Newsline for Aug. 2, 2018

Church of the Brethren Newsline
August 2, 2018

Final morning of worship at NYC 2018. Photo by Nevin Dulabaum.

“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body” (Colossians 3:14-15).

NYC 2018
1) National Youth Conference coverage is online
2) NYC by the numbers

3) CDS helps care for immigrant children and families on the border
4) Prince of Peace hears first-hand experience of Manzanar
5) ‘Our Boys and Girls’ antique quilt blocks displayed at Annual Conference

6) Mark Flory Steury retires as donor relations representative for the denomination
7) Karen Duhai is new director of Student Development at Bethany Seminary

8) Next Nigeria workcamp is scheduled for November

9) Brethren bits: Personnel notes, BVS Unit 319, theme for Peace Day 2018, church anniversaries, Manchester University coaches accompany workcamp to New York, new CWS CROP Hunger Walk worship resources, and more new by, for, and about Brethren


A new video from the Compelling Vision Process Team is available on the Church of the Brethren website at

Quotes of the week:

“Can we all agree that everyone deserves the grace of God? Can we all agree that everyone has a place with God? Can we all agree that everyone should receive the love of God?”

“We are joined together trying to reach the same goal…. We are joined in this journey together, clothed in the love of Christ.”

— Taylor Dudley and Elise Gage, respectively, addressing National Youth Conference (NYC). The two were the youth speakers for the 2018 NYC, and each gave a message during the Wednesday morning worship service on July 25. Dudley is from Smith Mountain Lake Church of the Brethren in Franklin County, Va., and Gage is from Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren.

“I think the Church of the Brethren is at a crossroad, and we need to find…a path forward.”

“We need to find the reasons why we are together as a denomination.”

— Rhonda Pittman Gingrich, chair of the Compelling Vision Process Team, and Annual Conference moderator Donita Keister, respectively, in a new video available at and on YouTube at . Pittman Gingrich and Keister are members of the team that is shaping the process for the Church of the Brethren to seek a compelling vision for this time in the denomination’s life. For more about the Compelling Vision Process go to .


Becky Ullom Naugle (right) gives a thank you gift to NYC coordinator Kelsey Murray. Photo by Glenn Riegel.

1) National Youth Conference coverage is online

Find full coverage of the 2018 National Youth Conference (NYC) held July 21-26 on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., on the NYC news index page at .

The volunteer NYC press team included photographer and youth worker Laura Brown, youth team member Allie Dulabaum, writer Mary Dulabaum who also provided Facebook Live coverage, photographer Nevin Dulabaum, photographer Eddie Edmonds, writer Frank Ramirez, press office manager Alane Riegel, and photographer Glenn Riegel, with Russ Otto, web staff, and Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren.

The coverage includes:

— Online photo albums for each day of the conference at

— Video clips and interviews linked at

— Facebook Live videos providing glimpses of NYC worship and other events at

— “Today at NYC” pages for July 21-26 and “Top 10″ lists at

— News and reflections on the NYC experience:

“Waiting for the bus(es)” by Frank Ramirez at

“Deep dive: Finding God’s Spirit moving among the nations” by Mary Dulabaum at

“Eat. Pray. Love.” by Frank Ramirez at

“Creative ‘Brethren Block Party’ is filled with fun” by Allison and Mary Dulabaum at

“Deep dive: National Youth Cabinet loves contributing to NYC” by Mary Dulabaum at

“Deep dive: NYC small groups explore ideas, broaden their faith together” by Mary Dulabaum at

“A Dunker connection” by Wendy McFadden at

“Deep dive: Playing hooky from NYC” by Frank Ramirez at

“EYN national youth group leader observes NYC” by Frank Ramirez at

A panorama group photo of the NYCers and Boys and Girls Club children at the Day Care Service Project on Wednesday afternoon at NYC 2018. Photo by Laura Brown.

2) NYC by the numbers

In the end, National Youth Conference 2018 is defined by the numbers–how many individuals were involved, and how many others will be helped by this conference.

