Brethren bits for Aug. 30, 2020

Blue-grey book cover with a dove image
Nathan Hosler, director of the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, has published his doctoral thesis as a book titled “Hauerwas the Peacemaker? Peacebuilding, Race, and Foreign Policy” (Pickwick Publications, an imprint of Wipf and Stock). “War has been abolished in Christ” is a strong claim by theologian Stanley Hauerwas, noted a description of the book. It continued: “Wars, however, continue to rage, and historic numbers of people are displaced globally. Despite critics’ assessments that Hauerwas contributes to Christians disengaging, his work provides certain tools for the work of peacebuilding.” Hosler’s book assesses Hauerwas’ contribution to peacemaking as a part of his ecclesiology and broader theological/ethical work including related themes of witness and Christology. “The possibilities of his work on peacemaking to extend to peacebuilding practice and foreign policy formation are explored, and a critique is leveled regarding his engagement with racial justice,” the description said. The book may be purchased from Brethren Press at .

— Remembrance: Cindy Badell-Slaughter, 59, of Glendale (Calif.) Church of the Brethren, a music industry executive in southern California, died on Aug. 5 in Los Angeles from metastatic lung cancer. Most recently she was president of Heavy Hitters Music. She first became active in the music licensing industry in the mid-1980s at Lorimar Productions/Warner Brothers, working on television shows such as Dallas, Knots Landing, Falcon Crest, Full House, and Perfect Strangers. She moved on to be director of music clearance for Evan M Greenspan, handling many syndicated and prime-time series, feature films, and on-air promotion for Fox. She then spent 10 years at CBS Television as director, Music Operations West Coast, overseeing shows such as Touched by an Angel, Promised Land, Survivor, the CSI series, as well as movies for television, mini-series and on-air promotion for CBS and UPN. In 2007, she and her husband, Bill Slaughter, took over Heavy Hitters Music, an independent song catalogue and music publisher serving the film, television, and advertising industries since 1992. In 2018, the company joined forces with Made in Memphis Entertainment (MIME), a Black-owned entertainment company based in Memphis. Said a release from Heavy Hitters Music and MIME that was shared by the Church of the Brethren’s Pacific Southwest District: “Cindy’s passion for music, working with artists, and the film and TV music industry was matched only by her dedication to working with youth and mentoring the next generation of the music industry. She was also a highly dedicated and active member of Glendale’s Church of the Brethren, a community she deeply loved.” She is survived by her husband, Bill Slaughter, who is vice president of Heavy Hitters Music. A memorial event will be held at a later date. Memorial gifts are received to Reaching Youth Through Music Opportunities (RYTMO).

— The Church of the Brethren seeks an executive director of Global Mission to fill a full-time salaried position based at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The major responsibility is to guide and implement the international mission program of the Church of the Brethren; direct and administer denominational mission efforts; generate a responsive and integrated denominational mission structure with grassroots support and involvement; and nurture an ongoingconversation about mission (evangelism, church-planting, service, peace, and reconciliation) among membership. Required skills and knowledge include grounding in Church of the Brethren heritage, theology, and polity; ability to articulate and operate out of the vision and mission of the Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board; significant understanding of mission theology and practice, with specific knowledge of relief, development, and/or church planting mission operations in the international context; extensive management and organizational skills developed through experience supervising multiple staff and administering multi-site programs; skills to coach highly educated and self-motivated professionals, many of whom are off-site domestically and internationally; ability to coordinate multiple processes and projects; strong skills in verbal and written communications; knowledge of cross-cultural adjustment, dependency issues, ecumenical cooperation, and interfaith challenges gained from working internationally; language capabilities in addition to English. A seminary degree or master’s degree in a relevant field is required. Applications are being received and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Send a resume to or to Human Resources Manager, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; 800-323-8039 ext. 367. The Church of the Brethren is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

— Paul Mundey, moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, has signed on to “A Christian Statement on Science for Pandemic Times.” The lengthy statement sponsored by BioLogos opens by saying, “We, the undersigned, join together as Christians who uphold the authority of God’s Word and see science as a tool to understand God’s world. We call on all Christians to follow the advice of public health experts and support scientists doing crucial biomedical research on COVID-19. We are deeply concerned about the polarization and politicization of science in the public square when so many lives are at stake. The word ‘science’ has become a weapon in the culture wars. Scientists are vilified and their findings ignored, while conspiracy theories go viral. Sadly, Christians seem just as susceptible to these trends. Thoughtful Christians may disagree on public policy in response to the coronavirus, but none of us should ignore clear scientific evidence.” The statement continues, in part: “The economic losses and social hardships of the pandemic are painful, and thoughtful Christians will disagree on how to balance those needs with health needs. Even closer to our hearts is the impact of quarantine on church fellowship. As churches reopen, Christians need to balance God’s call to meet together with God’s call to protect the vulnerable among us. We need more than science to make these decisions; we need biblical faith to be wise and discerning (James 3:13-18).” It includes commitments to wear masks, get vaccinated, correct misinformation, and work for justice. In a Facebook announcement, Mundey wrote, “I was honored to sign this statement. It is balanced, grounded in the authority of God’s Word. Science is not God, but God uses science–along with other methods and means–to bring healing to a hurting world, now in the grip of COVID-19. May God in manifold ways–including science–release us from the oppression and injury of the current pandemic.” Find the statement at .

