Thursday, February 26, 2015

Youth ministry webinar series continues with focus on ‘Life and Time’

The third webinar in a series on Christian practices for teens, offered for adult leaders of youth, will be on the topic “Life and Time.” Emily Tyler, coordinator of workcamps and volunteer recruitment for the Church of the Brethren, will be leading the webinar which takes place the evening of Tuesday, March 3, at 8 p.m. (eastern time).

This is 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. To join the video portion, go to www.moresonwebmeeting.com and enter the phone number and access code given below (the technology used for this webinar works best with non-mobile devices). After joining the video portion, participants will need to join the audio portion by dialing 877-204-3718 or 303-223-9908. The access code is 8946766.

For those of you who wish to view the web portion via an iPad, download the link from the iTunes store (Level 3), and have the conference telephone number and access code available to enter. You will still need to join the audio portion with the Audio Login credentials. The name of the app is Level 3.

The final webinar in the series is planned for May 5, at 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, prior to the webinar contact Bekah Houff, coordinator of Outreach Programs at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., at houffre@bethanyseminary.edu.

Source: 2/25/2015 Newsline

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

ENGAGE to welcome prospective students to Bethany Seminary

By Jenny Williams

Campus visit days are well-established events at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., eliciting appreciation from attendees for the information and hospitality they receive. The spring 2015 ENGAGE visit day, to be held Friday, March 27, will again offer prospective seminary students as much of the Bethany experience as possible in a day’s time.

Faculty, current students, and staff will be involved in leadership. A morning presentation, “Living Words, Living People: Creative Ways of Presenting Scripture in Worship,” will be led by Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm, Brightbill Professor of Preaching and Worship. “This session will explore new ways to read, recite, and perform scripture in worship--and help us understand scripture as a living text that seeks to engage us today. We’ll look and listen to scripture anew, in ways that call forth the best of our energy and imagination.”

Attendees will learn about Bethany’s newly revised curriculum and its many options from Steve Schweitzer, academic dean. Over lunch, a presentation on the changing landscape of ministry will be led by Scott Holland, Slabaugh Professor of Theology and Culture, and Tara Hornbacker, professor of ministry formation, missional leadership, and evangelism.

To convey the student experience, a student panel discussion will be held via Bethany’s new technology classroom, demonstrating how Bethany allows for distance students to participate in classroom events in real time. Kristy Shellenberger, an MA student, will lead joint worship for the Bethany and Earlham School of Religion communities, and students will also give tours of the Earlham College campus.

Information on the financial investment of seminary education will include the amenities of the emerging Bethany Neighborhood in addition to financial aid and other considerations presented by Brian Schleeper, student services associate. Courtney Hess, grant project director, will speak to the research and programming being undertaken to address student debt and ongoing stewardship, of which the housing and community opportunities of the Neighborhood are a part. Students who have already applied also will be able to meet with faculty.

Bethany will cover lodging expenses and two meals for ENGAGE guests. For more information and to register, visit bethanyseminary.edu/visit/engage or call 800-287-8822.

On Saturday, all are invited to stay for the Willson Lectures at Earlham School of Religion, presented by renowned writer and speaker Diana Butler Bass on the topic, “Finding the Spirit of God in the Spirit of the World.” The event is free; breakfast and lunch will cost $25, and registration is required. For more information go to http://esr.earlham.edu/news-events/news/esr-welcomes-diana-butler-bass-2015-willson-lectures.

-- Jenny Williams is director of communications and alumni/ae relations for Bethany Theological Seminary.

Source: 2/25/2015 Newsline

National Youth Cabinet Meeting

National Youth Cabinet for 2015-16
Shown above from left: Digby Strogen, Pacific Southwest District; Olivia Russell, Pacific Northest District; Krystal Bellis, Northern Plains District; Alexa Harshbarger, Northern Indiana District; Yeysi Diaz, Southern Ohio District; Emily Van Pelt, advisor, Virlina District; Jeremy Hardy, Mid-Atlantic District; Glenn Bollinger, advisor, Shenandoah District. Becky Ullom Naugle met with the cabinet in her role as director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.
The National Youth Cabinet met Feb. 20-22 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., to select the theme for National Youth Sunday 2015. The cabinet selected Romans 8:28-39 as scripture focus for the theme “Always Loved, Never Alone.” Congregations are invited to celebrate the worship leadership gifts of their youth by participating in National Youth Sunday on May 3. Worship resources will be posted at www.brethren.org/youthresources on April 1.

