Brethren bits for March 13, 2018

Church of the Brethren Newsline
March 13, 2018

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford.

A planning team has gotten together to start working on the 2019 National Older Adult Conference (NOAC). Here are the members of the group: (back row, from left) Stan Dueck (staff), Glenn Bollinger, Karen Dillon, Rex Miller, Josh Brockway (staff); (front, from left) Pat Roberts, Christy Waltersdorff.

— Terri McDonough of Lebanon, Ohio, has been hired as financial aid and enrollment assistant at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., beginning March 5. She brings experience in banking as a customer service representative, universal banker, and loan servicer to the position. In her role at the seminary, she will serve as the financial aid officer, will maintain student accounts as well as all student records, will oversee the Federal Work-Study program, and provide support for admissions, student development, and alumni relations.

— Bethany Theological Seminary is seeking a director of student development and alumni relations. This person will have primary responsibility to design, implement, and review a student development plan and a retention plan for Bethany students. The director will lead a vibrant program to engage Bethany alumni, collaborating with the Institutional Advancement Department when appropriate. This is an opportunity for a person with strengths in caring for details and supporting colleagues in the mission of the Admissions and Student Services Department. Eligible applicants will hold the minimum of a master’s degree; a master of divinity is preferred. Affinity with the values and mission of the seminary is required. Qualified applicants will be personable and able to be self-directed, manage a complex workload with attention to details, offer support to colleagues, and have the ability to connect with current students as they become alumni. Multi-tasking skills are needed to manage the current student development needs while working to connect with alumni, regionally and nationally, in various ways. This position has an immediate start date. For a complete job description, visit . Application review will begin immediately and will continue until an appointment is made. To apply, send a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for three references to or Attn: Lori Current, Bethany Theological Seminary, 615 National Road West, Richmond, IN 47374. Bethany Theological Seminary’s policy prohibits discrimination in employment opportunities or practices with regard to race, gender, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, or religion. Bethany Theological Seminary equips spiritual and intellectual leaders with an Incarnational education for ministering, proclaiming, and living out God’s shalom and Christ’s peace in the church and world.

— The Mission Alive conference will be webcast, announces the Global Mission and Service office. “We are only four weeks out from Mission Alive 2018, your chance to celebrate and explore the global Church of the Brethren!” said the announcement. “For those not able to attend in person, you can experience the conference via webcast. The webcast will include worships, keynote speakers, and selected workshops.” Find a link on the conference website. Registrations are still being accepted at

— An action alert on military involvement in Yemen has been issued by the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy in Washington, D.C. Citing the church’s longstanding opposition to war, it calls Brethren to communicate with their senators about the nature of the US military involvement. “From Afghanistan to Yemen, the United States military is actively engaging in violent conflict. Most of these military engagements have not been debated or authorized by Congress- instead, they have been justified under legislation originally meant to enable the US government to go after al-Qaeda and its affiliates,” said the alert. “This legislation (the Authorization to Use Military Force) has had far-reaching impacts–including in Yemen. Using an overly-broad interpretation of the legislation, the United States has partnered with Saudi Arabia to provide military support to the Yemeni government. The US also continues to carry out drone strikes and intelligence operations within Yemeni borders.” The alert noted the dire results for Yemeni civilians, citing statistics that more than 10 million people lack adequate food and water, and that the war in Yemen has killed over 10,000 civilians and injured an additional 40,000. The alert urges support for Senate Joint Resolution 54, which would require Congress to debate and vote on legislation authorizing US military involvement in Yemen. Find the full alert online at

— “Our community is lucky and I consider myself really blessed…. I appreciate your friendship, your kindness, and your hard work to make life more comfortable for some local families who might be facing a few uncertainties,” wrote Joe Wars, the local organizer for the Martin Luther King Day Food Drive in Elgin, Ill. The warehouse at the Church of the Brethren General Offices is the collection and distribution point for the annual food drive. “Just when I thought we were not going to make our goal this year, you came through again,” Wars wrote in a recent thank you to participants. He reported that the drive achieved its goal of collecting 10 tons of food for distribution to area food pantries, soup kitchens, and other outlets for those in need.

