Newsline for October 7, 2010

“All who believed were together and had all things in common” (Acts 2:44).

The Church of the Brethren website has unveiled a new look and navigation structure. Photos of Brethren people in action replace stock pictures. Drop-down menus make it easier to find pages. Meanwhile, incoming links do not need to be changed, since page URLs remain the same. Two popular links have moved: “Find a Church” now resides at the bottom of each page, while “Quick Links” (formerly “Shortcuts”) can be found on the bottom right of the home page or via the “Directory” link at the top. Managed by Jim Lehman, the project features a design by Paul Stocksdale, programing by the company See3, and advice, editing, and assistance from many people. Work on the website continues and the team welcomes ongoing communication. Send comments and suggestions about how to make the website a better tool for you and your ministry to

1) Summer workcamps explore passion, practices of early church.
2) Disaster ministry opens new Tennessee project, announces grants.

3) Heishmans announce decision to leave Dominican Republic mission.
4) Fahrney-Keedy names Keith R. Bryan as president.
5) On Earth Peace announces Jim Replogle as new operations director.

6) Historic Peace Churches to hold conference in Latin America.
7) Brethren Disaster Ministries schedules workcamps in Haiti.
8) Courses are offered through the Brethren Academy.
9) Organizers of deacon trainings ask, ‘Don’t let it snow!’

10) Brethren bits: Correction, remembrances, anniversaries, and more.


1) Summer workcamps explore passion, practices of early church.

In 2010, more than 350 participants took part in 15 workcamps through the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry. “With Glad and Generous Hearts” was the workcamp theme based on Acts 2:44-47 and during each week of workcamps participants explored the passionate Christian practices of the early church.

Young adults served at New Covenant School in St. Louis du Nord, Haiti, leading crafts, games, songs, and providing a Bible story theater and snacks at a Vacation Bible School. They also worked on the school’s new building.

Intellectually disabled youth and young adults served at the “We Are Able” workcamp held at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.

Junior high youth took part in workcamps in Elgin, Ill.; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Ashland, Ohio; Roanoke, Va.; Harrisburg, Pa.; and Richmond, Va. Junior high students at the Harrisburg workcamp worked alongside the Brethren Housing Association helping to provide housing and social services to the homeless.

Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) senior high youth took part in workcamps in the Dominican Republic and Mexico.

An intergenerational workcamp at the Brethren Service Center and co-led by On Earth Peace gave participants of all ages the opportunity to serve and learn about peacemaking.

For more information about youth and young adult workcamps, contact the Workcamp Office at 800-323-8039 or  , or visit  .

— Jeanne Davies coordinates workcamps for the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry.

2) Disaster ministry opens new Tennessee project, announces grants.

Brethren Disaster Ministries is establishing a new home rebuilding site in Tennessee, in an area hit by devastating floods in May. A grant of $25,000 from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) is supporting the new project site.

The grant supports the work of obtaining information to determine the need for Brethren Disaster Ministries programing, and will help underwrite expenses related to travel, food, and housing incurred by volunteers and staff during early assessment and project setup. Funds also will be used to furnish tools, equipment, and supplies for the work of repairing and rebuilding homes for qualified individuals and families.

The EDF also has given grants to continue work at two current rebuilding sites of Brethren Disaster Ministries: $30,000 for the Hurricane Katrina Rebuilding Site 4 in Chalmette, La., in a grant expected to carry the project through the end of 2010; and $25,000 for continued work in the area of Winamac, Ind., along the Tippecanoe River following heavy rains and flooding in 2008 and 2009, where the response is expected to be complete as of the beginning of 2011.

The grant request for the Louisiana site noted that, “Since doubling volunteer capacity in the summer of 2008, Brethren Disaster Ministries’ monthly expenses have nearly doubled as well…. With continued need and financial and volunteer support, BDM staff anticipates a continued presence in the region through mid-year 2011.”

In addition, an EDF grant of $40,000 was announced for the Church World Service (CWS) response to the Pakistan floods. The grant will assist CWS and the ACT Alliance in supplying emergency food, water, shelter, medical care, and some personal supplies.

