Newsline for August 22, 2012

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you” (Jeremiah 31:3b, RSV).

1) Children’s Disaster Services completes Oklahoma response.
2) Southern Plains District dedicates ‘Pop’s House’ at Falfurrias.

3) Planning begins for upcoming junior and senior high youth events.
4) McPherson College to celebrate 125 years.

5) Letter of appreciation from St. Louis Public Schools.
6) ‘It’s messy’: A reflection from the Deacon Ministry.

7) Brethren bits: Personnel, Bethany grads, EDF grant, Mission Alive, and much more.

Quote of the week
“What does it say about us as a society when violence becomes entertainment? … Would our opinions of violence change if ‘reality TV’ chose to show the victims of violence around the world: the very real victims of civil war in Syria; the broken and scarred families of Iraq and Afghanistan; the suffering of our own veterans, facing the challenges of life while also battling injuries both physical and mental.”
From a blogpost by Tim Harvey, past Annual Conference moderator and pastor at Central Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va., commenting on a new NBC “reality” show in which celebrities and
inactive military personnel perform simulated military challenges. Harvey writes that a group of Nobel Peace Prize winners have written to encourage NBC to pull the show because of its glorification of war and armed violence. Harvey blogged during his term as moderator and is continuing his blog at www.centralbrethren.com/blog.html .

1) Children’s Disaster Services completes Oklahoma response.

Photo by Children’s Disaster Services
Children express themselves through art activities and play, notes Children’s Disaster Services associate director Judy Bezon. “When there are ‘no instructions’ on what to paint or how to play, what is on their minds comes through in their play. So many things lost in the Oklahoma fires–trees too.”

Wildfires in Oklahoma have destroyed over 600 homes. Firefighters in eight counties struggled to contain the fires in temperatures of 95 to 100 degrees with 10 to 20 mile-per-hour winds, and drought conditions. The fires are finally under control.

Myrna Jones, the Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) representative to Oklahoma VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), participated in daily conference calls that reviewed the disaster, the response, and unmet needs of survivors.

Some of those unmet needs could be met at the American Red Cross Multi Agency Resource Centers (MARC) where nine different agencies were offering aid. Each agency had a different application and interview process. CDS volunteers cared for children in the busiest MARC in Mannford, Okla.

Reports were that as many as 85 percent of the homes affected there were uninsured. Imagine being a survivor who has just lost a home–numb, in shock, upset, anxious about where to live, what to eat, how to get clothes to wear. There is help available, but you just have to find out what you need, fill out forms, have an interview, and more. You must take your children with you, as your typical day care is unavailable. Imagine having children with you while you take up to two hours for the application process.

Fortunately, CDS had volunteers in Oklahoma, the result of a workshop last November. A total of 11 volunteers cared for children for 9 days: 6 local volunteers from Oklahoma, 3 volunteers from Kansas, and 2 from Missouri. The CDS volunteers saw a total of 69 children.

CDS is grateful there was a workshop in Tulsa last November, which enabled us to respond quickly. How many CDS volunteers are in your area? Could they respond to a local disaster? To find out more about hosting a Children’s Disaster Services workshop visit www.childrensdisasterservices.org or call 800 451-4407 option 5. Support the ministry of CDS wherever you live by donating at www.brethren.org/cds/donate .

— Judy Bezon is associate director of Children’s Disaster Services.

2) Southern Plains District dedicates ‘Pop’s House’ at Falfurrias.

Photo by Brooke Holloway
A highlight of Southern Plains District Conference this year, hosted by Falfurrias (Texas) Church of the Brethren, was dedication of a newly renovated “Pop’s House.” This is the cottage in which the founders of the Brethren Volunteer Service project at Falfurrias lived in the early years of that project. One of the early ministers was K.O. Thralls. He was well loved in the community and soon became known as Pop Thralls to everyone.

Southern Plains met for its 45th District Conference at Falfurrias (Texas) Church of the Brethren on Aug. 2-4. The theme for the conference was “Do It God’s Way.” The theme scripture was Micah 6:8, “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Bob Krouse, Annual Conference moderator, was the keynote speaker. Other guests were Loyce Borgmann with Brethren Benefit Trust and Jay Wittmeyer with the Church of the Brethren Global Mission and Service office.

