Brethren bits for May 22, 2017

Church of the Brethren Newsline
May 22, 2017

— Correction: Ministers who participate in “Healthy Conversations as Spiritual Practice,” an online course from the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, to be offered from Sept. 13-Nov. 8 and taught by Reba Herder, will earn 2 continuing education units. A previous issue of Newsline gave an incorrect number of units.

“Where do you see ‘Another way of living’ in the Church of the Brethren?” said an invitation for church members to use their phone cameras to make brief videos for use at Annual Conference this summer.

The videos should answer this question in one sentence, and no more than 15 seconds.

“Try a selfie–or record someone else. If you have more than one sentence to say, make more than one video,” said the invitation.

E-mail videos and any questions to by May 24.

— Remembrance: Allen T. Hansell Sr., a former member of the denominational staff who also served as a district executive in the Church of the Brethren, died on May 10. He was district executive minister for Atlantic Northeast District from November 1989 until October 1997. He then served as executive director of the Office of Ministry for the Church of the Brethren from October 1997 until December 2001. He was an ordained minister, and served as a pastor for 22 years earlier in his career. He worked as director of church relations for Elizabethtown (Pa.) College from 2005 to 2008, and also served on the college board of trustees. He served on the board of Bethany Theological Seminary in the mid-1990s. In other volunteer service to the denomination, he was on the South African Task Committee, and the Urban Task Committee, and chaired the advisory board of the Susquehanna Valley Satellite of Bethany Seminary, among other volunteer appointments. He was born in Middletown, Va., on Nov. 11, 1936. In 1959, he married Lois Carper Hansell. He was a graduate of Bridgewater (Va.) College and held both a master of divinity and a doctor of ministry from Bethany Seminary. Most recently he was a member of Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. His reflection on the nature of living and God’s role in our lives appeared in the December 2016 “Messenger” magazine and in Messenger Online (see ). “Each of us is called to be a healing tree for others,” he wrote. “And when our lives are over and we have done what we could, we continue to flow in the River of Life, moving toward that great and eternal Ocean of Life where there is no pain and no suffering.”

— Sherry Chastain has been hired by the Church of the Brethren as program assistant for Brethren Disaster Ministries and Children’s Disaster Services, starting May 23. Her previous work at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., was for IMA World Health as a senior Human Resources associate and executive assistant.

— Atlantic Northeast District seeks a district executive minister to fill a fulltime position. The district comprises 70 congregations, 6 fellowships, and 3 projects for a total of 79 churches, and is culturally, theologically, and geographically diverse. The district has a strong interest in unity, cross-cultural ministry and in service. The preferred candidate is a spiritually wise pastoral leader who offers inspiration and works collaboratively to envision, guide and oversee the work of the district. Responsibilities include serving as the administrator of the board of the district, facilitating and giving general oversight to the planning and implementation of ministries as directed by District Conference and the district executive committee and board, and providing links to congregations, the Church of the Brethren, and Annual Conference agencies; assisting congregations and pastors with placement; providing oversight and administration for district office and staff; facilitating and encouraging the calling and credentialing of people to set-apart ministry; building and strengthening relationships with congregations and pastors; using mediation skills to work with congregations and/or agencies in conflict; fostering unity in the district. Qualifications include a clear devotion to Jesus Christ demonstrated by a vibrant spiritual life with a commitment to New Testament values and to Church of the Brethren faith, heritage, and polity; membership in the Church of the Brethren; ordination; a bachelor’s degree, with a master’s degree or master of divinity or higher degree preferred; pastoral experience; strong relational, communication, mediation, and conflict resolution skills; strong administrative and organizational skills; competence with technology and willingness to adapt to changing technology; passion for the mission and ministry of the church; flexibility in working with staff, volunteer, pastoral, and lay leadership. Apply for this position 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 July 31.

— Global Mission and Service seeks more participants to join the August workcamp in Nigeria, working on a construction project together with members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). The workcamp is scheduled for Aug. 17-Sept. 3. More information can be found at . More information about the Nigeria workcamps may be found at .

