Newsline for July 2, 2022

1) Office of Peacebuilding and Policy signs letter on Cuba, statement on Iran nuclear deal

2) EYN women are freed after abductions, including two of the former schoolgirls from Chibok

3) One church begot three in troubled northeastern Nigeria

4) Carrie Eikler resigns position at Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership

5) Andrew Hamilton to lead Southeastern District

6) Sharon Flaten joins Bethany staff in Nigeria

7) Bring rocks to National Youth Conference!

8) Bethel Church celebrates a century and a half of ministry

9) Lower Miami Church gains media attention from NY Times, Dayton Daily News

10) Church2Church: Reaching out to share with a church in need

11) Brethren bits: Update from the Brethren in Ukraine, job openings, order Shine curriculum for Fall 2022, Global Food Initiative newsletter, On Earth Peace webinar on Kingian nonviolence, and news from congregations, districts, camps, ecumenical partners, and more

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

A special issue of Newsline will report on each day of the Church of the Brethren’s 2022 Annual Conference, July 9 through July 14.

The Conference takes place in Omaha, Neb., starting the evening of Sunday, July 10, through the morning of Thursday, July 14. Some components of the Conference are available online for registered nondelegates.

Daily worship services are available to stream free online, starting at 6:45 p.m. (central time) on Sunday, July 10, through Wednesday, July 13, and at 8:30 a.m. (central time) on Thursday, July 14. The link to stream worship and to view/download worship bulletins is

Pre-Conference meetings start Thursday, July 7, with the Standing Committee of district delegates. Also meeting in advance of the Conference are the Council of District Executives, the Mission and Ministry Board, and the Ministers Association’s annual professional growth event led by Tod Bolsinger on the theme “Tempered Resilience.”

For more information about the Conference, go to #cobac22

1) Office of Peacebuilding and Policy signs letter on Cuba, statement on Iran nuclear deal

The Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy is one of the faith-based groups signing on to a letter to President Biden concerning Cuba and a statement calling for a return to the Iran nuclear deal.

The letter sent to President Biden about Cuba expresses concern for the humanitarian situation on the island related to the COVID-19 pandemic, political unrest, and economic struggles, and calls for “steps to remove all obstacles preventing families and faith-based communities in the U.S. from helping families and faith partners in Cuba.”

The statement on Iran calls for “a mutual return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) by the United States and Iran.” It says, in part: “We are deeply concerned by recent news reports suggesting that negotiations between Iran and the United States on a return to the JCPOA are on the verge of collapse, heightening the risk of war and nuclear proliferation. We strongly urge the Biden administration to remain at the negotiating table and have the courage to act boldly for peace.”

The full text of the Cuba letter follows:

June 29, 2022

Dear President Biden:

As representatives of faith-based denominations and organizations, many of whom have a long history of relationships with Cuban faith partners, we are writing to thank you and your administration for taking measures to lift some of the harmful restrictions imposed on Cuba and the Cuban people. We appreciate that you have recognized the unprecedented humanitarian situation on the island. We hope these initial positive steps will help increase support for the Cuban people and allow Cuban Americans to assist their families on the island.

At the same time, we are still deeply concerned about the situation on the island. Our partners in the Cuban churches—congregants, ministers, and their communities— continue to experience severe shortages of essential medicines, food, and other vital materials amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. And as you know, the current crisis is causing tens of thousands of Cubans to leave and seek better conditions in the United States. We appreciate State Department officials who expressed their willingness to help churches and denominations get humanitarian relief to Cuban faith-based partners on a case-by-case basis. But this willingness has not solved the problems we face. And the initial measures taken by your administration, while critical first steps, are not enough.

We are aware of the political situation in Cuba, and many of our faith organizations have made clear statements supporting the Cuban people’s right to protest peacefully. We hope the Cuban government will respond to protests with dialogue and action. As in other countries, we condemn heavy-handed responses to protests by security forces. We urge the government to release all those detained for peacefully protesting or reporting on the protests. But this political unrest is not a reason to further punish the Cuban people with an overly restrictive implementation of U.S. economic and trade policies.

