Newsline for Oct. 9, 2021

1) Brethren Disaster Ministries carries out short-term flood response in Nebraska

2) Brethren Faith in Action grants help congregations welcome asylees, respond to pandemic challenges

3) Three nursing students receive 2021 Nursing Scholarships

4) Bethany Seminary seeks new peace studies faculty member

5) Brethren Press special offers are available for Maria’s Kit of Comfort, study guide for Advent devotional

6) Roaring Spring Church restarts its ‘Recharge’ family program

7) Lakeview Church gets media attention for food pantry

8) First edition of ‘Moderator Musings’ from David Sollenberger shares ‘joys and concerns’

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

9) Brethren bits: Jr. High Sunday resources, Children’s Disaster Services training, Brethren Disaster Ministries celebrations, Global Food Initiative newsletter, webinar with Christian Peacemaker Teams’ Cliff Kindy, On Earth Peace webinars, seeking video of Anna Mow, more

Quote of the week:

“Creation is not for some to consume and leave others behind.”

— World Council of Churches (WCC) acting general secretary Ioan Sauca speaking at a meeting held ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference. “Faith and Science: Towards COP26” was held Oct. 4 with 10 scientists and about 40 leaders from the world’s major religions including Pope Francis, Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, among others. Their message called the world to achieve net-zero carbon emissions as soon as possible. “As leaders and scholars from various religious traditions, we unite in a spirit of humility, responsibility, mutual respect, and open dialogue…focused on the desire to walk in companionship, recognizing our call to live in harmony with one another and with nature,” it said, in part. “Nature is a gift, but also a life-giving force without which we cannot exist. Together, we must address the threats facing our common home.” The message urged governments to transition to clean energy, sustainable land use practices, environmentally friendly food systems, and responsible financing. Find WCC releases about the meeting at and

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1) Brethren Disaster Ministries carries out short-term flood response in Nebraska

Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed a grant of $7,500 from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to fund a two-week response in King’s Lake, Neb., following spring flooding in 2019.

COVID-19 rates in the King’s Lake area prevented a planned response from taking place in August 2020. A rescheduled response is taking place now, starting Oct. 3 and continuing through Oct. 16.

There are 10-12 volunteers and leaders scheduled to serve each week, with most coming from the Midwest districts of the Church of the Brethren. A tool trailer is provided by Northern Plains District. Volunteer housing is at the Presbyterian Church of the Cross in Omaha.

During the first week, the volunteers worked on stabilizing a house and repairing the roof on another house. Jill Borgelt, interim volunteer coordinator for the Douglas County Long Term Recovery Group, remarked, “It’s a great team and they’re accomplishing a lot, more than we would have hoped for!”

In early 2019, Nebraska suffered record-breaking damage from severe winter weather, straight-line winds, and devasting flooding, said the grant request. “Record snowfall had accumulated across the state between January and March, with historic cold temperatures persisting in February. This resulted in the major river systems in Nebraska remaining covered by ice and snow when rapid temperature changes caused accelerated thawing to occur in March. Following these events, 84 of Nebraska’s 93 counties, as well as 4 tribal areas received federal disaster declarations, with the worst damage happening in the eastern part of the state. Over 2,000 homes and 340 businesses were damaged or destroyed at a value of over $85 million.”

To financially support this ministry, give online at

Photos of the short-term Brethren Disaster Ministries project in Nebraska by Patricia Challenger

2) Brethren Faith in Action grants help congregations welcome asylees, respond to pandemic challenges

The Brethren Faith in Action Fund (BFIA) has distributed three new grants in recent weeks. The fund gives grants to Church of the Brethren congregations and camps in the United States and Puerto Rico, using money generated by the sale of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Find out more and download application forms at

Manchester Church of the Brethren in North Manchester, Ind., received $5,000 for the congregation’s support of an asylum-granted family transitioning into the local community. In 2018, the church’s Witness Commission began involvement with Latin American families in the caravans seeking help in this country. In 2019, the church began to provide living expenses and supplies to a Guatemalan mother and her young children. With the church’s support and a 2020 BFIA grant, the family was able to move from a mobile home to an apartment. The congregation plans to continue supporting the family’s needs for childcare, counseling, and help to bring another child from Guatemala to the US. The congregation also is committed to learn more and become educated about the situation of refugees.

