Brethren Bits for June 17, 2014

Photo courtesy of Kathy Fry-Miller
Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) had a leadership seminar for 34 project managers earlier this month. “The weekend was full of energy, reflection, conversation, imagining, and presentation,” reports Kathleen Fry-Miller, associate director of CDS. “Our visit to the national American Red Cross Headquarters in D.C. was a highlight. What supportive partnership staff we have to work with at the Red Cross. I am confident that CDS is in good hands when we are out there serving children, families, and communities!”

— “Beyond Hunger”–an event celebrating 70 years of Heifer International–will be held at Camp Alexander Mack near Milford, Ind., on Sept. 12-14. Heifer is an award-winning development organization based in Little Rock, Ark., that had its beginnings as the Church of the Brethren Heifer Project. Here is a brief history of the beginnings of Heifer International, which sent its first shipment of 18 heifers from Nappanee, Ind., to Puerto Rico on June 12, 1944. Peggy Reiff Miller reports in a release sent to Newsline: “The Heifer Project, as it was originally known, was the brain child of Church of the Brethren leader Dan West. He and his family lived on a small farm between Goshen and Middlebury, Ind. In 1937, the Society of Friends (Quakers) invited the Church of the Brethren and the Mennonites to assist them in a relief project in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. The Brethren sent Dan West as their salaried representative. While watching limited supplies of reconstituted powdered milk being distributed to infants, with those not gaining weight being taken off the list to die, West thought, ‘Why not send cows to Spain so they’d have all the milk they need?’ After arriving home in early 1938, West relentlessly promoted the ‘cow, not a cup’ idea. It took four years, but in April 1942, the Northern Indiana Men’s Work of the Church of the Brethren adopted Dan West’s plan for ‘Cattle for Europe.’ A committee was formed which became the core of a national Heifer Project Committee when the denomination’s Brethren Service Committee adopted the plan months later.” The event at Camp Mack will include a hog roast, two of Dan West’s children telling stories of their father and Heifer Project around the campfire, a luncheon with Heifer’s CEO Pierre Ferrari, presentations by Church of the Brethren author and researcher Peggy Reiff Miller and former Heifer Midwest director Dave Boothby, workshops with Heifer staff, children’s activities and a petting zoo, and recognition of seagoing cowboys. Early registration is required, and registration will be closed when the maximum of 300 participants is reached. There is a charge for Friday and Saturday evening meals and lodging. For more information and to register, contact Peggy Reiff Miller at or 574-658-4147. The event at Camp Mack is just one of several “Beyond Hunger” events that Heifer International is holding across the country. To find other Beyond Hunger events, go to .

— Among five “high-achievement alumni” honored by Juniata College on Alumni Weekend 2014, June 7, was Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) manager Jeff Boshart who received the William E. Swigart Jr. Alumni Humanitarian Award. Other alumni who received recognition were Fred Lytle, professor emeritus of chemistry at Purdue University and currently a corporate fellow at Indigo BioSystems; Jane Brumbaugh Gough, retired program analyst and business programs specialist at the US Naval Research Laboratory; Khara Koffel, associate professor of art at MacMurray College, in Jacksonville, Ill.; and George M. Zlupko, director of the Lung Disease Center of Central Pennsylvania in Altoona, Pa. Boshart is a 1989 Juniata graduate and in addition to managing the Global Food Crisis Fund also manages the Emerging Global Mission Fund for the Church of the Brethren and represents the Church of the Brethren at the Foods Resources Bank. Previously he was a Brethren mission worker serving as Haiti Disaster Response Coordinator from 2008-12 with Brethren Disaster Ministries, and was a community development coordinator in the Dominican Republic from 2001-04.

Mission and Ministry Board member Janet Elsea has been involved in a Cold Water Challenge to benefit the EYN Compassion Fund of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria. “So far we have about six videos of folks taking the Cold Water Challenge specifically for the EYN Compassion Fund…and the list keeps growing,” she wrote to Newsline. The challenge was initiated by her daughter in law’s brother, and then other friends and family, and members of Pleasant Hill Church of the Brethren, began participating. “We are hoping it will catch fire!” Elsea wrote. Above: the reactions of some of the participant. Below: a group from Pleasant Hill Church that took part.

