Brethren Bits for Oct. 25, 2013

— Remembrance: Ruth Christ Baugher, 95, the widow of former Church of the Brethren general secretary Norman Baugher, died on Oct. 15 at Hillcrest Homes in La Verne, Calif. She had lived at Hillcrest Homes since 1985. Her husband became general secretary of the former General Board in 1952, and died in 1968. During that time she lived in Elgin, Ill., and after her husband’s death she held secretarial positions in several places including the denomination’s General Offices. She was a member of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill., for some 33 years prior to moving to southern California. Two sons, four grandsons, and several great grandchildren survive her. A memorial service will be held on Nov. 22 at Hillcrest Homes.

— The cost to attend the 2014 Church of the Brethren Clergy Women’s Retreat go up on Nov. 1. The retreat takes place Jan. 13-16 at the Serra Retreat Center in Malibu, Calif. “Hand in Hand, Heart to Heart: On the Journey Together” is the theme. Leading the retreat will be Melissa Wiginton, vice president for Education Beyond the Walls at Austin Seminary. The scriptural focus is Philippians 1:3-11 (CEB), “I keep you in my heart. You are all my partners in God’s grace.” For online registration and more information go to .

— Mt. Zion Church of the Brethren in Luray, Va., is hosting Steve Mason, director of the Brethren Foundation Inc., for a discussion of investment opportunities for churches and individuals on Sunday, Nov. 10, at 3 p.m.

— Happy Corner Church of the Brethren in Clayton, Ohio, is hosting a Ted and Company performance of “Peace, Pies, and Prophets” with a pie auction benefitting Christian Peacemaker Teams. The Nov. 23 event centers around a performance of “I’d Like to Buy an Enemy” starring Ted Swartz and Tim Ruebke, and starts at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10.

— The Gathering 2013, a headline event in Western Plains District, takes place Nov. 1-3 in Salina, Kan. “What Now?! Where Next?!” is the theme, inspired by Luke 24:13-35, in which disciples encounter the risen Christ on the road to Emmaus. “The prayer is that our Gathering will inspire us in a new way, also, as we continue to journey with Jesus,” said an announcement from the district. Speakers include Annual Conference moderator Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, and Jeff Carter, president of Bethany Theological Seminary. More information is at .

— The Congregational Care Advisory Team in Shenandoah District is sponsoring a seminar titled “Worship God’s Way: Biblical Models of Worship,” on Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Mt. Pleasant Church of the Brethren in Harrisonburg, Va. Leah J. Hileman, pianist for the 2008 Annual Conference and music coordinator for the 2010 Annual Conference, will be the seminar leader. She is the author of more than 250 songs and has written, recorded, and produced four Christian pop albums. Cost is $15 and 0.5 continuing education units are available to minister for an additional $10. Registration is due by Nov. 6. Go to .

— Also in Shenandoah District, a Brethren Heritage Tour is being organized for the weekend of Jan. 17-19, 2014. The tour will take a bus to Pennsylvania to visit the Ephrata Cloisters, the Moravian settlement, and the Germantown area, among other places with special significance to Brethren, said the district newsletter. The event is being planned by the Pastoral Support Committee of the Shenandoah District Ministerial Leadership Team. Tour leaders will be Jeff Bach, director of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, and Jim Miller, retired district executive of Shenandoah District. Cost is $140 per person for double occupancy and includes two nights’ lodging, admission to tour sites, and chartered bus transportation from Bridgewater, Va. Participants will be responsible for meals and tips or gratuities. Contact the district office at or 540-234-8555.

— Illinois and Wisconsin District Conference will be Nov. 1-2 at Mt Morris (Ill.) Church of the Brethren, assisted by Pinecrest Community, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in Mt. Morris. Mark Flory Steury will serve as moderator, leading the conference on the theme, “Renew” (Romans 12:2). The Friday evening speaker will be Jonathan Shively, executive director of Congregational Life Ministries.

