Newsline for September 24, 2008

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

“…Strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well” (Luke 12:31).


1) Brethren Benefit Trust issues statement on financial crisis, investments.
2) National Older Adult Conference brings hundreds to Lake Junaluska.
3) Summer workcamp program involves nearly 700 participants.
4) Curriculum survey responses urged.
5) Brethren bits: Correction, personnel, position openings, and more.


6) Nightingale, Thompson begin new positions at BBT.

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1) Brethren Benefit Trust issues statement on financial crisis, investments.

Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) has issued a statement in response to the current turmoil in the financial markets. BBT is the financial services ministry of the Church of the Brethren. Its ministries include the Brethren Pension Plan, and BBT also houses the Brethren Foundation that provides investment management services to churches, agencies, and others.

BBT reported that it contacted each of its investment managers early last week regarding their Brethren Pension Plan and Brethren Foundation holdings. Of BBT’s two bond managers, Income Research and Management had 0.9 percent of its portfolio in Lehman Brothers, 1.2 percent in AIG, and 0.4 percent in Merrill Lynch. Agincourt Capital Management had 0.6 percent of its portfolio in Lehman Brothers, 0.46 percent in Merrill Lynch, and no holdings in AIG. None of BBT’s four equities managers nor its short-term fund manager had investments in Lehman Brothers, AIG, or Merrill Lynch.

“Although many questions remain unanswered with regard to the government’s proposed bailout and the impact it will have if approved, many factors are expected to influence investment performance over the entire year–issues like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac having been nationalized, and the number of banks that have been taken over by the FDIC,” the statement said in part.

“There is still a significant volume of over-leveraged entities with toxic assets in the markets,” the statement continued. “It is likely that the cycle is not finished, but it is necessary to clean up the excesses–a positive step in a rational restructuring of markets and asset prices. The critical question, however, is to what extent the declines in financial assets will have direct impact on the real economy. This transmission risk is material, and we expect at least some negative implications for Gross Domestic Product growth as it is unlikely that a material improvement in the economy will be seen without a healthier financial sector.”

In the meantime, BBT is continuing to work closely with its investment managers, and is reassuring Brethren that those managers remain diligent in their efforts to make prudent decisions with the assets they manage on behalf of Brethren Pension Plan members and Brethren Foundation clients.

About the financial situation of the Church of the Brethren Credit Union, BBT said that “ideally, nearly all of the money that Church of the Brethren Credit Union manages is invested in the form of auto and personal loans to members. In times when the Credit Union has excess liquidity, funds are invested in Certificates of Deposit. These investments are always less than $100,000 per financial institution, which means funds are always fully insured by the National Credit Union Association. Thus, the Church of the Brethren Credit Union is not directly impacted by the national financial crisis.”

The full statement will be available at To discuss BBT’s investments further call 800-746-1505, ext. 385 for Pension Plan members, or call ext. 369 for Foundation clients. “We welcome your call,” BBT staff said.

2) National Older Adult Conference brings hundreds to Lake Junaluska.

Warmth and friendliness were hallmarks of the National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) Sept. 1-5 at Lake Junaluska, N.C. More than 898 from across the Church of the Brethren gathered by the calm waters of the lake to hear engaging keynote speakers, attend workshops, eat gallons of ice cream, and catch up with one another since the last NOAC in 2006.

Sandy Bosserman, a former district executive minister, preached at the opening worship service and invited the conference to “Come to the Troubled Waters.” She began with pleasant images of water, such as wonderful beaches with lazy waves and gentle breezes, but then recalled times in her life when water played a more troubling role. She called Brethren to the troubled waters that brought healing to the cripple man in John 5:1-7. “‘Come to the Troubled Waters’ is a loaded invitation,” she said. “We Brethren certainly know about troubled water and the dangers of wading into it.”

Stephen Breck Reid, former dean and professor of Old Testament Studies at Bethany Theological Seminary, led a series of three Bible studies. Picking up on the conference theme, “Come to the Water,” he opened the series by stating, “In that story the angel of the Lord troubled the waters, but for the next three days I’m going to reacquaint you with people who themselves troubled the waters. Come to the waters is not just about a sentimental warm fuzzy time, but it is an invitation to come to the troubled waters that God has presented to us.”

