Newsline for September 10, 2008

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

“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).


1) Theme for 2009 Annual Conference is announced.
2) Legal documents are filed to establish Church of the Brethren, Inc.
3) Denominational executives issue pastoral letter on racism.
4) Children’s Disaster Services closes out response to Gustav.
5) Church of the Brethren funds issue grants totaling $77,500.
6) Brethren Volunteer Service summer unit completes orientation.
7) Black River Church is rebuilt following 2006 fire.
8) Brethren bits: Remembrance, personnel, jr. hi conference, and more.


9) Barb Sayler resigns from On Earth Peace.


10) Historical marker to be dedicated at Germantown Church.
11) Clergywomen’s Retreat to ‘fan the flames of the Spirit.’
12) ‘Progressive Brethren Summit’ is announced for November.

Para ver la traducción en español de este artículo, “UNA CELEBRACION DEL ANIVERSARIO DE LOS 300 AÑOS DE LOS HERMANOS TOMA LUGAR EN ALEMANIA,” vaya a (for a Spanish translation of the reports from the international celebration of the 300th Anniversary of the Brethren held in Germany on Aug. 2-3, go to ).
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) Theme for 2009 Annual Conference is announced.

A theme has been announced for the 2009 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren, to be held on June 26-30 at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego, Calif. The theme is taken from 2 Corinthians 5:16-21: “The old has gone! The new has come! All this is from God!”

An extended theme statement reads, in part, “We are God’s new creation transformed through Christ. Released from the past, we find God’s presence no longer guilt-provoking, frightening, and condemning; but dynamic, creative, and life-giving…. As we move past the celebration of our heritage and toward the culmination of our purpose, let us hear these words! The old has gone! The new has come! All this is from God!”

In other news related to the 2009 Conference, a special parking rate has been negotiated of $5 per day, rather than the previously announced $12 per day. Also, there are two corrections to the listing of denominational offices open for 2009: only one person will be elected to the Bethany Theological Seminary board, and the opening is for someone to represent the Brethren colleges; and a district executive will be elected to the Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee, not someone from the laity. “Please take these corrections under consideration as you discern nominees for these positions,” the office requested. Nominations must be sent to the Annual Conference Office by Dec. 1.

2) Legal documents are filed to establish Church of the Brethren, Inc.

Legal documents have been successfully filed by the Sept. 1 date to establish the Church of the Brethren, Inc., as the new denominational organization. The new organization was initially created by the 2007 Annual Conference when it adopted the recommendation of the Review and Evaluation Committee to unite the Association of Brethren Caregivers (ABC) and the General Board into a new incorporated legal entity.

In July, the 2008 Conference adopted resolutions approving the plan and agreement of merger of ABC and the General Board into a single corporation. The new organization also incorporates the functions of the Annual Conference Council.

Sept. 1 was the official start date for the new denominational organization. The name of the organization is Church of the Brethren, Inc. In the course of day-to-day activities, however, simply the name “Church of the Brethren” will be used where previously agency names of “General Board” or “Association of Brethren Caregivers” were used.

The Caring Ministries of the Church of the Brethren is the new name for the areas of the church’s work known previously as ministries of ABC. The name of the new denominational board is the Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren.

A donations process has been announced by Church of the Brethren funding staff, for the rest of this year and into the future. Staff emphasize that congregations should not reduce allocations, as all ministries of ABC and the General Board are continuing and will need financial support.

Congregations and individual donors are requested to make checks payable to the “Church of the Brethren.” General Board and ABC allocations should be combined into one check if possible. Notations on checks can read “Core ministries,” which is the main budget support for denominational ministries that are not self-funded, and now is the main budget support for the Caring Ministries. “If a particular ministry is a donor’s passion the memo line can carry that restriction and the funds will be placed and used accordingly,” said the announcement.

“We will continue to be good stewards of all donated funds,” said Ken Neher, director of stewardship and donor development for the Church of the Brethren, “and diligently continue the work of Jesus as your partner in mission and ministry.”

3) Denominational executives issue pastoral letter on racism.

