Newsline Extra for March 25, 2009

Newsline Extra: Upcoming Events March 25, 2009

“…Sustain in me a willing spirit” (Psalm 51:12b).

1) April is Child Abuse Awareness Month.
2) Bethany Seminary offers webcast, ‘A Jewish Tentmaker Preaches Peace.’
3) Dedication of Christopher Saur I historical marker planned for April.
4) More events: Good Friday Witness, Kline Homestead benefit, more.

New at www.brethren.org is an online survey designed to collect stories from Church of the Brethren congregations who participated in the Domestic Hunger Matching Grant program co-sponsored by the Global Food Crisis Fund, the Emergency Disaster Fund, and the denomination’s Stewardship department. Go to www.brethren.org/globalfoodcrisisfund  to find the online survey and to offer responses and stories from your congregation’s experience.
Contact cobnews@brethren.org  for information about how to subscribe or unsubscribe to Newsline. For more Church of the Brethren news go to www.brethren.org  and click on “News.”

1) April is Child Abuse Awareness Month.

“Child abuse prevention is good for the church as well as the children,” states the Church of the Brethren’s “Child Abuse Prevention Handbook,” published in 1991. During the month of April and throughout the year, the Family Life Ministry of the Church of the Brethren encourages all individuals and congregations to play a role in making communities a better place for children and families.

Congregations can help reduce the risk of child abuse by adopting child protection policies and ensuring that parents and caregivers have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, according to an announcement from Kim Ebersole, director of Family Life. Materials to raise awareness about child abuse and child protection issues, as well as links to other resources, are available at www.brethren.org/childprotection  or by calling the Caring Ministries office at 800-323-8039.

“We also encourage you to attend ‘Keeping Our Children Safe–Child Abuse Prevention,’ an insight session at Annual Conference, on June 29, at 9 p.m.,” Ebersole said. The Annual Conference takes place in San Diego on June 26-30.

2) Bethany Seminary offers webcast, ‘A Jewish Tentmaker Preaches Peace.’

Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., is offering an Internet webcast on March 28 of a presentation by New Testament professor Dan Ulrich titled “A Jewish Tentmaker Preaches Peace”

The event is being held in recognition of Ulrich’s recent promotion to professor of New Testament Studies at the seminary. In his presentation, Ulrich will explore key passages from the book of Romans. Enten Eller, the seminary’s director of Electronic Communication, said he hopes to invite “everyone from Sunday school classes to leaders in the Church of the Brethren to consider participating.”

The presentation will be given on Saturday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m. (eastern time) at Bethany’s Nicarry Chapel. The public is invited to attend the event, or to participate by viewing the live Internet webcast.

Go to http://esr-bts.na3.acrobat.com/bethanymeeting  to log in to the webcast. At the log-in page, select “Enter as a guest” and enter name and location, including city and state. Then click “Enter room” and the webcast should display in the computer’s browser window. Participants may log in anytime before the presentation starts. For technical assistance, contact Eller at Enten@bethanyseminary.edu  or 765-983-1831.

3) Dedication of Christopher Saur I historical marker planned for April.

On Sunday, April 19, at 3 p.m. an official Pennsylvania Historical Marker will be dedicated in Philadelphia at the site of the shop of colonial printer Christopher Saur I. The marker has been made possible by the combined efforts of the Historical Committee of the Church of the Brethren’s Atlantic Northeast District, and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

The main ceremony will be held directly across the street from the site of the print shop, in Trinity Lutheran Church at 5300 Germantown Ave., site of the home of Christopher Saur II.

Although the program has not been finalized, the following commitments have been made: Stephen L Longenecker, chair of the history department at Bridgewater (Va.) College and author of “The Christopher Sauers,” will deliver the main address. On display will be a copy of an early Saur Bible. Other presentations will be made by a representative of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; John D. Hostetter, pastor of Lampeter (Pa.) Church of the Brethren and moderator of Atlantic Northeast District; Craig H. Smith, district executive of Atlantic Northeast District; Ron Lutz, moderator of Germantown Church of the Brethren; and David E. Fuchs, chair of the district’s Historical Committee.

This is the second such marker to be made possible by the joint efforts of the district’s Historical Committee and the state commission, the first having been placed at Germantown Church of the Brethren on Sept. 21, 2008.

4) More events: Good Friday Witness, Kline Homestead benefit, more.