But of course, much of the NYC impact can’t be measured by numbers. The impact of messages from the speakers, new thoughts expressed during small groups, countless hours spent in community during service projects, miles of hiking trails, fellowship in the cafeterias. These have no numbers attached, but become the essence of church for the youth and adults who were a part of it all.

1,809 people were at NYC 2018 including 1,246 youth participants, 471 adult advisors, and 92 staff, youth workers, and volunteers.

1,536 people hiked in the Rockies.

230 diapers were sewn, and more than 1,800 t-shirts collected to be processed into diapers for use by Midwives for Haiti, in one of the NYC service projects.

$394 was received in monetary donations for the work of Midwives for Haiti.

400 Clean-Up Buckets were assembled for Church World Service (CWS) disaster relief by 397 youth and 3 youth workers over three afternoons of a service project sponsored by Brethren Disaster Ministries.

$2,038 was received in monetary donations for disaster Clean-Up Buckets.

$7,040 was received in an offering for the NYC Scholarship Fund.

700 pounds of canned food and other nonperishable food items were donated in an offering for the Larimer County Food Bank.

$478.75 was received in monetary donations for the food bank.

305 children from the Larimer County area attended the Day Camp that was staffed by 502 NYC youth and adult volunteers. The day camp was held on three afternoons as one of the on-campus service projects.

— Mary Dulabaum contributed to this report.

Panorama of National Youth Conference 2018, an all-NYC group photo by Glenn Riegel.

3) CDS helps care for immigrant children and families on the border

The Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center in Texas where a team from Children’s Disaster Services is helping aid immigrant children and families.

by Kathleen Fry-Miller

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) over this past weekend sent a team of volunteers to work at the Catholic Charities Rio Grande Valley Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas. In the first two days, the team served more than 150 children.

The center welcomes people who have traveled in the hot sun without adequate food, water, clothing, safe sleep, showers, or shelter for many days. They are provided compassionate care and a place for “restoration of human dignity.” These are all families who have been released on deferred adjudication, a legal status whereby the immigrants are allowed to travel to other cities and reunite with family members and loved ones as long as they promise to appear for their scheduled immigration court dates. A great many of these people are women with children, some of whom have trekked for weeks and even months with little food or clothes, and who have endured many hardships.

There have been several times in the history of Children’s Disaster Services that the Brethren have been asked to respond to the humanitarian crisis of displaced persons, due to violence in their countries and communities. These instances include service to Lebanese Americans in 2006 and Kosovo Refugees in 1999, and the work with IDP (internally displaced people) camps in Nigeria through the Healing Hearts program, from 2016 to the present.

— Kathleen Fry-Miller is associate director of Children’s Disaster Services, a ministry within Brethren Disaster Ministries and the Church of the Brethren Global Mission and Service. For more about the work of CDS and how to be involved go to . Support this work with financial gifts to the Emergency Disaster Fund at .

4) Prince of Peace hears first-hand experience of Manzanar

Marge Taniwaki speaks about her experience in the Manzanar Camp during a presentation on the Japanese-American internment during World War II, hosted at Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren in Littleton, Colo. Photo by Henry Gong.

by Gail Erisman Valeta

All they could take was one suitcase and what they could wear. That is what President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 told Japanese and Japanese-Americans who were living on the west coast after the attack on Pearl Harbor, in 1942. They reported to relocation camps with only one week’s notice.

Marge Taniwaki shared her experience of the Manzanar Camp at Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren in Littleton, Colo. The event July 24 was co-sponsored by Littleton neighborhood citizens and brought 45 people together on a night fraught with hail storms.

Clearly, there was support at the event for calling on the US government to stop history from repeating itself. The recent separation of families at the US-Mexico border feels too similar to the Japanese-American internment for many who recall this part of US history. Indeed, 76 years later Taniwaki can share first-hand what trauma can do to a small child.

She entered the camp when she was just 7 months old. The policy in the camp was that milk was given only to children age 2 and under. The negative health effects to her bones trouble her to this day. Her memories never go away of waking up to wind blowing through the barracks and sand getting into her teeth at night. The hardships wore heavy on the adults as well, who lost everything when evacuation orders came through.

