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.

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.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

‘Honor God by Honoring Others’ is theme for Junior High Sunday

Churches of the Brethren are encouraged to celebrate Junior High Sunday on Nov. 2. The theme for the 2014 observance of Junior High Sunday is “Honor God by Honoring Others,” based on Matthew 7:12, “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”

Resources for this annual special Sunday are available online, designed to aid junior high youth and their adult advisors lead their congregations in worship. Downloadable resources include the theme logo in several different formats, and worship resources written by Church of the Brethren members Marcus Harden, Stephen Hershberger, Audrey Hollenberg-Duffey, Rachel Witkovsky.

Worship resources include calls to worship and benedictions, invitations to give and blessings for the offering, a litany of confession, a scripture jam, a children’s story, and other creative worship elements.

Download resources from www.brethren.org/yya/jr-high-resources.html.

Source: 10/14/2014 Newsline

Christian Citizenship Seminar 2015 to focus on immigration

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2). This theme scripture will help guide the Christian Citizenship Seminar for 2015 in a study of US immigration.

This seminar for senior high youth and their adult advisors is scheduled for April 18-23, 2015, and will be held in New York City and Washington, D.C. It is sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Ministry.

“Please join us as we delve into topics that will challenge and support growth in our knowledge, compassion, understanding, and faith in learning about such an important and timely issue,” said an announcement.

The brochure for the event notes that “US immigration policy is a complex and polarizing issue, regardless of whether it is discussed in the halls of Congress or the Fellowship Hall.... Participants at the 2015 Christian Citizenship Seminar will strive to understand current government policy, various suggested reforms, and the consequences of both on immigrant communities. We will learn how our faith in Jesus, expressed in our theology and action, can inform and compassionately shape our response to immigration.”

Registration for the seminar opens Dec. 1. 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: 10/14/2014 Newsline

The Church of the Brethren seek candidates for the position of coordinator of orientation for BVS

The Church of the Brethren seek candidates for the full-time salaried position of coordinator of orientation for Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS). Major responsibilities include organizing orientation, securing facilities and resource leaders, providing leadership, reviewing volunteer applications, counseling volunteers, facilitating community building, and evaluating orientation upon conclusion. The coordinator also oversees social media connections for BVS including Facebook, Twitter, and the BVS webpage. Additional responsibilities include co-supervision of BVS staff volunteers and providing administrative back up in the absence of the BVS director. This position requires significant travel that can take up to a month at a time. Required skills and knowledge include knowledge of Church of the Brethren heritage, theology, and polity; ability to articulate and operate out of the vision of the Mission and Ministry Board; and demonstrated ability to perform administrative and management tasks. Candidate must enjoy working in a team environment and must be flexible with evolving program needs. Training or experience in group building and dynamics, training of groups and individuals, and recruiting and assessment of individuals is required for this position. A bachelor’s degree is required. Application of relevant philosophies learned through course work and seminars is helpful. This position is based at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Applications will be received beginning immediately and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Request the application form by contacting the Office of Human Resources, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; 800-323-8039 ext. 367; humanresources@brethren.org. The Church of the Brethren is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Source: 10/14/2014 Newsline

Friday, October 10, 2014

National Junior High Sunday - November 2, 2014

Celebrate Junior High Sunday on November 2!

The theme is "Honor God by honoring others" based on Matthew 7:12.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Christian Citizenship Seminar - April 18-23

Join us April 18-23, 2015 in New York City and Washington, D.C.

The theme for the upcoming Christian Citizenship Seminar is U.S. Immigration. Please join us as we delve into topics that will challenge and support growth in our knowledge, compassion, understanding, and faith in learning about such an important and timely issue.

Online registration opens here on December 1, 2014. Registration is limited to 100 participants, so register early!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Theme announced for Bethany Seminary Peace Essay Contest

By Jenny Williams

Aspiring student writers are encouraged to begin considering their entries for Bethany Seminary’s 2015 Peace Essay Contest: Peacemaking, Creation Justice, and the Beloved Community. Building on its success in 2014, the contest again is being held as part of the peace studies program at the seminary.

