Brethren bits for Aug. 19, 2021

Global Mission staff continue to request prayers for Haiti following the earthquake and tropical storm. Additional prayer requests shared today include:

Please pray for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) as they face the demolition of churches in Borno State, most recently in Maduganari in the Maiduguri area. Protests have followed the demolition, which occurred despite the church having a valid permit, and during which security forces fired shots into the air reportedly killing one church member and injuring others. There are also reports of increased tensions in and around Jos recently with Jos North under a 24-hour curfew, creating great hardship for residents there.

EYN also has shared a request for prayer following the death of the chairman of the EYN Board of Trustees, Rev. Maina Mamman, who died Wednesday last week, and the death of a wife of a student at Kulp Theological Seminary. “May God comfort the church and the entire relatives,” said an email from communications staff Zakariya Musa.

Global Mission continues to express gratitude for the release of Athanasus Ungang from prison in South Sudan, but requests continued prayer for his safety and that his passport may be returned so he can travel back to the United States to be with his family. Prayer also continues to be needed for Utang James, a colleague of Ungang’s who remains in custody.

The Annual Conference office has released the logo for the 2022 annual meeting of the Church of the Brethren. “After not meeting the past two summers, we are looking forward to the time we can all be together again in person in Omaha, Neb., July 10-14, 2022,” said an announcement, which included some information about the city of Omaha and the price for the conference hotel rates: $106 (plus tax and parking) per night. Registration fees will be announced in September.
Annual Conference next year will begin with opening worship on Sunday evening and closing worship on Thursday morning. Go to for more information.

The Church of the Brethren seeks a database support specialist to fill a fulltime hourly position based either at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill., or at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The major responsibility is to oversee and supervise the use of the organization’s database system and to enter and edit data that is collected across the whole organization, in consultation with the director of Information Technology. Skills and knowledge required include a positive customer service attitude, ability to work collaboratively, excellent communication skills, strong analytical critical thinking and problem-solving skills, strong understanding and knowledge of relational databases, and a working knowledge of Raiser’s Edge or comparable software, database infrastructure, Microsoft 365 Office Suite, Microsoft Access and Excel, among others. A minimum of two years of significant relational database experience and a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in information technology, computer science, database administration, or related field are required. Advanced training certifications may be advantageous. Applications are being received and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Send a resume to The Church of the Brethren is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

On Earth Peace’s Stop Recruiting Kids Campaign is hosting a virtual panel event this Friday, Aug. 20, at 4 p.m. (Eastern time) titled “The Truth about Youth Recruiting: A Dialogue with Veterans.” Said Irv Heishman, a Church of the Brethren pastor and co-chair of the On Earth Peace board: “The military is actively recruiting youth in our local high schools. I’m thankful to have this opportunity to remind parents and youth that war is not a game, a reality that should give Christians pause.” The online panel will discuss the realities of youth recruiting and will screen a video from the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY) called “Before You Enlist!” Panelists Rosa del Duca, Eddie Falcon, and Ian Littau will talk about their experiences, troubling aspects of the military recruiting and enlistment process, reflections on systemic issues, and advice for potential recruits. The event will conclude with a Q&A open to audience questions. For more information and to register, go to

“Here I Am; You Called Me” is title of a Calling the Called event organized by several Church of the Brethren districts including Atlantic Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southern Pennsylvania, Middle Pennsylvania, and Western Pennsylvania. The event is planned as “an intentional time away from the routine of life to discern what it means to be called by God to the set-apart ministry,” said an announcement. It takes place Sept. 25 at Chambersburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. For questions or to register, contact one of the sponsoring districts. Registration deadline is Sept. 15.

