Newsline for February 8, 2012

Quote of the week

Jesus, our teacher: A responsive reading for congregations
Group 1: Teach us, Jesus, to choose God’s way over temptation,
Group 2: to become fishers for people,
Group 1: and be salt and light in the world.
Group 2: Teach us, Jesus, to give and pray humbly.
Group 1: to love instead of judging others,
Group 2: to have faith in God’s power.
Group 1: Teach us, Jesus, to trust you in the middle of our fears.
All: Teach us, Jesus. We are ready. We are here.

— A responsive reading adapted from the Gather ’Round student book for Junior Youth. Gather ’Round is the curriculum produced by Brethren Press and MennoMedia (formerly Mennonite Publishing Network). This month Gather ’Round classes focus on stories of Jesus’ ministry from Matthew. Find this reading formatted as a bulletin insert at

“You are the salt of the earth…. You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13a, 14a).

1) Annual Conference registration and housing open online Feb. 22.
2) Vision Statement coming to Annual Conference is available online.
3) Deacon Ministry offers pre-Conference workshops.
4) New schedule announced for ministers event led by Brueggemann.
5) Ministry Office sponsors series of sessions on women in leadership.
6) Annual Conference bits and pieces.

7) Hosler to serve as advocacy officer in joint appointment with NCC.
8) Cross Keys Village president/CEO announces retirement.

9) April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.
10) Children’s Disaster Services schedules Spring training workshops.
11) ‘Naked Anabaptist’ author Murray featured in upcoming webinar.
12) One Great Hour of Sharing offering scheduled for March 18.

13) Lenten devotional and blog challenge believers to engage the world.

14) Brethren bits: Correction, remembrance, personnel, jobs, WCC stewards, more.



1) Annual Conference registration and housing open online Feb. 22.

In an announcement from the Conference Office, on Feb. 22 general registration and housing reservations open online for the 2012 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren, to be held on July 7-11 in St. Louis, Mo. The registration site for the Conference is .

Feb. 22 also is the last day for congregations to register delegates at the $285 early registration fee, also at (click on “Delegate Registration”). From Feb. 23-June 11 the delegate registration fee increases to $310. After June 11, delegate registration is only available onsite in St. Louis, for a fee of $360.

Beginning at 12 noon (central time) on Feb. 22 nondelegate registration opens at the same web address. This includes family registrations, housing reservations, sign up for age-group activities, sales of meal tickets, purchase of Conference booklets and choir anthem packets, and more.

General registration fees for nondelegates start at $105 for adults who attend the full Conference, $30 for children and youth (ages 12-21) for the full Conference, $35 adult daily rate, $10 children and youth daily rate, with children under 12 registering for free. Active Brethren Volunteer Service workers pay a $30 registration fee.

After June 11, all online registration for the Conference closes and increased onsite registration fees will apply. See for the complete Information Packet that includes a full fee schedule, hotel reservation information and lodging costs, and much more information in downloadable format.

2) Vision Statement coming to Annual Conference is available online.

The Vision Statement for the Church of the Brethren, slated for consideration at the 2012 Annual Conference in July, is now available for inspection and review on the Conference website. That was one of the actions taken by a committee charged with interpreting and presenting the statement to the Conference delegates.

The Vision Statement already has been accepted by the Standing Committee of district delegates, which will recommend it for adoption at the gathering in St. Louis, Mo., to take place July 7-11.

The Vision Interpretation and Presentation (VIP) Committee plans to offer additional resources to encourage congregations and members to interact with the Vision Statement prior to its formal adoption. One of the unique features of this statement is the inclusion of a four-session study guide that congregations, small groups, and individuals can use to consider what it means to live out the meaning of the Vision Statement. In addition, there a short DVD posted on the Conference website that presents the statement visually. The VIP Committee hopes to provide a variety of other resources in the near future.

Anyone interested in submitting worship resources or sermon notes associated with the Vision Statement are encouraged to do so, by sending them to the Conference Office at .

The vision statement, including the study guide, can be accessed and downloaded at the  Conference website or by going directly to .

VIP Committee members include Bekah Houff and David Sollenberger, from the original Vision Committee, along with Ron Nicodemus and James Sampson, appointees from Standing Committee.

— David Sollenberger is a member of the Vision Interpretation and Presentation Committee.

3) Deacon Ministry offers pre-Conference workshops.

Photo by Regina Holmes
Deacon Ministry director Donna Kline leads a training workshop prior to the 2011 Annual Conference. This year the Deacon Ministry is offering a morning and an afternoon training workshop for deacons on the opening day of the 2012 Conference.