The peace essay contest is open to seminary, graduate school, college, and high school students who are fully enrolled in a program en route to a degree. Prizes of $2,000, $1,000, and $500 will be awarded for the top three essays. Topics to address may include but are not limited to the following:
  • creation care
  • a just peace with creation
  • indigenous communities’ rights
  • environmental racism
  • gender and ecology
  • creating a greener economy
  • creation-centered spirituality
  • forging alliances across the traditional “left-vs.-right” ideological framing of US politics
  • intercultural coalitions for the common good
Scott Holland, Slabaugh Professor of Theology and Culture at Bethany, sees the 2015 theme as a timely one, noting how the recent People’s Climate March in New York City drew participants from across political, religious, and cultural boundaries toward a common cause. “I have spoken with career farmers, experimental urban gardeners, and students of religion and science who--in the spirit of the New York march--are convinced that creation care is becoming a unifying peace and justice issue. All express the conviction that it will be difficult to achieve peace among the nations unless we together make peace with the gift of God's creation through responsible stewardship of the land.”

A natural fit within the teaching and learning in peace studies at Bethany, the essay contest is underwritten by the Jennie Calhoun Baker Endowment, funded by John C. Baker in honor of his mother. Described as a “Church of the Brethren woman ahead of her time,” she was known for actively pursuing peacemaking by meeting the needs of others, providing community leadership, and upholding the value of creative and independent thinking in education. John Baker saw her vision and modeling of contemporary peacemaking reflected in Bethany’s collaborative leadership among the three Historic Peace Churches and thus selected the seminary to administer the endowment’s programs.

John Baker, a philanthropist for peace with a distinguished career in higher education, and his wife had also helped establish the peace studies program at Bethany with an earlier endowment gift. “John and Elizabeth Baker were deeply committed to building cultures of peace,” says Holland. “This peace essay contest is intended to encourage thoughtful writing on peace in essays that are informed by the rich traditions of God's shalom and Christ's peace yet articulated in voices that are public, ecumenical, and interfaith. There is also the hope that this contest will lead to international networking and partnerships in pursuit of peace.”

Holland administers the Baker endowment programs and is assisted in the essay contest by Bekah Houff, coordinator of outreach programs, who chairs the planning committee. Other members of this year’s committee are Kirsten Beachy, assistant professor of visual and communication arts at Eastern Mennonite University (Mennonite); Ben Brazil, assistant professor and director of the Ministry of Writing Program at Earlham School of Religion (Friends); Randy Miller, editor of the Church of the Brethren “Messenger” magazine; Abbey Pratt-Harrington, alumna of Earlham School of Religion (Friends); and Joanna Shenk, one of the pastors at First Mennonite Church in San Francisco. Brazil, Holland, Miller, and Shenk also will serve as judges.

Essays can be submitted between Jan. 1-26, 2015, and results will be announced by the end of Feb. 2015. Winning essays will appear in selected publications of the Church of the Brethren, Friends, and Mennonite faith communities. For guidelines, terms, and submission procedures, go to www.bethanyseminary.edu/peace-essay . Contact Bekah Houff at houffre@bethanyseminary.edu or 765-983-1809 for additional information.

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

Source: 10/7/2014 Newsline

Friday, September 26, 2014

‘Side by Side: Imitating Christ’s Humility’ is 2015 workcamp theme.

The Workcamp office announces the theme for the 2015 Church of the Brethren Workcamp season: “Side by Side: Imitating Christ’s Humility” (Philippians 2:1-8).

Philippians 2:1-8 teaches the importance of living in community and putting one another’s interests above one’s own. In Philippians, Paul writes about Christ’s perfect example of humility, which immediately follows a call to communion with one another.

The 2015 workcamp curriculum will focus on how to serve others humbly, as Christ taught, to become more like-minded and foster meaningful relationships. The daily themes of community, service, faithfulness, prayer, renewal, and light will reflect aspects of faith that enable humble, community-based living.

More information about the 2015 workcamp schedule, dates, locations, and fees will be made available in upcoming months.

-- Theresa Ford is an assistant coordinator for the 2015 workcamp season, working alongside co-assistant coordinator Hannah Shultz. They are serving in the Workcamp office through Brethren Volunteer Service. Emily Tyler is the coordinator of Workcamps and BVS Recruitment.

