Newsline for August 29, 2007

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

Psalm 23:1

1) Brethren Benefit Trust offers resource to find health insurance.
2) Shepherd’s Spring will build and host a Heifer Global Village.
3) Brethren Volunteer Service introduces 275th orientation unit.
4) Northern Ohio District declares that ‘Faith Is in the Following.’
5) Brethren bits: Personnel, news from congregations, and more.

6) Keller named interim director of admissions at Bethany Seminary.

7) Annual Conference announces 2012 site, schedule for 2008.
8) More than 50 churches to observe day of prayer for peace.
9) Nigeria workcamp is announced for 2008.

10) ‘Brethren Heritage Collection’ DVD set offers 75 years of history.
11) 300th Anniversary bits and pieces.

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A webcast from the Association of Brethren Caregivers, “Can You Do One Thing?” is now available at http://www.cobwebcast.bethanyseminary.edu/. Kurt Borgmann, pastor of Manchester Church of the Brethren in North Manchester, Ind., asked this question when he spoke at the Denominational Deacon Luncheon at the 2007 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in July. In this webcast, Borgmann reflects that each deacon has at least one gift, or expression of caring, to give. Then he considers the question, “What if every deacon gave their one gift of caring consistently and generously?” The presentation will benefit deacons and those considering the call to serve as a deacon. The Association of Brethren Caregivers also invites deacon groups to plan their next meetings around the webcast.
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To receive Newsline by e-mail or to unsubscribe, go to http://listserver.emountain.net/mailman/listinfo/newsline. For Church of the Brethren news online, go to www.brethren.org, click on “News” to find a news feature and links to Brethren in the news, photo albums, conference reporting, webcasts, and the Newsline archive.
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1) Brethren Benefit Trust offers resource to find health insurance.

Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) is offering an online resource to locate health insurance, following the decision by the 2007 Annual Conference to phase out the Brethren Medical Plan’s medical insurance component for the Ministers’ Group. This group includes employees of Church of the Brethren congregations, districts, and camps.

BBT has created the resource to support participants in the Ministers’ Group to find medical coverage for themselves and their families, as this component of the Brethren Medical Plan will be closed on Dec. 31. The resource is intended for those with pre-existing conditions who are likely to have a difficult time in obtaining health insurance on their own. People who do not have such conditions are expected to be able to obtain insurance on their own from any insurance provider.

The online resource is a website titled “Insurance Coverage Support Center.” It may be accessed off of the “Insurance Plans” page at http://www.brethrenbenefittrust.org/ (click on “Insurance Services” in the left-hand column).

Through the Insurance Coverage Support Center, employees may view coverage information specific to their states, find answers to frequently asked questions about insurance, and see what’s new with Brethren Benefit Trust insurance.

The website explains how individual states comply with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The act guarantees health insurance coverage for individuals, regardless of pre-existing medical condition, who have had 18 months of credible coverage and lose coverage through a plan closure.

For example, if an employee lives in Illinois, he or she will find information about the Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan (HIPAA-CHIP) including information about rates in different areas of the state, eligibility requirements, coverage highlights, how to enroll, and a brochure.

BBT also is offering to help participants of the Ministers’ Group find other group coverage that may be available through organizations such as AARP. For more information contact Insurance Services staff at 800-746-1505 or e-mail tchudy_bbt@brethren.org.

2) Shepherd’s Spring will build and host a Heifer Global Village.

Heifer International and Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministry Center in Sharpsburg, Md., recently signed a letter of agreement to establish a Heifer Global Village at Shepherd’s Spring. Shepherd’s Spring is an outdoor ministry and conference center of the Church of the Brethren’s Mid-Atlantic District.

Construction of the new Heifer Global Village on the Shepherd’s Spring 220-acre campus will begin this fall. On Sept. 30, at 3:30 p.m., Shepherd’s Spring will host a groundbreaking event to bless the land and prepare the site. An Open House precedes the groundbreaking at 2-4 p.m., and a parade and road dedication are planned for 2:30 p.m.

