Newsline for Feb. 26, 2022

1) Crisis in Ukraine: Preparing to respond to needs

2) Surprise find: 1889 time capsule hidden in Manchester cornerstone

3) Pete Kaltenbaugh Jr. to represent Western Plains District

4) Annual Conference 2022 will include virtual, online option for nondelegates

5) Lent Conversation Groups are offered by Discipleship Ministries and the Part-time Pastor, Full-time Church program

6) Inhabit Conference is scheduled for end of April in Seattle

“May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace! (Psalm 29:11).

7) Miami Haitian Church of the Brethren celebrates 40th anniversary

8) Columbia City pays off mortgage early as congregation celebrates highest active membership

9) Brethren bits: Prayer requests from Nigeria, job openings, Cross Keys Village is in Newsweek “best” rankings for 2022, Lenten devotionals from Global Women’s Project and Creation Justice Ministries, Afghan Adjustment Act, WCC urges Russia to stop the war

Quote of the week:

“President Biden’s nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court is groundbreaking on two fronts:
• First Black female justice in the court’s history.
• First justice in decades with significant experience representing criminal defendants.
…Just last year, the Senate confirmed her to the D.C. Circuit by a 53-44 vote.”

— From’s afternoon e-newsletter on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. The full article is at

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

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

1) Crisis in Ukraine: Preparing to respond to needs

From Brethren Disaster Ministries

All believers are called to continue praying for the people of Ukraine and all impacted by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Please also pray for world leaders and Russian leadership that a miracle will happen, and a road to peace and justice will be found.

Brethren Disaster Ministries is monitoring the needs of response partners and mapping out the Church of the Brethren response. European churches and relief agencies already are addressing immediate needs of refugees traveling to surrounding countries. Churches in Poland and Hungary are receiving, feeding, and housing refugees from Ukraine.

The Church of the Brethren response will support partners such as Church World Service (CWS), the ACT Alliance, European Baptist Churches, or Mennonite groups. The response will focus on people and locations that are underserved and have the greatest need for aid.

To support the Ukraine Crisis Response, make an online donation at or mail a check to the Emergency Disaster Fund, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120 and earmark for “Ukraine Crisis.”

2) Surprise find: 1889 time capsule hidden in Manchester cornerstone

A release from Manchester University

One of the last relics removed from the Administration Building at Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind., was the 1889 cornerstone of Bumgerdner Hall at what was then North Manchester College.

Last week, the cornerstone was moved to the receiving area of Neher Maintenance Center, where it sat on a pallet for several days and had a few visitors.

Then, on Friday morning, longtime maintenance technician Andy Brown was on the stairs nearby and noticed that a square section on the bottom of the cornerstone was a different color than the stone.

“I wondered,” he said, “Could that be a time capsule?”

Andy Brown with the 1889 cornerstone (at left). Archivist Jeanine Wine (at right) shows the time capsule collection to a staff member. Photo credit: Manchester University

He got closer and saw that the section looked like tin. When he touched it, the lid fell open and some of the contents fell out. There were newspapers, written lists, small books.

Everything inside the box was from 1889, the year Roanoke Classical Seminary founded by the United Brethren Church in Roanoke, Ind., moved to North Manchester and changed its name. Bumgerdner Hall was at the east end of what was in 1921 dedicated as the Administration Building. The building on College Avenue had a central portion that was built in 1920, connecting the 1889 building with the 1895 Bible School building at the west end.

“One of the best things for me is that we found a hand-written faculty list and a student list,” said Manchester archivist Jeanine Wine, who transported the fragile finds in an archival storage box from the maintenance center to the archives area of Funderburg Library.

Wine carefully spread the items on a table, looking at the names and making connections, making plans.

One exciting find was the name of a student, Silvanues L. Heeter, possibly written in his own hand. Heeter’s family has been on a genealogical search tracing their relative’s educational history from Indiana to Minneapolis, where he worked as an assistant superintendent of schools.

There are several items connected to family members of Manchester’s first president, David N. Howe, and the United Brethren Church.

There are newspapers, including The Voice, proclaiming “Prohibition’s Success,” the North Manchester Journal, The Brethren Evangelist, The Highway of Holiness published by the Holiness Association of United Brethren in Christ, The Union Signal and the Religious Telescope. Each newspaper is tagged with a person’s name, possibly who donated it.

