Newsline Extra for June 20, 2008

“Celebrating the Church of the Brethren’s 300th Anniversary in 2008”

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you” (Isaiah 43:2).


1) Children’s Disaster Services ramps up response in flooded midwest.
2) Brethren Disaster Ministries calls for clean-up volunteers in Indiana.
3) CWS repeats call for Emergency Clean-up Buckets, issues correction to drop-off site in Indiana.
4) Plains states Brethren still dealing with destruction caused by tornadoes.
5) International Christian leaders call for a season of prayer for Zimbabwe.

New at is a slide show of posters created by children for the REGNUH project of the Global Food Crisis Fund. REGNUH (for turning HUNGER around) has been an emphasis at National Youth Conference and National Older Adult Conference, and now has invited children in congregations across the country to submit artwork about the Church of the Brethren’s work against hunger. Go to to view the children’s art.
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1) Children’s Disaster Services ramps up response in flooded Midwest.

Children’s Disaster Services is fielding teams of child care volunteers in Indiana and Iowa to support families affected by flooding. Children’s Disaster Services is a ministry of the Church of the Brethren. Each child care team includes four or five trained and certified volunteers, and the response in each state is overseen by a trained project manager.

One Children’s Disaster Services team has been working in Martinsville, Ind., in a Red Cross Assistance Center that has seen 25-30 children each day. The Red Cross will no longer be working out of that center, which will now be carried on by FEMA and others, and the child care team will continue to provide services to children there. The team also will be expanded from four to five people. Ken Kline has been the project manager in Indiana, but has completed his two weeks commitment and Barbara Lungelow will be the new project manager.

Another Children’s Disaster Services team relieved exhausted volunteers for CJ’s Bus, which has stopped services in Indiana as of Wednesday, June 18. The team that had worked with CJ’s Bus has moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and is now serving children and families there. In Cedar Rapids, Children’s Disaster Services may soon also be providing training for other responders from the Iowa state response as well.

A child care team in Cedar Falls, Iowa, has been working to care for children at a Lutheran school while families cleaned up homes from mud that carried oil and fertilizer. That child care team has now moved location and currently is working at a Red Cross Service Center. A second team of child care givers will begin working in Cedar Falls starting Monday, June 23.

Another team will begin providing child care in Iowa City on Monday. Lorna Grow is the project manager for the teams working in Iowa.

Children’s Disaster Services is putting two more teams of child care workers on alert, to go into additional areas affected by flooding on Sunday or Monday. By the end of next week, the program will be sending new teams of volunteers to replace those who by that time will have been working for two weeks.

Brethren Disaster Ministries is requesting a grant of $5,000 to support the work of Children’s Disaster Services in Indiana and Iowa, from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund.

Go to for more information about Children’s Disaster Services and for information about how to become a trained disaster child care volunteer.

2) Brethren Disaster Ministries calls for clean-up volunteers in Indiana.

Indiana is ready for volunteers to assist with cleaning up and mucking out following the severe flooding that has affected some 6,500 homes across the state, in an announcement from Brethren Disaster Ministries.

“Brethren in Indiana and surrounding districts are urged to help!” said the announcement from Brethren Disaster Ministries coordinator Jane Yount.

The call for volunteers has come from the Volunteer Reception Center in Franklin, Ind., which is south of Indianapolis in Johnson County. Each group of volunteers that responds is asked to include group leaders who can help manage the job to which the group is assigned. Interested volunteer groups should make arrangements directly with the reception center (see contact information below).

Brethren Disaster Ministries is requesting Brethren groups to contact their district disaster coordinators with information about their plans to volunteer, and for how long. Brethren Disaster Ministries will collect this information to report to the broader church about the response.

Contact the Volunteer Reception Center at 317-738-8801. This phone number will be staffed during regular business hours. Volunteer housing will be available at the Dietz Building, at Franklin College, 251 S. Forsythe St., Franklin, Indiana.

Brethren Disaster Ministries requests those who volunteer to be aware that flood clean-up is dirty and strenuous work. “All volunteers should be up to date with their tetanus vaccination and in good general health,” Yount said. “Please prayerfully consider participating in this relief effort.”