“We believe that this time in the life of our nation and our denomination is an opening for spiritual reflection and positive change in race relations,” said the opening sentence of a pastoral letter on racism signed by the executives of the main Church of the Brethren agencies. It was sent in late August to all congregations and districts in the Church of the Brethren, as well as to the Brethren-related colleges.

Church of the Brethren United Nations representative Doris Abdullah also has shared the letter with the Sub-Committee for the Elimination of Racism of the United Nation’s NGO Committee for Human Rights. The letter has been included as an advocacy statement to the Anti-Discrimination Unit of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in Geneva, Switzerland.

The letter was signed by Stanley J. Noffsinger, general secretary; Bob Gross, executive director of On Earth Peace; Kathy Reid, executive director of the Association of Brethren Caregivers; Ruthann Knechel Johansen, president of Bethany Theological Seminary; and Wilfred E. Nolen, president of Brethren Benefit Trust.

“This letter is not a partisan political statement and is not an endorsement of any candidate,” the executives said. “We are writing because the presidential campaign and its coverage in the media have made it clear that prejudice continues in our nation.” The letter was headed by a passage of scripture from Matthew 22:37-39.

The executives wrote “in a spirit of humility…admitting that we have more questions than answers.” The letter went on to mention the prominent roles that racism, sexism, and militarism have played in the US presidential campaign. “We are realizing that the nomination of an African-American for president of the United States presents the church with a unique opening to talk about racism,” the executives said. “We sense that this is a time in which the church needs to step forward and lead in a national conversation on race.”

The letter also made a series of confessions and posed questions, “as a way to examine our personal and collective conscience.” Heading the confessions was the statement that “all of us have been caught up in racism, and we name it as an evil. We confess that there have been expressions of racism in our congregations and in our denomination.” Another confessional statement said that “as followers of Jesus, we must continually seek the mind of Christ and have the ability to examine ourselves in the light of scripture.”

Attached was a list of recommended resources. The letter also affirmed the witness of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, in particular the statements “Becoming a Multi-Ethnic Church” (2007), “Community: A Tribe of Many Feathers” (1994), “Brethren and Black Americans” (1991), and “Statement Addressing the Concern of Undocumented Persons and Refugees in the United States” (1982).

Closing by calling the church “to make our confession of faith, to turn to God for forgiveness for our own participation in racism, and to be part of God’s work of healing in our society and in our congregations,” the executives stated, “This kind of ‘Kingdom’ work and radical discipleship is difficult, but we have faith that God is with us. The power of the Holy Spirit is working among us to make all things possible.”

Find the complete letter and attached resource list at

4) Children’s Disaster Services closes out response to Gustav.

Children’s Disaster Services is closing out its response to Hurricane Gustav. Meanwhile, Hurricane Ike has developed into a powerful storm that devastated parts of the Caribbean, and may threaten Texas.

Children’s Disaster Services collaborated with the American Red Cross to determine where volunteers were most needed in responding to Gustav. As the hurricane made landfall, Roy Winter, executive director for Brethren Disaster Ministries made an early departure from National Older Adult Conference to manage the Children’s Disaster Services response on the ground in Mississippi and Louisiana. Staff at the disaster response offices including Children’s Disaster Services director Judy Bezon, and coordinator LethaJoy Martin, kept the operation going by deploying volunteers, communicating with the Red Cross or FEMA, and trouble-shooting issues at the various child care sites.

As of late last week, six childcare volunteers were working in shelters on the Mississippi coast; 10 were working in a Super Shelter in Shreveport, La.; and 11 were working in a Super Shelter in Alexandria, La. Most of those centers are closing as of today, Winter said.

In other news, Zach Wolgemuth, associate director of Brethren Disaster Ministries, visited flood areas in Minnesota and Iowa last week. He first stopped at the Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding project in Rushford, Minn., where volunteers have nearly completed three homes, and have just finished drywall on a fourth. The slab is expected to be poured for a fifth house this week. Brethren Disaster Ministries plans to completely rebuild seven new homes for flood survivors in Rushford by the end of this year. In addition, volunteers have repaired more than 30 homes in the Rushford area since the project opened, following flash floods a year ago.

