Newsline for May 20, 2009

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” (Acts 1:8a, RSV).

1) Moderator calls for a ‘season of prayer and fasting.’
2) Brethren Benefit Trust makes changes to retiree annuity payments.
3) Cross-cultural event focuses on African-American, youth cultures.

4) District issues open letter regarding church that has left the denomination.
5) New building, new name for Wyomissing Church of the Brethren.
6) Brethren bits: Remembrances, job opening, anniversaries
, and more.

7) Reid resigns as assoc. general secretary, exec. of Caring Ministries.
8) Douglas to serve as director of the Conference Office.

New at are a Spanish language report from the recent Cross Cultural Celebration, along with a photo journal provided by volunteer photographers Joe Vecchio and Ruby Deoleo. Go to and click on “News,” then click on “View photo albums” to find the link to the photo journal. Go to  to find the Spanish language report.
Vaya a  para ver la traducción en español de este artículo, “Evento multicultural enfoca las culturas afroamericanas y la de la juventud.”
Contact for information about how to subscribe or unsubscribe to Newsline. For more Church of the Brethren news go to  and click on “News.”


1) Moderator calls for a ‘season of prayer and fasting.’

Annual Conference moderator David Shumate along with the leaders of the Annual Conference agencies and the Council of District Executives is urging every congregation and every member of the Church of the Brethren to set aside May 24-31 as a “Season of Prayer and Fasting” on behalf of the denomination in particular and the wider church and society in general.

Shumate in a letter sent out earlier this month, identified the past few months as “difficult for the world economy in general” and seriously affecting the church. “Staff reductions have taken place,” he wrote. “Giving has decreased significantly in some areas. Investments have been frozen or not as productive. Pastoral programs have been reduced. Pensions for retired pastors and church workers are facing a reduction in the assumption rate.”

In the face of these difficulties, he wrote in part, “the first reaction to difficulty and trouble is to devote ourselves to prayer and fasting.” Shumate quoted from Nehemiah 1:4, a prophet he identified as a model for the church in engaging in “two of the most effective spiritual disciplines in the Hebrew tradition, prayer and fasting. As he did so, a new vision from God began to become clear.”

The letter encouragec the placement of the following suggestions for prayer and fasting in worship bulletins on Sunday, May 24, and the placing of this information on church bulletin boards and websites. “Make a special effort to draw attention to them during your worship services, Bible studies, and prayer meetings,” Shumate requested.

Following are daily themes and scriptures for May 24-31:

— May 24: Theme “Deeply Rooted,” Psalm 1(3). Prayer emphases: Acknowledge God’s goodness, power, and abundant love for all. Give thanks for God’s steadfast love for the Church of the Brethren over the past 300 years. Give thanks for the faithfulness of Brethren leaders, past and present.

— May 25: “You will be my witnesses,” Acts 1:1-10(8). Prayer emphases: Give thanks for the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board as it leads our denomination in service and mission to a hurting world. Pray for the church as it reaches out to individuals and communities near and far with the healing love and power of the gospel. Give thanks for those servants of the church who have recently lost their employment. May they receive wisdom and guidance as they discern God’s will for their life and ministry. Pray for God’s wisdom and guidance for all who serve in positions of leadership within the Church of the Brethren.

— May 26: “Together,” Acts 2:42-47(44-45). Prayer emphases: Give thanks for the ministry of Brethren Benefit Trust and the challenge it gives to us to care for the needs of the church and for the needs of one another. Pray that your congregation might be attuned to the needs of persons in your community who may be struggling during these difficult economic times. Ask God to help you to find ways to work to strengthen relationships within your congregation, your district and the wider church.

— May 27: “Messengers of Reconciliation,” 2 Corinthians 5:18-19. Prayer emphases: Give thanks for the ministry of On Earth Peace and Christ’s vision peace and reconciliation that it holds before us. Pray for a greater awareness of our need for reconciliation within our families, our congregations, our communities and our world.

— May 28: “Many Gifts, One Spirit,” 1 Corinthians 12:4-11(4-6). Prayer emphases: Give thanks for the ministry of Bethany Theological Seminary as it prepares pastors and leaders for the church. Give thanks for God’s gifts of knowledge. Ask God to give you wisdom as you cultivate this gift within yourself so that you will use it for “the glory of God and my neighbor’s good.”

