Newsline for November 19, 2008

November 19, 2008

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

“Remember Jesus Christ…” (2 Timothy 2:8a).

1) Children’s Disaster Services responds to California wildfires.
2) Brethren funds disburse grants for disaster relief, food security.
3) Brethren support hunger report reviewing Millennium Development Goals.
4) Summit for progressive Brethren meets in Indianapolis.
5) Brethren bits: Correction, remembrance, personnel, and more.

6) Bolds to coordinate online gifts for Church of the Brethren.
7) Heishman to direct theological education in the Dominican Republic.

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New on the Internet is an opportunity to help raise funds for the Core Ministries budget of the new denominational structure Church of the Brethren Inc. By using for Internet searches, and when making purchases online, members of the church may help raise money for Brethren ministries. At both websites, identify the designated cause as follows: Church of the Brethren (Elgin, IL). For more information contact the Church of the Brethren’s funding director Ken Neher at
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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.
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1) Children’s Disaster Services responds to California wildfires.

Children’s Disaster Services worked in three shelters in southern California over the weekend and into the early part of this week, responding to the latest round of wildfires there. Four wildfires sprang up in southern California over the weekend, burning tens of thousands of acres and destroying hundreds of homes.

Children’s Disaster Services is a program of the Church of the Brethren, and is the oldest and largest nationwide organization specializing in children’s disaster related needs. The program sends teams of trained and certified volunteers to set up child care centers in disaster areas at the invitation of the American Red Cross and FEMA.

On Sunday, Nov. 16, eight volunteers from Children’s Disaster Services were at work in the shelters in southern California, and by Monday, 12 volunteers were in place. More than 40 child contacts were made by the volunteers over those two days. The child care response continued on Tuesday as well.

Gloria Cooper often provides leadership for the southern California rapid response team from Children’s Disaster Services. “The shelter was in great turmoil today,” she said in an e-mail report from the shelter that served the Oakridge Mobile Home Park. At the mobile home park, “some 488 trailers were melted down by the fire,” Cooper said. “There was a long and confusing process of announcing names and addresses of persons who were to be taken, one bus load at a time to the trailer park. The residents who had homes still standing, had ten minutes to enter their homes and then return to the bus to be returned to the shelter.”

A Children’s Disaster Services Level I Workshop is planned for southern California, at La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren, in March 2009. Participation in a workshop and a background check are required for Children’s Disaster Services volunteers. Go to for more about how to volunteer.

In other news from Brethren Disaster Ministries, a flood recovery project in Rushford, Minn., held its first house dedication on Sept. 30 for the Hanson family. The project is scheduled to close on Dec. 14, after having completed the building of seven homes.

2) Brethren funds disburse grants for disaster relief, food security.

Two Church of the Brethren funds–the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) and the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF)–have given a total of $88,000 in recent grants.

An EDF grant of $50,000 has been given for the Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding program at Hurricane Katrina site 4 in Chalmette, La. The grant continues support for the rebuilding project, as well as travel expenses, leadership training, tools and equipment, and food and housing for volunteers.

An additional allocation of $3,000 from the EDF supports the work of Children’s Disaster Services to aid families affected by Hurricane Ike in Texas. A previous grant of $5,000 was not sufficient to meet the food and shelter needs for volunteers who worked at four shelters in Texas.

A GFCF grant of $15,000 supports Church World Service (CWS) partner Christian Center for Development in Haiti. The grant will help coordinate food and livelihood security programs.

An allocation of $10,000 from the GFCF supports a CWS appeal for agricultural and technical assistance to 500 poor farm families in Pakistan, as well as the distribution of cans for safe water storage and hand pumps.

An allocation of $10,000 from the GFCF has been given to Proyecto Aldeal Global in Honduras to support 1,000 families in rural, flooded communities with emergency replanting of corn and bean crops.

3) Brethren support hunger report reviewing Millennium Development Goals.

The Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund has given $5,000 to support publication of Bread for the World’s “Hunger Report 2009.” This year’s Hunger Report reviews the progress of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. “Hunger Report 2009″ was released by Bread for the World on Nov. 14 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

In 2006 the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference adopted a resolution in support of the Millennium Development Goals, which aim to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases, ensure environmental stability, and develop global partnership. The goals have been set forth as global objectives to be achieved by 2015. The US signed and committed to the Millennium Declaration along with 188 other countries at a UN summit in 2000.