The US government has since apologized and paid reparations to victims of the internment camps who were still alive in 1988. This is the moment now, however, for a living peace church to call for dignity for immigrants and how they are treated in this country.

Find a video of Marge Taniwaki’s presentation at .

— Gail Erisman Valeta pastors Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren in Littleton, Colo.

5) ‘Our Boys and Girls’ antique quilt blocks displayed at Annual Conference

by Frank Ramirez

The Association for the Arts in the Church of the Brethren, in cooperation with the Brethren Heritage Center in Ohio, has highlighted quilt block patterns featured in the Dec. 7, 1929, issue of the Brethren youth magazine of the time, “Our Boys and Girls.”

A small quilt was on display at Annual Conference in Cincinnati in early July, featuring blocks created by then 10-year-old Grace Shock. She was an avid reader of the periodical and the blocks traveled with her wherever she went.

By 2017, Grace Shock Voorheis had moved to Timbercrest Retirement Community in North Manchester, Ind. There, with the help of Mary Ritchie who matched the original blocks with antique cloth from the same period, the blocks were pieced, quilted, and donated to a grateful Brethren Heritage Center. Karen Garrett has curated the exhibit.

The accompanying photos show the connection between the antique quilt blocks, now almost 90 years old, and the original pattern from “Our Boys and Girls.”

— Frank Ramirez was a member of the volunteer news team for Annual Conference for 2018.

6) Mark Flory Steury retires as donor relations representative for the denomination

Mark Flory Steury

Mark Flory Steury will retire as donor relations representative for the Church of the Brethren effective Aug. 31. He has worked as part of the Mission Advancement team at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill., and remotely from Bridgewater, Va.

He began in the position in April 2016, previously having worked on several projects for the General Secretary’s Office on a contract basis. His responsibilities have included strengthening and nurturing congregational and individual stewardship, direct gifts, planned giving, and enlistment programs of the Church of the Brethren. In addition, his work has included helping to organize general secretary David Steele’s listening sessions that have been held in districts across the denomination.

Flory Steury has experience working as a district executive as well as a pastor over the course of a 30-plus year career in church ministry. In 2015 he served for a time as acting district executive minister in Shenandoah District. Previously he served for 11 years as district executive minister in Southern Ohio District. Among his pastorates was a most recent posting in Illinois, where he was moderator of the Illinois and Wisconsin District Conference in 2013, and also a longterm pastorate in Ohio.

7) Karen Duhai is new director of Student Development at Bethany Seminary

by Jenny Williams

Bethany Theological Seminary announces that Karen Duhai will begin serving as director of student development on Aug. 1. She has earned two degrees from Bethany, a master of divinity with an emphasis in peace studies in 2016 and a master of arts with a concentration in theological studies in 2018. Duhai has been employed as receptionist at the seminary since October 2015.

Through ministry service, employment, and volunteer work, she brings experience in areas of mentoring and relationship building, program development, event planning and coordination, worship leadership, speaking and writing, and volunteer training. Her ministry service has included working with On Earth Peace; First Christian Church of Richmond, Ind.; and Girls Inc. of Richmond, a nonprofit devoted to empowering and inspiring girls and young women. She has also served on steering committees for Women in Ministry and Womaen’s Caucus, organizations of the Church of the Brethren, and worked as Peace Forum coordinator for Bethany.

In her new role, Duhai will be responsible for designing and implementing programs that aid and encourage all students throughout their Bethany experience, that are attentive to and inclusive of the needs and circumstances of Bethany students, and that increase retention and nurture students into engaged alumni. She will also oversee the Bethany Neighborhood residence program and the Pillars and Pathways Residency Scholarship, enabling eligible students to complete their seminary education without incurring additional debt.

“The admissions and student services team is excited to welcome Karen into the role of director of student development,” said Lori Current, executive director of admissions and student services. “Karen brings knowledge of the Church of the Brethren and Bethany operations as an alumna and employee. The focus on retention and community life will be a great emphasis for her in the upcoming months.”

