Newsline for October 10, 2007

October 10, 2007

“Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth” (Psalm 66:1).

1) Joint statement is issued from discussion of Annual Conference exhibit policy.
2) ABC Board receives multicultural sensitivity training.
3) Committee receives challenge from American Baptists.
4) Children’s Disaster Services trains ‘CJ’s Bus’ volunteers.
5) Atlantic Southeast District holds a Family Peace Camp.
6) Brethren Revival Fellowship holds its General Meeting.
7) Brethren bits: Corrections, jobs, seeking anointing services, more.

8) Junior High Sunday will focus on ‘Amazing Race’ theme.

9) Journal launches scholarly discussion of role of religion in peace.

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In this week’s webcast from the Church of the Brethren, listen to the reflections of two members of the assessment team for the Sudan mission initiative, about their recent trip to investigate mission locations in southern Sudan. Phil and Louise Rieman share their experiences during this short audio cast and describe ways members of the church can be the hands and feet of Christ to sisters and brothers in Sudan. Go to The Brethren webcast series also will offer interactive live video webcasting from the 300th Anniversary academic conference on Oct. 11-13.
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1) Joint statement is issued from discussion of Annual Conference exhibit policy.

Representatives of the Brethren and Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Interests (BMC), the Womaen’s Caucus, and Voices for an Open Spirit (VOS) met with the Annual Conference Program and Arrangements Committee on Aug. 22 to discuss issues related to the denial of a Conference exhibit booth for BMC.

Present at the meeting were Carol Wise, Ralph McFadden, and Everett Fisher representing BMC; Jan Eller, Lucy Loomis, and Carla Kilgore representing the Womaen’s Caucus; Jan Fairchild, David Witkovsky, Roger Eberly, Liz Bidgood Enders, and Ken Kline Smeltzer representing VOS; and Scott Duffey, Kristi Kellerman, Sarah Steele, Jim Beckwith, Belita Mitchell, David Shumate, and Fred Swartz representing the Program and Arrangements Committee.

Also present were Susan Nienaber, facilitator from the Alban Institute, and Lerry Fogle, Annual Conference executive director.

Following is the joint statement that was issued following the meeting:

“The bulk of the time was spent in reviewing the more than 20-year history of the denial of exhibit space and in listening to the emotions and frustrations of both those representing BMC and the members of the Program and Arrangements Committee. Discussion focused on the guidelines for exhibits which state, both (1) the exhibit hall should ‘bring together Brethren from all cultures and points of view to proclaim Jesus as Lord,’ and (2) ‘The ministry and mission of all exhibitors shall honor the New Testament and Annual Conference statements and decisions.’

“The representatives of BMC, VOS, and the Womaen’s Caucus expressed their belief that the Program and Arrangements Committee guidelines for the Conference exhibit hall, as well as a variety of Annual Conference statements, including the 1983 statement on Human Sexuality, clearly call for Annual Conference and the exhibit hall to be ‘open and welcoming,’ to ‘bring together Brethren from all cultures and points of view to proclaim Jesus as Lord,’ and to ‘encourage open and compassionate dialogue.’ Persons from BMC, the Womaen’s Caucus, and VOS believe that the denomination should encourage ongoing dialogue on human sexuality, including homosexuality, should allow Christians of different cultures and points of view the opportunity to be included ‘around the table,’ and should permit BMC to have an exhibit booth at Annual Conference. They noted that the exhibit hall already includes groups who hold views that are contrary to Annual Conference statements.

“The members of the Program and Arrangements Committee agreed that the ideal Conference environment, toward which we all wish to work, is one in which all Brethren can come together in compassionate and open community in Christ. The Program and Arrangements Committee also expressed the willingness and openness to listen and to work further at understanding the issues that separate us from that ideal. The Program and Arrangements Committee feels bound, however, to the decisions and statements of Annual Conference, and until Conference changes its stand, the 1983 paper on Human Sexuality states that ‘covenantal relationships between homosexual persons is an additional lifestyle option but, in the church’s search for a Christian understanding of human sexuality, this alternative is not acceptable.’ The Program and Arrangement Committee also believes that the exhibit hall is not the place to ‘test’ whether the denomination is ready to change its position. The Program and Arrangements Committee has encouraged agencies and others to consider queries and other ways by which the denomination might be engaged in a new examination of the subject of human sexuality.

