— Correction: In the Dec. 15, 2022, issue of Newsline, an article titled “Vietnamese ‘Masters of Managing Blindness’ continue to inspire” incorrectly identified a congregation supporting the work in Vietnam. The correct name of the congregation is Mount Wilson Church of the Brethren.
— Remembrance: David Button, a former mission worker with the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, passed away on Dec. 3 after a struggle with dementia for the past few years. Button spent some years working and teaching in Garkida, Nigeria, which he remembered as the high point of his life. He was a brother of Tim Button-Harrison, district executive minister for the Church of the Brethren’s Northern Plains District. A memorial service was held on Dec. 17 at Ames (Iowa) First Christian Church, with Nigerian Brethren leaders Samuel and Rebecca Dali participating in the service with scripture reading in Hausa, a Nigerian language. Memorial gifts are designated for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) through the Northern Plains District.
— The Church of the Brethren is seeking candidates for a fulltime, salaried office manager for Global Mission, based at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The major responsibility is to support the ministries of Global Mission through efficient administration of program as assigned by the executive director. Skills and knowledge required include strong communication skills in English, both verbal and written; skilled competency in Microsoft Office component applications, particularly Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, with the capability and willingness to learn new software applications; ability to problem solve; good judgment in prioritizing tasks; ability to work independently; knowledge of basic financial processes; ability to handle confidential information responsibly; ability to communicate effectively with multiple agencies and constituencies and deal gracefully with the public; ability to work with minimum supervision, self-starter, readily adaptable to change, work well in a multi-dimensional program; excellent organizational skills, i.e., ability to work with details and simultaneous tasks; appreciation for the church’s role in mission with an awareness of mission operations; ability to act within a multicultural and multigenerational team environment; experience with video editing software preferred; some knowledge of French, Spanish, or Haitian Kreyol preferred. One to five years of executive administrative experience with preference in a not-for-profit environment and experience studying, living, or working in international or multicultural setting. Education requirements include a bachelor’s degree or other education relevant to the position. Full COVID-19 vaccination is a condition of employment. Applications will be received beginning immediately and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Apply by submitting 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.
— The Brethren Historical Library and Archives seeks an intern to work out of the archives at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The program will provide the intern with work assignments and opportunities to develop professional contacts. Work assignments will include processing archival materials, writing descriptive inventories, preparing books for cataloging, responding to reference requests, and assisting researchers. Professional contacts may include attending archival and library conferences and workshops, visits to libraries and archives in the Chicago area, and participation in a Brethren Historical Committee meeting. BHLA is an official repository for Church of the Brethren publications and records. The collection consists of over 10,000 volumes, over 3,500 linear feet of manuscripts and records, over 40,000 photographs, plus videos, films, DVDs, and recordings. Term of service is one year, beginning in June 2023 (preferred). Compensation includes housing, stipend of $550 every two weeks, and health insurance. Requirements include a completed undergraduate degree, interest in history and/or library and archival work, willingness to work with detail, computer skills, ability to lift 30 pound boxes, full COVID-19 vaccination. Apply by submitting 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. All submissions must be completed by April 1. If you have any questions, please contact director of BHLA Jen Houser at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Church of the Brethren is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
— Annual Conference moderator Tim McElwee will speak on the state of the denomination at a “Conversation with the Moderator” at the Bridgewater (Va.) College Forum for Brethren Studies on Thursday, March 23, at 3:30 p.m. (Eastern time) in the Boitnott Room at the college. The Forum has asked McElwee to offer some brief remarks on state of the denomination before opening the session for questions. The discussion will constitute the bulk of the time together. All are welcome.
— Please pray… For the nation of Haiti, which has been left with no elected government officials after its last 10 remaining senators left office earlier this week, and the country “spirals towards anarchy,” reported the Guardian. The country is left leaderless “with gangs controlling much of the capital, a malnutrition crisis, and a cholera outbreak…. There is now no constitutional representation at any state level, the latest sign that the country has become a failed state…. The explosion of gang violence engulfing Haiti has caused famine, forced hospitals to close and probably contributed to the re-emergence of cholera. A record 4.7 million people are facing acute hunger with 1.8 million at a critical level of malnutrition, according to the World Food Program.” Please pray for the leaders, congregations, and members of l’Eglise des Freres d’Haiti (the Church of the Brethren in Haiti) as they struggle to navigate this national crisis. Read the Guardian article at www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/10/haiti-no-elected-officials-anarchy-failed-state.
