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Winter/Spring 2013


live in Ashland, Ohio nestled in the more “hilly” part of northeast Ohio. Winters in northeast Ohio are marked by weeks of cloudy skies and snow on the groud that won’t seem to melt away. But before snow plows, shovels, and foot traffic disturb the pristine, new snowfall, there is a magic and beauty to a wintry scene of snow falling and a sheet of white out my kitchen window. I love mornings where I can sit, drink my coffee, and marvel at how a blanket of white brings beauty to an otherwise overcast dingy world.

bring with it joys and also frustrations. May we see this new year as a possibility for fresh starts and new beginnings. May the new year, for us individually and collectively as a group known as “Brethren,” provide us moments of invigorating wonder and hope as we watch snow gently fall. As snow melts the runoff helps fill water tables. Filled water tables help new growths. Snow that covers the “deadness” of winter is critical to the fresh new starts of crocuses in the early spring. Blessings, Jason Barnhart

We now embark on a new year full of possibilities and new adventures. There is a lot of possibility ahead for us in 2013. This year will

Feature Stories

In Every Issue...

STORY OF THE WEEK

3 Highland Brethren Church

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RESOURCE PAGE

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“Finding Rest in the Daily Crazy,” by Ann Miller

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WMS OUTLOOK

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MISSIOCHURCH

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BITS & PIECES

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“Planting Seeds,” by Sarah Wells

DEVOTIONAL 22 CLOSING “Changes,” by Dr. Jerry Flora

The Evangelist Winter/Spring 2013

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One Church, Four Generations, by Gary McIntosh

Future Story in Northeast District


Highl and B rethre B n

ecome Chur ch s M Usero r e Frien dly

“We at Highland Brethren Church are exercising our ‘PHDs,’” Pastor Tim Lindsay told me over the phone. “We’re praying, hearing and doing.” Indeed the Highland Brethren Church is doing just that. Their process/motto of discipleship is “reach, preach, teach and release.” They reach out to the community. They preach the good news of Jesus Christ. They teach and disciple people. Then they release those disciples back to the community. This circle of discipleship has helped the church witness the baptism of 23 people, 20 of whom are brand new to the church. Two years ago Tim Lindsay began pastoring the Highland Brethren Church. When he first arrived the Spirit began to give him a vision for the church. One of the first things he noticed was that Highland’s church building was not very user-friendly. The original building had been built in 1861 and the entire building needed updating. A big one for Tim was that the church was not handicap-accessible. This overlooked demographic would not be able to worship with Highland folks, which would inhibit their mission of “reach-preach-teach-release.”

coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” (vv. 23-24, NIV). The people of Highland Brethren are seeking to be a people of Spirit and truth as they reach out to their community. We celebrate their desire to have a building that is more welcoming and user-friendly. Please continue to pray for the Highland congregation as they continue to seek the will of God and reach out to their surrounding community. - by Jason Barnhart

Highland prayed together and collectively discerned that a step forward would be a new addition on the front of the building. This new addition, they discerned, would have to make the building more accessible for people, especially those with physical handicaps. Now about 90 percent complete, the new addition has front entry ramps and a foyer and restrooms that are both handicap accessible. As my phone call with Tim concluded, he reminded me of the passage from the fourth chapter of John’s Gospel when Jesus speaks to the woman at the well (a passage that has been particularly meaningful to the people of Highland Brethren),“Yet a time is

SIGN UP! The story of the week is a weekly e-publication of the Brethren Church highlighting a quick story of kingdom movement and impact amongst the Brethren. If you’re not receiving these weekly stories and would like to, sign up at brethren@brethrenchurch.org.

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Winter/Spring 2013 The Evangelist


Finding Rest in the Daily Crazy By Ann Lee Miller

But while raising a houseful of kids, working, doing all the things in life that must be done — resting felt like a luxury I couldn’t afford. But the words from Exodus bore down on me, along with other verses stretching all the way to Hebrews 4:9, “There remains, then, a Sabbath rest for the people.”

I SAT IN THE PRAYER ROOM during my turn of a week-long 24/7 prayer vigil, squeezing globs of brown, yellow, and white paint onto a paper plate. I chose a brush, blended colors, and stared at the blank cardboard wanting to project a feeling inside onto the page. The last time I’d tried this, I was in kindergarten. An hour later I had a painting of a person kneeling with sun streaming in the window any five-year-old would have been proud of.

So, I’ve rested one day a week for quite a few years. To my surprise, I find myself bursting out of bed on Monday mornings eager to dive into my work week. Sometimes I need more rest because my work — writing — requires that I not burn out. But isn’t burnout a threat for everyone? We’ve all experienced exhaustion that goes deeper than our need for sleep.

For my Type A personality, this was a colossal waste of time. I should have been interceding for a long list of needs, or mining the Word for things God wanted to tell me. I should have been writing prayers to God in my journal, doing anything other than playing. And I probably would have been doing something more productive if the vigil hadn’t been mandated as a time of rest.

The Bible is packed with rest — the land laying fallow the seventh year (Leviticus 25:4), regular festivals, Jesus sleeping in the boat during a storm, attending a wedding, retreating to a quiet place to pray.

In Exodus 31:15 God’s command to take a Sabbath is stern — resulting in death if not observed. He must have lightened up in New Testament times or I would have been dead a long time ago. I know God — who designed me in the first place — makes rules to protect me.

