50th Anniversary Open House to Be Held at Brethren General Offices

Church of the Brethren Newsline
April 28, 2009

On May 13, a 50th Anniversary Open House will be held at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. (located at 1451/1505 Dundee Ave., at the intersection of Rte. 25 and I-90). The theme for the event is “What do these stones mean to you?” (Joshua 4:6).

The Open House begins at 1:15 p.m. on May 13 with building tours.

At 2 p.m. “Worship in Word and Song” will be held in the unique stone-walled chapel, led by Wil Nolen and the choir of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren. The speaker will be Fred Swartz, secretary of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference.

At 2:30 p.m. a program of “Stories of Living Stones” will be led by Howard Royer, manager of the denomination’s Global Food Crisis Fund and a member of the church staff in Elgin for more than 50 years. A reception will follow, and another opportunity for tours of the building.

On April 8, 1959, the General Offices building was opened on Dundee Avenue after the church moved its offices from a previous location on State Street in downtown Elgin. This year also marks the 110th anniversary of the church’s move to the city.

Currently the building houses Church of the Brethren denominational staff, the Brethren Benefit Trust, the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Living Gospel Church of God in Christ. Behind the building are community garden plots, and an expanse of lawn borders on all sides.

The General Offices has hosted numerous ecumenical visitors and church-related events over its 50 years. Next month, on May 18-20, it hosts spring meetings of the National Council of Churches Governing Board.

The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. Contact cobnews@brethren.org to receive Newsline by e-mail or to submit news to the editor at cobnews@brethren.org. For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.

Brethren in the News

“Search for Next Bridgewater College President Begins,” Daily News Record, Harrisonburg, Va. (April 28, 2009). The search for Bridgewater (Va.) College’s next president is under way. The college recently announced the members of a search committee charged with finding a successor for President Phillip C. Stone, who will retire in June 2010. Stone, the 129-year-old college’s seventh president, has held the post since 1994. He announced his retirement April 3. The nine-person committee is predominantly made up of members of the Bridgewater College Board of Trustees. http://www.dnronline.com/news_details.php?AID=37373&CHID=2

“Timbercrest hosts annual Spring Fellowship Day,” Wabash (Ind.) Plain Dealer (April 27, 2009). This year’s Spring Fellowship Day at Timbercrest Senior Living Community, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in North Manchester, Ind., was sponsored by the Friends of Timbercrest. The event included a visit from Settlers, Inc., portraying the life of pioneers living in Northern Indiana in the mid-1800s, and the Hearthstone Ensemble, Settlers, Inc.’s group of musicians performing on period instruments. http://www.wabashplaindealer.com/articles/

“Congregating anew: Church of the Brethren celebrates 80th anniversary,” Glendale (Calif.) News Press (April 27, 2009). Glendale (Calif.) Church of the Brethren hosted almost 90 visitors Sunday for a triumphant 80th anniversary service that took place two years after the congregation had shrunk to just 17 active members and was on the verge of collapse. Many of the church’s newly purchased pews in the recently painted sanctuary were occupied for the celebration, and the congregation was short on hymn books for the first time in years. http://www.glendalenewspress.com/articles/2009/04/27/

“US peace church mobilises for international day of prayer,” Ekklesia, the United Kingdom (April 27, 2009). On Earth Peace, a Church of the Brethren agency in the USA, is calling on churches and organizations to join its annual campaign to participate in the World Council of Churches’ International Day of Prayer for Peace (IDOPP) on 21 September. This year, a special emphasis is being given to the ways in which the current deep recession is affecting local communities. “Times like these remind us that peace is always a local issue,” said Matt Guynn, Peace Witness coordinator for On Earth Peace. http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/9338

“Rebuilding begins Saturday morning,” Pilot News, Plymouth, Ind. (April 23, 2009). Plymouth (Ind.) Church of the Brethren is taking part in the annual “Rebuilding Together” effort around Marshall County, Ind. Rebuilding Together will be bringing together over 100 volunteers to do work on seven separate homes in the Marshall County. The work will be done for the low-income homeowner of the elderly, disabled and families with children. http://www.thepilotnews.com/content/view/105537/1/

