Newsline for Oct. 15, 2021

1) Mission and Ministry Board holds fall meeting this weekend

2) Material Resources has a banner week

3) Refugees or evacuees, kids need care: Church of the Brethren ministry looks after children when disaster strikes

4) Global Church of the Brethren Communion survey strongly affirms Brethren characteristics

5) Church World Service holds ‘Together We Welcome’ gathering, starts new ‘Welcome Backpacks’ collection

6) Brethren Volunteer Service seeks testimonies

7) A life-affirming ‘degrowth’ is possible, economists and theologians find

8) Program and Arrangements Committee announces preachers for worship at 2022 Annual Conference in Omaha

9) FaithX announces theme for 2022 summer service events

10) Agape youth reach out through back-to-school kits

11) Lititz Church prepares to welcome Afghan refugees

12) Brethren bits: First Zoom meeting of global women in the Church of the Brethren, consider applying to be a youth worker for NYC 2022, a new invitation to BVS Coffee Hours, sobering news from the EYN disaster ministry in Nigeria, district news, and more

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

Church of the Brethren congregations offer a variety of worship opportunities 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 your congregation’s worship services to

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

1) Mission and Ministry Board holds fall meeting this weekend

The Church of the Brethren’s Mission and Ministry Board holds its fall meeting this weekend as a hybrid event with the in-person events at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Executive Committee meetings and board member orientation begin Friday, Oct. 15. The full board meets Saturday, Oct. 16, and Sunday morning, Oct. 17.

This will be the first meeting led by new board chair Carl Fike, who has served previously as chair-elect. He will be assisted by the new chair-elect, Colin Scott, and general secretary David Steele. Joining them on the Executive Committee are board members Lauren Seganos Cohen, Dava Hensley, and Roger Schrock, and Annual Conference moderator David Sollenberger as ex-officio.

The board’s agenda for the weekend includes a financial update for 2021, a proposed 2022 budget for denominational ministries, a recommendation concerning Brethren Press, proposed changes to the denomination’s bylaws, and the calling of a new Stewardship of Properties Committee, among numerous reports and ministry updates. Chris Douglas will be recognized for her service, as she retires as director of the Annual Conference office. Bethany Seminary faculty member Dan Ulrich will lead a board development training on “New Testament Models of Giving.”

As at every meeting of the Mission and Ministry Board, the weekend will be marked by times of worship and prayer. A class of students from Bethany Seminary will lead the board in worship on Sunday morning.

Find the schedule and agenda for the meeting with a full listing of board members and ex-officio members as well as accompanying documents and video reports at Also on this webpage is a link to register to observe the meeting via Zoom.

2) Material Resources has a banner week

By Loretta Wolf

Monday of this week was the busiest day at the Material Resources warehouse in years. Staff unloaded 1 trailer from Ohio, 4 trailers from Wisconsin, 1 trailer from Pennsylvania, 3 U-Haul trucks from Pennsylvania, and quite a few cars, pickup trucks, and a church bus filled with donations for Lutheran World Relief.

More than 100,000 pounds of donated materials were received in one day. Even though it was a lot of hard work, there was much happiness as we need these donations so Lutheran World Relief can fulfill requests.

On Tuesday we received a trailer load from Illinois with 17,500 pounds of Lutheran World Relief donations.

On Wednesday, we unloaded a half trailer full of Lutheran World Relief donations from Pennsylvania as well as a 20-foot U-Haul truck.

On Thursday, driver Ed Palsgrove planned to pick up donations for Church World Service from western Pennsylvania.

Thanks to the donors and everyone who works to make this an amazing and wonderfully cooperative endeavor.

— Loretta Wolf is director of Material Resources for the Church of the Brethren. The Material Resources warehouse is at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., where the program processes, warehouses, and ships relief goods on behalf of a number of ecumenical partner organizations.

3) Refugees or evacuees, kids need care: Church of the Brethren ministry looks after children when disaster strikes

By Tim Huber, Anabaptist World

A few days after US military forces completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan at the end of August, Gladys Remnant began her Brethren Disaster Ministries deployment.

As a volunteer with Children’s Disaster Services, a division of Brethren Disaster Ministries, she and others provided child care for Afghan children at a processing center for refugee families near Dulles International Airport in Virginia.