— May 29: “Many Parts, One Body,” 1 Corinthians 12:12-20(12-13). Prayer emphases: Praise God for the many men and women who serve Christ and the church faithfully in our districts and congregations. Pray for God’s wisdom and direction for our pastors and district leaders as they lead us during these challenging times. Pray for a greater awareness of our connectedness and dependence upon one another as members of the Body of Christ.

— May 30: “The Old Has Gone; the New Has Come,” 2 Corinthians 5:16-21(17). Prayer emphases: Give thanks for the ministry of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference as it facilitates the work of the church. Ask for God’s guidance and inspiration for our Moderator and officers who lead the conference. Pray for the gathering of the community of faith on June 26-30 in San Diego. Ask God to show you what new thing He is creating in your life and in the life of the church today.

— May 31–Pentecost Sunday: “Renewal of the Spirit,” Acts 2:1-21(18). Prayer emphases: Give thanks for your faith community and its impact upon your life and spiritual growth as a disciple of Christ. Pray for the outpouring of the Spirit on all God’s people as they worship today. Pray for the leading of the Spirit as the Church of the Brethren and its congregations look to the future.

2) Brethren Benefit Trust makes changes to retiree annuity payments.

In order to preserve the solvency and long-term integrity of the Church of the Brethren Pension Plan’s Retirement Benefits Fund, which funds the monthly benefit payments for annuitants, the Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) Board in April took action that will reduce annuity payments for retirees.

The board met at the Church of the Brethren General Offices the weekend of April 24-26 and wrestled with this difficult issue that will affect the lives of the Pension Plan’s annuitants.

According to an actuarial study conducted by Hewitt and Associates, as of Dec. 31, 2008, the Retirement Benefits Fund (RBF) had enough assets to meet only 68 percent of its longterm obligations. In spite of investment returns that have consistently outperformed market benchmarks, together with losses incurred due to market decline beginning in the last part of 2007, the 2008 losses in the stock and bond markets resulted in a 26 percent decline in the asset value of the RBF.

This is a $45 million shortfall and could seriously compromise the RBF’s ability to meet benefit obligations in the future. If corrective action is not taken as soon as possible, there is a high probability that the RBF will not be able to recover.

“BBT’s commitment as administrator of the Plan is to behave so that we can meet our obligations to all of our members throughout their lifetimes,” said president Nevin Dulabaum.

Effective July 1, all new annuities will be calculated using an interest assumption rate of 5 percent, and the A and B accounts of active and inactive participants will be combined into one account. Effective Aug. 1, all existing annuities will be recalculated using an interest assumption rate of 5 percent.

Some annuitants may be surprised that the benefit amount can change, but according to the Church of the Brethren Pension Plan legal document, the board has the provision to “readjust annuities or other benefits where such changes are deemed by the Benefit Trust to be necessary to protect and preserve the actuarial and financial solvency of the Plan.”

In addition, the funding of a special reserve account from the general assets of BBT (not the pension funds) will continue in an effort to bring the Retirement Benefits Fund to fully reserved status. The RBF will be considered fully reserved when the value of the RBF’s assets is at least 130 percent of the estimated liabilities. A plan will be developed for providing additional benefits to all participants when the funding status of the RBF permits such benefits without jeopardizing the RBF’s ability to meet its obligations.

The board is aware that a reduction in benefit amounts will create hardship for some annuitants. To counteract this hardship, the board and staff are implementing a simple grant program to provide relief to those annuitants who will suffer the most harm from a benefit reduction. The funding for these grants is not coming from the Pension Plan, but from BBT’s operating reserves, which are not normally used for this type of expense.

Details of the grant program and an application will be sent along with a letter to annuitants informing them of their recalculated monthly benefit–prior to the implementation of the new, reduced benefit. Eligibility criteria for these grants are intentionally being kept simple.

BBT is prepared to respond to the many questions and concerns that are likely to arise from these actions. Visit to learn more about the decisions and developments as they unfold. Plan members are also encouraged to contact BBT directly at 800-746-1505.

— This article was provided by the communications staff of BBT.

3) Cross-cultural event focuses on African-American, youth cultures.

Sunshine. Smiles. Good music. Great food. Warm hospitality. Building understanding. Sharing the love of God. These are just a few of the brief ways to describe the 11th Cross-Cultural Consultation and Celebration held April 23-25 in Miami, Fla. Hosted by Eglise des Freres Haitiens (Miami Haitian Church of the Brethren) and Miami First Church of the Brethren, 80 attendees joined together to learn from each other and prepare for sharing witness with others.

