Brethren Bits for Oct. 31, 2012

Winni (Sara) Wanionek has been hired as materials packer for the Material Resources program, to work in the warehouses at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. She was a temporary employee in Material Resources for several months in the last half of 2011, when she folded quilts and blankets and assisted with unloading relief materials from trucks. Her work will include those same tasks along with additional responsibilities to work with volunteer groups, receive donations, and serve as a back-up packer for other Material Resources programs. She currently is studying psychology, with an interest in pursuing a career in counseling, and lives in Westminster, Md.

— The Church of the Brethren continues to seek a director for the Brethren Historical Library and Archives (BHLA) located at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The BHLA director promotes the history and heritage of the Church of the Brethren by administering the Brethren Historical Library and Archives and facilitating research and the study of Brethren history. Responsibilities include providing reference services, assuring the cataloging of books and processing of archival records, formulating policies, budgeting, developing the collection, recruiting and training interns and volunteers. Required are a master’s degree in library science/archival studies and extensive knowledge of Church of the Brethren history and beliefs. The preferred candidate will have a graduate degree in history or theology and/or certification by the Academy of Certified Archivists. Also required are the ability to articulate and operate out of the vision of the Church of the Brethren, grounding in library and archival disciplines, customer service skills, research and problem-solving skills, proficiency in Microsoft software and experience with OCLC products, 3-5 years experience in a library or archives. Request an application packet from and return completed application with a cover letter, resume, background check authorization, and three letters of reference to Deborah Brehm, Program Assistant, Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120-1694; 847-742-5100 ext. 367; fax 847-742-8212; .

— The Workcamp Ministry is now accepting applications for a 2014 assistant workcamp coordinator who will serve through Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS). Applications are due by Dec. 21. Contact Emily Tyler, coordinator of Workcamps and BVS Recruitment, to request a position description and application. Contact or 800-323-8039 ext. 396.

— Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministry Center in Sharpsburg, Md., seeks an energetic person as program director. Responsibilities include working with a team to provide programs for all ages including summer camps, Road Scholar, and Heifer Global Village programs. A strong faith background, good communication, and organizational skills are needed. Submit three reference letters with an application and a resume to Shepherd’s Spring, P.O. Box 369, Sharpsburg, MD 21782; or e-mail to . For more information go to .

— The “Wonder of It All” webinar with Anabel Proffitt originally scheduled for Oct. 29 has been rescheduled to Nov. 5 at 1:30 p.m. (eastern). The webinar planned for Nov. 1 will be webcast at 8 p.m. (eastern) at the scheduled time.

— This week’s Action Alert from the Advocacy and Peace Witness Ministries asks for help to call on national leaders “to stop torture in America and set an ethical example for the world.” Referencing Proverbs 31:8, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed” (NLT), the alert notes that although President Obama signed an executive order banning the use of torture during detainee interrogation, “torture and abuse in US prisons, immigration detention centers, and other places of confinement is becoming more apparent every day.” Among other things, the alert notes that the Church of the Brethren continues to speak out against torture as a member of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT). The organization is gathering signatures to present a petition calling on the President to join 63 other countries in signing the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture. Find out more by going to the full text of the alert at .

Ly Ba Bo Phan Duc Long with Global Mission and Service program volunteer Grace Mishler, who has helped make it possible for his wife Bui Thi Hong Nga to participate in the Asia Pacific Disabilities Forum on Oct. 26-30 in Seoul, Korea. Mishler serves in Vietnam, working on issues experienced by people with disabilities. Nga leads a Vietnamese disabilities self-help group, and has worked closely with Mishler in a grassroots movement to implement national disabilities policies. Mishler reports that Nga was chosen to present her story at the forum–a great honor, but expensive because of the need for a personal assistant to travel with her, as she uses a wheelchair. Mishler helped find funds to pay for Long to go with Nga to the event. “We are grateful for the contribution of $700 by June and Marvin Pulcini, former Brethren Volunteer Service workers, and the Ngoc Trong Tim Foundation, for this project. Without her husband’s accompaniment and contribution, she would not be able to attend,” Mishler wrote. “It would be a great loss of Vietnam history not to have this well-known, deserved leader attend this Disabilities Forum.”

— Dec. 1 is the Spring Semester application and financial aid deadline at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. For more from the seminary admissions office go to .

— On Earth Peace is publicizing a number of blogs: “The Faithful Steward” at began as a stewardship accountability tool for Bill Scheurer as executive director of On Earth Peace, says the organization’s e-newsletter. Now other staff are joining him in posting this blog “to provide transparency to our work and to support interaction among the board, staff, supporters, and anyone interested in our direction and activities.” “Praying for Ceasefire” at is an online home for the 2012 Peace Day partners and presents Peace Day stories. Following the success of the Peace Day blog, On Earth Peace takes the same approach with the new “Living Peace Church” blog at . The blog of the Step Up! network of youth and young adults is at . On Earth Peace is the sponsoring organization for a blog posted by John and Joyce Cassel, who are spending three months in Palestine and Israel with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program of the World Council of Churches. Find their blog at .

