Friday, October 29, 2004


"Disaster response, caring for children, environmental preservation, confronting racial barriers, experiencing new cultures, exploring urban poverty and rural development issues--all of these opportunities and more are available to youth and young adults through the 2005 National Workcamps," said coordinators Cindy Laprade, Beth Rhodes, and Steve Van Houten in a note inviting youth and young adults to participate in workcamps next summer. The theme will be "Rivers of Life" based on John 7:38. Workcampers will be invited to "step into the flow of other people's lives and experiences, and to affect change in the people and places that have been washed away by the currents of our society," the coordinators said. Brochures are available from district offices, congregations, or the General Board's Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office at 800-323-8039. A website also provides information and registration materials, see Registration begins Dec. 1. Contact the coordinators at 800-323-8039 or by e-mail at

source: Newsline 10/29/2004
Diferent Drummers

The Chicago-based CBS show "Different Drummers" featured the General Board's youth and young adult workcamp program with coordinators Cindy Laprade and Beth Rhodes. Agata Zalewski, a youth workcamp participant from York Center Church of the Brethren, Lombard, Ill., was interviewed as were several other Brethren members in the audience including youth and advisors from Chicago-area congregations. The show aired Oct. 23 at 5 a.m.

source: Newsline 10/29/2004
Jubilee Troupe

Sick of the choke of political messages being thrown around these days? Me too! Feel a little disempowered? Sometimes, me too. Want to do something...something BEYOND politics, something practical and yet intensely creative and deeply spiritual? I am about to share something that is maybe the craziest serious invitation you've had since... well, since a long time.

Ready? Here goes...

The Jubilee Troupe. We are a group of fairly young adults (23-31), mostly Anabaptist, mostly Brethren, seeking to introduce new forms of sacred arts to churches, church-related events and colleges with themes of reconciliation in the year 2005. Jubilee. According to Leviticus, it only happens once every 49 years. So this is your once-in-a-generation chance to be part of something, well, on the edge. Curious? Read on...

Several years ago, a few young adults in the Church of the Brethren had an idea to take groups like JOYA and the Youth Peace Travel Team once step further. What would it be like if we developed and incorporated some radically new forms of interactive drama and dance into worship? What would it look like if we shared that with others? How could the church be changed with this kind of infusion of creative energy? How could WE be tranformed in the process of creating our own little creating-community?

We first came together a year after this first sprouted, at the Organizing for Peace Conference (of On Earth Peace) this past March: Shalom Black, Christina Cruz, Myra Martin Adkins, Gloria Newton, Chris Palsgrove and me. Since then we've performed or led worship at four four events from Washington, DC to California. We've explored a theater improvisation form called Playback Theater, with sharing and stories from an audience, and we've used a simple, powerful form of sacred "dance" based on improvising simple movement and physical contact. At the heart of our work and play has been a central theme - expressing the creating, renewing, reconciling Spirit of God through our bodies.

Since March we have changed personalities a few times. New folks have joined, shared their gifts, explored creative work and play together...others have tended to other pastures. And that's one of the reasons i am writing you. We are looking for new blood, searching, passionate, gifted, creative, curious, questioning folks with presense...not necessarily an opportunity for professional actors or dancers...i consider it more of a CALL, a call to share of yourself, express the raw Spirit in you and ultimately perform in that Spirit.

So i have a few invitations for you and your community...if you've read this far:

CONSIDER inviting the Jubilee Troupe to your church, your community, your college. We are seeking invitations for this wandering band of neo-minstrels beginning February 2005. The Troupe offers several exciting workshops alongside worship-full performances and contributions to worship services. We consider ourselves in the ancient tradition essentially, "Revival." Would you or your community be interested in that kind of energy? See more on the program page of the Jubilee Troupe website.

CONSIDER also attending our first training on the weekend of January 7-9, 2005 in New Windsor, MD. It is open to all interested - young and old, committed or just curious, from any background or artistic persuasion. We are shaping a weekend for getting in touch with our joyful and quiet selves, playing with drama and movement, sharing stories and devotional time together. Consider coming - whether or not you would consider being part of an ongoing "troupe." And even if you'd like to come but can't make this one, email a response or register your interest here.

FINALLY, CONSIDER being part of the Troupe itself. Could that be in your calling? Want to know more about it? Write back or call me up and let's talk! Our various members have various commitments - from traveling half the spring and summer, to only occasional, more convenient involvement for those of us with other jobs, studies and commitments.

And as a postscript, maybe someone you know is searching for that call, someone open, eager, curious, expressive, passionate about Life... so pass this on! This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity!

chris fitz

Jubilee Troupe primary sponsor: On Earth Peace Assembly

Other sponsors:
Church of the Brethren Witness Office
New Community Project
Brethren Peace Fellowship
Advisory Group:
  • Barb Sayler, co-director of On Earth Peace, Inc. (MD)
  • David Radcliff, director of the New Community Project (IL)
  • Lee Krähenbühl, theater coach, professor of communications, Manchester College (IN)
  • Arlene Kiely, director of the Dumbarton Playback company (MD/DC)
  • Phil Jones, director of the Brethren Witness Office (DC)
  • Matt Guynn, trainer, program associate, On Earth Peace (IN)
  • Paul Grout, visual artist, former pastor of Genesis Church of the Brethren (VT)
  • Chris Fitze, improvisational actor, technical theater director (ME)
  • Jessica Eller, activist, mediator, Portland Friends Meeting (ME)
  • Ruth Aukerman, visual artist, teacher and activist (MD)
Jubilee Troupe 2004-2005
  • Shalom Black, Catholic University PhD candidate (DC)
  • Christina Cruz, poet, Goshen College graduate (PA)
  • Christopher Fitz, dancer, actor, Troupe director (PA)
  • Rachel Koontz, actor, dancer, Goshen College graduate (IN)
  • Myra Martin-Adkins, actor, student, Manchester College (IN)
  • Gloria Newton, artist in residence, Center for Anabaptist Leadership (CA)
  • Chris Palsgrove, actor, technician at McDaniels College (MD)
  • Tabea Steinbeisser, spiritual midwife, musician (Germany)
Christopher Fitz

