Newsline for August 30,2020

“So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

1) Brethren Disaster Ministries monitors disaster situations, Children’s Disaster Services sends out Individual Kits of Comfort
2) Making webinars count: announcing new policy for clergy continuing education credit
3) Brethren Faith in Action Fund announces grants to congregations and camps
4) A new academic year begins at Bethany Theological Seminary

5) Two employees’ service with Brethren Press ends

6) Moderator’s virtual town hall will feature Andrew Young on Sept. 17
7) Webinar on responding to the opioid crisis to be led by James Benedict
8) New Ventures in Christian Discipleship season theme to focus on change
9) Atlantic Southeast District to present a Virtual Peace Camp 2020
10) Southern Ohio and Kentucky District offers virtual seminar series on climate change

11) Brethren bits: Remembering Cindy Badell-Slaughter, opening for executive director of Global Mission, moderator signs “A Christian Statement on Science for Pandemic Times,” prayer requests from the mission office, 2020 Harvest of Justice, Bridgewater named one of best colleges in Southeast, campaign supporting women in Colombia, Nathan Hosler’s new book “Hauerwas the Peacemaker?”


Quote of the week:

“The news of these tragic events are disheartening and cause us to ask the question, when will it end? We’re weary but not too tired to continue working for change and fighting for justice.”

— From a statement by the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) about two police shootings this week: Trayford Pellerin in Lafayette, La., on Aug. 22 and Jacob Blake III in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 23. The NCC emphasized the need for police reform and increased de-escalation training as well as “full, transparent, and independent investigations of the conduct of the officers involved.” The statement continued, in part: “For these injustices to continue after months of robust protests following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery as well as too many others, is indicative of how deeply broken our systems are and how much work is yet to be done to end racism, white supremacy and unconscious bias…. We pray for our nation to heal and to move swiftly and decisively toward justice.” Find the full statement at .
     Following George Floyd’s death at the hands of police earlier this summer, Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele issued the call: “Let us commit ourselves to be a part of the healing of the nation. Let us pray, and let us act to undo racism in these times.” See .


Find our landing page of Church of the Brethren COVID-19 related resources and information at .

Find Church of the Brethren congregations offering online worship at .

A listing to recognize Brethren who are active in health care is at . To add a person to this listing, send an email with first name, county, and state to .


1) Brethren Disaster Ministries monitors disaster situations, Children’s Disaster Services sends out Individual Kits of Comfort

Brethren Disaster Ministries is monitoring the situation in Louisiana and Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura as well as the wildfires affecting northern California. Staff are participating in national coordinating calls and communicating with partner organizations to coordinate any response.

An assortment of toys and craft supplies
This new Individual Kit of Comfort is being provided by Children’s Disaster Services to be distributed by the Red Cross to children ages 4 to 10 who are in shelters following the California wildfires and Hurricane Laura. It provides creative play opportunities in lieu of CDS volunteer team, who cannot be deployed in person because of COVID-19.
Photo courtesy of CDS.

The initial Church of the Brethren response has begun with Children’s Disaster Services (CDS). The Red Cross activated CDS to deploy 600 Individual Kits of Comfort to aid children and families affected by Hurricane Laura and the California wildfires. CDS volunteers are not deploying at this time due to COVID-19 and increased safety precautions set in place. However, thanks to all the donors who have been packing this brand-new kind of kit over the past two months, CDS had enough to ship when the call came.

Individual Kits of Comfort are handed out in shelters to children ages 4 to 10, and will provide creative play opportunities in lieu of CDS teams being deployed. CDS staff continue to work closely with the Red Cross to monitor COVID-19, current disasters, and volunteer involvement, and plan to reinstate in-person deployment when it is deemed safe. Those who would like to help create more Individual Kits of Comfort to be deployed to disasters this fall may contact CDS for more information at .

Brethren Disaster Ministries has reached out to leaders in the Church of the Brethren’s Pacific Southwest District. They have shared that, at this time, the fires are not directly threatening churches in the district. However, many people have been affected by the poor air quality due to the smoke.

