Brethren Bits for April 29, 2015

Thirteen district administrative assistants from the Church of the Brethren district offices have been meeting at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill., this week. The meetings were held with denominational staff, and hosted by the Office of Ministry. At least one district executive and one retired district administrative assistant were a part of the group. Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford.

— The Board of Directors of Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village has begun a nationwide search for a CEO to replace retiring CEO/president Keith Bryan. Bryan has served as chief executive since 2010 and worked with the board to develop a strategic plan and long-term master plan for the Church of the Brethren-related retirement community near Boonsboro, Md. The expansion plan is underway, with a state-of-the-art waste-water treatment plant and a water storage system coming on-line in May. Under Bryan’s leadership the organization has positioned itself financially to implement the next phases of the expansion plan. Bryan will retire on May 29. The board has formed a Search Committee which is pursuing regional and national sources for candidates to lead the organization. The committee is seeking a visionary leader with strong competencies in financial management and marketing, along with experience in successfully growing a continuing care retirement community. Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, one of the oldest and most respected names in elder care in Maryland, was founded in 1905. The continuing care retirement community is home to approximately 200 residents in independent living, assisted living, nursing care, and a memory care facility. Fahrney-Keedy is a faith-based community and operates as a non-profit organization committed to enriching the lives of seniors. Visit to learn more about Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village and to see the full CEO position announcement. Candidate resumes are being accepted through June 5.

— The Church of the Brethren seeks a full-time warehouse assistant to fill an hourly position in the Material Resources program at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The position assists with folding quilts, baling, loading and unloading trailers, and learning strapping operation to clear cartons from the track as well as other tasks as assigned. Warehouse experience is preferred and electric pallet jack experience is helpful. A high school diploma or equivalent required. Applications will be received and reviewed beginning immediately, until the position is filled. Qualified candidates are invited to request the application packet and complete job description by contacting the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; 800-323-8039 ext. 367; .

— A 2015-2016 ministry assistant is sought by the Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Church of the Brethren, to serve through Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS). The position is both a practical ministry position and an administrative position focused on preparations for Christian Citizenship Seminar 2016, National Young Adult Conference 2016, and Ministry Summer Service (which includes the Youth Peace Travel Team). Most of the year is spent preparing for these events in the General Offices in Elgin, Ill., while the remainder of the time is spent facilitating these events on-site. The assistant works with various planning teams to envision and carry out the events, identifying themes, workshops, speakers, and other leaders, and manages the administrative side of the various events including online registration, budgets, coordinating logistics, tracking contracts and forms. This BVS placement includes serving as a BVS volunteer and being a member of BVS’ Elgin Community House. Requirements include gifts for and experience in youth ministry; passion for Christian service and an understanding of mutual ministry, both giving and receiving; emotional and spiritual 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). For more information or to request the full position description contact Youth and Young Adult Ministry director Becky Ullom Naugle, or 800-323-8039 ext. 385. The application form is available at . Applications are received through June 30.

— Bethany Theological Seminary is the subject of a major feature story in the “Palladium Item” newspaper in Richmond, Ind., home town of the Church of the Brethren seminary. The feature, titled “Bethany committed to its presence in Richmond,” written by Louise Ronald, was published April 26. The story noted that “Bethany is tucked next to ESR [Earlham School of Religion] at the corner of National Road West and College Avenue,” and that although it was founded in 1905, and first located in Chicago, it “has been in Richmond only since 1994…. One reason Bethany chose to come to Richmond was to have what [Bethany professor Tara] Hornbacker called a ‘sister seminary’ relationship with ESR. ‘Our (Religious Society of Friends and Church of the Brethren) theologies are … not the same … but they are compatible, and there is an energy that respects both the differences and the similarities.’” The piece also highlights the new “Bethany Neighborhood” where the seminary is offering student housing, and interviews president Jeff Carter among other seminary staff. “The hope is … that we can be a blessing to the city,” Carter said. Find the story at .

— The 2015 Shenandoah District Disaster Ministries Auction on May 15-16 “will soon be here!” announced the district newsletter. Events start with a golf tournament on Friday morning, May 15, at Heritage Oaks in Harrisonburg, Va. Activities at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds begin at 1 p.m. on May 15. Find more information with an auction bulletin insert at .

— Phillip C. Stone, president emeritus of Bridgewater (Va.) College, will provide the college’s 2015 commencement address on Saturday, May 16, at 10 a.m. The topic of his address is “Missing Pieces,” said a release from the college. As many as 365 seniors are expected to receive degrees at the commencement on the campus mall. Father Lawrence Johnson, director of Pastoral Care at Stella Maris Inc., in Timonium, Md., will deliver the message at the baccalaureate service on May 15, at 6 p.m., on the campus mall. His topic is “Who Do You Say That I Am?” Stone is a member of the Church of the Brethren, a native of Virginia and a 1965 graduate of Bridgewater College. He attended the University of Chicago Graduate School of Economics and received a law degree from the University of Virginia, and was a practicing attorney with the Harrisonburg, Va., firm of Wharton, Aldhizer, and Weaver. After 24 years as an attorney, he became president of Bridgewater College in 1994. During his tenure, enrollment nearly doubled and the campus underwent major construction and improvement projects. He also proposed the Personal Development Portfolio program and oversaw the establishment of new scholarships, the hiring of top-notch faculty, and improvements in technology, the release said. Stone retired as president of Bridgewater in 2010 and was named president emeritus by the board of trustees. He then joined three of his children in the Stone Law Group, a Harrisonburg law firm. He also is founder and president of the Lincoln Society of Virginia and has served on the advisory board of both the US and the Virginia Lincoln Bicentennial Commissions. His volunteer service to the Church of the Brethren has included serving as chair of the denominational board and as moderator of the 1991 Annual Conference, as well as service on several Annual Conference study committees.