The Evangelist Winter/Spring 2013

Sometimes we need a vacation, sabbatical, or ninety minutes of peace. A day of preparation for the Sabbath was customary (Luke 23:54). We need to prepare rest for ourselves, too. Examine

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“There remains, then, a Sabbath rest for the people.” Hebrews 4:9

what you do during your time off — shop, exercise, engage in a hobby, seek entertainment from TV or books, socialize, do extra work. Which, if any, of these things bring rest and refreshment to your soul? Brainstorm ideas that bring life and rejuvenation to your inner man and your relationship with God.

me. I might listen to instrumental music out of my usual genre, try something new, or laugh with friends. Look for ways to help each other find peace and God. Encourage friends to take longer vacations, choose activities that restore their souls. Applaud them for making hard choices that feed their spirits rather than to-do lists.

Rest, for me, means disengaging from the internet and anything else that busies my brain.

The day I painted my goofy picture I met a facet of God I’ve never seen. I felt God’s nearness, camaraderie in a new way. And something stuck long after the activity — joy.

I take long walks and talk to God. Sometimes I sit beside the river and invite God to speak to

Ann Lee Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland University and published three novels. She guest lectures on writing at several Arizona colleges. When she isn’t writing

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or muddling through some crisis — real or imagined — you’ll find her hiking in the mountains with her husband, Jim, pastor of Oasis Community Church. Contact Ann at: AnnLeeMiller.com

Winter/Spring 2013 The Evangelist


2013

S E T A D CAMP NORTHEAST DISTRICT Mini Camp June 16 – 19 Completed grades 1-2

CAMP BETHANY

Sr. High Camp June 30-July 7 Completed grades 9-12

Post High Retreat June 7 – 9 Ages 18 - 35ish

Jr. High Camp July 23 - 30 Completed grades 7-8

Mini Camp June 14 – 16 Completed grades 1-2 Sr. High Camp June 16 – 22 Completed grades 9-12 Elementary Camp June 23 – 29 Completed grades 3-4

BRETHREN RETREAT

AT SHIPSHEWANA LAKE WEEKLY CIT Camp (Ages: 14+ by Sept 1st) JUNE 14 - 16 Parent/Child (Ages: 4-14) Family Fishing Weekend (Ages: 4-Adult) GrandCamp (Ages: 4-12) JUNE 16 - 22 Ignite Camp (Ages: 11-14) JUNE 23 - 29 Fuel Camp (Ages: 8-11)

SOUTHEAST DISTRICT

Middler Camp June 30 – July 6 Completed grades 5-6 Jr. High Camp July 7 - 13 Completed grades 7-8

Sr. High Camp June 16 – 22 Completed grades 9-12 Middler Camp June 23 – 29 Completed grades 5-6 Jr. High Camp July 7 - 13 Completed grades 7-8

JUNE 30 - JULY 4 Blaze Camp (Ages: 14-18) Cooking Camp (Ages: 9-16) Sports Camp (Ages: 9-16) JULY 7 - 13 Pioneer Camp (Ages: 10-12) JULY 14 - 20 JH Wilderness - IN (Ages: 13-16) JULY 15 - 19 Community Day Camp (Ages: 6-11) July 21 - 25 Nature Discovery (Ages: 8-12) Archery Camp (Ages: 9-16) MAD Camp (Ages: 9-16) JULY 28 - 30 Mini Bible (Ages: 6-8 yr olds)

Winter/Spring 2013 The Evangelist

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T here are so few things in youth ministry that

great worship and entertainment from some of the best in the game today.

are for us advisors, that when something comes along that's just for us, we often times overlook it or write it off. Friends, the Simply Youth Ministry Conference is not something to be ignored or written off. In fact, this is an event you ought to wipe your schedule clean to attend. Join thousands of like-minded and likehearted youth workers from all over the globe for four days of soul enrichment and refueling. March 1-4, 2013 at the beautiful JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis, youth workers, just like you, will gather together for this unique time. In addition to the amazing cast of youth ministry guru's who will fill you to the brim with fresh ideas and inspiration, you'll enjoy

Because we believe in you so much as an advisor, and we really want to see you at SYMC, we're helping to pay a portion of your registration cost. The BYIC is prepared to cover up to $300 off your total registration ($150 per two registrations). In addition we're also planning some special times together during the week. For more information about SYMC, check out their website: http://conference.youthministry.com. You can also better connect with those of us attending by joining our Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ BYICadvisors.

Questions? Contact Ryan Smith (ryan@brethrenchurch.org)

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Winter/Spring 2013 The Evangelist


GLOBAL PARTNERS SPOTLIGHT

PERU

IF YOU SAW A CHILD in need, to what lengths would you go to find a solution? Italo and Rebecca Abuid were confronted with that question at the most inopportune time… Italo was on medical leave at a family property in his home town of Puerto Maldonado following a serious illness. This is a rough and dusty mining town, surrounded by the Amazon jungle in eastern Peru close to the border with Bolivia. It is the unlikeliest place for just about anything except there are

Winter/Spring 2013 The Evangelist

people there, and God cares about people. Many work in the mines, and their children are left to fend for themselves. Many are displaced from their homes, at the mercy of human trafficking, and suffering at every level. Even during his own recuperation Italo knew that something needed to be done. Jesus, Mi Buen Pastor Hogar (Jesus, My Good Shepherd Home) was founded on the vision of providing a safe and nurturing place for the

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“orphans” or displaced and distressed children of Puerto Maldonado, Peru. A main building is completed; crops of various kinds surround the area providing food and a partial but renewable funding source. Five children are now on site, and the dream has begun. Your gifts have sustained this mission thus far, and your continued commitment helps ensure that the children of Puerto Maldonado will find safety, a home, and the Savior!