“Heifer started with the Church of the Brethren, so we’re glad to bring it full circle,” said Ann Cornell, Shepherd’s Spring administrator.

Over a five-year period, an estimated 38,000 people will learn about world hunger and Heifer’s mission through the programs at Shepherd’s Spring. The outdoor ministry center has been a part of Heifer’s Learning Center expansion process since Dec. 2003 to become a pilot Heifer Global Village community sponsor who builds and operates a Heifer Global Village at their expense.

In this model, Heifer provides Shepherd’s Spring with the program curriculum, staff training, and construction plans for the Global Village. Heifer also will provide marketing support along with an annual operations review and program evaluation. For its part, Shepherd’s Spring will meet Heifer’s required standards and will provide the funding and staffing for the sites and programs.

Through donations, Shepherd’s Spring has raised $200,000 to pave the entrance road and estimates a total cost of $120,000 to construct the village. Shepherd’s Spring will pay for the construction expenses through donations and grants, and plans to cover operational expenses through program fees and donations.

For more information visit http://www.shepherdsspring.org/.

3) Brethren Volunteer Service introduces 275th orientation unit.

Volunteers who took part in Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) orientation unit 275 have begun their terms of service. The unit included 15 volunteers. The New Windsor (Md.) Conference Center at the Brethren Service Center hosted the orientation from July 23-Aug. 10.

The volunteers, their congregations or hometowns, and projects:

Simon Albrecht of Siegen, Germany, and Jillian Baker of Woodbridge, Va., will work at the Brethren Nutrition Program in Washington D.C. Rianna Barrett of Manassas, Va., will go to the Witness to Washington Office in Washington D.C. Thomas Bergman of Yellville, Ark., will serve at the Center on Conscience and War in Washington D.C. Tom Birdzell of Wilmington (Del.) Church of the Brethren, will work with the Church of the Brethren General Board computer operations in Elgin, Ill. Becca Creath of Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Ind., is going to Gould Farm in Monterey, Mass. Solomon Fenton-Miller of Florence Church of the Brethren in Marcellus, Mich., will work with Musicians Without Borders in Alkmaar, the Netherlands. Leo Firus of Speyer, Germany, is going to Brethren Woods in Keezletown, Va. Steve Guenwald of Calbelah, Germany, is going to the Tri-City Homeless Coalition in Fremont, Calif. Bekah Houff of Palmyra (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, will work with the Youth and Young Adult Ministries of the General Board in Elgin, Ill. Sandy Howard of Elkton, Md., will serve at Samaritan House in Atlanta, Ga. Jay Irizarry of Waterford (Calif.) Church of the Brethren, is working for computer operations at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Danielle Pals of Moscow, Idaho, will serve at Jubilee USA Network in Washington, D.C. Ben Prueser of Luebeck, Germany, will go to the International Community School in Decatur, Ga. Willem Rabe of Bruehl, Germany, is to serve with Su Casa Catholic Worker House in Chicago, Ill.

“Your prayer support is greatly appreciated. Please think of the unit and the people they will touch during their year of service,” said Beth Merrill of the BVS office. For more call 800-323-8039 or visit http://www.brethrenvolunteerservice.org/.

4) Northern Ohio District declares that ‘Faith Is in the Following.’

“Faith Is in the Following” was the theme for the 143rd Northern Ohio District Conference. A total of 333 delegates and other district members gathered from July 27-29 at Ashland (Ohio) University for worship, business, fellowship, and information-gathering. Moderator Larry Bradley, pastor of Reading Church of the Brethren in Homeworth, Ohio, presided over the business session.

