Newsline for Nov. 15, 2013

“They were from every nation, tribe, people, and language…standing before the throne and before the Lamb…. He will lead them to the springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:9b and 17b).

Photo by Mandy Garcia
A circle of support at the Great Multitude Symposium, the intercultural gathering in Virlina District in October 2013.


1) Former general secretary Judy Mills Reimer is remembered for her leadership to the Church of the Brethren
2) Great Multitude Symposium considers the intercultural vision of church
3) Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 303 begins service
4) New Young Adult Steering Committee members announced
5) Church World Service issues update on Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts
6) World Hunger Auction completes its 30th year

7) Progressive Brethren Gathering to be webcast live this weekend
8) National Youth Conference speakers announced, registration opens January 3
9) New video series asks, ‘Why NYC?’
10) Bethany Seminary offers course on Dietrich Bonhoeffer

11) Brethren bits: Remembering J. Henry Long, personnel, SVMC course, Lilly clergy renewal, Nobel laureate at Juniata, Colombia peace prize, Virlina members to school boards, Christmas events, and more

TO THE READER: The editor apologizes that the full text of the Nov. 11 Newsline was not made available in full in one document. That issue is now online in full at .

1) Former general secretary Judy Mills Reimer is remembered for her leadership to the Church of the Brethren

Photo by Kermon Thomasson
Judy Mills Reimer at 1988 General Board meeting, in a photo by Kermon Thomasson.


Judy Mills Reimer, 73, who filled a number of key leadership roles in the Church of the Brethren including service as a former general secretary and Annual Conference moderator, died the morning of Nov. 13 in a hospital in Charlottesville, Va. She had suffered a series of strokes over the past few weeks.

“Her death is a loss to the whole Church of the Brethren, to which she gave so much of her life, energy, commitment, and passion,” said a statement from Church of the Brethren general secretary Stanley J. Noffsinger.

Reimer became executive director of the denomination in 1998 and served in the position until she retired in July 2003, with the job title changing to general secretary in 2001. She was moderator of the Annual Conference in 1995. She served on the denomination’s General Board (now the Mission and Ministry Board) from 1985-90, and was board chair from 1988-90.

She was born Sept. 5, 1940, the daughter of Gladys and Mike Mills, and was nurtured in the faith as a child by her parents and Hollins Road Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va. She felt a call to the ministry in the late 1950s, according to a remembrance from Virlina District, but it was not until 1991 that she was licensed to the ministry. She was ordained in 1994, following graduation from Bethany Theological Seminary where she earned a master of divinity degree.

Her ministry in Virlina District included at least 11 years as a member of the district board where she served as chair of the Nurture Commission and chair of Outdoor Ministry, co-chaired or was vice chair of two district financial campaigns, and chaired the Virlina District Restructuring Committees in the 1970s and 1980s, among other positions.

On the denominational level, she also was field staff for Passing on the Promise in Atlantic Northeast and Middle Pennsylvania Districts in the late 1980s and early 1990s, was on the board of the Association of Brethren Caregivers and served a term as chair elect for the ABC board, chaired the Health and Welfare Council and the denomination’s Deacon Cabinet in the early 1990s, chaired the Pension Board Restructuring Committee in 1986-87, was in a group studying South African Divestiture in 1985-86, was worship coordinator for the 1994 National Youth Conference as well as an advisor for the National Youth Cabinet, was a member of the Brethren Business Network, served a term as delegate to the National Council of Churches (NCC) and the World Council of Churches, and on behalf of the NCC was an official observer at the Nicaraguan election in 1990.

Earlier in life, she did a term of Brethren Volunteer Service at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and at Hessish Lichtenau in Germany. After two years in BVS, she became an elementary school teacher in Canada and then in Roanoke, Va. Later, she and her husband, George, were the owners of Harris Office Furniture Co. Inc. in Roanoke.

Her life was “miraculous and exemplary,” said the Virlina District obituary, which noted that she suffered heart damage from an infection in 1967 “that would have diminished a lesser person. Judy chose to use every day as a gift from God.”

