Newsline for Sept. 9, 2009

Newsline is the Church of the Brethren e-mail news service. Go to to subscribe or unsubscribe.
Sept. 9, 2009 

“If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15, NIV)

1) Annual Conference announces 2010 theme, study committees organize.
2) Junior High Conference exceeds seed grant in ‘reverse offering.’
3) Workcamp aids Haitian Brethren in rebuilding effort.
4) World Council of Churches names new general secretary.
5) Northern Plains meets under the banner of ‘Faith, Hope, Love.’
6) Life of Eagle Creek Church continues through its generous gifts.

Brethren bits: Remembrance, personnel, anniversaries, more (see column at right).

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1) Annual Conference announces 2010 theme, study committees organize.

The 224th recorded Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren will be held in Pittsburgh, Pa., on July 3-7, 2010. The theme statement for the Conference will be “Taking Jesus Seriously” from John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (NIV).

In another announcement from retiring Conference director Lerry Fogle, two Annual Conference study committees are organizing to begin their work.

The Resource Committee on Secret Oath-Bound Societies, appointed by the Annual Conference officers at the direction of the delegates to the 2009 Conference, organized on Aug. 27. The committee includes Dan Ulrich, professor of New Testament studies at Bethany Theological Seminary, as chair; Harold Martin, recorder; and Judy Mills Reimer. The group will develop a list of resources that affirms the Conference action of 1954 to educate and inform the church concerning membership in secret oath-bound societies. The committee is charged with completing its assignment by the time of the 2010 Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa.

The other committee formed by the 2009 Conference is the Special Response Resource Committee. It will hold its organizational meeting on Oct. 12-13. The group includes Karen Long Garrett, Jim Myer, Marie Rhoades, John E. Wenger, and Carol Wise. This committee will develop study materials and a discussion guide for use in congregations, districts, and denominational groups, focused on the content of the paper “A Statement of Confession and Commitment” and the query “Language on Same-Sex Covenantal Relationships.” The committee has been asked to create study materials by April 1, 2010.

Information created by both resource committees will be made available on the Annual Conference website, in Source, and through other denominational communication vehicles.

Available online now is a statement from Annual Conference moderator Shawn Flory Replogle giving background for the 2010 theme. “We live in challenging times…,” he writes in part. “The Church of the Brethren is made for such a time as this,” his statement adds. “Among the most central ways the Brethren have lived out their spiritual inheritance–taking Jesus seriously–is through honest reading of the Gospels, followed by straightforward discipleship….” Go to  to find the full statement.

In related news, the move of the Conference Office has been accelerated. The office is moving from the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., to the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., on Sept. 8-11. The Church of the Brethren Annual Conference contact information will be: Annual Conference, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL, 60120; Chris Douglas, Conference Director, 800-323-8039 ext. 228; Jon Kobel, Conference Assistant, 800-323-8039 ext. 229; fax 847-742-1618. Douglas will function as Conference Director starting Sept. 14. Retiring director Lerry Fogle will be in Elgin for training of new staff during multiple periods in September through November.


2) Junior High Conference exceeds seed grant in ‘reverse offering.’

Junior high youth who took part in this year’s National Junior High Conference have exceeded the seed money they were given for a “reverse offering” that has been collected since the June event. Reports on the collection has been issued by the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry.

In an update, youth and young adult ministry director Becky Ullom called the effort a “fantastic response from the junior high youth.”

The worship planning team at the National Junior High Conference “wanted to have an offering experience that didn’t put additional financial strain on families sending their youth to the conference,” Ullom said. “Because the conference was focused on the theme of transformation, we decided a to try a reverse offering to benefit the ministries of the Church of the Brethren.”

Each youth who attended the conference received $10, made possible through a $4,000 grant from the Church of the Brethren’s Core Ministries Fund and the church’s office of Stewardship and Donor Development.

“We encouraged the youth to consider how they might ‘transform’ the money into more,” Ullom said. “If the youth were unsure of how to transform the money or didn’t want to participate for some other reason, they could offer the money back immediately.”

Staff returned from the conference with about $800 given during the event. Since then, many more donations have been received from junior high youth and youth groups, for a total of $6,277. Yet more donations are expected through the fall, Ullom said.

“I just wanted to share this great news with you,” she wrote in her e-mail about the program. “What an example these youth and their advisors, families, and congregations are providing!”


3) Workcamp aids Haitian Brethren in rebuilding effort.

