Brethren Bits for Sept. 13

“See you at Wilbur’s, MU’s new hot spot for study and friendship,” said a release from Manchester University. Shown above, Dr. Wilbur McFadden in the new namesake study café in the school’s renovated Funderburg Library. Wilbur’s honors four generations of McFadden students at Manchester. Wilbur McFadden is a family physician with service in Puerto Rico, California, and mission work in Indonesia before settling at the Manchester Clinic for 30 years. At least 19 other McFaddens “have Manchester in their blood” including his parents W. Glenn McFadden and Eva Burkholder McFadden. Wilbur and the late Joyce Snyder McFadden’s four children also are Manchester alumni including Dave, executive vice president and dean of the College of Pharmacy at Manchester University; Dan, on the Church of the Brethren staff as director of Brethren Volunteer Service; and Tim and Joy. A dedication for the café will be held during Homecoming, at 10 a.m. on Oct. 5.

Remembrance: Norman Yeater of Cornwall, Pa., passed away on Sept. 11 as the result of a traffic accident. He was serving as chaplain at the Lebanon Valley Brethren Home in Palmyra, Pa., and was secretary of the Atlantic Northeast District Ministry Commission. He was a member of the non-salaried ministry team at Chiques Church of the Brethren, Manheim, Pa. Yeater also recently began serving as a consultant to the Church of the Brethren Office of Ministry on revisions to the Ministerial Leadership Polity Paper as it relates to the plural non-salaried ministry. He is survived by his wife, Heather; college age daughter, Rachel; high school age daughter, Joanna; and middle school age daughter, Lois. Arrangements are pending and will be handled by Spence Funeral and Cremation Services in Manheim ( . “Please keep the Yeater family, the Chiques congregation, and the Lebanon Valley Home community in your prayers during this difficult time of loss,” said a prayer request from the office of the General Secretary of the Church of the Brethren.

Prayer is requested for those affected by the extreme flooding occurring in the Front Range of Colorado after a storm brought inches of rainfall over the past few days. “Please keep in prayer our sisters and brothers in Colorado,” said an e-mail sent out today from Western Plains District. So far, none of the Church of the Brethren churches in the Denver area or farther north in the front range are reporting flooding of their church buildings or property, but individual members are affected by the closing of many roads and highways, and some live in or near areas where evacuation orders are in effect. A Mennonite congregation in Boulder, which has hosted a Brethren fellowship group, has experienced flooding of its basement.

— The Church of the Brethren seeks a full-time associate director for Children’s Disaster Services (CDS), a ministry within Brethren Disaster Ministries and the Global Mission and Service department. Major responsibilities include providing oversight, leadership, and administration of CDS. Additional responsibilities include leading the response of CDS volunteers, leading and coordinating new program development and expansion of CDS, managing and supporting the development of ecumenical relationships, and providing sound financial management of CDS. Required skills and knowledge include strong written and verbal skills in English, ability to communicate effectively with multiple agencies and constituencies and deal gracefully with the public, ability to work with minimal supervision, skill in program development and management and volunteer management, effective training and presentation skills, appreciation for the church’s role in mission with an awareness of mission operations, knowledge of child development and the impact of trauma on development, and the ability to act within a multicultural and multigenerational team environment. Training or experience making effective presentations, managing staff and volunteers, and working directly with children (teaching, counseling, providing program, etc.) and skilled competency in Microsoft Office component applications is required. Previous disaster response experience is preferred. A bachelor’s degree is required, with a preference for an advanced degree. This position is based in the Brethren Disaster Ministries Office at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Applications are being received and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Request the application packet by contacting the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; 800-323-8039 ext. 367; . The Church of the Brethren is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Early registration has been extended to Sept. 15 for “The Great Multitude: A Symposium Bringing Us Together,” an intercultural ministries event on Oct. 25-27 at the Skelton 4-H Center in Wirtz, Va., co-sponsored by Virlina District and the denomination’s Intercultural Ministries. For details and online registration, go to .

