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Full text of "Brethren Evangelist, The (1998)"

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LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation 



http://www.archive.org/details/brethrenevangel120111winf 



( The Brethren/ ) 

Evangelis 




*CH 



Vol. 120, No. 1 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



January 1998 



Executive Director Dr. Emanuel Sandberg asks: 



Are Brethren ready for renewal? 



THE BRETHREN CHURCH is 
in need of renewal. I include my- 
self in having that need. The renewal 
I am talking about is a renewal of 
love within Christian believers that 
results in sinners being awakened, 
backsliders being reclaimed for 
Christ, dying churches being re- 
vived, the lost being converted, 
and society being reformed. 

Church leaders often call for re- 
vival rather than renewal. But my 
problem with the word revival is 
that it conjures up visions of a tent 
meeting or of a series of meetings 
in our churches during the year in 
which we focus on reaching the lost 
in our community. To be sure, such 
meetings are often successful in 
bringing the lost to Christ. 

A visit from God 

But what I want to give primary 
attention to at this time is the work 
of God's Spirit among those who 
already know God and His Son. I 
want to focus on the explicit work of 
God in restoring, reviving, and re- 
directing His people by bringing the 
Holy Spirit down upon the Breth- 
ren — our churches, our districts, and 
our denomination — in such a way 
that it results in our communities, 
our states, and our whole country 
being reformed. In short, what we 
need is a visit from God! 

Do you think you have a close, 
personal relationship with .Jesus? 
Do you think the Brethren as a whole 
have a close relationship with God 
and His Son? Judge for yourself. Is 
there evidence to suggest that your 
walk with God has cooled? Con- 
sider the following in terms of your 
personal relationship with God: 



• To what extent have you adopted 
the world's lifestyle? 

• How important to your life is the 
acquisition of money and things? 

• What are the dominant events in 
your life? 

• What part does prayer 
play in your life? 

• Are you continually 
seeking biblical truth? 

• Do you employ your 
knowledge of biblical 
truth in your daily life? 

• Do you avoid spiritual 
discussions? 

• Do you accept the spiri- 
tual condition and 
moral decline of your 
community and coun- 
try as a fact of life you 
cannot change? 

• Is your heart cold to 
human suffering so 
that you do nothing to aid the sick 
and the poor? 

• Do you focus on other people's 
faults and failures? 

• Do you find it difficult to share 
spiritual beliefs and needs with 
others? 

• Are you concerned that you not 
sin or just that no one find out 
about your sin? 

• When you pray, do you ask God to 
serve you, or do you ask how you 
can serve God? 

• Do you think you are a sinner? 

• Do you think you need renewal? 

What about the church? 

What about The Brethren Church? 
Consider these facts: 

• We have fewer Brethren churches 
and fewer members today than we 
had ten years ago. 



• More than 75 percent of our Breth- 
ren churches have plateaued or 
declined in membership. 
I think we can conclude that each 
Brethren church is simply a reflec- 
tion of its mem- 
bers, and that 
The Brethren 
Church is a re- 
flection of the 
churches that 
make up our de- 
nomination. 

How did we 
get this way? 
We did so 
slowly . . . pain- 
lessly . . . un- 
aware that we 
had allowed God 
to be crowded 

out of our lives. 
uel (Buzz) Sandberg In Qur churches 

and in our daily lives, we have 
become desensitized to the moral 
decay and declining social stand- 
ards we live with and accept. We 
have lost our passionate desire for 
a close, personal relationship with 
Jesus and with our heavenly Father. 
Do I believe we are lost? No, I 
(continued on page 3) 




Inside this issue 



Snapshots 2 

Ashland Theological Seminary 4 

Seeking help/sharing hope . . 6 

Spiritual disciplines 7 

Denominational meetings ... 8 

A visit to Lima, Peru 9 

Around the denomination ... 10 



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




SNAPSHOTS 

By 
Michelle Rhude 



HOW DOES your family choose 
its Christmas tree? I'd love 
to collect stories of such family 
experiences. If you have one to 
share, please send it to me at 
shellrhude@aol .com. 

I was talking to someone re- 
cently who described his family's 
yearly outing. It might sound 
somewhat familiar to you. 

Tree-choosing time again! The 
family piles into the van and the 
hunt begins. As they enter the 
tree-acquisition zone, they scan 
their surroundings intently. They 
jump from the vehicle, eyes 
searching for the first glimpse of 
IT — the perfect tree. Each mem- 
ber of the family wants to be the 
one to find it. 

As they scatter in different di- 
rections, they evaluate each tree, 
scanning it for major defects, ex- 
amining it more closely if no huge 
flaws are immediately apparent. 
The timing is tricky. If one is too 
picky, someone else may find IT 
first. If one is not picky enough, 
ridicule, sneers, and embarrass- 
ment will follow the tree's presen- 
tation to the rest of the family. 

As each person presents a tree, 
the remaining family members 
immediately assume judgmental 
attitudes, seeking defects that 
will disqualify this tree's nomina- 



tion. Is it the right size? The right 
kind? Is it perfectly symmetrical? 
Are the branches properly aligned? 
Are there any bare spots? Each 
tree is judged according to the 
Christmas ideal. All losers are 
cast aside. Only the perfect is 
good enough. 

Oops, a flaw is found! How 
could you want this tree? Are you 
crazy? Not wanting to admit de- 
feat, the family member attempts 
persuasion, desperately trying to 
talk the others into accepting his 
or her choice. In reality, the tree 
is not the real goal. It's the per- 
sonal victory of having found IT 
that is important. So each person 
lobbies for his or her candidate, 
promising that it will look perfect 
on the tree stand. Finally, in or- 
der to keep the competition from 
getting out of hand, Mom decides. 

God's way is different 

Aren't you glad that God doesn't 
choose His sons and daughters 
this way? (For God does not show 
favoritism. Rom 2:11) Aren't you 
glad that He doesn't hold us up 
side by side and debate our flaws 
before the heavenly host? Aren't 
you thankful that our imperfec- 
tions don't disqualify us? I am! 

And yet, I continue to hold things 
up to an imaginary ideal and func- 



tion as a judge. Christmas trees 
may be one example, but they are 
unimportant compared with ap- 
plying the same practice to peo- 
ple. What gives me the right to 
judge anyone else in any way? My 
perfect ideal? I don't think so. My 
brothers, as believers in our glori- 
ous Lord Jesus Christ, don't show 
favoritism (James 2:1). 

The perfect Christmas tree and 
those left on the lot into January 
are all trees. Each was created by 
God. Likewise, the privileged, the 
educated, the beautiful people are 
no more — and no less — valuable 
in God's eyes than the uneducated, 
the underprivileged, and the un- 
attractive. 

This year, pray for God's eyes, 
that you might see each person 
you come into contact with (in- 
cluding the ones you live with) as 
God sees them — and that you 
might have the courage to love 
them as God does. Can you live 
that way? If you do, you will have 
a very happy and very blessed New 
Year. I pray that you will. ["8*1 

"Snapshots" is a monthly column 
that seeks to illuminate our relation- 
ship with God by focusing on some of 
the everyday experiences of life. Mrs. 
Rhude is a 
member of 
the Jeffer- 
son Breth- 
ren Church 
of Goshen, 
Ind, and 
takes an ac- 
tive part in 
the life and 
ministry of 
that congre- 
gation. 




The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) 
is published 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: brethren@bright.net; fax: 419-281- 
0450). Authors' views are not necessarily 
those of The Brethren Church. Editor: 
Richard C. Winfield. Subscription rates: 
Sent free to Brethren Church members; 
$15.00 per year to others. Member: Evan- 
gelical Press Association. Postage: Paid at 
Ashland, Ohio. Postmaster: Send address 
changes to The Brethren Church, 524 Col- 
lege Avenue, Ashland, OH 44805-3792. 



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The Brethren Evangelist 



Fumterburg Library 
MANfiHFSTFE COLLEGE 



Ready for renewal? 

(continued from page 1) 

believe we are asleep. It's not the 
first time God's people have de- 
parted from Him! The Old Testa- 
ment has account after account of 
God's people going astray, only to 
be revived and brought back to a 
renewed relationship with God 
through the intervention and grace 
of our Sovereign Lord. The same is 
true in New Testament times. And 
in the years since the time of the 
New Testament, the church has de- 
parted repeatedly from its close, in- 
timate relationship with God. 

A continuing cycle 

The facts of church history sug- 
gest that the Christian Church has 
been in a continuing cycle of: (1) 
closeness to God; (2) departure 
from God; (3) spiritual awakening 
to God's love; (4) repentance by 
God's people; and (5) renewal and 
closeness to God. Consider some of 
the spiritual awakenings that have 
occurred during the last 500 years: 

• The reformation of the 16th cen- 
tury, with the great reforms led by 
Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and Knox. 

• The Puritan-Pietistic awakenings 
of the 17th century. 

• The Moravian renewal and the 
18th-century ministry of John and 
Charles Wesley (after their con- 
version by the Moravian Breth- 
ren) and of George Whitefield. 

• America's second great awaken- 
ing during the 18th century. 

It is important to note that while 
humans seem to cycle from being in 
a close relationship with God to de- 
parting from Him and turning to 
worldly substitutes for His love and 
purposes, God remains faithful to 
His promises and faithfully loves 
His people. 



Create in me a pure heart, 

OGod, 

and renew a steadfast spirit 

within me. 

* * * * * 

Restore to me the joy 

of your salvation 

and grant me a willing spirit, 

to sustain me. 

Psalm 51:10 & 12; NIV 



Where is The Brethren QhmvkmX 
this cycle? It seems to me we are at 
a critical point in our history. Will 
we wake up and call out to God for 
help? Will we repent from our sins 
and our useless "dead works"? 



North Manchester, IN 46312 
— LhaL reveal Llie 



"The point I want to make 

is this: Renewal comes 

from God*s intervention, 

not from man's good 

works. We can, however, 

be agents of God's will 

and facilitators of God's 

action. And this year, 

that is what we are 

going to try to be. 



When will we who desire change 
in our lives be able to renew our 
intimate relationship with God? 
Looking at the pattern traced by 
history, the only hope for renewal 
rests in believers becoming deeply 
disturbed by the events in their 
lives, personally distressed, and 
humbled. Awakening will occur when 
Christians believe that the only 
hope is the sovereign grace of God. 
As Brethren, as Christians, if we 
believe that renewal is necessary 
for the reformation of our society 
we must agonize and pray for a visit 
from God. We need a spirit of prayer. 
God is sovereign, and His Spirit in 
grace will bring us to renewal. 

The point I want to make is this: 
Renewal comes from God's inter- 
vention, not from man's good 
works. We can, however, be agents 
of God's will and facilitators of God's 
action. And this year, that is what 
we are going to try to be. I pray that 
we will seek God's intervention in 
our lives to revive, renew, and re- 
form our lives and our churches. 

Actions we must take 

I believe there are actions that 
we, as Brethren, must take if we 
want God to hear us. We need to: 

• pray as believers in unity, with 
power and praise, for spiritual 
awakening; 

• acquire a passion for spiritual for- 
mation; 

• reevaluate and change our priori- 
ties; 

• encourage our pastors to deliver 
powerful expositions of the Bible 



iwesomeness 



of 



God's heavenly power; 

• assemble and train for ministry 
members who love nothing but 
God, hate nothing but sin, and 
seek only the glory of God; 

• develop and provide programs that 
center on the felt needs of the con- 
gregation and do God's work in 
God's way. 

Are we as Brethren prepared for 
spiritual awakening — for spiritual 
renewal? The truth is, the future 
depends on you! Remember, renewal 
is a gift from our sovereign God. 
But we can facilitate His action 
through prayer . . . and by address- 
ing the priority actions noted above. 

Programs to facilitate renewal 

The Brethren Church at the de- 
nominational level, in cooperation 
with the districts, will offer several 
programs to facilitate renewal. For 
example, we will have: 

• At least two one-day or weekend 
retreats covering critical pro- 
grams such as Becoming a Pray- 
ing Church; Renewal — Family, 
Marriage, Spiritual, and Pas- 
toral; Knowing and Working 
God's Plan; etc. 

• Three or four regional seminars 
covering such subjects as Jesus- 
Style Leadership; Finding My 
Place in the Body of Christ; The 
Winning Ways of Jesus and the 
Early Church; etc. 

• At least one workshop at each dis- 
trict conference (dependent upon 
the district's decision and the time 
available) on topics such as Wor- 
ship Ministry; The Time of Your 
Life; Gaining God's Heart for the 
Lost; The Incredible Power of 
Planning; Becoming a Happy 
Church Family; Improving Con- 
gregational Stewardship; etc. 

A list of the subjects to be offered 
and the dates and locations where 
they will be presented will be sent 
to each church on a quarterly basis. 

An open door 

The door is open for us. Will we 
enter that door? My desire is that 
every member of The Brethren 
Church will experience renewal, 
resulting in a deeper relationship 
with God and with His Son, Jesus 
Christ. I pray that this is your de- 
sire as well. [ft] 



January 1998 



Ashland Theological Seminary 



Reshaping Theological Education 

By Frederick J. Finks 




Dr. Frederick J. Finks, President, 
Ashland Theological Seminary 

A FEW YEARS ago a study was 
conducted among theological 
seminaries in the northwestern 
part of the United States. The pur- 
pose of the study was to determine 
what changes those seminaries 
had enacted to address the current 
needs of churches and Christian 
ministry in that area of the coun- 
try. The findings of the study were 
alarming. 

Unchanging curriculum 

First of all, most of the seminaries 
that were surveyed had made little 
or no change in their theological 
curriculum. Most had maintained 
the curricular pattern established 
more than 100 years ago. They con- 
tinued to teach the age-old disci- 
plines associated with theological 
education. 

The findings of this study were 
picked up by the Associated Press 
and printed in newspapers across 
the country. Editors and religious 
commentators were quick to point 
accusatory fingers at seminaries, 
lumping them all into the same 
category and judging them irrele- 
vant to today's world. 

Failure of seminaries to respond 



to the changing patterns of Ameri- 
can church life is in fact inexcus- 
able. Seminaries that are guilty of 
such behavior certainly deserve to 
be called "ivory towers," "cemeteries," 
and "monasteries." 

Not answerable to the church 

A second finding actually con- 
cerned me more than the fact that 
seminaries for the most part had 
neglected the changes taking place 
in the church. This second finding, 
which I find quite appalling, is that 
seminaries took the position that 
they can teach whatever they want 
to teach and that they are not sub- 
ject to the demands of the church. 

The argument of some of the sem- 
inary leaders in this study was that 
they are being true to the ancient 
disciplines that are a part of higher 
education. For them it is more im- 
portant to hold to a set of standards 
than to change the curriculum in 
order to better serve the church. 

When I received a copy of this 
report, I was thankful that Ashland 
Theological Seminary had not held 
to this same philosophy. While it is 
true that certain disciplines must 
not be forsaken (theology, biblical 
studies, commitment to Greek and 
Hebrew, church history, etc.), never- 



theless for theological education to 
be relevant and in fact beneficial to 
the church, we must learn how to 
integrate education and ministry. 
The historic disciplines are very 
important, but so are the practical 
disciplines that address the current 
culture of the church. 

We are attempting to keep theo- 
logical education out of a vacuum 
by integrating it with spiritual for- 
mation and faith community. Spiri- 
tual formation involves developing 
a "right heart" with God. Faith com- 
munity means developing a "right 
relationship" with fellow Chris- 
tians. When all three are blended 
together, theological education 
finds its context within the life of 
the church and within an intimate 
relationship with God. 

A servant to the church 

It is the responsibility of sem- 
inaries to teach Christian leaders 
not only how to "accurately handle 
the word of truth," but also how to 
apply that truth to everyday living. 
Ashland Theological Seminary views 
itself as a servant to the church. 
Because this is true, we will con- 
tinue to rethink and to reshape our 
curriculum in order to better serve 
the church. [D 1 ] 



Giving Fair Share Support 



One of the ways in which Breth- 
ren churches contribute to the over- 
all ministry and mission of Ash- 
land Theological Seminary is by 
giving their Fair Share support, 
as approved by General Confer- 
ence. The current recommended 
Fair Share amount is $12 per 
Church Growth Index* point. 

Giving to the Seminary by Breth- 
ren churches totals approximate- 
ly $80,000 each year. This is far 

*A congregation's Church Growth In- 
dex is calculated by totaling its member- 
ship, average worship attendance, and av- 
erage Sunday school attendance, and then 
dividing that total by three. 



below the full Fair Share amount." 
By supporting Ashland Theo- 
logical Seminary, we are support- 
ing The Brethren Church, for by 
our gifts we are helping to train 
and prepare future ministers, 
missionaries, and ministry lead- 
ers. We must have the vision to 
see beyond our immediate situ- 
ation and plan for the future. En- 
courage your church to contribute 
its Fair Share. [ft] 

* Editor 's note: The total Church Growth 
Index for The Brethren Church at the end 
of 1996 was 10,844. Thus the total Fair 
Share support to our seminary should be 
$130,128. 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Ashland Theological Seminary 



Answering God's Call 



IT OFTEN TAKES a bold vision 
to move an immovable object. It 
often takes a miracle to convince 
the unbelieving. But it only takes 
God to change the world. 

During General Conference last 
August in South Bend, Ind., a vi- 
sion of what The Brethren Church 
could become began to take hold. 
This bold vision included planting 
churches and equipping leaders. That 
in itself was not new, but the out- 
pouring of God's Spirit in so many 
visible ways was enough to convince 
many that this time is different. 

More than 30 people came for- 
ward on Thursday night of Confer- 
ence to commit their lives to full- 
time Christian ministry. Further- 
more, seven Brethren men have en- 
rolled in Ashland Seminary since 
August to prepare for pastoral min- 
istry. This was in addition to those 
who had applied for admission 
prior to General Conference. 

The Seminary has made a commit- 
ment to provide a full-tuition schol- 
arship to any Brethren student pre- 
paring for full-time pastoral minis- 
try (who is enrolled in the Master of 
Divinity program) and who agrees to 
serve at least five years in Brethren 
ministry. This amounts to approxi- 
mately $6,000 annually. 



We are convinced that the church 
will respond to the need to train 
and equip its future leaders. Breth- 
ren have responded generously in 
the past and have made it possible 
to give scholarships. We are con- 
vinced that God will touch lives to 
make it possible in an even more 
dynamic way. [ft] 



Establishing Scholarships 

In 1982, the entire scholarship en- 
dowment for the Seminary totaled 
only $172,000. Today that endow- 
ment totals $2,350,600. It produces 
approximately $176,000 in annual 
scholarships for 700 students. 

Several Brethren churches and 
many individuals have established en- 
dowed scholarships in memory of or 
in honor of loved ones. To endow a 
scholarship, contact Dr. Lee Solomon 
at the Seminary. 




Many Ashland Theological Seminary students are married and have children. 
Here Professor John Shultz (I.) shares a few light moments with Brethren students 
Karen Frado and John Allison and their sons, both of whom are named Michael. 




Ashland Theological Seminary Professor Ron Waters (r.) chats with Brethren 
students (I. to r.) Gerry Weiss, Bruce Wilkinson, and Wes Glass. 

January 1998 



Brethren Students at ATS 

Currently 22 Brethren students attend 

Ashland Theological Seminary. They are 

(home church in parentheses): 

John Allison (Derby) 

Debra Bixel (Park St.) 

Bob Buford (Park St.) 

James Frado (Linwood) 

Karen Frado (Linwood) 

Wes Glass (Linwood) 

Annalee Hoover (North Georgetown) 

Anthony Keim (Mt. Olive) 

Brian Maurer ( Garber) 

Ron Miller (Linwood) 

Adrianne Owens (Mt. Zion) 

Arnold Owens (Pleasant View) 

Joyce Owens (Pleasant View) 

Dianna Park (Pleasant View) 

David Reeves (Sarasota) 

Tim Solomon (Sarasota) 

Tony Price (New Lebanon) 

Glenn Sprunger (Park St.) 

Louise Waller (Northwest Chapel) 

Gerry Weiss ( Park St.) 

Tracy Whiteside (Smoky Row) 

Bruce Wilkinson (Linwood) 



From Seeking Help to Sharing Hope 

By Larry R. Baker 



MOST PEOPLE have a mental 
picture of their preferred fu- 
ture. But frequently life does not 
play out like the mental picture. 
When this happens, some people 
lose their sense of purpose and 
their hope. But it doesn't have to 
be that way. God uses available peo- 
ple. People who may be hurting and 
in need of help can offer hope to 
others. Rev. Bob Stafford is a great 
example of just such a person. 

In 1988 Bob Stafford was pastor- 
ing the Teegarden, Ind., Brethren 
Church and working with children 
in a psychiatric hospital, when he 
was diagnosed with breast cancer. 
His mental picture of his preferred 
future was altered drastically. 

He had surgery for the cancer, 
but in 1991 it began to spread. By 
1993 he was forced to retire be- 
cause of the disease and the side 
effects of chemotherapy. 

Bob discovered that many people 
were surprised to learn that a man 
had breast cancer. When he at- 
tended breast cancer support 
groups, women were usually uncom- 
fortable with his presence. Besides, 
the clothes modeled in the style 
shows at these meetings weren't his 
type! He was often the lone male at 
breast cancer survivor events. 

As a result, he began spend- 
ing more time at his hobby — 
computers and surfing the in- 
ternet. He found information 
about breast cancer on the in- 
ternet, but very little about 
male breast cancer. He de- 
cided to join a breast cancer 
discussion list. His first post 
was, "I'm a man — will I be ac- 
cepted here?" He was accepted, and 
many were curious. 

Opportunities for ministry 

When others on the discussion list 
learned that Bob had been a pastor, 
some of them sent questions to him 
privately about spiritual matters. 
Some wanted to make sure where 
they were going when they died. 
Others wanted to discuss their fears. 



Bob has been able to share the 
gospel privately and to lead people to 
Christ over the internet! What began 
as a search for 
help is now an 
opportunity 
for ministry! 
What began as 
a search for 
help has blos- 
somed into 
full-time min- 
istry. 

Since 1995, 
Bob has been 
the webmaster 
for the award- 
winning Male 
Breast Cancer 
information 
site on the internet (http ^interact, 
withus.coin/interact/mbc/). He is the 
"owner" of a Male Breast Cancer Dis- 
cussion List with more than 45 mem- 
bers, and a Cancer Patient Chris- 
tian Online Support List (space for 
which was donated by an atheistic 
Jew). Often he will post Bible stud- 
ies on the Christian support list. 

Since January 1996, he has also 
managed the Caring Parents Forum 
on the St. John's University server, 
which helps parents of children with 



per day reading and responding to 
e-mail and to posts on the forums, 
in addition to the time he spends in 
prayer for many of these concerns. 
He also sends follow-up material 
to new Christians. And when a mem- 
ber of a support group dies, Bob 
facilitates an on-line memorial serv- 
ice of that person's life. Further- 
more, he mentors other Christians 
by e-mail, so that they can 
help with this ministry. Re- 
cent topics in one forum were 
"What's Bob's Life Worth?" 
"life & death," "our journey," 
and "Why survive?" It's a tre- 
mendous opportunity to offer 
hope to people who are hurt- 
ing and seeking help. 

In the midst of all this, Bob 
has retained his tremendous 
sense of humor as well as his 
concern for the global church 
of Christ. Many of us receive 
jokes and prayer concerns from 
Bob on a regular basis. He has 
Cyber-Pastor Bob Stafford made television app earances on 





local news shows, on NBC's Today 
show, and on Dateline. Robert 
Schuller would say that Bob has let 
God "turn his scars into stars." 

Opportunities on the internet 

Bob wants other Christians to real- 
ize the tremendous opportunity for 
ministry presented by the internet. 
He says, "You can be a world mis- 
sionary for $20 a month. You are 
dealing with the 'movers and shak- 
ers' of the world. They are the ones 
who are online." He is con- 
vinced that the internet is one 
way to help fulfill the Great 
Commission to "Go and make 
disciples of all nations." He 
sees the internet used for 
evangelism, devotionals, 
prayer chains, missions news, 
research, and for offering 



hope to hurting people. It's 
lal graphic on the Male Breast Cancer website. algo ft place where shut . ins 

critical illnesses. In addition, he helps 
manage a support forum just for 
kids who are critically ill. 

Bob receives more than 300 pieces 
of e-mail per day. (His e-mail ad- 
dress is bstafford@skyenet.net.) He 
is Cyber-Pastor to people all over 
the world — Peru, Canada, the United 
Kingdom, Singapore, Germany, 
Iceland, Russia, Japan, Turkey, 
etc. He spends four to five hours 



and the handicapped can minister. 
Perhaps your mental picture of 
your preferred future has also been 
damaged or shattered. If so, don't 
lose hope. God can still work though 
you in exciting ways, just as He has 
worked through Cyber-Pastor Bob 
Stafford. [ft] 

Rev. Baker, pastor of the South Bend, 
Ind., First Brethren Church, is a close 
friend to Rev. Stafford. 



6 



The Brethren Evangelist 



T/te Women's OutCoo^9\[ezvsCetter 

A pu6Cication of the (Brethren Women's Missionary Society 




January-February 1998 



Volume 11, Number 3 




C~~ ' miiimumi """"tj 



Ike 

(President 's 
Ten 

Dear Ladies, 

Christmas is over and we have 
begun the new year of 1998. I have 
finished my chemo treatments and 
will now see my oncologist every 
three months for two years and 
then every six months for three 
years. I feel great and am so 
thankful for all the prayers on my 
behalf. I have faith that the cancer 
is gone and will not return. 
Thanks again for your prayers. 

The year 1997 was a year of new 
experiences for me. It was the first 
time I had radiation, the first time 
I 're-grew' my hair — two times. 
(This time it is coming in black!!) 
Those new experiences happened 
and my life went on. Through all of 
this I met some wonderful people. 
Many were Christians. I always told 
them of the many friends who were 
praying for me and of my faith in 
the Lord's healing. I have had the 
opportunity to talk to others with 
cancer and to tell them of the won- 
derful power of prayer. 

There may be times when life 
seems unbearable. It could be 
physical pain, difficult decisions, 
death of a loved one, or other life- 
shaping problems. Sometimes we 
become fearful or have doubts. We 
may even find it difficult to pray. 
But if we know the Lord through a 
personal faith in Christ, we can ex- 
perience peace of mind and a calm- 
ness of spirit. 

We read in Philippians 4:6-7, 
(continued on page 3) 



In Appreciation 

But my God shall supply all your need 
according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 

Philippians 4:19 



Since 10 years ago, when the 
W.M.S. Outlook took on a new ap- 
pearance, Jeanette Sullivan has 
been an integral part of the 
change. In 1987 Jan was appointed 
editor of the Devotional Guide and, 
with her ideas and suggestions, 
she has improved the format of the 
monthly programs. 

Jan found new ladies to write their 
experiences and opinions on vari- 
ous topics and themes. We became 
acquainted with ladies throughout 
the denomination who serve the 
Lord with the same purpose. 

Jan's program ideas have em- 
phasized what we all know — that 
W.M.S. must meet the needs of the 
women while we keep the message 
that we serve missions. The mis- 
sion may be in a neighborhood or 
around the world. 

Jan spent much time in prayer 
before the first letter was written 
to begin the next Devotional Guide. 
Her publication was bathed in 
prayer and then she followed God's 
leading. This explains why it is 
such a valuable tool for our 
monthly meetings. 

When she chose the 1997-98 
theme, "Joy in our Journey," she 
had no clue that at times she 
would have to hunt for joy in this 
year's journey. Jan's husband, 
Ken, was her prayer partner and 
worked with her in the layout of 




the publication. After his sudden 
death in May, Jan's daily strength 
came from knowing that in all things 
the Lord Jesus was with her. 

After a difficult summer of mak- 
ing decisions: where to live, what 
to do, what is best for Dianne (her 
daughter) and for herself, Jan 
made the decision to move to Ak- 
ron, Ohio, where she will be near 
her sister and Ken's mother, closer 
to Chris and her family (Jan's 
other daughter), and placement 
and employment opportunities for 
Dianne and Jan. 

Jan's new address is 919 Lind- 
say Avenue, Akron, Ohio 44306. 
Telephone: 330-724-3780. 

Jan, W.M.S. appreciates all your 
hopes and efforts you have given. 
Your years of ministry as editor 
concluded in August, but the ef- 
fects are not finished. You have 
planted seeds for growth, and the 
rest of us will cultivate your 
plants. Thanks for being a woman 
who serves. We love you and con- 
tinue our prayers for you. 




W.M.S. DIRECTORY — 1998 



NATIONAL W.M.S. OFFICERS 

President — Mrs. Shirley Black, 102 High 

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

0370 
Vice President — Mrs. Marilyn Aspinall, 

13-108 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. JoAnn Seaman, 1314 Davis 

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

0027 
Ass't. Treasurer — Mrs. Janet Rufener, 128 

Lilac Ln., Ashland, OH 44805. Phone: 

419-289-0465 
Literature Secretary — Mrs. Penny Knouff, 

5299 Clay St., NE, Louisville, OH 44641 
Editor of the Devotional Guide — Mrs. 

Nancy Hunn, 555 W. Market St., Nap- 
panee, IN 46550. Phone: 219-773-5578 
Editor of the Outlook Newsletter — Mrs. 

Joan Ronk, 1325 Coachman Ct., Ashland, 

OH 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, Mun- 

cie, 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: 330-669-2944 

Southeastern 

President — Susan Kidd, Rt. 1, Box 24, 

Bridgewater, VA 22812. Phone: 540-828- 

4987 
Vice President — Mary Garver, 407 Main 

St., New Windsor, MD 21776 
Secretary-Treasurer — Virginia Hook, 3046 

Old Washington Rd., Westminster, MD 

21157 

Pennsylvania 

President — Barbara Hagerich, 121 Teal 

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

322-1638 
Vice President — Jane Yoder, RD 1, Box 

44, Jones Mills, PA 15646. Phone: 412- 

593-2396 
Secretary — Vera Schroyer, RD 3, Box 449, 

Acme, PA 15610. Phone: 412-593-2363 
Treasurer — Marsha Nulph, 361 Stoney 

Hollow Rd., Cabot, PA 16023. Phone: 412- 

352-3528 

Ohio 

President — Mrs. Wanda Powell, 9 Oakwood, 
Beloit, OH 44609. Phone: 330-938-3291 

Vice President — Sharon Dixon, 633 Buck- 
waiter Dr. SW, Massillon, OH 44646. 
Phone: 330-832-2074 

Secretary-Treasurer — Betty Deardurff, 116 
Buckingham Ave., Bellefontaine, OH 43311 

Ass't. Secretary-Treasurer — Joanne Kroft, 
608 Twp. Rd. 1151, RD 5, Ashland, OH 
44805. Phone: 419-962-4679 

Indiana 

President — Cynthia Stout, 7412 S. 800 E, 

Frankfort, IN 46041 
Vice President — Susie Stout, 502 US Bus. 

31 S, Peru, IN 46970. Phone: 317-473-3455 



Secretary-Treasurer — Joy Zook, 2029 E. 

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

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

Staller, CR 9587 E. 375 N, Logansport, 

IN 46947. Phone: 219-664-3589 
Financial Secretary — Linda Immel, 401 E. 

3rd St., North Manchester, IN 46962. 

Phone: 219-982-8238 
Ass't. Financial Secretary — Sandra Sharp, 

681 E. May St., Leesburg, IN 46538. 

Phone: 219-834-4601 

Central 

President — Melva Staples, P. O. Box 296, 

Milledgeville, IL 60151. Phone: 815-225- 

7132 
Vice President — Anita Hollewell, RD 2, 

Box 11, Lanark, IL 61046 
Secretary-Treasurer — Gini Hutchison, 5085 

Otter Creek Dr., Milledgeville, IL 61051 

Midwest 

President — Carolyn Tucker, 1500 Commu- 
nity Dr., Derby, KS 67037. Phone: 316- 
788-4913 

Vice President — Shirley Powell, Rt. 1, Box 
118, Longton, KS 67352 

Secretary-Treasurer — Marilyn Minor, Rt. 
3, Box 440, Fort Scott, KS 66701 

Southwest 

President — Clara Stigers, 4160 E. Burns 

St., Tucson, AZ 85711. Phone: 520-323- 

0215 
Vice President — Marie Fanning, 5772 E. 

Seneca, Tucson, AZ 85712 
Secretary-Treasurer — Ina Williams, 4359 

E. Blanton Rd., Tucson, AZ 85712 

Northern California 

President — None 

LOCAL SOCIETIES 

Names and Addresses of 
W.M.S. Presidents 

Florida District 

Sarasota Day — June Shaw, 625 Caruso 

PI., Sarasota, FL 34237. Phone: 941-955- 

9241 
Sarasota Evening — Betty Renneker, 1412 

Colgate Ave., Bradenton, FL 34207. 

Phone: 941-756-3697 

Southeastern District 

Bethlehem Mary and Martha — Kathy 

Velanzon, Rt. 1, Box 931, Port Republic, 

VA 24471 
Cumberland — Vergie Greenawalt, 917 

Maryland Ave., Cumberland, MD 21502. 

Phone: 301-724-1105 
Hagerstown — Julia Humelsine, 332 Avon 

Rd., Hagerstown, MD 21740. Phone: 301- 

733-8680 
Linwood — Virginia Hook, 3046 Old Wash- 
ington Rd., Westminster, MD 21157. 

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

Woodstock, VA 22664. Phone: 540-459- 

3204 
Oak Hill — Lois Robinson, 105 Miller Ave., 

Oak Hill, WV 25901. Phone: 304-469-4806 
Southeast Christian Fellowship — Helen 

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 — Bettie Cook, 1039 Wisman Rd., 

Woodstock, VA 22664. Phone: 540-459-3963 

Pennsylvania District 

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

15530 
Brush Valley — Irene Tarr, Rt. 1, Adrian, 

PA 16210 



Cameron — Jean Rayle, 93 Penn Ave., 

Cameron, WV 26033. Phone: 304-686-3782 
Fairless Hills — Alice Zimmerman, 171 S. 

Myrtlewood Ave., Langhorne, PA 19047. 

Phone: 215-757-6228 
Highland — Marilyn Reynard, 583 High- 
land Ridge Rd., Marianna, PA 15345. 

Phone: 412-267-3445 
Johnstown II — Nancy Grumbling, 179 

Bond St., Johnstown, PA 15905. Phone: 

814-288-6115 
Johnstown III — Delores Golby, 402 Nor- 
wood Gardens, Johnstown, PA 15905. 

Phone: 914-255-5477 
Masontown — Mary Davis, 400 Locust St., 

Masontown, PA 15461. Phone: 412-583- 

7818 
Meyersdale — LeeAnn Yoder, Rt. 3, Mey- 

ersdale, PA 15552. Phone: 814-634-5107 
Mt. Olivet — Madlyn Davis, Rt. 1, Box 249, 

Georgetown, DE 19947. Phone: 302-934- 

9122 
Pleasant View — Aldine Young, Rt. 1, Box 

183, Vandergrift, PA 15690 
Raystown — Bonnie Chamberlain, Rt. 1, 

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

928-5149 
Sarver — Marsha Nulph, 361 Stoney Hol- 
low Rd., Cabot, PA 16023. Phone: 412- 

352-3528 
Sergeantsville — Doris Culbertson, Box 67, 

Sergeantsville, NJ 08557. Phone: 609- 

397-3120 
Valley — Sheila Neiderhiser, Rt. 1, Box 

315N, Acme, PA 15610. Phone: 412-593- 

2324 
Vinco — Brenna Mackall, 178 Mackall 

Ave., Mineral Point, PA 15942. Phone: 

814-322-1420 
Wayne Heights — Lorinda Schildt, 222 S. 

Oiler Ave., Waynesboro, PA 17268. Phone: 

717-762-5786 
White Dale — Rita Varner, P.O. Box 414, 

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

Ohio District 

Brethren Bible — Connie Solomon, 1241 

Baier Ave., Louisville, OH 44641. Phone: 

330-875-2666 
Fremont — Marcia Miller, 216 S. Park 

Ave., Fremont, OH 43420. Phone: 419- 

332-0531 
Garber — Donna Stoffer, 1509 Old Post 

Rd., Ashland, OH 44805. Phone: 419-281- 

3710 
Gratis — Ruth Focht, 8947 S. Preble C. 

Line Rd., Germantown, OH 45327. Phone: 

937-787-3860 
Gretna Gleaners — Nettie Hudson, 4653 

CR 11, Bellefontaine, OH 43311. Phone: 

937-592-9163 
Gretna Lamplighters — Andi Jenkins, 6686 

Co. Rd. 56, Huntsville, OH 43324. Phone: 

937-686-3661 
Newark — Florence Crist, 66 Roe Ave., 

Newark, OH 43055 
New Lebanon Afternoon — Jane Metzger, 1 

Lawson Ave., New Lebanon, OH 45345. 

Phone: 937-687-1186 
New Lebanon Evening — Lori Metivier, 

152 N. Diamond Mill Rd., New Lebanon, 

OH 45345. Phone: 937-837-3332 
North Georgetown Afternoon-Carrie Stoffer 

— Alice Kensinger, 33 Boxwood Dr., Be- 
loit, OH 44609. Phone: 330-938-9133 

North Georgetown Evening-Evelyn Mercer 

— Nancy Diehl, 4066 S. Mahoning Ave., 
Alliance, OH 44601. Phone: 330-821-5625 

Park St. Faith — Pauline Benshoff, 1317 

Lake Dr., Ashland, OH 44805. Phone: 

419-962-4646 
Park St. Hope — Shirley Black, 102 High 

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

0370 



Women's Outlook Newsletter 



Park St. Joy — Jane Solomon, 24 Samari- 
tan Ave., Ashland, OH 44805. Phone: 
419-281-3298 

Smithville — Edna Fleming, 339 N. Ella 
St., Orrville, OH 44667 

Trinity Jr. — Sharon Dixon, 633 Buckwal- 
ter Dr. SW, Massillon, OH 44646. Phone: 
330-832-2074 

Trinity Sr. — Donna Barnes, 3204 Cleve- 
land Ave. S, Canton, OH 44707. Phone: 
330-484-3387 

West Alexandria — Marilyn Ward, 2356 
New Market Banta Rd., West Alexandria, 
OH 45381 

Williamstown — Barbara Main, 6781 SR 
12 W, Findlay, OH 45840. Phone: 419- 
422-3069 

Indiana District 

Ardmore — Kathy Galbreath, 23674 St. Rt. 

2, South Bend, IN 46619. Phone: 219-232- 

6179 
Brighton Chapel — Leona Long, 5455 N. 

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

3074 
Bryan I — Anna Moore, 620 S. Walnut St., 

Bryan, OH 43506. Phone: 419-636-2856 
Bryan Susannah — Gina Dietrich, 03482 

Ney-Williams Center Rd., Ney, OH 

43549. Phone: 419-658-2101 
Burlington — Tonya Powell, Box 327, Burling- 
ton, IN 46915. Phone: 765-566-3432 
College Corner — Tamie White, 2817 W. 

850 S, Wabash, IN 46992. Phone: 765- 

981-4557 
Corinth — Lois Thomson, 5751 N. CR 

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

664-2729 
Cornerstone — Joan Merrill, 9300 S. SR 3, 

Muncie, IN 47302. Phone: 765-289-2384 
Dutchtown — Pat Sattison, 6600 E. South 

Barbee Dr., Warsaw, IN 46580. Phone: 

219-594-3068 
Flora — Co-presidents: June Clem, 126 W. 

Walnut, Flora, IN 46929. Phone: 219-967- 

3973; and Kathleen Brummett, 7182 W. 

Division Line Rd., Delphi, IN 46923. 

Phone: 765-564-4172 
Goshen Chantal — Maggy Garber, 16170 

CR 138, Goshen, IN 46526. Phone: 219- 

642-4535 
Goshen Jeanette — 
Goshen Regina — Esther Mishler, 41 Green 

Way Dr. Goshen, IN 46526. Phone: 219- 

533-4995 
Huntington — Lois Fox, 1515 Hedd St., 

Huntington, IN 46750. Phone: 219-356-0309 
Loree I — Anita Bucher, Rt. 5, Box 44, 

Peru, IN 46970. Phone: 219-626-2816 
Loree Charity — 
Meadow Crest — Lisa Hawthorn, 6552 St. 

Joe Center Rd., Fort Wayne, IN 46835. 

Phone: 219-486-5335 
Mexico — Marion Bargerhuff, P.O. Box 

234, 92 Walnut Ln., Mexico, IN 46958. 

Phone: 765-985-3560 
Milford — Lois Scott, P.O. Box 525, 411 

Catherine St., Milford, IN 46542. Phone: 

219-658-4876 
Nappanee — Sue Hinton, 701 N. Williams, 

Nappanee, IN 46550. Phone: 219-773-5603 
New Paris — Gerry Swartz, 601 E. Pick- 
wick Dr., Syracuse, IN 46757. Phone: 

219-457-3343 
North Manchester Hadassah — Helen Con- 
rad, 504 Hawthorn Tr., North Manches- 
ter, IN 46962. Phone: 219-982-4855 
North Manchester Joy — Toni Ayres, 1298 

E. 1200 S, Claypool, IN 46510. Phone: 

219-982-8137 
Oakville — Teresa Blevins, 8453 N. CR 

50 W, Springport, IN 47386. Phone: 765- 

755-3776 
Peru — Rosalyn Roller, 470 W. 14th St., 

Peru, IN 46970 
Roann — Rosella Layton, 430 W. Adams 

St., Roann, IN 46974. Phone: 317-833-2626 

January-February 1998 



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

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

Tiosa — Joy Zook, 2029 E. 4th St., Tiosa, 
Rochester, IN 46975. Phone: 219-223-6669 

Wabash — Nancy Snyder, 518 Gillen Ave., 
Wabash, IN 46992. Phone: 219-563-6300 

Warsaw — Lois Garber, 715 E. Clark, War- 
saw, IN 46580. Phone: 219-267-5272 

Central District 

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

Hammond Ave. — Carolyn Waters, 303 
Meadowbrook Lane, Waterloo, I A 50701. 
Phone: 319-2344-6910 

Lanark Neoma — Carolyn Miller, 13433 
Center Dr., Lanark, IL 61046. Phone: 
815-493-6232 

Milledgeville Beacons — Marian Haugh, 
220 W. 8th St., P.O. Box 663, Mill- 
edgeville, IL 61051. Phone: 815-225-7741 

Milledgeville Hearts of Praise — Jane 
Long, 21932 Fulfs Rd., Sterling, IL 61081. 
Phone: 815-336-2492 

Midwest District 

Fort Scott I — Carole Minor, 1421 S. Mar- 
grove, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Phone: 316- 
223-1938 

Fort Scott II — Shirley Powell, Rt. 1, Box 
118, Longton, KS 61352. Phone: 316-642- 
2024 

Mulvane — Thelma Adams, Rt. 2, Box 162, 
Udall, KS 67148. Phone: 316-782-3508 

Southwest District 

Tucson Evening — Iris McKinney, 6717 
Calle Mercurio, Tucson, AZ 85710. Phone: 
520-747-2253 

Tucson Faith, Hope, Charity — Marie Fan- 
ning, 5772 E. Seneca, Tucson, AZ 85712. 
Phone: 520-885-3398 

Northern California District 

Stockton — Delores Soderfelt, 518 Arc Ave., 
Stockton, CA 95210. Phone: 209-477-0888 



The President's Pen (continued) 

"Do not be anxious about anything, but 
in everything by prayer and petition, 
with thanksgiving, present your re- 
quests to God. And the peace of God, 
which transcends all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds 
in Christ Jesus." So, if you feel over- 
whelmed by your troubles, fix your 
mind on the Lord. Ask for His help. 
Trust Him. Let Him give you peace in 
your storm. 

In your meetings this year, get 
the ABC's out and go over them — 
one by one. Would you like to see 
any changes? Any additions? 
Maybe some need to be rewritten. 
Please send me the suggestions 
your W.M.S. group might have. We 
plan to discuss the ABC's at our 
next W.M.S. Board meeeting. 

We have some changes in our 
Board members for this year. 
Janet Rufener has been appointed 
assistant treasurer; Penny Knouff 



has been appointed literature sec- 
retary; Nancy Hunn will be the 
editor of the Devotional Guide. 
More about each of these ladies in 
a future Newsletter. 

Please read carefully Linda Im- 
mel's letter about starting a new 
W.M.S. group. This is exciting! Her 
message to those who know noth- 
ing about W.M.S. can be easily 
duplicated in other churches. She 
began with prayer and a desire! 

The following poem is for you to 
read and maybe put on your refrig- 
erator or some place where you 
will see it often. Then do an act of 
kindness. 

It Only Taf^es a Moment 

It only takes a moment to watch 

a butterfly 
Glide gracefully on gossamer wing 
Across the blue of sky. 

But oh, the sheer enjoyment that 

such a moment brings; 
Its beauty lifts my spirits high. 
All day my glad heart sings. 

It only takes a moment to give a 

friendly smile, 
To pay a lovely compliment, 
Or share a thought worthwhile. 

Yet, little acts of kindness can 

cheer some soul along, 
And plant within a lonely heart 
A joyous, vibrant song. 

— Beverly J. Anderson 
God Bless You. 




Shirley Black 



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. 



LOOK! 



A note from Linda Immel in 
North Manchester, Ind., brought 
this good news. 

I am so excited to share with you 
what GOD is doing with this new 
ladies' fellowship group. He is so 
faithful when we are obedient to 
His call. After General Conference 
I sent personal letters to ladies 
who were new to The Brethren 
Church, introducing them to 
W.M.S. I invited them to a meeting 
in my home, so I could further tell 
them about W.M.S., introduce 
them to missionary families, and 
answer questions they might have. 
There were nine at that meeting. 

We went on a treasure hunt (I 
used the September program idea 
in the Devotional Guide) and made 
some great discoveries about the 
needs of these young gals. They 
really have the need and desire to 
"serve the Lord." We made plans 
to invite others to a brainstorming 
meeting in October. 

When we met in October, I in- 
vited Cynthia Stout, the Indiana 
District president, to come and 
share why W.M.S. is important to 
her and to encourage the ladies in 
this endeavor. She was great! 
These young ladies are very local 
and community service-oriented, 
so we may not send checks for 
national offerings and projects this 
first year, but I believe it will hap- 
pen, as they learn more about 
these special offerings. 

They have already been encour- 
aged by the JOY Circle and the 
Hadassah Circle (societies already 
established in the North Manches- 
ter Church), because these societies 
have paid this year's dues for them. 
We also have a new Indiana goal of 
participating in the Society Sister 
Program, and our Society Sisters 
are from the Goshen Chantel Cir- 
cle. They sent us such an encour- 
aging card and letters last month. 
These young gals truly have felt 
loved by other W.M.S. ladies. What 
a blessing! 

We got so involved in our plan- 
ning last month that we didn't 
even get around to deciding on a 
name, but we are going to get one 



soon. It has to be just right, you 
know. We decided to wait to elect 
officers, too, so we plan to do that 
at our Christmas party. 

I ask that you would pray for me, 
as I seek to follow God's leading for 
this group. These girls are mostly 
young, non-Brethren, so I really 
want to give them a love for Breth- 
ren missions and W.M.S. work. 
And I want this group to meet the 
needs of these girls and be in God's 
design, not mine. 

In His Service, Linda 

(Should you want to send encour- 
agement or questions to Linda, her 
address is 401 E. Third St., North 
Manchester, IN 46962.) 

(Missionary 

Each of these items is in need of 
your daily prayers: 

• Claudio and Karina Castelli are 
missionaries from the Argentine 
church to Paraguay. 

• Sudhir Kumar's wedding date is in 
January 1998. He and his father, 
Prasanth, are looking in Vijaya- 
wada (vi-jay-a-wada), the new city 
where Sudhir has worked for sev- 
eral months, for a place for Sudhir 
and his wife to live as well as a 
center for worship. 

• Mark and Chantal Logan, living 
in Djibouti, East Africa, reported 
an unusual amount of rain. Dji- 
bouti is a dry country, so torren- 
tial rains cause severe problems: 
huge mudholes and puddles 
which are stagnant, polluted, and 
breeding places for mosquitoes 
and flies. This leads to the spread 
of diseases. An epidemic of chol- 
era has already caused many 
deaths. Prayers are needed for 
this Muslim country. 

• Jen Thomas is affiliated with Spear- 
head and works with Todd and 
Tracy Ruggles in Mexico City as 
well. Jen's father died unexpect- 
edly during Thanksgiving week, 
which necessitated a trip home to 
Canton, Ohio. Within the past three 
years her mother and her grand- 
mother also died. Help her to be 
comforted and to know God's love. 

• Three ministerial couples are 
raising start-up funds for new 



church groups. Watch for develop- 
ments from: 

(1) Jim and Elaine Thomas and 
the Eagle's Nest Christian Fel- 
lowship in Peru, Indiana; 

(2) Mike and Barbara Woods in the 
Winchester, Virginia, area; and 

(3) Jim and Stephanie Boyd in 
Vista, California. 

Prayers may be sent directly; 
financial gifts may be sent to 
Brethren Missions, 524 College 
Ave., Ashland, Ohio 44805. 

Missionaries-of-the-Month for 
JANUARY are missionaries in Ar- 
gentina: Allen Baer, and Eduardo 
and Mariela Rodriguez. Allen, the 
senior missionary, serves The Breth- 
ren Church in many capacities in 
Buenos Aires. Eduardo and Mariela 
came from Buenos Aires in 1995 to 
attend Ashland Theological Sem- 
inary. In August they returned to 
Argentina to reopen Eden Bible 
Institute, a Brethren theological 
school which was closed in the 
1970s. The need for a theological 
school is great, and the partnership 
of The Brethren Church in Argen- 
tina and The Brethren Church in 
the United States is strong! 

The FEBRUARY missionaries 
are home mission pastors: Mike 
and Pam Sove at the North view 
Brethren Life Church in Franklin, 
Ohio; and Tom and Debbie Sprowls 
at the Living HOPE Brethren 
Church in Medina, Ohio. Both are 
young families who pastor young 
congregations. 

The MARCH missionaries are in 
South America: Miguel and Sonia 
Antunez in Lima, Peru; and Claudio 
and Karina Castelli in Paraguay. 

Tniftkftr's hiding 

Dear Friend, 

Much work goes into making the 
Directory correct. Should you see 
an error or an omission, please send 
me a note so our records can be 
complete. The information comes 
from the statistical report which 
you submit in June to the general 
secretary. We appreciate your com- 
plete and accurate reports. 
Your friend, 

ft Joan 
Women's Outlook Newsletter 



Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People 



By John Ortberg 



FOR MUCH of my life, when I 
heard messages about following 
Jesus, I thought in terms of trying 
hard to be like Him. Spiritual trans- 
formation is not a matter of trying 
harder, but of training wisely. 

This need for preparation applies 
to a healthy and vibrant spiritual 
life just as it does to physical and 
intellectual activity. Learning to 
think, feel, and act like Jesus is as 
demanding as learning to run a 
marathon or play the piano. 

Following Jesus means learning 
from Him how to arrange my life 
around activities that enable me to 
live in the fruit of the Spirit. Disci- 
plines are valuable because they 
allow us to do what we cannot do by 
willpower alone. Disciplines that are 
spiritual are simply those that help 
me live in the fruit of the Spirit. 

The danger that arises when we 
don't experience authentic trans- 
formation is that we will settle for 
what might be called pseudo-trans- 
formation. We know that as Chris- 
tians our faith and spiritual com- 
mitment should make us different 
somehow. But if we are not marked 
by greater amounts of love and joy, 
we will look for substitute ways of 
distinguishing ourselves from those 
who are not Christians. 

If we do not become changed from 
the inside-out, we will be tempted 
to find external methods to satisfy 
our need to feel that we're different 
from those outside the faith. If we 
cannot be transformed, we will settle 
for being informed or conformed. 

Jesus spoke to the deepest long- 
ings of the human heart to become 
not simply conformed to a religious 
subculture but transformed into "new 
creatures." Instead of focusing on 
the boundaries, Jesus focused on the 
center, the heart of spiritual life. 

A boundary-oriented approach to 
spirituality focuses on a person's 
position: Are you inside or outside 
the group? A great deal of energy is 
spent clarifying what counts as a 
boundary marker. But Jesus focused 
on people's center. Are they moving 
toward the center of spiritual life 

January 1998 



(love of God and people), or are they 
moving away from it? 

Our primary task is not to calcu- 
late how many verses of Scripture 
we read or how many minutes we 
spend in prayer. Our task is to use 
these activities to create opportuni- 
ties for God to work. Then what 
happens is up to Him. 

We need the freedom to discover 
how God wants us to grow, for His 
design will not look quite the same 
for everyone. 

C. S. Lewis once surmised that 
each person is created to see a dif- 
ferent facet of God's beauty — 



something no one else can see in 
quite the same way — and then to 
bless all worshipers through all 
eternity with an aspect of God they 
could not otherwise see. 

Whatever our season of life, it of- 
fers its own opportunities and chal- 
lenges for spiritual growth. Instead 
of wishing we were in another sea- 
son, we ought to find out what this 
one offers. Life counts — all of it. 
Every moment is potentially an op- 
portunity to be guided by God into 
His way of living. Every moment is 
a chance to learn from Jesus how to 
live in the kingdom of God. [ft] 

This article is taken from the book, 
The Life You've Always Wanted to Live 
(subtitled Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary 
People) by John Ortberg (Zondervan, 
1997). The article was provided by the 
publishers and is used by permission. 



Bucking the Trend 

By Sam Shultz 



WHAT WOULD JESUS DO . . . 
if He were in my situation? 
Many people wear the WWJD 
bracelet, and that's good. But do 
they really understand what it's 
all about? Do they know that the 
whole concept began in the 1890's? 

