Newsline for Dec. 4, 2021

NEWS
1) Ministry Summer Service: Seeking clarity for the needs of young adults and the church

2) ‘We need you!’: Continuing nominations are welcome

3) Brethren Press Advent devotional breaks sales records

4) EDF grants fund Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding site in North Carolina, aid for displaced Syrians, Yemen war relief

5) Brethren Faith in Action Fund gives grants to three congregations

6) Seeking racial justice: Seminary continues a multifaceted effort

PERSONNEL
7) Jen Jensen hired as Thriving in Ministry program manager

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

UPCOMING EVENTS
8) Book study on ‘Flourishing in Ministry’

9) Webinar will offer panel on US-China relations

JESUS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: STORIES FROM CONGREGATIONS
10) York Center book study discusses plight of refugees and immigrants

FEATURE
11) Curious about the new Forerunners faces

12) Brethren bits: National Youth Conference registration opens, Brethren Volunteer Service Christmas list and Winter orientation, study guide for Tod Bolsinger’s plenary at Annual Conference, Nigerian Brethren dedicate annual theme and devotional for 2022, personnel, more



Quote of the week:

“When the Bible speaks of wilderness, it’s not referring simply to a lack of distraction, but rather a place of desolation. Biblical wilderness is barren and inhospitable. It’s often a place of reckoning. It’s not a place we go by choice. And yet, it’s in this very place where we might least expect that God shows up and speaks words of comfort.”

Angela Finet in the devotion for Dec. 1 from the Brethren Press Advent devotional Do Not Be Afraid.



A note to readers: As many congregations return to in-person worship, we want to update our listing of Churches of the Brethren at www.brethren.org/news/2020/church-of-the-brethren-congregations-worship-online.html.

*Spanish/bilingual; **Haitian Kreyol/bilingual; ***Arabic/bilingual

*español/bilingüe, **kreyol haitiano/bilingüe, ***عربي / ثنائي اللغة

Please send new information to cobnews@brethren.org.


Lifting up Brethren who are active in health care: www.brethren.org/news/2020/brethren-active-in-health-care.html

Add a person to the list by sending first name, county, and state to cobnews@brethren.org.



1) Ministry Summer Service: Seeking clarity for the needs of young adults and the church

By Becky Ullom Naugle

In 1996, Ministry Summer Service began as a collaborative effort between the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Ministry and Youth and Young Adult Ministry to encourage young adults to consider God’s call on their vocation. The program would provide an insider glimpse into a variety of set-aside ministry roles, from pastoral ministry to being a district executive or a camp administrator.

In exchange for 10 weeks of service to the church, Ministry Summer Service interns received a college scholarship in addition to food and lodging costs for the summer. In the 25 years since the program began, it has provided this leadership and spiritual development opportunity to 258 young adults and around 175 mentors and/or placement sites across the Church of the Brethren, deeply enriching the lives of individuals, communities, and the denomination.

The Ministry Summer Service interns from 2019.

Yet, the lives of young adults and the realities of ministries are not the same as they were 25 years ago. Few college students graduate with an intent to study at seminary the following fall. Instead, pursuing ministry seems to be happening later in life, perhaps even as a second career in the second half of life. While many congregations would like to hire a fulltime pastor, many do not. There also has been “position attrition” in other types of ministry settings.

As these trends deepen, interest in Ministry Summer Service has diminished. In 2020, MSS was held online due to the COVID pandemic. In 2021, as the pandemic continued and MSS applications declined further, the program took a sabbath rest. Facing a third summer of pandemic-affected program, as well as the long-term trends, 2022 will provide a chance to listen. Instead of moving ahead with the program or taking another sabbath, the future of the program will be intentionally considered.

What do young adults need and want as they seek vocational discernment? What do congregations and other ministry settings want in terms of development opportunities for young leaders? How can the Youth and Young Adult Ministry and the Office of Ministry support both groups in their related, yet not always equivalent, needs?