INDIA

ANYONE WHO’S VISITED will tell you that the face of the Brethren Mission in India is her orphans. It is impossible to forget their smiles, shy curiosity, and above all their joy. They’ll sing you a welcome song and from the first note you are startled by the sheer volume of their enthusiasm, praising the Savior who has begun a transformation in their lives. This transformation is the focus of the Brethren Church in India, and is supported by your gifts of $35 per month for each child

in the orphanage. Currently, concerned and faithful Brethren people just like you provide care for over 85 children. “Orphan” might not be the best term to describe these dear ones, but accurately conveys the sense of uncertainty that these children face — except for our support. Some are indeed without a family. However many are from families too poor to care for their medical care or even basic needs of food, clothing, and education.

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The need is great, and your response has been faithful through the years. Thank you for allowing the gospel to touch your hearts in a way that touches the lives of children and families around the world through your gifts!

Winter/Spring 2013 The Evangelist


ECOMMENDED

One Church, Four Generations by Gary L. McIntosh

The resource of the week highlights a reinforcing resource for further reflection and application for kindgom movement.

From the Back Cover: “One Church, Four Generations gives thoughtful insight into the four generations found in churches today, exploring the qualities, values, and interests of each group in relation to the historical events and social trends that have shaped them. You’ll find practical suggestions for types of ministry and worship styles that will draw each generation — from the oldest generation of Builders to the youngest crowd of Bridgers. Helpful tables offer summaries of generational characteristics, common needs and concerns, and ways to reach the unchurched.”

Gary McIntosh is professor of Christian Ministry and Leadership at Talbot School of Theology in California. As president of the McIntosh Church Growth Network, a church consulting firm, he has worked with more than 500 churches in 53 denominations. He is the author of several books, including Look Back, Leap Forward.

Jason Barnhart writes: “How many times have churches been divided over music choice or style of dress? Under all of these seemingly ‘insurmountable’ conflicts lie larger generational differences. If only there was a resource to help us appreciate generational diversity and maintain the unity of the church. Gary McIntosh’s book, One Church, Four Generations: Understanding and Reaching All Ages in Your Church, provides rich descriptions of the different generations present in churches across America and offers fresh, creative ways for them to bridge differences and work together. The back cover details this further:

‘Church leaders of the twenty-first century, perhaps more than at any time in history, must reach out to a variety of groups within the church. How can worship services be modified to attract young people without driving the older members away? Is it possible for a church to have an intergenerational ministry? How can churches keep the youngest members involved?’”

Winter/Spring 2013 The Evangelist

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SIGN UP! The Resource Page highlights a reinforcing resource for further reflection and application for kingdom movement. To sign up for weekly stories and resources email brethren@brethrenchurch.org.


Winter/Spring 2013

A Publication of the Women’s Missonary Society

Morning Joy Ministry “And the Gift Goes On” From the President, Gloria Radcliff By the time this is in print and you read it, Christmas will have come and gone. Maybe you will be one that is glad it is all over, the busyness, programs, parties, etc. Or, maybe you are one who is sorry it is over because you didn’t get to do some of the new Christmas ideas you saw on “Pinterest” (a website that is full of creative ideas that my girls introduced me to), new traditions you wanted to start or old ones you had to lay aside because of time constraints. I am not a good gift giver. I hate to shop and I agonize over what to give. I worry about making things even among the children and grandchildren. What can I give my close friends and work associates, a gift that is nice and is also within my budget? What about parents, who really have everything they want because they just buy it themselves? And what about my husband, who always gives me gifts that I love. On and on it goes! I guess it is the “People Pleaser” part of my personality that is the problem and so often gets in the way. Or maybe it is that I am concentrating on giving the wrong kinds of gifts. No, not wrong, just the least important. The example of Mary and Martha has always meant a lot to me because I am such a Martha. Jesus reminded Martha that she had a choice in her expression of devotion and service to her Lord. We also have that same choice. Giving gifts is not just for Christmas. When And the Gift Goes On, Continued on p.14

By MaryLou Wilkinson She is charming and beautiful, but life has taken its toll on her. She was violated when she was young by a hired hand working in her home. No one believed her. She grew up filled with fear and loneliness. She hid the hurt. Who will love her? Who really cares? These questions plague her. The hole in her heart just keeps getting bigger. She uses men to try to fill it. She woos them with her good looks and tempting ways. They succumb easily. She’s hard to resist. Once she has finished with them, she moves on. Just shakes it off and moves on. She works dead end jobs to feed her addictions. It begins with material things, but it turns to other means of escape such as cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. The torrential life causes her to twist and turn until she spirals out of control. Still there’s a big hole in her heart. Her story is not unlike other women’s stories around the world. Trials and tribulations have maneuvered her down rocky roads. She’s also made thousands of choices that have fed into her unsettled tormented life. Is change even possible? Many times she has tried to turn things around. Only to return to what feels normal to her…numbness, exhaustion, anxiousness, joylessness, guilt, and more. Who will love her? Who really cares? I’ve been saddened to know many women like this one. I could have been her. I have a story and so do you. God delivered me from my past of pain and sin. I am so grateful. I have to share this great God of love with those in the world who have a hole in their heart. The Lord began to stir within me a passion to help women who