— A Lifetime Achievement Award has been presented to Bill Kostlevy, archivist and director of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., by the Wesleyan Theological Society. The presentation took place at the society’s 2018 annual meeting March 8-9 in Cleveland, Tenn.

— “Brethren Go Baroque” was the name of a group who represented the Church of the Brethren General Offices at a “Bach Around the Clock” event at First United Methodist Church in Elgin, Ill. Led by flautist Emily Tyler of the Workcamp Ministry and pianist Nancy Miner of the General Secretary’s Office, the group included Brethren Press publisher Wendy McFadden, Youth and Young Adult Ministry director Becky Ullom Naugle, Annual Conference assistant Jon Kobel, and News Services director Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, with Joel and Chris Brumbaugh-Cayford filling out the bass line. One of their pieces was a hymn text written by Brethren founder Alexander Mack Sr., set to music by Bach.

Onekama (Mich.) Church of the Brethren held a fundraiser for Puerto Rico disaster relief in February, successfully raising $5,725. “People from the community were as eager as congregation members to donate and bid on silent auction items or donate directly,” pastor Frances Townsend reported to Newsline. The event included a concert and soup supper in addition to a silent auction. Photo by Frances Townsend.

— Members of Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren will be among the hundreds of thousands of people expected at the “March for Our Lives” rally for stricter gun laws in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 24, reports Lancaster Online. “The Washington march, which is expected to attract as many as 500,000 people, is the signature event in a series of marches that are scheduled in various cities that day. When the Rev. Bob Kettering, interim associate pastor at Lancaster Church of the Brethren, 1601 Sunset Ave., heard about the march, he immediately booked a 56-seat bus to take members of the church and the community to Washington. For Kettering, the march represents a way to live out the church’s creed  as a peace church,” the news site reported. It quoted Kettering, “I’ve always said, ‘I want to be more than a historic peace church; I want to be a living peace church.’” The question, he said, is “How can we do what Jesus called us to do in the Sermon on the Mount–to be peacemakers?” Find the news report at

— Bridgewater (Va.) College hosts a presentation by Oscar Arias, two-time president of Costa Rica and winner of the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize, who will present an endowed lecture on March 15. He will speak on “Peace and Justice in the 21st Century” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Cole Hall. “Arias served as president of Costa Rica from 1986-90 and from 2006-10,” said a release from the college. “When he assumed office in 1986, civil wars raged in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Working with the other presidents of the region, Arias drafted a peace plan that sought to end the regional crisis by linking democracy to peace. … In that same year he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1988 Arias used the monetary award from the Nobel Peace Prize to establish the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress. Under the auspices of the Foundation, and subsequently with the support of a group of Nobel laureates, Arias became a leader in the decades-long effort to establish the United Nation’s Arms Trade Treaty, which entered into force in 2014.” Sponsored by the Kline-Bowman Institute for Creative Peacebuilding, the lecture is free and open to the public.

— The 27th Annual Benefit Auction for the Children’s Aid Society will be presented by the Lehman Center Auxiliary on April 24, at the York County 4-H Center in York, Pa. The event includes a live auction and a kitchen serving home-made soup, barbecue, pies, and more. For more information, call 717-845-5771 or visit

— In the latest episode of the Dunker Punks Podcast, Manchester College student Nolan McBride shares his search for a church-going experience similar to that of the Church of the Brethren while he studies abroad in the United Kingdom. Nolan compares and contrasts his experience in the UK to his experiences being raised in the Church of the Brethren. The Dunker Punks Podcast is an audio show created by more than a dozen Brethren young adults across the country. Listen to the latest on the episode page at or subscribe on iTunes at

