Evangelist THE BRETHREN
Vol 133, No. 1 Jan/Feb 2011
DEDICATED TO ADVANCING THE LIFE AND MINISTRIES OF THE BRETHREN CHURCH
2011 General Conference Wednesday-Sunday, July 13-17
A Closer Look
I’ve been thinking lately that vision is truly a both/ and proposition. For example, God has an overarching vision for the Church. But we also realize that each local expression of Church has a unique calling within that vision. The same is true for us as individuals. God seeks each of us to be a part of his ongoing purpose of redemption. But when God takes hold of us, he does so with a specific unique desire defined by his creative touch and all of the nuances of the gifting of his Spirit within. Our visional journey in the Brethren Church has reflected a both/and dynamic as well. We have longed for and organized for the possibility
of vision. And yet the idea of uniting around a single compelling theme has been hard to embrace for our sometimes individualistic tendencies. It would be better if vision could be communicated directly from God. But we forget that often the specific direction of a group is defined through prayerful leaders, and an acknowledgement that what is proposed seems good to the Spirit and their own hearts as well. What part of our vision does not rest well with our hearts or with God’s heart? What objection could we have to a vision of transformation except that it challenges the status quo? Transformation insists on change. Change is difficult, disruptive, unpleasant, and personally uncomfortable. In our culture it is hard to choose the uncomfortable path. Sometimes we resist a visional call by identifying it only as the thoughts of an individual person or group of persons. Our tendency is to reject something that doesn’t directly bear our fingerprints. It is often hard for us to follow an idea that we do not personally originate. It is difficult for us to trust others when, often in our insecurity, it is difficult to trust even ourselves to move boldly on Godinspired ideas. The history of our tribe is marked by trust inhibitors. In fear we have carefully organized our system of checks and balances that inhibit
trustworthy and visionary leadership. But sheep are not known to self-herd. And so we must remember that vision is not an invitation to trust in people, but rather an invitation to trust God to work through those who will unite together with their leaders in a noble and godly idea. Another both/and of vision is that it must present a compelling picture, which is fixed into an often indiscernible future, and be of such heroic proportions that we almost blush to even speak of it. Vision must be clear to facilitate action, but because we aren’t there yet it is difficult to clarify this preferred future. The clarity of a vision is sometimes difficult to discern. It’s hard to find language for an unrealized reality! However God has been graciously at work through the activity of so many of our congregations, to paint a clearer picture of his desire for us all. And we know that the definition of that vision is an ongoing process. But for now, in this issue of the Evangelist we offer a narrative description of what it would look like if God were to begin ushering in the fullness of a New Day in our communities because of the activities of each congregation. We understand that not all change is good, but some of it is! And some of it is necessary. The possibility of change is at the heart of our hope for today and eternity as well. The message of the gospel is an invitation to lifelong transformation and change. These changes also reflect so clearly the vision of our founders. In courage they acted on a vision, though many of the details were yet to be understood or experienced. They specifically decided not to identify their vision with a person, though they did not lack for leadership. With confidence in God’s work in them, they selflessly united as an act of faith and obedience. May their heroic acts inspire us to do likewise.
… we must remember that vision is not an invitation to trust in people, but rather an invitation to trust God … Relational … Missional … Sustainable … Reproducing … Global
WHAT IF ?
God Actually Changes Us
• What if transformation actually happens? • What could be different about us as leaders? • How might our congregations behave differently? • What new things would be seen in the communities we live and work in? • If the Lord moves among and through
us, how will we be different in 10 years? God is calling us Brethren to embrace a NEW DAY of transformed leaders, congregations and communities as we submit ourselves to the reshaping work of the Holy Spirit. Admittedly, some of the questions raised and tensions experienced since we first communicated that vision have come because there were not enough clear pictures of what was meant by transformation. While this attempt is incomplete, perhaps some of the following words can add to our understanding of just what God longs for us to embrace.
Transformed Leadership If we are changed, pastors will be fully aware of their God-given strengths and weaknesses, their spiritual gifts and natural skills, their personality types and leadership styles, and they will help those they lead discover the same. Men and women in leadership will be secure in Christ and comfortable enough in their own skin to know what roles they should and should not play in their specific ministry context. They will feel released to leverage their strengths for the Kingdom, and not feel threatened by others on their team who may be more talented and gifted in areas where they are weak. Pastors and leaders will support, equip and empower one another, sharing the load of the mission as each unique individual pulls together in the same direction with a unified purpose
- by Ken Hunn, Bill Ludwig and Gary Diehl
toward a clear, compelling, Kingdombuilding leadership sustainability in their centered goal. ministries by multiplying its leadership If we are changed, pastors will be capacity. connected with their ministry teamIf we are changed, the relational mates in life-giving, ministry-enhancing, walls that used to divide us from one intentional relationships which provide another will only require occasional fresh spiritual vitality and healthy acenergy to deconstruct. Pastors and countability. Some will be prayer or acleaders in the same geography will aucountability partnerships, some will be tomatically think about how partnering mentoring relationships, some will be with like-minded leaders, congregacoaching clusters, but all relationships tions, ministries and agencies can enwill be infused with intentionality about hance the work of the mission in their building one another up to serve God regions. Ministries and congregations well. We will see clusters of pastors and that were once separate will jump at church leaders providing whole-person opportunities to share their resources of care for one another through various people, talents, gifts, energy, buildings seasons of life and ministry. They will and material blessings in cooperative, live out and model the “One Another” Kingdom-building ministry endeavors. commands of scripture in ways that Transformed Congregations their congregations and a watching world will be unable to miss. If we are changed, congregations If we are changed, we will see will be characterized by how well we pastors and leaders who are willing to love one another. Clusters of Christadmit what they do not know, and who followers will grow in intimacy, enjoy find healthy ways to engage relationlife together, provide for and care for ally with others who can lead, guide, each other, and be the hands and coach, mentor or consult with them. feet of Jesus to one another. People We will see leaders and pastors trusting who are not part of the community of one another enough to be appropriately transparent and honest, and ministry partners who live up to that level of trustworthiness. We will see pastors who readily and intentionally share their authority and responsibility with emerging leaders, training them up in the ways they should go. In this way we will see them Bill Ludwig Gary Diehl Ken Hunn
The vision of the Brethren Church is to embrace a NEW DAY of transformed leadership, resulting in transformed congregations, whose mission is the transformation of communities in the power of the Holy Spirit.
What if? … faith will seek to learn why they see us caring for each other in such countercultural ways. We will see ministries and programs inside and outside the walls of our buildings working together to better serve the larger mission of being God’s people. If we are changed, people will be excited to find ways to serve. Leaders will help every Jesus-follower discover how God wired them and assist them to explore opportunities that faithfully steward their gifts, skills and heart passions. Worship will become a lifestyle that impacts everything we do rather than a weekly event. Even business meetings will be times of worship, celebrating what God is doing, and dreaming together about what God wants to do next through us. If we are changed, leaders and people will know one another’s hearts so well that they trust each other deeply. We will see boards, committees, teams and congregations comprised of people who have learned how to disagree passionately about ideas and strategies, but who do so in healthy ways that ultimately allow them to come together around the decisions they make. Those working in a ministry will know that their team leaders have the ministry’s best interests at heart, and leaders will have utmost confidence in those doing the ministry. Everyone will understand how their individual efforts fit into the overarching purpose of God’s plan of redemption and restoration. There will no longer be any meaningless tasks, only differing ministry assignments. If we are changed, congregations will be eager to have their pastors lead them forward in their spiritual development. Believers will be willing to follow their leaders into new and exciting ways of becoming missionaries to the cultures they already interact with in their daily lives. We will see increasing numbers of previously distant people drawn to the beauty of authentically Christ-centered community, and ultimately join in the journey with Jesus. If we are changed, collections of Jesus-followers will celebrate new stories of changed lives and needs
met more than they worry about attendance numbers at church events. Pockets of believers who gather in places where real life is happening and who are connecting in relational ways with un-churched people will increasingly become part of our expanding understanding and expression of “being the church” in the world. As these groups of people continue to multiply we will see the natural multiplication of new churches.