Donations to the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) will help with any future response to these and upcoming disaster events, and also will help Brethren Disaster Ministries offer financial support for partners like Church World Service (CWS), that are working on the ground to respond. Donations are received at .

— Jenn Dorsch Messler, director of Brethren Disaster Ministries, contributed this report. Find out more about Brethren Disaster Ministries at . Support this work financially at .

2) Making webinars count: announcing new policy for clergy continuing education credit

By Janet Ober Lambert

It has long been the practice of the Church of the Brethren to require live participation in educational events in order for clergy to receive continuing education units (CEUs). However, a new policy from the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, in partnership with the Ministry Advisory Council, is changing that.

Blue logo with a cross and people with their arms up on each side of it

Recognizing that live participation is becoming increasingly difficult for mulitivocational ministers and given the growing library of recorded webinars available from denominational agencies, the Brethren Academy is offering clergy the opportunity to view and report on prerecorded webinars and other educational events for CEUs. A standardized reporting process will provide the necessary accountability.

For recordings to be eligible for CEUs, they must: 1) have been created by a Church of the Brethren agency, 2) be no more than 10 years old, and 3) have been originally offered for CEUs according to the criteria set forth by the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership.

After viewing a recording that meets these criteria, clergy may go to the Brethren Academy webpage at to complete a “Continuing Education Report for Recorded Material.” This fillable form requires the clergyperson to demonstrate knowledge about the material viewed. Completed forms may then be printed and mailed to the Brethren Academy along with the certificate fee. All submissions will be reviewed by the academy’s director.

Viewing a recording after the event will be equivalent to the credit awarded for attending a live presentation. For example, attending a one-hour live webinar is worth 0.1 CEU. Viewing that same webinar after the fact also is worth 0.1 CEU.

CEU certificates will not be awarded for quantities of less than 0.2 CEUs. Two one-hour recordings may be combined for a total of 0.2 CEUs or one longer recording may be viewed. A separate “Continuing Education Report for Recorded Material” is required for each recording.

The CEU certificate fee is $10 per submission, with a limit of four recorded events, of any length, per submission. Paper certificates will be mailed to clergy and records of these certificates will be kept by the Brethren Academy.

Participating in live events continues to be valuable for the Church of the Brethren. Gathering in person provides opportunities to ask questions, exchange ideas, build relationships, as well as pray and worship together. The Brethren Academy hopes this new opportunity will supplement rather than replace live events. The intent is to expand opportunities to learn for all who minister, for the glory of God and our neighbor’s good. 

To read the full policy, visit and scroll down to the section on “Continuing Education.”

— Janet Ober Lambert is director of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership.

3) Brethren Faith in Action Fund announces grants to congregations and camps

The Brethren Faith in Action Fund has announced recent grants awarded to eight Church of the Brethren congregations and camps. The fund supports outreach ministry projects that serve their communities, strengthen the congregation or camp, and expand the reign of God, using monies generated by sale of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.

Camp Peaceful Pines, located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, received $5,000 to fund a required geological assessment of the site resulting from the Donnell fire in Aug. 2018. The US Forest Service determined that five cabins with lodging for up to 80 campers were no longer usable unless the camp provided a geological assessment. The evaluation will assess the risk of landslides in the event of thunderstorms exceeding 30 minutes in duration, and is required before the camp can reopen the cabins in 2021. The additional expense for the $8,800 evaluation will be covered by camping fees, donations, and monies approved by the camp board. The camp was granted a matching fund waiver.

The Gathering Chicago, a new church plant in Illinois and Wisconsin District, received $5,000 to support its Healing Racism programming. A need has arisen in the current context of racial injustice, healing trauma, and communities overwhelmed by COVID-19 to offer an intensified program titled “Healing Bridges” that includes two retreats on Aug. 28-29 and Oct. 22-23, online training with Chicago’s Crossroads Antiracism Organization, and a strengthened website and web engagement. The church was granted a matching fund waiver.