Source: 9/26/2014 Newsline

Mohican CoB Youth Group rock out a house in a week

Sighting along the plane: Mohican Church youth group help  out at Toms River project site
 Brethren Disaster Ministries has posted a Facebook photo album from the week when a youth group from Mohican Church of the Brethren in Ohio volunteered at the disaster rebuilding project site at Toms River, N.J. “Mohican CoB Youth Group rock out a house in a week--June 9-13, 2014! From decking to trusses,” read the Facebook post. Find more pictures at www.facebook.com/bdm.cob.
 The frame is up! Mohican Church youth volunteer at Toms River disaster rebuilding site


Source: 9/26/2014 Newsline

Orientation for Unit 307 of Brethren Volunteer Service

Orientation for Unit 307 of Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) will be held from Sept. 28-Oct. 17 at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The 17 new volunteers come from half a dozen states in the US as well as Germany. During the orientation there will be sessions on diversity, peacemaking, spirituality, conflict resolution, homelessness, globalization, and other challenging issues that affect the world today. The volunteers will participate in workdays in the local community, at the Brethren Service Center, and in Harrisburg, Pa. For more information about BVS, please visit www.brethren.org/bvs.

Source: 9/26/2014 Newsline

Posts on Brethren Blog

Several new blog posts are available on the Brethren Blog, including stories and pictures from this summer’s Youth Peace Travel Team, reflections on the recent work of the Office of Public Witness, more about the “Dunker Punks” movement that started at National Youth Conference, and stories from Brethren Volunteer Service. Find the blog at http://blog.brethren.org.

Source: 9/26/2014 Newsline

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

“Brethren Voices” community television program to feature National Youth Conference 2014

In October, “Brethren Voices” community television program from Portland's Peace Church of the Brethren features National Youth Conference 2014. Three youth who attended NYC--Addison, Saylor, and Alayana Neher--are interviewed and joined by their mother Marci Neher, who served as a chaperone. The program also features excerpts from the “National Youth Conference 2014 Wrap-up Video” produced by David Sollenberger. In November, “Brethren Voices” will feature the Meat Canning Project of Southern Pennsylvania and Atlantic Northeast Districts, which canned 24,000 cans of chicken in April for distribution to community food banks as well as a project in Honduras. “Brethren Voices” is viewed in approximately 25 community access stations around the country, reports producer Ed Groff. Contact Groffprod1@msn.com to ask how it can be broadcast in your community. Many of the programs also may be viewed online at www.YouTube.com/BrethrenVoices.

Source: 9/16/2014 Newsline

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

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

By Walt Wiltschek

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
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.

Source: 9/3/2014 Newsline

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Workcamp Office of the Church of the Brethren Welcomes Assistant Coordinators

Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

The assistant workcamp coordinators for the 2015 workcamp season are Theresa Ford and Hannah Shultz
The Workcamp Office of the Church of the Brethren has welcomed Theresa Ford and Hannah Shultz as assistant coordinators for the 2015 Brethren workcamp season. They will serve through Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS), working at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Ford has spent the last year serving in BVS in Waco, Texas, and comes originally from Atlantic Northeast District. Shultz graduated from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., in May with a degree in Religious Studies, and is originally from the Baltimore, Md., area.

Source: 8/26/2014 Newsline

Monday, August 25, 2014

2014 Fall District Youth Retreat - November 7-9

2014 Fall District Youth Retreat – Are You Hungry?
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

November 7th through November 9th 2014

Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren, Elgin Illinois 60123

WhenRegistration will begin at 7 pm on Friday Night. Retreat participants will be dismissed on Sunday around 11:45 AM. Note that District Conference will end on Saturday – please indicate if you will be picking up your youth on Saturday evening or on Sunday.

Who: Everyone currently in 9th through 12th grades during the 2014-2015 school year. Friends and advisors are welcome.

Where: The Church of the Brethren is located at 783 West Highland Avenue in Elgin Illinois. http://www.hacob.org/

Cost: $40 for youth – no charge for advisors. Make checks payable to “Illinois/Wisconsin District Youth” Please also bring a food donation for the Illinois Food Bank. Please check that the food has not expired as the food bank will not accept old food.

What to Bring: Bible, Games, Sleeping Bag, Snacks to share, Towel, and Work clothes.

Service Project Information - Northern Illinois Food Bank:
We recommend dressing comfortably and in layers – the warehouse can be chill. A T-Shirt with a Sweatshirt is a great combination. You will need close-toed shoes – sneakers or work boots work great. Long shorts or pants are part of the warehouse dress code.
You must have your parent sign the separate consent form for the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

Registration Deadline: October 26th, 2014

Powerhouse 2014 - November 15-16

http://www.manchester.edu/powerhouse/POWERHOUSE 2014
Coming Nov. 15-16 at Camp Mack!

The Powerhouse regional youth conference has reached its fifth anniversary! Powerhouse will return to Camp Mack again this year, providing a weekend of worship, workshops, music, recreation, and more for senior high youth in the Midwest and their advisors. We hope you can join us for this action-packed weekend! Opportunities will also be available to visit and tour the Manchester University campus (about 45-50 minutes from Camp Mack) before or after the conference, and perhaps as a workshop option on Saturday.