The Bread for the World report includes an annex with the Millennium Development Goals indicators and visual representations of regional progress made in key areas. The organization plans on having a downloadable, user-friendly way to access this annex online at Because of the Church of the Brethren sponsorship, the report this year also includes a brief statement about the Global Food Crisis Fund.

In September, the UN issued a Millennium Development Goals Report 2008 and held events to mark the half-way point to the target date of 2015. “The world has made strong and sustained progress in reducing extreme poverty…but this is now being undercut by higher prices, particularly of food and oil, and the global economic slowdown,” a UN release said.

“Improved estimates of poverty from the World Bank show that the number of poor in the developing world is larger than previously thought, at 1.4 billion people,” the release said. “But the new estimates confirm that between 1990 and 2005, the number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen–from 1.8 to 1.4 billion–and that the 1990 global poverty rate is likely to be halved by 2015…. Most of the decline occurred in eastern Asia, particularly China. Other regions have seen much smaller decreases in the poverty rate.”

In a foreword to the UN progress report, secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon wrote that “the largely benign development environment that has prevailed since the early years of this decade, and that has contributed to the successes to date, is now threatened. The economic slowdown will diminish the incomes of the poor; the food crisis will raise the number of hungry people in the world and push millions more into poverty; climate change will have a disproportionate impact on the poor.

“The need to address these concerns, pressing as they are, must not be allowed to detract from our longterm efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals,” Ban Ki-Moon stated. “On the contrary, our strategy must be to keep the focus on the MDGs as we confront these new challenges. Looking ahead to 2015 and beyond, there is no question that we can achieve the overarching goal: we can put an end to poverty. But it requires an unswerving, collective, longterm effort.”

A few gains noted in the UN release:

  • Primary school enrollment has reached 90 per cent, and is in striking distance of the 2015 goal of 100 per cent, in all but two out of 10 regions of the world. Within primary schools, gender parity (share of girls’ enrollment as compared to boys’) is at 95 per cent in six out of 10 regions.
  • Deaths from measles have been cut in one third between 2000 and 2006, and the vaccination rate among developing world children has reached 80 per cent.
  • More than one and a half billion people have gained access to clean drinking water since 1990–but due to stress on freshwater resources nearly three billion people now live in regions facing water scarcity.

Among challenges noted by the UN report:

  • More than half a million mothers in developing countries die in childbirth or from pregnancy complications every year.
  • About one quarter of developing world children are undernourished.
  • Almost half of the developing world population still lack improved sanitation facilities.

For a free copy of the Bread for the World “Hunger Report 2009” contact Howard Royer, manager of the Global Food Crisis Fund, at 800-323-8039.

4) Summit for progressive Brethren meets in Indianapolis.

Gathering under the theme “Faithful and Just: Progressive Brethren Speak,” nearly 200 people gathered at Northview Church of the Brethren in Indianapolis, Ind., on Nov. 7-9. The meeting was billed as a “summit” for progressive Brethren exploring the reality and possibilities for the role of progressives in the Church of the Brethren today.

In Friday evening’s worship planned by Nancy Faus-Mullen of Richmond, Ind., preachers Audrey DeCoursey representing the Womaen’s Caucus, and Ken Kline Smeltzer representing Voices for an Open Spirit addressed the theme, “The Challenged Church.” The two speakers explored difficulties progressive Christians face and challenges for the church.

On Saturday morning Robert Miller, chair of Christian and Religious Studies at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., led an educational plenary under the theme, “The Grounded Church.” His lecture provoked wide-ranging queries from the audience, including questions such as, “Who is the historical Jesus?” and “How should we be grounded in the Kingdom of God?”

The afternoon was dedicated to numerous workshops including “Joy-Filled Biblical Spirituality,” “Processing the 2008 Elections,” “Hospitality for the Coming Age,” “Sharing Amidst Scarcity,” “Motivating Greater LGBT Rights and Advocacy,” “Storytelling as a Tool of Resistance,” “Progressive Evangelism,” “Greening the Church,” and others.

Saturday evening worship was led by Kimberly Koczan-Flory of Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Ind. Susan Stern Boyer, pastor of La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren, challenged worshipers to consider what it means to be “A Welcoming Church,” with a call to travel along a “wide road.” The evening culminated with music by David Hupp, James Towns, and Paul Fry-Miller, followed by the band Mutual Kumquat with musicians Chris Good, Drue Gray, and Seth Hendricks. Good performed a song written especially for the progressive Brethren who were at the summit.

