Newsline for April 22, 2009

“Love does no wrong to a neighbor…” (Romans 13:10a).

1) Bethany Theological Seminary Trustees hold spring meeting.
2) Brethren representative attends UN conference on racism.
3) Church of the Brethren staff participate in White House conference call.
4) Ecumenical Blitz Build begins in New Orleans.
5) Sustaining Pastoral Excellence fields final pastor cohorts.
6) Christopher Saur Historical Marker is dedicated in Philadelphia.
7) Brethren bits: Correction, job opening, call for service partners, more.

8) Mosley retires as director of Financial Operations for BBT.

9) Answered prayer in Los Ranchos, Honduras.

New at is a brief photo album of the April 19 dedication of a Pennsylvania Historical Marker honoring the life of Christopher Saur (1695-1758), to be placed in Philadelphia (see story below). The photos are provided by Glenn Riegel. The event was held by the Historical Committee of Atlantic Northeast District in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Go to and click on “News,” then click on “view photo albums” to find a link to the album.
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1) Bethany Theological Seminary Trustees hold spring meeting.

The Bethany Theological Seminary Board of Trustees gathered at the Richmond, Ind., campus for its semi-annual meeting March 27-29. A focus was discussion of the strategic direction plan for the seminary. Over the past year, a revisioning of Bethany’s mission and role in the Church of the Brethren and society at large has been undertaken by the board, faculty, and staff.

Composition of a draft strategic direction plan was a directive from the board in its fall 2008 meeting, and is the first formal step of a long-range planning process for the seminary. The plan was drafted by Bethany president Ruthann Knechel Johansen, drawing from discussions with and input from trustees and all members of the Bethany campus community.

The plan presented challenges facing the seminary, goals that address the challenges, and strategies for achieving the goals. “In these challenges lie seeds of opportunity for the seminary to imagine and implement a bold vision faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ and essential for the 21st century church and world,” said Johansen in the plan.

The issues and their presentation in the plan were discussed by trustee committees and the full board. With a few revisions, the plan was approved, and the creation of a Strategic Planning Committee approved as a next step. The committee will be appointed by the board chair in consultation with the president.

“The Bethany Board of Trustees, together with Bethany faculty, staff, and students, engaged in a deep, stimulating, vigorous, and inspirational discussion on the strategic direction paper for several hours on Saturday, leading to the board adopting the paper on Sunday in a unanimous vote,” said chair Ted Flory. “The Bethany board expresses deep appreciation to President Ruthann Johansen and the entire Bethany community for the significant work that brought us to this action.”

In other business, the Student and Business Affairs Committee recommended a tightened and balanced budget for 2009-10, which was approved. Concern was expressed about economic uncertainties over the next several years. Staff are hopeful that 2008-09 will end with a balanced budget. It was noted that Bethany’s endowments put it in a better financial position than many schools.

Also approved were graduate tuition and fees for 2009-10; the 2009-10 budgets for the Brethren Academy, Sustaining Pastoral Excellence program, Brethren Journal Association, and Brethren House; the Brethren Benefit Pension Plan Resolution of the Board of Trustees; the TIAA-CREF Pension Plan Resolution of the Board of Trustees; and a Resolution Regarding Investments.

The Student and Business Affairs Committee heard an encouraging admissions report, that applications in general are at a 12-year high, and applications to the Connections distance-learning program are at an all-time high. More than 40 prospective students have visited campus through formally structured visit days, a new initiative this year.

The Institutional Advancement Committee devoted time to a survey of district executives on denominational awareness and higher education. Results were mixed, with strong support for the witness and mission of the Church of the Brethren, congregational leaders with a Brethren education, and ministry education made available in the districts. Less agreement was expressed on suitability of various ministry training programs and factors of location and cost in education.

The Academic Affairs Committee recommended and received board approval of the list of nine potential graduates for 2008-09. Also, the seminary has received final approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to operate an education program at the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center (SVMC) in Pennsylvania. Donna Rhodes, SVMC executive director, reported that the center has established an Hispanic Academy for Lay Leadership in collaboration with Atlantic Northeast District.

