Newsline for Dec. 16, 2013

Quote of the week:“People misunderstood the promise of the Messiah in Isaiah’s day, and we have been misunderstanding Jesus ever since. Jesus has never been about the business of establishing ‘God and country’ as the highest of ideals…. Instead, the Prince of Peace is about the work of reconciling people with God and people with people.”

— Tim Harvey in “Good News of Great Joy: Devotions for Advent Through Epiphany,” the 2013 Advent devotional from Brethren Press. Harvey is pastor of Central Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va., and a former Annual Conference moderator.

Authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6b).

1) Shine On storybook Bible will offer new way to teach children the faith

2) Zach Wolgemuth resigns as associate director of Brethren Disaster Ministries

3) Kathy Fry-Miller to lead Children’s Disaster Services

4) Lent devotional ‘Real Rest’ to focus on themes of grace, light living

5) Bethany Seminary invites junior high youth to ‘Immerse!’

6) Covenant Bible Study will take a look ‘Behind the Drama’

7) Manchester $1 million grant brings new degree in sales, internships, collaborations to bolster employment opportunities for graduates

8) Juniata College faith-based service program among those honored by White House

9) Virlina District produces new stewardship curriculum

10) ‘Summertime Children’ re-released to mark 40th anniversary of first NYC theme song

11) Brethren bits: CPT director announces retirement, Georgia Markey’s 25 years in ministry, Brethren Service Center seeks maintenance mechanic, Shine seeks writers, spread word about New Inglenook Cookbook, Lititz 100th anniversary, dates to save in April, and more.

1) Shine On storybook Bible will offer new way to teach children the faith

By Jeff Lennard

Coming in March from the creators of the Shine curriculum for Christian education: “Shine On: A Story Bible.” This new children’s storybook Bible will feature over 150 engaging Bible stories for use by families and congregations.

Published by Brethren Press and MennoMedia, the 320-page, hardback book will retail for $24.99, plus shipping and handling. Pre-order from Brethren Press by calling 800-441-3712.

“Shine On” will be a valuable new resource for families and Sunday school leaders, providing an exciting way to nurture faith in children. “Shine On” has colorful illustrations designed by a variety of artists, that will capture children’s imaginations. Its clear and engaging language stays true to the biblical text.

Each full-page spread includes sidebars that offer questions and activities to reach children’s hearts and minds.

About the curriculum: Shine: Living in God’s Light is a dynamic Sunday school curriculum for age 3 to grade 8 that engages Christian communities in their life together. It is a joint project of Brethren Press and MennoMedia and will be available beginning in the fall of 2014. For more about Shine see .

— Jeff Lennard is director of marketing and sales for Brethren Press.

2) Zach Wolgemuth resigns as associate director of Brethren Disaster Ministries

Zach Wolgemuth has resigned as associate director of Brethren Disaster Ministries. He has served in this position, working out of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., for almost eight years.

His resignation is effective Jan. 18, 2014, after which he begins employment with the United Church of Christ as executive for the UCC National Disaster Ministries.

He started at Brethren Disaster Ministries on April 24, 2006. His work has focused in the disaster rebuilding program within the US, working closely with Roy Winter, associate executive director of Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries.

Wolgemuth has helped spur growth of the denomination’s disaster rebuilding program and provided leadership for Brethren Disaster Ministries to become active in new places across the country. Respect for his leadership among Brethren volunteers and other disaster response organizations resulted in his election to the board of National VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster). Additionally, he has facilitated several grant awards over the last four years, the largest being a $280,100 Red Cross grant for Hurricane Sandy recovery.

Among other responsibilities his work has included assessment of needs following disasters, building relationships with coordinating groups in affected areas, training volunteer project site directors, connecting with supporters at the individual and district levels, and helping represent the Church of the Brethren at the national level through participation with organizations such as FEMA and NVOAD. As a part of his job, he has worked personally at most–if not all–of the Brethren Disaster Ministries project sites that were active during his years on staff.

3) Kathy Fry-Miller to lead Children’s Disaster Services

Kathy Fry-Miller has been named associate director of Children’s Disaster Services, a Church of the Brethren program that is part of Brethren Disaster Ministries. Since 1980, Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has been meeting the needs of children by setting up child care centers in shelters and disaster assistance centers across the nation. CDS volunteers, who are specially trained and certified to respond to traumatized children, provide a calm, safe, and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos created by natural or human caused disaster.