“Following the presentations by all of the groups, questions were asked for clarification, but there was little time left for deliberation of solutions. At the urging of the facilitator, a number of issues were identified as meriting further discussion. All of the participants left the meeting feeling unfulfilled in goal or acceptance.”

2) ABC Board receives multicultural sensitivity training.

The Association of Brethren Caregivers (ABC) Board and staff participated in multicultural sensitivity training during fall board meetings, held at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Kathy Reid, ABC executive director, and Wendy McFadden, publisher of Brethren Press, provided the training.

The training began with an exercise that raised awareness about how individuals identify themselves, noting especially when race and gender were identifying elements of an individual’s personality. A presentation based on Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith’s book, “Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America,” illustrated several ways that “well-intentioned people, their values, and their institutions actually recreate racial divisions and inequalities they ostensibly oppose.”

Reid and McFadden presented several other resources, including “It’s the Little Things: Everyday Interactions that Anger, Annoy, and Divide the Races” by Lena Williams, “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” by Beverly Daniel Tatum, and “Racism” by Kathy and Stephen Reid. These publications can be purchased from Brethren Press, call 800-441-3712.

In other business, the ABC Board:

  • Delayed approval of 2008 and 2009 budgets because of the uncertainty of revenue streams and health insurance costs, which have not yet been finalized for the agency. Several factors are influencing revenue streams, chief among them the fact that to date only a quarter of the denomination’s congregations are financially contributing to ABC.
  • Heard a report about the Caring Ministries Assembly, held Sept. 6-8 at Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, which was evaluated very positively by participants. ABC staff and assembly coordinator Kim Ebersole said that based on the success of this year’s assembly, the next one will be scheduled for Sept. 9-11, 2010. ABC will hold National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) in 2008 and 2009, therefore postponing the next Caring Ministries Assembly until 2010.
  • Heard reports from various ministry areas including Deacons, Disabilities, Family Life, Wellness, Older Adults, Voice: Mental Illness Ministry, and the Fellowship of Brethren Homes.
  • Appointed Vernne Greiner of Mechanicsburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren as vice-chair of the board beginning January 2008. The board also elected Dan McRoberts of Hope Church of the Brethren in Freeport, Mich., and John Katonah of Sacramento, Calif., to second terms of service on the board, and Chris Whitacre of McPherson (Kan.) Church of the Brethren to the Executive Committee.
  • Approved new board meeting dates for March 7-9, 2008, since members of the ABC staff and board will attend the Health Ministries Assembly on the original meeting dates of March 27-30. The Health Ministries Assembly is a joint meeting for Anabaptist-related health and human service ministries, doctors, nurses, social workers, pastors, and other professionals in the Church of the Brethren, Friends (Quakers) churches, and Mennonite Church USA. ABC hopes to hold its annual Forum for staff and administrators of the Fellowship of Brethren Homes at the event, and to bring workshops from various ABC ministry areas.

This was the first board meeting for Fellowship of Brethren Homes representative Jim Tiffin, executive director of the Palms of Sebring, Fla. It was the last board meeting for three board members completing their terms of service: Wallace Landes, pastor of Palmyra (Pa.) Church of the Brethren; Allegra Hess of York Center Church of the Brethren, Lombard, Ill.; and Wayne Scott of Mechanicsburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. Landes’ term of service as ABC Board chair ends this year. He and Hess joined the board in January 2002 and served two terms on the board. Scott was filling a one-year vacancy on the board. The ABC Board recognized their contributions with a special meal held Saturday night.

–Mary Dulabaum is director of Communications for the Association of Brethren Caregivers.

3) Committee receives challenge from American Baptists.

The Committee on Interchurch Relations (CIR) met at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., on Sept. 6-8. Planning for CIR-sponsored activities at the 2008 Annual Conference was a major portion of the agenda. The group also received a challenge from its American Baptist counterpart to encourage interaction between Brethren and Baptists.

In light of the 300th Anniversary of the Brethren and the joint activities with the Brethren Church at the 2008 Annual Conference, the CIR is pursuing speakers and topics that will give the two denominations opportunity to explore their common history and be challenged in their current understandings. The Brethren Church will be invited to have a presence at the Ecumenical Luncheon, and an insight session sponsored by the CIR will focus on interfaith stories of courage, hope, and love from the past 300 years of the Brethren movement.

