From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Newsline - Church of the Brethren weekly news update
Church of the Brethren News Services
18 Feb 1999 11:57:50
Date: Feb. 18, 1998
Contact: Nevin Dulabaum
V: 847/742-5100 F: 847/742-6103
Newsline Feb. 18, 1999
1) Business items for the 1999 Annual Conference are announced.
2) "Caregiving" is the title of Association of Brethren Caregivers'
new quarterly publication.
3) Seventeen people are trained in Brethren Volunteer Service
4) The Deacon Ministry Tour, which spanned eight months, concludes
5) General Board and district staff convene in Wisconsin to seek
6) Greg Laszakovits begins a one-year special volunteer assignment
7) Church bells will toll March 1 to celebrate the beginning of a
treaty against land mines.
8) Dale Brown leads the 81st Bible conference at Sebring (Flor.)
Church of the Brethren.
9) Spring Creek Church of the Brethren, Hershey, Pa., will be
featured in March in a national, syndicated television
10) Western Pennsylvania District to establish a Lafiya Ministry
11) Outdoor Ministry Association holds its yearly
professional/personal growth event.
13) Mary Cline Detrick is called as associate executive of
14) Terry Houff joins Bridgewater College staff as information
15) Gayle Younkins has joined the Bridgewater (Va.) Retirement
Community as chaplain.
16) The search for a part-time Area 5 Congregational Life Team
member is extended.
17) Southern Ohio District extends its executive search.
18) A contract editor is sought for "Second Mile," an initiative in
19) Juniata College's Brethren Student Fellowship to host a
Brethren Heritage Week.
20) A tiered registration plan is offered for Caring Ministries
21) A graduate intensive seminar will be offered in conjunction
with Caring Ministries 2000.
22) A weekend retreat for families with gay and lesbian members
will be held April 23-25.
23) Art Gish, Church of the Brethren member, files a report from
his assignment with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron, West
24) Follow-up: Happenings within the Church of the Brethren
25) Follow-up: Unique offerings during Bethany Seminary's January
1) Business items for the 1999 Annual Conference, scheduled for
June 29 - July 4 in Milwaukee, have been released. The unusually
light agenda includes three new and four unfinished business items.
New business will include a query on litigation, which comes from
Western Plains District; a ministerial leadership statement from
the General Board, provided the statement is approved by the Board
in March; and a proposal from Annual Conference Standing Committee
that Standing Committee terms be lengthened.
Unfinished business items will include a statement on unfunded
mandates. This paper was approved in theory by Annual Conference
delegates in 1998, but was returned to Standing Committee for
modification to include all of the official Annual Conference
agencies, not just the General Board. Progress reports on the three
other unfinished business items will be given -- Caring for the
Poor, Congregational Structure, and Review of the Process for
Calling Denominational Leadership.
2) "Caregiving" is the title of Association of Brethren Caregivers'
new quarterly publication, which is dedicated to providing
information about caring ministries to the Church of the Brethren.
Complimentary copies were mailed today to Brethren pastors, deacon
chairs, and other leaders.
This first issue focuses on "Health and the Church in the 21st
Century" and features four Brethren writers who discuss the roles
the church and health care will play in the new millennium. In
addition to features, each issue of the 16-page publication will
include a news and resources section and briefs about ABC's nine
Caregiving replaces three of ABC's former newsletters -- Older
Adults Ministries, Caregiver, and Update. "By combining the
newsletters into a comprehensive publication, groups such as
deacons, older adults, and others involved in caring ministries
will see how their initiatives and information relate to each
other," said Mary Dulabaum, director of communications.
Future issues of Caregiving will be available by subscription,
$10/year. Congregations willing to administer a subscription
program within their church can subscribe for $4/person/year.
Contact ABC at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 800 323-8039.
3) Seventeen Brethren Volunteer Service workers completed their
three-week orientation Feb. 5 as members of Orientation Unit 232.
This group, which trained near Orlando at Camp Ithiel, included
nine Brethren, four Germans, and five older adults.