A workcamp sponsored by Brethren Disaster Ministries took place in Haiti on Aug. 7-16. The group spent more than a week helping with disaster relief and rebuilding of homes following major destruction caused by four hurricanes and tropical storms that hit Haiti last year.

The workcamp worshiped and fellowshiped with Haitian Brethren, and arrived in Haiti in time to join in a special worship service of ordination and licensing of the first ministers of Eglise des Freres Haitiens. The service took place on the last day of a theological training for the Haitian church that was held on Aug. 3-7.

The workcamp was led by Jeff Boshart, Haiti disaster response coordinator, and Klebert Exceus, Haitian consultant from Orlando, Fla. Workcampers were David Bradley of Lebanon, Pa.; Steve Ditzler of Lebanon, Pa.; James Eby of Litiz, Pa.; Ecclesiaste Frederick of Miami, Fla.; Wanda Lyons of Glade Valley, N.C.; Joel Postma of La Porte, Ind.; and Brad Yoder of North Manchester, Ind. The group was accompanied by members of Exceus’ family, and two Brethren pastors from the Dominican Republic–Mardouchee Catalice, who is of Haitian background, and Onelys Rivas Florentino, of Dominican background.

Following the special worship service with the Haitian Brethren, the workcamp went on to a variety of disaster rebuilding projects working alongside Haitian Brethren and local Haitian communities.

One project was to finish rebuilding a home for the widow and family of the late Pastor Delouis St. Louis, a Haitian Brethren pastor and church planter who died unexpectedly of illness in late May. His family had lost their home in last year’s storms. Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of the Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission Partnerships, reported that Louis’ life and ministry continues through the work to build a church for the Haitian Brethren in the village of Ferrier, where he had founded a preaching point.

Workcampers spent part of a day helping to build the church in the rural, mountainous area near Mirabilais, where Brethren Disaster Ministries has completed 21 homes. Impetus for the project came from the local community who, according to Wittmeyer, was impressed that homes were built for non-Brethren families in a place where the Haitian Brethren had only a simple lean-to as a preaching point. Another impetus to construct the church in Ferrier came from plans to hold a Kids’ Club there, according to Roy Winter, executive director of Brethren Disaster Ministries.

The Church of the Brethren’s Emerging Global Mission Fund provided funds to purchase the land for the church, Winter reported. Local people gave of their own time and money to start construction of the church building, and the workcamp group joined in to support the effort.

While the workcamp was in the area, a community gathering was held to dedicate the new homes and community members were given a chance to speak. “The community obviously had never done anything like this,” Wittmeyer said. “It was a recognition of all they had done. It was up in the mountains. They had to carry water. They had to carry cement…and the houses look great.”

In addition, during the trip members of the workcamp helped lead Kids’ Club, an event similar to Vacation Bible School. A Baptist group joined the Kids’ Club, Wittmeyer said, and hundreds of children participated.

The workcamp spent a couple of days in the city of Gonaives working on more homes affected by the storms. Brethren Disaster Ministries has a goal of rebuilding 60 homes in Gonaives. Ten have been completed and 20 more are currently under construction, Winter reported. Children’s programs continued in Gonaives as well.

“I am forever changed because of the opportunity to serve in Haiti,” said workcamper Wanda Lyons in her evaluation of the experience. “I was pretty much involved with the Kid’s Club throughout the entire trip…. The children were such a blessing to me. How appreciative they were of everything we did for them. Seeing the happy smiles on those precious children and the hugs and thanks for the little things that seemed to make them so happy amid such difficult circumstances.”

For a photo album from the workcamp, go to A second Haiti workcamp is planned for Oct. 24-Nov. 1. Go to  for more information or contact or 800-451-4407. Grants from the church’s Emergency Disaster Fund are supporting the work in Haiti, with a total of $370,000 given so far.

4) World Council of Churches names new general secretary.

The election of Norwegian theologian and pastor Olav Fykse Tveit as the new general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the selection of a venue for its next assembly were highlights of the WCC Central Committee meeting that took place in Geneva, Switzerland, on Aug. 26-Sept. 2.

Tveit, 48, was elected 7th general secretary of the WCC, succeeding outgoing general secretary Samuel Kobia who completes his tenure at the end of 2009.

The Central Committee, the main governing body of the WCC between assemblies, also issued a series of statements and minutes on wide-ranging religious, political, and social matters, and discussed issues of governance and finances, according to a WCC release.

