Brethren bits

The Council of District Executives and the Leadership Team of the Church of the Brethren gathered at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill., on April 4-6. After two years of meeting virtually, it was the first in-person gathering for the council and provided an opportunity for the council and Leadership Team to reflect together on their common work and ministry. It was an uplifting and encouraging time of renewal, strengthening relationships, and exploring ways district and denominational leadership work together. Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

FaithX has extended the registration deadline to April 22, “so it’s not too late to sign up for a trip and journey in service and boundless faith!” said coordinator Zech Houser. Registration can be found at

McPherson (Kan.) College has announced an endowed scholarship for its automotive restoration program. “A family’s life-long passion for cars has made it possible to establish an endowed scholarship at McPherson College with an initial gift of $400,000,” said a release. The permanent fund endowed by Daryl and Ann Hemken will award scholarships annually to students in the automotive restoration program. “The late Col. Daryl and Ann Hemken started buying and collecting cars shortly after they were married in 1954. What started as a hobby turned into a passion that involved their entire family and eventually led to the founding of The Hemken Collection Museum in Williams, Iowa, where they lived. The collection was sold at auction in September 2021.” Find out more about the automotive restoration program at

The National Council of Churches on April 7 issued a statement commending the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court as the first Black woman on the court.

The full text of the statement follows:

On this historic day, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) commends the US Senate for confirming Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court of the United States. Since the formation of the Supreme Court in 1790, there has never been a Black woman on the court. This historic confirmation reflects the diversity of our nation and is long overdue.

Since 2018 when the NCC began the A.C.T. Now to End Racism initiative, we have been committed to eradicating the entrenched racism that grips the United States and paralyzes our ability to see every human being as equal. We hold that diversity on our benches is a necessity because it increases the trust we have in our courts and ensures everyone is represented in judicial decision-making.

“As the National Council of Churches continues our work to end racism and advance civil rights, we welcome Judge Jackson to the Supreme Court. With her undeniable credentials, we know she will bring the wisdom and experience needed at this time in our nation. Today is a day to celebrate our diversity as we work to become the Beloved Community we envision.” –Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, NCC Governing Board Chair and Presiding Bishop of the Fifth Episcopal District, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Church of the Brethren singer, songwriter, and educator Linda Williams of First Church of the Brethren in San Diego, Calif., has been inspired by the struggles of the pandemic and recent world events to put together a collection of her songs under the title “Songs of Hope, Faith, and Peacemaking.” Many are suitable for use with children and as classroom activities, while others are for individual reflection and devotion. These are songs “that God has given me, to hopefully bless others,” she wrote to Newsline. Find the entire document at She notes that “all songs are available for free streaming (and some for free download). All lyrics sheets are offered, as well. Please see the Scriptural Allusions / References Index, which includes links to 46 of the songs which were inspired by 167 Bible verses. I’ve offered a selection of ‘The Suggested Top 10’ as a place to start, if you wish–this list includes a 10-minute meditation song, ‘Be Still and Know that I Am God’–as well as ‘Peace I Leave with You.’” Living Stream Church of the Brethren has made her recording of “Peace I Leave with You” available online at (video © by Living Stream Church of the Brethren 2021).

Check out the most recent edition of the Bridge, the Church of the Brethren Young Adult newsletter, here:


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