In Iowa, which suffered severe floods and tornadoes this spring, Wolgemuth met with Northern Plains District executive minister Tim Button-Harrison and the district’s disaster response coordinator Gary Gahm, offering resources to aid the district’s response to needs as they arise.

In Haiti the three recent hurricanes–Gustav, Hanna, and Ike–all did considerable damage, according to a report from Ludovic St. Fleur. He serves as coordinator of the Church of the Brethren mission in Haiti, and pastors Eglise des Freres Haitiens in Miami, Fla., and the Orlando Haitian Fellowship.

The hurricanes affected the Port-au-Prince area where the five Church of the Brethren congregations and seven preaching points are located. Flooding was the main problem in Port-au-Prince, where one pastor, DeLouis St. Louis, lost his home. Several members of congregations also lost household items. “The water came and took their belongings. They didn’t have time for evacuation,” St. Fleur said. Congregations also were not able to hold services on Sunday, Sept. 7, because flooded areas made travel difficult.

Power has been cut off to much of the region, and cell phone access has been intermittent, so St. Fleur said he does not yet have a complete picture of total impact of the storms for members of the Haitian congregations. “Please keep my people in your prayers,” he asked.

5) Church of the Brethren funds issue grants totaling $77,500.

The Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) and Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) have issued a number of grants recently. The seven grants total $77,500.

An allocation of $22,500 from the EDF responds to a growing food crisis in Ethiopia. Ongoing drought conditions have left up to 15 million people experiencing food shortages and 4.6 million people needing immediate assistance. The Brethren grant will help Church World Service (CWS) provide emergency food rations targeted to the most vulnerable people.

The GFCF has made an allocation of $12,500 to support CWS partner work in Ethiopia. The grant will assist vulnerable people with food rations, seeds, edible oils, and corn soy blend. To the extent possible, the grant also will help with the provision of seed for future crops.

The EDF has allocated $15,000 in response to a CWS appeal for deteriorating conditions for nearly four million Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank. The funds will support medical care, agricultural training and development, and job creation.

An EDF grant of $8,000 responds to a CWS appeal to aid Iraqi refugees and internally displaced people. The money will support work of the International Orthodox Christian Communities and the Middle East Council of Churches in providing emergency food and family hygiene supplies.

A grant of $7,500 from the EDF responds to a CWS appeal following flooding and damage from Hurricane Dolly in Texas. The funds will help supply material aid, water purification, staff deployment for trainings, and financial support for longterm recovery groups.

An EDF grant of $7,000 responds to a CWS appeal following Tropical Storm Fay. The money will help supply material aid, staff deployment for trainings, financial support to longterm recovery groups, and project development supporting farm laborers.

An EDF grant of $5,000 goes to Children’s Disaster Services for the response to Hurricane Gustav.

6) Brethren Volunteer Service summer unit completes orientation.

Volunteers from Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Unit 280 have completed orientation. The summer orientation was held in Wenatchee, Wash., from July 27-Aug. 15.

Following are the home congregations or hometowns, and placements of the volunteers: Tyler Banas of Hampshire, Ill., is going to Camp Myrtlewood in Myrtle Point, Ore.; Simon Bender of Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany, and Deniz Oelcer of Bonn, Germany, will work at the Samaritan House in Atlanta, Ga.; Elena Bohlander of Pleasant Hill (Ohio) Church of the Brethren and Julian Hoelzer of Stuttgart, Germany, will serve at Su Casa in Chicago, Ill.; Annika Hoersch of Giengen, Germany, goes to the Tri-City Homeless Coalition in Fremont, Calif.; Fiona Lacey of Monterey, Mass., and Friederike Loeffler of Walldorf, Germany, go to the International Community School in Decatur, Ga.; Christy Meier and Steve Meier of Topeka, Kan., will work with YMCA Greenhill in Newcastle, N. Ireland; Steve Mullaney of Minneapolis, Minn., serves at Miguel Angel Asturias Colegia, Quetzaltenango, in Guatemala; Carly Pildis of Brookline, Mass., will serve with Jubliee USA Network in Washington D.C.; Anna Simons of South Bend, Ind., and Lukas Pack of Cologne, Germany, go to Project PLASE in Baltimore, Md.; Ned Thilo of East Fairview Church of the Brethren in Manheim, Pa., will serve with the Human Resources Development Council in Havre, Mont.