  • A Good Friday Witness on April 10 is continuing the faith-based initiative against gun violence that was launched at the Heeding God’s Call gathering in Philadelphia in January. The gathering was sponsored by the Church of the Brethren, the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, and Mennonite Church USA. A letter from four Christian leaders in the Philadelphia area announced the Good Friday Witness: Bishop Kermit Newkirk of Harold O Davis Memorial Baptist Church in Logan, Rev. Mary Laney of St Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Gladwyne, Rev. David Tatgenhorst of St. Luke United Methodist Church in Bryn Mawr, and Rev. Isaac Miller of the Church of the Advocate in North Philadelphia. “This event bears witness not only to the horror of 2,000 years ago, but to the continuing outrage of violence that took 400 lives in Philadelphia in 2007, and, though there were fewer killings by gunfire last year, the number remains appalling,” the letter said. The witness will be held at Colosimo’s Gun Center, which the invitation said has been identified by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence “as among the top 10 sellers of weapons involved in crimes in the country,” The witness begins at 4 p.m. on April 10, at 9th and Spring Garden in Philadelphia.
  • Copper Hill (Va.) Church of the Brethren is hosting a performance on April 4 to raise funds for preservation of the John Kline Homestead. The performance by Phyllis Stump will tell about the life of southwest Virginia midwife Orlene Puckett, a local legend of the Blue Ridge Parkway. For more information contact inkymartin@msn.com  or 540-772-7736.
  • The Brethren Retirement Community Auxiliary in Greenville, Ohio, is holding a 50th Anniversary Open House on April 2, from 1-3 p.m. The event includes a time of reminiscing at 3 p.m. Contact Janet Ashworth at janet.ashworth @bhrc.org  or 937-547-7682.
  • Bridgewater (Va.) College will celebrate the 129th anniversary of its founding on April 7, presenting several awards during the 11 a.m. convocation in the Carter Center for Worship and Music. Two faculty members will be recognized for excellence in teaching: Verne E. Leininger, associate professor of mathematics and a member of Linville Creek Church of the Brethren in Broadway, Va., will receive the Ben and Janice Wade Outstanding Teaching Award; and Philip T. Spickler, associate professor of physics and a member of Harrisonburg (Va.) First Church of the Brethren, will receive the Martha B. Thornton Faculty Recognition Award. Two seniors, Nicole M. Engel of Manassas, Va., and Rea T. Williams III of Bumpass, Va., will receive Outstanding Leadership Awards.
  • Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., is hosting the Pennsylvania National Association for Multicultural Education conference on April 3-4. “This is a unique opportunity to have some of the most prominent experts in multicultural education right here in our own backyard,” said Rosalie Rodriguez, special assistant to the president for diversity and inclusion, in a press release. The theme is “Sustaining Justice,” with the goal of creating a learning environment of acceptance, understanding, and community building. The conference will feature lectures, workshops, and discussion panels led by diversity experts from across the US. Teachers can earn Act 48 credits for attending. For more information, go to http://www.juniata.edu/services/diversity/MainEvents.html  or contact Rodriguez at 814-641-3125.
  • The University of La Verne (Calif.) Coalition for Diversity and the African American Student Alliance are sponsoring a weekly colloquium series on Thursdays from 12-1:30 p.m., with four sessions focusing on different topics and themes. Upcoming sessions are held on March 26, on “White Privilege,” facilitated by Matt Witt, associate professor of Public Administration; April 2, on “Redefining Diversity,” facilitated by Cleveland Hayes, assistant professor of Education; and May 7, on “Cultural Identity Development: Melting Pot vs. Salad Bowl,” facilitated by Chris Liang, assistant professor of Psychology, and Leticia Arellano, associate professor of Psychology.
  • A panel presentation on the “Global Movement Against Racism” is co-sponsored by the Sub-Committee for the Elimination of Racism of the NGO Committee on Human Rights. Doris Abdullah represents the Church of the Brethren on the subcommittee. The event takes place March 26 at 2-5 p.m. at the ECOSOC Chamber at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Panelists are Ambassador Morten Wetland of Norway; Jessica Neuwirth, director of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in New York; Ejim Dike of the Human Rights Project, Urban Justice Center; Angela C. Wu, International Law Director at the Becket Fund; Roberto Mucaro Borrero of the Museum of Natural History and the NGO Committee on the UN International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The event is in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racism.
  • Joseph Kip Kosek, assistant professor at George Washington University and a member of Oakton Church of the Brethren, will present a lecture on the impact of radical Christian pacifists on American democratic theory and practice at the Library of Congress on March 25 at 4 p.m. He is the author of “Acts of Conscience: Christian Nonviolence and Modern American Democracy” and a former fellow of the Library’s John W. Kluge Center. Go to http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2009/09-047.html  for more information.
  • Ray Warner’s 100th birthday celebration will be held on April 5 at First Church of the Brethren in Eden, N.C., from 2-4 p.m. He served for many years as deacon chair at the church.

Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren, cobnews@brethren.org or 800-323-8039 ext. 260. Chris Bowman, Kim Ebersole, Enten Eller, Mary K. Heatwole, Glenn Riegel, Jobie E Riley, John Wall, and Julia Wheeler contributed to this report. Newsline appears every other Wednesday, with other special issues sent as needed. The next regularly scheduled issue is set for April 8. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. For more Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine, call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.

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