Brethren Bits for June 14, 2012

— The Ministry Office has shared new contact information for Russell and Deborah Payne, who started as co-district executives in Southeastern District on June 1: Southeastern District Church of the Brethren, P.O. Box 8366, Gray, TN 37615; 423-753-3220; .

— Webcasting from the Church of the Brethren’s National Young Adult Conference (NYAC) begins Monday evening, June 18, at . The daily worship services and the morning Bible studies will be webcast. The 2012 NYAC is meeting on the theme “Humble Yet Bold: Being the Church” (Matthew 5:13-18).

— The Church of the Brethren’s advocacy and peace witness office in Washington, D.C., has a new logo. The image is of a dove superimposed on the Church of the Brethren cross. “Thank you to Kay Guyer for the beautiful, inspiring design!” said a note on the “Brethren Advocacy” Facebook page.

— The John Kline Homestead is holding an open house and birthday party celebrating the 215th birthday of Civil War-era Brethren elder John Kline. The event takes place at 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, June 17, at the homestead in Broadway, Va. Festivities will include an open-house tour, a presentation depicting the significance of the life of Elder Kline and his many accomplishments, light refreshments including birthday cake and homemade ice cream. A free-will 215th Birthday offering will benefit the John Kline Homestead. For more information contact Linville Creek Church of the Brethren at 540-896-5001 or .

— A date has been set for the next Powerhouse regional youth conference to be hosted by Manchester University. The weekend of worship, workshops, music, food, and fun is scheduled for Nov. 10-11 in North Manchester, Ind., for senior high youth and adult advisors. For more go to or call the Campus Ministry/Religious Life office at 260-982-5243.

— Virlina District is calling attention to the upcoming 75th anniversary of the disappearance of three Church of the Brethren missionaries in China. Dec. 2, 2012, marks 75 years since the three Brethren disappeared from their post in Shou Yang, Shansi Province, China: Minneva Neher from LaVerne, Calif.; Alva Harsh from Eglon, W.Va.; and Mary Hykes Harsh from Cearfoss, Md. Virlina is encouraging its churches to commemorate the fateful event on Sunday, Dec. 2. “Many Brethren entertain memories of the sad reports in ‘Messenger,’ two books, and other memorial reports,” the district newsletter said. Virlina has several connections with the former Brethren mission in China. A young Shou Yang native, Ruoxi Li, is a member of the district’s Good Shepherd congregation, and has authored a 96-page report about the current state of the church in Shou Yang. Another district connection has been formed by a sibling of Alva Harsh, Norman, a current resident of Friendship Retirement Community in Roanoke, Va. The community has been asked to assist Friendship Hospital in Ping Ding, a former Brethren mission post in China, and helped host a delegation of three Chinese doctors in April this year.

— West Marva District held its Women’s Spring Rally on May 9 at Oak Park Church of the Brethren. Attendance was 89, with 23 churches represented, according to the district newsletter. A Love Offering received during the event is sending $2,472 to Church World Service to assist in preparing clean-up buckets for areas affected by disasters. The group also sent 374 hygiene kits, 21 school kits, and 1 baby layette to the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., for disaster relief, and collected $110 to purchase blankets for those in need. Another $678 was donated for shipping expenses.

— Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) has issued an urgent prayer request for the Palestinian village of Susiya, which received demolition orders from the Israeli military on June 12. “The demolition, to be completed by June 15, will destroy 18 tents and make 160 people homeless,” said the prayer request. For more about CPT’s work in Israel and Palestine go to .

— David and Joan Young, who lead the Springs of Living Water initiative in church renewal, will present a seminar titled “Servant Leadership and the Life Cycle of the Church, the Gift of Hope” at the 22nd Annual International Conference on Servant Leadership in Indianapolis on June 20-21. The Greenleaf Center has just published an essay David wrote on the communication pattern their family uses, which also is being taught in churches. At the conference, the Youngs have been invited to tell their story of a lifetime involvement in servant leadership that has impacted their family, and the spiritually oriented Springs Initiative in church renewal in the Church of the Brethren and beyond. For more information contact .

— A new name and a new Leadership Board has been announced by the former Feast of Love. The movement–led in large part by young adults and introduced at the Progressive Brethren Gathering last fall–has chosen the new name Open Table Cooperative. The new Leadership Board includes Kathy Fry-Miller of North Manchester, Ind.; Josih Hostettler of La Verne, Calif.; Aaron Ross of Bethel, Pa.; Katy Rother of Alexandria, Va.; Ken Kline Smeltzer of Boalsburg, Pa.; and Elizabeth Ullery of Olympia, Wash. One position still remains to be filled on the seven-member board. The new website address for Open Table Cooperative is .

— McPherson (Kan.) College is offering an “adventure in Greece” travel experience on Jan. 15-23, 2013. “It will be a feast for the palate, the eyes, and the spirit,” said an announcement. “In one of the most gorgeous countries on earth, we will travel to the land where the Apostle Paul spread the good news. As we travel we will enjoy the intriguing stories, rituals, and mythologies of the Greco-Roman world, which set the stage for the coming of Christianity.” If interested in joining this McPherson College tour with students, alumni, and friends, contact Herb Smith at or at the following address: 26 Mt. Lebanon Dr., Lebanon, PA; 717-273-1089.

— Pinecrest Community, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in Mount Morris, Ill., has announced the achievement of a “Five-Star” ranking by its nursing home, Pinecrest Manor. The achievement was made known in ratings released in May by Medicare. It is a tribute to the dedicated nursing staff of Pinecrest Manor, and its diligence on health inspections and quality measures, said CEO Ferol Labash in a release. “Jolene LeClere, administrator of health services, and our team of administrative staff, lead the way in providing quality, compassionate care.” A five-star rating is the highest rating a nursing home can be given by Medicare, the release said, adding that this star rating is for overall staffing hours, which includes registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, licensed vocational nurses, and certified nursing assistants. Pinecrest Community recommends that those considering nursing homes for their loved ones consult the information made available at the website.

— The New Community Project has announced grants and assistance to partner organizations in South Sudan in support of education for girls. A grant of $12,000 has been given to the Girlchild Education and Development Association in Nimule, South Sudan, following on an $18,000 grant made earlier this year for school tuition and materials for girls. The project also plans another grant later this year to support education for girls in Narus, South Sudan. “Ongoing support for our efforts to educate girls in South Sudan comes through the Amanda O’Donnell fund–a fund set up to honor a young woman whose life was cut tragically short,” the release said. More information is at .

— A webinar from the National Council of Churches’ Eco-Justice Program will address the theme “All God’s Children are Sacred” on June 19 at 1 p.m. (eastern). Pediatric physician Jerry Paulson will discuss why children are vulnerable to environmental health triggers, and Hester Paul from the Children’s Environmental Health Network’s Eco-Healthy Child Care Program will offer tips to make homes and churches safer. Sign up at .

— Korean churches are developing plans for a “peace train” that would travel from Berlin through Moscow and Beijing to Busan, South Korea, in time for the World Council of Churches’ (WCC) global assembly in Oct. 2013. “The plan is to draw attention to the need for peace and reunification in the Korean peninsula,” a release said, “and North Korea also would be on the route of the train, which would carry church and civil society representatives.” Peace Together 2013, a committee of the National Council of Churches of Korea, is working with the governments on the plan. The council also is in early phases of discussion about how to work with the governments of North and South Korea to prepare a peace treaty to be signed in 2013 that marks the 60th anniversary of the ceasefire treaty that ended the Korean War.

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