Newsline for Oct. 5, 2011

Quote of the week

“The sound of the bell moved across the Peace Park. It seemed to voice a prayer for a war-free, nuclear-free, and conflict-free world.” — JoAnn Sims is a Brethren Volunteer Service worker and co-director of the World Friendship Center in Hiroshima, Japan. Every Aug. 15 a Peace Bell is rung in Hiroshima to commemorate the beginning of peace in 1945. The bell is a permanent part of Hiroshima’s Peace Park, crafted in 1964 with the continents of the earth carved around its surface showing no national borders. “The wooden hammer is held by rope to strike the bell exactly on the symbol of nuclear energy,” Sims writes. “The hammer strikes the symbol in hopes that one day all nuclear weapons will be eliminated from the earth.”

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19a, Common English Bible).

1) Annual Conference officers provide theme, prayer calendar for 2012.
2) Nigerian Brethren make progress on interfaith peace work.

3) J. Colleen Michael to lead Oregon Washington District.

4) Family Life Ministry highlights October observances.
5) Junior High Sunday to be celebrated November 6.
6) ‘Witness of Hebrew Bible’ event is offered by SVMC.
7) Children’s Disaster Services announces upcoming workshops.

8) Helping turn helplessness into hope.

9) Brethren bits: Corrections, remembrance, personnel, anniversaries, more.


1) Annual Conference officers provide theme, prayer calendar for 2012.

The Annual Conference officers have announced the theme for next year’s Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren: “Continuing the Work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together” (Matthew 28:19-20). The Conference will take place in St. Louis, Mo., on July 7-11, 2012.

The officers invite Church of the Brethren members to join them in prayer on Wednesday mornings at 8 a.m. (each in their own time zone) until the start of next year’s Conference. The officers have provided an online prayer calendar guide for this time of prayer each week.

“The Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20 stands at an important intersection of New Testament faith,” writes moderator Tim Harvey in his theme statement, in part. “Jesus has just completed his earthly ministry, a time when his life and teaching gave evidence of another kingdom among us. This kingdom is hidden from those who will not see, and yet made clearly present through his life and ministry. Jesus taught, healed, felt deep sorrow at the suffering of others, confronted injustice, invited other persons into this kingdom life, and finally was crucified. Three days later, he was raised. And now, perhaps moments before his ascension into Heaven, Jesus gives the disciples this instruction, words that will serve the Brethren as the theme verses for the 2012 Annual Conference: ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age’ (Matthew 28:19-20, NRSV).

“As 2012 Annual Conference moderator, I look forward to hearing stories of how the Brethren are ‘Continuing the Work of Jesus’ in our congregations around the world,” Harvey’s statement concludes. “Along the way to St. Louis, we will be reminded of the way Brethren of years past continued the work of Jesus in their time. And I will strive to challenge all of us to greater faithfulness. The world needs the testimony of Jesus. Brothers and Sisters, let us dedicate ourselves to ‘Continuing the Work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together.’”

In addition to the overall theme for the Conference, daily themes and scriptures also have been announced, drawn from the newly identified “Directional Goals” of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board. “The directional goals have the potential to become the spiritual disciplines of our denomination,” Harvey writes, “faith practices that both nurture us in our faith and challenge us to continue the work of Jesus in very specific, disciplined ways.”

Daily themes and scriptures are as follows: Saturday, July 7, “International Mission,” Philippians 1:3-6; Sunday, July 8, “Brethren Voice,” Matthew 28:19-20, Luke 1:79; Monday, July 9, “Congregational Vitality,” Hebrews 10:23-25 and 1 Corinthians 12:13-27; Tuesday, July 10, “Service,” 1 John 3:16-18; Wednesday, “Church Planting,” 1 Corinthians 3:6.

Find the moderator’s statement at . Find the prayer calendar at . General information about the Conference is at .


2) Nigerian Brethren make progress on interfaith peace work.

