Via The Brethren Newsline: June 24th

Source: Brethren Newsline


Quotes of the week:

“Jesus calls us to the law of love that is equally expressed between our enemies and our friends. It knows no differentiation.”

— Words shared in the opening worship service of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee by Gloria Ulloa Alvarado of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, and a WCC president for Latin America and the Carribean. The WCC Central Committee meeting being held in Trondheim, Norway, is “themed around discerning new landscapes in its Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace,” said a WCC release. In order to highlight the theme of pilgrimage and to prepare for the meeting, Knut Refsdal, general secretary of the Christian Council of Norway, spent nearly a month walking the 643 k.m. St. Olav’s Way, a medieval pilgrim route. “The pilgrimage enabled Refsdal to meet and walk with persons of very different orientations and convictions,” the release reported, “for example, walking with a Pentecostal minister and an imam. Walking together, says Refsdal, forces one to concentrate not on differences between pilgrims but on the shared basics of food, water, and battling tiredness. ‘We just became fellow human beings,’ he said. His pilgrimage…also enabled him to realize ‘that the potential in churches is strong enough to invite collaboration with other organizations, and all people of good will, to work together to sustain local communities.’”

“The difficulties encountered in the historic gathering are the kind of labors that yield mutual understanding and appreciation.”

— From a WCC report on the Holy and Great Council of Orthodox Christian leaders from around the world, held this week on the island of Crete. Ten of the world’s 14 self-governing Orthodox churches are present at the council. It has been a half-century since the last such event, and the agenda for this council has been discussed for more than 50 years.



Preparing for Annual Conference

“Reflejando el rostro de Dios: Queridos hermanos y hermanas, Mi última nota a ustedes venía con un corazón más ligero. Hoy, como yo estoy de luto con nuestro país por la tragedia en Orlando quiero compartir una vez más, ahora con una tristeza y urgencia motivada por nuestro remordimiento nacional. Probablemente no es necesario que yo añade a la especulación sobre lo que tenemos que hacer como país. Quiero hablar de lo que podemos hacer como Iglesia, sobre todo cuando nos aproximamos a reunirnos en Greensboro…”
Above: The moderator’s letter following on the Orlando gun massacre has been translated into Spanish . The letter in English continues to be available  .

Brethren are invited to provide continuous prayer during Annual Conference and pre-Conference meetings that take place in Greensboro, N.C., beginning Sunday, June 26. This effort is organized by Annual Conference chaplain Karen B. Cassell. An online site helps choose specific times during which to commit to hold Annual Conference in prayer (all information is confidential and only available to Cassell as administrator of the site). Go to . Those without Internet access are invited to set aside a time to pray for Annual Conference any time from June 26-July 3.

Intercultural Ministries is looking for extra help translating Annual Conference business sessions and worship services for Spanish-speaking participants. There will be a sign up sheet at the translation table in the main meetingroom, or contact Gimbiya Kettering, director of Intercultural Ministries, at .

Follow events at Annual Conference at  where onsite coverage begins June 27. This news index page will feature links to news stories posted from Greensboro, photo albums of the Conference, links to webcasts of business and worship, bulletins and sermon texts, a two-page Wrap Up to download in pdf format after the Conference ends, and more. Look for a full review of the 2016 Annual Conference in the next regularly scheduled Newsline, to appear July 5.

Delegates are invited to purchase the Conference wrap up videos from Brethren Press: the Annual Conference Wrap Up DVD with highlights from Greensboro, created by videographer David Sollenberger ($29.95, save $10 off the price by ordering before July 2) and the Annual Conference Sermons DVD ($24.95). Call Brethren Press at 800-441-3712or use the order form in the delegate packet.



On Earth Peace issues response to queries coming to Annual Conference

On Earth Peace leadership has issued a written response to the queries about the agency that are coming to this year’s Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. The On Earth Peace response was distributed in an e-newsletter earlier this week, and is signed by Bill Scheurer, executive director, and Jordan Bles, board chair.
In related news, On Earth Peace is requesting the aid of supporters during the Conference, and is giving suggestions for action. On Earth Peace is requesting supporters who will be at the Conference to sign up online at .

Find the On Earth Peace document at



Global Food Initiative announces new name for continuing program, new gardening grants

Global Food Initiative (GFI) has been announced as the new name for the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF). The program of the former GFCF continues under the new name, and with a new logo and a redesigned website.

In related news, GFI has made a number of grants supporting Church of the Brethren gardening projects in Pennsylvania and New Mexico, and a gardening project in Hebron, Palestine, in collaboration with Manchester University.

Read the full story at



Children’s Disaster Services sends third team to Houston, Orlando team completes service

“We have another team headed out to Houston, Texas, this week, third one this summer,” reports Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) associate director Kathleen Fry-Miller. “I know the people there are getting very weary of all the flooding and water. I’m so grateful that we have volunteers willing to go.”

In related news, the CDS team who served in Orlando following the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub has completed its work caring for children and families affected by the gun massacre. In addition, more CDS volunteers are on alert to respond to the California fires and West Virginia floods, as the American Red Cross determines needs for childcare.

Read the full story at



Brethren bits

n this issue: Former general secretary of the Church of the Brethren named to staff of the World Council of Churches, Bethany Seminary hires admissions counselor, Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center seeks executive director, BHLA celebrates 200-year legacy of James Quinter, congregations celebrate anniversaries, and more news by, for, and about Brethren.

Read the Brethren bits at



Contributors to this issue of Newsline include Jan Fischer Bachman, Jordan Bles, Jeff Boshart, Beryl H. Brubaker, Jenn Dorsch, Chris Douglas, Kathleen Fry-Miller, Bill Kostlevy, Nancy Miner, Stan Noffsinger, Tyler Roebuck, Bill Scheurer, and editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services for the Church of the Brethren. Newsline is produced by the News Services of the Church of the Brethren. Contact the editor at . Newsline appears every week, with special issues as needed. Stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source.

Look for a full review of the 2016 Annual Conference in the next regularly scheduled Newsline, to appear July 5.


Source: Brethren Newsline




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