Newsline Extra for March 11, 2010


March 11, 2010

1) Webinars in March focus on healthy congregations, evangelism.
2) Older Adult Month is celebrated in May.
3) ‘Every War Has Two Losers’ to be shown at Bethany Seminary.
4) ‘Standing Up With Jesus!’ is theme for annual family camp.

Brethren bits: One Great Hour, Annual Conference blog, and more on upcoming events (see column at right)


1) Webinars in March focus on healthy congregations, evangelism.

Two webinars are scheduled for March, continuing an “e-learning series” with leadership from Celia Cook-Huffman and Charles Arn. The webinars are offered as a collaborative resource by the Church of the Brethren’s Congregational Life Ministries, Bethany Theological Seminary, and the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership.

Webinar 2 of three-part series titled “Developing Conflict Healthy Congregations,” led by Celia Cook-Huffman, will be offered live on March 11. Webinar 3 of a three-part series titled “Effective Evangelism,” led by Charles Arn, will be webcast on March 23 and 25.

“We continue to have a good response and participation” in the webinar series reports Stan Dueck, the Church of the Brethren’s director of Transforming Practices.

There is no pre-registration required to participate in the webinar, and no fee is charged.

Participants should note that the webinar start time is listed by time zone, and are asked to connect 10 minutes before the start of a webcast. Link to a webinar by going to www.bethanyseminary.edu/webcast/transformation2010.

Cook-Huffman, professor of peace and conflict studies at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., will lead a webinar on the topic, “Concrete Strategies for Responding to Congregational Conflict,” today, March 11, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. (Pacific time) or 8:30-9:30 p.m. (Eastern time). Participants may receive a continuing education credit of 0.1. For more information link to www.bethanyseminary.edu/webcast/transformation2010 .

Arn, president of the Church Growth Institute, leads a webinar on the topic, “Where Did They Go? How to Keep New Members Through the First Year,” on March 23, 5-6 p.m. (Pacific) or 8-9 p.m. (Eastern); and on March 25 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. (Pacific) or 3:30-4:30 p.m. (Eastern).

For more information contact Stan Dueck, director for Transforming Practices, at 717-335-3226 or sdueck@brethren.org .


2) Older Adult Month is celebrated in May.

Each May, the Church of the Brethren’s Older Adult Ministry provides a variety of resources for individuals, groups, and congregations to observe older adult month. This year, resources focus on the theme, “Walking in the Newness of Life: The Adventure Continues…” (Isaiah 43:19).

God’s image of aging is bountiful and beautiful–a time of doing new things, bearing new fruit, and striving toward what lies ahead. As in biblical times, when God called older adults to unexpected roles and unanticipated missions, God continues doing a “new thing” in the lives of people today.

Older adult month materials celebrate this newness in life through stories from Brethren who are experiencing newness of life as they follow God’s call, meditations that challenge us to see God at work in the world around us, and resources to use in worshiping our God who walks with us throughout our lives.

Download resources at www.brethren.org/OAM ; click on the link to 2010 Older Adult Month. The resources also can be obtained by contacting Kim Ebersole, director of Family Life and Older Adult Ministry, at 800-323-8039 ext. 302 or kebersole@brethren.org . Congregations are encouraged to use these resources during the month of May, and to let their members know they are available for their personal use.

— Kim Ebersole is director of Family Life and Older Adult Ministry for the Church of the Brethren.


3) ‘Every War Has Two Losers’ to be shown at Bethany Seminary.

“Every War Has Two Losers,” a film by Haydn Reiss based on the journals of poet William Stafford, will be shown at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., on March 27 at 7 p.m. The film features commentary on Stafford’s poetry and peace witness by nine contemporary poets.

Stafford was connected with the Church of the Brethren and the author of more than 60 volumes of poetry and prose. He was a conscientious objector during World War II, and did a term of Civilian Public Service. He then taught at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon. He won the National Book Award in 1963, became Poetry Consultant of the Library of Congress (a position equivalent to poet laureate today) in 1970, and became Poet Laureate of Oregon in 1975. He also received a Shelley Memorial Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Western States Lifetime Achievement Award in Poetry. Brethren Press published one of his books of poetry, “A Scripture of Leaves” (order for $12.95 plus shipping and handling, call 800-441-3712). He died in 1993.