There were two small books outlining church government of the United Brethren in Christ, one coming from J. M. Baker, the pastor at Laketon. Also included was a program from the Philophronean Literary Society, a postage stamp, a program from an organ concert, damaged scraps, and a photo of Fern Williams, whose name also appears on the student roster.

“As we look at these items, it is an opportunity to honor Manchester’s rich history and recognize that it is the people who helped establish our legacy,” said president Dave McFadden, a 1982 Manchester graduate. “President David Howe–who rolled up his sleeves and led construction crews–and generations of students, faculty, staff and alumni make us what we are today, and what we will be for generations to come.”


3) Pete Kaltenbaugh Jr. to represent Western Pennsylvania District

The Church of the Brethren’s Western Pennsylvania District is being represented, during this time of transition in the district executive minister role, by Pete C. Kaltenbaugh, Jr. He recently retired as pastor of Meyersdale Church of the Brethren. Kaltenbaugh has begun a three-year term as chair of the district’s CORE team (district board) and is serving as the contact person for the district at 814-521-6177.


4) Annual Conference 2022 will include virtual, online option for nondelegates

The Annual Conference office has announced a virtual, online option for nondelegates who are not planning to travel to Omaha, Neb., for this summer’s Conference but would like to participate in more than just worship (which will continue to be livestreamed for all, free of charge).

This is not an opportunity to participate fully and interactively in all activities. Registering as a virtual nondelegate participant will give access to live-stream:

• business meetings

• the Ted & Co performance of We Own This Now

• the Bittersweet Gospel Band concert

• the Mike Stern & Friends concert

• selected equipping sessions

Some equipping sessions and talk-back sessions with the Annual Conference agencies will offer an opportunity for more interactive engagement.

March 1 at 1 p.m (Eastern time) is the opening date and time for online registration for the Annual Conference taking place in Omaha, Neb., on July 10-14. Go to

5) Lent Conversation Groups are offered by Discipleship Ministries and the Part-time Pastor, Full-time Church program

By Josh Brockway

The Church of the Brethren’s Discipleship Ministries and the Part-time Pastor, Full-time Church program are offering two Lent Conversation Groups.

Joshua Brockway, director of spiritual formation, will host a gathering based on A Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church, Year W, by Wilda C. Gafney. This gathering will focus on listening to the scriptures and one another. It will be held on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. (Eastern time) / 4 p.m. (Pacific time).

Another group will be hosted by John Fillmore, a circuit rider for Part-time Pastor, Full-time Church, and will meet on Fridays at 7 p.m. (Eastern time) / 4 p.m. (Pacific time). This group will explore the themes in the Brethren Press Lent devotion We Wait for Light by Walt Wiltschek.

The first meetings will take place March 9 and March 11, respectively, with continuing weekly sessions through the season of Lent.

Register at Participants will receive a Zoom link to join in the conversations. Any questions can be shared with Joshua Brockway by email at

Participants in the Women’s Lectionary group can purchase the book or ebook at their preferred book retailer.

Participants in the devotional group can purchase the book from Brethren Press at

— Josh Brockway is co-coordinator of Discipleship Ministries for the Church of the Brethren.

6) Inhabit Conference is scheduled for end of April in Seattle

By Stan Dueck

Attend Inhabit Conference 2022 on April 28-30 at Seattle Pacific University in beautiful Seattle, Wash!

The event will highlight “celebrating stories and sharing ideas as we connect to be the church in neighborhoods everywhere.” So come out to connect with new people and old friends, share ideas, and listen to helpful stories for such a time as this.

A terrific group of engaging keynote presenters will be there such as
• Jonathan Brooks
• Majora Carter
• Sunia Gibbs
• José Humphreys
• Shannan Martin
• Michael Mota
• Christiana Rice
• Coté Soerens
• Tim Soerens
• Paul Sparks

Come to Seattle and join other Church of the Brethren attendees on April 28 at a pre-conference gathering with Paul Sparks, one of the core leaders of the Parish Collective. Then attend the Inhabit Conference on April 29-30 at Seattle Pacific University.

