Bits Brothers of July 23, 2022 – News
— Emily Bowdle joined the Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) team as a guidance assistant, as a BVS volunteer. She previously served at BVS as a member of BVS Unit 324. Her previous project sites were Camp Myrtlewood in Myrtle Point, Oregon, and the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) in Tochii-ken, Japan. It is affiliated with Denton (Md.) Church of the Brethren.
— Virlina District is seeking a full-time District Executive Minister. The position will be available from December 2022. The district office is in Roanoke, Virginia. The district covers parts of three states with the majority of congregations located in Virginia. The district is made up of widely diverse theological perspectives and congregations in urban, suburban and rural areas. Virlina has intentional programs that enable people to discern God’s call to set apart ministry. There is enthusiasm for being together, for spiritual growth through retreats (for youth and adults), for disaster response trips, for the district conference and for the development of new churches. The district is blessed with three Spanish-speaking congregations. The district camp, Camp Bethel, covers an expansive 470 acres and continues to develop facilities and programs to provide year-round ministry. The District Resource Center has several staff as well as volunteers to assist in district ministry. The responsibilities of the district executive minister include the direction, coordination, management, and leadership of district ministries, as authorized by the district conference and implemented by the district board; work with congregations in the calling and credentialing of ministers, and in the placement/calling and evaluation of pastoral personnel; provide support and guidance to ministers and other church leaders; share and interpret program resources for congregations; provide an important link between the congregations and the district and denomination by working in conjunction with the District Executive Board, the Church’s Annual Conference of Brethren and its agencies, and their staff. Qualifications and experience include ordination through an accredited program, with a Master of Divinity degree preferred; personal organizational, administrative and communication skills; commitment to the Church of the Brethren at the local and denominational level and willingness to work ecumenically; demonstrated leadership skills; desired pastoral experience. Apply by sending a letter of interest and resume to Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, Director of Brethren Church Ministry, via email to [email protected] Applicants are requested to contact three people to provide reference letters. Upon receipt of the resume, a candidate profile will be sent which must be completed and returned before the application is considered complete. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
At the end of the July 19 business day, the annual conference supply total was $39,295.61. including offerings received onsite in Omaha, offerings received online, and additional donations since the close of the Conference. This total includes $6,598.55 received to support annual conference ministry; $8,609.46 for basic denominational ministries Church of the Brethren; $7,467.48 to support ministry training for international Brethren Church leaders; $3,907.41 to support transportation for international guests attending the annual conference; and $12,712.71 for Girls, Inc. of Omaha, which was this year’s “Host City Witness” project.
In an update on the blood drive from the annual conference, Brethren Disaster Ministries staff shared that “the Red Cross actually credited us with 105 pints of blood, including 9 double reds”. The blood drive is also a hybrid event, with church members invited to participate from their own parts of the country. The virtual blood drive runs until July 31. Go to www.brethren.org/virtualblooddrive2022.
— On Earth Peace launches a campaign to organize around armed violence. An online “meet-and-greet” between those already active in the gun violence field and those looking to get involved is scheduled for July 29 at 3:00 p.m. EST. “What are you doing already?” We need to hear your story! How do you hope to get involved? says an announcement. Participants will learn about possible actions to take, connect with others, and be part of collective efforts for safer communities where all can thrive. “The purpose of this initiative is to move our constituency into action to reduce gun violence in the United States,” the announcement said. “If you’ve been active, we want to hear your stories so others can learn from your experience; if you’ve recently been excited, we want to give the community a place to connect. For all of us, we want to build capacity and commitment and see the way forward. Register on www.onearthpeace.org/gun_violence_campaign_kick_off.
–– A gathering of information and conversation about the possibilities of starting a Church of the Brethren group in the Madison, Wisconsin area will take place on Sunday, August 21 at 6 p.m. at the Goodman Community Center Ironworks Building in Madison. A light meal will be served. If you or someone you know might be interested in attending, please contact Illinois/Wisconsin District Executive Minister Walt Wiltschek at [email protected] for details.
— A webinar titled “Ending Selective Service for All” on July 27 at 7 p.m. EST is jointly sponsored by the Center on Conscience and War—a longtime partner organization of the Brethren Church—with the American Friends Service Committee and WAND (Women’s Action for New Directions), as well as former rebels. An announcement said: “Last year, Congress narrowly avoided extending the Selective Service registration requirement to women – a provision that would require all U.S. residents between the ages of 18 and 25 to register for a possible military draft. This year, senators are again trying to expand this unjust system. We believe that no one, regardless of gender, should be forced to serve in the military and support efforts to completely repeal the Selective Service registration requirement. The webinar will provide updates on the latest Congressional efforts to expand Selective Service and provide advocacy opportunities for those who want to end the system, not expand it. he event will be moderated by Tori Bateman of the American Friends Service Committee, who previously worked for the Brethren Church’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy.Speakers include Mac Hamilton of WAND, Maria Santelli of the Center on Conscience and War and Edward Hasbrouck of Resisters.info. Register on www.afsc.org/action/end-selective-service-all-2022-update.
— “Accountability Matters: Advocate for Palestinian Children and Families” is the title of a series of events sponsored by Churches for Middle East Peace in August. CMEP is a partner organization of the Brethren Church, connected through the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy. “This summit will offer flexible hours to join live games or watch recordings, as well as the opportunity to meet other members of your local community for a virtual Congress meeting,” an announcement said. “Accountability Matters will focus on the importance of human rights, in particular through the support of HR 2590: Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation, presented by Congresswoman Betty McCollum. Registration fees are donation-based and optional. The webinar will take place on August 9 at 1 p.m. EST, or watch a recording at your own pace. Advocacy training takes place August 11 at 1 p.m. EST, or watch a recording at your own pace. If you join live, you can meet other members of your advocacy group. Congress meetings are held the week of August 15 or 22, scheduled according to the group’s schedule. Find out more and register before July 31 on https://cmep.org/event/webinar-understanding-hr-2590.
–– Patriarch Theophilus III had the opportunity to relay the concerns of Christians living in the Holy Land during President Biden’s recent visit to Israel and Palestine. “After being received by the representatives of the churches managing the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on July 15, President Joseph Biden was accompanied for a short visit to the place of the birth of Christ, where he was expected by the Patriarch Theophilus III, Father Custos Patton, and Armenian Orthodox Patriarch Norahan Manugian, all of whom took Biden on tour and exchanged discussions with him in the presence of a number of Palestinian officials,” a statement from the World Council of Churches reads. (COE). The patriarch “stressed the need for active intervention by the United States to protect the heritage and the Christian presence in the Holy Land, in particular in the city of Jerusalem, which is experiencing unprecedented attacks by radical Israeli groups. . Church leaders in Jerusalem, as well as the World Council of Churches, have expressed grave concern that the perpetrators of the attacks are not being held accountable, which in turn creates an environment that repels Christians of their own city of Jerusalem. Read the full press release at www.oikoumene.org/news/patriarch-theophilos-iii-relays-christians-concerns-to-us-president-joe-biden.