The trainees participated in sessions dealing with farm worker
issues, conflict resolution, AIDS awareness, racism, the death
penalty, and nonviolent action. They spent two days picking fruit
with farm workers, worked on a Habitat for Humanity project in
Sebring, and made visits to Sebring Church of the Brethren, the
Palm Estates of Highland County, and Eglise des Freres Haitiens,
the Miami Haitian Church of the Brethren.
Three of the new BVSers are headed to Germany, Northern Ireland,
and Poland. Two older volunteers, Allan and Vercey Smyth, are
headed for the World Friendship Center in Hiroshima, Japan, Vercey
Smith for her second tour in BVS -- she also was in Unit 22. She is
a long-time Church of the Brethren member; Allan is a Presbyterian
Other Brethren from Unit 232, their hometowns, and their
assignments, are --
* Jennifer Alwine of Lebanon, Pa., Camp Courageous in
* Jennifer Graber of Hartville, Ohio, Camp Courageous in
* Paul Chapman of Roanoke, Va., Camp Harmony, Hooversville,
* Michelle Horner of Springfield, Colo., Gould Farm, Monterey,
* Sarah Koeman of Grand Junction, Colo., Casa del Pueblo,
* Lori List of Beaverton, Mich., Girls Incorporated, Richmond,
* Tracy Stoddart of Grand Junction, Colo., SOA Watch,
* Eric Thompson of Springfield, Ore., General Board
Information Services, Elgin, Ill.
The unit's group photo is posted at
4) Three Church of the Brethren congregations in Puerto Rico will
host deacon workshops Feb. 26-28, marking the end of the
Association of Brethren Caregiver's nationwide Denominational
Deacon Ministry Tour that began last May.
June Gibble, Denominational Deacon Ministry staff, and Carol
Yeazell, executive of Atlantic Southeast District, will lead the
workshops at congregations in Villa Prades, Vega Baja, and
Castaner. A Spanish translation of the 1997 Annual Conference
Statement for Deacon Ministry in the Church of the Brethren was
created for use during these workshops. It also is available to
other Spanish-speaking congregations.
The completion of these workshops in Puerto Rico will bring the
total number of deacon workshops presented to 55. The majority of
the tour was completed last fall by June and Jay Gibble. The
Gibbles traveled to 22 districts and presented the workshops with
local assistance to more than 3,600 people. During that time, more
than 3,400 copies of the Deacon Manual for Caring Ministries were
5) Collaborative opportunities across organizational lines between
Church of the Brethren General Board staff and district executives
was the focus of this year's staff consultation, an event mandated
by Annual Conference and held nearly every year near Lake Geneva,
This year's consultation was attended by most of the General
Board's salaried staff and many executives and associate executives
of the 23 Church of the Brethren districts. Two days of discussion
and brainstorming resulted in the creation of these collaborative
* communications systems for input, feedback, dissemination,
* major joint events.
* technology integration, diffusion, utilization.
* shared prayer, prayer support, prayer infusion.
* centralized fundraising and matching needs/resources.
* mentorship support and covenants.
* interagency/congregational stewardship education/training.
* structure, organizing, defining roles, sharing vision.
Consultation leader Michael Winer directed the General Board's
Leadership Team and the Council of District Executives to each
select staff responsible for ensuring that these possibilities
won't be forgotten. Randy Yoder, Middle Pennsylvania District
executive, was appointed convener. Other CODE representatives are
Connie Burkholder, Northern Plains District executive; and Georgia
Markey, Southern Pennsylvania District associate executive.
Representing the General Board are Allen Hansell, director of
Ministry; Wendy McFadden, publisher/director of Brethren Press; and
David Radcliff, director of Brethren Witness.
Pictures from the consultation have been posted at
6) Greg Laszakovits joined the General Board's Brethren Witness
Office earlier this month to coordinate a special one-year project
on racism education and awareness. Laszakovits will lead workshops
and retreats, compile a list of study/action resources, participate
in denominational and local youth events, and help plan
relationship-building opportunities between congregations of
different ethnic and racial backgrounds.