Prior to Sunday morning worship, a general strategy session was held in which participants shared hopes and visions for how progressive Brethren might pursue their faith and practice in congregations, the denomination, and their own lives.

Closing worship brought together conference-goers and the Northview congregation in a service designed by Elizabeth Keller of Bethany Theological Seminary. Kurt Borgmann, pastor of Manchester Church of the Brethren in North Manchester, Ind., preached about “A Courageous Church”–a church moving into the future faithfully as it faces conflict and pain.

The summit was hosted, planned, and sponsored by Voices for an Open Spirit, the Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests, the Womaen’s Caucus of the Church of the Brethren, Christian Community, and the Northview congregation. A similar event is being planned for 2009, to take place in another region of the country.

–Phil Jones is director of the Brethren Witness/Washington Office.

5) Brethren bits: Correction, remembrance, personnel, and more.

  • Corrections: In the retirement notice for Dave Ingold, incorrect information was given about the replacement of aging air conditioning systems at the Church of the Brethren General Offices: the old system was replaced by a thermal ice storage system.
  • James Brubaker Bowman, 92, an ordained Church of the Brethren minister and life-long missionary to Nigeria, died on Nov. 8. He was born on Aug. 31, 1916, in Hagerstown, Ind., the oldest of four children of Vinna Ressa (Brubaker) and O. Clinton Bowman. He married Merle (Allen) Bowman of Modesto, Calif., in 1937 and they graduated from La Verne College (now the University of La Verne) in 1941. He completed a master of divinity degree at Bethany Theological Seminary in 1944. The Bowmans served as Church of the Brethren missionaries in Nigeria from 1946-75, with three years (1960-63) in Elgin, Ill., working on the Foreign Mission Commission staff of the Church of the Brethren. During his tenure in Nigeria, Bowman built the church, school, shop, dispensary, and mission house at Gulak, and served in evangelism, Christian education, agriculture, dispensary work, vehicle maintenance, and building construction in the towns of Lassa, Garkida, Virgwi (at the leprosarium), and Shafa. He spoke three languages of northeastern Nigeria fluently, a skill that served him well in his translation, literature, and leadership training work. In 1976, following a call from a former student, Jabani Mambula, who was working in the Borno State government in northern Nigeria, the Bowmans taught Christian Religious Knowledge in former Church of the Brethren schools in Waka. In 1982 they retired to Modesto, Calif., and in 1986 moved to Wenatchee, Wash. Until his death, Bowman was very active in the Sunnyslope Brethren/United Church of Christ in Wenatchee, where he served on the Leadership Team and as a deacon. He also sang in Wenatchee’s “Columbia Chorale” until age 89 and often played organ for vesper services. He was preceded in death by his wife, Merle, in 2002. He is survived by his children C. Ivan Bowman, Esther (Bowman) and Steven Gregory, James R. and Sally Bowman, Carol Joy Bowman and Ben Green, and Maurice and Bernadette Badibanga; 13 grandchildren; and many great grandchildren. A memorial service was held on Nov. 15 at Sunnyslope Brethren/United Church of Christ. Memorial gifts are received by the Church of the Brethren, designated for “African missions.” Condolences to the family may be sent care of Carol Bowman, 1210 Jefferson St., Wenatchee, WA 98801.
  • Allen K. Easley has been named dean of the College of Law at the University of La Verne, Calif. Easley was named to the position in the midst of the university’s effort to obtain full American Bar Association approval for the college. Easley comes to ULV College of Law from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn., where he was appointed dean in 2004. His academic experience also includes 25 years at Washburn University School of Law, 13 of them as associate dean for Academic Affairs. He chaired the ABA’s Questionnaire Committee for four years and was a member of the Association of American Law Schools’ Executive Committee for three years. He takes a position made vacant by Donald J. Dunn, who passed away in January, and held in the interim by H. Randall Rubin.
  • Bibek Sahu has accepted a short-term position working for the Church of the Brethren in Yei, southern Sudan. He will be placed with Reconcile International, a peace and reconciliation organization. Sahu will work to upgrade and update an existing computer system and train personnel to maintain it, and will assist Reconcile personnel to access and maintain a website. He brings more than 15 years of experience of software development, computer consulting, programing, and UNIX System Administration, and holds a degree in Computer Science from Iowa State University. He has been active in Wichita (Kan.) Church of the Brethren and currently attends Stover Church of the Brethren in Des Moines, Iowa. He also has worked with Trees for Life, a nonprofit organization based in Wichita, as a fulltime volunteer since 2002, giving technical support for the design and implementation of the Trees for Life Journal and assisting in network management and technical service. He departs for Sudan on Dec. 8.
  • Several new employees have begun work at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Nate Gibson is a new employee in Dining Services; he has had previous work experience in large kitchen operations at Westminster Nursing Home. Jed Smith is a temporary employee in the Material Resources program, and after that assignment will work in the kitchen as a regular on-call temporary employee; he comes from a career working with horse farms. Cristian Villegas is a temporary employee in Material Resources, unloading boxcars. Yahaira Rodriguez is a temporary on-call empoyee in Dining Services; she recently relocated from Allentown, Pa.
  • The New Windsor (Md.) Conference Center is extending appreciation to a number of volunteer hosts. Emily and Red Brandon were hosts for the Old Main building in September, and in Zigler Hall for the first two weeks of October. Tony and Claire Fortune are serving as hosts for Zigler Hall through the first two weeks of December. Michael and Barbara Hodson completed a month of service as volunteer hosts in Windsor Hall in October. Ric and Jan Martinez are the hosts for the Old Main building for the month of November.
