Disabilities Ministry Announces Creation of Open Roof Fellowship

Mark’s Gospel reminds us that we are called to reach out to persons of all needs and abilities and to go to extraordinary lengths to bring them to Jesus: “Then some people came, bringing to Jesus a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him” (Mark 2:3-4). Church of the Brethren congregations committed to and actively engaged in ministry to and with persons with disabilities are therefore recognized as Open Roof congregations.

Vietnam Blind School Holds Training with Slogan ‘Understanding Eliminates Darkness’

On Nov. 18, 2015, Thien An Blind School of Ho Chi Minn City, Vietnam, hosted a one-day training for 30 sociology students as a part of Service Learning at the University of Humanities and Social Sciences. Participating in this training day were Grace Mishler, a Church of the Brethren member who serves in Vietnam with Global Mission and Service; her program assistant Nguyen Xuan; and program trainee Nguyen Thi My Huyen.

Global Mission and Service Worker Honored in Vietnam

On Nov. 8, 2015, Grace Mishler, a Church of the Brethren member and a Global Mission and Service worker in Ho Chi Minh City, was honored for her work with disabled persons by Vietnamese government officials. Selected individuals from the southern region of Vietnam were recognized for their contributions to the disabled community including blind and partially sighted persons, the area of Mishler’s expertise.

Open Roof Award Honors Disabilities Efforts of Two Church of the Brethren Congregations

The 2015 Open Roof Award was presented on behalf of the Disabilities Ministry of Congregational Life Ministries to two Church of the Brethren congregations: Cedar Lake Church of the Brethren in Northern Indiana District, and Staunton (Va.) Church of the Brethren in Shenandoah District. The award was given to representatives of the two churches during the Mission and Ministry Board meeting in Tampa, Fla., in advance of Annual Conference.

In Living Memory of Thao

Nguyen Thi Thu Thao, age 24, died Easter morning, April 5. She held a degree from Ho Chi Minh City University of Agriculture and Forestry. She battled for seven years with thyroid cancer, kidney disease, and eye pain.

Open Roof Award Recognizes Churches Who Welcome Those Dealing with Disabilities

The Open Roof Award is presented annually to congregations who widen their welcome to include those who have to deal with significant physical or mental disabilities. Fourteen congregations have received this award in the eight years since it was initially established. Congregations are recognized during the Mission and Ministry Board meeting just prior to Annual Conference.

‘Dear Ms. Grace, My Name Is Linh’: Vietnamese Students Learn from a Brethren Life Story

On Friday, Jan. 30, the English Communication Skills Class at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, had the pleasure of celebrating Ms. Grace Mishler’s and Miss Lan’s birthdays in the classroom. Our guest, Grace Mishler, took center stage as the 12 students in attendance introduced themselves. She is a Social Work Project Developer at the university.

Church of the Brethren Offers ‘We Are Able’ Workcamp

During the summer months, the Church of the Brethren holds a variety of workcamps in various locations around the country. Every other year, the “We Are Able” workcamp is offered to youth and young adults with intellectual disabilities, ages 16-23. In the summer of 2015, this workcamp will be hosted by the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., from June 29-July 2.

Anabaptist Disabilities Network Seeks Stories of Supportive Care in Congregations

Anabaptist Disabilities Network (ADNet) is looking for stories of church congregations that are providing a congregational network of care for persons with significant disabilities and/or their families. Such care may include supporting their church participation, but goes beyond this to support aspects of daily living needs and/or participation in the wider community.

Mission and Ministry Board Hears Update on Nigeria, Discusses Finances, Celebrates Open Roof Award and Ministry Summer Service

At their Annual Conference meeting on Wednesday, July 2, Mission and Ministry Board members got acquainted with international visitors and received an update from Global Mission and Service director Jay Wittmeyer on conditions facing Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). They also celebrated this year’s Open Roof Award to congregations that are making strides in welcoming people with disabilities, were briefed on the denomination’s financial status, and heard a report on the Ministry Summer Service program.