Newsline for February 28, 2007

“The Lord is my light and my salvation….” — Psalm 27:1a


1) Neuman-Lee and Shumate head 2007 Annual Conference ballot.
2) General Board Executive Committee visits disaster relief in the Gulf.
3) Gather ’Round staff set plans for future
4) Brethren member participates in Darfur work of UN subcommittee.
5) Fund gives grants to Darfur, child care in New Orleans, Florida storms.
6) Brethren bits: Personnel, ‘Mission Alive,’ ABC survey, and more.


7) 300th anniversary of the Brethren: Bits and pieces.
8) Annual Conference registration and housing opens March 9.


9) Health Promotion Sunday resources are available.

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1) Neuman-Lee and Shumate head 2007 Annual Conference ballot.

The ballot has been announced for the 2007 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, to be held June 30-July 4 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Nominating Committee of Standing Committee–a committee of the representatives of Church of the Brethren districts–developed a slate of candidates, and Standing Committee then voted to create the ballot that will be presented. Nominees are listed by position:

  • Annual Conference Moderator-Elect: Jeff Neuman-Lee of Denver, Colo.; David K. Shumate of Roanoke, Va.
  • Annual Conference Secretary: Fred W. Swartz of Bridgewater, Va.; Diane (Newcomer) Mason of Moulton, Iowa.
  • Annual Conference Program and Arrangements Committee: R. Jan Thompson of Mesa, Ariz.; Sarah B. Steele of Martinsburg, Pa.
  • Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee: Peter C. Kaltenbaugh Jr. of Frieden, Pa.; Lucinda Barnum-Steggerda of Crown Point, Ind.
  • Committee on Interchurch Relations: James O. Eikenberry of Stockton, Calif.; Melissa Bennett of Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Association of Brethren Caregivers Board: J. Colleen Michael of Wenatchee, Wash.; John Katonah of Evanston, Ill.
  • Bethany Theological Seminary Trustee, representing colleges: Carol A. Scheppard of Mount Crawford, Va.; Celia Cook-Huffman of Huntingdon, Pa. Representing clergy: Lisa L. Hazen of Wichita, Kan.; William A. Waugh of Greensburg, Pa.
  • Brethren Benefit Trust Board: Deborah E. Romary of Fort Wayne, Ind.; Willie Hisey Pierson of Plainfield, Ill.
  • General Board, at large: Laura Guthrie of Chandler, Ariz.; Terrell Lewis of Washington, D.C.
  • On Earth Peace Board: Susan Chapman of Fincastle, Va.; Linda K. Williams of San Diego, Calif.


2) General Board Executive Committee visits disaster relief in the Gulf.

The General Board’s Executive Committee and three staff members visited projects related to Emergency Response ministries in the Gulf Coast region on Feb. 15-17.

Members of the Executive Committee included General Board chair Jeff Neuman-Lee, vice-chair Tim Harvey, Dale Minnich, Vickie Whitacre Samland, Ken Wenger, and Angela Lahman Yoder; staff members included Emergency Response director Roy Winter and associate director Zach Wolgemuth, as well as Becky Ullom, director of Identity and Relations, who provided this report.

In New Orleans, the group visited an active Disaster Child Care (DCC) project located at FEMA’s Welcome Home Center. The center provides citizens with access to many types of storm-related aid in one location. While parents complete paperwork, apply for loans, or receive counseling, their children can safely play under the care of DCC volunteers.

The group also travelled through the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans, where the flood following Hurricane Katrina left few buildings standing. Of those left, many had floated off their foundations and settled askew. Several brick churches remained, but doors and windows were chained shut. One pastor had spray painted his cell phone number on the building so that his congregants could reach him. There were few signs of recovery.

The tour continued in Pearl River, La., where a modular home will soon be placed on its foundation by Brethren Disaster Response. In earlier planning, following the widespread destruction of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, staff had hoped to be able to expand the Brethren Disaster Response program by building modular homes in other parts of the country and then transporting them to the Gulf. But strict building codes and other legalities have rendered that concept unworkable at this time, the Executive Committee learned.

