Newsline for June 8, 2017

Church of the Brethren Newsline
June 8, 2017

“…As servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way…by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God” (2 Corinthians 6:4a and 6-7a). 

The worship center at the Young Adult Conference. Photo by Kelsey Murray.

1) Young Adult Conference calls the church to focus on love
2) MSS interns to serve at congregations, camps, Office of Public Witness

3) Gerald Karn and Ron Anders end their service with the Church of the Brethren

4) Next Church Planting Conference is set for May 2018

5) ‘Women of the Hebrew Bible’ is among new resources from Brethren Press

6) Brethren bits: Personnel, job, Brethren Service Center upper campus sale, disaster volunteers needed in Illinois, letter urges end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories, EYN disaster staff ask for prayer, National Jr. High Conference, more


1) Young Adult Conference calls the church to focus on love

Participants at Young Adult Conference join in singing during one of the worship experiences. Find more photos from the conference, taken by Kelsey Murray, in an online photo album at . Photo by Kelsey Murray.

By Emmett Eldred

What a joy it was to take part in the 2017 Young Adult Conference over Memorial Day weekend. Dozens of young adults (ages 18-35) gathered together at Camp Harmony in Western Pennsylvania District for a weekend of reflection, fun, and worship.

For many, the Young Adult Conference is an annual pilgrimage, and it was exciting to watch old friends reconnect and enjoy well-loved traditions that were formed during past events. For others, like myself, this was our very first Young Adult Conference. How delightful to be welcomed into such a loving, vibrant community to share in traditions from yesterday while helping shape the traditions for tomorrow.

It was a powerful reminder of Christ’s assurance that whenever two are three are gathered in his name, he is there also (Matthew 18:20). The conference was an experience in doing church well, and I left more hopeful than ever about how the young adults of the Church of the Brethren are working to continue the work of Jesus, peacefully, simply, and together.

The theme for the weekend was “Loving Neighbor.” We meditated on Jesus’ great commandment, found in Matthew 22:37-39: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

During four worship services, we were invited to reflect on those words by Wendy McFadden who serves as publisher of Brethren Press, Monica Rice from McPherson (Kan.) College, Dennis Lohr who pastors Palmyra (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, and Emmett Eldred from (that’s me). But many of the most moving moments came during music led by Leah Hileman and through moments planned by worship coordinators Jennifer Balmer and Jess Hoffert, such as a feetwashing service and a worship center that evolved as the weekend progressed.

Of course, worship was hardly contained to four services but permeated the entire weekend. Singing silly camp songs, meeting in small groups, sharing our talents during a “coffee house”–all were acts of praise. Each moment presented opportunities to learn, think, grow, and love. And the best lesson on loving our neighbors wasn’t delivered from a lectern but played out in real time as we formed a community of neighbors and went about loving one another.

Meanwhile, workshops on topics ranging from attire and identity to refugees to forbearance invited us to grow in our discipleship and put faith into action. During a listening session with general secretary David Steele, we were called to share our hopes, fears, and observations about the denomination in a spirt of grace, discernment, and common purpose. Throughout came surpassing moments of humility, grace, and beauty that turned our eyes toward Christ and filled our hearts with love for God and for one another.

This may have been my first Young Adult Conference, but it certainly won’t be my last. It is often said, and I heard it repeated during the weekend, that youth and young adults are “the future of the church.” Certainly, this is true. But upon meeting such a collection of inspiring, hopeful, and energetic disciples, and after spending such a busy weekend worshiping God in all moments, there could be no doubt that we are the church, right here and right now.

I can’t wait until Young Adult Conference 2018 at Camp Brethren Woods, and I hope to see you there. Until then, I’ll be working on loving God with my heart, soul, and mind, and loving my neighbor as myself.

— Emmett Eldred of Hollidaysburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren is the editor of and a student at Carnegie Mellon University. Find a photo album of the Young Adult Conference, with photos taken by Kelsey Murray, at .

2) MSS interns to serve at congregations, camps, Office of Public Witness

The Ministry Summer Service interns and mentors for 2017 (from left): Kaylie Penner and mentor Rachel Witkovsky; Laura Hay and mentor Chris Bowman; Brooks Eisenbise and mentor Marlys Hershberger; Cassie Imhoff and mentor Gieta Gresh; Nolan McBride and mentor Gene Hollenberg; and Monica McFadden and mentor Nate Hosler. Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford.


Ministry Summer Service orientation began June 2, when the six interns to serve in MSS this summer arrived at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Their mentors arrived Monday, June 5, and the orientation ended Wednesday.

Brooks Eisenbise of Kalamazoo, Mich., will serve at Hollidaysburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren with mentor Marlys Hershberger.

Laura Hay of Modesto, Calif., will serve at Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren with mentor Chris Bowman.

Cassie Imhoff of Sterling, Ohio, will serve at Camp Mardela near Denton, Md., with mentor Gieta Gresh.

Nolan McBride of Elkhart, Ind., will serve at Camp Alexander Mack near Milford, Ind., with mentor Gene Hollenberg.

Monica McFadden of Elgin, Ill., will serve at the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C., with mentor Nate Hosler.