Myerstown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren received $5,000 to upgrade audio and video equipment, following challenging dynamics during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not able to meet in person, the congregation began pre-recording Sunday worship services and posted them on social media. When the congregation returned to in-person services, however, many members chose not to return due to age, health, or other concerns. Recognizing that people’s worship attendance patterns are changing, Myerstown is developing an updated system for live streaming worship services, Bible studies, and other church-related activities to reach people outside the church and to minister and reconnect with church members. Other possible benefits include the ability to collaborate with other churches in resource sharing, engaging youth, and live streaming services to a retirement community.

Potsdam (Ohio) Church of the Brethren received $2,350 to restart its Kids Club, a weekly program for children in grades 1-12. The program runs during the school year, providing a meal followed by a time for music, a Bible story, and memory verse, and breakout activities by age group. Kids Club is a significant outreach to the community that started in 2014. Before the COVID shutdown, 25 to 30 children attended, with 10 volunteers helping out (8 from the Potsdam church and 2 from the community). Only 6 of the children who participated were from families who attend the church regularly. The church planned to re-start the program on Sept. 8.

3) Three nursing students receive 2021 Nursing Scholarships

By Randi Rowan

Three nursing students are recipients of Church of the Brethren Nursing Scholarships for 2021. This scholarship, made possible by the Health Education and Research Endowment, is available to members of the Church of the Brethren enrolled in LPN, RN, or nursing graduate programs.

We would like to highlight the outstanding work of the following recipients: Kasie Campbell of Meyersdale (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, Emma Frederick of Roaring Spring (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren, and Makenzie Goering of McPherson (Kan.) Church of the Brethren.

Scholarships of up to $2,000 for RN and graduate nurse candidates and up to $1,000 for LPN candidates are awarded to a limited number of applicants each year.

Information on the scholarships, an application form, and instructions are available at Applications and supporting documentation are due by April 1 of each year.

— Randi Rowan is program assistant for the Church of the Brethren Discipleship Ministries.

Shown here is one of the previous year’s Nursing Scholarship recipients, Krista Panone.

4) Bethany Seminary seeks new peace studies faculty member

From a Bethany release

Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., has launched a national search for a new faculty member to teach Peace Studies, along with a secondary area of emphasis in support of the seminary’s educational mission. Rank is open and candidates with a PhD in hand are preferred. (Candidates who are in the process of completing their dissertations will be considered.)

The search anticipates the retirements of two longtime faculty members, Scott Holland and H. Kendall Rogers. Holland, the Slabaugh Professor of Theology and Culture and director of Peace Studies and Cross-Cultural Studies, will retire from fulltime teaching at the end of this academic year, but will continue to teach courses in theopoetics. Rogers, professor of Historical Studies, will be on sabbatical next fall and will retire at the end of the 2022-2023 academic year.

While the primary focus of the open faculty position will be courses in Peace Studies, the successful candidate will be able to offer courses in another area of expertise that complements and expands the seminary’s degree and certificate programs. Various fields of study that could supplement Bethany’s Peace Studies curriculum include theology and culture, theopoetics, social justice work, spirituality, history of Christianity, intercultural theology, intersectional theology, and ecological theology.

Other duties will include student advising, supervision of MA theses in the area of Peace Studies as needed, serving on at least one major institutional committee annually, participating in the recruitment of new students through interviews and informal contacts, regular participation in faculty meetings and other campus events, and opportunities for speaking engagements within the Church of the Brethren and other settings. Commitment to the mission and values of the seminary is essential.

“This is an exciting time of growth and new opportunities at Bethany,” notes Steve Schweitzer, academic dean. “The Peace Studies faculty position is integral to our Anabaptist and Radical Pietist witness, and has long been an area of strength with global recognition. We are excited to engage with candidates and see what new perspectives and scholarly approaches they may bring to Bethany, contributing courses across our various degree and certificate programs.”

The seminary specifically encourages applications from women, African-Americans, Latinx, and other ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented in the seminary professorate. The appointment will begin on July 1, 2022.

Full information about this faculty position can be found at

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


5) Brethren Press special offers are available for Maria’s Kit of Comfort, study guide for Advent devotional

The author of this year’s Advent devotional from Brethren Press, Angela Finet, has prepared a free, downloadable prayer and Bible study guide for use by small groups. It is a companion piece to the devotional booklet titled Do Not Be Afraid.

Permission is granted for churches to make photocopies of the downloadable study guide and distribute it to group members.