The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership reported that the Training in Ministry program included 77 students this year. Nine students and supervisors participated in Education for Shared Ministry.

Trustees also heard that Bethany’s special collections archival project has been completed. Funded by an Arthur Vining Davis Foundation grant, the project involved cataloging and preserving the Abraham Harley Cassel collection, Huston Bible collection, and William Eberly hymnal collection, housed in Earlham College’s Lilly Library.

The board approved the Academic Affairs Committee recommendation to promote Scott Holland to the rank of professor of Peace Studies and Cross-Cultural Studies. Board members expressed enthusiasm for the appointment of Steven Schweitzer as associate professor and academic dean. He will begin at Bethany on July 1. Johansen recognized two Bethany employees who are leaving the seminary: Zach Erbaugh, director of seminary computing; and Rick Gardner, interim academic dean 2008-09. Gardner had held the position of dean at the seminary from 1992-2003.

— Marcia Shetler is director of Public Relations for Bethany Theological Seminary.

2) Brethren representative attends UN conference on racism.

Church of the Brethren representative Doris Abdullah is attending the United Nations’ Durban Review Conference, an anti-racism event being held in Geneva, Switzerland, April 20-24. Brethren participation has been accredited by the UN Human Rights Council, and Abdullah is attending as an NGO (non-governmental organization) representative. She regularly serves as a member of the UN’s NGO Sub-Committee for the Elimination of Racism.

The Durban Review Conference is an international event to review and evaluate progress towards the goals set by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.

The event has become controversial, with the US and several other countries boycotting it based in part on a document they say singles out Israel for criticism and conflicts with free speech, according to CNN. On the first day, remarks by President Ahmadinejad of Iran sparked the walk-out of several national delegations, “as he accused Israel of having a ‘racist government’ and committing genocide,” CNN reported. Ahmadinejad was the first speaker at the conference because he was the only head of state to respond to the invitation, a spokesperson told CNN.

Abdullah said that “many detours have been placed along the way, but the conference will go forward,” in an e-mail sent before she left for Geneva. At that time only two countries–Israel and Canada–were nonparticipants, and the United States was still debating its participation.

“The original declaration addressed past manifestations as well as the contemporary forms of racial discrimination and presented a road-map for the international community and civil society to take to put an end to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and to prevent their future occurrence,” Abdullah said. “The international community agreed in 2001 for a followup meeting to assess where the 192 states of the United Nations and Civil Society are in the implementation of the 2001 Durban Declaration.”

Abdullah reported that interested Brethren may follow the conference via an Internet link, go to to access reports and webcasts.

3) Church of the Brethren staff participate in White House conference call.

Two Church of the Brethren staff participated on April 17 in a meeting by conference call with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. Kathy Reid, associate general secretary and executive director of Caring Ministries, and Dan McFadden, director of Brethren Volunteer Service, took part. Reid offered the following report:

“The purpose of the meeting was to continue the dialogue between the faith community and the White House to strengthen the call to service, which is a priority for President Obama. With the passage of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, President Obama has called on Americans to engage in the economic recovery agenda and to commit to service as a life-long endeavor.

“On Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, both the President and the First Lady challenged people of all ages to commit to a day of service. Very shortly they will again call Americans this time to commit to a summer of service (mid-June through mid-September). The four priority areas of service are economic recovery, healthcare, energy, and education. This call will be supported by tool kits, websites, and other support services to enable Americans to find opportunities and skills for this summer of service.

“This conference call was the first of a series for the White House to seek guidance from the faith community and from those who have a history of providing service opportunities. The Church of the Brethren, the BVS office in particular, will continue to participate to support these service opportunities within the church and the wider community. Future calls will detail the coming opportunities to participate in President Obama’s service agenda.”

4) Ecumenical Blitz Build begins in New Orleans.

Brethren Disaster Ministries and Church of the Brethren volunteers are participating in an ecumenical Blitz Build currently taking place in New Orleans to rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Brethren Disaster Ministries is providing 15 volunteers per week for all four weeks of the project.