Cost this year will be $75 for youth, $65 for advisors (for extenuating circumstances, please contact us). At the camp, everyone will have a bed to sleep in, and the camp will be preparing our meals.

If your group is coming from a distance and needs a place to stay in the area Friday night, please contact us and we can help you make arrangements at Manchester University or with congregations in the area. Please be in prayer for this event and, encourage your youth and advisors to attend. Watch for more details coming soon!

Walt Wiltschek, Campus Pastor
260-982-5243
wjwiltschek@manchester.edu

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Callie Surber resigns from Brethren Volunteer Service staff

Callie Surber has resigned as orientation coordinator for BVS
Callie Surber has resigned as orientation coordinator for Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS), a position she has held since September 2007. Her last day at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., will be Sept. 19. She has accepted a position at the Q Center, a corporate retreat center in St. Charles, Ill.

Surber’s primary responsibility has been running the BVS orientation units. During her tenure, she has led 23 orientations and oriented 372 volunteers. She has co-led 14 BVS mid-term retreats, 4 end-of-service retreats, and 2 BVS retreats in Central America. She oversaw the application process for new volunteers, and provided significant support to BVS volunteers in the field. She gave oversight to the social media and web presence of BVS and led an effort to redesign and improve communication resources.

She served in BVS herself from 2003-06 in Nigeria, where she taught English Arts and African Literature at the EYN Comprehensive Secondary School of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).

Source: 8/19/2014 Newsline

Kristen Hoffman welcomed as coordinator for National Junior High Conference and Christian Citizenship Seminar

The Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Church of the Brethren has welcomed Kristen Hoffman as coordinator for National Junior High Conference and Christian Citizenship Seminar in 2015. Hoffman will serve in the position as a volunteer through Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS), working at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Her home church is McPherson (Kan.) Church of the Brethren.

Source: 8/19/2014 Newsline

2014 Seminary and Theological Grad School Virtual Fair

Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., will take part in the 2014 Seminary and Theological Grad School Virtual Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 17. This is Bethany's second year participating in the event with nearly 50 other seminaries across the country. “If you, or someone you know, has been thinking about seminary...REGISTER TODAY!” said an invitation from director of admissions Tracy Primozich. “The Virtual Seminary and Theological Grad School Fair will allow you to have your admissions questions answered by representatives from multiple graduate institutions during this live event.” The event is free for those who register for the live chat sessions online, with the option to upload a personal resume prior to the event. Live chat hours are from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Register at www.CareerEco.com/Events/Seminary. Contact Primozich at 800-287-8822 or admissions@bethanyseminary.edu.

Source: 8/19/2014 Newsline

Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren Celebration

Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren is planning a celebration on the theme “Living the Legacy, Peacefully, Simply, Together: Piecing Together the Brethren Way Through Song and Story” on Sept. 6-7. Performances by Mutual Kumquat will highlight the celebration. Mutual Kumquat has performed at many Brethren events, most recently this summer’s Annual Conference and National Youth Conference. Events open at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, with a gathering in the church sanctuary, followed by workshops focused on peace for elementary age children (K-5), youth, and adults, an evening meal, and a Mutual Kumquat concert starting at 7 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 7, Mutual Kumquat will provide music for worship at 9:30 a.m. followed by Sunday school, and an “Inglenook” potluck lunch. Nursery care will be provided during workshops. For more information contact Westminster Church of the Brethren at 410-848-8090.

Source: 8/19/2014 Newsline

COBYS Bike and Hike

This year’s COBYS Bike and Hike aims to raise $110,000, according to a release. The event has added a silent auction this year as well. It will be the 18th annual Bike and Hike for COBYS Family Services, which is a Church of the Brethren related organization that “educates, supports, and empowers children and adults to reach their full potential” through adoption and foster care services; counseling for children, adults, and families; and family life education programs offered in partnership with church, school, and community groups. The Bike and Hike is slated for Sunday, Sept. 7, starting at Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. Goals of 600 participants and $110,000 have been set. The Bike and Hike consists of a 3-mile walk, 10- and 25-mile bicycle rides, and 65-mile Dutch Country Motorcycle Ride. Participants choose their event, and then donate a registration fee, raise money from sponsors, or some of both. At the conclusion of the event, everyone gathers at the Lititz Church for ice cream and other refreshments, fellowship, and prizes. Each participant receives a t-shirt, refreshments, and an opportunity to win one of about 100 door prizes. Those who raise certain levels of money can earn additional prizes. Church youth groups who raise $1,500 or more earn a gym and pizza night. All expenses of the event are covered by business sponsors. Last year, 538 participants raised more than $104,000. “We were thrilled to finally reach the $100,000 mark last year,” said COBYS director of development Don Fitzkee. “Now the challenge is to build on that momentum.” For more information or to donate a silent auction item, contact don@cobys.org or 717-656-6580. The event brochure and cue sheets for the walk and rides are available at cobys.org/news.htm.

