Friday, December 20, 2013

Plan Your NYC Registration Party Now

“Plan your registration party now!” say the NYC coordinators. Jan. 3, 2014, 7 p.m. (central) is opening time for online registration for the 2014 National Youth Conference, to be held in Fort Collins, Colo., on July 19-24. Go to

Source: 12/20/2013 Newsline

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Powerhouse 2013 gathers youth from the midwest region

By Walt Wiltschek 

Powerhouse 2013, a regional youth conference for the midwest region, organized by Manchester University's campu ministry/religious life department and hosted this year at Camp Mack near Milford, Ind.
Photo courtesy of Walt Wiltschek
More than 70 people took part in Powerhouse 2013, the Church of the Brethren Midwest regional youth conference, held at Camp Mack (Milford, Ind.) for the first time this year. It marked the fourth year for the event since it was restarted in a new fall format.

Audrey and Tim Hollenberg-Duffey, third-year students at Bethany Theological Seminary, served as the main speakers on the theme, “Stories from the Garden: On Earth as It Is in Heaven.” Through three worship services they examined stories from the Garden of Eden, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the garden of life in Revelation 22. Using images from Renaissance paintings to olive presses to leaves, they looked at the goodness of God’s creation, our need for refinement and “harvesting,” and the opportunity to do a new thing as part of the “divine potluck” of God’s kingdom.

The conference, held Nov. 16-17, also included workshops covering topics such as calling and vocation, Brethren heritage, National Youth Conference, outdoor ministry, organic gardening, “Seagoing Cowboys,” and more, as well as an indoor campfire, a presentation of the musical “The Cotton Patch Gospel,” good food, and time for recreation.

The conference for senior high youth and advisors is planned by Manchester University in cooperation with surrounding districts. The next Powerhouse will take place in November 2014, with details to be determined. Updates will be posted at

-- Walt Wiltschek, Manchester University Campus Ministry, provided this release.

Source: 12/7/2013 Newsline

Friday, November 15, 2013

New Young Adult Steering Committee members announced

Three young adults will join the Young Adult Steering Committee of the Church of the Brethren this fall. Jess Hoffert is part of Stover Memorial Church of the Brethren in Northern Plains District. Heather Landram hails from Shenandoah District and Staunton Church of the Brethren. Laura Whitman comes to the team from Palmyra Church of the Brethren in Atlantic Northeast District.

Other members of the Young Adult Steering Committee are Joshua Bashore-Steury, Jon Bay, and Ashley Kern. The Young Adult Steering Committee met Nov. 8-10 to plan for Young Adult Conference, scheduled for May 23-25, 2014, at Camp Brethren Woods in Virginia.

Visit for more information, or contact Becky Ullom Naugle, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, at 847-404-0163 or

Source: 11/15/2013 Newsline

National Youth Conference speakers announced, registration opens January 3

National Youth Conference (NYC) 2014 logoThe National Youth Conference Office has announced its list of 10 speakers for NYC 2014, to be held July 19-24, 2014, in Fort Collins, Colo. The NYC Office also is encouraging all congregations to plan NYC registration parties for the evening of Jan. 3 when online registration opens at 7 p.m. (central time). Youth groups are encouraged to plan a fun evening of food and games, and register together when the clock strikes seven. Party ideas are available on the registration page of the NYC website at

NYC 2014 speakers

Here is a brief introduction to each of the speakers who will share with National Youth Conference 2014 during worship:
  • Jeff Carter is president of Bethany Theological Seminary, and up until recently served as pastor of Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren
  • Kathy Escobar is co-pastor of the Refuge, a church community in north Denver, Colo., and also a spiritual director, writer, and retreat and workshop leader
  • Leah Hileman is an indie recording artist, freelance writer, and licensed minister in the Church of the Brethren
  • Jarrod McKenna is the national advisor for Youth, Faith, and Activism for World Vision Australia as well as founder of EPYC--Empowering Peacemakers in Your Community
  • Rodger Nishioka is professor of Christian Education at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., and previously served as denominational staff for youth and young adult ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • Jenn Quijano from Brooklyn, N.Y., is a student at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind.
  • Samuel Sarpiya is pastor of Rockford (Ill.) Community Church, a Church of the Brethren fellowship
  • Ted Swartz of “Ted and Company” is a playwright and actor from Harrisonburg, Va., who brings the Bible to life through storytelling and humor
  • Katie Shaw Thompson is pastor of Ivester Church of the Brethren in Iowa
  • The Youth Speech Contest Winners are yet to be named. Youth may still apply for the contest. Submissions are due by Feb. 16, 2014.
Registration information

The registration webpage for NYC 2014 offers previews in PDF format of what the registration form will look like when it opens on Jan. 3. These are intended to help youth groups prepare and know exactly what information they will need in order to register. Stay tuned for a video tutorial on how to register. For more information visit or contact or 800-323-3039 ext. 385.

Source: 11/15/2013 Newsline

New video series asks, ‘Why NYC?’

The National Youth Conference Office has launched a weekly video series called "Why NYC Wednesdays." It features young adults from around the denomination reflecting on what their NYC experience meant to them, and sharing reasons why current youth should make NYC a priority next summer.

A new video will be released each Wednesday, available on the National Youth Conference YouTube channel and also on the NYC 2014 Facebook page. The first video featured Christy Crouse, from the Missouri/Arkansas District, who first attended NYC in 2010. You can view her reflections at

The NYC office invites others who have attended past youth conferences to submit their own reflections for consideration. How did attending NYC affect you? And why should youth make NYC a priority over any other possible summer activities? Videos can be up to 60 seconds long.

To inquire about submissions, contact the NYC office at or 847-429-4363. For more information about National Youth Conference 2014, visit

Source: 11/15/2013 Newsline

Friday, October 11, 2013

Entries sought for Bethany Peace Essay Contest.

By Jenny Williams

Bethany Theological Seminary is encouraging seminary and graduate school, college, and high school students to think creatively about peacemaking and to share those thoughts for the greater good. The Bethany Peace Essay Contest is being reinstated this coming January as part of the peace studies program at the seminary.

The contest, open to all full-time students in the categories above, invites reflections on how personal and local peacemaking efforts can address universal concerns. Participants may choose to explore this theme in one of the following areas, relating to personal experience: art, music, or poetry; the just peace movement; protest or change movements; social media, or interfaith efforts. Prizes of $2,000, $1,000, and $500 will be awarded for the top three essays.

A natural fit within the teaching and learning in peace studies at Bethany, the essay contest is underwritten by the Jennie Calhoun Baker Endowment, funded by John C. Baker in honor of his mother. Described as a “Church of the Brethren woman ahead of her time,” Jennie was known for actively pursuing peacemaking by meeting the needs of others, providing community leadership, and upholding the value of creative and independent thinking in education. John Baker saw her vision and modeling of contemporary peacemaking reflected in Bethany’s collaborative leadership among the three Historic Peace Churches and thus selected the seminary to administer the endowment’s programs.

John Baker, a philanthropist for peace with a distinguished career in higher education, and his wife had also helped establish the peace studies program at Bethany with an earlier endowment gift. “John and Elizabeth Baker were deeply committed to building cultures of peace,” says Scott Holland, professor of theology and culture and director of peace studies and cross-cultural studies at Bethany. “This peace essay contest is intended to encourage thoughtful writing on peace in essays that are informed by the rich traditions of God's shalom and Christ's peace yet articulated in voices that are public, ecumenical, and interfaith. There is also the hope that this contest will lead to international networking and partnerships in pursuit of peace.”

Holland is administrator of the Baker endowment programs and is working with a new Peace Essay Contest Committee to re-envision the contest after a hiatus of several years. Committee members are from the Historic Peace Churches: Kirsten Beachy, assistant professor of visual and communication arts at Eastern Mennonite University (Mennonite); Nathan Hosler, Office of Public Witness for the Church of the Brethren; Abbey Pratt-Harrington, 2013 alumna of Earlham School of Religion (Friends); Anne-Marie Roderick, student at Union Theological Seminary (Brethren); and Lonnie Valentine, professor of peace and justice studies at Earlham School of Religion (Friends).

Bekah Houff, coordinator of outreach programs at Bethany, chairs the committee and is assisting with the administration of the contest. “The committee has been fabulous to work with and represents a variety of talents and experiences. Their input and planning have been crucial to the process. We hope to have some good ecumenical involvement in the contest while mostly focusing on the peace churches in our publicity. In the future we hope to expand to different forms of media for entries, such as video and art.”