Source: 2/25/2015 Newsline

McPherson Regional Youth Conference - March 6-8

“Keep Calm and Be a Dunker Punk” is the theme for Regional Youth Conference at McPherson (Kan.) College on March 6-8. The event is for senior high youth and advisors. The theme scripture is from Isaiah 1:17: “Say no to wrong. Learn to do good. Work for justice. Help the down-and-out. Stand up for the homeless. Go to bat for the defenseless” (The Message). The conference will feature leadership by David Radcliff of the New Community Project, and performances by Mutual Kumquat and Ted and Co. The fee for youth to attend is $65. Special pricing is available for college students willing to volunteer part of their time to assist with the weekend. For more information and online registration go to www.mcpherson.edu/ryc. For questions contact Jen Jensen, McPherson College director of Spiritual Life, jensenj@mcpherson.edu or 620-242-0503.
 
The public is invited to performances by Mutual Kumquat and Ted and Co. in McPherson, Kan., as part of the Regional Youth Conference. Ted and Co. will present “Laughter Is Sacred Space” in Brown Auditorium at McPherson College at 12 noon on March 6, and “The Big Story” at 1 p.m. on March 7 at McPherson Church of the Brethren. Mutual Kumquat, a band rooted in the Church of the Brethren, and billed as “obviously the best band ever,” will perform at the McPherson Church at 9 p.m. on March 7. “All are welcome to attend these events!” said an invitation from the church.

Source: 2/25/2015 Newsline

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Youth Peace Travel Team is named for 2015

By Becky Ullom Naugle 

The 2015 Youth Peace Travel Team has been announced. The team is cooperatively sponsored by the Outdoor Ministries Association, On Earth Peace, Bethany Theological Seminary, and the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Public Witness and Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office.

The four team members for 2015 are:
  • Annika Harley of Madison (Wis.) Mennonite Church
  • Michael Himlie of Root River Church of the Brethren in Northern Plains District
  • Brianna Wenger of Woodbridge Church of the Brethren in Mid-Atlantic District
  • Kerrick van Asselt of McPherson Church of the Brethren in Western Plains District.
As the team spends time with youth this summer at camps across the denomination, they will teach about peace, justice, and reconciliation--all core values throughout the Church of the Brethren’s 300-plus year history.

Follow the ministry of the 2015 Youth Peace Travel Team by visiting www.brethren.org/youthpeacetravelteam.

-- Becky Ullom Naugle is director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Church of the Brethren.

Source: 02/03/2015 Newsline

Romans 12 provides theme for National Junior High Conference

National Junior High Conference will be held June 19-21 on the campus of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. The conference will invite youth and their advisors to consider Romans 12:1-2. The theme, “Living the Change: Our Offering to God,” asks participants to consider taking their everyday, ordinary life--our sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life--and place it before God as an offering.

As junior high youth encounter a number of changes in their lives, the conference will encourage them to live the changes in ways pleasing to God. The event will be enriched by worship speakers Lauren Seganos, Steve Schweitzer, Amy Gall-Ritchey, and Eric Bishop. Seth Hendricks will be coordinating music, and worship will be coordinated by Rebekah Houff and Trent Smith.

In addition to four celebrations of worship, there will be time for learning during workshops and time for play during recreation and evening activities.

Online registration is open at www.brethren.org/njhc. Register now to take advantage of early bird rates! Through March 31, the cost is $160 per person. After March 31, the cost for regular registration is $185 per person. Travel scholarships are available to those who live west of the Mississippi River.

For more information and to register, visit www.brethren.org/njhc or call 847-429-4389. National Junior High Conference is sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Office.

-- Becky Ullom Naugle is director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Church of the Brethren.

Source: 02/03/2015 Newsline

Bridgewater Roundtable - March 20-22

Roundtable, a Church of the Brethren regional youth conference, takes place at Bridgewater (Va.) College on March 20-22. The theme, “Follower and Friend: Our Relationship with God,” is inspired by John 15:12-17. The speaker will be Carol Elmore, minister of youth and music at Oak Grove Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va. Friday night entertainment will feature Jessica Crawford, a Christian recording artist and former member of the youth group at Bridgewater Church of the Brethren. The event also includes small groups, workshops, a variety show, singing, vespers, recreation, and more. Participants will stay on the college campus for the weekend and eat their meals in the dining hall. Estimated cost is $50 per participant. The event is for high school age youth and adult advisors. Information is being posted, with registration opening soon, at http://iycroundtable.wix.com/iycbc. For questions e-mail iycroundtable@gmail.com.

Source: 2/3/2015 Newsline

Friday, January 30, 2015

Service Sunday 2015

"Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus..." (Philippians 2:5, NRSV).

Service Sunday is February 1.

It encourages you and your congregation to discover opportunities to serve through the Church of the Brethren, celebrate those who serve, explore possibilities for service in our local communities, and be transformed through serving one another.

