From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Newsline - Church of the Brethren weekly news update

From Church of the Brethren News Services
Date 20 Apr 2000 13:18:24

Date:      April 21, 2000
Contact:  Walt Wiltschek
V:  847/742-5100   F:  847/742-6103
E-MAIL:   CoBNews@AOL.Com

Newsline           April 21, 2000        Best wishes in this Holy Week!

 1) Brethren join a large public witness for Jubilee 2000.
 2) Christian Citizenship Seminar participants focus on hunger.
 3) General Ministries Fund giving tops $1 million but still lags behind 1999.
 4) A gathering in Washington calls attention to Vieques.
 5) Youth leaders and pastors gather in the first segment of “The 
God-Centered Life.”
 6) Former Manchester vice president Gene Fahs dies April 9.
 7) A Global Food Crisis Fund grant provides seed corn for North Korea.
 8) Seven participants form Brethren Volunteer Service Older Adult Unit 238.
 9) Youth gather at Bridgewater College for Roundtable 2000.
10) A Brethren Peace Fellowship banquet honors Tom Hurst, hears from Dr. 
Dennis Lipton.
11) Brethren bits: Nigeria, workcamps, OEPA, beef canning, and more.

12) Lowell Flory will become Bethany Theological Seminary’s director of 
planned giving.

13) An Area 1 Urban Ministry Celebration and Conference will be held Aug. 26.

14) The May Source packet includes resources for families.
15) ABC provides new resources for Health Promotion Sunday.

16) One year later, ministry continues in the wounded community of Littleton, 

 1) More than 50 members of the Church of the Brethren, including groups from 
Brethren Volunteer Service and Bridgewater College and people from as far 
away as Illinois, joined a large Jubilee 2000 rally on the National Mall in 
Washington, D.C., on April 9. The event called for the US to cancel debts 
owed by many of the world’s poorest nations.

The Washington City Church of the Brethren featured guest speaker Sue Wagner 
Fields, working on globalization issues with the Brethren Witness office of 
the Church of the Brethren General Board, in a special morning service before 
the afternoon events. The rally/public witness event, held in cold, windy 
conditions, featured an assortment of speakers and musicians and was followed 
by the creation of a human chain around the US Capitol.

Some participants stayed the following day to lobby their representatives, 
urging debt relief.  Some members who couldn't join in the events, meanwhile, 
sent in paper chains and hundreds of petitions.

The rally, which drew more than 6,000 people, was sponsored by a national 
coalition including the National Council of Churches and Church World 
Service. For more details on the event, see the web site.

 2) David Radcliff of the Church of the Brethren General Board’s Brethren 
Witness Office wasted no time in helping Christian Citizenship Seminar 
participants put a face on the issue of hunger. "The hungry people of the 
world aren't just victims,” Radcliff said in an opening-night session. 
“They're people like you and me with hopes and dreams."

That session began a week of learning about local and global hunger issues 
for 100 youth and advisors from across the country who gathered in New York 
City on April 8. The theme of the seminar, held annually except for National 
Youth Conference years, was “Hunger for Justice.” Three nights in New York 
were followed by two in Washington, D.C., before the seminar concluded April 

Sessions featuring a variety of speakers, service projects around Washington, 
worship services, congressional visits, small-group sharing, a hunger 
banquet, and other means helped to interpret the theme. Besides Radcliff, 
speakers included representatives from the United Methodist Church, World 
Hunger Year, the Washington Office, and National Coalition for the Homeless, 
which presented a panel of three people who have lived on the streets.

The event, organized by the General Board's Youth/Young Adult Office and the 
Washington Office, is a unique one in the denomination. It addresses a 
different theme each year on domestic and/or global issues and helps to 
relate that issue to Brethren faith and values in the setting of two of the 
nation’s major cities.

Participants this year came from California, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, 
Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. For pictures of 
the event, visit PhotoJournal at

 3) Gifts to the General Ministries Fund of the General Board for 2000 topped 
the $1 million mark during the second week of April. This milestone comes 
more than a week later than in 1999 and draws attention to somewhat lower 
overall giving levels for the General Ministries Fund, Emergency Disaster 
Fund, and Global Food Crisis Fund.

