— Remembrance: Kendal Wilson Elmore, 74, a former executive of the Church of the Brethren’s West Marva District, died on July 31. “Please be in prayer for Carolyn and their family,” said a request from the district. Elmore was born in Lawrenceville, Va., to H. Wilson and Virginia Elmore, the oldest of three sons. He attended Ferrum College and Virginia Commonwealth University and in the early 1970s was licensed and ordained as a pastor in the Church of the Brethren. He served pastorates in Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. He began as a district executive minister in West Marva District in 2010, retiring in December 2019. In addition to his love for Christ and the ministry, he loved music and played several musical instruments. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Stone Elmore; their children Tracey Elmore Hoffman, Amy Williams and husband Dan, Angela Nelson and husband Steve, Matthew Elmore and wife Jessica; grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The family expressed appreciation to the aides and nurses at Fahrney Keedy Nursing Home. A celebration of life service will be held at 2 p.m. on Aug. 14–which would have been the couple’s 55th wedding anniversary–at Potomac Park Retreat and Conference Center in Falling Waters, W.Va. Memorial gifts are received to global missions in South Asia.
— A special Facebook Live event will welcome Jennifer Houser as the new archivist and director of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The event takes place Aug. 17 at 10 a.m. (Central time) at www.facebook.com/events/223133596255760.
— Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., seeks an executive director of Institutional Advancement to manage the overall operations of development, alumni relations, local community relations, and institutional communications. This position strategizes and actively works to build relationships with a variety of constituents, enlists financial support for the seminary, and serves as a member of the president’s Leadership Team. For details and how to apply, go to https://bethanyseminary.edu/jobs/executive-director-of-institutional-advancement.
— Material Resources staff were very happy to receive a trailer load of Lutheran World quilts and kits from Oregon. This trailer was ‘stuck’ in the Harrisburg rail lot for 3 plus months due to an issue with the chassis on many of the trailers needing a repair. This is the first large donation we have received in several months. Hoping it is a good sign of increased donations coming to New Windsor to process for filling the requests pending from around the world.
— Chris Douglas, director of the Annual Conference Office, will be the featured speaker for the 30th district conference in Missouri Arkansas District on Sept. 24-26. The event will be hybrid, held virtually and in-person at Cabool (Mo.) Church of the Brethren. Douglas will bring the message for the Sunday morning worship service and will lead a workshop for all district ministers on the preceding Friday afternoon Ministers in the district can earn 0.3 continuing education credit. Also from the denominational staff, Brethren Press publisher Wendy McFadden will lead in an insight session on copyright laws and licenses, worth 0.1 continuing education credit. Staff from On Earth Peace will lead in a Bible study on the topic of racism. The business session will include a special time to celebrate and remember 30 years as the Missouri Arkansas District. Gary Gahm is serving as moderator.
— The Northern Plains District Conference on Aug. 6-8 will be held online on the theme “Humble Service.” The moderator is Paul Shaver. Pre-conference insight sessions have been held on “Who Is My Neighbor?” and other topics, with leadership from Jeff Carter, president of Bethany Seminary; Dava Hensley, pastor of First Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va.; and Linda Lantz, a member of Panther Creek Church of the Brethren. Carter and Hensley are the featured preachers. Go to www.nplains.org/dc2021 for more information.
— The Northern Ohio District Conference on Aug. 14 at Akron (Ohio) Springfield Church of the Brethren will address “much important business on the agenda this year,” said an announcement. The agenda includes changes in the ways money is drawn from the Hottle Memorial Fund, a new district constitution, a 2022 district budget, and election of district leadership.
— Southern Ohio and Kentucky District is thanking donors who have contributed toward a goal of raising $10,500 for the purchase of a bus for the elementary school attached to the Theological College of Northern Nigeria near Jos, Nigeria. “We had a total of 10 individual gifts, 5 gifts from congregations, and gifts from 2 organizations, including Brethren World Mission,” said an email from the district. “When all the funds were counted, we actually received $13,240 that will not only allow for the purchase of the bus but also for repairs as they might be needed along the way.”
— On Earth Peace is offering a two-hour online introduction to Kingian Nonviolence on Aug. 12 at 5 p.m. (Eastern time). Register to attend and “meet others interested in Kingian Nonviolence, build Beloved Community, and connect with On Earth Peace’s Kingian Nonviolence Learning Action Community,” said an announcement. Go to www.onearthpeace.org/2021-08-12_knv-intro.
— Camp Pine Lake in Iowa held a day camp for children in grades K-5 with matching grants from the Brethren Faith in Action Fund and Northern Plains District. According to the district newsletter, the day camp welcomed 53 children the week of June 21-25.
— The latest episode of Brethren Voices features the 2021 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren. “Over the years, Brethren have dealt with many practical questions of how to live out their faith,” said an announcement of this program for community television, produced by Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren. “They’ve worked through many public issues such as war, slavery, death penalty, abortion, and environmental issues, helping to foster and develop the unique perspective of the Church of the Brethren. Due to the pandemic, the 234th Annual Conference met virtually this year via Zoom, with delegates and observers participating, from all over the country and world. We share a small portion of the activities that took place.” Find episodes of Brethren Voices on the show’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/BrethrenVoices.