Holland also notes that the endowment can be used to underwrite peace sermon contests, which have been held previously and likely will be again.

Judges of the essays include Holland and Valentine; Randy Miller, editor of the Church of the Brethren magazine “Messenger”; and Anna Groff, associate editor of “The Mennonite.” Essays can be submitted between Jan. 1-Jan. 27, 2014, and results will be announced by the end of February 2014. Plans are being made to publish the winning essays in some of the journals and magazines of the Church of the Brethren, Friends, and Mennonite faith communities.

For guidelines, terms, and submission procedures, go to . Contact Bekah Houff at or 765-983-1809 for additional information.

-- Jenny Williams is director of Communications and Alumni/ae Relations for Bethany Seminary.

Source: 10/11/2013 Newsline

NYC Youth Worker Application Deadline - Nov 2

Nov. 2 is the deadline for youth worker applications for National Youth Conference, scheduled for July 19-24, 2014, at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Youth workers, who serve on a volunteer basis, should be available on the CSU campus beginning Friday, July 18, the day prior to NYC, through Thursday evening, July 24. More information can be found at

Source: 10/11/2013 Newsline

ENGAGE Day at Bethany Theological Seminary - Nov 1

Nov. 1 is the date of the next campus visit day at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. “Have you been considering visiting Bethany? Do you know someone who might like to experience what Bethany has to offer? ENGAGE is a day of options designed for you to explore the Bethany experience with other people interested in theological education,” said an announcement. The day will offer prospective seminary students the opportunity to worship together with the Bethany Seminary community and partner seminary Earlham School of Religion (ESR), hear a student panel, experience a class session, lunch with faculty, discuss financial aid and the admissions process, and take a campus tour. Register at or contact director of admissions Tracy Primozich at 765-983-1832 or

Source: 10/11/2013 Newsline

Brethren Young Adults Invited to Participate in World Council of Churches Virtual Conference for Youth - Oct 12

Brethren young adults are invited to participate in the World Council of Churches Virtual Conference for Youth tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 12. “What are you doing on Saturday? Would you like to hear thoughts from some amazing folks, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, for free? The WCC Youth Virtual Conference on October 12 promises to be a direct encounter among young Christians living in many different countries. The conference will center on the following topics: eco-justice, migration, and peace-building.” said the invitation from Becky Ullom Naugle, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Church of the Brethren. She noted that in ecumenical circles, "youth" often means age 45 and under. Go to

Source: 10/11/2013 Newsline

Friday, October 04, 2013

Webinar series to give information about Brethren ministries for young people.

New “non-event” resources from the Youth and Young Adult Ministry this year are a series of webinars by denominational staff whose ministries relate to youth and young adults. These staff have teamed up to provide informational and educational webinars geared toward those who work with Church of the Brethren youth and young adults as advisors, pastors, or parents.

“We hope you will join us!” said Becky Ullom Naugle, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.

The first webinar will be this Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. central time (8 p.m. eastern), and will be an introduction to the ministries related to young people from the Church of the Brethren, Bethany Theological Seminary, and On Earth Peace.

To join the webinar on Oct. 9 go to . After joining the video portion, participants will need to join the audio portion by dialing 877-204-3718 (toll free) or 303-223-9908. The access code is 8946766.

Four additional webinars on youth ministry also are planned:
  • Nov. 5, 7 p.m. central time, “Short-Term Mission Trips,” led by Emily Tyler of the Workcamp Ministry staff
  • Jan. 21, 2014, 7 p.m. central time, “Call and Gifts Discernment,” led by Bekah Houff of the Bethany Seminary staff
  • March 4, 2014, 7 p.m. central time, “Intergenerational Relationships,” led by Becky Ullom Naugle, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry
  • May 6, 2014, 7 p.m. central time, “Bullying,” led by Marie Benner-Rhoades of On Earth Peace
For questions call Becky Ullom Naugle at 847-429-4385.

Source: 10/4/2013 Newsline

Curriculum helps youth develop beliefs on peace, conscientious objection.

Call of ConscienceCall of Conscience, a Church of the Brethren web-based curriculum, is available to download from Written by Julie Garber, this resource is designed to help youth develop their beliefs about peace and conscientious objection to war. The curriculum focuses on developing a personal peace position based on biblical teaching and the traditions of the church.

As young men, and possibly women someday, reach the age of 18 they are required by law to register with the Selective Service System, a federal agency responsible for a military draft in the event the nation wants more soldiers than it can recruit as volunteers. If Congress decided to reinstate the draft, young people would have only a short time to gather evidence to convince Selective Service they are conscientious objectors and have a religious opposition to killing.

Call of Conscience helps youth prepare to “make a defense for the hope that is within them” (1 Peter 3:15). Four sessions designed to be led by an adult will help youth think through their beliefs as taught by the Church of the Brethren. Full session plans and downloadable resources are included:
  • Session One: The difference between allegiance to God and allegiance to the state.
  • Session Two: Biblical teaching on war and peace.
  • Session Three: The Church of the Brethren historic and living peace position.
  • Session Four: Making a case for conscientious objection.
In a culminating project, youth compile a file of evidence that they believe in the teachings of Jesus on peace, by keeping journals, collecting letters of reference, gathering lists of influential books, websites, news clippings, and films, and answering questions Selective Service will ask to determine the strength of their commitment to peace.


Source: 10/4/2013 Newsline

Workcamps schedule is announced for 2014.

The logo for the 2014 workcamps sponsored by the Church of the BrethrenThe schedule for the 2014 summer workcamps offered by the Church of the Brethren is now available online at Workcamps will be offered for junior high youth, BRF senior high youth, young adults, and an intergenerational group. Because senior high youth will be attending National Youth Conference in July 2014, a full slate of workcamps for senior high youth will be offered again in 2015.

The following workcamps are planned for junior high youth who have completed grades 6-8. In order to register, the parents of junior high youth must complete a Parental Permission Form:
  • Brooklyn, N.Y., June 18-22, cost is $275
  • Camp Harmony, Pa., June 18-22, $275
  • Harrisburg, Pa., June 25-29, $275
  • Columbus, Ohio, July 6-10, $275
  • South Bend, Ind., July 9-13, $275
  • Crossnore, N.C., July 14-18, $275
  • Roanoke, Va., July 30-Aug. 3, $275
  • Seattle, Wash., Aug. 6-10, $300
One workcamp is offered for senior high youth (completed grade 9 through age 19) who identify with the views of the Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF), in cooperation with Brethren Disaster Ministries at a location yet to be determined. Dates are June 22-28. Cost is $285.

The young adult workcamp for people between ages 18-35 will be held on the island of La Tortue, Haiti, June 9-16. Cost is $700.

The intergenerational workcamp for those who have completed grade 6 up to age 99-plus is scheduled at Idaho Mountain Camp on June 16-22. Cost is $375.

For more information go to

Source: 10/4/2013 Newsline

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Powerhouse Regional Youth Conference

It's time for the fourth year of Powerhouse, the regional youth conference for youth in the Midwest. This year the conference will try out a new site, going to Camp Alexander Mack in Milford, Ind., Nov. 16-17. We hope you can join us for this exciting weekend! Opportunities will also be available to visit and tour the Manchester University campus (about 45-50 minutes from Camp Mack) before or after the conference.

At, you will find a variety of information and forms needed for each participant to register. All forms must be completed for participants to attend. Forms should be downloaded, printed, and mailed to the university when completed; make enough copies so that each participant has one copy of each form.

Cost this year will be $65 for youth, $60 for advisors (for extenuating circumstances, please contact us). With our new location, everyone will have a bed to sleep in, and the camp will be preparing our meals.

The keynote speakers for our three worship times will be Audrey and Tim Hollenberg- Duffey, students at Bethany Theological Seminary. They will lead us in an exploration of our theme, "On Earth As It Is in Heaven: Stories from the Garden." We want it to be a weekend full of energy and inspiration!

If your group is coming from a distance and needs a place to stay in the area Friday night, please contact us and we can help you make arrangements at Manchester University or with congregations in the area. Please be in prayer for this event and, encourage your youth and advisors to attend.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Coordinators of NYC 2014 issue challenge for Brethren youth to exceed capacity at host university.

National Youth Conference (NYC) 2014 logo - large sizeWhat if so many people registered for National Youth Conference (NYC) that Colorado State University ran out of room to house everyone? That’s the challenge NYC coordinators Katie Cummings, Tim Heishman, and Sarah Neher are issuing to Brethren youth and to the denomination as a whole.