The Friday worship service drama, “The Names of God,” was provided by the Senior Performing Arts Camp. The Junior Performing Arts musical, “American Ideal,” gave a humorous look at popculture fame and fortune turned around to shine the spotlight on God’s truth about humility. Conference moderator Larry Bradley spoke on the theme Sunday morning, presenting the challenge that faith goes beyond a verbal profession, it must be followed with action. The message from William Q. Brown, pastor at Marvelous Light Ministries in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday evening followed his personal testimony of the power of God who changed his life, when he determined by faith to follow Christ. Offerings totaled $2,587.73.

The following business items were handled by the delegates: approval of fellowhip status for the Faith in Action ministry in Delta, Ohio; approval of a 2008 district budget of $195,021.50; election of district leaders; affirmation of Manchester College Trustees; and “Conversations on Being the District.”

The District Board called Paul Bartholomew of Mohican Church of the Brethren in West Salem, as chair, and Bruce Jacobsen of Mount Pleasant Church of the Brethren in North Canton, as vice-chair. Doug Price, associate pastor at Dupont (Ohio) Church of the Brethren, will serve as moderator in 2008. Wes Richard, co-pastor at Elm Street Church of the Brethren in Lima, Ohio, was selected to be moderator-elect. A consecration service was held for the moderator and moderator-elect following the Sunday morning worship service.

“Conversations on Being the District” was a vital part of the business. The District Board desired to engage everyone in a time of discussion to discern core resources for the district. Participants were asked to complete a survey, marking their choices of top six “core resources” out of ten that had been identified by the District Board. The survey results identified these priorities: 1. camp, 2. age-specific outreach (youth, young adult, adult), 3. leadership development (clergy and laity), 4. district office (pastoral placement, information, etc.), 5. missional projects (church planting/church vitality), 6. District Conference (connection/communication), 7. disaster response, 8. stewardship, 9. peace witness, 10. retirement homes. The newly re-organized District Board will use the survey results to discern how to proceed with the desired priorities that have been identified. During this time, a motion was brought to the floor and approved, to form a Camp Board for oversight of Inspiration Hills.

In other business, the district introduced a “District Ministries” DVD, agency reports were received, and pastor Mark Teal of Black River Church of the Brethren in Spencer, reported that the congregation will break ground within the next few months for construction of a new church building. The previous structure was destroyed by fire this past Christmas Eve.

In other conference events, the Ministry Commission recognized special service anniversaries of 24 ordained ministers, including four who have served 60 years or more: Guy Buch (64), Richard Speicher (61), Wayne Wheeler (61), and Durward Hays (60). The District 300th Anniversary Committee presented biographical sketches of “founding fathers” from the Northern Ohio District. The Anniversary Committee also commissioned each congregation to bring a poster to conference that gave a brief written history of the congregation and photographs. The Peace Task Team held a Silent Auction to benefit the District Peace Endowment Fund, which provides funding for a Peace and Conciliation staff person. The auction raised $2,036.05.

The Mission and Social Action Commission provided a truck, with the challenge to “Fill it up!” with Gift of the Heart Kits for disaster relief. Although the truck was not completely filled, the district sent two pallets of health and school kits to the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Mort Curie, district disaster coordinator, drove the truck to New Windsor to deliver the kits.

The display area provided information tables for various denominational and district ministries, as well as Brethren Press and A Greater Gift (SERRV). Insight sessions were available on Friday and Saturday evenings for participants to gain valuable information on a variety of ministries and subjects. Each session averaged 20 participants.

Next year’s District Conference will take place July 25-27, 2008, at Ashland University.

5) Brethren bits: Personnel, news from congregations, and more.