In a recent update on its work in Pakistan, CWS reported that it is continuing its flood response and increasing the number of operational areas. As of Sept. 20, CWS in Pakistan and its partners have distributed food packages to more than 90,000 individuals, as well as 2,500 packages of non-food items; distributed another 140 tons of food for approximately 11,000 more beneficiaries; distributed 1,500 tents for approximately 10,500 beneficiaries; deployed three mobile health units, which have provided services for 2,446 patients. CWS also is supporting additional activities by other donors, including food distribution and another six health units.

3) Heishmans announce decision to leave Dominican Republic mission.

Irvin and Nancy Sollenberger Heishman have announced a decision not to seek renewal of their service agreement as co-coordinators of the Church of the Brethren mission in the Dominican Republic. The couple will end their service as mission coordinators in early December, after serving in the DR for seven and a half years. Nancy Heishman also finish her service as director of the Theological Program in the DR, a position she assumed in the fall of 2008.

During their years in the DR, the Heishmans have provided coordination for the mission, working with leadership of Iglesia de los Hermanos (Dominican Church of the Brethren) and providing guidance and support to the DR church and to others involved in the mission including Brethren Volunteer Service workers. Key ministries of the mission during their term included theological education, a BVS/BRF volunteer house, a micro-loan program, and guidance and accompaniment to the DR church during a difficult time of conflict in previous years.

In addition, Irvin Heishman currently is coordinating logistics for the Historic Peace Churches meeting that will gather Brethren, Friends, and Mennonites from the Americas in the DR later this year. The event is to take place Nov. 28-Dec. 2. in Santo Domingo, capital city of the DR.

The couple will leave the DR in December, but stay on contract with the Church of the Brethren until June 2011. They will be doing mission interpretation in the American church community and take time for personal restoration after a stressful term of mission service.

Global Mission Partnership executive director Jay Wittmeyer said the partnership of the Church of the Brethren with Iglesia de los Hermanos will be re-evaluated, particularly in terms of roles and responsibilities, before new staff will be seconded to the DR.

4) Fahrney-Keedy names Keith R. Bryan as president.

At its Sept. 22 meeting, the Board of Directors of Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in Boonsboro, Md., named Keith R. Bryan as president/CEO. Bryan has been at Fahrney-Keedy filling that position in an interim role since January.

Bryan is an accomplished fundraiser and has extensive expertise in the field. Prior to starting his own business in 2003, he worked with nonprofit groups for 13 years in leadership roles. These included fund development, marketing, administrative, and volunteer positions. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement and sociology, and continued his studies at St. Joseph’s College in Windham, Maine; Pennsylvania State University; Morgan State University; and University of Pennsylvania. He is a retired law enforcement officer. He and his family live in Westminster, Md.

5) On Earth Peace announces Jim Replogle as new operations director.

James S. Replogle has been appointed operations director of On Earth Peace. He will handle daily operations for the organization, create and implement longterm strategy, supervise paid and volunteer staff, expand program income and constituencies, and provide leadership in developing program and financial plans and objectives.

Replogle and executive director Bob Gross will share authority for the organization as a whole. The new appointment allows Gross to focus more on fundraising and development–a step toward fulfilling the organization’s desire and strategic plan to reach new and larger audiences.

In addition to his new role with On Earth Peace, Replogle will continue as president and owner of J.S. Replogle & Associates, an investment management firm. In prior positions with the church, he has served on the board of directors for On Earth Peace, has directed the Brethren Foundation for Brethren Benefit Trust, directed planned giving for the former General Board of the Church of the Brethren, and was a general manager/publisher of Brethren Press.

6) Historic Peace Churches to hold conference in Latin America.

“Hunger for Peace: Faces, Paths, Cultures” is the theme of a conference of the Historic Peace Churches in Latin America, to held in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic, from Nov. 28-Dec. 2.

This is the fifth of a series of conferences that have taken place in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America as a part of the Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV), an initiative of the World Council of Churches. The Historic Peace Churches include the Church of the Brethren, Mennonites, and the Society of Friends (Quakers).