The Blitz Build is sponsored by Church World Service (CWS) with the participation of 10 Christian denominations, working with the local New Orleans longterm recovery organization Crescent Alliance Recovery Effort. Volunteers began work on April 20 in the community of Little Woods, which is described as a historic lakefront community in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward. The project will repair or rebuild 12 homes during the four weeks from April 19-May 16.

During the first morning orientation, more than 125 volunteers gathered from the 10 Christian denominations, including the Church of the Brethren, according to Brethren Disaster Ministries coordinator Jane Yount. The Blitz Build is gathering the diverse volunteers under the themes, “Working as One,” and “Rebuilding Homes, Reclaiming Hope.” To kick off the event, volunteers each hammered a single nail into a common board to represent their participation in the project.

Go to and click on the Blitz Build link for a photo album by Matthew Hackworth of CWS.

5) Sustaining Pastoral Excellence fields final pastor cohorts.

The Sustaining Pastoral Excellence program of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership is beginning its sixth year. Funded by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., this program offering continuing education for pastors has launched its last “class” of pastoral cohorts.

This final year of the Lilly grant has seven cohort groups. These seven groups of pastors will be studying their respective questions for two years, 2009-10. In Nov. 2010 they will come together to share with each other what they have learned about their question.

Listed below are the participants in each group, district(s) represented, critical questions to be studied, and the destination of each group’s travel:

Davidson Cohort (Western Plains District): Question: “What does it mean for us to become effective rural mission-oriented pastoral leaders in effective rural, great commission, mission-oriented ministries?” Immersion retreat destination: Chicago (and places along way) to visit mission-oriented ministries and ministers. Participants: Ken Davidson (facilitator), George Hinson, Ed Switzer.

Eikler Cohort (West Marva and Pacific Southwest Districts): Question: “How does engaging other religious traditions inform and transform us and our practice of ministry?” Immersion retreat destination: Shikoku Island and Hiroshima, Japan. Participants: Torin Eiker (facilitator), Carrie Eikler, Bill Haldeman-Scarr, Sara Haldeman-Scarr, Erin Matteson, Russ Matteson.

Oltman Cohort (Western Plains District): Question: “How do we as pastors of diverse congregations experience abundant life in Christ as we individually grow in our discipleship, and hence, our ability to foster healthy relationships in Christ’s love with others?” Immersion retreat destination: Church of the Savior, Washington D.C.; and a retreat center in Great Bend, Kan. Participants: Marlo Oltman (facilitator), Leslie Frye, Sonja Griffith.

Smalley Cohort (Western Plains District): Question: “What are the attitudes, skills, and principles we need as ministerial leaders to work effectively in our own cross-cultural and multi-cultural settings?” Immersion retreat destination: Quo Vadis Center for Interfaith Dialogue in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India. Participants: David Smalley (facilitator), Michael J. Burr, Barbra S. Davis, Christopher Everett Stover-Brown.

Snyder Cohort (Western Plains District): Question: “What personal worship and spiritual direction/formation practices shape us as corporate worship planners and leaders to encourage spiritual formation in the congregation?” Immersion retreat destination: Iona Community, Scotland. Participants: Laura Snyder (facilitator), Karen Cox, Keith Funk, Jon Tuttle.

Speicher Cohort (Atlantic Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southern Pennsylvania Districts): Question: “How do we develop and sustain courage and passion to minister to our communities within a culture of fear?” Immersion retreat destination: Nigeria. Participants: Timothy Speicher (facilitator), Peter Haynes, Del Keeney, Wally Landes, Belita Mitchell.

Wenger Cohort (Western Pennsylvania District): Question: “As pastoral leaders, what actions and initiatives on our part will lead our churches into a deeper encounter with Christ and motivate them to be actively engaged in a counter-cultural fashion in the mission of Christ in our world?” Immersion retreat destination: Current Christian Ministries in England along with historical sites related to the Anabaptist/Pietist movement in England and Germany. Participants: William Wenger (facilitator), Jeffrey Fackler, Robert Rummel, John Stoner, Jr., Linda Stoner, William Waugh.

— Linda and Glenn Timmons are coordinators of the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence program.

6) Christopher Saur Historical Marker is dedicated in Philadelphia.