Under the theme “The Pentecostal’s Mandate,” this year’s consultation kicked off a new emphasis for the next few years: learning about the cultures that form the Church of the Brethren today. Developed in response to a frequent request by past consultation participants, the steering committee hoped an emphasis on the beliefs, customs, and traditions of the various cultural groups among the Brethren will build on the friendships and fellowship that form at each event with a chance to learn about sisters’ and brothers’ experiences and realities. In turn, the Holy Spirit can prepare participants to share their witness across cultures, whether near to home or far away.

Thursday night’s opening worship featured Vicki Minyard of Los Angeles, Calif., speaking about doing more today to share the Good News with those living around us. Minyard shared the story of her recovery and faith journey to become an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren. “Wow! It is amazing how God equipped me for such a task through the Holy Spirit,” she said.

Friday’s morning session featured a “lectio divina” Bible study on Acts 1:1-9, with many groups reading and sharing in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole. The afternoon session focused on the beliefs, traditions, and customs of African-American church members. Featured speakers were pastor Thomas Dowdy and James Washington from Imperial Heights Church of the Brethren in Los Angeles. Dowdy spoke on themes related specifically to church life in an African-American context, such as “talking” to the preacher during the sermon. Washington, a member of the denomination’s Anti-Racism Team, focused on discussing recent history of the African-American experience in contemporary society. Attendees were encouraged to share their own experiences with racism, relationship building, and brokenness.

Dowdy and Washington also team preached during the evening service, following the day’s emphasis on the African-American tradition. The service also featured a posthumous presentation of this year’s “Revelation 7:9 Award” to Guillermo Encarnación of Lancaster, Pa. The award was presented to his wife, Gladys Encarnación. The award honors Encarnación’s dedication to including Hispanic Brethren from the US, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic in the life of the denomination.

Saturday’s morning session was an opportunity for two local young church leaders to present on the culture of youth and young adults. Founa Augustin, from Eglise des Freres Haitiens in Miami, spoke about youth culture in the US. Her presentation included a brief summary of the generations in our society, then discussed how church members and parents can stay in touch with young people and continue to guide them as they grow. Marcus Harden from Miami First Church of the Brethren shared how to include youth and young adults in church life, and their readiness and willingness to be leaders now.

The Saturday afternoon session was led by Darin Short with a presentation on moving toward being an intercultural Church of the Brethren. The evening’s closing worship service was planned and led by youth from the host congregations.

The steering committee also took the privilege during the Friday and Saturday night services to express appreciation for Duane Grady’s and Carol Yeazell’s years of service to intercultural ministry over the last 10 years.

This year’s consultation was shown as a live Webcast, allowing long-distance participation for anyone who found it difficult to travel to Miami. Song requests, questions, and reflections submitted by viewing participants were shared with the larger group, allowing for their inclusion. Consensus among the Webcast participants was that they greatly appreciated the opportunity to share in the experience and hoped it could be continued in the future.

Go to the Bethany Theological Seminary Website  to view daily sessions and worship services.

The event was planned and led by the Cross-Cultural Ministries Steering Committee: Founa Agustin, Barbara Daté, Thomas Dowdy, Carla Gillespie, Sonja Griffith, Robert Jackson, Nadine Monn, Marisel Olivencia, Gilbert Romero, and Dennis Webb. Next year’s Cross-Cultural Consultation and Celebration will be held on April 23-25, 2010, with the site to be announced.

— Nadine Monn is a member of the Cross-Cultural Ministries Steering Committee.

4) District issues open letter regarding church that has left the denomination.

Illinois and Wisconsin District has issued an open letter regarding Grace Bible Church of Astoria, Ill. (formerly Astoria Church of the Brethren) and its decision to leave the denomination. The letter was signed by district executive Kevin Kessler along with Wilbur Bowman, chair of the district Leadership Team, and Gil Crosby, district moderator.

“While we are saddened by the process and the outcome we wish to remain brothers and sisters committed to Christ’s message,” the letter said, in part.

Astoria Church of the Brethren “unilaterally decided to disaffiliate from the Church of the Brethren in 2006,” said Kessler. “Without consulting the district, the congregation formed a new non-profit corporation named Grace Bible Church of Astoria and transferred property deeds from the old to the new corporation.”

The district considered the action to be a breach of denominational polity, which states that “all property owned by a congregation…shall be held in trust for the use and benefit and in conformity with practices and beliefs of the Church of the Brethren” (Church of the Brethren Manual of Organization and Polity, Chapter VI, Article I, Section A). Efforts to amicably resolve the issue were unsuccessful, Kessler said, “thus, legal action was entered into to remedy the situation.”