— Kate Szambecki has joined the staff of the Anabaptist Disabilities Network as resource director, starting Aug. 2. She has spent the last several years writing in both journalistic and social media contexts as well as managing multiple professional social media accounts and blogs. She brings skills in writing and content creation, web design, outreach and communication, and project management, and a passion for storytelling and connecting with others. Additionally, she has worked consistently with underserved youth, something that helped spark her interest in advocacy. Szambecki will be responsible for the network’s social media, blog, and newsletter, as well as strengthening its network of churches, advocates, and disability resources. She is a student at Eastern Mennonite University who will graduate with bachelor’s degrees in English and Writing Studies and a minor in Digital Communications. She lives in Harrisonburg, Va., but grew up in Newton, Kan., where she attended Shalom Mennonite Church.
— Christian Peacemaker Teams has announced its next Peacemaker Congress in honor of the organization’s 35th anniversary, to take place as a virtual event on Sept. 25 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Central time). “We would love for you to join us!” said an invitation. The event includes a keynote presentation from Irish poet and theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama, author of four books of poetry and prose including Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community. He also presents the podcast “Poetry Unbound” with On Being Studios, and from 2014-2019 was the leader of Corrymeela Community, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation community. Also on the schedule are meetings with CPT teams, workshops on nonviolence and undoing oppressions, musical entertainment, and a silent auction. The theme is “Mobilize for Collective Liberation.” Go to https://cptaction.org/cpt-peacemaker-congress.
— Registration is now open for the “Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders” at the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, to be held on Oct. 11-15 and Nov. 15-19. The two identical sessions will be held online via Zoom. “This workshop is designed to help church leaders deal more effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict,” said an announcement. For a complete list of training events offered by the center, including a one-day “Conflict Transformation Skills and Healthy Congregations” training, go to www.lmpeacecenter.org/all-events.
— The past week, July 28-Aug. 4, marks the 70th anniversary of the Refugee Convention “and celebrate the courage and resilience of refugees who have been forced to flee their homes and rebuild their lives,” said an announcement from Church World Service (CWS). “The 1951 Refugee Convention laid the foundation for humanitarian protection laws and acknowledges the responsibility of the global community to protect and support those seeking refuge. On this anniversary, we are reminded of the urgent need for the US to restore and rebuild refugee resettlement, asylum, and humanitarian protections. As we face the worst global displacement crisis in history–with more than 31 million refugees displaced globally–it is vital that the US live up to its moral values to welcome and treat all people with dignity and respect.” A toolkit for action in support of refugees is at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hjbLjfApiHd88f3qBf64_Ot91MbNniIVakkHPOxu5Ds/edit. More information for congregations wanting to join or host a “Restoring Welcome Vigil” is at www.facebook.com/events/4374729415913017.
— The National Council of Churches of Christ in the US (NCC) and Friendship Press are working toward an updated edition of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. A series of Q&A posts about the NRSV Updated Edition is appearing online at https://friendshippress.org/nrsv-updated-edition-bible-question-answer-series. In a recent post: “The New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition reflects discoveries of ancient texts and new insights made in the 30 years since the NRSV was last revised. The newly updated translation offers clearer, more direct, and inclusive language, and increased cultural sensitivity absent of the unintended biases of prior versions.” A sampler also is available to download. This updated Bible translation will be available to purchase from Brethren Press later this fall.
— The World Council of Churches’ journal The Ecumenical Review focuses its latest issue on the WCC 11th Assembly theme, “Christ’s Love Moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity.” The assembly is to take place in September 2022 in Germany. The journal’s July issue offers biblical and theological perspectives from a number of ecumenical leaders on the theme, against the backdrop of critical issues confronting churches and humanity as a whole. Go to www.oikoumene.org/news/ecumenical-review-focuses-on-wcc-11th-assembly-theme-christs-love-moves-the-world-to-reconciliation-and-unity.
— Also new from the WCC is a second edition of the publication Cooler Earth-Higher Benefits: Actions by Those Who Care about Children, Climate, and Finance. This new volume gives suggestions for how churches and other organizations around the world can respond to the climate emergency through investment decisions that are crucial to protect children from global warming. It contains updated tables and reports. It may be downloaded from www.oikoumene.org/resources/publications/cooler-earth-higher-benefits-second-edition.
— Fred C. Garber of Wakemans Grove Church of the Brethren has received the 2021 Electric Cooperative Leadership Award from the Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives. He is a farmer, businessman, and longtime electric cooperative director, said an article from the Augusta Free Press. “Garber received the association’s highest award July 22 at a reception at the Rockingham office of Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative, where he served as a member of the board of directors from 1984 until 2019,” said the article. “In retirement, Garber’s farm in Shenandoah County is hosting SVEC’s first community solar project.” Find the full article at https://augustafreepress.com/fred-garber-receives-co-op-leadership-award.
Find more Church of the Brethren news:
- Interfaith Prayer Service marks 20th anniversary of 9/11
- Children’s Disaster Services responds to Hurricane Ida, Afghan evacuation
- EDF grants support earthquake relief in Haiti
- Office of Peacebuilding and Policy signs letter supporting Afghan refugees, urging humanitarian action by Biden administration
- Remembering Dale Brown, professor emeritus at Bethany Seminary and a leading theologian in the Church of the Brethren