Concurrently the US Department of Homeland Security has announced “a safe and lawful way” for qualifying Haitians as well as Cubans and Nicaraguans with US-based supporters to travel by air to and temporarily reside in the United States. A release from the department said that people arriving in the US under this new process may apply for work authorization. It also announced elimination of the numerical cap for a similar process for Venezuelans. The new process began implementation on Jan. 6. Find the release and more information at www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/dhs-implements-new-processes-for-cubans-haitians-and-nicaraguans-and-eliminates-cap-for-venezuelans#:~:text=On%20Jan.%205%2C%202023%2C,also%20apply%20for%20work%20authorization.
— On Earth Peace has announced upcoming webinars:
Gun Violence – Nonviolence Strategy Session is offered online on Jan. 19 at 3-4 p.m. (Eastern time), register at www.onearthpeace.org/2023-01-19-knv-gun-violence-strategy-session. Said an announcement: “We will explore the Kingian perspective on Top Down/Bottom Up or Third Force organizing, and we will work together on our hopeful, shared vision for the future as gun violence organizers. This positive vision is an important organizing tool once we have it–so let’s share together and see what we come up with!”
Agape and Crisis: An Introduction to Kingian Nonviolence is offered online on Jan. 24, from 2-4 p.m. (Eastern time), register at www.onearthpeace.org/2023-01-24-cob-agape-crisis-knv-2hr-intro. “What is the crisis where you are– and what might being a nonviolent Christian lead you to do about it? Are you hungry to get involved in dynamic and creative ways in the concerns and conflicts of your community? Join us to explore nonviolence as an active force based in agape love. Kingian Nonviolence is a philosophy and methodology based in the work of the Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. and the leaders of the Civil Rights era.”
— Nigerian media have celebrated a unique celebration of Christmas, which included a Muslim group attending a Christmas service in the city of Zaria, in Kaduna State, and presenting gifts to the host congregation from Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). The Shiites from the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) attended a church service “to celebrate Christmas with their Christian counterparts,” one report said. The service was held at the EYN congregation in Sabon Gari, Zaria. “The group also gave a gift to the church to demonstrate their love and promote religious tolerance between the two faiths. After the service, the group’s leader, Isah Mshelgaru, stated that the purpose of attending the service was to join Christians in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.” He was quoted as saying: “If someone is not your brother in faith, he is your brother in humanity, and we share this humanity with everyone, Muslim, Christian, or whatever.” Find the articles at https://ng.opera.news/ng/en/religion/f0a95921fbb84d1862918a18017506d3; www.thecable.ng/christmas-shiite-group-attends-church-service-in-kaduna; and www.legit.ng/nigeria/1511351-christmas-shiite-group-attends-church-service-kaduna.
— Restoration LA Church of the Brethren in East Los Angeles, Calif. (formerly Bella Vista Church of the Brethren) got some air time for hosting a mural honoring the famous mountain lion known as P-22. After the artist reached out on social media for a location to host the graffiti piece, the church offered wall space. View a news video report interviewing the artist at www.instagram.com/reel/CmfmhQAIe6O/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y%3D.
— McPherson (Kan.) College has received a $1 million gift from the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation, which will go toward a $500 million match campaign announced in late 2022. The college is announcing the creation of the Rob Walton Scholarship Fund, which will focus on attracting and retaining the best students in the college’s unique automotive restoration program. “The anonymous double-match estate commitment of $500 million is the largest in the history of any liberal arts college in the United States,” said the release from McPherson. “This grant helps us fulfill our mission of being the center of excellence for students serious about automotive restoration,” said McPherson president Michael Schneider. “Students completing their degree from our program are the skilled craftsmen, technicians, historians, curators, managers, marketing and communication persons, and leaders necessary to preserve the classic car industry.” Said Rob Walton: “Driving and collecting vintage automobiles is a personal passion. We’re pleased to contribute to educating the next generation of car restorers and making college more affordable for McPherson students.”
