Brethren bits for April 8, 2017

Church of the Brethren Newsline
April 8, 2017

SERRV will offer tours of its Distribution Center at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., on April 30 preceding the afternoon Worship Service for the Upper Campus. 
The Worship Service at 4-5 p.m. will be a closing event for the Upper Campus portion of the Brethren Service Center property. Sale of the Upper Campus is expected to be completed in May. The service will be held outdoors on the lawn, weather permitting; please bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. 
     From 2:30-3:30 p.m. tours will be offered of the office and warehouse facilities on the Lower Campus, which will continue as the Brethren Service Center. Included in the tours will be the SERRV Distribution Center and the offices and warehouse facilities of the Church of the Brethren’s programs Brethren Disaster Ministries, Children’s Disaster Services, and Material Resources. SERRV’s small store that serves volunteers in the Distribution Center also will be open with a display of products during this tour time. 
     For more information or questions contact the Office of the General Secretary at 800-323-8039.

— Corrections:
A recent Newsline story that listed Nigeria Crisis Response partners in Nigeria, incorrectly included WYEAHI. That group is no longer being sponsored for 2017, reports Roxane Hill, coordinator for the Nigeria Crisis Response.
Newsline’s mention of the “Forum on Poverty” held on March 23 named the host church incorrectly. The event was held at Canton (Ill.) Church of the Brethren.
In an item on Pearl Beard’s 100th birthday, the name of the retirement community where she lives was named incorrectly. It is Cross Keys Village–The Brethren Home Community (CKV-TBHC).

— Jacob Calvin (J.C.) Wine, Jr., 102, died on March 12. He and his late wife, E. Jean Weaver Wine, served with the Church of the Brethren Mission in Nigeria, and in numerous congregations throughout the South and in Atlantic Northeast District. He had been called to the ministry when he was 18 years old. He was born Sept. 11, 1914, near Meridian, Miss. He was the son of Jacob Calvin Wine, Sr., and Mary Ellen (Thornton) Wine, and the foster son of Edward and Bertha (Hoover) Culler. He attended Bridgewater (Va.) College, received a bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State College, and held degrees from Bethany Seminary and Temple University. In 1941 he married E. Jean Weaver and they began married life by accepting pastoral leadership of First Church of the Brethren, Johnson City, Tenn. His career continued with various pastorates, serving in education and the public school system, and serving as district representative for the Church of the Brethren in Tennessee and Alabama. In 1949, the couple were called to serve as houseparents at Hillcrest School in Jos, Nigeria, for seven years. On returning to the US they settled in East Petersburg, Pa., where he returned to church ministry, began an 18-year career teaching psychology at Millersville State College (now a university), and worked independently as a clinical psychologist. Following retirement, he filled numerous interim pastorates. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jean, in 2006 after almost 64 years of marriage. He is survived by daughter Jeanine Wine of North Manchester, Ind., a granddaughter and great-grandchildren, and by foster daughter Phealay Thiak of Charlotte, N.C., and her children. Memorials are received to East Petersburg Faith Outreach, c/o Hempfield Church of the Brethren, and the Nigeria Crisis Fund of the Church of the Brethren.

— Manny Diaz died on April 3 in Pennsylvania. He served a brief term on the staff of the former Church of the Brethren General Board in 1997-98, as a Congregational Life Team (CLT) member for the denomination’s Area 4 serving the plains states.

— Todd Knight has been hired as administrative assistant for institutional advancement at Bethany Theological Seminary. He has a decade of experience in fundraising management, including donor solicitation and communication and database maintenance. He has worked for nonprofit organizations in the Richmond, Ind., area including Right Sharing of World Resources and Wernle Children’s Home, and also the City of Richmond Engineering Department.

— Camp Bethel’s Food Services coordinator, Brigitte Burton, will enter law school this fall. Her last day at the camp will be July 31. “We celebrate with a big ‘Thank You!’ to Brigitte for seven excellent years of service in Camp Bethel’s Ark Dining Hall,” said a note from camp director Barry LeNoir.

