Brethren Congregations to Send Delegates to San Diego for Annual Conference

Church of the Brethren Newsline
June 15, 2009

An Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren on June 26-30 will bring delegates from across the country to San Diego, Calif. This will be the 223rd recorded Annual Conference for the Church of the Brethren.

The Annual Conference will meet at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center on the theme, “The old has gone! The new has come! All this is from God!” (2 Corinthians 5:16-21).

David Shumate of Roanoke, Va., will serve as moderator of the Conference, which is the highest elected position in the church. He also serves as executive of the church’s Virlina District.

The Conference will welcome church members from across the US and Puerto Rico, and delegates from the Church of the Brethren’s 1,000 congregations and 23 districts. More than 2,000 people are expected to attend, including church members and families, pastors, denominational officers, and church staff.

Eric H. F. Law will bring the Sunday morning message on June 28. An Episcopal priest and consultant in the area of multicultural ministry, he is author of a number of books including The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb: A Spirituality for Leadership in a Multicultural Community and Finding Intimacy in a World of Fear.

Business for the delegate body includes “A Statement of Confession and Commitment,” which is a paper from the district delegates addressing a call to unity on issues of sexuality; a paper offering “A Structural Framework for Dealing with Strongly Controversial Issues”; queries from congregations on the issues of “Language on Same-Sex Covenantal Relationships” and “Secret Oath-Bound Societies”; and revised bylaws for the denomination, which last year underwent a restructuring. Also on the agenda are reports from church programs and elections of new church officers and board and committee members.

Programs for the children, youth, and young adults plan to take groups around the San Diego area to do community service projects during the Conference. The 3rd through 5th grade children plan a “Caring for Creation” service project on the beach; the junior high and high school youth plan a day of “Ministry, Calling, and Discipleship” participating in different ministries around San Diego; and the young adults plan a service project for San Diego’s homeless.

In addition, the youth group plans a peace and justice event focused on immigration concerns at the US/Mexico border on the afternoon of June 28; and the young adults plan a “Beach Walk for Peace” at Coronado Beach.

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.

Brethren in the News

Obituary: James K. Garber, Grandstaff-Hentgen Funeral Homes, N. Manchester, Ind. (June 10, 2009). James K. Garber, 83, died on June 9 at Timbercrest Healthcare in North Manchester, Ind. He was a member of Manchester Church of the Brethren, where he had served as board chair and moderator. From 1983-86 he was executive for Human Resources for the Church of the Brethren General Board in Elgin, Ill. He also worked at Manchester College as director of Development for 30 years, retiring in 1994 to direct community fund raising projects including the Manchester Community Pool, library, and Sports Complex. Earlier he had worked at Garbers Inc., the family business. He was a graduate of Manchester College and Indiana University in Bloomington. His wife, Helen Anne Winger, whom he married in 1947, survives him.

“A slow, tiring return from flooding,” Indianapolis Star (June 7, 2009). The story of Francis and Debby Cheek’s recovery from the flooding of their home–one of the many Indiana homes affected by flooding following the 7 inches of rain that fell in one 24-hour period in June 2008. Repair of the Cheeks’ home is now almost completed, with help from a Church of the Brethren disaster response crew from Virginia.

Obituary: Lloyd David Longanecker, Salem (Ohio) News (June 7, 2009). Lloyd David Longanecker, 89, died June 5 at his residence. He was a member of Zion Hill Church of the Brethren in Columbiana, Ohio. He retired from the Ohio Turnpike in 1984, working at the Canfield Maintenance Building 8 for 27 years as a maintenance mechanic. Previously, he worked at General Fireproofing, John Deere, and Boardman-Poland School Bus Garage. He is survived by his wife, the former Muriel Henrietta Barnhart, whom he married in 1957.

“Brethren Community adds apartments for seniors,” Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, Pa. (June 6, 2009). This week’s opening of Coventry Place independent living apartments at Church of the Brethren Community in Windber, Pa., provides welcome options for a number of area seniors. All 15 apartments were filled before they were built, Chief Executive Officer Thomas Reckner said.

“New church to be dedicated in Wyomissing,” Reading (Pa.) Eagle (June 6, 2009). A service of dedication for a new church building was held at Wyomissing Church of the Brethren on June 7, formerly First Church of the Brethren, Reading, Pa. Robert Neff, former president of Juniata College and former general secretary of the Church of the Brethren, presented the morning message, “Glory Hallelujah, We’re Home.”

“Church to hold final worship service,” News-Leader, Springfield, Mo. (June 6, 2009). Good Shepherd Church of the Brethren in Springfield, Mo., held its final worship service on Sunday, June 7. There will be a “Celebration of the life of Good Shepherd Church of the Brethren” at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 13.

“Free clothing give-away,” The Suburbanite, Akron, Ohio (June 3, 2009). On June 13, there will be a free clothing give-away at Hartville (Ohio) Church of the Brethren, responding to the economic downturn that has affected many people in the community.

Obituary: Robert R. Pryor, Zanesville (Ohio) Times (June 3, 2009). Robert R. Pryor, 76, died on June 1 at his home surrounded by his loving family. He attended White Cottage (Ohio) Church of the Brethren. He worked as a electrician for Armco Steel, and retired after 33 years of service; and was a former part-time employee at Imlay Florist and a former volunteer fireman. Surviving is his wife, Marlene A. (Worstall) Pryor, whom he married in 1953.

“Volunteers Help Rebuild an Erwin Church,”, Johnson City, Tenn. (June 2, 2009). A report with video clip and photos of the start of the rebuilding of Erwin (Tenn.) Church of the Brethren, which was destroyed by fire one year ago. A team of volunteer builders called Carpenters for Christ kicked off the construction project.

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