Newsline for July 24, 2013

“And when they could not bring [the paralyzed man] to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him” (Mark 2:4).

1) Four congregations receive the 2013 Open Roof Award.
2) Brethren volunteers assemble 1,700 Emergency Clean-Up Buckets in two hours.
3) Brethren Disaster Ministries continues to bless SALT with skilled volunteers.
4) Christian Peacemaker Team activists reveal radioactive pollution.

5) Kendra Johnson to be manager of Global Mission and Service office.

6) Peace Day 2013: With whom will you make peace?

7) Covenant study on women in Luke and Acts, Guide for Biblical Studies on ‘First Things’ new from Brethren Press.
8) August issue of ‘Basin and Towel’ to focus on peace.

9) Brethren bits: Volunteer needed at New Windsor, BVS/BRF Unit, Ohio ice cream social benefits disaster relief, Brethren colleges that are great places to work, and more.

1) Four congregations receive the 2013 Open Roof Award.

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren receives 2013 Open Roof Award.

The Open Roof Award is presented each year to congregations who have made specific efforts to “ensure that all may worship, serve, be served, learn, and grow in the presence of God, as valued members of the Christian community.”

During the Mission and Ministry Board meeting prior to the 2013 Annual Conference, four congregations were honored for their work: Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren; Nettle Creek Church of the Brethren in Hagerstown, Ind.; Stone Church of the Brethren in Huntingdon, Pa.; and Wolgamuth Church of the Brethren in Dillsburg, Pa.

“For us, hospitality and inclusion are HIGH priority.” This statement from Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren nicely summarizes the congregation’s ministry of including those who are differently abled. The church’s most recent work was a major renovation to the chancel to install a ramp allowing mobility-challenged choir members to more easily participate.

Within two hours of the ramp having received ADA approval, church staff received a phone call from a bride-to-be from a neighboring Church of the Brethren congregation inquiring if she could have her wedding in the sanctuary. She uses a wheelchair and her congregation’s sanctuary is not fully accessible. That wedding took place in June, making this accessible space a blessing to the congregation and beyond.

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
Nettle Creek Church of the Brethren receives 2013 Open Roof Award

Nettle Creek Church of the Brethren faced a different kind of challenge when Richard Propes was hired as interim pastor. The congregation admittedly had misgivings, since Propes is in a wheelchair, born with spina bifida and becoming a double amputee as an adult. The congregation came to find out that they were more concerned about it than was Propes, and reported that things the church felt would be impossible worked out just fine. “Richard taught us that it’s okay to look different; he opened our eyes to the ways we as a congregation could open our hearts and minds to be better stewards through every avenue and every person God sends our way.”

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
Stone Church of the Brethren receives Open Roof Award

Stone Church of the Brethren is committed to “recognizing the uniqueness of every individual as God’s beloved child” and to “welcoming all, regardless of…physical or mental ability.” The church’s overall renovation project included a deep desire to make the building accessible, and the resulting list of changes is a long one: all but one of the outside doors into the building is now accessible; all bathrooms were gutted and made ADA compliant; a lift was installed from the fellowship hall level to the sanctuary level; a new sound system was installed in the sanctuary with hearing enhancement devices available; new lighting in the sanctuary has aided in the ability of persons to see the printed bulletins and hymnals more easily.

“Since the completion of the renovations in 2009, we have seen the value and blessing of what these renovations have done for not only members and friends of Stone Church, but also for anyone who comes to use our building. In many ways, words do not describe the impact this has had on our self-image and awareness of being sensitive to those who are dealing with accessibility issues.”

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
Wolgamuth Church of the Brethren receives 2013 Open Roof Award.

Wolgamuth Church of the Brethren, a small, rural congregation in south central Pennsylvania, has as leaders reported, “finite resources,” but over time was able to install a fully accessible restroom on the main floor, remove a pew from the sanctuary to accommodate wheelchairs, and as a part of an audiovisual equipment upgrade, offer hearing devices. Even with these improvements, the one significant challenge that remained was accessibility to the lower level, which houses the kitchen, fellowship hall, and classroom. For more than a decade the congregation had been seeking ways to address the concern, but all of the options explored proved to be cost-prohibitive.