Krouse led a workshop for pastors on Thursday morning about the church embracing the community and ways in which we can reach out to be a presence and witness in the communities where we live. The conference also was blessed with messages from Jim Kelly, pastor at Clovis, N.M., and Katie Carlin, a TRiM (Training in Ministry) student.

The highlight of the afternoon was the dedication of “Pop’s House.” This is the cottage in which the founders of the Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) project at Falfurrias lived in the early years of that project. One of the early ministers was K.O. Thralls. He was well loved in the community and soon became known as Pop Thralls to everyone. Another family to occupy that house was Olin and Mary Mason. The district was honored to have some of the Thralls family at the event.

At the district conference last year, the delegates voted to provide materials to remodel the house, with the Falfurrias members doing the work. This work was done in one year. It is not only a charming house, but a true labor of love.

The Ministry Team interviewed Katie Carlin, of Monument, N.M., for licensing. The conference delegates approved. Lucinda Anderson conducted the Memorial Service. An auction was held to benefit the camping program. The delegates voted to sell the Thomas Church property.

Bob Krouse led in the closing worship service on Saturday morning, with the dedication of those who serve in the district for the new year.

— This report was provided by the Southern Plains District.

3) Planning begins for upcoming junior and senior high youth events.

The Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Ministry director Becky Ullom has announced initial planning for National Junior High Sunday this November, as well as next year’s National Junior High Conference and National Youth Sunday, and the next National Youth Conference (NYC) in 2014.

National Junior High Sunday will be held Nov. 4 on the theme, “Put on love,” based on Colossians 3:12-15. A logo, poster, and bulletin cover are available now at www.brethren.org/yya/resources. More worship resources will be posted in September.

Next year’s National Junior High Conference will take place June 14-16, 2013, at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. For more information and to register, go to www.brethren.org/njhc. Registration opens Jan. 4, 2013.

Congregations are encouraged to celebrate National Youth Sunday on May 5, 2013, using the theme “In God’s Image…” (2 Corinthians 3:18). The National Youth Cabinet met recently to select this year’s focus and begin writing worship planning materials, which will be posted at www.brethren.org/yya/resources in September.

Dates for the next National Youth Conference have been announced as well. NYC will be held July 19-24, 2014, in Fort Collins, Colo. Applications for NYC 2014 coordinators are now being accepted. To request an application, contact the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office at 800-323-8039 ext. 397 or cobyouth@brethren.org . The deadline for applications is Nov. 1, 2012.

4) McPherson College to celebrate 125 years.

McPherson (Kan.) College is celebrating 125 years since its founding, and its deep roots in the Church of the Brethren, with a special worship service on Oct. 21.

Although the service will start at 10 a.m. in Brown Auditorium on the campus of McPherson College, the McPherson Community Brass Quintet will play pre-service music beginning at 9:45 a.m.

All students, faculty, staff, friends of the college, and community members are welcome to the service. The planning committee features one person from the five closest Church of the Brethren congregations. Already, members of Church of the Brethren congregations in McPherson, Monitor, Hutchinson, Wichita, and Newton are planning to come to McPherson College for the special occasion.

The service will include an opportunity for people to participate in a large mass choir. Rehearsal will start at 8:30 a.m. in Brown Auditorium for anyone who wishes to participate.

The message will be delivered by campus minister Steve Crain, who is planning to speak on “Kneeling Before the Lord of the Harvest”–giving thanks for God’s blessings.

Following the Children’s Time in the service, childcare will be available for children age preschool and younger. Following the service, there will be a Sunday brunch available to all in attendance for $8 for adults and $6 for children at 11 a.m. in the nearby Hoffman Student Union.

Plans are also in the works to help those unable to attend to still be able to view this special time of worship. Watch for details on www.mcpherson.edu about how to access a planned live stream of the service online, and a video of the service afterwards.

McPherson College, located in central Kansas, is a four-year private liberal arts college offering more than 20 bachelors of arts and pre-professional programs, as well as an experiential graduate-level courses in teaching. Throughout the curriculum, students are given the “Freedom to Jump”–to explore their ideas, to learn through doing, and to make a difference in the world.  McPherson College, associated with the Church of the Brethren, is committed to the ideals of scholarship, participation, and service–developing whole persons, prepared for fulfilling life vocations.

— Adam Pracht is coordinator of development communications for McPherson College.

5) Letter of appreciation from St. Louis Public Schools.