Fry-Miller of North Manchester, Ind., has worked with CDS as a volunteer for a number of years, has been a trainer and project manager for CDS, and has received Critical Response and FEMA training. She has served on the advisory committee of Brethren Disaster Ministries 2012-13.

She founded and spent 12 years administering a nationally accredited preschool program at Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Ind. From 1988 to the present she has worked as an education specialist for Early Childhood Alliance, a 10-county Child Care Resource and Referral agency in Indiana. It is also a United Way agency. She has worked with local and state partners including nonprofit, government, and business partners, and has supported development of state-wide early childhood systems including the Indiana Quality Rating and Improvement System and state-wide early childhood administrator training. For the past 15 years she has planned and hosted an annual early childhood director’s conference.

Her previous work for the Church of the Brethren has included writing and consulting for the Gather ’Round curriculum and the new Shine curriculum that are joint projects of Brethren Press and MennoMedia. She is author of the Brethren Press books “Young Peacemakers Project Book,” “Peace Works” written with Judith A. Myers-Walls and Janet R. Domer-Shank, and “Story Gifts for Children.”

Fry-Miller holds a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Towson State University in Maryland, and a bachelor’s degree in Education and German from Manchester University. She has taught early childhood courses at Indiana Purdue University and Ivy Tech Community College in Fort Wayne. Currently she is doing coursework in the Training in Ministry (TRIM) program and is carrying out an internship with a focus on children and family ministry.

For more about Children’s Disaster Services go to .

4) Lent devotional ‘Real Rest’ to focus on themes of grace, light living

The Brethren Press 2014 devotional booklet for Lent, offering devotions for Ash Wednesday through Easter, is written by Duane Grady. Each day will feature a scripture, meditation, and prayer in a pocket-sized booklet suitable for individual use or for congregations to offer to members. Pre-order now for $2.25 per copy, plus shipping and handling.

The devotional is regularly priced at $2.75 per copy, or $5.95 large print, plus shipping and handling. Become a seasonal subscriber and receive both annual devotionals from Brethren Press–Advent and Lent–at the discounted price of $2.25 or $5 for large print. Contact Brethren Press at 800-441-3712 or purchase online at .

Sample devotion: ‘Calmly present’

“The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; [God] utters his voice, the earth melts. The LORD of hosts is with us” (Psalm 46:6-7a).

We live in a time when there is no shortage of troubling news, both at the international and local levels. Many of these crises are real, and real persons are harmed. Anxiety is stirred up by the media, especially cable news networks that crave the hoopla of a world tottering on a narrow edge as long as their income stream remains fixed.

The world in crisis is not new. The writer of Psalm 46 spoke to the harrowing experiences of many in describing mountains shaking and waters roaring (vv. 2-3). Like many of the psalms, this one concludes on a more positive note by reminding us that in the midst of chaos, God is calmly present. God puts an end to war and terror, and provides refuge in God’s holy habitation (vv. 4, 9). And yet, we worry.

When I read this passage, my memory turned to a recent hospital visit. A three-year-old child was having a risky procedure, and anxiety was high in the family. It was necessary, but many things could go wrong. Under the best of circumstances, the recovery would be slow and painful—nothing you’d wish on anyone, especially such a small child.

I prayed with the family the night before and anointed the parents as they braced themselves for the long journey ahead. Following the surgery, I visited their hospital recovery room. Upon entering the darkened room, I saw the child’s mother in bed with him, embracing him completely in her arms with only his tightly bandaged head visible. Both were sleeping in a scene as comforting and calm as any I’d ever seen. It was the perfect image for the psalmist’s reminder: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (v. 1).

Prayer: God of peace, be with us in all circumstances. But make your presence most vividly known when we stress and stew about things that trouble us. Calm our hearts and teach us to rest in you.

5) Bethany Seminary invites junior high youth to ‘Immerse!’

By Jenny Williams

Next summer has a special event in store for junior high students: Immerse! will bring youth who have completed seventh, eighth, and ninth grades together to share questions, experiences, and ideas about faith, all within a community of friendship and support. Sponsored by the Institute for Ministry with Youth and Young Adults at Bethany Seminary, Immerse! will take place at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College June 12-17, 2014, and is free. Participants are only responsible for the cost of transportation to and from the event.

Russell Haitch, professor of practical theology at Bethany, is overseeing the event as director of the institute. “As its name implies, the purpose of Immerse! is to go beneath the surface and dive more deeply into learning about the Bible and questions of faith. For young people who may be thinking about baptism or just what it means to be a Christian, we want to create an engaging, friendship-forming, potentially life-changing experience.”

