Newsline for April 16, 2021

1) Virtual blood drive #SleevesUpBrethren2021 campaign offers Brethren a chance to give

2) Brethren Disaster Ministries among groups building new homes for Ohio tornado survivors

3) Bethany Seminary launches new Master of Arts in Spiritual and Social Transformation

4) Western Plains District announces transition team

5) Online conversation will listen and learn from Brethren leaders of Asian-American heritage

6) Virtual New and Renew event is accessible for bi-vocational ministers

7) Next Moderator’s Town Hall to address ‘the new normal’

8) New Bethany Seminary website promotes environmental awareness in congregations

9) ‘If we want to find God, we need to be with the victims of this oppression and prejudice’

10) Brethren bits: Remembering the Chibok schoolgirls who are still missing on the 7th anniversary of their abduction, remembering Galen Miller and Emiko Okada, job openings, FaithX registration ends, evangelistic outreach in Venezuela

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

Quote of the week:

“The retreat left me feeling grateful. Grateful for a diverse community of healers, listeners, and advocates. Grateful for the hope that justice and God’s kingdom work is being carried out by the many in our everyday lives in big and small ways.”

Pauline Liu, coordinator of volunteers for Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS), about her experience of attending a Healing Racism retreat offered by the Church of the Brethren Intercultural Ministries. “I attended the Healing Racial Trauma Virtual Retreat on Saturday March 27th,” she wrote. “The retreat was via Zoom. Sheila Wise Rowe and her team facilitated multiple small breakout rooms with conversations centering around racialized experiences and how healing starts by seeking the heart of Jesus. There were several opportunities to request prayer and affirm one another’s journey in healing from the trauma of white systemic oppression.”

A new resource is available to help delegates prepare for Annual Conference: The Conference officers have posted this year’s delegate briefing video on the Annual Conference website at This short video provides a look at the upcoming Annual Conference 2021 and how it will be carried out online. The video is valuable viewing for nondelegates too, but very important for each delegate to take time to watch.

Landing page of Church of the Brethren COVID 19 related resources and information:

Church of the Brethren congregations offering online worship in English and other languages:
*Spanish/bilingual; **Haitian Kreyol/bilingual; ***Arabic/bilingual
*español/bilingüe, ** kreyol haitiano/bilingüe, ***عربي / ثنائي اللغة

Lifting up Brethren who are active in health care:

Send information about churches to be added to the listing of online worship offerings to

Add a person to the list of Brethren active in health care by sending first name, county, and state to

1) Virtual blood drive #SleevesUpBrethren2021 campaign offers Brethren a chance to give

By Sharon Billings Franzén

Every year, many who attend the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference make a point of intentionally carving out a space in their busy Conference schedule to donate blood. Through the Annual Conference Blood Drive, sponsored by Brethren Disaster Ministries, between 1984 and 2019 attendees gave 8,825 pints of blood. In recent years, the drive has averaged more than 170 pints each year.

A Virtual Blood Drive was held in 2016 and 2019 to invite those not attending Annual Conference to also give blood by pledging online and donating locally.

This year, with the entire Conference online, we are encouraging everyone in the Church of the Brethren–regardless of whether registering for or attending the Conference–to join the Virtual Blood Drive and to donate locally between June 15 and July 15.

We need you to let us know that you gave blood so we can keep track of the donations and can give a final tally once the drive is over.

Here is how to participate:

Pledge to give blood on behalf of the Church of the Brethren by going to for a link to pledge through the American Red Cross SleevesUp website; OR contact Brethren Disaster Ministries to give a pledge by email to or by phone to 800-451-4407 ext. 1.

Find a blood drive near you offered by any blood service and make an appointment to donate, preferably between June 15 and July 15. Red Cross drives can be found at

Keep your appointment! Take a photo, if you can, to celebrate your gift and to encourage others to donate.

Make sure to let Brethren Disaster Ministries know by email or phone that you followed through with your pledge. It is the only way we can confirm that you gave blood.

Share your photos with us and share them on any social media, using #SleevesUpBrethren2021.

If you have any questions or want more information, contact Sharon Franzén at Brethren Disaster Ministries at or 800-451-4407 ext. 1.

— Sharon Billings Franzén is office manager for Brethren Disaster Ministries, working out of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.