We know that numerous factors have caused Cuba’s economic crisis. However, the U.S. embargo and the changes adopted by the previous administration have contributed to the worsening humanitarian situation the island is facing. We were encouraged by your administration’s initial steps, but we believe you must do more. The U.S. government must take the following steps to remove all obstacles preventing families and faith-based communities in the U.S. from helping families and faith partners in Cuba.

— Reinstate all forms of people-to-people travel, both group and individual.

— Ensure that the U.S. Embassy in Havana can provide full consular services so that responsibilities are no longer exported to its embassy in Guyana.

— Revise and remove restrictions on U.S. banks so they can establish corresponding accounts with Cuban banks not managed by the military. Reverse the prohibition on U-turn transactions, and allow Western Union wire services to resume. These steps would ease access to remittances and maximize their impact, especially for Cuban entrepreneurs.

— Resume bilateral conversations around the Memorandums of Understanding signed under the Obama administration, including the high-priority issues of counter-narcotics and law enforcement cooperation, environmental protection, food security, and public health.

— Remove Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terrorism List, which continues to complicate all significant aspects of engagement with the island, including delivery of humanitarian assistance.

U.S. and Cuban churches have worked together for many years toward common goals. As religious freedom in Cuba has improved, our relationships have grown more robust, and church membership has grown. We join our Cuban counterparts in urging your administration to take these additional steps to benefit the people, churches, and civil society in Cuba.

The full text of the statement on Iran follows:

As people of faith, we are called to seek peace and imagine a world free from war and the threats of nuclear weapons. Today, we are calling on President Biden to move one step closer to that vision through a mutual return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) by the United States and Iran. We are deeply concerned by recent news reports suggesting that negotiations between Iran and the United States on a return to the JCPOA are on the verge of collapse, heightening the risk of war and nuclear proliferation. We strongly urge the Biden administration to remain at the negotiating table and have the courage to act boldly for peace.

Reestablishment of the Iran nuclear deal would be a significant victory for peace, diplomacy, and stability in the Middle East. It would strengthen U.S., Iranian, and international security by placing constraints on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international economic sanctions. We strongly affirm the importance of diplomacy over war on moral and religious grounds and call on President Biden to take the necessary steps to secure a return to the JCPOA.

After the United States withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018, tensions with Iran escalated and brought our nations to the brink of catastrophic war. But progress requires negotiation and compromise, not threats and intimidation. Our faith tells us that lasting peace can only be achieved through peaceful means. Lifting economic sanctions in accordance with the JCPOA will also help end the humanitarian suffering of innocent Iranians, who have borne the brunt of the economic crisis and been denied access to life-saving medicines and equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The faith community has long worked to build more cooperation and peaceful relations between the United States and Iran. Decades before the original nuclear deal was achieved in 2015, we called for diplomatic negotiations with Iran, helping to organize meetings with Iranian government officials and sending delegations of faith leaders to Iran. Many of us supported the original nuclear deal and joined with others to protest President Trump’s 2018 decision to withdraw from this agreement and impose new sanctions on Iran.

The JCPOA was always meant to be a starting point. While there are many issues that should be resolved diplomatically between the United States, Iran, and other governments in the region, a full return to the nuclear deal could serve as a foundation for future negotiations. We strongly urge the Biden administration to negotiate a swift return to the JCPOA. Doing so will put Iran’s nuclear program back in the box, lift harmful economic sanctions, prevent possible military escalation, and put the Middle East and the world on a pathway to greater peace and stability.

– Find out more about the work of the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy in Washington, D.C., at

2) EYN women are freed after abductions, including two of the former schoolgirls from Chibok

By Zakariya Musa, Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria

Nigerian troops have found two of the former schoolgirls abducted from Chibok by Boko Haram jihadists eight years ago, Mary Dauda and Hauwa Joseph.

In a related development, EYN leadership celebrate the return of Mary Iliya, who was abducted in 2020 by jihadists from Bolakile. Also recently freed is Rebecca Irmiya.

All of these women are members of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), from congregations located in the church districts of DCC Chibok Balgi, DCC Chibok, and DCC Gulak.

Many other women who have been abducted still cannot be accounted for.

