Newsline for June 11, 2021

NEWS
1) Disaster grants help families displaced by eruption of Mt. Nyiragongo, survivors of Hurricanes Iota and Eta in Honduras

2) Two camps and a congregation receive grants from the Brethren Faith in Action Fund

UPCOMING EVENTS
3) Annual Conference registration is still open

4) ‘How to do Annual Conference online’ trainings are offered

5) Brethren bits: Prayer for Annual Conference, remembering Kenneth Frantz, young adult Zoom call, “The Fire This Time” from Christianity Today, news from congregations and districts, and more



Quotes of the week

Three Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) workers share their hopes for the future in the Summer 2021 issue of the BVS newsletter The Volunteer:

“My hope for the future is a world where we can use our unique gifts together to serve our communities with love…. I hope that we can realize how exceptionally important each of our lives are.” –Evan Ulrich, Unit 325

“I find myself hoping for after times, ones where all the struggle and uncertainty of the last year have taught us to be a little kinder to each other.” –Amanda Orndorff, Unit 324

“I know I am being equipped for whatever position God will put me in to do His will in the future. I look forward to it even though I do not know what the future has in store for me.” –Eric Joloka, Unit 325

Find a link to read the full newsletter at www.brethren.org/bvs/updates.



A note to readers: As many congregations return to in-person worship, we want to update our online listing of worship at Churches of the Brethren across the country. If your church’s entry at www.brethren.org/news/2020/church-of-the-brethren-congregations-worship-online.html needs to be updated, please send the new information to cobnews@brethren.org.



Landing page of Church of the Brethren COVID 19 related resources and information: www.brethren.org/covid19

Church of the Brethren congregations offer a variety of worship opportunities in English and other languages: 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

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

Send information about your congregation’s worship services to cobnews@brethren.org.

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



1) Disaster grants help families displaced by eruption of Mt. Nyiragongo, survivors of Hurricanes Iota and Eta in Honduras

Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed a grant of $15,000 from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to the Rwanda Church of the Brethren. The grant will be used to help families who have been displaced by the eruption of the Mount Nyiragongo volcano on May 22 and the ensuing weeks of earthquakes and tremors. Although the volcano is in the area of Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), it also affected the area of Gisenyi across the border in Rwanda.

In related news, an EDF grant of $20,000–representing a donation from the Meat Canning Committee of the Church of the Brethren districts of Southern Pennsylvania and Mid-Atlantic–has been given to Proyecto Aldea Global (PAG) in Honduras for a chicken-raising project to aid survivors of Hurricanes Iota and Eta.

Photos of a food aid distribution to families displaced by the volcano in Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Church of the Brethren in Goma organized the event with help from an EDF grant of $5,000. Photos are courtesy of Faraja Dieudonné

Rwanda

The Rwanda church is assisting Congolese families displaced by the eruption who are sheltering in Rwanda and Rwandan families with homes damaged by the earthquakes.

The eruption has caused havoc for families in Goma, Gisenyi, and many villages on the northern end of lake Kivu, said the grant request. “The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported at least 32 deaths, thousands of homes destroyed, and hundreds of unaccompanied children in temporary care centers. An evacuation order for parts of Goma, along with the fear of an additional eruption, caused a reported 416,000 thousand to flee to areas west and south of Goma or across the border to Rwanda…. The UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) reports around 8,000 people from Goma fled to Rwanda seeking safety shelter and assistance. While some have returned to the DRC, there are still many families needing aid.”

There are four congregations of the Rwandan Brethren in the area where displaced families have fled: Gisenyi, Mudende, Gasiza, and Humure. Grant funds will help the churches provide food and supplies to 270 families, including rice, beans, maize flour, soap, and a plastic tarp for shelter.

Honduras

The Meat Canning Committee works each year to can chicken for distribution in the US and to an international partner. Due to the pandemic, the meat canning was canceled in 2020. This year, the committee decided to raise funds and purchase canned meat to distribute, asking Brethren Disaster Ministries to help identify an international partner. Rather than shipping purchased canned chicken, the committee decided to support a chicken-raising program in Honduras for families affected by the 2020 hurricanes. The committee sent a check of $20,000 for this project to the Emergency Disaster Fund.

PAG has been a recipient of canned chicken in past years. This year, PAG proposed a project to distribute live chickens to 25 families, help build pens, provide education and a program to share chicks with recipients’ neighbors, with the goal of helping another 25 families when the gift is passed on. Each family will be supplied with the materials and help to build a chicken coop; will be provided with young laying hens and a rooster along with bags of feed; and will receive education on feeding, producing their own feed, and caring for and treating any illnesses of the chickens. PAG staff will continue to work with the families and help them grow a flock to pass on to a neighbor.

