Newsline for July 1, 2014

How to follow Annual Conference online:
Follow events at the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio, at www.brethren.org/ac2014 — where you will find daily news pages, photo albums, webcasts of worship and business, and more.Download the new Annual Conference app at www.brethren.org/ac/app.html .

Follow the Conference Twitter conversation via #cobac14.

Annual Conference begins tomorrow, Wednesday, July 2, and closes with Sunday morning worship July 6. Pre-Conference meetings include the Standing Committee of district delegates, the Ministers’ Association event with Dr. Thomas G. Long, the Council of District Executives, the Mission and Ministry Board, and Congregational Vitality Workshops.

Sunday, July 6, starting at 8:30 a.m. (eastern) congregations across the denomination are invited to join in the Annual Conference Sunday worship by streaming it live from Columbus.
Several other sessions also will be webcast (all times are eastern):
— Opening session of the Conference on Wednesday, July 2, starting at 6:50 p.m.
— Morning Bible study and business on Thursday and Friday, July 3-4, starting at 8:30 a.m.
— Afternoon business on Thursday and Friday, starting at 1:55 p.m.
— Evening worship on Thursday and Friday, starting at 6:50 p.m.
— Morning worship on Saturday, July 5, starting at 8:30 a.m.
— Morning business session on Saturday, starting at 10:15 a.m.
— Afternoon business on Saturday, starting at 1:55 p.m.
— Evening concert on Saturday, starting at 7 p.m.

Find links to webcasts and bulletins for worship at www.brethren.org/ac2014 .

NEWS
1) Standing Committee denies support to On Earth Peace ‘Statement of Inclusion’ but commits to ‘walk in love together’
2) EYN church among those attacked near Chibok on Sunday, as Annual Conference prepares to welcome Nigerian guests
3) Annual Conference bits and pieces
4) Church poultry project in Nigeria reports progress
5) Over the top: Manchester elated with $108 million success

UPCOMING EVENTS
6) Heifer International celebrates 70 years with ‘Beyond Hunger’ event at Camp Mack

7) Brethren bits: Robby May to manage Camp Galilee, ‘What Brethren Believe’ online course, Agape-Satyagraha training webinars, Enders church damaged by storms, and much much more.


1) Standing Committee denies support to On Earth Peace ‘Statement of Inclusion’ but commits to ‘walk in love together’

photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
Annual Conference moderator Nancy Sollenberger Heishman leads a conversation in Standing Committee, with representatives from On Earth Peace. Executive director Bill Scheurer and board chair Jordan Bles and a delegation of Standing Committee members reflected on recent meetings regarding the agency’s “Statement of Inclusion.”

The Standing Committee of delegates from the Church of the Brethren’s 23 districts has made a statement regarding the On Earth Peace “Statement of Inclusion.” The Standing Committee statement follows on a second delegation that met with On Earth Peace. Two Standing Committee delegations have attempted to gain resolution of concerns that the “Statement of Inclusion” is inconsistent with Annual Conference decisions affirming the 1983 paper “Human Sexuality from a Christian Perspective,” and polity regarding ordination.

On Earth Peace is an agency of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. Its “Statement of Inclusion” dates back to 2011, and has been the subject of a series of interactions with Standing Committee for the past three years. Today’s conversation in Standing Committee included On Earth Peace representatives Bill Scheurer, executive director, and Jordan Bles, board chair.

The Standing Committee action came at the close of its first full day of meetings prior to the 2014 Annual Columbus in Columbus, Ohio. Standing Committee is led by Annual Conference moderator Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, assisted by moderator-elect David Steele, and Conference secretary James M. Beckwith.

Denial of support, affirmation of love

Today’s Standing Committee statement was arrived at after much conversation and at times emotional debate, and the vote revealed a significant divide in the group. The Standing Committee statement, adopted by a majority vote with a minority of more than a quarter of members voting against, reads:

“Standing Committee does not support the 2011 Statement of Inclusion of On Earth Peace as an agency of the church, but we will continue to commit ourselves to walk in love together in the face of differing interpretations of scripture and Annual Conference statements and decisions.”