Source: 8/19/2014 Newsline

Sunday, June 22, 2014

NYC Prayer Day

Today is a day of prayer for this summer’s National Youth Conference (NYC).

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Update on National Youth Conference

A group of forty four (44) youth and advisers have registered for the District Bus to National Youth Conference We will be leaving from Naperville on July 18th with a pick up in Milledgeville for our journey to Fort Collins Colorado. The pick up spot in Peoria was cancelled due to lack of registrations. We will be returning on July 25th. Additional youth will be attending the conference. As of April 63 youth, advisers, and staff people will be attending National Youth Conference representing our district. At this point we only have a couple of seats remaining on the Bus, so be sure to contact Ralph Miner at rminer151@earthlink.net if you have any questions.

National Youth Conference at Fort Collins, Colorado
July 19 - 24, 2014
www.brethren.org/yya/nyc

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ten Bible studies available to help youth prepare for NYC 2014

By Tim Heishman
The National Youth Conference (NYC) Office has released 10 Bible studies for youth groups to use as they prepare to attend the July 19-24 conference. Several of the Bible studies were written by NYC speakers, using the scripture text they will preach on during the week of NYC.

The Bible studies are intended to help youth and advisors familiarize themselves with the NYC theme and scriptures before the conference, and to help them prepare spiritually for the experience. Most of the Bible studies follow a typical format of a brief reflection followed by questions for individual or group discussion. The Bible studies are available at www.brethren.org/yya/nyc/theme.html .

In addition to Bible studies, the NYC Office has complied several pages of information and resources intended to help youth groups prepare for NYC physically, emotionally, and spiritually. An additional way for the entire congregation to be involved in the preparation for NYC is by participating in NYC Prayer Day on Sunday, June 22. For Prayer Day resources and all other preparation materials, visit www.brethren.org/yya/nyc/prepare.html .

-- Tim Heishman is one of the three coordinators for National Youth Conference 2014, along with Katie Cummings and Sarah Neher.

Source: 5/20/2014 Newsline

The Church of the Brethren Workcamp office has announced the assistant coordinators

The Church of the Brethren Workcamp office has announced the assistant coordinators for the 2015 season: Hannah Shultz and Theresa Ford. Ford has spent the last year serving in Brethren Volunteer Service in Waco, Texas, and comes originally from Atlantic Northeast District. Shultz is graduating from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., this month with a degree in Religious Studies and is originally from the Baltimore, Md., area. They will begin their work in planning the 2015 workcamp season in August.

Source: 5/20/2014 Newsline

The Church of the Brethren Workcamp Ministry is offering commissioning resources

The Church of the Brethren Workcamp Ministry is offering commissioning resources to those congregations that have youth or young adults attending workcamps this summer. Congregations are encouraged to recognize and affirm these youth, young adults, and advisors as they prepare to leave for their workcamp through a commissioning service. Each congregation should receive a copy of the resources in the mail, but they are also available on the Workcamp Ministry web page at www.brethren.org/workcamps.

Source: 5/20/2014 Newsline

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

NYC Prayer Day scheduled for June 22

By Tim Heishman 

A day of prayer for this summer’s National Youth Conference (NYC) has been scheduled for Sunday, June 22. Congregations across the country are invited to set aside a special time in their Sunday morning worship services on June 22 to pray for all who will participate in the conference; youth, advisors, and staff. NYC Prayer Day is intended to invite the entire denomination to participate in the experience of NYC and support those who attend.

The National Youth Conference office has prepared special worship resources for congregations and individuals to use. Resources include a prayer of consecration, a commissioning reading, a Call to Worship, song suggestions, and a prayer calendar and guide for those who wish to continue in prayer for NYC over the next few months. Included in the prayer guide is a list of creative ideas for how to support those who will be attending NYC. All resources are available at http://www.brethren.org/yya/nyc/prepare.html

National Youth Conference is scheduled for July 19-24 on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. For more information about NYC, please visit www.brethren.org, or contact the NYC office by calling 847-429-4323 or emailing cobyouth@brethren.org.

