Newsline for January 14, 2009

Newsline January 14, 2009

“In the beginning was the Word” (John 1:1).


1) Gather ’Round looks at the future.

2) New Church Development Advisory Committee meets, visions.

3) McPherson County congregations support Growing Project.

4) Camp Mack helps feed the hungry locally, and in Guatemala.

5) Brethren bits: Correction, job openings, inauguration, and more.


6) Registration opens for Cross Cultural Consultation and Celebration.

7) Información Consulta y Celebración Multiétnica (EspaZol).

8) Theme for National Youth Conference 2010 is announced.


9) Cyndi Fecher begins as publications coordinator for BBT.


10) Child protection resource is made available through districts.


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1) Gather ’Round looks at the future.

As the Gather ’Round curriculum moves into its third year of use (and fifth year of writing), staff and denominational representatives have met to evaluate the materials and make plans for the future. The meeting brought together Gather ’Round staff, other publishing house staff assigned to the project, and representatives from each of the publishing denominations. Gather ’Round is jointly produced by Brethren Press and the Mennonite Publishing Network.

A key resource for a Nov. 2008 Gather ’Round “summit” was data collected through a major curriculum survey conducted in Mennonite and Church of the Brethren congregations across North America (see story below).

“We dealt practically with challenging issues such as declining denominational identification and tightening budgets by coming up with improvements in our products and creatively developing new ways to reach congregations and members,” said project director Anna Speicher.

Participants affirmed the importance of faith formation and Christian education in the life of the church, and grappled with the difficulty today in training and equipping teachers. Teachers tend to serve for shorter periods of time and are less available for training events. Though the curriculum from the outset was developed with a special emphasis on “embedding” teacher training into the teacher’s guides, the group recognized a need to build even more teaching assistance into the curriculum.

The group discussed refinements in the teacher’s guides that are already in the works. Sessions are being redesigned to streamline the flow and make it easier to follow. Editors are also giving extra attention to age-appropriateness, particularly at the Preschool level. More teacher assistance is being provided in the quarterly “Roundabout” newsletter, an expanded “Roundabout Online” e-newsletter, and recent upgrades to the Gather ’Round website.

In a wide-ranging conversation about Christian education in a postmodern era, participants reflected on the trend toward small group gatherings outside the traditional Sunday school setting, including homes, workplaces, restaurants, and malls. The team brainstormed ways the curriculum can be adapted for midweek use, church retreats, and other alternate settings.

The team was heartened by survey data that showed a high percentage of congregations using denominational curricula. When choosing resources, congregations reported placing a higher priority on theological orientation and denominational values than on price. Among both Mennonite and Brethren congregations, Gather ’Round was the dominant choice for children’s Sunday school programs. Distant second and third choices were David C. Cook and Group.

However, a significant number of congregations had few or no children. These demographics are a challenge. The Gather ’Round project is small compared with other available Sunday school materials. Most small denominations have found it impossible to continue this sort of publishing. Not lost on the meeting were the realities of the current economic climate for church budgets.

Remaining committed to the importance of educational materials with Mennonite and Brethren values, the group spent time analyzing ways to ensure that each component is financially viable–particularly the signature Talkabout and “Connect” resource for parents and caregivers. A number of congregations are already using “Connect” as a general adult Bible study, and Gather ’Round is planning to broaden the writing so that it can be used easily by all adults. There will still be content aimed at parents and caregivers.

The group also explored ways to keep broadening the base for Gather ’Round. This unique curriculum already appeals to other denominations, and orders on the website have increased significantly. Users come from a wide range of other denominations, including congregations from several cooperative users–the United Church of Christ, United Church of Canada, Moravian Church, and Mennonite Brethren.

The following results are reported from a recent curriculum survey of Church of the Brethren congregations, carried out by Brethren Press. The response rate: was 23 percent, with 230 out of 1,006 congregations responding. All districts were represented:

  • What is the approximate age of those attending your congregation? 0-12: 13 percent, 13-18: 9 percent, 19-24: 7 percent, 25-39: 13 percent, 40-55: 21 percent, over 55: 37 percent.
  • How important do you consider Sunday school to be to the spiritual formation of your congregation? 90 percent described it as “crucial” and “very important.”
  • What best describes your Sunday school attendance? Growing: 16 percent, staying the same: 62 percent, declining: 22 percent.
  • Do you have a children’s Sunday school program? Yes: 81 percent.