Photo by Regina Holmes
Worshipers bring back packs full of school supplies for the St. Louis schools, during a Sunday morning offering at the 2012 Annual Conference.

The following letter of appreciation from the St. Louis (Mo.) Public Schools has been shared by the Conference Office. Addressed to past Annual Conference moderator Tim Harvey, it thanks the Church of the Brethren for school supplies donated by those who attended the Conference in St. Louis in early July. The letter was signed by the school district’s Volunteer Services Specialist:

“Dear Pastor Harvey, such a wonderful gift to our children and our district! We certainly had no idea that you would completely PACK one of our big St. Louis Public School District trucks with more than 430 ‘stuffed’ book bags and enough book supplies to fill almost an entire classroom.

“On the last morning of the Conference, the day we picked up all of your gifts, I had the chance to meet your father and then a Conference participant whom I told that we would be bringing things to our International Welcome School–a place where students and families who just arrive in the United States as refugees come until they are settled here. I was hoping that I could have brought you by the school before you left town so you could see up-close how important your gift was. (As we were dropping off the book bags, a family of seven with only what they were wearing walked in from Somalia.) Perhaps sometime you will have the opportunity to come back this way and visit.

“Please tell your colleagues and fellow-members how grateful we are for ALL of your gifts–the supplies, the bags, the checks!”

6) ‘It’s messy’: A reflection from the Deacon Ministry.

This reflection first appeared in the August issue of the “Deacon Update,” an e-mail newsletter from the denominational Deacon Ministry. For more deacon ministry resources, past copies of the “Deacon Update,” or to subscribe to the newsletter, go to www.brethren.org/deacons/resources.html :

A couple of months ago I took down the robins’ nest from behind the wreath on our front porch–a bittersweet moment, in spite of the nest’s auspicious beginnings.

Robins’ nests are messy things, and having birds that close to our front door just seemed like a bad idea. When the first nest started to take shape we promptly removed it. Within a few days a second nest appeared, and again we took it down. Then–we went out of town for a few days and returned to a fully formed nest, home to four eggs. We let it be.

Fast forward several weeks. My husband left for a walk early one morning and was greeted by an adolescent robin on the edge of the nest and a robin parent swooping in to keep the young one safe for her first flight. We lived through swoops and fledgling flights for a few days, and felt surprisingly sad when we became “empty nesters.” A far cry from the “birds are messy and don’t belong on our porch” days.

As I grew more attached to this little family I couldn’t help but see a similarity with how our feelings often evolve during ministry. A messy situation appears on our doorstep and we try our best to make it go away, but it’s there to stay and we try to find ways to help. But, you know, over time these untidy, needy gifts from God become part of our family. They begin to trust us, and we start to love them. Relationships develop.

An early issue of “Basin & Towel” (magazine of Congregational Life Ministries) was called “The Messy Issue: There Is No Mission Without the Mess.” People’s lives are messy, a lot messier than a few baby robins. But that’s what we’re here for, isn’t it, to help our sisters and brothers through the muddled, cluttered, confused times? There is satisfaction in that work, God’s work, and we may even miss it a little when the fledglings are able to be on their own, without quite so much support. But fear not, there is always a new, messy nest being built somewhere close to our front porch.

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners” (Mark 2:17).

Enjoy the mess!

— Donna Kline is director of the Church of the Brethren Deacon Ministry.

7) Brethren bits.

Deborah Brehm of the Church of the Brethren human resources office will begin working fulltime on Sept. 4. Her position, which has been part-time, is being expanded to incorporate facility hospitality services at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill.

Cori Hahn has been promoted to the new position of hospitality coordinator at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. This salaried staff position holds responsibility for coordinating hospitality and public relations for the center; managing the schedules for volunteers, guests, meetings, BSC community events, and other activities; and promoting and interpreting the programs of the Church of the Brethren and partner agencies based at the center. Hahn has worked at the Brethren Service Center since Sept. 2007. She was previously conference coordinator for the New Windsor Conference Center in addition to being a part-time Human Resources administrator. She will have the opportunity to continue working alongside the dedicated volunteers at the new Hospitality Center at Zigler Hall.