2) Brethren Disaster Ministries among groups building new homes for Ohio tornado survivors

Brethren Disaster Ministries is one of the organizations working with the Miami Valley Long Term Recovery Operations Group to build homes for tornado survivors in Trotwood, Ohio. A groundbreaking took place April 14 on the first two Trotwood homes as part of the Tornado Survivors Pathway to Homeownership Project (Pathways Project).

The two homes are adjacent on Marlin Avenue. One home will be a rehab of an existing structure by Brethren Disaster Ministries and Presbytery of the Miami Valley, and the second will be new construction by Mennonite Disaster Services.

The Pathways Project was developed to provide qualified tornado survivors, who are not currently homeowners, the opportunity to become homeowners. Interested applicants work with the HomeOwnership Center of Greater Dayton to become mortgage ready while volunteer teams construct or rehab homes on properties donated by the jurisdictions.

Photo courtesy of Montgomery County, Ohio

“Brethren Disaster Ministries is proud to be part of this program that has developed as an incredible collaboration with so many local and national partners in Montgomery County,” said director Jenn Dorsch-Messler. “It provides a way to build back better from the tornados to help renters return to the neighborhoods they call home, but also improving the quality of the community housing overall. We are excited to serve this group of disaster survivors in ways they are not often served in other recoveries.”

The Presbytery of the Miami Valley and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance are partnering with Brethren Disaster Ministries for the rehab of the first house. Said Terry Kukuk, Executive Presbyter: “The objectives of the Presbytery of the Miami Valley include connecting congregations in mission, addressing how systemic poverty and structural racism contribute to housing needs, and alleviating stress on families and communities while helping to build resilience. The Presbytery is thankful that we can support the Pathways program with both financial resources and local volunteers.”

Jim Kirk, executive director of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, expressed thanks for the partnerships. “At a time of limited resources and overwhelming need it is crucial to use resources in a way to address systemic issues such as providing a pathway for homeowners for those impacted by a disaster.”

“The Pathways Project leverages the talents of volunteer build teams and the expertise and resources of community organizations to transform vacant lots and structures into new homes that will enable qualified tornado survivors to become homeowners,” said Laura Mercer, Miami Valley Long Term Recovery executive director. “These two homes are the first of many that will be built in Trotwood and we are excited to continue to help the community recover and thrive.”

To support this effort financially, give to the Church of the Brethren Emergency Disaster Fund at

3) Bethany Seminary launches new Master of Arts in Spiritual and Social Transformation

A Bethany Seminary release

For students who hear a clear call and are following a specific path to practical ministry, Bethany Theological Seminary has launched a new master’s degree program that links spiritual formation with a focus on social change.

The Master of Arts in Spiritual and Social Transformation (MASST) degree program launches this fall 2021 and will significantly broaden the seminary’s offerings to students who want to focus and specialize their ministries. The program is designed to serve individuals pursuing careers in nonprofit leadership, social services, or spiritual direction. This new program is uniquely positioned to link Bethany’s Brethren heritage to the interests and needs of current students.

According to academic dean Steve Schweitzer, MASST is a natural outgrowth of Bethany’s mission and draws on the strengths of the seminary’s stellar faculty. The program is also a thoughtful response to trends across theological education in the US, and it is only the second master’s program in the United States to focus on spiritual and social transformation in this combination and integrative way.

“In recent years, seminaries are conferring more master of arts than master of divinity degrees,” notes Schweitzer. “It makes sense for us to continue to expand our offerings, and we want to start with what we know we can do well.”

The Church of Brethren has, of course, always connected spiritual formation with a passion for social transformation. The new MASST degree provides students with options to deepen their faith and enrich their present and future ministries. Students will be able to take most of the required courses at a distance from campus and benefit from the same generous financial aid that is available to students in all Bethany programs. MASST will appeal to students who wish to pursue advanced degrees while continuing to work in their own communities.

This is the latest addition to Bethany’s robust offerings, which include the Master of Arts in Theopoetics and Writing, six certificate programs, as well as the updated Master of Divinity and Master of Arts programs. These expanded offerings will allow Bethany to build on its recent positive enrollment trends and appeal to new categories of students.

“This new MASST program allows students another educational option to pursue their vocational call through unique courses and practical experiences. We’ve designed the MASST to be flexible and focused in light of student interests and needs,” Schweitzer says.