The conference is scheduled for July 19-24, 2014, at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. NYC is a week-long faith formation event for youth and their advisors that takes place every four years. All youth who have completed ninth grade through one year of college (at the time of NYC) are eligible to attend.

Typical attendance at NYC has been around 3,000 in recent history, but Colorado State University is able to house up to 5,000 people. The NYC coordinators are challenging the denomination to fill up all 5,000 beds.

“It may sound like a challenge, but if every participant just brought a friend along, it would happen! Or if everyone who reads this article tried to get one youth to attend NYC, it would happen!” they wrote for Newsline.

“There is a great story in the Gospels about Jesus feeding 5,000 people. Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You give them something to eat.’ And the disciples responded, ‘We only have five loaves and two fish.’ But where the disciples saw an obstacle, Jesus saw an opportunity.

“Particularly at this significant moment in the life and history of the Church of the Brethren, we need every youth to be at NYC 2014. Now is the time to bring the next generation together, to hear Christ’s call, and be blessed for the journey together.”

NYC coordinators see an opportunity to create a “delightful problem” for the Church of the Brethren: so many youth signing up for the conference that staff will “have to scramble to figure out where to house everyone. Wouldn’t that be incredible?”

The coordinators are encouraging church members to help support the ministry of NYC by joining the challenge: “Find one youth to send to NYC 2014!”

For more information about National Youth Conference, visit

Source: 9/26/2013 Newsline

Salem Church of the Brethren Youth

The youth at Salem Church of the Brethren at Stephens City have received thanks from Shenandoah District for their “creative and generous support of our disaster response teams.” The youth raised $766 for disaster response by participating in the Route 11 Yard Crawl on Aug. 10, selling sandwiches, drinks, chips, and yard sale items. Also contributing money to disaster relief in the district was the first Family Fun Day on Aug. 24, which brought in about $2,500, said the district newsletter.

Source: 9/26/2013 Newsline

Friday, September 13, 2013

Workcamp ministry closes out successful 2013 season, announces theme for 2014.

The logo for the 2014 workcamps sponsored by the Church of the BrethrenThe Church of the Brethren workcamp ministry closed out a successful summer season in 2013, holding 23 workcamps at a variety of sites across the nation for Brethren junior and senior high youth and adults.

The ministry also has announced a theme and theme scripture for next year’s workcamps, to be held in summer 2014.

This year’s 23 workcamps included 3 new locations, and involved 363 participants including adult advisors and youth. The workcamp office reports that 35 people contributed to leadership at workcamps this summer, along with the two Brethren Volunteer Service workers who were assistant coordinators for 2013--Katie Cummings and Tricia Ziegler--and staff director Emily Tyler.

Next summer’s workcamps will be held on the theme, “Teach With Your Life,” based on the scripture theme 1 Timothy 4:11-16. Debbie Noffsinger designed the 2014 workcamp logo.

New in 2014, the workcamp deposit amount will be raised to $150. Next summer will see workcamps offered for young adults, Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) senior highs, intergenerational groups, and junior highs. The number of senior high workcamps will be restricted because 2014 is a National Youth Conference year.

Jenna Stacy has begun a term in Brethren Volunteer Service as assistant workcamp coordinator, working with Emily Tyler. Stacy is a native of Campobello, S.C., and began work at the Church of the Brethren General Offices on Aug. 20. She will attend the fall orientation Unit 303 of BVS. She is a 2013 graduate of Bridgewater (Va.) College with a bachelor’s degree in religion and philosophy.

More information about 2014 workcamps will be available by late September at

Source: 9/13/2013 Newsline

Friday, August 30, 2013

Youth conference coordinators to hold ‘NYC Hangouts’ in September.

National Youth Conference (NYC) 2014 logo - large sizeAn itinerary of “NYC Hangouts” is planned by National Youth Conference (NYC) coordinators Katie Cummings, Tim Heishman, and Sarah Neher. The Church of the Brethren NYC 2014 is planned for July 19-24 on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. The event is a week-long “faith formation extravaganza” for youth and adult advisors. Youth who have completed ninth grade through a year of college at the time of NYC are eligible to attend.

The September “NYC Hangouts” are information sessions, complete with pizza, offered at several locations to raise excitement and interest in the conference. Youth and advisors are invited to come meet the NYC coordinators, learn about NYC, ask questions, receive resources such as fundraising ideas and options for transportation, and share pizza and fellowship.

Stops on the itinerary include:
  • Sept. 3, 7 p.m., Western Pennsylvania District Office, Hollsopple, Pa.
  • Sept. 5, 7 p.m., First Church of the Brethren, Roaring Spring, Pa.
  • Sept. 6-8, Mid-Atlantic District Youth Beach Retreat in Lewes, Del.
  • Sept. 8, 7 p.m., Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren
  • Sept. 9, 3 p.m., Madison Church of the Brethren, Brightwood, Va.
  • Sept. 9, 7 p.m., Bridgewater (Va.) Church of the Brethren
  • Sept. 10, 7 p.m. First Church of the Brethren, Roanoke, Va.
  • Sept. 11, 6 p.m., Happy Corner Church of the Brethren, Clayton, Ohio
Visit the NYC Facebook page at to RSVP for one of the “NYC Hangouts.” Find a video introducing the Youth Cabinet who is helping to plan NYC at

For more information about the 2014 National Youth Conference go to

Source: 8/30/2013 Newsline

Monday, July 08, 2013

Entries are now being accepted for the NYC 2014 Contests for Speech and Music.

You are invited to begin prayerfully considering what message you might have to share with the gathered NYC community next July, based on the NYC 2014 theme. The two speech contest winners will have the opportunity to share their speeches during a worship service at NYC.

If you enjoy praising God through music, you are invited to write a song based on our theme for NYC 2014. The Music Contest winner will have the opportunity to perform their song on stage sometime during NYC.

The deadline for all applications is February 16, 2014.

Monday, June 24, 2013

IL/WI District Youth Fall Retreat - November 1-3, 2013

Do not be conformed to this world, 
but be transformed by the renewing of your minds – Romans 12:2 
November 1st – November 3rd , 2013 
Camp Emmaus, Mt. Morris

Where: Camp Emmaus is located near highway 64 between Mount Morris and Oregon, Illinois.

When: Registration will begin at 7 pm on Friday Night . Retreat participants will be dismissed on Sunday around 11:30am. Note that Distirct Conference will end on Saturday – please indicate if you will be picking up your youth on Saturday evening or on Sunday.

Who: Everyone currently in 9th through 12th grades during the 2013-2014 school year. Friends and advisors are welcome.

Cost: $40 for youth – no charge for advisors. Make checks payable to “Illinois/Wisconsin District Youth”

What to Bring: Bible, Games, Sleeping Bag, Snacks to share, Towel, and Work clothes.

Registration Deadline: October 18th, 2013; please register early to help out with our planning.

Return completed registration form, covenant and check to: Beth Carpentier, 269 E. Chestnut; Canton, Illinois 61520

Questions: Contact Ralph at (847) 742-0918 evenings, or via e-mail:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Young Adult Event Takes Place at Camp Pine Lake

Young Adult Conference 2013 gathered at Camp Pine Lake near Eldora, Iowa
Photo by Kelsey Murray
Young Adult Conference 2013 gathered at Camp Pine Lake near Eldora, Iowa
More than 40 young adults from across the country gathered at Camp Pine Lake in Eldora, Iowa, for the Church of the Brethren’s annual Young Adult Conference (or YAC for short). YAC took place over Memorial Day weekend from May 25-27. The young adults had a great time filled with laughter, conversation, coffee, and four square, despite what was otherwise a very rainy and cool weekend in Iowa.

There was time set aside for workshops, small groups, large groups, a coffee shop and talent show, a camp fire enjoyed in the dry and warm conditions of the lodge, joyful noise, and worship.

The theme for this year revolved around “Voice...the Stones Would Shout Out!” based on Luke 19:36-40. Worship coordinators were Tyler Goss and Marie Benner-Rhoades. Worship services were led by Eric Landram, Kay Guyer, Jonathan Brenneman, and Joanna Shenk, with music leadership from Jacob Crouse.

The Young Adult Steering Committee is excited to announce that next year’s YAC will take place at Camp Brethren Woods in Keezletown, Va. Please stay tuned for more information on the exact dates.

Also, the Young Adult Steering Committee is now taking applications for open spots on the committee. Applications can be found at

-- Josh Bashore-Steury provided this report from the 2013 Young Adult Conference.

