Newsline for Oct. 4, 2013

Photo by Patty Henry
CDS volunteers in Longmont, Colo., noted children playing “rice rescue” in which a Super Man toy helps out other toys who are buried in floods of rice. It is this kind of creative, imaginative play that aids children in their emotional recovery from disasters.

“What good is it if people say they have faith but do nothing to show it?” (James 2:14b, CEB).

1) Children have disaster consequences too: CDS serves in Colorado following floods.

2) Nigerian Brethren die in more violent attacks on communities, churches.

3) Webinar series to give information about Brethren ministries for young people.

4) New resources include calendar to learn Philippians, Domestic Violence Awareness, Children’s Sabbaths, more.

5) Curriculum helps youth develop beliefs on peace, conscientious objection.

6) Workcamps schedule is announced for 2014.

7) US church leaders renew emphasis on immigration.

8) Bethany’s ‘Explore Your Call’ 2014 to be held in Colorado prior to NYC.

9) Brethren bits: Remembering Duane Ramsey, BDM honors Helen Kinsel, job openings at the WCC and Camp Swatara, difficult court decision for Haitians in the DR, and much more.


1) Children have disaster consequences too: CDS serves in Colorado following floods.

Photo by Patty Henry
Rice play with children affected by flooding helps in the recovery in Colorado. Shown here, CDS volunteer Phyllis Hochstetler serves children and families in a MARC in the area of Longmont north of Denver.

By Dick McGee

The following report on the work of Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) in Longmont, Colo., following the extreme flooding in the state, was provided by the American Red Cross. A team of CDS volunteers has been serving at the Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) in Longmont. The team will finish up tomorrow and travel home on Sunday, reports Roy Winter, associate executive director of Brethren Disaster Ministries.

Disaster relief services are not just for grown-ups. The American Red Cross is continually aware that one of its biggest challenges is providing services for the most fragile and dependent members of an impacted community. That means looking out for the children, and the senior citizens, who may be least able to care for themselves.

A large number of children, from toddlers to teens, are among the several thousand persons who are still receiving assistance from the Red Cross, FEMA, and many other community agencies nearly three weeks after the Colorado floods. Children suffer the loss of their safety, and their possessions just like their parents do. The consequences of a disaster are made all the more serious, and potentially destructive, for children who cannot verbalize their inner-most thoughts and feelings the way adults do. The effect on a child’s developing personality often goes unnoticed by parents, who are trying to cope with their loss by becoming totally submerged in the clean-up effort, and in the burden of applying for FEMA and other available assistance. When children need special attention, they often regress to unacceptable behaviors like stubborn defiance or temper tantrums, which may earn them punishment or scolding, instead of love and understanding.

Aware of this critical situation, the Red Cross has contracted with the Church of the Brethren Children’s Disaster Services, headquartered in New Windsor, Md., to support the needs of youngsters in disaster impacted areas. A team of six specially trained and certified Children’s Disaster Service workers was deployed to set up a therapeutic play room at the Disaster Assistance Center at the Twin Peaks Mall in Longmont. “We will stay here as long as we are needed,” promised Patty Henry, the team leader. “As long as there is one child who benefits from spending time in our play room, there is work for us to do,” she added.

Their concept of therapeutic child play has some unique features. For example, the children are not allowed to bring their own toys to the play room. Instead, these workers depend totally on creative play that allows the kids to put their own personal spin on the disaster. Coloring books are not allowed, because only original, creative drawings enable to child to put themselves and their own, unique emotions on the paper.

Patty, who has spent 23 years as a teacher in early childhood education, explained one example of what a child encounters in the playroom. A favorite toy is a puzzle in which large wooden pieces can be inserted on a backboard to recreate a familiar scene. The puzzle is introduced to a child as a pile of pieces, broken and strewn around the table like the chaotic debris they witnessed at home as the waters receded. As they work with the pieces, learning the details of each, and fitting them all back together properly to reconstruct what was damaged, children experience some control over their environment. “After rebuilding that puzzle two or three times, a child becomes visibly more relaxed and cheerful,” Patty observed.