Two deacon training workshops will be held in St. Louis on Saturday, July 7, prior to the start of the 2012 Annual Conference. The workshops are sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Deacon Ministry, a part of Congregational Life Ministries. Both workshops will be held in the America’s Center convention center, Room 122.

“Nasty Fights: Reconciliation and Forgiveness” from 9-11 a.m. addresses the Brethren peace position as it may apply to difficult issues within our own congregations. Participants will learn how to analyze and reconcile differences on multiple levels within a congregation, so that churches may remain models of peace.

“Helping the Hurting: Offering Support in Times of Loss” from 1:30-3:30 p.m. will offer guidance for deacons as they help people through the death of a loved one, a debilitating accident, a job lay-off, or other difficult life challenges. Participants will listen and learn from a variety of experiences to be better able to help when someone’s world has collapsed.

Deacons are invited to attend one or both training workshops. Cost is $15 for one workshop, $25 to attend both. Information and registration are at or .

4) New schedule announced for ministers event led by Brueggemann.

The Ministers’ Association has issued a new schedule for its pre-Conference two-day learning event featuring Walter Brueggemann, July 6-7 in St. Louis. Brueggemann, a renowned Old Testament scholar and author of over 50 books, will address the topic “Truth Speaks to Power” and the question, “How can the witness of the gospel be uttered and enacted in the midst of a public domain that now features immense concentrations of money, power, and control?”

The event will be held in three sessions, each exploring a biblical narrative and model for our witness today. The first session at 6-8:35 p.m. on Friday, July 6, will discuss “Food Fight I–The Narrative of Greed.” The second session at 9-11:35 a.m. on Saturday, July 7, will continue the theme with “Food Fight II–The Narrative of Gratitude.” The third session at 1-3:35 p.m. on July 7 will conclude with “The Psalms–Script for a Counter-Culture.” Each session includes brief times for worship and singing, association business, and breaks. Continuing education units are available for ordained clergy.

Cost is $75 per person for advance registration, increasing to $100 at the door. Couples may attend for $120 ($150 at the door). Current seminary students or students in the Education for Shared Ministry (EFSM) or Training in Ministry (TRIM) programs may register for $50. Onsite supervised play for children is available for $5 per child per session ($25 maximum per family). An extra fee of $10 is charged for those wanting continuing education credit. Registrations are due June 1.

The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership is offering a Directed Independent Study Unit in conjunction with the Ministers’ Association event. This unit will be planned and led by TRIM coordinator Marilyn Lerch and will include pre-Conference reading, a one-hour session before and after the Ministers’ Association event, attendance at both the Ministers’ Association event and the Saturday evening worship service on July 7 for which Brueggemann will preach. A follow-up project also will be expected. There will be no tuition fee for this unit. If interested, contact Lerch at or 814-623-6095.

To register for the Ministers’ Association event go to or find a flier at (please note that session topics have changed). For more information contact Chris Zepp at 540-828-3711 or .

5) Ministry Office sponsors series of sessions on women in leadership.

The Church of the Brethren’s Ministry Office, in cooperation with the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership and Bethany Theological Seminary, has put together a series of sessions on women in leadership for the 2012 Annual Conference.

On the theme, “Women in Leadership: Four Biblical Stories,” the series features the leadership of Lisa M. Wolfe, associate professor in the Endowed Chair of Hebrew Bible at Oklahoma City University, who also teaches for Saint Paul School of Theology. She holds a doctorate from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and Northwestern University, and a master of divinity from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and is ordained in the United Church of Christ. Published works include a recent book from Cascade Press, “Ruth, Esther, Song of Songs, and Judith,” and a related “Living the Questions” Bible study DVD. Her article in the United Church of Christ’s “Still Speaking” magazine, “On Being an Irritant,” received a 2010 Associated Church Press Award of Excellence for Theological Reflection.

The series includes the Clergywomen’s Breakfast on July 8, on the theme, “Beyond Bitterness: Naomi’s Story”; a noontime insight session on July 8 titled “Finagling Justice: Tamar’s Story”; an evening insight session on July 8 titled “By the Hand of a Woman: Judith’s Story”; and a noontime insight session on July 9 titled “Forgotten Minister: Phoebe’s Story.”

In addition, plans are being made for Wolfe’s books to be on sale at the Brethren Press Bookstore during the Conference, and for a book signing. Find the flier for the series at .

6) Annual Conference bits and pieces.

Photo by Regina Holmes
Kim Ebersole (second from left) was one of the Congregational Life Ministries staff facilitating round table discussions at the first Ministry Fair, held at the 2011 Annual Conference. The fair is being offered again for participants at the 2012 Conference.