"We are under no illusions that Greg's work will come close to
solving our problems in this area," said Brethren Witness director
David Radcliff. "But we do hope to help the church think about
these dynamics on every level of our life together. Perhaps we can
begin to move toward a greater sense of Christian community across
all the lines that divide us."
Licensed into the ministry in 1996 at Phoenix First Church of the
Brethren, Laszakovits will graduate from Bethany Theological
Seminary in May with a Peace Studies emphasis.
Contact Laszakovits at email@example.com or at 800
7) Church bells will toll throughout the country on March 1 to
celebrate the official implementation of the Ottawa Land Mine
Treaty. The celebration will be bittersweet for treaty supporters
as the United States government has yet to join the majority of
nations worldwide that have signed the document. Millions of
uncleared land mines lie dormant in up to 70 countries, killing or
maiming 24,000 people each year.
The recommended time for churches to ring their bells is noon local
time. Churches wishing to participate should contact Gina Cummings
at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617 695-0041 or Marissa Vitagliano at
email@example.com or 202 483-9222.
Church of the Brethren congregations that participate in this
symbolic gesture are encouraged to contact Newsline so that a
listing can be printed in an upcoming issue.
8) Dale Brown, retired Bethany Theological Seminary professor, led
the 81st annual Bible conference at Sebring (Flor.) Church of the
Brethren Jan. 24-31; 356 people attended.
The week-long event included morning Bible study sessions and
evening sermons by Brown, who spoke on a variety of
Brethren-related topics, concluding with "Hope and End Times" on
Sunday morning. Several special alumni banquets were also held
during the week for graduates of Manchester and McPherson colleges
and Bethany Theological Seminary. A Saturday morning pancake
breakfast was attended by 200.
9) The Spring Creek Church of the Brethren, Hershey, Pa., on March
6 will be featured by the U.S. Farm Report, a syndicated report
that will air on television stations nationwide as part a "Country
Church Salute." Spring Creek's 150th anniversary will be
Nationwide, the program will air on WGN-Channel 9, the cable tv
superstation, from 7 to 7:30 a.m. Central Time. It also will be
seen on more than 180 independent television stations throughout
the United States, either on March 6 or 7. Consult your local
listings. Stations airing the full hour of the Farm Report will
show the church salute during the first 30 minutes.
In the Hershey, Pa., region, the report will air between 6 and 6:30
a.m. March 6 on WLYH TV.
10) Eight members of Western Pennsylvania District will meet Feb.
26-27 with a representative from Association of Brethren Caregivers
to establish a Lafiya Ministry Committee. This committee will be
used to promote ABC's whole-person health ministry among the
district's congregations. "Any district wanting to establish and
promote Lafiya ministry should contact ABC as a resource for
developing leadership and interpretation materials," said Scott
Douglas, director of resources for ABC.
An ABC ministry since 1990, Lafiya: A Whole-Person Health Ministry
is patterned after the Nigerian community health model that
embraces the body, mind, emotion, and spirit. It encourages
personal wellness through local health resources, small-group
ministry support, and a whole-person health awareness. Contact
Douglas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800 323-8039.
11) The Outdoor Ministries Association of the Church of the
Brethren convened Nov. 19-23 for its annual growth event. This
year's gathering was held at Camp Ithiel in Gotha, Flor., and was
attended by about 25. Dubbed a "Director's and Manager's Retreat,"
this event provides professional and personal growth experiences
for staff or representatives from the denomination's 33 camps,
including their families.
One professional growth session featured Jerry Eller, a school
guidance counselor in Florida who spoke about conflict and violence
in school-age children. Eller is a member of New Covenant Church of
the Brethren, Gotha. A second session featured a panel discussion
by camp directors Rex Miller (Shepherd's Spring, Sharpsburg, Md.),
Marlin Houff (Camp Swatara, Bethel, Pa.), and Dean Wenger (Camp
Blue Diamond, Petersburg, Pa.) on their training with
not-for-profit fund raising. Other activities included
storytelling, a camp fire, a look at Florida's wetlands, a visit to
Cape Canaveral, worship, and athletics.