On April 19, an official Pennsylvania Historical Marker honoring the life of Christopher Saur (1695-1758) was dedicated in Philadelphia. The event was held by the Historical Committee of the Church of the Brethren’s Atlantic Northeast District in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Saur printed the first European language Bible in America as well as numerous other religious books and hymnals. His German newspaper was the most widely read in Colonial America, and he used his power and the influence of his press to improve conditions for the German immigrant minority in Pennsylvania.

The event took place at Trinity Lutheran Church on Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia, across the street from where the marker will be placed. On the church grounds is the only building owned by Saur that survives to this day. Street construction prevented the marker from being installed on the day of its dedication, but it should be placed by the end of June.

Around 40 people attended, including two families who are Saur descendants. Bryan Van Sweden represented the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; his wife is a Saur descendant. Ken Leininger, a book dealer and avid Saur collector from Cocalico Church of the Brethren in Denver, Pa., brought a 1743 Saur bible and several books printed by Saur. The committee made a display of the highlights of Saur’s life. Included in the display was a photograph of the Saur stained glass from Bethany Theological Seminary, taken by Jim Chagares. Al Huston’s video about Saur was viewed by many attendees.

Stephen L. Longenecker, professor and chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Bridgewater (Va.) College, gave a keynote address describing Saur as a man of conviction who was a staunch separatist, fought slavery, and used his influence politically to improve the life of the German immigrant minority group. Longenecker highlighted the importance of stimulating historical interest using markers, and remarked about the lessons the present-day church can learn from Saur’s many benevolent activities.

Kay Weaver, director of Stewardship for Atlantic Northeast District and a member of the Historical Committee, led the singing of hymns from the 1901 Brethren Hymnal highlighting the importance of the Bible. Opening and closing prayers were offered by district moderator John Hostetter and pastor Robert DiSalvio of Amwell Church of the Brethren in Stockton, N.J.

— David Fuchs is chair of the Atlantic Northeast District Historical Committee.

7) Brethren bits: Correction, job opening, call for service partners, more.

— Correction: The feature on Erwin Church of the Brethren in the April 8 issue of Newsline did not give the church’s location. The church is located in Erwin, Tenn.

— The Church of the Brethren seeks a director for Spiritual Life and Discipleship. This fulltime position is part of a developing team of leaders in the office of Congregational Life Ministries, and will be integral in developing discipleship ministries throughout the denomination. Responsibilities will include working collaboratively with the Spiritual Directors network, developing spiritual growth and discipling resources for congregations, supporting pastors and other church leaders in nurturing the spiritual lives of congregations and individuals, advocating for healthy congregations through interpretation of the denomination’s congregational ethics guidelines, cultivating gender-focused ministries, and fostering the spiritual growth of individuals, congregations, and the church as a whole. The preferred candidate will demonstrate Christian character, commitment to the values and practices of the Church of the Brethren, a disciplined spiritual life, biblical rootedness, the flexibility to work collaboratively within a wide variety of contexts, experience in leading new initiatives, and the ability to follow an idea through from conception to implementation. The preferred candidate will have expertise in some combination of the following areas: spiritual direction (certification preferred), worship, prayer, group dynamics, spiritual formation, discipleship, women’s ministries, men’s ministries, small group ministries, or Christian education. Communication skills and strong interpersonal competency are required. The selected candidate will work as part of a team, utilize a variety of computer and digital technologies, represent the denomination’s Mission and Ministry Board, attend to self-care and continuing education, efficiently manage a complex workload, participate in regular processes of review and priority-setting, and understand this position as part of a larger vocational commitment. This position is based at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Applications will be reviewed beginning May 9, with interviews in May and continuing until the position is filled. Apply by requesting the application form and complete job description, submitting a resume and letter of application, and requesting three references to send letters of recommendation to the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120-1694; or 800-323-8039 ext. 208.

— Service partners are needed for the “We Are Able” Workcamp on July 6-10 at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The workcamp is for intellectually disabled youth and young adults age 16-23, sponsored by the Church of the Brethren’s Workcamp Ministry. “We would like to pair each of these participants with a participant who serves as a service partner,” said director Jeanne Davies. “This is an opportunity to volunteer, as well as help an intellectually disabled youth or young adult to volunteer. An orientation day for the service partners will be provided.” Obtain registration forms from the website or call Davies at 800-323-8039 ext. 286.

