Brethren Bits for July 24, 2013



The John Kline Memorial Riders have honored founding members Emmert and Esther Bittinger. On June 9, the horseback group that rides in honor of Civil War-era Brethren elder and peace martyr John Kline hosted a picnic at the John Kline Homestead in Broadway, Va. The event celebrated Emmert and Esther Bittinger’s 17 years of leadership of the annual John Kline Memorial Rides. Guests were board members of the John Kline Homestead, and friends and family of the Bittingers. Local locust wood logs were crafted into an authentic hitching rail by Joe Wampler and Greg Geisert. A bronze plaque was installed on the hitching rail with the following inscription: “In honor of Emmert and Esther Bittinger for their dedication and leadership commemorating John Kline’s legacy through the John Kline Memorial rides beginning 1997.” Reported Margaret Geisert in the announcement sent in to Newsline: “The spirit of John Kline continues to live through the ministry of the John Kline Memorial Riders and it is fitting to honor the founders of this group.”

— The Church of the Brethren seeks a volunteer kitchen assistant to serve at the Zigler Hospitality Center on the campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. This position works directly with the head cook and assists in the preparation of food for guests, and works in the dish room following all sanitation and health department rules and regulations. The preferred candidate will have experience assisting in a kitchen environment and must be able to lift 35 pounds and exercise care in handling sharp equipment and power operated equipment. Applications will be received and reviewed beginning immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Qualified candidates are invited to request the application packet by contacting: Deborah Brehm, Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120-1694; 800-323-8039, ext 367; .

— This year’s Brethren Volunteer Service/Brethren Revival Fellowship unit holds orientation on Aug. 18-27. For more information go to .

— Happy Corner Church of the Brethren in Clayton, Ohio, is hosting a 7th Annual Brethren Disaster Ministries Ice Cream Social Fundraiser on Aug. 3 from 4-7 p.m. “Join us,” said an invitation, “Great ice cream, great food.” The menu includes chicken salad on croissants and macaroni and cheese as well as ice cream. Entertainment will be by Community of Song, Simple Gifts, Hope Singers, Happy Corner Singing Minstrels, and We’re All Family. “Don’t forget to bring your change jars for the ‘You Can Make A Change With Your Change Project,’” the announcement added. Last year’s project brought in $3,624.03.

— Atlantic Southeast District’s seventh Church of the Brethren Family Peace Camp will be held just before Labor Day at Camp Ithiel near Orlando, Fla., from Friday evening, Aug. 30, through Sunday noon, Sept. 1. “We want all of you to consider attending this year,” said an invitation from Phil Lersch of the district’s Action for Peace Team. “Come when you can….and leave when you must!” The event, which is for both families and individuals, features leadership by LuAnne Harley and Brian Kruschwitz of Yurtfolk, and Michaela and Ilexene Alphonse, Church of the Brethren mission workers in Haiti. The theme is “Doing Peace.” For information contact Lersch at 727-544-2911 or .

— The Southern Center of the Christian Growth Institute is sponsoring “Brethren Life and Thought” as the fall class series, taught by Virlina District executive minister David K. Shumate. Classes will be held at Topeco Church of the Brethren near Floyd, Va., on the following Saturdays from noon-5:30 p.m.: Sept. 14 and 28, and Oct. 19. The class is designed for ministerial training, but also would be helpful for Sunday school teachers, Bible study leaders, and others wishing to know more about the Church of the Brethren. A 1.5 continuing education credit is available for ordained ministers. Contact Sue Morris at or 540-651-8331 for more information and registration forms.

— The 2013 Peace Day Service sponsored by the Peace Affairs Committee of Virlina District will be at Peters Creek Church of the Brethren in Roanoke County, Va., on Sunday, Sept. 22, at 4 p.m. The theme is, “Who Will You Make Peace With?” based on scripture texts from John 14, Matthew 18, and Ephesians 2.