The Church of the Brethren ministry recently marked 40 years of caring for children in the wake of disasters–both natural and man-made.

“I taught kindergarten for 35 years,” said Remnant, who retired recently. “Children are children. Part of what we do with Children’s Disaster Service is to set up play centers so children have opportunities to play, and through play they can express themselves.

Children’s Disaster Services at work with children in a Hurricane Irma evacuation shelter in 2017 in Fort Myers, Fla. The facility was so full, the children’s play area in Alico Arena was under the stairs. At left is Paul Fry-Miller; at right is CDS associate director Lisa Crouch. Photo courtesy of Children’s Disaster Services

“They play out their emotions, they play out their experiences, and that’s no different in a classroom than in a disaster area.”

Remnant was inspired to volunteer with children–giving them an outlet for energy and giving parents a break to focus on other things–through her congregation, Bridgewater Church of the Brethren in Virginia. There, she worshiped with R. Jan and Roma Jo Thompson.

R. Jan Thompson, who died in 2015, noticed while doing disaster response work in the late 1970s that families often had to stand in long lines to do paperwork with FEMA.

Church of the Brethren Service Ministries executive director Roy Winter said it was not a friendly setting for energetic children. Children’s Disaster Services officially began in 1980.

“If a child had to go to the bathroom without one person to stay in place, they’d lose their place, and sometimes those lines could last all day,” he said. “So it was just a very practical need. These kids needed to go to the restroom, they needed food, they needed to be a kid, and it was something we could do.”

Disaster relief processing centers have evolved since the 1970s and ’80s, so many CDS volunteers now work in shelters after hurricanes. These facilities are better organized today, but they are still high-stress environments.

Winter noted domestic violence tends to go up significantly after a disaster, and that can impact children.

“When kids aren’t running around screaming, that reduces tension a great deal, even for shelter managers,” he said. “There are occasionally stories of when CDS arrives, if we’re known already, there’s applause because they know things are going to calm down.”

Teams of four or five volunteers arrive with a “kit of comfort”–a large suitcase filled with puppets and dolls, building blocks, cars and trucks, some books and the universally popular Play-Doh and art supplies. As the program comes out of a pandemic hiatus, about 17 vaccinated volunteers are responding to Hurricane Ida in Louisiana, and helping Afghan refugees in Virginia and New Mexico.

“We define how many we can handle based on the size of the space and number of volunteers,” Winter said. “After September 11, when we were working at Pier 94 in New York City, there were times we had more than 100 kids at the child-care center. That was a little too much.”

The program was created with input from early childhood specialists and psychologists, but volunteers emphasize they are not counselors or therapists.

“It’s just trying to take the time to get to know them in the few moments or hour you have and meeting the child where they are,” said Donna Benson, a member of First Church of the Brethren in Harrisburg, Pa., who is retired after a career in special education. “That’s a strategy from special ed, just trying to show you care and you love these kids.”

Benson worked with Afghan children at the Virginia processing center after previous responses to hurricanes and flooding in the Southeastern United States. While the US State Department and Save the Children provided translators, most interactions around art projects and other activities needed little interpretive help.

“These kids had hope and resilience,” Benson said. “My last day working there was 9/11, the 20th anniversary, and an amazing thing happened.

“A boy of 12 or 13 came up to me. He made a US flag and a flagpole. He held it right up to me and placed his hand over his heart and asked to say the Pledge of Allegiance together. I’m a pacifist, but a patriotic pacifist, and that was an amazing moment.”

Along with Hurricanes and earthquakes, volunteers have responded at evacuation centers during California wildfires and to assist migrants with Catholic Charities along the southern US border.

Winter said CDS developed critical response teams to deal with the extra level of trauma that airline disasters posed in the 1980s. The Church of the Brethren took a version of that philosophy to northern Nigeria to help after Boko Haram militants kidnapped hundreds of girls from a Brethren school there in 2014.

“We were in Las Vegas after those sniper shootings. We were in Florida after the nightclub shootings,” he said. “We find ourselves deploying more often now after shootings than airline accidents, which is incredibly tragic.”

Tragedy can often contain seeds of help and resilience, especially among children. And that energy inspires the volunteers, many of whom find their roles as rewarding as the service they provide to families.