Charles M. Sheldon wrote a book 
called In His Steps that became very 
popular. It was based on the princi- 
ple, "What would Jesus do if He 
were in my situation?" It was about 
a pastor who experienced a situa- 
tion in which a sick and dying man 
needed help getting a job. All the 
pastor said was, "I hope you find 
something soon," and something to 
the effect of "I'll pray for you." The 
man later died in the pastor's home. 

The pastor spent a long time in 
thought, and then he challenged 
his congregation to go a whole year 
asking the question before every 
decision, "What would Jesus do?" 

The book goes on to tell what hap- 
pened to each member of the church. 
I encourage you to read this book to 
obtain an overall understanding of 
the whole concept of WWJD. 

Jeff Crowder, my best friend, 
says he hates "trendies." Trendies 
look dumb just following the crowd. 
Well, I think that wearing the 
WWJD bracelets is getting to be a 
trend. Come on, I've seen a gas sta- 
tion selling these things. I agree 



with Jeff. Many people wear them 
for fashion reasons or because a 
friend gave them one. Hey, if you 
want to look slick with this fad, 
forget WWJD; try WD-40 instead. 

Other people wear the bracelets 
because they make them feel good. 
They remind them of God. If they 
really remind you of God, that's 
great. But is that all? 

I wore the ever-popular Salva- 
tion Bracelet for this same reason. 
It reminded me of God, and people 
asked about it. I quit wearing it. 
Why? Because I found something 
better to do. I talk to God now in- 
stead of just thinking about Him. 

If there is something you need to 
remember, you tie a string around 
your finger. If you have to keep re- 
membering that God is there every- 
day, then you've got a problem. The 
more you get to know Him, the 
more evident He becomes and the 
less you need a string. 

I encourage you to think about 
your WWJD stuff. Ask yourself, 
"What good is it doing me?" [ft] 

Sam Shultz, a member of the Jef- 
ferson Brethren Church (Goshen, 
Ind.), is a senior at Fairfield Junior/ 
Senior High School, where he writes 
a column — "Samthing to think 
about"— for The Talon, the school 
newspaper. This was his column for 
the December 4, 1997, issue. 



Executive Board, Ministries Councils meet 

to provide vision and direction for 

the ministries of The Brethren Church 



CONSIDERATION of a vision 
statement prepared by Dr. 
Emanuel (Buzz) Sandberg, the 
new Executive Director of The 
Brethren Church, was one of the 
important items of business con- 
ducted by the Executive Board, the 
Missionary Ministries Council, and 
the Congregational Ministries 
Council when these agencies each 
met in Ashland, Ohio, last Novem- 
ber 11 and 12. These were the first 
full meetings of these agencies since 
Dr. Sandberg was appointed Ex- 
ecutive Director at the 1997 Gen- 
eral Conference. 

One of the major responsibilities 
of the Executive Director is to give 
visionary leadership to The Breth- 
ren Church. His vision statement is 
one means of providing that leader- 
ship. A draft of the statement was 
presented to the Executive Board 
and to the two Ministries Councils. 
Members of the three agencies not 
only offered their comments and 
suggestions, but they also took 
shared ownership of the statement 
as their vision for The Brethren 
Church. The statement, "A Vision 
for the Future," was printed in last 
month's issue of the EVANGELIST 
(see page 1 of the December issue). 

These meetings were also the 
first that Rev. David West attended 
as Director of Congregational Min- 
istries and as Director of Church 
Planting, since taking these posi- 
tions in October. He met with all 
three groups during the course of 
the two days of meetings. 

Following are some of the actions 
taken by each of the three agencies. 

Executive Board 

Acting on a recommendation from 
the Congregational Ministries Coun- 
cil, the Executive Board voted to 
enter into a two-year partnership 
(for 1998 & 99) in New Life Minis- 
tries, involving a commitment of 
$12,500 per year. New Life Minis- 
tries, which replaces The Andrew 
Center (in which The Brethren 

8 



Church was also a member), has as 
its purpose "to multiply the number 
of persons turning to Jesus Christ 
by multiplying the number of lead- 
ers and congregations that are 
spiritually alive and evangelisti- 
cally effective." Denominational 
membership in New Life Ministries 
includes free membership for all 
local Brethren congregations giving 
them access to the services the 
agency provides. The Executive 
Board also named Rev. David West 
as The Brethren Church's repre- 
sentative to the board of trustees of 
New Life Ministries. 

Acting upon a recommendation 
by the Missionary Ministries Coun- 
cil, the board set a policy that 
when an executive employee makes 
an official trip of two weeks or more, 
the employee's spouse may accom- 
pany the employee as a designated 
representative of The Brethren 
Church, with the National Office 
responsible for the spouse's cost of 
travel. Also at the recommendation 
of the Missionary Ministries Coun- 
cil, the board revoked the class 
status of West Valley Brethren 
Life Church of Tracy, Calif. This 
action was taken because West Val- 
ley no longer functions as a Breth- 
ren class and because its class 
status had already been revoked by 
the Board of Directors of the North- 
ern California District. 

The board began making plans 
for the 1998 General Conference. 
The Conference will have a renewal 
emphasis and be primarily a cele- 
bration. Plans are being made for a 
concert of prayer, workshops, Table 
Talks, auxiliary times, and special 
sessions for men and women. 

Two task forces were formed by 
the board. One will consider district 
operations and structure. Appointed 
to this task force were Roy Andrews, 
Larry Baker, Mike Drushal, Emery 
Hurd, Dale Stoffer, and Buzz Sand- 
berg (chair). The second task force 
was formed to promote General 
Conference 2000, which is to be 



held at Estes Park, Colorado. Mem- 
bers of this task force are Cathy 
Britton, Jim Frado, Emery Hurd, 
and David West (chair). 

Congregational Ministries Council 

Since this was his first meeting 
with the council as Director of Con- 
gregational Ministries, Rev. David 
West took time at the beginning of 
the meeting to share his core val- 
ues and what he hopes to accom- 
plish in his new position. He said 
that he believes prayer is founda- 
tion; he is not afraid of failure so is 
willing to try new things; he be- 
lieves in excellence; and he is com- 
mitted to teamwork. He sees him- 
self as an agent to help lead The 
Brethren Church through retooling, 
revitalization, and repurposing. 

Recognizing the value of e-mail 
as a communication tool within The 
Brethren Church, the council is 
encouraging Brethren pastors and 
churches to get "on line" as quickly 
as possible. The council provided 
information about a free e-mail 
service in the November 28 issue of 
Leadership Letter. 

The council discussed the need to 
strengthen ministries for women 
and men in The Brethren Church. 
To this end, the council requested 
that the Executive Board provide a 
specific time on the 1998 General 
Conference schedule (different 
from the meeting times for auxilia- 
ries) for dialogue on women's and 
men's ministries. 

The council plans to again spon- 
sor Table Talks at the 1998 Gen- 
eral Conference. Council members 
Tina Henderson, Emery Hurd, and 
Tina Ross agreed to coordinate plan- 
ning for these discussion groups. 

Ten to twelve churches will be 
involved in the initial "class" of the 
leadership initiative, with these 
churches to begin consultations 
with their mentors early in 1998. 
District and regional seminars and 
workshops are being planned for 
churches not currently involved in 
the leadership initiative. 

Missionary Ministries Council 

Church-planting opportunities 

are growing. The building of the 
former Walcrest Brethren Church 
of Mansfield, Ohio, will be used as a 
facility for a new Brethren Church. 

The Brethren Evangelist 



Ron Miller, a senior at Ashland 
Theological Seminary, and his wife 
Sandy have been assessed, trained, 
and approved for deployment to 
lead this new church start. 

Two church-planting events 
are planned for 1998 — a Mother/ 
Daughter church-planting confer- 
ence, and a multiple-track church- 
planting summit. The summit will 
include training for district mission 
board members, church planters, 
potential mother-church pastors, 
as well as general plenary sessions. 

Executive Director Buzz Sand- 
berg presented his vision, priorities, 
and goals for The Brethren Church 
to the council. Church renewal is at 
the top of his list. Identifying, re- 
cruiting, training, and deploying 
Brethren people in a variety of min- 
istries is part of his vision as well. 

In World Missions, The Breth- 



ren Church in Argentina has re- 
established its Bible institute. This 
is a joint effort of the Argentine Breth- 
ren Church, The Brethren Church 
in the U.S., and Ashland Theologi- 
cal Seminary. Claudio and Karina 
Castelli from The Brethren Church 
in Argentina are the new mission- 
aries in Paraguay. Dedicated lay 
people in Paraguay kept the church 
going for several years, with the 
help of supervisors from Argentina. 
Dr. Juan Carlos Miranda has 
resigned as consultant to the Mis- 
sionary Ministries Council, effective 
December 31, 1997. He is taking 
one more trip to Colombia for 
Brethren Missions this month 
(January) to help the Ferreris, a 
missionary family from Argentina, 
get established in the work in 
Colombia. Allen Baer, who has 
served many years as a Brethren 



missionary in Argentina, is also re- 
signing, effective at the end of his 
term in August 1998. He will retire 
to Arizona after doing deputation. 

Rev. Reilly Smith, Director of Mis- 
sionary Ministries, will be visiting 
India and Malaysia for about four 
weeks in January and February. He 
will participate in the ordination of 
K. Sudir Kumar and dedicate the 
new mission center in Vijayawada, 
India. His wife Cindy will travel 
with him, thanks to donations from 
several districts and the Lanark, 
111., First Brethren Church. 

The council plans to host a mis- 
sionary banquet this year at Gen- 
eral Conference and to sponsor sev- 
eral Table Talks. 

The next meetings of the Execu- 
tive Board and the two councils are 
scheduled for March 1 7-18 in Ash- 
land, Ohio. [%] 



Missions Director Reilly Smith re- 
ports on his recent visit to Breth- 
ren mission work in Lima, Peru. 

I HAD a very enjoyable time in 
Peru, South America, in Decem- 
ber, when I traveled there to visit 
our Brethren mission workers, 
Miguel and Sonia Antunez. 

I flew to Lima on December 10, 
where Miguel and Sonia met me at 
the airport about midnight and took 
me by taxi to their house. In past 
visits to Peru, I stayed in a hotel, 
but this time I stayed in their home. 
I truly enjoyed my time with them, 
for they are wonderful hosts. Their 
home is humble but very nice. We 
enjoyed sharing meals together in 
their home and also eating out. I 
really feel as though I know this 
couple much better now. 

The Brethren Church in Peru 
faced many obstacles during 1997. 
Several Catholic families revoked 
permission for their children to at- 
tend Sunday school and worship 
services. A few Brethren stopped 
being faithful. One teacher with- 
drew from ministry because of fam- 
ily problems. Others became preoc- 
cupied with earthly careers. Miguel 
and Sonia also faced some family 
problems with their son, Carlos. As 
a result, they were discouraged. 

I was able to encourage them dur- 
ing my brief visit. I pointed out that 
despite these setbacks, attendance 



is stable. They still need to build or 
remodel their building in order to fit 
more people into the services. 

I accompanied Miguel as he went 
about most of his daily activities. He 
speaks to everyone everywhere he 
goes. He shares his faith with any- 
one who will listen. He knows 
everyone in the neighborhood: their 
names, spouses, children, even most 
of the pets! He loves them all, and 
they know it! I pointed these things 
out to him. 




Carlos called while I was there. 
He is moving home to finish college. 
Miguel and Sonia rejoiced in this. 

Sonia gave me a tour of the Chris- 
tian school where she teaches. The 
school is a ministry of a local Bap- 
tist church. It is just like the Ash- 
land Academy of Learning that my 
daughter, Catrinna, attends. They 
are both Schools of Tomorrow which 
use the A.C.E. method of individual- 
ized programmed learning. The only 
difference is that Sonia's materials 
are in Spanish. 



Miguel and I visited the academy 
where he teaches English. One of 
the two women Miguel works with 
attends the Brethren church. The 
other woman is not a Christian, but 
she will be! Several of the students 
asked Miguel to start a Bible study. 
Attendance is growing. 

In addition, some of Miguel's for- 
mer students who are now in the 
business world have invited him to 
teach English at their businesses. 
Sometimes he is asked to speak to 
the employees about Christ. One 
secular business school asked 
Miguel to bring his drama group to 
present a musical play for Christ- 
mas. They also wanted him to share 
the gospel at the end of the play. 

Opportunities for the Brethren in 
Peru are almost limitless. While I 
was there, I preached on Sunday 
evening. I emphasized our responsi- 
bility to reach people for Jesus 
Christ. We must help people meet 
Christ, know Christ, love Christ, and 
follow Christ. I presented the gospel 
from these four perspectives. 

I am so grateful for the opportu- 
nity to learn more about our mis- 
sion fields and especially our mis- 
sionaries. Each trip provides me with 
new growth experiences. Every- 
where I go, I find that God is good. 
The Brethren are faithful. And we 
are blessed more than we know 
here at home. I pray that God will 
create a greater desire in us to 
share our blessings! [ft] 



January 1998 



9 








Rev. Kurt and Heidi Stout 

Kurt Stout ordained an elder 
at North Manchester Church 

North Manchester, Ind. — Kurtis 
A. Stout was ordained an elder in 
The Brethren Church and his wife 
Heidi was consecrated as the wife 
of an elder in a service held Sun- 
day afternoon, October 12, at the 
North Manchester First Brethren 
Church, where Rev. Stout serves 
as associate pastor. 

The ordination was a "family af- 
fair," with members of the new 
elder's family participating in the 
service. Kurt's parents, Allen and 
Cynthia Stout, gave a 'Parents' tes- 
timony and dedication"; one of his 
two sisters, Katrina Rathbun, read 
scripture; and his other sister, 
Kathryn Carter, played a flute solo. 

Scriptural charges were pre- 
sented by two of Kurt's former pro- 
fessors — Faye Chechowich, profes- 
sor of Christian education at Taylor 
University; and Dr. Grace Holland, 
professor of missions at Ashland 
Theological Seminary. Brethren 
elders participating in the service 
were Marlin McCann, Dennis 

10 




Putting vinyl siding on the Lousiville Brethren Bible Church building are (I. t. r.) 
Dan Moron, Damon Moran, Armand Rex, Steve Critean (on tall ladder), Paul 
Critean, Ben Solomon (on short ladder) Tom McAlister, and Pastor Ralph Gibson. 

Brethren Bible Church building gets face lift 



Loviisville, Ohio — Members of the 
Louisville Brethren Bible Church 
recently completed a much-needed 
face-lift of their church building. 

Three years ago a new roof was 
put on the building. Then some re- 
landscaping work was done. The 
last project that needed to be com- 
pleted was to repair or replace the 
deteriorating siding. 

After receiving estimates exceed- 
ing $9,000, the trustees decided to 
undertake the project themselves, at 
a savings of approximately $5,000. 
So under the leadership of Paul 
Critean a member of the church 
who is an experienced builder, ten 
men of the congregation worked on 
the project. Four Saturdays and 
three week nights in late August 
and early September were all the 
time it took to complete the project. 



Not only did the men get the work 
done, they also enjoyed the time of 
Christian fellowship. The women of 
the church got involved as well, 
serving the men lunch each Satur- 
day. Others in the congregation 
also got involved by contributing to- 
ward the $4,009 needed to pay for 
building materials. Special gifts 
were received totaling $4,100. 

"We praise the Lord for the many 
blessings we received through this 
project," said Ben Solomon, mod- 
erator of Brethren Bible Church. "We 
also praise the Lord as we enjoy our 
new pastor and his family. Ralph 
and Bonnie Gibson began their full- 
time ministry here the first of Au- 
gust. We are excited about the Gib- 
sons' calling, and we look forward 
to their exciting new ministry!" 

— reported by Ben Solomon 



Sigle, Duane Dickson, and David 
Cooksey. Additional special music 
was presented by the North Man- 
chester Church Bell Choir and by a 
youth trio (Nate Little, Greta Miller, 
and Kim Shumaker). 

Kurt was born August 28, 1969, 
in Kokomo, Indiana. He attended 
the Burlington First Brethren 
Church with his family, where in 
1974 he gave his life to Jesus. He is 
a 1988 graduate of Kokomo Chris- 
tian School and a 1992 graduate of 
Taylor University with a B.A. de- 
gree with majors in Biblical Litera- 



ture and Christian Education and a 
certificate in Youth Ministry. He 
also attended Ashland Theological 
Seminary, from which he received a 
Master of Divinity degree in 1995. 

Kurt and Heidi (the daughter of 
Randy and Sharon Fruitt of North 
Manchester) were married August 
27, 1994. Heidi is a student at Man- 
chester College, from which she 
will receive a Secondary English 
Education Degree in May. 

Rev. Stout has served as associ- 
ate pastor at North Manchester 
First Brethren since 1995. [*] 

The Brethren Evangelist 



Rod Schuler ordained at 
Corinth Brethren Church 

Twelve Mile, Ind. — Rodney 
Schuler was ordained an elder in 
The Brethren Church and his wife 
Nancy was consecrated as the wife 
of an elder in a service held Sun- 
day, November 16, at Corinth Breth- 
ren Church, where Rev. Schuler 
serves as pastor. 

Rev. Gene Eckerley, pastor of the 
Mishawaka Community Brethren 
Church and the Indiana District 
Elder, gave the ordination mes- 
sage. Also participating in the serv- 
ice were Brethren elders Jim Naff, 
Ron Burns, and Marlin McCann; 
Rev. George Swank, a retired pas- 
tor under whom Rodney formerly 
served; and Larkin Beecher, mod- 
erator of the Corinth Church. 

Shirley Easter and Lynn Schmid 
were musicians for the service, and 
Cyrena Staller led singing. Special 
music was presented by Four-Given 
(Julie Fred, Margaret Hubenthal, 
Cyrena Staller, and Jill Zartman). 




Rev. Rodney and Nancy Schuler 
with their children (I. to r.) Christina, 
Sarah, Jonathan, and Stephanie 

Rodney was born December 6, 
1959, to George and Lois Schuler 
and grew up on a farm outside 
Dows, Iowa. Nancy (Eastman) was 
born in Sault Sainte Marie, Mich., 
but spent most of her childhood in 
South Bend, Ind. Both Rod and 
Nancy committed their lives to the 
Lord during high school, and both 
attended Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bible 



f&SS&sk 




College, where they met. They were 
married July 3, 1982. 

After graduating from college in 
1983, Rod and Nancy served as 
church planters with the Mission- 
ary Church in Portage, Ind. In 1985 
Rod became associate pastor of the 
New Paris, Ind., Missionary Church, 
and then in 1988 he began pas- 
toring the Tippeecanoe, Ind., Com- 
munity Church. During this time 
(1986 ff.) he began attending Grace 
Theological Seminary in Winona 
Lake, Ind., receiving his Master of 
Divinity degree in 1994. In 1993, 
while finishing his work at Grace 
Seminary, he became pastor of the 
Corinth Brethren Church. 

The Schulers have four children — 
Jonathan (11), Sarah (9), Stephanie 
(7), and Christina (4). [ft] 



Darrell Ed Miller becomes 
Brethren elder at Fremont 

Fremont, Ohio — Darrell Ed Miller 
became a new Brethren elder and 
his wife Marcia was consecrated as 
the wife of an elder at a service 
held Sunday, November 9, at the 
Fremont First Brethren Church, 
where Rev. Miller serves as pastor. 

Rev. Lynn Mercer, pastor of the 
Gretna Brethren Church (Belief on- 
taine, Ohio) was the speaker for the 
service. Also participating in the 
ordination were Brethren elders 
Dave Cooksey and Bill Kerner; 
Rev. Bob Moore, pastor of a church 
in the community; and Ron Diehl, 
moderator of the Fremont Brethren 
congregation. 

Kay Ellis presented two vocal 
solos; Marcia Miller played the 
postlude; and the worship team 
(Brian Burkett, Marcia Miller, Kay 
Ellis, Stephanie Patterson, Bob Gill, 
Roberta Patterson, Dan Ellis, and 
Ed Miller) led the music. A fellow- 
ship dinner followed the service. 

Ed (as Darrell is better known) 
was born February 25, 1960, in Kit- 
tanning, Pa., son of the late Darrell 

January 1998 




Rev. Darrell (Ed) and Marcia Miller 
with daughters (I. to r.) Carrie, Amy, 
and Laura. 

and Bessie Miller. He graduated 
from Kittanning High School in 
1978, then worked in the construc- 
tion and limestone mining indus- 
tries as a mechanic, heavy equip- 
ment operator, truck driver, and 
laborer until 1994. He returned to 
college in 1991 and began attend- 
ing Ashland Theological Seminary 
in 1993, graduating with a Master 
of Divinity degree in Biblical Stud- 
ies in May 1996. 

Marcia, daughter of Howard and 
Shirley Woodside, was born near 
Ford City, Pa. She and Ed met as 
a result of their participation in 



music and square dancing at the 
Armstrong County League of Arts. 
They were married August 5, 1978. 

They were active members of 
North Buffalo Grace Brethren 
Church until 1988, when they 
joined the Pleasant View Brethren 
Church of Vandergrift, Pa. Here Ed 
and three other men were men- 
tored and encouraged by Pastor 
Keith Hensley to prepare for minis- 
try. In 1994, Ed and T.J. McLaugh- 
lin (one of the other three men) ac- 
cepted a call to co-pastor the Fre- 
mont First Brethren Church. In 
1996, Pastor McLaughlin accepted 
a call to another ministry, and Pas- 
tor Miller continued to serve the 
Fremont congregation. 

Mrs. Miller is Ed's ministry part- 
ner, playing keyboard with the 
worship team and participating in 
the Ministry of Outreach and in 
W.M.S. She also is employed in the 
kitchen at Bethany Place retire- 
ment center. 

The Millers have three daugh- 
ters, Carrie, a sophomore at Fre- 
mont Ross High School; Laura, an 
eighth-grader at Fremont Junior 
High; and Amy, a sixth-grader at 
Hayes Elementary School. [ft] 

11 



od_f/is 




Berlin Church building 
is now accessible to all 

Berlin, Pa. — Like many older 
church buildings (and some newer 
ones), the Berlin Brethren Church 
presented formidable obstacles to 
anyone in a wheelchair or who for 
whatever reason has difficulty go- 
ing up and down steps. 

You couldn't enter the building 
without going up steps or a ramp. 
In addition, many of the congrega- 
tion's functions (Communion serv- 
ices, fellowship dinners, social ac- 
tivities) take place in the fellowship 
room in the basement, accessible 
only by going down some rather 
steep steps. Furthermore, the 
church library and some of the Sun- 
day school classrooms are in a bal- 
cony, up some equally steep steps. 

But all that changed this past 
year when the Berlin Brethren 
completed a two-year, $125,000- 
renovation project that included in- 
stalling an elevator and providing 
handicapped-accessible restrooms. 
Now all levels of the building, in- 
cluding the balcony, can be accessed 
by the elevator. And this spacious 
elevator (with a capacity of 3,500 
pounds), can be used by anyone, not 
just the handicapped. Thus people 
who can go up and down steps but 
who have difficulty doing so are 
more likely to use it. The elevator is 
also available anytime the church 
is open, not just for church services. 

The Berlin Church was in par- 
ticular need of this elevator. Not 
only does this congregation, like 
most churches in our "graying" 
country, have a growing number of 
elderly people in its membership, 
but it also has an unusual number 
of people with special needs. The 
Berlin community has several 
group homes where persons with 
physical disabilities are housed and 
cared for. A number of these peo- 
ple — sometimes as many as a dozen 
— attend Sunday school classes and 




The entrance to the elevator at the Berlin Church is at ground level. All levels of the 
building are accessible from the elevator — the basement, main floor, and balcony. 



worship services at the Berlin 
Church. Several of them have 
joined the congregation and attend 
regularly. Not only have these peo- 
ple been made to feel welcome in 
the church, they have also been 
given the opportunity to join a spe- 
cial hand-chimers' group, organ- 
ized and directed by Jan Menhorn. 

A dedication for the elevator/ 
restroom renovation project was 
held June 7 of last year. The dedi- 
cation included a special service at 
the elevator site followed by a din- 
ner in the church basement. After 
the dinner, a special musical pro- 
gram was presented in the church 
auditorium. 

The renovation project was 
headed by Ellis Kimmel, chair of 
the renovation committee, and 
Jack Brant, who served as the liai- 
son with the several contractors in- 
volved. Other members of the reno- 
vation committee were Bob Gless- 
ner, Penny Deem, Jeff Hoover, 
Scott Landis, Tom Sprowls, Sr., 
and Pastor Bryan Karchner. The 
project, which is paid for in total, 
has been a major factor in the 
Lord's work in the growth of the 
Berlin Brethren Church. 

— reported by Tom Sprowls, Sr. 

Editor's note: The Berlin Brethren 
have set an example for other Brethren 
churches in providing for the special 
needs of those with handicaps and in 
making them feel welcome in their con- 
gregation. They are to be commended 



(and imitated!) for this. Last year, when 
I attended the Berlin church, a woman 
in a wheelchair sang a solo. This is the 
only time I can remember ever seeing 
a person in a wheelchair present spe- 
cial music during a worship service! 



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Vol.120, No. 2 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



February 1998 



"Fill Our Thirsty Souls . . ." 



THE BRETHREN CHURCH has 
registered its intent to embark 
on an incredible journey. It is a jour- 
ney that has only one course. It has 
only one goal. And only one vehicle 
will get us there. 

The journey is one 
of renewal. The 
"course" necessary 
for this journey is 
the path of surren- 
der. We need to trade 
in our desire for self- 
rule and accept God's 
rule. We need to 
renounce our will 
and surrender to 
God's will. It is on 
this course of sur- 
render that the goal 
of renewal can be 
achieved ^ ev - David West 




By David L. West 

comes from the Holy Spirit. The 
Holy Spirit is the promised gift. 

The church today needs the em- 
powering, enabling, gifting Spirit of 
God if it is to be renewed. I am not 
suggesting that we 
need another Pente- 
cost. What I am sug- 
gesting is that we too 
often attempt to 
renew, revive, and 
retool His church 
through the inventions 
and intentions of 
human wisdom. It is 
time (again) for 
Brethren to seek a new 
light from the Holy 
Word of God through 
the Holy Spirit's sover- 
eign illumination. His 
church needs His 



I believe the ultimate goal is that 
His church be fully empowered to be 
light in an increasingly dark world. 
His church — renewed, vibrant, fo- 
cused, purposeful, in love with Jesus, 
effectively taking the Gospel of Sal- 
vation to a lost and dying people — 
that is what we want. That is the 
goal of a people on a journey of 
renewal. 

The "vehicle" to renewal 

The "vehicle" that will carry us on 
this journey, that will enable us to 
reach that goal, is simply and sover- 
eignly the Spirit of God. Renewal 
requires the Holy Spirit! Jesus 
Himself commanded His followers 
to wait for the gift promised them 
by the Father. From what we glean 
from Acts 1:4-8, it is apparent that 
the power needed to become His 
witnesses throughout the world 



Spirit. If we are to be renewed, the 
vehicle needed to get us there is the 
Holy Spirit. 

A starting point 

I have pondered this whole con- 
cept of renewal for myself personal- 
ly and for His church corporately I 
would like to suggest a starting 
point from which to embark on this 
journey of renewal. I would like to 
suggest that renewal starts with 
prayer. It is through prayer that 
we maintain an intimate relation- 
ship with Christ as Savior and God 
as Heavenly Father. Prayer is the 
communion of seeking and know- 
ing. His Word tells us that it is in 
prayer that we can know Him and 
His will for us. 

Dr. Neil T. Anderson and Dr. Elmer 
L. Towns have co-authored a mar- 
velous new book entitled Rivers of 



Revival (Regal Books, 1997). In the 
book (p. 67) they offer these 
thoughts: 

Nothing is more important than 
knowing God. Nothing will change 
your life more than an encounter 
with Him. Sad will be the results 
if we send people into the world in 
obedience to His Word, but with- 
out them knowing Him in a deeply 
personal way. Great will be the 
results of those who know God as 
their heavenly Father and minis- 
ter from the overflow of their 
sanctified hearts. It is the differ- 
ence between being driven and 
called, between burnout and bear- 
ing fruit. We are no threat to the 
devil if we have only the words of 
Christ and not the life of Christ. 

Renewal will come when we meld 
the knowledge of His Word with the 
spirit of His life. Prayer urged by 
His Spirit is the crucial first "step" 
of knowing and loving. We must 
know and love if we ever hope to 
"be" and "do." Prayer is the founda- 
tion, and we have already witnessed 
some of its importance since our last 
General Conference. 

Vivid in my memory is the simple 
(continued on page 3) 



Inside this issue 


Snapshots 


2 


Make prayer occasional 


4 


Buttefly parishioners 


4 


Love: a fact of God's nature 


5 


Evangelism ministries 


6 


The trainee 


8 


Around the denomination 


9 


The Women's Outlook Newsletter 


is in the center of this issue. 






SNAPSHOTS 

By 
Michelle Rhude 



WHAT'S the most stressful 
part of getting married? Is 
it contemplating "until death do 
us part?" Or making 10,000 deci- 
sions? Or making 10,000 decisions 
with one's soon-to-be-related-for- 
ever in-laws? Or making 10,000 
decisions with one's in-laws, one's 
parents, and one's future spouse — 
under constraints of both time 
and money? Or maybe it's the 
"that-pastor's-going-to-ask-me- 
personal-questions" premarital 
counseling sessions. 

I became engaged in June of 
1989 and didn't bother making 
any actual wedding plans until 
finding out that my future hus- 
band was being unexpectedly and 
immediately transferred across 
the country. We put the wedding 
together in just over six weeks, so 
much of it remains a blur to me. 

I do, however, remember three 
details very clearly about the pas- 
tor and the premarital counseling 
sessions. First, I was not a Chris- 
tian at the time, and I remember 
being very nervous. Second, the 
pastor who married us became di- 
vorced within six months of our 
marriage, and that was a little 
unsettling. 

The third detail was one par- 
ticular question the pastor asked 
us. It wasn't the most important 



question we discussed, I'm sure — 
although I don't remember any of 
the others. It was a question I 
would have liked to have pre- 
pared for, to have thought about, 
to have had a good answer for, 
because my parents deserved 
that I give a good answer. The 
question the pastor asked was this: 
"What do you consider to be the 
most important thing your par- 
ents ever taught you?" He asked 
it, and then looked right at me. 

I remember thinking, "No fair! 
This isn't about marriage. Do all 
pastors ask this question?" But I 
said, "That every one of my ac- 
tions has a consequence, and I am 
responsible for those consequences." 

After I said it, I thought, "Wow, 
that was pretty good for a pop 
quiz!" Then I noticed the pastor's 
expression. That obviously wasn't 
the answer he was hoping for, 
and he wasn't impressed at all. 

I thought about that question a 
lot afterwards, but then forgot 
about it for several years. It came 
up again in a long-winded, long- 
distance telephone call I had with 
my sister several years after I 
had become a Christian. We dis- 
cussed the question and her belief 
that training a child to understand 
the implications of actions, conse- 
quences and responsibility is 



foundational for an understand- 
ing of the Gospel. 

It was easy for us to understand 
and accept that the wages of sin is 
death, because we believed that 
our actions have consequences. It 
was easy for us to see that our 
eternal destiny was our own re- 
sponsibility, because we believe that 
we're responsible for the conse- 
quences of the actions we choose. 

Personal responsibility for con- 
sequences is not a popular idea in 
our culture today. We much pre- 
fer to play the blaming game. 

Parents, if you are struggling to 
teach this concept to your chil- 
dren, be encouraged. You fight an 
important battle. Keep at it. Teach 
your children the Gospel message, 
but also teach them the concepts 
that will help them believe it! 

For the wages of sin is death, 
but the gift of God is eternal 
life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
Rom. 6:23, niv [%] 

Editor's Note: This is the final arti- 
cle in "Snapshots." Over the past 14 
months, Michelle Rhude has illumi- 
nated our relationship with God by 
focusing on some of life's experiences. 
She now finds it necessary to conclude 
the column. As she does so, I person- 
ally, and on 
behalf of 
her readers, 
express sin- 
cere thanks 
to Michelle 
for her in- 
sightful and 
enlighten- 
ing articles, 
and wish 
her God's 
blessing. 




The BrethrbjEwngbjst (IS3SI 07474288) 
is published rrmthly (except JLiy and Axjust 
issues are combined) by The Brethren 
Church, Inc., 524 College Ae., /^hland, 
CH 448053792 (telephone 419289-1708; 
email: brethren@>right.riet; fax: 419-281- 
0450). Ajthors 1 views are not necessarily 
those of The Brethren Church. Editor: 
Rchard C Wnfield. Subscription rates: 
Sent free to Brethren Church members; 
$15.00 per year to others Member: Ban- 
gdical Press / s 6sobation. Postage: Paid at 
Mrland, Chia Postmaster: Send address 
changes to The Brethren Church, 524 Col- 
lege Aenue Atiland, CH 44805-3792. 



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The Brethren Evangelist 



prayer our brother Hal Seed chal- 
lenged us to start praying: "God, I 
don't ask You for much today; I just 
ask that You give me Your heart for 
lost people." Since August, I have 
heard this prayer offered many 
times. I have witnessed lives surren- 
dered throughout the church as peo- 
ple have courageously prayed this 
prayer. Lives have been changed. Life 
courses have been altered. And the 
passion of purpose has been 
renewed within His church. This 
prayer is the lens that corrects the 
myopic vision of our hearts and 
enables us to start seeing things 
through God's eyes. 

A haunting melody 

There is a song by Jimmy and 
Carol Owens that has been rever- 
berating throughout my heart and 
soul of late. The same melody that 
puts me to sleep at night is there 
waiting for me in the morning. It 
has laid claim to my consciousness. 
I sing it, hum it, speak it in my 
mind, declare it publicly, pray it, but 
cannot get rid of it. The portion of 
the song that has caused all the con- 
sternation is this: 

Lord, make us a holy people. 
Turn our hearts to righteousness 

again. 
Take away our sin. 
Fill our thirsty souls again. 
Visit us with the Holy Spirit. 
In the beauty of holiness descend, 
Like a mighty wind. 
Fill our thirsty souls again. 

Come like fire, or come like the 

gentle rain, 
But fill our thirsty souls again. 

The sentiment of that song re- 
flects my heart's desire and that of a 
growing number of other Brethren 
as well. I know there are those who 
will feel that renewal is passe. Some 
will doubt whether or not our 
churches can be sold on the idea of 
renewal. 

But what if . . . ? One of my favorite 
definitions of friends is people who 
allow me to think aloud with them. 
So, my friends, what would happen 
in God's church called Brethren if 
we covenanted to pray in renewal? 
What would happen if we agreed 
together that every church would 
set aside the first Sunday evening of 
every month to ask God to: 



Come like fire, or come like the 

gentle rain, 
But fill our thirsty souls again? 

What do you suppose the effect 
would be if each of us as Brethren 
would pray one day a week for the 
quenching of our souls? We could 
very easily have people praying 
every day of every month for the 
Spirit of renewal to come upon The 
Brethren Church. 

Epaphras project 

The Apostle Paul wrote the 
Colossians about a fellow saint and 
servant of Christ named Epaphras. 
Colossians 4:12 speaks of Epaphras 
as one who "... is always wrestling 
in prayer for you ..." Apparently, 
when Epaphras prayed, he agonized 
for his brethren. Are we willing to 
do that? 

I would like to challenge the 
Brethren to pray in renewal for 
God's church. I ask that individuals 
and churches across our denomina- 
tion contact me if you would be will- 



ing to be part of an Epaphras Proj- 
ect. (A form is printed below for your 
convenience.) The purpose of this 
project will be to mobilize and co- 
ordinate a prayer force for renewal. 
Write me, phone me, e-mail me, or 
use any method you choose, but let 
us unite in prayer for the renewal of 
His church. 

Lord, make us a holy people. 
Turn our hearts to righteousness 

again. 
Take away our sin. 
Fill our thirsty souls again. 
Visit us with the Holy Spirit. 
In the beauty of holiness descend, 
Like a mighty wind. 
Fill our thirsty souls again. 

Come like fire, or come like the 

gentle rain, 
But fill our thirsty souls again. 

Renew us, O Lord! [ft] 

Rev. West is Director of Congrega- 
tional Ministries for The Brethren 
Church and also serves as Director of 
Church Planting. 



Epaphras Project 

Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ 

Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer 

for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, 

mature and fully assured. Colossians 4:12, NIV 

I would like to know more about the Epaphras Project 
and how I can become involved in "wrestling in prayer" for 
personal renewal, renewal of my church, and denomina- 
tional renewal. 



Please send information to: 



Name: 



Address: 
City: _ 



State and Zip Code: 
Telephone: 



E-mail address: 



Clip and mail to: 

Rev. David L. West 

Brethren Church National Office 

524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805 

Phone: 419-289-1708 - Fax: 419-281-0450 - E-mail: Brethren@bright.net 

I 1 



February 1998 



rr 



Habits of Highly Ineffective Christians: 

Make Prayer Occasional 

By Chris Fabry 



In the lead article in this issue, 
Rev. Dave West emphasizes the im- 
portance of prayer for renewal in 
The Brethren Church. Sometimes a 
message penetrates our minds more 
forcefully when it is also presented 
conversely, especially if that presen- 
tation holds a mirror up to our lives 
and makes us laugh. You may find 
that to be the case in the following 
article, which takes a different 
approach to prayer. 

The article is reprinted from the 
book The 77 Habits of Highly Ineffec- 
tive Christians by Chris Fabry; ©1997 
by Christopher H. Fabry. It is used 
by permission of InterVarsity Press, 
P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 
60515. 

COMMUNICATION is one of 
the most important aspects of 
any relationship, and that is why 
you should make prayer some- 
thing occasional in your life. 

If you were to see your union 
with God as something vital and 
living, you would desire constant 
communication. After all, to know 



you can speak to the King of Kings 
at a moment's notice is truly a 
staggering thought. 

But ineffective Christian living 
will make this communication 
sporadic, or simply an option 
that's tacked on at dinner and 
during worship services. 

As I've said earlier in this vol- 
ume, you should pray only about 
the large decisions in life, like who 
to marry, what college to attend 
and whether to get tinted glass in 
your minivan. But true mediocrity 
demands even less. What you 
must actually do is make up your 
mind about the decision that faces 
you, and then subtly conform the 
will of the Almighty to your own. 
This not only justifies whatever 
choice you make but also makes 
you feel spiritual since you can 
rightly say, "I prayed about it." 

Prayer should be something that 
comes not from the heart but from 
the head. You must pray the same 
things, the same phrases, over 
and over, for this will make you 



more comfortable, and comfort is 
always the goal of the ineffective 
Christian. During the worship 
service it is fine to bow or even 
kneel, but your mind must not be 
on the words you are praying but 
on the mental images of your ball- 
game, your dinner or the depart- 
ment store you could visit while 
the kids are in Sunday school. 

Since you think about so many 
other things when you pray, keep 
your prayers short and to the 

point. "I want and 

. In Jesus' name, Amen." 



Scripture to Avoid: 

1 Thessalonians 5:17 

Ineffective Hymn: 

Szoeet Minute of (Prayer 

Sweet minute of prayer, sweet 

minute of prayer, 
That's just about all that I can 

spare. 
I have regrets and lots of sin 
So I'll see if I can squeeze them 

in. 
In sea-sons ofdis-tress and grief 
My greatest prayer is quick relief. 
But things are swell, I've no 

despair, 
I'll just spend half a minute in 

prayer. [ft] 



V V 



Butterfly Parishioners 

By Dale Hanson Bourke 



LOYALTY is fleeting in today's 
world. No one knows that 
more than retailers and pastors. 

Merchants call them "butterfly 
customers," because they flit from 
store to store in search of better 
service. In fact, Butterfly Cus- 
tomers (Wiley) is the title of a 
book by Susan O'Dell and Joan 
Pajunen that describes the trend 
in the erosion of loyalty that his- 
torically kept people coming back 
to do business with those they 
knew and trusted. 

Pastors may not have a name 
for this kind of person, but they 



see a surprisingly similar trend in 
churches: People come and go 
from congregations with 
remarkable frequency. 

Some even attend more 
than one church at a time, 
going to the worship service 
at one and a Bible study or 
Sunday school at another. One 
minister told me, "I have people 
in my church who like our 
Protestant Sunday school, but 
then leave to go to Catholic Mass." 

The trend is frustrating to pas- 
tors, who strive to build a congre- 
gation that can function as a com- 



munity. And it creates a tendency 
among churches to "compete." 

All of this might sound like 
more evidence of consumer-driven 
theology, except that the needs of 
any one family 
may be more than 
any one church 
can satisfy. 

Take my own 
family, for exam- 
ple. My husband, 
the intellectual, 
likes a church 
where the preacher delivers 
a reasoned, well-prepared ser- 
mon. I prefer a practical applica- 
tion and value the diversity of a 
city-oriented church. 
We had finally found a church 
(continued on next page) 




The Brethren Evangelist 



& 



V S= 



w iLf; r LOVE: The Inescapable Fact 



<«• Cotf i £ Loy^ 



of God's Nature 

By Kenneth Sullivan 



A MAN riding in the country 
saw on a farmer's barn a 
weather vane on which were in- 
scribed the words, "God is Love." 
He went to the farmer and asked 
him, "What do you mean by that? 
Do you think God's love is change- 
able — that it veers about as that 
arrow turns in the winds?" 

The farmer replied, "Oh, no! I 
mean that whatever way the wind 
blows, God is still love." 

It is difficult in our culture to 
comprehend or accept God's love. 
We live in a time when love has 
been reduced to hormones, infatu- 
ation, manipulation, and distor- 
tion. It is viewed as a temporary 
emotion, which is abandoned as 
quickly as one would discard a 
Kleenex tissue. 

By contrast, the Bible presents 
God's love as an absolute of His 
character — unchangeable, con- 
stant, and relentless in its pursuit 



of each person. God's love for each 
individual is the inescapable fact 
of His divine nature. It is the 
power of His love reaching out to 
us that gives us the capacity to 
love and to be loved. "We love," 
the Bible teaches, "because he 
first loved us" (1 John 4:19). 

Surrounded as we are by the 
selfishness and self-centeredness 
of the human condition, we find it 
difficult to imagine a Being who 
would love us unconditionally. Yet, 
God reaches through our sin and 
brokenness to embrace each of us 
with His grace and to extend to 
every one of us the wonder of His 
love in Christ. 

The Apostle Paul wrote, "May 
the Lord direct your hearts into 
God's love and Christ's persever- 
ance" (2 Thess. 3:5, NIV). The 
Greek word for "direct" implies 
the removal of any barrier that 
would prevent you from experi- 



encing God's love. At the cross of 
Christ, God spread wide His arms 
to receive and embrace you, to for- 
give your sins, to fill you with life, 
and to make you His own. 

As we stand before Christ's 
cross, all we can offer God are the 
shattered remnants of an empty 
life, the sin that enslaves us, and 
the faded image of divine purpose 
within us. But because of Christ's 
death for our sins, His resurrec- 
tion, and His intercessory min- 
istry, God fills the empty hands of 
faith with the power of His saving 
grace and love. 

May the Lord "direct your 
hearts into God's love." May you 
know and experience it in all it's 
fullness. And may God's love 
touch others through you. [ft] 

This article by Rev. Ken Sullivan 
appeared in the February 1997 
issue of The Brethren Monitor, 

the newsletter of the Milledgeville, 
III., Brethren Church. It was writ- 
ten by Rev. Sullivan while he was 
pastor of the Milledgeville congre- 
gation. Ken died unexpectedly a few 
months later, on May 21, 1997. He 
has gone on to experience the imme- 
diate presence of God's love. 



4 



(continued from previous page) 
that satisfied both our preferences 
when our children began to have 
ideas of their own. 

My teenage son began to notice 
that several of his friends attend- 
ed a suburban church of the same 
denomination. It has a 
youth program with non- 
stop activities, a huge 
Sunday school class, and 
enough weekend trips to 
keep him entertained in 
a wholesome way all 
through high school. He 
has decided he wants to 
attend that church. 

Of course, any parent is thrilled 
to hear a teenager actually asking 
to go to church, but his interest 
has created a dilemma for the 
family. Do we drop him off at 
Sunday school and race into town 
to attend our church? Or do we all 



attend the suburban Sunday 
school and then go to the city 
church to worship? 

Do we continue to support the 
city church because we value what 
it stands for, or do we embrace 
the suburban church because it 
values our children? 
I have immense loyalty to our 
current church, yet no parent 
can underestimate 
the value of a 
group that encour- 
ages teens to partici- 
pate in positive activi- 
ties. In short, our family 
has joined the rank of 
church butterflies, flitting 
back and forth between churches, 
frustrated by our own lack of loy- 
alty but unsure of how to resolve 
the situation. Like every other day 
of the week, Sunday now has to be 
coordinated to be sure we arrive 




at the right place for the right 
activity. I've been honest with our 
current pastor, and to his credit he 
has not tried to talk us out of our 
commute. But he is saddened by 
it, he says, and so am I. 

Butterfly customers may frus- 
trate retailers, but they don't 
cause real harm. Butterfly parish- 
ioners, however, fly in the face of 
what congregations are meant to 
be, undoing the very fabric of a 
church community and creating a 
smorgasbord approach to worship. 

It's not good for a church or a 
family. But at least for now, we 
have joined the ranks of congrega- 
tion hoppers, grateful for what we 
receive from both churches, apolo- 
getic for what we take away, [ft] 

Dale Hanson Bourke is the author 
o/"Turn Toward the Wind and publish- 
er of Religion News Service. 

©1997 Religion News Service 



February 1998 



Brethren Church Ministries: Evangelism 



"Behold, I make all things new" 

Ronald W. Waters explores opportunities 
for renewal in The Brethren Church. 



IN THE BOOK of the Revelation, 
the Apostle John reports that he 
saw a new heaven and a new earth. 
Our Lord, the one seated on the 
throne of heaven and the universe, 
told John, "See, I am making all 
things new" (Rev. 21:5). 

The Apostle Paul, writing to the 
church in Rome (Rom. 8:18-30), de- 
scribed the groaning of creation for 
the time described by John — the 
time when our Lord Jesus Christ 
will return and restore all of crea- 
tion to its rightful condition. 

I, too, long for that great day 
when "Christ shall come, with 
shout of acclamation." Do you? 

Christ is tarrying for a reason 

But in the meantime, I believe our 
Lord is tarrying for a particular rea- 
son. Again, in the book of the Reve- 
lation, John records an important 
moment in the future. 

After this I looked and there be- 
fore me was a great multitude that 
no one could count, from every 
nation, tribe, people and language, 
standing before the throne and in 
front of the Lamb. They were 
wearing white robes and were 
holding palm branches in their 
hands. And they cried out in a 
loud voice: "Salvation belongs to 
our God, who sits on the throne, 
and to the Lamb. " 

Revelation 7:9-10, niv 

I believe the delay in Jesus' re- 
turn is to allow for more people to 
be introduced into His kingdom. 



And He has entrusted to us, His 
church, the opportunity to be mak- 
ing those introductions. 

Unfortunately, too few churches 
are engaged effectively in evange- 
lism and outreach. In the United 
States, 81 out of every 100 churches 
is either on a plateau or declining. 
Of the 19 churches that are grow- 
ing, 18 are growing largely through 
persons transferring in from other 
congregations. That leaves only one 
church out of every 100 that is ef- 
fectively reaching the unreached 
with the good news of Jesus Christ. 

The Brethren Church National Of- 
fice is partnering with congregations 
in a variety of ways to encourage re- 
newal and revitalization that leads 
to the unsaved hearing and respond- 
ing to the gospel. These include: 

• The Leadership Mentoring 
Project. This spring ten Brethren 
congregations have been paired 
with an outside mentor to work 
through a revitalization project. 
Though all will begin with a com- 
mon process, it will be adapted to 
meet local needs. Through this 
process, congregations will study 
the sources of authority for the 
church; develop a congregational 
identity statement; formalize a list- 
ing of the congregational core val- 
ues, leading to writing a mission 
statement and developing a philoso- 
phy of ministry; devise a congrega- 
tional and community profile that 
will help in formation of a vision 
statement for the next 5-10 years; 



"Have a Heart" Month 

February is the month for 
the annual emphasis on 
evangelism in The Brethren 
Church. In addition to con- 
ducting special outreach 
ministries, congregations 
are encouraged to take a 
"Have a Heart for the Lost" 
offering. One-half of this of- 
fering is used for local church 




outreach ministries. The other half 
is given to The Brethren Church 
National Office to support denomi- 
national evangelism emphases. 
If your congregation does not 

receive an offering, you may send 

a contribution to: 

"Have a Heart" Offering 
The Brethren Church 

524 College Ave. 

Ashland, OH 44805 



and result ultimately in short- and 
long-range plans for congregational 
ministry within the surrounding 
community. 

This pilot program will be ex- 
panded next year, with the goal of 
making it available eventually to 
every Brethren church. 

• LIFE Process. This two-year 
process, described in an adjoining 
article (see next page), will help con- 
gregations grow in their under- 
standing of and heart for reaching 
their communities for the Lord. 

• New Life Ministries. We have 
entered into a partnership with 
three other denominations for re- 
sourcing in evangelism, church 
growth and vitality, and, possibly in 
the future, resourcing for church 
planting. In addition to working to- 
gether to develop the LIFE process, 
New Life Ministries partners are 
developing a series of regional sem- 
inars and training events and train- 
ing modules addressing specific con- 
gregational needs. New Life Minis- 
tries is the successor to The Andrew 
Center and will expand our re- 
sources for congregational outreach. 

• One-day workshops and re- 
treats. These training events are 
being developed by the national of- 
fice staff and will be offered in part- 
nership with districts for the bene- 
fit of congregations and individuals. 
Watch for announcements of train- 
ing events in your district during 
the next year. 

The National Office staff and the 
Congregational Ministries Council 
want to work with your church in 
discovering new life and vitality. 
Please take advantage of these min- 
istries, or call us to talk about how 
we may work with your church to 
discover the resources or services 
that will meet your particular 
needs. Our goal is to serve you, so 
that together we may be part of the 
renewing work of Christ on earth. 

The Brethren Church 
National Office 

524 College Ave., 

Ashland, OH 44805 

419-289-1708 (phone) 

419-281-0450 (fax) 

Brethren(5'bright.net (e-mail) 

For questions specifically about 
evangelism/church growth, call: 
419-289-5771 



The Brethren Evangelist 



The Somen's Out(oo/(JA(ezvs(etter 

A publication of the 'Brethren 'Women's Missionary Society 




March-April 1998 



Volume 11, Number 4 




Dear Ladies, 

"Blessed be the God and Father of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, who has 
blessed us with every spiritual 
blessing in the heavenly places in 
Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). I read this 
verse in a book that my son and 
daughter-in-law, Glenn and Sarah, 
gave me for Christmas. The title of 
the book is Joy in the Journey. It 
made me think of the many bless- 
ings I receive every day. 

I have had the flu and, since my 
immune system is still weak, I can't 
fight off things as quickly. I got an 
ear infection along with the flu, and 
the cough I had lingered on for 
three weeks. I missed one week of 
work and, each day as I laid in bed, 
I tried to count my blessings. Being 
thankful for Tylenol®, cough syrup, 
and antibiotics, I tried to remind 
myself that this soon would pass 
and that I really had a lot to be 
thankful for, even as I laid in bed 
and coughed! 

I counted it a blessing when I was 
able to return to work. I reminded 
myself that there were many people 
in hospitals really sick. Sometimes 
we only think on the negatives and 
forget all of the positives. 

We sing the song, "Count Your 
Blessings": 

Count your many blessings, 
Name them one by one 
And it will surprise you 
What the Lord has done. 

Do we ever stop and list our bless- 
ings (count them)? Yes, we will be 
(continued on page 4) 



The Many-Sided Christ 

"But whom do you say I am?" 



Our Christ challenges the world 
by His many sides. He meets the 
needs of all classes and conditions of 
men. As deep answers unto deep, so 
does He respond to the moving of 
each soul of mankind. 

If we were to call the roll of the 
world's workers today and ask 
them, "What think ye of Christ?" 
their answers would be something 
like these: 

To the artist, He is the One Alto- 
gether Lovely. 

To the architect, He is the Chief 
Cornerstone. 

To the baker, He is the Living 
Bread. 

To the banker, He is the Hidden 
Treasure. 

To the doctor, He is the Great Physi- 
cian. 

To the educator, He is the Great 
Teacher. 

To the farmer, He is the Sower and 

the Lord of the Harvest. 
To the florist, He is the Lily of the 

Valley and the Rose of Sharon. 
To the geologist, He is the Rock of 

Ages. 

To the judge, He is the Righteous 

Judge. 
To the lawyer, He is the Counselor, 

the Lawgiver, the Advocate. 
To the newspaper man, He is the 

good Tidings of Great Joy. 

To the philanthropist, He is the Un- 
speakable Gift. 

To the philosopher, He is the Wis- 
dom of God. 

To the preacher, He is the Word of 
God. 



To the lonely, He is a Friend that 
sticketh closer than a brother. 

To the servant, He is the good Mas- 
ter. 

To the toiler, He is the Giver of Rest. 

To the sorrowing, He is the Com- 
forter. 

To the bereaved, He is the Resur- 
rection and the Life. 

To the sinner, He is the Lamb of 
God that taketh away the sin of 
the world. 

To the Christian, He is the Son of 
the Living God, Saviour, Re- 
deemer, and Lord. 

Author Unknown 

But whom do YOU say that I am? 
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the 
Living God." Matthew 16:16 



Jesus is Lord 




This reading was found in a book 
bought at Helen Shively's auction 
by Nancy Icenhour. The reading 
bears the notation, "Copied from 
the scrapbook of Mrs. J. Milton 
Bowman," who is another saint! 