The conference will be a combination of personal storytelling, Bible study, and theological reflection about the way that Christian faith addresses the violence of our lives. Invited participants will come from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, the US, and Venezuela. All sessions will be translated into Spanish and English, as well as Haitian Kreyol and Portuguese as needed.

In addition to presentations, worship, and sharing of experiences, participants will receive a tour of the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo, reflecting on divergent religious traditions expressed in the colonizing of the Americas where one tradition legitimized exploitation while another raised a prophetic voice for human rights. The latter will be celebrated in the 500th anniversary (1511-2011) of the sermon preached by the Dominican Friar Antonio Montesinos in the Santo Domingo Cathedral calling for just and humane treatment of the native Taino people.

Speakers include Heredio Santos, a Quaker from Cuba; Alexandre Gonçalves, a theologian and pastor in the Church of the Brethren in Brazil, and a national coordinator of a nonprofit organization that works to sensitize and prevent the abuse of children; Elizabeth Soto, a Mennonite professor, pastor, and theologian from Puerto Rico, currently living in the United States, who also has served in churches and theological seminaries in Colombia; and John Driver, Mennonite professor, theologian, and missiologist from the US who has served in Latin American and Caribbean countries as well as in Spain, and has authored various books.

Taking part in the planning committee are Marcos Inhauser, a national director of the Church of the Brethren mission in Brazil and a leader in Igreja da Irmandade (the Church of the Brethren in Brazil); Irvin Heishman, a mission coordinator for the Church of the Brethren in the DR; and Donald Miller, a past general secretary of the Church of the Brethren and professor emeritus at Bethany Theological Seminary.

The opening and closing worship services of the conference will be open to the public. The opening worship will be held Nov. 28 at 11 a.m. at Luz y Vida Evangelical Mennonite Church on Avenida Mexico in Santo Domingo with the sermon given by Alix Lozano, Mennonite pastor and leader from Colombia. The closing worship service will be Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Nueva Uncion Church of the Brethren on Calle Regino Castro in Mendoza with the sermon given by Marcos Inhauser, Brethren pastor and mission coordinator for Brazil.

Webcasts will be offered from several sessions of the conference, viewers will be able to connect at  .

7) Brethren Disaster Ministries schedules workcamps in Haiti.

Brethren Disaster Ministries has announced three “Work, Worship, and Learn” workcamps in Haiti. Dates are Nov. 6-13 (registration and deposit due Oct. 13); Jan. 23-30, 2011 (registration and deposit due Dec. 31); and March 14-20, 2011 (registration and deposit due Feb. 14, 2011). Additional dates may be added if there is interest. Each workcamp can accommodate 15 participants.

The workcamps will help rebuild homes in the Port-au-Prince area and other areas that have received earthquake victims. Working closely with L’Eglise des Freres Haitien (the Haitian Church of the Brethren), participants will help construct homes for earthquake survivors and a guest house at the new Haiti Church offices. A highlight of the trip will be worshiping with Haitian brothers and sisters. Workcamp leaders will provide background information on Haiti and the Haitian Church of the Brethren.

Leaders for the workcamps are Jeff Boshart, Ilexene Alphonse, and Klebert Exceus. Cost is $900 per person, with a $300 deposit due with registration. This fee includes all expenses while in Haiti: meals, lodging, in-country transportation, travel insurance, and $50 for building supplies. Participants will purchase round-trip transportation from their homes to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Requirements for participation include good health and stamina for hard work in a hot climate, at least 18 years of age, a passport, vaccinations and medications, with tetanus required and malaria medications recommended; and sensitivity and flexibility with regard to cultural differences. For more information contact Brethren Disaster Ministries at 800-451-4407 or  .

8) Courses are offered through the Brethren Academy.

A number of upcoming courses for church leadership are offered through the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, a partnership of Bethany Theological Seminary and the Church of the Brethren. Courses are open to Training in Ministry (TRIM) students, pastors (who will earn two continuing education units unless otherwise noted), and all interested persons.

“Administration as Pastoral Care” is offered at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College through the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center, with instructor Julie M. Hostetter on Nov. 18-21. The registration deadline is Oct. 18.