The city of Busan in the Republic of Korea was chosen as venue for the WCC 10th Assembly in 2013. Park Jong-wha, chair of the international committee of the National Council of Churches in South Korea, expressed hope that the WCC’s presence could “contribute greatly toward peaceful reconciliation and reunification” for the divided peninsula.

The Central Committee reviewed the WCC’s programmatic work and acknowledged the unsustainability of programs as presently organized. It recommended that programs be restructured, and stressed the need for prioritization and a more modest, limited, and sustainable approach. A number of recommendations related to the 2010 budget were adopted as well, and the moderator of the finance committee said that further reductions in 2010 income for the WCC could be in the range of 5-10 percent.

Statements on specific international issues addressed situations in Pakistan, Israel, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Fiji, and Darfur, Sudan. Other statements addressed caste-based discrimination, just finance and the economy of life, eco-justice and ecological debt, and anti-Christian violence. Two additional statements called for Christians to seek a nuclear-weapon-free world, and reiterated WCC support for the right of conscientious objection to the military. The committee called on member churches to “uphold the right of refusal to bear and use arms” wherever possible.

For more information, photos from the meeting, and links to the full statements adopted by the WCC Central Committee, go to .


5) Northern Plains meets under the banner of ‘Faith, Hope, Love.’

Sisters and brothers in Christ gathered from across Northern Plains District July 31-Aug. 2 at Pine Lake Christian Conference Center in Eldora, Iowa, for the 2009 District Conference. The official registration was 137 adults including 66 delegates from 21 congregations.

Moderator Alice Draper led the conference under the theme from 1 Corinthians 13:13, “Faith, Hope, Love…. The Greatest of These Is Love.”

The Friday evening worship service heard Annual Conference moderator Shawn Flory Replogle preach on John 21:15-19, “Loving the Idea of Church Is not Enough.” The Saturday evening service consisted of love feast and communion provided by the deacons of Ivester Church of the Brethren and led by a group of ministers from the district. The Sunday morning service heard Jonathan Shively, executive director of Congregational Life Ministries for the Church of the Brethren, preach on 1 John 4:7-21, “Fear Not” (his sermon has been posted online at as the Aug. 10 post). Offerings totaled $3,353.71.

The business session on Saturday, Aug. 1, consisted of four business items, elections, and a number of reports. A 2010 budget totaling $111,805 was passed by the delegates. Delegates also approved the closing of Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren in York, N.D., where a final worship celebration will be held on Sept. 30; and approved fellowship status for the Common Spirit Project in Minneapolis, Minn. Approval was given to explore both the Baptist and Brethren Camps at Pine Lake as possible locations for the 2010 District Conference.

In elections, Richard Gingrich was chosen as moderator-elect. Those elected to the district’s Board of Administration included Kathy Mack, Paul Little, Sandi Cox, Ronald Steege, Ernest Dicks, David Oliver, and Terri Hansen. Laura Leighton-Harris was elected to the Program Committee. Doyle Harper and Raechel Sittig were elected to the Nominating Committee.

Marge Smalley was consecrated as the new moderator of Northern Plains District. The District Board reorganized for 2009-10 naming Kathy Mack as president, Mark Gingrich as vice-president, Barb Lewczak as chair of the Ministry Commission, Linda Lantz as chair of the Nurture Commission, Roger Emmert as chair of the Stewards Commission, and Ida Van Weston as chair of the Witness Commission.

Eight ministers were recognized for “Milestones in Ministry”: Richard Burger, ordained for 65 years; Vernon Merkey, ordained for 55 years; Lorene Moore, ordained for 30 years; Marge Smalley and Lucinda Douglas, ordained for 20 years; Marlene Neher, ordained for 15 years; and Dave Kerkove and Alan McLearn-Montz, ordained for 10 years. New pastors and newly ordained and licensed ministers were recognized by the district executive during his report. Also named were beginning seminary students and those approved for licensing.

Following the business session, the annual district auction was held with a total of $4,000 raised for a general fund and to purchase a “mud-out trailer” for flood clean-up efforts. Also, the Witness Commission invited members to bring items for Church World Service Health Kits. A total of 373 Health Kits and 4 Clean-Up Buckets were presented, along with $221.85 donated for the kits.

At last year’s District Conference, Panther Creek Church of the Brethren distributed quarter tubes to each church to raise funds for Heifer International, with the goal of raising $5,000 to purchase an “Ark.” As of Aug. 10, $4,204.68 had been collected and turned in to the district.