New additions of books and resources are displayed at the peace library at Kulp Bible College in Nigeria. The peace library has been made possible through the initiative of Nathan and Jennifer Hosler and donations from US Brethren.

Following is the September update from Nathan and Jennifer Hosler, Church of the Brethren peace and reconciliation workers with Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN–the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). They work at EYN’s Kulp Bible College near Mubi in northeastern Nigeria:

Since June 2010, a group of Muslims and Christians have been meeting together as an interfaith peace planning group under the name CAMPI, or Christians and Muslims for Peacebuilding Initiatives. The goal of CAMPI is to bring together peace-minded Muslims and Christians in the Mubi area to plan and implement projects that promote understanding and harmony between the two religious groups.

Preparation on the first project began a year ago, with preparation, hurdles, and obstacles including illness, prohibitive schedules, the elections and subsequent violence in April, and religious observances such as Easter and Ramadan. We are happy to say that that project–an intergroup dialogue and conflict resolution training for imams and pastors–has finally begun.

We arrived back in Nigeria just at the start of Ramadan, the month of fasting that Muslims observe every year as one of five crucial tenets of their faith. Muslims do not eat or drink during daylight hours of Ramadan and also prepare meals to break the fast each evening. Due to this, we held off for the month of August and then quickly gathered the interfaith planning group together after the end of Ramadan.

Our first intergroup dialogue session brought three imams and three pastors together in Mubi on Sept. 10. CAMPI members introduced themselves, as did the imams and pastors. Our Muslim and Christian facilitators re-explained the purpose of the group and the need to increases ties and understanding between religious leaders (this was discussed earlier during the recruitment of the imams and pastors).

Each meeting includes a resource person’s mini-tutorial on conflict and peace, followed by group discussion. The Sept. 10 meeting included an overview of conflict and peace, broadly understood. Conflict is a normal part of life and can be either good or bad, depending on how people handle it. Peace is not simply “no violence” but also includes the presence of good relationships, health, and well-being. Peace is food to eat, clean water, health care for all, children attending quality schools, and the ability for people to provide for their families. Peace is diverse groups of people trying to understand each other’s similarities and differences, respecting the differences, and living alongside each other cooperatively.

We are encouraged by the discussions and openness present in the first meeting and also in the second, held Sept. 24. Two resource persons (a Christian man and a Muslim woman) presented on Christian and Islamic scriptures for peace. There was engaging dialogue on religious understandings of “Who is our neighbor?” One Christian participant shared how he and his Muslim neighbor share a wall and a well. The Muslim family crosses into his compound every day because of the water available in the Christian household. According to the participant, a visitor to their households would not know whose children are whose because of how the two families intermingle. We are thankful for the openness of participants to share stories such as this.

Kulp Bible College held its first event to mark the International Day of Prayer for Peace on Sept. 21. Three surrounding churches were invited to attend a prayer service hosted by KBC Chapel, which included presentations from the Women’s Fellowship (ZME–Zumuntar Matan a Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria) at KBC and the KBC Peace Club. The Peace Club performed a drama that highlighted ongoing conflicts in the world, dramatizing the problem of leaders clinging to power, and terrorist attacks. They illustrated that violence is the wrong way to handle problems and that prayer in addition to action is a necessary ingredient to achieving peace.

— In their September newsletter, the Hoslers announced that after two years in Nigeria they plan to return to the US on Dec. 15. They also shared prayer requests for the Interfaith Dialogue Group, for the KBC Peace Club, for their work in Nigeria to finish on strong note, for EYN and its president Samuel D. Dali, and for creative, energetic, and skilled Nigerian staff to join the Peace Program coordinated by Toma H. Ragnjiya.


3) J. Colleen Michael to lead Oregon Washington District.

J. Colleen Michael begins a quarter-time position as district executive for Oregon Washington District on Jan. 1, 2012. Joe and Merry Roy have been appointed interim district executives in a volunteer capacity through Dec. 31.