“I dream of the day when members of the Church of the Brethren are focused on the ‘bigger’ picture of Jesus Christ,” she wrote in a Messenger article in October 1994, during the year she served as moderator of Annual Conference, “seeking to discern through scripture, prayer, and community life how God would have us live our days as a denomination. Issues and questions will always be with us. Answers will come as we forthrightly communicate with each other in love and respect…. The joy of our faith is to shine through in all we do and say. To live each moment to the fullest. To live for God’s honor and glory.”

Judy Mills Reimer is survived by her husband of 49 years, George Reimer, and son Troy (Kristen), and two grandsons. She was predeceased by her parents and son Todd.

The family will receive friends from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17, at Oakey’s North Chapel with a memorial service on Monday, Nov. 18, at 11 a.m. at Williamson Road Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va. Pastor Connie Burkholder will officiate. Entombment will follow at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens Mausoleum at 2:30 p.m. Memorial gifts are received to the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; or to Camp Bethel, 328 Bethel Rd., Fincastle, VA 24090.

2) Great Multitude Symposium considers the intercultural vision of church

Photo by Mandy Garcia
The Intercultural Ministries Advisory Committee, October 2013: (from left) Robert Jackson, Barbara Daté, Dennis Webb, and Gilbert Romero. Thomas Dowdy was honored in absentia.


By Gimbiya Kettering

The 50 participants at the “Great Multitude Symposium” Oct. 25-27 in Virlina District ranged from retired pastors to young adults. They traveled from California, and just a few miles down the mountain from the conference center. They spoke Hausa, German, Spanish, and English.

It seems possible, then, to say that the symposium brought together people truly representative of the many tribes, peoples, and languages in the Church of the Brethren. They were diverse, yet unified in the desire to make a biblically based vision of an intercultural church a reality. (Find a link to a photo album of The Great Multitude Symposium at .)

The vision was articulated and affirmed in the “Separate No More” paper adopted by the 2007 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren. The paper provides a foundational framework that is at once scriptural and communal.

To start off, Barbara Daté led a session that helped symposium participants get to know one another and share about their cultural roots.

Annual Conference moderator Nancy Sollenberger Heishman reminded attendees that Annual Conference papers start with queries from congregations and then return to congregations to be implemented–meaning that everyone has a role in achieving the goal of being a denomination with vibrant intercultural ministries.

Dennis Webb and Jonathan Shively led a creative session about the meaning of the word “intercultural” and how to be more effective in relating across cultures.

Then, with the “Separate No More” paper in front of them, participants engaged in small group conversations about how to implement the vision. Each group reported urgency and excitement for becoming more active in intercultural ministries at all levels of the church.

The excitement and new perspectives carried over to a panel discussion about Hispanic congregations that featured Daniel D’Oleo, Lidia Gonzales, Gilbert Romero, and Carol Yeazell. The day closed with a tradition from past intercultural gatherings–a concert by the Bittersweet Gospel Band.

After a hearty Southern-style brunch, Sunday morning services were held at Roanoke (Va.) First Church of the Brethren. A bilingual worship time was co-hosted by the Roanoke First and Roanoke Renacer congregations.

Daniel D’Oleo of Roanoke Renacer and Dava Hensley of Roanoke First, along with Virlina District executive minister David Shumate, worked closely with Congregational Life Ministries staff to make the conference possible.

Revelation 7:9 Award announced

When Barbara Daté, Thomas Dowdy (in absentia), Robert Jackson, Gilbert Romero, and Dennis Webb were called to the front of the room, they thought it was going to be a routine introduction of the Intercultural Ministries Advisory Committee. Instead, to their surprise, they were honored with the Revelation 7:9 Award.

Since 2008, the Revelation 7:9 Award has recognized individuals who have been passionate advocates for intercultural ministries in the Church of the Brethren. Few people have been more involved than this committee, whose cumulative involvement can be counted in terms of decades. The honorees were quick to name former members of the committee who were not present, and to call up others present who had worked with them in the past and helped bring the movement to where it is today.