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think they are hopeless. There is no one in this world that is hopeless because we all can have an intimate relationship with the One True God and we all can have eternal hope. The vision God has given me is to open a facility called Morning Joy Women’s Transitional Community of Ashland. The mission will be to believe in and empower women who are ready to be actively involved in discovering more about Christ, themselves, and their future, so that they may be equipped for a transformed life filled with endless possibilities. Who will love her? I will, you will, and the body of Christ will. Who will care? I will, you will, and the body of Christ will. Presently, we are praying and waiting for a home to be given to us for this facility. Hopefully, it will be a big home for 12 women. It will be a place where ministry abounds. The women will be loved and cared for as they allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives. I can’t wait to be a part of this transformation process with each and every one of them. In the meantime, God said to me, “Don’t be idle, MaryLou. Be a good steward with what I have already entrusted you.” It wasn’t long before He spoke that I had been given sewing machines, material, thread, and more to start a ministry for the women to be productive. The ministry is called MJ Creations. We presently are making pillows, aprons, scarves, and more. We sell them and we are tucking away the money for when the home is born. Six women come and share their gifts and talents with me for the cause. They believe that this home will come into fruition, and it will be a blessing for God’s daughters.


Hope in the Jungle By Sherry Searles

As we sat on benches around the perimeter of the room, each woman stated her name and the names and ages of her children. By the time we got to the last of the 25 women, I was in tears. These were mothers.  And they were in prison. On my first trip to Puerto Maldonado, Peru, in the summer of 2010, I met Brethren missionary Rebecca Abuid. She and her husband, Italo are founders of the orphanage in Puerto Maldonado. She told me about the women in the local prison.  She explained that this dangerous facility, housing 300+ men, was also home to about 25 women.  Although the women had separate quarters, it was open to the areas where men resided as well.  Rebecca told me that she had once taken a few women from a mission team to the prison to visit the ladies there. The mission team had washed the inmate’s feet, given them manicures and pedicures, and lavished them with the love of Jesus.  

God kept putting these women on my heart and on a return trip to Peru, in December of 2011, I went to visit these precious ladies. Where I thought we might find hardened criminals, we found softened

vessels. They were so thirsty for a Word from God. Our team was called “Esperanza”, which means hope in Spanish. We were 5 women, including Rebecca. We joined 25 female inmates that day as we sang, read scripture, shared life, laughed, cried, prayed, and loved. One of the parting gifts we left with each one of the women was a little Spanish Bible. Although no cameras were allowed in the prison, I have a picture in my mind of the faces of these women as they received the Word of God. Pure joy!  Six months later, I was heading back to the Amazon with a larger team, Esperanza 2012. We had a long list of things

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we wanted to accomplish on this trip. And I couldn’t wait to get back to the prison. About 48 hours before departure, I sat down in my living room to read my Bible. Oops! I had forgotten my glasses. The pages were a blurry mess of black on white. Immediately, God put these words on my heart, “What about the women in the prison? Can they see the words on the pages you brought to them?” Oh. I had never considered that.  Well, it was a nice thought. But, I had already packed my bags. I didn’t have time to shop for glasses. And besides, I had spent a great deal of money already for this trip.  Maybe another time….blah, blah, blah (Translation: excuses). Thankfully, my wise husband, Steve stepped in. He offered the jar of coins from his dresser that we had been saving for another purpose. He thought it would be a good idea for me to follow up with God’s idea. Did I mention that Steve is wise? The coins totaled a little over $30. Just enough to purchase 10 pair of the $3 reading glasses from the local hardware store. Safely bubble-wrapped in the bottom of my travel bag, the glasses were on their way to the jungle. Fast forward a few days. Same room, same oppressive heat. Some of the women were different. A few had made it


Welcome to the Church at Laodicea . . . or is it the Church at Ephesus?

out. There were a few new faces. They now totaled 30 women. Again we worshiped.  They love to sing, especially that song about God moving mountains to help them. They cry out to God to see them and know their despair.  Towards the end of our visit, I remembered the glasses in my bag and asked if any of them perhaps needed glasses to help them read. They immediately began to confer amongst themselves. These women are a family in this place. They knew which members needed the glasses and began to tally them up on their fingers. They stopped at ten. “Ten. We need ten pair.” they said. 

By Corky Fisher, Editor Have you ever had a time in your life when the Lord had to repeat himself and practically shout at you to get your attention? It happened to me recently. I’d been wandering in the desert for a while. I hadn’t really turned away from Christ—not at all—but still there was something missing in our relationship. I didn’t want to spend time with Him, and I didn’t want to spend time in the Word. I knew this was my problem. A good friend encouraged me to go to the Psalms and to journal my thoughts, so I started doing that, albeit a little unwillingly. My life took me to two different churches on two consecutive Sundays recently. This was where the Lord really got my attention. The first Sunday was at Bible Fellowship Church in Sebring, Florida. The associate pastor, Andy McQuaid was preaching that Sunday. His text was Revelation 3:14-21. It’s a passage most of us are familiar with—Jesus’ words to the Church at Laodicea. Pastor Andy read the passage and I was struck by verse 16, “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Yikes! Lord, are you telling me I am lukewarm? Please don’t spit me out.

In the midst of my tears, God spoke to me. “Tell them. Tell them that this is how much I love them. I see them in this dark prison in the middle of the jungle. I know their names and see their needs. I have not forsaken them.”  This is hope. This is esperanza. The One who calls us is faithful. He has a plan to bring His hope to the whole world. And He chooses to do it through us. When I stop making excuses: ”I don’t have the time, money, blah, blah, blah...” He will be able to use me to carry out His mission. What a blessing to be a partner of esperanza with God. I need my glasses to read but I need to open my heart to really see.