The “Statement of Inclusion” from the On Earth Peace board reads:

“We are troubled by attitudes and actions in the church, which exclude persons on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or any other aspect of human identity. We believe God calls the church to welcome all persons into full participation in the life of the faith community.”

Series of interactions between Standing Committee and On Earth Peace

Moderator Nancy Heishman introduced a time of sharing of feelings about the interaction between the Standing Committee delegation and On Earth Peace, offering information about the series of interactions between the two groups and reviewing other relevant information as well as the activities of the most recent delegation.

Interactions that led to today’s statement included, among others, two Standing Committee delegations that both reported good conversations with the agency’s board and staff but that did not gain resolution of the conflict.

As part of its effort, the second delegation held a conference call with the executive committee of On Earth Peace and the two groups jointly proposed that On Earth Peace add the following additional sentence to the statement of inclusion, from which much of the language of today’s Standing Committee statement was derived:

“We continue to commit ourselves to walk in love together with the denomination in the face of differing interpretations of scripture and Annual Conference statements and decisions.”

However, the sentence did not receive consensus support from the full board of On Earth Peace, which requested consultation about the sentence from several other groups in the denomination including the Open Table Cooperative, Womaen’s Caucus, Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests, the Brethren Revival Fellowship, and the liaison to the Council of District Executives.

Other interactions over the three years included a specially called session with Scheurer during 2013’s Standing Committee meetings, reported by Newsline at www.brethren.org/news/2013/ac2013news/standing-committee-special-session-with-oep.html , and in 2012 the Standing Committee statement of concern titled “A Way Forward” that said, in part, “trust in leadership has been broken” by three events–one being the “Statement of Inclusion.”

At that time Standing Committee urged On Earth Peace “to re-examine its statement of inclusion regarding ‘full participation’ so that it will be consistent with Annual Conference decisions regarding Human Sexuality from a Christian Perspective [the 1983 Conference statement] and the polity regarding ordination.” Find “A Way Forward” in full at www.brethren.org/news/2012/ac2012-onsite-news/a-way-forward.html .

In other business

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
The Annual Conference officers for 2014 at the head table at Standing Commitee: at center, moderator Nancy S. Heishman, with moderator elect David Steele at left, and secretary James Beckwith at right.

Standing Committee also has made recommendations on two items of new business coming to the Annual Conference:

Amendments to the Bylaws of the Church of the Brethren, Inc.: Standing Committee recommended approval of amendments to the denominational bylaws proposed by the Mission and Ministry Board. The amendments clarify the term of service for a member of the board who is chosen chair-elect, and clarify “that the full five-year term allowed for a director [board member] who serves less than half of an unexpired term is subsequent to that unexpired term, not in place of it.” The amendments also update the change of name of Oregon-Washington District to Pacific Northwest District. Find the full proposal at www.brethren.org/ac/2014/documents/business-items/2014-nb1-amendments-to-bylaws.pdf .

Amendments to Church of the Brethren Benefit Trust Articles of Organization: Standing Committee recommended approval of amendments to the BBT Articles of Organization. The most substantive amendment would allow for an incumbent member of the BBT board eligible for a second term to automatically become one of two nominees that Standing Committee recommends for Annual Conference election. Others include changes to conform to style, addition of a clause related to BBT’s socially responsible investing in a manner conforming to Brethren values, clarification that a financial report and annual report are submitted to the delegate body, among others. Find the full proposal at www.brethren.org/ac/2014/documents/business-items/2014-nb2-amendments-to-bbt-aticles-of-incorporation.pdf .

In addition, Standing Committee received an update and held table talk about the Ministerial Leadership polity revision and the item of unfinished business on equitable representation on the Mission and Ministry Board, received reports from the moderator and the denomination’s Leadership Team, and heard from the Council of District Executives.

Standing Committee meetings opened yesterday evening with a dinner and a time for sharing from the districts.

— Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford is director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren.

2) EYN church among those attacked near Chibok on Sunday, as Annual Conference prepares to welcome Nigerian guests

As the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference prepares to welcome members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), a Nigerian Brethren church is among those suffering fresh attacks near Chibok, in news from Nigeria on Sunday.

