Brethren bits for June 8, 2017

Church of the Brethren Newsline
June 8, 2017

The sale of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., has been completed.

On June 2, the Church of the Brethren completed the sale of the property to New Windsor Holding, LLC. The property will now be the location of the new Springdale Preparatory School, a private co-educational boarding school and day school for middle school and high school students (see and ).

— Haley Steinhilber of Fort Wayne, Ind., begins June 20 as an intern in the Brethren Historical Library and Archives at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. She graduated in January from Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind., with a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in French. She worked at the Fort Wayne History Center as an education program assistant and museum intern.

— Victoria (Tori) Bateman of Indian Creek Church of the Brethren in Harleysville, Pa., will join the Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C., on June 13. She will be serving as a Policy and Peacebuilding associate through Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS). She graduated from Messiah College with a degree in Politics and International Relations in December 2016.

— Serrv International seeks a full-time art director–a creative, energetic team player with a passion for building a strong visual brand strategy, and with proven experience enhancing marketing strategy with strong graphic design skills. The successful candidate will oversee the look, feel, and messaging of marketing and promotional initiatives, creating a recognizable brand statement within a multi-channel, multi-platform organization. This is a unique opportunity to promote hand-made, fairly-traded apparel, food, and home décor from over two dozen countries around the world, along with stories of empowerment from the marginalized artisans and farmers who created them. The ideal candidate will share a commitment to fair trade as a unique and compelling way to reduce poverty and build sustainable communities in low-income regions around the world. This position will report to the director of Sales and Marketing. Requirements include formal graphic design training, plus minimum 5 years design experience, preferably in a creative agency; experience in both interactive and visual design; a creative approach to typography, color, layout, and information hierarchy, with a track record of achieving fresh and compelling graphic designs; experience in creative management of strategic marketing concepts and campaigns in a selling environment, including a focus on digital end use; experience in catalog design and layout; ability to demonstrate an informed and thoughtful POV for SERRV’s market, and a strong ‘branding strategy’ across multiple channels; strong working knowledge of digital media, including experience designing concepts for web sites, social media, e-mail campaigns, and online advertising; fluency with Adobe Creative Cloud; experience in production of four- and one-color materials and preparation of multi-page pieces for professional printing; ability to manage multiple projects at the same time, delivering projects on time and within a limited budget; excellent problem solving skills, including an ability to brainstorm innovative marketing concepts and compelling messages for a variety of customers; experience working in the home or fashion industries an asset; strong work ethic, collaborative, and team-oriented; curiosity about current industry trends and technology. Portfolio review is required. This is a full time, permanent salaried position with benefits including health insurance, disability insurance, a retirement plan, earned paid sick leave, and paid vacation. Send a letter of application and a resume including links to a design portfolio to James Ramsey at or fax to 712-338-4379. No calls, please.

— Volunteers are sought for the Disaster Recovery Support Initiative (DRSI) response in Ottawa and Naplate, Ill., following a tornado that hit these community on Feb. 28 leaving 68 nursing home patients homeless and approximately 600 homes damaged. This response is part of a pilot partnership with the Church of the Brethren, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries. Since being invited into the community, the team has been supporting the Long-Term Recovery Group formation as the community is planning their recovery. “The community is now at a point where a few cases have been through case management and have funding that is approved to pay for the materials. The next step is to find volunteers to help with the work!” reports Brethren Disaster Ministries director Jenn Dorsch. “We are currently searching for volunteers who might be able to help with the construction labor to begin work on repairing a few survivors’ homes.” The first house is in Ottawa, Ill. No construction experience is required. The three denominations are looking for any length of time volunteers are available, even if only for a day or two. Housing, tools, construction materials, and leadership will be provided for volunteers connected with Brethren Disaster Ministries. Volunteers will need to cover their own transportation and food. For more information or to volunteer, contact Tim Sheaffer at or 717-713-3834.

— Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele has signed an ecumenical letter that was sent to President Trump asking him to work for peace and an end to the occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel. The letter was part of a June 4-6 event in Washington, D.C., hosted by Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and titled “50 Years Too Long.” It marked 50 years since the Six Day War and the beginning of the occupation of Palestinian territories. The letter acknowledged Israel’s struggle for both recognition and security, but also noted that the military occupation harms both the Israeli and Palestinian people. It read, in part: “As faith leaders in the United States, we are encouraged by the pledge you made on May 3, 2017 at the White House toward supporting a peace for Palestinians and Israelis ‘that allows both peoples to live, worship, and thrive and  prosper.’ Earlier this year, you expressed your intention to ‘work toward a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians’ during meetings with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas…. Chapter 25 of Leviticus calls on us to mark the 50th year as the Jubilee Year–a year to ‘proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.’… Mr. President, we ask you to take the necessary steps to make this year a true jubilee year and work toward a just and durable solution that advances security, human rights, and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians….”

