New Church Development Advisory Committee Meets, Visions

(Jan. 6, 2009) — In Dec. 2008 the Church of the Brethren’s New Church Development Committee enjoyed the warm hospitality of Papago Buttes Church of the Brethren in Scottsdale, Ariz., as the group met for prayer, visioning, dreaming, and planning for church planting in the United States.

The meeting explored ways to foster a movement of church planting across the Church of the Brethren; to build supportive relationships with districts; to improve communication among those involved in church planting; and to build systems for planter assessment, coaching, training, and resource development.

The committee considered a five-year plan for increasing new projects, fellowships, and churches. Dates for the next national new church development conference were established for May 20-22, 2010.

For more information about new church development in the Church of the Brethren or to find out how you can participate in this growing movement, contact Congregational Life Ministries at or 800-323-8039 ext. 282.

–Jonathan Shively is executive director of Congregational Life Ministries for the Church of the Brethren.

The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. 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.


“What would Jesus say? Local church leaders discuss what he might think if he visited this Christmas,” Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette. Debbie Eisenbise, pastor of Skyridge Church of the Brethren in Kalamazoo, Mich., was one of the church leaders asked by the newspaper, What would Jesus say if he visited this Christmas? Eisenbise responded in part, “He would persistently preach nonviolence, condemn injustice, and concern himself with healing the broken and the brokenhearted.” Read the full article at

“Pastors remembered for kindness, charisma,” Indianapolis Star. An article remembering Northview Church of the Brethren co-pastors Phil and Louise Rieman, who died on Dec. 26 when their car slid on a patch of ice and struck an oncoming truck. The newspaper interviews members of their family and the congregation to review the character and accomplishments of the Riemans’ lives. Go to

“Sunnyslope Church welcomes new pastor,” Wenatchee (Wash.) World. Michael Titus gave his first sermon as pastor of Sunnyslope Church on Sunday, Jan. 4. He most recently served as pastor at Covington Community Church of the Brethren. Read more at

“Twelfth Night Concert benefits food bank,” News Leader, Staunton, Va. The melodies of Christmas echoed through the sanctuary of Staunton (Va.) Church of the Brethren for its annual Twelfth Night Concert. Donations for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Network were accepted. For more go to

“Living beyond pain: After tragedies shake young family, they find the faith to risk their hearts by becoming parents again,” News Leader, Staunton, Va. An in-depth article about the new life experienced by Brian and Desirae Harman, members of Topeco Church of the Brethren in Floyd, Va., following the birth of a baby boy. The Harmans in 2007 lost their son, Chance, to a rare brain tumor at age four. For the full piece go to

“New pastor brings unique perspective,” Ambler (Pa.) Gazette. At only 27 years old and fresh out of seminary, Brandon Grady has taken the reigns as pastor at Ambler (Pa.) Church of the Brethren and is eager to lead the congregation in his own, unique way. “From day one, I’ve preached a togetherness ministry,” Grady told the newspaper. For the full article see

“Anonymous letter still unsolved mystery,” Frederick (Md.) News Post. After more than three weeks, an anonymous letter calling for the elimination of white separatist groups still has no known origin. The letter was sent from the fictitious “Ministerium of Rocky Ridge” using the return address of Monocacy Church of the Brethren in Rocky Ridge, Md. Pastor David Collins said his church did not send the letter. Read more at

Obituary: Duane H. Greer, Mansfield (Ohio) News Journal. Duane H. Greer, 93, passed away on Jan. 3 in Hospice House of Ashland, Ohio. He was a longtime member of Owl Creek Church of the Brethren in Bellville, Ohio. He devoted 25 years to providing security for the Mansfield Tire and Rubber Company, and also was a skilled woodworker. He and Pauline Miller Greer had celebrated 66 years of marriage. For the full obituary see

Obituary: Mary E. Nicholson, Palladium-Item, Richmond, Ind. Mary E. Nicholson, 89, passed away on Jan. 2 at Golden Living Center in Richmond, Ind. She was a member of Castine Church of the Brethren in Arcanum, Ohio. She shared 52 years of marriage to Henry Joseph Nicholson, until his death in 1990. In her professional career she cooked for the Mary E. Hill Home, Fountain City School, and many different restaurants. For the full obituary go to