“There are so many needs in times of disasters, and this is a way that I feel like I can best use my gifts,” Remnant said. “My husband will go and do disaster-response rebuilding projects because he has carpentry skills, but I don’t have those skills, so this is a way I can be of assistance to people who need help.”

— Tim Huber is associate editor at Anabaptist World. Reprinted with permission from Anabaptist World.

4) Global Church of the Brethren Communion survey strongly affirms Brethren characteristics

Outcomes of an international survey asking what characteristics are essential for a church to be Church of the Brethren have been released. A committee of the Global Church of the Brethren Communion developed the survey. The committee had asked all interested Church of the Brethren members around the world to respond, and provided the survey in English, Spanish, Haitian Kreyol, and Portuguese.

The Global Church of the Brethren Communion is an organization of the 11 registered Church of the Brethren denominations in the United States, India, Nigeria, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Spain, Venezuela, and the Great Lakes region of Africa–the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Uganda.

One of the slides reporting on outcomes of the global survey of Brethren characteristics.

There were 356 “valid participations” in the survey, three-quarters from the United States. The percentage of participation by country was 76 percent US, 11 percent Dominican Republic, 4 percent Brazil, 3 percent Spain, 2 percent Uganda, with smaller percentages from Rwanda, Nigeria, Haiti, the DRC, and unspecified countries. The PowerPoint that presented the outcomes noted a 1 percent participation by “Hispanic in the US.” The age of participants ranged from under 20 to over 80. The PowerPoint included slides separating out responses received from the US from responses received from other countries.

Respondents strongly affirmed all of the characteristics that the survey named as identified with the Church of the Brethren. The majority response for all was “essential,” followed by “important” in second place. Other possible responses such as “I’m not sure,” “optional,” and “not answered” received much less support from respondents.

The intent of the survey was to receive feedback as to which characteristics are considered essential, important, or irrelevant.

The named characteristics were:
Being a church that identifies with the Radical Reformation
Being a non-credal New Testament church
Being a church that practices the universal priesthood of all believers
Being a church that practices community interpretation of the Bible
Being a church that teaches and exercises freedom of thought
Being a church that practices voluntary association as an exercise of individual freedom
Being a church that teaches and lives the separation of Church and State
Being a pacifist church
Being a church that teaches and exercises conscientious objection
Being an agape church
Being a church that practices baptism by triple/trine immersion
Being a non-sacramental church
Being a church that promotes a simple lifestyle
Being a church that practices loving service to the needy neighbor
Being a church where fellowship supersedes the institution
Being an inclusive church, welcoming the different
To be an ecumenical church
To be a church that works for the preservation of Creation

The committee hopes the survey will help lay a foundation for ongoing dialogue among the worldwide Church of the Brethren bodies and will help develop criteria for new churches to join the communion.

The people who developed the survey included two leading Brazilian Brethren, country director Marcos R. Inhauser and Alexander Gonçalves; a Brethren leader and lawyer from Venezuela, Jorge Martinez; and former Global Mission interim directors from the United States, Norman and Carol Spicher Waggy.

“To define the elements to be present in the survey we used many bibliographical supports,” reported Inhauser. “We had some guidelines doing this: a.) Must be elements that in the history and in the present Church of the Brethren are present; b.) Elements that have biblical support; c.) Elements that are related to the traditional peace tradition of the Church of the Brethren; d.) The way to formulate the question was a phrase and an explanation of what the question was trying to address.

“The text of all the questions was sent to some people to give us feedback. After this process, we published it. After the determined time to get answers, it was tabulated, the data and the results were published in a PowerPoint presentation. It was shared with the people in the Global Church virtual meeting.”

Download a pdf formatted copy of the PowerPoint of survey outcomes by clicking on the link at the top of the Global Mission webpage at

5) Church World Service holds ‘Together We Welcome’ gathering, starts new ‘Welcome Backpacks’ collection

In two new efforts related to Church World Service (CWS) work for refugees, immigrants, migrants, and most recently Afghan evacuees, the ecumenical humanitarian organization has announced “Together We Welcome: A National Faith Gathering to Strengthen Support for Refugees, Immigrants and Migrants” and a new “Welcome Backpack” kit.