Tuesday morning keynote speaker Donald Kraybill described the tragic day of the shooting of Amish children at Nickle Mines in Pennsylvania. Silence fell upon Stuart Auditorium as Kraybill, senior fellow at the Young Center at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, recounted the events. The message was sobering but of greater importance: the Amish response of faith, grace, and forgiveness. “My question to us this morning is simply this: If these had been our children, our sisters, if these had been our granddaughters or nieces, how would we have responded?” Kraybill asked. “What would we have done?” Kraybill is one of the authors of the book, “Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy,” written jointly with Steven M. Nolt and David L. Weaver-Zercher. Copies are available from Brethren Press.

Other highlights of the conference included inspiring messages from keynote presenters Jane Thibault, a clinical gerontologist and clinical professor at the University of Louisville; Valerie Bridgeman Davis, associate professor of Hebrew, homiletics, and worship at Memphis Theological Seminary; and Scott Sheperd, who used a humorous, nontraditional approach to focusing on stress. Rounding out the week was Frank Ramirez, pastor of Everett (Pa.) Church of the Brethren and author of several books, including “The Meanest Man in Patrick County” and “Brethren Brush with Greatness.”

Nancy Faus-Mullen, professor emerita of Bethany Theological Seminary where she taught for 25 years, led the conference in a celebration of 300 years of Brethren hymnody. The gathering sang hymns and songs from the 18th century to the present time. The evening featured several hymn writers leading their own hymns, and included a hymn led by Wil Nolen, retiring president of BBT and former song leader at NOAC. Conference entertainment also included the group Trifolkal, which with songs and stories led conference goers laughing, crying, and tapping their feet along a journey of healing.

David Sollenberger and the NOAC News Team provided twice daily doses of humor, announcements, news, and other material. The antics of the news team were anxiously anticipated, as attendees waited to see the latest creative installment. A DVD of the week’s episodes of NOAC News is available from Brethren Press.

Several groups celebrated anniversaries. Brethren Volunteer Service celebrated its 60th anniversary, NOAC observed the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women in the Church of the Brethren, and those who were at National Youth Conference (NYC) in 1958 held a 50th reunion. The 1958 NYC was the second in Church of the Brethren history, and also was held at Lake Junaluska. Group pictures were taken of each special celebration and are available for purchase, contact if interested.

Over 200 walkers in the Well Walk, and even more NOAC participants who gave donations, pushed toward two goals–two miles around Lake Junaluska and $5,000 to provide a sustainable water system at the Comprehensive Secondary School of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN) at church headquarters in Kwarhi, Nigeria. The noncompetitive walk offered the rewards of witnessing a glorious sunrise over the lake, and stretching bodies, minds, and spirits. At last count, $4,710 has been received and donations are still coming in. Some congregations have made this a special project to undertake, and one family has indicated that the well project will be the beneficiary of its annual joint Christmas gift. Additional contributions may be made to Church of the Brethren Well Project, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120.

In order to insure that no more than two major Church of the Brethren conferences are held in any one year, the next NOAC will be in 2009. Thereafter the conference will return to its every-two-years schedule. Lake Junaluska will once again be the site for NOAC on Sept. 7-11, 2009, on the theme, “Legacies of Wisdom: Weaving Old and New.” Registration brochures will be mailed in March 2009.

–Eddie Edmonds is pastor of Moler Avenue Church of the Brethren in Martinsburg, W.Va., and served as director of communications at NOAC. Information contained in this article appeared on the daily web pages at and in the “NOAC Notes” daily news sheet. Alice Edmonds, Frank Ramirez, and Mary Lou Garrison contributed to this report.

3) Summer workcamp program involves nearly 700 participants.

Nearly 700 junior- and senior-high youth and adult advisors were part of the 2008 Church of the Brethren workcamps this summer. Participants worshiped, served, and experienced new cultures as part of the workcamp experience.

In all, 28 workcamps were offered by the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministries, in 12 states and four countries. Participants traveled as far west as Idaho and as far south as Mexico and the Caribbean. The theme for the summer’s workcamps was “…Strengthen My Hands,” based on Nehemiah 6:9.

A wide variety of experiences were available to workcamp participants. Youth in the Pine Ridge workcamp learned about Native American culture through participating in an “inipi” or sweat-lodge, a beading lesson, and a trip to the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre. Work projects included home repairs around the reservation, as well as improvements to a school.