Youth participants will take part in worship, classroom time, group activities, and recreation, enjoying the amenities of Elizabethtown College and surrounding area. The central Pennsylvania location is ideal for incorporating Brethren history into the week’s schedule, such as visits to historic sites. Leadership will be provided in part by Bethany faculty and staff, including Bekah Houff, coordinator of outreach programs; Steve Schweitzer, academic dean; and Haitch.

Bethany faculty and staff are enthusiastic about engaging with this age group, their energy and personalities, and the life questions they are beginning to ask. Dana Cassell, minister of youth formation at Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren, says that her church’s junior high group also was enthused to hear about Immerse! “I think that their excitement centered around the opportunity to travel together, being with their peers from around the denomination, and the exposure to the reality that this ‘church thing’ is bigger than our congregation–an exciting prospect for middle schoolers.”

Registration is open on the Bethany Seminary website at . In compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, parents of children under 13 are required to complete the Parent Consent Form as part of the application process. For more information, contact Bekah Houff at .

A note for clarification

Immerse! is for junior high students interested in experiencing the Bible and Church of the Brethren history more deeply. Participation is available to roughly 30 participants. Although Immerse! happens to have the same location and similar date range to the Church of the Brethren National Junior High Conferences, it is a separate, grant-funded program of Bethany Theological Seminary.

The next National Junior High Conference is being planned for June of 2015. Contact Becky Ullom Naugle in the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office for more information about National Junior High Conference. Call 847-429-4385.

— Jenny Williams is director of Communications and Alumni/ae Relations for Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind.

6) Covenant Bible Study will take a look ‘Behind the Drama’

“Behind the Drama: The Old Testament You Missed” is an upcoming Covenant Bible Study by Eugene F. Roop, Old Testament scholar and former Bethany Seminary president, available from Brethren Press this spring for $7.95 plus shipping and handling. Call 800-441-3712 or order online at .

“Our reading of the Old Testament is colored by dramatic texts in which God acts in extraordinary ways, calling and saving God’s people through fire and flood,” explains a flier for the resource.

“But too often we focus on these familiar stories alone and ignore the seemingly unimportant parts, or avoid altogether the hard parts we don’t understand. This study explores a few of these scriptures–some overlooked, some troubling–and shows how God works in and through everyday situations and conflicts to bring hope and faith to ordinary lives.”

Covenant Bible Studies are relational Bible studies for small groups. Each contains 10 sessions that promote group interaction and open discussion about practical aspects of the Christian faith.

7) Manchester $1 million grant brings new degree in sales, internships, collaborations to bolster employment opportunities for graduates

By Jeri S. Kornegay

A $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. will ignite several exciting new Manchester University programs and collaborations, including an undergraduate sales degree that is unprecedented in Indiana.

The Manchester University initiative, “Liberal Arts Plus,” will enable the university to expand its leadership and engagement in northeast Indiana economic development to improve employment opportunities for Indiana college graduates.

In addition to a new bachelor’s degree (and minor) in sales, Manchester University will:
— Develop at least five new certificate programs that align with the workforce needs of Indiana employers over the next five years.
— Engage 60 Manchester students in internships to provide them with professional experience and contribute to economic development initiatives in northeast Indiana through strategic use of their talents.
— Collaborate with work force agencies, other northeast Indiana universities and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership to strengthen the school’s relationship with employers and leverage the Lilly Endowment grants for more support.
— Develop a smartphone software application that will help guide students in their career readiness through college.

“Liberal Arts Plus will embed the university more deeply in the state’s economic future,” said president Jo Young Switzer. “In turn, our students will become catalysts for change and realize their personal stake in Indiana’s vitality.”

Liberal Arts Plus will help close the skills gap between the needs of Indiana employers and the liberal arts preparation of Manchester students. Manchester University also will create new opportunities for internships focused specifically on regional economic development. Those efforts will help business and industry expand their capacities and markets which, in turn, will create a climate for additional high-skill jobs.

Manchester is among 39 accredited colleges and universities to receive a total of $62.7 million from the endowment to enhance and expand opportunities for their college graduates to find meaningful employment in Indiana. The grants support the endowment’s Initiative to Promote Opportunities Through Educational Collaborations.