Are you interested in attending? Perhaps need some financial aid to participate in the event? Check with Discipleship Ministries and the Part-time Pastor, Full-time Church program, participating sponsors of Inhabit 2022.

For more information go to or contact Stan Dueck at or Randi Rowan at Bivocational, part-time pastors may contact Jen Jensen at 847-429-4365 or

We hope to see you in Seattle!

— Stan Dueck is co-coordinator of Discipleship Ministries for the Church of the Brethren.


7) Miami Haitian Church of the Brethren celebrates 40th anniversary

From pastor Ilexene Alphonse and the Leadership Team

The Miami (Fla.) Haitian Church was established by Miami First Church of the Brethren in 1982. This coming month of March, the congregation will celebrate its 40th anniversary.

As we celebrate God’s faithfulness for 40 years of trials and 40 years of victory, we ask that you join us in giving praise to God for all of those who gave their times, talents, and resources for this ministry to be planted and survive 40 years. We are grateful to Miami First Church of the Brethren, the Atlantic Southeast District, and the whole Church of the Brethren family for the hospitality and warm welcome 40 years ago.

We will mark this milestone with a two-week revival from March 6 to March 18. The big celebration will be on March 20.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you very much!

8) Columbia City pays off mortgage early as congregation celebrates highest active membership

From a Columbia City Church release

Columbia City (Ind.) Church of the Brethren members learned their efforts to make additional mortgage payments the past five years has paid off, literally. Church treasurer Landon Rehrer was joined by board chair Pam Hoppe at the Feb. 6 Congregational Business Meeting to share the wonderful news that the mortgage would be paid off this month–10 years early. The mortgage was taken out in July 2017 to facilitate an addition to the existing building. “Every mortgage payment our church made over the past five years has been larger than the minimum payment,” stated pastor Dennis Beckner. “God is doing amazing things here!”

In 2021, the congregation celebrated their 60th anniversary and also reached the church’s highest active membership of 143. Over 30 new people began attending the congregation in 2021. The congregation is very active in supporting Church of the Brethren ministries. Members are volunteering, attending, and employed at Camp Mack; attending Manchester University; living and volunteering at Timbercrest Senior Living Community; attending Bethany Theological Seminary; and serving on district committees and volunteering in denominational programs. The congregation lives out the tagline of the Church of the Brethren: “Continuing the Work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together.”

A mortgage burning ceremony is planned Sunday, April 24, during the 10 a.m. worship service. All are welcome to help celebrate this milestone.

Landon Rehrer (left) and Pam Hoppe (right) announce the news of the Columbia City mortgage being paid 10 years early.

9) Brethren bits

Brethren Press is seeking candidates for a part-time, hourly position of customer service and warehouse specialist at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Responsibilities include shipping orders, receiving and maintaining inventory, and entering customer orders. Required skills and knowledge include ability to work within a religious setting and become familiar with the Church of the Brethren organization and beliefs, with experience in congregational life a plus; ability to represent Brethren Press and the Church of the Brethren positively by phone and in person; ability to interact personably with customers, colleagues, and vendors; ability to communicate professionally both orally and in writing; ability to work comfortably in a team environment, plan work activities and use time efficiently, handle details and organize information, navigate digital technology, and efficiently use the system for processing orders and managing inventory. A high school diploma or general education degree required, with college preferred. Applications are being received and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Send a resume to; Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; 800-323-8039 ext. 367. Equal opportunity employer.

Christian Churches Together (CCT) is seeking an executive director. CCT is one of the broadest fellowships of Christian communions in the United States, including Catholic, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Orthodox, Historic Black (African-American), and Historic Protestant Christian communions and organizations that witness together to the reconciling power of the Gospel of Jesus. CCT is currently seeking applicants with a passion for ecumenism for this half-time position. The executive director is the primary leader of CCT, tasked with articulating and facilitating achievement of its mission, vision, and values, including through management and fundraising. The executive director is also responsible for fundraising and management of the organization. The executive director is the face of CCT to the public, and works closely with the Steering Committee and Executive Committee in the day-to-day operations as well as with the participants of CCT, the wider ecumenical community, and the public. Previous experience in the ecumenical movement is preferred. Qualified interested candidates are encouraged to email a letter of interest accompanied by a detailed CV or resume to More information about CCT can be found at including a detailed job description. The application deadline is April 15.