— A Congregational Life Ministry Fair is offered for the second year in a row as a special opportunity for Conference-goers, 4:30-6:30 p.m. on July 10. A “round robin” format will offer roundtable discussions with staff on topics such as children’s ministry, stewardship, deacons, and more. Also sponsored by Congregational Life Ministries are receptions for new fellowships and congregations (afternoon of July 8) and for intercultural networking and mentoring (afternoon of July 7), as well as numerous insight sessions, mutual help groups, and networking opportunities for church planters and emerging churches. The flier of Congregational Life Ministries events is at .

— Conference-goers are invited to tour Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., on their way to or from St. Louis. “Going I-70 west to St. Louis? We’d be glad to have you stop for a visit at Bethany!” said an invitation. Pre-Conference tours will be offered July 5-7. After Conference tours begin July 11 at 12 noon, and continue on July 12. Please call ahead to let the seminary know how many are in your group and an estimated time of arrival. Contact Monica Rice at 800-287-8822 or . For more information find a flier at .

— Heading up Bethany Seminary’s list of insight sessions and meal events is a midday session on July 8 billed as an “intellectual travelogue.” Faculty and students will share insights from a cross-cultural seminar to visit Christians in Germany, planned for this May. Also on the schedule with seminary sponsorship are the “Brethren Life and Thought” luncheon featuring Washington University professor Hillel Kieval speaking on “The Challenges and Risks of Integration” from the experience of American Jews, and the Bethany Luncheon featuring a panel of seminary graduates discussing the role and responsibility of Bethany alumni. Luncheon tickets are $17. The flier of Bethany events is at .

— Seminary president Ruthann Knechel Johansen is the featured speaker for the Womaen’s Caucus Luncheon on July 9. Her address, “The Love Poem,” will respond to the question, “How do we shape the gift of our own lives as works of art that make it possible to live in solidarity with others and in reconciliation and forgiveness when faced with offenses?”  Luncheon tickets are $17. A flier for the Womaen’s Caucus Luncheon is at .

— “New Fire: Youth and Young Adults and the Ecumenical Movement” is the presentation by Jennifer Leath for the Ecumenical Luncheon on July 10. Leath is an ordained minister and itinerant elder in the First Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, and a doctoral candidate at Yale University in African-American studies and religious studies with an emphasis in religious ethics. She serves as co-moderator of the Joint Consultative Group between the World Council of Churches and the Pentecostal churches, and is a member of the WCC youth commission. Tickets are $17. See .

— “Last year the Spiritual Directors Network hosted a Labyrinth at Annual Conference with some success,” reports Joshua Brockway, director of Spiritual Life and Discipleship. “Several persons asked over the course of the year if that labyrinth was available for use around the denomination. I am happy to share that Congregational Life has purchased that labyrinth! We will again bring it to Annual Conference along with a beautiful interpretive card.” For more information about the spiritual practice of walking a labyrinth, or for more about the Spiritual Directors Network, contact Brockway at or 800-323-8039 ext. 227.

— On Earth Peace is sponsoring a Peace Vigil and Drum Circle to close out the young adult experience of the Conference. The event is to “bring God’s Shalom and Christ’s peace in a quiet, peaceful, spiritual event in downtown St. Louis.” Young adults are invited to bring their voices, prayers, stringed instruments, and drums when they gather at 10 p.m. on July 10.

— Also sponsored by On Earth Peace are a number of insight sessions including “The Vision of On Earth Peace: A Conversation with the New Executive Director” (to be named prior to Conference); “The Science of Sexuality” led by McPherson (Kan.) College natural science professor and church deacon Jonathan Frye; “Welcome Matters: Understanding and Managing Social Change” led by Carol Wise of the Brethren and Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Interests; and “From Marine Sergeant to Conscientious Objector” featuring CO and former Marine Corey Gray, among others. The Step Up! program for youth and young adults is the focus of the On Earth Peace Breakfast on July 10. Breakfast tickets cost $16. Find the On Earth Peace event flier at .

— Join Brethren Press for a 20th anniversary hymn sing celebrating 20 years of “Hymnal: A Worship Book.” Nancy Faus-Mullen, who was a leader in the Hymnal Project and one of the creative musicians who helped put the Hymnal together, will be a special guest at the hymn sing scheduled to start at 9 p.m. on July 10.

— The Brethren Press Messenger Dinner on July 8 will feature Guy E. Wampler speaking on “What Holds Brethren Together?” A former Annual Conference moderator, he also chaired the Annual Conference study committee on human sexuality in 1983. Dinner tickets cost $25. Other Brethren Press insight sessions address “Fresh Talk for Sunday Morning” led by Gather ’Round project director and editor Anna Speicher; “Facebook Horror Stories: Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media” led by Brethren Press publisher Wendy McFadden and news director Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford; and “Calling All Children’s Sunday School Teachers” offering success stories, tips, questions, and concerns about Sunday school. More information is at .