  • The Church of the Brethren seeks an individual or couple skilled in peace and reconciliation work and/or mediation to serve a three-year placement in Yei, southern Sudan, to begin as soon as possible. The placement will be with Reconcile, a peace and reconciliation partnering organization with the Church of the Brethren. The position will include working within the program of Reconcile, helping further the work that is presently being done as well as helping to develop new programs and possible new locations for expansion, and interpreting Reconcile’s work to the Church of the Brethren. Reconcile’s work includes conflict resolution between groups in southern Sudan following 21 years of civil war, addressing situations such as conflicts between tribes, communities, and the repatriation of ex-combatants; trauma transformation; good governance; holding workshops to help the populace understand what it means to be responsible citizens in light of upcoming elections; working with politicians to help them effectively serve the people. Candidates should bring relevant education and experience in the areas of peace and reconciliation or mediation, experience in international cross-cultural settings, grounding in Church of the Brethren identity and practice, and a team orientation. The church seeks candidates with the maturity that comes from both life and professional experiences. Candidates must be open to living in a cultural milieu that includes people from many countries and different expressions of Christianity. Ordination is not necessary for the position. Contact Karin Krog, Office of Human Resources, at or 800-323-8039 ext. 258.
  • An opening for an archival intern has been announced by the Brethren Historical Library and Archives at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., for one year beginning July 2009. The purpose of the program is to develop interest in vocations related to archives and libraries and/or Brethren history. Compensation includes housing, a stipend of $520 every two weeks, and health insurance. A graduate student is preferred, or an undergraduate with at least two years of college. The intern should be willing to work with details, have accurate word processing skills, and be able to lift 30-pound boxes. The application deadline is Feb. 28, 2009. Send a resume, college transcript (can be an unofficial copy), and three reference letters to the Office of Human Resources, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; or For more information contact the Brethren Historical Library and Archives at or 800-323-8039 ext. 294.
  • The Brethren Witness/Washington Office is inviting church members to an annual vigil at Fort Benning, Ga., to help close the School of the Americas (WHINSEC). The School of Americas Watch vigil is Nov. 21-23. Fort Benning houses the School of the Americas/Western Institute for Security Cooperation, whose graduates have been connected with human rights abuses. Events sponsored by the Brethren Witness/Washington Office will include an information table outside the gates of Fort Benning Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 22-23, a Brethren Gathering on Saturday evening Nov. 22, and an opportunity for Brethren to march together in the procession on Sunday, Nov. 23. Contact the Brethren Witness/Washington Office, 800-785-3246.
  • The deadline is Jan. 19, 2009, for applications for the next Youth Peace Travel Team. The team travels to camps throughout the Church of the Brethren to talk with young people about the Christian message and the Brethren tradition of peacemaking. The team is sponsored by the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry, the Brethren Witness/Washington Office, Brethren Volunteer Service, On Earth Peace, and the Outdoor Ministries Association. Church of the Brethren young adults between the ages of 19-22 may apply. A stipend is paid to team members. Applications are due to the Brethren Witness/Washington Office by Jan. 19, go to or call 800-785-3246.
  • Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., has scheduled its next Campus Visit Day for March 6, 2009. Sixteen people took part in a Fall Campus Visit Day on Nov. 7. Register for the Spring Campus Visit Day at or contact Elizabeth Keller, director of admissions, at or 765-983-1832.
  • Next year’s Song and Story Fest, the annual family camp co-sponsored by On Earth Peace, will be held at Camp Peaceful Pines near Dardanelle, Calif., on July 3-9. The event is timed to follow the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in San Diego.
  • Three dozen senior high youth and advisors gathered Oct. 4-5 at Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., for a Regional Youth Conference exploring faith and politics. Phil Jones, director of the Brethren Witness/Washington Office, led sessions emphasizing the possibilities that Christians can help bring about. “Politicians and political structures are not going to be the answers for this world,” Jones said. He described from scripture what the world “should be” and told youth, “It’s up to us to help (government) get there. It’s putting our basic and core faith understandings into action.” Sessions explored topics of justice, passion, and humility, using Micah 6:8 as a central text. Paul Fry-Miller led music for the weekend, while Manchester students helped to lead small groups for deeper discussion. The two-man band Jayber Crow gave a concert.
  • A new documentary titled “Pax Service: An Alternative to War” reviews a Mennonite Central Committee service program that ran from 1951-75, and will premier on the Hallmark Channel on Sunday, Nov. 23, at 7 a.m. eastern time. The documentary tells the story of a program in which some 1,200 young volunteers did relief and development work in 40 countries around the world–including the story of a couple of Brethren who took part in the program. Longtime Church of the Brethren members Walter Daggett of Bridgewater, Va., and Ralph Warner of Broadway, Va. both appear in the documentary. Wendy McFadden, executive director of Brethren Press, also consulted on the project. In addition to many individual Pax volunteers funding the production of the program, the Church of the Brethren, Faith and Values Media (now Odyssey Networks), and Mennonite Media all contributed funds or in-kind staff/facilities. The documentary will be made available on DVD, and may be ordered from Brethren Press when it is published in January.