Pastor Andy then began a dialogue; well it was really a monologue because no one could talk back. It went something like this. Welcome to the Church at Laodicea where we have everything! Please fill in the visitor’s card. We want a record of your attendance. We have the very best child care facilities. Our youth group is top notch. Our teachers are among the very finest. Everyone says so. We have amazing potluck suppers. Our people are very well-dressed. Did you see all the Cadillacs in the parking lot? What’s that? Jesus? Is Jesus here? I think I remember him. Tall fellow? Long hair? Scraggly beard? Sort of a shabby dresser? Homeless maybe? I can’t remember when I saw him last. He might be back in the nursery. I seem to remember he loved kids. He’s bound to be around here somewhere. Who wouldn’t want to be? Oh, just ignore that knocking. We don’t know what’s causing it, but it’s not as loud as it used to be. We’re praying it will go away. He then said, “That’s the church at Laodicea: self-satisfied, self-sufficient and self-deluded.” That really made me think. Let me emphasize that I am not making a statement about the church I attend, but after all, I AM a part of the church, and the church is made up of believers like me. Am I lukewarm? Am I self-satisfied? Am I self-sufficient? If I am either of these, then I am definitely self-deluded.

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Welcome to the Church, Continued on p.14


2013 WMS OUTREACH GRANT Opportunity The National WMS of the Brethren Church invites local Brethren WMS groups to apply for an OUTREACH GRANT. This grant process is to use the 2012 interest money from the Legacy Gift Fund, approximately $3,200.00. We encourage each WMS group to pray, brainstorm and believe that God wants to make a difference in our churches, communities and our world. The grants are an opportunity to transform lives and make an impact for our Lord Jesus. It is not money to be used to benefit ourselves but our communities and our world. Important information about the grants: 1. To apply, simply fill out an application, providing the necessary detailed information. 2. A group can apply for a grant up to $1,000.00. 3. The grant money must be used to directly impact ministry to your local community and/or the world (not your local WMS group). Grant money cannot be used for capital improvements or already existing programs. 4. The deadline for applications is May 1, 2013. An impartial committee will review all grant applications and recommend the grant recipients to the Executive Board of the National WMS for their selection. This Board has the right to accept or decline any applications. 5. Grants will be announced and awarded at WMS National Conference in July 2013. 6. A report is required (written and oral) during one of the WMS National Meeting times at National Conference in July 2014 to share the story with the Conference ladies and may possibly be used in the WMS Outlook or Brethren Evangelist. If you have any questions, or would like an application, you may contact Sherry Van Duyne at 419-289-0224 during church office hours or 419-281-4891 home or svanduyne@parkstreetbrethren.org OR Gloria Radcliff at 765-432-0509 or mgradcliff@juno.com What a great opportunity for Brethren WMS groups to impact their local community for Christ and have the money provided to make it happen! Meet with your leadership now and prayerfully consider how you might utilize one of these grants. Sincerely, National WMS Executive Board of the Brethren Church

Welcome to the Church, Continued from p.13

Then the next week I attended Fredericksburg Presbyterian Church, back in Ohio. This is the church my son and his family attend. This was a special Sunday because Zach, my 14-yr. old grandson, and his step-brother, Lucas, also 14, were being baptized and confirmed. And just like the week before at BFC, the lead pastor was not preaching. The guest speaker was Dr. Deborah Rundlett, Presbyter of the Muskingum Valley Presbytery. Her message was to the church and to those being baptized and/or confirmed. Her text was Paul’s prayer for the Church at Ephesus, Ephesians 3:1421. She talked about Christ being “down home” in our hearts—that the word “dwell” in verse 17 is katoikeo in the Greek from kata meaning “down” and oikos meaning ”home”. I really like the picture of Christ being “down home” in my heart. It doesn’t get much more personal than that. She encouraged us to allow a space for the love of Christ to dwell deep down in our hearts and to grow in our daily experience of the love of Jesus. She also emphasized that the goal of the Christian life is as verse 19 says, “. . . that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Can I possibly want anything better than to be daily filled with the fullness of Christ? She closed her message by quoting, Revelation 2:4 where the Church at Ephesus is told, “You have lost your first love.” Her words were that we be careful not to lose our first love. In my desert wanderings I don’t think I had lost my first love, but I definitely was at a point where the Lord had to get my attention, and thankfully, He did. The week before at the church in Florida, the special music was the chorus, “You Raise Me Up.” The last line of that chorus is “You raise me up to more than I could be.” When Christ is our first love, we can be more for Him. “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (Eph. 3:20, NLT) And the Gift Goes On, Continued from p.11

our children were little, we sang a song as a family that had lyrics that express what I am trying to say: “The Father gave the Son, the Son gave the Spirit, the Spirit gave us life so we could give the gift of love. And the gift goes on, the gift goes on and the gift goes on and the gift goes on and on and on.” I want to ask you as A Woman Meant To Serve to reflect back a bit, but more importantly, to look forward. Ask God to show you how to serve Him in this next year. Ask Him to show you what gift to give Him in the coming year and how to give the only perfect gift to others. Blessings, Gloria


Fre Fre

Fr

fren z e r F

F R E

Learning the Unforced Rhythms of Grace

W

e live in a culture of frenzy.

Double-shot espressos and sugarcharged energy drinks come in a can so we can grab them without waiting in line at the coffee shop. Gas stations offer pay-at-the-pump so we can fuel up without having to engage in bothersome conversation with the clerk. And when we get home, it’s not much better: dinner is often a frozen entree complete with carbs, meat and veggies so we don’t have to waste time individually preparing separate components, and breakfast can be popped in the toaster and shoved in a hungry kid’s hand as she heads out the door.