Rebecca Dali, a leading member of EYN and wife of EYN president Samuel Dante Dali, will be attending Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio, July 2-6, along with members of BEST, an EYN organization of business people.

“Suspected Islamic extremists sprayed gunfire at worshippers and torched four churches Sunday,” said a report from the Associated Press and ABC. The attacks on Kwada and Kautikari villages were just a few kilometers from Chibok, the place where Boko Haram abducted more than 200 schoolgirls in mid-April. Scores of people were killed and survivors are hiding in the bush, the report said. In addition to the EYN church, other churches that were destroyed included the Church of Christ in Nigeria and the Deeper Life Bible Church. The attackers also burned houses. See http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/gunmen-torch-churches-kill-scores-nigeria-24354330 .

A news report posted on AllAfrica.com said that other attacks in recent days have occurred in Kaduna and Taraba areas, and there was a bombing in Bauchi. At least 52 people were killed and scores injured in these other incidents. “The executive secretary of the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency…lamented that the tense situation in the area was making distribution of relief materials to about 50,000 displaced persons almost impossible,” the report said. Read it at http://allafrica.com/stories/201406290009.html .

A list of speaking engagements by Rebecca Dali and by Carl and Roxane Hill, who recently completed a term of service at EYN’s Kulp Bible College, was included in last week’s Newsline. Find it at www.brethren.org/news/2014/rebecca-dali-to-visit-in-us.html .

In addition to these engagements, Dali and the Hills will be at an insight session at Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday, July 4, at 12:30 p.m. in Room C213-215 of the Columbus Convention Center. Dali will be at the single adults’ lunch group on July 5. The evening of July 5, she is to host a station at the intergenerational activities.

Financial support for the work of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria and for EYN is being received. Donate to the work of Global Mission and Service in Nigeria at www.brethren.org/givegms . Donate to the EYN Compassion Fund at www.brethren.org/eyncompassion . Donate to the Emergency Disaster Fund to support disaster relief work in Nigeria at www.brethren.org/edf .

3) Annual Conference bits and pieces

Photo by Regina Holmes — One of the MoR observers on duty at the 2011 Annual Conference. For some years, the Ministry of Reconciliation (MoR) has provided observers as a resource for participants in the Conference business sessions. This year, the ministry also is helping to provide teams of trained volunteers who will be available to be called on as needed throughout the Annual Conference venue.

— Members of the Ministry of Reconciliation (MoR) at Annual Conference will be wearing yellow lanyards and identifying tags. The MoR volunteers are available to meet with anyone needing a listening ear during the Conference. Contact the Ministry of Reconciliation at the On Earth Peace booth or the Annual Conference Office or by calling 620-755-3940.

— A video about the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., is posted online offering information in advance of a conversation to take place during an Annual Conference business session. At its March meeting the Mission and Ministry Board decided to provide the delegate body of Annual Conference with resources to prepare for “Table Talk” about the Brethren Service Center. There will not be any votes or decisions made, but delegates will have an opportunity to share feedback with the board. In addition to the video, delegates have received a fact sheet and a letter introducing the topic of conversation. Find the video at http://youtu.be/uYArm6-ikes .

— In preparation for the presentations on Nigeria at Annual Conference, a history and timeline of the Church of the Brethren mission there, which started in 1923, and the emergence of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has been posted at www.brethren.org/nigeriahistory .

— An insight session on Nigeria has been added to the Annual Conference schedule on Friday, July 4, at 12:30 p.m. in room C213-215 in the Columbus Convention Center. Speakers may include Rebecca Dali, wife of Nigerian Brethren president Samuel Dante Dali and founder of the Center for Caring, Empowerment, and Peace Initiatives (CCEPI) and Carl and Roxane Hill, who recently completed a term of service teaching at EYN’s Kulp Bible College in Nigeria. Additional opportunities to share with Rebecca Dali include the single adult lunch group on July 5, and intergenerational activities that evening.