Workcampers explored urban issues of poverty and homelessness in Roanoke, Va.; Baltimore, Md.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Chicago, Ill.; and Ashland, Ohio. Workcamps in Neon, Ken., and Keyser, W.Va., were provided with a perspective on rural life. Those who went to St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Reynosa, Mexico, received a chance for cross-cultural interactions.

Dates and locations for the 2009 workcamps will be available this fall. Go to for more information. Brochures about the 2009 program also will be mailed to each Church of the Brethren congregation.

–Meghan Horne is an assistant coordinator for the Church of the Brethren workcamp program in 2009, serving through Brethren Volunteer Service.

4) Curriculum survey responses urged.

An important curriculum survey was mailed last week to all Church of the Brethren congregations. The survey from Brethren Press seeks information that will help the publishing house better understand the needs and interests of congregations in the area of Christian education.

A parallel survey also has been distributed within Mennonite congregations in the US and Canada. The results of both surveys will be studied at an upcoming meeting of the staff of the Gather ‘Round curriculum project.

Congregations are encouraged to submit their responses on the online version of the survey, since that will simplify tabulation, but returning the print version is also fine. Go to to find the survey.

The survey should be completed by only one person per congregation, the one most knowledgeable about curriculum use. Respondents are asked to return the survey quickly, preferably within two weeks, so that there is time to organize the information before the curriculum planning meeting.

“This is the first time we’ve conducted a survey like this,” said publisher Wendy McFadden. “The information will be an immense help as we plan educational resources for the future. We’re really grateful to everyone who takes the time to help us gather this input.”

5) Brethren bits: Correction, personnel, position openings, and more.

