Newsline for April 9, 2022

1) Global Mission releases list of grants made to international partners in 2021

2) Global Mission office focuses resources on known and trusted partners around the world

3) Office of Peacebuilding and Policy issues action alert standing with vulnerable Ukrainians

4) Office of Peacebuilding and Policy signs on to letter to President Biden encouraging creative peacebuilding for Ukraine

5) NCC condemns Russia’s massacre of Ukrainians

6) EYN releases 12 resolutions at its 75th General Church Council

7) University of La Verne to offer differentiated bachelor’s degree program for registered nurses

8) Winners of the Youth Speech Contest for NYC are announced

9) Restoration Los Angeles celebrates 100 years of ministry

10) Brethren bits: District executives and Leadership Team meet, FaithX deadline extended, Spring issue of Bridge newsletter for young adults, endowed scholarship for McPherson’s automotive restoration program, NCC commends Supreme Court confirmation, “Songs of Hope, Faith, and Peacemaking”

Quote of the week:

“When Jesus triumphantly enters Jerusalem, an explosion of praise greets him…. Amid the jubilation, some religious leaders urge the disciples to put a lid on it…. But Jesus tells them that nothing can silence this honest outcry of hope and joy. All of creation wanted in on the song. The Living Bible paraphrase translates verse 40: ‘If [the people] keep quiet, the stones along the road will burst into cheers!’ What good news do you hold that is so amazing that it’s just bursting to come out?”

— From Walt Wiltschek’s devotion for Palm Sunday, in the 2022 Lenten devotional from Brethren Press titled We Wait for Light.

A note to readers: Newsline will take a break for Holy Week.
Expect our next issue to arrive in your inbox around April 22.

As many congregations return to in-person worship, we want to update our listing of worship opportunities at Churches of the Brethren at Please send new information to

Lifting up Brethren who are active in health care at Add a person to the list by sending first name, county, and state to

1) Global Mission releases list of grants made to international partners in 2021

Global Mission co-executives Eric Miller and Ruoxia Li have announced the grants their office distributed to international partners last year, in 2021. Close to $700,000 was distributed, made possible through donations to the mission work of the Church of the Brethren denomination. Norm and Carol Spicher Waggy, who previously served as interim directors of Global Mission, contributed to the work of identifying grant recipients.

The grants represent financial support from Global Mission and partner groups to the administrative budgets of emerging Churches of the Brethren in a variety of countries, as well as efforts such as church building and health care, among others.

Significant financial support for the grants came from Brethren World Mission and the Brethren Mission Fund. The Royer Foundation contributed a significant amount for the Haiti Medical Project, and Paul and Sandy Brubaker did work to raise funds for that project. The Global Mission office also received and distributed funds on behalf of the Global Women’s Project.

These amounts do not include grants from the Global Food Initiative (GFI) or from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) as directed by Brethren Disaster Ministries staff.

The 2021 grants distributed by Global Mission, listed alphabetically by country:

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): $10,000 in financial support to the administrative budget of the Church of the Brethren in the DRC.

Dominican Republic (DR): $22,000 in financial support to the administrative budget of the Church of the Brethren in the DR, including some expenses for meetings and travel.

Haiti: A total of $478,131 includes grants to the Haiti Medical Project, $80,000 for the purchase of property for the Delmas Church, and $35,000 for the church basement/building in Saut-Mathurine.

Honduras: $500 for theological training.

India: $2,000 in financial support to the administrative budget of First District Church of the Brethren in India.

Mexico: $250 for program supplies.

Nigeria: $41,214 mostly for rebuilding churches of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) that have been destroyed in violence.

Global Mission has supported church building and repair in Nigeria with many grants over recent years. Shown here, a workcamp held collaboratively with Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) worked on a church in Pegi for EYN members displaced from Chibok.

Rwanda: $57,857 for the building of church headquarters, scholarships for Twa students, and seminary training for pastors.

South Sudan: $36,000 for regular mission programing including agriculture, trauma healing, and reconciliation efforts.

Spain: $19,706 including theological training for leaders of the Church of the Brethren in Spain.

Uganda: $6,410 including funding for a Christmas event at an orphanage.