Obituary: William A. Moore, Palladium-Item, Richmond, Ind. William A. “Bill” Moore, 87, passed away on Dec. 31, 2008, at the Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville, Ohio. He was a deacon at Cedar Grove Church of the Brethren in New Paris, Ohio. He was a self-employed dairy farmer and a tech for the Central Ohio Breeders Association, a Harrison Township trustee for over 30 years, and served on the Liberty Local School Board. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Miriam (Alexander). Find the full obituary at

Obituary: Joey Lee Mundt, Post Bulletin, Rochester, Minn. Joey Lee Mundt, 35, of Minnesota City, formerly of Utica, died on Dec. 30, 2008, at his home. He loved the farm and also enjoyed hunting, fishing, riding four-wheelers, bowling, and collecting toy cars and tractors. The funeral took place on Saturday, Jan. 3, at Lewiston (Minn.) Church of the Brethren. For the full obituary see

Obituary: Wilma Evelyn Coffman, Mountain Statesman, Grafton, W.Va. Wilma Evelyn Coffman, 87, departed this life on Dec. 27 at Colonial Place in Elkins, W.Va. She was a member of Shiloh Church of the Brethren and was a homemaker. She had been married to George Sherwood Coffman, who preceded her in death in 1997 after 56 years of marriage. Read the full obituary at

Obituary: Charlotte V. Garber, News Leader, Staunton, Va. Charlotte Viola Garber, 79, passed away on Dec. 28, 2008, at Rockingham (Va.) Memorial Hospital. She was a member of Middle River Church of the Brethren in Fort Defiance, Va. She retired in 1984 from American Safety Razor. She had been married to Jack Garber, who preceded her in death in 1996. Find the full obituary at

Obituary: Anna V. (Rice) Myers, Chambersburg (Pa.) Public Opinion. Anna V. (Rice) Myers, 91, died on Dec. 24, 2008, in Washington County Hospital, Hagerstown, Md. She was a member of Waynesboro (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. She was a homemaker on her family farm and in earlier years had worked at Stanley Co. of Chambersburg and Avalon Manor of Hagerstown and had taught school. She had been married to Daniel M. Myers, who died in 1991. See the obituary at

Obituary: Norma Nye Anna Stambaugh Beachley, Chambersburg (Pa.) Public Opinion. Norma Nye Anna Stambaugh Beachley, 80, died on Dec. 22, 2008, in the Penn Hall Nursing Center. She was a longtime member of Chambersburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, where she sang in the choir for over 30 years. She was a vocalist and entertainer, starred in community theater productions and appeared in numerous revues, sang with local bands, and modeled and did commercials. She is survived by her husband, Ronald E. Beachley, whom she married in 1946. Read the full obituary at

Obituary: Douglas G. Swope, Palladium-Item, Richmond, Ind. Douglas G. Swope, 51, passed away on Dec. 21, 2008. He was a member of Eaton (Ohio) Church of the Brethren, a member of the I.B.E.W. Local 82, an avid bowler and a member of the American Bowling Congress, and accomplished three perfect (300) games. He is survived by his wife of 15 years, Tina (Turner) Swope. Find the obituary at

Obituary: Matthew M. Shobe, News Leader, Staunton, Va. Matthew David McGuigan Shobe, 19, son of Anne McGuigan and Dwight David Shobe of Bridgewater, Va., died on Dec. 20, 2008. He was a member of Summit Church of the Brethren in Bridgewater. He attended Blue Ridge Community College and Bridgewater College. He was employed by Copper Beach Townhomes of Harrisonburg, Va. For the full obituary go to

Obituary: William D. Moyer, News Leader, Staunton, Va. William “Bill” Delano Moyer, 76, died on Dec. 16, 2008, at his residence. He was a member of Waynesboro (Va.) Church of the Brethren, where he served as an usher and on the church board. He had retired from General Electric Co. after 35 years of service. Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Janis Cook Moyer. For the obituary see

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