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