Saturday, April 19, 2014

IL/WI District NYC Bus

There are 44 People registered for the NYC bus. We will all be going on one bus! The pick up in Peoria has been cancelled due to lack of registrations..
  • 5 Boulderhill / Decatur
  • 5 Dixon and Points West
  • 14 Elgin 
  • 11 Naperville
  • 9 York Center
  • (Freeport youth have made their own travel arrangements.)
Questions: E-mail Ralph Miner at

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Youth have a month to register for National Youth Conference before price goes up

Home page image for NYC 2014 logo Youth and advisors only have one month left to register for this summer’s National Youth Conference (NYC) before the price goes up to $500 on May 1. All participants are encouraged to register as soon as possible to avoid a late fee. For all information regarding the conference, visit

NYC is an event for senior high youth and their advisors, held every four years. All youth who have finished ninth grade through one year of college are eligible to attend. The week of NYC includes worship services twice a day, Bible studies, workshops, small groups, hiking, service projects, and outdoor recreation. NYC is held on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.

Bethany Seminary student Eric Landram, the keynote speaker at last week’s Roundtable regional youth conference in Bridgewater, Va., referred to NYC as a mountaintop experience where youth hear God say, “I love you and I have so much in store for you!” NYC is not an event to miss, and for most is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The NYC 2014 theme is “Called by Christ, Blessed for the Journey Together,” based on Ephesians 4:1-7. To learn more about the theme, explore Bible studies on the conference scriptures, or check out some of the week’s speakers, visit the NYC website. For all questions regarding NYC, please contact the NYC office at 800-323-8039 ext. 323 or

-- Tim Heishman is a Brethren Volunteer Service workers and a coordinator for NYC 2014, along with Katie Cummings and Sarah Neher.

Source: 4/1/2014 Newsline

Brethren Woods - Spring Festival

Brethren Woods, a camp and outdoor ministry center near Keezletown, Va., holds its Spring Festival on April 26. The event offers “a full day of great activities that are fun and help raise money to support the Shenandoah District's outdoor ministry program” including a fishing contest, pancake breakfast, craft demonstrations, paddle boat rides, hike-a-thon, children's games, petting zoo, Dunk-the-Dunkard, live auction, and entertainment, said the district newsletter.

Source: 4/1/2014 Newsline

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Winners of NYC speech and music contests are named

The winners of the National Youth Conference (NYC) Music Contest and Speech Contest have been announced by the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office.

National Youth Conference (NYC) 2014 logo
Sam Stein, of Wheaton, Ill., is the winner of the NYC Music Contest. He is a junior in high school and a member of the York Center Church of the Brethren youth group in Lombard, Ill.

There are three winners for the NYC Speech Contest. Alison Helfrich of Bradford, Ohio, is a junior in high school from Oakland Church of the Brethren in Southern Ohio District. Katelyn Young, also a junior, is from Lititz, Pa., and from Ephrata Church of the Brethren in Atlantic Northeast District. Laura Ritchey, a senior from Martinsburg, Pa., is from Woodbury Church of the Brethren in Middle Pennsylvania District.

Speech Contest winners will share their speeches during the Sunday morning worship service at NYC, and the Music Contest winner will have the opportunity to perform his song on stage sometime during the week.

-- Tim Heishman, one of the coordinators for the 2014 National Youth Conference, provided this report. Find out more about NYC, a conference for youth and their adult advisors on July 19-24 in Fort Collins, Colo., and register online at

Source: 3/18/2014 Newsline

Immerse!, a junior high Bible and Brethren history event - June 12-17

Immerse! registration deadline has been extended. Slots are still available for Immerse!, a junior high Bible and Brethren history event sponsored by the Institute for Ministry with Youth and Young Adults at Bethany Theological Seminary. The event will be held June 12-17. “Please encourage junior high youth who have completed 6th, 7th, and 8th grades to register by April 8 at,” said an announcement. For more information about Immerse! see Bethany’s press release at

Source: 3/18/2014 Newsline

McPherson College Regional Youth Conference - March 28-30

McPherson (Kan.) College hosts a Regional Youth Conference on March 28-30. The theme is a variation of the National Youth Conference (NYC) theme: “Called by God: Preparing for the Journey Together.” The main presenters will be Jacob and Jerry Crouse. Jacob was the 2010 NYC Youth Theme Song Contest winner and a member of last year’s Youth Peace Travel Team. Jerry is a member of the pastoral team at Warrensburg (Mo.) Church of the Brethren. The cost is $65. Register online at . The registration deadline is March 24.