“Healthy Congregation, Healthy Prospects, Missional Engagement” is held at McPherson (Kan.) College taught by Jim Kinsey, on Nov. 18-21. Registration deadline is Oct. 18.

“Introduction to Pastoral Care” takes place at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., with Anna Lee Hisey Pierson, on Jan. 10-14, 2011. Registration deadline is Dec. 10.

“Introduction to the New Testament,” an online course led by Susan Jeffers, runs from Jan. 17, 2011, through March 11, 2011. Registration deadline is Dec. 17.

“The Historic Peace Churches Seeking Cultures of Peace” is taught at Bethany Seminary by faculty member Scott Holland, on June 13-17, 2011. Registration deadline is May 9, 2011.

A study tour to Germany, “The Protestant Church of Germany: Past and Present,” with instructor Ken Rogers takes place in June 2011. Approximate cost will be $2,000 including airfare. The course will include some church history, but its major focus is on cross-cultural experience with most of the time spent in the city of Marburg and one-day excursions to a number of places including the village of Schwarzenau, where the Brethren movement began in 1708. Training in Ministry students will earn two units credit, pastors will earn four continuing education units. The registration deadline is December.

Go to   for class brochures and registration information, or call 800-287-8822, ext. 1824. For courses offered by the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center, contact   or 717-361-1450.

9) Organizers of deacon trainings ask, ‘Don’t let it snow!’

“Last winter we made the nearly four-hour (one way!) trip to Bremen, Ind., to attend a deacon training event. Actually it was longer even than that since we had to stop and dig our van out of the February snow along the way!” laughed Gene Karn, Outdoor Ministries director for the Southern Ohio District of the Church of the Brethren.

“In spite of the travails of travel, it was a very worthwhile day, and we wished more of our fellow deacons could have come along,” Karn added. “By the time we arrived home we’d decided to schedule a training session of our own. And, if we felt it would be good for our congregation’s deacons, then other deacons and church leaders in the district would probably enjoy the workshop as well.

“Specifically, I would hope that new or potential deacons would get a better understanding of what the role of deacon is, both in their own congregations as well as in the denomination.”

And that’s how the deacon training session scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 23, at West Charleston Church of the Brethren in Tipp City, Ohio, came about. Anticipating a good turnout given the location, multiple workshops are planned on the topics of congregational peacemaking, listening skills, caring for caregivers, and discussing financial concerns as a part of holistic caregiving.

The plenary session, offered by Donna Kline, director of the Church of the Brethren’s Deacon Ministry, will address the question, “So What Are Deacons Supposed to Do, Anyway?” Other presenters are Kim Ebersole, the denomination’s director of Family Life and Older Adult Ministries, and David Doudt, a Church of the Brethren spiritual director.

For more information and to register for this day of workshops in southern Ohio, visit  , where this and other fall sessions are described.

— Donna Kline is director of Deacon Ministry for the Church of the Brethren.

10) Brethren bits: Correction, remembrances, anniversaries, and more.

— Correction: The date of a Special Response hearing at Grandview Church of the Brethren in Pendleton, Ind., is Dec. 4 at 9:30 a.m.

— Merlin G. Shull, 83, passed away Sept. 22 at Bridgewater (Va.) Retirement Community. He served as executive minister for the Church of the Brethren’s Shenandoah District from 1985-92, and previously was a mission worker in Ecuador. He and his late wife, Grace, who passed away in 1997, also served pastorates in Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. A remembrance from Shenandoah District invited prayers of sympathy and support to the family. Shull was born July 1, 1927, in Chicago, Ill., to the late Merlin C. and Pearl Grosh Shull. He was a graduate of Manchester College, Bethany Theological Seminary, and Lutheran Seminary of Gettysburg, Pa. His service to the church also included a term of Brethren service in Austria. In 1955 he married Mary Grace (White) Shull. He was a member of Bridgewater Church of the Brethren. He is survived by a son, Mark A. Shull Sr.; a daughter, Mary Elizabeth Martin; seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. A memorial service was held on Oct. 2 at the Bridgewater Church. Memorial contributions are received to Bethany Theological Seminary. Online condolences may be sent to the Shull family by visiting  .