The one notable exception to the trend was in the “Special Gifts” category, 
which was up nearly 60 percent to $115,585 on April 18, but not up enough to 
offset the lag in total gifts for 2000 -- amounting to $73,000.

“We are glad for the support of the special ministries given life by the 
Special Gifts giving,” said Ken Neher of the General Board Funding office, 
“but we must not neglect the disaster victims or hungry neighbors our direct 
aid funds are helping. And, without regular gifts to the General Ministries 
Fund, which is the basic framework of all the General Board mission and 
ministries around the world, none of our ministries or our special projects 
could take place.”

Neher expressed gratitude for the gifts that congregations and individual are 
sending gifts to support the various ministries and said he expects gifts to 
eventually outpace those of 1999. 

“When presented with the needs and opportunities of the world,” Neher said, 
“we Brethren consistently rise to the occasion.”

 4) Hundreds gathered in front of the White House on April 19 and demanded 
President Clinton and Congress drop "not one more bomb in Vieques, Puerto 
Rico," and bring a permanent halt to US Navy practice bombing of the island 
of 9,000 residents. The gathering marked the one-year anniversary of the 
death of David Sanes Rodriguez, who was killed when a Navy F-18 aircraft 
dropped an incorrectly targeted 500-pound bomb on the island.  

"Since 1941, the people of Vieques have suffered human rights violations. 
They have been exposed to . . . depleted uranium, napalm, arsenic, and 
cyanide," said Desmonique Bonet, spokesperson for "National Day of Solidarity 
with the People of Vieques, Puerto Rico."  

Currently, bombing has ceased due to the encampment of hundreds of civil 
disobedience activists on the military range, including members of Christian 
Peacemaker Teams.  Protesters also made a plea to Attorney General Janet Reno 
not to order the removal of these people and camps.

Church of the Brethren Washington Office Coordinator Greg Laszakovits will 
travel to Puerto Rico early next week to meet with religious leaders seeking 
a halt to the bombing.  

 5) The first event held as part of a new youth spirituality program 
emphasis, “The God-Centered Life,” took place March 24-26 at Shepherd’s 
Spring Outdoor Ministry Center in Sharpsburg, Md. The project is being 
sponsored by Shepherd’s Spring and the General Board’s Youth/Young Adult 
Ministry Office.

The initial weekend was designed to help youth leaders and pastors find ways 
to fill and maintain their “spiritual cups” in order to be more effective in 
assisting the youth they work with. The long-term goal for all participants 
is to develop a life that is centered around God and follows Jesus' example. 
The opening worship ended symbolically, with a cup of strained and purified 
"living water" from the center's spring served to each participant.

Paul Grout, pastor of the Genesis Church of the Brethren (Putney, Vt.) joined 
Chris Douglas of the Youth/Young Adult office and Shepherd’s Spring 
administrator Rex Miller to provide leadership for the event. Worship 
services, workshops on spiritual disciplines, discussion, sharing of 
resources, a special prayer room, and communion filled the weekend.

“Every aspect of the event was carefully planned to enable each participant 
to experience God, encounter Jesus, and be empowered by the Holy Spirit in a 
complete way of living,” wrote participant Joy Zepp. “We were challenged to 
help to prepare ground for a new paradigm, that of living life totally in the 
way of Jesus.”

The second event in the project, a week-long camp for senior high youth, will 
be held at Shepherd’s Spring July 2-8. Grout will again provide the main 
leadership. For more details, call the Youth/Young Adult Office at 800 
323-8039 (e-mail or Shepherd’s Spring at 301 
223-8193 (e-mail

 6) Brethren mourned the loss of another long-time leader recently with the 
passing on April 9 of Dr. Eldon "Gene" Fahs, vice president emeritus of 
Manchester College (North Manchester, Ind.) and a member of the Manchester 
Church of the Brethren.

