Thursday, June 28, 2012

Young adults contemplate ‘being the church.’

Service project group at NYAC
Photo by Ashley Kern
A group at one of the NYAC 2012 service projects. Young adults helped out at two service project sites in Knoxville: the Knoxville Area Rescue Mission and the Lost Sheep Ministry.
National Young Adult Conference was held June 18-22 at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. About 105 Brethren between the ages of 18 and 35 gathered from across the country to hear sermons, worship in community, participate in Bible studies and workshops, and explore what it means to be humble, yet bold, as the church in our world today.

The theme of the conference was “Humble Yet Bold: Being the Church,” and focused on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapters 5-7. Over the course of the week, participants dove deep into the Beatitudes, and the risks, realities, and rewards of being salt and light to those around us.

They were challenged to take part in this calling by a dynamic group of speakers including Angie Lahman of Circle of Peace Church of the Brethren in Arizona, Dana Cassell of Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren, Shelly West of Happy Corner Church of the Brethren in Ohio, Joel Peña of Alpha and Omega Church of the Brethren in Pennsylvania, Greg Davidson Laszakovits of Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, Tracy Primozich representing Bethany Theological Seminary, and Josh Brockway and Nate and Jenn Hosler, representing Congregational Life and Peace Witness Ministries of the Church of the Brethren.

Each morning’s Bible study began with singing led by Josh Tindall, director of Music Ministries at Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren. This was followed by opportunities to attend workshops on topics such as Brethren Volunteer Service, workcamps, peace, scripture, spirituality, creation care, women in leadership, and a history of Brethren conflicts and fashion. Workshops were led by representatives from several organizations including the Church of the Brethren denomination, On Earth Peace, Bethany Seminary, the Open Table Cooperative, and the Center on Conscience and War.

“Coffee and Conversation,” talk-back sessions, and meals hosted by NYAC speakers took place on various afternoons. These were unique times of casual dialogue on a variety of subjects with church leaders including Annual Conference moderator Tim Harvey and general secretary Stan Noffsinger.

After supper each evening, participants gathered again for worship. Each session was carefully crafted by worship coordinators Katie Shaw Thompson of Ivester Church of the Brethren in Iowa, and Russ Matteson of Modesto (Calif.) Church of the Brethren. Along with singing, they included scripture readings and dramatic interpretations, prayers, footwashing, anointing, and communion. A worship center was constructed in the middle of the intimate theater space where worship was held, and it was slightly altered each day to emphasize the daily themes of being humble, salt, light, and bold.

Two special offerings were taken. The first raised $746.62 for the Haiti Health Program providing mobile medical clinics (see story below). The other collected $148 and eight bags of craft supplies and goodies for “Christmas in July” at the John M. Reed Nursing Home, a Church of the Brethren retirement community that has decided to spread Christmas cheer to residents all year long.

In between worship and teaching, workshops and conversation, community groups and breaking bread together, a number of activities were planned and led by members of the Young Adult Steering Committee. Highlights were a white water rafting trip in the Smokie Mountains, service projects at the Knoxville Area Rescue Mission and the Lost Sheep Ministry, ultimate Frisbee, board games, a night swim, and an unforgettable talent show.

National Young Adult Conference was coordinated by Carol Fike and the Young Adult Steering Committee of Josh Bashore-Steury, Jennifer Quijano, Jonathan Bay, Mark Dowdy, Ashley Kern, and Kelsey Murray. Each of these persons, as well as Becky Ullom, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, worked diligently for many months to make the conference a success.

NYAC was a conference built on time spent in community, worshiping God, and engaging in inspirational conversation. It was a safe space for attendees to gather in the name of Jesus, lift their voices in song and prayer, ask questions, and be exposed for exactly who they are: brothers and sisters, children of God, called to be salt and light--humble, yet bold.

Find an album of pictures from NYAC, provided by young adult participants, at

-- Mandy Garcia carries out donor communications for the Church of the Brethren.

Source:6/28/2012 Newsline

Young Adults Invited to Meet Moderator-Elect Krouse

Young adults going to Annual Conference are invited to an opportunity to get to know moderator-elect Bob Krouse. Young adults will meet with Krouse in the Young Adult Room #253 on Sunday, July 8, from 4:45-5:45 p.m.

Source:6/28/2012 Newsline

Tyler Starts as Coordinator of Workcamps and Volunteer Recruitment

Emily Tyler started as coordinator of workcamps and volunteer recruitment for the Church of the Brethren on June 27. Her new position combines oversight and administration of the youth and young adult workcamps with recruitment for Brethren Volunteer Service. She comes to the position from Peoria, Ariz., where she has been a member of Circle of Peace Church of the Brethren.

