Today in Grand Rapids – Saturday, July 1, 2017

Church of the Brethren Newsline
July 1, 2017

Youth at Annual Conference
Photo by Laura Brown.

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).

Theme for worship:
Risk Hope: Love Christ’s Community

Quotes of the day

“Well, you know there were these special effects in the Temple.”

— Donna Ritchey Martin, continuing to preach the Saturday evening sermon while the fire alarm was sounding, and alarm lights were flashing around the room. It was a false alarm, and the worship service could continue. The alarm had been set off accidentally.

Donna Ritchey Martin. Photo by Glenn Riegel.

“Their biggest problem in Corinth, their diversity, was also their greatest gift…. Paul reminded them that they belonged to each other as much as they belonged to Christ.”

— Preacher Donna Ritchey Martin, commenting on how the situation of the church in Corinth calls the church today to understand being the body of Christ together.

“It [the story of Lot’s wife] says you need to look back at the past in order not to repeat the mistakes of where we have been.”

— Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso at the Brethren Press and Messenger dinner, offering new interpretations of the story of Lot’s wife from Genesis 19:12-26.

By the numbers

2,306 people: the total number registered for the Conference, including 672 delegates and 1,634 nondelegates

$15,534.58: the offering received in worship Saturday evening, given to support the Core Ministries of the Church of the Brethren

$11,250: the Quilt Auction total proceeds, from the Association for the Arts in the Church of the Brethren

6,700 webcast views: this number includes 2,400 views during worship, and 4,300 views during business sessions

Welcoming Michigan students

A group of medical school students who are studying here in Michigan were welcomed to the Conference today. Conference director Chris Douglas announced that the group is in discussion about partnering with the Haiti Medical Project in helping to provide health care in Haiti.

Fitness Challenge results

Galen Fitzkee was the first male runner in a photo finish in this morning’s BBT 5K Fitness Challenge, sponsored by Brethren Benefit Trust. His time was 17:10.4. Rieth Ritchey Moore wa sthe first female runner with a time of 19:39.8. Bev Anspaugh was the first female walker with a time of 35:41.5. The first male walker was Stafford Frederick, with a time of 38:31.9.

A 25th anniversary

This year is the 25th anniversary of the National Older Adult Conference (NOAC). The 2017 event, Inspiration 2017, takes place Sept. 4-8 in Lake Junaluska, N.C. Today at the close of business sessions, Conference-goers received bookmarks as a commemoration of the anniversary. For those interested in attending the 2017 event, early bird registration discounts are available until July 20, and first timers also receive a discount. Go to .

For more onsite coverage of Annual Conference go to .

The news coverage of Annual Conference 2017 is made possible through the work of the volunteer news team: Frank Ramirez, Conference Journal editor; photographers Glenn Riegel, Regina Holmes, Keith Hollenberg, Donna Parcell, Laura Brown, Allie Dulabaum; writers Frances Townsend, Karen Garrett, Gene Hollenberg; with web staff Jan Fischer Bachman and Russ Otto, and Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services. Wendy McFadden, publisher. Contact

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