Brethren Bits for Nov. 29, 2012


About 85 youth and advisors from five Midwest districts took part in the third annual Powerhouse regional youth conference, held Nov. 10-11 at Manchester University, N. Manchester, Ind. Josh Brockway, director of Spiritual Life and Discipleship for the Church of the Brethren, provided keynote leadership on the theme “Hello, My Name Is…: Getting to Know God.” Using a variety of names for God in scripture, Brockway centered three worship services on the ways that people encounter God, and what that means for those who seek God today. The weekend also included a variety of workshops, an “Amazing Name Race,” recreation and campus tours, and opportunities for fellowship. Next year’s conference will tentatively take place Nov. 16-17, 2013.

— Bridgewater (Va.) College seeks an assistant professor of Philosophy and Religion for a fulltime, non-tenure track position, beginning Aug. 2013, to be renewed annually by mutual consent. This is to replace a retiring member of the Department of Philosophy and Religion. The candidate will teach undergraduate courses in philosophy, including but not limited to introductory logic, classical, modern, and contemporary philosophy, and philosophy of science or other upper-level topics in philosophy. Since the department combines philosophy and religion, and depending on the candidate’s qualifications and interests, there may be opportunities for teaching some religion courses as well. Required qualifications include a Ph.D. in philosophy and evidence of

successful undergraduate teaching experience. Excellence in undergraduate teaching and commitment to broad-based liberal arts education is essential. Bridgewater College, an independent private liberal arts college, was founded in 1880 as the first co-educational college in Virginia and has an educational philosophy of developing the whole person and equipping students to become leaders with a strong sense of personal accountability and civic responsibility. The college has an enrollment of more than 1,750 students representing 30 states and eight countries. The college offers 63 majors and minors, 11 concentrations/specializations, pre-professional programs, dual degree programs as well as teacher education and certification. The 300-acre residential campus is in the town of Bridgewater, near Harrisonburg, in the Shenandoah Valley. Bridgewater College is recognized for its student-centered atmosphere and has been named “One of the Best Virginia Colleges and Universities in the Southeast” by “The Princeton Review.” More information about Bridgewater’s commitment to holistic education and the vision and goals can be found at . Review of applications is ongoing and continues until the position is filled. For additional information contact Dr. William Abshire, Chair Department of Philosophy and Religion, at . To apply complete the online application and attach a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of teaching philosophy, copies of undergraduate and graduate transcripts, and three letters of reference. Additional materials may be sent electronically to . Bridgewater College is an Equal Opportunity employer.

Photo by courtesy of Manchester University Peace Studies
Manchester University Peace Studies group attends 2012 SOA/WHINSEC vigil

— On Earth Peace is congratulating the Peace Studies group at Manchester University (formerly Manchester College) in N. Manchester, Ind., for taking part in the SOA/WHINSEC vigil this year. The annual vigil at WHINSEC (formerly the School of the Americas) protests US Army training of military from Latin America and Caribbean countries in techniques to control their own citizens. Graduates of the school have participated in activities such as executions, physical abuse, coercion, torture, and false imprisonment. In 1997 a resolution of the Church of the Brethren General Board called for the closing of the school, find it at .

— Lower Deer Creek Church of the Brethren near Camden, Ind., has been featured by the “Carroll County Comet” newspaper for donating some 625 pounds of food to the Flora Food Pantry. The annual event’s theme is “Raise the Turkey, Hide the Preacher,” the paper reports.

— Quilters at West Charleston Church of the Brethren in Tipp City, Ohio, recently took 23 quilts to Michael’s House, a temporary sanctuary for abused children. Each child who is brought there receives the comfort of his or her own quilt. The group also sent 15 quilts to the DayView and Belle Manor nursing care centers in New Carlisle, 25 quilts to Hospice of Miami County, and 15 quilts to Troy Care Nursing Home. In addition, they have made and are donating 70 warm scarves to St. Vincent’s Homeless Shelter and 50 to Bethel Hope. Group member Emma Musselman “rescues” fabric scraps and makes doggie beds for animal rescue shelters as well. “Everyone (man or woman) is invited to come and quilt (or rip out mistakes!),” said an invitation. “We have so much fun we can promise to keep you in stitches.”