Dr. Jerry Cain, the CIR’s American Baptist representative and president of Judson College in Elgin, shared a report on current activities in his denomination. He announced that in the most recent meeting of the Committee on Church Unity, the American Baptist counterpart to the CIR, challenges were issued to the CIR for intentional interactions with the Brethren through colleges and congregations. These events will offer opportunities for Brethren and Baptists to get to know each other better. The CIR accepted the challenge and is looking forward to more grassroots activity between the two denominations.

Stan Noffsinger, general secretary of the General Board, reported on the work of Christian Churches Together, the National Council of Churches, the World Council of Churches, and an upcoming conference of the Historic Peace Churches to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia. Brethren who plan to participate at the upcoming conference include members of the churches in India and Nigeria.

Committee members in attendance at the meeting were Ilexene Alphonse of Miami, Fla.; Melissa Bennett of Fort Wayne, Ind.; Jim Eikenberry of Stockton, Calif.; Michael Hostetter of Englewood, Ohio; Rene Quintanilla of Fresno, Calif.; and Carolyn Schrock of Mountain Grove, Mo.

–Carolyn Schrock is a member of the Committee on Interchurch Relations.

4) Children’s Disaster Services trains ‘CJ’s Bus’ volunteers.

The Children’s Disaster Services program of the Church of the Brethren is training volunteers for a new project called CJ’s Bus. “We are excited that our quality of training is being excepted as a standard by CJ’s Bus and hope to expand our relationship in the coming year,” said Roy Winter, director of Brethren Disaster Ministries.

Disaster News Network (DNN) reported on Oct. 2 that Children’s Disaster Services was involved with CJ’s Bus, a new mobile unit to provide services to children following disasters. The bus has not yet been put into service, DNN said.

The large bus is painted bright yellow and black with the smiling face of a young boy on the side giving a two thumbs up sign, according to DNN. Kathryn Martin has spent a year working to make the bus a reality. It is named for her two-year-old son who was killed in a tornado on Nov. 6, 2005, in Evansville, Ind. DNN said the bus may be the first disaster response mobile day care unit in the nation.

“Having gone through the Evansville tornado and having lost one of my four children, I know how important it is to help children maintain their innocence in these disasters while providing parents a few hours to attend to their own recovery needs,” Martin told DNN. “I could think of no greater legacy to my son….”

The bus will be staffed by four to six certified volunteers trained by the Church of the Brethren’s Children’s Disaster Services. Those organizing the bus project “requested our training, recognizing the longstanding quality of our work,” said Judy Bezon, associate director of Children’s Disaster Services.

A training for seven volunteers for CJ’s Bus has been held by Children’s Disaster Services, with three of the volunteers now certified by Children’s Disaster Services, and three more going through the certification process. The volunteers undergo national background checks as part of the certification.

Another effort honoring CJ is a Congressional bill called “CJ’s Home Protection Act of 2007.” The bill “would require weather radios to be installed in all mobile homes manufactured or sold in the US,” DNN reported. “Martin already has helped push a similar bill through the Indiana Legislature. Martin’s son, as well as her mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law were killed when a F3 tornado struck the Eastbrook mobile home park in Evansville. A total of 25 people were killed in the area, including 20 in the mobile home park. More than 200 others were injured.”

(Portions of this report on CJ’s Bus have been reproduced with permission from Disaster News Network at (c) 2007 Village Life Company.)

5) Atlantic Southeast District holds a Family Peace Camp.

Following the theme, “Empowered For Peacemaking,” the Action for Peace Team and Camp Ithiel of Atlantic Southeast District sponsored a Family Peace Camp over Labor Day weekend, at the camp near Orlando, Fla.

A total of 83 people–62 registrants and 21 other attenders–were involved in this first all-ages Family Peace Camp in the district in many years. Some attended from the opening get-acquainted activities and devotions on Friday evening to the constructive evaluation and wrap-up Monday noon, while others could only be there part of the time. This flexibility encouraged participation according to family multi-age availability.

Resource leaders were Matt Guynn from On Earth Peace, and SueZann Bosler, a death penalty opponent. From the Camp Ithiel staff, Michaela Camps directed the children’s activities and Mike Neff, camp director, led group activities and games. Several other volunteers also helped with the event.

Through many participatory activities, Guynn placed strong emphasis on relationship with God and Jesus Christ as the primary source of “power from within” for peacemaking. With that relationship, peacemakers are better prepared to influence areas of strife and conflict in our communities through existing channels–such as the church, schools, youth organizations, service clubs, social agencies, ministerial associations, city government, etc.