Two former Chibok schoolgirls are freed

Major-general Christopher Musa, the military commander of troops fighting jihadists in the region, said Mary Dauda and Hauwa Joseph were found on June 12 and 14 in two different locations.

“We are very lucky to have been able to recover two of the Chibok girls,” Musa said.

Joseph was found along with other civilians on June 12 around Bama after troops dislodged a Boko Haram camp, while Dauda was found later outside Ngoshe village in Gwoza Local Government area near the border with Cameroon.

On June 15, the military said on Twitter that they had found another of the Chibok girls named Mary Ngoshe. She turned out to be Mary Dauda.

Rebecca Irmiya (at right) was freed with her eight-month-old child, nine years after her abduction from the Gulak area of Adamawa State in northeast Nigeria. At left is the director of the EYN Women’s Ministry, Mrs. Hassana Habu, during a visit to Irmiya by the ministry team. Photo by Zakariya Musa / EYN Media

“I was nine when we were kidnapped from our school in Chibok and I was married off not long ago and had this child,” Joseph told reporters at the military headquarters. Joseph’s husband and father-in-law were killed in a military raid and she was left to fend for herself and her one-month-old son. “We were abandoned, no one cared to look after us. We were not being fed,” she said.

Thousands of Boko Haram fighters and families have been surrendering over the last year, fleeing government bombardments and infighting with the rival group Islamic State West Africa Province. Some of them regret and condemn their activity towards humanity.

The conflict has killed more than 40,000 people and displaced 2.2 million more since 2009. Dauda, who was 18 when she was kidnapped, was married at different times to Boko Haram fighters in the Sambisa forest. “They would starve and beat you if you refused to pray,” Dauda said. She decided to flee and told her husband she was visiting another Chibok girl in Dutse (Mountains) near Ngoshe, close to the border with Cameroon. With the help of an old man who lived outside the village with his family, Dauda trekked all night to Ngoshe where she surrendered to troops in the morning.

“All the remaining Chibok girls have been married with children. I left more than 20 of them in Sambisa,” she said. “I’m so happy I’m back.”

Two more abducted women are freed

Mary Iliya, who was abducted in 2020, visited the EYN Headquarters in the company of church officials and her uncle. She informed the church officials that she refused to get married while a captive. As a result, she was starved, and sometimes they refused her food for some days. She and another woman decided to escape in the night due to difficulties they faced. When they sneaked out in the night they met hunters, a section of the Boko Haram. They asked for their help to show them the way to the main road. The hunters demanded payment, but one of them had mercy on the women by agreeing to accompany them to Pulka town on June 10, where they met Nigerian soldiers. With the help of the soldiers, they contacted their relatives.

In Sambisa, they saw about 10 of the former Chibok schoolgirls. Some are not willing to escape.

Iliya’s father was shot in the head, but to the glory of God he survived and is now settled in a settlement camp.

Rebecca Irmiya said she was taken away by four jihadists with another six girls to Sambisa. “Later they married me to one of them,” she said. “They gathered their leaders to officiate the marriage. They paid Naira 20,000 as my bride price. They gave me the money.

The EYN National Standing Committee celebrating the return of Mary Iliya, who is seated in the front row, next to EYN President Joel S. Billi (at center front). Photo by Zakariya Musa/EYN Media

“We were not allowed to go out. Husbands bring what we need. We lived under strict guard. Unknowingly, we heard a gunshot around us in Sambisa. Bullets flew around us. Soldiers surrounded us. They clasped us and settled us under a tree, where they asked us our names. I told them my name, ‘Rebecca Irmiya,’ and that we were abducted from Gulak. They brought us to Gwoza.”

Irmiya said one of the women lost her life from a stray bullet, leaving her little baby crying. “They asked me to carry the baby. I informed them that my father is still alive. I gave them his phone number. When they informed him, he immediately came to pick me [up]. One woman in Gwoza agreed to pick the little orphan and I was released to come with my father home.”

Irmiya was 13 years old, attending junior secondary school, when she was abducted.

“I lost two of my children due to lack of medical care in Sambisa,” she said. “I am happy to return home and willing to go back to school.”

