Newsline for August 13, 2008

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

“Oh Lord…how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:1)


1) Brethren Disaster Ministries receives $50,000 grant to continue Katrina rebuilding.
2) Ministry Summer Service participants complete internship program.
3) Mission trip to the Dominican Republic builds faith, relationships.
4) Brethren bits: Correction, personnel, jobs, YAC, and more.


5) David Whitten resigns as mission coordinator for Nigeria.
6) Tim Button-Harrison called as district executive for N. Plains.
7) Leslie Frye is new coordinator for Ministry of Reconciliation.
8) Nancy Miner to be manager in office of associate general secretary.


9) On Earth Peace promotes International Day of Prayer for Peace.
10) Christian Citizenship Seminar will focus on modern-day slavery.
11) Ministry of Reconciliation announces its Fall workshop schedule.

A Newsline Special with further reflections on the 300th Anniversary of the Brethren movement may be expected within the next week, along with a more complete photo journal from the anniversary events that took place in Schwarzenau, Germany, on Aug. 2-3.
For Newsline subscription information go to For more Church of the Brethren news go to, click on “News” to find a news feature, links to Brethren in the news, photo albums, conference reporting, webcasts, and Newsline archive.

1) Brethren Disaster Ministries receives $50,000 grant to continue Katrina rebuilding.

Brethren Disaster Ministries has received an additional allocation from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund to continue rebuilding following Hurricane Katrina. The grant will support the program’s rebuilding site in Chalmette, in the St. Bernard Parish of Louisiana.

The program has announced that it expects to continue working in St. Bernard parish for several more years. The grant will go toward the repair and rebuilding of homes, travel expenses, leadership training, tools and equipment, and food and housing for volunteers.

Prior grants to support this Brethren Disaster Ministries site total $120,000. Brethren Disaster Ministries established a project in Chalmette in February 2007. To date, more than 600 volunteers have given over 4,500 work days and assisted over 50 families in returning to their homes.

Chalmette was one of the most devastated areas when Hurricane Katrina slammed into the northern Gulf Coast. Homes there were flooded with six to 20 feet of water for more than two weeks. More than 200 parish residents lost their lives and 100 percent of the homes were officially “uninhabitable.” Current estimates indicate that if one house were built per day in the parish, it would take nearly 74 years to rebuild, Brethren Disaster Ministries reported.

In other disaster relief news, pastor Chuck Berdel of Christ Our Shepherd Church of the Brethren in South/Central Indiana District has been heavily involved in the group coordinating longterm recovery efforts for flood survivors in Johnson County, Ind. He reported to Brethren Disaster Ministries that the Construction Committee is quickly moving forward with planning while homes are still drying out. He was to attend a “Recovery Tools and Training” workshop sponsored by Church World Service on July 31. “I am very humbled and wish to represent Christ Our Shepherd and our denomination well as we heal here from all the devastation,” he said.

2) Ministry Summer Service participants complete internship program.

Eight young adults are completing internships with the Church of the Brethren’s Ministry Summer Service program, which is sponsored by the Office of Ministry and by the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office.

College students who are completing internships include Sarah Dotter of Atlantic Northeast District, Meredith Barton of Middle Pennsylvania District, Dylan Haro of Pacific Southwest District, Andy Duffey and Gabe Dodd of Mid-Atlantic District, John Michael Pickens of Southern Pennsylvania District, Melisa Grandison of Western Plains District, and Samantha Carwile of South/Central Indiana District.

The eight interns began their summer experience with an orientation May 30-June 4 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Throughout the orientation they participated in Bible studies and sessions on topics such as leadership, the call to ministry, spiritual disciplines, Brethren heritage, and personality and work styles. The adults who served as mentors for these young adults joined the orientation for the last two and a half days.

Following the orientation, four students went to Church of the Brethren congregations to serve as assistant summer pastors. The students served at San Diego (Calif.) Church of the Brethren, Palmyra (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, Happy Corner Church of the Brethren in Clayton, Ohio, and Easton (Md.) Church of the Brethren. Four other interns served as the denomination’s Youth Peace Travel Team, visiting Church of the Brethren camps to talk about Jesus’ teaching of peace.

