— Richard L. Moffitt of Glenville, Pa., has been hired as maintenance mechanic at the Brethren Service Center
in New Windsor, Md. He comes to the position with over 40 years of experience in the fields of HVACR, refrigeration, and plumbing. Most recently he was employed at First Class Mechanical in Westminster, Md., since 2012. He holds a State of Maryland HVACR Master License and has taken numerous HVACR and EPA courses.
— Becky Ullom Naugle recently completed a 20-month Certificate in Youth and Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. The program is designed for leaders actively serving in youth ministry and includes various components such as learning retreats, online courses, the Princeton Youth Ministry Forums, a mentoring relationship, a professional leadership assessment, and a final project. Participants are grouped into cohorts; Naugle was a part of Cohort D with 24 ecumenical youth ministry colleagues from around the US and Canada. Her final project focused on integrating patterns of rest and renewal into ministry as a way to encourage long-term sustainability. “This program has given me an ecumenical peer network through which I can seek support, and gave me access to a wide variety of resources–including a local mentor!” she reported. “I felt honored to learn from distinguished theologians at the retreats and forums. I appreciated the program’s focus on practical ministry issues, and would highly recommend it to others who are seeking additional youth ministry formation.”
— Hashtag NYC! The National Youth Conference coordinators have posted a fun video overview of the upcoming youth conference via hashtags. NYC takes place in Colorado in July, find out more at www.brethren.org/yya/nyc/ . View the video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJUtsr3XDyk&list=UU5_
— In another note from the NYC office, this weekend is the last chance to send in entries to the National Youth Conference youth speech and music contests. Submit entries at www.brethren.org/yya/nyc/forms.html . Entries are due by Sunday, Feb. 16.
— Registration deadlines for upcoming events at Bethany Theological Seminary have been announced, including the deadline for the early registration discount for the Presidential Forum on April 4-5 at the campus in Richmond, Ind.; and closing of online registration for the junior high event Immerse! on June 12-17 at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College and Explore Your Call (EYC) for senior highs in advance of National Youth Conference on July 15-19. Junior high youth having completed 7th, 8th, or 9th grades have one more month to register for Immerse!, the seminary’s junior high Bible immersion and Brethren history program; online registration closes March 14. Go to www.bethanyseminary.edu/immerse . The EYC online application deadline is March 31; go to www.bethanyseminary.edu/eyc . EYC will be held July 15-19 at Colorado State University immediately preceding National Youth Conference. Rising juniors and seniors in high school may attend this free, grant-funded discernment program. For more information about Immerse! or EYC contact Bekah Houff, coordinator of outreach programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 765-983-1809. Those who wish to receive a discount rate for the Presidential Forum have until midnight Feb. 15 to register (registration at the regular rate will remain open). The forum on “Living Love Feast” will be April 4-5 on the Bethany campus. For information and to register, go to www.bethanyseminary.edu/forum2014 .
— Arvada (Colo.) Mennonite/Spirit of Joy Fellowship Church of the Brethren is celebrating its transformation into Living Light of Peace Church with a special worship service on Sunday, March 30, at 3 p.m. This time of worship also includes installation of Jeni Hiett Umble as pastor, said an announcement from Western Plains District. A reception will follow.
— Imperial Heights Community Church of the Brethren in Los Angeles received this year’s Energy Efficiency Participation Award from Edison International. “By replacing more than 80 incandescent lamps and fixtures with energy-efficient linear fluorescents, the church was able to reduce its energy consumption and lower its energy bills,” said a release. Read the Edison International post at http://newsroom.edison.com/stories/l-a-county-district-attorney-jackie-lacey-urges-audience-to-keep-the-dream-alive-for-future-generations-at-sce-s-black-history-month-celebration .
— Bridgewater (Va.) Church of the Brethren will host John Barr in an organ recital at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23, in a fundraiser for the Leupold Foundation of Colfax, N.C. The foundation is devoted to preserving the culture of the pipe organ and is a resource for organ music. The recital will consist exclusively of organ music published by Wayne Leupold Editions, including selections that demonstrate the organ for various age groups. Included will be “Tune Factory,” based on traditional rounds suitable for pre-school and elementary students, said an announcement. Parents with young children are invited. Donations will be accepted at the door. Barr is organist at Bridgewater Church of the Brethren and professor emeritus of organ and piano at Bridgewater College.