Kaylie Penner of Huntindgon, Pa., will serve at Palmyra (Pa.) Church of the Brethren with mentor Rachel Witkovsky.

“Due to extenuating circumstances there will not be a Youth Peace Travel Team this summer,” said Youth and Young Adult Ministry director Becky Ullom Naugle. “While it is sad not to have a team for the summer of 2017, the Youth Peace Travel Team program will continue. We look forward to having a team for the summer of 2018.

“Encourage young adults you know to participate in Ministry Summer Service,” she added. Applications for the summer of 2018 are due in January. Apply at .


3) Gerald Karn and Ron Anders end their service with the Church of the Brethren

By Shamek Cardona

With the sale of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., June 2 marked the end of service for the following two employees:

Gerald (Jerry) Karn has been director of Buildings and Grounds at the Brethren Service Center since August 2011. Throughout the past six years, he had overseen many building improvements across the Brethren Service Center campus. He will continue on with the new owner of the property, Springdale Preparatory School, overseeing Buildings and Grounds with some additional responsibilities added.

Ronald (Ron) Anders has been a part-time maintenance mechanic at the Brethren Service Center since November 2011. Prior to that, he was a full-time maintenance mechanic at the center, from September 1989 until November 2011. Before starting his work at the Brethren Service Center, he spent five years working for Modern Comfort heating and air conditioning. He also spent a large part of his life in farming.

We are grateful to Jerry and Ron for their many years of ministry working for the Church of the Brethren and helping our campus partner agencies.

— Shamek Cardona is manager of Human Resources for the Church of the Brethren.


Christiana Rice

By Stan Dueck

Christiana Rice will be a keynote speaker and presenter at the Church Planting Conference hosted at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., on May 16-19, 2018. The conference is sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Congregational Life Ministries.

The conference theme is “The Risk and Reward of Embodying Jesus Locally,” with the conference  text from John 1:14a.

Christiana Rice is an on-the-ground practitioner and visionary voice in the missional movement, serving as a coach and trainer with Thresholds ( ), a community that helps people create spaces of discovery and communities of transformation. She seeks to participate in God’s restorative mission, leading a neighborhood faith community in San Diego, Calif. She grew up in Tokyo, Japan, a daughter of missionaries to that country. With Michael Frost she has co-authored the book, “To Alter Your World: Partnering with God to Rebirth our Communities.” with Michael Frost (see “To Alter Your World” at and a discussion of missional communities at ).

 Stan Dueck is director of Transforming Practices for the Church of the Brethren.


5) ‘Women of the Hebrew Bible’ is among new resources from Brethren Press

Women of the Hebrew Bible by Paula Bowser is the latest in the Covenant Bible Studies series from Brethren Press.

New resources from Brethren Press include “Women of the Hebrew Bible” by Paula Bowser, the latest in the Covenant Bible Studies series. Also available this summer are curriculum for adults from A Guide for Biblical Studies, and a new summer quarter from the Shine curriculum for children jointly published by Brethren Press and MennoMedia.

Women of the Hebrew Bible

This book offers 10 studies on fascinating women. “All are noteworthy; some are notorious. Some are so obscure as to be almost forgotten. Others are so well-known that we take them for granted,” said a description. “They invite us to study them prayerfully and carefully, and to take their witness seriously.” The book includes chapters on Lady Wisdom; Eve; Tamar; the daughters of Zelophehad; Deborah, Jael, and Judith; Abigail; the Queen of Sheba; the widow of Zarephath; the girl who served Naaman; and Huldah. The Covenant Bible Studies series is published by Brethren Press for people committed to living authentic Christian lives. Each 10-session study encourages small groups to reflect, pray, and learn together. Purchase one copy for each member of a study group.

A Guide for Biblical Studies

“God’s Urgent Call” written by Glenn E. Bollinger is the summer book in this Bible study series for adult Sunday school classes and small groups. Frank Ramirez writes the “Out of Context” feature. The summer quarter covers June, July, and August, and offers daily NRSV scriptures, lessons, and questions for both individual preparation and classroom use. The curriculum follows the International Sunday School Lessons/Uniform Series. Purchase one copy per student, per quarter.


“Following God” is the Shine theme for summer 2017. During the summer, the curriculum is offered for early childhood classes, multiage groups that combine elementary ages, and junior youth classes. Resources include teacher guides, student leaflets, poster packs, music CDs, the “Shine On” story Bible, and more. Find a listing of the Shine resources for the summer quarter at .

Order these and other resources by calling Brethren Press at 800-441-3712 or purchase online at .

6) Brethren bits

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 .

Go to to subscribe to the Church of the Brethren Newsline free e-mail news service and receive church news every week.

Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Brian Bultman, Shamek Cardona, Jenn Dorsch, Emmett Eldred, Harriet Hamer, Nathan Hosler, Jeff Lennard, Ralph McFadden, Wendy McFadden, Kelsey Murray, Becky Ullom Naugle, Amy Sikyta, Roy Winter, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren. Contact the editor at . Newsline appears every week, with special issues as needed. Stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source.

Go to to subscribe to the Church of the Brethren Newsline free e-mail news service and receive church news every week.

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