Students in the MASST program can choose from five “Paths” or concentrations of courses, including Non-Profit Leadership (in partnership with Eastern Mennonite University) and two programs in Spiritual Practices and Direction (in association with Oasis Ministries). Other focus areas are History as Argument and Meditation and Public Theology and Witness. All concentrations will benefit from Bethany’s existing strengths, and students will learn alongside those who are seeking certificates, other master’s degrees, and the master of divinity degree.

“For anyone who is ready to say, ‘this is my call and this is my path,’ the MASST degree is a way to name and claim your ministry and your career,” says Schweitzer.

As is true for all Bethany degree programs, MASST students will have access to generous financial aid, including the Pillars and Pathways Residential Scholarship, which allows students to earn a graduate degree without taking on additional student or commercial debt.

Students interested in enrolling in the MASST program this fall may apply for admission until May 15.

Find out more at


4) Western Plains District announces transition team

The Church of the Brethren’s Western Plains District has named a transition team to serve during the period of securing interim leadership and pursuing the search process for hiring a new district executive minister.

In addition, the district’s Leadership Team has named Joanna Davidson Smith, Western Plains administrative assistant, as the district’s representative to the Council of District Executives while interim plans are being developed.

The transition team that will guide the process working in collaboration with the Office of Ministry includes:
Gail Erisman Valeta, district moderator
Sarah Mason, district moderator-elect
John Hoffman, Outdoor Ministries Team co-chair
Leslie Kendall, Communications Team chair
Dave Smith, Stewards Team chair
Ken Frantz, Leadership Team chair

Communications with Western Plains District may be directed to Ken Frantz at or 970-580-3565; or Joanna Davidson Smith at or 620-241-4240.


5) Online conversation will listen and learn from Brethren leaders of Asian-American heritage

An upcoming virtual conversation titled “Listening and Learning from Brethren Leaders of Asian-American Heritage” is sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Office of Ministry.

The event held through Zoom on May 5 at 7:30 p.m. (Eastern time) will focus on the current concern for the safety, needs, and valuing of Asian-American and Pacific Islander members of American society in light of recent instances of violence directed toward them.

The speakers are, from left: Wendy McFadden, Madalyn Metzger, and Lin Reish.

The event will feature three Brethren leaders of Asian-American heritage. Insights, experiences, and wisdom will be offered by Wendy McFadden, publisher of Brethren Press and Church of the Brethren communications; Madalyn Metzger, vice president of marketing at Everence Financial; and Lin Reish, associate research analyst at Healthline Media. Dave Shetler, district executive minister of Southern Ohio and Kentucky District, will serve as host.

Ministers may receive .1 continuing education units. Register in advance at

6) Virtual New and Renew event is accessible for bi-vocational ministers

By Erika Clary

This year’s virtual New and Renew conference, centered around “The Reward of Risk,” is well-suited for bi-vocational ministers. The event features more than 20 live sessions that will be recorded and can be accessed through Dec. 15. These recordings will allow bi-vocational ministers, who normally may not be able to attend the conference in person, to take part online in contemplating the reward amid taking risks in ministry.

New and Renew allows ministers to network with other ministers and leaders about church renewal and church planting. Whether joining live or accessing recordings at a later time, participants can expect to walk away with resourceful and practical ideas to plant or revitalize congregations.

Those ministers who register for the conference will receive a continuing education form to earn more than 2.0 continuing education units by either attending live sessions or marking recordings that they watch.

Registration costs $79, plus $10 for individuals wishing to obtain continuing education credit, and includes access to recordings of worship, sermons, and workshops.

Register today to be filled with the Spirit through intriguing and nourishing workshops, keynote speakers, and conversations.

Some of the workshop titles:
— Trusting God, Trusting Neighbors: Mobilizing Power and Assets in the Neighborhood
— Recapturing a Pioneering Heart
— Spirit-Filled: Embodying God’s Imagination for God’s Mission
— Restoring Congregational Vitality
— The Shalom-Making Church: Imaginative Practices for Public Witness

Register and find out more at Information continues to be added to the webpage on a regular basis.

— Erika Clary is working temporarily for the Church of the Brethren Discipleship Ministries until starting a Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) position as coordinator for National Youth Conference 2022.

7) Next Moderator’s Town Hall to address ‘the new normal’

“What Will Be the ‘New Normal’? Anticipating a Post-Pandemic World” is the title of the next Moderator’s Town Hall sponsored by Paul Mundey, moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. The online event takes place May 19 at 7 p.m. (Eastern time) with leadership from Mark DeVries and Dr. Kathryn Jacobsen.