In the spring months of 2022, a small group of MSS “stakeholders” will be identified to participate in a “think tank” process. In the summer and fall months of 2022, the group will gather to brainstorm, ask questions, and listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit rather than to make specific plans. In early 2023, the Youth and Young Adult Ministry office hopes to communicate broadly with young adults, potential mentors, and the denomination about next steps for nurturing young adult vocational reflection and faith-based leadership development.

If you have interest in this conversation, please be in touch with Becky Ullom Naugle, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, by email to bullomnaugle@brethren.org.

Becky Ullom Naugle is director of the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Find out more about Ministry Summer Service at www.brethren.org/yya/mss.



2) ‘We need you!’: Continuing nominations are welcome

By Kim McDowell

The deadline for nominations for the Annual Conference ballot has been extended until Jan. 1, 2022. The Church of the Brethren denomination and its agencies depend on leaders elected at Annual Conference from nominees proposed by the wider church. We need you!

Have you made a nomination? Thanks to all who have submitted nominations! We have received excellent nominations but additional names are needed. Look at the open offices at www.brethren.org/ac/nominations and consider the gifted people you know in the church. Then fill out the simple online form to nominate someone.

Have you nominated someone but not yet told them you did? Call or contact anyone you’ve nominated to let them know why you thought about them. Encourage them to take the next step. They can agree to be in the pool of candidates considered for the ballot by filling out the information form on the Annual Conference site and submitting it to the Conference office.

Have you been nominated and not yet accepted the call to be considered? If, after prayer and discernment, you’re open to a possible call to serve, please fill out the information form and return it. This serves as your acceptance to being on the list of those who will be considered for the ballot next summer. Without it, your name won’t be included in the Nominating Committee process.

Have you had interest and a sense of call to serve in one of the roles that are open? Talk to someone who knows you and test that sense. If affirmed, ask that person or another to nominate you!

The offices of Annual Conference moderator-elect and secretary are just two of those for which nominations are being received. To find out more about the nominations process and to make nominations go to www.brethren.org/ac/nominations.

We are seeking a range of candidates who represent the breadth of the church. We pay attention to the “Call for Accountability” paper in representation, seeking to include diversity in age, race/ethnicity, gender, and theology.

The process of elections holds layers of discernment. The Nominating Committee, meeting in January, will engage in prayerful discussion of the names of all those who have agreed to be considered, and will narrow the list of nominees to four per office. The full Standing Committee narrows it further to two names which will be on the Conference ballot. The Annual Conference will elect those who will finally serve.

The Annual Conference office will receive nominations until Jan. 1, 2022. Thanks for the role you may play in this process!

Kim McDowell is chair of the Nominating Committee of the Standing Committee of district delegates to the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. To find out more about the nominations process and to make nominations go to www.brethren.org/ac/nominations.



3) Brethren Press Advent devotional breaks sales records

The 2021 Advent devotional from Brethren Press, Do Not Be Afraid by Angela Finet, has broken previous sales records for the devotional booklets. More than 7,000 copies of the devotional have gone out so far this Advent season, including copies in regular and large print, and as digital downloads. The regular print size has sold out but the large print version and digital download are still available at www.brethrenpress.com.

Brethren Press has been offering the seasonal devotionals for almost 20 years. The first devotional for Advent 2002 was published as preparation for Fresh from the Word, a devotional book for the 300th anniversary of the Church of the Brethren, said publisher Wendy McFadden. “The intention was to whet people’s appetites for a devotional resource. The response to the seasonal devotionals was so positive that the publishing house decided to continue the series through the anniversary year and ever since.”

Now, Brethren Press publishes a devotional for Advent and Lent every year. Sales of the seasonal devotionals have been growing in recent years: from 2019 to 2021, the unit sales have grown by 13 percent. More than 400 churches and individuals participate in a subscription program to receive the devotionals at a discounted price.

“We have heard from a few accounts that the seasonal devotional program was an opportunity to reach out and connect with congregants during the pandemic,” said Jeff Lennard, Brethren Press’s director of marketing and sales. “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and that has led to increased order numbers. It is one publishing project that has thrived in the midst of the pandemic.”



