Brethren Bits for July 23, 2016


A two-page Wrap Up of Annual Conference 2016 is available in pdf format. For a free download in full color go to . This printable Wrap Up is offered to aid church delegates in reporting about the Conference and for inclusion in Sunday bulletins and church newsletters, and for posting on bulletin boards. It is offered in addition to the video wrap up of the Conference in DVD format, and the Conference sermons DVD, that are available to purchase from Brethren Press at 800-441-3712.

The Church of the Brethren has hired Karen Warner as customer service representative for Brethren Press. She has been office manager for a financial group and administrative assistant at St. Hugh of Lincoln Episcopal Church in Elgin, Ill. She will continue her part-time position at the church while working part-time with the Brethren Press team at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin.

Washington (D.C.) City Church of the Brethren for more than 30 years has operated the Brethren Nutrition Program, a soup kitchen to serve hungry neighbors on Capitol Hill, providing hot and healthy lunches to those in need. Washington City Church seeks a food ministries coordinator to coordinate the Brethren Nutrition Program. This is a full-time stipend position with housing provided, with the expectation of a 40-hour work week. While most hours are Monday through Friday, occasional weekend work is required. The church is seeking to hire someone to make a two-year commitment, with a three-month trial period. The food ministries coordinator directs the overall operations of the Brethren Nutrition Program, supervising day-to-day functions, and leading communications, public relations, and fundraising; supervises and trains the program volunteer; delegates tasks and projects to the outreach assistant as necessary; manages the kitchen any time that other personnel are not available; maintains existing volunteer relationships and regularly recruits new volunteers through a variety of community and denominational sources and events; works with the program volunteer to ensure the schedule is adequately staffed and scheduled through VolunteerSpot; procures supplies and groceries, ensuring food quality, nutritional standards, and food safety standards are strictly adhered to; carries out communication with community partners, congregations, and donors; serves as the public representative of the program; carries out strategic planning and fundraising; among other duties. As this position is embedded in the ministry of Washington City Church, the church is seeking to hire a person of Christian faith interested in urban church ministry and committed to being a part of the life and ministry of the congregation. Benefits include a stipend, food allowance, housing provided at Brethren House, a community house for volunteers (including Brethren Volunteer Service volunteers), along with health insurance through DC Health Link if no available insurance exists. Holidays, vacation, and sick days are provided.  Further details are available after application. Start date is Sept. 1, or earlier if available. Applications are due Aug. 15. To apply, send a cover letter and a resume by e-mail to .

The Shine curriculum jointly published by Brethren Press and MennoMedia seeks a half-time editorial assistant to work out of Harrisonburg, Va. The editorial assistant works closely with contracts and permissions, helps promote Shine, and assists in ensuring the accuracy and consistency of all products for this multi-component children’s Sunday school curriculum. Familiarity with Church of the Brethren and/or Mennonite organizations and belief is strongly preferred. See the full job posting at . To apply, send a resume and cover letter to .

The World Council of Churches (WCC) seeks a communication officer to serve in Jerusalem with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). Responsibilities include: to identify internal and external communication priorities, transform communications strategies into concrete action, and align messages toward WCC’s common objectives and goals. Requirements include native or proficiency in English, and ease in an international working environment and with the values and mission of the WCC. The communication officer will work in close collaboration with the EAPPI local program coordinator based in Jerusalem and the international coordinator based in Geneva, Switzerland, to communicate overall policy and advocacy priorities. In the context of a quickly changing world in communication and public relations, this position uses modern media communication tools for spreading effective messages through appropriate material, keeping people informed about goals, policies, objectives, activities, and programs of the WCC. The position holder is constantly aware of and sensitive to the needs, opinions and attitudes of all WCC member churches, ecumenical partners, and building a communication bridge between media, member churches, related organizations, and the public in general. Qualifications and special requirements include: at least 5 to 10 years of experience in communications and/or journalism, preferably in NGOs or faith based organizations; a bachelor’s or master’s degree in communication or a related field; excellent command of written and spoken English with other languages–particularly German, and/or French, or Arabic–advantageous; high level of computer literacy (standard MS office application such as Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint) and Internet based communication, including social media network. The deadline for applications is Aug. 15. Applications including CV, motivation letter, the Application Form, copy of diploma, work certificate/references are to be returned to the Human Resources Department at . The Application Form is available at .