— Gimbiya Kettering is coordinator of intercultural ministries for the Church of the Brethren. Find a link to a photo album of The Great Multitude Symposium by Mandy Garcia at .

3) Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 303 begins service

Courtesy of Brethren Volunteer Service.


Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 303 has completed orientation and the volunteers have been sent across the US and into Europe and Latin America to begin a term of service. The volunteers, who met Sept. 22 to Oct. 11 at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., have been assigned to the following placements:

Emily Davis of Columbia, Mo., to Midwives for Haiti, Hinche, Haiti.

Tracie Doi of Granger, Ind., and David Mueller of Kassel, Germany, to Project PLASE, Baltimore, Md.

Erin Duffy of Hempfield Church of the Brethren, Manheim, Pa., to Highland Park Elementary School, Roanoke, Va.

Grace Elkins of Hollidaysburg, Pa., to CooperRiis, Mill Spring, N.C.

Theresa Ford of Green Tree Church of the Brethren, Oaks, Pa., and Olivia Haddad of Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren to Family Abuse Center, Waco, Texas.

Verena Goetz of Furth, Germany, to New Community Project, Harrisonburg, Va.

Tyler Goss of West Richmond Church of the Brethren, Richmond, Va., to Capstone, New Orleans, La.

Brandon Gumm of Midland (Va.) Church of the Brethren and Evelinia Husser of Speyer, Germany, to Cincinnati (Ohio) Church of the Brethren.

Becky Harness of North Liberty (Ind.) Church of the Brethren and Svenja Koenig of Dortmund, Germany, to Abode Services, Fremont, Calif.

Michael Himlie of Root River Church of the Brethren, Preston, Minn., to Brethren Disaster Ministries, New Windsor, Md.

Nate and Angela I. of Olympic View Church of the Brethren, Seattle, Wash., to CPR Sierra Unión Victoria, in Unión Victoria, Guatemala.

Carson McFadden of Highland Ave Church of the Brethren, Elgin, Ill., to Boys Hope Girls Hope, Kansas City, Mo.

Craig Morphew of Bethany Church of the Brethren, New Paris, Ind., to L’Arche Cork, Cork, Ireland.

April Moyer of Perkiomenville, Pa., to Capital Area Food Bank, Washington, D.C.

Andreas Pielczyk of Troisdorf, Germany, to the Center on Conscience and War, Washington D.C.

Sean Smith of Saint Petersburg (Fla.) Church of the Brethren to Church of the Brethren Material Resources, New Windsor, Md.

Becky Snell of McPherson (Kan.) Church of the Brethren to Quaker Cottage, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Jenna Stacy of Melvin Hill Church of the Brethren, Columbia, N.C., to Brethren Workcamps, Elgin, Ill.

David von Rueden of Wieseloch, Germany, to SnowCap, Portland, Ore.

4) New Young Adult Steering Committee members announced

Three young adults will join the Young Adult Steering Committee of the Church of the Brethren this fall. Jess Hoffert is part of Stover Memorial Church of the Brethren in Northern Plains District. Heather Landram hails from Shenandoah District and Staunton Church of the Brethren. Laura Whitman comes to the team from Palmyra Church of the Brethren in Atlantic Northeast District.

Other members of the Young Adult Steering Committee are Joshua Bashore-Steury, Jon Bay, and Ashley Kern. The Young Adult Steering Committee met Nov. 8-10 to plan for Young Adult Conference, scheduled for May 23-25, 2014, at Camp Brethren Woods in Virginia.

Visit for more information, or contact Becky Ullom Naugle, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, at 847-404-0163 or .

5) Church World Service issues update on Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts

Photo courtesy of ACT Alliance/Christian Aid
Devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in Iloilo, the Philippines.