Venezuela: $23,955 including church building and support for the outreach to indigenous peoples by the Church of the Brethren in Venezuela.

Find out more about the Church of the Brethren Global Mission at

2) Global Mission office focuses resources on known and trusted partners around the world

By Eric Miller

Do you ever receive requests for financial support from pastors or church workers from other countries?

The Global Mission office of the Church of the Brethren often receives requests for support from Christians around the world. Many churches also receive these requests, as do individuals on Facebook. Though we are blessed by God, we have limited resources, and therefore focus our resources on our partners around the world. We know and trust these partners to make good use of the money we send to them, and to call them to account if they do not.

No doubt, many of the others who approach us are worthy servants and deserving of aid, but there are also people out there who will claim to be doing the Lord’s work in order to enrich themselves. Even many of those who are well-meaning have a hard time being successful working on their own without the support and accountability that a larger organization provides.

In some cases, churches are supporting individuals and projects overseas that are well known to them. We praise God for the faithfulness of these churches.

Churches and individuals who are approached by individuals they do not know well may wish to respond in much the same way as the Global Mission office: “We are already supporting churches and projects around the world and/or in your country. Please understand that we are unable to support your project at this time, but may God bless you in your work.”

We also sometimes receive requests for Bibles and donations of Bibles and other books. Usually, we are unable to meet these requests. The costs of shipping Bibles and books is quite high, and the translations available to us are often not the best for those in other countries. We do sometimes support the work of Bible translation into languages that do not yet have a complete Bible.

We are grateful for the interest in people who wish to share the love of Jesus around the world and for the support that many individuals and churches donate for the support of God’s work around the world through the Global Mission office. We are also grateful for the churches and faithful servants who are working around the world. There is much to be done!

To contact me if you have questions or concerns:

— Eric Miller and his wife, Ruoxia Li, are co-executive directors of Global Mission for the Church of the Brethren. Find out more about the ministry of the Global Mission office at

3) Office of Peacebuilding and Policy issues action alert standing with vulnerable Ukrainians

“Call on Congress to stand with vulnerable Ukrainians and seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict,” said today’s action alert from the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy.

The full text of the alert follows:

The conflict in Ukraine has led to the deaths of thousands of Ukrainian civilians and an even greater number of Russian and Ukrainian military forces. The exact numbers are difficult to determine in the chaos of war, but we do know that infrastructure and livelihoods continue to be destroyed across Ukraine. Over 4 million refugees and counting have fled the region, and according to the UNHCR, 12 million people remaining inside Ukraine will also need humanitarian relief and support.

Despite this ongoing tragedy, it does not appear that Russia and Ukraine are any closer to negotiating a peace deal. Thankfully, the U.S. has not directly responded to the Russian invasion of Ukraine with military force, which has the potential to dangerously escalate the conflict. However, our government has chosen to send military aid to Ukraine and imposed strict sanctions on the Russian economy. In keeping with the nonviolent convictions of the Church of the Brethren, we support actions that will bring a swift end to the conflict and reduce death and destruction, rather than lead to escalation.

For this reason, along with Church World Service, we applauded President Biden’s decision to welcome 100,000 Ukrainian refugees and offer other forms of humanitarian assistance. Members of Congress must now ensure the Biden administration follows through in support of vulnerable Ukrainians and refugees all around the world!

In addition, since we know that true peace is not attainable on a foundation of violence, we urge Congress and the Biden Administration to pursue peace talks and diplomatic solutions rather than militarized responses to Russian aggression. Recently, our office signed a faith letter addressed to President Biden, calling on him to support creative peacebuilding solutions such as unarmed civilian protection programs and civilian-led protests, but we also need your help to contact your representatives in Congress and demand that our leaders employ these strategies now and in the future.

Please use the link at to easily send emails to your representatives, or use the Legislator Lookup tool at to find their phone number. In either case, you can use the following script to communicate your message!

Sample script

“Hello, I’m your constituent from [insert city/county], and as a person of faith I urge you to support vulnerable Ukrainians and pursue nonviolent methods of peacebuilding in Ukraine.

