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

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Youth ministry names National Youth Cabinet for 2015-2016

A new National Youth Cabinet has been named by the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry, led by director Becky Ullom Naugle. She reported that the new cabinet hopes to hold its first meeting in February.

Members of the 2015-2016 National Youth Cabinet are:

  • Krystal Bellis from Ankeny Church of the Brethren in Northern Plains District,
  • Yeysi Diaz from the Cristo Nuestra Paz/West Charleston congregation in Southern Ohio District,
  • Jeremy Hardy from Hagerstown Church of the Brethren in Mid-Atlantic District,
  • Alexa Harshbarger from Bremen Church of the Brethren in Northern Indiana District,
  • Olivia Russell from Olympic View Church of the Brethren in Pacific Northwest District,
  • Digby Strogen from La Verne Church of the Brethren in Pacific Southwest District.
Adult advisors to the cabinet are Glenn Bollinger from Shenandoah District, and Emily Van Pelt from Virlina District.

Becky Ullom Naugle, director of the Youth and Young Adult Ministry, will work with the cabinet to create a theme and resources for National Youth Sunday 2015 and 2016. For more about the denomination’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry go to www.brethren.org/yya.

Source: 01/06/2015 Newsline

Monday, December 22, 2014

“Way to Live: Work and Choices,” a webinar for those involved in youth and young adult ministry

“Way to Live: Work and Choices,” a webinar for those involved in youth and young adult ministry, is offered Jan. 6, at 8 p.m. (eastern time). The webinar is one in a series that is a book study of “Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens” edited by Dorothy C. Bass and Don C. Richter. The series is offered jointly by staff of the Church of the Brethren, Bethany Seminary, and On Earth Peace. The Jan. 6 webinar will be led by Bekah Houff of the seminary 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. For more information go to www.brethren.org/yya/webcasts.html.

Source: 12/22/2014 Newsline

Workcamp registration opens January 8

Registration opens Jan. 8, at 7 p.m. (central time) for next summer’s Church of the Brethren workcamps. Find a listing of the dates, locations, and fees for the 2015 workcamps on the theme “Side by Side: Imitating Christ’s Humility” at www.brethren.org/workcamps.

Source: 12/22/2014 Newsline

2015 National Junior High Conference registration opens January 9

Jan. 9 is the opening date for registration for the 2015 National Junior High Conference on the theme, “Living the Change: Our Offering to God” (Romans 12:1-2). The conference will be held on June 19-21 at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College for youth who have completed 6-8 grades and their adult advisors. For more information go to www.brethren.org/yya/njhc. For questions contact Kristen Hoffman, conference coordinator, in the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office at 847-429-4389 or khoffman@brethren.org

Source: 12/22/2014 Newsline

Applications for the 2015 Ministry Summer Service program are due by Jan. 9

Ministry Summer Service (MSS) is a leadership development program for college students in the Church of the Brethren who spend 10 weeks of summer working in the church (local congregation, district office, camp, or national program). The 2015 orientation dates are May 29-June 3. Go to www.brethren.org/yya/mss for more information and application forms.

Source: 12/22/2014 Newsline

Applications for the 2015 Youth Peace Travel Team are due by Jan. 9

Members of the Youth Peace Travel Team serve through Ministry Summer Service. The team is a cooperative effort of a number of Church of the Brethren programs, with a new team fielded each summer. The Youth Peace Travel Team travels to Brethren camps with the goal of talking with other young people about the Christian message and the Brethren tradition of peacemaking. College-age Church of the Brethren young adults from 19-22 years of age will be selected for the next team. A stipend is paid to team members. For more information go to www.brethren.org/yya/peaceteam.html.

Source: 12/22/2014 Newsline

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.