Newsline for December 6, 2006


“…Stand up and raise your heads, for your redemption is drawing near.” — Luke 21:28b


NEWS

1) United Church of Christ becomes cooperative user in Gather ’Round.
2) Bethany Seminary board considers student profile, increases tuition.
3) Committee envisions positive future for Brethren Service Center.
4) Pastors complete Advanced Foundations of Church Leadership.
5) Brethren lead devotions for National Council of Churches assembly.
6) Committee celebrates Brethren archives’ 70th anniversary.
7) AARM changes name, recognizes founding board members.
8) Brethren bits: Job opening, Annual Conference logo, and more.

PERSONNEL

9) Carol Bowman takes fulltime stewardship position with General Board.
10) Steven Crain to serve as campus pastor at Manchester College.

FEATURE

11) Haitian Brethren youth reflect on counter-recruitment conference.


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1) United Church of Christ becomes cooperative user in Gather ’Round.

On Nov. 3, the United Church of Christ (UCC) signed an agreement to become a cooperative user of “Gather ‘Round: Hearing and Sharing God’s Good News,” the new Sunday school curriculum from Brethren Press and Mennonite Publishing Network. The UCC’s Local Church Ministries department entered into the agreement through the United Church Press.

A positive response to Gather ’Round has extended as well to seven other Christian groups. Denominations that are recommending the curriculum to their congregations include, for example, several other Mennonite groups, Friends United Meeting, the Cumberland Presbyterians, and the Moravians. Some of these groups were users of the earlier “Jubilee” curriculum, and others are coming on board after selecting Gather ’Round from among several options that were evaluated.

Individual congregations from a wide range of denominations are also finding Gather ’Round online at http://www.gatherround.org/, where visitors have been able to learn more about the curriculum, take advantage of some of the training events offered during the introductory period, and order materials online.

“We’re certainly gratified when our colleagues in other denominations think highly of our materials,” said Wendy McFadden, publisher of Brethren Press. “We’ve worked hard to produce the best curriculum we can for our congregations, and it feels great to have other Christian educators and publishers evaluate Gather ’Round and say it’s the best for their congregations too.”

The UCC is a US denomination in the Reformed, congregationalist, and evangelical traditions. With 1.26 million members, it is roughly ten times the size of the Church of the Brethren. “Their support strengthens the financial foundation of Gather ’Round,” reported Anna Speicher, project director and editor of Gather ’Round.

The UCC does not currently produce any curriculum itself; instead the Local Church Ministries department selects a few curricula to market to UCC congregations, Speicher said. Several UCC readers reviewed sample Sunday school curricula and chose Gather ’Round as the curriculum that would best replace the Bible Quest curriculum, which will not be produced after the 2007-08 school year.

The UCC intends to market Gather ’Round modestly this year, Speicher said, with a “full rollout” for the fall of 2008. “The UCC is investing a significant amount of money in purchasing Gather ’Round resources for their education consultants, and likely for their resource centers,” Speicher said.

Ken Ostermiller, minister for Curriculum Development for the UCC, invited Speicher to lead a workshop on Dec. 4 to equip 18 education consultants to lead regional training workshops on Gather ’Round. Those trained will then introduce Gather ’Round in UCC congregations. The consultants responded extremely positively during their introduction to the curriculum, Speicher said. “They were especially interested in the parent/caregiver guide and the at-home Talkabout. They also resonated with the peace and justice and discipleship orientation of the curriculum, they liked the worshipful elements of the sessions; that we are teaching children that worship is not just something they do sitting in an uncomfortable pew with their legs dangling, but is something that they can make their own.”

Brethren and Mennonite congregations also have welcomed the launch of the curriculum this fall, expressing strong affirmation for new products that help connect church with home and for content that brings Christian education to the forefront of congregational life, reported Cynthia Linscheid of Mennonite Publishing Network. Two new products–the Talkabout, a quarterly take-home item designed to sit on each family’s dining table, and “Connect,” the parent/caregiver study guide–have received especially high praise.