The Church of the Brethren is seeking an individual to fill a fulltime position of packer for the Material Resources program at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Material Resources processes, warehouses, packs, and ships relief materials on behalf of a number of ecumenical and not-for-profit partner organizations such as Church World Service (CWS) kits and medical supplies on behalf of IMA World Health. The packer will receive and pack quilts and blankets, and act as backup packer for other Material Resources orders and assist with unloading and working with volunteer groups as requested. Hours are 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Required skills and knowledge include ability to handle a variety of tasks accurately and efficiently, comprehend product codes and other detailed information, work compatibly and cooperatively with co-workers and volunteers, and ability to lift and move 50 pounds. Education requirement is a high school diploma or equivalent, or equivalent experience. Interviews began Aug. 15 and will continue until the position is filled. Request the application packet from Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120-1694; 800-323-8039 ext. 367; humanresources@brethren.org .

The admissions newsletter from Bethany Theological Seminary is reporting on “Where in the WORLD did all the Bethany graduates go?” The newly “re-energized” e-mail publication includes updates from recent graduates as well as upcoming dates at the seminary. Fall classes at the Church of the Brethren seminary in Richmond, Ind., start Thursday, Aug. 23. In another announcement, Nov. 2 is an “Engage Visit Day” for prospective students to explore the Bethany experience. For more information contact admissions@bethanyseminary.edu .

Brethren Disaster Ministries on its Facebook page reports that a recent grant of $3,000 from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund has helped Church World Service send 300 hygiene kits to Oklahoma to aid people fleeing wildfires. The CWS kits are processed and warehoused at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.

Mission Alive organizers have announced a “growing list” of workshops for the mission conference scheduled for Nov. 16-18 at Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. View the list at www.brethren.org/missionalive2012/workshops.html . Mission Alive 2012 will encompass not only international mission opportunities and efforts, but also opportunities for participants to get involved from home. Learn about becoming an online missionary, peacebuilding and advocacy as mission, the Springs of Living Water church renewal program, each of the current Church of the Brethren mission points, and much more. “Check back regularly for new information,” invites Anna Emrick, program coordinator for the denomination’s Global Mission and Service office.

The Church of the Brethren’s Outdoor Ministries Association (OMA) is now offering memberships to congregations. A letter and brochure about the new membership option has been mailed to each congregation in the September Source packet. “This provides an opportunity for congregations to support OMA and Church of the Brethren camps and conference centers, and to work intentionally at increasing our church’s corporate care of God’s creation. Membership provides resources: the OMA newsletter and access to Environmental Grants to help fund projects that benefit the earth,” the letter said. The annual fee for congregational membership is $75. Other fees apply for student, individual, family, and camp professional memberships. For more information contact OMA, P.O. Box 229, Bethel, PA 19507.

An anonymous donor donated $1,000 again this year for Brethren Press to give away four $250 gift certificates to the Annual Conference bookstore. The winning churches were Gortner Union Church of the Brethren in Oakland, Md.; Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren; Hollisdaysburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren; and Topeco Church of the Brethren in Floyd, Va.

This year’s Powerhouse regional youth conference at Manchester University (N. Manchester, Ind.) will be Nov. 10-11. The theme “Hello, My Name Is…: Getting to Know God” will explore the names and nature of God with keynote messages by Josh Brockway, director of spiritual life and discipleship for the Church of the Brethren. Registration will be $50 for youth, $40 for advisors. Registration materials and other details will come out in early September at www.manchester.edu/powerhouse .

Photo courtesy of Ron and Diane Mason
The steeple at Fairview Church of the Brethren, after a lightning strike

“Rejoice with them that do rejoice!” (Romans 12:15) begins a note from Ron and Diane Mason reporting on a lightning strike that hit Fairview Church of the Brethren in Unionville, Iowa. “The evening of Aug. 8 the Fairview Church steeple was directly hit by lightening,” they wrote. “The bolt exploded the west side off the steeple and charred a spot on the south side. By God’s grace, and God’s grace alone, that is all the damage that was done. The church building did not burn! Hallelujah!”