Another service project was done by roughly 11 youth, under the leadership of Matt Tobias, McPherson College admissions counselor. The youth spent time working with the Little Rock Ministry Center that operates out of a mobile home park in Eldora. The youth helped with outdoor maintenance, some indoor cleaning, and picking up trash with neighborhood children. When the work was done, the youth gathered up the neighborhood children and led them in games and playing, then cooked hot dogs and led in a time of singing camp songs. (This article is excerpted from a report in the district newsletter.)


6) Life of Eagle Creek Church continues through its generous gifts.

Eagle Creek Church of the Brethren, a 164-year-old congregation in Forest, Ohio, was officially disorganized this summer. But the ministry of the congregation is continuing through a series of generous gifts from funds generated through sale of church-owned property, with approval from Northern Ohio District.

The sales totaled something close to a half million dollars, according to district executive minister John Ballinger.

In February, with membership dwindling to just a couple of families, the congregation petitioned the district to be allowed to disorganize, Ballinger said. Two couples requested a meeting with him, to talk over how to close the church.

“They had tears in their eyes,” Ballinger remembered of the meeting. “It’s just so painful to come to this point” in the life of a congregation, he said. During the meeting, the district executive suggested an analogy that proved helpful, comparing the closing of the church to the way hospice care can help a person dealing with end-of-life issues. “To have purpose as the end of life nears provides a way for a person–or a church–to die with dignity,” he commented.

After the remaining Eagle Creek members asked about the possibility of liquidating the church property “with a notion about what they could do with the proceeds,” Ballinger consulted with other district executives and found that churches have done this before approval from their districts.

The congregation already was connected with the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund and the Foods Resource Bank through two big tracts of farmland it owned, in addition to other church property. “They were really tickled to make a difference using that farmland,” Ballinger said.

In July, the Northern Ohio District Conference approved the closing of Eagle Creek Church with the distribution of proceeds. A number of denominational funds received gifts, including $20,000 to the Global Food Crisis Fund, $20,000 to disaster relief, and $9,500 to the Church of the Brethren’s Core Ministries Fund. Another $20,000 went to the Foods Resource Bank, and $10,000 to Heifer International.

In addition, generous gifts were given to the district and to some of its ministries including the Good Shepherd Home, Inspiration Hills Camp and Retreat Center, and youth workcamp scholarships. Other gifts were given to a hospice and other local outreach organizations.

Items from the sanctuary of Eagle Creek Church were placed on the worship center during the district conference: a Bible, candlesticks, and vases from the church’s altar table, and the congregation’s offering plates. A litany read by the delegate body gave a special blessing to the congregation as it made its final decision.

“It was a celebration of life,” said Ballinger of the event at the district conference. The Eagle Creek gifts “will be a legacy of continued life and ministry.”

A photo album from the workcamps offered this summer by the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry is now available. Click here to find photos from a variety of workcamps for junior and senior high youth and advisors, young adults, and intergenerational groups. Above, former Youth and Young Adult director Chris Douglas joins senior highs at a workcamp in Putney, Vt., at the Place Apart intentional Christian community. Photo by Cheryl Morris

The Gather ’Round curriculum Fall quarter started Aug. 30 on the theme, “Exile and Restoration” with Bible stories of the Israelite exile in Babylon, God’s restoration of the people, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem. This quarter’s “Talkabout” take-home piece for congregations to provide to families (above) is a set of building cards on the theme of God restoring the people and helping them rebuild. Gather ’Round is a Sunday school curriculum produced by Brethren Press and the Mennonite Publishing Network. Go to  for more. For prices and to order, call Brethren Press at 800-441-3712. Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

The Church of the Brethren’s National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) is taking place Sept. 7-11 at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in North Carolina, with 925 older adults from across the country. Online coverage of the conference is at . The website offers reports from worship and main session, “Today at NOAC” pages, and photo albums. Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

Brethren bits

Remembrance: Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN–the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) is remembering the life and ministry of James Bulama, who was a minister in the church and a faculty member at Kulp Bible College. Bulama died suddenly on Aug. 21, at age 70. His funeral was held Aug. 29.

Matt Witkovsky has resigned as one of the co-coordinators of the 2010 National Youth Conference (NYC). He plans to continue in Brethren Volunteer Service on another assignment. Since he started in the position earlier this year, he has helped out at Christian Citizenship Seminar and with the workcamp ministry. He is a graduate of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College and was a member of the Church of the Brethren’s Youth Peace Travel Team in 2006. NYC planning will move forward with co-coordinators Emily Laprade and Audrey Hollenberg, youth and young adult ministry director Becky Ullom, and the National Youth Cabinet.