What curriculum are you using for children’s Sunday school? Gather ’Round: 59 percent, David C. Cook: 16 percent, Group: 13 percent, Gospel Light: 11 percent, write our own: 9 percent.

What are the most important factors in choosing a Sunday school curriculum? 1. Upholds Brethren values, 2. Theological orientation, 3. Easy to teach, 4. Educationally solid, 5. Developed by Brethren Press. 6. Price. (Users of David C. Cook materials ranked theological orientation highest, and users of Group materials ranked “easy to teach” the highest. For Gather ’Round users, “educationally solid” ranked second.)

Within the past year, have you used a curriculum developed by Brethren Press? Yes: 67 percent.

–Wendy McFadden is executive director of Brethren Press.

2) New Church Development Advisory Committee meets, visions.

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, and 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 jshively_gb@brethren.org or 800-323-8039 ext. 282.

–Jonathan Shively is executive director of Congregational Life Ministries.

3) McPherson County congregations support Growing Project.

Three Church of the Brethren congregations along with a Presbyterian Church have sponsored a Foods Resource Bank Project in McPherson (Kan.) County for the past two years.

The Foods Resource Bank (FRB) was developed as a Christian response to world hunger. The organization promotes food-growing projects in the US, with the produce sold and the money used to provide seed, fertilizer, tools, water, and instruction in food production systems in developing countries that do not have adequate food supplies. The Church of the Brethren participates through the Global Food Crisis Fund, and is one of 16 mainline Christian denominations that are involved.

The Presbyterian Church of Hutchinson, and the Church of the Brethren congregations in Hutchinson, at Monitor, and in McPherson have sponsored a Growing Project for the past two years. In 2007, Jay and Amy Warner along with Mary Ellen Howell near Monitor sponsored a wheat project, and in 2008, Ellis and Rita Yoder of the Monitor church provided a field for a grain sorghum project. The Yoders will continue the project in 2009 and 2010 with fields of soybeans and wheat.

In 2007, $4,305.66 (matched by US AID for a total of $8,611.32) was provided for programs in Guatemala. In 2008, $9,773.59 (which may be matched by US AID) was made available for use in Chota, Peru. The 2009 project will support food productions systems in Malawi-Nkhoma.

The four churches involved provide financial support for local production expenses. The produce is sold, and the money used in overseas programs. Grants for production expenses have been obtained over the past two years from Monsanto, the Global Food Crisis Fund, and Stine Seed Company.

–John Ward is co-chair of the local Foods Resource Bank Board in McPherson County, Kan.

4) Camp Mack helps feed the hungry locally, and in Guatemala.

Rex Miller, executive director of Camp Mack in Milford, Ind., has made a number of visits recently to the Milford Food Bank. During the fall, Camp Mack, recognizing great need in the local area, invited its Waubee Lake Association neighbors to join the camp staff in a food drive to support needs at the local bank. Lake area residents multiplied the amount of food that Camp Mack staff could give.

Camp Mack is also concerned about being a good global neighbor. With the financial and farming support of members of Goshen United Church of Christ, Bethany Church of the Brethren, Nelson Beer, and Max and Gary Tom, the Camp Mack 25-acre field has been farmed in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Proceeds from the sales of crops have gone to the Foods Resource Bank.

The corn and beans sold during these three years netted over $20,000 for a food security project benefiting Mayan families in 20 rural communities in Totonicapan, in the western part of Guatemala. Monies raised have helped Totonicapan organizations work with families to build wells, purchase hand pumps, learn to grow vegetable gardens, build cisterns and drip irrigation systems, build greenhouses and patio or yard gardens, work at reforestation, and receive training in marketing their agricultural surpluses at the municipal level.

The Foods Resource Bank report notes: “The families participating in the project in Totonicapan…are extremely grateful for the technical assistance and training received during the period, as well as the words of encouragement and gesture of friendship that they received.”

–Phyllis Leininger is office manager for Camp Mack.