  • Matt and Kristy Messick will be delaying their participation in the Sudan mission initiative, announced Bradley Bohrer, director of the Sudan mission for the Church of the Brethren General Board. The Messicks were introduced as members of the lead team of mission workers for Sudan at the 2007 Annual Conference in July. “After prayerful consideration during this preparatory time, the decision has been made that they and their family will be able to serve the church and the Sudan initiative at a later date. This precludes them from being part of the lead team of mission workers, but allows for them being part of later staffing options,” Bohrer said. “We regret this loss to the team and to this vital ministry.”
  • Westernport (Md.) Church of the Brethren celebrated a Homecoming on Aug. 5 marking the 50th anniversary that the church has held services at its present site, and its 80th anniversary as a congregation. The theme for the event was “Precious Memories.” Former pastor Ervin Huston was the guest speaker, with current pastor William C. Shimer Sr. as worship leader.
  • Becky and Harry Rhodes, interim pastors at Good Shepherd Church of the Brethren in Blacksburg, Va., are interested in contacting Brethren students at Virginia Tech, especially incoming freshmen. The congregation is located close to the university campus, and the pastors hope to continue the church’s care for students and offer hospitality to students who are living away from their home churches, according to the Virlina District e-mail newsletter. Contact Becky Rhodes at rhodes58@cox.net, 540-588-3252, or 540-343-5781.
  • Atlantic Southeast District’s Action for Peace Team has designed a “Peacemaking Within Ministerial Leadership Questionnaire” for use in interviews of pastoral candidates by district ministerial examining committees and by congregational search committees. The questionnaire was developed in collaboration with the Brethren Witness/Washington Office and On Earth Peace, and offers committees help to discern a candidate’s familiarity with biblical and Brethren positions on peacemaking. For a copy of the questionnaire contact Phil Lersch, Chair, Action for Peace Team, 6301 56th Avenue, N., St. Petersburg, FL 33709; 727-544-2911; phillersch@verizon.net.
  • Bicycle tours are planned in Middle Pennsylvania District, announced in the district newsletter. A “Tour de Dunker Ride” Sept. 9 starts at Memorial Church of the Brethren in Martinsburg, Pa., at 8:30 a.m. The tour of about 60 miles includes a 30-mile ride in the morning, lunch at the church, and the 20-plus mile Martinsburg leg of the Tour de Toona race in the afternoon. A ride is tentatively planned for Oct. 14 on Little Pine Creek Trail. Call 814-793-3451 for more details.
  • During Camp Bethel’s 80th Anniversary Celebration and Potluck Dinner on Sunday, Sept. 2, Fonda Wilson will be honored as the camp’s director of food services from 2004-07. Her last day at camp was Aug. 15. Camp Bethel’s 23rd Heritage Day Festival fundraiser also is planned for this fall, on Oct. 6. Information is at www.campbethelvirginia.org/hday.htm.
  • Three more Manchester College graduates have received Fulbright scholarships, continuing the college’s leadership in the state of Indiana of Fulbrights per capita/student, with 22 Fulbrights in the past 12 years. The three latest recipients are Stacey A. Carmichael of South Bend, Ind., who received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in May and will be teaching English in South Korea; Samuel A. Cox of Kokomo, Ind., who received a bachelor’s degree in history and German in May and will teach English in Germany; and Rachel A. Paske of Fort Wayne, Ind., who received a bachelor’s degree in sociology and German in 2004 and also will teach English in Germany. For more about Manchester, visit http://www.manchester.edu/.
  • The 2007 Brethren Revival Fellowship General Meeting is set for Saturday, Sept. 8, 10 a.m.-3:45 p.m., at Shanks Church of the Brethren near Greencastle, Pa. Held on the theme, “The Future of the Church of the Brethren,” the meeting will be moderated by John A. Shelly. The morning message will be brought by Craig Alan Myers and the afternoon message by Harold S. Martin. Participants are invited to bring their own lunch; beverage will be provided by the host church.
  • Eight members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) including Church of the Brethren member Cliff Kindy were arrested while attempting to deliver roses to Alliant Techsystems Inc. headquarters in Edina, Minn., on Hiroshima Day, Aug. 6. CPT said the arrests followed a gathering of some 40 people to offer prayers for those who have suffered the effects of depleted uranium, and to commemorate those who died in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 62 years ago. A CPT release said Alliant is the world’s largest producer of depleted uranium weapons, and produces motors for launching nuclear missiles. The Church of the Brethren General Board in late June issued a resolution against the use of depleted uranium weapons and in support of the work of CPT and the World Council of Churches against the weapons. Kindy has been a leader of the CPT campaign against depleted uranium. He and the other seven who were arrested each received a citation for trespassing that carries a $142 fine. Originally a violence-reduction initiative of the historic peace churches (Church of the Brethren, Mennonite, and Quaker), CPT now enjoys support and membership from a wide range of Christian denominations.
  • Brethren were involved in two New Community Project Learning Tours this summer. A July trip to Honduras included 22 Church of the Brethren members. The group lived and worked in the Chorti Mayan community of Barbasco in the western part of Honduras, helping install water lines and latrines, and learning about poverty and the racial and gender discrimination facing the indigenous community. Twelve Brethren joined an August trip to Alaska’s Denali/Kenai Fjords National Parks. Sightings of lynx, bears, caribou, sheep, moose, and a variety of sea life were highlights, along with a visit to a native center. For more about the New Community Project go to http://newcommunityproject.org/learningtours.shtml.
  • The World Council of Churches (WCC) has announced its internship program for 2008. The WCC will welcome five young people aged 18-30 to serve as interns in its offices in Geneva, Switzerland, from Feb. 2008-Jan. 2009. Interns will be assigned to one of the WCC working areas. Each intern will be expected to plan an ecumenical project to implement in his or her home context when they return home in Feb. 2009. Along with an application, applicants must send background information about their church or Christian youth network that will help them in implementing their proposed ecumenical project. Closing date for receiving applications is Sept. 20. More information and an application form are at www.oikoumene.org/?id=3187.

