Brethren Bits for Dec. 13, 2012


The Church of the Brethren hosted a meeting of the Council of Moderators and Secretaries of Anabaptist Churches (COMS) and the Canadian Council of Anabaptist Leaders (CCAL) on Dec. 7-8. The meeting was at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Member denominations of CCAL include Brethren in Christ Canada, Mennonite Church Canada, Chortitzer Mennonite Conference, Evangelical Mennonite Conference, Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference, Can. Conf. Mennonite Brethren Churches, MCC Canada, Sommerfeld Mennonite Conference. Members of COMS are the Brethren in Christ US, Mennonite Brethren, Church of the Brethren, Mennonite Church USA, Conservative Mennonite Conference, Missionary Church.

— Remembrance: John D. Metzler Jr., 89, a former treasurer for the Church of the Brethren General Board who also served for a few years as executive of the General Services Commission, died on Dec. 1 in Goshen, Ind., after a short illness. He began as treasurer for the denomination in the spring of 1981, when he also was named one of three associate general secretaries. By the time he retired in the spring of 1985 he had served the Church of the Brethren or related ecumenical organizations in various capacities for almost 40 years. He first worked for the denomination in 1947 as staff for Brethren Service, working in publicity and then in relief efforts. In 1949 he went to Puerto Rico to become director of education at a private high school run by the Brethren Service project in Castañer. Returning to the US in 1952, he began 28 years with CROP, then the constituency education and fundraising unit of Church World Service (CWS) based in Elkhart, Ind. At CROP/CWS he began as a printer, and progressed eventually to serve as associate national director and financial officer, with responsibilities over the years ranging from printing to communications, fundraising, and financial management. In volunteer roles, he was a member of the General Board and chaired the World Ministries Commission in the late 1960s. He was born March 15, 1923, in Payette, Idaho, and grew up in Bourbon, Ind. He was a long-time member of Nappanee (Ind.) Church of the Brethren. He held a degree from Manchester College (now Manchester University) and had studied for a year at Bethany Theological Seminary. He was married to Anita Flowers Metzler, who passed away in 2004. She had served as a district program coordinator for Northern Indiana District. He is survived by six children: Margaret (Bill) Warner, Nappanee; Susan (Frank) Chartier, Columbia City, Ind.; Michael (Marcea) Metzler, Dexter, Mich.; Patt (Tom) Cook, W. Lebanon, Ind.; Steven Metzler, Dexter, Mich.; and John (Fei Fei) Metzler, Ann Arbor, Mich.; grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at Nappanee Church of the Brethren on Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. Memorials are received to Manchester University, Greencroft Retirement Community in Goshen, Ind., and Oglala Lakota College in Kyle, S.D.

— Ruby Sheldon died on Nov. 28, reports Pacific Southwest District. A member of Papago Buttes Church of the Brethren, she is remembered as a noted woman pilot who in 2010 at age 92 was “only” 70 years older than the younger pilots in the 34th annual “Air Race Classic” in which some 100 women pilots flew 2,000 miles in four days from Fort Myers, Fla., to the Mississippi River and back to Frederick, Md. After many years as an Air Race Classic Director, she was made an Air Race Classic Honorary Director by her peers. She was one of the top 10 finishers of the race in 2008, 2005, 2002, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995(when she won first place), and many more years. An aviation pioneer, flight instructor, and charter pilot, she was inducted into the Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame in 2009. “We have also experienced Ruby as an active member of Papago Buttes Church of the Brethren,” said the district note. “Attending and helping at past District Conferences. Encouraging all of us. Hosting District Board members in her home. Thank you Ruby for being a light on our path.”

— Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., is inviting applications for faculty positions in Brethren Studies and in Reconciliation Studies.

A full-time, potential tenure-track faculty position in Brethren studies begins fall 2013. Rank: open; PhD preferred; ABD considered. The appointee will be expected to develop and teach the equivalent of an average of five graduate courses per year, including at least one online course per year, and offer one Academy-level course biennially. Some of these courses may include introductory offerings in the history of Christianity or theological reflection. Other duties include student advising, supervision of MA theses in the area of Brethren studies as needed, serving on at least one major institutional committee annually, participating in the recruitment of new students through interviews and informal contacts, and regular participation in faculty meetings. The area of expertise and research may come from a variety of fields such as historical studies, theological studies, Brethren heritage, or sociology and religion. Commitment to the values and theological emphases within the Church of the Brethren is essential. Bethany specifically encourage applications from women, minorities, and persons with disabilities. The application deadline is Jan. 11, 2013. The appointment begins on or before July 11, 2013. Send a letter of application, CV, and names and contact information for three references to Brethren Studies Search, Attn: Dean’s Office, Bethany Theological Seminary, 615 National Road West Richmond, IN 47374; . Find the full position announcement online at .