Congregations interested in having a Ministry Summer Service intern next summer are invited to contact Chris Douglas, director of the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office, at

3) Mission trip to the Dominican Republic builds faith, relationships.

Building relationships, heavenly singing, smiling children, and overdosing on chicken are a few of the memories that the 15 volunteers from Chiques Church of the Brethren in Manheim, Pa., will cherish from their June 21-28 mission trip to the Dominican Republic.

Led by Carolyn Fitzkee and Sally White, the group went to build relationships with members of the Church of the Brethren in the DR as they worked together to provide leadership in three Bible schools. In addition, the group worshiped in three congregations–Boca Chica, Carmona, and La Vid Verdadera (The True Vine)–singing in each service. Chiques minister Norm Yeater was called upon to preach at Carmona. He also led devotions and convened debriefing sessions daily.

Additional participants in the trip were Tina and Jennifer Brandt, Kristen and Stephanie Bruckhart, Michelle Ebersole, Carrie Fitzkee, Annie Hickernell, Kent Peters, Travis Pierce, Janice and Diana Shenk, and Rachel Yeater. Church of the Brethren mission coordinators Irvin and Nancy Heishman and daughter, Jenny, hosted the group and accompanied them throughout the week.

On the first Sunday morning in the DR, the group worshiped with the Boca Chica congregation and saw first-hand the new concrete church building that is being constructed there. “Worship was an unbelievable experience,” said Fitzkee. “I felt surrounded by God’s love.”

The group then co-led a two-day Bible school at Carmona, with members of the San Luis congregation. Fellowship with the San Luis Brethren was another highlight. A simple rural church in a batey northeast of Santo Domingo, Carmona serves mostly Haitian immigrants, who experience poverty and discrimination in the DR. “It was hard to see their poverty, but challenging to see their faith,” said Fitzkee.

The Bible school attracted about 100 children. The San Luis Brethren provided Bible teaching, while the Chiques group led crafts and games and put on a puppet show. Extensive advance preparation before the trip helped things go smoothly. The group had met monthly to learn what to expect and prepare for the activities they would lead.

The puppet show was accompanied by a recorded Spanish soundtrack with voices and recording done by members of the Maranatha Multicultural Fellowship in Lancaster, Pa. Crafts included sheep puppets to go with the puppet show on the parable of the lost sheep, braiding bailer twine jump ropes, and coloring. Crayons were a novelty for many of the children, and were left behind for future use. The Brethren World Mission Fund gave a grant of more than $400 to purchase craft and game supplies for the trip.

The Chiques volunteers also helped lead Bible schools for two new church plants in Santo Domingo. One afternoon they led activities for about 50 children on a rented balcony, with members of the Bethel congregation. On the next afternoon, they worked with three busloads of kids (about 130) in an area park, where the La Vid Verdadera congregation held its Vacation Bible School.

“For a lot of our people,” said Fitzkee, “the relationships with the children at the Bible schools will be forever in their minds.”

Along the way, group members experienced some extreme heat and humidity, rough bus rides, a sea urchin sting, occasional unsettled stomachs, cold showers, and some encounters with “wildlife” in hotel rooms. But these indignities were a small price to pay for an enriching, faith-building experience.

While they came home with fond memories and new friendships, the group left behind items to assist the Dominican churches in their ministry, including puppets and the puppet show soundtrack, a parachute, Frisbees, crayons, and a gift for each of the hosting congregations including a tarp, and Spanish version DVDs of the “Journey in Jesus Way” curriculum. The group also brought along and handed out 433 stuffed sheep that had been donated in memory of a Chiques youth who died in November 2007 in a motorcycle accident.

–Donald Fitzkee is an ordained minister and member of Chiques Church of the Brethren.

4) Brethren bits: Correction, personnel, jobs, YAC, and more.