Prayer requests have been received this week from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, shared by Zakariya Musa, EYN’s head of Media: Pray for the upcoming EYN Annual Ministers Council meeting scheduled from March 1-4–the largest gathering of all ordained ministers of the church, during which decisions on pastoral works are made and newly ordained pastors from across the church are welcomed to the annual fellowship. Pray for the release of those who have been kidnapped and are still missing including Wadiam Terri, age 40, wife of pastor Terri Kwada, and their daughter Abigail,18, who were kidnapped at their church residence in Katsina on Feb. 17 and were still missing as of Musa’s email on Feb. 21. Kwada and his family are working in one of EYN’s mission fields in Katsina, a Muslim-dominated state in the northwest Nigeria.

Cross Keys Village-The Brethren Home Community in New Oxford, Pa., gained a “9” ranking in Newsweek’s list of America’s Best Nursing Homes 2022. Newsweek partnered with global data research firm Statista to create this annual ranking identifying “the nation’s top nursing homes based on three critical criteria: overall performance data, peer recommendations and each facility’s handling of COVID-19, relative to in-state competition,” said the website for the listing. “Nursing homes in the 25 states with the highest population size, according to the United States Census Bureau were included in the study. This year our ranking lists the 450 top facilities across 25 states.” Find the listing at

Global Women’s Project is offering a new Lenten Devotional in electronic format this year. The Church of the Brethren-related organization announced: “This new devotional features updated pictures and information from our partner projects around the world, scripture and educational pieces to reflect on, and an action step to consider each day. Thank you so much to Anna Lisa Gross for assembling the scriptures, reflections, information, and actions for this Lenten Devotional. We invite you to come along with us this season as we journey with Jesus to the cross and journey with women from around the world, reflecting on global issues and our place in this expansive world.” Sign up to receive the devotional in your e-mail at

Creation Justice Ministries is offering a Lenten Calendar to help guide readers to deepen their eco-spirituality during this Lent season 2022. Creation Justice Ministries is a former ministry of the National Council of Churches and a partner organization for the Church of the Brethren. Said an announcement: “Visualize yourself smiling and feeling fulfilled on Easter Sunday because you made commitments to strengthen and schedule your daily spiritual practices during Lent. Prayerfully reading this Daily Reflection-Action Calendar is a powerful tool to do Creation Justice and connect more fully with our God.” Download the Lenten Calendar at

Church World Service (CWS) is advocating for an Afghan Adjustment Act following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, when more than 130,000 Afghans were evacuated of whom 44 percent are children. “As the urgent evacuations played out in real time, thousands of Afghans were granted humanitarian parole, which is a temporary immigration status typically granted for one or two years,” said a release. “An Afghan Adjustment Act allows the new Afghan evacuees to apply to become lawful permanent residents one year after arrival…. Right now, Congress is negotiating federal funding legislation for the rest of the fiscal year. Congress has an urgent moral obligation to attach an Afghan Adjustment Act to the funding legislation and ensure Afghan evacuees have a chance for permanent protection and to integrate and thrive in our communities.” CWS has announced Monday, Feb. 28, as a national day of action to support an Afghan Adjustment Act. Go to

World Council of Churches (WCC) acting general secretary Ioan Sauca has endorsed an appeal issued by the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) and urged President Putin to stop the war and restore peace to the people and nation of Ukraine. “The World Council of Churches affirms and supports the appeal issued on 24 February 2022 by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine (Moscow Patriarchate),” said Sauca in a release. “Recalling the ties of history and affinity between the Ukrainian people and the Russian people, His Beatitude called directly on President Putin to stop the war, which he likened to Cain’s murder of Abel…. WCC makes the same appeal to President Putin, to stop this fratricidal war, and to restore peace to the people and nation of Ukraine.”

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 Ilexene Alphonse, Dennis Beckner, Josh Brockway, Shamek Cardona, Stan Dueck, Rhonda Pittman Gingrich, Anne Gregory, Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, Jen Jensen, Wendy McFadden, Zakariya Musa, Debbie Noffsinger, Traci Rabenstein, Roy Winter, 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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