Brethren bits for Aug. 17, 2018

Church of the Brethren Newsline
August 17, 2018

Josiah, Christine, Rachel, and Asher Ludwick.

Annual Conference officers and members of the Program and Arrangements Committee and Worship Planning Team met at the Church of the Brethren offices in Elgin, Ill., this past week to begin preparing for the 2019 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, which will take place July 3-7 in Greensboro, N.C.

Christine and Josiah Ludwick and their children, Rachel and Asher, traveled to Rwanda this week, where they will serve for a year as Church of the Brethren Global Mission workers with the Brethren Church of Rwanda. They will be incorporating their skills with pastoral and medical care, youth work, teaching, and conflict resolution as they serve with the Rwandan Brethren. The Ludwicks are members of Harrisburg (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren, where Josiah serves as associate pastor.

The Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy this week issued an action alert to support advocacy for preservation of public lands. The call came after a Church of the Brethren youth workcamp visited Washington, D.C., for a week of service and advocacy at the Marvin Gaye Greening Center urban garden and met with congressional representatives.

Church World Service (CWS) has shared new resources related to refugee resettlement and advocacy efforts, titled “#Welcome75k.” Find a toolkit online.

A statement titled “Welcoming the Stranger: A Call for Just Immigration Reform” recently was passed by the church board of La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren, and co-signed by over 100 members of the church community. It reaffirms the Church of the Brethren’s 1982 Annual conference statement on undocumented persons and refugees in the United States and urges the US government to “immediately reunite families that have been separated, abolish the zero tolerance policy, provide just due process, and treat these neighbors crossing our borders as we would want to be treated.”

Former On Earth Peace executive director Bob Gross has been appointed as executive director of Journey of Hope … From Violence to Healing, an anti-death penalty organization. Gross, a member of Manchester Church of the Brethren (North Manchester, Ind.) will be the first executive director in the 25-year history of the organization. He began his part-time volunteer duties on Aug. 1.

The “Dunker Punks” Podcast is featuring highlights from this year’s Church of the Brethren Annual Conference and National Youth Conference. It is available at, or subscribe on iTunes Podcast at:

The newest installment of “Brethren Voices,” the community television program of Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren, features activities at Cross Keys Village: The Brethren Home Community of New Oxford, Pa. The program is at

Brethren Press announced this week that fall curriculum is “in stock and shipping.” That includes the “Shine: Living in God’s Light” children’s curriculum, “A Guide for Biblical Studies,” and several new Covenant Bible Studies titles. The new Advent children’s book, “25 Days to Jesus,” is also available. Learn more at

Bridgewater (Va.) College was recently named to Money magazine’s 2018-2019 list of the “Best Colleges for Your Money.” For the ranking of 727 colleges, factors such as graduation rates, tuition charges, student loan repayment rates, post-graduation salaries and 22 other data points in three categories—quality of education, affordability and outcomes—were analyzed.

Cross Keys Village: The Brethren Home Community (New Oxford, Pa.) is offering an open house of its new Memory Care Resource Center on Aug. 30, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 2-5 p.m.

Northern Ohio District requested prayers this week for Lakewood Church of the Brethren (Millbury, Ohio), which had a small fire at the church on Sunday morning, Aug. 12, after lightning struck the building’s steeple. The fire was put out, and no injuries were reported.

Bethany Theological Seminary president Jeff Carter will deliver the sermon for the 150th anniversary service at Chiques Church of the Brethren (Manheim, Pa.). The homecoming service will take place at 10:15 a.m. on Sept. 16, followed by a meal. Preceding the service, Chiques member Don Fitzkee will lead a historical presentation and time of sharing memories. He will also lead a historical bus tour in the afternoon. Advanced sign-ups are requested for the meal and the tour. Contact Linda Bruckhart at

Milledgeville (Ill.) “Dutchtown” Church of the Brethren will celebrate its 160th anniversary on Sept. 9. Pastor Richard “Rick” Koch has pastored Dutchtown for 28 years.

Blue Ridge Chapel Church of the Brethren (Waynesboro, Va.) celebrates its 80th anniversary on Aug. 19.

Pinecrest Community (Mount Morris, Ill.) marked its 125th anniversary on Aug. 11 with a worship service, musical performances, and other activities. Karen Messer, president of Leading Age Illinois, gave a keynote address.

Antioch Church of the Brethren (Rocky Mount, Va.) hosted the 35th World Hunger Auction on Aug. 11.

COBYS Bike and Hike participants. Courtesy of COBYS.

The 22nd annual COBYS Bike & Hike will be held Sept. 9, 1-5 p.m., at Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. The event supports COBYS ministries to children and families. The Bike & Hike includes a three-mile walk, 10- and 25-mile bicycle rides, and the 65-mile Dutch Country Motorcycle Ride, which this year will travel along scenic country roads in northwestern Lancaster County. A silent auction runs throughout the afternoon. More information is at

Brethren Woods (Keezletown, Va.) will hold its 23rd annual Golf Blast and Elzie Morris Memorial Tournament and Fundraiser on Sept. 8 at Lakeview Golf Course. Registrations are due Sept. 1.

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