Thursday, February 26, 2015

Youth ministry webinar series continues with focus on ‘Life and Time’

The third webinar in a series on Christian practices for teens, offered for adult leaders of youth, will be on the topic “Life and Time.” Emily Tyler, coordinator of workcamps and volunteer recruitment for the Church of the Brethren, will be leading the webinar which takes place the evening of Tuesday, March 3, at 8 p.m. (eastern time).

This is one in a series of webinars offered jointly by staff of the Church of the Brethren, Bethany Theological Seminary, and On Earth Peace. These staff are teaming up to provide informational and educational webinars geared to pastors, parents, and anyone who works with youth, primarily within the Church of the Brethren.

This series takes the form of a book study of “Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens” edited by Dorothy C. Bass and Don C. Richter, and will offer reflections on a few selected chapters of the book. While having a copy of the book is helpful, it is not required. The book may be purchased through Brethren Press at or by calling 800-441-3712.

Both a telephone and a computer are required to join the webinar. To join the video portion, go to and enter the phone number and access code given below (the technology used for this webinar works best with non-mobile devices). After joining the video portion, participants will need to join the audio portion by dialing 877-204-3718 or 303-223-9908. The access code is 8946766.

For those of you who wish to view the web portion via an iPad, download the link from the iTunes store (Level 3), and have the conference telephone number and access code available to enter. You will still need to join the audio portion with the Audio Login credentials. The name of the app is Level 3.

The final webinar in the series is planned for May 5, at 8 p.m. (eastern), on the topic “Forgiveness and Justice” led by Marie Benner-Rhoades of the On Earth Peace staff.

Ordained ministers may earn .1 continuing education credit for participating in the real-time event. To request continuing education credit, prior to the webinar contact Bekah Houff, coordinator of Outreach Programs at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., at

Source: 2/25/2015 Newsline

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

ENGAGE to welcome prospective students to Bethany Seminary

By Jenny Williams

Campus visit days are well-established events at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., eliciting appreciation from attendees for the information and hospitality they receive. The spring 2015 ENGAGE visit day, to be held Friday, March 27, will again offer prospective seminary students as much of the Bethany experience as possible in a day’s time.

Faculty, current students, and staff will be involved in leadership. A morning presentation, “Living Words, Living People: Creative Ways of Presenting Scripture in Worship,” will be led by Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm, Brightbill Professor of Preaching and Worship. “This session will explore new ways to read, recite, and perform scripture in worship--and help us understand scripture as a living text that seeks to engage us today. We’ll look and listen to scripture anew, in ways that call forth the best of our energy and imagination.”

Attendees will learn about Bethany’s newly revised curriculum and its many options from Steve Schweitzer, academic dean. Over lunch, a presentation on the changing landscape of ministry will be led by Scott Holland, Slabaugh Professor of Theology and Culture, and Tara Hornbacker, professor of ministry formation, missional leadership, and evangelism.

To convey the student experience, a student panel discussion will be held via Bethany’s new technology classroom, demonstrating how Bethany allows for distance students to participate in classroom events in real time. Kristy Shellenberger, an MA student, will lead joint worship for the Bethany and Earlham School of Religion communities, and students will also give tours of the Earlham College campus.

Information on the financial investment of seminary education will include the amenities of the emerging Bethany Neighborhood in addition to financial aid and other considerations presented by Brian Schleeper, student services associate. Courtney Hess, grant project director, will speak to the research and programming being undertaken to address student debt and ongoing stewardship, of which the housing and community opportunities of the Neighborhood are a part. Students who have already applied also will be able to meet with faculty.

Bethany will cover lodging expenses and two meals for ENGAGE guests. For more information and to register, visit or call 800-287-8822.

On Saturday, all are invited to stay for the Willson Lectures at Earlham School of Religion, presented by renowned writer and speaker Diana Butler Bass on the topic, “Finding the Spirit of God in the Spirit of the World.” The event is free; breakfast and lunch will cost $25, and registration is required. For more information go to

-- Jenny Williams is director of communications and alumni/ae relations for Bethany Theological Seminary.

Source: 2/25/2015 Newsline

National Youth Cabinet Meeting

National Youth Cabinet for 2015-16
Shown above from left: Digby Strogen, Pacific Southwest District; Olivia Russell, Pacific Northest District; Krystal Bellis, Northern Plains District; Alexa Harshbarger, Northern Indiana District; Yeysi Diaz, Southern Ohio District; Emily Van Pelt, advisor, Virlina District; Jeremy Hardy, Mid-Atlantic District; Glenn Bollinger, advisor, Shenandoah District. Becky Ullom Naugle met with the cabinet in her role as director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.
The National Youth Cabinet met Feb. 20-22 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., to select the theme for National Youth Sunday 2015. The cabinet selected Romans 8:28-39 as scripture focus for the theme “Always Loved, Never Alone.” Congregations are invited to celebrate the worship leadership gifts of their youth by participating in National Youth Sunday on May 3. Worship resources will be posted at on April 1.

