Brethren Bits for December 16, 2016


The Night Circle of Crest Manor Church of the Brethren in South Bend, Ind., made 95 Christmas stockings for a church in the community that serves those in need. Each year, gifts and a stocking full of goodies are provided to those who may not have any other Christmas celebration. The whole congregation at Crest Manor got involved, not only sewing the stockings but giving cash donations that allowed for the purchase of numerous stocking “stuffers.”


Randall (Randy) Lee Yoder begins March 1, 2017 as interim district executive minister for Atlantic Northeast District. A Manchester College and Bethany Theological Seminary graduate, he has been a minister in the Church of the Brethren for over 50 years. He has served as a pastor, a professor, a director of Insurance Services for Brethren Benefit Trust, and also was district executive minister in Middle Pennsylvania District for 20 years. In 2009, he served as interim district executive for Pacific Southwest District. In Atlantic Northeast District, Yoder will serve in a three-quarter time position, for up to one year. He lives in Huntingdon, Pa.

The Church of the Brethren has hired Chasity Gunn of Elgin, Ill., as conference and event assistant for Congregational Life Ministries. Most recently she has been an assistant manager at a Dick’s Sporting Goods store, and a substitute teacher in the U-46 School District where she often has worked in dual-language classrooms instructing students in Spanish. Her past work experience includes a graduate teaching assistantship at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn.; a position as summer production assistant for the “Waterstone Literary Journal” and service on the journal’s Poetry Editorial Board; and a job as education reporter for the “Daily News Journal” of Murfreesboro, Tenn. Her work with Congregational Life Ministries will support staff in conference and program promotion, logistics, and registration.



Brethren, Mennonites, and other people of goodwill in Lancaster County, Pa., have received a “shout out” from Lancaster Online, in an editorial titled “As acts of hatred are committed elsewhere, Lancaster County represents a “beacon of light.’” “Lancaster County religious organizations offered their support to the Islamic Society of Greater Harrisburg after that mosque received a threatening hate letter from a group calling itself Americans for a Better Way,” the article said, in part. “Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren leaders sent a letter pledging their support and offering ‘any practical assistance.’ The Islamic Community Center of Lancaster also offered its support. You may have noticed the green, blue and orange lawn signs appearing outside people’s homes around the county. In English, Spanish and Arabic, they read: ‘No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor.’ …While racist and anti-Semitic symbols are scrawled on buildings in communities across the country–manifesting like a viral rash–and the number of hate crimes continues to climb nationwide, Lancaster County is mounting a quiet resistance.” Read the full op-ed piece at



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