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Full text of "Brethren Evangelist, The (1996)"

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in 2011 with funding from 

LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation 



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f The Brethren ) 

Evangelis 




Vol. 118, No. 1 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



January 1996 



General Conference Moderator Richard E. Allison explores: 



Lessons on leadership in the Book of Nehemiah 



THE BOOK OF NEHEMIAH in 
the Old Testament begins with a 
sob (1:4) and ends with a shout of joy 
(12:43). In between is a very inter- 
esting study in leadership. 

The popular view of Nehemiah is 
that he was the restorer of the walls 
of the city of Jerusalem. But this is 
only half the story. A more balanced 
view sees Nehemiah as both a build- 
er of walls and a builder of people. 

Background 

The situation was this. The Baby- 
lonians had overrun Jerusalem, 
destroying the walls and carting off 
the people. Babylon, in turn, had 
been conquered by the Persians. 
Under the domination of the latter, 
Jerusalem's walls remained in rub- 
ble and the practice of worship in 
the Temple at Jerusalem was non- 
existent. 

Nehemiah used two resources to 
turn this situation around. First 
and foremost was the divine call 



J A Prayer for the L 
New Year 

Our Father, 

Help us in the year to 
come so to live that at 
the end of it we shall 
not only be one year 
older, but that we shall 
also be one year nearer 
Thee. 



l The 

iLz 



William Barclay; 



J 



(2:12) — the Lord God put it into his 
heart to rectify this situation. Sec- 
ond, he used the political and eco- 
nomic assistance of the great Per- 
sian king Artaxerxes. Nehemiah 
went to Jerusalem with the 
call to (1) restore the wall of 
the city and (2) restore the 
religious practices of the peo- 
ple. In doing so, he demon- 
strates four important princi- 
ples of leadership. 



Principles of leadership 

First, Nehemiah actively 
modeled his dream. He be- 
gan doing so by taking the 
risk of stating his case direct- 
ly before the king (2:2^5). For 
this he was rewarded with the 
king's support. Having thus Dr. 
gained political support, he planned 
carefully. He secured the necessary 
construction materials (2:7-8). 
Then he scouted the construction 
site, sizing up the needs (2:11-16). 
He proceeded by developing an or- 
derly plan for rebuilding the walls 
of Jerusalem. He built in a counter- 
clockwise fashion (3:3-32). At the 
same time, he provided for the de- 
fense of the city (4:13-23). Next, he 
renewed the worship practices 
(13:4-29). All the while he refused 
to fellowship with the enemies of 
Jerusalem (6:1-3). 

Second, Nehemiah was a great 
encourager. The walls were rebuilt 
in 52 days! This testifies to his ability 
to inspire people to keep at a seem- 
ingly impossible task. He maintained 
morale and developed a healthy 
group climate (ch. 3; 4:15-23). 

Third, he delegated effectively. 
Thus many shared not only his bur- 



den but also his calling. This is im- 
portant for developing future lead- 
ers. He used both men and women; 
skilled and unskilled workers; city 
dwellers and country people; builders 
and defenders. 

Fourth, he 
gave positive 
reinforcement. 
He led the peo- 
ple in the cele- 
bration of their 
accomplishment, 
at the same time 
guiding them to 
remember their 
dependence upon 
God (12:43). Ne- 
hemiah knew 
both the signifi- 
Richard Allison cance of celebra- 
tion and the means to accomplish 
it. Nehemiah gives us that great 
insight when he says, ". . . the joy of 
the LORD is your strength" (8:10). 

As we seek to develop strong lead- 
ers in The Brethren Church, the 
example of Nehemiah provides us a 
biblical model of some basic princi- 
ples of leadership. [ft] 




In this issue 



Lessons on leadership . 
Questions and ideas . . 
Toward spiritual maturity 
Preparing for a sermon . 
Understanding the Bible 
What you should know . 
Living with gusto .... 

Ministry pages 

Around the denomination 

The Women's Outlook Newsletter 
is in the center of this issue. 



1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
6 
7 
8 
10 



What kind of impact are we 
making on our world? 



At the General Conference Ex- 
ecutive Council (GCEC) meeting 
on December 1, 1995, members of 
the council discussed the follow- 
ing questions: 

1. How is the world different 
as a result of the existence of The 
Brethren Church at the national 
level (including the National Of- 
fice, the Missionary Board, and 
General Conference)? 

2. How is The Brethren Church 
at-large different as a result of 
The Brethren Church at the na- 
tional level? 

3. In one sentence, what would 
you say is the purpose of The Breth- 
ren Church at the national level? 

Results from this discussion 
will be shared in a later issue of 
the Evangelist. But first, GCEC 
wants to give you an opportunity 
to provide your input. How would 
you answer these questions? 
GCEC would welcome your per- 
sonal insights. 



In addition, GCEC encourages 
Sunday school classes, Bible study 
groups, youth groups, Men of 
Mission and WMS organizations, 
and other groups in the church to 
spend all or part of a meeting dis- 
cussing these questions. 

Please send your answers to 
these questions (either your per- 
sonal observations or those from 
your group) to: Questions, The 
National Office, 524 College Ave., 
Ashland, OH 44805. 

Editor's note: It might also be a 
worthwhile activity for the main ad- 
ministrative board (the official board, 
board of administration, or deacon 
board) and other groups in your local 
church to discuss similar kinds of 
questions concerning your congrega- 
tion. (For example, How is your com- 
munity different as a result of the ex- 
istence of your congregation? How are 
the lives of the members of your con- 
gregation different? In one sentence, 
what would you say is the purpose of 
your local congregation?). 



Ideas that are working: 

Enhancing the Communion service 
at Linwood Brethren Church 



THIS PAST AUGUST, when Gen- 
eral Conference delegates from 
our church reviewed the denomina- 
tional statistical report, they were 
surprised to discover that our con- 
gregation — the Linwood, Md., Breth- 
ren Church — ranked ninth highest 
in percentage of members attending 
Communion. Following Conference, 
our deacon board began to analyze 
why this was so, and they came up 
with a couple of reasons. 



The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) is pub- 
lished monthly (excepl July and August issues are 
combined) by The Brethren Church, Inc. 524 Col- 
lege Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 (telephone: 
419-289-1708; E-mail: Brethrench@aol.com; fax: 419- 
281-0450). Authors' views are not necessarily those 
of The Brethren Church. Editor: Richard C. Win- 
field. Subscription rates: Sent free to Brethren 
Church members; $14.50 per year to others. Mem- 
ber: Evangelical Press Association. Second Class 
Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio. Postmaster: Send 
address changes to The Brethren Church, 524 
College Avenue, Ashland, OH 44805-3792. 



First, before each Communion 
service, the members of the deacon 
board call all members of the congre- 
gation to remind them of the service 
and to see if they will have a problem 
getting there. 

Second, we have begun making our 
fall Communion, held on Worldwide 
Communion Sunday, a part of our 
Sunday morning worship service. 
This is a full, Three-Fold Communion 
service. This gives our older people 



who don't go out at night and the 
regular visitors we have on Sunday 
mornings an opportunity to be a part 
of this wonderful service. The service 
runs just a little longer than our usual 
Sunday worship service, but people 
understand this and plan for it. As a 
result, our attendance has grown. 

Several years ago we began form- 
ing a circle in the sanctuary at the 
close of our Communion service. 
When we began doing so, we didn't 
have enough people to go all the way 
around the sanctuary, but now we 
have to crowd together to get every- 
one into the circle. 

This past fall we added a third fea- 
ture that may contribute to greater 
Communion attendance — and that is 
hand-washing. Now those who are 
no longer able to get down on their 
knees and wash feet and those who 
for medical reasons cannot participate 
in feetwashing do not have to sit back 
in the pews. They are able to partici- 
pate in a meaningful way with others. 

Three very simple things — calling 
members before Communion; holding 
a Communion service on Sunday 
morning; and a hand-washing service 
for those unable to wash feet — but 
they have brought deeper meaning to 
those who participate in the Lord's 
Supper. We observe Communion only 
twice a year, so we make every effort 
to get a large percentage of our mem- 
bers to participate to the fullest. Our 
spring Communion is always held on 
Maundy Thursday, which corre- 
sponds most closely to the time when 
Jesus washed the disciples' feet, ate a 
supper with them, and gave them the 
broken bread and the cup (which is 
perhaps more meaningful to us than 
it was to them). 

Let us continue to experiment with 
new ways to enhance something old, 
which must be kept forever new and 
significant in our hearts and minds 
until Jesus comes again. 

— Pastor Robert Keplinger 



Pontius' Puddle 



oor chorcm should go oot iht0 twet streets 
*md imvvte imtwe poor, the .sick, the 
kvalformed, the drug- at>d\cts, the: 
destitute --rut eramkly, v/e're aera\p. 





The Brethren Evangelist 



Growing toward spiritual maturity 



By Ronald W. Waters 

WHERE IS GOD leading in The 
Brethren Church? If we can 
identify that, it may be easier for 
us to approach a changing future 
with more openness and anticipa- 
tion of how God may use us in the 
process. 

During the past couple of months 
we've been exploring The Brethren 
Church "Priorities for the Nine- 
ties." In November we examined 
where God is leading us in starting 
new churches. Last month we 
looked at the changing concept of 
ministry in the church. This month 
we'll discuss spiritual growth and 
maturity. 

The priority — Becoming Like 
Christ (Spiritual Formation). 
To foster inner spiritual development 
that leads to outward action, by a 
deepening relationship with the Lord, 
through a lifelong maturing proc- 
ess, toward a life of obedience to 
Christ, lived among persons of need. 

You may be a relatively new fol- 
lower of Jesus Christ or perhaps 
you have been a Christian for many 
years. Though many believers can 
identify a specific time when they 
made a profession of faith, becom- 
ing a Christian is more than an 
event or an end in itself. It is also a 
process of becoming like Christ in 
all that we are and do. 

Both inward and outward 

Some of the phrases in this prior- 
ity focus on our inner spiritual de- 
velopment. "Fosterling] inner spiri- 
tual development" emphasizes per- 
sonal spiritual growth that results 
in "a deepening relationship with 
the Lord." The Christian faith is not 
so much about our relationships 
with others, even though these re- 
lationships are important and can 
help us in our spiritual development. 
Progressing in our spiritual devel- 
opment "toward a life of obedience 
to Christ" is our ultimate goal if we 
are to be fully devoted followers of 
Jesus Christ. 

But the result of this spiritual 
growth and development is not in- 
ward focused. Spiritual formation 

January 1996 



has an important outer dimension 
as well. Becoming like Christ "leads 
to outward action . . . lived among 
persons of need." We live in a con- 
text, not in a vacuum that isolates 
us from life or from people all around 
us. If our inner spiritual develop- 
ment fails to result in an outflowing 
toward others, we may become like 
the Dead Sea — always taking in 
rich minerals but becoming stag- 
nant and putrid. 

Where is God leading us? 

So where is God leading us in re- 
gard to spiritual formation? 

First, God is leading us to foster 
a revitalized ministry among men 
and women in the church. Women's 
Missionary Societies and Brethren 
Men of Mission (Laymen) groups 
have existed for years in many of 
our churches. For the most part, 
these organizations have had a tre- 
mendous impact on the women and 
men who have been part of these 
groups. We can be thankful for their 
past and continuing ministries. 

But our world today emphasizes 
choices and options. Many of our 
congregations are offering addi- 
tional ways to help women and men 
become more like Christ. Some ex- 
pressions of that leading are found 
in the growing Promise Keepers 
movement among men and Precept 
Bible Studies for women. In our 
own denomination, the Brethren 
Way of Christ offers opportunities 
for both men and women to develop 



Spiritual Maturity 

Spiritual maturity is the proc- 
ess of transforming the entire 
character of the believer into the 
image of Christ. He is the source, 
the focus, and the goal of this 
process. Christians mature as 
they practice a vital devotional 
life, use their gifts, share their 
faith, and demonstrate the fruit of 
the Spirit. The result is a charac- 
ter marked by wisdom, balance, 
and, above all, love. 

— From The Centennial Statement 
of The Brethren Church. 



spiritual disciplines for use in every- 
day life. Other approaches have in- 
cluded combined Bible study/craft 
groups, sewing circles, mothers' clubs, 
and woodworking clubs. 

Second, the multiplication of 
small groups will help us grow 
strong in our relationships with 
others as we are accountable to one 
another. The cell church — where 
the small group functions as the 
church — is one approach to apply- 
ing this accountability to the whole 
church. The new Greenwood Breth- 
ren Fellowship and the Carmel 
Brethren Church are examples of 
growing cell churches in the Indi- 
anapolis, Indiana, area. These are 
churches where the small groups 
have an inward focus and a clear 
outward dimension as well. 

Third, God is leading us in be- 
coming like Christ in personal de- 
votional life. I'm hopeful you are 
one of many who are devoted to a 
daily or regular time alone with 
God and the Scriptures. Growing 
deep in the truth of God's word and 
in communion with Him will lead 
us to become more and more like 
Him. A multitude of study helps 
are available, but nothing is more 
effective than simply spending time 
meditating on a passage of scrip- 
ture and listening for what God has 
to say. 

How is God leading you? 

How is God leading you in becom- 
ing more like Christ? What are you 
doing to nurture your own spiritual 
growth and the spiritual growth of 
others in your church? How are you 
letting your own spiritual growth 
overflow and touch other lives with 
the good news of saving faith in our 
Lord Jesus Christ? 

Drop me a note and let me know 
what has been helpful to you. You 
can write me at The Brethren 
Church National Office, 524 College 
Avenue, Ashland, OH 44805, or you 
can send me an e-mail message at 
Brethrench@aol.com. [ft] 

Rev. Waters was, until January 1, 
1996, Director of Brethren Church 
Ministries, and he continues to serve the 
denomination as a consultant in evan- 
gelism. This is the fourth in a series of 
five articles developed from an address 
he presented during a business session 
at the 1995 General Conference. 



How to get the most out of a sermon 

By Thomas E. Schiefer 



THE QUESTION caught me off 
guard? In the midst of a social 
gathering, when my mind was far 
from the subject, one of our senior 
high young people asked, "How long 
do you spend preparing a sermon?" 

There are instances when the Lord, 
through many means, enables me 
to put the message together quickly. 
Other times it is a long, laborious 
process. In either case, I never sense 
that I have spent enough time in 
preparation. 

Many times I feel I have short- 
changed the word-study or the his- 
torical context or the devotional 
reading. I am the most frustrated 
when I start work on the text late 
in the week. Then the pressures of 
deadlines seem the greatest. But 
what is worse, when I get a late 
start I tend to miss some of the 
things the Lord wants to reveal to 
me in the text. I have found that 
when I begin to survey the text for 
the message early in the week, I see 
more illustrations of the truth that 
the scripture is communicating. 
Hence, I try to get into the passage 
as early in the week as possible. 

The Lord deserves the best of my 
devotion to the proclamation of His 
word. But even in those times when 
I feel I have not done my best for 
the Lord, He has still spoken to me 
in the preparation process. There is 
the crux. It is not my effort that is 
important, but my being open to 
the Lord's voice. 

What about you? 

I encourage you to ask your pas- 
tor this same question. But when 
you do, be ready to respond when 
you are asked, "How long do you 
spend preparing for the sermon?" 
For you see, as part of the congre- 
gation, you also have a responsibil- 
ity to prepare yourself to hear God's 
word as you attend worship. 

Those involved in athletic pur- 
suits know that they are not able to 
do their best when they do not pre- 
pare by knowing the rules, focusing 
on the purpose of the contest, and 
warming up before participating. 




In the same way, worshipers will 
not get the most out of a service if 
they do not prepare for the event. 

So how long do you spend prepar- 
ing for worship and for hearing a 
sermon? Some writers suggest such 
things as laying out your clothes 
the night before and getting enough 
rest. But I urge you to consider pre- 
paring all during the week. 

Ways you can prepare 

Pray, meditate, and prepare your 
soul to remove all the preconcep- 
tions that form a barrier to the Lord 
speaking to your heart. Ask your 
pastor for a list of upcoming mes- 
sage texts and read the appropriate 
passage before the service. Write 
down things that the Lord reveals 
to you about the passage and any 
questions that come to you about 
the text. Be in prayer that the Lord 
will communicate His message to 
you and that He will use the pastor 
or speaker. (The prayers of God's 
people are of great benefit to the one 
preaching.) Then come to worship 
and allow the Lord to speak to you. 

When the congregation gathers for 
worship and both pastor and people 
have prepared, then the participa- 
tion begins. Worship is the partici- 



Two more suggestions 
for listening to a sermon 

• Look at your pastor as he speaks. 
Making eye contact is important to 
you as a listener and to the pastor 
as he shares his message. 

• As you listen, smile, nod your head 
in agreement, or even say a hearty 
"Amen" when appropriate. This 
will encourage your pastor and en- 
liven his preaching. 



pation of the entire body focusing 
its attention on the object of wor- 
ship — Jesus Christ. Each of us is 
responsible to help the rest of the 
body focus on our Lord and Savior, 
and that includes during the sermon. 
The pastor is called to proclaim the 
word of God boldly. The assembled 
congregation is called to be active 
recipients of that proclaimed word. 
The active engagement of the body 
is extremely important for the wor- 
ship of the church. 

We need to tune our ears to the 
word, following God's own pattern 
as set forth in Psalm 116:2 (NIV). 

Because he turned his ear to me, 
I will call on him as long as I live. 

Listening is not to be passive, but 
intentional and focused. Start by 
opening your Bible and following 
along in the text. Then work to dis- 
cover the manner best suited to 
your learning style. If you are an 
"underliner," then underline. If you 
listen best by taking notes, then 
take notes. If you hear something 
you do not understand, make a note 
of it and ask the pastor about it 
following the service or later in the 
week. If you are convicted by the 
message, do not hesitate to pray. 

Beware of these situations 

If you hear something you dis- 
agree with, the tendency is to tune 
out. This is a critical time when you 
need to go before God and ask Him 
to search your heart and reveal if 
He is challenging your ideas or pre- 
conceptions. 

If the text is not communicating 
something to you on a particular 
morning, do not assume that it is 
not communicating to anyone. Pray 
for the one who needs to hear that 
particular message from God. And 
never stop praying for the pastor as 
the message is being presented. The 
enemy would like nothing better 
than to prevent God's word from 
being proclaimed and received. 

Preaching is a two-way obliga- 
tion. It is enhanced when both pas- 
tor and people prepare adequately 
for the proclamation of God's word. 
So how long do you spend prepar- 
ing for the sermon? [ft] 

Rev. Schiefer is senior pastor of the 
Smoky Row Brethren Church in 
Worthington, Ohio. 

The Brethren Evangelist 



Why do we need theology? 



By Dale R. Stoffer 



HAVE YOU EVER found your- 
self wondering why we can't 
use just the simple words of Scrip- 
ture and avoid all the complicated 
issues raised by theologians and 
scholars? As appealing as this may 
seem, none of us ever works at this 
level. This is true for several reasons. 

First, whenever we begin to string 
together various Scriptures based on 
a given theme, we have moved into 
the realm of doctrine and theology. 

Second, many of the terms and 
even beliefs that are accepted by 
evangelicals and Brethren are de- 
rived not from the plain words of 
Scripture but from reasoned theo- 
logical reflection on Scripture. Ex- 
amples include the doctrines of the 
Trinity, the incarnation, original sin, 
and the substitutionary atonement. 
Scripture does affirm these truths, 
but to fully formulate them, we 
must engage in theology. 

Third, if we are to respond to the 
controversial issues of our day — like 
abortion, homosexuality, and secu- 
larism — we must be sufficiently 
knowledgeable about the whole of 
Scripture that we can draw princi- 
ples from various passages to de- 
velop a reasoned response that is 
true to God's word. Such a process 
requires theological reflection. 

We all have a "theology" 

It is thus simplistic to believe 
that we can have a non-theological 
approach to Scripture. We all have 
a "theology" by which we order our 
thoughts about Scripture. The only 
real choice we have is between be- 
ing theologically naive and thereby 
having little impact on the world 
around us, or being theologically 
self-conscious and thereby seeking 
to bring God's word to bear on all 
aspects of our life in the world. 

The derivation of the words doc- 
trine and theology is instructive. 
Doctrine comes from a Latin word 
whose Greek equivalent is didaska- 
lia. This latter word means teach- 
ing, and it refers both to the act of 
teaching and to what is taught. 

January 1996 



Theology comes from a Greek 
word which means the study of or 
about God. Theology should have 
as its primary focus, therefore, the 
desire to know God and His will for 
us. It is essentially, as one medieval 
theologian expressed it, faith seek- 
ing understanding. In this sense, 
all Christians are theologians. 

Theology has gotten a bad name 
because of the impression, rightly 
deserved at times, that it is abstract, 
philosophical, and removed from 
the concerns of everyday life. Theol- 
ogy properly understood, however, 
should always have as its primary 
goal the practicing of truth. The ul- 
timate test for any theology is 
whether it affects how we live be- 
fore God and in the world. Thus the 
end of theology should be worship, 
obedience, and service, never idle 
speculation. 

Cautions for theologizing 

As we engage in the study of God 
and His word, we must observe cer- 
tain cautions. 

First, we must realize that the 
Bible does not teach doctrines sys- 
tematically. No chapter in Scrip- 
ture, for example, gives a complete 
discussion of the doctrine of end 
times. What we do find in Scripture 
is God's truth being revealed in re- 
sponse to various historical situations 
and life issues. The Apostle Paul 
has thus been called a "task theolo- 
gian," because the specifics of his 
theology were worked out as he was 
forced to deal with issues that arose 
in the various churches he served. 

Second, our doctrinal truth is only 
partial. No one except God has com- 
plete knowledge of divine truth. As 
Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 
13:12, "Now we see but a poor re- 
flection; then [when perfection 
comes] we shall see face to face. 
Now I know in part; then I shall 
know fully, even as I am fully 
known." Only when God brings all 
things to His perfect conclusion will 
we have a complete understanding 
of God's "big picture." 



Third, we should avoid specula- 
tion in order to fill in gaps in re- 
vealed truth. Where Scripture is 
silent, we should either be silent or 
avoid dogmatism. 

Fourth, when developing a doc- 
trinal position, we must not simply 
overlook what does not fit. For ex- 
ample, any discussion of the doc- 
trine of assurance must not over- 
emphasize either God's sovereignty 
or human responsibility. A doctrine 

of assur- 




Understanding 
the Bible 



ance that 
stresses 
God's sov- 
ereignty 
may end 
up with a 
view of 
"eternal 
security" 
that con- 
veniently 
downplays passages in Scripture 
warning against unfaithfulness and 
disobedience; a doctrine of assur- 
ance that stresses human responsi- 
bility may develop a doctrine of fall- 
ing from grace in which God's pre- 
serving power is all but overshad- 
owed by the constant fear of com- 
mitting an unpardonable sin. 

Fifth, we should beware of proof- 
texting (citing Scripture passages 
to support one's view) that does not 
take into consideration the context 
of passages. When reading a doc- 
trinal work, look up references. A 
book is not necessarily true to Scrip- 
ture just because it cites Scripture. 
Sixth, we must not develop a 
dogmatic, contentious attitude to- 
ward those who disagree with us. 
Humility is a prerequisite for doing 
theology, especially because of the 
second point above. 

Only God's word is inspired 

Above all we should remember 
that no theology is inspired, even 
our own. God's word alone is in- 
spired. Theology is human words 
seeking to understand and apply 
God's word to our lives. Until the 
day of perfection comes, however, 
we all continue to be theologians, 
because our faith inevitably seeks 
understanding. [ft] 

Dr. Stoffer is assistant professor of 
historical theology at Ashland Theo- 
logical Seminary. 



What you should know before you go 



By James R. Black 



A NUMBER of years ago, while 
attending Ashland Theological 
Seminary, I was privileged to have 
as one of my professors a gentle- 
men still remembered by a number 
of Brethren — Dr. Edwin Board- 
man. Professor Boardman had 
served as a Brethren missionary in 
Argentina and as a pastor and was 
now teaching at the seminary. He 
was a man of genuine conviction, 
completely dedicated to Christ and 
the church. He was not, however, a 
man I could ever picture being out 
on the street or going door-to-door 
handing out gospel tracts. 

An evangelistic tract 

Imagine my surprise, therefore, 
when I saw on the desk in his office 
what I thought to be an evangelis- 
tic tract. I wasn't snooping. I was 
taking a make-up test in his office 
and the "tract" was just there on his 
desk and I saw it. It was a colorful, 
attractive piece with the title, "What 
You Should Know Before You Go." 

I finished the test and, while wait- 
ing for my professor to return, 
picked up and opened the tract 
with considerable anticipation. But 
when I did so, I discovered that it 
was not an evangelistic tract at all, 
but rather an information piece put 
out by some airline informing trav- 
elers of what they should know be- 
fore they go — baggage limitations, 
time schedules, passport informa- 
tion, and other such details. 

Our divine appointment 

Not to be so easily discouraged, I 
prepared and delivered a message 
soon thereafter entitled "What You 
Should Know Before You Go." I used 
as my text the Apostle Paul's words 
in 2 Corinthians 5:10, "For we must 
all appear before the judgment seat 
of Christ, that each one may receive 
what is due him for the things done 
while in the body, whether good or 
bad" (Nrv). I emphasized the cer- 
tainty of our divine appointment 
with the Lord of the universe. 



Recently that title has taken on 
yet another meaning for me. In pre- 
paring a workshop on Stewardship 
and Planned Giving, I was again 
reminded that there is something 
we need to know before we go. It 
should be our desire that when we 
die, we leave behind something be- 
sides an empty pew. I understand it 
was Aristotle who said, "To give 
away money is an easy matter and 
in any man's [person's] power. But 
to decide to whom to give it, and 
how large and when, and for what 
purpose and how, is neither in any 
man's power nor an easy matter." 

What is stewardship? 

Understanding the meaning of 
stewardship is likewise not an easy 
matter. A good place to begin is 
with this definition: "Christian 
stewardship is the practice of sys- 
tematic and proportionate giving of 
time, abilities, and material posses- 
sions, based on the conviction that 
these are trusts from God to be used 
in His service for the benefit of all 
mankind in grateful acknowledge- 
ment of Christ's redeeming love." 
But where do we go from here? 

Since according to this definition, 
stewardship encompasses all of life, 
it of necessity includes proper use 
and disposition of material posses- 
sions (wealth). Therefore any dis- 
cussion of stewardship must in- 
clude talking about finances. And 
such a discussion cannot be di- 
vorced from the teachings of Scrip- 
ture. Stewardship encompasses all 
those many and varied aspects of 
how we live as Christians, and the 
Bible is our guidebook. 

Sources of money 

One important consideration, 
therefore, is the sources of money — 
how we get our money. Two of the 
main sources of money are the per- 
son at work (earning wages or sal- 



ary) and the person's money at 
work (earning interest or dividends). 
Stewardship involves an under- 
standing of both of these. 

Ways of giving 

Just as there are various kinds of 
income, there are also different 
ways of giving. Giving may be 
"revolutionary," "evolutionary," or 
"traditional." 

"Revolutionary" refers to "one- shot" 
giving, when a person chooses to 
give in response to a special appeal. 

'Traditional" giving refers to giv- 
ing through tithes and offerings. 
Many Christians could use some 
solid biblical teaching about the 
tithe, 'The Sin That Nobody Wants 
to Talk About" (see Malachi 3:8-10). 

"Evolutionary" or planned giving 
includes such considerations as liv- 
ing memorials, living trusts, chari- 
table remainder trusts, and gift an- 
nuities, just to name a few. 

Basic to a discussion of evolution- 
ary giving is an emphasis on the 
preparation of a will. A will is your 
instructions in writing about how 
your property shall be distributed 
when you die. It is the most eco- 
nomical means of controlling the 
disposition of your wealth. John G. 
Watts speaks of the folly of dying 
without a will (intestacy) in his 
book, Leave Your House in Order. 
He writes, 'The most expensive 
route to go home to be with the 
Lord is by way of intestacy." 

For more information 

In an article of this length, it is 
possible only to scratch the surface 
of these important subjects. But I 
would be happy to explore them 
further in a workshop or seminar in 
your church, or by talking with you 
personally. To schedule a workshop 
or seminar, set up a personal ap- 
pointment, or receive addition in- 
formation, contact me at the Office 
of Stewardship and Planned Giving 
at The Brethren Church National 
Offices, 524 College Ave., Ashland , 
OH 44805 (phone 419-289-1708). [t] 

Rev. Black is Director of Stewardship 
and Planned Giving for The Brethren 
Church. 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Hfte Women's Oxitlook^9{e r ivsletter 

A publication of the brethren Women s Missionary Society 




January-February 1996 



Volume 9, Number 3 




"The 
President 's 



"Sen 



Dear Ladies, 

A New Year — 1996! I'm sure 
1995 went as fast for you as it did 
for me. As we begin a new year, it 
is a good time to talk about ABC 
#2, 'Personally invite at least one 
non-member, including high school 
girls, to your regular meetings." 

We all know at least one woman 
in our church who does not attend 
W.M.S. And how about our young 
girls? Could we include them in 
one of our meetings? I've heard 
some of our older women talk of 
going to W.M.S. meetings with 
their mothers and today they are 
active women in our societies. 

In my society, our president brings 
her second grade daughter and she 
sits quietly and colors or reads a 
book. Mollie is a joy to have in our 
meeting, and afterward, when we 
have refreshments, she will talk 
and visit with us. I am sure she 
listens as we have our program 
and our business meeting. Are we 
nurturing a future W.M.S. member? 

In the book The Friendships of 
Women (which is one of our read- 
ing books), the author gives this def- 
inition of a mentor: "One Christ- 
mas Eve, a deep San Francisco- 
style fog kept our car crawling 
blindly along the road. Suddenly 
another car pulled onto the road 
ahead of us. Because we were now 
following a set of beautiful twin 
tail lights, we could safely increase 
our speed from 15 to 25 miles an 
(continued on page 4) 



THE STATE OF THE SOCIETY 



In January the President of the 
United States gives his State of 
the Union message, as do gover- 
nors, mayors, and other elected of- 
ficials. The WMS Board is ahead of 
their schedule. On October 21, 14 
members met to evaluate the 1995 
Conference and to plan the 1996 
Conference. 

Because you are the Women's 
Missionary Society, I want to re- 
port that we are alive and well! It 
was an enjoyable day of reporting 
and brainstorming. 

Highlights of the meeting are 
these: 

A. Conference dates are August 
5-9, 1996, at Ashland University. 

B. The WMS sessions will have 
a more relaxed atmosphere. All la- 
dies are invited to attend. 

C. The luncheon will be at the 
AU Convocation Center. 

D. Delegates will have the op- 
portunity to vote on the use of the 
funds held in trust from the Na- 
tional Sisterhood of Mary and 
Martha (NSMM). At present, the 
fund of $8,000 is invested in the 
Brethren Home Mission Revolving 
Loan Fund (HMRLF), helping to 
build new churches and earning 
4% annual interest. This interest 
of $320 is given annually to the 
Summer Crusader program. 

To you who attended the 1995 
Conference, you will remember that 
this fund was discussed. Opinions 
ranged from keeping the fund in- 



vested as it is to withdrawing the 
total amount of $8,000 from the 
HMRLF and giving it all away. Sug- 
gestions included: (1) Summer Youth 
program, (2) Maria Miranda's ra- 
dio program, (3) when National 
SMM is re-born, take $8,000 from 
the WMS budget to reinstate this 
fund, or the Lord will provide. 

A decision is in abeyance, giving 
time for you ladies to discuss this 
in your local societies and report to 
your district president, who, in 
turn, will report to the Executive 
Board. Some responses were re- 
ceived following the Conference 
discussion. 

The Executive Board did some 
background work and learned this 
information regarding these sug- 
gestions: (1) The budget for the 
Summer Crusaders is less than 
$8,000; this amount would replace, 
not supplement, their funds; (2) 
Annual costs for Maria's radio pro- 
gram are approximately $100,000 
or average $8,333 per month. The 
$8,000 would not cover the cost of 
one month. (3) If you read the 
WMS budget, you will note what 
comes in one year is budgeted out 
the next year. We do not have any 
pocket of hidden funds. Once the 
$8,000 is withdrawn from the 
HMRLF and given away, it is gone. 

It was noted that, since 1988 
when the $8,000 was entrusted to 
the WMS, $2,560 has been given to 
the youth program, while the prin- 
cipal of $8,000 continued to work 
in the HMRLF on loan for new 
churches. 

(continued on page 3) 



W.M.S. DIRECTORY — 1996 



NATIONAL W.M.S. OFFICERS 

President — Mrs. Shirley Black, 102 High 

St., Ashland, OH 44805. Phone: 419-289- 

0370 
Vice President — Mrs. Marilyn Aspinall, 

13108 County Road C, Bryan, OH 43506. 

Phone: 419-636-2065 
General Secretary — Mrs. Nancy Hunn, 

555 W. Market St., Nappanee, IN 46550. 

Phone: 219-773-5578 
Ass't. Secretary — Mrs. Trudy Kerner, 

1209 King Rd., Ashland, OH 44805. 

Phone: 419-289-2833 
Financial Secretary — Mrs. Joanne Kroft, 

608 Twp. Rd. 1151, RD 5, Ashland, OH 

44805. Phone: 419-962-4679 
Treasurer — Mrs. Jo Ann Seaman, 1314 

Davis Rd. Ashland, OH 44805. Phone: 

419-281-0027 
Literature Secretary — Mrs. Kathleen Mack, 

121 E. Liberty St., Ashland, OH 44805. 

Phone: 419-289-3057 
Ass't. Literature Secretary — Mrs. Doris 

Shultz, 455 S. Countryside, Ashland, OH 

44805; 419-289-0202 
Editor of the Outlook Devotional Guide — 

Mrs. Jeanette Sullivan, P. O. Box 626, 

Milledgeville, OH 61051. Phone: 815-225- 

7570 
Editor of the Outlook Newsletter — Mrs. 

Joan Ronk, 1325 Coachman Ct., Ashland, 

Ohio 44805. Phone: 419-281-3050 
Subscription Secretary — Mrs. Ginny Hoyt, 

728 Davis St. Ashland, OH 44805. Phone: 

419-281-5300 
Sewing and World Relief Coordinator: Mrs. 

Joan Merrill, 9300 S. St. Rt 3, Muncie, IN 

47302. Phone: 317-289-2384 

DISTRICT ORGANIZATIONS 

Florida 

Acting President — Helen McConahay, 
2736 Bradenton Rd., Lot 18, Sarasota, FL 
33580. Phone: 813-351-1409. Summer ad- 
dress: 4718 Egypt Rd., Smithville, OH 
44677. Phone: 216-669-2944 

Southeastern 

President — Susan Kidd, Rt. 1, Box 24, 
Bridgewater, VA 22812. Phone: 540-828- 
4987 

Vice President — 

Secretary-Treasurer — 

Ass't. Secretary-Treasurer — 

Pennsylvania 

President — Adele Ritchey, RD 3, Box 252, 

Berlin, PA 15530. Phone: 814-267-3880 
Vice President — 
Secretary-Treasurer — 
Ass't. Secretary-Treasurer — 

Ohio 

President — Wanda Powell, 9 Oakwood, 

Beloit, OH 44609. Phone: 216-938-3291. 
Vice President — Lois Barnhart, 123 Paula 

Dr., Germantown, OH 45327 
Secretary-Treasurer — DeAnn Oburn, P. O. 

Box 72, Williamstown, OH 45897 
Ass't. Secretary-Treasurer — Joanne Kroft, 

608 Twp. Rd. 1151; Rt. 5, Ashland, OH 

44805 

Indiana 

President — Susie Stout, 502 US Bus. 31 S, 

Peru, IN 46970. Phone: 317-473-3455 
Vice President — Leona Long, 5455 N. 600 

E., Howe, IN 46746. Phone: 219-562-3074 
Secretary -Treasurer — Joy Zook, 2029 E. 

4th St., Tiosa, Rochester, IN 46975. 

Phone: 219-223-6669 
Ass't. Secretary-Treasurer — Cynthia 

Stout, Rt. 1, Box 215, Frankfort, IN 

46041. Phone: 317-566-3217 
Financial Secretary — Linda Immel, 401 E. 



3rd St., North Manchester, IN 46962. 
Phone: 219-982-8238 
Ass't Financial Secretary — Matilda Stout, 
Rt. 2, Box 10, Peru, IN 46970. Phone: 
317-473-7901 

Central 

President — Melva Staples, P. O. Box 296, 
Milledgeville, IL 61051. Phone: 815-225- 
7132 

Vice President — 

Secretary-Treasurer — 

Midwest 

President — Carolyn A. Tucker, 1500 Com- 
munity Dr., Derby, KS 67037 
Vice President — 
Secretary — 
Treasurer — 

Southwest 

President — Marie Fanning, 5772 E. 

Seneca, Tucson, AZ 85712. Phone: 602- 

885-3398 
Vice President — 
Secretary-Treasurer — 

Northern California 

President — Grace Tolentino, 8118 Kiltie 

Way, Stockton, CA 95210. Phone: 
Vice President — 
Secretary-Treasurer 

LOCAL SOCIETIES 

Names and Addresses of 
W.M.S. Presidents 

Florida District 

Sarasota Day — June Shaw, 625 Caruso 

PI., Sarasota, FL 34237 
Sarasota Evening — Eileen Higgins, 3176 

Aspinwall St., Sarasota, FL 34237 

Southeastern District 

Bethlehem Mary and Martha — Susan 

Kidd, Rt. 1, Box 24, Bridgewater, VA 

22812. Phone: 540-828-4987 
Cumberland — Vergie E. Greenawalt, 917 

Maryland Ave., Cumberland, MD 21502. 

Phone: 301-724-1105 
Hagerstown — Mary "Jackie" Rogers, 122 

S. Locust St., Hagerstown, MD 21740. 

Phone: 301-797-4334 
Linwood — Virginia M. Hook, 3046 Old 

Washington Rd., Westminster, MD 

21157. Phone: 410-848-5587 
Maurertown — Elsie Mogle, 636 Moose Rd., 

Woodstock, VA 22664. Phone: 540-459-3204 
Mt. Olive — Mabel Bailey, Rt. 1, Box 285, 

Port Republic, VA 24471. Phone: 540-249- 

5175 
Oak Hill — Amy Crouch, 140 Virginia St., 

Oak Hill, WV 25901. Phone: 304-465-8380 
Southeast Christian Fellowship — Helen B. 

Cooksey, 1111 Clark Ave., Waldorf, MD 

20602. Phone: 301-843-8994 
St. James — Donna Rowland, 18013 Hen- 
Lane, Boonsboro, MD 21713. Phone: 301- 

582-3268 
St. Luke — Sharyl Finneyfrock, 463 Kern 

Springs Rd., Woodstock, VA 22664. 

OPhone: 540-459-3425 

Pennsylvania District 

Berlin — Edith Hoffman, Rt. 1, Berlin, PA 

15530. Phone: 814-267-3609 
Brush Valley — Judy Kickendall, Rt. 1, 

Adrian, PA 16210. Phone: 412-545-7157 
Cameron — Joy Anderson, Rt. 1, Box 169, 

Aleppo, PA 15310. Phone: 412-428-5238 
Fairless Hills — Alice Zimmerman, 171 S. 

Myrtlewood Ave., Langhorne, PA 19047. 

Phone: 215-757-6228 
Highland — 
Johnstown II — 
Johnstown III — Dolores Golby, 402 Nor- 



wood Gardens, Johnstown, PA 15906. 

Phone: 814-255-5477 
Masontown — Mary Davis, 400 Locust 

Ave., Masontown, PA 15461. Phone: 412- 

583-7818 
Meyersdale — Helen Courtney, 236 North 

St., Meyersdale, PA 15552. Phone: 814- 

634-5721 
Mt. Olivet — Madlyn Davis, Rt. 1, Box 249, 

Georgetown, DE 19947. Phone: 302-0934- 

7032 
Pleasant View — Nancy McGraw, 1491 

Hancock Ave., Apolla, PA 15613. Phone: 

412-567-7235 
Raystown — Bonita Chamberlain, Rt. 1, 

Box 46 B, Saxton, PA 16678. Phone: 814- 

928-5149 
Sarver — Marsha Nulph, 361 Stoney Hol- 
low Rd., Cabot, PA 16023 
Sergeantsville — Doris L. Culbertson, Box 

67, Sergeantsville, NJ 08557. Phone: 609- 

397-3120 
Valley — Vera Schroyer, Rt. 3, Box 449, 

Acme, PA 15610. Phone: 412-593-2364 
Vinco — Barbara Hagerich, 121 Teal St., 

Mineral Point, PA 15942. Phone: 814-322- 

1638 
White Dale — Rita Varner, P. O. Box 414, 

Kingwood, WV 26537. Phone: 304-329-2533 

Ohio District 

Brethren Bible — 

Fremont — Co-presidents: Maria Miller, 

216 S. Park Ave., Fremont, OH 43420. 

Phone: 419-332-0531; and Judy 

McLaughlin, 1815 James St., Fremont, 

OH 43420. Phone: 419-334-4887 
Garber — Martha Weaver, 1115 Cleveland 

Ave., Ashland, Ohio 44805 
Gratis — Ruth Focht, 8947 S. Preble Co. 

Line Rd., Germantown, OH 45327. 

Phone: 513-787-3860 
Gretna Gleaners — 
Gretna Lamplighters — Phyllis Jerviss, 

4632 SR 274 W, Huntsville, OH 43324. 

Phone: 513-686-5322 
New Lebanon Afternoon — Jane Metzger, 1 

Lawson Ave., New Lebanon, OH 45345. 

Phone: 513-687-1186 
New Lebanon Evening — Marva Phelps, 

11329 Little Richmond Rd., Brookville, 

OH 45309 
North Georgetown Afternoon — Evelyn 

Romigh, 26009 N. Georgetown Rd., 

Homeworth, OH 44634 
North Georgetown Evening — Diane Hill, 

440 Royal Oaks Circle, Sebring, OH 

44672. Phone: 216-938-0039 
Park St. Faith — Marceal Zimmerman, 

1116 E. Bank St., Ashland, OH 44805. 

Phone: 419-281-3982 
Park St. Hope — JoAnn Seaman, 1314 

Davis Rd., Ashland, OH 44805. Phone: 

419-281-0027 
Park St. Joy — Janet Rufener, 128 Lilac 

Lane, Ashland, OH 44805. Phone: 419- 

289-0465 
Smithville — 

Trinity Sr. — Thelma Watkins, 1706 Wash- 
ington Blvd., Louisville, OH 44641. 

Phone: 216-875-2288 
Trinity Jr. — Sharon L. Dixon, 633 Buck- 
waiter Dr., SW, Massillon, OH 44646. 

Phone: 216-832-2074 
West Alexandria — Marilyn Ward, 2356 

New Market Banta Rd., West Alexandria, 

OH 45381 
Williamstown — Barbara Main, 67681 SR 

12 W, Findlay, OH 45840. Phone: 419- 

422-3069 

Indiana District 

Ardmore — Kathy Galbreath, 13674 State 
Rd. 2, South Bend, IN 46619. Phone: 219- 
232-6169 



Women's Outlpok Newsletter 



Brighton Chapel — Leona Long, 5455 N. 

610 E, Howe, IN 46746. Phone: 219-562- 

3074 
Bryan Susannah — Ann Cummins, 17420 

County Road 17F, Bryan, OH 43506. 

Phone: 419-636-4054 
Bryan I — Anna M. Moore, 620 S. Walnut 

St., Bryan, OH 43506. Phone: 419-636- 

2856 
Burlington — Mary Stout, Rt. 1, Box 350, 

Flora, IN 46929. Phone: 219-967-3208 
College Corner — Tamie White, 2817 W. 

850 S., Wabash, IN 46992. Phone: 317- 

981-4557 
Corinth — Lois Thomson, 5751 N. Cy. Rd. 

800 E, Logansport, IN 46947. Phone: 219- 

664-2729 
Dutchtown — Sandra Sharp, 6881 E. May 

St., Leesburg, IN 46538. Phone: 219-834- 

4601 
Flora — Co-Presidents: Mildred Mullen- 

dore, 8709 S. Willow, Flora, IN 46919. 

Phone: 219-967-3806; and Kathleen 

Brummert, Rt. 4, Box 39, Delphi, IN 

46923. Phone: 317-564-4172 
Goshen — Co-Presidents: Betty Gray, 516 

S. 7th St., Goshen, IN 46526. Phone: 219- 

533-1691; and Joann Troeger, 1105 W. 

Wilkinson, Goshen, IN 46526. Phone: 

219-533-2752 
Huntington — Carol Tucker, 1054VS2 First 

St., Huntington, IN 46750. Phone: 219- 

358-9742 
Loree I — Doris Deisch, Rt. 1, Box 89, Peru, 

IN 46970. Phone: 317-473-6052 
Loree Charity — Cindy Lorenz, Rt. 1, Box 

169, Peru, IN 46970. Phone: 317-395-7801 
Meadow Crest — Susan Bobbitt, 7261 Lake- 
ridge Dr., Fort Wayne, IN 46819. Phone: 

219-478-9514 
Mexico — Sue Brooks, Box 411, Mexico, IN 

46958. Phone: 317-985-2205 
Milford — Clariece Stump, P.O. Box 566, 

Milford, IN 46542. Phone: 219-658-4644 
Nappanee — Jeanie Dudley, 702 E. John 

St., Nappanee, IN 46550. Phone: 219-773- 

4331 
New Paris — Bea Bischof, 69197 CR 23, 

New Paris, IN 46553. Phone: 219-831-2335 
North Manchester Hadassah — Helen Con- 
rad, 504 Hawthorn Trail, North Manches- 
ter, IN 46962. Phone: 219-982-4855 
Oakville — Jeanette White, 11304 S. CR 

200 W, Muncie, IN 47302. Phone: 317- 
755-3572 

Peru — Rosie Roller, 470 W. 14th St., Peru, 
IN 46970. Phone: 317-473-7096 

Roann — Rosella Layton, 430 Adams St., 
Roann, IN 46974. Phone: 317-833-2626 

Roanoke — Sharon Williams, Box 33, 
Roanoke, IN 46783. Phone: 219-672-3252 

South Bend — Beverly Baker, 1127 Byron 
Dr., South Bend, IN 46614. Phone: 219- 
291-1212 

Warsaw — Lee Bair, 619 Nancy St., War- 
saw, IN 46580. Phone: 219-267-2649 

Wabash — Nancy Snyder, 518 Glen Ave., 
Wabash, IN 46992 

Central District 

Cerro Gordo — Elaine Dresbach, Box 254, 
LaPlace, IL 61936. Phone: 217-677-2171 

Hammond Ave. — Ruby Williams, 1930 
Howard, Waterloo, IA 50702 

Lanark — Carolyn Miller, 27088 U.S. High- 
way 52, Lanark, IL 61046. Phone: 815- 
493-6232 

Milledgeville Beacons — Dorothy Ruth Glenn, 

201 Meyers Ave., P.O. Box 385, Mill- 
edgeville, IL 61051. Phone: 815-225-7417 

Milledgeville Priscilla — Wendy Wiersema, 
Rt. 2, Box 216, Chadwick, IL 61014 

Midwest District 

Falls City — Linda Berkley, Morrill, KS 

66515. Phone: 913-459-2539 
Mulvane — Dorothy Mills, 504 Emery, 

Mulvane, KS 67110. Phone: 316-777-1510 

January-February 1996 



Southwest District 
Tucson Faith, Hope, Charity — Freda 

Lawson, 3328 N. Richey Blvd., Tucson, 

AZ 85716. Phone: 520-323-0257 
Tucson Evening — Iris McKinney, 6717 

Calle Mercurio, Tucson, AZ 85710. Phone: 

520-747-2253 

Northern California District 

Stockton — Audrey Steyer, 3634 Monitor 
Circle S., Stockton, CA 95219. Phone: 
209-477-2357 



(Missionartj 



State of the Society 

(continued) 

Consensus of the Executive 
Committee is: 

(1) to provide feedback concern- 
ing this fund to the local societies 
via the Newsletter, 

(2) to request additional responses 
from you members, and 

(3) at the May or August Board 
meeting, prepare a recommenda- 
tion to the WMS delegates and 
give them the ballot for a vote. 

E. Many ideas were shared con- 
cerning reshaping local societies 
and programs. This information 
was like pop corn — spontaneous 
and good! Ideas included: 

• announcements throughout the 
church and personal invitations 
on purple paper, which is "the" 
WMS color 

• keep prayer and missions emphases 

• have only brief quarterly business 
meetings for the entire society; 
monthly items are cared for by the 
officers in a separate meeting 

• include a craft project with simple 
supplies available or kits pre- 
pared 

• include music; i.e., group songs 
and special music 

• simplify or omit refreshments 

• use four empty frosting cans for 
special offerings (each member 
has these at home marked "dis- 
trict project, national project, 
thank offering, ATS"). Bring the 
appropriate can on the designated 
month for that offering. 

• don't be afraid to try something 
new. If it fails, at least you tried! 

The Board will meet again in 
May; we would like to hear your 
new ideas. 



<^JMiscdlcutij 



Allen Baer in Buenos Aires is the 
January Missionary-of-the-Month. 
As a tentmaker, he teaches, and 
serves the church in many roles. 



The February missionaries are 
Arch and Connie Nevins, church 
planters in northern California. 
Their address is: 
360 Covey Lane 
Tracy, CA 95376 



March is World Missions month 
and focuses on two couples: Miguel 
and Sonia Antunez in Peru, SA, and 
Juan Carlos and Maria Miranda in 
Columbia, SC. 



National Project 

The national project is the 
purchase of a church site and 
building for the mission in 
Peru, where Miguel and Sonia 
and their son, Carlos, minister. 
The goal for two years is 
$25,000. 



THE WOMEN'S OUTLOOK 
NEWSLETTER 

Published bimonthly in January, 
March, May, July, September, and 
November by the Women's Missionary 
Society of The Brethren Church. 

Mrs. Dorman Ronk, Editor 
1325 Coachman Court 
Ashland, Ohio 44805 

Subscription price, $7.50 per year in 
advance. 

Send all subscriptions to Mrs. Robert 
Kroft, 608 Twp. Road 1151, RD 5, Ash- 
land, OH 44805. 



President's Pen (continued) 

hour. A mentor is someone further 
on down the road from you, who is 
going where you want to go and 
who is willing to give you some 
light to help you get there." 

Are you mentoring anyone in 
your church, your neighborhood, or 
at work? It's possible you are men- 
toring someone and don't realize it. 
I think with some women it is 
natural to be a mentor; with others 
of us, it is something we need to 
work at a long time. Try to invite 
a friend to one of your meetings 
and truly be a friend to her. 

Here is a poem that I kept from 
a copy of Our Daily Bread of 1983. 

The Master's will, for this I pray, 

Whatever it may be! 

I do not want to miss Your best; 

Reveal it, Lord, to me. 

My own desires may lead me 

wrong, 
I must consult my God; 
His counsel will be justified 
When all the way I've trod. 

soul of mine, delight in Him! 
If I am in God's will, 

The lives of others will be helped 
His purpose to fulfill! 
My all, O Lord, I give to You, 
My body, mind, and soul; 
May all the days that lie ahead 
Be under Your control. 

— Frances Hess 

May the words of this poem be a 
guideline for the New Year for you! 

1 wish for you a New Year full of 
many rich blessings and good 
health to each of you. 

God Bless You All, 



Shirley Black 



Tk 'Editor's Biditw 

Dear Friend, 

In the directory, you will notice 
some blanks. Incomplete informa- 
tion was received on the statistical 
reports last summer. As new infor- 
mation is received, I will inform 
you, so you can fill in the blanks. 

Your Thank Offering 

For many years, WMS and Sis- 
terhood members used the mite 
box — the little white cardboard box 
which served as the "bank" for 
thank offerings. And boxes were 
used for project offerings, too. 

I remember those bulging boxes! 
Sometimes we had to reinforce the 
seams with tape to keep the coins 
inside. The box represented the 
blessings of that year — a good har- 
vest, a promotion, a passing grade, 
a new baby, your pastor, teacher, 
the first or the last snowfall, and 
the beauty that surrounded us. 

The "mite box" name was named 
for the widow, who gave all she had. 

I think the use of mite-boxes was 
discontinued when we realized the 
box couldn't hold enough to repre- 
sent God's blessings. However, it is 
easy to write a check or put a few 
bills in the offering without realiz- 
ing all that we want to be thankful 
for. With a box, it was a conscious 
effort to put in coins expressing 
our thankfulness. Are we now lax? 

The use of the thank offering re- 
mains about the same as when it 
originated — to share with various 
ministries of the denomination. 
The present benevolent uses are: 
Riverside Christian School in Lost 
Creek, KY; Campus Ministry and 
the scholarship at Ashland Univer- 
sity; World and Home Missions. 

Some have replaced the mite box 
with a large band-aid box or an- 
other container. The receptacle 
isn't what counts. It is the gift and 
the prayerful attitude in which the 
gift is given. 

The thank offerings received at 
General Conference were 
$9,860.47. Isn't it wonderful where 
our gifts help? 



We are wonderfully made 

I am always interested in the 
parts of the body which are de- 
scribed in the Bible — this is a very 
selective list: "how beautiful on the 
mountains are the feet" (Isa.52:7); 
"the tongue is a smart part of the 
body" (James 3:5); "your right hand 
upholds me" (Psa. 63:8); and "he 
who has an ear to hear" (John 
11:15). We need to be attuned to 
God for His message. 

In contrast, think of "itching ears" 
(II Tim. 4:3). Some are so anxious 
for juicy gossip that it is a sin. This 
passage is used in the ordination 
service for pastors, and it is writ- 
ten about us! Paul emphasizes to 
Timothy that "they will turn their 
ears away from the truth and turn 
aside to myths" (v. 4). In that con- 
text, Paul spoke about sound doc- 
trine vs. myths. Frequently in 
modern days, it is truth vs. mali- 
cious gossip. And to this, I'll add 
"avoid every kind of evil" (I Thes. 
5:22), which is seen as well as felt, 
heard, and experienced. 

Passing along gossip to those 
with "itching ears" may come un- 
der the guise of "I think you should 
know this" or "so you can pray about 
this." Sound familiar? Please don't 
misinterpret me — some prayerful 
women are very sincere when they 
share a concern. But the one whom 
we remember is the gossiper. I 
liken this to all the correct notes I 
play, but the one which is long re- 
membered is the wrong one! 

Have your spiritual hearing tested. 
Stay attuned to God's voice; turn 
off the volume when morsels for 
itching ears are circulated, and then 
practice doing as well as hearing 
God's message. Don't misuse these 
parts of our body, because "we are 
fearfully and wonderfully made" 
(Psa. 139:14). 

Your friend, 






Joan 



Women's Outlook Newsletter 



The secret to living with gusto 



By Ken Davis 



THERE IS a well-kept secret 
that can put men and women 
on the track to gusto living. Actu- 
ally, it's no secret at all — but it's a 
concept so foreign to our society that 
few people even consider it an op- 
tion. This is the secret: Life's great- 
est fulfillment comes from serving. 

Ironic, isn't it? The meaning and 
purpose we seek in life come from 
giving what we are and what we 
have rather than living to get 
everything we can. Just as we de- 
rive meaning and value from being 
loved by our Creator, we in turn 
were designed to love those around 
us and, by doing so, to draw them to 
Him. That love is more than just a 
warm, gooey feeling. It is expressed 
in action, and that action is called 
service. 

The way we operate best 

Service, believe it or not, is the 
way we operate best — the way we 
were designed to operate. In our re- 
lationship with God and with other 
people, a spirit of sacrifice and com- 
passion leads to abundant life. 
Jesus Himself spoke of this truth 
many times throughout Scripture. 
When the disciples were arguing 
about who among them was the 
greatest, "Jesus called the Twelve 
and said, 'If anyone wants to be first, 
he must be the very last, and the 
servant of all' " (Mark 9:35, Niv). 

If the focus of life is to accumu- 
late wealth, power, and prestige, 
then life is truly in vain, because in 
the end, we gain nothing. After the 
death of John D. Rockefeller, a man 
asked his accountant, "How much 
did he leave?" The accountant re- 
plied, "He left everything." 

It makes little sense to waste life 
accumulating what you cannot keep. 
If you were told today that you had 
only a few days to live, it's not likely 
that you would frantically try to ac- 
cumulate more stuff in the short 
time available. Relatively speaking, 
we do have only a few days to live. 

January 1996 



Yet far too many of us waste those 
precious moments in pursuit of 
things that can never satisfy. 

It's tempting to respond to that 
dilemma, as many throughout his- 
tory have, by saying, "So what? If I 



There 


are two 


kinds 


of people in 


the 




world: 




Givers and takers. 


The takers 


eat 




better. 




The 


givers s 
better. 


leep 



can't take it with me, then I might 
as well enjoy as much of it as I can 
while I'm here. I'll eat, drink, and 
be merry, for tomorrow I'll die any- 
way." That philosophy leads to a 
foolish waste of your life in seeking 
empty pleasures. If you're searching 
for gusto living — maximum living 
— you won't find it there. True ful- 
fillment in life comes not from tak- 
ing everything you can get, but 
from giving whatever you have. 

Why don't we change? 

It's obvious that in our culture 
many of us have made the foolish 
choice to seek pleasure rather than 
meaning in life. Why, if the life of the 
self-centered pleasure-seeker is so 
empty, don't we change our lifestyles 
and begin living to serve others? 

First, it's because our thinking 
has been short-circuited by the mis- 
taken ideas of servanthood that are 
so prevalent in our society. We be- 
lieve that only the weak serve. The 
thought of living to serve anyone 



but ourselves is almost repulsive. 
In our culture, servants are per- 
ceived as lower-class, less-capable 
people. Serving others is consid- 
ered undignified. 

Second, we've been disconnected 
from the power source that would 
enable us to live the difficult life of 
a servant. Like an unplugged re- 
frigerator, we take up space but 
can't keep things fresh. Sin has had 
a devastating impact on the environ- 
ment and on the moral tenor of the 
world, but some of its greatest dam- 
age has been to our ability to love 
God and to serve each other. 

Only those who are free to live 
with nothing to prove, nothing to 
hide, and nothing to lose can even 
come close to tasting the sweetness 
that a life of service brings. But this 
truth, even though it's relatively easy 
to talk about (or even to write about), 
is so very difficult to act upon. 

The real test of faith 

Breaking free from the hold of 
this world's values and actually liv- 
ing a life of service is the real test of 
faith. Progress can be agonizingly 
slow, but each tiny step brings us 
closer to what God wants us to be. 
Only in the last few years have I 
been able to even consider making 
such an effort. I still cling to so many 
of the superficial things in life. 

If we can find the courage to trust 
God to enable us to live lives of 
service, not only will we begin to 
move closer to our fullest potential, 
but our families, friends, and busi- 
ness associates will look at us in a 
different light. They may not un- 
derstand our behavior — they may, 
in fact, wonder whether we have 
lost touch with reality — but some- 
where deep in their souls, they will 
know who is behind this inexplica- 
ble behavior. Somehow they will 
know that we follow Him. 

Jesus, the one who claimed the 
greatest victory of all time, did so 
by becoming a servant. He wants to 
share that victory with you. [ft] 

Mr. Davis is an award-winning author 
and popular speaker. This article is ex- 
cerpted from his book, Fire Up Your 
Life (Zondervan Publishing House, 
1995). The article was provided by the 
publisher. 



Ashland Theological Seminary 



Charting an Unknown Course 



By Dr. Frederick J. Finks 



SOMEONE approached me 
early last year and asked how 
the seminary was doing. My re- 
sponse was extremely enthusias- 
tic. God had blessed us beyond 
measure, and it was indeed a joy 
to serve Him through the ex- 
panded ministry offered by Ash- 
land Theological Seminary. 

Indeed, everything was going 
well. Our student population was 
continuing to grow; the faculty 
was unified in purpose and vision; 
our community of faith was strong 
and vibrant; the academic integ- 
rity of the seminary was at a high 
point; and general support from 
our friends and the church had 
been affirming. I could not have 
asked for a better place in which 
to work and serve. 

Signs that all was not well 

Then came the first signs that 
caused me to question. Two of our 
senior level faculty members, 
both in biblical studies and both 
members of the United Methodist 
Church, were asked to consider 




Dr. Frederick J. Finks, President 
Ashland Theological Seminary 



teaching at another seminary. 
While my personal philosophy 
had always been that no one is 
indispensable or irreplaceable, 
suddenly I found myself begin- 
ning to ask God why He was al- 
lowing this to happen. I spent a 
great deal of time in prayer, 
wrestling with the possibility of 
losing two fine professors and 
what their leaving would do to 
the seminary. 

God was working His will 

God answered me: "My hand is 
upon this place and I can do what 
I desire and it 
will still be 
upon this 
place." I rose 
from my 

prayer time 
refreshed and 
enlivened. I 
had been 

made aware 
by God that 
the future did 
Dr. David A. deSilva not dep end 

one iota on me. It was God who 
was working His will. 

Later both men chose to accept 
positions at this other seminary. 
But we were 
able to move 
with delib- 
erate progress 
to find two 
equally out- 
standing pro- 
fessors, Dr. 
David A. 

deSilva and 
Dr. L. Daniel 
Hawk, who 
have already 
endeared themselves to both stu- 
dents and other faculty members. 
They have also brought fresh 
ideas and new perspectives to the 






Daniel Hawk 



seminary that have enabled us to 
move forward. 

Then in early August of last 
year Dr. Mary Ellen Drushal, 
who had taught at the seminary 
since 1984 and who had served as 
academic dean for the past four 
years, was given an opportunity 
to serve Ashland University as 
acting provost. Mary Ellen had 
desired such an opportunity for 
some time, and this seemed like 
an open door for her. 

A message from God 

I again found myself question- 
ing what God was doing. A friend 
later stopped by with a "message 
from God." She informed me that 
during her prayer time God had 
impressed upon her that she 
should share with me a passage of 
scripture — Psalm 127:1-2. 

I read and contemplated these 
words: "Unless the Lord builds 
the house, they labor in vain who 
build it; unless the Lord guards 
the city, the watchman keeps 
awake in vain." God was again 
communicating to me that He is 
in charge and that anything that 
is done apart from Him would not 
succeed. 

Many other such occurrences 
have come into my life this year, 
impressing upon me the signifi- 
cance of God as He charts the 
course for our future. At times I 
must confess that I am merely 
hanging on for the ride. [ft] 

The Brethren Evangelist 



Ashland Theological Seminary 



ATS News and Updates 



Twenty Brethren students 
enrolled at the seminary 

GRADUATION last May saw 
one of the largest groups of 
Brethren students ever to gradu- 
ate from Ashland Theological 
Seminary. Fortunately, nine new 
Brethren students enrolled for 
classes in the 1995-96 academic 
year to make up for some of those 
who graduated. We now have a 
total of 20 Brethren students at 
the school. Here are several note- 
worthy items about these stu- 
dents: four are from one congre- 
gation — the Pleasant View Breth- 
ren Church of Vandergrift, Penn- 
sylvania, pastored by Rev. Keith 
Hensley; three are from the 
Southwest District (Arizona); 
and one (Eduardo Rodriguez) is 
from Argentina. Eight of the cur- 
rent Brethren students will 
graduate in May. 

Search under way for 
new academic dean 

A SEARCH COMMITTEE has 
been working diligently, re- 
viewing applications for the posi- 
tion of academic dean recently 
vacated by Dr. Mary Ellen 
Drushal. A national advertise- 
ment has resulted in applications 
from a number of candidates. Sev- 
eral candidates are under consid- 
eration and an announcement of 
a new dean should come after the 
first of the year. 

Several trips planned 
through the seminary 

INDIVIDUALS with a taste for 
travel can join students and 
friends of Ashland Theological 
Seminary on one of several excit- 
ing trips planned for 1996. The 
Seminary Foundation is sponsor- 
ing a trip March 10-17 to Eng- 

January 1996 



Brethren Students 


Janet Aguiar 


Park Street 


John Allison 


Derby 


Eric Bargerhuff 


Mexico/University 


Don Belsterling 


Park Street 


Doug Cunningham 


Milledgeville 


Tim De Laughter 


N. Manchester 


Corky Fisher 


Park Street 


Annalee Hoover 


N. Georgetown 


T.J. McLaughlin 


Pleasant View/ 




Fremont 


Ed Miller 


Pleasant View/ 




Fremont 


Ron Miller 


Linwood 


Chris Moellering 


Winding Waters 


Arnold Owens 


Pleasant View 


Joyce Owens 


Pleasant View 


James Pflugfelder 


Northwest Chapel 


Karen Robins 


Tucson First 


Eduardo Rodriguez 


Colon, Argentina 


Eric Schave 


Milledgeville 


Paul Sluss 


Roanoke/ 


Louisville Brethren Bible 


Louise Waller 


Northwest Chapel 



land and Scotland. A trip to the 
Holy Lands is planned for May. 
It will be led by Drs. Fred and 
Grace Holland. During the 
month of June, a study tour of 
England, Scotland, and Ireland 
will be led by Dr. Luke Keefer. 
Anyone interested in one or more 
of these trips should contact the 
seminary for more information. 

I. Howard Marshall to speak 
during spring lecture series 

DR. I. HOWARD MARSHALL 
from Aberdeen, Scotland, is 
scheduled to speak at the ATS 
1996 spring lecture series, to be 
held March 11-12. His topic will 
be "The Christian Life in the 
Pastoral Epistles." 

Dr. Marshall has been professor 
of New Testament exegesis at the 
University of Aberdeen since 1979. 
He is well-known as a New Testa- 
ment scholar and is the author of 
numerous books in New Testa- 
ment studies. He has lectured ex- 



tensively in many countries, in- 
cluding Norway, Sweden, Den- 
mark, Finland, Germany, the 
Netherlands, Singapore, Hong 
Kong, the Philippines, Australia, 
Canada, and the United States. 

Attendance at the lectures is free. 
Persons may also receive continu- 
ing education credits or seminary 
graduate credit hours by partici- 
pating in the conference. In such 
cases, a fee is required. Contact 
the seminary at 419-289-5161 for 
more information. 

Ron Waters to join 
seminary faculty 

REV. RONALD W. WATERS, 
who has served the Brethren 
Church National Office as Direc- 
tor of Brethren Church Ministries 
since July 
1989, will join 
the ATS fac- 
ulty this sum- 
mer. Ron, who 
is completing 
a Doctor of 
Missiology de- 
gree from As- 
bury Theologi- 
cal Seminary, 
will hold the 
new chair in evangelism recently 
established at the seminary. He 
will bring to his new position at 
the seminary many years of 
strong leadership experience. 
The seminary will also make Ron 
available to continue to provide 
leadership to the denomination 
in the area of evangelism. 

Churches encouraged to 
provide Fair Share support 

THE SEMINARY depends on 
each Brethren church to pro- 
vide annual support through the 
Fair Share approved by General 
Conference. The Fair Share for 
each congregation is $12.00 per 
Church Growth Index point. A 
congregation's Church Growth 
Index is determined by adding its 
membership, average morning 
worship attendance, and average 
Sunday school attendance, then 
dividing this total by three. [ft] 




Ronald W. Waters 







Group in Tracy, Calif., 
to become a class 

Ashland, Ohio — The General 
Conference Executive Council voted 
at its December 1, 1995, meeting to 
recognize the West Valley Brethren 
Life Church of Tracy, California, 
as a Brethren class. Becoming a 
class is the first step in becoming 
a Brethren church. 

Last August a group of people be- 
gan meeting in Tracy under the 
leadership of church planter Rev. 
Archie Nevins. In addition to hold- 
ing weekly meetings for training 
and fellowship, the class began 
sponsoring a number of community 
activities, including a flag football 
ministry to the City of Tracy (with 
a presentation of the gospel during 
half-time) and a men's basketball 
program. In October, three cell 
groups were formed. Activities for 
youth are also conducted. 

West Valley Brethren Life Church 
is the first phase of a vision to start 
a number of churches in Northern 
California — three congregations by 
the year 2000. Brethren from the 
Northgate Community and Stock- 
ton Brethren Churches are work- 
ing with the Nevins family in this 
outreach project. 



NAE Convention 

"Reaching America for Christ" will 
be the theme of the 54th Annual 
Convention of the National Associa- 
tion of Evangelicals to be held 
March 3-5 at the Hyatt Regency in 
Minneapolis. Speakers will include 
Leith Anderson, Jill Briscoe, Bill 
McCartney, and Luis Palau. Pro- 
gram and registration information 
is available by calling NAE at 708- 
665-0500 (e-mail: nae@xc.org). 




Exterior of the church building of the Corinth Brethren Church, with the addi- 
tion built in 1991-92 in the foreground. 

Corinth Church burns mortgage on 
addition constructed in 1991-1992 



Twelve Mile, Ind. — Members of 
the Corinth Brethren Church cele- 
brated paying off the indebtedness 
on an addition to their church 
building with a mortgage-burning 
service on Sunday, October 22. 

Moderator Dennis Moss and 
eleven committee members were in 
charge of the afternoon mortgage - 
burning program. Rev. Bill Brady 
of Tucson, Ariz., who was pastor of 
the Corinth Church when the addi- 
tion was built, was the speaker for 
the event. Rev. Brady's wife, 
Lynne, also participated, playing 
several piano selections and lead- 
ing the congregation in a sing- along 
of favorite hymns. 

Piano selections were also played 
by Corinth young people Sarah Moss 
and India Staller. In addition, the 
Caston School Swing Choir sang 



several songs during the program. 

The Corinth Brethren stepped out 
in faith and broke ground for this 
addition on June 6, 1991. Wolf Con- 
struction of Logansport, Ind., built 
the shell of the building, and car- 
penters in the congregation did 
much of the interior work. The 
women of the church helped with 
painting, putting up wallpaper, and 
finishing woodwork. The building 
was dedicated on April 26, 1992. 

The addition contains a pastor's 
office, five classrooms, a foyer, an 
extension of the fellowship hall, 
and two bathrooms. Cost to con- 
struct the building was approximate- 
ly $100,000, plus a lot of donated 
materials and labor. The final pay- 
ment on the loan was made on Sep- 
tember 1, 1995. 
— reported by Viola Peter, cor. secretary 




Briefly 
Noted 



Dr. Charles Munson recently be- 
gan serving as interim pastor of the 
Flora, Ind., First Brethren Church. 
Dr. Munson taught for many years 
at Ashland University and Ashland 
Theological Seminary, and he served 
for a time as dean of the seminary. 
Now retired from the seminary, he 
continues to serve The Brethren 
Church as an interim pastor. He 
served the Winding Waters Breth- 



10 



ren Church of Elkhart, Ind., and 
The Brethren Church in New Leba- 
non, Ohio, before going to Flora 
First Brethren. 

Dates have been set and the place 
selected for the second Great 
Western Brethren Roundup, a 

gathering of Brethren from the 
California, Southwest, and Midwest 
Districts of The Brethren Church. 
Roundup II is scheduled for July 
10-13, 1997, at the Glorieta Con- 
ference Center near Santa Fe, New 
Mexico. 

The Brethren Evangelist 



.oodjhep, 




Commission discusses key 
areas of church development 

Ashland, Ohio — The New Church 
Development Commission dis- 
cussed several key areas of church 
development when it met Novem- 
ber 8, 1995, in Ashland. 

The commission was of consensus 
that the Missionary Board should 
begin a search for a new director of 
Home Missions in 1996. Commis- 
sion members believe this person 
should play an active role as a cata- 
lyst for new church starts. 

The commission also agreed that 
prospective church planters should 
go through an assessment program 
to evaluate their gifts and that they 
should attend a church-planting 
"boot camp" to help prepare them to 
begin a new church. 

Several ideas were presented 
with regard to construction of fa- 
cilities for new churches. They in- 
cluded continuing a partnership with 
Brethren Men of Mission in the 
construction of affordable facilities; 
the need for each new church to 
work with an architect to develop a 
comprehensive site plan; the explo- 
ration of less costly construction op- 
tions; and the construction of facili- 
ties that reflect Brethren beliefs. 

The commission recognized the 
significant level of cooperation that 
now exists between the mission 
boards of various districts in The 
Brethren Church because of the work 
of Rev. Russell Gordon, former di- 
rector of Home Missions. In order 
to continue this cooperation, a 
Church Planting Summit was set 
for March 14, 1996, at Park Street 
Brethren Church. 

Recognizing the importance of hav- 
ing a comprehensive strategy for 
church planting in The Brethren 
Church, the commission set this 
topic as the main focus of discus- 
sion for its next meeting. 

— reported by Dale Stoffer 
Commission Chair 



Economic factors force closing 
of Brethren Printing Company 



Ashland, Ohio — The General Con- 
ference Executive Council, during its 
regular meeting on December 1, 
took action to close the Brethren 
Printing Company and to liquidate 
the assets of the corporation. The 
decision was made because of the in- 
debtedness of the company and the 
difficulty in operating it profitably. 

The Brethren print shop was op- 
erated for many years as part of the 
Brethren Publishing Company, a 
not-for-profit entity which publish- 
ed The Brethren Evangelist and 
other Brethren publications. On 
November 1, 1989, the print shop 
was spun off as Brethren Printing 
Company, a for-profit corporation 
that was wholly owned by The 
Brethren Church, Inc. 

The company operated profitably 
for a few years, serving both the 
church and the community. But 
changes in the community and in 
printing clientele, rising paper 
costs, and differing needs of print- 
ing customers threatened increas- 
ingly the profitability of the com- 
pany. Efforts were made to broaden 
the client base of the company, to 
meet the needs of the community, 
and to update equipment and serv- 
ices, without sacrificing quality. 

Manager Tim Mills worked dili- 
gently, doubling as pressman, to 
meet the demands of the printing 
community. When a major client 



started its own in-house printing 
department, the Printing Company 
was hurt significantly. This was 
compounded by the opening of an- 
other printing company in Ash- 
land, creating an even more com- 
petitive printing market. 

Manager Mills and his staff 
worked many long hours to over- 
come these obstacles in an effort to 
turn the corner toward profitabil- 
ity. Their labor of love, dedication, 
and commitment continually met 
with disappointment as economic 
realities set in. The board of direc- 
tors of the company also struggled 
diligently with the situation, look- 
ing for a solution. 

After considerable discussion, 
weighing of options, and prayer, 
the General Conference Executive 
Council decided that it would ulti- 
mately be in the best interest of all 
involved to close the company. The 
final day of operation will be De- 
cember 31, 1995. 

The Board of Directors acknow- 
ledges with great appreciation the 
hard work and dedicated efforts of 
Manager Tim Mills and his staff. 
The board also expresses its thanks 
to The Brethren Church and the 
Ashland community for their many 
years of support for the Brethren 
Printing Company. 

— Ralph Gibson, President, Brethren 
Printing Company Board of Directors 



Who'll do the printing? 

Question: With the closing of 
Brethren Printing Company, how 
will the Evangelist and other Breth- 
ren publications be printed? 

Answer: In addition to the over- 
riding concern for the employees, an- 
other factor that made it difficult to 
decide to close Brethren Printing 
Company was the convenience of 
having in-house printing. It will now 
be necessary to find a commercial 
printer to print the Evangelist, 
Morning Star, Insight into Brethren 
Missions, and other Brethren publi- 
cations. There are a number of print- 
ers in the Ashland area (some with 
Brethren people in the ownership 
and/or management), so we will seek 
one of these to do our printing. 



The changeover to outside printing 
will not be as difficult as it once 
was — for two reasons. First, typeset- 
ting and page make-up, which were 
once done by the print shop, are now 
done on computers in our offices. So 
instead of depending on someone else 
to do much of the preparatory work, 
we can now take publications to a 
printer that are almost ready for the 
press. Second, a lot of our smaller 
printing jobs that were once done on 
a small press are now done on a high- 
speed, high-quality copier. We still 
have this copier available even with 
the closing of the Printing Company. 

So while it certainly will not be as 
convenient with the Printing Com- 
pany gone, the situation should still 
be workable. 

— Dick Winfield, Editor 



January 1996 



11 




In Memory 

Marion M. "Mickey" Mellinger, 

72, a member of the Ashland Park 
Street Brethren Church, died De- 
cember 14, 
1955, at her 
home in Ash- 
land. She 
served for 
more than 15 
years as Ad- 
ministrative 
Assistant for 
the Mission- 
ary Board of 
the Brethren 
Church, retir- 
ing February 28, 1979. In this posi- 
tion she was known for her con- 
geniality, remarkable abilities, 
knowledge of missions, and gen- 
eral helpfulness. Preceded in 
death by her husband, Delbert 
(July 24, 1987), she is survived by 
their two children, Claudia (Co- 
lumbus, Ohio) and Herman (Fort 
Wayne, Ind., where he is modera- 
tor of the Meadow Crest Brethren 
Church). Services were conducted 
by Dr. Arden Gilmer, pastor of 
Park Street Brethren Church. 



J. Michael Drushal to oversee 
operation of the National Office 



Ashland, Ohio — J. Michael 
Drushal has been called to serve 
as interim Director of Brethren 
Church Ministries, effective Janu- 
ary 1, 1996. 

Drushal is assuming on a part- 
time basis the position formerly 
held by Rev. Ronald W. Waters. 
Waters resigned at the end of 1995 
in order to complete work on a Doc- 
tor of Missiology degree in prepara- 
tion for becoming assistant profes- 
sor of evangelism at Ashland Theo- 
logical Seminary later this year. He 
will be available for several months 
to work with Drushal a few hours 
per week on a consultant basis. 

In addition to this new position, 



Congratulations! 

To: Dr. Harold Walton, pastor of 
the Wayne Heights Brethren 
Church of Waynesboro, Pa., who re- 
ceived a Doctor of Ministry degree in 
1995 from Trinity International 
University, Deerfield, 111. His major 
project for the degree was "Princi- 
ples of Revival." 

To: Vivian Barkdoll and Dolo- 
res Kline, members of the Wayne 
Heights Brethren Church, who were 
ordained as deaconesses for the 
Wayne Heights congregation in Sep- 
tember. 



Racial Reconciliation 
Sunday 

The National Association of Evan- 
gelicals, the National Black Evangeli- 
cal Association, and Zondervan Pub- 
lishing House have established the 
Sunday before Martin Luther King, 
Jr., Day as an annual Racial Reconcili- 
ation Sunday. This year that day is 
January 14. The goal of this obser- 
vance is to build a grass-roots cam- 
paign among evangelical churches 
for national racial reconciliation. 

Information about Racial Recon- 
ciliation Sunday and suggestions for 
observing it were sent to pastors and 
moderators in Leadership Letter. 
Whether or not your church observes 
this occasion, two of the suggestions 
for doing so are things that each of us 
can do individually and throughout 



the year to promote racial under- 
standing. They are (1) develop a 
friendship with an individual of an- 
other race, and (2) commit to persist- 
ent prayer regarding racial reconcili- 
ation. As we begin this New Year, 
these would be worthy commitments 
for each of us. 

***** 

The true body of Christ has no color 
distinctions, only a commitment to 
Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The 
suffering of the African-American male 
part of the body is to the detriment of 
the whole body; accordingly the entire 
body has a vested interest in the sal- 
vation and restoration of African- 
American males. 

— John M. Wallace, Jr., in Men to 
Mem Perspectives of Fifteen African- 
American Christian Men; Lee N. June, 
editor (Zondervan, 1996). 




Drushal is 
assistant 
professor 
of business 
administra- 
tion and 
chair of 
the business 
administra- 
tion depart- 
ment at 
Ashland 
University. 
He is not 
new to the *?• Michael Drushal 

Brethren National Office, for he 
served as office overseer and Gen- 
eral Conference coordinator from 
1987 to 1989. 

Because of the current process of 
reorganization of the Brethren de- 
nominational ministries, a decision 
was made not to hire a full-time 
replacement for Waters until a new 
organizational structure has been 
approved by General Conference. 
In the meantime, Drushal will 
oversee operation of the National 
Office and care for basic responsi- 
bilities of the Director of Brethren 
Church Ministries. 



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( The Brethren ) 



Fuwforburg Library 
WASTER COLLEGE 



North Mar :hester, IN 46962 



Evangelist 



^*>*> 




^CH^ 



Vol. 118, No. 2 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



February 1996 



Brian H. Moore, chair of the Spiritual Formation Commission, looks at: 



How to provide pastoral care in the local church 



UNTIL RECENTLY, when the 
subject of pastoral care was 
mentioned, people thought of the 
nurturing and shepherding care 
that pastors give to the members 
of the church. Pastoral care was 
one important segment of the pas- 
tor's ministry. It included such 
things as counsel, encouragement, 
admonition, advice, and prayer. 

A new definition 

Today, because of fortuitous cir- 
cumstances, pastoral care is begin- 
ning to have another meaning: tak- 
ing care of the pastor. The former is 
done by the pastor; the latter is 
done for the pastor. 

A few years ago most church peo- 
ple would have given little consid- 
eration to the validity of this kind 
of pastoral care. (Those in a per- 
petual state of denial still don't!) 
Until recent- 
ly, it was 
almost un- 
thinkable to 
assert that 
pastors need 
care just like 
everyone 
else. After 
all, pastors 
aren't like 
everyone 
else. They 
live in the Dr - Brian H Moore 
rarefied atmosphere of holy things 
and are untouched by the common- 
alities of others. 

Pastors are "set apart," and that 
has come to mean "set apart from 
ordinary existence." If any chink 
appears in a pastor's ministerial 
armor, it is a sure sign of spiritual 





deficiency or at 
least of inade- 
quate seminary 
training. (It's 
strange how 
seminary train- 
ing gets blamed 
for so many 
problems!) 

This kind of 
thinking lives on 
and is, in fact, at 
the root of much 
of the denial. It is 
also responsible 
for the pastoral 
pretense and the 
subsequent lone- 
liness. Pastors 
must maintain 
the image of be- 
ing "together," 
otherwise how can they help any- 
one else? But the only way to suc- 
cessfully maintain that image is to 
remain aloof. The problem is one 
developed and shared by pastors and 
laity alike. It is sometimes referred to 
as "the pedestal." Perched securely 
on their pedestals, pastors are 
spared the problems of ordinary life. 
But it's lonely on that pedestal, high 
and lifted up. 

Termites of the spirit 

So while pastors try to avoid giv- 
ing any impression of humanness, 
and while congregations keep in- 
sisting on the superhuman unique- 
ness of pastors, the foundations are 
being eaten away by termites of the 
spirit. When signs of erosion or de- 
cay begin to appear, some rush in 
and wonder "Why?" while others 
stand afar off and beat their self- 



righteous breasts saying, "I'm glad 
that I am not like other men, like 
this pastor over there." 

Is anyone going to come out into 
the open and admit that pastors need 
to be cared for, protected, encour- 
aged, helped, blessed, affirmed, and 
otherwise loved — just as much as 
any other human being (and perhaps 
even more so)? For this to happen, 
pastors must lay down the phony, 
invulnerable image, and congrega- 
tions must reconsider their super- 
human expectations of pastors and 
begin to be real, honest, and caring. 

The Spiritual Formation Com- 
mission of The Brethren Church 
sponsored a goal for Brethren 
churches for 1996: 

By October 1, 1996, create a viable 
pastoral care committee. ..." 

This goal was adopted by General 
Conference last August. Its aim is 
to help provide care for pastors and 
their families. The concept goes 
beyond what is usually called the 
"Pastoral Relations Committee," 
whose task it has been not only to 
encourage the pastor but also to hear 
grievances from the congregation 
and the pastor and to attempt to re- 
solve those grievances. In practice, 
(continued on page 3) 



In this issue 



Providing pastoral care . . . 
What are you singing? . . . 
Where Brethren are located . 
Understanding the Bible . . 
Faith-sharing as a way of life 

Ministry pages 

Around the denomination . . 



1 
2 

4 
6 

7 

8 

10 



Do you know what you're singing? 



THE HYMNS we sing in wor- 
ship often contain biblical al- 
lusions. If we don't know the bib- 
lical background of these allusions, 
we miss a lot of the rich meaning 
of these hymns. 

Here are a few such biblical 
allusions chosen from several 
familiar hymns. Do you know 
their biblical contexts? Test your- 
self. If you don't know the answers, 
look up the biblical references. In 
fact, you might want to look up all 
the references anyway, for they 
all are meaningful passages. 

1. One of the most well-known 
worship hymns is "Holy, Holy, 
Holy." The second verse has these 
words: "All the saints adore Thee, 
casting down their golden crowns 
around the glassy sea." This is an 
allusion to: 

a. Isaiah's vision of the LORD 
(Isaiah 6). 

b. The anointing of David as 
king of Israel (2 Samuel 5). 

c. John's vision of God's throne 
(Revelation 4). 

2. A favorite prayer hymn is 
"Sweet Hour of Prayer." One verse 
of this hymn has these words: Till, 
from Mount Pisgah's lofty height, I 
view my home, and take my flight." 
This reference to seeing our heav- 
enly home at the time of death 
has as its background: 

a. Elijah's journey to heaven 
in 2 Kings 2. 

b. Moses' view of the Promised 
Land in Deuteronomy 34. 

c. The death of Stephen in 
Acts 7:54-60. 

3. Another popular worship 
hymn is "Crown Him with Many 
Crowns." It begins, "Crown Him 



with many crowns, the Lamb upon 
His throne." This reference to 
Jesus Christ as the Lamb upon 
the throne is an allusion to: 

a. John's vision in Revelation 5. 

b. The Shepherd Psalm (Ps. 23). 

c. Instructions concerning the 
Passover Lamb (Exodus 12). 

4. The hymn "I Know Whom I 
Have Believed" is unusual in that 
the words of the chorus are taken 
directly from the Bible. The words 
"I know whom I have believed, 
and am persuaded that He is able 
to keep that which I've committed 
unto Him against that day" are 
the testimony of: 

a. John the Baptist in John 
1:29. 

b. Peter in Matthew 16:16. 

c. Paul in 2 Timothy 1:12. 

5. The hymn "Praise Him! 
Praise Him!" says that "Like a 
shepherd Jesus will guard His 
children." Jesus called Himself 
"the good shepherd" in: 

a. John 6:35. 

b. John 10:11. 
c.John 11:25. 

6. One verse of the Christmas 
hymn "Joy to the World" has 
these words: "No more let sins 
and sorrows grow, nor thorns in- 
fest the ground; He comes to 
make His blessings flow far as the 
curse is found." The background 
for these words is: 

a. The parable of the four 
kinds of soil in Matthew 
13:1-9. 

b. God's words to Adam and 
Eve in Genesis 3:16-19. 

c. God's curse on Cain in Gen- 
esis 4:10-12. 

7. The hymn "Come, Thou Fount 



of Every Blessing" has a number 
of biblical allusions (including the 
title!). In the second verse of this 
hymn we find the words, "Here I 
raise mine Ebenezer; hither by 
Thy help I'm come." "Ebenezer" 
means "stone of help" and refers 
to a memorial set up as a testi- 
mony to God's helpfulness. It is 
an allusion to: 

a. The stone Jacob set up after 
he dreamed about a ladder 
reaching from earth to 
heaven (Genesis 28:10-19). 

b. The stones the Israelites set 
up after they crossed the Jor- 
dan River and entered the 
Promised Land (Joshua 4:1-9). 

c. The stone Samuel set up 
after the Israelites routed 
the Philistines in battle 
(1 Samuel 7:10-13). 

8. In the hymn "All Hail the 
Power of Jesus' Name!" the last 
verse says, "O that with yonder 
sacred throng we at His feet may 
fall!" This reference to a sacred 
throng is to: 

a. The Israelites who worshiped 
God when the Temple was 
dedicated (1 Kings 8). 

b. The people who worshiped 
Jesus on "Palm Sunday" 

- (Luke 19:28-38). 

c. The great multitude from 
every nation, tribe, people, 
and language seen by John 
(Revelation 7:9-17). 

Our worship through singing is 
enriched when we understand the 
biblical allusions in hymns. I hope 
this quiz makes these hymns more 
meaningful to you. 

— Dick Winfield, editor 
Answers: I.e.; 2.b.; 3.a.; 4.c; 5.b.; 6.b.; 7.c; 8.c. 



The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) is pub- 
lished monlhly (except July and August issues are 
combined) by The Brethren Church, Inc. 524 Col- 
lege Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 (telephone: 
419-289-1708; E-mail: Brethrench@aol.com; fax: 419- 
281-0450). Authors' views are not necessarily those 
of The Brethren Church. Editor: Richard C. Win- 
field. Subscription rates: Sent free to Brethren 
Church members; $14.50 per year to others. Mem- 
ber: Evangelical Press Association. Second Class 
Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio. Postmaster: Send 
address changes to The Brethren Church, 524 
College Avenue, Ashland, OH 44805-3792. 



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The Brethren Evangelist 



(continued from page 1) 
this committee was often reduced 
to recommending the pastor's sal- 
ary for the annual budget or to con- 
ducting "gripe sessions" based on 
anonymous criticisms. 

Not a financial issue 

The concept being introduced in 
this goal is not focused on financial 
needs or problem situations. Pas- 
toral care means giving attention to 
and encouraging the spiritual, in- 
tellectual, physical, emotional, and 
social well-being of the pastor and 
the pastor's family. 

The need for this emphasis is the 
result of complex dynamics which 
are beyond the scope of this article. 
Suffice it to say that being a pastor 
is more difficult now than in former 
times because society is under great- 
er stress. The widespread breakdown 
of authority and of structures that 
once gave stability to our society 
deeply affects pastoral work in all 
its dimensions. New needs keep ap- 
pearing. The toll in stress and con- 
flict and the strains on family life 
are great. "All we have to do is look 
around and see that preachers and 
rabbis and priests are dropping like 
flies, leaving their ministries or let- 
ting the stress erupt into headlines."* 

Pastors can seldom escape by leav- 
ing the ministry (worst case scenario), 
because there is no place to go. The 
best scenario is for pastors and con- 
gregations to address pastoral care 
so that ministry will be enjoyable 
and the pastor will keep growing, 
have family time, be well-rounded, 
and be generally at peace. Pastors 
who serve under these conditions will 
be a blessing to their congregations. 

I have a few suggestions to get us 
thinking about ways to begin pro- 
viding care for our pastors. In mak- 
ing these suggestions, I exaggerate 
somewhat to make my point. I hope 
we can get the point and adjust it to 
fit our individual situations. 

1 . Move the parsonage! 

If the parsonage is adjacent to 
the church building, the pastor will 
inevitably tend to become the care- 
taker and night watchman. In addi- 
tion, being so close to one's place of 

*Bill Self in "Ministers Under Stress" 
by Hank Whittemore, Parade, April 14, 
1991, p. 4. 

February 1996 



work makes it easy to keep work- 
ing. I live 30 paces from the church 
building. I have allowed myself to 
be the above (caretaker and night 
watchman) and do the above (keep 
on working). I have little sense of 
going home for the day because 
home is so close to where I do so 
much of my work. This has been 
true for all 29 years of my full-time 
pastoral service in four congrega- 
tions. There are two sides to the 
convenience of living on the church 
property. Pastoral care may re- 
quire discussing "the other side." 

2. Give more vacation time 

Some of us pastors are terrible 
abusers of our vacation. We don't 
go away long enough! One reason 
for this may be that we don't feel 
that we have enough vacation left if 
we take two weeks at one time. We 
want to save some time off for 
Thanksgiving and some for Christ- 
mas, so we fragment our vacation 
time and find that it provides little 
personal benefit. Having an addi- 
tional week of vacation (which could 
be divided up around Thanksgiving 
and Christmas) might help. 

Along with that, consider a way 
to establish a vacation fund for the 
pastor, to be distributed only when 
that extended vacation is taken. For 
most of us pastors, it requires all 
we make (and maybe more, hence 
working wives) just to keep up with 
everyday living expenses. The re- 
sult: not enough ready money to take 
two weeks of vacation at one time 
(unless we go to our parents' home 
and live off them). What a difference 
a thousand-dollar gift would make 
come vacation time! But attach a 
string to it; it can only be used for 
a get-away vacation with family. "If 
you don't use it, you lose it!" 

3. Give a sabbatical 

Many professions offer a sabbati- 
cal leave. A modified version could 
be offered to pastors. Perhaps for 
every five years of service the pas- 
tor could be given a two-month, 
fully-paid leave-of-absence for 
study, travel, rest, and personal de- 
velopment. This is not a vacation 
but a time for growth and personal 

°Check with an accountant to deter- 
mine if this can be done without addi- 
tional tax on the pastor's salary. 



refreshment. The details for ar- 
ranging such a venture are many. I 
recommend Sabbatical Planning 
for Clergy and Congregations by A. 
Richard Bullock (The Alban Insti- 
tute: Washington, D.C., 1987) to 
help plan a sabbatical. 

4. Emphasize self-care 

No committee can provide all the 
care for the pastor and the pastor's 
family. The pastor must practice 
self-care. He* must be the one to 
give himself permission to "back off" 
from the stresses of pastoral life. 
But perhaps the committee can en- 
courage him to do so and even build 
in some accountability for it. En- 
courage good eating habits and rest 
patterns; the development of friend- 
ships; an occasional mini-retreat or 
a day away for solitude and prayer. 

At each meeting of the Pastoral 
Care Committee, ask what the pas- 
tor has been reading and what he 
plans to read. Encourage him to at- 
tend local seminars in order to keep 
abreast of issues and to develop min- 
istry skills. Work together to de- 
velop a plan of self-care and then 
make a joint effort to work the plan. 

5. Begin with this article 

If your committee has not yet been 
formed, take steps to get it formed. 
Then take this article and interact 
with its premises and its sugges- 
tions. Undoubtedly an active com- 
mittee will be able to do "greater 
things than these." 

I believe that showing this kind 
of practical interest in our pastoral 
families will help us have healthier, 
happier pastors as well as better 
pastoral relations in local congre- 
gations. I believe that with better 
pastoral care, pastoral tenures will 
lengthen and churches will reflect 
the well-being that is developing in 
the pastoral leadership. More could 
be said — and done — but I hope that 
this much will help our pastors and 
their wives and children begin to 
get the attention they need. [ft] 

Dr. Moore is pastor of the St. James, 
Maryland, Brethren Church. Pastoral 
health and care were the focus of his 
major project for his recently received 
Doctor of Ministries degree. 

'Masculine pronouns are being used since 
The Brethren Church currently has no 
women serving as pastors of local churches. 



Where Brethren Are Located 








M,dwe8, K' Si* 



Percentages are the percent of 
total Brethren Church member- 
ship in each district. They are 
based on 1994 membership 
reports. (Total does not equal 
100% due to rounding.) 



Brethren congregations in each district 



Northern California District 

Hope Fellowship (Stockton) 

Northgate Community (Manteca) 

Stockton* 

West Valley Life (Tracy) 

Southwest District 

(currently only in Arizona) 
Northwest Chapel (Tucson) 
Tucson 

Midwest District 

(currently Wyoming, Nebraska, and 

Kansas) 
Cheyenne (Wyo.) 
Derby (Kans.) 
Falls City (Nebr.) 
Fort Scott (Kans.) 
Mulvane (Kans.) 

Central District 

(currently Iowa and Illinois) 

Cerro Gordo (111.) 

Hammond Ave. (Waterloo, Iowa) 

Lanark (111.) 

Milledgeville (111.) 

'Identifying name and location (town or city) are 
the same, except where noted otherwise. 



Indiana District 

(Includes one church in northwestern 
Ohio % and one in Michigan® 

Ardmore (South Bend) 

Brighton Chapel (Howe) 
§Bryan (Ohio) 

Burlington 

Carmel 

Center Chapel (near Peru) 

College Corner (near Wabash) 

Corinth (near Twelve Mile) 

Cornerstone (near Muncie) 

County Line (near Lakeville) 

Dutchtown (near Warsaw) 

Elkhart 

Flora 

Goshen 

Greenwood 

Huntington 

Jefferson (Goshen) 

Loree (near Bunker Hill) 
^Matteson (near Bronson, Mich.) 