4) EDF grants fund Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding site in North Carolina, aid for displaced Syrians, Yemen war relief

Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed grants from the Church of the Brethren Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to a rebuilding project site in Pamlico County, N.C.; Syrians displaced by civil war; and people displaced by the war in Yemen. To support these grants financially, give online at https://churchofthebrethren.givingfuel.com/bdm.

North Carolina

An allocation of $52,000 funds the remainder of Brethren Disaster Ministries’ Hurricane Florence rebuilding project in Pamlico County, aiding people affected by the 2018 hurricane.

In August 2020, Brethren Disaster Ministries moved this rebuilding project from Robeson County to Pamlico County, where Pamlico County Disaster Relief Coalition (PCDRC) has been a main work partner. Brethren Disaster Ministries volunteers and project managers worked at the project almost every week from September 2020 through May 2021. From September 2020 through April 2021, 193 volunteers served more than 14,950 hours to help 25 families. Plans were then made to return this fall to continue support for the area from November 2021 to April 2022.

A Brethren Disaster Ministries volunteer at work on a rebuilding project site. Photo by Craig Thompson

Brethren Disaster Ministries staff are in close communication with all partners on the site and is monitoring guidance from the CDC and local officials to determine the safety of each weekly group scheduled to travel. Many COVID-19 protocols have been established and documented for leaders and volunteers to follow onsite.

This grant will serve qualified hurricane survivors with repair and rebuilding assistance they might not receive otherwise. The funding will be used for tools, equipment, volunteer housing, volunteer meals, and leadership.

Lebanon and Syria

An allocation of $30,000 supports the Lebanese Society for Education and Social Development’s winter weather aid projects for displaced Syrians.

The Syrian civil war started with protest and major unrest in March of 2011. Ten years later, while the war has ended and there is increased stability in the country, much of the infrastructure is destroyed and most Syrians live in hardship due to dire economic conditions and lack of access to food. There are close to 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, causing heavy economic, environmental, and social tolls in that country as well.

The project goal in Syria is to support 7,500 vulnerable families–about 37,500 individuals–through the provision of winter clothing, blankets, and electric heaters. In Lebanon, the goal is to support 5,000 vulnerable Syrian refugee families–about 22,500 individuals–with blankets, mattresses, carpets, jackets, and emergency lights. Heating stoves and fuel will also be provided, if possible, alongside ongoing food distribution programs.

Yemen

An allocation of $5,000 supports the air shipment of hygiene kits from the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., to displaced people in Yemen. The shipment is made in partnership with Corus, the new umbrella organization for merged programs of Lutheran World Relief and IMA World Health.

More than four years of fighting in Yemen has left more than two thirds of the population–24.1 million people–in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Yemen has become the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.

Corus is working in Yemen to reduce food insecurity and provide safe access to drinking water for displaced people and host communities. The food security program is providing a mix of direct food assistance and cash microgrants. Corus also is promoting good hygiene practices by distributing personal care hygiene kits and conducting behavior change campaigns. A total of 3,000 hygiene kits will be shipped with a budget of $25,000 as part of the broader Corus response in Yemen.

To support these grants financially, give online at https://churchofthebrethren.givingfuel.com/bdm.



5) Brethren Faith in Action Fund gives grants to three congregations

The Brethren Faith in Action Fund has given its most recent grants to three congregations: Ellisforde, Lorida, and East Dayton. The fund gives grants to Church of the Brethren congregations and camps in the US and Puerto Rico, using money generated by the sale of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The eligibility of camps to apply for grants concludes at the end of 2021. Find out more at www.brethren.org/faith-in-action.

Ellisforde (Wash.) Church of the Brethren received $763.72 to purchase audio/video and computer equipment to upgrade the congregation’s technology to offer online worship. Ellisforde was granted a waiver of the matching funds requirement due to financial constraints related to the pandemic.