A half-time faculty position in Reconciliation Studies begins fall 2013. Rank: open; PhD preferred; ABD considered. The appointee will be expected to develop and teach two graduate courses per year (one in conflict transformation offered annually), including at least one online course per year, and offer one Academy-level course biennially. Other duties include student advising, supervision of MA theses in the area of reconciliation studies as needed, serving on at least one major institutional committee annually, participating in the recruitment of new students through interviews and informal contacts, and regular participation in faculty meetings. Commitment to the values and theological emphases within the Church of the Brethren is essential. Bethany specifically encourages applications from women, minorities, and persons with disabilities. The application deadline is Jan. 1, 2013. The appointment will begin July 1, 2013. Send a letter of application, CV, and names and contact information for three references to Reconciliation Studies Search, Attn: Dean’s Office, Bethany Theological Seminary, 615 National Road West, Richmond, IN 47374; . Find the full position announcement online at .

— The Ecumenical Campus Ministries (ECM) at the University of Kansas invites applications for a half-time position as Campus Minister to begin July 1, 2013. ECM’s corresponding denominations include the Church of the Brethren. A comprehensive compensation package between $25,000 to $35,000, depending on the applicant’s qualifications and experience, will be offered. Complete information on qualifications and specific duties for the position, the history and reviews of current programs, and additional information about ECM can be found at . The full position listing and how to submit an application can be found at . The application deadline is Jan. 15, 2013.

— The new Sunday school curriculum to be produced by Brethren Press and MennoMedia is accepting applications to write for Preschool, Primary, Middler, Multiage, and Junior Youth age groups for the curriculum years 2014-15. The new curriculum will seek to follow the Gather ‘Round curriculum in providing quality Anabaptist/Pietist materials. Writers produce well-written, age-appropriate, and engaging material for teacher’s guides, student books, and additional resources. All writers will attend an orientation April 22-25, 2013, in Milford, Ind. See Job Opportunities at . The application deadline is Feb. 9, 2013.

— The World Council of Churches (WCC) is seeking young communications professionals from its member churches to join the 10th Assembly communications team. A release said the goal is to offer a unique opportunity to work with a diverse team of communication professionals from around the world during the most significant event in the life of the WCC and the ecumenical movement. By inviting young professionals, the WCC would like to add their unique perspective in sharing the story of the assembly to audiences across the globe. The young professionals will work side-by-side with seasoned communicators. In addition to gaining valuable experience, these positions also offer an opportunity for ecumenical formation. Requirements include 3-5 years or more of professional media and communications experience either for the church or public media; age between 22 and 30; involvement in church, youth, or ecumenical activities in the local community; speaking and writing English fluently unless a member of a specific language team, then knowledge and ability to speak English preferred; available to work at the assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea (South Korea), from Oct. 27-Nov. 10, 2013. To apply, review the job profiles online and submit a letter of intention and curriculum vitae. In the letter, explain why you would like to join the WCC communication team and attend the assembly, and write about your work experience and involvement in youth and ecumenical work. In the CV list education, training, and work experience. Those interested in writing, photography, and videographer positions must be prepared to submit writing samples, photos, and video, if requested. The application process ends Jan. 31, 2013. Selection of candidates will be completed Feb. 28. Send letter of intention and CV to the WCC Communication Dept., c/o Linda Hanna, at Only those sending a letter of intention and CV will be considered and responded to. In the letter clearly state the position you are interested in. Find more information and job profiles at .

