Brethren Bits for Feb. 8

Freshly painted classrooms and new chairs at a school in Nigeria, thanks to the Ralph Royer Memorial Fund. Roxane and Carl Hill report via Facebook that the semester at EYN’s Kulp Bible College is underway. The Hills are serving with Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), with support from the Global Mission and Service office of the Church of the Brethren. Photo courtesy of Roxane Hill.

— Corrections: The denomination’s Inter-Agency Forum includes the chair and vice-chair of the Council of District Executives, who should have been listed in last week’s Newsline along with the heads and board chairs of the Conference-related agencies: Church of the Brethren, Brethren Benefit Trust, Bethany Theological Seminary, and On Earth Peace. Also, the Brethren Disaster Ministries version of “Winter Wonderland” included lyrics by Jane Yount as well as Felix Bernard.

— The Church of the Brethren is seeking a director for Brethren Disaster Ministries. The full-time salaried position is part of the Global Mission and Service team and reports directly to the associate executive director of Global Mission and Service. Major responsibilities include informing and engaging Church of the Brethren constituents in Brethren Disaster Ministries activities, maintaining ecumenical and interagency relationships to facilitate response to human need in the United States, coordinating with staff to employ strategy and operations to facilitate the church’s mission, providing sound financial budget management, and initiating grants from the Emergency Disaster Fund for domestic response activities. Required skills and knowledge include strong interpersonal skills; ability to articulate, support, and operate out of the vision, mission, and core values of the Church of the Brethren; ability to uphold and support the basic beliefs and practices of the Church of the Brethren as determined by Annual Conference; knowledge of International Building Code and ability to act within a multicultural and multigenerational team environment. Training or experience with making effective presentations and providing adult education, especially in conducting skill training workshops; managing staff and volunteers; and in-house construction and repair is required. A bachelor’s degree is required with a preference for an advanced degree. An associate degree or experience in relevant fields will be considered. This position is based at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Applications are received immediately and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Request the application packet by contacting the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; 800-323-8039 ext. 367; . The Church of the Brethren is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

— “A decade of war has brought us no true security. Let’s try building peace,” said an invitation to the 2014 Ecumenical Advocacy Days. The event takes place March 21-24 on the theme “Jesus Weeps: Resisting Violence, Building Peace.” The Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness is inviting church members to take part by coming to Washington, D.C., for this ecumenical educational and advocacy gathering. More information is at .

— Also from the Office of Public Witness, a note about participating in the March 13-16 National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend. Participating “is as easy as incorporating a prayer, hymn, or homily into your regular service,” said the note posted on Facebook. “Join more than 1,000 participating congregations by pledging your place of worship’s participation.” For more information and to make the participation pledge, go to .

— Another church of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN–the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has suffered an attack by the extremist Islamist sect Boko Haram, according to a report from the organization Christian Solidarity Worldwide. On Jan. 31, gunmen attacked a service at the EYN church at Sabon Garin Yamdula village in Adamawa State, the report said. “After storming the church, they fired sporadically, killing 11 people, including the senior pastor, who died later in hospital. The gunmen also attempted to burn down the church, but were repelled by youths and local vigilantes firing hunting guns…. Two church members are reported to still be missing.” Christian Solidarity Worldwide also reported the Feb. 1 murder of a prominent Muslim cleric from the city of Zaria and members of his family. Sheikh Mohammed Awwal Adam “had spoken out increasingly strongly against Boko Haram,” the report said.

— Two continuing education events are sponsored by Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center (SVMC) during the month of March. “What Every Christian Should Know about Islam” will be held at Mechanicsburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren on March 15, and “Leadership for the Emerging Church” will be held at the Village at Morrison’s Cove, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in Martinsburg, Pa., on March 22. These one-day seminars begin at 9 a.m. and end around 3:30 p.m. Cost is $50, lunch included. Continuing education credit is available for $10. Registration is due by March 1. SVMC is a ministry partnership of several Church of the Brethren districts–Atlantic Northeast, Southern Pennsylvania, Middle Pennsylvania, Western Pennsylvania, and Mid-Atlantic–along with the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership and Bethany Theological Seminary. Register at .

— The men of Hollins Road Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va., are sponsoring a “Men Can Cook” tasting in the church social hall on Feb. 15, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. There is no charge, however a “love offering” will be accepted. For more information, contact the church office at .