Transformed Communities If we are changed, we will see the lives of the un-churched and dechurched people in our surrounding
communities becoming more healthy and whole. Children who used to go to bed hungry will have adequate nourishment. Parents who previously neglected or abused their children will be learning how to see the needs of others before they think of themselves. Those who have never experienced healthy love will find it, and will learn how to demonstrate it. They will learn how to nurture and develop their children. If we are changed, care givers for the young or old will have people who support, encourage and equip them for their vital roles. The elderly who have slipped into a sense of declining value will be connected to those who can benefit from or be encouraged by
their wisdom and story. People who are facing death will never be alone, and will ultimately make that transition at least knowing about the good news of Jesus’s love. Those who work to shape the hearts and minds of the youngest among us will have people who pray for and support them. Those who care for the physically or mentally challenged will have others who understand the special stresses of their task and share words and acts of encouragement. If we are changed, local institutions that teach our children will have groups of people dedicated to making sure their teachers and classrooms have what they need for children to actually learn. Children will have Jesus-followers as tutors and mentors in areas where they struggle to learn. Those who serve to keep our communities safe will find themselves being honored, respected and served by the grateful people they protect. If we are changed, those who are homeless in our regions will find safe places to stay, and people who give them dignity and hope as they connect them with appropriate assistance and practical training in needed life skills. We will see the most wounded, marginalized and disadvantaged in our world connected with people who are “being” the church by not only providing them relief from their immediate situations, but by helping them develop toward fully restored and healthy relationships with God, themselves, others, and the world they are part of. We will see Christ-followers in each congregation who are passionately partnering with others who are having a hands-on impact in the redeeming, restoring, transforming work of God in their Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and on the other side of the globe.
In the Power of the Holy Spirit If we are changed, we will see Kingdom fruit. More lives will be transformed along with ours. More people will join us on our journey with Jesus. Our ministries will see more frequent seasons of harvest instead of huddling together in an extended winter. We will see new disciples who go out as missionaries into their surrounding now-foreign cultures. Those new disciples will become
Vickie Taylor explains some new terms you’ve been hearing. In their book, How to Read a Book, Adler and Van Doren talk about readers and authors coming to terms. What that means is the reader and the writer both know and agree on what a word actually means,1 This common understanding leads to successful communication. If I use a word thinking it means one thing, and you interpret it to mean another, then we are not in agreement nor have we come to terms in our conversation. You may have heard words and terms in relationship to Church Mobilization that may not have been clearly defined, or you have (as most people naturally do) determined you own definitions of those terms. I would like us to begin to come to terms with a few words used in our church Mobilization communications. 1. Tribe - Although not a new word, for us it is a recent buzzword that has not been in our Brethren vocabulary in this way. We use tribe to mean 1
our denomination— we as Brethren and everything that entails, such as our identity, our history, our culture, and our current understandings as Ashland Brethren in 2011. Tribe basically means the collective “us” as Brethren. 2. Church Mobilization - This word represents our current efforts and desire for moving churches from where they are to churches that pursue a vision of a NEW DAY. Our tag line says it this way: Mobilizing the People of God to BE the Church, Mobilization implies movement forward, or preparation for such movement. It is made up of many activities like coaching, Natural Church Development assessments, pastoral transition guidance, consulting, and intentional interim ministry. 3. Missional or Incarnational - These new terms describe more of a lifestyle and attitude than they do a specific worship expression or
Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren, How to Read a Book (New York: Simon & Shuster, 1967), 95-97.
new leaders. New leaders will engage in new ministries, and new ministries will birth new communities of faith that we will see multiply into new churches becoming part of God’s Kingdom movement. If we are changed… Wait. Let’s rephrase that. When. When we are changed, the Kingdom that Christ taught so much about will break out right before our eyes. Those who could not “see” will have their eyes opened, and the ears of those who would not “hear” will be unstopped. Those who could not take another step forward will leap for joy, and those who had no voice will be unable to remain silent. When we are changed, we will join anew the movement of God’s Spirit as
good news is shared with the afflicted, the brokenhearted are mended, liberty is proclaimed to the captives, and freedom is given to those who were in chains. When we are changed, the widows and orphans within reach of our congregations and ministry points will be cared for well. When we are changed, we will experience and reflect an unmistakable, overflowing joy as we proclaim the favorable year of the Lord! A few of us may already live in a NEW DAY that looks like this. Thank you, Jesus! Some of us long for it, but haven’t had the language to see what it looks like, or we just don’t know how to get there. Some only think
M o b i l i z a t i o n
What Do You Mean?
program. To be missional means to have our eyes and activities focused on the world and people outside ourselves (the mission field) more than we do on our own needs and agendas. When a ministry is incarnational, it takes a lifestyle of faith into places outside the walls of normal church buildings and typical religious events. It describes an attitude of “being the church” where life is already happening. It embodies the idea of Emmanuel — God with people. Both Missional and Incarnational demonstrate the “Go Ye” character of Matthew 28, rather than the “You can come in” disposition most Western churches have settled into. 4. Interim or Interim Ministry - This is an interesting one for me since so many have their own ideas. What does our tribe (see above) mean when we say interim? It means that a coach/pastor will intentionally Continued on page 7.
they understand it, and others have already decided they want no part of it.Wherever you are right now, it’s time to press on in the race Christ has called us all to run. Can you see it a little more clearly? What else should we look for together? Are the images starting to take shape? If so, then it’s time for each of us to identify and embrace whatever next steps we must to position ourselves for the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. It’s time we work together to find ways we can actually get there. It’s time to let the Spirit of the Lord lead us ever closer to our Father’s heart desire—for each of us as individuals, and for us as his people called Brethren.
M u l t i p l i c a t i o n
My children (ages seven and nine) just went through an experience at our elementary school where they learned about “Ohio Heroes.” A writer and historian came to their school and gave a presentation where he interviewed 28 students who had studied various individuals and were prepared to imitate that hero, even dressing as the hero would have. My son was one of the 28 chosen and studied for weeks, learning about the life of an immigrant farm worker who eventually organized a labor union to better the living conditions of those similarly employed. At the presentation, my son stood there dressed like this man, carrying the things that he would have carried, an-
Living Up To Expectations Bill Ludwig
say that he could fly or shoot laser beams generated from a third eye in the middle of his forehead. He is nine years old and understand that heroes are people who change the world by making it a better place for others. He illustrates what many in younger generations think and feel. The world we live in today is much more sensitive and much more capable of determining whether or not our “walk” matches our “talk” and those that command respect in the brave new world are those whose lives are spent making the world we live in better… those who live the Good News as well as proclaim it.