It doesn’t take an expert to recognize that these children are being enabled to cleanse their young psyches of memories, feelings, and fears that could become emotional toxins in their still developing personalities and grow into more serious mental problems down the road.

“Children come and play with us while their parents are making the rounds to apply for the services they need here at the DAC. When you help a child, you help the entire family. Mothers are able to leave their children in our care, while they handle things that require their full attention. We are a respite service as well as a play therapy service,” Patty explained.

The American Red Cross has developed an elaborate organization to provide for the physical needs of anyone seriously impacted by a disaster, and the partnership with Children’s Disaster Services enables the Red Cross to provide that necessary attention to the emotional needs of “the least of these among us.”

For more information about Children’s Disaster Services go to .

2) Nigerian Brethren die in more violent attacks on communities, churches.

Leaders of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN–the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) have reported recent violent attacks that have taken lives of church members and destroyed many homes and some churches in northeastern Nigeria. The Global Mission and Service office requests prayer for people who have lost loved ones, those who have lost their homes and churches, and for EYN and its leaders.

Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission and Service, is sending a grant of $10,000 to the EYN fund that aids church members affected by the ongoing violence, and is requesting donations to the EYN Compassion Fund at . “Remember the need in Nigeria,” he said.

Attacks on Nigerian Brethren have occurred during a violent struggle between extremist Islamist sect Boko Haram, which began terrorist operations in northern Nigeria around 2009, and a crackdown by the Nigerian government and army, which also has been accused of civil rights abuses. For years prior to Boko Haram, northern Nigeria had episodes of civil conflict and rioting that destroyed mosques and churches and killed many including pastors in several major cities.

Attack on the community of Gavva West

Seven people were killed and 75 houses were burned on Sept. 27 in an attack on Gavva West, a community near the border with Cameroon. EYN reported this was the tenth attack on Gavva West. Wittmeyer noted that this also is the home area of EYN’s past president Filibus Gwama.

The detailed report from EYN was based on the reports of five people who fled. Included in the list of the dead were two children age 6 and 8 who died in one of the houses that were burned, and one baby who died “on the run.”

The owners of the burned houses were all named in the EYN report, as were all the adults who were killed. In addition, a shop was looted, a car and several motorcycles were burned, and other motorcycles were stolen by the attackers.

The EYN report said most people “fled to nearby villages and unknown hideouts. One of the refugees told us they are in desperate need of food.”

Another attack affects Brethren in Barawa

The EYN report listed another attack in Barawa, in the eastern part of Gwoza, Borno State. One church member was killed, two EYN churches and a preaching point were burned, and 19 houses were burned including a pastor’s. The attack also affected other churches. In total, the report said, “about 8,000 people fled Barawa area where 9 churches [and] 400 houses burnt.”

For more about the church’s ministry in Nigeria go to . For an overview of the effects of terrorist violence on EYN as of February 2013, go to . To contribute to the EYN Compassion Fund go to .

3) Webinar series to give information about Brethren ministries for young people.

New “non-event” resources from the Youth and Young Adult Ministry this year are a series of webinars by denominational staff whose ministries relate to youth and young adults. These staff have teamed up to provide informational and educational webinars geared toward those who work with Church of the Brethren youth and young adults as advisors, pastors, or parents.

“We hope you will join us!” said Becky Ullom Naugle, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.

The first webinar will be this Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. central time (8 p.m. eastern), and will be an introduction to the ministries related to young people from the Church of the Brethren, Bethany Theological Seminary, and On Earth Peace.

To join the webinar on Oct. 9 go to . After joining the video portion, participants will need to join the audio portion by dialing 877-204-3718 (toll free) or 303-223-9908. The access code is 8946766.