That evening, the group fellowshiped with Brethren Disaster Response volunteers before spending the night in FEMA trailers. “For one night, it was adequate, but for a longterm location for a family, it just wouldn’t cut it,” reflected Lahman Yoder. “The rebuilding projects have to go faster so that people can get back into their homes and start to live again,” she said.

In Chalmette, La., the church leaders gained a glimpse into another Brethren Disaster Response rebuilding project. Currently, a team of volunteers is rebuilding the home of Ron Richardson. His home is located in St. Bernard Parish, and is one of 27,000 homes destroyed in the area.

Before the storm, St. Bernard Parish had a population of 66,000; only 6,000-12,000 people have returned since the disaster. “It’s shocking because these are people who had ‘done it right,’” said Liz McCartney, co-founder of the St. Bernard Project, a partner organization. “They worked hard, they owned their homes, and many had insurance. Fifty percent of the population was retired. The median household income was $30,000 before the storm, and the crime rate was low.”

Later in the same day, the Executive Committee celebrated hope and recovery at a house dedication in Lucedale, Miss. Brethren volunteers, in cooperation with numerous ecumenical volunteers, completed a house for Mrs. Gloria Bradley, who had survived not only the loss of a house but also two heart attacks and as many strokes.

On the final day of the trip, participants traveled to Florida to visit with staff from Rebuild Northwest Florida, the longterm recovery committee in the Pensacola area.

“The destruction is just so widespread,” said Dale Minnich, who volunteered with the response project in Chalmette for a few days prior to the Executive Committee’s visit. “It makes me think about how this compares to something like the devastation after World War II in Europe, where so much response was required. It seems like to reclaim this area, a huge response is required.”

Harvey, who pastors Central Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va., reflected on the situation in the Gulf coast at the congregation’s Ash Wednesday service. “We must be disciples who use their talents to help rebuild homes, lives, communities, not just in New Orleans, but everywhere,” he commented. “We must make disciples who will do the same. The central issue, we must use our voice and position and circumstances to advocate for those who cannot.”


3) Gather ’Round staff set plans for future

Celebration, evaluation, and planning were the focus at a Feb. 6-8 staff “summit” for the Gather ’Round curriculum project. Several members of the team, which gathered from across the US and Canada, also led the weekly chapel service for the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., where the meeting was held.

Gather ’Round is a new Christian education curriculum jointly produced by Brethren Press and Mennonite Publishing Network (MPN). The team celebrated successful production and sales of the first three quarters. Many Brethren and Mennonite congregations are reporting good experiences with the curriculum, and a number of other denominations have chosen to promote the curriculum to their members.

In evaluating and planning for the future, the staff paid special attention to feedback from users. “We were very grateful for those people who submitted an evaluation form after the first quarter or who contacted staff members by phone and e-mail,” reported Anna Speicher, project director and editor. “These comments are helping us refine and improve the Gather ’Round products. Ongoing refinements are possible because Gather ’Round is produced new every year.” Some enhancements will be made as early as the second year of the curriculum, which is currently in production.

Speicher noted that people have responded especially positively to the emphasis on connecting church and home. “We have received much affirmation for using the same Bible story for all age groups, for the Parent/Caregiver guide, and for the at-home Talkabout. These pieces help families connect on the Bible themes throughout the week.”

The staff received requests for more active options for the younger children and more alternatives for readers and non-readers in the Primary unit, Speicher said. “To that end, we’ll be revising the Primary student book, the ‘Good News Reader,’ for the fall of 2007. We’ll be adding more options in the teacher’s guides as well.”