5) Brethren bits: Correction, personnel, job openings, and more.

  • Correction: The Dec. 17 Newsline gave incorrect information about one of the coordinators for National Youth Conference 2010. Matt Witkovsky is a graduate of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College.
  • The Church of the Brethren seeks a director for the New Windsor Conference Center at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. This position leads the ministry of hospitality for meetings, retreats, and volunteer groups at the New Windsor Conference Center. The conference center provides hospitality to a number of service-oriented international agencies located on the campus and visiting retreat or conference groups. The director is responsible for all aspects of providing excellent customer service including dining services, conference coordination, housekeeping, and volunteer management. The director leads the development and implementation of a strategic marketing plan for the conference center, with the primary goal to increase the total number of bookings and meals served. A successful applicant will have the ability to relate with integrity and respect, have at least two years of experience developing and implementing a successful marketing plan and at least two years of staff supervision/leadership experience. Strong general management skills, knowledge and experience in budget development and management are part of these expectations. Hospitality experience and volunteer coordination experience are elements which are preferred. A bachelor’s degree is required, preferably in management or marketing. EOE/ADA. Please send resumes with a cover letter to Joan McGrath, Human Resources Coordinator, at jmcgrath_gb@brethren.org or Brethren Service Center, 500 Main St., P.O. Box 188, New Windsor MD 21776. Applications are due no later than Jan. 26.
  • Brethren Benefit Trust seeks an administrative office assistant to fill a fulltime hourly position at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Starting date is as soon as possible. Responsibilities include assisting the director of Office Operations and the director of Information Technology, typing letters and other general documents, assisting with travel arrangements and performing other clerical duties for the President and administrative office, coordinating special events, creating and maintaining a database of human resource records, functioning as the operations go-to person for a new phone system and a new CRM system and an e-mail system, maintaining a central key system, maintaining vacation records as well as a filing system (electronic and paper) for board documents and contracts, maintaining BBT subscriptions, assisting with current and historical record retention, assisting with mailings, supporting the creation and implementation of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans, administering backup tape rotation. Qualifications include ability to keep confidentiality; proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite software, especially Word, Excel, and Outlook; grammar and writing skills; organizational skills; ability to multitask; a positive, committed, and collaborative working style; and practicing membership in a faith community. Education experience required includes at least five years of secretarial or general office duties or a bachelor’s degree. Submit a resume, letter of interest, and three references to Donna March, Director of Office Operations, Brethren Benefit Trust, 1505 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; dmarch_bbt@brethren.org or 800-746-1505, ext. 371.
  • The Brethren Witness/Washington Office has invited members of the Church of the Brethren who will be attending the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States to stop by the office at Washington City Church of the Brethren. The Brethren Witness/Washington Office and the church will be open Jan. 20 to provide hospitality. All are invited to drop in for restroom facilities, rest, and nourishment. A light lunch will be provided and visitors will have an opportunity to learn more about the ministry of the Brethren Witness/Washington Office.
  • Brethren also are invited to Washington, D.C., by the Brethren Witness/Washington Office to participate on Jan. 19 in a national celebration of the life and ministry of Martin Luther King, Jr. The event will be at All Souls Unitarian Church. Speakers will include James Forbes, Vincent Harding, Joan Brown Campbell, Michael Kinnamon, and others. The service begins at 4:30 p.m. Visit www.olivebranchinterfaith.org/story/program-and-speakers for details. Contact the Brethren Witness/Washington Office, 337 N. Carolina Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20003; 202-546-3202 or 800-785-3246; washington_office_gb@brethren.org.
