Brethren Bits for Jan. 17, 2014

 “Heifer’s CEO is in Puerto Rico visiting the first recipients of Heifer’s gifts,” reported Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission and Service for the Church of the Brethren in an e-mail dated Jan. 15, in which he shared these photos. Pierre Ferrari, shown with Puerto Rican Brethren above, is CEO and president of Heifer International, is visiting the Church of the Brethren in Puerto Rico as one of the places where Heifer got its start. He also visited the hospital in Castaner and viewed murals showing Puerto Rican recipients of heifers (below). Heifer International began as the Church of the Brethren’s Heifer Project, led by Dan West who was then a member of the denominational staff. Photos courtesy of Heifer International

— Bethany Theological Seminary, a graduate school of the Church of the Brethren located in Richmond, Ind., seeks a part-time project director with education and experience in financial planning and program implementation to fulfill the aims of a grant received from Lilly Endowment Inc. This appointment will be renewed annually for up to three years. The grant will fund research to identify the unique financial challenges for Bethany students in the local and distance programs and to design and implement ways Bethany can better prepare and support students and alumni/ae to face the economic challenges of pastoral ministry. Duties will include overseeing the collection of new data outlined in the grant narrative; presenting research findings to Bethany staff and faculty (and others, as needed); introducing students to new ideas about “simple living”; connecting students with career counseling resources; increasing student awareness of available outside financial aid and sources of funding for seminary; exploring bivocational ministry preparation at Bethany and throughout the denomination; facilitating financial education for Bethany staff and faculty; establishing new programs to strengthen the financial literacy of students; informing alumni/ae of financial stewardship resources available to them; compiling grant reports; assessing grant initiatives. Candidates should have strong organizational abilities, good interpersonal skills, and excellent financial expertise. A bachelor’s degree is required. Additional education and familiarity with the values of the Church of the Brethren is preferred. Copies of the grant can be requested from Brenda Reish at reishbr@bethanyseminary.edu . Mail a letter of interest and resume to Project Director Search, Bethany Theological Seminary, 615 National Road West, Richmond, IN 47374 or projectdirectorsearch@bethanyseminary.edu . The application deadline is Jan. 31, 2014, or until the position is filled. Bethany Seminary does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. Find this full announcement online at www.bethanyseminary.edu/news/lillysearch .

— The Brethren Historical Library and Archives (BHLA) at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., has posted an opening for an archival intern. The Archival Internship Program develops interest in vocations related to archives and libraries and/or Brethren history. The program will provide the intern with work assignments in BHLA and with opportunities to develop professional contacts. Work assignments will include processing archival materials, writing descriptive inventories, preparing books for cataloging, responding to reference requests, and assisting researchers in the library. Professional contacts may include attending archival and library conferences and workshops, visits to libraries and archives in the Chicago area, and participation in a Brethren Historical Committee meeting. BHLA is the official repository for Church of the Brethren publications and records. The collection consists of over 10,000 volumes, over 3,500 linear feet of manuscripts and records, over 40,000 photographs, plus videos, films, DVDs, and recordings. The term of service is one year, beginning July 2014 (preferred). Compensation includes housing, a stipend of $540 every two weeks, health insurance. A graduate student is preferred, or an undergraduate with at least two years of college. Requirements include an interest in history and/or library and archival work, willingness to work with detail, accurate word processing skills, ability to lift 30-pound boxes. Request an application packet from the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; humanresources@brethren.org ; 800-323-8039 ext. 367. All submissions must be completed by May 1.

— The district executive ministers of the 23 districts in the Church of the Brethren are holding an annual winter meeting in Cocoa Beach, Fla., from Jan. 19-23.

— Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) announces the starts of the 2014 Winter Orientation held Jan. 26-Feb. 14 at Camp Ithiel in Gotha, Fla. This will be the 304th unit for Brethren Volunteer Service and will consist of 13 volunteers from across the United States and Germany. Several Church of the Brethren members will attend, and the remaining volunteers come from varied faith backgrounds, adding a healthy diversity to the group’s orientation experience. A BVS potluck is open to all those who are interested on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 6 p.m. at Camp Ithiel. “Please feel free to come and welcome the new BVS volunteers and to share your own experiences. An evening of contra dancing will follow,” said an invitation from the BVS staff. “As always your thoughts and prayers are welcome and needed. Please remember this new unit and the people they will touch during their year of service through BVS.” For more information contact the BVS office at 847-429-4384 or go to www.brethren.org/bvs .

— Online registration for the 2014 Young Adult Conference opens Jan. 24 at www.brethren.org/yac . The conference will be held May 23-25 at Camp Brethren Woods in Keezletown, Va. Find out more at www.brethren.org/yac .