Her father, Mr. Irmiya said, “We are happy to see her again. Because we did not expect to see her again. We have been praying for her.”

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

3) One church begot three in troubled northeastern Nigeria

By Zakariya Musa, Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria

Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has organized three congregations or Local Church Councils (LCCs) from an LCC called Udah in DCC [church district] Yawa and another in Watu. EYN president Joel S. Billi accompanied by the EYN general secretary Daniel Y. C. Mbaya on June 19 presided over the establishment of LCCs Muva, Tuful, and Kwahyeli located in Askira/Uba Local Government Area of Borno State.

A brief history of the congregations, presented during the autonomy service, was shared with the Media department. It is summarized here:

— Muva was started in 1963 with pastor Yohanna Dugu and nine members.

— Tuful was started in 1948, exactly 74 years ago, with 11 members during the time when the Grimley family were Church of the Brethren mission workers. It was regarded as the first church in the area.

— Kwahyeli was started with 28 members in April 1991, then split from Tuful, with Sabastian Muyu as pastor.

Their congregational strength: Tuful 130, Kwahyeli 112, and Muva 120.

District secretary Fidelis Yarima, on behalf of the DCC, appreciated God and the EYN leadership for making it possible to achieve such a historic growth. He also hopes for the actualization of the creation of a new DCC in Yawa soon.

The members, who are much excited for the development, commend the effort of the DCC secretary and DCC chairman John Anthony for their support and commitments.

On the same day, LCC Che, with a population of 137, also was established from LCC Kudablashafa, in DCC Watu, in the Michika Local Government Area in Adamawa State. This was officiated by EYN vice president Anthony A. Ndamsai, in company with administrative secretary Nuhu Abba.

EYN in its continued development is longing to fulfil the establishment of 16 new LCCs this year, to the glory of God.

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


4) Carrie Eikler resigns position at Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership

From a Bethany Seminary release

Carrie Eikler has resigned her position as coordinator of the English-Language Ministry Training Programs for the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership. The academy is a partnership of the Church of the Brethren Office of Ministry and Bethany Theological Seminary.

Eikler joined the academy in 2014. She coordinated all aspects of the Training in Ministry (TRIM) and Education for Shared Ministry (EFSM) programs. In addition, she provided instruction for Directed Independent Study Units offered annually in conjunction with the pre-Annual Conference Minister’s Association meeting. She also created and taught Practical Ministry Colloquium, a TRIM course in practical ministry that helps students prepare for their ministry internships. In addition, she provided facilitation for a clergywoman’s cohort through the academy’s Strength for the Journey program

Eikler will conclude her regular duties on July 29, following the TRIM/EFSM orientation, but will teach the Directed Independent Study that begins in July until its conclusion in September. In early August, she will begin as Admission Visit and Events coordinator at Goshen (Ind.) College.

Academy director Janet Ober Lambert praised Eikler’s many contributions. “Carrie is creative, innovative, and has always looked for ways to improve the program and policy in the best interest of students and the church. It has been a joy to work with her.”

The academy has begun a search for Eikler’s replacement.

5) Andrew Hamilton to lead Southeastern District

The Southeastern District of the Church of the Brethren has called Andrew (Andy) Hamilton to serve as half-time district executive minister beginning July 23. He will be installed at the district conference to be held on that date at Peak Creek Church of the Brethren in Laurel Springs, N.C.

Hamilton received his credentialing in ministry from Northern Ohio District in 2002. He holds degrees from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark.; Ashland (Ohio) Theological Seminary; the University of St Andrews, Scotland; and Evangelical Theological Seminary in Myerstown, Pa.

He has served congregations in Northern Ohio District and Atlantic Northeast District over the last 23 years. His service on the denominational level has included a term on the Church of the Brethren’s Mission and Ministry Board from 2008-2013, serving on the board’s executive committee and representing the board in travels to Haiti and to Palestine and Israel. In 2014-15, he was president of the Brethren Journal Association. For more than a decade, he has been an instructor of ACTS-level classes and an adjunct instructor in various seminaries.