— Camp Bethel seeks a full-time salaried Food Services coordinator. The camp is located in Fincastle, Va., in the Church of the Brethren’s Virlina District. Culinary experience or training is required, and staff management experience is preferred. This position is available beginning May 30, and must be filled no later than July 1. The new employee will overlap and work with the current Food Services coordinator until July 31. A starting benefits package includes $29,000 starting salary, optional family medical insurance plan, a pension plan, and professional growth funds. Read the online application instructions, a detailed position description, and more at or e-mail questions to Camp Director Barry LeNoir at .

— The Church of the Brethren seeks individuals to fill two open support positions in the offices of the Brethren Disaster Ministries domestic rebuilding program and Children’s Disaster Services (CDS. The positions are located at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.
The responsibilities of the rebuilding program assistant include providing volunteer management, program support, administrative and clerical support to the director, and assisting with program interpretation. Required skills and knowledge include administrative office skills, ability to relate with integrity and respect, strong interpersonal and written communication skills, ability to manage multiple simultaneous priorities, ability to learn and competently utilize new software, ability to keep information and records confidential, and ability to uphold and support the basic beliefs and practices of the Church of the Brethren. An associate’s degree or high school graduation with equivalent work experience is required, as is proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, particularly Word, Excel, and Outlook.

Responsibilities of the CDS program assistant include supporting the programming and administration of CDS; providing administrative, programming, and clerical support to the associate director; providing support for volunteers, volunteer training, and response; and assisting with general administration of Brethren Disaster Ministries. Required skills and knowledge include administrative office skills, ability to relate with integrity and respect, strong interpersonal and written communication skills, ability to manage multiple simultaneous priorities, ability to learn and competently utilize new software, ability to keep information and records confidential, and the ability to uphold and support the basic beliefs and practices of the Church of the Brethren. An associate’s degree or high school graduation with equivalent work experience is required, as is proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, particularly Word, Excel, and Outlook.
Applications are being received and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the positions are filled. Request an application form by contacting Human Resources Manager, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; 800-323-8039 ext. 367; .

— The World Council of Churches (WCC) seeks a program executive for the Ecumenical United Nations Office in New York. Start date is June 1 or as soon as possible. This full-time position reports to the director of the Commission of Churches on International Affairs and deputy general secretary for Public Witness and Diakonia. Responsibilities include coordinating the Ecumenical United Nations Office; building relationships with others involved in the UN system and with the WCC team in Geneva, Switzerland; analyzing trends and issues in the UN agenda relevant to the concerns in the ecumenical movement; engaging the ecumenical movement in advocacy, action, and reflection on behalf of the WCC and with member churches and other ecumenical partners; facilitating the advocacy role of leaders in the ecumenical movement. Core competencies include capacity to lead and facilitate ecumenical engagement in the forums and processes of international governance, in particular at the UN, based upon a deep ecumenical commitment and understanding of the role of churches and faith-based organizations in international relations, and expert knowledge of the intergovernmental system. See .

– The We Are Able workcamp is currently searching for assistants (ages 18-plus) for the upcoming 2017 workcamp July 10-13 in Elgin, Ill. This workcamp provides an opportunity to serve in a community of persons of all abilities. Those who are studying to teach those with developmental disabilities, and/or want an experience where service is rooted in personal relationships will find it particularly rewarding. Recently money has become available to help offset the cost for assistants to attend the workcamp. More information about the We Are Able workcamp is available at . If you or someone you know is interested in attending as an assistant, please contact Emily Tyler, coordinator of the Workcamp Ministry, at or 847-429-4396.