  • The Church of the Brethren Workcamp Program has had an enthusiastic response to the first week of registration for this summer’s workcamps. “Many of the workcamps are closed but there are still many great workcamp opportunities,” said director Jeanne Davies. Workcamp locations that are still open include the John Kline Homestead (June 15-19); Innisfree (June 21-25); the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. (July 5-9); Ashland, Ohio (July 6-10, July 12-16); the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. (July 13-17); Richmond, Va. (July 22-26); Idaho (June 14-21); Camp Myrtlewood, Ore. (July 12-18); Chicago and Lombard, Ill. (July 20-26); Keyser, W.Va. (July 26-Aug 1); Los Angeles (July 27-Aug 2); Germantown, Pa. (July 27-Aug 2); the Dominican Republic (Aug 1-9); N. Fort Myers, Fla. (Aug 3-9); Tijuana, Mexico (Aug 3-9). There are still openings available for the “We Are Able” workcamp for intellectually disabled and service partner participants (July 6-10); and “Passing on the Peace Witness,” an intergenerational workcamp for adults and youth (Aug 2-7), both at the Brethren Service Center. Go to www.brethrenworkcamps.org to register or contact cobworkcamps_gb@brethren.org or 800-323-8039.
  • The Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministries has announced a change in the website link for National Junior High Conference registration. Go to www.brethren.org/jrhiconf to register, starting Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. central time. For more information contact Bekah Houff at 800-323-8039, ext. 281.
  • The Church of the Brethren’s Wellness Ministry has issued an invitation to subscribe to “Lighten UP, Brethren!” list serve. “If you have determined that some lifestyle behavior changes are among your top priorities, join the group of Church of the Brethren members who have registered for weekly e-mails written by a variety of Brethren professionals, with tips, recipes, and thought-provoking ideas for healthy minds and souls–all with a faith-based perspective,” said director Mary Lou Garrison. She also alerted current subscribers that during the change to the new www.brethren.org  website, some members may not be receiving the e-mails. Contact Garrison at mgarrison_abc@brethren.org to subscribe or if you have missed e-mails.
  • Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) has announced the start of the 2009 Winter orientation unit to be held Jan. 25-Feb. 13 at Camp Ithiel in Gotha, Fla. This orientation will be the 283rd unit of BVS and will consist of 13 volunteers from across the US and Germany. Several Church of the Brethren members will attend, and the remaining volunteers come from varied faith backgrounds. A highlight of the three-week orientation will be a weekend immersion in Miami. In both the Miami and the Orlando areas, the group will have the opportunity to work at food banks, nature preserves, and other nonprofits. The group also will experience a “Toxic Tour” of the devastation of agricultural chemicals on land and farmworkers. A BVS potluck is open to all those who are interested on Monday, Feb. 9, at 6 p.m. at Camp Ithiel. “Please feel free to come and welcome the new BVS volunteers and to share your own experiences,” said an invitation. For more information contact the BVS office at 800-323-8039, ext. 423.
  • Two programs about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the popular Union Baptist Church Mass Choir will highlight Manchester College’s annual Service of Remembrance and Celebration. Keynote speaker is Quinton Dixie, co-author of “This Far by Faith: Stories from the African American Religious Experience.” The public is invited to the Jan. 16, speech and music at 7 p.m. in Wine Recital Hall. On Jan. 19, the public also is invited to a dramatic reading of “The Meeting,” an imagined encounter between King and Malcolm X. The reading begins at 7 p.m. in the campus Petersime Chapel.
  • As part of its Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative week, Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., is presenting “The Right to Dream” telling the story of the struggle for civil rights through the experience of a young, African-American woman in 1960s Mississippi, on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall. In addition, Juniata will host a panel discussion of the role of religious organizations in civil rights issues at 4 p.m. on Jan. 22, in Rosenberger Auditorium. The panelists are Phil Jones, director of the Brethren Witness/Washington Office; Imam Yahya Hendi, Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and founder of Clergy Beyond Borders; Michael Penn, professor of psychology at Franklin and Marshall College; and Rabbi Serena Fujita, Jewish chaplain at Bucknell University.
  • Responding to the Gaza humanitarian crisis, Church World Service (CWS) has reported that three trucks laden with emergency food and medical supplies were unloaded at the Gaza border earlier this week for transport to the Al-Ahli Hospital un by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. The shipment included nearly $68,000 in medical supplies, 12,000 cartons of high protein biscuits for children, 20,300 liters of fortified milk, blankets, and quilts. The hospital continues to receive and care for up to 40 patients each day who are injured, wounded, or burned, the CWS release said. Also, on Jan. 10, Israeli missiles struck and leveled the CWS- and ACT-assisted Shaja-ih clinic in Gaza City. “The poorest have lost their only health care,” said a spokesperson. Minutes before the strike, Israeli forces fired a warning missile next to the site, so the building was evacuated and no one was injured. The Middle East Church Council ran the clinic, which had concentrated its service on pregnant women and children.