Modesto (Calif.) Church of the Brethren is one of the churches that are enthusiastic about the parent/caregiver class and has introduced the Talkabout to the entire congregation, placing extras on tables in the church building. “I’m also hearing marvelous things about the youth piece,” said co-pastor Russ Matteson. Recalling a particular exercise about prayer, he noted that youth talked about it the following Sunday and said they had used the prayer exercise during the week. The church also has invited parents to participate in the preschool class, which has brought in some two-career couples who have not attended Sunday school because they do not want to be away from their children on the weekends.

Gather ’Round “is challenging kids to think in fresh ways about what it means to pray, what it means to be present with God–in ways that give them tools they can use throughout their lives,” Matteson said.

 

2) Bethany Seminary board considers student profile, increases tuition.

The Bethany Theological Seminary Board of Trustees gathered for its semi-annual meeting Oct. 27-29 at the school’s campus in Richmond, Ind. Main items of business included a report of statistics about the student body, an increase in tuition, and a new financial aid program to serve the student profile.The board’s Academic Affairs Committee reported that Bethany’s full-time equivalency for the 2006-07 session one is 54.54, up from 46.81 in 2005-06. The committee noted that student statistical reports now include a comparison to the student profile benchmarks developed by the board. Other statistics about the seminary’s student body were shared by the Student and Business Affairs Committee: new students at Bethany include 10 Master of Divinity local students, 12 occasional students, and six Master of Divinity Connections students. The Connections students and six others who previously were admitted to that program comprise this year’s cohort.The board approved a recommendation from the Student and Business Affairs Committee to set tuition for the 2007-08 year at $325 per credit hour, a $29 increase. Bethany’s tuition continues to be below the average rate of comparable peer institutions. The board also authorized the administration to move forward in development of a new financial aid program that supports the student profile.

In other business, the board approved the 2005-06 audit; authorized the administration to continue exploration of a contractual relationship with Professional Staff Management, a professional employer organization based in Richmond that would manage insurance and human resource matters for the seminary; approved several updates to the seminary’s bylaws; and approved a recommendation to change the nomenclature of the Master of Arts in Theology degree (M.A.Th.) to Master of Arts (M.A.), which more closely conforms to the standards of accrediting bodies the Association of Theological Schools in the US and Canada, and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.At a dinner event, the board recognized with appreciation the service of Dena Pence Frantz as professor of Theology and director of the Master of Arts in Theology program. She has accepted an appointment as director of the Wabash (Ind.) Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, effective Jan. 1.

The board also welcomed new members Betty Ann Cherry of Huntingdon, Pa.; Jonathan Frye of McPherson, Kan.; Rex Miller of Milford, Ind.; and Rhonda Pittman Gingrich of Minneapolis, Minn.

 

3) Committee envisions positive future for Brethren Service Center.

The Brethren Service Center Ministry Options Exploration Committee held its second meeting Nov. 10-12 at the center in New Windsor, Md. “We want the church and the New Windsor community to know that we envision a continued and very positive future for the Brethren Service Center,” said chair Dale Minnich. “Numerous specific recommendations are under study–and all of these will need to be considered by the General Board when the committee makes its final report.”

The group is a committee of the General Board, assigned the task of assessing options for ministry at the Brethren Service Center. The committee worshiped together, met with General Board staff and executive directors of three partner agencies located at the center, processed more than 30 reports from earlier assignments to staff and committee members, and discussed the emerging direction of its work.

In particular, the committee met with Roy Winter, executive director of the Brethren Service Center and director of Emergency Response, and LeAnn Wine, director of financial operations for the General Board, throughout its process, and interviewed Bob Gross, co-executive director of On Earth Peace, which has its main offices at the center; Bob Chase, co-executive director of a Greater Gift/SERRV, which has warehouse facilities and a retail store at the center; and Paul Derstine, executive director of Interchurch Medical Assistance, which houses its main offices at the center.

Regarding the center’s future, the report of the meeting stated, “We believe that the Brethren Service Center should be continued, strengthened, and undergirded with new vision.” Minnich outlined some reasons for this preliminary recommendation: the center’s mission–which revolves around mounting creative efforts to address human need–continues to be urgently relevant; its history as an incubator of visionary and effective ministries to meet human need, and as a focus for motivating people to develop their witness in areas of service and peacemaking, provides a “reservoir of passion” that is a valued asset to be nurtured and developed; its current ministries and ministry partners are particularly strong in lifting up the vision for meeting human need, providing volunteer opportunities, and challenging people to develop Christian discipleship.