— The Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) Fitness Challenge begins at 7 a.m. on July 8. The 3.5 mile walk/run will be held at Forest Park, six miles from the America’s Center convention center (participants arrange their own transportation to the park). Cost is $20 per person (going up to $25 after May 25), or $60 for a family of four or more. Registration will be available with general Conference registration at beginning Feb. 22. For details see .

— Also sponsored by BBT are a number of insight sessions including “Long-Term Care Insurance: It’s Not Just for Your Parents,” “Living and Leaving Your Legacy,” and “Stocks and Bonds and Money Markets, Oh My!” The full listing is at .

— A new meal event on the Conference schedule is the CODE Celebrating Excellence Dinner on July 9. The event is sponsored by the Council of District Executives. Tickets are $25.

— Each Church of the Brethren congregation is invited to create a quilt block for the Conference. The blocks should be postmarked by May 15 and will be assembled into quilt tops in advance of the Conference and quilted onsite in St. Louis. The quilt auction begins after the close of business on July 10, with proceeds benefiting projects to alleviate hunger. Detailed instructions for making quilt blocks are at .

— The young adults and singles/night owls join together for a night-time, by flashlight experience of the City Museum of St. Louis on July 7. This “Night at the Museum” is offered at a greatly reduced entrance fee of only $6 per person. “Housed in the 600,000 square foot former Shoe Company, the museum is an eclectic mixture of playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel,” says the flier. See the Information Packet at .

— The junior high youth will have a unique opportunity to spend the morning of July 10 at St. Louis’ Old Courthouse learning about the Dred Scott case and 19th century slavery, and considering the issues of modern-day slavery and human trafficking. Daily rate for July 10 is $35. Cost to attend junior high activities for the entire Conference is $85, which includes a visit to the Gateway Arch, a Mississippi River cruise, and the St. Louis Zoo, among other events. Other groups planning to visit St. Louis’ Gateway Arch include the middlers (grades 3-5) and senior high. See the Information Packet at for more age group activities and fees.


7) Hosler to serve as advocacy officer in joint appointment with NCC.

Nathan Hosler has accepted a position as advocacy officer with the Church of the Brethren, effective March 1. Located in Washington, D.C., this is a shared position with the National Council of Churches (NCC). The advocacy officer provides approximately equal hours of service to the Church of the Brethren and the NCC, with seasonal variations due to events and emphases of each organization.

Hosler’s responsibilities will include nurturing the Church of the Brethren witness to society and government from a uniquely Anabaptist-Pietist Brethren perspective, with a peace church emphasis on peace and justice. He also will represent NCC member churches in advocacy for peace and will provide leadership in educational initiatives with NCC member churches and the wider society.

Most recently, he and his wife Jennifer have served at Kulp Bible College in northern Nigeria teaching courses on theology and the practice of peace and reconciliation. He also assisted in implementation of the Peace Program of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN–the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Previously he served a ministry internship and held various leadership roles with Chiques Church of the Brethren in Manheim, Pa. He holds a master’s degree in International Relations from Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I., and a bachelor’s in Biblical Language from Moody Bible Institute. He has done various training courses in peacebuilding, trauma awareness, and restorative justice.

8) Cross Keys Village president/CEO announces retirement.

Vernon L. King, president/CEO of Cross Keys Village-The Brethren Home Community since 2003, has announced his plans to retire effective June 30, according to a release from the community. Cross Keys Village-The Brethren Home Community is a Church of the Brethren related retirement community in New Oxford, Pa.

King informed the Cross Keys Board of Directors of his plans at its January meeting, and following the board’s acceptance of his letter, residents/villagers and community team members were informed.

“My thanks to Vernon for his almost nine years as president/CEO of dedicated Christian service to the residents and staff of Cross Keys Village,” said Board of Directors chair Brett A. Hoffacker. “Our organization has been blessed by his work to have a superior living experience for our residents, a fulfilling workplace for our staff and volunteers, a successful ministry in our district (Southern Pennsylvania District of the Church of the Brethren) and to be a good neighbor to our communities and churches in Adams and York counties. He has achieved all of these with distinction.”

During his nine years at Cross Keys, King led the community through major culture changes, including adoption of a broad-reaching wellness program for all who live, work, or volunteer on the campus, and a shift to person-centered, decentralized care in nursing. The overall administration was restructured last summer, and throughout his tenure, King worked to achieve more of a sense of team member ownership of the community and its mission.

On the bricks-and-mortar side, nursing, personal care, and residential living areas received major renovations or additions. The Harvey S. Kline Wellness Center and Harmony Ridge West Apartments, completed in 2009, were the major campus building additions. The “West Campus,” 100 acres of land acquired in the 1990s, was readied for development, and the first “Country Homes” were added there in 2005.