3) CWS repeats call for Emergency Clean-up Buckets, issues correction to drop-off site in Indiana.

Church World Service (CWS) has issued another call for Emergency Clean-up Buckets to respond to storms and flooding in the Midwest. The buckets are kits that may be assembled by congregations, other groups, and individuals, and donated to the disaster clean-up effort. Go to for information about contents and how to assemble the Emergency Clean-up Bucket kits.

Following is the corrected information for the collection point for CWS Emergency Clean-up Buckets in Indiana. Buckets may be dropped off on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at Church World Service, 28606 Phillips St., Elkhart, IN 46515. For more information contact Cindy Watson or Donna Kruis at 800-297-1516. This temporary collection effort in Indiana will end on July 31.

An e-mail from CWS staff on June 18 noted “the heavy need for CWS Emergency Clean-up Buckets. As we watch flooding in the Midwest, assembly of CWS Emergency Clean-up Buckets will help us respond all the more quickly to needs.”

4) Plains states Brethren still dealing with destruction caused by tornadoes.

Families from Quinter (Kan.) Church of the Brethren were affected by tornadoes that hit near the town in May. While the town of Quinter was spared, 15 families living in the surrounding area suffered moderate to total loss, reported pastor Keith Funk.

“Moderate losses would include loss of barns and other buildings, farm equipment, fence, and damage to the home–loss of roof, windows, siding damage, etc. Total loss would include all of the above including the home residence,” he said.

One couple in the congregation, Charles and Judy Easton, suffered total loss. However, the Eastons are working at putting their lives back together and moving forward, Funk reported. “Currently, they are staying with a member of our congregation, Margaret Lee Inloes, who has opened her home to them,” he said. “They feel immensely blessed by the help and support they have received from the congregation and the surrounding community. They have blessed our congregation by their continued faithfulness and positive spirit in light of their very difficult circumstances.”

Quinter church members Ross and Sharon Boone also suffered extensive damage to their farm and home, though their home was ultimately spared. Their losses include barns and buildings either totally lost or severely damaged, along with some of their equipment. “In all of this, Ross has been undergoing treatment for cancer. Yet both Ross and Sharon have witnessed to God’s faithfulness in the midst of the storm,” Funk said.

“The community and congregational help and giving has been an inspiration in all of this,” the pastor added. “Though this has been a traumatic time in the life of our community, we have also witnessed the evidence of God’s goodness and grace in the lives of those affected by the storms and in those responding to their neighbors in need.”

5) International Christian leaders call for a season of prayer for Zimbabwe.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) in a release dated June 18, has called on the United Nations to end the violence in the African country of Zimbabwe, and for free and fair elections there. The WCC has invited its member churches to pray for Zimbabwe on Sunday, June 22, as the beginning of a season of prayer for the people and government of the country.

Stan Noffsinger, general secretary of the Church of the Brethren General Board, is encouraging Brethren to join in this season of prayer for Zimbabwe.

In a letter to UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, the WCC expressed continued concern about the situation in Zimbabwe and asked the world body to utilize its resources to assure an end to pre-election violence and a free and fair election on June 27.

The letter from WCC general secretary Samuel Kobia states the dismay of the council and its member churches “at the news of the brutality meted out by police and other government forces in Zimbabwe,” and refers to President Robert Mugabe’s statement last week that he would “go to war” rather than acknowledge an election victory by the opposition.

Churches in the region have reported on atrocities. An extensive dossier has been compiled by the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa about the situation in Zimbabwe, prepared under the leadership of Allan Boesak of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa. The WCC said that the dossier presents graphic details of violence.

The WCC is appealing to the government of Zimbabwe to assure free and fair elections, allowing for election monitors, and the distribution of food and other humanitarian aid, and is calling on the churches in southern Africa to initiate a healing and reconciliation process immediately following the elections.

Go to for the text of the WCC letter to the United Nations. Go to for more about WCC member churches in Zimbabwe.

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. Judy Bezon contributed to this report. Newsline appears every other Wednesday, with other special issues sent as needed. The next regularly scheduled issue is set for July 2. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. For more Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine, call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.

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