Meadow Crest (Ft. Wayne) 

Mexico 

Milford 

Mishawaka 



Muncie 

Nappanee 

New Paris 

North Manchester 

Oakville 

Peru 

Roann 

Roanoke 

South Bend 

Teegarden (near Lapaz) 

Tiosa 

Wabash 

Warsaw 

Winding Waters (Elkhart) 

Ohio District 

Columbus 

Fremont 

Garber (Ashland) 

Gratis 

Gretna (near Bellefontaine) 

Hillcrest (Dayton) 

Louisville Bible 

Louisville First 

Medina 

Mt. Zion (near Cleveland) 

The Brethren Evangelist 



Newark 

New Lebanon 

North Georgetown 

Northview Life (near Franklin) 

Park Street (Ashland) 

Pleasant Hill 

Smith ville 

Smoky Row (Columbus) 

Trinity (North Canton) 

University (Ashland) 

Walcrest (Mansfield) 

West Alexandria 

Williamstown 

Pennsylvania District 

(Includes two churches in New Jersey, 
two in West Virginia,* and one in 
Delaware.^) 
Berlin 

Brush Valley (near Adrian) 
^Calvary (near Quakertown, New 

Jersey) 
*Cameron, West Virginia 
Fairless Hills-Lewittown 
Highland (near Marianna) 
Johnstown Second 
Johnstown Third 
Main Street (Meyersdale) 
Masontown 



§Mt. Olivet (near Georgetown, 

Delaware) 
Mt. Pleasant 
Pittsburgh 

Pleasant View (Vandergrift) 
Quiet Dell (Green City) 
Raystown (near Saxton) 
Sarver 

^Sergeantsville, New Jersey 
Valley (Jones Mills) 
Vinco (near Mineral Point) 
Wayne Heights (Waynesboro) 
*White Dale (near Terra Alta, 
West Virginia) 

Southeastern District 

(currently includes churches in Ken- 
tucky, West Virginia, Maryland, 
Virginia, and Washington, D.C.) 

Bethlehem (near Harrisonburg, 
Va.) 

Covenant Community (Fredericks- 
burg, Va.) 

Cumberland, Md. 

Drushal Memorial (Lost Creek, 
Ky.) 

Gateway Fellowship (Hagers- 
town, Md.) 

Gatewood (near Oak Hill, W. Va.) 

Haddix (near Jackson, Ky.) 



Hagerstown, Md. 

Kimsey Run (near Lost River, 

W. Va.) 
Krypton, Ky. 
Liberty (Quicksburg, Va.) 
Linwood, Md. 
Mathias, W. Va. 
Maurertown, Va. 
Monta Vosta (near McGaheys- 

ville, Va.) 
Mount Olive (Pineville, Va., near 

McGaheysville) 
Mountain View (Frederick, Md.) 
Oak Hill, W. Va. 
Rowdy (near Lost Creek, Ky.) 
Saint James, Md. 
Saint Luke (near Woodstock, Va.) 
Southeast Christian Fellowship 

(Washington, D.C.) 
Waterbrook (Edinburg, Va.) 

Florida District 

Bradenton 

Bloomingdale (Valrico) 

St. Petersburg 

Sarasota 

Iglesia Hispana (Sarasota) 

STAKE (Saturation of the Target 

Area for Kingdom Extension, 

Orlando area) 



The real Valentine's Day message: 

No Greater Love! 

By David Oligee 

IN HIS NOVEL A Tale of Two Cities, Charles 
Dickens tells of a young Englishman who was 
caught trying to flee France with his family during 
the French Revolution. Because of the hatred of the 
French for the English, the young man was sen- 
tenced to death on the guillotine. 

An hour before the man was to be executed, he 
was visited by a French friend. The guard remained 
with the two for a few moments and then left. "Quick," 
said the friend, "you must change clothes with me." 

"But I cannot," the Englishman protested. 

"Please," begged the Frenchman, "you must. Your 
wife and child are waiting in a carriage at the door." 

Moments later the guard returned and, unknow- 
ingly, escorted the Englishman safely outside the 
prison to his waiting family. An hour later, the 
Frenchman died in the place of his friend. 

"This is My commandment, that you love one an- 
other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one 
than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" 
(John 15:12-13; Bible quotations are from the New King 
James Version). What a glaring reminder of the great- 
est news to ever pulsate across this planet: "For 
God so loved the world that He gave . . ." (John 3:16)! 
". . . God was in Christ reconciling the world to 



Himself ..." (2 Cor. 5:19). "But God demonstrates 
His own love toward us, in that while we were still 
sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). "[God] made 
Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might 
become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 
5:21). "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay 
down one's life for his friends"! 

That's an awful lot of love. Or perhaps it's just a 
different kind of love. Far beyond the ordinary, the 
expected, the routine, the everyday kind — you know, 
family and close friends (even very, very close 
friends!). We are talking life and death — laying 
down one's life. 

Of course, it has happened innumerable times in 
history. Dicken's Tale is in reality no mere tale. But 
it's an awful lot to ask. It really is. Just ask Jesus. 
He's the One who said, "I lay down My life for the 
sheep" (John 10:15). It was He who said, "Father, 
forgive them, for they do not know what they do" 
(Luke 23:34). His death was far different from that 
of any other. It was for the ungodly (Rom. 5:6). It was 
for me; it was for you. 

That, my beloved, is the heart of the message we 
have been directed to share. Whatever you may do; 
wherever you may go; whomever you may see or be 
with; don't forget — He came to die in your place, [ft] 

Rev. Oligee is pastor of the First Brethren Church of 
West Alexandria, Ohio. This article first appeared in the 
newsletter of the West Alexandria Church and is used here 
with Pastor Oligee's permission. 



February 1996 



Lessons we shouldn't learn 
from our Brethren forebears 

By Brenda B. Colijn and Dale R. Stoffer 



IN THIS SERIES on "Understand- 
ing the Bible," we have often used 
the early Brethren as examples of 
faithfulness to Scripture. They have 
much to teach us. But they weren't 
infallible, and we don't want to fol- 
low their example in everything. 
Some of their ways of interpreting 
and applying the Bible were mis- 
takes from which we can learn. 

Insufficient regard for context 

Like other Christians of the time, 
the Brethren used Scripture, espe- 
cially the Old Testament, without 
enough regard for its historical con- 
text. They read the Bible practical- 
ly and devotionally, as most believ- 
ers do today, and most of them were 
not well-grounded in biblical history 
and languages. One result of this 
was that Alexander Mack and other 
early Brethren used Old Testament 
Apocryphal books such as Ecclesi- 
asticus, the Wisdom of Solomon, and 
Tobit, apparently giving them the 
same authority as the canonical books 
of Scripture. Mack even made use 
of a New Testament Apocryphal book, 
the Gospel of Nicodemus, although 
he cited it as a historical source 
rather than as a scriptural one. 

In his use of both Old and New 
Testament Apocrypha, Mack was 
following the lead of Mennonites 
who had done so. He accepted these 
books in a straightforward, uncriti- 
cal way that has both positive and 
negative features. When applied to 
Scripture, such an uncritical ap- 
proach is willing to take the Bible 
at face value and obey it without 
question. But it can also lead to an 
acceptance of dubious authorities. 
Christians today make the same mis- 
take when they give their favorite 
Bible translation or the study notes 
in their Bibles the same authority 
as the text of the Bible itself. 

Because of their lack of historical 
knowledge, the early Brethren (like 
other groups of their day) overused 
typology — the interpretation of Old 
Testament people and events as pat- 



terns that point forward to Christ 
and to the Christian life. For exam- 
ple, Mack argued that circumcision 
on the eighth day showed that bap- 
tism need not be administered to 
children (the eighth day being a pre- 
figurement of the age of account- 
ability). Peter Nead believed that 
the Passover lamb of Exodus 12 was 
a type of the doctrine of Christ. Just 
as the Israelites were commanded 
to eat the entire lamb, including 
the head and legs, Christians are 
called to obey all the doctrines of 
Christ, not just those we like. 

Some Christians today are very 
attracted to typology, writing books 
that interpret the spiritual signifi- 
cance of the tabernacle, for exam- 
ple. God does sometimes work within 
history in such a way that earlier 
people or events point forward to 
later ones. (See the book of Hebrews 
for examples.) But we should be 
cautious about finding types in 
Scripture. We want to be sure that 
we're discovering a connection that 
God intends, not inventing some- 
thing out of our imaginations. 

In our practical and devotional 
use of the Bible (which is an essen- 
tial part of Christian life and growth), 
we should commit ourselves to 
studying passages in their biblical 
and historical contexts, so that we 
don't miss any of the truth God has 
for us by neglecting the setting in 
which He communicated that truth. 

Legalism and formalism 

More than other Christian groups 
of their time, the early Brethren 
were drawn to legalism and formal- 
ism in their application of Scrip- 
ture to the Christian life. This is 
always a danger for believers who 
emphasize the importance of obedi- 
ence to the Christian life. Alexander 
Mack regarded the New Testament 
as the book of rules and laws given 
by God the Householder through 
His Son to the household of faith. 
Peter Nead called Scripture the 
"one law book" of the church. 



In the early days of the movement, 
the congregation in Krefeld, Ger- 
many, put the biblical principle of 
separation into practice by excom- 
municating a member for marrying 
outside the faith — that is, for marry- 
ing a Mennonite. This decision split 
the congregation. By the middle of 
the 19th century, in their desire to 
obey the biblical principle of non- 
conformity (Rom. 12:2), the Breth- 
ren had decided that all Brethren 

must non- 
conform 
to society 
in exactly 
the same 
manner. 
They pre- 
scribed 
the de- 
tails of 
dress to 
be worn, 




Understanding 
the Bible 



practices to be allowed, and appli- 
ances to be used. In their zeal to 
follow the Bible, they shifted the 
focus of obedience from the heart 
attitude of love toward God and 
neighbor to a list of external "do's 
and don'ts." 

This idea of nonconformity through 
uniformity was challenged by the 
Progressive movement. Henry 
Holsinger and others argued that 
uniformity was not required on 
matters not clearly taught in Scrip- 
ture. We modern-day Progressives 
probably need to be reminded of 
nonconformity and obedience more 
than we need to be warned against 
legalism. But we can still fall into 
legalism whenever we focus pri- 
marily on the externals rather than 
on the heart attitudes that lead to 
our actions. Jesus reminded His 
disciples that what comes from the 
heart makes us clean or unclean, 
not the details of our conformity to 
the law (Matt. 15:18-20). 

As we attempt to be faithful Breth- 
ren at the end of the 20th century, 
let us learn from the faithfulness of 
those who came before us. Let us 
also learn from their mistakes, as 
(by God's grace) our children will 
learn from ours. [ft] 

Dr. Colijn and Dr. Stoffer, professors 
at Ashland Theological Seminary, are 
members of the Committee on Doctrine, 
Research, and Publication, which is 
preparing this series of articles. 

The Brethren Evangelist 



Making faith-sharing a way of life 

By Ronald W. Waters 



WHERE is God leading The 
Brethren Church in evangel- 
ism? One of The Brethren Church 
"Priorities for the Nineties" relates 
to this very subject. 

The priority — Sharing Our 
Faith (Passing On the Promise). 
To burden, stimulate, and equip 
persons to share the good news of 
Jesus Christ through both words and 
actions through local church imple- 
mentation of the Passing On the 
Promise outreach process, leading to 
Brethren people sharing their faith 
in a lifestyle of friendship evangelism. 

Words and actions 

This priority says that we "share 
the good news of Jesus Christ 
through words and actions." We 
Brethren and other evangelicals 
have been critical of the so-called 
"social gospel," so we've been cautious 
about embarking on ministries to 
meet social needs. At the same 
time, we've talked a good line about 
evangelism. But in reality, we have 
not done that very well either. 

Some of us are learning, and we're 
doing better in reaching out to others 
through words or by deeds of kind- 
ness. But to be effective at sharing 
our faith we need both dimensions. 

The goal of this priority is clearly 
stated: "Brethren people sharing 
their faith in a lifestyle of friend- 
ship evangelism." The goal is not 
button-holing our friends nor con- 
fronting total strangers. Rather, it 
is to find natural ways of sharing our 
faith with those whom we encoun- 
ter daily — our family, friends, work 
or school associates, and neighbors. 

How will we accomplish this pri- 
ority? By burdening, stimulating, and 
equipping one another. We will not 
become more active or effective in 
sharing words of faith or in doing 
acts of lovingkindness merely by 
chance. Rather, we need to nudge 
one another along in reaching out 
to others. And we need to learn ways 
of sharing our faith through both 
words and deeds from one another. 

Where is God leading us in 
sharing our faith? 

February 1996 



First, churches participating in 
Passing On the Promise (POtP) 
have completed or will soon be com- 
pleting the process. For those of us 
who have been part of this process, 
we need to fully implement the 
ideas and the learnings we have de- 
veloped. Some may be relieved that 
"Passing On the Promise is finally 
over. Now we can go on to other 
things." In reality, the process 
should never end. Its goal is for 
sharing our faith to become a way 
of life for all of us as individuals 
and as congregations. 

Second, God is leading us to 
know ourselves and know our com- 
munities. POtP churches conducted 
an extensive self-study in the first 
year of the process. It is now time to 
update that self-study of ourselves 
as congregations and of our com- 
munities. Churches that have not 
conducted a self-study recently should 
do so. It offers an opportunity to 
listen to our own members to dis- 
cover their needs and desires. It 
also helps us to listen to the un- 
churched all around us in our com- 
munities. Lee Strobel's book, Inside 
the Mind of Unchurched Harry and 
Mary, is another way to gain a 
clearer understanding of the long- 
ings of those living without Christ. 

Third, God is leading us to in- 
crease entry points into our congre- 
gations. A church has many "doors." 
"Front doors" are the major services 
of the church, such as Sunday morn- 
ing worship and Sunday school. For 



Evangelism 

God has reached out in love through 
the person and work of Jesus to re- 
deem a lost world. He demonstrated 
the heart of evangelism by sharing 
the good news with all whom He 
met. Christ promised abundant life 
to those who respond in obedient 
faith. Following His example, each 
believer, grateful to God and bur- 
dened for fallen humanity, shares 
with others the new life in Christ. 

— From The Centennial Statement 

of The Brethren Church 



many people — especially those who 
like anonymity — this is the major 
entry point into a church. "Side doors" 
are other services and ministries 
of the church, such as small home 
Bible studies, twelve-step groups, 
work projects, sports teams, or sim- 
ilar activities. Many churches focus 
only on the major events of their 
church as entry points. But "side 
door" entry points draw upon the 
natural relationships that church 
members have with their un- 
churched friends and relatives. 

Fourth, in addition to opening 
entry points, we need to find ways 
to close the "back door. ""Back doors" 
are where people sometimes "slip 
out" while no one is watching. We 
must be carefully attuned to church 
members and regular attenders 
who exhibit a change in their at- 
tendance patterns. Sometimes the 
best way to close the "back door" is 
to take preventative steps. We de- 
crease the likelihood that people 
will silently slip away by helping 
new attenders and members de- 
velop a growing number of relation- 
ships with others in the church and 
find meaningful ways to become in- 
volved in ministry. 

Finally, we must be continually 
equipping our people to share their 
faith and to discover their individ- 
ual styles of evangelism. Evangel- 
ism training programs such as 
"Living Proof," "Love Your Neigh- 
bor to Life," and many others pro- 
vide the tools for helping members 
learn to share their faith in non- 
threatening ways. 

Whether you or your church have 
been involved in the Passing On 
the Promise process is immaterial 
at this point. What is important is 
that each of us make sharing our 
faith one of our priorities in life. 
God wants His lost sheep found and 
brought into the fold of faith and of 
a local church. When faith-sharing 
becomes a way of life, it will con- 
tinue to be a priority long after the 
end of the 1990s. [tf] 

Rev. Waters was, until January 1 of 
this year, Director of Brethren Church 
Ministries, and he continues to serve the 
denomination as a consultant in evan- 
gelism. This is the final article in a series 
of five which he developed from an ad- 
dress he delivered during a business 
session at the 1995 General Conference. 



Brethren Church Ministries 



A Conspiracy of Kindness 

Evangelism for the ninety percent of people who do not 
have the gift of evangelism. 

By Ronald W. Waters 



YOU SAY you can't be a witness 
for Jesus Christ. That you be- 
come tongue-tied just trying to say 
your name. That you can't remem- 
ber long outlines of evangelistic 
presentations. That your testi- 
mony isn't dynamic enough. That 
talking to strangers is difficult for 
you. That you certainly don't have 
the gift of evangelism. So you think 
that excuses you from being a wit- 
ness to your faith in Jesus Christ. 
NOT! 

Most of us find sharing our faith 
to be difficult. Many of us (espe- 
cially us guys) have trouble sharing 
deep feelings or beliefs. And many 
methods of evangelism do seem to 
be overly complicated for the average 
person. After all, most people find 
it awkward to talk about issues 
that are as personal as their faith. 

Many leaders in the study of 
spiritual gifts have said that per- 
haps only ten percent of all Chris- 
tians have the gift of evangelism. 
People having that gift find it easy 
and natural to share the good news 
of the gospel. In fact, at the end of 
the day they are disappointed if 
they have not shared the gospel 
with at least one non-believer. Also, 
when they do share their faith, an 
unusually large percentage of peo- 
ple pray to accept Christ as their 
saving Lord. I don't know about 
you, but that does not describe my 
life experience! 

So what are the other 90 percent 
of us to do? Are we to abdicate any 
responsibility for sharing our faith? 

A new approach 

Steve Sjogren (pronounced show'- 
grin) has found a new approach to 
sharing the love of Christ that he 
says is "no guilt, no stress, low risk, 
and high grace." He calls it a "Con- 
spiracy of Kindness" and describes 
it in a book by the same title (Ann 
Arbor, Mich.: Servant Publications, 
1993). Sjogren is senior pastor of the 

8 



Vineyard Christian Fellowship in 
Cincinnati, a church that some have 
included among the 25 fastest-grow- 
ing churches in the United States. 

Sjogren says that "God is looking 
for people who are willing to par- 



many practical tips on how to begin 
such a ministry. He includes one 
chapter on how to use this outreach 
concept with children and youth. In 
another chapter, he shows how small 
groups may use this approach to 
break or prevent an inward focus. 

So what are the "deeds of love" 
that are part of the servant evan- 
gelism formula? They can be al- 
most any act of kindness that 
meets a deep human need or that 
simply offers a "cup of cold water in 
Jesus' name." Sjogren lists more 
than 100 ideas in an appendix to 
his book, with detailed suggestions 

n 




ticipate in acts of love and kindness 
to those outside their present cir- 
cle. He is looking for people who 
believe that a humble demonstra- 
tion of love plants a seed of eternity 
in the hearts of others that will 
blossom into faith in Christ" (p. 1 1). 

Servant evangelism 

The way to demonstrate that love 
is through "servant evangelism," 
which Sjogren defines as "demon- 
strating the kindness of God by 
offering to do some act of humble 
service with no strings attached" 
(pp. 17-18). Doing intentional acts 
of kindness in the name of Christ is 
especially effective with people who 
"have heard too much 'God-talk' 
and not seen enough 'God- activity' " 
(p. 22). 

The formula for the conspiracy of 
kindness is this (p. 22): 

Servant _ deeds words adequate 
evangelism " of love of love time 

Words of love must follow acts of 
kindness for the person to hear them. 
Deeds of kindness often elicit ques- 
tions about "what kind of Christians 
are you?" Words without deeds are 
often empty. But deeds without 
words are equally hollow. And ade- 
quate time to truly consider the 
claims of Christ is vital if the com- 
mitment made is to be long-lasting. 

In his book, Sjogren offers a ra- 
tionale for servant evangelism and 



for 58 of these. Servant evangelism 
projects that he suggests include: 

• Washing cars 

• Washing windshields in parking 
lots 

• Cleaning toilets for businesses 

• Washing windows 

• Raking leaves 

• Offering Gatorade™ on jogging or 
- biking trails (cont. on next page) 



Learn more about the 
"Conspiracy of Kindness" 

The Brethren Church and The 
Andrew Center are joining the Ohio 
Mennonite Conference in sponsor- 
ing a one-day workshop on servant 
evangelism. Speaker will be Steve 
Sjogren, author of Conspiracy of 
Kindness. 

The workshop will be held Satur- 
day, April 20, 1996, at Park Street 
Brethren Church in Ashland from 
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cost of the 
workshop is $15 per person, including 
registration, materials, and lunch. 

Bring a large group from your 
church to learn more about this ex- 
citing, low-cost, low-risk, and high- 
grace approach to sharing the good 
news of Jesus Christ. 

Sjogren also "publishes" a quar- 
terly FAX newsletter that is entitled 
"se-mail" (for "servant evangelism 
mail"). To receive this free resource, 
send your FAX number in a facsim- 
ile to 513-671-2041. Mention that 
you heard about "se-mail" in The 
Brethren Evangelist. 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Brethren Church Ministries 



• Shoveling snow 

• Wrapping Christmas gifts 

• Giving away Mother's Day carna- 
tions 

• Feeding parking meters 

• Providing a lawn mower tune-up 
clinic 

• Giving umbrella escorts at gro- 
cery stores 

All these acts of kindness are 
done for free — no donations are 
ever accepted. Frequently, little 
cards are given with the church 
name and a map, plus a statement 
that the service is provided as a 
practical way to show God's love. 
Persons being served are told, 
"We're doing a free community 
service project to show God's love in 
a practical way." 

You may be saying, "Sure, I can 
see how these acts of kindness can 
be used to give people a lift. But is 
it biblical?" 



Jesus had something to say about 
that in His parable of the sheep and 
goats in Matthew 25: "As you have 
done it unto one of the least of 
these, you have done it unto me." 
And when Jesus wanted to express 
"the full extent of His love" to His 
disciples, He washed their feet 
(John 13:1). What would He do to- 
day? Maybe He'd wash their cars as 
a symbol of His love! 

Sjogren affirms that individuals 
can become regularly involved in 
such ministries on their own, but 
they have more impact when they 
are entered into by a group or by a 
church as a whole. 

He admits that servant evangel- 
ism is not the only approach a 
church should undertake, but it 
does sow seeds of the gospel in a 
hurting world. In fact, it reaches 
out to people in the softness of their 
hearts rather than taking a frontal 



approach through the intellect. 
Once a person's heart is softened, 
that person will be more receptive 
to the message of the gospel. 

Sjogren concludes his book this 
way: 

There is only one more thing you 
need to do to join God's conspir- 
acy of kindness. Put this book 
down, pick up a squeegee, and 
start washing windshields. I 
would enjoy sharing more with 
you about bringing God's love to 
your community, but I've run out 
of time. In five minutes I'm 
meeting some friends to go and 
wash windshields at a grocery 
store parking lot. If you were 
here I'd offer you a squeegee and 
have you come along. We'd have 
great fun! 

I highly recommend that you 
read Conspiracy of Kindness by 
Steve Sjogren. Or better yet, pick 
up a squeegee! [ft] 




February is 

"Have a Heart for the Lost" 



P 1 ! 



1EBRUARY 
J-' is the month 
in which we 
annually empha- 
size evangelism in The Brethren 
Church. We encourage you to 
sponsor a "Have a Heart for the 
Lost" Sunday in your church to 
celebrate the lives who have 
come to faith in Jesus Christ 
during the past year. It can also 
be an opportunity for us to "urge 
one another on to love and good 
works" in the ministry of sharing 
our faith. 

"Have a Heart" month also of- 
fers you an opportunity to sup- 
port the ministry of evangelism in 
your local church and in The 
Brethren Church at large. Con- 
gregations are encouraged to take 
a "Have a Heart" offering during 
February. Local churches may 
keep up to one-half of this offer- 
ing for local outreach ministries. 
The other half is sent to The 
Brethren Church for denomina- 
tional evangelism ministries. 
Brethren people are urged to give 
$5.00 per person or $10.00 per 
family for this offering. 



Month 

What denominational ministries 
are supported by this offering? 

1. Passing On the Promise. 
The Brethren Church has spon- 
sored this three-year process and 
covered many of the "behind the 
scenes" costs, including training 
of field staff, subsidizing the 
annual Evangelism Leaders 
Academies, writing and produc- 
ing study materials, and general 
oversight of the process. Ronald 
W. Waters, former Director of 
Brethren Church Ministries, con- 
tinues to serve as the national 
coordinator for Passing On the 
Promise. The process formally 
concludes in June 1996, with final 
expenditures this year. 

2. The Andrew Center. The 
Brethren Church is a partner in 
this multi-denominational re- 
source and training center for 
evangelism and congregational 
growth. As part of the denomina- 
tional budget, The Brethren 
Church has provided a grant to 
The Andrew Center that allows 
all Brethren congregations to join 
the center for free! (If your church 
is not already a member of The 



Andrew Center, call 1-800-774- 
3360 and ask about your compli- 
mentary Brethren Church mem- 
bership.) 

3. Joint Project with Ash- 
land Theological Seminary. 
The Brethren Church has entered 
into a joint project with the sem- 
inary. Beginning this fall, Ronald 
W. Waters will join the seminary 
faculty as assistant professor of 
evangelism, carrying a three- 
quarter teaching load. Ron will 
devote his remaining one-quarter 
time as Brethren Church consult- 
ant for evangelism and church 
growth. For the first year, The 
Brethren Church will cover one- 
quarter of the salary and benefits 
for this position plus related ex- 
penses. Thereafter, the seminary 
will provide all salary and bene- 
fits, with the church covering 
only the related expenses for con- 
sulting services. 

Your gift to the "Have a Heart" 
offering will assist with the ex- 
penses of these ministries. If your 
church takes an offering this month, 
we urge you to give generously. If 
your church does not take an of- 
fering, you can still have a part by 
sending your gift to The Breth- 
ren Church, 524 College Ave- 
nue, Ashland, OH 44805, desig- 
nated for "Have a Heart." [ft] 



February 1996 



4<28g&sk 





Ministry of Helen Shively 
continues after her death 

Ashland, Ohio — Helen Shively, 
known to many Brethren from her 
presence at 76 General Conferences 
and her 33 years as literature sec- 
retary for the National Women's 
Missionary Society, worked her en- 
tire career at Ashland University 
as a librarian. 
Now, more than a year after her 
death in April 
1994, Helen has 
made yet an- 
other contribu- 
tion to the uni- 
versity. Recently 
a check for 
$84,000 from her 
estate was pre- 
sented to AU in 
order to further endow a scholar- 
ship she had begun in the name of 
her parents. Her father, U.J. Shively, 
served for many years on the AU 
Board of Trustees. And her mother, 
Nora Shively, served from 1926-52 
as president of the Women's Mis- 
sionary Society and successfully led 
the planning, funding, and construc- 
tion of Memorial Chapel. 

In addition to the endowed scholar- 
ship, Helen donated a Hummel col- 
lection with an estimated value in 
excess of $17,000 to the university. 
Helen was also an active member 
of Park Street Brethren Church in 
Ashland and served the Lord through 
that congregation in various ways. 
As with the university, her service 
to her church did not end with her 
passing. The church received a gift 
of $79,346 from her estate. In life and 
in death, Helen gave generously of 
herself and her means to both the 
university and her church. [ft] 

10 



New Brethren church holds first services; 
plans to break ground on Easter Sunday 



Muncie, Ind. — A new Brethren 
congregation, Cornerstone Brethren 
Church and Ministries, held its first 
services on Sunday, October 1, 1995, 
with 110 people in attendance. 

Cornerstone is one of two congre- 
gations formed from the First 
Brethren Church of Oakville, Ind. 
The congregation currently meets 
Sunday morn- 
ings at Cowan 
Elementary 
School for wor- 
ship and a Disci- 
pleship Hour. 

Rev. Bob Mas- 
sie, a Baptist 
minister from 
Greenwood, 
Ind., is pastor- 
ing the congre- 
gation. A gradu- 
ate of Southern 
Baptist Theo- 
logical Seminary 
in Louisville, 
Ky., Rev. Massie 
served a Baptist 

congregation for several years, but 
now has a telemarketing business 
in Indianapolis and also conducts 
Christian seminars. 

Pastor Massie is leading the con- 
gregation in a study of the Gospel 
of John, with an emphasis on how 
to use this Gospel as an evangelis- 
tic tool. According to church report- 
er Roberta Covington, he is a won- 
derful Bible teacher. 

In addition to Sunday morning 
services, a number of cell groups 
and youth groups are meeting in 
the homes of various members. The 
congregation also uses a meeting 
room at the Cowan Fire Station for 
Communion services, business 
meetings, and other special occa- 
sions. Although meeting in tempo- 
rary facilities has been a challenge, 
Mrs. Covington reports that these 
meeting areas have served them 
well. "With practice, we are now 
able to set up and tear down with 
minimal hassle," she said. 

But the congregation looks for- 
ward to having its own building 
next year. The group has pur- 



chased 22 acres of ground near 
Cowan, just three miles south of 
Muncie. Ground-breaking for a new 
building is scheduled for Easter, 
with the building to be completed 
by Easter of 1997. The first phase 
of the building will include a large 
all-purpose room which will be 
used for worship, fellowship, and 




Standing by the sign on the site of the future building of the 
Cornerstone Brethren Church and Ministries are (I. to r.) 
Jerry and Roberta Covington, Pastor Bob Massie, Sandra 
and Haldon Ashton, and Nancy and Steve Ruster. 

recreation. Around this all-purpose 
room will be classrooms, toddler 
and nursery areas, administrative 
offices, and a kitchen. The building 
will also include a large foyer and 
rest rooms. A prayer room designed 
to be accessible 24 hours a day is 
also planned. 

The master plan for the building 
includes a worship center in phase 
2, an educational annex and school 
in phase 3, and a full-size gymna- 
sium in phase 4. 

In addition to its plans for build- 
ing a physical structure, the con- 
gregation is attempting to build its 
ministry structure. Programs are be- 
ing established for shepherding, hos- 
pital visitation, visitor response, and 
outreach to the community. The 
emphasis is on equipping and train- 
ing the people to do the ministry of 
the church rather than expecting 
the pastor to do all the work. 

Mrs. Covington writes: "We are 
very excited and are looking for- 
ward to serving the Lord in our new 
congregation, Cornerstone Breth- 
ren Church and Ministries." [ft] 

The Brethren Evangelist 




Briefly 
Noted 




The Brethren Retreat Center 

at Shipshewana, Ind., recently pur- 
chased 12 acres of property adja- 
cent to the recreation field on the 
retreat grounds. The land was pur- 
chased in order to expand and im- 
prove this Christian camping facil- 
ity of the Indiana District of The 
Brethren Church. The purchase price 
was $120,000, and efforts are now 
being made to raise funds to pay off 
the indebtedness on this land. 

The Oak Hill, W. Va., First 
Brethren Church held an ordina- 
tion service on December 31 for two 
deacons and two deaconesses. Con- 
secrated for this special ministry in 
the church on that day were David 
and Jennifer Bowling, Jeanette 
Nuckels, and Mike Pomeroy. 

The STAKE church-planting 
team in the Orlando, Fla., area be- 
gan a Kids Club at the end of last 
year. Three children came to the 
first meeting and 20 to the second. 
Later, 13 children and 13 adults went 
Christmas caroling together. 



Recycle your extra Bibles 

Do you have extra Bibles you 
never use? Why not recycle them? 
No, I don't mean that you should put 
them at the curb for the recycling 
truck to take! I mean send them to 
someone who is longing to read 
God's word. 

"But who would I send them to?" 
you ask. The Bible League can an- 
swer that question. In fact, The Bi- 
ble League has a Recycle Your Bible 
project and would be happy to send 
you a Recycle Your Bible kit. Then 
you can send your extra Bibles to 
them and they will send each one to 
someone in need. 

For more information call 1-800- 
7727-2900, or write The Bible 
League at 16801 Van Dam Rd., 
South Holland, IL 60473. 

— Dick Winfield, editor 



Bonnie Munson concludes ministry 
at Brethren House in St. Petersburg 



St. Petersburg, Fla. — 

Bonnie Munson concludes 
her ministry at Brethren 
House in St. Petersburg this 
month (February) and will 
leave the Florida District on 
February 9, just four months 
short of 25 years from her 
arrival at Brethren House. 

She will be moving to 
Greencroft, a Mennonite re- 
tirement community in 
Goshen, Ind., close to her 
friends Dr. Jim and Judy 
Hollinger. When her father, 
Dr. Charles Munson, com- 
pletes his interim pastorate 
in Flora, Ind., he too will 
move to Goshen, and eventu- 
ally into Greencroft. 

While in St. Petersburg, 
Ms. Munson served in many 
capacities through Brethren 
House. Her chief ministries 
were teaching in the neigh- 
borhood Bible teaching programs 
and helping to plan and conduct 
teacher-training workshops 
throughout the United States. Her 
gifts of teaching and listening, as 
well as her organizational exper- 
tise, made her a vital member of 
the Brethren House team. 

It was her vision that initiated 
the idea of sharing teaching ideas 
via a newsletter and workshop. It 
was her ability to keep track of 
things that made this sharing pos- 
sible. She developed a scheme of 
packing and unpacking the dozens 
of boxes taken on tour so that the 
team could roll into church parking 
lots, set up the 20 or more banquet- 
sized tables in church fellowship 
halls of various sizes and shapes, 
conduct workshops, and be ready to 
move on to the next destination in 
less than 24 hours. She also pre- 
sented information and enthusi- 
asm for teaching that equipped and 
inspired both new and experienced 
church educators to do a better job. 

She was also the computer expert 
on the Brethren House team. As 
such, she was in charge of the mail- 
ing operation, including a list of peo- 
ple that reached as high as 11,000. 




February 1996 



Bonnie Munson, holding a plaque she re- 
ceived in February 1995 in recongnition of her 
community service. Bonnie has been confined to 
a wheelchair for much of her life as a result of 
having polio as a child. 

Ms. Munson also served in other 
capacities while in Florida. She 
was a valued member of the Dis- 
trict Ministry of Administration, 
serving for a time as secretary. In 
addition, she served on various 
committees at Bayfront Medical 
Center in St. Petersburg, where 
she was loved and valued by staff, 
volunteers, and patients. For sev- 
eral years she helped train volun- 
teers in the pastoral care program 
at the medical center. She gave sig- 
nificant input when the chapel 
there was reconstructed, particu- 
larly in making it handicapped- 
accessible. In 1995 she received an 
award from the National Council of 
Tampa Bay for her volunteer serv- 
ice to the community. 

Brethren House fellow team mem- 
ber Jean Lersch writes, "We're sad to 
see Bonnie go. But we're glad that 
there are other friends and other op- 
portunities for service waiting for her 
in Goshen. She will have miles of side- 
walk to roll [her wheelchair] around 
on and many new friends there. We 
grieve her leaving, but cherish the 
wonderful memories of our team 
work these past nearly 25 years." 

— reported by Jean Lersch 

11 



P^^lcfe 




Dolls rehabilitated by 
Meadow Crest women 

Fort Wayne, Ind. — The women 

of the Meadow Crest Brethren 
Church in Ft. Wayne sent more 
than 100 rehabilitated dolls to 
Lost Creek, Ky., last fall to be dis- 
tributed to area children for 
Christmas. 

The project was initiated by Diane 
Elwood, a member of the church, 
who learned late last summer of a 
woman in New Haven who had 200 
forlorn dolls in need of loving ten- 
der care. Diane's dream was that 
these dolls might be fixed up and 
taken to Riverside School so that 
any girl around the school or in the 
Lost Creek area who wanted a doll 
for Christmas would have one. 

Diane and other women of the 
church spent many hours washing 
and repairing more than 100 of the 
dolls, fixing their hair, and giving 
them new dresses. Then on Novem- 
ber 24, Diane and her family — along 
with Roger Bracht and Rev. Rich- 
ard Austin, pastor of the Meadow 
Crest Church — took the dolls, as well 
as clothing and various other items, 
to Riverside to be distributed at the 
school and in the community. [ft] 



Speaker/musicians to head program 
at Brethren pastors' and wives' retreat 



Johnstown, Pa. — The 1996 re- 
treat for Brethren pastors and 
wives will be held April 16-18 at 
the Best Western Inn of State Col- 
lege, Pennsylvania, in the heart of 
the Keystone State. 

The program will feature speaker/ 
musicians Dennis Letts and Mark 
Barnett and include "everything 
from bluegrass to Beethoven and 
Bach." Letts has served as a pastor, 
missionary to Mexico, college pro- 
fessor, and musical evangelist. 
Barnett has been a headliner at 
Opryland USA for 21 years and is 
a member of the Grand Old Opre. 
They have served the Lord as a 
team for 28 years and have 
preached and played throughout 
the U.S.A. and Mexico and have 
even twice gone to Russia. 

In addition to being Spirit-filled 
speakers, Letts and Barnett play 
14 musical instruments. They will 
put some of these into service on 
Wednesday afternoon of the retreat 
in a "front-porch-sitting, music- 
playing, glory-shouting, Jesus- 
praising hootenanny." 

The program will include a spe- 
cial speaker for women (details in- 
complete at press time). Activities 
are also planned for young chil- 
dren, including trips, games, and a 
time for Bible study. BYIC mem- 
bers Jeremy Tarr and Renee Higin- 
botham will be in charge. 




Muncie, Ind. — The First Brethren Church of Muncie is a little more visible 
now, thanks to a new church sign recently installed on the church property. The 
new sign is larger, brighter, and more easily read from the road than the 
former one. It was purchased with money donated by Mrs. Ruth Lamb in 
memory of her husband, Ralph. — reported by Allyson Rurtkel; photo by Wayne Smith 



Check-in time will begin around 
3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, and 
the retreat will open with the eve- 
ning meal at 6:00 p.m. The gather- 
ing will conclude with a soup and 
salad lunch at noon on Thursday. 

The cost is $110 per person or 
$200 per couple, which includes the 
program, lodging (double occu- 
pancy), and meals. Lodging for chil- 
dren is free; cost for meals is $33.50 
per child for children ten or older 
and $16.50 per child for those under 
ten. Suites with refrigerators and 
small stoves are available at no ex- 
tra charge for families with infants. 

Reservations are due by March 1 
to Jim Saunders, 186 Spring St., 
Johnstown, PA 15906 (make checks 
payable to Pennsylvania District 
Pastors of The Brethren Church). 
For more information call Pastor 
Saunders at 814-539-8246 or Pas- 
tor Curt Nies at 412-583-0279. 

Editor's note: The lead article in this 
issue is about "pastoral care. " Another 
way of caring for your pastor (in addi- 
tion to those suggested in that article) is 
to provide time off and finances for him 
and his wife to attend the annual Breth- 
ren pastors' and wives' retreat. 



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( The Brethren ) 

Evangelist 



Funterburg Library && 
MANCHESTER COLIJ&E 
lofih Manchester, !fc4 



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Vol. 118, No. 3 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



March 1996 



Two former pastors of small-town churches ask: 



What's so special about the small church? 



By Ron Klassen and John Koessler 



HAVE YOU ever thought about 
why pictures of little country 
churches often grace Christmas 
cards, but megachurch facilities 
never do? Or why it is such a com- 
pliment for a visitor to a big subur- 
ban church to say, This feels like a 
small church"? Yes, there is some- 
thing special about the small church. 

Why then do so many small 
churches feel inferior to larger 
churches? That's easy to answer. 
It's because big churches can do so 
much more. After all, what small 
church can put together a mass choir? 
How many small churches can hire 
a youth pastor, a children's director, 
a director of senior adult ministries, 
or a full-time minister of music? 

Both of us, as pastors of small- 
town churches, have at times tried 
to imitate larger suburban churches. 
The result: our churches didn't feel 
like big churches, and in the proc- 
ess of imitating something else, we 
lost some of what makes the small- 
town church so special. We discov- 
ered that big churches can do some 
things better and small churches 
can do other things better. For any 
church to be all it can be, it has to 
make the most of its strengths. 

Big tractor, little tractor 

Many farmers have at least two 
tractors, one large, one small. The 
big tractor is better for some jobs, 
the little tractor for other jobs. Try- 
ing to mow a ditch with a big trac- 
tor is an exercise in frustration, but 
doing it with a small tractor is easy. 
Plowing a large field with a small 
tractor would take forever, but do- 
ing it with a large tractor makes 



quick work. The smart farmer uses 
each tractor for the jobs it does best. 

Just as it is foolish to use a small 
tractor to do a big tractor's job, it is 
counterproductive for small churches 
to imitate large-church programs. 
The small church that tries to be- 
come a scaled-down version of a big 
church will become a pale imitation 
of a big church. 

The small church is at its best 
when it makes the most of those 
qualities that make the small church 
special — intimacy and involvement. 

The first / — intimacy 

While the large church scrambles 
to find ways to encourage warmth 
and personal relationships, the small 
church, if it is healthy, naturally 
has a family atmosphere. Large 
churches work to create small- 
group ministries; in the small 
church, many small-group dynamics 
occur spontaneously. In the large 
church, many faces are unfamiliar; 
in the small church, everyone 
knows everyone else. 

In a large church an usher passes 
a note to the pastor, who then an- 
nounces: "A brown Ford, license 
TM-3527, has its lights on." The 
pastor of a small church looks out 



Small churches 
in The Brethren Church 

Of the 121 congregations in The Breth- 
ren Church:* 

• 45 (37%) have less than 50 members 

• 72 (59V2%) have less than 100 members 

• 97 (80%) have less than 150 members 

• 24 (20%) have more than 150 members 

*Based on the 1994 statistical report. Com- 
plete statistics for 1995 are not yet available. 




the window and says, "Jim, you left 
your lights on." 

Anyone who has belonged to a 
healthy small church has many 
memories of warmth and intimacy. 
One of our favorites is of the holi- 
day we (Ron and Roxy) awoke to 
find ourselves snowed in with no 
electricity or phones. Church 
friends had invited us to spend the 
day at their home, but with the 
road buried under knee-deep snow, 
we resigned ourselves to spending 
a lonely day at home. 

We were feeling depressed and 
disappointed, when — about noon — 
we heard a knock at our back door. 
There stood the 21 -year-old son of 
our friends. He and his dad had 
spent the last four hours on two 
tractors clearing the way from their 



In this issue 

The small church 1 

Symphony of triumph 3 

Understanding the Bible ... 4 
Daring journey to freedom . . 5 

Ministry pages 7 

Around the denomination ... 10 

The Women's Outlook Newsletter 
is in the center of this issue. 



ranch to the main road so that they 
could get to our house. This warm 
friendliness is a big part of what 
large churches are hoping to re- 
create when they try to cultivate a 
small-church atmosphere. 

The second / — involvement 

As an organization gets larger, 
the level of participation usually 
goes down. Eighty percent or more 
of the members of a small church 
often have specific ministry respon- 
sibilities, while most larger congre- 
gations feel fortunate if 30 to 40 
percent of their members accept as- 
signments. 

Before Scott and Lyn began wor- 
shiping at Valley Chapel, where I 
(John) was pastoring, they attended 
a larger congregation of about 300 
members. Though they had grown 
up in that church, neither had been 
very involved in its ministries. When 
I asked why, they said that they 
hadn't felt needed. 

They both quickly got involved in 
Valley Chapel. Lyn worked with 
several of our children's ministries 
and later volunteered to type the 
church bulletin. Scott became a 
leader in our mid-week children's 
program and used his mechanical 
skills to keep the church's lawn- 
mower in shape. 

To some extent, intimacy and in- 
volvement happen spontaneously 
in the small church, but a church 
can also intentionally build on 
these qualities. 

Using your two I's 

We have often heard pastors of 
small churches complain about 
what their churches cannot do in 
their worship services because of 
their size. But the small church 
makes a mistake if it tries to copy a 
large-church worship style. Rather, 
the small church needs to shape its 



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worship to capitalize on what the 
small church does best. 

In no other area is the small church 
tempted to feel inferior to the large 
church than in the area of music. 
We look at the megachurches' big 
choirs, keyboard artists, and great 
talent, and we think, "If only we 
had just a little bit of that in our 
church." 

True worship, though, is not a 
performance. A friend of ours who 
has served as the minister of music 




"For any church 
to be all it can 
be, it has to 
make the most 
of its strengths. 



in several large churches points out 
that some large churches fall into a 
trap of approaching their music 
with a performance mentality that 
hinders worship. 

Good worship is not a fancy 
sound system or talented soloists or 
professional instrumentalists. The 
best worship takes place when all 
the people participate in ascribing 
worth to God. How can a small 
church encourage everyone to par- 
ticipate in worship? 

• Special vocal music. The big 
church only lets people on the plat- 
form if they can sing well. The small 
church that follows that policy will 
seldom have special music. Plus 
this flies in the face of maximizing 
involvement. Warren Wiersbe de- 
scribes the attitude called for in the 
small church: 

If the players and singers are 
doing their best, and seeking to do 
better, then God accepts their "sac- 
rifices of praise" and so should we. 
. . . Whenever I am listening to a 
below-average presentation, I imag- 
ine my Lord receiving it and pre- 



senting it to the Father; and that 
changes my attitude completely.* 

• Special music by children. 

The small church should invite chil- 
dren to play instruments or sing, 
even though their music is less than 
perfect. Everyone forgives children 
when they make mistakes. Plus, par- 
ents will think, "If our family were 
in a large church, they would not 
let my daughter play a piano solo." 

• Special music by families. 
Both of us have heard family music 
presentations that, though full of 
imperfections, connected powerfully 
with the congregation. To the small 
church's credit, the congregation is 
more interested in giving people op- 
portunities to participate than it is in 
judging those who participate. 

• Congregational singing. The 
small church cannot have a mass 
choir, but neither can the large 
church sing around the piano. The 
informality of the small church can 
make congregational singing some- 
thing special. Instead of always 
announcing a hymn, then asking 
everyone to stand to sing it, sing 
several songs or choruses in a row. 
Choose the most singable songs — 



"The small 
church is at its 
best when it 
makes the most 
of those qualities 
that make the small 
church special — intimacy 
and involvement." 




whatever your congregation sings 
best. Slides or an overhead projec- 
tor get people to look up to sing 
rather than burying their heads in 
hymn books. (continued on next page) 

*Warren Wiersbe, Real Worship (Nash- 
ville: Oliver Nelson, 1986), p. 172. 



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The Brethren Evangelist 




Symphony of Triumph 



By Jeff Kahl 



WE ARE ALL part of a great 
symphony, which the Com- 
poser skillfully conceived at the be- 
ginning of time. Some of us are the 
melody, with our loud and confi- 
dent voices ringing out the message 
of the music. Some are counter- 
melody, adding movement and 
variety and enhancing the melody 
with our bold originality. Some of 
us are the bass line, not outspoken 
or original, but steadfast and sup- 
portive, without which the melody 
would have no stability. All of us, 



playing our respective parts, make 
the symphony a triumph. 

The symphony is full of tension 
and struggle, but in the Composer's 
wisdom and design, the tension al- 
ways resolves in a climax of joy. 
Furthermore, the parts of the sym- 
phony that are the most difficult to 
play are also those that challenge 
our abilities and make us better 



musicians. 



As we play the symphony, we 
must always keep in mind three 
things. First, we must strive to glo- 



rify the Composer by sticking to the 
musical score, and not seek to glo- 
rify ourselves by improvising or 
adding ornamentation. For the 
closer we keep to the score, the 
more the audience will be convicted 
by its meaning. 

Second, with the guidance of the 
Sound Man, we should always 
strive to blend our parts harmoni- 
ously in order that our performance 
may be a true reflection of the Com- 
poser's art. 

Finally, and most importantly, 
we must always keep our eyes on 
the Conductor, who — with His nail- 
pierced hands — directs all of us to 
follow Him. 

As we each play our individual 
parts, we must be confident in this: 
When the concert is over, every 
member of the audience, whether 
he or she wants to or not, will give 
the Composer a kneeling ovation. 
The Conductor will embrace us each 
warmly and congratulate us on a 
great performance. And the Com- 
poser, sitting in the balcony, will 
wipe the tears of joy from His eyes 
as He recognizes once again that 
His creation is very good. [D"] 

Mr. Kahl, a student at Ashland Theo- 
logical Seminary, attends The Brethren 
Church of Medina, where he serves as 
the keyboard player. He wrote this arti- 
cle prior to a morning worship service 
and later read it during the service. 

Thomas Sprowls, pastor of the Medina 
congregation, submitted the article to 
the editor, saying: "I felt profoundly 
moved by what he wrote and blessed 
that God had given this shy gentleman 
such a great gift of writing. I thought I 
would share this with you and that you 
might find it useful in The Brethren 
Evangelist." 



The small church 

(continued from page 2) 

• Leading worship. Consider 
forming a worship team to share in 
leading worship. Encourage broad par- 
ticipation in all parts of the worship 
service, such as reading scripture, 
praying, and taking the offering. 
Young people especially should be en- 
couraged to take part. This is excellent 
training for future ministry. 

• Times for sharing. Small 
churches can easily include times 
in their services for sharing and 
testimonies. In our impersonal 



world, people feel a deep need to 
have a place to share their experi- 
ences, yet such sharing is almost 
impossible in a large-church wor- 
ship service. In the small church, 
personal sharing in the service can 
lead to powerful ministry. 

What's special about the small 
church is its two Fs — intimacy and 
involvement. In a world where 
most people feel like faces in a 
crowd, many are longing for inti- 
macy more than polished perform- 
ance; for involvement more than 
spectator status; for small rather 



than big. By focusing on what it 
does best, the small church can be 
there for people who are hungering 
for a personal touch in an imper- 
sonal age. [ft] 

This article is adapted with permis- 
sion from NO LITTLE PLACES: The 
Untapped Potential of the Small- 
Town Church by Ron Klassen and 
John Koessler (Baker, 1996). After many 
years of pastonng small-town churches, 
Rev. Klassen is now General Director of 
the Rural Home Missionary Association 
in Morton, III., and Rev. Koessler is as- 
sistant professor of Pastoral Studies at 
Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. 



March 1996 



How to practice church discipline 

By William Kerner 



DISCIPLINE means soundness 
of mind, self-control, orderly con- 
duct. The Apostle Paul told young 
Timothy, "God did not give us a 
spirit of timidity, but a spirit of 
power, of love and of self-discipline" 
(2 Tim. 1:7;* see also Rom. 12:3; 
Tit. 2:6; and 1 Pet. 4:7). 

The church as portrayed in the 
New Testament is a community of 
redeemed people gathered round 
the living Christ as committed dis- 
ciples — a people whose identity is 
different from that of the rest of the 
world and whose life-style is differ- 
ent from that of non-Christians. 
The church is made up of people 
who love the Lord Jesus Christ and 
are eager to follow His teachings. 
(See Tit. 2:11-14.) 

Growing in God's grace and love 
requires discipline. Holiness of life 
comes through personal discipline. 
The teachings of Christ as set forth 
in the Sermon on the Mount are 
certainly binding upon all Chris- 
tians, and the church is obligated to 
uphold the standards of our Lord. 
We must strive to be nothing less 
than His redeemed people so that 
we may be salt and light to a dark- 
ened world. 

Purpose of church discipline 

The purpose of church discipline 
is to assist people to live a life that 
glorifies Christ and witnesses to 
the power of the gospel. It deals 
with the contradiction between 
New Testament teaching and the 
way believers may actually live. 

The need for church discipline is 
made clear by the Apostle Paul: 

Do you not know that the wicked 
will not inherit the kingdom of 
God? Do not be deceived: Neither 
the sexually immoral nor idolaters 
nor adulterers nor male prostitutes 
nor homosexual offenders nor 
thieves nor the greedy nor drunk- 
ards nor slanderers nor swindlers 
will inherit the kingdom of God. And 
that is what some of you were. But 
you were washed, you were sancti- 



*Quotations from the Bible are from the 
New International Version. 



fied, you were justified in the name 
of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the 
Spirit of our God. 1 Cor. 6:9-10 

A study of this passage makes us 
realize that the church is called to 
make decisions when confronted 
with unrighteousness. Where there 
is no discipline, the church loses its 
distinct witness as the people of 
God. The result is that those in the 
church are little different from 
those outside the church. 

Church discipline grows out of a 
love and concern for the spiritual 
well-being of the church community. 
An excellent example of the need 
for discipline within the church is 
found in the congregation at Corinth. 
A member was living in an incestu- 
ous relationship and refused to re- 
pent. The Apostle Paul instructed 
the church of its responsibility (see 
1 Cor. 5:1-5, 11-13). Later he gave 
equally clear instructions on how to 
respond to the person after he had 
repented (2 Cor. 2:6-11). 

Church discipline is a process 
that should include: 

• compassion (Hebrews 12:6) 

• confidence (Titus 3:10, 11) 

• clarity (Matthew 18:15-17) 

• conviction (1 Corinthians 5:11) 

• consistency (2 Thessalonians 
3:6, 14) 

• love (Galatians 6:1, 2). 

Method of church discipline 

The method of church discipline 
is outlined by Christ in Matthew 
18:15-17). This outline can be used 
for both personal conflicts between 
people and for moral failures among 
members. 

Step one: If someone has of- 
fended or troubled you, go talk to 
that person. It may be a misunder- 
standing. Talk it out. (Matt. 18:15; 
Eph. 4:2, 32) 

Step two: If the situation cannot 
be resolved between you and that 
person, take one or two other people 
with you and go and talk to the per- 
son again. (Matt. 18:16; 2 Cor. 13:1) 

Step three: If the problem is still 
not resolved, bring it before the group 



within the church that is responsi- 
ble for caring for discipline. (Matt. 
18:17; 1 Cor. 1:10; Heb. 12:14) 

Step four: If differences still 
cannot be resolved, then one or per- 
haps both of those involved in the 
disagreement will be considered to 
be in disharmony with the church 
and with the teachings of Christ. 
(Matt. 18:17) 

Moral failures can be described 
as intentional acts or choices that 




Understanding 
the Bible 



are 

against 
God's 
standards 
for Chris- 
tian liv- 
ing. Scrip- 
ture de- 
scribes 
moral fail- 
ures in 1 
Corinthi- 
ans 6:9, 10 and in Galatians 5:19- 
21. Reports of moral failures among 
members should be handled by the 
deacons or elders of the church. If a 
report is found to be true, the dea- 
cons or elders should proceed to fol- 
low the steps outlined in Matthew 
18:15-18. If the report is found to 
be false, they should make every 
effort to set the record straight. 

Discipline is a matter of an indi- 
vidual's response to the word of God. 
It is also the church's responsibility 
in bringing individuals to repentance 
by pleading for a decision of faith. 
Discipline is the privilege of restor- 
ing in love a believer to faith. 

In church discipline, as in evan- 
gelism, the good news of the gospel 
is presented as a means by which to 
be liberated from the power of 
Satan by coming under the rule of 
Christ and walking with Him. 
Therefore, it makes no sense to de- 
clare the good news of liberation 
from sin to those outside the church 
if we do not declare the same good 
news of liberation from sin to those 
inside the church. The gospel is not 
just good news by which the sinner 
can be converted. It is also the good 
news by which Christians can live. 
Therefore, church discipline is an 
act of love to fellow believers. [ir] 

Rev. Kerner, a retired Brethren elder, 
is a member of the Committee on Doc- 
trine, Research, and Publication, which 
is preparing this series of articles. 



The Brethren Evangelist 



A daring journey to freedom 

By Kurt Stout and Han Kok Ping 

TWO YOUNG MEN. Two journeys. Two hearts changed. The first 
journey was mine. I traveled across oceans by plane. The second was his. 
He traveled over mountains by foot. I knew where my journey would end. 
He did not even know if his journey would end. But both travelers returned 
home changed, certain that their lives were better for having dared to 
journey. 

For three months my wife Heidi and I participated in a short-term 
mission project. We taught village children in the Philippines, played with 
orphans and built a training center in India, performed in Singapore, and 
started a youth ministry in Malaysia. A year has now passed since this 
mission trip, but my mind often floods with such memories that my heart 
longs to embrace those experiences again. 

In the final days of our mission, Heidi and I met a young man we will 
never forget. His name was Han Kok Ping, and he was the other young man 
who dared to journey. His experiences were different from mine, but their 
impact was equally dramatic. From conversations I had with Han Kok 
Ping and a translated copy of a letter from his hand, I have reconstructed 
his journey to freedom. This is his story. — Kurt Stout 



IN EARLY 1990 I started my 
wandering life and began a jour- 
ney in search of happiness and 
peace. I was certain that there was 
more to life than what I was ex- 
periencing in my small town in 
China, but I had no idea that my 
discovery would be so profound. 
For years I lived under Communist 
rule and for years I was denied 
Truth. My heart longed for free- 
dom — not just physical freedom, 
but freedom to think, to feel ... to 
live. As a result, I began my lonely 
journey to freedom. 

The truth is, I love my country — 
China — and I love even more my 
own people and family. But I de- 
spise the political system under Com- 
munist control. I found it too diffi- 
cult to accept, and I faced an un- 
bearable anguish because of this 
political group. I felt as though I 
were living in a large jail, wasting 
my valuable life and energy. 

A difficult decision 

Therefore, after much considera- 
tion and much wrestling with ex- 
treme feelings of sorrow, I decided 
to leave my family, friends, class- 
mates, and girlfriend in order to see 
the outside world and, hopefully, 
relieve my tension. 

A classmate joined me on this 
journey, and together we broke out 

March 1996 



of bondage. Had we known in ad- 
vance what we would endure to be 
free, neither one of us would have 
dared to begin the journey. But in 
our innocence and courage, we faced 
an unknown challenge and survived. 
We estimated that our journey over 
the mountains would take us about 
three days by foot. Plans were 
sketched; provisions collected; cour- 
age examined. 

When the day finally came for us 
to make our move, no one sus- 
pected. There were no goodbyes. No 
warnings. Without a trace we left 
behind our educational training 
program and a life 
that seemed full of 
bitter pain and 
hopelessness. We 
dared to be free. 

When we reached 
the border between 
China and Burma, 
we successfully 
avoided the security 
check by the sol- 
diers. But the real 
challenge lay before 
us, for several 
mountains still 
separated us from 
freedom. With great 
risk we began our 
adventure. The 
journey took much 



longer than we had anticipated, 
and our supplies dwindled. The 
challenge became merely to sur- 
vive. We were forced to hunt for 
food in the forest and to sleep hug- 
ging each other in order to keep 
from freezing to death. Half a 
month later we arrived in Burma, 
hungry and weary. 

Our dreams began to shatter im- 
mediately. We were caught by local 
police and thrown into jail. But we 
were so exhausted from our journey 
that we didn't even care. At least 
we finally had food and shelter. 
During the next 17 days in jail we 
wondered what our end would be. 
This was not the freedom we had 
envisioned. 

A glimpse of freedom 

Yet through our misfortune we 
did catch a glimpse of freedom, for 
while in that Burmese jail we were 
visited by several Catholics from 
Thailand who began to tell us about 
the freedom found in the Bible 
through Jesus Christ. This was 
completely foreign to me, yet my 
heart and spirit began to stir with 
this good news. Could freedom 
really be found in a person and not 
in a place? Miraculously these new 
friends arranged for us to be 
released into their care, and they 
took us to Thailand with them. 

The months and even years that 
followed were filled with much won- 
dering and searching. I had gone 
my own way, but in the back of my 
mind I still remembered those 
words about a Savior and Redeemer 




BURMA 
THAILAND 

MALAYSIA 



LAOS 
VIETNAM 



CAMBODIA 



a a a o^ g p ? ^ ^P 










A small section of Han Kok Ping's let- 
ter, showing his signature and his seal. 

of all. I traveled throughout Burma, 
Laos, and Malaysia in search of 
peace and freedom, but to no avail. 
I concluded that these countries did 
not suit me. Consequently, I re- 
solved to return somehow to my 
own country. 

Then, finally at the end of my 
rope, I discovered what I had been 
looking for all along. While in 
Malaysia I was introduced to Rev. 
David Chew, pastor of the Brethren 
church in Penang. We talked exten- 
sively about a personal relationship 
with Jesus Christ and the freedom 
found in His love and forgiveness. 

I was so deeply impacted by the 
Holy Spirit and God's word that I 



immediately de- 
sired baptism and 
as much theologi- 
cal training as pos- 
sible. So on Febru- 
ary 12, 1995, Pas- 
tor Chew baptized 
me at the beach, 
and I became the 
first member of 
The Brethren 
Church to come 
from China. But 
most importantly, 
I joined brothers 
and sisters from 
around the world 
as part of God's 
heavenly family. 




True freedom gained 

During the five years since I left 
China I have had many unforget- 
table, scary, romantic, and valuable 
experiences, which I will always re- 
member. A few pages of paper are 
not enough on which to fully de- 
scribe all that I experienced during 
this time of my life. Yet I do not 
regret what I have endured to bring 
me to this point. 

If I were to evaluate my life from 
a worldly perspective, it would 
seem that I have lost much. But I 
have converted to the Father and to 
Jesus Christ. I am no longer con- 
trolled by this world. I truly recog- 
— — 



Kurt and Heidi Stout (2nd & 3rd from I.) with Brethren 
missionary Rev. David hoi (I.), Rev. David and Lily Chew 
(r.), and two young women who were baptized while the 
Stouts were in Malaysia. 

nize what I have gained. What I 
have gained is true freedom and 
deliverance. By the blood of Jesus 
Christ, I now have an abundant 
life. I have obtained an imperish- 
able heavenly heritage and re- 
ceived a priceless promise through 
Christ Jesus. What I have is the 
most valuable! 

— Han Kok Ping 




Han Kok Ping (I.) with David Chew, 
on the beach where Han Kok Ping was 



pastor of the Brethren church in Penang, 
baptized. 



In the January "Prayer and 
Praise" list sent out by the Mission- 
ary Board of the Brethren Church, 
Rev. David Loi indicated that Han 
Kok Ping had safely returned to 
China, and he requested prayer for 
this young man's growing faith. For 
a long time I wondered if Kok Ping 
had successfully evaded officials at 
China's border. I knew that if cap- 
tured, he would be forced to endure 
much persecution and hardship. 

But the fact that he crossed the 
border safely does not insure his 
safety. I am certain that daily Kok 
Ping faces the threat of personal set- 
backs and abuse. Yet in the midst of 
his large "jail" he has freedom, and 
he is seeking to share the truth 
about that freedom with his own 
people, who are caught in the 
chains that once bound him. 

Kok Ping returned to China with 
the dream of starting a church. And 
I am certain that with his determi- 
nation and the strength of the Lord, 
he will effectively bring hope to the 
darkest regions of China. My prayer 
is that The Brethren Church in 
America will be as bold and daring 
as this one man in China. 

— Kurt Stout 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Hfie 'Women's Outloofc^O^ewsletter 

51 pu6tication of the (Brethren 'Women's Missionary Society 




March-April 1996 



Volume 9, Number 4 



"The 
(President 's 



(Pen 




(District (Doings 



^*JL^ 



Dear Ladies, 

Well, here we are in the month of 
March — three months into the new 
year. Did you make a "resolution" 
to lose a few pounds this year? I 
think many of us did just that! 

It's difficult to eat in moderation, 
isn't it? I read of a magazine arti- 
cle that tells of an advertisement 
for an MTV special, 'The Seven 
Deadly Sins." The article said, 
"Lust: where would we be without 
it?" An MTV commentator said 
that "a little lust, pride, sloth, and 
gluttony — in moderation — are fun 
and that's what keeps your heart 
beating." Now that's really double 
talk!! Gluttony in moderation! 

How can we practice excess in 
moderation? We eat goodies marked 
"lite," "low-calorie," and "cholesterol 
free." But there is no such thing as 
"light lust" or 'low-calorie greed." 
Sin is wrong in any amount. Mat- 
thew 5:29 tells us, "If your right 
eye causes you to sin, pluck it out." 



'There is no such thing as 
'light lust' or 'low-calorie 
greed. ' Sin is wrong in 
any amount." 



We need to be careful of the "lit- 
tle sins" that can creep into our lives 
(continued on page 3) 



This is the listing of the SOUTH- 
EASTERN DISTRICT Officers. 
Please fill in your copy of the WMS 
Directory in the January-February 
issue of the WMS Newsletter. 

President — (Susan's informa- 
tion is correct) 

Vice President — Mary Garver, 
407 Main St., New Windsor, MD 
21776 

Secretary-Treasurer — Virginia 
Hook, 3046 Old Washington Rd., 
Westminster, MD 21157 

Ass't. Secretary-Treasurer — 
Sandy Miller, 22918 Berry Circle, 
Smithburg, MD 21783 

The new president of the HAG- 
ERSTOWN society (Southeast Dis- 
trict) is: 

Julia Humelsine, 324 Avon 
Road, Hagerstown, MD 21740. 
Phone: 301-773-8680. 

Thanks, Susan, for sending the 
updated information. Additional 
information is still needed from 
other societies. 

CENTRAL DISTRICT 

I received a copy of the LANARK 
cookbook, Circle of Friends, at 
Christmas and it is a beautiful 
collection of kitchen- and family- 
tested recipes. Send your check for 
$12.50 (not $12.95, as I previously 
stated) plus $4 for shipping and 
handling to Friendship Circle, c/o 
Joyce Michael, 31456 U.S. High- 
way 52, Lanark, IL 61046. 

During August the MILLEDGE- 
VILLE Priscilla Circle instigated the 
church project of helping Dave and 
Diane Kerner get established in the 
United States, after serving many 
years as missionaries in Colombia. 



In response to the church's "Thank 
You, Kerners," Diane wrote: "We 
have certainly been overwhelmed 
by your generous giving. We were 
able to begin living in our new 
home without even making a trip 
to the grocery store because of 
food, cleaning supplies, and other 



*]l^ 



&£< 



household goods given by your con- 
gregation. . . . The checks have ar- 
rived in times of urgent need. 
Thank you so much for caring. The 
gift certificates for JCPenney will 
be used for mini blinds, warm 
clothing, and other needs as they 
arise. . . . We thank you for your 
love, support, and prayers." 

It's evident that this is a loving, 
generous, and caring congregation. 

OHIO DISTRICT 

October 13-14 marked the dates 
for another wonderful women's 
retreat at Camp Bethany. Betty 
Deardurff shared that this was 
very likely the 25th anniversary of 
Ohio Brethren women meeting for 
just such a time together. 

This reporter (DeAnn Oburn, dis- 
trict secretary) didn't arrive until 
8:00 p.m. Friday, Supper was over 
and all were getting ready for the 
evening session together. As I en- 
tered Cedar Lodge, I heard (from a 
dear friend, looking right at me), 
(continued on page 2) 



District Doings (continued) 



"Supper was absolutely wuuuun- 
derful!" Well, rub it in for being 
late! But that told me that the 
Hoffmans were doing their food 
magic again, and I would get in on 
at least two meals-worth on Satur- 
day. We had an enjoyable evening 
sharing skits, songs, and time to- 
gether in small groups for prayer. 

Saturday was a rainy, rainy day, 
but spirits and atmosphere were 
not dampened as we gathered to 
hear our speaker, Carolyn Brandon 
of the North Georgetown Brethren 
Church. Our theme was "Count It 
All Joy," and Carolyn shared that 
principle of scripture with us. 

In giving her testimony, Carolyn 
pointed out that we will have 
trials, but we can have joy on the 
journey through them. We may not 
know the end of our trial or why, 
but we need to maintain our confi- 
dence in God, for that is where the 
joy lies. Carolyn cited many scrip- 
tural examples of joy in times of 
trial — the road has been trod be- 
fore us and we are not alone if we 
belong to Christ. 

After lunch, our District Presi- 
dent, Wanda Powell, presented 
some business. The five recipients 
of the Marge Fund were an- 
nounced: Christy Bechtel and 
Michelle Deaton of Ashland Park 
St., Rachel Walk of Fremont, Kelly 
Hurley of Gretna, and Lori Robin- 
son of New Lebanon. 

Carolyn introduced Kim New- 
hart, also of North Georgetown. 
Kim shared her heart-rending tes- 
timony of her family's journey of 
faith as they face an uncertain fu- 
ture with two sons who are hemo- 
philiac. They have learned that 
truly only the Lord is their 
strength in it all. 

Our retreat came to a close beau- 
tifully as April Lowmaster shared 
her very special gift of music and 
we prayed together. 

Thirty-eight women came to- 
gether for this spiritually uplifting 
weekend. We had a great time and 



all of us want to encourage all 
Ohio Brethren women to join us. 
Never mind if you are not a mem- 
ber of a WMS group, the Retreat is 
for you, too! Mark your calendars 
for October 11-12, next fall's retreat 
dates. We'd love to see you at 
Camp Bethany! 

The ASHLAND GARBER KOI- 
NONIA FELLOWSHIP presented 
Jan Eagle at their January meet- 
ing. Jan and Tim, her husband, 
served two years as missionaries 
in Mexico City, and at this time 
Jan shared her life on the mission 
field. The ladies sponsored the 
Sweetheart Supper in February, 
which was open to the church. 

INDIANA DISTRICT 

The HUNTINGTON society 
chose two teams at their Novem- 
ber meeting for a fundraising con- 
test. The purpose is to raise money 
for the two-year WMS, national 
project: the purchase of a site and 
building for the mission in Peru, 
South America. The ladies reported 
that 122 benevolent calls were 
made during the month. 

Their annual Christmas meeting 
began with a salad bar. Following 
their devotional study, they pre- 
sented a monetary thank offering 
in celebration of the Lord's birth. 

Three rallies were held in Octo- 
ber. According to Emma Lee Stal- 
ler, the CORINTH society hosted 
77 members, 7 guests, and 6 chil- 
dren. "Footprints of Jesus" was the 




theme for the day; the guests fol- 
lowed the footsteps up the stairs 
and into the foyer for registration 
and the hospitality treats. 

Musicians for the day were Shir- 
ley Easter, Emma Lee Staller, 
Delores Hattery, Susie Stout, and 



Kathy Carter, presenting piano, 
organ, and flute selections. 

Lois Thomson welcomed the 
ladies, and Vera Graft from Loree 
gave the devotions, based on the 
theme. She asked each one to con- 
sider "whom did you follow as a 
child, as an adolescent, as a young 
adult, and as an older person." 

Humor before the morning offer- 
ing portrayed Jane Hattery as the 
harried treasurer, frantically 
working at her calculator to find 
the needed dollars to meet the in- 
coming bills. 

Adelle Campbell, the speaker, was 
introduced by Frances Beckley of 
Corinth. Mrs. Campbell, a widow 
and mother of two teenagers, shared 
her life's experiences and how, 
through each situation — accident, 
surgeries, frequent hospitaliza- 
tions, change of wage-earner roles, 
and death — her family's faith was 
strengthened and sustained them. 
At the afternoon session, Mrs. 
Campbell entitled her speech, 
"Walking in Freedom." She read 
Hebrews 12:14-15 and stated that 
forgiveness is the key to walking in 
freedom. 

Joy Zook and Norita Kuhn of the 
Tiosa society presented the memo- 
rial service, remembering three 
ladies. The district project of re- 
ceiving an offering for the sem- 
inary students totaled $467. 

(continued on page 3) 



THE WOMEN'S OUTLOOK 
NEWSLETTER 

Published bimonthly in January, 
March, May, July, September, and 
November by the Women's Missionary 
Society of The Brethren Church. 

Mrs. Dorman Ronk, Editor 
1325 Coachman Court 
Ashland, Ohio 44805 

Subscription price, $7.50 per year in 
advance. 

Send all subscriptions to Mrs. Robert 
Kroft, 608 Twp. Road 1151, RD 5, Ash- 
land, OH 44805. 

Women's Outlook Newsletter 



March is World Missions Month 
and the missionaries-of-March are 
two families: (1) Juan Carlos and 
Maria Miranda. Juan is the con- 
sultant for the Missionary Board 
to South America and Maria con- 
tinues her very popular Spanish- 
speaking radio program. (2) Miguel 
and Sonia Antunez and their son, 
Carlos. They are leading the Breth- 
ren mission in Lima, Peru. This is 
the focus of our national project. 




The Greenwood Brethren Fel- 
lowship near Indianapolis is the 
April missionary-of-the-month 
emphasis. Tom and Tiona Conrad 
provide the pastoral leadership, 
assisted by Gene and Georgia Bell 
and Keith and Marjorie Bennett. 

Prasanth and Nirmala Kumar 
and their son, Sudhir, in India are 
the May missionaries. It is their 
hope that Sudhir will attend Ash- 
land Theological Seminary and 
then return to help more capably 
in the India mission. To date, per- 
mission for him to enter the U.S. 
has been denied. 

Like the late night neighbor (Luke 
11:5-8), who was persistent with his 
knocking and was finally rewarded, 
be persistent with your prayers for 
our missionary friends. God re- 
ceives our needs anytime. Pray, 
too, for the Missionary Board staff 
and more missionary candidates. 




District Doings (continued) 

Mary Haupert reported that 60 
members, 4 guests, and 2 children 
attended the ROANN rally. 

LuAnn Layman and Eunice 
Brower registered the guests, 
Norma Trump presented the piano 
prelude, and Rosella Layton wel- 
comed each one. Mary Ellen Miller 
gave the devotions, based on II 
Corinthians 5:17-18, and prayer. 

Norma Trump was the program 
speaker. Her theme was "Jesus, 
the Master Recycler"; she related 
her talk to the scripture which 
Mrs. Miller used: "When anyone is 
joined to Christ, he is a new being: 
the old is gone, the new has come." 
So, in turn, we should recycle any- 
thing possible, in order to preserve 
the earth which was created for us. 

She described the Master Recy- 
cler's changing the caterpillar into 
a beautiful butterfly similar to a 
person changing after receiving 
Christ as Savior and Lord. From a 
large garbage can, Norma showed 




many items that can be recycled in 
our lives for good. She sang solos, 
"God Recycles Zeros," "Jesus Name" 
medley, and "Jesus, Jesus" to the 
tune of a "Bicycle Built for Two." 
She concluded with a Bible por- 
trayal of Peter's mother-in-law. 

The rally offering was $577.84. 

Alice Horn, secretary in ARD- 
MORE, reported their rally. 54 
members and 11 guests attended. 
Their offering totaled $682.85. 



President's Pen (continued) 

so quickly. As Christians, we need 
to continually examine our inner 
thoughts and motives. We can en- 
joy a few "lite" desserts, but do not 
think that a little sinning is all 
right, if done in moderation. Sin is 
sin, and those who are watching us 
will look for just that kind of thing. 
Good luck on those diets! 

In the last several letters, I have 
been talking with you about the 
ABC's of WMS. This time we are 
ready for No. 4, which reads, "Spon- 
sor a special ministry, service, or 
activity in which: 

A. The purpose of WMS is pro- 
moted and 

B. An offering is received for the 
Seminary. 

We do not use the term "Public 
Service" any more. Societies can do 
whatever they choose as long as 
WMS is promoted and an offering 
is taken for the Seminary. If you 
live close to Ashland, I encourage 
you to contact the Seminary and 
ask for someone to come and speak 
or do a program. I feel if the offer- 
ing is going to the Seminary, we 
should use Seminary staff, if at all 
possible. You may have a seminary 
student in your congregation who 
might be very happy to bring a 

"If the offering is going to 
the Seminary, we should 
use Seminary staff if at all 
possible.*' 

program to your church. At my 
church last year, our three circles 
had a musical program and served 
refreshments afterward. We had 
musicians from the Seminary. We 
had a great time in the Lord (and 
a good attendance). Be creative and 
come up with a unique program. 

Be sure to write to Joan Ronk 
and let her know what your group 
is doing. 



God Bless You. 




Shirley Black 



March-April 1996 



Cjood% 



ewsi 



Joanne Kroft, the national WMS 
financial secretary, reported that 
WHITE DALE, PA, was the first 
society to send their dues and sub- 
scription list! 




She stated that the COLUM- 
BUS First society has increased 
their membership by 500%, from 1 
to 6! Good for Pat Morris! 

Twenty-three other societies 
have increased their memberships 
by the number in the parenthesis: 

Brighton Chapel (2) 

Bryan Susanna (2) 

Canton Sr. (1) 

Cerro Gordo (1) 

Columbus First (5) 

Derby (1) 

Falls City (1) 

Fremont (2) 

Gretna Gleaners (1) 

Highland (1) 

Meadow Crest (2) 

Meyersdale (2) 

Milledgeville Priscilla (3) 

Mulvane (2) 

Newark (1) 

North Georgetown Mercer (1) 

Park Street Faith (1) 

Smithville (1) 

St. Luke (3) 

Stockton (4) 

Tucson Evening (1) 

Valley (1) 

Vinco (2) 

Warsaw (2) 

Welcome to all the 

new members! 



TkZktor's Biding 



Dear Friend, 



A few snowy evenings were good 
times to read Jill Briscoe's book of 
poetry, Heartbeat. We were fortu- 
nate to hear Mrs. Briscoe at the 
WMS luncheon last summer and 
equally fortunate to use her book 
as a reading circle book. 

Since I haven't any copyright 
permissions, I can't copy her poems, 
but I suggest to you who are the 
leaders in March or April to in- 
clude one or some of her Easter 
poems (pp. 106-129) in your devo- 
tional meeting. I liked especially 
"Easter Prayer'' on page 112. 

Several phrases throughout the 
book appealed to me. In "Over- 
taken with Joy," she wrote, "I've 
been running away from God for 
years, but I discovered He has 
longer legs than I have." In "Ever- 
green," Mrs. Briscoe wrote of 
friends of the evergreen, "Myrtle, 
Rose, and Holly," who were "so 
busy having fellowship, that they 
had no time to grow." And on page 
62, "Love Listens," she wrote, 
"Love is watertight — never leaking 
the confidences . . . ." 

If you haven't spent time with 
this book, I encourage you to do so. 

NEIGHBOR HELPING NEIGHBOR 

Probably you have heard the 
commercial, "Like a good neighbor, 
State Farm is there." The reason- 
ing behind this is obvious; you can 
rely upon the dependability and 
responsibility of this insurance 
company. I know, too, how many 
neighbors are; they have all the 
above characteristics in addition to 
love, generosity, kindness, and 
thoughtfulness. 

This is the thinking behind the 
basic commitment No. 10: Re- 
emphasize the importance of being 
a model of Christ's love. Show 
Christian love and service to your 
neighbors and their families. 

Who is your neighbor? Reflect on 




Joan 



Luke 10:25-37, what we commonly 
call the account of the Good Samar- 
itan. Right away, that is a mis- 
nomer! Samaritans were not con- 
sidered good. However, the obvious 
"good" people — the priest and his 
assistant (both of whom always 
took care of people's needs) looked 
at the victim and passed by. 

Then came the Samaritan, who 
also looked but did the good deed. 
He administered first aid, trans- 
ported him to the inn, paid for his 
care, and assured the innkeeper 
that additional expenses would be 
paid. The answer to the ruler's 
question, "Who is my neighbor?" 
was obvious to him and to us — the 
one who sees a need and fills it. 



LOOK! 



President Bush called this pro- 
gram "Points of Light" and he rec- 
ognized 1,000 Points. In Jesus' 
words, "Go thou and do likewise." 
Hence, using Commitment 10, 
"Like a good neighbor, [insert your 
name] is there! 

Consider this, too: Do you minis- 
ter to "felt" needs or to "true" need? 
A felt need is helped by AA and 
similar social agencies. True need 
is sharing God's gift of salvation, 
which is for all of us. 

Your friend, 



Women's Outlook Newsletter 



Brethren World Missions 



The foundation for Brethren missions 

By Reilly R. Smith 



THE GREAT COMMISSION of 
our Lord Jesus Christ provides 
the foundation for Brethren mis- 
sions. 

Go into all the world and preach 

the good news .... 

. . . make disciples of all nations .... 

As the Father has sent me, 

I am sending you. 

. . . you will be my witnesses in 

Jerusalem, and in all Judea and 

Samaria, and to the ends of the earth 

Mark 16:15, Matthew 28:19, 
John 20:21, Acts 1:8 (NlV) 

Missions is the business of the 
church. The essence of missions is 
disciple-making. That includes 
evangelizing people, establishing 
them in the faith, equipping them 
for service, and encouraging them 
in ministry. 

Missions people evangelize others 
one by one in personal relation- 
ships, in small and large groups by 
distributing literature, sharing 
their faith publicly, conducting 
evangelistic campaigns, or finding 
any way possible to tell people 
about our Lord Jesus. They organ- 
ize Bible studies, fellowships, small 
groups, and congregations. They 



provide training in Christian living, 
church ministry, community service, 
and communicating the good news 
about 
Jesus 
Christ 
to others. 
Finally, 
they 

encourage 
new 
Chris- 
tians to 
grow in 
Christ 
and to 
serve him 
in the 
world — 
locally, 
regional- 
ly, cross culturally, and globally. 

Missions people love our Lord Jesus 
Christ. They love people, too. They 
love enough to act out their faith in 
the Lord. They seek the lost for 
Jesus Christ to save. They seek the 
sick and brokenhearted for Jesus 
Christ to heal. They serve the 
saints, sinners, and the poor as 
their Lord did before them. Their 




Rev. Reilly Smith is Ex- 
ecutive Director of the Mis- 
sionary Board of the Breth- 
ren Church. 



passion comes from His love flow- 
ing through them by the work of 
the Spirit in their hearts. 

The following articles tell what 
mission people are doing on three 
Brethren mission fields. Brethren 
people are making disciples in 
other countries as well — in Colom- 
bia, Djibouti, Mexico, Paraguay, 
and Peru. Our churches face many 
challenges, but they continue to 
grow because of the vision and zeal 
of our mission people. 

The Missionary Board is working 
to develop more training opportuni- 
ties for mission people. We are 
working with the seminary to ex- 
pand the missions program. We 
hope to attract missions-minded 
students to The Brethren Church 
and missions-minded Brethren to 
the seminary. We want to train 
people from other countries (like 
Eduardo Rodriguez, Jr.) to become 
trainers of missions people in their 
own countries. 

We want to develop people who 
will evangelize the lost, establish 
new believers in the faith, equip 
them for service in the church and 
the world, and encourage them in 
ministry. This is why we exist. 

Are you one of those mission peo- 
ple? Can you help us with gifts of 
time, talent and/or resources? 
Please contact the Missionary 
Board by mail, phone, or fax. [ft] 



( ■■'-- s f \~i- -■■■-■■ r ) 


lilr ^v l 
V /ARGENTINA FN. 

/ / Buenos Aire* Ar-3_^ 


Project 2001 : 

Preparing for the challenge 




of a new millennium 


t£.S ^^^ 


By Allen Baer 


H^^x -3**^ 


Brethren missionary to Argentina 



AS WE ARE frequently reminded, 
the present millennium ends 
in four years. Project 2001 is a plan 
to prepare a strong, mature church 
in Argentina to face the challenge of 
the new millennium. The immedi- 
ate goal of this Project is to double 
the number of Brethren churches 
in Argentina by the year 2001. 
This will demand a lot of hard work, 

March 1996 



but the Project has the advantage 
of low cost because it will be an 
extension of the local churches 
themselves. The Argentinean lead- 
ers have perceived that the major- 
ity of local congregations want to 
multiply, but they are unable to do 
so because they are small and fre- 
quently isolated. The plan is to 
unite efforts and talents. 



The existing congregations have 
been grouped into four zones. The 
Missionary Committee and the sem- 
inary students, working closely with 
all the other national committees, 
will direct and give logistical sup- 
port to each of these zones through 
a Project director. 

Basically, the Project has five 
stages: (1) training courses for 
workers; (2) 
preparation 
of the tar- 
geted field; 
(3) evangel- 
ism; (4) dis- 
cipleship; 
and (5) con- 
solidation. 
The Project 
will be car- 
ried out si- 
multaneous- 
ly in all four 




Allen Baer 



Brethren World Missions 



zones, although in different stages. 
A mechanism of reporting and ac- 
countability between the zones and 
the national leaders will make it 
possible to analyze results and 
make necessary changes. 

The final objective of the Project is 
25 new, self-supporting congrega- 
tions, each with more than 15 bap- 
tized members. It should be noted, 
however, that this does not neces- 
sarily include the support of a pastor. 

In addition to Project 2001, The 
Brethren Church in Argentina has 
taken another bold step — employ- 
ing a full-time national supervisor. 
This is separate from Project 2001, 



but closely related to the work of 
extension. 
The various national committees 




Jose Rivero with his daughter Mar- 
cela during their visit to General Con- 
ference in Ashland in 1992. 



enthusiastically named Jose Rivero 
to that new position. Brother 
Rivero has faithfully and devotedly 
served as national church presi- 
dent for several years. His position 
will not be a desk job. It will mean 
frequent visits to local churches to 
encourage, advise, and make deci- 
sions as the need arises. 

The Brethren Church in Argen- 
tina feels accompanied and encour- 
aged in these endeavors by the Mis- 
sionary Board in Ashland and by 
the U.S. Brethren in general be- 
cause of the long-term cordial part- 
nership enjoyed in the extension of 
God's kingdom. [ft] 




JOhOi Boru 
SINGAPORE 



Malaysia: highlights of 1995 

By David Loj Lee-Hoot 

Brethren missionary in Malaysia 



GREETINGS to you all in the 
blessed name of our wonderful 
Savior and Lord Christ Jesus. On 
behalf of our family and The Breth- 
ren Church in Malaysia, we thank 
you for all the love you have shown 
us and especially that this love is 
possible because we share one 
Lord. Thanks to all who have sent 
cards and letters. 

As we write, we are thinking that 
it won't be long before we see you in 
the U.S. during the summer. In the 
meantime, it is our pleasure to write 
about the mission work here and 
how our Lord is using us for His 
glory. The following are some of the 
highlights of 1995. 

April 29 

On this date, Miss Magdelene Khoo 
and Mr. Terence Ee were married 
in the church hall of the Penang 
Baptist Church. Pastor David Chew 
officiated at the ceremony, and I 
was invited to deliver the message. 
Both Miss Khoo and Mr. Ee are 
members of the Penang Brethren 
Church, but their family members, 
relatives, and friends are non- 
Christians. I thank God that I had 
this opportunity to share with them 
that our God is the creator and 
matchmaker of marriages. About 
600 people attended the wedding 
dinner that evening. During the 
dinner the young couple shared 



their testimony and sang a Chris- 
tian song for all the guests. 

Because of this wedding, we be- 
came acquainted with Terence's 
family members. For several years 
his mother has had difficulty sleep- 
ing. The most she can sleep is two 
hours. We have been praying for 
her, and her condition is improving. 

Pastor Chew and some of the 
church members also went to her 
home to pray for her. As a result, 
she has begun to have faith in the 
Lord and to experience joy in her 
heart. We hope that she will leave 
the idol she has worshiped in the 
past and put her faith fully in the 
Lord. Since she is the head of the 
family (Terence's father passed 
away), if she receives the Lord 
other family members (15 to 20 of 
them) will also commit themselves 



to the Lord. We pray 
mercy on this family. 



for God's 



August 20 

On this day (the day before our 
son Stephen left Malaysia to study 
in the U.S.), we had a very special 
thanksgiving service. The service was 
in celebration of the baptism of our 
daughter, Rebecca, which took place 
one week earlier (on August 13). 

This service also marked the 21st 
year of our missionary service for 
our Lord and for The Brethren 
Church. We rejoiced in Him who 
has given us strength during these 
past years. 

We also took this opportunity to 
celebrate my mother's 72nd birth- 
day. She did not want to have a 
birthday party, since there was no 
birth date on her identity card. (In 
olden times many people did not 
report their births. Her card only 
recorded that she was born in 1923.) 
But on this occasion she accepted 
this date as her birthday, so we could 
celebrate this happy occasion. 

(continued on next page) 
1 




The April 29, 1995, wedding of Magdelene Khoo and Terence Ee provided op- 
portunities to witness and minister to their families and friends. 



8 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Brethren World Missions 



September 29 

On this date a special service was held at the home of 
Mr. Ng Ke-Lai to celebrate his mother's 85th birthday. 
Mr. and Mrs. Ng and their family are members of the 
Johor Baru Brethren Church. Mr. Ng invited all his 
brothers and sisters and their families and relatives to 
this party, hoping that during the party his non-Christian 
relatives would have an opportunity to hear the gospel. 

These are a few highlights of our year. Again we 
thank you so much for your love and support. We look 
forward to seeing you all during the coming summer, [ft] 



We are so grateful that our son Stephen was able to go 
overseas to study. [Stephen is a freshman at Ashland 
University.] We know that it was all because of God's 
guidance. With the Lord's help, Stephen got good grades 
on the school examination and also on the upper secon- 
dary level (high school ) examination given by the Min- 
istry of Education of Malaysia. He also passed the 
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), which 
is an admission requirement for those who intend to 
study in the U.S., and he was granted a visa on his 
second interview. We are so thankful for this. 




Evangelistic Efforts in India 

By K. Prasanth Kumar 
Director, Brethren Mission in India 



THE EVANGELISTIC EFFORTS 
of Nirmala and me along with 
that of the pastors and lady evan- 
gelists in the cities of Rajahmun- 
dry, Hyderabad, and Vizag (Vishak- 
hapatnam) and in the villages have 
drawn many idol-worshiping people 
into Christ's fold. From April 1, 1995, 
to January 31, 1996, 198 people 
were baptized, bringing the total 
number of baptized members of the 
Brethren Mission in India to 4,438. 
Following are some of the ways in 
which this evangelism is being car- 
ried out. 

Women's evangelism 

The women's fasting prayer fel- 
lowship on every Friday of the week 
forms the foundation on which the 
women's ministry is built. In addi- 
tion Women's Revival Meetings 
were held in connection with the 
Anniversary Day of the Sewing 
School. Revival meetings were held 
in Rajahmundry on April 30, 1995; 
in Vizag on May 1; and in Hydera- 
bad on June 2. Many Hindu women 
attended these meetings and heard 
about the Savior. Most of the 
women who attend the Sewing 
Schools are Hindus, and some are 
Muslims. They receive daily en- 
lightenment in the gospel as well as 
learning how to sew. 

Youth evangelism 

Living as an open Christian is 
very difficult for young people in 
India. We conduct Youth Fellow- 
ship meetings for the young people 

March 1996 



at Rajahmundry and Vizag on al- 
ternate Sundays. Nirmala and I, 
along with other speakers, regu- 
larly share with them what the 
Bible teaches. In addition to these 
regular meetings, we conducted the 
Brethren Youth Retreat on October 
7, 1995, at Rajahmundry. 

We are highly pleased to see the 
young people grow in the grace and 
wisdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
And they are also sharing their 
faith. Last May and again in Au- 
gust some of the young people went 
on Youth Gospel Team trips to the 
city of Vajayawada and to some of 
the villages. 

Village evangelism 

We had a rewarding ministry in 
many of the villages during the 
past year. With money provided by 
Brethren churches and individuals 
and by a Methodist congregation in 
Korea, church buildings were com- 
pleted in the villages of Kedari- 
lanka and Samistragudem. Church 
buildings are in progress in 
Narkedimilli and Sankili, and 
prayer huts were built in Tim- 
mapuram and Pujaripalem. 

Literature evangelism 

The monthly magazine Suvarthi- 
kudu (Evangelist) is reaching 1,000 
homes with special messages for 
youth, women, and everyone. We 
receive heaps of letters of apprecia- 
tion from the readers. Gospel tracts 
and other literature are given to 
patients at the Brethren Mission 



Hospital, to people in their homes, 
on the streets, and at every possible 
place. The Brethren Reading Room 
at Bommuru, near Rajahmundry, 
is also of great help to people. 

Radio and TV evangelism 

A television broadcasting station 
invited me to give messages. The 
Asia Network as well as the State 
Network broadcast my Christmas 
messages on December 25, 1995. 
This is a great opportunity that the 
Lord has provided. 

Orphanages 

The 30 boys in the Brethren Boys 
Orphanage and the 20 girls in the 
Brethren Girls Orphanage enjoy 
their new buildings. They serve the 
Lord with their singing, by distrib- 
uting gospel tracts, and by playing 
musical instruments. 

Bible institute 

In 1994-95, 20 students were 
trained in the Brethren Bible Insti- 
tute. Thus far a total of 260 stu- 
dents have been trained at the in- 
stitute, and 20 more began their 
training on June 1, 1995. 

Mass evangelism 

The Brethren Convention was held 
in the village of Samistragudem on 
January 26-28, 1996. The conven- 
tion included early morning devo- 
tions, morning gospel meetings, and 
evening revival meetings, with Spirit- 
filled messages by the speakers. A 
special meeting for youth was con- 
ducted on Saturday afternoon and 
a women's revival meeting was 
held on Sunday, at which Nirmala 
spoke. The three-day convention 
yielded a very good harvest for the 
Lord, and I baptized 18 people on 
the closing day of the event. Praise 
to God's holy name! [ft] 



*c^&» 





James R. Black resigns as 
Director of Stewardship 

Ashland, Ohio — The National 
Leadership Council recently an- 
nounced that Rev. James R. Black 
has submitted 
his resignation 
as Director of 
Stewardship 
and Planned 
Giving for The 
Brethren 
Church, effec- 
tive March 31. 

Rev. Black 
has served in 
this position on 
a part-time basis since his retire- 
ment as Executive Director of the 
Missionary Board last May. 

Along with this announcement 
comes one from Trinity Brethren 
Church of North Canton, Ohio, that 
Rev. Black has accepted a call to 
serve as pastor of that congrega- 
tion. He had served the church on 
an interim basis since last October, 
but in early February the congrega- 
tion called him to become its regu- 
lar pastor, effective immediately. 

The National Leader- 
ship Council expresses 
its appreciation to Rev. 
Black for his pioneer- 
ing efforts in the role of 
Director of Steward- 
ship and Planned Giv- 
ing and wishes him 
well as his pastor's 
heart leads him back to 
the pastoral ministry. 
The council will meet in 
the near future to de- 
termine its recommen- 
dation with regard to a 
successor. 




Florida District conference attenders 



Sarasota Hispanic congregation hosts 
19th annual Florida District conference 



Sarasota, Fla. — It was a historic 
occasion on Sunday, February 11, 
when Iglesia de los Hermanos, the 
Spanish-speaking Brethren congre- 
gation in Sarasota, hosted the 19th 
annual conference of the Florida 
District. It was the congregation's 
first time to host the conference. 

More than 50 adults attended the 
afternoon business sessions, with 
more people coming for the evening 
worship service. Moderator Paul 
Yoder dispatched the necessary 
business (reports from district and 
denominational ministries, elections, 
and other items) quickly and effi- 
ciently. The rest of the day was 
spent in worship and fellowship. 

Praise in music was led by host 
pastor Daniel Rosales and family, 
Carolyn Solomon, and Mary Louise 
Robbins. Robert Christin, a guest 
from Ohio, provided special music. 

More than a dozen youth partici- 
pated in a special program directed 
by Rev. Bill and Theresa Cruz, 
which included an address by Dr. 
William Benz, president of Ashland 
University. 



A delicious Spanish-style meal 
was prepared by the members of 
the host church. 

Speaker for the worship service 
was Rev. Reilly Smith, Executive 
Director of the Missionary Board of 
the Brethren Church. Speaking on 
the conference theme, "Stand Firm 
Then" (from Eph. 6:14), he examined 
three meanings of "stand": (1) Stand 
up for Christ and be counted; (2) 
Stand firm against the real enemy, 
Satan; and (3) Be prepared to stand 
before the judgment seat of Christ. 
The message was translated by Rev. 
Ray Aspinall for Spanish-speaking 
members of the audience. 

Rev. David Stone, pastor of the 
Bloomingdale Brethren Church, 
was installed as the new modera- 
tor. Elected by the conference were 
Leo Elliott, moderator-elect; Martha 
Stone, secretary; Sarah Garrett, 
treasurer; and Robert Geddes, 
Lynne Shrock, and Buck Garrett — 
representatives to the Ministry of 
Administration. 

— reported by Martha Stone, District 
Secretary, and Ronald W. Waters 



David Hartzfeld named dean of 
Ashland Theological Seminary 



Ashland, Ohio — Dr. Frederick J. 
Finks, president of Ashland Theological 
Seminary, has announced the appoint- 
ment of David F. Hartzfeld as academic 
dean of the seminary. 

Dr. Hartzfeld served as dean of faculty 
and professor of Old Testament at Alli- 
ance Theological Seminary from 1989 to 
1993 and as adjunct professor of ethics at 
Nyack College from 1993 to 1996. He has 
also had other teaching experience, pas- 
toral experience, and served as a mis- 



10 



sionary in Vietnam 
(1969-73). 

Dr. Hartzfeld has 
degrees from Nyack 
College, Bethel and 
Pittsburgh Theologi- 
cal Seminaries, and 
a Ph.D. from the 
University of Shef- 
field in England. 

He and his wife 
Linda have three 
daughters, one married, one in graduate 
school, and a senior in high school. 

They will relocate to Ashland in July. 

The Brethren Evangelist 








Sun Printing shines on 

The Brethren Evangelist 

Ashland, Ohio — With the closing 
of The Brethren Printing Company 
at the end of December, Sun Print- 
ing of Mansfield, Ohio, has begun 
printing The Brethren Evangelist. 

Sun Printing printed the Febru- 
ary issue of the EVANGELIST (the Jan- 
uary issue was done by Brethren 
Printing) and also did the February 
issue of Morning Star, the Breth- 
ren Youth in Christ newsletter. 

Diane Brown, a member of the 
Walcrest Brethren Church in Mans- 
field, Ohio, is one of the owners of 
Sun Printing and takes an active 
part in running the business. Her 
partner, Keith Greene, lives in Ash- 
land and picks up and delivers our 
printing (convenient for us!). 