When my son was asked about what made that man a hero he didn’t
We frequently ask our kids before they go to school in the morning how they will be intentional about being someone’s friend today — how they will show them that Jesus loves them? We ask them to use their imagination to think of ways to bless others during their school day. The ideas they come up with are simple, but effective. They are learning to become heroes: to “turn the world upside down.”
There have been many questions lately about what this NEW DAY is all
…if we are going to influence this and younger generations … our right knowing must be firmly expressed by our right doing.
swering questions about his life. When he was asked why this man was considered a hero, my son said, “He made those people’s lives better. They were being mistreated and he made them stop.” My son studied for weeks to learn all he could about this Ohio Hero so he could imitate him in front of his classmates and the school community. To be sure, it was an assignment that he was expected to complete. Perhaps he would have rather spent that time playing video games or terrorizing our dog, but I watched him take it seriously and work hard to please his teacher and to do what was asked of him.
to the commands to multiply disciples, equip leaders and establish new churches in all people groups largely depends on this.
about and “transformed into what exactly?” I wonder if we have lost sight of our obligation to imitate Jesus and to be transformed into his likeness? Do we, like my son, study our hero intently and intentionally so that we can present him to the world not just in our ability to answer questions about him, but to actually look like and behave like him too… to carry the things that he carries? Other pastors, teachers, writers with greater intellect and insight than I have been pleading with us for years to understand that if we are going to influence this and younger generations to begin a journey with Jesus and to embrace a community of faith, our right knowing must be firmly expressed by our right doing. Our very obedience
The next time you meet with your leaders, take a few minutes to review this story and talk over these questions together. • How is our definition of “hero” similar to this young man’s understanding? In what ways is our definition different? • What are some ways our church could be more intentional about developing and recognizing “heroes” among us who actually “make those people’s lives better” with more than just words? • How could those “heroes” among us become a more crucial part of God’s transforming work in us? • How can we better demonstrate the lifestyle of a “hero” that younger generations are drawn to and wish to imitate?
Pastor Dianna Teusch, Huntington, Indiana
Christians in our little town have shown what a few people with a heart for Christ and their community can do. 2009 seemed to be the pivotal year. The Huntington County School district was sued to stop a weekly scripture education program provided by Huntington Associated Churches. “By the Book” offers weekly Bible-based instruction to third and fourth grade students in the county’s public schools. Rather than quit Associated Churches, the school board and legal advisors called for every believer in Huntington to pray. They came up with a plan. Trailers which housed the classes were moved to donated property adjacent to the schools. Churches (including our own) donated and raised funds to pay for concrete pads, electrical poles and other expenses. “By the Book” began to fully operate again for all eight elementary schools in the fall of 2010. Also in 2009 pastors came together to plan a county wide event to bring hope to the community. Encounter 2010 proved to be more than we ever expected. God showed up in an awesome way. Churches from all over the area cancelled Sunday evening services to come an extra night. Attendance in our little town of over 16,000 was phenomenal. People found Christ for the first time. Pastors felt a new sense of unity in the body of Christ. The spirit of cooperation between churches continues to provide fertile soil for all of us to impact our community for Christ. For instance, a building downtown which housed many of the less fortunate in our city was closed. A group of pastors and community leaders formed a coalition interested in saving the historical structure and providing permanent supportive housing. Renovations started in the fall. Once completed in 2011, the site (which already houses a soup kitchen run by New Life Church and supported by area churches) will be used to provide apartments for those who are unable to provide permanent housing for themselves.
An emergency men’s shelter called “Malta House” opened in September 2010. Malta house sprang from cooperation between area businesses and churches, who saw a growing need to provide temporary housing for men in our community. Malta House is completely dependent upon donations from area churches and a thrift store. At the moment, another transitional shelter for women is in the works in our community. Along with all the other awesome things God’s has done, the Pastor’s Association is working in conjunction with at least two groups to help improve our local economy. A Business Creation Seminar on January 29th will help provide guidance to those
M o b i l i z a t i o n
Cooperation = Impact
What Do You Mean? guide a congregation through the changes and transitions necessary to prepare for the hiring of a new pastor who will best fit the needs and visions of that congregation. An interim or intentional interim refers to the person or the defined period of time. An interim pastor is more than simply pulpit-fill; they are people who work to prepare the congregation for the transition and help them reconnect with their mission and vision as well as their next pastor.
We will most certainly discover more new words along this journey that will need to be defined. This is just one step toward better and healthier conversations. If you are uncertain as to what is meant when a word is being used, let’s make an effort to come to terms. How? by asking those using that new language to clarify first-hand what they mean, rather than making the assumption that you know what they mean. You can also call Gary Diehl at the National Office and ask for more information regarding a term or process of Church Mobilization. Our hope is that we continue to develop a language that’s clearly and mutually understood. As these new words pop up on our radar along the way, the Church Mobilization Team will be here to help us all come to terms. Take a few moments to discuss these ideas at your next leadership meeting:
interested in starting a faith-based business with little or no collateral or experience. In cooperation with area churches and the Pastor’s Association the Purdue Extension Office is offering a “Bridges out of Poverty” seminar on January 26th to help agencies, churches and businesses connect with people in need and guide them to create opportunities for success. It all started with two simple questions: how can the ministers in town do more than meet once a month?; how can the churches of Huntington work together to impact our struggling community? The really exciting part is that there is so much more in the early planning stages (including a focused ministry for First Brethren Church). The opportunities are endless. So is God’s power. We can’t wait to see what he does this year through his willing servants!
• How have you seen changes in the language used in our world lately?
• In what ways have we on our team or in our church tried to communicate something that was not clearly understood? How did we attempt to clarify what we actually wanted to be understood? • What terms have you read or heard recently from church leaders that may have had a meaning you were confused or unsure about?
• What are some ways we could develop a more common understanding when we encounter new iterms or changing language?
• How could we as leaders do a better job of communicating more fully with people in our own congregation?
Ashland University Center of Religious Life
Growing… Reaching… Strengthening… Dr. Dan Lawson, Dean of Religious Life The Center of Religious Life continues to be the largest student organization on the campus of Ashland University with 900 to 1,000 students involved in the various campus ministries. The mission of the Center of Religious Life is to create an environment for the Ashland University community to hear and respond to the love and truth of Jesus Christ. As a result, this mission field continues to grow and be successful as we reach students with the gospel message of Jesus Christ, as well as strengthening the faith of those who already believe. Each semester we see students pray to receive Christ and begin their faith journey in the Lord. The fall semester of 2010 was no different as we celebrated salvation with several students who found faith in our Lord. The Well continues to be our largest campus ministry as they pack the upper chapel on the university campus each week. Our Fellowship of Christian Athletes is not only active on campus with regular weekly meetings, but they also provide game day chapel services for several of our varsity sports teams. FCA also continues with their ministry to the first ever FCA in a prison, located near Mansfield, Ohio. With the acquisition of the College of Nursing, the Center of Religious Life now sponsors the Christian Nursing Fellowship for our nursing students. Many of these nursing students also drive from Mansfield to Ashland each week to participate in the Well. This year, in addition to our regular mission trips, we are how hosting our first medical mission trips on behalf of our nursing students. During this academic year, the Center of Religious Life will be sending mission teams to Colorado Springs and the Bahamas over Spring Break. The Bahamas trip will include service projects as well as a medical component for the nursing students who will work in a free clinic in Governors’ Harbor on the island of Eluthera. Over the summer we will be sending service teams to Jamaica and Italy as well as a medical mission trip to Durbin, South Africa. The Center of Religious Life also continues to provide Alabaster services and liturgical dance ministry both on the campus and to Brethren churches (by invitation). We also continue One Church, a racial reconciliation ministry that enhances worship by recognizing and embracing the diversity of our campus community. In addition, our small group Bible studies continue to flourish as students develop a hunger for the Word of God. The Sparks prayer ministry hosts prayer services and supports different aspects of prayer for our college students. The Isaiah Project, local team, has joined with the Sparks ministry to pray against human trafficking and exploitation that is taking place at the gentlemen’s club in Mansfield. They also sponsor service projects in the Ashland community and other nearby cities. At Ashland University, we continue to see a revival of love and excitement for the gospel of Jesus Christ. The prayer and financial support we receive from the Brethren Church is valuable to us beyond measure. We are grateful to the Brethren Church for your continued involvement with Ashland University. Please invite us to your church. We would love to come and share our passion for Christ with our fellow Brethren.