Michael is a life-time member of Wenatchee (Wash.) Brethren-Baptist Church United. In the district she has chaired the Strategic Planning Team, Ministry Commission, and Stewards, and has served as district clerk and moderator. Denominationally, she served on the board of the Association of Brethren Caregivers that transitioned to the Mission and Ministry Board, where she was on the Strategic Planning Team. She also has chaired the denomination’s Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee. She holds an Associate Nursing Degree (Licensed Practical and Registered) and is a graduate of St. Joseph’s College in Maine with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in science in Health Services Administration. She holds a National Certification in Healthcare Quality 1987-2011.

The Roys also are members of Wenatchee Brethren-Baptist Church United. Joe Roy is an ordained minister, holds a doctorate in counseling psychology, and works in a long-established practice as a pastoral psychotherapist. Merry Roy is a retired public school teacher. They will use the present district office contact information: P.O. Box 5440, Wenatchee, WA 98807; 509-662- 3211; . Office location and contact information beginning Jan. 1 is pending.


4) Family Life Ministry highlights October observances.

The Church of the Brethren Family Life Ministry webpage  is offering resources for two observances held in October: Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a month-long national observance mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived, and connecting those who work to end violence. Among the resources on the webpage are links to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the Domestic Violence Awareness Project, and the FaithTrust Institute. Visitors may download information about how individuals, pastors, and congregations can respond to domestic violence.

The National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths on the third weekend of October is sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund. The observance is a way for faith communities to celebrate God’s gift of children and to live out their responsibility to care, protect, and advocate for all children. Congregations are encouraged to join in shared concern for children and a common commitment to improving childrens’ lives and working for justice on their behalf. Worship resources and prayers in the annual “National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths Manual: A Multi-faith Resource for Year Round Child Advocacy” can be used the third weekend of October or throughout the year.


5) Junior High Sunday to be celebrated November 6.

“Piece by Piece: Finding our Place within God’s Story” is the theme for the Church of the Brethren celebration of Junior High Sunday on Nov. 6. A number of resources are available to help congregations involved junior high youth in the celebration.

Go to  to find the online resources to download in pdf format. Resources include a theme commentary, Bible study, bulletin cover, worship resources such as calls to worship and prayers, a scripture jam, a dramatic reading of Luke 9, three skits, and an idea for a children’s story. Also offered is a link to webcasts from National Junior High Conference 2011.

For more about National Junior High Sunday contact Becky Ullom, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, at .


6) ‘Witness of Hebrew Bible’ event is offered by SVMC.

The Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center (SVMC), in collaboration with Elizabethtown (Pa.) College Department of Religious Studies, will host a continuing education event titled “The Witness of the Hebrew Bible for a New Testament Church.” The event takes place Nov. 7 from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., on the Elizabethtown College campus in the Susquehanna Room, with speakers who contributed to a recent Brethren Press book of the same name.

In the 2010 Brethren Press publication, 13 Brethren scholars addressed the question, “Of what relevance is the Old Testament for Christians today?” Robert Neff and Eugene Roop will speak to this question in the morning session, and Jeff Bach will address Brethren approaches to the Old Testament from a historical perspective. Afternoon sessions will include two panel discussions on the themes of holiness, peacemaking, education, and our concept of God. In addition to the morning speakers, other panelists include John David Bowman, Christina Bucher, David Leiter, Mike Long, Frank Ramirez, Bill Wallen, and David Witkovsky.

Cost for the event is $50 plus $10 if continuing education credit is requested. Contact SVMC at 717-361-1450 or  to register by Oct. 24.


7) Children’s Disaster Services announces upcoming workshops.

Children’s Disaster Services ( ), a Church of the Brethren program serving children and families affected by disasters, has announced three workshops this fall. Each offers basic training for volunteers who are interested in working with the program. To attend a workshop contact the local coordinator or the Children’s Disaster Services office at 800-451-4407 option 5. Each workshop is held from 5 p.m. Friday through 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

— Oct. 7-8 at Central United Methodist Church in Sedro-Woolley, Wash. (contact coordinator Sharon McDaniel at 360-724-3246).