Source: 6/13/2013 Newsline

Monday, June 10, 2013

NYC 2014 Logo and Registration Opening Date are Announced

A new logo for National Youth Conference (NYC) 2014, the once every four years Church of the Brethren conference for youth who have completed grade 9 through the first year of college, has been released by the Youth and Young Adult Ministry office. The logo illustrates the NYC theme from Ephesians 4:1-7, “Called by Christ, Blessed for the Journey Together.”

Also announced is the opening date of online registration for NYC: Jan. 3, 2014, at 7 p.m. (central time).

NYC will be held July 19-24, 2014, at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colo. The conference will begin with registration at noon on Saturday and end at noon on Thursday. Meals, lodging, and programming are included in the registration fee of $450. A non-refundable deposit of $225 must be paid at the time of registration. Balance will be due by April 30, 2014.

Youth who have completed ninth grade of high school through one year of college (at the time of NYC) are eligible to attend. All youth must be accompanied by an adult advisor. Congregations and youth groups must send at least one adult advisor who is at least 22 years old for every five youth who attend, and must send a female advisor to accompany female youth, and a male advisor to accompany male youth.

The NYC 2014 coordinators, who are serving through Brethren Volunteer Service, are Katie Cummings, Tim Heishman, and Sarah Neher. The National Youth Cabinet, which helps plan and lead NYC, includes Kerrick van Asselt, Zander Willoughby, Sarah Ullom-Minnich, Sarandon Smith, Brittany Fourman, and Emmett Eldred, with adult advisors Rhonda Pittman Gingrich and Dennis Lohr. Becky Ullom Naugle is the director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Church of the Brethren.

Find more information about NYC 2014 as it becomes available at . Connect with NYC on Facebook by “liking” the NYC2014 page at . Follow NYC on Twitter @NYC_2014. For questions contact 800-323-8039 or .

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Annual Conference Service Projects

Service projects and other witnesses to the host city during the 2013 Annual Conference include two special opportunities for junior and senior high youth, and young adults and single adults. On Monday and Tuesday, July 1 and 2, the young adult and single adult groups will serve meals at the Charlotte Rescue Mission from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon. On Monday, July 1, the junior high and senior high will help with the Trout Unlimited River Clean Up, accompanied by David Radcliff of the New Community Project. For more about these and other activities during the Conference, visit

Source: 5/30/2013 Newsline

Ministry Summer Service Participants Begin Orientation

Ministry Summer Service participants begin orientation Friday at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. The group will be hosted by the Ministry Office and Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Interns include Todd Eastis, Heather Gentry, Lucas Kauffman, Andrea Keller, Amanda McLearn-Montz, and Peyton Miller. Mentors include Gieta Gresh, Cindy Laprade Lattimer, Carol Lindquist, Dennis Lohr, David Miller, and Marie Benner Rhoades. Leading the orientation are associate general secretary Mary Jo Flory-Steury and Youth and Young Adult director Becky Ullom Naugle, along with Dana Cassell, Jim Chinworth, Mark Flory-Steury, Tracy Primozich, and Christy Waltersdorff. Said Naugle, “Remember us in your prayers as we prepare these young adults to spend a summer discerning their call to ministry!”

Source: 5/30/2013 Newsline

Young Adult Steering Committee

Young adults are invited to apply to serve on the denomination’s Young Adult Steering Committee. “Are you interested in helping to shape the programs and ministries available to young adults in the Church of the Brethren? Do you know another young adult who would be interested?” said an invitation from Becky Ullom Naugle, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Applications are due June 30. Download the application from

Source: 5/30/2013 Newsline

Western Plains District Peace Retreat for Youth and Young Adults

“Peace Gives Life!!!” (Proverbs 14:30) is the theme for the Western Plains District peace retreat for youth and young adults on Aug. 9-11 at Camp Mt. Hermon, Tonganoxie, Kan. It will be facilitated by On Earth Peace. Cost per person is $65. Download the Camp Mt. Hermon registration form and health form from and send along with a copy of health insurance card and payment by July 26 to Joanna Smith, 18190 W. 1300 Rd., Welda, KS 66091; 785-448-4436;

Source: 5/30/2013 Newsline

Thursday, April 18, 2013

National Youth Sunday is May 5

Remember to observe National Youth Sunday on May 5. The theme this year is “In God’s Image” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Find worship resources online at .

Source: 4/18/2013 Newsline

3,000 miles campaign of On Earth Peace receives lots of support.

In a recent update on its 3,000 Miles for Peace campaign, On Earth Peace reported that over 60 fundraisers are underway in support. As of last week, over $80,000 has been raised for the Paul Ziegler Young Peacemaker Fund. Twelve riding or walking events have already taken place, and those taking part have already traveled more than 1,000 miles toward the goal of 3,000 miles.
The 3,000 Miles for Peace campaign is a fundraiser for On Earth Peace that honors young peacemaker Paul Ziegler who had the goal of bicycling across the country--a distance of about 3000 miles--before he was killed in an accident in Sept. 2012. “Together, we are fulfilling Paul's vision,” On Earth Peace said in the update.

Headlining the campaign is a walking trek by On Earth Peace staff member and former director Bob Gross, who is on a 650-mile walk across the Midwest. Gross reported by telephone this week that as of April 17 he has covered 450 of those miles. He expected to walk to the Altoona area of Pennsylvania by today, and to be in Huntingdon and at Juniata College on the weekend.

A key event in the campaign happens on May 5, Ziegler’s birthday, at his home congregation at Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. The church will host a “3KMP Celebration!” that Sunday from 5-6 p.m. (gathering music begins at 4:45). Gross will be welcomed to Elizabethtown as he completes his 650-mile walk and will share highlights of his journey from North Manchester, Ind. There also will be stories and pictures from other individuals and teams who have participated in the campaign and information about upcoming events in the remaining months of the campaign will be highlighted.

“May 5 would have been Paul Ziegler’s 20th birthday,” said pastor Pam Reist. “In honor of Paul and his passion for peace on earth, the celebration will conclude with birthday cake for all. Everyone is welcome to join the celebration!”

Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren is planning an additional event for all who wish to ride, walk, run, or even scooter “for Paul and for peace,” said an announcement from pastor Greg Davidson Laszakovits. Participants will gather at the Lancaster-Lebanon Rail trail on May 4, with registration starting at 9 a.m. and a send off at 10 a.m.cThe congregation has already raised over $2,000 towards a goal of $10,000.cTo join the effort, or for more information visit

Since the launch of the campaign on March 1, interest and participation has been steadily growing. Supporters and participants include bicyclers but also marathon runners, Appalachian Trail hikers, youth groups, canoers and kayakers, college students, weightlifters, congregations, and retirement communities.

Ideas for campaign events “are as diverse as our Beloved Community,” said the On Earth Peace update. A 12 year old at Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren in Ft. Wayne, Ind., walked while on his Spring Break. A 90-year-old resident of a retirement community in Virginia has contacted On Earth Peace to ask how she can get her community involved. Student groups at church-related schools including Manchester University, Juniata College, Elizabethtown College, and McPherson College all have events taking place. 

Youth at the Southeast Regional Youth Conference (Roundtable) on March 23 used part of their free time to contribute to the campaign. Said participant Katie Furrow, "We walked through and around campus (at Bridgewater College in Virginia) with signs supporting peace activism and peace education. It was so exciting to see the interaction between the youth and the community as people and vehicles we passed would throw up peace signs, wave, or honk in our direction as we joyfully filed past!"

Also on March 23, Anna Lisa Gross and 14 others associated with Common Spirit Church of the Brethren or Living Table United Church of Christ circled Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis, Minn., collectively walking 57 miles. They wore On Earth Peace's "When Jesus said love your enemies, I think he probably meant don't kill them" bumper stickers, and handed them out to interested onlookers.

Paul Fry-Miller, a member of Manchester Church of the Brethren, is planning a “paddle event” co-sponsored by the local Fellowship of Reconciliation. "We are planning a 5.5-mile afternoon float on the beautiful Eel River through North Manchester, Ind., that will include several stations along the way for brief stories and talks about peacemaking and our environment,” he told On Earth Peace. The Kenapocomoco Coalition members of Manchester University Peace Studies program will be camping out Friday night, April 26, in preparation for the float.

A group of bicyclists including denominational staff are planning a ride from the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., to Camp Emmaus in Mt. Morris, a 150-mile roundtrip to be accomplished over two days with an overnight at the camp. Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) president Nevin Dulabaum is one of the organizers and has invited other interested cyclists to join the effort.

