Brethren bits

Correction: The name of an appointee listed in the two-page Annual Conference Wrap Up was misspelled. Katherine Allen Haff (not Naff) of Manchester (Ind.) Church of the Brethren has been appointed to the Eder Financial Board. That correction has been made in the current version of the Wrap Up at

Remembrance: Ron Sider, 82, who helped inspire the founding of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT, now Community Peacemaker Teams) by the historic peace churches including the Church of the Brethren, died on July 27. He was an author, seminary professor, and evangelical peace and social justice activist whose work was meaningful to many across the Christian community in the United States and worldwide. In a remembrance from Churches for Middle East Peace, Nathan Hosler, director of the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, wrote: “Ron Sider’s writing on the Christian’s responsibility to care for those who are suffering hunger and poverty played an important role in my ministry formation. Additionally, his call to robust and embodied peacemaking catalyzed the Historic Peace Churches and broader Church to boldly follow Jesus’ call to peacemaking, through the formation of Christian Peacemaker Teams (now Community Peacemaker Teams).” Among Sider’s most impactful work was the founding of Christians for Social Action, where he was founder and president emeritus. He held a doctorate in history from Yale and was the Distinguished Professor of Theology, Holistic Ministry, and Public Policy at Palmer Theological Seminary (formerly Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary) and also taught at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. His 1977 book, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, was lauded by Christianity Today as being among the top 100 books in religion in the 20th century and the 7th most influential book in the evangelical world in the last 50 years. He continued his writing career into recent years, publishing Speak Your Peace: What the Bible Says about Loving Your Enemies in 2020. A native of Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, Sider was raised among Anabaptists in the Brethren in Christ Church. He is survived by his wife, Arbutus, his three children, and their families. Find an article about his life and work from Religion News Service at

The World Friendship Center in Hiroshima, Japan, which is a project site for Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS), is offering a webinar in observance of the 77th Memorial Day since the atomic bombing on Aug. 6, 1945. Said an announcement: “Barbara Reynolds, the founder of the World Friendship Center, had a consistent desire to ‘bring the voices of hibakusha [atomic bomb survivors] to the world’ and ‘abolish nuclear weapons.’ However, 77 years later, the abolition of nuclear weapons has not been achieved. We welcome you to join us for these programs, remembering those who lost their lives in the atomic bombing.” The “Hibakusha Talk by Ms. Toshiko Tanaka” will be in English at 9 p.m. on Aug. 5 (Eastern time), which is 10 a.m. on Aug. 6 (Japan time). Register at Download the Hibakusha Talk flier at Find the World Friendship Center Facebook page at

Remembrance: Martha Ann Greenhoe Kaufman, 71, who as a Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) worker helped found a ministry for special needs children on the island of Culebra, an isolated island that is part of Puerto Rico, died on July 25. The Asociación Educativa Pro Desarrollo Humano De Culebra wrote in a remembrance, in part (as shared by Living Stream Church of the Brethren): “Our dear Marta Kaufman. A very special being for our community of North American origin but identified as a Culebrense. She took on the task of finding a place together with a group of parents who were concerned about the well-being of their children and who could not obtain the necessary and essential support or services at the state and municipal levels so that their claims could be addressed…. Marta, together with Mrs. Maria Padron, Rosa Talaveras and the group of parents from Culebra, were the pillars since October 1985 when they founded the Educational Association for Human Development of Culebra so that these children with special needs could achieve social justice through health professionals and that they be cared for by agencies of the government itself. Our children deserved a better quality of life and Marta achieved it. The Association continues to provide services to the community with various programs and aid for people who need it.” Born in Sheridan, Mich., to Austin and Lena Greenhoe, she held a degree in sociology and anthropology from Manchester College (now Manchester University) in North Manchester, Ind. After her marriage to Robert Kaufman in 1972, the couple volunteered in Kenya for three years. She returned to Michigan to earn a master’s in clinical social work from Western Michigan University. A few years later, she and her husband moved to Culebra as BVSers. After 20 years her family moved to Savannah, Ga., where she worked in foster care, was a certified interpreter in the judicial system, and provided classes in domestic violence for Spanish speakers until her death. She is survived by her husband, Robert Kaufman, and son Jesse Kaufman, and his family. A memorial service is planned for 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20, at Families First Funeral Care in Savannah, with calling hours from 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the donor’s choice.

