Brethren bits for April 21, 2023

— Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) and FaithX are looking for one or two individuals interested in joining their team as BVS volunteers. One volunteer would help run BVS orientations and support volunteers. The other would help run the FaithX short-term service program. Or, there could be options for a mix of the two. For more information about these positions, contact the BVS office at bvs@brethren.org.

— Openings remain to join FaithX short-term service experiences this summer. Registration closes May 1. FaithX (Faith Outreach Expeditions) is a program through Brethren Volunteer Service that offers week-long service trips domestically and internationally for youth, young adults, and adults. Participants can serve in a variety of ministry and nonprofit settings, live and worship in community, explore a new place, and examine their values and beliefs. Options include trips for junior high and senior high youth, one for junior and senior high youth combined, an adult trip to Spain, and a “We Are Able” experience for youth with special needs along with adult helpers. Sites are located across the US. A few of the trips have reached capacity already, and some others have only limited space left. For more information go to www.brethren.org/faithx.

— Early registration for National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) will be open online April 24-28 ONLY for those who need to reserve a room in Terrace Hotel due to mobility concerns. Go to www.brethren.org/noac. If you need a paper registration form, please call Randi Rowan at 847-429-4303. General registration will open on May 1.

— Registration is now open for a webinar exploring the Peace Table, the new Bible story book for Shine’s elementary curriculum for 2023-2326. Shine is jointly produced by Brethren Press and MennoMedia. “You’ll sample an overview of its features and explore its use in the curriculum. Get a taste of how this book can help you guide children to love Jesus, grow in faith, and become peacemakers that change the world!” said an announcement. The event takes place on Monday, May 8, at 7 p.m. (Eastern time) with hosts Joan Daggett, Chrissie Muecke, and Rachel Nussbaum Eby of the Shine curriculum staff. Register at https://shinecurriculum.com/webinar.

— Bridgewater (Va.) College has announced the speakers for its 2023 Commencement and Baccalaureate celebrations. Robbie Miller, college chaplain and an ordained Church of the Brethren minister, will speak for the Commencement. Jeffery Carr, director of Pastoral Care at Sunnyside Retirement Community–who previously served as senior pastor at Bridgewater Church of the Brethren but whose ordination is now in the United Church of Christ, will serve as the Baccalaureate speaker.

Approximately 315 undergraduate students and 25 master’s students are expected to receive degrees, reported a release. Commencement takes place on Saturday, April 29, at 10 a.m. on the Campus Mall. “Miller’s Commencement address, “The Measure of Success,” will remind us that the true measure of success is not what we have acquired and achieved for ourselves, but how we have loved and what we have done for others,” the release said. Carr, a 2002 graduate, will deliver the message at the Baccalaureate at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 28, in Cole Hall. “In his message, ‘Kin-dom,’ Carr will share how our community shapes our stories, now shaped by the BC experience, and how we can find strength in that community,” the release said.

The release noted that Miller will retire at the end of this academic year after overseeing the spiritual life program and serving as chaplain for more than 30 years. Among his many services to the college community, the release noted that “in 2002, Miller introduced the Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility to the College, a voluntary pledge in which a graduating senior promises to ‘explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work.’” The Shenandoah District Pastors for Peace recognized Miller in 2021 with the Living Peace Award.

— The latest episode of the Dunker Punks Podcast at https://bit.ly/DPP_Episode145 offers listeners the opportunity to “hear Grace’s story, where she shares about her life in Vietnam serving people in poverty who are not able to afford proper medical eye care through the Vietnam Eye Project, even as she herself faces blindness,” said an announcement. “Then, consider Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritan and our call to love our neighbors by serving others, putting our faith into action by going and doing likewise.”

— Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is seeking a development intern to support the Development Portfolio of CMEP, including conducting funder research, contacting donors, administrative support for grants, maintaining a donor database, producing data reports, meeting project-based needs as they arise, and offering day-to-day administrative support. The Church of the Brethren is a member denomination of CMEP. Learn more and apply at https://cmep.org/connect/work.

— The 2023 Ecumenical Advocacy Days, an online event this year, is on the theme “Swords into Plowshares: Achieving Enough for All & Pursuing Peace.” Register at https://advocacydays.org for the April 25-27 event including plenary sessions, trainings, workshops, and lobby day. “Ecumenical Advocacy Days is an annual event focused on advocacy around the many federal policy priorities of the 50 sponsoring Washington, DC-based denominational offices, Catholic entities, and ecumenical and interfaith organizations,” said an announcement. The event’s opening preacher will be Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, interim president and general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, who brings more than three decades of experience working for social justice. She will speak at 10 a.m. (Eastern time) on April 25. The Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy is one of the organizations active with this event each year.


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