Brethren Bits for April 9, 2016

A team of volunteers from Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) arrived in Monroe, La., on March 31 to begin caring for children and families affected by flooding. The response involved six volunteers who cared for children living in a Red Cross shelter. The response concluded today, April 9, having made 55 child contact. Reports associate director Kathy Fry-Miller, “We were able to get some of our newly trained volunteers out on this response, which was exciting.”

Remembrance: Alan David Patterson, 38, died on April 2 at Gettysburg (Pa.) Hospital. At the time of his death, he was serving as executive camp director for Camp Eder, a Church of the Brethren-related camp and outdoor ministry center near Fairfield, Pa. He was born March 22, 1978, to John L. and Barbara J.(Kohli) Patterson. He was an avid musician and song writer, having sung in the Lima Boys Choir and later moving to Nashville to write and produce his own music. His work for the Church of the Brethren included service as a counselor and program director for Camp Inspiration Hills in Burbank, Ohio, as well as his leadership at Camp Eder. Over the years he also had served as youth leader at Elm Street Church of the Brethren. He was an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren. He also was an avid photographer, who loved nature and capturing nature’s beauty in his pictures. He loved animals and was an advocate for rescuing animals, having rescued four of his own. His legacy of giving to others will live on through his gift of life as a tissue donor. He is survived by his mother, Barbara Patterson, and seven siblings, nephews and a niece, and great nieces and nephews. He also is survived by his friend, Nate Ballinger, who donated a kidney to Alan. A service celebrating his life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 9, at County Line Church of the Brethren in Harrod, Ohio. Friends may call from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. on Friday, April 8, at Chiles-Laman Funeral and Cremation Services, Eastside Chapel, and one hour prior to the service at County Line Church of the Brethren. Camp Eder will hold a memorial service at the camp on Sunday, April 17, at 4 p.m. Tentative plans are to hold the service in Camp Eder’s chapel on the hill. Memorial contributions are received for Camp Eder. Condolences may be expressed at . Find a full obituary at .

— Remembrance: Donald E. Willoughby, 81, formerly of the Michigan District, passed away Friday, April 8, at Timbercrest Senior Living Community in North Manchester, Ind. He had served on the former Church of the Brethren General Board in the early 1970s and provided significant leadership in the Michigan District. Nate Polzin, Michigan District executive, shared the following: “The Michigan District family has lost another of our beloved elders…. Don served the district in many ways, including as moderator of District Conference. He was a great source of encouragement, and Don had a way about him that welcomed everyone. His wife, Marie, served as district executive, and his son, John, serves now as our district vice-chair and Standing Committee delegate. The Willoughby family has given much to our district. We thank them for sharing Don with us all for so many years.” Don Willoughby was an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren and a graduate of Bridgewater (Va.) High School, Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, and Bethany Theological Seminary. He is survived by his wife Marie and children Michael (Beth) Willoughby of Elk River, Minn., John (Joanna) Willoughby of Grand Rapids, Mich., Anne (Don) Petry of Glen Carbon, Ill., Sallie Willoughby of San Leandro, Calif., Carolyn (Barron) Willoughby Deffenbaugh of Johnstown, Pa., and Brenda Willoughby of Castro Valley, Calif., and grandchildren and a great-grandchild. A memorial service is planned for Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. at the Timbercrest Chapel, with calling hours from 1-2 p.m.; and a memorial service and burial of ashes is planned for a later date at the Worship Walkway of Marilla Church of the Brethren in rural Copemish, Mich. Memorial gifts are received to Marilla Church of the Brethren General Fund, Manchester Church of the Brethren General Fund, and the Mission and Ministry Board General Fund.

Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministry Center in Mid-Atlantic District has announced a change of leadership. Ann Cornell resigned from the position of administrator after many years of service. The board of directors has announced that Dotty Dalphon has accepted the newly created position of executive director, as of April 1. She most recently was director of advancement for Shepherd’s Spring. Dalphon is a member at Frederick (Md.) Church of the Brethren. The board also thanked Glenn Gordon for his service as interim director during the time of transition. Ann Cornell’s years of service will be recognized at the Celebrate Summer Festival on Aug. 6.

Gene Hollenberg has been called as the new executive director for Camp Alexander Mack, located near Milford, Ind., in an announcement from the camp board. Hollenberg has been an interim pastor, a teacher for 16 years, and a principal for 20 years. His experience at Camp Mack has been extensive. He has served as a counselor for 38 years, as a team leader and designer of Creative Arts Camp, assisted as a program director, consulted with the executive director in the development and writing of summer camp program outcomes, and visited churches on behalf of camp staff to develop relationships and promote camp programming. He is very involved at Union Center Church of the Brethren and in the Northern Indiana District. He will officially start in the position on Sept. 1.

Mark Flory Steury has transitioned to the position of Donor Relations representative for the Church of the Brethren. He previously worked for the denomination’s Donor Relations as a contractor. He began the new part-time position located at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., on April 1. The responsibilities include strengthening and nurturing congregational and individual stewardship, direct gifts, planned giving, and enlistment programs of the Church of the Brethren, reflecting continuous development in the Donor Relations ministry

Washington (D.C.) City Church of the Brethren is seeking an individual to direct overall operations of the Brethren Nutrition Program, a lunch program for those in need on Capitol Hill. The work includes supervising day-to-day functions, and leading communications, public relations, and fundraising; utilizing one’s faith and skills of administration, organization, development, and public speaking. Some experience with social work, social justice ministries, or working with marginalized people is required. The position begins Aug. 15 and is a full-time 40-hour stipend position with benefits, including housing at Brethren House, a community house on Capitol Hill. To view the complete position description, go to . To apply, send a cover letter and a resume to .