The new address and contact information for the Southeastern District office is 134 Charles St., Canton, NC 28716; 717-690-9600;

6) Sharon Flaten joins Bethany staff in Nigeria

A Bethany Seminary release

Sharon Flaten, MDiv 2022, has joined the staff of Bethany Theological Seminary as assistant of Recruitment and Student Development in Nigeria. Flaten is based in Jos, Nigeria, where she works directly with students enrolled in the Certificate for Biblical Peacemaking in Nigeria.

Flaten is a graduate of Bridgewater (Va.) College. She served as a member of Brethren Volunteer Service, and she first traveled to Nigeria in 2009. From March 2019 to July 2021, while enrolled at Bethany, she lived in Jos and served as liaison to current and future Bethany students. She will work closely with Joshua Sati, the academic/operations coordinator for the Nigeria program, to build a strong cohort of students for our Nigeria programs.

“I am very excited to have Sharon as part of our team,” says Lori Current, executive director of student services. “Sharon’s gifts made her a perfect fit for this position. She has strong knowledge of both the Nigerian culture as well as the Bethany culture. She’s a Bethany graduate and she has built many relationships with the EYN leadership on a personal level.”

Bethany helps Nigerian students connect with classmates and professors through its Technology Center in the city of Jos. The first cohort of students to complete their studies at the Jos facility graduated with the Certificate in Biblical Peacemaking in 2021. Nigerian and American students have opportunities to learn from one another during classes held using advanced video conferencing technology.


7) Bring rocks to National Youth Conference!

By Erika Clary, NYC 2022 coordinator

National Youth Conference (NYC) 2022 is less than a month away! We anxiously await our week together full of worship, reflection, and fellowship in Fort Collins, Colo., on July 23-28.

For our opening worship at NYC, we’d like each attending congregation to bring a rock or stone. The rock can be any size, as long as it can travel with the group on their method of transportation to Colorado and be carried to the front of Moby Arena during worship.

Each group may decorate their rock or bring it as it is found. While decorating, the group might consider painting the rock NYC colors, signing each group member’s name, or adding the name of their congregation. Any appropriate decoration is welcome! This is a great way to prepare for NYC.

Each group will need to choose one person to bring the rock forward during worship. Once the group has chosen who will bring the rock forward, they should complete the following Google form by July 18 with that person’s contact information: That person will be sent more information about what to do during opening worship and how the rocks will fit in with the worship.

Questions? Please email Shawn Flory Replogle, who is one of the NYC worship coordinators, at

— Erika Clary is a Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) volunteer serving as coordinator for the 2022 National Youth Conference. Find out more about NYC 2022 at


8) Bethel Church celebrates a century and a half of ministry

Bethel Church of the Brethren in Bedford County, Pa., will celebrate its 150th anniversary on July 10 at 10:30 a.m. Reported the Bedford Gazette: “Reservations are requested for lunch, provided by Kountry Kettle. Call 814-652-5790 to make reservations. Bring lawn chairs.”

9) Lower Miami Church gains media attention from NY Times, Dayton Daily News

Lower Miami Church of the Brethren near Dayton, Ohio, is featured in the Dayton Daily News, in an article reprinted from the New York Times, offering a unique model of faithfulness following divisive Supreme Court decisions.

Said interim pastor Tracy Knechel Sturgis: “Empathy requires us to suspend our egos and live in another world…. This type of understanding is what we have been cultivating through the years of our faith journey.”

Read the article at

10) Church2Church: Reaching out to share with a church in need

From the Atlantic Northeast District newsletter

When Un Nuevo Renacer, a Spanish speaking church in Atlantic Northeast District, faced a significant challenge in recent months, pastor Carolina Izquierdo reached out to the district to share their dilemma and found a solution for their need.

Un Nuevo Renacer has a significant number of young people who are a part of their fellowship. Thirteen of those youth and three advisors were hoping to attend National Youth Conference which will take place this summer July 23 -28 in Fort Collins, Colo. But covering the expenses of traveling to and attending this event was a problem for this group. This is a young church with young families who have limited financial resources. The youth successfully worked together to raise some money with a very successful bake sale at Mountville (Pa.) Church of the Brethren and were able to raise $600. But the expenses for 16 people to travel to Fort Collins were much greater than the money they were able to raise.