On Earth Peace recently hired a part-time campaign organizer, Becca DeWhitt, to help staff the campaign. The organization also is seeking volunteers gifted in publicity, social media, data management, or outreach, who may have connections to bike clubs, congregations, or campuses where a ride or walk for peacemaking might be held. A number of volunteer positions are available. Contact executive director Bill Scheurer at

For more information visit To hold a peace witness as part of the campaign, contact

Source: 4/18/2013 Newsline

Young Adult Conference 2013 is held at Camp Pine Lake in Iowa.

The 2013 Young Adult Conference will be held May 25-27 for Brethren age 18-35 at Camp Pine Lake near Eldora, Iowa. The event will offer participants a long weekend of worship, fun, and fellowship.

The annual conference is an opportunity for young adults to connect with others from across the denomination and to together explore a theme and scripture. This year the theme will be “Voice: ...The Stones Would Shout Out!” from the story of people spreading their cloaks before Jesus as he entered Jerusalem, told in Luke 19:36-40: “Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, order your disciples to stop.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.’”

Leadership will be provided by speakers Eric Landrum, Kay Guyer, Jonathan Brenneman, and Joanna Shenk. Worship coordinators are Marie Benner Rhoades and Tyler Goss. Jacob Crouse is the music leader.

The cost is $100 per participant, or $125 after May 1. Scholarship help is available. The registration fee includes two nights of lodging, as well as all meals and programming during the event.

Coordinating the 2013 young adult event is Becky Ullom Naugle, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. Contact her at For more information and registration go to

Source: 4/18/2013 Newsline

Friday, April 05, 2013

Youth voice is heard in New York and Washington during Christian Citizenship Seminar.

A CCS guest speaker highlights poverty across the nation
Photo by Rachel Witkovsky
A CCS guest speaker highlights poverty across the nation through a graphic. Speakers at the 2013 Christian Citizenship Seminar offered varying perspectives on poverty and children affected by it.
During the last week of March, 55 Church of the Brethren youth and advisors joined forces to learn more about the issue of childhood poverty at this year's Christian Citizenship Seminar. CCS is a week-long event sponsored by the denomination's Youth and Young Adult Ministries and Office of Public Witness (formerly Peace Witness Ministries) based in Washington, D.C.

CCS gives senior high youth the chance to explore the relationship between faith and a particular political issue. This year the focus was on how a child’s lack of adequate housing, nutrition, and education may perpetuate the cycle of poverty and limit a child’s potential.

The event was planned and led by a number of denominational staff including Becky Ullom, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries; Nathan Hosler, coordinator of the Office of Public Witness; Rachel Witkovsky, a Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) worker and coordinator of National Junior High Conference; and Bryan Hanger, also a BVS volunteer and advocacy assistant in the Office of Public Witness.

The week began in New York City where Nathan Hosler and I spoke of our experiences with the issue as part of our work at the church’s Office of Public Witness. We spoke specifically of the “sequester” and the effects these cuts to the federal budget have on children facing poverty. For example, some 600,000 participants will be cut from the Women, Infants, Children (WIC) program designed to help the nutrition of young infants and mothers. In another example, more than 100,000 formerly homeless people will lose access to shelters due to drastic cuts in homelessness assistance (see ).

In Washington, so much emphasis has been placed on the bottom budget line that the human costs of these cuts has been tragically overlooked. We encouraged the youth to instead look for inspiration from Jesus’ example in scripture to care for the "least of these."

This theme was expanded by the first guest speaker, Shannon Daley-Harris, who is the religious affairs advisor for the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF). Her vast experience of working with religious communities addressing childhood poverty provided great insight for our youth on the human cost of poverty. She spoke specifically of the CDF’s program “Be Careful What You Cut,” which emphasizes long-term effects of cutting anti-poverty programs for young children (more information is at ).

The second guest speaker was Sarah Rohrer, deputy director of Bread for the World’s office in New York. The Church of the Brethren has a history of working with and supporting the mission of Bread for the World through the Global Food Crisis Fund. Recently Stan Noffsinger, Church of the Brethren general secretary, signed Bread for the World’s Circle of Protection Pastoral Letter to the President and Congress ( ). Rohrer talked about the effects of poverty on children around the world, and spoke specifically about Bread for the World’s 1,000 Days program and Offering of Letters advocacy effort. The 1,000 Days program focuses internationally on the early development of children and is designed to eliminate malnutrition of young children and mothers by providing ample and healthy food during the 1,000 days from pregnancy to the child’s second birthday. The Offering of Letters is an advocacy effort that provides a way for church members to speak out on issues of poverty from a faith perspective and encourage their representatives and senators to support policies that will help programs like 1,000 Days be effective.

In between these two sessions with guest speakers, youth got to explore the Big Apple including a trip to the United Nations where youth were able to take a tour and learn about UN efforts to reduce poverty. After three days of fun and learning in New York, the CCS group boarded a bus to Washington, D.C., for the second half of the seminar.

In the nation’s capital, the educational tour continued with a trip to the Department of Agriculture (USDA) where three staff members of the USDA’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships spoke about how they work with churches and social organizations to implement government policies at a community level. The USDA staff encouraged our youth to learn from the success stories they shared, and create community programs that collaborate with the USDA to help as many people as possible. We learned how recent budget cuts have affected many of the USDA efforts to combat poverty effectively, but also how they were proactively adapting their strategies and goals to transform many of their programs. One of the changes is a new program entitled "Strikeforce," which will work to reduce poverty and encourage economic development in rural communities that have not traditionally been recipients of USDA programs ( ).

After the USDA visit, the youth had a chance to learn how to put their knowledge into action. For this task our guests were Jerry O’Donnell, a member of Washington City Church of the Brethren and also press secretary for Rep. Grace Napolitano (CA-32), and Shantha Ready-Alonso, director of the National Council of Churches (NCC) Poverty Initiative. O'Donnell provided an insider perspective as a Congressional staffer while Ready-Alonso demonstrated the advocacy skills and strategies needed to be an effective Christian voice on Capitol Hill.

This combination gave our youth the confidence and knowledge to go to Capitol Hill themselves and lift up the issue of childhood poverty with their own representatives and senators. By the time the seminar concluded, Brethren youth had advocated their concerns with senators and representatives from Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, California, Ohio, and Oregon.

Overall, the week was a rousing success. Brethren youth connected with each other and worked with adult advisors and staff to learn more about child poverty. Visiting New York and Washington, and getting to speak faithfully with a Brethren voice to policy experts and lawmakers, was truly a unique experience. We can’t wait to hear about the fruits of this experience once the youth carry their ideas home and put them to work in their own communities.

-- Bryan Hanger is an advocacy assistant at the Church of the Brethren's Office of Public Witness.

Source: 4/5/2013 Newsline

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Ecumenical Luncheon at Annual Conference

Young adults ages 18-28 are invited to attend the
Ecumenical Luncheon

Annual Conference 2013
Charlotte, North Carolina
Monday, July 1 at 12:00 noon

Featuring The Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins
General Minister and President,
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Seeking Wholeness
Dr. Watkins will share reflections on Christian unity as a gift and a goal for the church of Jesus Christ in the complex society of the U.S. and the world.

To order your complimentary ticket, e-mail by June 14.

Sponsored by the Office of the General Secretary

Friday, March 08, 2013

Agape-Satyagraha program now at six sites across the country.

Logo for the Agape-Satyagraha program of On Earth Peace
The On Earth Peace program to teach nonviolence and Christian peacemaking to youth, called Agape-Satyagraha, is now active at six sites across the country. Reports Marie Benner-Rhoades, Youth and Young Adult Peace Formation director for On Earth Peace: “Agape-Satyagraha Leadership Training helps junior and senior high youth learn to deal with conflict without using violence by presenting concepts and skills training through the completion of five levels.

“The program teaches youth the heart of Christian peacemaking (agape love) and Gandhian nonviolence (satyagraha) and empowers youth to use agape and satyagraha together for nonviolent interpersonal conflict resolution and nonviolent social change.”

The Agape-Satyagraha sites mentor youth ages 11-18 through five levels of skills training: understanding conflict escalation, anger management, de-escalating conflict, negotiation and mediation, and community social change. Adult volunteers coach youth individually or in small groups through each level.

“In 2012, a three-year pilot program ended and On Earth Peace is now offering the program more widely,” reports Benner-Rhoades. The organization provides support to local communities to offer the program, and those sites provide feedback as they develop the curriculum to meet needs in different settings. Site coordinators meet monthly to share about their achievements and worship together.

