Brethren bits – News | #education | #technology | #training


— The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership seeks a coordinator of English-Language Ministry Training Programs. The academy is a partnership of the Church of the Brethren Office of Ministry and Bethany Theological Seminary. This is a half-time, salaried position. Duties and tasks include but are not limited to working with students, district coordinators, and supervising pastors to provide guidance in all areas of Training in Ministry (TRIM) and Education for Shared Ministry (EFSM); organizing onsite and online courses; discussing the programs with prospective students; updating TRIM and EFSM documents; reporting student progress to district leaders; coordinating orientation; participating in the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference and other events; meeting with students or coordinators/supervising pastors at the locations where they live. This position may provide the opportunity to teach a course for the academy, given program needs and the candidate’s interest and educational background. Required skills and knowledge include grounding in Church of the Brethren heritage, theology, and polity; ability to articulate and operate out of the vision of Bethany Seminary and the Church of the Brethren; ability to relate with integrity and respect within and beyond the organization; strong interpersonal skills; oral and written communication; ability to develop educational experiences in ministry training; ability to network and problem solve in creative ways; administrative skills, critical thinking skills, and basic computer and Internet skills; ability to work with people from a variety of backgrounds who have varied understandings of the church; ability to multitask and set priorities. Required experience includes five years of effective leadership in pastoral ministry, ordination and active membership in the Church of the Brethren. Required education includes a master of divinity degree (preferred), successful completion of a ministry training program, a record of regular continuing education. Relocation is not required, but candidates must be willing to travel, as needed. The academy offices are located at Bethany Seminary in Richmond, Ind. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and will be accepted until the position is filled. Apply by sending a resume, a letter of interest, and contact information for three references by email to Janet L. Ober Lambert, Director, Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, academysearch@bethanyseminary.edu. Bethany Seminary’s policy prohibits discrimination in employment opportunities or practices with regard to race, gender, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, or religion. Find the job opening announcement online at https://bethanyseminary.edu/jobs/coordinator-of-english-language-ministry-training-programs.

An update from the Brethren in Chernihiv, Ukraine, and a call to continued prayer from Quinter (Kan.) Church of the Brethren pastor Keith Funk: “Brother Alex and I continue to be in contact. For the last several weeks, it has been quiet in the city of Chernihiv (Chernigov), and the surrounding area. However, in recent days, Russian rockets have been launched from the northern border, flying overhead on the way to Kyiv. As I write, Russian rockets hit the city of Kremenchuk, destroying a mall where 1000 people were shopping when attacked. Fear and discouragement are weighing upon the people of Ukraine in what has become a war of attrition. Let us remember Alex and his family, our brothers and sisters, and the people of Ukraine. Please pray for this war to end. May God grant wisdom, courage and compassion to our world’s leaders in the face of continued destruction and loss of life in this region of the world.”

Shine Fall curriculum is now available to order, published jointly by Brethren Press and MennoMedia. Sunday school books are available for teachers and students for Pre K through Kindergarten, elementary grades, and junior youth–plus additional resources including this fall’s Bible storybook. Go to https://www.brethrenpress.com/searchresults.asp?cat=224.

– Eder Financial (formerly Brethren Benefit Trust or BBT) is seeking a communications director. Eder Financial provides retirement, insurance, and organizational investing to more than 5,000 individual and client organizations nationwide. The new brand represents work to expand the agency’s client base and influence. This is a fulltime, exempt position working for a not-for-profit, faith-based organization that aligns with peace church traditions. Employees practice their faith in a diverse array of worldviews and denominations. Qualifications and requirements include ability to proactively problem solve for the spoken and unspoken needs of external and internal customers; ability to lead strategic initiatives but also pitch in with seemingly small tasks that show care for those the agency serves; at least an undergraduate degree; four to eight years of experience; effective oral and written communication skills; experience in administering communication initiatives that span multiple methods; enjoyment of work in a team environment; ability to develop content to share knowledge about retirement, insurance, and organizational investing; both data and detailed oriented; proficient in computer systems, particularly Word, PowerPoint, and InDesign; ability to lead and manage the Communications Department while protecting the integrity of the organization’s reputation through words and images both internally and externally; ability to travel to an annual conference each year in July along with other conference opportunities: and ability to work well independently. While the agency does have some tasks and meetings that require an onsite presence, most work is done remotely from home. Compensation includes a strong benefits package with organizational contributions for retirement, medical, life, and long-term disability; options to add dental, vision, and short-term disability coverage; 22 days of vacation, accrued at the start of the year; flexible work hours within a basic workday structure. To learn more about Eder Financial, visit www.cobbt.org. To apply, submit a cover letter, resume, and three professional references to Tammy Chudy at tchudy@cobbt.org.