The next BVS orientation unit will be held Sept. 21-Oct. 10 at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. It will include 19 volunteers. The group will spend three weeks exploring project possibilities and topics of community building, peace and social justice, and faith sharing; will spend several work days in both rural and urban communities; and will attend the BVS 60th Anniversary Weekend. For more information contact the BVS office at 800-323-8039.

7) Black River Church is rebuilt following 2006 fire.

Black River Church of the Brethren in Spencer, Ohio, dedicated a new building on July 20, a year and a half after the church burned to the ground on Christmas Eve night 2006. The church celebrated being able to worship in its new building with a two-day event, including two baptisms on the dedication Sunday, preceded by an open house on the 19th with music, food, and fellowship.

At the dedication, 120 people were in attendance. “Everything is going well,” said pastor Mark Teal.

The story of the rebuilding of Black River Church of the Brethren is one of partnership and widespread support. Black River Church has received significant financial help from congregations in the Northern Ohio District, and district executive minister John Ballinger took part in the dedication service. The church also has received support, donations, and prayers from Brethren across the country, as well as businesses and other churches in the community.

“It was really miraculous how the church got built,” said Teal. He reported that the congregation received donations of over $100,000, which along with insurance provided almost all the money needed for the new church building. The congregation has had to take a loan only for repairs to the parsonage and other things not directly related to the church building. Local businesses and churches have donated furniture, including a Clorox Co. factory that closed. “Every appliance that’s in our kitchen has been donated,” Teal said.

The donations have come “from far and wide,” he added. “We’ve had donations from California and Florida. We’ve even had a donation from China, from someone who had a connection to the church. And donations from Brethren from everywhere.” Teal specifically mentioned a large donation from a “neighbor”–Mohican Church of the Brethren in West Salem, Ohio.

Significant support came from Chatham Community Church, located just two miles down the road. Chatham Community had merged a United Methodist congregation and a congregational congregation, and offered Black River Church the use of one of its two buildings after the fire. Black River Church met in the building for nearly a year and a half.

Simmons Brothers Construction, a company which Teal said works regularly with churches, called on the second day after the fire to offer free planning and architectural services. Teal emphasized that the church used an appropriate bidding process, but found that the company gave them the best offer. “They just gave us an amazing deal. It wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

“We’re really blessed, I tell you,” said Teal. “It was amazing the way God used so many people…. God is good.”

8) Brethren bits: Remembrance, personnel, jr. hi conference, and more.