  • Spring Run Church of the Brethren in McVeytown, Pa., celebrated 150 years on Oct. 4-5. The theme of the weekend was “Commitment Kept! Commitment Renewed!”
  • Hollidaysburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren celebrated its 100th anniversary on Oct. 25-26. A time capsule in the cornerstone of the church was opened. New items were placed in the capsule and returned for another 100 years.
  • Connellsville (Pa.) Church of the Brethren recently celebrated its 85th anniversary. Two worship services were held, with former pastor Chester Fisher as guest speaker.
  • Teams from two Church of the Brethren related schools–Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., and the University of La Verne, Calif.–are competing in the women’s volleyball NCAA Division III 2008 National Championships at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Ill. Juniata is playing University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the quarterfinals on Thursday, Nov. 20, and La Verne is playing State University of New York (SUNY) New Paltz. If the two Brethren teams both win their quarterfinal matches, they will face each other in the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 21. The Championship Match takes place Saturday, Nov. 22. Go to for the schedule of games and more information.
  • The University of La Verne, Calif., gave a Distinguished Alumni Award to Eric Bishop at a Homecoming Dinner and Dance on Oct. 17. Bishop served on the denominational staff of the Church of the Brethren in the early 1990s as managing editor of “Messenger” magazine and director of news services. Since then he has taught at the University of La Verne as assistant professor of journalism, then worked in administration as director of academic advising and as associate dean of academic support and retention. Last fall he took a new post as director of Chaffey College’s Fontana Center.
  • Young Alumni Award recipients have been announced by McPherson (Kan.) College and honored at homecoming on Oct. 10-11, including Church of the Brethren member Dan Masterson. He has served as adjunct music professor at McPherson College and Central College, and currently is a professor of music at Bethany College. He also has held various positions in the Church of the Brethren, including minister of music in the McPherson congregation and the Annual Conference pianist in 1982. The two other recipients were Thomas King, president and CEO of Alexza Pharmaceuticals, and Paula Vincent, who works in the Clear Creek Amana Community School District as superintendent.
  • Leaders from Bridgewater (Va.) College are taking part in Virginia’s first workshop on at-risk college students on Nov. 19-21, according to a release. Bridgewater College president Phillip C. Stone will deliver a keynote address to the Virginia Student Services Conference on Nov. 20. The workshop also will feature comments by William Miracle, dean of students at Bridgewater College and president of the Virginia Association of Student Personnel Administrators. The keynote address will be presented by Chris Flynn of Virginia Tech. “The incident at Virginia Tech was a stark reminder of the realities of life on all our campuses across the state. When an incident such as this happens at one of our campuses, all of us share the experience to some extent,” Miracle said. Go to for more.
  • The work of painter Susan Joseph is displayed at Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., through Nov. 30 in its Gallery G. She is a member of the Church of the Brethren from Onekama, Mich. She will display gouache paintings inspired by textile designs from indigenous cultures around the world.
  • Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., and the Manchester Fellowship of Reconciliation are two of the organizations partnering in an “Iraqi Student Project.” The project plans to bring to the US 15 Iraqi students who have been unable to pursue their education due to the war. A 17-year-old Iraqi student arrived this fall at Manchester to study computer science.
  • Last month Church World Service (CWS) issued a report on its refugee resettlement program. In fiscal year 2008, the program resettled 4,892 refugees to the United States, or just over 8 percent of the total of 60,192 refugees who began new lives in the US during the year. CWS is one of 10 agencies that work with the US Department of State to meet the needs of refugees upon their arrival and assist them as they work to attain self-sufficiency. The new CWS arrivals this year are from the Near East (1,821), East Asia (1,724), Africa (730), the former Soviet Union (231) and Latin America (56). Top nationalities resettled through CWS were Karen Burmese, Iraqi, Iranian, Chin Burmese, Bhutanese, Somali, Cuban, Burundian, and Ukrainian.
  • Dale and Carolyn Seburn of Manor Church of the Brethren in Boonsboro, Md., have been inducted into the Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame, according to the “Herald-Mail” newspaper. The couple were nominated by their pastor, Joy Zepp.
  • The National Council of Churches Eco-Justice program invites churches to take part in a “Cool Congregations Competition.” Interfaith Power and Light is offering $10,000 in prizes–$5,000 for the congregation with lowest overall emissions per congregant and $5,000 for the church that has shrunk its carbon “footprint” the most. Congregations use an online calculator to measure carbon footprints through the end of the year. Go to for details.
  • The Church of North India (CNI), which has been hit hard by anti-Christian violence in India, held its synod meeting on Oct. 17-21 in Pathankot, Punjab State. The meeting began with a minute of silence as more than 400 delegates representing the 26 CNI dioceses remembered the victims of violence in the eastern state of Orissa, according to a release from the World Council of Churches. Three of CNI’s dioceses are located in Orissa. The Church of North India came into existence in 1970 through a merger of six churches including the Church of the Brethren, Baptists, Anglicans, Methodists, and Disciples. The violence in India has not been in areas that were part of Brethren mission work or where India Brethren are located.