The change to an outside printer 
has been smooth and — to our sur- 
prise — more cost-effective. 



Park Street Church expresses appreciation 
to its pastors, staff, and many volunteers 



Ashland, Ohio — Sunday, Febru- 
ary 11, was "Pastors, Staff, and 
Volunteers Appreciation Day" at 
Park Street Brethren Church in 
Ashland. 

During the two morning worship 
services, the pastoral staff, Chris- 
tian education director, and wor- 
ship team were given the morning 
off so that they could sit with their 
families. Dr. John Shultz, a Park 
Street member and professor at 
Ashland Theological Seminary, de- 
livered the sermons. His message, 
"Who Needs a Body?" based on 1 
Corinthians 12:12-17, stressed the 
importance of being part of the 
body of Christ (the church) and of 
serving together in this body. 

A special feature during each of 
the worship services was the view- 
ing of a video showing Park Street 
staff and volunteers serving in 
various capacities in the church. 
The sound track for the video was 
the Christian song, 'Thank You." 
The video was filmed and edited by 
Tim Rowsey. Tim and his wife 
Sandi served as co-chairs of the 



Appreciation Day and spent many 
hours preparing for the event. 

Following the services, an Appre- 
ciation Dinner was enjoyed by ap- 
proximately 280 church members 
and friends. The meal was catered 
by Park Street members Frank and 
Janet Hoffman of Royal Catering. 
Cakes baked by Park Street mem- 
ber Bev Summy and decorated with 
the words "Thank you" in various 
languages were the dessert. 

At the conclusion of the meal, 
Tim Rowsey presented gifts from 
the congregation to Dr. Arden Gil- 
mer, senior pastor; Rev. Bob Buford, 
associate pastor; Don Belsterling, 
Pastor of Youth Discipleship; and 
Sherry Van Duyne, Director of 
Christian Education and Music. 
Appreciation was also expressed to 
Erica Weidenhamer (director) and 
other members of the staff of the 
Park Street School. And special rec- 
ognition was given to the numerous 
volunteers in the congregation in 
appreciation for their many hours 
of dedicated service. 

— reported by Margaret Hess 



Cynthia Stout traces spiritual journey 
of Burlington First Brethren Church 

Burlington, Ind. — After seven years of meticu- 
lous research, Cynthia Stout has produced an in- 
depth account of the spiritual journey of the 
Burlington, Ind., First Brethren Church. 

Mrs. Stout's 222-page book, Our Spiritual Family 
Tree: A History of the Burlington Brethren Church, 
began as an attempt to identify and write about the 
charter members of the Burlington congregation. 
But it ended up to be much more than that. 
The book begins with a sketch of the history of 
Christianity from the time of 
Christ to the Reformation 
and a glimpse at the Anabap- 
tists and Pietists. It then 
tells how the Brethren came 
out of this background, fol- 
lowed by a brief overview of 
Brethren history in Europe 
and colonial Pennsylvania. 

Mrs. Stout then traces one 
vein of the western move- 
ment of Brethren into Ohio 




and Indiana and looks at developments among the 
"Tunkers" (Brethren) that resulted in the birth of the 
Burlington Church. Chapters follow on charter mem- 
bers, very early members, 
and the first meetinghouse. 
Included among the remain- 
ing chapters are ones on the 
Sunday school, pastors, deacons 
and deaconesses, and auxilia- 
ries of the Burlington Church. 

The book is full of pictures. 
An effort was made to identify 
every person in the photos, 
even in the many group pic- 
tures, including one taken of 
the congregation around 1920. Cynthia Stout 

Mrs. Stout is an active member of the Burlington 
Church and she and her husband Allen serve as 
deacon and deaconess for the congregation. Their 
son, Kurt, is associate pastor of the North Manches- 
ter, Ind., First Brethren Church (see pp. 5 and 6). 

Many Brethren who have no direct connection to 
the Burlington Church would find the book interest- 
ing. For information about getting a copy, call Mrs. 
Stout at 317-566-3217, or the Burlington Church at 
317-566-3265. 




March 1996 



11 




Briefly 
Noted 



Correction: In the list of Breth- 
ren churches in last month's EVAN- 
GELIST (pp. 4&5) Quiet Dell Breth- 
ren Church in the Pennsylvania 
District was placed in Green City, 
Pennsylvania. It is actually in 
Green County, Pa. The church is 
located three miles east and two 
miles south of Cameron, West Vir- 
ginia, in the southwest corner of 
Pennsylvania. 

Addition: It was reported last 
month that Ashland University re- 
ceived $84,000 from the estate of 
the late Helen Shively and that 
Park Street Brethren Church re- 
ceived $79,346 from her estate. In 
addition, the Missionary Board of 
the Brethren Church also received a 
bequest from the estate of $79,346. 

Average worship attendance at 
Park Street Brethren Church in 

Ashland, Ohio, was 420 in 1995, 
and average Sunday school attend- 
ance was 330 — both of which were 
the highest in the history of the 
church. In fact, this was the first 
time that worship attendance aver- 



Ashland Theological Seminary 
to build new academic center 



Ashland, Ohio — The Ashland Uni- 
versity Board of Trustees has given 
unanimous approval for the con- 
struction of a new academic center 
for Ashland Theological Seminary. 

The 9,500-square foot facility will 
include classrooms, a computer lab, 
a student center, a 156-seat audito- 
rium, and office space. The pro- 
jected cost is $875,000, and fund- 
raising efforts are now underway. 

According to Dr. Frederick Finks, 
president of the seminary, "The 
continued growth of the seminary 



has necessitated this project. The 
additional facility will greatly 
enhance the learning environment 
and help us in preparing men and 
women for Christian ministry." 

The new academic center will be 
located on High Street next to the 
Shultz Academic Center and will be 
connected to the Shultz Center by a 
glassed-in walkway. 

Ground will be broken for the new 
building this spring, and it is ex- 
pected that construction will be com- 
pleted by December. 



aged above 400. In addition, 45 peo- 
ple were baptized in 1995, and 53 
new members were added to the 
congregation during the year. 




Last month's Evangelist (p. 12) carried an article about dolls that Diane 
Elwood and women at Meadow Crest Brethren Church in Ft. Wayne, Ind., 
rehabilitated and sent to Lost Creek, Ky. Pictured above with some of the dolls 
are (I. to r.) Doran Hostetler, principal of Riverside Christian School at Lost 
Creek, and the Elwood family — Larry, Diane, Keith, Katie, and Curtis. 



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( The Brethren j 

Evangelist 



Funderhurg Library 1 
MANCHESTER COLL^ 
■ rth Manchester, IN&6 




f ^CH 



Vol. 118, No. 4 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



April 1996 



Charles W. Colson draws some interesting contrasts between: 



Watergate and the Resurrection 



OLIVER STONE'S much bally- 
hooed film about Richard Nixon 
opened the week before Christmas. 
It may sound strange, but this ren- 
dition of the Watergate cover-up 
reminds us that it would have 
been impossible for the greatest 
story ever told not to be true. 

There have always been people 
who denied that Jesus even lived. 
But archaeologists and historians 
have uncovered enough documen- 
tation in recent decades that Jesus' 
existence is no longer in question. 

But Christians believe not only 
that Jesus lived and died, but that 
he was also raised from the dead. 

Here is where Oliver Stone comes 
in. His film on the Nixon years re- 
minds us once again that there was 
a political scandal called Watergate, 
in which I played a major part. 

A group of rogue political operatives 
orchestrated a break-in at Demo- 
cratic National Headquarters in 1972. 
On March 21, 1973, White House 
Counsel John Dean walked into the 
president's office and for the first 
time told Nixon all that was involved 
in Watergate. At that moment 
Nixon knew all — and the White 
House cover-up began in earnest. 

The cover-up is doomed 

By April 8 Dean fled to the pros- 
ecutor's office, and the rest, as they 
say, is history. Why did Dean bar- 
gain for immunity? In his memoir, 
Blind Ambition, Dean acknowledged 
with refreshing candor that he did 
so not to save the Constitution, but 
to save his own skin. When that hap- 
pened, other aides scrambled to 
make deals. Nixon and the cover- 
up were doomed. 



So, 12 of the most powerful men 
in the world couldn't contain a lie 
for three weeks. 

Compare this with the acts of the 
11 apostles who professed to have 
seen the resurrected Jesus. While 
the Nixon circle enjoyed the protec- 
tion of the most powerful man in 
the world, these apostles were ordi- 
nary men; they had no protection 
whatsoever. 

They had seen the risen Christ 

And so, for possibly as long as 60 
years, members of this group were 
hounded and tortured for their 
faith. All but one died a martyr's 
death. Yet not one of them ever re- 
nounced his belief that he had seen 
the risen Christ. 

How could this happen? After all, 
as Stone shows us, it takes no time 
at all for powerful men to crack un- 
der pressure to save their skins. 
But the powerless apostles didn't 
change their tune. The reason? 
They had seen God in the flesh and 
could not deny it. 

Had they not, the Apostle Peter 
would have been just like John 
Dean. After all, he had already 
turned on Jesus three times. 

Non-believers may dismiss the 
apostles as just religious fanatics, 
but that misses the point: Men will 
die for what they believe to be true. 
But they will not die for something 
they know to be false. 

There is also the evidence of how 
Christ changes lives today. In my 
many trips into the world's prisons 
— some of which are so horrid that 
Americans would be arrested if 
they left their dogs in similar cir- 
cumstances — I have seen astonish- 




ing transformations. Scoffers tell 
us that these prisoners, trapped in 
hell-holes, have every incentive to 
comfort themselves with illusions. 
They tell us that religion blinds us 
to the true nature of life. 

But they are wrong. It is Christi- 
anity that leads thousands of vol- 
unteers into the prisons — week af- 
ter week, year after year — to con- 
front the horror of our fallen world. 
Prisons are not the only destina- 
tion. Christianity has led countless 
people far from the comfortable 
studies where scoffers reign, to 
serve those who are the least of us, 
always at the cost of comfort, some- 
times at the cost of life. [ft] 

Mr. Colson, former special counsel to 
Richard Nixon, served a prison term for 
his role in the Watergate scandal. He now 
heads Prison Fellowship International, 
an evangelical Christian ministry to the 
imprisoned and their families. 

©1995 Religion News Service 



In this issue 



Watergate and the Resurrection 

Frogs in a kettle 

Why do we need revival? 
Understanding the Bible 

Table Talk 1 996 

God's word on our hearts 

Ministry pages 

Around the denomination 



1 
2 
3 
4 
6 
7 
8 
10 



Frogs in a kettle of lukewarm water 



By Timothy Eagle 

You are the salt of the earth. But if 
the salt loses its saltiness, how can it 
be made salty again? It is no longer 
good for anything, except to be thrown 
out and trampled by men. 

You are the light of the world. A 
city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither 
do people light a lamp and put it un- 
der a bowl. Instead they put it on its 
stand, and it gives light to everyone 
in the house. In the same way, let 
your light shine before men, that they 
may see your good deeds and praise 
your Father in heaven. 

Matthew 5:13-16, Niv 

A FRIEND gave me a magazine 
article to read. The title of the 
article was, "Are we frogs in luke- 
warm water?" The article discusses 
how we are becoming immersed in 
the "trash talk" of television and 
radio and how this is affecting us 
morally and spiritually. 

The author used the illustration of 
a frog. When a frog is placed in a 
kettle of boiling water, it will jump 
out to save itself from boiling to 
death. But if the frog is placed in a 
kettle of water at room temperature 
and the water is heated two degrees 
at a time, the frog can eventually be 
boiled to death without its trying to 
save itself. 

Heated up by the media 

I began to think about how the 
media (television, radio, magazines, 
newspapers, etc.) have a great in- 
fluence upon our culture. We rely 
on the ideas, images, and sounds 
they bring us and we are affected 
by them. 

I wonder if we as Christians are 
sometimes being so "heated up" 



The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) is pub- 
lished monthly (except July and August issues are 
combined) by The Brethren Church, Inc. 524 Col- 
lege Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 (telephone: 
419-289-1708; E-mail: Brelhrench@aol.com; fax: 419- 
281-0450). Authors' views are not necessarily those 
of The Brethren Church. Editor: Richard C. Win- 
field. Subscription rates: Sent free to Brethren 
Church members; $14.50 per year to others. Mem- 
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Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio. Postmaster: Send 
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that we do not realize that we could 
be in great moral and spiritual dan- 
ger. Has this culture influenced us 
to such a great extent that we fol- 
low its guidelines rather than the 
biblical guidelines we as Christians 
should follow? The Bible does give 
us specific moral rules which Chris- 
tians should follow. (See Romans 1; 
Galatians 5:13-26; Ephesians 4:17- 
32; Colossians 3-17; 1 Peter 4:1-11; 
Revelation 22:12-15). 

Bringing flavor and light 

In the passage of Scripture printed 
at the beginning of this article, 
Jesus calls us to be salt and light to 
our world. Salt flavors food. So we 
are to be flavoring our society with 
biblical moral values. We are to be 
"light" in the darkness. Our lives 
are to be a testimony, like a big city 
on a hill at night so that even non- 
believers will be grateful 
and praise and thank God 
for us. 

Are Christians doing that 
in American culture to- 
day? Are we truly being 
salt and light to our soci- 
ety? Whatever we believe 
about the affects of Chris- 
tianity on this nation, we 
always need to remember 
our responsibility as 
Christians to influence 
our society and culture, 
just as salt flavors food 
and light overcomes dark- 
ness. 

How do we do that? In a 
representative democracy 
we have much greater re- 



sponsibilities than our Christian 
brothers and sisters had in the 
past. We can vote, write letters, 
make phone calls, and even send 
faxes or e-mail to leaders. We can 
volunteer for agencies or charities 
to help those who are less fortunate 
than we are. We can give time or 
money to organizations that sup- 
port Christian causes. The possi- 
bilities are great. 

Can one person do it all? No, but 
many persons working together 
through God's power can help to 
"flavor" and "enlighten" society to 
biblical principles and values. 
What can you do? Ask the Lord and 
let him show you. Each of us is 
gifted in different ways, and I am 
sure that He can show you how to 
be salt and light to our community 
and culture. And once He shows 
you, go and do that. Don't be that 
"frog in a kettle." [ft] 

Rev. Eagle is pastor of the Garber 
Brethren Church in Ashland, Ohio. 
This article originally appeared in the 
Garber Church newsletter and is re- 
printed with permission. 



Five Dimensions of 
Church Growth 

• Churches grow warmer through 
fellowship. 

• Churches grow deeper through 
discipleship. 

• Churches grow stronger through 
worship. 

• Churches grow broader through 
ministry. 

• Churches grow larger through 
evangelism. 

— The Purpose-Driven Church 

by Rick Warren (Zondervan, 1995) 



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The Brethren Evangelist 



Why do we need revival? 



By Harold Walton 

ACCORDING to David Bryant, 
more people are living today 
than have died in all of human his- 
tory. Billions of people need to be 
reached with the gospel. But the 
church seems unable to respond to 
this need. We need revival in order 
to further the fulfillment of the 
Great Commission. A revival em- 
powers the witness of the church. 
We need a revival that more of the 
lost will be won. 

Another indication of our need for 
revival is the lack of impact that 
the evangelical church is having on 
our society. In 1983 Dr. Kenneth 
Kantzer wrote in Christianity To- 
day magazine: 

Evangelicalism is weaker now 
than it was fifteen years ago, or 
fifty years ago. The influence of 
evangelical faith and evangeli- 
cal ethics is less. As a culture, 
our nation and, indeed west- 
ern Europe, are moving away 
from biblical Christianity. 
Most people don't realize that 



one hundred years ago the 
mainline denominations were 
all evangelical. 

Abortion, pornography, divorce, 
the homosexual lifestyle, drug 
abuse, and crime all abound. 
Rather than exerting a preserving 
influence upon our culture, the 
church seems largely to be ignored. 
We need the supernatural power of 
God, says Martyn Lloyd-Jones, to 
break through the resistance to the 
gospel and impact our generation. 
Revival moves us in that direction. 

The judgment of God 

That our country faces the judg- 
ment of God because of our sins is 
certainly reason for us to seek 
God's renewal of the church. The 
Bible says that nations that forget 
God will be turned into hell (Ps 
9:17). John Dawson declares that 
"We are living in a time of certain, 
but postponed, judgment." Yet 
there is still time to turn to the 
Lord. Perhaps as with Nineveh, 



God will turn from the judgment he 
has purposed (Jonah 3:10). 

Finally, we need revival that 
God's name would receive the honor 
it deserves. When the church fails 
to have a Christ-exalting testimony 
to the world, God's name is not 
properly recognized and respected. 
He "loses face." A revival super- 
naturally "authenticates" the gos- 
pel of Christ before a skeptical 
world. Francis Schaeffer once 
wrote, "If the Church does not show 
forth the supernatural in our gen- 
eration, what will? . . . There must 
be something the world cannot ex- 
plain away." 

Martyn Lloyd-Jones preached that 
The Christian Church would have 
been dead and finished centuries 
ago and many times over were it 
not for revivals." Many are calling 
out to God in this dark hour in North 
America for God to send a mighty 
awakening to the church and bring 
God the glory and praise that He 
deserves. It is our only hope. ["3"] 

Dr. Walton is pastor of the Wayne 
Heights Brethren Church of Waynes- 
boro, Pa. His major project for his 
Doctor of Ministry degree, which he 
received last year, was "A Study in the 
Principles of Revival." 



National TV-Turnoff Week! 

COULD YOU GO a week without watching tele- 
vision? "Sure!" you reply. Then maybe you'd like 
to take that challenge the last week of this month 
(April 24-30) during National TV-Turnoff Week. 

(Quick, grab the TV- 
Guide and see what spe- 
cial programs are on that 
week! I'm sure glad the 
NCAA basketball tour- 
nament is over!) 

More than one million 
people participated in the 
first TV-Turnoff\ast April, 
and that figure is expect- 
ed to double this year. Many of those who partici- 
pated in last year's Turnoff say that they and their 
families are watching much less television now than 
before, and some report that their TVs are still off. 

"National TV-Turnoff Week moves far beyond the 
old debate about content and the current noise sur- 
rounding the v-chip," says Henry Labalme, executive 
director of TV-Free America, sponsor of the event. 
'The more important issue is not what we watch, but 
how much we watch." 




According to 1996 A.C. Nielsen Co. surveys, the 
average American watches four hours of TV per day 
(the equivalent of two months of non-stop watching 
per year!). By the time he or she graduates from high 
school, the average American child has spent more 
time watching TV than in school classes. And at the 
rate of 4 hours per day, by age 65 a person will have 
spent (wasted?) ten years of his or her life watching 
television. 

But merely turning off the television isn't enough. 
TV-Free America suggests using that extra time for 
more family interaction, reading, volunteering, exer- 
cising, enjoying nature, playing sports, taking part 
in community affairs, thinking, creating, and doing. 
And perhaps we could add such activities as reading 
God's word, praying, memorizing Scripture, and 
sharing our faith. 

National TV-Turnoff Week is endorsed by the 
American Medical Association, American Psychiat- 
ric Association, National Association of Elementary 
School Principals, Congress of National Black 
Churches, Family Research Council, and Literacy 
Volunteers of America, to name just a few. And for 
what it's worth, it's also endorsed by the editor of the 
EVANGELIST. What about you. Are you up to the chal- 
lenge of spending a week without TV? [ft] 
— Richard C. Winfield, Editor 



April 1996 



Baptism: The Watery Grave 



By Brian H. Moore 



ONE SUBJECT that has been 
both dear to and controversial 
for the Brethren over the years is 
baptism. Probably no other single 
subject has so commanded the at- 
tention of the Brethren throughout 
the 288 years of our existence! In 
fact, German Baptist Brethren was 
our early name! 

Granted, the Brethren have not 
been alone in the struggles regard- 
ing baptism. To this very day, de- 
nominations and church unions are 
dealing with difficulties regarding 
baptism, especially on three fronts: 
(1) Who are proper subjects for bap- 
tism? (2) How is baptism to be ad- 
ministered and by whom? (3) What 
are the effects of baptism on the 
one being baptized? 

For the purposes of this article, I 
am not particularly interested in 
any of these questions. I am sure, 
however, that I will be unable to 
escape them completely, since my 
position on these issues will become 
evident as my writing unfolds. In 
fact, for most Brethren the answers 
to these questions are "givens." In 
this article, however, I will be limit- 
ing myself primarily to a discussion 
of Romans 6:1-14, which I will be 
approaching from historical, bibli- 
cal, and practical considerations. 

Historical 

In addressing questions pertain- 
ing to baptism, the Brethren have 
rushed to Romans 6 (as well as to 
Matthew 28:19-20) as one defini- 
tive source for our understanding. 
Before the Brethren became a dis- 
tinct movement, its leaders studied 
the writings of the Pietist author 
Gottfried Arnold (1666-1714), includ- 
ing his views on baptism. Arnold, 
based on his understanding of Ro- 
mans 6, believed baptism was a 
pledge "to die to the world and sin and 
live for righteousness." 1 Baptism 
was a sign that the work of conver- 

'Dale Stoffer, Background and Develop- 
ment of Brethren Doctrines, 1650-1987 
(Philadelphia: Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc., 
1989), p. 33. 



sion had already begun, thus it ef- 
fected nothing of itself. But it was 
definitely a sign of the new birth. 

Alexander Mack (1679-1735), the 
acknowledged founding leader of the 
Brethren movement, drew heavily 
from Arnold's teaching about bap- 
tism. Baptism, among other things, 
"symbolizes the burial of a person's 
sins and, according to Romans 6:2^4, 
his burial into death and his arising 
to newness of life in Christ Jesus." 2 
The preoccupation of Brethren with 
baptism is evident from the outset 
in that in Mack's Rights and Ordi- 
nances, of the 59 questions pro- 
posed, 29 of them deal with ques- 
tions about baptism. The histori- 
cal situation largely contributed to 
this apparent imbalance. 

In America, one very influential 
person among the Brethren in the 
nineteenth century was Peter Nead 
(1796-1877). Nead was emphatic in 
addressing the issue of believer's 
baptism by threefold immersion, a 
subject which dominated his writ- 
ings. Nead relied upon Romans 
6:3-5 to establish his teaching that 
baptism was by immersion, since 
Paul is speaking about burial and 
resurrection in that text. 4 

Most Brethren writings about 
baptism have been arguments de- 
fending our mode of baptism. This 
emphasis has often put us in peril 
of teaching baptismal regeneration 
(that baptism itself brings new life). 
The Brethren did not want to say 
this, but their insistence that trine 
immersion was the only proper 
form of baptism, the only method 
that God approves, led them very 
close to this inescapable conclusion. 
As a result of their preoccupation 
with mode, they often missed the 
point of what Paul was teaching in 
Romans 6. 

Biblical 

Understanding the context is the 
most important principle of biblical 

2 Ibid., p. 78. 

3 lbid. 

4 Ibid., p. 127. 



interpretation. Ignoring the con- 
text is probable the most frequent 
violation of proper biblical interpre- 
tation. 

The context of Romans 6 is Paul's 
discussion about how to sail through 
the narrow passage between justifi- 
cation by law (legalism) on the one 
side and lawlessness on the other. 
Paul's critics were apparently ac- 
cusing him of advocating lawless- 
ness in Christian ethics. Since 

grace is 
"greater 
than all 
our sin," 
some criti- 
cized Paul 
for en- 
couraging 




Understanding 
the Bible 



sin in or- 
der to am- 
plify grace 
(6:1). 

To Paul the idea was preposter- 
ous! Shame on anyone for such pre- 
sumption! But it is a serious accu- 
sation. Paul answers his critics by 
providing three illustrations to 
demonstrate why the accusation is 
unfounded. 

The first illustration is baptism 
(6:1-14). The second is taken from 
the practice of slavery (6:15-23). 
And the third is drawn from the 
marriage relationship (7:1-6). 

Looking at the passage from this 
perspective, we realize that Romans 
6:1-14 is not primarily about bap- 
tism; it is about Christian living. It 
is about what we sometimes call 
sanctification, the development of a 
holy life. Understood in this way, 
baptism is "a serious call to a de- 
vout and holy life." 

Baptism is a profound illustra- 
tion of what happens when a per- 
son comes to faith in Christ, espe- 
cially with reference to how that 
person lives out the implications of 
that response. Baptism is a watery 
grave! It is the place where the old 
self is buried. But baptism is also 
about an empty grave, because the 
believer is resurrected into a new 
life. 

Baptism, however, is more than 
an illustration; it also represents 
identification with Christ. The bur- 
ial is burial with Christ, and the 
rising to new life is resurrection 
with Christ. In God's eyes, we are 

The Brethren Evangelist 



"united with (Christ) in his death" 
and "in his resurrection" (6:5). In a 
kind of timelessness, the baptized 
believer is identified with Christ 
and His resurrection. 

Paul's point, then, is this: how 
can anyone who has died to the old 
self continue to honor its will and 
practice its morals? Baptism is a 
dividing point — a boundary marker 
— separating the old life from the 
new. The believer has crossed over 
into a new life; how can there mor- 
ally be a going back? Karl Barth, 
who at this point would have made 
"a good Brethren," summarizes the 
idea this way: 

What baptism portrays ... is a su- 
premely critical happening — a real 
event whose light and shade fall 
upon the candidate in the course 
of His baptism. . . . With [Christ] 
this particular individual died eter- 
nally. . . . But with Him also this 
particular individual rose from the 
dead for evermore. . . . He is now 
dead to sin, but has become alive 
unto God for an existence in His 
service. 5 



5 Karl Barth (translated by Ernest Payne), 
The Teaching of the Church Regarding Bap- 
tism (London: SCM Press, 1948), p 11. 



Practical 

If baptism is an illustration of mak- 
ing the break with the dominion of 
the sinful self, does it not follow 
that the moral life is incumbent 
upon the believer? In baptism, the 
believer "signs on for the cross." 6 
Baptism, then, is the beginning of 
the road of discipleship, of faith- 
fully following Jesus Christ. If this 
is not a reality in the life of the 
baptized person, that baptism is 
misunderstood and becomes a 
meaningless ritual. 

Granted, baptism signifies only 
the beginning of the new life; the 
new believer has much growing to 
do. There will be multiple signs of 
weakness and struggle. "In bap- 
tism, our 'old Adam' is drowned. 
But as Luther says, old Adam is a 
mighty good swimmer." 7 Neverthe- 
less, the basic direction of one's life 
has been changed. 

As the church on the brink of the 
21st century continues to struggle 
with nominalism and the integrity 

6 William H. Willimon, The Service of 
God: How Worship and Ethics are Related 
(Nashville: Abingdon, 1983), p. 102. 

^bid., p. 108. 



The Choice 

by Charles R. Swindoll 

YOU AND I have been called to 
operate in the sphere of spiritual 
progress. God has called us to be in a 
spiritual growth pattern. Sometimes 
we're up . . . sometimes down. Some- 
times we're more victorious than 
other times. But the progress is a 
movement forward and higher. God 
certainly has not called us for the pur- 
pose of impurity, even though we 
continue to live in a world socked in 
by a moral fog. 

Two options 

Actually, you have two options. 
First, you can choose to live your life 
in a horizontal fog. If that is your 
choice, the results are predictable. 
You will continue to drift in a fog of 
moral uncertainties. Your disobedi- 
ence will result in a series of rationali- 
zations that will leave you empty. 
Guilt and grief will be your compan- 
ions. You can choose to live like that. 
If you do, you open up a door of mis- 



ery for yourself. You'll play at church. 
You'll toss around a few religious 
words. But before very long, your life- 
style will match the atmosphere 
around you. Your eyes will no longer 
tear up. Your conscience will no 
longer sting. Your heart won't beat 
faster. You may even stop blushing. A 
jaded, horizontal lifestyle is an option. 
But it has those consequences . . . 
those terrible consequences. 

Why? The Avenger. God doesn't let 
His children play in the traffic without 
getting hurt. Your disobedience will 
result in increasing personal misery. 

Second, you can choose to live your 
life vertically on target. The benefits? 
You will honor the God of moral ab- 
solutes. And your obedience will re- 
sult in greater personal confidence and 
habits of holiness. It will begin to 
come supernaturally. You'll find 
yourself stronger, more secure, pos- 
sessing a healthy self-image. [ft] 

From the booklet Moral Purity: Affirm- 
ing the Value of Godliness by Charles R 
Swindoll (Zondervan Publishing House, 
1995). Provided by the publisher. 



of church membership, baptism 
serves notice to all who participate 
in it (as well as to all who adminis- 
ter it) that this matter of following 
Christ is serious business. It is a 
life-and-death issue! 

In order to accommodate the 
modern American mind, we some- 
times tend to downplay the radical 



Correspondence Welcomed 

Questions or comments about this 
series of articles or suggestions for 
future topics may be sent to the Com- 
mittee on Doctrine, Research, and 
Publication in care of The Brethren 
Evangelist, 524 College Ave., Ash- 
land, OH 44805. 



nature of discipleship. We tend to 
remove the cross and to replace it 
with something more palatable. But 
the cross is not an option for the 
Christian; it never was! Dying to 
self and rising to new life are basic 
to the very essence of what it 
means to be a Christian. 

In my opinion, this aspect of the 
meaning of baptism far outweighs 
in importance any discussion of 
how a person is to be baptized. The 
historic Brethren mode of baptism 
may best illustrate its meaning, but 
unless our practice is accompanied 
by genuine, heartfelt, vigorous dis- 
cipleship, it matters little what 
form our baptism takes. [ft] 

Dr. Moore, pastor of the St. James, 
Md., Brethren Church, chairs the 
Brethren Church's Spiritual Formation 
Commission and also serves on the 
Committee on Doctrine, Research and 
Publication, which is preparing this se- 
ries of articles. 




The great 
Easter truth 
is not that 
we are to 
live newly 
after death 
— that is not the great thing — 
but that we are to be new here 
and now by the power of the res- 
urrection; not so much that we 
are to live forever as that we are 
to, and may, live nobly now be- 
cause we are to live forever. 

— Phillips Brooks 

From The Compete Speakers 
Sourcebook by Eleanor Doan (Zon- 
dervan, 1996) 



April 1996 













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TABLE TALK 1996 

By Tina Ross 



THE COMMISSION for Evan- 
gelism & Church Growth is ex- 
cited about hosting the first Table 
Talk during this year's General 
Conference.* We have created a 
list of topics we would like to see 
discussed and are looking for 
Brethren volunteers who would be 
willing to lead the discussions. 

Please look over the following list 
of topics to see if you or someone 
you know may have any experience 
in these areas. If so, determine if 
you or that person would be willing 
to lead an 18-minute discussion on 
that topic during General Confer- 
ence or would sit at a booth where 
you could share your ideas on this 
topic with others. Remember that 

*See page 9 of the December Evangelist 
for a more detailed explanation of what 
Table Talk is all about. 



the central focus for each topic is to 
be on Evangelism & Church 
Growth. Feel free to add any topics 
to the list that we may have 
missed. 

Topics 

1. Creative Marketing for the 
Church: Using the Media 

2. Beginning a Community Out- 
reach to Children 

3. Making Your Church Facilities 
Accessible to the Handicapped 

4. Using Sports Activities as Out- 
reach 

5. Getting First-Time Visitors in 
the Front Door 

6. What Makes a Good Church 
Brochure 

7. Tapping into Multi-Housing 
Communities 

8. Effective Use of Name Tags 

I would like to (circle one): volunteer/suggest the name of a person 

to do the following (circle one): lead a discussion/be responsible for a booth 

on the following topic: 

Select a topic from the above list or suggest another topic related to Evangelism & Church Growth 

Name 

Your name or the name of the person you are suggesting 

Street Address 

Your address or the address of the person you are suggesting 

City/State/Zip Phone # 



If you are suggesting someone else above, please complete the following: 
Your name Phone # 



Please complete and mail by May 1 to: 

Cindy Smith 



The Brethren Church National Office 



524 College Ave., Ashland, Ohio 44805. 



9. How Musical Styles Impact 
Evangelism 

10. Using Worship as Outreach 

11. How to do Visitor Follow-up 

12. Characteristics of Working 
Greeter Programs 

13. Targeting Ministry to the Busy 
Family of the 90s 

14. Ushering as a Ministry 

15. Making the Nursery an Out- 
reach Program 

16. Turning Youth into Evangel- 
ists 

17. Using Summer Camp for Out- 
reach 

18. Ministry to the Physically- 
Challenged Person 

19. Ministry to the Emotionally 
Handicapped 

20. The Working Role of an Evan- 
gelism Board or Ministry 

21. The Pastor of the 21st Cen- 
tury: Changing Roles in Evan- 
gelism 

22. Using a Church Newsletter for 
Outreach 

23. Turning Visitors into Members 

24. Small Groups: Ends or Means? 

25. Discovering the Evangelistic 
Styles of Church Members 

26. Reaching People Not Like Me 

27. Outreach to the Retired Person 

28. Blending Worship Styles to 
Meet Needs 

29. Working Welcome Classes 

30. Block Parties as Community 
Outreach 

31. The Role of Deacons in Evan- 
gelistic Responsibility [ft] 

Mrs. Ross is a member of the Bloom- 
ingdale Brethren Church of Valrico, 
Fla., and serves on the Evangelism & 
Church Growth Commission. 



Evangelism Explosion Inter- 
national recently became the 
first Christian organization in his- 
tory to establish its ministry in all 
211 nations of the world (includ- 
ing one African country that is 
99.8 percent Muslim). 

Founded in 1962 by Presbyte- 
rian minister Dr. D. James Ken- 
nedy, Evangelism Explosion seeks 
to "equip the Body of Christ world- 
wide for friendship, evangelism, 
discipleship and healthy growth." 
It does this by equipping pastors 
and local believers who, in turn, 
train others and multiply the 
number of witnesses within their 
own communities and countries. 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Writing God's word on our hearts 



By Susan Lingo 

GOD has carefully and firmly 
set forth mighty commands 
concerning Scripture memorization. 
God said, "Fix these words of mine 
in your hearts and minds; tie them 
as symbols on your hands and bind 
them on your foreheads. Teach them 
to your children, talking about 
them when you sit at home and 
when you walk along the road, 
when you lie down and when you 
get up" (Deut. 11:18-19, NIV). 

Our heavenly Father did not sug- 
gest that we try to recall His words, 
nor did He intimate that we should 
read them once and forget them. 
Instead, God commanded us to im- 
press His holy words upon our 
hearts, souls, hands, and minds — 
and upon those of our children. 

Four key things 

In these two important verses of 
Scripture, we're commanded to do 
four key things with God's word: 



• Fix God's word in our hearts 
and minds. "Fix" in this verse 
comes from the Hebrew word 
sin, meaning "to place or put." 
God desires us to place His word 
in our hearts and minds, to fix 
and lock it deep in our inner- 
most parts, and cradle it close to 
the very essence of our lives. 
There can be no mistaking God's 
intention of the word fix — God 
wants us to memorize His word! 

• Tie God 's word to our hands. 

God has commanded us to put 
His holy word into action. Only 
when we have fixed Scripture in 
our hearts and minds can we 
apply God's word in our lives. 
Even Jesus used Scripture to 
actively rebuke Satan's tempta- 
tions. 

• Bind God's word to our fore- 
heads. God commands us to 
keep Scripture foremost in our 



Bill Bright wins 1996 Templeton prize 



Dr. William R. "Bill" Bright, 

founder and president of Campus 
Crusade for Christ International, 
was recently awarded the 1996 
Templeton Prize for Progress in 
Religion.* 

Dr. Bright (74) and his wife Von- 
ette sold a budding food-specialties 
business in 1951 to begin Campus 
Crusade for Christ at the Univer- 
sity of California at Los Angeles. 
Today Campus Crusade serves on 
more than 650 university cam- 
puses in the United States and ap- 
proximately 470 campuses over- 
seas. The organization has as its 
ultimate goal to help evangelize 
every single person on earth. 

In 1956 Bright wrote Four Spiri- 

*The Templeton Prize for Progress in 
Religion is the world's largest financial 
annual award, this year totaling more than 
$1 million. It is awarded each year to a 
person who has shown extraordinary 
originality in advancing humankind's un- 
derstanding of God and/or spirituality. 
Past winners have included Billy Graham, 
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Charles Colson, 
and Mother Teresa, to name a few. 



tual Laws — a booklet giving a four- 
point outline on how to establish a 
personal relationship with Jesus 
Christ. The booklet has been 
printed in nearly 200 languages and 
is likely the most widely-dissemi- 
nated religious booklet in history. 

Among the most ambitious of 
Campus Crusade's efforts has been 
JESUS, a feature-length film 
documenting the life of Christ. 
Since its debut in 1979, it has been 
translated into 355 languages and 
viewed by an estimated 750 million 
people in 217 countries. 

Bright's latest projects emphasize 
mobilizing millions of Christians to 
fast and pray for worldwide spiri- 
tual revival. He believes that fast- 
ing with biblical prayer is the most 
enriching and energizing of all 
Christian disciplines and can ac- 
complish more for God's glory than 
anything else Christians can do. 
He plans to use the money from the 
Templeton prize to educate church 
leaders worldwide to the spiritual 
benefits of fasting and prayer. [ft] 



minds, for when we know what 
God's word says, we're able to 
make godly choices in our daily 
walk and readily proclaim God's 
truth, wisdom, and love to others. 

• Teach God's word to our chil- 
dren. Who can add more? God 
commands us to teach Scripture 
to our children in all we do and 
wherever we go! And this teach- 
ing is threefold: memorizing, 
comprehending, and applying 
God's word in our lives every day. 

Fix. Tie. Bind. Teach. Com- 
manding words of commitment and 
action. The challenging act of 
memorizing Scripture is obedience. 
It's our responsibility. And Scrip- 
ture memorization can be an im- 
mense portion of our Christian joy. 

Jesus gave us an example 

Jesus acknowledged that Scrip- 
ture is lifeblood that flows through 
our veins when he said, "Man does 
not live on bread alone, but on every 
word that comes from the mouth 
of God" (Matt. 4:4, NIV). If Jesus 
memorized and quoted Scripture, 
shouldn't we? 

Sadly there are some who dis- 
agree. Their arguments range from 
"It's too difficult!" to "Words are just 
words — it's action and under- 
standing that count!" Yes, compre- 
hension and application are vital 
and God-commanded, yet how can 
comprehension and application oc- 
cur without knowing God's word 
and exactly what it says? Remem- 
ber "fix, tie, bind, teach'? 

Fix, tie, and bind are words of 
commitment and memory; they 
precede teaching, which is where 
application begins! We don't have 
to choose between comprehension, 
memorization, and application. 
There simply isn't a hierarchy of 
importance between these aspects 
of Scripture. They're meant to be 
inseparable and integral parts of 
one another. [ft] 

Ms. Lingo, an associate senior editor 
for Group Publishing in Loveland, 
Colo., was an elementary teacher for 
more than 14 years and has written 
more than 20 children's books. This ar- 
ticle was taken from her new book, 
Written on Our Hearts (Zondervan 
Publishing House, 1995), and was pro- 
vided by the publisher. 



April 1996 



Brethren World Relief 



Our Love 
Reaches 
Around 
the World 

Thanks in part to the 
Brethren, World Relief 
brought help and hope 
to people in 29 coun- 
tries in 1995. 

AFRICA 

Burkina Faso: Life Loans for 
poor families; agricultural train- 
ing for improved food produc- 
tion; health education. 

Liberia: Reconciliation confer- 
ences and workshops; Life 
Loans for poor women; health 
education; emergency relief for 
flood victims. 

Malawi: Training church leaders 
to carry out development pro- 
jects and AIDS ministries. 

Mozambique: Provided 78 wells 
for drought-prone communities; 
seeds and tools for 25,000 farm- 
ing families; Life Loans for 900 
poor families. 

Rwanda: Reconciliation minis- 
tries; food and supplies for dis- 
placed people; reconstruction of 
medical clinics; roofing for wid- 
ows' homes. 

Sierra Leone: Food and medicine 
for displaced victims of war. 

Zaire: Food, medicine, and sup- 
plies for Rwandan refugees; care 
for orphans and children sepa- 
rated from parents; reconstruc- 
tion of school building; reconcili- 
ation ministries. 

ASIA 

Bangladesh: Blankets and warm 
clothes for poor families during 
cold weather; health education 
for mothers; immunizations and 
vitamin A for children; small 

8 




loans for poor families; support 
for infants' and women's health 
center. 

Cambodia: Life Loans for 2,138 
poor women; health education 
for mothers of young children; 
immunizations for young chil- 
dren; health education and 
evangelism/Christian education 
for 1,600 older children. 

India: Emergency food and sup- 
plies for flood victims; support 
for Brethren Mission's minis- 
try of food distribution, mo- 
bile medical clinics, and con* 
struction of wells. 

Indonesia: Support for indige- 
nous church ministry providing 
goats and ducks for poor fami- 
lies. 

Japan: Emergency food, clothing, 
shelter for earthquake victims; 
financial support for pastors. 

Pakistan: English-language train- 
ing for Afghan refugees. 

Thailand: Agricultural coopera- 
tive for farmers in northern 
Thailand. 

Vietnam: Clean water project; 
vocational training for blind and 
handicapped adults; equipment 
for medical clinic; loans for poor 
women. 

LATIN AMERICA/CARIBBEAN 

Antigua and Virgin Islands: 

Shipping costs for delivery of 
food and emergency aid to vic- 



tims of Hurricanes Luis and 
Marilyn. 

Cuba: At U.S. Naval base on 
Guantanamo Bay, provided voca- 
tional education, adult educa- 
tion^ health and social services 
for more than 25,000 Cuban and 
Haitian refugees. 

El Salvador: Children's health 
program; support for indigenous 
church ministry to poor families. 

Guatemala: Support for local 
churches' community develop- 
ment ministry. 

Haiti: AIDS education for church 
leaders; assistance for refugees 
returning to Haiti. 

Honduras: Life Loans for 9,400 
poor women; support for local 
churches' mother-child health 
ministry. 

Nicaragua: Agricultural assis- 
tance and training for 2,000 
poor farmers; reforestation pro- 
ject; health education and train- 
ing for 24,000 women; immuni- 
zations, nutrition assistance, 
and vitamin A for 20,000 young 
children. 

Peru: Life Loans for 450 poor 
Quechua Indian families; sup- 
port for Luke Society child 
health ministry. 

UNITED STATES 

Family Ministries: Parenting 
education for single mothers; lit- 
eracy training; ministry to home- 
less families. 

Oklahoma City: Trauma counsel- 
ing for victims of April 19 bomb- 
ing. 

Refugee Ministries: In 31 cities 
provided English-language train- 
ing, employment services, and 
other resettlement ministries to 
10,799 refugees. 

EUROPE/OTHER 

Bosnia: Emergency food, medi- 
cine, shelter for refugee families. 

Croatia: Emergency food, cloth- 
ing, counseling for war refugees; 
reconciliation ministries; sup- 
port for evangelical church min- 
istries. 

Iraq: Assistance for churches in 
northern Iraq to provide shelter, 
food, and medicine for Kurdish 
refugees. 

Serbia: Refugee assistance in Bel- 
grade and surrounding areas. 

The Brethren Evangelist 



Brethren World Relief 



World Relief giving lowest in 8 years! 



WORLD RELIEF GIVING in 
The Brethren Church in 1995 
totaled $64,532. On the positive 
side, this is a considerable sum of 
money and actually more than the 
minimum Fair Share for the de- 
nomination as a whole (approxi- 
mate $61,175). On the negative 
side, it was the lowest total since 
1987, and nearly 
20 percent less 
than the total for 
1994 ($80,358). 

In his financial 
report to the Gen- 
eral Conference 
Executive Coun- 
cil, Ronald W. 
Waters suggested 
that part of the 
reason for this 
drop in support 
for World Relief 
may have been 
the lack of any publicized disasters 
during 1995. A look back to 1994 
lends support to this, for giving 
that year was only average until 
August, when Brethren were in- 
formed of the crisis in Rwanda. 
Then Brethren responded with an 
outpouring of gifts that resulted in 
the total for the year of $80,358. 

But the sad truth is that just be- 
cause no major disaster was in the 



World Relief Contributions* 
1987 through 1995 

1987 $60,665 

1988 $66,541 

1989 $98,892 # 

1990 $79,357 

1991 $86,114 

1992 $88,477 

1993 $71,828 

1994 $80,358 

1995 $64,532 

'Excluding contributions sent directly 
to World Relief of NAE. 
included a $22,216 bequest. 



news in 1995 did not mean that 
great needs did not continue to ex- 
ist! In fact, the need always exceeds 
the resources. And when giving 
falls off, this only makes the situ- 
ation worse. 

World Relief Corporation of the 
National Association of Evangeli- 
cals was able to meet many needs 
and to help thou- 
sands of people in 
1995. (See the infor- 
mation on the preced- 
ing page). But it 
could have helped 
many more people if 
it had only had the 
resources to do so. 

It certainly must be 
very difficult to go to 
an area where thou- 
sands of people are in 
desperate need and 
only be able to help a 
few hundred of them. Or to receive 
an appeal for help from another 
area of the world and to be unable 
to respond because of lack of funds. 
So this year, let's not wait for 
some major disaster to strike be- 
fore we dig into our pocketbooks. 
Let us respond generously, out of 
love and compassion, to the many 
around our world who are already 
in need. [t] 



World Relief multiplies our gifts 





£$1+ WRC = a$ 





WHILE it doesn't begin to com- 
pare with the way Jesus took 
a few loaves and fishes and mul- 
tiplied them to feed the 5,000, 
World Relief of the National As- 
sociation of Evangelicals is, never- 
theless, able to multiply the money 
it receives several times in order 
to help many more people. By 
seeking matching funds from 
government, business, and pri- 



vate sources, World Relief is able 
to increase each dollar's impact. 
In 1995, for example, each dol- 
lar donated to World Relief pro- 
vided $3.84 in lifesaving help. So 
if you donated $5.00 to World Re- 
lief, you were helping to provide 
$19.20 in assistance. Just think 
how much assistance you can 
provide this year if you donate 10, 
20, or 50 dollars! [*] 



Causes of Hunger 



Cause 1: Violence 

Hunger and poverty breed vio- 
lence. Violence, militarism, and 
warfare almost inevitably lead to 
hunger. 

Cause 2: Powerlessness 

Hunger is fundamentally a po- 
litical question. People are hun- 
gry because their voices are not 
heard in the halls of power. 

Cause 3: Poverty 

Hungry people are almost al- 
ways poor. Very poor people are 
chronically hungry. 



Cause 4: 



Environmental 
overload 



Overconsumption by affluent 
people and rapid population 
growth add great strain on the 
environment and contribute to 
hunger and poverty, especially in 
poor countries. 

Cause 5: Discrimination 

Racism and ethnocentrism un- 
derlie many situations of unequal 
access to resources, and often 
lead to violent conflict and hun- 
ger. Women, children, and eld- 
erly people are often denied ac- 
cess to decisions and opportuni- 
ties which affect their well-being 
and development, fostering the 
cycle of hunger. 

Response: Values 

and voting 

Hunger in a world of plenty is 
an indictment of the moral condi- 
tion of modern society. Humani- 
tarian values need to be ex- 
pressed not only in the family, but 
in the community — nationally and 
internationally as well. Affluent 
people need to join with low- 
income people in voting for those 
values which lead to the elimina- 
tion of hunger. 



Source: Bread for the World In- 
stitute, 1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 
1000, Silver Spring, MD 20910 



April 1996 



oocTf/T© 




Solomons put faith into action 
in visit to Dominican Republic 

Beavercreek, Ohio — Former 
Brethren missionary Jan Solomon 
and her 11 -year-old daughter Lisa 
spent 12 days in the Dominican 
Republic in January putting their 
faith into action. 

The two were part of a group of 
27 from Dayton Christian Schools 
who traveled to the Caribbean na- 
tion to work, play, and pray with 
the Dominicans. The primary pur- 
pose of the trip was to work on a 
clinic in the village of Juan Tomas. 
The group painted, spread mortar, 
mixed cement, and helped dig a ditch. 
The students also presented skits, 
mimes, and puppet shows drama- 
tizing the love of Jesus Christ. 

Mrs. Solomon, who served as trans- 
lator for the group, teaches Spanish 
and is a guidance counselor at 
Xenia Christian High School. Lisa 
is a sixth grader at the Xenia ele- 
mentary campus of Dayton Chris- 
tian Schools. A bonus of the trip for 
the Solomons was the opportunity 
to meet two children their family 
sponsors through World Vision. 



GCEC approves working document 
for denominational reorganization 



Ashland, Ohio — Consideration 
of a working document for denomi- 
national reorganization was the 
major item of business at the Gen- 
eral Conference Executive Council 
(GCEC) meeting held Friday, 
March 15, at Park Street Brethren 
Church in Ashland. Following a 
lengthly discussion, the document 
was unanimously approved. 

The proposal is the culmination 
of joint efforts by the Missionary 
Board* and GCEC over the last two 
years to discover an organizational 
arrangement that would (1) pro- 
vide a clear, unified vision and 
leadership for denominational min- 
istries; (2) assure that our mission- 
ary focus remains strong and 
highly visible; and (3) provide flexi- 
bility to address God-directed pri- 
orities and ministry opportunities. 

A copy of the proposal has been 
mailed to each Brethren pastor and 
the proposal was also included with 
the April 5 issue of Leadership Let- 
ter, which was mailed to all Breth- 
ren elders and pastors, district 
moderators, local church modera- 
tors, and other denominational and 
district leaders. Regional forums 
are being held to give interested 
Brethren an opportunity to discuss 
the proposal, ask questions, and 
provide feedback.* GCEC is hoping 
for a broad response from Brethren 
people regarding the proposal. 

*The Missionary Board also discussed the 
document earlier in the week and voted its 
approval. 

At press time regional forums to discuss 
the reorganization proposal were scheduled 



In other business GCEC ap- 
proved a working budget for 1996, 
adopted a policy statement for en- 
dowment funds, accepted a policy 
statement for planned gifts, and 
also received other routine reports. 

The working budget projected to- 
tal support (Fair Share and other 
contributions) in 1996 of $358,500 
and total revenue (fees, investment 
income, miscellaneous income) of 
$213,500, for total income of 
$572,000. Expenses were projected 
at $648,200, plus a one-time esti- 
mated cost of closing the Brethren 
Printing Company of $15,000, to 
put total expenses at $663,200. 

Both the total support/revenue 
figures and the total expense figure 
(without the cost to close the Print- 
ing Company) are lower than the 
corresponding figures in the 1995 
working budget. (The actual opera- 
tion figures for 1995, which were 
also reported at the meeting, were 
total support and revenue of 
$589,814 and total expenses of 
$629,564, for a shortfall of $39,750.) 

A new Brethren congregation was 
also recognized as a "class" during 
the meeting. The group is Hope 
Brethren Church of Stockton, Calif. 
The new class is a Filipino congre- 
gation that meets in the facilities of 
the Stockton Brethren Church. 

— reported by Editor Dick Winfield 

for Nappanee, Ind., at 3:00 p.m. on April 21; 
at the Valley Brethren Church, Jones Mills, 
Pa., at noon on April 27; at the Smoky Row 
Brethren Church, Columbus, Ohio, at 1:00 
p.m. on April 27; and in Peru, Ind., at 3:00 
p.m. on April 28. 



Moore twins lead team to 
state championship game 

St. James, Md. — Brad and Alan 
Moore, identical twin sons of Pas- 
tor Brian and Amanda Moore of 
the St. James Brethren Church, 
led the Williamsport (Md.) High 
School basketball team to the 
Maryland State Class 1A cham- 
pionship game in March. 

Unfortunately, the team lost the 
game, but even so it had one of the 



most successful seasons (22-6) in 
Williamsport's history. The team 
had made it to the state semi-finals 




Alan Moore 



Brad Moore 



the previous two years, but lost on 
both occasions. The twins played 
the guard spots on the team those 
two years as well. 

Both twins were selected to the 
all-league team this year. Alan, 
who played point guard and aver- 
aged 11.8 points per game during 
the season, made first team all- 
league; Brad, who averaged 10.2 
points, made second team. 

According to their father, the 
twins are also very good soccer 
players. 



10 



The Brethren Evangelist 



>\2 





Briefly 
Noted 



Kerry and Dana Stogsdill 

were installed as deacon and dea- 
coness at the Warsaw, Ind., First 
Brethren Church on Sunday, 
March 10, 1996. Kerry is the son of 
Rev. Claude and Jane Stogsdill. 
Rev. Stogsdill presented the mes- 
sage for the service and assisted 
Warsaw pastor Rev. Mitch Funk- 
houser with the ordination. 

Grace Hause, a member of the 
Meadow Crest Brethren Church of 
Ft. Wayne, Ind., was featured in a 
full-page article in the magazine 
section of the Fort Wayne News- 
Sentinel. Calling Mrs. Hause (81) 
"everybody's grandma," the article 
focused on her volunteer work at 
East Wayne Street Center's Head 
Start program and and as a Foster 
Grandparent at the YWCA's sum- 
mer camp. "I love children, and 
they like me," the article quotes 
Mrs. Hause as saying. According to 
Rev. Richard Austin, pastor at 
Meadow Crest, Mrs. Hause was a 
member for many years of the 
Brighton Chapel (Howe, Ind.) 
Brethren and "Her love [for] the 
Brighton congregation and [former] 
Pastor John [Long] goes beyond 
measure!" He went on to say, "Dur- 
ing the past seven years she has 
organized two different weekly Bi- 
ble studies that I have led. Grace 
Hause is indeed an 'angel of light'!!" 

Jim McGraw, a member of the 
Pleasant View Brethren Church of 
Vandergrift, Pa., was recently rec- 
ognized for his volunteerism by the 
Mutual Benefits Association, an in- 
surance group started by the for- 
mer Pennsylvania Railroad. In ad- 
dition to spending much time work- 
ing at Pleasant View Church, Mr. 
McGraw cooks one day a week for 
the Vandergrift Meals-on- Wheels 
and has donated nearly 15 gallons 
of blood. 



Ohio Brethren focus on unity in Christ, 
care for business at district gathering 



Franklin, Ohio — "Unity in Christ, 
That the World May Believe" was 
the theme of the Ohio Conference 
meeting held Saturday, March 9, at 
the Northview Brethren Life 
Church near Franklin. 

The conference opened with a 
time of worship led by host pastor 
Mike Sove and his worship team. 
J. Michael Drushal, moderator-elect, 
gave the keynote address and 
spoke on the theme. He chronicled 
his own spiritual pilgrimage, not- 
ing how his understanding of unity 
had moved from legalism to unity 
within diversity. He said that in his 
earlier years he saw the Christian 
life as living from a performance 
orientation, of trying to get out in 
front of the race. "But that does not 
lead to unity," he said. 

Instead, he has moved to an un- 
derstanding of unity whereby our 
goal individually and corporately is 
to strive toward Christlikeness. 
"With this view, the race takes on a 
different appearance," he said. Not- 
ing the definitions of infinity and 
eternal, he said, "Based on infinity, 
I'm no nearer the finish line than I 
was when I started the race. ... no 
matter how hard we've worked or 
how many rules we've obeyed." 
This has an impact on a perform- 
ance-based approach that results 
in us seeing ourselves running as 
part of the "pack," spurring one 



another on in love and good deeds. 

Drushal proposed three recom- 
mendations, two of which are con- 
tinuations of Moderator Lynn Mer- 
cer's recommendations from last 
year: (1) to seek ways to cooperate 
with other churches of other de- 
nominations in our communities to 
foster unity; (2) continuing the Dis- 
trict Day Apart started last year; 
and (3) continuing the Ohio Prayer 
Letter. 

Moderator Lynn Mercer led the 
business session, which consisted 
of district and national reports, 
adoption of the 1996 budget, and 
election of officers. Drushal became 
the new moderator with his instal- 
lation at the end of the day. Other 
officers for the current year are: 
L. Eugene Oburn, moderator-elect; 
Shirley Bowers, secretary; DeAnn 
Oburn, assistant secretary; Stanley 
Gentle, treasurer; William Walk, 
assistant treasurer; and Dorman 
Ronk, statistician. 

During the afternoon, two sem- 
inars were held: "Prayer: The Lan- 
guage of Friendship with God," led 
by Dr. Jerry Flora; and "Peace- 
making in the Church," led by Rev. 
David Cooksey. Auxiliaries also 
held sessions during the afternoon. 

The 1997 conference will move to 
April — Saturday, April 26 — at the 
Louisville First Brethren Church. 
— reported by Ronald W. Waters 



Spiritual Formation Commission 
plans Conference presentation 

Ashland, Ohio — At its March 14 
meeting in Ashland, the Spiritual 
Formation Commission continued 
making plans for its presentation 
at General Conference and dealt 
with other matters related to per- 
sonal spiritual growth. Topics to be 
addressed in the Conference pres- 
entation, which will be made on 
Wednesday morning, will include 
Promise Keepers, Brethren Way of 
Christ, women's ministries, pas- 
toral sabbaticals, and retreat op- 
portunities — topics which are the 
major emphases of the commission 
at this time. The commission will 



also be sponsoring several EVAN- 
GELIST articles and book reviews. 

Members of the commission are 
Brian Moore (ch.), Fred Brandon, 
Carolyn Cooksey, Jerry Flora, and 
Marlin McCann. 

— reported by Brian Moore 



I've always loved Jesus' analogy of 
evangelism as "fishing," but I've had 
one hesitation about it: Fishing is just 
a hobby for most people, something 
they do in their spare time. No one 
sees fishing as a responsibility. Yet 
fishing for men is serious business. 
It's not a hobby for Christians; it is to 
be our lifestyle! 

— The Purpose-Driven Church 
by Rick Warren (Zondervan, 1995) 



April 1996 



11 




What's happening in your church? 

Some people have gotten the im- 
pression that since the EVANGELIST 
has become a newsletter, we no 
longer accept local church news. 
That's incorrect. We just want to be 
more selective. 

So if you have an exciting event, 
an interesting ministry, or some 
good news to share from your con- 
gregation, please send a report to 
the editor. 



In Memory 

Rev. Bobby R. Van Hoose, 54, a 

former Brethren pastor, died Febru- 
ary 27 after a battle with cancer. 
Rev. Van Hoose served the William- 
stown, Ohio, First Brethren Church 
from 1977 to 1984. At the time of his 
death he was pastoring Liberty 
Christian Center in Piqua, Ohio. He 
is survived by his wife Janet and 
their three grown children. 



Central District's Davenport Conference 
considers where the church is headed 



Bettendorf, Iowa — "The Breth- 
ren Church Today: Where Is it Go- 
ing?" was the theme of the Central 
District's annual Davenport Confer- 
ence, held February 23-24 at the 
Jumer Castle Hotel in Bettendorf. 

Roy Andrews, associate pastor of 
the First Brethren Church of Nap- 
panee, Ind., was the guest speaker 
for the conference. He used pas- 
sages from the Book of Acts to re- 
veal the pitfalls and promises that 
are in store for the future of The 
Brethren Church. 

The event began Friday evening 
with a buffet meal provided by the 
capable hotel staff, followed by a 
praise-song session led by Eliza- 
beth Garrett, wife of Pastor Jim 
Garrett of the Lanark, 111., First 
Brethren Church. Then Pastor An- 
drews spoke on the power of prayer 
over adversity, as illustrated in the 
choice of Judas' replacement in 
Acts 1:24-26. He stressed the im- 
portance of prayer whenever deci- 
sions are made or conflicts arise. 

The session on Saturday morning 




Mulvane, Kans. — Several Christian education workers at the Mulvane 
Brethren Church recently participated in a Red Cross training program called 
"Till Help Arrives." Topics covered in the course included rescue breathing, 
temperature extremes, choking, burns, and animal and insect bites. The Board 
of Christian Education selected this course to help prepare teachers, nursery 
helpers, and youth leaders to handle emergencies. Shown in the photograph 
are (I. to r.) Janie Heird, Carolyn Tucker, Shirley Parker (standing), Shirley 
McCoy, Pastor Bob McCoy, Dean Mills, Dorothy Mills, Lacey Schlereth, and 
Red Cross presenter Gary Scheiffelbein. Also taking the course but not in the 
picture was Tamara Schlereth. — reported by Tamara Schlereth 



began with a huge buffet breakfast, 
followed by songs of praise led by 
Rev. Bob Schubert, associate pas- 
tor of the Lanark First Brethren 
Church. Then Pastor Andrews 
again brought a message from the 
Book of Acts. He spoke about the 
importance of both numerical and 
spiritual growth in the church; 
about the limited amount of time 
we have to do the work of the Lord, 
which means that we must sepa- 
rate essentials from non-essentials 
when committing our time; and 
about the necessity of working for 
unity of Christians in Christ Jesus. 
Following his message, the confer- 
ence concluded with prayer and the 
singing of "He Is Lord." 

The annual Davenport Confer- 
ence of the Central District, attend- 
ed this year by 40 people, is de- 
signed to be a time of fellowship, 
sharing the word of God, and 
charging of spiritual batteries. The 
initial conferences were held in 
Davenport, Iowa (thus explaining 
the name), but are now held in vari- 
ous locations. 

— reported by Ellis Boughton 
Central District moderator-elect 



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( The Brethren) 

Evangelis 




r ^CH 



Vol. 118, No. 5 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



May 1906 



Reilly R. Smith, Executive Director of the Missionary Board, asks: 

Why plant new Brethren churches? 



THE BRETHREN CHURCH is 
a close-knit fellowship of about 
125 local congregations. We have 
difficulty filling our pulpits and sup- 
porting our pastors. We struggle to 
identify and recruit leaders for 
local, district, and national com- 
mittees, commissions, task forces, 
etc. We scratch to meet our local, 
district, and national budgets. We 
must strengthen existing congrega- 
tions. So why plant new churches? 
I propose several reasons. 

Past examples 

The early Christians planted 
churches. The book of Acts is full of 
examples. Philip started a church 
in Samaria. Paul discovered that a 
church had been planted in Damas- 
cus. Peter began a church in the 
household of Cornelius at Caesarea. 
Jews planted a church in Antioch 
that reached out to the Gentiles so 
successfully that Barnabas went to 
help them. He even asked Paul to 
come and assist him. 

Later Paul and Barnabas planted 
churches on Cypress and through- 
out Asia Minor. Paul and Silas 
planted more churches in Asia 
Minor and new congregations in 
Macedonia and Greece. Believers 
planted a thriving church in Rome 
before the apostles even got there. 

The early Brethren, seeking to 
emulate the early church, were 
among the most aggressive church 
planters of the 18th Century, both 
in Europe and America. Their zeal 
in church planting caused the 
Brethren movement to grow from 
eight people in 1708 to tens of thou- 
sands by 1800 and to more than 
200,000 by 1900. 




Brethren churches planted since 
1939 have been responsible for 
most of the growth in The Brethren 
Church during the past 57 years. 
Our older congregations have gen- 
erally declined in membership and 
attendance. 

Church planting is the most effec- 
tive way to evangelize unchurched 
people today. The talent and energy 
expended to start a new congrega- 
tion attracts unchurched people 
when established churches do not. 
People enjoy and appreciate new, 
exciting adventures. Sometimes 
they even get saved and discipled. 

New opportunities 

New churches enjoy opportuni- 
ties to adapt their ministries to the 
community in ways that estab- 
lished churches can only do with 
great difficulty. For example, at the 
next business meeting of your 
church, suggest that home Bible 
fellowships might be a more effec- 
tive way than Sunday school to 
make disciples in your community. 



Church planting energizes estab- 
lished churches that participate in 
starting new congregations, caus- 
ing Christians to focus their atten- 
tion on outreach. They begin to pray 
and give more, to work harder, and 
to discover joy in ministry. These 
things can revitalize an established 
church. 

Church planting also may be the 
solution to some of the challenges 
stated in the first paragraph of this 
article. New churches mean new peo- 
ple who will bring new resources to 
The Brethren Church: gifts, talent, 
workers, pastoral and missionary 
candidates, and financial blessing. 
If we can plant churches and con- 
centrate on God's kingdom and right- 
eousness, then He will add every- 
thing we need to continue his work. 

Sowing and reaping 

In 2 Corinthians 9:6-11, Paul de- 
scribes the principle of sowing and 
reaping. Church planting is sowing 
with the expectation of harvest. If 
we sow generously, we will reap a 
bountiful harvest. Some of the 
"seed" may fall along the pathway. 
(continued on next page) 



In this issue 



Why plant Brethren churches? 1 

What's happening now? ... 2 

Understanding the Bible ... 3 

What is Promise Keepers? . . 4 

You will never be the same! . . 6 

Ministry pages 7 

Around the denomination ... 1 1 

The Women'* Outlook Newsletter 
is in the center of this issue. 



Some may fall on rocky soil. Some 
may fall among thorns. But some 
will fall into good soil, producing a 
bountiful harvest. We can afford 
neither to hoard our seed, nor to 
sow sparingly. We must broadcast 



pur seed generously in church 
planting, if we want to reap a boun- 
tiful harvest. Those Brethren who 
participate will reap blessing. 
Those who refuse will not. I believe 
it's really that simple. [ft] 



What's happening 

NOW 
in church planting? 

WHAT A DIFFERENCE a year 
makes! In March of 1995 the 
New Church Development Com- 
mission of the Missionary Board 
sponsored the first Church Plant- 
ing Summit. Each of the nine 
Brethren districts shared what at 
that time were mostly dreams 
about church planting. That sum- 
mit was such a source of inspira- 
tion and challenge that we agreed 
we must meet again. 

The second Church Planting 
Summit was held March 14, 1996, 
at Park Street Brethren Church. 
All nine districts of the denomina- 
tion were again represented. The 
summit began with devotions from 
Isaiah 54:1-8 and a time of prayer, 
led by Rev. Reilly Smith, Executive 
Director of the Missionary Board. 

Dr. Dale Stoffer, chair of the New 
Church Development Commission, 
spoke on the concept of the church 
in the Anabaptist/Brethren tradi- 
tion and gave practical suggestions 
for planting churches that reflect 
this heritage. He also looked at why 
the typical Brethren congregation, 
based upon a fellowship model of 
the church, finds it difficult to grow 
beyond 125 to 150 people. 

Church planter Rev. Tom Con- 
rad talked about the expanding min- 
istry taking place in Indianapolis 
through "Winning the Race Minis- 
tries." He presented the concept of 
building new churches using a cell- 
group approach. We shared his ex- 



citement and praise to God as he 
told about the powerful way God is 
working through the cell ministry. 

The time we all eagerly looked 
forward to was when the district 
mission board representatives 
gave their reports. What had been 
a dream for the California district 
last year has now become reality 
with the start of West Valley Breth- 
ren Life in Tracy. In addition, a 
Brethren Filipino congregation has 
begun meeting at Stockton. The Cen- 
tral and Pennsylvania Districts, 
which had no definite plans for 
church planting last year, are now 
in the midst of laying plans for 
church starts in the near future. 
The Midwest District is committed 
to moving ahead with the work in 
the Denver area yet this year. 

The Ohio and Southeastern Dis- 
tricts continue to support their ex- 
isting works while planning for ad- 
ditional church starts in the next few 
years. Indiana is still concentrat- 
ing on Indianapolis; the Southwest 
District is considering a Hispanic 
work in Tucson; and Florida is work- 
ing with the STAKE volunteers. 
What a difference a year makes! 

Several times during the day we 
were reminded of the need for 
focused prayer for our home mis- 
sion congregations. They are on 
the front lines of spiritual warfare 
and need the prayer support of the 
entire Brethren family. 

We look forward to what the 
Lord will do in the coming year. Be 
in prayer for the church-planting 
efforts going on in your district and 
in the denomination. 

— reported by Dale Stoffer 



World Relief director 
evacuated from Liberia 

World Reliefs Liberia Director 
Brian Johnson and his family 
were evacuated from Monrovia on 
April 12 when violence broke out 
anew in this West African country. 
The renewed violence in Monrovia 
in early April ended eight months 
of relative peace in Liberia after a 
six-year-long civil war. 

Johnson chose to evacuate his 
family after numerous confronta- 
tions in their home with armed 
rebels, during which his teenage 
daughters and other women who 
had taken refuge in the Johnson 
home were threatened. The heli- 
copter carrying the Johnson fam- 
ily was fired on several times as it 
lifted off. A number of SIM mis- 
sionaries were also evacuated. 

Most of World Reliefs 15 Libe- 
rian staff were able to remain in 
the country and were unharmed. 
Johnson planned to proceed to 
Liberia's border areas and to con- 
tinue directing World Reliefs 
work from there. "Through our 
Liberian staff and the churches, 
World Reliefs distribution system 
is still in place, so we intend to 
continue emergency relief work as 
soon as security allows," said 
David van Vuuren, World Reliefs 
Africa Director. 

World Relief has carried out re- 
lief, development, and reconcili- 
ation work in Liberia since 1990, 
working with a network of Libe- 
rian churches. Brethren have sup- 
ported this work through their giv- 
ing to the World Relief program of 
The Brethren Church. Special 
donations for Liberia relief may be 
made through your local church or 
sent directly to The Brethren 
Church National Office, 524 Col- 
lege Ave., Ashland, OH 44805. [ft] 



The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) is pub- 
lished monthly (except July and August issues are 
combined) by The Brethren Church, Inc. 524 Col- 
lege Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 (telephone: 
419-289-1708; E-mail: Brethrench@aol.com; fax: 419- 
281-0450). Authors' views are not necessarily those 
of The Brethren Church. Editor: Richard C. Win- 
field. Subscription rates: Sent free to Brethren 
Church members; $14.50 per year to others. Mem- 
ber: Evangelical Press Association. Second Class 
Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio. Postmaster: Send 
address changes to The Brethren Church, 524 
College Avenue, Ashland, OH 44805-3792. 



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The Brethren Evangelist 



Nonconformity: conformed to Christ 



By Brenda B. Colijn 



"DOMANS 12:1-2 is an important 
JLY/passage for the Brethren. It is 
the basis of the historic Brethren 
doctrine of nonconformity. It's 
worth a closer look in our series on 
biblical interpretation. 

Context 

Paul wrote his letter to the Ro- 
mans to introduce himself and his 
gospel to the Roman church. As the 
apostle to the Gentiles, he hoped to 
visit the Christians at Rome and 
to have a fruitful ministry among 
them, as he had among other Gen- 
tiles (1:11-13). He also hoped that 
they would support him in his 
planned missionary trip to Spain 
(15:23-24). As the Jewish apostle to 
the Gentiles, he writes to the Ro- 
mans about the place of Jews and 
Gentiles in God's plan of salvation. 
The climax of this discussion occurs 
in chapters 9 — 11, where Paul shows 
that God has made both Jews and 
Gentiles without excuse in order to 
show mercy to them all (11:32). 

A Living Sacrifice 

In Romans 12:1, Paul draws a 
conclusion from his previous argu- 
ments: "Therefore, I urge you, 
brothers, in view of God's mercy, to 
offer your bodies as living sacri- 
fices, holy and pleasing to God — 
which is your spiritual worship" 
(niv). Because of God's mercy of- 
fered to them in Christ (as Paul has 
discussed in chapters 4 — 11), they 
should offer themselves to God in 
return. Given the grand sweep of 
God's acts on their behalf, how can 
they respond? 

Unlike both Jewish and pagan 
worshipers, they cannot offer ani- 
mal sacrifices in worship. But they 
can offer the one sacrifice that God 
desires — themselves. (In this case, 
the body stands in for the whole 
person.) It is not their death God 
wants, because they have already 
died with Christ (6:3-4), but their 
ongoing everyday life. As they offer 
themselves to God, they are made 
"holy," set apart for God's use. This 

May 1996 



is the kind of worship that is truly 
"spiritual" or "rational" or "reason- 
able" — that is, the worship that is 
appropriate to them as recipients of 
God's mercy. 

Nonconformity 

Paul expands on the meaning of 
the living sacrifice in verse 2: "Do 
not conform any longer to the pat- 
tern of this world, but be trans- 
formed by the renewing of your 
mind. Then you will be able to test 
and approve what God's will is — his 
good, pleasing and perfect will." Be- 
cause the Romans have experi- 
enced God's mercy, their lives 
should begin to take a different 
shape. Paul's command ("Do not 
conform any longer") suggests both 
that they have conformed in the 
past and that they have the power 
to stop conforming now. This is the 
challenge for believers who have to 
live as redeemed people in an un- 
redeemed world. 

J. B. Phillips' translation of this 
verse is justly famous: "Don't let 
the world around you squeeze you 
into its own mold, but let God re- 
mold your minds from within 
Rather than letting the standards 
of the fallen world shape their char- 
acter and conduct, they are to be 
shaped by their renewed minds — 
the opposite of the depraved minds 
Paul described in 1:28. Paul doesn't 
state the source of this renewal of 
the mind, but his discussion in chap- 
ter 8 would suggest that it comes 
from the Holy Spirit. This agrees 
with Titus 3:5, the only other place 
in the New Testament where the 
word for "renewal" occurs. He also 
doesn't say here what shape we 
should be conformed to, but in 8:29 
he identifies this as Christ. 

Paul is contrasting two kinds of 
change: one that occurs because of 
pressure from without and one that 
occurs because of transformation 
within. Don't let the world change 
you from the outside in, Paul says; 
let God change you from the inside 
out. As they are re-formed, the Ro- 




Understanding 
the Bible 



man believers will be able to see for 
themselves the validity of God's 
will by testing it out in their lives. 

The context of the following verses 
suggests that Paul has something 
particular in mind when he men- 
tions God's will. He gives an illus- 
tration in verse 3: "For by the grace 
given me I say to every one of you: 
Do not think of yourself more high- 
ly than you ought, but rather think 
of yourself with sober judgment . . . ." 
The renewed minds of the Roman 
Christians will give them an appro- 
priate evaluation of themselves. 
Paul had already warned the 
Gentile 
believers 
not to be 
arrogant 
toward 
those 
Jews who 
had not 
accepted 
Christ, 
because 
they 

themselves are dependent upon the 
Jewish "root" of the people of God 
(11:17-21). Now he narrows the fo- 
cus from the sweeping plan of God 
to the need to get along with one 
another in day-to-day life. He pro- 
poses the image of the body of 
Christ as a model for the diversity- 
in-unity of believers in Christ, 
whether they be Jewish or Gentile 
(12:4-6). This model serves as a 
foundation for the ethical instruc- 
tions that Paul presents in the rest 
of this letter. 

Application 

So how does Romans 12:1-2 ap- 
ply to us? The nineteenth-century 
Brethren struggled with how to ap- 
ply Paul's instructions about non- 
conformity, partly because of their 
desire to be biblical and partly be- 
cause of their reluctance to aban- 
don their familiar German culture 
and embrace an alien English one. 
Our look at Paul's focus on charac- 
ter and conduct in Romans 12 sug- 
gests that our Brethren forbears' 
plain dress was a less important ex- 
pression of nonconformity than their 
reputation for integrity, discipline, 
hospitality, and mutual support. 

The Progressive Brethren were 
(continued on page 5) 



What is this organization 
called Promise Keepers? 



By Gary Diehl 

SOMETHING'S HAPPENING 
to men around our country who 
are seeking deeper meaning in their 
lives and in their relationships 
with God, family, and community. 
It's called Promise Keepers. 

Perhaps you've heard of the or- 
ganization, or maybe you've talked 
to someone who returned all ex- 
cited from a "PK" conference. Possi- 
bly you've attended one of these 
conferences yourself and caught a 
glimpse of this powerful movement 
of God that's challenging today's 
Christian male population. 

On the other hand, maybe you 
are one of many sincere believers 
who have doubts — or even fears — 
about this so-called "men's club" of 
the Christian world. Wherever you 
are in your knowledge about this 
phenomenon called Promise Keep- 
ers, you will probably find yourself 
confronted with the ideals and de- 
sires of the group as it continues its 
explosive growth and outreach. 

Some basic questions 

What is Promise Keepers? Where 
did it come from? Where is it going? 
These are the kinds of questions be- 
ing asked as this "movement" gains 
powerful momentum and even na- 
tional exposure in such magazines 
as The National Inquirer. Is it for 
real? Or is it just another para- 
church group out to undermine the 
true worship of God? Perhaps a few 
facts and a personal observation 
will help shed some light on these 
questions. 

The organizational engine behind 
Promise Keepers was founded in 
March of 1990 by Bill McCartney, 
former head football coach at the 
University of Colorado. Coach Mac 
shared his burden for today's men 
with a longtime friend, Dave Wardell, 
on a drive from Denver to Pueblo, 
Colorado. He sensed a deep need in 
his own life to connect with other 
men of God — men who would chal- 
lenge one another to live up to the 
promises they've made to their Lord 



and their families. They discussed 
the difficulty men have in establish- 
ing vital relationships that go beyond 
the surface of everyday life. From 
those initial discussions, the Prom- 
ise Keepers concept was born. 

The first Promise Keepers confer- 
ence was held in June of 1991. 
Forty-two hundred men were a 
part of that conference, which was 
held in Boulder, Colorado. By June 
1993, the Boulder stadium was 
packed with 50,000 men who were 
hungry for the teaching and inspi- 
ration offered by men of God like 
James Dobson, Charles Swindoll, 
E.V. Hill, and others. 

Dramatic growth 

Since then the conference sched- 
ule has grown dramatically. Thir- 
teen major Promise Keepers events 
were held throughout the country 
in 1995, with attendance approach- 
ing three-quarters of a million men 
from all racial, ethnic, and denomi- 
national backgrounds. They came 
together with one common denomi- 
nator — the Lordship of Jesus Christ. 

The basic tenants of the organi- 
zation are designed to promote ac- 
tive spiritual growth in the lives of 
men through building vital rela- 
tionships, mentoring, Bible study, 
and accountability. When someone 
becomes a "Promise Keeper," he is 
asked to agree to the following 
seven commitments: 



Seven commitments of a PK 

1. A Promise Keeper is com- 
mitted to honoring Jesus 
Christ through worship, 
prayer, and obedience to His 
word, in the power of the 
Holy Spirit. 

2. A Promise Keeper is com- 
mitted to pursuing vital 
relationships with a few 
other men, understanding 
that he needs brothers to help 
him keep his promises. 

3. A Promise Keeper is com- 



mitted to practicing spir- 
itual, moral, ethical, and 
sexual purity. 

4. A Promise Keeper is com- 
mitted to building strong 
marriages and families 
through love, protection, and 
biblical values. 

5. A Promise Keeper is com- 
mitted to supporting the 
mission of the church by 
honoring and praying for his 
pastor and by actively giving 
his time and resources. 

6. A Promise Keeper is com- 
mitted to reaching beyond 
any racial and denomination- 
al barriers to demonstrate 
the power of biblical unity. 

7. A Promise Keeper is com- 
mitted to influencing his 
world, being obedient to the 
Great Commandment (see 
Mark 12:30-31) and the Great 
Commission (see Matthew 
28:19-20).* 



These simple statements tell 
much about the "what" and "why" of 
the PK movement. Their simplicity 
and their call for integrity in all 
areas of life in no way contradict 
what sincere students of the Bible 
would espouse. The fact that PK 
advocates the building of strong 
mentoring relationships among 
men of faith demonstrates the 
desire to go beyond the "spiritual 
mountaintop" of a conference. It 
provides a structure that draws 
men into ongoing fellowship and 
that encourages them to become 
accountable to one another. 

A personal glimpse 

Perhaps a personal glimpse into 
one of the major events can shed 
some light on the remaining ques- 
tions. A group of nine men from our 
congregation attended the Promise 
Keepers conference in Detroit, Mich., 
in April 1995. Having been to pep 
rallies, business rallies, and relig- 
ious concerts before, I felt I knew 
what was about to confront me. 

The Pontiac Silverdome was 
jammed to the ceiling with more 
than 72,000 men and boys. Before 
the program started, the atmos- 
phere was similar to that at a foot- 

*From Raise the Standard, a booklet dis- 
tributed at the 1995 conferences. 



The Brethren Evangelist 



ball game, minus the alcohol, pro- 
fanity, and smoke. There were pa- 
per airplanes, Frisbees, and beach 
balls being sailed and bounced from 
all corners of the arena. But when 
the Maranatha Praise Band began 
the introductory music, all eyes, 
ears, and hearts turned to worship. 
That I did not expect! 

Evangelist Luis Palau was the 
opening speaker. His message on 
the theme "Jesus Christ is the 
Standard" was powerfully deliv- 
ered and produced astonishing re- 
sults. More than 7,000 men and 
boys — some of them fathers and 
sons who had been struggling to 
understand each other for years — 
went forward at the invitation. 
Many admitted they were making 
their first-time decision for Christ. 
Others made rededication commit- 
ments. Everyone, whether he stepped 
out of his seat or not, was chal- 
lenged to renew his efforts to make 
Jesus the ultimate standard for life. 

The teaching sessions and praise 
music continued from 6:30 p.m. on 
Friday evening until 9:00 p.m. Sat- 
urday. Speaker after speaker put 
forth the challenge to live the life 
Christian men are called to live. 
Man after man allowed the Spirit of 
God to break down the walls that 
separated him from God, from fam- 
ily, and from others. 

One of the most inspiring moments 
came when Dr. Joseph Stowell, 



president of Moody Bible Institute, 
closed his message on a man's rela- 
tionship with his children. He be- 
gan singing the Lord's Prayer with- 
out musical accompaniment. As he 
motioned for everyone to join in, all 
72,000 men rose to their feet, 
clasped the hands of those on either 
side, and held them high in the air . 
The Silverdome echoed to the raf- 
ters — not with shouts for a football 
team but with the united voices of 
men pouring forth praises to their 
Father in Heaven. 

Criticisms of Promise Keepers 

Some who are concerned about 
the Promise Keepers movement 
criticize its emphasis on "breaking 
down the walls" of denominational, 
racial, and ethnic differences. They 
fear that "we who are right" might 
be led astray by those in the more 
liberal (non-evangelical) denomina- 
tions. The reply of Promise Keepers 
has been to emphasize the funda- 
mental thing we have in common — 
the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our 
lives. Possibly the words of a slogan 
made popular more than a hundred 
years ago by the Progressive Move- 
ment of the Brethren apply to what 
PK seeks to promote: "In essentials 
unity, in nonessentials liberty, in 
all things charity." 

I don't pretend to have all the 
answers for the criticisms leveled 
at Promise Keepers or their doc- 



trine. Is the organization flawless? 
No. What earthly group is? Is God 
using it despite its flaws? You'd bet- 
ter believe it! He's using it to draw 
men to Himself and to challenge 
them to change the way they relate 
to one another, to their families, 
and to the world in which they live. 
In response to questions about 
the impact of Promise Keepers, I 
would echo the sentiment of the 
blind man whom Jesus healed on 
the Sabbath by putting mud on his 
eyes and telling him to go wash in 
the pool of Siloam (John 9). When 
the Pharisees questioned this man 
about Jesus, he replied, "Whether 
he is a sinner or not, I don't know. 
One thing I do know. I was blind 
but now I see!" (John 9:25, Niv). For 
growing multitudes of men around 
the country who long to have their 
spiritual eyesight restored, this 
same Jesus is making a new batch 
of mud from an unlikely group 
called Promise Keepers. [ft] 

Mr. Diehl is an active member and 
deacon in the First Brethren Church of 
North Georgetown, Ohio. He is employed 
as coated products manager at A.J. Os- 
ter Foils, Inc., in Alliance Ohio. He and 
his wife Nancy have four adopted chil- 
dren. Since attending the Promise 
Keepers convention in Detroit last year, 
he has organized a group that meets 
every other Saturday at a local restau- 
rant for breakfast, fellowship, Bible 
study, and accountability. 



Understanding the Bible 

(continued from page 3) 
right in their insistence that non- 
conformity is first of all an inward 
matter. It begins with the renewal 
of the mind. This suggests that 
monitoring what we put into our 
minds is a good place to start. One 
important way to do that is by 
monitoring our television viewing, 
since television is one of the most 
powerful forces of social conformity 
ever invented. 

Too often, however, we Progres- 
sives have allowed the idea of non- 
conformity to degenerate into an 
individual, private freedom of con- 
science that doesn't require out- 
ward expression and doesn't permit 
mutual accountability. The noncon- 
formity Paul is talking about ex- 
presses itself in concrete social 



ways, in how we treat one another 
and in how we behave toward those 
outside the church. It is also some- 
thing Paul expects us to do together 
— to present our bodies (plural) as a 
living sacrifice (singular in Greek). 

Living by a biblical standard 

Most of our churches today aren't 
faced with the problem of how to 
unite Jews and Gentiles in Christ. 
But we have other barriers of race, 
language, gender, culture, politics, 
and economic status for our re- 
newed minds to work on. Too often 
we think that we have avoided con- 
forming to the world because we 
listen to different radio stations 
and shop in Christian-owned 
stores. Have we simply traded one 
set of human cultural standards for 
another — or perhaps just run 
worldly standards through a more 



familiar and comfortable filter? 

We shouldn't be satisfied with con- 
forming to any set of cultural norms 
or with being different simply for 
the sake of being different. In 
either case, we're letting ourselves 
be molded by the world. Instead, we 
should live by a different standard 
entirely — a biblical standard. We 
should be willing to let the Holy 
Spirit make us utterly Christlike, 
however socially awkward that might 
be. Only then can we live the kind 
of lives that will be different from 
the world and that will really make 
a difference in the world. [ft] 

Dr. Colijn, a member of the Smoky 
Row Brethren Church of Columbus, 
Ohio, is assistant professor of theology 
at Ashland Theological Seminary. She 
chairs the Committee on Doctrine, Re- 
search, and Publication, which is pre- 
paring this series of articles. 



May 1996 



You will never be the same! 



By Jerry Flora 



WHAT do a Quaker professor, 
a Catholic monk, an Episco- 
palian editor, and an Alliance pas- 
tor have in common? Well, if their 
names are Foster, Lawrence, Kidd, 
and Tozer, they have written in a 
way that feeds and fuels our spirits. 
Last year the Leadership Devel- 
opment Commission asked for the 
titles of books that would help Breth- 
ren workers in their devotional life. 
Four were suggested. This article 
will give a brief overview of two of 
them, and a follow-up article next 
month will look at the other two. 

Richard J. Foster 

Richard J. Foster burst on the 
scene in 1978 with his first book, 
Celebration of Discipline. The Chris- 
tian world soon discovered that this 
young Quaker was a rich gift to us. 
With that one book Foster rekin- 
dled in many hearts the fire of 
obedience to God through ordinary 
means of space, time, and matter. 

He produced several other fine 
works, and then for nearly a decade 
we heard nothing. At last, in 1992, 
came Prayer: Finding the Heart's 
True Home. It was worth the wait. 
Here in about 250 pages Foster gives 
us what may be this generation's 
best all-around book on prayer. 

"For a long time I have wanted to 
write on the subject of prayer," he 
begins. 

To do so, however, would have been 
to commit the sin of presumption. I 
was not ready. I had more — much 
more — to learn, to experience. . . . 
Prayer ushers us into the Holy of 
Holies, where we bow before the deep- 
est mysteries of the faith, and one 
fears to touch the Ark. The years have 
come and gone, and while I am still a 
novice in the ways of prayer (who 
can ever master something in which 
the main object is to be mastered?), I 
somehow sense the divine nod of ap- 
proval. Now is the time. And so I am 
writing, and in my writing I am speak- 
ing for all the prayerless persons I 
have been and all the prayerful per- 
sons I hope to become. (p. xi) 




In twenty-one graceful chapters 
Foster describes (1) moving inward 
(seeking transformation), which 
focuses on God the Son as our sav- 
ior and teacher; (2) moving upward 
(seeking intimacy), focusing on God 
the Father, our high king and holy 
lover; and (3) moving outward (seek- 
ing ministry) with God the Spirit, 
who empowers and evangelizes. 

Here is a book to read, mark, savor, 
reread, pray through, and live out. 
You will never be the same again! 

Brother Lawrence 

In Foster's chapter on "Unceasing 
Prayer," he refers more than once 
to the western church's classic book 
on that subject, The Practice of the 
Presence of God. The book's author, 
Nicolas Herman (better known as 
Brother Lawrence of the Resurrec- 
tion), was a lay monk in a Parisian 
monastery from about 1650 until 
his death in 1691. Like many peo- 
ple in our day, he went through a 
series of career changes until he 
found his true calling at about age 
forty. Then for more than ten years 
he tried to advance in the life of 



We will never have pure enough 
motives, or be good enough, or know 
enough in order to pray rightly. We 
simply must set all these things 
aside and begin praying. In fact, it 
is in the very act of prayer itself — 
the intimate, ongoing interaction 
with God — that these matters are 
cared for in due time. 

— Richard J. Foster, Prayer: Find- 
ing the Heart's True Home, p. 8. 



prayer. Sometime in his fifties he 
came to experience the loving peace 
of God in a way that never left him. 
He called it the practice of the pres- 
ence of God. 

The book by that title is really a 
report of four interviews that one 
of his superiors had with Brother 
Lawrence. Most editions also in- 
clude sixteen letters by him col- 
lected after his death. The entire 
book is so small that some versions 
can slip into purse or pocket with- 
out creating a bulge. The Image 
Books edition (Doubleday, 1977) in- 
cludes an excellent introduction by 
the outstanding contemporary writer 
Henri Nouwen. The Paraclete Press 
edition (1985) contains all available 
material and is beautifully illus- 
trated. 

"It is not necessary to be always 
in church to be with God," he wrote 
in his Fourth Letter. 

We can make a private chapel of our 
heart where we can retire from time 
to time to commune with Him, 
peacefully, humbly, lovingly; every- 
one is capable of these intimate con- 
versations with God, some more, 
others less; He knows what we can 
do. Let us begin. . . . You are almost 
65 and I am approaching 80; let us 
live and let us die with God. . . . 

Three weeks before his death he 
wrote, "If we wish to enjoy the peace 
of paradise in this life, we must ac- 
custom ourselves to an intimate, 
humble and loving conversation with 
[God]; we must prevent our minds 
from wandering away from Him on 
any occasion . . ." (15th Letter). 

And how in this process can we 
keep our thoughts from drifting 
while we pray? "One way of easily 
recalling the mind during prayer 
and keeping it at rest is not to let it 
wander during the day" (8th Let- 
ter). How very wise! 

I have seen pastors and laypeople 
alike become excited at the mes- 
sage of this "saint of the common 
people," which is: keep it simple! 
Try what he says. You will never be 



the 



same: 



ra 



Dr. Flora is professor of New Testa- 
ment Theology and Spiritual Forma- 
tion at Ashland Theological Seminary 
and is a member of The Brethren 
Church's Spiritual Formation Com- 
mission. 



The Brethren Evangelist 



^he forum's OutCool<i9{eiusCetter 

A publication of the brethren 'Women's Missionary Society 



May-June 1996 



Volume 9, Number 5 



"The 
President s 



Pen 




v^- .::::"""'" 1 ^;": :,—^ 



Dear Ladies, 

The months seem to fly by so 
quickly and it is soon time for an- 
other letter. This month I want to 
mention No. 6 of our ABC's. ABC 5 
concerns our offerings and dues 
and is pretty much self-explanatory. 
We've had articles recently in the 
Newsletter explaining our offerings. 

ABC 6 says, 'Promote World Re- 
lief and follow suggestions in the 
WMS Service Guide for other 
benevolence." The Service Guide 
was revised by Joan Merrill last 
August, and all WMS groups should 
have a copy. If not, you could get 
one from Joan at Conference. There 
are many suggestions in the Serv- 
ice Guide. 

I have heard of many groups 
regularly sending packages to 
India. My group at Park Street 
has sent sewing and school kits to 
India as well as personal items for 
the Kumars. We have also sent 
packages to Colombia. Lost Creek, 
Kentucky, has a "needs" list and 
many groups regularly send boxes 
to them. 

Check out the Service Guide for 
more ideas. There are many local 
organizations that are being 
helped by WMS groups. If your 
group has done something special 
for benevolence, please drop a note 
to Joan Ronk, and she will share 
your ideas through the Newsletter. 

I read an article in the magazine 
Women Alive about prayer. The 
(continued on page 4) 



WHAT IS FAITH? 

Devotions given by Ruth Focht, Ohio District WMS 
Conference in Franklin, March 9, 1996 

And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto 
him a centurion, beseeching him, and saying, Lord, my servant lieth 
at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto 
him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, 
Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but 
speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 

Matthew 8:5-8 (kjv) 



WHAT FAITH! This man be- 
lieved that Jesus could heal his 
servant without even going near 
him. Some people need aids to 
their faith. They would find it 
much easier to expect healing if 
Jesus would lay hands on the man, 
anoint him with oil, or at least stand 
over him and pray. "Just say the 
word and my servant will be healed" 
expresses sublime faith indeed. 

Jesus praised the faith of the of- 
ficer, saying, I tell you the truth, I 
have not found anyone in Israel 
with such faith (Matt. 8:10, Niv). 

In everyday life we use faith in 
many ways. When we flip the light 
switch, we have faith the light will 
come on. The same when we turn 
on the water faucet. How about a 
car? We have faith that the engine 
will start. The other evening after 
a ball game, my husband turned on 
the switch in the car. Nothing hap- 
pened. What an odd feeling that 
was. These examples and many 
others are faith in material things. 

Our faith with the Lord works 
differently. He has said that He 
will never leave nor forsake us, but 
do we say the same thing to Him? 

FAITH BRINGS LIFE. We all 
know John 3:16 — For God so 
loved the world, that he gave his 
only begotten Son, that whosoever 
believeth in him should not perish, 
but have everlasting life. 



Note that "everlasting life" is for 
"whosoever believeth." In John 
6:28, some people asked Jesus, 
"What shall we do, that we might 
work the works of God? Jesus an- 
swered, This is the work of God, 
that ye believe on him, whom he 
hath sent. 

Faith not only brings life, but it 
also brings the personal fulfillment 
that makes the Christian life the 
more abundant experience of 
which Jesus spoke in John 10:10. 

Over and over again in the 
Scriptures we read about the faith 
of the people whom Jesus helped: 
(1) the man so sick he had to be 
carried and couldn't get in the 
house through the crowded door, 
so they let him down through the 
roof. When Jesus saw their faith, 
he said, Friend, your sins are for- 
given. (2) The woman who was sick 
for 12 years who just touched His 
garment. (3) Jesus once healed ten 
lepers, of whom one returned and 
thanked Him. To that one, Jesus 
said, Arise and go, your faith has 
made you well. 

On the basis of the evidence, we 
can trust in Christ. We can live by 
faith daily and receive the bless- 
ings God delights to give to those 
who trust Him. We can have 
within us a river of living water 
not only to satisfy our own needs, 
but to flow out to others. 



Recipes from the (District (Presidents 



CHICKEN CASSEROLE 
1 chicken, skinned, cooked, and 

boned 
1 can cream of chicken soup 
1 small can Eagle Brand con- 
densed milk 
1 pkg. Stove Top dressing 

After chicken is cooked and 
boned, cut into bite-size pieces. 
Add soup, condensed milk, and 
dressing. Mix together and bake 
covered at 350° for 1 hour; uncover 
and continue baking 20-30 min- 
utes. 

CHERRY CREAM SALAD 
1 small can Eagle Brand con- 
densed milk 
V4 cup lemon juice 
1 can cherry pie filling 
1 small can crushed pineapple 
3 bananas 

1 can mandarin oranges 
small bunch of grapes 
1V4 tsp. vanilla 
3/4 cup nuts 
1 8-oz. Cool Whip 

Combine all ingredients except 
Cool Whip. Fold in Cool Whip care- 
fully and chill. 

Wanda Powell, Ohio 

TURKEY SALAD 
1 large turkey breast, diced (5 

cups) 
V4 cup green pepper, sliced and 

chopped 
V2 cup celery, chopped 

1 cup onion, chopped 

2 cups pineapple chunks, drained 
W*l cup slivered almonds 

Brown almonds with V4 cup 
sugar, cool. 

DRESSING 
2Vz cups Hellmanns mayonnaise 

1 can (16 oz.) crushed pineapple 

with juice 
V4 cup sweet 'n' sour sauce 

2 Tblsp. celery seed 
2 tsp. dry mustard 
1 tsp. white ginger 
1 tsp. salt 

Vz tsp. white pepper 
V2 tsp. garlic powder 
Vl tsp. celery salt 
V4 tsp. red pepper 

Combine dressing ingredients, 
pour over salad ingredients. Chill 
before serving. 

Melva Staples, Central 



CHICKEN PALATSCHINKEN 
For chicken: Cover with water 4 
medium chicken breasts or one 
whole chicken, 1 whole carrot, 1 
large celery stock, 1 bay leaf. Cook 
until tender, skin and de-bone 
chicken, cube. Discard vegetables, 
strain broth, and set aside. 