— Phyllis Kinzie, 82, a former board member of the General Board of the Church of the Brethren, passed away on June 11 at Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Okla. She was a longtime resident of Cushing, Okla. Kinzie served on the General Board from 1988 until 1992. According to her obituary in the “Stillwater News Press,” she was born on Feb. 7, 1928, the fourth child of Chester A. Olwin and Beatrice Yaney Olwin. She attended McPherson (Kan.) College. She married Oliver H. Kinzie in 1945, and they were married for 65 years. She was a longtime member of the Church of the Brethren in Cushing, where she served 16 years as choir director, and of First Baptist Church in Cushing, where she taught Sunday school. Her memberships in community organizations also included Honorary Chapter Farmer of Cushing FFA, and Sunnyside Home Extension, where she held several leadership roles, and she received a Cushing Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award. She is survived by her husband; three sons, Allen Kinzie and wife Cynthia, Kent Kinzie and wife Annette, and Kris Kinzie and wife Denise; daughter Sheree Fielding and husband Dr. Jeff Fielding; ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Memorial services were held June 14 at First Baptist Church with burial in the Big Creek Church of the Brethren Cemetery. Condolences may be shared with the Kinzie family at .

— Brett K. Winchester, 57, a member of the Church of the Brethren denomination’s Disabilities Ministry, passed away on Sept. 20 at home in Garden City, Idaho, after a long struggle with liver disorders leading to liver failure. Winchester came to the Church of the Brethren while in high school through youth outreach, his mother having been a member of Eden Valley Church of the Brethren in St. John, Kan., as a young woman. Blind since birth, he developed a great deal of experience coping with blindness and low vision, and shared this experience with his employer, the Idaho Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired. He served as ICBVI Reading Services Coordinator for the Boise office, coordinating radio reading services. He also was involved in numerous advocacy efforts on behalf of persons who are blind or visually impaired. He is survived by his widow, Leona Marie Hutchison Winchester, and his two daughters, Lynnette Hunter and Evelyn Pollock, both of Boise. A memorial service was held Oct. 2 at the United Church of the Brethren in Boise. Memorial contributions are received to the Masonic Lodge of Boise or to the National Federation of the Blind.

— Moala Penitani of Elkhart, Ind., started Oct. 4 as Customer Service Inventory Specialist for Brethren Press. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in marketing and management from Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind. Her three years of work experience includes involvement with customer service, sales promotion, and raising multicultural awareness.

— An opening for a Haiti Trauma Program coordinator has been announced by the STAR Program at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Harrisonburg, Va. Brethren Disaster Ministries is helping fund the STAR Program in Haiti, where Haitian Brethren pastors will be trained and in turn facilitate seminars in their congregations. The coordinator of the Haiti Trauma Awareness and Resilience Initiative will facilitate development of structure and administration of the initiative; oversee staff/consultants based in Haiti who will provide administrative support, logistics, and training; coordinate work of the initiative with sponsoring agency programs and initiatives and the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP); supervise fiscal matters related to the initiative in collaboration with the CJP Practice and Training Institute Director; develop a longterm sustainability proposal for the initiative that will build capacity of Haitian community and leaders to respond to trauma needs of the country. This is a three-year assignment. The program will not operate beyond the initial three-year period. Qualifications and experience required or preferred include among many others a bachelor’s degree required with a master’s degree in development, social work, conflict transformation, or related field preferred; strong experience in program development and administration within Haiti preferred; experience in trauma training, capacity building, and emergency management helpful. Fluency in Creole and English is required. Send letter of intent, curriculum vitae, transcripts, and names, addresses, and telephone numbers of three professional references to Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at  , attention Maria Hoover. Review of applications will begin immediately. The position will remain open until filled. Persons who bring diversity are encouraged to apply. EMU is an equal opportunity employer, conducts criminal background investigations as part of the hiring process, and complies with federal and state requirements for non-discrimination in employment with regard to sex, age, race, color, disability, national, and ethnic origin.

