CPT is engaged in a process of deepening organization-wide commitment and action to undo racism and is working towards becoming a more diverse community. Development of a system of accountability is part of the job description, as well as working closely with undoing racism consultants hired by CPT. Preferred location is at the CPT office in Chicago, Ill., or in Toronto, Canada, but other sites may be considered. Compensation is a subsistence stipend based on need. Members of aboriginal or racialized groups (a term suggested by the Ontario, Canada, Human Rights Commission Policy and Guidelines on Racism and Racial Discrimination) are encouraged to apply. Contact Carol Rose, CPT Co-Director, at with expressions of interest and nominations by May 11.

The Annual Conference Office reports that there are still plenty of hotel rooms in the Wyndham, Embassy Suites, Renaissance, and Holiday Inn Select hotels for the 2007 Annual Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 30-July 4. Housing can be arranged at or by faxing or mailing a housing form from the Conference Information Packet. A free trolley system can be taken from most of the hotels to points close to the Cleveland Convention Center. For those flying to Cleveland, public transportation from Hopkins airport to downtown is very reasonable, the office reports: the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has rail service from Hopkins to the Renaissance hotel close to the Convention Center for $1.75 one way.

The Church of the Brethren “Messenger” magazine received three awards at this year’s Associated Church Press (ACP) conference, held April 22-25 in Chicago: an Award of Merit (second place) for 1- or 2-color magazine design, and Honorable Mention (third place) for Bible resource and magazine editorial or opinion piece. The design award was for the Sept. 2006 issue. Judges praised the work of designer Paul Stocksdale, calling it, “Well organized, (with) good use of photos…. Good contrast in use of type and design elements.” It is the third straight year that “Messenger” placed in this category. The Bible resource award was given for the “Journey Through the Word” Bible study series; sample articles written by Robert Neff, Stephen Breck Reid, and Harold S. Martin were submitted for the competition. The magazine editorial writing award was presented for editor Walt Wiltschek’s Nov. 2006 editorial column, “Violent Tendencies.” Nearly 200 publications, websites, news services, and individuals in the US and Canada are ACP members, representing a combined circulation of several million.

The Brethren Witness/Washington Office and the Global Food Crisis Fund ministries of the Church of the Brethren General Board are promoting a June 9-12 Bread for the World National Gathering in Washington, D.C. The gathering is intended “to sow the seeds of a movement to end hunger and poverty in our nation and around the world,” the Brethren Witness/Washington Office said. The event will be “full of opportunities to pray, speak, listen, debate, discuss, advocate, and lobby on issues of hunger and poverty.” The conference at American University will include training sessions and workshops, congressional visits, an interfaith convocation at the National Cathedral, and forums with presidential candidates. Several Brethren leaders are expected to attend including Annual Conference moderator Belita Mitchell, and Stan Noffsinger, general secretary of the General Board. Register at For more information contact Howard Royer at the Global Food Crisis Fund, 800-323-8039 ext. 264, or Emily O’Donnell at the Brethren Witness/Washington Office, 800-785-3246.

On Earth Peace has announced two conference calls in May for those working against military recruitment: on May 16, at 7-8:30 p.m. eastern time, and May 17, at 1-2:30 p.m. eastern. The phone calls are organized as part of the Encountering Recruitment Network. Facilitators are Matt Guynn, coordinator of Peace Witness for On Earth Peace, and Deb Oskin, peace minister at Living Peace Church of the Brethren in Columbus, Ohio. To participate, send an e-mail to or call 765-962-6234. For more go to

The 2007 Illinois/Wisconsin District Workday will be at Douglas Park Church of the Brethren in Chicago on April 28. The district holds the event for work and fellowship while providing support to a congregation. Douglas Park Church has a rich history serving inner-city Brethren in Chicago, in a diverse and vital neighborhood. The day begins with a 7:30 a.m. breakfast, and includes a picnic lunch in the park across the street. A worship service will close the day at 3:30 p.m. Work will include plastering, carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, painting, planting, and cleaning up the church property, which includes the office of Christian Peacemaker Teams.

Pamela Reist, a Church of the Brethren minister from Mount Joy, Pa., has been named to the Juniata College board of trustees as church trustee for a two-year term. The college is located in Huntingdon, Pa. Reist is associate pastor at Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, where she served as pastor of Christian nurture from 2001-04 and as director of Christian nurture from 2000-01. She also has served on the board for Atlantic Northeast District of the Church of the Brethren since 2005. Her daughter, Dana, is a senior at Juniata.

Early registration discounts are still available for “Deep and Wide: Expanding Hospitality in the Faithful Church,” a New Life Ministries Leadership Training event on Tuesday, May 8, at Franconia Mennonite Church in Telford, Pa. Early registration deadline is April 30. Contact Kristen Leverton Helbert, director, 800-774-3360,, or

The transatlantic slave trade was an “African holocaust” that should never be forgotten, said a coalition of global ecumenical church bodies working to commemorate the 200th anniversary of its abolition this year. On March 25, 1807, the British House of Commons passed the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, although the trade continued for some time after. “Two hundred years after the abolition, the dungeons along the coast of Africa tell the story of human degradation and indignity,” said delegates representing the World Council of Churches (WCC), the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the Council for World Mission, who met March 15-17. The legacy of the slave trade remains today in the racism, economic exploitation, and psychological damage done to millions of Africans and their descendants, and millions of the world’s poor, the church groups said. “The global slave trade removed some of the most productive peoples in Africa, resulting in the African holocaust. Global trade now continues the degradation in the form of child labor, sex workers, human trafficking, incarceration of young people and institutional racism. The ecumenical community calls upon people and governments to rise up to their historical duty to recover and reclaim the divinity in all humanity so that economic and racial justice prevails,” the church groups stated.


7) Linda McCauliff resigns as associate for W. Pennsylvania District.

Linda McCauliff has resigned as associate executive minister for Western Pennsylvania District of the Church of the Brethren, effective May 25. She has served in the position for 15 years. Prior to that, she worked as a district volunteer for Christian education for nine years.

Her work for the Church of the Brethren denomination also has included service for two years as a member of the Congregational Life Teams, Area One, of the General Board. Among the accomplishments in her work for the church was development of a Stewardship Box for the district and denomination, and leadership in a district transition to a Gifts Discernment Team calling process.

McCauliff holds a bachelor of science degree in Human Resources from Geneva College, and is a graduate of the Training in Ministry program of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership. She also has attended Shalem Institute for Spiritual Direction, and has led spiritual retreats. She begins a Clinical Pastoral Education position in chaplaincy at Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center on May 29.


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. Mary Dulabaum, Lerry Fogle, Nancy F. Knepper, Jon Kobel, Howard Royer, Helen Stonesifer, John Wall, and Walt Wiltschek contributed to this report. Newsline appears every other Wednesday, with the next regularly scheduled Newsline set for May 9; other special issues may be sent as needed. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine, call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.


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