I am entering a season where life is starting to slow down just a little. But I still live in the midst of the frenzy, and I see my younger friends succumbing to it, and I see how we as a society measure it: The busier you are, the more things you can juggle at once, the more programs you (and your kids) are involved in — well, the more successful you appear. Isn’t that how it works? Sometimes I bet God just wants to scream, “STOP IT!!!” But, because he’s God, he whispers it instead: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting

on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28-30, The Message). Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? We ARE tired, worn out, burned out. We DO want to recover our lives. That “unforced rhythms of grace” part sounds especially appealing. And “freely and lightly” — what does that even mean? I’ve been mulling this over for a while, and I think it boils down to this: God wants us to live according to his rhythm for our lives rather than keeping up with the insane pace set by our culture. I’m always afraid I’m going to miss out on something. So in the past I have tried to pack it all in — every class, every meeting, every activity. And I’m afraid that, looking back, there have been many times I’ve experienced many good things but missed out on the best thing — something God had in mind that I blew right by in my quest for self-fulfillment. Jesus is talking about real rest in this passage. He is talking about recovering our lives - doing the things that God designed to fulfill and energize us: work that matters. Unhurried conversation with people we care about. Leisurely activities (whether sports or arts or music or whatever) that challenge us and let us express ourselves. Meals that nourish us and give us time to connect with family. Volunteer activities that we’re passionate about and that really help people. Time worshiping and listening to God.

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We can’t do all of those things in the same day, or sometimes even in the same week. But we can do them if we start gradually turning away the stuff that doesn’t matter (and this is me calling myself out here, because I’m just a girl who can’t say “no”), and creating more space in our lives for God to fill up with the stuff that does. And, when none of that is working and we’re so stressed out we can’t think straight, we can do as one of my former professors suggests when he  says: “Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap.” Read more excerpts from Wende Lance on her blog at http://wjlance. wordpress.com.

Wende Lance, former Associate Pastor of Outward Ministries at Park Street Brethren Church in Ashland, Ohio. Wende is currently pursuing her Doctor of Ministry in Missional Leadership at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Wende and her husband, John, reside in Loudonville, Ohio and have three children and one grandchild.

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FUTURE STORY On Saturday, October 20th, leaders from the Northeast District of the Brethren Church gathered to spend some time celebrating what Jesus is doing in their midst and beginning a process of discerning what else Jesus wants for them in the coming years. This time of training, praying, sharing, laughing and eating served as the kick-off of 150 days of prayer around specific questions about their future ministry together. Below are some reflections of the event by one of the leaders, Chris Dull, who was there: “I felt the weekend was all about the Lord Jesus giving assurance that we're on the right track and to keep moving ahead. I feel a burning desire to keep looking ahead and seek where the Lord is sending us next. Many of the folks I've spoken with about our efforts seem really impressed that we have three GSE groups in the works, with the possibility of a fourth in the future. [GatherShepherd-Elder, or GSE, is one model of church planting that MissioChurch promotes.] I find the affirmation more than a little humbling.   “There was significant interest among the churches represented this past weekend. All present seem pretty committed to prayerfully

Winter/Spring 2013 The Evangelist

support the efforts currently underway, starting with the 150 days of prayer. I do believe we definitely need to enlist the support of the district’s pastors as a whole. If we have them banging the drum from the pulpit and driving the wagon in each of their respective ministries, I think this will go a long way in instilling a passion in the folks across the district for evangelism, nurturing disciples and subsequent church planting. The kick-off event included a small taste of what listening to Jesus together looks and feels like. As those gathered prayed around the questions provided, it was clear that Jesus was saying that over the next decade he wanted to see more than 100 new churches in cities and people groups that the Brethren movement in that area is currently not reaching. While some of the details began to emerge, the goal of the process is to listen together, in community, over a longer period of time and then pull the impressions and answers from Jesus together into one story that the Brethren in that region can live out together. “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” Psalm 133:1 TNIV.

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Are you interested in more stories about regional future story events, church plants, and church planters? Check out MissioChurch’s new website at www.missiochurch.com.

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cross the country a growing network of Brethren are helping congregations explore fresh ways of being the people of God with one another and in their world. Known as Mobilize (a church health and resource group meant to help churches move forward better), this network is assisting the church to faithfully and effectively proclaim the gospel. With this in mind, below are the three basic questions that Mobilize gets asked:

WHAT IS MOBILIZE? The MOBILIZE Network is a growing web of leaders from around the country who have a passion to help regular church folks, pastors, teams and entire congregations take healthy steps forward in their journey with Christ. MOBILIZE folks are ordinary people with some helpful experiences, skills or spiritual gifts who are willing to share those with you and your church.

WHO IS MOBILIZE FOR? The MOBILIZE Network can help individuals who serve in a specific ministry in their church. They can also help the pastor of a congregation. They can assist groups like leadership boards, Christian education committees, deacons, or other special ministry areas. They can even help an entire congregation, a group of churches in a region, or a district board.

The Evangelist Winter/Spring 2013

HOW CAN MOBILIZE HELP ME AND MY CHURCH? Someone from the MOBILIZE Network can bring focus by helping your church ask the right questions as a starting point. If your church seems to be stuck they can help you identify and do something about what’s holding you back. If your church is being overwhelmed because of growth they can help you increase your capacity for making disciples who make other disciples. If your church seems to be faltering or even declining they can help you identify possible reasons and potential options to turn things around. The MOBILIZE Network is here to help you and your church more fully live out Jesus’ command to “Go and make disciples of all nations!”

