Brethren Bits for April 21, 2015

 Brian Meyer, an artist and a member of First Church of the Brethren in San Diego, Calif., has been featured in “Ventures Africa” magazine for his work to paint the images of all the schoolgirls abducted from Chibok, Nigeria, on April 14, 2014 (see ).
Meyer is the creator of an image that incorporated the name of each girl into a watercolor painting featured on the cover of the Church of the Brethren “Messenger” magazine last year, and used for a social media “poster” on the one-year anniversary of the abduction last week.

Meyer’s current project is to paint an image or portrait of each girl. The San Diego Church is hosting the project and providing space to hang the paintings.

“They have published photos of 142 of the girls,” Meyer wrote in an e-mail explaining the project. “Rebecca Dali [of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria] has also helped by providing a list of 187 girls with the girls ages, parents’ names, and the like, which is the most accurate…. For those without pictures I am just leaving it blank.” Meyer has completed some 15 pictures so far, out of the 233 girls said to be missing. Each painting is done in watercolor stretched over an 8 by 10 frame like a canvas.

He is assembling the pictures on a wall at the church, which when completed will be 7 feet tall, and 24 feet wide. “I view the group as a tiles in a mega painting,” Meyer wrote, adding that he is “looking at this taking about six months to complete.”
To view the portraits that Meyer has completed, see the Facebook page at . For more about Brian Meyer and his work go to , , and .

— Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, a Church of the Brethren-related retirement community near Boonsboro, Md., seeks a CEO to lead the organization as it prepares to execute an ambitious expansion plan. In light of the current CEO’s pending retirement, the community has begun a search to fill the position in the fall of 2015, which will allow for a smooth transition and assumption of the role. Candidates should have at least a bachelor’s degree plus five years of experience in a senior leadership role in an elder care or similar facility that offers comparable living and care services. Fahrney-Keedy is seeking a candidate of high integrity who has a collaborative approach to managing an organization along with strong communication skills. In addition, the successful candidate will have demonstrated the following key competencies critical to the future plans and success of Fahrney-Keedy: financial management, the candidate must have proven ability to creatively implement new revenue generating services and programs to not only sustain the organization but also provide resources for growth, including successful experience in fundraising and grant awards typical of a large nonprofit organization as well as managing financing options; managing growth, Fahrney-Keedy has developed a master plan that includes substantial expansion of facilities on its campus, the successful candidate will have proven experience in facility and program expansion that achieves both financial objectives as well as service quality goals for residents; marketing, the candidate will demonstrate acumen for creating a favorable and promising image that is exceptionally appealing to potential residents, attracts talented staff, and generates a compelling message for donors about Fahrney-Keedy’s mission; visionary, the candidate will need to articulate a vision for the organization that honors the service-oriented traditions and spiritual mission of Fahrney-Keedy and provides a credible path for the future that navigates turbulent change facing the industry yet properly serves the growing need for elder care over the next several decades. Submit a resume no later than June 5, via e-mail to . Questions also can be submitted to this e-mail address and someone from the board search committee will respond. More information about Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village is available at . EOE.

— Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), a coalition of 22 Christian churches and church-related organizations including the Church of the Brethren, seeks interns for the fall semester to work in the coalition’s Washington, D.C., office. CMEP seeks creative, independent, and enthusiastic interns interested in working for peace regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through supporting and organizing grassroots leaders. Interns are sought in the following three areas: Grassroots/Advocacy Intern, Research Intern, Intern to the Executive Director. Interns will be part of CMEP’s work to encourage US government policies that actively promote a just, lasting, and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Internships typically lasts a semester. Start and end dates and specific work hours are flexible. A minimum of 15-20 hours per week is expected. For details about these internships go to . To apply e-mail a resume, cover letter, and brief writing sample of no more than three pages to and specify in the subject line which internship is applied for.

— Two new members–Jennifer Hosler and Tara Mathur–have been named to the review panel for the Global Food Crisis Fund, as Gretchen Sarpiya and Beth Gunzel leave the review panel. Hosler is a former mission worker in Nigeria, a bi-vocational minister at Washington (D.C.) City Church of the Brethren, and a community psychologist trained to engage and empower communities to utilize their existing strengths and promote community well-being. Mathur is a member of Wichita (Kan.) First Church of the Brethren and a former Brethren Volunteer Service volunteer who has served in Washington, D.C., and in El Salvador where she remained for 13 years working with youth, community organizations, and international labor rights. Mathur currently works with the Worker Rights Consortium, an organization that monitors compliance with labor standards in the production of garments made around the world for consumers in the United States. For more about the Global Food Crisis Fund go to .

