Bible studies

Brethren bits for May 28, 2021 – News

The Church of the Brethren seeks an Information Technology (IT) specialist to fill a fulltime, salaried position at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Responsibilities include supporting, maintaining, and upgrading the organization’s networks and in-house servers; installing, administering, and troubleshooting security solutions to ensure network security, protect against unauthorized access, modification, or destruction, and troubleshoot any access problems at the direction of the director of IT. Required skills and knowledge include a positive customer service attitude; ability to work collaboratively; excellent communication skills; strong analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills; strong understanding and knowledge of computers, networks, and security systems; ability to work well under pressure; working knowledge of Microsoft Azure Active Directory, current Windows operating system, Microsoft 365 Office Suite, Microsoft SharePoint, e-mail software, peripherals such as printers and scanners, network infrastructure, security infrastructure, virus protection software, desktops, laptops, tablet computers; technical troubleshooting skills; ability to provide telephone support; ability to articulate and operate out of the vision of the Church of the Brethren’s Mission and Ministry Board. A minimum of five years of significant information technology experience, including networks and security, are required. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in information technology, computer science, cyber security, or a related field is required. Advanced training certifications may be advantageous. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. To apply, send a resume via email to [email protected] Contact the Human Resources Manager, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120-1694; 800-323-8039 ext. 367. The Church of the Brethren is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The FaithX office (formerly the Workcamp Ministry) has created commissioning materials for the 2021 FaithX season. Materials were created to be used by congregations as a way to send out participants with a blessing and for participants to connect their congregation with their new experiences. Commissioning resources are at www.brethren.org/faithx and are being mailed to congregations with FaithX participants this summer. For more information contact [email protected] or 847-429-4386.


The Anabaptist Disabilities Network is seeking a resource director to be responsible for print and online communications including social media, triannual Connections newsletter, and monthly Opening Doors blog. Excellent writing, networking, and project management skills are required. Familiarity with disability issues and Anabaptism is desired. This is a quarter-time position at a competitive salary. Visit http://bit.ly/ADNstaffopenings for the position description and information about applying.

The Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., will host a free concert by the Chicago Brass Band on Saturday, June 19, at 3 p.m. The audience will sit on the lawn in front of the offices and are invited to bring their own lawn chairs. The concert is a “thank you” to the General Offices staff and neighbors, after the offices provided rehearsal space to the band this spring.

On Earth Peace is offering a series of trainings in Kingian Nonviolence. “You can start with a 90-minute training to get a basic intro, or jump right to a 16-hour core training!” said an announcement. “Our goal with Kingian Nonviolence training is to support vital efforts to challenge violence, undo systemic oppression, and build a reconciled world. Each training is not an ending but a starting point to developing projects in your community for justice, and On Earth Peace is interested in walking with you as you strategize, organize, and mobilize your community.” The 90-minute intro will be held twice, on June 15 at 4 p.m. and on July 15 at 12 noon (Eastern time) facilitated by Sandra Davila and Marie Benner-Rhoades; register and find out more at www.onearthpeace.org/90_min_knv_6_15 and www.onearthpeace.org/90_min_knv_7_15. The 16-hour Core Training will be held on four days next month, June 5, 12, 19, and 26, from 12 noon to 4 p.m. (Eastern time), facilitated by Sara Haldeman-Scarr, Xeo Sterling, Katie Shaw Thompson, and Esther Mangzha. Find out more at www.onearthpeace.org/sd_knv_2021.

Constance Church of the Brethren in Southern Ohio and Kentucky District has decided to formally close as a congregation, according to the district newsletter. “This decision was recognized at the District Board meeting,” the announcement said. “May we offer prayer support to the members of this congregation.”

Pleasant Hill (Ohio) Church of the Brethren is changing the date of its 50th Anniversary Celebration originally planned for June 6. The new date is Aug. 29. Said the announcement: “August 29, 1971, was the actual date of the initial dedication of the new building so it will be 50 years to the day when we celebrate the 50th anniversary.”

Some Churches of the Brethren have received donations for special projects out of members’ federal COVID-19 stimulus checks. Among them:

Mechanic Grove Church of the Brethren in Quarryville, Pa., used stimulus checks to raise some $26,000 for a church in Haiti, wrote interim pastor Bob Kettering. The effort has gained media attention from a newspaper in Lancaster, Pa., and also in Anabaptist World magazine.

Buffalo Valley Church of the Brethren was inspired to a similar effort for Delmas Church of the Brethren in Haiti, receiving almost $40,000. The church gave $39,792 in April to support several mission projects including $25,000 to help the Delmas congregation purchase a building and land.

Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., has been selected to receive an IDEAS (Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for US Students) grant from the Department of State’s Capacity Building Program for US Study Abroad. Said a release: “Juniata College is one of 26 colleges and universities from across the United States, selected from 132 applicants, to create, expand, and/or diversify American student mobility overseas in support of US foreign policy goals.” The college also has received a $34,936 Humanities Planning Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The latter will be used to develop a humanities-centered interdisciplinary program in rural poverty studies over the next year. “Stories have enormous power in fostering empathy and sparking imagination. An oral history project like this helps us understand the experience of others. I am so pleased to support this effort that demonstrates the centrality of the humanities to undergraduate education,” said Juniata’s provost Lauren Bowen. “The NEH reviewers were effusive in their unanimous praise for this innovative project.” Read the full releases at www.juniata.edu/about/news/archive.php?action=SHOWARTICLE&id=6978 and www.juniata.edu/about/news/archive.php?action=SHOWARTICLE&id=6974.