“Crop Walkers take their faith to the streets,” Observer/Mirror, Royal Oak, Mich. (April 23, 2009). Trinity Church of the Brethren in Redford, Mich., hosts the start of the annual Crop Walk in Redford Township on Sunday, May 3, to raise money that will be given to charities both international and local. Fighting hunger is part of every Christian’s faith according to one of the organizers. http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20090423/

“Quinter ready to reduce energy use,” Hays (Kan.) Daily News (April 21, 2009). Quinter (Kan.) Church of the Brethren hosted a kick-off event for the “Take Charge” campaign pitting communities against each other in a race to see which one can save the most energy. Hays-based Midwest Energy showcased its “How$mart” program — honored by the Environmental Defense Fund. The How$mart program essentially lends money to Midwest customers for energy efficiency efforts. http://www.hdnews.net/Story/energychallenge042109

“Six Named to DN-R Leadership Awards Panel,” Daily News Record, Harrisonburg, Va. (April 21, 2009). Three of the people named to a six-member committee charged with selecting the winners of the 2009 Daily News-Record Leadership Awards given to local high school seniors, have ties to the Church of the Brethren: Gerald W. Beam, president of Beam Bros. Trucking, Inc., is a member of Mill Creek Church of the Brethren; Anne Burns Keeler is vice president for finance and treasurer at Bridgewater (Va.) College, a Church of the Brethren school; and Michael A. Stoltzfus, president and CEO of Dynamic Aviation, has chaired the Bridgewater Retirement Community Foundation board, a Church of the Brethren retirement community. http://www.dnronline.com/news_details.php?AID=37207&CHID=1

“Four nominated for Church Award,” Cumberland (Md.) Times-News (April 18, 2009). Matraca Lynn Shirley of Keyser (W.Va.) Church of the Brethren is one of four high schoolers nominated for the Katharine Church Award, given annually by the Keyser Rotary. The award ceremony takes place April 22 at 6 p.m. at the Wind Lea Banquet and Conference Center. The award was established in honor of Katharine Church, organist and choir director at Keyser Presbyterian Church and a teacher at all levels from elementary through college. The Keyser High School faculty vote on the candidates, who are then judged by a panel of past presidents of Keyser Rotary. http://www.times-news.com/local/local_story_108235153.html

Also see “And the nominees are: Katharine M. Church nominees are announced,” Mineral Daily News-Tribune, Keyser, W.Va. (April 16, 2009). http://www.newstribune.info/news/x1263220877/

Obituary: John A. Severn, Palladium-Item, Richmond, Ind. (April 18, 2009). John A. “Jack” Severn, 90, of Eaton, Ohio, died on April 15 at his home. He was retired from NACA (NASA). Survivors include his wife, Betty Brock Severn. Memorials are to Eaton Church of the Brethren Building Fund or Reid Hospice. http://www.pal-item.com/article/20090418/NEWS04/904180315

Obituary: James K. Bullen, Palladium-Item, Richmond, Ind. (April 15, 2009). James Kurtis Bullen, 24, of Eaton (Ohio) Church of the Brethren, died on April 11 at a family residence. He was an Army soldier stationed out of Fort Campbell, Ky., and had recently returned from a one-year tour in Afghanistan and was home on leave. Survivors include his wife, Samantha (Hartley) Bullen; his mother, Mary Ellen Vice, of Eaton, Ohio; and his father, James M. Bullen, of Centerville, Ind. http://www.pal-item.com/article/20090415/NEWS04/904150324

“On film: Cowboys on a different range,” Lansdale (Pa.) Reporter (April 14, 2009). Church of the Brethren author and documentary producer Peggy Reiff Miller of Milford, Ind., is touring with her film “A Tribute to the Seagoing Cowboys” telling the story of men and boys who delivered livestock on cattle boats to Europe and China after World War II, as part of a Church of the Brethren program. This summer will mark the 65th anniversary of the first shipment of the Heifer Project to Puerto Rico in July 1944. Miller showed the film on April 19 at the Mennonite Heritage Center in Franconia, Pa. http://www.thereporteronline.com/articles/2009/04/14/

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