— Nov. 4-5 at Bethany Christian Church in Tulsa, Okla. (contact coordinator Myrna Jones at 918-749-6612 or 918-688-0240).

— Nov. 11-12 at Somerset (Pa.) Church of the Brethren (contact coordinator Paul Liepelt, 814-445-8853).


8) Helping turn helplessness into hope. 

June 2. 9 a.m. Lisa, five years old, walked through the maze of cots in the Joplin Red Cross Shelter with her mother to the Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) child care center. Lisa’s family lost everything in the Joplin tornado, and had been living in the shelter more than a week. 

As soon as her mom signed her in to our center, Lisa found me and we began our daily ritual. “It’s time for you to go to bed now,” she told me as she gently led me to the corner of the child care center and directed me to lie down on blankets on the floor. She put a soft pillow under my head, covered me with soft blankets, and put a teddy bear between my arm and my chest. After getting several books from the reading center, she asked, “Which of your books would you like to hear tonight?” I chose a book, and Lisa sat beside me and “read” me the book while pausing to pat me each time she turned a page. I pretended to sleep, awaken, and then we went to play with the other children and caregivers in the centers. 

We had fun with puppets, easel painting, playdough, dress-up clothes, puzzles, and many other creative opportunities that offered Lisa and the other young children in the center a therapeutic release and opportunity to play. After lunch, Lisa asked if we could “rock.” She snuggled on my lap in a rocking chair, and was immediately asleep–perhaps dreaming of the bed that she lost, and so convincingly recreated for me earlier in the day.

While Lisa, other children, and their volunteer caregivers were playing in the CDS center, their parents were meeting with representatives of the American Red Cross, FEMA, Salvation Army, and other agencies who could help them with the process of rebuilding their lives out of the chaos left by the storm. When the tired parents retrieved their children from our center at the end of the day, they were a few steps closer to having a home other than the shelter that was now their refuge, and their children were full of stories about the fun they had experienced.

Lisa is just one of the thousands of children and families whose lives have been turned upside down by storms, floods, hurricanes, and other disasters. Working in shelters and service centers under the umbrella of Red Cross and FEMA, CDS has cared for tens of thousands of children, the ones most likely to be forgotten while adults address emergency needs after a disaster. Unfortunately, disasters continue to occur, families continue to be displaced from their homes, and children continue need a safe and nurturing environment to play and learn while their parents cope with their new reality. To fill this need, more volunteer childcare givers will be needed.

I’ve been privileged to serve as a volunteer caregiver for CDS after floods in Georgia and the Joplin tornado. Few experiences in my life have given me the deep personal satisfaction and sense that I was meeting a tangible need as providing a calm, safe, and reassuring presence for these young children and their families. If you have a warm heart, patience, team spirit, and a sense of adventure, I hope that you’ll consider attending one of the CDS training sessions.

— Myrna Jones, retired director of admissions at Phillips Theological Seminary and member of Bethany Christian Church in Tulsa, Okla., wrote this reflection for a Week of Compassion publication of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It is reprinted here with permission.


9) Brethren bits: Corrections, remembrance, personnel, anniversaries, more.

— Corrections: Annual Conference preacher Walter Brueggemann was incorrectly identified in the Newsline of Sept. 21. He is a minister in the United Church of Christ. In further corrections, Tuesday evening worship leaders for the Conference are Katie Shaw Thompson and Parker Thompson. The Renacer congregations to which Conference preacher Daniel D’Oleo is related are an initiative of Virlina District. Also, Virlina District did not hold its first International Day of Prayer for Peace service this year, it has been holding such services for a number of years.