Church World Service (CWS) has issued an update on relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan, which has devastated parts of the Philippines and also hit Vietnam. CWS is one of the ecumenical partners with which Brethren Disaster Ministries works to aid survivors of disasters.

Typhoon Haiyan, now being referred to as a “super typhoon,” made landfall in the Philippines on Nov. 8, affecting most strongly the islands of Leyte and Samar.

CWS has revised its initial appeal for the relief effort, with a new goal of $750,000, expanded from $250,000. Typhoon Haiyan, which also is known with the local name Typhoon Yolanda, “may have been the strongest typhoon on record, with sustained winds of 234 kilometers per hour and gusts of 275 kilometers per hour,” the update says.

The update notes that the “estimated number of fatalities from Typhoon Haiyan continues to fluctuate between 2,000 and 10,000. Whatever the final numbers, Typhoon Haiyan’s effects have been devastating, with aid channels slowed due to severe damage to infrastructure and officials urging residents of decimated cities such as Tacloban to leave and relocate.” At least 982,252 families, or 4,459,468 individuals were affected, and an estimated 101,762 families or 477,736 individuals have been displaced, in numbers provided by the ACT Alliance.

CWS is supporting response and recovery efforts of fellow members of the ACT Alliance that have significant operations in the Philippines including the United Methodist Committee on Relief, Lutheran World Relief, Christian Aid, and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. CWS-supported efforts include providing immediate assistance to more than 200,000 people: emergency food to 259,000 people, non-food items (plastic sheeting, etc.) to 192,000, water/sanitation repair to 205,000, programs of cash for work for 63,400, shelter assistance for 90,000, and disaster risk reduction programs for 2,500.

ACT Alliance member organizations are targeting their aid to subsistence farmers, small fishermen, poor urban dwellers, and female-headed households among the most affected by the typhoon, as people who have limited capacity, finances, and resources of their own to recover, CWS says. The total amount being sought for the entire ACT Alliance effort is $15,418,584.

Among what CWS and others know based on assessments by partners in the Philippines:

— There are affected areas that government and non-governmental agencies have not yet reached. Urgent needs include food, sleeping materials, water, blankets, tarpaulins, tents, medicines, mosquito nets, generators, hygiene kits, and kitchen utensils.

— The massive destruction of houses prevents families from returning home. As a result, there is an immediate and increasing need for plastic sheets for temporary cover and enclosed tents for families with vulnerable members.

— Among the most urgent needs are safe drinking water and hygiene kits as water pipelines may have been damaged and accessible water is not potable. There is acute lack of clean water and food for the population in all nine provinces where more than 9 million people are affected.

Contributions to support the relief effort for Typhoon Haiyan survivors may be made at .

6) World Hunger Auction completes its 30th year

By Lynn Myers

The 30th World Hunger Auction, sponsored by a number of Churches of the Brethren in Franklin County and Roanoke, Va., was held in August. Beginning with one congregation in 1984, the auction has grown steadily to a point that 10 congregations currently are involved.

The results of the 2013 auction and associated activities were announced by the steering committee in early October. Of the $54,000 that was raised this year, $32,850 will be given to Heifer International; $13,687 to Roanoke Area Ministries; $5,475 to the Church of the Brethren Global Food Crisis Fund; and $2,737 to Heavenly Manna, a food bank in Franklin County.

Since 1984, more than $1,150,000 has been donated to these and other agencies that address hunger related issues.

While numerous auxiliary events such as meals, musical programs, a golf tournament, walk, and bike ride are scheduled through the year, the auction was the major fund raiser. This year, sale items included fried apple pies and baked goods, quilts and craft items, a walnut bowl and a bookcase, original art work and a blue bird carved from wood. In commemoration of the early auctions when cattle were sold, a Holstein heifer was auctioned.

Community support has been strong through the years and is vital to the event’s success. Many people make items specifically for the purpose of donating them to the sale, and literally hundreds of people are present on auction day.