Restoration Los Angeles, a Church of the Brethren congregation in southern California, received $5,000 to complete the building of a youth center. The congregation averaged approximately 200 people in worship before the pandemic. It began construction of a multipurpose youth room in Jan. 2020. After the COVID-19 pandemic began, the inability to gather affected giving and the momentum of the project. The church hopes to complete the project before the lifting of gathering restrictions in order to have a permanent space for the congregation’s youth and to draw community youth.

Camp Eder in Fairfield, Pa., received $4,000 to will help replace the roof of the Tree of Peace Lodge. The lodge, one of the camp’s main sources of income, “eases people into an outdoor experience while providing some of the comforts of home,” said the grant announcement. “It is an excellent resource for people who like to be outdoors but are not accustomed to more rustic lodging. It provides a place for generations of people to come and experience the beauty of God’s creation firsthand.” Leaks have starte to cause rotting to the roof’s structure. Three Springs Church of the Brethren has agreed to match the grant and provide volunteer labor, with the camp covering the expense of materials, estimated to be $11,644.

Brethren Woods, a camp and outdoor ministry center in Keezletown, Va., received $3,550 to help fund a family camp and virtual camp experience. Due to COVID-19 the camp cannot offer a traditional camping experience so the staff has planned two alternative experiences: a family camp during phase 2 of Virginia’s reopening plan, with social distancing protocols; and “Watz’s in the Woods,” an online camp to help current, past, and future campers stay connected or get connected, with a focus on “This Is Our Prayer” Bible themes.

Good Shepherd Church of the Brethren in Bradenton, Fla., received $3,200 for a four-week arts camp in July, offered for community youth and young adults with leadership by church member and former art teacher Cindy Reyner and presentations by speakers from local colleges. The area has impoverished and victimized children, many from broken home settings, and the arts camp provided them with high-quality art supplies and instruction, and lunch each day. The church’s spacious fellowship hall provided space for social distancing, and participation was limited to eight students each week with parents welcomed to accompany their child.

Hanover (Pa.) Church of the Brethren received $2,166 to renovate a classroom into office space for a new youth director position. The goal of the position is to draw youth from the Hanover community to the church. The youth director will work with youth at neighboring elementary and high schools, with a homeless shelter where the youth will serve meals during scheduled school vacation days, and will be involved with church programs serving children and youth.

A grant of $1,000 is pending to Dranesville Church of the Brethren in Herndon, Va., for its “Cooking for the Homeless” ministry serving people in Loudoun County, Va., and the District of Columbia. Church members and community volunteers prepare meals packed in paper bags and distribute them to homeless residents, along with hygiene products and clothing. The congregation prepares meals for 80-120 people in Washington and 200-250 people in Loudoun County. Volunteers from the church and community make and pack the meals and the Salvation Army helps with distribution. Recent information received from Dranesville indicated the program is on hold due to pandemic regulations and will resume when restrictions are lifted.

The Brethren Faith in Action guidelines and application form are in English, Kreyol, and Spanish at .


4) A new academic year begins at Bethany Theological Seminary

A release from Bethany Seminary

Bethany’s opening convocation for the 2020-2021 school year. Photo courtesy of Bethany Theological Seminary

Bethany Theological Seminary is opening the 2020-2021 academic year with an increased overall enrollment, including many new residential students relocating to the Richmond, Ind., area. A total of 86 students are set to take classes this fall, including 30 students enrolling at Bethany for the first time.

Sixty-three Bethany students are distance learners who benefit from the seminary’s robust video conference and remote-learning resources. The seminary also has 23 residential students, including 15 who live in a group of Bethany-owned houses near campus known as “The Neighborhood.” Whether in Richmond, or at a distance, this year’s Bethany students join a vibrant learning community that offers exceptional coursework in biblical and theological studies along with opportunities to build practical skills.

The seminary has extensive measures in place to ensure that in-person classes can safely continue during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read about Bethany’s reopening plans at .

“This is a time of incredible challenge and concern for people around the world,” notes president Jeff Carter. “We are gratified that so many wonderful students have decided that this is a time to seek an exceptional theological education. We know that our students and faculty discern ways to be a positive force in the communities they serve–so that the world flourishes.”