To order a copy of the Advent devotional, and to download the study guide, go to

In another special offer from Brethren Press, there is a discounted price for those who pre-order the new children’s book about Children’s Disaster Services. Titled Maria’s Kit of Comfort, the book is a hopeful illustrated children’s story by Kathy Fry-Miller and David Doudt, with illustrations by Kate Cosgrove.

Order Maria’s Kit of Comfort by Nov. 1 and get the book for $15. Go to

Find a short video about the book at


6) Roaring Spring Church restarts its ‘Recharge’ family program

Roaring Spring (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren has restarted its Wednesday night “Recharge” family program, according to a report in the Morrisons Cove Herald. The newspaper reported that “With activities and Bible study for the whole family, the program met with wide acceptance in its 2019 inaugural season. With pandemic conditions canceling the 2020 season, the church is eager to welcome people back into the program.”

The weekly evening program includes supper for all ages, music, and Bible study for elementary ages, youth, and adults. “Adult lessons are based on the same scriptures used for the children, encouraging parents to talk about the lesson with their families,” the newspaper said.

Find the report at

7) Lakeview Church gets media attention for food pantry

Lakeview Church of the Brethren in Michigan garnered media attention when its food pantry was listed as one of the places mentioned in the article titled “This is where to go for emergency food assistance in Manistee County” from the Manistee News Advocate.

The church’s food pantry is open from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the last Wednesday of the month. The church is located at 14049 Coats Hwy. in Brethren, Mich.

Find the full article at


8) First edition of ‘Moderator Musings’ from David Sollenberger shares ‘joys and concerns’

David Sollenberger, moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, has published a first edition of his newsletter titled “Moderator Musings.” Find the full text below.

Also new from the Annual Conference office is some advance information about the next annual meeting of the Church of the Brethren, scheduled for July 10-14, 2022, in Omaha, Neb. Information is posted about the two Conference hotels, the Conference schedule and pre-Conference events, the daily themes and scriptures, opening date for online registration (March 1, 2022), and more. Go to

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

Moderator Musings

Welcome to the October 2021 edition of “Moderator Musings”…. I have spent much of my life in the communication world, and believe that right now communication is not at a good place either within our world, or within our church. There’s a lot we don’t know and much of what we think we know is sometimes wrong or distorted. So, this is my attempt to share things that I come across only because the church has, for whatever reason, called me to the position of moderator. Don’t get too smug. You may be next.

I will share what we used to call–growing up in the Annville (Pa.) congregation in Atlantic Northeast District–“joys and concerns.” It’s a smattering of things which I would like us to hold in prayer. Maybe it’s moderator Dave’s prayer list. Maybe it’s things that keep me from being able to fall asleep at night, or maybe things that help me know that the Church of the Brethren is doing something right (a.k.a. being faithful).

Here’s my list:

— I give prayerful thanks that the vast majority of the church has understood that the process of affirming the compelling vision at our virtual Annual Conference was NOT a matter of voting yes or no in the traditional Robert’s Rules of Order process. Instead, it was a process of gauging the level of affirmation for that vision statement, a statement created by over two years of input by our members. I’m grateful for the number of delegates who found the statement to be something that would help them in their ministry in their home congregations. I suspect that many who voted against it did so because they wanted a statement of beliefs and doctrine, rather than a vision statement for how we implement that which we believe. Those are two different things. Just my observation. I don’t really believe that those who voted no don’t want to “passionately live and share the radical transformation and holistic peace of Jesus Christ through relationship-based neighborhood engagement.” I suspect we all want to do that. And for that I rejoice.

— I give thanks to God for the number of congregations that already have been and ARE being Jesus in their neighborhoods. Look for forthcoming “Moderator Musings” to share examples. One that I can’t wait that long to share: Ephrata (Atlantic Northeast District) arranged for members of their congregation to hold a series of neighborhood block parties to introduce their church to their neighborhoods. Talk about “neighborhood engagement”!!