— Fairview Church of the Brethren in Rocky Mount, Va., held its 85th Anniversary Celebration Service on Sunday, May 21. A lunch followed the service.

— Shenandoah District is saying a big thank you to those who helped out with the 25th annual Shenandoah District Disaster Ministries Auction. “Volunteers had worked at the Rockingham County [Va.] Fairgrounds most of the week in preparation for the opening of the auction schedule on Friday afternoon, and volunteers worked throughout the rest of Friday and all day Saturday to assure that every segment of the auction progressed smoothly,” said the thank you note sent out by e-mail. “While some figures such as the number of meals served are still being computed, other totals such as the amount of money raised will not be confirmed until the books are closed in late July or early August.” Of the available results, 1,000 school kits were assembled for Church World Service, and 75 gallons of oysters were eaten over the course of the weekend. The auction supports the work of Brethren Disaster Ministries.

— On May 2, the 7th annual Living Peace Recognition Banquet sponsored by Shenandoah District Pastors for Peace recognized three people, a congregation, and a community-based non-profit for ministry to inmates and former prisoners, reports the district. Those recognized included Roma Holloway and Elaine Shank of Montezuma Church of the Brethren, who led Bible studies for female inmates at Rockingham County Jail for 13 years; John Sayre, a retired minister who is now a member of Bridgewater Church of the Brethren, who served as chaplain for the Rockingham County Jail for 32 years; Larry Erbaugh and Wayne Pence representing Mountain View Fellowship Church of the Brethren, where members maintain a collection box to pay for incidentals that inmates need, visit and correspond with inmates, and continue contact after prisoners are released; and J.D. Glick of Sunrise Church of the Brethren, on behalf of Gemeinschaft Home where he served on the founding committee and as board chair for the agency that aids newly released prisoners transitioning back into civilian life.

—  Cross Keys Village will be hosting “Making a Difference in the Lives of People with Dementia,” a free half-day presentation sponsored by Visiting Angels and Good News Consulting on Friday, June 2, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Nicarry Meetinghouse. The village is a Church of the Brethren-related retirement community in New Oxford, Pa. Kenneth Brubaker, former Chief Medical Director for the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and the Office of Long Term Living, will be speaker and panelist. This comprehensive seminar is designed for family caregivers. For more information go to .

— The Global Women’s Project received $4,039 in donations through its annual Mother’s Day Project this year. “Many thanks to those of you who participated in our Mother’s Day Project and donated in honor of someone special to you. It was a very successful year,” said an e-mail to supporters. “This will help us support and empower women and girls around the world through our partner projects.”

— The next Springs of Living Water Spiritual Disciplines folder is written by Tim Harvey, pastor of Oak Grove Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va., who adapted the format for a study of the Psalms for use in worship during the early summer. Running from June 6 until July 16, the folder has a reflective introduction to the Psalms, which ends with a question, “How are we to pray in light of the blessings and challenges of this time and place.” Then the folder offers daily reading from the Psalms for personal reflection and prayer. In a release from the Springs of Living Water initiative led by David and Joan Young, Harvey notes: “As I worked on this guide, I did it thinking that families could read at least some of the Psalms together. Most Psalms are short enough that one Psalm could be read aloud each night at dinner, or bedtime, or some other time appropriated for your family schedule. If you do not already have time set aside for family devotions, perhaps the Psalms could be the place to start.” The folder is found on the Springs of Living Water website at .  For more information about the folder, or the next Springs Academy for Pastors that takes place via teleconference call starting Sept. 12, call 717-615-4515 or e-mail .

— Elizabethtown (Pa.) College alumni Kenneth L. and Rosalie E. Bowers (class of 1959 and ’58) will contribute, over time, $5 million to the college’s BE Inspired Campaign. A release from Elizabethtown reported that in recognition of their generous support, the college will name a new $23.4-million facility in their honor: The Bowers Center for Sports, Fitness, and Wellness. A portion of their support also will provide long-term sustainability of the new facility and other programs, the release said. Construction of the Bowers Center is scheduled to begin in the fall, and is expected to be completed by December 2018.