Bosler shared her deep concern for those on death row and her calling to work intently for the abolishment of the death penalty in Florida. Her commitment to that work follows the murder of her father, a Church of the Brethren pastor in Miami, Fla., by an intruder into their home in 1986. She also was seriously injured in the attack. Bosler provided several resources and promised to assist the Action for Peace Team in the future, as it prepares to place further emphasis on death penalty concerns in the district. Bosler will assist the district in “empowerment to make a difference.”

The Family Peace Camp also featured good food, singing, swimming, time for leisure activities, visitation, mutual prayer, Morning Watch, campfire, a talent night, and more. Tentative plans call for the possibility of another such peace-centered, ethnic-diversified event over Labor Day weekend in 2008.

–Phil Lersch is chair of Atlantic Southeast District’s Action For Peace Team.

6) Brethren Revival Fellowship holds its General Meeting

With the theme, “The Future of the Church of the Brethren,” about 135 Brethren from several states and nine districts attended the annual meeting of the Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) on Sept. 8 at Shank’s Church of the Brethren in Greencastle, Pa.

John A. Shelly Jr., of the home congregation, moderated the meeting. Ron Showalter enthusiastically led in a cappela congregational singing, mostly from the 1901 “Brethren Hymnal.”

Craig Alan Myers, BRF chairman from Columbia City (Ind.) Church of the Brethren (Blue River Congregation) spoke on five “Challenges Facing the Church of the Brethren,” which he identified as pluralism, or the notion that all religions are valid; demographics, or the change in population in recent years; conformity and a worldly spirit; faithfulness to New Testament teaching; and action or the lack thereof on the part of the church.

James F. Myer, BRF vice chairman from White Oak Church of the Brethren in Manheim, Pa., presented a review of the 2007 Annual Conference in Cleveland, most of which can be found in the most recent issue of the “BRF Witness” newsletter.

After a more-than-sufficient lunch, Myers gave the chairman’s report, highlighting the main activities of the BRF over the last year. The BRF prints the “BRF Witness,” publishes the Brethren New Testament Commentary series, maintains a website, directs the Brethren Mission Fund, oversees a Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) unit, and plans events at Annual Conference, among others.

Harold S. Martin of Lititz, Pa. (Pleasant Hill Church of the Brethren) preached the afternoon message on “The Challenge to Persevere in the Church of the Brethren.” In it, he presented reasons some give to leave the church, and countered with reasons to stay in the church and work for revival.

Paul E. Schildt Jr. of East Berlin, Pa. (Upper Conewago Church of the Brethren in Abbottstown, Pa.), and Mervin C. Groff of Manheim, Pa. (White Oak Church of the Brethren) were confirmed to continue on the BRF Committee for another five-year term, and Jordan Keller of Wales, Maine (Lewiston Church of the Brethren) was confirmed to fill out an unexpired term.

The offering for the day was $2,273.

For more information about the Brethren Revival Fellowship, go to

7) Brethren bits: Corrections, jobs, seeking anointing services, more.

