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Newsline - Church of the Brethren weekly news update


From Church of the Brethren News Services
Date 16 Jul 1998 22:36:00

Date:      July 18, 1998
Contact:  Nevin Dulabaum
V:  847/742-5100   F:  847/742-6103
E-MAIL:   CoBNews@AOL.Com

Newsline                                     July 18, 1998

1) A record crowd will be on hand when National Youth Conference
     convenes July 28.
2) Association of Brethren Caregivers votes to eliminate
     individual and congregational memberships.
3) Joe Detrick has been called to serve as executive of Southern
     Pennsylvania District.
4) A new volunteer option for retired individuals or couples will
     be offered beginning next year by the General Board's
     Brethren Volunteer Service.
5) Mount Pleasant Church, Bremen, Ind., prepares to celebrate its
     150th anniversary.
6) "With" magazine is judged best youth magazine.
7) The summer issue of "People of God's Peace," complete with
     many resources, is available. 
8) A video on a recent Church World Service trip to Iraq is
     available for rent and copying.
9) The Church of the Brethren General Board is seeking a
     Volunteer Service Ministries coordinator of Orientation.
10) The Church of the Brethren Program Calendar has been
     discontinued.
11) The National Council of Churches joins a campaign to conquer
     cancer.
12) Juniata (Pa.) College joins a pre-pay tuition plan.
13) The Third Annual Southern Ohio Heritage Day Celebration will
     be held Sept. 5.
14) Thomas Kepple Jr. becomes Juniata College's 11th president.
15) Hallmark Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company invest $100
     million in the Odyssey Channel.
16) The 1998-1999 Brethren Press Resource Catalog is now
     available.
17) The Elizabethtown (Pa.) College chapter of Students in Free
     Enterprise is thrice recognized for excellence.
18) Remembered -- Morley Mays.
19) The Church of the Brethren urges the United States to sign
     the Kyoto Protocol to the Climate Convention.
20) The 1997 Annual Conference statement on child exploitation is
     available for $1.
21) Editor's note -- Newsline is becoming a twice-monthly
     publication.

1) When the largest Church of the Brethren conference of the year
convenes July 28 at Colorado State University in Fort Collins,
Colo., the only business on the agenda will be that of praising
God, serving others and being among other Brethren for five days.

This event, the second of three major denominational conferences
to be held this summer, is the quadrennial Church of the Brethren
National Youth Conference. This 12th edition of NYC will be the
largest yet -- about 4,500 are registered to attend.

"With eyes of faith," this year's theme, was inspired by the
scripture, "...for we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7).
The National Youth Cabinet wanted to focus youth toward
recognizing how their faith colors their view of the world. As
the explanation in the Conference packet reads, "We all need to
use our eyes of faith to see the world and all who live within
with compassion, humility and love."

Worship will be held twice daily through Aug. 1, and once on Aug.
2 prior to the conclusion of the conference. Evening speakers
include a number of well-known Brethren -- Debbie Eisenbise,
Milton Garcia, Paul Grout, Paul Mundey, David Radcliff and Judy
Mills Reimer. Also preaching during an evening worship service
will be Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and an
ordained minister.

Four worship offerings will be held, two to raise funds -- one
for the NYC scholarship fund and one to assist with a
youth-related ministry a handful of Brethren congregations
sponsor in Tijuana, Mexico (see May 1998 Messenger, page 20). Two
"item" offerings will be held -- one for canned goods to assist
hunger needs in the Fort Collins area, and one for eyeglasses
that will be sent to Central America.

In addition to worship, NYCers will have the opportunity to
attend devotions, and a daily early-morning Bible study taught by
Jim Myer, free minister and former Annual Conference moderator.

A secondary emphasis of this year's conference will be service to
others. Nearly 1,500 NYCers will participate in some form of
service project, either by helping to build the two Habitat for
Humanity houses that will be constructed during the week on a CSU
parking lot, or by working on one of the more than 30 social
service work projects that have been scheduled.

Activities will include various sports possibilities, from hiking
in the Rockies to playing in a volleyball tournament or
participating in Saturday's "Wacky Olympics." Entertainment will
include Jars of Clay, a Christian-oriented band that has broken
into the Top 40 charts; Ken Medema; and the popular Mennonite
comedy duo, Ted and Lee.

Lee Krahenbuhl of Skyridge Church of the Brethren, Kalamazoo,
Mich., composed and recorded this year's theme song.

(The text of the conference's Daily Journals and NYC Wrap-up will
be sent online. They also will be accessible at www.brethren.org.
In addition, picture updates to www.brethren.org will be made
several times daily, providing a virtual "scrapbook" of the
conference as events occur.)