— In news from Bethany Theological Seminary, Russell Haitch, associate professor of Christian Education and director of the Institute for Ministry with Youth and Young Adults, has presented a paper titled “Mission Impossible? Applying Insights from Africa to Evangelism with Western Youth” at the International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry at Cambridge University in England. An article by Tom Finger, Bethany’s scholar in residence 2008-09, appears in a new book titled, “Cynicism and Hope: Reclaiming Discipleship in a Post Democratic Society.” The article is titled, “A Sign of Hope: Conversations with Iranian Religious Leaders.”

— First Church of the Brethren in Wyomissing Hills, Pa., shared a seder meal with the synagogue Reform Congregation Oheb Sholom to mark the start of Passover, according to an article in the “Reading Eagle.” The church congregation moved into the synagogue last summer when construction on its new building began; the Oheb Sholom congregation met in the church’s building a decade ago when the synagogue was renovated. “We both have a love of God,” First Church pastor Timothy D. Speicher told the newspaper. “We choose to love one another and be tolerant of our differences.” First Church planned to worship in its new building on Easter.

— Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Ind., has received a Flourishing Congregations Matching Grant of $6,000 from the Center for Congregations, which is affiliated with the Alban Institute and related to the Lilly Endowment Inc. According to the church newsletter, the congregation will use the grant for a Stephen Ministry and to bring in a consultant to assess the church’s environmental impact. The church is raising matching funds.

— Five alumni of Bridgewater (Va.) College were honored at Alumni Weekend on April 17-18: L. Daniel Burtner, a member of Harrisonburg (Va.) Church of the Brethren, and Betty Halterman Kline, a former assistant professor of psychology and dean of women at the college, received the 2009 Ripples Society Medals; James H. Benson Sr., a former executive assistant to college president Phillip C. Stone and director of planning for the college, received the 2009 Distinguished Alumnus Award; Jeffrey K. Miller received the 2009 Young Alumnus Award; Byron A. Brill received the West-Whitelow Award for Humanitarian Service.

— Artifacts from a woman’s 22-year career as a Brethren missionary and nurse in India will go on display in Bridgewater (Va.) College’s Reuel B. Pritchett Museum beginning April 24. The items will form a part of an exhibit celebrating 300 years of Brethren history. Louise Sayre Vakil, a 1959 Bridgewater College graduate and current Bridgewater resident, worked in India from 1950-72, where she trained nurses and delivered or helped deliver some 6,000 babies. In 2008, she donated 27 items she collected in India and many photographs to the college. The exhibit is open Monday through Friday 1-4:30 p.m., free of charge. Contact Dale Harter at 540-828-5457.

— A Mother’s Day Gratitude Project is being offered by the Church of the Brethren’s Global Women’s Project. The program gives participants an opportunity to honor the women they love on Mother’s Day, May 10, by giving gifts to benefit mothers around the world. The chosen recipient will receive a personalized card indicating that a gift has been made in her honor. Send donations and gift card orders to Global Women’s Project, c/o Nan Erbaugh, 47 S. Main St., West Alexandria, OH 45381-1243; include donor’s name and recipient’s name and address.

— A coalition of national, regional, and global councils of churches has issued a statement affirming that a world without nuclear weapons is not only possible but more secure. The March 30 letter signed by the general secretaries of the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches, the National Council of Churches of Christ USA, and the Canadian Council of Churches, urged NATO leadership to “reinforce the vision of a world without nuclear weapons,” consigning to history the notion that nuclear weapons preserve peace and instead recognizing that they make security more precarious, according to a WCC release. Go to for the full text of the letter.

— The May edition of “Brethren Voices” features “Kids as Peacemakers” in partnership with On Earth Peace, to encourage discussion, understanding, and action by children of all ages to reduce violence. “Brethren Voices” is a monthly public access television show sponsored by Peace Church of the Brethren in Portland, Ore., and produced by Ed Groff. The May edition also will feature an award winning television story by ABC reporter Jay Schadler. Contact for more information about “Brethren Voices” or to subscribe.