Lorida (Fla.) Iglesia de los Hermanos, a new church plant of Atlantic Southeast District, received $4,697.17 for its outreach and worship ministries. The church launched on Aug. 15 as a Hispanic ministry based out of Lorida Church of the Brethren. A waiver of the matching funds requirement was granted.

East Dayton (Ohio) Fellowship has received $5,000 for signage to promote outreach ministries. The church–a merger between Shepherd’s Table, a 2012 Brethren in Christ church plant, and East Dayton Church of the Brethren–is in a low-income neighborhood where many neighbors have little or no reliable access to the Internet and are often unaware of the fellowship’s outreach publicized through social media. As a result, the church is promoting its outreach by posting large banners in the church yard.

Apply for grants at www.brethren.org/faith-in-action.



6) Seeking racial justice: Seminary continues a multifaceted effort

A release from Bethany Theological Seminary

Bethany Theological Seminary is continuing its multifaceted efforts to pursue racial justice. The foundation of this work is a framework created in 2019, which was designed to intentionally confront racial hierarchy, implicit bias, and systemic racism. This approach grew out of the seminary’s Strategic Vision Implementation Plan goal “to promote cultural, racial, and theological diversity throughout the institution.”

This goal has prompted formal reviews of policies, human resources, hiring practices, and curriculum. The seminary has sought the council of outside experts to review current approaches and devise improved guidelines in each of these areas.

“Bethany is involving our entire community in our effort to combat racism and seek a more just world,” notes president Jeff Carter. “We are examining and transforming our current practices, engaging in the sacred work of racial justice and peacemaking, and embracing God’s prophetic call to confront the evils of racism. This work connects on an elemental level with our mission: we seek to educate a generation of leaders who are equipped to listen to the needs of the world and to confront their own biases. What could be more essential at this moment of division and strife?”

Bethany’s Board of Trustees has issued the following statement in support of the seminary’s anti-racism efforts:

“As Children of God, we join with others to pursue the path of righteousness in the midst of social turmoil. We humbly and fully commit ourselves as members of the Bethany Theological Seminary Board of Trustees to stand against all forms of racism, discrimination, bias, privilege, abusive power, colonialism, and racial hierarchy. We recognize these insidious elements are pervasive on individual, interpersonal, institutional, and systemic levels. We also grieve the ugly and harmful mental, physical, spiritual, educational, social, economic, ecological, and societal effects these foundations impose upon our human family.

“To this end, we are dedicated to eliminating all such structures in this Seminary and working to uphold justice, equity, diversity, interconnectedness, and accessibility. In doing so, we fully acknowledge and accept that this journey will require us as individuals and as a collective Board to be faithfully and consistently committed to seeking God’s will in the ways and spirit of Jesus, Our Lord and Savior. We also understand that our work will be challenging, uncomfortable, and painful but, in doing so, remain resolved that all facets of our Bethany learning community—including this Board–will become transformed into new and greater instruments through our efforts to fulfill the Seminary’s mission so that the world flourishes. It is in this spirit that we call upon our entire Bethany family to join us as we, together, strive to address this vital charge.

“It is our hope and prayer for God to act in and through us as we intentionally work to fulfill this important and necessary calling. With humble hearts, may we always be reminded that sincere dedication to hope, continued learning, self-examination, and evaluation will be integral to our efforts, and that there is no ending to this journey. And, with Jesus as our example and inspiration, may our efforts as a Board contribute in positive ways that bring about a new and beloved community at Bethany Theological Seminary.”

The seminary received a $50,000 grant through the Lilly Endowment’s Pathways for Tomorrow initiative. This funding allowed Bethany to engage with external consultants and conversation partners with a goal of making structural changes that will bolster the racial justice goals.

In addition, Bethany is enthusiastically pursuing new partnerships with the University of La Verne in California, New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Jersey, and Reid Temple AME Church inn Washington, D.C., to create new opportunities for a more diverse group of students to study together, and to share institutional resources and expertise. The seminary remains committed to providing students with more opportunities to step out of their comfort zones and form relationships with individuals with backgrounds and perspectives different from their own.

