Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Jocelyn Snyder to coordinate orientation for Brethren Volunteer Service

Photo by BVS

Jocelyn Snyder
Jocelyn Snyder begins Jan. 5 as orientation coordinator for Brethren Volunteer Service. Her work will be based at the BVS office at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill.

From 2012-2014 she was a mission worker and BVS volunteer in South Sudan, serving with Church of the Brethren Global Mission and Service. In Torit, South Sudan, she worked at a primary school of the African Inland Church and taught basic English courses for women.

In previous employment, she served with Mennonite Central Committee in Zambia for three years, 2006-2009, working as assistant chaplain at Choma Secondary School and also facilitating HIV/AIDS youth and young adult peer educator workshops.

Snyder has been youth and young adult coordinator at Hartville (Ohio) Church of the Brethren, where she is a member, and also has been youth director at Mount Tabor United Methodist Church in East Canton, Ohio. She is a 2005 graduate of Malone University in Canton, Ohio, with a bachelor of arts degree in youth ministry.

Source: 12/10/2014 Newsline

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Illinois and Wisconsin District Volunteer at Food Bank

On Nov. 8, while the delegates to the Illinois and Wisconsin District Conference were in business session, 24 people attending the district youth retreat took 16 bags of donated food to the Northern Illinois Food Bank and packed more than 6,500 pounds of potatoes. “They wanted to thank everyone who donated food at the conference,” said a report in the newsletter of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill., which hosted the district conference. The Illinois Wisconsin District Youth Cabinet planned the service project.
Photo by Ralph Miner

On Nov. 8, while the delegates to the Illinois and Wisconsin District Conference were in business session, 24 people attending the district youth retreat took 16 bags of donated food to the Northern Illinois Food Bank and packed more than 6,500 pounds of potatoes. “They wanted to thank everyone who donated food at the conference,” said a report in the newsletter of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill., which hosted the district conference. The Illinois Wisconsin District Youth Cabinet planned the service project.


Source: 12/2/2014 Newsline

Online registration opened Dec. 1 for Christian Citizenship Seminar 2015

Online registration opened Dec. 1 for Christian Citizenship Seminar 2015, an event for senior high youth and their adult advisors sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Ministry on April 18-23 in New York City and Washington, D.C. The seminar’s study of US immigration will be guided by the theme scripture from Hebrews 13:2: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Space is limited to 100 people so early registration is advised. Cost is $400. Go to www.brethren.org/ccs.

Source: 12/2/2014 Newsline

Congregational Life Ministries leader addresses Powerhouse at Camp Mack

Photo courtesy of Walt Wiltschek / Manchester University

Many of the Powerhouse 2014 participants gather 
for a group photo at Camp Mack
By Walt Wiltschek
More than 80 youth and advisors met at Camp Mack in Milford, Ind., on Nov. 15-16 for the Powerhouse regional youth conference sponsored by Manchester University. All six Midwest districts of the Church of the Brethren were represented, covering Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Jonathan Shively, executive director of Congregational Life Ministries for the Church of the Brethren, served as keynote speaker for three worship services.

The weekend focused on the theme “Almost Christian: Seeking an Authentic Faith.” The title and focus drew on the book “Almost Christian” by Kenda Creasy Dean, which explores topics from the National Study of Youth and Religion. Shively’s messages centered on identifying and telling one’s story of faith, gaining a sense of gifts and vocation, and living in a sense of hope--and the importance of community in all of those. The band Mutual Kumquat brought additional energy, providing musical leadership through the weekend.

Participants also selected from among 10 workshops, with options such as a trip to the Manchester University campus, a service project, a study of Creasy Dean’s book, and working with clay or prayer journals. Recreation time, meals, an optional film, and games and fellowship filled the rest of the schedule. Representatives from Brethren Volunteer Service, the denomination’s Youth/Young Adult Ministry, and Bethany Theological Seminary were also on hand to share about their programs.