Together We Welcome

Taking place as a virtual event from 6-9 p.m. (Eastern time) on Nov. 7-11, “Together We Welcome” will train and equip local faith leaders, community organizers, and immigrant community leaders in welcoming refugees, asylum seekers, and other displaced populations. It will be offered in both English and Spanish.

“CWS along with our Faith Solidarity Team would like to invite faith leaders, clergy, community organizers and immigrant leaders to join us for this dynamic and inaugural event to hear from impacted voices as well as timely and relevant information about resettlement and migration from faith leaders, national and local resettlement staff, and other experts in forced migration,” said a description of the event. “Attendees will learn, share with one another, build relationships and walk away with specific actions to foster welcome in their local communities.”

The conference will feature four key tracks with over 32 sessions, plenary sessions with keynote speakers, opportunities for formal and informal networking, and a virtual Expo hall to meet with local resettlement offices, denominational staff, and other experts in the field.

The four tracks will be:

Advocacy: Why is Advocacy important? Can it change hearts and minds?

Asylum: What are the current processes for asylum and resettlement?

Resettlement: How can faith communities most effectively respond?

Climate: How is climate change impacting migration and displacement?

Find out more and register at

Welcome backpacks

“In the coming months, tens of thousands of refugees will make their way to the United States after years of waiting,” said an announcement of the new Welcome Backpacks kit collection, which CWS noted is for those entering the country to join family members, and asylum seekers at the US southern border, among others.

CWS is partnering with 17 border shelters that receive asylum seekers released from Border Patrol or ICE, providing them with food and shelter and arranging transportation for them to reunite with their families.

“Often, refugees or asylum seekers come with few material possessions–and we will be there to welcome them into their new communities. CWS Welcome Backpacks are a new part of the process–providing unaccompanied minors and families with the essentials for their transition: food and water, children’s activities, a blanket, basic hygiene items, and PPE. You can help extend welcome by assembling backpacks or sponsoring a backpack to be assembled.”

For information about contents of the new Welcome Backpack kit and how to assemble, pack, and ship them, go to

Please note that at this time, this new kit is not yet being received at the Brethren Service Center but must go to CWS at its address in Elkhart, Ind.

6) Brethren Volunteer Service seeks testimonies

By Michael Brewer-Berres

Are you a former Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) volunteer? Do you have a fond memory, a story to tell, or words of praise from your time in BVS? Do you love to talk about BVS, but have no one to talk to about it?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, BVS has the perfect opportunity for you!

As a way to promote Brethren Volunteer Service and increase alumni engagement, BVS is seeking testimonies from former volunteers to feature on the BVS website. It will serve as a way for prospective BVSers to see the multitudes of experiences and stories that might come out of BVS. It is also a great way to read the perspectives of other alumni and make a connection through BVS.

All we need from you is a short paragraph describing an anecdote or how you felt about your time with BVS. Please submit testimonies or any questions to BVS orientation assistant Michael Brewer-Berres at

— Michael Brewer-Berres is orientation assistant for Brethren Volunteer Service.

7) A life-affirming ‘degrowth’ is possible, economists and theologians find

A release from the World Council of Churches

An online conference called “Degrowth–Living Sufficiently and Sustainably” held on Oct. 1 discussed proposals and strategies for moving away from growth-driven and extractive economies to life-affirming systems of sustenance.

Speakers and participants looked towards the G20 Leaders’ Summit taking place in late October in Rome with the theme, “People, Planet, and Prosperity.”

In many parts of the global South, economic growth has not necessarily raised people’s living standards and has aggravated the climate crisis, observed Rosario Guzman, executive editor at the Philippine-based think tank Ibon.

Priya Luka, lecturer at Goldsmith University in the United Kingdom, underlined that degrowth demands “a politics of wealth distribution.” Here, global tax justice as called for by the Zacchaeus Tax campaign is key.

Arnie Saiki of Imipono Projects proposed alternative systems of national accounting that “give value to people’s interactions with ecological and wellbeing indicators rather than treating everything as a commodity.”

The conference also reflected on growth and degrowth from theological perspectives.

Fundiswa Kobo noted that society’s obsession with growth is “breaking up the relationship between human beings, creation, and animals” and has contributed to the exploitation of African women’s bodies.

