Mission and Ministry Board Announces Reorganization Results

Church of the Brethren Newsline
March 19, 2009

The Church of the Brethren’s Mission and Ministry Board has announced the results of its action to immediately reorganize to comply with the number of members approved by Annual Conference when the Association of Brethren Caregivers and the General Board merged. The action was taken at the board’s Spring meeting at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.

Before the economic downturn, the board planned to gradually reduce its number of members by attrition, with each member of the prior two boards invited to fill out their full terms. The immediacy of the decision was intended to help reduce expenses following a decision to reduce the operating budget for the church’s core ministries this year by $505,000. It immediately reduces the number of board members from 29 to 19.

Board chair Eddie Edmonds has announced that the Mission and Ministry Board will stand at 19 members for 2009, and will be at the approved level of 17 members following this year’s Annual Conference, to be held in June in San Diego, Calif.

“This action represents a significant savings to the core ministries budget,” said Edmonds, who also serves as pastor of Moler Avenue Church of the Brethren in Martinsburg, W.Va. “My deep appreciation and thanks to those who have now completed their service to the Mission and Ministry Board. Proper and appropriate recognition of the service of those who completed their terms of service as a result of this action will occur by the best means available.”

Following are the names of those who continue on the Mission and Ministry Board for 2009 (dates in parentheses are the last year of their terms on the board): Eddie Edmonds as chair (2009), Dale Minnich as chair-elect (2011), Vernne Greiner (2010), Ken Wenger (2009), Terry Lewis (2012), Frances Townsend (2012), Dan McRoberts (2010), Willie Hisey Pierson (2013), Andy Hamilton (2013), Tammy Kiser (2011), Ben Barlow (2013), David Bollinger (2011), Hector Perez-Borges (2011), Wallace Cole (2013), Barbra Davis (2011), Chris Whitacre (2010), Colleen Michael (2011), Bruce Holderreed (2010), and John Katonah (2010).

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

“Myersville woman spends year helping abused children,” Frederick (Md.) News-Post (March 18, 2009). While caring for abused and neglected children, Chelsea Spade has learned compassion for their parents. She is volunteering for a year at Casa de Esperanza de los Ninos in Houston, through Brethren Volunteer Service. She attended the Grossnickle Church of the Brethren growing up and has performed service activities through her church. http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/

“A story of hope for the Swords: Couple is back together at Brethren Village,” Lancaster (Pa.) New Era (March 16, 2009). Gene and Barbara Swords are back together in their Brethren Village apartment, after a year of living apart. Gene Swords spent months recovering in the hospital, then rehabbing at Brethren Village’s health-care center, after a stroke. The Swords, now 80, met as opera-loving teenagers at a church camp, ended up at Elizabethtown College, and both retired from long careers with the Lampeter-Strasburg School District. For many years, they performed with the Lancaster Opera Co. http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/235133

“ACRS Monday Morning Story-Telling Breakfast,” Eastern Mennonite University (March 15, 2009). The Anabaptist Center at Eastern Mennonite University has started a new “story-telling” series that includes the Church of the Brethren. Yesterday’s presentation, on March 16, featured Earle Fike sharing his life story. Fike has dedicated his life to the ministry of the Church of the Brethren. A colleague unequivocally calls him “the dean of Brethren pastors.” http://www.emu.edu/events/detail.php3?id=12919

Obituary: Garnetta R. Miller, News Leader, Staunton, Va. (March 10, 2009). Garnetta Jean Reamer Miller, 85, of Weyers Cave, Va., died on March 9 at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville. She was a member of Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren and Dorcas Circle of the Church. Her husband of 63 year, Loren J. Miller, survives her. http://www.newsleader.com/article/20090310/

“Woman, 110, known for sharp mind and humor,” Dayton (Ohio) Daily News (March 9, 2009). Sylvia Utz celebrated her 110th birthday on March 9 at the Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville, Ohio. She told the newspaper that her earliest memory is of members of her church, Pitsburg Church of the Brethren in Arcanum, Ohio, picnicking on the present-day grounds of the Brethren Retirement Community with orphans and senior citizens. She figures she was 6 or 7. The newspaper reported that only 1 in 5 million people lives to age 110. http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/

“Fuentes volunteers at The Palms of Sebring,” News Sun, Sebring, Fla. (March 8, 2009). Emily Fuentes of Erie, Colo., has recently undertaken a Brethren Volunteer Service assignment with The Palms of Sebring, a Church of the Brethren retirement community. Before joining BVS, Fuentes studied astrophysics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has also been very involved in her church serving on the Worship Team, Pastoral Search Committee, and as custodian. http://www.newssun.com/business/0308-Emily-Fuentes

“Arrangements Made for Meyersdale Teens,” WeAreCentralPA.com (March 7,2009). Meyersdale (Pa.) Church of the Brethren is holding funerals for two of the three Somerset County, Pa., teens killed in a car crash last Thursday. A funeral service for Austin Johnson was to be held at the church today, Monday, March 9, at 10 a.m.; a funeral service for Lee Gnagey will be at the church at 3 p.m. tomorrow. http://wearecentralpa.com/content/fulltext/news/?cid=73541

Also see “Police: Teens Were Racing Another Car Prior to Fatal Crash,” WJACTV.com (March 7, 2009) http://www.wjactv.com/news/18871657/detail.html

Also see “Funeral Plans Set for Three Meyersdale Teens,” WJACTV.com (March 9, 2009) http://www.wjactv.com/news/18888974/detail.html

Obituary: Betty Jane Kauffman, The Review, East Liverpool, Ohio (March 7, 2009). Betty Jane Kauffman, 84, died at home on March 3. She was active in Zion Hill Church of the Brethren in Columbiana, Ohio. She was preceded in death by her husband, Adin R. Kauffman, whom she married in 1949. She was a graduate of the Hanna Mullins School of Nursing and worked as a registered nurse. http://www.reviewonline.com/page/content.detail/

“Two Garrett churches hit by burglars,” Cumberland (Md.) Times-News (March 6, 2009). Oak Park Church of the Brethren in Oakland, Md., was one of two churches to be hit by thieves during the week. The Garrett County Sheriff’s Office said the two victim churches were ransacked with damages resulting to interior doors, door frames, and jambs. http://www.times-news.com/local/local_story_065225105.html

“In and Around Greene,” Greene County Record, Stanardsville, Va. (March 6, 2009). The Food Pantry in Greene County received 42 donations of food and/or dollars during the February Souper Bowl of Caring food drive. Gifts in memory of Delbert Frey and a Church of the Brethren “Domestic Hunger Matching Grant” helped surpass the goal. http://www.greene-news.com/gcn/lifestyles/announcements/

“Thurmont’s Christian congregations observe Lent season together,” Business Gazette, Gaithersburg, Md. (March 5, 2009). The lights were on and the doors were open at Thurmont (Md.) Church of the Brethren on a cold Monday evening, as the first installment of the Thurmont Ministerium’s rotating Lent service got under way. The messages coming from the dual pulpits–one for Linda Lambert, pastor of the Church of the Brethren, and one for worship leader Steve Lowe–were clear. “May it be a season of sorrow and remorse,” Lowe said in his invocation. http://www.gazette.net/stories/03052009/thurnew173355_32473.shtml

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