Concern about government efforts to demolish churches and church schools in Maiduguri, a large city in northeastern Nigeria, has been shared with the office of Global Mission and Service by Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN–the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). So far EYN has not let the US church staff know of any Brethren churches or schools on the demolition list. On Sept. 9 a Nigerian newspaper reported on an intensifying of state government “efforts to demolish over 20 churches and schools built by the churches…. Sources hinted that the Borno State government has already dispatched a notice to the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, and owners of farmlands in the area, intimating them of the plan to acquire the structures for 1,000 housing units.” The general secretary of CAN confirmed the development and called on Borno State government to rethink it, the newspaper said. The paper emphasized the increase in tension in Maiduguri, which has suffered from terrorist violence related to the extreme Islamist group Boko Haram, as well as retaliatory violent incidents and rioting in recent years.

Flat Creek Church of the Brethren in Manchester, Ky., celebrates its 70th anniversary on Sept. 15, with morning worship at 10 a.m. and a carry in dinner at noon. An afternoon service will start at 2 p.m. “Everyone welcome,” said an invitation in the Southern Ohio District newsletter. “Please join us in a Day of Celebration. Share memories, visit with old friends.”

Bridgewater (Va.) Church of the Brethren hosts a meet-and-greet with Jeff Carter, the new president of Bethany Theological Seminary, from 2-4 p.m. on Sept. 14. Carter is a Bridgewater College graduate, holds advanced degrees from Bethany and Princeton Theological Seminary, and is the former pastor of Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren.

Beaver Creek Church of the Brethren in Bridgewater, Va., is offering a song and story time every Sunday at 9:45 a.m. for special needs adults, age high school and up. Reports Shenandoah District: “The group meets in the fellowship hall for singing and stories from ‘The Beginner’s Bible,’ wraps up with a snack, and adjourns about 10:30, allowing time for those who want to attend 11 a.m. services at their home churches. It is non-denominational and open to those from all faith backgrounds. New participants are welcome!” Contact or 540-828-4015 for more information.

The Bittersweet Gospel Band, a group of Brethren musicians who gather from across the country, will tour this fall in Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana. Worship concerts feature Gilbert Romero of Los Angeles, Calif.; Scott Duffey of Staunton, Va.; David Sollenberger of North Manchester, Ind.; Leah Hileman of Somerset, Pa.; Dan Shaffer of Johnstown, Pa.; and Trey Curry of Staunton, Va. The band also will be showing its new music video “Jesus in the Line.” All concerts are open to the public. The tour schedule: Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m., Intercultural Symposium Concert at the Skelton 4-H Center in Wirtz, Va.; Oct. 27, 6 p.m., Green Hill Church of the Brethren in Salem, Va. (concert follows a 4 p.m. meal served by the congregation’s youth as a fundraiser for National Youth Conference); Oct. 29, 7 p.m., West Charleston Church of the Brethren in Tipp City, Ohio; Oct. 30, 6 p.m., New Carlisle (Ohio) Church of the Brethren; Oct. 31, 12-1 p.m., Bethany Seminary Peace Forum in Richmond, Ind.; Oct. 31, 9 p.m., Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind; Nov. 1, 7:15 p.m., Columbia City (Ind.) Church of the Brethren (concert follows a 6:30 p.m. food bank fundraiser); Nov. 2, 6 p.m., Pleasant Chapel Church of the Brethren in Ashley, Ind. (concert follows a 5 p.m. dinner); Nov. 3, 9 a.m. worship at Decatur (Ind.) Church of God. Find out more at or contact Scott Duffey at or 540-414-1539.

— The weekend of Sept. 14-15 features “wonderful events” in McPherson, Kan., according to a note from the Western Plains District office. Tracy Primozich, director of Admissions for Bethany Theological Seminary, leads an afternoon workshop on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 1-4:30 p.m. at McPherson Church of the Brethren on the topic of “Eve,” focused on re-interpreting the images of Eve in Genesis and imagining new and positive ways our culture can portray women. The workshop is free and open to the public, donations will be accepted to help with expenses. Snacks will be provided. Contact 785-448-4436 or .