Church 2 Church is a community building ministry outreach opportunity of Atlantic Northeast District that allows churches with needs to partner with churches who are interested in a service project.

The good news is that other congregations in the district were willing and able to provide the necessary financial resources needed to allow all the 16 participants to register and to purchase airfare for National Youth Conference. Mountville Church of the Brethren, which is generously sharing their building with Un Nuevo Renacer, provided some financial support as well as love and care for this youth group. In addition, both Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren as well as Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren agreed to help financially! Thanks to the team efforts of these other congregations, all the youth and adults who were hoping to attend NYC have now been able to register and purchase airfare to attend in July.

11) Brethren bits

— The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership seeks a coordinator of English-Language Ministry Training Programs. The academy is a partnership of the Church of the Brethren Office of Ministry and Bethany Theological Seminary. This is a half-time, salaried position. Duties and tasks include but are not limited to working with students, district coordinators, and supervising pastors to provide guidance in all areas of Training in Ministry (TRIM) and Education for Shared Ministry (EFSM); organizing onsite and online courses; discussing the programs with prospective students; updating TRIM and EFSM documents; reporting student progress to district leaders; coordinating orientation; participating in the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference and other events; meeting with students or coordinators/supervising pastors at the locations where they live. This position may provide the opportunity to teach a course for the academy, given program needs and the candidate’s interest and educational background. Required skills and knowledge include grounding in Church of the Brethren heritage, theology, and polity; ability to articulate and operate out of the vision of Bethany Seminary and the Church of the Brethren; ability to relate with integrity and respect within and beyond the organization; strong interpersonal skills; oral and written communication; ability to develop educational experiences in ministry training; ability to network and problem solve in creative ways; administrative skills, critical thinking skills, and basic computer and Internet skills; ability to work with people from a variety of backgrounds who have varied understandings of the church; ability to multitask and set priorities. Required experience includes five years of effective leadership in pastoral ministry, ordination and active membership in the Church of the Brethren. Required education includes a master of divinity degree (preferred), successful completion of a ministry training program, a record of regular continuing education. Relocation is not required, but candidates must be willing to travel, as needed. The academy offices are located at Bethany Seminary in Richmond, Ind. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and will be accepted until the position is filled. Apply by sending a resume, a letter of interest, and contact information for three references by email to Janet L. Ober Lambert, Director, Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, Bethany Seminary’s policy prohibits discrimination in employment opportunities or practices with regard to race, gender, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, or religion. Find the job opening announcement online at

An update from the Brethren in Chernihiv, Ukraine, and a call to continued prayer from Quinter (Kan.) Church of the Brethren pastor Keith Funk: “Brother Alex and I continue to be in contact. For the last several weeks, it has been quiet in the city of Chernihiv (Chernigov), and the surrounding area. However, in recent days, Russian rockets have been launched from the northern border, flying overhead on the way to Kyiv. As I write, Russian rockets hit the city of Kremenchuk, destroying a mall where 1000 people were shopping when attacked. Fear and discouragement are weighing upon the people of Ukraine in what has become a war of attrition. Let us remember Alex and his family, our brothers and sisters, and the people of Ukraine. Please pray for this war to end. May God grant wisdom, courage and compassion to our world’s leaders in the face of continued destruction and loss of life in this region of the world.”

Shine Fall curriculum is now available to order, published jointly by Brethren Press and MennoMedia. Sunday school books are available for teachers and students for Pre K through Kindergarten, elementary grades, and junior youth–plus additional resources including this fall’s Bible storybook. Go to