— Bridgewater (Va.) College’s student news organization, BC Voice, has received recognition for its student-run newspaper publication, “Veritas.” In the fall of 2015, the staff of “Veritas” and Spark Radio merged to form a new multimedia student news organization, BC Voice. The newspaper earned second place nationally for its enrollment category from the American Scholastic Press Association (ASPA), according to a release from the college. The ASPA annually recognizes newspapers and other publications and considers such factors as page design, graphics, headlining, cover design, photography, and excellence of writing. “Veritas” editor-in-chief is Katherine Hinders, a senior communication studies major from Herndon, Va. BC Voice executive director is Megan Ford, a senior psychology major from Leesburg, Va. To view BC Voice’s work, visit

— Bridgewater (Va.) College senior Megan LaPrade, a member of Beaver Creek Church of the Brethren, received the Merlin and Dorothy Faw Garber Award for Christian Service at the annual college awards ceremony on May 7, according to an article in the “August Free Press.” The award is named “in memory of the late Dr. Merlin Garber and his wife, Dorothy, who were Bridgewater College alumni and deeply involved in the life of the Church of the Brethren as pastors,” the article noted. LaPrade graduated on May 20 as a mathematics major who also has been in the Teacher Education Program. She was coordinator of the college’s Spiritual Life Board this year, as well as treasurer and coordinator of the Interdistrict Youth Cabinet, and coordinator of the Roundtable regional youth conference that Bridgewater College hosts for youth in the six southeast districts of the Church of the Brethren. Find the article at .

 “Brethren Voices” takes a look at the new technology that is coming down the road in the form of electric vehicles, in its latest program. “Brethren Voices” is a community television show produced by Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren. “The age-old question, ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ is taken seriously by Brethren,” said an announcement from producer Ed Groff. “For this Brethren Voices program, the question is, ‘What Would Jesus Drive?’ Some members of Portland Peace Church of the Brethren are attempting to choose alternative energy cars as a matter of their faith. We took a quick poll and discovered that 30 percent of the congregation is driving electric or hybrid vehicles. Four electric vehicles and 5 hybrid cars are being driven by members of this small church.” Charles Smith, Anna Meyer, and Craig and Pam Enberg are interviewed by Brent Carlson about their switch to alternative energy cars. Brethren Voices cameras attend the Portland Auto Show. The program is complemented by Gary Graunke of the Oregon Electric Vehicle Association. To purchase a copy contact Groff at .

— Amber Hanson Shaw of Black Rock Church of the Brethren threw out the first pitch at yesterday’s Baltimore Orioles game. In an article titled “Hanover woman goes to bat against breast cancer,” the “Evening Sun” newspaper reported: “After two diagnoses and 13 chemotherapy treatments, Hanover breast cancer patient Amber Shaw will throw out the first pitch at Camden Yards on May 19.” She was part of the 2017 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, and won the recognition from the Orioles after sharing her story. Jan Croasmun, administrative assistant for the church office, wrote to Newsline that the church has been praying for Shaw for a long time. The congregation learned “this good news last Sunday during our joys and concerns time in worship and we were thrilled,” she wrote. The newspaper article tells the story of Shaw’s journey battling breast cancer, which has led her to a new career path in mammography at Hanover Hospital. Go to .

 “The Crooked Road, Episode 2: Faith and Family,” one of a series of videos about the origins of American country music and its connection to land and place, sponsored by John Deere, features a descendant of a Brethren leader who was a musician in the Crooked Road area of Virginia. Scott Mullins of the New Harvest Brothers Band is interviewed about the roots of his family’s long involvement with country music, and credits his great grandfather and Church of the Brethren leader Doc Mullins. Go to .

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