Martin Kopp from the Federation of Protestant Churches in France asked, “Growth of what, for whom, and until when?” Degrowth in the material and economic sense entails growth in an eco-spiritual and moral sense, he added.

Chebon Kernell, executive director of the Native American Comprehensive Plan, said that “the concept of wealth and progress must be redefined from Indigenous and more holistic perspectives.”

As a young person from the Pacific, Iemaima Jennifer Vaai highlighted the need to appreciate and live out traditional ways of sharing and being in “sacred relations” with land, oceans, and all creation.

George Zachariah from Trinity College in New Zealand said that degrowth combines resistance against extractive projects and regeneration driven by local communities.

Speaking on activism for degrowth, Rozemarijn van’t Einde from De Klimaatwakers in the Netherlands challenged churches and young people “to face the fear” and “go too far.”

The conference was convened by the World Council of Churches, Council for World Mission, Lutheran World Federation, World Methodist Council, and World Communion of Reformed Churches under the New International Financial and Economic Architecture initiative.

Find the WCC release online at


8) Program and Arrangements Committee announces preachers for worship at 2022 Annual Conference in Omaha

By Rhonda Pittman Gingrich

David Sollenberger, moderator for the 2022 Annual Conference, has chosen the theme “Embracing One Another as Christ Embraces Us.” In his theme statement, he writes:

“The apostle Paul calls us to live in harmony (Romans 12:16). We Brethren know harmony. Musically, it means not singing the same thing–the same words or melody. Instead, harmony implies variety. It means respecting and appreciating the differences in the way we understand scripture, respond to God’s love, or go about continuing the work of Jesus.

“Our theme for 2022 explores what it means to live in harmony with one another, respecting each other’s gifts and perspectives, while committed to a saving Christ who calls us to another way of living. The word that embodies this notion best is ‘embrace.’ Embracing implies reaching out intentionally, not just tolerating or refraining from objecting. It’s an action verb, consistent with the many biblical calls to love one another as Christ loves us.

The theme and logo for Annual Conference in 2022, “Embracing One Another as Christ Embraces Us” (Romans 15:7).

“Paul echoes that theme in his advice to the Roman church. ‘Welcome one another,’ he writes, ‘just as Christ welcomed you’ (Romans 15:7). The NIV uses the word ‘accepting.’ As we embark on the adventurous future that God promises, I invite us to go even further, ‘Embracing One Another, as Christ Embraces Us,’ living and working in harmony, as we share Jesus in the neighborhood.” (Find the full theme statement at


As we prepare to explore this theme through worship, the Program and Arrangements Committee is excited to announce the line-up of preachers for the Conference to be held in Omaha, Neb., on July 10-14, 2022:

— On Sunday evening, July 10, moderator Sollenberger will speak on the theme for that day, “Embracing One Another with Christ as Our Example.”

— On Monday evening, July 11, Leonor Ochoa, a church planter in Atlantic Northeast District, will speak on the theme for that day, “Embracing One Another in Times of Pain and Brokenness.”

— On Tuesday evening, July 12, Eric Bishop, chair of the board of trustees of Bethany Theological Seminary, will speak on the theme for that day, “Embracing One Another in Our Joy and Celebration.”

— On Wednesday evening, July 13, Nathan Rittenhouse, one of the Standing Committee members from Shenandoah District, will speak on the theme for the day, “Embracing One Another Amidst Our Diversity as a Faith Community.”

— On Thursday morning, July 14, Belita Mitchell, a former Annual Conference moderator and retired pastor, will speak on the theme for the day, “Embracing One Another as We Reach Out to Our Neighbors.”

The worship services are being planned by Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm, Paula Bowser, and Tim Hollenberg-Duffey. Carol Elmore, the third year Program and Arrangements Committee member, is chairing the worship team. Scott Duffey will serve as music coordinator.

For more information about the 2022 Annual Conference go to

— Rhonda Pittman Gingrich is director of the Annual Conference office.

9) FaithX announces theme for 2022 summer service events

By Zech Houser

Using 2 Corinthians 5:7 as a starting point, FaithX’s 2022 theme is “Boundless Faith.” This theme explores the different ways that the Bible describes Christian faith and seeks broader horizons in the faith we share.

