Brethren Bits for August 9, 2012

During the recent Annual Conference, Womaen’s Caucus created a unique banner celebrating women in leadership in the church who have influenced lives, such as ministers, missionaries, Sunday school teachers, mentors, mothers, caregivers, board chairs, delegates, moderators, commission chairs, and scholars. Photo by Randy Miller.

— Remembrance: Alma Maxine Moyers Long (86) passed away July 31 at Lima (Ohio) Memorial Health System surrounded by her family. She was one of the young people who in 1948 brought a proposal to Annual Conference for a volunteer program for Brethren youth. This resulted in the formation of Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS), of which Alma was a member of the first unit. She was born Oct. 20, 1925, in Bruceton Mills, W.Va., to Charles and Stella Guthrie Moyers. On June 10, 1951, she married Urban L. Long, who survives her. She was a graduate of Bridgewater (Va.) College. She began her teaching career in the last one-room school in Preston County, W.Va., where her mother had also taught. She taught chemistry, biology, and earth science in the Upper Scioto Valley School System for 30 years and received the Acker Teaching Award and led many successful chemistry quiz bowl teams. Her involvements in the church included serving as the first female moderator for Northern Ohio District and, along with her husband, as a district youth counselor for many years. She was instrumental in establishing Inspiration Hills Camp and served on its board. At County Line Church of the Brethren she was a deacon, Sunday school teacher, and lay leader. She also was an avid gardener, especially of roses, and had exhibits in county fair flower shows as well as being a member of the Millstream Rose Society and the American Rose Society. In addition to her husband, survivors include sons, Doyle Long of Ada and Nolan Long of Dayton; daughter Carma (Michael) Sheely of Wapakoneta; grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Services were held at County Line Church of the Brethren. Memorial contributions are received to BVS. Condolences may be expressed at Dan McFadden, director of Brethren Volunteer Service, shared his memory of Alma from the BVS 60th anniversary celebration. “At 82 years of age,” McFadden recalled, “Alma still had a spring in her step and a gleam in her eye as she held us all spellbound with the story of the birth of BVS. She was a gift to all who knew her.”

— Rosella (Rosie) Reese is retiring a packer for Material Resources at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. She began employment at the center on June 2, 1986, when she was hired to work in the kitchen at the conference center. In 1989 she began work as a medical packer. Over the years she also has worked as needed in housekeeping and has served banquets. She currently packs medicine and hospital supplies for IMA World Health as well as white cross supplies for the American Baptist Church, Evangelical Covenant Church, and Presbyterian Church. As time permits, she folds Lutheran World Relief quilts and assists with truck unloading and other duties. Her ability to pack all sizes and shapes of items safely and securely is very appreciated. Material Resources director Loretta Wolf also notes that Reese has been photographed and interviewed by nearly every local newspaper and television news station, who have shown her packing supplies in response to disasters and needs around the world.

— Camp Swatara, in the Church of the Brethren’s Atlantic Northeast District, is seeking an administrator/CEO/CFO to begin in June 2013. The perfect candidate will have success in marketing and fundraising, manage a million dollar budget, and be a team builder/leader. He or she will be professional, hold a bachelor of science degree, and be technologically savvy. He or she will be the personification of Camp Swatara, a people person, enthusiastic, articulate, and innovative. Applications may be obtained after Sept. 1 from the Camp Swatara website or from Melisa Wenger at

— On Earth Peace is inviting churches and community groups to organize public prayer events with the theme “Praying for Ceasefire” on or near Sept. 21 as part of Peace Day 2012. Sept. 21 is recognized as an international day of peace by both the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the United Nations. Nearly 120 groups have registered for On Earth Peace’s Peace Day campaign, from the USA, Canada, Nigeria, India, El Salvador, Australia, Thailand, Jamaica, and the Philippines. Sixty-five congregations–many of them new to the effort–registered during the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. On Earth Peace is working with the WCC, National Council of Churches, and campaign co-sponsors the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Justice and Witness Ministries office of the United Church of Christ. Organizing resources and a list of current participants can be found at . The campaign is tweeting from @idopp using the hashtag #peaceday.

— Annual Conference moderator Bob Krouse, who will preside in Charlotte, N.C., at the 2013 Conference from June 29-July 3, is welcoming invitations to speak at congregations and district events in the coming year. “While he may not be able to accept every invitation he receives, he hopes to visit many of our districts during the coming year,” said a memo from Conference Office director Chris Douglas. “These opportunities provide districts and congregations ways to maintain contact with Annual Conference, as well as giving the moderator important feedback on the pulse of our denomination.” When requesting a moderator visit, please know that honoraria is not accepted. However, the Conference Office hopes the hosting body will provide travel reimbursement to the Annual Conference fund. Checks for travel reimbursement should be made payable to “Annual Conference” marked “Moderator Travel Expenses,” and sent to: Annual Conference Office, 1451 Dundee Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120. Extend invitations to the moderator care of .

— Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., has announced its 2013 “Exploring Your Call” event for rising juniors and seniors in high school. The dates of the event will be June 14-24. Participation is limited to 25 students. This grant-funded program is free for participants. Students only have to pay for transportation to and from the event. Applications will be accepted starting Sept. 1. Go to .

— San Diego (Calif.) Church of the Brethren is celebrating its 100th anniversary with special events on the theme “Unbroken Circle of Love-100 years of Ministry.” A kickoff event is Aug. 11, when the church hosts the Fairmount Neighborhood Block Party. Worship on Sunday, Aug. 12, will celebrate the anniversary with guest speaker Susan Boyer and historic videos from 100 years of ministry shown before worship.

— Antioch Church of the Brethren in Virlina District hosts the World Hunger Auction on Aug. 11, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The church is located in Rocky Mount, Va. “Unique and interesting things will be available again this year including quilts, art work, a drum from Kenya, hand-made dolls, baked and canned goods, and a bowl crafted from walnut,” reports the district newsletter. Breakfast, lunch, and ice cream will be served. Also for sale are some “Special Services” such as a nature excursion–including a boat ride–to view a currently inhabited eagle’s nest (starting bid $250), and eight hours of professional interior house painting (starting bid $200) and more.

— Baugo Church of the Brethren in Wakarusa, Ind., has hosted mission speaker Kuaying Teng, a pastor with the Mennonite Mission Network, speaking on “Laos: An Interreligious Dialogue about Building Up Peacemaking Communities.” A Sunday school class was held with the Laotian community, followed by a potluck. In related news, Grace Mishler who serves in Vietnam as a Global Mission and Service program volunteer for the Church of the Brethren, has been invited by Pastor Teng to visit peace-building communities that are emerging in Laos.

— East Chippewa (Ohio) Church of the Brethren is beginning its third year of ECHO (East Chippewa Helping Out), an effort to help working parents and assist children with school homework and other meaningful activities after school. “I am very excited for the new school year,” commented Jodi Conrow, director and one of the ECHO teachers, in a release. “In addition to our homework help we also have a reading incentive program that the students really get excited about reading for rewards. Sort of a Summer Reading Program that lasts all school year.” More information is available by contacting 330-669-3262 or .

— Camp Bethel near Fincastle, Va., holds an interfaith Creation Care Day for youth on Aug. 25 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. “It will be a community experience of outdoor, hands-on Interfaith Creation Care: a day of fun, faith, food, and finding joy in Creation,” said the Virlina District newsletter. The camp is partnering with the interfaith “Spirituality and Ecology” group to host the day, rain or shine, for youth from all faith expressions. Cost is $15 and includes lunch, program leadership, plus pool time. Register or find more information at .

— “Steeped in the Past, Standing in the Present, Looking Toward the Future: How to Help Your Congregation Respond to a Violent World” is the title of a peace retreat co-sponsored by the Brethren Peace Fellowship and three Church of the Brethren districts: Mid-Atlantic, Southern Pennsylvania, and Atlantic Northeast. The event on Aug. 25 from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. is at the Miller Homestead in Spring Grove, Pa. “This retreat is calling together all who find themselves in the often lonely outposts of peacemaking both within and outside of their congregations,” said an announcement. Leadership will be provided by Joel Gibbel, Jon Brenneman, Cindy Laprade Lattimer, and Bill Scheurer, who recently began as executive director of On Earth Peace.

— As part of a series of district wide worship services, Southern Ohio District will worship together on Aug. 10, at 7 p.m. at Oakland Church of the Brethren. Moderator-elect Julie Hostetter will speak on the theme, “God’s Kingdom for all People” (John 4:1-42). In addition, the district “will celebrate our young people with a display of over 100 pieces of artwork which our children have created at Camp Woodland Altars during the 2012 camping season,” said an invitation. More information is at .

— Michigan District Conference will be Aug. 17-18 at Camp Brethren Heights in Rodney, Mich.

— COBYS Bike & Hike is set for Sept. 9, to begin at 1:30 p.m. at Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. “$100,000 and 550 participants. Those are the ambitious goals for the 16th annual COBYS Bike & Hike,” said a release from COBYS Family Services. The Bike & Hike includes a three-mile walk through Lititz, 10- and 25-mile bicycle rides on rural roads around Lititz, and the 65-mile Dutch Country Motorcycle Ride. This year’s motorcycle ride for the first time crosses the Susquehanna River. Sites include the Columbia/Wrightsville Bridge, expansive pastures of Lauxmont Farms, views of the river at Long Level, Sam Lewis State Park, and some Lancaster County back roads and bridges. Participants choose their event and either pay a minimum registration fee or obtain sponsors. Last year, despite severe flooding a few days before, the Bike & Hike set an income record of more than $89,000. Youth groups who raise $1,500 or more win a free gym and pizza night. Grand prizes donated by area businesses will be awarded to the top three fundraisers. Brochures, sponsor sheets, and routes are at .

