Wednesday, January 03, 2007

2007 workcamp registration is now open!

Registrations will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants must register using the webpage. But the registration process will not be complete until they have received your deposit, and space is not guaranteed in your first or second choice until that time.

A $100 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration and the full balance of the registration fee is due by April 1, 2007. Make checks payable to “Church of the Brethren General Board.” Please send checks to Church of the Brethren General Board, c/o 2007 Workcamp Coordinators, 1451 Dundee Ave. Elgin, IL 60120.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

National Youth Conference energizes Dominican youth

What a privilege it is to spend time with energetic, dedicated, capable young Christian leadership. This was the joy that staff members Beth Gunzel, community development staff, and Nancy Heishman had when they shared the responsibility of accompanying six Dominican youth to National Youth Conference and two weeks of visiting churches. On July 15, six very nervous and excited youth (along with their experienced “travel guide” Timothy Heishman, age 16) boarded a Boeing 757 bound for Chicago and eventually for National Youth Conference. By the middle of the following week, Guidalba FĂ©liz Guzman was marveling at all the completely new experiences she had had within just a few short days. Hamburgers, e-mail and computers, and air travel were just a few of the experiences that were new for many group members. What has been most lasting for the group, however, are the relationships they formed with US Brethren, the kinship they feel for the larger church, and the conviction to return to their communities and invest their lives in the work of Christ there.

One example is the renewed energy Pastor Pedro Sanchez has for reaching the youth of his tiny town of Magueyal. Only 23 years old, Pedro has begun of fering activities designed to introduce young people to Christ and the church family. He is combining a study of the book, “The Purpose Driven Life, ” with an invitation to the participating youth to make a life commitment to Christ. Pedro is organizing recreational activities, all-night prayer vigils in the church, as well as small renovations to the building to accommodate the growing numbers. All this is undergirded by Pedro’s deep devotion to a life of prayer and study of God’s Word and his warm, joyful spirit. Other youth have been inspired to sharpen their English skills and to also invest themselves more fully in their communities.

Source: December 2006 Dominican Mission Report
Youth Peace Travel Team Application Deadline Approaches

The first Youth Peace Travel Team was formed in the summer of 1991 as a cooperative effort of a number of General Board programs. Since that year a team has been fielded every summer. The members of the Youth Peace Travel Team travel to camps throughout the Church of the Brethren. The goal of the team's work is to talk with other young people about the Christian message and the Brethren tradition of peacemaking.

The Youth Peace Travel Team is sponsored by On Earth Peace, the Outdoor Ministries Association, and the Church of the Brethren General Board's Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office, Brethren Witness/Washington Office, and Brethren Volunteer Service.

Four youth/young adults between the ages of 18-22 will be selected for the 2007 team. A scholarship stipend is paid to team members through the Ministry Summer Service Program of the Church of the Brethren General Board.

Visit for the application form. If you would like more information contact the BW/WO at 202-546-3202. Deadline for application is February 4, 2007.

Source: Winter 2006 Witness to Washington Newsletter

Monday, January 01, 2007

Peace Essay Contest

In recent years, many cultural critics have observed that progressives have lost the ability to tell a good story. It is suggested that the political right learned how to compose a convincing, coherent narrative as progressives debated important yet disconnected issues about health care, education, war and clean are. James Carville stated the problem pointedly on Meet the Press: "They produce narrative, we produce a litany."

This first decade of this new millennium has been declared by the World Council of Churches as "The Decade to Overcome Violence." The Historic Peace Churches - Brethren, Friends, and Mennonites - have been invited to think creatively and critically in communion with the international ecumenical community about seeking cultures of peace in a violent world. What story will a Peace Church tell the world?

The Peace Studies Program and Bethany Seminary Theological Seminary, in partners! hip with Messenger magazine, in pleased to announce the Jennie Calhoun Baker essay contest. Contestants will submit an essay or story-shaped manuscript address this question: "What story will a Peace Church tell the world?" First prize: $2500. Second prize: $1000. Winning essays will be published in Messenger magazine. The genre of the essay may be personal, philosophical, story-shaped, or it may be composed in a style similar to National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" radio series, This I Believe. Manuscripts should not exceed 2,000 words. The contest is open to students who are part of the Historic Peace Church tradition.

Manuscript submissions will be accepted from January 1 - June 1, 2007. Awards will be announced by September 1, 2007.

Send manuscripts to:
Sc! ott Holland
Associate Professor of Theology and Culture
Bethany Theological Seminary
615 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana 47374

Source: January 2007 District Newsletter
Fall Retreat Wrapup (and upcoming events)

Youth gathered Nov. 3-5 during district conference in Lombard, Ill., for their fall retreat. Jim Chinworth, campus minister for Manchester College, led the weekend focusing on "Being Still". Other activities along with a variety of discussion, role plays, sharing times took place with the help of three Manchester students.

The weekend included a time of sharing in one of district conference's business sessions, several worship/devotions times and the conference opening and closing worship services. The host church provided for basketball, games, good food and fellowship. 30 people from nine congregations participated in the retreat.

The district youth cabinet will hold their annual planning retreat Jan. 19-21 at Cerro Gordo; all youth are invited to meet the cabinet on Saturday January 20th. The spring district youth retreat, featuring leadership from Brethren Volunteer Service, will be March 16-18 at Peoria Church of the Brethren. The Christian Citizenship Seminar will be held March 24-29, 2007. Finally, don't forget Regional Youth Conference April 27-29 at Manchester College.

Source: January 2007 District Newsletter