First, the U.S. should provide humanitarian assistance to the over 4 million Ukrainians fleeing war and I ask that you hold the Biden administration accountable to their promise to welcome 100,000 Ukrainian refugees to the U.S. Our country should always be a safe haven for refugees fleeing war and violence and seeking a better life, no matter where they come from or the color of their skin. As a member of congress, I urge you to strengthen U.S. refugee resettlement programs and repeal legislation that acts as a barrier to vulnerable populations.

In addition, I ask that the U.S. support nonviolent efforts to bring an end to the conflict in Ukraine. We must address the root causes of conflict and invest in nonviolent resistance, diplomacy, and international law. The U.S. is uniquely situated to provide support for unarmed civilian protection, protests, and other forms of nonviolent resistance to the Russian invasion. Military intervention is not a viable solution, and so I urge you to support peace talks and a negotiated settlement that brings an end to the war in Ukraine and establishes a just and lasting peace.

Thank you for your time.”

— Find out more about the ministry of the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy at

4) Office of Peacebuilding and Policy signs on to letter to President Biden encouraging creative peacebuilding for Ukraine

The Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy signed on to an April 6 letter to President Biden, that was sent cooperatively with several other partner organizations. The letter called on the President to “think creatively about how to end this catastrophe rather than maintaining it through violence and escalations” and offered “examples of creative, courageous nonviolent resistance.”

The full text of the letter follows:

April 6, 2022

President Biden,

As national faith-based organizations and leaders, we urge you to think creatively about how to end this catastrophe rather than maintaining it through violence and escalations.

Office of Peacebuilding and Policy Logo

The war in Ukraine is a spiritual, human, and ecological catastrophe. We have failed to create the social conditions for the prevention of large-scale violence. We have failed to escape the cycle of threats, blame, and retribution which escalates hostility and distrust. We have failed to acknowledge the relevant root causes and acknowledge responsibility for harm from key stakeholders. We have failed to engage diplomacy focused on the dignity and human needs of the key stakeholders, with a willingness to compromise, and a focus on saving lives. We have failed to adequately train people in nonviolent conflict, resistance and civilian-based defense. Let’s not make these mistakes again.

We urge you to amplify the courageous and creative actions of nonviolent resistance being done in Ukraine, Russia, and elsewhere (see examples below). Like the Alliance for Peacebuilding, we also urge you to help establish communication hubs for such persons as well as invest and call for others to resource these civil society leaders and activists. This will lend concrete solidarity towards dynamics which are ten times more likely to lead to durable democracy.

We urge you to encourage President Zelensky to do all he can to find a diplomatic agreement with Russia to end the war, even if the outcome includes limits to NATO influence or other concessions from the west. This will create space for more insightful thinking about how to address root causes and seek a more sustainable just peace. We know Russian leadership is responsible for their invasion. Yet, we have more influence on Zelensky at this point to take the moral high ground.

We urge you to call on donors, governments, and multilateral institutions to support unarmed civilian protection to nonviolently protect civilians. For example, Operazione Colomba is in Lviv helping to accompany and evacuate marginalized persons.

We urge you to re-humanize all stakeholders, including adversaries. This is done through the language, labels, and narratives you choose to use. Although difficult, we must avoid labels such as calling persons or groups “evil,” “diabolical,” “irrational,” “thugs” or “monsters.” This doesn’t mean we agree with or justify their actions. Yet, the more we dehumanize others, the more we escalate, narrow our imagination and enable dynamics of violence. Re-humanization is also done through solidarity with people’s social movements and carefulness that sanctions don’t cause undue harm to their populations, especially in a way that restricts humanitarian, human rights work or the ability of people to meet their basic needs. This can also be done by offering shelter and protection to Russian defectors. Another example is a willingness to pray for all stakeholders, including adversaries.

We urge you to consider strategic delegations or a humanitarian airlift into Ukraine to generate time and space, i.e. peace zones, for interrupting the hostilities. For example, this could include one or multiple allied countries landing huge cargo planes full of medicine and food in Ukraine. Top government (and maybe religious or other) officials would be on board. Cargo planes are not offensive fighter jets. The U.S. executed exactly such a humanitarian airlift when Putin invaded Georgia in 2008 which significantly contributed to the end of those hostilities.