— South/Central Indiana District is offering a professional growth event on the afternoon of Sept. 20 at Manchester Church of the Brethren in N. Manchester, Ind., for all church leaders including pastors, deacons, and other interested individuals. Cost is $10. Participants may earn .5 continuing education units for an additional $10. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. Events include workshops on family systems, listening skills, and dealing with dying. Leaders are Tara Hornbacher, Bethany Theological Seminary professor of Ministry Formation, and Dan Poole, Bethany’s coordinator of Ministry Formation. A dinner follows, with an evening session starting at 7 p.m. on “Putting the Bible on Paper” led by Robert Bowman, professor emeritus at Manchester University. For more information see the district newsletter at .

— Middle Pennsylvania District and Camp Blue Diamond hold an annual Brethren Open Golf Tournament on Aug. 13 at Iron Masters Golf Course in Roaring Spring, Pa. The tournament is followed by a meal at Albright Church of the Brethren. Cost is $75. Contact the District Center at 814-643-0601. A registration form is online at .

— Western Plains District already is planning for its annual Gathering, this year scheduled for Nov. 1-3 in Salina, Kan. “What Now?! Where Next?!” is the theme, intended to set the event “in a context similar to Luke 24:13-35, where disciples, trudging along the road to Emmaus, felt caught between their disappointed hopes and unimaginable possibility as they began to discover Jesus in a new way,” said Bob Dell, chair of the district’s Transformation Training Vision Fulfillment, in the district newsletter. Speakers include Annual Conference moderator Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, along with Bethany Seminary president Jeff Carter.

— Southern Plains District and Northern Plains District Conferences are coming up in early August. Southern Plains meets Aug. 1-3 at Family Faith Fellowship Church of the Brethren in Enid, Okla. Northern Plains meets Aug. 2-4 at Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Brethren/Baptist Church, on the theme “Northern Plains District–Doing Justice, Loving Kindness, and Walking Humbly with Our God” (Micah 6:8). Ruthann Knechel Johansen, recently retired from the presidency of Bethany Seminary, will bring the message for the Sunday worship service.

— Cross Keys Village-The Brethren Home Community in New Oxford, Pa., holds a 53rd Annual Auxiliary BBQ/Car Show/Auction on Aug. 10 from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Aponsored by the Brethren Home Community Auxiliary, the event welcomes children and families and includes a children’s bounce area, train ride, games, and animals, in addition to shopping, vendors, Almost New Shop, and auction. Proceeds benefit the Brethren Home Community Good Samaritan Fund, Professional Artists Series Programing, BEHEAP Scholarship, and holiday decorations.

— Camp Eder hosts a Senior Citizen Day on Aug. 28. The program includes Ruthmary McIlhenny portraying Mamie Eisenhower in “Mamie Remembers Gettysburg” and Roy Owen, a Grammy Award singer/songwriter performing Golden Oldies. The cost of $15 covers all food and activities. Call ahead for reservations, 717-642-8256 or e-mail . More information is at .

— Camp Bethel’s 19th Annual Benefit Golf Tournament is Aug. 14 at Botetourt Golf Club. Tee off is at 12:45 p.m. Cost is $70 per person, which includes the banquet held at the camp near Fincastle, Va. ($15 for dinner only). For more information go to .

— Several series of “Creating Community” days of reflection and prayer are being held once a month from this fall through next spring at a Quiet Place Prayer Center at Camp Mack, Milford, Ind. In an announcement from Northern Indiana District, the series are: “Women Creating Community” days focused on Celtic spirituality, led by Karla Minter; “Women Creating Community” days focused on “The Work of Your Hand” led by Rosanna Eller McFadden; “Men Creating Community” days focused on “What Good Is God?” led by Dan Petry; and “Women Creating Community” days focused on “God’s Joy-Filled Surprises” led by Yvonne Riege. “We believe that it is necessary to have times of reflection, prayer, and solitude away from the many voices in the world,” said the announcement. “On these days we can take the time to hear the still, small voice of God that speaks truth and love to us.” The day long gatherings occur once a month and include reflection and prayer as a group, opportunity for silence and solitude, and sharing in small covenant groups. Cost is $300 for eight sessions, September through May, and continuing education units may be available through Bethany Seminary. Contact a Quiet Place Prayer Center, P.O. Box 158, Milford, IN 46542; 574-658-4831; .