— The Global Mission and Service office is requesting prayer for a group of seven people from various Church of the Brethren congregations who are taking part in a service and learning trip in South Sudan. The group will be in South Sudan April 23 through May 2. Participants include former Sudan mission workers Roger and Carolyn Schrock from Mountain Grove, Mo.; John Jones of Myrtle Point, Ore.; Enten Eller of Ambler, Pa.; George Barnhart of Salem, Va.; Becky Rhodes of Roanoke, Va.; and Ilexene Alphonse, who has been serving as a Church of the Brethren mission worker in Haiti. The itinerary includes visits in the city of Juba, where a conversation is scheduled with Bishop Archangelo, head of the Africa Inland Church, and Dr. Haruun Ruun, formerly of the New Sudan Council of Churches and currently a member of the South Sudan parliament. In Torit, the group will stay at and work at the new Brethren Peace Center. In Lohilla, they will visit and work at a primary school. Other special events will include worship with the Africa Inland Church congregation pastored by Church of the Brethren mission worker Athanasus Ungang. The Church of the Brethren has a long history of work in Sudan and South Sudan, focused on peacemaking and reconciliation, relief, ecumenical partnerships, and theological education. For more information go to .

— Carl and Roxane Hill, co-directors of the Nigeria Crisis Response, will be presenting updates on the cooperative effort with Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN or Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) at two places in Southern Ohio District in late April. On April 29 at 7 p.m. they will speak at Troy (Ohio) Church of the Brethren. On April 30 at 7 p.m. they will speak at the Brethren Heritage Center in Brookville, Ohio, where a typical Nigerian dinner will be served at 5 p.m. before the presentation begins. To RSVP contact or 937-833-5222 by April 28.

— Knobsville Church of the Brethren in McConnellsburg, Pa., hosted a 60th anniversary celebration on April 19. The church was established in 1955 in the old Knobsville schoolhouse. Harold E. Yeager was the guest speaker at the anniversary celebration.

— The 45th Annual Dunker Church Service at Antietam National Battlefield Park in Sharpsburg, Md., a historic Civil War battle site, is planned for Sunday, Sept. 20, at 3 p.m. (Eastern time). The service is sponsored by Mid-Atlantic District and held in the restored Mumma Meeting House, commonly referred to as the Dunker Church at Antietam. Preaching for the 45th annual service is Larry Glick, a member of First Church of the Brethren in Harrisonburg, Va. He has served as associate executive in Shenandoah District and as a field associate for ministry training programs in the Church of the Brethren. For more than 25 year,s however, he may be best known for his portrayals of Brethren historical figures including Alexander Mack and John Kline, as a way “to help enhance our knowledge of past church leaders, and to understand how Brethren Heritage can inform our discipleship today.” The organizers of the annual service extend gratitude to the National Park Service for its cooperation, for the use of the meeting house which is now on National Park Service property, and for the loan of the historic Mumma Bible. For more information about the event, please call Eddie Edmonds at 304-267-4135 or 304-671-4775; Tom Fralin at 301-432-2653 or 301-667-2291; or Ed Poling at 301-766-9005.

— A consecration service for the new Brethren Disaster Ministries utility building and kit assembly room at the Shenandoah District office will be held Sunday, April 26, in an announcement from the district. The consecration service will begin at 3 p.m., with tours of the new building and the District Office from 3:45-4:45 p.m. At 5 p.m., guests are invited to stay for refreshments, fellowship, and a “BDM Mystery Promotion.” The event will be held rain or shine at 1453 Westview Church Road, Weyers Cave, Va.

— Brethren Woods’ Spring Festival will be held 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, rain or shine. Brethren Woods is a camp and outdoor ministry center of Shenandoah District. “Enjoy a busy day of fishing, eating, paddling on the lake, hiking, music, riding the zip line, and shopping at the auction,” said an invitation from the district. “Two audience favorites are back, too–Dunk the Dunkard and Kiss the Cow.” Detailed information is available at .