  • Correction: The subject of Michael Hodson’s writing project for the Brethren Encyclopedia Inc. (see Newsline Extra of Sept. 12) is Brethren, universal restoration, and universalism, over the time period of the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Nancy Watts of Elgin, Ill., began Sept. 16 as donations and accounts receivable specialist for the Church of the Brethren, working at the denomination’s General Offices. She most recently has been assistant to the controller for Butera Finer Foods Corporate offices. Prior to that she held accounting positions with Mueller and Co., LLP, and Elgin Sweeper Co.
  • Debbie Brehm of Huntley, Ill., began an internship in Human Resources Management at the Church of the Brethren General Offices on Sept. 17. The internship is part of her bachelor degree program at Judson University. Brehm comes from a background as faculty member and board member with Heritage Homeschool Workshops.
  • The New Windsor (Md.) Conference Center is recognizing the service of several volunteer hosts. Ron and Jean Strine of Hershey, Pa., departed on Sept. 1 after volunteering at SERRV/A Greater Gift during July, and serving as first-time volunteer hosts in the Old Main building in August. Art and Lois Hermanson returned to Iowa on Sept. 2 after having served as volunteer hosts in Zigler Hall for six months. Sally Allstott of Pennsylvania has been a first-time volunteer host in Zigler Hall for the month of September. Red and Emily (Larson) Brandon have served as host and hostess of Old Main for September. Olive Provost has served as volunteer host in Windsor Hall for the past six months.
  • McPherson (Kan.) College invites nominations and applications for a president to succeed Ronald D. Hovis, who will retire in June 2009. McPherson is a small college with 500 fulltime students, focusing on career-oriented liberal arts. It is located in McPherson, Kan., about an hour north of Wichita, the largest city in the state. The college was founded in 1887 by the Church of the Brethren and remains committed to the values of the church: peace and justice, ethical behavior, and putting faith into action. McPherson’s mission is to develop whole persons through scholarship, participation, and service. The next president should be someone who is prepared to serve as both a chief executive and an academic leader; believes in the college’s mission as a church-related baccalaureate college; models the values of the Church of the Brethren; demonstrates a record of achievement in leading and managing organizations, and in dealing with complex financial challenges; can help frame a compelling vision of McPherson’s potential that will energize the campus, community, and other stakeholders to lend their support; possesses an advanced degree and an understanding of the distinctive culture of higher education. Nominations, inquiries, and expressions of interest, which will be held in the strictest confidence, should be submitted as a Microsoft Word attachment to Richard Doll, Chair of the Search Committee for the President, at Go to for a more detailed leadership statement. Review of candidates will begin Nov. 1.
  • Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., seeks an assistant professor of religion to fill the vacancy left by Dr. Kendall Rogers, who is now teaching at Bethany Theological Seminary. This is a tenure-track position, to begin in fall 2009. Responsibilities include teaching eight courses per year (3-1-4), undergraduate, including multiple sections of an introductory course in Christian theology. Departmental needs include the history of Christianity, world religions, feminist/womanist theology, and the philosophy of religion. The college will consider ABD; a Ph.D. is preferred. Excellence in teaching is required. Candidates should be familiar and comfortable with the traditions of the Church of the Brethren. Salary is dependent on qualifications and experience. A complete benefit package includes paid sick time, health insurance, retirement plan, tuition, and the opportunity to serve in a dynamic, educational environment committed to faith, service and learning. Manchester College is an independent, residential liberal arts and sciences college related to the Church of the Brethren, located 45 minutes west of Fort Wayne, Ind. It offers more than 55 areas of study to about 1,036 students from 24 states and 23 countries, and has 72 faculty members. Manchester has a distinctive commitment to developing respect for ethnic, cultural, and religious pluralism and an international consciousness. Apply by sending a cover letter, curriculum vitae, evidence of teaching experience and ability, and teaching philosophy to Religion Search Committee, Office of Academic Affairs, Manchester College, 604 E. College Ave., North Manchester, IN 46962; or e-mail Go to for the complete posting and the option of making an application online.
  • The Gather ’Round curriculum project is expanding its pool of writers and is accepting applications from experienced writers. Those interested in the next round of writing should inquire by Oct. 31. Applications also will be accepted on a rolling basis for future quarters. Prospective writers must have the ability to write clearly and in the established style of the curriculum. Active membership in a Brethren or Mennonite congregation is preferred, as is teaching experience. Send a letter of interest, including information about writing and teaching experience, to Gather ’Round, or 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120. Questions may be directed to Anna Speicher, project director and senior editor. Gather ’Round: Hearing and Sharing God’s Good News is a project of Brethren Press, publisher for the Church of the Brethren, and Mennonite Publishing Network, the publishing agency of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada. The materials are published for the Church of the Brethren, Mennonite Church Canada, and Mennonite Church USA, and are also used by congregations in at least half a dozen other denominations.
