Monday, January 01, 2007

January 2007 -- Vol 4 Issue 1

Where, Oh Where, is the District Office?

Our new half-time District Executive will be operating from his office in the Canton Church of the Brethren, the question begging to be answered is, "Where, oh where, will the District Office be?" The answer is: 1 S 071 Luther Ave., Lombard, IL 60148. All mail should continue to be sent to the Lombard location. The office phone number remains the same: 630-261-0951. Duane Steiner continues to be the Administrative Assistant and will work closely with Kevin Kessler to pass messages via email and phone. The only change is the DE's email address which is:

Fall Youth Retreat

Youth gathered Nov. 3-5 during district conference in Lombard, Ill., for their fall retreat. Jim Chinworth, campus minister for Manchester College, led the weekend focusing on "Being Still". Other activities along with a variety of discussion, role plays, sharing times took place with the help of three Manchester students.

The weekend included a time of sharing in one of district conference's business sessions, several worship/devotions times and the conference opening and closing worship services. The host church provided for basketball, games, good food and fellowship. 30 people from nine congregations participated in the retreat.

The district youth cabinet will hold their annual planning retreat Jan. 19-21 at Cerro Gordo. The spring district youth retreat, featuring leadership from Brethren Volunteer Service, will be March 16-18 at Peoria Church of the Brethren. Don't forget Regional Youth Conference April 27-29 at Manchester College.

Christian Citizenship Seminar

Brethren Witness/Washington Office and the Youth Ministry Office are sponsoring Christian Citizenship Seminar "The State of Our Health" March 24-29, 2007. Participants will explore the challenges of health concerns and conditions of our global population. Speakers, presentations, interactive worship and workshops, on-sight visitations and direct advocacy opportunities will all be a part of the CCS 2007 experience. Find out how international governments contribute to the HIV-AIDS explosion in Africa or the overwhelming poverty of many Latin America countries. Learn how HIV/AIDS affects local villages in Sudan and in U.S. communities. Explore the impact of prenatal care, poverty, and hunger on the world's population. Consider the advantages, challenges, and the privileges of health care programs. Advocate for the hungry, the disabled, the uninsured and the voiceless brothers and sisters in our world.

High school youth and adult advisors can attend the seminar. Registration is limited to the first 100 youth and adults who apply. CCS will begin Saturday, March 24, 2007 at 5:00 in New York City and will end by 12:00 noon on Thursday, March 29, 2007 in Washington, D.C. The cost is $350 and includes lodging for 5 nights, dinner on the opening evening of the seminar, and transportation from New York to Washington, DC.

Registration opens on-line on January 1, 2007. at under keywords on the youth/young adults page. Click on Christian Citizenship Seminar. For more information: 1-800-323-8039 or email:

Brethren Acadamy Growth Opportunities

The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership offers four opportunities for learning and growth early in 2007. TRIM students who participate will earn one Academy level or CEQ credit. Pastors who participate will earn 2 Continuing Education Credits. Informational brochures with registration forms included are available from the Brethren Academy (765-983-1824 or Following is a list of courses offered.

Brethren Heritage and Faith,
January 8-12, 2007,
at Bethany Theological Seminary, Richmond, IN
Instructor: Jeff Bach
Registration deadline: December 22, 2006
Cost: $150.00

Introduction to the New Testament,
Jan. 22 - Mar. 16, 2007,
8 Week Online Course
Instructor: Chris Bowman
Registration deadline: January 5, 2007
Cost: $150.00

Now the silence, Now the songs: the body of Christ at worship,
Mar. 11 - May 6, 2007,
8 Week Online
Course Instructor: Lee-Lani Wright
Registration deadline: February 16, 2007
Cost: $150.00

CoB Polity & Practice,
Mar. 16-19, 2007,
Bakersfield Church of the Brethren, Bakersfield, California
Instructor: Warren Eshbach
Registration deadline: February 16, 2007
Cost: $150.00

Essay Contest

In recent years, many cultural critics have observed that progressives have lost the ability to tell a good story. It is suggested that the political right learned how to compose a convincing, coherent narrative as progressives debated important yet disconnected issues about health care, education, war and clean are. James Carville stated the problem pointedly on Meet the Press: "They produce narrative, we produce a litany."

This first decade of this new millennium has been declared by the World Council of Churches as "The Decade to Overcome Violence." The Historic Peace Churches - Brethren, Friends, and Mennonites - have been invited to think creatively and critically in communion with the international ecumenical community about seeking cultures of peace in a violent world. What story will a Peace Church tell the world?

The Peace Studies Program and Bethany Seminary Theological Seminary, in partnership with Messenger magazine, in pleased to announce the Jennie Calhoun Baker essay contest. Contestants will submit an essay or story-shaped manuscript address this question: "What story will a Peace Church tell the world?" First prize: $2500. Second prize: $1000. Winning essays will be published in Messenger magazine. The genre of the essay may be personal, philosophical, story-shaped, or it may be composed in a style similar to National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" radio series, This I Believe. Manuscripts should not exceed 2,000 words. The contest is open to students who are part of the Historic Peace Church tradition.

Manuscript submissions will be accepted from January 1 - June 1, 2007. Awards will be announced by September 1, 2007.

Send manuscripts to:
Scott Holland
Associate Professor of Theology and Culture
Bethany Theological Seminary
615 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana 47374

Young Adult Conference

All Young Adults are invited to spend Memorial Day weekend (May 26-28) of 2007 at Camp Harmony, near Johnstown, PA! The theme for the annual Young Adult Conference will be “Doers of the Word” based on James 1:22-25. This is a wonderful opportunity for young adults throughout the denomination to gather together for a weekend of worship, singing, fellowship, and meeting other young adults. A variety of young adults will speak during each of the worship services and sessions will be led by Paul Grout.

Name the Newsletter

This is the forth year of our “new” District Newsletter. It is time to name it! Please submit the name you would like to call the District Newsletter to the editors. The target would be to have a name by the March edition (which should be out the last week of February). Please help us come up with a good Christ calling name. Thanks for your help!
Editors: Gil Crosby at and Leonard Matheny at