7) Progressive Brethren Gathering to be webcast live this weekend

By Enten Eller

The Progressive Brethren Gathering happening this weekend, Nov. 15-17, in Fort Wayne, Ind., will be webcast live. Connect through either or .

Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne is hosting the gathering, and will be sharing its facility with participants who are attending the event on the theme, “Holy Longing: This Is My Body.” Sharon Groves, director of the Religion and Faith Program for Human Rights Campaign, will be the featured presenter.

To make the event available to any who wish to participate yet cannot make it to Fort Wayne in person, Living Stream Church of the Brethren will share its online facility to host participants who desire to attend from a distance. All major sessions of the gathering will be webcast, and all are invited to participate either live, or through viewing recordings at any later time.

For more information about the gathering, including the conference brochure, see .

— Enten Eller, pastor of Ambler (Pa.) Church of the Brethren and director of Electronic Communication for Bethany Theological Seminary, is helping provide the webcasting from the Progressive Brethren Gathering.

8) National Youth Conference speakers announced, registration opens January 3

The National Youth Conference Office has announced its list of 10 speakers for NYC 2014, to be held July 19-24, 2014, in Fort Collins, Colo. The NYC Office also is encouraging all congregations to plan NYC registration parties for the evening of Jan. 3 when online registration opens at 7 p.m. (central time). Youth groups are encouraged to plan a fun evening of food and games, and register together when the clock strikes seven. Party ideas are available on the registration page of the NYC website at .

NYC 2014 speakers

Here is a brief introduction to each of the speakers who will share with National Youth Conference 2014 during worship:

Jeff Carter is president of Bethany Theological Seminary, and up until recently served as pastor of Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren

Kathy Escobar is co-pastor of the Refuge, a church community in north Denver, Colo., and also a spiritual director, writer, and retreat and workshop leader

Leah Hileman is an indie recording artist, freelance writer, and licensed minister in the Church of the Brethren

Jarrod McKenna is the national advisor for Youth, Faith, and Activism for World Vision Australia as well as founder of EPYC–Empowering Peacemakers in Your Community

Rodger Nishioka is professor of Christian Education at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., and previously served as denominational staff for youth and young adult ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA)

Jenn Quijano from Brooklyn, N.Y., is a student at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind.

Samuel Sarpiya is pastor of Rockford (Ill.) Community Church, a Church of the Brethren fellowship

Ted Swartz of “Ted and Company” is a playwright and actor from Harrisonburg, Va., who brings the Bible to life through storytelling and humor

Katie Shaw Thompson is pastor of Ivester Church of the Brethren in Iowa

The Youth Speech Contest Winners are yet to be named. Youth may still apply for the contest. Submissions are due by Feb. 16, 2014.

Registration information

The registration webpage for NYC 2014 offers previews in PDF format of what the registration form will look like when it opens on Jan. 3. These are intended to help youth groups prepare and know exactly what information they will need in order to register. Stay tuned for a video tutorial on how to register. For more information visit or contact or 800-323-3039 ext. 385.

9) New video series asks, ‘Why NYC?’

The National Youth Conference Office has launched a weekly video series called “Why NYC Wednesdays.” It features young adults from around the denomination reflecting on what their NYC experience meant to them, and sharing reasons why current youth should make NYC a priority next summer.

A new video will be released each Wednesday, available on the National Youth Conference YouTube channel and also on the NYC 2014 Facebook page. The first video featured Christy Crouse, from the Missouri/Arkansas District, who first attended NYC in 2010. You can view her reflections at .

The NYC office invites others who have attended past youth conferences to submit their own reflections for consideration. How did attending NYC affect you? And why should youth make NYC a priority over any other possible summer activities? Videos can be up to 60 seconds long.

To inquire about submissions, contact the NYC office at or 847-429-4363. For more information about National Youth Conference 2014, visit .