Source:6/28/2012 Newsline

Waldo Canyon Wildfire Near Colorado Springs

Camp Colorado staff report that they can see and smell smoke from the Waldo Canyon wildfire near Colorado Springs. “As the crow flies it’s about 40 miles away,” said a post at, which features a map showing the location of the camp in relation to the fire. The Church of the Brethren camp is just west of the town of Castle Rock.

Source:6/28/2012 Newsline

Thursday, June 14, 2012

BVS director participates in conference call with Selective Service.

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) director Dan McFadden yesterday participated in a telephone conference call with the Selective Service System. The Selective Service System hosted the call to update participants about Alternative Service plans in the event that a military draft is ever called for by the US Congress.

The call was hosted by Cassandra Costley, manager of the Alternative Service Program for SSS.

At this point the SSS does not anticipate a draft, McFadden said. The Selective Service office hosts calls such as this a couple of times a year to stay in touch with the various groups that have interest in Alternative Service options in the event of a draft.

During the call, Costley announced that another memorandum of understanding with the SSS has been signed by the Church of God in Christ Mennonite. This is the eleventh group or denomination to sign an MOU. The Church of the Brethren signed an MOU with Selective Service in June 2010.

Yesterday’s call focused on becoming an alternative service employer. In the event of a draft the SSS will look to faith groups such as the Church of the Brethren and BVS to host alternative service workers for two-year placements. During the Korea and Vietnam wars BVS hosted alternative service workers and would do so again.

McFadden asked about the numbers Selective Service anticipates during any given year. Based on a 1984 study, Costley reported an estimated 30,000 young men a year would be looking for alternative service placements in the event of a military draft. She added that it is possible the numbers might have doubled since then.

BVS also participates in a conference call twice a year with Anabaptist groups and the Center on Conscience and War to stay in contact in the event that there is a draft.

Source:6/14/2012 Newsline

Powerhouse Regional Youth Conference - November 10-11

A date has been set for the next Powerhouse regional youth conference to be hosted by Manchester University. The weekend of worship, workshops, music, food, and fun is scheduled for Nov. 10-11 in North Manchester, Ind., for senior high youth and adult advisors. For more, go to or call the Campus Ministry/Religious Life office at 260-982-5243.

Source:6/14/2012 Newsline

Friday, June 08, 2012

Annual Conference - Ecumenical Luncheon

Want a free lunch at Annual Conference? It will be paired with inspiring words from Rev. Jennifer Leath, a young adult leader from the African Methodist Episcopal tradition. RSVP by June 25!

Annual Conference 2012
Tuesday, July 10 at 12:00 noon
America’s Center, Room 221
St. Louis, Missouri

 The Rev. Jennifer Leath, speaker

“New Fire: Youth and Young Adults And the Ecumenical Movement”

Rev. Leath is an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and a member of ECHOS, the World Council of Churches commission on youth.

To order your complimentary ticket, e-mail by June 25.

Sponsored by the Committee on Interchurch Relations, the Office of the General Secretary, and Youth and Young Adult Ministry

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

MSS Interns Begin a Summer of Service to the Church

Ministry Summer Service (MSS) interns for 2012
Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
The Ministry Summer Service (MSS) interns for 2012: (from left) Sarah Neher, Kyle Riege, Jamie Frye, Hunter Keith, Laura Whitman, Molly Walmer, Lucas Kauffman, and Katie Furrow.
The 2012 class of Ministry Summer Service interns have been holding orientation June 1-6 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The mentors for each intern joined the orientation for the last two days of the event.

Below is a list of interns and mentors, as well as the ministry settings in which they will serve for the next 10 weeks:

Jamie Frye of McPherson, Kan., will be mentored by Ginny Haney, pastor of Mount Morris (Ill.) Church of the Brethren, and Jay Wittmeyer, executive director of Global Mission and Service for the Church of the Brethren.

Lucas Kauffman of North Manchester, Ind., will be mentored by Larry Fourman, pastor of Union Center Church of the Brethren in Nappanee, Ind.

Sarah Neher of Rochester, Minn., will focus on workcamps and be mentored by Becky Ullom, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Church of the Brethren.

Laura Whitman of Ono, Pa., will be mentored by Dennis Lohr, lead pastor of Palmyra (Pa.) Church of the Brethren.

The Youth Peace Travel Team of Katie Furrow of Boones Mill, Va.; Hunter Keith of Kokomo, Ind.; Kyle Riege of Wakarusa, Ind.; and Molly Walmer of Myerstown, Pa., will be mentored by a group of leaders including denominational staff. Their mentors include Ullom along with Dan McFadden, director of Brethren Volunteer Service; Marie Benner-Rhodes of the On Earth Peace staff; and Margo Royer Miller, Outdoor Ministries Association representative. The Youth Peace Travel Team provides peace education at Brethren camps and gatherings.

For more about the Church of the Brethren's Ministry Summer Service program go to

Source: 6/6/2012 Newsline