Four additional webinars on youth ministry also are planned:

Nov. 5, 7 p.m. central time, “Short-Term Mission Trips,” led by Emily Tyler of the Workcamp Ministry staff

Jan. 21, 2014, 7 p.m. central time, “Call and Gifts Discernment,” led by Bekah Houff of the Bethany Seminary staff

March 4, 2014, 7 p.m. central time, “Intergenerational Relationships,” led by Becky Ullom Naugle, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry

May 6, 2014, 7 p.m. central time, “Bullying,” led by Marie Benner-Rhoades of On Earth Peace

For questions call Becky Ullom Naugle at 847-429-4385.

4) New resources include calendar to learn Philippians, Domestic Violence Awareness, Children’s Sabbaths, more.

The month of October offers congregations the opportunity to participate in two national observances promoting the welfare of families and children: Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Children’s Sabbaths Celebration. A calendar for learning the book of Philippians by heart also begins in October, offered by the Annual Conference moderator as a focus for Bible study in preparation for the 2014 annual meeting.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Throughout October, congregations are encouraged to raise awareness about the serious problem of domestic violence. Activities can be as simple as including a bulletin insert one Sunday, creating a bulletin board with facts about domestic violence, publicizing the National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE (7233) and 800-787-3224 (TDD), or remembering in prayer people who have been affected by domestic violence. Congregations may decide to ask a local domestic violence shelter to provide a program or help in a worship service or sermon focus on the topic. Whatever a congregation can do will raise awareness about domestic violence and may help someone in need. Materials include FaithTrust Institute’s bulletin insert and resource sheet, “Responding to Domestic Violence: What the Religious Community Can Do,” at . Additional information about domestic violence is available from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence at or 303-839-1852.

National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths Celebration

“Beating Swords into Plowshares: Ending the Violence of Guns and Child Poverty” is the theme for the National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths Celebration on Oct. 18-20. The third weekend of October is designated as a time for religious congregations of all faiths to unite in shared concern for children and common commitment to improving their lives and working for justice on their behalf. The Children’s Defense Fund sponsors this annual observation, guided by a multi-faith advisory committee. This year focuses on gun violence and the negative effects of poverty on children. Congregations are called to lift up and commit to realizing a vision in which all children and families know peace, security, and well-being. A Children’s Sabbath weekend typically has four elements: worship and prayer, educational programs, compassionate service, and follow-up actions to improve the lives of children. Find a link to a comprehensive manual to help a congregation observe Children’s Sabbaths on the Church of the Brethren Family Life Ministry page, . The Family Life Ministry is a part of Congregational Life Ministries, and is staffed by Kim Ebersole.

A resource for learning Philippians by heart

Moderator Nancy Sollenberger Heishman is encouraging Brethren to read and study the New Testament letter of Philippians in preparation for the 2014 Annual Conference on a theme inspired by Philippians, “Live as Courageous Disciples.” She has provided a calendar for learning the book by heart, starting the week of Oct. 6 through June 29, 2014, the week prior to the 2014 Conference. “I invite us all to focus on just a few verses of Philippians each week, ‘treasuring God’s word in our hearts’ (Psalm 119:11a),” Heishman wrote in an introduction to the calendar. “Whether you actually memorize the entire book or selected passages or simply spend time each day in prayer and contemplation, it is my earnest desire that through these scriptures Jesus might call us all to boldly ‘Live as Courageous Disciples.’” Find the calendar online at .

More new resources available from

— The October Messenger study guide at is a resource for using the Church of the Brethren “Messenger” magazine for small group study and Sunday school classes.

— The Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) fall newsletter at offers news and stories from this Brethren program working on food security and hunger.

— The October Missions prayer guide at gives a mission-focused prayer suggestion for each day of the month.

— A study guide from Christian Churches Together (CCT) at is designed for small groups and Sunday school classes to study the response of church leaders 50 years after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”

— The Winter issue of “Seed Packet” at  is a newsletter for faith formation from Brethren Press giving information about the church’s latest Christian education and Bible study resources.

— October and November issues of “Tapestry,” a denominational newsletter provided for congregations and districts to share with their members, are posted at .