Anabaptist Disabilities Network is seeking a program director. The network is a small non-profit, church-related organization based in Elkhart, Ind. The Church of the Brethren is a member of the network, through the Congregational Life Ministries staff and the Disabilities Ministry. The program director must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, be able to manage multiple projects at once, and have experience with print and web media writing and editing. This is a part-time position, working alongside the executive director. The Anabaptist Disabilities Network is dedicated to transforming faith communities and individuals with disabilities by full inclusion in the Body of Christ. For more information and a job description, visit . Send resumes to .

A Church of the Brethren workcamp group got the attention of News Channel 25 in Waco, Texas, when they helped an elderly resident repair her home. Working with a youth group from Lakeshore Baptist Church, the workcamp aided Lakeshore member Linda Olson who could not fix up her home because of physical and financial challenges. Find the news story and a video at .

An invitation to a dinner benefitting the National Farm Worker Ministry is shared by Jeff Boshart, manager of the Global Food Initiative (formerly Global Food Crisis Fund). The event celebrates the 45th anniversary of the ministry, with the theme, “This Far by Faith: Celebrating 45 Years Harvesting Justice with Farmworkers.” It takes place Saturday, Aug. 27, 6-8:30 p.m., at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C. (1801 Hillsborough St.), with an opportunity to go next door after the dinner for an open house at the offices of the National Farm Worker Ministry. Also included are a silent auction, an information program, and a “Giving Moment.” There is no cost to attend, but reservations are required. RSVP by Aug. 15 online at or by e-mail to .

The summer issue of the Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) newsletter “The Volunteer” is available online at . The theme of this issue is gifts. Four current BVSers share their stories.

Image courtesy of On Earth Peace

“It is less than two months until Peace Day 2016!” said an invitation to join in the annual observance held on or around Sept. 21. On Earth Peace is inviting congregations, youth groups, college ministries, community groups, peacebuilders, and other “seekers of justice” to plan a Peace Day event. “We are already hearing from congregations and districts that are planning their Peace Day events, so now is the time to start planning, praying, and organizing with us!” said the invitation. Connect by filling out this online form: . For questions contact . Join the conversation on Facebook at .

The Global Mission and Service office is lifting up a recent youth conference organized by Iglesia de los Hermanos Una Luz en las Naciones (the Church of the Brethren in Spain). Some 120 participants gathered for worship, prayer, and scripture study. “The participants came from Spain, Germany, France, England, and the United States, and they represented 15 congregations, including five of the six Spanish Brethren congregations,” said a prayer request. “Pray that Iglesia de los Hermanos may continue to spread the power and love of the Holy Spirit.”

In its weekly prayer updates, Global Mission and Service continues to request prayer for this summer’s Church of the Brethren workcamps. The two current workcamp groups are serving in Portland, Ore., and Elgin, Ill. “Pray for the 21 senior high youth and advisors serving at the Portland, Ore., workcamp, hosted by Peace Church of the Brethren,” said the prayer request. “They are serving at SnowCap and Human Solutions (two Brethren Volunteer Service project sites), where they will sort and organize donated food, work on an outdoor sanctuary, and play with the children of the homeless families who are supported by Human Solutions. Pray for the 23 junior high workcampers and advisors helping to serve the hungry in Elgin, Ill. They will sort donations at a regional food bank and assist at a client-choice food pantry. The participants will spend time at the Church of the Brethren General Offices and are hosted by Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren.”

On Earth Peace’s year old Anti-Racism Transformation Team (ARTT) was hosted by West Charleston Church of the Brethren in the Dayton, Ohio, area on June 24-26. The team also met in downtown Dayton at the Collabratory, said a release from On Earth Peace. ARTT reviewed and moved forward work on Strategic Directions for Anti-Racism transformation within On Earth Peace, including initiatives to bring proposals for changes to organizational policies and practices, shift meeting sites to spaces where communities of color are a majority, support board and staff changes to hiring and recruitment practices, widen On Earth Peace’s circle of connections, and support culture transformation within the organization through education and training. In this meeting ARTT also worked towards establishing internal team roles and decision making practices and explored options for structures of ongoing supportive connections with the staff and board. “As we usually meet by conference call,” said team member Carol Rose, “this face-to-face meeting was a treasured opportunity for us to deepen connections among us through gender and race caucuses and shared experiences in the community of Dayton like attending the Keeping the Tradition Pow Wow.” It was also an opportunity to contribute and to build connections with the Church of the Brethren as various team members led portions of West Charleston’s Sunday worship. ARTT member Caitlin Haynes said, “We do this work for the future.”