Current sites for Agape-Satyagraha are:
  • the Boys and Girls Club of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, Va.
  • Acts 4 Peace in Baltimore, Md.
  • Modesto (Calif.) Church of the Brethren at Fremont Elementary School
  • the Peace Place in Trotwood, Ohio
  • Brethren Community Ministries in Harrisburg, Pa.
  •  Danzante Urban Arts in Harrisburg, Pa.
The program is seeking new sites in 2013. To recommend a congregation or organization as a potential Agape-Satyagraha site, please contact Marie Benner-Rhoades at

Source: 3/8/2013 Newsline

‘3,000 Miles for Peace’ campaign is underway.

Masthead image for the 3,000 Miles for Peace campaign of On Earth Peace
On March 1, On Earth Peace kicked-off “3,000 Miles for Peace,” a national campaign of riders and walkers that is raising funds and awareness for the organization’s violence-prevention efforts. The campaign is in honor of Paul Ziegler, a 19-year old McPherson (Kan.) College student who had a dream of biking across the country, about 3,000 miles, for peace. Tragically, he died in a bicycle accident in September 2012, and never got the chance to make his journey.

So far, there are over three dozen events planned in 15 states and 3 countries as part of the campaign, including rides and walks sponsored by churches, camps, colleges, and youth groups. There are individual walks and rides of several hundred miles each.

One community is planning a canoe trip which will combine fun, fundraising, inspiration, education, and music. Another group is planning to walk the Stations of the Cross in conflict areas of their city neighborhood. The campaign includes events as diverse as its participants, and welcomes new event organizers, participants, and fundraisers to join in.

The main website for the campaign,, gives more information about how to get involved by donating, starting an event, or becoming a fundraiser.

Bob Gross, On Earth Peace director of Development, will walk 650 miles on behalf of the campaign. He plans to start March 21 from North Manchester, Ind., and end May 3 in Elizabethtown, Pa. Find his blog and links to more information about his walk on the main page of

After the conclusion of Gross’ walk there will be a culminating event on May 5 at Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren to recognize Paul Ziegler’s birthday, share stories of walks and rides, and share music and worship together. All who live in the area are invited to attend. Those who live in a nearby town may consider walking or bicycling to Elizabethtown for the culminating event of the campaign.

“3,000 Miles for Peace” will run through the summer, and end on Sept. 21-22--the weekend of Peace Day. Some organizers already have expressed enthusiasm about combining a walk or ride event with Peace Day. For more about Peace Day go to

On Earth Peace would like to thank the many campaign volunteers who are stepping up for violence prevention and peacemaking. If you have interest in joining the campaign, check out or call the campaign office at 260-982-7751.

-- Lizz Schallert is development assistant at On Earth Peace.

Source: 3/8/2013 Newsline

2013 Christian Citizenship Seminar

“Childhood Poverty: Nutrition, Housing, and Education” is the focus for the 2013 Christian Citizenship Seminar in New York and Washington, D.C., that begins on March 23 and continues through March 28. The event is for high school age youth and adult advisors to consider current issues and engage in advocacy in the nation’s capital. For more about CCS go to .

Source: 3/8/2013 Newsline

There’s still room for YOU at a workcamp this summer!

“There’s still room for YOU at a workcamp this summer!” says an announcement from the Church of the Brethren Workcamp Ministry. “There is room for you to…walk the sordid streets of Los Angeles, see the beautiful mountains of Colorado, expand your understanding of others at Innisfree Village, raft the mighty rivers of Idaho, work with the earth in the green city of Seattle and more! There’s room for EVERYONE! Did you know…that we offer a workcamp for intellectually and physically disabled youth ages 16-23 AND that we offer a workcamp that you and your grandkids can go to? Check out our lesser known workcamps--We Are Able and Intergenerational.” Registration for workcamps is open at .

Source: 3/8/2013 Newsline

Applications are due April 12 for this summer’s Exploring Your Call (EYC)

Applications are due April 12 for this summer’s Exploring Your Call (EYC) at Bethany Theological Seminary. EYC takes place June 14-24. Sponsored by the seminary’s Institute for Ministry with Youth and Young Adults, EYC is a grant-funded leadership and discernment program for rising high school juniors and seniors. Participants value the hands-on ministry experiences, college-level classroom learning, and connection with peers who are asking similar questions about life, faith, and ministry. Students need only pay for transportation to and from the event, held on the Bethany Seminary campus in Richmond, Ind. For more information and to apply, go to

Source: 3/8/2013 Newsline

Fundraising Ideas for National Youth Conference

The Youth and Young Adult office is sharing fundraising ideas for National Youth Conference 2014 at . Here’s one of the latest: the $500 wheelbarrow. “Did you know that a large, heavy-duty wheelbarrow can hold 50,000 pennies?” said the post. “That amounts to $500! Borrow the wheelbarrow from a church member and place in a high-traffic area of your church. Always keep a sign nearby to explaining what the wheelbarrow and pennies are for. It also helps if someone can ‘work’ the wheelbarrow, standing nearby to explain the fundraiser, why you are raising money, and to sell rolls of pennies. Remember to place the wheelbarrow in a secure area when it’s not in use or no one is around.”

Source: 3/8/2013 Newsline

Students at Church of the Brethren-related colleges are doing services projects.

Foregoing “fun in the sun” spring breaks, several groups of students at Church of the Brethren-related colleges are doing services projects instead.
  • At Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., 21 students in the Habitat for Humanity club will take on the construction of an entire house in Albany, Ga., and other students will organize the affiliate’s ReStore location. The college’s Hillel chapter for Jewish students is traveling to the Dominican Republic to work on the “My Roof” project that focuses on building shelters for people who don’t have adequate, safe housing, and will volunteer at a health clinic and a school. Juniata’s Christian Ministry Board is traveling to North Fort Myers, Fla., to volunteer on a demonstration farm working with Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization. The college’s Community Service Board is going to Apopka, Fla., to work with immigrant families in collaboration with a local organization called Hope CommUnity Center.
  • At Bridgewater (Va.) College, 18 students and 2 staff members will spend spring break volunteering with Habitat’s Collegiate Challenge Spring Break 2013. The group, accompanied by college chaplain Robbie Miller and Stacie Horrell, assistant director of student activities, will leave for Sumter, S.C., on March 10 to work in partnership with the Sumter Habitat for Humanity helping to build several houses. To raise money for the trip, they held a chili cook-off and sponsored a faculty/staff car wash. This is the 21st year that Bridgewater College students have used spring break to work on various Habitat projects.
  • At McPherson (Kan.) College, a group of students is planning to serve for a week at a Brethren Disaster Ministries project site in Holton, Ind., in late March. Tom Hurst, director of Service for the college, is organizing the trip with help from Western Plains District.
Source: 3/8/2013 Newsline

On Earth peace at Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren

The Senior High Youth of Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren in Weyers Cave, Va., invite other youth groups to join them on March 17, 6:30-8 p.m., for an evening with Bill Scheurer, executive director of On Earth Peace. RSVP to by March 13.

Source: 3/8/2013 Newsline

Roundtable regional youth conference at Bridgewater (Va.) College

Roundtable regional youth conference at Bridgewater (Va.) College is scheduled for March 22-24. This event for senior high youth will feature worship, workshops, open mike night, and more. Cost is $50. The theme is “Transformed: Rebel with a Cause” with Marcus Harden as speaker. Entertainment will be by a cappella choirs from James Madison University. Register at

Source: 3/8/2013 Newsline

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2013 Spring IL/WI District Youth Retreat – The Book of Face; the Newest Testament

When:  April 19-21, 2013

Who: Everyone currently in 9th through 12th grades during the 2011-2012 school year. Friends and advisors are welcome.

Where: Rockford Church of the Brethren

Sessions: What does it mean to be a Christian youth in a social media world? What does the Bible say about how we communicate with each other?

Service Project:
The service project will include the opportunity to do some painting.

$40 for youth – no charge for advisors. Make checks payable to “Illinois/Wisconsin District Youth”

What to Bring:
Bible, Games, Sleeping Bag, Snacks to share, Towel, and Work clothes.

Registration Deadline: April 5th, 2013 {Click for Registration Form )

Monday, February 18, 2013

2014 National Youth Conference Theme

Breaking news from the National Youth Cabinet! The theme for National Youth Conference 2014 is “Called by Christ, blessed for the journey together,” based on Ephesians 4:1-6.