Present examples of creative, courageous nonviolent resistance:

Ukrainians blocking convoys and tanks, standing ground even with warning shots fired in multiple towns, in Berdyansk city and Kulyk?vka village people organized peace rallies and convinced the Russian military to get out, hundreds protested abduction of mayor, protests in Kherson vs. being a breakaway state, fraternization of Russian soldiers to lower morale and stimulate defections, humanitarian assistance (Orthodox priests as escorts) and caring for refugees (ICRC, Doctors without Borders in Ukraine), evacuations, etc.

Russians protesting war with nearly 15,000 arrested, ex. interrupted Russian state TV, resigning from state TV), 100,000 Russians from a variety of sectors have signed petitions to end the war, Russians close to the military and foreign ministry, in the Russian oil industry and billionaires, and Russian Orthodox clerics (nearly 300) have spoken out against the war, and at least over 100 soldiers have refused to take part, etc.

External Actors: outpouring of public statements by key political leaders, reducing the flow of money to the aggressor (ex. via banks, media, trade, fossil fuels, etc.), supporting the anti-war protesters in Russia and nonviolent resistance in Ukraine, disrupting the technology systems of the aggressor, interrupting disinformation, coalition building, activating key civil society leaders (ex. religious, athletes, business), challenging theological ideology supporting war, shifting away from retributive justice and toward restorative justice, encourage the acknowledging of responsibility for harm, sharing educational material about nonviolent civilian-based defense, challenging the role of racism and white supremacy in the conflict, etc.

The U.S. is positioned to contribute to ending the cycle of violence and ensuring a just and lasting peace. We urge you to choose that path.


Center on Conscience and War
Church of the Brethren, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy
Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
Pax Christi USA
United Church of Christ, Justice and Local Church Ministries
Catholic Worker House DC

— Find out more about the ministry of the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy at

5) NCC condemns Russia’s massacre of Ukrainians

A release from the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA

“You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13, NRSVue).

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) cries out in anger and despair as we witness the brutal war in Ukraine. We condemn Russia for invading and murdering the people of Ukraine without provocation.

The horror of Russia’s missiles and bombs–that have destroyed and completely leveled entire cities and towns including homes, houses of worship, medical facilities, offices, and utilities–has now been compounded by the evidence of mass murder by the Russian army against Ukrainian civilians during the occupation of their communities. With the retreat of the Russian military from around Kyiv, evidence has mounted from credible sources of torture, rape, and mass graves filled with entire Ukrainian families killed and people bound while executed.

Lord, have mercy on all who have been brutally murdered and suffered through these attacks. Bring comfort to their remaining family, to their compatriots, and to all who are traumatized by this terror.

We continue to look on in horror at the assault on the Ukrainian people. As the war escalates, Ukrainians remain trapped without any means of survival or humanitarian corridors of escape due to Russia’s refusal to provide safe passage out of cities like Mariupol.

Lord, watch over those who are fleeing for their lives and bring them to safety.

The Russians who have committed these atrocities in Ukraine must be brought to justice. We call upon international bodies, including the United Nations, to investigate and punish war crimes committed by Russia. We commend the International Criminal Court for actively investigating the situation and beginning to collect evidence based on the referrals by many of its members to investigate any past and present allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide committed on any part of the territory of Ukraine by any person. The NCC asks the United States to fully support this investigation by the International Criminal Court.

In light of the continuing evidence of these human rights violations, we applaud the United Nations General Assembly for voting to suspend Russia from its Human Rights Council.

In addition, under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Article 7, when the acts being documented in Ukraine are proven to constitute crimes against humanity, in addition to Russia being held accountable, Russian individuals should also be held criminally responsible for “any prohibitive acts committed including murder, extermination, deportation or forcible transfer of population, torture, sexual violence, persecution against an identifiable group, and enforced disappearance of persons, and inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.”

Lord, reign justice down upon us.

The NCC calls on President Joe Biden, all elected leaders, and all corporations to further the sanctions against the Russian government and all those who hold any power or influence within its government. Every possible effort must be taken to stop Russia from this continued massacre.