10) Bethany Seminary offers course on Dietrich Bonhoeffer

By Jenny Williams

In spring 2014, Bethany Theological Seminary will make one of its popular peace studies courses available through the Susquehanna Valley Ministries Center of Elizabethtown, Pa. Interested persons are invited to enroll in “Bonhoeffer, War, and Peace,” taught by Scott Holland, professor of theology and culture and director of peace studies and cross-cultural studies at the seminary in Richmond, Ind.

The application deadline for new students to enroll in spring semester classes is Dec. 1. Held at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., the class will be offered as a weekend intensive on Feb. 21-22, March 7-8, and March 21-22. Class times will run from 2-10 p.m. on Fridays and 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Saturdays.

Drawing upon the disciplines of peace studies, theology, and ethics, participants will explore the life and thought of German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, martyred during World War II. “His story is the struggle of a pacifist living under the influence of a tyrant who murdered millions of Jews and other citizens,” says Holland. “Bonhoeffer’s response was to join the active resistance movement to overthrow Hitler. Students value the blending of theology with biography, the concrete, real-life story of a renowned theologian. This is useful in peace studies because so often we study the abstract.”

To enroll or for more information, contact Tracy Primozich, director of admissions, at or 800-287-8822.

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

Image courtesy of Frederick Church of the Brethren
On Dec. 14, Frederick (Md.) Church of the Brethren hosts a special Christmas event called “Search for the Christ Child,” a journey to find the true meaning of Christmas, said an invitation. “Over 100 volunteers transform the entire church building into first century Bethlehem. Visitors are led through the story of the first Christmas and brought to the feet of a live baby representing the Christ child. The event is free for the whole family with guests being asked to donate a non-perishable food item to our Deacon Pantry,” the announcement said. The 30-minute guided tours will be held from 12 noon through 3 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. For special accommodations, please e-mail . For more information visit, .


11) Brethren bits.

— Remembrance: J. Henry Long, 89, a former executive secretary of the Church of the Brethren’s Foreign Mission Commission, passed away Oct. 19. He was a life-long member of the Church of the Brethren and served the denomination in many capacities throughout his long career. Born in Lebanon, Pa., to the late Henry F. and Frances Horst Long, he earned degrees from Hershey (Pa.) Junior College, Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, Bethany Theological Seminary, and Temple University. He also studied at the University of Chicago. He was licensed to the ministry in 1941 and in 1947 with his wife Millie served in post-WWII Holland, Poland, and Austria under the Brethren Service Committee. Thereafter, he directed Audio Visual Education for the denomination beginning in 1949, before becoming an associate executive secretary in the Foreign Mission Commission, and then assuming the executive secretary position in 1957. In all, he spent some 15 years in world missions work. During his work for the former General Board of the Church of the Brethren, he stressed the indigenous development of overseas churches and urged their move toward cooperative relationships with national boards in the United States. He also served on several specialized committees of the National Council of Churches, and on behalf of the NCC was part of a special delegation meeting with Christians in conflict areas of Asia during a time of crisis between India and Pakistan. In 1969 he joined the faculty of Elizabethtown College, where he was associate professor of Sociology and associate dean for Continuing Education. During his time at the college, he was elected chair of the American Leprosy Missions in 1974. He had been a member of the organization’s board of directors since 1967. Following retirement, he gave full time service as a volunteer Facilities Manager for Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren. Throughout his life, he was an ardent photographer and wood worker. He is survived by his wife Millie Fogelsanger Long, to whom he had been married for 69 years; daughter Nancy and her husband Michael Elder; son Scott and his wife Valerie Long; daughter Barbara Brubaker and her husband Henry Smith; grandchildren and great grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren on Nov. 30 at 11 a.m. Memorial gifts are received to the Elizabethtown Child Care Center Benevolence Fund and the Alzheimer’s Association.

— Joe A. Detrick has been appointed interim district executive minister for the Church of the Brethren’s Pacific Southwest District. The interim position is fulltime beginning Dec. 1, for a period of nine to twelve months. Detrick is an ordained minister who retired in 2011 as district executive of Southern Pennsylvania District. In previous positions he has served as coordinator of Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) orientation from 1984-88, and has pastored congregations in Indiana and Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind., and holds a master of divinity degree from Bethany Theological Seminary. The Pacific Southwest District office will continue to be located at 2705 Mountain View Dr., P.O. Box 219, La Verne, CA 91750-0219; .