— Prayer requests from the Global Mission and Service office include prayers of praise for successes in Vietnam and Nigeria.

     In Vietnam a project called “Prevention of Retinopathy of Prematurity Infant Blindness,” caring for premature babies who have a higher chance of becoming blind due to the abnormal development of the retina, builds awareness of the problem, helps get infants tested, and provides treatment or surgery. Over the years, former mission worker Grace Mishler has assisted in raising funds and keeping the ministry going. This year, 461 parents of premature infants were interviewed, and 291 tests, treatments, and surgeries were conducted. COVID-19, travel restrictions and lack of funds have made it more difficult to hold parent support groups and get infants to doctors for tests and procedures. “Pray for the continuation of this specialized program in Vietnam,” said the prayer request.

     In Nigeria, the women’s ministry of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) was able to conduct livelihood trainings in 3 areas and graduated 123 individuals trained in tailoring and fashion design, knitting, shoemaking, computer business, and carpentry. In addition, 16 women participated in a literacy program. “Pray for the many widows and orphans as they try to provide for their families,” said the request.

— “We are getting ready for the 2020 Harvest of Justice season,” said an announcement from the National Farm Worker Ministry. Nathan Hosler, director of the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, serves on the board of the ministry, which has a long history with the denomination. The National Farm Worker Ministry is inviting people of faith and conscience to observe the period from Labor Day (Sept. 7) through World Food Day (Oct. 16) as a six-week season for a “Harvest of Justice.” This season “is a time to hear the stories of farm workers, learn the realities of their lives, and act in solidarity by joining them in their struggles to address the short- and longterm effects of climate change on farmworkers. It is a time for listening: listening to farmworkers–women, men, and children–listening for the healing of individuals, listening for how to transform institutions and structures.” The emphasis is highlighting the effects of climate change now being felt across the US through higher temperatures, increases in wildfires, prolonged droughts, frequent flooding, and more frequent and stronger storms and hurricanes. “Farmworkers–men, women, children, documented, undocumented, migrant, resident–are on the front lines of the brunt of climate change,” said the announcement. “As climate change forces significant agricultural adaptations and farmers continue to feel pressure to make shortcuts concerning labor, farmworkers will feel the first and most severe impacts on their working and living conditions. We urge people of faith and conscience to hear the call and stand with farmworkers to challenge oppressive systems in order to bring healing to individuals, communities, and the earth.” Resources include a curriculum for free download and use by schools, youth groups, women’s groups, Sunday school classes, and others. It takes a more in-depth look at farmworkers and the environment as well as sub-themes. Find Harvest of Justice materials at .

— Bridgewater (Va.) College has been named one of the best colleges in the Southeast by the Princeton Review, said a release from the college. Bridgewater was included in its “2021 Best Colleges: Region by Region” website feature. “Bridgewater, one of 142 colleges from 12 states listed in the Southeast, is part of a select group, as only 23 percent of the nation’s four year colleges made the list,” the release said. The release quoted Robert Franek, the Princeton Review’s editor in chief: “We chose Bridgewater College and the other outstanding institutions on this list primarily for their academics.” The listing was based on data from a survey of college administrators, visits to schools, and feedback from college counselors and advisors. The school profiles also include rating scores in six categories. Bridgewater scored highest in quality of life for students and fire safety. Students surveyed also gave the college marks for generous scholarships, small class sizes, ample one-on-one interaction with faculty, professors’ quality of instruction, and accessibility to students.

— Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) has begun a campaign to send letters of encouragement and support to Colombia, where there has been a resurgence of violence against women according to a CPT release. The organization cited “the increase of femicides in Colombia, and the murder of Popular Women’s Organization’s (OFP–Organización Femenina Popular) leader, Carlota Salinas.” The campaign called “Letters of Solidarity” is meant to let the women of the OFP know and feel that they are not alone. “The OFP has been our partner organization for over 18 years. The women of the organization are an example of struggle and resistance in the history of the Magdalena Medio region,” the release said. “Despite the adverse context and the new challenges that COVID-19 has imposed on us, we continue to strengthen the work for the defense of human rights and the building of peace in the country.” Shown here are some of the letters being delivered from various parts of the world. CPT was originally begun by the historic peace churches including the Church of the Brethren, Mennonites, and Friends (Quakers). Find out more at .

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