Women’s Outlook Newsletter A P u b l i c a t i o n o f t h e Wo m e n’s M i s s i o n a r y S o c i e t y J a n u a r y / Fe b r u a r y 2 0 1 1 Vo l u m e 2 4 , N u m b e r 3
The President’s Pen Dear SISTERS! This greeting, often used to begin The President’s Pen, has special significance in light of what God has placed on my heart to share with you. I need to preface my thoughts with a little background information. When my husband and I were a young married couple the Lord blessed us with an adopted son just three weeks old. Three years later an eight-month old little girl joined our family. Not too long after her arrival in our home, and to our shock and amazement, we learned there would be yet another addition to our family. Almost a year to the day after getting our daughter, our youngest son was born. Needless to say, all three were equally loved and cared for and were totally “ours,” whether adopted or biologically brought into our home. This brings me to the point I want to make. God brought us into His family and loves us as His own. But as overwhelming as that thought is, even more unbelievable is that He made it possible by sacrificing His only real Son, Jesus Christ! So if we allow the Spirit to dwell within us and lead us, accepting what He did for us, we are His! Romans 8:14 (NLT) states, For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. And in verse 15 we read these words, . . . you received God’s spirit when he adopted you as his own children. And verse 17, And since we are his children, we are his heirs. Now my little family has come full circle. My adopted son and my
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The JANUARY missionaries-of-themonth are the staff in the national church office: Gary Diehl, Stan Gentle, Ken Hunn, Bill Ludwig, Paula Strickland, and Tony VanDuyne. Pray for God’s guidance in their decisions, traveling safety, good health, and for their families. The FEBRUARY international missionaries are Claudio and Karina Castellis, serving in Asuncion, Paraguay. The national missionaries are Reggie and Julie Harvey, pastoring the United Community Brethren Church in Dayton. Their ministry is different than many church plants — their congregation has specific needs, which the Lord meets through the Harveys. Julie wrote: As we enter another year, we’re preparing to make some changes to the way we’re doing ministry. We want to make sure that in everything we’re doing, we are able to give 100%. We have noticed that when we have too many irons in the fire, nothing gets 100% of our resources and time. We want to focus on the things that are effective. We decided that it first starts with a sound leadership team, so our primary goal is getting together with our leaders not only for meetings, but also for fellowship. It takes a healthy leadership team to make the rest work right. It seemed as if a few of our programs were starting to lack because of this. The programs that have always been effective at United Community are the various outreach programs that we offer the community. We are continuing to feed the people both spiritually and physically through our weekly service, classes, and free meals. Even though we saw a slight decrease in people over the holidays, the new year brought them back in. They are hungry for the Word and want to see the voids in
their lives filled with the only One who can bring them peace that passes all understanding. As always, we are excited to see what God is doing, as He moves us from season to season. Our women’s and men’s ministries are flourishing. In addition to these programs, we realized that we needed to have something for the families (and those who don’t have families) to do on a Friday night occasionally; therefore, we started a free monthly movie and dinner night, which seems to be a hit. Families/ singles are coming out for a good meal, fellowship, and a good, clean movie to watch. We have continued our programs for the after-school kids; however, we had to shut down our Children’s Church for a couple of months to regroup and get more teachers (many weren’t showing up to teach). When we did this, though, the congregation realized how much our kids need this, and we now have so many teachers volunteering that no one has to teach more than one Sunday a month! We’ll be starting those classes again in February. For the adult classes, our leadership team is sharing the responsibility to teach a Foundations Class (the basics of being a Christian and becoming a member) and Christian Education Class every Sunday morning. Furthermore, we still have our Thursday night Bible studies after our community meal. Things are looking up! We’re bringing more structure and ready to give these programs 100%, which will bring the greatest amount of impact and change to those who are attending and those whom we’ll reach out to this year. As always, feel free to contact us at email@example.com and/
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Missionary Miscellany (continued) or through our website at www. unitedcommunitybrethrenchurch. com. We want to thank all those who sent encouraging words to us this past year, who gave financial contributions to help out with the needs and furthering the vision, and to all of you who held our ministry up in prayer (we know there were many). Keep us in your prayers for 2011! David and Cecilia Molina in Spain are the international missionaries for MARCH. The New Hope Church in State College, PA, pastored by Chris and Leigh Anne Rufener and Ben and Shannon Frank are the MARCH national missionaries. Chris wrote: On behalf of New Hope, I would like to thank all of the WMS groups and individuals that have supported us through your prayers, encouraging notes, and financial assistance. But even more than these things, we thank you for all the work you are doing to build Christ’s kingdom throughout the world. And thank you also for an opportunity to share some of the amazing things God has been doing through us in the State College area and on the Penn State University campus in the last year. The past year was very exciting for New Hope. One of the highlights was the growth of our Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group. We currently average 40-45 moms and 50-70 children at each meeting, which convenes twice a month. This is close to 100% growth over the past year. Even though the statistics can be exciting, they would mean nothing of eternal value apart from the transformation we are witnessing in the lives of the women, children, and families involved. One young lady commented, “At first I was skeptical about MOPS, but now, I don’t know what I would do without it.” In another testimony, a mom shared how a recent talk at MOPS entitled “The Secret of Beauty” transformed her life by helping her to see that our faith, not externals, is the secret to beauty as a woman. Another mom can’t stop talking about how her involvement in MOPS has caused her husband to get involved in church events for the first time in nearly 15 years.