Middlebury (Ind.) Church of the Brethren and Goshen City Church of the Brethren are stops on Richard Propes’ 23rd Annual Tenderness Tour Against Family Violence. Propes works for the State of Indiana, Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services, and is interim pastor at Nettle Creek Church of the Brethren in Hagerstown, Ind. Since 1989, he has traveled over 3,500 miles by wheelchair and helped raise thousands of dollars for children’s organizations, reports a release. Propes, a paraplegic/double amputee born with spina bifida, is a sexual abuse survivor who recently published his story, “The Hallelujah Life,” on his own imprint, Heart n’ Sole Press. This year his Tenderness Tour through Elkhart County, Ind., on Sept. 1-6 will raise funds for Child and Parent Services, Inc. Sponsors include the Middlebury and Goshen City churches, the Independent Critic, and Das Dutchman Essenhaus, among others. Propes will preach at the Middlebury church on Sunday, Sept. 2, at 9 a.m. He will then begin his countywide wheeling on Labor Day. On Sept. 5 in the evening he will be hosted by Goshen City Church of the Brethren. The tour includes visits to Elkhart and Wakarusa, a public reading from “The Hallelujah Life,” and meetings with city leaders, media, and schools. Propes will start each day of wheeling at 9 a.m. from each community’s city or town hall, and plans to end each day at the same location. For more information go to www.tendernesstour.com . To meet Propes or invite him to speak, contact 317-691-5692 or Richard@theindependentcritic.com .

Hanoverdale Church of the Brethren in Hummelstown, Pa., was one of the churches taking part in non-denominational worship services that marked the opening and closing of their town’s 250 year anniversary celebration. The celebration opened July 13.

Florin Church of the Brethren hosted a Corn Roast to support the Brethren Disaster Auction. “Saturday (Aug. 11) 137 people came out for Florin COB’s annual corn roast,” reported Brethren Disaster Ministries. “The evening consisted of delicious corn, great entertainment from Ridgeway Brass, and peaches and ice cream for dessert.”

The 42nd annual commemorative service at the Dunker Church adjacent to the Antietam National Battlefield Park in Sharpsburg, Md., will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16. Phil Stone of Harrisonburg, Va., a noted Lincoln scholar and president emeritus of Bridgewater College, will preach on the topic, “Lincoln and Antietam: Peacemaker or Warrior.”

Bridgewater (Va.) Church of the Brethren is hosting a series of musical events in support of a Habitat for Humanity house in Elkton, Va., sponsored by Central Valley Habitat for Humanity. “Habitat Fest–Singing to Raise the Roof!” ecumenical choral festival starts at 7 p.m. on Sept. 15, and continues at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16. A commissioned anthem by John Barr, organist at Bridgewater Church, titled “Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation” will feature the chorus, organ, brass quartet, two harps, and tympani directed by Curtis Nolley, choral music director at the church. On Sunday, Oct. 14, at 3 p.m. another event at the Bridgewater Church will perform music included in a new compact disc, “Songs of Comfort, Songs of Joy.” The recording features flutist Andrea Nolley, soloist Curtis Nolley, and harpist Virginia Bethune.

— Last winter, Mount Etna Church of the Brethren decided to close. On Aug. 4, the Northern Plains District Conference voted to officially disorganize the congregation, according to the district newsletter. A committee is working on disposal of the property and moving remaining assets to the district. A special service to honor the congregation’s life and ministry will be planned in upcoming months.

— Friday, Aug. 24, is Church of the Brethren day at the Great Darke County Fair in Greenville, Ohio, in an announcement from Southern Ohio District. District youth will be responsible for a 6-8 p.m. time slot that will include games and other fun activities, as well as an opportunity to witness to others who are attending the fair. Look for the Brethren at the Spiritual Life building just west of the rabbit barn.

Unique camping experiences are planned for September by Brethren Woods Camp and Retreat Center near Keezletown, Va.: Scrap and Stamp Camp on Sept. 7-9, a weekend getaway of scrapbooking and rubber stamping (registration due Aug. 25); and Rock Climbing Adventure Day the afternoon of Sept. 23, with opportunities to learn rock climbing skills for a variety of levels. Participants will gather at the Broadway/Mauzy Park ’n Ride (I-81 exit 257) and travel to a climbing site on Waterfall Mountain led by Lester Zook of WildGuyde Adventures. Cost is $45 and includes bag lunch, transportation, and some gear. Registrations are due Sept. 7. For more information or registration forms contact Brethren Woods at 540-269-2741, camp@brethrenwoods.org, or on the web at www.brethrenwoods.org .

Brethren Alive 2012 was held on July 27-29 with sponsorship from the Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF). Worship theme was “Fit for the Kingdom” (Luke 9:62), with a focus on Anabaptist and Pietist principles that define the Kingdom of God, and paradoxical challenges and rewards involved when living in the Kingdom, according to the BRF website, www.brfwitness.org . The event took place at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College and was preceded by the annual Brethren Bible Institute. The BRF general meeting was held in conjunction with the conference, on July 28. BRF announced that it will not be holding a September BRF general meeting this year.

