— Remembrance: Arden K. Ball, 87, of Goshen, Ind., who served for almost two decades as director of Camp Alexander Mack in Milford, Ind., died on Dec. 8. He was born Dec. 22, 1933, to Paul and Sarah Ball. On Sept. 2, 1951, he married Charmaine Sunderman; she died on Jan. 2, 2018. He graduated from Manchester College (now university) in North Manchester, Ind., in 1963 and was later honored as Alumni of the Year. As a pastor in the Church of the Brethren, he served in three congregations. He completed his career as director of Camp Mack from 1975-1994. He is survived by children David K. (Cara) Ball of Edwardsburg, Mich., Marie E. Freeman of Breeding, Ky., and Rebecca (Paris) Ball-Miller of Goshen; and grandchildren. He donated his body to Indiana University for medical purposes. A Celebration of Life service is planned at Camp Mack next summer. Memorial gifts are received to Camp Alexander Mack and the Arden and Charmaine Ball Scholarship Fund at Manchester University. Find a full obituary at www.yoderculpfuneralhome.com/obituary/arden-ball.
— The Part-time Pastor; Full-time Church program is offering a book study on Flourishing in Ministry: How to Cultivate Clergy Wellbeing by Matt Bloom. The online event is planned once a week from Jan. 4 to March 3, 2022, on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. (Eastern time). Continuing education units are available. Find out more at www.brethren.org/news/2021/book-study-on-flourishing-in-ministry.
— The Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy is one of the 115 organizations that signed a letter supporting a TRIPS waiver which would increase international access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. During a virtual press conference on Monday, Dec. 13, the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA also joined the global faith community to release the letter, alongside the World Council of Churches. The letter signed by the 115 organizations representing five world faith traditions calls on World Trade Organization member countries to act before year’s end to waive the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights rules. The faith community spotlighted the moral necessity of increasing access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Find the WCC release about the letter at www.oikoumene.org/news/wcc-joins-global-faith-based-organizations-calling-on-world-trade-organization-to-increase-global-access-to-vaccines.
— Next year’s Youth Roundtable at Bridgewater (Va.) College is planned for Feb. 25-27, 2022. The annual regional youth conference is for grades 9-12 and their adult advisors. Chris Michael, a former Interdistrict Youth Cabinet member, high school art teacher, Tik-Tok comedian, and artist, is the featured speaker. More information will be available in January.
— The Global Women’s Project Steering Committee reported this week one of their “unexpected joys…that we have had donations from all of you during this year that total over $30,000! And, for your generosity we are so humbled and grateful.” Find out more about this Church of the Brethren-related project at www.globalwomensproject.org.
— Christian leaders in Jerusalem, in Israel and Palestine, have released a statement on the current threat to the Christian presence in the Holy Land. “Since 2012 there have been countless incidents of physical and verbal assaults against priests and other clergy, attacks on Christian churches, with holy sites regularly vandalized and desecrated, and ongoing intimidation of local Christians who simply seek to worship freely and go about their daily lives,” the statement said, in part. “These tactics are being used by such radical groups in a systematic attempt to drive the Christian community out of Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land.” Find the full statement at https://en.jerusalem-patriarchate.info/blog/2021/12/13/statement-on-the-current-threat-to-the-christian-presence-in-the-holy-land-by-the-patriarchs-and-heads-of-local-churches-of-jerusalem. Expressing solidarity with the Patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem, the World Council of Churches (WCC) also issued a statement about the violence against Christians there. Find it at www.oikoumene.org/resources/documents/wcc-statement-in-solidarity-with-the-churches-and-christian-communities-in-the-holy-land.
— Christian Aid Ministries has announced that their remaining 12 hostages have been freed in Haiti. In total, 17 volunteers with the ministry had been kidnapped by a gang and held for weeks. Find a statement from the ministry, which has connections with old order Brethren and Mennonite groups and has been a partner in disaster relief with Brethren Disaster Ministries, at https://christianaidministries.org/updates/haiti-staff-abduction.
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