Brethren in Brazil are developing a ministry to a favela (shanty town) in the area of Hortolândia. “It started when a church member (Regina) discovered that she could help them giving classes on how to cook and how to get some extra income cooking for events,” according to an e-mail report from Marcos Inhauser. He and his wife, Suely (at left above), are leaders in Igreja da Irmandade (the Church of the Brethren in Brazil). “After a time we started having worship services and bibliotherapy. In addition, we worked helping them with some concepts and training on community development, which resulted in the transfer of the favela to brand new urbanized area. We are now in the process of education for prevention of domestic violence and sexual abuse of children. This ministry is done under authorization of the Education Authority and around 25 children are weekly receiving training to avoid domestic and sexual violence. We have also provided food baskets and a Christmas celebration.” For more about the Brethren in Brazil go to www.brethren.org/partners/brazil .
— Pinecrest Community in Mt. Morris, Ill., welcomes Diana Roemer of Lake Summerset, Ill., as director of Advancement and Marketing. Roemer most recently worked for four years as executive director for the American Red Cross Northwest Illinois Chapter, and also was an interim executive director for the American Red Cross Rock River Chapter. She holds a degree from Rock Valley College in Rockford, Ill., and a bachelor of arts in political science with postgraduate studies in mass communication and journalism from California State University, Northridge, and UCLA. Her work at Pinecrest Community began March 30.
— Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, a Church of the Brethren retirement community near Boonsboro, Md., seeks a director of Pastoral Care (chaplain) to cultivate the spiritual support and pastoral requirements of the Fahrney-Keedy community, and assist with establishing an environment that acknowledges a wide range of personalities, backgrounds, religious beliefs, and lifestyles to promote spiritual growth of all in the community. Required skills and experience include ordination, association with the Church of Brethren preferred, and experience in pastoral counseling, senior living, and ministry preferred. Contact Cassandra P. Weaver, Vice President of Operations, at 301-671-5014 or via e-mail at email@example.com .
— During its Spring meeting, the On Earth Peace board of directors discussed next steps in the organization’s search for a new executive director. The agency hopes to fill the position in the coming months, and to introduce the new executive director at the upcoming Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in St. Louis, Mo. The biannual board meeting took place on March 16-17 at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Other items of business included reports from staff and board committees, as well as receiving results of the organization’s recent financial audit. In addition, board members made plans for continued work regarding the elimination of racism within and outside of the organization. The On Earth Peace board of directors conducts business and decision-making using a formal consensus process, led by board chair Madalyn Metzger.
— Nominations are being accepted for the 2012 Open Roof Award. The annual award is Congregational Life Ministries’ recognition of congregations, districts, or individuals working to ensure that all–regardless of differing abilities–may worship, serve, be served, learn, and grow in the presence of God as valued members of the Christian community. A form is available at www.brethren.org/disabilities/openroof.html along with information about past recipients. Nominations will be accepted until June 1.
— May 6 is Youth Sunday in the Church of the Brethren. The theme for 2012 is “Bridging the Gap” (Romans 15:5-7). Worship resources along with a poster, congregational activity guide, bulletin covers, and much more are available to download from www.brethren.org/yya/national-youth-sunday.html .
— An Action Alert from the denomination’s Advocacy and Peace Witness Office highlights the “Priorities for a Faithful Budget” unveiled by faith leaders meeting in the nation’s capital. The priorities document states in part, “Our message to our national leaders–rooted in our sacred texts–is this: Act with mercy and justice by serving the common good, robustly funding support for poor and vulnerable people, both at home and abroad, and exercising proper care and keeping of the earth.” Read the full text at www.faithfulbudget.org . “We as Christians and the Church of the Brethren may not all come to agreement on how we should reconcile the budget crisis with our priorities, but since we desire to follow Jesus in all things, we should urge our political leaders to act justly and love mercy as we are urged in our scripture,” said the alert, citing the 1977 Annual Conference Statement on Justice and Nonviolence. For more information contact Nate Hosler, Advocacy Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-481-6943.
— This week’s Facebook post from Inglenook Cookbook and Brethren Press: “It’s springtime, so here’s an easy recipe for fresh asparagus. Enjoy!” This recipe for asparagus with white sauce is from the 1911 Inglenook Cookbook, submitted by Sister Katie E. Keller of Enterprise, Mont.: “Cook 1 bunch of asparagus 1 hour or less, according to age, then drain off all the water, season with pepper and salt. Add a spoonful of butter and a dressing made of 1 tablespoonful of flour and 1 cup of sweet cream. Serve on buttered toast.” For more about the new Inglenook Cookbook and heritage recipes and wisdom from previous editions, go to http://inglenookcookbook.org .