— Young adults in the Church of the Brethren have received a special invitation to attend the General Secretary’s Dinner with Higher Education. Conrad L. Kanagy, professor of sociology at Elizabethtown College, will speak on the theme, “Tearing Down and Building Up: The Work of the Spirit and the Global Church.” The dinner takes place on Saturday, July 5, at 5 p.m. in Rooms C111-112 in the Columbus Convention Center.

— The Womaen’s Caucus is holding a prayer gathering for women on the ballot on Thursday, July 3, at 1:20 p.m. in the Exhibit Hall. The gathering is timed to take place prior to the opening of the afternoon business session at which the Annual Conference delegates are to hold elections. “We recognize that it takes courage to put your name forward and would like to support the women who have done so,” said an announcement of the prayer gathering. “Come and join us for a prayer with them as we prepare to move into a time of voting.”

— “Courage Rising: Conversations of Challenge, Risk, Solidarity” will be part of a new booth configuration for the Open Table Cooperative, Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests (BMC), Global Women’s Project, and Womaen’s Caucus. These booths will be together in the Exhibit Hall with a space in the center for sponsored conversations, according to an announcement from Open Table. Each group will host several conversations over the course of the Conference on topics ranging from “What’s Queer on Brethren Campuses?” to “Inclusive Language” to “Shrinking Congregations: Dying with Grace or Radical Rebirth?” and more. The full list of conversations is available in the “Progressive Guide to Annual Conference” posted by Open Table at www.opentablecoop.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/ACGuide141.pdf .

— Detailed information about the schedule and events at the 2014 Annual Conference, speakers and worship, insight session, concerts, age group events, meal events, and much more is at www.brethren.org/ac .

4) Church poultry project in Nigeria reports progress

By Jeff Boshart

Photo by Jay Wittmeyer
An enclosure for raising chickens in Nigeria

A grant of $40,000 was awarded in 2013 from the Global Food Crisis Fund to the Integrated Community Based Development Programme (ICBDP) of the Rural Development Department of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), in order to expand its agricultural services. The centerpiece of this new effort has been a poultry project for egg production and to provide day-old chicks to farmers in northeastern Nigeria using half of the grant ($20,000).

After one year of operation, ICBDP reports total net monthly sales averaging N400,000 in the Nigerian currency the Naira ($2,500), with an anticipated accumulated net profit of N4,000,000 ($25,000) by the end of 2014.

Part two of ICBDP’s expansion has begun. Its objective is to supply quality fertilizer to its farming clients. ICBDP has entered into a contractual agreement with a well-known fertilizer company in Nigeria.

In recent correspondence received by Global Food Crisis Fund manager Jeff Boshart, head of the ICBDP department Markus Vashawa describes how eggs are purchased by the crate by many vendors or “hawkers” who then sell these eggs in rural villages. The majority of the customers are Muslims because they believe in the quality of Christian products.

In conclusion, Vashawa sends his appreciation for support from the Church of the Brethren and the Global Food Crisis Fund. He writes: “May the almighty God continue to strengthen our relationship in providing services to his people. We can’t do anything except God is by our side to inspire us in his direction.”

— Jeff Boshart is manager of the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund.

5) Over the top: Manchester elated with $108 million success

By Jeri S. Kornegay

Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind., is concluding its $100 million Students First! campaign more than $8 million over goal and 18 months ahead of schedule, reports president Jo Young Switzer. The campaign is the largest in the history of the school, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary.

Manchester already has spent a third of the funds on a new Academic Center as well as classrooms and athletic training additions to the Physical Education and Recreation Center (PERC). With a significant $35 million gift from the Lilly Endowment, the Manchester University College of Pharmacy is well-established on a new Fort Wayne campus with a third class enrolled to embark on the four-year professional doctorate degree.

The $108.4 million also provides endowed scholarships and programs, resources for faculty development, and the Manchester Fund, which supports the operating budget. Two other construction projects wait in the wings now that funding is secured:

— A stand-alone tower will house the historic 10-bell Chime in a visible location on the North Manchester campus. The bells currently atop the Administration Building, where twice daily during the school year and for special occasions, students have played them, a 92-year tradition.