The town hall will explore what the future may hold in light of the COVID-19 crisis and the possible shape of a “new normal.” Topics include the current state of the pandemic along with its future trajectory and related tensions, when and how churches can safely resume in-person activities, the importance of hybrid (in-person plus online) approaches to ministry to ensure accessibility for all, facing into the loss and grief of the COVID-19 crisis, how to support both church members and pastors, and how best to equip ourselves for tomorrow.

Jacobsen, of Oakton Church of the Brethren in Vienna, Va., has presented at several Church of the Brethren webinars and online events since the start of the pandemic. She is a professor in the Department of Global and Community Health at George Mason University and a specialist in infectious disease epidemiology and global health. She has served as an advisor to the World Health Organization, Gavi, UNICEF, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and other international health organizations. Her long-running projects at the Mercy Hospital Research Laboratory in Sierra Leone are testing new infectious disease surveillance methods, documenting the emergence of diseases like chikungunya and Ebola in the region.

DeVries is founder and president of Ministry Architects, a church resourcing organization offering counsel in strategic initiatives for congregations as well as youth ministry, children’s ministry, young adult ministry, small church ministry, and executive coaching. Other organizations he has founded or co-founded include Ministry Incubators, the Center for Youth Ministry, and Justice Industries.

Register at Send questions to


8) New Bethany Seminary website promotes environmental awareness in congregations

From a Bethany Seminary release

The Green Circle at Bethany Theological Seminary has created a website at featuring resources for pastors and church leaders who want to promote environmental awareness in their congregations.

The site includes resources for worship, activity suggestions for children and youth, and material on the theology of God’s creation–all geared to the needs of congregations in the Church of the Brethren. Curated by Ingrid Rogers, a student pursuing a Certificate in Theopoetics and Theological Imagination, the site began as a project for a course in ecotheology taught by Joelle Hathaway, assistant professor of theology.

Rogers says that her interest in creating this website connects to the paper “Creation: Called to Care,” which Annual Conference passed in 1991, urging congregations and individuals to educate themselves about environmental issues and take steps to limit negative impacts on the environment and to work to protect and restore creation.

“Since this paper was adopted, the environmental situation of our planet has deteriorated exponentially,” notes Rogers. “More than ever, Christians need to respond. At Bethany, an environmental awareness group known as the Green Circle formed a few years ago in support of local initiatives. The group has now launched a new website pulling together resources for worship and education that can help pastors, congregations, and individuals who seek to address the call to creation care.”

With the support of the Green Circle (a committee with representatives from Bethany faculty, staff, and students) Rogers took the lead in creating the website. During her research phase, Rogers polled 11 Bethany students who currently serve as pastors of Church of the Brethren congregations and selected content based, in part, on those students’ responses. Rogers drew on existing materials available on Mennonite, Quaker, United Church of Christ, and Roman Catholic websites.

Dan Poole, assistant professor of ministry formation, believes that the Moodle site will be very helpful to pastors and congregations. “This site should serve handsomely for pastors and those desiring a more eco-friendly and eco-informed community.”

Launched ahead of this year’s Earth Day (celebrated on April 22), the Green Circle hopes that this new website will be a helpful resource for congregations for years to come.


9) ‘If we want to find God, we need to be with the victims of this oppression and prejudice’

By Jay H. Steele

For the past year, Minnesota has been in the national news following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The prosecution and defense attorneys wrapped up their case in the trial of Officer Chauvin this week, and on Monday will present their closing arguments. Then the state, city, and nation await the verdict of the jury.

Meanwhile, as the trial was underway, another Black man, Daunte Wright, was gunned down on Sunday of this week at the hands of a white police officer in the suburb of Brooklyn Center. The officer, Kim Potter, apparently thought she was firing her taser at Wright but instead shot him with her handgun. He died after fleeing a short distance in his car.

In recent days, the ranks of protesters, already gathered in anticipation of the Chauvin trial verdict, have swelled in Brooklyn Center and around the twin cities metro area. Government buildings in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Brooklyn Center, and some other suburbs have been wrapped with fencing in anticipation of the possibility of violence. Many businesses also are closed or limiting their hours.