“Our Calling to Racial Justice” is the topic of an upcoming conference call sponsored by On Earth Peace on Wednesday, April 20, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Eastern time). “Join with other members of our multicultural and multiracial community of practice to share about our emerging inner calls to involvement and leadership for racial justice in these Black Lives Matters times,” said an invitation. “Within an atmosphere of sacred space and beloved community, this call will feature several participants sharing responses to core bio questions developed for OEP’s racial justice community of practice.” Questions include: What has been your experience with race, racism, and racial justice? What is your own calling to racial justice leadership in these times? What is one skill or growth area that you know will help you be more effective as a leader for racial justice? What is one resource that you have to offer to this emerging community of racial justice workers? The call also will include a basic orientation to On Earth Peace’s Racial Justice Organizing Community of Practice, and opportunities to get involved. Register to participate at . Contact for additional information and for a handout with guiding questions to use in preparing for the call. The preferred format for the call, with is both video and voice-only, is via PC, Android, or iOS, with an installation of a free app from . There is no fee for the call, but an option for making a donation in support of this ministry will be made available after the call.

At the Circles of Love Banquet, ADNet (the Anabaptist Disabilities Network) introduced a new Financial Planning Seminar jointly with Everence. “Plan for Their Future” will be offered April 28 at 7 p.m. at the Everence offices in Goshen, Ind., for families that include persons with disabilities. With leadership from Randall Jacobs, J.D., it will cover the latest in estate planning laws, including how to leave a legacy without jeopardizing a loved one’s eligibility for government benefits, and how charitable trusts can benefit heirs and charities. Please RSVP by April 14 to or 574-533-9515 ext. 3307. Light refreshments will be served.

A new issue of “Bridge,” the newsletter by and for Church of the Brethren young adults, is now available as an online publication. Find a link at or go directly to .

Photo courtesy of PUST
The graduating class at PUST.


Global Mission and Service is celebrating the graduation of 105 students from Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) in North Korea. This is the university’s third graduation since opening six years ago. Of the six postgraduate students receiving master of science degrees, three have worked in the School of Agriculture under the direction of Robert Shank. Robert and Linda Shank have worked as Church of the Brethren volunteers at PUST since the university’s opening, serving as dean of the School of Agriculture and English instructor, respectively.

Brethren who plan to attend the upcoming Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids, Mich., are invited to gather together dinner and discussion with Congregational Life Ministries staff member Debbie Eisenbise on Friday, April 15. RSVP via Facebook or by e-mail to .

The Southern Ohio District board is planning a celebration of camping in Southern Ohio over the years, taking place at Woodland Altars on Saturday, April 30, 2-4 p.m. A Celebration Program will be held in Heritage Lodge from 2-3 p.m., followed by free time for hiking, touring facilities, a sing-along, and sharing memories. For more information and a flier go to .

Cross Keys Village-the Brethren Home Community is celebrating “another good grade for CKV.” In a recent email the Church of the Brethren-related retirement community reported that its Standard and Poor’s rating “remains at A-minus with a stable outlook…. At Cross Keys Village, we take our fiduciary responsibility to existing and future residents seriously. As we embark on exciting projects, one top consideration is always to remain financially resilient and exceed our industry’s financial benchmarks.” In more news from the community, director of memory support Jennifer Holcomb was a finalist at the 9th annual Central Penn Parent’s Healthcare Heroes presentation in Harrisburg, Pa.

“Honor a woman you know and love by celebrating and supporting mothers around the world!” said an invitation to participate in the Global Women’s Project’s annual Mother’s Day Gratitude Project. “Rather than buying more material gifts for your loved one, express your gratitude with a gift that helps other women around the world. Your donation allows us to fund projects focused on women’s health, education, and employment. In return, your chosen recipient(s) will receive a lovely, hand-written card indicating that a gift has been made in her honor, with a brief description of GWP.” To participate, send a donation to Global Women’s Project, c/o Emily Matteson, 1405 Ashwood Dr., Modesto, CA 95350. Remember to include your name and the recipient’s name and address. Memorial donations are also received and will be honored on the website . Gratitude cards will be mailed in time for Mother’s Day if requests are sent by May 3.

Elizabethtown (Pa.) College’s Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies presents two honors student lectures on April 21 at 7:30 p.m. Annemarie Hartzell, a senior at Elizabethtown College, will present “Men of War, Men of Peace: Brethren Ideologies and the Civil War.” Quinton Meil, a senior at Temple University, will present “Amish and Criminal Law: The English Response to Amish Crime and its Implications on Due Process.” For more information, call 717-361-1470 or visit .

A Mother’s Day 5-K Walk/Run for Nigeria and Nepal is planned for May 7 at the Bridgewater (Va.) Lawn Party grounds. Registration is from 12:15-1 p.m., and the race is from 1-3 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Church of the Brethren Nigeria Crisis Response and survivors of sex trafficking in Nepal. Register before April 30. Cost is $25 per participant to receive the T-shirt. Cost after April 30 and on race day is $30. Contact to get involved. Information also is available at .

Wayne and Margaret Keltner will celebrate their 70th anniversary on April 21. The couple’s early years of marriage were uniquely spent in the heart of Church of the Brethren denominational ministry, reports daughter Priscilla Keltner Skeeters. They were married at the former Brethren Fellowship House in Chicago, Ill., by Harper Will. As newlyweds they moved to the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., where they lived in Old Main while Wayne worked on a Heifer Project farm and Margaret worked sorting clothing and doing other projects for Church World Service. Later in life they became involved in planting a new church in Springfield, Mo. “Sadly, the Good Shepherd church closed a few years ago,” Skeeters reports, ‘but they have remained active and continue their membership in the district at-large.”


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