  • Church of the Brethren general secretary Stan Noffsinger has endorsed two national interfaith statements recently, a response to Hurricanes Gustav, Rita, and Katrina put together by community and faith groups along the Gulf coast as part of a Gulf Coast Civic Works Campaign; and a letter addressing the issue of torture that calls on Congress to provide the International Committee of the Red Cross with access to all US-held detainees. The “Gulf Coast Civic Works Interfaith Statement: Supporting Human Rights in Gulf Coast Recovery Is a Moral Priority,” urges more than a charitable response to the hurricanes including a bi-partisan federal solution addressing longterm needs for rebuilding community infrastructure, restoring the environment, and creating jobs for local and displaced residents. The letter addressing the issue of torture asked for legislation that requires the Central Intelligence Agency to notify the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) of all US-held detainees and to allow the ICRC access to them. “The United States has long opposed holding detainees incommunicado and supported ICRC access, because incommunicado detention is most often used as the means to engage in unlawful and inhumane treatment.” the letter said.
  • Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this Friday through Sunday at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The event will feature displays and information in Windsor Auditorium, insight sessions with featured speakers, a Saturday evening banquet at the New Windsor Fire Hall, and more. The New Windsor Conference Center expects up to 300 visitors on the campus, including more than 90 overnight guests.
  • The 130 participants at National Young Adult Conference in mid-August gave generously to the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund. In successive offerings, donations were received of $850 to the farm rehabilitation program in North Korea that is supported by the fund, and $965 for its work with trees, stoves, and cisterns in Guatemala.
  • The Foods Resource Bank has received a $100,000 grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, an honor that positions it to be automatically considered for the $1.5 million Hilton Humanitarian Award in 2009. The Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund has been a partner with the Foods Resource Bank since 2004, and encourages Church of the Brethren congregations to sponsor growing projects to benefit the work of the Foods Resource Bank. “Brethren from growing projects in Maryland and Illinois were active in supporting the FRB nomination,” reported Howard Royer, manager of the Global Food Crisis Fund. Among new growing projects this year sponsored by Brethren in cooperation with the Foods Resource Bank is the 10-acre corn crop of Greenmount Church of the Brethren near Harrisonburg, Va. This is the Foods Resource Bank’s first growing project in the state, according to Royer. Other new growing projects reported by Brethren this season involve individual farm families from the Chiques, Conewago, and Hanover churches in Pennsylvania, and the partnership of First Central and Washington Creek churches in Kansas. Produce ranges from a sweet potato patch to 10 acres of soybeans.
  • On Sept. 18 the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., hosted a visit by leaders of the National Council of Churches. The group met with the executive directors of the main areas of the Church of the Brethren’s work. All employees were invited to a worship service with the delegation, held in the General Offices chapel.
  • On Earth Peace has announced the latest book in its Shalom Series. “Where Two or Three Are Gathered: Interpersonal Peacemaking” by Annie Clark is written “for those who recognize that significant differences exist among members of the church, yet value our unity as the Body of Christ, and are willing to work for it,” the announcement said. “In these pages you will find stories of those who have stretched out their hands to clasp the hands of others with very different beliefs. Here are practical ideas for communicating positively with people you may not understand, including resources for engaging in difficult discussions, and advice for dealing with conflict.” Order for $2 plus shipping and handling (less for multiple copies) from 410-635-8704.
  • The Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s Leadership Seminar this year is on the theme of ecological sustainability, titled “It’s Easy Being Green.” The setting is Marco Island, Fla., in a hotel that has been rebuilt as a “green” building. On the agenda are opportunities for several eco-tours. Presenters include Church of the Brethren member David Radcliff, director of the New Community Project; C. Jeff Woods, associate general secretary for the American Baptist Churches, USA; Stan McKay, a minister in the United Church of Canada who has served as national coordinator of Native Ministry for the United Church; Mark Vincent from Design for Ministry; Bryan Moyer Suderman, a musician whose most recent album and songbook is titled “My Money Talks: Songs For Worship”; and Fletcher Harper, an Episcopal priest and executive director of GreenFaith. Registration discounts include a group discount per denomination, a discount for early-bird registrations before Oct. 21, and a discount for first-timers. Be in touch with Carol Bowman, Church of the Brethren coordinator for stewardship formation and education, by Oct. 13 to help her coordinate Brethren registrations and take advantage of the discounts. Contact Bowman at or 509-663-2833. Go to for more information.
  • Awards given at the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in mid-July included the 2008 Camp Volunteer Award from the Outdoor Ministries Association, given to Norris and Gerry Martin of Masons Cove Church of the Brethren in Salem, Va.; and the Womaen’s Caucus “Friend of Caucus Award,” given to Charles (Chuck) Boyer of La Verne, Calif. Boyer is a retired Church of the Brethren pastor, a past Annual Conference moderator, and a former staff member of the Church of the Brethren General Board.
  • Pipe Creek Church of the Brethren in Union Bridge, Md., is celebrating a 250th anniversary. It is planning a special worship service on Sept. 28 at 10 a.m.
  • Sugar Creek West Church of the Brethren in Lima, Ohio, is celebrating 175 years on Sunday, Sept. 28. Worship begins at 10:30 a.m., followed by a luncheon, and a celebration service at 3 p.m. with burial of time capsule and balloon release.
  • Lewiston (Minn.) Church of the Brethren celebrated its 150th anniversary on Sept. 13-14.
  • Williamson Road Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va., holds its 60th Anniversary Celebration on Oct. 11-12. David Radcliff, director of the New Community Project, will be the speaker on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. and Sunday morning at the 11 a.m. worship service.
  • Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren and Maranatha Multi-Cultural Fellowship held a first annual Multi-Cultural Festival on July 26.