The New Windsor (Md.) Conference Center is expressing appreciation for the work of Ron and Jean Strine of St. Petersburg, Fla., volunteer hosts for the Old Main building and Windsor Hall in July and August.

Jim Lehman of Elgin, Ill., has begun as interim director of Identity and Relations for the Church of the Brethren. The major part of his work will be to administer the denominational website. He will serve until a search for a new director is completed. Lehman is a writer, publisher, and workshop leader who has carried a number of assignments for the church previously, including serving as interim publisher of Brethren Press and as a marketing consultant. He is a member of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin.

A director of Academic Services is sought to fill a joint administrative faculty position at Bethany Theological Seminary and Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Ind. The director functions as registrar for both schools in liaison with Earlham College, and facilitates the cooperative academic operation of the two seminaries. Applicants must have an undergraduate college degree. A graduate degree in theological education is preferred. Commitment to the vision and mission of the two seminaries is essential, as are strong skills in communication, critical thinking, computer databases, and administration. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Qualified applicants may send a letter of application and curriculum vitae electronically to  or by mail to Jay Marshall, Earlham School of Religion, 228 College Ave., Richmond, IN 47374.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) will welcome five young people ages 18-30 to serve as interns in Geneva, Switzerland, from Feb. 2010-Jan. 2011. The interns will be assigned to one of the WCC working areas. Applicants must send, along with their application, background information about their church or Christian youth network that will help them in implementing their project. Closing date for receiving applications is Sept. 30. More information is at .

First Church of the Brethren in York, Pa., celebrates its 125th anniversary with guest speakers for worship: on Sunday, Sept. 13, “Messenger” editor Walt Wiltschek will bring the message; on Sunday, Oct. 4, well-known speaker and popular preacher Tony Campolo will speak.

Three congregations in Virlina District are celebrating anniversaries: on Sept. 13 Duncans Chapel Church of the Brethren in Willis, Va., celebrates its 50th anniversary; on Sept. 20 Bethel Church of the Brethren near Arrington, Va., celebrates its 100th, and Collinsville (Va.) Church of the Brethren celebrates its 50th.

Two Brethren pastors took part in a first “Blessing of the Schools” interfaith prayer service for the Roanoke (Va.) City Public schools. Central Church of the Brethren pastor Tim Harvey was an organizer of the event, and Williamson Road Church of the Brethren pastor Mike Huffaker took part in the service on Aug. 30. Offering prayers were leaders from a number of Christian congregations, an Islamic center, and a Jewish synagogue. The event was sponsored by Congregations in Action, which also includes Hollins Road Church of the Brethren. With a theme from Jeremiah 29:7–“But seek the welfare of the city”–the service featured a welcome from Roanoke City Public Schools Superintendent Rita Bishop, and a keynote address from the chair of the Roanoke City School Board. “The Roanoke Times” reported that Bishop stands by the Supreme Court’s ruling that prayer in schools is unconstitutional, but told the gathering, “Through your work, you have put everything that prayer is about back in schools.” In his closing challenge, Harvey said, “It is our job to seek the welfare of the children of this city.”

Olympia, Lacey (Wash.) Community Church of the Brethren this year has provided food resources for the hungry “that weigh more than the combined weight of the congregation”–well over three tons, according to the church newsletter. The giving has included food items for the Thurston County Food Bank and cash donations, as well as livestock through Heifer International and support for a CROP Walk. In addition, the congregation this summer has hosted a tent city of the homeless, called Camp Quixote, on its lawn through Aug. 28.

Camp Pine Lake in Eldora, Iowa, has called for volunteers to help repair damage caused by a recent hail storm. “Every building at Camp Pine Lake will need to be re-roofed,” said an announcement. Contact  or 641-939-5334.

Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., is preparing for another year of record enrollment, according to a release. “We haven’t had such strong numbers since the ’70s,” reported Jeri S. Kornegay, director of Media and Public Relations. The college anticipates some 1,200 students and a first-year class of more than 400, representing 50-plus more students than last fall. It is adding more than 21 class sections, enhancing its dining options, and moving in more beds to accommodate the growth. Classes began Sept. 2.

The Juniata College Early Childhood Education Center has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, a leading organization of early childhood professionals, for a five year-period through mid-2014. Juniata is a Church of the Brethren college in Huntingdon, Pa. “We are among the first in the nation to complete this updated, more rigorous, process,” said co-director Christine Breene in a release.