— Apply now for the WCC Assembly Stewards Program in 2013. Young Christians from around the world are invited to apply for a three week hands-on volunteer learning experience at the WCC 10th Assembly on Oct. 23-Nov. 10, 2013, in Busan, Republic of Korea (South Korea). Applicants must be between 18 and 30 years old. Before the assembly begins, stewards will follow an online and onsite ecumenical learning program, exposing them to the key issues of the worldwide ecumenical movement. During the assembly they will assist in the areas of worship, plenary productions, documentation, communications, and other administrative and support tasks. Following the meeting, they will design ecumenical projects to implement in their churches and communities upon their return home. The WCC Assembly is the “supreme legislative body” of the WCC and meets every seven years. Some 150 volunteer stewards help to make this event happen. Completed application forms are due to the WCC youth program no later than Feb. 7, 2013. More information and the application form may be downloaded from .

— Odyssey Networks seeks a library intern to help sort and organize its growing body of work. Odyssey Networks is a nonprofit multi-faith media organization based in Morning Side Heights, near Columbia University in New York. Its products include documentary and scripted programs for major market cable networks, short-form documentary series and news features for a video-centric website and for other major Internet outlets. More about Odyssey Networks is at . Key responsibilities of an intern will be to work in the New Media Department of Odyssey Networks with the network librarian to marry video educationally appropriate metadata, log in received media and place in physical storage, e-mail recipients of newly received content, alert producers of all content received for the mobile application “Call on Faith” which needs to be reformatted, work on metadata from a resource library for a clip library (extensive metadata logging). The network hopes to find someone to work part time, either from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. or from 1-5 p.m. weekdays. Compensation is $20 a day travel and lunch stipend. Apply by sending a resume to with the subject line “Library Intern.”

— An Action Alert on “Pentagon Spending and the Fiscal Cliff” calls Brethren to help take action on the level of military spending in the federal budget, as politicians work on agreements as the year-end deadline nears. The Church of the Brethren’s Advocacy and Peace Witness Ministry issued the alert noting that “the importance of these ongoing budget talks cannot be stressed enough. What is and what is not cut will say a lot about what our nation prioritizes. We’ve heard both sides of the aisle plead and preach about what can and cannot be cut, and whether taxes should be raised, but what we have not heard is a strong voice that is willing to point out the giant elephant in the room: Pentagon spending.” An online form is offered to help church members respond to their representatives in Congress on the issue. Find the alert at .

— Congregational Life Ministries staff are posting additional questions and prayers on the Brethren blog ( related to the Church of the Brethren’s Advent devotional, “The Advent Road” by Walt Wiltschek. The devotional can be purchased at in print or e-book.

— Online registration has opened or will open soon for church events in 2013. Unless otherwise noted, find registration links at . Registration is open now for the Christian Citizenship Seminar for high schoolers and their adult advisors on March 23-28 in New York City and Washington, D.C. Registration opens Jan. 4, 2013, for the National Junior High Conference to take place June 14-16 at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College (online parental consent form required to register). Registration opens Jan. 9, at 7 p.m. (central), for the summer’s workcamps. For 2013 workcamp sites, cost, and more information see .

— English River Church of the Brethren in South English, Iowa, has received “a big thank you” from Kids Against Hunger for helping package meals in November, reports the church newsletter. “We packaged 16,416 meals on that one day alone.”

— Shenandoah District, through the generous support of its annual Disaster Ministries Auction, has donated an additional $25,000 to the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund in response to recent natural disasters and Hurricane Sandy. “This donation is in addition to the major gift that was forwarded to the EDF this fall after financial accounts were completed for the 2012 auction,” reported the district newsletter.

— Southern Ohio District has rescheduled its gathering to assemble disaster relief kits, due to a delay in receiving a large order of laundry soap from a supplier. The assembly of Emergency Clean-Up Buckets is now planned for Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. at Eaton (Ohio) Church of the Brethren. “We have funds to do 400 buckets in the next shipment,” said the district announcement.

— Florin Church of the Brethren in Mount Joy, Pa., is hosting an Emergency Clean-Up Buckets assembly on behalf of the Church of the Brethren Disaster Relief Auction. The assembly takes place Friday, Dec. 14., starting at 6 p.m. Set up will be 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The group hopes to complete 1,000 buckets. Contact 717-898-3385 or 717-817-4033.

— Camp Bethel near Fincastle, Va., has announced a Winter Camp Retreat for children and youth on Dec. 29-30. “Give yourself a Christmas gift and send the kids to Winter Camp,” said the announcement. The event is for campers in first through twelfth grades led by a reunited summer staff. Cost is $60 and includes four meals, lodging, and all programing. Go to .

