Brethren Bits for June 28, 2013


Little Swatara Church of the Brethren in Bethel, Pa., and pastor Bob Krouse, who is serving as moderator of the 2013 Annual Conference, held a consecration ceremony last Sunday for the wooden crosses that will be handed out at the Conference. Krouse and a team from the church hand-made the 3,000 small crosses to share with Brethren from across the country and around the world. Shown here: a blessing of the crosses, with a picture of all of the church members who helped make them by hand: (from left) Russell Riegel, moderator of the congreegation John Wise, Ray Keeney, pastor and Annual Conference moderator Bob Krouse, Gary Bashore, Jeremy Platchek, Matt Sanchez, Chris Brubaker, and Ken Coots.

Andrew Pankratz of Abilene, Kan., begins Monday, June 24, as archival intern for 2013-14 in the Brethren Historical Library and Archives at the General Offices in Elgin. He is a student at Emporia State University in Kansas, where he is working on a master of arts in history degree, and is planning to work on a master’s degree in library science. His past experience has included work as a student archival assistant at the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies in Hillsboro, Kan.; a summer internship at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene; and volunteer experiences at the Lyon County Archives in Emporia and the Heritage Center (Dickinson County Museum) in Abilene. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Tabor College in Hillsboro.

Deborah Brehm has been promoted to manager, Office of Human Resources for the Church of the Brethren. This salaried staff position is a reflection of the breadth and depth of responsibilities of the Office of Human Resources. Responsibilities include managing human resource activity at Elgin and New Windsor, promoting trust and confident relationships among employees, facilitating recruitment and hiring processes, managing the human resource outsourced benefits system and processes, and facilitating hospitality services at the Church of the Brethren General Offices. Deborah began her employment January 30, 2012.

Fahrney Keedy Home and Village, a Church of the Brethren retirement community near Boonsboro, Md., seeks a director of activities. The position is responsible for the development, implementation, and supervision of recreational activities for Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village residents. Experience and/or certification in therapeutic recreation preferred. Resumes may be submitted to: Cassandra Weaver, Vice President of Operations, . In addition to a resume a completed employment application must be received. Applications may be submitted online or completed in person. For more information go to . EOE. Fahrney Keedy Home and Village is located at 8507 Mapleville Rd., Boonsboro, MD 21713; fax: 301-733-3805.

Lancaster (Pa.) Mennonite Historical Society (LMHS) is seeking a full-time director of development. Primary responsibilities include building a development program; cultivating relationships with individuals, congregations, and businesses; and managing capital campaigns. The person should have experience and training with development activities in nonprofit organizations. Applicants must embrace Anabaptist Mennonite faith and be active in an  Anabaptist congregation. An application form and a job description are available in pdf format at . Submit application and resumé by e-mail to Dorothy Siegrist by July 12 at or by mail to LMHS, Attn: Office Manager, 2215 Millstream Rd., Lancaster, PA 17602.

View a new digital edition of the Church of the Brethren Annual Report at . The digital version includes enhanced content like video clips, live links, and click throughs where readers can get more information about the denomination’s ministries across the nation and around the world.

Global Mission executive Jay Wittmeyer and members of his family were interviewed about Heifer International and the Church of the Brethren in a recent segment of “Different Drummers,” a television show produced by Greater Chicago Broadcast Ministries. The interview centers on their living in Nepal a decade ago and the recent visit Jay and his wife Sarah made there. It also reflects the transformation Heifer enterprises are bringing about in remote mountain communities. Wittmeyer represents the Church of the Brethren on the Heifer International board. Different Drummers is geared to a teen audience, and daughter Alysson also was part of the interview. The video segment is posted at and on the Global Mission and Service main webpage.

Online photo albums are being posted from Church of the Brethren summer workcamps. Find links at .

On Earth Peace is bringing the “3,000 Miles for Peace” campaign to Annual Conference in Charlotte, N.C. “This means you can participate in a national movement of active peacemaking–just by showing up,” said an announcement. There will be several opportunities to log miles for peace and join the fundraising campaign for On Earth Peace: Participants in the Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) Fitness Challenge at Annual Conference (scheduled for Sunday morning, June 30) may join the 3,000 Miles for Peace campaign online, and invite family and friends to sponsor the walk/run for peace, or may choose to sponsor another participant. Go to . “In addition to your Fitness Challenge $25 registration fee, which you should pay for at the BBT booth, we also ask that you consider making a $25 donation to the Paul Ziegler Young Peacemakers Fund,” the announcement said. Conference-goers also can use stationary bicycles at the On Earth Peace booth in the Annual Conference exhibit hall to log miles with the campaign. The bikes are provided by Flywheel Sports. For more information call the campaign hotline at 260-982-7751 or e-mail .

— On Pentecost Sunday, Brooklyn (N.Y.) First Church of the Brethren welcomed two new members who were baptized into the church from unique backgrounds. Brooklyn member Doris Abdullah sent a celebratory note to Newsline: “Maybe your readers would be interested to know that we Brethren have two new Sisters. Zizhao Ding is a graduate student here in New York and comes to us from Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China. Sara Martinez is from Guayaquil, Ecuador…. On the first Sunday that Zizhao came, Caroline is her English name, we gave her the only Chinese Bible that we had ever had. It was given to us one week before she came. Our Lord is always on time…. Our new Sister Sara adds to our Central and South American family. We are indeed blessed to have Pentecost worship every Sunday. The scriptures are now read in Chinese each Sunday in addition to Spanish, French, and English.”