— A modern, multi-use facility will replace the aged Administration Building on a much smaller footprint with an accessible, greener facility.

About 68 percent of the $108.4 million is available for use, with the remainder in bequests and other planned giving, said Switzer. More than 50,000 gifts came from alumni, corporations such as the Dow Chemical Company that match alumni donors, Steel Dynamics, and other area corporations, foundations, and churches.

“Without my Manchester experience, I don’t believe I would have been as successful,” said Dave Haist, retired Do It Best Corp. chief operating officer. Haist, a 1973 graduate, and his wife Sandy, a 1974 graduate, co-chair the Students First! Campaign Cabinet. “It’s our responsibility to give back to those that have helped us.“

Every initiative of Students First! is living up to the campaign promise, Switzer said. “Our student learning spaces have improved dramatically. The endowment is larger. There are 53 new endowed funds for student scholarships and programs and more resources for faculty development.”

About $10 million arrived in the past month, pointedly celebrating the successful leadership of President Switzer, who retires July 1. She also has served Manchester as a student leader in the 1960s, alumna, professor, department chair, and vice president and dean for academic affairs.

Putting the campaign over the top is the largest alumni gift in the history of Manchester: $5.1 million from Herb Chinworth to name the new multi-use administration building in honor of his parents, Lockie and Augustus Chinworth of Warsaw, Ind. The Academic Center will be named in honor of former trustee Mike Jarvis, a 1968 graduate, and his wife Sandy of Franklin, Ind., in gratitude for their $5 million gift.

Manchester offers more than 60 areas of undergraduate study to almost 1,400 students in undergraduate, master’s degree, and professional pharmacy doctoral programs. Learn more at www.manchester.edu.

— This release was provided by Jeri S. Kornegay, University Media Relations, Manchester University.

UPCOMING EVENTS

6) Heifer International celebrates 70 years with ‘Beyond Hunger’ event at Camp Mack

By Peggy Reiff Miller

This summer marks the 70th anniversary of Heifer International, the award-winning development organization based in Little Rock, Ark., that had its beginnings in the Church of the Brethren in northern Indiana.

The first shipment of 18 heifers (young cows that have not yet borne a calf) left Nappanee, Ind., June 12, 1944, on a four-day train trip to Mobile, Ala. Seventeen of those heifers (one got sick and had to stay behind) left Mobile on the William D. Bloxham on July 14 headed for Puerto Rico.

Heifer International is celebrating its 70 years of service all across the country this year with “Beyond Hunger” events. It is fitting that one of these events will take place at Camp Alexander Mack in Milford, Ind., the weekend of Sept. 12-14.

The beginnings of Heifer

Photo courtesy of Heifer International
A painting of Puerto Ricans receiving the gift of heifers through Heifer Project

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. In 1937, the Society of Friends (Quakers) invited the Church of the Brethren and 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 his 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. Other denominations were invited to participate, making it an ecumenical program practically from the start.

Local committees were formed, heifers were raised and donated, but World War II was raging and the animals couldn’t be shipped across the Atlantic. The Church of the Brethren had a Civilian Public Service (CPS) project in Puerto Rico at the time, CPS being the arm of the Selective Service System set up for conscientious objectors in World War II. So the first shipment of 17 heifers was sent to Puerto Rico in July 1944 to help struggling farmers around the island. Another shipment of 50 heifers to Puerto Rico followed in May 1945.

When World War II ended in Europe in May 1945, the Brethren Service Committee teamed up with the newly-formed United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA, not to be confused with today’s United Nations). They agreed that UNRRA would ship Heifer Project animals free of charge and the Brethren Service Committee would recruit all the cattle tenders needed for UNRRA’s own livestock shipments to countries devastated by the war.

Over UNRRA’s short two-year active life span, around 7,000 men and boys served as “seagoing cowboys” on UNRRA’s 360 livestock shipments.

The Heifer Project continued, developing into today’s Heifer International, which today provides all types of livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to families in more than 40 countries including the United States.

