Brethren Bits for Aug. 30, 2013

Brethren have been in the news this week for their participation in the March on Washington 50 years ago Wednesday:

Five members of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren who attended the March on Washington were among the six Elgin, Ill., residents interviewed by the “Courier News” (affiliated with the Chicago “Sun Times”). The group told journalist Mike Danahey about the adventure of making their way to the march and being on the Mall in Washington that day in 1963. Those interviewed include Margaret Spivey of Elgin’s Second Baptist Church who at the time was a student in Chicago working on urban renewal; Willard “Duly” Dulabaum, then associate pastor at a Church of the Brethren congregation in North Manchester, Ind., who took 44 church members to the march; Jay Gibble, who was on the same bus as Dulabaum; Nancy and Lamar Gibble who traveled by car from Maryland where Lamar was a pastor; and Howard Royer who attended as news director for the Brethren magazine “Gospel Messenger.” Find the article “Witnesses to History: Elginites Recall Their Trip to Hear MLK’s ‘Dream’ Speech” at

Also in the news for her participation in the March on Washington was Manchester University president Jo Young Switzer. Her memories of the experience, when she was a high school sophomore, were published by the Fort Wayne (Ind.) “Journal Gazette.” Switzer remembered, “It was a day I will never forget, a day that reignited my hopes for all people to be treated with respect…. It was a day that shaped my life. King’s words ring in my ears to this day.” Read the full text of Young’s reflection at

Below: file photos from the Brethren Historical Library collection show pastors holding a Church of the Brethren sign at the March, as they chat with an American Baptist colleague.

— Russell Otto Jr.of Plainfield, Ill., has been hired as media support specialist for the Church of the Brethren, beginning Sept. 9. He will work with communications and website staff at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill. He is a 2011 graduate of North Central College in Naperville, Ill., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in interactive media studies with an emphasis in convergent media. He was a writer for the college paper and a DJ for the college radio station. In more recent work he has been web editor for the blogsite, an online civil rights journal and collaboration with veterans of the American Civil Rights Movement, and also has volunteered as an office assistant for the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago.

— Timbercrest Senior Living Community, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in North Manchester, Ind., seeks a Director of Development. Experience with fund-raising, donor development, planned giving, and church relations preferred. Send resume to David Lawrenz, Timbercrest, P.O. Box 501, North Manchester, IN 46962; or e-mail .

— The Gather ’Round Facebook page is sharing “some very nice words from some of our Baptist users ordering their fall curriculum: ‘We’ve been teaching for over 30 years and thought we had seen every possible way to tell the Bible story until we came across Gather ’Round. Gather ’Round tells the Bible story in a fresh and exciting new way. Our teachers love it and come away feeling refreshed. We are so happy to have found this curriculum!’” For more about Gather ’Round, a Christian education curriculum published jointly by Brethren Press and MennoMedia, go to . Order curriculum from Brethren Press by calling 800-441-3712.

— White Rock Church of the Brethren in Carthage in Floyd County, Va., will hold a 125th anniversary celebration and annual homecoming on Sunday, Oct. 13. Morning worship will begin at 10:30 a.m. with pastor Michael Pugh speaking. A potluck meal follows with the church providing meat, drinks, and tableware. The afternoon service begins at 1:30 p.m. and will feature speakers David Shumate and Emma Jean Woodard. The day will close with a reception at 3 p.m. “Invite your family and friends to join in this special celebration!” said the Virlina District newsletter.

— Shady Grove Church of the Brethren in Bruceton Mills, W.Va., is issuing an invitation to its 100 Year Celebration on Sunday, Sept. 15, starting with worship at 10:30 a.m. A meal will be provided following the celebration service. Pastor Barry Adkins also serves two other churches (Clifton Mills and Hazelton), in a grouping that makes up the Sandy Creek Congregation.
For more information or to RSVP contact 304-379-3800.

— Southern Ohio District is announcing a new church project that has begun meeting at 10 Wilmington Place in Dayton, Ohio, a retirement home where Terrilyn Griffith leads a worship service all but one Sunday of each month. “Attendance has been averaging anywhere from 12-25 folks each week,” said the district newsletter. Support is requested for this church plant including people to provide special music and the donation of copies of Hymnal: A Worship Book. Contact Griffith at .

— Glendora (Calif.) Church of the Brethren is holding a memorial service for two homeless men who were stabbed to death Aug. 15 at a car wash where both were spending their nights. John “Little John” Welch was a member of the church, and his friend Warren Blagrave was hoping to join as well, according to the “San Gabriel Valley Tribune.” Drew Alan Friis, 28, of Glendora has been arrested and charged with the murders. The Glendora-based organization Nurses For Christ is organizing the memorial service; its members used to provide meals to the two men along with other local homeless people. The service is Saturday, Aug. 31, at 2 p.m. Donations will be received to help pay for the funerals. For more information, contact Nurses For Christ at 626-315-7392. Find the newspaper article at .

— Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, a Church of the Brethren retirement community near Boonsboro, Md., has received high scores in a state satisfaction survey. According to a release, “Families with loved ones at Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village give the facility higher ratings for its quality of care than do families for other nursing homes, a 2013 state survey determined. The annual polling of families affiliated with 222 Maryland nursing homes again has given the Boonsboro facility other top marks as well. On a scale of 1-to-10, with 10 the best possible rating, Fahrney-Keedy residents’ families and caregivers gave the facility an 8.9 on quality of care, while those at other homes gave them ratings averaging 8.3.” The questionnaire sent by the Maryland Health Care Commission to families or other primary responsible parties of residents askd 25 questions about five aspects, using a four-point scale. The community reported, “Fahrney-Keedy’s score in each area and the comparable score given statewide are: Staff and administration, 3.8 to 3.7; care provided to residents, 3.7 to 3.5; food and meals, 3.6 to 3.5; autonomy and resident rights, 3.7 to 3.5 and physical aspects of the nursing home, 3.5 to 3.4.”

— Camp Harmony, Hooversville, Pa., is reporting on its summer programs focused on a theme from Isaiah 43:18-19, “The Lord says, ‘Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don’t you see it? I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land.’” In a report of summer statistics, the camp logged 437 registered campers, an increase from 418 in 2012; welcomed 203 campers from other groups and 1,500 people from rental groups; and provided 115 scholarships to campers. The camp also thanked 47 families and congregations for becoming “attached to Camp Harmony by giving a dollar a week for a total of $4,500.” In addition, the camp undertook a special ministry of providing 160 free meals and snacks to children for 2 days a week for 6 weeks at the Boswell Housing Authority through the Tapestry of Health and the Feeding of America program.

— Illinois and Wisconsin District Facebook page shared an invitation from Pleasant Hill Village, a retirement community in Girard, Ill. The community is holding its next Community Night on Sept. 10 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. “They are planning fun games for the kids, cotton candy, popcorn, snow cones, food, and even a petting zoo!” said the announcement. For more information go to or contact Molly Hannon at 217-627-2181.

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