In addition to the 30-minute film, the evening will feature a presentation by Jeff Gundy, professor of English at Bluffton University. Gundy also is a poet, author of “Walker in the Fog: On Mennonite Writing,” and 2008 Recipient of the Dale W. Brown Book Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, given in honor of the former Bethany professor and a leading peace theologian in the Church of the Brethren.

Gundy’s presentation will focus on the subtlety and wisdom of Stafford’s pacifist poetry and his many “intricate moves” toward peace and justice in both his writing and his life. Local Stafford scholars and enthusiasts also will share commentary, and there will be opportunity for dialogur with the audience following the film.

This event is free and open to the public, with sponsorship by the Baker Peace Fund of Bethany’s Peace Studies Program. View a trailer of the film at http://everywar.com/ .

— Marcia Shetler is director of public relations at Bethany Seminary.


4) ‘Standing Up With Jesus!’ is theme for annual family camp.

This year’s Susquehanna Song and Story Fest, an annual family camp co-sponsored by On Earth Peace, is held on the theme “Standing Up With Jesus!” The intergenerational camp takes place on June 27-July 3 at Camp Swatara in Bethel Pa.

“It’s time for us to turn again to Jesus, to stand up with him for the poor, oppressed, and excluded and against the religious, political, and economic authorities who would kill the spirit along with the body and the planet,” said an invitation. “So come and join us in this Fest to strengthen your resolve, clarify your faith, and practice ‘standing up with Jesus!’”

A number of Brethren storytellers, musicians, and workshop leaders will be helping to lead the event. The schedule includes worship, intergenerational gatherings, and workshops for adults, children, and youth, along with recreation, story swaps, music-making, evening campfires, concerts, and a folk dance.

On Earth Peace will again co-sponsor the Fest, providing leadership and administrative support.

Registration includes all meals, on-site facilities, and leadership, and is based upon age. Children 2 and under are welcome at no charge. Adults register for $230, teens ages 13-19 for $200, and children ages 3-12 for $120. The maximum fee per family is $750. Daily fees also are available. Registrations post-marked after June 1 should add 10 percent as a late fee.

Contact Ken Kline Smeltzer at 814-466-6491 or bksmeltz@comcast.net . For online registration information go to www.onearthpeace.org/programs/special/song-story-fest/registration.html . Contact Bob Gross, On Earth Peace executive director, at 260-982-7751 or bgross@onearthpeace.org  to inquire about scholarships or financial help to attend the camp.


The Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board holds its spring meetings this week, March 12-16, at the church’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Shown above is chair Dale Minnich in front of the theme poster for the board’s meeting. On the agenda are 2009 financial reports and 2010 financial projections, a revision to financial policies, the annual report of Church of the Brethren ministries, and a number of other reports including the Brethren response to the Haiti earthquake. The board also will begin a new strategic planning process. Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

Brethren bits

— March 14 is the date for the One Great Hour of Sharing offering emphasis. Gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing empower the Church of the Brethren to share the good news of Jesus Christ that strengthens people and improves lives and communities. The theme of this year’s offering is “Do You Love Me? Feed My Sheep” (John 21). Related resources are available at www.brethren.org/site/PageServer?pagename=give_OneGreatHourOfSharing  including worship resources in English and Spanish, children’s and youth activities, a dramatic interpretation of the scripture, and more. For more information contact Carol Bowman, coordinator of Stewardship Formation and Education, at 509-663-2833.

— Shawn Flory Replogle, moderator of the 2010 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren, has been blogging about preparations for the Conference and his visits to congregations and events around the country. Find the moderator’s blog at http://macbrethren.org/category/news/moderator . More about the schedule and online registration for the Annual Conference on July 3-7 in Pittsburgh, Pa., is at http://www.cobannualconference.org/ .

— On Earth Peace is offering a Agape-Satyagraha Retreat on the theme, “Peace in the City” (Jeremiah 29) to be held May 14-16 at Camp Eder in Fairfield, Pa. Youth, mentors, and site coordinators from all Agape-Satyagraha sites are coming together for a weekend of connecting with others involved in the program and deepening skill development. Registration deadline is May 5. Cost is $83 per person, with scholarships and financial aid available. Contact On Earth Peace, P.O. Box 188, 500 Main St., New Windsor, MD 21776. http://www.onearthpeace.org/programs/peace-ed/upcoming-events/2010/A-SRetreat.html

— A leadership training event in April on the topic, “Unlocking Effectiveness: Leading with Focus and Passion,” is being advertised jointly by the Church of the Brethren’s Area 1, the Brethren in Christ, the Evangelical Covenant Church, and the Evangelical Free Church, in collaboration with the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center that is related to Bethany Seminary. Among the leaders is Atlantic Northeast District executive minister Craig Smith. The event will be held on April 10 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Hanoverdale Church of the Brethren in Hummelstown, Pa. Cost is $39 per person, or group rates are available. Continuing education credit of 0.6 is offered for a fee. Register at http://www.coaching4clergy.com/  or call 717-314-5809.