— The disaster response staff of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) have sent a prayer request for an area of Maiduguri that suffered a Boko Haram attack yesterday, June 7. The Nigeria Crisis Response and Brethren Disaster Ministries received the following report via e-mail: “Yesterday at about 5 p.m., Boko Haram with sophisticated weapons attacked Polo Jidari Maiduguri. People fled the area, many were killed and injured. It  took the Nigerian Army three hours to repel the attackers. The situation is  under control according to military spokesperson. Let’s continue to pray for the Northeast, God is still in control.”

— Junior high youth and their advisors travel to Elizabethtown (Pa.) College this weekend for the National Junior High Conference on the theme “Called for a Greater Cause: Jonah’s Journey.” The conference is offered by the Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Church of the Brethren.

— A group of historic preservation experts toured the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., this week in a “dry run” for a major tour scheduled for mid-November by the National Trust. The building will be one of the stops on an educational tour of several noteworthy examples of mid-century architecture in Elgin. Brethren Press publisher Wendy McFadden, who hosted the group, noted some of the elements that attract the attention of history buffs, including stainless steel and glass walls and doors that “bring the outside in,” Pennsylvania Bluestone floor that begins in the lobby and extends out into the front courtyard, modular oak wall system, granite fieldstone walls for the chapel and low fences in front of building, and glazed tile walls in the cafeteria and some hallways. The chapel with its small jewel-like stained glass windows, skylight, floating ceiling, and simple furniture, was “designed to evoke the simplicity of Brethren meetinghouses in the East,” she noted. Also of interest to the visiting group were furniture pieces and fixtures by famous designers including Charles and Ray Eames, Florence Knoll, Eero Saarinen, and George Nelson.

On Pentecost Sunday, Crest Manor Church of the Brethren in South Bend, Ind., collected 54 clean-up buckets for distribution through Church World Service (CWS). Photo courtesy of Harriet Hamer.

— West Shore Church of the Brethren in Enola, Pa., is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its founding. “All are invited to attend these events, and to help us celebrate God’s faithfulness to us,” said an invitation in the Southern Pennsylvania District newsletter. Events include a June 10 yard sale in the church parking lot benefiting New Hope Ministries West Shore. A weekend of events on July 22-23 will include a potluck picnic, a concert by Nashville recording artist Anita Stapleton Anderson (whose parents attend the church), Sunday morning worship with responses from former pastors and the sharing of memories, and a luncheon. RSVP to 717-795-8573 or .

— Virlina District is planning a Brethren Heritage bus tour for Saturday, Oct. 14, as a foliage outing on the theme, “Churches in the Sky.” The tour will visit a number of North Carolina and Virginia congregations in Southeastern and Virlina Districts including New Haven, Mount Carmel, Peak Creek, Little Pine, Shelton, and Saint Paul. The luncheon meal will be at the Peak Creek Church, which is planning its annual Fall Festival that day. Several historical presentations will be a part of the tour. Continuing education credit will be available for ordained ministers. Cost is $39.99. For more information contact Betty M. Wills at the District Resource Center, 540 362-1816.

— An excellent outcome of its first-ever federal survey by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is cause for celebration at Pinecrest Community, a Church of the Brethren-related retirement community in Mount Morris, Ill. “Pinecrest proudly announces that the federal survey team from CMS found Pinecrest to be in substantial compliance with federal nursing home regulations,” said a release, “that means not a single citation was issued. A deficiency-free federal survey is a very rare occurrence.” The release explained that although all licensed nursing homes in Illinois are inspected each year by a team from the Illinois Department of Public Health, in order to determine compliance with both state and federal nursing home regulations and as a significant component of the CMS Five Star Quality Rating, “only 5 percent of nursing homes are surveyed by federal inspectors each year.” The rating assesses staffing levels and quality measures in addition to the health survey to determine a star rating from one to five stars. Pinecrest has held the highest five-star rating from CMS for a number of years, the release said. Star ratings for nursing homes are at .

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