  • Correction: The church affiliation for the two youth who were baptized in the Eder River in Schwarzenau, Germany, during the international celebration of the 300th Anniversary of the Brethren movement was incorrectly reported in Newsline. Lauren Knepp and John Michael Knepp are members of Curryville (Pa.) Church of the Brethren.
  • A donor and accounts receivable specialist is sought to fill a fulltime position at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Interviews will begin Aug. 18. Responsibilities include receiving and processing donations, accounts receivable and miscellaneous cash processing including reporting, coordinating an NGS accounts receivable system in Elgin, maintaining a thorough knowledge of all donor system financial reports and their impact on each other, donation information management, coordination of a mortgage system which includes gift related and church mortgage loans, creation and uploading of miscellaneous journals throughout the month. Qualifications include excellent typing and data entry skills, accuracy and efficiency in use of a 10-key calculator, attention to detail, ability to be a team worker, mature judgment and character, ability to maintain confidentiality, with proficiency in spreadsheet applications and word processing skills and accounting knowledge helpful. Required education and experience includes a high school diploma, with some accounting background helpful, and an associate degree in accounting, finance, or business preferred; at least two years of experience in a related field; experience working with money, and some computer experience required. Qualified candidates are invited to complete an application form, submit a resume and a letter of application, and request three references to send letters of recommendation to the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren General Board, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120-1694; or contact or 800-323-8039 ext. 258.
  • Dates and location for the 2009 Young Adult Conference have been announced: May 29-31, at Camp Swatara in Bethel, Pa. This conference is for young adults ages 18-35, sponsored by the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry.
  • The denomination’s National Youth Cabinet met at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., Aug. 1-3. The group of five youth includes Seth Keller, Joel Rhodes, Elizabeth Willis, Turner Ritchie, and Tricia Ziegler. The cabinet worked on selecting the National Youth Theme for 2009 and on plans for next year’s National Youth Sunday, along with worship materials to be sent to youth groups across the denomination.
  • The Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., recently witnessed results of the church’s work for peace in the world. Forty years ago US forces were fighting in Vietnam. This year, in late July, the New Windsor Conference Center hosted a youth retreat for 100 members of the Capital Vietnamese Christian Fellowship based in Maryland. The program for the youth included volunteer opportunities at SERRV International and a chance to learn more about the organizations at the Brethren Service Center. “For those of us old enough to remember the Vietnam War, what a joy it is to see this generation of Vietnamese youth in New Windsor working side by side with Brethren and other denominations making a difference in the world,” commented public relations director Kathleen Campanella.
  • An article titled “Caring for Children in the Aftermath of Disaster” in the online professional journal “Children, Youth, and Environments” reviews the work of the Church of the Brethren Children’s Disaster Services program. The article was co-authored by Judy Gump, a Church of the Brethren member from northern Colorado and a professor of Early Childhood Education at AIMS Community College in Greeley, Colo., along with Lori Peek of the Department of Sociology at Colorado State University, and Jeannette Sutton of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Gump has worked with Children’s Disaster Services since 1984 as a childcare giver, project manager, trainer, and regional coordinator, and is on the Critical Response Child Care Team. Go to to read the article.
  • Dottie Steele, Marlys Hershberger, and Mark Liller led a traditional Brethren love feast as part of the “2008 Matter of Faith Summer Series” offered by the Interfaith Committee of the Ecumenical Conference of Greater Altoona, Pa. The three are all ordained in the Church of the Brethren, and Steele has been a member of the Interfaith Committee since 2002. The theme of this year’s summer season, “How We Worship,” provided an opportunity to share a unique Brethren worship service with the community, as well as some of the history of the Brethren in this 300th Anniversary year. The service was hosted by Hollidaysburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren on July 17.
  • The “Wall Street Journal” recently published an article about a summer program that meets at York Center Church of the Brethren in Lombard, Ill. “Summer camp at the York Community Resource Center in suburban Chicago offers all the usual activities: arts and crafts, sports, computer games, new adventures in reading,” the article begins. “But the prime attraction for Elizabeth Castro, who drops off her two children every morning, is the activity that begins at noon: lunch.” The July 8 article by Roger Thurow and Anna Prior highlighted the food crisis for many American families, and the way that day camps and summer camp programs help keep children fed. Go to the church’s website at to find a link to the article. The York Center church also is holding a benefit concert and ice cream social on Aug. 16 to benefit disaster flood relief.
  • Scott Major, pastor of Pottstown (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren, was the prime attraction at a “dunk the pastor” booth at the town’s “Night Out” event Aug. 5. Other activities included music, crafts and food, games, a magician, child identification kits, and a Relay for Life, according to a report in the “Pottstown Mercury.” The event is held to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness in the community and to strengthen neighborhood spirit and partnership with the police.