6) Keller named interim director of admissions at Bethany Seminary.

Elizabeth J. Keller of Richmond, Ind., has been named interim director of admissions for Bethany Theological Seminary from Aug. 23, 2007, until Sept. 30, 2008. Keller currently is enrolled in Bethany’s Master of Divinity program and intends to graduate in May 2008.

Keller has served as the seminary’s chapel coordinator and on the presidential search committee. During her time as a Bethany student, Keller also has served Northview Church of the Brethren in Indianapolis, Ind., as a student pastor, and has been a summer intern with Bethany’s Institutional Advancement office.

A 1997 graduate of Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., she was senior admissions counselor there from 1997-2000.

7) Annual Conference announces 2012 site, schedule for 2008.

The Program and Arrangements Committee of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference met recently at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. A number of significant decisions were made regarding future conferences.

The site of Annual Conference 2012 has been chosen. The event will be held in St. Louis, Mo., July 7-11, 2012.

A number of unique events are planned for next year’s Annual Conference in Richmond, Va., July 12-16, 2008. The Conference will commemorate the 300th anniversary celebration of the Brethren movement by holding a simultaneous annual meeting with the Brethren Church at the same location, the Greater Richmond Convention Center and the Richmond Coliseum. Many joint activities are planned, in addition to other Church of the Brethren-only activities.

Notable differences from the usual Conference schedule are the time of opening worship at 6:15 p.m. on Saturday, July 12, followed by a concert of the 200-voice National Christian Choir at 8 p.m.; joint activities with the Brethren Church on Sunday, July 13, starting with worship at 10 a.m., followed by celebratory activities in the afternoon and an evening service focusing on missions; Church of the Brethren worship services on Monday and Tuesday, July 14-15, at 8:30 a.m. rather than the usual evening time slot; participation by Christian musician and composer Ken Medema in the Monday morning worship service, and a Medema concert on Monday evening at 8 p.m.; a drama on the life and death of Church of the Brethren volunteer Ted Studebaker during the Vietnam War, on Tuesday at 8 p.m.; and a closing joint worship service with the Brethren Church on Wednesday morning, July 16.

The general schedule for next year’s Conference will be posted soon at www.brethren.org/ac/richmond/schedule.html. Registration fees for 2008 have not increased over 2007, the Annual Conference office announced. Fees for all aspects of Annual Conference next year can be found at www.brethren.org/ac/richmond/feeschedule.html.