— “If you are a member of a Church of the Brethren congregation that is mostly aged 50-plus, please let your pastor know of a special pre-conference opportunity hosted by the Office of Ministry,” said an invitation from the National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) office. Pastors are invited to arrive for NOAC in Lake Junaluska, N.C., on Sunday evening Sept. 3, spend the night, and then attend a day-long professional growth event focusing on congregational vitality. “Please encourage your pastor to come and then stay for the week,” the invitation said. More information is available from the Office of Ministry at 800-323-8039 ext. 381 or .

— A Healthy Boundaries 101 training session will take place on Monday, May 8, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Eastern time), with a one-hour lunch break. This is an entry-level ministerial ethics training provided for Bethany Seminary and Earlham School of Religion students entering ministry formation placements, and also is suitable for EFSM, TRIM, and ACTS students and newly licensed or ordained ministers who have not yet taken ministerial ethics training. The morning focus will be on healthy boundary issues: Part One: Boundaries, Power, and Vulnerability; Part Two: Dating, Friendships, Dual Relationships, and Gifts; Part Three: The Pulpit, Transference, Hugging and Touch, Intimacy; Part Four: Personal Needs and Self-care, Red Flags, and Final Reflections. The topics of social media, the Internet, and finances will be explored briefly. The afternoon session focuses on Church of the Brethren-specific materials: a review of the 2008 Ethics in Ministry Relations Paper, a PowerPoint overview of the process, and more. The registration deadline is April 21. Go to .

— “Pray for Christian Citizenship Seminar 2017, which will feature the theme ‘Native American Rights: Food Security’ on April 22-27,” said an Action Alert from the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness. Christian Citizenship Seminar (CCS) is a week-long event bringing high school youth and adult advisors to New York and Washington, D.C., to learn about a current issue and how to speak with legislators. This year, CCS will relate to programs like Lybrook Community Ministries, an independent not-for-profit organization charged with re-vitalizing the ministries of the historic Lybrook Mission of the Church of the Brethren. Originally formed in 1952, the ministry has an outreach with the surrounding Navajo community. Lybrook Community Ministries “has had a significant and continuous impact” said the Action Alert, noting that it currently also is involved with Going to the Garden, a Brethren initiative that “works to effectively address food insecurity locally through support for community gardens while also encouraging education and action on related broader problem like environmental degradation.”

— The Action Alert from the Office of Public Witness also calls on church members to observe April 22 as International Earth Day, a day dedicated to Earth conservation and Creation care. One aid for the effort is Creation Justice Ministries (CJM), which offers “great educational resources that can help to create pivotal points in your contribution to keeping God’s earth clean,” the alert said. Download a “Care for God’s Creatures” resource from and find other resources at .

— “Save the date!” says an announcement of an Advocacy Summit of Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), shared by the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness. The event will take place in Washington, D.C., on June 4-6. “Join us for three days of training/education and meetings with congressional offices. Ask Congress to make peace, justice, and security for ALL Palestinians and Israelis a priority,” said the announcement. CMEP expects constituents from all over the country to attend. More information and registration is at . In related news, the executive director of CMEP, Mae Cannon, will be the speaker for the Global Mission and Service luncheon at Annual Conference this summer in Grand Rapids, Mich.

— On Wednesday this week, Bethany Theological Seminary welcomed Annual Conference moderator Carol Sheppard to the campus in Richmond, Ind., according to a note from president Jeff Carter. She preached on “Whom Do You Serve?” (Isaiah 7:1-17 and 8:11-13, 16-18) and joined the seminary for a common meal after worship, and a meeting with students.

— “Please join us for an Online Orientation to Kingian Nonviolence,” said an invitation from On Earth Peace. The Online Orientation takes place April 20-June 1, Thursdays, at 6 p.m. (Eastern time). For a full description and registration go to . A one-hour online informational call about the course via webcam is offered on Thursday, April 6, at 6 p.m. (Eastern time). Send an e-mail to to receive the connection information. A face-to-face introduction to Kingian Nonviolence will be held in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Wednesday, June 28, in advance of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. For information and registration go to .