— Girard (Ill.) Church of the Brethren celebrated 100 years in February. In a newspaper report about the celebration, noted in the Illinois/Wisconsin District newsletter, pastor Ron Bryant is shown introducing the church’s oldest member, Avis Dadisman, 94.
— Mt. Lebanon Fellowship Church of the Brethren in Barboursville, Va., celebrates its 100th anniversary with a revival April 19-21. The 7 p.m. services feature Terry Jewel of Knights Chapel and include special music and a children’s story. Mt. Lebanon will have homecoming April 22 beginning with 10 a.m. worship, followed by a covered dish meal. Please bring lawn chairs for the homecoming meal, said an announcement in the “Orange County Review” online.
— The first deaf love feast in the Church of the Brethren was held April 4 by the Deaf Fellowship at Frederick Church of the Brethren in Maryland. Find out more about the Frederick deaf fellowship at http://fcob.net/deaf-fellowship .
— Quinter (Kan.) Church of the Brethren is hosting a “Faith, Family, and Finances Workshop” on April 28, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (registration at 8:30 a.m.) Led by On Earth Peace on the theme, “How to Live Faithfully Within Your Means and Keep Peace in the Family,” the workshop is presented in cooperation with Brethren Benefit Trust. Lunch and child care will be provided. To attend, please call 785-754-3630 by April 23. A free will offering will be collected to cover expenses.
— Linville Creek Church of the Brethren in Broadway, Va., is hosting “Voices from the Courthouse Prison,” a play presented by CrossRoads, the Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center on April 29, at 7 p.m. The play depicts events of the winter of 1862, when Mennonite and Brethren leaders were imprisoned in the Rockingham County courthouse for resisting the Civil War. It features the voices of John Kline, Gabe Heatwole, and others sharing their beliefs and struggles–and the women who visited and cared for them while imprisoned. A free will offering will benefit the work of the center.
— Church of the Brethren general secretary Stan Noffsinger will preach at Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren on Sunday, April 22, and at Panora (Iowa) Church of the Brethren on Sunday, May 6. The Panora worship service begins at 10 a.m., preceded by a question and answer session during the 9 a.m. Sunday school, with a potluck meal closing out the morning. “All are welcome,” said an invitation in the Northern Plains District newsletter.
— Stone Church of the Brethren in Huntingdon, Pa., on April 13 hosted an “Empty Bowls” dinner featuring hundreds of bowls created by the Juniata College art department. The dinner raised money for various Huntingdon County food banks. According to a release from the college, participants got “not only soup and bread, but also a hand-made ceramic soup bowl from the college’s renowned pottery program.” Sponsors included the Mud Junkies, the college’s ceramics club, the Art Alliance, PAX-O, the college’s peace studies club, and the Catholic Council. A 4-H group and a Girl Scout troop also created bowls for the event. The release noted this is the sixth year Juniata has been involved in Empty Bowls, a nationwide event designed to focus attention on world hunger.
— “Extending Care…in All Seasons” is the title of a Deacon Training Event with Curtis W. Dubble, on April 28 at the Village at Morrisons Cove in Martinsburg, Pa. Dubble will share the story of his wife Anna Mary, and speak about end-of-life decision making, the need for communicating advance directives, a support system of caregivers, and a life of faith and prayer during difficult times. Cost is $5 and includes lunch. Continuing education credit is available for pastors. Registration deadline is April 20. Find out more at www.midpacob.org .
— Deacon training will be part of the Illinois and Wisconsin District Potluck at Peoria (Ill.) Church of the Brethren on April 28. In addition to potluck lunch, the day includes workshops and opportunity for ministers to gain continuing education. Workshops on “Deacon Spirituality,” “Helping the Hurting,” and “Building Blocks of Deacon Ministry” will be led by Donna Kline, director of the Church of the Brethren’s Deacon Ministry. Annual Conference director Chris Douglas will lead “Praying with Scripture,” “Praying with Music, Art, and Journaling,” and “Prayer Walking.” Other sessions will teach participants to memorize scripture and tell a memorable Bible story. Registration is $5. Each participant is invited to bring a dish to share. http://iwdcob.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/50508723/District_Potluck_2012_Registration_Form.pdf
— The World Hunger Auction Hunger Walk will be April 22 starting from Antioch Church of the Brethren in Rocky Mount, Va., at 3 p.m. Other upcoming events that are part of the annual World Hunger Auction in Virlina District include a May 12 Golf Tournament at the Mariner’s Landing course; a June 2 Bike Ride starting from the Antioch Church at 8 a.m.; a June 10 organ and choral presentation with Jonathan Emmons; and the Auction itself on Aug. 11. For more information and registration forms go to www.worldhungerauction.org .