“The endowment has seen firsthand that colleges and universities have the ability and desire to help improve the job prospects of college graduates in Indiana, and we wanted to give them the resources to be even more strategic and ambitious,” said Sara B. Cobb, vice president for education for the endowment.

In 2003 and 2008, endowment support helped cement the foundation for Manchester’s shared-funding internship program that has fostered professional connections in Indiana for 195 students through 2012.

“Through those programs, we enhanced our career services for students, including online job and internship posting and alumni networking,” said Liz Bushnell, associate dean and director of Career Services.

Manchester’s graduate placement rates are high–an average of 94 percent over the past five years. About 71 percent of Manchester’s 2012 graduates remained in Indiana.

“Now, the endowment has raised the bar on Manchester University’s efforts to help graduates find meaningful employment in Indiana,” said Switzer.

Manchester already offers three certificate programs–Innovation, Conflict Resolution, and Libraries and Literacies. The sales degree is a natural for Manchester, whose largest academic department is Accounting and Business. About a fifth of undergraduate degrees earned are granted through that department.

Researchers indicate that most Indiana businesses–from orthopedics to rubber, pharmaceuticals to plastics, and forestry to steel–depend on an effective sales force to prosper. Without sales that generate revenue, companies can’t create jobs. Despite the obvious role sales plays in economic development, relatively few universities nationwide or in Indiana offer any coursework that examines the research behind effective sales strategies.

The sales degree will incorporate Manchester’s acumen in helping its students develop skills in listening, empathy, effective oral and written communication, and critical thinking.

Included among the 60 paid internships the grant will fund is a continuation of the Wabash County Economic Report, which enhances efforts to attract potential employers to the county. “The grant will allow us to hire additional student interns to expand our research on the economic conditions in Wabash County,” said John Deal, associate professor of economics. “And, it will give more students an opportunity to gain practical experience with the collection and analysis of data and technical writing, skills that are in high demand in the job market.”

Learn more about the Lilly Endowment Inc. at . Learn more about Manchester University at .

— Jeri S. Kornegay works in University Media Relations for Manchester University.

8) Juniata College faith-based service program among those honored by White House

By John Wall

The Juniata College Office of Campus Ministry was recognized by the Corporation for National and Community Service for the Huntingdon (Pa.) school’s year-long participation in the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge during 2012-13. The campus challenge, which is a US Department of Education program, was focused around the 2012 inaugural year.

“I commend the students and staff who are promoting interfaith community service on college campuses across our country,” wrote President Barack Obama in a letter congratulating participants. “Thank you for your commitment to service, and I wish you all the best as you continue to make a lasting difference in the lives of others.”

Juniata was recognized for its innovative Planting Seeds program, which centered on three service topics: food, hunger, and farming. One of the year’s initial events featured a service day on local Amish and Mennonite farms near Belleville, Pa. A contingent of Juniata students, led by Lauren Seganos, an Americorps volunteer who worked as the interfaith service coordinator for the 2012-13 academic year, and Grace Fala, professor of communication, performed odd jobs on various farms, including fruit picking, yard work, and gathering firewood.

Throughout the course of the year, Seganos also organized a series of bread-baking events centered on baking bread recipes from various international traditions and cultures. The group made breads from the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and also created pastries from the Pennsylvania Dutch culinary tradition.

After the baking, Seganos would lead a discussion. Finished bread would be donated to the soup kitchen at Huntingdon Presbyterian Church. “We talked to them about what we made and why we made it together and then we shared a meal with the people at the soup kitchen,” said Seganos in a Campus Opinions interview last year.

The Planting Seeds program also organized film showing throughout the year and collaborated with Hillel, the Juniata student club for Jewish students, to plan the college’s Freedom Seder.

Juniata was one of more than 250 colleges to participate in the campus challenge.

–John Wall of the Juniata College communication staff contributed this release.

9) Virlina District produces new stewardship curriculum

By Fred Swartz

“Give of the First Fruits: A Study of Stewardship for the 21st Century” has just been published by the Church of the Brethren’s Virlina District. This fresh, practical approach to the Christian concept of “stewardship” is a 13-lesson quarterly with each lesson written by a different church leader or couple from the Virlina and Shenandoah Districts.

Included among the writers are two former Annual Conference moderators, a district executive, nine pastors, and three pastoral couples. The late Judy Mills Reimer, a former Church of the Brethren general secretary and a former moderator of Annual Conference, is author of the chapter entitled “Total Commitment.” She illustrates the meaning of total commitment in a dramatic story from her visit as moderator to the Church of the Brethren mission in Sudan.