However, the legal process became “long, tedious, and expensive,” Kessler said. “With outcomes being unpredictable, the district Leadership Team decided not to continue the legal process. Instead, a new direction was taken, which included an open letter to Grace Bible Church of Astoria stating the district’s position, as well as a letter to congregations to increase their awareness of denominational polity related to church property.”

The open letter explained the district’s recent decision to cease legal action to regain the church property: “Grace Bible Church and the Illinois-Wisconsin District have wasted far too many of our resources on unproductive legal action.” The letter also reported that the district has given Grace Bible Church full use of the property, “as long as they continue to function as a Body of Christ for the betterment of the Kingdom of God and their neighbor’s good.”

The district has asked for an annual remittance of $100 for continued use of the property, “payable every Easter Sunday when we celebrate our risen Lord who sacrificed everything for us.” If Grace Bible ceases to function, moves, or ceases Christian practice, the property will remain the responsibility of the district.

The letter closed by asking God’s blessing on the Grace Bible Church. “We are yours in Christ as you are our brothers and sisters in Christ.”

An additional letter that went to the board chair of each church in the district asked the congregations to acknowledge receipt of the letter, affirm the polity guidelines concerning church property at a congregational business meeting, update congregational documents including deeds and bylaws, and send a copy of the minutes of the congregational business meeting and copies of updated documents to the district office. The district’s goal is to complete this process in the time frame of one year.

“The intent of this process is to ensure that congregations know about church polity, but more importantly that congregations are aware of their partnership in the larger body we affectionately know as the Church of the Brethren,” Kessler said. “The Leadership Team felt that district resources would be better used for raising awareness of our mutuality and sense of community than in pursuing legal action that focuses on division.”

5) New building, new name for Wyomissing Church of the Brethren.

The former First Church of the Brethren in Reading, Pa., has a new building and a new name. Holding to the construction schedule for its new church building, the congregation held a first service in its new sanctuary on Easter Sunday.

Simultaneously, a new name, Wyomissing Church of the Brethren, became official. This name was selected as the result of discussions, cottage meetings, and forums over two years to discern a name reflecting the community nature of the congregation and its ministries.

A Service of Dedication will be conducted on Sunday, June 7, from 10:15-11:45 a.m., with a fellowship meal following. Robert W. Neff will present the morning message, “Glory Hallelujah, We’re Home,” from Psalm 122:1, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’”

The new facility is entirely handicapped accessible, including a perimeter aisle in the sanctuary that is level with the chancel. A family life center features basketball, volleyball, and four-square layouts. Horst Construction of Lancaster County, Pa., is the contractor for the new facility.

Wyomissing Church of the Brethren retains the same address and phone number: 2200 State Hill Rd., Wyomissing, PA 19610-1904; 610-374-8451. Go to  or  for the church’s website.

— Tim Speicher is pastor of Wyomissing Church of the Brethren.

6) Brethren bits: Remembrances, job opening, anniversaries, and more.

— Roger Lynn Ingold (83), of Hershey, Pa., died on May 11 at his home. He was a former Church of the Brethren mission worker in Nigeria, and former Africa representative for the denomination. He served in Nigeria for 15 years from 1960-75, starting as a teacher at Waka Schools, then quickly taking on the position of Nigeria field secretary with responsibility for supervision of the entire Brethren mission including scores of mission workers serving in evangelism, health care, agriculture, and education. He helped usher the mission through the process of indigenization over succeeding years, when much of the work and many institutions were turned over to Nigerian staff of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN–the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) or to the state governments. He lived in Nigeria through a time of military coups and the Biafran War (the Nigerian civil war), when he was credited for personally being involved in peacemaking efforts mediating on behalf of Nigerians who had fled violence, and at one point arranging for a special train and guards to evacuate eastern Nigerians who were in imminent danger of massacre in the north of the country. After the war, in 1969, he was seconded to the Christian Council of Nigeria to work with its Relief and Rehabilitation Commission, helping to provide food and medical services to more than a million people in the former war zone. Later, his staff role was enlarged to become World Ministries representative for Africa involvements, and for an interim period he added Asia to his portfolio. In 1975 he returned to the US and continued to serve as Africa representative, working out of the General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Through 1983, he continued to guide the church’s work in Nigeria and Niger, and helped begin a Lafiya-type health program in Sudan. He also chaired the National Council of Churches’ Africa Committee. Prior to his service in Nigeria, he taught high school science for 12 years. He was born in Akron, Ohio, on April 4, 1926, son of the late Ralph and Alta Ingold. He was a graduate of Manchester College. During college he spent time as a “seagoing cowboy,” and registered as a conscientious objector. His volunteer service to the church also included membership on the district mission board in the former Northeastern Ohio District, where he also was vice chair of the district council of boards and served as district “Call” director. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, and sons David and John, step-children, and their spouses, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. A memorial service will be held at Spring Creek Church of the Brethren in Hershey, Pa., at 11 a.m. on May 30. Memorial contributions are received to the Heifer Foundation for the Seagoing Cowboy Endowment.

