Brethren bits for Sept. 29, 2023

— The Church of the Brethren seeks a director of Intercultural Ministries, a fulltime salaried position in the Discipleship and Leadership Formation department. This position is remote with some travel required. The major responsibility is to equip the Church of the Brethren denomination for its intercultural vision and commitments. Required skills and knowledge include commitment to Jesus Christ as understood through the Anabaptist and Radical Pietist roots of the Church of the Brethren; ability to effectively share a personal faith story; ability to articulate and operate out of the vision of the Church of the Brethren and its Mission and Ministry Board; ability to integrate intercultural competencies in a model of discipleship; ability to demonstrate intercultural understandings and competency, and the ability to teach others; holding a broad definition of “intercultural” and seeing wide applications for core intercultural competencies; ability to move easily among a variety of different cultural groups, recognizing and respecting their unique qualities and gifts and cultivating forms of expression that bridge diversity throughout the church; knowledge of group process and ability to facilitate appropriate processes for shared learning, receiving feedback, and decision-making; written and oral communication skills, with bilingual ability preferred; ability to draw on the expertise of others as needed, and a willingness to do so; skills in developing, implementing, and evaluating strategic initiatives; ability to manage logistics, such as meeting and event planning; ability to function effectively in a complex system, including making difficult decisions; ability to prioritize and manage a defined workload; ability to read and monitor budgets, function within financial limits, and manage personal and activity expense reporting; ability to engage and utilize teams of volunteers to execute strategies; interpersonal skills that contribute to effective work within the denomination, districts, and congregations; computer aptitude and experience, including with the Internet, email, word processing, database, presentation software (current platforms include Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, OneDrive, and Zoom); familiarity with and experience in social media; confidence in speaking truth to power. Required experience includes five or more years of participation in intercultural contexts; experience developing and implementing programs, managing complex workloads, communicating effectively to a diverse constituency, and working as part of a collaborative team; demonstrated success in moving within urban, suburban, and ex-urban settings, adapting to cultural variations and norms; work in areas of social justice and racial reconciliation. A bachelor’s degree is required, with a master’s in a related field preferred. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Apply by sending a resume to The Church of the Brethren is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The Annual Conference officers, Program and Arrangements Committee, and worship leadership for 2024 met recently at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill.

Shown above: the officers and Program and Arrangements Committee (from left) moderator Madalyn Metzger of Bristol, Ind.; Jacob Crouse of Washington, D.C.; Gail Heisel of Upland, Calif.; moderator-elect Dava Hensley of Roanoke, Va.; secretary David Shumate of Roanoke, Va.; Nathan Hollenberg of Broadway, Va.; and Annual Conference director Rhonda Pittman Gingrich. Photo by Debbie Noffsinger

Below: the officers and committee with the worship leaders (from left): Crouse; Amber Harris of Winston-Salem, N.C.; Metzger; Heisel; Shumate; Hensley; Hollenberg; Founa Augustin Badet of Delray Beach, Fla.; Calvin Park of Knoxville, Md.; and Pittman Gingrich. Photo by Debbie Noffsinger

— Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Unit 334 is holding orientation Sept. 26-Oct. 4 at Pacific Northwest District’s Camp Koinonia in Cle Elum, Wash. Nine volunteers are taking part in the unit, including six from BVS’s partner in Germany, EIRENE, two from the US, and one from Canada. BVS director Chelsea Goss Skillen and volunteer coordinator Virginia Rendler will lead the orientation, and current BVS volunteer Benjamin Hoffmann will be taking photos and assisting. “Please be in prayer for this unit as they begin their BVS adventure,” said a recent BVS newsletter. “And as always, if you know someone who might have interest in serving in BVS, contact or learn more at Two orientation units are in the works for 2024.”

— “Serve away from the snow: Register today!” said an invitation to people who are 55 or older, who enjoy serving others, and who are looking for “some southern sunshine this winter.” The Church of the Brethren FaithX short-term service program is offering a first-ever winter service trip for older adults, from Feb. 25 to March 1, 2024, at Camp Ithiel in Gotha, Fla., near Orlando. Participants will take part in projects at this Church of the Brethren camp alongside worship and fellowship times. The standard workcamp fee of $585 includes all lodging, food, and programming. (Transportation to and from Orlando is additional.) The supporter rate for those wishing to donate a bit extra is $625, while a subsidized rate of $545 is available for anyone needing some assistance. Register at

— Elizabethtown (Pa.) College last year received a $1.2 million grant to launch a new engineering program, which gained media attention this July. Reported Lancaster Online: “Elizabethtown College is reshaping its engineering education around sustainability and equity with its new Greenway Center for Equity and Sustainability, funded through a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation. In partnership with the Vermont-based Greenway Institute, the college plans to use its funding to launch the center with an immersive semester in Vermont, first-year hands-on engineering education and project-based professional development for kindergarten through grade 12 teachers. Recruitment for the program begins this year with courses starting in the fall of 2023, according to college spokesperson Keri Straub. Classes as part of the center will be on Greenway Vermont’s campus or through the college’s School of Engineering, Math and Computer Science.” Read the full article at Find out more at Read the college release from September 2022 at

— The Dunker Punks Podcast has posted a new episode focused on gun violence and its effects on children, at From an announcement: “Beth Gayber talks with Melia Klingler, Samar (no last name provided), and Anesu (no last name provided) about their personal experiences with the rise of gun violence happening in the US especially public school systems. They also talk about the kids who attend public schools where they practice ‘lockdown drills,’ and the fear of going to school.”

— The Womaen’s Caucus is holding a nominating party again this year. “Hope to see you there,” said an announcement from the group’s steering committee. “Tis the season! (for nominating leaders in the Church of the Brethren), Whether you’ve been elected to a denominational leadership position, or have no idea how to even nominate someone, join us on Zoom for an informative, active session: Thursday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m. Eastern. Nominations are made online, with or without consulting your nominee first. But, the nomination can only move forward if the person you nominated fills out the nominee information form–and over half of the nominees never do!” Open offices on the ballot to be presented to the 2024 Annual Conference include moderator-elect, Program and Arrangements Committee, Mission and Ministry Board for areas 4 and 5, Bethany Theological Seminary board representing colleges, and the On Earth Peace board. For information about the nominations process go to The Zoom link for the Nominations Party is

— Creation Justice Ministries is celebrating its 40 years with a Service of Celebration on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. (Eastern time), featuring keynote preacher Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. and the world premiere of two choral pieces by Ken Medema and Cathy Chamblee. An in-person celebration will be held at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., and the service also will be streamed online. Chavis is a founder of the environmental justice movement who “lives a life of advocacy at the intersection of civil rights and creation justice,” said the announcement. He began his career with Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and later coined the term “environmental racism” and published a landmark report on toxic waste and race. He has held leadership positions with the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice, the NAACP, and the National Council of Churches, and is currently president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. The two choral pieces that will be premiered during the service are by Ken Medema, who performed at the recent National Older Adult Conference of the Church of the Brethren, and Cathy Chamblee, titled “Sacred Earth” and “Elegy for a Glacier.” While there is no charge to attend, an offering will be taken to benefit Creation Justice Ministries. “We welcome gifts in honor or in memory of someone who has inspired your care for creation,” said the announcement. Register online at

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