The study defines stewardship as holistic faithful discipleship. The 13 chapters cover the care of creation, personal health and time, as well as our responsibility with material resources. Among questions it addresses: What did you and God promise each other in the covenant of baptism? How do good stewards balance faith and reason? Do you shop for what you need or for what you want? How does the church use people’s talents? Have you ever passed by someone in need because you were too busy? How do you share the gift of Jesus Christ with others? In our giving, where can we get the most bang for our buck?

The resource is designed to be used in both youth and adult settings, church school classes, youth groups, midweek services, men’s and women’s fellowships, and personal and family devotions. It is available in booklet form at the cost of $3 per book plus shipping. Orders can be sent by mail to Virlina District Resource Center, 3402 Plantation Road NE, Roanoke, VA 24012 or .

— Fred Swartz is past secretary of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, and an ordained minister.

10) ‘Summertime Children’ re-released to mark 40th anniversary of first NYC theme song

Church of the Brethren musicians Andy and Terry Murray have announced the release of a CD version of their first recording featuring the first theme song for a National Youth Conference, “Summertime Children.” The song was introduced at NYC in Glorieta, N.M., in 1974. The 40th anniversary of that conference, along with continuing requests for some of the songs, prompted the Murrays to undertake the project, said a release.

The CD was duplicated from a digital master made by Geoff Brumbaugh at Common Ground Audio from the original Nashville Studio mix tapes. It uses the photography from the original vinyl album and contains a six-page foldout with the lyrics to all of the songs.

In addition to the title song, “Summertime Children,” the album includes “The Ballad of John Kline,” “Cowboy Dan,” “The Great Botetourt Bus-Truck Race,” and Earle Fike’s descant for “Amazing Grace.” Other songs include “To Be Free,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Growing Old,” and a sung version of the 23rd Psalm. Joel Yoder, Nancy Yoder, Alice Brown, Bill Zimmerer, Kim Hershberger, Karl Honsaker, and Miriam Smith provided background vocals and a live studio audience for the recording.

“We did the whole thing from first rehearsal to final mix in six hours,” Andy says of the recording, “so it is pretty raw in places. But it has a freshness and spirit that bring back sweet memories and it is enduring evidence of my hillbilly accent. The physical CD is a little replica of the original vinyl, so that adds to the retro feel.”

Contact Andy and Terry Murray at .

11) Brethren bits

— Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) director Carol Rose has announced her retirement after 10 years in leadership of the peacemaking organization that was begun with support from the three Historic Peace Churches. Rose is a member at First Church of the Brethren in Chicago. Her retirement was announced in a recent e-mail release from CPT, which included a short statement from her: “During 2014, I will finish 10 years cultivating peace as a director of CPT. My season in this leadership role is ending. I am delighted with the growth in CPT. Though next year I will be moving to other work, I will continue, with you, as part of CPT’s support and action. I am waiting in eager expectation to see where the next generation of leadership will guide us.” For more about CPT go to .

— A celebration for Georgia Markey’s 25 years in ministry, given by the Southern Pennsylvania District board, has been rescheduled for Dec. 29 from 3-5 p.m., with a snow date of Jan. 5. The celebration will take place at Nicarry Meeting House at Cross Keys Village, the Brethren Home Community, in New Oxford, Pa. Those who plan to attend are requested to contact Jay Finkenbinder, 717-776-5703.

— The Church of the Brethren is seeking an individual to fill the position of maintenance mechanic. This full-time position works directly with the director of Buildings and Grounds and is located at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The maintenance mechanic performs maintenance, repairs and installation of HVACR, electrical, plumbing, and other infrastructure components at the Brethren Service Center. The preferred candidate will have a State of Maryland DLLR HVACR license, extensive knowledge of commercial infrastructure systems, and the ability to maintain, repair, and troubleshoot HVACR, electrical systems, and plumbing systems. A high school diploma or equivalent is required with five years of experience with HVACR preferred. Applications will be received and reviewed until the position is filled. Qualified candidates are invited to request the application packet and complete job description by contacting 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.