The staff meeting brought together the steering committee, project staff, and several employees of the partner publishing houses who have a portion of time allocated to the curriculum project. Project staff are Anna Speicher, Amy Gingerich, Terry Mast, Rose Stutzman, Nancy Ryan, and Cyndi Fecher. The steering committee is made up Ron Rempel and Eleanor Snyder from Mennonite Publishing Network, Wendy McFadden from Brethren Press, and Speicher. Other publishing house employees involved in the project are Merrill Miller, Cynthia Linscheid, and Terry Graber from MPN, and Karen Stocking and Jeff Lennard from Brethren Press.


4) Brethren member participates in Darfur work of UN subcommittee.

A position statement and suggested strategies for nongovernmental (NGO) action on Darfur, Sudan, was issued Feb. 8 by the United Nation’s “Sub-Committee for Elimination of Racism, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance of the NGO Committee on Human Rights.” Church of the Brethren member Doris Abdullah serves on the subcommittee, representing On Earth Peace and the Church of the Brethren.

The subcommittee hosted a meeting on Darfur for more than 60 nongovernmental organizations at the UN Church Center in New York on Jan. 10. The purpose of the meeting was to provide a briefing on the status of the crisis in Darfur and to develop strategies for assisting in bringing it to an end. The position statement and suggested strategies were issued as a “following narrative” to the discussion at the meeting, and have been offered to nongovernmental organizations for their consideration.

The position statement said in part, “The situation in Darfur, Sudan, remains dangerous, fluid, and volatile. News reports inform us that advocacy efforts to date are having a positive impact. This tells us that it is important to maintain the forward momentum of our efforts. At this time the dying continues, the rapes continue, the starvation and severe health risks continue, the displacement and sense of hopelessness continues, and these conditions are spreading across borders. We assert that this is a human rights tragedy that is caused by racism, discrimination, and targeted intolerance….

“We recognize that the UN NGO community has an obligation to seek, find, and use every opportunity to expand global awareness of the Darfur crisis, and to hold those who choose culpable silence and egregious indifference publicly accountable for the persistence of the crisis. The genocide in Dafur must be condemned without reservation,” the statement continued. “We implore the general public to compassionately and conscientiously end the agony in Darfur.”

Suggested strategies for action included sending letters to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, the UN’s Human Rights Council, the UN Security Council, other international and national bodies, individual political leaders, and political organizations. The subcommittee also suggested forming a broadly representative interfaith delegation to Khartoum, Sudan, and putting pressure on companies and corporations investing in Sudan.

In other work, the subcommittee is preparing a presentation for the “200th Anniversary of the End of Trans-Atlantic Slavery Commemorations,” a session of the UN General Assembly beginning March 26 with speaker Rex Nettleford, chair of the UNESCO Slave Routes Project.

“I am glad for the work of Doris and the UN subcommittee,” said Brethren Witness/Washington Office director Phil Jones, who also noted that the subcommittee’s statement at points conflicts with Church of the Brethren positions of nonviolence “This may be a good time to refer Brethren to a very helpful Annual Conference paper of 1996, ‘Nonviolence and Humanitarian Intervention,’” Jones said (go to www.brethren.org/ac/ac_statements/96Nonviolence.htm).

“Darfur continues to be one of the most difficult issues I face in my work,” Jones said. “If we say genocide is occurring, which I am convinced it is, and yet armed intervention, in whatever form, is not the answer–then it remains an imperative challenge that we come up with an alternative nonviolent solution.”

For the subcommittee’s position statement, contact Abdullah at angramyn45@aol.com.


5) Fund gives grants to Darfur, child care in New Orleans, Florida storms.

The Emergency Disaster Fund of the Church of the Brethren General Board has given $45,000 for the crisis in Darfur, Sudan; $20,000 for a Disaster Child Care project in New Orleans; and $4,000 responding to tornados in Florida.

The grant for Sudan represents an additional allocation and continuing support for longterm relief work by Church World Service (CWS). The funds will help provide medical care, nutrition, shelters, schools, and water supply to more than 300,000 people. Three previous allocations to this project total $170,000.