— Brethren Woods Camp and Retreat Center near Keezletown, Va., holds a Spring Festival on April 28, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Activities raise money to support the outdoor ministry program of Shenandoah District including a fishing contest, pancake breakfast, craft demonstrations, paddle boat rides, hike-a-thon, children’s games, petting zoo, zip line rides, an auction, barbecue, Dunk the Dunkard Booth, Kiss the Cow contest, and more. Go to www.brethrenwoods.org .
— In more news from Brethren Woods, registrations are due April 27 for the camp’s Canoeing Adventure Day on May 5. The canoe experience on the Shenandoah River starts at Mountain View Church of the Brethren in McGaheysville, Va., at 9:30 a.m. Camp staff, including a certified canoe instructor and lifeguard, will provide orientation. Cost is $30 and includes lunch, canoe, paddle, lifejacket, and additional gear. A packing list and permission slips/waivers will be sent by e-mail after registration is received. The registration form is at www.brethrenwoods.org .
— Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, a Church of the Brethren continuing care retirement community near Boonsboro, Md., hosts its third annual Spring Open House on May 12 from 1-4 p.m. A release invited guests to take tours of the village, chat with staff members and residents, ride a horse-drawn wagon through the community, enjoy gourmet refreshments and a slide show about the people and places of Fahrney-Keedy, and see work nearing completion on the expanded wastewater treatment plant and plans for a larger physical therapy area as well as two walking trails. “There is a lot of work in progress here at Fahrney-Keedy as we move forward,” said Keith R. Bryan, President/CEO. “Guests will be very impressed not only with the full range of retirement opportunities here but also how we are working toward the future.” To RSVP for the open house or more information call 301-671-5015 or 301-671-5016 or visit www.fkhv.org.
— Timbercrest Senior Living Community in North Manchester, Ind., is presenting a seven-month educational series on “Successful Aging” on the third Thursday of the month. The series started today, April 19. The one-hour sessions begin at 9 a.m. and include free interactive workbooks and refreshments. Several area organizations will be involved to present on a range of topics, such as in April, Zimmer Corporation discusses joint health, and in May, a retired Indiana State Police officer will share how to defend oneself against scams. For more information contact 260-982-3924 or email@example.com .
— Manchester College’s Student Financial Services has shared a notice about its Church Matching Grant Program. The college is located in North Manchester, Ind. Churches planning to participate in the program need to access the recipient roster for the 2012-13 academic year, the notice said. Go to www.manchester.edu/SFS/sfsforms.htm . Click on “Church Matching Recipient Roster.” Complete and submit the roster no later than June 1 to be guaranteed Manchester College matching funds. The notice asked churches to be aware that they must follow IRS regulations regarding contributions that flow through charitable organizations, and that “this program is not intended to allow families to pass money through a church so that their child can receive the matching scholarship.” For more information contact Student Financial Services at 260-982-5066 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
— Bridgewater (Va.) College has announced a search committee for its next president. President George Cornelius announced March 6 that he will let his contract with the college expire at the end of this academic year. Executive vice president Roy W. Ferguson Jr. will serve as interim president. The search committee includes Judy Mills Reimer, former general secretary of the Church of the Brethren, along with chair G. Steven Agee, judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; Debra M. Allen, certified public accountant and treasurer of Sidney B. Allen Jr. Builder Inc.; William S. Earhart, certified public accountant and treasurer of Heatwole/Miller real estate management and development company; Michael K. Kyles M.D., orthopedic surgeon on the staff of Halifax Regional Hospital; Robert I. Stolzman, partner in the law firm of Adler, Pollock & Sheehan; James H. Walsh, partner with the law firm of McGuireWoods LLP; W. Steve Watson Jr., Lawrence S. and Carmen C. Miller Chair of Ethics and associate professor of philosophy and religion; and Kathy G. Wright, logistics coordinator for Philip Morris USA Inc.