With a recent increase in membership and the need to use the lower level more regularly, a proposal was approved to build a cement ramp to one of the basement entrances. While the church’s location and size may limit some types of outreach, it now has the added benefit of allowing the congregation to invite everyone for fellowship, refreshments, and even simply shelter.

These congregations are commended for their work and for increasing awareness of the needs–including the need to serve, not just be served–of sisters and brothers who are differently abled.

— Donna Kline is director of the Church of the Brethren Deacon Ministry and a member of the Congregational Life Ministries staff. She reports, “A version of this article will appear in an upcoming issue of the monthly online newsletter of the Anabaptist Disabilities Network (ADNet). We are very happy to be able to celebrate the good work being done in our congregations with the greater Anabaptist community.”


2) Brethren volunteers assemble 1,700 Emergency Clean-Up Buckets in two hours.

Photo by BDRA/Dave Farmer
Brethren volunteers assemble Emergency Clean-Up Buckets at Florin Church of the Brethren in Mount Joy, Pa., on June 29, sponsored by the Brethren Disaster Relief Auction of Atlantic Northeast and Southern Pennsylvania Districts.

Why would anyone want to work on a hot summer day? On a Saturday? As a volunteer? For free? Well, 150 people from the Church of the Brethren districts of Atlantic Northeast and Southern Pennsylvania did on June 29 at Florin Church of the Brethren in Mount Joy, Pa.

Ranging in age from 3 years to more than 85, they came in response to a request from Brethren Disaster Ministries and the Material Resources program at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., where the supply of Emergency Clean-Up Buckets had been depleted following tornadoes in Texas and Kansas. The denominational staff had asked the Brethren Disaster Relief Auction to assemble more of the buckets, which are distributed to disaster sites on behalf of Church World Service (CWS).

The assembly area was set up the day before, so that when the volunteers arrived there were 7 assembly lines with 12 stations each, with supplies already stacked on the tables. An empty bucket started at one end, and as it traveled down the line volunteers packed 58 items needed for clean-up after a disaster. The last person tightly packed the items in the bucket, hammered the lid on, secured it with tape, and stacked it on a pallet.

A second crew then moved the pallets to a waiting 18-wheeler where a third crew loaded them for immediate shipment to the New Windsor warehouse. A fourth crew supplied the tables with fresh products and removed and packed the discarded boxes. When one line depleted its product supply, it was shut down, the area cleaned, and the tables folded and stacked. By the time the last line was finished, the clean-up was already nearly complete.

The crews completed 1,700 Emergency Clean-Up Buckets in less than 2 hours. That’s 14 buckets per minute or 1 bucket every 4.2 seconds.

The wholesale value of the buckets is $100,000, paid for by the Brethren Disaster Relief Auction. The annual auction is held every September at the Lebanon (Pa.) Expo and Fairgrounds, and last year raised over $500,000 for disaster relief, which includes not only activities such as assembling the Emergency Clean-Up Buckets, but also disaster relief trips for volunteers from the organization.

— Dave Farmer is media liaison for the Brethren Disaster Relief Auction. In addition to this article, he provided a link to a short video showing how the volunteers assembled 1,700 buckets in just 2 hours, at .

3) Brethren Disaster Ministries continues to bless SALT with skilled volunteers.

Photo by Jerrine Corallo
Tim Sheaffer, who has served as a project leader at the Brethren Disaster Ministries home rebuilding project site in Schoharie, N.Y.

As we approach the two year anniversary of Hurricane Irene, it is hard to believe that there are still those who have yet to move back into their homes. Though many homeowners still have their work cut out for them, organizations like Brethren Disaster Ministries (BDM) are helping in a big way to keep the recovery process moving forward.

Since this past April, Brethren Disaster Ministries has been sending volunteer groups to Schoharie County to help rebuild homes. Volunteers of all ages from across the country are donating their time and working hard in the summer heat.