McPherson (Kan.) College has exceeded a million dollar annual fund goal for 2009 by raising $1,018,332. The annual fund dollars support scholarships, departmental needs, and serve as a budget relieving component of the college’s overall fundraising, said a release. The college is also in the middle of “MC: Forward,” a comprehensive campaign launched in Oct. 2008 raising over $7.2 million in gifts and pledges–56 percent of its $13 million goal. The campaign includes funding for a new campus entrance and a new residence hall. “With fall enrollment and retention projected to be strong, the need for a new residence hall becomes even more pressing,” the release said.

Ralph McFadden will be installed as president of the Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Interests (BMC) at a special three-year planning retreat for the BMC Board. The retreat is scheduled for Sept. 18-20 in northern Indiana. BMC members and friends are invited to a potluck on that Saturday evening at the home of David and Renee McFadden in North Manchester, Ind.

The New Community Project, a Brethren-related nonprofit, has announced a number of grants to support the welfare of women and girls in various countries. In El Salvador, the organization has pledged $3,000 per year for three years to help women have options such as micro-loans to start small businesses and training programs to learn new skills, partnering with Emmanuel Baptist Church. In Sudan, the project recently gave $4,000 for a women’s gardening project and tailoring program in Nimule, and $3,000 to support women’s programs in Narus, “adding to the $20,000 already sent for girls’ education and women’s development in Sudan in 2009,” reported director David Radcliff. The project has given $2,000 to Women Empowerment in Nepal. Go to for more information.

The September edition of Brethren Voices, a community access television program offered by Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren, features “The Seagoing Cowboys and the Story of Paul Libby.” Paul Libby, now 87, served as a seagoing cowboy at the age of 24 on the Victory Ship Christian Pass, helping deliver 700 Holstein cattle to Poland. Between the summers of 1945-47 more than 7,000 men and boys over the age of 16 volunteered to care for and accompany livestock shipments to war-torn countries following World War II, in a program administered by the Brethren Service Committee and the UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. For more information contact producer Ed Groff at .

Christian leaders in southern Sudan have become alarmed at violence in the area, according to a report received by the Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission Partnerships. Various churches “are faithfully in prayer as the only means to attain peace and to bring an end to dire humanitarian need in the region,” said a report from the Sudan Advocacy Action Forum. Archbishop Daniel Deng of the Episcopal Church of Sudan made an appeal for humanitarian assistance to thousands of displaced and wounded people, saying, “Unless the guarantor governments of the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement) act now the peace is in grave danger.” The violence ranges from attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army, a guerrilla group based in Uganda, to tribal violence. Among those killed in recent attacks was an archdeacon who was shot at the altar during a morning service, according to a letter from Archbishop Deng that was included with the report. The report calls Christians to join in prayer for a just and lasting peace, protection for the people, and humanitarian aid to violated communities.

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is seeking participants for a delegation to northern Iraq on Nov. 7-21. Applications are due Sept. 20. The delegation will visit in the Kurdish area of Iraq, where the people faced discrimination under the regime of Saddam Hussein, and where thousands of displaced people fled during the Iraq War. Recently, northern border villages have suffered military attacks by Turkey and Iran. CPT has had a presence in Iraq since Oct. 2002. Fundraising expectation is $3,500, which includes roundtrip airfare from a designated US or Canadian city. Contact  or 773-277-0253.

Marie Atwood of English River Church of the Brethren in S. English, Iowa, was inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame during the state fair on Aug. 23. “She joined 4-H in 1934, continued to serve as a leader, and at age 89 has stayed active by exhibiting in the open classes at the Keokuk County Expo and sponsoring trophies for the 4-H exhibiters,” the church newsletter said.

Claire Mock celebrated his 104th birthday on July 25 with a motorcycle ride, according to the Middle Pennsylvania District newsletter. He attends Bedford (Pa.) Church of the Brethren.

Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren,  or 800-323-8039 ext. 260. Newsline appears every other Wednesday, with other special issues sent as needed. Lerry Fogle, Cori Hahn, Cindy Dell Kinnamon, Jeri S. Kornegay, Ralph McFadden, Marcia Shetler, Becky Ullom, and John Wall contributed to this report. The next regularly scheduled issue is set for Sept. 23. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. For more Brethren news and features, go to the News page at or subscribe to Messenger magazine, call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.

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