2013 Annual Conference Senior High Activities

Saturday, June 29—9:00 to 10:15 PM
Get ready to greet old friends and meet some new peeps! Bring your energy to play some four-square, make friendship bracelets, and participate in other, fun, get-to-know-you activities.

Sunday, June 30—11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
What a day! After worship it starts with bowling at Strike City Bowling followed by our group having a guided tour of the NFL Panthers Stadium! This facility seats over 73 thousand people and is an open-air, natural grass stadium.

Sunday, June 30—7:00 to 10:00 PM
For Sunday evening we'll groove at our own, private Mutual Kumquat concert! This talented band is made up of musicians that sing about peace, justice, and...squash!

Monday, July 1—8:30 AM to 4:45 PM
Following a time of devotions and games we'll hear from David Radcliff of New Community Project who will challenge us about our actions and the world around us. He will accompany us on our trip to the Trout Unlimited service project where we'll help with river clean up. WEAR OLD CLOTHES! We'll also hear from local officials on how they maintain the river, what laws there are for littering, and how they deal with companies dumping illegal waste. We'll grab a bag lunch then spend the afternoon at the nearby aquatic center for some swimming and water sports. Bring a one-piece/modest bathing suit!

Monday, July 1—9:00 to 10:15 PM
Do you like to travel, meet and help new people, and serve God at the same time? After worship we'll have a fun, interactive time learning about Brethren Volunteer Service and Workcamps from Emily Tyler.

Tuesday, July 2—8:30 AM to 4:45 PM
Hang out, get focused with devotions, play some games, then head to the NASCAR Hall of Fame for a tour and lunch. Lots to do there: race simulators to give you a race day experience (minus the danger!), iconic classic cars, a real-life pit crew challenge, and more. In the afternoon we'll from Brethren Colleges and Brethren Benefit Trust.

Tuesday, July 2—9:00 to 10:15 PM
And later after worship we'll kick back and sing with Virginia and David Meadows, music leaders from the 2010 National Youth Conference!

Registration Information:
  • All children participating in age-group activities must also be registered for Annual Conference.
  • A Medical/Permission form must be filled out for each child participating in age-group activities.
  • Register for Annual Conference and age-group activities at
Registration Fees:
  • Advance Registration
    • All days activities — $85.00
    • Sunday only — $45.00
    • Monday only — $25.00
    • Tuesday only — $40.00
  • Onsite Registration
    • All days activities — $100.00
    • Daily fees increase — $10.00/day.

2013 Annual Conference Junior High Activities

Saturday, June 29—9:00 to 10:15 PM
  • Connect with old friends!Meet up with friends from around the country from past conferences.
  • Make new friends!Find out who's new and make a new friend!
  • Converse—"Move in Our Midst"Discuss the conference theme and go over plans of all the fun stuff we'll do this week.
  • Group games!Get your game on!
Sunday, June 30—11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Carolina Panther's Stadium!
    We'll have a backstage pass to tour the stadium and check out the field of this NFL team.
  • Bowling at Strike City Lanes!
    We'll have lunch and bowl at this local spot. Show off your skills on the lanes!
Sunday, June 30—7:00 to 10:00 PM
  • Mutual Kumquat Concert!
    Join with the senior highs to hear one of Brethren youth's favorite bands in concert just for us. They mix a strong, positive message of love, peace, and social justice with an eclectic sound influenced by soul, pop, bluegrass, and world music. We're sure Christ will be present—even singing and dancing in our midst!
Monday, July 1—8:30 AM to 4:45 PM
  • New Community Project!We meet with David Radcliff to find out about how to incorporate sustainability in our lives, as well as service to creation and to others.
  • Service Project!We'll go down by the riverside in Charlotte to help with river clean up and meet with officials from the Rocky River chapter of Trout Unlimited. We'll learn about how pollution is having an impact on local watersheds. Their group is working all over the US to help conserve, protect, and restore North America's coldwater fisheries.
  • Swim!After all our hard work we'll cool down in a local pool. Bring your swimsuit!
Monday, July 1—9:00 to 10:15 PM
  • Service Information!In the evening we'll hear all about Brethren Volunteer Service, Brethren Disaster Ministries, and Church of the Brethren Workcamps. Emily Tyler will help us explore what it means to live a life of service and what our denomination offers.
Tuesday, July 2—8:30 AM to 4:45 PM
    Charlotte is the home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame (which is right across the street from the convention center!)  We'll have an opportunity to do fun activities like drive in a racing simulator, do a pit crew challenge, video games, call a race, and lots more!
  • Converse—COBCOA!
    Hear from the Church of the Brethren colleges as they do a fun, interactive presentation with lots of good stuff.
  • Money!
    The Brethren Benefit Trust will talk to us about how we can spend, give, and save our money in a faithful way.
Tuesday, July 2—9:00 to 10:15 PM
  • Music!
    In the evening we'll have music by Virginia and David Meadows, who led music at the National Youth Conference in 2010! We'll wrap up the week with closing reflections about how God has moved with us and what that means as we move forward into our summer.

Registration Information:
  • All children participating in age-group activities must also be registered for Annual Conference.
  • A Medical/Permission form must be filled out for each child participating in age-group activities.
  • Register for Annual Conference and age-group activities at
Registration Fees:
  • Advance Registration
    • All days activities — $85.00
    • Sunday only — $45.00
    • Monday only — $25.00
    • Tuesday only — $40.00
  • Onsite Registration
    • All days activities — $100.00
    • Daily fees increase — $10.00/day.

2013 Annual Conference Young Adult Activities

Saturday, June 29—9:00 PM
An evening with Mark Yaconelli! Join with other young adults to have a conversation with Mark before we hear him on Sunday. Bring your questions!

Sunday, June 30—10:00 PM
Game night! The Living Faith Church of the Brethren will be hosting us and bringing along some of their favorite games. Feel free to bring your own, as well. Dutch Blitz anyone?

Monday Morning, July 1—7:30 AM
Breakfast at Amelie's French Bakery Petite (buy your own). Amelie's was recommended to me several times as a must visit in Charlotte. We'll meet there for breakfast or coffee to get ready for the rest of the day. Bonus: Check out the cool video, recipes, and social media information on their website!

Monday Morning, July 1—10:30 AM to 12:00 Noon
Service Project at the Charlotte Rescue Mission.

Monday Evening, July 1—10:00 PM
An evening with On Earth Peace. Join us for an opportunity to pray for peace in our world, community, and homes. We'll explore scripture and learn something about engaging in the work of peace-building as we worship together.

Tuesday Morning, July 2—10:30 AM to 12:00 Noon
Service Project at the Charlotte Rescue Mission.

Tuesday Evening, July 2—9:30 PM
Fellowship and walk to Yoforia to enjoy their premium frozen yogurt with your choice of toppings (buy your own). You'll never know its not ice cream! We'll debrief Conference together during this time.

All events are free, unless otherwise noted.

Applications invited for seed grants for ecumenical young adult projects

The New Fire Task Force, in partnership with the Ecumenical Young Adult Ministries Team (EYAMT),invites and encourages young adults to apply for seed grants in the amount of up to $500 to support local ecumenical young adult-initiated projects.

The New Fire Network is a network of young adult Christians who are connecting and organizing young adult ecumenical leadership to re-invigorate and re-envision cooperative Christian community.

Through the Seed Grant Program, New Fire seeks to support ecumenical projects that connect young adult people to an experience of Christian unity in a concrete and meaningful way.

The New Fire Grant Program aims to break down divisions among those aged 18-35 years; renew the relationship between the church and young adults; and equip young adults to be agents of love, justice, and peace.

The Grant Program also intends to facilitate capacity-building opportunities for young adults in order to expand their knowledge and skills so that they can better serve the churches and the ecumenical movement. New Fire will give priority to projects that incorporate local, national, and regional cooperation and networking between young adults in the ecumenical movement in order to build community and solidarity.

Interested applicants can find a link to the application here, or should email for a copy of the application.

Applications are due no later than February 28, 2013, and can be submitted to the New Fire Task Force at .

Awards decisions will be announced by March 31, 2013. The coordinators of projects that are awarded a seed grant will be required to sign a covenant agreement, complete their proposed project and submit a written report to New Fire no later than June 30, 2013 to help with our end of year reporting.