The New Windsor Conference Center as a resource that provides hospitality to support the work of center partners and other groups has potential for a greater educational and motivational function to undergird response to human need, Minnich said. While Service Ministries and the conference center face some management challenges, the committee believes each of the four ministry areas of the General Board at the Brethren Service Center (Service Ministries, Emergency Response, lease partnerships with other agencies, and the New Windsor Conference Center) can be financially viable for the foreseeable future, he said.

The committee plans to meet again Feb. 23-25 to work on more specific recommendations. Members are David R. Miller of Dayton, Va.; Dale Minnich of Moundridge, Kan.; Fran Nyce of Westminster, Md.; Dale Roth of State College, Pa.; Jim Stokes-Buckles of New York, N.Y.; Kim Stuckey Hissong of Westminster, Md.; and Jack Tevis of Westminster, Md.

 

4) Pastors complete Advanced Foundations of Church Leadership.

Nine Church of the Brethren pastors who recently completed the Advanced Foundations of Church Leadership process were honored at a banquet in Hagerstown, Ind., on Nov. 17. To celebrate their accomplishment, spouses, friends, congregational representatives, and staff gathered from around the country.

Pastors recognized for completing the program are Eric Anspaugh, Glenn Bollinger, Michael Clark, John Holderread, Bruce Huffman, Peter Kaltenbaugh, David L. Miller, Timothy Peter, Deb Peterson, and Sheila Shumaker.

The Advanced Foundations process, which is offered by the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, began in January 2005 and included eight four-day retreats over two years. At the retreats, the pastors engaged a wide range of leadership literature and paradigms, shared in prayer and worship, responded to assessment tools, worked with case studies, and participated in a collegial environment of learning and support. Instructors included a variety of seminary and denominational leaders.

Advanced Foundations is one of two program tracks of the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence initiative of the Brethren Academy. The current group of pastors to complete Advanced Foundations was the second of three such “cohort groups” funded through a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. A third group, currently being formed, will begin work in January.

The Brethren Academy is a ministry training partnership of the Church of the Brethren General Board and Bethany Theological Seminary, and can be reached at academy@bethanyseminary.edu or 765-983-1824.

 

5) Brethren lead devotions for National Council of Churches assembly.

At the National Council of Churches (NCC) General Assembly in Orlando, Fla., from Nov. 7-9, the Church of the Brethren was represented by elected representatives Nelda Rhoades Clarke, Jennie Ramirez, and Marianne Miller Speicher, and by the general secretary of the General Board Stanley Noffsinger and director of identity Becky Ullom. The theme, “For the Healing of the Nations” was based on Rev. 22:1-2, encouraging the 35 member communions to reclaim the Christian call to be reconcilers.

This year, Brethren representatives had a unique opportunity to share Church of the Brethren theology and tradition by presenting morning devotions to the assembly. “Conference planners requested leadership from the Church of the Brethren due to our special niche in the council as a Historic Peace Church,” Ullom reported.

The Brethren morning devotions included a call to worship, two hymns, the reading of scripture, and prayer; the message was a specially created video piece that highlighted the pain of the world as well as some of the ways the Church of the Brethren responds to that pain. The five Brethren present each participated in the service, as did Brethren Academy director Jonathan Shively, who filled the role of chorister. (For a free copy of the video, “How Do We Respond?” contact Becky Ullom at 800-323-8039 ext. 212.)

In business sessions, the General Assembly affirmed a pastoral message calling for “an immediate phased withdrawal of American and coalition forces from Iraq…. As men and women of faith, we believe that freedom, along with genuine security, is based in God, and is served by the recognition of humanity’s interdependence, and by working with partners to bring about community, development, and reconciliation for all, and that such freedom and security is not served by this war in Iraq,” said the message.

Of the nearly 250 delegates voting, two abstentions and one “no” vote were heard–cast by representatives of the Brethren and Friends (Quakers) who felt some of the language and ideas in the pastoral message were not in accordance with a peace stance, Ullom said. The pastoral message will be sent to the Bush administration and members of Congress, and also is addressed to people of faith and all people of goodwill.