For white sauce: 
10 Tblsp. butter or margarine (<V4 

cup) 
10 Tblsp. flour 
IV4 tsp. salt or to taste 
5 cups milk or a combination of 

milk and chicken broth 
1 large can Parmesan cheese 

Melt butter/margarine over low 
heat. Blend in flour, salt, dash of 
pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook 
quickly, stirring constantly, until 
mixture thickens and bubbles. Re- 
move sauce from heat when it bub- 
bles. (If sauce cooks too long, it 
becomes too thick and the butter 
separates.) Add Parmesan cheese 
and stir until well blended. Set 
aside. 

For Palatschinken (German Pan- 
cakes): 

1 cup milk (cream, if desired) 
1 egg, beaten 
1 cup flour 

Beat egg. Add milk and beat. 
Add flour (a small amount at a 
time), beat after each addition. 
When all the flour is thoroughly 
mixed into the egg/milk mixture, 
the consistency should be of heavy 
cream. Heat a small skillet (8 or 
10") until moderately hot, add 
small amount of oil. Rotate the oil 
around in the skillet, coating the 
bottom and sides thoroughly. Pour 
approximately V4 cup of the batter 
into the middle of the skillet and 
rotate the skillet until the batter 
coats the bottom and halfway up 
the sides of the skillet. Reduce 
heat (you don't want to scorch the 
mixture) and cook until dry with a 
few bubbles on top. Gently loosen 
the pancake from the sides and 
bottom and turn it over. Cook until 
set and slightly brown. Put on 
plate, stacking until all are cooked. 
Cover and set aside. 

In a 9" x 13" baking pan, ladle 
several ladles of the white sauce 
over the bottom of the pan. Take a 



pancake, lay flat on a separate 
plate, spoon a small amount of 
chicken in the center, spoon a 
small amount of white sauce over 
the chicken, roll it up and tuck in 
the ends. Place in the pan; con- 
tinue until all pancakes are used 
or until pan is full. Ladle the re- 
mainder of the sauce over the 
filled pancakes. 

Bake at 350° approximately 30 
minutes. Serve with a tossed 
salad, french or garlic bread, broc- 
coli, carrots, or any strong-flavored 
vegetable, and fruit or ice cream 
for dessert. 

Carolyn Tucker, Midwest 

YUM YUM CASSEROLE 
1 whole bunch celery, cleaned 

and chopped 
1 lb. ground beef, browned and 

drained 

1 small onion, chopped 

2 cans cream soup (chicken, cel- 

ery, or mushroom) 
V2 soup can water 
1 tsp. soy sauce 
1 can Chinese noodles (reserve 

some) 

In a greased casserole, combine 
celery, beef, onion; add soup, 
water, soy sauce, and noodles. Mix 
well. Sprinkle remaining noodles 
on top. Bake 30-45 minutes at 
350°. 

Adele Ritchey, Pennsylvania 



Dates for General Conference 
are August 5-9 in Ashland. 



THE WOMEN'S OUTLOOK 
NEWSLETTER 

Published bimonthly in January, 
March, May, July, September, and 
November by the Women's Missionary 
Society of The Brethren Church. 

Mrs. Dorman Ronk, Editor 
1325 Coachman Court 
Ashland, Ohio 44805 

Subscription price, $7.50 per year in 
advance. 

Send all subscriptions to Mrs. Robert 
Kroft, 608 Twp. Road 1151, RD 5, Ash- 
land, OH 44805. 

Women's Outlook Newsletter 



PANCIT MOLO OR WON-TON 

SOUP (SIMPLIFIED) 
Wrapper: 

1 cup flour 
1/4 tsp. salt 

2 egg yolks 

enough water to make a paste 

Place flour and salt in bowl; 
make a well in the center and add 
eggs and water. Mix into a paste 
and knead until smooth. Roll paper- 
thin with cornstarch and cut into 
triangles 3 inches on two sides and 
shorter on the third side. 

Filling: 
3/A lb. ground pork 

3 Tbsp. shrimp, chopped 

1/2 cup water chestnuts, canned, 

finely chopped 
2 Tbsp. soy sauce 
1 tsp. vet-sin (monosodium gluta- 

mate) 

1 egg 

2 dashes sesame oil 
salt and pepper 

Combine all ingredients of the 
filling; wrap into the won-ton wrap- 
pers: place 1 tsp. of filling mixture 
at one angle of the triangle-shaped 
wrapper and fold down one corner 
of wrapper, fold it another time, 
and a third time. Take up the two 
free ends and press them firmly to- 
gether with a little water, bringing 
them up to a point. 

Broth: 

3 garlic cloves, crushed 

1 medium-sized onion, chopped 

3 Tbsp. cooking oil 

1 lb. shrimp, shelled and de- 
veined (optional) 

4 Tbsp. patis (flour, optional) 
salt and pepper to taste 

1 tsp. vet-sin 

12 cups chicken broth 

1 chicken breast, boiled and 

flaked 
3 Tbsp. chopped spring onions 

Saute the garlic and onion in 
cooking oil. Add salt, pepper, and 
vet-sin. Add chicken broth and 
bring to boiling. Drop in the 
stuffed wrappers and boil for 15 
minutes. Serve in soup bowls and 
sprinkle with freshly chopped 
spring onions. 

Karen Best, Stockton, CA 



UNUSUAL SHRIMP SALAD 
1/2 can cream of mushroom soup 
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
1 8-oz. cream cheese 
1 envelope Knox gelatin 
1/2 cup chopped celery 
1/4 cup minced onion 

1 small can shrimp, chopped 
V4 cup green olives, chopped 

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 

In microwaveable bowl, heat 
cream cheese, mayonnaise, soup, 
and gelatin on Hi-Med for 30 sec- 
onds. Stir and repeat twice again, 
or until smooth. 

Fold in other ingredients. Put in 
oiled fish mold (3-cup size) and 
chill 4 hours. Unmold on plate and 
add slice of green olive with red 
pimento for eye. Serves 8-10. 

Clara H. Stigers, Southwest 

BRAN MUFFINS 
Mix together in bowl 
1 cup oil 

4 eggs, beaten 

1 qt. buttermilk 

In a larger bowl, combine 
21/2 cups wheat germ 
1 cup quick oatmeal 

1 cup Quaker natural cereal 
\3/4 cup sugar 

6 cups (rounded) Post Raisin Bran 

5 tsp. soda 

2 tsp. salt 

1 tsp. cinnamon 
<V4 tsp. each ginger, cloves, nut- 
meg (according to your taste) 
1 cup raisins 
1/2> cup pecans, chopped (optional) 

Add wet mixture to the dry in- 
gredients. Fold in raisins and nuts. 
Chill in refrigerator at least 48 
hours. Bake at 400° for 15 min- 
utes. Mixture will keep in refrig- 
erator 2 weeks and can be baked 
at different times. 

Marie Fanning, 
Southwest Vice President 

FAYE'S CAKE 
Cream until light: 

3 cups sugar 

1 cup margarine 
1/3 cup shortening 

Add 5 eggs (one at a time), beat 
well after each one. 

Add the following and mix until 
smooth: 
1 cup milk 
3 cups flour 
pinch salt 

Add 1/2 tsp. baking powder and 
mix only until blended. Pour into a 



tube pan and bake at 350° for 30 
minutes. Reduce the heat to 325° 
and bake one additional hour or 
until done. Cool 30 minutes before 
removing from the pan. Freezes 
well. 

Susan Kidd, Southeast 



'District Doings 

Adelle Ritchey wrote that in 
spite of the deep snows and floods, 
she helped to start a new WMS 
group in Wayne Heights. God bless 
you! 

Ladies in the Midwest District, 
according to Carolyn Tucker, are 
doing well, active and busy with 
work for missions. The Cheyenne 
church has two ladies fellowship 
groups. 

Grace Tolentino, California dis- 
trict president, and Karen Best, 
the pastor's wife in Stockton, re- 
ported on the district conference, 
which the Stockton church hosted 
in February. The WMS ladies 
served the meals, "but we didn't 
have to be 'Marthas' the whole 
time. The women from the other 
churches helped with food prepa- 
ration, which gave us time to be 
'Marys' and take part in the semi- 
nars offered by Carolyn Cooksey 
entitled 'Women's Ministries in the 
Brethren Church' and by Holly 
Finks on 'Stress Management.' " 

Every month their mission offer- 
ing is designated for a different 
mission area. In March they have 
an annual soup luncheon for World 
Relief. The Pancit Molo or Won- 
Ton Soup recipe, which they sent, 
is a favorite. 

The soup lunch fund-raising 
event for World Relief started in 
the early 1970s, when the late Jen- 
nie Lietsch was WMS president. 
She had the idea of a sacrificial 
soup luncheon. The ladies an- 
nounce the soup luncheon to the 
congregation and friends, and 
those who come pay what they 
would normally pay for a hearty 
meal at a restaurant. This menu 
consists of a bowl of soup, a roll, 
and a beverage (hence the term 
sacrificial). The money is desig- 
nated for World Relief. 



May-June 1996 



CMisswnayij 

Allen Baer of Argentina and 
David and Jenny Loi of Malaysia 
will be in the United States on fur- 
lough this summer. They will all 
be here for General Conference in 
August. Begin praying now for 
their safe travel and good health, 
as well as for the national workers 
who will continue ministries dur- 
ing their absences. 

West Valley Brethren Life 
Church in Tracy, CA, pastored by 
Archie Nevins, had its first Sun- 
day morning seeker service March 
24. Approximately 100 people at- 
tended! Praise the Lord and con- 
tinue to pray for the Nevins family 
and other workers. 

The Kumars are the May Mis- 
sionary-of-the-Month family. The 
India missions have been estab- 
lished for more than 25 years, un- 
der the ministry of Prasanth and 
Nirmala. In addition to evangel- 
ism, church planting, and voca- 
tional training, the Kumars have 
medical clinics and two orphan- 
ages for the boys and the girls. 
Their son, Sudhir, provides leader- 
ship in music and youth ministry. 
Continue to pray that God will 
open doors for him to attend the 
Ashland Theological Seminary. 
Until then, he attends an Indian 
seminary. 

The June Missionary-of-the- 
Month family is Daniel and Kathy 
Rosales and their four children of 
the Sarasota Hispanic congrega- 
tion in Florida. Between April 17- 
28, Daniel and Kathy conducted an 
evangelistic campaign in Chile, 
South America. In addition to eve- 
ning evangelistic meetings, they 
spoke daily over the radio and held 
a youth rally. 

David and Jenny Loi of Malaysia 
are the July missionary family. 
Their daughter, Rebecca, is almost 
a teenager. Stephen, their son, is 
concluding his freshman year at 
Ashland University. Think of their 
happy reunion this summer! 



The President's Pen (continued) 

author said that sometimes when 
we pray, we may not feel like pray- 
ing. We pray simply because we 
want to be faithful. Then there are 
times we find it easy to pray. We 
might sense a great need or we are 
aware of how much God loves us. 
Those are the times it's easy to 
pour our heart out to the Lord. For 
whatever reason, we feel in touch 
with God. 

"In our busy lives, we some- 
times find it difficult to 
just be quiet and listen.*' 

Ephesians 6:18 tells us "always 
pray in the Spirit." The Holy Spirit 
within us is a "spirit of grace and 
supplication." If we pray with the 
help of the Spirit, our attitudes of 
prayer will be those of the Holy 
Spirit. We need to be quiet and lis- 
ten to the Holy Spirit. Psalm 46:10 
says, 'Tie still and know . . . ." In 
our busy lives, we sometimes find 
it difficult to just be quiet and lis- 
ten. We seem to be on the go and 
it is hurry most of the time. But if 
we will take the time to just quiet 
ourselves, it is so good to feel the 
presence of the Lord and allow 
Him to speak to us. 

It won't be long until our Gen- 
eral Conference. My next letter 
will have some information about 
the WMS Conference. Until then, 
God Bless You. 




Shirley Black 



Sewing Update 

Joan Meirill plans to have a quilt 
top ready for quilting at confer- 
ence. Her idea is to use the Hearts 
of Praise picture and words from 
the devotional book on the center 
square and surround that with 
quilt squares. If someone desires 
to buy a tote bag or apron at the 
auction, let Joan know. Donated 
auction items are always appreci- 
ated; she knows of one making a 
beautiful eagle cross-stitch picture. 
That's a good idea! 



TkZliftr's Btdwg 

Dear Friends, 

When members of the WMS 
Board meet, we pray and discuss 
many concerns of the missionary 
organizations and try to view these 
concerns from your viewpoints. It 
is good when your district presi- 
dent or representative can meet 
with us. Usually she conveys your 
thoughts very adequately. 

However, our meetings are not 
all work. We also laugh and eat. 
Usually the Ashland ladies provide 
the lunch, but we know everyone 
there is a good cook, and some of 
you have asked for recipes to be 
included in the Newsletter. Hence, 
this issue. The response was 100%. 
Some came via mail, others by 
telephone, FAX, and Fed Ex. 
Thanks to all of you. 

The Bible has frequent refer- 
ences to food. None of these recipes 
related to locusts, but more closely 
resemble manna, fish, bread, and 
honey. Angel food comes with other 
recipes next time. 

You know I am a typical woman 
— I change my mind. When the 
new printing company reported 
that they could print our Newslet- 
ter on yellow paper at no addi- 
tional cost, I was delighted. I hope 
you like it, too. 

The WMS Board will meet May 
11 in Ashland to complete General 
Conference plans (and to eat 
again). The listing of recommended 
reading circle books will be sent to 
your president for your selection 
before your delegates come for con- 
ference. 

Please remember to return the 
statistical report to Nancy Hunn, 
555 W. Market St., Nappanee, IN 
46550 before June 30, so your re- 
port can be counted in the total. 

Include the name and address of 
each officer, even if they are 
elected for two years. 

Your friend, 




Joan 

Women's Outlook Newsletter 



Summer Ministries Program 



Announcing: 



The 1996 Brethren Church 
Summer Ministries Participants 



An exciting summer of ministry is ahead as 
forty-five young people and adults will participate 
in service opportunities across the United States 
and into Mexico in this year's Summer Ministries 
program, sponsored by The Brethren Church. 

Four mission teams will be sent out, one to 
serve in our nation's capital and another in Mex- 
ico's capital. A third team will minister in Juarez, 
Mexico, and the fourth in Appalachia, U.S.A. 



Five District Crusader teams will minister in 
camps and local churches in three of our denomi- 
nation's districts. Two teams will serve in Penn- 
sylvania, two teams in the Southeastern District, 
and a one-person "team" in Ohio. 

Eight persons will also serve as Young Adult 
Ministry Interns as part of the 1996 Summer 
Ministries program. Two of these will intern in 
local-church settings and six in district camps. 



Juarez, Mexico, Team 

For the third summer in a row, a 
team will travel to Juarez, Mexico. 
This year the team will work with 
Paschall ministries and will par- 
ticipate in street evangelism, chil- 
dren's ministries (including work- 
ing with a local orphanage and do- 
ing puppet shows), drama/mime, 
and worship services. 




Jennifer Thomas John Howenstine 

Jennifer Thomas from the Park 
Street Brethren Church in Ash- 
land, Ohio, will serve as team 
leader, assisted by John Howen- 
stine, youth pastor at the Elkhart, 







Andrew Leasure Bethany McMillan 
May 1996 



Mission Teams 

Ind., Brethren Church. Nine young 
people complete the team: Andrew 
Leasure, Bethany McMillan, and 
Ben Leasure, all from the St. 






Ben Leasure 



Karen Corbitt 



James, Md., Brethren Church; 
Karen Corbitt from the Waterbrook 
Brethren Church in Edinburg, Va.; 
Meredith Graber from the Goshen, 
Ind., First Brethren Church; 
Trisha Stevens, Jamie Weaver, and 




Meredith Graber Trisha Stevens 

Jeff Estep from the Elkhart, Ind., 
First Brethren Church; and Jackie 
Shipman from the Hammond Ave- 
nue Brethren Church in Waterloo, 
Iowa. All team members are first- 
year participants except Jennifer, 




Jamie Weaver 



who served as 
team leader the 
previous two 
summers, and 
Jackie, who 
served with last 
year's team. 

Following two 
days (June 20, 
21) in Ashland 
for training, 



the team will fly to Juarez, where 
they will serve from June 22 to 29. 




Jeff Estep 



Mexico City Team 

Four young women will work 
with Todd and Tracy Ruggles in 
Mexico City this summer. They are 
Amber Corbitt from the Water- 
brook Brethren Church, Edinburg, 
Va.; Stephanie Dreyer from the Tuc- 
son, Ariz., First Brethren Church; 
Christina Godefrin from the Sara- 
sota, Fla., First Brethren Church; 
and Stefanie Grindle from the 
Wabash, Ind., First Brethren Church. 
The team is (top of next page) 



Summer Ministries Program 




Amber Corbitt Stephanie Dreyer 

scheduled to serve from June 19 to 
29. Tentatively scheduled activities 
include mime/drama presenta- 




Christina Godefrin Stefanie Grindle 

tions, sports outreach, ministry to 
street kids, and working with chil- 
dren who live in a garbage dump. 



Washington, D.C., Team 

Three youth and three adults will 
make up an intergenerational team 
that will serve in Washington, 
D.C., from July 20 to 28. Rev. Tim 
and Jan Eagle will serve as the 
team leaders. Tim pastors the Gar- 




Reu. Tim and Jan Eagle 




Missy Allen Jenna Bowen 

ber Brethren Church in Ashland, 
Ohio, and Jan serves as a substi- 




Faith Schumacher 



Jeff Lewis 



District Crusaders 



Ohio District 

Angela Cummins, a member of 
the Gretna Brethren Church near 
Bellefontaine, 
Ohio, will serve 
as the lone Dis- 
trict Crusader 
in the Ohio Dis- 
trict. Following 
counselor train- 
ing, she will 
serve from June 
14 to 29 as a 
counselor at 
Camp Bethany. 




Angela Cummins 



Pennsylvania District 

Two teams will serve this sum- 
mer in the Pennsylvania District. 

Team One 

Team One will help with vaca- 
tion Bible schools at the Cameron, 
W. Va., and Sarver, Pa., Brethren 
Churches and also serve as coun- 
selors at the Pennsylvania Junior 
Camp. Monica Hoffman, a second- 
year District Crusader from the 
Berlin, Pa., Brethren Church, 
will captain the team. Serving 
continued on next page 



tute teacher in area school systems. 
The three youth on the team are 
Missy Allen and Jenna Bowen from 
the Oak Hill, W. Va., First Breth- 
ren Church; and Faith Schumacher 
from the Fremont, Ohio, Brethren 
Church. The other adult on this in- 
tergenerational team is Jeff Lewis 
from the Meadow Crest Brethren 
Church in Fort Wayne, Ind. 

Appalachian Team 

A team of five will work with a 
group work camp in Brownsville, 
Tennessee, from June 30 to July 6. 
The team will be led by Tony and 
Geneva Price from The Brethren 




Tony Price Geneva Price 

Church in New Lebanon, Ohio. Tony 
serves as youth pastor at the church 
and both he and Geneva teach in 
the Dayton Christian Schools sys- 
tem. Three 
young people 
complete the 
team. They are 
Kristopher 
Mellinger from 
the Meadow 
Crest Brethren 
Church in Fort 
Wayne, Ind.; 

Betty Jo Gordon, 
Kristopher Mellinger who is also from 

The Brethren Church in New Leba- 
non; and Christina Godefrin from 
the Sarasota, Fla., First Brethren 
Church. 





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Stew 




Betty Jo Gordon Christina Godefrin 
The Brethren Evangelist 



Summer Ministries Program 



District Crusaders 

Pennsylvania District Team One cont. 

with her on the 
team will be 
first-year cru- 
saders Melissa 
Shaffer from the 
Valley Brethren 
Church, Jones 
Mills, Pa.; and 
Michelle Davis, 
also from the 
Berlin Brethren 
Church. Monica Hoffman 





Melissa Shaffer Michelle Davis 

Team Two 

Pennsylvania District Team Two 
will be captained by Kimberly Cus- 
ter from the Berlin Brethren Church. 
Shannon Logan from the Mason- 
town, Pa., Breth- 
ren Church and 
Jill Philip, also 
from Berlin, will 
serve with Kim- 
berly. All three 
are first-year 
Crusaders. This 
team will serve 
at the Pennsyl- 
vania Junior 
Camp and help Kimberly Custer 

with vacation Bible Schools at the 
Wayne Heights, Pa., and Berlin 
Brethren Churches. Both Pennsyl- 
vania teams will also assist at the 
District Youth Conference. 





Shannon Logan 
May 1996 



Jill Philip 



Southeastern District 

Two crusader teams will also serve 
in the Southeastern District. 

Team One 

Jenna Bowen, a third-year District 
Crusader, will serve as captain of 
this team. Jenna is from the Oak 
Hill, W. Va., First Brethren Church. 
Second-year Crusader Missy Allen, 
also from the Oak Hill Church; 
first-year Crusader Alex Wiedel from 




Missy Allen Jenna Bowen 

the St. James, Md., Brethren Church; 
and first-year Crusader Kimberly 
Fox also from Oak Hill comprise the 
rest of the team. They will serve at 
the Southeastern Middler Camp and 
help with vacation Bible schools at 
the Hagerstown, Md., and St. James, 
Md., Brethren Churches. 




Alex Wiedel 



Kimberly Fox 



Team Two 

Team Two in the Southeastern 
District will be captained by Rachel 
Pennington, a second-year District 
Crusader who is also from the Oak 
Hill First Brethren Church. Other 




Rachel Pennington Jason Crouch 

members of the team are second- 
year Crusader Jason Crouch, Oak 
Hill First Brethren; Erin Swisher, 
a first-year Crusader from the St. 
James Brethren Church; and Kelly 
Fox, a first-year crusader who is 




Erin Swisher Kelly Fox 

also from Oak Hill First Brethren. 
This team will serve at the South- 
eastern Junior Camp and assist 
with vacation Bible schools at 
Gateway Brethren Fellowship (a 
new Brethren class in Hagerstown, 
Md.) and at the St. James Brethren 
Church. 



Young Adult Ministry Interns 



Andrew Crum 




Andrew Crum 



Andrew, a 
third-year par- 
ticipant in the 
Young Adult 
Ministry intern- 
ship program, 
will serve from 
May 13 to July 
28 at Greenwood 
Brethren Fel- 
lowship under 
the supervision 



of church-planter Rev. Tom Conrad. 
His responsibilities will include 
many of the tasks that are involved 
in planting a church. Andrew is a 
member of the Burlington, Ind., First 
Brethren Church. 

Stephanie Dreyer 

Stephanie, a first-year participant 

in the internship program, will serve 

from June 10 to August 3 at the 

Northgate Community Brethren 

continued on next page 



Summer Ministries Program 




Ministry Interns continued 

Church in Man- 

teca, Calif. She 

will work under 

the guidance of 

Rev. Roger Stogs- 

dill, pastor of the 

congregation. 

She will help 

with camp and 

vacation Bible 

school prepara- 
Stephanie Dreyer tion and work 

with the youth program. Stephanie 
is a member of the Tucson, Ariz., 
First Brethren Church. 

Jaime Gillespie 

Jaime, a mem- 
ber of the Vinco, 
Pennsylvania, 
Brethren 
Church and a 
student at Ash- 
land University, 
will serve from 
June 12 to July 
13 as an intern 
at Camp Beth- 
Jaime Gillespie any in the Qhio 

District. She will work under the 
supervision of Tracy Whiteside. 




Amber Dolby, Christy Van Duyne, Toni Huff, 
Aaron Hollewell, Chad Geaslen 



These five young people will serve 
as Ministry Interns at the Brethren 
Retreat Center in Shipshewana, 
Indiana, this summer. They will 
serve under the direction of Rick 
Miller, director of the Center. 

Amber Dolby is from the North 
Manchester, Ind., First Brethren 
Church. She is 
a sophomore 
at Manchester 
College. 

Christy Van 
Duyne is a mem- 
ber of Park 
Street Brethren 
Church in Ash- 
land, Ohio. This 
fall she will be a 
Amber Dolby sop homore at 
Grace College, Winona Lake, Ind. 

Toni Huff is from the Nappanee, 
Ind., First Brethren Church. She 
will be a freshman at Ashland Uni- 
versity in the fall. 

Aaron Hollewell is a member of 
the Lanark, 111., First Brethren 
Church. He also plans to enter Ash- 
land University in the fall. 




Chad Geaslen attends the Univer- 
sity Church in Ashland, Ohio. He is 
a May 1996 graduate of Ashland 
University. 




Christy Van Duyne Toni Huff 




Aaron Hollewell Chad Geaslen 



You and the Summer Ministries program 



THE SUMMER MINISTRIES 
program is important to The 
Brethren Church. Many past and 
present Brethren pastors, mission- 
aries, and other full-time Christian 
workers in The Brethren Church 
got their first real taste of Chris- 
tian ministry in the Summer Min- 
istries program — as Summer Cru- 
saders, Interns, on Missions Teams, 
or in some other kind of special 
summer ministry. This is a train- 
ing ground for Christian service. 

You may not be able to serve as a 
crusader or intern or go on a mission 
trip, but you can still be a signifi- 
cant part of the Summer Ministries 
program. How is this possible? 

Be a prayer warrior 

One way you can be a part of this 
program is by your prayers. Prayer 
plays a vital role in this ministry. 
You may have already signed up to 
be a Summer Ministries prayer war- 

10 



rior. If so, you will receive informa- 
tion soon about the person or team 
you are to pray for. Be diligent in 
your prayers for that person or team. 
If you did not get a chance to sign 
up to be a prayer warrior, you can 
still join this army of intercessors 
by calling (419-289-1708) or by writ- 
ing The Brethren Church National 
Office (address below). Or you can 
simply choose one of the people on 
these four pages (perhaps one from 
your church or district); or you can 
pray for all of them! Pray for their 
safety and well-being as they travel 
and serve, that they will minister 
effectively, and that they will both 
bless and be blessed by this sum- 
mer experience. 

Be an encourager 

Another way you can be a part of 
this ministry is by speaking a word 
of encouragement to those who are 
serving. If one of the participants is 



from your church or serves in your 
church, tell the person that you ap- 
preciate this ministry and that you 
are praying for him or her. 

Be a supporter 

It takes finances to carry on the 
Summer Ministries program. Basic 
support for this program, like all 
ministries of The Brethren Church 
National Office, comes from Breth- 
ren Fair Share giving. So as your 
church gives it Fair Share, it is sup- 
porting the Summer Ministries 
program. 

But during the month of May, 
Brethren are also provided an op- 
portunity to give an offering direct- 
ly for the Summer Ministries pro- 
gram. Thus you have the privilege 
of knowing that you are sharing di- 
rectly in this important ministry. 
You may give your gift for Summer 
Ministries through your local 
church; or you may send it directly 
to Summer Ministries, The Breth- 
ren Church, 524 College Ave., Ash- 
land, OH 44805. [*] 

The Brethren Evangelist 



4C88g=&SU 




Positive things happening 
at Fairless Hills-Levittown 

Levittown, Pa. — Rev. C. Wil- 
liam Cole, pastor of the Fairless 
Hills-Levittown Brethren Church, 
reports that this congregation is 
"very much alive and well." 

Noting that the congregation had 
some deep wounds in the past and 
was once termed "impossible," Pas- 
tor Cole states, "Yet I owe the church 
praise after 14 years [of ministry 
here]." He adds, "We are very ac- 
tive, meaning that the active part is 
red hot." 

Some positives he notes include: 

• a good Sunday Bible class with 
three men teachers taking turns; 

• a good attendance of 34 (about 
60% of the congregation) at the 
Palm Sunday Communion; 

• giving is better in 1995-96, "a 
church-wide response," after 
nearly going bankrupt in 1994; 

• an active, well-funded Women's 
Missionary Society that deco- 
rates the fellowship hall every 
month according to a monthly 
theme, with most of the W.M.S. 
attending the mid-week service; 

• five persons received as members 
last December, nearly a 10 per- 
cent increase in membership; 

• the men keep up the repair work 
on the building and grounds; 

• harmony in the body; 

• two choirs of small children on 
Easter "whose almost uninhibi- 
ted singing stirred our hearts"; 
"Our prayers are for all of the 

Brethren churches and our mis- 
sionary work in other nations," 
Pastor Cole declares. Let us uphold 
our Christian brothers and sisters 
at the Fairless Hills-Levittown 
Brethren Church as well. 

May 1996 



1996 Pastors' and Wives' Retreat 
proves to be a musical occasion 



State College, Pa. — An assort- 
ment of stringed musical instru- 
ments greeted retreat participants 
when they walked into the opening 
(Tuesday evening) session of the 
1996 Brethren Pastors' and Wives' 
Retreat, giving promise that this 
was going to be a musical event. 
The promise was fulfilled. 

During this opening session, musi- 
cians Dennis Letts and Mark 
Barnett demonstrated their skill as 




Mark Barnett (I.) and Dennis Letts — pickin' and strummin'. 

they played a variety of music — 
Christian and secular, classical and 
country — all to the glory of God. 
They also sang and gave opportuni- 
ties for the audience to sing. And 
they shared some "corn" as well as 
their testimonies. Rev. Letts then 
concluded the session with a mes- 
sage from God's words on looking to 
the rainbows of God and the cove- 
nant promises they guarantee. 

A similar format was followed 
during the Wednesday morning, 
Wednesday evening, and Thursday 
morning sessions of the retreat. Rev. 
Letts' messages for these gather- 
ings were on overcoming discourage- 
ment (Wed. a.m.); guarding against 
physical, emotional, and spiritual 
stress (Wed. p.m.); and relying on 
the faithfulness of God (Thur. a.m.). 

Both Dennis Letts and Mark 
Barnett are trained Bible students 
as well as professional musicians. 
Rev. Letts has pastored, taught in 
Bible colleges, served ten years as a 
missionary in Mexico, and traveled 
extensively as a musical evangelist. 
He is presently starting a new 



church in Columbia, S.C. 

Mr. Barnett is a musician par ex- 
cellence with a testimony for Christ. 
He has played stringed instru- 
ments all of his life and has been 
called the greatest five-string banjo 
player in the world. He played at 
Opryland, USA., for 21 years and 
still appears on the Grand Ole 
Opry. The two men have served the 
Lord as a team for 28 years and 
have preached and played through- 
out the U.S.A. 
and Mexico and 
have traveled 
twice to Russia. 

In addition to 
the four sched- 
uled sessions 
with the two mu- 
sicians, some of 
the Brethren 
joined them for a 
hootenanny on 
Wednesday af- 
ternoon. Other 
retreat atten- 
ders spent the 
afternoon sightseeing or shopping, 
and a number of dedicated golfers 
hit the links in the less than ideal 
weather. 

The retreat was held April 16-18 
at the Best Western State College 
Inn and was hosted by the pastors 
of the Pennsylvania District. Forty 
seven men (pastors, other elders, 
and seminary students), 30 wives, 
and 9 children attended the gather- 
ing. The wives met in a separate 
session on Wednesday morning led 
by Gloria M. Robine of Johnstown, 
Pa. Ms. Robine, president of Par- 
ents Involved Network (PIN), spoke 
about developing support groups for 
parents of the mentally challenged. 
Immediately prior to the Thurs- 
day lunch that concluded the re- 
treat, a discussion period was held 
on the proposed plan for denomina- 
tional reorganization. 

Next year's retreat will be held 
April 15-17 at Sandy Cove, a Chris- 
tian resort area near North East, 
Md. It will be hosted by the pastors 
of the Southeastern District. 

— reported by Dick Win field 

11 



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Alice Kensinger honored 
by N. Georgetown Church 

North Georgetown, Ohio — 

Alice Hieronimus Kensinger was 
honored by the North Georgetown 
First Brethren Church on Sunday, 
March 17, for her many years of 
service to the congregation. 

Mrs. Kensinger has served the 
church faithfully in several capaci- 
ties. March 18 was the 40th anni- 
versary of her ordination as a dea- 
coness, and on that date she retired 
from active service as a deaconess. 

During the March 17th morning 
worship service, Mrs. Kensinger 
gave her personal testimony, and 
several members of the congrega- 
tion gave testimony to how she had 
touched their lives. Several of her 
favorite hymns were sung, and 
Marty Dye dedicated a special 
number, "Shepherd Boy," to her. 
The Deacon Board presented her a 
picture of the Good Shepherd and 
the sheep. Twenty members of her 
family attended the service. 

At a carry-in meal that followed 
the service, Pastor Fred Brandon 
presented Mrs. Kensinger with a 
corsage. She was also honored with 
a cake with the inscription, Thanks 
for 40 years of faithfulness," which 
was enjoyed by all. 

Before moving to the North George- 




Alice Kensinger with cake thanking 
her for 40 years of faithfulness. 

town area, Mrs. Kensinger was a 
member of the Quiet Dell Brethren 
Church in Pennsylvania. 

— reported by Pastor Fred Brandon 



Mary Ellen Drushal named 
Ashland University provost 

Ashland, Ohio — Dr. Mary Ellen 
Drushal, former academic dean at 
Ashland Theological Seminary, who 
was named acting provost at Ash- 
land University last August, has now 
become the university's new provost. 

Ashland University President 
Dr. G. William Benz announced the 
selection of Drushal, following the 
recommendation of AU's Provost 
Search Committee. He said that 
Dr. Drushal was selected from 
among four finalists. 

"Since assuming the position of 




Jones Mills, 
Pa. — Vera 
Schroyer (I.) and 
Penny and John 
Zylka were or- 
dained to the 
diaconate of the 
Valley Brethren 
Church in a 
service held 
Sunday, March 
24. Conducting 
the ordination 
service were 
(back row, I. to 

r.) Rev. Bill Yoder, pastor of the Valley Church; Rev. Glenn Grumbling; and 
Rev Robert Hoffman. — reported by LaVerne Keslar 



acting provost last fall, Dr. Drushal 
has brought great leadership skills 
to the academic area and has dem- 
onstrated her ability to get things 
done," Dr. Benz said. Convinced that 
Dr. Drushal has the strong support 
of a high percentage of the faculty, 
administrators, staff, and students at 
AU, Dr. Benz added, "I am also con- 
vinced that she and I will be able to 
work well together and that we have 
very similar goals and aspirations 
for the future of Ashland University." 

Dr. Drushal 
grew up in 
The Brethren 
Church and is 
currently a 
member of the 
University 
(Brethren) 
Church. She 
served as Gen- 
eral Confer- 
ence modera- 
tor in 1990 Dr. Mary Ellen Drushal 

She joined the seminary faculty in 
1984 and held various positions be- 
fore becoming academic dean in 1991. 
Her husband, J. Michael Drushal, 
currently serves The Brethren 
Church as interim Director of Breth- 
ren Church Ministries. He is also 
an assistant professor at Ashland 
University and chairs AU's Depart- 
ment of Business Administration. 




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Vol. 118, No. 6 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



June 1996 



Brad Whitehead and Dave Kline talk about: 



Three-way calling and the call of God 



D 



ID YOU HEAR the phone ring 
just now?" . . . "There was 
some static on the line; could you 
make out what she was saying?" . . . 
"You were on the extension. What 
do you think he meant by that?" 

We all receive calls every day. In 
spite of all the advances in commu- 
nication technology, we often need 
a little help receiving and interpre- 
ting these daily messages. The more 
significant the call, the more crucial 
it is that we get the message right. 

A new service offered by the phone 
company may help us. The service 
is Three-Way Calling. According to 
the latest phone directory, 'Three- 
Way Calling lets you hold a three 
way conversation with friends, rela- 
tives, or business associates. You 
can decide who, where, and when 
all in one smart call." Getting a 
third person on the line can help 
clarify the message for all involved. 

"Three-way calling" is not new to 
God. For thousands of years He has 
been using this method in the lives 
of His people to clarify His call to 
ministry (see Acts 9:1-18). 

"Is God 'calling' me? Are these just 
my own crazy ideas, or does God 
really want me to serve in some 
special way? If I could just ask 
someone else for confirmation. . . ." 

God 
often calls 
a third 
party 
alongside 
an indi- 
vidual He 
has cho- 
sen for ■ 
service in 
order to 




reaffirm 
His di- 
rection 
in that 
person's 
life. 
That's 
exactly 
what 
took 




place 
with 
Brad Whitehead and Dave Kline 
from the Goshen, Indiana, First 
Brethren Church. 



While God was busy changing the 
seasons in the spring of 1995, He 
made it clear to me that He is also 
busy changing lives. Just as the 
birds have their focus and direction 
adjusted by their sovereign Creator 
when it's time to fly north, in much 
the same way I was being redirected 
by the Lord to whom I had surren- 
dered my life just a year earlier. 

After the first year of my Chris- 
tian life, God went to work on my 
heart once again. He realigned my 
priorities, altered my desires, and 
challenged the way I looked at the 
new life He had given me. By plant- 
ing in me a new sense of urgency 
for spreading the gospel, He enabled 
me to see that He had a lot more in 
store for me. 

Suddenly, the thought of serving 
God thrilled me. Visions of ministry 
and a life of service began consum- 
ing my thought life. But I had a 
hard time believing that He would 
use somebody like me: a 31-year-old 
man with a wife, three children, a 
house, two cars, and a job that I've 



been at since 1988. These thoughts 
caused me a great deal of confusion. 
I can recall wishing many times that 
I would hear a loud and distinct 
voice from God that would spell out 
everything for me. I simply wanted 
to know, "How do I really know?" I 
prayed and sought God for answers. 
Up to this point, I had kept all of 
this to myself. As a result, I was 
nearly ready to explode. Finally, after 
a Wednesday night Bible study, I 
was compelled to consult with our 
associate pastor, David Kline. I had 
to speak to someone about all of the 
issues that were on my heart. 

Dave: 

Following 
the Bible 
study that 
Wednesday 
night, I 
went to my 
office to 
wrap up a 
few things 
(continued on next page) 




In this issue 



Three-way calling 1 

God of the little things 2 

You will never be the same! . . 3 
Invitation to spiritual renewal . 4 
Understanding the Bible ... 5 
General Conference preview . 6 
Around the denomination ... 9 
Note: A special supplement in 
the center of this issue presents the 
denominational reorganization pro- 
posal that will be considered at 
General Conference and answers to 
commonly-asked questions about 
this proposal. 



before heading home. I heard a gen- 
tle rap at my door and looked up to 
see Brad standing there. 

"Do you have a few minutes?" he 
asked. 

Showing him a chair, I puzzled 
over what he wanted to discuss, my 
curiosity aroused by his serious ex- 
pression and quiet intensity. 

"How do you know when you're 
being called into ministry?" he 
blurted out. 

I related my own spiritual jour- 
ney, telling him how God had placed 
an unmistakable call on my life at a 
memorial concert for Christian 
singer Keith Green. Brad then 
shared with me all that God had 
laid on his heart over the last year. 
We prayed together and agreed to 
keep praying for God's direction 
and guidance in the weeks ahead. 
In parting that evening, I gave him 
the best counsel I had ever heard 
concerning a call to ministry: If you 
can do anything else in life and 
have God's peace, then do it. If it 
truly is God's call on your life, "the 
Hound of Heaven" will not let you 
rest until you submit. 

Brad: 

I knew that I had to trust it all to 
God, so I earnestly sought Him in 
prayer. All of the negatives — the 
what ifs — kept crowding into my 
mind. "Will I have to quit my job? 
Sell my house? Move? Go back to 
school?" But something inside was 
pushing me forward. As hard as I 
tried, I could not picture myself go- 
ing anywhere but forward. I found 
myself more willing to submit to 
the leading of the Spirit than to 
submit to my own doubts and fears. 

Approximately two weeks follow- 
ing my meeting with Dave, and 
after many prayers, Pastor Don 
Rowser preached a ministry re- 
cruitment sermon. At the conclu- 



The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) is pub- 
lished monlhly (except July and August issues are 
combined) by The Brethren Church, Inc. 524 Col- 
lege Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 (telephone: 
419-289-1708; E-mail: Brelhrench@aol.com; fax: 41 9- 
281-0450). Authors' views are not necessarily those 
of The Brethren Church. Editor: Richard C. Win- 
field. Subscription rates: Sent free to Brethren 
Church members; $14.50 per year to others. Mem- 
ber: Evangelical Press Association. Second Class 
Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio. Postmaster: Send 
address changes to The Brethren Church, 524 
College Avenue, Ashland, OH 44805-3792. 



sion of the sermon, he called for 
men and women of the congrega- 
tion to commit their lives to Chris- 
tian service. God made that call 
crystal clear to me, and I responded 
to the invitation. The Holy Spirit 
moved me to go forward, and He 
enabled me to formally commit my- 
self to a life of ministry, serving the 
Lord Jesus Christ all the days of my 
life or until the day of His return. A 
life that revolved around preaching 
the truth, reaching out to the lost, 
and equipping God's people became 
my passion. I am currently serving 
as a lay pastor and outreach minis- 
ter for the local church. 

One thing I've learned is that a 
call to ministry does not necessarily 
mean God wants you to become a 
professional pastor (though for some, 
that's exactly what He wants). 
Rather, God calls every believer to a 



dedicated life of service, no matter 
what your education, location, or ex- 
perience. If you feel God tugging at 
your shirt tail, don't shake Him off; 
pursue the call. 

Dave: 

Remember, God also has "call- 
forwarding." Just ask Jonah! [ft] 

Mr. Whitehead is a member of the 
Goshen, Ind., First Brethren Church and 
a Life Work Recruit. Mr. Kline, youth 
pastor at Goshen First Brethren, serves 
as Brad's "Authentic Disciple" (mentor). 

Note: June is Ministry Emphasis 
Month in The Brethren Church. Each 
year the first Sunday of June (June 2 
this year) is designated as Ministry Re- 
cruitment Sunday. It is also the month 
for promoting the Ministerial Student 
Aid Fund, a fund used to provide finan- 
cial help to students preparing for full- 
time Christian ministry in The Brethren 
Church. 



God of the Little Things 

By Joni Eareckson Tada 



Verse: Psalm 103:13 

IS GOD CONCERNED about 
the details of your life? Does 
He care about the "little things"? 
Piles of dishes need to be done. 
The washer leaks a big soapy 
puddle on the floor — and you've 
got people coming in an hour. 
Little things. 

Nobody else seems to notice or 
pay that much mind ... so why 
should God? After all, isn't He the 
God of the BIG things? Isn't He the 
one who spoke swirling galaxies 
into the vast frontiers of space, 
who measured the waters in the 
hollow of His hand and calculated 
the dust of the earth (Isaiah 40:12)? 

Why should this great, awesome 
God notice the tears that came to 



my eyes this morning at break- 
fast — when no one else noticed? 
Why should the Creator of the 
universe care about the worries 
that kept me awake until two in 
the morning? Why should the 
mighty Sovereign of eternity be 
concerned about the fact that I'm 
late for an appointment and can't 
find a parking place? 

Sure, the Bible says He has 
compassion for His people. But 
isn't that sort of a "general" com- 
passion for human-kind? Isn't 
that an arms-length kind of com- 
passion? Just how intimately is 
God involved in our small, petty 
problems? David says He has the 
compassion of a father. 

I remember my father having a 
(continued on next page) 



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The Brethren Evangelist 



You will never be the same! 

Part two _ , _. 

By Jerry Flora 



LAST YEAR the Leadership De- 
velopment Commission asked 
for titles of books to help Brethren 
workers in their devotional life. 
Four books were suggested. Two of 
those were reviewed in an article 
in last month's EVANGELIST, and this 
article will look at the other two. 

Sue Monk Kidd 

Sue Monk Kidd is a professional 
writer and editor who works for 
Guideposts magazine. She is the 
author of five books and has writ- 
ten many articles that have ap- 
peared in such publications as 
Reader's Digest, Living Prayer, and 
Weavings. Her 1990 book, When the 
Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for 
Life's Sacred Questions, received 
the Book of the Year award from 
Virtue magazine. It deserves that 
label from Brethren as well. She 
writes: 

I've tried to open up a path before 
you, one grounded in the Bible, in 
centuries of Christian spiritual writ- 
ing, and in contemporary spiritual 
direction and developmental psy- 
chology. I've tried to offer down-to- 
earth truths from my own life, as 
well as profound truths from the 
great tradition of Christian spiritual- 
ity. It has been my task to weave 
them together to make a tapestry of 
storytelling and teaching that might 
open your eyes to the transforming 
Christ-journey we're all called to 
make. (p. x) 

Kidd's book lives up to its goals. 
It is about cocoons and waiting and 
new life. It is about separation and 
transformation and emergence. It 
is about mid-life and children's 
stories and the good news of the 
gospel. Almost every page contains 
deep wisdom gracefully expressed. 
After you have read it, life's dry 
times, empty times, in-between 
times will be different for you. 

Pastor Lynn Mercer believed so 
strongly in the value of this book's 
message that, as moderator of the 
Ohio District, he recommended 





/ ^§» 






m 




M2m 


J^ z5$. 


|=-T% W3 





that all Brethren read it. I can't 
state its value any better than that. 

A. W. Tozer 

Aiden Wilson Tozer was one of 
the last generation's most powerful 
Christian writers in North America. 
As a pastor and as editor of The Alli- 
ance Witness, he poured out a stream 
of sermons and books until he died 
in 1963. Writing with a pen dipped 
first in fire, then in ice, he seemed 
to be a prophet to the evangelical 
churches. Nearly a generation after 
his death, 40 of his books are still 
available, most of them from Chris- 
tian Publications (Camp Hill, Pa.). 

It was Harper & Brothers, how- 
ever, who first published The Knowl- 
edge of the Holy when it came out in 
1961. The fruit of a lifetime of 
study, musing, and prayer, it dis- 
cusses "the attributes of God: their 
meaning in the Christian life." 



Much of what we say, pray, and do 
as believers is thin because we 
think and believe so poorly about 
God. Tozer challenges us to "think 
rightly about God," and in 23 short 
chapters he gives us one of the best 
theological books I have ever seen. 

By "theological" I don't mean pon- 
derous, boring, or dull. I mean this 
is a book about God — the Lord God 
Almighty who created the heavens 
and earth, entered human history 
for our healing, and will eventually 
make all things right. This is the 
Infinite Sovereign Mystery whom 
we hope to worship for all eternity. 

What does that mean? Tozer an- 
swers: 

"From everlasting to everlasting, 
thou art God," said Moses in the 
Spirit. "From the vanishing point to 
the vanishing point" would be an- 
other way to say it quite in keeping 
with the words as Moses used them. 
The mind looks backward in time till 
the dim past vanishes, then turns and 
looks into the future till thought and 
imagination collapse from exhaus- 
tion; and God is at both points, un- 
affected by either. (p. 45) 

Here is a book to expand (ex- 
plode?) our small ideas about God, 
and thus about worship, about min- 
istry, and about life. But be warned: 
reading this book can be hazardous 
to your health. If it blows up how 
you think about God, you will never 
be the same! [ft] 

Dr. Flora, professor of New Testament 
Theology and Spiritual Formation at 
Ashland Theological Seminary, is a 
member of The Brethren Church's 
Spiritual Formation Commission. 



God of the Little Things 

(continued from page 2) 
kind of intimate, heartfelt com- 
passion with me. Often when my 
dad would be busy at his easel, I'd 
sit on the floor at his side with my 
crayons and coloring book. Some- 
times he'd set his brushes aside, 
reach down and lift me into his 
lap. Then he'd fix my hand on one 
of his brushes and enfold his 
larger, stronger hand around mine. 
Ever so gently, he would guide my 
hand and the brush, and I would 
watch in amazement as, together, 
we made something beautiful. 



This is the kind of love our God 
has for us. Fatherlove. The kind, 
gentle compassion of a dad who 
deeply cares for his sons and 
daughters. Maybe you never had 
a dad like that . . . but you do have 
such a Father. 

Let God's big hand close gently 
over yours. With His help, even 
the discouraging scribbles of your 
life can become a masterpiece. 
Nothing would delight a father's 
heart more. [ft] 

— From Women's Devotional 
Bible 2 (Zondervan Publishing House). 
Article provided by the publisher. 



June 1996 



An invitation to spiritual renewal 



By Marlin L. McCann 

SHORTLY AFTER moving to 
North Manchester, Indiana, I 
was approached by several men of 
the church who asked if I would be 
interested in attending a Cursillo 
weekend sponsored by the Lutheran 
church. I asked some questions about 
the weekend and after receiving 
some vague answers decided I wasn't 
interested. Fortunately for me, the 
men persisted. So I decided, "What 
have I got to lose?" and I went. 

What a significant weekend I 
had! While I wasn't totally aware of 
all that was going on, I experienced 
the grace of God and the love of a 
special community. 

Out of that Cursillo, now called 
the Lutheran Via De Christo, has 
come a movement called the Breth- 
ren Way of Christ, which is a co- 
operative venture between The 
Brethren Church and the Church 
of the Brethren in Indiana. 

Background of the movement 

To explain the basic premise of 
this movement, let me share some 
of its history. The movement began 
in 1940 in Majorca, Spain. It was 
initiated by some men who wanted 
to bring the light of Christ to their 
world. 

. . . the Cursillo . . . (little courses in 
Christianity) was not just a well 
worked out human product. It grew 
in the climate of spiritual renewal. 
It was developed by men of prayer 
who were seeking to serve the Lord. 
It was formed by the inspiration of 
the Holy Spirit working in men who 
had dedicated themselves to bring- 
ing others to a knowledge of Christ. 

The Brethren Way of Christ is 

a three-day school that takes a New 
Testament look at Christianity as a 
lifestyle. It is a highly structured 
weekend designed to strengthen 
and renew the faith of Christian 
people, and, through them, to re- 
new their families, churches, and 
the environment in which they live 
and work. It is a united effort of 
laity and clergy to aid congrega- 

* LEADER'S MANUAL, The Cursillo Move- 
ment (Dallas, Tex., 1988), p.2. 



tions in developing Christian lead- 
ers who will renew the church. 

A Brethren Way weekend 

Let me give you a brief glimpse of 
what happens on a Brethren Way 
of Christ weekend. The retreat be- 
gins on Thursday evening and con- 
cludes Sunday night. During the 
weekend, candidates attend morn- 
ing chapel services and celebrate 
Communion. They pray, sing, enjoy 
fellowship, eat delicious food, make 
new friendships, and discuss talks 
given by lay persons and pastors. 
The talks center on the grace of God, 
the reality of grace in one's life, how 
to live the life of grace, and how to 
impart grace to others. 

Each participant experiences the 
weekend a little differently, but all 
come into a closer relationship with 
Jesus Christ. Each person ends the 
weekend feeling loved and blessed. 

Following the three-day weekend, 
those who have taken part are en- 
couraged to enter into the Fourth 
Day, which is the rest of their lives. 
They are to expand their inner 
spiritual lives through study and 
church participation and to live out 
their faith by becoming more active 
Christians in their daily lives. One 
means that helps them to achieve 
this is a Reunion Group of two to 
five friends who meet together 
weekly for spiritual growth and en- 
couragement. A second means is 
the Ultreya, a reunion of many 
groups. Meetings of the Ultreya are 
held quarterly at various churches 
throughout the district. 

My Reunion Group meets every 
Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m. at a 
dentist's office. Six men are in the 
group; two of us are Brethren, two 
are Lutherans, one is a Methodist, 
and one is from Brethren Charity 
Fellowship. We endeavor to hold 
one another accountable in our 
Christian walk as we share what 
has happened in our lives during 
the week. Time is spent in prayer 
for the joys, sorrows, and concerns 
of our families and friends. My 
wife, Lila, has been meeting with 



three other women every week in a 
Reunion Group. 

The North Manchester First 
Brethren Church has more than 50 
members who have experienced 
this kind of weekend. A number of 
Reunion Groups meet weekly in 
our church and in other locations, 
which are attended by those who 
have gone through a weekend. I 
have seen how it has impacted the 
lives of these people as well as the 
ministry of this church! 

Let me tell about one couple who 
came through the Brethren Way of 
Christ. This young couple had been 
struggling in their marriage. He 
was a control freak; he had been 
before their marriage and he con- 
tinued to be so. They had tried 
counseling but without success. 

He went on a men's weekend. 
When he got home Sunday night, 
he took his wife into the kitchen, 
placed her on a chair, got out a ba- 
sin, filled it with water, and began 
washing her feet. As he did so, he 
confessed his controlling nature 
and asked for her forgiveness. She 
was so puzzled and confused about 
what had happened to him that she 
was afraid to go the women's re- 
treat the next weekend. But she 
went anyway. 

From caterpillar to butterfly 

I remember her apprehension, 
because I was serving on the team 
that weekend as a spiritual direc- 
tor. During the weekend I saw how 
she was transformed from a cater- 
pillar into a butterfly. This couple 
has since shared their testimony with 
other candidates for the Brethren 
Way of Christ. They are but one 
example of the changes that can 
take place in the lives of people. 

One of the priorities of The Breth- 
ren Church for the nineties is 
spiritual formation. The Breth- 
ren Way of Christ is one avenue 
whereby Christians can deepen 
their commitment to Christ and be- 
gin to share that commitment with 
those around them. I would espe- 
cially urge Brethren in Indiana to 
get involved in this unique method 
of going deeper in the Lord. [ft] 

Rev. McCann, pastor of the North Man- 
chester, Ind., First Brethren Church, is 
a member of The Brethren Church's 
Spiritual Formation Commission. 



The Brethren Evangelist 



How do Brethren view the Eucharist? 

By Dale R. Stoffer 



I AM SURE that I was not alone 
in believing that the distinctive 
part of the Brethren practice of 
threefold Communion was our ob- 
servance of feetwashing and the love 
feast. I had assumed that our un- 
derstanding of the Eucharist — the 
bread and the cup — was similar to 
the view of many other Believers' 
churches. With many of these 
churches we share the conviction 
that the Eucharist is a memorial of 
Christ's atoning death for us. Like- 
wise, we hold the common belief that 
Christ is in some sense present 
with us in the Communion service. 
Two years ago I volunteered to 
write a study paper on the Breth- 
ren view of the Eucharist for a Be- 
lievers' Church Conference hosted 
by Ashland Theological Seminary. 
During my research, I discovered, 
much to my surprise, that the 
Brethren view of the Eucharist has 
several features that make it no 
less distinct than our practice of 
feetwashing and the love feast. 

Two surprising discoveries 

Two things struck me as I was 
doing my research. First, until re- 
cently Brethren have given little 
discussion to an issue that has been 
the major point of debate among 
Christian groups since the Reforma- 
tion; namely, in what sense is Jesus 
Christ present in the "elements" of 
the bread and cup. Views range from 
the Catholic position that the bread 
and wine are actually transformed 
into the body and blood of Christ; to 
the Lutheran position that Christ is 
present bodily "in, with, and under" 
the elements; to the Reformed posi- 
tion that Christ is spiritually pre- 
sent as we commune with Him. 
Brethren writers, for the most part, 
seem uninterested in this debate. 

Second, the words of institution 
that we use (the Scripture passage 
we recite) as we take the bread and 
cup are not derived from the pas- 
sages that nearly every other body 
of Christians recite — either the Gos- 
pel tradition found in Matthew, Mark, 

June 1996 



and Luke or Paul's account of the 
Lord's Supper in 1 Corinthians 
11:23-26. Rather, we have gener- 
ally recited Paul's statement in 
1 Corinthians 10:16, rephrasing it 
as an affirmation: "The bread which 
we break is the communion of the 
body of Christ; the cup which we 
bless is the communion of the blood 
of Christ." Significantly, Paul's main 
point in this passage is not even 
about Communion; rather he uses 
his view of the bread and cup to 
illustrate an entirely different point. 

In studying the context of this 
verse, I became convinced that the 
Brethren originally selected it be- 
cause it reinforces some of the same 
truths that feetwashing and the 
love feast reinforce and because it 
reflects our commitment to commu- 
nity. This passage shows that the 
Eucharist, like feetwashing and the 
love feast, has both a vertical and a 
horizontal significance. It speaks of 
the relationship both between God 
and the believer and between the 
believer and the community of faith. 
In verse 17 the community theme 
that is so important to Brethren is 
powerfully portrayed: "Because there 
is one loaf, we, who are many, are 
one body, for we all partake of the 
one loaf." (Should we use a common 
loaf at times to symbolize our one- 
ness as Christ's body?) 

In the ensuing verses (18-22), Paul 
warns against eating sacrificial 
meals at pagan temples. He does so 
not because the sacrifice and the 
idol themselves are anything, but 
because in a real sense one partici- 
pates in or fellowships with the de- 
mons to whom the sacrifices are of- 
fered. In fact, Paul reinforces his 
argument by citing his view of com- 
munion — there is real fellowship 
with Jesus Christ when we partake 
of the bread and cup. 

Important implications 

The fact that our conception of 
Eucharist is drawn from 1 Corin- 
thians 10:16 has some important 
implications. (1) It means that the 




Eucharist is never just a personal 
or individual encounter with Christ, 
but involves a community encoun- 
ter with Him as well. This commu- 
nal aspect reminds the church, as 
Christ's body, that He is the source 
of its life and that the body, in all 
its members, needs to live in unity 
with Christ and with one another. 

(2) This concern for the unity of 
the body is the rationale behind the 
call by Paul in 1 Corinthians 11: 

17-34 for 
self-exam- 
i n a t i o n 
prior to 
sharing in 
Commun- 
ion. The 
Brethren 

historical- 
Understanding ly i ns i s ted 

the Bible that self- 

examina- 
tion, reconciliation of interpersonal 
conflicts, and corporate discipline, 
if necessary, must occur before the 
body can come together in Com- 
munion. Brethren congregations 
would sometimes postpone the ob- 
servance of the Lord's Supper if 
there were unreconciled issues in 
the body. 

(3) For Brethren, the concept of 
Christ's presence in the Eucharist 
is clearly governed by these per- 
spectives. The issue for us is not the 
presence of Christ in the elements 
but the presence of Christ in His 
body, the church. How fully do the 
gathered people of God reflect their 
Lord in holiness, purity, integrity, 
love? Communion is the time when 
the community of faith unites with 
her living Lord both to remember 
and thank Him for His sacrificial 
love and to receive anew His gra- 
cious blessings and love. 

The next time you take the bread 
and cup in Communion, remember 
the significance of the words you 
recite: 'The bread which we break 
is the communion of the body of 
Christ; the cup which we bless is 
the communion of the blood of 



Christ. 



[♦] 



Dr. Stoffer is associate professor of 
historical theology at Ashland Theolog- 
ical Seminary and serves on The Breth- 
ren Church's Committee on Doctrine, 
Research, and Publication, which is 
preparing this series of articles. 



General Conference Preview 



1996 General Conference Schedule 

Theme: "Partners in the Gospel" (Philippians 1:3-11) 

August 5-9 at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio 



Monday, August 5 

8:30 am — Leadership Seminar 
(reservation required) 

4:00 pm — New Delegate Briefing 

6:30 pm — Opening Celebration 
including BYIC greetings 
and featuring address by 
Moderator Richard E. Allison 

8:30 pm — Reception 

Tuesday, August 6 

8:00 am — Devotional/Prayer Time 

8:20 am — Business Session 
10:30 am — Evangelism Workshop, 
led by Evangelism Commis- 
sion and Rev. Paul Mundey 

1:30 pm — Auxiliary Sessions 
(WMS, BMOM, NABCE) 

4:30 pm — Lawn games and Pic- 



nic, celebrating the 50th 
birthday of Brethren Youth 
(reservation required) 
7:00 pm — Worship Service, led 
by Evangelism Commission 
and featuring a message by 
Rev. Paul Mundey 

Wednesday, August 7 

7:00 am — Pastors' Wives Fellow- 
ship and Breakfast (reserva- 
tion required) 
8:00 am — Devotional/Prayer Time 
8:20 am — Business Session 
10:30 am — Workshop, led by Spiri- 
tual Formation Commission 
12:30 pm — Women's Luncheon 

(reservation required) featur- 
ing message by Barbara Hess 



12:30 pm — Men's Picnic (reserva- 
tion required) 
7:00 pm — Worship Service, led 
by Ashland Theological 
Seminary 

Thursday, August 8 

8:00 am — Devotional/Prayer Time 
8:20 am — Business Session 
10:30 am — Conflict Resolution 

Workshop, led by Doug Little 
12:30 pm— World Relief Soup Lunch 
(reservation required) 
2:00 pm — Auxiliary Sessions 
5:00 pm — Missionary Board Ban- 
quet (reservation required) 
7:00 pm — Worship Service, led by 
Missionary Board, followed 
by a quilt auction 

Friday, August 9 

8:00 am — DevotionaVPrayer Time 
8:20 am — Business Session 
10:30 am — Closing Session featur- 
ing Youth Convention report 
and challenge by new Mod- 
erator John Shultz 



Paul Mundey, Director of The Andrew Center, 
to speak at General Conference 



PAUL E. R. MUNDEY, Director 
of The Andrew Center, will 
speak twice at the 1996 General 
Conference. We are especially hon- 
ored to have him participate in 
this General Conference, as we 
celebrate God's blessing through 
Passing On the Promise. 

He will present a seminar Tues- 
day morning during the evangelism/ 
church growth special emphasis. The 
theme of the seminar, "Unlocking 
Church Doors," will address strate- 
gies for bringing about change in 
established congregations. 

His second message, "Does the 
Future Have a Church?" will ad- 
dress current trends, challenges, 
and opportunities for the church. It 
will be presented during the Tues- 
day evening worship service. The 
service will include a celebration of 
evangelism in The Brethren Church 
and of Passing On the Promise. 

Mundey has been director of 
evangelism and congregational 
growth for the Church of the Breth- 
ren since 1983 and concurrently 



director of The Andrew Center since 
its founding in 1994. He was the 
architect behind the design of Pass- 
ing On the 
Promise and 
The Andrew 
Center. Pass- 
ing On the 
Promise is a 
36-month proc- 
ess focusing on 
evangelism 
and congrega- 
tional growth. 
One-third of 
Brethren con- 
gregations 
have partici- 
pated in this 
process. The 

Andrew Center Rev - Paul ER - Mundey 
is a multi-denominational resource 
center whose mission is "to multi- 
ply the number of persons turning 
to Jesus Christ by multiplying the 
number of leaders and congrega- 
tions spiritually alive and evangel- 
istically effective." The Brethren 




Church is a partner denomination 
of the center. 

Prior to his national staff posi- 
tion, Mundey pastored the Friend- 
ship Church of the Brethren in Bal- 
timore, Md. During his ministry the 
congregation more than doubled its 
worship attendance in six years. 
A native of Hagerstown, Md., he 
completed his bachelor's 
degree in history at Towson 
State College, Baltimore, 
Md., and his Master of Di- 
vinity degree at Fuller 
Theological Seminary. 

Mundey is the author of 
several books: Unlocking 
Church Doors: Ten Keys to 
Positive Change (to be re- 
leased by Abingdon Press 
in January 1997); Change 
and the Established Con- 
gregation (The Andrew 
Center); and Riding the 
River: Congregational Out- 
reach and the Currents of 
the 21st Century. He is also 
the co-author of two books: New 
Life for All (with Timothy K. Jones 
and Terry Hatfield) and Including 
and Involving New People (with 
Robert Dell). 

He lives in Elgin, 111., with his wife, 
Robin, and their two children, [ft] 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Denominational Reorganization Proposal 
for The Brethren Church 

Formal Proposal — May 17, 1996 



Introduction 

WHAT FOLLOWS is a pro- 
posal for denominational re- 
organization. It is the result of joint 
efforts over the last two years by 
the General Conference Executive 
Council (GCEC) and the Mission- 
ary Board of The Brethren Church. 

Organizational issues have been 
the focus of discussion since 1993, 
when General Conference acted to 
commission an outside study of our 
denominational organization and 
finances. Since receiving that report 
in early 1994, GCEC and the Mis- 
sionary Board have been discussing 
and praying over the best way to 
implement the facilitator's recom- 
mendations for unified vision, re- 
sponsible stewardship, and mission- 
focused organization. The delegates 
to General Conference provided in- 
put in 1994 and 1995. 

Based on the facilitator's recom- 
mendations, board discussions, and 
input from Conference, a working 
document of this proposal was pre- 
pared. In March, both the Mission- 
ary Board and GCEC voted unani- 
mously to approve that working 
document. A preliminary draft of 
the proposal that follows was sent 
to all Brethren pastors, elders, local 
church moderators, and district 
officers. They were encouraged to 
duplicate the preliminary draft and 
distribute it to members of their 
congregations. Regional forums were 
held in many districts. Feedback 
received from the regional forums, 
from congregations, and from indi- 
viduals was reviewed. A number of 
the suggestions were incorporated, 
and the preliminary draft has been 
revised by GCEC. A section ad- 
dressing commonly asked ques- 
tions has been incorporated to clar- 
ify a number of issues raised. 

The following proposal is now be- 
ing sent to local Brethren church 
leaders and is being published in 
The Brethren Evangelist. This pro- 
posal will be presented as a formal 



recommendation to General Con- 
ference in August 1996. It is the 
hope of both the General Confer- 
ence Executive Council and the 
Missionary Board that action on 
this proposal will be taken at this 
General Conference. 

Please read this revised document 
carefully. Discuss it together as a 
congregation. Attend one of the re- 
gional forums held in your area. If 
you have further questions, we would 



be happy to provide answers for 
them. Questions may be addressed 
to your regional forum presenter or 
to Mike Drushal, Interim Director 
of Brethren Church Ministries, The 
Brethren Church, 524 College Ave., 
Ashland, OH 44805; 419-289-1708; 
e-mail Brethrench@aol.com; FAX 
419-281-0450. Questions submitted 
by July 15 will receive a response in 
writing, by telephone (please pro- 
vide your telephone number), or by 
e-mail. 

Denominational reorganization will 
impact the future of The Brethren 
Church. Thank you for giving it your 
careful and prayerful considera- 
tion. And please be in prayer that 
God will guide General Conference 
delegates in August as we make de- 
cisions regarding this proposal. 



Functional Responsibilities 

The reason we have a denomination is to facilitate the work of the 
local churches, to accomplish together what local churches cannot do 
separately, and to foster unity on the essentials of doctrine and on the 
practice of the ordinances. 

The purpose of our national organization is to promote a unified 
vision for ministry and to provide motivation and resources to achieve 
that vision at the local, district, national, and international levels. 

We understand the following functions of the national organization 
in light of this purpose. 



Congregational Ministries 

Equipping for Outreach 

Evangelizing one-to-one 
Evangelizing our communities 
Serving people in need 

Discipling Brethren People 

Educating children, youth, and 

adults 
Strengthening personal piety 
Enhancing worship 
Fostering Brethren identity 
Growing in stewardship 
Peace-making 

Training Growth Leaders 

Equipping God's people for 
ministry in the church, the 
community, and the world 

Enhancing Pastoral Leadership 

Continuing education 

Caring for pastors 

Beginning, continuing, and con- 
cluding pastoral-congrega- 
tional relationships 

Revitalizing Local Churches 

Assessing 

Advising 

Assisting 



Missionary Ministries 

Forming New Churches 

Assessing 
Training 
Evangelizing 
Developing strategies 
Planning 
Implementing 
Supervising 

Partnering with districts and 
local churches 



Advancing World Missions 

Assessing 

Training 

Evangelizing 

Starting churches 

Supervising 

Partnering 



Supporting World Relief 

Partnering 
Promoting 

(continued on next page) 



Reorganization Proposal, Page One 



Functional Responsibilities (cont.) 




Administrative Services 


Financial Management 

Planned Giving 

Order Processing/Filling 

Sunday School 

Brethren Publications 


Statistics 

Computer Management 

Communications/Publications 

Addressing/Mailing 

General Conference 


Bulletins 


Personnel Management 



Proposed Model for Denominational Organization 



Brethren Churches and Districts 



General Conference 



Executive Board 



Congregational 

Ministries 

Council 



Missionary 

Ministries 

Council 



Executive Board 

Major Goal — with the leader- 
ship of the Executive Director, 
casts a unified vision for The Breth- 
ren Church and its ministries 

Composition — the board would 
consist of eleven members, eight 
voting and three non-voting: 

• the Moderator of General Confer- 
ence (elected by the Conference), 
who chairs the board (voting) 

• the Executive Director (voting, 
except on issues related to this 
position) and the two directors of 
ministries (non-voting) 

• six persons (all voting), three 
elected by each of the ministries 
councils from among its members 
(one from each council elected 
each year for a three-year term to 
coincide with the person's term 
on the ministries council) 

• the President of Ashland Theo- 
logical Seminary or the Presi- 
dent's representative, who repre- 
sents both Ashland University 
and Ashland Theological Semi- 
nary (non-voting) 



Tasks 

• serves as the corporate board of 
The Brethren Church, Inc. 

• serves as the corporate board of 
the Missionary Board of The 
Brethren Church 

• acts on behalf of General Confer- 
ence when the conference is not 
in session 

• selects, employs, and evaluates 
the performance of the Executive 
Director of The Brethren Church 
and has authority to terminate 
employment for just cause 

• selects and employs the directors 
of ministries, upon the recommen- 
dation of the Executive Director 
and the appropriate ministries 
council 

• elects a secretary from among its 
own members, who will also 
serve as secretary of General 
Conference and will oversee the 
recording of the minutes 

• appoints a temporary chair if 
needed to serve in place of the 
Moderator 

• adopts major policy, including 
budgets proposed by the minis- 
tries councils 



• proposes denominational priori- 
ties to General Conference 

• nominates trustees of the Retire- 
ment Fund, Inc., for approval by 
General Conference 

• conducts an annual meeting with 
the boards of directors of wholly 
owned subsidiaries (e.g., The 
Carpenter's Shop) and elects 
those boards of directors 

• plans General Conference 

Ministries Councils 
(Congregational and Missionary) 

Major Goal — implements the 
vision of The Brethren Church by 
carrying out the priorities and 
functions assigned by the Execu- 
tive Board. 

Composition — each council would 
consist of thirteen members, all 
with voting privileges: 

• its director 

• three persons elected at-large by 
General Conference to serve stag- 
gered three-year terms; these per- 
sons may serve two consecutive 
terms plus any unexpired term; 
thereafter, they become eligible 
for re-election after one full term 
has passed 

• nine persons elected by General 
Conference, one to represent each 
of the nine districts, with stag- 
gered three-year terms; these per- 
sons may serve two consecutive 
terms plus any unexpired term; 
thereafter, they become eligible for 
re-election after one full term has 
passed; districts will nominate two 
persons; General Conference will 
elect from among district nomi- 
nees with no nominations from 
the floor of General Conference 

Tasks 

• elects one person annually to serve 
a three-year term on the Execu- 
tive Board, that term to coincide 
with the person's term on the min- 
istries council 

• with the Executive Director, rec- 
ommends to the Executive Board 
a person to serve as director of its 
ministries 

• proposes annual budget for that 
council for approval by the Ex- 
ecutive Board 

• advises its director on implemen- 
tation of priorities and ministries 

• forms commissions and task 
forces as deemed necessary from 
among its own membership or 
from the church at large 



Reorganization Proposal, Page Two 



• assists in the raising of annual 
funds for its ministries and in iden- 
tifying persons for planned giving 

• elects a chair and a secretary 
from among its own members 

• nominates its own at-large mem- 
bers for election by General Con- 
ference, with nominations ac- 
cepted from the floor of General 
Conference 

Moderator 

Major Goal — chairs the busi- 
ness sessions of General Confer- 
ence and the Executive Board. (The 
Executive Board acts for General 
Conference when the conference is 
not in session.) 

Relationships — is elected to a 
three-year term by General Confer- 
ence and is a member of the Execu- 
tive Board; may serve two consecu- 
tive terms; thereafter, becomes eli- 
gible for re-election after one full 
term has passed. 

Responsibilities and Authority 
— is responsible to chair the busi- 
ness sessions of General Confer- 
ence and the Executive Board; 
serves as any other member of the 
Executive Board concerning com- 
mittees, task forces, etc.; is not re- 
sponsible to represent the denomi- 
nation at district conferences, ad- 
dress General Conference, develop 
conference themes, set agendas, etc. 

Nominating Committee 

The General Conference Nomi- 
nating Committee will have two 
tasks: 1) nominating a Moderator 
once every three years or sooner in 
the case of a vacancy in the posi- 
tion; and 2) nominating persons for 
General Conference committees 
annually (thus assuming the re- 
sponsibilities of the present Com- 
mittee on Committees). 

Executive Director 

Major Goal — gives visionary 
leadership to The Brethren Church 
and guides and coordinates staff in 
fulfilling the priorities and minis- 
tries of The Brethren Church. 

Relationships — is employed by 
and is responsible to the Executive 
Board; functions as the chief execu- 
tive officer of the corporation; leads, 
manages, and evaluates all other em- 
ployees of the denominational offices. 

Appointment and Term — is 
selected by the Executive Board, 









Staffing Chart 










Executive Director 


































Director of 
Congregational Ministries 






Director of 
Missionary Ministries 






























Associates & Staff, 

such as Director 

of Pastoral Ministries 




Administrative 

Services 

Staff 




Associates & Staff, 

such as Director 

of Church Planting 



















subject to a vote of affirmation by 
General Conference. The role of the 
Executive Board is to: 1) screen ap- 
plicants for the position, selecting 
the one person it believes will best 
lead The Brethren Church; 2) an- 
nually evaluate the director's per- 
formance in fulfilling the major 
goal; and 3) based on that evalu- 
ation, decide whether or not to re- 
tain the Executive Director in that 
position. The role of General Con- 
ference in affirming the person se- 
lected as Executive Director is to 
express confidence or lack of confi- 
dence in the person chosen for this 
position by the Executive Board. 
No person shall be employed by 
the Executive Board as Executive 
Director who does not first have a 
positive vote of affirmation by Gen- 
eral Conference. In case of a va- 
cancy in the position of Executive 
Director, the Executive Board may 
appoint an interim until Confer- 
ence shall have opportunity to give 
a vote of affirmation to a new Ex- 
ecutive Director. Conference will 
have the opportunity to give a vote 
of reaffirmation every six years. 

Responsibilities and Authority 
— is responsible for the key result 
areas set forth below and has the 
authority to fulfill them within the 
limits of the Articles of Incorpora- 
tion of The Brethren Church and of 
the Missionary Board of The Breth- 
ren Church, the Manual of Proce- 
dure, and the policies established 
by General Conference and the Ex- 
ecutive Board; may delegate por- 
tions of those responsibilities and 
the proportionate authority to ful- 
fill them, consistent with estab- 
lished policies and procedures, but 
may not delegate or relinquish any 
portion of accountability or respon- 
sibility for results. 



Key Result Areas 

1 . Vision — leads the Executive Board 
in casting a Spirit-led vision for 
the advancement of the kingdom 
of God through The Brethren 
Church and communicates that 
vision throughout the church. 

2. The Executive Board — guides 
the board in long- and short-range 
planning for The Brethren Church 
as a whole, and for denomina- 
tional ministries specifically; in- 
forms the board fully on the status 
and progress of denominational 
ministries; prepares the agenda 
for Executive Board meetings and 
General Conference in consult- 
ation with the Moderator; advises 
the board in decision-making; 
and implements the board's deci- 
sions and policies. 

3. Ministries — coordinates Congre- 
gational and Missionary Minis- 
tries and oversees their directors. 

4. Communication — creates and 
maintains channels of communi- 
cation between local, district, and 
denominational levels; favorably 
represents the General Confer- 
ence, Executive Board, and the 
ministries of The Brethren Church 
to employees, other denomination- 
al leaders, The Brethren Church 
as a whole, and the larger Chris- 
tian community; and presents an 
annual message to General Con- 
ference on the present state and 
the future direction of The 
Brethren Church. 

5. Administrative Services and Per- 
sonnel — provides for administra- 
tive and management services 
for the denominational office. 

6. General Conference — guides the 
Executive Board in planning Gen- 
eral Conference; promotes and 
implements actions taken by Con- 



Reorganization Proposal, Page Three 



The Reorganization 

Reason for proposed 
reorganization: 

To address three issues recom- 
mended by the facilitator: 

1. Unified vision 

2. Mission-focused organization 

3. Responsible stewardship 

Proposed changes: 

1 . Executive Director — one senior- 
level executive with the tasks of 

• giving visionary leadership to 
the church 

• guiding and coordinating all 
denominational staff 

2. Executive Board — one board that 
will, with the leadership of the 
Executive Director, cast a unified 
vision for The Brethren Church and 
its ministries 

3. Congregational Ministries and Mis- 
sionary Ministries — two ministries 
councils to implement the vision 
and maintain our mission focus 

4. Moderator — role changes from 
that of leader of the denomination 
to that of chairing business ses- 
sions of General Conference and 
the Executive Board 

5. Administrative functions — combining 
duplicated services so as to operate 
more efficiently and effectively 



Proposal at a Glance 



Advantages of 
proposed changes: 

1 . Giving greater district ownership and 
accountability through direct nomina- 
tion of ministries council members 

2. Combining two national boards — 
the General Conference Executive 
Council and the Missionary 
Board — into one functioning unit 

3. Devoting one ministries council to 
home and world missions to insure 
that this focus is not lost 

4. Employing an Executive Director 
who will be able to be out among 
Brethren people, in churches and 
district conferences, to hear grass- 
roots needs and concerns and to 
communicate a common direction 
for the church 

5. Creating greater flexibility in the de- 
nominational organization to better 
respond to financial challenges 
and changing ministry needs 

What will not change: 

1 . Strong commitment to world mis- 
sions and to starting new churches 
in the United States 

2. No authority or "control" of national 
offices over local churches 



ference; monitors and assists Con- 
ference committees in the com- 
pletion of their responsibilities. 

7. Liaison — consults regularly with 
the executive staff of Ashland 
University and Ashland Theologi- 
cal Seminary to maintain com- 
mon purpose and goals as they 
relate to The Brethren Church; 
represents The Brethren Church 
on the Board of Directors of the 
National Association of Evan- 
gelicals and among other groups 
and denominations. 

8. Self-improvement — maintains and 
improves professional and inter- 
personal skills; develops a grow- 
ing awareness and understand- 
ing of all ministries of the church. 

Directors of Ministries 

Major Goal — guides and coordi- 
nates staff in implementing the pri- 
orities of the ministries as directed 
by the Executive Director 

Relationships — is employed by 
the Executive Board upon recom- 
mendation of the Executive Direc- 
tor and ministries council; is re- 
sponsible directly to the Executive 



Director and through him/her to 
the Executive Board; works coop- 
eratively with the director of the 
other ministries. 

Responsibilities and Authority 
— is responsible for key result areas 
mutually agreed upon with the Ex- 
ecutive Director; may delegate por- 
tions of these responsibilities and 
the proportionate authority to ful- 
fill them, consistent with estab- 
lished policies and procedures, but 
may not delegate or relinquish any 
portion of accountability or respon- 
sibility for results. 

Key Result Areas — [Key result 
areas will be developed mutually 
by the Executive Director and each 
ministry director.] 

Associates and Staff 

Additional staff positions have 
not been identified in an effort to 
allow the greatest amount of flexi- 
bility to the Executive Director, the 
Executive Board, and the minis- 
tries councils. 

Associate positions for each min- 
istry would ultimately be deter- 
mined by the Executive Board 



based on recommendations of the 
Executive Director, the ministries 
director, and the ministries council. 
Ministry priorities would be the 
major guiding factor in identifying 
associate positions. All associates 
and staff would be directly account- 
able to the directors of their respec- 
tive ministries and, through that 
director, to the Executive Director. 

Associates (such as director of 
pastoral ministries and director of 
church planting) and staff (such as 
administrative assistants and sec- 
retaries) would be selected by the 
Executive Director and each direc- 
tor of ministries based on current 
and projected needs. 

Administrative services staff 
would be determined by the Execu- 
tive Director in consultation with 
the Executive Board and the direc- 
tors of ministries. This may include 
such positions as a treasurer/comp- 
troller, director of stewardship and 
planned giving, director of commu- 
nications, office manager, and re- 
ceptionist, with decisions based on 
current and projected needs. 

Funding and Cost Projections 

Funding of the denominational 
organization is an important issue. 
However, we are not prepared to 
recommend a change from the pre- 
sent system of Fair Share Support. 
We do recommend that a task force 
be formed to study this issue. Re- 
gardless of the financial support 
system, any designated contribu- 
tions will be used solely for the pur- 
pose designated by the donor. 

It is nearly impossible to project 
actual costs involved with the pro- 
posed changes without specifying 
in advance all positions to be cre- 
ated or eliminated and without set- 
ting salary levels. Implementation 
of this proposal is based on funding 
the new organization without increas- 
ing the current Fair Share Support 
figures. Any increase in costs can 
initially be covered from other assets. 
The new Executive Board (with the 
recommendation of the two minis- 
tries councils) would have responsi- 
bility for determining what positions 
should be created or eliminated (if 
any), setting salary levels, and look- 
ing into long-range funding options. 

General Conference will annually 
approve a projected budget and 
Fair Share Support figures. [ft] 



Reorganization Proposal, Page Four 



Answers to 
Commonly Asked Questions 



1. How does the proposal ad- 
dress the facilitator's recommen- 
dations for unified vision, re- 
sponsible stewardship, and mis- 
sion-focused organization? 

Unified vision: It brings together 
the General Conference Executive 
Council (GCEC) and the Missionary 
Board in a single organization with a 
single Executive Board and a single 
Executive Director. This will make it 
much easier to establish and imple- 
ment a unified vision for denomina- 
tional ministries. The two ministries 
councils can meet together if neces- 
sary to facilitate cooperation. The Ex- 
ecutive Board can set priorities for 
denominational ministries according 
to the unified vision. The Executive 
Director will be in the districts and in 
the churches to receive input and 
communicate the vision. 

Mission-focused organization: 

The unified vision and single organi- 
zation will help keep the denomina- 
tion on task in carrying out the mis- 
sion of the church. Functional re- 
sponsibilities of the national organi- 
zation have been identified (see page 
2 of the proposal). One of the minis- 
tries councils is specifically devoted 
to the tasks of home and world mis- 
sions to ensure that this emphasis is 
not in any way diminished. The 
greater flexibility provided by this 
model will enable the national or- 
ganization to be more responsive to 
changing ministry needs. 

Responsible stewardship: The 

unified structure should help ensure 
that resources are used as effectively 
as possible. Combining administra- 
tive services will create greater effi- 
ciency in this area. The first step 
taken at the national level to address 
the issue of stewardship was the es- 
tablishment of an office of steward- 
ship and planned giving. Encourag- 
ing growth in stewardship will con- 
tinue to be one of the functional re- 
sponsibilities of the national organi- 
zation. Both ministries councils will 
be involved in the raising of funds for 
denominational ministries. The Ex- 
ecutive Director and other staff per- 
sons will be in the districts and 
churches to enhance communication 
about denominational activities. Dis- 



trict representation on the ministries 
councils should increase local owner- 
ship of national programs. 

Ultimately, there is only so much 
an organizational structure can do to 
address these three issues. The pro- 
posed model will make it easier to 
address them in two ways: 1) by tak- 
ing positive steps toward unity, mis- 
sion priority, and flexibility; and 2) 
by eliminating the structural obsta- 
cles we currently have because of 
separate organizations, conflicting 
perspectives, and duplication of effort. 

2. What do you mean by vision? 
Who will develop it? 

George Barna has defined vision as 
follows: "Vision for ministry is a clear 
mental image of a preferable future 
imparted by God to His chosen ser- 
vants and is based on an accurate 
understanding of God, self, and cir- 
cumstances" (The Power of Vision: 
How You Can Capture and Apply 
God's Vision for Your Ministry, Ven- 
tura: Regal Books, 1992, page 28). 
Vision is "a picture ... of the way 
things could or should be in the days 
ahead. . . . Vision entails change. 
Vision is never about maintaining 
the status quo. . . . Vision concen- 
trates on the future. It focuses on 
thinking ahead rather than on dwell- 
ing upon or seeking to replicate the 
past. . . . Vision for ministry is a re- 
flection of what God wants to accom- 
plish through you to build His king- 
dom. . . . God has gifted certain indi- 
viduals to serve as leaders. It is to 
those people that He can trust one of 
His most precious and treasured 
gifts: vision. . . . God chooses those 
leaders carefully and provides each of 
them with a vision tailored to their 
circumstances" (pages 29-30). 

Based on this proposal, the Execu- 
tive Director will have the primary 
role in a collaborative process of dis- 
cerning, developing, and communi- 
cating a vision for The Brethren 
Church. 

3. What are the elements of a 
vision? 

Joel Arthur Barker says vision has 
four key ingredients. First, it is de- 
veloped by leaders. Certainly leaders 
begin by consulting the leading of the 



Lord, as Barna notes above. But 
Barker says that, in addition, "good 
leaders talk to their people. By the 
way, they listen and explore the 
world as well. But, it is the role of 
leadership to take all that input and 
focus it and bring it into a coherent, 
powerful vision" (Facilitator's Guide 
to The Power of Vision, Burnsville, 
Minnesota: ChartHouse Interna- 
tional Learning Corporation, 1993, 
page 168). 

Second, vision is shared by the 
members of the organization. A vi- 
sion must have the support of the 
members or it will have little impact. 
The leader must direct the process of 
developing consensus among the 
members about the vision God is im- 
parting. Members join together with 
their leader to fulfill that God-given 
vision. 

Third, vision "must be comprehen- 
sive and detailed. Generalities just 
won't do. . . . To have a vision, we 
must know how and when and why 
and what with enough precision so 
that each member in the vision com- 
munity can find his or her significant 
and important place in the vision" 
(ibid.). 

Fourth, "vision must be positive 
and inspiring. A vision should have 
reach. It should challenge each and 
every one of us to grow substantially, 
to stretch their skills, to reach be- 
yond their ordinary reach. A vision 
must be worth the effort" (ibid.). 

Vision is more than a dream. 
Barker says, 'Vision without action is 
merely a dream. Action without 
vision just passes the time. Vision 
with action can change the world" 
(ibid., p. 171). 

4. But aren't we a grass-roots 
church? Shouldn't the vision 
arise from the local churches? 

Certainly vision must be shared at 
the grass-roots level. And certainly 
all members of the body of Christ 
make an important contribution to 
the development of vision. But a 
clearly defined statement of vision 
rarely emerges out of a group without 
the clarifying work of a leader. 

5. Is this idea of visionary lead- 
ership biblical? 

Take, for example, the children of 
Israel in bondage in Egypt. They had 
been in slavery for over 400 years 
before God gave Moses the vision of 
freeing the people of Israel. They all 
certainly wanted to be free. But they 



Reorganization Proposal, Page Five 



might have languished in slavery for 
another 400 years if God had not 
given his vision to a leader. 

Take, for example, Nehemiah. God 
burdened him with the vision to see 
the walls of Jerusalem rebuilt. All 
the Israelites wanted to see the city 
rebuilt and restored to its former 
glory. But God gave the vision — a 
dream and accompanying action — to 
one person: Nehemiah. Because of 
his God-given vision and leadership, 
the walls were rebuilt in just 52 days. 

Or take the Apostle Paul. Our Lord 
Jesus gave his vision for the spread- 
ing of the gospel to the apostles. It 
was a vision shared by many people. 
But that vision was achieved when 
God also gave that vision to a leader 
who inspired others to join the task. 

6. Why do we need an Execu- 
tive Director to develop a unified 
vision? Why can't the Executive 
Board do this? 

The Executive Board will be sig- 
nificantly involved in the process of 
developing vision. But it is difficult 
for a group of volunteers which meets 



three or four times a year to have the 
primary responsibility to lead in the 
development and communication of 
vision. This process needs to be 
directed by a dedicated full-time 
person. 

The Missionary Board and all the 
former cooperating boards have oper- 
ated with an Executive Director 
model. The Executive Director would 
lead a collaborative process of vision 
setting and would be accountable to 
both the Executive Board (through 
annual reviews) and to General Con- 
ference (through periodic reaffirma- 
tion). Delegates to General Confer- 
ence in 1995 indicated a broad consen- 
sus in favor of an Executive Director. 

7. It sounds like it puts a lot 
of authority in the hands of one 
person. 

It does. Yet this proposal does not 
propose a leader who is a maverick or 
a "loose cannon." The writer of Prov- 
erbs said, "Where there is no counsel, 
the people fall; but in the multitude 
of counselors there is safety" (11:14). 
A visionary leader will always verify 



Transition Process 



In anticipation that General Con- 
ference will approve this proposal in 
August 1996: 

l.The General Conference Execu- 
tive Council and the executive com- 
mittee of the Missionary Board will 
select a person to direct the transi- 
tion process. This person will also 
serve as the interim Director of Con- 
gregational Ministries during the 
transition process. The current Ex- 
ecutive Director of the Missionary 
Board would assume the role of Di- 
rector of Missionary Ministries until 
at least January 1998. 

2. The executive committee of the 
Missionary Board and the General 
Conference Executive Council will 
present nominees for the two minis- 
tries councils for election by General 
Conference this year, with nomina- 
tions permitted from the floor of Gen- 
eral Conference. Nominees in future 
years will be presented according to 
the proposal. 

3. There will be no election for 
Moderator-Elect this year. Current 
Moderator-Elect John Shultz will be- 
come Moderator for a one-year term 
as usual. 

4. Conference will elect a Nominat- 
ing Committee. A Committee on 
Committees will not be elected, since 
that committee's responsibilities will 



be assumed by the new Nominating 
Committee. 

5. As soon as possible after their 
election, the two ministries councils 
will organize themselves and appoint 
their representatives to the new Ex- 
ecutive Board. 

6. The two ministries councils will 
assume their full responsibilities 
upon their election. The Executive 
Board will assume its full responsi- 
bilities as soon as it has been consti- 
tuted. 

7. The new Executive Board will 
immediately initiate a search process 
for the first Executive Director. Their 
selection will be presented to the 
1997 General Conference for affirma- 
tion or rejection. If affirmed, the new 
Executive Director would assume of- 
fice no later than January 1, 1998. 

Should General Conference reject 
this organizational proposal: 

1. Nominations for all positions 
(GCEC, Missionary Board, the Re- 
tirement Board, commissions, and 
Conference committees) will be pre- 
sented for election as normal. 

2. Based on the nature of the re- 
sponse by Conference to this pro- 
posal, GCEC will determine how to 
proceed with selecting a new Director 
of Brethren Church Ministries. 



the vision to be certain it is God-given 
and that it inspires the support of the 
rest of the body. The Executive Direc- 
tor will develop a vision for the 
church in consultation with the Ex- 
ecutive Board, the ministries coun- 
cils, the directors of ministries, and 
other staff. The director will also 
travel to district conferences and 
among the churches, gaining valu- 
able insights that will inspire the 
development of the vision and its re- 
finement. 

This proposal does not change the 
polity of The Brethren Church to a 
hierarchical system. The Executive 
Director will be able to lead the 
church only to the extent that dis- 
tricts or individual congregations 
freely and willingly follow because 
they recognize God-given leadership. 

8. Shouldn't each local church 
have its own vision? Why do we 
need a denominational vision? 

Most definitely, every congregation 
should discern its own vision, tailor- 
made by God to its own circum- 
stances and opportunities, discerned 
by its pastor as leader of the church, 
and based on the gifts of the people. 
No one is suggesting that the de- 
nominational vision will supersede 
the need for each congregation to dis- 
cern and implement God's vision for 
it. The same is true for districts, for 
auxiliaries, and for other ministries. 

But by our commitment as congre- 
gations and districts to being a part 
of The Brethren Church, we are ac- 
knowledging that we share a broader 
ministry than simply that accom- 
plished in our local communities. If 
we believed that as separate congre- 
gations we could fulfill all God's min- 
istry in the world, we would sever our 
denominational ties and exist simply 
as individual congregations. The Great 
Commission convinces us that we can- 
not do it all as single congregations. 

By the way, it is because we recog- 
nize that The Brethren Church at the 
national level is still not able to fulfill 
God's complete mission for the 
church that we are co-laborers with 
other parts of the body of Christ, such 
as the National Association of Evan- 
gelicals, World Relief Corporation, 
The Andrew Center, and national 
churches around the globe. 

9. How will the Executive Di- 
rector and the administrative 
services staff positions be 
funded? 



Reorganization Proposal, Page Six 



All staff will work as one unit. Staff 
whose primary responsibilities relate 
to Congregational Ministries will be 
paid out of the Congregational Minis- 
tries budget. Staff whose primary re- 
sponsibilities relate to missions will 
be paid out of the Missionary Minis- 
tries budget. For salaries and ex- 
penses associated with the Executive 
Director, administrative services 
staff, and any other employee who is 
not primarily working in one of the 
two ministries, a formula will be de- 
vised so that proportional amounts 
will come from Congregational and 
Missionary Ministries. 

10. Why does the Executive Di- 
rector have a vote on the Execu- 
tive Board? Why do the directors 
of ministries have a vote on the 
ministries councils? Doesn't this 
create a conflict of interest? 

As the leader of The Brethren 
Church and as an officer of the corpo- 
ration, the Executive Director should 
be a full participating member of the 
Executive Board. This follows the pat- 
tern typical in most churches where 
the pastor is a voting member of the 
officiaVadministrative board. However, 
the Executive Director will not vote 
on personnel issues that directly re- 
late to that position (such as setting 
salary, determining employment, and 
so forth). The two directors of minis- 
tries will function as full participat- 
ing members of their ministries coun- 
cils as the leaders of those councils. 
Again, they will not have authority to 
vote on personnel matters relating to 
themselves. Because none of these 
staff members will vote on any busi- 
ness related to their own employ- 
ment, there is no conflict of interest. 

It may be helpful to know that de- 
nominational boards generally make 
decisions after reaching a consensus 
of opinion. Rarely are important mat- 
ters decided by such narrow margins 
that one vote would sway the result 
one way or another. And, on matters 
of top importance, denominational 
boards at times extend voting privi- 
lege to non-voting members as a 
means of demonstrating the active 
support of executive leaders for deci- 
sions that are made. 

11. Will the Executive Director 
be Brethren? 

The intention of this proposal is that 
the Executive Director will be chosen 
from among members in good stand- 
ing of a local congregation of The 
Brethren Church. No person shall be 



employed as Executive Director who 
does not first have a positive vote of 
affirmation by General Conference. 

12. This proposal leaves a lot of 
unanswered questions about 
staffing. Why don't you clearly 
specify all the staff positions? 

For an organization to be able to 
respond to its God-given vision and 
fulfill his priorities for the church, it 
needs to have flexibility to staff to 
meet those needs. We have tried to 
strike a balance between specifying 
no staff positions — leaving the greatest 
level of latitude to the Executive 
Board — and writing into the proposal 
every possible staff position — leaving 
limited or no latitude. 

For example, we all recognize the 
importance of assisting congregations 
and pastors to develop effective min- 
istry relationships. This organizational 
proposal allows for the continuation 
of that function. If, however, God di- 
rects us to fulfill that function in 
some other way in the future, it al- 
lows the flexibility to change staffing 
to better meet the need. 



13. Is this reorganization pro- 
posal really that different from 
what we have now? Haven't you 
just "rearranged the furniture"? 

Some aspects of this proposal are 
similar to the existing organization 
simply because many areas of minis- 
try will continue. However, the pro- 
posed organization differs from the 
present organizational structure in 
four fundamental ways: 1) The 
Brethren Church will have one recog- 
nized and accountable leader who 
works with one board that is directly 
accountable to General Conference, 
thus bringing a unified leadership 
and focus to what we do as a denomi- 
nation; 2) there will be organiza- 
tional unity between Congregational 
Ministries and Missionary Ministries 
rather than two separate organiza- 
tions (GCEC and the Missionary 
Board); 3) the new structure will 
have enough flexibility to adjust 
staffing needs as denominational 
priorities and financial resources may 
change without requiring the kind of 
multi-year reorganization process 
that we are presently enduring; and 



Time Table 



May 1996— GCEC makes final 
modifications in proposal; sends final 
proposal to pastors and moderators; 
selects nominees for the Congrega- 
tional Ministries Council (in anticipa- 
tion of General Conference approval); 
selects nominees for Brethren Church 
Ministries commissions (in the event 
that General Conference rejects or 
defers action on the proposal) 

May 1996 — The executive commit- 
tee of the Missionary Board selects 
nominees for the Missionary Minis- 
tries Council (in anticipation of Gen- 
eral Conference approval); selects 
nominees for expiring terms on the 
Missionary Board (in the event that 
General Conference rejects or defers 
action on the proposal) 

May-August 1996 — A director of 
transition process is selected by Na- 
tional Leadership Council composed 
of the General Conference Modera- 
tor, Moderator Elect, Past Modera- 
tor, Interim Director of Brethren 
Church Ministries, and the Executive 
Director and President of the Mis- 
sionary Board; GCEC publishes pro- 
posal in The Brethren Evangelist 
and conducts regional forums to clar- 
ify any questions about the proposal 
and to help delegates prepare to vote 

August 1996 — Denominational 
Reorganization Proposal and Manual 



of Procedure changes presented to 
General Conference for action 

If approved by General Conference: 

August 1996 — Ministries councils 
elected; Executive Board formed 

November 1996 — First formal 
meeting of Executive Board and min- 
istries councils held; Executive Board 
forms search committee for Executive 
Director; requests nominations and 
applications 

February-April 1997 — Search com- 
mittee screens applicants and pre- 
pares recommendation 

May 1997 — Executive Board approves 
candidate for Executive Director 

August 1997 — General Confer- 
ence votes to affirm Executive Direc- 
tor; ministries councils form search 
committees for directors of ministries 

November-December 1997 — Min- 
istries councils and Executive Direc- 
tor screen candidates and recommend 
candidates for directors of ministries 

January 1, 1998 (or sooner if possi- 
ble) — Executive Director begins service 

February 1998 — Executive Board 
approves candidates for directors of 
ministries 

June 1, 1998 (or sooner if possible) 
— Directors of ministries begin service 



Reorganization Proposal, Page Seven 



4) districts will have greater owner- 
ship of national ministries through 
direct nomination of members of min- 
istries councils. 