-- Tim Heishman is one of the three coordinators for National Youth Conference 2014, along with Katie Cummings and Sarah Neher.

Source: 5/13/2014 Newsline

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 rminer151@earthlink.net

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 www.brethren.org/NYC.

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 cobyouth@brethren.org.

-- 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 www.brethren.org/nyc.

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 www.bethanyseminary.edu/immerse,” said an announcement. For more information about Immerse! see Bethany’s press release at www.bethanyseminary.edu/news/immerse.

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 www.mcpherson.edu/ryc . 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 cobyouth@brethren.org for more information. Find out more about NYC and register online at www.brethren.org/nyc.

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 www.midpacob.org.

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 www.onearthpeace.org . 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 Groffprod1@msn.com . Over 50 of the programs can be viewed on www.youtube.com/Brethrenvoices.

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 http://couriernews.suntimes.com/news/schools/25957028-418/elgin-student-places-third-in-national-peace-essay-contest.html.

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 www.brethren.org/yac

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 bullomnaugle@brethren.org.

 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 www.mcpherson.edu/ryc. 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 http://iycroundtable.wix.com/iycbc for updates and to register online. Cost is approximately $50.

Source: 2/25/2014 Newsline

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Young adults to study Jeremiah 29:11 at YAC

The Church of the Brethren Young Adult Conference (YAC) will be held May 23-25 at Camp Brethren Woods near Keezletown, Va. With the words from Jeremiah 29:11 as a focus, participants will address the theme “Coming Home: For I Know the Plans I Have for You.”

Speakers include Emily Shonk Edwards, Joel Gibbel, Kelsey Murray, and Marcus Harden. Music and worship leadership will be by Jessica Strawderman, Eric Landram, and Bethany Clark. The cost for the weekend (food, lodging, and programming) is $125. Scholarships are available from local churches and for those currently serving in Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS).

Registration is open online at www.brethren.org/yac. For more information or to request scholarship assistance, contact Becky Ullom Naugle in the Youth/Young Adult office at bullomnaugle@brethren.org.

Source: 2/15/2014 Newsline

National Youth Conference

  • Hashtag NYC! The National Youth Conference coordinators have posted a fun video overview of the upcoming youth conference via hashtags. NYC takes place in Colorado in July, find out more at www.brethren.org/yya/nyc/.

  • In another note from the NYC office, this weekend is the last chance to send in entries to the National Youth Conference youth speech and music contests. Submit entries at www.brethren.org/yya/nyc/forms.html . Entries are due by Sunday, Feb. 16.
Source: 2/15/2014 Newsline

Registration for upcoming events at Bethany Theological Seminary

Registration deadlines for upcoming events at Bethany Theological Seminary have been announced, including the deadline for the early registration discount for the Presidential Forum on April 4-5 at the campus in Richmond, Ind.; and closing of online registration for the junior high event Immerse! on June 12-17 at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College and Explore Your Call (EYC) for senior highs in advance of National Youth Conference on July 15-19. Junior high youth having completed 7th, 8th, or 9th grades have one more month to register for Immerse!, the seminary’s junior high Bible immersion and Brethren history program; online registration closes March 14. Go to www.bethanyseminary.edu/immerse. The EYC online application deadline is March 31; go to www.bethanyseminary.edu/eyc. EYC will be held July 15-19 at Colorado State University immediately preceding National Youth Conference. Rising juniors and seniors in high school may attend this free, grant-funded discernment program. For more information about Immerse! or EYC contact Bekah Houff, coordinator of outreach programs, at houffre@bethanyseminary.edu or 765-983-1809. Those who wish to receive a discount rate for the Presidential Forum have until midnight Feb. 15 to register (registration at the regular rate will remain open). The forum on “Living Love Feast” will be April 4-5 on the Bethany campus. For information and to register, go to www.bethanyseminary.edu/forum2014.

Source: 2/15/2014 Newsline

Saturday, February 08, 2014

NYC offers intercultural scholarships to 100 youth and advisors.

National Youth Conference (NYC) 2014 logo
By Tim Heishman

The National Youth Conference (NYC) Office awarded about 100 intercultural scholarships last week to youth and advisors from around the denomination. NYC has offered scholarships for many years to congregations that have a membership that is majority intercultural.