Delegates also adopted a new policy on human biotechnologies entitled, “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” (www.ncccusa.org/pdfs/BioTechPolicy.pdf). The policy proclaimed the sanctity of all human life as God’s creation and condemned human reproductive cloning. It also acknowledged that differences exist among the 35 different member communions regarding stem cell research.

Delegates unanimously passed two resolutions based on the biotechnologies policy. One called for a worldwide ban on human reproductive cloning. A second called for more oversight of government and private sector laboratories developing bio-warfare weapons.

In other business, a statement on the election acknowledged the NCC’s “strong support for raising the minimum wage” and expressed a “real sense of joy and thanksgiving” at the six states voting to help raise workers out of poverty “acknowledging that such public policy is good for business as well as workers”; and a resolution to protect God’s creation was passed. “Global warming threatens the very fabric of God’s creation and will hit those who are least able to adapt–both human and nonhuman–the hardest,” it said in part. It called on “all Christians, people of faith and people of good will the world over to…individually and in community, quickly reduce…their green house gas emissions.”

Additionally, the daily schedule included Bible study, worship, and presentations by a number of renowned theologians, clergy, and lay people. For more information about the assembly, including resources, policy documents, and pictures, visit http://www.ncccusa.org/.

 

6) Committee celebrates Brethren archives’ 70th anniversary.

Opening with a special recognition of the 70th anniversary of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives (BHLA), the Brethren Historical Committee met at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., on Nov 3-4. The archives is a ministry of the Church of the Brethren General Board and began in 1936, when the books and files of J.H. Moore were donated to the General Mission Board.

Responsibilities of the committee include encouraging Brethren historical research and publication, promoting the preservation of Brethren historical records, and advising BHLA.

The agenda for the meeting included microfilming of Brethren periodicals and full minutes of Annual Meeting, transfer of 16-mm film files to video in DVD format, addition of new space and equipment for BHLA, revision of a pamphlet for local church historians, plans for an insight session at the 2007 Annual Conference, and a review of the 2007 BHLA budget.

Wendy McFadden, executive director of Brethren Press, presented a report on the activities of Brethren Press. Special attention was given to the publication of “The Brethren During the Age of World War” by Stephen L. Longenecker. Publication of the book had been recommended by the committee.

Committee members elected Jane Davis to serve as chair beginning in July 2007. Current members are William Kostlevy (chair), Jane Davis, Marlin Heckman, and Kenneth Kreider. Kenneth Shaffer is director of the BHLA.

 

7) AARM changes name, recognizes founding board members.

At the annual meeting of the Association of Anabaptist Risk Management (AARM) on Oct. 30 at Landis Homes Retirement Community in Lititz, Pa., founding board members Edgar Stoesz and Henry Rosenberger concluded their service with AARM.

Stoesz and Rosenberger helped establish the organization in 1993, which has specialized in providing insurance programs and services to nonprofit Anabaptist organizations. The Association of Brethren Caregivers (ABC) is a member.

“We had hoped to make it to the Promised Land,” said Stoesz, referring to hopes that the agency would one day become its own insurance company. “But, like Moses, we will just have to peer in from the other side and let you, the new board members carry us home.”

Because of AARM’s relationship to the Peace Church Risk Retention Group, the board decided to change the name of the organization to AARM–Insurance Services for Peace Church Organizations. In 2003 AARM became third-party administrator of a national risk retention group, the Peace Church Risk Retention Group. The group is a member-owned group of Church of the Brethren, Mennonite, and Friends retirement facilities providing liability insurance for its members. The change was made because the organization now not only serves the Anabaptist communities but also Friends, or Quaker, communities as well.

New members elected to the board are Edith Yoder, executive director of Bridge of Hope National, Exton, Pa.; Vernon King, CEO of the Brethren Home Community, New Oxford, Pa.; Brenda Reish, CFO of Bethany Theological Seminary, Richmond, Ind.; Keith Stuckey, president of Anabaptist Providers Group, Lititz, Pa., elected chair; Neil Holzman, CEO of Friends Services for the Aging, Blue Bell, Pa., elected vice-chair; Kathy Reid, executive director of ABC, elected secretary; and Larry Miller, CEO of Mennonite Financial, Lancaster, Pa., continuing as treasurer.