Brethren Voices has announced Part 2 of a short series interviewing Eric Miller and Ruoxia Li, co-executive directors of the Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission program. “The Introduction of Hospice in China” is the title of this second episode in the series. Li “shares about her first experience with hospice while volunteering for a nonprofit agency in Blacksburg, Va., where they attended the Good Shepherd Church of the Brethren,” said the announcement. “It was a totally new experience for her. Oddly enough, she introduces hospice to the hospital in Pinding, China, where she grew up. That same hospital, had been founded by Brethren in 1911.” Brent Carlson, host of Brethren Voices, interviewed the married couple via Zoom from their home in Pinding, Shanxi Province, China, prior to their move back to the United States. Brethren Voices programs may be viewed at www.youtube.com/brethrenvoices.

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) has announced that it is shifting its former stipend system to implement “a living wage model in how we compensate CPTers,” said a release. “Thirty-five years ago, CPT was formed to bring nonviolent change to lethal conflicts around the world. Over the decades, CPT has grown and shifted, recognizing that violent conflict is rooted in oppression. In this spirit, CPT has dedicated itself to be an organization committed to transforming violence and oppression. This means transforming oppression not only in the places we work but also within the organization itself. In today’s world, oppression takes on many forms, including the oppression in how workers are compensated for their labor. Pivotal in bringing an end to violence is bringing an end to economic oppression experienced by so many. As we express our solidarity with workers worldwide and advocate for workers’ rights, we look within our organization to see how we can better compensate CPTers for their work….. In a capitalist society, the value of labor is expressed through financial compensation. Yet, at CPT, we want to acknowledge that the work of every CPTer is invaluable. There is no monetary amount that could represent the quality of this work. So while we do not compensate for the value of labor, we want to compensate so that CPTers can live a healthy life. Adopting such a model does have an implication on our budget. We are not anticipating reducing any of our work, but we are hoping our constituency can help make this transformation a reality.” Find out more at www.cpt.org.

Church World Service is joining dozens of other organizations and refugee advocates in a new campaign called “Welcome with Dignity,” urging the United States to build a re-imagined asylum system. The campaign invites supporters to help take action “to transform the way the United States receives and protects people forced to flee from their homes and seek safety. Now is the time for visionary action…. As the United States rebuilds its capacity to welcome and Congress considers funding for Fiscal Year 2022, it is vital that Congress invest in an effective, humane, and just immigration system that upholds the dignity of all asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, and immigrants. An important proposal has been introduced in the Senate as a significant step.” The proposal would provide case management services and legal representation for asylum seekers and offer humanitarian assistance at community-based border shelters and respite centers, shifting responsibility from ICE and immigration enforcement to the Office of Refugee Resettlement within the Department of Health and Human Services. A toolkit and more resources are at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CHDgJea26j5RoKeDLcjTU2VWq_OIA3B0FDoySpI_B-E/edit#. An action alert is at https://cwsglobal.org/action-alerts/take-action-urge-your-senator-to-invest-in-capacity-to-welcome-asylum-seekers-unaccompanied-children.

“Knapsack for the Journey of Faith: Pilgrimage Bible Studies” are now available from the World Council of Churches (WCC) as a resource for the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace. The Bible studies offer “diverse examples and stories of different pilgrimages in the Bible and dialogue between the biblical contexts and contemporary contexts” and reflect “different aspects of pilgrimage” to encourage users to “embark on their individual and community pilgrimages.” The WCC is inviting congregations to use these Bible studies as they reflect on what it means to be on such a pilgrimage in their own context. See the full collection at www.oikoumene.org/what-we-do/pilgrimage-justice-and-peace#bible-studies.

The WCC also is offering a webinar on “Remembering Past Massacres: Honoring the Legacy and Resilience of Victims” to take place June 1 with a focus on North America and the Caribbean. The webinar will remember and learn from tragic events such as the Tulsa race massacre that took place in Tulsa, Okla., a century ago in 1921, and injustices meted out to Asian-American communities including the 1871 Chinese massacre in Los Angeles and the Rock Springs Riot in Wyoming in 1885. The online discussion also will address the plight of indigenous communities in the Americas that were largely devastated through successive wars, massacres, and killings, and atrocities associated with the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the notorious “Middle Passage” in which untold people were killed. Panelists will explore questions such as “How do we recognize these tragedies, and celebrate the survival, resistance, resilience, and heroes of these communities?” Panelists include Robert Turner, pastor of the historic Vernon Chapel A.M.E. Church in Tulsa and academic dean at Jackson Theological Seminary; Michael McEachrane, co-founder and consultative member of the European Network of People of African Descent; Jennifer P. Martin, Education in Mission secretary for the Caribbean and North America Council for Mission; Daniel D. Lee, academic dean of the Centre for Asian American Theology and Ministry and assistant professor of theology and Asian American ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary; and Russel Burns, member of the National Indigenous Ministries and Justice Council of the Indigenous caucus of Western Mining Action Network, and of the Comprehensive Review Task Group of the United Church of Canada. Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_qsguoT97Th2e76YIYcmNvw.

Rachel Hollinger of Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, daughter of Rick and Trina Hollinger, has been crowned Lancaster County Dairy Princess. The news was announced May 16 via Facebook at www.facebook.com/lancastercodairypromotion and is scheduled to appear in Lancaster Farming.

Pastor Edward Kerschensteiner of Boise (Idaho) Valley Church of the Brethren has resigned after 72 years of active ministry. Said an email from Harold Kerschensteiner: “He has served our congregation for the past 34 years. Due to the pandemic we have had to postpone his retirement celebration and will hold an Open House Reception 2-4 p.m. on June 26. We thought it was noteworthy that he has held an active pastoral role for most of those years, either fulltime or part-time.”

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