Scholarships were awarded to youth and advisors from 12 churches in 5 districts:
  • Atlantic Northeast District--Harrisburg (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren
  • Atlantic Southeast District--Castañer (P.R.) Iglesia de los Hermanos, Miami (Fla.) First Church of the Brethren, and Eglise des Frere, a Haitian Brethren congregation in Miami
  • Illinois and Wisconsin District--Naperville (Ill.) Church of the Brethren and Rockford (Ill.) Community Church of the Brethren
  • Pacific Southwest District--Glendale (Calif.) Church of the Brethren, Empire Church of the Brethren in Modesto, Calif., Iglesia de Cristo Sion in Pomona, Calif., and Principe de Paz in Santa Ana, Calif.
  • Virlina District--the Renacer congregations in Roanoke and in Floyd County, Va.
Applications for intercultural scholarships are still being accepted. They are considered on a case-by-case basis, and awarded based on need. Youth groups attending by scholarship plan to fundraise and coordinate with other groups traveling from their district to minimize travel costs. For inquiries related to NYC intercultural scholarships, please contact the NYC office at 847-429-4323 or cobyouth@brethren.org.

National Youth Conference is the largest gathering of Church of the Brethren youth and takes place every four years. NYC 2014 will be held at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., from July 19-24. All youth who have completed ninth grade through one year post high school at the time of NYC are eligible and encouraged to attend. For more information visit www.brethren.org/NYC.

-- Tim Heishman is one of the coordinators of the 2014 National Youth Conference, and a Brethren Volunteer Service worker.

Source: 2/8/2014 Newsline

Youth Peace Travel Team is announced for 2014

By Becky Ullom Naugle

Members of the 2014 Youth Peace Travel Team have been announced. The team is sponsored each year by the Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Church of the Brethren, the Ministry Office, the Office of Public Witness, the Outdoor Ministries Association, and On Earth Peace. The group of young adults spends the summer at camps across the denomination, teaching about peace, justice, and reconciliation.

Members of the 2014 team are:
  • Chris Bache of La Cañada, Calif., and La Verne Church of the Brethren
  • Christy Crouse of Warrensburg, Mo., and Warrensburg Church of the Brethren
  • Jake Frye of McPherson, Kan., and Monitor Church of the Brethren
  • Shelley West of Union, Ohio, and Happy Corner Church of the Brethren.
As the team spends time with youth this summer at camps across the Church of the Brethren, they will teach about peace, justice, and reconciliation, all core values throughout the church’s more than 300-year history. Follow the ministry of the 2014 Youth Peace Travel Team by visiting www.brethren.org/youthpeacetravelteam.

Source: 2/8/2014 Newsline

Friday, January 17, 2014

Service Sunday 2014 will focus on serving God by serving all

Service Sunday 2014 poster
The theme for the Church of the Brethren’s observance of Service Sunday 2014 is “Serving God by Serving All” inspired by John 12: 26, “If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me” (The Message version).

Recognized annually on the first Sunday in February, Service Sunday is sponsored by a number of Church of the Brethren ministries including the workcamp ministry, Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS), Brethren Disaster Ministries, and the Brethren Service Center.

Service Sunday celebrates those who serve in Church of the Brethren communities and throughout the world, and encourages church members to discover opportunities to serve through Brethren ministries and to explore possibilities to serve in local communities. The goal of the event is to “Be transformed by serving one another in the name of Christ.”

Worship resources for Service Sunday 2014 are online at www.brethren.org/servicesunday.

Source: 1/17/2014 Newsline

Youth ministry webinar series continues with event on Jan. 21

“Call and Gifts Discernment,” is the third webinar of a series on ministry with youth and young adults. It will be offered on Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. central time (8 p.m. eastern). It will be led by Bekah Houff, Bethany Seminary’s coordinator of Outreach Programs for the Institute for Ministry with Youth and Young Adults.

The focus of the webinar will be on call and vocation--what the Bible says, what it means for each of us, and how to have conversations with youth and young adults in our churches and ministries.

To join the webinar on Jan. 21 go to https://cc.callinfo.com/r/1wbprcakzz5t3&eom. The Youth and Young Adult ministry office notes that the technology used for this webinar works best with non-mobile devices. After joining the video portion, participants join the audio portion by dialing 877-204-3718 (toll free) or 303-223-9908. The access code is 8946766. To view the web portion on an iPad, download the link from the iTunes store (Level 3), and have the conference telephone number and access code available to enter. The name of the app is Level 3.