 

8) Brethren bits: Job opening, Annual Conference logo, and more.
  • Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) seeks a three-quarter time Palestine Project Support Coordinator to support teams working in Hebron and At-Tuwani. Preferred location is the CPT Toronto office or Chicago office, but other sites will be considered. Compensation is a subsistence stipend based on need. Appointment is for an initial period of three years. Needed qualities, experience, and skills include grounding in the Christian faith, commitment to a Christian understanding of peacemaking, experience as a peacemaker or willingness to participate in nonviolent direct action and work in settings of lethal conflict, experience in Israel/Palestine, English fluency with some Arabic and Hebrew proficiency desired, administrative and communication skills, experience in and commitment to dismantling racism and other oppressions, abilities as a team member, interpersonal and cross-cultural skills, among other qualifications. Persons of color are encouraged to apply. Expressions of interest will be accepted until Dec. 20. Contact Doug Pritchard at guest.242987@MennoLink.org or 416-423-5525. For more go to http://www.cpt.org/.
  • A logo has been chosen for the 2007 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, next July. It was created by Becky Goldstein of Boise, Idaho. An interpretation statement in English and Spanish will be available soon. To view the logo on the theme, “Proclaim the Power of God,” go to www.brethren.org/ac/index.htm.
  • *In a reminder from finance staff of the Church of the Brethren General Board, year-end donations to denominational agencies (Association of Brethren Caregivers, Bethany Theological Seminary, the Church of the Brethren General Board, and On Earth Peace) must be dated and postmarked by Dec. 30 in order to be counted as a 2006 charitable gift for tax purposes.
  • Church of the Brethren congregations that have a health and well-being program, or are planning such a program, are requested to send the story of the program to the denomination’s Wellness Ministry. “Have you taken the ‘Lighten Up Brethren!’ initiative to heart? Are you planning on a healthy lifestyle focus in your congregation for 2007? Has a Lafiya or parish nurse program been part of your ministry for years? Inquiring minds want to know!” said an invitation for stories from Mary Lou Garrison, director of the Wellness Ministry on behalf of the Association of Brethren Caregivers, Brethren Benefit Trust, and the General Board. Write, call, or send an e-mail to Mary Lou Garrison, Director of Wellness Ministry, Association of Brethren Caregivers, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120; 800-323-8039; mgarrison_abc@brethren.org.
  • High school freshman Caitlyn Leiter-Mason is a planner for Dec. 10 “Darfur Awareness Day (D.A.D.)” at Glade Valley Church of the Brethren. From 2-4:30 p.m. the church will be open for people to receive information about the situation in Darfur, Sudan, and to buy fair trade gifts from the area surrounding Sudan marketed through a Greater Gift/SERRV. At 5 p.m., dinner will be followed by a presentation by Phil Jones, director of the Brethren Witness/Washington Office of the Church of the Brethren General Board. The church will collect donations for the work of Church World Service in Darfur. For more information contact dad@gladevalleybrethren.org.
  • The McPherson (Kan.) College Choir and College Singers present a Christmas Vespers Concert on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 4 p.m. at McPherson Church of the Brethren. The theme is “Christmas, Past and Present,” and the concert will include a candlelight procession, Christmas music, and several carols. The choir is directed by Steven Gustafson.
  • “Building on Faith: Making Poverty Housing History,” a documentary tackling the issue of affordable housing, will be offered to television stations affiliated with NBC-TV beginning Dec. 10. The hour-long program presented by the National Council of Churches (NCC) in partnership with Mennonite Media and the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission, looks at how providing a safe and secure home is a basic necessity for building a just and functional society. Those who appear in the documentary include the CEO of Habitat for Humanity International Jonathan Reckford, former vice-presidential candidates John Edwards and Jack Kemp, and Jim Wallis of Sojourners/Call to Renewal. Viewers are encouraged to contact their local NBC affiliate to request that the special be aired.

 

9) Carol Bowman takes fulltime stewardship position with General Board.

Carol Bowman has accepted the fulltime position of coordinator of stewardship formation and education within the Funding Team of the Church of the Brethren General Board, beginning Jan. 1, 2007.