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

When I moved to Minnesota 26 years ago, I learned about “Minnesota Nice.” It’s the friendly but somewhat frosty greeting you get from locals, befitting the German and Scandinavian immigrants who initially settled the state. What I did not know about until I had lived here for several years was the long history of racial discrimination exemplified by the racial codes–red-lining–written into property deeds in many twin cities neighborhoods, which prohibited the properties from being sold to anyone of color. African Americans in particular were long segregated into a few less-desirable areas of the metro region.

But the twin cities has seen profound demographic changes in the last two decades. Waves of Hmong refugees from southeast Asia have settled in the metro area, followed by Somalis from the Horn of Africa, and Hispanics coming north from Mexico and Central America.

Open Circle Church of the Brethren is located in the suburb of Burnsville, just south of Minneapolis. The most recent statistics available show a student population of 8,000 in the Burnsville School District–32 percent are white, 29 percent are Black/African American, 21 percent are Hispanic, 8 percent are Asian. Visit a farmer’s market, walk into any grocery store, or patronize the wide variety of ethnic restaurants and stores and you will see this diversity in our surrounding communities.

It’s a welcome sight for members of Open Circle. Our tagline is “Thinking Encouraged, Diversity Welcomed.” From our beginning in 1994, we have welcomed all into our community, and have attracted congregants who are active in politics, community organizing, volunteering, and protest when necessary on behalf of individuals or communities facing discrimination. We rent our building to a Hispanic congregation made up of predominantly undocumented immigrants. Their presence in our midst, and the risk they faced from an unfriendly federal government, prompted us to become a sanctuary-supporting congregation.

We have done a lot of thinking and learning in the past year of COVID lockdown as we have welcomed LaDonna Sanders Nkosi, director of the Church of the Brethren Intercultural Ministries, to join us for virtual worship with members of her faith community. We have watched many videos together learning about white privilege, institutional racism, the history of discrimination against Asian Americans, African Americans, and Native Americans. We have read many books together on these subjects. We have used our time in isolation well.

The advent of police bodycams and the widespread use of cellphones to document instances of police and citizen mistreatment of people of color has exposed for all to see the ugly underbelly of prejudice and racism in Minnesota and around the country. It is painful to see, but it is necessary to see because it is part of the truth about us. “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32).

I firmly believe that if we want to find God, we need to be with the victims of this oppression and prejudice. I also firmly believe that God is calling us forward to a better future where diversity is seen as a strength and all God’s children have an equal opportunity to learn, work, and recreate without fear.

While we are on edge about what might transpire in the twin cities over the coming days, we at Open Circle are happy and grateful to be working on behalf of this better future.

— Jay H. Steele is pastor of Open Circle Church of the Brethren in Burnsville, Minn.

10) Brethren bits

— Remembrance: Galen Miller, 103, a former district executive in the Church of the Brethren, died on Feb. 13 in Wenatchee, Wash. He was born Jan. 7, 1918, in Weiser, Idaho, and was raised in Portland, Ore. He held a bachelor of divinity degree from Bethany Theological Seminary and a doctor of religion from Chicago Theological Seminary. He pastored Champaign (Ill.) Church of the Brethren and the Sunnyslope church in Wenatchee, Wash. In retirement he served as district executive minister for Oregon and Washington District, now the Pacific Northwest District of the Church of the Brethren. He also was interim pastor for several churches across the country. His professional career included working as superintendent for Erickson’s Plumbing Co., the largest plumbing shop on the South Side of Chicago, and working as a prune farmer in Gridley, Calif. Over the years, he volunteered his plumbing skills to many disaster relief and humanitarian projects across the country including for Habitat for Humanity, churches in Nampa and Boise, Idaho, and Bethany Seminary in Richmond, Ind. Golf and hiking were additional interests, and he hiked into the Grand Canyon with family members six times in his life, the last at age 91. He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Wanda Johnson Miller, in 2019. He is survived by children Jim (Pam), Sharon (Steve), Bill (Roxanne), Randy, Marsha (Ken); and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A celebration of his life will be held when it is safe to gather. Find an obituary published by Wenatchee World at

April 14 marked 7 years since the #ChibokGirls were kidnapped. #112ChibokGirlsAreStillMissing