The Bethany student body includes several students who recently completed certificates and are returning for master’s degrees. These include individuals who will seek ordination as they pursue pastoral ministry as well as those who will engage in other forms of ministry.

“We are very excited to welcome an exceptional new class of students to Bethany in both our certificate and degree programs,” says academic dean Steven Schweitzer. “They will bring a wide range of interests and backgrounds to the classroom, and the faculty is looking forward to the ways each of them will contribute new energy and vitality to our educational community.”

In addition to the Master of Divinity (MDiv) program, Bethany offers a Master of Arts in Theopoetics and Writing (MATW) as well as Master of Arts (MA) concentrations in biblical studies, Brethren studies, historical studies, theological studies, and peace studies. Graduate certificates are offered in theological studies, biblical peacemaking, just peace and conflict resolution, theology and science, and theopoetics and theological imagination.

About half of the credits awarded by the seminary go toward the completion of Master of Divinity degrees, the degree traditionally earned by ordained ministers, while the rest go toward Master of Arts or certificate programs. The student body includes many members of the Church of the Brethren as well as those from other denominations. While many graduates go on to pastoral ministry, alumni pursue varied careers including advocacy, community organizing, nonprofit leadership, writing, scholarship, and teaching. 

This year, Bethany has 34 MDiv students, 14 MA students, and 10 MATW students. An additional 28 individuals are pursuing certificates. Students come from several US states as well as other countries. Bethany offers its biblical peacemaking program through a presence in Jos, Nigeria.

“It’s a joy to introduce these students to Bethany. This fall semester has brought a full residential neighborhood. Many students are relocating to the Richmond area, and overall, enrollment is very strong,” notes Lori Current, executive director for admissions and student services. “We are happy to see a large and dynamic entering class of individuals who are ready to engage with all that the Seminary has to offer. “

The seminary formally opened the academic year with a convocation on Thursday, Aug. 27. Joelle Hathaway, an assistant professor of theological studies who came to Bethany this fall from Duke University, was the featured speaker.

— Jonathan Graham is director of marketing and communications for Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind.


5) Two employees’ service with Brethren Press ends

Because of financial difficulties in budgets for this year and next, including the significant drop in Brethren Press sales due to the pandemic, Steve Bickler and Margaret Drafall conclude their work with the Church of the Brethren on Aug. 28.

Steve Bickler and Margaret Drafall
Steve Bickler and Margaret Drafall

Bickler is the warehouse/shipping specialist for Brethren Press at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. He has worked for the denomination for more than 42 years, since he began work with Brethren Press on March 20, 1978. In Jan. 2012 he shifted into a half-time position with the building and grounds department at the General Offices while continuing half time with the publishing house.

Drafall is a customer service specialist with Brethren Press at the General Offices. She has worked for the Church of the Brethren for more than 13 years, since she began at Brethren Press on March 26, 2007.


6) Moderator’s virtual town hall will feature Andrew Young on Sept. 17

Church of the Brethren Annual Conference moderator Paul Mundey has announced plans for the next Moderator’s Town Hall on Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. (Eastern time). The featured speaker will be Andrew J. Young, veteran civil rights leader and former US ambassador to the United Nations. The focus of the town hall will be: “Racism: Deeper Awareness, Bolder Action.”

Andrew Young in a dark suit, smiling
Andrew J. Young

Ambassador Young has earned worldwide recognition as a pioneer and champion of civil and human rights. His lifelong dedication to service is illustrated by his extensive leadership experience of over 65 years as a member of Congress, ambassador to the United Nations, mayor of Atlanta, Ga., and ordained minister, among other positions.

During the 1960s, Young was a key strategist and negotiator during civil rights campaigns that led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Appointed as an ambassador to the UN in 1977, he negotiated an end to white-minority rule in Namibia and Zimbabwe and brought President Carter’s emphasis on human rights to international diplomacy efforts.