Find worship resources at www.brethren.org/servicesunday.

Christian Citizenship Seminar 2015

Christian Citizenship Seminar happens each year and is a powerful experience for all who attend. CCS brings together youth who are passionate, discerning, and concerned about justice and the well-being of our denomination, our communities, and our nation. Participants of past years have shared that their week at CCS was filled with experiences they remember for the rest of their lives.

The 2015 Christian Citizenship Seminar, held April 18 - 23 in New York City and Washington D.C., will focus on the complexities of US immigration policy, suggested reforms, and the consequences of both on immigrant communities. At CCS, high school aged youth and their advisors will explore the issue of immigration and the ways in which faith helps understand and form beliefs about it. This experience will help equip them to understand immigration and to educate their own communities about issues related to immigration.

During this week-long event, participants will explore the ways in which their lives intersect with the lives of immigrants through hearing personal stories from immigrants in the U.S., people who work with immigrants, individuals who are connected with both theology and immigration, and those who work in advocacy and policy-making. Participants will gather new cultural insights in New York City through attending multicultural church services and the United Nations, and in Washington, D.C. they will visit Capitol Hill and meet their representatives and senators to discuss the topic of immigration. Throughout the week, there are important times to get to know other participants, worship together, and reflect upon the day's events.

Through this conference, students are empowered to take home what they have learned, stay informed about the issue of immigration, and to share about their learning experiences to teach others.

Thank you for supporting great learning opportunities like these that build community and train leaders to address the needs of today.

Learn more about Christian Citizenship Seminar at www.brethren.org/ccs or call Kristen Hoffman at 847-429-4389 or email her at khoffman@brethren.org.

-- By Kristen Hoffman, BVS volunteer with Youth and Young Adult Ministry

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Young Adult Steering Committee Meets at the Church of the Brethren General Offices

The Youth and Young Adult Office welcomed the Young Adult Steering Committee to the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., last week. Members of the committee include Jess Hoffert, Heather Houff Landram, Amanda McLearn-Montz, Mark Pickens, and Kyle Remnant. The group was led by Laura Whitman and assisted by Kristen Hoffman, in their planning for the 2015 Young Adult Conference.

Source: 01/21/2015 Newsline

Monday, January 19, 2015

IL/WI District 2015 Spring Youth Retreat

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down 

April 10th through April 12th, 2015

Freeport Church of the Brethren
777 W Pleasant St,
Freeport, Illinois 61032
  • What: Rick Polhamus will be our session leader and will be sharing about his recent trip to Iraq and share about the history of this troubled part of the world. Topics will include Iraq, ISIS, and drone warfare. 
  • When: Registration will begin at 7 pm on Friday Night. Retreat participants will be dismissed on Sunday around 11:45am.
  • Who: Everyone currently in 9th through 12th grades during the 2014-2015 school year. Friends and advisors are welcome. 
  • Cost: $40 for youth – no charge for advisors. Make checks payable to “Illinois/Wisconsin District Youth” 
  • What to Bring: Bible, games, sleeping bag, snacks to share, towel. 
Registration Deadline: March 27th, 2015 – If we do not have 12 youth registered we will cancel the retreat.

The registration form can be found online.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New On Earth Peace Interns

On Earth Peace has introduced new interns Madeline Dulabaum, who will serve as editor of the “Peacebuilder” newsletter, and Michael Himlie who will be youth peace coordinator. Dulabaum will prepare each issue of the newsletter and will be exploring a new look for the publication. She is a student at DePaul University in Chicago, Ill., and has served on the news teams for Annual Conference and National Youth Conference, as well as editor for her high school magazine. Himlie’s duties will include coordinating peace retreats at congregations and districts, leading workshops at regional youth conferences, and connecting with youth throughout the denomination. He is a student at Manchester University and recently completed a year of Brethren Volunteer Service where he served with New Community Project and took part in a delegation to the Middle East with Christian Peacemaker Teams. He also has served with On Earth Peace as part of Ministry of Reconciliation teams at Annual Conference and National Youth Conference.

Source: 01/14/2015 Newsline

Church of the Brethren Regional Youth Conference 2015



The Regional Youth Conference will feature leadership by special guests David Radcliff of the New Community Project, Mutual Kumquat, and Ted & Co. The event is for youth in grades 9-12 and their adult advisors. Special pricing is available for college students willing to volunteer part of their time to assist with the weekend. Workshops are provided respectively for youth, youth leaders, college students. Registration will open later in January. More information will be made available soon. Contact Jen Jensen, McPherson College Director of Spiritual Life, with any questions at jensenj@mcpherson.edu or 620-242-0503.

Source: 01/14/2015 Newsline