Newsline for Nov. 4, 2014



Quote of the week:


“We have received very, very few nominations and there are a lot of spaces to fill on the ballot!”


— Chris Douglas, director of the Conference Office, in a reminder to Brethren that nominations are due by Dec. 1 for all of the open offices that will be elected at next summer’s Annual Conference. In related news, the logo for the 2015 Annual Conference on the theme “Abide in My Love… and Bear Fruit” (John 15:9-17) has been released, and appears above. The logo was designed by Debbie Noffsinger. Also new online at www.brethren.org/ac is a short video in which Annual Conference moderator David Steele invites Brethren to the 2015 event next summer. The video was filmed by Church of the Brethren videographer Dave Sollenberger. The 2015 Annual Conference takes place on July 11-15 in Tampa, Fla.

“You didn’t choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you could go and produce fruit and so that your fruit could last” (John 15:16a, CEB).

NEWS
1) ‘We need urgent help from the international community’ writes EYN president, Church of the Brethren calls for international attention to crisis in Nigeria
2) New Church Development Advisory Committee reorganizes
3) Polo Growing Project reaches market

UPCOMING EVENTS
4) Youth and young adult ministries director leads evening webinar on ‘Grieving’
5) International scholar to speak at Bethany Seminary
6) Musa Mambula of EYN to speak at Chiques Church of the Brethren about Nigeria persecution

7) Brethren bits: Bethany seeks faculty in theological studies, Workcamp Ministry seeks 2016 coordinators, Manchester inaugurates new president, how to get your church online, Anabaptist Response to WWI, and much more.


1) ‘We need urgent help from the international community’ writes EYN president, Church of the Brethren calls for international attention to crisis in Nigeria

The world has followed the tragic abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, Nigeria. Yet that tragedy is just one incident in an increasingly bloody attempt by Boko Haram insurgents to make northeast Nigeria into an Islamic caliphate.

Caught in the middle is Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), the largest Christian denomination in the area of northeast Nigeria where Boko Haram is taking territory. This year EYN has seen many of its churches and congregations destroyed, as thousands of church members have been killed and pastors and their families have been among the hundreds more abducted since the Chibok schoolgirls were taken. Most of the schoolgirls were from EYN. Estimates are that more than 90,000 EYN church members have been displaced by the fighting this year.

Now the situation of EYN is dire as its headquarters property and Kulp Bible College have been taken by Boko Haram. The attack on the headquarters on Oct. 29 occurred as Boko Haram fighters were on their way to attack and take the nearby city of Mubi, near the Cameroon border.

People living at the EYN headquarters fled for their lives, including families of denominational staff and Bible college students. It is believed most of those at the EYN headquarters escaped alive, but many people in Mubi and surrounding villages were killed and others are now trapped in the control of Boko Haram.

The EYN staff is now displaced, and the church leadership is working to regroup. They are faced with the prospect of having to rebuild church offices and relocate staff and their families, at the same time the church continues to aid thousands of members who have been displaced. In addition, hundreds of pastors who were serving churches in the conflict zone also are displaced without jobs or means to provide for families. These are crucial issues for the church’s survival.

EYN president Samuel Dante Dali is calling for urgent help from the international community for the people affected by violence in northeast Nigeria. In a letter he sent to the Church of the Brethren in the US this weekend, he also called for the Nigerian government to give serious attention to the suffering of the people.

“We need urgent help from the international community if the global community can have compassion on us,” he wrote in the e-mail letter. “The future of Nigeria is getting darker and darker day by day but, Nigerian political leadership do not seem to take the suffering of the people very seriously. The government of Nigeria with all its security seems very weak and helpless in handling the crisis.” (See the full text of his letter below.)

“Our hearts are broken about what’s happening in Nigeria,” said Stanley J. Noffsinger, general secretary of the Church of the Brethren. “However, we’re not so overwhelmed by this horror that we have become inactive. We are making a bold response. The board of the Church of the Brethren has committed up to $1.5 million to a new relief effort in Nigeria, working in cooperation with EYN.”