Mobilize is coordinated nationally by Gary Diehl at the Brethren Church National Office. For more information, please contact Gary at 877-289-1708 or gary@brethrenchurch.org.

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n 2012, it seemed like unless I watered it, every plant in my garden looked tired of trying to grow. Even the ones I watered consistently all summer wept in the evening heat. It took a lot of effort. It was hot, dry, and dusty. In spite of my best efforts, at the end of the season, I pulled out plant after fruitless plant. Was it a tough year for you, too? Maybe you put forth a lot of effort without much reward. Fortunately for us, Jesus keeps on planting seeds through the good and the bad. Like the farmer who sows his seeds in the springtime, Jesus plants his message of grace and forgiveness in the hearts of men. These tiny seeds of hope rest dormant under the soil for some time. We watch. We wait. And then, something cracks underneath the soil, a stem pushes out, and before we know it, we’re picking peppers and zucchini by the bushel. Through fellow believers, a seed of hope might need regular encouragement, love, prayer, forgiveness, mercy, grace, or kindness in order to grow, the same way a seed in the garden requires sunlight, soil, oxygen, and water to sprout, blossom, and produce fruit. Sometimes it takes a lot more of that time and attention to reap a harvest

than we have the energy for, but Christ calls us to persevere, to support, encourage, and forgive seven times seventy, and through the Holy Spirit, we are empowered and strengthened to minister even to the most stubborn of “plants.” In the Parable of the Sower, the farmer plants his seeds in all kinds of soil. Some of it takes quickly and then is burnt out. Some falls on the path and is trampled down before it can grow. Some land among thorns and don’t get enough sunlight or nutrients to grow. Some is planted in rich soil that produces a crop many times greater than what was sown (Matthew 13:1-23).

Sarah M. Wells is the author of the poetry collection Pruning Burning Bushes (Wipf and Stock, 2012) and the chapbook Acquiesce (Finishing Line Press, 2009). Her poetry has

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What kind of soil have you prepared in your life? Is it cultivated and weeded, fertilized and moist, ready for the words of Christ to work transformation and growth? Or is this going to be a tough season, seeds falling on the soil of arrogance, bitterness, or pride, the soil of struggle, suffering, and pain? Hopefully, 2013 won’t be plagued by the same droughtlike conditions of 2012. If it is a dry and weary year, the farmers will still be in their fields, working hard to raise up their crops. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we can reap a harvest of righteousness, even in the toughest seasons. May Jesus Christ’s grace and mercy rain down on you this year!

appeared in Alimentum, Ascent, The Common, JAMA, New Ohio Review, Nimrod, Poetry East, Puerto del Sol and elsewhere. Essays have been published by Ascent, Relief, and River Teeth. Her essay, “Those Summers, These Days” was listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2012. She serves as the Administrative Director of the Ashland University MFA Program, where she is also Managing Editor of River Teeth and Ashland Poetry Press. She and her family attend Five Stones Community Church in Ashland, Ohio.

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JULY 17-21, 2013 ASHLAND, OHIO

ENGAGE YOUTH CONFERENCE JULY 22-26, 2013 MARION, IN

Winter/Spring 2013 The Evangelist

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brethrenchurch.org

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safety procedures. Rick MIller, Executive Director, extends a Certificate of Appreciation along with a love gift at the conclusion of the 2012 Labor Day Family Camp. Erika plans to further her education in graduate school at Grace College, Winona Lake and is employed at Otis R. Bowen Center as a Rehabiliation Provider. She resides in Goshen, IN.

SHIPSHEWANA PROGRAM DIRECTOR HONORED On September 4th, Erika Metzler, Goshen FBC, completed her service as Program Director for the Brethren Retreat at Shipshewana Lake. She fulfilled this position from February 2008 to September 2012. During her four and one-half years of faithful service, she has taken the Brethren Retreat at Shipshewana Lake's Camp Shipshewana and Retreat programs to a new level of expectation. She has increased the effectiveness of our summer staff discipleship. She has advanced our staff training content and improved our

In Memory

In Memory

ANITA MABLE (DAVIDSON) WILKINS, 92, of Newark, OH passed away on Monday, June 18, 2012. Mable was the co-founder of the Newark Brethren Church in Newark, OH. She served as Sunday School teacher and VBS director for the congregation for many years. She was still a faithful deaconess at the time of her death. Having a heart for the city of Newark, Mable served as a teacher for many years. Even after her retirement, she was tutoring students, serving as a reading aide in the local schools, and substitute teaching. Her heart for her students is manifested in that at her death, Mable was still an avid supporter of Newark High School’s volleyball team. Mable was born December 18, 1919 in Hazard, KY. She attended Riverside Training School in Lost Creek,KY and went on to earn a teaching degree. On March 12, 1944, Mable married Vernon H. Wilkins, who survives. Together they had two daughters, L. Kay (Harold E. Jr.) Powell of Miffletown, PA and Ruth A. Sunkle of Newark, two grandchildren, one great-granddaughter and numerous nephews and nieces. We celebrate the life of Mable and her example of looking out for future generations. Our thanks to Chicki Roberts, a member of the Newark Brethren Church, for submitting this information to us.