Participants in next summer’s short-term service events will engage with different expressions of faith and be invited to see that faith is more expansive than it seems, all while being guided by the simple truth that “we walk by faith, not by sight.”

More information and a complete schedule will be available online soon. Registration will open January 13, 2022, at 8 p.m. (Eastern time). Make sure to check out to see the latest info!

— Zech Houser is coordinator of short-term service for the Church of the Brethren, working in the Brethren Volunteer Service office.


10) Agape youth reach out through back-to-school kits

The youth group at Agape Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Ind., recently met to conclude their outreach service project, reported pastor Todd Hammond. The group put together 25 back-to-school kits for Church World Service.

11) Lititz Church prepares to welcome Afghan refugees

Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren in Lancaster County in central Pennsylvania is one of the groups preparing to aid Church World Service (CWS) in resettling Afghan evacuees, and has gained media attention in a report by Samantha York, posted online by CBS Channel 21.

The CWS Lancaster chapter “is in the process of resettling two refugees who came on Saturday and Tuesday, with up to 14 arriving by the end of this week,” said the report, dated Oct. 14. “It’s been a quick turnaround, getting individuals and couples lined up with initial employment, access to medical care, and social security paperwork.” The chapter plans to welcome up to 30 Afghan refugees each month for the next few months.

Lititz “has historically been involved with resettling people into Lancaster County and it’s welcoming three refugees Friday,” the report said, quoting minister Jim Grossnickle-Batterton. He noted that puts Lititz members among some of the first people to welcome Afghan refugees into Pennsylvania.

Find the CBS report at

12) Brethren bits

— A first Zoom meeting of women from the Global Church of the Brethren Communion was led by Ruoxia Li, co-executive director of the American church’s Global Mission. The gathering included Suely Inhauser of Brazil, Lovely Erius Lubin of Haiti, Arely Cantor of Honduras, Sheetal Makwan of India, Nanyimba Diana of Uganda, Luz Ochogavia of Venezuela, and four women from Rwanda including Zilipa Nyiramsabuwiteker, Esperance Nyirandayisenga, Antoinette Nyiramahirwe, and Dusabe Liberata.

— “Consider applying to be a youthworker” at the 2022 National Youth Conference (NYC), said an invitation from Becky Ullom Naugle, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Church of the Brethren. “Do you love NYC? Will you be 22 or older at the time of NYC 2022 (July 23-28)? Consider applying to be a youthworker! Youthworkers are committed, focused, and willing to serve 10- to 12-hour days to carry out behind-the-scenes tasks that are crucial for a successful NYC. If you are selected, your travel, lodging, and meals will be covered for the week as a thank you for your service!” Apply at Email NYC coordinator Erika Clary at with any questions.

“Are you interested in volunteering or long‐term service options, but not sure where to start?” asked an announcement from Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS), inviting people to register for one of the upcoming BVS Coffee Hours. “Staff in the BVS Office will be available at any point during the hour to answer questions and chat about serving with BVS! Drop in for a few minutes and receive a gift card for coffee!” Register now at

Sobering news was shared by the Disaster Relief Management program of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) this week. Two people were killed and three churches were burned in violent attacks by Boko Haram or IISWAP on Oct. 10. In the violence, a number of families also lost homes, shops, cattle, cars, motorcycles, and other property. The attacks took place in the Sikarkir and Tsadla communities in the Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State. The burned churches included two EYN buildings, one at Sikarkir and one at Tsadla, and a COCIN church building in Sikarkir. Zakariya Musa, who works for EYN Disaster Relief Management as a project officer, and who is head of media for EYN, provided the report.

In a separate report, Musa shared that 35 displaced people were reported to have died in a cholera outbreak attributed to food and nutrition scarcity in Pulka Local Government Area of Borno State, “who were either rescued or escaped from Boko Haram-ruined communities, where four EYN District Church Councils were displaced.” There are more than 100,000 households in Pulka town alone, the report said, without enough amenities like clean water supply to meet the demands of the population. “Some NGOs have been doing their best to complement the efforts of the state government. However, much needs to be done to ensure sustained supply of clean water to the town,” said the chairman of the Gwoza Local Government Area, Professor Ibrahim Bukar.