For more information go to www.brethren.org/ac. Questions may be directed to executive director Lerry Fogle, 800-688-5186.

8) More than 50 churches to observe day of prayer for peace.

As of Aug. 24, 54 congregations or colleges associated with the Church of the Brethren are planning a time of prayer on or near Friday, Sept. 21, to mark the International Day of Prayer for Peace, according to an update from On Earth Peace. The Brethren Witness/Washington Office of the Church of the Brethren General Board and On Earth Peace are encouraging congregations and faith communities to hold public prayer events. The day of prayer is connected with the World Council of Churches’ Decade to Overcome Violence.

The next networking call for those planning events will be offered on Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. eastern time. The call facilitator is Matt Guynn, coordinator of peace witness for On Earth Peace. To register contact Mimi Copp, organizer for the International Day of Prayer for Peace in the Church of the Brethren, at 260-479-5087 or miminski@gmail.com.

In addition to the more than 50 congregations and organizations taking part, “We are also very excited to learn that our sisters and brothers in the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria, are planning to participate,” said On Earth Peace. In addition, the Brethren Witness/Washington Office is hosting a delegation of people from five continents, through the World Council of Churches. The office will be taking the group around the east coast, including a stop in “Amish country,” and ending up in New York City on Sept. 21 to be part of the United Nation’s service of prayer for peace.

Following are some examples of peace events being planned by congregations:

  • Skippack Church of the Brethren in Philadelphia, Pa., is installing a peace pole on Sept. 21.
  • Una Nueva Vida en Cristo church in Floyd, Va., is planning Bible study and prayer about the importance of peace in our world and our responsibility as Christians to achieve peace.
  • Lower Miami Church of the Brethren in Dayton, Ohio, is planning an all-day prayer vigil, ending with a prayer service the evening of Sept. 21. Neighbor churches will be invited.
  • Children at Beaver Dam Church of the Brethren in Union Bridge, Md., will pray for peace in conjunction with an “On Earth Pizza” event.
  • Springfield (Ill.) First Church of the Brethren is co-sponsoring an interfaith worship event on Thursday evening, Sept. 20; a Rally for Peace on Sept. 21 at the Illinois State Capitol; and is hosting a 7 a.m. prayer service at the church’s peace pole.

For the list of Brethren congregations planning peace events, and a link to resources in English and Spanish, go to www.brethren.org/oepa/programs/peace-witness/prayforpeace.html.

9) Nigeria workcamp is announced for 2008.

The annual Nigeria workcamp jointly sponsored by the Global Mission Partnerships of the Church of the Brethren General Board, Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN–the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), and Mission 21 (formally Basel Mission), will be held Jan. 12-Feb. 10, 2008. The workcamp led by Dave Whitten, Nigeria mission coordinator for the Church of the Brethren, will continue construction of the EYN Comprehensive Secondary School.

The workcamp also may have opportunities to worship in churches that have been repaired after being partially destroyed in religious riots, and to learn about EYN programs that strengthen the witness for Christ in Nigeria. The group will be hosted in the homes of EYN members. On the work project, American and European participants will work with Nigerian Christians with opportunities for each person to share their skills regardless of their talents and expertise.

“Are you looking for an opportunity to visit Christian sisters and brothers in Nigeria who live in the land of the world’s happiest people? Pray under the same tamarind tree where Church of the Brethren missionaries to Nigeria held their first worship service in 1923? Have your own faith strengthened and deepened?” asked Larry and Donna Elliott, former Brethren mission workers in Nigeria, in an e-mail encouraging members of the US church to take part in the next workcamp. “We would urge you to take a step of faith and say, ‘Yes, Lord I want to be a part of the Nigerian workcamp experience.’”

Cost of $2,200 includes round-trip travel from the closest airport in the continental US and living expenses while in Nigeria. For more go to www.brethren.org/genbd/global_mission/workcamp/index.html. For an application contact the Global Mission Partnerships Office, 800-323-8039 ext. 230 or mmunson_gb@brethren.org. Deadline for applications is Sept. 24.