Throughout the period, Cross Keys maintained its position as one of the region’s most financially strong and secure continuing care retirement communities. It holds an “A-” credit rating from Standard and Poors, a distinction shared by only a handful of retirement communities in Pennsylvania.

“It has been an honor to lead the team serving residents, villagers, volunteers, Southern Pennsylvania District churches, and others who are part of this community,” King said. “I’ve also enjoyed returning to the area where my ancestors settled 250 years ago and reconnecting with my roots. Cross Keys has a great mission, and I hope I have helped us remain faithful to it.”

The Board of Directors has established a search committee to begin the process of selecting a new president/CEO and is contracting with a consultant to assist in that process. Cross Keys Village-The Brethren Home Community is one of the 10 largest stand-alone, nonprofit retirement communities in the country. Founded in 1908 on a farm in Huntsdale, near Carlisle, the community moved to Cross Keys in 1952 and has grown from a 44-resident “old folks home” on 19 acres to a 250-acre community with more than 900 individuals and couples in residence, served by 725 team members.


9) April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The statistics are shocking: in the US, a report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds. The Department of Health and Human Services says 3.3 million child abuse reports and allegations were made involving an estimated 6 million children in 2009 alone. Christianity proclaims justice and hope for all who are victimized; the church is called to protect God’s children and restore hope to those who are abused.

There are many ways the church can respond to varied adverse conditions of children, not the least of which is when children are victims of abuse. Congregations are encouraged to observe Child Abuse Prevention Month during the month of April. A list of 10 things you can do to help prevent child abuse is online at , along with worship resources and suggestions for how to make your congregation a safe place for people to share life’s difficult situations.

Child Abuse Prevention Month is also a good time for congregations to develop a child protection policy or review and update their existing one. To help your congregation learn more about child abuse and create a policy to protect children in your care, information and sample policies are available at . Contact or 800-323-8039 ext. 302 for more information or assistance with creating a child protection policy.

— Kim Ebersole is director of Family Life and Older Adult Ministries.

10) Children’s Disaster Services schedules Spring training workshops.

Several volunteer workshops are sponsored this March and April by Children’s Disaster Service (CDS), a ministry of the Church of the Brethren that cares for children and families following disasters through the work of trained and certified volunteers.

Since 1980, CDS has met the needs of children by setting up child care centers in shelters and disaster assistance centers across the nation. Specially trained to respond to traumatized children, CDS volunteers provide a calm, safe, and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos created by natural or human-caused disasters.

The volunteer workshops offer training in care for children who have experienced disasters. Hosted by local congregations, the workshops also offer participants a taste of living conditions in disaster-affected areas as they sleep overnight in church facilities. Once participants complete a workshop and undergo a rigorous screening process, they may apply for certification to serve with CDS as a volunteer. Although many volunteers are motivated by faith, CDS training is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Cost is $45 for early registration (three weeks prior to start date). The fee includes meals, curriculum, and one overnight. Cost for registrations mailed less than three weeks in advance is $55. The retraining fee is $25.

Workshops are limited to 25 participants. CDS encourages early registration, as registration numbers are used to assess whether to go ahead with workshops when there may be low attendance. A Volunteer Workshop Registration Form in pdf format is available at .

Following are dates, locations, and local contacts for the Spring workshops:
— March 9-10, Thoburn United Methodist Church, St. Clairsville, Ohio (contact Linda Hudson, 740-695-4258).
— March 9-10, Dallas Center (Iowa) Church of the Brethren (contact Carol Hill, 515-677-2389 or 515-240-6908).
— March 16-17, Snellville (Ga.) United Methodist Church (contact Mike Yoder, 404-597-2137, or Carrie Yoder, 770-634-3627).
— March 16-17, New Carlisle (Ohio) Church of the Brethren, (contact Rita Lane, 937-845-2066 or 937-657-7325).
— March 16-17, South Haven, Minn. This is a special workshop in conjunction with a United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Disaster Response Academy (March 14-17) at the Koinoina Retreat Center. Fees are as follows: Disaster Response Academy and CDS workshop $170-$200; CDS workshop only (five meals plus lodging Thursday and Friday) $95 if registering by Feb. 8 or $105 after that date; CDS workshop only (four meals plus lodging Friday night only) $55 if registering by Feb. 8 or $65 after that date. Contact coordinator Lorna Jost, 605-692-3390 or 605-695-0782.
— March 23-24, Cerro Gordo (Ill.) Church of the Brethren (contact Rosie Brandenburg, 217-763-6039).
— March 24-25, La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren (contact Kathy Benson, 909-593-4868 or  909-837-7103).
— April 13-14, Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren (contact Lavonne Grubb, 717 367-7224 or 717 368-3141).
— April 27-28, Center Church of the Brethren, Louisville, Ohio (contact Sandra Humphrey, 330-603-9073 or leave a message at 330 875-2064).