The American church also is beginning a more concerted advocacy effort to bring international attention to the crisis in northeast Nigeria. The effort encourages nonviolent solutions, such as an international effort to cut off Boko Haram’s weaponry and funding, and humanitarian aid for the hundreds of thousands of Nigerians who are internally displaced or are refugees in Cameroon and Niger. The Church of the Brethren calls for international pressure on the Nigerian government to better serve its people–those who have lost loved ones in the conflict, orphans, women who have been brutalized, men who have lost jobs and the means to support their families, those living in camps or sheltering with extended family elsewhere without the means for basic necessities of food, shelter, and medical care.

The relief work that the Church of the Brethren is helping to carry out with EYN already has begun, including providing food and supplies to the displaced, and building temporary shelters at “care centers” in safer locations in central Nigeria, among other priorities that now include the relocation of the EYN offices and staff.

In 1923, Church of the Brethren members from the United States began the mission effort that  led to the emergence of EYN as an indigenous African Christian church that–up until recent destruction wrought by the insurgency–was estimated to have an attendance of close to 1 million in Nigeria, and has mission efforts in neighboring countries.

For more information about Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria and the Church of the Brethren mission in Nigeria, go to www.brethren.org/nigeria .

Letter from The Rev. Dr. Samuel Dante Dali
President, Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria

Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, let me on behalf of the entire membership of EYN Church of the Brethren in Nigeria thank you for your concern and prayers. It is very comforting to us to hear that many brothers and sisters in the body of Christ are praying with us.

Indeed, the suffering of the communities of the northeast Nigeria where EYN is predominant is getting unbearable with the recent attack on Michika, Uba town, EYN headquarters, and Mubi town. Families have been separated as they run in different directions. Some are yet to know where their wife or children are. Others are crowded into Yola town, the capital city of the state.

Mostly these people are sleeping in open air with a little or nothing to eat. However, with the generous and compassionate help from the Church of the Brethren in the United States we have been able to assist many of the families and pastors through the leadership of the District Church Councils in Yola. While we continue trying to distribute the materials needed our Relief Committee are now refuges themselves all scattered in different directions.

Now, all the villages and towns from Bama, Gwoza, Madagali, Gulak, Michika, Baza, Uba, EYN headquarters, and Mubi town are under the control of the BH [Boko Haram]. Most of the able communities in these areas are living as refugees scattered  in different parts of northern Nigeria.

Also, it is very difficult to know how many have been killed, kidnapped, and no one knows what is happening with our properties at headquarters. We have cried emotionally and to God for help but the situation is still helpless.

The future of Nigeria is getting darker and darker day by day but, Nigerian political leadership do not seem to take the suffering of the people very seriously. The government of Nigeria with all its security seems very weak and helpless in handling the crisis.

I think we need urgent help from the international community if the global community can have compassion on us.

I am writing this mail from Jos where I am at present trying to prepare temporary offices where the [EYN] leadership can provide skeletal service. All the pastors and the District Secretaries are now asking me to find a place where they can relocate their families and I do not know how to handle this serous request.

So, please, continue to pray for the leadership of EYN, members, and the entire communities of northeastern Nigeria. Thank you so much again.

The Rev. Dr. Samuel D. Dali

2) New Church Development Advisory Committee reorganizes

The New Church Development Advisory Committee helps organize and lead the New Church Planting conferences of the Church of the Brethren, among other responsibilities. Shown here: A painting by Dave Weiss illustrates the theme for church planting and new church development.

The National New Church Development Advisory Committee of the Church of the Brethren recently went through reorganization as it continues to give input and direction to denominational support for church planting.By Jonathan Shively

David K. Shumate, district executive minister of Virlina District, concluded 16 years as a member of this committee. During his tenure he compiled a manual for new church development, helped plan nine New Church Development events (attending eight), and taught two courses for Training in Ministry (TRIM) in conjunction with conferences. His personal leadership for church planting in Virlina District has given him valuable experience and perspective, which he actively shared in his work with the national committee.

David Shumate has been a steady presence in the church planting movement. He is effective and wise. A key piece of advice that he offered early on was to do fewer things well over a sustained period of time, counsel that we have followed with appreciation.

Two new members have been appointed to serve on the committee. Kendal Elmore, district executive minister for West Marva District, joins the committee as a liaison to the Council of District Executives. He and West Marva District recently supported the emergence of Hanging Rock Church of the Brethren, recognized as a fellowship at the 2014 Annual Conference. Also appointed to the committee is Doug Veal, pastor of Daleville (Va.) Church of the Brethren and chair of the Virlina District New Church Development Committee, which oversees a number of new church initiatives.

