Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Young adults are called to experience transformation.

The annual Young Adult Conference took place May 26-28 at Camp Swatara in Bethel, Pa. Drawing 99 young adults and leaders from around the nation, the conference focused on Romans 12:2, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God--what is good and acceptable and perfect."

"Only when we allow ourselves to be transformed are we able to recognize, accept, and respond to what God wants from us," noted coordinator Emily Tyler.

Bob Etzweiler and Hannah Serfling were the featured young adult speakers. Etzweiler opened the weekend with a challenging assessment of the ways in which Christians as the Body of Christ must transform daily lifestyle choices into faith statements in order to continue living. Serfling focused on the transformation that takes place by seeking forgiveness from sin.

Other speakers included Marlys Hershberger, pastor of Hollidaysburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, who spoke about the idea that each of us is called to be a "reflector" of the love of Jesus Christ. Craig Smith, executive minister of Atlantic Northeast District, spurred conference-goers to "go and do likewise" after a message describing what transformation looks like in individuals and the church. Worship services also included communion and anointing.

When not worshiping, young adults participated in several other activities. Padare (workshop) sessions were held on topics ranging from storytelling to Bible study to immigration reform. "Joyful Noise" sessions gave participants a chance to sing favorite hymns while learning a few new tunes. Small groups, called Community Groups, met several times throughout the weekend.

A Coffeehouse affirmed that the Church of the Brethren has been given many talented young adults. Musical numbers included driving rhythms, rich guitar chords, and lyrics in at least two languages. Humor was a frequent guest in the room as well; participants had a hard time taking seriously the musician who wore an over-sized orange foam cowboy hat.

In addition to providing information on its services, Mutual Aid Association held a free ice-cream social and a drawing for door prizes.

The weekend ended with hugs and goodbyes to new and old friends. Hopefully, many will re-unite next year over Memorial Day weekend at Camp Harmony in Hooversville, Pa. Also, young adults are encouraged to begin making plans now to attend the second National Young Adult Conference, June 9-13, 2008, at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colo.

Source: 6/21/2006 Newsline

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Manchester College Honors Five Alumni for Their Dedication to Education, Society, Youth

Chris Douglas, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Church of the Brethren General Board, was among five alumni of Manchester College who were honored at Alumni Days May 31-June 1 in North Manchester, Ind. Other honorees included former Manchester College faculty members Allen C. Deeter, William R. Eberly, and Arthur L. Gilbert, and college trustee Melvin L. Holmes. Deeter is professor emeritus of Religion and Philosophy and is well known for his leadership in expanding Brethren Colleges Abroad; Eberly is professor emeritus of Biology and author of “The History of the Natural Sciences at Manchester College”; Gilbert is professor emeritus of Accounting who led expansion of the accounting department and the master’s of accountancy degree; Holmes is a retired senior buyer at AM General Corporation in South Bend, Ind., and a community leader in intercultural relations. For more go to

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Where:York Center Church of the Brethren Lombard Illinois
When: November 3rd - 5th

Mark your calendars now!! Make plans to attend.

Come and “Be still”, come and see who is alive,
come and be a part of something different and new!
Come and experience ‘Knowing God is God’!!

Two full buses will head west from the district at the end of July. By May 1, 105 youth and advisors registered for travel to National Youth Conference. Sixteen congregations represent IL/WI. Visiting youth from India who are guests of Naperville COB will ride with us.

One bus leaves Peoria COB at 8:30 a.m. on July 21. Another bus departs Naperville COB at 9:00 a.m. The two buses meet at Dixon COB leaving at 11:00 am. A prayer circle is planned at each location. Others are welcome to help send off our youth to NYC.

After an overnight stop in Omaha, Neb., our group arrives at National Youth Conference in Fort Collins, Colo., the afternoon of July 22. The Illinois/Wisconsin delegation joins about 3,500 other Brethren youth and advisors for five days of worship, fellowship, learning, service, and fun. We will leave Colorado late morning on July 27, stopping overnight at McPherson College. The buses return to the three Illinois churches late evening on July 28.

Itinerary details have been sent to registered bus riders. Please be in prayer for all those participating, and join the enthusiasm as the buildup to National Youth Conference continues.

Source: June 2006 District Newsletter

Tom Benevento works with poor and marginalized people in the US and Central America. He led several sessions on "Living Simply" for the spring youth retreat on March 17-19 at Freeport COB. Tom lives in Goshen, Ind., and works with the Global Mission Partnerships office of the General Board. He encouraged the youth to think about the choices they make and offered ideas for living in a sustainable and earth-friendly way.

Two dozen youth participated in the weekend, which included a service project, games, and worship times. Youth capped off the weekend by leading worship for Freeport's Sunday morning service.

The fall retreat will be held during district conference, Nov. 3-5 at York Center COB in Lombard, Ill. A possible post-National Youth Conference retreat/celebration is also being discussed. Watch for more information.

Source: June 2006 District Newsletter