— Ray Warner, a longtime Church of the Brethren member, celebrated his 100th birthday on March 25 at a retirement community in Eden, N.C., where he has lived for the past three years. His life story appeared in an article in the “Greensboro News-Record.” “I didn’t set out to have a long life, but I always served the Lord,” Warner told the newspaper.

8) Mosley retires as director of Financial Operations for BBT.

Bob Mosley has announced his retirement as director of Financial Operations for Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT), effective Oct. 23. He has served in the position for one year but has worked for BBT for almost 11 years, filling various positions in the Finance Department.

Mosley was hired by BBT as a staff accountant on Sept. 14, 1998, and then was promoted to senior accountant on July 2, 2000. In October 2005, he was named manager of Accounting, and then was promoted to director of Financial Operations on May 1, 2008.

In all of his BBT roles, Mosley has provided excellent service in financial operations, said an announcement from BBT. “BBT especially appreciates his leadership during the transitional period of the Finance staff last year,” the statement said.

9) Answered prayer in Los Ranchos, Honduras.

The following reflection from pastor Ellis Boughton of Yellow Creek Church of the Brethren in Pearl City, Ill., is excerpted from his report on a short-term mission workcamp in 2008 led by Bill Hare, manager of Camp Emmaus in Illinois and Wisconsin District. Hare regularly leads the annual workcamp experience:

“Our mission was to build 14 houses, working with masons who spoke Spanish and no English. This was not the first year that the village of Los Ranchos had construction crews on site to help raise its standard of living. In past years, a water supply storage tank and delivery pipes had been installed, water storage containers were provided, and latrines were constructed.

“During our mission trip, construction teams were formed to work at each site. Everything was run in a very organized and democratic manner. Nothing happened without a vote taken. The owner of each house was required to have enough sand, rock, and gravel ready before construction was allowed to start. Each house was allotted a certain amount of cement and steel, and those materials were moved to the site only just before construction began to prevent theft. Materials were inventoried with precise detail. Even our tools were counted and stored so that they would not disappear.

“One afternoon, three homeowners started to load cement and steel onto the truck without getting approval from the man in charge of materials. The homeowners had loaded nearly 90 bags of cement at over 100 pounds each, when the man in charge stopped them. I had just come over to get a drink of water when an argument started in Spanish. I sat on the ground with my back to the disagreement and prayed.

“The dispute got louder. It became apparent that the homeowner–who was mentally challenged–did not understand that he could not take materials for his house without permission. Soon the men started to unload the cement bags from the truck. Our Honduran construction leader joined in the argument, and it intensified. Even the children began to taunt the mentally challenged homeowner.

“Finally the men began to reload the truck. They had handled the 100-pound bags three times by then, and I thought the argument was over. I turned around to see the homeowner standing by himself, with his fists clenched at his sides. I could see how all alone he was, so I walked over and hugged him.

“It was like hugging a steel column, he was so rigid with anger. I held him for what seemed like forever. After a time, he started to soften and I could feel the anger slowly ebb away. Finally he hugged me back, and smiled and kissed my cheek. He now had someone standing with him and he did not feel alone.

“Ernie, the Honduran construction leader, told me later that what I did was extremely dangerous. The homeowner had threatened bodily harm by way of a machete. Ernie added, however, that what I had done probably saved the project from falling into chaos, as fragile as it was at that stage. I told Ernie that the Holy Spirit indicated to me that the homeowner needed a friend to stand with him. It was answered prayer on the spot.

“And for the rest of the story, that same homeowner was given special help from the rest of the villagers to get rock, sand, and gravel to build his house. When it was finished, he danced inside and exclaimed, ‘I have a house and now I can get married!’ ”

Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren, or 800-323-8039 ext. 260. Jeanne Davies, Mary K. Heatwole, Karin L. Krog, Marcia Shetler contributed to this report. Newsline appears every other Wednesday, with other special issues sent as needed. The next regularly scheduled issue is set for May 6. 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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