— Vinton (Va.) Church of the Brethren is planning a 60th Anniversary celebration on Sunday, April 18. For more information contact the church office at 540-344-8002.

— Church of the Brethren members of a growing project are giving impetus to a regional gathering of the Foods Resource Bank at Hempfield Church of the Brethren in Manheim, Pa., on March 22 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Brethren take part in the Foods Resource Bank through the denomination’s Global Food Crisis Fund, and several congregations are involved in helping sponsor growing projects. The regional gathering will provide an opportunity to meet Foods Resource Bank president Marv Baldwin, hear stories of the organization’s work, and network with other participants. Some 16 farmers from seven congregations are receiving specific invitations to the event, according to Howard Royer, manager of the Global Food Crisis Fund.

— Camp Bethel in Fincastle, Va., holds its annual Sounds of the Mountains Story and Music Festival on April 16-17, featuring the talents of two-time Grammy winner Bill Harley, Beth Horner, Kevin Kling, and Acoustic Endeavors. Tickets, schedule, and more are at http://www.soundsofthemountains.org/ .

— Camp Pine Lake near Eldora, Iowa, is offering a “Man vs. Nature River Trip” led by pastor Tim Peter of Prairie City Church of the Brethren. Men young and old are invited for this weekend trip down the Iowa River, from May 14-16. Those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The fees is $35. Register online at http://www.camppinelake.com/  or contact camppinelake@heartofiowa.net or 641-939-5334.

— The annual Religious Heritage Lecture at McPherson (Kan.) College will be given by Robert Johansen on the topic, “Can Preparations for Peace Enhance Our Security in an Age of Violence?” The lecture takes place at 4 p.m. on March 14 at McPherson Church of the Brethren. Johansen is a Church of the Brethren member and senior fellow and director of Doctoral Studies, and professor of Political Science, at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind. He specializes in issues of international ethics and global governance, the United Nations and the maintenance of peace and security, and peace and world order studies. He is founding editor-in-chief of “World Policy Journal.”

— Phillip C. Stone, who will retire as president of Bridgewater (Va.) College this June after 16 years of leading the institution, is to receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Juniata College when he lectures there on March 15. He is to be on the campus of Juniata in Huntingdon, Pa., to give a lecture on Abraham Lincoln–his specialty as a historian. The lecture is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on March 15, with the conferring of the honorary degree immediately prior in the Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science.

— The World Council of Churches (WCC) has issued a call for peace workshop proposals for the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation to take place in Jamaica in May 2011. Proposals must be submitted by March 31. The convocation marks the conclusion of the Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV). “It will be both the harvest festival of the DOV and a planting season for fresh initiatives,” said an announcement from the WCC. “Reasoning” is the name given to the series of workshops that will offer an opportunity to share concrete examples of peacemaking, learn from the experience of others, and deepen reflections on the four convocation themes: Peace in the Community, Peace with the Earth, Peace in the Marketplace, and Peace among the Peoples. The workshops are intended to be a place to meet people from different regions and traditions in order to discern together how to be agents of God’s transforming presence in the world. Further background information as well as a proposal form can be downloaded from http://www.overcomingviolence.org/ .

— “Fight climate change with the flick of a switch!” says an invitation for US Christians to join in the “Earth Hour” event to take place worldwide on March 27. The invitation comes from the EcoJustice program of the National Council of Churches. “On March 27 at 8:30 p.m. local time, millions of people around the world will call for action on climate change by doing something simple–turning off their lights for one hour.” Earth Hour is led by the World Wildlife Fund, with more information and resources available at http://www.earthhour.org/.

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. Newsline appears every other week, with other special issues sent as needed. The next regularly scheduled issue will appear March 10. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To unsubscribe or change your e-mail preferences go to www.brethren.org/newsline .

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