This was the fifth year since the Midwest regional youth conference was “rebooted” in this new format, planned by Manchester’s Campus Ministry and Church Relations office. The next Powerhouse gathering will tentatively be held in Nov. 2015. For more information, visit www.manchester.edu/powerhouse.

-- Walt Wiltschek of the Manchester University Campus Ministry/Religious Life provided this report.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Congregational Life Ministries offers webinars on ‘Just Friendship’ and ‘Youth Work after Christendom’

Congregational Life Ministries is a co-sponsor of two webinars scheduled for this week: on Wednesday, Nov. 19, Anthony Grinnell will present a webinar related to ministry and evangelism and justice titled “Just Friendship”; and on Thursday, Nov. 20, Nigel Pimlott is the presenter of a webinar on the topic “Youth Work after Christendom-Revisited.” Both webinars start at 2:30 p.m. (eastern time). The latter webinar is one in a series by authors of published or forthcoming books in the popular “After Christendom” series, presented by the Church of the Brethren, the Center for Anabaptist Studies at Bristol Baptist College in the UK, the Anabaptist Network, and the Mennonite Trust.

“Youth Work after Christendom-Revisited” addresses the significant transformation undergone by ministry with young people, and the emergence of a post-Christendom, missional narrative, despite the fact that for many churches it is still about getting young people into church on a Sunday. This webinar will consider models of mission with young people based upon symbiosis, social justice and explorations of new uncharted waters. Nigel Pimlott is passionate about ministry with young people. He is author of youth ministry resources and a number of books, including ‘Youth Worker After Christendom and ‘Embracing the Passion.’

“Just Friendship” will discuss the nature of the relationships we seek to build with people in low-income areas and will explore how the virtues of justice and hope may be expressed within these relationships. Grinnell is involved in developing initiatives across the city of Leeds, in the United Kingdom, that seek to address poverty and inequality, is helping to establish Leeds Citizens, and is a project manager for the Leeds Poverty Truth Challenge.

The webinars are free, and ministers may earn 0.1 continuing education credit for attending the event. Register for webinars at www.brethren.org/webcasts. For more information contact Stan Dueck, director for Transforming Practices for the Church of the Brethren, at sdueck@brethren.org.

Source: 11/18/2014 Newsline

Christian Citizenship Seminar 2015 Registration opens Dec. 1

Registration opens Dec. 1 for Christian Citizenship Seminar 2015, an event for senior high youth and their adult advisors sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Ministry on April 18-23 in New York City and Washington, D.C. The seminar’s study of US immigration will be guided by the theme scripture from Hebrews 13:2: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Space is limited to 100 people so early registration is advised. Cost is $400. For more information and a downloadable brochure, go to www.brethren.org/ccs.

Source: 11/18/2014 Newsline

Beacon Heights Youth have started a Dunker Punks Café

Youth at Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Ind., have started a Dunker Punks Café. “Don’t buy your morning coffee on the way to church. The Dunker Punk Café fills your caffeine needs!” said an announcement in the church newsletter. Staffed by the High School Youth group, freewill donations will be accepted, “but the coffee is still free!” said the announcement.

Source: 11/18/2014 Newsline

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Youth and young adult ministries director leads evening webinar on ‘Grieving’

The first webinar in a series on Christian practices for teens, offered for adult leaders of youth, was on the topic “Grieving” led by Becky Ullom Naugle, director of the Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Ministry. The webinar was Nov. 4, at 8 p.m. (eastern time).

This was one in a series of webinars offered jointly by staff of the Church of the Brethren, Bethany Theological Seminary, and On Earth Peace. These staff are teaming up to provide informational and educational webinars geared to pastors, parents, and anyone who works with youth, primarily within the Church of the Brethren.

This series takes the form of a book study of “Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens” edited by Dorothy C. Bass and Don C. Richter, and will offer reflections on a few selected chapters of the book. While having a copy of the book is helpful, it is not required. The book may be purchased through Brethren Press at www.brethrenpress.com or by calling 800-441-3712.