— Remembrance: Joyce Snyder McFadden passed away Sept. 21 in North Manchester, Ind. She and her husband, Wilbur, served as missionaries in Indonesia 1961-1965 and 1968-1969, as well as a one-year stint in Puerto Rico while awaiting visas. Seconded by the Church of the Brethren to the Indonesian Council of Churches, they served the church in Minehasa, in northern Sulawesi. A graduate of Manchester College and the University of St. Francis, Joyce worked as a schoolteacher and later as a counselor in the Addiction Care Center in Wabash, Ind., which she and her husband helped found. In the late 1980s she was involved in developing the addictions ministry for the Brethren Health and Welfare Association. She helped to de-stigmatize addiction by telling her story to the 1990 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. She is survived by her husband, Wilbur; sons Dan (Wendy), Elgin, Ill.; Dave (Renee), North Manchester; Tim (Rosanna), Goshen, Ind.; daughter Joy, Goshen, Ind.; and 11 grandchildren. A memorial service is planned for Oct. 23 at Manchester Church of the Brethren. Memorial gifts are received to Manchester College or Timbercrest Retirement Home.

— LethaJoy Martin’s position as secretary and program assistant for Children’s Disaster Services ended on Sept. 30. She had served in the position at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., for almost four years, since 2007. Her work included providing office support for the CDS staff and the numerous volunteers that serve through the program.

“Growing Together: To Share the Good News of Jesus / Creciendo Juntos: Para Compartir el Gran Mensaje de Jesús” (Romans 1:12) is the theme for the Global Mission Offering in the Church of the Brethren. Suggested date for the annual offering is this Sunday, Oct. 9. Each congregation has received a packet of resources including a flier in English and Spanish, bulletin insert/envelope, and an open invitation to any US Brethren who are interested in taking part in annual gatherings of Brethren in the Dominican Republic, Nigeria, Brazil, India, and Haiti. Resources also are online at .

— Doug Pritchard has stepped down as a co-director of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) and Merwyn De Mello has been appointed to the position starting January. De Mello will work alongside co-director Carol Rose. According to a release from CPT, he will bring a wide range of international and administrative experience to the position. He grew up in Kenya and India, and has worked professionally in Japan, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. He currently is recruitment manager for Maryknoll Lay Missioners. He is a graduate of Eastern Mennonite University’s Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding program.

— The Fall meeting of the Mission and Ministry Board will be held Oct. 15-17 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., led by chair Ben Barlow and chair-elect Becky Ball-Miller. On the agenda for the meeting are financial reports and funding reports for 2011, the 2012 budget, a revision of the denomination’s Ministerial Leadership Paper, a denominational vision document forwarded from the Standing Committee of district delegates to Annual Conference, among a variety of other business items and reports.

— Following the Mission and Ministry Board meeting the General Offices hosts the Church World Service (CWS) Board of Directors on Oct. 19-20. Johncy Itty, a bishop in the Episcopal Church who has served as chair of the CWS Board 2008-11, will lead chapel on Wednesday morning, Oct 19. The meeting will include consideration of the new strategic organizational plan CWS 2020; an address by executive director and CEO John L. McCullough at 11 a.m. on Oct. 19; and a missiological reflection on the CWS theme of “Hope and Change in a Fragile World” given by Bo Myung Seo of the Chicago Theological Seminary on Oct. 20 at 9 a.m. A community reception will be held at the Hoosier Grove Barn in Streamwood, Ill., at 7 p.m. on Oct. 19. RSVP to Rose Mumford at  by Oct. 14.

— This week’s Action Alert from the Church of the Brethren’s advocacy and peace witness office calls attention to the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan on Oct. 7. The alert invites Brethren to contact their representatives to urge an end to the failed war strategy, in accordance with the 2011 Annual Conference resolution calling for the war to come to an end. In this time of economic hardship the alert also highlights the more than $400 billion spent on the war. Find the alert at .