  • Corrections: In a correction to the Mission Update in the Newsline Extra of Oct. 1, pastors Isaias Tena and Anastasia Buena are serving the Church of the Brethren in San Luis, the Dominican Republic (located in Santo Domingo). In a correction to the remembrance for June Adams Gibble in the Newsline of Sept. 26, the dates of her service with the Church of the Brethren General Board were given incorrectly. She was employed by the General Board from 1977-84, and then again worked for the board from 1988-97.
  • Ric and Jan Martinez have completed their tenure as volunteer hosts for the Old Main building at the New Windsor Conference Center, on the campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The center is welcoming Ed and Betty Runion of Markle, Ind., as the new hosts for Old Main.
  • On Earth Peace seeks a program coordinator to oversee its peace education program. Responsibilities include planning and coordinating educational events for all ages, particularly youth and young adults; developing peace education resources; coordinating the youth peace travel team; participating in district and denominational conferences; and other responsibilities. Requirements include commitment to Christian peacemaking, experience with educational programing, strong communication skills and organizational ability, self-motivation. Call 410-635-8704 or e-mail for more information, including a complete position description and announcement. To apply, send a letter and resume with three to four references to Bob Gross, Executive Director of On Earth Peace, at Applications will be reviewed beginning Nov. 15, continuing until the position is filled. The position begins Jan. 28, 2008.
  • Camp Blue Diamond, a summer camp and retreat center for the Middle Pennsylvania District of the Church of the Brethren, seeks a fulltime program director. Responsibilities include summer and year-round programming, group hosting, camp promotion, off-season housekeeping, and some kitchen work during outdoor school season. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, considerable summer camp leadership experience, and excellent writing, communication, and organizational skills. Compensation includes salary, housing, medical insurance, pension, and other benefits. For an application write or contact Camp Blue Diamond, P.O. Box 240, Petersburg, PA 16669; 814-667-2355; Applications will be accepted until Oct. 30. Position begins in January. For more information concerning Camp Blue Diamond, visit
  • Oaklawn, a mental health provider that often offers services to the Anabaptist church community including Church of the Brethren members and congregations, seeks a child and adolescent psychiatrist to join a team of 10 psychiatrists, five of whom are certified in child and adolescent psychiatry. Located in Goshen, Ind., a mid-sized rural community two hours from Chicago and three hours from Indianapolis, offering a cost of living 17.6 percent below the national average. Oaklawn is faith-based, sponsored by Mennonite Health Services Alliance. A competitive salary is offered along with RVU-based incentive, signing bonus, relocation expense, and student loan forgiveness. For more information about this position, contact Human Resources at 800-282-0809 ext. 675. All inquiries are kept confidential. For more about Oaklawn, visit
  • *The Association of Brethren Caregivers (ABC) is seeking information about upcoming anointing services that individuals and congregations plan to hold. ABC is creating a video about the power and comfort of the anointing service for congregational and individual use. Planners hope to illustrate the recording with actual anointing events. If you have a planned event or are calling for a more private service of anointing, please e-mail this news to If time and production details allow for the event to be recorded, ABC will send videographer David Sollenberger to the event. Recordings will take place over the next six months, so notication of events is not limited to a certain time.
  • “Making Poverty History: Hunger Education Activities that Work,” a new Church World Service (CWS) resource on the Millennium Development Goals, has been distributed to Church of the Brethren congregations by the Global Food Crisis Fund in the October “Source” packet. The 26-page guide offers drama, simulations, and worship helps for congregational and special group use. “It will be great for Global Food Crisis Fund appeals, CROP hunger walks, growing project celebrations, and youth and mission observances,” said fund manager Howard Royer. Activities are organized around the major themes of the Millennium Development Goals. Each section contains a few facts on the theme, a related story from the work of CWS, and interactive ways to engage people. The back cover features a litany by Jeff Carter, pastor of Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren and used at this summer’s “Sowing Seeds” conference on hunger in Washington, D.C. The resource also is available at
  • Senior high youth are invited to Waynesboro (Va.) Church of the Brethren on Nov. 16-18 for a peace retreat on the theme, “A Kingdom that Cannot Be Shaken.” Susan Chapman (program director at Camp Bethel) and Susanna Farahat (coordinator for peace education at On Earth Peace) will lead youth in a weekend of energizing sessions based on Hebrews 12:18: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” Youth will have an opportunity to discuss the questions brought up by this scripture: How do we worship acceptably? What does it mean to be part of “a kingdom that cannot be shaken”? How can we accept the challenge that Jesus’ call to discipleship presents, in a world of diversity? In addition to times for study and worship, participants will also enjoy food, fellowship, and recreation time with youth from across the Virlina and Shenandoah Districts. Registration forms are available online at For more information contact Susanna Farahat at 410-635-8706 or, or Terrie Glass (host) at 804-439-0478 or
  • The 2008 Song and Story Fest, an annual family camp with sponsorship from On Earth Peace, will be held prior to Annual Conference next year on July 6-12, 2008. The location will be Camp Brethren Woods, Keezletown, Va. Ken Kline Smeltzer coordinates the Song and Story Fest.
  • The Church of the Brethren congregation in Vega Baja, P.R., will celebrate its 25th anniversary on Oct. 24-27. The urban congregation of about 90 members was formed in 1982 and has served the community with witness and outreach ministries, evangelism, Christian education, music concerts, children’s fairs, and food and clothing for the homeless. An evening of Sacred and Folkoric Music Concert will be held in Vega Baja’s Arts Theater on Friday, Oct. 26.
  • Upcoming district conferences are held by Atlantic Northeast District at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College on Oct. 12-13, Atlantic Southeast District at Saint Petersburg (Fla.) Church of the Brethren on Oct. 12-13, Southern Ohio District at Eaton (Ohio) Church of the Brethren on Oct. 12-13, Pacific Southwest District at La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren on Oct. 12-14, and Middle Pennsylvania District at Everett (Pa.) Church of the Brethren on Oct. 19-20.
  • The 11th Annual Fall Dinner and Auction to support Pleasant Hill Village, a Church of the Brethren retirement center in Girard, Ill., will take place Oct. 20 at 5 p.m. in Virden at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Cost is $25. The event is a benefit for residents with a fundraising goal of $20,000 for health care projects including new furniture for the residents’ living room, updating a courtyard fence, maintaining bird aviaries, redecorating a bath and shower room, a sound system for the dining room, and establishing a residents’ assistance fund. Contact Paulette Miller at 217-627- 2181 or
  • Voices for an Open Spirit is holdings its fall gathering on the theme “What’s in Your God-Box? Discerning Faith for Ourselves and Others,” on Nov. 9-11 at Ridgeway Community Church of the Brethren in Harrisburg, Pa. The keynote speaker and Sunday preacher is Anne Robertson, an ordained United Methodist minister and executive director of the Massachusetts Bible Society, and author of “Blowing the Lid Off the God-Box,” and “God’s Top 10: Blowing the Lid Off the Commandments.” Registration is $60 and covers meals and all activities. Participants reserve their own accommodations. For more information go to Online registration is available.