To give financial support to these grants, donate at https://churchofthebrethren.givingfuel.com/bdm.



2) Two camps and a congregation receive grants from the Brethren Faith in Action Fund

The Brethren Faith in Action Fund (BFIA) has announced grants to the Church in Drive in the Church of the Brethren’s Michigan District, to Camp Mount Hermon in Western Plains District, and to Camp Pine Lake in Northern Plains District. The fund gives grants to Church of the Brethren congregations and camps using money generated by the sale of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.

A grant of $5,000 has been given to the Church in Drive for tech equipment to expand its virtual ministries. The Church in Drive moved online like many other churches during the pandemic. Going forward, it intends to be a hybrid congregation, integrating those joining at a distance and improving the sense of connection between those in-person and online. A hybrid model is an integral part of The Church in Drive’s strategy to plant new college ministries (and from them, new churches) across Michigan. Grant funds will support the purchase of updated audio visual equipment and a CCLI license. The church requested and received a waiver of the matching fund requirement.

A grant of $4,560 has been given to Camp Mount Hermon to cover the cost of supplies, equipment, and medical care to open camp in 2021. The camp is re-opening to in-person groups this summer by having the necessary COVID-19 supplies to maintain a safe environment and developing a protocol for the daily running of the camp. Grant funds will help purchase window exhaust fans and HEPA air purifiers for the cabins, PPE equipment, sanitizing and cleaning supplies, disposable food serving supplies, and a nurse stipend. The camp requested and is receiving a waiver of the matching fund requirement.

A grant of $2,250 has been given to Camp Pine Lake to fund a children’s day camp for kindergarten through fifth grade. This camp is a free outreach ministry to the local community, nurturing the faith of the children who attend, offering summer staff an opportunity to hone their leadership skills, and inviting the children who participate to also participate in other summer camp programs. The goal is to register 30 campers for the week. The Inside-Out camp curriculum, “Creation Speaks,” will be used.

Find out more about the BFIA and how to apply for grants at www.brethren.org/faith-in-action.



UPCOMING EVENTS

3) Annual Conference registration is still open

From the Annual Conference office

All Church of the Brethren members are encouraged to register and participate in the online Annual Conference. Dates are June 30-July 4. Registration and detailed information about the Conference schedule and events are at www.brethren.org/ac2021.

If you’ve ever thought about attending Annual Conference, but didn’t want to incur the expense of traveling, this is your year to participate online! Worship is free to all, but to participate in business sessions, insight sessions (43 workshops), networking groups (44 different interest areas), and the two concerts, you need to be registered. The cost for nondelegates was reduced, just for this year, from $125 to only $99 for the entire Conference.

Registering now is encouraged so that the Annual Conference office can get information to you (including your password to get online). After June 16, we cannot guarantee that you will receive a Conference book if you order a printed version.

Registering is especially important for pastors who can receive continuing education credit for participating in insight sessions (both live and recorded).

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

Standing Committee

The Standing Committee of the district delegates to Annual Conference will meet via Zoom webinar this year. The opening session on Sunday evening, June 27, will be closed to allow for personal sharing among the district delegates. The Standing Committee sessions on Monday through Wednesday, June 28-30, will be open for those who request the link. To receive the link, please email annualconference@brethren.org.

Pray for Annual Conference

People are needed to sign up to participate in praying for Annual Conference between Wednesday, June 30, and Sunday, July 4. Could you sign up for a morning, an afternoon, or an evening? Go to www.signupgenius.com/go/8050d49aea62fa3ff2-2020 to find a webpage where you can choose a portion of a day to hold Annual Conference in prayer.



4) ‘How to do Annual Conference online’ trainings are offered

The Annual Conference organizers are offering training sessions about how to participate in this year’s virtual Conference. The 2021 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference will take place online from June 30 to July 4. The training events also will be online, offered via Zoom at seven different times over the next couple of weeks.

The trainings are available free to all interested people including delegates and anyone else who wishes to attend the Conference in full or in part. The Zoom sessions will be hosted by Tim Harvey and Carol Elmore of Oak Grove Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va. Harvey is a pastor and a former moderator of Annual Conference. Elmore is a pastor and one of the members of the Annual Conference Program and Arrangements Committee.

Dates and times of the training sessions (all times are given in Eastern time):
Wednesday, June 16, 2 p.m.
Thursday, June 17, 11 a.m.
Monday, June 21, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, June 22, 4 p.m.
Thursday, June 24, 2 p.m.
Saturday, June 26, 12 noon
Saturday, June 26, 4 p.m.