Continuing members of the committee include Don Mitchell of Atlantic Northeast District; Deb Oskin of Southern Ohio District; Ray Hileman of Atlantic Southeast District; Dava Hensley of Virlina District; Steve Gregory of Pacific Northwest District; and chair Jonathan Shively of Congregational Life Ministries.

— Jonathan Shively is executive director of Congregational Life Ministries for the Church of the Brethren.

3) Polo Growing Project reaches market

By Howard Royer

The 2014 Polo (Ill.) Growing Project has completed harvest of 40 acres of soybeans with a yield averaging 60 bushels per acre, reports Jim Schmidt, grower and project coordinator. With a portion of the grain contracted for in advance, the sale averaged roughly $11 a bushel, well above the current market price of $8.85 for out-of-the-field transactions. The Polo Growing Project is a joint project of the Dixon, Highland Avenue, and Polo Church of the Brethren congregations in Illinois, and Tinley Park Presbyterian Church.

Proceeds of $26,800, to be augmented as in the past by a substantial gift from an anonymous donor, will be invested in the Foods Resource Bank to help groups of smallholder farmers in impoverished countries develop sustainable agriculture. Since 2005, the Polo Growing Project has raised $295,000 for FRB-supported agricultural work overseas.

Offsetting the cost of inputs for the bean crop were donations from the Dixon, Highland Avenue, and Polo congregations and Tinley Park church, each contributing $1,700. Agribusinesses in the Polo area also lent support to the effort.

Now in its 15th year, the Foods Resource Bank has reached one million people through 125 agricultural programs. Polo is in its 10th year of partnership with FRB. Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren donors have supported the project for the past six years.

— Howard Royer served for many years on the Church of the Brethren denominational staff, and is a former manager of the Global Food Crisis Fund.

UPCOMING EVENTS

4) Youth and young adult ministries director leads evening webinar on ‘Grieving’

The first webinar in a series on Christian practices for teens, offered for adult leaders of youth, will be on the topic “Grieving” led by Becky Ullom Naugle, director of the Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Ministry. The webinar is this evening, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m. (eastern time).

This is one in a series of webinars offered jointly by staff of the Church of the Brethren, Bethany Theological Seminary, and On Earth Peace. These staff are teaming up to provide informational and educational webinars geared to pastors, parents, and anyone who works with youth, primarily within the Church of the Brethren.

This series takes the form of a book study of “Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens” edited by Dorothy C. Bass and Don C. Richter, and will offer reflections on a few selected chapters of the book. While having a copy of the book is helpful, it is not required. The book may be purchased through Brethren Press at www.brethrenpress.com or by calling 800-441-3712.

Both a telephone and a computer are required to join the webinar: dial in by telephoning 877-204-3718 and enter the access code 8946766; then log in online at https://cc.callinfo.com/r/1huu1fnieqfak&eom .

The next webinars in the series:

Jan. 6, 2015, at 8 p.m. (eastern) on the topic “Work and Choices” led by Bekah Houff of the Bethany Seminary staff

March 3, 2015, 8 p.m. (eastern) on the topic “Life and Time” led by Emily Tyler of the Church of the Brethren Workcamp Ministry

May 5, 2015, 8 p.m. (eastern) on the topic “Forgiveness and Justice” led by Marie Benner-Rhoades of the On Earth Peace staff

Ordained ministers may earn .1 continuing education credit for participating in the real-time event. To request continuing education credit contact Houff at houffre@bethanyseminary.edu prior to the webinar.

5) International scholar to speak at Bethany Seminary

By Jenny Williams

Hugh Williamson

Hugh Williamson, an internationally recognized and respected scholar in Hebrew Bible, will present a lecture at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., on Thursday, Nov. 20, titled “Has Old Testament Messianic Prophecy Passed Its Sell-By Date?”

The lecture will take place 10-11:30 a.m. (eastern) in Nicarry Chapel and will include time for questions. Laypersons and scholars alike who are interested in how we read the Bible can expect to be enlightened with both academic information and practical application. The lecture will be webcast at www.bethanyseminary.edu/webcasts . Those who attend or watch the live webcast can earn 0.1 continuing education credit.

Williamson is Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Oxford, having begun his tenure there in 1992. He has written and taught extensively, especially in Isaiah, Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, the Persian period, and archaeology. He earned his doctorate from the University of Cambridge.