  • Diane Gosnell passed away on Sept. 8. She was serving as secretary for Brethren Disaster Ministries at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Gosnell served in the position for almost 19 years, since July 31, 1989. Gosnell’s duties also have included work for Children’s Disaster Services, clerical work and some communications work on behalf of Brethren Disaster Ministries and Children’s Disaster Services, and helping to represent Brethren Disaster Ministries at community and church events. In an article she wrote for a staff newsletter last year, Gosnell expressed appreciation for the many volunteers with Brethren Disaster Ministries, as well as “the loving concern and support my co-workers extend to me as I continue the challenges of fighting cancer. A favorite scripture of mine is Psalm 71. From verse 12 it reads, ‘Be not far from me, O God; come quickly, O my God to help me.’” The Church of the Brethren requests prayer for Gosnells’ parents, Fred and Imogene, her sister Karen Edwards, and all those who have stood by her during her long battle with cancer. A memorial service will be held at Union Bridge Church of the Brethren on Sept. 13 at 11 a.m. A memorial planting will be placed on the grounds of the Brethren Service Center later this fall. Cards of condolence are being received by the Brethren Service Center, P.O. Box 188, New Windsor, MD 21776.
  • Steve Mullaney of Plymouth, Minn., began a two-year assignment with the Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission Partnerships on Aug. 4 at Miguel Angel Asturias Academy in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. He will serve through Brethren Volunteer Service as an office and volunteer coordinator at the school, which offers high-quality experiential learning opportunities to indigenous students.
  • Camp Bethel, the outdoor ministry of Virlina District located near Fincastle, Va., is accepting applications for a fulltime assistant director, and a fulltime food services director. Go to for application forms, position descriptions, and more information about each position.
  • The dates of June 19-21, 2009, have been set for the Church of the Brethren’s second National Junior High Conference, to be held at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. Presenters will include Ken Medema and Ted Schwartz (formerly of “Ted and Lee”). Registration will begin online on Jan. 15. Cost will be $125 per person for junior high youth and adult advisors. People living west of the Mississippi will be eligible for a $150 travel scholarship. More information will be posted at as available.
  • After only four years of operation, the Peace Church Risk Retention Group has rewarded its 45 member organizations with a $1 million dividend distribution. The Peace Church Risk Retention Group is for organizations that are members of the Church of the Brethren’s Caring Ministries, the Mennonite Health Services Alliance, and Friends Services for the Aging, and provides general and professional liability insurance. The announcement was made by Phil Leaman, chief executive officer of AARM, based in Lancaster, Pa., which provides overall administration for the group. The $1 million distribution follows a $500,000 dividend in 2007. According to Kathy Reid, executive director of Caring Ministries, the group “provides a tremendous opportunity for the members of the Fellowship of Brethren Homes.” New members from eligible nonprofit longterm care providers are welcomed, contact Leaman at or 717-293-7840.
  • Codorus Church of the Brethren in Dallastown, Pa., is celebrating its 250th anniversary with a Sept. 14 worship service led by Jeff Bach, director of the Young Center for the Study of Anabaptist and Pietist Groups at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College.
  • Hatfield (Pa.) Church of the Brethren holds its 175th anniversary at 6 p.m. on Sept. 20 at Franconia Heritage Banquet and Conference Center. Cost is $26, call the church at 215-855-3064.
  • On Sept. 7, a final worship service was held at Maxwell (Iowa) Church of the Brethren. “Maxwell Church of the Brethren, previously Indian Creek Church of the Brethren, was an important congregation in our district through the years,” said an announcement from Northern Plains District. Indian Creek was organized in 1856 and gave rise to a number of other congregations including Ankeny, Dallas Center, Panora, Panther Creek, and Prairie City.
  • Upcoming district conferences include the Southern Pennsylvania District Conference on Sept. 19-20 at First Church of the Brethren in York, Pa., on the theme is “Be Still and Know I Am God” (Psalm 46:10); and the Northern Indiana District Conference on Sept. 19-20 at Camp Alexander Mack on the theme “Love is…” (1 Corinthians 13).
  • The Church of North India (CNI) closed its educational institutions on Aug. 29 and encouraged members to join in a protest and prayer rally for the situation of Christians in the Indian state of Orissa. CNI has been a partner with Brethren mission efforts in India. In a release on the situation in Orissa, the World Council of Churches (WCC) said the state has seen “indiscriminate killing, burning of church buildings, and destruction of institutions.” Some 20 people have been killed, 50,000 people displaced, and 4,000 homes destroyed over a period of 10 days in late August, according to the WCC. The violence started after the killing of a prominent radical Hindu leader on Aug. 23. Although a Maoist rebel group claimed responsibility, Hindu militants blame Christians for it, the release said. Go to for more information.

9) Barb Sayler resigns from On Earth Peace.

Barb Sayler has resigned as coordinator of communications for On Earth Peace, as of mid-October. She joined the staff as co-executive director in Sept. 2000. In May last year, she stepped back from the co-director role to work part-time and have more time for family.

Among her responsibilities in communications have been newsletters, the On Earth Peace website, and preparations for Annual Conference and district conferences. Previous responsibilities as co-executive director included planning and beginning program emphases to envision action as an essential ingredient in peace education. In her role as co-executive director, she also was one of the Brethren representatives to the first International Historic Peace Church Consultation in Switzerland in 2001.