– Download the Summer 2022 newsletter to learn more about projects supported by the Global Food Initiative (GFI). “Thank you for supporting GFI with your prayers and donations!” said an announcement. “You are helping to make God’s love real to people around the world.” Go to www.brethren.org/gfi/resources.

— On Earth Peace is offering a two-hour Intro to Kingian Nonviolence webinar on July 25 at 4 p.m. (Eastern time). “Meet others interested in Kingian Nonviolence, build Beloved Community, and connect with On Earth Peace’s Kingian Nonviolence Learning Action Community,” said an announcement. The webinar covers the four pillars of Kingian nonviolence, an initial introduction to the six principles and six steps–“the Will and the Skill of Kingian Nonviolence,” and the social dynamics of Kingian nonviolence. The co-facilitators are Sheila Burton, founder and managing director of Join Hands ESL and director of its Ubuntu Center for Peace in East St. Louis, Ill., and Stephen Niamke, founder and primary trainer for Conversation Peace human relations company based in Roanoke, Va., where he also works as a crisis/mental health social worker and is president and hub coordinator of Meta Peace Team. Register at www.onearthpeace.org/2022_07_25_2hr_intro_kingian_nonviolence.

— Wenatchee (Wash.) Brethren Baptist Church United has sold its historic church building and is renting space from the new owners, Trinity Church, after experiencing dwindling membership in recent years. The Wenatchee World newspaper reported that “the sale is a swap of roles for the two churches. For the past 10 years, Trinity has rented space from the Brethren…. [which] sold the building and land for 10 percent of the $1.7 million that it was appraised at…. Membership, at a high in the mid 200s in the 1960s and 70’s, is down to 75. The average age is 77, says Joe Roy, the lay head of the church, which has been without a pastor for a year and is worshipping with guest pastors.” Read the full article and see pictures of the building and congregation at www.wenatcheeworld.com/news/local/brethren-church-in-wenatchee-is-sold-after-a-rich-history-spanning-100-years/article_db323548-eccb-11ec-b451-f7bc5905a432.html.

— Woodbury (Pa.) Church of the Brethren has received a new stained-glass piece made by local artists, according to an article in the Huntingdon Daily News. “Dion Dillon and CJ Ray of Djday’s Stained Glass in Tyrone completed the commissioned piece this spring after approximately two years,” said the article. “I was thrilled to death in the end,” said Dillon. “It’s the first stained glass window they have.” The paper reported that “an elementary school teacher local to Woodbury drew up an idea of the elements the church wanted in the window, then Dillon and Ray turned those ideas into a pattern they could work with, chose colors and glass, and cut pieces including the tiny individual ovals to create the wheat grain.” The interior window will hang between the vestibule and the sanctuary. Read the article and see a picture of the stained glass piece at www.huntingdondailynews.com/daily_herald/news/a-shining-view/article_3cc20c9e-d22e-5abb-bd35-2ee71755bc29.html.

— Nine Brethren Disaster Ministries volunteers from Shenandoah District, along with Church World Service (CWS) truck drivers, loaded donations found for the Material Resources warehouse at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. “The workers dealt with a heat index of 98 degrees while moving over 2,000 health and school kits and 325 clean-up buckets,” said the district newsletter. “An additional 50 boxes of quilts donated by the Lutherans and Presbyterians were also included in the resources being sent to help in time of need.”

— Atlantic Northeast District has announced a generous technology donation from Greg Holsinger, former CEO of U-GRO Learning Centres and former member of Palmyra (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. “The donation included more than 60 iPads, over 20 laptops, and various accessories,” said the district newsletter. “The District Office managed the donation distribution. Nearly thirty congregations benefited from the devices that were available. Congregations have a variety of ways in which they plan to use the donated devices. Some are using the technology for a welcome center check-in, or to assist with hybrid Sunday School classes. Others are using the devices to control the church’s sound board, or stream services. Some pastors and church staff members have used the devices to upgrade their laptops or iPads. We are grateful to have been the recipient of this practical donation that can help our congregations further their ministries and better serve their communities.”