“It is a great joy and opportunity to have Hugh Williamson speak to us at Bethany Seminary,” said Steven Schweitzer, academic dean at Bethany. “I have known him for many years as a colleague in the areas of Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah and Persian period studies. A witty, engaging speaker, he cares deeply about scripture and about how both scholars and the church use the Bible. Faculty, students, pastors, and laypersons will all be enriched by his insights into the complexity of the topic of Old Testament messianic prophecy.”

Williams will present lectures at the University of Notre Dame prior to arriving at Bethany Seminary, then continue on to speak at the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting in San Diego, Calif.

Williamson’s publications include scores of articles and essays and more than 20 books, including “He Has Shown You What Is Good: Old Testament Justice” (Lutterworth, 2012); “Interpreting Isaiah: Issues and Approaches” (IVP, 2009); “A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Isaiah 1-27″ (T&T Clark, 2006); “Variations on a Theme: King, Messiah, and Servant in the Book of Isaiah” (Paternoster Press, 1998); “Ezra-Nehemiah” in the Word Biblical Commentary (Word, 1985, winner of the Biblical Archaeology Society Award for Best Old Testament Commentary that year); and “Israel in the Books of Chronicles” (Cambridge, 1977).

— Jenny Williams is director of Communications and Alumni/ae Relations at Bethany Theological Seminary.
6) Musa Mambula of EYN to speak at Chiques Church of the Brethren about Nigeria persecution

By Don Fitzkee

Musa Mambula, National Spiritual Advisor to Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria)

Chiques Church of the Brethren in Manheim, Pa., will host a presentation by Nigerian Brethren leader Musa Mambula on Sunday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. Mambula is a writer, educator, and current National Spiritual Advisor for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). He will speak about the persecution of Christians by Boko Haram terrorists in northern Nigeria and the church’s response. The evening will conclude with a time of prayer.

Last April more than 200 girls–many of them EYN members–were kidnapped from a school in Chibok, which had been started by the Brethren in the 1940s. As many as 96,000 EYN members have been reported displaced, thousands killed, and more than half of the church’s districts have been closed. As recently as Oct. 29, the EYN church headquarters property in Kwarhi was overtaken by Boko Haram.

The Mission and Ministry Board of the Church of the Brethren in the United States recently allocated up to $1.5 million to respond to the crisis. The money will be used for shelter for displaced families and emergency food rations, among other things. (For more information about the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, persecution by Boko Haram, and the US church’s response, visit www.brethren.org/partners/nigeria/news.html .)

Chiques Church of the Brethren is located at 4045 Sunnyside Rd., Manheim. For more information about the program at Chiques, contact Carolyn Fitzkee at 717-664-2252.

— Don Fitzkee is chair elect of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board and director of Development for COBYS Family Services in Leola, Pa.

7) Brethren bits

— Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., announces a full-time, tenure track, faculty position in theological studies, to begin July 1, 2015. Rank: open. PhD preferred; ABD considered. The appointee will develop and teach the equivalent of an average of five graduate courses (at least one online) annually and offer one course for the Brethren Academy biennially. Other duties include student advising, supervising MA theses in theological studies, participating in student recruitment and the life of the community. Commitment to the values and theological emphases within the Church of the Brethren is essential. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is Dec. 1. Interviews begin in early 2015. Send an application letter, a CV, and names and contact information for three references to Theological Studies Search, Attn: Dean’s Office, Bethany Theological Seminary, 615 National Road West, Richmond, IN 47374; deansoffice@bethanyseminary.edu .