Beyond Hunger at Camp Mack

The Sept. 12-14 Beyond Hunger event at Camp Mack will honor Heifer’s work through the years. After a Friday evening hog roast, two of Dan West’s children will tell stories of their father and the Heifer Project around a campfire.

Saturday will be filled with events celebrating Heifer International’s past, present, and future, including a noon luncheon with Heifer’s CEO Pierre Ferrari speaking, presentations by local Church of the Brethren author and researcher Peggy Reiff Miller, and former Heifer Midwest director Dave Boothby, and workshops with Heifer staff.

Children’s activities and a petting zoo are being planned. A number of seagoing cowboys will be present from around the country to share their stories and be recognized. On Sunday, several area participating churches will honor Heifer International in their services and host guest speakers from Heifer.

Early registration for this Beyond Hunger event is required, as registration will be closed when the maximum of 300 participants is reached. The day’s activities and luncheon on Saturday are free. There is a charge for the Friday and Saturday evening meals and lodging.

For more information and to register, contact Peggy Miller at prmiller@bnin.net or 574-658-4147. To find other Beyond Hunger events, go to www.heifer.org/communities.

— Peggy Reiff Miller is a writer and musician who has researched and written many of the stories of Heifer’s “sea-going cowboys.” She is working on a nonfiction book about the history of the seagoing cowboys and has produced a DVD documentary photo story, “A Tribute to
the Seagoing Cowboys,” available for $12.95 from Brethren Press at www.brethrenpress.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=1408 .  Her website about the sea-going cowboys is at www.seagoingcowboys.com .

7) Brethren bits

Robby May

— Robby May has been called by West Marva District and trustees of Camp Galilee as camp manager for Camp Galilee. This position was vacant following the retirement of Phyllis Marsh, long-time manager of over 30 years. Originally from Westernport, Md., May attends Westernport Church of the Brethren and has been involved at Camp Galilee since he was five years old. He has been at the camp as a camper, counselor, director, member of the Camp Planning and Promoting Committee, and a member of the Trustees. He also has served several summers on program staff at Camp Swatara in Pennsylvania. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Social Science Secondary Education from Frostburg State University and a master of science degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Drexel University, and is a Nationally Board Certified Social Studies Teacher. Additionally, he has been volunteering as an Emergency Medical Technician with LaVale Volunteer Rescue Squad for over 10 years. Find the camp website at www.camp-galilee.org .

— Brethren Volunteer Service is announcing the start of the summer orientation to be held July 20-Aug. 8 at Camp Mardela in Denton, Md. This will be the 305th unit of BVS and will include 13 volunteers–7 Americans and 6 Germans. They will spend three weeks exploring project possibilities and topics of community building, peace and social justice, faith sharing, vocation, and more. Washington City Church of the Brethren will host the unit for their middle weekend of service. For more about BVS go to www.brethren.org/bvs .

— The online course “What Brethren Believe” will be offered by the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership and taught by Denise Kettering-Lane, beginning Aug. 4 through Sept. 26. Participating pastors will earn 2 continuing education credits. The registration deadline has been extended to July 14. The course fee is $275. This course is open to Brethren Academy students (TRIM and EFSM), lay persons, and pastors. Contact 800-287-8822 ext. 1824 or academy@bethanyseminary.edu or academy@brethren.org .

— On Earth Peace is offering a series of Agape-Satyagraha training webinars on topics including recruiting youth and mentors, an introduction to using the curriculum, understanding and using communication skills, and Kingian nonviolence. The first webinar, “Preparing for the School Year: Recruiting Youth and Mentors,” will be held on July 14, at 8 p.m. (eastern). Gerald Rhoades and Marie Benner-Rhoades will lead the session. For more information about this series, contact Marie Benner-Rhoades at mrhoades@onearthpeace.org .

