Church of the Brethren Newsline
Aug. 13, 2010
In a letter dated Aug. 6, Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) has urged President Barack Obama to lead the US government in supporting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The letter, signed by BBT president Nevin Dulabaum and Steve Mason, BBT’s director of socially responsible investing activities, suggests that companies may be more encouraged to protect the rights of these small, native groups in their corporate policies if the US government shows more support for the measure. Additionally, the letter says, “We believe that the merits of endorsing the Declaration…would strengthen the United States’ position as an advocate for human rights worldwide.”
The declaration, adopted by the UN General Assembly in Sept. 2007, affirms that “indigenous peoples are equal to all other peoples, while recognizing the right of all peoples to be different, to consider themselves different, and to be represented as such.” The US voted against the resolution.
BBT has identified the declaration as a guideline that echoes Brethren values, and has advocated for companies in which it owns shares to adopt corporate policies that reflect the declaration. In May, Mason represented shareholders of ConocoPhillips in talks with the oil company regarding its commitment to indigenous peoples’ rights around the world. BBT has been engaged with ConocoPhillips for more than five years on this issue and continues to meet with representatives of the company.
To read the full letter, go to www.brethrenbenefittrust.org/2010ObamaLetter.pdf . Find the UN declaration at www.brethrenbenefittrust.org/2007UNIndigenousPeoples.pdf .
— Brian Solem is publications coordinator for Brethren Benefit Trust.
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Brethren in the News
“Lutherans apologize for persecution,” York (Pa.) Daily Record, Aug. 1, 2010
It was an emotional moment last month when a worldwide organization representing 70 million Lutherans issued an official apology for the cruel, 16th-century persecution of Anabaptists, asking forgiveness for their part in labeling the reformers as heretics and the violence they faced as a result….
Go to www.ydr.com/religion/ci_15668808
“McPherson Brethren pastor completes leadership role,” McPherson (Kan.) Sentinel, Aug. 10, 2010
Shawn Flory Replogle spent the past year as a traveling encourager. The McPherson Church of the Brethren pastor visited 21 of the denomination’s 23 districts and even the Dominican Republic as moderator, the highest elected position the Church of the Brethren offers…..
Go to www.mcphersonsentinel.com/news/x979356242/McPherson-Brethren-pastor-completes-leadership-role?img=3
Obituary: Marie Davis Robinson, Staunton (Va.) News Leader, Aug. 12, 2010
Marie Davis Robinson, 67, of Waynesboro died Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010, at her residence. She attended Blue Ridge Chapel Church of the Brethren. For 28 years, she worked as a psychiatric aide at Western State Hospital. Her husband, Roy Robinson Sr., survives her….
Obituary: Richard E. Sheffer, Staunton (Va.) News Leader, Aug. 11, 2010
Richard Earl Sheffer of Churchville, 82, died Tuesday Aug. 10, 2010, at Augusta Health. He was a member of Elk Run Church of the Brethren. He was a charter and lifetime member of Churchville Volunteer Fire Department and First Aid Crew. In the 1950s, he pitched baseball for the Churchville Independents in the Augusta County League. Also during that time, he drove a “hot-rod” race car, No. 13….
“Former Hartville pastor to serve Chippewa Church,” CantonRep.com, Starke County, Ohio, Aug. 10, 2010
The Rev. David Hall, a Hartville native, has been appointed interim pastor of East Chippewa Church of the Brethren….
Obituary: Velma Lucile Ritchie, Star Press, Muncie, Ind., Aug. 9, 2010
Velma Lucile Ritchie, 92, went to be with her Lord Saturday, August 7, 2010, at Albany Health Care following an extended illness. She was a member of Union Grove Church of the Brethren. She served as deaconess at the church the majority of her married life and was a homemaker. Survivors include her husband, Clyne Woodrow Ritchie….
“Pastor out at church in wake of child porn charges,” Journal Courier, Jacksonville, Ill., Aug. 6, 2010
The pastor of Girard (Ill.) Church of the Brethren has been removed from the pulpit following an indictment accusing him of viewing child pornography on a computer in the Pleasant Hills Nursing Home nursing home where he serves as chaplain. The one-count federal indictment charged Howard D. Shockey, 59, with possessing of child pornography July 7, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Springfield….
“Lincoln police arrest 3 church burglary suspects,” Journal Star, Lincoln, Neb., Aug. 5, 2010
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