BVS director Dan McFadden (at right above) talks with a participant at the recent National Youth Conference in Colorado, during an early morning peace vigil. BVS and the Church of the Brethren have reached a new agreement with the Selective Service System to be able to place conscientious objectors in the event a military draft is reinstated. Photo by Glenn Riegel
Aug. 13, 2010
A Memo of Understanding between the federal government’s Selective Service System and the Church of the Brethren has been signed by Stan Noffsinger, general secretary of the denomination, and Lawrence G. Romo, director of Selective Service.
The memo represents an agreement that goes into effect in the event a military draft is reinstated in the United States. In that event, the Church of the Brethren working through Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) will be able to place conscientious objectors assigned to alternative service work.
“It’s good to be prepared,” said BVS director Dan McFadden. “Do I think there will be a draft? No.”
Global Mission Partnerships executive director Jay Wittmeyer commented, “We need to be prepared and maintain our historical position just in case.”
A similar agreement recently was made between Selective Service and Mennonite Voluntary Service (MVS) and the Mennonite Mission Network. MVS is a program of the Mennonite Mission Network, which is the mission agency of Mennonite Church USA.
McFadden noted that both agreements are the fruit of a number of years of effort by the Church of the Brethren and the Mennonites to maintain a relationship with the Selective Service System and with each other’s provisions for conscientious objectors.
He said a key part of the agreement is that “in the event of a draft, the Church of the Brethren and BVS would be in a position to negotiate the details of being a site for conscientious objectors.”
Among other stipulations in the memo, the church and BVS will meet a legal obligation to place alternative service workers “in work that benefits the nation’s health, safety, and interests”; a Selective Service officer will be assigned as a liaison to the church; Selective Service will provide transportation to and from their residences for alternative service workers placed with BVS; and the church and BVS will supervise the alternative service workers assigned to them. The agreement is considered provisional and will be reviewed every 36 months.
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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
Three people allegedly responsible for the past month’s string of church burglaries were arrested Thursday. “We have every reason to believe these are our church burglars,” Lincoln Police Chief Tom Casady said Thursday after reading the names of three teens. Three men were arrested after an apparent attempt to break into the Antelope Park Church of the Brethren was thwarted….