Fahs retired from Manchester in December 1995 after holding a variety of 
positions, from registrar to assistant professor to treasurer, in a 31-year 
career with the school. A conference room at Manchester was named in Fahs’ 

Among many service roles, Fahs served as chair of the Timbercrest Church of 
the Brethren Home board and was a member of the Bethany Theological Seminary 
board and chair of its Institutional Advancement Committee. He was also a 
volunteer for Heifer Project International.

 7) More resources are heading to famine-plagued North Korea due to a new 
grant from the Global Food Crisis Fund.

An allocation of $21,000 will go toward food relief efforts in the east Asian 
nation. The funds will be used to purchase 35 metric tons of seed corn to 
grow grain for livestock as well as for human consumption.

 8) Brethren Volunteer Service Older Adult Unit 238 held orientation April 
4-14 at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Seven participants 
from across the US, included five members of the Church of the Brethren, two 
of whom served in BVS in the 1950s.

The theme for the orientation was "Let Your Light Shine," and miniature 
lighthouses were construced and used throughout the sessions. During the 10 
days together the group increased awareness about honoring diversity, Church 
of the Brethren history, School of the Americas Watch, issues of 
homelessness, and conflict resolution. They expolored their spirituality 
through devotions, sessions, storytelling, and Bible study.

Trips included visiting the Ephrata Cloister, joining in the Jubilee 2000 
rally and human chain around the US Capitol in Washington, D.C.; and serving 
homeless people in Baltimore.

Participants were Jim and Joan Campbell of Warsaw, Mo.; Lavonne Grubb of 
Elizabethtown, Pa.; Dorothy Haner of Berkeley, Calif.; Emily Larson of Yuba 
City, Calif.; Winifred Toledo of Bear Lake, Mich.; and Cleo Treadway of 
Johnson City, Tenn. Alice and Larry Petry of Lakemoor, Ohio, provided guest 

Older Adult units differ from other BVS orientations in several ways: They 
are just 10 days in length, older adults may make a six-month service 
commitment, and volunteers do not need to start projects immediately 
following orientation. Unit 238 volunteers will begin their terms of service 
between May and September. For more information about Brethren Volunteer 
Service, contact the BVS office at 800 323-8039.

 9) The Roundtable 2000 regional youth conference took place April 8-9 on the 
Bridgewater (Va.) College campus. Nearly 300 youth and adults from Atlantic 
Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Shenandoah, Southeastern, Virlina, and West Marva 
districts participated in the annual regional event coordinated by the 
Interdistrict Youth Cabinet. Members of that group included Amanda Beckwith 
(Shenandoah), Sam Bowman (Virlina), Wendy Campbell (Shenandoah), Kyle Flora 
(Mid-Atlantic), David Young (Shenandoah), Aimee Zimmerman (Mid-Atlantic), and 
Steve Spire (advisor-Shenandoah).

Shawn Replogle, a Bridgewater and Bethany Theological Seminary graduate, now 
pastor of the South Waterloo (Iowa) Church of the Brethren, led participants 
in four sessions based on the theme, “Looking Back to Look Ahead.” Replogle 
encouraged youth and advisors to examine their past relationships with God 
and others, name the things that have made the relationships special as well 
as those that have caused difficulties, and look toward the future and how 
those relationships can be improved.

The Roundtable weekend involved participants in worship, Bible studies, 
morning and afternoon small-group sessions, recreation, and a service of 
installation and dedication for the new cabinet. Saturday evening included a 
one-act play by the Pinion Players and a concert by the Jazz Band, both from 
the college, as well as a talent show by youth and a late-night Taize 
worship. On Sunday an offering of $541.77 was gathered for flood relief and 
recovery in Mozambique and southern Africa.

The General Board’s Area 3 Congregational Life Team is providing an 
interpretive video of the Roundtable experience, created by videographer 
David Sollenberger. Videos will be given to each congregation at their 
respective district conferences in hopes of building future participation.

 10) More than 100 people gathered at Brethren Village in Neffsville, Pa., 
April 13 for the annual spring banquet of the Brethren Peace Fellowship in 
Atlantic Northeast District.