— Fumio Sugihara has been named vice president for enrollment at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., effective Feb. 1, 2014. He has been director of admissions at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., since 2007. He will oversee Juniata’s enrollment office and provide leadership to grow the college’s enrollment, identify new markets for recruitment, and strengthen existing markets, nurture alumni connections to Juniata’s enrollment program, play a key role in retention efforts, and enhance communication and enrollment-related efforts throughout the campus community, said a release from the school. Sugihara started his career in higher education in 1998 at Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, Maine, where he was director for multicultural recruitment and associate director of admission. Bowdoin also is Sugihara’s alma mater, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1996 in women’s studies and environmental studies. He went on to earn a master’s degree in higher education in 2007 from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. He also has worked extensively with children, working as a vocational coordinator and case manager for developmentally disabled residential students at the New England Center for Children in Southborough, Mass., from 1996-98.

— “The Gospel of John and the Anabaptist Tradition,” a one-day continuing education event sponsored by the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center (SVMC) was held Nov. 4 at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. Presenters were John David Bowman, Greg David Laszakovits, David Leiter, John Yeatts, Christina Bucher, Frank Ramirez, and Jeff Bach. A key resource was the Believers’ Church Bible Commentary on John by Willard M. Swartley. Approximately 70 participants listened to lectures and engaged in group discussion at round tables. SVMC is planning more such events in 2014: “What Every Christian Should Know about Islam” will be taught by Messiah College professor of Theology and Mission George Pickens at Mechanicsburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren on March 15; “Leadership for the Emerging Church” will be taught by pastor and district executive Randy Yoder at the Village at Morrison’s Cove in Martinsburg, Pa., on March 22. Contact the SVMC office at 717-361-1450 or .

— Information about the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs is now linked at the Church of the Brethren Ministry Office web page . Also available is more information about other continuing education opportunities for ministers. Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs provide funds to congregations to support renewal leaves for pastors. Congregations may apply for grants of up to $50,000 to underwrite a renewal program for a pastor and family, with up to $15,000 of those funds available to the congregation to help cover expenses while the pastor is away. The link on the Ministry Office page will direct visitors to the Clergy Renewal Programs’ website with application materials and other content.

— McPherson (Kan.) Church of the Brethren is sponsoring its ninth annual Alternative Christmas Gift Market this Saturday, Nov. 16, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., hosted at the Cedars Conference Center. “The purpose of the market is to feature 21 charitable organizations that help persons in need and encourage market-goers to ‘Give Hope at Christmas’ by making donations to or purchasing items from these agencies,” said an announcement from Western Plains District. “This year’s new booth is MacCare, a local organization which provides backpacks for children who are removed from their homes in emergency situations. Get in the true spirit of Christmas with live music, refreshments, and something for everyone on your hard-to-buy- for list.” For more information, contact the McPherson Church office at 620-241-1109 or .

— The Iowa Peace Network Open House will be hosted by Stover Memorial Church of the Brethren in Des Moines, Iowa, on Nov. 24 from 2-4 p.m. “Jeffrey Weiss will be speaking about Syria, and Zach Heffernen will speak about The Great March for Climate Action scheduled for next summer,” said an announcement. “As always, alternative gifts will be available for sale to benefit nonprofit organizations.”

— Virlina District held its 43rd conference on Nov. 8-9. Among newsworthy decisions, the conference approved a resolution to reprint “The Brethren in Virginia” and create a companion volume, and designated the entire amount of the offerings received of $5,078.37 for the Compassion Fund of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN–the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Also premiering at the conference was a new district study resource on stewardship titled, “Give of the First Fruits: A Study of Stewardship for the 21st Century Church.” Clyde E. Hylton was honored for 50-plus years of ministerial service.