5) Curriculum helps youth develop beliefs on peace, conscientious objection.

Call of Conscience, a Church of the Brethren web-based curriculum, is available to download from . Written by Julie Garber, this resource is designed to help youth develop their beliefs about peace and conscientious objection to war. The curriculum focuses on developing a personal peace position based on biblical teaching and the traditions of the church.

As young men, and possibly women someday, reach the age of 18 they are required by law to register with the Selective Service System, a federal agency responsible for a military draft in the event the nation wants more soldiers than it can recruit as volunteers. If Congress decided to reinstate the draft, young people would have only a short time to gather evidence to convince Selective Service they are conscientious objectors and have a religious opposition to killing.

Call of Conscience helps youth prepare to “make a defense for the hope that is within them” (1 Peter 3:15). Four sessions designed to be led by an adult will help youth think through their beliefs as taught by the Church of the Brethren. Full session plans and downloadable resources are included:

— Session One: The difference between allegiance to God and allegiance to the state.

— Session Two: Biblical teaching on war and peace.

— Session Three: The Church of the Brethren historic and living peace position.

— Session Four: Making a case for conscientious objection.

In a culminating project, youth compile a file of evidence that they believe in the teachings of Jesus on peace, by keeping journals, collecting letters of reference, gathering lists of influential books, websites, news clippings, and films, and answering questions Selective Service will ask to determine the strength of their commitment to peace.

See .

6) Workcamps schedule is announced for 2014.

The schedule for the 2014 summer workcamps offered by the Church of the Brethren is now available online at . Workcamps will be offered for junior high youth, BRF senior high youth, young adults, and an intergenerational group. Because senior high youth will be attending National Youth Conference in July 2014, a full slate of workcamps for senior high youth will be offered again in 2015.

The following workcamps are planned for junior high youth who have completed grades 6-8. In order to register, the parents of junior high youth must complete a Parental Permission Form:
— Brooklyn, N.Y., June 18-22, cost is $275
— Camp Harmony, Pa., June 18-22, $275
— Harrisburg, Pa., June 25-29, $275
— Columbus, Ohio, July 6-10, $275
— South Bend, Ind., July 9-13, $275
— Crossnore, N.C., July 14-18, $275
— Roanoke, Va., July 30-Aug. 3, $275
— Seattle, Wash., Aug. 6-10, $300

One workcamp is offered for senior high youth (completed grade 9 through age 19) who identify with the views of the Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF), in cooperation with Brethren Disaster Ministries at a location yet to be determined. Dates are June 22-28. Cost is $285.

The young adult workcamp for people between ages 18-35 will be held on the island of La Tortue, Haiti, June 9-16. Cost is $700.

The intergenerational workcamp for those who have completed grade 6 up to age 99-plus is scheduled at Idaho Mountain Camp on June 16-22. Cost is $375.

For more information go to .

7) US church leaders renew emphasis on immigration.

By Wendy McFadden

Christian leaders representing the breadth of Christian churches and denominations in the US have renewed their emphasis on the issue of immigration. Immigration was the main topic at the annual meeting of Christian Churches Together earlier this year, and the CCT steering committee has announced that the urgency of the matter–particularly in light of congressional delays on immigration reform–will keep it in front of the organization’s annual meeting through 2015.

The CCT steering committee repeated an urgent call for fundamental immigration reform that includes the following principles:

— An earned path to citizenship for the 11 million people in the United States without authorization.

— The priority of family reunification in any immigration reform.

— Protecting the integrity of the country’s borders and protecting due process for immigrants and their families.

— Improving refugee protection laws and asylum laws.

— Reviewing international economic policies to address the root causes of unauthorized immigration.

— Enforcement measures that are just and include due process protections for immigrants.

CCT, which regularly addresses major issues of common concern among its members, focused on immigration in 2013 and will examine the issue of mass incarceration at its annual meeting in early 2014. Other topics of study and action have been racism, poverty, and evangelism, with ongoing attention to the way the issues interrelate.

