Annual Conference Information Packet Available Online, Registration Begins February 21

The Information Packet for the 2009 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren is now available online. The packet offers essential information about the Conference to take place in San Diego, Calif., on June 26-30, including information about registration fees, travel, housing, age group events, special presentations, and more.

The information packet is available at  (go to  to download the packet in pdf format).

Those who are unable to access the Internet may obtain an Information Packet on CD for $3 or a paper copy for $5 from the Annual Conference Office. Send requests to  or call 800-688-5186.

Non-delegate registration for the Conference will be available online beginning Feb. 21, at the Conference website. Cost for an adult to register for the full event is $75 if pre-registering, or $100 onsite. Discounted fees are available for those attending single days or the weekend only, ages 12-21, and current Brethren Volunteer Service workers. Children under 12 may register for free. Conference registration can be completed either online or by filling out the non-delegate registration form in the Information Packet.

Housing reservations also may be made starting Feb. 21, using the online housing system at  or by submitting the housing request form in the Information Packet. Two hotels are offered for Conference housing this year, the Town and Country Hotel, which is where Conference will be held, and the Doubletree Hotel Mission Valley.

Feb. 21 also marks the date when the registration fee for delegates from Church of the Brethren congregations and districts will increase to $245, from $200. Delegates are requested to submit their registrations and the fee before that date.

For more information contact the Annual Conference Office at  or 800-688-5186.

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 to receive Newsline by e-mail or to submit news to the editor at For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.


“Retired teacher has time, so he gives it,” Lebanon (Pa.) Daily News. James Martin learned the value of helping others from his grandparents and his father, who was a minister for the Church of the Brethren in Lebanon County, Pa. Martin, who lives at Lebanon Valley Brethren Home, became an English teacher and taught thousands of students over the years. He started volunteering at Penn State’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center after his wife, Elizabeth, died of cancer. Read the full story at

“Minister is ready for a new mission,” Herald Tribune, Sarasota, Fla. Pastor Janice Shull’s odyssey began in Aug. 2005, when Hurricane Katrina ravaged her dream house in New Orleans and God steered her family toward another life, leading her to Venice (Fla.) Community Church of the Brethren. “To feel that I have been called to serve the people here in Venice, and to serve the Lord is such a joyous thing for me,” Shull told the newspaper. Read more at”Minister_is_ready__for_a_new_mission

“No football, but still ‘Souper,’” Herald-Mail, Hagerstown, Md. Brownsville (Md.) Church of the Brethren is highlighted in an article about the 20th anniversary of the Souper Bowl of Caring. At the Brownsville Church, the youth have participated in the Souper Bowl of Caring for the past five years. “We collected $200 for the South County Food Bank last year, and we hope to increase that amount for this year,” said Carrie Jennings, one of the organizers. Find the article at

“Argos Swap Shop helps clothe the needy,” WNDU-TV, South Bend, Ind. It’s been said “nothing in life is free” but that’s not the case at one store in Argos, Ind. The store is called the Argos Swap Shop sponsored by the Walnut Church of the Brethren CHAFIA. People can bring in their donations and swap them for other items in the store. The store also believes that if you can’t donate, don’t worry. They want to help out those in need during tough times. Find the report at

“Non-traditional churches flourish in Frederick County,” Business Gazette, Gaithersburg, Md. An article on nontraditional churches in Frederick County, Md., commends Frederick Church of the Brethren for being “a fine example of what a church is doing right.” Along with several other congregations from different traditions, the piece reviews the history of growth in Frederick Church of the Brethren, which is the largest Brethren congregation in the US. Go to

Obituary: Dorothy J. Puffenbarger, News Leader, Staunton, Va. Dorothy Jean “Nellie” Puffenbarger, 78, of Bridgewater, Va., died on Feb. 1 at her daughter’s residence in Avon Park, Fla. She was a member of Sangerville Church of the Brethren in Bridgewater. She was born Nov. 12, 1930, in Briery Branch, a daughter of the late Bryan and Artie (Huffman) Rexrode. Her husband, C. Leon Puffenbarger, preceded her in death in 1989. For the full obituary go to

Obituary: Paul F. Landes, News Leader, Staunton. Va. Paul Franklin Landes, 75, of Fishersville, Va., passed away on Jan. 29 at Augusta Medical Center. He was a lifelong member of Waynesboro (Va.) Church of the Brethren. He retired as plant engineer from Virginia Metalcrafters. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Peggy Rankin Landes. For the full obituary see

Obituary: Elmer Layman, Falls Church (Va.) News-Press. Elmer Leonard “Snake” Layman, 95, of New Market, Va., died Jan. 11 at Rockingham Memorial Hospital. He was a member of Fairview, Endless Caverns Church of the Brethren in Timberville, Va. He was in the poultry business in Washington, D.C., for 40 years before retiring. His first wife, the former Gladys Virginia Whitmer whom he married in 1939, preceded him in death in 1970. His second wife, the former Frances Estelle Knight whom he married in 1973, preceded him in death in 1996. For the full obituary go to

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