Brethren Disaster Ministries recruits and coordinates new groups of up to 15 volunteers each week. Long-term project leader Tim Sheaffer, a self-employed contractor from Pennsylvania, has been managing the local teams and the progress since their arrival in the spring. Sheaffer has been with the program for about nine years and originally started as a volunteer. He says that working with the Brethren has had a huge effect on his life.

“Every week it feels like you just can’t get enough done, which makes you want to keep going back and work even harder. The homeowners we have worked with in Schoharie have been so warm, gracious, and thankful that it is a huge pleasure to become a part of the community,” Sheaffer states.

Groups from Brethren Disaster Ministries are scheduled to volunteer with SALT through September. In addition, Schaefer said that based on what he has seen over the past few months, the volunteer groups will be in Schoharie through the fall and possibly into the winter months.

Adam Braun, a young volunteer from Illinois who has been working alongside Sheaffer this week, says that “it really opens your eyes to go out and volunteer in a community like this. Even though money and resources aren’t in abundance, that just makes you want to come back again and again until things are back in shape.”

Sheaffer will be ending his term in our region next Friday and SALT would like to recognize all that has been accomplished under his leadership locally. He has helped supervise over 500 volunteers who have worked on over 20 homes in the region.

“Tim is one of those unique people, who always has a smile on his face, emanating a sense of calm and assurance that is vital for disaster recovery work,” executive director Sarah Goodrich shares. “No task was ever to big or to small for he and his team to tackle. His leadership will be greatly missed, but we look forward to meeting the new project leader and continuing to work with the Brethren volunteers.”

Having groups like Brethren Disaster Ministries in Schoharie is absolutely vital for recovery, as they guarantee volunteers will continue to fill the need for skilled labor that becomes harder to fill as time passes. The time they donate is greatly appreciated in the community, and we hope that they will keep coming back to aid us in recovery for as long as they can!

— Written by Sarah Roberts for SALT, Schoharie Area Long-Term Inc., a local disaster recovery organization dedicated to rebuilding Schoharie, N.Y., after Hurricane Irene. Find out more about SALT at .

4) Christian Peacemaker Team activists reveal radioactive pollution.

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) and the Appalachian Peace Education Center (APEC) held a press conference on July 15 announcing the findings of a recent study revealing uranium contamination in the area surrounding Aerojet Ordnance Tennessee (AOT) in Jonesborough, Tenn. Ken Edwards, an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren and a resident of Jonesborough, is involved with the CPT and APEC project.

Johnson City Press newspaper and NBC-affiliate WJHL Channel 11 attended the press conference, held on Old State Route 34 across from the northeast Tennessee uranium weapons facility. Standing at a table arrayed with soil samples gathered outside the facility, representatives of CPT and APEC spoke about the contamination in the area while affirming their faith in the goodness of humanity.

John Mueller, a former chemist, noted that a 2013 study has demonstrated that soil, creek sediment, and biological life near the plant are contaminated with waste from the manufacturing of radioactive weaponry. “Because Aerojet is the only nearby company that can work with processed uranium, we assert that the Aerojet plant is polluting the environment with uranium,” Mueller said.

Amarillo, Texas, resident Rusty Tomlinson spoke about the health implications of the uranium contamination. “Studies of veterans exposed to uranium weapons showed that male vets have three times the normal rate of children with birth defects,” he said. “Female vets have four times the normal rate.” He cited the case of Army major Doug Rokke whose contact with uranium munitions in Iraq in 1991 caused life-threatening illnesses with which he continues to struggle.

Depleted uranium (DU), widely used by the US military, is both highly toxic and radioactive. It becomes an aerosol fume when it combusts–as part of the process of uranium waste incineration and as a result of munitions deployment–and has traveled airborne thousands of miles. When ingested, DU particles travel via the bloodstream throughout the body where it can cause cancer and disease associated with resultant DNA disruption (source: Roselie Bertell in “Depleted Uranium: All the Questions About DU and Gulf War Syndrome Are Not Yet Answered,” “International Journal of Health Services” 36.3 (2006): 503-20).