For more information about Children’s Disaster Services go to or call the CDS office at 410-635-8735 or 800-451-4407 option 5. To be notified of upcoming workshops, send an e-mail with your name, address, and e-mail address to .

11) ‘Naked Anabaptist’ author Murray featured in upcoming webinar.

A one-day workshop and webinar titled “Changing World, Future Church, Ancient Paths” will be led by Stuart Murray Williams and Juliet Kilpin on March 10, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Pacific), or 12-6 p.m. (central). The event will address the question, “What does it mean to follow Jesus in a changing culture, in which the Christian story is no longer familiar and the church is on the margins?” according to an announcement from Congregational Life Ministries staff Stan Dueck.

The event is jointly sponsored by the Church of the Brethren’s Congregational Life Ministries and Urban Expression North America, in collaboration with the Church of the Brethren’s Pacific Southwest District, the Pacific Conference Brethren in Christ Board of Evangelism and Church Planting, and the Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference USA.

Explaining that “post-Christendom is well advanced in most western societies and this is the emerging reality in the US too,” Dueck outlined several other questions that the event will cover: What role does church planting play as we search for relevant ways of being church in this emerging culture? What can the Anabaptist tradition offer–a tradition with centuries of experience on the margins in which many are finding inspiration and fresh perspectives?

Stuart Murray Williams is author of the popular book “The Naked Anabaptist: The Bare Essentials of Radical Faith.” For more than 10 years he was an urban church planter in East London. He served as Oasis Director of Church Planting and Evangelism at Spurgeon’s College, London, and currently is an associate lecturer at the college. He holds a doctorate in Anabaptist hermeneutics and is chair of the Anabaptist Network. Juliet Kilpin is coordinator of the church planting agency Urban Expression UK. The presenters will lead three sessions with discussion: Session 1: The challenges and opportunities of post-Christendom; Session 2: Anabaptism: A movement whose time has come? Session 3: Church planting: A vital response to post-Christendom.

The Saturday, March 10, event will be hosted by Madison Street Church in Riverside, Calif. Cost is $40 for onsite attendance, which includes lunch and continuing education credit; $35 for webinar attendance, including continuing education credit. Webcast attendees will complete a few questions to confirm their attendance and receive credit. The link to attend online will be sent by e-mail to those who register. The 0.5 continuing education credits are provided through the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership and Bethany Theological Seminary.

There are two registration options, by mail or online. Send registration forms by mail, enclosing payment by check or credit card information, to Congregational Life Ministries, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120. To register and pay fees online go to . The deadline to register is March 7.

For more information contact Stan Dueck, director of Transforming Practices, at 717-335-3226 or . For registration information contact Randi Rowan, program assistant for Congregational Life Ministries, at 800-323-8039 ext. 208 or .

12) One Great Hour of Sharing offering scheduled for March 18.

“And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

The theme for the 2012 One Great Hour of Sharing offering continues to be “Sharing Brings Joy,” with a focus this year on sharing joy with others.

The suggested offering date is Sunday, March 18. Envelopes, bulletin inserts, and a poster will be arriving in church mailboxes next week. In lieu of a printed leader’s guide this year, all such materials are available online at . The online materials include four different orders of service, sermon starters, a children’s sermon, youth activities, inspirational quotes, and other resources for creating a dynamic worship service.

For questions or to order a printed copy of the offering materials, contact or 847-742-5100 ext. 305.


13) Lenten devotional and blog challenge believers to engage the world.

In “A Community of Love,” the Lenten devotional from Brethren Press, author Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford encourages readers to engage in personal introspection that leads to participation in the community of faith.

Congregational Life Ministries of the Church of the Brethren is hosting a blog as one way to invite readers into this larger community of faith. The site will offer simple prayers and questions growing out of the Lenten devotional, and readers will be invited to respond with comments, observations, and questions.

Now in its 10th year, the Brethren Press devotional can–for the first time–be purchased in electronic format at . A limited number of large print copies are still available at . Find the companion blog at .

More resources for Lent and Easter:

— Joshua Brockway, director of Spiritual Life and Discipleship, invites Brethren to join him in praying through all 150 Psalms during Lent. A calendar for praying the Psalms is available at along with other prayer calendars. The practice of praying the scriptures is a long tradition in both Judaism and Christianity. For more information about praying the scriptures see a short description provided at .