During the fall, we also had the privilege of seeing one of the moms publicly declare her faith through baptism (two college students did so as well). And at a tea and testimony time on May 5, two women made recommitments to Christ. I wish I had space to share more, but please pray that transformations like these will continue to result from this vital ministry to families. Another highlight for the year was “City Serve,” a yearly event in State College where churches around the area cancel their Sunday morning worship services and engage in service projects for the people of the State College community. This year, New Hope’s project was helping to create a 400-square foot community garden. All the vegetables grown are being donated to the local food bank. Please pray that providing for the physical needs of the less fortunate in our community will lead them to inquire about the spiritual nourishment that only Christ can provide. At New Hope our mission continues to be “to raise up a generation of Christian leaders who will follow Jesus to the ends of the earth.” One of the ways we continue to raise up leaders is through one-to-one discipleship. Currently, the pastors and their wives meet regularly with several individuals for prayer, accountability, and Bible study — all for the purposes of helping them grow in their relationships with Jesus, to encourage them to live out their faith wherever they go, and to repeat the process in others. Another way that we raise up leaders is through our ministry team, which meets twice a month for prayer, instruction, and ministry planning. Currently we have 11 individuals on the ministry team; please pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us as we seek to honor Christ in the State College area. The final way that we seek to raise up leaders for Christ’s kingdom is through small groups. This spring we are hosting five small groups. These will include an inductive Bible study on the book of Ephesians for families, an Alpha Course — a video curriculum that introduces the Christian faith, an inductive Bible study on the book of Romans, a book study on “Systematic Theology”
by Wayne Grudem, and a men’s study that will focus on individual topics relevant to men. Please pray that these studies, one-to-one discipleship times, and the ministry team will be used by God to raise up a generation of Christian leaders who will accomplish great things for Christ’s kingdom throughout the world. In closing, we just want to thank you again for your commitment to praying for us, helping to provide for our needs through gifts from various WMS groups around the country, and for constantly encouraging us through notes, birthday cards, and holiday cards. They all make our ministry possible and are a constant source of encouragement during the daily struggles of church planting. If you would like to receive our monthly newsletter, feel free to e-mail your name and address to chris@ newhopesc.org or contact us at 814466-7818. Please continue to pray that the Lord will equip and empower us through the Spirit to raise up disciples for His kingdom who can repeat the process in the lives of others. To God alone be the glory!
Please make these changes inthe WMS Directory: National President - Phyllis Roussakis E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Editor, The Devotional Guide Lynn Herendeen E-mail: lynns-signaturebusiness@ hotmail.com (be sure to include the hyphen) INDIANA DISTRICT County Line is closed Milford - President is Beverly Leiter, 613 W. Syracuse St.,Milford, IN 46542, Phone: 574-658-9558. E-mail: email@example.com
Women’s Outlook Newsletter
Jo Kroft, former secretary-treasurer of the OHIO district, reported the fall retreat. September 18-19 found ladies from eight Ohio Brethren churches at Camp Bethany, Ohio, for the yearly retreat. Beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, and lovely ladies set things up for a wonderful weekend. Sack lunches were shared Friday evening at dinnertime. District President Norma Waters opened the retreat with a welcome and prayer. Sue and Leta Mercer shared a devotional time with music, mime, and scripture. Each camper was asked to relax, lay down all burdens, and cares, and to give God a full twenty-four hours. The speaker for the retreat was Tina Hunt, a church leader from Ashland. She told us her interest in studying personality styles, church personalities, and how each style fits together to build a complete church. Tina first asked the ladies to concentrate on personal gifts and strengths and to list five each. She then asked how these strengths are used in relationships to others and in the church. To help develop an understanding of our own personalities, Tina gave the group a Myers/Briggs personality survey. Most participants were surprised that the outcomes were a good summary of who they are. Personalities are expressed in two sides. Our inborn nature is temperament, and our developing nature is character. All personalities fit on a spectrum of these two sides. All of life and life experiences determine how these sides are affected, and thus create the personality we become. She then asked how knowing this personality information helps in a spiritual journey. How does it help us fit? This searching for how one fits is needed to complete the spiritual need within. For some this need is satisfied in an inward search, while for others outward activities are needed to fulfill completeness. Following the workshop time, ladies were invited to enjoy time visiting, snack, and even participating in friendly competition. (Outburst!) Many campers strolled off
for a nice quiet sleep and others took on the challenge to complete six jigsaw puzzles! Saturday morning found everyone anxious to get back to studying personalities. We began with a questionnaire about our personal spiritual personality and a short survey of each church personality represented. Four main topics were stressed in the surveys: Action, Mind, Spirit, and Heart. Speaker Tina asked each participant to think personally on self-personality, self-spirituality, and church personality and spiritually to decide the answers to a list of thoughts to consider: * prayer life * contribution to worship * literature you read * provide room for all levels and kinds of spirituality * allow and help to meet all needs * think about ‘always hearing me’ * inviting only those who match who we are *open to new *tolerant of different leadership styles * development/personal and community * accept each part as God wants it, and * address weak areas, even change if necessary. After a time of serious reflection on all that was considered, Wanda Powell (district vice president) gave a conclusion, using our WMS theme of the year: “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.” She reminded us that as God’s creatures we are made in the way we are for the purpose God provides. After fond good-byes, hugs, and ‘see you next year,’ the ladies packed up for home with lots of new ideas and thoughts to consider. Tammy Thompson is the SE district WMS president. She reported their annual fall rally was in the chalet at Camp Shenandoah Meadows on October 22 and 23. She wrote “We kicked off our rally with an evening of fellowship and fun. We gathered in the living room, most of us in our PJs, and enjoyed a few laughs while
watching Anita Renfroe, a Christian comedian, talking and singing about things that most of us women could relate to! After the show, we played Bible Outburst and enjoyed a nice time of socializing before heading off to sleep. Saturday began with a light breakfast and a productive business meeting. After the business, we began our program which centered around the theme “Aprons with Attitudes.” We all put on our aprons and took turns telling a little something about ourselves and the story behind the apron we chose to wear. Wow! What a showing! We had everything from beautiful handsewn aprons, some from as far back as 1940’s, to an apron recently used that still had some powdered sugar on it! Next we enjoyed a skit entitled “What’s In Your Apron Pocket?” Since aprons remind us of days gone by, we then took some time to look at historical documents from our district’s WMS. We read excerpts from a 1950’s The Woman’s Outlook and looked at treasurer’s reports, minutes, and correspondences from 1937 - 1996. It was inspirational to see that advice and words of wisdom found in these documents still hold true to us today. We discussed participating in the November 24 national “Tie One On” Day. Each society member was encouraged to bake a loaf of bread or make a batch of cookies, tie them up in an apron, tuck a prayer or note of encouragement in the pocket, and deliver to someone in need of physical or spiritual uplifting. After a wonderful lunch, the afternoon was spent crafting an apron-shaped invitation to add to the “Tie One On” delivery and participating in an apron-theme devotion. Eighteen women from four societies, which included four guests from Cross Keys, had a great time of fellowship and fun. We look forward to next year’s rally.
IN MY MAILBOX
Hello, Ladies, In November I delivered the items for the World Relief refugees in Fort Wayne which you made and brought to national conference. The director, Jeff Keplar, expressed his thanks! He said the refugees would be very glad to receive the items, especially the comforters and quilts, as they are originally from Burma and not accustomed to the cold. Thank you for your participation in ministering to the “aliens,” as Scripture says, among us. May God bless and keep you, Joan Merrill, National Benevolence and Sewing Coordinator Joanne Bowers, president of the Nappanee society, wrote: We continue our monthly support of Riverside Christian School, the Elkhart Jail Chaplaincy, and Media Associates. MAI trains writers in countries that do not have Christian literature in their own languages. We also send love gifts to Cecilia Castro at ATS. Our biggest fund raiser is selling tickets at the Amish Acres Arts and Craft Festival. We witness to thousands because we get questions about our church. Our meetings are at 12:00 for one hour to enable working members to attend. We find we can have lunch and take care of business in that time. The WMS and sewing ministry work together because most women belong to both. We raffled a comforter in July to add to our national project offering. Presently we are making a flag comforter for a cancer benefit. We’ve made over 100 pillows from scraps! We make something beautiful to sell and give to different projects. Our October meeting was a guest night at a charming Amish home. Leslie Lentz told of her mission trip to Haiti. This was our only evening meeting. We think it is very important to send personal messages on cards for our missionaries. We do it monthly.
