Brethren Revival Fellowship Announces Publication of Commentary on Genesis

Church of the Brethren Newsline
Dec. 8, 2009

Brethren Revival Fellowship has announced the publication of a commentary on Genesis, written by Harold S. Martin. The book is part of the “Brethren Old Testament Commentary” series, which has the stated aim of giving a readable explanation of the Old Testament text, with loyalty to Anabaptist and Pietist values.

“No book of the Bible is more important than the book of Genesis,” said a release from the BRF. “In Genesis, God reveals truth about the beginning of all things, and therefore its message is basic to the information set forth in the rest of the Bible. Thus all seekers of truth should study Genesis and fix their hearts and minds on the message it declares.”

The commentary “is not intended to be a detailed or technical guide for advanced Bible students,” the BRF release added, “but in simple terms it seeks to connect the accounts within Genesis to one another. The commentary also attempts to explain the portions of Genesis that are more difficult to understand. In this study tool, readers will become more familiar with the accounts of creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood, the Tower of Babel, and the patriarchs of Israel.”

The suggested donation is $20 for the 304-page volume. Send requests and donations to Brethren Revival Fellowship, P.O. Box 543, Ephrata, PA 17522-0543; or go to  (use the online form for orders from the United States and Canada only).

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. For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.

Brethren in the News

“Nativities on display at Newton Church of the Brethren’s open house,” Newton Kansan, (Dec. 7, 2009). Newton (Kan.) Church of the Brethren’s open house from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, will feature more than 200 nativities. Donations of non-perishable grocery items or cash to the Harvest of Love food drive will be accepted.

“Ethmer Erisman, the pastor with the pony cart, enjoys helping others,” Digital Burg, Warrensburg, Mo. (Dec. 7, 2009). “This city has many inspirational people who give back to the community, and Ethmer Erisman is one of those people,” begins an article at Erisman is one of the team of pastors at Warrensburg Church of the Brethren. He is known for volunteering his pony cart at community events, including the annual Crop Walk.

“eBay and old photos give granddaughters glimpse into life of a quiet man,” Springfield (Ohio) News-Sun (Dec. 7, 2009). Reporter Tom Stafford reviews the life of Church of the Brethren member David Flora (1880-1954), after his two grand-daughters recently found some photos of him. One was on sale on eBay, another displayed in a restaurant booth showing their grandfather at work at a long-time local grocery store in Springfield, named Clauer Brothers.

“South Bend event offers shoppers alternative gifts,” South Bend (Ind.) Tribune (Dec. 6, 2009). A report on the annual “Giving with a Purpose” alternative gift fair at Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren in South Bend, Ind. The four-hour event on Sat., Dec. 5, was the 10th held at the church, where members helped by hosting a bake sale and staffing booths for organizations such as Hope Ministries, St. Margaret’s House, and Ten Thousand Villages.

“Maple Spring church names new pastor,” Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, Pa. (Dec. 4, 2009). Guy L. Myers has been named pastor of Maple Spring Church of the Brethren in Hollsopple, Pa.

“University Park warms up to idea of solar energy: Co-op aims to install panels on church, school,” The Gazette, Gaithersburg, Md. (Dec. 2, 2009). The Christmas tree in University Park, Md., will be a lot more eco-friendly this year. For the first time it will be powered entirely by solar energy, thanks to solar panels provided by the University Park Solar Co-op. The 20-member co-op was founded by residents two years ago with the goal of investing in renewable energy sources for the town. The tree was their first major project, and they now have their sights set on bringing solar power to University Park Church of the Brethren and University Park Elementary School.

“New Pacific Northwest titles for every interest,” The Oregonian (Dec. 2, 2009). A book by Jeffrey Kovac, “Refusing War, Affirming Peace: A History of Civilian Public Service Camp No. 21 at Cascade Locks” tops the list of titles for holiday shoppers recommended by The Oregonian. The book tells the story of the Cascade Locks camp for conscientious objectors during World War II, which was sponsored by the Church of the Brethren. The short review notes that actor Lew Ayres, was assigned there. Author Kovac is a chemistry professor at the University of Tennessee and an authority on nonviolence and the history of conscientious objectors during World War II. His father-in-law, Charles Davis, was assigned to the Cascade Locks camp and assisted his research.

“Forreston house walk will benefit ACS,” Ogle County (Ill.) News (Dec. 2, 2009). West Branch Church of the Brethren in Polo, Ill., was one of the destinations for an annual “Christmas in the Country House Walk” on Sat., Dec. 5. Proceeds went to the American Cancer Society. West Branch, organized in 1846, was the first Church of the Brethren in Ogle County. A stone church building was completed in 1862 and is the structure that is there today.

“Alternative Holiday Fair to sell international gifts,” State Journal-Register, Springfield, Ill. (Dec. 1, 2009). An Alternative Holiday Fair at Springfield (Ill.) Church of the Brethren on Dec. 4-5 offered a selection of international gifts including toys, games, desk accessories, musical instruments, baskets, jewelry, housewares, gift baskets and holiday items. Many of them were purchased from nonprofit alternative trade organizations SERRV and Ten Thousand Villages.

“Foreign volunteers helping Americans in need,” Frederick (Md.) News Post (Nov. 29, 2009). An interview with Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) worker Sebastian Peters from Cologne, Germany, who along with fellow volunteer Alex Lepp is working in Frederick, Md., at the Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs. Upon graduating from high school, they had a choice between a stint of obligatory military service or volunteering in some capacity. “We decided social service was better for us,” Peters said.

“Neighborhood news: Family Christmas Craft Night coming to Nokesville Church of the Brethren,” and News and Messenger, Manassas, Va. (Nov. 26, 2009). Holiday activities at Nokesville Church of the Brethren started Sunday, Nov. 29, when the church held its Family Christmas Craft Night and Chrismon Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Obituary: Glen L. Crowell, Palladium-Item, Richmond, Ind. (Nov. 26, 2009). Glen L. Crowell, 89, passed away on Nov. 24 at Greenbriar Nursing Center in Eaton, Ohio. He was a lifetime member of Eaton Church of the Brethren where he served as past treasurer and was a member of the church choir and quartet. He was an accountant and financial advisor, retiring in 1994. He was mayor of the City of Eaton from 1968-69, served on the board of directors for the Preble County National Bank from 1978-90, was a member of the Eaton Chamber of Commerce serving on the board of directors, and a past treasurer of the Preble County Fair. He sang locally and nationally in several barbershop choruses and quartets. He was preceded in death by his wife, June E. Crowell, who passed away in 2001.

Obituary: Patsy A. Shull, Staunton (Va.) News Leader (Nov. 25, 2009). Patsy Alice Shull, 71, of Bridgewater, Va., passed away on Nov. 24 at her home. She was a member of Sangerville Church of the Brethren in Bridgewater, and attended Briery Branch Church of the Brethren in Dayton, Va. She had worked in food service at Harrisonburg Auto Auction, Rocco, and the Buckhorn Inn. Her husband, Leo Richard Shull, survives her.

“Rolls filled with love,” Connellsville (Pa.) Daily Courier (Nov. 20, 2009). For the past four years, a group of parishioners from Mt. Pleasant (Pa.) Church of the Brethren has produced hundreds of filled rolls for the holidays. About one dozen parishioner volunteers spend three days twice annually as they bake fresh rolls for the Thanksgiving/Christmas season and the Easter holiday. The group makes approximately 500 rolls for each season.

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