Worship Leadership is Announced for 2008 Annual Conference

Church of the Brethren Newsline
November 1, 2007

Leaders for worship, music, and Bible study have been announced for the 2008 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren in Richmond, Va., on July 12-16. The Conference will celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the Brethren movement and will include times of joint worship and fellowship with the Brethren Church.

James Beckwith, moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference and pastor of Annville (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, will preach for the Saturday evening opening worship. David Shumate, moderator-elect and district executive minister for Virlina District, will lead worship for the service.

A joint worship team from the Brethren Church and the Church of the Brethren will share the preaching and the worship leading on Sunday morning. The team of three includes Christopher Bowman, pastor of Oakton Church of the Brethren in Vienna, Va.; Shanthi Edwin of Brush Valley Brethren Church in Adrian, Pa.; and Arden Gilmer, pastor of Park Street Brethren Church in Ashland, Ohio.

On Monday, Mary Jo Flory-Steury will bring the message. She is executive director of the Ministry Office of the Church of the Brethren General Board. Sheri Weaver of Gap, Pa., will be worship leader.

Tuesday’s sermon will be given by Robert Neff, a Church of the Brethren biblical scholar and a former general secretary of the Church of the Brethren General Board. Neff also previously taught at Bethany Theological Seminary, and is a past president of Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa. Stafford Frederick, pastor of Summerdean Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va., will lead worship.

For the closing worship service on Wednesday morning, another team of leaders representing both denominations will share in bringing the message and leading worship: Melissa Bennett, one of the pastors at Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Ind.; Shawn Flory Replogle, pastor of McPherson (Kan.) Church of the Brethren; and Leroy A. Solomon, dean of the Doctor of Ministry Program at the Brethren Church’s Ashland (Ohio) Theological Seminary.

Worship coordinator for the Conference is Kristi Kellerman of Crystal Lake, Ill., who serves on the Program and Arrangements Committee. Leslie Lake of Orrville, Ohio, is music coordinator and serves on the Church of the Brethren’s 300th Anniversary Committee. The choir director will be Jesse E. Hopkins Jr., chair of the Music Department at Bridgewater (Va.) College. The Children’s Choir director is Sarah Ann Bowman of Boones Mill, Va. The organist is Jonathan Emmons of Dover, Del. Leah Hileman of Cape Coral, Fla., will play piano and keyboard.

Bible study leaders are Glenn McCrickard, pastor of Cloverdale (Va.) Church of the Brethren; David R. Miller, pastor of Montezuma Church of the Brethren in Dayton, Va.; and Tom Zuercher, pastor of Ashland (Ohio) Dickey Church of the Brethren. The Hispanic Bible study coordinators are Irv and Nancy Heishman. Theological Studies will be led by Christina Bucher, professor of Religious Studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College.

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The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Lerry Fogle contributed to this report. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To receive Newsline by e-mail go to http://listserver.emountain.net/mailman/listinfo/newsline. Submit news to the editor at cobnews@brethren.org. For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.

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