Atlantic Southeast District’s annual Family Peace Camp is virtual again this year, said an announcement. The event takes place Saturday, Sept. 4, 12 noon to 5:30 p.m. (Eastern time) on the theme, “Tools for Compassion–The Foreign Language of Caring.” The leaders are Barbara Daté, a Church of the Brethren member from the Pacific Northwest District and a member of the denomination’s Mission and Ministry Board, and Linda Williams, a Church of the Brethren educator and singer/songwriter from Pacific Southwest District. For registration and Zoom access contact Aaron Neff at

Virlina District holds its annual Prayer for Peace Service on Sunday, Sept. 19, at 3 p.m., outdoors at the Hollins Road Church of the Brethren picnic shelter. The featured speaker will be Eric Landram, pastor of Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, who has spoken at National Youth Conference, Roundtable, National Young Adult Conference, and other Church of the Brethren events. The 2021 theme is “Weltschmerz,” a German word meaning “world-pain.” Said the announcement: “Many of us have spent the past 18 months in a state of weariness. This is related to how we hope the world would be as opposed to how we see it differ from our ideals. Participants will gain a better understanding of how Jesus leads us to peace even in the midst of grief over world events and difficult circumstances.” Fellowship and refreshments will be offered based on the safety protocols in effect in September. For more information contact 540-352-1816 or

West Marva District is holding a district revival event at Camp Galilee in Terra Alta, W.Va., on Sept. 9-11 at 7 p.m. each evening, sponsored by the district’s Mission and Evangelism Team. There will be special music each night as well. The topic is “The Future” with a specific topic for each evening: Sept. 9, “The Future for Non-Believers” with speaker Rodney Durst; Sept. 10, “The Future for Believers” with speaker Dennis Durst; and Sept. 11, “The Future for Religion” with speaker Rodney Durst.

McPherson (Kan.) College is continuing an upward enrollment trend established over the past seven years, said a release. When it welcomed the class of 2025 to campus on Aug. 17 for the start of fall semester classes, freshmen and transfer students comprised the largest group of new students in school history at 350. “As classes get underway, full-time degree-seeking enrollment is again over 800,” said the release. “At 282 students, the class of 2025 is 35 percent larger than last year’s freshman class. The class comes to McPherson from 36 states and 12 countries.” The college began the fall semester without social distancing restrictions in its classrooms but for the first two weeks is asking everyone to wear a mask while inside campus facilities. The college is among schools from across the country joining the White House COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge and agreeing to take action in encouraging students, faculty, and staff members to be vaccinated. For more about McPherson College go to

The Bittersweet Gospel Band has just released “When Grandma Prays,” a new album of songs, on Spotify, Itunes, Amazon, and most any streaming site. The band is mostly made up of Church of the Brethren pastors: Gilbert Romero, Scott Duffey, Leah Hileman, Dan Shaffer, Andy Duffey, with Trey Curry and with David Sollenberger, moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, on lead guitar. “The music was recorded in the fall of 2019, but then delayed by COVID and our studio burning down,” said a release sent to Newsline by Duffey. “Finally, it was all remixed and mastered this spring and available to inspire and enjoy. A limited number of CDs are also being printed.” The title song for the album is available in English and Spanish and was a hit on the band’s last Puerto Rico tour. The song “Beans and Rice and Jesus Christ” is a Bittersweet classic that was re-recorded for the new album. Also featured: “From Fear to Freedom,” a faith response to 9/11; “Mary’s Glory,” a Christmas song with a special cello solo; “We Kneel Together,” a prayer of solidarity with the persecuted Brethren in Nigeria, with the 2019 Bridgewater (Va.) College Chorale.

Christopher Carroll of Speedway, Ind., a student at Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind., has won first place in a 2021 Peace Essay Contest of the West Suburban Peace Coalition (WSPC) in the Chicago area. He is majoring in political science with minors in international relations and philosophy. Contestants submitted essays answering the question, “How can we obey the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, the law that outlawed war?” Taking second place was Ella Gregory of London, England, and in third place was JanStephen Cavanaugh of Columbia, Pa. Said the announcement: “WSPC sponsors the contest annually as a way to commemorate and to promote awareness of the Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact, an international agreement that outlawed war. Representing their respective countries, US Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg and French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand signed the pact on Aug. 27, 1928. A total of 63 nations joined the pact, making it the most ratified treaty in history at that time. The Pact served as the modal for war crime trials following WWII. It also ended the legality of any territory seized in illegal war.”


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