12) Correction. Brethren Volunteer Service's Older Adult Unit
orientation will take place on May 4-14. The Feb. 5 Newsline
incorrectly cited March 4-14 as the dates.
13) Mary Cline Detrick has been called as associate executive of
Mid-Atlantic District, effective March 1. She is ordained in the
Church of the Brethren and served on the General Board staff from
1974 to 1983. For the past 14 years she worked for Church Women
14) Terry Houff, member of Oakton Church of the Brethren, Vienna,
Va., on Monday will join the Bridgewater (Va.) College staff as
information technology director. Houff has been at RMS Information
Systems where he supervised 240 employees and a $100 million
contract with the Federal Aviation Administration. He succeeds Ted
Flory, a Church of the Brethren member who resigned in January to
work as a software designer. Houff, a noted musician, has performed
at various events, including Annual Conference.
15) Gayle Younkins on Feb. 1 joined the Bridgewater (Va.)
Retirement Community as chaplain. Younkins, who has served as a
Church of the Brethren pastor for 18 years, most recently served as
interim pastor of Indiana (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. His new
duties include coordinating visitation, vespers, and Sunday evening
16) An extended search for a half-time Area 5 Congregational Life
Team member has been announced. Area 5 of this Church of the
Brethren General Board portfolio includes Pacific Southwest,
Oregon/Washington, and Idaho districts. Application deadline is
April 8. Contact Elsie Holderread at email@example.com or
at 800 323-8039.
17) The Church of the Brethren Southern Ohio District has extended
its search for a full-time executive. Application deadline is March
31. Contact Nancy Knepper at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 800
18) A contract editor is being sought for "Second Mile," a new
initiative in peace education and action designed by Church of the
Brethren and Mennonite representatives to help congregations with
their peace witness. Applicants should have background in
Anabaptist peace theology, familiarity with Anabaptist
constituencies, expertise in writing and editing curriculum, and
experience in organizing and leading projects. Application requests
are due by March 15. Contact Doug Krehbiel at email@example.com or at
19) The Brethren student Fellowship at Juniata College, Huntingdon,
Pa., is planning a first-ever Brethren Heritage Week, March 20-27.
A "lock-in" for students from Juniata, Elizabethtown (Pa.), and
Bridgewater (Va.) colleges will be held March 19-21 at Stone Church
of the Brethren, Huntingdon. David Radcliff, director of Brethren
Witness for the Church of the Brethren General Board, will lead
workshops on social justice and peace and conflict and will preach
at the March 21 worship service.
Other events, all to be held on campus, include the sale of SERRV
International items on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Earl
Stovall, pastor of Enterprise (Pa.) Church of the Brethren on
Wednesday night will address Brethren identity and the Love Feast.
A panel discussion on Women in Ministry with Stovall, Kate Spire,
Dottie Steele, Jill Loomis, and Jerriann Wenger is scheduled for
Thursday night. A Coffee House is scheduled for Friday night, and
the Juniata College concert choir will perform Saturday evening.
All Brethren are invited to attend. Contact Brandy Fix at
firstname.lastname@example.org or at 814 641-9486.
20) A tiered registration fee schedule for Caring Ministries 2000,
scheduled for June 1-4 at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, has been
announced by Association of Brethren Caregivers.
Cost for "Early bird" registrants, those who sign up by March 15,
will be $130 for the conference and $40 for the post-conference
workshop. Cost for people who register "On Time", from March 16
through May 15, will be $155/$50. "On Site" registration will be
Brochures were sent to each Church of the Brethren congregation in
January and again in the March Source mailing. Contact ABC at
email@example.com or at 800 323-8039.