— The Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission Partnerships staff is calling for prayer following the death of pastor Delouis St. Louis (38), a young church leader among the Brethren in Haiti. He was one of the leaders of Eglise des Freres Haitiens (Haitian Church of the Brethren) who was interviewed for licensing or ordination earlier this year. He fell ill unexpectedly, staff reported, and other church leaders were on their way to take money to his family so that he could go to the hospital when they received the news of his death. St. Louis was born in Aug. 1970, and was the caretaker for his 14 younger siblings. In his licensing interview, he spoke of coming to know Jesus at age 16, his studies at seminary, his entry into ministry work through the Messianic Church of God, and his gifts of starting churches and helping those in need. He told the interviewer that, “The Church of the Brethren has a lot of work to do in Haiti.” As a minister in the Haitian Church of the Brethren, he had begun seven preaching points and was working with the disaster response project that is rebuilding homes destroyed by last year’s hurricanes in the areas of Fond Cheval and Mont Boulage. His own family was one of those made homeless by the storms. Brethren Disaster Ministries is providing funds to help cover funeral costs, and will be working to get the St. Louis family into their own home as soon as possible, staff reported. Haiti mission coordinator Ludovic St. Fleur, who also serves as pastor of Eglise des Freres Haitiens in Miami, Fla., has met with St. Louis’ family in Haiti. Memorial contributions are being received by Eglise des Freres Haitiens in Miami, to aid the family. St. Louis is survived by his wife, his siblings, two stepchildren, and his mother.

— The Church of the Brethren’s Northern Ohio District has an opening for camp director at Inspiration Hills, an outdoor ministry center located near Burbank, Ohio. Experience and/or training in Christian education, management, finance, conservation, maintenance of facilities and grounds, marketing skills, and camp management experience (a bachelor’s degree or five-to-ten years of business management experience) are preferable in interested candidates. Go to to find a downloadable PDF job description and application form. Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and completed application to Curt Jacobsen, c/o Northern Ohio District Office, 1107 East Main St., Ashland, OH 44805. Applications will be accepted until May 31.

— Brethren are traveling to Angola to help celebrate the 125th anniversary of Igreja Evangelica Congregacional em Angola (Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola), a partner for development work supported by Brethren Disaster Ministries. SHAREcircle, based in Evanston, Ill., also has been a development partner and is organizing the delegation that includes Roy Winter, executive director of Brethren Disaster Ministries, and Dale Minnich of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board. The delegation left May 19.

The Church of the Brethren has endorsed a “Religious Statement on Foreign Assistance Reform,” an effort of a coalition of denominations and organizations including the National Council of Churches, Church World Service, and World Relief, convened by Bread for the World. Headed by a verse from Isaiah 58, the statement says in part, “The willingness to fight poverty and other barriers to human dignity is one of the marks of a wise nation, and since the end of the Second World War, foreign assistance from the United States has been the single largest financial contributor to human development around the world. Today, US foreign aid is essential not only to meet humanitarian necessity and promote economic growth and progress, but also to build a world of stability and security for generations to come.” The statement calls for a new system of foreign assistance and advocates specific reforms including making poverty reduction a primary goal, doubling funding for poverty-focused development assistance by 2012, and affirming that humanitarian relief and development assistance is under the control, authority, and direction of civilian agencies and partners including faith-based institutions, reversing a trend toward greater involvement by the Department of Defense. The statement is linked to the Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009 (H.R. 2139). Reforming the foreign assistance system is the focus of Bread for the World’s Offering of Letters campaign. Go to .