Photo by: courtesy of Fahrney-Keedy

— An expanded wastewater treatment plant is in operation for Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, a Church of the Brethren retirement community near Boonsboro, Md. Local and state officials joined Fahrney-Keedy executives and board members on July 16 to mark the end of more than a year of construction. The improvements bring the wastewater treatment plant into compliance with Maryland Department of the Environment regulations. The US Department of Agriculture Rural Development program assisted in the project with a low-interest loan of $3,692,000. In a release, Keith Bryan, Fahrney-Keedy’s president and CEO, said, “USDA’s oversight before and during the construction phase has been immeasurable; without USDA’s low-interest loan this project would have been very difficult to undertake.”

—  Brethren Woods is offering a Tubing Adventure Day on Aug. 25. “Join us for a fun morning or afternoon of tubing on the Shenandoah River!” said an announcement. Participants will gather at Mountain View-McGaheysville (Va.) Church of the Brethren at 9:30 a.m. or 1 p.m. Brethren Woods staff including a certified lifeguard will provide orientation to tubing and safety on the river. Groups will float a stretch of river from Power Dam Road to Island Ford and return to the church about 12 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. Cost is $15 and includes transportation, certified staff leadership, innertube, lifejacket, and some additional gear. Registration forms and more information are available online at . Registrations are due Aug. 17.

— The Bridgewater (Va.) College Alumni Choir presents a concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, at Bridgewater Church of the Brethren. The choir was founded by Jesse E. Hopkins, Edwin L. Turner Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus, according to a release. In addition to Hopkins, the 32-member choir will be directed by David L. Tate and Ryan E. Keebaugh. Among other works, the ensemble will perform original works by Bridgewater alumni composers: “Peace I Leave with You,” by Aaron Garber ’05, and “The Suffering Servant,” by Ryan Keebaugh ’02. Hopkins recently retired from the college after 35 years.

— McPherson (Kan.) College has an agreement with Fort Hays State University in support of new graduate courses in education. Thanks to the agreement, McPherson will be able to follow an innovative approach to its new graduate-level courses in education while allowing those credits to apply for school leadership certification, said a release. McPherson will begin offering its graduate-level courses this fall. Mark Malaby, director of the graduate courses in education and associate professor of education, has developed the entrepreneurial curriculum. Classes will allow professionals who take the courses to learn through developing programs or initiatives that improve the quality of education in their own communities. Extensive use of project-based learning and collaborative projects has meant the new courses don’t always fit traditional certification paths such as those required for school principals and administrators. The partnership with Fort Hays State allows graduate credits obtained at McPherson to be accepted by the Educational Leadership program at the university. See .

— Manchester University in N. Manchester, Ind., is appearing on “The Chronicle of Higher Education” Honor Roll of 2012 Great Colleges to Work For, for the third straight year. A release from the university notes that “The Chronicle says Manchester University is a ‘Great College to Work For’ because of its teaching environment, job satisfaction, respect and appreciation, confidence in senior leadership, work/life balance, professional/career development programs, supervisor/department chair relationship, tenure clarity and process, collaborative governance.” The Honor Roll of 42 colleges and universities is based on a nationwide survey of more than 46,000 faculty, administrators, and professional support staff at 294 institutions, plus demographics and workplace policies.

— During the recent Annual Conference, Womaen’s Caucus created a unique banner celebrating women in leadership in the church who have influenced lives, such as ministers, missionaries, Sunday school teachers, mentors, mothers, caregivers, board chairs, delegates, moderators, commission chairs, and scholars. This photo of the banner was taken by Regina Holmes.

— Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is reporting a success in its work in northern Iraq. The Iraq team has spent years working against attacks on displaced residents of villages along Iraq’s borders with Turkey and Iran, according to a release. In 2006, CPT began visiting people forced to evacuate their homes every year, conducted investigations, and detailed impacts on civilians. In 2011, Iranian mortar, rocket, and shelling attacks, and bombing from Turkish fighter jets damaged and destroyed more life and property than in any year since the operations began. Last August the CPT team started a series of public events to raise awareness of the attacks, as the villagers themselves feared personal repercussions from speaking out against the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq. The CPT team witnessed outside the Iranian, Turkish, and US consulates and the KRG parliament; visited the KRG Human Rights Committee; and, on behalf of village partners, delivered letters and goodwill gifts to the Turkish and Iranian consulates. “They asked that 2012 be a year of no attacks on border residents…. So far this year, no attacks have affected civilians living in villages along the borders,” the release concluded. The full report is at .

— Marie Frantz’s 101st birthday on Aug. 7 has been celebrated by Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Ind. The congregation sent cards to Frantz, who is living in Leo, Ind.