In addition to the meal, two major events were on the evening program. Tom 
Hurst, who resigned last month after 10 years as executive director of On 
Earth Peace Assembly, received the group’s 2000 Brethren Peacemaker of the 
Year award. OEPA board member Walt Moyer presented the award, with a citation 
for Hurst’s “vision, creativity, passion, and perseverance in the cause of 
peace,” highlighting the many programs Hurst began at OEPA.

Dr. Dennis Lipton then delivered the evening’s keynote address, talking about 
his pilgrimage as a doctor in the US Air Force and his decision to become a 
conscientious objector, resulting in a court-martial and jail time last fall. 
Phil Jones, Lipton’s pastor at the Shalom Church of the Brethren in North 
Carolina, also attended.

 11) Brethren bits: Other brief news notes from around the denomination and 

 *Responses came quickly for visits by Rev. Patrick Bugu, a Nigerian church 
leader who is studying at Bethany Theological Seminary. Bethany and the 
General Board's Office of Global Mission Partnerships, who together sponsor 
Bugu’s study here, invited congregations to schedule Bugu for summer visits, 
and an overwhelming response easily filled the summer tour with bookings 
across the country.  

 *Nine spaces remain for this summer’s young adult workcamp in the Dominican 
Republic, June 2-10. Spaces remaining for senior high workcamps are as 
follows: June 19-26 Puerto Rico (2); June 26-July 2 St. Croix 1 (4) and 
Americus, Ga. (6); July 2-8 Jamaica 1 (10); July 3-9 St. Croix 2 (8); July 
9-15 Jamaica 2 (1); July 24-30 Tijuana, Mexico (11) and Wichita, Kan. (7); 
July 31-Aug. 6 .Denver, Colo. (5) and Washington, D.C. (10); Aug. 7-13  Gould 
Farm, Mass. (1). All junior high workcamps are filled.

 *Twenty-six junior high youth met at Camp Swatara in Bethel, Pa., April 7-9 
for an Atlantic Northeast District Peace Retreat, led by On Earth Peace 
Assembly program coordinator Barb Leininger Dickason. The theme was 
“Peace-ing It Together -- With our Friends: Turning Lemons into Lemonade.” 

 *The Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria held its “majalisa,” or annual meeting, 
April 12-15 at Kulp Bible College in Kwarhi, near the Cameroon border. John 
and Janet Tubbs, Nigeria mission coordinators, represented the US church, and 
Mimi Copp, who teaches at the EYN secondary school and lives at Kulp, also 
participated. More details will follow as they become available.

 *Church World Service is continuing its massive flood relief project in 
southern Africa with a program to assist farmers and homeless families in 
Madagascar. Church of the Brethren Emergency Response/Service Ministries has 
been among many groups to support the effort.

 *Hagerstown (Md.) Church of the Brethren held a dinner last weekend in honor 
of Jean Glosser, who retired after 52 years of service to the church as 
secretary and administrative assistant.

 *The Southern Pennsylvania and Mid-Atlantic districts hold their annual beef 
canning project beginning Monday and continuing through April 28. Volunteers 
have been plentiful for the two-shifts-per-day schedule, with an average 23 
to 30 volunteers a shift. Nearly $90,000 has been raised to support the 
project, which sends the finished cans to help the needy in the two districts 
as well as overseas. A new chicken canning project is scheduled for August.

 *Bridgewater (Va.) College has approved adding a 17th academic department to 
the college’s curriculum and offering a communication studies major. Two 
students who have been taking appropriate courses should be able to graduate 
with the major in May 2001.

 *Jeff Carter, associate pastor of the Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren, 
ran the Boston Marathon on Apr. 17 and finished in three hours, 17 minutes, 
putting him in the top 20 percent of race participants.

 *Another outbreak of violence against Christians in India occurred recently, 
according to Religion News Service. Armed men attacked St. Theresa’s Convent 
School in Kosi Kalan, near Agra, on April 11, and injured the school’s 
principal according to the report. This followed an attack on another convent 
school in the area during the previous week.

 12) Bethany Theological Seminary has announced the appointment of Lowell 
Flory as director of planned giving, beginning July 1. As a member of the 
Institutional Advancement staff, Flory will design and carry out an expanded 
strategy for planned gift development. He will also be available for teaching 
roles in the fields of stewardship, organizational leadership, and business 
and finance. 