Because there is still a sense of urgency on immigration, the steering committee chose to dig deeper into the issue with a 2015 annual meeting theme of immigrant churches and the future of the American church. That meeting will focus on the impact of immigrants on the fabric and future of the church in the US.

Christian Churches Together is the broadest fellowship of Christians in the US, with members from Catholic, Evangelical/Pentecostal, Historic Black, Historic Protestant, and Orthodox traditions, or “families,” as well as several national organizations devoted to humanitarian aid, social justice, and other expressions of Christian service.

— Wendy McFadden is publisher of Brethren Press. She is serving on the steering committee of Christian Churches Together and is president of CCT’s Historic Protestant “family” of churches.

8) Bethany’s ‘Explore Your Call’ 2014 to be held in Colorado prior to NYC.

By Jenny Willliams

Rising high school juniors and seniors are invited to Colorado State University next summer for Explore Your Call on July 15-19. Sponsored by the Institute for Ministry with Youth and Young Adults at Bethany Theological Seminary, this event is held the week prior to National Youth Conference (NYC), also at Colorado State. Interested youth will be able to attend both events, and will connect with their youth groups as they arrive for NYC.

Since Explore Your Call was reinstated three years ago, Bethany faculty, students, and alumni/ae have guided young participants in learning about the meaning of ministry and contemplating the experience of God’s call. Structured time in the classroom and on field experiences is balanced with worship, personal sharing, and recreation.

During the past three years, 17 youth have participated in Explore Your Call. Brittany Fourman from Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren in Dayton, Ohio, attended in June 2013, in addition to serving as a summer intern with her own congregation. Her words convey a deepening of her own spiritual life while calling others to find new depth as well:

“Explore Your Call is more than just a spiritual experience–it is a life changer. What you hear, the experiences you have, and the people you meet will remain with you long after leaving EYC. You not only get to know God more intimately but also quickly build relationships with the coordinators, the professors, and the rest of the youth in the group. This program is a place where young, strong-minded Christians can explore their lives with God and feel safe in asking tough questions.

“It’s quite difficult to put into words the impact EYC made on my life, but to sum it up, I feel more confident and knowledgeable in my faith and walk with Christ. I left EYC knowing that the call comes in many forms, many ways, and at any time. I don’t have to be a pastor to be called into ministry; the word of the Lord can shine through me in any vocation I may follow. Knowing that the path that’s given to me will be used by the Lord is a wonderful feeling.

“EYC challenges you. It’s a time when you are pushed to be uncomfortable and explore uncrossed territory. Come prepared to learn, to bask in the glory of God, and to experience community and fellowship. During EYC it’s important to embrace the diversity of the people you encounter and really learn to love all of God’s children. Try to retain as much information as possible–it’s not only fascinating; you’ll also find yourself including those concepts in your daily life. And expect to leave EYC more in love with God than you thought possible.”

Registration for Explore Your Call is now open at . More details about the 2014 program will be available in the coming months. Contact Bekah Houff, coordinator of outreach programs, for more information at or 765-983-1809.

— Jenny Williams is director of communications and alumni/ae relations at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. For more information about the seminary go to .

9) Brethren bits.