— The Youth and Young Adult Ministry is issuing reminders of the dates for National Young Adult Conference–June 18-22, 2012, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville–and Christian Citizenship Seminar on April 14-19, 2012, in New York and Washington D.C. Brochures are circulating for both events. For more information or brochures contact Carol Fike,  or 800-323-8039 ext. 281.

— In addition to Newsline, several e-mail newsletters from Brethren ministries are available including “Connecting Generations” for older adults, a monthly update for deacons, Action Alerts from the advocacy and peace witness office, the twice-yearly Brethren Volunteer Service newsletter, a Nigeria mission newsletter, youth and young adult updates, and a periodic newsletter from the Death Row Support Project. Find the sign up box at .

— Register now for the remaining fall deacon training workshops: Oct. 22 at Quakertown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren ($10) and Nov. 12 at Lakeview Church of the Brethren in Brethren, Mich. ($15). Continuing education units are available for an additional $10. Go to .

— Fall is a busy season for the Material Resources program at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The program has loaded six 40-foot containers of Lutheran World Relief quilts and baby kits to be shipped to Thailand; shipped Church World Service (CWS) blankets, hygiene kits, school kits, and baby kits to Pennsylvania, Virginia, Minnesota, Colorado, and New Mexico; received shipments of CWS clean-up buckets from a gathering in Ohio, Shenandoah District, and Midland Church of the Brethren; and picked up over 35,000 pounds of CWS kits from an ingathering at Otterbein College in Ohio as well as locations in Pennsylvania. An unusual delivery to Congo on behalf of IMA World Health contained two BUVs (Basic Utility Vehicles), a water well driller, a sawmill, and other supplies.

— Bethany Theological Seminary is holding its fifth Campus Visit Day on Nov. 4. “Come imagine with us as we strive to integrate wisdom, the arts, and theology toward just peace, curious intellect, and wild hope!” said an announcement. “All are invited: those who feel clearly called to set-apart ministry, lay leaders searching for deeper study, and anyone seeking insight on vocational or theological questions.” Participants will engage students and faculty through theological discussion and worshipful work, tour the campus, share a meal, and learn more about their call to leadership and scholarship. Register at  or contact .

— This past weekend saw milestone anniversaries at several congregations: Bear Creek Church of the Brethren in Dayton, Ohio, celebrated 200 years; Cedar Run Church of the Brethren near Broadway, Va., began its 115th anniversary celebration (continuing Oct. 8), and 100 years each for Bethel (Colo.) Church of the Brethren and Williamsburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. In late September, Welty Church of the Brethren in Smithsburg, Md., celebrated 175 years (covered by the “Herald-Mail” at,0,1667694.story ). On Oct. 9, Madison Avenue Church of the Brethren in York, Pa., celebrates its 75th anniversary.

— A district-wide Love Feast in Middle Pennsylvania District on Sept. 23 at Camp Blue Diamond celebrated the district’s 150th anniversary and 30 years of its Heritage Fair.

— The disaster rebuilding project in Pulaski, Va., is “moving right along” according to the Disaster Ministries Coordinating Team in Shenandoah District. The project is rebuilding homes damaged in a tornado. Five houses are under construction, with the expectation for all five to be under roof before cold weather sets in so that interior work can continue through the winter.

— A number of district conferences are planned for the next two weekends including the 150th recorded district conference for Middle Pennsylvania on Oct. 14-15 at Carson Valley Church of the Brethren. On Oct. 7-8, Atlantic Northeast District meets at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, Atlantic Southeast District meets at Winter Park (Fla.) Church of the Brethren, Idaho District meets at Community Church in Twin Falls, Idaho, and Mid-Atlantic District meets at Hagerstown (Md.) Church of the Brethren. On Oct. 14-15, Southern Ohio District meets at Eaton (Ohio) Church of the Brethren. Western Pennsylvania District meets Oct. 15 at Camp Harmony.