“These new initiatives come in response to a need expressed by current students to help our predominantly rural and white student body to learn from interactions with, and forge connections to, diverse communities,” says Carter. “This will ultimately strengthen the educational experience we offer to students–so that the world flourishes.”

Jonathan Graham is director of marketing and communications for Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind.



PERSONNEL

7) Jen Jensen hired as Thriving in Ministry program manager

Jen Jensen has been hired by the Church of the Brethren as the Thriving in Ministry program manager in the Office of Ministry, to start Dec. 13. Her work will include the Part‐time Pastor; Full‐time Church program.

Most recently she has been manager of Volunteer Services for Kindred Hospice of McPherson, Kan. Previously, she was director of Spiritual Life and Service for McPherson College for five years.

Jensen has been involved in youth and young adult ministry in a variety of settings in the Church of the Brethren, and will continue her current role as one of the youth co-coordinators for Western Plains District. Next year, she will coordinate senior high youth activities at the 2022 Annual Conference in Omaha, Neb., and will direct the senior high youth camp at Camp Mount Hermon in Tonganoxie, Kan., where she serves on the board.

She is a member of Monitor Church of the Brethren but during the pandemic has been worshiping with Buckeye Church of the Brethren in Abilene, Kan. She has provided pulpit supply throughout Western Plains District and at congregations of other denominations in the McPherson area.

Jensen is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and will complete a master of divinity degree from Bethany Theological Seminary in May 2022.



UPCOMING EVENTS

8) Book study on ‘Flourishing in Ministry’

The Part-time Pastor; Full-time Church program of the Church of the Brethren Office of Ministry 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.

As inspiring as the Advent Season is, it can also be a reminder of the challenges faced by many pastors. While congregational members enter a time of celebration and expectation, pastors may be stretched thin, finding it difficult to attend to their own spiritual and physical health.

If the idea of thriving in ministry seems like a distant hope, John Fillmore, a “Circuit Rider” for the Part-Time Pastor/Full-Time Church program, is inviting pastors to join in this book discussion centered on Bloom’s research contained in his book. Bloom is the principal researcher for the Flourishing in Ministry project and the Faith and Flourishing at Work project.

Fillmore will lead weekly conversations for reflection, discussion, and mutual support to explore the principles Bloom outlines in his book. In cooperation with the Brethren Academy for Ministerial leadership, continuing education credit will be offered. Register at www.brethren.org/webcasts.

John Fillmore and Nancy Sollenberger Heishman contributed to this report.



9) Webinar will offer panel on US-China relations

A webinar titled “US-China Relations: Reconstructing the Escalating US-China Relations Through Peacebuilding” is sponsored by the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy. The online event is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 6:30 p.m. (Eastern time).

“The relationship between the US and China continues to escalate, and the two ‘great powers’ are now entering an era of extreme competition,” said an announcement of the webinar. “The strained geopolitical relationship between the two has resulted in back-and forth-social, political, and economical retaliations. The economic warfare between the two nations, through novel trade policies, continues to not only impact the major economies, but also individual communities. How has the brokenness impacted different communities? What will reframing and reconciliation at different levels look like?”

The speakers are Gao Qing, executive director at the Confucius Institute US Center, and Eric Miller, co-executive director of Global Mission for the Church of the Brethren, with Rachelle Swe of the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy as moderator.

Qing leads the Confucius Institute US Center that mainly focuses on Chinese language and intercultural education. He holds a master’s degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and a doctoral degree in Higher Education, both from George Mason University.

Miller has served with Global Missions in Pinding, Shanxi Province, China. He holds a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh and a certificate in Asian Studies from John’s Hopkins-Nanjing University Center in China.

Register to attend the webinar at https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_lhtMeHubR3G2zT9eu7Qy0A.



JESUS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: STORIES FROM CONGREGATIONS

10) York Center book study discusses plight of refugees and immigrants

By Christy Waltersdorff

Several folks from the York Center congregation attended the online National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) in September. They were quite interested in Karen González’s keynote presentation and panel discussion, so they decided to study her book, The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong.