— Hollins Road Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va., will celebrate 100 years at its present location on Sept. 6, starting at 5:30 p.m. with food, music, and time to reminisce about the years gone by. The evening will end with a presentation by pastor Horace Light. The celebration continues on Sunday, Sept. 7, beginning at 9:30 a.m. with music and guest speaker David K. Shumate, district executive minister for Virlina District. Worship will be followed by a sit-down meal in the social hall. “Each and everyone is cordially invited to attend and share in this memorable celebration,” said an invitation in the Virlina District newsletter.

— Mohrsville Church of the Brethren in Berks County, Pa., hosted the crowning of the 2014-15 Berks County dairy princess and her court this year. The young women will travel around Berks County promoting the dairy industry, led by Ashley Mohn, who was crowned the 2014-15 Berks County dairy princess. Gabrielle Kurtz and Megan Notestine were named the alternate dairy princesses, and Alyssa Troutman was named Li’l Miss Dairy Princess. Find a photo and full report from the “Reading (Pa.) Eagle” at .

— Virlina District is sponsoring a Parent Training Event on Aug. 16, at Bethlehem Church of the Brethren in Boones Mill, Va. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the event will begin at 9 a.m. Two sessions will be presented: “Raising Nonviolent Children in a Violent World” from 9:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m., led by Carol Elmore and Dava Hensley based on a book by the same title by Dr. Michael Obsatz; and “The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander” from 1:15-3:15 p.m., led by Patricia Ronk based on a book by the same title by Barbara Coloroso. Lunch will be provided. The event will close with worship and evaluation and conclude at 3:30 p.m. Donations will be received toward the costs. For more information contact Patricia Ronk at or 540-798-5512. A flier is available by request, contact . Pre-registration is not required but would be helpful for lunch preparation.

— Camp Bethel’s 20th Annual Benefit Golf Tournament is Aug. 20 at Botetourt Golf Club. Tee off is at 12:45 p.m. Cost of $70 per person includes green fees, cart, and dinner at camp ($15 for dinner only). Mulligans are sold at the course for $5 each. Prizes will be awarded for “best-ofs” and there will be door prizes at camp. “Assemble your dream team for a day fun on the greens while supporting the ministries of Camp Bethel,” said an announcement. Tournament sponsors also are needed to help provide support for summer camp programs. More information about the golf tournament and about the camp located near Fincastle, Va., is at .

— Camp Bethel near Fincastle, Va., celebrates its 30th Heritage Day Festival on Oct. 4. The festival is an important fundraiser for the camp. Heritage Day forms, fliers, and information are available at or call 540-992-2940.

— Aug. 23 is the Southern Pennsylvania and Atlantic Northeast Districts Church of the Brethren night at Senator’s Baseball at Metro Bank Park. The districts invite Brethren to enjoy a night of fun and fellowship with the Harrisburg (Pa.) Senators, starting at 7 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

— Somerset (Pa.) Church of the Brethren is hosting the First Annual District Women’s Summer Tea Party in Western Pennsylvania District, on Saturday, Aug. 9, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The event is sponsored by the district Women’s Ministries and the Somerset Church Women’s Ministry. The district newsletter invited women to come and bring their relatives, friends, and neighbors to “a time to honor and refresh women.” Participants should bring along a cup and saucer. The theme will be, “Women of God–Growing in Grace” (2 Peter 3:18). Cost is $10 Registrations must be in by July 30. Contact Arbutus Blough at 814-629-9279.

— “We are God’s Servants Working Together” (1 Corinthians 3:1-9) is the theme of an Aug. 23 gathering of Southern Ohio District. The event starts at 3:30 p.m. at Troy Church of the Brethren. The gathering will assemble school kits for Church World Service, then join in a celebration of what God has done as the district works together, said an announcement in the district newsletter. “This event supports our district conference theme taken from 1 Corinthians 3:1-9, ‘We are God’s Servants, Working Together,’” the announcement said. Monetary donations will be received to purchase supplies for the kits, contribute by sending a check to Southern Ohio District, 2293 Gauby Rd., New Madison, OH 45346.

— “Ice cream, anyone?” said an invitation to a summer festival at Shepherd’s Spring, an outdoor ministry center and camp near Sharpsburg, Md. The festival on Aug. 16 also is an opportunity for sponsors to fund the event, at which ice cream will be served to benefit the ongoing ministry of Shepherd’s Spring. For more information go to .

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