For the links to the training sessions, go to www.brethren.org/ac2021.



5) Brethren bits

Remembrance: Kenneth Frantz, 97, who served on the former General Board of the Church of the Brethren, died on May 29 at Timbercrest Senior Living Community, a church-related retirement community in North Manchester, Ind. He was born in Beatrice, Neb., on Oct. 1, 1923. The family moved to North Manchester in 1938, when he was 15, to escape the drought and dustbowl in Nebraska and to be close to Manchester College, now Manchester University. He attended Manchester and Bethany Theological Seminary, and in 1944 accepted a call to ministry from Manchester Church of the Brethren. During college, he met Miriam Horning and they were married in 1945. The wedding had to be postponed because he became a “Seagoing Cowboy” with the Church of the Brethren’s Heifer Project and helped deliver horses to people in Greece in the aftermath of World War II. In the summer of 1948, the couple also participated in a workcamp in Heilbronn, Germany, helping to rebuild after the war. His pastoral career included pastorates in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Iowa. His final pastorate was in Naperville, Ill., where he later worked for eight years in the Development Department of Bethany Seminary. He also served the denomination as a district moderator, chair of district and regional boards, a member of the Standing Committee of district delegates to Annual Conference, and on the denomination’s General Board. His work for peace included a 1969 peace seminar in Geneva, Switzerland, and participation in the Church of the Brethren delegation that met with people from the Russian Orthodox Church at the height of the Cold War. His wife, Miriam, passed away in 1990. He married Barbara Gray in 1992. She passed away in 1999. He was a member of Manchester Church of the Brethren, but also spent the past 30 winters in Sebring, Fla. He is survived by daughter Ruth Ann Bever, sons David and Michael, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. His body was donated to I.U. School of Medicine. Memorial gifts are received to the O. C. and Flora Frantz Scholarship Fund at Manchester University, in memory of his parents.

“Churches, will you pray?” asks an invitation from Carol Elmore, a member of the Program and Arrangements Committee for the 2021 Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren.

“We invite YOUR congregation to pray for Annual Conference the Sunday before it begins, June 27. The online Annual Conference runs from June 30 to July 4. We have much to do that week, and all of it in a new way…virtually! Churches, will you pray?

“We pray…
— That the Spirit unites us in purpose and that we are able to do the work of the Church of furthering God’s Kingdom.
— For ease of getting online together, to leave energy for the more important things.
— That the discussion and vote around our compelling vision proposal will be fruitful.”

Find out more about the Conference at www.brethren.org/ac2021.

“Join a young adult call on June 27!” said an invitation from Youth and Young Adult Ministries director Becky Ullom Naugle. “Fellowship, think, and discuss with other awesome young adults. You won’t want to miss a special musical offering by Seth Hendricks!” Young adults who are interested in the conversation may register at http://ow.ly/I16h50F7v07.

Discipleship Ministries staff are recommending a Christianity Today piece in the form of a recorded conversation called “The Fire This Time: Reflections on a Year of Racial Reckoning.” One of the panelists is Cecelia Williams, who has been an executive for Love Mercy, Do Justice at the Covenant Church, has been a leader for Sankofa journeys, and is currently the CEO of the Christian Community Development Association of which Discipleship Ministries has become an denominational member on behalf of the Church of the Brethren. Find the conversation linked on the Discipleship Ministries Facebook page or go directly to www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/may-web-only/fire-this-time-reflections-on-year-of-racial-reckoning.html.

Stone Church of the Brethren in Huntingdon, Pa., presented children’s books to the Huntingdon County Library recently as part of the “It’s a Small World Book Project,” according to the Huntingdon Daily News. The presentation was part of an initiative to introduce books about race in an effort to heal racism, funded by the Healing Racism mini-grant program of the Church of the Brethren’s Intercultural Ministries. Church members who took part in the presentation included Pam Grugan and co-pastors Ben Lattimer and Cindy Lattimer and their family. The church received a grant of $750 to purchase books for people of all ages that focus on stories of people of color. Find the newspaper report at www.huntingdondailynews.com/news/local/working-to-better-community/article_58e351f7-38dd-5bee-b911-6fa8a85c484c.html.

Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill., is hosting a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for the homeless community this Saturday, June 12, from 1-5 p.m. The effort was the focus of an article in the Daily Herald, a newspaper covering the cities and suburbs west of Chicago. The clinic will give the Johnson and Johnson one-shot vaccine, in conjunction with the weekly Soup Kettle that offers a free, hot meal every Saturday. Though intended for the homeless, the clinic is free to anyone who wants to be vaccinated. Soup Kettle organizers will send cars to parks and other areas where the homeless typically gather, to offer free rides to the clinic. “Those who agree to be vaccinated will be treated to snacks and beverages, be given $5, and be entered in a raffle to win a bag of groceries,” said the article. Read more at www.dailyherald.com/news/20210609/elgin-church-to-host-vax-clinic-for-homeless.

Shenandoah District has announced the locations for its in-person district conference this year: on Nov. 5 events will be held at Montezuma Church of the Brethren, and on Nov. 6 events will be at Mill Creek Church of the Brethren. The theme is “As Christ Loves Us” inspired by Ephesians 5:1-2: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Also from Shenandoah District, the Pastors for Peace Book Club will be reading and discussing the book When the Center Does Not Hold: Leading in an Age of Polarization by David R. Brubaker. Discussions begin Aug. 3, at 1:30 p.m. (Eastern time) and will continue with a twice-monthly one-hour discussion via Zoom on the first and third Tuesdays of August, September, and October. “These discussions are open to any interested person,” said an announcement. “We are especially thankful that David Brubaker, who teaches at Eastern Mennonite University, will join us on August 3 to provide an overview of the book’s theme and introduce us to some of the questions he is addressing. All you need to do to participate in the discussion is to register and read the book.” Pastors for Peace in the Shenandoah District “provides a meeting place for pastors and others with a desire to promote the Gospel of Peace for a living peace church.” Contact drmiller.cob@gmail.com.

“No Return: The Civilian Impact of Turkey’s Operation Claw-Lightning” is a report published by Christian Peacemaker Teams’ Iraqi Kurdistan program on June 3. It documents the impact of the Turkish military’s Operation Claw-Lightning on the civilian population living in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. “The in-depth report covers details of environmental destruction, massive displacement, and threats to human lives in several villages and regions across northern Iraqi Kurdistan,” the CPT newsletter said. CPT was begun by the historic peace churches including the Church of the Brethren, Mennonites, and Quakers. Read the report at https://cpt.org/cptnet/2021/06/07/no-return-civilian-impact-turkeys-operation-claw-lightning. Watch a press conference in English and Kurdish at www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1012411492627044.

“Anti-racist in Christ? Ecumenical Christian Repentance, Reflection and Action on Racial Discrimination and Xenophobia” is the title of an online webinar series on June 14-17, sponsored by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Council for World Mission. “Both organizations are pursuing work and policies to confront racism and to invite anti-racist action, habits, and policies among their members and partnerships,” said a release. The series of daily webinars focus on four thematic areas: setting racism within colonial and neo-imperial contexts; the legacy of mission agencies, including false ideologies of race; models for anti-racist action for dominant racial groups; and anti-racist markers for churches. Participants will begin to develop the foundation of an ecumenical anti-racist/racial justice network and will begin to identify and develop theological reflections and resources on antiracism for use by churches. Each webinar will be held twice daily to make sure that all regions are involved in the conversation. The morning webinars will involve speakers from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific. Afternoon webinars will involve speakers and participants from the Caribbean, Europe, North America, Central America, and South America. Find out more at www.oikoumene.org/news/anti-racist-in-christ-online-event-in-june-will-consider-christian-repentance-action.

Don Judy, pastor of White Pine Church of the Brethren in Romney, W.Va., is celebrating a major success in his campaign to bring public water to dozens of homes in Purgitsville. A $2 million block grant for the project was announced earlier this week. It “puts the icing on the cake…. I think it’s amazing,” he said in an article in the Hampshire Review. Judy began working on the issue at least three years ago. Find the article at www.hampshirereview.com/news/article_5b996838-c927-11eb-a75c-533818335b2d.html

Ruth Karasek of York Center Church of the Brethren in Lombard, Ill., has been named a JustPeace Leader by On Earth Peace. She “developed a passion for peace and activism and an understanding of community development and world issues through her lifelong involvement with On Earth Peace and the Church of the Brethren,” said an announcement. In addition to participating with On Earth Peace, her peacemaking and community involvements have included work with Children’s Disaster Services and Christian Peacemaker Teams, helping to organize a cooperative grocery store, and volunteering with Good Samaritan Hospital in crisis counseling as a trained Stephen Minister. Find Karasek’s JustPeace Leader profile at www.onearthpeace.org/impact_leader_ruth_stowe_karasek.


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 Josh Brockway, Faraja Dieudonné, Chris Douglas, Stan Dueck, Carol Elmore, Nancy Miner, Debbie Noffsinger, 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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