— The Shine curriculum under development by Brethren Press and MennoMedia is seeking writers. Shine is looking for writers for Year Two (2015-16) for the following age groups: early childhood (ages 3-5), primary (grades K-3), middler (grades 3-6), multiage (grades K-6) (note: apply for either primary or middler but indicate openness to writing multiage), and junior youth (grades 6-8). Most age groups have a teacher’s guide, a student piece, and posters, all of which are written and planned by the writer. Early childhood also has a resource pack. New writers are hired to write one quarter. Accepted writers must attend a writers’ conference on Feb. 28-March 3, 2014, at Camp Mack in Milford, Ind. Shine pays for meals and lodging at the conference and covers reasonable travel expenses. Payment for writers varies according to the age group. Contact the managing editor for the current rates. For experience and skills needed and additional detailed information go to . Completed applications including a sample session are due by Dec. 31. For questions contact Rose Stutzman, project director, at 574-523-3076 or ; or Rachel Nussbaum Eby, managing editor, at 574-523-3071 or .

— Brethren Press is asking for help to continue to spread the word about the New Inglenook Cookbook. “Although it’s a reflection of our Brethren heritage and values, we also know it has wider appeal. There’s an inherent cookbook philosophy that many identify with, especially at a time when folks are trying to get back to the basics of cooking with simple, wholesome ingredients,” said a recent announcement. Here are some suggestions to help Brethren Press tell others about the New Inglenook Cookbook: Ask a local bookstore or gift shop to carry the cookbook–have them call Jeff Lennard, director of marketing and sales, at 800-323-8039 ext. 321, to learn how to arrange to sell Inglenook merchandise; like the New Inglenook Cookbook on Facebook and pin it on Pinterest as a quick and easy way to show support, and to get updates and news related to the cookbook; share something on the Kitchen Scrapbook blog created specifically for sharing recipes, stories, memories, and conversation; continue the Inglenook tradition by giving copies to friends and family for Christmas, or as a gift for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or weddings. Order 12 or more copies and get 25 percent off the retail price. Other Inglenook merchandise includes mugs and aprons, as well as copies of all the previous Inglenook cookbooks. Also on the Inglenook site, corrections to a few errors that were found in the first printing of the cookbook. Go to .

— Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2014, with year of celebration events on the theme “Following in the Steps of Jesus…A Century of Ministry.” The congregation was chartered on Jan. 10, 1914, with 119 members, said an announcement of events during the celebration. A worship service on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 12, at 3 p.m. will include members of the parent congregation, Middle Creek Church of the Brethren, and the choirs of both churches will provide music plus there will be congregational singing from the 1901 Brethren Hymnal. On Feb. 2, a Sunday morning heritage worship service will be held at 9 a.m. in the style of worship from 1914, with Ralph Moyer preaching. Throughout the year, former pastors will be preaching including Arlin Claassen on April 6, Jimmy Ross on Aug. 3, and Pam Reist on Nov. 2. A celebration weekend including an anniversary video, a fellowship meal, and a worship service with preacher Earl Ziegler, will be held on May 3-4. Bethany Seminary president Jeff Carter will preach on Oct. 19. Sunday worship services are held at 9 a.m. (traditional) and 9:15 a.m. (contemporary). For additional information go to .

— Mill Creek Church of the Brethren in Shenandoah District, along with Vern and Mary Jane Michael, will host a live nativity at the Michaels’ barn at 8218 Port Republic Road, Port Republic, Va., 7-9 p.m. on Dec. 21-23. “Enjoy scripture, music and scenery along with Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus as well as the wise men, shepherds and the animals, including camels,” said an invitation. Music on Dec. 21 will be provided by VOICE (Vocalists Offering Inspirational Community Enrichment). The upper part of the barn will be open as an observation area, especially for older adults and those in wheelchairs.

— Save the date of April 4-5, 2014, for Bethany’s 6th Annual Presidential Forum “Living Love Feast,” said an announcement. The event will explore the biblical, practical, and experiential nature and meaning of the Love Feast. For more information, visit .

— Another date to save this spring: Manchester Church of the Brethren in North Manchester, Ind., is hosting “Goodbye Still Night,” an evening with Brethren singers and songwriters, on April 16, 2014. Featured performers are Andy and Terry Murray, Mutual Kumquat, Shawn Kirchner and Ryan Harrison, and Kim Shahbazian. No tickets required, donations will be received.

— More dates to save: The 2014 Meat Canning dates in Southern Pennsylvania District are April 21-25.

— The Shenandoah District Office in Weyers Cave, Va., will be accepting Church World Service kits until Dec. 20, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. “Needs are great following the devastating typhoon in the Philippines and the tornadoes that swept across the midwest,” explained the district newsletter. Directions and kit contents are at . The kits will be trucked to the Material Resources warehouse at the Brethren Service Center in  New Windsor, Md., just after Christmas.

