Brethren bits for Nov. 18, 2022

— Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) will be celebrating its centennial in 2023, 100 years after the founding of the Church of the Brethren Mission in 1923 that led to the organization of Lardin Gabas and then EYN. (Find a history of the church in Nigeria at Please submit any suggestions for corrections or additions to this history to Initial plans for the celebration will include the more than 60 districts of EYN holding 10 “zonal” celebrations beginning in January, in various places across the denomination. Celebrations may be held in the village where the Church of the Brethren mission got its start; at the EYN Headquarters and Kulp Theological Seminary, and in the nation’s capital city.

Please pray… For Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria, its leader, districts and congregations, and all of the members of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, as they look forward to celebrating their 100th anniversary as a church.

— Remembrance: Kenneth Bragg, who served for many years in various capacities at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., passed away on Nov. 9 at his home. He was a truck driver for Service Ministries from July 2001 until Nov. 2014, when he became warehouse assistant for Material Resources until his retirement in April 2015. From Oct. 2016 to April 2018, he returned to serve on a temporary basis as a boxcar helper for Material Resources. The family will receive friends from 2-6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20, at Hartzler Funeral Home-Libertytown in Frederick, Md. A service celebrating his life will be held at a later date. A full obituary is at

A screenshot from the website for Juniata Women’s Volleyball at

— The Women’s Volleyball team at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., is headed to the NCAA National Championship game for the 9th time in program history. An email alert from the alumni office reported that the team “enters the finals as the #1 overall seed and will play #3 seed Trinity, in a rematch of Juniata’s only loss on the season.” Game time is 7 p.m. (Eastern time) on Saturday, Nov. 19, at Duquesne University’s UPMC Cooper Field House in Pittsburgh, Pa. The game will be livestreamed at Said the announcement: “Good Luck to our Juniata Women’s Volleyball team as they continue their quest for a 3rd National Championship!”

— Signers of a letter in support of a US-led investigation into the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh included Nathan Hosler, director of the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, and Mae Elise Cannon, executive director of Churches for Middle East Peace, of which the Church of the Brethren is a member. Some 26 Christian faith leaders signed the joint letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The letter says, in part, that Akleh “was shot to death on May 11 during an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) operation in the West Bank town of Jenin, despite the fact that she was wearing protective gear prominently marked with the English word ‘PRESS.’ Though an Israeli investigation concluded in a September 4 announcement that she was likely killed by Israeli forces, there appears to be no effort undertaken or planned to identify or hold accountable those responsible…. A U.S.-led investigation is therefore necessary to provide clarity about what happened, accountability for those responsible, and determine whether U.S. defense materials or services were used in her killing. A U.S.-led investigation is also imperative because Shireen Abu Akleh was a U.S. citizen. Her killing and the subsequent assault by Israeli soldiers on her funeral as mourners attempted to carry her casket to the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem outraged Palestinians, including Palestinian Christians.” Find the letter and the list of those who have signed at

— A reminder that Advent begins on Sunday, Nov. 27, this year. The annual Advent devotional from Brethren Press titled Simple Gifts, written by Kathy Fuller Guisewite, may be ordered at Said an announcement of the pocket-sized paperback: “If we practice leaning into the simplicity in the holy story and the sacredness of our ordinary lives, we might find pure joy in this season of Advent.”

— Garber’s Church of the Brethren in Harrisonburg, Va., has made the news for its celebration of 200 years. WHSV 3 quoted pastor Kathy Puffenbarger as saying “it is the oldest Church of the Brethren in the Commonwealth.” Since its opening in 1822, Puffenbarger said the church “has never relocated or had to close its doors. The original kitchen is still a part of the church and serves as a piece of history to those who enter.” The congregation celebrated with speakers sharing some of the church’s history and entertainment by “Three and One,” a gospel music group. Read more at

— Living Stream Church of the Brethren, the Church of the Brethren’s only fully online congregation, will celebrate 10 years on Sunday, Nov. 27. “Our first online worship service as a congregation was the first Sunday of Advent in the year 2012,” said an announcement. “As we celebrate our anniversary our founding pastor, Audrey Zunkel-deCoursey will be our guest preacher.”

— “Called or Not Called” is the latest Dunker Punks podcast, featuring Anna Lisa Gross and interviews with leaders of the Womaen’s Caucus. Melissa Leiter-Grandison and Ruthann Knechel Johansen speak about 50 years of feminism in the Church of the Brethren. Listen in at


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