— A benefit concert for the Haiti Medical Project will be held on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 4 p.m., at the McPherson (Kan.) Opera House. McPherson community musical groups will present the benefit concert, part of a year-long effort by McPherson Church of the Brethren to raise funds for the project that brings mobile medical clinics to Haitian communities that previously lacked sufficient medical resources. In 2013, the church raised over $80,000 through various fund raisers, from garage sales and bake sales to matching gifts and garden parties, said an announcement. This year the church’s goal is to raise $100,000 by Easter. The concert will include instrumental performances by the McPherson Community Brass Choir, Resonance Trio, and the Church of the Brethren Angelus Ringers. Vocal performances will include Delores and the Pickin-Fretter of Wichita; McPherson High School choral director Nick Griggs and his wife, Miriam Griggs; and an a capella women’s double trio. The concert will conclude with several choral numbers, including a Haitian Creole piece. The concert is open to the public and a free will offering will be collected. For more information about the concert, contact McPherson Church of the Brethren at 620-241-1109. For more information or to contribute to the Haiti Medical Project, visit .

— Western Pennsylvania District has announced the theme for its 2014 district conference, “Be Led by the SPIRIT” (Romans 8:14). The 148th Western Pennsylvania District Conference will be on Oct. 18 at Camp Harmony, led by moderator Homer A. Foster.

— Camp Harmony in Hooversville, Pa., holds its 90th Anniversary Celebration on May 30-June 1. The celebration includes a May 30 Open House Celebration for area businesses; a May 31 Open House for community residents; and on June 1 a chicken barbecue, worship celebration, and recreation. More about the camp is at .

— Also at Camp Harmony, a Sweetheart Dinner will be held on Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. The 1950’s era dinner will include “music, fun, and dancing,” said an announcement. Cost is $15 per person, or $25 per couple. E-mail or call 814-798-5885.

— The Brethren Home Community in Windber, Pa., is welcoming greetings of love and friendship for its residents on this Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. Anyone wishing to share a Valentine greeting with a resident at the community should address a card to the resident directly, or send cards to “Be My Valentine” at the Brethren Home, 277 Hoffman Ave., Windber, PA 15963.

— The board of directors of Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village near Boonsboro, Md., has added three new members: Mary Rosborough, a Church of the Brethren member with the congregation in Hagerstown, Md., and an independent-living resident at Fahrney-Keedy, is the Village representative on the board; Kay Hoffman, development director for Brook Lane Health Services and vice president of the Brook Lane Foundation, and co-president of Soroptimist International; and Heather Lorenzo, chief medical officer at Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, Md., her latest of several positions at the hospital. The board of directors has 15 members and is chaired by former director of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, Lerry Fogle.

— COBYS Family Services is branching out into television news at a fundraising banquet on March 6, at 6:30 p.m. at Middle Creek Church of the Brethren in Lititz, Pa. A release announces that in addition to a family style meal, “The COBYS Nightly News Banquet” will feature aspiring anchormen Mark Cunningham and Don Fitzkee (who haven’t quit their day jobs as COBYS executive director and director of development). “WCOBys Nightly News will feature some real news about COBYS ministries to children and families, along with some more whimsical fare,” said the release. “Expect up-to-the-minute traffic from COBYS Permanency Unit Supervisor Nicole Lauzus; a therapeutic weather report from therapist Laura Miller that not only predicts the weather, but also how it will make you feel; and a word from our sponsor, Gene Wenger’s Meats & Fine Foods.” The program also will feature a performance by The King’s Strings, adoptive parents John and Cindy King and some of their eight children. There is no charge to attend the banquet, but reservations are required and the event will include an opportunity to support COBYS ministries. Guests may reserve a table of eight by enclosing a donation of $250 or more with their registration. Those who reserve tables will receive preferred seating. Only those reserving a table are required to donate in advance. More information and a printable invitation with directions to the church is available at . Register by contacting Don Fitzkee at 717-656-6580 or no later than Feb. 28.

— Bridgewater (Va.) Retirement Community will host a dinner meeting on March 12 with the authors of “Necessary Conversations,” Gerald and Marlene Kaufman. The presentation will address challenges that adult children and their aging parents face in dealing with issues of finances, housing, health, and end-of-life decisions. The 6 p.m. dinner will be held in the Houff Community Center of Maple Terrace at the retirement community. Reservations are due by March 4, contact 540-828-2550 or 800-419-9129 or Shenandoah District is helping to provide the event free of charge.

— Byron Miller will mark his 100th birthday on Feb. 16 by preaching for Sunday morning chapel at Timbercrest, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in North Manchester, Ind., reports Manchester Church of the Brethren. Miller’s family is holding a reception in honor of his 100th birthday on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2-4 p.m. in the Assembly Room at Timbercrest.

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