Both a telephone and a computer are required to join the webinar: dial in by telephoning 877-204-3718 and enter the access code 8946766; then log in online at https://cc.callinfo.com/r/1huu1fnieqfak&eom.

The next webinars in the series:
  • Jan. 6, 2015, at 8 p.m. (eastern) on the topic “Work and Choices” led by Bekah Houff of the Bethany Seminary staff
  • March 3, 2015, 8 p.m. (eastern) on the topic “Life and Time” led by Emily Tyler of the Church of the Brethren Workcamp Ministry
  • May 5, 2015, 8 p.m. (eastern) on the topic “Forgiveness and Justice” led by Marie Benner-Rhoades of the On Earth Peace staff
Ordained ministers may earn .1 continuing education credit for participating in the real-time event. To request continuing education credit contact Houff at houffre@bethanyseminary.edu prior to the webinar.

Source: 11/04/2014 Newsline

2016 Workcamp Planning

In the midst of excitement around the 2015 workcamp schedule, it's already time to begin thinking about the 2016 workcamp season! If you or someone you know would be interested in planning and guiding the 2016 workcamp season, the position description and application are now available online.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Brethren workcamps schedule for 2015 is released

The Church of the Brethren Workcamp Office has released the workcamp schedule for 2015, which is now available at www.brethren.org/workcamps. The theme for the year, “Side by Side: Imitating Christ’s Humility” is inspired by Philippians 2:1-8. A brochure will be mailed soon to congregations. For questions, contact the Workcamp Office at cobworkcamps@brethren.org.

2015 workcamp schedule

Find the full workcamp schedule with links to descriptions of each workcamp and a picture key identifying the different types of work at each site, at www.brethren.org/workcamps/schedule. The key provides a rough guide to the five different types of work: emphasis on relational service, gardening and eco-service, construction and painting etc., food bank or soup kitchen, thrift store or packaging clothes.

Junior high workcamps for those who have completed 6th-8th grade:
  • June 21-25 at the John Kline Homestead in Broadway, Va., $275
  • June 22-26 at Camp Pine Lake in Iowa, $275
  • July 1-5 hosted by Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill., $275
  • July 22-26 hosted by Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren in South Bend, Ind., $275
  • July 29-Aug 2 partnering with On Earth Peace and the Brethren Housing Association in Harrisburg, Pa., $275
  • Aug 5-9 hosted by Brooklyn (N.Y.) First Church of the Brethren, $275
  • Aug 5-9 hosted by First Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va., $275
Senior high workcamps for those having completed 9th grade through age 19:
  • June 7-14 at Camp Wilbur Stover in Idaho, $325
  • June 8-13 at Koinonia Farm in Americus, Ga., $395
  • June 14-20 at a project site of Brethren Disaster Ministries, to be determined, $285
  • June 14-20 in New Orleans, La., $425
  • June 21-27 at Pine Ridge Reservation in Kyle, S.D., $455
  • June 28-July 4 at the Family Abuse Center in Waco, Texas, $335
  • July 5-11 at ECHO in N. Fort Myers, Fla., $375
  • July 5-11 at Innisfree in Crozet, Va., $325
  • July 19-25 partnering with Baltimore (Md.) County Christian Workcamp, $325
  • July 20-26 hosted by Camp Carmel working with Crossnore School in Crossnore, N.C., $325
  • July 20-26 hosted by York Center Church of the Brethren in Lombard, Ill., $325
  • July 27-Aug 2 hosted by Olympic View Church of the Brethren in Seattle, Wash., $325
  • July 27-Aug 2 at the Brethren Nutrition Program in Washington, D.C., $325
  • Aug 9-15 co-sponsored by the Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) at New Horizons Ministries in Colorado, $335
  • Aug 9-15 hosted by Bittersweet Ministries in Los Angeles, Calif., $425
Intergenerational workcamps for youth and adults who have completed 6th grade and older:
  • June 14-20 at Camp Mardela on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, $325
  • June 20-27 co-sponsored by the Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) in Lewiston, Maine, $325
Young adult workcamps for those ages 18-35:
  • May 29-June 7 in the Dominican Republic, $700
  • June 29-July 2 We Are Able Assistants at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., $375
We Are Able:
  • June 29-July 2 We Are Able, a workcamp for youth and young adults with intellectual disabilities, ages 16-23, in New Windsor, Md., $375
Registration will open Jan. 8, 2015, at www.brethren.org/workcamps. Registrations will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 7 p.m. (central time) on Jan. 8. A $150 non-refundable deposit will be due seven days after receipt of registration confirmation, with the full balance of the registration fee due by April 1, 2015. For more information go to www.brethren.org/workcamps.