14. This proposal looks pretty 
top-heavy with regard to execu- 
tive staff. How does it compare to 
the present situation? 

That is a fair question. It is difficult 
to make comparisons because some 
executive staff positions are now 
vacant (Director of Brethren Church 
Ministries and Director of Home Mis- 
sions). But based on full-time staff as 
of the 1995 General Conference, we 
had three senior-level executives 
(Director of Pastoral Ministries, Direc- 
tor of Brethren Church Ministries, 
and Executive Director of the Mis- 
sionary Board) and three middle- 
level executives (Editor of Publications, 
Assistant to the Executive Director of 
the Missionary Board, and Director 
of Home Missions). 

This proposal specifies only three 
executive staff positions: one senior- 
level executive (Executive Director) 
and two middle-level executives 
(Director of Congregational Minis- 
tries and Director of Missionary Min- 
istries). It allows for the addition of 
other executive staff members as nec- 
essary. It does not require a larger 
number of executive staff than we 
presently have. 

Interestingly, the high-water mark 
in denominational employment was 
in 1976 when we had five senior- 
level executives, three middle-level 
executives, and at least six full- and 
part-time support staff. Today we 
have a total of eight full-time denomi- 
national employees (two senior-level 
executives, two middle-level execu- 
tives, and four support staff) and 
three part-time employees. Even if 
all existing positions were presently 
filled, we would have fewer employ- 
ees today than we had 25 years ago. 

The facilitator's report (page 10) 
found that we are not overstaffed at 
the national level. We have about the 
same number of staff as other de- 
nominations of similar size. 

15. It seems like you are just or- 
ganizing like a business rather 
than a church. 

At the national level, The Brethren 
Church is quite different from a local 
church. For example, we do not have 
a pool of volunteers to do most of the 
ministry, as a local church does. 
Much of the ministry we do is accom- 



plished by paid staff. And because of 
the breadth of the ministry of The 
Brethren Church at the national 
level, it is essential that we organize 
to carefully manage the resources en- 
trusted to us by God and by congrega- 
tions and individuals. In 1995, the 
combined budgets of The Brethren 
Church National Office and the Mis- 
sionary Board totaled nearly $1.7 
million. An operation that large re- 
quires that we operate much like a 
business, even though our "business" 
is doing ministry. 

16. Why are you rushing this 
proposal through so fast? We 
need time to fully digest it. Would 
another year really make that 
much difference? 

Actually, we have been working on 
proposals for reorganization for over 
three years. Work on this topic has 
consumed a great deal of time and 
has, no doubt, diverted some atten- 
tion from ministry. Elements of this 
proposal have been discussed at the 
last two General Conferences (1994 
and 1995). While reorganization has 
not been a "front-burner" issue for 
most Brethren people, it has been a 
significant issue for some time. 

There is no attempt to "push 
through" a reorganization proposal. 
However, we all recognize that we 
must get on with life and ministry. 

Additionally, this is a significant 
opportunity for change in denomina- 
tional organization. Because we have 
key positions open at the present 
time, it is less painful in terms of the 
lives of employees to make changes 
now. However, we cannot delay fill- 
ing some of these positions indefi- 
nitely. For example, starting new 
churches is one of our priorities. This 
priority is being impacted by the fact 
that we do not now have a Director of 
Church Planting. It would be unfair 
to hire executive staff with the possi- 
bility that within a couple of years, 
the position might be eliminated. 

So while we do not want to rush 
a decision, we also cannot afford to 
debate reorganizational matters in- 
definitely. 

17. Why are we taking so long 
to deal with these organizational 
issues? We should make a deci- 
sion and get on with the work of 
ministry. 

It's true that we have been discuss- 
ing reorganization for several years 
now. But we have the opportunity to 



make significant changes that will 
have a positive impact on our ability 
to minister. We want to do the best 
we can with this opportunity. It takes 
time to build consensus for change. It 
took time for the Missionary Board 
and GCEC to come to consensus on a 
proposal. The discussions at the 1994 
and 1995 General Conferences sug- 
gested a developing consensus in 
some areas and raised further issues 
to discuss. We have tried to solicit 
input from the Brethren at various 
stages of the process, in the hope that 
any proposal brought to Conference 
would have broad support. 

We would all like to bring organiza- 
tional discussions to a resolution and 
get on with the work of ministry. But 
we hope that if we do the job carefully 
now, any changes we need to make in 
the future will not require such a 
lengthy process. 

18. What are the real advan- 
tages of this proposal? 

The advantages include the follow- 
ing: 1) there will be greater district 
ownership and accountability through 
the direct nomination of ministries 
council members; 2) it will bring 
together the two national boards, 
the General Conference Executive 
Council and the Missionary Board — 
organizations that have been per- 
ceived at times to be working on dif- 
ferent agendas — into one functioning 
unit, a unit that will be directly 
accountable to General Conference; 

3) the Executive Director will be free 
to be out among Brethren people and 
in Brethren churches and district 
conferences to hear grass-roots needs 
and concerns and to communicate a 
common direction for the church; and 

4) a flexible national organization 
that can better respond to financial 
challenges and changing ministry 
needs. 

19. This proposal calls for sev- 
eral significant changes. What 
will not change? 

At least two things will not change: 
1) our strong commitment to world 
missions and to starting new churches 
in the United States will continue; 
and 2) the national offices will have 
no authority or "control" over local 
churches — in fact, local churches 
(through their General Conference 
delegates) will have greater control 
over the national organization by 
having the ability to affirm (or reject) 
the Executive Director. [ft] 



Reorganization Proposal, Page Eight 



General Conference Preview 



The 1996 BYIC CONVENTION 

Theme: "Attitude Check" (Philippians 2:5) 

August 5-9 at Ashland University 



HIGHLIGHTS of this year's 
BYIC Convention will include 
the 50th birthday celebration of 
Brethren Youth; a concert by the 
Christian singer, Ian; Youth Com- 
munion; a missions banquet; and 
participation in service projects. 

The missions banquet will be 
held on Wednesday evening and 
will feature the Loi family, Breth- 
ren missionaries who serve in their 
native land of Malaysia. 

Other events on the BYIC Con- 
vention schedule include an open- 
ing get-acquainted session; canoe- 



ing down the Mohican River; an in- 
formational session; seminars; age- 
appropriate activities; a Coffeehouse; 
as well as the daily Morning Praise 
sessions and Share and Prayer 
groups. 

The youth will also join the 
adults for worship on Monday eve- 
ning; at the all-conference picnic on 
Tuesday afternoon, during which a 
50th birthday celebration for 
Brethren Youth will be held; and 
for the closing worship service on 
Friday morning. Except for these 
sessions, the BYIC Convention will 



be independent of the adult Confer- 
ence. 

All youth attending the BYIC Con- 
vention must pre-register (no walk- 
ins will be accepted at the Conven- 
tion). Registration information was 
mailed to advisors and pastors in 
May. The last date to register is 
July 15, and a discount is available 
to those whose registrations are 
postmarked before July 1. Addi- 
tional discounts are available if 
youth are National BYIC members 
or have memorized Philippians 2. 

All youth at the Convention must 
stay on campus, and attendance is 
mandatory at all Convention events. 
The registration fee includes four 
nights of housing (Monday through 
Thursday); therefore, any youth or 
adult sponsors who will arrive on 
Sunday must register with adult 
housing for Sunday night. [ft] 



Conference Registration Information 



Every person planning to attend 
Conference must complete a regis- 
tration form (next page) — even if you 
live in Ashland or are not planning to 
stay on campus. 

General instructions: 

1. Room rates do not include sheets 
and towels (this is a change from past 
years). Bring your own, or order a linen 
packet on the registration form. You 
will need to bring your own pillow. 

2. We must pay for every bed used, 
but children accompanying parents may 
sleep on the floor in their parents' room 
at no charge. No linen will be provided. 
Bring a pad or sleeping bag. Single 
rooms have floor space for only one 
child, doubles for two, triples for three. 
Register early to assure getting your 
desired accommodations. A limited 
number of triple rooms are available. 

3. Tickets for meals served in the 
university cafeteria Tuesday through 
Friday are usable any day. Since no 
refunds are given, order only as 
many tickets as you will need for the 
week. Meal tickets may also be pur- 
chased at the door. The price is the 
same. 

4. The Women's Luncheon, World 
Relief Soup Lunch, and Missionary 
Board Banquet will be held at the Uni- 
versity. 

5. In addition to the children's pro- 
gram listed on the registration form, 
baby-sitting for infants through pre- 

June 1996 



schoolers will be available in the Kem 
Hall preschool rooms during morning 
and evening sessions. Activities are 
also planned for children 4 years old 
through 6th grade on Thursday during 
the Missionary Board Banquet (ap- 
proximately 4:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.). 
Children must eat before going to the 
Thursday evening activities. 

Other information 

Housing — The housing desk will be 
open Sunday evening from 6:00 until 
9:00 p.m.; Monday from 10:00 a.m. un- 
til 6:00 p.m. and after the evening pro- 
gram; and at other times listed in the 
program book. The housing desk will be 
located in the Convocation Center 
lobby. 

Camping — Available at Ashland 
County Fairgrounds, 2042 Claremont 
Ave., Ashland; $10.00 per night; pay on 
arrival. No advance reservation is re- 
quired. 

Credentials — General Conference 
delegate credentials should be submit- 
ted in person at the earliest possible 
time. Credentials will be received in 
the Convocation Center lobby Monday 
2:00-6:00 p.m. and following the eve- 
ning program; Tuesday through Fri- 
day, 8:00-8:20 a.m.; and Tuesday 
through Thursday, 6:30-7:00 p.m. 

Non-Delegate Guests — Non-dele- 
gates are welcome to attend Conference. 
Please complete a reservation form. Non- 
delegates are asked to check in at the 



credential table and pay a fee of $10.00. 
Each guest is then entitled to a guest 
name badge and a Conference packet. 

New Attenders — A briefing for 
new attenders will held at 4:00 p.m. 
Monday in the main auditorium. Even 
though this briefing is specifically for 
those attending General Conference for 
the first time, anyone is welcome to 
attend. The briefing will include a 
general orientation to Conference plus 
specific information about business 
sessions and procedures. 

Travel Subsidy — Delegates who 
travel more than 1,500 miles to attend 
Conference are eligible for travel sub- 
sidy. Travel subsidy forms should be 
picked up at the credential table when 
registering. [ft] 



Leadership Development Seminar 

A valuable experience awaits those 
who come to Conference early. On 
Conference Monday, Sherry Van 
Duyne, director of Christian educa- 
tion at Park Street Brethren Church, 
will lead a personal leadership de- 
velopment seminar, sponsored by the 
Leadership Development Commis- 
sion. Participants will discover the 
biblical qualities of an effective 
leader and learn how to maximize 
their potential as Christian leaders. 

Registration is $20, which covers 
a booklet and lunch. The seminar will 
be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
at Park Street Church. Registration 
forms were sent out in Leadership 
Letter. See your pastor or church 
moderator for a copy. 



See instructions on previous page. 



Theme: 

"Partners in the Gospel" 

Name 



Address 



City/State/Zip 



1996 General Conference 

Registration Form 



Monday, August 5, through 
Friday, August 9 



Please reserve only one room per form. YOUTH are to 
register through the National BYIC if staying in YOUTH 
DORM. If staying with adults, use this form. NOTE: Reg- 
istration with prepayment by July 21 results in guaranteed 
reservation. 



Housing: 

Ashland University Dormitory 

Floor: Women's restroom Men's 



Rates** 

Single 
Double 



Prepaid by 
July 21 

$18.00 
26.00 



Upon 
arrival 

$22.00 
33.00 



Housing costs calculation 

No. nights x rate/night 

x - $ 



Room type: Single 



Double 



Triple 



Nights staying: S M T 

Other preferences: 



W 



Triple 36.00 43.00 

*no charge for children not sleeping in a bed 

Th 



Note: Rates above do not include linen this year; see linen rates at right. 



Linen packet (2 sheets, 
2 towels, 1 wash cloth) 

No. of packets x rate 

x $2.50 

Total Housing 



Meal Tickets 

Meals served in University cafeteria; tickets usable any day; o 
need for the week. No. tic 

Breakfast Adults 

Children under 12 


der < 

kets 
X 
X 
X 
X 
X 
X 

?adlir 
. afte 

X 
X 
X 

X 
X 
X 
X 

(o 

X 

Enc 


as many as you 

$3.90 - $ 
$1.95- 


Summary Totals 

Total Housing - $ 
Total Meals 


Lunch Adults 

Children under 12 


$5.15-$ 
$2.58 = 


and Banquets = $ 
Total Children's 


Dinner Adults 

Children under 12 


$6.45 - $ 
$3.23 - 


Program - $ 


Banquet Reservations 

Reservations for following events are a must due to early d( 
ordered after July 21 subject to availability. No meal refunds 

Tues. 5:00 p.m. — Picnic (celebrating the Adults 


les. Tickets 
r August 1. 

$7.00 - 


Total Enclosed - $ 

Make checks payable to 

General Conference Housing 


50th birthday of Brethren Youth) Children under 12 


$3.50 - 


Send to: 


Wed. 7:00 a.m. — Pastors' Wives Continental 


$4.25 - 


General Conference Housing 


Breakfast/Fellowship 
Wed. 12:30 p.m. — Women's Luncheon Adults 


$6.50 - 


524 College Avenue 
Ashland, OH 44805 


Children under 6 


$3.25 - 


FOR OFFICE USE ONLY: 

Reg. # 
Date rec. 
Amount rec. 
Check # 


Children under 3 


free 
$6.00 - 


Wed. 12:30 — Men's Picnic 


Thur. 12:30 p.m. — World Relief Soup Luncheon 


ffering will be taken) 
$9.50 = 


Thurs. 5:00 p.m. — Missionary Board Banquet 


Total Meals and Banquets 


losed - $ 



CHILDREN'S PROGRAM (ages 4 years through completed 6th grade): 

Tuesday through Thursday, 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Fri., 8:15 a.m. to noon. 
Lunch provided Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. 

Family Rates Week Day 

1 child $46.00 $15.00; 2 or more children 

Child's Name 



Week 
$70.00 

Age/Grade 
Completed 


Day 
$24.00 

Days (circle) 

T W Th F 

T W Th F 

T W Th F 

for Children's Program 


$ 




$ 




$ 


Total 


$ 



Mail this form as soon as possible with payment in full (but no later than July 21). 

Send to: General Conference Housing, 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805 

8 The Brethren Evangelist 



oocTtfie 




N. Manchester First Brethren 
co-sponsoring Habitat house 

North Manchester, Ind. — The 

First Brethren Church of North 
Manchester has entered into a 
covenant agreement with Habitat 
for Humanity of Wabash County to 
co-sponsor, in partnership with the 
Zion Lutheran Church of North 
Manchester, the building of a house 
for a family in need. 

Each church will contribute half 
of the $30,000 needed to purchase 
building materials for the house, and 
volunteers from the two churches 
will help with construction of the 
dwelling. Ray DeLancey, a member 
of First Brethren, will serve as 
construction foremen. 

The ground-breaking ceremony for 
the house was held Sunday, May 5 
(in a heavy rain!), with approxi- 
mately 30 people in attendance. Of- 
ficiating at the ceremony were Pas- 
tor Marlin McCann of North Man- 
chester First Brethren and Pastor 
Jeff Hawkins of Zion Lutheran. They 
were assisted by the co-directors of 
the project, Leonard Pyle of First 
Brethren and Darell Yankey of 
Zion Lutheran. By the date of the 
ground-breaking, each church had 
met its first-half goal of $7,500. The 
remaining $7,500 per church is to 
be raised by September, as construc- 
tion of the house nears completion. 

When finished, the house will be 
occupied by Hilda Garza and her 
two children. Ms. Garza will assume 
a no-interest mortgage to cover the 
cost of materials used to build the 
house. This money will go into the 
treasury of Habitat for Humanity 
of Wabash County and will be recy- 
cled in the building of other houses. 

— reported by Arlene Clark DeLancey 

June 1996 



Indiana Conference focuses on 
ways to do "M.O.R.E" together 



Shipshewana, Ind. — Together 
We Can Do M.O.R.E. (Managing 
Our Resources Effectively, Effi- 
ciently)" was the theme of the Indi- 
ana District Conference, held May 
2-4 at the Brethren Retreat Cen- 
ter in Shipshewana. 

The conference opened Thursday 
evening with a Concert of Prayer 
and Praise, in observance of the 
National Day of Prayer. Michelle 
Rhude of the Jefferson Brethren 
Church led the concert, which had 
as its theme TOGETHER We can 
Reach Up and do M.O.R.E." 

A Pastors' and Lay Leaders' Re- 
treat was held Friday morning and 
afternoon, led by Steve Clapp, an 
author (more then 30 books) and 
church consultant who is affiliated 
with the Andrew Center. In the 
three sessions of this retreat, he 



Facts about the Indiana District* 


Number of congregations 


36 


Total membership 


4,418 


Average worship attendance 


3,740 


Worship attendance as a per- 




centage of membership 


84.7% 


Average S.S. attendance 


2,111 


S.S. attendance as a per- 




centage of membership 


47.8% 


Members gained in 1995 


215 


Members lost in 1 995 


193 


Net membership gain 


22 


Average giving per member 


$685 


Average giving per family 


$1 ,220 


*Source: the 1995 statistical report for 


the Indiana District. All figures are for the 


1995 calendar year. 





dealt with "Change and Conflict in 
the Church" (two sessions) and took 
"A New Look at Stewardship." 

A worship service Friday evening 
focused on missions, with the theme 
"We can Reach Out and do M.O.R.E." 
The service included presentations 
and special music by Winning the 
Race Ministries (the ministry of 
which Greenwood Brethren Fellow- 
ship is a part); a spotlight on Breth- 
ren missions by Rev. Reilly Smith, 
executive director of the Mission- 
ary Board of the Brethren Church; 
and the conference keynote address 
by Steve Clapp, who spoke on "Be- 
coming Welcoming Congregations." 



Saturday morning began with 
auxiliary sessions, followed by wor- 
ship, which focused on district and 
denominational Unity (TOGETH- 
ER We can Reach In M.O.R.E."). 
The service included a denomina- 
tional spotlight by Rev. Dave Cook- 
sey, Director of Pastoral Ministries 
for The Brethren Church; special 
music by a quarter from the Peru 
First Brethren Church; worship led 
by the Nappanee worship team; 
and the moderator's address by 
Rev. Tim Garner, pastor of the Elk- 
hart First Brethren Church. In his 
address, "Extending Our Reach," 
Moderator Garner challenged the 
Indiana Brethren to be active in 
winning people to Christ. 

A business session rounded out 
the morning and another began the 
afternoon. Business included re- 
ports from district officers and min- 
istries, action on the moderator's 
recommendations, elections, and 
other conference matters. In elec- 
tions, Rev. Richard Austin, pastor 
of the Meadow Crest Brethren 
Church in Ft. Wayne, was chosen 
moderator-elect; and Billy Hesketh, 
pastor of the Milford First Breth- 
ren Church, was elected as the dis- 
tricts new treasurer. 

Following the afternoon business 
session, a time of worship focused 
on developing disciples ("We can 
Reach Within M.O.R.E."). The serv- 
ice included special music by Chad 
Gorrel of Roanoke, a spotlight on 
Ashland University and Ashland 
Theological Seminary by Rev. Dave 
Cooksey, and an address ("Closing 
the Church's Back Door") by Steve 
Clapp. 

Rev. Reilly Smith presided over 
the installation of officers. Then the 
new moderator, Rev. Gene Ecker- 
ley gave a challenge in which he 
introduced the new conference 
theme: "In Christ We Can! We 
Must! We Will!" The conference 
concluded with a banquet. 

Next year's conference is sched- 
uled for June 6-7, with the option 
of using the evening of June 5 for 
prayer. 
— reported by Ron Burns, District Sec. 





Lee and Wilma Bungard with the gift 
he received from the Cameron Church. 

Lee Bungard honored for 
40+ years as S.S. teacher 

Cameron, W. Va. — Lee Bungard 
was honored February 4 by the 
Cameron First Brethren Church for 
his more than 40 years of service 
as a Sunday school teacher. 

The Cameron congregation sur- 
prised Mr. Bungard with a special 
gift during the morning worship 
service. He was also the guest of 
honor at a fellowship dinner follow- 
ing the service. 

Mr. Bungard and his wife, Wilma, 
have actively served the Cameron 
First Brethren Church for more than 
50 years. Mr. Bungard has been a 
deacon during those 50-plus years, 
and he also served as Sunday school 
superintendent, trustee, encourager, 
and mentor. He helped build the 
church building and has helped 
maintain it through the years as 
roofer, painter, and carpenter. 

Mrs. Bungard has served the con- 
gregation as Sunday school teacher, 
church secretary, and treasurer. She 
has also held every office in the 
local Women's Missionary Society. 

The Bungards have been married 
for 60 years — years of dedicated 
service to the church. The members 
of the Cameron congregation are 
very grateful to the Bungards for this 
service, as demonstrated by the spe- 
cial recognition for Mr. Bungard. 

10 




A few Stockton Brethren Church members join some of the members of Hope 
Brethren Fellowship for a photo. Pastor Bernie Tuazon of Hope Fellowship is in 
the center of the front row, and Stockton Pastor Randy Best is behind him. 

Hope Brethren Fellowship receives 
its class charter on Easter Sunday 

Stockton, Calif. — Hope Breth- 
ren Fellowship of Stockton re- 
ceived its charter as a class in The 
Brethren Church on Easter Sun- 
day morning during a combined 
worship service with the Stockton 
Brethren Church. 

Presenting the charter were 
Stockton Moderator Wes Steyer, 
deacon board members Harlin and 
Avis Lawrence and Pat Urbano, 
and Stockton pastor Rev. Randy 
Best and his wife, Karen. 

Mr. Bernie Tuazon pastors the 
new Filipino-American congrega- 



tion, which meets Sunday evenings 
in the facilities of the Stockton 
Brethren Church. He is assisted by 
Rev. Best, and he in turn assists 
Rev. Best with the Sunday morning 
services of the Stockton Church. 
Pastor Tuazon is a licensed Breth- 
ren pastor preparing for ordination 
under the guidance of the Northern 
California District Ministerial Ex- 
amining Board. 

In recent months five people have 
accepted Christ as Savior and sev- 
eral people have joined the Hope 
Brethren Fellowship congregation. 



Invite a Friend Day a success 
at Hammond Avenue Church 

Waterloo, Iowa — More than 50 
visitors attended the Hammond 
Avenue Brethren Church in Water- 
loo April 14 on Invite a Friend Day. 

This was the first attempt at a 
Friend Day by the Hammond Ave- 
nue Church, and the initial response 
of church members was, "I don't 
know anyone who does not go to 
church that I can invite." So Pastor 
Ronald L. Waters decided that this 
first Friend Day would be a time to 
drive home to the congregation the 
fact that Christians need to make a 
concerted effort to reach out into 
the community and make contact 
with the unchurched. 

Despite their initial response, the 
Hammond Avenue Brethren did dis- 



cover some unchurched friends, and 
approximately 40 of the visitors on 
Friend Day were unchurched. In 
addition to the worship service, the 
visitors were invited to a catered 
meal following the service. And the 
next day members of the congrega- 
tion made a brief visit to the homes 
of all who visited, taking them a 
plate of cookies. 

Total attendance for Invite a Friend 
Day was 181 (compared to the 
church's average worship attend- 
ance in 1995 of 65). Approximately 
95 people stayed for the meal. Ac- 
cording to Pastor Waters, "It was a 
glorious day!" 

Kind words are jewels that live in 
the heart and soul and remain as 
blessed memories year after year, 
long after they have been spoken. 

— Marvea Johnson 

The Brethren Evangelist 



*&£&*& 




Seven Brethren students 
receive degrees from AU 

Ashland, Ohio — The following 
seven Brethren students received 
degrees May 11 during Ashland 
University's annual commence- 
ment ceremonies. 

Carrie Cooksey, daughter of Rev. 
and Mrs. David Cooksey of Ash- 
land, received the Bachelor of Arts 
degree and majored in philosophy/ 
sociology. She attends the Univer- 
sity Church in Ashland. 

Robert Lynn Fox, a member of 
the Ashland Park Street Brethren 
Church, received a Bachelor of Sci- 
ence in Nursing degree. 

Chad Geaslen, son of Mr. and 
Mrs. Gene Geaslen of Englewood, 
Ohio, received the Bachelor of Arts 
degree with a major in religion. He 
attends the University Church. 

Carrie R. Lucas, daughter of Mr. 
and Mrs. James Lucas of Ashland, 
received the Bachelor of Science in 
Education degree with an elemen- 
tary education major. She gradu- 
ated summa cum laude and Gamma 
Alpha Kappa. She is a member of 
Park Street Brethren Church. 

Jason Roblin, son of Mr. and Mrs. 
Robert Roblin of Nova, Ohio, re- 
ceived the Bachelor of Arts degree 
with a business administration ma- 
jor. He is a member of Park Street 
Brethren Church. 

Evan Weidenhamer, son of Rev. 
and Mrs. Bradley Weidenhamer of 
Ashland, graduated cum laude 
with a Bachelor of Science degree 
in criminal justice. He is a member 
of Park Street Brethren Church. 

Lori Holzworth-Brohm, a member 
of Park Street Brethren Church, 
received a Master of Business Ad- 
ministration degree with a major in 
Executive Management. 

A total of 661 undergraduate 
students and 832 graduate stu- 
dents received degrees from Ash- 
land University on May 11. 

— reported by Joan Ronk 




Breaking ground for the new academic center at Ashland Theological Seminary 
are (r. to I.) Dr. Thomas Gibson, representing the Ashland Ministerial Association; 
Mayor Doug Cellar, representing the Ashland community; Dr. Jerry Flora, repre- 
senting the seminary faculty; Hsin-Chang (Daniel) Su, representing the seminary's 
international students; Nadine Rosser, representing the seminary student body; 
and Christina Watson, representing the future. 

Ashland Seminary breaks ground 
May 10th for new academic center 



Ashland, Ohio — Ground was 
broken May 10 for the new aca- 
demic center at Ashland Theologi- 
cal Seminary. 

An initial service in the seminary 
chapel included an invocation and 
welcome by seminary president Dr. 
Frederick Finks; brief remarks by 
Ashland University President Dr. 
G. William Benz and Board of 
Trustees chairman Harvey Young; 
congregational singing; and a choir 
anthem. Then the choir led the con- 
gregation in a procession to the 
groundbreaking site. 

The ceremony at the site included 
a responsive reading led by Dr. 
John Shultz; a prayer of blessing 



offered by Dr. O. Kenneth Walther; 
scripture read by Dr. David Baker; 
brief comments by the six persons 
chosen to break ground; and the 
groundbreaking itself. The cere- 
mony concluded with the singing of 
"Holy Ground," followed by the 
benediction, given by Thomas Stof- 
fer, vice chairman of the Board of 
Trustees. 

The new 9,500-square foot aca- 
demic center will include class- 
rooms, a computer lab, student cen- 
ter, 156-seat auditorium, and offices 
— at a projected cost of $875,000. 
Construction is scheduled to begin 
in July and is expected to be com- 
pleted by December. 



Cheyenne, Wyo. — Who is this per- 
son in the picture at the right? Is it 
Elijah? or Jeremiah? or one of the 
other prophets? No, it's Rev. G. Emery 
Hurd, pastor of the Cheyenne Breth- 
ren Church, doing his annual imper- 
sonation of one of the Bible 
characters. This year he did indeed 
choose one of the prophets. He stepped 
back in time to put on the costume 
and character of the Prophet Isaiah. 
And in that likeness he reflected on 
the meaning of Christ's life, death, and 
resurrection during the Easter sunrise 
service at the Cheyenne Church. 

— reported by Alice M. Tharp; 
photograph by Sue Hurd 




June 1996 



11 








Briefly 
Noted 



Rev. Bill and Mrs. Gene Skel- 

don of Oak Hill, W. Va., traveled to 
Minneapolis, Minn., in early May 
to attend a Billy Graham School of 
Evangelism. They were among 
1,000 people from 43 states and 14 
countries representing 57 denomi- 
nations who attended the school. 
Twenty-five speakers spoke during 
the 3V£ day school, with classes be- 
ginning at 7:30 a.m. and running 
until 9:30 p.m. Cliff Barrows led 
singing and George Beverly Shea 
sang during the event. The Skel- 
dons said that they very much en- 
joyed the school and that they 
gained a lot from it. Rev. Skeldon is 
pastor of the Oak Hill First and 
Gatewood Brethren Churches. 

Even if you are too deaf to hear 
the preacher, the church is still a 
good place for listening to God. 

— John A. Holmes 



Rosaleses spend 12 days in Chile 
conducting evangelistic services 



Sarasota, Fla. — Rev. Daniel 
Rosales, pastor of Iglesia de los 
Hermanos, the Brethren Hispanic 
church in Sarasota, and his wife, 
Kathy, spent 12 days in April in an 
evangelistic mission to Chile, 
South America. 

From April 17 to 21 they held 
services in the city of Iquique, 
where they saw people come for- 
ward every night to give their lives 
to Jesus or to recommit themselves 
to Him. On Saturday, April 20, 
Mrs. Rosales spoke to the youth 
about sexual purity, and that night 
Rev. Rosales spoke on the same 
theme at the local sports arena, 



Art Gay resigns as 
president of World Relief 

Wheaton, 111. — Dr. Art Gay has 
announced his resignation as presi- 
dent of World Relief of the National 
Association of Evangelicals, effec- 
tive July 19, in order to return to 
local church ministry. 

Dr. Gay has served as president 
of World Relief since 1991. He was 
the speaker at the Brethren World 
Relief soup luncheon at the 1994 
General Conference. 




Cheyenne, Wyo. — Two young men, Scott Soden and David Cuthbert, re- 
sponded to the call to pastoral ministry during the Palm Sunday worship 
service at the Cheyenne Brethren Church. Shown here are Scott (I.), with his 
wife, Barbara, and their son David; and David, with his wife, Shannon, and 
their two daughters, Kimberly (standing) and Sarina. The two men will un- 
dergo a three- to five-year period of training under Cheyenne pastor Rev. G. 
Emery Hurd to prepare for pastoral ministry. — reported by Alice M. Tharp 



where about 1,300 people heard 
God's word. 

They then traveled (on April 23) 
to Arica, the northernmost city in 
Chile, where Rev. Rosales preached 
two nights at a church to about 120 
people each night. This was fol- 
lowed by four nights of evangelistic 
services at a movie theater that the 
church rents for its weekend meet- 
ings. Average attendance at these 
services was 550, and a total of 170 
people came forward to make per- 
sonal decisions, with about a third 
of them making first-time decisions 
for Christ. 

These services were also aired 
live over a local radio station that 
reaches much of northern Chile 
and even into neighboring Peru. 
The response to these broadcasts 
was also gratifying, with many 
people calling the radio station to 
share prayer concerns or to say 
that they had prayed to receive 
Jesus as their Savior. 

The Rosales returned to the 
United States praising God that He 
had enabled them to minister to the 
spiritual needs of so many people in 
Chile. 



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Manchester, IN 4^62' 





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Vol. 118, No. 7 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



July/August 1996 



Indiana District Moderator Timothy Garner talks about: 



Extending our reach into the world 



AS I TRAVELED to churches in 
our district this past year, I 
took a rope with me. The rope, first 
used at the Indiana District Con- 
ference last year, illustrated that 
throughout human history God has 
woven a cord of truth. Previous 
handlers of that truth have faith- 
fully given that rope to us. Our call 
continues. We must pass on the 
rope of truth, love, and grace. 

Together we can do M.O.R.E. I 
believe that we are doing M.O.R.E. 
together as Indiana Brethren, as 
we continue to Manage Our Re- 
sources Effectively/Efficiently for 
the sake of the Kingdom of God. 

At this conference, as I sit in this 
rowboat with life preserver, oars, 
and fishing poles, I have exchanged 
the rope for a "new line." There's a 
bumper sticker that summarizes my 
new line. It's the one that says, "I'd 
rather be fishing." The Lord Jesus 
has called us to be "fishers of men." 
He would desire nothing more than 
for the church to rediscover a pas- 
sionate desire to "fish." 

A rowboat is an effective way to 
fish. But when fishing from a row- 
boat, it's important that you know 
how to use the oars. 

The oar of prayer 

I'd like one of the oars to repre- 
sent prayer. In his letter to the 
church at Ephesus, Paul says that 
he kneels before the Father on be- 
half of the Ephesians (3:14-21). He 
does this for at least two reasons: 

Prayer unites 

1. Prayer unites believers under 
the name of the Father. We have a 
meaningful existence because we 



have a name. We are "somebodies." 
We are members of God's family. 
Prayer allows the Spirit who resides 
within the heart of every believer to 
meet the spirit within other believ- 
ers. Bound by the name from whom 
"the whole family on heaven and 
earth derives its essence" (v. 14), 
prayer improves our spirit-to-spirit 
communication and causes our love 
for one another to deepen. 

I believe the Spirit can bring 
unity not only to local bodies of be- 
lievers, but also to districts, de- 
nominations, and across denomina- 
tions. How often do we pray for 
unity in the body of Christ? Do it 
MORE and we will extend our 
reach into the world. 

Prayer awakens 

2. Prayer awakens the dormant 
"glorious riches" (v. 16) into action. 
Paul prays that believers would be 
strengthened and grow spiritually. 
How often do we pray that individu- 
als or groups of people will grow 
deeper in their faith and in their 
faithfulness? Let's do it MOREl The 
strength to live the Christian life 
comes from within the believer (v. 
16). Prayer gives the Spirit freedom 
to operate. It unleashes the glori- 
ous riches. It widens, lengthens, 
heightens, and deepens our love. 
Prayer is to the believer what 
water is to a fish. Get out of it for 
very long and you're dead. 

I recommend that every church 
create ever increasing opportunities 
for corporate prayer via concerts of 
prayer, prayer retreats, and prayer 
vigils. I challenge each congrega- 
tion to host at least one more of 
these events by next year's confer- 




This is an abridged and edited ver- 
sion of the moderator's message given at 
this year's Indiana District Conference. 
Moderator Tim Garner presented the 
message from a rowboat. 

ence than they hosted in the past 
year. During these prayer times, I 
recommend that churches specifi- 
cally ask the Lord to raise up labor- 
ers — those called to full-time Chris- 
tian service — and to raise up those 
who would cheerfully provide the 
finances through large and small 



In this issue 



Extending our reach 1 

Forgiveness for a murderer? . 3 

Understanding the Bible ... 4 

Whistling while we worship . . 5 

General Conference preview . 6 

Around the denomination ... 8 

The Women's Outlook Newsletter 
is in the center of this issue. 



donations, estate planning, and reg- 
ular and consistent tithing, so as to 
advance the kingdom of God through 
The Brethren Church. We have not 
because we ask not! 

I further recommend that pastors 
and key lay leaders meet quarterly 
for prayer and support. I believe 
that part of our lack of cohesiveness 
comes because we lack face-to-face 
interaction. Seminars and work- 
shops have their place, but "the 
family that prays together stays to- 
gether." Pastors, we need to model 
the greater community of Brethren. 
We need to make prayer time to- 
gether a priority. We need to be 
M.O.R.E. supportive of each other. 

The issue in our denomination and 
our district is trust. The mistrust of 
authority and of those in power 
that is common in all levels of soci- 
ety is also present in the church. 
How my gut churns when I hear 
the integrity of the leadership in 
Ashland questioned. How sad I be- 
come when the spiritually stunted 
gripe about Ashland and yet will 
not get involved in the processes 
that may improve the situation. 

How I long for someone to step up 
to the plate with the fire and the 
passion of Henry Holsinger and lead, 
unabashedly yet intelligently. How 
I long for someone to cast a vision 
for the next 25 years and then pur- 
sue that vision with enthusiastic 
abandonment. How I long for 
Brethren to be awakened by a tug 
on the line that indicates the fish 
are biting, so that we get busy be- 
ing "fishers of men." How I long for 
pastors who build each other up and 
who are triumphant over the com- 
petitive spirit and jealousies that 
limit our effectiveness. 

How I long for Christians who cheer 
as vigorously for the Lord as they 
do for sports heroes and superstars. 
How I long for church members 



The Brethren Ewngbjst (ISN 0747-4288) is pub- 
lished monthly (except July and August issues are 
combined) by The Brethren Church, Inc., 524 
College Ae., Ashland, CH 448053792 (telephone: 
419389-1708; email: Brethrench@d.ccm; fax: 419- 
281-0450). Ajthors" y'ews are not necessarily those 
of The Brethren Church. Editor: Rchard C Wn- 
field. Subscription rates: Sent free to Brethren 
Church members; $14.50 per year to othera Mem- 
ber: Bengelical Fress Association. Second Qass 
Rostage: Ra'd at Ashland, Chio Postmaster: Send 
address changes to The Brethren Church, 524 
College Aenue, Ashland, CH 448053792. 



who invest in the kingdom as read- 
ily as they do in the lottery, cable 
television, or the latest technology. 
How I long for the Lord to grab hold 
of our passions, our priorities, and 
our pocketbooks so that in our daily 
lives we sing, "I've surrendered all; 
all to Him I've freely given." 

Do you long for this? Will you 
pray that we will spend M.O.R.E. 
time coming together so that we 
spend less time coming apart? 

The oar of love 

Now before you accuse me of not 
having both oars in the water, let 
me move on to the second oar, which 
represents love. Paul prays that 
the Ephesians will be rooted and 
established in love (Eph. 3:17). We 
are to spend our lives praying that 
we might learn to live the depth of 
love Christ has shown to us. 

The oar of love is balanced by the 
oar of prayer. Pull only one oar and 
we just spin in circles. All love with- 
out the divine empowerment that 
prayer provides causes us to spin in 
circles. Prayer propels (provides di- 
rection), while love compels (pro- 
vides passion). Prayer without the 
passion of love degenerates into rit- 
ual. Love without the direction pro- 
vided by prayer results in purpose- 
less activity producing burnout. 
Pulling with equal force on both oars 
gets us where God wants us to go. 

Paul raises four questions by his 
statement in verse 18. Do I grasp 
how wide, how long, how high, and 
how deep is the love of Christ? 

1. How wide? How wide is your 
vision? How wide is your love? 
There's a wideness in God's mercy, 
like the wideness of the sea. You're 
in a boat with Jesus as your Life 
Preserver because of that mercy. Does 
your love have breadth? Can you 
allow others room to navigate? Will 



you allow them the freedom to get 
in your way? Will you seek to bring 
others on board, or will you narrow 
your focus and leave them alone? 

2. How long? To what lengths 
will you love others? Will you talk 
to those whose boat looks as though 
it's rotting and in disrepair? To those 
who drink beer while on the lake of 
life? To those who have a new boat 
and motor, the best of the best? 
Some of us need to allow our com- 
fort zones to be pushed. To what 
lengths will you go so that others 
may hear about the love and grace 
of Jesus Christ? 

3. How high? To what height 
have you raised your fishing abili- 
ties? People study all kinds of top- 
ics to improve their abilities. Some 
people study fishing magazines and 
go to fishing seminars to get the 
latest tips. We in the church do this 
also, but often we just sit on the in- 
formation. We've become more knowl- 
edgeable fishers of men but haven't 
spent more time on the water! 
Learning more without doing more 
results in guilt and frustration. But 
when we use our abilities to fish, 
we cast farther and win more. 

4. How deep? How deep are you 
fishing? Last summer I took my son 
fishing. We rented a rowboat, went 
out on the lake, and began fishing. 
We caught nothing in several feet 
of water. When we moved closer to 
shore, however, we caught a num- 
ber of small bluegills while fishing 
in about a foot of water. 

Likewise, when fishing for the Lord, 
you've got to be ready to receive 
what the Lord brings. Are you ready 
to cast where the fish are? Some- 
times this means going deeper. 
Other times it means going into 
shallower water or even into the 
(continued on next page) 



c& 



Pontius' Puddh 



Z ADMIRE THOSE WHO SERVED DORIUG 
THE GOLDEN ERA OP MISSIONS. 
FORSAKING ALL, SOJOURNING TO FAR- 
OFF COMMENTS, BRAVING 
SNM^E-INFESTED J0N&LES 
RISKING LIFE AND UMB 
,TO SPREAD THE 
WORD OF CrOO. 




IAAVBE WE COULD GO 
WITNESS TO THE NEW 
NEIGHBOR DOWN 
THE STREET. 



X DONNO, 
LOOKS 
LIKE RAld. 




The Brethren Evangelist 



Forgiveness even for a murderer? 

By Corky Fisher 



FORGIVENESS— a familiar word 
to Christians. We have received 
the gift of forgiveness through the 
death of Jesus, and we readily ac- 
cept that gift. We express our words 
of praise and thanksgiving to God 
for His gift of forgiveness; we sing 
about that forgiveness in hymns and 
choruses; we even wear jewelry 
that proclaims it. But how readily 
do we give that same gift to some- 
one whom we feel has wronged us? 

As children we learned to pray, 
"And forgive us our debts, as we 
forgive our debtors." Matthew's Gos- 
pel continues, "For if you forgive 
men when they sin against you, your 
heavenly Father will also forgive 
you. But if you do not forgive men 
their sins, your Father will not for- 
give your sins" (Matt. 6:14, 15; Niv). 

It sounds easy. But is it? How often 
do we hear comments like, "He'll get 
his." Or, "Someday I'll get my chance 
to get even." Moreover, how often 
do we let these feelings consume us 
to the point that forgiveness be- 
comes almost impossible? 

We are admonished throughout 
Scripture to practice forgiveness. 
Jesus tells Peter to forgive "seventy 
times seven." He concludes the para- 
ble of the unmerciful servant by say- 
ing we must forgive from the heart, 
or as Peterson translates it in The 
Message, "unconditionally." Our mo- 
tives must be pure; we must truly 
forgive, not so God will forgive us, 
but because He forgives us. In 
Ephesians 4:32, Paul says, "Be kind 
and compassionate to one another, 
forgiving each other, just as in Christ 
God forgave you" (NIV). 

A lesson in forgiveness 

I recently experienced a lesson in 
forgiveness. A young woman came 
into the Christian bookstore where 
I work to buy a Bible. Her voice 
quivered as she asked me to show 
her a Bible "easy to read, and not 
too expensive." She explained to me 
that her sister had been murdered 
and that she wanted to buy a Bible 
to give to her sister's murderer. 

July/August 1996 



This woman and another sister 
were to be present at the man's sen- 
tencing. At that time they would be 
given the opportunity to say any- 
thing they wanted to say to the 
murderer. She told me that she had 
written the man a three-page letter 
telling him that she had forgiven 
him and that she wanted him to 
know about God's forgiveness. She 
bought the Bible and had his name 
imprinted on it so that it would be 
"special for him." 

The woman and I prayed together 
before she left the store. I asked her 
if I could request others to pray for 
her as well. Many of us prayed for 
this young woman and the mission 
which God had entrusted to her. 

Months passed before I saw her 
again. When she returned to the 
store, she shared with me that 
blessings have abounded. The man 



cried when she gave him the Bible. 
He told her that he had begun go- 
ing to a Bible study in prison and 
that he did not have a Bible of his 
own. He was given the lightest pos- 
sible sentence the law allowed. 

As the woman and her family left 
the courtroom, they were surrounded 
by members of the media who asked 
them why they were not bitter 
about the outcome of the sentenc- 
ing. They were able to share Jesus 
with the media. 

What this woman did took cour- 
age. But she felt that she was sim- 
ply doing what the Lord wanted her 
to do. She looked beyond her own 
loss and grief to reach out with 
forgiveness to someone whom most 
people would only look at with hate, 
someone upon whom most people 
would only wish evil. Perhaps she 
understands better than most of us 
what Jesus meant when He said 
from the cross, "Father, forgive 
them " [tf] 

Ms. Fisher, a member of Park Street 
Brethren Church, is an employee of 
The Carpenter's Shop, the Brethren 
bookstore in Ashland, Ohio. 



Extending our reach 

(continued from page 2) 
weeds. What are you willing to do to 
extend your reach? 

There's a story about a man 
named Billy Joe who had his own 
fishing method. He would go out on 
the lake in his motorboat, light the 
fuse on a stick of dynamite, and toss 
the dynamite into the water. After 
the explosion, he would putt-putt 
around the lake netting all the 
stunned fish. 

One morning a park ranger hap- 
pened to be at the lake when Billy 
Joe was fishing. Hearing an explo- 
sion, he motored out to Billy Joe 
and asked him what he was doing. 
Billy Joe said he was fishing and 
invited the ranger to come aboard 
and join him. Before the ranger could 
even object that what he was doing 
was illegal, Billy Joe picked up a 
stick of dynamite and lit the fuse. 
He held it a moment then handed it 
to the ranger, saying, "So, you 
gonna fish or just think about it?" 

How about us? Are we gonna fish 
or just think about it? In Romans 
1:16 Paul declares that he is not 
ashamed of the gospel because it is 
the power of God to bring salvation 



of everyone who believes. The 
Greek word for power reminds us of 
the English word dynamite. We've 
got God's dynamite. Are we going to 
fish or just talk about it? 

Before I rock the boat or make too 
many waves, let me conclude with 
some new words to an old song. 

Row, row, row your boat 
Gently down the stream, 
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, 
Life's more than a dream. 

Row, row, row your boat 
Gently towards the lost, 
To be faithful we must try 
To win them at all cost. 

Row, row, row your boat, 
Before you fish please pray, 
Otherwise you will find 
Your love just ebbs away. 

Row, row, row your boat, 
Pull the oars together, 
Otherwise you will find 
You're off God's course forever! 

Row, row, row your boat, 
I'm running out of rhyme 
Get my point, land tfie fish 
Before our Lord calls, TIME!" [ft] 

Rev. Gamer is pastor of the First Breth- 
ren Church in Elkhart, Indiana. 



Feetwashing and radical obedience 



By Kenneth Sullivan 



"rpHEY DO WHAT? They wash 
JL feet at Communion!" That was 
my mother's response when I told 
her about Brethren feetwashing. 

I had been raised a faithful Pres- 
byterian. Now, in my late teen years, 
I discovered that the Christian faith 
is more than doctrine, religious tra- 
dition, and church attendance. 

In my search for spiritual growth, 
God brought two very important peo- 
ple into my life. The first was the 
woman who became my wife, who 
was a member of the Akron Fire- 
stone Park Brethren Church. As our 
relationship grew, she introduced 
me to the second person, her pas- 
tor, Rev. James Black. He, in turn, 
introduced me to Brethren teachings. 

First impressions 

I will never forget the first Breth- 
ren Communion I attended. Since I 
was not a member of the church, I 
was not permitted to participate. I 
remember two very distinct im- 
pressions. First, Brethren Com- 
munion was incredibly beautiful in 
the biblical truth and symbolism it 
portrayed. Secondly, Jim forgot to 
take me with him to the room to 
observe the feetwashing. This over- 
sight aroused my curiosity. I wanted 
to know what those Brethren did 
behind closed doors. 

As I grew spiritually, I experi- 
enced an inner transformation and 
a reckoning with scriptural truth 
that pushed me into the Brethren 
camp. During my first year in col- 
lege I was rebaptized and brought 
into the membership of the Fire- 
stone Park Brethren Church. A few 
weeks later I was a first-time par- 
ticipant in a Brethren Communion, 
including feetwashing. 



Correspondence Welcomed 

Questions or comments about this 
series of articles or suggestions for 
future topics may be sent to the Com- 
mittee on Doctrine, Research, and 
Publication in care of The Brethren 
Evangelist, 524 College Ave., Ash- 
land, OH 44805. 



As I attempted to alleviate my 
mother's concerns about these 
"quirky Brethren" and their strange 
practices, I searched for a defense 
of my new-found beliefs. I did not 
understand the principles of a dis- 
tinctively Brethren hermeneutic (the 
way we interpret Scrip- 
ture), nor did I fully under- 
stand the reasons for feet- 
washing. 

What appeared to my 
mother as a silly and out- 
dated practice was for me 
an issue of faithfulness 
and obedience. I knew that 
Jesus modeled it for His 
disciples and commanded 
them to continue the prac- 
tice (Jn. 13:14, 15). I would obey 
even if I didn't understand. Jesus 
was central to my life and thinking. 
He became the filter through which 
every biblical truth would be inter- 
preted. 

For Brethren, Jesus is always the 
starting point in our attempts to 
understand the Bible. Our approach 
springs from a heart devoted to God 
and faithful to Christ. Every truth 
of Scripture is meant to be an en- 
gagement with the living God. We 
read Scripture with the intention of 
obeying our Lord in all things and 
of adjusting our lives to each new 
encounter, even if it means wash- 
ing feet. 

Earlier Brethren called it radical 
obedience. Our interpretation of 
Scripture flows from the require- 
ment to obey our Lord in all things 
and to conform to the living Word, 
Jesus Christ. In other words, we 
obey the commands of Scripture 
and follow the example of Christ. 
The Bible can be fully understood 
only by someone willing to submit 
and conform to its teachings. 

What did Jesus intend? 

Some Christians argue that there 
is little evidence that Jesus intend- 
ed to make feetwashing a religious 
observance. Many believe He was 
only offering a lesson in humility 




Understanding 
the Bible 



and that He was not mandating its 
actual practice. 

Jesus said, ". . . you also should 
wash one another's feet" (Jn. 13:14, 
NIV, italics added) The word should 
carries greater weight than mere 
suggestion. It implies an indebted- 
ness toward the expected outcome. 
A similar passage in 1 John 4:11 
tells us that ". . . we also ought to 
love one another" (italics added). The 
indebtedness in this passage is our 
love for others, just as washing feet 
is our indebtedness in John 13:14. 
Jesus also said, "I 
have set you an ex- 
ample that you 
should do as I have 
done for you" (Jn. 
13:15, Niv). In this 
verse Jesus com- 
pounds His com- 
mand by His exam- 
ple. Basically He was 
saying, "I washed 
your feet; now prac- 
tice the same thing with each other." 
If we follow the principle of radi- 
cal obedience, we make every effort 
to obey Christ's teachings and com- 
mands. When He draws attention to 
His example as a clarifying stand- 
ard, we follow in like manner. In so 
doing we remain true to the sim- 
plicity and clarity of the Bible while 
not spiritualizing biblical passages 
without clear scriptural precedent. 
Understanding God's truth becomes 
the by-product of our obedience. 

Blessings from feetwashing 

There are blessings that flow 
from the feetwashing service (Jn. 
13:17). We are reminded of God's 
forgiveness, of the need for intro- 
spection and confession, and of the 
promise of cleansing from sin. 

But even more incredible is this 
truth. When we are on our knees 
washing the feet of others, all hu- 
man pretense is stripped away. In 
those moments we stand on com- 
mon ground as fellow sinners re- 
deemed through Christ. On that 
level we are all servants with only 
one Lord. In that act all differences 
disappear; we are all the same. We 
are Brethren! [ft] 

Rev. Sullivan is pastor of the Mill- 
edgeville, III., Brethren Church and 
serves on the Committee on Doctrine, 
Research, and Publication. 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Whistling while we worship 



By Dale Hanson Bourke 



WHEN MY HUSBAND went to 
pick up our youngest son af- 
ter church recently, he found him 
interrogating his Sunday school 
teacher. The second graders are 
learning the church creeds, and 
Tyler is a little confused. "How come 
I can say 'hell' in church, but not 
on the playground?" he was asking. 

Tyler, my always-pushing-the- 
limits child, likes to know exactly 
where the lines are so he can wave 
as he skips past them. He's not a bad 
child; he's just not one to accept rules 
without questioning their necessity. 

When he was four years old, he 
accompanied us to the church's ma- 
jestic Easter service, where he showed 
off his new skill by whistling to the 
hymns with great emphasis. I knew 
we had found the right church 
when the associate pastor, a grand- 
motherly figure, identified him as 
the source of the sounds, then gave 
him a broad, approving smile. 

A place to be ourselves 

I'm glad Tyler feels comfortable 
questioning and whistling in church. 
And I hope that, as he grows older, 
the church will be a place where he 
can come to express joy and sorrow, 
frustration and outrage. 

Too often the places where we 
worship are places where we feel a 
need to be polite and reserved. We 
spend six days a week expressing 
ourselves honestly — shouting, cry- 
ing, giggling, swearing — and one day 
acting as if we hope God doesn't 
remember what we are really like. 

We sit quietly and primly, talk in 
hushed tones, and wear plastic 
smiles. And then we wonder why we 
get so little out of the experience. 

If we want our houses of worship 
truly to be places where we connect 
with God, we have to be willing to 
be honest about who we are and 
where we struggle. 

A friend of mine, a recovering 
alcoholic, once observed that AA 
meetings should be the model for 
church services. We should all walk 
in admitting our problems, acknowl- 

July/August 1996 



edging our struggles, and asking for 
the support of other fellow journeyers. 
Sadly we often feel — or are made 
to feel — as though we have to have 
our act together before we walk in 
the door of a sanctuary. And even 
more perplexing is the notion that 
if we are on our best behavior, God 
will pat us on the head like a dot- 
ing, hard-of-hearing grandfather 
and dismiss our transgressions as 
cute or playful. 

A place to bring our concerns 

Life is tough. It is hard to raise 
children, deal with work stresses, and 
find enough money to pay the bills, 
let alone cope with unexpected ill- 
nesses or other traumas. It is diffi- 
cult to act with integrity, to care 
about others, to be patient in a fast- 
paced world. 

Where we go to meet God should 
be a place to bring all of these con- 
cerns. It should be a place to deal 
with the messiness of life; a place to 
ask all of our questions and praise 
God with whatever talents He has 
given us. 

For those of us who have a place 
to worship God honestly and openly, 
it is a great opportunity to renew 
ourselves and our faith. For those 



who don't have such a sanctuary, it 
is worth seeking out. 

Going to weekly services is not 
something to do out of guilt or a 
sense of goodness. Church is a place 
to go for help and hope. 

During Jesus' ministry, well- 
meaning disciples tried to protect 
Him from the children who flocked 
to Him. I imagine they suspected 
that the children had dirty hands, 
would ask embarrassing questions, 
and might do such immature things 
as whistle. 

When Jesus said, "Let the little 
children come to me," He surprised 
the adults, who thought He would 
have no time for such encounters. 
And when He explained that they 
would have to "become like little 
children" if they wanted to enter 
the kingdom of God, He must have 
confused them even more. 

A place to know God honestly 

As I watch my son Tyler worship 
God in his own way and experience 
acceptance in our church, I am grate- 
ful. He is growing up in an atmos- 
phere that will allow him to know 
God honestly. And for the adults 
among us who are less than perfect, 
it is comforting to know that there 
is a place to which we can come as 
we are and become more than we 
ever hoped to be. [D 1 ] 

Dale Hanson Bourke is the publisher 
of Religion News Service and author of 
Turn Toward the Wind. 

© 1996 Religion News Service 



The value of self-discipline 



Go to the ant, you sluggard; 
consider its ways and be wise! 

Proverbs 6:6, Nrv 

HERE THE ANT is offered as 
an example of unsupervised, 
uncoerced self-discipline. Without 
any outside pressure, this tiny 
creature both stores and gathers 
provisions to see it through future 
days when food will be scarce. 

The writer suggests there is 
wisdom in hard work motivated 
by a spirit of foresight and dili- 
gence. By avoiding procrastina- 
tion and doing what we ought to 
when we ought to, we'll discover a 
great deal of freedom from a fear 



of the future. We'll worry much 
less about scarcity and needs. 

The sluggard, however, is lazy, 
short-sighted and destined for 
poverty and want. Such a person 
avoids taking responsibility for the 
future, shuns hard work and even 
lacks motivation to get out of bed. 

Though these verses focus on 
the human side of success, other 
verses in Proverbs underscore the 
importance of a commitment to 
the Lord. Following God is the 
primary quality of one who is suc- 
cessful in God's eyes. [ft] 

— From The Quest Study Bible (Zon- 
dervan Publishing House); used by 
permission. 



General Conference Preview 



A rundown of what's in 
store during Conference week 

August 5-9 at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio 

Theme: "Partners in the Gospel" (Philippians 1:3-11) 



Monday Evening 

The opening celebration of Gen- 
eral Conference on Monday evening 
will begin with a Youth March, fol- 
lowed by a slide presentation de- 
picting 50 years of the national 
Brethren Youth organization. This 
will be the kickoff to a week-long 
celebration of the 50th anniversary 
of Brethren Youth. 

The evening will also feature a 
message by Dr. Richard Allison, 
moderator of the Conference, who 
will speak on 
the Confer- 
ence theme, 
"Partners in 
the Gospel." 

Since 1974 

Dr. Allison 

has taught 

at Ashland 

Theological 

Seminary, 

where he is a 

leader in the 

*• i j e Moderator Richard Allison 

Christian education. From 1980 to 
1994 he also served as director of 
the seminary's Doctor of Ministry 
program. 

A 1961 graduate of the seminary, 
Dr. Allison served as a Brethren 
pastor before joining the ATS fac- 
ulty. He pastored successively the 
Wayne Heights (Waynesboro, Pa.), 
Goshen (Ind.) First, and Jefferson 
(Goshen, Ind.) Brethren Churches. 
He has been an active leader in The 
Brethren Church and also served 
as Conference moderator in 1969. 
He and his wife, Emily, have four 
grown sons. 

Tuesday 

Tuesday will be Evangelism Day 
at Conference. From 10:30 a.m. to 
noon, the Evangelism & Church 
Growth Commission will conduct 
"Opening DOORS to the World" 
(Dynamic Outreach Opportunities 





Related to Service), a multi-faceted 
workshop. Paul Mundey, director of 
The Andrew Center, will speak on 
"Unlocking 
Church 
Doors." 
(More infor- 
mation about 
Rev. Mundey 
appeared in 
last month's 
Evangelist.) 
Table-talk 
presenta- 
tions and 

discussions 
Rev. Paul Mundey on evangel . 

ism, church growth, and church- 
planting topics will also be offered 
during this session. 

Celebration of the 50th anniver- 
sary of Brethren Youth will con- 
tinue on Tuesday afternoon at an 
all-Conference picnic scheduled to 
begin at 4:30. Lawn games, other 
activities, and a birthday cake are 
planned for the picnic. 

Evangelism will again be the 
focus during the Tuesday evening 
worship service. This service will 
be a celebration of what God is do- 
ing through evangelism in Breth- 
ren churches, especially through 
Passing On the Promise. Rev. Mun- 
dey will deal with the question, 
"Does the Future Have a Church?" 

Wednesday 

The Wednesday morning pro- 
gram will feature a workshop spon- 
sored by the Spiritual Formation 
Commission. Members of this com- 
mission will look at spiritual forma- 
tion opportunities available through 
Promise Keepers, the Brethren 
Way of Christ, Life Spring, and 
Ashland Theological Seminary. 
The workshop will also include seg- 
ments on Spiritual Formation for 
Women and on Pastoral Care in 
The Brethren Church. 

At 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, one 




Dr. Fred Finks 



of the highlights of the week for 
women will take place, the annual 
Women's Luncheon sponsored by 
the national W.M.S. Speaker for 
the luncheon will be Barbara Hess, 
a retreat and Bible study leader 
from Akron, Ohio. While the 
women are having their luncheon, 
the men will be enjoying their an- 
nual Men's Picnic, sponsored by the 
Brethren Men of Mission. 

Wednesday evening will be sem- 
inary night, with Ashland Theo- 
logical Seminary in charge of the 
worship service. The theme for the 
evening will be servant leadership, 
and the service will feature a mes- 
sage by 
seminary 
president 
Dr. Fred 
Finks enti- 
tled "Lead- 
ing from a 
S ervant's 
Heart." The 
service will 
also include 
a prelude by 
Grace Su, a 
seminary 
student from Taiwan; music by Dr. 
Ron and Linda Sprunger, and se- 
lections by a choir of ATS students 
and alumni. 

Thursday 

Thursday morning will again fea- 
ture a workshop. Dr. Doug Little, 
professor of psychology at Ashland 
Theological Seminary, will lead 
this workshop, which will deal with 
the subject of conflict resolution. 

The annual World Relief Soup 
Lunch will follow at 12:30 p.m. 
During the lunch, Martin Hartog, 
Midwest Area and Senior Repre- 
sentative for 
World Relief 
of the Na- 
tional Asso- 
ciation of 
Evangelicals, 
will speak . 

Born in 
Amsterdam 
shortly be- 
fore World 
War II, Har- 
tog experi- 
enced as a Martin Hartog 
(continued following the Outlook pages) 

The Brethren Evangelist 




Ifte Women's OutCoot<i9{eiusCetter 

A publication of the brethren Women's Missionary Society 




July-August 1996 



Volume 9, Number 6 




"The 
President 's 



<£en 



Dear Ladies, 

Well, here we are in the middle 
of summer. This past year has 
gone by so quickly. 

We have been talking about the 
W.M.S. ABCs. No. 7 is to "corre- 
spond regularly with Home and 
World missionaries." Our mission- 
aries truly enjoy hearing from each 
of us and enjoy meeting those who 
write, when they come to the States 
for a visit. You will really be blessed 
by writing to them. 

ABC 8 is to "support the growth 
of the children and/or youth minis- 
tries of your church with prayer, 
finances, and leadership." This is 
an easy commitment, as there are 
so many ways to meet this ABC. 
Many of you are Sunday school 
teachers, nursery workers, youth 
leaders — the list is endless. I'm sure 
each church has ways of finan- 
cially helping with the many youth 
ministries. 

As you are reading this, your 
W.M.S. group should already have 
sent your report to the District 
President (ABC 9). And No. 10 is 
one we really need to work on all 
the time — to be a "model of Christ's 
love; to show Christian love and 
service to our neighbors and their 
families." Do you have a neighbor 
who is difficult to get along with? 
Show Christ's love to her/him by 
doing something nice. Keep a smile 
on your face and do things in love. 
You will be surprised how this will 
(continued on page 4) 



WE CAN DO M.O.R.E. 

Excerpts from the President's Address by Susie Stout, 
Indiana District Conference, May 4, 1996 

I can do all things through Christ, 
Who strengthens me. 

Philippians 4:13 



Ladies, our theme this weekend 
is "We Can Do M.O.R.E." This was 
meant by the district board to mean: 
M-manage O-our R-resources 
E-Effectively. The W.M.S. chose for 
our theme, We Can Do MORE . . . 
"through Christ Who strengthens 

n 

me. 

Let's take a look at our resources. 
They may include our Time, our 
Money, and our Talents or Abili- 
ties. 

Our Time 

It is much easier for me person- 
ally to budget my money than it is 
my time! Do you take time to wit- 
ness to others? Remember when 
you pass an unsaved person that 
you may be to blame for his condi- 
tion. In Ecclesiastes 3, the writer 
tells us about a time for everything, 
some of which we have no control. 
Remember as we do works in the 
name of Jesus that we are to bear 
fruit. Colossians 1:10 says, "Bear- 
ing fruit in every good work and 
increasing in the knowledge of God." 
Blessed is the person who is too 
busy to worry during the day and 
too sleepy to worry at night. 

Our Money 

Have you ever said or even 
thought, "Well, God, if I had more 
money, I'd be able to do so much 
more for others'? Many references 
in the Old and New Testaments refer 
to money: in Deuteronomy 16:17, 
we read, "Every man shall give . . . 
according to the blessing of the Lord 
. . ."; Acts 20:35, "It is more blessed 



to give than to receive"; and we all 
know II Corinthians 9:7: "God 
loveth a cheerful giver." I have heard 
it said that plenty of people are will- 
ing to give God credit; yet few are 
willing to give Him cash! 

Our Talents or Abilities 

We must be willing to share our 
talents and abilities with others. 
Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, "And 
the King shall answer and say unto 
them, Verily I say unto you, Inas- 
much as ye have done it unto the 
least of these my brethren, ye have 
done it unto me." And Jesus con- 
tinued, "Then shall he answer them 
saying, Verily I say unto you, Inas- 
much as ye did it not to one of the 
least of these, ye did it not to me." 

For all of this to work, we need 
to be "plugged" in to our source, 
our source is Jesus Himself. I read 
about a youth minister who was an 
excellent ventriloquist. It really 
seemed as though his dummy was 
real when a conversation was car- 
ried on with it. Suddenly the min- 
ister placed the dummy on a stool 
and walked to the other side of the 
stage and continued to try to joke 
with the dummy. Of course, it didn't 
answer. We are like that dummy 
when we aren't being used by God. 
Nothing comes out right if we aren't 
living within His will. 

Surely there isn't one person you 
can think of whom you would 
like to see go to hell. Ladies, this is 
serious business*. 

In John 14 Jesus promised that 
(continued on page 4) 



READING CIRCLE BOOKS 




When the Executive Board of the 
W.M.S. met May 11, one of the items 
of business was to choose books for 
you to read next year. From a sug- 
gested list of 12, these are recom- 
mended for you to choose. The goal is 
for each member to read two books; 
however, you and I know that if we 
read more than the minimum, we 
will be benefited more. 

The resume of each book is given 
by Kathleen Mack, literature sec- 
retary. 

Books will be available at Gen- 
eral Conference. 

THE QUILT by T. Davis Bunn; 
$11.50 

This is the story of an elderly 
grandmother, whose gnarled arthri- 
tic hands have a beauty all their 
own. Mary felt a gentle yearning in 
her heart, the whisper of melody she 
strained to hear. There was some- 
thing left undone. 

GLADYS AYLWARD (mission 
book) by Catherine Swift; $4.50 

The China Inland Mission con- 
sidered her to be too old to learn 
the Chinese language. She scraped 
and saved every penny she could 
earn and booked an overland pas- 
sage to China. She spent more than 
20 years of service with the Chi- 
nese people. 

LEAH by James R. Shott; $8.50 
Leah is the "other" sister, the 
homely one. Her name means "wild 
cow." She is awkward, introverted, 
and almost blind, and she is in love 
with Jacob. 

GOD'S VITAMIN 'C FOR THE 
SPIRIT by Kathy Collard and D. 
Larry Miller; $12.50 

100% Pure, All-Natural God's 
Vitamin 'C with "tug-at-the-heart" 
stories to fortify and enrich your 
life. 

JACOB THE BAKER by Noah 
Ben Shea; $10.00 

Few books touch both heaven and 
earth. These tiny stories are not 



only to be read, but also carried in 
a circle around your heart . . . feed- 
ing you hope and humanity when- 
ever loss of God threatens. 

SOPHIE'S HEART by Lori Wick; 
$10.50 

A warm contemporary story of 
God's tender mercies and loving in- 
tervention in the life of one family. 

ANGELS AROUND US by 
Douglas Connelly; $9.50 

Douglas Connelly has studied 
what the Bible says about angels, 
and you may be surprised at what 
is there. 

ONE BRIGHT SHINING PATH 
by W. Terry Whalin and Chris 
Woher; $9.50 

High up on a steep mountainside 
in the Peruvian Andes, an Indian 
shepherd boy watched his flock. 
Though he could never have imag- 
ined it, God had chosen him for a 
remarkable task. God's plan would 
take a nearly illiterate boy, handi- 
capped by a learning disability, and 
eventually place him at the head of 
a team of scholars translating the 
Bible into the Quechua language. 



CMissionarij 
^SMiscdlany 

David and Jenny Loi are the 
July missionaries of the month. 
They will attend the Conference 
and we will hear first-hand reports 
about their work in Malaysia. They 
will do some deputation, too; per- 
haps they will be in your area. Pray 
for Rebecca, who will not be with 
them, and for Stephen, who will be 
a sophomore at Ashland University. 

Tom and Debbie Sprowls are the 
home missionaries for August. They 
are the pastoral team in Medina, 
Ohio. Their young son was born in 
February. 

The September missionaries are 
Todd and Tracy Ruggles in Mexico 
City. They received their work 
visas in Mexico, which eliminates 
their need to return to the U.S. 
every six months. Now they can 
work legally as missionaries in 
Mexico. This is answered prayer. 



*]t^ 



(tA> 



Dear Women of the Missionary 
Society, 

It is a pleasure to write to you 
with thanks for your generous 
scholarship gift last fall. At the 
time I was considering taking a 
semester off, due to financial reasons. 
Then your letter came. What a bless- 
ing! It reaffirmed that I needed to 
return for the fall semester. Be- 
cause I did, I was placed at a local 
elementary school with a wonder- 
ful Christian staff. The teacher I 
was placed with, also a Christian, 
provided me an excellent example, 
not only of how I want to teach, but 
also of how I want to live my life. I 
look to her, not only as a teaching 
mentor, but as a life-style mentor. 

My fall semester truly reaffirmed 
that God has given me a special 
gift to be in the classroom. It also 
reminded me how fortunate I am 
to have a family of believers that 
have helped support my emotional 
and physical needs throughout. It 
truly is a great testimony of the 
plan God has for each of His chil- 
dren's lives and the special people 
He places in our lives to help 
achieve the ends. 

I graduated in December and am 
now substitute teaching several days 
each week at the local schools. I 
feel I am doing what I love the 
most and am very happy. Thank 
you for making this all possible! 
In His love, 
Carrie R. Lucas 



THE WOMEN'S OUTLOOK 
NEWSLETTER 

Published bimonthly in January, 
March, May, July, September, and 
November by the Women's Missionary 
Society of The Brethren Church. 

Mrs. Dorman Ronk, Editor 
1325 Coachman Court 
Ashland, Ohio 44805 

Subscription price, $7.50 per year in 
advance. 

Send all subscriptions to Mrs. Robert 
Kroft, 608 Twp. Road 1151, RD 5, Ash- 
land, OH 44805. 

Women's Outlook Newsletter 



Recipes from the 'Executive lioarcC 



BRAN MUFFINS 
Corrected recipe 

An error was printed in Marie 
Fanning's recipe. Please replace 
the previous recipe with this: 

Mix in large bowl: 

4 beaten eggs 
1 c. oil 

1 qt. buttermilk 

In a larger bowl, combine: 
2V2 c. less 2 tbsp. whole wheat 

flour 
V2 c. wheat germ 
\3/4 c. sugar 

5 tsp. soda 

2 tsp. salt 

1 tsp. cinnamon 

<^4 tsp. each of ginger, cloves, 

nutmeg 
1 c. quick oatmeal 
1 c. Quaker natural cereal 

6 c. (rounded) Post raisin bran 

cereal 

1 c. raisins (or less) 

Vz c. chopped pecans (optional) 

Add wet ingredients to dry. Let 
stand in refrigerator at least 2 
days. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. 
Mixture will keep in refrigerator 2 
weeks and can be baked at differ- 
ent times. 

JELL-0 SALAD 

2 3-oz. boxes orange Jell-0 

1 large can crushed pineapple 

1 pint orange sherbet 

Mix Jell-0 with 2 cups boiling 
water. Add pineapple with juice. Stir. 

Add about 1 pint orange sherbet. 
Mix until sherbet is melted. Re- 
frigerate until set. 

This may be served on a lettuce 
leaf, if used as a salad. For a des- 
sert, add a dollop of whipped cream 
on each serving. 

Shirley Black, president 

GRAPE NUTS 
6 c. graham flour 

2 c. buttermilk 
1 c. light Karo 

1 c. mild molasses 

2 tsp. baking soda 
2 tsp. salt 

Combine ingredients and put in 
pie pans. Bake 1 hour in moderate 
oven. When cold, break into pieces, 
grind, and dry or roast. 

Marilyn Aspinall, vice president 

July-August 1996 



OVERNIGHT COOKIES 
Cream together: 

3 c. brown sugar 
1 c. white sugar 
V% c. oleo 

Vl c. shortening 
Add and mix: 

4 eggs 

1 Tbsp. vanilla 

Sift, then add: 
\Vl tsp. salt 
6 c. flour 
1 Tbsp. soda 
1 Tbsp. cream of tartar 

After 4 cups of flour mixture is 
added, you'll have to work the rest 
in by hand. Form into 2 long loaves 
and let stand in refrigerator over- 
night. Slice and bake 12 min. at 
350°. Yield: approximately 5 dozen. 
Susie Stout, Indiana 

NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE 
1 c. hot water 
1 3-oz. lemon Jell-0 
1 8-oz. cream cheese 
1 c. sugar 
1 can Milnot 

For the graham cracker crust: 
Roll graham crackers into crumbs. 
Add 1/4 c. sugar and V2 c. melted 
oleo, mix well, press into 9" x 13" 
pan or dish. 

Dissolve Jell-0 into hot water. 
Whip Milnot into whipped cream 
and add sugar. Without cleaning 
beaters, combine cream cheese and 
dissolved Jell-O. Pour cream cheese/ 
Jell-0 and whipped Milnot together. 
Mix well and pour into graham crack- 
er crust. Chill. Makes about 15 serv- 
ings. Extremely light and delicious. 

You may use any flavor of Jell-O. 
With lemon, you may top with a 
fruit pie filling, such as cherry or 
blueberry. 

Susie Stout, Indiana 



ANGEL CAKE 



Mi 



ix: 



1 3-oz. box instant vanilla pudding 
1 can crushed pineapple, drained 

Fold in 9-oz. Cool Whip. 

Slice 1 angel food cake into 3 lay- 
ers. (Use a store-bought cake, those 
baked at home are usually too 
large.) Spoon some whipped cream 
mixture between layers, frost out- 
side of cake. Refrigerate. 
Joanne Kroft, Financial Secretary 



STUFFED PASTA SHELLS 
1 lb. lean ground beef or mild, 

bulk pork sausage 
1 jar (28 oz.) spaghetti sauce 
15 oz. ricotta cheese 
3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese 
1 egg 

1 tsp. parsley flakes 

large pasta shells (approximately 
Vl box cooked, rinsed, drained) 
grated Parmesan cheese 

In large saucepan, brown meat. 
Remove half of meat and set aside. 
Stir spaghetti sauce into remain- 
ing meat. Simmer 15 minutes. 

In medium-sized bowl, combine 
the remaining meat, ricotta cheese, 

2 c. mozzarella cheese, egg, and 
parsley. Pour 1/3 of the spaghetti 
sauce mixture into a 9" x 13" bak- 
ing pan. Stuff shells with ricotta 
mixture and place on top of sauce. 
Top with remaining sauce, mozza- 
rella cheese, and sprinkle with 
Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered 
at 350° for 20 minutes. 

Nancy Hunn, general secretary 

CHERRY CHEWBILEES 
Crust: 
1V4 cups flour 
V*Z cup brown sugar, packed 
V2 cup butter-flavored shortening 

1 cup nuts, chopped, divided 
Filling: 

2 8-oz. pkgs. cream cheese, sof- 

tened 
2/3 cup sugar 
2 eggs 

2 tsp. vanilla 

2 cans (21 oz. each) cherry pie 
filling 

Combine flour and brown sugar; 
cut in shortening until fine crumbs 
form. Stir in V£ c chopped nuts. 
Reserve V2 cup crumb mixture for 
topping. Press remaining mixture 
into a greased 9" x 13" pan. Bake 
at 350° 12-15 minutes. 

For filling, beat cream cheese, 
sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. 
Spread over hot crust. Bake 15 
minutes at 350°. Spread cherry pie 
filling on top. Combine remaining 
crumbs and nuts, sprinkle over 
cherry filling. Bake 15 minutes at 
350°. Cool. Refrigerate until serv- 
ing time. Yield: 20 servings 

Joan Merrill, Sewing and 
World Relief Coordinator 



district Qoings 

Nancy Lentz reported how the 
NAPPANEE W.M.S. has met ABC 
10. They honor a different older 
woman each month. "At each meet- 
ing, we choose the person to honor 
and decide what would be special 
to her. We started with W.M.S. shut- 
in members and continued with 
other women of the church. 

"One woman had a garden that 
needed weeding, so several women 
met to do that on a hot summer 
evening. We have taken a meal to 
some in their homes or the nursing 
home and a few members join them 
for lunch. We have taken some of 
the honorees out to lunch at a res- 
taurant, and we gave a gift of a 
silk flower arrangement to one. We 
held a surprise Saturday brunch for 
the one in charge of the sewing 
group. She is still a very active 
member of the W.M.S." 

The LINWOOD society hosted a 
Spring into Goals rally for the 
SOUTHEAST District May 18. 
Susan Kidd reported that four 
societies were represented by 23 
members. The day was full of spe- 
cial music, group singing, and a dis- 
cussion about the societies and how 
they are meeting their goals. The 
St. Luke ladies used the Program 
Guide for their devotions and read 
the Mission Statement from the 
W.M.S. Constitution. That helped 
set the mood for the day. Their dis- 
trict project is for Maria Miranda's 
radio ministry, Para ti Mujer. 

The officers were reelected for a 
two-year term and were installed 
by Pastor Bob Keplinger. He com- 
plimented the ladies for being CEO's: 
Cute, Energetic, Organized! 



We Can Do M.O.R.E. 

(continued) 
the faithful have a special place 
prepared for them. Sometimes we 
get so tired, but please be encour- 
aged by the thought of what is in 
store for us. Oh, that God can say 
of us, "Well done, thou good and 
faithful servant: Thou has been faith- 
ful over a few things, I will make 
thee ruler over many things. Enter 
thou into the joy of thy Lord." 



The President's Pen (continued) Recipes (continued) 



change an attitude. My family has 
tried it and it works!! How about 
sharing your garden "goodies" with 
them, or pick them a bouquet of 
flowers, offer to take them to the 
grocery store, or to baby-sit. I know 
that many of you are doing all of 
these things and so you are meet- 
ing ABC 10. 

One evening when my grand- 
daughter, Randi, was at our house, 
she asked Grandpa if he had to go 
to his office to work. He said, "No," 
and Randi said, "Good, because I 
haven't been spending enough time 
with you." So that evening, Grandpa 
spent some time with Randi on the 
porch swing, telling her a story. 

That made me think of the times 
spent with the Lord. Do we go days 
without reading our Bibles or tak- 
ing time to talk with Him? Do we 
feel Him saying, "You haven't been 
spending enough time with me 
lately?" I think we can tell when 
that happens, and we realize things 
are not working well in our lives. 
So we need to stop and take time 
to talk to and with the Lord. Fel- 
lowship with God is the most blessed 
experience known to man. It brings 
peace and refreshment to the most 
weary soul. I John 1:3 speaks of 
this: ". . . our fellowship is with the 
Father and with His Son Jesus 
Christ." 

Conference is August 5-9. We 
have a very good speaker scheduled 
for the W.M.S. luncheon on Wednes- 
day. Her name is Barbara Hess from 
Akron, Ohio. She is busy all year 
doing women's retreats and teach- 
ing Bible studies in the area. This 
luncheon is for all ladies (not just 
W.M.S. members), and the cost is 
$6.50. If you have a women's group 
at your church, encourage them to 
attend Conference and the lunch- 
eon. I know several churches that 
have a group of women who are 
meeting under a different name than 
W.M.S. This is a good time to get 
them acquainted with other women 
of the denomination. 

I look forward to seeing you at 
Conference. God Bless You. 




Shirley Black 



NEIMAN MARCUS CAKE 
1 yellow cake mix with pudding 

Prepare as on package. Bake 
specified time (this works well as a 
sheet cake). Cool 15 minutes. 
Punch holes in cake with fork. 

Combine: 
1V5 c. milk 
V2 c. sugar 
Vz c. coconut 

Boil 1 minute. Spoon over cake. 
Cool. 

Fold V$> c. coconut into 8 oz. con- 
tainer Cool Whip and spread over 
cake. Sprinkle 1 c. coconut on top. 
Doris Shultz, assistant 
literature secretary 

ti'Joiitbrs hiding 

Dear Friend, 

With this issue a few more rec- 
ipes from the Executive Board are 
included. 

I hope you have tried some of the 
recipes from the previous Newslet- 
ter and will use these also. Please 
disregard the bran muffin recipe 
from the last issue and use the one 
in this issue. This will be much 
better! 

With Marilyn Aspinall's recipe for 
Grape Nuts, she wrote, "It occurred 
to me that an old family recipe for 
homemade Grape Nuts cereal 
would be different. At the price of 
cereal these days, it might come in 
handy to other cereal lovers. I can 
still smell my mother's kitchen 
when I remember these. They're 
quite easy to mix up and better 
than the real thing!" 

I can only emphasize the Confer- 
ence information which Shirley gave 
in her column. Missionary reports, 
music, devotions, important busi- 
ness decisions, and those informal 
gatherings in the hall or following 
a Conference session — these are 
General Conference. We want you 
to be a part of the week. 

Your friend, 



fl*p~€t — v * 

Joan 
Women's Outlook Newsletter 



General Conference Preview 



child the heavy price paid by vic- 
tims of war and hardship. From 
that experience he gained an ap- 
preciation for freedom and food and 
the ability to identify with victims 
of famine. 

His family emigrated to Canada 
in 1952 and Martin became a 
Christian in 1957. In 1980, when 
World Relief opened a European 
office in Amsterdam, Hartog, with 
his wife and two daughters, re- 
turned to the Netherlands to take 
charge of that office. In 1988 he was 
relocated to World Relief headquar- 
ters in Wheaton, 111., where he has 
been involved in a variety of minis- 
tries. During his years with World 
Relief, he has traveled to more than 
45 countries, enabling him to gain 
valuable insights about the world- 
wide activities of World Relief. 

Brethren Missions will be the 
focus on Thursday evening, with a 
Missionary Board banquet at 5:00 
and the Missionary Board service 



at 7:00. World Missions will be the 
emphasis of the banquet, and the 
special guests will be Brethren mis- 
sionaries Allen Baer (home on fur- 
lough from Argentina) and David 
and Jenny Loi (visiting from Malay- 
sia). The program will include greet- 
ings and brief times of sharing by 
the special guests and a short ad- 
dress on the future of Brethren Mis- 
sions by Rev. Reilly Smith, executive 
Director of the Missionary Board. 

Brethren Home Missions will be 
in the spotlight in the worship serv- 
ice that follows the banquet, and 
special guests for this service will 
include the following Home Mis- 
sion pastors and workers: Thomas 
(T. J.) and Judy McLaughlin (Penn- 
sylvania. District), Tom and Debbie 
Sprowls (Medina, Ohio), Mike and 
Pam Sove (Franklin, Ohio), Tom 
and Tiona Conrad (Greenwood, 
Ind.), Gene and Georgia Bell (Indi- 
anapolis, Ind.), and Keith and Mar- 
jorie Bennett (Greenwood, Ind.). 



Conference 
business sessions 

Conference business sessions will 
be held each morning, Tuesday 
through Friday, beginning at 8:20 
a.m. and lasting about two hours. 

Discussion of and action on the 
Denominational Reorganization 
Proposal for The Brethren Church 
will be the major business item of 
the Conference. This proposal was 
included in last month's Evangel- 
ist, and copies were also sent to 
pastors and church moderators. 

Delegates, please read and 
study this proposal before coming 
to Conference. Answers to 19 com- 
monly asked questions were 
printed at the end of the proposal 
to help clarify as many issues as 
possible. 

A formal presentation of the pro- 
posal will be made during the 
Tuesday morning business session. 
At noon on Tuesday, facilitators 
will be available in the Convoca- 
tion Center cafeteria to help organ- 
ize those in favor of and those op- 
posed to the proposal into groups 
that can prepare statements sup- 
porting their respective positions. 
These groups will also choose rep- 
resentatives from their groups to 
present their position statements 



during the Wednesday business 
session. Please note that this is not 
an attempt to stifle discussion of 
the proposal. Rather it is an effort 
to provide for an orderly discussion 
while eliminating the repetition (a 
number of people coming to the 
microphone and saying essentially 
the same thing) that often occurs 
during Conference discussions of 
this nature. A vote on the proposal 
is scheduled for the Wednesday 
business session. 

Elections: Two different slates 
of nominees are being prepared for 
this Conference. One slate will be 
used if the reorganization proposal 
is approved and will contain nomi- 
nees for those positions that will 
need to be filled in the new organi- 
zation (Congregational and Mis- 
sionary Ministries Council mem- 
bers). The other slate will be used 
if the reorganization proposal is 
voted down, and it will contain 
nominees for those positions that 
need to be filled in the present or- 
ganization (moderator-elect, some 
GCEC members, and commission 
members). 

Whichever slate is used, delegates 
will have an opportunity to make 
nominations from the floor. Persons 
so nominated must have given 
their consent to serve if elected. 




The worship service will be led by 
the worship team from the Living 
HOPE Brethren Church in Medina, 
Ohio (formerly called the Brethren 
Church of 
Medina). 
The service 
will include 
a special re- 
port from the 
new Home 
Mission out- 
reach in 
Tracy, Calif. 
The message 
for the serv- 
ice will be 
Dr. Arden E. Gilmer presented by 

Dr. Arden E. Gilmer, pastor of the 
Ashland Park Street Brethren 
Church and president of the Mis- 
sionary Board. 

Friday 

The closing session of the Confer- 
ence, which begins at 10:30 on Fri- 
day morning, will feature a report 
from the 
Brethren 
Youth In 
Christ of 
their Con- 
vention. It 
will conclude 
with a chal- 
lenge by the 
new Confer- 
ence mod- 
erator, Dr. 
John Shultz, 
who will in- Dr - John Shultz 
troduce the 1997 Conference 
theme. Dr. Shultz is professor of 
pastoral counseling at Ashland 
Theological Seminary and operates 
a private counseling practice in 
Ashland. [t] 




Auxiliary sessions 

Meeting times for the national 
Women's Missionary Society, 
the Brethren Men of Mission, 
and the National Association of 
Brethren Church Elders have 
been set for 1:30 p.m. on Tues- 
day and for 2:00 p.m. on Thurs- 
day. Auxiliaries will also have 
an opportunity to meet after the 
Women's Luncheon and Men's 
Picnic, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. 
on Wednesday. 



July/August 1996 




Evangelical groups call for 
response to church burnings 

Carol Stream, 111. — The National 
Association of Evangelicals (NAE), 
the National Black Evangelical As- 
sociation (NBEA), and World Re- 
lief of NAE have issued a joint 
"Call for Action" condemning the 
bigotry and violence that lies at 
the root of many of the 33 fires at 
African-American churches in the 
south during the past 18 months. 

The statement calls on churches 
to stand united, in word and deed, 
with the victims of these atrocities. 
It also announces that a fund has 
been set up to assist the rebuilding 
efforts of the victimized churches. 

"We cannot stand silently on the 
sidelines and allow our brothers and 
sisters in the faith to endure this 
trial alone," the joint statement 
reads. 'To this end, the National 
Black Evangelical Association and 
the National Association of Evan- 
gelicals have asked World Relief, 
the assistance arm of the National 
Association of Evangelicals, to 
establish a fund to assist the 
churches that have been destroyed 
in their rebuilding efforts. We urge 
our member denominations and 
churches to join us in sharing the 
resources God has provided to us 
with these brothers and sisters who 
have suffered great loss." 

Brethren wishing to contribute 
to the NBEA/NAE World Relief 
Partnership Fund to Rebuild the 
Churches may send their donations 
to The Brethren Church National 
Office at 524 College Ave., Ashland, 
OH 44805. Checks should be made 
out to The Brethren Church, Inc., 
with "World Relief— Rebuild the 
Churches" on the notation line. 

8 




College Corner Church concludes 
POtP with "Celebration Sunday" 

Wabash, Ind. — 'To God Be the 
Glory" was the theme of "Celebra- 
tion Sunday," held May 19 at the 
College Corner Brethren Church to 
mark the end of the church's third 
year in the Passing On the Prom- 
ise Process (POtP). 

During the service, Mike Shoe- 
maker and Linda Faust gave testi- 
monies of God's faithfulness. Pas- 
tor James F. Black brought a mes- 
sage on "Overcoming Low Energy 
Syndrome," in which he emphasized 
the need to develop and maintain 
an attitude and atmosphere of hope 
as the church moves forward. 

Special recognition was given to 
Ruby McClain during the worship 
hour for her service as the POtP 
co-coordinator during the entire 
three-year process. Nancy Grum- 
bling, wife of former pastor Rev. 
Glenn Grumbling, served as the 
other co-coordinator at the begin- 
ning of the process. When the 
Lord's call took the Grumblings to 
the Second Brethren Church in 
Johnstown, Pa., and brought the 
Blacks to College Corner, Susie 
Black, wife of the present pastor, 
became co-coordinator. 

A "full-basket" dinner followed the 
worship service. After the meal, a 
mime group, under the direction of 
Susie Black, presented a pantomime 
on the need to welcome newcomers 
into the fellowship of the church. 
This was followed by a time of dis- 
cussion, reflection, celebration, and 
"dreaming." Key developments of the 
discussion included 
hosting a "Community 
Festival," with vari- 
ous types of music 
groups presenting the 
gospel; a bike tour of 
the local Mississi- 
newa Reservoir; ath- 
letic activities for 
community youth; 
and developing a 
clown ministry. 

A major celebration 
occurred when it was 
announced that the 
two-year growth goal 
established in June Getting at the heart of Passing On the Promise. 

The Brethren Evangelist 



Ruby McClain, with Pastor Jim and 
Susie Black, holds a plaque honoring 
her for three years of service as co-coor- 
dinator of the Passing On the Promise 
process at the College Corner Church. 

1994 — adding 17 new people — was 
reached and exceeded by 9. 

The good news since "Celebration 
Sunday" is that many people have 
stepped forward to take leadership 
roles in the efforts needed to bring 
to fruition the activity and ministry 
ideas that were generated. A spirit 
of unity and community is also mo- 
tivating people to reach out and in- 
vite unsaved neighbors and friends 
to "Come, give us a try." 

According to Pastor Black, the 
Lord has really been blessing the 
College Corner congregation. "I 
look forward to being a part of the 
church's ministry in the coming 
year as we continue to 'Pass On the 
Promise,' " he said. 

— reported by Pastor James F. Black 






Briefly 
Noted 



The Bradenton, Fla., Brethren 
Church marked the 20th anniver- 
sary of the dedication of its building 
on Sunday, April 14, with a special 
celebration. Dr. J.D. Hamel, Pastor 
Emeritus of the Sarasota, Fla., First 
Brethren Church, was the guest 
speaker for the morning celebration 
service. Rev. Russell Gordon, for- 
mer pastor of the Bradenton con- 
gregation, was the guest speaker at 
an afternoon service, which followed 
a noon fellowship meal. An added 
feature of the afternoon service was 
a mortgage-burning ceremony for 
the mortgage on the building. 

After eight months without a full- 
time pastor, the First Brethren 
Church of Huntington, Ind., has 
called Chris Moellering to serve 
the congregation. Pastor Moellering, 
originally from the Winding Waters 
Brethren Church in Elkhart, Ind., 
is a 1996 graduate (M.Div.) of Ash- 
land Theological Seminary. He be- 
gan his ministry at Huntington on 
May 1. He and his wife, Leslie, are 
both graduates of Ball State Univer- 
sity. They have two children, Katie 
(3) and Abbie (1). Chris pastored the 
Brethren Bible Church in Louisville, 
Ohio, for a time while in seminary. 



Midwest Brethren challenged to 
further God's kingdom in district 



Cheyenne, Wyo. — More than 35 
Brethren from Wyoming, Kansas, 
and Nebraska gathered in the fa- 
cilities of the Cheyenne Brethren 
Church June 21 to 23 for the Mid- 
west District Conference in order 
to envision the future. More than 
20 youth gathered at the same time 
for a District Youth Conference. 

During the opening session on Fri- 
day evening, Moderator G. Emery 
Hurd challenged the Brethren to 
forget what is behind and to press 
on toward the prize of furthering 
the kingdom of God in the Midwest. 
He looked at several barriers to for- 
getting, including the "I remember 
when's," the "If only's," and the "I've 
arrived's," and suggested ways to 
overcome these barriers. 

Following the moderator's address, 
Doug Wathen, vice president of the 
Rocky Mountain chapter of Chris- 
tian Illusionists, gave a demonstra- 
tion of Christian illusion. Then the 
drama team Qmega from the Chey- 
enne Brethren Church, presented a 
drama entitled 'The Champion." 

During the business session on 
Saturday, delegates adopted a new 
set of by-laws to more clearly define 
and streamline the administration 
of district business. Plans for plant- 
ing a new church in the Denver, 
Colo., area were also further devel- 
oped. Candidates are currently be- 
ing interviewed and moneys are be- 
ing released for start-up expenses. 

Rev. Reilly Smith, Executive Di- 




Rajahmundry, India — Selections by the Brethren Choir of India were in- 
cluded in television broadcasts aired on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The 
ten-minute programs, which were broadcast all over Asia by Gemini TV, also 
included brief messages by Brethren missionary Rev. K. Prasanth Kumar. 



rector of the Missionary Board of 
the Brethren Church, gave the in- 
spirational message of the morn- 
ing. Then during the afternoon ses- 
sion, he shared the denominational 
reorganization proposal, which was 
met with hearty discussion. 

Elections resulted in the follow- 
ing officers: David Cuthbert — mod- 
erator-elect; Carolyn Tucker — sec- 
retary; Steve Medved — treasurer; 
and Marilyn Minor — assistant sec- 
retary/treasurer. This year's mod- 
erator-elect, Floyd Minor, pastor of 
the Fort Scott, Kans., Brethren 
Church, is the new moderator. 

The Saturday program concluded 
with a full-meal Communion serv- 
ice, with the pastoral couples serv- 
ing as deacons and deaconesses. 
This was followed by a refreshing 
time at the community college 
swimming pool. 

The conference continued with 
services on Sunday morning, dur- 
ing which Rev. David Cooksey, Di- 
rector of Pastoral Ministries for 
The Brethren Church, gave a mes- 
sage and installed the district offi- 
cers. The conference concluded 
with a luncheon, after which out-of- 
state delegates and youth began 
their journeys home, each with a 
bottle of Cheyenne sarsaparilla re- 
ceived as a parting gift. 

Next year's conference is set for 
June 20-22 at the Fort Scott, Kans., 
Brethren Church. 

— reported by Rev. G. Emery Hurd 



Billy and Ruth Graham receive 
Congressional gold medal 

Washington, D.C. — Evangelist 
Billy Graham and his wife, Ruth, 
were awarded the Congressional 
Gold Medal — the highest honor 
Congress can bestow on a citizen — 
at a special ceremony held May 2 in 
the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. 

The Grahams were recognized for 
"outstanding and lasting contribu- 
tions to morality, racial equality, 
family, philanthropy and religion." 
Mr. Graham is only the second clergy- 
man to receive this award for minis- 
try, and the Grahams are only the 
third couple to be so honored. 



July/August 1996 



9 



pd [th e 





Dr. J. D. Hamel honored 
for service to community 

Sarasota, Fla. — Dr. J. D. Hamel, 
Pastor Emeritus of the Sarasota 
First Brethren Church (which he 
pastored from 1961 to 1989), was 
honored recently by Sarasota law 
enforcement agencies for his out- 
standing service to the community. 
Dr. Hamel has been the official 
chaplain for the Sarasota police 
and fire 
depart- 
m e n t s 
and the 
Sarasota 
County 
Sheriff's 
Office for 
more 
than 30 
years. 
He is 
also 
chaplain 
for the Chaplain J. D. Hamel 

Florida State firefighters' association. 

Special tribute was paid to Chap- 
lain Hamel during the annual Law 
Enforcement Memorial Service in 
Sarasota, held May 15 in conjunc- 
tion with National Law Enforce- 
ment Memorial Week. He was pre- 
sented a distinguished service 
medal and several plaques of com- 
memoration during the tribute. 