4n 'Mmorum 

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the 
death of his saints. Psalm 116:15 

Two faithful leaders of the Na- 
tional Women's Missionary Society 
and prior to that of the National 
Sisterhood of Mary and Martha are 
now with the Lord. 

Mrs. Delbert Flora (Romayne) 
died January 19, 1998. Mrs. Flora 
was the representative from the 
W.M.S. to the Missionary Board of 
the Brethren Church and served as 
treasurer for over a dozen years. 

Mrs. J. Ray Klingensmith 
(Christine) died February 2, 1998. 
Mrs. Klingensmith was the national 
patroness of SMM. 

Both ladies were members of 
W.M.S. as long as their health per- 
mitted; their interest and concern 
never waned. To many, they were 
mentors and examples of a Christ- 
ian walk. 

We are thankful for their lives. 



SOCIETY SISTERS 

In the January-February News- 
letter, Linda Immel wrote about the 
love and support the new society in 
North Manchester received from 
their Sister Society in Goshen, the 
Chantal Circle. Cynthia Stout, the 
district president, submitted this in- 
formation about Society Sisters: 

"Last summer the Indiana Dis- 
trict initiated the 'Society Sisters' 
program. Slips of paper with the 
name of each W.M.S. in our district 
were placed in a 'hat.' The district 
officers randomly picked pairs and 
these societies became 'sisters.' 

"This brainstorm of the district 
officers has many objectives. Our 
primary desire is for the ladies to 
become better acquainted through 
correspondence and joint meetings 
(for societies who live near one an- 
other). The ladies will have special 
opportunities to fellowship together 
during District Conference 1998. It 
is suggested the ladies share photos 
and information about their society 
and each member. We also would 
like the sisters to share ideas for 
programs, mission projects, raising 
money, community and local church 
service projects, ideas for public ser- 
vice programs, and Mother-Daugh- 



ter banquets. The ladies are encour- 
aged to share prayer and praise con- 
cerns and to generally uplift one an- 
other. 

"I was privileged to visit our 
newly formed society, 'Circle of 
Friends,' in North Manchester. 
What a thrill it was when they 
shared notes they had received from 
their society sister, Goshen Chantal 
Circle. This is just one example of 
how the 'Society Sisters' program 
can bless individual societies as well 
as the district as a whole. If the 
ladies of the Indiana District feel 
that this program is beneficial, then 
we will draw from the 'hat' again at 
District Conference and each society 
will receive their new 'Sister' for 
1998-1999. 

"I want to encourage other dis- 
tricts to try this program or some- 
thing similar to draw the local soci- 
eties closer to one another. Distance 
is not a barrier; the groups do not 
have to meet together. The U.S. 
Postal Service is a wonderful tool to 
bridge the miles between our dear 
ladies. God's Word gives us this ex- 
ample through Paul's letters. God 
bless you, as you draw closer to Him 
and closer to each other." 



NATIONAL DAY OF 
PRAYER 

The United States is the only 
country which observes a National 
Day of Prayer. The specific day set 
aside is the first Thursday of May; 
this year the date is May 7. 

Always our country needs prayer. 
Now things seem more critical than 
I remember in other years. Should 
your community be organized in ob- 
servance, I ask you to support in 
every way you can. However, if 
nothing is planned, you do it! Begin 
in your self, your home, neighbor- 
hood, or church. The organization 
part can be simple. Pray specifically 
for our national leaders, the Cabi- 
net, the Supreme Court justices, 
your governor and state leaders, 
your local officials, commissioners, 
City Council, your school board. 
Satan is wiggling into all facets of 
our country through his evil ways. 
We need to pray that these elected/ 
appointed leaders depend upon the 
Lord for guidance and wisdom. 



Ladies, I am pleased to introduce to 

you . . . 

NANCY 

Nancy Hunn is the new editor of 
the W.M.S. Devotional Guide. Nancy 
has a Master's Degree in Music from 
Indiana University, but works in her 
own computer desktop publishing 
business, Image Communications. 
She does design and layout for news- 
letters, brochures, business cards, 
etc. Perhaps you have seen two of 
her Brethren projects: the Andrew 
Center magazine, New Beginnings, 
and the cover of Dr. Jerry Flora's 
book, The Message of Faith. 

Nancy uses her music abilities in 
the church as organist/pianist and 
choir member. Her hobbies include 
making crafts of all kinds, reading, 
and painting watercolors. 

Nancy is married to the Rev. Ken- 
neth Hunn, pastor of the Nappanee 
First Brethren Church, where they 
have served for about 7V2 years. 
They have three children: Andrew, 
17; Carol, 16; and Jonathan, 13. 

Nancy has served the W.M.S. as 
general secretary. Upon the resigna- 
tion of Jeanette Sullivan last sum- 
mer, the Board appointed Nancy to 
fill the editor's position of the Devo- 
tional Guide. She is responsible for 
selecting the program theme for 
next year, asking writers to comply 
with her request of preparing an 
article pertaining to the theme, and 
then coordinating articles, artwork, 
and other program suggestions with 
the appropriate month. This is not 
an easy task! 

We ask you to support Nancy with 
your prayers and encouraging notes. 
Should she ask you to help in any 
way, we hope you will say "yes." 

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 



Societies' Activities 



Annually each W.M.S. is asked to 
submit a written report of their 
ministry during the year. These are 
some of the examples which show 
that we are Women Meant to Serve: 

INDIANA 

Bryan Susannah — 
Sponsored a community ladies' day 
with Marilyn Aspinall as speaker 

Burlington — 
Sponsored the Mother-Daughter 
banquet with Emma Fritz from 
Warsaw speaking from the Word of 
God and demonstrating her artwork 
of decorating eggs 

College Corner — 
Baby quilts were made and lap 
quilts were made in local high 
school colors. Proceeds were given 
to the district project 

Corinth — 
Each member was a secret pal for 
the senior high youth. They finally 
met each other at a special supper 

Flora — 
Assisted in several activities in 
Brethren Healthcare: sewing, fish 
fry, July birthday party and Christ- 
mas program with refreshments; 
Christmas cheer plates to shut-ins 
and church-affiliated servicemen; 
work at local Thrift shop and Car- 
roll County food pantry 

Huntington — 
The Mother-Daughter banquet was 
a spaghetti dinner prepared and 
served by the men 

Loree I — 
Continued their annual ornament 
exchange, sponsored a Sr. Citizens 
ice cream social, silent auction, and 
World Relief potato bake 

Meadowcrest — 
Proceeds from a holiday bazaar sup- 
ported their orphan child in India 

Mexico — 
Used skits, geographic, and cultural 
studies of missionary fields to spark 
interest in their meetings 

Milford — 
Raised missionary offerings by 
sponsoring silent auction and white 
elephant sales; other offerings are 
given to Greenwood Fellowship and 
an abused women shelter 

Nappanee — 
Prepared and served the Mother- 
Daughter dinner for another church, 
used the theme "Gifts and Fruit of 

March-April 



the Spirit" for their Mother-Daugh- 
ter banquet, served the father/son 
breakfast and used a sports theme, 
prepared and gave Christmas gifts 
and dinner to a family 

North Manchester — 
Sponsored a soup luncheon after 
worship; proceeds from the free-will 
offering were designated for the na- 
tional project 

Oakville — 
Made Christmas gifts for the resi- 
dents at Brethren Healthcare 

Peru — 
Made and sent bibs and lap robes 
for nursing homes, sewing kits and 
school kits for International Aid; 
proceeds from selling quilts go to 
different mission fields. 

Roanoke — 
Prepared and sold apple dumplings 

Wabash — 
Provided periodic breakfasts for the 
men's fellowship 

FLORIDA 

Sarasota — 
Visited the Crisis Center for unwed 
girls and gave baby items 

ARIZONA 

Tucson — 

Held two rummage sales, pro- 
ceeds were designated for missions 
and church needs 

CENTRAL 

Milledgeville — 

Sponsored a craft night to encour- 
age outreach: 2 or 3 projects were 
suggested which could be completed 
in one evening; made "ugly quilts" 
for an organization in Sterling, gave 
lap robes to a nursing home and to 
the shelter for battered women 

SOUTHEAST 

Bethlehem — 
Instead of a traditional Mother/ 
Daughter program, they had a 
women's dinner at a restaurant and 
each invited an unchurched friend 
or co-worker; encouragement cards 
are signed at each meeting for ab- 
sent members and friends; personal 
notes are written to others 

Hagerstown — 
Made palm crosses for entire church 
membership and nursing home res- 
idents for Palm Sunday; combined 
picnic with St. James society and 
families 



Linwood — 
Used a "Stay at Home" tea theme 
for the World Day of Prayer, appro- 
priate materials were provided and 
members were encouraged to spend 
specific prayer time for world and 
national needs, but to stay at home 

Maurertown — 
"School Days" was the W.M.S. ban- 
quet theme, decorations included 
lunch pails, yearbooks, and miscel- 
laneous items from bygone days 

Oak Hill — 
Sponsored a rummage sale with 
proceeds designated for remodeling 
the ladies restroom, SE camp pro- 
gram, and Riverside teachers' gifts 

St. James — 
Sold candy and contributed funds 
for two prayer huts in India and 
training of an Indian pastor, hosted 
a baby shower for the Crisis Center 

OHIO 

Gretna — 
Focused on one missionary family 
for the year in an effort to become 
better acquainted with them; 225 
dozen Christmas cookies were sold 
with proceeds designated for the 
church mortgage 

New Lebanon — 
Sold hanging baskets for Mother's 
day; used "Mother Goose Reborn" 
theme, based on Christian Mother 
Goose by Marjorie A. Decker, for 
their mother-daughter banquet 

Park Street Joy — 
Used four special speakers to en- 
hance devotional programs: a coun- 
ty commissioner, a food expert, a 
tight-waddery specialist, and a dried 
flowers and potpourri specialist 

Trinity Jr. — 
Participated in Passing on the 
Promise, an exciting program! 

Trinity Sr. — 

Contributed cookies and packed 
boxes with cookies and personal 
items for each member of the Philo- 
matheon Society of the Blind at 
Christmas 

Williamstown — 
Sponsored a toy shower for children 
at Riverside school 

MIDWEST 

Mulvane — 
Supported the Sisterhood organiza- 
tion. The girls prepared Christmas 
(continued on page 4) 



3/Ussionarfj 

Congratulations to Tom and Deb- 
bie Sprowls in Medina! Their twins 
were born Friday, January 30. Leah 
Rose weighed 7 pounds and Levi 
Paul weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces. 
Luke, the big brother, is happy. 
They are a marvelous answer to 
hundreds of prayers! 

Reilly (Director of Missionary 
Ministries) and Cindy Smith visited 
India and Malaysia on a missionary 
tour in January and February. They 
attended the annual conference in 
Rajahmundry, India; Prasanth 
Kumar baptized 107 people follow- 
ing the conference! 

The Prayer and Praise bulletin 
from the Missionary Ministries Coun- 
cil highlights new mission locations 
in Ohio: Mike and Pam Sove at 
Northview Brethren Life Church in 
Franklin; Tom and Debbie Sprowls 
at the Living HOPE Brethren 
Church in Medina; Ron and Sandy 
Miller, who are leading a church 
planting team at the Living Waters 
Community Church in Mansfield; 
and a site in Delaware County. 
These are the February missionaries- 
of-the-month. 

In addition to these, other dis- 
tricts are also planting churches. 
Arizona: Jim and Ann Miller will 
move from Carmel, Indiana, to 
Phoenix in the summer to plant 
Oasis Community Church. Joining 
them will be Glenn and Sarah Black 
from Nappanee. Indiana: Jim and 
Elaine Thomas at Eagle's Nest 
Christian Fellowship at Grissom 
AFB; California: Jim and Stephanie 
Boyd at Rock Springs Community 
Church in Vista; Southeast: Mike 
and Barbara Woods of Grace Com- 
munity Church in Winchester, Vir- 
ginia. Continue your prayers for 
each church planter and team. 

The March missionaries are Kari- 
na and Claudio Castelli in Paraguay. 
Also in March are Sonia and Miguel 
Antunez in Peru. 

The April missionaries are the 
Thomases at Eagle's Nest (men- 
tioned above) and the pastors at 
Winning the Race Ministries in In- 
dianapolis: Tom and Tiona Conrad 
and Keith and Marjorie Bennett. 



President's Pen (continued) Ml WXVOf'S J&UWJtfl 

ciirnnoonll T.ot'c nnt lot nur* f rwiihloc ^J 



surprised!! Let's not let our troubles 
crowd around us so that we cannot 
see the many blessings we daily 
receive from the Lord. In Proverbs 
10:22, we read: "The blessing of the 
Lord makes one rich and He adds 
no sorrow with it." 

We received word from Prasanth 
and Nirmala Kumar in India that 
their son, Sudhir, was married on 
January 10. They also wrote that 
their son-in-law, Vincent, is attend- 
ing a seminary in Pittsburgh, Penn- 
sylvania. This was a surprise to us. 
His wife, Shanti, was born in Ash- 
land while Prasanth was a seminary 
student. Shanti and their daughter, 
Shirley-na, will join Vincent later. 
We are very excited to see them. 
More blessings from the Lord!! 

We are half way through our 
W.M.S. year. It won't be long before 
we begin talking about National 
Conference. Vice-President Marilyn 
Aspinall has been busy for months, 
planning for the devotional speaker, 
special music, and the luncheon. 
Mark the dates: August 3-7. 

What are some things you are 
doing in your local W.M.S. group? I 
do wish you would share with us. 
We really want to hear from you. 
Something you are doing may be 
just what another W.M.S. group 
needs to encourage their members. 
Wouldn't you like to be an encour- 
ager? OK, send a note to Joan Ronk 
and she will put your suggestion in 
the W.M.S. Newsletter. 

Remember: Count Your Blessings! 

God Bless You. 




Shirley Black 



Societies' Activities (continued) 

stockings for the Care and Share 
ministry for the needy, fixed pack- 
ages for the homeless men at the 
Rescue Mission in Wichita, they per- 
sonalized John 3:16 and prayed for 
each one as he received his package; 
made school kits through World 
Vision; sent vitamins to the Kumars 
and 50 Bibles to the Antunez family. 
And many, many more outreach 
opportunities! Yes, we are Women 
Meant to Serve. 



Dear Friend, 

Conference missionaries will be 
Allen Baer from Argentina and 
Marcelo and Adriana Ferreri, who 
were sent by the Argentine church 
to serve in Colombia. 

In Shirley's letter you have read 
her desire to share your activities. 
The information you submitted last 
year is compiled into this issue, so 
you may learn what other societies 
did. We were busy ladies! But don't 
stop there! Much work needs to be 
done and whatever you do, do it in 
the name of the Lord. If you see a 
need, fill it. Sometimes we wait for a 
committee or an organization to say, 
Do this or Do that. You be the one to 
doit! 

At this time, Shirley is undergoing 
radiation treatments for a tumor in 
her brain. She had concluded her 
treatments following the masecto- 
my last year and we rejoiced in her 
healing. We rejoice again in knowing 
that the bone scan did not reveal 
any other spot. Continue to pray for 
her healing and complete recovery. 
Her faith in the Great Physician is 
strong. 

Cynthia Stout's report of Society 
Sisters is an easy idea to duplicate 
in every district. And, in districts 
which are small, societies can cross 
district lines and become sisters. 

If you have read Barbara John- 
son's Living Somewhere Between 
Estrogen and Death, you know she 
includes lots of sense and nonsense! 
Refer to page 40 before you plant 
your garden this spring. If you want 
to do something, read page 65 and 
then begin. Pages 110-111 give wis- 
dom for you who "want to make a 
difference in the world," as suggest- 
ed by Max Lucado, and be a mentor. 
On page 154, read the encouraging 
paragraphs about encouragement. 
Barbara continues to tell you how to 
be an encourager. It's easy. 

Remember the project offering for 
this year is designated for the Eden 
Bible Institute in Argentina. 

Your friend, 




Joan 

Women's Outlook Newsletter 



Brethren Church Ministries: Evangelism 



Introducing LIFE 

(Living in Faithful Evangelism) 
By Ronald W. Waters 



AS CHURCHES were completing 
the Passing On the Promise 
(POtP) process, many people were 
asking if there would be life after 
POtP We're happy now to announce 
a resounding "Yes, there is LIFE 
after Passing On the Promise!" 

In fact, you could say, "LIFE is 
Passing On the Promise for a new 
generation!" 

LIFE (Living in Faithful Evan- 
gelism) is a new, two-year congrega- 
tional growth process, similar to 
Passing On the Promise — but with 
totally new study materials and 
themes. The Brethren Church is a 
major partner in developing this 
new process, along with evangeli- 
cals from the Church of the 
Brethren, the Mennonite Church, 
and the General Conference Men- 
nonite Church. 

The new process will be available 
for congregational implementation 
beginning in September 1998. 

LIFE'S four themes 

The LIFE process moves through 
four themes that invite us to: 

• Discover a vision for personal 
and congregational outreach; 

• Welcome new people to come to 
Christ and the church; 

• Share the joy and blessing of 
faith in Jesus Christ with others; 

• Expand our experience of Christ- 
ian community among ourselves 
and with persons new to the 
faith and the congregation. 

Living in Faithful Evangelism is 
designed to help an entire congrega- 
tion develop a lifestyle that is com- 
mitted to reaching persons in its 
community with the message of 
Jesus Christ. To that end, the 
process includes these features: 

1. Lay leadership — the congre- 
gation will select two persons to 
serve as congregational co-coordina- 
tors to guide the church through the 
process. The pastor is a vital part of 
the team serving as a key facilitator 



and an "up-front" cheerleader for 
the process. But the lay co-coordina- 
tors give direction to LIFE. 

2. Community and congrega- 
tional self-study — LIFE includes 
a tool for developing a pro- 
file of the church and the 
community, completed by 
a special task force. After 
gathering data, the task 
force develops an initial 
analysis of the findings. 
Then an outside consul- 
tant will review the find- 
ings and make sugges- 
tions to assist the church 
in developing its own outreach 
strategy. 

3. Study/action modules — the 
two-year process includes four 
study/action modules. Each module 
includes three elements: 1) a theme 
emphasis event to introduce the 
module and to build interest; 2) a 13- 
week curriculum designed for use in 
adult Sunday school classes and/or 
special study groups (may also be 
used in older youth classes); and 3) 
a congregational outreach activity 
to put the learning into action. 

4. An annual growth work- 
shop — at the conclusion of each 
year of the LIFE process, the con- 
gregation conducts a church-wide 
growth workshop. This workshop 
provides an opportunity to incorpo- 
rate the learning from the previous 
study/action curriculum units and 
the self-study research in devising 
specific ministry and outreach plans 
for the coming year. 

Who should consider LIFE? 

The LIFE introductory materials 
include a LIFE Readiness Assess- 
ment to help congregational leaders 
consider whether this is the appro- 
priate time to begin the process. 

Certainly churches that did not 
participate in Passing On the 
Promise should consider the LIFE 
process. In many cases, Passing On 
the Promise churches came to a 



new commitment among their 
members to evangelism and com- 
munity outreach. A process such as 
LIFE helps a congregation as a 
whole move together toward such a 
commitment. In many cases, it has 
also resulted in numerical growth. 

Churches that participated in 
Passing On the Promise may also 
consider the LIFE process for one of 
these reasons: 1) If the congrega- 
tion did not take full advantage of 
POtP, failing to use the study cur- 
riculum among a large percentage 




of it members, LIFE will allow an- 
other opportunity for broad-based 
exposure to growth and outreach 
training. 2) If the congregation has 
reached many new people since 
Passing On the Promise, LIFE will 
provide the means to build an out- 
reach and growth mindset in these 
folks as well. 3) Some congregations 
find that repeated exposure to a 
process such as LIFE/Passing On 
the Promise enhances attitudes and 
behaviors regarding evangelism and 
church growth. 

Because the curriculum materials 
are all new, churches who partici- 
pated in Passing On the Promise 
can enter into the LIFE process 
without repeating previous courses. 

A helpful LIFE introductory pack, 
including an informative video, is 
available. Ask your pastor if your 
church has requested this introduc- 
tory pack. If not, contact the Breth- 
ren Church National Office (524 
College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805; 
419-289-1708; FAX 419-281-0450; 
or e-mail at Brethren(abright.net) 
for your free copy. Or you will find 
the introductory material (but not 
the video) on the Internet at http:// 
www.ashland.edu/~rwaters/life.htm. [ft] 

Rev. Waters, assistant professor of 
evangelism at Ashland Theological Sem- 
inary, serves The Brethren Church as 
Consultant for Evangelism/Church 
Growth. 



February 1998 




"T 



OE, I hope you will be part of 
our evangelism class starting 
this Wednesday," my pastor said to 
me as we chatted after the morning 
services. 

I hardly gave his request a serious 
thought, and yet, Wednesday night 
found me in the evangelism class. 
For some reason that I could not 
explain, I felt I should be there. 

That's how, after a few weeks of 
training, I found myself standing 
beside my pastor as we made our 
first home evangelism call together. 
My pastor had called, and the fami- 
ly had agreed to "talk with us." 

The presentation 

After a few minutes of pleasant 
conversation, my pastor smiled and 
very gently said, "I would like to 
talk with you about something very 
important. Would that be okay? 

The young couple nodded and 
said, "Sure." 

My pastor called them by name 
and said in a soft but serious tone of 
voice, "Some day every person who 
has ever lived, including Joe and I, 
will stand before God. When that 
happens, we will be welcomed into 
heaven or cast into hell." 

To me it seemed to get very quiet. 
There was a long silence. I began 
looking for the door, just in case we 
needed to leave in a hurry. 

Then my pastor softly and gently 
asked, "Would you like to know for 
sure that when you die, you will go 
to heaven?" 



They both 
nodded yes. 

I relaxed 
and listened 
as my pastor 
opened his 
well-worn 
Bible and 
began to ex- 
plain how 
they could 
know they 
were going to 
heaven. He 
read Acts 
3:19, "Re- 
pent, then, 
and turn to 
God . . . ." He 
then ex- 

plained that 
everyone has 
he showed them Ro- 
. . all have sinned and 



sinned, and 
mans 3:23, " 
fall short of the glory of God." 

As the mother and father listened 
intensely, the two small children 
grew restless. I quickly slid from the 
couch onto the floor and played with 
them quietly. 

My pastor then turned to John 
3:16 and read, "For God so loved [us] 
that he gave his one and only Son, 
that whoever believes in him shall 
not perish but have eternal life." 

"The key word," he explained, is 
'believe.'" 

Next he showed them 1 John 1:9, 
which states that, if we confess our 
sins, God will forgive us. 

From John 1:12 he shared that 
they, too, could receive Christ. He 
looked up from his reading, smiled, 
and asked, "Would you like to 
receive Christ tonight?" 

I flinched. Kinda pushy, I thought. 

But mom and dad were nodding 
their heads as they shed tears of 
repentance! As my pastor led them 
in prayer, I wept too and asked God 
to forgive me for my lack of faith. 

New creations 

My pastor turned in his Bible to 
2 Corinthians 5:17 and showed 
these new converts that they were 
now new creations. "The old is 
gone," he said, "and now you are a 
new creation in Christ." 

As we left rejoicing that night, I 
had a new zeal to become a soul- 
winner, like my pastor. 



It was several weeks later, after 
more training and Bible study, that 
my pastor told me it was my turn to 
take the lead and talk to people 
about how they could know they 
were going to heaven. 

"I'm not ready yet," I responded. 

"I'll be right there with you, and 
I'll be praying for you," he reas- 
sured me. 

As we approached the house, I had 
an urge to turn and run. I felt ner- 
vous and uncertain. I looked at my 
pastor, standing behind me. He was 
smiling. I knew I could not let him 
down. He had confidence in me. 

I rang the doorbell, hoping that no 
one would be at home. But the door 
opened, and we were invited in. 

We visited for a little while. Then 
I looked at my pastor. He nodded 
and smiled. It was time. I swallowed 
hard and breathed a silent prayer. 

I didn't do as well as I had hoped 
I would. I stumbled and stammered 
sometimes. But I could see my pas- 
tor praying for me, so I continued. 
When I asked them if they would 
like to receive Jesus as their Savior, 
I was pleasantly surprised when 
they said, "Yes." 

Some continue to say "Yes" 

It's been several years now since 
that first time. I have had some peo- 
ple say yes and some say no in that 
time. A few people have refused to 
let me in. Some have told me to 
mind my own business. And a few 
have even been rude. But thank 
God, some continue to say, "Yes!" 

I am now retired and have moved 
to a different state, but I'm still ask- 
ing those same questions. And I'm 
still getting some people who say yes 
and some who say no. 

As you read this article, you too 
can receive Jesus Christ as your 
Savior and become a new creation in 
Jesus Christ! 

On the other hand, if you are 
already a new creation in Jesus 
Christ, then perhaps it's time for 
you to become a "trainee" in an 
evangelism class. Acts 1:8 says, 
"You will be my witnesses ... to the 
ends of the earth." [ft] 

Mr. Seay is a free-lance writer who 
lives in Greenbrier, Arkansas. The 
method of evangelism he describes is 
just one of many ways of "Having a 
Heart for the Lost. " 



H 



The Brethren Evangelist 



nd th e 




New pastor welcomed 
by Cornerstone Church 

Muncie, Ind. — Members of Cor- 
nerstone Brethren Church and 
Ministries recently welcomed Dr. 
Tim Dwyer as their new pastor. 
Since 1990, Dr. Dwyer has been on 

the fac- 
ulty of 
nearby 
Ander- 
son Uni- 
versity as 
professor 
of Old 
and New 
Testa- 
ment, 
where he 
continues 
to teach. 
Prior to 
that, he 
pastored 
in California, served as a jail chap- 
lain, and taught at Azusa Pacific 
University. 

He is a graduate of San Jose City 
College, Azusa Pacific University, 
Talbot Theological Seminary, and 
has a Ph.D. degree in New Testa- 
ment from Aberdeen University in 
Scotland. 

For the past 14 years, Pastor Dwyer 
has been married to Paula Rosine 
Dwyer. Mrs. Dwyer is a writer and 
an aerobics and aquatics instructor. 
They are the parents of two sons, 
Peter (7) and Philip (4). 

Cornerstone Brethren Church 
and Ministries held its first meeting 
October 1, 1995, and dedicated its 
first worship facility October 5, 
1997 (see November Evangelist p. 9). 
— reported by Roberta Covington 




Dr. Tim Dwyer 




Participating in the commissioning service for Robert French (c.) and Timothy 
Lewis (2nd from r.) were Rev. T.J. McLaughlin (I.), Rev. Robert Hoffman (2nd 
from I.), and Rev. Bryan Karchner (r.). 

Timothy Lewis, Robert French commissioned 
for ministry at Brush Valley Brethren Church 



Adrian, Pa. — Timothy Lewis and 
Robert French were commissioned 
as Ministers in The Brethren 
Church in a service held December 
7 at Brush Valley Brethren Church, 
where both men are members. 

Rev. Bryan Karchner, pastor of 
the Berlin, Pa., Brethren Church 
and a member of the Pennsylvania 
District Board of Oversight, con- 
ducted the commissioning service. 
He was assisted by Brethren Elders 
Robert Hoffman and T.J. McLaugh- 
lin, and by Rev. Terry Music, inter- 
im pastor of the Brush Valley con- 
gregation. 

As Commissioned Ministers Mr. 
Lewis and Mr. French are autho- 
rized to preach and teach the 
Gospel, to assist with Communion 
services, to conduct funeral ser- 
vices, to do pastoral calling (as 
directed by an ordained elder), and 



to receive the confession of faith of 
new believers. 

Timothy Lewis (45) has been a 
member of the Brush Valley Church 
for about 12 years. He serves the 
congregation as moderator, trustee, 
and deacon. He is employed at For- 
ringer Truck and Auto Parts, where 
he is manager. He and his wife 
Debbie have three daughters rang- 
ing in age from 24 to 8. 

Robert French (46) has been a 
member at Brush Valley since child- 
hood. He is assistant moderator and 
a deacon and has also served the 
congregation as trustee, Sunday 
school teacher and youth leader. He 
is employed as a transportation 
team leader for Allegheny Power and 
attends Geneva College, from which 
he will graduate this summer. He 
and his wife Diana have three sons 
ranging in age from 22 to 15. [ft] 



Eagles' Nest becomes a class 

Bunker Hill, Ind. — Eagle's 

Nest Christian Fellowship, the 
new Brethren church being start- 
ed at the former Grissom Air 
Force Base near Peru, Ind., was 
granted a class charter by the 
Executive Board of the Brethren 
Church at its November meeting. 
Class status is the first step in 
becoming a Brethren church. 



Rev. Jim Thomas and his wife 
Elaine are the church planters for 
this new congregation. They are 
currently raising support and 
developing a core-group of people. 
They expect to launch public serv- 
ices in the fall of this year. 

Eagle's Nest Christian Fellow- 
ship will be a Brethren church 
serving a broad-based community 
where no other churches now 
exist. [ft] 



February 1998 



O ood_£e 




Retreat planned in April for 
Brethren pastors and wives 

Lanark, 111. — Interlaken Resort 
and Country Spa near Lake Geneva, 
Wisconsin, will be the site of this 
year's retreat for Brethren pastors 
and their wives, which will be held 
April 28-30. 

The retreat will be a time of both 
spiritual enrichment and relax- 
ation. The featured speaker will be 
Dr. David Reese, a medical doctor 
who is a member of the Lanark, 111., 
Brethren Church. Dr. Reese, a stu- 
dent of both science and Scripture, 
will speak on the biblical account of 
creation, providing a fresh under- 
standing of this narrative. 

The cost of the retreat is $230.00 
for couples and $180.00 for singles, 
which covers two nights at the 
resort, two breakfasts, and two din- 
ners. The retreat will begin Tuesday 
afternoon, April 28, and conclude by 
noon on Thursday. Registration forms 
have been sent directly to pastors. 
For more information, contact Pas- 
tor Jim Garrett at 815-493-2390. 

Churches are encouraged to pro- 
vide time off and financial assis- 
tance so that pastors and their 
wives can attend the retreat. [ft] 



Christians urged to pray for revival and spiritual 
awakening during PrayUSA!'98, March 1— April 9 



Houston, Tex. — Hundreds of 
America's Christian leaders are call- 
ing for 40 days of fasting and prayer 
for revival and spiritual 
awakening during 
Pray US A! '98, March 
1 to April 9. 

On March 1, 1998, 
participants will begin 
synchronized praying 
through a 40-day 
prayer calendar. The 
prayer focus will be on 
America's churches, 
their pastors, and 
Christian leaders. 

Participants will be 
urged to fast as well as 
pray. The biblical dis- 
cipline of fasting has 
seen renewed interest 
in recent years, as 
pastors and laypersons 
alike forgo food for one 
to 40 days to develop a 
more intimate relationship with and 
deeper dependence upon God. 

The need for a national fast stems 
from a lack of obedience to God in 
today's society. Bill Bright recently 
said, "There has never been a 
greater need in all of history for 
Christians to fast, pray, repent, and 
seek the face of God. We're asking 
God to send revival to our nation 
and the world to enable us to help 
fulfill the Great Commission." 



Pray USA! '98 

PRAYING 

AMERICA 

BACK 



GOD 



March I - April 9 



40 - DAYS 

PRAYER & FASTING 



PrayUSA! Coordinator Eddie 
Smith said, "This year we are seek- 
ing to initiate a praying presence in 
every U.S. zip code." He 
is requesting that 
Christians adopt their 
zip code, or a portion 
of it, for prayer. They 
are being asked to reg- 
ister their intention 
with the national reg- 
istry and to begin 
praying for and 
prayer-walking 
through their zip code 
area with the ultimate 
goal of praying for 
every person by the 
end of the year 2000. 
(To register, call 913- 
438-7303 or visit the 
website at wwwmap4 
JESUS.org.) 
Any church or indi- 
vidual can participate in 
PrayUSA!. Single copies of the 40- 
day prayer calendar are available 
free from The Brethren Church 
National Office (call 419-289-1708). 
Quantities (at $3.00 per dozen) may 
be ordered from PrayUSA! by call- 
ing 1-888-FASTING (1-888-327- 
8464). A PrayUSA! resource kit is 
also available for $10.00. 

PrayUSA! is an annual initiative 
sponsored by Mission America 
Celebrate Jesus. [ft] 



Pastor takes congregation 
out for Christmas dinner 

Quicksburg, Va. — Forty-nine 
members and friends of the 
Liberty Brethren Church were 
treated to a buffet dinner on 
Sunday, December 14, after the 
morning worship service by Pastor 
Doc Shank and his wife Jean. 

This is an annual Christmas 
event, by which the Shanks show 
their appreciation to the Liberty 
congregation. By coincidence, this 
year's dinner fell on Mrs. Shank's 
birthday 

Loy Didawick, a local vocalist, 
provided entertainment during 



the meal, which was held at the 
Johnny Appleseed Restaurant in 
New Market, Va. According to re- 



porter Ramona Davis, the dinner 
and special entertainment were 
very much enjoyed by everyone, [ft] 





Rev. Doc Shank (at left in left photo) entertains, while his wife Jean (at right in 
right photo) enjoys the meal. 



10 



The Brethren Evangelist 




In Memory 

Doris R. Stogsdill 

Doris R. Stogsdill, 72, died Jan- 
uary 17 in Tucson, Ariz., after a val- 
iant struggle with cancer. Mrs. 
Stogsdill was the widow of Brethren 
pastor Rev. Clarence Stogsdill, who 
died May 26, 1992. 

Wilma Doris Roy was born Janu- 
ary 26, 1925, in Hamdon, Missouri, 
the daughter of Alber and Edna 
Roy. She and Clarence were mar- 
ried December 23, 1946. 

She served the First Brethren 
Church in Tucson for 29 years 
(1963-92) along side her husband, 
as he pastored that congregation. 
She was also by his side when he 
served the Gretna (Bellefontaine, 
Ohio), Trinity (Canton, Ohio), Johns- 
town (Pa.) Third, and Milledgeville, 
111., Brethren Churches. 

In addition to her service to the 
church and to her family, she worked 
as payroll supervisor and as secre- 
tary to the vice president in charge 
of finance of Krueger Manufactur- 
ing from 1963 until 1990. Her chil- 
dren remember her as a woman of 
steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, of 
faithful prayer, and of constancy of 
love for her family. 

She is survived by her two chil- 
dren and their spouses — Gwen and 
Scott McKinney, and Roger and 
Kimberly Stogsdill — and by four 
grandchildren (Seth and Ryan 
McKinney and Tiffany and Adam 
Stogsdill). Roger is the current pas- 
tor of Tucson First Brethren. 

Her funeral service was held 
January 23 at the Tucson Church. 

Kay M. Long 

Kay Maureen Long (60), wife of 
Brethren Elder Norman D. Long, 
died December 2 in Ypsilanti, Mich., 
of pancreatic cancer. 

Born Kay M. Chaney on Decem- 
ber 9, 1936, in Sterling, Colo., she 
was raised in the Church of the Breth- 
ren, as was her future husband. They 
were married June 17, 1956. After 

February 1998 



Christians challenged to saturate America 
with the Gospel by end of this millennium 



Minneapolis, Minn. — As the mil- 
lennium draws to a close, Chris- 
tians are being challenged to take 
seriously the call to reach America 
with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Thousands of Christians are ac- 
cepting the challenge to make a 
concerted effort over the next three 
years to pray for their family and 
friends and then seek ways to share 
Jesus Christ with them. 

Celebrate Jesus 2000, a national 
evangelism initiative of the Mis- 
sion America coalition, is remind- 
ing Christians that the greatest rea- 
son to celebrate the new millennium 
is faith in Jesus Christ. Celebrate 
Jesus 2000 asks Christians to work 
collaboratively to do what Jesus 
Christ commanded His disciples to 
do — to go and make disciples. 

There is little doubt that our na- 
tion is in great need of spiritual 
awakening and renewal. There is 
no better time for Christians to 
come together to reach the nation 
for Christ than in the twilight years 
of the 20th Century. 

Dr. Larry Lewis, national facili- 
tator of Celebrate Jesus 2000 says, 
"This is the first time in the history 
of our nation [that] we have come to 
the end of a millennium. We won't 
have that opportunity [again] for 
another 1,000 years. Certainly it 
behooves us to 'redeem the time' by 
doing our best to fulfill the Great 
Commission mandate to evangelize 
our nation." 

Never before in the history of the 
American church have so many 
members of the Body of Christ 



come together for the purpose of 
evangelism. Already 52 denomina- 
tions have pledged to be a part of 
Celebrate Jesus 2000 by promoting 
it in their local churches. More 
than 150,000 local congregations 
are expected to participate. 

Dr. Lewis says, "If every one of 
those churches will do its part, 
bathing its church mission field in 
prayer and sharing the Gospel in 
every home, we can saturate Amer- 
ica with the Gospel. The Mission 
American goal of praying for and 
sharing Christ with every person in 
America is reachable and doable. 
And if we can do it, we should do it!" 

Celebrate Jesus 2000 recognizes 
that prayer is the most essential 
and the most effective resource in 
evangelism. Therefore Christians are 
being asked to pray for family, friends, 
and neighbors, and then to seek 
ways to share the Gospel with them 
through a brief, friendly, "threshold 
witness" or by lifestyle evangelism. 

Public events such as city-wide or 
individual church crusades also will 
be held. An important part of this 
effort is effective follow-up with new 
believers to involve them in new or 
existing congregations for disciple- 
ship and fellowship. Christians will 
also be involved in demonstrating 
"love in action" by serving those in 
need in their communities. 

Resource materials and sugges- 
tions for involvement in Celebrate 
Jesus 2000, including a Church 
Mobilization Kit, are available 
through Mission America. For more 
information, call 800-995-8572. [t] 



serving congregations in the Church 
of the Brethren, her husband ac- 
cepted a call in 1972 to pastor the 
Pittsburgh, Pa., First Brethren 
Church. They served there for 15 
years. They later moved to Ypsi- 
lanti, where Rev. Long served for 
91/2 years as a chaplain in the Uni- 
versity of Michigan Hospital in Ann 
Arbor. (He retired last September.) 
Surviving Mrs. Long in addition 
to her husband are a daughter, 
Cindy McCarthy and her husband 
Bill; a son, Lloyd and his wife 



Coral; three grandchildren; and 
three step-grandchildren. [ft] 



World Relief Update 

Malawi, Africa — World Relief is 
providing emergency food and shel- 
ter to 300 families made homeless 
by heavy rains in Malawi, a country 
in southeastern Africa. 

When the rainy season ends in 
March, World Relief hopes to help 
villagers plant sweet potatoes, an 
early-maturing crop that will pro- 
vide much-needed food. [1>] 



11 



o ^od_^e 





In Memory 

Rev. Ronald B. Ritchey 

Brethren pastor Rev. Ronald B. 

Ritchey, 65, of Berlin, Pa., died of 

cancer December 21 at Meadow 

View Nursing Center in Berlin. He 

was pastor 
of the Cum- 
berland, 
Md., First 
Brethren 
Church 
until his 
illness 
prevented 
him from 
serving. 

He was 
born on 
March 18, 
1932, in Johnstown, Pa., the son of 
Paul and Rae Lucille (Thomas) 
Ritchey. He was a graduate of Berlin 
High School (1950), Ashland Col- 
lege (1954), and Ashland Theologi- 
cal Seminary (1957). 

In addition to the Cumberland 
Church, Rev. Ritchey served Breth- 
ren congregations in North Liberty, 
Ind., and Johnstown, Pa. (Third 
Brethren). He also served several 
churches in other denominations, 
including Trinity United Church of 
Christ in Roxbury, Pa., which he 
served while pastoring the Cumber- 
land First Brethren Church. He also 
taught school for a time in Ohio. 

He served on the board of River- 
side Christian School in Lost Creek, 
Ky, worked with the school, and 
took more than 100 loads of donat- 
ed items there. While serving in 
Johnstown, he was president of the 
Johnstown ministerial association 
and chaplain for the city council. In 
Berlin, he served as an EMT with 
the Hyndman, Pa., rescue squad. 

He was married for 37 years to 
the former Margaret Adele Linsley, 
who survives him. Also surviving 
are their three children and their 
spouses — Paul and Deb Ritchey of 



Ashland; John and Toni Ritchey of 
Baltimore, Md.; and Adele and 
David Merkel of Hyndman — as well 
as three grandchildren. 

Rev. Ritchey donated his body to 
science for research. A memorial 
service was held December 27 at the 
Berlin Brethren Church with Pastor 
Bryan Karchner officiating and re- 
marks by Rev. Norman Nightengal. 
Memorial contributions, which will 
be given to various mission works, 
may be sent to the Berlin Church. 

Romayne K. Flora 
Viavi Romayne K. Flora, 92, 

died January 19 at Good Shepherd 
Nursing Home in Ashland, Ohio. 
Mrs. Flora was the wife of Dr. 
Delbert B. Flora, a Brethren elder, 
pastor, and then professor and dean 
at Ashland Theological Seminary, 
who died August 31, 1995. 

Romayne Keyes was born August 
21, 1905, in Goshen, Indiana, the 
daughter of Harrison and Laura 
Greer Keyes. She graduated from 
Peru High School in Indiana and 
worked for about four years as a 
bookkeeper in a bank. She was a 
lifelong member of The Brethren 
Church, baptized into Brethren 
Church membership in 1914 and a 
member of Ashland Park Street 
Brethren Church from 1946 until 
her death. She received a diploma in 
music from Ashland College and 
later studied at the Cleveland 
Institute of Music. 

She was married to Delbert Flora 
in 1929. They served Brethren 
churches in Cerro Gordo, 111., 
Masontown, Pa., and Elkhart, Ind., 
before her husband joined the sem- 
inary faculty in 1946. 

Mrs. Flora taught piano in the 
Ashland College music department 
from 1947-49. She continued to 
give private piano lessons for 30 
years, teaching a total of nearly 200 
students. During her husband's 
years at the seminary, she was 
active in the seminary wives associ- 
ation, giving wise counsel to many 
future pastors' wives. She also trav- 
eled with her husband to Europe 
and the Middle East five times to 
study the historical origins of 
Christianity. 

She was a longtime member of the 
Women's Missionary Society and 
served as the W.M.S. representative 



to the Missionary Board of the 
Brethren Church from 1950-63 and 
as treasurer of that board from 
1951-61. 

She is survived by three sons and 
daughters-in-law, Jerry (a professor 
at Ashland Theological Seminary) 
and Julia Flora of Ashland; Guy and 
Patricia Flora of Cardington, Ohio; 
and John and Donna Flora of 
Urbana, Ohio; and by 10 grandchil- 
dren and nine great-grandchildren. 

Her funeral service was held at 
Van Hove Funeral Home in Ashland 
with Park Street pastor Dr. Arden 
Gilmer officiating, assisted by Dr. 
M. Virgil Ingraham. 

The family suggests that memo- 
rial contributions may be made to 
Ashland Theological Seminary, Park 
Street Brethren Church, or a chari- 
ty of the donor's choice. 



The crime in human cloning is 
that it transforms procreation into 
production where human children 
are the products. 

— Gary Bauer, president, 
Family Research Council 



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( The Brethren ) 

Evangelis 




Vol.120, No. 3 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



March 1998 



How Can We Experience Renewal? 

By Reilly R. Smith 



THE THEME for The Brethren 
Church in 1998 is renewal. I have 
prepared an acrostic for renewal in 
missions (see box at right) based on 
the letters r-e-n-e-w-a-1 and the 
vision path set by the Executive 
Board of The Brethren Church. In 
the following article I will elaborate 
on that acrostic. 

It starts with love 

First of all, we Brethren need to 
Rediscover that our purpose for liv- 
ing is found in the Great Command- 
ments. That purpose is to love God, 
to love our neighbors, and to love 
one another (see Matt 22:34-40 and 
Jn. 13:31-35). 

The first Great Commandment is 
to love God completely — with every- 
thing we are and have — all our 
heart, soul, mind, and strength. We 
desperately need God. And He des- 
perately wants our hearts. When He 
has them, renewal is under way. 

The second Great 
Commandment is to 
love our neighbors 
as we love ourselves. 
Our Lord Jesus 
Christ made an in- 
teresting application 
of this command- 
ment in the parable 
of the Good Samari- 
tan (Lk. 10:25-37). 
A religious person 
wanted to justify his 
attitudes and actions 
toward others. Jesus 
pulled the man's 
smug rug out from 
under him. Our neighbors are every- 
one we meet. We must minister to all 
people because God loves them all. 

The third Great Commandment 



Renewal in Missions 

Rediscover our purpose 
Embrace our responsibility 
Nurture spiritual vitality 
Evangelize, establish, equip, 

and encourage 
Work to include and equip 

youth 
Activate new systems of 

educational support 
Lift to new heights 




Rev. Reilly 



also calls for total commitment. We 
must love one another with the 
measure of love Christ shows us. He 
gave His life for us. We must live for 
one another (see Phil. 2:1-5). God 
tells us to look out for one another 
and to develop the attitude of our 
Lord Jesus toward His people. 
Love is the core of Christian 
living. Love is the fruit 
of the Holy Spirit. Re- 
discovering love — for 
God, for our neighbors, 
and for one another — 
is the beginning of 
renewal. 

Second, we must 
Embrace the Great 
Commission to make 
disciples for Jesus 
Christ (Matt. 28:18- 
20). This is our work 
for the Lord. He really 
only gives us four com- 
mandments in the 
Smith New Testament. The 

first three are outlined above. The 
fourth is to evangelize people, estab- 
lish them in the faith, equip them to 
live and work in the world, and 



encourage them in service. Another 
way to say this is that we must help 
people meet Jesus Christ, know 
Jesus Christ, love Jesus Christ, and 
follow Jesus Christ. 

The heart of missions 

Making disciples is the heart of 
missions. It starts at home and ex- 
tends around the world (Acts 1:8). 
Everyone who has not put his or her 
faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and 
Lord is a potential disciple. Our Lord 
Jesus told us to go everywhere in 
the world and tell the Good News to 
everyone (Mk. 16:15). Embracing our 
responsibility to make disciples is the 
beginning of renewal in missions. 

We also need to Nurture spiritual 
vitality among growing Christians 
(2 Tim. 3:14 — 4:5). We must recover 
the vitality of the early church. In 
1995 our General Conference theme 
was "The Devoted Church . . . Grows," 
taken from Acts 2:42-47. Verse 42 
contains the secret for renewing 
spiritual vitality among us. The 
early Christians devoted themselves 
(with heart, soul, mind, and strength) 
to four things: the apostles' teach- 
ing, the fellowship, the breaking of 
bread, and prayer. The early Chris- 
tians lived out these principles in 
(continued on next page) 



Inside this issue 


When Jesus comes to town 


3 


Treat God like a pal 


3 


Ready or not 


4 


Old Testament God of love 


5 


Brethren World Missions 


6 


A view from the pew 


9 


Hallowed ground 


10 


Around the denomination 


11 



balance. They not only heard the 
word, they did it (cf. James 1:22-25). 
They gave themselves to one another 
selflessly (w. 44-45). They shared 
their lives together in the church 
and in the community (w. 46-47). 
When they prayed, they shook the 
earth (Acts 4:23-31). And God 
added to their number daily (v. 47). 

Devotion to the living Lord 

Our devotions must become devo- 
tion to the living Lord Jesus. We 
must love and obey His word. 
Studying it is only a small part. We 
must love to communicate with Him 
about everything so that we can 
grow in our relationship with Him. 
Then He can direct and empower 
our efforts. We must love the 
church, the body of Christ, enough 
to make it our priority. We must also 
love one another enough to spend 
time together outside of the church. 
Nurturing spiritual vitality will 
renew growing Christians and build 
growing churches. 

We must also Evangelize, Estab- 
lish, Equip, and Encourage all kinds 
of people wherever they live. Execu- 
tive Director Buzz Sandberg sees "a 
multi-ethnic, multi-racial, and multi- 
national Brethren Church." Our 
Lord Jesus saw the same thing (cf. 
Acts 1:8). God's purpose from the 
beginning was to bless people of 
every tribe and language and people 
and nation (Rev. 5:9, 7:9, and 
14:6-7). He doesn't want anyone to 
be lost (2 Pet. 3:9). 

God renews us in missions when 
we deliberately reach out to all peo- 
ple, whether they live across town, 
across the continent, or across the 
ocean. God renews us in missions 
when we reach out to and welcome 
people who are not like us as well as 
those who are. He loves all people. 



The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) 
is published monthly (except July and August 
issues are combined) by The Brethren Church, 
Inc., 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 
(telephone: 419-289-1708; fax: 419-281-0450); 
e-mail: brethren@bright.net. Authors' views are 
not necessarily those of The Brethren Church. 
Editor: Richard C. Winfield. Subscription rates: 
Sent free to Brethren Church members; $15.00 
per year to others. Member: Evangelical Press 
Association. Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio. 
Postmaster: Send address changes to The 
Brethren Church, 524 College Avenue, Ashland, 
OH 44805-3792. 



Our love for and work among many 
different people groups will be a 
sign that He is renewing us. 

Another thing we must do is Work 
to include and equip our youth as 
servant leaders. In one sense, this is 
simply an extension of the last para- 
graph. Our children are people too. 
They must become growing disci- 
ples when they accept Christ, not 
just when they become adults. We 
need their spiritual gifts to operate 
in the body of Christ now (1 Cor. 
12:12-27). 

Paul reminded Timothy that he 
should not allow others to despise 
his youthfulness (1 Tim. 4:11-14). 
Young people possess energy, ideal- 
ism, dedication, talent, and spiritual 
gifts. We injure the body of Christ 
when we fail to use them. They can 
do God's work effectively. Working 
to include and equip our youth 
guarantees that God will continue 
renewing us in missions. 

We must also Activate new sys- 
tems of educational support for pas- 
tors and church leaders (Eph. 4:11- 
16). We need to invest heavily in our 
pastors and teachers. The body of 
Christ will not function well if those 
who lead us are not functioning well. 
Our pastors and leaders need to be 
continually inspired, refreshed, 
equipped, and growing, both for 
their own sakes and to prepare us 
for ministry. 

Developing ministering saints 
who reach out to a growing number 
of different kinds of people requires 
new skills and special inspiration. 
Activating new systems of educa- 
tional support for our pastors and 
leaders will enable them to develop 
new human resources for renewal in 
missions. 

A kingdom of priests 

And finally, we need to Lift men 
and women to new heights of min- 
istry and leadership (1 Pet. 2:9). We 
are God's people. He called us to be 
a kingdom of priests serving our 
world. Each of us received special 
gifts and abilities when we were 
born again. Each of us will give an 
account before the judgment seat of 
Christ for the ministry we per- 
formed (2 Cor. 5:6-10). 

We also enjoy God's constant pres- 
ence and empowerment (Matt. 
28:20; John 1:12, 7:37-39; and Acts 



1:4-8). God's people are God's plan. 
He intended that the whole nation 
of Israel should spread His glory 
throughout the nations. The priests 
and prophets were to prepare the 
nation to do so. 

Today He intends the whole 
church to spread His gospel and His 
glory over all the earth. His pastors 
and leaders must prepare the people 
to do so. But now, as then, God's 
work belongs to God's people — all of 
us working together, filled with His 
Spirit, being renewed by Him daily. 
Lifting men and women to new 
heights of ministry and leadership 
will mean that God is renewing the 
whole church for missions. 

The gospel is not difficult 

The gospel is not difficult. It is not 
a complicated philosophical concept. 
It doesn't come from a faraway 
place. People who confess that Jesus 
Christ is Lord of their lives and who 
believe that God raised Him from 
the dead will be saved. But in order 
to believe, they have to hear. And in 
order for them to hear, someone will 
have to preach to them. All will have 
to testify. Some will have to go. 
Some will have to send. Everyone 
needs to hear (Rom. 10:5-18). 

Renewal in Brethren Missions 
will happen when we love God 
enough to do His will. It will happen 
when we love our neighbors enough 
to make sure they have an opportu- 
nity to hear and respond to the gos- 
pel. And it will happen when we love 
one another enough to stop playing 
church and start being the church — 
making disciples of Jesus Christ in 
our homes, in our communities, 
throughout our regions, across our 
nation, and around the world. 

We will know God is renewing us 
when He calls many Brethren men 
and women to plant churches in the 
United States and in other lands. 
We will know that God is renewing 
us when we have enough funds to 
expand our current ministries and 
to finance new ministries. We will 
know that God is renewing us when 
the Great Commandments and the 
Great Commission are the central 
issues in The Brethren Church. [^] 

Rev. Smith is Director of Mission- 
ary Ministries for The Brethren 
Church. 



The Brethren Evangelist 



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When Jesus Comes to Town 

(What is our reaction?) 

By Brian H. Moore 



WHEN JESUS rode into Jeru- 
salem on what we call Palm 
Sunday, His arrival caused quite 
a few reactions. 

First, of course, was the cele- 
bration of joy and anticipation by 
His supporters. They shouted 
"Hosanna!" (meaning "Save 
now") and threw branches and 
cloaks along the way. A very fit- 
ting arrival for a King! 

This action set off a reaction by 
the guardians of the status quo, 
who said (in my words), "Teacher, 
tell your fanatical followers to 
pipe down!" Their reaction was 
one of a combination of jealousy 
and fear. They were jealous be- 
cause He was getting the atten- 
tion they thought they deserved, 
and they were fearful because it 
looked too much like an uprising. 
The status quo would be changed 



and they would lose what little 
control they thought they had. 