Lord, give us the moral courage to sacrifice our worldly goods to protect those who are under siege.

We cannot ignore the hypocrisy of the Russian lie about invading Ukraine to remove the Nazis. That any nation would use such a lie against any country, and in this case a country with a Jewish head of state, is abhorrent to us.

Lord, liberate us from evil and deception.

As Christians with interfaith partners, we know that all of our religions seek peace. We also lift up our joint efforts at peacemaking.

Lord, bring peace to Ukraine. Help us to find a way to create your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

6) EYN releases 12 resolutions at its 75th General Church Council

By Zakariya Musa

Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) held its 75th General Church Council 2022, or Majalisa, at the denomination’s headquarters in Kwarhi in northeast Nigeria. The council released 12 resolutions.

In related news, EYN’s Women’s Fellowship or ZME has elected new leadership.

EYN president calls for increased security

EYN president Joel S. Billi, in his speech to the highest decision-making body of the church denomination, stressed that the state of the nation of Nigeria has not recorded pleasant change.

“Our security situation is completely dilapidated, nothing seems to improve. We have all become vulnerable in the hands of kidnappers, Boko Haram, and ritual killers. Nigeria has never been barbaric and in a state of anarchy like this.

A view of the 75th General Church Council 2022, or Majalisa, of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria. Photo by Zakariya Musa

“We are all witnesses of what our church has been undergoing since 2008 to date. We have been crying every now and then but it seems our cries do not matter or make sense. Kautikari, a town under Chibok Local Government of Borno State, was attacked on 14th January and also 25th February, 2022. They killed people and burnt our church, which was rebuilt recently. EYN Pemi was re-attacked on 20th January, 2022, and they went away with 17 children including a 4-year-old boy. On 28th December, 2021, three siblings (all boys) were killed in Vemgo, Madagali Local Government, Adamawa State.

“If truly the federal government is fighting insurgency and uncovers the sponsors, why is the war endless and why not tell Nigerians who are the sponsors. Nigerians want to know who are the sponsors and should face the wrath of the law no matter who they are.”

Achievements and setbacks in 2021

Despite security challenges faced, the president said the church has recorded a number of achievements as well as setbacks in the year 2021. The ups and downs include but are not restricted to the following:

• Successful autonomy of newly approved LCBs (congregations) since the 74th Majalisa.
• Ordinations of new pastors.
• Salaries and leave grants.
• Commissioning of Stover Kulp Water/Crago Special Bread factories.
• School of Health and Technology in Garkida.
• Discipleship Centre on the move.
• All IDP camps for displaced people were visited as scheduled.

Rwandan guests at the EYN Majalisa. Photo by Zakariya Musa

• Foul payment of 35%, many are still busy strangling the policy.
• No promotion of staff, for lack of enough funds.
• No employment of workers, our financial capacity is inadequate.
• Drifting from our heritage.
• Emergence of tribalism and godfatherism.
• Worldliness in some workers.
• Crave for leadership at all costs.
• Some not seeing ourselves as an entity.
• Down grading of Brethren Micro Finance Bank.
• No functional website.
• Staff are not digitalized.
• Lack of finishing (completing) the Conference Hall.

Looking toward the 100th anniversary of EYN

President Billi reiterated a call on all and sundry to support 100th anniversary of EYN, which is just at hand in 2023.

“It is too obvious that all of us living now will not be witnesses of celebrating EYN at 200 years, if Christ tarries. Therefore, since it is going to be such a rare privilege for all of us to witness and participate in such a celebration, let us unite our hearts and consolidate our efforts toward it. We should not allow ourselves as individuals let alone as a church to miss out manifold blessings of the centenary. Doors are wide open to all members to donate at personal levels, beside the collective levies that were given to all churches earlier. Give or donate as the Spirit leads you, remembering if not for Christ you wouldn’t have been who you are today.”

Thanks and awards

President Billi thanked EYN partners (Church of the Brethren in America, Mission 21 in Switzerland, and some individuals) for their support to run various programs and projects in the most hit church in northeast Nigeria.

The 75th council honored 10 people including a Muslim and traditional ruler with various awards for their contribution and support to humanity and the church in 2021. Five District Church Councils and some DCC secretaries were also awarded by the Majalisa.