In addition, he was given scores 
of letters written for the ceremony 
by family members and friends who 
shared memories of his ministry. 
Some recalled how Dr. Hamel had 
led their children or friends to 
Christ. Others remembered special 
moments they'd shared with him, 
like accompanying him to police 
emergencies or getting escorted 
around town in his car. 

Hamel's special skills have been 
invaluable to Sarasota County's 
law enforcement agencies, accord- 
ing to Sheriff Geoff Monge. While 
officers and deputies are trained to 

10 




Brethren students who received degrees from Ashland Theological Seminary in 
May were (I. to r.) Chris Moellering, Darrell (Ed) Miller, Thomas (T. J). McLaugh- 
lin, Eric Bargerhuff, James Pflugfelder, Paul Sluss, and Eric Schave. 

Seven Brethren students receive degrees 
from Ashland Theological Seminary in May 



Ashland, Ohio — Seven Brethren 
were among the 141 students who 
received degrees from Ashland 
Theological Seminary on May 26. 

Eric Bargerhuff, from the Mex- 
ico, Ind., First Brethren Church 
(and the University Church, where 
he served as associate pastor while 
in seminary), received the Master 
of Divinity degree. Eric has ac- 
cepted a resident housing position 
with Greenville Bible College in 
Greenville, Ind. He also plans to 
pursue doctoral studies. 

Thomas (T. J.) McLaughlin, 
from the Pleasant View Brethren 
Church in Vandergrift, Pa. (and the 
Fremont, Ohio, Brethren Church, 
where he co-pastored while in sem- 
inary), received the Master of Di- 
vinity degree. T. J. has accepted a 

J. D. Hamel honored (cont.) 
rescue and protect people, not all of 
them know how to deal with peo- 
ple's spiritual and emotional needs. 
"He provides a whole added dimen- 
sion that we don't have," Sheriff 
Monge said. 

Following the service in which he 
was honored, Chaplain Hamel ac- 
companied police on calls for a do- 
mestic dispute and a disturbance at 
a nursing home caused by a fren- 
zied man posing a threat to resi- 
dents. He prayed for everyone in- 
volved, and he even endured a 
small shot of pepper spray on the 
second call. 



call to serve as a church planter in 
the Pennsylvania District. 

Darrell (Ed) Miller, also from 
the Pleasant View Brethren 
Church (and the Fremont Brethren 
Church, where he co-pastored 
while in seminary), received the 
Master of Divinity degree. Ed will 
continue to pastor the Fremont 
congregation. 

Chris Moellering, from the 
Winding Waters Brethren Church 
in Elkhart, Ind., received the Mas- 
ter of Divinity degree. Chris has ac- 
cepted a call to pastor the Hunt- 
ington, Ind., First Brethren Church. 

James Pflugfelder, a member 
of the Garber Brethren Church in 
Ashland, Ohio, and former member 
of Northwest Brethren Chapel in 
Tucson, Ariz., received a Master of 
Arts degree in Christian education. 
James is computer network man- 
ager for Ashland University. He 
also works with youth at the Gar- 
ber Brethren Church. 

Eric Schave, from the Mill- 
edgeville, 111., Brethren Church, re- 
ceived the Master of Divinity de- 
gree. He has accepted a position as 
pastoral intern at the Milledgeville 
Brethren Church. 

Paul Sluss, from the Roanoke, 
Ind., Brethren Church, received 
the Master of Divinity degree. Paul 
began serving the Louisville, Ohio, 
Brethren Bible Church while in 
seminary and continues to pastor 
that congregation. 

The Brethren Evangelist 



Raystown Church finds blessing 
in the midst of devastating flood 



Saxton, Pa. — A devastating flood 
struck Bedford County, Pa., and 
surrounding counties on January 
19 and 20 of this 
year. Heavy rains 
and melting snow 
(about two feet of 
the white stuff) 
caused rivers and 
streams to over- 
flow their banks 
and flood roads 
and highways as 
well as homes and 
other buildings. 

One of the build- 
ings so flooded was 
the meeting place 
of the Raystown 
Brethren Church, 
located between 
Saxton and Rid- 
dlesburg, Pa., along State Route 26. 
The building, which is situated 
across the road from the Raystown 
Branch of the Juniata River and 
beside a creek that flows into the 
river, was deluged with water. The 
water filled the basement and 
reached a depth of three inches in 
the sanctuary. Practically every- 
thing in the finished basement, in- 
cluding the kitchen, was destroyed. 
In the sanctuary, the carpet, in- 
stalled just a year earlier, was wet, 
mud-covered, and smelly. The con- 
gregation was heartsick. 

A call to the insurance company 
revealed that nothing in the base- 
ment was covered but the furnace 
and structural damage. And no tell- 
ing when the insurance adjuster 
might be able to come and assess 
the damages. The congregation de- 
cided they couldn't wait. They be- 
gan to work and to pray. And as is 
so often the case when adversity 
strikes, they experienced God's spe- 
cial blessing in many ways. 

Pastor Alfred Chamberlain and 
his family opened their home for 
services on January 21 and 28 and 
February 4 and 18. Two local 
Churches of the Brethren offered 
their buildings for the congrega- 
tion's use as well. 

Many individuals and churches 

July/August 1996 



of various denominations, both 
from within and outside the com- 
munity, sent donations of money. 




Cleaning out the basement. 

Some of the donations came from 
complete strangers. Many other 
people came to help with the clean- 
up and remodeling, giving many 
hours of their time and energy. 
Some donated kitchen appliances, 
utensils, and lighting fixtures. The 
local Women's Missionary Society 
provided folding tables and many 
other kitchen items. 

"We are so thankful to each one 
and to God for His great provision 
and encouragement," says Rays- 
town member Susan Weimert. "It is 



f^^SJh 




such a great feeling to know that 
people truly care! The Lord an- 
swered prayer and blessed us abun- 
dantly. The basement looks better 
than it ever did. The good Lord saw 
that we had enough money and do- 
nations to make all the repairs and 
improvements to the interior. We 
still have some outside repairs and 
a few interior finishing touches to 
be done. Just a matter of doing 
them." 

By Easter the congregation had 
the basement ready for the annual 
sunrise service breakfast. Ironi- 
cally, the flood insurance check ar- 
rived the day before Easter. (The 
insurance adjuster visited the 
church on February 25, more than 
a month after the flood.) The con- 
gregation plans to put the insur- 
ance money toward a new roof for 
the building. 

The congregation held an open 
house on Saturday, June 29, to 
commemorate the completion of the 
restoration of the building. 

"God has turned this trial into a 
blessing in many ways," said Ms. 
Weimert. "We know He wants us 
here and that He has a work for us 
to do within this community." 

— reported by Susan Weimert 




The remodeled kitchen: better than before. 



11 



«o^sy^% 




In Memory 

Dr. J. Ray Klingensmith 

Dr. J. Ray Klingensmith, 88, 

pastor for 69 years and professor of 
religion at Ashland College and Sem- 
inary for 40 years, died at his home 
on June 24 following a short illness. 

He was born in Hundred, W. Va., 
October 8, 1907, the son of Barney F. 
and Harriett Klingensmith, and grew 

up in 
north- 
ern Cali- 
f o r n i a , 
graduat- 
ing from 
Long 
Beach 
Poly- 
technic 
High 
School. 
He was 
a 1931 
graduate 
of Ash- 
land Col- 
Dr. J. Ray Klingensmith j e an( j 

a 1934 graduate of Ashland Theologi- 
cal Seminary. While a college student 
he established a mission in the north- 
ern part of the city of Ashland that 
grew into two successful churches. 

He pastored the Oakville, Ind., 
First Brethren Church (1934-36), the 
Elkhart, Ind., First Brethren Church 
(36-40), and the Washington, D.C., 
Brethren Church (53-56). From 1940 
to 1945 he served as General Secre- 
tary of the Missionary Board of the 
Brethren Church. 

Rev. Klingensmith joined the Ash- 
land College faculty as professor of 
religion in 1956. He served as religion 
department chair for 18 years and was 
a member of the Ashland Theological 
Seminary faculty for 35 years. Fol- 
lowing his retirement in 1977, he 
continued to teach Bible classes at 
the college on a volunteer basis, doing 
so until just weeks before his death. 
During his years in Ashland he also 
pastored several area churches. 

He was named Ashland College's 




teacher of the year in 1963, given an 
honorary degree by the college in 
1977, named outstanding alumnus in 
1980, and presented the Distin- 
guished Service award by the college 
(university) in 1995. 

On June 21, 1934, he married 
Christine C. Witter, who survives 
him. He is also survived by his 
daughter, Janet (Rinehart), and son- 
in-law, Dr. Donald R. Rinehart, and 
by three grandchildren and two 
great-grandchildren. 

A memorial service was held June 
26 in the Ashland University Memo- 
rial Chapel with Dr. Klingensmith's 
son-in-law, Dr. Donald Rinehart, offi- 
ciating, assisted by Dr. Arden Gil- 
mer, pastor of the Ashland Park 
Street Brethren Church. 

Memorials may be made to the 
J. Ray and Christine Klingensmith 
Scholarship Fund at Ashland Uni- 
versity, or to Hospice of North Cen- 
tral Ohio, Inc., 1605 County Road 
1095, Ashland, OH 44805. 

In Memory 

Rev. Ralph E. Mills 

Rev. Ralph E. Mills, 71, died May 
17 at the Brethren Home at Cross 
Keys, Pa., from complications of Pro- 
gressive Supranuclear Palsy. Rev. 
Mills served as a Brethren pastor for 
41 years, 34 of those (1956-1990) as 
pastor of 
the Ber- 
lin, Pa., 
Brethren 
Church. 

Ralph 
Mills was 
born Sep- 
tember 6, 
1924, at 
Hagers- 
town, 
Md., the 
son of 
John and 
Mary 
Turner 
Mills He ^ ev - Rulph &• Mills 

became a member of the St. James, 
Md., Brethren Church. He was a 
graduate of Ashland College and also 
attended the University of West Vir- 
ginia, Frostburg University in Mary- 
land, the University of Pittsburgh, 
and Zenia Theological Seminary in 
Pittsburgh. 

He began his pastoral ministry at 
the Uniontown, Pa., and Highland 




(Marianna, Pa.) Brethren churches 
in 1949, serving both congregations 
from 1949 to 1952. He pastored the 
Pittsburgh First Brethren Church 
from 1952 to 1956, and the Berlin 
Brethren Church from 1956 until his 
retirement on December 31, 1990. He 
was greatly loved not only by mem- 
bers of the Berlin Brethren Church 
but also by many other people of the 
community. 

In 1946 Mills married Miriam 
Rohrer, also of Hagerstown, who sur- 
vives him. Also surviving is a daugh- 
ter, Beverly S. Kreeger, and her hus- 
band, Austin, of Kirkwood, Pa.; a son, 
Gary, and his wife, Edith, of Colum- 
bia, Md.; and one grandson. He is 
also survived by three brothers, one 
of whom — John — is a Brethren pas- 
tor, currently serving the Hager- 
stown First Brethren Church. 

The funeral service for Rev. Mills 
was held at Bast Funeral Home in 
Boonsboro, Md., with Rev. Robert 
Stahl, pastor of the Main Street 
Brethren Church (Meyersdale, Pa.) 
officiating. A memorial service was 
held Sunday afternoon, June 2, at the 
Berlin Brethren Church, with several 
area pastors participating and spe- 
cial music provided by the Senior 
Choir and Adult Handbell Choir of 
the Berlin Brethren Church. 

Memorial donations may be made 
to Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, 
Inc., 601 N. Caroline St., Baltimore, 
MD 21287. 



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( The Brethren/ ) 

Evangelist 




^CH 



Vol. 118, No. 8 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



September 1996 



General Conference Moderator Richard E. Allison explores: 



Possibilities Through Partnership 



OUR SCRIPTURE TEXT is 
Philippians 1:1-11. Philippians 
is a progress-oriented and not a 
problem-solving letter. It is the 
most joyous of Paul's letters. It also 
overflows with affection. 

The purpose of the letter is to en- 
courage a spirit of unity. Evidently 
the Philippian Christians were ex- 
periencing some disunity, some power- 
seeking, and a lack of humility. 
Notice how many times Paul men- 
tions "all of you" in verses 1-11 (in 
verses 1, 4, 7, 8). Then in chapter 
two he presents that exalted picture 
of Jesus Christ, who is one with the 
Father. Third, there is the phrase 
in verse 5 reminding them that 
they are 'Partners in the Gospel." 

Partnership 

This is the phrase I want to focus 
on, 'Partners in the Gospel." Let us 
consider the 'Possibilities Through 
Partnership." 

This word "partner" is actually 
koinonia, our word for fellowship. 
We usually interpreted it as coffee, 
donuts, and casual conversation. But 
Luke 5:10 says that James and John 
were Peter's partners in the fishing 
business. In 2 Corinthians 8:23 Paul 
calls Titus his partner. 

Marriage is a partnership. My wife, 
Emily, and I have a partnership that 
has lasted over 45 years. It has been 
more than coffee, donuts, and cas- 
ual conversation. 

*This is an abridged and edited version of 
the General Conference moderator's address. 
The complete address is available on audio 
cassette for $4.00 (plus $2.00 for shipping 
and handling) from the National Office, 524 
College Ave., Ashland, Ohio. It will also be 
included in the General Conference Annual, 
which will be printed later this year. 




Dr. Richard Allison emphasizes a point 
during his moderator's address, which he 
presented during the "Opening Worship 
and Celebration" on Monday evening of 
General Conference. 

This word koinonia occurs five 
times in Philippians. In verse 5 it's 
translated "partnership." In verse 
seven it's translated "share." In 2:1 it's 
"fellowship." In 3:10 it's "partaking" 
in the sufferings of Christ. In 4:15 
it's "sharing" in giving and receiving. 

A partnership is not coffee, donuts, 
and casual conversation. Biblically 
it requires an intimate relationship, 
such as marriage. It implies whole- 
hearted, active participation in every 
way. Koinonia means being as com- 
mitted to one another as you are to 
Christ. It is a relational word. It 
involves persons in relationship and 
in having or sharing something in 
common. 

This partnership is in the gospel. 
The word "gospel," of course, means 
"good news." The good news as Paul 



understood it was that God has 
acted to save His people from their 
sins and has reconciled them to 
Himself through Jesus Christ. It is 
God's power by which people are 
changed (Romans 1:16). 

Now what are the areas in 
which we need to discover the 
"Possibilities through Partner- 
ship." 

Prayer 

The first area is prayer. We see 
this in verse 4 (twice) and in verse 
9. Two different words are trans- 
lated prayer in these verses. The 
word used for prayer in verse 4 
refers to specific prayer for specific 
situations. This is intercessory 
prayer, someone pleading before 
God to supply something that is 
lacking. Paul prays for specific items, 
such as recalling them with joy, 
encouraging them to unity, re- 
questing a heightened humility and 
mutual concern. 

In verse nine the usual word for 
prayer is used. It is also important 
to note that the passage begins and 



In this issue 


General Conference Rep< 

Moderator's address . 
Business sessions . . 


art: 


1 

5 

7 

9 

11 

13 

14 

15 

16 


Tuesday's activities . . 




Wednesday's activities 
Thursday's activities . 
Friday's activities . . . 




Andrew Sunday 




Understanding the Bible 
Around the denomination 




The Women's Outlook Newslette 
is in the center of this issue. 


r 



concludes with prayer. Everything 
we do needs to be undergirded and 
supported by prayer. 

We often look upon prayer as a 
means of getting things for ourselves. 
The biblical idea of prayer, however, 
is that we may get to know God 
Himself. When I was a child I 
thought prayer was asking for things. 
As an adolescent I learned it was 
conversation. As an adult I have 
discovered prayer as enjoying the 
presence of God. 

According to Jesus, the most im- 
portant thing about prayer is to keep 
at it. He spoke of prayer in terms of 
a host whose visitors arrive at mid- 
night and who has to go and awaken 
his neighbor to plead for provisions 
(Luke 11:5-8). Or He says prayer is 
like a widow who keeps yammering 
at a judge until he gives her justice 
(Luke 18:1-8). 

Evangelism 

The second area in which we need 
to discover the 'Possibilities Through 
Partnership" is in evangelism. Broth- 
ers and sisters, the Great Commis- 
sion is not a divine suggestion. It is 
an assumption that as you go through 
life, you will make disciples of all 
ethnic groups (nations). 

If you have good news, it is self- 
evident what you do with it. You 
share it. You don't sit on it. You 
share it or it isn't good news. The 
nature of good news is that it is to 
be shared. The world's greatest gift 
dare not become the world's great- 
est secret. 

In the U.S. there are 262 million 
people. George Barna says 187 mil- 
lion have not accepted Christ. That 
means that 588 persons could be 
added to every church in the U.S. 

Brothers and sisters, we haven't 
been good at evangelism. There are 
several reasons for this. 

First, we expect 19th century re- 



The Brethren Evangeust (ISSN 0747-4288) is pub- 
lished monthly (except July and August issues are 
combined) by The Brethren Church, Inc., 524 
College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 (telephone: 
419-289-1708; e-mail: Brelhrench@aol.com; fax: 419- 
281-0450). Authors' views are not necessarily those 
of The Brethren Church. Editor: Richard C. Win- 
field. Subscription rates: Sent free to Brethren 
Church members; $14.50 per year to others. Mem- 
ber: Evangelical Press Association. Second Class 
Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio. Postmaster: Send 
address changes to The Brethren Church, 524 
College Avenue, Ashland, OH 44805-3792. 



vival services to work in the 21st 
century. They don't! And a church 
that uses methods that don't work 
is not faithful to Christ. 

Second, we're better at fellow- 
ship and at building community. This 
creates a "come" structure, and what 
we need is a "go" structure. 

Third, we believe any person is 
ripe for the gospel. We need to real- 
ize that unbelievers are at various 
stages in their development. We need 
to communicate on the unbeliever's 
wave length and not broadcast on a 
different channel. 

Unbelievers think that church is 
boring; that it's the place where bread 
is turned to stones. The problem is 
that boring services lead people to 
think that God is boring. Unbeliev- 
ers also believe that the church is 
unfriendly to visitors. The termi- 
nology is strange; the music is from 
the dark ages and another conti- 
nent; and the rituals are ridiculous. 
In addition, they see the chief inter- 
est of the church as being in their 
money. The church asks for it every 
time the door opens. 

Fourth, we don't discern our tar- 
get. Imagine what would happen if 
a radio station tried to play every 
body's music. A radio station selects 
a target audience. 

Jesus had a target. He went first 
(and sent His disciples first) to the 
lost sheep of Israel. Paul went first 
to the synagogue, and only when 
expelled there did he go to the mar- 
ketplace. A church without a target 
is like a photographer shooting pic- 
tures out of focus. 

Discipling 

Discipling is not the same as evan- 
gelism. Evangelism leads persons 
to accept Christ as their savior and 
lord. Discipling takes converts and 
leads them into Christian matur- 



ity. Evangelism deals with believ- 
ing; discipling with belonging. 

After persons become committed 
to Christ, they need to grow up in 
Christlikeness. The New Testament 
continually calls us to be growing 
up in our Christian life (Gal. 4: 19 — 
"until Christ be formed in you"; Rom. 
8:29 — "conformed to the likeness of 
his Son"; Eph. 4:13 — "attaining the 
fullness of Christ"; Col. 1:28 — "per- 
fect in Christ." 

We need to have in place a proc- 
ess whereby Christians can mature. 
The ultimate goal of that process is 
Christlikeness. This means that we 
are: 

1. committed to Christ 

2. belong to a body 

3. identify our spiritual gifts 

4. involved in a ministry 

The only thing we'll take with us 
into eternity is our Christian char- 
acter. Our character is of greater 
concern to God than our comfort. 
Therefore, we shouldn't focus on 
growing a church with programs but 
rather focus on growing people with 
a process. This means: 

1. bringing them in as members 
of His family 

2. building them up to maturity 
to model His character 

3. training them for ministry of 
His grace 

4. sending them out in mission 
with a message of love 

Leadership development 

Verse 1 of the first chapter of Phil- 
ippians identifies church function- 
aries as bishops and deacons. These 
are interesting terms. Note first that 
they were distinguished from the 
congregation, therefore they had 
some official status. Second, since 
the terms are plural, there was no 
chief executive officer. Third, Paul 
didn't address them over the head 



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The Brethren Evangelist 



Monday night video presentation kicks off 
50th anniversary celebration of Brethren Youth 



A15-MINUTE VIDEO presen- 
tation providing an overview 
of 50 years of the national Breth- 
ren Youth organization was one of 
the highlights of the Monday eve- 
ning worship service at General 
Conference, along with the mod- 
erator's address by Dr. Richard E. 
Allison. The video presentation was 
part of the 50th anniversary cele- 
bration of Brethren Youth that took 
place during Conference week. 

The script for the video was writ- 
ten and narrated by Ashland Uni- 
versity student Jaime Gillespie, a 
member of the Vinco, Pa., Breth- 
ren Church. Jaime serves on the 
Brethren Youth In Christ (BYIC) 
steering committee and edits the 
youth magazine Morning Star. She 
was assisted in preparing the video 
by Jennifer Thomas, the BYIC 
Convention coordinator; and by Ed 
Strickling, a member of the Ash- 
land Garber Brethren Church, who 
edited the video and added special 
effects. 

The video traced the source of 
the Brethren Youth organization 
back to three young men, Gilbert 
Dodds, Woodrow Brant, and Archie 



Martin, who, in 1940, had a 
dream of an organization to 
unite Brethren Youth around 
the world. In 1941 an organi- 
zation was formed, but it was 
five years later, in 1946, that 
the first Brethren Youth con- 
ference was held. 

It was at that conference 
that the Brethren Youth or- 
ganization was formally rec- 
ognized by the church and a 
youth board formed. "This 
conference, 50 years ago this 
month, became the start of 
what would be a half a cen- 
tury of joy, tears, fun, and fel- 
lowship — 50 years full of 
memories . . . ." The remain- 
der of the video used pictures 
from old issues of the Evan- 
gelist, past youth maga- 
zines, and other photographs, 
along with the narration by 
Jaime, to depict some of these 
memories. 

One of the historical nuggets in the 
video was a reminder that Charles 
Munson served as the first national 
director of Brethren Youth. In recog- 
nition of the key role he played in the 




Dr. Charles Munson receives a plaque and a 
hug from Jaime Gillespie in recognition of his 
service as the first national director of Breth- 
ren Youth (1948-53). 

history of Brethren Youth, Dr. 
Munson was given a plaque by 
Jaime and a standing ovation by 
Conference attenders at the con- 
clusion of the video. [ft] 



of the congregation, but in fact ad- 
dressed them only secondarily. 

Fourth, these are individuals iden- 
tified for the function they perform, 
not for the ordained office they fill. 
The function of a bishop is to over- 
see or supervise. A deacon was 
responsible for beneficent activities 
such as taking care of the needs of 
the poor, the sick, and the incarcer- 
ated. Fifth, some scholars translate 
the phrase "bishops and deacons" 
as "bishops who serve." This em- 
phasizes the function and not the 
office. Somewhere we've gotten off 
the track. 

The New Testament presents a 
unique view of leadership. The New 
Testament model is that of servant 
leadership (Mark 10:41—45). Seven 
times it says in the Gospels that if 
persons really want to be great, they 
must become servants (Matt. 20:26- 
28; 23:11; Mark 9:35; 10:43-14; Luke 
9:48; 22:26-27; John 13:14). 

Jesus is the primary example. 
Following His baptism, which many 

September 1996 



scholars believe was His ordination 
to ministry, He was led by the Spirit 
into the temptation experience. What 
kind of leader would He be. Would 
He adopt the "pleasure principle," 
and be satisfied to spend His life 
meeting obvious personal needs, 
turning stones into bread? Would 
He adopt the "power principle," and 
rule all the kingdoms of the world 
by military force and political in- 
trigue? Would He adopt the "parade 
principle" of leadership, and create 
a magic show to arouse public curi- 
osity, as He leaped from high build- 
ings into angels' arms. Or would He 
choose the "service principle'? 

He defined His leadership princi- 
ple before His hometown crowd, 
when He read from Isaiah: 

God's Spirit is on me; 

he's chosen me to preach the 

message of good news to 
the poor, 
Sent me to announce pardon to 
prisoners and 
recovery of sight to the blind, 



To set the burdened and battered 
free, 
to announce, "This is God's year 
to act." 

And when He then announced: 

This scripture has just now come 
true in this place. 

The servanthood approach of Jesus 
surfaces when two of His followers 
ask to be the secretary of state and 
the secretary of defense in the mes- 
sianic regime. The other disciples, 
feeling outflanked, become angry. 
Jesus responds with three princi- 
ples for servant leadership. 

First, the common, cultural view 
of leadership is not His. Leaders are 
not over but among. Second, service 
is the measure of Christian leader- 
ship ("whoever would be great must 
be your servant"). Third, Jesus mod- 
eled servant leadership, "for he came 
not to be served but to serve and to 
give his life a ransom for many." 

Philippians 1:1 is the only place 
in his letters where Paul includes 





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* 
V 



raer National Brethren Youth 
Directors Charles Munson (v.), 
Phil Lersch (2nd from I.), and 
Marlin McCann (I.), to blow 
them out. Helping them was 
Ron Waters (2nd from r.), who 
oversaw the youth program 
during his years as Director of 
Brethren Church Ministries. 




Celebration of 
50th anniversary of 
Brethren Youth, 
which began on 
Monday evening of 
Conference (see pre- 
vious page), contin- 
ued Tuesday after- 
noon with an all- 
conference picnic/ 
birthday party. 
Keeping the can- 
dles on the birth- 
day cake lit was 
somewhat of a 
challenge in the 
open air, but a few 
of them stayed lit 
long enough for for- 



another person (Timothy) as a slave 
or bondservant with him. He allows 
Timothy to share the same platform. 
I find this interesting. Evidently the 
Christians at Philippi needed to learn 
that relationships of co-laborers were 
not those of authority, superiority, 
or inferiority, but of humble equal- 
ity. Slave language implies abase- 
ment, subservience, total submis- 
siveness. A slave's will is totally sub- 
jected to that of another. A slave 
has no right to personal choice. A 
slave had no rights, no freedom. A 
slave's service was not voluntary but 
forced. The opposite of slave is mas- 
ter or lord. 

Paul is attacking their selfishness 
and disunity. He is saying that sen- 
iority and high calling do not place 
one Christian above another. He is 
saying that church leaders by vir- 
tue of their office are called to serve. 

Church planting 

Philippi was a new church start. 
Paul had many memories of that 
experience: 

• the girl who had a demon problem 

• the jailer who beat him and later 

4 



received Christ 

• the slimy wall of a cell to which 
he was chained 

• the earth that quaked beneath him 

• the skilled business woman, Lydia 

• the group of faithful women who 
met for prayer 

Paul had chosen this place care- 
fully. He had bypassed the port city 
of Neapolis and gone nine miles in- 
land to Philippi. The city was lo- 
cated on the superhighway that led 
from Rome to Asia. It was a Roman 
city, which meant that Roman law 
prevailed, Roman officials ruled, and 
Roman citizens received special priv- 
ileges. This meant that a Roman 
citizen couldn't be beaten without a 
trial nor be expelled from the city. 
That's why Acts 16:39 says, 'They 
came to appease them and escorted 
them from the prison, requesting 
them to leave the city." Philippi was 
Rome in microcosm, populated main- 
ly by Romans. 

Brothers and sisters, the churches 
that will lead us through the 21st 
century haven't even been started 
yet. Look around the denomination; 
the leading Brethren congregations, 



with a couple of exceptions, 
have been started within the 
last generation and a half. 

Why should we start new con- 
gregations? First, because a new 
church releases new leaders to 
use their skills. Second, because 
a new church has fewer psycho- 
logical barriers to overcome in 
reaching a new generation. 
Third, because numerical growth 
is attained with less expendi- 
ture of effort and resources in a 
new church. Fourth, because 
new churches offer the un- 
churched a wider variety of al- 
ternatives from which to choose. 
The church is the continua- 
tion of the ministry which Jesus 
began and which is carried out 
in the power of the Spirit. The 
church is not so much like a 
train on a track riding the rails 
that lead over a predetermined 
route to a very predictable des- 
tination as it is like a rocket that 
is on a trajectory that requires 
faith that takes into account 
the invisible, the unexpected, 
and the untried. 

Repentance is required of the 
church that has exchanged its 
birthright for the fast food of cul- 
tural relevance. Repentance is re- 
quired of the church that is found 
opposing the mission of God by cling- 
ing to its own institutional and tra- 
ditional forms. 

I'm sure that if you were going to 
the Cleveland Clinic for brain sur- 
gery, you'd want everyone working 
on you to be in partnership. The 
diagnosticians need to be accurate 
in their findings and reporting. The 
admissions people need correct in- 
formation to pass along. The anes- 
thesiologist, the neurosurgeon, the 
endochrinologist, the recovery room 
people, the intensive care unit, the 
nurses, dietitians, housekeeping de- 
partment, and the therapists have to 
work in concert. I'm sure you would 
not want any factions, but total unity. 
And if the Lord above smiled down 
on all of this, you could walk out a 
new person, just in time to hear 
from the accounting department. 

Brothers and sisters, as we strive 
together to do the work of the Lord 
in The Brethren Church, let us re- 
member that in this "operation," we 
are 'Partners in the Gospel." [t] 

The Brethren Evangelist 



General Conference Report 



Conference Business Sessions 



CULMINATING a process that 
began approximately ?>V2 years 
ago, General Conference delegates 
voted decisively (234 in favor, 47 
against) to implement the denomi- 
national reorganization proposal 
(which required a V?, majority to 
pass). The vote was taken only af- 
ter delegates were given ample op- 
portunity to consider the proposal 
at the Conference. 

The process 

During the Tuesday business ses- 
sion, Dr. Brenda Colijn, a member 
of the General Conference Execu- 
tive Council (GCEC), reviewed some 
of the main features of the proposal 
(which had been printed in the 
June EVANGELIST and also distrib- 
uted directly to pastors and other 
elders, local church moderators, 
district officers, and other leaders). 
Then a panel of people who have 
worked closely with the proposal 
(Ronald W. Waters, Reilly Smith, 
Arden Gilmer, Ray Aspinall, and 
Brenda Colijn) answered questions 
about the proposal. 

In this question-and-answer 
period, some opposition to the pro- 
posal emerged. A major point of op- 
position was the feared cost of the 
new organization — that it would cost 
more to implement than the pre- 
sent organization, which is already 
running deficits. Another concern 
was that this organization has a 
pyramid type of authority struc- 
ture, which is being rejected by the 
secular world and which reportedly 
has been ineffective in other Chris- 
tian denominations. 

During lunch on Tuesday, those 
in favor of and those opposed to the 
reorganization proposal had an op- 
portunity to meet separately and to 
prepare statements suppporting their 
respective positions. A representa- 
tive from each of these two groups 
then presented the group's position 
during the Wednesday morning 
business session. Following these 
presentations, the floor was opened 
for anyone to speak to the issue. 

At this time, one amendment was 
made to the proposal, namely, that 

September 1996 



district representatives to the two 
ministries councils (Missionary and 
Congregational) be elected directly 
by the districts (rather than nomi- 
nated by the districts and elected by 
General Conference). This amend- 
ment was passed, and shortly there- 
after the proposal as amended was 
approved, as reported above. 

Elections 

In order to implement the new 
organization, all members of the 
two ministries councils (both at- 
large and district members) were 
elected by this General Conference 
(some for one-year terms, others for 
two-years, still others for full three- 
year terms. In future years, all rep- 
resentatives will be elected for three- 
year terms, and district represent- 
atives will be elected by their dis- 
tricts (as noted above). (See the two 
boxes on this page for the results of 
these elections.) 

Moderator: There was no elec- 
tion for moderator at this Confer- 
ence. John Shultz, who served as 
moderator-elect during the past 
year, was installed as the new mod- 
erator and will serve for a one-year 
term. At the 1997 General Confer- 
ence, a moderator will be elected 
for a three-year term. 

Executive Board 

On Friday morning of Conference, 
the two ministries councils met and 
appointed their representatives to 
the Executive Board. 



Congregational Ministries 
Council 

Term ending in 1997 

Bill Yoder, Pennsylvania 
Tina Henderson, Southeastern 
Karen Best, California 
Brian Moore, At-large 

Term ending in 1998 
Brenda Colijn, Ohio 
David West, Southwest 
Tina Ross, Florida 
Marlin McCann, At-large 

Term ending in 1999 
Ken Hunn, Indiana 
Jeanette Sullivan, Central 
G. Emery Hurd, Midwest 
Warren Garner, At-large 



The members are: 
From the Congregational 
Ministries Council: 

Tina Henderson, 1997 

Brenda Colijn, 1998 

Ken Hunn, 1999 
From the Missionary 
Ministries Council: 

Arden Gilmer, 1997 

Cathy Britton, 1998 

Fred Miller, 1999 

Other members of this board in- 
clude Moderator John Shultz; the 
Executive Director (yet to be se- 
lected); Reilly Smith, Director of 
Missionary Ministries; J. Michael 
Drushal, Interim Director of Con- 
gregational Ministries; and Dr. Fred 
Finks, president of Ashland Theo- 
logical Seminary. This board is 
scheduled to have its first meeting 
on November 8. The two ministries 
councils will also meet on that date. 



Missionary Ministries Council 

Term ending in 1997 

Arden Gilmer, Ohio 
Bill Curtis, Southwest 
Dave Stone, Florida 
Dale Stoffer, At-large 

Term ending in 1998 
Jim Hollinger, Indiana 
Richard Hutchison, Central 
Cathy Britton, Midwest 
James F. Black, At-large 

Term ending in 1999 

Jim Kirkendall, Pennsylvania 
Fred Miller, Southeastern 
Randy Best, California 
Kitty Winfield, At-large 



One of the first tasks of the new 
organization is to select a person to 
direct the transition process, who 
will also serve as Interim Director 
of Congregational Ministries dur- 
ing the transition. Be in prayer for 
this selection process. 

In addition, the Executive Board 
will initiate a search process for an 
Executive Director. This is a major 
prayer concern, for this person will 
play a key role in the new organiza- 
tion. The person needs to be a vision- 
ary leader who is able to guide and 
coordinate staff members in fulfill- 
ing the priorities and ministries of 
The Brethren Church. The timetable 
calls for this person to be presented 
for affirmation at the 1997 General 
Conference, and if affirmed, to be- 
gin serving by Janaury 1998. 

(continued on next page) 



General Conference Report 

Business Sessions cont. 

New congregations 

Three groups of Brethren were 
given official recognition by this 
General Conference. Cornerstone 
Brethren Church and Minis- 
tries of Muncie, Ind., a new congre- 
gation that came out of the First 
Brethren Church of Oakville, Ind., 
was given official recognition in the 
denomination as a church. 

The Brethren Church of Medina, 
formerly a class, was given official 
recogntion as a mission congrega- 
tion, with the name Living HOPE 
Brethren Church. 

Likewise, Greenwood Brethren 
Fellowship, formerly a class, was 
official recognized as a mission con- 
gregation, with the name "Win- 
ning the Race" Ministries. 

On the other hand, Pastor Mark 
Britton reported to the Conference 
that as of June 15, 1996, the Derby, 
Kans., Brethren Church closed its 
doors to the community temporar- 
ily to allow for a time of evaluation 
and "retooling." The church has 
changed its name to New Heights 
Christian Fellowship and antici- 
pates reopening on December 1, 
1996. Pastor Mark Britton asked 
Brethren to keep the church in their 
prayers as the congregation seeks 
God's direction and strives to be- 
come more sensitive to ministering 
in the Derby area. 

Fair Share recognition 

Special recognition was given to 
the 51 churches that contributed 100 
percent or more of their Fair Share 
support for Brethren Church Min- 
istries in 1995. The churches were: 
Bloomingdale, St. Petersburg, Beth- 
lehem, Hagerstown First, Liberty, 
Linwood, St. James, St. Luke, Cal- 
vary, Cameron First, Fairless Hills- 
Levittown, Johnstown Second, Mt. 
Olivet, Pittsburgh First, Raystown, 
Sarver, Wayne Heights, Garber, 
Gretna, Louisville First, Newark, 
New Lebanon, Park Street, Smith- 
ville, Smoky Row, Williamstown, 
Brighton Chapel, College Corner, 
Dutchtown, Elkhart First, Goshen 
First, Huntington First, Jefferson, 
Loree First, Meadow Crest, Mexico 
First, Nappanee First, New Paris 
First, North Manchester First, Oak- 
ville First, Roanoke First, Tiosa, 

6 




Ron Waters honored 

Ronald W. Waters received a 
standing ovation from the Confer- 
ence during the Wednesday morn- 
ing business session as an expres- 
sion of appreciation for his dedi- 
cated service and leadership dur- 
ing the past seven years as Direc- 
tor of Brethren Church Ministries. 

Ron resigned from this position 
at the end of 1995 in preparation 
for joining the faculty of Ashland 
Theological Seminary as assistant 
professor of evangelism, where he 
begins teaching this month (Sep- 
tember). Though teaching at the 
seminary, he will not be lost en- 
tirely to denominational work. He 
will carry a three-quarter time 
load at the seminary and serve the 
denomination one-quarter time as 
consultant in evangelism/church 
growth. 

In addition to this expression of 
appreciation from the conference, 
Ron was the guest of honor at a 
dinner hosted by the General Con- 
ference Executive Council in May. 
At this dinner he was presented a 
plaque and a gift certificate by the 
Executive Council on behalf of the 
denomination. 



Wabash First, Warsaw First, Lan- 
ark First, Milledgeville, Hammond 
Avenue (Waterloo), Cheyenne, Mul- 
vane, Northgate Community, and 
Stockton. Three additional churches 
— Bryan First, Peru First, and North- 
west Chapel — were commended for 
giving 90 percent or more of their 
Fair Share; and Greenwood Breth- 
ren Fellowship (now "Winning the 
Race" Ministries) was honored for 
giving $130 for Brethren Church 
Ministries, when, as a class, it was 
not required to give anything. 



Budget 

Because of the many changes in- 
vovled in the denominational re- 
organization, it was not feasible to 
prepare a 1997 budget to present to 
this Conference. Therefore, Confer- 
ence authorized the Executive Board 
to use the 1996 budgets of the Mis- 
sionary Board and of The Brethren 
Church, Inc., as guidelines for de- 
veloping a 1997 budget. 

Looking to Estes Park 

Brethren are looking ahead to Con- 
ference 2000, to be held in Estes 
Park, Colorado. Expressing a de- 
sire that this be a significant gath- 
ering, Conference instructed the 
new Missionary Ministries Council 
to plan for a tangible mission out- 
reach at that Conference. 

To help finance travel to that 
Conference, the Monday and Tues- 
day evening offerings at this year's 
gathering were designated for the 
Conference 2000 travel fund. A 
total of $1,287.10 was received. 

Delegate totals 

A total of 396 delegates regis- 
tered for Conference (213 lay, 159 
elders, 23 district, and 1 cooperat- 
ing board). This was up slightly 
from last year's total of 389 (208 
lay, 153 elders, 23 district, and 5 
cooperating board). 

Next year, Conference will make 
one of its rare moves, with the 
gathering to be held August 4-8 at 
St. Mary's College in South Bend, 
Ind. The following two years Con- 
ference will be held in Ashland as 
usual (Aug. 3-7 in 1998 and Aug. 
2-6 in 1999), before the big move to 
Este Park, Colo., in the year 2000 
(Aug. 7-11). 

New working relationship 

Rev. Reilly Smith, Executive 
Director of the Missionary Board 
(now the Missionary Ministries 
Council), announced during the 
Tuesday business session that the 
Missionary Board has entered into 
an agreement with Dynamic Church 
Planting International (DCPI) 
whereby Dr. Paul Becker, director 
of DCPI, will assist The Brethren 
Church in developing and imple- 
menting a comprehensive church- 
planting strategy. [ft] 

The Brethren Evangelist 



General Conference Report 



Tuesday: "Evangelism Day' 



TUESDAY was "evangelism day" 
at General Conference, and what 
an exciting occasion it was! The 
excitement began at mid-morning 
with a learning fair sponsored by 
the Evangelism & Church Growth 
Commission in cooperation with the 
New Church Development Com- 
mission. 

Entitled 'Opening DOORS to the 
World" (DOORS = Dynamic Outreach 
Opportunities Related to Service), the 
learning fair offered Conference at- 
tenders a smorgasbord of learning 
opportunities in evangelism, out- 
reach, church growth, and church 
planting. They could attend a 40- 
minute seminar by Rev. Paul Mun- 
dey, director of The Andrew Cen- 
ter, plus two of the 31 Table Talk" 
discussion groups. Or they could 
choose to attend four of the 18-min- 
ute Table Talk discussions. 

Rev. Paul Mundey 

In his seminar, "Unlocking Church 
Doors," Rev. Mundey, himself a bun- 
dle of excitement, presented strate- 
gies for bringing about change in 
established churches. Such change 
is needed, he said, because we live 
in a changing world. Not only is 
change taking place, but the rate of 



change is increasing — speeding up 
all the time. 

Among his many suggestions for 
effecting change were: 

Start small. Small change can be 
very significant. "Most of us over- 
estimate what we can accomplish 
in a year and underestimate what 
we can accomplish in five years." 

When possible, add rather than 
change. For example, add a new 
Sunday school class rather than 
trying to change an existing one. 

Recognize the relationship between 
tenure and change. Leaders need to 
"waste time" with people in order to 
develop trust. 

Work toward creating a "learning 
congregation." "Most congregations 
are not changing because the per- 
sons within those congregations are 
not changing." 

Suggest a trial period for some- 
thing new. "It's amazing what peo- 
ple will adopt if it's only for 30 days!" 

Table Talks 

The 31 Table Talks discussed topics 
from A almost to Z (Art as Outreach 
to Working Welcome Classes). All but 
one were led by Brethren people. 
Evangelism, of course, entails out- 
reach, and Table Talks dealt with 




A buzz of excitement filled the room as Brethren discussed various means of 
promoting evangelism, outreach, church growth, and church planting at the 31 
"Table Talks" held Tuesday morning of Conference. 

September 1996 



outreach through sports, worship, 
nursery, block parties, art, and 
visitation. Other topics included 
Reaching People Not Like Me, Tap- 
ping into Multi-Housing Communi- 
ties, Support and Recovery Groups, 
Evangelistic Small Groups in the 
Workplace, Reaching Out to the Illit- 
erate, and many more — so many, in 
fact, that most people found it diffi- 
cult to choose which ones to attend. 

Evening service 

The excitement continued during 
the evening worship service, which 
began with dynamic singing led by 
guitar-playing Rev. Brad Hardesty, 
backed by eight guitar-playing Breth- 
ren pastors* and four backup sing- 
ers. Interspersed throughout the sing- 
ing were testimonies of exciting 
things happening in three Brethren 
congregations. The service also in- 
cluded another exciting message by 
Rev. Mundey. (See next page.) 

The first testimony was given by 
Jim Garrett, pastor of the Lanark, 
111., First Brethren Church, who told 
about that church's experiences 
with Passing On the Promise. He 
praised the process for being both a 
tremendous learning experience 
and its flexibility — so flexible, in 
fact, that after the first year his 
congregation dropped both the name 
and the timeline, while continuing 
the process. He spotlighted two high 
points in the process in the Lanark 
Church, the completion of handi- 
capped-accessible restrooms during 
the first year; and evangelistic serv- 
ices led by Rev. Rickey Bolden at 
the beginning of the third year (quite 
a shock to that rural, white commu- 
nity). He concluded by saying that 
Passing On the Promise opened their 
eyes, showed them their heart, and 
revealed their need for a love for 
God. 

Roger Stogsdill, pastor of the North- 
gate Community Brethren Church 
in Manteca, Calif., said that God 
used Passing On the Promise as a 
mirror to show that congregation 
what they really were. They thought 
they were a nice little church, but 
God revealed their shortcomings. 
Then God replaced the mirror with 
(continued at bottom of next page) 

*Pastors Pat Velanzon, Roger Stogsdill, Bryan 
Karchner, Tom Schiefer, Jim Miller, Dave 
Stone, T.J. McLaughlin, and Keith Hensley 



General Conference Report 



Paul Mundey asks, "Will the Future Have a Church? 



jj 




Rev. Paul E. R. Mundey 

WE ARE LIVING in transitional, 
questionable times, Rev. Paul 
Mundey told Brethren in his Tues- 
day evening message. It is a time 
when the future of the church as 
an established institution in this 
country is uncertain, as our culture 
shifts from a church culture to an 
unchurched, secular, pagan culture. 

"The question is not whether the 
church will have a future, but 
whether the future will have a 
church? Will those caught in a secu- 
lar value system have an opportu- 
nity to discover the grace and the 
freedom and the justice of Jesus 
Christ?" 

"It is my opinion that the future 
will have a church," Mundey contin- 
ued, "if we alter our mindset, if we 
alter our way of thinking and make 
three movements . . . ." In the mes- 
sage that followed, he stated and 
elaborated on those movements. 



The movement from 

atrophy to adventure 

"I think that the central reason 
why churches are not changing is 
because the people in the churches 
are not changing," Mundey said. 
The church exists for one primary 
purpose, life-change in and through 
Jesus Christ — to change toward the 
likeness and stature of Jesus 
Christ. This opens us to a wonderful 
realm of new possibilities. A sense 
of new possibilities empowers peo- 
ple. Life isn't about limitations, it's 
about options. 

The role of the church is to infil- 
trate the world and give people op- 
tions through Jesus Christ. "I can 
guarantee you that if we start 
preaching the gospel of options and 
empowerment, the world will be 
turned upside down and the church 

"I stand before you tonight 
with an unshakable con- 
viction that the church is 
the last great hope for the 

world. " 

— Paul Mundey 

will be renewed. Yes, the future will 
have a church if we move from atro- 
phy to that kind of adventure and 
that kind of proclamation." 

The movement from 

rigidness to relevance 

Most Americans no longer feel 
strong bonds to the religious tradi- 
tion in which they were raised. Peo- 
ple don't go to a church because 
they were born into it but because 
they like it. Congregations only 



have a future if they remake them- 
selves. Family and ethnic ties will 
not hold people. 

Renewal is possible. Churches 
need to appeal to more than one 
generation. This is particularly true 
of music. 

The movement from 

hostility to hospitality 

We will never reach the mission 
field which is now at our doorstep 
unless we learn a new spirit of 
openness and genuine welcome to 
the stranger who is not yet within 
our midst. Most of us in American 
culture have been taught to fear the 
stranger. If we can't get beyond this 
fear, we will be unable to reach 
those whom we need to reach. We 
are called to show hospitality to 
strangers. 

Mundey concluded his message 
by turning again to the question, 
"Will the future have a church?" 
"Will the future have an alterna- 
tive to the violence and the confu- 
sion and the inequity that marks 
our culture?" he asked. Will the 
future have an opportunity to 
know something other than the lust 
and the greed of the dominant 
value system around us? 

"It will, brothers and sisters, if 
we adopt the outlook of outreach; 
if we adopt the mindset of mis- 
sion; if we adopt, like never before, 
the spirit and the conviction of an 
adventurous, relevant, hospitable 
people, unapologetically rooted in 
Jesus Christ, who is our Lord, who 
is our Savior, but also the Savior 
of the whole world." [t] 



glasses, and they saw the people 
around them and their needs. 

The third testimony was given by 
Bob Keplinger, pastor of the Lin- 
wood, Md., Brethren Church. This 
congregation, located in a village of 
40 people (41 with a recent addi- 
tion!), has a membership of 140 and 
an average attendance of 100. Over 
the past few years, God has called 
three men into ministry from this 
congregation — Ron Miller, who 
served as assistant to the pastor for 
two years before entering Ashland 
Theological Seminary last fall; Scott 



Robertson, who currently serves as 
assistant to the pastor; and Jim 
Frado, who will enter the seminary 
in January. (Jim's wife, Karen, will 
also take courses at the seminary, 
beginning this fall). 

Following the message by Rev. 
Mundey, the service ended with the 
spirited singing of "Shine, Jesus, 
Shine." This song, which asks the 
Holy Spirit to "set our hearts on fire" 
and expresses the desire, "Mirrored 
here may our lives tell Your story," 
was an appropriate finish to a day 
that focused on evangelism. [ft] 



Audio Cassettes Available 

The two messages by Rev. Paul Mundey 
(his morning seminar and his evening ad- 
dress) are available on audio cassettes, as 
are the other messages and workshops 
presented at Conference — moderator's 
address, Spiritual Formation Workshop, 
W.M.S. luncheon speaker (Barbara Hess), 
Dr. Fred Finks, the Conflict Resolution 
Workshop (led by David Cooksey), the 
World Relief Luncheon, the Missionary 
Board Banquet, Dr. Arden Gilmer, and 
the new moderator's challenge. Send 
$4.00 per cassette (or $30 for all 1 1 cas- 
settes) plus $2.00 per order (not per tape) 
for shipping to The Brethren Church, 524 
College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805. 



The Brethren Evangelist 



rffie Women's Oxittoof^O^ewsletter \ 

J? publication of the 'Brethren Women s Missionary Society 




September-October 1996 



Volume 10, Number 1 




"The 
President s 



'Sen 



Dear Ladies, 

A story is told by author Leo 
Buscaglia about a 4-year-old child. 
The child's neighbor was an elderly 
gentleman who had recently lost 
his wife. When the child saw the 
old man sitting in his yard crying, 
the boy went over and climbed onto 
his lap and just sat there. When 
his mother asked her son what he 
had said to the old man, the little 
boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him 
cry." That's love!! 

You ladies have all shown so 
much love to me recently. As most 
of you know, I have been diagnosed 
with breast cancer. After several 
days of tests and a biopsy, no can- 
cer was discovered anyplace else in 
my body. How thankful we were! I 
have had so many people praying 
for me that I have felt no fear. I 
had such a peace through the weeks 
of tests and waiting for results. 

The doctors at Cleveland Clinic 
have decided to give me chemo- 
therapy (4-6 treatments) to shrink 
the tumors; then they will do sur- 
gery. My treatments are three 
weeks apart. By the second week 
after chemo, the white cells have 
been destroyed and make me very 
vulnerable to infection. 

I was not able to attend the 
Thursday W.M.S. session, but 
Marilyn Aspinall, Vice President, 
did a great job of conducting the 
meeting, so I am told. At about the 
time for the meeting to start, my 
(continued on page 4) 



PARTNERS IN THE GOSPEL 

Devotions presented by Carolyn Brandon, August 6, 1996 

And now, Lord, . . . grant unto thy servants, that with all 
boldness they may speak thy word. 

Acts 4:29 



Our partner as we share the 
Gospel has to be the Holy Spirit; 
we can do nothing apart from the 
work and person of the Holy Spirit. 
Peter was not effective until after 
Pentecost and the infilling of the 
Holy Spirit. As believers, we know 
the Holy Spirit comes to take up 
residence in our heart, but for 
many believers we only let the 
Holy Spirit work through us in a 
small way. 

I have been a believer since 1948, 
but it wasn't until 1975 that I sur- 
rendered my entire life to the Holy 
Spirit to be used by Him as He de- 
sired. Since 1975, I have been on a 
continual journey, learning more 
and more about the Third Person 
of the Trinity. He gives me the 
strength I need to do what God 
calls me to do; He gives peace in 
the midst of storms. 

In April I had a mammogram and 
then a recall for another mammo- 
gram, followed by a surgeon telling 
me I needed to undergo surgery to 
remove a lump from my left breast. 

On June 3 I arrived at Aultman 
Hospital for my scheduled surgery, 
only the Holy Spirit had prepared 
a smooth road. Not only did I have 
a truly supernatural peace, I had 
at least three Christian nurses, a 
Christian anesthetist assistant, and 
a Christian surgeon. The whole 
procedure was less painful than re- 
moving a sliver from my finger! 

By early afternoon I was home 
and the following Friday I received 
the news: No Cancer! I praised God 
all night and I still praise God for 



the presence of the indwelling 
Holy Spirit. Does He have all of 
you? Is He your partner in the 
spreading of the Gospel? Do you 
know how to give Him free reign in 
your life? Let's look at a few scrip- 
tures that will help us understand 
how to do this. 

"After they prayed, the place 
where they were meeting was 
shaken. And they were ALL filled 
with the Holy Spirit and spoke the 
Word of God boldly." This is inter- 
esting. They were all filled after 
they prayed and the Holy Spirit 
gave all of them the ability to 
speak the Word of God boldly. Verse 
33 says "With GREAT POWER the 
apostles continued to testify to the 
resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and 
much grace was upon them ALL." 

In Acts 1:7-8 Jesus' last words 
as He left them to return to the 
Father were, "It is not for you to 
know the times or dates the Father 
has set by His own authority. BUT 
you will receive POWER when the 
Holy Spirit comes on you, and you 
will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, 
and in all Judea, and in Samaria, 
and to the ends of the earth." 

Who is our partner as we share 
the Gospel? It is the Holy Spirit of 
God. He is real; He brings God's 
power to work in our lives; we can 
do nothing apart from Him. The 
booklet My Heart Christ's Home 
explains how we give all of our 
hearts to Jesus. 

After Peter and John were re- 
leased from prison (Acts 4:23), 
(continued on page 4) 



HIGHLIGHTS OF THE W.M.S. CONFERENCE 



We thank God for blessing us 
during every facet of the General 
Conference. Every action was in 
place, which was necessary to help 
the Conference run smoothly. From 
the business sessions and worship 
services to the beauty of the grounds, 
one could see God at work. 

When I realize that Barbara 
Hess was scheduled in May to be 
the speaker for the luncheon 
Wednesday noon, I am amazed. 
Barbara's answer was delayed a 
few weeks because she was just 
starting chemo treatments for 
breast cancer. Before committing 
to speaking in August, she wanted 
to be sure of her schedule. No one 
but God knew what an inspiration 
she would be to several ladies at 
the luncheon, including our presi- 
dent, Shirley. 

Barbara recounted "My Incred- 
ible Journey on a Flat Tire." She 
likened her cancer to a flat tire, 
the timing of which is always in- 
considerate and inconvenient. 

She read from Jeremiah 29:11, 
For I know the plans I have for 
you, . . . plans to prosper you and 
not to harm you, plans to give you 
hope and a future. She did not 
have the spirit of fear, but of 
power, love, and a sound mind. 

Tears and laughter were min- 
gled when she described daily ex- 
periences which could have been 
problems, had it not been for God. 
She reminded us that He walks 
with us through the valley. God al- 
lows such times for testing. How 
do we react? Resist or rest? Dread 
or anticipate? For Barbara, rest 
and peace canceled out her fear. 

Following her talk, I was sur- 
prised at the number of ladies who 
spoke with Barbara and Shirley, 
reassuring or seeking reassurance. 
This was a blessing. 

Here is another indication of 
God's arranging details: Barbara 
was a member of the Masontown 
Brethren Church. Later she and 
her husband were members of the 
Akron Firestone Brethren Church 
when Jim Black pastored there. 



She and Shirley have been friends 
for many years. Isn't God great? 

The Milledgeville ladies made 
the beautiful bird feeders for the 
table decorations. They used in- 
verted flower pots, which were 
painted shiny white and decorated 
with flowers. The saucer of the 
flower pot was glued on top and 
was filled with bird seed and a tiny 
bird. The whole thing sat on a 
small wreath. It was lovely and 
much nicer than my description! 

The attractive programs were 
made by Nancy Hunn. 

Musicians 

DeAnn Oburn (Williamstown) 
and Marsha Nies (Masontown) were 
the song leader and pianist respec- 
tively. The theme song, "Will you 
let me be your servant?" had mean- 
ingful words. Even if you don't know 
the tune, study the title. Marsha 
provided quiet music at other times, 
which was always appropriate. 

Special musicians for the week 
presented beautiful music for God's 
glory. Tuesday afternoon "Well- 
spring" from the Gretna W.M.S. sang 
a medley "I'd Rather Have Jesus" 
and "Make Us One." They spoke of 
our talents and finances as a grain 
of mustard, and sang "Little is 
much when God is in it." Phyllis 
Jervis, Dianna Hauck, and Mary 
Hess were members of the trio. 

Music at the Wednesday lunch- 
eon was presented by the ladies' 
ensemble from the Louisville 
Brethren Bible Church: Elaine 
Kerstetter, Shirley Clapper, Penny 
Knopf, Audrey McAllister, Lou 
Ring, Karen Moran, and Dee Ben- 
shoff (an alumna). They sang 
"Shut da Door" and "A Perfect 
Heart." Later Elaine taught us the 
"My Peace" chorus. 

Thursday afternoon Charlene 
Rowser from Goshen sang "How 
Lovely are Thy Dwellings," based 
on Psalm 84. She was accompa- 
nied by Dee Keplinger. You may 
remember that Charlene wrote the 
devotional study in August and re- 
ferred to this solo. 



Special services 

The Goshen society received the 
project offerings. Esther Mishler 
gave the geographical and histori- 
cal background of Peru, and Diane 
Kerner gave the prayer. Charlene 
Rowser called for the offerings. We 
were reminded that, as we give, 
our circle includes Lima, Peru. 

Members of the Joy Circle in North 
Manchester presented the memo- 
rial service Tuesday afternoon. As 
Helen Garner read the names of 
the deceased ladies and Joyce 
McBride played music quietly, 
Linda Immel and Lila McCann 
lighted a candle for each lady. 
Linda read the poem "What 
Heaven Means to Me" and Helen 
closed with prayer. 

Thursday afternoon the Smith- 
ville ladies (Wanda Glasgo and 
Edna Fleming) received the thank 
offerings. They reminded us that 
God uses us — our commitments 
and fulfillments. All of life is a 
stewardship of giving. As we give 
gratitude for the past and present, 
we are excited for the future. After 
the offerings were received, the 
ladies closed with prayer. 
(continued on page 3) 



THE WOMEN'S OUTLOOK 
NEWSLETTER 

Published bimonthly in January, 
March, May, July, September, and 
November by the Women's Missionary 
Society of The Brethren Church. 

Mrs. Dorman Ronk, Editor 
1325 Coachman Court 
Ashland, Ohio 44805 

Subscription price, $7.50 per year in 
advance. 

Send all subscriptions to Mrs. Robert 
Kroft, 608 Twp. Road 1151, RD 5, Ash- 
land, OH 44805. 

Women's Outlook Newsletter 



HIGHLIGHTS (continued) 



Missionaries 

Greeting missionaries is one joy 
we anticipate at Conference. It was 
a pleasure to hear Nancy Hostetler 
from Lost Creek, Kentucky, and 
Jenny Loi from Malaysia speak of 
God's goodness in their work. 

Nancy said that God continues to 
strengthen in spite of their difficul- 
ties. This was the week before 
school and the enrollment was 
lower and they lacked a few teach- 
ers. However, she received phone 
calls during the previous week 
from two former students who at- 
tributed the wonderful change in 
their lives to God at work and 
their education at the Riverside 
School. This was God's blessing 
and strength! The Hostetlers are 
very thankful for your support: the 
Mile of Pennies, soup labels, per- 
sonal items for the staff, work 
groups, and prayers. 

Jenny and David Loi are on fur- 
lough and may speak in a church 
near you. Make every effort to 
hear them. They are laboring un- 
der very difficult circumstances, 
even though they serve in their na- 
tive country. The government re- 
strictions are very severe. 

Jenny thanked the ladies for their 
financial support for seminary 
training of two students to help in 
their ministry. Until coming to the 
States in July, Jenny was the head 
nurse in a maternity hospital. 
With that rigorous schedule and 
helping David in the church minis- 
try, she needed Christ's reassur- 
ance found in Matthew 11:28: 
Come unto me, all you who are 
weary and burdened, and I will 
give you rest. Her favorite hymn 
became "I Need Thee Every Hour." 
(Think of Jenny when you read this 
verse and sing.) Jenny said although 
growth is slow, they see spiritual 
growth in the people. She asked for 
prayers for God's protection with 
the youth and children, as well as 
for their daughter, Rebecca, and 
David's mother. 

BUSINESS 

The following committees served 
during the week: 
Nominating : Trudy Kerner and 

September-October 1996 



Janice Rowsey (Ashland Garber) and 
Bonnie Gibson (Ashland Park St.) 

Auditing : Helen Dickson (County 
Line) and Bonny Summy (Ashland 
Park St.) This committee exam- 
ined the books of the financial sec- 
retary and the literature secretary. 
All records were in good order. The 
treasurer's books were examined 
by a certified CPA and approved. 

Credential : Betty Deardurff 
(Gretna) and Janet Rufener (Ash- 
land Park St.) A total of 102 cre- 
dentials were received and 
delegates seated. 

Election of Officers : With the 
Constitution changes approved last 
year, the four elected officers serve 
two-year terms. The vice president 
and treasurer are elected in the 
even-numbered years. 

Therefore, Marilyn Aspinall and 
JoAnn Seaman were reelected for 
two years. 

The Conference approved re- 
appointing the following officers: 

General Secretary, Nancy Hunn 

Assistant, Trudy Kerner 

Sewing and World Relief Coordi- 
nator, Joan Merrill 

Editor, Newsletter, Joan Ronk 

Editor, Devotional Guide, 
Jeanette Sullivan 

Subscription Secretary, Ginny 
Hoyt 

Literature Secretary, Kathleen 
Mack 

Assistant, Doris Shultz 

Moderator Richard Allison led 
the installation service, basing his 
remarks on 1 Corinthians 12 — 13. 

Finances: 

With JoAnn Seaman's treas- 
urer's report, she presented the 
National Sisterhood fund of $8,000 
and asked the ladies to vote if the 
fund should continue to be in- 
vested with the Brethren Home 
Mission Revolving Loan Fund 
(BHMRLF) or if the funds should 
be spent. By a wide majority, the 
vote was to continue investing the 
money with the BHMRLF. This is 
a win-win situation! Not only does 
this benefit the BHMRLF, but also 
earns $320 interest annually, which 
we give to an area of need. 

Thursday the Board recommend- 
ed two areas which were the con- 
sensus of several suggestions made 



since the 1995 Conference. The two 
suggestions were summer ministries 
for youth and the girls' orphanage 
in India. The vote was to give the 
interest of $320 to the girls' or- 
phanage. 

JoAnn presented the budget for 
1996-97, based on funds received 
during the past year. 

Benevolences $16,015 

ATS $3,660 

World/Home 

Missions 8,355 

Campus Ministry 1,500 

Riverside Christian 

School 1,500 

Scholarship, AU 1,000 
Publications $6,900 

Newsletter 

Devotional Guide 
Other Expenses $2,185 

Administrative 

Social Security 

Gifts and Conference 

Total $25,100 

The Conference adopted the 
budget. 

Offerings : 

Joanne Kroft reported the pre- 
liminary total for the project offer- 
ing was $11,743.78. This is the 
first of a two-year project to pur- 
chase a church site in Lima, Peru. 
The two-year goal is $25,000. An 
early total for the thank offering 
was $9,029.16. Next year this will 
be allocated for benevolences. 

Scholarship : Kelly Hurley was 
awarded the $1,000 scholarship for 
her senior year at Ashland Univer- 
sity. Kelly is a member of the Gretna 
Brethren Church and has been ac- 
tive in youth activities. 

General Secretary : 

Nancy Hunn updated the statis- 
tical report. She noted the paid 
membership in 1995 was 1,262 
and in 1996 it was 1,290! One new 
society at the Cornerstone Church 
in Muncie was organized; three 
were disbanded, which gave a net 
loss of two societies. 

Commitments : 

These are the same as last year. 
Since 'There's nothing new under 
the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9), we need 
to try a new means of achieving 
the goal. Don't be stuck in the pro- 
verbial rut. 



The President's Pen (continued) 

doorbell rang. There at the door 
was a delivery man with a beauti- 
ful bouquet of flowers from the Na- 
tional W.M.S. I shed some tears 
and thanked the Lord for loving, 
caring people. 

It was hard for me to stay home, 
but I knew I must listen to the doc- 
tors. I had to miss church on Sun- 
day as well. I'm not as tired as I 
thought I would be, but I am thank- 
ful I can stop and rest as soon as I 
feel tired. My boss at the Univer- 
sity has been just super. She in- 
sists I stay home if I am tired. We 
have moved into our new Student 
Center and today I have been busy 
unpacking boxes. All of my things 
were moved during the days that I 
had to stay at home. 

I have another treatment on Au- 
gust 22 and subsequent treatments 
every three weeks. I will appreci- 
ate your prayers that all treatments 
will go as smoothly as the first one. 

A scripture my son, Jim, sent me 
is 1 Peter 4:7: Cast all your cares 
upon Jesus, for He cares for you. 
I know the Lord can completely 
heal me, if He chooses. But if He 
chooses not, then I am prepared to 
take the journey He will take me 
on. Thanks to so many of you that 
have sent scriptures that have meant 
a lot to you. I treasure them. 

Well, another Conference year is 
over, and I trust that you who were 
there will share with those who could 
not attend. The W.M.S. luncheon 
was great! The speaker, Barbara 
Hess, has been a friend of mine for 
many years. Neither of us knew at 
the time she was contacted that 
our lives would be so close — 
health-wise. Isn't God just great? 
He knew we needed Barbara as 
our speaker. There is a tape avail- 
able if you would like to hear Bar- 
bara. Write to the Brethren Church 
National Office. 

We have talked about prayer 
and how important it is for each of 
us. Luke 18:1 says, Men always 
ought to pray and not lose heart. 
Prayer is everyone's privilege. The 
gift of prayer is offered to all and 
we can all call on the power of our 
almighty God. The disciples asked 
Jesus to "teach us to pray." Some- 
times we casually mention to some- 
one, "I'll pray for you." When we 



say this, we had better be serious 
and remember that person in 
prayer. What an opportunity we 
have to pray for someone, to make 
definite, individual, personalized 
requests! If we pinpoint our prayers, 
we will have reason to praise God 
for particular answers. 

Let's pray for our W.M.S. too. 
We need to find a way to reach the 
younger women of our churches. 
Try something different at your 
next meeting. Each invite a guest. 
Pray and ask the Lord to give you 
a name of someone to invite. Let 
me know what happens. 

God bless you each as we begin a 
new year together in W.M.S. 




Shirley Black 



Partners in the Gospel 

(continued) 
they went to their own people and 
reported everything to the believ- 
ers. Verse 24: "When they heard 
this, they raised their voices to- 
gether in prayer to God." 

Let us pray together. Please re- 
peat after me as I pray for each of 
us to receive the Power God has 
for us: 

"Hello, God, 

"We are here in your presence 
and we are emptying ourselves of 
all our hangups. We come to you, 
Father, in Jesus' Name. We are a 
hungry people. We ask for you to 
fill us with the same power the 
early apostles received. We want to 
receive from you, Jesus, the Holy 
Spirit, so each one of us can speak 
the Word of God boldly. We stretch 
out our hands for you to fill them. 
We give you our hearts that every 
hidden room may be revealed and 
opened to the infilling work of the 
Holy Spirit. We thank you. We 
praise you. We have received. In 
Jesus Name, Amen." 

Now, tell someone, "I am a part- 
ner with the Holy Spirit to speak 
the Word of God boldly." 



ChAissionaSy 
<^jMiscdlany 

The Missionaries-of-the-Month 
for September are Todd and Tracy 
Ruggles, serving Christ and the 
church in Mexico City. That city's 
population is equal to all of the 
state of Ohio! In October the Mike 
and Pam Sove family are the mis- 
sionary family. Mike and Pam 
have five sons. They pastor the 
Northview Brethren Life congrega- 
tion in Franklin, Ohio. This is a 
new and young congregation. All of 
them need your prayers and en- 
couragement. 

November is Home Missions 
month and features Doran and 
Nancy Hostetler at Riverside Chris- 
tian School in Lost Creek, Ken- 
tucky, and Phil and Jean Lersch at 
Brethren House in St. Petersburg, 
Florida. The third part of this 
team, Bonnie Munson, retired to 
Goshen, Indiana, last winter. In- 
clude her in your prayers, too. 

tiloiifor's Buty 

Dear Friend, 

Conference is likened to a family 
reunion — great! The preliminary 
work is worthwhile and needed so 
that the event proceeds smoothly. 
Throughout the W.M.S. meetings, 
it was evident that people and God 
were at work. 

Next year's Conference will be at 
St. Mary's College in South Bend, 
Indiana, August 4-8. In a different 
location, all will be new. Vice 
president Marilyn invited volun- 
teers for the Conference — pianist, 
special musicians, devotions, com- 
mittee appointments, or using your 
special gift. To volunteer, send her 
a note: Route 4, 13-108 RD C, Bryan, 
OH 43506. 

Your friend, 

A/*p— ct_-* — ** 

Joan 

Women's Outlook Newsletter 



General Conference Report 



Wednesday: "Spiritual Formation" 



OPPORTUNITIES for "spiritual 
formation" — growing in the 
mind and spirit of Christ and in 
outward action and service — were 
shared in a workshop sponsored by 
the Spiritual Formation Commis- 
sion on Wednesday morning of 
Conference. 



Commission member Rev. Fred 
Brandon introduced Tim Rowsey, a 
lay member of the Ashland Park 
Street Brethren Church, who spoke 
about Promise Keepers. Tim serves 
as an "Ambassador" for Promise 
Keepers in Ohio. 

He spoke about the two focuses of 
Promise Keepers: (1) stadium meet- 
ings, where thousands of men meet 
together to praise and worship 
Christ; and (2) small-group meet- 
ings back home, where men pray 
together, encourage one another, 
and hold one another accountable. 

While the stadium meetings are 
the most visible part of Promise 
Keepers, the small groups are 
where men get the challenge and 
encouragement needed to keep 
going in their Christian walk. It is 
these small groups that can make 
the difference between being a 
promise maker and a promise 
keeper. Tim stressed the impor- 
tance of both men and women be- 
coming involved in small account- 
ability groups that provide spir- 
itual support. 

Brethren Way of Christ 

In the next segment, commission 
member Marlin McCann, pastor of 
the North Manchester First Breth- 
ren Church, spoke about the Breth- 
ren Way of Christ as a means of 
individual transformation. The 
Brethren Way of Christ is a three- 
day weekend experience in which 
30 men or 30 women draw apart for 
mutual support and to experience 
the love and grace of Jesus Christ. 
Like Promise Keepers, the experi- 
ence does not end with the three- 
day weekend, but continues with a 
"fourth day" — regular participation 
in an accountability group. In the 

September 1996 



North Manchester Church, where 
more than 50 people have attended 
the Brethren Way of Christ, "It is 
making a difference," Rev. McCann 
said. Thus far the Brethren Way of 
Christ has been held mainly in 
northern Indiana, but the members 
of the Spiritual Formation Com- 
mission hope that it will spread 
throughout the denomination. 



ATS and Life Spring 

Spiritual Formation opportuni- 
ties through Ashland Theological 
Seminary (ATS) and through Life 
Spring were presented next by 
commission member Jerry Flora, 
professor of New Testament Theol- 
ogy and Spiritual Formation at the 
seminary. We are fortunate in hav- 
ing a seminary where the admini- 
stration believes that the devo- 
tional side is just as important as 
the academic side and where spir- 
itual formation is not only a part of 



Seminary service focuses on servant leadership 



THE Wednesday evening worship 
service at General Conference 
was led by Ashland Theological 
Seminary, with special music by the 
seminary choir under the direction 
of Dr. Ron Sprunger. A unique fea- 
ture of the service was interpre- 
tive dance during several of the 
congregational songs and selec- 
tions by the choir. The dance was 
performed by Kim Beveridge and 
Rosie LeHew of the River of Life 
Community Church in Butler, Ohio. 

The service included greetings 
from Dr. David Hartzfeld, the sem- 
inary's new academic dean, who was 
introduced to the Brethren by Dr. 
Fred Finks. Dr. Hartzfeld expressed 
his appreciation that Ashland 
Theological Seminary has not only 
an academic side (which he called 
"Back to the Future"), but also a 
strong emphasis on the spiritual 
side ("spiritual formation"), which 
is missing in many seminaries. 

"Leading from a Servant's Heart" 
was the message given by Dr. Fred 
Finks, president of the seminary. 
Philippians 2:5-1 1 was his text. Dr. 
Finks challenged today's church to 
get back to the New Testament in 
order to rediscover principles that 
can energize and empower the 
church to be the instrument that 
God wants it to be to change the 
world. The church must discover 
those characteristics of the early 
church that have remained rele- 
vant throughout the ages regard- 
less of time or culture. 

First and foremost, he said, the 
church is a gathering of those who 
identify with Jesus and His ser- 
vant ministry. Servanthood was at 



the very core of the early church. 
Leadership was not an office, but 
an opportunity to serve. Service 
was understood to be every Chris- 
tian's obligation. Jesus was the 
role model for servanthood. He told 
His followers, "I am among you as 
one who serves" (Luke 22:27). 

Dr. Finks described Jesus' king- 
dom as a kingdom turned upside 
down. In the world, rulers lord it 
over their subjects. In Christ's 
kingdom, those who would be rul- 
ers must be slaves and serve their 
subjects. Dr. Finks used the ac- 
count of Jesus' washing the disci- 
ples' feet from John 13 to show how 
Jesus set the example of servant- 
hood. In this act, Jesus revealed 
His true identity to His disciples. 
He was a slave, a slave of God. 

Dr. Finks challenged the church 
of today to recapture and apply the 
principles of servant leadership. 
He encouraged pastors to set the 
pace by seeking to become servant 
pastors. And if pastors set the 
pace, the church must be quick to 
become servant people. 

He closed with a challenge to re- 
discover the role of servant by re- 
fusing to use power, wealth, posi- 
tion, or strength to control people, 
pastor, or the church. Instead, with 
bowed head and humbled heart, let 
us serve one another in the name 
of Christ. Then and only then can 
we lead with a servant's heart, [ft] 
— reported by Corky Fisfier 

Ms. Fisher, a member of Park Street 
Brethren Church, is a student at 
Ashland Theological Seminary and 
an employee of The Carpenter's Shop 
(Brethren bookstore) in Ashland. 



General Conference Report 



what happens but is the heart of 
what happens, he said. ATS not 
only has regular chapels and small 
groups meetings, but also an aca- 
demic major in spiritual formation, 
with courses on prayer, spiritual 
disciplines, the spiritual classics, 
devotional reading of the Bible, and 
others. A two- week course on spir- 
itual guidance will be offered next 
summer, making it accessible to 
Brethren who might want to attend. 
Life Spring is a school of spiritual 
formation jointly sponsored by 
Mennonites and The Brethren 
Church. Once a month over a two- 
year period, a group of 20 men and 
women meet for a 6V£-hour mini 
retreat of quiet time, worship, and 
talking together in small groups. 

Care of the pastor 

Dr. Brian Moore, chair of the Spir- 
itual Formation Commission, pre- 
pared a presentation stressing the 
need for churches to care for the 
well-being of their pastors.* To ac- 
complish this, every congregation 
should have a working pastoral care 
committee that takes responsibility 
for assuring the spiritual, physical, 
emotional, intellectual, and social 
well-being of the pastor. 

He noted several ways a congrega- 
tion can show its love for its pastor 
(notes of appreciation, pastor ap- 
preciation day, improving his work- 
ing environment, giving the pastor 
and his wife funds for a trip), but he 
focused on one in particular — the 
sabbatical. This is a period of six 
weeks or longer for the pastor to be 
away from the daily demands of the 
congregation. It is not a vacation, 
but a planned study leave, a time 
for professional rejuvenation, a 
time to grow and experience re- 
newal of hope and vision. 

Women in ministry 

Carolyn Cooksey, the lone woman 
on the Spiritual Formation Com- 
mission, led the next section of the 
workshop — on women in ministry. 
She began by giving a brief over- 
view of what women have done and 
are doing in The Brethren Church. 
She then invited seven Brethren 
women involved in special minis- 
tries to share their stories. 

*Dr. Moore was unable to attend Confer- 
ence, so Dr. Flora gave the presentation. 

10 



Cindy Smith, who has chaired 
the Evangelism & Church Growth 
Commission for the past two years, 
said that the reason she was in that 
position is because she didn't say 
"No." She has learned that by say- 
ing "Yes" to opportunities for serv- 
ice, she has allowed God to open 
and close doors as He sees fit, even 
though she has had to move beyond 
her comfort zone. She challenged 
others to likewise say "Yes" to the 
opportunities God puts before them. 

Cathy Britton from New Heights 
Christian Fellowship in Derby, Kans., 
sells Mary Kay products. She be- 
gan her segment with a sales pres- 
entation similar to ones she gives 
for Mary Kay products, but "selling" 
Jesus. She emphasized that our 
ministry as Christians crosses all 
areas of our lives. She is a member 
of the New Church Development 
Commission and also chairs the Mid- 
west District Mission Board. While 
she did not believe that her heart 
and her gifts were in missions, she 
nevertheless found she is able to 
use other gifts that God has given 
her in these positions. 

Ann Miller, from the Carmel, Ind., 
Brethren Church, told about an evan- 
gelistic Bible study she and her hus- 
band, Jim, have been conducting in 
their home for the past 10 months 
with some of Jim's coworkers. Jim 
does most of the leading, while Ann 
cares for logistics, prays for the 
group, and provides "comic relief 
during the meetings. Some from the 
group have accepted Christ, and Ann 
has experienced the joy of bringing 
people to Jesus. She asked others to 
consider whether God was calling 
them to this kind of ministry. 

Julie Schiefer from the Smoky 
Row Brethren Church in Columbus, 
Ohio, told about several groups she 
is part of that spend at least half 
their meeting time praying. By this 
experience, she has learned that God 
not only answers prayers, but He 
also changes the pray-ers. She has 
also begun keeping a notebook of 
prayer requests and their answers — 
a history book of God's faithfulness. 
She challenged others to make prayer 
a more significant part of their lives. 
She also invited serious pray-ers to 
consider joining a network of peo- 



ple in the denomination known as 
"Pray-ers Anonymous." (Contact 
Julie or Carolyn Cooksey for more 
information.) 

Vicky Taylor from Northwest 
Brethren Chapel in Tucson, Ariz., 
spoke about the need to put Christ 
first in our lives. Too often we put 
Christ first, "except for . . ." She said 
that at her church they have been 
seeking to focus on God, and as a 
result they are learning to listen to 
God and to go where He leads, with- 
out first making excuses. They are 
seeking to build their relationship 
with Christ and then to share that 
relationship with non-believers. 

Joyce Owens from the Pleasant 
View Brethren Church in Vander- 
grift, Pa., and her husband, Arnie, 
are students at Ashland Theologi- 
cal Seminary. She also serves with 
her husband in a team ministry in 
Florence, Ohio. Before this she 
served seven years in the military 
as a chaplain assistant alongside 
her husband. As she continues her 
studies, she looks forward to being 
able to combine her skills with 
those of her husband to serve The 
Brethren Church. She sees many 
possibilities for women through 
team ministry. 

Sherry Bowling is originally from 
the Oak Hill, W. Va., First Breth- 
ren Church but now lives in Ash- 
land. She shared what doors for 
ministry have opened for her in 
The Brethren Church and some of 
the struggles she has faced. Called 
to full-time youth ministry seven 
years ago, she attended Ashland 
Theological Seminary and received 
a Master of Divinity degree. She 
has filled pulpits, directed camps, 
and now serves as Coordinator of 
Student Advising at Ashland Univer- 
sity. God has call her to other tasks, 
but the doors have been closed. She 
does not believe it was God who 
closed those doors. She believes 
there are other ministries women 
can perform and she challenges The 
Brethren Church to open its heart 
and doors to all ministries provided 
for women — single women as well 
as those who can serve with hus- 
bands. She also reminded women 
that there is a cost for service and 
that they need to count the cost, [t] 

The Brethren Evangelist 



General Conference Report 



Thursday: Missionary Ministries 



MISSIONARY MINISTRIES 
were in the spotlight on Thurs- 
day of General Conference. The day 
included the World Relief Soup 
Lunch at midday, the Missionary 
Board Banquet in the evening, and 
a worship service with a missions 
emphasis to conclude the day. 

Approximately 175 people attended 
the World Relief Soup Lunch, where 
the emphasis was not on eating but 
on hearing about the hurts and needs 
of others in our world. Those in at- 
tendance also heard special music 
by Stephen Loi, son of Brethren mis- 
sionaries David and Jenny Loi, who 
played two Chinese Christian songs 
on violin. Stephen is a sophomore 
at Ashland University. 

The announced speaker — Martin 
Hartog, Midwest Area Senior Rep- 
resentative for World Relief of the 
National Association of Evangelicals 
— yielded most of his time to Brian 
Johnson, director of World Reliefs 
work in Liberia, West Africa. John- 



son and his family just recently re- 
turned to the U.S. after being evac- 
uated from Liberia because of the 
violent civil war in that country. 

Johnson told of the desperate 
plight of the people in Liberia, 
where 175,000 have been killed in 
the seven-year civil war and where 
2.3 million of the country's total 
population of 3 million are dis- 
placed. Disease and malnutrition are 
prevalent, and no educational insti- 
tutions are operating. 

In addition to providing food and 
other needs, World Relief has been 
working with churches in Liberia to 
bring about reconciliation. Thank- 
fully, the churches have begun put- 
ting aside tribal and denomination- 
al differences and are working as 
reconciling agents in the country. 

Johnson said that he would be 
returning to Liberia the week after 
Conference to help with food and 
shelter projects and to continue the 
community banking program. He 




During the World Relief Soup Lunch, 
Stephen Loi played the violin; Brian 
Johnson, director of World Reliefs 
work in Liberia, West 
Africa, told about that 
country's desperate 
plight; and Martin 
Hartog, Midwest Area 
Senior Representative 
for World Relief, pre- 
sented an "Open 
Hands Award" to The 
Brethren Church (ac- 
cepted on the church's 
behalf by Dick Win- 
field {I.}). The award, 
was given to Brethren 
"In recognition of your 
compassion towards 
the world's hungry 
and homeless." 





September 1996 



asked for prayer that the reconcili- 
ation process would continue and 
expressed his thanks for Brethren 
support of World Relief, which has 
helped make the relief efforts and 
the community banking program in 
Liberia possible. 

In his comments, Martin Hartog 
emphasized the close relationship 
between World Relief and The Breth- 
ren Church. Wherever World Relief 
is at work, The Brethren Church is 
there. He also set forth a challenge 
that at least ten Brethren churches 
would adopt a "Fifty Fifty" commu- 
nity banking project in Liberia by 
contributing the $2,500 necessary 
to provide 50 women LifeLoans of 
$50 each for their small businesses. 
This has proved to be an effective 
method of rebuilding not only indi- 
vidual lives and families, but also 
local communities. 

The offering at the World Relief 
Lunch was designated for the com- 
munity banking program. The total 
of $2,489 was almost enough to fund 
one of the "Fifty Fifty" projects. 

Missionary Board Banquet 

World Missions was the empha- 
sis at the Missionary Board Ban- 
quet, attended by approximately 
300 Brethren. The brief program 
included greetings from Malaysian 
missionaries Rev. David and Jenny 
Loi; and from Allen Baer, mission- 
ary to Argentina. 

Also bringing greetings were 
Mariela and Eduardo Rodriguez, 
who had just returned to Ashland 
following a visit to their homeland 
of Argentina. In Ashland they will 
continue their studies at Ashland 
Theological Seminary, where they 
are preparing for greater service in 
the Argentine Brethren Church. Rev. 
Reilly Smith, director of Brethren 
Missions, announced that the wor- 
ship team from the Colon Brethren 
Church, where Eduardo's father is 
pastor, has been invited to come to 
the U.S. and to lead the missionary 
service at the General Conference 
in Estes Park in the year 2000. 

Rev. Smith also made a few re- 
marks about the future of Brethren 
missions. That future, he said, is 
very bright. He sees exciting pros- 
pects both in the United States and 
around the world. There are the be- 
ginnings of new stirrings of revival 

11 



General Conference Report 



in Malaysia, where for the first 
time we have a church building (a 
building was never allowed before). 

The gospel is exploding in Latin 
America. The population of Mexico 
City alone is greater than that of 
the entire State of Ohio, offering 
our mission work in that city un- 
limited potential. The Hispanic 
population in the U.S. also affords 
us a great opportunity for ministry 
among Spanish-speaking people. 
And we are going to take advantage 
of that, he said. 

He is also excited about the possi- 
bilities for other ministry in the 
United States. He said that our 
new relationship with Dynamic 
Church Planting International will 
help us gain the expertise that we 
need to do an effective job of plant- 
ing churches into the next century. 

He concluded his remarks with a 
reminder that the harvest is plenti- 
ful, but the workers are few. And he 
requested that Brethren pray with 
him that the Lord would raise up 
workers for the harvest. 

Worship service 

The emphasis of the evening wor- 
ship service was on Brethren Home 
Missions. The praise and worship 
time for the service was led by the 
band from the Living HOPE Breth- 
ren Church of Medina, Ohio, the 
newest Home Mission Church in 
the Ohio District. 

During a sharing time, Tom 
Sprowls, pastor of the Living HOPE 
Brethren Church, and Mike Sove, 
pastor of the Northview Brethren 
Life Church of Franklin, Ohio, told 
how the Lord is working in their 
churches. In addition, Rev. Roger 
Stogsdill, speaking on behalf of 









Gracing Gen- 












f^fr ' 


eral Conference 
this year were 




JtsS 




Brethren mis- 




It t y Jl 


sionaries Rev. 








David and 






^ flloi ^gjt ^ l||| 


Jenny hoi, 






visiting from 




^K **"*'* *ltop\ !■■!»■ 


Malaysia; and 


m£>i 


K^^atSi 1 


Allen Baer, on 


^^B 




furlough from 


I 


llllml»d{B^H i B 


Argentina. All 






three brought 
greetings dur- 




■^•T^JM^B 


ing the Mis- 






sions Banquet. 





Is your church a "mission" congregation? 



IS YOUR CHURCH a "mission" 
congregation? That's the question 
Dr. Arden Gilmer, president of the 
Missionary Board, asked the Con- 
ference Thursday evening. He told 
of a church in suburban Chicago 
that hired a student from a near- 
by seminary to begin a youth min- 
istry. In four months he brought 
in 200 youth — and the church fired 
him! Dr. Gilmer asked, "What 
would your church have done?" 

For churches to be "mission" 
churches, they must have "mis- 
sion" leaders, Dr. Gilmer said. He 
challenged his hearers to return 
home from Conference and be mis- 
sion leaders in their congregations. 
Then, basing his remarks on the 
Apostle Paul's words in Romans 
1:13-17, he defined four charac- 
teristics of a mission leader. 

Paul said that he desired to "have 
a harvest among you" (v. 13). That 



was his vision. Mission leaders need 
a vision of the harvest; not just any 
vision, but a great vision. 

Second, Paul said, "I am obligated 
. . ." (v. 14). He had a duty to give 
the gospel to all. We, likewise, are 
obligated to reach the lost. It's our 
duty. Jesus says, "Report for duty." 

Third, Paul was "eager" to preach 
the gospel (v. 15). He was ardent, 
avid, vigorous, and positive. He had 
a proper attitude. A mission leader 
in a mission congregation will not 
be a complainer. He will have in- 
stead a joy-filled, servant attitude. 

Finally, Paul said, "I am not 
ashamed of the gospel" (v. 16). Paul 
had conviction. He knew that the 
gospel has the power to transform 
lives. He had experienced that 
power. Mission leaders must share 
that conviction. [ft] 

— reported by Doug Cunningham, a 
student at Ashland Theological Seminary. 



Pastor Archie Nevins (who was un- 
able to attend Conference), told 




Dr. Arden Gilmer and Rev. Reilly Smith offer prayers for Home Missionaries 
T.J. and Judy McLaughlin (1.) and Pam and Mike Sove (r.) during the commis- 
sioning service held as part of the Thursday evening worship service. 



about the progress of the work in 
West Valley Brethren Life Church 
in Tracy, Calif. And Pastor T.J. 
McLaughlin gave a progress report 
on preparations for the start of a 
new Home Mission outreach in 
Cranberry Township, Pa. 

A commissioning service was also 
held for Mike and Pam Sove and 
T.J. and Judy McLaughlin, setting 
them apart for and praying the bless- 
ing of the Holy Spirit upon their 
missionary ministries at North- 
view Brethren Life Church (Soves) 
and in Cranberry Township, Pa. 
(McLaughlins). This was followed 
by the evening message, presented 
by Dr. Arden Gilmer (see above), [ft] 



12 



The Brethren Evangelist 



General Conference Report 



Friday: Concluding Session 



GENERAL CONFERENCE fin- 
ished with a blast, when the 
youth who had attended the Breth- 
ren Youth In Christ (BYIC) Con- 
vention the same week joined the 
adults for the concluding session. 
While most of the adults showed 
signs of fatigue (and a number of 
them had already left for home!), 
the youth were present in full 
strength and at a peak of enthusi- 
asm. And because enthusiasm is 
contagious, it was soon caught by 
the adults as well. 

The youth marched into the ses- 
sion to the strains of the theme song 
of the Olympics. When they were in 
place, a spokesperson announced, 
'The Olympics may be over, but the 
Olympics for Christ have just be- 
gun." To prove the point, a few of 
the youth sponsors gave an enter- 
taining demonstration of their 
Olympic prowess(?). 

In the minutes that followed, the 
young people reported the high- 
lights of their Convention, pre- 
sented a skit, and gave awards to 
youth groups that had outstanding 
achievements during the past year. 
From time to time during these ac- 
tivities, a spokesperson would cry 
out, "Attitude Check" (the theme for 
the week, based on Philippians 2:5), 
and the youth would enthusiastically 
respond, "Praise the Lord!" The 
youth portion of the session con- 
cluded with the installation of the 
newly elected BYIC Steering Com- 
mittee (see below). 

Next Rev. David Cooksey installed 



the newly-elected General Confer- 
ence leaders, after which Dr. Rich- 
ard Allison passed the moderator's 
gavel to the newly-installed mod- 
erator, Dr. John Shultz. In doing 
so, Dr. Allison expressed his pleas- 
ure with Conference this year, 
noting that he had "seen some 
unity and harmony that I 
have never experienced before 
in a General Conference." The 
new moderator then con- 
cluded the session with a mes- 
sage in which he introduced 
the 1997 Conference theme. 

New moderator's challenge 

Dr. Shultz began his mes- 
sage with a story about people 
trapped in a deep pit and the 
efforts of rescuers to pull 
them from that pit. He said 
that as time went on, the res- 
cuers became less interested 
in pulling people from the pit and 
more concerned with equipment, 
life-saving techniques, and them- 
selves. Moderator Shultz concluded 
the illustration with the statement, 
"I would challenge The Brethren 
Church to remember that it exists to 
pull people from the pit." 

Noting that we have not been very 
successful at this, he continued, 
"I'm convinced that one of the great- 
est problems we have is a lack of 
vision." We've become so accustomed 
to doing the same things the same 
way that there is no space for any- 
thing new. Or anyone new. We're 



and with old age often comes diffi- 
culty seeing. And if you can't see, 
it's difficult to have much vision. 
Because we need this vision, the 
theme for next year's Conference, 
Dr. Shultz said, will be "Grasp the 
Vision," based on Philippians 3:12-16. 
Paul was a man of vision. He was 
converted by a blinding vision of 
Jesus and led by a vision to one who 
would disciple him. In addition, he 




growing older as a denomination, 




Rev. David Cooksey installs the 1997 BYIC Steering Committee members, (I. to 
r.) Aaron Hollewell, Jenna Bowen, Jeremy Tarr, Jaime Gillespie, Jerrod Furlong, 
Christy Van Duyne, and Nichole Caughell. 

September 1996 



New moderator Dr. John Shultz (r.) receives 
the moderator's gavel and a handshake from 
outgoing moderator Dr. Richard Allison. 

had a personal vision of becoming 
all Christ wanted him to be; a vi- 
sion of the church growing and ma- 
turing in Christ; and a vision of 
people everywhere being pulled 
from the pit. 

Paul did not feel that he had at- 
tained his vision. He wrote that he 
was "straining toward what is 
ahead." This prompted Dr. Shultz 
to ask, "I wonder where most of the 
straining in The Brethren Church 
occurs?" 

Paul was "press [ing] on toward 
the goal." He had no spiritual cata- 
racts, no lost contacts that would 
keep him from having a clear pic- 
ture of his direction. Furthermore, 
Paul said, "All of us who are mature 
should take such a view of things." 
To which Dr. Shultz added, "Cer- 
tainly we are old enough to be ma- 
ture. The question is whether or 
not we are wise enough." 

We have a God who is able to do 
immeasurably more than we can ask 
or imagine, according to his power 
at work within us. Therefore, "go 
find your glasses, get your ropes [life- 
lines] out of their packages, and come 
to South Bend next year with some 
people who are fresh out of the pit," 
Dr. Shultz concluded. [ft] 

L3 



Invite a 

Friend 

on 

Andrew 

Sunday 



HAVE YOU been waiting for an 
opportunity to invite a friend, 
a relative, a work associate, a class- 
mate, or a neighbor to attend church 
with you? You will have a special 
opportunity to do so this fall on 
Andrew Sunday. 

Andrew Sunday is another name 
for an "invite a friend Sunday." The 
suggested date for this special em- 
phasis is Sunday, October 27, in con- 
junction with National Friend Day. 
Churches are free, however, to select 
another date that will be more con- 
venient for them. 

Andrew Sunday gets its name 
from Jesus' disciple, Andrew. When- 
ever Andrew is named in the Gos- 
pel of John, he is always introduc- 
ing someone to Jesus. He serves as 
our model for inviting others to Jesus 
and to the church. 

What is involved? 

What is involved in inviting some- 
one to church on Andrew Sunday? 

1. Discover when Andrew Sun- 
day will be held in your church. 
Ask your pastor or watch your bul- 
letin for an announcement. 

2. Decide whom you should in- 
vite. You may have someone in mind 
already. If so, great. If not, make a 
list of the persons in your "circle of 
contact" — people you already know 
and with whom you have a rela- 
tionship who are not actively in- 
volved in a church or do not know 
Jesus as their saving Lord. In mak- 
ing your list, use the following cate- 
gories as thought-starters. 

• neighbors 

• newcomers to the community 

• relatives 

• newlyweds 

• families with a new baby 

• hobby, hunting, or fishing 
buddies 




Ronald W. Waters 



• people you work with 

• close friends 

• people you know in clubs or 
community organizations 

3. Give the invitation. It is best 
to offer your invitation in person. A 
phone call or a letter is less per- 
sonal but can be effective. Give them 
a card or flier from your church, if 
one is available, listing the date and 
time. Say something as simple as, 
"We're having a special Sunday at 
our church when we are inviting 
our friends to attend with us. There 
will be a lot of guests present that 
Sunday. Because you are my friend, 
would you [and your family] attend 
with me as my special guest?" 

4. Secure a commitment, if pos- 
sible. You don't need to be pushy, 
but people are more likely to attend 
if they make a commitment to join 
you. If they say they'd like to think 
about it or need to talk it over with 
a spouse, grant them that opportu- 



How Can Our Church 
Get Involved? 

Call The Andrew Center and re- 
quest an Andrew Sunday Resource 
Kit. The kit provides you practical 
ideas, resources, and a strategy for 
your congregation, no matter the size. 

The resource kit includes: a video 
and discussion guide on faith shar- 
ing and inviting others to church; a 
poster and bulletin inserts for pro- 
moting the day; a booklet containing 
a time line and step-by-step ap- 
proach to planning the day; a sheet 
of additional ideas; and worship re- 
sources and two sermon outlines. 

Cost of the resource kit is $19.95, 
but Andrew Center member congre- 
gations receive the kit for $15.00. 
(This is a great time to sign up for 
your free Brethren Church member- 
ship if you've not already done so!) 

To order call 1-800-774-3360 today. 



nity. But ask them when it would 
be good for you to check back with 
them. Then be sure to do so! 

5. Be prepared to answer ques- 
tions your friend may have. Ques- 
tions like: "What should I wear?" 
(Be honest so the person won't be 
embarrassed by being dressed too 
casual or too formal. Tell your friend 
what you normally wear to church.) 
"What should I bring?" (You might 
offer to bring a Bible for your guest, 
if that seems appropriate.) And "What 
will it cost me?" (You might indicate 
that an offering will be taken but 
that guests are not required to give.) 

6. Offer to pick up your friend 
or to meet at the church. Taking 
friends with you makes it less 
intimidating for them when they 
arrive at the church. Also, by taking 
them, you can help them find their 
way around and introduce them to 
other friends. Even if your vehicle 
is not large enough to hold every- 
one, offer to meet your friends at 
their home, and they can follow you 
to the church in their car. If neither 
approach is possible, arrange to meet 
them at a prominent place at the 
church, and be sure you arrive be- 
fore they do. 