The grant to Disaster Child Care also represents an additional allocation. The New Orleans site provides child care assistance to people returning home to the area following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, at the request of FEMA. The grant supports volunteer expenses.

The allocation for Florida supports CWS Disaster Response and Recovery Liaisons, local longterm recovery groups, and the shipping of material resources following tornados and storms in central Florida on Feb. 2.


6) Brethren bits: Personnel, ‘Mission Alive,’ ABC survey, and more.
  • Joan McGrath will begin March 6 as human resources coordinator for the Church of the Brethren General Board at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. She brings a diverse background to the role, having been the owner of Footsteps to Health in Westminster, Md., the human resources administrator for ROI Technologies in Baltimore, and manager of Corporate Services for an organization in Bethesda. She is a University of Maryland graduate with a bachelor of science degree in Technology and Management.
  • Paula Martin of New Windsor, Md., has been employed as registration coordinator for the 2007 Annual Conference. She will function in this position fulltime from Feb. 19-May 25 in the Annual Conference Office in New Windsor. Her primary responsibilities are registration activities for delegates and nondelegates attending the Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, this summer.
  • Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., has appointed Stuart D. Jones as dean of enrollment, in a restructuring of leadership to enhance its enrollment strategy. Jones is a member of Manchester Church of the Brethren and has been director of the Career Center and executive director of a new campus Success Center. He joined the college in July 2002, and also has served on key campus operating, planning, and program committees, as well as directing Conference Services and working with a range of student programs. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University, a master’s degree from Christian Theological Seminary, and is pursuing a doctorate in education from Northcentral University.
  • A re-roofing project at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., has been completed. The work began Sept. 4, 2006, with an expected completion date of Nov. 3, 2006. However, unusually wet weather caused extended delays and frozen ground will also delay landscaping repairs until the spring, reports Dave Ingold, director of buildings and grounds. Olsson Roofing was awarded the contract to replace the roof, Burnidge and Cassell Associates provided architectural design and oversight, and STR Building Resources served as consultants. The re-roofing included a fully tapered roof system that directs water to drains, covered with a Firestone rubber membrane, all new aluminum flashing, new skylights, chimney tuck pointing, new lightning protection, and a new roof hatch. To reduce future energy consumption, the project included insulating values that went beyond Illinois state insulation requirements. Ingold reported that the cost was significantly reduced because of the exceptional quality of the original building design and materials. The General Board approved up to $1,400,000 for the project, which has been completed for $881,000.
  • A date for the next Mission Alive conference has been announced by the Church of the Brethren General Board: April 4-6, 2008. Merv Keeney, executive director of Global Mission Partnerships, reports that a planning committee is being formed to plan and implement this gathering, following the pattern of the first such event in 2005 in Goshen, Ind. The region recommended by the previous committee for this event was the Shenandoah Valley area, although the actual site is yet to be determined.
  • The deadline for pre-publication orders of “Fresh from the Word” is March 15, said a reminder from Brethren Press. “Fresh from the Word” is a daily devotional commemorating the 300th anniversary of the Brethren movement. Publication is scheduled for July 1; the hardback book will offer 366 daily devotions from Jan.1 through Dec. 31, 2008, written by members of all the Brethren bodies. Groups or congregations save 40 percent on orders of 10 or more copies before March 15, with pre-publication price of $12 per copy plus shipping and handling (the regular price will be $20 plus shipping and handling). Individuals who order before March 15 receive a price of $15 per copy plus shipping and handling. Brethren Press reports that the Brethren Church also is promoting the book to all of its congregations. Call 800-441-3712 to place orders.
  • The Association of Brethren Caregivers (ABC) invites all Church of the Brethren members to complete a short online survey to help gauge how its ministries and services to the denomination are perceived by individuals and church leaders. The data is being collected until March 14 and will be provided to the ABC Board at its spring meeting on March 15-16 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The survey is available at www.brethren-caregivers.org. Printed copies of the survey may be requested by calling ABC at 800-323-8039.
  • Online registration for the Association of Brethren Caregiver’s Spring Deacon Training Events is now available through ABC’s website, www.brethren-caregivers.org. The one-day training events will be held March 10 at Bridgewater (Va.) Church of the Brethren; April 21 at Brethren Hillcrest Homes in La Verne, Calif.; and June 9 at The Cedars in McPherson, Kan. For the first time, participants may use credit cards or request to be invoiced for the $15 registration fee.
  • Iglesia de Los Hermanos (Church of the Brethren) Cristo El Senor in Vega Baja, P.R., has announced its first radio program, “30 Minutes with Our Master,” with host and church evangelist Jose Calleja Otero. The program airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. eastern time. Brethren in the US can listen as the program airs via www.unored.com (look for the link “Mas Estaciones” at the bottom of the box “Radio en Television en Vivo” and click on “Nueva Victoria 1350” to connect with the radio station). Pastor Hector Perez Borges, who also serves as a member of the Church of the Brethren General Board, announced that the first transmission took place Dec. 5.