– Shepherd’s Spring, a camp and outdoor ministry center in Mid-Alantic District, is announcing a new Adventure Program. On Saturday, July 23, at 9 a.m., Shepherd’s Spring is holding a breakfast to introduce plans for the program that will include zip lines, climbing walls, a giant swing, a challenge course, and a tree house. Said the announcement: “Persons interested in attending and learning more, or simply supporting the project are encouraged to contact Shepherd’s Spring at banderson@shepherdsspring.org.”

— People of faith are grieving the San Antonio, Texas, tragedy in which more than 50 people were found dead in an abandoned truck on the outskirts of the city, reports the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC). People of faith also are being spurred to call for legislation action on immigration, the NCC newsletter said. “The Interfaith Immigration Coalition has called for swift action on asylum after one of the deadliest tragedies involving migrants in the U.S.-Mexico border region…. The Interfaith Immigration Coalition, made up of over 55 national, faith-based organizations, prays that ‘we take the necessary steps through policy and action to reverse Title 42 and establish a just and humane border enforcement.’” Find out more at www.interfaithimmigration.org/2022/06/28/people-of-faith-grieve-san-antonio-tragedy-call-for-swift-action-on-asylum.

— The World Council of Churches (WCC) has published a reflection on the theme of its upcoming 11th Assembly in nine languages. The publication “Christ’s Love Moves the World to Reconciliation and Unity: A Reflection on the Theme of the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Karlsruhe 2022” is the result of the work of an international group drawn from different regions and confessional traditions. The text is intended as a resource for churches and Christians worldwide in advance of the assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany, from Aug. 31 to Sept. 8. The book is now available in English, French, German, Spanish, Kiswahili, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, and Indonesian. Files can be downloaded for free at www.oikoumene.org/news/new-opportunities-to-reflect-on-wcc-11th-assembly-theme-nine-translations-now-available.

— Composer Tim Reed is collaborating with Cliff Kindy, a Church of the Brethren member and longterm volunteer with Community Peacemaker Teams (CPT), to create pieces of music and spoken word in connection with Kindy’s book Resurrection Peacemaking: Plowsharing the Tools of War. The series of pieces on the book’s themes is called “Spirit Unbound.” “I was inspired by Cliff’s book and created an electroacoustic composition with video that is centered around an interview with Cliff that I recorded,” Reed wrote. “Cliff’s story is powerful (my music is just a backdrop).” Kindy has worked with CPT for some 30 years in various conflict zones around the world including Palestine, Gaza, Iraq, Nigeria, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The first piece in the series features an interview with Kindy in Feb. 2022 at his home at Joyfield Farm near North Manchester, Ind., reflecting on his experience meeting with a young Palestinian man in Rafah Camp in Gaza. It is posted on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xtS7jOF1iY&t=56s. Kindy’s book is available from Brethren Press at www.brethrenpress.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=resurrection+peacemaking&Submit=GO.

– The 17th Street bridge in Altoona, Pa., has been named The Honorable Richard A. Geist Memorial Bridge in honor of the late Rick Geist, a longterm Pennsylvania politician serving in the state House of Representatives, who died in 2019. He and his wife, Jeanie, who survives him, were both raised in the congregation of First Church of the Brethren in Altoona. He held the 79th District seat for 34 years. The ceremony took place at the Railroaders Memorial Museum, reported the Altoona Mirror. “Geist was majority chairman of the House Transportation Committee for 16 years and at various times, was chairman of both the House Minority Caucus and the House Republican Committee on Committees….. Geist helped reform the laws on teen drivers’ training, was the prime architect of the state’s DUI law, was an important promoter of laws to improve work zone and truck safety; authored legislation to create the Rail Freight Advisory Committee and legislation to create the Ben Franklin Technology Partnership, as well as ‘his signature piece,’ House Bill 3, which allows for public-private partnerships for transportation projects…. Geist was also instrumental in founding the Tour de Toona bike race and conceived of and contributed to development of Penn State Altoona’s four-year Railroad Engineering Degree program.” Read the full article at www.altoonamirror.com/news/local-news/2022/05/a-fitting-tribute-17th-street-bridge-honors-late-rep-rick-geist.

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