The Editor’s Ending Dear Friend, I was the first to break my New Year’s resolution of recording five reasons for thanks every day! January 1, as I closed my eyes, I thought, “Oh, oh. I didn’t do it!” I had thanked God for a wonderful day, the beautiful wedding of our grandson, Ben, to Elizabeth, safety, and lots of etc., but I didn’t use
(Presidents’s Pen continued) biological son each became new daddies within two months of each other this past year! Our family was privileged to be together over the Christmas holiday. The two new little cousins were lying side by side on a blanket on the floor with all the relatives gathered around enjoying them. At that point I was so vividly made aware of the real love in the room, made possible by and having its beginning in our Lord and Savior. It mattered not in the least that one of those babies carried none of the family’s DNA. . .for the love I felt for those two beautiful creations made in God’s image was overpowering! If I can feel that deep love, how much stronger even must be God’s love for us . . . though we are only His through adoption by faith in Him. So, Sisters . . ., you are truly my sisters, because we are adopted daughters of our Heavenly Father! Please take time today to thank Him for this special privilege we have been given . . . that of being heirs to the kingdom, being His special children, recipients of His love. Your Sister in Christ, Karen Weidenhamer National WMS Secretary
my gratitude journal to help me remember in the following days. I have forgotten other days, too. Therefore, I’m changing my resolution to a goal. I will aim to record my thanks daily, but if I forget, I won’t worry. I will aim for that goal tomorrow. As Flylady says, “You are not behind! I don’t want you to try to catch up; I just want you to jump in where we are.” I have started today’s list: the feel of a clean bathroom rug on bare feet and the grateful harsh cry of the blue jay when he found bread crumbs on top of the snow. Last summer when Cheryl Schmiedt presented the new Devotional Guide and introduced the theme, “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made,” she emphasized the theme verse, Psalm 139:13-14, the source of the theme. These verses are among my favorites. It is amazing to me that every individual over the centuries of time is different from any other! We marvel at the snowflake, everyone is lovely and different. So are people! This fall I read and re-read portions of Kitchen Table Wisdom by Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen. She wrote, “Each of us is one of a kind. None of us has existed in the history of the human race before.” She continued, “I am me … I am handmade … Less than perfect but a work of creation, not a product of technology.” Our heavenly Father cares so much for us that he makes each of us special and unique. So take care of yourself. There is no one like you. List this in your gratitude journal — God’s beautiful creation is on-going. Creation didn’t stop in Genesis 1. And re-read Karen’s President’s Pen, then add your sisters in Christ. Your friend,
Italo, Rebecca and David Abuid Luis Angel, Zoraida, Morillas
If you or your church is interested in partnering with the Abuid’s in this ministry, we encourage you to contact David Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you or your church might be able to help.
Luis Angel & Zoraida Morillas pastor the Brethren Church in Lima, Peru. They also oversee children’s outreach efforts in the seaside community of Pucusana. Hundreds of children experience love in action through their street fairs, puppet shows and numerous outreach events. Not only are these activities fun, but they help to meet the practical as well as spiritual needs of the children and their families. This causes an ever-widening ripple of God’s transforming love to flow from the Brethren Church throughout the communities of Peru. The southern jungles of the Amazon forest are some of the most pure of the primary rainforests in the world. Puerto Maldonado may seem like an odd place to start an orphanage for the children, but that is the vision of Rebecca and Italo Abuid.
The jungle makes for some difficult working conditions and we ask that you continue to pray for the Abuid family as they have faced numerous illnesses. Recently Italo has burned his foot. The vision for this ministry remains strong, however, as supporters from all over the United States continue to gather together to clarify the goals and strategies for this orphanage to become a reality. One strategy includes planting numerous banana and papaya plants that will not only provide a food source for the orphanage, but will also provide financial support of this ministry as the fruit is sold in the local markets.
aDDRESSES: italo abuid Correo Central Puerto Maldonado Madre De Dios Peru SOUTH AMERICA Phone: 011-518-257-4558 Email: email@example.com luis angel Morillas Jiron Tomas Cartari 349 San Luis Lima, Peru SOUTH AMERICA Phone: 011-511-474-6294 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Brethren Church in India does so much to provide training to help people to rise above their circumstances and gain employment to support their families. Dr. Prasanth and Nirmala Kumar and Rev. K. Sudhir and Latha Kumar
Dr. K. Prasanth and Nirmala Kumar, along with their son and daughter-in-law, Reverend K. Sudhir and Latha Kumar, oversee the various ministries of the Brethren Church in Rajahmundry and Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India. Their love for God’s people is immense and their ministries are vast. With an orphanage, vocational schools, a Bible Institute, reading rooms, mobile medical clinics, and the Charity Hospital, the Kumar’s are actively working the fields of harvest. Rev. K. Sudhir & Latha Kumar also assist in the leadership responsibilities of the main ministry centers, as well as overseeing the 150 churches and places of teaching and preaching.
One of the highly valued ministries of the Brethren Church in India is their “India Pastors and Orphans Sponsorship” program.
When you choose to sponsor a pastor, your prayers and financial support see him through his training and pastoral duties. Under Linda’s leadership, the majority of those needing sponsors have gotten them. She recently traveled to India where she and her team donated blankets to those who lived in the most destitute districts they have ever seen. If you are interested in sponsoring an India orphan or pastor, please Email Linda at: email@example.com
Linda Immel, from North Manchester, coordinates this program here in the United States. It’s so easy and such a rewarding experience. When you choose to sponsor an orphan to support and pray for, your love and commitment helps to feed, clothe, and teach children who are in desperate need.
prasanth and nirmala Kumar Brethren Mission Prakashnager Rajahmundry 533 101 Andhra, Pradesh, INDIA Phone: 011-91-883-246-9919 Fax: 011-91-883-244-6025 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sudhir and latha Kumar Nirmala Nilayam Prakashnagar Rajahmundry 533 103 Andhra Pradesh, INDIA Email: email@example.com
Our Brethren Church Global Partners in Colombia are continuously active in reaching out to the people of their community. Their “Women’s Encounters” and their “Centers for Children” provide shelter, respite, food, biblical training, and much needed love to literally hundreds of families.
Marcelo, adrianna, Jana and Milena Ferreri
Marcelo Ferreri Apartado Aereo 10736 Medellin, Colombia South America Church Phone: 011-574-281-0967 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
They continue to move forward in new ministry points including Envigado, Los Gomez, Versalles, and Tablazo. Each of these towns contains groups of Brethren preparing to be future pastors. prayer Requests: • Pray for the people who have received the Lord that they would continue to grow in their faith • Pray for the preparation of the new leaders • Pray for the new ministries, that they would be able to find adequate places and space for them to congregate. • For the pastoral families that are serving • Pray for peace in the country
Working hard to care for over four hundred needy children, the Ferreri’s oversee numerous ministries and outreaches. Some of these ministries occur in the ‘projects’ or the most underprivileged parts of towns. In these places the children are grateful for good meals and positive, loving attention. The Brethren Church in Colombia makes certain their spiritual needs as well as their physical needs are met! Offering Bible studies, children’s and youth meetings, evangelism classes and even counseling and training for women and families, the Brethren Church in Colombia daily touches lives for Christ.
