Wednesday, June 01, 2022


Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) deployed a Critical Response Childcare (CRC) team to Uvalde, Texas, on May 26 to work with the children directly affected by the school shooting that happened on Tuesday, May 24. Six CRC-trained CDS volunteers traveled to Uvalde; within a week, they had 157 child contacts during their time in the Family Assistance Center.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) wrote a letter of condolence to the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) following the school shootings at Uvalde, Texas. “And again, it is on behalf of our worldwide fellowship of churches that I offer our sincere condolences to people and churches in the US,” wrote WCC acting general secretary Ioan Sauca on May 25. “Yesterday’s gun violence and the loss of life are horrific reminders of how people on earth fall short of the will of our just and loving God.” The innocence of children cannot be ignored, Sauca urged. “As I write, I am reminded of Psalm 6:3, ‘My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long?’ Please know that our grief is deep, our prayers are strong and our fellowship offers our heartfelt sorrow,” Sauca concluded. 

Church of the Brethren Material Resources staff Scott Senseney and Jeffrey Brown loaded three 40-foot containers with a total of 1,120 bales of Lutheran World Relief Quilts, shipping them to the Republic of Georgia. The program is based at warehouse facilities at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. Another 40-foot container filled with Lutheran World Relief quilts and kits left for Poland to assist the people of Ukraine. This was the second phase of supplies being shipped to Ukraine.

Messenger , the denominational magazine, won five awards in the 2021 Associated Church Press “Best of the Church Press” competition, announced May 12, 2022.  ACP is a professional organization “brought together by a common commitment to excellence in journalism as a means to describe, reflect, and support the life of faith and the Christian community.” This year’s competition had over 800 entries from 67 organizations.  

On Earth Peace will be holding an online “Day of Celebration” to highlight its work, June 29 beginning at 10:30 a.m. Central. It will include worship, a cooking class, a training session on Kingian Nonviolence, and a keynote on anti-war and anti-militarism themes. Find more information at

Brethren Benefit Trust has changed its name to Eder Financial in order to serve a broader audience. “The familiar services of BBT are not changing. Nor is the staff or the Board. The only thing that is changing is the name,” according to a release. “With changing demographics and affinity within the Church of the Brethren, a move to serve Anabaptist organizations and others of like mind will allow Eder Financial to fulfill its commitments to its members for decades to come,” president Nevin Dulabaum said.

Song and Story Fest 2022 on the theme “Into the HEARTland: Healing What Divides Us” is scheduled for July 3-9 at Camp Pine Lake in Eldora, Iowa. Song and Story Fest is a unique family camp featuring Church of the Brethren musicians and storytellers, with co-sponsorship from On Earth Peace, organized by Ken Kline Smeltzer. The annual event is usually held before or after the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, at a location relatively close to the Conference. This year’s is the 26th annual Song and Story Fest.

Registration includes all meals, on-site facilities, and leadership, and is based on age. Children age 4 and under are welcome at no charge. Registration fees for other ages: adults $360, teens $240, children ages 5 to 12 $150, maximum total per family $1,000. Registrations after June 10 add 10 percent as a late fee. Daily fees also are available. For details, go to For questions, or if you need financial help to attend, contact Ken Kline Smeltzer at

Gladys Naylor, 104, who was part of the Church of the Brethren mission in Ecuador and in Europe accompanied her late husband, Kurtis Naylor, at the World Council of Churches office in Geneva, Switzerland, died on May 16 at the Cedars in McPherson, Kan. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

California philanthropists and Giving Pledge Signatories Melanie and Richard Lundquist shocked the McPherson (Kan.) College community during its 134th commencement ceremony, announcing the couple’s $25 million gift to the college for the Building Community Campaign–the largest gift in the college’s 135-year history. The Lundquists’ gift completes the campaign early, having raised $53 million in under three years. It is the largest gift ever to a small, private liberal arts college in Kansas and among one of the largest to any college in Kansas. The previous largest gift to McPherson College was $10 million.