— Shenandoah District Conference was a “Living the Gospel” weekend, according to a newsletter report. The event included feetwashing and a remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice through communion. A Milestones in Ministry banquet brought together 27 pastors with a combined total of 1,292 years of ordained ministry. “Nineteen of those were ordained more than 50 years ago; Sam Flora, with 70 years of service, was the most senior pastor in attendance,” the newsletter said. The Friday offering for global mission projects in Haiti and Nigeria totaled $2,274.36.

— Illinois and Wisconsin District held its conference on the theme “Renew.” “One sad item of business this year was the dissolving of the Douglas Park congregation” located in Douglas Park neighborhood of Chicago, reported the district newsletter. Among highlights of the district conference, the newsletter report recognized one of the elders present, that “Sister Esther Frey spoke on Renewal in her 95.5 years, plus three days.”

— South Central Indiana District has announced dates for a court case regarding ownership of the property of Roann Church of the Brethren, after a group from the congregation decided to leave the district and denomination. “Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov. 19 and 20) are the days scheduled for the court case regarding the Roann Church of the Brethren property,” said the communication from district executive minister Beth Sollenberger. “Please be in prayer for the process and all who will be a part of the trial…. We are grateful for your expressions of care and concern. We especially value your prayers.”

— A Heritage Day at Camp Bethel near Fincastle, Va., raised $34,374. “Over 1,800 guests enjoyed our 29th annual Brethren Heritage Day Festival on a beautiful (and hot!) October 5,” said a report from the camp. “Big, big, big THANKS to everyone who attended, supported, or gave a special offering.” Groups and congregations supporting the event numbered at least
32, including some area businesses. More information is at .

— Nobel laureate in physics, William (Bill) Phillips, is scheduled to return to his alma mater at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., on Nov. 21. A 1970 Juniata graduate and co-winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Physics, Phillips will speak to several physics classes and give a lecture on “Time, Einstein, and the Coolest Stuff in the Universe,” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, in the Brumbaugh Academic Center. The lecture is free and open to the public, sponsored by the Juniata Department of Physics. A release from the college noted that Phillips “was honored by the Nobel panel for his work in laser cooling, a technique used to slow the movement of gaseous atoms in order to study them,” and shared the Nobel Prize with Steven Chu, former Secretary of Energy and a professor at the University of California-Berkeley, and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, a researcher at Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. Phillips is an atomic physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Md.

— Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is celebrating a recognition for the community of Las Pavas in Colombia. “Members from the community of Las Pavas stood in the national spotlight at the National Museum in Bogotá where they won the National Peace Prize,” said a release. CPT has provided accompaniment to Las Pavas since 2009. The community has experienced displacement, eviction, victimization, and continuing threats of violence from armed security guards of the palm oil company Aportes San Isisdro, because the 3,000 hectares of land on which the farm of Las Pavas is located has been in legal contention, the release said. CPT noted that on Nov. 12, the Colombian government body investigates claims of forced displacement affirmed the farmers from Las Pavas are in fact victims of forced displacement, and are included without reservation in the national registry of victims. “The Las Pavas case file now lies on the desk of the…highest court in the land that deals with government administrative disputes,” the CPT release said. “This ruling will be the final step to land ownership for each of the 123 families.”

— In Virginia elections, two members of Virlina District were elected to local school boards reports Tim Harvey of Central Church of the Brethren in Roanoke. Tom Auker, pastor of Eden (N.C.) First Church of the Brethren was elected to Henry County (Va.) school board; and J.D. Morse, a member of New Hope Church of the Brethren in Patrick County, Va., was elected to Patrick County school board. “J.D.’s seat had been held by another Brethren from the Smith River Church of the Brethren, who chose not to run for reelection,” Harvey reports.

Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Jenn Dorsch, Mary Jo Flory-Steury, Tim Harvey, Tim Heishman, Phil King, Wendy McFadden, Robert Saler, John Wall, Roy Winter, 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 Nov. 22.

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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