  • “Reading Biblical Books in Context: A Study of the Festal Scrolls” is a continuing education event of the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center to be taught by Robert Neff on Sept. 9. The class will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa. The course will explore ways to read a particular writing based on the context in which it is found. Cost is $50 and includes light refreshments and lunch. An additional $10 documentation fee is required to receive continuing education units. The registration deadline is Sept. 1. Contact or call 717-361-1450.
  • Juniata College’s “2008 General Election” course is offering eight students the opportunity to attend the 2008 national party conventions, according to a release from the college in Huntingdon, Pa. Six students plus Dennis Plane, assistant professor of politics, will travel to Denver to attend the Democratic National Convention from Aug. 25-28, followed the next week by two student attendees at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn. The trips are organized in part by the Washington Center in Washington, D.C. “Instead of learning about campaigns from a text book, we are going to look at a campaign as it naturally unfolds,” said Plane. He will assign students who did not travel to the conventions to watch them on television. “The media looks at politics differently than voters and the students who watch the conventions will have a different perspective than the students who were in attendance,” he explained. Plane is expanding on a formula he first developed as a visiting assistant professor at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., when he accompanied students to the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
  • The August edition of “Brethren Voices” celebrates three years of community television programming by Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren with a trip to the Amazonian Rainforest of Ecuador. The show highlights the work of New Community Project, a Church of the Brethren related nonprofit, which has been providing learning tours to the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest for four years. The learning tours take people to the Cuyabeno Ecological Reserve at the headwaters of the Amazon River, hosted by SELVA, a nongovernmental international organization that since 1997 has been actively engaged in supporting the indigenous communities of the rainforest. In support of SELVA, the New Community Project has agreed to purchase and preserve a 137-acre parcel of rainforest adjacent to the Cuyabeno Ecological Reserve. Go to for information about the project. In September, “Brethren Voices” will celebrate 60 years of Brethren Volunteer Service. As told by Jim Lehman, the program features the story of Brethren youth who made the proposal of BVS to the 1948 Annual Conference, and a group interview with four of the first BVSers: Alma and Irvan Long, Julia Larade, and Vernon Merkey. For copies of these programs contact producer Ed Groff, Portland Peace Church of the Brethren, at
  • Leaders in the National Council of Churches in the USA (NCC) and the Orthodox Peace Fellowship have issued statements on the Russia-Georgia conflict, according to a release from the NCC. “Russia’s attack on Georgia is a disheartening reminder that the 21st century remains a primitive age of fanatical nationalism and military bullying,” said NCC general secretary Michael Kinnamon. “The military intervention in Georgia, like all actions born of hatred or callous self-interest, is an act of madness, a senseless rejection of God’s love and salvation.” Leaders of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship issued a letter stating, “What a sin and a scandal it is to see these armies shedding each other’s blood. That such an event can happen is a poignant reminder of how often, among Orthodox Christians no less than others, national identity easily takes priority over our common identity as children of the One God.” Go to for Kinnamon’s statement and a link to the Orthodox Peace Fellowship letter.
  • Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) has announced a delegation to the Kurdish north of Iraq on Jan. 8-22, 2009. “The Kurds of northern Iraq faced discrimination, terror, and death under the regime of Saddam Hussein. As the security situation deteriorated in southern and central Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, thousands of displaced persons fled to the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG)-controlled area in the north. Recently, northern border villages have suffered military attacks by Turkey and Iran,” CPT explained. CPT has had a presence in Iraq since Oct. 2002, first in Baghdad and since Nov. 2006 in the Kurdish north. The fundraising expectation for participants is $3,500. Contact CPT, PO Box 6508, Chicago, IL 60680; or 773-277-0253; or see Applications must be received by Nov. 10.
  • Dawn Ottoni Wilhelm has written a new commentary on “Preaching the Gospel of Mark: Proclaiming the Power of God,” published by Westminster John Knox Press. Wilhelm is a member of the faculty of the Church of the Brethren’s Bethany Theological Seminary, where she is associate professor of preaching and worship. In this 300-page paperback volume, she combines biblical scholarship with a close reading of the text to meet the needs of preachers. Swift and purposeful, the Gospel of Mark proclaims God’s reign and urges the participation of all God’s people in the witness of the good news that God has transformed human reality through Jesus Christ. Wilhelm’s new commentary is intended to help that message come alive while providing pertinent suggestions about how preachers can proclaim the message to today’s churchgoers. Order “Preaching the Gospel of Mark” through Brethren Press for $24.95 plus shipping and handling, call 800-441-3712.
  • Seven-year-old Natalia Contreras found herself in the media spotlight when she asked a question of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama at a town hall meeting in Elkhart, Ind. The second-grader is the granddaughter of pastor Frank Ramirez of Everett (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, and was accompanied to the meeting by her grandmother, Jenny Ramirez. Contreras stood on a chair to ask the question, “Why did you run for president?” Her question and Obama’s answer were covered by the “South Bend Tribune” and Fox News Channel 28 in South Bend. Go to for the newspaper report. Go to
    &LaunchPageAdTag=Homepage&activePane=info&rnd=51483016 for the video clip.