6) Registration opens for Cross Cultural Consultation and Celebration.

Registration has opened for the Church of the Brethren’s Cross Cultural Consultation and Celebration, to be held April 23-26 in Miami, Fla. The event is an annual celebration of intercultural ministry in the denomination. This year it is hosted by the Church of the Brethren congregations in Miami.

Registrations will be accepted at www.brethren.org on the Church of the Brethren website. The registration deadline is March 13, with a fee of $25 per person to defray expenses. A free will offering will be collected during each worship service to offset expenses incurred for meals, travel, and miscellaneous expenses. Limited monetary assistance is available.

Plans for the event includes meals provided by local Church of the Brethren congregations, with vegetarian available upon request. Housing will be in hotels and with host families, participants are responsible for making their own hotel reservations and payment. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Motel Blu in Miami, and will available until March 15, at a cost of $69 per night plus tax, ask for the Cross Cultural Event rate (call 305-757-8451).

Only private homes will be arranged by the Congregational Life Ministries office. Private homes are available for 20 individuals based on a first come first serve basis. The host will provide breakfast and travel to and from the events. Requests for a private home must be in writing or e-mail to rdeoleo_gb@brethren.org or Rubén Deoleo, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120.

Participants are expected to make their own travel arrangements and cover their own travel expenses. However, limited monetary assistance is available. A free shuttle to and from the Fort Lauderdale Airport will be available, but free shuttle service will not be available from the Miami Airport.

Continuing Education Units are available. Participants will receive two units for the event. Those who view the event online may receive .6 CEU for viewing three worship services and completion of written assignments. Further information will be e-mailed upon receipt of a $10 registration fee.

For more information about the event, housing, assistance for participants, or continuing education credits, contact Rubén Deoleo at rdeoleo_gb@brethren.org or 317-209-9519.

7) Información Consulta y Celebración Multiétnica (EspaZol).

Consulta y Celebración Multiétnica, Abril 23-26, 2009, Miami, Florida. La Consulta y Celebración Multiétnica será hospedada por las congregaciones de las Iglesias de los Hermanos en Miami, Florida. El registro va a ser disponible pronto. ¡Registro a www.brethren.org terminaran el 13 de marzo del 2009!

Registro: Es de $25 por persona para sufragar los gastos. Su registro es valida con su pago. Limitada asistencia monetaria esta disponible. Para más información contactar a Rubén Deoleo al rdeoleo_gb@brethren.org o llamar 317-209-9519.

Ofrenda de Adoración: Ofrendas voluntaria serán colectadas durante cada servicio de adoración para absorber los gastos incurridos en las comidas, viajes y gastos misceláneos.

Comidas: Todas las comidas serán proveídas por las iglesias local de las congregaciones de los Hermanos. Comidas vegetarianas estarán disponibles si son requeridas.

Hospedaje: Usted es responsable de hacer sus reservaciónes y pagos de Hotel. Un paquete de habitaciónes han sido reservadas en el Motel Blu, 7700 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, Florida, y estarán disponibles hasta marzo 15. Después de esa fecha los cuartos y precios no son garantizados.

Solamente Hogares privados serán coordinados por la Oficina del Ministerio de Vida de la Congregación. Tendremos disponibles para 20 personas hogares privados. Serán asignados a los primeros lo que soliciten. El hospedador proveerá de desayuno y transportación al y desde la iglesia. La solicitud de hogares deben ser hechas por escrito o correo electrónico. La dirección de contacto es: rdeoleo_gb@brethren.org or Rubén Deoleo, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120.

Transportación del aeropuerto: Transportación a ningún costo desde, y al Aeropuerto Fort Lauderdale estará disponible. Haga sus arreglos de viaje en concordancia a esta transportación gratis. Esta transportación gratuita no estará disponible desde el Aeropuerto de Miami. Asistencia para el Viaje: Nosotros esperamos que las iglesias e individuos cubran sus propios arreglos de viaje y cubran sus gastos. De toda manera, limitada asistencia monetaria esta disponible. Para más información, contactar a Rubén Deoleo al rdeoleo_gb@brethren.org o llamar 317-209-9519.