At left: One of the Ephrata neighborhood block parties. Photo by Allen Kevorkov

— A concern that needs prayer: I continue to hear misperceptions and misimpressions about Church of the Brethren positions on issues that impact both the church and our world–allegations that we support things like abortion, racism, violence, hatred…the things that are filling up the news cycles on secular media. If you question where the Church of the Brethren stands on an issue, please consult It is the PRIMARY source of information about all things Church of the Brethren. The PRIMARY source is NOT social media–Facebook, Twitter, personal blogs, Instragram, or any of the other places where we go when we want to know something. Newsline and the news items on the home page of do a great job of providing regular updates on what Brethren are doing–responding to the Haitian earthquake with a $50,000 grant from our Emergency Disaster Fund, spiritual enrichment events such as the National Older Adult Conference, the recent church planting conference called New and Renew, and ways to support congregations that are working at understanding racial issues in both church and society.

And if you scroll down the Moderator’s page for Annual Conference 2022 ( you will find on the website a series of questions and answers that evolved from last year’s Moderator’s Q and A Sessions, held in many of our districts. During those online sessions, a wide range of concerns and questions were shared with Annual Conference leadership. Many of the answers to those questions have been compiled and posted on the Moderator’s page of the 2022 Annual Conference website.

My prayer is centered in the theme that has been chosen for next year’s Annual Conference: “Embracing one another, as Christ embraces us.” Part of the process of embracing each other is to lovingly communicate issues that we feel we need to discuss, but to do it directly. That’s the formula outlined in the Gospel of Matthew, in chapter 18, verses 15-17. If we feel like we have an issue between our brother or sister, Jesus instructs us to go to that person and share the concern. I consider that to be part of the act of embracing–showing that we care enough to relate to one another, to hear each other’s story, and to share ours. I would like to find a way for Brethren to do that on a regular, more structured basis, and will keep you informed as that dream evolves.

Finally, something that I DID actually see on Facebook that was helpful and applicable to all of us in denominational leadership. It was a statement to the effect that, if you’re praying for us, please keep it up. It’s working. We DO feel the prayers of those who are praying for us, as we seek to be faithful to God’s call for the Church of the Brethren. And I have it on good authority that the Annual Conference leadership is also praying for all of you.

As I have hinted in some of my other presentations, we are a diverse group of followers of Christ. But by recognizing that Christ embraced us by his sacrifice on the cross LONG before we had our act together, we can honestly embrace each other, as we continue this journey. I welcome your feedback, observations, and your own musings, joys, or concerns. And remember:

The musings of moderator Dave are his opinions and observations only, and do not necessarily reflect the views of other denominational Leadership Team members, or anyone else connected with the Annual Conference, or for that matter, the Federal Reserve Board, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Transportation and Safety Board, or any other organized or unorganized organizations. They are also void where prohibited, except where not prohibited.

— Find the October 2021 “Moderator Musings” posted online at

9) Brethren bits

There is still time to sign up for volunteer training with Children’s Disaster Services this fall. CDS has two volunteer trainings coming up, on Oct. 22-23 in Byron Center, Mich., and on Nov. 5-6 in Roaring Spring, Pa. “Have you signed up? Shared the information with a friend?” said an invitation. “We look forward to meeting you! If you have a heart for children, interest in serving, and want to learn more about the CDS mission, sign up today!” Go to

Brethren Disaster Ministries this week has celebrated successes in disaster relief with two international partners. The ministry has shared photos of houses being built near Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, as part of the joint effort with the Brethren in the DRC to rebuild following a volcanic eruption.

And the ministry has shared a video from the Disaster Relief Management ministry of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) of people celebrating the distribution of food on Oct. 7 to vulnerable residents of the Shuwari IDP (internally displaced people) camp in Maiduguri, Borno State. The distribution is one of those supported through the Nigeria Crisis Response, a joint effort of EYN and the Church of the Brethren. View the video at

The latest issue of the Global Food Initiative (GFI) newsletter is available to download in full-color pdf format. Included in the two-page, front-and-back newsletter are short articles about Harrisburg (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren’s community garden, aid to Capstone 118’s urban farm in New Orleans following Hurricane Ida, GFI manager Jeff Boshart’s trip to the Dominican Republic at the invitation of leaders of Iglesia de los Hermanos (the Church of the Brethren in the DR), and more. Click the “E-News Fall 2021” link to download a copy of the newsletter to read and share with your church family or friends, go to

National Junior High Sunday is scheduled for Nov. 7 as a time for congregations to celebrate junior high youth and invite them into leadership of Sunday morning worship services. Worship planning resources are online at

A webinar with Christian Peacemaker Teams’ Cliff Kindy is set for Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. (Eastern time), co-hosted by the Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy. Kindy, a Church of the Brethren member, will lead a conversation to learn more about what solidarity with Indigenous groups looks like in action, with stories from accompaniment work with Indigenous community members from South Dakota to Chiapas, Mexico, as well as more recent work with water protectors in Minnesota at Line 3. Watch live on Facebook at or register for the Zoom link at

In more news from EYN, provost Dauda A. Gava of Kulp Theological Seminary sent photos to Newsline of the seminary’s observance of love feast for World Communion Sunday. “We observed Holy Communion today at Kulp Theological Seminary chapel,” he wrote. “Brethren tradition was observed through footwashing, agape meal, and communion of cup and bread.”

