Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Manchester RYC

Three dozen senior high youth and advisors gathered Oct. 4-5 at Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., for a Regional Youth Conference exploring faith and politics. Phil Jones, director of the Brethren Witness/Washington Office, led sessions emphasizing the possibilities that Christians can help bring about. “Politicians and political structures are not going to be the answers for this world,” Jones said. He described from scripture what the world “should be” and told youth, “It’s up to us to help (government) get there. It’s putting our basic and core faith understandings into action.” Sessions explored topics of justice, passion, and humility, using Micah 6:8 as a central text. Paul Fry-Miller led music for the weekend, while Manchester students helped to lead small groups for deeper discussion. The two-man band Jayber Crow gave a concert.

Source: 11/19/2008 Newsline

Friday, November 07, 2008

Senior High Fall Retreat -- November 7-9, 2008
Peoria Illinois

"Pursuing Peace"

Why is the Church of the Brethren a “Historic Peace Church”? What does that even mean? How did the Bible and our heritage shape those beliefs? And how do we live it out today when the world if full of so much violence? Come spend a full and fun weekend with friends exploring these questions along with time for games, recreation, music, good food, and more.

The details:

WHERE: Peoria Church of the Brethren, 4714 N. Sheridan Rd., Peoria, Ill.

WHEN: November 7-9, 2008.

LEADERSHIP: Marie Rhoades of On Earth Peace

WHAT: A weekend filled with fun, learning, worship, food, and time with

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

'We Are Able' is among new workcamps scheduled for 2009.

The 2009 schedule of summer workcamps has been announced by the Church of the Brethren's Youth and Young Adult Office. The workcamp theme for the year is "Bound Together, Finely Woven" (2 Corinthians 8:12-15). In 2009, 29 workcamps will be offered in 25 diverse locations in the United States and several international locations.

Each workcamp offers a week-long service opportunity for junior high youth, senior high youth, young adults, or an intergenerational group. Held in the months of June, July, and August, the workcamps provide experiences that unite service, spiritual growth, and Brethren heritage.

Four of the 2009 workcamps are highlighted by staff as offering new or unique opportunities:
  • A workcamp titled "We Are Able" for senior high youth and young adults at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., on July 6-10 is a new concept in the workcamp ministry. Recognizing that all people have gifts to share, the workcamp will enable youth and young adults with intellectual disabilities to serve side-by-side with a service-partner youth or young adult.

  • A young adult workcamp in Northern Ireland will be held June 6-14, offering the opportunity to travel to an area of extreme beauty, but also extreme conflict. Participants will learn about conflict and reconciliation while working at Kilcranny House in Coleraine.

  • An intergenerational workcamp titled "Passing on the Peace Witness" at the Brethren Service Center on Aug. 2-7 is co-sponsored by On Earth Peace and is offered to people of all ages. Multiple generations will serve together, exploring the legacy and importance of the peace witness in the Church of the Brethren. Families are invited.

  • A workcamp for senior high youth on the issue of racism is held in Germantown, Pa., on July 27-Aug. 2, co-sponsored by On Earth Peace. Church of the Brethren leaders recently issued a letter calling for continued study and self-examination on the issue of racism. This workcamp will offer that opportunity as participants serve together in an urban setting.
Junior high workcamps will be held at 10 other sites, among them the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., and the John Kline Homestead in Broadway, Va. (see feature story below reflecting on this summer's workcamp at the John Kline Homestead; go to and click on "Photo Journal" to find a photographic tour of the homestead). Many other senior high workcamps will be offered next summer, at 15 sites including at Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding projects on the Gulf coast.

"Just as each thread is important in a tapestry, each person is important in a workcamp," said an announcement from the workcamp staff. "This summer we will work side by side, giving and receiving; revealing a God already present in the world. Come discover the importance of each thread of the tapestry, bound together and finely woven as the community of all God's children."

Workcamp registration begins online at 8 p.m. central time on Jan. 5, 2009. Go to for more information. For a brochure with a complete listing of the 2009 workcamp sites and dates contact Jeanne Davies, Meghan Horne, Bekah Houff, or Emily LaPrade in the workcamp office at or 800-323-8039.

Meghan Horne is one of the coordinators for the workcamp program, through Brethren Volunteer Service.

Source: 11/5/2008 Newsline
John Kline Homestead workcamp strengthens hearts and spirits.

Going to the John Kline Homestead was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We worked to renew the John Kline property for others who will visit the historic place in its 300th anniversary year.

Our theme for the week was "strengthen our hands," but it was more than just doing hard work for a good cause. Not only did we strengthen our hands, but I feel also our hearts and spirits. It's hard to believe we were able to be part of something that will forever be part of our Brethren history.

To sleep in the house Elder John Kline slept in, and to touch and feel things he actually used with his own hands, was something I'll never forget. Our group spent three days cleaning out the antiques in the horse barn. It was amazing to see these old and dusty things come to life. We saw medicine bottles Elder John Kline used as a doctor, a tanner's bench and shoe forms he used to make shoes, and a gorgeous blue glass coffee table we discovered after cleaning years of dust.

Before going on our trip, not many in our group knew who John Kline was. But through this experience we all learned how important he was. A person to look up to and aspire to be like. He gave so much of himself to help others without really getting much in return. Hopefully each of us who went can feel that we strengthened our hearts and spirits, so that we too can help others in the Brethren way that Elder John Kline did.

Stacy Stewart is a member of the youth group at Spring Run Church of the Brethren. This report first appeared in the Middle Pennsylvania District newsletter. To view a photographic tour of the John Kline Homestead go to and click on "Photo Journal."

Source: 11/5/2008 Newsline