Monday, January 01, 2024


The Northern Plains District of the Church of the Brethren requested prayer in the wake of the shooting at Perry High School in Iowa on Thursday morning, Jan. 4. At least two members of the district worked at the school or on the campus that the high school shares with Perry Middle School. Other district members teach at the elementary level in the Perry school district or have worked in the district in various capacities. Other families in the district have children in the Perry schools or are related to students. District executive minister Tim Button-Harrison sent an email to district ministers and board members after learning that at least one member of the district who teaches at the high school was present in the building at the time of the shooting. The teacher was physically unharmed, but affected emotionally. The shooter, who took his own life, was one of the teacher’s students, and other students of the teacher were injured.

Bethany Theological Seminary professor Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm has been elected to serve on the executive committee of the Academy of Homiletics and in 2026 will serve as president. The professional guild of more than 200 scholars represents a wide array of denominations. Founded in 1965, the Academy of Homiletics is open to teachers and doctoral graduate students of homiletics across the world. Ottoni-Wilhelm will serve as 2nd vice president in 2024, 1st vice president in 2025, and president in 2026. Ottoni-Wilhelm is also the senior editor of Homiletic, the journal of the Academy of Homiletics.

Brethren Press has announced a new title in the Covenant Bible Studies series, titled “Passion of Jesus” and written by Richard B. Gardner. The study will “focus on Mark's passion narrative. How does the passion of Jesus—his suffering on the cross—relate to his life and mission? Is this a story of defeat or one of redemption? Was the cross inevitable, or could Jesus' mission have led to a different outcome? What do the events of Jesus' final days mean for us as Christians today?” The study book costs $11.99 per copy. Visit or call 800-441-3712.

SERRV is celebrating its 75th birthday in 2024! SERRV got its start as a Church of the Brethren program in 1949. Originally called “Sales Exchange for Refugee Rehabilitation and Vocation,” the church established SERRV to generate income for refugees in Europe after World War II. Since 1999 it has been an independent nonprofit fair-trade organization; it is a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization and the Fair Trade Federation. Several special events will occur this year in celebration of the anniversary. See more at

On Earth Peace is holding an online “Palestine Power Hour” on Jan. 19 at 1 p.m. Central. “We will go over the current needs of Palestinians and discuss the best ways for us to support them,” said an announcement. “There will be a mini workshop on how to contact your congressional and local representatives on Palestine. After that, we will take time together to contact our representatives. This will be a space to ask questions and support each other as we come together for Palestine.” For questions or concerns contact

The Church of the Brethren Nursing Scholarship is available for 2024, providing up to $2,000 for RN and graduate nurse candidates and up to $1,000 for LPN candidates. Scholarships are awarded to a limited number of applicants each year. This scholarship, made possible by the Health, Education and Research Endowment, is available to members of the Church of the Brethren enrolled in LPN, RN, or nursing graduate programs. More information and an application form are at Applications and supporting documentation are due by April 1 of each year.

The 2024 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, scheduled for Jan. 18-25, will use worship resources prepared by Christians in Burkina Faso on the theme, “You shall love the Lord your God … and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). Find resources at