5) David Whitten resigns as mission coordinator for Nigeria.

David Whitten has resigned as the Church of the Brethren’s mission coordinator in Nigeria. He has served for two-and-a-half years in the position, as staff of the denomination’s Global Mission Partnerships program. He and his wife, Judith, plan to leave Nigeria at the end of the year to explore other ministry opportunities.

Whitten began in the position in the summer of 2006. His main responsibilities have been to lead the Church of the Brethren team in Nigeria and to relate to leadership of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN–the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). In other work in Nigeria, Whitten served from 1991-94 as a rural development consultant for the Church of the Brethren.

He was previously employed by Gould Farm in Monterey, Mass., as manager from 1986-91. The facility is a residential psycho-social therapeutic facility for adults with mental illness, and is a Brethren Volunteer Service project site. Whitten is ordained in the Church of the Brethren and has served as a pastor. He holds a master of divinity degree from Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

6) Tim Button-Harrison called as district executive for N. Plains.

Tim Button-Harrison has been called as district executive minister of the Church of the Brethren’s Northern Plains District, on a half-time basis. He has been serving as interim district executive since Nov. 2006.

Button-Harrison attended Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., majoring in peace studies and religion, and also holds a degree in religion from the University of Iowa. He graduated from Bethany Seminary in 1990.

He has served as a pastor for district congregations in Iowa. He also brings broad district experience to the position, including service as a District Board member, district moderator, district coordinator for Training in Ministry, and Standing Committee member. He was installed as Northern Plains District executive minister in a service during the recent District Conference.

7) Leslie Frye is new coordinator for Ministry of Reconciliation.

On Earth Peace has announced the appointment of Leslie Frye as program coordinator for the Ministry of Reconciliation. Frye currently is a member of a non-salaried pastoral team at Monitor Community Church of the Brethren in rural McPherson, Kan.

Frye graduated from Bethany Theological Seminary in 2004 with a Peace Studies emphasis, and was ordained to ministry in the Church of the Brethren in 2005. She is active in the Church of the Brethren’s Western Plains District, where she is serving as district moderator and as a member of the Area Ministry Team. She is a Kansas State Supreme Court-approved mediator, and has worked with the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution as a trainer and a volunteer mediator.

Frye will work from her home in McPherson, and can be reached by e-mail at or by telephone at 620-755-3940.

8) Nancy Miner to be manager in office of associate general secretary.

Nancy Miner will move into a staff position at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., as manager of Office Operations in the office of one of the two new associate general secretaries.