10) ‘Brethren Heritage Collection’ DVD set offers 75 years of history.

Congregations may want to mark the 300th Anniversary of the Church of the Brethren with viewings of the 20 titles in the new “Brethren Heritage Collection,” a four-DVD boxed set of Brethren-produced films and videos selected from the past 75 years. This collection brings together a dozen and a half of the more significant films and videos from the church’s archives, including some never before released to the general public.

The Brethren Service era is well represented in this set by documentaries on the lives of Dan West and M.R. Zigler, as well as the 2006 documentary on the work of the Brethren Service Commission in Europe. A film about a German exchange student’s experience at Bridgewater (Va.) College is also included, a film that previously had been available only in silent form. In addition, a 1947-era film detailing the Chinese tractor unit was re-edited to include narration for the first time. Mission work in Africa also is well represented, and a bonus track offers viewers an eyewitness perspective of a plane crash in Sudan in 2000 during the delivery of Bibles to Nuer Christians by the Brethren.

Other featured titles document a tour of Brethren sites in Europe by Don and Hedda Durnbaugh in 1995, and 50 years of ministry in Puerto Rico, as well as the first 50 years of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. More recent titles include an overview of the Brethren peace position, and the Global Food Crisis Fund work in Guatemala.

Brethren video producer David Sollenberger compiled the collection, and wrote the study guide that accompanies it. “What makes this commemorative set unique is a background article for each title and a set of questions that can provide the basis for a post-viewing discussion in a group setting,” Sollenberger said. He hopes that many of these videos will be viewed in group settings, so that their content may provoke lively discussion about how Brethren do mission and ministry, and how the church bears witness to the world.

Order the “Brethren Heritage Collection” four-DVD boxed set from Brethren Press for $39.95 plus shipping and handling. Call 800-441-3712.

11) 300th Anniversary bits and pieces:

  • The Church of the Brethren’s Atlantic Northeast and Southern Pennsylvania Districts have issued an invitation to their joint opening 300th anniversary worship service at the Sight & Sound Theater near Lancaster, Pa., on Sept. 23. Stanley Noffsinger, general secretary of the Church of the Brethren General Board, will be the speaker. Inspirational music will be provided by the Brethren Heritage Singers and a massed choir and orchestra. The event includes a congregational hymn sing and a freewill offering for expenses and disaster relief. For more information, contact Jobie Riley at 717-367-7282 or jeretown@aol.com.
  • Bush Creek Church of the Brethren in Monrovia, Md., is organizing a bus trip to Sunday events at next year’s Annual Conference in Richmond, Va., from the central Maryland area. Anticipated cost is $35 to $40 per person, not including meals or the $15 registration fee at the Conference. “We would like to make this trip available to other Brethren in the central Maryland area, and anticipate pickup points in Westminster, Thurmont, Frederick, Union Bridge, and Hagerstown, in addition to here at Bush Creek Church. We need an early indication of interest from churches,” said the announcement. Go to http://bushcreekchurch.org/ACBusTripContacts.html or call Bush Creek Church of the Brethren at 301-663-3025.
  • The youth at Oak Grove Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va., are selling the 300th anniversary commemorative calendars as a fundraiser, for $5 each plus shipping and handling. Contact Carol Elmore at lafnsing@leapmail.net or 540-774-3217.

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Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board, cobnews@brethren.org or 800-323-8039 ext. 260. Mary Dulabaum, Nevin Dulabaum, Larry and Donna Elliott, Lerry Fogle, Matt Guynn, Jeri S. Kornegay, Beth Merrill, Janis Pyle, David Radcliff, Marcia Shetler, David Sollenberger, and Jay Wittmeyer contributed to this report. Newsline appears every other Wednesday, with the next regularly scheduled Newsline set for Sept. 12. 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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