— Remembered: Duane H. Ramsey died on Sept 26. He was moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in 1981, held in Indianapolis. In other volunteer leadership roles in the denomination, he served terms on the former General Board and a number of committees of Annual Conference and the General Board. He also for a time was a pastor in resident at Bethany Theological Seminary. His daughter Kahy Melhorn currently serves on the Bethany Board of Trustees. Ramsey was best known among Brethren as the 45-year pastor at Washington (D.C.) City Church of the Brethren where he was a leader among clergy in the city. He was a chair of the Board of Directors of Capitol Hill Ministry, and served terms on the Board of Directors of the Council of Churches of Greater Washington, the Board of Trustees of Inter-Faith Metropolitan Theological Education, and the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Ecumenical Training Center. In 1997 he was honored with the Capitol Hill Community Achievement Award; the award program commented that the most vital point of his ministry was as “a presence of compassion and care for people who are desperate…. Duane Ramsey’s impact on Capitol Hill can best be measured by the growth of our community’s response to human need.” Ramsey was born in Wichita, Kan., on May 23, 1924, and returned to Wichita when he retired in 1999. He was a conscientious objector and performed three-plus years of Civilian Public Service shortly following World War II, carrying out work in soil conservation and in a mental health hospital. He was a graduate of McPherson (Kan.) College and Bethany Seminary. He also studied at the University of Boston Theological School, Iliff School of Theology in Denver, and Princeton. His wife, Jane Ramsey, survives him, as do children Kathy and Mark Melhorn, Barbara and Bruce Wagoner, Michael Ramsey and Gina Sutton, Nancy and Gregg Grant, Brian and Jennifer Ramsey. Services are pending.

Photo by Brethren Disaster Ministries
Helen Kinsel is honored with a peace pole at the Brethren Disaster Ministries office in New Windsor, Md.

— After 18 years of faithful service, Helen Kinsel’s last day volunteering in the Brethren Disaster Ministries office in New Windsor, Md., was Sept. 24. She and her husband, the late Glenn Kinsel, had commuted initially from Hanover and then from New Oxford, Pa., to support the work of Brethren Disaster Ministries and Children’s Disaster Services. “Since 1995, she served 1,233 days or 9,864 hours,” reported Jane Yount of Brethren Disaster Ministries. “She and Glenn together served 2,361 days or 18,888 hours, which equals 6.5 years!” In addition, previously the Kinsels were Virlina District disaster coordinators, volunteered at a number of rebuilding project sites, were disaster project leaders, assisted with training events, and devoted many hours to promoting Brethren Disaster Ministries at district and church events, National Older Adult Conference, and Annual Conference. Helen also was a volunteer for Children’s Disaster Services. In honor of the Kinsels’ service, as well as their lifelong advocacy for peace, Brethren Disaster Ministries has erected a Peace Pole at the entrance of its office declaring “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in Japanese, German, Hebrew, and English.

— The World Council of Churches (WCC) seeks a program executive for Spirituality and Worship, to start April 1, 2014 (negotiable), based in Geneva, Switzerland. The position reports to the associate general secretary for Unity and Mission. Responsibilities include to initiate and facilitate reflection and practice on spirituality and worship in the WCC fellowship within the present context of new challenges and recent developments in world Christianity, among others. Qualifications include a post-graduate degree, preferably a doctorate in theology in areas related to spirituality and worship, and practical experience as a musician, composer, choir leader in churches, among others. For more specific responsibilities and qualifications see the full job description at . The deadline for applications is Nov. 15. Full applications including curriculum vitae, motivation letter, application form, copies of diplomas, and recommendation letters are to be sent to: .  The WCC application form is available on the WCC recruitment webpage: .

— Camp Swatara in Bethel, Pa., seeks a food service manager to begin Jan. 1, 2014. This is a full-time, year-round, salaried position based on an average of 40 hours per week with many hours during the summer season, less hours in the fall and spring, and limited hours in the winter. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Camp Swatara is primarily a summer camp for children and youth. From Labor Day to Memorial Day, Camp Swatara is primarily a retreat facility with frequent weekend use and occasional midweek groups, including school groups. The food service manager is responsible to plan, coordinate, and carry out camp food service for all scheduled groups, activities, and events throughout the year. Candidates should have training, education, and/or experience in food service management, culinary arts, quantity food service, and staff supervision. Benefits include a starting salary of $24,000, employee insurance, a pension plan, and professional growth funds. Applications are due by Nov. 15. For more information and application materials, visit or call 717-933-8510.