8) Junior High Sunday will focus on ‘Amazing Race’ theme.

The Church of the Brethren celebrates Junior High Sunday on Nov. 4 this year. The event is sponsored by the Youth and Young Adult Ministries of the Church of the Brethren General Board. The theme for this year’s Junior High Sunday is the same as the theme for the National Junior High Conference that was held on June 15-17, “The Amazing Race: Continuing the Work of Jesus,” based on Luke 9:23.

A website offers resource materials for congregations to observe the special Sunday, including ways to involve junior high youth in leading worship. The materials available at include a Bible study by Chris Douglas, worship resources by various writers such as calls to worship and prayers, a skit on the Lord’s Prayer, a skit on the “Amazing Race” (alluding to video clips from the National Junior High Conference that may be ordered from David Sollenberger at 717-867-4187 or; cost is $10), a sheet about “Worship our Privilege,” and an outline for a Junior High Retreat to help youth groups plan for the Sunday.

Not included on the website, but available from David Sollenberger is a video scripture jam on the Luke 9:23 passage, in DVD format (call 717-867-4187 or e-mail; cost is $10 including shipping). For more information contact the Youth and Young Adult Ministries at 800-323-8039 ext. 297.

9) Journal launches scholarly discussion of role of religion in peace.

“The Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace” debuts at The online scholarly journal, published by a collaborative of Indiana’s three historic peace colleges, is a new forum for discussion of the role of religion in both conflict and peacebuilding. The journal is a project of the Plowshares peace studies collaborative of Earlham, Goshen, and Manchester Colleges, funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. Manchester College is a Church of the Brethren school in North Manchester, Ind.

The premier issue of the journal features articles by nine major thinkers in theology, ethics, religious studies, and conflict transformation. Readers may access the articles about religion as a source of conflict and as a resource for peace without subscription, and distribute them (with attribution and unaltered) freely. A “letters to the editor” feature further encourages dialogue among readers and scholars.

Initial topics range from the role of religion in the global war on terrorism by Douglas Johnston, president of the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, to an argument for recanonizing scripture to exclude violent texts by secular humanist Hector Avalos of Iowa State University. Daniel Maguire of Marquette University brings his expertise on moral theological ethics, and ordained Soto priest Brian Victoria at Antioch College identifies a “holy war” tradition in all major faiths and calls for its rejection universally.

Joseph Liechty, associate professor of peace studies at Goshen College, is editor. Contact him at 574-535-7802 or

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Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board, or 800-323-8039 ext. 260. Mary Dulabaum, Susanna Farahat, Julie L. Garber, Bob Gross, Cori Hahn, Gloria Miller Holub, Kristi Kellerman, Ken Kline Smeltzer, and Jerri Heiser Wenger contributed to this report. Newsline appears every other Wednesday, with the next regularly scheduled Newsline set for Oct. 24. 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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