The Jubilee Troupe
888-228-4491 tel.
2005 Workcamp Listing

Senior High
  1. Alaska June 12-20 (full)
  2. Castaner, PR June 13-20 (full)
  3. Lybrook, New Mexico (BRF) June 18-27 (full)
  4. Walk Across America (Illinois) June 27-July 2
  5. St. Croix, Virgin Islands July 11-17 (full)
  6. Phoenix, Arizona July 11-17
  7. Los Angeles, CA July 11-17 (full)
  8. Camp Myrtlewood, Oregon July 18-24
  9. St. Croix, Virgin Islands July 18-24 (full)
  10. Crossnore, North Carolina July 18-24 (full)
  11. Tijuana, Mexico July 25-31 (full)
  12. N. Fort Myers, Florida July 25-31 (full)
  13. Pine Ridge, South Dakota July 31-August 6 (full)
  14. Gould Farm, Massachussetts August 1-7 (full)
  15. Mendenhall, Mississippi August 1-7
  16. Keyser, West Virginia August 8-14 (full)
Junior High
  1. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania June 15-19 (full)
  2. Ashland, Ohio June 22-26 (full)
  3. Inspiration Center, Wisconsin June 26-July 1
  4. Innisfree Village, Virginia June 26-July 1
  5. New Windsor, Maryland July 18-22 (full)
  6. Chicago, Illinois July 20-24 (full)
  7. Indianapolis, Indiana July 27-31
  8. Koinonia Partners, Georgia August 3-7 (full)
Young Adult
  1. Disaster Response (Location TBA) May 29-June 4
  2. Brazil June 1-10
  3. Guatemala June 1-10 (full)

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Plowshares National Student Peace and Justice Conference

The second annual Plowshares National Student Peace and Justice Conference will be Oct. 22-24 in Richmond, Ind., on the theme, "Bringing Our Pieces Together: Peacebuilding Through Intercultural Dialogue." Presenters include Aaron Miller, president of Seeds for Peace; Mental Notes, of the Movement in Motion arts collective of New York; Jennie Kiesling, professor of history at the US Military Academy; Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X; Funkdesi, a musical ensemble; and Saoud El Mawla, Earlham's Plowshares professor. Plowshares is a collaborative project of Manchester College, Earlham College, and Goshen College, and is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. For more information see

source: 10/15/2004 Newsline

Friday, October 15, 2004

Steve Van Houten to Assist Workcamps

Steve Van Houten has accepted a call to assist as a workcamp coordinator for the General Board's Youth and Young Adult Ministries on a part-time, shared basis for the 2005 program year. He is lead pastor at Akron, Springfield Church of the Brethren in Ohio. He will begin in the position Jan. 2005, and will work with workcamp coordinators Cindy Laprade and Beth Rhodes.

source: 10/15/2004 Newsline
National Junior High Sunday

November 7 is National Junior High Sunday with "Maturing in Faith," Luke 2:52, as the theme. A Bible study, skit, worship resources, and other materials are available at click on General Board, search for key words Youth & Young Adults. For purposes of conservation, packets of these materials were not mailed out to each congregation, according to an announcement from Youth and Young Adult Ministries. Instead, junior high advisors received postcards directing them to the website, where all of the materials may be printed out.

source: 10/15/2004 Newsline
CCS 2005

April 23-28, 2005, high school youth and advisors are invited to the 2005 Christian Citizenship Seminar in New York and Washington, D.C. The event will be open to 100 participants on a first-come first-served basis. The topic is "Conscientious Objection." Cost is $350. The seminar is sponsored by the General Board's Youth and Young Adult Ministry and Brethren Witness/Washington Office. "It is a unique opportunity to visit the United Nations and Capitol Hill, meet with senators and representatives, as we study the questions of how to make life choices based on our Christian discipleship," said Youth and Young Adult Ministry director Chris Douglas. Registration is available at click on General Board, keyword Youth & Young Adults. For brochures call 800-323-8039.

source: 10/15/2004 Newsline

Monday, October 04, 2004

CCS Registration is Open

Online registration is now open for next spring's Christian Citizenship Seminar.

CCS will begin on Saturday, April 23, 2005 in New York City and will end on Thursday April 28, 2005 in Washington, DC. The cost is $350.

Registrations will be cut off by February 28, 2005 or as soon as 100 registrations have been received.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Young Adult Conference 2005 taking shape.

The Young Adult Steering Committee met Sept. 24-26 in Elgin, Ill., to plan for next year's Young Adult Conference. Camp Woodland Alters, in Peebles, Ohio, will be the site for the conference on Memorial Day weekend May 27-29. The theme, based on Hebrews 10:24, is "Provoking love and good deeds."

"Inspired by the energy and spirit of worship at National Young Adult Conference, worship will be a larger part of YAC this year," reported steering committee member Robert Etzweiler. "It will be the thrust of the weekend as sessions have been in the past. We're in the process of lining up worship leaders and speakers and will be able to let you know who they are soon. We hope to see you there!" More information will be posted at on the Youth/Young Adults web page under "Young Adult Conference."

Source: Newsline 10/01/2004