Then there was the reaction of 
the uninformed multitude, who, 
seeing all this commotion, asked, 
"Who is this?" For whatever 
reason or combination of rea 
sons, these were the 
people who had had.-j - *^ 
the same advantages y^l 
as the others who 
lived in that area, but 
who, somehow, had 
never bothered to take notice or 
to stay informed. Granted, some 
of the out-of-town folks who were 
there that day couldn't have 
known, but even among the local 
people there was widespread ig- 
norance of just who this Rabbi 
from Nazareth was. Theirs was a 
reaction of curiosity, not of gen- 
uine inquiry. But at least He got 



their attention for a few mo- 
ments. 

His reaction? When He drew 
near the city, He began to weep! 
Joy in the crowd — sorrow in the 
Christ! He saw all the variant re- 
actions, but He also saw through 
all of them. What He didn't see 
was repentance and faith. What 
He didn't see was a willingness to 
be embraced by the love of God. 
Jesus still comes to towns and 
countrysides, and He still gets 
an assortment of 
reactions: 
Some get all 
excited (without 
quite knowing 

why). Some get 
angry and feel 
pressure to change 
(which they are un- 
willing to do). Some keep their 
distance or, at best, ask curious 
questions. And Jesus still weeps 
for the lost. [ft] 

Dr. Moore is pastor of the St. 
James, Md., Brethren Church. 
This article first appeared in the 
St. James Church newsletter. 




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Habits of Highly Ineffective Christians: 


> 


Treat God Like a 


Pal 


By Chris Fabry 





Some of us are already pretty in- 
effective Christians, although we 
could probably be even less effective 
if we really tried. Chris Fabry tells 
us how. Of course, if your desire is to 
be a better Christian, you should 
probably try doing just the opposite 
of what Fabry suggests. 

Fabry's suggestions are taken 
from his book, The 77 Habits of High- 
ly Ineffective Christians (© 1997 by 
Christopher H. Fabry), and are 
reprinted here by permission of 
InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, 
Downers, Grove, IL 60515. 



A 



LMIGHTY. OMNIPOTENT. The 
Great I Am. Awesome Lord. 
These are terms you must not 



use or think about if you are to 
maximize your ineffectivity. Do 
not exalt God as Lord over all in 
your life. Instead you must bring 
him down to your own level. You 
must think of God as your heav- 
enly pal. 

The Good Lord. The man up- 
stairs. My Big Buddy. Mr. Jesus. 

You must take the gospel song 
"What a Friend We Have in Jesus" 
to the extreme. When you are 
tempted to sin, do not picture God 
sitting on his throne, surrounded 
by worshiping angels and beings 
too wonderful to describe. Do not 
picture him in his blinding righ- 
teousness, or yourself filled with awe 



as you shrink from his presence. 

Picture him in a cardigan and 
jeans, putting his arm around you 
and saying, "Hey, that's okay, bud. 
Don't sweat the little sins, I'll 
take care of it." By doing this you 
will treat the sacrifice he made on 
the cross as something one busi- 
ness partner would do for another. 

Think of God as a loving, doting 
grandfather, complete with rock- 
ing chair and beard. Pray casually, 
and without reverence, beginning 
your prayers with something like 
"Hi God, it's me." 

If you focus your mind on mak- 
ing the Almighty, Omnipotent 
Master of the Universe seem like 
any other person, you will be well 
on your way to a wonderfully in- 
effective life. 

Introspection Corner: How have 
you treated the Big Guy like a pal 
this week? [ft] 



March 1998 



V 



Ready or Not 

By Elizabeth Cody Newenhuyse 



J 



Sometimes we think that we can- 
not witness to others or share our 
faith until we "get our own house in 
order. " The following article, though 
not specifically about evangelism, 
speaks to this way of thinking. 

I USED TO THINK that before I 
reached out to others, I had to be 
complete within myself, all prob- 
lems solved, and wearing a size six 
to boot. 

It's a little like our house. For a 
long time I didn't want to entertain 
visitors because our house isn't 
Martha Stewart perfect. Our dining 
room chairs don't match, for in- 
stance. Oh, we started out our mar- 
ried life with matching seating, but 
then the upholstery got kind of 
grungy and the crosspieces or what- 
ever you call them fell out and . . . 
oh, never mind. So over time we've 
acquired various chairs. 

Some of our friends from church 
have huge, baronial dining rooms 
with something like twelve match- 
ing chairs, and when you eat there 
you expect some minion to tri- 
umphantly bring in a boar's head on 
a platter. Our dining room is all 
right, but it isn't baronial. 

And then our house is also small. 
It has peeling patches on the 
kitchen ceiling and various other 
flaws that in my mind have grown 
into hideous eyesores that no one 
can possibly miss. But I like to cook 
and I like people, and Amanda's an 
only child, so somewhere along the 
line I decided that my qualms were 
ridiculous and if I waited until my 
house was perfect before extending 
hospitality, our friends would all 
require special bland diets and a 
wheelchair ramp up to the front 
door. We still have to bring in a mot- 
ley assortment of chairs to accom- 
modate everyone in the dining 
room, and I still have to pull the 
shower curtain to hide the hard- 
water stain in the tub, but so what? 
We have fun, and nobody goes away 
hungry. 



In the same way, when I began 
speaking, I developed a message 
about friendship and loneliness. At 
first I thought, Why would people 
want to hear from someone who's 
struggled so much with this issue ? 
But as I told stories about my strug- 
gles, the audience would laugh, be- 
cause they'd been there. I think it 
made more of an impact than if I 
had presented myself as one smooth 
and unbroken by life — as Billy Gra- 
ham says, as if I had been "set 
apart, untouched, like a piece of fine 
china in a locked cabinet." 

What could be more moving than 
listening to Christopher Reeve 
speak between breaths from his 
ventilator? What if he — or Joni 
Eareckson Tada — had waited until 
they could walk before beginning 



their work on behalf of the disabled? 
What if Dave Dravecky only boasted 
about his pitching exploits and 
never mentioned his cancer? Or re- 
member Dave Roever, who was in- 
jured in Vietnam? In an interview, 
he told the host that the last time he 
had appeared on the program, sev- 
eral years before, he was still con- 
templating suicide, still in the midst 
of the emotional fire while he was 
speaking of God to others. 

How costly! How Christlike! 

What if Paul never spoke of his 
sins or boasted of his weakness? 
What if the Gospels never spoke of 
Peter's denial of Christ? 

We struggle. Christ touches us 
through our pain. We then, out of 
the overflow of our gratitude, go on 
to touch others. We give as much 
out of our redemption from pain as 
we give out of the pain itself. [ft] 

Excerpted from the book Cooked 
to Perfection by Elizabeth Cody 
Newenhuyse (Zondervan Publishing 
House, 1997). Article provided by the 
publisher. 



% 



Table "Talkers" needed 

Preparations are well underway for 
General Conference, and some excit- 
ing things are planned! More about 
that in next month's Evangelist. 

But in the meantime, the Congre- 
gational Ministries Council is happy 
to announce that it will again sponsor 
Table Talks, which have been so pop- 
ular at the past two Conferences. 

A council task force is now in the 
process of lining up topics and pre- 
senters for these Table Talks. Pre- 
sentations are to focus on ministry 
ideas that work, with the emphasis 
this year particular on ministries that 



relate to personal and church re- 
newal. Table Talks may be led by 
anyone — pastor, lay person, or both. 

If you have a topic on which you 
would be willing to lead a Table Talk 
dicussion, or if you have a sugges- 
tion of someone else who ought to 
be a presenter, please contact Cindy 
Smith and give her this information. 
You may write to her c/o the Brethren 
Church National Office (524 College 
Ave., Ashland, OH 44805), or e-mail 
her at reillyrs@bright.net. 

The task force needs to hear from 
you by May 1 at the latest. Thanks 
for making this work so well! 

— Tina Ross 



owC Pontius' Puddle 



SOBJGCTSO OFFETMStVE" TO 

Molly woob twkt mo studio 

V/OULb FiMAMCE (T 1 



MAYHEM • 

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The Brethren Evangelist 



The Old Testament God 
of Love 

By Norman Styers 



MANY PEOPLE, even many 
Christians, have picked up the 
idea that the God of the Old Testa- 
ment is a disagreeable, mean-spirited 
God who enjoys catching people in 
a lapse so He can punish them. He 
especially enjoys ordering His peo- 
ple to commit genocide against the 
ungodly. But then Jesus came and 
somehow deflected the wrath of this 
vengeful God. 

The truth is, God has always been 
a God of love. There is not one God 
in the Old Testament and another, 
"nicer" God in the New Testament. 
The Old Testament is already a "cov- 
enant of love" (Neh. 1: 5), and God 
has always wanted His people to be 
a people of love and compassion. 

The greatest commandment 

When Jesus was challenged to 
pick which commandment was the 
greatest, He chose a passage that 
would have been familiar to all the 
Jews — a passage from the Old Tes- 
tament. Even today, in every syna- 
gogue service, the Jews recite Deu- 
teronomy 6:4, a verse called (from 
its first word in Hebrew) the 
Shema: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord 
our God, the Lord is one." The most 



Gratefulness 

Jesus healed ten lepers 
And sent them on their way: 

But only one of them came back 
To thank the Lord that day. 

How often we unthinking go 
Along our own sweet way; 

When all the while we overlook 
How God has blessed our day. 

A little prayer with words of 
thanks 
And praise to Him convey; 
Let's slow our rush, retrace our 
steps 
And thank our Lord today. 

— H. L. Wood 



important commandment in the 
Bible is the verse that follows: 
"Love the Lord your God with all 
your heart and with all your soul 
and with all your strength." 

The second greatest command- 
ment, which Jesus said was like the 
first, is also from the Old Testa- 
ment — from Leviticus 19:18: "Love 
your neighbor as yourself." 

The Psalms are full of expressions 
of love for God: "As the deer pants 
for streams of water, so my soul 
pants for you, O God" (Ps. 42:1). 
But more important than the love 
we feel for God is the love that God 
shows to us, for "We love, because 
he first loved us" (1 Jn. 4:19). 

God's love for Israel 

All of God's dealings with Israel in 
the Old Testament display His love 
for them. God chose Israel because 
of His love for Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob: "Because he loved your fore- 
fathers and chose their descendants 
after them, he brought you out of 
Egypt by his Presence and his great 
strength . . ." (Deut. 4:37). And His 
love was not based on any special 
quality or goodness that the chil- 
dren of Israel possessed. "The Lord 
did not set his affection on you and 
choose you because you were more 
numerous than other peoples, for 
you were the fewest of all peoples. 
But it was because the Lord loved 
you and kept the oath he swore to 
your forefathers that he brought 
you out with a mighty hand and re- 
deemed you from the land of slavery, 
from the power of Pharaoh king of 
Egypt" (Deut. 7:7-8). 

God's love for the undeserving 

Two entire books of the Old Tes- 
tament are devoted to the theme of 
God's love for the undeserving. The 
prophet Hosea had a wife who was 
unfaithful to him, but God told him, 
"Go, show your love to your wife 
again, though she is loved by another 
and is an adulteress. Love her as the 



Lord loves the Israelites, though they 
turn to other gods ..." (Hos. 3:1). 

God compares Himself to a hus- 
band who feels deep pain when his 
wife has been unfaithful to him, and 
yet God shows us through Hosea 
that He continues to love us in spite 
of our response to Him. Hosea 11:4 
describes God's care for us: "I led 
them with cords of human kindness, 
with ties of love; I lifted the yoke 
from their neck and bent down to 
feed them." 

God's love for the Gentiles 

God's love extends not only to 
Israel but also to the Gentile na- 
tions. God told the prophet Jonah to 
go and warn Nineveh, capital of the 
cruel Assyrian Empire, that it 
would be destroyed in forty days be- 
cause of its great wickedness. We 
often pay so much attention to the 
early part of the book, in which 
Jonah rebels and tries, without suc- 
cess, to run away from God, that we 
ignore the latter part of the book. 

When the people of Nineveh re- 
pented, God spared them. Indeed, 
Jonah complained that he had 
known all along that this would 
happen. "That is why I was so quick 
to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you 
are a gracious and compassionate 
God, slow to anger and abounding 
in love, a God who relents from 
sending calamity" (Jon. 4:2). God's 
question to Jonah that ends the 
book — "Should I not be concerned 
about that great city?" — expresses 
His compassion not only for the peo- 
ple of Nineveh, but for the animals 
as well. 

God set the same standard for Is- 
rael. They were to love not only God 
and their neighbor, but "outsiders" 
also: "And you are to love those who 
are aliens, for you yourselves were 
aliens in Egypt" (Deut. 10:19). 

It is true that God, in His desire to 
protect Israel, takes some measures 
that strike modern sensibilities as 
stern and harsh. But that does not 
negate the fact that it is the God of 
the Old Testament — the God of 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — who is 
the Father who sent Jesus into the 
world for our salvation. I -/ 1 

Rev. Styers is a free-lance writer 
and former pastor who lives in 
Bethany, Oklahoma. 



March 1998 



Brethren World Missions 



Brethren Mission in India: 

A Bright Spot in a Dark Place 

By Reilly and Cindy Smith 



INDIA IS A LAND of contrasts. It 
is elegant, but littered with trash. 
It is beautiful, but also ugly. India 
has many wealthy neighborhoods, 
but also many slums. It smells of 
fragrant flowers and of open sewers. 

Many Indian people speak three 
or four languages, but many cannot 
read or write. Indian villages have 
television antennas on grass huts. 
Many Indian people have never seen 
a white man or woman in person, 
but they watch mostly western tele- 
vision and movies at home, despite 
the fact that India has the second 
largest movie industry in the world — 
second only to Hollywood. 

India is also a land of extremes. 
Indian drivers, for example, take 
road rage to new heights. They 
drive every way you can imagine — 
on the wrong side of the road, with 
bright lights only or sometimes with 
no lights at all, unless they are pass- 
ing. Whatever vehicle is the largest 
or most persistent wins. The horn is 
the most important piece of auto 
equipment and is used more than 
the clutch. To make matters worse, 
the roads are used by everyone and 
everything — dogs, pigs, cows, goats, 
water buffalo, rickshaws, three- 
wheel taxis, bicycles, buses, trucks, 
motorcycles, cars, and people. 

Gods that offer no hope 

The Indian people also take reli- 
gion to new heights (or new lows). 
In Rajahmundry, six million idols 
clutter the hearts, minds, souls, and 
eyes of the people. Among these mil- 
lions of Hindu gods, not one offers 
any hope. But the people worship 
them feverishly anyway. Their zeal 
has resulted in actual battles be- 
tween Hindu and Islamic extremists 
in the northern part of the country. 

Human language fails to ade- 
quately describe India. She is too 
complex, too overcrowded, too con- 
tradictory to be described. There are 



too many sights, sounds, and smells 
and too much activity. We are at a 
loss! Words fail us. Pictures, slides, 



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even videos fail to convey what we 
would like to say. We never wanted 
to leave, but we'll be glad to be 
home. We love the Indian people. 
Their needs are tremen- 
dous, but so are the oppor- 
tunities to spread the 
gospel among them. 

Brethren Mission is a 
very bright spot in a very 
dark place. The headquar- 
ters is in Rajahmundry. 
Other centers are located 
in Hyderabad, an Islamic 
stronghold, and in Visak- 
hapatnam, a seaport and 
important Hindu center. A 
new center was recently 
opened in Vijayawada, 
home to the busiest train 
station in India. 

God's Spirit is moving in 
southern India. Many peo- 
ple are coming to Christ 
daily, just as they did in 
the book of Acts (see Acts 
2:47.) Brethren Mission 



plays a very significant role in the 
advancement of God's kingdom in 
Andhra Pradesh, a state located in 
southeastern India (see map). 

Brethren Mission in Rajahmundry 
maintains a city church and dozens 
of village churches. It is our largest 
ministry center. The Rajahmundry 
church operates two orphanages, 
one for boys and one for girls. The 
children receive food, clothing, shel- 
ter, education, and (most important) 
salvation. Many former orphans 
have become pastors, teachers, and 
Brethren Mission workers. 

The Bible Institute 

The Bible Institute also operates 
out of the Rajahmundry church. 
Currently, the Bible Institute runs a 
Theological Education by Extension 
course, training 20 or 25 students 
annually. These students start 20 
new village churches every year 

A special gift has provided the 
funds to open a residential school on 
the third floor of the boys' orphan- 
age. This school will house 20 more 
students selected from among the 
brightest and best of our pastors. 
Before this school can be used, $5,000 
is needed for furnishings and books, 
and the students will need sponsors 
for fifty dollars per month. 

The Rajahmundry church also 
runs sewing and typing schools, 
which provide poor people with the 
skills they need to pass government 
certification exams. People with 




Recent additions to the Brethren Mission team in India 
are K. Sudhir Kumar, son of Brethren missionaries 
Prasanth and Nirmala Kumar, and his wife hatha. 
The two were married January 10, 1998, and on 
February 1, 1998, Sudhir was ordained and hatha 
was consecrated for Gospel ministry. Reilly and 
Cindy Smith participated in the ordination service. 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Brethren World Missions 




P 4$ BRETHREN MISSION 




During their visit to India, Cindy and Reilly Smith joined Prasanth (I.), Nirmala 
(3rd from r.), Sudhir, and hatha in opening and dedicating a new Brethren Mis- 
sion center in Vijayawada, where Sudhir and hatha will serve. 



government certificates are able to 
get work that enables them to sup- 
port themselves and their families 
well. The Rajahmundry church, in 
cooperation with World Relief, also 
provides the community with safe 
drinking water and free medical 
treatment. The medical clinic is also 
taken to the villages in the Brethren 
Mission van. This van is now in dire 
need of replacement, because it has 
been used so much. 

The center at Visakhapatnam also 
has a city church and dozens of vil- 
lage churches. Attendance at the 
Visakhapatnam church is approxi- 
mately 250 on Sunday morning, 
about half the attendance at Rajah- 
mundry The Visak church also oper- 
ates sewing and typing schools. 

The Hyderabad center contains a 
city church and sewing and typing 
schools. The church is smaller but 
growing. 

A new mission center 

We helped to inaugurate and ded- 
icate a new center in Vijayawada. It 
will start with a sewing school. 
Later, Brethren Mission will plant a 
church. This is the way all of the 
centers start. We call this servant 
evangelism in the United States. 
Brethren Mission in India has been 
operating this way for nearly 30 
years. Rev. K. Sudhir Kumar will 
supervise this new center. He will 
teach Bible in the sewing school and 
plant the first church. 

Historically, more than 80 percent 
of the women who graduate from 
the sewing schools accept Christ 



during their studies. Since each of 
the four schools trains 30 students 
per year, nearly 100 women will re- 
ceive both a government sewing cer- 
tificate and salvation in Jesus 
Christ in 1998. Another 15 or 20 
will likely receive Christ later. Many 
husbands and children also accept 
Christ as Savior and Lord because 
of the sewing schools. 

One of our trip's highlights was 
meeting Mrs. K. Sudhir Kumar — 
Latha — a beautiful, intelligent, gift- 
ed young woman with a winsome 
smile. She is already a solid addition 
to the Kumar family ministry team. 
She, like her mother-in-law Nirmala, 
has the gift of hospitality. She also 
works very well with Sudhir and her 
in-laws. She has a master's degree 
in English, so talking with her was 
no problem. In fact, she and Sudhir 
speak English at home, since they 
speak different regional languages. 

Reilly partici- 
pated in the or- 
dination service 
for K. Sudhir 
Kumar, preach- 
ing the ordina- 
tion message 
and pronounc- 
ing the official 
words of ordina- 
tion. Sudhir is 
now the Rev. K. 
Sudhir Kumar. 
The ceremony 
was wonderful! 

Both Sudhir 
and Reilly wept 
when Reilly pre- 



sented Sudhir a silver Communion 
tray that had been given to Sudhir's 
great-grandfather in 1938. Great- 
grandfather had then passed it to 
Sudhir's grandfather in 1940, who 
passed it to Prasanth in 1969. The 
Communion plate represents four 
generations of Christian ministers 
in Dr. K. Prasanth Kumar's family. 
It was a very touching moment. 

Cindy had the honor, with Nir- 
mala, of praying the dedication 
prayers for Latha during the ordina- 
tion service. Cindy and Latha grew 
close during our time in India. 



We are very thankful to have 
taken this trip. During our time in 
India we spoke in all four Brethren 
Mission centers, at the three city 
churches, and in many villages. One 
of the villages was so remote that 
some of the Hindu people there 
asked if we were going to present a 
drama, since two of us had painted 
ourselves white. 

We also visited the orphanages, all 
the sewing and typing schools, the 
medical clinic, the mobile medical 
clinic in a remote village, and the 
Brethren Reading Room in Rajah- 
mundry. We felt honored and hum- 
bled every place we went. We were 
greeted graciously and listened to 
attentively. Brethren Mission in 
India does much for many people, 
and they are very appreciative. We 
are rightly proud of our mission 
work in India. [ft] 

Rev. Smith is Director of Missionary 
Ministries for The Brethren Church. 
Rev. and Mrs. Smith visited India 
from January 22 to February 12, 1998. 




Another highlight of the Smiths' visit to India was participat- 
ing in the dedication of a new church building in the village of 
Patthikayavalasa. Funds for construction of the building were 
provided by Rev. Robert and Alberta Holsinger of Ashland, Ohio. 



March 1998 



Brethren World Missions 



A Vision for Theological Education 
in South America 

By Harley Gerber 



IN OCTOBER 1997, I had the 
privilege of traveling to Argentina 
with Dr. Buzz Sandberg and Dr. 
Fred Finks to participate in the 
organizational meeting for a new 
Brethren biblical institute. I have 
just returned from a second visit to 
continue that work. 

The South American Theological 
Seminary (S.T.S.) is the vision of the 
Argentine Brethren to meet the 
growing need for training of Chris- 
tian leadership throughout Argen- 
tina and other parts of South Amer- 
ica. At its formative meeting in 
October, I was asked to serve on the 
Board of Trustees of the new S.T.S. 
As a businessman, I felt I could offer 
some assistance to provide under- 
lying support for the new school. 

My primary intent at this meeting 
was to gain a better understanding 
of how things are done in Argentina 
and to seek avenues to provide fund- 
ing for its future. I was at a distinct 
disadvantage and felt totally un- 
qualified because of my inability to 
speak Spanish or to understand the 
culture. But God is very capable of 
filling the gaps of both communica- 
tion and understanding. 

These beginning board meetings 
are fundamental to the success of 
the school. A lot of time and many 
long hours of discussion were need- 
ed to unify all of us in what is need- 
ed, what is expected, and what 
would actually be. In the end, it all 
came together, and we were of the 
same mind and heart. 

I was able to meet with some 
Brethren leaders in Argentina about 
plans to provide business support 
that would help provide scholar- 
ships for students. I will continue to 
offer whatever advice and assis- 
tance I can to assist their efforts. 

We have returned to the United 
States believing there is a real need 
for the establishment of the South 
American Theological Seminary. 
Mariela and Eduardo Rodriguez are 
totally committed and qualified to 
lead the school. The development of 
a balanced budget within three years 



will be an enormous task, since 
about 80 percent of the students 
will need scholarship help. The 
school will officially open on March 
15 with a correspondence program. 
Approximately 80 students are cur- 
rently registered. 

While it is easy to be 
overwhelmed with a pro- 
ject of this nature and 
scope, we are at the same 
time believing that with 
God's help, South Ameri- 
can Theological Seminary 
will become a great insti- 
tution of learning of the 
same nature as Ashland 
Theological Seminary. 

The Brethren in Ar- 
gentina are very thank- 
ful for everything the 
Brethren are doing or 
have done. They are gra- 
cious people with a great 
love for God. Colon, Ar- 
gentina now has a special 



place in my heart, and I expect to re- 
turn pronto. 

As a Mennonite brother, I consid- 
er it a privilege to be involved with 
Ashland Theological Seminary and 
now also with South American Theo- 
logical Seminary. [ft] 

Mr. Gerber lives in Dalton, Ohio, 
where he and his son and son-in-law 
operate a livestock feed business. He 
and his wife were major donors to the 
new Gerber Academic Center at Ash- 
land Theological Seminary. 




A special blessing for Mr. Gerber during his visit to 
Argentina was the opportunity to visit one of the 
neighborhood food centers of the Colon Brethren 
Church, where lunch is served to children in need. 



Transitions 

Two members of the Brethren World 
Missions family are making some 
changes. 

Dr. Juan Carlos Miranda resigned 
as consultant to Brethren Missionary 
Ministries 
effective 
December 
31, 1997. Dr. 
Miranda 
served the 
Missionary 
Board in vari- 
ous positions 
and capacities 
for 26 years. 
His decision to 
resign is based 
Juan Carlos Miranda on his in- 
creased responsibilities as Director of 
Church Planting and Director of the 
Doctor of Ministries program at 
Columbia International University. Dr. 
Miranda still plans to assist Brethren 
Missions in any way he can. He also 
continues to serve as President of 
the Board of Directors of Hispanic 




Education Association, "Para Ti Mujer" 
radio program. 

Allen Baer, who has served as a 
missionary in Argentina for the past 15 
years, plans to resign in June, at the 
end of his present term of service. Allen 
has served faithfully in Argentina as a 
"utility" mis- 
sionary. His 




responsibili- 
ties have in- 
cluded teach- 
ing, leading 
services, play- 
ing piano, 
preaching 
occasionally, 
translating 
documents, 
bookkeeping, 
helping with Allen Baer 

administration, and doing anything 
and everything else that needed to be 
done. Upon his return to the United 
States and following deputation, he 
will live in Arizona. 

Juan Carlos and Allen will both be at- 
tending General Conference this sum- 
mer in Ashland. [ft] 




8 



The Brethren Evangelist 



A View From the Pew 

By Tom Ehrich 



TWENTY-EIGHT MONTHS after 
moving from pulpit to pew, I 
have come to three conclusions 
about church, two of them probably 
heretical. 

First: The view from the pew is 
different, and views within the pews 
are even more in conflict. 

Second: Our facilities are both 
blessing and curse, but mostly curse. 

Third: A rigid orthodoxy is crip- 
pling the Christian movement. 

I want to address the first of those 
conclusions. 

Pastors and lay people would get 
along better if they accepted how 
differently they see the Christian 
enterprise. Pastors are proprietors 
of an institution, but lay people don't 
necessarily see themselves as mem- 
bers of an institution. A few do, just 
as an energetic few become highly 
invested in PTA or soccer league. 

Most laity, however, come seeking 
something of God. Institution — and 
its annoyances — are a price to be 
paid, not a primary purpose. 

A search for meaning 

Pastors feel a call to convert, prod, 
and instruct. Laity don't necessarily 
feel a need to be converted, prodded, 
or instructed. Sitting in the pews on 
Sunday are an amazing collection of 
needs: broken marriages, lost jobs, 
financial stress, troubled children, 
failing health, loneliness. Some 
want soothing, but even more, folks 



in the pews want meaning: are 
these trials leading to life or to 
death? Where is God? 

The greater tension in congrega- 
tions, however, is between the ener- 
getic few and the many whose life- 
focus is elsewhere. 

The energetic few 

Any volunteer organization de- 
pends on an energetic few. If they 
are running the candy sale or re- 
cruiting coaches, they deserve spe- 
cial benefits, like a relationship with 
the principal or a moment on stage. 

We treat church as another volun- 
teer organization. Pastors spend in- 
ordinate amounts of time tending to 
the energetic few. The few, in turn, 
develop a proprietary attitude to- 
ward church, seeing it as theirs to 
enjoy, protect, and control. They 
wish that many others shared their 
enthusiasm for institutional life. 
"What can we do to get more people 
involved?" they ask. 

But church is different. Church 
exists for the stranger, for the 
wounded, to proclaim Good News to 
the poor, to welcome outcasts, and 
to incarnate the non-hierarchical love 
of God (cf. Lk. 4:18). Being present 
is the height of being "involved." 
Drinking at the well and then going 
out to live and to serve is reason 
enough for the faithful to gather. 

Instead of focusing on the ener- 
getic few and their needs for control 



Appreciation 

"It is virtually impossible to over- 
state the positive impact of regular- 
ly expressing appreciation to one 
another in the family unit. Time 
and again, studies of strong families 
reveal that affirming one another 
is a basic cohesive factor in every 
truly happy family." 

"True appreciation in the family 
looks beyond each member's faults 
and mistakes to celebrate all that is 



unique and special about that per- 
son .... The focus is on the positive. 
As Matthew Fox observes, 'Healthy 
families remind each other of their 
goodness; unhealthy families re- 
mind each other of their failings.'" 

From 30 Days to a Smart Family 
Booklet: "Building Bridges" by 

Paul Lewis and Thorn Black (Zonder- 
van, 1997). 

Editor's note: If these things are 
true of the family, are they not also 
true of the church family? 



and applause, the church's energy 
ought to be outward, toward the 
many and, beyond them, the world. 

I think of the cookie monitor who 
stood beside a serving line to en- 
force the one-cookie-per-person rule. 
From an institutional-management 
perspective, her hovering made 
sense. But it communicated two 
messages: Grace is in short supply, 
and the institution needs to be pro- 
tected against me. 

God's kingdom isn't a closed econ- 
omy, however. Our model is the feed- 
ing of the 5,000, where the Twelve 
distributed food whose existence, 
availability, and abundance weren't 
theirs to control. The cookie moni- 
tor's role, if she wanted to have one, 
was to find more cookies, not to pro- 
tect an artificially limited supply. 

As a pastor, I recruited and re- 
warded cookie monitors. Now that I 
sit in a pew, hungry for God's food, 
I find cookie monitors an annoy- 
ance, not just because I wanted two 
cookies and she stood in my way, 
but because my approach to God is 
already tentative, shaped as it is by 
my sins, my needs, and the confu- 
sion that getting anywhere close to 
God inevitably inspires. I don't need 
one more barrier. I need arms so 
improbably and irresponsibly open 
that I know this place is of God, not 
of the world. 

A protective attitude 

Cookies are a small item, of course. 
But I observed her proprietary atti- 
tude, her defend-the-gates posture, 
her focus on the cookie plate and 
not on people seeking food, her dis- 
trust of children and the uninitiat- 
ed, and her enjoyment at having 
this measure of control, and I saw 
the entire enterprise more clearly. 

With our rules about who can re- 
ceive Communion, the creeds we de- 
mand people to sign before joining, 
and the club atmosphere we create 
with our focus on the inner circle, 
churches protect their integrity 
against the motley herd. But the job 
Jesus gave us was to pass out food 
to anyone who is hungry. [ft] 

Tom Ehrich, an episcopal priest 
living in Winston- Salem, N.C., is 
an author and former Wall Street 
Journal reporter. 

© 1997 Religion News Service 



March 1998 




Hallowed Ground: 



JUDGES AND LEGISLATORS 
who exhibit confusion about the 
constitutionality of acknowledg- 
ments of God in (and on) public 
buildings should get out of their 
stuffy chambers and go visit some of 
our national treasures. Just one day 
spent traversing the Mall in Wash- 
ington, D.C., would expose them to 
an undeniable fact of American his- 
tory. Biblical and religious quota- 
tions, including the Ten Command- 
ments, adorn nearly every signif- 
icant building and monument in 
our nation's capital, inscribed and 
enshrined there as the natural pub- 
lic conversation of America's lead- 
ers in every generation. 

Indeed, the role of faith, family, 
and freedom in American history is 
inscribed on monuments across the 
length and breadth of Washington, 
D.C. For instance, the words of Lin- 
coln's Second Inaugural Address, 
carved in granite, thunder from in- 
side the Memorial that bears his 
name, praying that the "mighty 
scourge of war may speedily pass 
away" but recalling that "the judg- 
ments of the Lord are true and righ- 
teous altogether." 

From the Lincoln Memorial, a 
perfect line of sight connects you 
with the magnificent obelisk of the 
Washington Monument. The form 
of the Monument recalls ancient 
Rome and Greece, but at its top- 
most point, inscribed on the alu- 
minum tip of the capstone, is the 
Latin phrase Laus Deo — "Praise 
be to God." Along the stairway to 
that height are 190 carved tributes 
donated by states, cities, individu- 
als, associations, and foreign gov- 
ernments. The blocks resound with 
quotations from Scripture — "Holi- 
ness to the Lord" (Exodus 28), 
"Search the Scriptures" (John 5:39), 



Washington's Monuments 
to Faith, Family, and Freedom 

By Charles Donovan and Christina Darnell 



"The memory of the just is blessed" 
(Proverbs 10:7) — and such invoca- 
tions as, "May Heaven to this Union 
continue its Benefice." 

Farther east, along the Mall's 
north side, stands the National 
Archives. No building in Washing- 
ton, save perhaps the Library of 
Congress, is more emblematic of 
this nation's desire to preserve its 
history as the key to a secure fu- 
ture. Carved in stone adjacent to 
the entrance of the Archives are the 
words "What is past is prologue," 
appropriately introducing the origi- 
nal parchment of the United States 
Constitution inside. Inlaid at the 
Archives' entrance is a bronze 
medallion of the Ten Command- 
ments, surrounded by four winged 
figures representing Legislation, 
Justice, History, and War and De- 
fense, a testament to the Archives' 
architects' bold witness to the cen- 
trality of biblical truth to the Amer- 
ican experience. 

The U. S. Capitol also bears public 
witness to the legacy of biblically in- 
spired faith that Americans have 
passed on from generation to gener- 
ation. New England statesman and 
orator Daniel Webster was voted by 
the United States Senate in the 
1980s as one of the five greatest 
senators ever to serve in that cham- 
ber. In 1851, when the new House 
and Senate wings of the Capitol 
were begun, Webster gave a speech 
that was deposited in the corner- 
stone. Its final words are these: 

If therefore, it shall hereafter be the 
will of God that this structure should 
fall from the base, that its foundations 
be upturned and this deposit brought 
to the eyes of men, be it then known, 
that on this day the Union of the Unit- 
ed States of America stands firm, that 
their constitution still exists unim- 
paired, and with all of its original 
usefulness and glory, growing every 
day stronger and stronger in the affec- 
tion of the great body of the American 



people, and attracting more and more 
the admiration of the world. And all 
here assembled, whether belonging to 
public life or to private life, with 
hearts devotedly thankful to Almighty 
God for the preservation of the liberty 
and happiness of the country, unite in 
sincere and fervent prayers that this 
deposit, and the walls and arches, the 
domes and towers, the columns and 
the entablatures, now to be erected 
over it, may endure forever. 

From the plaza of the Capitol 
look west across the Mall to the hill- 
sides of Arlington Cemetery, where 
lie the remains of generations who 
kept the pledges of life, fortune, and 
sacred honor to keep our nation 
free. Each hour the guard is 
changed at the tomb where rests "in 
honored glory an American soldier 
known but to God." 

From cornerstones to capstones, 
from cornices to colonnades, from the 
halls of Congress to the hallowed 
hillsides of Arlington Cemetery, a 
mighty causeway of faith courses 
through the landscape of the na- 
tion's capital. To eliminate that 
causeway would require more than 
the intellectual dishonesty of judges 
and legislators; it would require the 
wielding of chisels and jackham- 
mers against marble and granite. 
The dramas playing themselves out 
in Alabama and other communities 
across the nation do not yet feature 
such tools of historical revisionism, 
but their implication is the same: To 
blot out the acknowledgment of God 
in our public life is to change the 
meaning of America. [ft] 

Charles A. Donovan is Vice President 
for Program Planning at the Family Re- 
search Council. Christina Darnel was a 
Witherspoon Fellow at the Family Re- 
search Council during the summer of 
1997. This article is adapted from 
"Washington's Monuments to Family, 
Faith and Freedom" by the same au- 
thors, which originally appeared in the 
October 3, 1997, Washington Times. 



10 



The Brethren Evangelist 



<&£si^3*. 




W.M.S. at Mulvane making 
"ugly quilts" for homeless 

Mulvane, Kans. — The Women's 
Missionary Society of the Mulvane 
Brethren Church has a mission in its 
community — making "ugly quilt" 
sleeping bags for the homeless. 

The women are using an idea that 
started several years ago with Jim 
and Flo Wheatley, who felt a need to 
help others. The group began mak- 
ing "Brothers' Keeper" quilts, and 
in 1994 gave away 5,300 of these. 

The women have involved the rest 
of the church family by asking for 
donations of old blankets, mattress 
pads, and bed spreads to use in the 
quilts. They also seek donations of 
towels, wash cloths, stocking hats, 
and gloves to put with the sleeping 
bags when they are presented. 

As the women make the sleeping 
bags, they pray that God will bless 
those who receive them to know 
that they are loved. 

Anyone desiring more informa- 
tion about making "ugly quilt" 
sleeping bags may contact Thelma 
Adams, president of the Mulvane 
Church's W.M.S. 

— reported by Sara Hanna 



Maria Miranda speaks at women's conference 
in Lima, Peru, to prepare for Graham crusade 




Columbia, S.C. — Brethren Radio 
Missionary Maria Miranda was in 
Lima, Peru, February 12 and 13 
speaking to the largest 
Christian event for 
women ever held in that 
city. 

Mrs. Miranda spoke at 
a two-day women's con- 
ference that was held in 
preparation for a March 
4-7 evangelistic crusade 
in Lima, at which Dr. 
Franklin Graham was 
the speaker. Mrs. Miran- 
da was invited to speak 
at the women's confer- 
ence by the Billy Gra- 
ham Evangelistic Asso- 
ciation and by the Christian radio 
and television stations in Lima. 

More than 7,000 women heard 
Mrs. Miranda during the two-day 
conference — the largest crowd ever 
to participate in this kind of event 
in Lima. The conference focused on 
how a woman can find peace in 
today's turbulent and difficult 
times. Peru is a country that has 
been torn by guerrilla warfare and 
violence, and which is now suffering 
natural disasters as a result of the 
El Nino weather patterns. 

The audiences responded enthusi- 
astically to Mrs. Miranda's advice 
on ways to help others, how to re- 
store values and priorities in the 
family, and how to make changes in 
the home that produce changes in 
communities and society. 

"There is a tremendous desire to 



Work- 
ing on 

"ugly 

quilt" 

sleeping 

bags are 

(I. to r.) 

Thelma 

Adams, 

Dorothy 

Mills, 

and 

Jo Ann 

Belcher. 




Maria Miranda 



change and improve family life," 
said Mrs. Miranda, "and women can 
make a significant transformation 
in today's society, start- 
ing with the family. 
Women can provide 
moral values, priorities, 
and guidelines for daily 
family life as established 
in the Bible." 

Mrs. Miranda is a vet- 
eran of radio broadcast- 
ing. For the past 19 
years she has been writ- 
er and speaker for the 
radio program "Para Ti 
Mujer" ("For You My 
Dear Lady"). This pro- 
gram is broadcast by 



more than 900 stations and has lis- 
teners in 23 countries (Latin Amer- 
ica, U.S.A., and Europe). The audi- 
ence is calculated to be in the tens of 
millions daily, making Mrs. Miran- 
da, according to World Vision Maga- 
zine, "the most listened-to woman 
in Latin America." 

"Para Ti Mujer" was a 1997 win- 
ner of the Covenant Award, a tangi- 
ble expression of commendation to 
producers, programs, networks, sta- 
tions, and individuals who have 
made outstanding contributions to 
faith and family values through the 
media. The Covenant ministry, 
which makes the awards, was 
founded by the Radio-TV Commis- 
sion of the Southern Baptist Con- 
vention. "Para Ti Mujer" won the 
award in the Spanish Ministries 
Radio Division. 

Maria Miranda and her husband, 
Juan Carlos (seep. 8) , who produces 
the radio program, are originally 
from Argentina, where they served 
in the Argentine Brethren Church. 
They now have lived for many years 
in the United States, where they have 
continued to serve The Brethren 
Church in various capacities. [ft] 



All the doors that lead inward to 
the secret place of the Most High 
are doors outward — out of self — 
out of smallness — out of wrong. 

— George MacDonald 



March 1998 



11 



.c^Sl% 




In Memory 

Christine C. Klingensmith, 92, 

died February 2 in Ashland, Ohio. 
Mrs. Klingensmith was the wife of 
the late Dr. J. Ray Klingensmith, a 
Brethren elder, pastor, Missionary 
Board executive, and professor at 
Ashland University and Seminary. 

She was born March 5, 1905, in 
Philadelphia, Pa., the daughter of 
Louis and Caroline Witter. She was 
a 1930 graduate of Ashland College 
and taught first grade in Washing- 
ton, D.C. (while her husband pas- 
tored the Washington Brethren 
Church), and then for 14 years in 
Ashland until she retired in 1973. 
She was a member for many years 
of Park Street Brethren Church in 
Ashland and served for a time as 
national patroness of the Sisterhood 
of Mary and Martha. 

She was married June 21, 1934, to 
J. Ray Klingensmith, who died June 
24, 1996. Surviving are a daughter 
and son-in-law, Janet and Dr. Donald 
Rinehart of Ashland; three grand- 
children; and two great-grandchildren. 

A memorial service was held in 
the Ronk Memorial Chapel at Ash- 
land Theological Seminary, with Dr. 
Rinehart, Dr. Arden E. Gilmer, and 
Rev. Walter H. Schuman officiating. 

Memorial gifts may be made to 
Brethren Care Village/Brookwood 
Place in Ashland, or to the J. Ray and 
Christine Klingensmith Scholarship 
Fund at Ashland University. [ft] 



New Wheels for Bonnie Munson 



Golden Anniversary 

Former Brethren missionaries Rev. 
Robert and Beatrice Bischof will cel- 
ebrate their 50th wedding anniversary 
on May 30th. Their children and the 
New Paris First Brethren Church will 
host an open house in their honor on 
May 31 from 2-5 p.m. at the church 
facility. The Bischofs served as mis- 
sionaries in Nigeria, West Africa, from 
1952-65, after which Rev. Bischof 
pastored Brethren churches in Hunt- 
ington and New Paris, Indiana. 



Goshen, Ind. — Bonnie Munson is 
known by many Brethren across 
our denomination and is loved by all 
who know her. For 25 years she 
served our Lord at Brethren House 
in St. Petersburg, Fla. During that 
time she worked with Phil and Jean 
Lersch in a neighborhood ministry, 
participated in Christian education 
workshops across the United States, 
and helped develop a variety of 
teaching resources. 

For health reasons, Bonnie (54) 
decided two years ago to move from 
Florida to Goshen, Ind., where she 
now lives in an apartment at Green- 
croft Village, a retirement facility 
operated by the Mennonite Church. 

When Bonnie was seven years old, 
she contracted polio. For the past 47 
years she has been confined to a 
wheelchair. Recently, her physical 
condition has helped her make a 
decision to get a new wheelchair, so 
that she can remain independent as 
long as possible. Post polio syn- 
drome has weakened her muscles. 
When she sits in her present 
wheelchair, she leans to one side 
and is unable to breathe properly. 

Bonnie is considering a wheel- 
chair made in Sweden that should 
meet her needs. The back reclines 
and the footrest lifts, so that when 
she becomes tired during the day 
she could recline in the chair and 
breathe more easily. Now, if she 
wants to lie down, she has to get out 
of her wheelchair and into bed, 
which wears her out completely. 

Bonnie is applying for help from 
Medicare to purchase the chair. 
Medicare, however, will cover only 
part of the cost, which is approxi- 
mately $24,000. The Goshen First 
Brethren Church is helping Bonnie 
with the purchase of this chair and 
has appointed a committee to over- 
see this project. 

The Goshen Brethren believe that 
other Brethren might also want to 
help with this project. Those wish- 
ing to do so may send their gifts to 
the Goshen First Brethren Church, 
215 W. Clinton, Goshen, IN 46526. 
Checks may be made out to the 
church and should indicate that the 
gift is for "Bonnie's Chair." The 




Bonnie in her present wheelchair. 

church hopes to have the money 
available by the first of April. 
— submitted by Rev. Donald Rowser, 
Senior Pastor, Goshen First Brethren 



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^CH - 



Vol.120, No. 4 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



April 1998 



Pastoral and Leadership Renewal 

By David Cooksey 



RENEWAL has many definitions. 
I found two definitions in the 
dictionary that were particularly in- 
teresting to me as they relate to pas- 
toral and leadership renewal. The 
first of these two definitions of re- 
newal was "to give new spiritual 
strength to." The second was "to 
replace or refill with a fresh supply." 

Pastors in the 90s 

Being a pastor in the 90s is in 
many ways very different from what 
it was 25 years ago, when I entered 
the pastoral ministry in Kokomo, 
Indiana. What pastors are called to 
do has not changed. And the mes- 
sage they are to proclaim has not 
changed. But the context in which 
pastors serve is very different. 

The spiritual strength of pastors is 
sapped by the many problems of 
church people, by uncommitted lead- 
ership in the church, and by the lack 
of respect pastors now encounter. In 
addition, pastors today are experi- 
encing stress levels never before 
experienced in pastoral ministry. In 
order for pastors to stay above these 
pressures, they need to experience 
renewal — new spiritual strength 
and a fresh supply of God's power. 

We read in Psalm 51:10-13 (KJV): 

Create in me a clean heart, O 
God; and renew a right spirit 
within me. Cast me not away from 
thy presence; and take not thy holy 
spirit from me. Restore unto me 
the joy of thy salvation; and up- 
hold me with thy free spirit. Then 
will I teach transgressors thy 
ways; and sinners shall be con- 
verted unto thee. 

You probably know the back- 
ground of this psalm. David, king of 
Israel, had been confronted by the 



prophet Nathan about his sin with 
Bathsheba. This psalm is David's 
own account of how he responded 
after Nathan held this 
"mirror of truth" be- 
fore him. 

Can you imagine the 
things that went 
through David's mind 
before this? Like any- 
one in leadership, King 
David was over- 
whelmed with things 
to do, judgments to 
render, meetings to 
attend, etc. But in the 
back of his mind, along 
with all this clutter, 
was the knowledge 




In recent months, I have been in- 
troduced to the internet. I am fasci- 
nated by the way you can use a com- 
puter to click on 
certain words that 
take you into a 
whole new level of 
information, which 
goes on and on and 
on. Psalm 51 also 
has words in it that 
you can "click on" 
that take you deeper 
and deeper into 
David's experience 
with sin, repentance, 
and renewal. 

For example, in 
verse 3 David says, 



that he was not right 



Rev. David Cooksey 



"I know my trans- 



with God. He had a nagging feeling 
of guilt that something was wrong. 

The process of renewal 

Nathan's confrontation was a 
classic "log-in-your-eye" revelation 
for David. It convicted him of his sin 
and, at the same time, set in motion 
the process of renewal. David was 
now free to say to God: 

Have mercy on me, O God, 
according to your unfailing love; 

according to your great compassion 
blot out my transgressions. 

Wash away all my iniquity and 
cleanse me from my sin. 

Psalm 51:1, 2, NIV 

David received new spiritual 
strength and was refilled with a 
fresh supply of God. A "clean heart" 
and a "right spirit" were now with- 
in him. What a great experience this 
must have been for him, even 
though he went through a great 
deal of pain getting there! 



gressions, and my sin is always be- 
fore me." Obviously, he knew what 
was wrong, but he chose not to do 
anything about it until Nathan 
came and confronted him. 

I have also observed this in The 
Brethren Church and among its 
leaders. People know their sins, but 
they overlook them for a "bigger 
cause," like "being right." David 
also said that God does not delight 
in sacrifices, but "The sacrifices of 
(continued on next page) 



Inside this issue 


Are you a saint? 


2 


What will save you? 


3 


Conference speakers 


4 


Moral weight of leadership 


5 


Brethren at work 


6 


Facing today's issues 


8 


Around the denomination 


10 


The Women's Outlook Newsletter 


is in the center of this issue 





Renewal 

(continued from page 1) 
God are a broken spirit; a broken 
and contrite heart" (v. 17). 

Everything that David shares in 
this psalm is a picture of what needs 
to happen to us in order for us to 
experience renewal. Sin is very real 
in the life of the church and in the 
lives of those who are a part of the 
church — sins like rebellion, pride, 



disrespect, and many more. In order 
for renewal to take place, we must 
confess our sin and experience for- 
giveness. We must allow God to 
create in us a new heart and to 
renew a right spirit within us. 

Self-examination is the hardest 
task most people have to do. We are 
seldom willing to admit that the 
process of change and renewal has 
to start with us. But the fact is that 



nobody else can do it for us. 

Imagine what would happen in 
The Brethren Church if every pas- 
tor and every church leader experi- 
enced renewal this year. God would 
be pleased to see us with a new 
heart and a new spirit. And it would 
do all of us a world of good! [ft] 

Rev. Cooksey is Director of Pastoral 
Ministries for The Brethren Church. 



Are You a Saint? 

By Kurt Stout 



WHEN MOTHER TERESA 
died in September, discus- 
sions began to surface immediate- 
ly about sainthood. The Roman 
Catholic Church has a process of 
evaluation to determine if a person 
is qualified to become a saint. 

There is little debate that Moth- 
er Teresa should be included in the 
list of great spiritual figures of his- 
tory and that she should be called 
Saint Teresa. If the process of "can- 
onization" (declaring her a saint) 
is rushed, this recognition may even 
come by the end of this century. 

Requirements for sainthood 

This raises the question, What 
must a person do to be become a 
saint? According to the Roman 
Catholic Church, for a person to 
become a saint that person must 
have performed at least four mira- 
cles; the person's writings need to 
be above suspicion; and the per- 
son's holiness must have been 
manifested in heroic virtue. 



These criteria for sainthood may 
appear a bit overwhelming. But let 
me offer some words of hope for 
those of us who do not meet such 
high requirements. 

Biblical sainthood 

Over and over again in Scrip- 
ture, those who believe in Jesus 
Christ are called saints. So I want 
you to know that even though you 
may not feel like it; and even 
though you may not act like it; if 
you have committed your life to 
Jesus you are a saint. 

The word "saint" actually ex- 
presses the idea of being "set 
apart" or "holy." When a person 
makes a decision to follow Jesus 
Christ, that person is set apart by 
God for the purpose of bringing 
honor and glory to the Lord. In 
calling us saints, God clearly is 
offering us a glimpse of hope and 
purpose. God sees us through the 
blood of Jesus, and He plans to use 
us accordingly. 



I find the first few verses of 
many of the New Testament books 
very interesting. Several books, 
particularly Paul's letters, begin 
with a declaration similar to the 
one found in Romans 1:7 — "To all 
in Rome who are loved by God and 
called to be saints." Even when the 
Lord chastises the church for its 
behavior and its attitude, He be- 
gins by reminding church people 
who they are in Christ Jesus. 

God is also reminding us that we 
are His. We have been "set apart" 
for righteousness, holiness, and 
His good pleasure. Let us not for- 
get who we are and whose we are. 
We are saints, called by God. 

Live like saints 

So now that we know this, let's 
start living like saints and honor 
the Lord through our lifestyle, our 
attitude, and our worship. And re- 
member that when the world calls 
us names and pushes our failures 
in our faces, God still calls us by 
another name— " SAINT. " [ft] 

Rev. Stout is associate pastor of 
the First Brethren Church of North 
Manchester, Ind. This article origi- 
nally appeared in the newsletter of 
the North Manchester Church. 



The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) 
is published monthly (except July and August 
issues are combined) by The Brethren Church, 
Inc., 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 
(telephone: 419-289-1708; fax: 419-281-0450; 
e-mail: brethren@bright.net). Authors' views are 
not necessarily those of The Brethren Church. 
Editor: Richard C. Winfield. Subscription rates: 
Sent free to Brethren Church members; $15.00 
per year to others. Member: Evangelical Press 
Association. Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio. 
Postmaster: Send address changes to The 
Brethren Church, 524 College Avenue, Ashland, 
OH 44805-3792. 



Pontius' Puddle 




love yoor 
enemies, 'cause 

TO DRlVET 
THE* MOTS 



The Brethren Evangelist 



What Will Save You? 

By Dan Lawson 



ONE of the strangest experi- 
ences I have had occurred dur- 
ing a week of summer camp at the 
Brethren Retreat Center in Ship- 
shewana, Indiana. The campers 
were fifth- and sixth-graders, and 
I was their Bible teacher for the 
week. 

For reasons known only to the 
Almighty, one of the boys started a 
rumor that a necklace that an- 
other camper had brought with 
him was demon-possessed. It was 
a Chicago Bulls necklace with the 
head of a bull attached to a long, 
thin leather cord. The bull, red- 
dish in color, had long horns and a 
devilish look, and it seemed ready 
at any second to snort fire and 
smoke. It was, indeed, a fearsome 
looking creature. 

The rumor spreads 

Once the rumor got started, it 
spread throughout the camp like 
wildfire. Girls began to have night- 
mares, and campers were afraid to 
be left alone, even in broad day- 
light. Stories of demonic appari- 
tions began to plague the camp, as 
little minds developed vivid imagi- 
nations. Needless to say, staff 
members had their hands full. 

One evening late in the week, 
things seemed to have calmed 
down. The campers were in bed, 
and it appeared that we would 
have a peaceful night. But appear- 
ances can be deceiving. 

All of the sudden one of the boys 
— in that blurry state of conscious- 
ness one experiences just before 
dropping off to sleep, sprang up in 
bed and shouted that a demon 
with the head of a bull, snorting 
fire from its nostrils, had just run 
past his bed. Pandemonium imme- 
diate broke out among the 20 other 
boys in the room, who raised a 
commotion that could have raised 
the dead. 



The staff counselor who slept in 
that room tried to calm the mass 
hysteria, but he might as well have 
tried to raise the Titanic. Almost 
immediately the noise attracted 
the attention of a nearby coun- 
selor, who quickly dispatched a plea 
for help from the rest of the staff. 

'Many people mistakenly 
believe that their physical 
presence in a church 
building on Sunday morn- 
ing will save them." 
v s 

When several other staff mem- 
bers and I arrived on the scene, we 
found most of the boys cowering 
near the head of their beds in the 
fetal position. They were whim- 
pering and crying, while clutching 
their Bibles in front of themselves 
as a shield against demonic at- 
tacks. It took quite some doing to 
calm their fears and to restore 
sanity to that room. Eventually, 
we were able to convince the boys 
that when Christ is with us, no 
one can harm us. One by one the 
boys finally dropped off to sleep in 
a state of exhaustion, many still 
clutching their Bibles. 