Aerojet declined an offer by CPT to participate in the press conference. Guards looked on as APEC Board member Ken Edwards handed fliers to people driving by. However when Edwards began approaching people within the facility parking lot a guard came out and told him, “You cannot do that here.”

Maryknoll nun Rosemarie Milazzo emphasized CPT and APEC’s commitment to a nonviolent path toward transformation. “We believe all weapons are immoral and their use is incompatible with the most basic principles of humanity and environmental health protection. How can we as a civilized society continue to harm others by disregarding our responsibility to care for and protect our land?”

— Michael Henes provided this release from CPT, an organization originally begun by the Historic Peace Churches (Church of the Brethren, Mennonites, and Quakers). Its mission is to build partnerships to transform violence and oppression, with the vision of a world of communities that together embrace the diversity of the human family and live justly and peaceably with all creation.


5) Kendra Johnson to be manager of Global Mission and Service office.

Kendra Johnson
Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
Kendra Johnson

Kendra N. Johnson has accepted the position of manager in the office of Global Mission and Service for the Church of the Brethren. Her start date will be Sept. 1. She will work at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill.

Johnson currently is a Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) worker, serving as orientation assistant and staff volunteer in the BVS office. She began volunteering at the General Offices on Jan.  2, 2012, after completing a term of service in BVS at the German Branch of Peace Brigades International in Hamburg. She also has been a youth care worker at Jugendhilfe Collstede in Westerstede, Germany, and was part of a team of international volunteers rebuilding Palestinian homes with the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

She is a 2008 graduate of Dana College in Blair, Neb., where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, international studies, and German.


6) Peace Day 2013: With whom will you make peace?

Peace Day is coming up soon on Sept. 21, and this year’s theme asks one simple question: With whom will you make peace?

Peace Day (formerly called the International Day of Prayer for Peace) is a rallying call to bring people together to think about how this peace can transform relationships and communities. Sometimes it feels like violence is all around, and that peace is unattainable, but Jesus gives us peace and calls us to be peacemakers who build up our world and our communities. “My peace I leave with you” (John 14:27). Asked how many times to forgive, Jesus responded, “Not 7 times, but 77 times” (Matthew 18:22). How can we all live into his peace?

This year’s Peace Day theme is a reminder of the situations and relationships into which we have the ability to bring peace. Communities are filled with opportunities to bring the peace of Jesus into neighborhoods, for the possibility of transformation and reconciliation.

Last year, more than 170 congregations participated, including more than 90 Church of the Brethren congregations. The public events of Peace Day 2012 included prayer, cultural sharing, music, and art that brought communities together to talk and pray with one another.

On Earth Peace, the Church of the Brethren, the World Council of Churches, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and the United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries invite and encourage the organizing of Peace Day events this year on or near Sept. 21.

Already churches and groups have signed up from places as different as Pennsylvania and the Congo. Join them, and start thinking about how to engage your communities on Peace Day this September. Here are some possibilities:
— Sign up your church or group to participate at .
— Keep up with the latest news on Peace Day 2013 at .
— “Like” Peace Day on Facebook at .
— Follow Peace Day on Twitter @peacedaypray .

— Bryan Hanger, a Brethren Volunteer Service worker serving as a legislative associate for the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Public Witness, provided this report.


7) Covenant study on women in Luke and Acts, Guide for Biblical Studies on ‘First Things’ new from Brethren Press.

A new Covenant Bible Study from Brethren Press titled “Women in Luke and Acts” is among the new resources from the Church of the Brethren publishing house. Order these resources from Brethren Press by calling 800-441-3712 or ordering online at . A shipping and handling fee will be added to the listed price.

“Women in Luke and Acts” is written by Lani Wright, an ordained minister, author and editor, and online seminary instructor based in Cottage Grove, Ore. The Covenant Bible Studies series may be used by individuals, but is especially designed for small group settings. Each study includes 10 sessions that promote interaction and encourage open discussion about practical aspects of the Christian faith.