2) Association of Brethren Caregivers is no longer an agency with
individual and congregational memberships. That action was part
of the first of two sets of bylaw revisions that ABC board
members approved during their annual meeting, June 30, in
Orlando. The other portion of the first set of revisions
formalized ABC's status as an independent agency, separate from
the General Board. 

The second revisions paved the way for ABC to become reportable
and accountable to the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference.
Later that week, Annual Conference delegates overwhelmingly
accepted ABC's request to become an official Annual Conference
agency.

"Even though ABC has been presented as a membership organization
for many years, it has functioned more broadly in service to the
Church of the Brethren," said Steve Mason, ABC executive
director. "The concept of membership never fully crystallized,
except that it identified the group ABC could actively cultivate
for support. Services available only for members have been
minimal, and the benefits of membership were unclear to members."

In March the ABC Board voted to approve the elimination of all
membership categories, except the organizational membership for
retirement communities, effective January 1999. According to Mary
Dulabaum, ABC's director of communications, a letter was
subsequently sent to ABC members explaining how these changes
were in the best interests of ABC, its supporters and the
denomination.

"Although members have voted themselves out of membership, they
won't lose their voice," said Mason. "ABC will continue to hold a
meeting annually for ABC supporters to find out about all of our
activities and, more importantly, for us to hear from them."

3) Joe Detrick, pastor of Codorus Church of the Brethren,
Loganville, Pa., has been called to serve as executive of
Southern Pennsylvania District, effective Oct. 1.

Detrick previously pastored Logansport (Ind.) Church of the
Brethren, and served on the General Board staff as orientation
director of Brethren Volunteer Service.

4) Retired Brethren will have a different way to volunteer within
the Church of the Brethren beginning early next year. Brethren
Volunteer Service is starting a seniors program that will call
for a minimum commitment of six months. Participating projects
will provide room and board and $45 per month in spending money.
Projects will provide job descriptions, opportunities and
supervision, and will acknowledge that assignments can be
modified depending on particular skills. Volunteers will be
retired individuals or couples, are expected to provide their own
transportation and insurance coverage, and transportation to and
from their project sites.

Volunteers will attend a 10-day orientation sometime next spring,
during which they will select their assignments. Unlike with
regular BVSers, however, seniors will be able to join their
projects within a few months of orientation, instead of
immediately.

For more information, contact the BVS office at 800 323-8039.

5) Mount Pleasant Church of the Brethren, Bremen, Ind., will
celebrate its 150th anniversary on July 26 with an event called
"A Great Cloud of Brethren Witnesses." Participants are
encouraged to attend as they are, as their favorite Brethren
historical person or as a representative of an area in which
Brethren have offered mission and service. Attendees will also
have the opportunity to participate in a Love Feast, a Brethren
tradition that includes communion and washing of feet as a symbol
of humility and servanthood. Mount Pleasant, the mother church of
Bremen, Camp Creek and Walnut congregations, will also hold a
special worship celebration on Aug. 9.

6) "With" magazine, the "official" magazine of Brethren youth
published by the General Conference Mennonite Church, was judged
the best Christian youth magazine for 1997 at this year's
Evangelical Press Association Convention, picking up the Award of
Excellence for Youth. For more information about "With," contact
Brethren Press at Brethren_Press_GB@Brethren.Org or at 800
323-8039.

7) The summer issue of "People of God's Peace," a resource for
Brethren peacemakers produced by the General Board's Brethren
Witness office, is available. In addition to many updates of
Brethren Witness initiatives, the newsletter describes a handful
of resources available to those interested  a directory of
thousands of products and services offered by environmentally
conscious companies; "Uprooted," a book that describes the plight
of the 50 million people worldwide who are homeless; "Child Labor
Monitor," a publication that contains articles and action alerts
about child labor throughout the world; "Vision '98," which
serves to organize the religious community against the death
penalty; "Overcoming a Legal Legacy," a nine-minute video on the
death penalty; "YAP International," a recent Rutgers University
study that estimates that 292,000 children were unlawfully
employed in the United States last year; and a newly revised
pamphlet that describes five steps of conscientious objection to
military taxes.

For more information, contact the Brethren Witness office at
dradcliff_gb@brethren.org or at 800 323-8039.

8) An 11 minute video on a recent Church World Service trip to
Iraq (see April 23 Newsline) is now available for renting and
copying. An accompanying study guide is included. Contact Church
World Service to rent a copy for $5 at 800 297-1516.

9) The Church of the Brethren General Board is seeking a
Volunteer Service Ministries coordinator of Orientation. This
full-time position, to be located at the General Offices in
Elgin, Ill., is responsible for developing and coordinating
orientation and training programs for Brethren Volunteer Service
and other VSM ministries, and for supervising the volunteer
application process. The position will be available after Oct.
15. For more information, contact Elsie Holderread at
eholderread_gb@brethren.org or 800 323-8039.