Remembrance: Peter J. Leddy Sr., who served for a few years as a district executive minister in the Church of the Brethren, as well as long service as a pastor, died on July 6 in Florida. He passed following a brief illness after a fall requiring surgery. As district executive he “won the hearts of many with his gentle spirit,” said a district remembrance. He was married to Carol (Smeltzer) for 58 years. He is survived by their four children: Mary Franks, Ruth (Mike) Conner, Joe (Kelly) Leddy, Harvey (Amanda) Leddy; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Martha “Martie” Hummer will be joining the Brethren Disaster Ministries project leadership team for her term of service with Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) beginning on Aug. 20. She will serve first at the Waverly, Tenn., rebuilding project site. She first applied for BVS as a high school graduate but circumstances led her in a different direction. Now, as a retired nurse and being recently widowed, she is returning to serve in this way, noted an announcement welcoming her to Brethren Disaster Ministries.

Christian Churches Together USA (CCT) has appointed Monica Schaap Pierce as its new executive director and the first woman to be appointed the head of CCT. The Church of the Brethren is a member communion of CCT. Pierce is a member of the Reformed Church in America. She received her doctorate in theology from Fordham University in 2018. She has taught theology at Roman Catholic and Reformed universities and seminaries and is currently co-chair of the national Reformed-Catholic dialogue. She has served on CCT’s Steering Committee, as CCT’s treasurer, and then as interim executive director.

Virlina District seeks a full-time time district executive minister. The position will be available beginning December 2022. The search committee welcomes potential candidates submitting their application materials by Sept. 15. The district office is in Roanoke, Va. The district covers portions of three states with the majority of congregations located in Virginia. The district consists of very diverse theological perspectives and congregations in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Virlina has intentional programs that allow people to discern God’s call to set apart ministry. There is enthusiasm to be together, for spiritual growth through retreats (for youth and adults), for disaster response trips, for District Conference, and for new church development. The district is blessed to have three Spanish-speaking congregations. The district camp, Camp Bethel, covers a vast 470 acres and continues to develop infrastructure and program to provide year-round ministry. The district resource center has multiple staff as well as volunteers to assist in the ministry of the district. Responsibilities of the district executive minister include direction, coordination, management, and leadership of the district ministries, as authorized by the District Conference and implemented by the District Board; work with the congregations in calling and credentialing ministers, and in the placement/call and evaluation of pastoral staff; provide support and counsel for ministers and other church leaders; share and interpret program resources for congregations; provide an important link between the congregations and the district and denomination by working collaboratively with the Council of District Executives, the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference and its agencies, and their staff. Qualifications and experience include ordination through an accredited program, with a master of divinity degree preferred; personal skills in organization, administration, and communication; commitment to the Church of the Brethren locally and denominationally and willingness to work ecumenically; demonstrated leadership skills; pastoral experience preferred. Apply by sending a letter of interest and resume to Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, Director of Ministry for the Church of the Brethren, via email at Applicants are requested to contact three people to provide letters of reference. Upon receipt of the resume, a candidate profile will be sent that must be completed and returned before the application is considered complete. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

— Southern Ohio and Kentucky District is requesting donations for an Eastern Kentucky Flood Response effort. Suggested donations include nonperishable foods that do not need a can opener to open, personal hygiene items, and cleaning supplies. Here are ideas of items: first aid items such as band-aids and hydrocortisone cream; hygiene supplies such as shampoo, hand sanitizer, and body wash; cleaning supplies and related items such as bug spray, heavy duty trash bags, Clorox, Lysol spray, buckets, mops, and tote bins; nonperishable food items such as canned meat with pull tab, Vienna sausage, cereal bars, crackers, peanut butter, individual packs of cookies or snacks, and Gatorade. Bring donations to the Brethren Disaster Ministries Ice Cream Social on Saturday, Aug. 6, at 4-7 p.m. (Eastern time) at Happy Corner Church of the Brethren, 7037 Union Rd., Clayton, Ohio; or contact district disaster coordinators Burt and Helen Wolf to arrange other drop-off options, at 937-287-5902 or

Camp Emmaus in Mount Morris, Ill., is celebrating the longterm leadership of Bill and Betty Hare. An Open House will be held in their honor on Sept. 11, from 2-5 p.m. “The Hares have requested no gifts except your presence and memories,” said an announcement. “If you would like to share memories digitally, please use this Kudoboard link We will make both a slideshow and a book from what is collected.” Overnight accommodations (cabins or tenting) are available. Reserve by contacting Sara Garner,, 630-923-9039. Find out more on the Facebook event page at

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