— On Sunday, Dec. 2, Principe de Paz Church of the Brethren in Santa Ana, Calif., celebrates 100 years of Church of the Brethren in the building. A special service will start at 11:30 a.m. with music and worship. A celebration event follows at noon. At 1:30 p.m. the service will end and a meal will be provided for all who attend. Special guests are expected including congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, US Representative for California’s 47th congressional district, California state senator Lou Correa, other pastors, and leaders in the community. Each will have a time to share some words. Pacific Southwest District executive minister Don Booz will preach.

“It is God’s church. Not your pastor’s or the leaders’ or of any group of people,” commented Al Huston, one of the speakers for the 100th anniversary homecoming celebration at Dranesville Church of the Brethren in Herndon, Va. Huston was one of those quoted in the church newsletter report on the celebration, which welcomed 125 people and received an offering of over $14,000.

At least three of the congregations in Shenandoah District–Bethel Church of the Brethren in Keezletown, Va.; Garbers Church of the Brethren; and Mt. Zion / Linville Church of the Brethren–have suffered burglaries and vandalism in recent weeks. “Keep these congregations in prayer as they deal with both the physical losses and the anxiety that results when trust surrenders to suspicion and fear,” said the district newsletter. “All congregations should use this experience to review security issues relating to the church building and its assets.” The district suggested sending notes of encouragement, addresses for congregations may be found in the Church of the Brethren Yearbook.

Stover Memorial Church of the Brethren in Des Moines, Iowa, is partnering with a United Methodist congregation to provide an after-school program called Kidz Haven, created in response to the fact that school is let out early on Wednesdays and students do not always have a place to go after school. Stover pastor Barbara Wise-Lewczak schedules programing for the initiative. According to the Northern Plains District newsletter she is seeking volunteers to help Wednesdays from 2-4:30 p.m., and people willing to share a gift or hobby during this time. Contact 515-240-0060.

— In July 2011 members of the Community Outreach Team at Mount Morris (Ill.) Church of the Brethren began planning monthly breakfasts to offer a good, hot meal to those in the community with limited income, and to get community groups together to help serve, according to the Illinois and Wisconsin District newsletter. Since then over 15 breakfasts have been served and 24 community groups have helped including former high school classes, businesses, fraternal organizations, clubs, churches, library, Post Office, fire and police departments.

— The SERRV Shop at Mack Memorial Church of the Brethren in Dayton, Ohio, begins Christmas shopping hours on Nov. 24, according to the Southern Ohio District newsletter. The shop also will be open Dec. 1, 8, 15, and 22 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. SERRV, which was begun by the Church of the Brethren, works to eradicate poverty by providing opportunities and support to artisans and farmers worldwide through the sale of handcrafted and fair trade items.

— Two Southern Ohio District pastors–Nan Erbaugh of Lower Miami Church of the Brethren, and Terrilynn Griffith who attends Mack Memorial Church of the Brethren–graduated from the first Police and Clergy Together academy of the Dayton (Ohio) Police Department. According to an announcement from the district, P.A.C.T. participants pray for law enforcement, do ride-alongs with police officers twice a month, and are available for call-outs when an officer feels the presence of clergy would be helpful at the scene of a crime or accident.

“Profiles of Courage in the Gospel of Matthew” is the topic of a workshop led by Bethany Theological Seminary professor Dan Ulrich at the Illinois and Wisconsin District Conference. The workshop will be at Lake Williamson Christian Center in Carlinville, Ill., on Friday, Nov. 2, at 1-4:30 p.m. An announcement from the district listed some questions that will be asked in the workshop, such as, What aspects of your ministries call for courage? How do Matthew’s portrayals of Jesus and Jesus’ followers teach courage? How can we receive and develop the gift of courage? Cost is $40, or $50 for those who want to receive .3 continuing education units. Contact .

— On Nov. 2-4 Illinois and Wisconsin District Conference meets in Lake Williamson Christian Center in Carlinville, Ill., hosted by Virden Church of the Brethren. The Virden Church is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The Illinois and Wisconsin District Conference theme is “The Courage of Daniel” and leadership will be by moderator Fletcher Farrar. The Friday evening message will be brought by Dan Ulrich, professor of New Testament at Bethany Theological Seminary. Mutual Kumquat is singing Saturday evening.

— Nov. 2-3 Shenandoah District Conference meets at Mill Creek Church of the Brethren. Centered on the theme “Word. Truth. Faith,” the conference will feature stories from throughout the district on how the discipline of reading through the Bible this year has affected individuals, families, study groups and congregations. One story from each of the five district sections will be included in the Friday evening worship, and others will be woven into the schedule throughout the weekend, according to the district newsletter.