– Eder Financial (formerly Brethren Benefit Trust or BBT) is seeking a communications director. Eder Financial provides retirement, insurance, and organizational investing to more than 5,000 individual and client organizations nationwide. The new brand represents work to expand the agency’s client base and influence. This is a fulltime, exempt position working for a not-for-profit, faith-based organization that aligns with peace church traditions. Employees practice their faith in a diverse array of worldviews and denominations. Qualifications and requirements include ability to proactively problem solve for the spoken and unspoken needs of external and internal customers; ability to lead strategic initiatives but also pitch in with seemingly small tasks that show care for those the agency serves; at least an undergraduate degree; four to eight years of experience; effective oral and written communication skills; experience in administering communication initiatives that span multiple methods; enjoyment of work in a team environment; ability to develop content to share knowledge about retirement, insurance, and organizational investing; both data and detailed oriented; proficient in computer systems, particularly Word, PowerPoint, and InDesign; ability to lead and manage the Communications Department while protecting the integrity of the organization’s reputation through words and images both internally and externally; ability to travel to an annual conference each year in July along with other conference opportunities: and ability to work well independently. While the agency does have some tasks and meetings that require an onsite presence, most work is done remotely from home. Compensation includes a strong benefits package with organizational contributions for retirement, medical, life, and long-term disability; options to add dental, vision, and short-term disability coverage; 22 days of vacation, accrued at the start of the year; flexible work hours within a basic workday structure. To learn more about Eder Financial, visit To apply, submit a cover letter, resume, and three professional references to Tammy Chudy at

– Download the Summer 2022 newsletter to learn more about projects supported by the Global Food Initiative (GFI). “Thank you for supporting GFI with your prayers and donations!” said an announcement. “You are helping to make God’s love real to people around the world.” Go to

– On Earth Peace is offering a two-hour Intro to Kingian Nonviolence webinar on July 25 at 4 p.m. (Eastern time). “Meet others interested in Kingian Nonviolence, build Beloved Community, and connect with On Earth Peace’s Kingian Nonviolence Learning Action Community,” said an announcement. The webinar covers the four pillars of Kingian nonviolence, an initial introduction to the six principles and six steps–“the Will and the Skill of Kingian Nonviolence,” and the social dynamics of Kingian nonviolence. The co-facilitators are Sheila Burton, founder and managing director of Join Hands ESL and director of its Ubuntu Center for Peace in East St. Louis, Ill., and Stephen Niamke, founder and primary trainer for Conversation Peace human relations company based in Roanoke, Va., where he also works as a crisis/mental health social worker and is president and hub coordinator of Meta Peace Team. Register at

— Wenatchee (Wash.) Brethren Baptist Church United has sold its historic church building and is renting space from the new owners, Trinity Church, after experiencing dwindling membership in recent years. The Wenatchee World newspaper reported that “the sale is a swap of roles for the two churches. For the past 10 years, Trinity has rented space from the Brethren…. [which] sold the building and land for 10 percent of the $1.7 million that it was appraised at…. Membership, at a high in the mid 200s in the 1960s and 70’s, is down to 75. The average age is 77, says Joe Roy, the lay head of the church, which has been without a pastor for a year and is worshipping with guest pastors.” Read the full article and see pictures of the building and congregation at

— Woodbury (Pa.) Church of the Brethren has received a new stained-glass piece made by local artists, according to an article in the Huntingdon Daily News. “Dion Dillon and CJ Ray of Djday’s Stained Glass in Tyrone completed the commissioned piece this spring after approximately two years,” said the article. “I was thrilled to death in the end,” said Dillon. “It’s the first stained glass window they have.” The paper reported that “an elementary school teacher local to Woodbury drew up an idea of the elements the church wanted in the window, then Dillon and Ray turned those ideas into a pattern they could work with, chose colors and glass, and cut pieces including the tiny individual ovals to create the wheat grain.” The interior window will hang between the vestibule and the sanctuary. Read the article and see a picture of the stained glass piece at

– Nine Brethren Disaster Ministries volunteers from Shenandoah District, along with Church World Service (CWS) truck drivers, loaded donations found for the Material Resources warehouse at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. “The workers dealt with a heat index of 98 degrees while moving over 2,000 health and school kits and 325 clean-up buckets,” said the district newsletter. “An additional 50 boxes of quilts donated by the Lutherans and Presbyterians were also included in the resources being sent to help in time of need.”