Dunkard Valley Live, a Christian music festival sponsored by Codorus Church of the Brethren in Dallastown, Pa., will celebrate a 10th anniversary on Saturday, Aug. 3. The festival will be held from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Aug. 3 and continues on Sunday, Aug. 4, from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. at the church’s ball field. Rain dates are Aug. 10 and 11. The festival is free and open to the public. It features local groups and soloists who will perform a variety of music styles. Performers include Dane Hartman, Maria Lytle, The Edge, Red Letter Stance, Freely Captured, Codorus Men’s Chorus, The Deacons, New Season, Soul Purpose, Keith Grim, and more. Saturday will feature an Ultimate tournament for youth groups. To participate in the tournament contact Megan Miller at . Sunday morning worship will be held at 10:30 with guest speaker Christy Waltersdorff, pastor of York Center Church of the Brethren in Lombard, Ill. Attendees are asked to bring blankets or chairs. Parking is on site. Food will be available for purchase. For more information visit or call 717-428-3301.

World Hunger Auction events in Virlina District continue in July with a Jonathan Emmons organ concert on July 14 at 4 p.m. at Antioch Church of the Brethren in Rocky Mount, Va. The World Hunger Auction itself is Saturday, Aug. 10, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Antioch Church, culminating the year-long, fund-raising activities. The auction includes the sale of crafts, quilts, toys, produce, baked and canned goods, special services, and much more. “Come early for the best selection,” said the Virlina District newsletter. “Let the highest bidder win, for doing what we can opens the door for God to do much more.” Last year the World Hunger Auction Committee disbursed a total of $53,000 from the auction and other related events. The first World Hunger Auction was held in 1984, planned by the Antioch Church. Now several other Church of the Brethren congregations are involved including Bethany, Bethlehem, Boones Mill, Cedar Bluff, Germantown Brick, Monte Vista, Oak Grove (South), Roanoke-Ninth Street, and Smith Mountain Lake. For more information go to .

Camp Pine Lake near Eldora, Iowa, is preparing for its first Music Fest on Aug. 31 reports Katie Shaw Thompson in the Northern Plains District newsletter. “All manner of storytellers, musicians, square dancers, and merry-makers will descend upon Camp Pine Lake for a day of fundraising, community building, and fun-having,” she wrote. The event kicks off at 1 p.m. and that evening at 7 p.m. will welcome singer, songwriter, and storyteller Garrison Doles. Free-will donations will support the ministry of camp. The Music Fest also marks the opening of a weekend All Ages Camp organized by camp program coordinator Barbara Wise Lewczak, which will run from 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, through 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2, and will include a Sunday morning worship service led by Garrison Doles. Visit to register. Direct questions to Katie Shaw Thompson at .

— The Springs of Living Water initiative for church renewal has announced a summer spiritual disciplines folder for scripture reading and prayer written by Thomas Hanks of Franklin, W.Va., who pastors the yoked parish of Smith’s Creek and Friend’s Run Church of the Brethren. Hanks was in the first class of the Springs Academy and both congregations are creatively working together in renewal as a yoked parish, where the spiritual disciplines folders have been a vital part of their new life, said a release. The folder is titled, “When Did You First Think of Me?” and explores themes of God’s mindfulness, and how the tree of life is still available to all. Guidelines for a personal devotional time are included along with space for journaling. Access and receive permission to copy it from the Springs website at .

Photo by courtesy of GWP
Global Womens’ Project is auctioning dolls during Annual Conference 2013, in celebration of its 35th anniversary

Global Women’s Project is celebrating its 35th anniversary with a silent auction of three hand-made dolls representing an “enlivened” version of the organization’s logo. The dolls were made by Global Women’s Project Steering Committee member Anke Pietsch. Two have been revealed (see photo) with a third to be revealed next week. The three dolls will be up for silent bid throughout Annual Conference in Charlotte, N.C., at the Global Women’s Project booth in the exhibit hall. Those who cannot bid in person may bid by e-mail; send bid to . All money received from the highest bidder for the three dolls (sold together), will support the organization’s Partner Projects. The winner will be announced at the Global Women’s Project Tea Time on Tuesday, July 2, at 4:45 p.m. (eastern) in the Annual Conference exhibit hall.

— The John Kline Homestead is holding a silent auction of woodcraft items made from the John Kline maple tree. A large branch from the tall maple tree that stands in front of the John Kline house in Broadway, Va., broke off during a wind storm on June 29, 2012. Joe Glick of Harrisonburg, Va., crafted bowls and cylinder boxes from the wood as fundraisers for the John Kline Homestead. Photos of the silent auction items are linked from the John Kline Homestead website at . Bids may be sent to Paul Roth by e-mail at . Please specify the item(s) with your bid. The silent auction will close and the highest bidders will be informed on July 31. Early bids on each of the items are at $25 each. All proceeds benefit the John Kline Homestead. Go to .

— Heeding God’s Call marked the six-month anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on June 14 with a statement of concern for “the families and friends of those innocent victims who continue to try to put their lives back together while bearing their heavy sadness,” it said, in part. “Many of the Newtown families are finding meaning in their loss by dedicating themselves to preventing more massacres. Specifically, they know that if there had been universal background checks, and a ban on assault weapons and limitation of ammunition magazines their loved ones might still be alive. They are translating their grief into action, so that other families will not have to suffer the loss of their loved ones.” Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren pastor Belita Mitchell is one of the Pennsylvania leaders in Heeding God’s Call.

West Marva District newsletter recently congratulated members of the May family. Diane May, pastor of Westernport Church of the Brethren, had an article titled “Voices of Experience” printed in the second edition of the Manual for Fire Service Instructors Principles and Practice, a textbook endorsed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Fire Service Instructors, and National Fire Protection Association. Walt May received the North American Wildlife Enforcement Association “Officer of the Year.” He also was named the State of Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police “Officer of the Year” for the second time.

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