Brother Bits – News


— Corrected: A souvenir from Ron Sider included in the latest issue of Newsline neglected to include the previous name of the organization Sider is best known for founding: Evangelicals for Social Action. This organization is now known as Christians for Social Action.

—Galen Fitzkee ends his year of service with Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) on August 12. He has been associated with the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy in Washington, D.C. He will begin new work as a Legislative Associate for the Mennonite Central Committee Office of Peace and Justice Ministries.

— Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) Summer Unit 331 meets for orientation at Camp Wilbur Stover in New Meadows, Idaho, Aug. 9-17. BVS. “Ten volunteers, including five from EIRENE [a partner organization based in Germany]. EIRENE volunteers, from our winter unit, were able to obtain visas in the country. This is the first time orientation has been held at Camp Wilbur Stover. For more information on BVS, visit

—Taylor Peterson begins August 13 as youth coordinator for the Northern Ohio District of the Brethren Church. She is from the North Bend congregation, is a teacher, substitute teacher and works part-time in a hardware store.

— SERVV International has appointed Kate Doyle Betts as the new President and CEO. She has held senior marketing positions, including 22 years with Williams-Sonoma in merchandise and inventory planning. A fair trade organization founded by the Church of the Brethren 72 years ago, SERRV partners with 8,000 artisans in 24 countries to market craft and food products through e-commerce, catalog and wholesale operations. It has offices and warehouses in Madison, Wisconsin and at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Maryland, as well as Westminster, Maryland.

— Community Peacemaker Teams (CPT) announced a new Palestinian delegation scheduled from November 3 to 14, 2022. “Olive trees have always been symbols used to describe Palestinian resistance in their land, and the olive harvest season is the season that brings Palestinian families together and reminds them of the importance of defend their homeland,” the ad said. “Join a delegation from CPT Palestine to find out how the Israeli occupation is making the annual harvest more difficult for these families, but also to find out how Palestinians still find joy in the area. H2 and the South Hebron Hills.” The application deadline is October 21. Go to

— A summit on climate resilience is scheduled as an online event for Thursday, August 18 from 5-8 p.m. EST with sponsorship from Creation Justice Ministries, among others. Creation Justice Ministries grew out of the National Council of Churches and is an ecumenical partner organization of the Brethren Church. An announcement said: ‘The impact of climate change on our communities is no longer in doubt. We all feel these impacts in one way or another, whether it’s heat waves, wildfires or floods. Often our faith helps us through these difficult times by providing us with food, shelter, or hope for a better future. But beyond reaction, how can faith communities be centers of resilience, helping our neighbors weather the physical, social and spiritual storms of the climate crisis? How do we plan and build a world in which the most vulnerable are not simply protected from these climate impacts, but empowered to thrive? The evening will include panel discussions, workshops and presentations from faith communities, scholars and government officials from across the country. Guest speakers and panelists include Queen Quet, Chief and Head of State of the Gullah/Geechee Nation; Beth Norcross of the Center for Spirituality in Nature; Emily Wirzba of the Environmental Defense Fund; Miyuki Hino, assistant professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at UNC-Chapel Hill; with Rick Spinrad, Administrator of the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA), delivering the closing remarks. Find the complete program and register on

Annual Conference leadership held meetings at the Brethren’s general church offices last week. The program and arrangements committee, including the annual conference officers, has met, as has the denominational leadership team and the worship leadership team for the upcoming 2023 annual conference.

Above: The Program and Arrangements Committee shown here in the General Offices Chapel (left to right): Beth Jarrett, Jacob Crouse, Conference Secretary David Shumate, Nathan Hollenberg, Moderator-Elect Madalyn Metzger, Moderator Tim McElwee and Conference Director Rhonda Pittman Gingrich.

Below: The Worship Leadership Team Shown here in one of the courtyards of the General Offices (from left to right): Don Mitchell, David W. Miller, Beth Jarrett (Chair and Program and Arrangements Committee Liaison) and Laura Stone.

(Photos by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford)

In an update from the annual conference, the total bid received for Girls Inc. of Omaha, the “host city witness,” now stands at $14,162.71. The offer included monetary donations received on-site and online as well as by mail over the following weeks, and on-site donations of material goods filling three pallets overflowing with backpacks, school and art supplies, games, sports equipment, hygiene supplies, clothing, etc. . Read Newsline’s article on Girls Inc. of Omaha and how the annual conference offering will help at


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