— The regularly scheduled Annual Membership Meeting of the Lebanon Valley Brethren Home (LVBH) will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, in the DiMatteo Worship Center at LVBH, 1200 Grubb St., Palmyra PA 17078. Reports will be made by the administration, the Board of Directors, and the Auxiliary, and a slate of nominees will be presented for the election of new directors whose terms start in 2012. Also, a proposed amendment to the By-Laws will be presented for ratification, providing for the repeal of present By-Law II Members and the adoption of a new By-Law II Members, vesting responsibility for all matters in the Board of Directors in accordance with the Pennsylvania Nonprofit Corporation Law of 1988, as amended. For more information, contact LVBH President Jeff Shireman at 717-838-5406 ext. 3057 or .

— Elizabethtown (Pa.) College is launching a two-year Inaugural Scholarship Lecture Series celebrating inauguration of 14th president Carl J. Strikwerda. An evening with faculty member Mark Harman on the topic, “Smoke and Mirrors: Translating the Uncanny Imaginings of Franz Kafka” opens the series at 7 p.m. on Oct. 11 in the Bucher Meetinghouse at the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies.

— Bridgewater College has helped digitize the first five volumes of a 19th century publication “The Brethren at Work,” made available for free online viewing by the college and the Brethren Digital Archives Project. The mission of the project is to digitize periodicals produced from 1851 to 2000 by each of the Brethren bodies that trace their origin to the first Brethren baptisms in 1708. The publication is one of several titles from Bridgewater College Special Collections that have been lent to the project. The periodical was published 1875-83 as a weekly magazine describing doctrinal policy and practice in the church. Go to  or .

— The September “Brethren Voices” community television show from Peace Church of the Brethren in Portland, Ore., features “The Story of a Father’s Love” as told by Terry Green. The show follows up on alarming rates of suicide among various groups, including young people in the US and members of the military who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Green, a member of Morgantown (W.Va.) Church of the Brethren, shares his story and that of Tom Reynolds Green, who had been adopted and came to live with the Green family at two months old. Copies are available for an $8 donation from producer Ed Groff at .

— The Springs of Living Water church renewal initiative has posted its next Spiritual Disciplines folder for the third season after Pentecost. The initiative is active in several districts of the Church of the Brethren. Titled “Restore Us, O God,” the folder follows the lectionary readings and topics used for the Brethren Press bulletin series. Along with suggested Sunday texts and messages there are daily scriptures and an insert gives options for each member of the congregation to discern next steps for spiritual growth. Find it at  or contact Joan and David Young at .

— The Global Women’s Project of the Church of the Brethren is one of several religious groups sponsoring a new PBS series, “Women, War, and Peace.” The series uncovers stories of women’s roles in global conflict and peacemaking. It premieres Oct. 11, narrated by Matt Damon, Geena Davis, Tilda Swinton, and Alfre Woodard. Filmed in conflict zones in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Colombia, and Liberia, “Women, War, and Peace” will be aired on five consecutive Tuesday evenings through Nov. 8, at 10 p.m. (check local listings). Go to .

— The World Council of Churches in cooperation with on Sept. 23 launched the first online digital library covering theology and ecumenism, called GlobeTheoLib. Find the resource at .

— The Dead Sea Scrolls are now available online through a cooperative effort between the Israel Museum, where they are housed, and Google. The Dead Seas Scrolls Digital Project, launched Sept. 26, allows users to examine the ancient biblical manuscripts at an unprecedented level of detail. Go to .

Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Jan Fischer Bachman, Chris Douglas, Kim Ebersole, Carol Fike, Mary Jo Flory-Steury, Ed Groff, Mary Kay Heatwole, Michael Hostetter, Donna Kline, Donna M. Rhodes, Jeff Shireman, David Shumate, Jenny Williams, David Young, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren. Look for the next regularly scheduled issue on Oct. 19.

Newsline is produced by the news services of the Church of the Brethren. Contact the editor at Newsline appears every other week, with special issues as needed. Stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. Forward Newsline to a friend  
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