— Jenny Williams is director of Communications at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind.

8) Next Nigeria workcamp is scheduled for November

A workcamp in Nigeria builds a church. Photo by Donna Parcell.

Dates for the next workcamp in Nigeria are Nov. 2-19, sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Global Mission and Service. American Brethren and others who are interested in joining in a workcamp with members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) are invited to consider this opportunity.

The workcamp location is yet to be announced. Participants will need to raise about $2,500 to cover the costs of transportation, food, and supplies. Those who apply for a workcamp are warned that they will face extreme heat in northeast Nigeria, as well as intense sun, and the rigors of life in a developing nation. Variables such as a rise in air fares or visa fees may affect the cost. The dates may vary by a day or two, depending on the availability of flights.

To express interest in attending the Nigeria workcamp, contact Kendra Harbeck in the Global Mission and Service office at 800-323-8039 ext. 388 or .

9) Brethren bits

Church World Service (CWS) has created new worship resources to highlight this year’s CROP Hunger Walk, for the nine Sundays leading up to and including World Communion Sunday on Oct. 7. Churches are invited to begin using the resources as early as this Sunday, Aug. 5. The resources are lectionary-based and include videos, mission moments, and litanies that lift up the issues of refugees, hunger, and water. “We hope these may be useful to you in your worship settings,” said an announcement from CWS. Download the worship resources in pdf format at .

— Carol Spicher Waggy began July 15 as interim district executive minister for South/Central Indiana District, to conclude at the end of the year. She will serve in the interim position while Beth Sollenberger takes a leave of absence from her leadership in the district in order to devote her attention to ongoing duties as interim district executive for Michigan District. Since January of this year, Sollenberger has been serving quarter time with Michigan District in addition to her role as half time executive for South/Central Indiana. Spicher Waggy is a retired ordained minister from Goshen, Ind., who has served previously as interim district executive for both Northern Indiana and South/Central Indiana Districts. She is a graduate of Goshen College and Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary with degrees in social work and pastoral counseling, has training as a mediator/facilitator, and served as a missionary in Nigeria from 1983-88. She currently is a member of the Mission Advisory Committee for the Church of the Brethren Global Mission and Service and volunteers with Children’s Disaster Services. She is an active member of Rock Run Church of the Brethren in Goshen.

— Harrison Jarrett, director of youth ministries for Shenandoah District, has resigned effective July 31, to pursue other areas of ministry.

— Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Unit 319 has begun two and a half weeks of orientation hosted at Camp Colorado, a Church of the Brethren camp in Western Plains District. The volunteers will spend their time building community, discerning their project sites for the next one to two years, serving at the camp and in Denver, and discussing topics such as vocation, peace, and identity and privilege. For more about BVS go to .

— A new blogpost reviews the visit of Yuguda Mdurvwa, disaster ministries leader from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) to observe and participate at project sites of Brethren Disaster Ministries in the United States. Go to .

— The theme for the International Day of Peace in 2018 is “The Right to Peace–The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70,” according to an announcement from On Earth Peace. This year’s Peace Day 2018 will lift up that vision, said the announcement, “which connects deeply to God’s dream for all humanity.” Peace Day is observed on Sept. 21.

— Roanoke (Va.) First Church of the Brethren is celebrating 125 years on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 2 p.m. A meal will follow. The speakers will be former pastor David Racy Miller and others.

— Marion (Ohio) Church of the Brethren is celebrating 100 years, according to a notice in the “Marion Star.” The celebration Sunday was July 29. “Throughout its 100 years serving the Marion community, the congregation has supported local people and programs such as providing school supplies, health kits, blankets for the homeless, community dinners, Angel Tree gifts, free community brunch on the second Saturday of each month, financial donations and more,” said the newspaper article.

— In the news, two Manchester University coaches accompanying a Church of the Brethren workcamp to New York. “A trip to New York City in mid-July was beyond any ‘dad moment’ for Manchester University head baseball coach Rick Espeset and Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Brian Cashdollar,” reports the “Times Union” newspaper. “The duo stepped in as advisors for one of the Church of the Brethren’s 2018 summer work camp events due to the retirement of the North Manchester church’s youth pastor.” Espeset said, “It was truly an experience not to forget with so many wonderful moments that we were part of.” Find the story at .