DANIEL J. DEVENY, 66, of Hampstead, NC, passed away on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. He was surrounded by his wife of 47 years, Ann, daughter, Aubrey, along with sister, Annette Cowell and brotherin-law, Gary Cowell at the Davis Community in Wilmington, NC. Dan was born in Waterloo, IA, on Oct. 19, 1946. Dan served the Lord first and lived each day as a servant to others with the goal of serving unto the Lord and finishing well. He served in the U.S. Army as an enlisted soldier in Vietnam and returned to complete college. He attended Ashland Theological Seminary with the call to return to serve as an Army chaplain. Upon retirement in 1997, he was pastor of Northgate Brethren Church in Manteca, CA, and completed his Doctorate of Ministry in family and marriage from Baptist Theological Seminary in 1999. In 2000, he returned to his home of record in Ashland, where he and Ann spent two years with Dan's father as pastor at Garber Brethren Church in Ashland. After the death of his father in 2002, Dan and Ann moved to Sierra Vista, AZ, where Dan served as the director of religious education on Fort Huachuca at the Main Post Chapel. Dan retired in fall 2005. In 2007, he and Ann moved to North Carolina to be near their daughters and grandchildren.

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“ Changes”

y the time this page is published, both my wife and I will be eighty years old. That’s the biblical fourscore years. With advancing age comes the desire for control, for things to stay the same. Change can feel like a threat, and not all change is progress. But every day is a gift, a challenge, an opportunity. This year the Brethren Church, originally the Progressive Brethren, will be 130 years old. There is on the one hand a wish for continuity and stability. On the other hand there’s the need — yes, the threat — of change. And every day is a gift, a challenge, an opportunity. When God called Abram and Sarai to leave Ur of the Chaldeans, they abandoned what they knew — home, friends, and all that was familiar. They were obeying an unseen god, moving to an undisclosed location. It was radical, challenging them down to their roots. Looking back on it now, we can see that God was doing a new thing. God was showing that change is one way the holy works in the world. Not everything should stay as it’s always been. Sometimes for good reasons some things should move in another direction, be done in a different way. And in that there’s danger as well as opportunity.

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As I ponder The Story of what God is doing, I realize that newness is part of the plot. Not newness for the sake of novelty, but for compassion and blessing and love. When Jesus began his ministry, it was described as “a new teaching — and with authority!” (Mark 1:27 TNIV). The Gospel here uses a Greek word for “new” which at first connoted something new in quality, something fresh and different. The term got watered down, but the scriptures prefer it to another word which just means new in time or recent. Of course, newness wasn’t original with Jesus. The first of the “servant songs” in Isaiah spoke about God declaring new things, things that would lead to a new song. Preaching in the decline and fall of his beloved country, Jeremiah said that God would make a new covenant with Israel — a different, internal one. Ezekiel, displaced hundreds of miles from home, wrote that God would even give the people a new heart and a new spirit — God’s own Spirit. Then Jesus came. He internalized all these prophecies while he built furniture and hung out with the wrong crowd. He preached prophetically, taught with authority, and never met a sickness he couldn’t cure. At supper with his friends he

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by Dr. Jerry Flora Ashland, OH

affirmed God’s fresh, new covenant. He gave them a new commandment — love one another radically, down to the roots. His deputy, Paul of Tarsus, stumped the Roman Empire from Syria west to Rome. He announced that new covenant, the new commandment, and a new kingdom — in fact, Jesus himself as the kingdom. Paul taught that when people willingly participate in The Story, with its climax in Jesus, a new creation has occurred. And when taken all together, they are a whole new humanity — not Gentiles or Jews, but Christians. In the opening weeks of this new year I want to celebrate the God who uses change, the God of blessing and love. In 2013 God invites the Brethren Church to celebrate its life and focus its efforts toward a fresh, new future. Lord, give me grace to embrace the changes I must accept. Give me courage to make the changes I need to make. And give me insight to sift true progress from mere novelty. With my sisters and brothers let me welcome your gifts, your challenges, your opportunities in this fresh, new year. Amen.


“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.� - 1 Corinthians 15:55-57, NIV

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The Brethren Evangelist (SSN 0747-4288) is published quarterly by The Brethren Church, Inc., 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 (telephone: 419-289-1708; email: brethren@ brethrenchurch.org; fax: 419-281-0450. Authors’ views are not necessarily those of The Brethren Church. Subscription rates: Sent free to Brethren Church members; $15.00 per year to others. Member, Evangelical Press Association. Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio or additional mailing office at Mansfield, Ohio. Postmaster: Send address changes to The Brethren Church, 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792. Winter/Spring 2013, Vol. 135, No. 1

The Brethren Church 524 College Ave. Ashland, OH 44805

Please let us know when you are moving. This will save us much-needed funds for ministry.

Multiple new churches began last year. Looking ahead to this year, dozens more are in either conversation or development. This all means that Jesus is at work in us to see his will be done through the Brethren Church in new communities and new people. While Jesus has been faithful through you to see the needs of this movement provided for, we’re counting on you to help the Brethren Church obediently respond this year. Through you we continue to cultivate the kind of culture where multiplication can take place. Your generous gift now will help ensure that the Brethren Church is prepared to respond when God moves in the hearts and minds of the next Brethren church planters.

Here are just a few of the ways your money is used to support the movement: STARTING Start-up grants that help provide vital support for the new church plant. ASSESSING Assessments that assist in stewarding the call of those investigating church planting. TRAINING Events that get church planters, districts and your church ready for church planting.

Please give to MissioChurch and see your dollars multiply disciples, leaders and churches. Visit www.missiochurch.com to learn more about the movement and how you can get involved!

The Brethren Evangelist - Winter/Spring 2013  

Winter/Spring 2013 Edition of the Brethren Evangelist Magazine

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