Bowman began working with the General Board in 1998 as a half-time member of the Congregational Life Team in Area 5. Later that year, she assumed an additional half-time position as a financial resource counselor. More recently, she has been directing additional time to the work of stewardship formation in congregations.

In her newly combined role, Bowman plans to continue and expand work to assist congregations, districts, and individuals with formation of faithful understandings and practices of whole-life stewardship.

 

10) Steven Crain to serve as campus pastor at Manchester College.

Steven Crain will serve as campus pastor at Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., beginning July 1, 2007. Associate campus chaplain Sonia Smith will serve as interim campus pastor Jan. 1 through July 1.

Crain will join the Manchester staff after completing his work as philosophy faculty member at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne. He also has taught at the University of Notre Dame, Valparaiso University, University of St. Francis, Washington University, and Canterbury High School in Fort Wayne. He holds degrees from Stanford University, Fuller Theological Seminary, and the University of Notre Dame, and has trained for ministry in the Episcopal Church.

He is a member of Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Ind., where he serves on the worship team, and has served as a Northern Indiana District Conference delegate. He is currently seeking ordination in Northern Indiana District.

 

11) Haitian Brethren youth reflect on counter-recruitment conference.
By Matt Guynn

Three veterans, with experience ranging from the Vietnam era through 2004 in Iraq, had just finished sharing their experiences as part of a panel at the conference, “Counter-Recruitment: Countering Military Recruitment with Gospel Nonviolence,” Nov. 3-5 in San Antonio, Texas.

Michelet Hyppolite, past president of the youth group at First Haitian Church of the Brethren in Brooklyn, N.Y., stood up in the full sanctuary of San Antonio Mennonite Church and asked his youth to stand up out of the crowd: “Sadie! David! Miolson! Josue! Stephen! Janesse!…” A group of eight or ten youth stood.

He pointed to them and asked the veterans, “What advice can you give these young people who came with me? Military recruiters are all over them. What do you want to make sure they know?”

The veterans responded that it was important that the youth learn from the experience of their elders and those who had gone before them, that they did not need to learn for themselves that war is a tragedy and leaves lifelong scars. They shared that as Christians it is important to be shaped by the gospel, not by the culture of violence. And they shared that there are real alternatives for education and job training; even if you have to look for them, it merits the effort.

Reflecting later, group member Sadie Hyppolite said, “I experienced God through the words of Conrad and the other veterans when they spoke of how they came to realize that war is not the answer. My faith was impacted in that I realized that you can truly do all things through Christ.”

Hyppolite and the youth who stood with him were part of a 16-member delegation from Brooklyn brought by On Earth Peace. In June, pastor Verel Montauban of First Haitian wrote to me, sharing that military recruitment was strong in the high schools, colleges, and local communities in New York. He wanted to find out how to get his youth group and community members active in response. In September, I visited Haitian First to meet with members of the youth group. There was so much interest in the issue of military recruitment that On Earth Peace offered to underwrite the cost of travel to the Texas conference so a major delegation from Brooklyn could attend.

What comes next? Next comes the Haitian congregation’s own discernment about how to proceed in the Brooklyn context. On Earth Peace will work with the youth group and other congregational leaders to find and promote positive nonmilitary options for the future.

Here are some more reflections from the Haitian First delegates:

“The people who came to share their stories, I believe were sent by God. They served as living experiences and models to us as a young generation to know that our choices do have consequences,” said Leunz Cadely.

“My commitment: That war is not an option. I intend to start a group and march into schools and help other teens make the right decision about joining the military,” said Sandra Beauvior.

“I experienced God in learning that my body is a temple and not to be used in war. I found a commitment to peace, to speak to youth in schools and on the streets, spreading the word,” said David Hyppolite.

–Matt Guynn is coordinator of peace witness for On Earth Peace.

 


Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board, cobnews@brethren.org or 800-323-8039 ext. 260. Mary Dulabaum, Jody Gunn, Phil Jones, Linda Kjeldgaard, Nancy Knepper, Jon Kobel, Jeri S. Kornegay, Karin Krog, and Jane Yount contributed to this report. Newsline appears every other Wednesday, with the next regularly scheduled Newsline set for Dec. 6; other special issues may be sent as needed. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. For more Church of the Brethren news and features subscribe to “Messenger” magazine, call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.