For more information about the Church of the Brethren webinar series on ministry with youth and young adults, go to www.brethren.org/yya/webcasts.html.

Source: 1/17/2014 Newsline

Registration for the 2014 Young Adult Conference Opens January 24

Online registration for the 2014 Young Adult Conference opens Jan. 24 at www.brethren.org/yac. The conference will be held May 23-25 at Camp Brethren Woods in Keezletown, Va. Find out more at www.brethren.org/yac.

Source: 1/17/2014 Newsline

Friday, January 10, 2014

Church youth groups get together to register for National Youth Conference

The NYC coordinators monitor registrations for National Youth Conference 2014, on the opening evening for online registration: (from left) Katie Cummings, Tim Heishman, and Sarah Neher.
Photo courtesy of the NYC office

The NYC coordinators monitor registrations for National Youth Conference 2014, on the opening evening for online registration: (from left) Katie Cummings, Tim Heishman, and Sarah Neher.

By Lucas Kauffman

Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren youth and advisors were among the groups that got together Jan. 3 for a National Youth Conference (NYC) registration party. The youth at Highland Avenue Church in Elgin, Ill., decided to hold their party so that they would be among the first to register for NYC 2014.

They were just seven of more than 200 people who registered in the first two hours after online registration for NYC opened at 7 p.m. (central time) that Friday evening.

The group of Highland Avenue youth started off the party enjoying a meal of pizza, chips, cookies, cake, and drinks. After watching the YouTube video about how to register online, they split up in three different rooms, sitting at different sets of computers, and went to work.

Nathaniel Bohrer and Elliott Wittmeyer were two of the youth who registered. Bohrer is looking forward to seeing old friends while at NYC, and playing some Ultimate Frisbee. Both Bohrer and Wittmeyer are looking to take away several things from NYC. Bohrer is hoping to create new relationships, and receive a new understanding of how the church works. Wittmeyer is looking to have some fun, while also learning some history about the denomination, and listening to sermons that teach him something.

NYC coordinators hold their own registration party

While Highland Avenue youth were registering NYC coordinators Katie Cummings, Tim Heishman, and Sarah Neher were having a registration party of their own at the denomination’s General Offices. They were joined by Becky Ullom Naugle, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, and Sarah Ullom-Minnich, who is on the National Youth Cabinet.

After eating pizza and getting everything ready, they each logged on to a computer to watch the registrations come in. They counted down from 10 seconds, to the official registration opening time. It took five minutes for the first registration to be received. A few minor problems had to be dealt with over the phone. They left the offices a little after 9 p.m.

An adult advisor looks on as one of the Highland Avenue youth uses the online registration process for NYC 2014
Photo by Lucas Kauffman  

An adult advisor looks on as one of the Highland Avenue youth uses the online registration process for NYC 2014
Heishman says he is looking forward to everything, as an NYC coordinator. “I’m looking forward to seeing all the names come in, and meeting as many people as possible during NYC. I’m excited about all of the speakers, the bands (Mutual Kumquat and Rend Collective Experiment), and especially the worship services. It will be so exciting to see everything come together this July.”

More than 400 register over the weekend

Some of the churches where youth registered for NYC on the first weekend: Wakemans Grove Church of the Brethren in Shenandoah District;  Ambler Church of the Brethren and Little Swatara Church of the Brethren in Atlantic Northeast District; McPherson and Wichita First Churches who teamed up in Western Plains District; Manchester Church of the Brethren  in South Central Indiana District; Gettysburg Church of the Brethren in Southern Pennsylvania District; Oak Grove Church of the Brethren in Virlina District; West Charleston Church of the Brethren and Cristo Nuestra Paz who teamed up in Southern Ohio District.

As of Tuesday morning, Jan. 7, 464 people had registered for NYC. That is up from 366 people in about the first four days of online registration for the last NYC in 2010.

Good reasons to go to NYC

There are several reasons why youth should sign up for NYC, according to Heishman. “NYC is a place where you can meet Christ and hear your calling as a follower of Jesus,” he said. “It is often the spiritual highlight for many youth during their high school years.”

Another reason to sign up? Heishman says that NYC will be a blast.

For more information and to register for National Youth Conference, which takes place at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., on July 19-24, go to www.brethren.org/nyc.

-- Lucas Kauffman is a senior at Manchester University in N. Manchester, Ind., and a January term intern at the Church of the Brethren News Services office.

Source: 1/10/2014 Newsline