10) The Church of the Brethren Program Calendar, which has been
produced annually by Brethren Press, has been discontinued.
According to publisher Wendy McFadden, Brethren Press will
continue to publish the "Brethren Reminder" pocket calendar,
which will be produced in October and sent to pastors, chaplains,
district executives, home administrators, and college, seminary
and denominational staff. Others may purchase "Brethren Reminder"
for $2.50.  For more information, contact Brethren Press at
Brethren_Press_GB@Brethren.Org or at 800 441-3712.

11) Conquering cancer is a campaign that has been joined by the
National Council of Churches, of which the Church of the Brethren
is a member communion. This national campaign is intent on
ensuring that all people "have access to quality care," and to
press for increased funding for cancer research. This campaign
will conclude with a massive march in Washington, D.C., on Sept.
26. Several resources have been produced relating to the campaign
and the march. For more information, contact Judie Blanchard at
themarch@cansearch.org or 301 650-9130.

12) Juniata (Pa.) College, a church of the Brethren-affiliated
four-year liberal arts college, has announced it has joined 53
other colleges and universities in a prepay tuition plan. This
plan, which "Money" magazine in its July issue reportedly called
an "attractive twist" for higher education financing, cited
Juniata as an example of how the plan works.

"For example, a grandmother who wants to spring for a year at
Juniata ... (about $22,000 today) for a newborn child can do so
with just $11,000 or so. If that $22,000 annual tab at Juniata
has risen by five percent a year (which is the current college
rate of inflation), by the time the kid enrolls, Grandma will
effectively have earned a nine-percent return."

The new plan allows tuition payments to be made at any school in
the consortium. That number is expected to quickly rise to over
100 institutions.

13) The third annual Southern Ohio Heritage Day Celebration will
be held Sept. 5 at Camp Woodland Altars, Peebles, Ohio. A quilt
auction, storytelling, hymn singing and other events that lift up
Brethren heritage, will be included. Camping is available. Call
the camp at 800 213-1161.

14) Thomas Kepple Jr. became the 11th president of Juniata (Pa.)
College on July 1 when he succeeded Robert Neff. In the course of
discussing his agenda for the college, Kepple spoke at length
about the values of a liberal arts education, the evolution of
curriculum development, the benefits of strategic planning, the
measure of quality faculty and the importance of alumni
relations. Kepple was quickly initiated in the ways of the
Brethren, as he was scheduled to attend the Church of the
Brethren Annual Conference in Orlando later that week, including
the Juniata Alumni Luncheon.

15) Hallmark Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company have signed
a letter of intent to invest $100 million in the Odyssey Channel,
a faith and values cable television network based in New York.

"The Odyssey Channel will be greatly enhanced when it is
relaunched with programming from The Jim Henson Company and
Hallmark Entertainment," said Odyssey Channel officials in a June
29 statement. "Hallmark and Henson will make available
cable-exclusive airings of both original and existing programs
that feature the unique combination of high entertainment values
and meaningful content that have been the trademark of both
companies for the past several decades."

Odyssey currently reaches more than 30 million U.S. households.
The Church of the Brethren is one of about 60 organizations that
collectively will own 22.5 percent of the new company.

16) The 1998-1999 Brethren Press Resource Catalog is now
available. The materials presented in the catalog are intended to
"challenge users to embrace a practical faith." 

The four categories that offer a wide range of materials include
curriculum (for all ages); Brethren membership and identity
(various identity and membership materials, Brethren historical
and biographical publications, and Brethren cookbooks); topical
resources (abuse, congregational vitality, deacons and caring
ministries, devotional life and personal growth, family life,
health and wholeness, justice and social concerns, mission and
global awareness, peace, spanish-language materials, stewardship,
stewardship of the environment, and worship); and supplies
(Bibles and study resources, music, videos, Annual Conference
statements, pamphlets and packets, three-year reading course,
logo and gift items, church supplies and periodicals).

For more information, contact Brethren Press at
Brethren_Press_GB@Brethren.Org or at 800 441-3712.

17) The Elizabethtown (Pa.) College student chapter of Students
in Free Enterprise (SIFE) was recognized three times for
excellence when it competed in the 1998 International SIFE
exposition in Kansas City, Mo. The team entered the competition
as the Northeastern regional finalist, competing with 100
colleges and universities from the United States and several
foreign countries. 

