Thursday, April 22, 2010

National Youth Sunday

Sunday, May 2, is National Youth Sunday in the Church of the Brethren. Resources for a youth-led worship service are available at Downloadable resources include calls to worship, prayers, a scripture jam, ideas for offering and children’s time, sermon outlines, a benediction, and resources for celebrating and commissioning youth who plan to attend this summer’s National Youth Conference (NYC). The theme is the same as for NYC: "More than Meets the Eye" (2 Corinthians 4:6-10 and 16-18).

Source: 4/22/2010 Newsline
Moving Forward Together: Visions of Young American Ecumenists

National Council of Churches (NCC) president elect Kathryn Lohre is calling for essays written by emerging ecumenists ages 35 and younger. Essays must address the theme, "Moving Forward Together: Visions of Young American Ecumenists." Selected essays will appear in an anthology to be presented at the NCC CWS Ecumenical Centennial Gathering in November. The project is intended to cultivate emerging ecumenical leaders, increase the visibility of the work of the NCC among younger generations, and provide a resource for intergenerational dialogue. Essays should focus primarily on one of the themes listed below, and should seek to convey the author’s ecumenical vision in both theological and practical terms: unity, mission, the Creation, the economy/cultures of greed, Christian identity and interfaith relations, overcoming violence/living in peace, overcoming poverty, overcoming racism, overcoming sexism/gender justice. For submission requirements and more information go to Complete submissions must be received in both hard copy and electronic form by May 1, 12 p.m. (eastern time).

Source: 4/22/2010 Newsline

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Young Adult Conference to meet on 'Community.'

Another year of planning and work for the young adult steering committee has begun. This usually includes hours of praying, thinking, processing, and even an impressive amount of laughter. All the ingredients needed to create a successful, meaningful, and more importantly, blessed young adult conference!

This year's Young Adult Conference is simply themed "Community." Such a small word packed with meaning for young adults in the Church of the Brethren as well as the church as a whole.

After taking a close look at the first churches of Christ in the book of Acts, it becomes quite clear that the church today does not fully resemble the church we see there. During that time, the followers of Christ lived in close-knit groups and shared everything they had. They created a community amongst themselves.

Now we find ourselves far from this original set up, with modern technology and the idea of "every man for himself." We are surrounded by constant pressure to make money, live comfortably, and put ourselves before others. Online options such as Facebook and Google replace older forms of personal relationships, and even our dependence on one another for finding and learning new information.

"For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness" (Romans 12:4-8).

All of us have been given gifts from the Lord, some of which are mentioned in Romans 12. Many people attend church and just become a face in the crowd because they do not know where they fit in, or where they feel comfortable. Helping other people find their place in the body of Christ is just as important as finding our own. We are all one body in Christ and cannot survive while another part suffers.

At Young Adult Conference we will explore how we can create community, starting by looking within. What talents has the Lord given us? How can these talents be used to better the church community? How can we help others discover their gifts and gain confidence to use them for Christ? How can we as young adults of the Church of the Brethren get back to our roots? This year's conference will try to answer these questions by taking a deeper look at what the Lord tells us about community. How do we define it? Build it? Seek it? Maintain it?

Join us this Memorial Day weekend, May 29-31, at Camp Blue Diamond in Petersburg, Pa., to help us build a community of young adult believers. There will be workshops, worship services, a coffeehouse, campfires, and amazing fellowship. Young adults ages 18-35 are invited, and registration is open now! Go to

-- Jennifer Lynn Quijano is a member of the Young Adult Steering Committee.

Source: 4/7/2010 Newsline
Young adult workcamp will be held in Haiti in June.

The church's Youth and Young Adult Office is planning a young adult workcamp at the New Covenant School in St. Louis du Nord, Haiti, on June 1-8. St. Louis du Nord is a day's drive away from Port-au-Prince and was not affected by the recent earthquake.

However, along with disaster response and crisis intervention, there also is a need for longterm mission in Haiti. One way the Church of the Brethren is attempting to do this is through support of education. Although there are some public schools in Haiti, 90 percent of primary schools are private. Even in public schools, the cost of fees, uniforms, and books is too expensive for the families of many Haitian children.

New Covenant School was founded in St. Louis du Nord to give neighborhood children the opportunity of a basic education. The school also holds Christian education classes on Sunday mornings. The school is currently housed in a rented property but is in the process of constructing a new school building.

Young adult workcamp participants will work alongside members of the community on the new building, and also will lead crafts and games at a Vacation Bible School led by the teachers of New Covenant School.