— On Earth Peace Environmental Justice intern Annika Harley has interviewed Pablo Fajardo in a Facebook Live event posted online on April 5. Fajardo is “the leading lawyer in the 23-year-long class action lawsuit against Chevron-Texaco, which began after Chevron intentionally dumped billions of liters of toxic wastewater into streams and rivers in the Ecuadorian Amazon,” said an announcement of the event. “This interview will be centered around how this case parallels other cases of environmental injustice around the world including the Dakota Access Pipeline and more. The interview will be conducted in Spanish and an English transcript will be made available following the interview.” Find the recorded interview at .

— Southern Ohio District on March 25 held a Dessert Auction to raise funds for the Nigeria Crisis Response. The funds will help with a tractor project, reports coordinator Roxane Hill. “Plans for the project include two tractors, one around Abuja area and one for the Kwarhi area. The tractors will assist in clearing larger tracts of land and special co-ops are being formed for planting and harvesting. This larger scale farming will result in more crops; this food will be shared with others or sold for use by the co-ops to pay for medical costs and school fees.” The fundraising event was held at Salem Church of the Brethren, planned and hosted by the Salem and Potsdam congregations. Hill gave a presentation following a light soup and salad dinner. Special guest for the evening was Annual Conference moderator Carol Scheppard, who shared some stories from her visit to Nigeria in December. Both speakers emphasized the continuing needs in Nigeria. About 80 people attended, and the group raised $6,400.

— Shenandoah District is again hosting a Kit Depot to receive donations of school kits, hygiene kits, and emergency cleanup buckets for Church World Service. “Just bring your finished kits and processing fees to the Brethren Disaster Ministries Center,” said an announcement. The center is adjacent to the District Office at 1453 Westview School Road, Weyers Cave, Va. It is open to receive donations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday through May 11, with the exception of Easter Monday, April 17. For the current list of items for the kits, go to .

— “Raingardens and Pollinators” is the theme for a Senior Day on April 19 at Camp Eder near Fairfield, Pa. Meet and greet begins at 9:30 a.m. followed by morning activities and lunch, which is included. The afternoon program starts at 1 p.m. Find out more at .

— Paul E. Mundey, a visiting scholar at Princeton Theological Seminary and former pastor of Frederick (Md.) Church of the Brethren, will deliver the message at Bridgewater (Va.) College’s baccalaureate service on Friday, May 19, at 6 p.m., on the campus mall. The title of his message is “It’s All a Game, Isn’t It?” Mundey is an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren and has been a pastor, church administrator, writer, speaker, and teacher for more than 40 years. In addition to guest lecturing in classes, he is working on a number of writing projects, including a manuscript on time and faith and a devotional book on the Sermon on the Mount. During the 13 years prior to his pastorate at Frederick, he served on the denominational staff as director of evangelism and congregational growth, and staff for Korean ministry. He established and directed the Andrew Center, a multi-denominational resource organization that fostered congregational development and renewal. Dr. Mundey also developed “Passing on the Promise,” a national church renewal program used by more than 400 congregations. He is currently a member of the board of trustees of Bridgewater College, moderator of Hagerstown (Md.) Church of the Brethren, and a member of the Church Extension and Evangelism Committee and Ministerial Ethics Assessment Task Team of the Mid-Atlantic District.

— Irma Gall, the first woman to graduate with a degree from the peace studies program at Manchester College, now Manchester University, is returning to the campus to speak on “From Peace Studies to Service in the Mountains of Eastern Kentucky.” The presentation takes place in the upper level of the Jo Young Switzer Center on the campus in N. Manchester, Ind., at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11. It is free and open to the public. Gall graduated from Manchester College in 1955. In 1958, she co-founded the Lend-A-Hand Center, a nonprofit community organization that continues to serve the needs of the Stinking Creek watershed in Knox County, Ky. She has worked in rural Appalachian Kentucky for more than 60 years, teaching in one-room schoolhouses, pioneering War on Poverty programs, promoting health education, providing health services, and coordinating youth and agricultural activities, said a release from the school. Gall’s presentation is part of the Values, Ideas and the Arts series at Manchester, designed to offer academic credit to undergraduate students who, through the process, gain cultural exposure, artistic experiences, and intellectual enrichment. Find an online release with directions to campus and related information at .