— West Marva District has announced a theme from Philippians–following the Annual Conference challenge to read and memorize that New Testament letter this year–for its 2014 District Conference: “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” from Philippians 2:9-11.

— A winter/spring Foundations of Church Renewal course for pastors has been announced by the Springs church renewal initiative. Classes take place by telephone conference call, with 5 calls spread over 12 weeks Feb. 4-April 29. The course will cover topics of a spiritually grounded, servant-led process of church renewal, with teacher David S. Young. Along with the course, participants will use a spiritual disciplines folder like that used by congregations that are part of Springs, and will read Richard Foster’s “Celebration of Discipline.” A group from the congregation walks along with their pastor and also learns about church renewal. Continuing education units are available. Also starting in February: A Level 2 course on Servant Leadership for Church Renewal offered via Wednesday morning conference calls, with 5 sessions spread over 12 weeks beginning Feb. 19. “Life Together” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of the texts. Contact .

— The Brethren Missions Fund of the Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) announces a missions, work, and worship week in Haiti for adults and youth on March 12-19, 2014. The experience with Eglise des Freres Haitiens (Haitian Church of the Brethren) congregations in several communities outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince will include serving, working, and worshiping alongside Haitian Brethren, with some construction projects, interactional time with children’s groups, and worship experiences. The size of group is approximately 15 people with on-site coordination of activities administered by local Haitian church leaders and trip coordinators Ilexene and Michaela Alphonse. Lodging will be in the recently completed Brethren Service Center facility. Educational pre-trip preparation events and material will be provided to enhance the cross-cultural experience. Cost of $700 includes on-site meals, lodging, transportation, and international travel insurance. Airfare to Port-au-Prince is an additional cost. “Emphasis will be placed upon relationship building and discipleship encouragement,” said a release. “Come join us in the exchange of sharing and receiving knowledge, love, and joy as we work and worship Christ together in a different culture, language, and climate.” Contact trip coordinators Doug and Holly Miller 717-624-4822, Jim Myer 717-626-5555, or Earl Eby 717-263-7590.

— The nonviolence training workshop featuring Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) coordinator Palestine Tarek Abuata, originally planned for Nov. 16-17 in Akron, Pa., has been rescheduled for Jan. 18-19, 2014, the weekend commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. An announcement from registrar H.A. Penner notes that participants will have the opportunity to “learn Martin Luther King Jr.’s principles of nonviolence from a Palestinian Christian.” The experiential workshop will give participants a comprehensive introduction to King’s philosophy and strategy of nonviolence. It will be held at Akron (Pa.) Mennonite Church, sponsored by . Participation is limited. Partial scholarships to offset the $100 workshop fee are available. Contact or 717-859-3529 prior to Jan. 6.

— In more news from Christian Peacemaker Teams, CPT has launched a new Plowing and Planting Campaign, the organization’s “first major gift campaign,” said a release. “Drawing on the image of swords into plowshares, we are preparing our field. Can you join us?” the release said. Goals are to raise $110,000 by Aug. 24, 2014, for “plowing under” debt related to development of the CPT Chicago training center and office, and “planting new seeds of psycho-social care for CPTers” through a weeklong retreat and in-person care for peacemakers in the field. For more information contact .

— A new book from a Brethren author features editorials written by Gordon Bucher over the span of 33 years for “The Herald,” a quarterly magazine published by Northern Ohio District during his service as district executive minister. “Tidbits of Wisdom (Or Not),” is 113 pages, spiral bound on 8 1/2 by 11 inch sized paper. “The editorials were concerns of the day in which they were written such as women in the pastorate, church growth, tithing, being loyal to the Church of the Brethren, right-wing extremism, ending the draft, etc.,” Bucher writes in an announcement. Purchase price of $15 includes shipping. Orders may go to Gordon W. Bucher, 299 Hickory Lane, N. Manchester, IN 46962 or .

Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Deborah Brehm, Gordon Bucher, James Deaton, Andy Murray, Roy Winter, David S. Young, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren. The next regularly scheduled issue of Newsline is planned for Dec. 20. Newsline is produced by the News Services of the Church of the Brethren. Contact the editor at Newsline appears every other week, with special issues as needed. Stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To unsubscribe or change your e-mail preferences go to

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