Brethren bits for July 7, 2020

Above: Manchester Church of the Brethren in N. Manchester, Ind., completed 200 Individual Kits of Comfort for Children’s Disaster Services.

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has put out a call for donations of the new Individual Kits of Comfort for use during the 2020 disaster season. “Typically, CDS volunteers would deploy to an area soon after a disaster to care for children in childcare centers in shelters and resource centers, bringing with them their suitcase Kits of Comfort filled with creative play items,” wrote associate director Lisa Crouch in an announcement. “Due to the health and safety precautions and restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, CDS volunteers will not be able to deploy. In response, the Individual Kit of Comfort was created to promote a sense of normalcy–an opportunity for the healing power of play. The IKOC will be handed out to children where they shelter after the disaster by Red Cross staff from the local area.” Estimated cost of the contents of a kit is about $17. A general information sheet about the kit and a pictorial list of the items are available. CDS has a goal of providing 2,500 kits by the end of September. The CDS staff is looking for help from individuals, congregations, and districts to provide kits. Contact or 800-451-4407.

— The document “Checklist for Reopening Church Buildings” offers practical suggestions for congregations navigating the transition of returning to their church buildings. Now available in both Spanish and English, the resource was developed by members of the Recovery Response Task Team of the Church of the Brethren denominational staff: Stan Dueck and Joshua Brockway of Discipleship Ministries, Roy Winter of Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries, and Nancy S. Heishman of the Office of Ministry. Go to .

El documento, “Guía para la reapertura de iglesias” ofrece sugerencias prácticas para las congregaciones que navegan en la transición de regresar a sus edificios de la iglesia. Ahora disponible en español e inglés, se puede encontrar en . El recurso fue desarrollado por miembros del Equipo de Tarea de Respuesta de Recuperación de Josh Brockway y Stan Dueck, Ministerios de Discipulado, Roy Winter, Misión y Servicio Global, y Nancy S. Heishman, Oficina del Ministerio.

— Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) seeks an assistant director of Financial Operations to fill a full-time salaried position based at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The primary function is to review and coordinate the reporting of all accounting and financial transactions related to the operations of the programs and administration of BBT. Duties include producing monthly financial statements; managing payroll; monitoring and managing cash flow; preparing detailed account analyses; reviewing journal entries, bank and investment account reconciliations; preparing tax forms and maintaining tax return files and the general ledger; partnering with cross-functional groups to drive and influence business solutions and best in class process improvements; assisting in annual budget and auditing; developing and maintaining a working knowledge of all financial systems; completing other duties as assigned and providing backup for other positions in the Finance Department. Qualifications include an undergraduate degree in accounting and finance. A CPA is required or the process for obtaining certification has been started. The ideal candidate will possess strong technical and professional skills with at least five years of experience, a strong working knowledge of fund accounting, an intense attention to detail, a track record in developing first-in-class operating processes across product lines within a complex enterprise, strong verbal and written communication skills, leadership/supervisory skills, be a confident self-starter with ability to work with minimal supervision, excellent problem-solving and analytic skills, impeccable integrity, and a collegial and engaging demeanor. Nonprofit accounting experience is a plus and current and active membership in a faith community is preferred. Salary and benefits are competitive with Church Benefits Association agencies of comparable size and scope of services. A full benefits package is included. Send a letter of interest, résumé, three professional references, and salary range expectations to Michelle Kilbourne at . For more information about BBT see .

— The National Council of Churches of Christ in the US (NCC) seeks a director of Communications and Development responsible for managing the public relations work and fundraising efforts of the NCC. This position will be located in the NCC’s Washington, D.C., offices. Some key functions include managing the council’s public relations, brand, and reputation; and create and distribute press releases, action alerts, and marketing campaigns. The position also is responsible for continuing to build the NCC’s development and fundraising program including the creation of a development plan and providing creative leadership regarding fundraising opportunities and objectives. Find a position description and information about how to apply at .

Bread for the World has released its new annual hunger report, titled “2020 Hunger Report: Better Nutrition, Better Tomorrow.” The report is now available at . “In years past this would have been a printed, substantial volume, but is now online,” said Jeff Boshart, manager of the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Initiative (GFI). The GFI contributes a gift each year to support its publication, and staff of the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peace Building and Policy also have collaborated with Bread for the World.

— The 161st Northern Indiana District Conference will be different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic said an announcement. Changes were made by the district board at its meeting June 23. The district conference will be held on Sept. 11-12 instead of Sept. 18-19. On Friday evening a worship service will be live streamed from Bremen Church of the Brethren, where Evan Garber will bring a message titled “Sufficient Grace” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Those wishing to attend in person may do so following the social distancing guidelines in place at the Bremen church. On Saturday, delegates will meet in the Quinter Miller Auditorium at Camp Mack, allowing space for social distancing. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. and business will begin at 9:30 a.m. (Eastern time). “There are a few items of business that need to be satisfied, including voting for moderator, approval of district slate, and 2021 district budget,” said the announcement. “Other items include district executive, district ministry, and board reports. Conference should adjourn around 12 p.m. There will be no lunch, insight sessions, or displays.” The district will email conference books to congregations, district and denominational personnel, and registered delegates in early August. The District Board asks that only delegates and necessary district personnel attend the in-person meeting on Saturday. For questions or concerns contact the district office at 574-773-3149, , or .

— In place of its annual luncheon during the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference this year, the Womaen’s Caucus Steering Committee announced a “virtual luncheon” in the form of an online panel discussion on the topic “Speaking Truth to Power.” “We are sad to not get to meet with you all in person this year,” said an invitation. “Annual Conference is a great time for connection and one of the ways that we can see our supporters and members in person. We are happy that we were able to move our panel to a virtual space with the great help and support of Livingstream Church of the Brethren!” Leading the online panel discussion were Gimbiya Kettering, Debbie Eisenbise, and Madalyn Metzger. The event was recorded and is posted at .

— An online cooking class and fundraiser for Fundacion Brethren y Unida, a nonprofit organization in Ecuador with roots in the Church of the Brethren mission there in past decades, is being publicized by the Global Food Initiative. The event is in Spanish with no translation into English, notes GFI manager Jeff Boshart. Titled “Curso de pasta artesanal” the event led by chef Esteban Pani and professionals from his restaurant Venezia will teach participants how to make various types of artisanal pasta, sauces, and dishes. The online course takes place July 17 and 18, Friday and Saturday evening, from 7-9 p.m. (central time). Cost to register is $30. Find out more at .

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