The book study sessions were facilitated by pastor Christy Waltersdorff and Marty Creager. They discussed the biblical stories of people who were displaced, those who were welcomed to their new homes, and those who were not welcomed.

The conversation led the group to talk about the plight of refugees and immigrants in our world today. The participants want to have further conversations about what our congregation can to do assist people in need, possibly by supporting an immigrant family.

— Christy Waltersdorff is pastor of York Center Church of the Brethren in Lombard, Ill., and was coordinator for this year’s National Older Adult Conference.

A screenshot of the York Center book study group.


FEATURE

11) Curious about the new Forerunners faces

By Susan Mack-Overla

Brethren Press’ Forerunners card game has me curious about the new faces that were added in the second edition. One of the new faces is a Northern Plains woman, Julia Gilbert (1844-1934). Marlene Moats Neher of Ivester, Iowa, is a great-grand niece of Julia.

“Persistent” is one of the attributes noted on her cards. In reading more about Julia Gilbert and her story of bringing about change for women in the church, I would say persistence is an understatement.

Copyright Brethren Press

As I started to read, the following quote stood out: “Julia was baptized at the age of 14. That’s when the trouble started. Of course, this depends on your perspective.” Source: Church of the Brethren: Yesterday and Today, edited by Donald F Durnbaugh, 1986.

The privilege of breaking bread and passing the cup of communion was denied to women in the early church. The Annual Conference queries questioning this practice began in 1899 and they were being authored in Grundy County, Iowa, by Julia. She became known as “The Woman Who Wanted to Break Bread.” Decades of denominational study, reports, speeches, and criticism followed, along with courage and persistence. It wasn’t until the 1958 Annual Conference held in Des Moines, Iowa, 24 years after Julia’s passing, that women would gain “full and unrestricted rights in the ministry.”

The question of the role of women in the Church of the Brethren continued after the 1958 statement with another query from the Ivester Church in 1975. Northern Plains District and the denomination benefits from the leadership and persistence of its women.

Long live persistence and courage.

Susan Mack-Overla is the Northern Plains District moderator for 2022. This piece was first published by the district newsletter as a “Moderator Moment.”



12) Brethren bits

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) is inviting church members and congregations to send Christmas cards to the current BVS volunteers. “Our volunteers love receiving cards and greetings from supporters and congregations!” said the invitation. The address list for the 10 current BVSers is available from the BVS staff. Contact bvs@brethren.org.

“It’s not too late to apply for the next BVS orientation, which will be held Jan. 18 to Feb. 4 at Camp Bethel in Fincastle, Va.,” said another announcement from Brethren Volunteer Service. “If you or someone you know is interested, please see our website for more information on the application process, as well as available projects.” Go to www.brethren.org/bvs.

Registration is now open for National Youth Conference 2022. Those who register in December will receive a free t-shirt. Every four years, Church of the Brethren youth travel to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., for a week-long summer conference that includes worship, small groups, workshops, service projects, recreation, hiking in the Rocky Mountains, and more. Youth who have completed 9th grade through one year of college (or age equivalent) and their adult advisors are eligible to attend. Registration costs $550 for all meals, lodging, and programing. A deposit of $225 is due within two weeks of registration. Register at www.brethren.org/nyc/registration.

The Annual Conference is sharing a study and discussion guide for Tod Bolsinger’s plenary session on “Doing Church in Uncharted Territory,” which was featured at this summer’s Conference. Find it at www.brethren.org/ac/resources where the video of the plenary session also is available. The study and discussion guide was made available by past moderator Paul Mundey.

President of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), Joel S. Billi, has dedicated the theme and devotional materials for next year 2022, at the EYN Headquarters in Kwarhi in Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa State.