— The Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., is again hosting the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day food drive held by the city of Elgin. The food drive will be utilizing the denomination’s warehouse to accept, sort, and deliver donations of food over the holiday weekend. Donations will be accepted Sunday, Jan. 19, and groups of high school students from Elgin will help sort the food on Monday, Jan. 20. The church staff have been invited to participate by dropping off donations of food.

— The annual World Hunger Auction-sponsored winter musical will be held at Germantown Brick Church of the Brethren in Virlina District on Jan. 26 at 4 p.m. Performing will be two groups from Franklin County, Va.–Haw Patch and After Jack. “It will be an inspiring afternoon filled with great music and fellowship,” said the district newsletter.

— Bridgewater (Va.) College has announced that although the observance of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. is Jan. 20, the college will celebrate the day and King’s legacy on Jan. 29 when Wil Haygood, author of “The Butler: A Witness to History,” will speak in Cole Hall at 7:30 p.m. Haygood is an acclaimed Washington Post reporter, spent 17 years as a national and foreign correspondent for The Boston Globe where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. His appearance at Bridgewater is part of the college’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, which is held after the official birthday observation so that all staff and students–some of whom are absent from campus in January–may participate, said a release. Haygood’s lecture is free and open to the public, sponsored by the Anna B. Mow Lecture Series and the Center for Cultural Engagement at Bridgewater College.

— At Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., the Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation will feature Ericka Huggins, a professor of women’s studies at California State University, East Bay and a former leader of the Black Panther Party. She will speak on how love can be used as a tool to reclaim and sustain civil and human rights in a lecture at 4 p.m., Monday, Jan. 20, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts. The lecture, “The Intersection of Love and Power: Women in the Human Rights Movement,” is free and open to the public, sponsored by Juniata’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “Huggins will use her experience serving as a leader of the Black Panther Party in New Haven, Conn., and in California, as well as her experience serving time in jail as a political prisoner as she awaited a trial on conspiracy charges, as a mirror to show how love for oppressed women, men and children inspired activism from women in revolutionary movements,” said a release. She is currently a professor of sociology at Laney and Berkeley City College and at California State University.

— McPherson (Kan.) College, in conjunction with the community-wide MAC Diversity Team, will celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 20. The celebration will include a screening of “The Loving Story” at 1 p.m. in Melhorn Hall in connection with the Lincoln County Historical Society. “The Loving Story” documents the story of Mildred and Richard Loving, who were arrested in Virginia in July 1958 for breaking a state law banning marriage between people of different races. It was nominated for three Emmy Awards in 2013 and received a Peabody Award. Justin Echols, of Oklahoma City, Okla., will also be the guest speaker and performer for the evening event at 7 p.m. in Brown Auditorium. Echols is an internationally known jazz musician, mentored by jazz legend Wynton Marsalis and Antonio Ciacca, Juilliard professor and director of programming at Jazz at Lincoln Center. He was the youngest inductee to the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 2012. Also performing will be the McPherson High School Jazz Band, under direction of Joel Wagoner. The events are free and open to the public.

— The “first fruits” of World Council of Churches 10th Assembly have been published in the newest issue of “The Ecumenical Review,” according to a release from the WCC. This issue of the quarterly journal published by the WCC includes “chief contributions and highlights” of the WCC 10th Assembly held in the Republic of South Korea from Oct. 30-Nov. 8 last year. under the theme, “God of life, lead us to justice and peace.” The 14 pieces in the journal include the full reports of the WCC general secretary and moderator, the official “Message” of the assembly, a list of the other public statements with links to full texts online, the assembly’s unity statement, and several notable presentations from the plenary sessions and the closing worship service. “The pieces convey something of the spirit and tone of the gathering, along with analysis of the current work and prospects of the WCC and the larger ecumenical movement,” said the release. Find out more at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/erev.2013.65.issue-4/issuetoc .

— Brethren are being invited to a public meeting in which historic peace church pastors from Mennonite and Brethren in Christ traditions will speak on war taxes. The event is Saturday, Feb. 8, from 9-10:30 a.m., at Akron (Pa.) Mennonite Church.  Three pastors will speak: Susan Gascho-Cooke, Community Mennonite Church; Barry Kreider, Pilgrims Mennonite Church; and John Yeatts, Grantham Brethren in Christ Church. The presentations will be followed by time for discussion. All are welcome, with a special invitation to pastors. The event is sponsored by 1040forpeace.org . Drinks, fruit, and pastries will be available. For more information call John Stoner at 717-859-3388.

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