— Remembrance: Emiko Okada, 84, a leader at the World Friendship Center in Hiroshima, Japan, died suddenly and unexpectedly on April 10. She collapsed during a time of remembrance for another longterm board member and volunteer at the center, Michiko Watanabe, who passed away in February. “Emiko, a long time World Friendship Center board member and Hibakusha who gave her testimony at WFC and many other places, was greatly loved and such a loving and caring person,” said Roger and Kathy Edmark in an email to the Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) office. The Edmarks are the current volunteer directors of the center, which for decades has had BVS volunteers as its directors. Okada was one of the two main characters in the documentary Atomic Mom. Her story is on the center’s website among other Hibakusha Stories at

— The Church of the Brethren seeks to fill a fulltime hourly position of Buildings and Grounds assistant. This position provides support for the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., and other properties in Elgin that are owned by the denomination. Responsibilities include building and equipment maintenance, warehouse operations, shipping, mail, and supplies, among others. Skills and knowledge required include ability to relate with integrity and respect within and beyond the organization, knowledge and experience of building operation and facilities management, knowledge of electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and mechanical work is helpful but not required. Also required: ability to bend, stoop, climb, lift and carry 50 pounds, work in an extreme environment in or out of doors, handle hazardous materials and exposure to hazardous situations, skills in oral and written communication, and ability to access, input, and retrieve information from a computer. At least five years of Buildings and Grounds operations experience is helpful but not required. A high school diploma or equivalent is required. Applications are received beginning immediately and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Apply by sending a resume by email to the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, at The Church of the Brethren is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Church World Service (CWS) is hiring for three positions to work with asylum seeker “Welcome Programs,” including asylum seeker case management, Call Center management, and border shelter support. The organization seeks qualified and diverse candidates to fill these remote positions, with a “plus” for candidates living in a border state. CWS Asylum Services, part of the Immigration and Refugee Program, provides comprehensive support to asylum seekers in the United States. This includes supporting reception at US southern border shelters, providing case management services across the US, offering remote support through the CWS Call Center, and providing legal services to asylum seekers.

CWS seeks a motivated, flexible, service- and advocacy-driven individual to serve as a Call Center program manager who will develop, manage, and expand the CWS Call Center. The Call Center is a national program that provides information and referrals to migrants across the United States. Technical, coordination, and interpersonal skill sets are required. This individual must have the ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment and navigate challenging systems. Multi-tasking, customer service, and ability to navigate online research in a fast-paced environment are required. Fluency in English and Spanish required.

CWS seeks a motivated, flexible, service- and advocacy-driven individual to serve as a Call Center specialist. Technical, coordination, and interpersonal skill sets are required. Fluency in English and Spanish required. This individual must have the ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment and navigate challenging systems. Multi-tasking, customer service, and ability to navigate online research in a fast-paced environment are required.

CWS seeks applicants for the Monitoring and Evaluation coordinator position, with the primary role to manage the implementation of monitoring, evaluation, and research for these services. Strong technical skills are required. This individual must have the ability to work independently while coordinating regularly with a broader team remotely. Experience designing and implementing M&E systems is required.

Find out more and apply at

Registration for FaithX (formerly the Workcamp Ministry) closed yesterday, April 15. Final calculations for group size discounts will be completed and a notice of the remaining balance will be sent to registrants by April 20. The total balance of the registration fee is due May 3 along with required registrant forms. If you still want to register for a FaithX experience, please reach out to the FaithX Office as soon as possible. Visit for more information regarding 2021 FaithX this year. Contact the FaithX Office at or 847-429-4386 for questions or for more information.

— The leadership of the Church of the Brethren in Venezuela has been carrying out evangelistic outreach to various communities living in the southern part of the country. This “Orinoco project” is taking place along smaller tributaries of this large river that cuts right through the middle of the country. Donations from Brethren in the United States have helped provide the sound system, generator, boat, and life preservers for the project.

Newsline is the email news service of the Church of the Brethren. Inclusion in Newsline does not necessarily convey endorsement by the Church of the Brethren. All submissions are subject to editing. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. Contributors to this issue include Jeff Boshart, Erika Clary, Stan Dueck, Roger and Kathy Edmark, Jan Fischer Bachman, Sharon Billings Franzén, Jonathan Graham, Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, Alton Hipps, Rachel Kelley, Pauline Liu, Laura Mercer, Eric Miller, Jay H. Steele, Emily Tyler, Roy Winter, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren. Please send news tips and submissions to . Find the Newsline archive at . Sign up for Newsline and other Church of the Brethren email newsletters, make subscription changes, or unsubscribe at .

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