In previous work for the denomination, she served in Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) and worked as a program assistant for BVS, assistant to the director of the Washington Office, and coordinator of volunteers in Children’s Disaster Ministries. Her volunteer service also included participation in JOYA (Journey of Young Adults). She holds degrees from Bethany Theological Seminary and McPherson (Kan.) College.

This fall, Sayler plans an internship with Music Together, a music program for young children and their parents/caregivers, and will begin teaching in January.

10) Historical marker to be dedicated at Germantown Church.

On Sunday, Sept. 21, at 3 p.m., a service of dedication will be held for a new historical marker at Germantown Church of the Brethren in Philadelphia, Pa. Germantown was the first Brethren meetinghouse in the nation, dating back to 1770. The congregation is pastored by Richard Kyerematen.

The commemorative marker has been made possible by the efforts of the Historical Committee of the Atlantic Northeast District, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. “The dedication is especially timely, since this year is the 300th Anniversary of the baptism in Germany of the forebears of current Brethren,” noted the Historical Committee.

The dedication will include remarks by Wayne Spilove, chair of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and Jeff Bach, director of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. Musical selections will include a variety of contemporary songs by Germantown members and eighteenth-century Brethren hymns. David E. Fuchs, chair of the Historical Committee, will be master of ceremonies. The event will conclude with a tour of the church grounds and cemetery led by Ron Lutz, moderator of the congregation.

11) Clergywomen’s Retreat to ‘fan the flames of the Spirit.’

A Church of the Brethren Clergywomen’s Retreat will be held Jan. 12-15, 2009, on the theme, “Reconnecting with Holy Fire: Fanning the Flames of the Spirit Among Us” (Luke 24:32). The event will be at the Mary and Joseph Retreat Center in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

The retreat is open to all ordained and licensed women in the Church of the Brethren, and is sponsored by the denomination’s Ministry Office. The main presenter will be Marva Dawn, teaching fellow in Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, and author of more than 20 books including “Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down: A Theology of Worship for the Turn-of-the-Century Culture.”

Registration is $290 ($310 after Oct. 1). A limited number of single rooms are available on a first-come, first served basis for $360 ($380 after Oct. 1). Scholarship possibilities are available, contact Dana Cassell in the Ministry Office at or 800-323-8039 ext. 317. Go to to register online.

12) ‘Progressive Brethren Summit’ is announced for November.

A “Progressive Brethren Summit” has been announced for Nov. 7-9 in Indianapolis, sponsored by Voices for an Open Spirit (VOS), the Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Interests (BMC), the Womaen’s Caucus, Christian Community, and a number of congregations and individuals. The event is being billed as “the first-ever summit” of people who see themselves as “progressive” and currently or formerly participating in the Church of the Brethren.

The weekend on the theme, “Faithful and Just: Progressive Brethren Speak,” will be hosted by Northview Church of the Brethren. Speakers are Audrey deCoursey of the Womaen’s Caucus and Ken Kline Smeltzer of VOS, on “A Challenged Church” for opening worship; Robert Miller, chair of Christian and Religious Studies at Juniata College and member of the Jesus Seminar, speaking on “A Grounded Church”; Susan Boyer, pastor of La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren, speaking on “A Welcoming Church”; and Kurt Borgmann, pastor of Manchester Church of the Brethren in North Manchester, Ind., speaking on “A Courageous Church” for the concluding Sunday morning service.

Various workshops will be offered including “Silent and Undecided Friends: Motivating Greater LGBT Advocacy Among Clergy and Congregations” led by Steve Clapp of Christian Community; “Old Lenses, New Eyes: The Old Testament and Progressive Biblical Interpretation” led by Christina Bucher, a faculty member at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College; and “Storytelling as Public Narrative” led by Carol Wise of BMC (workshop proposals are being accepted through Sept. 25 at

Go to for registration and more information.

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. Chris Douglas, Lerry Fogle, Bob Gross, Jon Kobel, Karin Krog, Janis Pyle, Ken Kline Smeltzer, Callie Surber, Dana Weaver, 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 Sept. 24. 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.

[gt-link lang="en" label="English" widget_look="flags_name"]