This study examines the character and development of certain women of the Way–women who were among the first and most faithful converts of the Jesus movement. Once they became part of the Christian community, they took important roles as prophets, teachers, church leaders, and financial benefactors. Their stories will surprise, challenge, transcend  barriers, and encourage believers to turn the world upside down in Jesus’ name. Order one copy per student. Purchase from Brethren Press for $7.95.

— “First Things” is the theme of the fall quarter of A Guide for Biblical Studies, written by Michael Hostetter, pastor of Salem Church of the Brethren in southern Ohio. Lessons employ selected texts from Hebrews and Acts to move towards a biblical definition of faith, speaking to the responsive obedience of God’s love revealed in Jesus as an act of faith. Each quarter of A Guide for Biblical Studies contains daily NRSV scriptures, lessons, and questions for individual preparation and classroom use. The curriculum follows the International Sunday School Lessons/Uniform Series. Purchase one copy per student, per quarter. $4.25 per copy or $7.35 for large print.

— The 2013 Annual Conference Wrap-up DVD ($29.95) and Sermons DVD ($24.95) provide an overview of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference held June 29-July 3 in Charlotte, N.C. The DVD of sermons contains five of the six messages given for the Conference worship services. Preachers are moderator Bob Krouse of Little Swatara Church of the Brethren, popular speaker and author Philip Yancey, Paul Mundey of Frederick Church of the Brethren, Pam Reist and Paul Brubaker who gave a dialogue sermon, and Suely Inhauser, a leader in the Church of the Brethren in Brazil. Both videos are produced by videographer David Sollenberger and crew.

— The Living Word Bulletin Series 2014 offers bulletins for worship with texts and images chosen by Brethren, for Brethren. Since 1943, this series from Brethren Press has served congregations by providing worship resources such as litanies and prayers focused on God’s word, paired with inspiring photography and images that challenge worshipers to Christ-like living. Bulletins are offered for each Sunday from September 2013 through August 2014, with special bulletins for Love Feast and Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Subscription price is $4.25 per 50 or $2.65 per 25, per Sunday. For a flier displaying each cover and lectionary based scripture text for the year, contact Brethren Press.

Order these resources from Brethren Press by calling 800-441-3712 or ordering online at . A shipping and handling fee will be added to the listed price.

8) August issue of ‘Basin and Towel’ to focus on peace.

The August issue of “Basin and Towel,” a magazine produced by the Congregational Life Ministries of the Church of the Brethren, focuses on “The Issue of Peace.” The staff hope to encourage a new congregational focus on “something that often is overlooked as a basic tenet of the Church of the Brethren,” said editor and Deacon Ministry director Donna Kline.

“I’m particularly excited about this issue not just because of the theme, but also because of the type of articles,” Kline added.

Articles include:

— Marilyn Lerch, coordinator of TRIM and EFSM for the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, writing on pastoral responses to acts of violence and terrorism, coming out of her experience of ministry following the shootings at Virginia Tech.

— Barbara Daté, a member of the Intercultural Advisory Group, writing on conflict resolution from her experience as the founder of the Daté Discernment Circle process.

— Kathy Reid, a former executive of the Association of Brethren Caregivers and currently director of a domestic violence shelter in Waco, Texas, writing on inter-relational peace and domestic violence.

— Advice from a teacher on how to deal with bullying in social media.

— Bill Kilgore of Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Ind., writing about conscientious objection as a former member of ROTC who then became a CO.

— Alan Kahler writing on the long-term effects of violence on individuals and families, based on his family’s experience after his brother, Dean Kahler, was one of the passersby who were injured in the shooting at Kent State.

Order a copy of the August issue of “Basin and Towel” for $4 or subscribe for the annual fee of $12 (for an individual subscription; congregational subscriptions are also available) by contacting Diane Stroyeck at or 800-323-8039 ext. 327. Bonus materials for this issue also will be available at .

9) Brethren bits.

— 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 .

— 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.”

— 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.

Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Deborah Brehm, Jeri S. Kornegay, Frank Ramirez, Glen Sargent, John Wall, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren. The next regularly scheduled Newsline is planned for Aug. 8.

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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