Currently he serves on several boards, including the Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change. In 2003, he and his wife, Carolyn McClain Young, founded the Andrew J. Young Foundation to support and promote education, health, leadership, and human rights in the US, Africa, and the Caribbean. He lives in Atlanta and serves as chairman of the foundation.

The author of three books, Young is sought after as an advisor to world leaders, along with being active as a speaker on the lecture circuit. An ordained minister with the United Church of Christ for more than six decades, he continues to preach and considers the work of his foundation an extension of his ministry and of the Civil Rights Movement.

To register for the town hall go to . Organizers are encouraging early registration, as the event is limited to the first 500 registrants. Questions may be emailed to .

7) Webinar on responding to the opioid crisis to be led by James Benedict

A webinar titled “Continuing the Work of Jesus: Responding to the Opioid Crisis” will be offered on Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. (Eastern time) and Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. (Eastern) with sponsorship from the Church of the Brethren Discipleship Ministries. Content will be the same on both dates. Presenter James Benedict, with more than 30 years of experience as a pastor in the Church of the Brethren, is a scholar in residence at the Center for Global Health Ethics at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa.

James Benedict in front of a bookshelf
James Benedict

“Over the past two-and-a-half decades, the misuse of opioids (both prescription and non-prescription) has increased dramatically, leading to a staggering number of addictions and deaths,” said a description of the event. “The opioid crisis has touched individuals, families, and communities throughout the United States with tragic consequences. As followers of Jesus the Healer, Christians are called to respond to this crisis and make a difference in the lives of those affected and endangered. This webinar will review some of the background of the crisis, discuss the current situation, and explore ways congregations and individuals can promote healing for addicts, support families, and prevent addictions from developing.”

The one-hour webinar is free. Ministers seeking continuing education credit may earn 0.1 credits. Register for the Sept. 21 session at . Register for the Sept. 23 session at 

8) New Ventures in Christian Discipleship season theme to focus on change

By Kendra Flory

The Ventures in Christian Discipleship program at McPherson (Kan.) College is moving into its ninth year of providing useful, affordable education to small church congregations. The 2020-21 season theme is “Change,” which ironically was chosen in the fall of 2019. All classes are donation-based and continuing education credit is available for $10 per course.

On Sept. 19 at 9 a.m. to 12 noon (Central time) Erin Matteson will present the first course of the season, “Self-Compassion for a Change…Making Better Choices for a More Balanced Breath for All.” As people of faith we are called not to be selfish. Yet we are also called not to be self-less. Integrating scripture, theology, work from a variety of authors, art, guided meditation, and more, the course will explore why ministerial leaders and laity alike may not practice self-compassion well but are called to do so. The course will help participants deepen such a commitment. Resources include work by authors such as Joyce Rupp, Christina Feldman, Kristin Neff, Tara Brach, and Brené Brown, among other artists, poets, and musicians. Explore healthy understandings and a more faithful practice of self-compassion to create and live a healthier personal life and congregational life, and ultimately a healthier global way of being together in the midst of rapid changes that are affecting all dimensions of living.

Erin Matteson is ordained in the Church of the Brethren and currently engaged in a ministry of focused spiritual formation work as a spiritual director, retreat leader, writer, and speaker. She has a passion for creating safe space for deep listening and compassionate companionship with individuals and groups for the deepening of faith, healing, learning, and community. Her denominational work currently includes curriculum writing for Brethren Press and serving on the Spiritual Directors Network Committee and as a “circuit rider” for the Church of the Brethren program called Part-time Pastor, Full-time Church. For nearly 25 years she was a pastor, most recently in the Church of the Brethren’s Pacific Southwest District. She holds a master of divinity degree from Bethany Theological Seminary and certification as a spiritual director from Mercy Center in Burlingame, Calif.

To learn more about Ventures and to register for courses visit .

— Kendra Flory is advancement assistant at McPherson College.

9) Atlantic Southeast District to present a Virtual Peace Camp 2020

The Action for Peace Team of the Church of the Brethren’s Atlantic Southeast District is presenting a Virtual Peace Camp 2020, the 13th peace camp to be held by the district. Usually the event is held over Labor Day Weekend at Camp Ithiel in Gotha, Fla., but because of the pandemic the event this year will be online via Zoom and offered free to participants.