7. Invite your friend to join you 
for a meal after the service. This 
will be a valuable opportunity to talk 
about the experience and to answer 
questions your friend may have. 

8. Don't forget to invite your 
friend to join you again the next 
Sunday. Church attendance habits 
are developed one Sunday at a time. 
As many as 75 percent of persons 
who attend a second, third, or fourth 
time become members of the church. 

What if your church is not hold- 
ing an Andrew Sunday this fall? 
You can still invite a friend to be 
your guest any Sunday. But every- 
one is more comfortable — both in- 
viters and guests — when they know 
that many other new people will be 
present. 

So tell your pastor that you would 
be willing to serve on a planning 
team for Andrew Sunday. The An- 
drew Center has developed a step- 
by-step procedure for planning such 
a day. You might be surprised how 
many people will meet your special 
Friend Jesus through the simple plan 
of inviting them to be your guest for 
Andrew Sunday this fall! [t] 



14 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Baptism: Pledge of a Good Conscience 

By Brenda B. Colijn 



FIRST PETER 3:21 has always 
been an important text for the 
Brethren understanding of baptism. 
Like the Anabaptists before them, 
the early Brethren understood 
baptism to involve the believer's 
commitment to a life of disciple- 
ship. Like Romans 6:3-11 (discussed 
by Brian Moore in an earlier arti- 
cle in this series), 1 Peter 3:21 sug- 
gests that baptism marks a turn- 
ing point in a person's life. After 
this public commitment to Christ, 
the believer has the obligation (and 
the ability) to live a new life in the 
power of Christ. 

Context 

Let's look first at the context of 
this verse. This section of 1 Peter 
deals with the ethical behavior God 
expects of His people in light of the 
coming judgment. Because they are 
"aliens and strangers in the world," 
believers should "[live] such good 
lives among the pagans that, al- 
though they accuse you of doing 
wrong, they may see your good deeds 
and glorify God on the day he visits 
us" (1:11-12; Niv). 

To this end, Peter advises believers 
to submit themselves responsibly 
to social institutions (2:13 — 3:9), 
live in harmony with one another 
(3:8), and be eager to do good, even 
in response to evil (3:9-13). Even if 
they suffer as a result of doing what 
is right, they should not fear, be- 
cause they are blessed (v. 14). In 
their hearts, they should "set apart 
Christ as Lord" and be prepared to 
give a defense of their faith when- 
ever necessary (v. 15-16). Their ex- 
ample in suffering for the benefit of 
others is Christ, the Righteous One, 
who died for the unrighteous in or- 
der to bring them to God (v. 18). 

Verses 19-22 appear to be an aside 
in Peter's argument, but they do 
continue the theme of redemption 
in the midst of judgment. In chap- 
ter 4, Peter again exhorts his read- 
ers to follow the example of Christ 
(v. la). Bodily suffering has the bene- 
fit of strengthening the believer 

September 1996 



against sin (v. lb-6). Judgment is 
near, and believers should live ac- 
cordingly (v. 7-11). In a time of judg- 
ment, God's people should expect to 
suffer, but they should entrust 
themselves to their faithful God 
and continue to do good (v. 12-19). 

Text 

In this context of the suffering of 
believers, Peter directs his readers' 
attention to the hope they 
have in Christ. He has 
died for their sins and 
risen from the dead (v. 18). 
He is exalted in heaven, at 
God's right hand, having 
triumphed over all angels 
and spiritual powers (v. 
22). This resurrection 
power is available to His 
people (v. 21). 

As an illustration of 
Christ's triumph, Peter mentions His 
preaching "to the spirits in prison" 
(v. 19-20). This statement has been 
much debated. Some interpreters 
think it refers to the announcement 
of Christ's triumph either to the 
fallen angels or to the people of Old 
Testament times. Other interpret- 
ers think it refers to Christ preach- 
ing the gospel to those who lived 
before His coming. In any event, 
Peter uses the reference to Noah's 
day to show God's redemption of 
His people in a time of judgment. 

Peter draws a parallel between 
God's rescue of Noah's family and 
His spiritual redemption of believ- 
ers: "In [the ark] only a few people, 
eight in all, were saved through 
water, and this water symbolizes 
baptism that now saves you also" 
(v. 20-21). This way of using the 
Old Testament is called typology. 
Peter sees a pattern in the way God 
cares for His people: just as He 
saved His faithful people through 
water in the ark, He also saves His 
people through water in baptism. 

Peter goes on to explain how this 
salvation comes about: "not the re- 
moval of dirt from the body but the 
pledge of a good conscience toward 




Understanding 
the Bible 



God. It saves you by the resurrec- 
tion of Jesus Christ" (v. 21). Water 
may cleanse the body, but it doesn't 
save. The work of Christ ("the res- 
urrection of Jesus Christ") is what 
saves. We respond to that completed 
work with faith and faithfulness (our 
"pledge of a good conscience toward 
God"). In fact, it's the work of Christ 
(for us and in us) that makes our 
faithfulness possible. 

Without the work of Christ and 
the response of faith, baptism is 
only a bath. As an act of obedient 
faith, however, baptism allows be- 
lievers to participate in Christ's tri- 
umph. Through Him, they can be 
victorious over the forces of sin and 
evil in their own lives, 
even in the midst of 
their own suffering 
and the judgment of 
the world. Baptism, 
like the ark in Noah's 
day, is a sign to be- 
lievers that God has 
not left them alone, 
but has acted to re- 
deem them. 
Verse 21 has two 
particular problems we should look 
at. First, the word translated 
"pledge" by the NIV can be trans- 
lated in other ways — for example, 
as "appeal" (NRSV). Evidence from 
ancient sources suggests that this 
word was used in contracts to refer 
to someone's promise to keep the 
obligations of the contract. The 
early Brethren, following Luther 
and the Anabaptists, understood 
this word to mean "covenant" and 
viewed baptism in those terms. 

Second, the phrase "of a good con- 
science" could mean two different 
things- — either a pledge that comes 
from a good conscience or a pledge 
to maintain a good conscience in 
the future. The immediate context 
doesn't help us choose between these. 
The broader context, in which Peter 
urges believers to continue to do 
good even when they're suffering, 
suggests that the second interpre- 
tation is more likely. Peter refers to 
their baptism to remind his readers 
(continued on next page) 

Dr. Colijn, assistant professor of tfieol- 
ogy at Ashland Theological Seminary, 
chairs the Committee on Doctrine, Re- 
search, and Publication, which is pre- 
paring this series of articles. 

15 




Understanding the Bible cont. 

of the pledge they had made to God 
to live lives that were pleasing to 
Him. The idea of a pledge to keep a 
good conscience also fits the way bap- 
tisms were conducted in the early 
church. As part of the service, con- 
verts promised to give up the ways 
of paganism and live a Christian life. 

Application 

This understanding of baptism as 
a pledge is the reason why Breth- 
ren don't baptize infants but only 
those old enough to understand the 
commitment they are making. To 
be faithful to this verse, we should 
be careful not to let baptism become 
a mere formality, even for those who 
grow up in the church and come to 
Christ as children. 

Like other evangelical Protestants, 
we Brethren often think of baptism 
as an outward symbol of what has 
already occurred inwardly — that is, 
a person's being born again and be- 
ing cleansed from sin. We must re- 
member that baptism is not just a 
symbol of what has already hap- 
pened, but also our promise of what 
is to come — our pledge of a lifetime 
of following and obeying Christ. This 
passage shows that baptism repre- 
sents not only our receiving Christ 
as Savior, but also our commitment 
to Christ as Lord. [t] 



Stockton Church honors Hope 0. Rigunan 



Stockton, Calif. — 

The Stockton Breth- 
ren Church paid trib- 
ute during the wor- 
ship service on July 21 
to Hope O. Rigunan 
for his outstanding 
service to the Lord 
and the congregation. 
Mr. Rigunan serves 
the church as finan- 
cial chairman and 
secretary and also as 
a Sunday school 
teacher. 

Mr. Rigunan was 
given a plaque during 

the service by Caro- Ho P e &e™™ Wlth 
, t-> .. a j top hat ana cake. 

lyn Bennett; Audrey 




Styer read a poem she had written 
in his honor; and Moderator Wes 
Styer presented him a silver top 

Living HOPE Brethren Church 
holds first baptismal service 

Medina, Ohio — The Living HOPE 
Brethren Church of Medina, a Home 
Mission congregation begun in No- 
vember 1994, held its first baptis- 
mal service on Sunday, August 11. 
Eight people were baptized by Pas- 
tor Tom Sprowls in the swimming 
pool of Tom and Cheryl Vunderink 
— Barbara White, Cheryl and Tom 
Vunderink, Randy Roeper, Corryn 
Wright-Stasko, and Jeff, Diana, and 
Corrie Combs. They will be received 
into church membership upon com- 
pletion of the church's Spiritual For- 
mation Seminar. (Photo below.) 




pastor 



silver 
of the 



hat and a cake. Spe- 
cial music was shared 
by Tony Ubaldo, a 
concert pianist; Dr. 
Jose Galvez, the 
"singing doctor"; and 
Frances A. Galvez, an 
international artist. 

After the service a 
luncheon was held in 
Mr. Rigunan's honor, 
with members of the 
Filmaps Chorale as 
guests. This group, of 
which Mr. Rigunan is 
a member, often sings 
for special programs 
at the church. 

Rev. Randy Best is 
Stockton Church. 



Congratulations 

Congratulations to Rev. C. William 
and Joanne Cole on their 50th wed- 
ding anniversary on September 20. 
A celebration will be held Sunday, 
September 22, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 
p.m. at the Fairless Hills-Levittown 
Brethren Church, where they serve. 
During their years together they 
also served the Ardmore, Vinco, and 
Wabash Brethren Churches. Their 
current address is 29 Jadewood Rd., 
Levittown, PA 19056. 



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( The Brethren/ ) 

Evangeli 




rburg Library 
IESTER COLLEGE 
{.Chester, IN 46962*; 




Vol. 118, No. 9 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



October 1996 



1997 General Conference Moderator John Shultz challenges Brethren to: 



"Grasp the Vision" (Phiiippians 3:12-16) 



A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO 
a group of people was walking 
down the road. As they walked along, 
the people came upon a huge sink- 
hole at the side of the road. It was 
a deep pit, and as the people peered 
over the edge, they were horrified 
to see a group of people trapped at 
the bottom. 

They immediately began to dis- 
cuss this situation and soon discov- 
ered two things: First, they had all 
been rescued from a pit themselves 
at one time or another; and second, 
the pit is not a good place in which 
to be. Even though there is food and 
water at the bottom of the pit and 
even though it is quite tasty, it is 
not very satisfying and the people 
there quickly become hungry and 
thirsty again. 

Life in the pit 

The pit is also not a good place in 
which to be because the longer peo- 
ple are there, the meaner they be- 
come. In fact, even as they were 
looking in, the people saw a bomb 
go off in a crowded place and an- 
other one explode in the cargo hold 
of an airplane, causing more than 
200 people to be killed when the 
plane crashed into the ocean. 

Life in the pit is also not very 
fulfilling. The group saw lots of peo- 
ple in the pit using various drinks 
and pills to help them feel better. 
That the pit is a terrible place in 

*This is an edited version of the mes- 
sage Dr. Shultz gave at the conclusion 
of the 1996 General Conference, follow- 
ing his installation as the 1997 Confer- 
ence moderator. Dr. Shultz is professor 
of pastoral counseling at Ashland 
Theological Seminary. 



which to be is shown by the fact 
that almost half of the women there 
will have an abortion by the time 
they are 45. Many children are 
neglected and abused. There are 
drive-by shootings. And 
you wouldn't believe the 
number of families falling 
apart down in the pit! 

Rescue operations 

Well, the group immedi- 
ately began lowering ropes 
over the edge and pulling 
people to safety. Of course 
it wasn't long until the 
folks who had been rescued 
began to join in the efforts, 
and the group above began to 
grow and thrive. 

But a strange thing hap- 
pened. As the years went 
by and the group grew larger and 
larger, the group's members became 
less interested in the people of the 
pit. They spent more and more of 
their time discussing merits of vari- 
ous kinds of knots. They tried to 
determine whether hemp, nylon, or 
polypropylene rope would be best 
for rescue operations. 

They built nice buildings in which 
to store the ropes and rescue slings 
and in which to discuss the rescue 
Manual. Furthermore, while they 
met regularly to thank the Rope 
Maker and the Author of the Man- 
ual, as they should have done, they 
forgot the purpose of the rope and 
the reason for the Manual. 

Meanwhile, out by the edge of the 
pit, a few of the group continued res- 
cue operations. But they had trouble 
keeping up, and more and more 
people died without being rescued. 



J would challenge The Breth- 
ren Church to remember that it 
exists to pull people from the pit. 
The reason the Rope Maker called 
us together was to be part of the 
search and res- 
cue team. 

Last year 67 
Brethren 
churches had 
zero adult con- 
versions. Why 
do these congre- 
gations even ex- 
ist? More impor- 
tantly, how did 
they get that way 
and what can 
we do about it? 

I'm convinced 
that one of the 
greatest prob- 
lems we have is a lack of vision. We 
have become so accustomed to go- 
ing to the same church at the same 
time on the same day saying the 
same things to the same people in 
the same ways and going home do- 
ing the same things we've always 
done that there is no space for any- 
thing new. Or anyone new. 

Have you ever dreamed about the 
day when Ashland University 
would not be the Conference site 




John C. Shultz 



In this issue 


"Grasp the Vision" 


1 


World Relief "Fifty-Fifty" projects 


3 


Congregations without kids . . 


4 


Conflict resolution in the church 


6 


Conference commentary . . . 


7 


AU Campus Ministry 


8 


Around the denomination . . . 


10 



because it is too small? In your mind's 
eye, have you ever seen the sanctu- 
ary of your local church full? Have 
you ever thought about whether you 
would go to the first, second, or Sat- 
urday night service if there wasn't 
enough room for everyone in one 
service on Sunday morning? 

Have you ever longed for the day 
when we had a couple churches in 
every major metropolitan area? And 
one or two Directors of Pastoral 
Ministry in every district? Why is 
524 College Avenue still big enough 
to house our national offices — with 
room left over to rent? 

Do we have eye problems? 

We're getting older as a denomi- 
nation, and with old age often come 
difficulties with the eyes. We spend 
more time than ever in our homes 
searching for misplaced glasses. 
The aging process makes it difficult 
for us to see well enough without 
glasses to read or watch television. 
I wonder if we as a denomination 
aren't having trouble finding our 
glasses as well. Sometimes we ap- 
pear to be very nearsighted, and at 
other times we appear to have cata- 
ract problems. 

The reason for denominational re- 
organization is to put a structure 
and people in place that can help us 
find our glasses — people who will 
challenge us to dream and to put 
those dreams into action. I am feel- 
ing a heavy burden as I think about 
the reorganization of the National 
Office. The decisions regarding per- 
sonnel and programs in the next 
two-to-three years will no doubt de- 
termine the destiny of this denomi- 
nation for a long time to come. We 
need to be in prayer about the 
selection of these people. 

As we consider vision, it would be 
appropriate to ask the question, 
"What is vision?" I like the defini- 



The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) is pub- 
lished monlhly (except July and August issues are 
combined) by The Brethren Church, Inc., 524 
College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 (telephone: 
419-289-1708; e-mail: Brethrench@aol.com; fax: 419- 
281-0450). Authors' views are not necessarily those 
of The Brethren Church. Editor: Richard C. Win- 
field. Subscription rates: Sent free to Brethren 
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College Avenue, Ashland, OH 44805-3792. 



tion given by Bob Logan: 

Vision is the capacity to create a 
compelling picture of the desired 
state of affairs that inspires people 
to respond; that which is desirable, 
which could be, should be; that 
which is attainable. A godly vision 
is right for the times, right for the 
church, and right for the people. A 
godly vision promotes faith rather 
than fear. A godly vision motivates 
people to action. A godly vision re- 
quires risk-taking. A godly vision 
glorifies God, not people. * 

Aubrey Malphurs in Developing a 
Vision for Ministry in the 21st Cen- 
tury says that a vision is a clear, 
challenging, mental picture that is 
future oriented. It can be; it must be. 

1997 Conference theme 

Allow me, then, to introduce next 
year's General Conference theme. 
It is "Grasp the Vision" and is based 
on Philippians 3:12-16. 

It should be no surprise that the 
text for next year would be taken 
from Paul's writing. Paul was cer- 
tainly a man of vision. He was: 

• Converted by a blinding vision of 
Jesus 

• Led to the one who would disciple 
him by a vision 
Furthermore, Paul had: 

• A personal vision of becoming all 
that Christ wanted him to be 

• A vision that the church would 
grow and mature in Christ 

• A vision of people everywhere 
being pulled from the pit 

His vision certainly fits our defi- 
nition. This vision: 
— promotes faith rather than fear; 
— motivates people to action; 
— requires risk-taking; 
— glorifies God, not people. 

We come now to the text: In Phi- 

*Quoted by George Barna in his book, 
How to Find Your Church, p. 104. 



lippians 3:7-11, Paul has been de- 
scribing his personal vision of ac- 
quiring righteousness in Christ. He 
has said, "I want to know Christ, 
the power of his resurrection, and 
share in his sufferings." 

In verse 12 Paul writes, "Not that 
I have already obtained all this, or 
have already been made perfect, but 
I press on to take hold of that for 
which Christ Jesus took hold of me." 

He apparently has in mind the 
Olympic runner who is clearly 
focused on — has a vision of — the 
finish line. He understands that 
there is no such thing as status quo 
in the Christian faith. If we are not 
moving forward, we are inevitably 
moving backward. His motivation 
in this race is that Christ has 
pulled him from the pit and handed 
him the rope. 

What will we say when Christ 
asks us what we've done with the 
rope He used to rescue us? 

On my boat is a 3/fe-inch by 50-foot 
rope that is in a nice plastic pack- 
age. It is there for emergency use 
only. In technical boating terms, it 
is called a rope as long as it is in the 
package or is coiled. As soon as it is 
put to use — connected to an anchor 
or tied to the dock — it is called a 
line. Paul challenges us to turn our 
ropes into lifelines. We are to put 
them into use rescuing others from 
the pit. 

Straining toward to goal 

Paul's picture of the runner con- 
tinues in verse 13, where he writes, 
"I do not consider myself yet to 
have taken hold of it. But one thing 
I do: Forgetting what is behind and 
straining toward what is ahead, I 
press on toward the goal to win the 
prize for which God has called me 
heavenward in Christ Jesus." 

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The Brethren Evangelist 



trate this verse is that of three 
women straining for the finish line 
in the 100-meter dash at the Olym- 
pics in Atlanta. The effort Paul is 
describing might be similar to that 
of Gail Devers, who managed to 
lean forward at the last instant of 
the race to win the gold medal. 

I wonder where most of the strain- 
ing in The Brethren Church occurs? 
Do we strain harder: 

• to get up and down in the pew or 
up and down the street spreading 
the gospel? 

• over the church budget or over 
coffee with an unbelieving 
neighbor? 

• to clean the building or to clean 
people stained by sin? 

• to pay utility bills for the building 
or to bring light into a dark world? 
In verse 14 Paul states, "I press 

on toward the goal to win the prize 
for which God has called me heaven- 
ward in Christ Jesus." There are no 
cataracts here, no lost contact lenses 



that would keep Paul from a clear 
picture of his direction. 

Verse 15 says that those who are 
mature should take this same view 
of things. Certainly we are old 
enough to be mature. The question 
is, Are we wise enough? 

About 350 years ago a shipload of 
travelers landed on the northeast 
coast of America. The first year they 
established a town site. The next 
year they elected a town govern- 
ment. The third year the town gov- 
ernment planned to build a road 
five miles westward into the wil- 
derness. In the fourth year the peo- 
ple tried to impeach their town gov- 
ernment because the people 
thought it was a waste of public 
funds to build a road five miles 
westward into a wilderness. Who 
needed to go there anyway? 

Here were people who had the 
vision to see three thousand miles 
across an ocean and overcome great 
hardships to get there. But in just a 



few short years they were not able 
to see even five miles out of town. 
They had lost their pioneering vision. 
With a clear vision of what we can 
become in Christ, no ocean of diffi- 
culty is too great. Without it, we 
rarely move beyond the edge of town 
— or even the edge of our pew. 

Paul encourages the vision of the 
church at Ephesus with these words 
in Ephesians 3:20-21: 

Now to him who is able to do im- 
measurably more than all we ask 
or imagine, according to his power 
that is at work within us, to him be 
glory in the church and in Christ 
Jesus throughout all generations, 
for ever and ever! Amen. 

Now go find your glasses, get your 
ropes out of their packages, and 
come to South Bend* next year with 
some people who are fresh out of 
the pit. [ft] 

*This is in reference to the 1997 General 
Conference, which is to be held at Saint 
Mary's College in South Bend, Ind. 



See your World Relief dollars at work 
through a "Fifty-Fifty" project 



By Editor Richard Winfield 

HAVE YOU EVER WISHED 
that you could know who was 
helped by your offering for World 
Relief and what kind of help they 
received? This is now possible 
through "Fifty-Fifty" projects admin- 
istered by World Relief of the Na- 
tional Association of Evangelicals. 

How do the projects work? 

A "Fifty-Fifty" project is a partner- 
ship between your church, World 
Relief, and 50 women in Liberia, 
West Africa.* Your church provides 
a one-time gift of $2,500. World 
Relief uses that $2,500 to set up a 
Community Bank in Liberia. 

Fifty women are chosen to be- 

*Notes: (1) "Your church" could be the 
church itself or some group within the 
church such as the W.M.S., Men of Mis- 
sion, or a Sunday school class. (2) Some 
LifeLoans have been given to men, but 
since most Community Banks are made up 
of women, "women" and "woman" have 
been used throughout this article. (3) World 
Relief sets up Community Banks in vari- 
ous countries, but at General Conference 
Martin Hartog of World Relief challenged 
Brethren to provide support for "Fifty- 
Fifty" projects in Liberia. 



come members of that Community 
Bank. Each woman is given a 
LifeLoan of $50 to provide funds to 
start or expand a small business 
(food stand, vegetable shop, sewing 
business, etc.). As she earns money, 
each woman makes regular pay- 
ments on her loan, with a portion of 
each payment deposited into that 
woman's savings account. 

Once the Community Bank, as a 
unit, has met its collective obliga- 
tions, the members are eligible for a 
second loan. After several cycles, a 
typical member has enough savings 
that she no longer needs a loan. 

How is the bank administered? 

Several members of each bank 
are elected by the other members to 
administer the bank. World Relief, 
in turn, monitors the national man- 
agement staff by means of periodic 
project visits. Presently, the repay- 
ment rate in this program runs an 
impressive 90 percent. 

What are the benefits? 

One of the obvious benefits for the 
women is more income, which they 
can use to meet their families' needs 



for food, medicine, and education. 
(Many of the women who receive 
LifeLoans are widows with chil- 
dren). LifeLoans enable families to 
move from dependency to self-suffi- 
ciency, resulting in an increased 
sense of dignity. Many recipients 
have learned to read and write, and 
some have become Christians and 
are now attending a church. 

What will we receive? 

World Relief will send you group- 
photographs of the women partici- 
pating in your "Fifty-Fifty" project. 
You will also receive information 
about the progress of the Commu- 
nity Bank. Thus you will have a 
sense that you are personally in- 
volved in the lives of these women. 

How do we get started? 

To initiate your "Fifty-Fifty" pro- 
ject, or to get more information about 
doing so, contact Martin Hartog, 
Midwest Area Senior Representa- 
tive for World Relief, by phone (630- 
483-7731), fax (630-483-7739), e-mail 
(102336.3500@compuserve.com), or 
letter (2109 Glasgow Court, Hano- 
ver Park, IL 60103). It is not neces- 
sary to have the $2,500 up front to 
begin the project. Once a commit- 
ment is made, the money can be 
raised throughout the year. [ft] 



October 1996 



What's a 
plant closings 



congregation to do when 
result in the loss of young 

families to the church? 




congregations without kid 



By Pastor Jim Saunders 

TODAY MANY CONGREGATIONS 
find themselves in the same 
situation in which Johnstown Third 
Brethren Church found itself a few 
years ago: a shrinking congregation 
with at least two generations miss- 
ing from the pews, located in a neigh- 
borhood that no longer resembles 
the one that nurtured the original 
congregation. 

Due to the closing of the Bethle- 
hem steel mills and a general eco- 
nomic downturn in the Johnstown, 
Pennsylvania, area, many people of 
working age had to go elsewhere to 
find employment. As a result of this 
exodus, as well as some unwise de- 
cisions concerning the transfer of 
leadership to people of the younger 
generations, the Johnstown Third 
congregation soon found itself with 
a membership whose average age 
was over 60 and with only four chil- 
dren in the church (a teen, a pre- 
teen, a five-year-old, and a toddler). 
Attrition by death alone made this 
a declining congregation. 

The one thing these beloved Chris- 
tians did not do was throw up their 
hands and say this must be God's 
will. They decided to do something 
about the situation. But what? 



First, they did their homework. 
With help from The Brethren Church 
National Office in Ashland, they held 
a series of discovery meetings to 
find out what their strengths and 
weaknesses were. What did they have 
to offer the neighborhood, the com- 
munity, and God's Kingdom? They 
also took into consideration what they 
could do about their shortcomings. 

With a clearer picture of what they 
had to do and the resources they 
had to do it with came a sense of 
direction, if not a plan. They knew 
they needed to make their building 
and the congregation itself more at- 
tractive. They also knew they had 
to be more active in evangelism. 

Becoming more attractive 

So they did some repair work on 
the building, as well as some paint- 
ing and redecorating. They also made 
the building wheelchair accessible. 
Furthermore, they began to put 
more emphasis on greeting visitors 
and on making them feel welcome 
and at home. And special efforts 
were made to invite people to wor- 
ship services and to Sunday school. 

This is about the time I arrived 
on the scene — after all the ground- 
work had been done and a good 
foundation had been laid. The con- 



gregation was now ready for an out- 
reach program. But as is the case 
with most Brethren, evangelism is 
an art they had never had to prac- 
tice. Membership increase had al- 
ways come from Brethren children 
having children. But now their chil- 
dren were no longer here, having 
moved out of the area in order to 
find employment. 

Learning how to evangelize 

So the congregation had to learn 
how to evangelize, especially how 
to evangelize a neighborhood that 
was not pro-Brethren or even pro- 
church. To be sure, there were plenty 
of kids running around the neigh- 
borhood, but as was stated repeat- 
edly, "I think they're all Catholic or 
something." Members of the congre- 
gation were quite willing to invite 
people to Sunday school and worship 
services, but actually witnessing to 
a person with the goal of leading 
that person to make a commitment 
to Jesus Christ was a skill they still 
needed to learn. 

So the second step was to learn 
how to evangelize and to unlearn 
practices that didn't work. Classes 
on evangelism were held. During 
these sessions we came to the reali- 
zation that as long as we were only 
trying to fill our pews and to in- 
crease the money in the offering plate, 
we would not succeed. Through 
Bible study and prayer we realized 
that if we would put the Kingdom 
of God first and work to bring the 
saving grace of Jesus Christ to 
every individual we meet, then God 
would see to our increase. As Mat- 
thew 6:33 says, "But seek first his 
kingdom and his righteousness, 
and all these things will be given to 
you as well." 

This is so important that I must 
repeat it. When we stopped trying 
to win people to the Third Brethren 
Church and started witnessing in 
order to win them to our Lord Jesus 
Christ, then we began to gain. It is 
only when you sacrifice your con- 
gregation to God and begin to work 
for the salvation of God's lost chil- 
dren, no matter what congregation 
they end up in, that you begin to 
see God's increase in your own con- 
gregation. We have worked with peo- 
ple who ended up as Methodists, 
Southern Baptists, Presbyterians, 

The Brethren Evangelist 



and even Catholics. But they are all 
Christians, and that's what counts. 

Another thing we had to learn is 
to change. As Ron Waters has said, 
"Change is not a four-letter word." 
That old excuse, "We've never done 
it that way before," has to be buried 
and forgotten. If the smaller con- 
gregation is to survive in this day, 
it has to change. I don't mean that 
we should sacrifice our biblical 
principles, but we do have to adapt 
our methods to fit those whom we 
are trying to evangelize. 

By the way, did I tell you that we 
now have more than 40 kids in our 
youth program? They range in age 
from toddlers to young people just 
out of high school, and none are 
related to other members of our 
congregation. We were able to send 
17 to church camp, and nine made 
professions of faith while they were 
there. Five others had previously 
accepted Jesus as their Lord and 
Savior and joined our congregation. 
We also have five new families in 
the congregation, which make up 
for three families that left. 

How did we do it? 

There is an old practice in the 
South for catching wild pigs. First, 
select a spot in the forest where 
there are pigs and put corn or other 
feed at that spot every day. It won't 
be long before the pigs find it and 
begin gathering there to eat. Then 
build a fence along one side of the 
area and continue to put out the 
corn. Next, extend the fence along a 
second side. After a few more days 
of feeding, install the fence on the 
third side. When the pigs get accus- 
tomed to that, build the fence across 
the fourth side, with a large, open 
gate through which the pigs can en- 
ter in order to continue to eat. Wait 
a couple of more days until the pigs 
are feasting, and quietly close the 
gate. Instant pig farm! 

Third Brethren Church did some- 
thing like that. The first year I was 
at the church, I insisted that we 
sponsor the federal Summer Feed- 
ing Program. This brought kids to 
our building every day, five days a 
week. They soon got to know our 
building. We also held our own va- 
cation Bible school. (Previously the 
congregation had joined with other 
churches.) We made it a point to get 

October 1996 



acquainted with as many children 
as we could. We handed out 1,200 
invitations to our vacation Bible 
school and passed out VBS litera- 
ture to those who came to eat. 

That first year we had 48 chil- 
dren in our vacation Bible school, 




which was held just a couple of weeks 
before regular school started. This 
gave us a mailing and visitation 
list, which we used in the fall to 
invite parents and children to other 
church functions. The second year 
we again did our own VBS, and we 
had 62 students ranging in age from 
preschoolers to high-schoolers. 

Next, the congregation began a 
Bible Club for the kids that oper- 
ated just like vacation Bible school, 
except that it was held only one 
night a month. At the Bible Club 
the children met together to sing, 
play games, and do crafts. Then we 
divided them by age groups for 
Bible stories for the little ones and 
Bible study for the older ones. The 
amazing thing was that the chil- 
dren kept coming back for more. 

After nearly two years of this 
"feeding and fence-building" (inclu- 
sive, not exclusive fences, of course), 
the older youth began getting rest- 
less with the once-a-month meet- 
ings. So we had to decide what to do 
next and who would do it. 

Prayer: our foremost activity 

Did I mention that prayer was 
the foremost activity in everything 
we did? Many a prayer was offered 
before God's throne concerning 
whom we would get to lead the youth. 
I am happy to say that prayer pro- 
duces miracles. One day a young 
man came into my office and asked, 
"Preacher, would you have any ob- 
jections if I started a BYIC here?" 
At the first meeting there were 



twelve young people! And it's been 
getting bigger every week since. 

In order to get parents involved, 
we have had special programs nearly 
every month to which everyone in 
the family was invited. These have 
been from moderately to very suc- 
cessful. As a result, we now have 
four of these families that are at- 
tending occasionally and one that 
has moved its membership to our 
church. Our worship attendance is 
now around 55, up from 45, and we 
have had as many as 15 children in 
worship at one time. 

Some of the children have been 
drawn into our Sunday school, but 
this is proving to be slow (though 
encouraging). Teachers are ready 
every Sunday to teach every age 
group from kindergarten to high 
school, whether a child of that age 
attends or not. That way whoever 
comes has a Sunday school class. 

A mentoring program 

We are now in the process of try- 
ing to start a mentoring program 
for these children, because so few of 
them are from churched families. 
We are asking the adults in the 
congregation to attend two or three 
BYIC meetings in order to get ac- 
quainted with the children and to 
let the children know that they are 
loved and welcome. We hope that 
eventually every child can be paired 
with an adult mentor. 

Will this work everywhere? I doubt 
it. It's worked for us, however, and 
we submit our experience with the 
hope and prayer that it will start 
you thinking about what you can do 
in your situation. 

Warning: Forget about numbers! 
Remember that our primary mis- 
sion is to bring boys and girls, men 
and women to a saving knowledge 
of Christ Jesus. When we work for 
the increase of our own attendance, 
we fail. Our only goal must be to 
win people to Christ Jesus. That 
much we have learned for certain. 

Remember the words in James 4:3: 
"When you ask, you do not receive, 
because you ask with wrong motives, 
that you may spend what you get 
on your pleasures." It is only when we 
pray for and work for the increase 
of God's Kingdom that God sees to 
it that we increase and have every- 
thing we need to do His work. [ft] 



Conflict resolution in the church 

From a workshop by David Cooksey 



On Thursday morning of General Con- 
ference, Rev. David Cooksey, Director 
of Pastoral Ministries for The Brethren 
Church, led a workshop for the Confer- 
ence on "Conflict Resolution." The fol- 
lowing article was gleaned from that 
workshop. 

An audio tape of the workshop ses- 
sion is available for $4 (plus $2 for 
postage) from The Brethren Church 
National Office (524 College Ave., Ash- 
land, OH 44805). Also available (free) 
is a 9-page handout that was distrib- 
uted at the workshop. The material for 
the handout was taken from the book 
The Peacemaker by Ken Sande 
(Baker, 1991), which Rev. Cooksey 
highly recommended. 

— Editor R.C. Winfield 

CONFLICT, according to Ken 
Sande, is an opportunity to glo- 
rify God. That is primary. But con- 
flict is also an opportunity, accord- 
ing to Sande, to serve others and to 
grow in Christlikeness. These three 
truths are basic to our understand- 
ing of how we should deal with con- 
flict and how we should deal with 
one another in conflict. 

In spite of these truths, one of the 
primary responses of the church to 
conflict is to overlook it. This is 
unfortunate, for unresolved conflict 
destroys the witness of the church 
and occupies the minds of its mem- 
bers, keeping them from doing the 
things the church should be about. 

The church has been guilty of over- 
looking a lot of things in the lives of 
its members which should be dealt 
with. Unacceptable behavior and 
false statements are glossed over 
with the excuse, That's just the way 
that person is." If it's really the way 
the person is, then the person needs 
to change! 

It is very important that we learn 
how to deal with conflict in the 
church and that we use conflict as 
an opportunity to glorify God, serve 
others, and become more Christlike. 

What the Bible says 

The following scripture passages 
give us some principles for dealing 
with conflict. 

Romans 12:18 says, "If it is pos- 

6 



sible, as far as it depends on you, live 
at peace with everyone." This pas- 
sage makes conflict-resolution the 
responsibility of every Christian. 
One of the main reasons we have 
abandoned discipline in the church 
is because of our own guilt. But this 
is not an excuse. 

1 Corinthians 6:1-8 chastises 
Christians for taking their disputes 
before civil authorities. Paul asks, 
"Do you not know that the saints 
[Christians] will judge the world? 
And if you are to judge the world, 
are you not competent to judge triv- 
ial cases? Do you not know that we 
will judge angels?" This passage as- 
sures us, as Christians, that we are 
capable of dealing with conflict, 
even though we aren't lawyers or 
judges. As godly people, we are 
qualified. When we turn to the 
word of God for direction in dealing 
with these matters, we can usually 
handle the situation well. 

Matthew 18:15-17, an impor- 
tant passage in Brethren tradition, 
gives a three-step process for deal- 
ing with personal conflict. First, go 
to the person and attempt to re- 
solve your differences. If that doesn't 
work, then, second, take along one 
or two others to help you work out 
the problem. If the situation is still 
not resolved, then, third, take the 
matter before the church. What 
usually happens is that we don't 
start with the first step. We begin 
with step two or three, by involving 
other people or the church. 

Romans 14:19 enjoins us to 
"make every effort to do what leads 
to peace and mutual edification." 
One of our problems when we are 
offended is that we find it hard to 
let go of the hurt. We want the per- 
son punished. 

In Luke 6:27-36 Jesus tells us 
to "love your enemies, do good to 
those who hate you, bless those 
who curse you, pray for those who 
mistreat you. . . . Do to others as 
you would have them do to you. . . . 
Be merciful, just as your Father is 
merciful." We all do that, don't we? 
That's a description of The Breth- 



ren Church across the country, isn't 
it? If so, why do we have so many 
problems? 

God forgives us of everything, 
every time, unconditionally. Is this 
what we do? Is it our goal? Unfortu- 
nately, it's often not what happens 
in the church, and problems con- 
tinue because of our failure to for- 
give and forget. 

Expectations of the pastor 

Pastors don't have a lot of author- 
ity in The Brethren Church, mak- 
ing it difficult for them to really 
lead. They are put on a short leash 
— allowed to do some things but 
yanked back when they reach be- 
yond certain limits. People often tell 
the pastor, "You take care of spiri- 
tual matters but keep your hands 
off the building and the budget." 
But these are spiritual matters too! 

People have different expectations 
of the pastor depending on their age 
compared to that of the pastor (older 
or younger) and when they became 
members of the church (before or 
after the pastor came). People older 
than the pastor who were members 
of the church before he came are 
often the least receptive to the pas- 
tor's leadership, while people younger 
than the pastor who joined the 
church during his pastorate are his 
strongest supporters. When conflict 
comes that involves the pastor, 
members often choose "sides" ac- 
cording to these categories. 

The people at the center of con- 
flict in the church (particularly when 
it involves the pastor) are fre- 
quently the members of the deacon 
board (who are usually older than 
the pastor and were members be- 
fore he arrived). In our denomina- 
tion, we have put responsibilities 
on deacons and deaconesses that they 
do not need to have and should not 
have. Deacon boards in our churches 
have become centers of power. In 
fairness to them, one reason for this 
is that they have been left with the 
responsibility of keeping the church 
going through difficult times. 

Levels of conflict 

Conflict in the church, if it is not 
resolved, passes through several 
levels. It begins with (1) natural dif- 
ferences. People are challenged but 
not competitive; differing viewpoints 

The Brethren Evangelist 



are respected; resolution is possi- 
ble. Sometimes, however, (2) polari- 
zation begins. An uneasiness devel- 
ops; people begin to choose sides on 
the issue, although the good of the 
order is still paramount. 

At the next level, (3) competition 
begins. Persons have become iden- 
tified with positions. The main goal 
is to win rather than to resolve the 
conflict. Meaningful communication 
between the sides has come to a 
halt. If the conflict continues, it (4) 
goes system-wide, spreading to 
other members of the congregation 
besides those originally involved. 
Feelings are viewed as facts; spe- 
cific issues melt into vague princi- 
ples and ideology. The situation may 
get so bad that the parties to the 
conflict (5) can't stop fighting. At 
this level violence sometimes occurs 
and legal force is necessary. An out- 
side party may be required to offici- 
ate over the dismantling of the or- 
ganization. 

Causes of conflict 

James 4:1-3 gets at the root of 
serious conflict in the church. "What 
causes fights and quarrels among 
you? Don't they come from your de- 



sires that battle within you?" Unre- 
solved conflict is the result of sin — 
pride, selfishness, wanting to be right, 
wanting to have one's own way, un- 
willingness to change. 

This sin manifests itself in vari- 
ous attitudes: "Look out for number 
one." "I'll forgive you, but I won't 
forget." 'This is my church." "I'll be 
here long after you're gone." 

We need to remember that the 
church doesn't belong to an individ- 
ual. It belongs to the congregation 
and to God. We try to take owner- 
ship of something that isn't ours to 
own. We make issues out of things 
that aren't issues. We make rules 
and draw lines that are of our own 
design and not of the Bible. 

Centers of conflict 

Because of his position of leader- 
ship, the pastor is often at the cen- 
ter of conflict. This will depend in 
part on whether he has the attitude 
of a servant leader or of a dictator. 
The pastor's personality or the per- 
sonality of his wife can also be a 
source of difficulty. 

Deacons are also a significant 
source of conflict in The Brethren 
Church. Sometimes they are thrust 



into conflict because others in the 
church expect them to act. Dea- 
cons, however, are not to be the 
authority in the church. They are to 
be servants. 

Moderators, trustees, organists, 
choir directors, Sunday school super- 
intendents, in fact, anyone in a posi- 
tion of leadership can be a source of 
conflict in the church. This usually 
happens when leaders try to exer- 
cise some kind of control rather 
than serving the church by per- 
forming the function to which they 
were called. 

Managing conflict 

Every church needs to establish 
policies on how to deal with conflict 
and discipline problems when they 
arise. These policies should spell out 
what is expected of members of the 
congregation, what happens to mem- 
bers if they do not meet these expec- 
tations, and who will deal with disci- 
pline problems and conflict when 
they arise. There also needs to be a 
consistency about discipline. 

Thankfully, our churches and pas- 
tors are dealing much better with 
conflict now than they did in the 
past. [ft] 



General Conference Commentary 

By Kenneth Sullivan 



THE BRETHREN CHURCH is 
venturing forth where no Breth- 
ren have gone before. The structure 
of our denomination, at the nation- 
al level, has undergone a radical 
change.* We have created a single- 
board system with the intent of 
providing singleness of vision and 
ministry, greater accountability, 
and better stewardship of re- 
sources and ministry opportunities. 

It needs to be emphasized that 
while these changes greatly impact 
the national level in its work and 
missions, our district and local 
structures remain the same and 
function as they always have. 

Our national structure will have 

*These comments are in reference to the 
denominational reorganization proposal im- 
plemented by General Conference in August. 
See page 5 of the September Evangelist 
for an article about the action of Confer- 
ence and the middle of the June issue for a 
copy of the proposal itself. 



a single Executive Board creating a 
unified vision for The Brethren 
Church. There will be two Minis- 
tries Councils — a Missionary Minis- 
tries Council and a Congregational 
Ministries Council — charged with 
implementing this vision in these 
two areas of concern. 

An Executive Director will be em- 
ployed by the National Office to im- 
plement and guide the National Of- 
fice in the fulfillment of these goals. 
All other National Office executives 
and staff and all national ministries 
will be accountable back through 
the Executive Board. 

It is important to note that the 
restructuring has been done in such 
a way as to preserve and protect both 
past and future giving to the mis- 
sion work of The Brethren Church. 
Money invested in the Revolving 
Fund, designated gifts and giving, 
as well as all mission fair share ap- 



portionments will always go directly 
to the funding of mission works. 

The one change that Conference 
delegates made to the proposal was 
the requirement that all district 
representatives be elected at their 
respective district conferences. 

What is significant about this 
change is that for the first time 
every area of national concern has 
the potential to work in harmony 
and singleness of direction. 

This new structure is more than 
just business and form. It is about 
people — having the right people in 
place, obedient to God, with servants' 
hearts. Pray that those hired for na- 
tional positions are godly in charac- 
ter and divinely called to those posi- 
tions. Pray for those who will be 
assigned to the search committee to 
hire the new Executive Director. 
Pray that they will be open to God's 
direction and God's choice. [ft] 

Rev. Sullivan pastors the Milledge- 
uille, III, Brethren Church. This article 
appeared in the September issue of the 
Milledgeville Church's newsletter and 
is reprinted here with permission. 



October 1996 




Ashland 
University 



Awaiting an explosion of God's power 

By Dr. Mike Gleason, Director of Religious Life 

accomplish in a couple of hours had 
been achieved by the dynamite in a 
moment. Male bonding was at its 
best as the stump discovered the law 
of gravity and found its way back to 
earth, leaving only a large hole. 



Now to him who is able to do im- 
measurably more than all we ask or 
imagine, according to his power that 
is at work within us, to him be glory 
in the church and in Christ Jesus 
throughout all generations, for ever 
and ever! Amen. 

— Ephesians 3:20-21, NIV 

IT WAS SPRINGTIME in the 
beautiful Kiski Valley of western 
Pennsylvania. Several volunteers 
from the Pleasant View Brethren 
Church had gathered early one 
Saturday morning for some signifi- 
cant "male bonding." 

The task: take out a large tree 
behind center field of our church 
baseball diamond. The tools: coffee, 
donuts, chain saws, axes, chains, and 
several four-wheel-drive trucks. 

The tree was easy; the stump was 
not. After about two hours of effort 
the stump would still not budge, 

"I believe that the Christian or- | 
ganizations here at AU have helped 
me to mature in my Christian walk, 
develop leadership skills, and grow 
closer to God." — Cindy, a senior . 

even when the best that Ford and 
Chevy could produce were chained 
to its base and pulled together. At 
this point the male bonding was not 
quite as meaningful as we thought 
it would be. 

Then came Jamie, about three 
hours late, a cup of coffee in hand, 
driving a truck full of explosives that 
were bouncing around in the cargo 
area behind him. "Don't worry," he 
would often reassure his passengers, 
"they can't go off without a blasting 
cap." Most of us were not greatly 
comforted by this information. 

Several very tired men greeted 
Jamie, who requested a try at the 
stump. He buried a wad of plastic 
explosives, with, of course, a blast- 
ing cap, under the tree's base, 
stretched a wire just about to home 
plate, and hit the plunger. A very 
stubborn stump immediately took 
its first flight into space. What the 
combined efforts of man and Detroit's 
finest machines had been unable to 

8 



"The Christian programs at AU 
have helped me grow spiritually, 
apply my faith, and share it around 
campus. All of these things have 
helped to strengthen my walk." 

— Derek, a junior , 

Now to him who is able to do im- 
measurably more than all we ask or 
imagine, according to his power 
that is at work within us . ..." In 
the Greek original of this verse, the 
word for "power" is dunamis, from 
which we get our English word dy- 
namite. 

All of our best human efforts in 
Campus Ministry are sadly inade- 
quate to accomplish that for which 
we yearn. Only God's vast power is 
able to move in such an explosive 
way that the very roots of evil are 
torn out and students by the score 
are brought to a saving knowledge 
of Jesus Christ. This is indeed the 
heart of our prayer, that the power 
of God would explode on the Ash- 
land University campus bringing a 
revival that is "immeasurable more 
than all we ask or imagine." 

In just a bit I will relate how God 
worked at a college in the past, so 
that both your faith and your 
prayers on our behalf might be 
strengthened. But first I want to 
tell about some of the labor that is 

'The programs here helpmeto* 
have a devotional time. They keep 
me on track and challenge me every 
week. " — Bryan, a junior 

being expended in this field of min- 
istry by devoted men and women 
who are serving in prayerful expec- 
tation of the dunamis of God. 

Joe Maggelet serves as Assis- 
tant Director of Religious Life. He 
raises the majority of his salary as 
a full-time Navigator staff person 



and works in cooperation with our 
department. He and his volunteer 
staff have more than 60 students 
involved in upper level discipleship 
groups, the greatest number ever 
committed to this rigorous study. 
Janie Niswonger, secretary to 
the Religious Life Department and 
a part-time seminary student, as- 
sists with these discipleship groups. 

The Fellowship of Christian 
Athletes, which Joe advises, has 
likewise seen strong evidence of the 
winds of the Spirit in its first four 
meetings this fall. Joe also coordi- 
nates the Critical Concern Series, 
which brings to the dormitory lob- 
bies discussions and presentations 
of such issues as sexuality and ra- 
cism from a distinctively Christian 
perspective. 

In the spring, Nathan Harri- 
son will join our efforts as another 
self-supporting Navigator staff per- 
son. Nathan was strongly discipled 
while a student here at Ashland. 

Phil Foss, our volunteer Adven- 
ture Club advisor, has done an ex- 
ceptional job of providing rugged 

"I think one of the greatest ways 
that the Christian programs here at 
Ashland have helped me is that 
they have challenged my faith and 
made me think about what I really 
believe. And not only do they chal- 
lenge me, but they constantly make 
me evaluate where I am with the 
Lord£ — Heather, a junior j 

outdoor experiences for students. 
Student chaplains provide devo- 
tional meditations at the various 
events, with corresponding Bible 
studies offered to interested par- 
ticipants. Numerous students with- 
out any faith background are at- 
tracted to this club. 

Dr. Don Rinehart, in his second 
year as advisor to the Religion 
Club, has filled a unique niche by 
providing a group primarily aimed 
at the Christian student who de- 
sires a deeper level of dialogue on 
issues related to the Christian faith. 
Interest has been growing! 

The first "Meal and More" chapel 
service this fall was attended by 
numerous guests and regular at- 
tendees, who gathered to worship 
and hear a devotional meditation 
by Dr. Lee Solomon. Although not 

The Brethren Evangelist 




all speakers are Brethren, Shirley 
Black and Joan Ronk will be among 
those bringing messages this year. 

The University Church has like- 
wise seen advancement in various 
areas under the leadership of Dr. 
Lee Solomon, assisted by seminary 
student interns Karen Robins, 
Kerrie Lehman, and Eric Biscoh, 
plus a host of student, faculty, and 
staff volunteers. Services this fall 
have nearly filled the lower chapel 
to capacity. Thanks be to God! 

A strong movement of God's Spirit 
was sensed at the initial meetings 
of HOPE Fellowship this fall. Stu- 
dents have also shown a wide inter- 
est in HOPE's various ministries 
(share groups, missions, drama, out- 
reach, intercession, fellowship, 
worship, and special events). Jack 
Miller is serving a second year as a 
HOPE graduate intern, and Jaime 
Gillespie is bringing renewed leader- 
ship to the Gospel Teams ministry. 

At the recent Fall Convocation 
a near-capacity crowd in Memorial 
Chapel heard an inspirational chal- 
lenge by President G. William Benz, 
greetings from Provost Mary Ellen 

"The Christian programs at AU ' 
have given me a sense of stability, 
provided the opportunity to learn 
from role models, and have encour- 
aged me in the struggles of my 
faith. I am the co-leader of the Mis- 
sions Team, so when we participate 
in projects in the community, it re- 
ally stretches my faith and chal- 
lenges me to reach out to other peo- 
ple. The overall programs, the lead- 
ership, and the members of the 
Christian groups are extremely sup- 
sportive." — Shawn, a junior _ 

Drushal, and a beautiful selection of 
sacred music by the university choir. 
Convocations are also planned for 
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. 

As one can see, these ministries 
are well-staffed by devoted men and 
women who are sacrificially at work 
in God's field here on the Ashland 
University campus. I give great 
thanks to God for each of them and 
for the numerous hours they will- 
ingly share in service. Campus 
Ministry at Ashland University is 
strong and is moving forward. 

Yet in spite of all this good news, 

October 1996 



as I mentioned in my report at Gen- 
eral Conference this past August, 
we deeply desire to see the immeas- 
urable power of God do more than 
we even ask or imagine on our cam- 
pus. We desire, with the yearnings 
^ ^ "■ ^. 

'The way that the programs here 
at AU have helped me in my Chris- 
tian walk is to challenge me. The 
programs are very Christ-centered 
and biblically-based. I can come to 
our meetings each week and know 
that I will be challenged to get to 
know Christ better in my life. I think 
that the advisors and leaders in all 
the programs have really encouraged 
people to get involved. I am glad I 
got involved." — Jodie, a junior , 

of our hearts, for an outpouring of 
His Spirit that will accomplish in a 
semester what we could not hope to 
accomplish with a lifetime of labor 
— conversions numbering a thousand 
and backsliders soundly restored. 

History tells us that the great 
works of God we desire on our cam- 
pus are well within His range of 
power. Consider what happened, 
for example, nearly 200 years ago 
when God walked on the campus of 
Yale College, and you'll see what I 
mean. Yale had the same problems 
we have in our culture. Here is an 
excerpt from a student diary writ- 
ten around 1802: 

The college church was almost ex- 
tinct. Most of the students were 
skeptical, and rowdies were plenty. 



Thank You! 

My heartfelt thanks for your support 
of the Ashland University Campus 
Ministry accompanies this article, 
along with my earnest request for your 
ongoing prayers. To assist in enabling 
this second request, the Department 
of Religious Life will be providing a 
monthly prayer flier in Leadership Let- 
ter entitled The Trumpet Call, which 
will provide a current listing of prayer 
requests as well as God's answers to 
prayer requests previously shared. It 
is my hope that hundreds within our 
denomination will join in intercessory 
prayer that God might do "immeasur- 
ably more than all we ask or imagine" 
at Ashland University, so that next year 
at General Conference my report might 
be an interlude of praise and adoration! 
— Mike Gleason 



Wine and liquors were kept in 
many rooms; intemperance, profan- 
ity, gambling, and licentiousness 
were common. I hardly know how I 
escaped. . . . 

Now hear what happened when 
the Holy Spirit of God was poured 
out in great power that same year 
in an excerpt from another student 
letter describing the event: 

Yale college is a little temple: prayer 
and praise seem to be the delight of 
the greater part of the students 
while those who are still unfeeling 
are awed into respectful silence. 

Can you picture that? Of note is 
the fact that of the 230 students 
then at Yale, about one-third were 
powerfully converted, with nearly 
half the new believers embracing a 
call to ministry. All of this occurred 
in a period of less than six months! 

Twenty years later Yale experi- 
enced another revival of equal pro- 
portions, during which an addition- 
al 900 persons in the surrounding 
community of New Haven were also 

"I have met people in the Chris- 
tian groups at AU who have chal- 
lenged my Christian walk. They are 
smarter in the scriptures than I am 
and have taught me what they know. 
They have shown me what God is 
about and all that He has to offer us. 
Through weekly HOPE Fellowship 
meetings, the speakers, the fellow- 
ship, and the praise and worship, I 
am finding out how others have got- 
ten to be so strong in the Lord and 
am discovering what God wants to 
^do in me." — Rachel, a junior J 

soundly converted. What a wonder- 
ful 1997 Conference statistical re- 
port that would be if 900 were added 
to various Brethren churches, 
soundly converted through a genu- 
ine movement of God's Spirit! 

These are only two accounts out 
of hundreds that illustrate what 
the dunamis of God can accom- 
plish, not only within the context of 
a university campus, but also within 
a community such as yours! 

Now to him who is able to do im- 
measurably more than all we ask or 
imagine, according to his power that 
is at work within us, to him be glory 
in the church and in Christ Jesus 
througliout all generations, for ever 
and ever! Amen. [ft] 



N \\ od th e 




Former Mormon to preach 
in The Brethren Church 

West Alexandria, Ohio — Elbert 
Sorrell, a member of the West 
Alexandria First Brethren Church, 
was set apart as a licensed minis- 
ter on Sunday, June 9, during the 
worship service. Pastor David Oligee 
conducted the licensing service. 

Before becoming a Christian in 
1985, Elbert had been a member for 
six years of the Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter-Day Saints, had 
spent \V% years as a Mormon mis- 
sionary, and was an ordained Mor- 
mon elder. He received Christ as 
his Lord and Savior at special serv- 
ices held at the Sandusky, Ohio, Bap- 
tist Temple on September 8, 1985. 
The following year he surrendered 
his life to preach God's word. 

Since coming to the West Alexan- 
dria First Brethren Church in July 
1993, Elbert has worked in the 
church's youth ministry and nurs- 
ing home ministry, preached on 
occasion, taught Sunday school 
classes, and currently serves as a 
deacon. Last year he reorganized 
and trained visitation teams for 
personal evangel- 
ism, and he contin- 
ues to be involved in 
this work. His wife, 
Marnita, serves as 
church secretary 
and also works in 
the children's 

church ministry. 

Elbert believes 
that God is leading 
him into full-time 
Christian service, 
and he is open to a 
call to the pastorate. 

— reported by Audrey Gilbert 



North Georgetown Church celebrates 
completion of sanctuary renovation 

North Georgetown, Ohio — 

Members of the North Georgetown 
First Brethren Church celebrated 
the completion of their sanctuary 
renovation project on Sunday, May 
19, with a service dedicating the 
remodeled sanctuary to the Lord. 

The purposes of the project were 
to increase seating capacity and to 
beautify the sanctuary. A wall at 
the back of the sanctuary was re- 
moved to enlarge the room, and the 
platform at the front of the sanctu- 
ary was shortened to make space 
for more seating. In this way the 
seating capacity was increased by 
60. In addition to this work on the 
inside of the sanctuary, a ramp was 




A view at the back of the remodeled 
wall was removed, showing upholstered 



In Memory 

Jasper "Jap" Price, 76, died September 5 at his 
home in Tucson, Ariz. Price and his wife, Betty, 
served from 1979 to 1987 at Riverside Christian 
School in Lost Creek, Ky., where Jasper did mainte- 
nance work for the school. He had been a member 
successively of the North Liberty (Ind.) First, Papago 
Park (Tempe, Ariz.) (where he was also a deacon), 
and Tucson First Brethren Churches. A memorial 
service was held at the Tucson Church of the Breth- 
ren, where he had been a member the past several 
years, with Rev. William Curtis, pastor of the Tucson 
First Brethren Church, giving the message. He is 
survived by his wife and their five children. Memo- 
rial contributions may be made to Riverside School. 



constructed on the east side of the 
building to make the sanctuary more 
accessible to the handicapped. 

Once the remodeling was done, 
the redecorating began. New carpet 
was installed, the pews were pad- 
ded and upholstered, the walls were 
painted, and the windows were 
adorned with new blinds, lace cur- 
tains, and swags. A lighted cross 
was hung at the front of the sanctu- 
ary, and new pulpit furniture placed 
on the platform. Forty padded, 
stackable chairs were purchased to 
provide part of the new seating. 

Most of the work was donated by 
members of the congregation, with 
Wilfred Mercer overseeing the work 
crews. Sandy 
Marsh lined up 
workers and 
also coordi- 
nated the selec- 
tion and pur- 
chase of carpet, 
chairs, and the 
upholstery for 
the pews. The 
project was be- 
gun February 
7, 1995, and 
completed 
March 18, 1996, 
at a cost of 
about $28,000. 

Pastor Fred 
Brandon led 
the dedication 
service, and 
sanctuary, where the Pete Hill Dea- 
pews and new chairs. con Chairman, 
offered the dedication prayer. 
Others participating in the service 
included Ken and Sandy Marsh, 
Wanda Powell, Randy Greenawalt, 
Chris Latham, Sam and Diane Hill, 
and Dave and Sharon Heestand. 

In addition to completing this proj- 
ect, the North Georgetown congre- 
gation recently purchased property 
to the east of the church for extra 
parking and for possible future ex- 
pansion. Since 1990 average Sun- 
day morning worship attendance at 
the church has risen from 65 to 
approximately 115. 

— reported by Diane Hill 



10 



The Brethren Evangelist 



P^^Ch 





Briefly 
Noted 



Joan Ronk was recognized for 
25 years of service to Ashland Uni- 
versity during an all-institutional 
meeting at the beginning of the school 
year. She was presented an Ash- 
land University wristwatch and a 
certificate of recognition and appre- 
ciation for her "conscientious, loyal, 
and faithful service" to the univer- 
sity. Mrs. Ronk began working at 
Ashland College as secretary to the 
dean. In the years that followed, 
she served as secretary (later ad- 
ministrative assistant) to various 
vice-presidents, and she currently 
serves as researcher/writer for the 
university. Mrs. Ronk is also editor 
of the Women's Outlook Newsletter, 
which is included every other month 
in the EVANGELIST. 

An "exciting and uplifting" Home- 
coming was held August 24-25 at 
the Vinco Brethren Church in 
Mineral Point, Pa., according to cor- 
responding secretary Ethel Cobaugh. 
The observance began with lunch 
on Saturday, followed by a hymn- 
sing — with messages by former 
pastor Rev. Jim Tomb and former 
member Rev. Bill Walk — and con- 
tinued with a campfire in the eve- 
ning for "youth" of all ages. Events on 
Sunday included the worship serv- 
ice, with a message by 
former pastor Rev. C. 
William Cole and re- 
marks by former pas- 
tor Rev. Woody Brant; 
a carry-in dinner with 
175 in attendance; and 
an evening service at 
which Rev. Brant spoke. 
Large crowds, including 
former members and 
friends from several 
states, attended the 
various events. Rev. 
Jerry Fike pastors the 
Vinco congregation. 




Linwood Brethren celebrate 100 years of 
Sunday school in the Linwood community 

Linwood, Md. — A celebration 
marking the 100th anniversary of 
Sunday school in the Linwood com- 
munity was held Sunday, July 21, 
by the Linwood Brethren Church. 
The centennial celebration began 
at 4:00 p.m. with an old-fashioned 
baptism in Little Pipe Creek, where 
Rachael Schuster, Bruce Wilkinson, 
and Jack Linott were baptized by 
Scott Robertson, assistant pastor of 
the Linwood Church. Following the 
baptism, a parade — featuring an 
antique car and led by trumpeter 
Paul Albaugh III followed by a 
rhythm band of Sunday school chil- 
dren — wound its way through the vil- 
lage of Linwood. A wagon pulled by 
a team of mules carried those un- 
able to hike the parade route. Linwood Assistant Pastor Scott Rob- 
The parade made two stops, first ertson baptizes Rachael Schuster in 
at the Linwood Trading Company, Little Pi P e Creek - 

which was formerly 
a lumberyard where 
the Sunday school 
was founded and 
met for its first two 
years. The second 
stop was at an old 
schoolhouse next to 
the Linwood Church 
building, where the 
Sunday school met 
prior to becoming a 
part of the Linwood 
Church. At each 
stop, Linwood Pas- 
tor Bob Keplinger 
gave a little of the 
Linwood Pastor Bob Keplinger leads a wagonload of history of the Sun- 
people to Little Pipe Creek for an old-fashioned baptism. ( j av school 

The parade concluded at the Lin- 
wood Church, where the celebra- 
tion culminated in the annual Sun- 
day school picnic of the Linwood 
congregation. 

The Linwood Union Sunday 
School was founded on November 
19, 1896. It was an ecumenical 
school, where Quakers, Methodists, 
Lutherans, Roman Catholics, and 
Episcopalians all came together in 
a spirit of brotherhood. The Union 
Sunday School continued until 
1918, when it merged with the Lin- 
wood Brethren Church, which was 
founded in 1905. 




Coming Events 

October 26 — National Concert of Prayer. 

Thousands of Christians across America will 
join together to pray for spiritual awakening in 
America, and especially for the youth of our 
nation. Concerts of prayer will be held in many 
cities and churches. If a concert is held in your 
area, plan to attend. If no concert is planned in 
your locale, spend time that Saturday evening 
praying with a group of friends or alone, know- 
ing that thousands of others are praying as well. 
October 27 — Andrew Sunday. This is a day to 
invite a friend to church. See page 14 of the 
September Evangelist for more information 
about this special outreach opportunity. 



October 1996 



11 



pd th e 




In Memory 

Former Brethren pastor Rev. 
Bruce Carl Shanholtz, 83, died 
August 21 at his home in Hager- 
stown, Maryland. 

Born March 15, 1913, in Levels, 
W. Va., he was ordained in 1943 at 
Wiley Ford Church of the Brethren. 
He pastored three Brethren congre- 
gations, the Johnstown, Pa., Sec- 
ond Brethren Church (c. 1953-54), 
the Lin wood, Md., Brethren Church 
(c. 1955-60), and the Cumberland, 
Md., First Brethren Church (c. 
1969-74). He held various offices in 
the Southeastern District and served 
two terms on the General Confer- 
ence Executive Committee. 

He is survived by his wife, Thelma 
Cowgill Shanholtz, whom he mar- 
ried on December 24, 1935; by a 
daughter, N. Lois Curry of Mel- 
bourne, Fla.; a son, Kenneth L. Shan- 
holtz, Sr., of Maugansville, Md.; 
five grandchildren; and five great- 
grandchildren. 

Services were held August 24, at 
the Hagerstown, Md., First Breth- 
ren Church, where Rev. Shanholtz 
had been a longtime member, with 
Pastor John Mills officiating. 



Central District seeks God's direction 
with Concert of Prayer and Worship 



Waterloo, Iowa — A Concert of 
Prayer and Worship on the open- 
ing evening of the Central District 
Conference — held July 12-13 at the 
Hammond Avenue Brethren Church 
in Waterloo — set the spiritual tone 
not only for the conference but also 
for the district in the year ahead. 

The time of concerted prayer was 
held at the request of the Central 
District Mission Board, which is 
seeking the Lord's direction regard- 
ing church planting in the district. 
It is the desire of the board that the 
district move forward with a uni- 
fied expectation in the Spirit, and 
the Concert of Prayer was a time of 
submission before the Lord so that 
He might show the steps He has 
prepared for the district to take. 

The conference had opened earlier 
that evening with a banquet. Fol- 
lowing the meal, Rev. G. Emery 
Hurd, pastor of the Cheyenne, Wyo., 
Brethren Church, spoke about the 
General Conference to be held in 
the year 2000 in Estes Park, Colo- 
rado, and gave a beautiful slide pres- 
entation showing the area and the 
facilities where the Conference will 
be held. Then, prior to the Concert of 
Prayer, Eric Schave, who has been 
gathering logistical information on 
several communities in northern 
Illinois as possible church-planting 




Shipshewana, Ind. — Senior Brethren in the Indiana District enjoyed a 
blessed time of worship, Bible study, fellowship, fun, and games (especially 
Skip-Bo!) at the annual Golden Age Retreat held August 26-29 at the Brethren 
Retreat Center. Special guests were Rev. David and Jenny hoi, Brethren mis- 
sionaries from Malaysia. Also attending was Rev. Reilly Smith, Director of 
Missionary Ministries for The Brethren Church, who led a missions seminar. 
Golden Agers are invited to attend next year's retreat (August 25-28, 1997) for 
four days of inspiration and fun, and other districts are encouraged to plan 
their own Golden Age retreats. — reported by Dolly Zerbe, secretary 



locations, presented his results and 
answered questions. 

On Saturday morning, Modera- 
tor Gary Turner opened the busi- 
ness portion of the Conference and 
conducted the morning business 
session. Business included recom- 
mendations from Moderator-Elect 
Ellis Boughton, election of officers, 
accepting of reports, and an update 
on the Hammond Avenue Brethren 
Church by Pastor Ron Waters. 

Following lunch, prepared by the 
ladies of the host church, the busi- 
ness session continued. Business in- 
cluded passing the district budget 
and resolutions; reports from The 
Brethren Church National Office, the 
national Missionary Board, and Ash- 
land University and Theological Sem- 
inary; and installation of officers. 

Next year's conference will be 
held July 11-12 at the Cerro Gordo, 
111., Brethren Church. Officers for 
the year ahead are Ellis Boughton — 
moderator; Kim Millhouse — moder- 
ator-elect; Doris Geisz — secretary; 
Virginia Hutchison — assistant sec- 
retary; Sue Michael — treasurer; and 
Marti Deets — assistant treasurer. 
— reported by Moderator Ellis Boughton 



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( The Brethren ) 

Evangelist 



lderburg Library 
;HE3TE& COLLEGE 
lar.chester, IN 4698£? 




Vol. 118, No. 10 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



November 1996 



Jaime Gillespie presents an overview of: 



Fifty years of Brethren Youth* 



IN 1940 three young men — Gil- 
bert Dodds, Woodrow Brant, and 
Archie Martin — had a dream. They 
dreamed of starting an organiza- 
tion to unite Brethren youth around 
the world, with the focus of the or- 
ganization being Christ Jesus. They 
dreamed of a conference specifically 
designed for the youth of The Breth- 
ren Church. Little could they have 
known at that time how their dream 
would blossom over the next 56 years. 
In 1941 the Brethren Youth or- 
ganization was formed. At first it 
struggled, having to replace the 
interdenominational youth organi- 
zation Christian Endeavor, which 
had been in place in The Brethren 
Church for 40 years. 

Official recognition 

During the next five years, through 
prayer, hard work, and determina- 
tion, the Brethren Youth program 
picked up speed. The first Brethren 
Youth Conference was held in 1946 
at Ashland College, with Gil Dodds 



serving as Con- 
ference director. 
At this Confer- 
ence, the Breth- 
ren Youth or- 
ganization fi- 
nally gained for- 
mal recognition 
by the church, 
and a Youth 
Board was cre- 
ated. This Con- 
ference, held 50 
years ago this 

past August, An announcement that appeared in the March 6, 
was the begin- sue °f tne ^ HE Brethren Evangelist. 




Gharles Tlflunson Balled 

lllli 

to be 
first Ylational (Director 

of 



1948, is- 



Brethren Youth Conference 

Ashland College, Ashland, Ohio, Aug. 19-25 

... a wonderful week, with wonderful young people 




En 



ft RECREATION ft SPECIAL MUSIC 

ft CAMPFIRE MEETINGS 
ft SPEAKERS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE 
ft BIBLE STUDY 



Room and Board for Conference Period {11.00 

Send Registration with $1.00 to: 
A. Glenn Carpenter, Ashland College, Ashland, Ohio 



An announcement of the first Brethren Youth Conference, 
held August 19-25, 1946. 



ning of what would become a half 
century of joy, tears, fun, and fel- 
lowship — 50 years of memories 
that will forever fill the hearts and 
minds of all those whose lives were 
touched by Brethren Youth. 

The first year after the 1946 
Youth Conference proved difficult 
and frustrating. The newly formed 
Youth Board had been given few 
guidelines, little power, and no fi- 
nancial support. 
But even though 
the youth pro- 
gram struggled 
that year, the 
youth never lost 
faith. 

In a speech to 
the Ohio District 
Conference in 
June of 1947, 
Charles Munson 
summed up the 
attitude of the 
youth — that we 
will never have 
any progress as 
long as we cry 



s 



RUTH O.APPCR 



about our present situation. Brother 
Munson's speech, "You Can't See 
the Sun When You're Crying," is as 
relevant today as it was 49 years ago. 

We have been crying, a lot of us, 

but don't you see it's not in what we 

do not have, but in the way we use 

what we have. . . . Weeping will 

never help us to see the sun. 
next page 

*This is the script of a video that was 
shown at General Conference as part of 
the celebration of the 50th anniversary 
of Brethren Youth. Jaime Gillespie, who 
produced the video, is a member of the 
Vinco Brethren Church (Mineral Point, 
Pa.), a sophomore at Ashland University, 
and a member of the Brethren Youth In 
Christ (BYIC) Steering Committee. 



In this issue 



Fifty years of Brethren Youth . 1 

Brethren Home Missions ... 4 

A prayer of thanks 6 

Together in the ashes 7 

Around the denomination ... 8 

The Women's Outlook Newsletter 
is in the center of this issue. 




February 1949 (behind) and August 
1955 issues of The Brethren Youth maga- 
zine. The publication, which has un- 
dergone many changes in format over 
the past 48 years, is now called The 
Morning Star. 

At the next General Conference, 
the youth did make use of their tal- 
ents by providing special music for 
the adult Conference. This exposure, 
plus the successful youth Conference 
held that year, helped Brethren 
Youth forge out a name for them- 
selves within The Brethren Church. 
After this, the youth gained finan- 
cial and spiritual support from the 
adults. Also at this Conference, the 
fourth Sunday in May was estab- 
lished as Youth Day. 

First national director 

The youth movement began to 
grow. It sparked so much enthusi- 
asm and excitement among the 
youth that the Youth Board could 
no longer provide the leadership 
needed to run the organization suc- 
cessfully. So in March 1948 the Na- 
tional Board of Brethren Youth an- 
nounced the calling of Charles Mun- 
son to be the first National Director 
of Brethren Youth. 

Under Brother Munson's leader- 



The Brethren Evangelist (issn 0747-4288) is pub- 
lished monlhly (except July and August issues are 
combined) by The Brethren Church, Inc., 524 
College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 (telephone: 
419-289-1708; e-mail: Brethrench@aol.com; fax: 419- 
281-0450). Authors' views are not necessarily those 
of The Brethren Church. Editor: Richard C. Win- 
field. Subscription rales: Sent free to Brethren 
Church members; $14.50 per year to others. Mem- 
ber: Evangelical Press Association. Second Class 
Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio. Postmaster: Send 
address changes to The Brethren Church, 524 
College Avenue, Ashland, OH 44805-3792. 



ship, the Youth program flourished. 
In November 1948 The Brethren 
Youth magazine was begun. This 
magazine, though it has undergone 
many changes since then, contin- 
ues today as The Morning Star. 

Local youth groups began to grow. 
Youth teams were formed and sent 
out during the summer to work at 
various churches and camps. This 
program has likewise survived the 
years, adapting to fit the needs of 
the times. It became known as the 
Summer Crusader program and 
presently is called the Summer Min- 
istries program. National Youth Con- 
ference became an annual event, 
which young people throughout the 
denomination looked forward to. 
The Brethren Youth organization 
was well on its way. 

In 1951 the Brethren Youth or- 
ganization became know as Breth- 
ren Youth Crusaders (BYC), a name 
that stuck until 1990. By 1953, when 
Clarence 
Stogsdill re- 
placed Charles 
Munson as 
National 
Youth Direc- 
tor, Brethren 
Youth had be- 
come an inte- 
gral and up- 
lifting part of 
the struggling 
Brethren 
Church. Evangelist Editor St. 
Clair Bens ho ff wrote in 1953: 

No one can doubt, in the least, the 
worthiness and the value of Breth- 
ren Youth. . . . The record of amaz- 
ing projects, of increased youth 
attendances at our Conferences, 
and the dedication of youth to 
Christian service, speaks for itself. 

We see, in 1953, in Brethren Youth, 
an organization that has proved it- 




Clarence Stogsdill 



self in the Brethren Church. From 
a humble beginning 8 years ago, it 
has come today to a status of 
achievement which speaks well for 
the faith, vision and purpose of its 
founders and workers. 

Brethren Youth in 1953, in serv- 
ice, encouragements and accomplish- 
ments, is giving more to the Brethren 
Church than it is getting from it. 

In 1956 Phil Lersch took over the 
reins of the Brethren Youth pro- 
gram, and 
for the 
next four 
years he 
continued 
the tradi- 
tion of 
excellence 
started by 
the foun- 
ders. By 
1960 the 
Brethren 



t h 



NfcW NATIONAL YOUTH RM6CTOH 




R.overcnd ?*hil Ler;ch 



You 

program had expanded to include 
youth rallies, retreats, the Breth- 
ren Youth maga- 
zine, district and 
national youth 
conferences, Life 
Work Recruits, 
Summer Crusad- 
ers, and the Am- 
bassador Quartet. 
In 1960 a new 
name,"Billy Booth 
of Brethren 

Youth" — other- 
wise known as 
National Breth- 
ren Youth Direc- 
tor Marlin McCann — became asso- 
ciated with the organization. * Under 

*Editor's note: The character "Billy Booth, 
The Brethren Youth" was actually introduced 
in 1956. Marlin McCann became National 
Youth Director in 1960. 




Billy Booth, 
The Brethren Youth 



Pontius' Puddle 



WE^CIEHTlSTS ARE CKMMG-TO 
SPEND fctHLUOM D©LLM*S 

.search ttf<v t=o«. l\pe powjason 

rAARS XrtftT HAVE LONCr -SlUCE. 
SEEN POSSIU7.ED ANO tKlACTWE. 




REALLV? POP TEM BOGK.S 
I'LL SHOW VOO TH£ SAttE" 
f HINO OM THE BACK. C*EW 




The Brethren Evangelist 




Mtirlifl MtCann 
Now BreHiim Youtn JHreelor 



Brother 
McCann's 
leadership, 
with the 
help of 
secretary 
Beverly 
S u m m y , 
who later 
became di- 
rector, the 
youth pro- 
gram con- 
tinued its 
rapid growth and progress. Sum- 
mer Crusader teams were sent to 
Lost Creek, Ky., and the Brethren's 
Home in Flora, Ind., as well as to 
churches and camps across the 
country. The first all-girls' music 
team was sent out and the Ambas- 
sador Quartet continued. 

In 1966 the Brethren Youth Board 
and the Sunday School Board merged 
to form the Board of Christian Edu- 
cation. Then in 1967, Fred Burkey 
began eleven years of service as the 
Director of Christian Education. In 
the following years, a new constitu- 
tion and by-laws were written and 
accepted. An extensive Summer 
Crusader program was developed, 
which included music, camp, vaca- 
tion Bible school, missions, and 
Bible ministries teams. A musical — 
Discovery — was produced and per- 
formed at the Youth Conference. In 
1970 a National BYC Council was 
formed to increase organizational 
strength and communication. 
Council today continues to link the 
districts and make decisions for the 
Brethren Youth. 

In 1976 a new Brethren Youth 
logo (see next column) was created, 
which symbolized the new thrust 
for the young people and their na- 
tional organization. This logo char- 
acterized the 
boldness, 
growth, and 
unity generated 
by the Brethren 
Youth at that 
time. 

Throughout 
the remainder 
of the 70s and 
the 80s, under 
the leadership 
of Charlie Beek- 
ley, the Breth- 

November 1996 



ren Youth program continued to 
thrive. Summer Crusaders were 
sent all over the country. The 
Brethren Youth Convention became 
an annual highlight for youth. With 
memories of 'The Big Red Ball," 
Bible quizzes, and "Anything Goes," 
youth who attended would not soon 
forget these conventions. 

In 1990 the Brethren Youth pro- 
gram once again underwent major 
changes. With the merger of the 
various boards into one denomina- 
tional organization, responsibility 
for the youth ministry came under 
the leadership of Ron Waters, the 
Director of Brethren Church Minis- 
tries. The name of the youth pro- 
gram was changed from Brethren 



A \ NATIONAL 



Egg 

Qren YOUTH CRUS& 




Past and present Brethren Youth logos. 

Youth Crusaders (BYC) to Breth- 
ren Youth In Christ (BYIC). And 
instead of electing national officers, 
as in the past, the youth began choos- 
ing seven BYIC members to form a 
national BYIC Steering Committee. 
This committee took on more re- 
sponsibility for the planning and 
programming of youth activities. A 
new Covenant was written, and the 
old Constitution was discarded in 
favor of a Statement of Structure. 

The new design of the youth pro- 
gram allowed for more fellowship 
time at Convention, as Steering 
Committee and Council took over 
most of the business matters. Con- 
ventions now included concerts by 
well-known Christian artist, excit- 
ing praise and worship serves, and 
more time to spend sharing with 
friends or one-on-one with God. 



As The Brethren Church experi- 
enced more change in the early 90s, 
the youth program once again 
shone through the confusion. Reg- 
istration numbers increased every 
year, ingathering skyrocketed to 
the point that the youth could give 
money back to the adults, and 
those who had been leaders in the 
youth began to prove themselves as 
leaders in the church as a whole. 
These people became important fig- 
ures on the mission fields and as 
pastors, youth leaders, and Chris- 
tian business men and women. 

The Summer Crusader program 
had to be adapted to fit the needs of 
young people and the churches. Be- 
coming the Summer Ministries pro- 
gram, it now includes District Cru- 
saders, Missions Teams, and Young 
Adult Ministry Interns. The Breth- 
ren Youth program, as it always 
has, continues today to train young 
people to do the Lord's work. 

The past 50 years of Brethren 
Youth have proved that in order to 
have a strong 
church tomor- 
row, there must 
be a strong 
youth program 
today. The 

years have 

shown us how 
much the youth 
can accomplish — with the right at- 
titude. As Brother Munson said in 
his speech 50 years ago: 

There is a bright future for our church, 
but it depends on our attitude now. 
. . . Brethren Youth challenges us to 
manifest a hope and a courage and 
a faith in our own church. [ft] 

Copies of the Brethren Youth video that 
was shown at Conference will soon be 
available for purchase. Price and order 
information will be announced later. 





Throughout the 50-year history of Brethren Youth, the Summer Crusader/Summer Ministries pro- 
gram has been an important part of both Brethren Youth and The Brethren Church. Some of the 
hundreds of Crusader alumni are shown in this picture, taken at the 1979 General Conference.. 



Brethren Home Missions 



More Than Gold in Tracy, Calif 



By Reilly R. Smith 



MORE THAN GOLD is an out- 
reach program that was de- 
veloped by Sports Outreach Amer- 
ica for use at the 1996 Summer 
Olympic Games in Atlanta. It was 
designed to be a powerful, easy-to- 
use program that Christians could 
use in their evangelism efforts at 
the Olympics and that local churches 
across the United States could use 
to reach out to their communities. 
Several pieces of literature were 
used to assist in the process. One of 
these, An Interactive Pocket Guide 
(Dime Publishers), described each 
of the Olympic events and the lead- 
ing competitors in that event, and 
provided a place to record the ac- 
tual medalists. The Guide also in- 
cluded a presentation of the gospel 
in the middle of the booklet. 

The International Bible Society 
developed a tract, More Than Gold, 
that included the testimonies of the 
best Christian athletes in the world. 
The Society also developed a spe- 
cial More Than Gold edition of the 
New International Version of the 
New Testament. Olympic evangel- 
ists used Sports Spectrum Chris- 
tian magazine, too. 

Outreach through sports 

When Rev. Archie Nevins, pastor 
of the West Valley Brethren Life 
Church in Tracy, California,* saw the 
material for More Than Gold, he 
knew it would be useful in his work. 
As part of the outreach strategy for 
planting the West Valley Church, 
Pastor Nevins works with the City 
of Tracy recreation commission. He 
and leaders from his congregation 
directed flag football, basketball, 
and other athletic programs for 
children, youth, and adults during 
the 1995-96 school year. Pastor 
Nevins planned to use a summer 
Olympics as part of the summer 
program. More Than Gold dove- 
tailed beautifully into that plan. 

Pastor Nevins preached a special 
series of sermons that started about 

*Tracy is located about 60 miles directly 
east of San Fancisco. It is the third fastest- 
growing area in the State of California. 



six weeks 
before the 
Tracy 
Olympics 
and that 
continued 
for about 
six weeks 
after the 
event. The 
series tied 
principles of 
sportsman- 
ship to the 
fruit of the 




Pastor Archie Nevins 



Spirit. His messages 
spoke of winning, building teamwork, 
playing with passion, etc. Pastor 
Nevins worked towards helping 
people to see, desire, and acquire 
the necessary skills to begin living 
victoriously and to win the final race. 
West Valley members distributed 
over 25,000 pieces of More Than 



Gold literature in Tracy. They sent 
them by direct mail to their pros- 
pect list from last year's mass 
media outreach event, and they 
passed out brochures and fliers at 
the Tracy Bean Festival. They also 
handed out a More Than Gold tract 
and Sports Spectrum magazine to 
every athlete who participated in 
the Tracy Olympics, and to many of 
the spectators as well. They even 
went door-to-door in their neighbor- 
hoods handing out literature. 

Creating interest 

In addition, Pastor Nevins sent 
news releases to newspapers and to 
radio and television stations. He was 
also interviewed by a television 
newscaster. The West Valley Church 
purchased newspaper ads, too. 
Olympic news created enormous 
interest in the church. As a result, 
West Valley Brethren Life Church 
received new visitors every week 
from the beginning of the outreach. 

Seven local sponsors paid for the 
entire event, so that the West Val- 
ley Church would not be burdened 



A New Era 
of Church Planting 

IN SEPTEMBER, Brethren Mis- 
sions entered a new era of 
church planting (starting new 
churches). With the assistance of 
Dynamic Church Planting Interna- 
tional of San Diego, Calif., we are 
creating a new paradigm for plant- 
ing churches. Rev Paul Becker, 
president of the organization, will 
serve as our chief consultant. 

Over the next five years, Dynamic 
Church Planting (DCPI) will help 
us create an atmosphere for church 
planting through conferences, con- 
sultations, and regional forums. 
DCPI will also help us: 

• recruit, assess, train, and men- 
tor church planters; 

• develop a network of trained 
mentors; 

• recruit, train, and encourage 
churches to mother new congre- 
gations; 

• identify and train a director of 
church planting for Brethren 
Missions; 

• plant ten new, reproducing, 
Brethren churches. 

Dynamic Church Planting Inter- 




Rev. Paul Becker 



national is a 
team of ex- 
perienced 
church plant- 
ers, mentors, 
and special- 
ists. The team 
has had 

hands on ex- 
perience in 
church plant- 
ing and 
church ministry. Each team mem- 
ber has a heart for church-planting 
leaders and reflects our values of 
Christ-centered Bible teaching, 
compassion, reproductive training, 
cooperation, evangelism and disci- 
pleship, multiplication, and loyalty. 
Paul Becker has planted four 
churches. He also directed a re- 
gional association in planting 16 
additional new churches — in four 
years. He joined the staff of 
Church Dynamics (part of Campus 
Crusade) and founded the church 
planting division. This division 
later became the separate entity: 
Dynamic Church Planting Interna- 
tional. Paul also wrote the manual, 
Dynamic Church Planting: A Com- 
plete Handbook, which we will use 
for planting churches. [ft] 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Brethren Home Missions 



with this expense. The Brethren 
churches in Manteca and Stockton 
were two of the sponsors. Four other 
Christian-run businesses, three 
with Brethren connections, also 
contributed. The seventh sponsor 
was Ritz Camera, part of a national 
chain. Thank God for the sponsors 
and their commitment to the people 
of Tracy. 

The Tracy Olympics included 
children's track and field events, 
volleyball, and flag football. In ad- 
dition to the competition, each event 
featured a Christian testimony. 
Most events also included devotion- 
al times, which were conducted at 
half-time, between games, or at some 
other convenient stopping point. 

Awards were presented and clos- 
ing ceremonies were conducted at a 
wrap-up brunch, which was held 
during worship time on a Sunday 
morning. When the special speaker 
failed to attend, Pastor Nevins pinch 
hit for him. The West Valley Church 
gave special Bibles from the Ameri- 
can Bible Society to ten of the ath- 
letes who attended this event. 

A second wrap-up was also held, 
with Darin Jordan of the San Fran- 
cisco 49ers as the speaker. Jordan 
brought an autographed team ball 
to this wrap-up, which was given to 
one of the lucky visitors. 

Seeing results 

Pastor Nevins reports that more 
than 400 athletes and spectators 
participated in the Tracy Olympics. 
The congregation was a little disap- 
pointed that this number was not 
greater, but they are rejoicing in 
the number of visitors who have at- 
tended the church (at least one 
family every week since July). The 
visitors have all said that it was the 
Olympic materials that drew them 
to West Valley Brethren Life Church. 

Two families have joined the 
church because of the Olympics, 
and three more families are consid- 
ering joining. In addition, one man 
received Christ at the end of the 
Olympics! 

Both the City of Tracy and West 
Valley Brethren Life Church want 
to hold an Olympics again next 
summer. Praise God! [ft] 

Rev. Smith serves as director of Mis- 
sionary Ministries for The Brethren 
Church. 




I AM Pastor Thomas John (T.J.) 
McLaughlin. This is my wife, 
Judy, and our two daughters, Traci 
(r.) and Tricia. We are new church 
planters in the Pennsylvania Dis- 
trict. I say we because the entire 
family is involved in this ministry. 

Following three years at Ashland 
Theological Seminary, I graduated 
this past May with a Master of 
Divinity degree. After much soul- 
searching and intense prayer, I re- 
signed as co-pastor of the Fremont, 
Ohio, Brethren Church. It was not 
an easy decision, but a necessary 
one. It meant leaving behind a 
church family that we loved dearly 
and also our partners in ministry, Ed 
and Marcia Miller. Then we moved 
back to Pennsylvania to accept a new 
call — starting a new Brethren church 
in Cranberry Township (located in 
western Pennsylvania, about 15 
miles north of Pittsburgh. 

Let me take a moment to tell you 
about our ministry for the next year. 
The first part of our journey will be 
to share our vision with as many 
Brethren churches as possible. We 
are focusing primarily on churches 
in the Pennsylvania District. We are 
assembling a team of prayer and 
financial supporters to join with us 
in the ministry at Cranberry. The 
response thus far has been encour- 
aging. 

We will spend the next year build- 
ing the core of this new church. We 
intend for the core group to be made 
up mostly of new believers. We hope 
to have many opportunities to lead 
people to Christ. We are also aware 
of several Brethren people in the 
area. Two families are currently 



praying about coming on board with 
the ministry. Praise God! 

We will launch the new church 
with our first public worship service 
after the core is developed — some- 
time after September 1997. In the 
meantime, our greatest need is to 
find workers who will be involved in 
starting this new church. The next 
great need will be to identify and 
train leaders for the new church. 

After a very busy summer, Judy, 
the girls, and I are finally getting 
settled in Cranberry. I spent the 
month of September studying the 
socio-economic groups living in this 
area. I am trying to identify their 
wants and needs. 

The main thrust of our ministry in 
the Cranberry area will be in reach- 
ing the lost. Our demographic stud- 
ies indicated that 35 to 40 percent of 
the population of this area do not 
have any faith involvement. But 
after living in the area for the past 
three months, I believe that the per- 
centage is even higher. I estimate 
that there are 15,000 people living 
within a five-mile radius of where we 
live who are not involved in a church. 
God has given us a tremendous op- 
portunity to share His love by start- 
ing a new Brethren church. 

I know no greater joy than sharing 
Jesus Christ with nonbelievers. 
Brethren Missions is committed to 
making disciples of Jesus Christ in 
the United States and around the 
world. Starting new churches is one 
very effective way to do it. You can 
become part of the team by support- 
ing or becoming involved in this min- 
istry. Why not ask God what you 
should do? [ft] 



November 1996 



A Prayer of Thanks 

Oh, Lord, I thank you for the privilege 
and gift of living in a world filled with 
beauty and excitement and variety. 

I thank you for the gift of loving and 
being loved, for the friendliness and un- 
derstanding and beauty of the animals on 
, the farm and in the forest and marshes, 
for the green of the trees, the sound of a .*«£§ 
waterfall, the darting beauty of the trout in 
the brook. 

I thank you for the delights of music 

and children, of other men's thoughts and 

conversation and their books to read by 

the fireside or in bed with the rain falling 

on the roof or the snow blowing past 

outside the window. 

LOUIS BROMFIELD 



An unusual opportunity 
for Christian service 

Opportunities for full-time Chris- 
tian service come in many forms, 
not just the traditional ones — pas- 
tor, missionary, Christian teacher, 
or denominational worker. 

One such opportunity is now 
available at the Brethren Retreat 
Center in Shipshewana, Ind. It's 
for a food service director. 

The Brethren Retreat Center is a 
year-round ministry that serves 
nearly 2,500 guests a year, includ- 
ing six summer camps, Indiana Dis- 
trict Conference, the Golden Age 
Retreat, and many other retreats 
and gatherings. Providing meals for 
these groups is an indispensable 
part of the ministry of the Center. 



The position of food service direc- 
tor requires a people-oriented per- 
son with culinary arts training and 
experience, administrative experi- 
ence, and supervisory skills. Respon- 
sibilities include menu-planning, 
food-preparation, purchasing, 
maintaining sanitation routines, 
and presenting ways of improving 
the food service. 

A full-time, year-round person is 
preferred, but the Center would be 
willing to consider an individual 
who would assist on a short-term 
basis (January-March). If you be- 
lieve that God might be calling you 
to this kind of ministry, call the 
Retreat Center Director, Rick 
Miller, at 219-768-4519 for more 
information about this full-time 
Christian service opportunity. 



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!H*1II \ 



New 

video 

tells 

story 

of Brethren beginnings 

By Water and the Word (The 
Birth of the Brethren) is a new 
video produced by the Church of 
the Brethren that should find wide 
use in The Brethren Church. 

The 25-minute video recounts the 
birth of the Brethren movement in 
Europe in the early 1700s. It por- 
trays how early members sought a 
vibrant spirituality and a visible 
community of Christ's followers. 

Views of historic Brethren sites 
in Europe, colored drawings, re- 
enactments, comments by Breth- 
ren historians (including Dr. Dale 
Stoffer from our denomination), 
quotations from Alexander Mack 
and Alexander Mack, Jr., and a 
running narration tell the story of 
the early Brethren. The video is 
very well done. 

Topics covered include Anabap- 
tist and Pietist influences on the 
Brethren, the religious situation 
at the time, Alexander Mack and 
his family, early Brethren bap- 
tisms, growth of the Brethren, 
counting the cost, persecution, the 
place of women, seeking refuge in 
the Netherlands, and migrations 
to America in 1719 and 1729. 

The video would be useful in 
Sunday school classes (junior high 
through adult), membership and 
welcome classes, an evening wor- 
ship service, or for individual 
viewing. A study guide amplifies 
some of the points in the video and 
asks question to help viewers re- 
late the truths of the video to the 
church today and to their individ- 
ual Christian lives. 

The video can be purchased for 
$19.95 plus postage and handling 
from the customer service depart- 
ment of the Church of the Breth- 
ren offices (1-800-441-3712). Or it 
can be borrowed from the Breth- 
ren Church National Office in 
Ashland (419-289-1708). 



The Brethren Evangelist 



ITie 'Women's OutCoof^9{ezasCetter 

A publication of the brethren 'Women's Missionary Society 




November-December 1996 



Volume 10, Number 2 




"The 

(President s 
Ten 

Dear Ladies, 

The beautiful fall season is going 
so quickly. It's Thanksgiving and 
Christmas time and it seems as 
though I just put away all the 
decorations! I trust you had a good 
summer, with some time to rest 
and relax. 

Have you ever felt as though your 
burdens were more than you could 
carry? While cleaning out my desk 
the other day, I found a story I 
kept from one of the Daily Bread 
booklets. "The story is told of a 
man shopping in a grocery store. 
He was followed closely by his 
small son. The boy was carrying a 
large basket, and the father was 
loading it with one item after an- 
other. He put in canned goods, 
sugar, flour, meat, and a variety of 
vegetables. A customer who was 
watching began to feel sorry for 
the struggling youngster. Walking 
up behind him, she said quietly, 
'That's a heavy load for a little 
chap like you to carry, isn't it?' The 
boy turned to her as if surprised 
that anyone needed to be told. 
Then he smiled patiently and said, 
'Oh, don't worry. My dad knows 
how much I can carry!' " 

God is concerned about our frail- 
ties. He made us, so He knows our 
weaknesses. The Lord cares for us 
when we are overwhelmed by our 
burdens. When we prayerfully look 
to Him in our troubles, He will 
never allow our burdens to become 
(continued on page 4) 



PARTNERS IN THE GOSPEL 

Devotions presented by Carolyn Brandon, August 8, 1996 

Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; 
help us to spend them as we should. 

Psalm 90:12, TLB 



Dear Father, 

Help us not to become discour- 
aged, but to keep on persevering. 

Amen. 

Our conference theme is "Part- 
ners in the Gospel." In our pre- 
vious devotions, we prayed for the 
Holy Spirit to fill us with the 
POWER to fulfill the Great Com- 
mission. Without the Holy Spirit in 
our lives, we will be ineffective wit- 
nesses. 

Please turn to Deuteronomy 33: 
25b-27. We read in the blessing 
Moses gave the people of Israel be- 
fore his death, ". . . may your 
strength match the length of your 
days! There is none like the God of 
Jerusalem — He descends from the 
heavens In majestic splendor to 
help you. The eternal God is your 
Refuge, And underneath are the 
everlasting arms." 

In verse 12 of the only Psalm 
that Moses authored (Psalm 90), 
we read, Teach us to number our 
days and recognize how few they 
are; help us to spend them as we 
should." 

We want to be doing God's work 
as long as we have the strength to 
do it. God says He will match our 
strength with the length of our 




days. His promises never fail, so 
let's get busy. We all have neigh- 
bors, friends, and family members 
who are unsaved. Whom do you 
know who are unsaved, and are you 
praying for them? What can you 
and I do about it? 

First, we must be women of prayer. 
We only accomplish as much for 
God as we spend time in interces- 
sory prayer for that person's soul. 
We need to be bold, not afraid to 
give our personal testimony to the 
lost. What Jesus has done for us 
and in us has a great impact on a 
nonbeliever. Write your testimony 
on paper, read it over and over, get 
very familiar with it, then share it 
when the Holy Spirit gives you an 
opportunity. Leading a soul to Jesus 
Christ is so rewarding! With the 
Holy Spirit as our partner, we can 
make a difference. People need the 
Lord. 

Do we understand our mortal 
condition? Again in Psalm 90, in 
verses 3-11, Moses describes living 
wisely. We need to come to grips 
with our own mortality and the 
mortality of others. We must be 
keenly aware of both sinfulness 
and God's displeasure over sin. As 
wise Christians, we know our 
Creator (Psalm 90:1-2). God is in- 
finite, eternal, and holy. He is a 
compassionate Creator who does 
good things for His frail creatures. 
He wants everyone to hear and re- 
spond to His call, as we are part- 
ners in the Gospel. Let's not take 
for granted the time we have left 
here on this earth. Only when we 
(continued on page 3) 



NATIONAL 
BIBLE WEEK 

November 24-30, 1996 

Thanksgiving Week is also Na- 
tional Bible Week, a designation 
since 1969. No matter which presi- 
dential nominee was elected, he, 
his Cabinet, and we as citizens 
need to hearken to the words in 
2 Chronicles 7:14: "If my people, 
who are called by my name, will 
humble themselves, and pray, and 
seek my face and turn from their 
wicked ways, then will I hear from 
heaven and will forgive their sin 
and will heal their land." 