21) A graduate intensive seminar on ministry studies will be
offered June 7-9 for Bethany Theological Seminary credit in
conjunction with Caring Ministries 2000. The course will be held at
Elizabethtown College through Bethany's Susquehanna Valley
Led by Warren Eshbach, participants will look at how the biblical
and theological concepts of caring are practiced in their lives and
through their faith. Attendees must participate in Caring
Ministries 2000, attend the post-Caring Ministries 2000 workshop
led by Robert Raines and attend all of the seminar's classes, and
complete all reading assignments. Cost is $630 plus conference
registration, housing, meals, and books. Contact Bethany at 765
22) "God at Work in Our Families," is scheduled for April 23-25
near Toronto. The retreat, which will feature Vern Rempel, a jazz
pianist and pastor of First Mennonite Church of Denver, is being
planned by and for families with gay and lesbian members, in
cooperation with Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian & Gay
Concerns. The event "is intended to be a safe, relaxing time to
share our common concerns regarding homosexuality as it affects our
families and our churches." Cost is $35 plus lodging. For more
information, write firstname.lastname@example.org or call 219 294-3868.
23) Art Gish, a Church of the Brethren organic gardener from
Athens, Ohio, is in the West Bank for his third tour of duty with
Christian Peacemaker Teams. According to Gene Stoltzfus, CPT
director, Gish's entire life "has been an experiment in nonviolence
and a courageous attempt at relating Christian discipleship and
peacemaking as it has grown out of his Brethren faith and Bible
study to the world in which we live." Gish recently filed this
I am now in Hebron with other CPT representatives primarily to
oppose the demolition of Palestinian homes by the Israeli military.
In addition to being ready to do civil disobedience when
demolitions are occurring, we have started the Campaign for Secure
Dwellings (CSD), a program that pairs Palestinian families who have
demolition orders on their homes with churches, synagogues, and
mosques in North America. These congregations are committed to
corresponding with and praying for their Palestinian families, and
to putting pressure on governments to stop home demolitions. There
are over 2,000 Palestinian homes in the West Bank that have
demolition orders; we have now established 50 pairs.
A major part of our work is visiting these targeted families,
writing up family profiles to send to congregations, and making
regular follow-up visits. I have begun making these visits -- what
a gracious people they are, in spite of their severe oppression.
Our campaign is closely linked with the Israeli Campaign Against
House Demolitions (ICAHD), a group of Israelis working at building
opposition in Israel to home demolitions and relating to
Palestinian families who have lost their homes. This sometimes
includes illegal assistance by ICAHD in order to help Palestinians.
On Feb. 1, I went to a demonstration organized by ICAHD in front of
the National Police Headquarters in Jerusalem. The week before, the
Israeli military demolished a Palestinian home in a village just
outside Jerusalem. People of the village protested the demolition
and the Israeli soldiers shot and killed Zaki Ubaied, a young
father, with three rubber bullets to the head and neck.
After the police headquarters vigil, we went to the village,
entering in a procession. I carried a large picture of Zaki. There
were about l00 of us. We went to the home of Zaki's family and
greeted his wife and parents. Then huddled together in the large
living room, the Palestinians expressed their feelings of
oppression to the Israeli peace activists. The Israelis listened,
then expressed their sorrow and asked for forgiveness.
The event was too profound for words -- Jews, Muslims, and
Christians standing together, opposing oppression, and seeking
reconciliation. This was a true sign of peace. Issawiyeh, the
village name, means the place of Jesus. Tradition says Jesus
stopped here. I sensed he was there last Monday.
This past Thursday we received a phone call that a house was being
demolished in the Beqa'a valley, east of Hebron. Five of us quickly
went to the site, but the home had been demolished by bulldozer
before we arrived. A group of women sat in front of the ruins and
a group of men sat on top of the collapsed roof. I sat with them on
that roof for most of the day. It felt like a funeral. Everyone was
in mourning. I sensed we were on holy ground.
As we sat in silence, lots of feelings of anger and disgust welled
up in me. Fayez and Hudda Jabber are a young couple starting a new
home. Their dreams and hard work were smashed, but they told us
they will rebuild. I picked up an olive branch, a symbol of peace
and hope, which had been broken off a tree by the bulldozer.
This was the fourth time this family has had a home demolished --
in '82, '89, '96, and now. Ten other homes within eyesight have
been demolished, and 52 more have demolition orders. Some of their
land has been confiscated and more is threatened. These people are
Israeli settlements on either side of their land want to expand. I
call it ethnic cleansing. The next day I again visited the Jabber
family. When I got there the family was digging out their
belongings from under the rubble. It was not a pretty sight.