— Two Church of the Brethren-related schools have been named among this year’s “Great Colleges to Work For”: Manchester University in N. Manchester, Ind., and Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa. The listing is produced by “The Chronicle of Higher Education,” which polled 45,000 employees at 300 institutions for its annual report. According to a release, Manchester is “the only small Indiana college in a five-state area to make the list…. Manchester University not only is one of the best college workplaces in the nation, it is a role model for fair and clear faculty tenure policies.” This is the fourth year in a row that Manchester achieved Honor Roll status among the 97 colleges receiving recognition. Juniata College also was placed on the Honor Roll, “the fourth time Juniata has been singled out as an Honor Roll recipient since the poll began in 2008,” said a Juniata release. “Juniata was recognized as a leader in the ‘Small College’ division (499 employees or fewer) in six out of 12 categories.” Find the full release from Manchester at . Find the full release from Juniata at .

— Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, a Church of the Brethren retirement community near Boonsboro, Md., is preparing for its Ninth Annual Summer Festival to be held from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17. A silent auction, games for teens, a sheriff’s canine demonstration, and an appearance by “Eddie the Eagle” are some of the events along with favorite attractions returning from past years such as barrel train rides, face painting, games and an “inflatables park” for children, arts and craft vendors, a petting zoo, a bake sale, and many food vendors. Among the items that will be up for bid at a silent auction are gift certificates from AC&T in Hagerstown, Orioles baseball tickets, a chainsaw carving, a ride with Santa in the Boonsboro Christmas Parade, and a family swim-and-golf membership at Beaver Creek Country Club. “The ultimate goal of the Summer Festival is to increase public awareness of the campus and to raise money for the community’s Benevolent Fund to assist residents who exhaust their financial resources,” said a release. For more information contact Bonnie Shirk at 301-671-5001 or visit .

— Christian Peacemaker Teams has launched a new logo, emerging out of a three-and-a-half year Mission and Presentation Re-visioning process. Graphic artist Nekeisha Alexis-Baker created the new logo for CPT to focus on the organization’s new mission statement, “Building partnerships to transform violence and oppression,” said a CPT release. CPT began as a project of the Historic Peace Churches including the Church of the Brethren. Read the release at .

— Kairos Palestine, a ministry connected with the World Council of Churches (WCC) Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum, is searching for volunteer translators for an Advent resource, with the goal of sharing the resource widely in many different languages. The study booklet titled “Christmas Alert” has the goal “to bring awareness about the deteriorating situation in Bethlehem (in the occupied Palestinian territories) and to encourage churches, parishes, lay-persons, and clergy all around the world to remember this season that marks the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ,” said a WCC release. “Those who use the booklet are invited to experience today’s reality in the region of Jesus’ birth by mentally coming and seeing the hurdles to peace.” For 2013, the spotlight is on refugees in the Bethlehem area, Palestinian prisoners in Israeli Jails (adults and children), family reunification, and settler violence. “Christmas Alert” is slated to be issued in October. Kairos Palestine is announcing this in advance to request assistance in translating the alert into as many languages as possible. Contact . For more go to .

— Clair Mock of Dunnings Creek Church of the Brethren, who lives at Colonial Courtyard independent living center in Bedford, Pa., turns 108 tomorrow, July 25. According to a note from a pastor who stopped in to visit recently, Mock plans to take his annual motorcycle ride on his birthday “and later in the day is going to the fair to meet with the state Secretary of Agriculture and present him with a small model wheelbarrow he made.” Mock is the father of former Annual Conference moderator Elaine Sollenberger.

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