Words "Virtual Peace Camp" with leaves

The theme is “Building Peace and Being Peacemakers” with resource leaders Michaela (Kayla) Alphonse and Susan (Sue) Smith. Participants may choose either of two days to participate, with the content repeated each day: Saturday, Sept. 5, 1-4:30 p.m. (Eastern time), or Monday, Sept. 7, 1-4:30 p.m. (Eastern).

Alphonse is pastor at Miami (Fla.) First Church of the Brethren and a member of the Church of the Brethren denomination’s Compelling Vision Process Team. Smith, a member of the planning team for the district’s Action for Peace Team, is a pastor at Antelope Park Church of the Brethren in Lincoln, Neb., and previously was an outreach pastor for Celebration of Christ Church of the Brethren in St. Pete, Fla.

Program highlights include:

— A one-hour session on the topic “Racial Justice” led by Alphonse (0.1 continuing education credit for ministers).

— A half-hour conversation about the Beatitudes with Jarrod McKenna, an Australian minister and peace and justice activist who has been a popular speaker at the Church of the Brethren’s National Youth Conferences, and Matt Rittle, pastor of Arlington (Va.) Church of the Brethren (0.5 continuing education credit for ministers).

— A one-hour session on “God’s Moral Imagination for Peacebuilding” led by Smith (0.1 continuing education credit for ministers).

— Two worship experiences led by Haitian and Hispanic churches in the district.

— An introduction to the history of the Family Peace Camp by Jerry Eller, hosted by Aaron Neff.

The event will include times for questions and interaction during “break out” times. Two breaks will be given during each afternoon.

Register at . Participants will receive Zoom link via email after registering. Find a creative video introduction to the event at .

10) Southern Ohio and Kentucky District offers virtual seminar series on climate change

a small plant growing on cracked, dry earth
Photo by Andreas,

“Who Still Cares about Climate Change? Pastoral Responses to Denial and Despair” is the title of a weekly virtual seminar, beginning in mid-October, co-sponsored by the Climate Justice Task Team of the Southern Ohio and Kentucky District of the Church of the Brethren.

Doug Kaufman of the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions and Mark Lancaster of Bethany Theological Seminary are collaborating to bring Brethren and Mennonites in Ohio and the Midwest to engage with climate change, said an announcement. Sibonokuhle Ncube, former director of Compassionate Development Services of the Brethren in Christ Church of Zimbabwe, is one of several speakers.

Session topics are:
— “Why don’t we care more?” on Oct. 15,
— “Ohio’s Climate Impact and Responses” on Oct. 22,
— “Climate Justice in Global South and Climate Racism” on Oct. 29,
— “Congregations and Climate Change Activism” on Nov. 5, and
— “Finding Hope in the Midst of Climate Tragedy” on Nov. 12.

Registration is at . Ordained ministers in the Church of the Brethren may receive 0.1 continuing education unit per session. A recommended donation of $5 per session will be used as seed money for a project to be determined as it arises from the meetings.

Said the announcement: “If this retreat reaches its target of 40 persons in attendance across 5 sessions, that would be $1,000 to kickstart a project for SOKD to take action for sustainable climate solutions!”

For questions contact the Southern Ohio and Kentucky District office at .

11) Brethren bits

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 .

Newsline is the email news service of the Church of the Brethren. Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Shamek Cardona, Jenn Dorsch Messler, Stan Dueck, Rachel Kelley, Kendra Flory, Jonathan Graham, Roxane Hill, Janet Ober Lambert, Emily Miller, Paul Mundey, Nathan Hosler, Nancy Miner, Michael Munk, Joe Vecchio, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. Please send news tips and submissions to . Find the Newsline archive at . Sign up for Newsline and other Church of the Brethren email newsletters or make subscription changes at . All submissions are subject to editing. Inclusion in Newsline does not necessarily convey endorsement by the Church of the Brethren.

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