The Springs of Living Water initiative for church renewal is offering a new spiritual disciplines folder to help persons read the book of Acts in a meditative manner this fall. “The People of God in Mission,” the first part of the folder, begins Aug. 27. Intention for the folder is to invite entire congregations to discern their next steps in spiritual growth and read daily scripture and prayer together. With regard to the choice of the book of Acts for meditation this fall, a Springs release noted that “Brethren have always attempted to lift up the early church as a model for our life.” The folder is available to download from the Springs website www.churchrenewalservant.org . Springs leaders David and Joan Young also are requesting prayer for “a four-way renewal event to be on Sept. 28, 29, and 30 in Western Pennsylvania District held at the Somerset Church.” The event features Annual Conference moderator Bob Krouse as guest speaker. The weekend will include opportunities to hear preaching and teaching on Acts, and training on spiritual discernment and how to shape mission in one’s own neighborhood, as well as a “concert of prayer.” Each participating congregation will be encouraged to return home with plans for its own renewal service on Sept. 30. All are invited. For more information contact davidyoung@churchrenewalservant.org .

The 2012 Progressive Brethren Gathering on the theme, “Holy Work:  Becoming a Beloved Community,” will be Oct. 26-28 at La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren. The annual event is sponsored by Womaen’s Caucus and the Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests (BMC), this year joined by the new Open Table Cooperative. The schedule includes a keynote address on “Social Movements” by speakers Abigail A. Fuller and Katy Gray Brown. Both teach at Manchester University in N. Manchester, Ind. Fuller is associate professor of sociology and chair of the Department of Sociology and Social Work. Brown is associate professor of philosophy and peace studies. The weekend also features opportunities for small group discussion, a film screening, an evening of music featuring La Verne artists, and Sunday morning worship with the congregation. The registration fee, which includes all meals, is $125 for adults, $60 for students, $35 for children under 10. Childcare will be provided. Partial registration fees are available. Participants reserve their own housing at hotels, with members of the congregation offering to host some participants in their homes free of charge. Registration and more information is online at www.progressivebrethren.org .

Photo by courtesy of Fahrney-Keedy
Visitors to the Summer Festival at Fahrney-Keedy Home & Village get to know some of the animals on display at the Petting Zoo.

— Several hundred visitors attended Fahrney-Keedy’s eighth annual Summer Festival on Aug. 4, said a release from the Church of the Brethren retirement community near Boonsboro, Md. “This was a great turnout for the event, considering the heat,” said Deborah Haviland, director of marketing/admissions and one of the co-chairs of the event. Residents and visitors enjoyed a variety of music including the Glory Land Rambler Band and a disc jockey, and other entertainment including a magic show. Besides food and arts and crafts vendors, other attractions included a petting zoo, a classic car “cruise-in” and, for children, games, a barrel-train ride and an “inflatables park,” including a moon bounce.

The Global Women’s Project has announced dates of its next Steering Committee meeting, Sept. 7-9 in Morgantown, W.Va. Two new members will be welcomed: Sharon Nearhoof May from Phoenix, Ariz., and Tina Rieman from San Francisco, Calif. The project also is promoting a Children’s Giving Project developed by steering committee member Carrie Eikler, a five-part learning series designed to teach children about a partner project in Uganda and to introduce them to the concept of sharing with others around the world. The resource may be used for a Sunday school class or for children’s time during worship. For more information visit globalwomensproject.org and click on “Children’s Giving Project.”

Bridgewater (Va.) College is one of the best colleges and universities in the Southeast,  according to the Princeton Review. The New York City-based education services company selected Bridgewater as one of 136 institutions it recommends in its “Best in the Southeast” section on its website feature, 2013 Best Colleges: Region by Region, reports a release from the college. “In the profile on Bridgewater at PrincetonReview.com, the college is described as one concerned with ‘personally developing students in every aspect of life and making each individual physically, academically, socially, and mentally fit for the real world,’” the release said. Students at Bridgewater were surveyed on a range of issues from accessibility of professors to quality of campus food. According to the Review, students say, “You know you’re getting your money’s worth” thanks to consistently small class sizes and ample personal interaction with faculty. One senior is quoted as saying, “I’ve never been turned away from a professor’s office; they always make time for their students and advisees.”