Global partners Anniversaries & Birthdays: apRil anniversaries: 4 – Claudio & Karina Castellis 19 – Gary & nancy Diehl 27 – Jose & norma Rivero birthdays: 10 – Marcelo Ferreri 11 – paula Strickland 27 – prasanth Kumar MaY birthdays: 10 – Maria Jesus Quiroga 15 – lucas Molina 16 – nicolas Molina 26 – Ken Hunn 27 – normal Rivero JunE anniversaries: 18 – Ken and nancy Hunn birthdays: 15 – zulema Quiroga 17 – adriana Ferreri
A True Story In December 2008 I received a letter from Martin Johnson, Director of a Christian group in New York State called Maple Ridge Community. These folks live in common, produce and sell top-quality educational equipment for young children (especially handicapped), publish Plough Books, and engage in other ministries. Martin said that he found Brethren Peace Initiative on the Brethren Church website when he was looking for peace church folks. I also learned of their Academy (a school, K-9th grades), where the older students write and produce their own periodical throughout the year, entitled “The Bee-Hive.” I have enjoyed reading their articles for a couple of years.
“From Enemies to … Brothers” by Carmen Mendel (middle school student) It was 1942. Thousands of feet above Germany, 18-year-old 2nd Lt. Carroll F. King navigated a B-24 Liberator bomber for the US 15th Air Force Division. Their bomb group had orders to rain death and destruction onto railroads, fuel depots, and any targets that supported Hitler’s war machine, including civilians. Hitler had to be stopped at any cost. Carroll, a former pacifist, had enlisted immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor. When the war ended, Carroll had completed 35 successful missions and a lifetime of guilt. Meanwhile on the ground, Siegfried Ellwanger, also 18 years of age, was operating a German anti-aircraft gun. He and his fellow soldiers tried to bring down as many of the invaders as possible. They and the fighter squadrons defended their city quite successfully. It was not unusual to see a bomber explode and the eleven-man crew jump desperately to an almost certain death. Siegfried had been dedicated to the Fatherland, and he believed that he was fighting for God and his country. Little did he know that the war would end with him being a prisoner of war. Years later, in 1982, Siegfried and Carroll met. They were both still haunted by their participation in World War II. As they shared their experiences, they realized that 41 years before, they had fought against each other at the same place and time. They embraced and asked forgiveness of each other. Some may say that this reconciliation was a coincidence, but I believe that it was planned by God. Remarkably, both were born in 1924 and died in 2010, leaving legacies of peaceful service to God and brotherhood instead of to war. As Carroll’s granddaughter, I am determined to carry on this legacy and never take part in war and killing. I need to add: May we hear God speaking to us through this young girl’s true story. Having personal “enemies” in our churches, or families, or communities sounds so extreme — perhaps “those with whom we disagree” is more appropriate. May the spirit of Matthew 18:15-16 prevail. There have been a few occasions where a reader has disagreed with something I’ve written about peacemaking — and they wrote and told me so. In every case we have exchanged correspondence and expressed differences, but with greater and constructive understanding I believe. And I know of one situation in the church where feelings were deeply hurt between two members. But after a meeting, with a third person present, there were constructive explanations, confessions, tears, prayer, understandings, and reduced animosity — even though one member decided not to attend the church any more. Maybe sometime later. Blessed are all peacemakers, for we are the children of God. Phil Lersch - Brethren Peace Leadership Team
Pastor Stephen Cole Retires Pastor Stephen Cole recently retired from Brethren ministry. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2004. This degenerative, progressive disease has resulted in accumulative symptoms associated with the condition. Stephen Cole grew up in Maine, New Brunswick, Canada, and South Bend, IN, where he graduated from high school in 1966. He attended Wheaton College, graduating in 1970, and then enrolled in Ashland Seminary (1970-1973). He was ordained in 1973 at Ardmore Brethren Church in South Bend, IN. During Pasor Cole’s 37 years of ministry he served Brethren Churches in North Libery, IN, Loree, IN, Cerro Gordo IL, and Newark, OH (21 years). During this time he was bi-vocational. In 2005 Pastor Cole, his wife Peggy, and daughter Jennifer were called to the Masontown, PA Brethren Church. He quickly became involved in church and local activites, serving as chaplain for the volunteer fire department and chaplain at Uniontown Hospital. He joined the local clergy group and served on the Northeastern District Mission Board. Although several procedures were attempted to circumvent his symptoms, Pastor Cole continued to struggle with pastoral duties. After discussion with church leaders and family he concluded it was time to end his ministry. His last sermon was November 14, 2010. A retirement luncheon was attended by relatives, the congregation and persons from the community. During his service to God and The Brethren Church, Pastor Cole touched countless lives. The congregation commends him for his service, leadership, and friendship. The Cole family is wished abundant blessings and happiness in the years to come. - Submitted by Sandy Dils
Steve and Peggy Cole
Berlin Packs Boxes for Operation Christmas Child Berlin, PA: Operation Christmas Child, better known as OCC, was started in 1990 and adopted by Samaritan’s Purse in 1993. Since then it has grown and now delivers around eight million shoeboxes to children in over 100 countries around the world, sharing the love of Jesus Christ. Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, is the President and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse. In 2004 our church, with the encouragement of thenpastor Eugene Oburn, made their first trip to Charlotte, NC, to help get the shoeboxes ready to ship. We have been going each year since that first trip. The warehouse in Charlotte is one of six processing centers in the United States. We check the boxes to make sure there is nothing breakable, no liquids, no candy that would melt, etc. If additional fillers are needed we add them. We make sure each child receives some hard candy. We then sort them by gender and age, and pack them into cartons to be shipped. This year we had 34 people from surrounding churches going to OCC. We left Berlin, PA, on December 6, (in a blizzard I might add) arriving at our hotel in Charlotte around 7 pm. We worked the next three days 9 am to 3 pm, and Friday 9 am to 11 am. The total boxes processed at Charlotte this year was 70 thousand. We feel this is such a worthwhile cause. Millions of children may be receiving their first gift ever, and hearing about Jesus Christ for the first time. The stories we hear, and the pictures we see, make it well worth our time and energy just to see the smiles on the children’s faces. While we are in Charlotte we always take one evening to go to the Billy Graham Library, a museum based on the life and service of Billy Graham. This is free to the public and is well worth your time if you’re ever in the Charlotte area. We feel this trip is another mission outreach for our church and one we can do without going too far from home. It does start at home though, with filling the shoeboxes and praying over them, that they will reach the right destination. Try it next year, and put a smile on some precious child’s face! - Eloise Long OCC Coordinator
General Conference 2011 July 13 - 17 Ashland University, Ashland, OH Wednesday, July 13
Arrival & Check-In Auxiliary Meetings Evening Worship * Reggie Harvey, speaker
Thursday, July 14
Business Session Auxiliary Meetings & Workshops Evening Worship * Ken Hunn, speaker
Friday, July 15
Business Session Blood Drive Workshops Evening Worship * Reggie McNeal, speaker
10:00 am - 4:00 pm 2.00 pm - 4:00 pm 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
9:00 am - 11:00 am 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
9:00 am - 11:00 am 10:00 am - 4:00 pm 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Saturday, July 16
Missional Panel Discussion 9:00 am - 11:00 am * with Reggie McNeal, Hugh Halter, and Jonathan Reitz Workshops 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm Evening Worship 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm * Hugh Halter, speaker Worship & Teaching * Hugh Halter, speaker
Sunday, July 17
10:30 am - 12:00 pm
* Reggie Harvey serves as lead pastor for United Community Brethren Church in Dayton, OH. * Reggie McNeal serves as Missional Leadership Specialist for Leadership Network of Dallas, TX. * Hugh Halter serves as national director of Missio, mentoring a global netword of missional leaders and church planters. He is lead architect of Adullam, a congregational network of missional communities in Denver, CO. * Jonathan Reitz is Chief Executive Officer of CoachNet Ministries. Schedule does not include banquets, ministry team meetings, or sessions that are specific to a smaller group of attendees. Nursery & Childcare Nursery and childcare will be provided for those with young children, up to and including age 11. Youth ages 12 through 22 are encouraged to register for and attend the BYIC Engage Conference. Nursery and childcare will be provided during the morning sessions, workshop times, and evening worship. You must reserve a place for your child through the sign-up on your regstration form. Early or on-time registration makes it possible to provide a quality experience for your children. Registration forms will be found in the March/April Evangelist and online at www.brethrenchurch.org. Remember that … • Like last year, General Conference is a combination of our Annual Meeting — as reflected in the Wednesday to Friday morning schedule, and a Leadership Development event —as reflected in the Friday evening to Sunday morning schedule. Congregations should make evey effort to include key leaders in addition to the pastor. • All main sessions will be available live via webcast. Watch for more information on how your congregation could join in on the Sunday worship experience through the internet.