— Death Row Support Project (DRSP) director Rachel Gross has announced that pen pal assignments have reached the 10,000 mark. DRSP began in 1978 with the support of the Church of the Brethren Washington Office and continues to be supported through the Global Mission and Service Office. In 39 years, over 7,500 individuals have responded to Jesus’ call to visit those in prison, by requesting the name of someone on death row for correspondence. About 4,200 death row prisoners, including 2,500 of those currently on death row, have been assigned pen pals by DRSP. To learn more visit .

— “The Season of Joy” is the Easter Season resource from Spring of Living Water initiative for church renewal. Find the folder on the website at . The season begins with Easter Day, April 16, and concludes on Pentecost, June 4. The folder offers daily readings of the Bible text, with a daily topic to get readers started on their time of devotion. “Renewal was the theme in the early church; sightings of the risen Lord were celebrated, and baptisms were performed,” said an announcement of the new resource. “As we go through this season of Joy may it be one of joy for being able to serve the Risen Lord.” For more information on Springs events at Annual Conference and the Springs Academy for pastors, which starts Tuesday morning, Sept. 12 via telephone conference calls, e-mail .

— Last week, the “Circle of Protection” gathered in front of the US Capitol for prayer and a press conference to oppose proposed cuts in social programs that provide assistance to people in need, according to a report from the National Council of Churches. In addition to the NCC, the circle includes the National Association of Evangelicals, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Sojourners, Bread for the World, the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative, and other groups. “We also met with members of the US Congress and their staffs to drive the point home,” said the report from NCC general secretary and president Jim Winkler. NCC board chair Sharon Watkins commented, “A federal budget that takes away from our neighbors, food, shelter, medicine, schools, air to breath and water to drink–a budget that guts SNAP, Medicaid, health care, the environment, education, diplomacy, and foreign aid–a federal budget that channels those same resources to an unnecessary military spending increase and gives tax cuts for those who already have more than enough–is an immoral budget. It’s not America at our best. We can do better.” Find the report in the NCC’s most recent e-newsletter at .

— The AME Zion Church has “made history” with its efforts to establish the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Auburn, N.Y., according to a report from the denomination. AME Zion Church leaders joined with the Harriet Tubman Home, Inc., and the National Park Service in the effort. A signing ceremony for the new historical park was held in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 10 at the US Department of the Interior. The National Park Service acting director Michael Reynolds presided, and former Department of Interior secretary Sally Jewell gave remarks “explaining the role of the National Park Service as the nation’s storyteller, and how important it is, now more than ever, for Tubman’s story to be known to all,” said the report. Find out more at .

— A joint north-south Easter prayer has been created by the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) and the Korean Christian Federation (KCF), the two ecumenical Christian bodies in North Korea and South Korea. The prayer expresses the joy of the resurrection and the sorrow of 70 years of separation between South and North Korea, said a release from the World Council of Churches. “We have lost the hopes of ‘becoming one with God,’ and have sought after earthly goods instead of peace,” reads the prayer, in part. “Clear away the pain-filled memories of separation, and also the rusty barbed-wires…. Lord, help us first open our firmly closed hearts, so that we can embrace each other with tenderness. Let us sow the seeds of tolerance, love and service, and with God’s blessings, may that land bear much fruit, and bless our people with a life full of joy and harmony.” The WCC is encouraging people around the world to join in the prayer, which calls for a life of harmony and peace on the Korean peninsula. “We encourage you to share it with your communities and to use it in Easter services where it is appropriate.” Find the WCC release and a link to the full text of the prayer at .

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