Source: 3/18/2014 Newsline

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Southwest Airlines: NYC Discount

The National Youth Conference (NYC) office has learned that Southwest Airlines will be offering a 5 percent discount on economy fares and a 10 percent discount on business/first class to anyone attending National Youth Conference. The event takes place July 19-24 in Fort Collins, Colo. Contact for more information. Find out more about NYC and register online at

Source: 3/11/2014 Newsline

National Youth Cabinet

The Youth Cabinet met at the General Offices in Elgin, Ill., last week to discuss, reflect, and continue planning for National Youth Conference 2014. The members of the cabinet are: Emmett Eldred of Middle Pennsylvania District, Brittany Fourman of Southern Ohio District, Sarandon Smith of Atlantic Northeast District, Sarah Ullom-Minnich of Western Plains District, Kerrick van Asselt of Western Plains District, Zander Willoughby of Michigan District. Adult advisors are Rhonda Pittman Gingrich of Northern Plains District, Dennis Lohr of Atlantic Northeast District.

Source: 3/11/2014 Newsline

Spring Run Church of the Brethren: District Youth Volleyball Tournament

Spring Run Church of the Brethren is once again hosting the annual Middle Pennsylvania District Youth Volleyball Tournament at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., on Saturday, March 15. The district Youth Cabinet also is sponsoring a Soup Kitchen and Service Trip to Washington, D.C., on April 2-5 for senior high youth. Cost is $140 if registered by March 14 and $150 after March 14. For more information go to

Source: 3/11/2014 Newsline

Brethren Voices: "Kids as Peacemakers."

"Brethren Voices," a public television show produced by Peace Church of the Brethren in Portland, Ore., has announced upcoming shows. In March “Brethren Voices” features Merle Forney, founder of "Kids as Peacemakers." Forney is interviewed about his own peace journey beginning at Hanover (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. “It led him to a unique idea of assisting youth in a discussion of peace and then transmitting their thoughts onto an artistic work,” said a release from producer Ed Groff. “The work of art is then displayed in front of the church or sponsoring organization.” Kids as Peacemakers is now a sponsored program of On Earth Peace; for more information see . In April, "Brethren Voices" features Annual Conference moderator Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, interviewed by host Brent Carlson at Cross Keys Village-the Brethren Home Community in New Oxford, Pa. She is the seventh moderator to share his or her story with "Brethren Voices." In May, the show features Brethren Disaster Ministries, and travels to South Toms River, N.J., to meet with a group of Brethren volunteers from Indiana rebuilding homes affected by Hurricane Sandy. Also in the works is a program with Andy Murray who has retired after many years at Juniata College and who, with his wife, Terry are well known in Brethren circles for their music ministry. Viewers are treated to a special visit to their home in Huntdingdon, Pa., overlooking the campus of Juniata College. Copies of "Brethren Voices" may be obtained from Portland Peace Church of the Brethren. Contact Ed Groff at . Over 50 of the programs can be viewed on

Source: 3/11/2014 Newsline

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Bethany Seminary announces results of essay contest

By Jenny Williams

The three top essays of the 2014 Bethany Peace Essay Contest have been announced by Bethany Theological Seminary. Out of 32 entries submitted, the following placed first, second, and third, respectively, and received prizes of $2,000, $1,000, and $500: Anita Hooley Yoder, senior MDiv student at Bethany Seminary, Richmond, Ind.: “I’ve Read Too Much Poetry for That: Poetry, Personal Transformation, and Peace”; Charles Northrop, PhD student at Cambridge University, England, resident of Richmond, Ind.: “Hard Rock Pacifism”; Gabriella Stocksdale, student at Larkin High School, Elgin, Ill.: “Colors of Peace.”

Open to students enrolled in high school, college, and graduate-level degree programs, the contest was advertised nationwide through denominational and ecumenical venues and received a national, ecumenical response. Writers were asked to reflect on how personal and local peacemaking efforts can address universal concerns. They could choose to explore this theme in one of the following areas, relating to personal experience: art, music, or poetry; the just peace movement; protest or change movements; social media; or interfaith efforts.

Anna Groff, interim editor for the “Mennonite” magazine and a judge for the contest, was pleased with the scope and quality of the entries. “Overall, I was impressed with the thoughtfulness and critical thinking apparent in the essays. These students are digging deeper than a surface understanding of peace and what it means to work for peace. It was an honor to serve as a judge.” Her fellow judges were Lonnie Valentine, professor of peace and justice studies at Earlham School of Religion; Randy Miller, editor of the Church of the Brethren “Messenger” magazine; and Scott Holland, director of the Baker Peace Studies Program and professor of theology and culture at Bethany.