Besides reports presented by all directorates, teachings, special guests, and politicians were received by the 1,500 capacity gathering. Among the guests were CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria) chairman for Borno State, Bishop Mohammed Naga; a delegation of Adamawa State Government led by Head of Service Prof. Maxwell Gidado; and traditional rulers.

EYN 75th Majalisa resolutions

  1. EYN to establish “Estate Department” to be saddled with the responsibility of Property Management, Record Keeping and Documentation of all EYN assets.
  2. Handling and taking over note to be comprehensive, properly signed, and be done in one month. No handing over by proxy.
  3. There should be a functional website before the Centenary Celebration, the Office of the General Secretary to ensure that is done.
  4. 28 LBCs [fellowships] were approved for granting of autonomy to the status of LCC [congregation].
  5. Three LCC had their names changed, they are LCC Madagali to LCC Madagali No. 1, LCC Fwomughou No 1, and LCC Buzza to LCC Fwomughou No. 2.
  6. One DCC [church district] to be chartered. The new DCC is Rumirgo from DCC Yawa with the following LCCs Rumirgo No. 1 & 2, Pubagu, Wachirakabu, and Mayoladde.
  7. Majalisa approved a change of DCC to LCC Kauthama from DCC Askira to DCC Mbalala, reasons proximity and effective communication.
  8. Appointment of directors: Majalisa ratified the re-appointment of evangelist Musa Daniel Mbaya for a second tenure and Hassana Habu appointed as substantive director of Women’s Ministry.
  9. Majalisa revised its earlier decision that over payment be forfeited as punishment, effective June 2022, that overpayments would be refunded, but called for caution on the side of financial handlers.
  10. Taking into account the harsh economic realities, Majalisa reviewed upward minimum income for autonomy from Naira 1,000,000.00 to 2,000,000.00 (100%), effective 2023, and charged churches operating within previous income requirement to meet up.
  11. Majalisa upheld its earlier stand that staff to grow through rank and file and advertisement for the post of directors would no longer be done, staff would be evaluated, assessed, and promoted, unless where there are no qualified staff advertisement could be done.
  12. New Spiritual Adviser was elected in the person of Ezra Dawui.

2023 prayer points

• EYN centenary to be smooth and fruitful.
• EYN members to be more God-fearing and committed.
• Boko Haram, ISWAP, bandits, and kidnapping to come to an end.
• 2023 Nigerian elections, to be truly free and fair.
• Ask God to change the heart of Vladimir Putin.

EYN Women’s Fellowship elects new leaders

The EYN ZME Annual General Church Council meeting also was held at the church headquarters in Kwarhi. ZME elected their national leaders during their annual conference on March 23-26. The meeting on the theme “Faithful Steward” included report presentations, a singing competition, a Bible quiz, and other activities of this largest church subgroup.

The director-elect, Suzan Mark, who in recent years served in this capacity, was re-elected to serve for a 3-year tenure. She is successor to Awa Moses, who handed over the office to her in 2016.

The officials elected are:
• Suzan Mark, director
• Asabe Moses, deputy director
• Mary Musa, secretary
• Rejoice Rufus Nggada, assistant secretary
• Tina Paul Bannu, treasurer
• Zipporah Sunday, financial secretary
• Jummai Andrew, choir mistress

ZME leaders at their annual meeting in March. Photo by Zakariya Musa

— Zakariya Musa is head of Media for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).

7) University of La Verne to offer differentiated bachelor’s degree program for registered nurses

A release from ULV

The University of La Verne (ULV) in southern California is now accepting applications for a new bachelor of science in nursing program for registered nurses (RNs) who are ready to further their careers and enhance their leadership skills with a bachelor’s degree. The first cohort of students will begin fall 2022. ULV was founded by the Church of the Brethren.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing: RN to BSN Program coursework is fully online so that working nurses can attend the 11 courses and complete assignments around their own schedules. It can be completed in as few as 15 months, with classes offered year-round in accelerated 8-week sessions. The program includes an in-person clinical component.

