Brethren Bits for June 2, 2014

— Remembered: Harry Miller Gardner, 88, of Harrisonburg, Va., passed away at his home on May 17. For 22 years, he served in one of the following capacities: senior official for the US Department of Education, special assistant to the Secretaries or Assistant Secretaries of Education, director of External Affairs for the Department, or executive director of the President’s Advisory Committee on International Education. He traveled extensively in the US and overseas, working with governors, legislators, and key educators. He also worked with Indian and migrant education programs, regularly attended meetings at the White House, and had regular input into the Secretary’s speeches delivered on behalf of the President on national education issues. Gardner was born Oct. 1, 1925, in Lebanon County, Pa., to Elmer Miller and Grace Showalter Gardner. The family moved to Rockingham County and eventually settled in Bridgewater, Va. He graduated in 1950 from Bridgewater College. He earned a master of divinity degree after attending Wesley Theological Seminary and Bethany Theological Seminary, and earned a doctorate in Systematic Theology in 1962 after attending Boston and Harvard Universities. He was an invited theologian/lecturer at universities in Scotland, Germany, and England. For more than 20 years he served as pastor of churches in Maryland, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia; was a district moderator; authored articles for Brethren and other Christian publications; was a speaker for Annual Conference; and was a Standing Committee member. He also was a trustee for Bridgewater College. Most recently he was a member of Bridgewater Church of the Brethren and an associate member of Vienna (Va.) Presbyterian Church. He married the late Glenna Garber in 1949 and after 17 years of marriage, Glenna died of cancer. He later married Norma Jean Weagley, who survives, and they celebrated 45 years of marriage. Surviving in addition to his wife are daughters Lisa Gardner Anderson and Andrea Nolley and husband Curtis, and grandson Ryan Nolley, all of Harrisonburg. A memorial service was held May 24 at Bridgewater Church of the Brethren. Memorial gifts are received to Bridgewater Church of the Brethren, Hahn Cancer Center, or Shenandoah Valley Choral Society.

— Kelley Brenneman has been named to an internship in the Brethren Historical Library and Archives (BHLA). The year-long internship is at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Since the fall of 2011, Brenneman has been working as a student assistant, most recently archival assistant, in the Funderberg Library at Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind., serving alongside the archivist. She also has been a summer student worker at the Funderberg Library in 2012 and 2013. This month she is to earn her bachelor of arts degree in history from Manchester University, where she has been vice president of the Simply Brethren student group. Raised in the Church of the Brethren, she is a member of Agape Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Ind. She will begin her work at the BHLA on June 30.

— On Earth Peace seeks a part-time Peace Day Campaign organizer. The Peace Day Campaign focuses on Sept. 21, which is Peace Day as recognized by the UN and the World Council of Churches. Since 2007, On Earth Peace has invited and equipped congregations and community groups to organize peace prayer events, averaging 170 groups each year in the US and other countries. In 2014, Peace Day falls on Sunday and On Earth Peace is expanding the reach of the campaign with a social media presence and intentional relational follow up. The position averages 12 hours per week from hire date through Oct. 30. Pay is $15 per hour. Preferred location is Portland, Ore. Responsibilities include social media organizing, making connections and recruiting participant groups for Peace Day, handling logistics and promotion for conference calls for networking between Peace Day event planners/organizers, documentation of campaign participation, among others. Qualifications include demonstrated history of effective practices with social media, experience with public relations and communications, confidence and readiness to make calls to potential participants/organizers, self-starting ability, ability to document contacts and keep records, rooted and conversant in Christian peacemaking and peacebuilding, familiarity with congregational life, high level of proficiency in spoken and written English with multilingual skills a plus, proficiency with GoogleDocs/Drive, Microsoft Office, Constant Contact, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. Submit a cover letter and resume highlighting qualifications for this position to PeaceDay@OnEarthPeace.org . In light of the high social media requirement, cover letter should include up to five sample Twitter posts as if posting via the @PeaceDayPray account using hashtags, etc., or other sample social media posts. Applicants who are invited to interview will do so live or via webcam. A simulated role play phone conversation with a potential Peace Day participant will be part of the interview process. Applications will be reviewed beginning May 28, with start date as soon as possible. See  www.PeaceDayPray.org for more about the campaign. Find the full position listing at http://faithful-steward.tumblr.com/post/86425139084/on-earth-peace-position-listing-peace-day .

— Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) seeks a member services representative, Employee Benefits. This full-time hourly position is based at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The primary function is to perform the daily operations of the Pension and Insurance plans and provide plan information to staff and participants as requested. Duties include maintaining a working knowledge of all pension and insurance systems and products; serving as secondary customer service contact for Pension and Insurance; maintaining/processing daily operational work for Pension and Insurance; assisting with maintaining Pension Plan Summary Plan Description and Plan Highlights, as well as Legal Plan Document Supplements; and performing tasks for Church Workers Assistance Plan. The ideal candidate will have knowledge of employee benefits, including an understanding of pension and insurance plans. This position requires attention to detail and proficiency with computer systems and applications, ability to interact effectively with customers to provide information in response to inquiries about products and services and to handle and resolve complaints, strong communications skills, and a track record of providing superior customer service. Current and active membership in the Church of the Brethren is preferred; current and active membership in a faith community is required. Salary and benefits are competitive with Church Benefits Association agencies of comparable size and scope of services. A full benefits package is included. Apply by sending a letter of interest, résumé, three professional references, and salary-range expectation to Donna March, 1505 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; or dmarch@cobbt.org . For more information about Brethren Benefit Trust, visit www.brethrenbenefittrust.org .

— The Zigler Hospitality Center at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., seeks volunteers to serve as host and hostess in 2015. The center is in need of outgoing, generous individuals and couples to help provide Christian hospitality and conference services to a variety of guests in a cozy and homey atmosphere. Maturity and detail orientation are needed along with a friendly approach and a genuine interest in providing excellent customer service. The Zigler Hospitality Center functions on an ecumenical basis and people of all faiths and backgrounds have been welcomed to the campus. Zigler Hospitality Center includes two buildings with 12 guest rooms accommodating up to 30 guests, 6 conference rooms, outdoor recreation, and a full dining and banquet facility. Training, a furnished apartment, meals, and a stipend are provided during the period of service. Join for a month, several months, a year, or longer. Volunteers are blessed in many ways by the extraordinary groups and individuals who visit the Zigler Hospitality Center. For more information about joining this unique ministry, contact Cori Hahn, Hospitality Coordinator, at 800-766-1553 or chahn@brethren.org .

— The Zigler Hospitality Center seeks volunteer kitchen assistants to serve at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The kitchen assistants serve alongside staff, and “serve the servants” by assisting in the preparation of food for volunteer work groups and guests. Work includes preparing and serving continental breakfast and catered snacks for overnight guests, assisting in preparation of the salad bar for campus lunch, assisting in preparation for banquets and special events, working in the dish room, and following all sanitation and health department rules and regulations. As a resident volunteer, the kitchen assistants are provided with furnished one-bedroom efficiency apartment with private bath, living area, and kitchen on campus. Volunteers are welcome to partake of meals served in the dining room and are provided a food stipend to cover days when meals are not provided. The center welcomes couples who would like to serve together. If a volunteer has a physical handicap, contact with the center staff is encouraged to determine whether service at the Zigler Hospitality Center is a good fit overall. Terms of service are available from a minimum of two months to a maximum of two years. Volunteers are scheduled two days off weekly and an additional week of vacation for six months of service. Volunteers are blessed in many ways by the extraordinary groups and individuals who visit the center. Contact Cori Hahn, Hospitality Coordinator, at 800-766-1553 or chahn@brethren.org .

— Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) partnered with Oak Grove Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va., to host a free BVS Connections Dinner on May 30. Alumni of BVS were invited to come share their stories of service–where they served, work they accomplished, and how it has shaped them. Anyone who served in BVS, supported the ministry, or considers volunteering in the future was welcome. The menu for the evening was pasta, salad, and bread. To contact BVS recruitment about future BVS Connections Dinners hosted by churches, contact Ben Bear at 703-835-3612 or bbear@brethren.org .

— Huntsdale Church of the Brethren in Southern Pennsylvania District is celebrating its 150th year with an “Outdoor Worship and Old Fashioned Sunday School Picnic” on July 13. Sunday school will begin at 9 a.m. and worship at 10 a.m. “All are welcome to come and help celebrate their heritage of a continuing faith!” said an invitation.

— Carlisle (Pa.) Church of the Brethren celebrates its 100th anniversary on June 21 and 22. Events include a chicken barbecue on the evening of June 21, and a lunch following morning worship on June 22. Please RSVP to carlislecob@embarqmail.com or 717-243-4984.

