Brethren Bits for June 4, 2016

“Check out Ecumenical Advocacy Days with the Dunker Punks Podcast,” said an invitation from Arlington (Va.) Church of the Brethren. The latest episode of this audio show created by Brethren young adults explores why Christians should care about justice, and how young people can get involved with working for justice. In this episode titled, “Every Voice Counts,” Emmett Eldred interviews Christian advocates who gathered in Washington, D.C., a few weeks ago to “Lift Every Voice” at the annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days. “Their words are both a calling and encouragement that the Lord’s power is with us when we stand up and speak out for justice,” said the announcement from Arlington’s information minister Suzanne Lay. Find the Dunker Punks Podcast at .

Remembered: Fran Alft, 87, a former employee of the Church of the Brethren, died on May 4 in Pennsylvania. In the late 1940s she was secretary to Raymond Peters, the Church of the Brethren’s first general secretary. She also was the wife of former mayor of Elgin, Ill., Mike Alft. The couple had relocated from Elgin to Pennsylvania just the month before she died. This remembrance is from the newsletter of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin.

Jeanette Mihalec has accepted the position of employee benefits specialist at Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT), located at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. She will begin her duties on June 20. She brings a wide array of skills and experience to the position, including a bachelor of science from Northwestern University, where she majored in economics with minors in science/mathematics, and education and training in financial planning. She is a resident in the Elgin community.

On Earth Peace has announced two job openings:
     A new full-time job opening for a development director. This position has remained vacant since Bob Gross retired at the end of 2014. The job description for this new role includes a distinct advantage for a fundraising professional who is a person of color. This reflects the emerging commitment to anti-racism transformation work by On Earth Peace, along with a practical assessment of what kind of expertise the agency needs to grow to the next level at this time as a community of practice for justice and peace. The need is for a development professional who can keep pace and work in synergy with ongoing program efforts and achievements toward becoming a fully multiracial community. Find out more at .
A part-time contract position for an interim coordinator of Ministry of Reconciliation (MoR). This person will manage requests for MoR services-such as workshops, trainings, facilitations, mediations, and consultations-from On Earth Peace constituents, mostly Church of the Brethren districts, congregations, families, and other related groups. Meeting these needs with this interim role will give On Earth Peace time to consider and discern what kind of staff configuration we will need going forward as our work continues to change and expand and our community grows. Find out more at .
For both positions, apply by July 15 with a cover letter e-mail, resume, and list of references. Apply to On Earth Peace executive director Bill Scheurer, by e-mail to .

Ministry Summer Service orientation has begun and continues through Wednesday at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The summer’s interns arrived yesterday, Friday, June 3, and mentors and supervisors will arrive on Monday to take part in the orientation. The interns and mentors serving together this summer are: Kerrick van Asselt will be mentored by Megan Sutton and Brian Flory, serving at Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren in Indiana; Nolan McBride will be mentored by Twyla Rowe, serving at Fahrney-Keedy Home and Village, a Church of the Brethren-related retirement community in Maryland; Rudy Amaya will be mentored by Rachel Witkovsky, serving at Palmyra (Pa.) Church of the Brethren; Ruth Ritchey Moore will be mentored by Donita Keister, serving at Buffalo Valley Church of the Brethren in Pennsylvania; Sarandon Smith will be mentored by David Miller, serving at Blackrock Church of the Brethren in Pennsylvania; Tyler Roebuck will be mentored by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, serving with Church of the Brethren communications and “Messenger” magazine; and Youth Peace Travel Team members Jenna Walmer, Kiana Simonson, Phoebe Hart, and Sara White will be mentored by Sarah Neher, Chelsea Goss, Audrey Hollenberg-Duffey, and Dana Cassell.

Brethren Disaster Ministries is one of five organizations chosen for nomination to be a global grant recipient of Rebate for Mission funds from Everence Federal Credit Union, which is a ministry of Mennonite Church USA. The credit union funds the program through a 10 percent tithe of credit card income. Since the program began in 1995, more than $400,000 has been given in mission grants, and the recipients are chosen by the credit union members. Along with Brethren Disaster Ministries, this year’s nominees also include Choice Books, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Friends United Meeting, and MEDA. Voting for nominees continues through mid-June. Go to .

“Pray for the 13 young adult participants of this summer’s first workcamp,” said one of several pray requests from the Global Mission and Service office this week. “They will serve with three organizations that are also Brethren Volunteer Service placement sites: Enable, East Belfast Mission, and L’Arche Belfast. Along with working in projects such as gardening, minor construction, and furniture repair, the participants will learn about local Northern Irish culture and history, gaining insight into the region’s recent 30-year violent conflict and the resulting dynamics between groups today. Pray for safe travels and for meaningful experiences of serving the Lord in a new culture.”
Other requests asked for prayer for the Democratic Republic of Congo and Lubungo Ron, a peace-builder and leader with the Congolese Brethren, as the country is experiencing nationwide protests opposing incumbent president Joseph Kabila’s plan to stay in power past his term; and for members of the Brazilian Church of the Brethren as Brazil continues in political instability following the suspension of the country’s president Dilma Rousseff and accusations of corruption against new president Michel Temer. “Pray for the country’s destabilized democracy and economy and for all those affected by unemployment, inflation, and the potential loss of services,” said the request.

Skippack Church of the Brethren in Collegeville, Pa., presented the 17th Annual Skippack Peace Award at Perk Valley High School in May. Pastor Larry O’Neill had the privilege of presenting the award, said a Facebook announcement. “The money ($500) comes from our ‘Pennies-4-Peace’ jar,” said the announcement. “Amazing to think our first recipient is [now] in her mid-30s. Christine Balestra visited Skippack and our Peace Table. She viewed our scrapbook of all the student who were past honored. It was Skippack though, who was truly honored to meet her.”

Beech Grove Church of the Brethren and Cedar Grove Church of the Brethren are supporting the Hollansburg (Ohio) Summer Lunch Program, which is in its sixth year. “This year they will again serve two hot meals a week to the people in Hollansburg and the surrounding area beginning June 6,” said a report in the Early Bird Paper. The average attendance for each meal last year was 24, the report said. The program helps children who may need of food assistance during the summer months, with hot meals served on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Hollansburg Community Center. In addition, the New Madison Library is providing an educational program every Wednesday. The program receives private donations, and food items and cash from local businesses and organizations. Find the news report at .

The Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center will sponsor a Harmonia Sacra sing at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 5, at the Hildebrand Church in Waynesboro, Va. An offering will be taken to benefit the Hildebrand Cemetery Fund. Loaner songbooks will be available or bring your own. For directions, go to .

The New Community Project’s “Give a Girl a Chance” program is featured in June edition of “Brethren Voices,” the community television program produced by Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren. “Give a Girl a Chance” provides educational opportunities to 250 girls in south Asia, Latin America, and east Africa, reports Ed Groff, producer of “Brethren Voices.” Each year, nearly $100,000 is provided to partners for girls education to fund scholarships, uniforms, sanitary materials, women’s development, skills training, micro-credit, backyard gardening projects, and Fair Trade initiatives. “There are few things more critical for the health of families and communities than the education of girls,” said the announcement. “Such opportunities almost always mean later marriage, fewer and healthier children, larger incomes, enhanced self-esteem. Yet millions of the world’s females are limited by poverty, gender bias, safety concerns–or the simple lack of sanitary materials.” Brent Carlson interviews David Radcliff, director of the New Community Project. Find “Brethren Voices” at or for DVD copies of the program, contact Ed Groff at .



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