6) Bolds to coordinate online gifts for Church of the Brethren.

Alan Bolds has accepted the call to the position of coordinator of Online Gifts and Development for the Church of the Brethren, effective Dec. 1. He most recently has been a fundraising professional with Awana International.

At Awana, he held responsibilities in the areas of major donors, annual giving, research, and sponsorships. He implemented Convio, the same web-based constituent relationship management software the Church of the Brethren is launching. Prior to that, he raised income from direct mail, pledge drives, annual banquet, and capital campaign for WCFC-TV38 in Chicago, a viewer-supported television station.

Bold’s educational background includes a degree in Speech and Communications from Greenville (Ill.) College and a certificate of graduate study in Administration from Northern Illinois University. He and his family attend Wheaton (Ill.) Evangelical Free Church.

7) Heishman to direct theological education in the Dominican Republic.

Nancy Heishman has accepted a call as the Church of the Brethren’s director of theological education in the Dominican Republic, in addition to being mission coordinator in the DR along with her husband, Irv Heishman. This was effective Nov. 1.

The Heishmans have served as mission coordinators in the DR since May 2003. Prior to her work in the DR, Nancy Heishman served as co-pastor at First Church of the Brethren in Harrisburg, Pa., for 15 years. She holds a master of music degree from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, and a master of divinity degree from Bethany Theological Seminary.

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Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren, or 800-323-8039 ext. 260. Judy Bezon, Joan McGrath, Cori Hahn, Mary K. Heatwole, Jon Kobel, Jeri S. Kornegay, Karin Krog, Marcia Shetler, Ken Kline Smeltzer, and Walt Wiltschek contributed to this report. Newsline appears every other Wednesday, with other special issues sent as needed. The next regularly scheduled issue is set for Dec. 3. 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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