— Berkey Church of the Brethren in Windber, Pa., holds its 55th Annual Strawberry Festival on Saturday, June 21, from 4-7 p.m. “Come enjoy the food and fellowship!” said an invitation. A free will offering will be taken, proceeds will go to outreach ministry.

— This is the 20th year of a free concert series sponsored by Mountville (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, reports Lancaster Online, a news website. The Lawn Concert Series has been organized for 20 years by John Hess, music director at the Mountville Church, and has drawn up to 1,000 to 2,000 people. “My number one thing is to bring as many local groups as I can,” he told Lancaster Online. “I always try to start with the Bainbridge Band and the New Holland Band ends it. There’s a lot of history there. They are the oldest bands in the county.” The series this year includes a special concert to celebrate Mountville’s 200th anniversary. Concerts are free, and include ice cream served by community groups. Find the Lancaster Online article at http://lancasteronline.com/entertainment/th-year-for-free-concert-series-in-mountville/article_7e5046ec-e74a-11e3-9716-001a4bcf6878.html .

— In a meat canning update in the Southern Pennsylvania District newsletter, 44,880 pounds of chicken was canned in four days, with another day for labeling. This represents 986 cases or 23,664 cans of chicken. All bills ($68,196.80) were paid for the project this year; funds are received to build a base for next year’s project. Portions of the canned meat have been distributed to agencies and churches who will distribute to local food banks. The Brethren Service Center will ship seven skids of meat to Honduras. Next year will be the 38th year of the meat canning project, which is a partnership of Atlantic Northeast and Southern Pennsylvania Districts.

— Camp Harmony, an outdoor ministry center in Western Pennsylvania District, will celebrate its 90th anniversary on June 1. Festivities take place from 12 noon to 9 p.m. and include a chicken barbecue (cost $7.50 per meal), music and other talents in the Tabernacle from 2-4 p.m., swimming from 1-5 p.m., hay rides throughout the day, and a Celebration of Worship with a rededication and anniversary campfire at 6 p.m. For more information call Camp Harmony at 814-798-5885.

— “Help us reach 1,001 campers this summer!” said a recent newsletter from Camp Bethel, a Church of the Brethren outdoor ministry center near Fincastle, Va. “Each year, more and more parents choose Camp Bethel’s summer camping excellence. Our goal is to bring 1001 campers to Camp Bethel in 2014!” For more information go to www.campbethelvirginia.org/summer.htm .

— The Brethren Home Community, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in Windber, Pa., has achieved the top rating of 5 stars in the Medicare Medicaid rating system for 2014. The announcement by administrator Edie Scaletta appeared in the Western Pennsylvania District newsletter. “Both our staff and administration have worked hard to raise our standards to this high level,” the announcement said. In more news from the Brethren Home Community, it has once again been included in the Lee Initiatives grant cycle this spring. The home’s grant proposal was prepared by Social Services director Emily Reckner and included a request for $7,300 to be used for a wall post lift system to assist residents with disabilities use a therapeutic whirlpool.

— Timbercrest, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in North Manchester, Ind., is kicking off its 125 Year Anniversary celebration with a Peace Pole Dedication on Thursday, June 5, at 4 p.m. The event takes place next to the Timbercrest Campus North Entrance. “Come early and enjoy the music of the Lynn Family,” said an invitation. “Help us ‘plant the pole.’” In case of rain the event will be held in the Chapel. The Peace Pole Dedication begins a three-day anniversary festival, June 5-7.

—  Dwight and Treva Markey of Southern Pennsylvania District received the Century Farm Award at the 28th Annual York County Agricultural Recognition Banquet on March 20. The district newsletter noted that “Dwight’s parents purchased the farm in 1913 and Dwight and Treva bought it from Dwight’s late father’s estate in 1953. They raised fruits, vegetables, plants, and poultry, until the mid-1950s when a tornado destroyed the fruit trees, after which they slowly transitioned to growing mainly flowers. They were vendors at Central and New Eastern Markets for more than 50 years.” Treva is a volunteer with Children’s Disaster Services and has served on the district board. A photo in the newsletter showed the couple standing with Harry Bickel, president of the York County Agriculture Business Council, state representative Ron Miller, and Matthew Meals, deputy secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture.

— Mary Kay Turner of Gettysburg, Pa., received the 2014 Peacemaker Award from the Interfaith Center for Peace and Justice at Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary. She is a founding board member for the center, has been a Children’s Disaster Services volunteer, has served as a volunteer mediator, mediation trainer, and board member for Mediation Services for Adams County.

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