— The Global Women’s Project is offering a free Lenten Calendar as a daily spiritual tool to guide Brethren through the season. E-mail to receive a copy of the calendar or to register for a daily Lenten calendar e-mail.

— The Lenten/Easter spiritual disciplines folder from the Springs of Living Water initiative for church renewal is titled, “The Call to Discipleship, The Invitation to Victory.” The folder, along with Bible study questions written by Vince Cable, pastor of Uniontown Church of the Brethren near Pittsburgh, Pa., can be found at The folder follows the lectionary readings and topics used for the Brethren Press bulletin series for Lent and Easter. An explanation of the theme and an insert helps members learn how to use the folders as well as discern their next steps in spiritual growth. Contact .

14) Brethren bits: Correction, remembrance, personnel, jobs, WCC stewards, more.

The “Brethren Voices”
 community television show produced by Peace Church of the Brethren in Portland, Ore., in January featured Annual Conference moderator Tim Harvey and in February features Laura Sewell, who served in India as a Brethren mission worker from 1948-84. The January edition interviewed Harvey, pastor of Central Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va., who shared his hope for the denomination after spending time meeting with many Brethren congregations around the country. He also discussed his youth growing up in Bethel Church of the Brethren, and the support from his home congregation that led him into the ministry. For copies of the January or February programs or to subscribe to “Brethren Voices,” contact .

— Correction: An article in the Jan. 25 Newsline about the Brethren Benefit Trust decision to sign on to a letter urging corporate action against human trafficking and slavery mistakenly referred to congressional bill HR 2759 as the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. In fact, the bill that BBT and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility urge the House Financial Services Committee to address is called the Business Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act.

— Remembrance: Prayers are requested for the family of James C. (Jim) Carlisle, 88, who died Feb. 6. He was a longterm volunteer for the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. His wife, Helen Carlisle, who survives him, is a former computer operations manager at the center. Carlisle was a member of Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren. His varied career began as a farmer and included work at the New Windsor Creamery, employment with Southern States Carroll Petroleum and S.L. Tevis and Son, Inc., and 18 years at the Carroll County Board of Education as a school bus driver. He served two terms on the New Windsor Town Council, 1977-85, and a term as mayor 1989-93. While mayor, he was instrumental in building New Windsor Middle School, and Carlisle Drive at Springdale Village was named in his honor. A memorial service will be held Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. at Westminster Church of the Brethren.

— Loyal Vanderveer is the new interim chaplain at Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, president/CEO Keith Bryan has announced. Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village is a Church of the Brethren continuing care retirement community near Boonsboro, Md. Vanderveer is serving until a permanent replacement is found for Sharon Peters, who died unexpectedly in December. Vanderveer, a retired minister, is a member of the Fahrney-Keedy Board of Directors and of Hagerstown (Md.) Church of the Brethren. He has been a pastor at several Churches of the Brethren, most recently Manor Church in Boonsboro. He also was a chaplain for 20 years with Hospice of Washington County. Peters had been chaplain for Fahrney-Keedy since spring of 2008. She was ordained in the Presbyterian Church and had been chief executive of Pathway School for youths with emotional impairments, prior to her time at Fahrney-Keedy.

— On Earth Peace is seeking a full-time executive director. The executive director has the overall strategic and operational responsibility for On Earth Peace’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. S/he will have a deep knowledge of the organization’s core programs, operations, and business plans. Interested applicants may check the On Earth Peace website for details of the mission and program: . The responsibilities and duties will include longterm strategic planning, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance, administration, fundraising, and resource development, marketing, and communications. The executive director will engage and energize On Earth Peace staff, board members, volunteers, donors, and partnering organizations, and represent OEP to the larger church and ecumenical gatherings. S/he will develop and implement fundraising and revenue generating plans and goals, and establish and maintain relationships with top donors and volunteers. Qualifications and experience: A bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred; at least 10 years of experience in nonprofit senior management, including in the areas of human resources, marketing, public relations, and fundraising/resource development; solid business and financial experience, including the ability to set and achieve strategic objectives and manage a budget; strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of constituents; and knowledge of the Church of the Brethren denomination desired. Skills will include excellent oral and written communication and computer literacy. Deadline for applications is Feb. 29. Send a cover letter and resume to Ralph McFadden, Search Consultant, . Or contact McFadden at his home/office telephone 847-622-1677.