On Saturday, a group of Israelis from ICAHD came down from Tel Aviv
to visit the Jabber family. These Israelis came to apologize for
what had done to this family and to offer support in rebuilding. I
felt overwhelmed with joy as I watched Palestinians and Israelis
embrace. Wow! This is peace and it is possible -- I have seen it.
The ICAHD people are starting an international campaign to stop
these home demolitions and land confiscations. It appears that we
are at the beginning of a new wave of oppression after last fall's
Wye River agreement and before the new Israeli elections this
spring. Our team has already sent out action alerts asking people
to contact the Israeli Embassy to demand an end to this nightmare.
Brethren wishing to join the campaign can contact the Israeli
Embassy at email@example.com or by faxing 202 364-5423.
24) The Jan. 8 Newsline included a list of snapshots of activity
within the Church of the Brethren in 1998. Here are additional
items that were submitted following that issue --
* 4,558 units of Good Ground Bible study curriculum for adults were
sold by Brethren Press.
* the General Board's Congregational Life Ministries trained 26
people from 21 districts to introduce and use the Good Ground
* Congregational Life Ministries funded the training of seven
couples to do Marriage Enrichment, now a Family Ministries
initiative of Association of Brethren Caregivers.
* Seventeen congregations across the four districts of the General
Board's Area One Congregational Life Team participated in a
one-day training seminar for pastors and lay leaders on a
Family-Based Youth Ministry model.
* Area One Congregational Life Team staff offered congregational
consulting to congregations in Atlantic Northeast District and
Western PA for development of mission statements with emphasis
on ministry to urban neighborhoods.
* Stewardship Education was the focus of four congregations
desiring tailored approaches to their congregational giving.
Donald Myers, CLT staff, worked with these congregations on
specific stewardship issues.
* The annual Disaster Leadership Training Conference, sponsored by
the General Board's Emergency Response/Service Ministries,
trained 75 disaster project directors, disaster child care
project managers, and district disaster response coordinators.
* Church of the Brethren Disaster Child Care was designated the
official child care service to work with the American Red
Cross after aviation disasters.
* Emergency Response/Service Ministries produced two videos --
"Keep the Faith," the story of rebuilding Butler Chapel A.M.E.
Church, and "A Bridge of Hope," which describes the work of
Emergency Response/Service Ministries.
* Emergency Response/Service Ministries made 786 shipments totaling
8,399 tons of clothing, blankets, health kits, and medical
supplies from its distribution building at the Brethren
Service Center, New Windsor, Md. These goods, valued at
$20,425,405, provided relief for people in need worldwide.
* Day and resident volunteers at the Brethren Service Center, New
Windsor, Md., contributed 17,891 hours for SERRV
International, New Windsor Conference Center, and Emergency
Response/Service Ministries. Work groups provided an
additional 16,875 hours for SERRV and 4,212 hours for the
* 382 students are participating this academic year in Brethren
Colleges Abroad, about half come from Brethren colleges: 43 in
Athens, 110 in Barcelona, 52 in Cheltenham, England; 20 in
Cochin, India; 10 in Dalian, China; 19 in Marburg, Germany; 29
in Nancy, France; 37 in Quito, Ecuador; five in Sopporo,
Japan; 49 in Strasbourg, France; and eight in Xalapa, Mexico.
25) The Feb. 5 Newsline included a listing of interterm
possibilities offered at some of the Church of the Brethren-related
colleges. Bethany Theological Seminary also offered special courses
in January during its two-week interterm --
* nine students traveled to Puerto Rico with associate professor
Dan Ulrich to study Puerto Rican culture; explore how culture
affects Biblical interpretation; and learn about the Church of
the Brethren in Puerto Rico.
* one student participated in a study tour conducted by the
Appalachian Ministries Educational Resource Center, which
trains seminarians and lay ministers for ministry in rural
* two students traveled to India with a Brethren Colleges Abroad
Seminar group to learn about the religion, culture, and
Newsline is produced by Nevin Dulabaum, manager of the Church of
the Brethren 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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