Source: 2/25/2015 Newsline

McPherson Regional Youth Conference - March 6-8

“Keep Calm and Be a Dunker Punk” is the theme for Regional Youth Conference at McPherson (Kan.) College on March 6-8. The event is for senior high youth and advisors. The theme scripture is from Isaiah 1:17: “Say no to wrong. Learn to do good. Work for justice. Help the down-and-out. Stand up for the homeless. Go to bat for the defenseless” (The Message). The conference will feature leadership by David Radcliff of the New Community Project, and performances by Mutual Kumquat and Ted and Co. The fee for youth to attend is $65. Special pricing is available for college students willing to volunteer part of their time to assist with the weekend. For more information and online registration go to For questions contact Jen Jensen, McPherson College director of Spiritual Life, or 620-242-0503.
The public is invited to performances by Mutual Kumquat and Ted and Co. in McPherson, Kan., as part of the Regional Youth Conference. Ted and Co. will present “Laughter Is Sacred Space” in Brown Auditorium at McPherson College at 12 noon on March 6, and “The Big Story” at 1 p.m. on March 7 at McPherson Church of the Brethren. Mutual Kumquat, a band rooted in the Church of the Brethren, and billed as “obviously the best band ever,” will perform at the McPherson Church at 9 p.m. on March 7. “All are welcome to attend these events!” said an invitation from the church.

Source: 2/25/2015 Newsline

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Youth Peace Travel Team is named for 2015

By Becky Ullom Naugle 

The 2015 Youth Peace Travel Team has been announced. The team is cooperatively sponsored by the Outdoor Ministries Association, On Earth Peace, Bethany Theological Seminary, and the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Public Witness and Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office.

The four team members for 2015 are:
  • Annika Harley of Madison (Wis.) Mennonite Church
  • Michael Himlie of Root River Church of the Brethren in Northern Plains District
  • Brianna Wenger of Woodbridge Church of the Brethren in Mid-Atlantic District
  • Kerrick van Asselt of McPherson Church of the Brethren in Western Plains District.
As the team spends time with 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 2015 Youth Peace Travel Team by visiting

-- Becky Ullom Naugle is director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Church of the Brethren.

Source: 02/03/2015 Newsline

Romans 12 provides theme for National Junior High Conference

National Junior High Conference will be held June 19-21 on the campus of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. The conference will invite youth and their advisors to consider Romans 12:1-2. The theme, “Living the Change: Our Offering to God,” asks participants to consider taking their everyday, ordinary life--our sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life--and place it before God as an offering.

As junior high youth encounter a number of changes in their lives, the conference will encourage them to live the changes in ways pleasing to God. The event will be enriched by worship speakers Lauren Seganos, Steve Schweitzer, Amy Gall-Ritchey, and Eric Bishop. Seth Hendricks will be coordinating music, and worship will be coordinated by Rebekah Houff and Trent Smith.

In addition to four celebrations of worship, there will be time for learning during workshops and time for play during recreation and evening activities.

Online registration is open at Register now to take advantage of early bird rates! Through March 31, the cost is $160 per person. After March 31, the cost for regular registration is $185 per person. Travel scholarships are available to those who live west of the Mississippi River.

For more information and to register, visit or call 847-429-4389. National Junior High Conference is sponsored by the Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Office.

-- Becky Ullom Naugle is director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Church of the Brethren.

Source: 02/03/2015 Newsline

Bridgewater Roundtable - March 20-22

Roundtable, a Church of the Brethren regional youth conference, takes place at Bridgewater (Va.) College on March 20-22. The theme, “Follower and Friend: Our Relationship with God,” is inspired by John 15:12-17. The speaker will be Carol Elmore, minister of youth and music at Oak Grove Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va. Friday night entertainment will feature Jessica Crawford, a Christian recording artist and former member of the youth group at Bridgewater Church of the Brethren. The event also includes small groups, workshops, a variety show, singing, vespers, recreation, and more. Participants will stay on the college campus for the weekend and eat their meals in the dining hall. Estimated cost is $50 per participant. The event is for high school age youth and adult advisors. Information is being posted, with registration opening soon, at For questions e-mail

Source: 2/3/2015 Newsline