— Camp Peaceful Pines is seeking candidates for the position of camp superintendent. The camp is an independent charitable nonprofit corporation affiliated with Pacific Southwest District. It is located near Dardanelle, Calif., in the Stanislaus National Forest on Sonora Pass, and operates under a special use permit from the Stanislaus National Forestry. Camp Peaceful Pines has provided the setting for intentional, outdoor, temporary, Christian communities for over 50 years. Its rustic but comfortable style of camping has allowed campers of all ages to experience God’s wonderful creation in the rugged Sierra Nevada mountains. Staff members are primarily experienced and dedicated volunteers who love people, creation, and God. The Board and Program Committee endeavor to recruit persons of mature Christian faith and leadership skills to direct each camp. The camp superintendent position supports daily operational needs from June 1-Sept. 1. Compensation is based on a daily rate established by the Camp Board and includes food and housing provided. The camp superintendent is responsible for day-to-day operation, camp maintenance, and the greeting and coordination of camps with the camp directors. The camp superintendent is a vital part of Camp Peaceful Pines, providing interaction with the various camps and visitors to camp. Submit an application with resume and three references by March 1. The search team will select viable candidates for interviews during March. Camp Peaceful Pines is an Affirmative Action facility: acceptance and participation apply without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, or disability. For consideration, send an application to the address below or submit electronically to or call 530-758-0474. Garry W. Pearson, Board Chair, 2932 Prado Lane, Davis, CA 95618.

— Young Christians are invited to apply to the World Council of Churches Stewards Program for a learning experience at the WCC Central Committee meeting, Aug. 23-Sept. 7 in Crete. Applicants must be age 18-30. During the meetings stewards will work in the areas of worship, conference room, documentation, press office, sound, and other administrative and support tasks. Before the meetings, stewards follow an ecumenical learning program which exposes them to key issues of the ecumenical movement. The last phase of the program focuses on designing projects that stewards will implement back home. Send in completed application forms to the WCC youth desk no later than March 15. Brethren who apply are requested to copy Becky Ullom, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, at . More information is at .

— The Senior High Roundtable at Bridgewater (Va.) College is scheduled for March 16-18. The theme is “Following Christ: Step by Step…Remember, Rejoice, Repeat” (1 Peter 2:21). Guest speaker is Shawn Flory Replogle, former Annual Conference moderator and a speaker at National Youth Conference 2010. Register at .

— Bethel Church of the Brethren at Arriba, Colo., celebrated its 100th anniversary on Oct. 2, 2011, with 138 people in attendance. “That number gains perspective when you realize that our ‘chairs in the aisles’ packed sanctuary only holds 96 maximum!” said a note in the Western Plains District newsletter thanking those who attended.

— The Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville, Ohio, is asking for help as it prepares to celebrate 110 years of serving southern Ohio. The community is planning an anniversary celebration for April 20, and wants to collect stories and pictures from people whose lives have been touched by its ministry. Submissions are due by March 20. To share an experience go to .

— “Juniata Voices,” an anthology of lectures, articles, and presentations given by faculty and visiting speakers at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., has posted its 2010-2011 edition online. The new “Juniata Voices” features lectures on the American chestnut tree by a Juniata environmental scientist, on Hollywood careers by a cinematographer, and on how a small country can affect the inner workings of the UN, on the financial health of colleges, and the danger of making snap assumptions. Find the anthology at .

— Christian musician Michael Card, known for hit songs such as “El Shaddai,” will lead Bridgewater (Va.) College’s Spring Spiritual Focus on Feb. 21-23. He will speak and sing at 9:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 in the Carter Center for Worship and Music. On Feb. 23 he will give a presentation at 9:30 a.m. in the Stone Prayer Chapel. Events are free and open to the public.

— Candlelight Dinners will be offered at the John Kline Homestead in Broadway, Va., on Feb. 10 and 11 and again March 9 and 10. The event takes guests into a Shenandoah Valley home during an 1800s family-style dinner, as concerns are being raised about the Civil War as it intensifies on Virginia soil in 1862. Tickets are $40. Call 540-896-5001 for reservations.

— Ten Church of the Brethren members were part of a Jan. 5-18 Learning Tour to Nepal sponsored by the New Community Project. The delegation was hosted by Women Empowerment, a group supporting women’s development and girls’ education, according to a release. Participants were briefed by development and advocacy groups including Maiti Nepal, whose director was a CNN Hero of the Year 2010 for work to combat sex trafficking, and leaders at a Tibetan refugee camp. The group visited villages where NCP supports girls’ education and women’s development. They topped off the trip with a two-day trekking experience to a vantage point overlooking the 26,000 foot Annapurna II. For more visit .


Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Deborah Brehm, Mary Jo Flory-Steury, Mandy Garcia, Ed Groff, Mary Kay Heatwole, Julie Hostetter, Jon Kobel, Michael Leiter, David Radcliff, John Wall, David Young, Chris Zepp, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren. Look for the next Newsline on Feb. 22. Newsline is produced by the News Services of the Church of the Brethren. Contact the editor at 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 .
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