Brethren bits

— The Virlina District of the Church of the Brethren requests prayer on behalf of three of its pastoral families and three different congregations.

In late September, pastor Raul Gonzalez of Iglesia Christana Nueva Vida and Iglesia El Buen Pastor suffered a stroke. In the course of his treatment, his doctors discovered that he will need heart valve replacement surgery, which is likely to be scheduled sometime in December. Please pray for him, his wife and co-pastor, Lidia Gonzalez, their family, and their congregations.

On Oct. 28, pastor Paticia Ronk of Bethany Church of the Brethren in Callaway, Va., passed away unexpectedly at her home. At her funeral, her co-pastor, Emma Jean Woodard, began experiencing severe pain in her head. After being taken to the hospital, Woodard had emergency surgery to treat an aneurysm. Her surgery was successful. She remains a patient in the ICU and is expected to remain under intense observation for the next few weeks. The doctors have expressed very positive hope for her recovery.

Photo by Mathias Cooper/Pixabay

A Thanksgiving playlist has been posted by Messenger, the Church of the Brethren magazine. “If you would like music to accompany your cooking tasks or Thanksgiving dinner, Messenger offers a long Thanksgiving playlist featuring songs on gratitude, as well as music from Native American musicians,” said an invitation to listen in. Find the Thanksgiving playlist at www.brethren.org/messenger/playlists/thanksgiving-music.

— The Church of the Brethren seeks to fill a full-time salaried position of director of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives (BHLA). Full COVID-19 vaccination is a condition of employment. The director promotes the history and heritage of the Church of the Brethren by administering the BHLA and by facilitating research and the study of Brethren history. Required skills and knowledge include familiarity with Church of the Brethren heritage, theology, and polity; extensive knowledge of Church of the Brethren history and beliefs; ability to articulate and operate out of the vision of the Church of the Brethren; familiarity with library and archival disciplines; customer-service skills; research and problem-solving skills; proficiency in Microsoft software and experience with OCLC products; at least three to five years of experience in a library or archives; a master’s degree in library science/archival studies or a public history-related program; graduate degree in history or theology and/or certification by the Academy of Certified Archivists. This position is based at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Applications are being received and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Apply by sending a resume to COBApply@brethren.org; Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; 800-323-8039 ext. 367. The Church of the Brethren is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

— Inspiration Hills, a camp and outdoor ministry Center in Northern Ohio District of the Church of the Brethren is seeking a full-time facility manager and a full-time kitchen/program coordinator to begin Jan. 1, 2024. A competitive salary and benefits will be offered to the qualified candidate. Please contact the camp at info@inspirationhillscamp.org for more information or an application. Job descriptions and qualifications can be found at www.inspirationhillscamp.org/camp/uncategorized/full-time-positions-available.

— Material Resources staff loaded ten 40-foot containers for Lutheran World Relief in early November, destined for Turkey. The containers were loaded with quilts, personal care kits, baby care kits, and other relief supplies. (Photo courtesy of Glenna Thompson)

— Ephrata (Pa.) Church of the Brethren is announcing an upcoming men’s conference featuring former mafia boss Michael Franzese. The event is planned for Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. “This former “Prince of the Mafia” is now a man on a mission determined to use the compelling experiences of his former life for the benefit of others seeking redemption and forgiveness,” said the announcement. “Michael’s compelling story of fame, prestige, love and fear has been featured throughout the country on high profile media of most major news networks and programs as well as the History Channel and National Geographic…. Michael Franzese grew up as the son of the notorious Underboss of New York’s violent and feared Colombo crime family.” All men 6th grade and up are welcome to this event. The day also will include worship, food, and giveaways. Early registration price is $99. After Dec. 19, the cost will increase to $115. For groups of four or more, contact ryan@ecob.church or 717-201-0211 for group discounts. Registration is available now at https://thehub.elvanto.net/form/6e57700e-061c-4b6e-99b7-6e8583c2cc7f. For more information, visit www.ecob.church, email ryan@ecob.church, or call 717-733-1229.

— A number of new Dunker Punks podcasts are available. Here are the announcements for episodes 153 and 154:

Go to https://arlingtoncob.org/reflections-on-catharsis for an episode focused on catharsis, the process of releasing tensions and stressful emotions. Knowing how much stress weighs on the current generation, this episode of the Dunker Punk Podcast offers a way to a brighter future. Dot has a calm, sensitive, and almost therapeutical conversation about different possible scenarios in someone’s life, which some may be able to find relatable.

Go to https://bit.ly/DPPEpisode154 to hear Jennifer Summy talk about what is an adventure and what isn’t. For something to be an adventure it has to be fun, mysterious, and even uncomfortable sometimes.

Two bonus episodes have been posted:

Go to https://bit.ly/DPP_BonusEpisode to listen in as Colby interviews “Music Folk” about where they are from and how they are serving us with their musical talents. The group also remarks on using music in worship from all different kinds of cultures and how faith isn’t designated to one language.

Go to https://bit.ly/DPP_BonusEpisode2 for the third of a four-part series “Dunker Punks Live.” In this episode you will hear from two people in denominational leadership, especially the LGBTQ+ community involvement with the church.

— “Making a Difference: 75 Years of Brethren Volunteer Service” is the title of a recent episode of Brethren Voices, a community television program produced by Ed Groff and Portland (Ore.) Peace Church of the Brethren and available at www.youtube.com/brethrenvoices. Chelsea Goss Skillen, director of BVS, serves as host of the episode, which features BVS orientation unit 334 that was held at Camp Koinonia in Cle Elum, Wash. Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) had its beginnings in 1948, not long after the ending of World War II, started by the youth of the Church of the Brethren who proposed it to Annual Conference. Just two months later, BVS was established, with the first volunteers beginning their service. Having experienced BVS as a volunteer and now as director, Goss Skillen discusses the orientation of volunteers who came from the United States, Canada, and Germany. Also, Brethren historian and author Jim Lehman shares the story, “The Beginnings of BVS.” Music, provided with permission, features Mike Stern performing his songs “River of Peace” and “We Can Make a Difference.”


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