— Manchester University has set a record of more than 60,000 service hours in 2014-15, said a release from the school in N. Manchester, Ind. This represents “a huge leap forward” in the school’s mission of service, said the release. “The previous year, the university logged more than 49,000 hours of service. Manchester has been averaging more than 42,000 hours a year, according to Carole Miller-Patrick, director of MU’s Center for Service Opportunities.”

— In more news from Manchester University, the school in N. Manchester, Ind., is offering five 2015 summer day camps for children: Chess Success, LEGO® Camp, Culinary 101, Science Camp, and Robotics Camp. In addition, the university is holding its ninth annual weekend Scrapbooking Retreat for adults. The classes will be taught by professionals, some of whom are Manchester faculty members. Prices and registration deadlines vary based on the camp. The Scrapbooking Retreat is June 5-7, at a cost of $150 ($95 if not staying on campus overnight), register by May 29. Chess Success is June 8-12 from 9 a.m.-noon for grades 3-6, at a cost of $99 per camper with T-shirt included, register by June 1. The LEGO Camp is June 22 – 26 from 8-11 a.m. for grades 1-3, at a cost of $99 per camper with T-shirt included, register by June 12. The Science Camp is June 29-July 1 from 1-4 p.m. for grades 4-6, at a cost of $65 per camper with T-shirt included, register by June 23. The Culinary 101 camp is June 29-July 1 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. for ages 10-14, at a cost of $135 per camper with lunch included, register by June 23. The Robotics Camp is July 13-17 from 9 a.m.-noon for grades 6-8 at a cost of $150 per camper with T-shirt included, register by July 3. For more information or to register click on Upcoming Events at .

— Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm will deliver this year’s John Kline Lecture on the topic “Counting the Cost, Faith in the Future: Brethren at the End of the Civil War.” “This year 2015 marks the end of the Civil War, and Ottoni-Wilhelm will comment on the influence of that conflict on the Brethren,” said a release from Paul Roth, president of the John Kline Homestead in Broadway, Va., the historic home of Civil War-era Brethren minister and martyr for peace John Kline.  Ottoni-Wilhelm will describe how Brethren in 1865 felt about what they did and did not do during war, and will explore how faith affected Brethren hopes for the future. Ottoni-Wilhelm, who holds a doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary, is the Alvin F. Brightbill Professor of Preaching and Worship at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. She has authored two books, “Preaching the Gospel of Mark: Proclaiming the Power of God,” which appeared in 2008, and the forthcoming “Preaching the Reign of God: Voices of Jesus for the Church and World.” She is also a popular preacher in the Church of the Brethren. The John Kline Homestead in Broadway, Va., sponsors the lecture series. This will be the fifth and last in the series that has commemorated the Civil War Sesquicentennial. The lecture will be held at the John Kline Homestead on Sunday, May 17, at 3 p.m. Nineteenth-century refreshments will be served. Admission is free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. For reservations and additional information, contact Paul Roth at or 540-421-5267.

— Deanna Beckner has been awarded the Faith in Action Award by the Office of Religious Life at Manchester University. “The award is given annually to a student who has contributed in significant ways to the Religious Life and Campus Ministry programs at Manchester, and who has put his or her faith into action on the campus and in the larger community,” said a release. Beckner is a senior communication studies major from Columbia City, Ind., from a five generations-long line of Manchester alumni. Campus minister Walt Wiltschek presented the award on Sunday, April 19, at the Student Development Leadership Banquet. Beckner has been a Campus Ministry assistant in the Religious Life office since her first year at Manchester and has been a key contributor to the Campus Interfaith Board, serving this year as co-facilitator. She is president of Simply Brethren and a long-time participant in the Radically Obedient Brethren Outreach Team, and has been involved with Praise Jam and other Religious Life programs. She plans to continue giving of her time after she graduates from Manchester by joining Brethren Volunteer Service in the fall. “They, and the placement site where she ends up, will be getting a dedicated, indefatigable worker with a big heart, a ton of gifts, and a rock-solid and growing faith,” Wiltschek said.

— Kimberly A. Kirkwood of Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren and a 1983 graduate of Bridgewater (Va.) College has received the college’s West-Whitelow Humanitarian Award. “Kirkwood grew up close to the campus as the daughter of the late James Kirkwood–one of the college’s longtime, beloved professors who served for many years as chair of the English department,” said a release from the college. “Seeing her dad’s dedication to volunteering for the Nature Conservancy and the local food bank after his retirement inspired Kirkwood’s own desire to serve others.” She is an information technology manager for the accounting firm of Homes, Lowry, Horn, and Johnson Ltd. in Fairfax, Va. At the Manassas Church she has been a Youth Group adviser, taught a Sunday school program on stewardship for children, coordinated a youth mentoring program for 8th and 9th graders, and for the past 17 years has volunteered with the congregation’s Fall Festival, a safe alternative to trick-or-treating. She is a member of the church board, currently serving on the Hospitality and Service Commission. She has been a delegate to Annual Conference and has served twice on the planning committee for the Mid-Atlantic District Conference. In addition she has volunteered with the local American Red Cross Disaster Services, and is a certified volunteer with the Church of the Brethren Children’s Disaster Services. She provided child care assistance following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, staying for two weeks in Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi.

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