Brethren Bits for November 5, 2016

“So important. So easy to enroll,” says an announcement from Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) insurance services, regarding open enrollment. “Do you have enough insurance coverage for those costly dentist visits and eye exams? Brethren Insurance Services offers affordable dental and vision insurance that makes all those unexpected extras (like fillings, braces, contacts and glasses) a little easier. Click here to find out more about our coverage from Delta Dental and EyeMed.” Brethren Insurance Services offers an array of ancillary products for ministers and other employees (and retirees) of congregations, districts, and camps.  Visit to find rates, options, and enrollment forms.

Kelly Wiest, administrator at Casa De Modesto, a Church of the Brethren-related retirement community in California, is retiring effective Dec. 15. “We wish you the very best Kelly, as you find new adventures and opportunities for your life,” said an announcement from Fellowship of Brethren Homes director Ralph McFadden.

The Church of the Brethren has hired James Miner as Yearbook specialist, working with Brethren Press at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the field of data processing, and previous experience working in the IT department at the General Offices. From October 1981 through May 1992 he was a computer programmer and systems analyst for the former General Board. He most recently has been a software engineer for Kronos in Schaumburg, Ill. He also is serving as web administrator for Camp Emmaus and for Illinois and Wisconsin District of the Church of the Brethren, and from 2001 to 2010 he was district youth advisor. He holds degrees from Elgin Community College and from Manchester College (now Manchester University) where he earned a degree in math and computer science. He is a life-long member of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin.

Esther Harsh has been called as district youth coordinator for Northern Ohio District. She is a graduate of Malone University with specific training in youth ministry, and has served as a missionary in Ukraine for more than six years, teaching life skills to orphans and orphanage graduates through personal relationships. Her experience also includes working as the educational director for the Boys and Girls club of Massillon, Ohio. She is from Zion Hill Church of the Brethren.

The Office of Ministry and Bethany Theological Seminary seek to fill the full-time position of executive director of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership. The primary functions of the position are to oversee certificate programs in ministry education, continuing education for ministers, and educational events focused on leadership development in the Church of the Brethren. Candidates should possess the following qualifications and abilities: five years of effective leadership in pastoral ministry; ordination and active membership in the Church of the Brethren; a master of divinity degree; a record of regular continuing education experiences. Residence in Richmond, Ind., or the surrounding area. A complete job description is available at . The application deadline is Dec. 1. Interviews will immediately follow, with the position to be filled by Jan. 31, 2017. Send resumes by postal mail or e-mail to: Steven Schweitzer, Academic Dean, Bethany Theological Seminary, 615 National Road West, Richmond, IN 47374; . The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership is a ministry training partnership of Bethany Theological Seminary and the Church of the Brethren Office of Ministry. Bethany Theological Seminary’s policy prohibits discrimination in employment opportunities or practices with regard to race, gender, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, or religion.

Middle Pennsylvania District seeks a district executive minister to fill a full-time position available June 1, 2017. The district comprises 55 congregations, and is culturally and theologically diverse. Its congregations are rural, small town, and city. The district has a strong interest in church renewal. The preferred candidate is a spiritually wise pastoral leader who offers inspiration and works collaboratively to envision and manifest the work of the district. Responsibilities include serving as administrator of the board of the district, facilitating and giving general oversight to the planning and implementation of ministries as directed by the district conference and the Coordinating Team, and providing linkages to congregations, the Church of the Brethren, and Annual Conference agencies; assisting congregations and pastors with placement; facilitating and encouraging the calling and credentialing of persons to set-apart ministry; building and strengthening relationships with congregations and pastors; using mediation skills to work with congregations in conflict; promoting unity in the district. Qualifications include a clear commitment to Jesus Christ demonstrated by a vibrant spiritual life with a commitment to New Testament values and to Church of the Brethren faith and heritage; strong relational, communication, mediation, and conflict resolution skills; strong administrative and organizational skills; competence with technology; passion for mission and ministry of the church; flexibility in working with staff, volunteer, pastoral, and lay leadership. Membership in the Church of the Brethren, ordination, and pastoral experience are required. A bachelor’s degree is required, a master of divinity degree is preferred. Apply by sending a letter of interest and a resume via e-mail to: . Applicants are requested to contact three or four people to provide letters of reference. Upon receipt of a resume, a candidate profile will be sent that must be completed and returned before the application is considered complete. The application deadline is Feb. 1, 2017.

Bethany Theological Seminary, the seminary of the Church of the Brethren, announces an opening for the full-time position of administrative assistant for Admissions and Student Services with an immediate starting date. The seminary is located in Richmond, Ind. This is an opportunity for a person with strengths in caring for details and supporting colleagues in the mission of the Admissions and Student Services Department. Responsibilities include overseeing student accounts, financial aid, and the Federal Work-study program. This person will also be a vital part of the admissions team and will provide needed support to student development and alumni/ae relations. Eligible applicants will hold the minimum of an associate’s degree. Affinity with the values and mission of the seminary is required. Experience in student billing and the handling of confidential materials is preferred. Qualified applicants will be personable and able to be self-directed, manage a complex workload with attention to details, offer office support to colleagues, and quickly respond to phone and e-mail requests from prospective and current students. Experience with SalesForce, Excel, iContact, Cougar Mountain, or other accounting software, and creating webforms would be helpful. A complete job description is available at . Application review will begin on Nov. 7 and will continue until an appointment is made. To apply, send a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for three references to: Rev. Dr. Amy S. Gall Ritchie, Bethany Theological Seminary, 615 National Road West, Richmond, IN 47374; . Bethany Theological Seminary’s policy prohibits discrimination in employment opportunities or practices with regard to race, gender, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, or religion.

Three district conferences are taking place this weekend: Atlantic Southeast District meets on Nov. 4-5 at Sebring (Fla.) Church of the Brethren. Illinois and Wisconsin District meets Nov. 4-5 at Rockford (Ill.) Community Church of the Brethren. Shenandoah District meets on Nov. 4-5 at Mill Creek Church of the Brethren in Port Republic, Va.

York Center Church of the Brethren is partnering with Lombard Mennonite Church to host an Election Day Communion service on Tuesday evening, Nov. 8, in Lombard, Ill. “This short service will contain singing, scripture, a lament for the political divisiveness in our country, and of course, Communion,” said an announcement from York Center pastor Christy Waltersdorff. For more information contact Hillary Watson, Associate Pastor, Lombard Mennonite Church, 630-627-5310. Waltersdorff added, “We are also having a service of prayer for our nation the week after the election at York Center.” The prayer service on Wednesday, Nov. 16 will start at 7 p.m.

An Election Day Love Feast co-sponsored by Brethren Woods Camp and Retreat Center and Shenandoah District is being held on Nov. 8, 7-8 p.m. at the camp’s Pine Grove Building. The camp is located near Keezletown, Va. “It has been a long and divisive presidential election season,” said an invitation. “Whether you plan to vote Democratic, Republican, independent, third party, write-in, or not at all, let’s join together after the polls close to make the same choice together: Jesus Christ. Election Day Love Feast is an opportunity to affirm that our first allegiance is to Jesus, and this allegiance is more important than party, candidate, or country. Jesus is our true savior and the one with the actual power to change the world.” The event will include feetwashing or hand washing, a light Fellowship Meal of snacks, and communion.



[gt-link lang="en" label="English" widget_look="flags_name"]