Enders (Neb.) Church of the Brethren has suffered heavy damage from wind and rain, in storms that hit the area beginning June 18. “The Imperial Republican” newspaper reported that the fate of the building is not yet known. “The fate of an Enders landmark rests in the balance after wind ripped the roof covering off the Enders Church of the Brethren Wednesday night, June 18,” the news report said. “High winds during a thunderstorm…tore all of the tar-based roof covering from the roof deck of the church. The rain that accompanied the storm left behind significant water damage to the upper floor of the building where the sanctuary was located.” After an attempt was made to cover the building with heavy plastic, another storm ripped that covering off the church, leaving standing water in the building. Read the news story at www.imperialrepublican.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6929:enders-church-heavily-damaged-by-wind-rain-in-june-18-storm&catid=36:news&Itemid=76 . Above: a view of water damage at the church. Below: volunteers gather to help out. Photo by Ken Frantz

— A children’s garden at Middlebury (Ind.) Church of the Brethren has been covered by the Goshen (Ind.) News on June 27. “The children of the Middlebury Church of the Brethren’s garden are yielding vegetables that are being used for salads in a local outreach and at the local food bank,” the newspaper reported. “In the spring, the children planted a garden that contained a multitude of vegetables, including asparagus, carrots, lettuce, and cucumbers…. Once a month, the church takes a meal to a local retirement community as a way to share food and fellowship. The remainder of the lettuce is given to the local food bank.” Find the full article at www.goshennews.com/local/x1927825646/Community-childrens-garden-an-outreach-ministry .

— Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Ind., on the evening of July 10 will be assembling hygiene kits for Iraqi citizens displaced by the conflict in their country. A note in the congregation’s newsletter listed items needed including adult-size toothbrushes, large bar bath soap, fingernail clippers, hand towels in dark colors, and bags sewn to fit the items. Monetary donations are also accepted.

— On Saturday, July 12, from 9:30-11:30 a.m., Virlina District will hold an “Introduction to the Shine Curriculum” event at Peters Creek Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va. The Virlina District Resource Center has the Shine Start-Up Kit for congregations to review the new curriculum. Register for the “Introduction to the Shine Curriculum” by contacting Emma Jean Woodard at 800-847-5462 or virlina2@aol.com .

— Disaster relief coordinators in Illinois and Wisconsin District and Missouri and Arkansas District are offering Brethren a change to volunteer to rebuild Gifford, Ill., which was hit by a tornado on Nov. 17 last year. Gifford is located near Champaign. The tornado destroyed 80 homes and 40 more received damage, said an announcement from Gary Gahm, Missouri and Arkansas District disaster coordinator. He is seeking help to fill the week of July 14-18, with the week of July 21-25 also available for volunteers. Lodging is in a former retreat center at a cost of $5 per night. Contact Gahm at gahmgb@comcast.net or 816-313-5065 or 816-315-7256.

— A World Hunger Auction Benefit Recital on July 13 at 4 p.m. at Antioch Church of the Brethren in Rocky Mount, Va., will feature organist Jonathan Emmons performing some of the pieces he will be playing for Annual Conference. He will share standard organ pieces along with settings of familiar hymn tunes, according to an announcement. He also will share selections on the alto saxophone. “Don’t miss it!” said the announcement.

— Craig Howard, pastor of Brake Church of the Brethren near Dorcas, W.Va., was awarded the Human Rights Award for 2014 by the Church Women United in Petersburg, W.Va. “This award recognizes persons who continually and faithfully work for the cause of human rights,” said an article in the West Marva District newsletter. Howard has been pastor of Brake Church of the Brethren for 33 years and has organized and led 13 youth mission trips taking youth and adults from his church to a number of sites around the world, as well as on disaster relief missions in the US, and with fellow mission trip leader Jerry Judy, also made a trip to Golmi, Niger, to minister to missionaries and help pro-cure textbooks for a local school, and to Niamey to work with the Sahel School for missionary children, and with a leper colony in West Niger.

Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Jeff Boshart, Kendra Harbeck, Jeri S. Kornegay, Fran Massie, Peggy Reiff Miller, Callie Surber, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren. The next issue of Newsline will review the 2014 Annual Conference, and is planned for Monday, July 7. Newsline is produced by the News Services of the Church of the Brethren. Contact the editor at cobnews@brethren.org . Newsline appears at the end of every week, with special issues as needed. Stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To unsubscribe or change your e-mail preferences go to www.brethren.org/newsline .