— Also holding a Winter Camp is Brethren Woods, near Keezletown, Va. The Winter Camp will be Jan. 4-6, 2013, for fourth through eighth graders. The fee of $110 includes meals, snow-tubing or ice skating, transportation, lodging, a T-shirt, supplies, and materials. Registration and a $55 deposit are due Dec. 15. Contact 540-269-2741 or .

— A student photographer at McPherson (Kan.) College has earned a landmark award in the 29th annual Five-State Photography Exhibition in Hays, Kan. Casey Maxon became the first McPherson student to receive any of the juried exhibition’s 12 awards when he took home a Juror’s Merit Award, said a release from the college. The photograph is called “Tucked In” and depicts an antique vehicle wrapped in a plastic sheet to protect it for the night, see it at .

— The Middle Eel River Watershed Initiative led by Manchester University has received the 2012 Education and Information Award of the Hoosier Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society.

— The beating death of a student athlete and charges against two McPherson College students has garnered attention from “USA Today” and “Sports Illustrated.” Both have run lengthy articles about the incident and the issues faced by small colleges attempting to recruit and field successful sports teams. See and .

— The US economic blockade against Cuba has forced postponement of the 6th General Assembly of the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI), said a joint release of the World Council of Churches and the Latin American and Caribbean Agency of Communication. The meeting was scheduled for Feb. 19-24, 2013, in Havana, until the American branch of the Ecuadorian bank Pichincha in Miami, Fla., froze a deposit of $101,000 made by the CLAI headquarters in Ecuador. “The transfer to Cuba was to cover costs of food and lodging for the 400 delegates and other participants,” the release said. “This is greatly disappointing to the member churches of CLAI and to the entire constituency of the World Council of Churches,” said WCC general secretary Olav Fykse Tveit. “It is simply not acceptable that the US government through regulations of its banking system has decided to create these obstacles for a significant Christian body that cannot meet, whether it is in Cuba or elsewhere. The United States has an obligation and has repeatedly expressed the commitment to uphold religious freedom.”

— More Advent celebrations have been announced by Church of the Brethren congregations, districts, camps, retirement communities, and other groups across the country. Among them:

Wakeman’s Grove Church of the Brethren in Edinburg, Va., presents “Walk Through Bethlehem” from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14 and 15, and Sunday, Dec. 16, from 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Mt. Pleasant Church of the Brethren in Harrisonburg, Va., presents its 11th Live Nativity from 7-8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 13 and 14, and 6:30-8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Danville Church of the Brethren near Keyser, W.Va., invites everyone to come and join them in a “Living Christmas” on Dec. 21 and 22, 2012 from 6-9 p.m. at Narrow Gate Farm on Route 220.

On Dec. 16, the Iowa Peace Network holds an Open House and Gift Faire from 1-3 p.m. at Stover Memorial Church of the Brethren in Des Moines, Iowa (see a full list of the Advent and Christmas programs in Northern Plains District at ).

The Eshbach Family Railroad in Pennsylvania, presents its Annual Benefit Show supporting the Children’s Aid Society on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m., and on Sunday, Dec. 30 at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Call for reservations, 717-292-4803.

York (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren is one of the Pennsylvania churches making cookies for the Carlisle Truck Stop Ministry this Advent. “We had 214 bags for the truckers,” the church newsletter said (more about this unique ministry is at ).

Lacey (Wash.) Community Church, affiliated jointly with the Church of the Brethren and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), hold its Christmas Cookie Sale and Alternative Giving Bazaar on Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring Christmas cookies for sale by the pound, fair-trade SERRV merchandise, and more.

The McPherson (Kan.) College Choir will give a special performance of Christmas music on Sunday, Dec. 16. “Christmas at McPherson: From Darkness to Light” will begin at 7 p.m. at McPherson Church of the Brethren. A free-will offering will help underwrite expenses.

Something exciting occurs the Sunday before Christmas near Bruceton Mills, W.Va., thanks to Salem Church of the Brethren. West Marva District reports that for about 30 years now, the roadway for some two miles leading up to the Salem Church comes alive with luminaries. Preparation begins in August when pastor Don Savage brings a flatbed trailer of sand to the church and members work together to fill the 2,000 paper bags. On the Sunday evening before Christmas, teams place the luminaries along the road carefully measured with a rope marked with knots every 10 feet. After candles are lit, a Worship Hour begins in the church sanctuary.

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