God in heaven is willing to help 
our nation, but notice what we 
must do: become humble, pray, 
seek Him, and turn from evil. The 
repetition of "and" in the verse 
adds emphasis. The way to turn 
from evil is to turn to God, and we 
do this through daily commitment 
to Him. Jesus said that we should 
take up our cross daily and follow 
Him (Luke 9:23). 

Encourage your family members 
and friends to begin a regular con- 
versation with and daily commit- 
ment to God. National Bible Week 
is a good time to begin. 

God encourages us to talk with 
Him, and, for many, Bible reading 
(God talking to us) and prayer (our 
talking to God) are companions — 
they belong together. The following 
anonymous story was in a spring 
issue of the newsletter from the 
Garber Brethren Church. 

"Have you ever discovered that 
you're neglecting someone for whom 
you should be praying? A Chris- 
tian woman worked out her solu- 
tion to this problem. Holding up 
her left hand, the woman ex- 
plained: When I'm ready to pray, I 
look at my hand. I notice that my 
thumb is the finger closest to me. 
This reminds me to pray for those 
near me — my family, my friends, 
my neighbors.' Pointing to her in- 
dex finger, she added: 'My teachers 
used to point at us in school. Some- 
times the preacher points at us, so 



as I come to this finger, I pray for 
my teachers, the preachers, and 
others who have been my guides. 
My middle finger is my largest 
one. It stands above the others. 
This brings to mind the rulers of 
our country, the officials of our 
city. So I pray for them. The next 
finger is called the weak finger. 
When I come to it, I think of the 
weak, the sick, those who are poor 
and need help. I ask God to help 
them.' Coming to her little finger, 
she concluded: 'Last is my little 
finger. This stands for me. I finish 
praying for myself and the things I 
need.' " 

There are many patterns for 
prayer, and I like this one. 



t**^ 1 



This year's quilt auction at Gen- 
eral Conference raised $1,000 for 
the new church building in Penang, 
Malaysia. Special thanks go to the 
ladies who so diligently quilted dur- 
ing Conference week to get the quilt 
done. And very special thanks to 
Tom McConahay, the auctioneer. 
He makes it fun! 

Thanks also to everyone who 
donated items for the auction — 
Precious Moments squares from 
Milledgeville and quilted by the 
Linwood ladies, and personal 
items contributed — I really appre- 
ciate all of you. 

As is usual after Conference, I 
am very low on quilt squares. 
Again, here are the guidelines for 
the squares. 

(1) Use all cotton fabric. Please 
be sure that the finished size is at 
least 8V2" with the design less 
than 8". 

(2) Make your designs needle- 
work (embroidery, cross-stitch, 
applique, pieced, etc.). Do not use 
fabric paints, etc. The needlework 
adds to the beauty of the finished 
projects. 

(3) Squares can be sent anytime 
to me at 9300 S. St. Rt. 3, Muncie, 
IN 43702. 

God bless all of you. 

Joan Merrill 

Sewing and 

World Relief Coordinator 



fk 'Manorum 

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the 
death of his saints. Psalm 116:15 

The lives of these sisters in 
Christ were remembered during 
the Memorial Service on Tuesday 
at General Conference: 





INDIANA 


Corinth 


Blanch Easter 


Flora 


Helen Henry 


Huntington 


Jenna Mae Paul 


South Bend 


Mary Porte 




Sylvia Powers 




Edna Taylor 


Warsaw 


Mabel Schaaf 


Mexico 


Irene Martin 



OHIO 

Newark Eileen Hughes 

Williamstown Eulala Tombaugh 

CENTRAL 
Cerro Gordo Georgianna Martin 
Hammond Ave. Wilma Bunn 

PENNSYLVANIA 
Brush Valley Edna Hooks 

Johnstown III Mary Blaugh 

Masontown Mae Chepes 

Main Street Anna Walker 

Mary Catherine Witt 
Dorothy Hornig 
Vinco Ora Smith 

SOUTHEASTERN 
Hagerstown Edith Cushen 

Maurertown Turzah Kohne 

Margaret Lantz 

MIDWEST 
Mulvane Mona Rattley 

At the conclusion of the reading 
of these names, Linda Immel read 
the poem "What Heaven Means to 
Me" by Helen Steiner Rice. 



THE WOMEN'S OUTLOOK 
NEWSLETTER 

Published bimonthly in January, 
March, May, July, September, and 
November by the Women's Missionary 
Society of The Brethren Church. 

Mrs. Dorman Ronk, Editor 
1325 Coachman Court 
Ashland, Ohio 44805 

Subscription price, $7.50 per year in 
advance. 

Send all subscriptions to Mrs. Robert 
Kroft, 608 Twp. Road 1151, RD 5, Ash- 
land, OH 44805. 

Women's Outlook Newsletter 



(District (Doings 



The No. 9 commitment reads 
"Evaluate your society's accomplish- 
ments and send your report to your 
district president." These reports 
are forwarded to me and, in turn, 
back to you. Here is a selected list 
of your accomplishments: 

Many, many serve meals for serv- 
ice organizations, funerals, election 
boards, and wedding receptions. 
Profits are used for diverse purposes. 

INDIANA 

Church-wide collection of new 
clothing for redistribution; adopt 
an older lady in the church; birth- 
day parties for nursing homes; 
make and sell blankets in school 
colors; earthly treasures/trash and 
treasure sales; baby showers for 
Right to Life and Birthright; donate 
toiletries to community outreach 
center; secret sisters from another 
society; honor an older lady in the 
church each month; give Christ- 
mas and Valentine plates to shut- 
ins; sponsor sewing days for com- 
munity centers, nursing homes, 
and overseas missions; secret 
prayer sisters within the society. 

SOUTHWEST 

Use profits from a rummage sale 
for missions and church needs; 
sponsor Christmas tea for all la- 
dies of the church. 

MIDWEST 

Sent 50 Spanish Bibles for Miguel 
and Sonia Antunez in Lima, Peru, 
and two cases of vitamins to the 
Kumars in India; clothing and schol- 
arship money to Riverside Chris- 
tian School in Kentucky. 

SOUTHEAST 

Monthly letters to shut-ins, ab- 
sent members, and anyone who 
needs encouragement; maintain 
the prayer chain; make palm 
crosses; joint picnic with another 
society; supplied Blessing Closet 
for Shepherd's Staff; gave a com- 
ical fashion show for Mother- 
Daughter program, "Festival of 
Fashion," following with devotions 
based upon God, the first creator 
of design and fashion; profits from 
candy-making to Malaysia. 

November-December 1996 



PENNSYLVANIA 

Made and sold 100 quarts of 
mincemeat; quilted several quilts; 
gave funds for a replacement win- 
dow in the church; started a Min- 
istry Student Fund for five pro- 
spective ministerial students for 
their books, materials, and other 
needs; supported Release Time in 
the public school with money and 
volunteers; supported pastor with 
a card shower; provided camp pay- 
ments for newly-formed youth 
group; regularly visit nursing 
homes with refreshments and boo- 
ties; sponsor an annual Christmas 
party for women and girls; pro- 
vided two sewing machines and 
thread for the girls' orphanage in 
India; supplies to Allen Baer; 
clothing to Kentucky. 

CENTRAL 

Organized, printed, and sold 
cookbooks; made and sold cherry 
pies; pack CARE boxes for college 
students' Valentines; sewed bags 
for nursing home walkers and 
wheelchairs; took Sunday school 
children to nursing homes for sing- 
ing and visits with the residents; 
sewed "ugly quilts" for the home- 
less shelter; revamped monthly 
meeting with business only quar- 
terly; monthly emphasis is devo- 
tional, missions, and an activity to 
meet either the needs of the 
women or the needs of the commu- 
nity; placed children's Christian 
books in town library; sewed lap 
robes and rolled bandages; distrib- 
uted Christmas and Easter gifts to 
shut-ins. 

OHIO 

Used a sunshine calendar in 
April; actively participated in 
Passing on the Promise program; 
mentored girls; held a bakeless 
bake sale — distributed an empty 
envelope and a tea bag, instructed 
each member to fix herself a cup of 
tea, rest, pray, then give! made 
fresh/pressed flower-framed pic- 
tures and sent some to home mis- 
sionaries; sponsored a toy party 
with toys sent to Lost Creek. 



CALIFORNIA 



Sponsored World Relief soup 
lunch and PHILMAPS choir 
(Philippino Medical Society). 



Partners in the Gospel 

(continued) 
are convinced of the brevity of life 
will our minds and hearts be turned 
toward eternal issues. Because life 
is short, we should value each min- 
ute and reach out to win the lost. 

This week, restructure your 
schedule so you can spend more 
time in prayer with your family. 
Take time to listen, to play together, 
to hug, and to say, "I love you." Take 
time to visit an unsaved neighbor. 



"Because life is short, we 
should value each minute 
and reach out to win the 
lost." 



Encourage your family to come 
to grips with these issues as well. 
Life is short; live it for Jesus; live 
wisely. 

Let us pray: 

Dear Heavenly Father, 

In Jesus' name I come. I have no 
power to change anyone. I ask for 
the Holy Spirit to give me boldness 
to share my testimony with the 
unsaved people I meet every day. 
Keep me humble, keep me honest, 
and help me to have a deep con- 
cern for eternal issues. 

If we don't have a testimony, give 
us one; whatever it takes, let us 
take up our cross and follow Jesus. 

When we meet next year, may 
we have many conversion reports 
to share. Oh, God, you are an awe- 
some God; I worship you; I praise 
you; I honor you. Fill me this day 
and all of my sisters in Christ, both 
here and at home, so we can wit- 
ness to the lost. 

In Jesus' name, Amen. 



3fcsswna?y 
^Miscellany 

November is Home Missions 
Month and emphasis is on Doran 
and Nancy Hostetler at the River- 
side Christian School in Lost Creek, 
Kentucky, and Phil and Jean 
Lersch in St. Petersburg, Florida. 
Bonnie Munson was the third 
member of the Brethren House 
team and now resides in Goshen, 
Indiana. Continue your prayers 
and greeting cards to all of them. 
They appreciate your encourage- 
ment and support. 

The December missionary couple 
is Mark and Chantal Logan, serv- 
ing in Djibouti. Their birthdays are 
in December. When you send notes, 
use your home address, not any 
church affiliation. They are teach- 
ing in a non-Christian country. 

National Project 

The national project is the pur- 
chase of a church site and building 
for the mission in Lima, Peru, 
where Miguel and Sonia Antunez 
and their son, Carlos, minister. 
The goal for this two-year project 
is $25,000. 




The President's Pen 

(continued) 

greater than we can carry. He un- 
derstands how much each of us 
can take. So, if you have heavy 
"burdens to bear," take them to the 
Lord. Psalm 103 tells us that He 
cares for us. 

How is your W.M.S. year going 
so far? Have you done anything 
different in your meetings? We 
talked about doing exciting meet- 
ings and making some changes. It 
would be great to share those things 



with other groups. Please write and 
let me know. 

We enjoyed having David and 
Jenny Loi in the states for their 
three-month furlough. We saw 
them often when they were in Ash- 
land, and I hope you had an oppor- 
tunity to hear them. The work in 
Malaysia is beginning to grow, and 
they need our prayers, as well as 
our financial support. 



My heavenly Father 
knows how much I 
can carry. 



Our W.M.S. project for last year 
and again this year is to purchase 
property in Peru, which will greatly 
help in the work there. India mis- 
sions continues to grow with the 
expansion of the boys' orphanage 
as well as in other areas. Word from 
the Ruggleses in Mexico shows 
that growth is happening there 
also. You as a W.M.S. member had 
a part in all of these projects. We 
need to continue to raise funds for 
our various projects and continue 
to pray for the missionaries who 
labor in the different countries. 

I trust you enjoyed Tracy Rug- 
gles's article in the Devotional Guide 
for the August meeting. It was 
very heart-warming. Pray for our 
missionaries and write to them. They 
love to hear from us. 

Here's an update on my health 
problems. I am writing this in Sep- 
tember and so far have had three 
chemo treatments. I had antici- 
pated six, but was told three would 
be sufficient. Surgery is scheduled 
for October 15, so when you read 
this, surgery will be all over. I am 
trusting in the Lord to keep me 
strong and have faith that every- 
thing will work out as He plans. I 
am looking forward to having all of 
our family home for the Christmas 
holidays. 

My sincere thanks to all of you 
for the beautiful encouragement 
cards and for all of your prayers. 
They mean so very much to me. 
God Bless You, 




The, Zliftr's Biduy 

Dear Friend, 

Thanks to all of you who have 
shared your ideas with all of us 
this year. We appreciate hearing 
from you, and your suggestions will 
be helpful to another. 

Use some of these ideas to 
change an ordinary year into an 
extraordinary year. 

One day when I was driving 
back to the office, I struggled with 
the thought of sending a thank-you 
note to one who had ministered with 
extra time and TLC to a mutual 
friend, or should I wait until I see 
her and personally thank her. Dur- 
ing that five-minute ride, the voice 
on the Moody radio station gave the 
Bible verse of the week, Proverbs 
3:27: "Do not withhold good from 
those who deserve it, when it is in 
your power to act." To me, that 
was God's affirmation that I 
should not hesitate any longer. I 
sent the card, and it arrived on her 
down day! 

I was reminded of the free trans- 
lation of the proverb, "Don't put off 
until tomorrow what you can do 
today. You might like it and can do 
it again!" This applies to our Com- 
mitment 10. In many cases, the 
only thing people need is encour- 
agement. 

Thanks for writing 

to me. I am 

always glad 

to receive your notes. 

I hope you have a joyous Christ- 
mas season. God's Gift to us is why 
it is joyous! And, of course, if we 
didn't have His Gift, we wouldn't 
have Christmas. Keep it holy. 

Your friend, 




fl*&~eL-^~ — ' 



Shirley 



Joan 

P.S. This is 8 days after Shirley's 
modified mastectomy. She sends a 
sincere thank you for all your 
prayers, cards, thoughts, calls, and 
visits. Every gesture has helped 
her recovery. Thanks to God for 
another miracle of healing. 

Women's Outlook Newsletter 



Standing together in the ashes 



By Samuel K. Atchison 



IN DECEMBER 1955, Robert 
Graetz was an idealistic 27-year- 
old minister, five months into his 
first pastorate. Like most young 
pastors, he, his wife, and their two 
children were adjusting to a new 
church, a new town, and a new en- 
vironment. 

An unpopular role 

But for the Graetz family, there 
was an additional complication: They 
were white, their congregation was 
black, and the town in which they 
had settled was Montgomery, Ala. 
Thus was the stage set for Graetz's 
role as the only white pastor involved 
in the Montgomery bus boycott. 

Considered the dawn of the mod- 
ern civil rights movement, the 
year-long boycott by local blacks of 
the city's segregated public transit 
system made household names of 
people like Martin Luther King, Jr., 
Ralph Abernathy, and Rosa Parks. 
It also served to alienate Graetz 
and his family from Montgomery's 
white community. 

"I got used to being called a 'nig- 
ger lover,' " he said during a recent 
telephone interview. Little wonder. 
Arriving in Montgomery in June 1955 
as the pastor of Trinity Lutheran 
Church, he enraged many whites 
by choosing to live in the church's 
parsonage in the black section of 
town. 

Yet the response of the white citi- 
zenry to his choice of residence was 
nothing compared to their reaction 
in December of that year when he 
endorsed the bus boycott — from the 
pulpit — and began chauffeuring 
members of his congregation to and 
from work. His home was bombed 
twice, as were the homes of King, 
Abernathy, and others. Several black 
churches were bombed as well. 

Forty years later, in the wake of a 
series of black church arsons, Graetz 
says that we still have not solved 
the basic social issue that paralyzes 
our nation. What he sees in the bomb- 
ings is "an expression of racism, not 
by an organized group, but by a 

November 1996 



series of individuals." The fact that 
most of the fires appear unrelated 
to each other makes addressing the 
problem "much harder to deal with, 
because you're dealing with the un- 
derlying layer of racism that really 
exists within everybody." 

In Graetz's opinion, the copycat 
nature of the arsons means that 
firebombing is currently in vogue 
with racists. "It's the thing to do," 
he says. 

Still, Graetz believes that today's 
arsonists constitute only a small 
fraction of the white community. 
The same was true, he says, of 
Montgomery 40 years ago. Most 
whites, he says, are not actively in- 
volved in racism; they're just not 
doing anything about it. As a re- 
sult, the nation is "facing the same 
kind of inertia among whites now, 
as we did then." 

Such inertia underscores the im- 
portance of actions taken recently 
by the Christian Coalition, the Na- 
tional Conference of Catholic Bish- 
ops, the American Jewish Commit- 
tee, and the National Council of 
Churches.* By publicly denouncing 
the arsons and raising funds to re- 
build the burned sanctuaries, these 
disparate faith communities are 
presenting a much-needed united 
front to the secular world. 

Building local bridges 

Yet, as Graetz suggests, public 
declarations and fund-raising ef- 
forts are important, but constitute 
only the first step toward racial rec- 
onciliation. Ultimately, bridges be- 
tween the races must be built at the 
local level. 

An article in the June 1996 issue 
of the Covenant Companion, the 
monthly journal of the Evangelical 
Covenant Church, provides a case 
in point. In "Meeting at the Wa- 
ters," Steve Duin, a member of a 
Covenant church in Portland, Ore., 

*Also by the National Association of Evan- 
gelicals, the National Black Evangelical As- 
sociation, and World Relief. See the box at 
the right. 



describes a worship service in which 
two racially disparate congregations 
in his community come together 
to celebrate their common faith 
through the sacrament of baptism. 
The baptismal service was the 
culmination of a relationship that 
had been established by the pastors 
of the two churches eight years ear- 
lier. In coming together, one of the 
pastors tells those gathered, "We 
have a bond that transcends time 
and transcends distance. . . . We 
are joining our voices with Chris- 
tians across the centuries. We are 
connecting with those who went 
through John in the river Jordan." 

A good place to start 

In other words, though their races 
are different, their faith is the same. 
Such was the message of Jesus to 
his disciples. "Love each other," he 
says in the Gospel of John, "as I 
have loved you." 

As we stand together in the ashes 
of ruined sanctuaries searching for 
an answer to the race problem, this 
kind of love between God's people 
might be a good place to start. [ft] 

Mr. Atchison is an ordained minister 
and has worked as a policy analyst 
and social worker to the homeless. He 
currently is a prison chaplain in Tren- 
ton, N.J. 

©1996 Religion News Service 



Helping Burned Churches 

World Relief of the National Asso- 
ciation of Evangelicals is helping two 
African-American congregations — 
Gay's Hill Baptist Church near Mil- 
len, Ga., and New Outreach Chris- 
tian Center in Charlotte, N.C. — 
whose buildings were burned in ar- 
son attacks within the past two years. 

In cooperation with the National 
Association of Evangelicals and the 
National Black Evangelical Associa- 
tion, World Relief is helping these 
churches rebuild or relocate and is 
working with them to strengthen their 
ministries to their communities. 

"By walking alongside these two 
churches as they go through the 
process of rebuilding their [build- 
ings] and ministry, we demonstrate 
Christ's love for the body of believers 
and the unity he desires of us," says 
Arne Bergstrom, World Reliefs Dis- 
aster Response Director. 

Additional churches may also be 
helped as funds premit. 



pd th e 





Emanuel "Buzz" Sandberg 
to direct transition process 

Ashland, Ohio — In early Octo- 
ber Dr. Emanuel "Buzz" Sandberg 
accepted a call to serve as Director 
of Transition 
and Interim 
Director of 
Congrega- 
tional Minis- 
tries for The 
Brethren 
Church. In 
this position 
he will help 
implement 
the organiza- 
tional struc- Emanuel "Buzz" Sandberg 
ture that was approved at General 
Conference in August. 

He brings to this position a wealth 
of administrative vision and back- 
ground as well as a love for the Lord. 
He is a member of the Linwood, 
Md., Brethren Church, and has at- 
tended the University Church since 
moving to Ashland last year. He is 
also an Ashland University trustee. 

Prior to his retirement in 1987, 
Sandberg served in various execu- 
tive level positions in the private 
and governmental sectors, with spe- 
cific experience in strategic plan- 
ning, research and development, and 
organizational management. From 
1984-87 he was president of Heri- 
tage Health Systems, Inc., a national 
health maintenance organization. 
From 1975-76 he was consultant to 
the Office of Health Maintenance 
Organizations of the U.S. Depart- 
ment of Health, Education and Wel- 
fare. He holds a Ph.D. degree from 
the University of Colorado. 

He and his wife, Elizabeth Ann, 
have 8 children and 11 grandchildren. 

8 



Indiana District Missions Fair 
provides a missions experience 



Shipshewana, Ind. — Brethren 
from the Indiana District trekked 
to the Brethren Retreat Center on 
a beautiful August day (Aug. 24) to 
see, hear, and taste missions at the 
district's annual Missions Fair. 

They got to see missions at the 
various mission displays. They also 
had the opportunity to see Breth- 
ren missionaries David and Jenny 
Loi and Allen Baer as well as for- 
mer missionaries Bob and Bea Bis- 
chof and Ray and Marilyn Aspinall, 
all of whom were special guests at 
the event. 

They got to hear missions in a 
report from John Howenstine and 
Jeff Estep of their trip to Juarz, 
Mexico, this past summer; by lis- 
tening to David and Jenny Loi, as 
they told of their work in Malaysia; 
any by receiving the greetings that 
Allen Baer brought from the Breth- 
ren in Argentina. 

They got to taste missions by 
sampling the ethnic foods provided 
by several of the district churches, 



foods that represented the countries 
where past and present Brethren 
missionaries have served. The coun- 
tries represented included Argen- 
tina, Colombia, Mexico, Malaysia, 
Nigeria, and the United States 
(Home Missions). 

Having seen, heard, and tasted 
missions, the Brethren were chal- 
lenged, in an inspiring message by 
Rev. Reilly Smith, Director of Mis- 
sionary Ministries for The Breth- 
ren Church, to keep missions in 
their hearts and minds. The Breth- 
ren even raised some money for mis- 
sions — more than a $1,000 in fact — 
at an auction at the fair. Half of 
this money was designated for the 
new church building in Malaysia, 
and the other half was designated 
for World Relief. 

The Indiana District challenges 
Brethren in other districts to see, 
hear, and taste missions at a mis- 
sions fair of their own. 

— reported by Cindy Hanson 
and Judy Eckerley 



Jefferson Church tries something new 
at recent Communion service 



Goshen, Ind. — Several months 
ago, some of the men from the 
Jefferson Brethren Church went 
to a Promise Keepers rally in 
Indianapolis. While they were 
there, they saw one of the speak- 
ers bring his wife onto the stage 
and wash her feet. They were so 
moved by this that they later 
asked if they could wash their 
wives' feet at Jefferson's Com- 
munion service. 

So at the fall Communion serv- 
ice, in addition to providing a 
feetwashing area for men and an 
area for women, several Sunday 
school rooms were equipped with 
basins and water where a mar- 
ried couple could go and wash 
one another's feet. 

Of the 110 people in attend- 
ance at the Communion service, 
approximately half elected to 



wash the feet of their spouse. 
Some parents first took their 
children to the men's or women's 
area, then returned and went 
with their spouse to one of the 
rooms for couples. 

During the testimony time that 
followed the feetwashing service, 
some very moving testimonies 
were given. This simple act of 
washing one another's feet drew 
husbands and wives closer to- 
gether and enabled them to take 
their marriages to a deeper spiri- 
tual level. Many of the couples 
took extra time in the rooms to 
pray together. 

According to Dr. Dan Lawson, 
pastor of the Jefferson Church, 
The Holy Spirit was felt in a pow- 
erful way [during the Commun- 
ion service], and church members 
are still talking about it." 



The Brethren Evangelist 



*g^3k 




Missionaries help with 
redecorating at Newark 

Newark, Ohio — When Brethren 
missionaries Rev. David and Jenny 
Loi visited the Newark Brethren 
Church in August, they did more 
than report on the progress of 
their mission work in Malaysia. 
They also helped with the redeco- 
rating of the Newark Church 
building. They were handed paint 
brushes and spent a long day 
painting clothes racks and trim in 
the hall of the building. 

With the help of the Lois, the 
Newark Brethren have nearly com- 
pleted a major renovation of their 
church building. The project has in- 
cluded removing the platform in 
the sanctuary and leveling the 
floor; taking out the pews and re- 
placing them with new chairs; put- 
ting down new carpet throughout 
the building; installing an air-con- 
ditioning unit donated by the Sec- 
ond Brethren Church of Johnstown, 
Pa.; painting most of the interior of 
the building; installing a new sound 
system that includes a wireless 
microphone and all new speakers; 
and painting the baptistery, includ- 
ing a mural at the back of the pool 



Thomas E. Sprowls ordained an elder 
September 29 at service in Medina 



Medina, Ohio — Thomas E. Sprowls, 
Jr., was ordained a Brethren elder 
and his wife, Deborah, was conse- 
crated as the wife of an elder at a 
service held 
Sunday morn- 
ing, September 
29, at the Liv- 
ing HOPE 
Brethren 
Church in 

Medina, where 
Rev. Sprowls is 
the pastor. 

Approximate- 
ly 50 people 
from the Berlin 
Pa., Brethren 
Church — Tom 
and Debbie's 
home congrega- 
tion — attended 
the service, 
most of them 




Rev. and Mrs. Thomas 




coming on a 
chartered bus. 
Among this number was the Berlin 
Church Bell Choir, which pre- 
sented special music at the begin- 
ning of the service. A number of 
visitors also attended from Ashland. 
Rev. Bryan Karchner, pastor of 
the Berlin Church, presented the 
message for the service and led the 
ordination ceremony. Rev. David 
Cooksey, Director of Pastoral Min- 
istries for The Brethren Church, and 
Rev. Dale Stoffer, associate pro- 
fessor of historical theology at 
Ashland Theological Seminary, 
assisted with the ceremony. 
Brethren elders Ronald W. 
Waters, Robert Holsinger, and 
Richard Winfield joined them 



David and Jenny Loi demonstrate their 
painting skills and their servant hearts. 

November 1996 



done by a Christian artist in 
memory of Eileen Hughes, a 
faithful member of the church 
who died this past spring. Ac- 
cording to Pastor Stephen Cole, 
the renovation of the building is 
designed to serve the church 
into the 21st century. The con- 
gregation plans to celebrate the 
completion of the project at its 
Homecoming on November 10. 
— reported by Pastor Stephen Cole 



for the laying-on-of-hands and 

prayers for the couple. 
Tom's dad, Thomas, Sr., who is 

moderator of the Berlin congrega- 
tion, traced 
some of the 
events that led 
to his son's call 
and ordination. 
Other partici- 
pants in the 
worship service 
included Diana 
Combs of Medi- 
na, who gave a 
welcome and 
announcements; 
the HOPE 

Band, which led 
the times of 
praise and wor- 
ship; Martie 
Sprowls, sister- 
in-law of Tom 

and Debbie, 
Sprowls, Jr., and Luke. who gang . and 

Jeff Combs, who also sang. 

A dinner was served for all in at- 
tendance following the service. 

Tom was born in Washington, 
Pa., and grew up in Berlin, where 
he became a member of the Berlin 
Brethren Church at an early age. 
He is a 1983 graduate of Indiana 
University of Pennsylvania, and 
from 1983 to 1991 he served as an 
officer in the U.S. Army. While in 
the military, he committed himself 
to the Lord's service, and in 1992 he 
entered Ashland Theological Sem- 
inary, from which he received a 
Master of Divinity degree in May 
1995. In 1994 he was called to serve 
as the church-planting pastor of a 
new church in Medina, Ohio, which 
held its first service in November of 
that year. This Home Mission con- 
gregation currently averages 
around 40 in attendance. 

Like her husband, Debbie grew 
up in Berlin and in the Berlin 
Brethren Church. She is a gradu- 
ate of Penn State University. Tom 
and Debbie were married Decem- 
ber 19, 1992, and they have one 
child, Luke Thomas, born February 
16, 1996. 







Centennial celebration planned 

The New Paris, Ind., First Breth- 
ren Church will celebrate its 100th 
year of ministry in the New Paris 
community on Sunday, November 24. 
Dr. Charles Munson will be the guest 
speaker for the 10:00 a.m. worship 
service. A carry-in dinner will follow, 
with the celebration continuing after 
the dinner with a musical program 
by Tab Beachler. All former pastors, 
members, and friends are invited to 
come and celebrate with the New 
Paris congregation. 



Thomas A. Smith ordained June 16 
at Muncie First Brethren Church 



Muncie, Ind. — Thomas A. Smith 
was ordained an elder in The Breth- 
ren Church and his wife, Paige, was 
consecrated as the wife of an elder 
in a service held June 16 at the 
First Brethren Church of Muncie, 
where Rev. Smith serves as pastor. 

Rev. Gene Eckerley, Indiana Dis- 
trict Elder, gave the message for 
the service. Other Brethren elders 
participating in the service were 
David Cooksey, Director of Pas- 
toral Ministries for The Brethren 
Church, and pastors Rev. Jim 
Miller and Rev. Jim Thomas. 

Deacon Wayne Smith read the 
action of the Muncie Church calling 




Do you recognize 
this man? 

If not, let me give you a couple of 
hints. 

He is a Brethren missionary. 

He serves in Mexico. 

His wife's name is Tracy. 

By now you probably know that 
this is Todd Ruggles. 

If you are surprised that you 
didn't recognize Todd, it's probably 
because you have never seen him 
without a mustache and beard (and 
perhaps not even without glasses). 
Until recently, even Tracy, had 
only seen him beardless once, and 
never without a mustache. 

So why the clean-shaven look? Is 
it because of the heat in Mexico 
City? No, it's "for the sake of the 
gospel," to quote the Apostle Paul. 

David, a Mexican teenager, kept 



asking Todd when he was going to 
shave off his beard. Todd finally 
told him, The day that you finally 
break down and accept Jesus, I'll 
shave my beard!" Todd made it 
clear to David that his conversion 
had to be sincere — that he couldn't 
accept Christ just to get Todd to 
shave his beard or because of the 
Christian girl he was dating. 

Praise the Lord, around the first 
of July David made a profession of 
faith in Christ! So off came Todd's 
beard (and the mustache as well). 
Aside from this picture, we may 
never actually see Todd without fa- 
cial hair, however, for he immedi- 
ately left his beard grow back. 

Perhaps next to be shaved off 
will be Todd's hair (although he 
says he's loosing it fast enough as 
is). Todd told the Mexican young 
people that if they could succeed in 
raising attendance at their youth 
group to 25 before December 31, 
1996, he would shave his head. 

He's not too worried that they 
will achieve this goal, for the rules 
are that the young people have to 
accept Jesus Christ and attend 
studies regularly. Even so, Todd 
says, 'They may still achieve that 
goal. God has a great sense of hu- 
mor, and He may just do it to make 
me walk around baldheaded." To 
which he adds, "I hope so!" We, like- 
wise, hope that after the first of the 
year, we will have a picture of a 
baldheaded missionary to print in 
the Evangelist! 




Pastor Smith I 
to ministry. 
Eugene Bell 
presented 
special music, 
and Darlene 
Moorehead 
played the 
prelude and 
postlude. 

Born July 
30, 1950, in 
Knox, Ind., Elder Tom Smith 

Rev. Smith is a graduate of LaPorte, 
Ind., High School, attended Ball State 
University and Bethel Bible College, 
and is a 1995 graduate of Ashland 
Theological Seminary (with a Mas- 
ter of Divinity degree). 

He was licensed for ministry in 
the United Brethren Church in 1985. 
In 1989 he became pastor of the 
Denver, Ind., First Brethren Church, 
where he served for two years. 
While in seminary, he pastored the 
Albion St. John's Community Bible 
Church in Albion, Ohio. Following 
his graduation from seminary, he 
became pastor of the Muncie First 
Brethren Church in July 1995. 

Mrs. Smith, the former Paige C. 
Binns, was born in Lansing, Mich. 
She attended Taylor University in 




10 



Rev. David Cooksey (I.) gives the dec- 
laration of authority as an elder to Rev. 
Tom Smith, as Paige Smith looks on. 

Upland, Ind. The Smiths have four 
children, Jennifer (23), Thomas II 
(16), Joseph (14), and Elizabeth (8). 
A reception in honor of the Smiths 
was held following the service. 
— reported by Moderator Jerry Garrett 

The Brethren Evangelist 




In Memory 



Former Brethren missionary Jane 
King Byler, 73, died October 16 at 
the Westminster Asbury Manor in 
Bradenton, Fla. Jane and her hus- 
band, Robert (Rob), who survives 
her, served as Brethren mission- 
aries in Argentina. 

Jane was born December 2, 1922, 
in St. James, Md., the daughter of 
Brethren pastoral couple Rev. L.V. 
and Bessie King. She attended ele- 
mentary school in New Lebanon, 
Ohio, and Mexico, Ind., and high 
school at Cowan High School near 
Oakville, Ind. She also attended 
Ashland College, receiving an A.B. 
degree in 1945. 

Married in August 1945, Jane 
and Rob spent the first two years of 
their life together in the pastorate 
of the West Alexandria, Ohio, First 
Brethren Church. Feeling called to 
missionary service, they spent a 
year in preparation, then sailed for 
Argentina on October 8, 1948. In 
Argentina, Jane's college majors, 
Bible and Spanish, as well as her 
musical abilities on the piano, 
organ, and accordion proved ex- 
tremely helpful. The Bylers served 
in Argentina until 1966. 

In addition to her husband, Mrs. 
Byler is survived by four of their 
five children: Susan Batle of 
Madrid, Spain; Stephen of Floyd, 
Va.; Betsy Blanchard of Canberra, 
Australia; and Rebecca Abuid of 
Bradenton, Fla. Another son, 
David, died in 1973 in a motorcycle 
accident in Guatemala while en 
route to South America. Also sur- 
viving are four sisters — Mary 
Pensel of Lake George, N.Y.; Janet 
Fox of Galena, Ohio (Jane's twin 
sister, who served as a missionary 
in Nigeria); Beatrice Bischof of New 
Paris, Ind. (who also served as a 
missionary in Nigeria); and Bernice 
Dersch of Sequim, Wash. — and 10 
grandchildren. 

Memorial services were held at 
Westminster Asbury Manor and at 

November 1996 



Robert Kettering to head Andrew Center 



Elgin, 111. — Robert D. Kettering 
has been appointed interim direc- 
tor of The Andrew Center, replac- 
ing Paul E. R. Mundey, who resigned 
as director of The Center in Sep- 
tember to return to the pastorate. 

The Brethren Church is a part- 
ner denomination in The Andrew 
Center and provides free member- 
ships for all Brethren churches 
that choose to join The Center. 

Kettering's appointment is for a 
16-month period, through Decem- 
ber 1997. His position will combine 
his prior roles in networking and 
training for The Center, as well as 
his responsibilities in New Church 
Development for the General Board 
of the Church of the Brethren. 

A native of Hershey Pa., Ketter- 
ing is a graduate of Elizabethtown 
College, Elizabethtown, Pa., and of 
Associated Mennonite Biblical Semi- 
naries, Elkhart, Ind. He has served 
in various church leadership roles 
in the Church of the Brethren. 

Paul Mundey, 
who initiated 
The Andrew 
Center and 
served as its di- 
rector from its 
inception in 
1994, resigned 
this position in 
order to become 
senior pastor of 
the Frederick 
Church of the 
Brethren in 
Frederick, Md. 
This is the larg- 
est congrega- 
tion in the 
Church of the 
Brethren, with 
more than 

1,000 members. 
Many Brethren 
will remember 



Mundey as a featured speaker at 
General Conference in August. 

The Andrew Center is a resource 
center for church vitality. Its pur- 
pose is "to multiply the number of 
persons turning to Jesus Christ by 
multiplying the number of leaders 
and congregations spiritually alive 
and evangelistically effective." The 
Center offers four types of assis- 
tance to local churches: 

• Resourcing — a smorgasbord of 
programs and resources for the 
local church, including people, 
books, study guides, banners; 

• Consulting — nationally- and 
regionally-known authorities for 
on-sight consultations with 
member congregations; 

• Training — high-quality train- 
ing events at regional locations 
and affordable prices; 

• Networking — interaction be- 
tween churches in similar situ- 
ations for mutual support and 
idea-sharing. 




Flora, Ind. — Rev. Kenneth Madison was installed as 
pastor of the Flora First Brethren Church on August 25 
during the morning worship service. Rev. Gene Eckerley, 
Indiana District Elder, officiated at the service. Rev. 
Madison accepted a call to serve the Flora Church in May 
of this year, after serving more than six years as a chap- 
lain in the United States Army. Rev. Madison (I.) is 
shown here with his wife, Donna, and Rev. Eckerley. 



In Memory continued 
Missionary Village in 
Bradenton. Memorial 
donations may be 
made to Brethren Mis- 
sionary Ministries, 524 
College Ave., Ashland, 
OH 44805. 



Coming Event 

July 12-25, 1997 — Brethren Heritage Tour. A 
tour of sites of Brethren, Anabaptist, and Pietist sig- 
nificance in Switzerland, France, Germany, and the 
Netherlands, sponsored by the Brethren Encyclope- 
dia, Inc. Contact Don Durnbaugh, P.O. Box 484, 
James Creek, PA 16657 (phone/fax 814-658-3222) 
for brochure and more information. 



11 



odfr)e 





Briefly 
Noted 



The Mission Board of the Cen- 
tral District believes in the impor- 
tant of putting prayer first as the 
district prepares to begin efforts in 
church planting. The Mission 
Board is sponsoring three prayer 
events this fall. The first, a day of 
prayer and fasting, was held Octo- 
ber 17. Also planned are a concert 
of prayer on Sunday, November 17; 
and a week of prayer, with a printed 
prayer guide, December 1-7. 

Members of the Pleasant Hill, 
Ohio, First Brethren Church 

voted September 24 to adopt a pro- 
posal from the church's Building 
Committee for a 2,400 square foot 
addition to the church building. 
The addition will include a new en- 
trance and hallway, pastor's study, 
secretary's office, a multipurpose 
classroom, restrooms for both men 
and women, a utility room, and a 
lift and stairway into the existing 
foyer of the sanctuary. The congre- 
gation decided to have 30 percent of 
the cost of the project in hand be- 
fore construction begins. The Build- 
ing Committee is seeking bids on 
the project. 

The St. James, Md., Brethren 
Church recently paid off the mort- 
gage on a major building program 
that was carried out in 1989. The 
ten-year loan was paid off in 7Vz 
years. The congregation celebrated 
this accomplishment September 8 
(Rally Day) with a mortgage-burn- 
ing ceremony and a catered dinner 
for the church family. Not content 
to rest on their laurels, the St. 
James Brethren are looking to the 
future. At a recent business meet- 
ing, approval was given for the de- 
velopment of a comprehensive site 
plan that will enable the church to 
make the most efficient use of its 
property in the years ahead. 




Ashland University dedicates student center 



Ashland, Ohio — "One of the most 
exciting things that has happened 
on the Ashland University campus 
over the course of the last several 
years," says AU President Dr. G. 
William Benz, "is the planning and 
construction of the new Hawkins- 
Conard Student Center. It is a 
spectacular addition to the cam- 
pus, and I am convinced it will 
serve the needs of our students 
well for many years to come." 

The formal dedication ceremony 
for this building was held Satur- 
day, October 12, during homecom- 
ing weekend at the university. AU 
President Emeritus Dr. Glenn L. 
Clayton, who initiated the vision 
for this building during his admini- 
stration, offered the prayer of dedi- 
cation during the ceremony. 

The brick and glass building sits 
in the "point" formed by the conver- 
gence of Claremont Avenue and King 
Road and ties together the various 
parts of the university campus — 
the main campus which lies east of 
King Road; the two athletic build- 
ings to the southwest of the new 
student center; and the four build- 
ings on the northwest side of Clare- 
mont Avenue. A pedestrian bridge 
across Claremont Avenue provides 
direct access into the building from 
that area of the campus. 

The 55,000-square-feet, two-story 
building houses offices for various 
student services and student or- 
ganizations, a large bookstore, a 
computer lab, meeting rooms, an 
auditorium, several lounges, a mail 
room, a food bar and dining area, 
an exercise room, and a recreation 
center/game room. Many of the inside 
walls are covered with photographs 
and mementos from AU's past. 



Total cost of the building was $6.7 
million, which includes $5.5 million 
for construction, $830,000 to furnish 
the interior, and $372,00 for the new 
pedestrian bridge. 

A little over $5.2 million has al- 
ready been raised, from 1,250 do- 
nors. Lead donations came from Earl 
and Betty Hawkins, owners of sev- 
eral area supermarkets, who con- 
tributed $1 million; and from the 
John and Pearl Conard Foundation, 
which gave $500,000. The Kresge 
Foundation also awarded a challenge 
grant of $600,000, which required 
that the university raise $1.2 mil- 
lion in matching funds. AU faculty 
and staff pledged $240,000 toward 
the building. AU officials expect the 
building to be paid off in three years. 



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( The Brethren J 

Evangelis 




^CH 



Vol. 118, No. 11 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



December 1996 



Roy Andrews and Ken Hunn turn the spotlight on: 



Integrity in the ministry of the church 



INTEGRITY is a key issue in to- 
day's world. Trust has been eroded 
by numerous errors in leadership 
at every level of our society. The 
church needs to lead the way in 
the area of integrity. Jesus taught 
that our "yes" and our "no" should 
count for something, that we need 
to be deserving of people's trust. In 
this regard the local church staff, 
officers, and all who represent the 
church should make commitments 
to integrity in the following areas: 
copyright laws, financial matters, 
and moral purity. 

Copyright laws 

Church offices must be careful not 
to abuse the copy machine. Most 
authors are quite willing to allow 
churches to copy their magazine or 
newspaper articles or portions of 
books for limited distribution within 
a local congregation. But the church 
should obtained the author's permis- 
sion before making multiple copies 
of a particular work. 

With the advancement of technol- 
ogy, however, copyright laws no 
longer cover just the printed word. 
Copyrights must now be seen as the 
"owner's" right to be compensated 




Because the copy machine makes it 
so easy to make copies of sheet music, 
articles, arid other publications, it's easy 
to forget that we may be doing some- 
thing illegal and unethical. 



for any original idea in areas such 
as music, audio and video cassettes, 
and computer software. 

Many churches now make use of 
songs and choruses that are not in 
their hymnals. These are often shared 
with the congregation by means of 
an overhead projector, video projec- 
tor, or printed bulletin insert. In 
order that song writers, composers, 
and publishers might be compen- 
sated for the use of these songs and 
choruses, Christian Copyright Li- 
censing, Inc., (CCLI)* was formed. 
This agency collects fees from local 



*Christian Copyright Licensing, Inc., 17201 
N.E. Sacramento St., Portland, OR 97230 
(phone, 800-234-2446; fax, 503-257-2244). 



Why not copy? 

1. It's illegal. Copyright laws pro- 
tect the rights of writers, composers, 
publishers, recording artists, record- 
ing companies, computer software 
producers, etc. 

2. It's unethical. People who make 
illegal copies may never get caught 
and prosecuted, but they neverthe- 
less have done something wrong. 
They have acted unethically. 

3. It is unchristian. It violates at 
least two biblical principles: 

a. Workers deserve their wages 
(Luke 10:7). When someone makes 
an illegal copy of a piece of music, an 
audio cassette, a video, or a com- 
puter program rather than buying a 
copy, the people (composers, artists, 
programmers) who produced these 
things are deprived of their "wages." 

b. Love your neighbor as yourself 
(Matt. 22:39). Reproducing the printed 
or recorded material of others with- 
out their permission and without 
giving them appropriate compensa- 
tion is not acting in Christian love. 



churches based on their size and 
the number of songs they use, then 
pays royalties to the various art- 
ists, composers, and music publish- 
ers whose works have been used. 

A similar agency, but one not so 
well known, is Motion Picture Licens- 
ing Corporation (MPLC). This agency 
arranges for the legal showing and 
lending of videotapes through church 
libraries. MPLC is also a reasonably- 
priced service that likewise bases its 
fees upon church size. 

A third area of copyright integ- 
rity pertains to computer software. 
Although many churches lag behind 
the business world in their use of 
computer technology, we can be on 
the cutting edge of computer soft- 
ware ethics. Software is copied and 
shared with others at an alarming 
rate, and the church must be in- 
formed of such abuses in order to 
avoid them. 

In most cases, software is sold with 
the understanding that it will be 
used on only one computer. If this 
is the case, and a church makes a 
copy to use on a second computer or 
to share with someone else, it has 

Motion Picture Licensing Corporation, 
5455 Centinela Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90066 
(phone, 800-462-8855; fax, 310-822-4440). 



In this issue 


Integrity in church ministry . . 


1 


Love came down at Christmas 


3 


Owners & readers of the Word 


4 


In the valley of Dr. Death . . . 


5 


Escape from Liberia 


6 


Brethren Church Ministries . . 


8 


Around the denomination . . . 


10 



acted unethically (and illegally). It 
should be noted that there are myr- 
iad software companies in the mar- 
ket, each with its own licensing agree- 
ments, so consult your particular soft- 
ware company about its guidelines 
and conform to them voluntarily 
and joyfully. 

Financial matters 

In the area of financial integrity, 
many safeguards can be built into a 
system to help reduce the possibil- 
ity of errors in the handling of the 
Lord's money. 

First, more than one person should 
be involved in the collection, count- 
ing, and disbursement of funds. This 
insures accountability and mini- 
mizes the possibility of one person 
abusing the trust of the church. 

Second, record-keeping and report- 
ing should be regular and thorough. 
Some reports should be made weekly 
or monthly, while others need only 
be done on a quarterly or annual 
basis. Often times a Finance Com- 
mittee can help with the above- 
mentioned areas. The Finance 
Committee can serve as a pool of 
volunteers that gives guidance in 
decision-making as well as provid- 
ing the human resources for the 
mechanics of church finance. 

A less used church committee 
that has important accountability 
and legal value is the Auditing 
Committee. The role of this com- 
mittee is to assure legal financial 
credibility. This committee should 
be distinct from, but work in con- 
junction with, the Finance Commit- 
tee to help develop proper financial 
systems for the church. After help- 
ing with the development of these 
systems, the Auditing Committee 
conducts a quarterly audit to attest 
that the church has maintained 
financial integrity. 

A final thought about financial 



The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) is pub- 
lished monlhly (excepl July and August issues are 
combined) by The Brethren Church, Inc., 524 
College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 (telephone: 
419-289-1708; e-mail: Brethrench@aol.com; fax: 419- 
281-0450). Authors' views are not necessarily those 
of The Brethren Church. Editor: Richard C. Win- 
field. Subscription rates: Sent free to Brethren 
Church members; $14.50 per year lo others. Mem- 
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Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio. Postmaster: Send 
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integrity: when working with a vol- 
ume of funds from varying sources 
over long periods of time, it is inevi- 
table that errors will occur. If the 
guidelines suggested above are fol- 
lowed, it will be evident that much 
care and effort is being given to be- 
ing good stewards of the moneys 
received, and credibility will be en- 
hanced. When credibility has been 
established, errors can be handled 
in a healthy atmosphere without 
eroding the integrity of the church. 

Moral purity 

Finally, the most sensitive area 
of integrity is that of moral purity. 
While it is a very sensitive and 
potentially devastating aspect of 
church ministry, it must not be 
avoided or pursued as a private is- 
sue. Here, as in other areas where 
integrity is either gained or lost, 
the key is accountability. Two ma- 
jor areas seem to require the most 
accountability. 

The first is counseling. The rela- 
tionship between counselor and 
counselee is especially problematic 
if certain guidelines are not followed. 
Those counseling can maintain in- 
tegrity by following a few time- 
tested guidelines. (1) Counseling 
should never be done with a mem- 
ber of the opposite sex unless some- 
one else is on the premises. (2) The 
number of counseling appoint- 
ments with a member of the oppo- 
site sex and the duration of those 
appointments should be limited. 

Church boards can often help 
those doing counseling by setting 
reasonable limits and by holding 
counselors accountable to those 
limits. Also, a small but practical 
step that can be taken is to install 
windows in all church office and 
classroom doors. This allows for 
both confidentiality (the door can 



be closed) and accountability (those 
in the room can still be seen). 

A second area of moral integrity 
is the growing concern over the 
qualifications of those who work 
with children and youth in the 
church. All staff and volunteers 
should complete an application 
that inquires about past involve- 
ment with sexual molestation and 
physical abuse. Workers who have 
had a problem in these areas 
should be screened from working 
with children and youth to avoid 
negligence on the part of the 
church. These few individuals can 
serve in other capacities within the 
total ministry of the church. 

"May the Brethren Church 
be a light of integrity in 
the darhness of our world 
so that others might see 
Christ in us and thus com- 
mit their lives to Him!" 

Another safeguard is to require 
that at least two adult workers are 
always present when working with 
children or youth. This provides an 
extra measure of accountability. 

Some people may think that these 
procedures are extreme and that we 
in the church do not need to be overly 
concerned about such matters. But 
the Scriptures remind us that such 
pride precedes a fall. We all need 
the grace, love, and accountability 
of both God and His people in our 
quest for integrity in ministry. May 
The Brethren Church be a light of 
integrity in the darkness of our 
world so that others might see 
Christ in us and thus commit their 
lives to Him! [ft] 

Mr. Andrews is associate pastor of 
the Nappanee, Ind., First Brethren 
Church, and Rev. Hunn is senior pas- 
tor of that congregation. 



ofifc Pontius' Puddle 



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The Brethren Evangelist 




►— < 



Love Came Down at Christmas 

By Brian H. Moore 



The Bible says, "God is 
love." We also read in the 
Scriptures that Jesus is Em- 
manuel, "God with us." If we 
combine these two truths, we 
conclude that "Love Came 
Down at Christmas" (as the 
title of a Christian musical 
states it). 

Christmas is not the begin- 
ning of the greatest love 
story ever told, but it is one 
of the greatest chapters in 
that story. It is not the begin- 
ning of the story of God's 
love for a lost human race, 
but it is a major turning point 
in that unfolding drama. 

We have heard the Christ- 
mas story again and again. 
Yet the wonder of that story 
never seems to wear off. 
Even though we may sigh a 
bit when we think of all the 
added activities that go with 
the Christmas season, we still 
get excited all over again when 
we remember that in an ut- 
terly unique way, God came 
to earth to live among us! 

The world is hurting. Some 
say that it is terminally ill. 
According to some, the peo- 
ple in the world can be clas- 




sified into three categories: 
the oppressed, the oppres- 
sors, and the callused who 
don't care. No matter what 
our station in life is, every; 
one of us needs to hear once 
(or again) how divine love 
took human form in order 
that we could get close to 
God and begin to pay atten- 
tion to one another with re- 
spect, dignity, and worth. 

Since love came down to 
us at Christmas, I have a 
Christmas challenge for each 
of us: let us each make a 
special effort this Christmas 
season to reflect God's love to 
at least one person whom we 
have ignored, or perhaps even 
hurt, during the past year. 

Christmas is no time for 
barriers. God broke through 
to us. Will we make an effort 
to tear down the barriers 
that seem to keep getting in 
the way of our relationships 
with others? If we meet this 
challenge, I can guarantee 
that both you and that other 
person will have a happier 
New Year. 

Dr. Moore Is pastor of the St. 
James, Md., Brethren Church. 




Let us at all costs avoid the temptation to make our Christmas 
worship a withdrawal from the stress and sorrow of life into a 
realm of unreal beauty. It was into the real world that Christ 
came, into the city where there was no room for him, and into a 
country where Herod, the murderer of innocents, was king. 

He comes to us, not to shield us from the harshness of the world 
but to give us the courage and strength to bear it; not to snatch us 
away by some miracle from the conflict of life, but to give us 
peace — his peace — in our hearts, by which we may be calmly 
steadfast while the conflict rages, and be able to bring to the torn 
world the healing that is peace. 

— William Temple 




The essential point, as I see it, 
about Christ's birth is that it was so 
poor and humble. The Son of God 
was born into the world, not as a 
prince, but as a pauper. So, to 
deck out the legendary scene of 
this nativity with precious hang- 
ings, pictures, glittering lamps, and 
other ornamentation, is to destroy 
whatever valid symbolism it might 
otherwise have. Truly, we human 
beings have a wonderful faculty for 
thus snatching fantasy from the 
jaws of truth. 

— Malcom Muggeridge 
Jesus Rediscovered 



We need to see afresh the stark 
humility of God's irreversible deci- 
sion to become man. We need to 
see with clear fresh eyes that we 
live on a visited planet and that by 
God's choice God and man are 
irrevocably joined together. Only 
the Christian faith dares to state 
that God really became man, that 
from the time of that event, now 
nearly two thousand years old, 
God has identified himself with 
man. Our values, our treatment of 
our fellows, our quality of living, 
indeed our whole attitude towards 
life and death derive ultimately 
from what happened in the stable 
of an inn. That is why with rever- 
ent imagination and with humble 
minds we must year by year look 
backwards to the first Christmas. 
— J.B. Phillips 
Backwards to Christmas 



December 1996 



Owners— and readers— of the Word 



A RECENT SURVEY by Barna 
Research Group confirmed 
what many of us already knew: 
most Americans own a Bible, but 
a lot of them never read it. The 
nationwide phone survey of 1,000 
adults was commissioned by Tyn- 
dale House Publishers in conjunc- 
tion with its introduction of the 
Holy Bible, New Living Translation. 
The survey found that nine out of 
ten Americans own a Bible, but near- 
ly half (45 percent) seldom or never 
actually read it. (I wonder what a 
survey of 1,000 Brethren across 
the nation would have revealed?) 

Americans clearly value the Bible. 
Survey respondents named it as 
the "most influential" book in the 
course of human history by an over- 
whelming margin (80 percent). Dr. 
Spock's Common Sense Book of 
Baby and Child Care and Darwin's 
Origin of the Species were a distant 
second and third, with five and four 
percent of the votes respectively. But 
despite the Bible's perceived value, 
only one in five adults turn to it at 
least once a week, and only one in 
six adults (17 percent) read it daily. 

Why it's not read 

The top three most common rea- 
sons for not reading the Bible are: 

1. Not enough time — 59 percent. 
One wonders if they have time to 



watch television and/or read the 
newspaper. Perhaps it's a matter of 
priorities. Besides, it only takes 
five to ten minutes to read a chap- 
ter; most people could find that 
much time each day. 

2. It's too difficult to understand 
— 40 percent. Nobody said it was 
going to be easy, but things of value 
often aren't. Nevertheless, a con- 
temporary translation can help — 
which is one of the reasons Tyndale 
has published the Holy Bible, New 
Living Translation. Some other ver- 
sions that make the Bible more un- 
derstandable are Today's English 
Version, The Living Bible, and The 
Message. And lots of Bible helps are 
also available. 

3. It's irrelevant to my life — 36 
percent. It's obvious that those who 
said this have not read and under- 
stood the Bible. God's word deals 
with the ultimate issues of life, both 
for time and eternity. 

What would it take? 

When readers and non-readers 
were asked what would make them 
more likely to turn to the Bible, 
"personal crisis" topped the list at 
62 percent. (And we wonder why God 
allows misfortune to enter our lives!) 
Sixty-one percent said "practical 
ideas for living a better life" might 
cause them to turn to the Bible. (The 



Some suggestions for 

getting started 
with daily Bible reading 

1. Decide to do it. Daily Bible 
reading begins with an act of the 
will. Say to yourself (and to God), 
This is something I'm going to do." 

2. Set a time to do it (allow at 
least 10 to 15 minutes). If you don't 
put it into your daily schedule, you 
won't get around to it. Some people 
prefer morning, but any time of 
day is okay. The best time is a time 
when you are at your best (not 
when you're groggy or sleepy). 

3. Use a version you can under- 
stand. See the main article for 
some suggestions. 

4. Start in the New Testament. 



In fact, the Gospel of Luke is a good 
place to begin, followed by the Book 
of Acts. Then continue with another 
Gospel (perhaps John), followed by 
some of the shorter letters of Paul. 
Then dip into the Old Testament 
(one or more of the following — the 
Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, 
Ruth, Proverbs), followed by more 
of the New Testament. 

4. Work your way through a book; 
don't jump around. This is the best 
way to understand the message. 

5. Read slowly, thoughtfully, in 
order to understand what God's 
word says, not in order to read so 
many chapters a day. But try to 
read at least one chapter daily. 

6. Ask God to help you under- 
stand and live by His word. 



How do you read the Bible? 

Are you a regular reader of God's 
word? If so, you are invited to share 
your method of doing so with others. 
Perhaps they can learn from you. 

In a few paragraphs, tell about such 
things as how you got started, when 
during the day you read, how much 
time you spend, how many chapters 
you read a day, your reading method, 
what version you use, and any Bible- 
study helps you use. Also share some 
of the blessings you have received. 

Send to Editor, The Brethren Evan- 
gelist, 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 
44805 for possible publication. 



Bible is full of such ideas!) Nearly 
half — 48 percent — would read it if 
they "had more free time." (Maybe 
they need to pay the price to make 
that free time.) And 46 percent 
would be more likely if it were writ- 
ten "in a language which was easier 
to understand." (Have they checked 
out any of the new versions?) 

What about you? 

What about you? If you had been 
contacted for this survey, how 
would you have answered these 
questions? Are you part of the 17 
percent who read the Bible daily? If 
so, praise the Lord! Keep it up. 

Are you in the 20 percent who 
read it at least once a week but not 
every day? If so, you've made a good 
start, but we "urge you in the Lord 
Jesus to do this more and more," as 
the Apostle Paul said in a somewhat 
different context (1 Thess. 4:1, Niv). 
Work at finding the time — and the 
will — to read it every day. 

Or are you in the 80 percent who 
read it less than once a week or 
even among the 45 percent who read 
it rarely or never? If so, why? 
Which of the common reasons for 
not reading the Bible given above 
would you claim? Or do you have 
some other answer? 

Whatever your reason, is it valid? 
Or is it just an excuse? Maybe you 
ought to reconsider (see suggestions 
at left). After all, the Bible itself 
talks about the joy and happiness 
of those who delight in God's law 
(His word), who meditate on it day 
and night (see Psalm 1 in some easy- 
to-read version). You just might be 
missing out on a good thing. [ir] 
— Richard C. Winfield, editor 

The Brethren Evangelist 



Walking in the valley of Dr. Death 

By Charles W. Colson 



Editor's note: Most of us know of 
Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who has become 
famous (infamous) for helping people 
end their lives. But few of us have 
heard of Cardinal Adam Maida, who 
is seeking to counteract Kevorkian's 
deadly work. Cardinal Maida's exam- 
ple reminds us of the good going on 
around us and challenges us to do 
more about the evil in our world 
than just wring our hands. 

THERE IS NO PLEASURE walk- 
ing in the shadow of Dr. Death, 
whose proficiency with carbon mon- 
oxide and lethal chemical compounds 
has made him the stuff of legend 
in the news pages. Yet such is the 
fate of Cardinal Adam Maida, arch- 
bishop of Detroit. While Jack Kevor- 
kian has been busy dispatching the 
despairing, Maida is taking enor- 
mous risks to snatch Kevorkian's 
potential clientele from his fatal 
ministrations. 

Maida's story is unfamiliar to 
most Americans, save those in the 
Detroit area, where he is going 
head-to-head with Kevorkian. This 
is largely explained by the fact that 
the nation's premier exterminator 
has slowly but surely become some- 
thing of a folk hero, even to the 
point of being held up as a coura- 
geous pioneer — a Meriwether Lewis 
for the culture of death. One almost 
forgets the gruesome nature of Kevor- 
kian's one-man mission, which is 
doing much to bring about the day 
when "assisted suicide" gives way 
to full-blown euthanasia. 

A story of real courage 

All this, by comparison, makes 
Cardinal Maida's story compelling. 
His is a story of real courage — the 
courage to face life's unavoidable 
pain and tragedy without giving in. 

On the very day Kevorkian as- 
sisted in the suicide — a.k.a. execu- 
tion by lethal injection — of his 33rd 
patient, Maida publicly invited 
anyone in the Detroit area who was 
depressed enough to seek the serv- 
ices of either Kevorkian or an abor- 
tion clinic to call the archdiocese 
first. Those who did would not re- 

December 1996 



ceive a scolding or a lecture. In- 
stead, the cardinal had promised to 
do "whatever it takes" to help call- 
ers choose life over death. 

It is at this point that the cynics 
will say "Gotcha!" What does the 
cardinal plan to do, for example, 
when a terminally ill pregnant 
woman rings up? Quite simply, he 
will pay her medical bills and make 
arrangements for the child to be 
cared for after the mother's death. 
What if the archdiocese is flooded 
with calls from pregnant teenagers 
who can't afford a child? The cardi- 
nal is ready, he says, to lose it all. 

"If the public takes me seriously," 
he says, "we'll go broke." 

The public is taking him seriously. 
Over about a two-month period, 
more than 500 people in various 
stages of desperation have sought 
help. One assumes that among those 
experiencing sleepless nights in 
Detroit is the archdiocese's asset 
manager. 

A terrible slander 

A favorite canard of the abortion 
conglomerate is that pro-lifers are 
only interested in children before 
they're born and that they are quite 
content to abandon them to a hos- 
tile and uncaring world after they 
come to term. As one who almost 
daily works with people whose lives 
are dedicated to helping others, 
even to the point of physical and 
f * 

"Maida and his allies are not 

only fighting for individuals. 

They 're fighting for the soul 

of our nation . . . . " 
> / 

financial exhaustion, I have a par- 
ticular antipathy toward this terri- 
ble slander. 

Yet I'm afraid that by ignoring 
good works like those of the cardi- 
nal, the media often do nothing to 
remind us of how much good goes 
on around us. Make no mistake: 
This is not merely the story of one 
man's supreme effort against the 
forces of despair. The cardinal has 



had little trouble finding allies in 
the war against Kevorkian. 

Maida has mobilized a number of 
church social agencies, including 
three health care providers, to co- 
ordinate a united effort called Proj- 
ect Life. When people in crisis call 
the project's hotline, they are di- 
rected to the appropriate agencies 
for medical, emotional, and finan- 
cial assistance. 

So fifteen Detroit women have cho- 
sen to give up their babies for adop- 
tion rather than terminate their 
pregnancies. At this rate, Maida and 
his volunteers will soon have saved 
more people than Dr. Death has dis- 
patched. Perhaps Zero Population 
Growth will lodge a complaint. 
Stranger things have happened. 

We should remember that Maida 
stands in a long tradition of Catho- 
lic public service, and that his plea 
has recent precedents. Two years 
ago at the National Prayer Break- 
fast in Washington, D.C., Mother 
Teresa pleaded with women consid- 
ering abortion. "Please don't kill the 
child. I want the child. Please give 
me the child." Skeptics would say 
that this was mere grandstanding, 
yet Mother Teresa's life story of at- 
tending to the poorest of the poor 
makes clear that it was not. 

A special urgency 

We will need many more Teresas 
and Maidas in the years to come. 
For there is now, to my mind, a 
special urgency in pleading the pro- 
life case. We live in an age in which 
there already exist some categories 
of human life that can be legally 
exterminated: life in the womb, for 
starters, and Kevorkian's willing 
clientele, many of whom seem to be 
suffering from depression. 

It is my fear, in times of future 
crisis, that there will be attempts to 
expand these categories — first to the 
elderly, then perhaps to the handi- 
capped, and from there to history's 
traditional scapegoats. Maida and 
his allies are not only fighting for 
individuals. They're fighting for the 
soul of our nation, whose darkest 
nights may lie just ahead. [ft] 

Charles W. Colson fieads Prison Fel- 
lowship International, an evangelical 
Christian ministry to the imprisoned 
and their families. 

Copyright © 1996 Religion News Service 



ESCAPE FROM LIBERIA 



By Bonne Steffen 




Ruth and Brian Johnson at General 
Conference this past August. 

Editor's note: Brian Johnson, the sub- 
ject of the following article, spoke at the 
World Relief Soup Lunch at General 
Conference this past August. Liberia, 
where he serves, is the focus of a special 
World Relief emphasis in The Brethren 
Church. At Conference, Brethren were 
challenged to sponsor "Fifty-Fifty" proj- 
ects through which $50 is loaned to each 
of 50 Liberian women to enable them to 
operate small businesses. (See page 3 of 
the October issue for more details.) 

The article below first appeared in the 
November/ December 1996 issue of Chris- 
tian Reader and is reprinted here by per- 
mission of that magazine. Bonne Steffen 
is an editor for that publication. 

THE 8 x 10 family photograph for 
sale in the Monrovian market- 
place in May 1996 looked familiar to 
the family friend of World Reliefs 
Liberian Director Brian Johnson. On 
a second glance, the truth hit: It is 
the Johnsons with their four children! 
The Johnsons' friend knew it was 
one possession that the family treas- 
ured — taken at gunpoint from their 
home during six days of terror. But 
with no money to buy it, the photo- 
graph soon disappeared into some- 
one else's hands. The memories of 
what had happened weeks before as 
war ripped through Monrovia would 
take much longer to fade away. 



More than two-and-a-half years ago, 
Brian Johnson, 47, returned to Liberia 
with Christian agency World Relief. 
He and his family had been forced to 
leave in 1989 when civil war erupted 
after the unsuccessful attempt of 
rebel Charles Taylor to overthrow 
Liberian President Samuel Doe. 
Eventually Doe would be murdered 
by another disgruntled tribesman. 

Johnson had first come to the coun- 
try as a missionary in 1973. He met 
and fell in love with Ruth, a Liberian, 
when she volunteered to help him wash 
his clothes by hand. They married 
and raised four children in Liberia 
and enjoyed the peaceful times. But 
with political instability, they braced 
themselves for what could happen at 
a moment's notice. 

After the 1989-90 civil war, the 
Johnsons returned to Liberia. Hope 
for a unified country was strong. 
Ruth was busy assisting Brian and 
home-schooling their two daughters, 
Keyshia, 14, and Kristina, 15. Two 
older children, Tangie and Nyutu, 
were in college in the United States. 

A dangerous role 

But Brian's new role with World 
Relief was dangerous. His assign- 
ment was to get the country's tribal 
and factional leaders to work to- 
gether peacefully as well as challeng- 
ing the churches to do the same. At a 
December 1994 reconciliation confer- 
ence, nearly 700 church leaders from 
16 tribal groups and 23 denomina- 
tions assembled. This conference suc- 
cessfully launched the Association of 
Evangelicals of Liberia (AEL) into 
relief and development work, an in- 
stitute for missions, and programs 
geared to church renewal. 

Politically, in 1990 ECOMOG, a 
West African peacekeeping group, 
stepped in to quell the hostilities. But 
violence continued randomly through- 
out the country. In May 1995, Ruth 
Johnson's father, aunt, and two cous- 
ins were murdered in a village raid 
two hundred miles from Monrovia — 
three weeks before another reconcili- 
ation conference. 

The West African peacekeepers 
proposed a new strategy in March 
1995: ask three factional leaders and 
three civilians to move to Monrovia 
and work together as the country's 



collective leadership for a year. At 
the end of that year, a national elec- 
tion would determine who would run 
the country. Johnson admits the pro- 
posed political change seemed strange: 
putting warlords into leadership 
roles didn't seem to be a step in the 
right direction. His hunch was right. 
As each warlord arrived in the capi- 
tal, each gradually brought heavily- 
armed fighters. Monrovia swelled 
with young thugs — some only eight 
or ten years old. They were made to 
feel grown-up with a steady supply of 
drugs and weapons. It was only a 
matter of time before trouble ignited. 

The struggle intensifies 

Less than a year after the six-mem- 
ber State Council was established, 
men were killed near the house of one 
factional leader. The others in power 
tried to arrest him on a murder charge, 
but he wouldn't surrender. His claim 
was that all warlords were guilty of 
murder. If he were arrested, every 
warlord should be arrested. When 
they attacked his house, he escaped. 
The struggle for control intensified. 

The stakes were high. Liberia is a 
country rich in resources. The areas 
teeming with diamonds, gold, timber, 
and rubber were all held by different 
factions. Selling resources — most 
traffic coming into Liberia from the 
Ivory Coast — fed the power-hungry 
warlords, who bought weapons. 

Though Johnson rejoiced at the 
changed lives witnessed at the 
reconciliation conferences, he knew 
his work was facing a formidable 
foe — the business of war. 

The tension builds 

At first the fears were mentioned 
only in discreet conversations, as 
atrocities in the country's interior 
were reported on the radio. But in 
March, a warlord's son (a longtime 
family friend) visited the Johnsons at 
their home, seven miles from Mon- 
rovia. When daughter Tangie (visit- 
ing from the States) came out with 
water for him, a teenage boy ran over 
from a nearby basketball court, 
knocked the pitcher out of her hand, 
and said angrily, "You didn't give me 
a drink. Why are you giving water to 
a murderer's son?" Trying to remain 
calm but shaking inside from the 
vicious verbal exchange, Tangie ex- 
plained that he was a friend. Nothing 
more happened. 

Tension was rapidly building. The 
Johnsons' shortwave radio tuned to 



The Brethren Evangelist 



the embassy station continually re- 
peated, "All Americans stay home to- 
day. Don't go into the streets." 

But there was work to be done. The 
first week of April, Brian was helping 
unload 12 World Relief food contain- 
ers waiting in port, supplies which 
would be looted by rebels in th* 1 next 
few days. With the tribal leaders in 
Monrovia, he hoped the city would 
avoid violence. Then, as hundreds of 
rebels poured into Monrovia's streets, 
shooting erupted, and anarchy ruled. 

A terrifying game 

Brian managed to get safely back to 
his house. Young rebels with familiar 
faces — children and teenagers whom 
the Johnsons had fed and 
clothed — now began to harass 
the neighborhood. First, they 
came for vehicles. Carrying AK- 
47s, huge knives, and anti-air- 
craft weapons, they called each 
other by Hollywood names like 
"Rambo." To the Johnsons' horror, 
the rebels seemed to be playing 
a game, boasting of how many 
people they had killed. Most of 
them were high on drugs. 

Over the next three days, dif- 
ferent warring bands came to 
the house ten times to demand 
possessions. Day or night, the 
Johnsons never knew when the 
next band of rebels would ap- 
pear. Meanwhile, missionaries and 
people from different tribes sought 
shelter in the Johnsons' home, in- 
cluding some from the tribe that had 
murdered Ruth's family. 

When a gang of rebels came to the 
house, Brian would step out in front 
of the house to hear their demands, 
knowing that if they discovered who 
was inside, everyone would be killed. 
Befriending people from other tribes 
and factions was now deadly. 

Over the radio, the Johnsons could 
hear people throughout the city plead- 
ing for help. Their cries mingled with 
the prayers of the Johnsons and their 
friends, scattered in every room, in 
the hallway, away from any windows. 

Without weapons, everyone in the 
house knew they couldn't resist the 
rebels' demands. After everything 
had been looted, one gang made a 
more frightening threat: "We'll be 
back for your women." 

That night, Wednesday, April 10, 
three rebels, each about 18 years old, 
came to the Johnsons' porch. Brian, 
as he had done previously, came out 
and sat down. He didn't want the gun- 

December 1996 



men to simply walk into the house. 

For 45 minutes no one said any- 
thing. One rebel was smoking mari- 
juana; a second stood with head down, 
exhausted; the third was sitting near 
Johnson. All cradled AK-47s on their 
laps. Johnson closed his eyes and 
silently prayed. 

After an hour, he couldn't stand the 
strain any more. He slowly stood up 
and went into the house. No one 
moved. 

At first, Johnson stood behind the 
door, thinking the gunmen would try 
to break it down. Then he lay down 
on the floor, praying for four hours. 
At daybreak, to Brian's surprise, the 
gunmen simply walked away. 




Brian knew he had to get everyone 
to move, and move quickly. On the 
mission compound was an old bus. 
Groups of looters had noticed it, but 
though each group had talked about 
stealing it, none had. The tires were 
flat, and Brian knew it took a half 
hour to warm up. But it was their 
only hope. 

Thirty people jammed into the bus. 
Amazingly, when the driver turned 
the ignition key, the motor started 
right up. He drove across the street to 
the Sudan Interior Mission (SIM) 
and radio station ELWA compound. 

A ten-minute warning 

Brian told the driver to go around 
to the mission's air pump and fill the 
tires. Just when everyone got inside, 
the American embassy radioed a 
message to SIM: "You have ten min- 
utes to prepare for evacuation. An 
armed convoy will arrive at the mis- 
sion to get any foreigners out. If 
you're not ready in ten minutes, 
you'll be left behind." 

Brian couldn't believe God's timing 
and provision — the prompting to 



leave early that morning with bags 
packed and the "miracle bus." And 
they were able to take other mission- 
aries, too. Without the bus, the mis- 
sionaries would have been stranded. 
Within ten minutes, the embassy 
convoy arrived. 

Keep up or else 

"We're going to drive very fast and 
you must keep up with us," the leader 
said. "If you don't keep up, we can't 
wait for you." 

Now behind the wheel, Brian 
placed himself in the middle of the 
20-vehicle convoy. They careened 
through the back streets of Monrovia 
amid heavy shooting and the smoke 
from burning buildings. The 
seven-mile ride to the military 
base seemed to last forever. Ar- 
riving unharmed, they waited 
until the next day before a heli- 
copter arrived to make the final 
evacuation to Sierra Leone. 

The Johnsons were among the 
last Americans to be airlifted 
out of Liberia. They had lost all 
their belongings and left Ruth's 
family and friends behind. More 
than six months later, Ruth 
Johnson still thinks every day 
about the people left behind, 
homeless and starving. She 
misses little items — the draw- 
ings her children made, the fam- 
ily photos. Important documents that 
were stolen will be difficult to replace. 
There are moments when Keyshia 
and Kristina can laugh over the ab- 
surdity of what they went through, 
but they also miss their Liberian 
friends. In June, a suitcase full of 
home-schooling books that had to be 
left behind during the evacuation 
found its way back to the Johnsons. 
The two teenagers were able to com- 
plete their studies this summer. 

Brian has returned to Liberia twice 
since April to help with relief pro- 
jects. Faced with the enormity of the 
country's losses, he just wants to do 
what he can to relieve the suffering. 
Each time he returns to the U.S., it's 
a culture shock from the painful real- 
ity of what he sees in Liberia. Trying 
to get back to a "normal American 
life" isn't important. 

Liberia's current interim govern- 
ment vows to disarm the country by 
the end of this year and prepare for 
free elections in May 1997. Johnson 
and the countless relief workers who 
are in and out of the country pray for 
healing on this land. [ft] 



Brethren Church Ministries 



Brethren Ministries in Transition 



By Emanuel Sandberg 

IN AUGUST 1996, General Con- 
ference approved a proposal to 
change the organizational structure 
of The Brethren Church at the de- 
nominational level. Instead of hav- 
ing a General Conference Executive 
Council and a Missionary Board of 
the Brethren Church, both answer- 
able to General Conference, the 
new organization consists of one 
Executive Board that oversees the 
work of two ministries councils, the 
Congregational Ministries Council 
and the Missionary Ministries 
Council. The Executive Board, un- 
der the leadership of the Executive 
Director, is responsible to cast a 
unified vision for The Brethren 
Church and its ministries. 

Implementing the organizational 
changes approved by General Con- 
ference will be a relatively straight- 
forward administrative process. For 
example, the accounting, person- 
nel, and budgeting systems will be 
integrated. Some staff assignments 
will be modified. 

Communication and accountably 

When the organizational changes 
are complete, I believe it will be 
easier for Brethren to understand 
all operations at the National Office. 
Our communication with Brethren 
churches and members should be 
improved, and program efficiency 
should also be enhanced. As changes 
are made, budget review and pro- 
gram accountability should also be 




Current Model for Denominational Organization 



Brethren Churches and Districts 



General Conference 



Executive Board 



Congregational 

Ministries 

Council 



improved. However, we all know 
that organizations do not solve 
problems, people do. 

Our common purpose 

The purpose of Brethren Church 
Ministries has been to do those 
things together that we are unable 



Dr. "Buzz" 
Sandberg is 
Director of 
Transition 
and Interim 
Director of 
Congrega- 
tional Minis- 
tries for The 
Brethren 
Church. 



to do as separate congregations — to 
expand the ministry of Christ in 
the world, to disciple Brethren peo- 
ple toward spiritual maturity, and 
to equip them for ministry to their 
communities and the world. In the 
new organization, that purpose will 
be fulfilled through Congregational 
Ministries programs under the fol- 
lowing functions: 

• Equipping for Outreach 

• Discipling Brethren People 

• Training Growth Leaders 

• Enhancing Pastoral Leadership 

• Revitalizing Local Churches 

It is my plan, as the Director of 
Transition, that the National Office 
will operate as a "service center" to 
the local churches, and it is my 
hope that the 
National Office 
programs and 
staff will be 
utilized by the 
local congrega- 
tions to help 
local churches 
do God's work. 
The National 
Office does not 
supervise or di- 
rect the minis- 
try of the local 
churches, their 
pastors or 

members. It is 



Missionary 

Ministries 

Council 



my vision that the National Office 
will function as a servant leader to 
the denomination, and that with 
the individual congregations we 
will see ourselves as a community 
committed to one another, using 
our joint spiritual gifts to build up 
the body of Christ. 

We are accountable to you. If we 
are busy but do not serve congrega- 
tions that need and want help, we 
are wasting God's gifts; if we offer 
programs that do not serve the 
whole congregation, we are ignor- 
ing the needs of the congregation; 
and if we balance our budget but do 
not serve the needs of our congrega- 
tions, we have not been good stew- 
ards with God's resources. 

I believe that being busy, offering 
programs, or balancing our budget 
is not how you should measure our 
effectiveness. The questions you 
should ask us are, "How many con- 
gregations did we serve? Was our 
service active or reactive? Do the 
congregations feel they are indi- 
vidually served?" Of these ques- 
tions, the last one is the most im- 
portant. 

A survey of needs 

In our focus on the individual 
congregation, it is critical in consid- 




ering new program initiatives that 
we know what the needs of each 
congregation are, as seen by the 
pastor, lay leaders, and individual 
members of the congregation. 
Therefore, in the near future, you 
will be asked to identify the needs 
of your congregation and the com- 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Brethren Church Ministries 



munity in which you worship and 
serve. Your candid participation is 
necessary to our developing a posi- 
tive, active service program. This 
survey of needs will be conducted in 
January. 

Brethren and the Great Commission 

As a people who love God, Bretb - 
ren have voiced their support for 
the Great Commission that Jesus 
gave to His disciples: "Go, then, to 
all peoples everywhere and make 
them my disciples: baptize them in 
the name of the Father, the Son, 
and the Holy Spirit, and teach 
them to obey everything I have 
commanded you. And I will be with 
you always, to the end of the age" 
(Matt. 28:19-20, TEV). But it ap- 
pears that our action in support of 
this mandate has been weak. Con- 
sider these results in the ten years 
from 1985-1995: 

• Membership in the denomination 
showed a net loss of almost 1,000 
(about 7 percent) 

• More than 60 percent of our 
churches lost members 

• When defined as a ten percent mem- 
bership gain over the ten-year 
period, less than one third of all 
Brethren churches were growing. 

We do not expect individual mem- 
bers and local congregations to be 
concerned primarily about overall 
church growth in the denomination. 
But we do expect them to be con- 
cerned about whether their own con- 
gregations are growing or declining. 
We need to address our perform- 
ance in carrying out the Great Com- 
mission and ask ourselves, "Where 
have I represented Christ? Whom 
have I told about Jesus? How have I 
helped someone to grow? How have 
we supported the evangelism and 
church-planting programs of our 
denomination and of our district?" 

We expect that when local con- 
gregational needs become more 
clearly defined, there will be new 
program developments that will be 
offered to Brethren pastors, lay 
members, and congregations. Al- 
ready we are taking the first steps 
to initiate the following: 

• A schedule of "in service" or "con- 
tinuing education" programs, de- 
veloped in cooperation with our 
seminary, designed to help pas- 

December 1996 



tors and lay members become 
more effective servant leaders in 
their congregations. 

• The development of staff and cur- 
riculum at our seminary to sup- 
port the planting of Brethren 
churches and to offer programs in 
evangelism designed to help indi- 
vidual congregations and clusters 
of local churches to reach the un- 
churched in their community. (In 
the process we will serve God — 
and amass the resources we need.) 

• A new Brethren student fellow- 
ship for all Brethren students cur- 
rently in Ashland attending 
either our university or our sem- 
inary. The ideas is to encourage 




Manager of Stewardship 
and Planned Giving 

James M. Frado, Jr., joined the 
National Office staff on December 1 
as Manager of Stewardship and 
Planned Giving Services. The focus 

of this 
part-time 
position 
will be on 
providing 
assist- 
ance pro- 
grams 
and con- 
sultation 
services 
to indi- 
v i d u a 1 
James M. Frado, Jr. Brethren 
congregations, as well as coordinat- 
ing denomination-wide stewardship 
programs. 

Jim has a 17 -year history of ac- 
complishment in the financial serv- 
ices industry. In assignments with 
banking and insurance companies, 
he successfully developed and man- 
aged a variety of investment/insur- 
ance programs. He holds licenses in 
professional investment as well as 
in life and health insurance. He was 
educated at the University of Mary- 
land at Baltimore County and at the 
American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. 
Jim, his wife, Karen, and their 
three children moved to Ashland in 
September from Linwood, Md., 
where they were members of the 
Linwood Brethren Church. Both Jim 
and Karen are enrolled in the Mas- 
ter of Divinity program at Ashland 
Theological Seminary. The family 
attends the Ashland Park Street 
Brethren Church, where Jim plays 
keyboard with the praise band. 



friendship with other students 
with a Brethren background, but 
also to help our students become 
servant leaders. 
• Appointment of a professional staff 
person to assist the local churches 
and the National Office in the 
areas of stewardship and planned 
giving. This part-time position 
was authorized by the Executive 
Board at its November meeting. 
(See box below at left.) 

Sources of financial support 

The Brethren Church National 
Office and ministries are supported 
financially through several sources: 

$ Fair share support from 
Brethren churches 

$ Individual gifts 

$ Special offerings 

$ Sale of publications and 
Sunday school materials 

$ Income from the Home Mis- 
sions Endowment Fund and 
Brethren Church Founda- 
tion Endowment Fund 

$ Dividends from The Carpen- 
ter's Shop, our subsidiary 

$ Wills, bequests, and other 
special gifts 

December is one of the months 
throughout the year when we focus 
on the denominational-wide minis- 
tries of The Brethren Church. Your 
gift this month in support of Con- 
gregational or Missionary Minis- 
tries will be sincerely appreciated. 

As we near the end of this cen- 
tury, I see wonderful opportunities 
for Brethren to serve each other, 
their communities, and most impor- 
tantly, to serve God. It is time for 
us, individually and as a denomina- 
tion, to re-evaluate and adjust our 
goals to fit the possibilities before us. 

Our denominational theme for the 
coming year is "Grasp the Vision." 
It is time for us to experience a 
profound renewal of our vision as a 
denomination. We have so many 
reasons why we can't do things — 
we think small, we act small, and 
we dream small. But God is calling 
The Brethren Church to be a leader 
in the evangelical movement and 
to be a Great Commission Church, 
advancing God's Kingdom. I pray 
that we will quit playing church, 
and — with faith in the future — 
start serving God! [ft] 



ic&SggLct 




Search beginning for 
Executive Director 

The Executive Board of The 
Brethren Church has begun the 
search for an Executive Director, a 
new position created by the de- 
nominational reorganization plan 
approved at General Conference 
in August. 

The Executive Director will be 
expected to give visionary leader- 
ship to The Brethren Church and to 
guide and coordinate National Of- 
fice staff in fulfilling the priorities 
and ministries of the denomination. 

Both nominations and applica- 
tions for this position are invited. 
Qualifications include: member in 
good standing of The Brethren 
Church; a love for the church; ex- 
emplary Christian character; ad- 
vanced academic degree; past suc- 
cess in demonstrating visionary 
leadership; appropriate manage- 
ment and leadership style; posi- 
tive references. 

Applications and nominations 
will be received until January 10, 
1997. They should be addressed 
to: Search Committee, The Breth- 
ren Church, 524 College Ave., 
Ashland OH 44805. All persons 
nominated will be contacted and 
given an opportunity to apply for 
the position. For more informa- 
tion, write to the above address or 
call the national office at 419-289- 
1708 and ask for Berniece Miller. 

The Search Committee will re- 
view the applications and select 
candidates whose applications will 
be presented to the Executive 
Board. The candidate selected by 
the board will be presented to 
the 1997 General Conference for 
approval. 



Executive Board, Ministries Councils 
Meet November 8 and 9 in Ashland 



Ashland, Ohio — Every district 
of The Brethren Church was repre- 
sented at the November 8 and 9 
meetings of the Executive Board, 
Congregational Ministries Council, 
and Missionary Ministries Council. 
These were the first full meetings 
of these newly formed groups, which 
met only briefly at General Confer- 
ence to organize. Following are 
highlights of the meetings: 

Executive Board 

Dr. Emanuel ("Buzz") Sandberg 
was introduced as the Director of 
Transition. (See page 8 of the Novem- 
ber Evangelist for information about 
Dr. Sandberg). He reviewed plans 
for the transition to the denomina- 
tional organization approved by 
General Conference in August and 
outlined basic changes being made 
to create an administrative serv- 
ices unit in the National Office to 
care for financial, publication, and 
stewardship services. 

A committee of five members 
(Fred Finks, Arden Gilmer, Doug 
Little, John Shultz, and Lee Solo- 
mon) was appointed to implement a 
survey of congregational needs. (See 
page 8 for more about this survey.) 

A search committee (Brenda Colijn, 
Arden Gilmer, Buzz Sandberg, John 
Shultz, and Reilly Smith) was ap- 
pointed to begin the selection proc- 
ess for an Executive Director of The 
Brethren Church. (See box at left.) 

The board approved the sale of 
the three Brethren House proper- 
ties in St. Petersburg, Fla., owned 
by the Missionary Board. 

The Director of Transition was 
authorized to recruit and employ a 
person part time to fill the position 
of Director of Stewardship and 
Planned Giving. (See page 9.) 

Missionary Ministries Council: 

This council reviewed the budget 
prepared by its budget committee 
and recommended it to the Execu- 
tive Board for approval. 

Director Reilly Smith reported that 
Brethren House Ministries is closed. 
The council forwarded two resolu- 
tions and a recommendation to the 



10 



Executive Board in order to facili- 
tate the sale of the properties. 

Director Smith also reported that 
he and Dr. Juan Carlos Miranda 
will go to Colombia, South Amer- 
ica, in December to evaluate the 
field and to begin preparations for 
the arrival of Marcelo and Adriana 
Ferreri, missionaries from The 
Brethren Church in Argentina. 

The council's working relation- 
ship with Dynamic Church Plant- 
ing International (DCPI) was re- 
viewed. The council will work with 
DCPI to: develop a national strat- 
egy for starting new churches; cre- 
ate a climate for starting churches; 
recruit, assess, and train church- 
planting pastors and mentors; re- 
cruit a director of new church de- 
velopment; and develop an ongoing 
assessment and training program 
for The Brethren Church. The coun- 
cil will also work with Ashland Theo- 
logical Seminary to establish an 
academic chair in church planting. 

The Kumars and Todd and Tracy 
Ruggles will be in the United 
States in 1997. Sudhir Kumar is 
studying in India and may go to 
Australia for a year before attempt- 
ing to come to the United States to 
study at Ashland Theological Sem- 
inary. The Living HOPE Brethren 
Church in Medina, Ohio, will be the 
Growth Partners project for 1997. 
Five Brethren congregations from 
the Peru, Ind., area plan to start a 
new Brethren church in the Eagles 
Pointe community at Grissom Air 
Force Base in Indiana. 

Congregational Ministries Council: 

Dr. Sandberg was introduced as 
the Interim Director of Congrega- 
tional Ministries, in addition to his 
responsibilities as Director of Tran- 
sition. He reported to the council 
about the survey commissioned by 
the Executive Board. The council 
will use the results of this survey to 
help determine its programming 
initiatives for 1997. 

The council approved the continued 
existence of the Committee on Doc- 
trine, Research, and Publication. The 
(continued on back page) 

The Brethren Evangelist 



odJ/ie 




Sarasota, Fla., names park 
in honor of Dr. J.D. Hamel 

Sarasota, Fla. — The City of Sara- 
sota showed its appreciation to Dr. 
J.D. "Bud" Hamel, former pastor 
and now Pastor Emeritus of the 
Sarasota First Brethren Church, 
for his 37 years of volunteer serv- 
ice to the Sarasota community by 
naming a park in his honor. On 
Veterans Day (November 11) the 
area around the Veterans Memo- 
rial in Sarasota was named Chap- 
lain J.D. Hamel Park. 

The ceremony to name the park, 
which followed the Veterans Day 
parade, included speeches by the 
mayor, the chief of the Fire Depart- 
ment, the vice-president of the Viet- 
nam Veterans of Sarasota-Manatee 
Counties, and Janet Solomon, 
Hamel's daughter. A male quartet 
including Hamel's son, John, sang 
"A Few Good Men," and the Sailor 
Marching Band from Sarasota 
High School performed. 

Hamel was honored for his volun- 
teer service as chaplain of the City 
Fire Department, the State Fire De- 
partment, and the Sarasota Police 
Department, as well as his 
other ministry to the peo- 
ple of Sarasota. Hamel, 73, 
who is suffering from ter- 
minal cancer, was able to 
attend the ceremony in his 
chaplain's uniform. He 
even surprised the mayor 
by standing and saying a 
few words. 

The ceremony was more 
than a personal honor for 
Dr. Hamel. Through his 
words, the speech of his 
daughter Janet, and the 
music of the quartet, the 
gospel of Jesus Christ was 
presented to the crowd of 
hundreds in attendance. 
God was glorified because 
His servant was faithful. 

— reported by Rev. David Stone 



Bloomingdale Brethren to help 
build church in the gates of Haiti 



Valrico, Fla. — The Bloomingdale 
Brethren Church wants to do some- 
thing to help the suffering people of 
Haiti and to further the spread of 
the gospel of Christ in that country. 
Therefore the men of the church 
plan to assist with construction of 
a worship and education facility 
for a non-denominational church 
in a suburb just outside the capital 
city, Port-au-Prince. 

The building is being fabricated 
by volunteers from a local Baptist 
church and will be shipped to Haiti 
by Agape flights, a non-profit cou- 
rier that helps missionaries in the 
Caribbean. In late January or early 
February, 20 people from the United 
States will be needed to go to Haiti 
and spend a week constructing the 
church building and working on 
other projects for churches there. 

Haiti is an economically depressed 
country with the lowest per-capita 
income of any nation in the West- 
ern Hemisphere. It has been politi- 
cally oppressed since colonial days, 
going from a succession of oppres- 
sive dictatorships to near anarchy. 
It is also a spiritually oppressed, 
country, with voodoo prevalent. 

The cost of the trip will be ap- 
proximately $600 per person. Firm 
costs and dates will be determined 




Bloomingdale pastor David Stone (r.) with 
Jean Petit Frere, pastor of the church in 
Haiti the Bloomingdale men will assist. 

when the building parts are shipped 
and an arrival date is known. 

If you have been looking for a way 
to get personally involved in mis- 
sions, this may be your opportunity. 
The Bloomingdale Brethren are look- 
ing for people who would be able to 
spend a week in Haiti. They are also 
looking for those who cannot go but 
would like to sponsor someone who 
is going. If you sense the Lord call- 
ing you to either of these options, 
contact Pastor David Stone at 1310 
East Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico, FL 
33594 (phone 813-653-1320). 

— reported by Rev. David Stone 



Following the 
ceremony, Dr. 
Hamel was 
interviewed by 
a reporter from 
TV channel 40 
in Sarasota. 
Surrounding 
him (I. to r.) are 
his son John, 
grandson Mark 
(who marched 
in the parade 
before the cere- 
mony), and his 
daughter Janet 
Solomon. Be- 
hind them is 
the Veterans 
Monument, 
which is in the 
center of the 
Chaplain J.D. 
Hamel Park. 




December 1996 



11 



*3Gfi»)o 




Fred and Alice Horn honored 
by Ardmore Brethren Church 

South Bend, Ind. — The Ardmore 
Brethren Church held a special cele- 
bration on Sunday, September 15, 
to honor and say Thank you" to 
members Fred and Alice Horn for 
their service to Jesus Christ and 
the Ardmore congregation. 

Mr. Horn has served Christ and 
the Ardmore church as deacon, 
moderator, Sunday school teacher, 
and member of various boards and 
committees. He currently chairs the 
Ministry of Stewardship. He also 
served the Brethren denomina- 
tion from 1974 to 1984 as secre- 
tary of General Conference. 

Mrs. Horn has served Jesus and the 
church as Sunday school and VBS 
teacher, choir member, and in vari- 
ous hospitality ministries. She cur- 
rently chairs the Ministry of Women. 

Married in 1939, the Horns have 
four children, eight grandchildren, 
and eight great-grandchildren. 

The celebration honoring the 
Horns began during the morning 
worship service, attended by many 
members and friends of the Horn 
family and featuring a variety of 
special music. The celebration con- 
tinued after the service with a fel- 
lowship meal. 

Congregational Ministries Council 

(continued from page 10) 
major task before this committee is 
the completion of a video course on 
The Brethren Church. The council 
also voted to continue support for 
The Andrew Center in 1997. Thus 
Brethren congregations who want 
to join the center will be able to do 
so free of charge. Finally, the coun- 
cil agreed that the Life Work Re- 
cruit program should be continued 
and strengthened. This program 
seeks to identify and encourage 
those who sense God calling them 
to full-time Christian service. 



Two devastating cyclones strike Indian 
state in which Brethren work is located 



Rajahmundry, India — Two dev- 
astating cyclones, one in mid Octo- 
ber and the second on November 6 
and 7, struck 
Andhra Pradesh, 
the state in 
which Brethren 
mission work in 
India is located. 

Approximately 
350 people were 
killed by the first 
cyclone, and 
more than 1,000 
by the second. 
Many villages 
were totally de- 
stroyed. It is also 
estimated that one third of the un- 
harvested agricultural produce was 
destroyed in Andhra Pradesh, a 
state heavily dependent on farming. 

According to Brethren missionary 
Dr. K. Prasanth Kumar, around 50 
Brethren congregations in East 
and West Godavari Districts were 
affected by the second cyclone. 
Some of the church buildings were 
badly damaged, and prayer huts 
were either completely demolished 
or partially destroyed. 




itiftundty 

DHRA PRADESH 

(Stats) 



Ministry opportunity available at 
Pennsylvania District Camp 

The Pennsylvania District Camp 
Board is seeking a committed Chris- 
tian individual to serve as man- 
ager for Brethren Camp Peniel 
from April 1 to September 1, 1997. 

The board is seeking someone 
with church camping and educa- 
tion leadership experience and 
skills, who is able to relate well to 
people, especially children and 
youth. The person will be required 
to reside on the camp premises 
during the four weeks of camp in 
July and during the BYIC confer- 
ence. Room and board will be pro- 
vided plus a stipend. 

For more information or to ap- 
ply, write to Nancy Wilson, Camp 
Board Secretary, at 204 N. Wash- 
ington St., Masontown, PA 15461. 
Applications are due by January 
15, 1997, with the selection to be 
made on January 18. 



Nevertheless, he found reason to 
be thankful. "We praise the Lord 
for protecting the orphan children, 
pastors, and the congrega- 
tion at Rajahmundry and 
in the villages, and keeping 
us alive," he said. 

The Brethren Mission to 
India received $10,000 — 
$5,000 after each of the two 
cyclones — from World Relief 
of the National Association 
of Evangelicals to use in re- 
lief work. The money is being 
used to provide food, cloth- 
ing, water containers, and 
cooking utensils to families 
who lost everything. 
Kumar asked Brethren to 
pray for those who are suffering be- 
cause of these cyclones and to pro- 
vide finances to help Brethren af- 
fected by the disaster with food, 
clothing, medicine, and the funds to 
repair the church buildings and to 
reconstruct the prayer huts of the 
Brethren Mission in India. 

Contributions may be sent to the 
Missionary Board of the Brethren 
Church, designated for India Cy- 
clone Relief. 



Dr. 



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BINDERY INC. f s » 

AUG 97 



For Reference 
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