— The Church of the Brethren Workcamp Ministry seeks applicants for the 2016 workcamp coordinator position. “Do you want to help plan and guide the 2016 workcamp season? Apply to be an assistant workcamp coordinator!” said an invitation. Applications are due by Jan. 9, 2015. The position begins in August 2015 and continues through the summer of 2016. The position is both an administrative and a practical ministry. The first three-quarters of the year is spent preparing for youth and young adult summer workcamps, working at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. This work includes choosing an annual theme, preparing promotional materials, writing and designing a devotional book and leaders resources, setting up financial spreadsheets, setting up and maintaining a registration database, sending letters to participants and leaders, making workcamp site visits, collecting forms and paperwork, and other administrative work. During the summer, assistant coordinators travel from location to location, serving as coordinators of workcamps for youth and young adults, responsible for the overall administration of a workcamp including housing, transportation, food, work, recreation, and often responsible for planning and leading devotional, educational, and group activities. This position is a Brethren Volunteer Service placement and includes serving as a BVS volunteer and being a member of the BVS Community House in Elgin. Required skills and gifts include gifts for and experience in youth ministry, passion for Christian service, an understanding of mutual ministry, spiritual and emotional maturity, organizational and office skills, physical stamina and the ability to travel well, computer skills including experience with Microsoft Office Word, Excel, Access, and Publisher. Previous workcamp experience, as a leader or participant, is preferred. For more information, an application form, and specific instructions about how to submit applications, go to www.brethren.org/workcamps . For questions contact Emily Tyler at the Church of the Brethren Workcamp Office, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; etyler@brethren.org ; 800-323-8039 ext. 396.

 
Erma Ecker Frock was honored by Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren on Sunday, Oct. 12, as a long-time devoted member of the church. She had attended the Westminster church for more than 87 years, since she was 8 years old. “This is record attendance for the Westminster church and possibly for attendance at just one church for the county,” said a report written by a the church’s publicity committee and submitted to the local newspaper. As part of a celebration of her life, people in the congregation put on a cake-and-ice cream reception followed by a film of an interview with her by Mark Woodworth. “The guiding principles of Mrs. Frock’s life have been to be heavily involved in church work, live a ‘basic, simple life’ and to ‘live simply so others may simply live,’” the report said. “When asked what it means to her to be Brethren, she responded, ‘Give, give, give. There are always people who need help.’ She indicated that prayer and the 23rd Psalm have helped her through the difficult times in her life. Two of those challenging times were losing her husband Orville to a heart attack when he was in his fifties and, as a result, needing to find employment herself at age 52 to support her family.” In November she will turn 95 and has moved to Pennsylvania to live with her daughter. “I love my church and am sad to have to leave it,” she said.

— Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind., will inaugurate its 15th president in the school’s 125-year history on Friday. Dave McFadden most recently served as the school’s executive vice president. The public is invited to his Inaugural Ceremony at 1:30 p.m. at the North Manchester campus, followed by a reception at the Jo Young Switzer Center. Find an article from “Inside Indiana Business” spotlighting the new president of Manchester University at www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=67858 .

— A blog post about how to get your church online is now available at http://blog.brethren.org/2014/three-easy-ways-to-get-your-church-online . The post by Church of the Brethren website producer Jan Fischer Bachman is titled “Three Easy Ways to Get Your Church Online” and includes advice on creating a website, setting up a Facebook page, and claiming a Google listing.

— Crest Manor Church of the Brethren pastor Bradley Bohrer is presenting “Insights in History–Transformed by the War: The Anabaptist Response to World War I” on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Center for History in South Bend, Ind. Bohrer will discuss the effect of World War I on groups such as the Brethren, Mennonites, and Quakers, and their response to the war. A tour of the exhibit World War I: The War to End All Wars will be offered. Admission is $3 or $1 for members. Reservations are required by today, Nov. 3; contact the center at 574-235-9664.

— Hagerstown (Md.) Church of the Brethren is hosting a Fall Concert by the Hagerstown Choral Arts on Sunday, Nov. 16, at 4 p.m. Hagerstown Choral Arts is directed by Greg Shook. The concert is open to the public, and free-will gifts will be accepted.

— “Come early to pray!” said an invitation to the Shenandoah District Conference that starts on Friday, Nov. 7, on the theme “The Return of the Word.” An evening worship service hosted by Bridgewater (Va.) Church of the Brethren at 6:45 p.m. Friday officially begins the conference, but members of the district are encouraged to come early and join a time of prayer beginning at 6 p.m., in the Bridgewater church’s chapel. The prayer session will be led by Dwight Roetto, a Christian Growth Institute graduate recently licensed to the ministry at Blue Ridge Chapel Church of the Brethren.