The annual World Hunger Auction will take place at Antioch Church of the Brethren in Rocky Mount, Va., on Saturday, Aug. 13, starting at 9:30 a.m. The auction includes the sale of crafts, quilts, toys, produce, baked and canned goods, special services, and much more. “Come early for the best selection,” said an invitation from Virlina District. “Through the first 30 years of the World Hunger Auction, the purpose has been to provide as much funding as possible to those facing hunger-related issues. With the exception of some expenses, all the money that is raised goes to organizations working toward that goal. The 10 Churches of the Brethren that sponsor the auction are blessed with the opportunity to serve; however, they do not receive any of the funds.” The money is distributed between Heifer International, Roanoke Area Ministries, the Church of the Brethren Global Food Initiative (formerly the Global Food Crisis Fund), and Heavenly Manna, a food pantry in Rocky Mount.

The annual Family Peace Camp held by the Historic Peace Churches in Florida is planned for Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-4 at Camp Ithiel near Orlando. Belita D. Mitchell, senior pastor at First Church of the Brethren in Harrisburg, Pa., and a former Annual Conference moderator, will be the resource leader for the camp. The announcement notes that as “a strong advocate of the power of prayer, Pastor Belita is actively involved in a variety of community action prayer events. An ongoing area of concentration has been praying for peace in the South Allison Hill community and the city of Harrisburg. She currently serves as chair of the Harrisburg Chapter of Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence, a faith based movement devoted to gun violence prevention through the sale and distribution of illegal handguns. Her peace advocacy includes seeking peace and justice, while living a life characterized by inner peace and a ‘non-anxious presence.’” In a special offer this year Roger Seidner, who is a retired United Church of Christ pastor now attending New Covenant Church of the Brethren at Camp Ithiel, has offered to pay the $25 registration fee for the first 12 non-Brethren people who register. “What a kind gesture! Thank you, Roger,” said an announcement of the offer from organizer Phil Lersch. “We trust several of our non-Brethren peacemakers will take advantage of his generosity.” Jerry Eller is serving as camp dean. For more information contact Lersch at 727-544-2911 or .

Mid-Atlantic District has moved its office, and has announced a new address: Mid-Atlantic District Church of the Brethren, 1 Park Place, Suite B, Westminster, MD 21157; 443-960-3052; 410-848-0735 (fax). The district’s e-mail addresses remain the same.

This weekend marks the start of the Church of the Brethren’s district conference “season” for 2016. Southeastern District Conference is meeting this weekend in Mars Hill, N.C., on the theme, “Sola in Christos, Spiritus, et Scriptura: Only in Christ, the Spirit, and Scripture.”

Church World Service (CWS) is supporting a #WithRefugees Campaign of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), led by high commissioner Filippo Grandi. He has called on world leaders “to show solidarity and find solutions for people displaced by war or persecution,” said a CWS newsletter. The UNHCR has posted an online petition and is seeking signatures at . The petition will be delivered before the Sept. 19 United Nations General Assembly high-level meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants, to convene at the UN Headquarters in New York. CWS plans to play a role at that meeting. “We hope you will visit the site and sign the petition, and continue to raise this issue among your congregations and constituents,” said the CWS newsletter. “Please also visit CWS IRP+ webpages to find out other ways to be involved, especially in support of the Emergency Appeal for the refugee resettlement surge.” Go to .

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has offered prayers for peace in the United States, while condemning acts of violence including the shootings of police, and the shooting of black men by police. In a recent release, Dr Agnes Abuom, moderator of the WCC Central Committee, expressed her sorrow and her hope that escalating racial tensions and violence will abate. “We pray that all of us might be catalysts for change as we work against racism and discrimination that is the root cause for anger and unspeakable violence,” she said. “We must come together globally and continue our movement as God’s people, giving hope to vulnerable people, people who have lost loved ones, people who are increasingly afraid in their daily lives.” The release noted how many prayers and statements of sorrow have “streamed in” from WCC member churches in the USA responding to the violence.

Images courtesy of Linda K. Williams
Items for sale with the slogan ‘When Jesus said Love your enemies…’ benefit Brethren Press, in a collaboration with Linda K. Williams of San Diego (Calif.) First Church of the Brethren.

Linda K. Williams of First Church of the Brethren in San Diego, Calif., is collaborating with Brethren Press to offer a number of items emblazoned with the Brethren bumper sticker slogan, “When Jesus said, ‘Love your enemies,’ I think he probably meant, don’t kill them.” In addition to the classic bumper sticker, the slogan is now available on t-shirts, mugs, water bottles, tote bags, re-usable shopping bags, throw pillows, greeting cards, necklaces, and even teddy bears, among other items. Williams is donating the profits to Brethren Press. Items are available to order at


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