— Also in McPherson on Sept. 15, Sister Helen Prejean will give the McPherson College Religious Heritage Lecture at 7 p.m. at McPherson Church of the Brethren. Prejean is author of “Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty” and a longtime advocate against capital punishment and for victims’ rights. A member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille for nearly six decades, she began her prison ministry in New Orleans in 1981 and there encountered Patrick Sonnier on death row. Her experiences led her to write the book, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and rose to number one on the New York Times Best Seller List for eight months, and was adapted into a major motion picture starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. The movie was nominated for four Oscars and Sarandon received the Best Actress Oscar. For more information go to .

Pacific Northwest District Conference is held Sept. 13-15 at Camp Koinonia, Cle Elum Wash.

Bridgewater (Va.) College is reporting a higher enrollment than at any other time in its history, a full- and part-time student enrollment of 1,849. A press release compared this year’s enrollment with that of 2012, which was 1,760 full- and part-time students. “Bridgewater’s record enrollment is the result of an enterprise-wide effort to recruit, enroll, and retain quality students who seek a challenging academic environment coupled with a supportive, close knit community,” said Reggie Webb, vice president for enrollment management. Figures released by the college reveal that women make up 55 percent of the freshman class while 76 percent of incoming students are white. Other ethnicities represented in the freshman class are African Americans, 10 percent; Hispanics, 2 percent; multiracial, 6 percent; and Asian, 1 percent. Of the 536 first-time freshmen arriving at Bridgewater in 2013, 76 percent are residents of Virginia. Four percent of these students claim they are affiliated with the Church of the Brethren. For more about the college go to .

Manchester University in N. Manchester, Ind., is fourth in the Midwest in the “Best Value” rankings–the highest for an Indiana school in the 2014 Best College rankings of “US News & World Report,” according to a release from Manchester. This also is the 20th year the news magazine has recognized the undergraduate program at Manchester as a “Best College.” “On the heels of its largest graduating class in years, Manchester University is sprinting into a new year with an estimated 1,350 students,” the release said. “About 23 percent of the new undergraduate students are the first in their families to attend college…. Manchester continues its leadership in affordable excellence with a remarkable 86 percent of its May graduates receiving their degrees within four years or less.” For more about the university go to .

The Children’s Aid Society’s Third Annual Banquet is Oct. 18 at Green Grove Gardens, New Oxford, Pa., with reception and appetizers starting at 5 p.m., and dinner and program starting at 6 p.m. Cost is $50 for adults and $20 for children. The program will be led by motivational speaker Michael Pritchard. Proceeds will benefit the society’s program and help make it possible to aid children without regard to their ability to pay for the services they need. To reserve seats at the dinner, call 717-624-4461. The Children’s Aid Society is a ministry of Southern Pennsylvania District of the Church of the Brethren, and is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2013. Find out more at .

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Palestine coordinator Tarek Abuata will lead two days of nonviolence training sessions in Akron, Pa., on the Saturdays of Nov. 9 and 16. The sessions, sponsored by the “1040 for Peace” group, are planned as “intensive experiential workshops giving participants a comprehensive introduction to Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy and strategy of nonviolence,” reports Harold A. Penner, who is one of the organizers for the events. He adds that “the training is useful for a variety of individuals, including those who work with young people, people who respond to conflict situations, people of all ages and backgrounds who experience different levels of violence in their daily lives, and those individuals seeking justice, equality, and human rights through nonviolent social change. It provides a framework for conflict management, mediation, and ultimately reconciliation.” The workshops will be held at Akron Mennonite Church from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost is $100 per person for both sessions. Scholarships are available upon request. Registration will close on Oct. 15. Contact Harold A. Penner, 108 S. Fifth St., Akron, PA 17501-1204; 717-859-3529; .

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