  • Virlina District has called for prayer for Jones Chapel Church of the Brethren in Martinsville, Va., which was broken into and vandalized in the early hours of Wednesday, Feb. 21. “Please pray for the church membership and pastor Barry and Judy during this traumatic time,” the district requested. “The damage is widespread and on all three levels of the church.” The sanctuary was damaged, stained glass windows and classroom windows were broken, items were stolen from the sanctuary, fire extinguishers were discharged, flourescent lights were broken, pastor Sink’s automobiles were damaged, and the parsonage was broken into and robbed, among other damage. There also was damage to two other homes in the neighborhood. A number of church members and volunteers from the district helped clean up the church the next day. Police have an 18-year-old man in custody believed to be the one responsible. “We prayed for him in hopes he would understand the wrong he has done. The Scriptures tell you to forgive…your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Sink told the “Martinsville Bulletin.”
  • Madison Ave. Church of the Brethren was one of 14 local congregations in York, Pa., and some 5,600 Christian churches across the country to join in singing “Amazing Grace” on Feb. 17 to recognize the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the British slave trade and to advocate against modern forms of slavery. Bermudian Church of the Brethren and Faith Community of the Brethren Home Community were also among the congregations participating, according to a report by the “York Daily Record.”
  • David B. Eller pled guilty on Feb. 21 in a Dauphin County, Pa., court to charges of attempted unlawful contact with a minor and criminal use of a computer. Eller is former director of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies and former chair of the Religious Studies Department of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. He was arrested on July 20, 2006 (see the Newsline report of July 22, 2006). According to a report by the campus newspaper, “The Etownian,” his sentencing is scheduled for June 1.
  • In memory of the civil rights leader’s 1968 address to Manchester College a bust of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was dedicated today, Feb. 28, very near the actual site of his speech on the college campus in North Manchester, Ind. Using the podium from which Dr. King delivered his speech, titled, “The Future of Integration,” the college dedicated a 17-inch tall bust created by Fort Wayne sculptor Will Clark. King spoke at the college on Feb. 1, 1968, two months before he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. It is believed to have been his final campus speech. The event originally took place in the former Gymnasium/Auditorium, which was razed in 2000. The brief dedication ceremony was on the second floor of the Physicians Atrium of the Science Center, almost on the site of the former auditorium. For more about the college, visit http://www.manchester.edu/.
  • The Steering Committee of Womaen’s Caucus will meet in the La Verne, Calif., area on March 22-25. The group will host a gathering of interested members and friends on Saturday evening, March 24, at 6:30 p.m. at La Verne Church of the Brethren. Lasagna will be provided for dinner, with vegetarian options available; bring a salad or dessert. Those who plan to come to the meeting are requested to let the Steering Committee know by e-mailing agd@riseup.net. Steering Committee members are convener Carla Kilgore, Deb Peterson, Lucy Loomis, Audrey de Coursey, Peg Yoder, and administrator Jan Eller.
  • Church World Service (CWS) has made an urgent appeal for Gift of the Heart School Kits and Baby Kits. The Emergency Response program of the Church of the Brethren General Board is supporting this appeal. At the moment, CWS has only about 200 school kits in inventory that are uncommitted for upcoming shipments. Requests for school kits, just since the first of the year, have exceeded requests during the whole of last year, said Donna Derr of the CWS staff. The inventory of baby kits is dwindling as well, and needs to be replenished over the next two to three months. For information about how to pack and send kits to the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., go to www.churchworldservice.org/kits/school-kits.html and www.churchworldservice.org/kits/baby-kits.html. Brethren also may deliver school kits and baby kits to the Emergency Response booth at Annual Conference in Cleveland, June 30-July 4.
  • New resources from the National Council of Churches (NCC) include resources for Earth Day Sunday 2007 on April 22 and study guides on wilderness, and environmental racism. The Earth Day Sunday resource titled “Our Daily Bread: Harvesters of Hope and Gardeners of Eden” addresses justice in farm and food systems, featuring background information, sermon starters, a bulletin insert, ideas for youth and adult study, suggestions for action, and a two-page insert introducing faith-based principles for a more just farm and food policy (go to www.ncccusa.org/news/070206earthdaysunday.html). The wilderness study guide, “Out of the Wilderness: Building Christian Faith and Keeping God’s Creation,” encourages Christians to seek out wilderness and quiet places to reconnect with God, renew and refresh themselves for ministry, and rediscover their role as caretakers of creation; it offers information and theological reflections, sermon starters, a bulletin insert, suggestions for adult and youth study, and ideas for action and service (go to www.nccecojustice.org/resources.html). “Environmental Racism: An Ecumenical Study Guide” is for use in Christian education; it can be downloaded by signing into the NCC Eco-Justice network at www.nccecojustice.org/network.