Miner will serve as manager in the Office of the Associate General Secretary of Ministry and Program/Executive Director of the Caring Ministries, beginning Sept. 1. She has worked for the Association of Brethren Caregivers as administrative assistant since May 2004. Previously she served in a number of positions with Brethren Benefit Trust, first as claims processing assistant, then as customer service representative, and finally in the communications department.

Miner and her family live in Elgin and are members of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren.

9) On Earth Peace promotes International Day of Prayer for Peace.

On Earth Peace is inviting Church of the Brethren congregations and members to observe the International Day of Prayer for Peace on Sept. 21. So far, the organization reports that more than 90 congregations and Brethren organizations have committed to holding prayer vigils on or around that date. The number includes communities across the US and in two other countries, reports coordinator Michael Colvin.

“The goal of the campaign is to help congregations be able to respond to local violence issues in their communities with positive action,” Colvin said. “Participating congregations are being encouraged to build new and deeper relationships with people in their communities while gathering information about what violence is affecting them.”

The On Earth Peace website for the International Day of Prayer for Peace is greatly improved over last year, Colvin reported. Many new resources are being offered this year, including a three-minute video prepared by pastor Larry O’Neill of Skippack Church of the Brethren in Collegeville, Pa., and a news clip about the 2007 International Day of Prayer for Peace event planned by Harrisburg (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren. A Community Violence Survey is available, and participating groups may register at the site as well. Go to to access the website.

For more information contact Michael Colvin, On Earth Peace International Day of Prayer for Peace Coordinator, at or 626-921-4712 or see his blogspot at

10) Christian Citizenship Seminar will focus on modern-day slavery.

On April 25-30, 2009, high school age youth and advisors in the Church of the Brethren will gather in New York City and Washington, D.C., for the 2009 Christian Citizenship Seminar. The focus for the seminar will be modern-day slavery. The event is sponsored by the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry and the Brethren Witness/Washington Office.

“Most of us think of slavery as an institution that does not exist anymore, but many experts estimate that there are approximately 27 million human beings who are currently being held in slavery around the world,” said an announcement of the event. “What would Jesus do? What does God call us to do in light of these persons forced to perform domestic and agricultural work as well as to become prostitutes or soldiers against their will? We will examine the current status of slavery today and what our Christian faith invites us to do for ‘the least of these.’”

Brochures are now available from the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office, call 800-323-8039.

11) Ministry of Reconciliation announces its Fall workshop schedule.

The Ministry of Reconciliation of On Earth Peace is announcing three regional workshops to take place this fall.

“Exploring Consensus Decision-making” will take place at Richmond (Ind.) Church of the Brethren on Oct. 4, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The workshop will explore the underlying principles of decision by consensus, the process itself, and participate in a mock meeting where a decision is made using consensus. Cost to participants is $60 per person or $100 for groups of three or more. Leadership is provided by Charletta Erb of Chicago, Ill., and Wanda Joseph of Brethren, Mich.

“Keeping a Cool Head in a Hot Meeting” will be presented at Camp Mack in Milford, Ind.. on Nov. 13-14 by Celia Cook-Huffman, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Juniata College. Participants will learn the best way to structure meetings with an eye to efficiency, openness, and clarity, and will learn basic guidelines to use when anxiety levels are high, and how to lead difficult discussions. Cost is $155 for overnight lodgers and $120 for commuters.

“Keeping a Christian Attitude, Skills for Holding Difficult Conversations” will be held at Frederick (Md.) Church of the Brethren from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Nov. 15. The workshop is co-sponsored by the Service and Outreach Ministry Team of Mid-Atlantic District. Participants will learn to prepare well for difficult conversations, create the space for honest sharing when emotions run high, and utilize conversation to build trust and understanding. Cost to participants is $20.

For more information, click on “Upcoming Events” at or contact Leslie Frye, Ministry of Reconciliation coordinator, at 410-635-8704.

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. Annie Clark, Chris Douglas, Ed Groff, Bob Gross, Jon Kobel, Karin Krog, Frank Ramirez, John Wall, Christy Waltersdorff, and Jane Yount contributed to this report. Newsline appears every other Wednesday, with other special issues sent as needed. The next regularly scheduled issue is set for Aug. 27. 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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