Brethren bits for July 9, 2021

2020 Annual Conference Logo
The logo for Annual Conference 2021. Art by Timothy Botts

Annual Conference reporting resources

A 2-page printable “Wrap Up” reviewing the 2021 Annual Conference is now available for free download in pdf format. This document is suitable for delegates to use in reporting to their congregations and districts, for reprinting in church and district newsletters, as an insert in worship bulletins, among other uses. Find the link at www.brethren.org/news/coverage/annual-conference-2021.

A video “Wrap Up” of the 2021 Annual Conference and videos of the Conference sermons are available to purchase from Brethren Press. These videos may be used by delegates in their reporting and may offer congregations options for small group study sessions and more. Order the Annual Conference Wrap-Up DVD for $29.95 and Sermons DVD for $24.95 from www.brethrenpress.com.

There are updated registration numbers for Annual Conference 2021: 519 delegates from congregations and districts and 705 nondelegates for a total registration number of 1,224.

Naomi Yilma completed her year of Brethren Volunteer Service on July 16. She has served as an associate with the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy in Washington, D.C. Her main areas of focus have been COVID-19 recovery and vaccine access, the Advocacy Network on Africa, economic peacemaking, and coordination of the Nigeria Working Group.

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. Responsibilities include strategizing and actively working to build relationships with a variety of constituents, enlisting financial support for the seminary, and serving as a member of the President’s Leadership Team. Find the full position description and how to apply at https://bethanyseminary.edu/jobs/executive-director-of-institutional-advancement.

Camp Bethel near Fincastle, Va., seeks a food services coordinator. The camp has announced that Wes Shrader is leaving the position after Aug. 31. He will help overlap and orient the new employee. Online applications are being accepted now for this fulltime, year-round position that is available immediately. Application, salary, and more details are at www.campbethelvirginia.org/food-services-coordinator.html.

Brethren Volunteer Service has announced new dates for its Fall Orientation Unit 330. The orientation will still be held at Camp Brethren Heights in Rodney, Mich., but on new dates: Oct. 3-22. The new application deadline is Aug. 20. “We have pushed back the start date of orientation to accommodate for EIRENE (our German partner organization) volunteers and obtaining visas,” said the announcement. For more information go to www.brethren.org/bvs.

The Healing Racism Mini-grant program from the Church of the Brethren’s Interculutural Ministries has been extended to Oct. 15. “Have an idea with your church or community?” said an invitation. “Don’t hesitate to contact Intercultural Ministries if you’d like to talk through your ideas or to brainstorm possibilities.” Contact LNkosi@brethren.org. The application and more information is online at www.brethren.org/intercultural.

A letter urging President Biden to end US drone strikes outside of traditional combat zones has been signed by the Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, among more than 100 organizations that signed the document. The letter was organized by the Human Rights and Security Coalition. In it, the 113 organizations demand “an end to the unlawful program of lethal strikes outside any recognized battlefield, including through the use of drones,” which the organizations say is “imperative” to meet Biden’s aims of “ending ‘forever wars,’ promoting racial justice, and centering human rights in US foreign policy.” Find the full letter at www.aclu.org/letter/110-groups-letter-president-biden-calling-end-us-program-lethal-strikes-abroad.

“What’s in a Name? A Conversation with Christian Peacemaker Teams” is an online conversation to take place July 16 at 5 p.m. (Eastern time). Register at https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEkdOqrqj4sGtXaydL7iFno48Sl8p6-fyhT. “As CPT has grown as an organization and in anti-oppressive values, the Steering Committee is considering the ways in which including ‘Christian’ in the name may be inadvertently hindering the work, excluding people, or misrepresenting the organization,” said an announcement. “At the same time, the Steering Committee is deeply aware of the importance of our spiritual approach to the work, our connections to faith communities, and the active engagement of denominations like the Church of the Brethren. As we discern the best way to move forward, we invite you to join the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, Christian Peacemaker Teams, and On Earth Peace for a conversation about replacing the word ‘Christian’ in CPT’s name.” In addition, the event will include a CPTer giving an update on the important accompaniment work of teams in Iraqi Kurdistan, Palestine, Colombia, and elsewhere. Participants will be invited to give thoughts and feedback on the proposed name change.

Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind., has announced an estate gift of $1.2 million that will provide scholarships to students. “The widow of a 1947 Manchester graduate has left a $1.2 million gift to the University in memory of her husband,” said a release. “The Keith Kindell Hoover Memorial Scholarship Fund will provide scholarships to any worthy Manchester students at the direction of Gerda W. Hoover, who died in 2019.” Keith Kindell, who died in 2003, studied communication studies at Manchester, earned a bachelor of divinity from Bethany Theological Seminary and a doctorate in psychology from Northwestern University, and studied at the University of Hamburg, Germany. It was there that he met Waltraud Gerda Wolff and they married in 1952, settling in Lombard, Ill. He maintained a clinical psychology therapy practice and taught college-level classes. Gerda Hoover earned a master’s degree in German literature from Northwestern and taught high school and college German. She also published four books of poems and stories. For more information call the Manchester University Office of Advancement at 260-982-5412.

Chef Dru Tevis, who grew up in Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren, was named one of the best chefs in Delaware by Delaware Today. He was named to the honor by downstate readers. Tevis is a check with SoDel Concepts (sodelconcepts.com). Go to the “chefs” section at https://delawaretoday.com/best-of-delaware-2021/readers-pick-food-drink.

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