— A court decision in the Dominican Republic is stripping citizenship from children of Haitian migrants and could cause a crisis in the DR and Haiti, said an Associated Press report published on Sept. 26. “The ruling by the Constitutional Court is final and gives the electoral commission one year to produce a list of people to be excluded from citizenship,” the AP report said. The report also said that a half million people born in Haiti are living in the DR and that the ruling could affect children and even grandchildren of Haitian migrants, and that mass deportations may result. Global Mission and Service executive Jay Wittmeyer said he expects the Church of the Brethren in the DR, or Iglesia des los Hermanos, to be heavily affected by the court ruling. The church includes Creole congregations and many Haitian immigrant families. On the Haitian side of the border between the two countries, which share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, communities of the Church of the Brethren in Haiti or Eglise des Freres Haitiens may be among those helping to receive and house families of Haitian migrants if the DR carries out mass deportations as is feared. Global Mission and Service called for prayer.

— Pleasant Hill Church of the Brethren in Crimora, Va., celebrates its 150th anniversary with special services and activities on Oct. 9-13. Daily services feature a variety of preachers and entertainment. On Saturday, Oct. 12, a picnic features the music group “High Ground” beginning at 3 p.m. with the picnic at 4 p.m. “Bring a lawn chair and join in,” said an invitation. On Sunday, Oct. 13, Daniel Carter will bring the 11 a.m. message, with a carry-in meal at noon and a program by “Southern Grace” at 2 p.m.

— “Our beloved Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, requests your presence at a Love Feast to be held in his honor,” said an invitation to a joint Love Feast held by the Central Iowa Church of the Brethren congregations and hosted by Panora Church of the Brethren. The service starts at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6. Leadership will be shared by pastors and lay members of the Brethren in central Iowa. RSVP to the Panora Church by Sept. 22, contact 641-755-3800.

— The annual Camp Mack Festival at Camp Alexander Mack near Milford, Ind., is this Saturday, Oct. 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Events include benefit auctions, demonstrations and displays such as candle dipping and corn shelling and grinding and rope making, food and craft booths, a scarecrow contest, entertainment, and children’s activities including train rides, hayrides, pontoon rides, games, and more. Go to .

— The 29th Brethren Heritage Day Festival will be held at Camp Bethel near Fincastle, Va., on Saturday, Oct. 5. Breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m. in the Ark. Booths open throughout the camp at 9 a.m., to close at 2:30 p.m. Children’s events begin at 9:30 a.m. with train rides followed by kids’ trout fishing. The Apple Butter Overnight event is today, Oct. 4. Heritage Day forms, fliers and information are available at .

— Recently residents of the Church of the Brethren Home in Windber, Pa., had a chance to visit the Pittsburgh Steeler football team’s training camp. A newsletter said the annual trip is “one of our personal care residents’ favorite activities…. Bob Thompson and Susan Haluska escorted the football fans as they watched the black and gold run through drills and scrimmages. Steely McBeam graciously posed for keepsake pictures with each person.”

— Atlantic Northeast District Conference will be held Oct. 4-5 at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College.

— Middle Pennsylvania District Conference will be held Oct. 4-5 at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., on the theme, “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8). Mark Liller will serve as moderator.

— Missouri and Arkansas District Conference will be held Oct. 4-5 in Roach, Mo.

— McPherson (Kan.) College is live-streaming its Homecoming Worship Service, according to an announcement from Western Plains District. The college and representatives from five area Church of the Brethren congregations have planned a Homecoming Worship Service on Sunday, Oct. 6, 10:15 a.m., to be held at McPherson Church of the Brethren. Campus pastor Steven Crain will preach and special music will be provided by a mass choir, the McPherson College Women’s Ensemble, the Angelus Ringers, and the McPherson College Brass Quintet. Anyone wishing to be part of the mass choir should be at McPherson Church of the Brethren by 8:30 a.m. that Sunday for a one-hour rehearsal. Participate in the live-stream worship at . A recording of the service will be posted for later viewing.