— In more news from Bridgewater College, five alumni including three Church of the Brethren members will be honored as part of the annual Alumni Weekend celebration April 20-22. At the annual banquet of the Ripples Society on April 20, Dr. J. Paul Wampler (class of 1954) and Doris Cline Egge (1946) will receive the 2012 Ripples Society Medals. At the Alumni Awards ceremony on April 21, the Distinguished Alumna Award will be presented to Dr. Elizabeth Mumper (1976). The Young Alumna Award will be presented to Emila J. Sutton (2002). The West-Whitelow Humanitarian Award will be presented to Dr. Kenneth M. Heatwole (1979).
— The McPherson (Kan.) College Bulldogs recently celebrated a first Final Four appearance. “With a come-from-behind victory with less than a minute to go against Dordt College in the NAIA DII Men’s Basketball Tournament, the Men’s Basketball Team logged the first Final Four appearance for Bulldogs Basketball,” said an e-mail newsletter for McPherson alumni. “They lost to the No. 1 seed Northwood University in the semifinals, but achieved a run that will go into the record books of MC Athletics.” Watch the comeback at www.youtube.com/McPhersonCollege .
— “The thing to remember about zombies is that they’re brain-dead hulks prone to staggering around aimlessly,” reports a release from Juniata College, “so it’s doubly amazing that a group of Juniata College filmmakers were able to enliven the living dead long enough to complete a movie that won the college a $12,000 prize.” Juniata earned first place recognition for “Showtime,” a zombie film created for “Show Us Your ETC,” a contest sponsored by ETC Inc. (Electronic Theatre Controls). The company specializes in theater lighting. For first prize the firm bestowed a theatrical lighting board on Juniata’s film team, which will control lighting and effects lighting in the Suzanne von Liebig Theatre. The equipment is worth more than $12,000. “This was filmed right before finals in December so many people on campus were walking around like zombies anyway,” says Gus Redmond, a sophomore from Bethesda, Md., who originated the project when he discovered the online contest on the ETC website.
— Several Juniata College professors and a documentary film producer will discuss how theatrical performances and dramatic rituals can become a tool for peace and resistance in regions afflicted by violence, poverty and oppression. The panel discussion takes place after screening of the documentary “Acting Together on the World Stage” at 7 p.m. April 25 in Neff Lecture Hall on the Juniata campus in Huntingdon, Pa. The film and panel discussion is free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by the Baker Center for Peace and Conflict Studies and moderated by Celia Cook-Huffman, the Burkholder Professor of Conflict Resolution.
— Global Women’s Project is inviting participation in its annual Mother’s Day Gratitude Project. “Simply send a donation to GWP in honor of a woman you know and love (including your name and address as well as the recipient’s name and address), and we will send her a lovely handwritten card indicating that a gift has been made in her honor. Donations will be used to fund our partner projects in Rwanda, Uganda, Nepal, South Sudan, and Indiana–all of which focus on improving the lives of women.” Memorial donations are also welcomed. To participate in the Mother’s Day Gratitude Project send donations to Global Women’s Project, c/o Nan Erbaugh, 47 South Main St., West Alexandria, OH 45381. Gratitude cards will be mailed in time for Mother’s Day if requests are received by May 6.
— A panel discussion on gun violence will be held in Devon, Pa., on Sunday afternoon April 22 sponsored by Heeding God’s Call, an initiative against gun violence in America’s cities that started at a conference of the three Historic Peace Churches. The event at Main Line Unitarian Church features Superintendent Michael Chitwood of Upper Darby, Pa.; Dr. Fred Kauffman, retired emergency room doctor from Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia; Max Nacheman, executive director of CeaseFire Pennsylvania; and Jim McIntire, president of the board for Heeding God’s Call. Lunch at 12:30 p.m. is followed by the panel discussion 12:50-2 p.m. To reserve a seat and lunch, contact Sue Smith at email@example.com by April 21.
— Jordan Blevins, former advocacy officer for the Church of the Brethren and the National Council of Churches (NCC), is serving as co-chair of the Task Force on Re-envisioning and Restructuring the NCC. He is serving alongside co-chair and NCC president Kathryn M. Lohre. The work of the task force coincides with the NCC’s search for a transitional general secretary.
— The World Council of Churches and All African Conference of Churches are expressing concern over escalating conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, according to Ecumenical News International (ENI), reacting to some of the worst fighting between the two countries since South Sudan achieved independence last July. The oil town of Heglig in Sudan has been occupied by South Sudan’s armed forces, but both countries claim the territory. It is not known how many have been killed during two weeks of fighting, ENI said.