— The Sew-Ciety group at Stover Memorial Church of the Brethren in Des Moines, Iowa, has a ministry of tying lap quilts. “So far this year, we have made 63 lap quilts,” said a report. “We have given them to Blank Children’s Hospital, Veterans Hospital, Central Iowa Shelter Services, Camp Pine Lake, and many care centers in the area. And some have even found their way to other states. All of our shut-ins have received a personal lap quilt.”

— Youth at York (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren recently got together with with the youth group from the Vietnamese Alliance Church. The youth enjoyed a pizza lunch and volleyball, and filled Emergency Clean-Up Buckets with disaster relief supplies.

— On Dec. 1, from 5-7 p.m., McPherson (Kan.) Church of the Brethren Youth Group is hosting an international dinner to raise money for the Haiti Medical Project, at the Cedars Conference and Wellness Center in McPherson. Reservations can be made by e-mailing or calling Paul Ullom-Minnich at 620-345-3233.

— Frederick (Md.) Church of the Brethren partnered with the Asian American Center of Frederick to be the host site for this year’s 5th Annual Community Health Fair on Nov. 17. Those attending the free event could register for screenings for glucose, sugar, hepatitis B, body-mass index, cholesterol, and glaucoma; and flu shots for up to 600 people were available on a first-come, first-served basis. Interpreters also were available to help communicate in American Sign Language, Burmese, Chinese, Indian, Thai/Laos, Cambodian, French, Russian, Vietnamese, Korean, and Spanish. More than 30 doctors took part and many other community resources such as Frederick County Health Department and the Frederick Memorial Hospital.

— A Retirement Open House in recognition of Herman Kauffman’s years of service in Christian ministry, including the past 18 years as district executive minister of Northern Indiana District, is planned for Dec. 2, from 2-4 p.m. at the John Kline Welcome Center at Camp Mack near Milford, Ind. A program and presentation are planned for 3 p.m. Cards may be brought that day or sent to the Northern Indiana District Office, 162 East Market St., Nappanee IN 46550; or send e-mail greetings to .

— The Transformation Vision Team of Western Plains District has named Dale and Beverly Minnich as Mission and Service advocates to build a network of people who will promote Brethren mission and service opportunities in congregations. In addition, the Minnichs anticipate working on an annual meal event at District Conference to share information and hear stories about Brethren mission and service opportunities.

— Western Pennsylvania held its 146th annual District Conference on Oct. 20. Moderator Ronald J. St. Clair challenged the 195 participants with the theme, “I Have Placed Before You an Open Door.” Congregations and individuals brought approximately 850 “Gifts of the Heart” clean-up buckets, hygiene kits, and school kits valued at nearly $12,000, sending two van-loads to the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., for distribution by Church World Service. Two business items accepted with sadness were recommendations to disband one congregation and one fellowship.

— Middle Pennsylvania District Conference was Oct. 19-20 on the theme “Pray, Seek, and Listen.” New this year was the gathering at round tables, with delegates and non-delegates sharing in table talk discussions throughout the day. Artwork adorned the meeting hall, provided by individuals and congregations at the invitation of the Program and Arrangements Committee. Forty-three of the 55 district congregations were represented, with 138 delegates and 50 non-delegates attending. Recognized for significant years of ministerial service were Robert Detwiler, 60 years; Andrew Murray, 50; Lowell Witkovsky, 50; Donald Peters, 25; Gregory Quintrell, 25; and Kenneth Wagner, 25. It was noted that the Juniata College Young Alumni Award went to Katie Kensinger.

— Shenandoah District Conference was presented thanks to Mill Creek Church of the Brethren and moderator Jonathan Brush, with 258 delegates joining in installing John Jantzi as district executive minister. Total attendance was 363. Among business items: formation of two new congregations in West Virginia–New Hope Church of the Brethren and Pine Grove Church of the Brethren–from the former Pocahontas congregation, and approval of construction of a utility building adjacent to the District Office to house vehicles used in disaster response and preparation/storage space for disaster response kits.