It’s for e m i T The Brethren Retreat at Shipshewana Lake provides a valuable and distinctive opportunity for your family! A camp experience provides many family values: self-discovery, building friendships, precious memories, positive role models, leadership development, spiritual growth. Campers will engage in new adventures. They will share with peers from diverse backgrounds in a safe environment. College-age staff will lead worship services, teach eternal truths during Bible studies, and share testimonies at camp fires. There are numerous activities for campers to make spiritual discoveries and develop friendships which will last a lifetime! - Rick Miller
I just love going to Camp Bethany. It’s my first home. I get such energy from being there. It is one of the best places on earth. - Naomi, age 13, camper
2011 Camp Dates No matter how many years we come to Camp Peniel either as a camper, volunteer, or visitor, one thing that is constant and true is coming home to be face-toface with God. As you enter the long, narrow dirt lane you are leaving the outside world with all its trials behind. You feel this inner PEACE that only God can provide come over you. You are at CAMP!!! As you enter and gaze out over the sun-splashed lake you see the staff house, dining hall, and chapel come into view. You look up the hill and see the cabins where new and old friendships have been made over the years. You think WOW, this is how camp was last year and the year before. It is our beacon in a storm and somehow we always navigate back year after year. - Teresa Landis
Camp Bethany (Ohio) Mini Camp (finished 1-2 gr.) June 10-12 Sr. High (finished 9 -12) June 12-18 Elementary (finished 3-4) June 19-25 Middler (finished 5-6) June 26-July 2 Jr. High (finished 7-8) July 3-9 Florida_
July 31-Aug 5
Camp Peniel (Pennsylvania) (Mini Camp (ages 6-9) Jr. Camp (ages 10-13) Sr. Camp (ages 14-18)
June 19-22 June 26-July 2 July 2-9
Camp Shenandoah Meadows (Virginia) Sr. High June 19-25 Middler/Jr. High June 26-July 2 Camp Shipshewana (Indiana) Mini Bible Camp (ages 6-8) July 24-26 Fuel Camp (ages 8-11) July 10-16 Ignite Camp (ages 11-14) June 19-25 Blaze Camp (14-senior high) July 26-30
As someone who has had the privilege to work at our Brethren camps in Ohio, Indiana, Northeast and Southeastern Districts over the years (I still work at NE and SE camps), I can honestly say that camp is the highlight of my summer. I look forward to it every year and plan my summer schedule around it. It is such an awesome time to get away from the world and its pressures and to spend a week in God’s beautiful creation, drawing closer to him and to the many wonderful youth and staff he sends each year. For any youth who are thinking about going to camp for the first time this year, I encourage you to give it a try. It can be a week that will change your life forever! - Linda Barr
I sometimes wonder how different my life would be if certain people had never come into it. So much of who we are as people depends on who we surround ourselves with. The same is true, I think, about the places we choose to go. If there is one place that has changed me most, it is Camp Bethany. Growing up as a camper, I used to think that the reason camp was so special was because of everything we were able to do there. Every year I could look forward to a spectacular game of capture the flag, afternoons spent jumping off the dock in the pond, the best food this side of anywhere, and evenings belting out songs around the campfire. Combine that with the chance to make new friends and see old ones, and I was instantly hooked. The very atmosphere of camp promotes a positive, Christian lifestyle. The campers have the chance to be a part of discussion-based classes, interactive sessions geared toward real-world issues, and small groups that offer the chance to ask questions which someone might otherwise be afraid to voice. But even more than that, it’s the people who volunteer their time and love which makes the experience complete. These are the people and this is the place that has made all the difference in my life, and I can’t wait for another summer and the chance to do the same for more campers. - Maggie McLinden
On the front cover: A view up through the trees at Camp Shenandoah Meadows.
The Brethren Evangelist (SSN 0747-4288) is published bi-monthly except July/August by The Brethren Church, Inc., 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 (telephone: 419-289-1708; email: email@example.com; fax: 419-2810450. 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. January/February 2011, Vol. 133, No. 1
The Brethren Church 524 College Ave. Ashland, OH44805
For over 40 years the Brethren Church has invested in the lives and leadership of Dr. Prasanth and Nirmala Kumar, and Rev. Sudhir and Latha Kumar. From the simple beginnings of ten boys in an orphanage and ten student-pastors in a Bible Institute has grown the largest ministry among all of our Global Partnerships. Your faithful commitment to the ministry in India has helped expand their reach to now include an orphanage with over 80 boys and girls, vocational schools, a Bible Institute, reading rooms, mobile medical clinics and a new Charity Hospital. The impact of our efforts in India now reflects over 150 church and preaching points with over 15,000 members who call the Brethren Church their church. We are so appreciative of those who have given faithfully throughout the years to build churches, provide ongoing support for the Kumars, purchase bicycles and sewing machines, open medical clinics,and sponsor pastors as well as orphaned children. We invite you to join with the Kumars in asking for God’s continued blessing on their ministry as we continue to support the work of the gospel in India.
In recognition of the work of the Kumars, and in support of this Brethren Global Partnership, I would like to make: _____ a one-time gift of $ _________________
_____ a monthly gift of $ __________________
I would like to know more about supporting: _____ a pastor at $50/month _____ an orphan at $30/month _____________________________________________ Name and Address
____________________________ Home Church
Phone or email ________________________________ Please complete the information above, detach this form, and mail it to the address at right. If you would like more information, call the toll-free number. Secure contributions may also be made online through PayPal by going to www.brethrenchurch.org/get-involved/contributions. Use one of the PayPal links in the “India Support” section and follow the prompts. You will be allowed to comment about your gift during the check-out process. Thank you!
The Brethren Church 524 College Ave. Ashland, OH 44805