— Bridgewater (Va.) College is honoring two alumni with Ripples Society Medals for 2015, reports a release from the college: Allen M. Clague Jr., class of 1950, and Marion E. Mason, class of 1953. Clague is a physician whose medical career spanned more than three decades including two years of alternative service as a nurse surgical assistant in the operating room at the Medical College of Virginia, after he was drafted. He has focused on family medicine with practices in Kingsport, Tenn., Roanoke, Va., and Bridgewater. He was named a Fellow in the American Academy of Family Practice in 1973 and became a Diplomate (board-certified) in family medicine in 1975. He is a life member of the American Academy of Family Practice, the Virginia Academy of Family Practice, and the Medical Society of Virginia. Mason has been a teacher and principal in Botetourt County, Va., earning a master of education degree from the University of Virginia. In 1960, Mason opted for a career in business, accepting a job as an accountant with Leggett Department Stores (now Belk), and during a 35-year career with the department store chain rose through the ranks to become controller, treasurer, and a member of the board of directors. Mason joined the Bridgewater College board of trustees in 1986 and served as vice chairman for development and public relations, in addition to taking an active role in the college’s major capital campaigns. At Bridgewater Retirement Community, where he and his wife Joan now live, he has served on the board of directors and has chaired the board of its operating division, Bridgewater HealthCare Inc.

— In more news from Bridgewater College, the school has earned a place in the 2015 Princeton Review Guide to 353 Green Colleges. According to a release from the college, “The guide profiles colleges with the most exceptional commitments to sustainability based on their academic offerings and career preparation for students, campus policies, initiatives, and activities…. The New York City-based education services company selected Bridgewater based on data from a 2014 survey of college administrators that asked about the college’s sustainability related policies, practices, and programs.” The Princeton Review tallied Green Rating scores for nearly 900 institutions, and admitted only 353. Bridgewater’s Green Rating is 84; the highest possible score is 99, the release said.

— McPherson (Kan.) College invited John Paul Lederach to give the Religious Heritage Lecture on April 19. Lederach, whose career “has been focused addressing conflict with hope and creativity fits perfectly as the guest speaker,” said a release from the college. The lecture was presented at McPherson Church of the Brethren, focusing on “The Challenge of the Moral Imagination in Contemporary Conflicts.” The lecture was based on his book “The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace,” which gives examples of people displaying extraordinary “courage, compassion and creativity” in the face of conflict and violence around the world. Lederach is professor of international peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame, and director of the Peace Accords Matrix at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame, and is recognized internationally for his work as a consultant and mediator in places like Somalia, Northern Ireland, Colombia, and the Philippines.

— Springs of Living Water, an initiative for church renewal, announces two academies for pastors and ministers scheduled in coming months. “We are now receiving registrations for the Fall 2015 course,” said the announcement. “Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 8 to10 a.m. (Eastern time), the Foundations of Church Renewal course will be offered with 5 conference call sessions held over a 12-week period. Then beginning Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, from 8 to10 a.m. (Eastern time), the Foundations of Church Renewal course, with a bi-vocational component, will be offered in a similar 12-week component.” In the academies, pastors participate in spiritual disciplines folders, with a scripture reading and a format for prayer, as they delve into the 12 classic spiritual disciplines explored by Richard Foster in the book “Celebration of Discipline, The Path to Spiritual Growth.” Using a guided syllabus, pastors also take part in a spiritually oriented, servant-led course for ongoing renewal of a church using the book “Springs of Living Water, Christ-centered Church Renewal” written by instructor David Young. In the academy experience, people from the congregation walk along with their pastor, also using the disciplines folder. With a reflection paper, pastors receive 1.0 continuing education credit. David and Joan Young founded the Springs of Living Water Initiative in Church Renewal 10 years ago in the Church of the Brethren. An interpretative DVD produced by David Sollenberger is available at For more information contact or 717-615-4515.

— On April 9, at 3:15 p.m., bells rang nation-wide to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. CrossRoads Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center in Harrisonburg, Va., was one of the groups to host a bell-ringing, according to the Shenandoah District newsletter. “The commemoration, sponsored by the National Park Service, marks the date in 1865 when Union General Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate General Robert E. Lee met at Appomattox Court House here in Virginia to set the terms of the South’s surrender after four years of bloodshed,” said the newsletter.