— Manchester University has announced a $20 million expansion in Fort Wayne, Ind., which is a health science hub and base for the university’s pharmacy program. The 32,000-square-foot expansion of the Parkview Health campus will add educational opportunities in health careers that are in high demand, such as physical therapy and nursing. “The expansion will feature a pro bono physical therapy clinic focusing on amputees, providing students and faculty with hands-on opportunities to serve a high-need population in the region,” said a release. “Other new additions include a state-of-the-art lab, research and classroom spaces, nursing simulation and skills laboratory, and a variety of versatile collaboration areas for students…. The expansion and some recent renovation incorporate education upgrades for current programs: Doctor of Pharmacy, Master of Athletic Training, Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics, and Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing.” Accepting students now, the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program begins in May, the Master of Science in Nutrition and Nutrigenomics degree program begins this fall, and students currently in the traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing track will complete their final two years in Fort Wayne. Read the full release at www.manchester.edu/about-manchester/news/news-articles/2022-news-articles/manchester-announces-fort-wayne-expansion.
— In July, Bridgewater (Va.) College chaplain Robbie Miller will lead a “Lands of the Bible” study tour of Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. The tour, conducted by the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem (https://uhl.ac), will visit sites of biblical and religious importance including Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jericho, Capernaum, Caesarea, Masada, Qumran, Petra, and more. The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership will provide 4.0 continuing education units for the study tour. For an itinerary and more information, contact Miller at email@example.com or 540-421-2720.
— “We are relaunching our 52 Ways to Care for Creation bulletin inserts!” said an announcement from Creation Justice Ministries, which is a partner organization for the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy. “Use this resource throughout the 52 weeks of the year to deepen your congregation’s commitment to creation justice.” Each week’s bulletin insert highlights a creation justice idea for action or reflection that corresponds with the season or the church calendar. Find out more at www.creationjustice.org/resource-hub/category/bulletin-insert.
— “Learn how to be a legislative advocate,” invites the National Farm Worker Ministry (NFWM). “One of the best ways you can stand in solidarity with farm workers is by advocating for legislation that improves their working and living conditions. We know it can be hard to navigate the legislative process, and we want you to have the resources you need to be successful. Join us for our free webinar on Jan. 27at 7 p.m. (EST) to learn how you can be an effective legislative advocate.” The webinar will cover important legislation in the farm worker movement and will share tips on contacting, writing, and meeting with elected officials. The webinar can be streamed in English or Spanish. Register at https://nfwm.org/action-alerts/how-to-be-a-legislative-advocate.
— The 2022 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity takes place Jan. 18-25 on the theme, “Do Good; Seek Justice (Isaiah 1:17). “The reflections explore how learning to do right requires the decision to engage in self-reflection,” said a release from the World Council of Churches (WCC), which is a sponsoring organization. “Christians from Minnesota developed the resources with input from an international group representing the Roman Catholic Church’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission. The resources include an ecumenical opening prayer service, biblical reflections and prayers for eight days, and other elements of worship.” Each year ecumenical partners in a different region are asked to prepare the materials. The materials for 2023 are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Arabic. Find out more at www.oikoumene.org/news/countdown-to-the-week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity-inspiring-resources-accessible-to-all.
— In related news, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is joining the World Council of Churches, the Franciscan Friars, and Christians around the world for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on Jan. 18-24. CMEP will be hosting a religious leader from the Middle East on Jan. 18, 19, 23, and 24 for a half hour online session of prayer and reflection at 10:30 a.m. (Eastern time). “Join us as we pray together in hope of Christian Unity,” said an invitation. Registration is free but required to receive the Zoom link. Register at https://cmep.org/event/week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity-2.
Find more Church of the Brethren news:
- CDS helps care for children and families among asylum seekers in Chicago area
- Church of the Brethren general secretary signs letter from Christian leaders to President Biden
- ‘Prayer Vigil: Ceasefire Now!’ will pray for peace in Israel and Palestine
- Next online meeting of Standing with People of Color process is Nov. 18
- Standing Committee of Annual Conference to hold online meetings open to the public