— The 64 first students of Manchester University’s brand-new College of Pharmacy received their clinical white coats in a ceremony Aug. 9, according to a release. In her welcome, president Jo Young Switzer spoke of the Manchester heritage. The ceremony was on the North Manchester, Ind., campus to help students understand the compassionate roots of their pharmacy education. “We meet today in Cordier Auditorium, named after Manchester graduate Andrew Cordier, a top aide to Dag Hammarskjold who, with others, founded the United Nations,” said Switzer, who also spoke of alumni Paul Flory, who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry, and his roommate Roy Plunkett, who invented Teflon. “And, we meet today on a campus where the nation’s first academic program in Peace Studies was established in 1948 and where it thrives today, known worldwide for its combination of theory with practice.” Students received their white coats from faculty mentor and dean Dave McFadden. Each member of the class of 2016 also signed a copy and affirmed their commitment to the College of Pharmacy honor code: “As members of the Manchester University College of Pharmacy, we commit ourselves to unwavering professionalism and rigorous ethical standards. We will behave with integrity and honesty, upholding the honor of our profession and institution and accepting full responsibility for our actions. We are dedicated to being professionals of ability and conviction and leading principled, productive, and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.” For more visit www.manchester.edu/pharmacy .

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) has announced delegations to CPT project sites during the remainder of 2012 and into 2013. Delegates connect with communities experiencing violence and take part in collaborative nonviolent action and advocacy. Delegations are open to all interested people and do not require specific training. CPT has fundraising expectations for delegates, who arrange and pay for their own transportation to the sites. Some physical rigors are involved in most CPT delegations. Upcoming delegation sites and dates follow: Aboriginal justice, northwestern Ontario, Canada, on Sept. 28-Oct. 8, 2012; April 5-15, Aug.9-19, and Sept. 27-Oct. 7, 2013. Colombia, Nov. 28-Dec. 12, 2012; May 30-June 12, July 17-30, Sept. 19-Oct. 2, 2013. Iraqi Kurdistan (Kurdish north of Iraq), Oct. 4-17, 2012; May 25-June 8 (German language delegation), Sept. 14-28, 2013. Palestine/Israel, Oct. 22-Nov. 4, Nov. 19-Dec. 2, 2012; March 5-18, May 21-June 8, Aug. 13-26, October and November dates TBA, 2013. For more information go to www.cpt.org or contact peacemakers@cpt.org .

A Clarence Jordan Symposium honoring the 100th anniversary of Jordan’s birth is planned for Sept. 28-29, part of a month-long celebration at Koinonia Farms in Americus, Ga. July 29 would have been Jordan’s 100th birthday. He died in 1969. He was a Southern Baptist minister, a Civil Rights leader, and author of the Cotton Patch Bible. The Associated Baptist Press reports this is the first-ever Clarence Jordan Symposium at Koinonia Farms, an interracial Christian farming community that he founded 70 years ago. The report notes also that the symposium is scheduled at the birthplace of Habitat for Humanity. Former President Jimmy Carter will deliver opening remarks. Other speakers will include leaders in the New Monasticism movement of intentional Christian communities. The symposium will be followed by a Renovation Blitz Build on Oct. 1-26 to repair buildings at Koinonia. The celebration wraps up with a Koinonia Family Reunion Oct. 26-28, “both for those who have visited in the past and those who always wanted to,” says the report. Cost for the symposium is $195, with student discounts available. Information about how to register is at http://koinoniapartners.org . (Ron Keener, who sent in this information, remembers hearing Jordan speak at a Church of the Brethren young adult conference at Bridgewater (Va.) College in the late 1950s, when he engaged in a spirited dialogue with Brethren leader Kermit Eby.)

Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Deborah Brehm, Mary K. Heatwole, Katie Hill, Jeri S. Kornegay, Hallie Pilcher, Howard Royer, Glen Sargent, Karen Stocking, Melissa Troyer, Becky Ullom, Walt Wilschek, Jay Wittmeyer, David Young, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren. Look for the next regularly scheduled issue on Sept. 5. Newsline is produced by the News Services of the Church of the Brethren. Contact the editor at cobnews@brethren.org. Newsline appears every other week, with special issues as needed. Stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To unsubscribe or change your e-mail preferences go to www.brethren.org/newsline.

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