– Atlantic Northeast District has announced a generous technology donation from Greg Holsinger, former CEO of U-GRO Learning Centres and former member of Palmyra (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. “The donation included more than 60 iPads, over 20 laptops, and various accessories,” said the district newsletter. “The District Office managed the donation distribution. Nearly thirty congregations benefited from the devices that were available. Congregations have a variety of ways in which they plan to use the donated devices. Some are using the technology for a welcome center check-in, or to assist with hybrid Sunday School classes. Others are using the devices to control the church’s sound board, or stream services. Some pastors and church staff members have used the devices to upgrade their laptops or iPads. We are grateful to have been the recipient of this practical donation that can help our congregations further their ministries and better serve their communities.”

– Shepherd’s Spring, a camp and outdoor ministry center in Mid-Alantic District, is announcing a new Adventure Program. On Saturday, July 23, at 9 a.m., Shepherd’s Spring is holding a breakfast to introduce plans for the program that will include zip lines, climbing walls, a giant swing, a challenge course, and a tree house. Said the announcement: “Persons interested in attending and learning more, or simply supporting the project are encouraged to contact Shepherd’s Spring at”

— People of faith are grieving the San Antonio, Texas, tragedy in which more than 50 people were found dead in an abandoned truck on the outskirts of the city, reports the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC). People of faith also are being spurred to call for legislation action on immigration, the NCC newsletter said. “The Interfaith Immigration Coalition has called for swift action on asylum after one of the deadliest tragedies involving migrants in the U.S.-Mexico border region…. The Interfaith Immigration Coalition, made up of over 55 national, faith-based organizations, prays that ‘we take the necessary steps through policy and action to reverse Title 42 and establish a just and humane border enforcement.’” Find out more at

– The World Council of Churches (WCC) has published a reflection on the theme of its upcoming 11th Assembly in nine languages. The publication “Christ’s Love Moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity: A Reflection on the Theme of the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Karlsruhe 2022” is the result of the work of an international group drawn from different regions and confessional traditions. The text is intended as a resource for churches and Christians worldwide in advance of the assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany, from Aug. 31 to Sept. 8. The book is now available in English, French, German, Spanish, Kiswahili, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, and Indonesian. Files can be downloaded for free at

– Composer Tim Reed is collaborating with Cliff Kindy, a Church of the Brethren member and longterm volunteer with Community Peacemaker Teams (CPT), to create pieces of music and spoken word in connection with Kindy’s book Resurrection Peacemaking: Plowsharing the Tools of War. The series of pieces on the book’s themes is called “Spirit Unbound.” “I was inspired by Cliff’s book and created an electroacoustic composition with video that is centered around an interview with Cliff that I recorded,” Reed wrote. “Cliff’s story is powerful (my music is just a backdrop).” Kindy has worked with CPT for some 30 years in various conflict zones around the world including Palestine, Gaza, Iraq, Nigeria, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The first piece in the series features an interview with Kindy in Feb. 2022 at his home at Joyfield Farm near North Manchester, Ind., reflecting on his experience meeting with a young Palestinian man in Rafah Camp in Gaza. It is posted on YouTube at Kindy’s book is available from Brethren Press at

– The 17th Street bridge in Altoona, Pa., has been named The Honorable Richard A. Geist Memorial Bridge in honor of the late Rick Geist, a longterm Pennsylvania politician serving in the state House of Representatives, who died in 2019. He and his wife, Jeanie, who survives him, were both raised in the congregation of First Church of the Brethren in Altoona. He held the 79th District seat for 34 years. The ceremony took place at the Railroaders Memorial Museum, reported the Altoona Mirror. “Geist was majority chairman of the House Transportation Committee for 16 years and at various times, was chairman of both the House Minority Caucus and the House Republican Committee on Committees….. Geist helped reform the laws on teen drivers’ training, was the prime architect of the state’s DUI law, was an important promoter of laws to improve work zone and truck safety; authored legislation to create the Rail Freight Advisory Committee and legislation to create the Ben Franklin Technology Partnership, as well as ‘his signature piece,’ House Bill 3, which allows for public-private partnerships for transportation projects…. Geist was also instrumental in founding the Tour de Toona bike race and conceived of and contributed to development of Penn State Altoona’s four-year Railroad Engineering Degree program.” Read the full article at

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, Keith Funk, Jonathan Graham, Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, Isis Santoni Morro, Zakariya Musa, Tim Reed, 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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