— Eboo Patel has been named Manchester University Innovator of the Year 2013-14. He will bring lessons in bridging faith chasms to the campus in North Manchester, Ind., on Oct. 8, according to a release from campus minister Walt Wiltschek. Patel is president and founder of Interfaith Youth Core, an India-born Muslim raised in the United States. “Patel has made it his life’s work to show people how to view religion as a bridge of cooperation rather than a chasm of division,” the release said. He will deliver a message and receive the honor at convocation at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 8, in Cordier Auditorium. The public is invited to the free program sponsored by the Mark E. Johnston Entrepreneurship Program. To learn more about Patel’s Chicago-based international non-profit Interfaith Youth Core, visit For more about entrepreneurship at Manchester University, or studying for a Certificate in Innovation, visit .

— College-bound high school students are invited to Manchester University to get a taste of campus life at four “Spartan Days” for prospective students this fall on its campus in North Manchester, Ind.: Friday, Oct. 18; Friday, Oct. 25; Saturday, Oct. 26; Saturday, Nov. 9. Spartan Days visitors will tour the campus, meet current students, discover academic and Division III NCAA athletics opportunities, learn about scholarships and financial aid, talk with faculty and admissions counselors, and receive a complementary lunch, said a release. Those who visit on Fridays also can sit in on a class. Manchester also welcomes prospective students for individual visits on weekdays and some Saturdays during the academic year. Transfer students have special visit days tailored to their needs on Monday, Nov. 18, and Wednesday, Dec. 18. For more information about Manchester and to make a reservation for a campus visit, click on “Visit Campus” at or contact 800-852-3648 or .

— Bridgewater (Va.) College invites alumni and friends of the college to celebrate Homecoming activities on Oct. 18-20 with the 2013 theme “Spread Your Wings, it’s Time to Fly!” Alumni and community members are invited to celebrate with former classmates, cheer the Eagles on to victory at a game, meet President David Bushman, enjoy music and concerts, and family-friendly activities on the campus mall, said a release. For more information about the events of homecoming, go to .

— The University of La Verne, Calif., also is holding a Homecoming Weekend on Oct. 11-13. For more information go to .

— The death toll has risen sharply in the Sept. 22 bombing at All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, according to Episcopal News Service. It currently stands at 127 dead, with 170 injured, reported Bishop Humphrey Sarfaraz Peters of the Diocese of Peshawar. “It has been just devastating,” he said. “Quite a few children are paralyzed, and others are orphaned. This is a terrible time for the Christian community.” The ENS release said government officials including the Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkwa, the Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and federal ministers have visited to express concern and condolence. This past Sunday the church was rocked again by a car bomb in a nearby bazaar that was detonated while the congregation was in worship, on the week anniversary of the Sept. 22 bomb. The bomb killed 40 people and was reported to have exploded about 300 yards from All Saints Church near a mosque and a police station.

— Larry Ulrich, an ordained minister from York Center Church of the Brethren in Lombard, Ill., has been identified as “the first Protestant minister to serve as a dean in a Roman Catholic Seminary in the United States and most probably since the Reformation,” in a release sent out via Religion News Services. National and international accrediting professional organizations for graduate theological education have so identified Ulrich, the release said. He was installed in June 1982 as dean of Supervised Ministry at DeAndreis Institute of Theology in Lemont, Ill., which was a seminary of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians). At DeAndreis, he was professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling and director of the Deacon Internship program. “In the 30 interim years, there has not been another Protestant dean in a Roman Catholic seminary, nor a Roman Catholic dean in a Protestant seminary,” the release said. Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago, commented, “For a Protestant minister to be engaged in the formation process of future priests through their four years of seminary training is note-worthy. This collaboration exemplifies the ecumenical openness of the contemporary Roman Catholic Church at this time [and] ecumenical cooperation continues.”

Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Linetta Ballew, Jan Fischer Bachman, Kim Ebersole, Mary Kay Heatwole, Jeri S. Kornegay, Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, Becky Ullom Naugle, Walt Wiltschek, Jane Yount, 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 Oct. 11.

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

[gt-link lang="en" label="English" widget_look="flags_name"]