Brethren bits for Aug. 17, 2017

Church of the Brethren Newsline
August 17, 2017

— Remembrance: Floyd H. Mitchell, 92, of Martinsburg, Pa., passed away on Aug. 14, at the Village at Morrisons Cove with family by his side. A longterm pastor in the Church of the Brethren, he had served on the former General Board of the denomination. He also served terms on the Standing Committee, the Bethany Seminary Board, and the Interchurch Relations Committee, and was Annual Conference preacher in 1968. The youngest of six children, he was born Aug. 29, 1924, to Zion and Martha Mitchell in Boones Mill, Va. He was educated at Bridgewater (Va.) College and Bethany Theological Seminary, where he earned master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees. He married Kathleen Hull in 1945, enjoying more than 71 years of marriage together. During his long career, he spent 75 years in ministry as a pastor with Church of the Brethren congregations in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. After officially retiring, he served three interim pastorates, and worked for some years as chaplain of the Village at Morrisons Cove. He gave many hours volunteering at the Village and for Middle Pennsylvania District. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen, and children Wayne Mitchell and daughter-in-law Maureen Mitchell of Roaring Spring, Pa.; Glenn Mitchell and daughter-in-law Theresa Shay of Spring Mills, Pa.; Mark Mitchell and daughter-in-law Heidi Schmidt of St. Charles, Ill.; grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. A memorial service will be held Saturday, Aug. 19, at 11 a.m., at Memorial Church of the Brethren in Martinsburg. A time of visitation with the family will be held from 10-11 a.m. at the church. Memorial gifts are received to the Village at Morrisons Cove or Memorial Church of the Brethren.

— Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) is extending the deadline for applications to participate in the Fall orientation unit. The deadline has been extended to Aug. 31. Dates for the orientation unit are Sept. 24-Oct. 13, at Camp Pine Lake in Eldora, Iowa. For more information go to .

— The Office of Public Witness encourages congregations to host drone warfare documentary screening. “As drone strikes become all too common, the Church of the Brethren has taken a leadership role in the faith community’s response to drone warfare,” said an announcement. “Our 2013 Annual Conference Resolution on Drone Warfare makes it clear that the use of drones is at odds with our commitment to peace. To educate communities on these pressing issues, the Interfaith Drone Network has created five 30-minute documentaries, which can be shown in church congregations to start the conversation on drone warfare.” Office of Public Witness director Nathan Hosler is featured in two of the documentaries, providing a peace church perspective. The office will provide access to the documentaries and an easy-to-use discussion guide. Contact .

— The Office of Public Witness is sharing an invitation to young adults who are interested in learning more about Israel/Palestine, and getting involved in advocacy. “Check out this upcoming Churches for Middle East Peace ‘Millennial Voices’ conference, and let the Office of Public Witness know if you are interested in attending!” The event is co-sponsored by Millennial Voices for Peace (MVP) and Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), and is titled Choose Hope 2017 Advocacy Summit. It will “provide a holistic space for millennials–including, college, seminary and graduate students as well as young professionals–who wish to engage in a national campaign for peace and justice in the Holy Land,” said an announcement. The event takes place Nov. 12-14 in Washington, D.C. Find out more about the conference at .

— Salem Church of the Brethren in Southern Ohio District is celebrating 200 years of ministry. Included in the anniversary events is the opportunity to join in a celebration choir, which will sing on Sunday, Oct. 1, in a service to begin at 10:30 a.m. There will be one rehearsal on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. Contact if you are interested and able to participate in the celebration choir. “The more the merrier! Join us!” said an invitation. Other anniversary events include a reunion style picnic on that Saturday, a display of the history of the Salem Church, a Sunday morning Communion Breakfast, and following the worship service a Fellowship Luncheon.

— Newton (Kan.) Church of the Brethren is celebrating 100 years on Sunday, Oct. 1. “We invite your participation by photos, presence, prayers and memories,” said an invitation from the Western Plains District. The celebration will include morning and afternoon events, with a noon carry-in dinner. District executive Sonja Griffith will be part of the occasion and Roger Shrock, who has worked for the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, Sudan, and South Sudan, will bring the morning message. For more information contact Carol or Cloyd Thomas at or 620-345-3114.

— Virlina District is sharing special anniversaries of several of its congregations: First Church of the Brethren in Rocky Mount celebrated 60 years on Sunday, Aug. 13; Henry Fork Church Church of the Brethren celebrates 100 years on Sunday, Aug. 20; Mount Hermon Church of the Brethren celebrates 125 years on Saturday, Aug. 26, with a 6 p.m. event; Blue Ridge Church of the Brethren celebrates 130 years on Sunday, Sept. 17; Green Hill Church of the Brethren celebrates 100 years on Sunday, Oct. 22.

— Members of Chiques Church of the Brethren in Manheim, Pa., recently went on a workcamp trip to the Dominican Republic. The group has posted a 5 minute video about the experience, which included service with the Dominican Brethren. Among other people featured in the video is Carolyn Fitzkee, who is a mission advocate in Atlantic Northeast District. Go to .

— Antioch Church of the Brethren in Woodstock, Va., is hosting an overnight event called “Cardboard City” on Sept 22-23 to benefit Family Promise of Shenandoah County. “Participants will build their own cardboard houses and take part in other activities, including The Homeless Journey and packing blessing bags,” said an announcement. The event will raise funds to help homeless children and their families. Groups and individuals are encouraged to participate or sponsor others. Contact Becky Leland at 540-333-1976 or for more information.

— Michigan District holds its district conference Friday and Saturday, Aug. 18-19, at New Haven Church of the Brethren in Middleton, Mich.

— Shenandoah District is reporting a record result from its annual disaster ministries auction. The district “raised a record $225,214.29 to support the disaster response efforts of the Church of the Brethren,” said the district e-newsletter this week. The previous record of $221,196.22 dated to 2011. Included in the 2017 amount “is $10,925 given in memory of the late Warren Rodeffer and earmarked for local disaster relief efforts. Mr. Rodeffer, longtime project and equipment manager for the Shenandoah District Disaster Ministries Coordinating Team, died May 4 at the age of 79,” said the district newsletter. “The grand total for 25 years of the disaster ministries auction: $4,537,035.62!”

— “Embracing the Moments,” a free series of dementia workshops for caregivers, is being offered again at Cross Keys Village in New Oxford, Pa. “Earlier this year my team and I offered, under the label Embracing the Moments, a toolkit of caregiving knowledge and skills assembled for a greater understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. This series was well received and we are presenting it again starting on September 7,” said an announcement from Jennifer Holcomb, one of the presenters. “The goal is to share effective techniques to communicate and to engage your loved one, while reducing stress and optimizing overall quality of life. The workshops run every other Thursday from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and we will be meeting in the Gallery Room in the Mission Point Health Care building. This is a free program, but space is limited and registration is required.” Go to .

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