— Shenandoah District Conference will be Nov. 1-2 on the theme, “Living the Gospel,” at Bridgewater (Va.) Church of the Brethren led by moderator Glenn Bollinger. Former Annual Conference moderator Tim Harvey will bring the opening message on Friday evening, with music by a choir singing under the direction of Jesse E. Hopkins, professor emeritus of music at Bridgewater College. The evening includes a district-wide Love Feast as spiritual preparation for business sessions. In advance of the conference, the district newsletter invited congregations to share Love Feast traditions such as who makes the communion bread, a treasured recipe, how children participate, the menu for the meal, and more. “Based on some recent informal conversations, it seems we have a wide range of traditions just here in our district,” said the newsletter. “Let us hear your voice.”

— Pacific Southwest District is holding its 50th District Conference on Nov. 8-10 in Scottsdale, Ariz., at the Franciscan Renewal Center. “Our meeting comes at a time of challenge to the Brethren and indeed to almost all Christian denominations,” said an invitation from moderator Jim LeFever, “but also at a time when a variety of bright sparks show hope in many directions. Let us join in thinking, discussion and prayer as we take up the work of our faith in the West and beyond.” Prior to the conference, an all-ministers education event will be held Nov. 7-8 with leadership by James Benedict on the topic “Community Centered Authority: Biblical, Theological, and Historical Foundations.” Find out more at .

— Virlina District Conference is Nov. 8-9 at Greene Memorial United Methodist Church in Roanoke, Va., on the theme, “Come Near to God and He Will Come Near to You” (James 4:7-8a). Moderator Frances S. Beam is encouraging each individual and congregation, and every camper who participates at Camp Bethel, to write a letter about their experiences of the nearness of God. The letters will be displayed at the district conference and incorporated into the worship and business sessions. Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, moderator of the 2014 Annual Conference, will preach for Friday and Saturday worship.

— The Camp Harmony Pig Roast is Sunday, Oct. 27, from 12 noon-2 p.m. Ticket prices are adults $10, children age 6-12 $5, under age 6 is free. The camp is located near Hooversville, Pa. For more information go to .

— The Fall Lecture at CrossRoads, the Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center in Virginia, will feature Bob Gross, director of development at On Earth Peace, sharing experiences from the 3,000 Miles for Peace campaign. The lecture takes place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3, at Montezuma Church of the Brethren in Dayton, Va.

— Peacemaker Shane Claiborne will speak at Bridgewater (Va.) College’s Fall Spiritual Focus. “Shane Claiborne’s adventures have taken him from the streets of Calcutta, where he worked with Mother Teresa, to an internship at Willow Creek, a mega-church in the suburbs of Chicago,” said a release. Claiborne also has worked with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq, and is a founder and leader of the Simple Way faith community in inner-city Philadelphia. His books include “Jesus for President,” “Red Letter Revolution,” “Common Prayer,” “Follow Me to Freedom,” “Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers,” and “The Irresistible Revolution.” He will be speaking at Bridgewater on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m., in the Carter Center for Worship and Music. A reception will follow. The program is free and open to the public.

— Herb Smith, McPherson (Kan.) College professor of Philosophy and Religion, is organizing a study trip to China on Jan. 14-24, 2014. “As the Pacific Century is now upon us, we will venture forth to explore the Dragon Kingdom, ancient and contemporary China,” said an announcement. “Besides the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Ming Dynasty Tombs, Terra Cotta Soldiers Tomb, other cultural treats await us.” The trip will include riding on a bullet train, dinner cruise in Shanghai, as well as study of the religions of the Middle Kingdom. For brochures and more information contact or 620-242-0533.

— “Learn Martin Luther King Jr.’s principles of nonviolence from a Palestinian Christian!” says an invitation to a workshop in Akron, Pa., sponsored by and featuring Tarek Abuata, Christian Peacemaker Teams coordinator for Palestine and a nonviolence trainer. The “intensive experiential workshop” is to give participants a comprehensive introduction to King’s philosophy and strategy of nonviolence. It will be held at Akron Mennonite Church on Nov. 16-17. Participation is limited. Partial scholarships to offset the $100 fee are available. Contact registrar H.A. Penner at or 717-859-3529 prior to Nov. 4.

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