Over the last year or more, Greg Davidson Laszakovits has made a lot of changes, all by choice. Although it was a difficult year for many reasons, on a professional level 2021 was good—but “it’s not been tidy.” Tidy is not a word commonly used by those doing the work of healing racism, and Laszakovits is no exception.
The above statement was released on June 19, 2020. In November of 2020, BVS was asked to take the statement down temporarily because some of the language was offensive to members of the Church of the Brethren. In the spirit of the 2009 Annual Conference statement “A Structural Framework for Dealing with Strongly Controversial Issues,” BVS staff took time to work at mutual understanding, doing much research, listening, and learning. After reviewing Annual Conference statements, referencing the newly adopted Mission and Ministry Board Strategic Plan, and in light of events that have occurred since its initial release, BVS staff feels the need to restate its stance on racism and recommit itself to working towards healing racism.
Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren’s Peace and Justice Committee is presenting a webinar series on racial justice in March. The series is funded by a grant obtained through the “mini-grant” program for Racial Justice and Healing Racism of the Church of the Brethren’s Intercultural Ministry.
— Remembrance: Dallas Oswalt, 92, a former Church of the Brethren mission worker in Nigeria, passed away on Aug. 14. He was living in Charlotte, N.C. His early church work included volunteering at age 17 as a seagoing cowboy for the Brethren Service Committee, sailing to Italy with the fourth transatlantic livestock delivery. He married
The 50th annual Dunker Church Service at the old Brethren meetinghouse on the Antietam battlefield will be virtual this year, and available to view online. Brethren Press and “Messenger” magazine publisher Wendy McFadden is the featured speaker and will share a message on “The Wounds of War and a Place for Peace.” The Dunker meetinghouse
Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) has posted the following statement on its website, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, confessing and repenting of complicity in white oppression and systemic racism, and committing to “purposefully create space to amplify black and brown voices during our orientations and in our office as a staff.”
1) Brethren Volunteer Service makes statement supporting Black Lives Matter
2) Celebrating Juneteenth with news of Brethren actions, statements, and opportunities
3) Brethren Faith in Action Fund issues grants
4) Fellowship of Brethren Homes member communities share gratitude for grant
5) Fall reopening plans announced by Bethany Theological Seminary
6) Church World Service kit depots to re-open in mid-August
7) Jocelyn Siakula resigns as orientation coordinator for Brethren Volunteer Service
8) Denomination invited to gather online for worship and music on July 1 and 2
9) Bethany Seminary announces new courses
10) July Ventures course is on ‘Brethren in the Age of Pandemic’
11) Brethren bits: Personnel, Peacebuilding and Policy director signs letter to Congress calling for police reforms, BVS holds virtual celebration of volunteer houses, children’s video from Children’s Disaster Services, Elizabethtown’s “Drop the Needle” sermon series, Soybean Innovation Lab features article on EYN, and more
1) Brethren Disaster Ministries responds to Hurricane Michael, other needs
2) Atlantic Northeast District rejects “Policy on Same-Sex Marriage”
3) On Earth Peace board meets, addresses anti-racism initiatives
4) Bethany welcomes nine new students this fall
5) Church of the Brethren seeks Mission Advancement Advocate
6) Mission and Ministry Board gathers for fall meeting
7) Brethren bits