— “Brethren Voices,” the community television program produced monthly by Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren, traveled to Kansas City to get the latest episode’s story about Brethren during the WW I era. “The WW I Museum in Kansas City, Mo., is dedicated to those who fought and died in that war and also to those who were opposed to participating in the destruction that war makes,” said an announcement. “The war effort  introduced mass conscription and the US government energized it with patriotic rallies and the promotion of war bonds. For the Brethren, there were no provisions made for those opposing to participate in the war effort.” The World War I Museum recently held a symposium, “Remembering Muted Voices,” about conscience, dissent, resistance, and civil liberties in World War l through today.  “Brethren Voices” host, Brent Carlson met with conference organizer Andrew Bolton of the Community of Christ Church of England. Bill Kostlevy, director of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives, in this episode also shares about the reactions of the Brethren during World War I and Kirk MacGregor of McPherson College is featured with historical perspective of the US reaction to the unpopular war. DVD copies may be obtained from Ed Groff at  The program will be featured on in mid March.

Junior highs say “thank you” to Northern Ohio District with this e-postcard that was shared by the district office.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) welcomed historic meetings on March 5-6 between a South Korean special envoy delegation and North Korean leadership in Pyongyang. These were the first high-level direct talks between the two Koreas in more than a decade, a WCC release said, welcoming them as “a powerful sign of hope.” The WCC release said that “these developments took place while representatives of Korean churches and international partners–including the WCC–were gathered in a conference organized by the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) in Seoul on the 30th anniversary of the NCCK 1988 Declaration of the Churches of Korea on National Reunification and Peace.” Find a communique from participants in the NCCK conference, titled “Cultivating Peace, Proclaiming Hope,” at

— A series of four Bible studies prepared for the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism are available online from the World Council of Churches (WCC). Today is the last day of the conference, which has been taking place in Arusha, Tanzania, on the theme “Moving in the Spirit: Called to Transforming Discipleship.” The conference committee commissioned theologians from diverse theological and cultural backgrounds to write studies related to the conference theme. “Following Jesus: Becoming Disciples,” studies Mark 6:1-13 and is written by Merlyn Hyde Riley of the Jamaica Baptist Union, also president of the Jamaican Council of Churches ( “Transforming the World, According to Jesus’ Vision of the Kingdom,” studies Matthew 5:1-16 and is written by Roman Catholic priest and psychologist Sahaya G. Selvam of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Kenya ( “Transforming the World: Equipping Disciples,” studies 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 and is writte by Lutheran scholar Kenneth Mtata of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches ( “Equipped Disciples: Embracing the Cross,” studies Luke 24:1-12 and is written by Jennifer S. Leath of Illiff School of Theology in Denver, Colo., where she also pastors Campbell Chapel AME Church (

— J. Manley Garber of Woodbridge (Va.) Church of the Brethren received the Charles J. Colgan Visionary Award from the Prince William Chamber of Commerce at its annual awards banquet on Feb. 28, according to Inside Nova, a northern Virginia news site. Garber turned 93 on Jan. 26, the report said. “Garber pushed to bring electricity to much of county in the 1940s when the investor-owned electric utility refused to provide service to any home or business not along a main road,” the report said. “Because of Garber’s efforts, members of the Prince William Electric Cooperative elected him to the board of directors in 1950. He served as secretary before being elected chairman in 1974. Prince William Electric Cooperative consolidated with Tri-County Electric Cooperative in 1983 and formed Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative. The new utility’s board elected Garber chairman of NOVEC’s board, and he remained in that position until 2008. In recent years, he has served as a director. He has served 67 years on electric cooperative boards, more than any other co-op board member in the United States.” His son, Dan, told Inside Nova that “On Easter, Dad still gets up at 4:45 a.m. to make fresh sausage gravy for the entire church family…. He has it ready in time for breakfast at 7 a.m., after sunrise service.” Read the full report at

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"]