— The National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund (  ) seeks a volunteer to staff its office in Washington, D.C., while its executive director is on indefinite medical leave. Since 1972, NCPTF has been working to promote a legal alternative for conscientious objectors to military taxation. This volunteer will function as the organization’s administrator while the Executive Director is recovering. Compensation will be negotiated depending on the needs of the volunteer. Responsibilities include assuring that regular communication with the constituency takes place through newsletters, website updating, and maintaining a database; office administration; and assisting with and undergirding lobbying efforts by constituents. A minimum term of one year is sought. Contact Kim McDowell, chair of the NCPTF Personnel Committee, at 301-927-6836 or  .

— The Fall meeting of the Church of the Brethren’s Mission and Ministry Board takes place Oct. 15-18 at the church’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Agenda items include an overview of the finances of the denomination in 2010, a budget for 2011, and a strategic planning proposal.

— “Piece by Piece: Finding Our Place Within God’s Story” (Ephesians 2:19-22 in the Message version) is the theme for next summer’s National Junior High Conference on June 17-19 at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. An updated web page for the event is at  .

— The Global Food Crisis Fund is offering a DVD documentary, “Sowing Seeds…Harvesting Hope,” showing how a congregation’s growing project can revitalize small farm enterprises in poor communities abroad, through a partnership with the Foods Resource Bank. Produced by the Church of the Brethren with partners Church World Service, the Foods Resource Bank, and the United Methodist Committee on Relief, the documentary centers on transformed communities in Guatemala and Nicaragua. Narrating the 11-minute video is syndicated radio/television farm editor Orion Samuelson. Request a copy from the Global Food Crisis Fund at 800-323-8039.

— Staunton (Va.) Church of the Brethren is hosting a financial workshop titled “Faith, Family, and Finances: How to Live Faithfully Within Your Means and Keep Peace in the Family” on Oct. 23 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The workshop presented by the Church of the Brethren Credit Union, Brethren Benefit Trust, and On Earth Peace and its Ministry of Reconciliation program is for those currently experiencing financial challenges, those who anticipate experiencing such struggles in the future, or those ministering to people who are struggling financially. Cost is $15 or $25 per couple. Contact Steward’s Workshop, Staunton Church of the Brethren, 1615 N. Coalter St., Staunton, VA 24401.

— Mill Creek Church of the Brethren in Port Republic, Va., celebrates its 170th anniversary on Oct. 17.

— Bethlehem Church of the Brethren in Franklin County, Va., is celebrating its 140th anniversary throughout October.

— Freeport (Ill.) Church of the Brethren has set aside Nov. 14 as “A Day of New Beginnings” to celebrate its 90th anniversary. The church was founded on Oct. 3, 1920. The celebration begins with morning worship at 9:30 a.m. led by pastor Lisa Fike, followed by a time of sharing stories, lunch, and afternoon worship with former pastors beginning at 1 p.m. Call 815-232-1938.

— Miami (Fla.) First Church of the Brethren celebrates its 75th Diamond Anniversary with a weekend of events Oct. 23-24. On Saturday afternoon there will be a luncheon event at the Shula Hotel in Miami Lakes, followed by a program of remembrances, greetings, and music offered in the ballroom. A variety of activites will be available for guests on Saturday evening. On Sunday morning the celebration will continue with a 10:30 a.m. worship service at the building where the congregation meets (Biscayne Gardens Civic Association Hall, 1500 N. Miami Ave.). Pastor Ray Hileman will give a message of vision for the future. Following worship, a light lunch will be served. For information about Saturday meal costs, housing, and other questions, contact Anniversary Committee chair Renee Davis at 954-397-5997 or  .

— Three district conferences will be held over the next couple of weeks: Atlantic Southeast District holds its 126th District Conference on Oct. 8-9 at Camp Ithiel in Gotha, Fla., on the theme “Health and Wellness” (Mark 12:29-31) with James Graybill as moderator. Mid-Atlantic District holds its 44th District Conference on Oct. 8-9 at Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren on the theme “Let the Peace of Christ Rule in Your Hearts” (Colossians 3:15) with Cinda Showalter as moderator. Middle Pennsylvania District Conference will be Oct. 15-16 at Maitland Church of the Brethren in Lewistown, Pa., on the theme “Seeking the Mind of Christ–Together” (Philippians) with Lowell H. Witkovsky as moderator.