The EYN theme for 2022 is “Attaining to the Whole Measures of the Fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13) or in the Hausa language, “Kai Ga Matsayin Nan Na Falalar Almasihu.” The devotional books are “Daily Link with God” or “Saduwa da Allah Kullayaumin” and a Bible study guide or “Jagorar Nazarin Littafi Mai Tsarki.”

Reported EYN head of media Zakariya Musa: “Speaking during the dedication on Nov. 15, Billi applauded the EYN Resource Persons Committee under the chairmanship of former general secretary Y. Y. Balami, for making the materials ready in November. It is the first time we are making available our devotional material for the approaching year. He therefore charged members to patronize the materials and to avoid dumping them, warning that many pastors dumps our publications at the detriment of spiritual growth of members. The secretary of the committee, Daniel I. Yumuna, thanked God for his helping hands and the EYN leadership for their continued support towards the development targeted at strengthening the spiritual capacity of the entire congregation.”

Julia Allen began Nov. 2 as administrative assistant for Institutional Advancement at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. She has a background as an office manager as well as an entrepreneur. Among her duties will be to maintain the database, create mailing lists, and answer telephone calls from seminary alumni.

Carolyn Jones has retired as office manager for Southern Pennsylvania District, effective Dec. 2. The new district office manager will be Amy Weaver. The district contact information will remain the same.

Juniata College, a Church of the Brethren-related school in Huntingdon, Pa., was represented at the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference by Dennis Plane, professor of Politics; Matthew Powell, professor of Geology; Saraly Gonzalez, class of 2022; and Kali Pupo, class of 2022. The group travele to Glasgow, Scotland, to observe the negotiations. Find a full release at www.juniata.edu/about/news/archive.php?action=SHOWARTICLE&id=7008.

Juniata College has honored four alumni with awards: Carol Eichelberger Van Horn (’79) who earned the Alumni Achievement Award; Jeremy Weber (’05) who was awarded the Young Alumni Achievement Award; Harold Yocum (’64) who received the William E. Swigart Alumni Humanitarian Award; and Craig Eisenhart (’70) who was honored with the Harold B. Brumbaugh Alumni Service Award. Find out more at www.juniata.edu/about/news/archive.php?action=SHOWARTICLE&id=7004.

Brethren Disaster Ministries and Children’s Disaster Services are the focus of the December episode of the television show Brethren Voices, produced by Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren. The two Church of the Brethren ministries are “Alternative Gift Giving Suggestions” for viewers “who already have all the stuff they need,” said an announcement from producer Ed Groff. “We recommend a financial gift to Brethren Disaster Ministries to help families rebuild following disasters. Our host, Brent Carlson, one of Santa’s helpers, is seen getting psyched up to share the message about BDM and CDS. Mike Stern, a regular at the Brethren Song and Story Fest, provides the theme music, ‘Higher Ground,’ setting the tone for the whole program.” View at www.youtube.com/brethrenvoices.

“We invite you to receive your CPT Advent Calendar!” said an announcement from Christian Peacemaker Teams. “Each day, from 1 December to 25 December, you will have the opportunity to open a new door and meet a CPT Peacemaker of Christmas. From quotes, to reflections, to fun and interesting videos–each day will bring a different activity so don’t miss out!” Open the English calendar at https://cptaction.org/advent. Abre el Calendario en Español: https://cptaction.org/adviento.


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 Shamek Cardona, Erika Clary, Stan Dueck, John Fillmore, Jonathan Graham, Ed Groff, Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, Nathan Hosler, Jennifer K. Jensen, Jeff Lennard, Susan Mack-Overla, Kim McDowell, Wendy McFadden, Nancy Miner, Zakariya Musa, Becky Ullom Naugle, Mishael Nouveau, Rhonda Pittman Gingrich, Rachelle Swe, Emily Tyler, Christy Waltersdorff, Roy Winter, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren. Please send news tips and submissions to cobnews@brethren.org . Find the Newsline archive at www.brethren.org/news . Sign up for Newsline and other Church of the Brethren email newsletters and make subscription changes at www.brethren.org/intouch . Unsubscribe by using the link at the top of any Newsline email.


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