Source: 10/28/2014 Newsline

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Powerhouse regional youth conference to be at Camp Mack in mid-November

Courtesy of Manchester University

The logo for Powerhouse 2014, a regional youth conference for the Midwest sponsored by Manchester University and held at Camp Mack
By Walt Wiltschek

The Powerhouse regional youth conference has reached its fifth anniversary! Powerhouse will return to Camp Mack near Milford, Ind., on Nov. 15-16, providing a weekend of worship, workshops, music, recreation, and more for senior high youth in the Midwest and their advisors.

Join in this action-packed and faith-filled weekend following on National Youth Conference. The theme this year is “Almost Christian: Seeking an Authentic Faith,” drawing on the book “Almost Christian” by Kenda Creasy Dean and other studies that have been done in this area.

Jonathan Shively, executive director of Congregational Life Ministries for the Church of the Brethren, is the keynote speaker for three worship times during the weekend. Seth Hendricks, pastor of Happy Corner Church of the Brethren in Dayton, Ohio, and a member of the band Mutual Kumquat, returns as music leader. Opportunities also will be available to visit and tour the Manchester University campus in North Manchester, Ind., about 45-50 minutes from Camp Mack, before or after the conference, and perhaps as a workshop option on Saturday.

Groups coming from a distance and needing a place to stay in the area on Friday night may contact us and we can help make arrangements to stay at Manchester University or with congregations in the area.

Cost is $75 for youth, $65 for advisors (for extenuating circumstances, please contact us). Everyone will have a bed to sleep in. Participants should bring their own bedding and towels. The camp will be preparing the meals. All the forms needed to register and a host of other information is at www.manchester.edu/powerhouse. Please be in prayer for this event and encourage your youth and advisors to attend.

— Walt Wiltschek is director of Religious Life and Church Relations at Manchester University. For more about Manchester go to www.manchester.edu.

Reprint from Church of the Brethren Newsline September 3, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fall IL/WI District Youth Retreat

When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me. —Matthew 25:31

The youth of IL/WI District will be working at the Northern Illinois Food Bank during District Conference weekend. They’ve asked the district people to make a donation of foods. Below is a list of most-needed food items (no glass jars please):
Peanut Butter, Canned Tuna/Chicken, Whole Grain Pasta and Rice, Cereal, Dried Beans,  Canned Fruits (in own juice), Canned vegetables, Reduced-Sodium Soup, Pasta Sauce
Please bring the food items with you when you register Friday night for district conference.

For mor information about the retreat, check www.cobyouth.org

Engage Day Introduces Prospective Students to Bethany

Richmond, IN - Bethany Theological Seminary will welcome prospective students to the fall Engage Visit Day on Friday, October 31, 2014. Now in its seventh year, this event is designed to both provide students with practical information about enrolling in seminary study and to include them in seminary activities and experiences.

Campus guests will take part in worship, interact with a panel of current students, attend class, meet with faculty, and be informed about the admissions process, all with encouragement for each participant to continue discerning the path to which they are called.

Registration is now open at www.bethanyseminary.edu/visit/engage, which also lists the day's schedule. For more information, contact Tracy Primozich, director of admissions, at primotr@bethanyseminary.edu.