— Nov. 9-10 Virlina District Conference meets in Roanoke, Va., on the theme, “God Makes All Things New” (Romans 12:1-2). The 2012 Virlina District Conference officers will be Beth Middleton moderator, Frances Beam moderator-elect, and Rosalie Wood clerk.

— On Nov. 9-11 Pacific Southwest District Conference meets on the theme “People Serving with Devotion (PSWD)” (Matthew 25:35-40), led by moderator Jack Storne of Live Oak Church of the Brethren. “Meeting the Bible Again–For a Second Time,” is the title of a special pre-conference workshop led by Richard F. Ward on Nov. 9 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. “In our time together we will refresh our relationship with the Bible through storytelling, story listening, journaling, and contemplative prayer. Our goal is to open new windows into the Bible in fresh and meaningful ways,” said a district announcement. The workshop is designed for “preachers, ‘wanna be’ preachers. and all those who listen to preachers,” the announcement said. Ward is professor of Preaching and Worship at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Okla. The workshop is free with District Conference registration and provides .5 continuing education units for ordained ministers.

— The John Kline Homestead Board of Directors will recognize contributors at a Donor Dinner on Friday, Nov. 9, 6 p.m., at Linville Creek Church of the Brethren in Broadway, Va. The Shenandoah District announces that the program includes Linda Waggy of Montezuma Church of the Brethren speaking on the importance of telling the John Kline story, and J. Paul Wampler speaking about why he is a donor to the John Kline Homestead. A visual review of events at the homestead over the past year, and highlights of development at the homestead, will invite guests to continue to support this Brethren heritage site. The dinner is $20 per plate. E-mail or call 540-896-5001 to make reservations by Nov. 2.

— In more news from the John Kline Homestead, Candlelight Dinners will be held in November and December in the historic home of Civil War-era Brethren leader John Kline. The dinners are 6 p.m. on Nov. 16 and 17 and Dec. 14 and 15. Actors converse around each table as in the fall of 1862, sharing concerns about the continuing war, recent drought, and rampaging diphtheria. Enjoy a family-style meal and experience the daily struggles and resilient faith of the family and neighbors of Elder John Kline. Dinners are $40 per plate. Groups are welcome; seating is limited to 32. Call 540-896-5001 for reservations.

— The Leffler Lecture at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College originally scheduled for Oct. 31 has been postponed because of the extreme weather. A rescheduled event date will be announced. The lecture is to feature Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund.

— In more news from Elizabethtown, the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies will host famed pediatrician Dr. D. Holmes Morton who will present the Durnbaugh Lectures on Nov. 8. Morton will speak about his experiences working in Old Order Amish and Mennonite communities. The lectures take place in Gibble Auditorium. At 3:45 p.m., Morton presents “Caring for the Patient in the Time of Genomics: Small Science at the Clinic for Special Children.” At 7:30 p.m., he presents “Plain People and Modern Medicine: The Clinic for Special Children as a Model for Health Care in North America’s Plain Communities.” Both lectures are free and open to the public. Morton is a graduate of Trinity College and Harvard Medical School. His work has included developing methods for diagnosing and treating the Amish variant of glutaric aciduria type 1, an inherited disorder in which the body is unable to properly process certain proteins. The Durnbaugh Lectures are funded by an endowment created to honor the work of Don and Hedda Durnbaugh, two of the original Young Center fellows.

— Bridgewater (Va.) College seniors are seeking entrepreneurial projects in Harrisonburg-Rockingham County. “Small businesses with big entrepreneurial plans sometimes can’t reach their goals due to limited creative manpower. That’s where a special service-learning project at Bridgewater College hopes to make a difference,” said a release from the college. Twenty seniors in an entrepreneurship course want to form working partnerships with five Harrisonburg and Rockingham County small businesses or non-profits for the spring 2013 semester. The goal is to help these businesses with marketing plans, consumer research, feasibility studies for new products or services, logo and publication development, and more. In order to participate, small businesses and nonprofits should present projects that are entrepreneurially oriented, designed to fit student capabilities, can be completed over a three-month period, and have enough substance to merit course credit. Express interest by contacting or 540-828-5418. The deadline is Dec. 7.

John McCarty, director of choral music at Bridgewater College, presents his debut choral concert directing the College Chorale, Concert Choir, and Oratorio Choir, on Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. at the Carter Center for Worship and Music. The centerpiece of the performance will be Carol Barnett’s “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass,” to be performed with the 50-member Oratorio Choir and a five-member bluegrass band. The concert is free and open to the public.

— Frank Ramirez, pastor of Everett (Pa.) Church of the Brethren and a frequent contributor to Brethren Press publications, has written a new Christmas play, “Breakdown on Bethlehem Street.” The play is available through CSS Publishing Company at . Ramirez also is in his fifth year of writing Lectern Resource, which provides a number of worship resources such as a call to worship, prayers, offering message, and children’s story for each week of the year. It is published quarterly and is available from .

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