Brethren Bits for September 2, 2016

Photo by Kristin Flory
The group of volunteers who participated in the Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Europe Retreat 2016. These volunteers are serving in projects across the European continent.

Effective Thursday, Sept. 1, Jeanette Mihalec completed her service as employee benefits specialist for Brethren Benefit Trust.

The Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Church of the Brethren seeks coordinators for National Youth Conference (NYC) 2018. Young adults who are passionate about the ministry of NYC and would like to help lead the 2018 event are invited to apply to be a coordinator. Applications are due no later than Oct. 14, and can be found at www.brethren.org/NYCCoordinatorApp . Coordinators will meet briefly with the National Youth Cabinet in early 2017 to begin planning NYC, and will then serve full-time through Brethren Volunteer Service from June 2017 through Aug. 2018. Church of the Brethren young adults between the ages of 22 and 35, with strong leadership and organizational skills, are ideal applicants. For questions contact Becky Ullom Naugle, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, at bullomnaugle@brethren.org or 847-429-4385.

Shepherd’s Spring, a camp and retreat center near Sharpsburg, Md., seeks a program coordinator to serve in a fulltime position. The program coordinator manages and develops the summer camp program and global village program. Qualifications include a bachelor’s degree with a preferred relation to outdoor ministry, education, or equivalent experience. The camp seeks a strategic and analytical thinker with the ability to manage multiple programs and projects, proficient in Microsoft Office software, with ability to work with varied persons specifically age groups 1st grade through college, ability to clearly direct work of staff and/or volunteers to accomplish tasks, good written and oral communication skills, and public speaking ability. Responsibilities include to participate in developing and implementing programs for Shepherd’s Spring in cooperation with the Program Team, with an emphasis on children and youth programming (Summer Camp and Global Village); prepare and direct the preparation of program materials according to Heifer Curriculum standards, ACA programming standards, and Shepherd’s Spring policies; recruit and train additional staff and volunteers as needed to operate Heifer Global Village and Summer Camp programs including developing a college intern program and a volunteer program for Global Village; maintain daily feeding and care of livestock (weekends included); evaluate staff and volunteers in the Heifer Global Village programs; maintain a flexible work schedule sometimes including weekends and overnight; assist in developing and implementing a marketing plan; plan and carry out training for summer staff; develop strong, partnering relationship with Mid-Atlantic District congregations; among other tasks. The benefits package includes a salary in the range of $33,000-$35,000, health insurance, and pension plan. Find more information at www.shepherdsspring.org . Send a resumé or direct questions to program director Britnee Harbaugh, by e-mail at bharbaugh@shepherdsspring.org. .

Brethren Woods Camp and Retreat Center near Keezletown, Va., seeks to fill a part-time hourly position of Outdoor School Coordinator, beginning in early 2017. The position facilitates appreciation of the outdoors by welcoming local school groups for outdoor education programming. Tasks include hosting groups, coordinating registrations, recruiting and training volunteers, and assisting with publicity work. The position runs on an hourly basis as needed. The months of September to November and March to early June constitute the majority of the job. Other months will have very few hours, if any. The ideal candidate will be a committed Christian, have the ability to effectively work in a team relationship with other camp staff, possess strong organizational skills, have experience with group dynamics and management, and have knowledge of age group characteristics. College graduates with teaching experience in some capacity are preferred, and individuals who bring diversity are encouraged to apply. Applicants should send a cover letter and résumé to Tim and Katie Heishman at program@brethrenwoods.org.



The 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative has begun offering support to the Nigeria Crisis Response of the Church of the Brethren and Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) through helping to publicize the effort. The support has come in response to meetings between Wilberforce staff and Church of the Brethren staff earlier this summer. This week, a Wilberforce article titled “Facing Terror and Destruction, Some Stand up for Freedom,” highlights the Brethren work to aid those affected by violence and persecution in northeast Nigeria. “In many parts of the world, people are bravely standing in solidarity with their neighbors and against evil,” the article says, in part. “One example is how, Church of the Brethren in the US is helping victims heal from the crisis in Nigeria, halfway around the world. Boko Haram has destroyed nearly 1,700 buildings, or 70 percent of the denomination’s Nigerian churches, but the group is choosing to restore what others have torn down. American congregations have given sacrificially, raising nearly $5 million in just two years to rebuild churches, provide food relief, books, and other development.” Read the article at
https://medium.com/@cvirgin/facing-terror-and-destruction-some-stand-up-for-freedom-19edd9ff785a#.4bwxizvhz . The initiative also has published a social media meme encouraging support for the Brethren work in Nigeria. The 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative is named after 19 century British parliamentarian and abolitionist William Wilberforce, who identified the slave trade as the greatest violation of human rights. The initiative is dedicated to empowering a global movement to advance religious freedom as a universal right through advocacy, capacity building and technology. Find out more at www.21wilberforce.org .

National Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 5-11, and World Suicide Prevention Day is Sept. 10. “Suicide is the second leading cause of death for those aged 15-24 in the US,” said an announcement. Find more information at https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics .

Cedar Creek Church of the Brethren in Citronelle, Ala., holds a Homecoming and 100th Anniversary Celebration on Oct. 9. Events start with coffee and snacks at 9:30 a.m., followed by worship at 10 a.m., with a meal to follow. “Everyone welcome!” said an announcement from Southeastern District.

Jackson Park Church of the Brethren has begun to collect donations of personal hygiene items and cleaning supplies for a family affected by flooding in Louisiana, according to an announcement in the Southeastern District newsletter. Contact artistkblair@yahoo.com .

Staunton (Va.) Church of the Brethren hosts a performance of “12 Baskets and a Goat” by Ted and Company at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8. The program combines theater and an auction to benefit Heifer International. Ted Swartz and Jeff Raught will present their original play, “The Jesus Stories: Faith, Forks, and Fettuccini,” with a live auction of baskets and breads at two times during the evening. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased online at Stauntonbrethren.org .

New contact information has been announced for Southeastern District and district executive minister Scott Kinnick: P.O. Box 252, Johnson City, TN 37605; 423-282-1682; sedcob@outlook.com .

Southern Ohio District is thanking all who contributed to successful efforts to support disaster relief. On Aug. 6 at Happy Corner Church of the Brethren, an ice cream social was attended by about 400 people, and preliminary figures show about $7,500 was raised, the district newsletter announced. Proceeds benefit Southern Ohio Brethren Disaster Ministries and help cover “the cost of sending volunteers for rebuilding homes, for supplies for Church World Service (CWS) kits, and grows our van replacement fund,” the announcement said. In addition, on Aug. 17, 35 volunteers assembled 1,281 school kits for CWS. “When the CWS truck comes to S. Ohio in September, we have a total of 1,701 school kits to send” to the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., said the newsletter.

Inspiration Hills camp and retreat center near Burbank, Ohio, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. “Come join the celebration September 16 and 17,” said an announcement from Northern Ohio District. The celebration begins with a reunion dinner Friday evening, Sept. 16, for everyone who has been part of the camp’s ministry over the last 50 years. Events on Saturday, Sept. 17, include a 5K fun run and kid’s run, pancake breakfast, fishing derby, silent auction, games and crafts, an arts and crafts fair, chicken barbecue, and live auction. A “Giant Water Slide and Epic Water Balloon Battle” is advertised from 1:30-2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Free overnight housing Friday night is offered on a first come, first served basis.

“Uncommon Goodbyes for the Common Good” is a continuing education event led by Tara Lea Hornbacker, Bethany Seminary professor of Ministry Formation, Missional Leadership, and Evangelism. The event is offered by Illinois and Wisconsin District as a pre-district conference workshop on Nov. 3, 7-9 p.m., and on Nov. 4, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at the Hilton Garden Inn in Rockford, Ill. “Congregations and pastors have the opportunity to listen to each other and learn to better navigate the relationships between pastoral leadership and congregations,” said an announcement that noted that the event is designed to explore best practices in pastoral/congregational relationships and transitions in ministry. Questions to be addressed include: Is there a difference between being friendly and being friends? What’s power got to do with it? Are pastors people, too? How can we live into healthy closures for pastoral transitions, leaving memories intact, rather than a bitter aftertaste? Are there unspoken understandings that can lead to misunderstandings? Breakfast and lunch will be provided on Friday. The $75 registration fee includes continuing education credit for ministers. The event is appropriate for clergy and lay leadership. Registration is due no later than Sept. 28. Contact the Illinois/Wisconsin District Office, 269 E. Chestnut St., Canton, IL 61520; 309-649-6008; bethc.iwdcob@att.net .


The September issue of “Messenger,” the Church of the Brethren magazine, is in the mail. Subscribers may look forward to lovely photos and great stories from our Annual Conference news team, “Humans of Annual Conference,” the story of a Heifer named Daisy, reflections on Brethren and civil rights, and more. This month’s cover photo is by Glenn Riegel.

A Messenger subscription costs just $17.50 per year, or $14.50 for the church club rate. To subscribe, contact your congregation’s Messenger representatives if you have a church club, or send a subscription request to messengersubscriptions@brethren.org .