— The 42nd annual Brethren Bible Institute sponsored by the Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) is scheduled for July 27-31 at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. Ten courses will be offered. Students may enroll in as many as three. Cost is $250 for those needing on-campus housing, or $100 for commuters. Contact the Brethren Bible Institute, 155 Denver Rd., Denver, PA 17517, or go to .

— The New Community Project recently sent grants of $42,000 and $7,000, respectively, to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, reports director David Radcliff. In South Sudan, the funds will support girls’ education, women’s development, and reforestation in Nimule and Narus. In Nimule, funds will be administered by the Girlchild Education and Development Association and New Community Forestry, grassroots organizations; and in Narus, by the peace office of the South Sudan Council of Churches. The project will be supporting some 250 South Sudanese girls with scholarships this year, while providing hygienic kits to these and 3,000 other girls. For the women, assistance is being offered for tailoring training, gardening programs, and for material aid and food to women at Melijo Displaced Persons Camp. The project also has begun a relationship with the Brethren in the Congo with a grant supporting several dozen girls in attending school and providing a tailoring training course for women. “Having endured a 20 year civil conflict that has cost 5 million lives and in which women have been regular targets of sexual violence, this seems like an area of our world calling for our attention,” said Radcliff. For more information, go to .

— “We remember in prayer those who have died and express our deepest sympathies to their families,” said a joint release of the World Council of Churches, the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe, and the Conference of European Churches. “As many as 700 people are feared dead following the capsizing of their vessel just outside Libyan waters. Rescue efforts are underway and so far 28 survivors have been found, according to media reports,” the release said. In the statement, WCC general secretary Olav Fykse Tveit called for “renewed solidarity and action, and for a resumption and strengthening of a collective European response” to the loss of life among refugees seeking to land in Europe. “We ask for meaningful European search and rescue efforts and call on European Union Member States to contribute substantially and speedily to such efforts in order to prevent future loss of life among people driven to this desperate crossing,” Tveit said. “These tragedies are strong calls for strengthening the efforts to address the root causes for poverty, social insecurity, and conflicts in the countries from where the migrants are coming.” Doris Peschke, general secretary of the CCME, commented in the release: “Only legal and safe pathways into Europe would help to prevent these tragedies from happening. This includes increased refugee resettlement and lifting of visa requirements for people arriving from countries in conflict.” More on the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe is at .

— In more news from the World Council of Churches, WCC general secretary Olav Fykse Tveit has sent a solidarity letter to Abune Mathias, patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, expressed shock over the killing of more than 20 Ethiopian Christians in Libya by the Islamic State (IS). “I speak on behalf of the ecumenical family when I say that we are shocked and appalled by the heinous and inhuman violence inflicted on these innocent faithful Ethiopians and that we strongly denounce and condemn any ideology that condones and celebrates murder and torture,” said Tveit in the letter issued April 21. “It is in such troubled and challenging times,” he continued, “that the gospel imperative of solidarity and ecumenical togetherness with the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is more relevant than ever…. We stand in solidarity with your church during this painful period when you are mourning your faithful children.” Find the letter at .

— Don Kraybill, a professor at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College and the leading expert on the Amish, is featured in an April 20 article published by Lancaster Online, titled “Don Kraybill: Five Takeaways from Scholar’s Speech on the ‘Amish Riddle.’” Kraybill is retiring as senior fellow at Elizabethtown College’s Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies and the article reports on his keynote address for the college’s Scholarship and Creative Arts Day. Read more about Kraybill’s study of the Amish and the “five takeaways” from their plain lifestyle at .

— Ben Barlow, past chair of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board, is the subject of a feature story in “The Washington Post.” The article titled, “A Game of Healing: Still in the Game,” highlights the way the Orioles baseball team has been a “shared love of Ben Barlow and his late wife Monica. Staying involved with the team helps him cope with her loss.” Monica Barlow was in charge of media and public relations for the team for 14 years before she died in February 2014. “That meant Barlow spent much of his marriage at the ballpark or on the road with the team…. ‘I can’t imagine not being at the ballpark,’ he said.” Find the article at .

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