7) 300th anniversary of the Brethren: Bits and pieces.
  • Commemorative calendars for the 300th anniversary of the Brethren movement, dated Sept. 2007 through Dec. 2008 and featuring 36 large and inset contemporary photos of historical sites or items along with much historical information, are now available from the Church of the Brethren’s 300th Anniversary Committee. Several congregations plan to give a calendar to each church family as a unique teaching and learning resource, the committee reports. The 40-page calendar may be ordered through the Annual Conference Office or purchased during Annual Conference in Cleveland, go to the Anniversary Committee’s exhibit booth. Order forms for use prior to Annual Conference can be found at www.churchofthebrethrenanniversary.org. Individual calendars sell for $5 plus, $3 shipping; or may be ordered in bulk of 50 for $200, or 25 for $100, shipping included in the price of bulk orders. Go to http://www.churchofthebrethrenanniversary.org/.
  • Church of the Brethren member Al Huston is taking a 1776 Sauer Bible to any church that would like to see it, as part of the anniversary celebration. “He is offering this as a way to help us appreciate the importance of the Bible in our faith, and as a pilgrimage of prayer for the church as a whole,” said Jeff Bach, chair of the 300th Anniversary Committee. Bach added that Huston and his son have developed a video that tells about the Sauer press, the connection of the press to the Brethren, and the Bibles that the press printed. For more information about the “Bible Visit” project or to schedule a visit to a congregation, go to http://www.biblevisit.com/.
  • Ed-Ventures Inc. is offering three different itineraries to Europe in the summer of 2008 that each include the 300th anniversary celebration in Schwarzenau, Germany, in early August. Each group will be accompanied by a Church of the Brethren pastor. Choose from Zurich-Amsterdam, Berlin-Zurich, or Munich-Amsterdam. Call 800-658-7128 or visit http://www.ed-ventures.com/.
  • A Faith Heritage Tour on July 26-Aug. 9, 2008, including anniversary celebrations Aug. 2-3 in Schwarzenau, Germany, is offered by Mark and Mary Jo Flory-Steury. The tour includes visits to sites related to Martin Luther, the birthplace of Pietism, and Anabaptist sites in Germany and Switzerland. Contact Mark and Mary Jo Flory Steury, 4017 Wagner Rd., Kettering, OH 45440; mflorysteu@aol.com.
  • Manchester College professor Ken Rogers will offer free walking tours of religious sites in Marburg an der Lahn (near Schwarzenau) to Brethren groups in the summer of 2007 and again in the summer of 2008. Each tour will last about three hours and visit sites such as the Elizabeth Church, the Old University, the medieval town, the city church, and the castle. The tours will be educational, with Rogers drawing upon years of study and teaching of church history and theology. Those taking the tours will need to pay nominal admission fees at some sites, and will be asked to consider a voluntary contribution to the “Project for German-American Understanding” sponsored by the theology department of Marburg University. Write to HKRogers@Manchester.edu.