As I left the boys' dorm, it oc- 
curred to me that these boys were 
clutching their Bibles to them- 
selves in the hope that this Book 
would provide them physical pro- 
tection. The truth they needed to 
know, however, is that it is not 
holding the Bible that protects us, 
but rather believing what the 
Bible says. I then realized that 
many adult Christians have the 
same misconception. 

A mistaken idea 

I believe that many people have 
a mistaken idea about what will 
save them. In the case of the fear- 



ful campers, they thought the 
physical presence of the Bible 
would save them, when what they 
really needed was the presence of 
Christ in their hearts. 

Likewise, many people mistak- 
enly believe that their physical 
presence in a church building on 
Sunday morning will save them. 
Others have the mistaken belief 
that all they need in order to be 
saved is to have their name on the 
membership list of a church. Still 
others think that just being a good 
person will save them. All these 
people have left Jesus on the out- 
side of their lives looking in, as 
they treat His church as though it 
were just another social club in 
which they will participate when- 
ever it suits their fancy. 

In chapter 16 of the book of 
Acts, we read the account of the 
miraculous release of Paul and 
Silas from prison. Finding the 
prison doors open, the jailer was 
about to kill himself. But Paul 
stopped him. The jailer brought 
the two men out and asked them, 
"Sirs, what must I do to be 
saved?" Paul's immediate reply 
was, "Believe on the Lord Jesus 
and you will be saved" (v. 31). 

Only one thing will save 

People have placed their trust 
for salvation in many things: in 
traditions, church membership, 
church attendance, good moral liv- 
ing, integrity, even in other people. 
They believe that if they go 
through all the right motions and 
do all the right things, God will 
honor their goodness and give 
them a secure place in heaven. But 
in the end, there is only one thing 
that will save you, "Believe on the 
Lord Jesus Christ." 

The words of that great old hymn 
still ring true today: "My hope is 
built on nothing less than Jesus' 
blood and righteousness." Where 
have you placed your hope? [ft] 

Dr. Lawson is pastor of the Jef- 
ferson Brethren Church of Goshen, 
Indiana. This is the first of a series 
of articles by Dr. Lawson in which 
he will apply Bible truth to our per- 
sonal lives. 



April 1998 



Plan now to hear these speakers 



at General Conference in August 



J 



VISUALIZE RENEWAL will be 
the theme of General Confer- 
ence August 3-7. Daily themes will 
focus on renewal of heart, relation- 
ships, spirit, a heart for the lost, and 
the church. A week of celebration is 
planned, with the hope that all who 
attend Conference will go home as 
changed individuals. 

The Conference will feature four 
special inspirational speakers. Each 
will address some aspect of renewal. 

Leading off Monday night, and 
bringing a second message Friday 
morning, will be Dr. Terry Wardle, 
who has just joined the Ashland 
Theological Seminary faculty as as- 
sociate professor of church planting. 

Before coming to the seminary, Dr. 
Wardle was director of the Spring 
Meadow 
Retreat 
Center, a 
ministry 
of renew- 
al and res- 
toration 
for Chris- 
tian lead- 
ers, which 
he found- 
ed in 1996. 
He is also 
an exper- 
i e n c e d Dr Terr y Wardle 

church planter, having begun the 
Risen King Community Church in 
Redding, California in August 1989. 
Today that congregation numbers 
more than 900 and has planted two 
daughter congregations. 

From 1985 to 1989 he served as 
director of the Center for Evange- 
lism and as associate professor of 
evangelism and practical theology 
at Alliance Theological Seminary. 
He is the author of four books, the 
most recent, Draw Close to the Fire: 
Finding God in the Darkness, pub- 
lished this spring by Chosen Books. 

The speaker for Tuesday evening 
will be Dr. Bruce H. Wilkinson, 
founder and president of Walk Thru 
the Bible Ministries. In addition to 





his Tuesday-evening message, Dr. 
Wilkinson will lead an all-confer- 
ence workshop on Wednesday morn- 
ing, and 
then lead 
a seminar 
especially 
for men. 

Dr. Wil- 
kinson is 
recognized 
as one of 
the most 
appreciat- 
ed and re- 
s p e c t e d 
communi- 
cators of ^ K B ruce Wilkinson 
biblical truth in the Body of Christ 
today. He is a frequent speaker at 
pastors' conferences, teachers' con- 
ventions, and at churches, camps 
and Christian organizations. 

He also serves as a Promise Keep- 
ers stadium speaker and has spoken 
to more than 350,000 men across 
America in the past three years. At 
the request of Promise Keepers, he 
developed the video curriculum Per- 
sonal Holiness in Times of Tempta- 
tion as part of "The Biblical Man- 
hood" series. He has authored and 
co-authored numerous books, in- 
cluding First Hand Faith, Talk 
Thru the Old Testament, Talk Thru 
the New Testament, and Talk Thru 
Bible Personalities. 

Dr. Richard L. Parrott, director 
of the doctoral studies program at 

Ashland 
Theologi- 
cal Sem- 
inary, will 
be the 
speaker 
for the 
Wednes- 
day eve- 
ning sem- 
inary serv- 
ice. Before 
joining the 
seminary 
Dr. Richard Parrott a d m i n i s - 




tration last year, Dr. Parrott served 
for 23 years as a pastor in the 
Church of the Nazarene, serving 
most recently as pastor of the 
Northwest Church of the Nazarene 
in Columbus, Ohio. He is the author 
of two books and numerous other 
publications. 

Thursday evening the focus will 
be on missions, and the speaker for 
this service will be Dr. Clive Calver, 
president of World Relief Corpora- 
tion of the National Association of 
Evangelicals. Dr. Calver will also 
bring a message at the World Relief 
Soup Lunch that same day. 

Before taking up the reins at 
World Relief last year, Dr. Calver 
lived in London, England, where he 
served for 14 years as director gen- 
eral of the Evangelical Alliance of 
the United Kingdom. Under his 
leadership, this Alliance experi- 
enced unprecedented growth (500%) 
and unity. Calver successfully chal- 
lenged Alliance members to move 
beyond the comfort of their build- 
ings to love their neighbors on the 

streets 
and in the 
homeless 
shelters. A 
gifted 
communi- 
cator, he 
was heard 
by mil- 
lions of 
people 
through 
the daily 
newspa- 
pers, on 
the radio, and in high-profile televi- 
sion debates, in which evangelicals 
earned a prominent voice and a pub- 
lic witness. He is also author of six 
books and co-author of 13. 

More information about other 
parts of the General Conference 
program will be presented in next 
month's issue of the Evangelist. 

Note: Because of a Mid-Ohio 
stock car race scheduled for the 
same week, motel accommodations 
in the Ashland area will be at a pre- 
mium during Conference. Anyone 
desiring to stay off campus is ad- 
vised to make reservations soon. 
There will be plenty of room, how- 
ever, in the dormitories on the Ash- 
land University campus. [ft] 




Dr. Clive Calver 



The Brethren Evangelist 



The Moral Weight of Leadership 

By Billy Graham 



Dr. Billy Graham has received a 
number of inquiries about his perspec- 
tive on the moral dimension of leader- 
ship in the context of current White 
House controversies. The following 
statement by Dr. Graham appeared as 
an Op-Ed article in the Tuesday, March 
17, edition of The New York Times. A 
copy was sent to the Evangelist by the 
Billy Graham Evangelist Association. 
It is reprinted by permission. Note the 
emphasis on renewal at the end of the 
statement. 

REGARDLESS of the outcome of 
the present investigations into 
President Clinton's alleged miscon- 
duct, the controversy swirling around 
him has raised one question that 
must not go unanswered: should 
those in positions of leadership be 
held to a higher standard of moral 
and ethical conduct than ordinary 
citizens? 

Admittedly, on the one hand, those 
of us who affirm historic Judeo- 
Christian moral values — values 
based on what we believe to be 
God's will as revealed in the Ten 
Commandments and the Sermon on 
the Mount — assert that wrong is 
always wrong, no matter who com- 
mits it. The Bible teaches that sin is 
the breaking of God's moral law. It 
always has repercussions; "be sure 
your sin will find you out," the Bible 
says (Numbers 32:23) — either here 
or in the next life. None of us can 
claim to be exempt. The Bible says, 
"There is no difference, for all have 
sinned and fall short of the glory of 
God" (Romans 8:22-23). 

However, those entrusted with 
leadership — whatever their field — 
bear a special responsibility to up- 
hold the highest standards of moral 
and ethical conduct, both publicly 
and privately. Jesus words in His 
parable of the faithful and wise man- 
ager are still true: "to whom much 
is given, of him much will be required" 
(Luke 12:48). Those who have the 
greatest standing in society — 
whether clergy, politician, business 
person, labor leader, athlete, enter- 
tainer or anyone else who is a role 



model — also have the greatest need 
of personal integrity. 

The question is asked, Why can't 
we just ignore personal character, as 
long as a person does the job? 

Simply stated, it is because the 
stakes are too high and the impact 
on society too far-reaching. John 
Donne reminded us that no man is 
an island; what happens to each of 
us affects the whole. No leader is a 
moral island, either, and the greater 
the visibility, the greater the impact. 

Influences of moral character 

A leader's moral character, first of 
all, influences the way he or she does 
his or her job. There simply is no 
such thing as an impenetrable fire 
wall between what we do privately 
and what we do publicly. Can some- 
one who consistently lies or deceives 
or cheats in his personal life be 
trusted in a business deal or a court- 
room or a political agreement? Should 
someone who takes bribes or har- 
bors deep-seated racial animosities 
be given judicial or political power 
as long as he keeps his behavior or 
his feelings private? Of course not. 

A leader's moral character also 
influences those who look up to him 
or her — particularly young people. 
Why is teen-age pregnancy so ram- 
pant? Why are our schools and 
streets all too often gripped by vio- 
lence and drugs? Why are the youth 
of today filled with cynicism and de- 
spair? Surely one reason is that they 
have so few positive role models to 
follow. The moral meltdown in our 
country in part results from a fail- 
ure of leadership. 

It has been my privilege to know 
ten Presidents, some as close 
friends. I knew most of them before 
they ever became President and 
have been in their homes and 
glimpsed their family lives. I have 
had long talks with them. All faced 
temptations and pressures most of 
us can barely imagine. 

Don't get me wrong; most of the 
Presidents I have known were dedi- 
cated and thoughtful men who sin- 



cerely sought to serve their country. 
When I learned later of moral fail- 
ures or compromises in some in- 
stances, it grieved me deeply. 

It also made me search my own 
heart. I feel that people have put me 
on too high a pedestal; we do the 
same with other leaders. I know, 
however, that I am not as good as 
some people think I am. I have seen 
men in the depths of wickedness, 
and I have thought to myself, 
"There I go, except by the grace of 
God." I have to depend on God every 
day to help me live as I should. 

Only time will tell whether Presi- 
dent Clinton has betrayed the trust 
we have placed in him as our leader. 
All politicians have a special respon- 
sibility because the people have 
voted them into office. 

I have known President Clinton 
as a personal friend for many years. 
I led the inaugural prayer at both of 
his inaugurations. He first came to 
hear me preach when he was a boy. 
I hope and pray, for his sake, the 
sake of his family and the sake of 
our nation, that he is not guilty of 
the thing he is alleged to have done. 

We need to pray fervently for him, 
for everyone involved in this contro- 
versy and for our country. The 
Scripture says, "Righteousness ex- 
alts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to 
any people" (Proverbs 14:34). 

I know this issue cannot be re- 
solved in a few paragraphs, or by 
television sound bites, which seldom 
allow time for balanced discussion 
and thoughtful reflection. We must 
not be tempted, however, to divorce 
character from leadership. That 
would be tragic. 

But ultimately the question of moral 
character comes down to us as indi- 
viduals, and to the decision we each 
must make about our own moral 
and spiritual foundations. When we 
point a finger at the President, let's 
point another finger at ourselves for 
our sins. Jesus taught that if we 
even think an immoral act, it is the 
same in God's sight as the act 
itself — and that includes all of us. 

The greatest need in America at 
the moment is for a moral and spir- 
itual renewal. This comes, I believe, 
only as we turn in repentance and 
faith to the living God, who stands 
ready to forgive and renew us from 
within. [ft] 



April 1998 



Brethren at Work 



v 



A report of the March 17 & 18 meetings of the 
Ministries Councils and Executive Board 



J 



BRETHREN from across the na- 
tion converged on Ashland, Ohio, 
March 17 and 18 to spend two days 
seeking ways to more effectively ful- 
fill the ministries of the Brethren 
denomination. They were the mem- 
bers of the Congregational Min- 
istries Council, the Missionary Min- 
istries Council, and the Executive 
Board. The two councils met on 
Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, 
and the Executive Board took the 
afternoon shifts. Following is a sam- 
pling of what took place. 

Congregational Ministries Council 

To set the tone for the Congrega- 
tional Ministries Council meeting, 
Rev. David West, Director of Con- 
gregational Ministries, reminded 
council members of the seriousness 
of their task by calling to mind that 
the church needs to be in the life- 
saving business. We need to find the 
best ways to do the work of God in a 
world that is dying, he said. 

Plans for General Conference 
were reviewed and discussed (see p. 
4). This council will again sponsor 
Table Talks, which have been very 
popular the past two years. Confer- 
ence attenders will be able to choose 
from 30 different 25-minute Table 
Talks, which focus on ministry ideas 
that work. 

Nine Brethren churches have 
made commitments to participate in 
the pilot program of the Leadership 
mentoring process. The nine are 
North Georgetown, Ohio; Northview 
Brethren Life (Franklin, Ohio); Sara- 
sota, Fla.; St. Luke (Woodstock, Va.); 
Elkhart, Ind.; Bloomingdale (Valrico, 
Fla.); Gretna (Bellefontaine, Ohio); 
Huntington, Ind.; and Smoky Row 
(Columbus, Ohio). 

The purpose of this process is to 
build and strengthen congregational 
leadership, and, through that lead- 
ership, to revitalize congregational 
ministry The process works by es- 
tablishing a mentoring relationship 
between church leadership teams 
(pastor and lay leaders) and other 



experienced leaders. If the pilot pro- 
gram is successful, other churches 
will be given the opportunity to par- 
ticipate in the process. In the mean- 
time, district and regional workshops 
and seminars are being held, which 
provide training opportunities for 
leaders from all churches. 

Rev. West expressed concern 
about the need for additional pas- 
toral care in The Brethren Church, 
especially in the areas of education, 
prevention, intervention, and res- 
toration. Council shared this con- 
cern, not only for pastoral care but 
also for the care of lay leaders. 
Council authorized formation of a 
task force or committee to study the 
issue of leadership care. 

Council approved a recommenda- 
tion by Rev. West that a National 
Discipleship program be established 
for Brethren youth that would 
engage them in intentional disciple- 
ship training. This would be a three- 
stage discipling process that would 
allow for training, teaching, and 
mentoring at every stage. 

Rev. West also recommended that 
a candidate for Assistant Director 
for Youth Programming (or Nation- 
al Youth Leader) be identified, 
called, and employed. The council 
included funding for this position in 
its recommended budget for 1999. 

District Crusaders will be serving 
this summer in the Ohio, Pennsyl- 
vania, and Southeastern Districts. 
Short-term mission trips are being 
planned to Memphis, Tenn.; Mexico 
City, Mexico; Juarez, Mexico; Ja- 
maica (the first "overseas" mission 
trip); and possibly Washington, D.C. 

Missionary Ministries Council 

In its meetings, the Missionary 
Ministries Council dealt primarily 
with United States missions on 
Tuesday morning and with interna- 
tional missions Wednesday morning. 

Northview Brethren Life Church 
and Vineyard Christian Fellowship, 
both of Franklin, Ohio, have joined 
to form Vineyard Community Church. 



Co-pastors Mike Sove and Chuck 
Wolfinbarger are both committed to 
The Brethren Church. Attendance 
since the merger in January has 
averaged 235. 

The Southeastern District Mis- 
sion Board requested that Gateway 
Brethren Fellowship of Hagerstown, 
Md., be upgraded from a class to a 
mission congregation. The council 
recommended this change to the 
Executive Board {which approved the 
change). 

Rock Springs Community Church, 
the new Brethren congregation 
being planted by Pastor Jim Boyd in 
Vista, Calif, had a "soft launch" on 
March 15 that went very well. The 
grand opening service is planned for 
October 4, 1998. 

Rev. Gene Bell, director of an 
inner-city work in Indianapolis, 
Ind., has been authorized by the 
Indiana District Mission Board to 
raise funds for personal and pro- 
gram support among the Indiana 
District churches. Rev. Reilly Smith, 
Director of Missionary Ministries, 
will write a letter of endorsement. 

Jeff Kaplan, who has been called 
by the Midwest District to serve as a 
church-planter in Douglas County 
Colo., met with the council and 
shared his plans and needs. 

Director Smith reported on his 
recent overseas trips. He said that 
highlights of the trip to India were 
having his wife Cindy along, seeing 
the growth in Sudhir Kumar, meet- 
ing Latha Kumar (Sudhir's bride), 
ordaining Sudhir, dedicating a new 
church building donated by Bob and 
Alberta Holsinger, watching the 
mobile medical clinic in action, and 
seeing 107 people baptized following 
the Indian annual conference. 

Highlights of the Malaysian leg of 
this trip included getting to know 
Pastor David and Lilly Chew, dedicat- 
ing the new church building in Penang, 
and working with the Loi family. 

Highlights of his January trip to 
Peru included staying with the 
Antunezes in their home, seeing the 
growth of the church, and watching 
Miguel minister in the community. 
He is an active personal evangelist 
everywhere he goes. 

Rev. Smith reported that he would 
visit Brethren mission work in 
Colombia, South America, March 
19-23. The purposes of this trip 



The Brethren Evangelist 



The 'Women's Outfool^Jh[ezvs[etter 

Si pn6(ication of the 'Brethren 'Women's Missionary Society 




May-June 1998 



Volume 11, Number 5 




Dear Ladies, 

Last month I wrote about "Count- 
ing Our Blessings." Before you read 
it, you received word that my cancer 
had returned with a "mass" on the 
right side of my brain. But — guess 
what — I am still counting my bless- 
ings. I have finished 15 radiation 
treatments and lost my hair — again! 
I am back to wearing my wig. Other 
than being tired, I feel good. I have 
started back to work full-time and 
am keeping busy. I have seen all of 
my doctors, had another MRI, and 
now I'm waiting for further word 
from the doctors as to what they 
will do after they look at the MRI. 

Thanks to all of you for your beau- 
tiful cards and meaningful notes. 
They mean a lot to me. Also, thanks 
for all of the many prayers. I can 
feel them each and every day. Keep 
praying! 

We have "talked about prayer" in 
the past. I read in a book that 
"Prayer is not merely going to God 
with a shopping list for things we 
want Him to do for us and for our 
families. Rather it is being in a rela- 
tionship with Him, listening to Him 
and sharing our hearts with Him." 
We are talking to the Almighty God. 
He is the God who hears, the God of 
peace, the God who forgives. He is 
in control. His love is perfect so, 
when we pray, we need to take time 
to listen to Him, to hear what He is 
saying to us. In I Thessalonians 
5:16-18, we read, "Rejoice always. 
(continued on page 4) 



The 30th Anniversary of W.M.S. 
in Argentina 



Two Trip Reports . . . 

. . . first from Marilyn Aspinall: 

Last year about springtime I re- 
ceived an emotional letter. It was 
from a special friend, Doris Silvestri, 
an Argentine W.M.S. board member, 
extending an invitation for me to 
speak at the Annual W.M.S. Confer- 
ence in October. They would be cel- 
ebrating 30 years of the organiza- 
tion and work of the W.M.S. in Argen- 
tina. I had had the privilege of being 
there with the original organizers, and 
had also been the invited speaker on 
their 25^ n anniversary just before 
we left Argentina as missionaries. 

I was humbled, thrilled, moved, 
and felt a rush of indescribable emo- 
tions, but, at the time, I really saw 
no possibility of going. A letter was 
sent to acknowledge the invitation 
and to thank them. I asked them to 
pray, but gave little hope of being 
able to join them for such a special 
celebration. 

Time passed as I shared with fam- 
ily and friends all that I was experi- 
encing . . . and hoping. In a conver- 
sation with Kathy Rosales, my 
daughter, she said, "Mommy, if you 
don't make known a need, no one 
can supply it." 

I responded that I have never 
asked for money and that it would 
be hard to do. Her words echoed in 
my mind, until I could stand it no 
longer. I prayed and asked God to 
guide my words as I wrote and sent 
out a letter to a few people. 

In the meantime, I was asked to 
teach Spanish again at a nearby 
Christian school in the area. At the 
same time, I heard Jim Thomas tell 
about his vision for "Eagle's Nest." 
The Lord put it on my heart to give 
my first paycheck to that project. I 



spoke softly to Him, explaining that 
I had a dream and a project on my 
heart too, but that I had heard Him 
loud and clear. I slipped my first 
paycheck in an envelope and took it 
out to the mailbox early the next 
morning. At noon in our box there 
was a check toward my trip from a 
friend in Bryan, not even a member 
of our church. She said that the 
Lord told her to give me this. The 
next day I received another offering, 
and those two gifts more than paid 
back my salary, which was on its 
way to "Eagle's Nest!" 

To shorten the story, God's Word 
to us in Malachi is a promise which 
I experienced as funds began to roll 
in. My ticket plus the ground travel 
for both me and my good friend and 
traveling companion, Louise Bish- 
op, were abundantly covered, in ad- 
dition to gifts to some loving and 
kind hearts in Argentina, which 
could be left mostly anonymously 
God is so good! His promise of 
"abundant life" is real! 

The details all began to go togeth- 
er rapidly. The very fact that we had 
just finished an extensive study on 
the book of James with a ladies' 
group in my home supplied me with 
material for practical Christian liv- 
ing, which I shared happily in my 
"heart language." Louise shared a 
short devotional also in one of our 
meetings. The ladies loved her for 
who she is — a sister in the Lord — 
and because she began by saying 
"Buenos Dias, Amigas!" 

There were over 200 present at 
the Eden Camp for the conference. 
Then there were well over 300 at 
the Saturday night banquet at the 
local "Club" in the "pueblo" of Sol- 
dini. Space won't allow for sharing 
(continued on page 2) 



30th Anniversary (continued) 

exciting details of all that went on 
. . . What a refreshing time! 

A plus was that I was able to visit 
places I had never been able to see 
all those years we lived in Argen- 
tina, including the only Brethren 
Church I had never been privileged 
to visit as well as the lovely new 
Colon Church. 

The VV.M.S. is "alive and well" in 
Argentina. They have their strug- 
gles too, but they know and serve 
the same powerful God we serve . . . 
and He is able. I repeat, "God is so 
good." Both Louise and I are so 
thankful for all we experienced be- 
cause of the generosity and prayers 
of many here, as well as the good- 
ness of God's people in Argentina. I 
can only say, "Praise the Lord!" 

. . . And from Louise Bishop: 

The Lord is so very good! He 
blessed me by allowing me to be the 
traveling companion (October 7-23, 
1997) of Marilyn Aspinall, who was 
the speaker at the ladies' 30^ n an- 
niversary conference of the Argen- 
tine W.M.S. Not only did Marilyn 
know the country and the language, 
but she has great influence also. 
Because of her contacts, our names 
were mentioned twice on the radio, 
so everyone around Buenos Aires 
knew of our presence. 

In addition, there was an article 
in the "El Pueblo" concerning our 
participation, along with Rev. Reilly 
Smith, Dr. Buzz Sandberg, Dr. Fred 
Finks, and ATS friend Harley Ger- 
ber, at the beautiful church in Colon. 

As we were greeted at the airport 
by our hosts, Alberto and Irma 
Sotola and their daughter, Lizzie (a 
journalist), I commented on their 
friendliness and loving spirit. Some- 
one said, "Everyone in Argentina is 
like this." They were right. 

At the conference I found every- 
one loving, friendly, open, accepting, 
and always giving gifts. Many spoke 
English, but were hesitant at first. 
Their love and devotion to the Lord 
were very evident. It was an honor 
to share devotions with this group. 
The love and devotion to their fami- 
lies were examples that we should 
adopt in North America. I'm not 
very adventuresome in my choice of 
food, but everything was delicious, 
fresh, and beautifully served. 



Eusebio and Doris Silvestri, ad- 
ministrators at Camp Eden, were 
excellent hosts, making us feel at 
ease by supplying our every need, 
going out of their way to feed and 
entertain us during our stay at Sol- 
dini. I experienced part of their cus- 
tom at the women's banquet. It was 
scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. At 
10:15 we were served a full course 
by appropriately dressed waiters. 
Another custom that was easy to 
follow was the afternoon "siesta!" 

I noticed the crowded conditions, 
with most homes gated or surround- 
ed by walls. And housewives went to 
the local market every day. In the 
midst of these crowded conditions 
(and terrific traffic!)) there were 
many small parks with green grass 
where families gathered, especially 
on weekends. I was told that they do 
not cut down trees for new or 
widening highways, but that they 
move them. 

We were privileged to worship at 
the Soldini and Colon Churches, 
and at the Olivos Church in Buenos 
Aires, which meets in the home of 
Pastor Rodriguez. The Colon Church, 
which is one of the fastest growing 
Brethren churches in Argentina, is 
filled with people enthusiastic for 
the Lord. We, along with the group 
from Ashland and missionary Allen 
Baer, were served a lovely dinner in 
the church's dining hall. Rooms are 
available for overnight guests. They 
have nurses available, an emer- 
gency room, and an ambulance, 
which was provided by the city of 
Rockford, Illinois. 

We were privileged to be guests at 
a meal with Daniel Rosales' parents 
at Villa Constitution. I can see 
where Daniel gets his heart for 
evangelism, as his mother is a beau- 
tiful, humble Christian with a de- 
sire to share her faith in the Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

I was humbled as I thought about 
these lovely people who live in a dif- 
ferent land and culture, and speak a 
difference language. We all worship 
the same God . . . the same God that 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob wor- 
shiped. God is so great! I thank God 
for allowing me to witness the great 
reunions that took place between 
Marilyn and her friends of many 
years. One woman said, "Pinch me, 
Marilyn. I can't believe you are 
here." 



district Qoityji 




Susan Kidd, the SOUTHEAST- 
ERN District President, has sent 
the reminder of their special day, 
Saturday, April 25, hosted by the 
Hagerstown W.M.S. ladies. The 
day's program begins at 9:00 and 
concludes at 3:30. A special speaker, 
lunch, and a craft afternoon are in- 
cluded in the registration fee of 
$10-15. This is a good day for you to 
invite unchurched friends and other 
ladies in your church who do not be- 
long to W.M.S. 

A brief business meeting is neces- 
sary to (1) review and accept the dis- 
trict goals for 1998-99; (2) choose 
the Ashland Theological Seminary 
scholarship recipient; (3) elect offi- 
cers; (4) receive the project offering 
for the new work starting in Win- 
chester, VA, by Mike and Barbara 
Woods and Chris and Heather Scott; 
and (5) receive the district dues of 
$2.00 per member. 

From the MIDWEST district, 
Sara Hanna wrote about the Ugly 
Quilt sleeping bags, which the ladies 
of the Mulvane, Kansas, Brethren 
Church make for the district proj- 
ect. This "Brothers' Keeper" quilt- 
ing was introduced several years 
ago by Jim and Flo Wheatley and is 
a real blessing when they distribute 
the sleeping bags to the homeless in 
the community for their warmth. 



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 



Ladies, I am pleased to introduce to 

you . . . 

PENNY 

Penny Knouff is the literature 
secretary. She is a daughter of Rev. 
and Mrs. George (Jessie) Solomon. 

Penny writes, "I praise the Lord 
for my Christian home and upbring- 
ing. I also thank God for my Christ- 
ian husband, David. We have been 
married 31 years and serve as dea- 
con and deaconess at the Brethren 
Bible Church. I chair the finance 
and pastoral relations committees, 
as well as serving on our social com- 
mittee and being president of the 
W.M.S. This year my daughter, 
Holly, and I are co-directors of our 
Vacation Bible School." 

In addition to David, Penny's fam- 
ily includes her married daughter, 
Holly, a son, one granddaughter, and 
two surrogate grandsons. 

Penny and Holly have started 
their own business called Heavenly 
Messengers. They make many dif- 
ferent kinds of angels and sell them 
through a crafters shop and craft 
shows. They wanted the business to 
serve the Lord in a special way, so 
each angel carries a Scripture verse 
to tell the purchasers about the 
Lord's love for them. Her other in- 
terests are sewing and reading. 
David says that when Penny starts 
to read a good book, she forgets the 
world around her! Prior to begin- 
ning Heavenly Messengers, Penny 
managed two different bookstores. 

Penny concludes, "I love the Lord 
and want to serve Him to the 
fullest. I have enjoyed preparing the 
1998 book list and appreciate the 
opportunity to serve as the litera- 
ture secretary." Penny and her fam- 
ily live in Louisville, Ohio. 



and . . . 



JANET 



Janet Rufener is the assistant 
treasurer. Janet was born and lived 
in Warsaw, Indiana, until she fin- 
ished fifth grade. During those 
years, she was reared in the 
Brethren Church and was baptized 
by the Rev. Robert Holsinger. When 
Janet's older sister, Beverly, started 
Ashland College as a freshman, the 
entire family moved to town. 

In time, Janet enrolled at AC for 
night classes, while working during 



the day at the Brethren Publishing 
Company and then the Seminary 
library. When Janet began to work 
for General Telephone Company, 
she made a decision that she later 
regretted — she quit college. She met 
her future husband, Ken, at GTE. 
Janet has also worked at a farm im- 
plement store and is currently an 
accounts receivable clerk for Mans- 
field Plumbing Products in Perrys- 
ville, Ohio. She and Ken have one 
son, Christopher, one of God's bless- 
ings. He will graduate from Ashland 
University next year. 

Janet's hobbies and interests are 
varied: counted cross-stitch, books, 
music, growing things, and travel- 
ing. She is a member of the Joy Cir- 
cle at Ashland Park St. Like many of 
us, after a hard day at work, she is 
tired and ready to stay at home, 
instead of attending the meeting. 
However, "I am always blessed 
when I attend. We have wonderful 
programs and we do good work for 
the Lord and He blesses us greatly!" 
Janet and her family live in Ash- 
land. 



LOOK! 



SEWING AND WORLD RELIEF 

Joan Merrill, coordinator, re- 
minds you to send quilt squares. 
Here are the guidelines: 

(1) Use all-cotton fabric. Please be 
sure the finished size is at least 
8y 2 " with design less than 8". 

(2) Make your designs needlework 
(embroidery, cross-stitch, ap- 
plique, pieced, etc.). Do not use 
fabric paints, etc. The needle- 
work adds to the beauty of the 
projects. 

(3) Squares can be sent anytime to 
Joan at 9300 S. St. Rt. 3, 
Muncie, IN 43702. 

Thanks to all of you who have al- 
ready sent your squares. I am begin- 
ning to plan for this year's auction. 

God bless you, 



Qfassiona/ij 

Reilly and Cindy Smith had a very 
enjoyable time visiting in India and 
Malaysia. They appreciated all your 
prayers for their health and safety 
while traveling. Highlights of their 
trip were meeting Sudhir Kumar's 
bride, Latha; participating in Sud- 
hir's ordination; and dedicating the 
new worship center in Penang with 
David and Jenny Loi. 

Reilly recently returned from a 
short trip to Medellin, Colombia, 
where he met with Marcelo and 
Adriana Ferreri and other church 
leaders. The church which Marcelo 
pastors was "packed out" and Reilly 
was able to be of encouragement. 

Pray for Todd and Tracy Ruggles, 

as they are in the process of trying 
to adopt a baby in Mexico. They 
hope to hear something very soon. 

Jennifer Thomas has decided to 
stay on with Spearhead in Mexico 
City for another year! She is cur- 
rently helping the Ruggles in their 
ministry. 

Please keep Tom and Tiona Con- 
rad in your prayers. Tom's father 
recently passed away; his mother is 
in poor health; and his brother died 
approximately one year ago. Please 
pray for their comfort and healing. 

Continue to pray for Tom and 
Debbie Sprowls and their little 
family. Their young congregation 
and their young children need TLC. 

The South American Theologi- 
cal Seminary had its opening serv- 
ice on March 15 and classes began 
March 16! Eduardo and Mariela 
Rodriguez have worked hard at this 
task. Please keep them and the stu- 
dents in your prayers. 




Joan Merrill 




May^June, 1998 



President's Pen (continued) 

Pray without ceasing. In everything 
give thanks: for this is the will of 
God in Christ Jesus for you." 

When you read this, the weather 
should be warm and we should be 
thinking about planting our flowers. 
I hope this will be true. I am ready 
for some sunshine and warm weath- 
er. Watching new life in the trees, 
flowers, and other things that will 
be blooming is really a beautiful 
sight to see. This is a time we need 
to thank God for so many things. To 
be able to SEE, SMELL, AND 
HEAR all of the things of Spring- 
time — what a blessing. 

There are so many things we take 
for granted each day. I am having 
some trouble walking, but I remem- 
ber how much I took for granted 
being able to walk to and from 
work. I will no longer take that for 
granted. 

In several districts, Conferences 
and Rallies are soon, while in others 
they are past. These are good times 
to renew acquaintances with 
friends. Make sure you send a re- 
port of your rally or district meeting 
to Joan Ronk. We all love to read 
what other districts are doing. 

Marilyn Aspinall, the W.M.S. na- 
tional vice president, has asked for 
names of anyone who would help at 
General Conference. Marilyn needs 
names of volunteers for special 
music, devotions, and pianist for the 
W.M.S. meetings. I am also looking 
for "volunteers" to serve on the nom- 
inating, credential, and auditing com- 
mittees. Please let either Marilyn or 
me know if you can help. Putting 
together the conference program is 
not an easy job, so your volunteer 
service will be very helpful. 

I hope you enjoy your summer 
and I look forward to seeing all of 
you at Conference in Ashland the 
week of August 3. 

God Bless You, 




PS. I was just ready to mail this to 
Joan, when my husband called and 
said one of my doctors had called to 
say the MRI looked excellent! The 
tumor had shrunk, the fluid was 
gone, and there were no new le- 
sions. He said the doctors will meet 



again next week and discuss this 
again. As it looks now, they will not 
do anything for three months. 
Praise the Lord! Thanks again for 
your prayers. 

Shirley Black 

%t fiitbr's Btduy 

Dear Friend, 

The W.M.S. year is nearly over, 
and now is the time to check 
progress on your commitments: for 
your personal, spiritual growth, re- 
member your daily devotions. I hope 
several of you have read more than 
the suggested two reading circle 
books. They are outstanding. Con- 
centrate on visitors and prospective 
members — spring and summer 
months are good times to acquaint 
others with your organization. 
Schedules aren't so crowded and 
your meetings may be informal. 

Election of officers, reports, and 
decisions of conference offerings are 
items which need consideration. 
The names of your officers (even if 
they are re-elected) and reports 
need to be sent to the general secre- 
tary, Nancy Hunn, 555 W Market 
St., Nappanee, IN 46550, by June 30. 

Your offerings are used in this 
manner: thank-offerings are distrib- 
uted to Campus Ministry, Riverside 



SEE THIS 

The W.M.S. Directory (January- 
February) needs minor corrections. 

Under NATIONAL W.M.S. OFFI- 
CERS, Sewing and World Relief Co- 
ordinator , the area code for Joan 
Merrill should be: 765. 

In the SOUTHEASTERN Dis- 
trict, the S_t Luke society, Bettie 
Cook's address should be: 1049 Wis- 
man Rd. 

In the INDIANA District, Nappa^ 
nee society, Sue Hinton's phone 
number should be: 219-773-7272. 
For the New Paris society, the zip 
code for Gerry Swartz should be: 
46567-2035. 

Nancy Hunn, the editor of the De- 
votional Guide, seeks ideas for dif- 
ferent or unusual meetings, as well 
as refreshment suggestions. Please 
send your ideas to Nancy at 555 W. 
Market St., Nappanee, IN 46550. 



Christian School, and the W.M.S. 
Scholarship at Ashland University. 
The offering from the special min- 
istry or service helps to underwrite 
the dean's chair at Ashland Theo- 
logical Seminary; dues are used for 
publications and other expenses. 
The project offering is designated 
for the Eden Bible Institute (now 
called South American Theological 
Seminary), a Brethren theological 
school in Argentina. 

The very first commitment, "Have 
personal daily devotions, including 
Bible reading and prayer," is the 
most important commitment. The 
time of day or evening doesn't mat- 
ter, so fit this time into your person- 
al schedule. If too much confusion 
interferes, read the Scripture aloud 
to yourself. You don't need to be 
"preachy;" it is a good aid for con- 
centration. 

May and June are the family spe- 
cial days — days specified to honor 
mothers, children, and fathers. 
They are mixed with graduations 
and weddings. Throughout the 
Scriptures we can read guidelines 
for our behavior. Paul's letters are 
direct in improving our relation- 
ships with family members, espe- 
cially Ephesians 5 and 6. 

One of the favorite or discourag- 
ing references for women is Prov- 
erbs 31:10-31. Annually part of this 
chapter is used as either a tribute or 
a challenge. Changing from the 
dread of hearing this to admiration, 
Mary Hunt {The Financially Confi- 
dent Woman, Broadman and Hol- 
man Pub.) now sees this section as 
an example worth emulating. 

This year, when you hear these 
verses, instead of being chagrined or 
pious, read Romans 16. Paul's greet- 
ings to his friends in Rome include 
women (Phoebe, Priscilla, Mary, 
Tryphena, Tryphosa, Julia, and 
Persis) who served. Sounds like the 
original W.M.S. — women meant to 
serve! So don't worry about being 
the virtuous woman; be a worker in 
full-time Christian service, whether 
a plumber, doctor, ditch-digger, 
home-maker, tent-maker. I am a 
full-time child of God and my daily 
work is dedicated to Him. 

Your friend, 



(^ Joan 



Women's Outlook Newsletter 



would be to work with missionaries 
Marcelo and Adriana Ferreri, to an- 
swer questions and offer encourage- 
ment, and to meet with the nation- 
al committee to discuss the Campo 
Valdes church and other issues. 

Other notes of interest about in- 
ternational missions: Eduardo and 
Mariela Rodriguez need a car for 
their work with the South Ameri- 
can Theological Seminary, and an 
effort is being made to help them 
obtain one. Jennifer Thomas has 
decided to stay a second year in 
Mexico City with Spearhead. She is 
currently working with Todd and 
Tracy Ruggles. Vincent Edwin, son- 
in-law of Prasanth and Nirmala 
Kumar, is attending a Bible insti- 
tute in Export, Pa. 

It was recommended that the 
council provide financial assistance 
so that Sehor Jose Rivero, President 
of The Brethren Church in Argen- 
tina, could attend the second Breth- 
ren World Assembly in Bridgewater, 
Va., this summer, as well as General 
Conference in August. {The Execu- 
tive Board approved this request.) 

Executive Board 

The Executive Board handled var- 
ious items referred to it by the two 
councils, plus dealing with agenda 
items of its own. 

Upon the recommendation of 
both councils, Executive Board 
adopted as policy a paper entitled 
"Qualifications and Responsibilities 
for Ministries Council Representa- 
tives," to be used in selecting coun- 
cil members. 

The planting of new Brethren 
churches in Phoenix, Ariz., Dela- 
ware, Ohio, and Douglas County, 
Colo., was approved, as recommend- 
ed by the Missionary Ministries 
Council. 

Upon the recommendation of 
Ashland Theological Seminary, the 
board voted to name the seminary's 
new church-planting chair in honor 
of the late Dr. J. Ray Klingensmith, 
longtime professor at Ashland Uni- 
versity and Seminary. This chair is 
being funded by the seminary and 
The Brethren Church. Dr. Terry 
Wardle is the new associate profes- 
sor of church planting {see p. 4). 

Budget requests from both coun- 
cils were received and approved, 
subject to final adoption by General 



Conference. The Congregational 
Ministries budget projects income 
of $563,600 and total expenses of 
$564,255, for a net loss of $655. The 
Missionary Ministries budget pro- 
jects income of $1,011,000 and ex- 
penses of $1,006,681, for a net gain 
of $4,319. 

The task force for promoting Gen- 
eral Conference 2000 at Estes Park, 
Colo., reported plans to prepare a 
promotional video for the Confer- 
ence, a copy of which will be sent to 
every church. It was noted that 
travel subsidy in its usual form will 
not likely be available, but that 
some subsidy funds will probably be 
on hand. Churches are challenged 
to plan to subsidize their own dele- 



gates to the Conference, including 
their youth. 

The task force to study Fair Share 
and other alternatives for financing 
the work of the denomination re- 
ported that a questionnaire was 
being prepared to solicit input for 
their study. {This was distributed 
with the April 3 Leadership Letter.) 

Final note 

If you have questions about the 
work of either of the ministries 
councils or suggestions of ways they 
might serve the church more effec- 
tive, please contact your district 
council representatives. They are 
your representatives, and they de- 
sire your input. [ft] 



New Life Ministries hosts council to consider 
Anabaptist witness in our postmodern society 



U A NABAPTIST WITNESS in a 

jLjL Postmodern Society" was the 
theme of the first-ever Anabaptist 
Evangelism Council, hosted by New 
Life Ministries. The council was 
held February 21-22 in Elgin, 111. 

Five members of The Brethren 
Church were among the 29 people 
from four New Life Ministries part- 
ner denominations who attended the 
council. They were Emanuel Sand- 
berg, David West, Dale Stoffer, Fred- 
erick Finks, and Ronald W. Waters. 

The two-fold purpose of the meet- 
ing was to provide a plenary session 
on an evangelism-related theme, and 
to give agencies working in various 
aspects of evangelism and church 
vitality an opportunity to network. 

In commenting on the impetus 
for the meeting, one participant re- 
called the words of George Brunk 
III in an earlier consultation — that 
Anabaptists have, for 70 years, 
worked together in social ministry 
around the world under an umbrel- 
la organization, and perhaps it is 
time for them to do likewise in the 
areas of evangelism, congregational 
renewal, and church planting. 

The emphasis of the plenary ses- 
sion was to envision a model for 
Anabaptist witness that will enable 
congregations to more consistently 
reflect the transforming gospel of 
Jesus Christ in our postmodern 
society. Lois Barrett of the General 
Conference Mennonite Church 



noted that the Anabaptist world 
view is "extramodern," standing 
outside the dominant culture of 
North America. "I am not asking 
how Anabaptism might adapt itself 
to postmodernism. I want to go be- 
yond contextualization to talk about 
how we might be both noncon- 
formed and engaged with the domi- 
nant culture around us," she said. 

Dale Stoffer of The Brethren 
Church suggested that a narrative 
approach to evangelism, which is 
thoroughly Anabaptist, may be the 
most effective approach. "We need 
to be able to tell three stories well: 
God's story of His redemptive work 
that culminates in Jesus Christ; my 
individual story of how God's story 
has transformed my life; and our 
community story that shows that 
God's story can authentically re- 
shape an entire social group." 

Paul Mundey of the Church of the 
Brethren emphasized the impor- 
tance of developing missionary con- 
gregations and leadership, recog- 
nizing generational preferences, 
accepting that we can offer no easy 
answers to the challenges of daily 
living, and relating Christology to 
the confusion all around us. "It's 
time to lift persons into the light. 
It's time to lift persons out of con- 
fusion into clarity, out of error into 
meaning, out of iniquity into righ- 
teousness," he said. 

(continued on page 9) 



April 1998 



Evangelical leaders face today's issues 

at the 56th annual convention of 
the National Association of Evangelicals 



HUNDREDS of Christian leaders 
representing 49 evangelical de- 
nominations gathered in Orlando, 
Fla., March 2-4 for the 1998 Evan- 
gelical Summit, the 56th annual 
convention of the National Associa- 
tion of Evangelicals (NAE). Attend- 
ing from The Brethren Church were 
Dr. Emanuel and Ann Sandberg, Dr. 
Fred Finks, Rev. David Cooksey, and 
Dr. Juan Carlos and Maria Miranda. 

During the three-day meeting, 
NAE members were inspired, in- 
formed, and committed to united ac- 
tion on key issues of the day. 

At the opening session of the Sum- 
mit, NAE President Don Argue told 
about his meeting — just days before 
the convention — with Chinese gov- 
ernment officials. Argue visited six 
cities in China as part of a delega- 
tion seeking an open dialogue with 
the highest Chinese officials about 
religious freedom in China. 

"We observed [that] for the 'regis- 
tered' church there is freedom with- 
in the parameters of 'normal religious 
activity' as defined by the govern- 
ment," Argue told convention atten- 
dees. "For example, those churches 
operating under the auspices of 



China's official religious organizations 
can worship and teach the faithful 
in places designated for such activi- 
ties. They also can publish some re- 
ligious writing, carry out works of 
compassion and social service. 

"But for the 'unregistered' (house) 
churches — which includes most evan- 
gelicals — those same freedoms do not 
exist. Those outside the official sphere 
are subject to pressure, harassment, 
even detention or imprisonment for 
their beliefs, although treatment of 
local believers varies widely from 
place to place," he said. 

"We learned in our meetings with 
the highest government officials, 
including China's President Jiang 
Zemin, that they realize any Sino- 
U.S. talks must include discussions 
about religious freedom. That is a 
step which we are happy for, but we 
know that we cannot let up on the 
issue because millions of our broth- 
ers and sisters still cannot worship 
freely in China," he added. "The 
National Association of Evangeli- 
cals will continue to speak out 
against persecution of Christians 
and other religious believers and 
take action on their behalf." 



Pornography and Obscenity 

(Part of a resolution adopted by the 
National Association of Evangelicals) 
***** 
As members of the National Asso- 
ciation of Evangelicals, we are 
therefore [for reasons given in prior 
statements] committed to educating 
both our members and the broader 
culture about the harm of pornogra- 
phy. To facilitate that commitment, 
we encourage our member denomi- 
nations to take official action at 
their national governing bodies, and 
to implement an educational proc- 
ess that will protect God's people 
from the impact of pornography. 

We encourage pastors and congre- 
gations to protect their youth and 
children from exposure to these ma- 
terials. We call upon leaders of busi- 
nesses, schools and libraries as well 



as parents to participate in an effort 
to protect children and youth from 
being harmed by these materials. 

We also urge local, state, and fed- 
eral agencies to prosecute aggres- 
sively those who break the law in 
producing and distributing illegal 
pornography or who operate illegal 
sex businesses. 

Lastly, we call upon all leaders of 
the broader faith community, all 
persons of goodwill and especially 
representatives of the evangelical 
community to be "salt and light" in 
protecting people from the harm of 
pornography, obscenity and sex 
businesses. We also call upon these 
same people to join together in their 
own communities to win the battle 
against pornography and obscenity 
through education, appropriate law 
enforcement efforts and by helping 
those who have been harmed. [ft] 



During the convention other lead- 
ing evangelicals also offered mes- 
sages of inspiration and challenge to 
NAE members. Author and thinker 
Os Guinness asked why there are so 
many Christians in the U.S. whose 
faith has made so little impact on 
our culture. He urged evangelicals 
to avoid becoming panderers to pop- 
ular opinions and trends. Christians 
need to remember that they solely 
serve an audience of one: God. 
When we are concerned only about 
serving God, then we will have an 
impact on our world. 

Leonard J. Hofman, retiring chair 
of NAE's board, challenged mem- 



Ministry to Senior Adults 

(Part of a resolution adopted by the 
National Association of Evangelicals) 

The senior adult population in 
the United States of America is 
growing three times more rapidly 
than the national population rate. 
In spite of this fact, only 1% of the 
churches surveyed have a director 
of adult ministry, while 80% of the 
same churches have a volunteer or 
paid youth worker. 

Senior adults sometimes possess 
physical limitations yet one survey 
shows that few churches provide 
ramps, elevators, large-print hym- 
nals, or adequate sound systems to 
accommodate some of those needs. 
Rather than face such obstacles to 
worship, study and enrichment, 
many senior adults just do not go 
to church. 

The National Association of 
Evangelicals (NAE), in recognizing 
the needs of senior adults, issues a 
call to its constituent bodies for the 
development and implementation 
of aggressive ministries to senior 
adults which should include the fol- 
lowing minimum objectives: 

• The development of training 
and methodology for reaching 
senior adults, both for salvation 
and spiritual growth; 

• An informed and sensitive re- 
sponse to the needs of senior adults 
through the development of diverse 
local church-based ministries; 

• A spiritually-based focus of 
care for senior adults; 

• The provision of appropriate 
ministry opportunities for senior 
adults. [ft] 



The Brethren Evangelist 



bers to use the association's net- 
work of 49 denominations to speak 
with a united voice on current issues; 
engage in racial reconciliation; con- 
tribute to works of mercy beyond 
the local church; and offer an effec- 
tive voice to the U.S. government. 

Carol Childress, a demographic ex- 
pert from the Leadership Network, 
called on evangelicals to employ new 
methods to reach the 70 percent of 
the U.S. population born after 1945 — 



Housing for the Least 
of These 

(Part of a resolution adopted by the 
National Association of Evangelicals) 

More than 25% of the world's 
population lacks adequate shelter. 
The need for adequate affordable 
housing crosses all national bound- 
aries and generational lines. 

Recognizing the necessity to put 
faith into action, the National As- 
sociation of Evangelicals (NAE) 
seeks to raise awareness of the 
need for adequate shelter for fami- 
lies around the world. Therefore, 
we resolve to challenge our individ- 
ual members and member organi- 
zations to become partners with 
people in need of adequate afford- 
able housing. 

This partnership begins with a 
commitment to regular prayer for 
those in need of adequate shelter. 
We also suggest participation in the 
observance of the International 
Day of Prayer and Action for 
Human Habitat on the third Sun- 
day in September of each year. 

Beyond prayer, we also call upon 
the members of the NAE to partner 
with our relief and development 
arm, World Relief, and other orga- 
nizations involved in housing ef- 
forts by providing labor and funds. 

Affirming that we have been 
called to a living, active faith, we 
seek to match our words with our 
deeds. We commit to proclaim the 
good news of God's redemption of 
humankind with our mouths and 
our hands. We will pray for those 
who suffer because of inadequate 
housing, we will work together to 
build homes for families in need in 
our communities, and we will give 
financially so that more families 
around the world will have access 
to affordable housing. * * * * [ft] 



Declaration for Public Education 

(Part of a resolution adopted by the 
National Association of Evangelicals) 

Whereas, we as Christians recog- 
nize our biblical duty to teach our 
children; and as citizens of the 
United States recognize today that 
mothers and fathers desire a hope 
and a future for their children; 

Whereas, public schools were 
founded as one of the means of edu- 
cating future generations to be ca- 
pable of assuming their responsibil- 
ities as citizens, discover truth and 
develop moral character; 

Be it resolved, as followers of 



Jesus Christ, we accept the respon- 
sibility to love all children as we 
love ourselves, and to pray for chil- 
dren, educators and public schools; 

Be it further resolved, that we rec- 
ognize and accept our opportunity 
as Christians and citizens to build 
constructive relationships with local 
public schools, to pursue avenues of 
support for those involved in public 
education and to encourage and dis- 
ciple public school teachers, admin- 
istrators and students. 

Be it further resolved, this em- 
phasis on public education is not in- 
tended to compromise the value nor 
question the validity of private, 
Christian, or home schools. [ft] 



people who are primarily unchurched. 
She described the world in which 
the church is to minister as one in 
great transition. This time of rapid 
change requires evangelicals to 
reach out to younger generations as 
if they were a mission field; focus 
more on missions than institutions; 
and offer people the "person" of Jesus 
Christ — not church programs. 

At the closing banquet of the con- 
vention, Dr. Clive Calver, the new 
president of NAE's World Relief, 
called on American evangelicals to 
mobilize to change and save the 
world. "Changing nations for God is 
a present-day possibility, but only 
by standing together will evangeli- 
cal churches in the U.S.A. demon- 



strate this nation-changing poten- 
tial," he said. 

During the convention, NAE 
members took action on several key 
issues of the day. They unanimously 
approved resolutions dealing with 
pornography, ministries to senior 
adults, housing, and public educa- 
tion. (Portions of these resolutions 
are found on these two pages. ) 

At the end of the summit, Chair- 
man Lamar Vest announced that 
NAE would immediately begin a 
search for a new president. This 
follows Don Argue's announcement 
earlier this year that he would be- 
come president of Northwest Col- 
lege in Kirkland (Seattle), Wash., 
after May 15, 1998. [ft] 



Anabaptist Evangelism Council 

(continued from page 7) 
Linford Stutzman of the Mennon- 
ite Church stressed the importance 
of a powerful apologetic in the midst 
of pluralism. "In a free market, we 
can compete and win because Jesus 
has a monopoly on truth — He is 
truth. He is the way of emancipa- 
tion, and the church can demon- 
strate that," he said. 

During the meeting, the various 
agencies that were represented at 
the council were given opportuni- 
ties to share with one another about 
their ministries and how they are 
trying to address Anabaptist wit- 
ness in a postmodern world. Breaks 
and meal times also gave agency 
representatives a chance to network 
with one another and to identify 
areas of similar ministry. 



A portion of the meeting was also 
devoted to visioning how the vari- 
ous agencies might effectively work 
together and identifying the role New 
Life Ministries might play in foster- 
ing inter-denominational and inter- 
agency cooperative ministries. 

At the end of the council, partici- 
pants agreed overwhelmingly to 
meet again, with the next meeting 
set for February 20-21, 1999, in the 
Chicago area. 