— Also in the news is White Oak Church of the Brethren’s Manheim Project in the area around Manheim, Pa. “Volunteers wearing blue Manheim Project t-shirts were a familiar sight in Manheim Borough and parts of Rapho and Penn Townships from July 23 through 31,” reports the “Lititz Record Express.” “Even a rainy week that dumped nearly 12 inches of rain on the area didn’t discourage volunteers from 11 area churches from participating…. The Manheim Project was launched in 2013 by White Oak Church of the Brethren as a one-week ‘mission trip’ in its own community.” Nate Minnich, one of the coordinators, told the newspaper the project has grown to include more churches and more volunteers, and now reaches out to encompass the entire Manheim Central School District. Read more at .

— Ephrata (Pa.) Church of the Brethren on July 8 hosted a celebration in honor of Brad and Lori Ortenzi on their completion of a cross-country bicycle trip to raise funds to end child labor and sex trafficking. The “Ephrata Review” reports that their “Road of Justice” bike ride raised more than $283,000 for ZOE International, a Christian nonprofit that strives to put an end to labor and sex trafficking of children. The husband and wife team are Christian missionaries currently based in Thailand. Read the article at .

— Northern Plains District has announced the closing of Beaver (Iowa) Church of the Brethren.  “The District Board appointed a committee consisting of Dan Heefner, Rhonda Bingman, Barbara Wise Lewczak, and Tim Button-Harrison to work on proper transfer and disposal of church properties and assets, care of remaining members, and planning for a final worship service to remember and celebrate the congregation’s 117 years of faithful ministry,” said the district e-newsletter. That service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 11 a.m., followed by a lunch at the Beaver Community Center. “Members and friends of the Beaver congregation and the Northern Plains District are warmly invited to come and share in this service and the meal following,” the announcement said.

— The 2018 Shenandoah District Disaster Ministries Auction raised $208,599.38 to support disaster relief efforts, reports the district e-newsletter. “That brings our 26-year auction total to exactly $4,745,635,” said the newsletter. “Thanks to everyone who helped in any way with the auction.” Catherine Lantz, chair of the auction coordinating committee, shared her gratitude: “We of the Shenandoah District have reason to rejoice that we can come together at our annual disaster ministries auction to meet old friends, make new ones, share with the larger community and mostly importantly raise funds for those who have been affected by the ravages of hurricanes, earthquakes, and crisis caused by humans…. The funds raised support the cost of sending our volunteers on Brethren Disaster Ministries projects and the remainder is sent to the Emergency Disaster Fund to be used by Brethren Disaster Ministries as needed around the world.”

— Southern Ohio and Kentucky District is holding its 12th Annual Ice Cream Social to support the district’s disaster ministries. It will be hosted at Happy Corner Church of the Brethren in Clayton, Ohio, on Saturday, Aug. 4, 4-7 p.m. The menu includes chicken and noodles, chili dogs, BBQ sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, cowboy beans, and a variety of pies and ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, peach, and maple pecan), reported the district e-newsletter.

— “Sing Me High” takes place Aug. 24-25 at CrossRoads Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center in Harrisonburg, Va. This two-day music festival begins at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 24, and continues all day on Saturday, Aug. 25. A highlight is a new production combining Ted & Co. with the Walking Roots Band at 8:15 p.m. Friday. Saturday opens with harmonia sacra singing at 10 a.m. Both evenings close with campfires. Go to .

— In the latest Dunker Punks Podcast, Jerry Crouse introduces several members of Warrensburg (Mo.) Church of the Brethren who discuss why the chose to and continue to be members of the church. The Dunker Punks Podcast is an audio show created by more than a dozen Brethren young adults across the country. Listen at or subscribe on iTunes at .

Newsline is the e-mail news service of the Church of the Brethren. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. Please send news tips and submissions to editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren, 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"]