The contest is underwritten by the Jennie Calhoun Baker Endowment at Bethany, funded by philanthropist, teacher, and scholar John C. Baker in honor of his mother and her vision for peacemaking. His goal was to encourage constructive communication about peacebuilding throughout all segments of society, says Holland. “We share this vision of God's shalom and Christ's peace at Bethany Seminary, not only in peace studies classes but across the curriculum. The generosity of the Baker endowment for the peace essay contest allows us to extend our educational work beyond the classroom to conversations that are truly ecumenical, international, and public. The many excellent essays composed for the contest remind us that fine writing, like thoughtful preaching, is indeed the work of ministry.”

Bekah Houff, coordinator of outreach programs at Bethany, facilitated the work of the planning committee and helped administer the contest. “The entire process ran smoothly and was quite enjoyable. The judges each brought their own unique strengths to the process and worked diligently, putting in many hours reviewing the essays. I was so pleased and honored to work with them.”

According to Houff, a variety of denominations were represented, including at least 20 entries from the Historic Peace Churches: Church of the Brethren, Quaker, and Mennonite. Bridgewater, Juniata, and Manchester Colleges (Church of the Brethren) were represented along with Earlham College and Earlham School of Religion (Quaker) and Eastern Mennonite University. Among the others were Harvard and Duke Divinity Schools, UCLA, Truman State University, Clark University, and four high schools.

The winning essays will appear in the denominational publications “Messenger,” “Brethren Life and Thought,” “The Mennonite,” and “Quaker Life.” Planning is set to begin for the 2015 contest.

-- Jenny Williams is director of Communications and Alumni/ae Relations for Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. Find a story from the Elgin “Courier-News” about Gabriella Stocksdale as the first high schooler to place in the top three, titled "Elgin student places third in national peace essay contest," at

Source: 3/4/2014 Newsline

McPherson College Chor

Gettysburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren is hosting a choir from McPherson (Kan.) College in concert on Monday night March 17, at 7 p.m. The McPherson College Singers are a mixed group of 20 young men and women who will be touring the Mid-Atlantic region, said an announcement. “This is a free evening of music. There will be a donation basket but no free-will offering will be lifted.”

Source: 3/4/2014 Newsline

Bridgewater College Spring Break Volunteers

A group of Bridgewater (Va.) College students and two staff will travel to Florida over spring break to volunteer as construction workers with Habitat’s Collegiate Challenge Spring Break 2014, said a release from the college. The students, accompanied by Stacie Horrell, assistant director of student activities, and David Nicholas, student accounts coordinator, leave for Delray Beach, Fla., on March 8. For the Spring Break Challenge, the group will work in partnership with the South Palm Beach County Habitat for Humanity. To raise money for the trip, the group held a chili cook-off and a Spirit Night fundraiser at New York Flying Pizza in Bridgewater. The campus chapter, established in 1995, is one of nearly 700 campus chapters worldwide, and is affiliated with Central Valley Habitat for Humanity in Bridgewater. This is the 22nd year that Bridgewater students have used spring break to work on various Habitat projects.

Source: 3/4/2014 Newsline

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Young Adult Conference - May 23-25, 2014

May 23-25, 2014
Camp Brethren Woods
near Keezletown, VA
$125 • Young adults 18 - 35

Would you like to get connected to the young adult community in the Church of the Brethren? Plan to attend Young Adult Conference next May. This three day event typically takes place at a Brethren camp and is full of worship, fun, and fellowship. Come to catch up with old friends and to meet new ones! We’ll explore God’s word and learn about what it means to be a young adult in the Church of the Brethren.

Register now at

Come for: 
Worship • Bible Study
Community Groups • Workshops
Recreation • Fellowship

Speakers include: Emily Shonk Edwards, Joel Gibbel, Kelsey Murray, and Marcus Harden. Worship coordinators are Eric Landrum and Bethany Clark. The music coordinator is Jessica Strawderman.

BVS scholarships and local church scholarships available by request. Contact Becky Ullom Naugle at

 YAC Flyer

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

McPherson Regional Youth Conference - March 28-30

The Church of the Brethren Regional Youth Conference hosted by McPherson (Kan.) College is March 28-30 on the theme “Called by God: Preparing for the Journey Together.” Guest speakers and musicians will be Jacob and Jerry Crouse. Online registration and schedule can be found at Registration deadline is March 24.

Source: 2/25/2014 Newsline

Bridgewater Youth Roundtable - March 21-23

Youth Roundtable, a regional youth conference hosted by Bridgewater (Va.) College, will be March 21-23. The event includes workshops, small groups, songs, open mic night, and worship. The speaker will be Eric Landram, a Bridgewater College alumnus and member of Staunton (Va.) Church of the Brethren who is now attending Bethany Theological Seminary. Go to for updates and to register online. Cost is approximately $50.

Source: 2/25/2014 Newsline