New Life Ministries, which host- 
ed the council, is the successor to 
The Andrew Center. The mission of 
New Life Ministries is to multiply 
the number of persons turning to 
Jesus Christ by multiplying the 
number of leaders and congrega- 
tions that are spiritually alive and 
evangelistically effective. 

— reported by Ronald W. Waters 



April 1998 



o odjt)0 





Jesse Fiant, at 100, the oldest mem- 
ber of the College Corner Brethren 
Church, with the two youngest "mem- 
bers, " Michael Klinger (I.) and Justin 
Lawson. Above them is a birthday 
card for Mrs. Fiant signed by members 
of the church. 

Member at College Corner 
celebrates 100th birthday 

Wabash, Ind. — Jesse Fiant, the 
oldest member of the College Corner 
Brethren Church, celebrated her 
100th birthday on March 3. 

On Sunday morning, March 1, 
members of the College Corner 
Church signed a huge birthday card 
for Mrs. Fiant. Then after the morn- 
ing worship service, they went to 
her house and sang "Happy Birth- 
day" to her and the "Doxology." 

Despite her age, Mrs. Fiant lives 
alone and takes care of herself. She 
is in relatively good health, but is no 
longer able to attend church serv- 
ices. She joined the College Corner 
Church on November 21, 1914. 

— reported by Pastor Jim Black 




Rev. David West (c.) supervizes, while Jim Cunningham (I.) and Bloomingdale 
Pastor Glenn Rininger get the floor ready for new carpet. 

Bloomingdale Church improves its facilities 
with view to attracting others in the community 



Valrico, Fla. — The Bloomingdale 
Brethren Church of Valrico was 
blessed recently with improvements 
to its facilities. During the final days 
of February, new carpet was pur- 
chased and installed in the fellow- 
ship hall, classrooms, and offices. 

The church had been collecting a 
carpet fund for a number of months. 
Then an opportunity arose they 
couldn't pass up. Rev. David West, 
Director of Congregational Minis- 
tries for The Brethren Church, was 
able to negotiate the purchase of 
carpet at a fantastically reduced 
price. Furthermore, Rev. West vol- 
unteered to help lay the carpet. 

West, who did this kind of work 
before he entered the pastoral min- 
istry, was scheduled to come to 
Florida for the Florida District Con- 
ference on March 1. So he arranged 
to arrive in Florida a few days early 
to install the carpet. He brought 
with him his son Jonathan as well 
as Jim Cunningham, a member of 
the national Brethren Youth In 
Christ Steering Committee. 

The finishing touches were put on 
the project when Mike Lumpiesz of 
the Bloomingdale Church painted 
the fellowship hall, and a team of 
men expanded one of the classrooms 
by removing a dividing wall. 



"We are so grateful to God for 
working out all the details to bring 
this project about," said Glenn 
Rininger, pastor of the Blooming- 
dale Church. "From providing the 
funds to helping David arrange his 
schedule and getting us a fabulous 
price [on the carpet], the Lord has 
really encouraged the church by 
allowing us to upgrade our facility. " 

This project is part of a concerted 
effort by the congregation to make 
its church facility more attractive to 
the surrounding community. Plans 
call for outside painting and land- 
scaping, as well as a new sign. 

Attendance currently averages in 
the upper forties for Sunday morn- 
ing worship at Bloomingdale. But 
when Bloomingdale Avenue is 
widened in 1999, the church will be 
positioned physically to attract 
drive-by seekers. "We want to do all 
we can to say to those who see our 
facility as they go by that we are an 
active and attractive place in which 
to worship," says Pastor Rininger. 

"When you come to Florida on va- 
cation or business, please drop by 
and see us," he urges. "There are 
some great retirement home values 
around here, too!" The church 
building is located at 1310 Bloom- 
ingdale Avenue, E., in Valrico. [ft] 



10 



The Brethren Evangelist 



ood£iG 




Janet Solomon to lead 
short-term mission trips 

Mansfield, Ohio — Former Breth- 
ren missionary Janet Solomon will 
lead four short-term mission trips 
this summer, three to Mexico and 
one to London. The purpose of the 
trips is to distribute recordings of 
the gospel message to people who do 
not know Jesus Christ. 

In Mexico, various indigenous In- 
dian groups will be targeted. In Lon- 
don, the focus will be on reaching 
Muslim immigrants with the gospel. 
The gospel cassettes are recorded in 
the native ("heart") language of the 
people to whom they are given. On 
each trip recordings will be shared 
with approximately 300 families. 
Since families usually share these 
recordings with other family mem- 
bers and friends, the 300 recordings 
have a potential audience of 30,000. 

Mrs. Solomon still has openings 
on some of these trip. Dates, desti- 
nations, and costs of the trips are as 
follows: (1) May 27^June 14, Cabor- 
ca, Mexico, $777; (2) June 24-July 
8, Baja Peninsula, Mexico, $777; (3) 
July 9-28, London, $1,450; (4) July 
29-August 12, Mexico, $700. 

For more information, contact 
Mrs. Solomon by phone at 419-756- 
5900. [ft] 



California Court upholds Scouts 

In two unanimous decisions, the 
California Supreme Court ruled in 
March that the Boy Scouts, like 
other private organizations, can 
set its own standards for member- 
ship. Thus Scouts in California will 
not be coerced to accept professing 
homosexuals, atheist, or agnostics 
as Scoutmasters or members. 

The California ruling contradicts 
a New Jersey Court of Appeals de- 
cision handed down earlier in March 
that compelled Scouts in that state 
to admit openly homosexual men 
into leadership positions. [ft] 



California Brethren churches make history 
with joint Sunday morning worship service 



Manteca, Calif. — It was adver- 
tised as "Brethren History in the 
Making." Three Brethren churches 
— Northgate Community Brethren, 
Hope Brethren, and Stockton 
Brethren — coming together for 
Sunday worship. It happened on 
March 8, 1998. 

It seemed odd, since it had never 
been done before. But it proved to 
be a great opportunity to celebrate 
Jesus and to show love and concern 
for one another. 

Pastor Bernie Tuazon of the Hope 
Brethren Church welcomed the con- 
gregations and brought them to 
the throne of grace. A choir of 25 
singers and musicians — known as 
the Fil-MAPS Chorale (Filipino 
Medical & Allied Professional Ser- 
vices) — provided special music dur- 
ing the service. The music was glori- 
ous; the preaching by Pastor Chuck 
Poindexter of the Stockton Church 
was powerful; and the fellowship 



was loving. How good it is for broth- 
ers and sisters to come together — 
not in uniformity, but in unity! 

Jesus is either our peace or He 
isn't. We acted as if He is. He has 
either broken down dividing walls, 
or He hasn't. We acted as if He has. 

The denominational focus on 
World Relief Sunday was observed 
as well. The offering was taken in a 
wheelbarrow accompanied by a 
challenge to fill it up. 

At the conclusion of the service, 
we packed the Fellowship Hall for a 
soup and bread luncheon. The menu 
offered Philippine soup, Cambodian 
soup, traditional vegetable soup, 
and Navy bean soup. 

We thank God for His mercy and 
grace that unites people of all colors 
and ethnic backgrounds. You should 
have seen us — we looked just like 
Jesus! 

— Rev. Dan DeVeny, Pastor, 
Noi'thgate Brethren Church 



To spank or not to spank? 

Colorado Springs, Colo. — Guide- 
lines for disciplining children re- 
leased recently by the American 
Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are 
grounded in soft science and politi- 
cal correctness — not solid evidence, 
according to Focus on the Family. 

The AAP recommended that par- 
ents be discouraged from using 
spanking as a method of discipline. 
AAP recommendations serve as 
guides for physicians and are often 
quoted, cited, and referenced as fact. 

"With this statement, the AAP 
pulled the rug out from underneath 
parents by bashing the use of spank- 
ing and offering few options," said 
Dr. Den Trumbull, associated with 
Focus on the Family through the 
Alabama Physicians Resource Coun- 
cil and a member of the AAP "Only 
the time-out and disapproval are 
offered as alternatives to spanking 
young children, and for many young- 
sters this is simply insufficient. 

"In producing this policy state- 
ment, the AAP largely ignored the 
conclusions from two recent confer- 
ences of child developmental ex- 



perts on corporal punishment, as 
well as established research on the 
issue. Political correctness and ide- 
ology drove the AAP to prematurely 
condemn spanking in these pub- 
lished guidelines. In their quest to 
curb parental options, they have 
preempted future research studies, 
and that is highly irresponsible," 
said Trumbull. 

Focus on the Family supports the 
appropriate use of spanking as one 
method to help parents discipline 
children between the ages of two 
and ten. According to the Complete 
Book of Baby and Child Care, pub- 
lished by the Focus on the Family 
Physician Resource Council, "... 
spanking is a tool that can be useful 
in specific circumstances. However, 
some voices in our culture condemn 
all spanking based on claims that it 
teaches violence, perpetuates abuse, 
damages a child's dignity and doesn't 
change behavior. These criticisms are 
valid for abusive forms of corporal 
punishment. . . . But when utilized 
with appropriate guidelines, spank- 
ing can and should be neither abu- 
sive nor damaging to a child's phys- 
ical or emotional well-being. [ft] 



April 1998 



11 



vodto 




In Memory 

John W. Porte, 82, a lifelong 
member and deacon of the South 
Bend, Ind., First Brethren Church, 
died March 14. 



From 1959 to 
1967, Mr. Porte 
served in Ash- 
land, Ohio, as 
Field Secretary 
for The Breth- 
ren Church. 

A Brethren 
pastor's son, he 
was born April 
16, 1915, in 




John W. Porte 



Brighton, Ind., to Rev. Robert and 
Grace Guthrie Porte. He attended 
Ashland College and graduated 
from the Indiana School of Mortu- 
ary Science. 

In 1939 he joined the South Bend 
Police Department, retiring in 1959 
as chief of the detective bureau. Fol- 
lowing his years of service for the 
Brethren denomination, he re- 
turned to South Bend and worked 
in the St. Joseph County Adult Pro- 
bation Office, retiring in 1983 as 
chief probation officer. 

On January 8, 1938, he married 
Eleanor Sholly, who survives. He is 
also survived by their four children, 
six grandchildren, and two great- 
grandchildren. 

His funeral service was held at 
the South Bend First Brethren 
Church, with Pastor Larry Baker 
officiating. Memorial contributions 
may be made to the church or to the 
American Cancer Society. [ft] 



Masontown, Pa., Brethren Church is hosting 
Bible Released Time for elementary students 



Masontown, Pa. — The Mason- 
town Brethren Church has joined 
hands with Child Evangelism Fel- 
lowship of Fayette County and Chil- 
dren's Bible 
Ministries 
of South 
Western 
Pennsylva- 
nia to host 
Bible Re- 
leased Time 
for Mason- 
town ele- 
m e n t a r y 
students. 

Currently 
33 students 
from the 
3rd and 4th 
grades go to 
the church 
building 
once a week 



students to attend. Any Brethren 
church interested is hosting a pro- 
gram may contact Rev. Curt Nies. 

— reported by Pastor Curt Nies 



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Helping with the Bible Released Time program are (front, I. to r.) Don 
Lilley, vol.; Pastor Curt Nies; (back, I. to r.) Sherry Murray, teacher; Ed 
Harvey, vol.; Kelley Chahl, co-ordinator; and Janet Burge, secretary. 

for an hour of learning Bible stories, 
Christian songs, and memory verses. 
The church is located just IV2 blocks 
from the school. The class meets on 
Tuesdays from 1:50 to 2:50 p.m. 
Plans are to add the 5th grade to the 
program next year. 

Sherry Murray, Child Evangelism 
Fellowship Director for Fayette 
County, teaches the class. Judy Vir- 
gilli of Children's Bible Ministries 
has been a major organizer for the 
program. Also helping are Rev. Curt 
Nies, pastor of the Masontown 
Brethren Church, as well as five vol- 
unteers from the congregation. 

Pennsylvania state law allows stu- 
dents to be released from school for 
a total of 36 hours per year for reli- 
gious education. Parental permis- 
sion slips are required in order for 



Christian news program 
being aired in Russia 

Virginia Beach, Va. — Would 
you believe, a Christian news pro- 
gram on television in Russia? Well 
believe it, because it's happening! 

Christian World News, a weekly 
news segment produced by Chris- 



tian Broadcasting Network in co- 
operation with Regent University, 
has partnered with International 
Russian Radio and TV to launch a 
new international version in Rus- 
sian. The first Russian segment of 
Christian World News aired on 230 
channels across the Common- 
wealth of Independent States at 
the end of 1997. [ft] 




0(3 




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I- o>0 

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( The Brethren^ ) 

Evangelis 




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Vol.120, No. 5 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



May 1998 



Visualize Renewal — In Your Life 



MOST OF US want to change 
things (or at least something) 
in our lives. As I wrote in the Jan- 
uary Evangelist, "The Brethren 
Church is in real need of renewal." I 
include myself as among those shar- 
ing that need. I want each one of us 
to have a close, personal relation- 
ship with God. In fact, I believe we 
need a visit from God! 

A life-changing Conference 

I believe our General Conference 
this summer will bring Brethren be- 
livers into a new relationship with 
God's Spirit. The Conference is be- 
ing planned as a Brethren celebra- 
tion of God's power to revive, re- 
store, and redirect His people. I 
want you to come and participate in 

is celebration. I believe that if you 
do, your life will never be the same. 

The general theme of the Confer- 
ence will be "Visualize Renewal." 
Each day of the week-long celebra- 
tion will focus on a specific relation- 
ship we want to change: 

Monday — Renew Our Heart 

Tuesday — Renew Our Family 

Relationships 

Wednesday — Renew Our Spirit 

Thursday — Renew Our Heart for 

the Lost 

Friday — Renew Our Church 

The worship sessions will set the 
stage for great messages of inspira- 
tion. The speakers will move our 
hearts and minds, as we consider 
our own lives, including the vision 
we have of the future. 

• Dr. Terry Wardle, new to the 
Ashland Theological Seminary fac- 
ulty, with years of experience in 
Christian renewal and restoration, 
will tell us how God can renew our 
hearts. 




By Emanuel W. Sandberg 

• Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, founder 
and president of Walk Thru the 
Bible Ministries, will speak to us 
about family and hus- . 
band/wife relationships 
and lead workshops for 
families and men. 

• Dr. Richard Parrott, 
who heads up the doctoral 
studies program at 
Ashland Theological 
Seminary, will help us 
see how God can renew 
our spirits. 

• Dr. Clive Calver, 
president of World 
Relief Corporation and 
a gifted communicator, 
will help us see the need 
for our mission and relief services 
throughout the world and how we 
can Renew our Heart for the Lost — 
those who do not yet know Jesus. 

• David West, Director of Congre- 
gational Ministries for The Breth- 
ren Church, will share his insights 
with regard to the potential of a re- 
newed Brethren Church. 

An event to talk about 

The music, the worship sessions, 
the prayers, the workshops, the 
messages will blend together in a 
celebration of Christian love, chal- 
lenge, and renewal, which I believe 
will change the mind and heart of 
everyone who attends. You will not 
want to Go home — but when you do, 
you will go home a different person. 

I am excited! I believe we are 
going to have an experience at the 
1998 General Conference that will 
renew lives. It will be an event we 
will talk about for years to come. 

Therefore, I urge you to come. 
Bring your children, including those 



who have moved away from home. 
And bring families that have moved 
away from the church. Get the new 
families in your church to come. 
Urge anybody who wants to revive, 
renew, and restore his or her life to 
join the celebration at our 
1998 Conference. 

In the article in the Jan- 
uary issue of the Evange- 
list that I referred to previ- 
ously, I said, "Renewal 
comes from God's in- 
tervention, not from 
man's good works." 
We can, however, be 
agents of God's will 
and facilitators of God's 
action. This year's Con- 
ference is being organized 
with those facts in mind. This 
celebration will revive, renew, and 
restore our lives, with God's help. 
The important thing is that God has 
been invited to attend our 1998 
General Conference, and He has 
been invited to participate! 
The door is open for each one of us. 
Visualize what renewal would mean 
in your life — and come to our 1998 
Conference to get it started! [ ft] 

Dr. "Buzz" Sandberg is Executive 
Director of The Brethren Church. 



Inside this issue 


Thoughts on renewal 


2 


Upon this rock 


3 


God's call to Phoenix 


4 


A celebration in Argentina 


5 


Summer Ministries 


6 


Finances out of control? 


8 


Around the denomination 


9 



Thoughts on Renewal 



v 



By Robert Stafford 



The following article by Rev. 
Stafford was received in response to 
earlier articles in the Evangelist 
about renewal. Rev. Stafford served as 
a Brethren pastor until 1993, when 
cancer forced him to retire. He now 
ministers to people over the internet, 
and is "Cyber-Pastor" to people around 
the world. (See "From Seeking Help to 
Sharing Hope" on page 6 of the Jan- 
uary 1998 Evangelist.) 

I AM EXCITED about renewal be- 
ing the theme for The Brethren 
Church. I've gone by many church 
buildings with signs out front pro- 
claiming that there would be "re- 
vival" during a certain week. I often 
wondered how they managed to trap 
the Holy Spirit into a time schedule 
to fit their calendar. Renewal is some- 
thing that must take place continu- 
ally within followers of Jesus Christ. 

But I wonder if we really under- 
stand what is necessary in order for 
renewal to begin within our individ- 
ual lives. It cannot be mere rhetoric; 
it requires true understanding and 
transformation within the believer. 
We profess many things with our 
mouths that we don't practice in 
our daily lives. We talk about loving 
others, but I wonder if most of us 
really do. Do we really love the un- 
saved? Do we have true compassion 
for them in their lostness? 

Recently I received a letter from a 
friend in Arizona. Her oldest son 
will be released from prison next 
month, and her youngest son will 
enter that institution at the same 



The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) 
is published monthly (except July and August 
issues are combined) by The Brethren Church, 
Inc., 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 
(telephone: 419-289-1708; fax: 419-281-0450; 
e-mail: brethren@bright.net). Authors' views are 
not necessarily those of The Brethren Church. 
Editor: Richard C. Winfietd. Subscription rates: 
Sent free to Brethren Church members; $15.00 
per year to others. Member: Evangelical Press 
Association. Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio. 
Postmaster: Send address changes to The 
Brethren Church, 524 College Avenue, Ashland, 
OH 44805-3792. 



time. But her biggest complaint is 
that her church "friends" don't 
spend time with her. She knows that 
she needs what they have, but ac- 
cording to her, they aren't willing to 
share it with her. 

The truth of the matter is that we 
probably don't love a lot of people 
the way we should. A number of 
years ago I picked up a refrigerator 
magnet that spoke volumes of truth 
in one sentence. It was a picture of a 
fat cat on a purple background. It 
said, "God loves you! And I'm try- 
ing." If we were truly honest with 
ourselves, we'd have to confess that 
this is true of us. 

Forgiving and forgetting 

I question many things. In fact, 
I've often gotten myself into trouble 
by questioning things. One thing I 
question is the statement, "God for- 
gives and God forgets." Think about 
this for a minute. IF God can forget, 
then He doesn't know everything 
and He's not omniscient (all know- 
ing). I searched the Scriptures to see 
if they said anywhere that God for- 
gives and forgets. I couldn't find it. 
I did find a couple of verses that say 
something similar. 

"No longer will a man teach his 
neighbor, or a man his brother, 
saying, 'Know the Lord, ' because 
they will all know me, from the 
least of them to the greatest, " de- 
clares the Lord. "For I will for- 
give their wickedness and will re- 
member their sins no more. " 

Jeremiah. 31:34, ntv 

"For I will forgive their wicked- 
ness and will remember their sins 



no more. 



Hebrews 8:12, niv 



Scripture doesn't say that God 
"forgets"; it says that He will "re- 
member no more." Forgiveness is an 
act of the will. What the Bible says 
is that God will forgive our wicked- 
ness and not bring it up again. This 
is not because God has forgotten our 
sins, but because we are in a differ- 
ent relationship with Him because 



of His forgiveness. He chooses not 
to bring up the past. Jesus never 
brings up the past sins or failures of 
those who come to Him for forgive- 
ness. By an act of His will, by an act 
of grace, He overlooks them. 

But I have a hard time forgetting 
when people have done me wrong. 
Many years ago, in my first pas- 
torate, the treasurer and I didn't get 
along very well. Then one day he 
came to the parsonage and asked me 
to forgive him for all that we had 
gone through. Of course, you have 
to forgive someone if they ask you 
to, don't you? But the next time we 
met, I found myself in wild emo- 
tions. I realized that through an act 
of our wills, we were in a different 
relationship. I now had to treat him 
differently and with a lot more com- 
passion than before. 

I think that one of the things 
holding us back is the past — our 
own past and the past of others with 
whom we have come into contact. 
Most of our churches are small, and 
we know most of the people who live 
around us. Some of us have been 
"burned" by those in our communi- 
ties. What I'm afraid of is that we 
don't really care if those who have 
hurt us are going to hell. We've lost 
any sense of grace toward them. 
We've forgotten how much we are to 
forgive because of the One who has 
forgiven us. 

Grace ceases to be grace if God 

is compelled to withdraw it in the 

presence of human failure and sin. 

Lewis Sperry Chafer 

Renewal will come only when 
three things happen in individuals 
within the church. We must see God 
as He really is. We must see our- 
selves as God sees us. And we must 
see the world as God sees it. Only 
when these three things happen will 
there be genuine renewal within our 
world. [ft] 



I used to think that God's gifts 
were on shelves one above the other, 
and that the taller we grew in 
Christian character, the more easily 
we could reach them. I now find 
that God's gifts are on shelves one 
beneath the other, and that it is not 
a question of growing taller but of 
stooping lower. _ F B Meyer 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Upon This Rock 

By Dan Lawson 



A WELL-KNOWN INSURANCE 
company urges people to "Get 
a piece of the rock." A rock is the 
company's emblem. It symbolizes 
strength and security. People in 
the company's commercials are 
often asked if they own a piece of 
the rock. 

Matthew 16 records an occasion 
when Jesus asked His disciples 
who they thought He was. Simon 
replied, "You are the Christ, the 
Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16). 
Jesus told Simon that he was 
blessed, and then He gave Simon 
that name which has since become 
a legend, the name "Peter" (Matt. 
16:18). 

Just a little rock 

A close investigation of this pas- 
sage gives us unique insights into 
our individual roles in God's king- 
dom. Verse 18 records that Jesus 
told Simon that he is "Petros." 
And then Jesus said, "Upon this 
rock I will build my church." In 
speaking to Simon, Jesus actually 
used two slight variations on the 
same word. He calls Simon "Pet- 
ros" (Peter), which literally means 
"little rock." Then He says, "Upon 
this 'petra' [meaning big rock 
or many rocks] I will build my 
church." 

This was no slip of the tongue by 
our Lord and Master. Jesus was 
very deliberate in what He said. 
Peter's confession of faith in Jesus 
as the Christ, the Son of the living 
God was just one of millions that 
would follow. This is why Jesus 
said that Peter was a little rock — 
one of many rocks or a little piece 
of the big rock — upon which He 
would build His church. 

If this interpretation is correct, 
then Jesus was not making Peter 
the first bishop of the church. Nor 
was He conferring any special title 
on Peter. In fact, I think the name 



Peter just happened to be a nick- 
name that stuck with Simon after 
this conversation. 

What Jesus was actually doing 
here was teaching all of us how He 
would build His kingdom. He 

*• 

"I firmly believe there is 
someone you know who 
may not go to heaven 
if you do not tell that 
person about Jesus. 
Your confession of faith 
is the very thing that 
person needs to help 
him or her become part 
of the church that 
Christ is building." 

builds that kingdom not on any 
particular person, but with each 
believer's confession of faith. That 
includes you and me. Jesus said 
that He would build His church 
upon the confession of faith that 
each of us makes in Him as Christ. 
And He still continues to do this. 

What this comes down to is that 
Jesus is building a little piece of 
His church upon you. Without 
your confession of faith, He has no 
foundation, no basis, no rock upon 
which He can build His church. 
Your confession of faith in Jesus is 
the vital building block that Jesus 
is using today to make His church 
strong. If you fail to confess Him, 
you leave a hole in His church big 
enough for the enemy to walk 
through. 

Many rocks make a wall 

While on a mission trip to the 
Dominican Republic, I had the op- 
portunity to help lay stones for a 
wall of a house. Laying a stone 
wall is not difficult. The secret is 



simple: many stones make a wall. 
In fact, I discovered that in build- 
ing a wall, little stones are just as 
important as big ones. When we 
look at a stone wall, we notice the 
big stones. But the truth is that 
the big stones would not stay in 
place without the little ones. The 
little stones help prop up the big 
stones. They hold the big stones in 
place and fill in the gaps that the 
big rocks leave. 

The same is true of the church 
that Christ is building. Each one 
of us, by our confession of faith in 
Christ, is a stone that He uses. 
Without your stone, the wall just 
might fall down. If you withhold 
your stone, you not only leave a 
hole in the wall big enough for the 
enemy to walk through, but you 
let someone else down. 

Without your stone, someone 
else may not become part of 
Christ's church. I firmly believe 
there is someone you know who 
may not go to heaven if you do not 
tell that person about Jesus. Your 
confession of faith is the very 
thing that person needs to help 
him or her become part of the 
church that Christ is building. 

The gates of hell 

The gates of hell swing open 
wide to accommodate the souls of 
the damned. Picture in your mind 
those huge, foreboding gates reach- 
ing out like great arms that sweep 
the souls of the lost into hell. Now 
picture in your mind a huge stone 
wall built across the opening of 
hell, pinning the gates shut and 
not allowing them to swing open. 

Jesus says in Matthew 16:18 
that this is exactly what He is 
doing with your confession of 
faith. You are a stone in His wall, a 
wall that will forever seal the 
gates of hell shut. I don't know 
about you, but I'd rather be a little 
rock in that wall than a boulder 
anywhere else! [ft] 

Dr. Lawson is pastor of the Jef- 
ferson Brethren Church of Goshen, 
Indiana. This is part of a series of 
articles by Dr. Lawson in which he 
applies Bible truth to our personal 
lives. 



May 1998 



The Call of God 
Leading Us to Phoenix 

By Rev James Miller 



^ 



GOD HAS CALLED US to plant a 
church in Phoenix, Arizona, in 
order to reach the lost for Christ. I 
don't know any other way to say it. 

Let me tell you how this 
came about. My wife, Ann, and 
I love to tell this story, and we 
would love to tell it to you in 
person. I hope this account 
will do justice to the way God 
has worked this out. 

Ann and I have felt rather 
unsettled for some time, not 
quite sure what God wanted 
us to do. Church planting was 
always a possibility, but I did 
not feel any clear call to that. 
And Ann was ready for a rest 
(floating in an inner tube in a 
mountain lake, she says!). 

But everything changed last 
August at General Confer- 
ence. One of the speakers, 
Rev. Hal Seed from New Song Com- 
munity Church in San Diego, Calif, 
told how God had broken his heart 
for lost people, and how New Song 
Church was started in order to 
reach those lost people. The whole 
time he was talking, I kept thinking, 
"Man, this is what I have always 
wanted to do. This is the kind of 
church I have always wanted to be 
involved in!" God was reigniting a 
call to church planting that I had 
felt way back in 1978. The next night 
Ann and I committed ourselves to 
pursuing this kind of ministry. 



Later that same day, John Crowe, a 
friend from Phoenix, showed up on 
our doorstep. He began telling me 
how he and his wife were at a cross- 




plants — and certainly not on mine. 
It was too far away! But when John 
left that Sunday night, I had turned 
to Ann and said, "You know, I 
wouldn't be surprised if we ended 
up in Phoenix." 

At the end of October, Brethren 
Missionary Ministries sent us to 
Dynamic Church Planting Interna- 
tional in San Diego to be assessed 
and trained as church planters. Two 
days after we got home, we contact- 
ed Glenn and Sarah Black at the 
Nappanee, Indiana, First 
Brethren Church to ask them 
to consider coming with us as 
full-time staff members of 
this new church. We told 
them we were considering 
Phoenix as a location. 

"Wow, that's interesting!" 
Glenn replied. "Sarah and I 
have been praying for the last 
year about church planting, 
and we've been specifically 
praying about the southwest 
and Phoenix." 



But where? 

The next question was, "Where?" 
Where did God want us to plant a 
church. Over the next six weeks, we 
prayed about several possibilities, 
some of which were very appealing. 
But God closed the door on all of 
them! On Sunday morning, Septem- 
ber 25, feeling a bit frustrated by 
this turn of events, I asked God to 
show us where He wanted us to go. 
I told Him that we were willing to 
go anywhere. 

Well, God didn't waste any time. 



Rev. Jim and Ann Miller with their children: (I. to r.) 
Bryan (14), David (11), Jim, Luke (9), Ann, and Annie (7). 
For the past 14 years Rev. Miller has served as pastor of 
the Carmel, Indiana, Brethren Church. 

roads in their lives with regard to 
their church and with regard to the 
direction God was leading them. 

The whole time John is telling me 
his story, the Spirit is nudging me to 
tell him ours. So I did, telling him 
about our call to church planting. 
Then I said, "John, I don't believe in 
coincidence. Could God have put 
you on my couch tonight because He 
wants us to consider planting a 
church together?" 

"Wow, that's wild!" John replied. 
Then he began to talk about all the 
possibilities. We prayed about what 
God might do, and then John left. 

Several days later, I e-mailed John 
and asked him to continue praying. 
I told him that I was convinced that 
he had been in my living room for a 
reason, even if it was not in order to 
help plant a church. He e-mailed me 
back a couple of days later to say, 
"Let's do it! We're on board! What 
do you want to do? Where do you 
want to do it? What's the next step?" 

I found myself praying about the 
possibility of planting a church in 
Phoenix, a place that wasn't on the 
Brethren list of potential church 



More confirmation 

So now God is beginning to 

push us to the southwest. But 

I must have been pretty 

dense, because more confirmation 

was still to come. 

Ann and I flew out to Phoenix in 
November, seeking God's final con- 
firmation. We were asking God for 
several different things (for exam- 
ple, scriptural confirmation and de- 
nominational approval) so that we 
could be assured of His will. Neon 
lights flashing a message from God 
would have been good! But He did 
something even more special. 

We ate dinner at the home of Tom 
and Jenny Grumbling, friends of 
ours who live in the East Valley 
of Phoenix. Tom told us that his 
brother Wayne, knowing that we 
were considering church planting in 
Phoenix, had called Tom and asked 
him if he would be interested in 
helping with a new work there. Tom 
said he had told his brother that he 
wasn't really interested in doing 
that — unless God sent someone like 
Jim Miller to start the work! 

Isn't God good? And since that, 

He's done other things to confirm 

His call — like having people call us 

and say, "We hear you're going to 

(continued on next page) 



The Brethren Evangelist 



V 



Argentine Brethren celebrate launch 
of South American Theological Seminary 

By Eduardo and Mariela Rodriguez 



J 



ON MARCH 15, 1998, at the 
"Sanctuary of Faith" (the Breth- 
ren church) in Colon, Argentina, a 
gathering was held to celebrate the 
launching of the South American 
Theological Seminary as an aca- 
demic institution at the national 
level and to celebrate the inaugura- 
tion of the 1998 schedule of classes 
of the seminary. 

Present for the celebration were 
members of the various national 
committees of The Brethren Church 
of Argentina. Also in attendance 
were groups of students, approxi- 
mately 70 in all, representing each 
local church that will function as a 
center of studies for the South 
American Theological Seminary. 
The entire congregation rejoiced 
with these students, who, for the 
next three years, will be dedicated 
to their academic and spiritual 
preparation in order to serve God 
and The Brethren Church. 

It was truly a time of celebration 
for the people of God. The overall 
theme for the evening was "Praise 
God for His Faithfulness." The occa- 
sion was an answer to the prayers of 
many brothers and sisters in The 




Mariela and Eduardo Rodriguez 
Brethren Church of Argentina, who 
have desired for some time an aca- 
demic program that would suit the 
needs of our churches. 

Each group of students had an op- 
portunity to say a few words. One 
student expressed better than any- 
one else the benefit of this program 
of studies. She said, "For the first 
time, being such a numerous group 
of students, we are going to be unit- 
ed not only in Spirit, but also in the 
reflection on and study of the Word 



(continued from previous page) 
Phoenix to plant a church. Can we 
come along?" 

That's why I'm writing this ar- 
ticle. I believe that God is calling 
people to join the leadership team 
that will plant a church to reach 
lost people in Phoenix. Thirteen 
people have already committed 
themselves to serve on our core 
team. Twenty to twenty-five others 
are praying about the possibility. 
We believe there are others whom 
God is calling to Phoenix to help 
plant this church, others who 
have the same vision, the same 
heart to reach the lost that we 
have. It could be you! 



If you sense God's call to this 
work, or if you would like more in- 
formation to help you make your 
decision, you can obtain an infor- 
mation packet and a core applica- 
tion form by calling me at 317- 
848-7211, or by e-mailing us at 
JimMAnnM @ aol . com . 

After we shared this story with 
a couple here in Indianapolis, the 
husband said, "Man, are you 
ready for what God is preparing to 
do there?" 

Whatever He does, He's now 
paving the way for a vital work 
that will impact lost people for His 
kingdom. If He's calling you, we 
want you to be a part of it. [ft] 



through an academic program in 
common." 

The first trimester of classes has 
already begun, with excellent com- 
ments and responses from the stu- 
dents. In all, 140 students filled out 
the entrance application! The chal- 
lenge now before us is for Brethren 
Missionary Ministries, The Brethren 
Church in the United States, Ash- 
land Theological Seminary, The 
Brethren Church of Argentina, the 
Board of Trustees of South Ameri- 
can Theological Seminary, and the 
directors to continue working to- 
gether to support financially the 
many who can continue studying 
only if they obtain scholarships. 

We cannot thank enough those 
who participated in that glorious 
evening at the 1997 General Confer- 
ence in South Bend, Indiana. On 
that occasion Dr. Finks challenged 
us to achieve something difficult to 
believe— an offering of $20,000 to 
help fund a theological seminary in 
Argentina. We all know the results: 
that figure was reached and even 
surpassed. Even now, many people 
continue to participate by contribut- 
ing to the project. 

The realization of a dream 

Today, with much happiness, we 
can say that we are beginning to see 
realized what was only a dream in 
August 1997. The words of Paul to 
the Corinthians can be ours for you: 
"[We] had confidence in all of you, 
that you would all share [our] joy" 
(2Cor. 2:3b). 

May this article go out as an ex- 
pression of gratitude to the Lord 
and to all of the brothers and sisters 
who have made possible the birth of 
the South American Theological 
Seminary. [ft] 

Eduardo and Mariela Rodriguez 
are the directors of the South Amer- 
ican Theological Seminary. 



May 1998 



Summer Ministries Program 



Summer Ministries 
and The Brethren Church 



By David L. West 



J 



MANY PEOPLE WONDER 
where the youth of today are 
heading. While I cannot speak for 
all the young people in America, I 
can tell you where some of our 
Brethren young people will be 
spending part of their summer. 

This is a new day in our summer 
short-term missions program. We 
are going to some new places as well 
as some familiar ones. For the fifth 
consecutive year a team will serve in 
Juarez, Mexico, where Brethren 
having been making a difference for 
the past four years. 

The new for this year comes in 
the form of an inner-city mission 
work in Memphis, Tenn., where we 
will partner with New Song Baptist 
Church in touching the lives of 
underprivileged neighborhood kids. 
We also will be making a historic 
first trip overseas to the island of 
Jamaica. On this trip we will be 
working with Christian Service In- 
ternational of Muncie, Indiana. Also 
this year we have a number of 
adults answering the call to short- 
term mission service. They will serve 
not only as team leaders and chap- 
erones, but also as team members. 

In addition to the mission trips, 
we will also have Crusaders active 
in three districts, and two partici- 
pants in the Young Adult Intern 
program. 

At this point I want to thank the 
churches for your substantial re- 
sponse to the request for Prayer 
Warriors. Many people have signed 
up to pray for these teams as they 
serve God and the people He loves — 
the lost. 

MISSION TEAMS 

Memphis, Tennessee 
June 20-27 

Brad Whitehead, associate pastor 
of the Goshen, Ind., First Brethren 
Church, will lead this team to Mem- 



phis. The team will partner with a 
small inner-city Baptist church in 
leading Backyard Bible Clubs twice 
a day for one week. 

Team members are Sarah Davis, 
Elizabeth Esch, Tony Paul, Adam 
Garner, Jesse Davis, Jeff Estep, and 
Jason Bryant. All are from the First 
Brethren Church of Elkhart, Ind. 
Don and Laura Fisk, adults from 
Elkhart First Brethren, will assist 
Pastor Brad and the team. 

This mission outreach will touch 
the lives of young people that live in 
a drastically different social and eco- 
nomical environment. The team is 
expecting big things from this trip, 
both for themselves and for those to 
whom they will minister. 

Elizabeth Esch put it this way: / 
hope to at least reach out and touch 
one person, and, through God's 
help, put a spark inside their heart 
to let them know that He loves them 
and that He wants a personal rela- 
tionship with them. Elizabeth's re- 
liance on God's strength is evident 
throughout the entire team. As an- 
other team-member declared: With 
God I can do anything. 

This mission trip will provide a 
two-fold learning experience as the 
team members work together to 
reach predominately unchurched 
kids with the Gospel, and as they 
partner with a church body differ- 
ent from theirs for the sake of the 
kingdom. Adam Garner's hope for 
this experience embodies the nature 
of the Memphis trip. His hope is 
that this trip will help me . . . become 
an out-of-state disciple. It will be 
life-changing! 

Jamaica 
July 6-21 

Tony Price and his wife Geneva 
will be leading a historic first "over- 
seas" mission trip for Summer Min- 
istries. Tony is Youth Pastor at 
Trinity Brethren Church in Canton, 



Ohio. Members of this group will 
work with Christian Service Inter- 
national, headquartered in Muncie, 
Ind., as they spend sixteen days on 
the island of Jamaica. 

Those taking this exciting mis- 
sions trip will make up two teams, a 
Vacation Bible School Team and a 
Music Evangelism Team. The VBS 
Team is comprised of five members: 
Sara Naylor from Trinity Brethren 
Church of Canton, Ohio; Jeanna 
Osborn and Tiffany Roark from the 
Brookville, Ohio, Grace Brethren 
Church; and Mandi Huff and Ben- 
jamin Pippen from the Nappanee, 
Ind., First Brethren Church. This 
Team will lead Bible studies and help 
with crafts, music, and recreation. 

The Music Evangelism Team will 
be part of a choir that will present 
open-air concerts and minister in 
orphanages and a prison. Team 
members include Tony and Geneva 
Price; Rev. Gene and Deann Oburn 
from Loree First Brethren Church, 
Bunker Hill, Ind. ; and Patsy LeMas- 
ter and Ernie and Dolly Zerbe, also 
from the Loree Church. 

The commitment and enthusiasm 
of this group of servants is easily 
caught as you listen to some of their 
hopes. / need to share the Gospel of 
Jesus Christ with others in order to 
grow as a Christian (Sara Naylor). 
Ben Pippen sees this trip as my next 
step in my walk with Christ. They 
desire to give their all to God in 
Jamaica (Tiffany Roark) in order 
that Christ's Kingdom will grow 
larger (Mandi Huff). 

Juarez, Mexico 
July 25-August 1 

This will be the fifth consecutive 
summer that we have sent a team to 
minister in Juarez, Mexico. The 
team this year will be led by Ed 
Strickland of the Garber Brethren 
Church in Ashland, Ohio. 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Summer Ministries Program 



^HHHHHMMM 



Team members at the present are 
Lindsay Gravatt from the Mt. Olive 
Brethren Church (McGaheysville, 
Va.), and Sarah Austin and Nick 
Frank, both from the Garber Breth- 
ren Church in Ashland. Other team 
members may still be added. 

DISTRICT CRUSADERS 

Ohio District 

One team will serve the Ohio Dis- 
trict this summer. Emily Weiden- 
hamer and Tim Hess, both from 
Park Street Brethren Church in 
Ashland, will join with Kevin Gibson 
from the Louisville, Ohio, Brethren 
Bible Church to make up the team. 

They will serve at the Ohio Junior 
High Camp and also help with pro- 
jects at Louisville Brethren Bible 
Church, Trinity Brethren Church 
in Canton, and Gretna Brethren 
Church near Bellefontaine. 

Pennsylvania District 

Two crusader teams will serve the 
Pennsylvania District this summer. 

Team 1 will help with vacation 
Bible schools at the Valley (Jones 
Mills, Pa.), Fairless Hills-Levittown, 
and Berlin Brethren Churches. Team 
members are Tiffany Neiderhiser 
from Valley (Jones Mills), Melanie 
Johns from Brush Valley (Adrian, 
Pa.), and Bryan Baker from Berlin. 

Team 2 will be serving the John- 
stown Third, Wayne Heights (Waynes- 
boro, Pa.), and Raystown (Saxton, 
Pa.) Brethren Churches. Team 
members are Melissa Shaffer from 
Valley, Carrie Lingenfelter from 
Brush Valley, and David Schrecen- 
gost, Jr., from Pleasant View (Van- 
dergrift). 

Southeastern District 

Two teams will also serve the 
Southeastern District this summer. 

Team 1: Chris Pennington from 
the Oak Hill, W Va., Church, Emily 
Bowers from St. James, and Megan 
Wetzel from Waterbrook (Edinburg, 
Va.) will make up this team. They 
will serve at the Southeastern 
Junior Camp and will help with 
vacation Bible schools at Gateway 
Brethren Fellowship in Hager- 
stown, Md., and at the St. James 
Brethren Church. 



Team 2: Serving at the South- 
eastern Middler Camp will be Rachel 
Munson from St. James, Nichol 
Clark from Waterbrook (Edinburg, 
Va.), and April Watkins from Oak 
Hill. This team will also help out at 
the Hagerstown First and St. James 
Brethren Churches. 

YOUNG ADULT 
MINISTRY INTERNS 

RACHEL PENNINGTON 

Rachel is a member of the Oak 
Hill, W Va., First Brethren Church 
and an Ashland University student. 
This year Rachel will take on the 
challenging task of serving four 
churches in the Southeastern Dis- 



trict— Mt. Olive (McGaheysville, 
Va.), Gateway (Hagerstown, Md.), 
St. James (Md.), and Grace Commu- 
nity (Winchester, Va.). In addition to 
her duties at these churches, she 
will serve at the Junior High, Mid- 
dler, and Senior High camps at 
Shepherd's Springs. 

AARON HOLLEWELL 

Aaron, an Ashland University 
student from the Lanark, 111., First 
Brethren Church, will be returning 
to his home district to serve in the 
Cerro Gordo, 111., Brethren Church. 
He will assist Rev. Henry Wilson, 
pastor of the congregation. Aaron 
will be working specificially in the 
area of youth ministries. [ft] 



Brethren World Assembly 
to be held July 15-18, 1998 

"Faith and Family — Challenges 
and Commitments" will be the 
theme of the second Brethren 
World Assembly planned for July 
15-18, 1998, at Bridgewater College 
(Bridgewater, Va). A Brethren World 
Assembly is an opportunity for 
Brethren from all the groups with 
roots in the Brethren movement 
that began in Schwarzenau, Ger- 
many, in 1708 to come together for 
a time of study and fellowship. 

The Assembly will begin at 1:30 
p.m. on Wednesday, July 15, and 
conclude with lunch on Saturday, 
July 18. Study papers will be pre- 
sented on Wednesday afternoon and 
Thursday, with Dr. Brenda Colijn 
and Dr. John Shultz from The Breth- 
ren Church among the presenters. 
At a banquet on Wednesday night, 
Carl Bowman will give the keynote 
speech, "A Sociological Study of the 
Impact of Modern Culture on the 
Brethren Family. " Thursday night a 
worship service in the new Bridge- 
water Church of the Brethren will 
focus on Brethren family life in 
other parts of the world. 

Friday morning panel discussions 
will be held on men's and women's 
roles in the Brethren groups. That 
afternoon, a tour of historic sites in 
the Linville Creek area will be con- 
ducted. A worship service Friday 
evening will be held in Cole Hall on 
the Bridgewater College campus. 



On Saturday morning, several 
workshops will be conducted, in- 
cluding Plain Dress, Home School- 
ing, Brethren Way of Christ, and 
The Quiet Place. The Assembly will 
then conclude with worship at 
11:30 a.m. in Cole Hall. 

Anyone is welcome to attend the 
Assembly. Registration costs are 
$50 per person and $25 for an ac- 
companying spouse. Single-day reg- 
istration is $20; Wednesday evening 
banquet only is $10. Those attend- 
ing only the Thursday or Friday 
night worship services will not be 
asked to pay a registration fee, but 
will have the opportunity to con- 
tribute to a free-will offering. 

Accommodations will be available 
in air-conditioned rooms in college 
residence halls; meals in the Kline 
Campus Center. Room and board 
packages are available that include 
three nights lodging, meals from 
Wednesday noon through Saturday 
noon, and the tour on Friday after- 
noon. The package rates are $109 
per person for a double-occupancy 
room; $149 for single-occupancy. 
Single-day rates are $31 for double- 
occupancy; $46 for single-occupancy. 

Brochures with more details and 
a registration form will be sent to 
Brethren pastors and church mod- 
erators in the next Leadership Let- 
ter (at the end of May). If you would 
like to attend the Assembly, ask 
your pastor or moderator for a copy 
of the brochure, or contact the 
Brethren Church National Office at 
419-289-1708. [ft] 



May 1998 



<_ 



Are Your Finances 
Out of Control? 

By Loma G. Davies Silcott 



FOR MOST AMERICANS, credit 
is a way of life. Unfortunately, if 
you do not plan your spending well, 
you can be in big trouble when the 
bills start coming due. Below are ten 
questions that can help you deter- 
mine whether you are heading for 
financial problems. 

Danger signs! 

1. Do you pay only the minimum 
amount due on credit card bills 
each month? 

2. Is each month's credit card bal- 
ance higher than the previous 
month's? 

3. Do you pay bills late or miss pay- 
ments completely? 

4. Do you frequently use bank 
account overdraft privileges or 
bank draft advances? 

5. Do you use credit to pay routine 
bills? 

6. Do you deplete your savings for 
routine items or have 
no savings at all? 

7. Are you so far behind 
on your bills that you 
receive dunning let- 
ters from your credi- 
tors? 

8. Do you avoid talking 
to your spouse about 
money? Or is that all 
you talk about? 

9. Do you depend on 
overtime pay, bonus 
checks, or moonlight- 
ing to cover regular 
expenses? 

10. Do you take out new 
loans to pay off old 
ones? 

If you answered yes to even one of 
these questions, you are starting to 
experience financial problems. If 
you answered yes to two or three of 
them, you are in serious financial 
trouble. If you answered yes to more 
than three, you need to take a long, 
hard look at your financial situation 
and possibly seek professional finan- 
cial counseling. But be assured: 



while your situation is difficult, it is 
not hopeless. 

Steps to recovery 

Here are six steps to help you get 
your finances under control: 

1. Put God first in your finances, 
both in your giving and in how 
you use the rest of your money. 

2. Make a budget. A budget is a 
must for good financial manage- 
ment. If you are married, sit 
down with your spouse and work 
out a budget you can both live 
with. If you don't agree on it, it 
won't work. 

3. If you consistently pay only the 
minimum amount due on your 
credit card bill each month and 
each month the amount you owe 
gets larger, stop and reevaluate 
your credit card purchases. You 
should strongly consider destroy- 
ing the cards so you won't be 




tempted to add to your bill. 
Learn to do without things until 
you can afford them. 
4. If you must juggle or skip pay- 
ments, sit down and re-figure 
your budget. Cut out anything 
you can live without. If you still 
do not have enough money to 
make the payments, write to 
your creditors and explain your 



situation. Ask if they will accept 
less per month temporarily. 
Often a professional financial 
planner can be a real help here. 

5. Frequently using overdraft privi- 
leges on checking accounts or 
bank draft advances falls into the 
same category as misusing your 
credit card. You may find you 
must simply close this kind of ac- 
count and open one that does not 
offer these privileges. 

6. As soon as possible, start a sav- 
ings account. Try to put some- 
thing aside, even if it is only 
$5.00 a month. You need to get 
into the savings habit. Keep this 
money as a cushion for real 
emergencies, and, as it accumu- 
lates, for future major purchases. 

If you have not encountered any 
of the ten financial situations listed 
at the beginning of this article, then 
praise God! But also plan ahead so 
that you don't! Set up both a short- 
range budget and a long-range 
financial plan, and stick to them. 

As Christians, we are admonished 
to be good stewards of the money 
God has entrusted to us. Good stew- 
ardship concerns not just our giving, 
but handling all our money in such 
a way that we have a good testimony 
before others. Anything 
we do that discredits us, 
discredits our Lord. 

Put God first 

So put God first in all 
that you do, including 
your finances. He has 
promised in Malachi 
3:10 to bless those who 
honor Him with their 
material possessions. 

If you are already in 
financial trouble, follow 
the six suggestions given 
above to work your way 
out. It may be a long, 
slow, painful process, 
but the end result will 
be worth it. You can again be in 
charge of your finances. You will re- 
gain your self-respect and the re- 
spect of your creditors. You will have 
a clear conscience before God and 
others. And you can again be a real 
testimony for Him. [ft] 

Mrs. Silcott is a free-lance writer. 
She Hues in Rapid City, South Dakota. 



The Brethren Evangelist 







Missions made personal at 
Indiana District men's retreat 

Shipshewana, Ind. — "A Call to 
Missions — Not For Me!?" was the 
theme of the second annual Indiana 
District Men's Fellowship Retreat, 
held April 17-18 at the Brethren 
Retreat Center. The purpose of the 
retreat was to ignite a burning pas- 
sion among the men for sharing 
their faith. 

Thirty-six men attended 
the retreat — not a large 
number, but twice as 
many as attended the first 
retreat in 1997. They en- 
joyed a great keynote ad- 
dress by Rev. Reilly Smith, 
Director of Missionary 
Ministries for The 
Brethren Church; a hearty 
snack of brownies and ice 
cream; an exhausting 
round of basketball; three 
flavorful feasts; and sever- 
al challenging seminars. 

They were also asked to 
consider whether they are 
involved in the Great 
Commission (as presented 
in Matthew 28:18-20) or 
the Great Omission (omit- 
ting the call of missions 
from their lives). The chal- 
lenge put before them was 
to develop a burden for the 
lost and to allow God to 
give them a passion to 
serve Him. This could be 
overseas, in another state 
or city, at work, across the 
backyard fence, or even 
under their own roof. 
— reported by Rick Miller, 
Director, Brethren 
Retreat Center 



New Brethren church in Vista, Calif., holds 
"sneak preview" service on Easter Sunday 



Vista, Calif. — The Rock Springs 
Community Church held a "sneak 
preview" service on Easter Sunday, 
and 105 people attended. The atten- 
dance exceeded the expectations of 
church planter Jim Boyd, who was 
praying for 75 people to come! 

The Grand Opening for this new 
Brethren church is not scheduled 
until October 4, 1998. Pastor Boyd 
is still in the process of raising the 
necessary funding and of growing 
and training a core group. 

The purpose of the preview serv- 
ice was twofold: (1) to build excite- 
ment in the community and momen- 
tum for the Grand Opening in the 
fall; and (2) to provide a training 
opportunity for the core group. 

The service included a number of 
contemporary songs led by the 
group's band; an "Intro Talk" de- 



signed to introduce the theme for 
the morning; a drama portraying 
Mary Magdalene immediately after 
the crucifixion; and a straightfor- 
ward gospel presentation by Pastor 
Boyd. 

Following the service, the core 
group hosted a barbeque and "mega" 
Easter egg hunt. Here, too, the re- 
sponse exceeded expectations, with 
the majority of guests staying for 
both events. This gave the core 
group an opportunity to build rela- 
tionships with the guests. 

Prior to the preview service, 5,000 
fliers announcing the service were 
mailed, and another 750 were hand- 
ed out. An estimated 25-30% of the 
guests came as a result of the flyers, 
with the remaining 70-75% coming 
as a result of personal invitations by 
members of the core group. [ft] 



N. Georgetown Church facility 
transformed for Mission Fair 

North Georgetown, Ohio — The Sun- 
day school classrooms and fellowship hall 
of the North Georgetown First Brethren 
Church underwent a major transforma- 
tion recently, when they became countries 
for the church's Mission Fair. 

All the rooms were decorated with great 
creativity and color in accordance with 
the country they represented. There was 
even music of the country represented. 

The fellowship hall was the "interna- 
tional food court," where 
samples of food from the fea- 
tured countries were avail- 
able. There were sopapillas, 
tacos, Masala Bhat, hot dogs 
(guess which country they 
represented!), and many 
more. All were very tasty! 

"Tour guides" led "tour- 
ists" to the various coun- 
tries. As they traveled, the 
tourists saw artifacts from 
each land, learned about 
Brethren missionaries serv- 
ing there, and were in- 
formed of some of the diffi- 
culties and needs of our 
brothers and sisters in 
Christ in those nations. 



A total of 134 people attended the Mis- 
sion Fair, a large number for a small com- 
munity. According to Diane Sanor, who re- 
ported this event for the Evangelist, the 
fair was "a great success!" 

"I urge all the Brethren churches to 
have something like a Mission Fair," Mrs. 
Sanor said. "It's fun, and you learn a lot 
about our Brethren missions." 

"We want to express a great big thank 
you to Ashland for sending all the pictures 
and items and for answering all our ques- 
tions," Mrs. Sanor added. "Without their 
help, our fair wouldn't have been nearly 
so great." [ft] 




In "Malaysia, " wearing hats they made themselves, are 
(I. to r.) Shanda Clemens, Courtney Lockard (foreground), 
Nathan Diehl, Abbey Latham, and Katelyn Carson. 