— The 42nd Virlina District Conference was held in Botetourt County, Va., on Nov. 9-10 on the theme, “God Makes All Things New” (Romans 12:1-2), with 241 delegates and 252 non-delegates from 78 congregations. Among other business, the “Query: Biblical Authority” from Hopewell Church of the Brethren was approved, to be passed on to the 2013 Annual Conference. Honored for significant ministerial service were John W. “Jack” Lowe for 50 years, and Albert L. “Al” Huston for 50-plus years.

— Virlina District Resource Center will relocate on or around Jan. 14, moving from 330 Hershberger Rd., NW, Roanoke, Va., to 3402 Plantation Rd., NE, Roanoke. Telephone number and e-mail addresses will be unaffected by the change. “The new facility was purchased on Nov. 19 and is a former bank building,” reported the district newsletter. “The Plantation Road site has expanded parking for meetings and classes.” Friendship Manor Apartment Village has purchased the facility on Hershberger Road which will be demolished and landscaped as part of beautification of the entrance to the retirement community. A “dismissal service” to mark the end of the district’s 47-year residency on the Friendship campus is planned. The district office will be closed from Jan. 9 at 4:30 p.m. until Jan. 17 at 8:30 a.m. for the move.

Photo by courtesy of Fahrney-Keedy
Joyce Stevenson, center, stands with Elizabeth Galaida, president of the Western Maryland Chapter of the Association of Fundraising, and Keith Bryan, president/CEO of Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, at the National Philanthropy Day luncheon where she was honored.

— Joyce Stevenson, president of Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village Auxiliary, Boonsboro, Md., was honored Nov. 9 as a Distinguished Volunteer during the National Philanthropy Day. At the event in Middletown, Md., the Western Maryland Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals lauded area volunteers for their work in the community, said a release. A nurse by background, Stevenson has been president of the Auxiliary for five years. She was nominated as “passionate, enthusiastic, and always affable” in her work to assist Fahrney-Keedy, overseeing all the auxiliary’s fundraisers. “These activities direct a substantial amount of support for Fahrney-Keedy’s retirement living programs and services.” said Keith Bryan, president and CEO.

— A new Advent/Christmas spiritual disciplines folder, “Prepare for and Celebrate the Joy, Christ the Savior Is Born!” is shared by the Springs of Living Water Initiative in Church Renewal. Prepared for congregational use, the folder uses the Sunday lectionary text in the Brethren bulletin series, following Luke’s Gospel. The folder is intended to become the basis for discipleship training in congregations and includes daily Bible readings for the congregation to follow together. The folder also enables teaching to be done by reading scripture in a meditative manner and finding what in the text speaks to individuals, said Springs leader David Young in a release. An insert lists options for people to commit in a variety of ways to take next steps in spiritual growth. Vince Cable, pastor of Uniontown Church of the Brethren near Pittsburgh, Pa., has written the Bible study questions for individual or group study. Go to or for more information contact David and Joan Young at .

— Those receiving McPherson (Kan.) College Young Alumni Awards this year are Tracy Stoddart Primozich, ’97, director of admissions at Bethany Theological Seminary, along with Mark Baus, ’82, of Alexander, Kan., and Jonathan Klinger, ’02, of Traverse City, Mich. The three were honored with a special ceremony on Oct. 19.

— Elizabethtown (Pa.) College is auctioning a hand-made quilt to honor a former faculty member during its Student Life Art Auction, 6 p.m. on Dec. 6 in the Susquehanna Room of Myer Hall. Proceeds support the Carole L. Isaak ALANA Scholarship Fund. The drawing for the quilt will be held at 6 p.m., the auction runs until 10 p.m. Raffle tickets are $2 a chance or $5 for three chances, and may be purchased by calling 717-361-1549. The quilt was crafted by staff members of the college. Said Diane Elliot, one of the quilters, in a release: “It’s safe to say that there are thousands of stitches in this quilt along with approximately 24 yards of fabric.” The quilters used the pattern known as “Broken Dishes” as a good fit for honoring Isaak, who retired from the department of English in 2010. She worked closely with African American, Latino/Latina, Asian, and Native American students, from which the acronym ALANA is derived.

— James Lakso, provost at Juniata College and professor of economics, was awarded the 2012 Chief Academic Officer Award from the Council of Independent Colleges. Lakso accepted the award at the CIC’s Institute for Chief Academic Officers, held Nov. 3-6 in San Antonio, Texas.

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