— McPherson (Kan.) College has reached its highest enrollment numbers in 40 years, according to a release from the school. The college has a total of 622 fulltime students this fall, representing a nearly 15 percent increase in enrollment over last year. In addition to the 622 full-time students, there are another 85 part-time students. This results in a total head count of 707 students, and a total full-time equivalent of 689.

— The Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) has published a commentary on “The Acts of the Apostles” written by Mark E. Baliles (352 pages, suggested donation $20). The BRF’s Brethren New Testament Commentary series aims to give a readable explanation of the New Testament text, with loyalty to Anabaptist and Pietist values. “This commentary is a tool which attempts to explain and apply the teaching of the text through an exposition and an application of the Bible message. There are helpful divisions to aid in structured teaching of God’s Word,” said a release. Baliles serves as pastor of Indian Creek Church of the Brethren in Vernfield, Pa. The general editor of the series is Harold S. Martin, a Church of the Brethren elder and editor of the “BRF Witness” newsletter. Send orders and donations to Brethren Revival Fellowship, P.O. Box 543, Ephrata, PA 17522-0543, or make requests at  .

— Recommendations regarding process and some practical tools and things to consider in district hearings are being offered to Church of the Brethren members taking part in the denomination’s Special Response conversations by the Brethren and Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Interests (BMC). The group is offering two resources, titled “Doing Process Well: Recommendations for Brethren Congregations” and “Recommendations for Safe, Sacred, and Meaningful Conversations.” Both are available at  .

— The October edition of “Brethren Voices,” the community television program produced by Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren, features the band Mutual Kumquat. Beth Merrill interviews members of Mutual Kumquat, and the show also features portions of their evening concert at this year’s Song and Story Fest. During its 10-year history the band has performed at Annual Conference and National Youth Conference, and each of the past six years at the Song and Story Fest co-sponsored by On Earth Peace. Members of the band are Chris Good, Drue Gray, and Seth Hendricks, and Ben Long and Jacob Jolliff also add their musical talents to the group. In other news from the program, beginning this month “Brethren Voices” will be broadcast on Channel 14 in Spokane, Wash. Copies of the October edition of “Brethren Voices” are available for a donation of $8. Contact Ed Groff at  .

— “Embracing Aging: Families Facing Change” is the title of a National Council of Churches documentary slated for broadcast on ABC television affiliates beginning Oct. 17. The documentary features residents of ElderSpirit, a co-housing community for age 55 and up in rural Virginia, and families in a variety of situations such as a family caring for a mother with Alzheimer’s and a father with chronic leukemia, or a family managing long-distance care of father with brother and sister on opposite coasts. The program also features geriatricians and experts in geriatric social work and other fields. The documentary was produced by Mennonite-based Third Way Media in partnership with the Catholic Telecasters Group. Air dates and times are scheduled individually by each ABC affiliate, check  . Order a copy on DVD from   for $24.95 with study guide and bonus content. The website   adds additional resources on aging.

— “Justice, Not Greed,” a new book from the World Council of Churches, is co-edited by Brethren scholar Pamela K. Brubaker along with Rogate Mshana, director of the WCC program on Justice, Peace, and Creation. Brubaker is professor of Religion and Ethics at California Lutheran University. Included are papers from 14 Christian economists, theologians, ethicists, and sociologists who are part of the WCC Advisory Group on Economic Matters. The authors “analyze the recent global financial collapse and its roots in a system which fosters structural greed. From economic analysis to biblical and ethical reflection, the papers provide individuals, students, and groups in religious and nonreligious settings a solid basis to learn, discuss, and act to support solutions that favor justice, not greed.” The book is listed at  .

Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren,   or 800-323-8039 ext. 260. Joan Daggett, Jan Fischer Bachman, Ed Groff, Ray Hileman, Donna Kline, Karin L. Krog, Michael Leiter, Jim Miller, Adam Pracht, Becky Ullom, Carol Spicher Waggy, Doris Walbridge, Jane Yount contributed to this report. Newsline appears every other week, with special issues as needed. The next regular issue is scheduled for Oct. 20. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To unsubscribe or change your e-mail preferences go to .

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