May 1998 




Brethren in Nigeria, W. Africa, 
celebrate 75th anniversary 

Nigeria, West Africa — Ekklesi- 
yar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (Church of 
the Brethren in Nigeria) celebrated 
its 75th anniversary on March 17, 
1998. The celebration was held in 
Garkida, Nigeria, near the same 
tamarind tree where, 75 years earli- 
er, missionaries Stover Kulp and 
Albert Holser held the first Breth- 
ren worship service in Nigeria. 

A crowd estimated at more than 
5,000 attended the celebration. It in- 
cluded 42 representatives from the 
Church of the Brethren, 31 of whom 
had come as part of a tour group es- 
pecially for the anniversary celebra- 
tion. A number of former missionar- 
ies or their children were present. 

The day was filled with singing, 
prayer, recognition of special guests, 
speeches on the development of the 
church, and fellowship. There were 
also performances of traditional 
music, dancing, and drumming, and 
displays of costumes representing 
the many tribes that are a part of 
the church. It was a time of thanks- 
giving for past blessings on the 
church and of praying for God's 
guidance in the future. 

From its small beginnings in 1923, 
the church has grown to more than 
300 congregations with a total 
membership of 140,000 and Sunday 
worship attendances of 240,000. It 
is one of the fastest-growing Chris- 
tian denominations in Africa. Build- 
ing on the foundation laid by the 
missionaries, the church takes a 
holistic approach to ministry, with 
programs in rural development, 
health, and education, in addition to 
traditional church programs. 

From 1948 to 1976, missionaries 
from The Brethren Church worked 
with Church of the Brethren mis- 
sionaries in Nigeria. The Brethren 
Church continued to send support 
funds for the work for several more 
years after 1976. [ft] 




Adriana Ferreri (far r.) with the Sunday school children she teaches each week. 

Brethren mission work in Colombia advancing 
under the direction of Marcelo and Adriana Ferreri 



Rev. Reilly Smith, Director of Mis- 
sionary Ministries for The Brethren 
Church, made an administrative visit 
March 19-23 to Colombia, South 
America, where he visited with Mar- 
celo and Adriana Ferreri, missionaries 
to Colombia from The Brethren 
Church in Argentina. He gives the fol- 
lowing report of the work there. 

Marcelo and Adriana Ferreri 

described what it is like to live in 
Medellin, Colombia. They live in the 
Ferrara barrio (suburb) of Medellin. 
They've been threatened. Twice 
they've heard gunfire in the imme- 
diate vicinity of their home. Once 
Marcelo was standing only a few 
yards from someone who was shot — 
while he was there! Colombians and 
missionaries serving in Colombia 
live in a very violent society. 

On the other hand, life in Medellin 
is not all that different from life in 
other major cities around the world, 
including the U.S. And Medellin is a 
beautiful city. It enjoys perpetual 
springtime. The flora and fauna are 
gorgeous. The people are generally 
open and friendly. A few bad apples 
may not spoil the whole barrel, but 
they can give it a bad reputation. 

The Brethren Church in Ferrara 
is growing. In January, Marcelo led 
the leaders of the church in a plan- 
ning retreat. They developed a 
strategic plan for the next seven 
years, which includes property ac- 
quisition and building expansion to 
meet the needs of a growing church. 



On Sunday, March 22, people 
were standing in the doorway of the 
church because there wasn't 
enough seating for everyone. It was 
not because I was there. Attendance 
is like that nearly every week! 

Adriana supervises the children's 
Sunday school. She has 20 children 
enrolled every week. She is training 
several new teachers for all grades. 
Adriana also works with a growing 
women's ministry, which includes 
Bible study, prayer, and outreach. In 
addition, she leads the worship 
team, which does a great job. 

Marcelo recently taught a Bible 
study called Abundant Life to 21 
people. Following the course, many 
of the 21 received Christ as Lord 
and Savior. Marcelo baptized ten of 
them. Now he's planning to take the 
entire church through the course 
and train some new teachers. They 
will use the course for evangelistic 
Bible studies. 

Marcelo is also teaching leadership 
classes at the Campo Valdes church 
in Medellin. Attendance is in the up- 
per teens. He is developing a posi- 
tive relationship with this congrega- 
tion. He also helps them with their 
Compassion International ministry. 

I am very excited about Marcelo 
and Adriana. They have accom- 
plished in just nine months what I 
expected them to do in two or three 
years. Please pray for them. And be 
sure to meet them at General Con- 
ference, [ft] 



10 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Dr. David Reese sets forth case for creation 
versus evolution at pastors'/wives' retreat 



Lake Geneva, Wis. — Approxi- 
mately 40 Brethren pastors and 
other elders, most of them accompa- 
nied by their wives, enjoyed a time 
of worship, study, 
fellowship, and 
recreation at the 
annual Pastors' 
and Wives' Re- 
treat, held April 
28-30 at Inter- 
laken Resort and 
Country Spa at 
Lake Geneva. 

The speaker for 
the retreat was 
Dr. David Reese, 
a medical doctor 
with a family 
practice in Lan- 
ark, 111. Dr. Reese, Jewish by birth, 
Christian by choice, and a member 
of the Lanark First Brethren Church, 
presented four lectures on the bibli- 
cal account of creation versus the 
theory of evolution. In a fifth ses- 
sion he answered questions about 
the material he had presented. 

A student of both Scripture and 
science, Dr. Reese believes that we 
are in a battle for the hearts and 
minds of our children. Our children 
(and many adults as well!) hear so 
often that evolution is fact (rather 
than theory) that they believe it 
without questioning it. Scientists 
have become our gods. 

From his studies, Dr. Reese is con- 
vinced that the Scriptures are true 
and that what they say about 
creation can be trusted. He believes 
that the creation model explains the 
facts of our world much better than 
the evolution model. Some Chris- 
tians have tried to have it both ways 
by saying that the Bible reveals why 
the world was made, while science 
reveals how. But he believes that the 
Bible reveals both how and why. 

While scientists point out prob- 
lems with the creationist view of our 
universe, Dr. Reese pointed out 
problems with an evolutionary view. 
He noted, for example, the many 
missing links in the fossil records, 
not only between man and lower 
forms of life, but all along the "evo- 




Dr. David Reese with his wife Lee, 
who assisted with the visuals during 
his lectures on creation and evolution. 



lutionary chain." He pointed out 
that evolution violates the second 
law of thermodynamics, which says, 
in essence, that things fall apart 
rather than be- 
coming more com- 
plex. He showed 
that evolution's 
premise of the 
survival of the 
fittest is contra- 
dicted by the 
facts: harmful 
mutations should 
not accumulate in 
the population, 
but they do; or- 
ganisms should 
not develop "sui- 
cidal" behaviors, 
but they do. He also explained that 
even for the simplest building 
blocks of life to have developed from 
water and inorganic matter, if possi- 
ble at all, would have taken a much 
greater length of time than even the 
4V2 billion years that scientists have 
posited for the whole evolutionary 
process on earth. 

Dr. Reese believes that much of 
the "evidence" for evolution (fossils 
and the stratification of earth's 
upper crust) can be explained by the 
flood in Noah's day, which he be- 
lieves was a much more cataclysmic 
event than most of us ever imagine. 
He also pointed out that the kinds of 
geological changes that scientists 
say take millions of years (large- 
scale erosion and stratification) oc- 
curred in a matter of days following 
the massive eruption of Mount St. 
Helens in Washington State. 

Dr. Reese believes that it is impor- 
tant for Christians to become 
knowledgeable about science and 
creation. Not only is it necessary for 
the sake of our children and grand- 
children, but it is also useful as a 
means of evangelism. It is a means 
of meeting the world where it is. It 
shows that Christians have not 
checked their brains when they 
entered the door of the church. 

It was not all work and worship 
and no play at the retreat. In addi- 
tion to times of good-natured fellow- 



.cftfydjhe 




ship at the delicious meals and in 
the evenings following the sessions, 
the pastors and wives also enjoyed a 
free afternoon. This provided time 
for sightseeing, shopping, reading, 
napping, and other recreational ac- 
tivities. A few avid golfers even hit 
the links, despite the cool weather 
and a threat of rain. 

It was a good retreat — thanks to 
the pastors of the Central District 
who planned and conducted it. 

— reported by Editor Dick Winfield 



Dianna Park commissioned 
at Pleasant View Church 

Vandergrift, Pa. — Dianna Park 
was commissioned for Christian 
ministry on Sunday, December 28, 
1997, in a service held at the Pleas- 
ant View Brethren Church of Van- 
dergrift, where she is a member. 

Rev. Thomas J. McLaughlin, pas- 
tor of the Pleasant View Church, 
conducted the commissioning ser- 
vice. He was assisted by church 
moderator Jim McGraw and mem- 
bers of the deacon board. 

Since joining the Pleasant View 
Church in 1993, Ms. Park has 
served the congregation as a Sun- 
day school teacher, worship leader, 
choir director, board of Christian 
education superintendent, youth 
leader, and superintendent. She is 
also a third-year student at Ash- 
land Theological Seminary, living 
in Vandergrift and commuting to 
the seminary each week. [ft] 




Dianna Park 
McLaughlin. 



Pastor 



May 1998 



11 



od the 




David West gives delegates 
at Ohio District Conference 
a prescription for heartburn 

New Lebanon, Ohio — "I came 
here today to give you heartburn!" 
Rev. David West told the 81 dele- 
gates who gathered at The Brethren 
Church in New Lebanon on Satur- 
day, April 25, for the Ohio District 
Conference. "I want your hearts to 
burn with passion, the same passion 
that burned in the heart of the 
prophet Jeremiah," he continued. 

Rev. West, Director of Congrega- 
tional Ministries for The Brethren 
Church, who noted that this was his 
first visit to an Ohio District Con- 
ference, went on to mention five 
areas in which he would like to see 
heartburn increase among Breth- 
ren. They include (Da passionate 
burning for the Word of God; (2) a 
passionate burning to live authentic 
Christian lives that reflect the real- 
ity of the inner Word; (3) a passion- 
ate burning for new insights from 
the Holy Spirit; (4) a passionate 
burning of a holy fear of God; and 
(5) a passionate burning for the 
unity of the Body of Christ that rec- 
ognizes Christ as its only head. 

Following Rev. West's message, 
Moderator J. Michael Drushal capa- 
bly led the first of two conference 
business sessions. The session was 
moving smoothly and swiftly for- 
ward, with routine reports, action 
on a new budget, elections, and 
more reports. But then it hit a cou- 
ple of snags. 

The first of these concerned a 
change in the district by-laws to 
clarify which of two boards — the 
Board of Oversight or the Ministeri- 
al Examining Board — should review 
complaints brought against an or- 
dained elder. After considerable dis- 
cussion, it was decided that such 
matters should be referred to the 
Board of Oversight, but that this 
board should act jointly with the 
district Ministerial Examining 



Board in dealing with such com- 
plaints. The by-laws were amended 
accordingly. 

The other snag was a request by 
the Dayton Hillcrest Brethren 
Church for approval from the Ohio 
Conference to withdraw from the 
district. One of the few remaining 
Brethren members of the congrega- 
tion was at the conference to pre- 
sent the case for withdrawal and to 
answer questions. When it became 
clear that no informed decision 
could be made at this conference 
session (the request had been re- 
ceived less than two weeks before 
the conference), the matter was re- 
ferred to the Board of Oversight. 

One of the most exciting parts of 
the conference occurred during the 
"denominational update" that fol- 
lowed the afternoon business ses- 
sion. First, Ron and Sandy Miller 
shared their sense of God's call and 
their enthusiasm for planting a new 
church in the Ohio District — Living 
Waters Community Church — which 
will use the facilities of the former 
Walcrest Brethren Church on the 
outskirts of Mansfield. 

This was followed by an upbeat 
presentation by Mike Sove and 
Chuck Wolfinbarger, co-pastors of 
the Vineyard Community Church, 
formerly the Northview Brethren 
Life Church near Franklin, Ohio. 
They told how God brought togeth- 
er a small congregation with a big 
building (Northview Brethren Life) 
and a large congregation with no 
building (the Vineyard Church) to 
form a unified congregation that 
now averages more than 200 in at- 
tendance on Sunday mornings. 

Following auxiliary sessions, the 
conference concluded with modera- 
tor's observations and installation 
of officers and board and committee 
members. Continuing another year 
as moderator (because last year's 
moderator-elect is no longer a part 
of the district) is Dr. J. Michael 
Drushal. The new moderator-elect 
is Rev. Lynn Mercer. Other officers 
are Rev. Ralph Gibson — secretary; 
Joan Ronk — assistant secretary; 
Stan Gentle — treasurer; Rev. Bill 
Walk — assistant treasurer; and 
Dorman Ronk — statistician. The 
1999 conference is set for April 24 
at the Fremont Brethren Church. 

— reported by Editor Dick Winfield 



Dr. Ron Williams performs 
"live recording concert" 

Highland Hills, Ohio — Dr. C. 

Ronald S. Williams II, pastor of Mt. 
Zion Fellowship of the Brethren 
Church of Highland Hills and an 
accomplished pianist, recording 
artist, and songwriter, performed a 
"live recording concert" with mem- 
bers of the Cleveland Orchestra on 
Good Friday. The concert included 
selections by The Voices of Koinon- 
ia, the adult gospel choir of the Mt. 
Zion congregation. 

A crowd of 1,600 attended the 
concert, which was held in the 
sanctuary of the Mt. Zion Church. 
The concert was recorded on a 24- 
track sound system and video-taped 
by a professional video company. 

After graduating from Ashland 
Theological Seminary, Dr. Williams 
began the Mt. Zion congregation as 
a Brethren Home Mission Church 
in 1982 with 15 members. Member- 
ship is now approximately 2,675, 
and worship attendance runs be- 
tween 1,600 and 2,000. [ft] 



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Vol.120, No. 6 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



June 1998 



Editor Dick Winfield asks: 



Is it time to get serious about pastoral recruitment? 



CURRENTLY, 16 Brethren con- 
gregations are without pastors. 
Two other churches are seeking as- 
sociates. But only five or six Breth- 
ren pastors not already serving con- 
gregations are seeking pastorates 
(not nearly enough to go around). 
And only one Brethren pastoral can- 
didate graduated from Ashland Theo- 
logical Seminary this spring. Is it 
time to get serious about pastoral re- 
cruitment in The Brethren Church ? 

Some of these 16 churches will 
need to do what many other Breth- 
ren congregations have had to do in 
the past ten years, seek a pastor from 
outside our denomination. Some 
will get pastors from other Brethren 
churches, leaving those congrega- 
tions without pastors. Is it time to 
get serious about pastoral recruit- 
ment in The Brethren Church? 
"It has sometimes been suggested 
that no church should be entitled to 
a pastor if that church has not "pro- 
duced" a pastor. If that were the 
practice, would your church be enti- 
tled to a pastor? Has anyone from 
your congregation become a Breth- 
ren pastor in this generation? 

Whose responsibility is it? 

Whose responsibility is it to get 
serious about pastoral recruitment? 
Obviously denominational and dis- 
trict leaders in The Brethren Church 
have a responsibility. Pastors them- 
selves play a major role, for they 
have the opportunity to challenge 
their members to consider Christian 
service and to mentor those who re- 
spond. And Christian parents cer- 
tainly have a responsibility to talk 
to their children about whether God 
is calling them to Christian service. 

Does that let everyone else off the 



hook? Certainly not! Every Brethren 
person has a responsibility. Every 
member of the church needs to get 
serious about pastoral recruitment. 
Here are five ways of doing so. 

What you can do 

1. Treat the pastor you now have 
with respect, and encourage others 
in your congregation to do the same. 
Why would anyone, particularly a 
young person, want to become a 
pastor, if he sees his own pastor crit- 
icized and treated unkindly? 

2. Do your part to make sure that 
your pastor receives a more-than- 
adequate salary. Suggest salary in- 
creases and vote for increases when 
they are proposed. And give gener- 
ously to your church to help make 
the funds for increases available. 

No one should go into the Lord's 
work for the money. Nevertheless, 
the Bible says that "the worker de- 
serves his wages" (1 Tim. 5:18), and 
"elders who direct the affairs of the 
church well are worthy of double 
honor [pay], especially those whose 
work is preaching and teaching" (1 
Tim. 5:17, NIV). More young people 
(and older people, too) might consid- 
er the pastorate if they knew that 
they were not consigning them- 
selves to a life of financial hardship. 

3. Help your youth feel a part of 
the church. Suggest to your pastor 
or worship leader that young people 
be asked to take part in worship ser- 
vices by reading scripture, offering 
prayers, presenting special music, 
ushering, and in other ways. This 
should not be limited to youth Sun- 
day. Also, recommend to your congre- 
gation that a youth representative 
be included on the church board. 
Some churches already do this. 



4. Challenge and encourage young 
people in your church to consider 
pastoral ministry. Look particularly 
for those in your congregation who 
seem to have the gifts that an effec- 
tive pastor need. Speak to them per- 
sonally, noting what you have ob- 
served about them, and ask if they 
have every considered preparing for 
the Lord's service. And don't over- 
look some of the "rambunctious" 
kids in your congregation. A num- 
ber of pastors started out that way. 

The number-one thing 

5. Above all else, pray. Jesus told 
His disciples, "The harvest is plenti- 
ful but the workers are few. Ask the 
Lord of the harvest, therefore, to 
send out workers into his harvest 
field" (Matt. 9:37-38, NIV). Jesus, of 
course, was talking about a harvest 
of people and workers to care for 
their needs. Those needs exist in 
our churches today. So pray regular- 
ly, fervently that God will provide 
pastors. As God leads, pray with spe- 
cific people in mind. And as you pray, 
be sensitive to ways God can use 
you to help answer those prayers. 

Is it time to get serious about pas- 
toral recruitment in The Brethren 
Church? If you agree that it is, what 
are you going to do about it? I -/ 1 



Inside this issue 


Hey Dad . . . listen up! 


2 


One bite at a time 


3 


Financing new churches 


4 


Domestic violence 


5 


General Conferece preview 


7 


Around the denomination 


10 


The Women's Outlook Newsletter 


is in the center of this issue 





Hey Dad . . . Listen Up! 



V 



By Walt Mueller 



^ 



J 



SEVERAL YEARS AGO I asked 
teens to send me a list ranking 
the five greatest pressures they face. 
Sixteen-year-old Sarah's list was 
representative of all the lists I re- 
ceived. At number one she listed the 
pressure for "looks." She was con- 
sumed with self-conscious worry 
about her hair, make-up, shape, and 
clothes. Next, she listed "grades for 
getting into the right college." Third 
was "drinking," with "sex" and 
"popularity" fourth and fifth. 

Sarah's list was helpful, but the 
real eye-opener was what followed: 

/ suffer from a combination of the 
eating disorders anorexia and bu- 
limia. It is very hard to recover from 
these devastations, caused largely 
by the pressure to be thin and to be 
perfect. I hope that I have helped. 

Sarah's vulnerability to the pres- 
sures of adolescence, risky behavior, 
and potentially deadly disease are 
symptomatic indicators of a deeper 
problem. Her description of her life 
sheds light on the true nature of 
that "deeper problem": 

/ come from an upper-middle-class 
home. I'm a straight- A student, class 
president, and an overachiever in 
every way. I don 't really know why I 
am anorexic, but I think it's partly 
because I thought that if I got really 
sick, people would pay attention to 
me. The irony of it is that my father 
is a psychologist. He doesn't know. 

From outward appearances, this 



The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) 
is published monthly (except July and August 
issues are combined) by The Brethren Church, 
Inc., 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 
(telephone: 419-289-1708; fax: 419-281-0450; 
e-mail: brethren@bright.net). Authors' views are 
not necessarily those of The Brethren Church. 
Editor: Richard C. Winfield. Subscription rates: 
Sent free to Brethren Church members; $15.00 
per year to others. Member: Evangelical Press 
Association. Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio. 
Postmaster: Send address changes to The 
Brethren Church, 524 College Avenue, Ashland, 
OH 44805-3792. 



is a kid who really has it together. 
But a look through the front door of 
her home reveals a different story. 
Sarah's problems, concerns, be- 
haviors, and words are woven into 
a loud cry for help that the most 
important man in her life never 
heard. Too busy with the demands 
of his work and time spent listen- 
ing to other people's problems, her 
father's deaf ears were forcing his 
little girl to fall deeper and deeper 
into the pit of adolescent despair. 
What Sarah wanted and needed 
more than anything else was a dad 
who listened to her. 

Sarah's experiences and those of 
millions of other teens like her indi- 
cate that fathers often fail to listen 
to their teens. Research shows that 
mothers are far more likely than 
fathers to discuss problems and 
have close personal talks with their 
teenage children. As a result, teen- 
age boys and girls both say that they 
feel freer to go to their mothers than 
to their fathers to talk openly and 
discuss problems. Teenagers tell 
me that they want desperately to 
be able to talk with their dads. But 
they'll stop trying if they think 
that they aren't being heard. 

Swiss psychologist Paul Tournier 
wrote, "Every human being needs 
to express himself. Through lack of 
opportunity for it, one may become 
sick." No doubt, one of the leading 
causes of the crisis of sickness and 
at-risk behavior in Sarah and count- 



less other teens is the absence of a 
dad committed to loving and leading 
by listening. 

After speaking to an assembly of 
teens about dealing with the pres- 
sures of family life, a girl walked to 
the front of the room and silently 
slipped me a neatly folded note. 
Later that night I opened the paper 
and read these challenging words: 

There's something I feel I should 
say to you — I don't know if you've 
heard it before — but, when you talk 
to all those fathers — tell them — tell 
them this: Love your teenagers. 
Always be there. Touch them. Hug 
them. Take them out on Daddy- 
dates, and just be their best friend. I 
have a wonderful father who does 
these things, yet you can never get 
enough. A father can never pay at- 
tention to his teenager ENOUGH! 
Please spread this if you're not al- 
ready. We need it! 
G.L.B. (15 year-old in high school) 

I've got a message for G.L.B. , 
wherever and whoever she is. I'll 
probably never see you again, but I 
want to tell you how fortunate 
you are to have a dad who loves 
you by listening. I'll keep your 
note alongside Sarah's as another 
reminder of my 24-hour-a-day need 
to turn two listening ears to the 
words and actions of my kids. 
Thanks for encouraging this dad to 
always listen up! [ft] 

Walt Mueller is president of the Cen- 
ter for Parent/Youth Understanding. He 
has worked with teenagers and their 
families for 23 years and is the author 
of the award-winning book, Under- 
standing Today's Youth Culture (Tyn- 
dale House, 1994). He lives with his 
wife Lisa and their four children in Eliz- 
abethtown, Pa. 



Pontius' Puddle 



How not to love your teenagers! 



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The Brethren Evangelist 



One Bite at a Time 

By Dan Lawson 



HAVE YOU EVER BEEN LOST? 
I mean really lost — lost to the 
point of panic. I know all you guys 
will grunt and say, "Not me." 
There must be something glandu- 
lar about the male ego and a man's 
inability to admit when he is lost. 

Have you ever noticed that a 
man will never stop to ask direc- 
tions? He will just keep driving 
around, hoping to happen upon 
some landmark that will miracu- 
lously show him where he is. 

This isn't anything new. Men 
have behaved like this for years. 
Even Daniel Boone, the great wil- 
derness explorer, let his male ego 
get the best of him. He was once 
asked if he had ever gotten lost 
while exploring the wilderness. 
His answer was, "I've never been 
lost a day in my life. There was a 
time when I was bewildered for 
about three days, but never lost." 

How do we get lost? 

The truth of the matter is, most 
of us don't intend to get lost. We 
set out on our course with the in- 
tention of reaching our destina- 
tion. We don't want to get lost, and 
we don't intend to do so. But for 
some of us, getting lost seems 
inevitable. 

This is often true in our spiritu- 
al journey as well. Most people 
don't intend to sin. They don't 
start the day thinking, "What evil 
thing can I do today?" Deep down 
inside, nearly all of us really 
want to be good. But if we are 
honest with ourselves and 
with God, we have to admit 
that we have sinned and fall 
short of the glory of God 
(Romans 3:23). 

So why do we do it? Why do 
we sin and stray from God's 
will for our lives? Perhaps 
the answer is found in the 
analogy in Isaiah 53:6, 



which compares us to sheep who 
have gone astray. 

The Bible often refers to God's 
people as sheep. Perhaps we can 
gain some insight into our uncan- 
ny ability to get lost by looking at 
sheep. 

Nibbling away 

A farmer once described to me 
how sheep get lost. He said, 
"Sheep nibble themselves lost." A 

s 

"We begin by taking a few 
small steps away from 
God, thinking, 'What will 
it hurt?' Then we take a 
few more steps. . . . And a 

few more steps." 
v ! y 

sheep sees a tantalizing clump of 
grass just a few feet away so it 
goes over and nibbles on it. Soon it 
sees another and another, until it 
has nibbled itself away from the 
flock. By the time it realizes its 
predicament, it is hopelessly lost. 

I believe our spiritual condition 
is similar. The sheep doesn't start 
off by saying, "I'm going to wan- 
der away from the flock and get 
hopelessly lost 




today." Neither do we. None of us 
get out of bed and say, "I'm going 
to defy God and live in sin today." 
But sometimes that is just what 
we do. 

Satan is subtle 

The devil wants God's people. 
Think about it. He already has the 
people of the world. But he also 
wants God's people. He is smart 
enough to know that he cannot 
snatch us out of God's hands. So 
he tries to lure us away subtly 
with tantalizing tidbits. 

We begin by taking a few small 
steps away from God, thinking, 
"What will it hurt?" Then we take 
a few more steps. "It won't matter 
if I miss church this one Sunday. " 
And a few more steps. "The church 
doesn't really need my offering." 
Before we know it, we are com- 
pletely out of the presence of God. 
At that point Satan has won; he 
has accomplished his objective of 
separating us from God. We are a 
frog in a kettle of lukewarm water. 
Satan keeps turning up the heat, 
and we continue to adapt until it is 
too late. 

Preventive measures 

The safest way to make sure 
that you are never lured away 
from God is to stay close to Him. 
Keep your eyes fixed upon Jesus, 
the author and perfecter of our 
faith (Heb. 12:2). Don't let Satan 
draw your attention away from 
God. Keep your mind focused 
on the things of the Lord 
(Phil. 4:8). Then you will 
not be so easily tempted. 
Read His Word daily, and set 
aside a special quiet time just for 
Him each day. 

If, however, you find that you 
have wandered away from the sav- 
ing grace of the Lord, you don't 
have to stay there. Return to the 
Lord. He will have mercy and will 
freely pardon (Isaiah 55:7). [ft] 

Dr. Lawson is pastor of the Je 

ferson Brethren Church of Goshen, 

Indiana. This article is one of 

a series in which Dr. Lawson 

applies Bible truth to our 

personal lives. 



June 1998 



How are we financing 
new Brethren churches? 

By Reilly R. Smith 



MANY BRETHREN PEOPLE 
are asking questions about 
Brethren Impact Church Planting. 
Some of the most frequently asked 
questions center on how these new 
churches are being financed, espe- 
cially on how the method of support- 
ing church-planting pastors has 
changed. In this article I want to ex- 
plain what we are doing financially 
and why we are doing it. 

The way it was 

Let me begin by providing some 
background. Church-planting is 
costly. The way we planted churches 
in the past consumed huge amounts 
of financial and human resources. 
For many years Brethren provided 
support for pastors, for programs, 
and sometimes for property for 
home mission churches. 

Giving long-term support to some 
home mission churches often pre- 
vented Brethren Missions from start- 
ing other new churches, because 
those congregations used up all the 
financial resources available. This 
discouraged potential church plant- 
ers, because they knew that no 
funds were available. It also provid- 
ed no incentive for home mission 
churches to become self-supporting, 
since the district and/or national 
mission boards continued to sup- 
port them. Most of our home mis- 
sion churches during the past 30 
years received support for seven to 
ten years, and a few churches re- 
ceived support for twice that long. 

The way it is now 

Brethren Impact churches will re- 
ceive financial assistance for three 
years. They will need help from 
Brethren groups and individuals as 
well as from district and national 
mission boards, because the budgets 
of these boards are not large enough 
to provide complete support. The 
positive side of this is that the sup- 
port base of these churches will be 
much larger, since it will include the 
district and national mission boards, 



local churches, groups within local 
churches, and individuals whom 
God touches with the vision for the 
new church. 

Building a support team 

Brethren Impact church planters 
must raise from 40 to 60 percent of 
their own support. They benefit by 
doing so, because they build a team 
of committed supporters who give 
much more than money. People who 
invest in other people or in special 
projects take a personal interest in 
those people and projects. They pray. 
They provide encouragement. They 
get others enthused. Sometimes 
they also give their time and efforts. 
Our Lord Jesus stated the principle 
in the Sermon on the Mount: "For 
where your treasure is, there your 
heart will be also" (Matt. 6:21, Niv). 

Our church planters receive train- 
ing from Dynamic Church Planting 
International in how to build their 
support teams. Consultant Jim 
Carpenter is training our church 
planters using People Raising by 
William Dillon (Moody Press). The 
premise of the book is that people 
really want to invest in significant 
Kingdom work. Church planters 
offer the Brethren opportunities to 
participate in something eternal 
through people raising. 

The church planter doesn't pres- 
sure people to give. He shares his 
vision and invites people to join the 
support team. Those who can't invest 
financially are encouraged to pray 
for the new church-planting team. 

Developing a plan 

Brethren Impact church planters 
cast a vision and develop a plan for 
a new church. They receive encour- 
agement from and are accountable 
to a trained mentor and a steering 
committee. Together the church 
planter, mentor, and steering com- 
mittee can evaluate the progress of 
the new church and make timely 
adjustments when necessary to en- 
sure success. They can also stop 



projects which are not working 
before they exhaust the church 
planter, the core ministry team, and 
many other valuable resources. 

Brethren Impact churches will 
start larger and healthier than past 
home mission churches did. The 
planter builds a core ministry team 
of 40 to 60 trained workers before 
executing a massive outreach cam- 
paign. The goal is to launch public 
worship services with between 150 
and 200 people and to retain most of 
these people. 

These new Brethren churches will 
be self-supporting more quickly. 
They will purchase their own prop- 
erty and provide their own facilities. 
They will also reproduce themselves 
within a few years. And they will 
provide the lion's share of future 
pastors, church planters, and mis- 
sionaries for The Brethren Church. 

We all receive frequent requests 
for money. Most come from worth- 
while causes. But we don't respond 
to every request. We can't. We give 
to those people, projects, and orga- 
nizations that strike a responsive 
chord in our hearts. 

No greater cause 

No cause is more important than 
winning men, women, and children 
for Jesus Christ. Statistical studies 
show that starting new churches is 
the most effective way to evangelize 
lost people — anywhere in the world. 

If local Brethren churches will do 
their best to practice good steward- 
ship with regard to district and 
denominational support; if Sunday 
school classes, auxiliary organiza- 
tions, and other local groups will 
adopt church-planting projects; if 
individual Brethren people will in- 
vest in church planters and new 
churches; then God will supply 
everything we need to start many 
new Brethren churches and to win 
many people to Christ. 

No one needs to do it all. No one 
needs to give to every project. Pray 
about which people and projects 
God wants you to support. Partici- 
pate as the Holy Spirit leads you. 
And prepare to celebrate God's bless- 
ing on Christ's kingdom through 
The Brethren Church. [1>] 

Rev. Smith is Director of Missionary 
Ministries for The Brethren Church. 



The Brethren Evangelist 




Domestic Violence: 
A Christian Response 



By Morven R. Baker 



This is the first in a series of three 
articles by Morven R. Baker on domes- 
tic violence. This article provides bibli- 
cal and historical perspectives on the 
problem. The second will look at kinds 
of domestic abuse, and the third will 
look at how Christians can respond to 
the cries of those who are abused. 

Mrs. Baker is a licensed profession- 
al clinical counselor associated with 
Cornerstone Psychological Affiliates 
in Ashland, Ohio. She holds a Master 
of Arts degree in Pastoral Counseling 
and Psychology from Ashland Theo- 
logical Seminary. Her husband, David, 
is professor of Old Testament and 
Semitic Languages at the seminary, 
and they have two college-age chil- 
dren. They are members of the Univer- 
.sity (Brethren) Church in Ashland. 

THE DAY BEFORE I was to give 
a presentation on domestic vio- 
lence, the lid to the washing ma- 
chine fell against my nose, breaking 
it. I appeared before the audience 
the next day with two lovely shin- 
ers, radiantly black and blue. The 
laughter of the audience when they 
heard my explanation broke the 
tension created by my appearance. 
The bruises, physical and psycho- 
logical, that come from battering, 
however, are never funny. 



In the short 
time it took you to 
read the above few 
words, at least one 
woman in the 
United States was 
battered. On aver- 
age, a woman is 
battered every 
eighteen seconds. 
Every day, at least 
four women are 
killed by their 
partners. One out 
of two women has 
been or will be 
battered by some- 
one she knows and 
loves. Nearly six 
million women are 
beaten by their 
husbands annual- 
ly; 52 percent of 
all women mur- 
dered in the Unit- 
ed States are mur- 
dered by their 
former or current 
partners. 
An article in the Ashland Times- 
Gazette dated January 23, 1998, 
quoted Secretary of State Bob Taft 
saying that "domestic violence is one 
of our society's tragedies. You can 
see this in the over 50,000 domestic 
violence complaints filed in Ohio in 
1996. That number, of course, does 
not represent the incidents of domes- 
tic violence that go unreported." He 
also noted that more that 115,000 
adults and almost 20,000 children 
were served by domestic violence 
shelters in Ohio in 1996. 



"But not in Christian homes!" 

These statistics are difficult to 
hear, especially for Christians. If we 
had the privilege of being raised in 
loving homes, we tend to discount 
the statistics or to say at least, "But 
those are not Christian homes. 
Domestic violence does not happen 
in Christian homes." As a sister in 
Christ and as a counselor who works 
primarily with women who have 
been battered and abused, I am here 
to tell you that domestic violence 
does happen in Christian homes. 
Battering occurs at least once in 
two-thirds of all marriages, Chris- 
tian and non-Christian alike. We can 
no longer deny this terrible reality. 



I tell my clients that Jesus is our 
ultimate role model. If we have 
questions about life, we should al- 
ways look and see how Jesus han- 
dled these matters. In other words, 
if Jesus said something, then that's 
good enough for me. In Luke 
4:18-19, Jesus said: 

The Spirit of the Lord is upon 
me, because he has anointed me to 
preach good news to the poor. He 
has sent me to proclaim release to 
the captives, and recovering of sight 
to the blind, to set at liberty 
those who are oppressed, to 
proclaim the acceptable year of the 
Lord. RSy emphasis added 

Here is our model, but it is not a 
model that society or the church has 
been willing to imitate. 

In the beginning 

To discover how we have gotten 
where we are today, we need to start 
at the beginning. As time begins, we 
have a lonely man, Adam, and a 
loving God, who is concerned for 
Adam's happiness. So God says, "It 
isn't good for the man to live alone. 
I need to make a suitable partner 
for him" (Gen. 2:18, Contemporary 
English Version). 

This was God's original view of 
what marriage should be — a part- 
nership in which love and respect 
are mutual. But sin came into the 
picture, and a different view of mar- 
riage emerged. 

In ancient times, women (and 
children) were widely viewed as the 
property of the husband, like his 
sheep and cattle. Sexual assault of a 
woman was considered to be a prop- 
erty violation, and therefore an 
offense against the husband (the 
owner of the property) rather than an 
injustice to the wife. A hierarchical 
relationship also developed between 
men and women. As John Goldingay 
has said, "to love and to cherish be- 
came to desire and dominate." 

In Medieval times, the majority of 
the clergy taught that the husband 
had both the right and the obliga- 
tion to beat his wife. According to 
The Rules ofManiage, if a husband's 
verbal correction was not effective, 
then he was to "take up a stick and 
beat her, not out of rage, but out of 
charity and concern for her soul so 
(continued on next page) 



June 1998 




(continued from previous page) 
that the beating would rebound 
to your merit and to her good" 
(O'Faolain and Martines). 

John Calvin's position 

During the period of the Reforma- 
tion, John Calvin gave this reply to a 
woman who wrote requesting assis- 
tance in leaving her abusive husband: 

We have a special sympathy for 
poor women who are evilly and 
roughly treated by their hus- 
bands, because of the roughness 
and cruelty of the tyranny and 
captivity which is their lot. We 
do not find ourselves permitted 
by the Word of God, however, to 
advise a woman to leave her hus- 
band, except by force of necessity; 
and we do not understand this 
force to be operative when a hus- 
band behaves roughly and uses 
threats to his wife, nor even when 
he beats her, but [only] when 
there is imminent peril to her life, 
whether from persecution by the 
husband or by his conspiring. . . . 
We exhort her to bear with pa- 
tience the cross which God has 
seen fit to place upon her; and 
meanwhile not to deviate from 
the duty which she has before God 
to please her husband, but to be 
faithful whatever happens. 

Despite his sympathy for her con- 
dition, Calvin's understanding of 
Scripture prevented him from inter- 
vening in her situation or from ad- 
vising her to separate from her hus- 
band unless she was in immediate 
danger of death. Furthermore, he 
interpreted her situation as "Chris- 
tian" in the sense that she should 
view it as following Christ in the 
way of His cross. 



Sadly, many pastors today have 
not progressed very far beyond 
Calvin in their response to domestic 
violence. Dell Martin in the book 
Battered Women reports advice she 
received from her pastor when she 
went to him for help: 

Early in our marriage I went 
to a clergyman who, after a few 
visits, told me that my husband 
meant no real harm, that he was 
just confused and felt insecure. I 
was encouraged to be more toler- 
ant and understanding. Most 
important, I was told to forgive 
him the beatings just as Christ 
had forgiven me from the cross. 

Phyllis and James Alsdurf in their 
book Battered into Submission share 
the following, which a woman wrote 
to them: 

I would never in my wildest 
nightmares have dreamed that 
my husband would ever abuse me, 
but he did. My husband is a Chris- 
tian, but his rage at things is 
unreal. I took our two-month son 
and fled after the fourth time he 
struck me, but I had received 
counsel that it was my duty to 
stay and suffer for Jesus' sake. 

We have come a long, long way 
from the loving relationship be- 
tween Adam and Eve that God in- 
tended. Their marriage relationship 
was to be a picture of the love rela- 
tionship between God and His peo- 
ple. The nation of Israel was often 
spoken of as the wife of the Lord 
(see Isa. 54:5; Jer. 3:8; Hos. 
2:16-20). Likewise, the Christian 
church is seen as the radiant "bride 
of Christ" (Eph. 5:22-33). 

A partnership 

God created a partnership in the 
garden. It was not His intent for 
one of the "partners" to dominate 
the other. The Apostle Paul tells us: 

Husbands should love their 
wives just as Christ loved the 
Church and sacrificed himself for 
her to make her holy. He made her 
clean by washing her in water 
with a form of words, so that when 
he took her to himself she would 
be glorious, with no speck or wrin- 
kle or anything like that, but holy 
and faultless. In the same way, 
husbands must love their wives as 



they love their own bodies; for a 
man to love his wife is for him to 
love himself. A man never hates 
his own body, but he feeds it and 
looks after it; and that is the way 
Christ treats the Church, because 
it is his body — and we are its liv- 
ing parts. ... To sum up; you too, 
each one of you, must love his 
wife as he loves himself; and let 
every wife respect her husband. 
Eph. 5:25-33, The Jerusalem, 
Bible, emphasis added 

This sounds pretty straightforward. 
Yet not long ago I had a young hus- 
band in my office who defended his 
right to be physically abusive to his 
wife by saying that he was the "priest" 
in his own home and that this gave 
him the right to do whatever he 
wanted. This is "scripture twisting." 
It is not what God intended. 

Scripture is clear. Exodus 22:22- 
24 tells us: "You shall not afflict any 
widow or orphan. If you do afflict 
them, and they cry out to me, I will 
surely hear their cry; and my wrath 
will burn, and I will kill you with 
the sword ..." (RSV). Let there be 
no mistake — God clearly protects 
women and children, the most help- 
less members of society. 

Jesus, our role model 

Remember, if Jesus is our role 
model, we must follow His leading. 
Jesus gave people — both men and 
women — their dignity. He gently 
chided His disciples when they 
stopped the children from coming to 
see Him. He made everyone who 
came to Him feel special — that He 
had time for each one. He treated 
the men and women who followed 
Him with equal regard. He dearly 
loved both His male and His female 
friends. He taught both men and 
women and illustrated His parables 
with both women and men. He an- 
nounced His Messiahship first to a 
woman, and He made His first ap- 
pearance as the resurrected Christ 
to women. 

Domestic violence is a difficult 
subject to discuss. There are few 
who are willing to open their ears to 
hear the cries of the afflicted. But as 
Christians, we have been command- 
ed by Jesus to follow His example. It 
is our Christian duty to model to 
victims of domestic violence the love 
and compassion of Christ. [if] 



6 



The Brethren Evangelist 



The Women's Out bol(9{ezvs fetter 

A puBtication of the brethren Women's Missionary Society 




July-August 1998 



Volume 11, Number 6 




"The 

'President's 

Ten 

Dear Ladies, 

It seems only last week that I 
wrote my letter for the Newsletter, 
and here it is time to write another! 
The days, weeks, and months are 
passing too quickly for me. 

We visited with two of our sons 
and daughters-in-law over the week- 
end in early May. Jim and Susie are 
in Wabash and Susie was directing a 
play. Both Matt and Nate were in 
the play, and we just had to see 
them. The play was "A Connecticut 
Yankee in King Arthur's Court." It 
was a real cute play. Matt was Mer- 
lin the Magician and Nate was the 
Jester. Both did good jobs and made 
Grandma and Grandpa proud! 

On Sunday we went to church 
with Glenn and Sarah in Nappanee. 
They are moving to Arizona on June 
8 and will be part of a new church 
planting in a city near Phoenix. It's 
very exciting, but farther away from 
Ohio. But when I retire, Jim and I 
can spend our winters in Arizona, 
spring in North Carolina, fall in 
Wabash, and stay home in Ashland 
for summer. Sounds nice, doesn't it! 

During the morning worship ser- 
vice at Nappanee, a young man, the 
worship leader, gave devotions 
based on Psalm 23. I would like to 
mention some of what he said. 

"The LORD is my shepherd. He is 
really everything we need. He 
should be (and can be) Lord of our 
lives. He provides love, gives us 
peace, gives us everything we need. 
He is everything to us. 

(continued on page 3) 



SPRING CLEANING 

Devotions presented by Phyllis Jervis 
at the Ohio District W.M.S. Conference, April 25, 1998 

Create in me a clean heart, O God; 
and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 (kjv) 



If you are feeling like the end of a 
hard winter, God's joy can make you 
like a breath of spring. 

I have enjoyed scanning a book 
with household hints for spring 
housecleaning. Anything to make 
this job easier is for me! 

Here are a few miscellaneous 
hints for starters: 

— For those yucky jobs, like clean- 
ing the black cookstove, rub lard 
under your fingernails. 

— For feather beds, place the 
feather beds and pillows out of 
doors on the grass or on a clean, flat 
roof, and allow them to be thor- 
oughly drenched by a warm summer 
rain. Hang them to the limb of a 
tree to dry in the shade. 

— For care of your dishcloth, wash 
it in soapsuds and rinse in cold water, 
or add lemon juice and salt to the 
water, or a teaspoonful of kerosene. A 
greasy dishcloth affords a breeding 
place for the germs of diphtheria, 
typhoid, and other filth diseases. 

Oh, did I tell you that this book 
was written in 1909? 

Here is more general advice: 
"Spring house cleaning should ordi- 
narily be postponed until the weath- 
er has become sufficiently settled, 
so that winter underwear, draperies, 
carpets, etc., may be stored away if 
desired, and so the health of the 
household need not suffer by reason 
of the open windows and dampness 
attendant upon scrubbing floors 
and walls, whitewashing, painting, 
and the like. Most women, after con- 
stant confinement during the win- 
ter months, are more or less run 
down in the spring, and the change 
from the bracing temperature of 



winter to the enervating warmth of 
the first spring days is like to result 
in a lowering of tone that may ex- 
pose them to serious mischief from 
overexertion. For these reasons 
there is a gradual change of senti- 
ment in favor of making spring 
house cleaning a comparatively sim- 
ple affair, putting off the heavy work 
until the fall." 

Although this author suggests post- 
poning heavy tasks until fall, some 
jobs need to be done now. So, in antici- 
pation, let me read how you should 
prepare to clean. "Experienced house- 
wives arrange for house cleaning by 
preparing food in advance, boiling 
ham, baking beans, pies, bread, and 
cake, so as to be spared as far as 
possible the labor of cooking while 
house cleaning is going on." 

In comparison to the homemakers 
of the early 1900s, we have life pretty 
easy in the late 1900s, as modern 
appliances have made our cleaning 
tasks much less complicated and 
exhausting. However, we have made 
our lives full and sometimes cluttered 
because of all the activities we do. 

This housecleaning job isn't im- 
possible if we look for "Joy in the 
Journey" as we move from room to 
room, removing the winter's accu- 
mulation of debris. 

While doing windows, see through 
the glass as God's light shines upon 
our lives. Thank Him for the 
sparkling view of His creation, fresh 
and new! 

When picking up after hubby and 
children or freshening their rooms, 
pray for them and their special needs. 

While doing mundane chores like 
(continued on page 4) 



'District (Doings 




Susan Barnes sub- 
mitted this report of 
the Northeast OHIO 
District rally, which 
was held at Trinity 
Brethren Church in 
North Canton April 18. 
There were 39 ladies present, the 
same as last year. The rally was 
hosted by the Senior W.M.S. and the 
Juniorettes W.M.S. of Trinity. 

Susan Barnes welcomed the ladies 
and led in prayer. Everyone enjoyed 
Melinda Dannemiller, the story- 
teller. She told the story of the 
"Rainbow Crow," "I'll Love You For- 
ever, I'll Like You for Always," and 
ended with the audience participat- 
ing with sign language to the song, 
"What a Wonderful World." 

Following the stories, all joined in 
for some singing. Oh, how beautiful 
the voices were! The sanctuary was 
filled with music in praise to our Lord! 

Some of the young men of the 
Trinity congregation served a deli- 
cious luncheon of chicken/dressing 
casserole, gelatin salad, rolls, bever- 
ages, and cake. 

We reassembled in the sanctuary 
for the afternoon session. Following 
prayer by Susan Barnes, Gail Grif- 
fin led in devotions, using the theme 
of "God's Promises" and what it is 
to be a child of God. 

Wanda Powell, the N.E. Ohio Dis- 
trict president, conducted the busi- 
ness meeting. A representative from 
each society told what her society 
did in the past year while the project 
offerings were received. The project 
offerings were designated for the 
Northview Brethren Life Church in 
Franklin, Ohio. Wanda announced 
that the balance in the Marge Fund 
is $897. This is a scholarship for 
Ohio Brethren girls attending Ash- 
land University. 

Future plans were announced: 
The women's retreat will be held 
October 23-24 at Camp Bethany. The 
Damascus Road Trio will be there. 
The 1999 spring rally will be at Gar- 
ber Brethren Church in Ashland. 

Shirley Black, national W.M.S. 
president, thanked everyone for her 
prayers and cards. She emphasized 
the importance of attending confer- 
ence and asked for volunteers for 



various committees. She reminded us 
to be in prayer for our W.M.S. soci- 
eties. The Mission Board needs us to 
keep our focus on missions. W.M.S. 
is a very important ministry. Shirley 
challenged us to think of ways to 
attract the younger women to our 
W.M.S. groups or to form new soci- 
eties. Please be in prayer for this. 

Carolyn Brandon reported that 
the North Georgetown Church has 
begun a group, which is attended by 
both non-WM.S. and W.M.S. women. 
They meet on the fourth Thursday 
at 9:30 for prayer and then a time of 
sewing and fellowship. They are the 
Dorcas group. 

The OHIO District W.M.S. Con- 
ference was hosted by the New 
Lebanon Afternoon and Evening 
societies April 25. 

In the absence of Wanda Powell, 
president, Betty Deardurff presided. 
Phyllis Jervis, a member of the 
Gretna Lamplighters society, gave 
devotions entitled "Spring Clean- 
ing" {see page 1). She read several 
household tips from a book pub- 
lished in 1909. One suggestion 
which is never outdated is her re- 
minder to pray Psalm 51:10 ("Cre- 
ate in me a clean heart, O God"), be- 
cause we need spiritual cleaning as 
much or more than our house. 

Betty announced that $800 was 
received at the spring rally for the 
district project. Gifts for the two- 
year project, the Northview Breth- 
ren Church, total $1,865. The ladies 
selected Living Waters Community 
Church near Mansfield for the new 
two-year project. Sandi Miller, the 
pastor's wife, spoke about their call 
and dedication, as well as the involve- 
ment of members of their core group. 

During discussion of the commit- 
ments, the Beatitudes (Matthew 
5:3-11) were chosen for the Bible 
study next year. The book Blessed 
Are We by Lawson was suggested as 
a resource guide. 

A few ladies reported special ways 
in which their societies show love 
and compassion: cards, lap robes, and 
afghans sent to residents in nursing 
homes, quilts for crack babies, and 
valentine boxes sent to their college 
students. 




In the conference session, Randy 
and Karen Best reported from the 
Riverside School. They gave their 
appreciation for all the assistance 
the churches give to the school: 
clothing, coupons, work teams, fi- 
nances, and especially prayers. 
Randy, assistant principal, reported 
110 students were enrolled in school 
this year. Seventy have accepted 
Christ as their Savior, others have 
rededicated their lives, and some 
have become life-time recruits for 
their Lord. 

The staff meets at 7:30 a.m. daily 
for prayer. On Sundays the faculty 
and staff go into four different coun- 
ties for Sunday services. 

In the previous 
two issues, the idea 
of Society Sisters in 
Indiana was intro- 
duced — who they 
are and what they 
do. Now, look over 
Joyce Gaskin's 

shoulder in New 
Paris to read what 
she wrote to the Burlington W.M.S. 

"Dear W.M.S. Society Sisters, 

"We feel honored to have you as 
our 'Society Sisters' for 1998. This 
will be a wonderful opportunity for 
us to share and encourage you as we 
strive to serve our Lord. 

"Our group is made up of 12 
ladies and our average attendance is 
7 to 8, with the exception of our 
1997 Christmas gathering — when 
all 12 attended. Each year we draw 
(continued on next page) 

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 (continued) 

names at our December meeting for 
a new 'Secret Sister' for the coming 
year. At this meeting we have a deli- 
cious carry-in dinner, a wonderful 
Christmas program of carols and 
readings, and then we share a gift 
with the 'Secret Sister' we have had 
for the year. We have loads of fun as 
we try to guess who our 'Secret Sis- 
ter' has been. In the course of the 
year, we acknowledge birthdays and 
anniversaries as well as cards of 
love and encouragement to our 
sister. 

"We also have a Friendship Bas- 
ket that will normally circulate to 
each member at least once through 
each year. Our basket is a lovely 
large white basket and, when a 
member receives it, she will find it 
has been filled with nice surprises 
from the member who had it last. 
The basket may have anywhere 
from one item to as many as six or 
eight items. I have personally re- 
ceived a sweatshirt (hand decorated 
by a W.M.S. sister), candles, a 
friendship coffee mug, stationery 
and cards, candy, bath oils, and 
homemade goodies, to name a few. 
After the excitement of receiving 
the basket, a donation in apprecia- 
tion of the gift is placed in a small 
box that stays in the basket. The 
money is then used toward our mis- 
sion projects. 

"For our Christmas project we 
sent $100 to the Lost Creek River- 
side School staff. Our group also 
voted at the January meeting to 
sponsor one of the children in the 
Kumars' orphanages at a cost of $21 
per month. 

"Our study book for this year is 
Joshua, Victorious by Faith. We are 
sharing in the teaching responsibili- 
ties as we study this year. It is a 
good experience for us as we work to 
become better followers of our Lord. 

"We have great expectations for 
mission opportunities for this year, 
and we know that your group will be 
busy in His service, also. 

"Another interesting fact to share 
with you — a former member of the 
Burlington Church, Paul Wayne 
Hendrix, transferred his member- 
ship to our church. His wife, Car- 
olyn, is an active member of our 
W.M.S. group. Paul and Carolyn 
have a book of the history of the 

July-August, 1998 



Burlington Church. As Carolyn 
shares more from this book, we are 
certain our relationship with our 
'Society Sisters' will strengthen. 
"May the Lord bless you and — 
'TO GOD BE THE GLORY' 
"New Paris First Brethren W.M.S. 
Gerry Swartz, President 
Edna VanDiepenbos, Bea Bischof 
Margaret Stump, Grace Cline 
Carolyn Hendrix, Cindy Hanson 
Wanda Miller, Carol Smith 
Jan Tredway, Marie Brookins 
Joyce Gaskin, Secretary" 

Thanks, Joyce, for sharing your 
letter with all of us. Congratulations 
to you ladies for serving the Lord in 
effective ministries. We appreciate 
the Society Sister idea. 

The President's Pen 

(continued) 

"The Lord is MY shepherd. It is a 
personal thing. He gives us His un- 
divided attention when we ask Him. 
We can go to Him anytime. The 
Lord is MY Shepherd. 

"The Lord is my SHEPHERD . A 
shepherd leads and cares for his 
sheep. The Lord is always watching 
over us and guiding us, if we seek 
His guidance. So, follow your "Shep- 
herd." 

How long has it been since you 
read the 23rd Psalm? Read it again 
and think on the words. 

Don't forget, Conference is the 
week of August 3-7 in Ashland. I 
hope that many of you are planning 
to attend. The W.M.S. luncheon is 
Wednesday at 12:30. 