This August, On Earth Peace’s Stop Recruiting Kids organizer Sebastian Muñoz-McDonald organized “The Truth About Military Recruiting: A Dialogue with Veterans,” featuring sharing from Rosa Del Duca, Ian Littau, and Eddie Falcon. “The event had four purposes,” said a note to Newsline from Matt Guynn, director of organizing for On Earth Peace, “to give veterans a platform to speak about their experiences with recruitment and enlistment; to provide info about military recruiting practices that target youth, especially those in vulnerable communities; to explain the realities of enlisting that military recruiters may gloss over, and to connect communities with information on career and service alternatives to joining the military.” The video recording of the event is now available online at

On Earth Peace also is offering a two-hour “Intro to Kingian Nonviolence” online event on Oct. 19 starting at 3 p.m. (Eastern time). “Register below to meet others interested in Kingian Nonviolence, build Beloved Community, and connect with On Earth Peace’s Kingian Nonviolence Learning Action Community,” said an invitation. The event will review the four pillars, introduce the six principles and six steps, and review the social dynamics of Kingian Nonviolence. It will be co-facilitated by Pam Smith, a public historian and long-time Chicago consultant for nonprofit organizations, currently living in Richmond, Va. “Her team conducted the feasibility study that set the stage for the Chicago Freedom School,” said the invitation. “Pam has worked with many youth groups in the city and served as a senior press aide to Jesse Jackson in his 1988 presidential bid and to Barack Obama in his primary campaign for US Senate. Pam is coeditor of The Chicago Freedom Movement: Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Activism in the North.” Co-facilitator is Clara McGilly, Kingian Nonviolence intern at On Earth Peace. Go to

Middle Pennsylvania District of the Church of the Brethren has announced the cancellation of its district conference this year. “The District Conference Program and Arrangements Committee had a lengthy meeting with the District Coordinating Team…discussing whether or not to continue with plans for an in-person district conference this year,” said the announcement. “Out of an abundance of caution and care for everyone involved at this time when the COVID numbers are again sky-rocketing, the Program and Arrangements Committee (affirmed by the Coordinating Team) made the difficult decision to cancel district conference for 2021. We believe that our planned conference theme for this year, ‘Bearing Fruit, Being Disciples’ is lived out in our tender care and love for each other’s spiritual and physical well-being, even when difficult decisions have to be made. Our desire is not to compromise anyone’s health. Various business items such as affirmation of district slate and mission plan, approval of minutes and reports, as well as all Camp Blue Diamond business items will be handled via postal snail mail. Congregations will be receiving information regarding this process in the near future. The hope of district leadership is to gather all our churches together for a grand worship celebration in the spring of 2022.”

Shenandoah District has announced that its district conference this year is going “back to barn roots.” The 2021 Shenandoah District Conference will be for delegates only and will be held at the Rockingham County (Va.) Fairgrounds in the display barn on the morning of Nov. 6. Find out more at

Sunrise Church of the Brethren in Shenandoah District is hosting the Brethren & Mennonite Heritage Center event “This Is My Story: Personal Stories of People of Faith” on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. “This year’s storytellers are Regina Cysick Harlow of the Church of the Brethren and Harvey Yoder of the Mennonite Church USA,” said an announcement from the district. “The format for the evening is four distinct 5-minute personal stories from each storyteller, without interruption or comment, with time for fellowship and connection over the stories at the conclusion of the event. The storytellers are invited to share stories connecting to any of the four themes of the Heritage Center: Peace, Covenant Community, Alienness-Non-citizenship, Neighborliness. A free-will offering will be received to support the mission and programming of the Brethren & Mennonite Heritage Center.”