CEU crédito de educación continuada serán disponible por dos medios. (El registro va a ser disponible pronto.) Asistencia: Usted recibirá dos CEU por participar en el evento. Un certificado estar disponible al momento de completar el evento. Crédito Online: Usted puede recibir .6 CEU por observar los tres servicios y completar su asignación escrita. Futura información le será electrónicamente enviada a usted después de su pago de $10 por concepto de registracion.

Preguntas? Rubén Deoleo, rdeoleo_gb@brethren.org o 317-209-9519.

8) Theme for National Youth Conference 2010 is announced.

The Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry has announced the theme for the next National Youth Conference (NYC): “More Than Meets the Eye.” The conference is scheduled for July 17-22, 2010, at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.

The theme was chosen by the National Youth Cabinet, taken from 2 Corinthians 4:6-10 and 16-18. “It reminds us that God does great things through each person,” said Chris Douglas, director of the Youth and Young Adult Ministry. “Even though we may seem like simple jars of clay, with God’s light we are more than meets the eye.”

The National Youth Cabinet held its first meeting on Jan. 2-5. Members are Sam Cupp of Mount Sidney, Va.; Jamie Frye of McPherson, Kan.; Tyler Goss of Mechanicsville, Va.; Kay Guyer of Woodbury, Pa.; Kelsey Murray of Lancaster, Pa.; and Ryan Roebuck of Middlebury, Ind. Christy Waltersdorff of Lombard, Ill., and Walt Wiltschek of St. Charles, Ill., are the adult advisors. Three young adults will serve as coordinators: Audrey Hollenberg of Westminster, Md.; Emily LaPrade of Rocky Mount, Va.; and Matt Witkovsky of Huntingdon, Pa.

9) Cyndi Fecher begins as publications coordinator for BBT.

Brethren Benefit Trust has welcomed Cyndi Fecher as publications coordinator. She began her duties on Jan. 2. She will provide oversight for all of BBT’s publications, the BBT website, and other special projects.

Fecher received a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., where she wrote news stories and performed various other duties such as copy editing for “Chimes,” the Calvin College newspaper. She also has taught English as a second language in Korea and worked with Brethren Press on the Gather ’Round curriculum. She is a member of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill.

10) Child protection resource is made available through districts.

A resource for churches on child protection has been made available to the Church of the Brethren districts by the denomination’s Caring Ministries. In its interim report on child abuse prevention, made at the 2008 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, the program had pledged to identify resources to assist churches to develop and implement child protection policies.

“As a faith community, we have a moral obligation to assure that our children are safe and that the adults supervising them at church activities are properly screened and trained for working with children and youth,” said Kim Ebersole, the Church of the Brethren’s director of Family Life and Older Adult Ministries.

“Safe Sanctuaries: Reducing the Risk of Abuse in the Church for Children and Youth” by Joy Thornburg Melton has been presented to all 23 district offices. The Spanish-language version, “Santuarios Seguros: Prevención del Abuso Infantil y Juvenil en la Iglesia,” has been presented to three districts with Spanish-speaking congregations.

“Safe Sanctuaries” offers information about the scope of the problem of abuse as well as procedures for recruiting, screening, and hiring workers and volunteers. It also gives guidelines for safe ministry with children, youth, and vulnerable adults. Policy implementation strategies, a model for training workers, and sample forms are included.

District offices are encouraged to publicize the books and make them available to congregations. The Caring Ministries office is available to assist with child protection policy development and has made sample policies and other resources available at www.brethren.org. For more information contact Ebersole at kebersole_abc@brethren.org or 800-323-8039 ext. 302.


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. Lesley Crosson, Ruben Deoleo, Chris Douglas, Kim Ebersole, Mary Lou Garrison, Jeri S. Kornegay, Karin L. Krog, Patrice Nightingale, John Wall, Walt Wiltschek, Kim Witkovsky contributed to this report. Newsline appears every other Wednesday, with other special issues sent as needed. The next regularly scheduled issue is set for Jan. 28, 2009. 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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