FOR launches Young, Pacifist & Proud

FOR launches Young, Pacifist & ProudThis weekend, February 15 - 18, 2013, thirteen youth from across the nation will bring their vision, enthusiasm, skills, and stories to the first gathering of Young Pacifist and Proud – A Radical Interfaith Revisioning of the World.  Young , Pacifist and Proud (YPP) is a FOR initiative lead by Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Shauen Pearce, Aisha Nawab, and Marie Benner-Rhodes that will bring young people together to strengthen nonviolent, multi-faith, multi-cultural, and arts of resistance organizing. Together, the youth and facilitators will learn about the challenges and opportunities occurring in spiritual and faith-based communities working for economic, racial, gender, and environmental justice, and consider how to partner with each other in the creation of a better world.

FOR believes that our strongest resource for resisting and dismantling US militarism, climate change, and other forms of systemic violence is our youth. Our future rests with the creativity, wisdom, and passion of young activist organizers. YPP will provide an opportunity for young people from a wide range of communities to gather in a supportive environment that encourages creative collaboration and honors communal and faith-based resources.

Marie Rhoades, Kay Guyer & Jonathan Ulrich will be representing the Church of the Brethren at this exciting event.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Youth Peace Travel Team named for 2013.

2013 Youth Peace Travel TeamThe Church of the Brethren’s Youth Peace Travel Team for 2013 has been announced: Jacob Crouse, Heather Gentry, and Amanda McLearn-Montz.

Composed of Ministry Summer Service interns between the ages of 19 and 22, the team is sponsored by the church’s Outdoor Ministries Association, Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Advocacy and Peace Witness Ministry, and On Earth Peace. The group gives peace programs at a variety of camps and conferences over the summer including the Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren. The first Youth Peace Travel Team was formed in the summer of 1991, and since that year a team has been fielded every summer.

Jacob Crouse, from Warrensburg, Mo., is a member of Warrensburg Church of the Brethren and Missouri and Arkansas District. He is majoring in Music Technology and minoring in Spanish at the University of Central Missouri. “I've had the good fortune of attending many Brethren camps, conferences, and churches,” he writes in a personal bio prepared for the Youth and Young Adult Ministries office. “This summer, I will finally be able to visit some of them again and see new places while meeting many people and sharing with them a message of peace!”

Heather Gentry, from Hinton, Va., is a member of Mount Bethel Church of the Brethren and Shenandoah District and counts Brethren Woods as her “home camp.” She attends Bridgewater (Va.) College where she is studying Family and Consumer Sciences as well as Elementary and ESL Education. She write, “I look forward to seeing new camps, meeting new people, and seeing what God is doing and how we can be a part of it.”

Amanda McLearn-Montz, from Ankeny, Iowa, is a member of Panther Creek Church of the Brethren and Northern Plains District. Currently, she attends Tulane University in New Orleans, where she is majoring in Public Health, minoring in Spanish, and is a pre-med student. “I went to Camp Emmaus as a camper and served on Camp Pine Lake's summer staff last summer,” she write. “I can't wait to come back to camp and share my love of peace and God with teens and kids!”

As the team spends time with junior and senior high youth this summer at camps across the denomination, they will teach about peace, justice, and reconciliation, all core values throughout the Church of the Brethren’s 300-plus year history. Follow the ministry of the 2013 Youth Peace Travel Team by visiting

Source: 2/7/2013 Newsline

“Peace First Prize” for Youth Peacemakers

A “Peace First Prize” for youth peacemakers has been announced by the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and by Peace First, a new national nonprofit “that teaches peacemaking skills to young people and empowers them to become engaged leaders in their communities,” according to a release. Youth winners of the prize will be age 8-22 and will receive a $50,000 fellowship over two years to further their peacemaking work. Said Peace First co-founder and president Eric D. Dawson, “The Peace First Prize signals a new era of peacemaking--one where young people are finally recognized for their important contributions and solutions to injustices they see around them on a daily basis.” Peace First partner organizations include 4-H, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Girl Scouts, Teach for America, the American Association of School Administrators, and American Federation of Teachers, among others. Prize Fellows will be chosen and announced in September. For more information visit

Source: 2/7/2013 Newsline

Sunday, January 27, 2013

2013 Youth Peace Travel Team

On Earth Peace, along with the Church of the Brethren and Outdoor Ministries Association, has called the 2013 Youth Peace Travel Team! This year's members are Jacob Crouse, Heather Gentry, and Amanda McLearn-Montz.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Camp Eder Winter Retreat: Feb. 8-10

Camp Eder near Fairfield, Pa., offers a Winter Camp for children and youth on Feb. 8-10. The theme is “All Things New” (Genesis 1). Cost is $75. For more information go to

Source: 1/24/2013 Newsline

Camp Mack 2013 Events

Camp Mack near Milford, Ind., has released its 2013 events, retreats, and summer camps brochure. “God Makes All Things New” is the 2013 Camp Mack theme, taken from Isaiah 41:19.

“Check out the first events of the year,” invites the camp in a Facebook post. “Our first quilt retreat of the year is Feb. 14-17.” For more information go to

Source: 1/24/2013 Newsline

McPherson College Offers Prizes

McPherson (Kan.) College is offering more than $80,000 in prizes for Kansas high school entrepreneurs in its second “Jump Start Kansas” program. Every year, “Jump Start Kansas”--created and hosted by McPherson College--awards two grand-prize grants of $5,000 to a Kansas high school student or team of students who present the best entrepreneurial idea. One grant is given in the area of commercial entrepreneurship, and one for social entrepreneurship. The grants come with no stipulation that the high school students attend McPherson College, said a release. The grand prize winners may receive a $20,000 scholarship to McPherson College across four years. All students for the remaining eight finalist ideas will be offered a $4,000, four-year scholarship to attend the college. Students can enter with their ideas between now and Jan. 28 at .

Source: 1/24/2013 Newsline

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Applicants sought for Ministry Summer Service, Youth Peace Travel Team.

2010 Youth Peace Travel Team - jumping
Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
2010 Youth Peace Travel Team - jumping
The denomination’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry is seeking applicants for Ministry Summer Service and the 2013 Youth Peace Travel Team. Registration for both of these summer programs closes on Friday, Jan. 11. Go to for more about Ministry Summer Service. Go to for more on the Youth Peace Travel Team.

Ministry Summer Service

Ministry Summer Service (MSS) is a leadership development program for college students in the Church of the Brethren, who spend 10 weeks of the summer working in the church--either in a  congregation, district office, camp, Youth Peace Travel Team, or denominational program.

Through MSS, God calls congregations to reach out in the ministry of teaching and receiving new leadership, and God calls young adults to explore the possibility of church work as their vocation.

The MSS orientation dates for 2013 are May 31-June 5. Interns are required to spend one week at the orientation with the other interns, followed by nine weeks working in a church setting to develop leadership skills and to explore a call to ministry. Interns receive a $2,500 tuition grant, food and housing for 10 weeks, $100 per month spending money, transportation from orientation to their placement, transportation from their placement to home.

Congregations and other placement sites are expected to provide an atmosphere for learning, reflection, and development of leadership skills of the intern; a setting for intern to engage in ministry and service for a 10-week period; a stipend of $100 a month, plus room and board; transportation on the job and travel of the intern from orientation to the placement site; a structure for planning, developing, and implementing a ministry or service project in a variety of areas; financial resources and time for the pastor or another mentor to attend two days of orientation.

Mentors are expected to spend at least an hour a week with the intern in intentional supervision or mentoring, using materials shared during orientation or other ideas to develop their own model and style for doing mentoring or supervision; informally check in daily with the intern for questions, progress reports, and feedback; negotiate expectations for the number of hours the intern will work each week; prepare a written report; assist the placement site in creating a support network for the intern; communicate expectations and responsibilities to the intern and to the congregation or placement site; attend a two day orientation.

Four of the Church of the Brethren-related colleges and universities (Bridgewater, Elizabethtown, Manchester, and McPherson) provide $2,500 scholarship from the respective college for the first two interns from their institutions who participate in MSS, and the Ministry Summer Service program provides $2,500 per student for each young adult from other colleges.

For more information go to

Youth Peace Travel Team

The Youth Peace Travel Team, composed of Ministry Summer Service interns, is sponsored by the Church of the Brethren, On Earth Peace, and the Outdoor Ministries Association. The group gives peace programs at a variety of camps and conferences over the summer including the Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren.

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

College age Church of the Brethren young adults (19-22 years old) will be selected for the next team. Team members receive the same scholarship and benefits as other MSS interns.

Go to or for more information, contact the Youth and Young Adult Ministry office at 800-323-8039 ext. 385 or

Source: 1/10/2013 Newsline