The report from Zakariya Musa also shared good news from Pulka pastor Ishaya Filibus, who “happily shared that worshipers are up to 500 during Sunday services” and that the EYN church there hopes to build a larger auditorium. The report also rejoiced in the baptism of 22 people including 4 new converts on Sept. 19, in an area that Islamists had declared as their territory seven years ago before it was recaptured. (One of the baptisms is pictured in the photo at right)

South Central Indiana District of the Church of the Brethren has changed its mailing address to P.O. Box 32, North Manchester, IN 46962-0032. The emails associated with the district office and staff remain the same. An updated telephone number will be announced soon.

Atlantic Northeast District has announced an online Intergenerational Advent Bible Study led by Jamie Nace on behalf of the district’s Nurture Commission. The theme is the hope, peace, joy, and love that is found in Jesus. A special time will be devoted to children at the beginning of each session. “The season of Advent is one of anticipation and preparation,” said the announcement. “All things considered, it is also a rather short season and often a very busy one. Wouldn’t it be nice to take a little bit of time to pause…reflect…linger…and listen?” The study will be offered on the four Tuesday evenings of Advent: Nov. 30 and Dec. 7, 14, and 21 from 6:30-7:45 p.m. (Eastern time). Find out more at

Southern Ohio and Kentucky District has announced a “Christian apologetics conference” titled “God’s Word Investigated.” Co-sponsored by the district, host congregation Greenville (Ohio) Church of the Brethren, and the Brethren Retirement Community, the event is planned by a group called Brethren for Biblical Authority. The speaker is Nathan Rittenhouse. The event takes place Nov. 19-20 as a hybrid event with both Zoom and in-person options for attendance. The registration fee ranges from $15 to $25. Ministers may receive 1 continuing education unit. Go to

“Feeling the Heat: Climate Change and the Poor” is the title of David Radcliff’s presentation at Bridgewater (Va.) College on Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Carter Center Stone Prayer Chapel. Radcliff is director of the New Community Project and the event, sponsored by the college’s Kline-Bowman Institute for Creative Peacebuilding, is free and open to the public. Contact chaplain Robbie Miller at for more information.

On the afternoon of Nov. 7, Bridgewater College is again sponsoring the annual Bridgewater-Dayton Area CROP Hunger Walk. Individuals will walk a 6K (3.7 mile) route around Bridgewater to raise funds for Church World Service hunger relief and development programs. If interested in walking or sponsoring a walker, please contact chaplain Robbie Miller at

The Governing Board of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) met virtually for its biannual meeting on Oct. 13. “For the first time in its 71-year history, the NCC Governing Board elected all women as officers,” said a release. “The officers began their two-year terms effective yesterday as follows: Bishop Teresa Jefferson Snorton, 5th Episcopal District, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church as Chair; Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as Vice Chair; Kimberly Gordon Brooks, 1st Vice President of the 3rd District Lay Organization, African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) as Secretary, and Rev. Teresa ‘Terri’ Hord Owens, General Minister & President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as Treasurer. Three of the officers are women of color.”

The NCC Governing Board also approved the Updated Edition of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (NRSVue), which the release said “is considered the most meticulously researched, rigorously reviewed, and faithfully accurate English-language Bible translation.” The revision process began in 2017 when the NCC commissioned the Society of Biblical Literature to conduct a review and update of the 1989 NRSV. The society “applied recent scholarship to ancient texts to help readers explore the meanings of these texts in light of the cultures that produced them,” the release said. “The NRSVue is as free as possible from the gender bias inherent in the English language, which can obscure earlier oral and written renditions.” Find out more about the NRSVue at Licensees such as denominational publishing houses may release the NRSVue on or after May 1, 2022.

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 Michael Brewer‐Berres, Jenn Dorsch-Messler, Rhonda Pittman Gingrich, Todd Hammond, Zech Houser, Tim Huber, Eric Landram, Nancy Miner, Zakariya Musa, Mishael Nouveau, Roy Winter, Loretta Wolf, 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 and make subscription changes at . Unsubscribe by using the link at the top of any Newsline email.

Find more Church of the Brethren news:

[gt-link lang="en" label="English" widget_look="flags_name"]