Brethren bits for Jan. 9, 2021

In this Brethren bits: Remembering Curtis W. Dubble and Fay Reese, Washington City Church of the Brethren and Office of Peacebuilding and Policy are safe and unharmed, prayer requested for Modesto Church of the Brethren, new address for S. Pennsylvania District, and a round-up of excerpts from prayers, reflections, and statements on the violent attack on Congress from Brethren and others.

Studying scripture together is key to a compelling vision for the Church of the Brethren

Much has been altered since the Compelling Vision process began. Some congregations have chosen to leave the Church of the Brethren, the need for structural reform in the church has become ever more evident, and COVID-19 has cast an aura of uncertainty regarding the future nature of congregational life. Amid those significant dilemmas I suggest to you there is nothing more important than studying scripture together to deepen our common commitment to Christ.

Couple’s gift will add endowed music professorship at Manchester University

The late Dr. John Hamer and Esther Rinehart Hamer made a lasting mark in medicine during their time with the Church of the Brethren ministry in Nigeria. Now the Manchester alumni are creating their largest and perhaps most enduring legacy at Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind., with a $1.5 million estate gift to establish the John L. and Esther L. Rinehart Hamer Professorship in Music.

Grants support hurricane relief, international groups affected by pandemic, community gardens

A GFI allocation of $20,000 is divided between four church-related international partners of the Global Food Initiative. Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed an EDF grant of $11,000 to the COVID-19 response of Haitian congregations of Iglesia de los Hermanos in the DR. An EDF grant of $10,000 supports hurricane relief by the Christian Solidarity Program (CSP) in Honduras. Two GFI grants support community gardens related to Church of the Brethren congregations.

Sonja Griffith resigns from leadership of Western Plains District

Sonja Sherfy Griffith has resigned as district executive minister of the Church of the Brethren’s Western Plains District, effective March 31. She has been district executive for 11 years, starting in the half-time position on Jan. 1, 2010. She has served as a bi-vocational minister, carrying out duties as pastor of First Central Church of the Brethren in Kansas City, Kan., a position she has held for the past 23 years.

EYN churches are attacked, at least 12 people are killed, a pastor/evangelist is among those abducted in violence on the day before and the day after Christmas

“In skeletal information reaching us from Garkida, three churches were set ablaze, five people killed, and five people are missing in a Boko Haram attack,” reported Zakariya Musa, head of media for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Garkida, a town in the Gombi Local Government Area of Adamawa State in northeast Nigeria, is the site of the founding of EYN and the place where the former Church of the Brethren mission in Nigeria began.

Newsline for Dec. 21, 2020

1) Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding program sites are ‘paused,’ to restart in 2021
2) Intercultural Ministries announces new Racial Justice mini-grant program
3) Global Brethren Communion holds second Zoom meeting
4) EYN reports on fighting in Askira area, assistance to Chibok orphans and student refugees in Cameroon
5) Western Plains District Leadership Team adopts non-discrimination policy
6) National Council of Churches issues ‘Statement on the Racist Threats to US Churches’

7) Meghan Horne Mauldin is appointed to Mission and Ministry Board following Carol Yeazell resignation
8) Coordinator is named for National Youth Conference 2022
9) Church of the Brethren youth cabinet is named for 2021-2022

10) Christian Citizenship Seminar 2021 will study economic justice
11) Moderator’s Town Hall on ‘Faith, Science, and COVID-19–Part Three’ is slated for Jan. 21
12) Webinar will explore God’s work of healing self and relationships

13) Themes and writers are announced for upcoming compelling vision Bible studies
14) Online worship in various languages / Adoración en línea en varios idiomas / Adorasyon sou entènèt nan divès lang / العبادة عبر الإنترنت بلغات مختلفة

15) Brethren bits: Remembering John Gingrich and Georgianna Schmidtke, prayers for the Quinter church and Gove County, Kan., personnel, letter to President-elect Biden on Israel and Palestine, Brethren Press matching gift challenge, Bethany recruits international students from the Brethren-related colleges, Virlina District’s Race Education Team, and more