Elizabethtown College was recognized as one of 10 winners of the
Success 2000 special competition, which is given to teams that
have "been effective in completing programs that reach out to the
economically disadvantaged." The team received a first runner-up
trophy and $1,000 in its division, which ranks Elizabethtown in
the top 20 of over 500 institutions that compete annually in SIFE
competitions. The team also placed second and received $2,000 in
the "AT&T Best Use of the Internet" competition for grades
kindergarten through high school. 

Elizabethtown College is a four-year liberal arts college that is
affiliated with the Church of the Brethren.

18) Morley Mays, former Church of the Brethren Annual Conference
moderator who served for 11 years as president of Elizabethtown
(Pa.) College and three stints as acting president at Juniata
College, Huntingdon, Pa., recently passed away in Lancaster, Pa.,
after a six-month illness.

Mays was a 1932 Juniata graduate. He became Juniata's first vice
president for academic affairs in 1963, where he stayed until
taking Elizabethtown College's top post in 1966. In 1977 he
became interim president of Albright College. He retired in 1983
after serving five years on Albright's development staff.

Earlier in his career Mays served as professor of philosophy and
as academic dean at Juniata. He served as an assistant instructor
of philosophy at University of Virginia, as associate professor
of English and department chair at Bridgewater (Va.) College, and
as assistant instructor of English at University College, the
University of Chicago. He also was a founder and chair of
Brethren Colleges Abroad.

Mays served as Church of the Brethren moderator at the 1969
Annual Conference in Louisville.

19) Judy Mills Reimber, the newly installed executive director of
the Church of the Brethren General Board, has joined other heads
of communions is urging President Clinton to sign the Kyoto
Protocol to the Climate Convention. The Kyoto treaty calls for
industrial nations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, with
the United States cutting 1990 levels by seven percent over the
next 10 to 15 years. Last year, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions
were about 10 percent higher than 1990, said David Radcliff,
director of the General Board's Brethren Witness office.

"With five tons of carbon dioxide emissions per person per year
in the United States, our nation has the moral responsibility to
take the lead in curtailing activities that threaten the
creation," Radcliff said. "Many scientists predict that the
cycles of floods, fires and other natural disasters that we've
seen of late will become standard fare in the future, unless we
can reverse the process of global warming."

While noting their encouragement at the Clinton Administration's
public comments concerning climate change, the letter signers
stated, "Leadership from the United States is crucial for global
efforts on climate change to be successful. Simply put, we
believe that the earth is the Lord's and that we as God's
stewards must care for its well-being."

A Beat the Heat packet to assist congregations in taking steps to
combat global warming is available from the Brethren Witness
office. Contact Radcliff at dradcliff_gb@brethren.org or 800
323-8039 for more information.

20) The "Statement on Child Exploitation," adopted by the 1997
Annual Conference, has been published by the Church of the
Brethren General Board's Brethren Witness office. The paper was
the result of two years' work by a committee of youth selected
from the 1995 Church of the Brethren Christian Citizenship
Seminar, where the concern over the issue of child exploitation
emerged. The paper provides an overview of the economic and
social pressures that create the conditions for child labor, and
suggests ways to remedy these conditions, which affect an
estimated 250 million of the world's children.

The paper is laid out in a nontraditional format and includes
photos. An companion study guide is available from the Brethren
Witness office; statements are available from Brethren Press for
$1. For more information, contact David Radcliff at
dradcliff_gb@brethren.org or 800 323-8039.

21) Editor's note -- Although I have resisted this move for a
year, effective immediately Newsline will become a twice-monthly
publication, being produced on the first and third Thursdays of
each month (and on fifth Thursdays when they occur). Special
editions will continue to be produced as content warrants.

As a former reporter for a daily newspaper, my desire is always
to get the news out as quickly as possible. But the amount of
time taken to produce Newsline each week must be weighed against
denominational stories that have gone unreported due to
inadequate time for research and development. It also needs to be
balanced with the need for additional news and resources to be
placed on www.brethren.org.

Thus, this "experiment" will continue throughout the year; in
December I'll send out a survey seeking feedback on this change
so that it can be evaluated. In the meantime, I appreciate your
continued support of Newsline. Over 250 people and counting
responded to my query asking if all Annual Conference sermons and
Newslines sent had been received. (The majority of respondents
received everything that was sent; people who are missing
something can obtain it from www.brethren.org.) Thanks for your
interest in Church of the Brethren news.

Nevin Dulabaum
Newsline editor

Newsline is produced by Nevin Dulabaum, manager of the General
Board's News Services. Newsline stories may be reprinted provided
that Newsline is cited as the source and the publication date is
included.

To receive Newsline by e-mail or fax, call 800 323-8039, ext.
263, or write CoBNews@AOL.Com. Newsline is available at
www.brethren.org and is archived with an index at
http://www.wfn.org.


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