— There will be three Prayer Stations focused on Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) at the Pacific Southwest District Conference. The event takes place Nov. 7-9 hosted by Hillcrest, a Church of the Brethren retirement community in La Verne, Calif. Participants will be able to go to the prayer stations at any time during the conference to sense, pray for, and be a part of the Spirit of God moving in meaningful ways for brothers and sisters in Nigeria, said the district newsletter. Prayer Station 1 will feature a large, red pillar candle that will be lit during Friday evening worship and will stay lit as much as possible during the business sessions and each worship service. Prayer Station 2 will have a large piece of paper for participants to write hopes and prayers for the Nigerian church, with the option to also write cards with expressions of love, hope, and peace to be sent to Nigerian church leaders. At Prayer Station 3 those who would like to participate in a financial offering as an active prayer may place gifts in a wrapped box. The newsletter reported that the offerings of money will go to the Nigerian Compassion Fund.

— Special recognitions honored ministerial milestones as well as others in ministry at the 2014 Middle Pennsylvania District Conference, according to the district newsletter. The event was held at Camp Blue Diamond and combined with the Annual Heritage Fair, and also was hosted in part by the University Baptist and Brethren Church in State College, Pa. The Juniata College-Church College Relations Recognition honored Henry Thurston-Griswold. Laurie Stiles was recognized for completion of the Training in Ministry Certificate. Ministerial milestones celebrated the following years of service: Harry Spaeth, 60 years; Christy Dowdy, 25 years; Linda Banaszak, Patricia Muthler, Paul Snyder, Ronald Stacey, and Rebecca Zeek, each for 10 years in ministry.

— Mid-Atlantic District is beginning a “replant” effort at Good Shepherd in Silver Spring. “The Good Shepherd congregation has declined–down to six to eight persons in worship attendance–to the point where it will no longer be able to sustain itself as a congregation,” said an article by district executive minister Gene Hagenberger in the district newsletter. “We see Silver Spring and the neighborhoods around the current Good Shepherd church as an area that needs what we have to share as those who know the love and grace of Jesus Christ and as members of the Church of the Brethren.” The district’s Church Extension and Evangelism Ministry Team is heading up the work. The district is requesting prayers and donations for the replant effort.

— The John Kline Homestead in Broadway, Va., is offering a series of historical dinners in November and December. The homestead is the family home of Civil War-era Brethren elder and martyr for peace John Kline. “The Shenandoah Valley strains under the fourth year of the Civil War,” said an announcement. “Experience the anguish of John Kline’s family since his death last spring. Listen to conversations of actors as they come around the table while you enjoy a home-style meal.” Dinner dates are Nov. 21 and 22 and Dec. 19 and 20 at 6 p.m. The homestead, which dates to 1822, is at 223 East Springbrook Road, Broadway, Va. Cost is $40 per plate. Groups are welcome, but seating is limited to 32. Contacat 540-421-5267 or proth@eagles.bridgewater.edu for reservations. All proceeds support the John Kline Homestead.

— A $100,000 grant has been awarded to Elizabethtown (Pa.) College by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help ensure the value of a humanities education in an increasingly technology-driven world. “The grant supports innovative student-faculty engagement in the humanities,” said a release from the college, “including undergraduate research, internships, and interdisciplinary study.” There are five Mellon grants made available each year for liberal arts colleges; Elizabethtown was awarded the Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities grant, the release said. The two-year program designed to strengthen the humanities through the creation of a Humanities Challenge and a Cultivating Humanities programs, will enable faculty to create cocurricular programming that weaves the humanities into student activities and, in doing so, increases the number of students majoring in the humanities and raises the visibility of humanities across campus.

— Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraqi Kurdistan has published an interview with a survivor of an Islamic State massacre. The release published by CPTnet on Nov. 1 is titled “Survivor of ISIS massacre tells story to Christian Peacemaker Teams” and relates the story of an Ezidi (Yazidi) man whose village of Kocho was invaded by the extremist group on Oct. 8. The man escaped after being wounded when many other men in the village were massacred. The report, which contains disturbing violent content, is available in full at  www.cpt.org/cptnet/2014/11/01/iraqi-kurdistan-survivor-isis-massacre-tells-story-christian-peacemaker-teams .


Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Bradley Bohrer, Samuel Dante Dali, Chris Douglas, Nevin Dulabaum, Don Fitzkee, Gene Hagenberger, Elizabeth Harvey, Glenn McCrickard, Becky Ullom Naugle, Howard Royer, Jonathan Shively, Emily Tyler, Jenny Williams, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren. The next issue of Newsline is scheduled for Nov. 11. ewsline is produced by the News Services of the Church of the Brethren. Contact the editor at cobnews@brethren.org . Newsline appears every week, with special issues as needed. Stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source.