8) Annual Conference registration and housing opens March 9.

Registration for hotel rooms for the 2007 Annual Conference will be available online beginning March 9. Advance registration of nondelegates also begins March 9. The Conference will take place in Cleveland, Ohio, from June 30-July 4.

Conference attendees are encouraged to utilize the online housing facility or to submit housing request forms available in the Annual Conference Information CD that will be distributed in early March to each congregation. The Conference office is requesting participants to consider obtaining hotel rooms through the housing facility that, in turn, holds down the cost of meeting space and other Conference facilities. Participants also are encouraged to obtain housing before registering for the Conference. To obtain housing starting March 9, go to www.brethren.org/ac, click on “Housing Reservation” in the Cleveland section of the homepage.

Advance registration of nondelegates begins March 9 online or through registration forms in the Information Packet. Participants can register themselves and family members, sign up for age-group programs, and purchase tickets for ticketed meal events. Advance registration saves more than 33 percent. The deadline is May 20. To register online starting March 9, go to www.brethren.org/ac, click on “Registration” in the Cleveland section of the homepage.

The 2007 Annual Conference Information Packet being distributed on CD also will be available online in early March. Go to www.brethren.org/ac, click on the “Info Packet” tab in the Cleveland section of the homepage. Paper copies of the packet can be obtained by contacting the Annual Conference Office at 800-688-5186 or annualconference@brethren.org.


9) Health Promotion Sunday resources are available.

Resources will be available this week for Church of the Brethren congregations wishing to celebrate Health Promotion Sunday on May 20. The theme for this year’s emphasis is “Christ Exalted in the Body: Congregational and Personal Health.” The Association of Brethren Caregivers (ABC) sponsors Health Promotion Sunday for the denomination.

The annual emphasis each May looks at issues affecting the caring ministries of the church. This year’s theme describes how church leaders from across denominational boundaries are lifting up the need for healthier clergy and congregation members. “Jesus modeled a ministry that cared for the physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing of all people,” said an announcement from ABC. “The church’s renewed emphasis on wholeness, or complete health in body, mind, and spirit, is vital for others to experience the healing touch of Christ.”

Resources for congregational and personal health and worship will be available beginning March 1 at the ABC website, www.brethren-caregivers.org. Congregation leaders can request a printed version of the resources at no charge from ABC by calling 800-323-8039.


To receive Newsline by e-mail or to unsubscribe, go to http://listserver.emountain.net/mailman/listinfo/newsline. Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Contact the editor at cobnews@brethren.org or 800-323-8039 ext. 260. Mary Dulabaum, Jan Eller, Lerry Fogle, Dave Ingold, Merv Keeney, Jon Kobel, Jeri S. Kornegay, Karin Krog, Wendy McFadden, Anna Speicher, Becky Ullom, and Jane Yount contributed to this report. Newsline appears every other Wednesday, with the next regularly scheduled issue set for March 14; 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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