Brethren bits for Aug. 24, 2018

Church of the Brethren Newsline
August 24, 2018

Sue Snyder

Sue Cushen Snyder, who served for 12 years in the general secretary’s office at the Church of the Brethren offices in Elgin, Ill., as an office coordinator and assistant, died on Aug. 16 in Murfreesboro, Tenn. She was 81. She also later served seven years in Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) and as a volunteer assistant in the BVS office. An ordained minister, she was a 1996 alumna of Bethany Theological Seminary. A celebration of life service will be held at a later date.

Western Pennsylvania District is seeking a financial secretary, a position of about 16 hours per week. Requirements include financial book keeping, data entry, good knowledge of computer accounting programs and office skills. To receive an application and job description, email, call, or write the district office by Sept. 7. Applications will be accepted until Sept. 12. Send to district minister William Wenger at or call 814-479-2181.

The restored Dunker Church of Antietam Battlefield as it appears today (from a postcard). Photo by Kelly’s Studio, Hagerstown, MD.


Shenandoah District is looking for a new, part-time director of communications. Details are at

The 48th annual Dunker Church Worship Service will be held Sunday, Sept. 16, at the Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Md. Bethany Theological Seminary professor Scott Holland will be the keynote speaker for the service, which commemorates the peace witness of the Brethren during the Civil War. The service, sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic District of the Church of the Brethren, is held on the Sunday nearest the anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.

Western Plains District will hold its annual “The Gathering” event Oct. 26-28 in Salina, Kan. Annual Conference moderator Donita Keister, Church of the Brethren Global Mission Partnerships executive director Jay Wittmeyer, and Wiley (Colo.) Community Church pastor Michael Schneider are this year’s keynote speakers. Information is at

—The Virlina District Disabilities Ministries Committee will hold an “Open Arms, Open Doors” event Sept. 8 at Summerdean Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va. The committee plans to conduct a “needs survey” through roundtable sharing.

The major Brethren Disaster Relief Auction in Lebanon, Pa., a joint project of Atlantic Northeast and Southern Pennsylvania districts, is scheduled for Sept. 21-22. Details are at The annual event began in 1977 and raises large amounts for disaster response efforts.

Andrew Young, former US Ambassador to the United Nations and mayor of Atlanta and a noted civil rights leader, will visit Manchester University (North Manchester, Ind.) Sept. 29. He will take part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center, named for his late wife—a 1954 Manchester alumna.

Ahmed Abdelmageed, assistant dean of Student, Alumni, and Community Engagement at Manchester University’s College of Pharmacy in Fort Wayne, received this year’s Distinguished Community Leader Award from the Indiana Leadership Association.

McPherson (Kan.) College is reporting the highest enrollment in the school’s history, with a full-time equivalent enrollment of 775 students this fall. Overall student retention is 80 percent, also a high. “The best indicator of quality is when people keep coming back,” McPherson president Michael Schneider said.

The 20th annual Camp Mack Festival will take place on Oct. 6 in Milford, Ind. The camp’s major fundraiser includes food, tournaments, and a live auction.

The church board of La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren recently adopted a statement titled “Welcoming the Stranger: A Call for Just Immigration Reform.” Co-signed by more than 100 members of the church community, the statement begins: “We the undersigned … reaffirm the Church of the Brethren’s 1982 Annual conference statement on undocumented persons and refugees in the United States. ‘The Church of the Brethren has long acknowledged the Bible’s call for justice in immigration policy. Matthew 25:35 says, ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me,’ which reminds us that our response to ‘the least of these’ is just as important as the manner in which we would choose to treat Christ.’” It calls for immediate reunification of families that have been separated, providing just due process, and ending the government’s “zero tolerance” policy.

Akron (Ohio) Springfield Church of the Brethren will celebrate its 150th anniversary Sept. 29-30. Saturday afternoon events feature an old buggy available for pictures, a historical skit, and sharing of memories. A hymn sing will take place in the evening followed by cake and ice cream. Bethany Theological Seminary president Jeff Carter will speak at the Sunday morning service, followed by a fellowship meal.

Ankeny (Iowa) Church of the Brethren will celebrate its 150th anniversary Sept. 29-30. Saturday’s message will be brought by interim pastor Barbra Davis; on Sunday morning, Keith Funk will share the message. The theme is “150 Years and Our Story is Still Unfolding.”

—The “Times-Republican” newspaper of Marshalltown, Iowa, reported that the local Conrad (Iowa) Foods Resource Bank Growing Project held its sixth annual corn feed on Aug. 19 to celebrate the project. Ivester Church of the Brethren is among the ecumenical project’s sponsors. Proceeds benefit worldwide hunger relief.

A new Dunker Punks podcast features Laura Weimer interviewing Melody Fitzgerald Foster, who attended the “Families Belong Together” march in Washington, D.C. The two discuss how protesting, politics, and faith intertwine. The podcast is created by more than a dozen Brethren young adults across the country. Listen at or subscribe on iTunes:

Everence is announcing the availability of the Safe Church Grant, which was introduced in July. The grants help “to reimburse churches for costs they incur to keep people in their care safe from sexual or other forms of abuse,” a release stated. Churches can receive help in those goals from organizations such as Dove’s Nest or GRACE, although Everence said it doesn’t endorse any particular consultant. Churches with an Everence Stewardship Advocate can apply for the one-time grant of up to $350 to reimburse program expenses incurred in the past 12 months. It can be used to develop policies, do training, or implement programs. Call 800-348-7468 for more information or visit

Glen Guyton

Mennonite Church USA formally installed Glen Guyton as its executive director on Aug. 18. Guyton, previously Chief Operating Officer and director of convention planning, is the first African-American to serve in the role. His three-year term officially began on May 1.

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

[gt-link lang="en" label="English" widget_look="flags_name"]