Flory is currently professor and chair of the Department of Business and 
Economics at McPherson College, McPherson, Kan., where he has served on the 
faculty since 1983. Flory had previously been in private law practice and 
before that worked in education.

A member of the Church of the Brethren, Flory has served on various boards 
related to church administration, including the General Board/Pension Board, 
Brethren Benefit Trust, and Bethany Theological Seminary. He was moderator of 
the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in 1999. Flory and his wife, 
Barbara, are the parents of four children.

 13) The second annual Area 1 (Northeast) Urban Ministry Celebration and 
Conference will be held Aug. 26, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., at the Harrisburg (Pa.) 
First Church of the Brethren.

Working under the theme “Urban, Not So Urban: Empowering Ministries, 
Developing Leaders,” the event will include worship and insight sessions. The 
Area 1 Urban Ministry Planning Team is extending an invitation to all members 
and pastors of urban congregations and anyone interested in urban/ethnic 
ministries in Area 1 of the Church of the Brethren.

The five districts in Area 1 include: Atlantic Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, 
Middle Pennsylvania, Southern Pennsylvania, and Western Pennsylvania. For 
more information contact Stan Dueck, Congregational Life Team Area 1 at 717 
335-3226, or send an e-mail to 

 14) The May Source packet headed to Church of the Brethren congregations 
includes resources for peace, families, and youth.

Materials from the Association of Brethren Caregivers provides aids for 
observing Family Week (May 7-14), while a Brethren Witness flyer explains 
“Peace Papers,” and another brochure describes “The God-Centered Life” youth 
spiritual growth camp being held July 2-8 at Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor 
Ministries Center.

Other resources in the mailing cover leadership development opportunities and 
the Ecumenical Luncheon at Annual Conference, a “Children of Iraq” 
newsletter, a booklet on ministry called “Considering Leadership,” 
information on a New Life Ministries web site, details on a Germantown Trust 
project, new Internet services from eMountain Communications, membership 
details for Brethren Employees Credit Union, and a flyer on a National 
Council of Churches young adult conference.

 15) Congregations received several new resources about how to make churches 
safe places as part of the Association of Brethren Caregivers’ Health 
Promotion Sunday emphasis, which will be held May 21. Packets were mailed the 
first week of April. 

Resources in the packet include a pledge for congregations to work at issues 
of creating a safe place; an idea sheet of practical activities; worship 
resources, Sunday school materials, monthly devotions for use at church 
meetings, and a bibliography. To view or download materials included in the 
Health Promotion Sunday packet, visit ABC's website at

 16) Many anniversaries are much-anticipated events, but not this one. April 
20 marked one year since the tragic shootings at Columbine High School in 
Littleton, Colo., and the pain in the community is still sharp.

“We’re all a little shaky today and want to get it over with,” said Sarah 
Leatherman Young, pastor of the Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren in 
Littleton. “We’re trying to keep things simple and quiet despite the media 

The Prince of Peace church has been active on the violence issue since the 
Columbine incident, holding educational sessions -- including a 
well-publicized one with Lt. Col. David Grossman, offering a swap for violent 
toys and games that were turned in, and sending volunteers into local 
preschools in a “reading for peace” program.

“We’re just more aware of trying to counter the violent messages of society 
with our children,” Young said of the churches in the area. “We’re each 
coming at it from our own perspective.”

Young said that area churches agreed to hold their regular Maundy Thursday 
and Passover services on the anniversary date, which happened to fall during 
Holy Week this year, followed by a 9:30 p.m. gathering at a park next to the 
school where a memorial has been located. Columbine held classes Thursday, 
but attendance was optional, and another nearby school closed due to a bomb 
threat. Area pastors have tried to provide support.

“We’re trying to be a visible presence in the community,” Young said. “A lot 
of us are wearing collars that usually don’t, including me.”

Newsline is produced by Walt Wiltschek, manager of news services for the 
Church of the Brethren General Board, on the first, third and fifth Friday of 
each month. 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 1-800-323-8039, ext. 263, or write 
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