“Rapid changes in the healthcare landscape, both in private and public health, have accelerated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, creating shortages of all types of healthcare positions, including nurses,” University of La Verne president Devorah Lieberman said. “As more hospitals seek Magnet status, more nurses will be required to have a bachelor’s degree or higher, which many do not. This degree will help nurses improve their knowledge and skills, as well as aid job security and mobility.”

The RN to BSN degree program will place special emphasis on teaching how health inequities and social determinants can negatively impact health and well-being outcomes at the individual and community levels.

Students will learn to apply knowledge of how social determinants can impact health, as well as health informatics, leadership, aging, nutrition, and health advocacy to their existing jobs, or use these highly sought skills to seek advancement in their organizations or in the marketplace.

The RN to BSN degree is open to recent graduates of associate degree in nursing (ADN) programs who are just starting their careers as well as experienced working nurses. Applicants must be licensed as an RN in good standing or be eligible for RN licensure prior to beginning classes.

As a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, the University of La Verne is uniquely suited to train a diverse student population to understand and meet the needs of a growing multicultural region.

The University of La Verne partners with many southern California health care providers and community colleges to provide scholarships and smooth transfer of college credits for employees or students from the partner organizations.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing: RN to BSN is being offered through the University of La Verne’s new College of Health and Community Well-Being, which is slated to officially open this summer. This degree is one of 10 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs offered by the new college, all of which are designed to meet the growing need for skilled and culturally agile health care professionals in the southern California region.

Additional new programs in nursing and other health and well-being related fields are planned for the next few years, including a pre-nursing program for freshmen in fall 2023. The second cohort for the RN to BSN degree will begin in spring 2023.

The University of La Verne is a pioneer in adult education and has provided flexible degree programs for working adults for more than 50 years.

To learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Nursing: RN to BSN, visit


8) Winners of the Youth Speech Contest for NYC are announced

The Youth Speech Contest winners (from left): Hannah Smith, Anna Schweitzer, and Kara Bidgood Enders

By Erika Clary

The National Youth Conference (NYC) 2022 office is excited to announce and congratulate the three winners of the Youth Speech Contest. These three young women will speak during a worship service at NYC this summer.

Hannah Smith is a member of Brownsville (Md.) Church of the Brethren. Her favorite Bible verse is Joshua 1:9. She is currently a freshman at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, where she is a dual major in Sociology and Japanese. She is an advocate for social issues and hopes to further her advocacy through her Sociology degree. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching crime-related shows, and collecting squishmallows.

Anna Schweitzer is a junior in high school in Indiana, along with her twin brother, Ben. She from Cedar Grove (Ohio) Church of the Brethren. She has been doing dance almost her whole life, as well as soccer. She is passionate about choir and was recently selected to be in the All-State Choir for Indiana. She has also been involved with her local civic theatre since she was eight. She is very excited to share her sermon at NYC and hopes that she leaves people with something inspiring.

Kara Bidgood Enders is a current junior in high school in Pennsylvania and is from Ridgeway Community Church of the Brethren. She has attended National Junior High Conference, Immerse, Christian Citizenship Seminar, as well as many Annual Conferences. Outside of church, she is involved in many activities such as band and chorus, related music groups, dance, Key Club, National Honors Society, and student government. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family and hopes to become an elementary school teacher.

We can’t wait to hear the insight and wisdom that these three young women bring to the stage at NYC this summer!

— Erika Clary is the coordinator for National Youth Conference 2022, serving through Brethren Volunteer Service. Find out more about the conference taking place July 23-28 in Fort Collins, Colo., at


9) Restoration Los Angeles celebrates 100 years of ministry

Restoration Los Angeles, a Church of the Brethren congregation, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022 and also 100 years of ministry in East Los Angeles. This plaque honors the heritage and roots of the congregation in the former Belvedere Church of the Brethren and the former Bella Vista Church of the Brethren. Photo courtesy of Gilbert Romero.

10) 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:

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 Erika Clary, Alexandra Clayton, Galen Fitzkee, Tina Goodwin, Nathan Hosler, Zech Houser, Eric Miller, Zakariya Musa, Gilbert Romero, David Steele, Linda Williams, 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"]