— First Church of the Brethren in Chicago and the Renew Now players will present a dramatic reading of “Project Unspeakable,” a new play about the 1960s assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Robert F. Kennedy. The play is performed on Feb. 29 at 6 p.m. at First Church, 425 S. Central Park Blvd., Chicago. Inspired by James Douglass’ book, “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters,” the script by playwright Court Dorsey “breaks the silence that continues to surround the four unspeakable assassinations,” said a release. “The words and stories of courageous people who refused to be silenced by intimidation are timely encouragement to witnesses of ongoing crimes of unspeakable scope and devastation. Twelve readers from Chicago communities, representing a breadth of experience in neighborhood and international work for justice and peace, will breathe life into their witness.” The reading is free and open to the public. Free will donations will be accepted. For further information, see www.renewnow.us/unspeakable or contact Duane Ediger at 312-523-9955. For background on the script see www.projectunspeakable.com .
— Shenandoah District received several designs for the District NYC T-Shirt Design Contest for youth going to National Youth Conference. The district e-newsletter announced the winner is Sally Hotchkiss from Linville Creek Church of the Brethren. View some of the great t-shirts worn at the last NYC in 2010 at http://support.brethren.org/site/PhotoAlbumUser?AlbumID=11708&view=UserAlbum .
— The Caving Adventure Day sponsored by Brethren Woods, a camp and outdoor ministries center in Shenandoah District, will be led by Derek Young of Harrisonburg (Va.) First Church of the Brethren. The date is Feb. 22, registrations are due today, Feb. 14. More information is available at www.brethrenwoods.org/adventure .
— “Tensions mount in the early months of 1864 as the Civil War impacts homes and farms in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia,” says an invitation to dinner events at the John Kline Homestead in Broadway, Va. “Experience a family’s struggle as they converse around a family-style meal in the John Kline house.” For reservations, call 540-896-5001, or e-mail email@example.com . Cost is $40. Groups are welcome. Seating is limited to 32.
— Attorney Peter Goldberger from Ardmore, Pa., will speak on “Religious Conscience, the Law, and Taxes that Support Perpetual War” at a free public meeting on Saturday, March 15, 9-11 a.m., at the Friends Meeting House in Lancaster, Pa. Goldberger has been a counselor and defender of conscientious objectors for 38 years since graduating from Yale Law School. For more information about this event sponsored by 1040forpeace.org, contact Titus Peachey at 717-859-1151.
— The World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee has condemned the military use of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), saying that they pose “serious threats to humanity” and the “right to life” while setting “dangerous precedents in inter-state relations.” A release states that these concerns were expressed by the WCC in a statement issued by its Executive Committee on Feb. 12, when the committee was meeting in Bossey, Switzerland. The statement adds that UAV technology is permitting countries like the “United States of America, Israel, Russia and the United Kingdom, to move towards systems that would give full combat autonomy to machines.” The statement calls governments to “respect and recognize the duty to protect the right to life of their subjects and oppose the violation of human rights. The use of UAVs, first made operational in the Balkans war, has subsequently escalated in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and Somalia and most recently in Pakistan.” The statement calls the international community to “oppose the unlawful policies and practices, particularly of US drone strikes in Pakistan.” It also urges the “US government to ensure justice for victims of unlawful drone strikes, including family members of the victims of unlawful killings” and to provide effective access to remedies, especially restitution, compensation to families of civilians killed or injured and adequate protection for their rehabilitation. Read the full statement at www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/executive-committee/geneva-february-2014/statement-on-the-use-of-drones-and-denial-of-the-right-to-life .
— Rick Polhamus of Pleasant Hill (Ohio) Church of the Brethren was honored for his work with Christian Peacemaker Teams and On Earth Peace on Jan. 18, during the Nobel Peace Prize Luncheon of the Dayton International Peace Museum. He received a Peace Hero Award from the peace museum, which was founded by Ralph and Christine Dull of Lower Miami Church of the Brethren.