The Powerhouse regional youth conference is planned for Nov. 12-13 at Camp Alexander Mack near Milford, Ind. The weekend event includes worship, workshops, music, recreation, and more for senior high youth in the Midwest and their adult advisors. Staff from Brethren Volunteer Service and the Church of the Brethren Workcamp Ministry will provide leadership. Cost is $80 for youth, $70 for advisors. “We hope you can join us Nov. 12-13 for this fun and faith-filled weekend!” said an announcement. Find a Facebook page for the event at www.facebook.com/events/149835702124699 .

Eight congregations in Shenandoah District will be staffing the Red Front Hotdog Booth at a supermarket in Harrisonburg, Va., the week of Sept. 12-17 to support their district camp, Brethren Woods near Keezletown, Va. “Come by for a hotdog and drink for $1.50,” said an announcement. “and greet folks from the Bridgewater, Greenmount, Mill Creek, Mt. Pleasant, Sunrise, Timberville, Wakemans Grove, and Waynesboro congregations.”

Camp Swatara is sponsoring a trip to the Heifer Global Village Experience at Shepherd’s Spring camp and outdoor ministry center. Participants will meet at Camp Swatara near Bethel, Pa., and travel to Shepherd’s Spring near Sharpsburg, Md., for the overnight experience on Oct. 8-9. For more information go to www.campswatara.org .

McPherson (Kan.) College Homecoming is scheduled for Oct. 14-16. The event will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the college’s unique Auto Restoration program. Other activities include an Honors Convocation and Young Alumni Awards, inductees into the college’s Athletic Hall of Fame, a football game and tailgate luncheon, 12 class reunions, a drama production of “Blithe Spirit,” a 5K run, Pedals for Paul bike ride, a Student Fair, and dedication of the new entrance to campus, among others. Worship and a choir concert will be held at First Church of the Brethren in McPherson.

“China Friends: New Discoveries for the Church of the Brethren” is a lecture presented by Jeff Bach, director of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, and David Kenley, director of the college’s Center for Global Understanding and Peacemaking, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 7:30 p.m. The lecture will be held in the Young Center. Bach and Kenley will present an illustrated discussion of their March 2016 research trip to Shanxi Province in China to trace the activities of Brethren missionaries who had mission stations in Pingding, Shouyang, Zouquan, and Taiyuan. The speakers will share impressions of Shanxi today, where people face economic challenges while dealing with urban growth. See www.etown.edu/centers/young-center/events.aspx .

Simple living is the topic of Episode 12 of the Dunker Punks podcast created by Church of the Brethren young adults. In “Treasure Map,” Jonathan Stauffer explores the spiritual discipline of actively reflecting on how our lifestyles respond to our faith in Jesus. “At first, the idea of simple living seems pretty straight-forward, but perhaps it isn’t so simple,” said an announcement from Arlington Church of the Brethren, which hosts the podcast series. Listen by clicking through from the show page at http://arlingtoncob.org/dpp .

“God and Guns: Millennial Faith Leaders Address Gun Violence” is an event publicized by the National Council of Churches and hosted by Riverside Church in New York City on Oct. 6-7. A list of partner organizations are helping to sponsor the event, which is billed as “an intensive training on gun violence for faith leaders of all traditions,” said an announcement. “Designed for millennial faith leaders, a demographic with the capacity to shift our culture, the training is also open to ministry teams of any age that include a millennial attendee. Those who attend do not have to agree on the solutions to the epidemic of gun violence, only that something must be done.” The publicity noted that “evangelicals and mainline Protestants make up 40 percent of the population, but own guns at higher rates than the rest of the country. The power to change our culture is in our pews.” Attendees will gain concrete tools to educate, engage, and mobilize congregations to enact change. For more information go to www.godandguns2016.com .

Dave Shetler, district executive minister of Southern Ohio District, published a special prayer request in the district’s September e-newsletter. It is reprinted here in full: “I’m continuing the serious concern I’ve shared before as violence and killings continue, Milwaukee is not the latest to experience significant violence. There is continuing and escalating violence and hatred across our country and around our world. As followers of the Prince of Peace and with our Brethren heritage of being a peace church, I am calling us all to prayer. In the midst of seeking to be people of God’s peace, we are bombarded with calls of hatred, mistrust, accusations, and violence and threats of violence. Even in places of joy and celebration, places we normally think of as safe, we see violence bringing heartache, fear, injury, and death. We have seen those who have appeared to be profiled injured and killed; we have seen those sworn to uphold the law and keep the peace ambushed and gunned down. We hear speeches and see posts on various social media sites calling for even more violence, to ‘get even,’ to not trust those who do not look like ‘us.’ May our prayers be for a more peaceful world, down to our own communities and neighborhoods. May we be witnesses to the grace and peace of our God in all of our dealings, our speech, and our writings. May the leading of God’s Spirit guide all persons to love and respect each other, even when we think differently.”



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