McPherson (Kan.) College has announced recipients of the 2021-22 Teaching Awards: Shane Kirchner and Matt Porter. The college presents the awards each year at the annual Honors Convocation to one tenured and one non-tenured faculty member. Kirchner, professor and chair of teacher education, received the tenured award. “Described in one nomination as ‘definitely leads by example,’ Dr. Kirchner models the mission of the program he leads, which is to develop service-oriented educators,” said a release. “Nominations from his students included appreciation for the interest he takes in them and comments about his contagious, positive attitude. One student’s most memorable class session was when Dr. Kirchner, in dress pants, suit coat, and tie, turned a cartwheel in front of the class. ‘He deserves this award for the dedication, passion, and enthusiasm he brings to every class,’ one nomination said.” Porter, an assistant professor of business, received the non-tenured award. “The selection committee identified three consistent themes seen in the nominations for Professor Porter,” said the release. “His students appreciate the quality of their classroom experience, his interest in their success, and are grateful for the lengths to which he has gone to accommodate them during the pandemic. One nomination stated, ‘He has gone above and beyond to support students all the way through COVID. Professor Porter has paid for things like cameras and boards that work online so that students can experience the same learning at home or in quarantine as they would in class.’”

The Brethren Heritage Center in Brookville, Ohio, is seeking help to locate video recordings of the late Anna Mow, who was a wellknown and beloved leader in the Church of the Brethren. Wrote Neal Fitze, volunteer staff at the center: “I received an email from Becky Copenhaver of the Living Peace Church of the Brethren in Plymouth, Mich. Becky has taken on an interesting project. She wishes to develop a tribute performance of Anna Mow, in looks, sound, and gestures. She had been directed to our organization, the Brethren Heritage Center, thinking we might be able to locate sound and video recordings. She was told that the videos of Anna Mow had been destroyed in a fire. After an exhaustive search I found sound files but no video. If anyone might have a home movie of her from Annual Conference or any other of her speaking events please contact the Brethren Heritage Center by calling 937-833-5222 or by email at” Find out more about the Brethren Heritage Center at

With World Food Day soon approaching on Oct. 16, the World Council of Churches (WCC) and ecumenical organizations and other partners are inviting churches around the globe to pray and act for an end to hunger. “Although we live in a world of abundant resources globally, 41 million people are currently at risk of starvation, and around half of them children,” said a WCC release. “This is happening in a context where 811 million people worldwide go to bed hungry each night and hunger increased globally by 25% in 2020,” reflected WCC acting general secretary Ioan Sauca. Contributing factors include “a set of converging crises, including conflict, the impacts of climate change, and COVID-19’s devastating economic impacts, adding to the deep injustices the pandemic has revealed and exacerbated,” the release said.

A weekend of prayer for hunger is set for Oct. 16-17. A variety of resources ranging from liturgical material and fact sheets to social media resources are available at

Mikayla Davis of Mohrsville (Pa.) Church of the Brethren has been crowned Pennsylvania State Dairy Princess, reported Lancaster Farming. The pageant was held Sept. 25 at the Blair County Convention Center in Altoona, Pa. Davis is 20 years old, daughter of Mike and Angie Davis of Leesport, Pa., a junior at Penn State majoring in ag-business management, and an office assistant at the Leesport Farmers Market. “The Davis family operates a small farm where Mikayla Davis helps to raise Holstein heifers for local and state competitions, along with her three younger siblings, Tanner, Alexa, and Bryce,” the report said. Find it at

The WCC also has congratulated 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureate journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov. WCC acting general secretary Ioan Sauca said, “This award underscores the critical importance of freedom of expression and information as pillars for democracy, justice, and peace.” The awards were announced at a ceremony in Oslo today, Oct. 8. The two journalists were given the award “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.” The WCC release noted that in September, the WCC, World Association for Christian Communication, and other partners organized a symposium on “Communication for Social Justice in a Digital Age.” A manifesto that came out of that meeting said, in part: “We need principles that allow all people to engage in transparent, informed, and democratic debate, where people have unfettered access to the information and knowledge essential to peaceful coexistence, empowerment, responsible civic engagement, and mutual accountability.”

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 James Deaton, Stan Dueck, Jan Fischer Bachman, Neal Fitze, Sharon Billings Franzén, Kim Gingerich, Rhonda Pittman Gingrich, Matt Guynn, Nancy Miner, Zakariya Musa, Becky Ullom Naugle, Randi Rowan, David Sollenberger, 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.

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