— A trial begins May 26 for the 12 people arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience at Colosimo’s Gun Center in Philadelphia in January, as part of the Heeding God’s Call peace church conference. Among those arrested were two members of the Church of the Brethren, Phil Jones and Mimi Copp. The Church of the Brethren’s Mission and Ministry Board is helping to support the legal defense for Phil Jones, who at the time of the arrest was serving as director of the Brethren Witness/Washington Office, reported general secretary Stan Noffsinger. “The upcoming trial should have our attention,” Noffsinger said. Heeding God’s Call marked the beginning of a new faith-based initiative against gun violence and illegal weapons in America’s cities. Those arrested were part of a campaign to pressure Colosimo’s Gun Center to sign a Code of Conduct for Responsible Gun Dealers, and followed several weeks of discussion between the gun shop owner and a delegation of local religious leaders. The defendants include community advocates from Camden, N.J., and Philadelphia, ordained Christian clergy from three denominations, and a Jewish rabbi. The following events will be held in Philadelphia on May 26: a vigil at 8 a.m. to support the defendants and to pray for all whose lives are threatened by gun violence, at Arch Street United Methodist Church; an invitation to supporters to attend the court session that opens at 9 a.m. in Room 1003 of the Criminal Justice Center; and a 12:30 p.m. rally on the theme, “Inspiring HOPE, Raising VOICES, Taking ACTION!” at Dilworth Plaza. Go to  or contact  or 267-519-5302.

— Donnels Creek Church of the Brethren in Springfield, Ohio, celebrated its 200th anniversary on May 17 with Mel Menker as guest speaker for the morning worship services, followed by a dinner, a horse drawn carriage, beard and pie contests, and a quilt unveiling. “We praise the Lord for His faithfulness,” commented pastor Tad Hobert. An article about the history of the church appeared in the “Springfield News-Sun”; go to  to find it online.

— Troy (Ohio) Church of the Brethren celebrates its 100th anniversary on Saturday, June 13. Call 937-335-8835 for more information.

— Welty Church of the Brethren in Smithsburg, Md., is donating choir robes to any church that can use them. The accepting church assumes shipping costs. Description: 18 Murphy robes, excellent condition, 100 percent polyester, washable, tan with burgundy neck overlay, zip front, various sizes and lengths, long sleeve, hangers included. Call Hazel Shockey at 717-762-4195.

— Pamela H. Brubaker, a Church of the Brethren member and professor of religion at California Lutheran University, has been invited to be on the World Council of Churches’ Advisory Group for Economic Matters. The first meeting of the group was held in Switzerland on May 14-16. Brubaker teaches courses in Christian ethics and gender studies and serves on the Board of the Society of Christian Ethics.

7) Reid resigns as assoc. general secretary, exec. of Caring Ministries.

Kathryn Goering Reid, the Church of the Brethren’s associate general secretary of Ministry and Program and executive director of Caring Ministries, has submitted her resignation as of June 30. She will be seeking employment in Texas, where her husband, Stephen Reid, is professor of Christian Scriptures at George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University.

Reid began her service with the former Association of Brethren Caregivers (ABC) on Jan. 5, 2004, as executive director. She was instrumental during the time of the merger of ABC and the former General Board, and started in her present position on Sept. 1, 2008.

She is an ordained minister in both the Church of the Brethren and the Mennonite Church, USA. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind.; a master’s degree in education from Georgia State University, Atlanta; and a master of divinity degree from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, Calif.

8) Douglas to serve as director of the Conference Office.

Chris Douglas has accepted the position of director of the Conference Office for the Church of the Brethren, effective Sept. 6. She will train with current director Lerry Fogle during this year’s Annual Conference, and work in conjunction with him until his retirement in December.

Douglas has been serving as director of the church’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry. She began her employment with the former General Board in Jan. 1985 as staff for Youth and Young Adult Ministry and Urban Ministry. In 1990 she began working fulltime in Youth and Young Adult Ministry, taking on expanded responsibilities for leadership development events, increasing attendance at National Youth Conferences, and expansion of workcamps. She has directed the last six National Youth Conferences, and has been a member of the Religious Conference Managers Association for the past eight years.

She is a Manchester College graduate with a degree in Spanish and Education, and holds a master of divinity degree and a doctor of ministry degree from Bethany Theological Seminary.

Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren, or 800-323-8039 ext. 260. Kris Bair, Jeff Boshart, Gary Cook, Diane Giffin, Karin L. Krog, Nancy Miner, Dale Minnich, and Jay A. Wittmeyer contributed to this report. Newsline appears every other Wednesday, with other special issues sent as needed. The next regularly scheduled issue is set for June 3. 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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