  • Best Friends performed at Wenatchee (Wash.) Brethren Baptist Church United on Sept. 12, as part of a Northwest Tour that also included churches in Idaho. The group was formed in 2006 by James Washington, an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren, to share African-American cultural traditions through music and help break down racial divisions.
  • A workshop for those concerned to help high school students make informed decisions about the military is at Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill., on Saturday, Oct. 4, at 12 noon. Lunch will be provided. The event is co-sponsored by the church, the American Friends Service Committee and Fox Valley Citizens for Peace and Justice. For more call 312-427-2533.
  • Virlina District has been holding a special offering to help defray the costs of rebuilding Erwin (Tenn.) Church of the Brethren. The Erwin Church building was destroyed in a fire after lightning hit the steeple on June 9. The offering has received $19,891.30 from 58 congregations.
  • Several districts are holding conferences in the next two weeks: Middle Pennsylvania District holds a combined District Conference and Heritage Fair weekend on Sept. 26-28 at Camp Blue Diamond. Oregon and Washington District holds its conference at Olympic View Community Church of the Brethren in Seattle, Wash., on Sept. 26-28. Idaho and Western Montana District holds its conference on Oct. 3-4 at Fruitland (Idaho) Church of the Brethren on “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God” (Mt. 6:33a). A special gathering of Northern Plains District will be held at Camp Pine Lake on Oct. 4 as a follow up to a “Sending of the Seventy” project. The focus is “How do we be Missional?” Jonathan Shively and Duane Grady from the Church of the Brethren’s Congregational Life Ministries will provide leadership, along with district leaders.
  • The 32th Annual Brethren Disaster Relief Auction sponsored by Atlantic Northeast and Southern Pennsylvania Districts will be held Sept. 26-27 at the Lebanon (Pa.) Area Fairgrounds.
  • Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., has received a $6.1 million bequest in the will of Larry S. Johnson of Somerset, Pa. The bequest is the largest single estate gift ever received by Juniata, according to the college. The bequest endows the Lawrence S. Johnson ’61 Scholarship giving a full tuition, room-and-board scholarship to a graduate of Somerset Area High School; gives $1.5 million to the University of Rochester (N.Y.) School of Medicine and Dentistry to endow a four-year, full tuition scholarship for a graduate of Juniata; distributes more than $2 million to the Homer C. and Ethel F. Will Endowed Freshman Biology Scholarship offering financial aid packages for science students at Juniata; and gives about $400,000 to the general operating fund at the college. Juniata College president Thomas R. Kepple and board chair David Andrews will present a memorial plaque to Mark Gross, principal of Somerset Area High School, on Sept. 29.
  • Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., has registered its largest class in 25 years, according to a release. The class includes 390 new students. The increase was the result of a recruiting push and new marketing and admission strategies that produced a 46 percent increase in applications and 32 percent increase in campus visits.
  • Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in Boonsboro, Md., was a partner recently in a transaction involving hospital beds, according to a release from the home. Washington County Hospital in Hagerstown and IMA World Health also participated, and Fahrney-Keedy residents and people in the country of Rwanda will benefit from the deal. The hospital had electric beds it no longer needed after purchasing many new ones. Fahrney-Keedy bought 51 of those beds from the hospital for a greatly reduced price. In return, the community donated 26 manual-crank beds to IMA World Health, which has its main office at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.
  • The October edition of “Brethren Voices,” a community television program of Peace Church of the Brethren in Portland, Ore., is titled “Bob Gross-A Man of Peace,” and tells the life story of the executive director of On Earth Peace. The show includes the story of how Gross as a conscientious objector returned his draft card during the Vietnam War, and spent 18 months in federal prison. The November edition is titled “Re-Thinking, About Other Life Forms” featuring singer and songwriter Mike Stern. The programs are designed for Church of the Brethren congregations to air on community cable television in their communities. Contact producer Ed Groff at or 360-256-8550. Copies of the programs are available for a contribution of $8.
  • Joel Kline, pastor of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill., is one of the honorees at an 18th Annual Awards Breakfast given by the Community Crisis Center in Elgin. The theme for the event, scheduled for Oct. 3 at 7:30 a.m. at the Elgin Country Club, is “Partners for Peace.” October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Tickets are $20, for reservations call 847-697-2380 by Oct. 1.

6) Nightingale, Thompson begin new positions at BBT.

Patrice Nightingale and Eric Thompson have begun in new positions at Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT). Nightingale assumed the responsibilities of BBT’s interim director of communications on Sept. 15, while applications are being accepted to fill the position permanently. Thompson on Sept. 15 was promoted from network administrator to the newly created position of director of operations for information technology.

Nightingale came to BBT in May as manager of publications, serving as a senior writer and copy editor for publications, and will continue in that capacity during the interim. She has worked in the publications field for over 35 years in various capacities, is a graduate of Manchester College, and a member of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill.

Thompson began working for BBT on Jan. 2, 2001, as the information services/eMountain support technician. He became network administrator in 2003, and has played a key role in moving BBT’s technology forward. He is a member of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren.

Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren, or 800-323-8039 ext. 260. Kathleen Campanella, Jeri S. Kornegay, Karin Krog, Wendy McFadden, Patrice Nightingale, Howard Royer, John Wall contributed to this report. Newsline appears every other Wednesday, with other special issues sent as needed. The next regularly scheduled issue is set for Oct. 8. 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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