There are still a few places left in this summer's workcamp. To register, go to or call the workcamp office at 800-323-8039 ext. 286.

-- Jeanne Davies is coordinator of the Church of the Brethren's Workcamp Ministry.

Source: 4/7/2010 Newsline Special

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

2010 National Youth Conference
Illinois/Wisconsin District Bus Trip

Hop on the bus for fun and adventure as the IL/WI District Youth travel to NYC in Ft Collins, CO! Join other youth and advisors from exotic far away places like Freeport, Decatur, Elgin, Springfield and Canton!

Relax and have fun while you are on the road to what others have referred to as “a once in a lifetime, life changing experience!”

When: Buses will leave Illinois on July 16 and return on July 23rd, exact times to be determined

Where: Bus pickups and drop offs will occur at Naperville Church of the Brethren, Peoria First Church of the Brethren and Dixon Church of the Brethren

Cost: $ 230 (this is the cost of the bus only, and does not include your NYC registration or meals along the way) $50 deposit are due by April 30. The remaining $180 balance is due by June 1. All payments are non-refundable after June 1.

Reservations: E-mail with basic information (name, address, e-mail, church, and advisor) as soon as possible. Complete the registration forms and return to IL/WI District Youth Cabinet, 149 S. Calumet, Aurora, IL 60506 with your deposit by April 30th.

Need more information? Contact

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Camps The Forgotten Ministry
In the 1920's several visionaries in the Church of the Brethren knew that one way to develop leadership in the church was to create a set-apart place where young people could go, recreate, worship and learn more about God's world and God's Word. Those places were the birth of our Church of the Brethren youth camps, the oldest ones being Camp Harmony, Camp LaVerne, Camp Bethel, and Camp Alexander Mack. From that point many others have sprung up across the country and the total now stands at 29 Church of the Brethren camps.

Our church camps have been the place where life-changing growth happened to many young men and women, eventually leading them into a life of ministry ...Our camps are holy ground. They each have their own sacred place or 'thin place' where those who come feel truly close to God. The camps are sanctuaries where there is unconditional love, and no one is left behind.

In today's world the average child spends only 25 minutes a week outside, and seldom in a natural setting. We as Brethren need to work hard to make it a priority to reach these children and get them out into creation. No one can respect, appreciate, and care for a creation they don't understand, know nothing about, and are afraid of. No one can believe in and trust a God that they have not been able to learn about or experience in a truly personal way. Those things can and do happen at camp on a regular basis...

Next to our Sunday schools and sanctuaries, our camps are the best ministry tool out there to teach, to love, and to grow our children and our faith. Don't let the camps be a lost and forgotten ministry."
We lift up our district's camps, Camp Emmaus and Camp Emmanuel, and wish them a successful season ahead.

This article is from a letter to the editor of the Church of the Brethren Messenger, Dec. 2009, written by Karen Rowland of Milford, Indiana

Source: April 2010 IL/WI District Newsletter
Successful Youth Retreat In Springfield

“Christ in the City.” This theme, drawn from the book of Jeremiah, provided the focus as 21 youth and advisors representing six congregations met for the Illinois/Wisconsin spring district youth retreat at Springfield First Church of the Brethren March 19-21.

The centerpiece of the weekend was a visit and neighborhood tour with Springfield member Fletcher Farrar, who has been working with others to rehabilitate run-down homes in the Enos Park area of the city and provide housing for some who could not otherwise afford it. He urged youth to make their faith "an adventure" and to consider their choice of where to live as part of their ministry. After the tour and talk, youth engaged in a service project of picking up trash around the neighborhood.

A Bible study and devotions through the weekend also drew on the theme. Other highlights of the retreat included a scavenger hunt, recreation time, games, and Sunday school and worship at Springfield on Sunday morning.

The hosts at Springfield generously provided two wonderful meals during the weekend, as well as places to take showers in members' homes Saturday afternoon.

The next district youth retreat will be held with district conference, Nov. 5-7 in the Lanark-Pearl City area of the district.

Other Youth Dates To Note: Church of the Brethren National Youth Sunday (May 2)--look for resources at; Camp Emmanuel youth camp (June 6-12); youth activities at Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, Pa. (July 3-7); National Youth Conference, Fort Collins, Colo. (July 17-22); Camp Emmaus youth camp (Aug. 1-7).

Watch the district youth website for news and updates:

Source: April 2010 IL/WI District Newsletter