Wednesday morning Cheryl 
Schmiedt from Manteca, California, 
will lead a seminar and in the after- 
noon there will be a panel discus- 
sion on her seminar topic. I hope we 
have a good turnout to hear God's 
message through her. 

Thanks again for your prayers. 
This spring I have had shingles on 
my face and in my mouth, but they 
are almost gone. New medication is 
available now for shingles, and it 
takes care of them very quickly. 

I'm looking forward to seeing all 
of you at General Conference. 

God Bless You, 




Shirley Black 



Qdissionarij 

Ginny Hoyt, administrative assis- 
tant of the Missionary Ministries 
Council, gave this information for 
praise and prayer. 

PRAISE 

Allen Baer has served for 15 
years in Argentina. Well done, good 
and faithful servant! Allen will at- 
tend General Conference, as well as 
Jose Rivero of Argentina and 
Marcelo and Adriana Ferreri of 
Colombia. 

Church planters Jim and 
Stephanie Boyd of Vista, Califor- 
nia, were praying for 75 people to 
come to their Easter Preview Ser- 
vice. 105 people attended! Praise 
the Lord! 

PRAYER 

Allen Baer concludes his min- 
istry and anticipates relocating in 
Arizona. Pray, too, for the national 
leaders who will assume his respon- 
sibilities. 

Todd and Tracy Ruggles desire 
to adopt a baby. Unfortunately, their 
first request was rejected; however, 
there is hope. They have become 
aware of a Christian agency, where 
they will continue to try. 

Pastor Tom and Debbie Sprowls 

have completed their ministry at 
Living HOPE Brethren Church in 
Medina, Ohio. Keep them and their 
three children (Luke, Leah, Levi) in 
your prayers as they relocate. Their 
new address is 207 Broadway St., 
Berlin, Pennsylvania 15530. 

Jeff and Zenita Kaplan are 

attempting to sell their home in 
southern California, so they can 
move to Douglas County, Colorado, 
to begin their church plant. 

Church planters Mike and Bar- 
bara Woods need to find a home in 
Winchester, Virginia. 

Bob Pocai, the churchman and 
maintenance supervisor of the 13 
buildings at Lost Creek Church and 
Riverside School, has been diag- 
nosed with a mass on one lung. 



n 



Ua*^ 



This year the $1,000 scholarship 
at Ashland University was divided 
between two seniors, who are active 
members of their home Brethren 
church. Tracy Hammond wrote: 

"Thank you so much for the scholar- 
ship, which I received from you for 
this year. I will graduate May 9 with 
a degree in elementary education. I 
plan to work this summer and look 
for a job. 

"Love, Tracy Hammond" 

Michelle Roblin wrote: 

"I wanted to take this time to 
thank you for your continued sup- 
port during my last year at Ashland 
University. Your generosity was in- 
strumental in helping me to pay for 
my education. 

"Right now I am looking forward 
to graduation, so I can secure a teach- 
ing position to use the knowledge I 
gained while at Ashland. As of now, 
my husband, Jason, and I will stay 
in the Ashland area for at least 
another year, because of a recent job 
change for him. I will pursue a 
teaching job in or around Ashland. 

"I feel that Ashland gave me a 
quality education and am so happy 
that you continue to support Ash- 
land University students. 

"Sincerely, Michelle Roblin" 

Tracy is a member of the Smith- 
ville, Ohio, Brethren Church and 
Michelle belongs to the Ashland, 
Ohio, Park Street Church. 

Spring Cleaning (continued) 

dishes, we should whisper a prayer 
of thanks for the food, since we are 
not going hungry. 

Sometimes we tidy up a couple 
rooms to get ready for a W.M.S. 
meeting or for other guests. We may 
tuck the clutter in a drawer, stuff 
it in a closet, or shove it under the 
bed. The outward appearance of our 
rooms is nice! 

People see only the outer appear- 
ance of ourselves, too, as we show 
them our best side. But, just as we 
know what is hidden out of sight — 
in a drawer, the closet, or under 
the bed — we know that God sees 
the secrets of our unclean hearts. 
"Create in me a clean heart, O God." 



A WORD ABOUT MONEY 

A Popular Subject 

Have you heard the rumor that 
the church is always asking for 
money? A few years ago, Dear Abby 
(Abigail Van Buren) responded to a 
letter from one who attended 
church "once in a while, but every 
time we are hit for money. ... I 
think it is getting to be a racket. 
Just what do churches do with all 
their money?" This letter was 
signed "Curious" in New Jersey. 

The gist of Dear Abby's reply 
was — salaries, benevolences, utili- 
ties, construction/upkeep, etc. 

But what about W.M.S.? I have 
heard the same thing — you take up 
so many offerings. Why? 

W.M.S. was organized to do home 
and world mission work; therefore, 
we receive money for both areas. 
This year our world mission project 
is the South American Theological 
Seminary (formerly called the Eden 
Bible Institute). The Seminary was 
closed for a few years, but was re- 
opened in March after Eduardo and 
Mariela Rodriguez did intensive 
preparation. They anticipated 100 
students for the first semester. 
Imagine their joy when 133 regis- 
tered! The project offering which we 
will give at General Conference will 
help to offset the start-up costs of 
the South American Theological 
Seminary. 

Because the Lord is so faithful 
and gives much more than we de- 
serve, we respond with a Thank 
Offering. This is given to benevo- 
lences: World and Home Missions, 
Riverside School in Lost Creek, KY; 
Campus Ministry and the W.M.S. 
Scholarship at Ashland University. 

An offering is given to Ashland 
Theological Seminary for general 
support; this is the only seminary of 
The Brethren Church. The offering 
is separate from all other projects 
and is usually received from a spe- 
cial service or activity in which the 
purpose of W.M.S. is promoted. 

Dues are used for the two publica- 
tions — the Devotional Guide and 
the W.M.S. Newsletter — and for ad- 
ministrative expenses. 

All offerings are sent to Joanne 
Kroft, financial secretary. Then mis- 
sionary and seminary offerings are 
given directly to those organizations. 



l/te filitttr's Biduy 

Dear Friend, 

This spring our Share group stud- 
ied John's three epistles. John 
wrote these letters to Christians in 
80-90 A.D., but his themes of prac- 
ticing love and avoiding false teach- 
ers are very relevant. 

The verses in I John 3:16-18 co- 
incide with the W.M.S. Commitment 
10: show Christian love. John wrote 
about laying down your life for an- 
other (sacrificing your life for an- 
other to live, as the teacher did in 
Arkansas). John continues that, if 
the love of God is in us, we will give 
our material possessions (clothing, 
food, gift certificates, blood at the 
blood bank, etc.) to those in need 
to extend their lives. Otherwise, we 
do not have pity or compassion for 
them. 

That paraphrase is mine, but 
John's words are in verse 18: "Dear 
children, let us not love with words 
or tongue, but with actions and in 
truth." Then receive Christ's bless- 
ing, "Inasmuch as ye have done it 
unto one of the least of these my 
brethren, ye have done it unto me" 
(Matthew 25:40, kjv). This is another 
way of finding Joy in the Journey. 

At the May Board meeting, the 
executive committee recommended 
reading circle books and confirmed 
plans for General Conference. This 
information was sent to each presi- 
dent, so you have information be- 
fore Conference. 

Please be sure to return the com- 
pleted statistical report with your 
officers' names and addresses to 
Nancy Hunn, 555 W Market St., 
Nappanee, IN 46550-1924, no later 
than June 30. 

Should you have questions about 
our offerings, please call Joanne 
Kroft (419-962-4679) or JoAnn Sea- 
man, treasurer (419-289-0027). 

I hope many of you will attend 
General Conference. I look forward 
to seeing you. 

Your friend, 




Joan 
Women's Outlook Newsletter 



General Conference Preview 



1998 General Conference Schedule 

August 3-7 at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio 

Theme: Visualize Renewal 



Monday, August 3 

4:00 pm — New Delegate Briefing 

6:30 pm — Opening Celebration, with comments by 

Dr. Emanuel (Buzz) Sandberg and featuring 
a message by Dr. Terry Wardle 

8:30 pm — Prayer Time in the auditorium 

8:30 pm — Ice Cream Social (reservation required) 

Tuesday, August 4 

8:30 am — Business Session 
11:00 am — Workshop: "Natural Church Development," 

presented by Ronald W. Waters 
2:00 pm — Auxiliary Sessions 
3:30 pm— Table Talks and Workshop 
7:00 pm — Worship Service, with message by Dr. Bruce 

Wilkinson 

Wednesday, August 5 

7:00 am — Pastors' Wives Fellowship and Breakfast 

(reservation required) 
8:30 am — Workshop led by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson 
10:30 am — Men's Seminar led by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson 



10:30 am — Women's Seminar led by Mrs. Cheryl Schmiedt 
12:30 pm — Women's Luncheon (reservation required) 
12:30 pm — Men's Luncheon (reservation required) 
2:30 pm — Men and Women panel talk 
3:30 pm— Table Talks and Workshop 
7:00 pm — Worship Service, with message by 
Dr. Richard Parrott 

Thursday, August 6 

8:30 am — Business Session 
11:00 am — Special presentation by "Auca" tribesmen 
12:30 pm — World Relief Luncheon, with message by 
Dr. Clive Calver (reservation required) 
2:00 pm — Auxiliary Sessions 

5:00 pm — Missions Banquet (reservation required) 
7:00 pm — Worship Service, with message by Dr. Clive 
Calver, followed by a quilt auction 

Friday, August 7 

9:00 am — Workshop 
10:30 am — Closing Session, featuring Youth Conven- 
tion report and message by Rev. David West 



General Conference Registration Information 



If you plan to attend General 
Conference and to make use of any of 
the services listed on the registration 
form on page 9 (housing, meals, special 
events, children's program, nursery), 
please preregister by July 18. Do 
not wait until you arrive to register. 

General instructions: 

1. Room rates do not include sheets 
and towels. Bring your own or order a 
linen packet on the form. You will 
need to bring your own pillow. 

2. Every bed used must be paid for, 
but children may sleep on the floor in 
their parents' room at no charge. Bring 
a pad or sleeping bag. Single rooms 
have floor space for one child, doubles 
for two, triples for three. A limited 
number of triple rooms are available. 
Register early to get your preference. 

3. Tickets for meals in the university 
cafeteria are usable any day, Tuesday 
through Friday. No refunds will be 
given, so order only as many tickets as 
you will need. Please purchase meal 
tickets now rather than at the door, so 
that the university will know approxi- 



mately how many people to plan for. 

4. The Women's Luncheon, World 
Relief Soup Luncheon, and Missions 
Banquet will be held in the Convoca- 
tion Center; the Men's Picnic in the 
newly air-conditioned Redwood Hall. 

5. In addition to the children's pro- 
gram for older children, baby-sitting 
will be available for infants through 
pre-schoolers during morning, after- 
noon, and evening sessions. A sched- 
ule will be posted in the program 
book. All who plan to use the nursery 
are asked to indicate this on the regis- 
tration form so that the nursery can 
be adequately staffed. Activities for 
children 4 years old through 6th grade 
are also planned on Thursday during 
the Missions Banquet. 

Other information 

Housing — The housing desk, in 
the Convocation Center lobby, will be 
open Sunday evening from 6:00 to 
9:00; Monday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 
p.m. and after the evening program; 
and daily throughout the week. 

Camping — Campsites are available 



at Ashland County Fairgrounds, 2042 
Claremont Avenue in Ashland. No ad- 
vance reservation is required. 

Credentials — Delegate creden- 
tials should be submitted in person as 
early as possible during Conference 
week. Credentials will be received in 
the Convocation Center lobby Mon- 
day 2:00-6:00 p.m. and following the 
evening program; Tuesday through 
Friday, 8:00-8:20 a.m.; and Tuesday 
through Thursday, 6:30-7:00 p.m. 

Non-Delegates — Non-delegates 
are welcome at Conference. Please 
complete a reservation form. Then 
when you arrive in Ashland, check in 
at the credential table to receive a 
name badge and a Conference packet. 
A $10.00 fee will be required. 

New-Attenders Briefing — A brief- 
ing will be held at 4:00 p.m. Monday 
in the Convocation Center auditorium. 
Though planned specifically for first- 
time attenders, it is open to anyone. It 
will include a general orientation to 
Conference plus specific information 
about business sessions. 

Travel Subsidy — If you travel more 
than 1,500 miles to attend Conference, 
pick up a travel subsidy form at the 
credential table when you arrive, [ft] 



June 1998 



General Conference Preview 



The 1998 BYIC Convention 

August 3-7 at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio 

Theme: Under Construction 

And being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you 
will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1 :6 



THIS YEAR'S BYIC Convention 
promises to be a week of fun, fel- 
lowship, and personal "construc- 
tion." Many new and exciting events 
are planned, so please encourage 
any youth in your congregation to 
come and be prepared to "build!" 

"Ground-breaking" for the BYIC 
Convention will take place on Mon- 
day at 7:00 pm, with a powerful 
opening worship service. Following 
this, youth will meet up with their 
"Construction Crews" and go on a 
prayer tour of the campus. After- 
wards, the National BYIC Steering 
Committee will help everyone 
loosen up and get to know each 
other with a mixer! 

The week will also include a mis- 
sions fair, which will spotlight the 
various missions fields of the world 
— including our schools, work-places, 
homes, and communities, as well as 
home missions, foreign missions, 
and church planting. 

We will also be taking a trip to 



Cedar Point Amusement Park on 
Wednesday, then coming home to 
enjoy an exciting concert by Nitro- 
Praise! 

Other highlights of the week will 
include Communion, a coffeehouse, 
service projects, personal construc- 
tion seminars, eye-opening morning 
praise services, a wide variety of 
speakers and praise leaders, the in- 
formational session and Steering 
Committee elections, and much, 
much more!!!! The youth will also 
join the adults on Tuesday morning 
to give a youth update; on Tuesday 
and Thursday nights to share in the 
worship services; and on Friday morn- 
ing for the closing worship service. 

Post-high youth will have the op- 
tion of attending the adult business 
sessions on Tuesday and Thursday 
mornings. If you have post-high 
youth from your church coming to 
the Convention and have extra dele- 
gate credentials, encourage them to 
get involved in these sessions! 



Registration information was sent 
at the end of May to youth leaders, 
pastors, and all youth who are regis- 
tered members of the National 
BYIC. So be looking for it in your 
mailbox. All youth attending the Con- 
vention must pre-register. (No walk- 
in registrations will be accepted). 
The last date to register is July 9. 
All youth will be housed on campus 
and must remain on campus 
throughout the entire Convention. 

The registration fees are outlined 
on the registration forms. This fee 
includes housing for Monday 
through Thursday nights, all meals 
except for dinner at Cedar Point on 
Wednesday, all Convention activities 
and events, admission to the Nitro- 
Praise concert, and a T-shirt. 

If you have any questions, or if 
you do not receive registration in- 
formation, please contact Jaime 
Gillespie, the BYIC Convention Co- 
ordinator, at the Brethren Church 
National Office. [ft] 



Visualizing Renewal 
at General Conference 

A GREAT WEEK of celebration is 
planned for General Conference 
in August, focusing on the theme 
Visualize Renewal. The speakers 
for the week were highlighted in the 
April Evangelist (page 4), but here is 
a brief review. 

Monday night, Dr. Terry Wardle, 
the new associate professor of Church 
Planting at Ashland Theological Sem- 
inary, will help us visualize how God 
can renew our hearts. {See the back 
page for more about Dr. Wardle.) He 
will also present a workshop Friday 
morning on church planting. 

Tuesday night, Dr. Bruce H. Wil- 
kinson, founder and president of 
Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, will 
speak about renewal of family rela- 
tionships. Dr. Wilkinson is one of the 



most respected communicators of bib- 
lical truth in the church today. In ad- 
dition to his Tuesday evening mes- 
sage, Dr. Wilkinson will lead two 
workshops on Wednesday morning. 

Wednesday night, Dr. Richard L. 
Parrott will look at how God can 
renew our spirits. Dr. Parrott, a gifted 
speaker, is director of the doctoral 
studies program at Ashland Theologi- 
cal Seminary. 

Thursday the focus will be on re- 
newal of our zeal for missions. Dr. 
Clive Calver, president of World 
Relief of the National Association of 
Evangelicals, will speak at both the 
World Relief luncheon and the eve- 
ning service. Dr. Calver, from Eng- 
land, delivers a powerful message 
with a delightful British accent. 

On Friday morning one of our own 
men, Rev. David West, will help us 
visualize renewal of the church. Rev. 
West is Director of Congregation Min- 



istries and Director of U.S. Missions 
for The Brethren Church. 

A previously unannounced special 
event will occur Thursday morning, 
when two members of the infamous 
Auca (now called 
Waoroni) tribe of 
Ecuador will 
speak. One of 
the two took 
part in the mas- 
sacre of five mis- 
sionaries in 
1956, and the 
other is the son 
of one of the 
participants. 
Appearing with Mencaye, one of 
them will be the "Aucas" who will 
Steve Saint, son s P eak at Conference. 
of one of the five slain missionaries. 
The very presence of these men to- 
gether will be a wonderful visualiza- 
tion of God's power to renew. [ft] 




The Brethren Evangelist 



See instructions on page 7. 

Theme: 

"Visualize Renewal" 

Name 



1998 General Conference 

Registration Form 



Monday, August 3, through 
Friday, August 7 



Address 



City/State/Zip_ 



Please reserve only one room per form. Youth 
must register through the National BYIC if staying 
in the Youth Dorm; if staying with adults, use this 
form. Note: Registration with prepayment by July 
18 results in guaranteed reservation. 



Housing: 

Ashland University Dormitory 




Rates** 
Single 


Prepaid by Upon 
July 18 arrival 

$18.00 $22.00 


Floor: Women's restroom Men's 




Double 


26.00 33.00 


Room type: Single Double 

Triple 
Nights staying: S M T 


W 


Triple 36.00 43.00 
no charge for children not sleeping in a bed 
Th 


Other preferences: 









Housing costs calculation 

No. nights x rate/night 



Note: Above rates do not include linen. See linen rates at right. 



Linen packet (2 sheets, 
2 towels, 1 wash cloth) 

No. of packets x rate 

x $3.50 = $ 

Total Housing = $ 



Meal Tickets 

Meals are served in University cafeteria; tickets are usable any day — order as 
many tickets as you need for the week. No tjckets 

Breakfast Adults x $4.20 = $ 

Children under 12 x $2.10= $ 

Lunch Adults x $5.60 = $ 

Children under 12 x $2.80 = $ 

Dinner Adults x $7.00 = $ 

Children under 12 x $3.50= $ 

Special Event Reservations 

Reservations for the following events are required due to early deadlines. Tickets 
ordered after July 18 are subject to availability. No meal refunds after July 24. 



Mon. 8:30 p.m. — Ice Cream Social Adults 

Children under 12 

Wed. 7:00 a.m. — Pastors' Wives Continental 

Breakfast/Fellowship 

Wed. 12:30 p.m. — Women's Luncheon Adults 

Children under 6 
Children under 3 

Wed. 12:30 p.m. — Men's Picnic 

Thur. 12:30 p.m. — World Relief Soup Luncheon 

Thur. 5:00 p.m. — Missions Banquet 



$3.00 = 
$1.50 = 
$4.25 = 

$8.00 = 
$4.50 = 

free 
$8.00 = 



(offering will be taken) 

x $10.00 = $ 

Total meals and special events reservations enclosed = $ 



Summary Totals 

Total Housing = $ 

Total Meals and 

Special Events = $ 

Total Children's 

Program = $ 

Total Enclosed = $ 



Make checks payable to: 

The Brethren Church 

Send to: 

General Conference Housing 

524 College Ave. 

Ashland, OH 44805 



FOR OFFICE USE ONLY: 

Date rec. 



Amount rec. 
Check # 



Children's Program (ages 4 years through completed 6th grade): 

Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Thursday, 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; 
Friday, 8:15 a.m. to noon. Lunch provided Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. 

Family Rate: 1 child, $46/week, $15/day; 2 or more children, $70/week, $24/day. 



Will you have small children in the 
nursery? If so, how many babies 
and/or toddlers ? 



Child's Name 



Age/Grade 
Completed 



Days (circle) 

T W Th F 
T W Th F 
T W Th F 



Total for Children's Program $ 



Mail this form, with payment in full, as soon as possible (and no later than July 18). 
Send to: General Conference Housing, 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805 



June 1998 



ood_r/2© 





Lilith Howard receives a certificate 
and corsage from Muluane pastor Rev. 
Joseph Hanna. 



50 years as a deaconess 

Mulvane, Kans. — Lilith Howard 
was honored on Sunday, February 
23, by the Mulvane Brethren 
Church for her more than 50 years 
of faithful service as a deaconess. 

Pastor Joseph Hanna presented 
Mrs. Howard a certificate of recog- 
nition and a corsage during the 
morning worship service. 

Mrs. Howard has been a member 
of the Mulvane congregation for 76 
years and is recognized as the oldest 
living member of the church. She 
noted that she was baptized Febru- 
ary 22, 1922, 76 years and one day 
before receiving this special honor. 

— From the Mulvane News of 2-27- 

98; submitted by Pastor Joseph Hanna. 



Attention Church Treasurers 

The Ministerial Student Aid Fund 
Committee has a new treasurer — 

Rev. Robert Keplinger, 516 Country 
Club Ln., Ashland, OH 44805. Please 
send contributions for this fund to him. 




Bloomingdale Church presents living portrayal 
of Christ's crucifixion on Good Friday afternoon 



Valrico, Fla. — Paid in Full, a liv- 
ing portrayal of the crucifixion of 
Christ, was presented on Good Fri- 
day afternoon from 3 to 6 o'clock on 
the lawn of the Bloomingdale 
Brethren Church. 

Similar to a live nativity scene, 
Paid in Full was a portrayal by the 
members of the Bloomingdale con- 
gregation of the various characters 
associated with the crucifixion of 
Christ on the cross. Portrayed were 
the two thieves, mourners, Roman 
guards, and, of course, the Lord 
Jesus Himself. 

The portrayal included no spoken 
parts or dramatic reenactments. 
Rather, the scene was a living plac- 
ard displayed alongside the major 
thoroughfare on which the church 
property is located. Passing traffic 
slowed during the three-hour portray- 
al, as drivers and passengers craned 
their necks to get a closer look. 

Dozens of cars pulled into the 
church parking area, and a number 
of people got out of their cars to 
meditate, pray, and observe, while 
sitting in an area designated for 
such purposes. Each visitor who 
stopped was given a brochure with a 
description of the biblical message 
of the crucifixion and a folder with 
an invitation to the church's Easter 
Sunday services. 

Paid in Full was conceived by 
Butch Humphrey, a member of the 
church leadership, who came up 
with the idea when the outreach 



committee was seeking for a way to 
impact the community with the 
Gospel message at Easter time. 
"Since we are a small church, we 
can't put on the kind of big musical 
or dramatic production so common 
during the Easter season," said Pas- 
tor Glenn Rininger. "But we were 
looking for something that we could 
do, and the Lord really brought 
together all the components we 
needed. Gloria Keller made all the 
costumes; several of the men con- 
structed the crosses; and a local 
church of another denomination 
even loaned us props that we would 
never have been able to afford by 
ourselves!" 

"Every single response we had 
from those who stopped by was pos- 
itive," Pastor Rininger added, "and 
several area pastors were so im- 
pressed that they asked us to let 
them know if we were not going to 
do it next year, because if we didn't, 
they wanted to!" 

The Bloomingdale Church looks 
forward to presenting Paid in Full 
again next year, with the hope that 
the presentation can be made more 
effective by adding music and more 
people. This year more than 1,000 
door hangers were distributed in 
the days before Good Friday, invit- 
ing people to the presentation and 
giving them information about the 
church. In this area, too, the church 
hopes to do more next year. 

— reported by Pastor Glenn Rininger 



10 



The Brethren Evangelist 



ood£fe 




Bonnie's wheelchair fund 
goes well over the top 

Goshen, Ind. — On Sunday eve- 
ning, May 3, the Goshen First Breth- 
ren Church held a fund-raising din- 
ner to culminate its efforts to raise 
funds for a new wheelchair for 
Bonnie Munson. (See "New Wheels 
for Bonnie Munson " on the back page 
of the March 1998 Evangelist.) 

The kitchen committee, assisted 
by other women of the church, pre- 
pared a lasagna dinner that was en- 
joyed by all. A free-will offering was 
received, which totaled $1,500. 

This brought the total amount re- 
ceived that far from churches and 




Goshen pastor Rev. Donald Rowser 
presents a check to Bonnie Munson for 
her new wheelchair. 

from many individuals across the 
Brethren denomination to $14,800. 
Since that date an additional 
$10,415 has been received, bringing 
the total to $25,215. This is more 
than enough to cover the $24,000 
approximate cost of the wheelchair. 
The extra money will go into a fund 
for batteries and for maintenance of 
the chair. (continued at right) 



Six-thousand pound baby born singing praises 
of its Father in Rockingham County, Virginia 



Birth Announcement 

A new church was born at 10:00 
a.m, May 17, 1998, in the Cross Keys 
area of Rockingham County, Vir- 
ginia. It included 40 siblings — both 
male and female — weighing a total 
of approximate 6,000 pounds. It 
was born singing joyfully to its 
Father — God — and was christened 
"Cross Keys Worship Center." The 
newborn is the offspring of the call 
of God and abundant prayer, and 
is the result of much prenatal plan- 
ning. Although still an infant, it shines 
with Spirit-filled life. With proper 
care and nurture, it has excellent 
prospects for life and growth. 

Port Republic, Va. — The new 

Brethren church announced above 
is being planted by Pastor Pat 
Velanzon and 
a core group 
of 12-13 peo- 
ple. Rev. Ve- 
lanzon was 
pastor of the 
Bethlehem 
Brethren 
Church in 
Harrison- 
burg, Va., for 
17 years be- 
fore leaving 
that post on 
April 26 of 
this year. 

Services of 
the Cross Keys 

Worship Center are held in the 
Cross Keys-Mill Creek Ruritan Hall. 
Pastor Velanzon describes the wor- 
ship as contemporary, though he's 
not comfortable with that descrip- 
tion. He's a diehard rock and roll 
fan, but the first service — by popu- 
lar demand — featured bluegrass 
gospel music. 

Rev. Donald Rowser, pastor of the 
Goshen congregation, expressed his 
delight at the response of Brethren 
to Bonnie's need for a new and bet- 
ter wheelchair. "The overwhelming 
response to [this need] proves again 
that our God can do the impossi- 
ble," he said, [ft] 



The focus of the new church, ac- 
cording to Pastor Velanzon, is three- 
fold: to worship God, to know Christ, 
and to serve others in His name. 
Anyone in the congregation is free 
to plan or do anything that will pro- 
vide opportunities for doing one or 
more of these things. The church is 
developing three primary minis- 
tries: worship, to plan and coordi- 
nate the Sunday morning worship 
services; youth, to develop ministry 
for children and teens; and out- 
reach, to promote evangelism and 
provide communication. 

The congregation plans to partici- 
pate in the LIFE (Living In Faithful 
Evangelism) process beginning in 
September, and has set October 4 as 
the date for its Grand Opening. The 
group is looking forward to growing 




The 40 people who attended the first worship service of the 
Cross Keys Worship Center ranged in age from 5 to 75 and came 
dressed in everything from khaki shorts to suit and tie. 

together and being a vital part of its 
community. Goals for numbers of 
conversions and average attendance 
have already been set for one, three, 
and five years. And when average 
attendance reaches 100, the congre- 
gation plans to plant a new church 
by sending out 12 to 15 people who 
will grow again. 

— reported by Kathy Velanzon, with 
portions taken from an article by 

Luanne Austin that appeared in the 
Harrisonburg, Va., News-Record. 



If God sends us on stony paths, 
He will provide us with strong 

— Alexander Maclaren 



June 1998 



11 



O odffr g 




Dr. J. Ray Klingensmith 
Chair in Church Planting 
founded at the seminary 

Ashland, Ohio — Missionary Min- 
istries of The Brethren Church and 
Ashland Theological Seminary have 
joined efforts to establish an en- 
dowed faculty position ("chair") in 
Church Planting at the seminary. 

The idea for this position origi- 
nated with Rev. Reilly Smith, Direc- 
tor of Missionary Ministries for The 
Brethren Church. He shared the idea 
with Dr. Fred Finks, President of 
the seminary, and they began seek- 
ing funding to support the position. 
The Executive Board of The Breth- 
ren Church endorsed the effort, and 
the chair was formally approved. 

An international search for a per- 
son to fill the position was launched. 
Earlier this year, the search com- 
mittee — comprised of representa- 
tives from both the seminary and 
The Brethren Church — selected Dr. 
Terry Wardle as the first occupant 
of the Chair in Church Planting. 

Dr. Wardle comes to Ashland from 
Spring Meadow Retreat Center, a 
ministry of renewal and restoration 




for Christian leaders, which he 
founded in 1996. Prior to that, he 
served as the founding pastor of 
Risen King Community Church, a 
congrega- 
tion that 
began in Au- 
gust 1989 
with seven 
adults and 
now num- 
bers more 
than 900 
and has 

planted two 
daughter 
congregations. Dr. Terry Wardle 

He has also been a college and sem- 
inary professor and administrator, 
and has served as a consultant for 
various agencies and organizations. 
His teaching has focused on evange- 
lism, preaching, and church growth. 

The new Chair in Church Plant- 
ing is named in honor of the late 
Dr. J. Ray Klingensmith. A 1934 
graduate of the seminary, Dr. Kling- 
ensmith taught at ATS for many 
years, and he also served from 1941 
to 1945 as head of the Missionary 
Board of the Brethren Church. 

J. Ray Klingensmith had a long 
and service-filled life in The Breth- 
ren Church. He pastored Brethren 
churches in Ohio, Indiana, and 
Washington, D.C. He served as di- 
rector of the Missionary Board dur- 
ing the critical period following the 
split with the Grace Brethren. 

In 1956 he was appointed profes- 



Recording artist Rich Rader 
to travel to Macau in August 

Mansfield, Ohio — Brethren 
recording artist Rich Rader, founder 
of Vision Ministries, will be taking 
his 1998 "Worship Time" tour to 
the southeast Asian territory of 
Macau in August (10-31). 

Macau, a Portuguese territory 
scheduled to revert to China in 
1999, is Vision Ministries' first in- 
ternational ministry opportunity. 
Rader will be sharing God's Word 
through music, preaching, and 
teaching in the area of worship. 

Since his graduation from Ash- 
land Theological Seminary in 1995, 
Rader has traveled more than 125,000 
miles throughout the United States 



playing more than 400 concerts in 
churches, camps, conferences, and 
nursing homes. He has appeared in 
a number of Brethren churches. 

He currently has three albums re- 
leased with Vision Records, Jesus Is 
the One (1995), Truth (1997), and 
Grandpa's Favorite Hymns (1998). 
In addition, he will be one of fifteen 
Christian artists included on a new 
compilation CD scheduled for re- 
lease this month (June) on the Bro- 
ken Records label. 

Rich and his wife Tiffany (Flick- 
enger; from the Lanark, 111., Breth- 
ren Church) are both 1993 gradu- 
ates of Ashland University, are 
members of the Smoky Row Breth- 
ren Church in Columbus, Ohio, and 
live in Ontario, Ohio. [ft] 



sor and department chair of the 
Religion Department at Ashland 
College. He taught Bible at both the 
college and the seminary. He loved 
to teach, and even after his retire- 
ment he continued to teach on a vol- 
unteer basis as long as he was phys- 
ically able to do so. 

In the citation naming the Chair 
in Church Planting in honor of Dr. 
J. Ray Klingensmith, Dr. Finks said: 
"J. Ray was a preacher, a pastor, a 
teacher, a leader, and a statesman 
within The Brethren Church. He has 
impacted more lives than anyone 
could imagine. ... It is a fitting trib- 
ute to name this Chair in memory of 
one who means so much to The Breth- 
ren Church, Ashland University, and 
Ashland Theological Seminary." 

The Church Planting department 
will offer several options for those in- 
terested in church planting: a mas- 
ter's degree with a concentration in 
church planting, seminars, and in- 
tensive week-long courses on plant- 
ing churches. For more information, 
write to the seminary at 910 Center 
St., Ashland, OH 44805. [ft] 



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( The Brethren) 

Evangelist 



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Vol.120, No. 7 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



July/ August 1998 



Renewal: How will we know 
when it happens? 



WE HAVE BEEN TALKING A 
lot this year in The Brethren 
Church about renewal. "The Breth- 
ren Church is in need of renewal," 
said Dr. Emanuel Sandberg, Execu- 
tive Director of The Brethren Church, 
in an article in the January 1998 
issue of the Evangelist. He went on 
to give evidence of that need. 

To meet that need, General Con- 
ference in August has been planned 
to help facilitate renewal. The theme 
of the Conference is "Visualize Re- 
newal," and each day of the week 
will focus on areas of our lives that 
need to be renewed — heart, family 
relationships, spirit, heart for the 
lost, and the church. Again quoting 
Dr. Sandberg, "The Conference is 
being planned as a Brethren cele- 
bration of God's power to revive, re- 
store, and redirect His people." 

A pertinent question 

With all this emphasis on renewal, 
it might be pertinent to ask, "How 
will we know when renewal hap- 
pens?" Charles H Spurgeon, one of 
the greatest English preachers of 
the nineteenth century, can help us 
with an answer. Spurgeon described 
several characteristics of genuine 
revival. I think we could as easily 
substitute the word renewal. Accord- 
ing to Spurgeon, revival/renewal is 
characterized by: 

1. An uncommon eagerness to hear 
the Word of God, and an unusual 
readiness to speak and be spoken 
to about the interests of the soul. 

2. An unusual sense of sin and per- 
sonal unworthiness, together 
with a readiness to unite in 
prayer for pardon and holiness. 

3. A deep appreciation of the aton- 




Visualize 
Renewal 



General Conference theme logo 

ing sacrifice of Christ, and a joy- 
ful acceptance of Him as person- 
al Savior. 

4. Personal consecration and cov- 
enanting with God in the Spirit 
of grace, accompanied by refor- 
mation of life and manner. 

5. Great delight in secret and social 
prayer, and in all the ordinances 
of God. 

6. An uncommon sense of the near- 
ness of God, with joy in the Holy 
Ghost, and abounding thanks- 
giving and praise. 

7. Increased fervor of love and 
deepening sense of unity among 
Christians. 

8. An extraordinary concern for the 
salvation of others, and boldness 
in testifying to the grace of God 
in His Son. 

It is obvious that for Spurgeon re- 
vival (renewal) is more than a re- 
sponse to an altar call; more than an 
evening (or week) of excitement and 
emotion. 

Reread Spurgeon's list and spend 
some time thinking about it. Notice 
in particular the following: an un- 
common eagerness to hear the Word 



of God; personal consecration; refor- 
mation of life and manner; great 
delight in prayer and in all the ordi- 
nances of God; increased fervor of 
love; deepening sense of unity among 
Christians; and particularly, an ex- 
traordinary concern for the salva- 
tion of others, and boldness in testi- 
fying to the grace of God in His Son. 
These are not emotions. These are 
life changes. It is these kinds of ex- 
periences that we hope and pray will 
begin at this General Conference 
and then sweep across The Breth- 
ren Church. And it can happen! 

Come to Conference 

Attend this Conference if you can, 
even if you have never attended a 
General Conference before. Come, 
praying that God will send renewal. 
If you can't come for the whole 
week, try to come for a day or two. 

If you can't attend, then pray for 
the Conference. Make a commit- 
ment to spend time each day during 
Conference week in earnest prayer 
that God will pour out His Spirit to 
revive, restore, and redirect His peo- 
ple. Pray that renewal will begin at 
Conference and that it will sweep 
across The Brethren Church. And 
pray as well that God will prepare 
your heart to be renewed. [ft] 

— Editor Dick Winfield 



Inside this issue 


Impact through prayer week 


2 


You can't rest in the nest 


3 


What is domestic violence? 


4 


Church-planters' profile 


5 


Conference opportunities 


7 


Faith partners for women 


8 


Around the denomination 


9 



Brethren Impact Through Prayer Week 

Sunday, September 20, through Sunday, September 27 



THIS FALL The Brethren Church 
will inaugurate an annual event 
to be known as Brethren Impact 
Through Prayer Week. The pur- 
pose of this annual week of prayer 
will be to focus our petitions on be- 
half of our Brethren church planters 
and the churches they are planting. 

Significant dates 

The dates for this year's powerful 
week of prayer are September 20 
through September 27. These dates 
are significant in two ways: First, 
they coincide with the beginning of 
the church-planting season, which 
begins in September and runs through 
Easter. Second, they precede the 
birth of two Brethren churches — 
Grace Community Church in Win- 
chester, Virginia (September 27), and 
Rock Springs Community Church in 
Vista, California (October 4). 

The National Office will provide 
effective resources for all congrega- 
tions for this crucial week, to en- 
courage member participation. These 
resources will include kick-off and 
closing messages, an eight-day out- 
line of prayer requests, worship re- 
sources, and supportive biblical ref- 
erences. 

As Brethren we are committed to 
serving Christ and each other. 
Therefore, we must mobilize every 
church to lift up those individuals 
and families who have committed 
themselves to this Christ-ordained 
ministry (Matt. 28:19, 20). 

Our church plants are strategical- 
ly placed in areas of need that pre- 



The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) 
is published monthly (except July and August 
issues are combined) by The Brethren Church, 
Inc., 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 
(telephone: 419-289-1708; fax: 419-281-0450; 
e-mail: brethren@bright.net). Authors' views are 
not necessarily those of The Brethren Church. 
Editor: Richard C. Winfield. Subscription rates: 
Sent free to Brethren Church members; $15.00 
per year to others. Member: Evangelical Press 
Association. Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio. 
Postmaster: Send address changes to The 
Brethren Church, 524 College Avenue, Ashland, 
OH 44805-3792. 



sent many challenges. These areas 
host pockets of lost individuals who, 
in increasing numbers, are finding a 
false sense of security in the hands 
of Satan himself. Church planters 
seek out these deceived individuals, 
who are in need of spiritual awak- 
ening. They continuously extend 
Christ's love to these abused chil- 
dren, youth, and adults, who may 
question the very existence of God, 
His love, and the benefits of obeying 
Him. They do this while at the same 
time fighting the battle which takes 
place in the spiritual realm, where 
powerful opposition exists to this 
ministry field and its workers. 

While carrying out this ministry 
of seeking the lost, church planters 
must also tend to the needs of their 
own families. This includes main- 
taining a healthy marriage and a 
loving environment for the family. 
The church-planter's home is where 
Satan hits the hardest, as he at- 
tempts to disable Christ's effective 
witnesses. 

Effectual prayer 

Brothers and sisters, our church 
planters, as well as those they seek 
to reach, can benefit by our prayers. 
God's Word illustrates for us that 
God can be petitioned to intervene 
and effect changes in the world. As 
sovereign Lord and Creator of the 
universe, He gives us the opportuni- 
ty to participate in and to have an 
impact upon His divine agenda (see 
Gen. 18:22-33, Num. 14:12-20; Acts 
12:5-10). 



We are urged by Jesus to pray 
with unity, intensity, and watchful- 
ness (Matt. 18:19, 26:41; Mk. 13:33, 
14:38). Paul interceded for his 
friends in Rome and for fellow 
Christians in both Ephesus and 
Colosse (Rom. 1:9, 10; Eph. 3:14ff; 
Col. l:9ff). When Paul was com- 
pelled by the Holy Spirit to travel to 
Jerusalem, where he knew he would 
meet with many hardships, the 
Ephesian elders assembled to pray 
for him (Acts 20:36-38). And in 
Tyre, all the disciples, their wives, 
and their children gathered in 
prayer for Paul before he continued 
his journey (Acts 21:5-6). 

United in spirit 

As Brethren, let us likewise unite 
in spirit and send forth our church 
planters with genuine, vigilant 
prayer. Let us raise up our eight 
church plants with eight days of 
persistent prayer. Let us recall how 
Jesus asked Peter three times, "Do 
you truly love me . . . ?" "Do you 
truly love me?" "Do you love me?" 
Jesus' response to Peter's affirma- 
tive answers was, "Feed my lambs," 
"Take care of my sheep," and "Feed 
my sheep" (Jn. 21:15-17). We must 
do the same. 

Please join us in this week of uni- 
fied prayer for our church planters. 
Contact Ginny Hoyt at The Breth- 
ren Church National Office for re- 
source materials, which will be avail- 
able at General Conference. [ft] 
— Karen Frado 
Ashland, Ohio 



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The Brethren Evangelist 



You Can't Rest in the Nest 

By Dan Lawson 



I RECENTLY LEARNED that 
when a mother eagle builds her 
nest, she deliberately selects thorns, 
bits of broken glass, and other 
sharp objects and carefully places 
them in the bottom of the nest. 
Then she plucks soft down feath- 
ers from her own breast and lines 
the nest with these. After the nest 
has been cushioned with these 
feathers, she will lay her eggs. 

As the eggs hatch, both the 
mother and the father eagle bring 
food and care for the baby eagles. 
When the eaglets are old enough 
to fly, the mother eagle removes 
the soft down feathers from the 
bottom of the nest. This exposes 
the thorns and broken bits of 
glass, making it very painful for 
the little eagles to rest in the nest. 
As a result, they begin perching on 
the edge of the nest. 

Learning to fly 

Then the mother eagle does 
something that could be consid- 
ered very cruel. She flies over and 
knocks an eaglet out of the nest. 
The little eagle plunges recklessly 
toward the rocks below, screeching 
and flapping its wings wildly. At 
the last possible moment, the 
mother eagle swoops down under 
the baby, catches it on her back, 
and carries it back to the safety of 
the nest. This frightening experi- 
ence is repeated over and over 
again until the baby eagle even- 
tually learns to fly. 

To the casual observer, the be- 
havior of the mother eagle may 
seem abusive. She knows, how- 
ever, that if she allows the eaglets 
to rest in the nest, they will die. 
Eagles were created to soar in the 
heavens. Without the ability to fly, 
they would starve to death. What 
first appears as cruel is actually 
for the baby eagles' good. 

In Deuteronomy 32:10-12 we 



learn that God used the same kind 
of process to prepare Moses to lead 
the Israelites out of slavery. God 
used various circumstances to force 
Moses out of Egypt and into Midian, 
where he wondered in the wilder- 
ness, homeless and alone except 
for the watchful eye of the Lord. 



"We must remember 
that when God pushes 
us out of the nest and 
challenges us to grow, 
He is also watching 
over us, just as the 
mother eagle watches 

over her baby's fall." 

V ' 

This process may have seemed 
harsh to Moses. Like the baby 
eagle plummeting toward the 
rocks below, there were times, I'm 
sure, when Moses feared for his 
life. Nevertheless, throughout this 
whole process God was watching 
over Moses, just as the mother 
eagle watches the frenzied fall of 
her young. 

There is a lesson to be learned 
here. While the baby eagle is 
plummeting toward the rocks, the 
mother eagle is watching nearby. 
In fact, you might say that her 
entire attention is focused on the 
plight of that eaglet. But the baby 
eagle feels alone, frightened, and 
totally out of control. As the baby 
eagle struggles madly to stop its 
fall, it is completely unaware of 
the watchful eye of its mother. 

Letting go of the nest 

It has been my observation that 
people are not much different. 
When God is trying to prepare us 
for some work that He would have 
us do, we feel much like the baby 




eagle. We are out 
of the nest and 
out of control. 
We are fearful 
and perhaps 
even a little 
resentful at 
being pushed 
out of 
the nest. 
We must 
remember, how- 
ever, that when 
God pushes us out of the nest 
and challenges us to grow, He is 
also watching over us, just as the 
mother eagle watches over her 
baby's fall. We may not be aware 
of His watchful eye, but He is al- 
ways there, ready to rush in at the 
last moment and catch us on His 
pinions. He will carefully restore 
us to the safety of the nest. But if 
we have not yet learned how to fly, 
He will not let us rest in the nest. 
He will continue to challenge us 
until we have learned to soar. 

When we are left to ourselves, it 
is our human nature to be compla- 
cent, perhaps even a little apathet- 
ic. We want to rest in the nest. We 
prefer not to get out of our com- 
fort zone. We like the familiar, and 
we get more than a little per- 
turbed when we have to make 
changes. 

Living by faith 

But when we live this way, we 
are not living by faith. And when 
we do not live by faith, Hebrews 
11:6 tells us that it is impossible 
for us to please God. We can never 
accomplish great things for God 
when we are resting in the nest. 

Moses did great and mighty 
things and is still remembered as a 
great man of God. None of this 
would have happened had he not 
been forced out of the luxury of 
Pharaoh's palace and into the 
wilderness. What will it take to get 
you out of the nest and doing 
things for God? [ft] 

Dr. Lawson is pastor- of the Jef- 
ferson Brethren Church of Goshen, 
Indiana. This article is one of a 
series in which Dr. Lawson applies 
biblical truth to our personal Hues. 



July/August 1998 




Domestic Violence: 

What does it include? 

Part two of a three-part series 
by Morven Baker 



WHEN WE HEAR the words 
"domestic violence," we tend to 
think that they mean physical abuse, 
such as hitting, kicking, and other 
hurtful physical acts. They do, but 
they also have a broader definition. 

The "Wheel of Violence" 

The Domestic Abuse Intervention 
Project of Duluth, Minnesota, has 
composed a "Wheel of Violence" to 
illustrate the wider scope that 
violence includes (see below). The 
Duluth Project believes that basic to 
every act of violence is a misuse of 
power and control, so these words 
appear at the center of the wheel. 
Around this center hub are eight 
pie-shaped wedges, with each wedge 
representing some form of domestic 
abuse. Following are illustrations of 
the kinds of behavior represented 
by these pie pieces in the "Wheel of 
Violence." 

Using intimidation refers to 
making one's spouse afraid by using 
looks, actions, or gestures; by smash- 
ing things; by destroying her prop- 
erty; by abusing pets; and by dis- 
playing weapons. 

Using emotional abuse includes 
putting her down; making her feel 
bad about herself; calling her names; 




Domestic Abuse 
Intervention Project 



206 W Fourth St. 
Duluth, MN 55806 



making her think she's crazy; play- 
ing mind games; humiliating her; or 
making her feel guilty. 

Using isolation is accom- 
plished by controlling what she 
does, whom she sees and talks to, 
what she reads, and where she 
goes; by limiting her outside in- 
volvement; and by using jealousy 
to justify control. 

Minimizing, denying and 
blaming include such behaviors 
as making light of the abuse and 
not taking her concerns about it 
seriously; saying the abuse didn't 
happen; shifting responsibility for 
abusive behavior by saying that 
she caused it. According to this 
definition, those who minimize the 
pain a woman feels when she dis- 
closes the abuse she has suffered are 
also abusing her. 

Using children refers to making 
a woman feel guilty about her chil- 
dren; using the children to relay mes- 
sages; using visitation of the chil- 
dren as a means to harass her; and 
threatening to take the children away. 
Using male privilege occurs 
when a man treats his wife like a 
servant; when he makes all the big 
decisions; when he acts like the 
master of the castle; and when he is 
the one who defines both his and 
his wife's roles. 

Using economic abuse in- 
cludes such behaviors as prevent- 
ing her from getting or keeping a 
job; making her ask for money; 
giving her an allowance; taking 
her money; not letting her know 
about or have access to the family 
income; and forbidding her from 
having her own bank account. 

Using coercion and threats 
refers to making and/or carrying 
out threats to do something to 
hurt her; threatening to leave her, 
to commit suicide, or to report 
her to welfare; making her drop 



charges; or making her do things 
that are illegal. 

The "Wheel of Nonviolence" 

The Duluth Project has a contrast- 
ing wheel — a "Wheel of Nonvio- 
lence." At the center of this wheel is 
the word equality, representing the 
basis of the nonviolent relationship. 
Around the center are attitudes and 
behaviors that grow out of this rela- 
tionship of equality. Notice the con- 
trast between these and the ones on 
the "Wheel of Violence." 




Domestic Abuse 
Intervention Project 



206 W. Fourth St. 
Duluth, MN 55806 



Non-threatening behavior in- 
volves talking and acting in such a 
way that one's wife feels safe and 
comfortable expressing herself and 
doing things. 

Respect is shown by listening to 
her nonjudgmentally; by being emo- 
tionally affirming and understand- 
ing; and by valuing her opinions. 

Trust and support includes sup- 
porting her goals in life; and re- 
specting her right to her own feelings, 
friends, activities, and opinions. 

Honesty and accountability 
refers to accepting responsibility for 
oneself; not blaming others for one's 
mistakes; acknowledging past use of 
violence; admitting when one is 
wrong; and communicating openly 
and truthfully. 

Responsible parenting entails 
sharing parental responsibilities 
and being a positive, non-violent 
role model for the children. 

Shared responsibility requires 
mutually agreeing on a fair distribu- 
tion of work and making family de- 
cisions together. 

Economic partnership includes 

making money decisions together 

(continued on page 6) 



The Brethren Evangelist 




Profile 

of a 

Church-Planting Couple 



By Reilly R. Smith 



WHAT SHOULD a Brethren 
church-planting couple look 
like? What kind of personality 
should they have? What spiritual 
characteristics should they possess? 

One of the goals of the five-year 
strategic plan for Brethren Impact 
Church Planting is to develop a pro- 
file for Brethren church-planting 
couples. It's a difficult task. Both 
Brethren and church planters are 
very diverse. God uses a wide vari- 
ety of people to accomplish His pur- 
poses, even when He deploys them 
in the same job. 

I like to compare the apostles 
Peter, Paul, and John to illustrate 
my point. Their gifts and tempera- 
ments were quite different. Yet all 
three were apostles. All three were 
effective. So it is with church 
planters. And with Brethren! 

What it means to be Brethren 

Brethren Impact church planters 
must first of all be Brethren. They 
need not be "born" Brethren. Many 
who were born into our church are 
not in fact Brethren. Brethren are 
believers who have a living relation- 
ship with Jesus Christ based on the 
Bible and who produce spiritual 
fruit and follow the practices of the 
early church. 

Brethren believe that the church 
is a community of love and faith in 
which believers inspire, encourage, 
and empower one another to live 
godly lives. True members of the 
community have been born again 
into a living relationship with God 
through Jesus Christ. These mem- 
bers also maintain an active rela- 
tionship with the Word of God — the 
outer Word (the Bible), and the 
inner Word (the Holy Spirit), both 
of which bear testimony to the Liv- 
ing Word, Jesus Christ. 



This relationship produces a pro- 
found faith in the truth of the Bible 
and the obedience that accompanies 
such faith. This faith produces spir- 
itual fruit (Jn. 15:1-8), which also has 
an inner and an outer manifestation. 
The inner dimension is the fruit of 
the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). The outer 
dimension is a Spirit-empowered 
testimony for Christ (Acts 1:8). 



Profile of a 

Church-Planting Couple 

(In brief) 

Personal relationship 
with Christ 

Living relationship 
with other believers 



A 

N 



cts on 
the word 

otable 
character traits 

eachings of the 
early church 



Members of the Brethren commu- 
nity also follow the godly examples 
of saints in the early church. Three- 
fold communion and trine immer- 
sion baptism are the most obvious 
manifestations of this to many who 
were "born" Brethren. But the early 
Brethren recognized that following 
the practices of the early church 
meant living lives fully devoted to 
God, to one another, and to one's 
neighbors in this world (Matt. 
22:37-40 & 28:18-20; Jn. 13:34-35, 
15:17, & 20:21; Mk. 16:15; Lk. 
24:45-49; and Acts 1:8 & 2:42-47). 

Brethren Impact church planters 
must be committed to the unity of 
the body of Christ in all these things. 
They must also possess a flexible — 



J 



but identifiable — mix of 
character, calling, person- 
ality traits, abilities, and 
spiritual gifts. 

Godly character is es- 
sential. All church leaders 
should bear the character 
of Christ (the fruit of the 
Spirit). So a Brethren Im- 
pact church-planting cou- 
ple must be growing Chris- 
tians, born again and 
bearing fruit. Their integ- 
rity must be above re- 
proach (1 Tim. 3:1-7 and Tit. 1:7-9). 
Calling is also essential. Any 
Christian involved in ministry must 
believe that he or she is called to 
work in that particular ministry. 
The need for that sense of call is 
even more important for a church- 
planting couple. They must know 
that God has called them to start a 
new church. Church planting is so 
demanding that, at times, their 
sense of call is the only thing that 
keeps them going. 

Brethren Impact church-planting 
couples must be people-persons. 
Their personalities must be warm 
and friendly. Their demeanor must 
be inviting. Outgoing, gregarious 
people have an advantage, but peo- 
ple who are not naturally outgoing 
can start churches if they are inten- 
tionally friendly with people. 

Church planting couples with pio- 
neering or entrepreneurial person- 
alities also have an advantage. But 
they must have a heart for lost peo- 
ple. And they must be self-starters 
who don't need continual prodding. 

Skills and abilities 

Brethren Impact church planters 
also need a variety of natural and 
developed skills and abilities. They 
must be visionary, able to see the big 
picture— the future and the path to 
the future. They must be good orga- 
nizers, because they will be creating 
a new entity out of chaos. In the old 
days church planting was called 
"organizing a new church." Church 
planters must know how to gather 
resources — people, money, and other 
needs. They must also know how to 
build and guide a ministry team. 

Brethren Impact church-planting 

couples must know and use their 

spiritual gifts. They must be able to 

(continued on next page) 



July/August 1998 



identify and employ their own gifts 
before they can help others use 
theirs. No particular gift mix is re- 
quired for a specific church planter, 
but a broad mix of gifts is essential 
for church planting. The church- 
planting couple must help people 
learn to use their gifts for building 
up the body of Christ (Rom. 12:6, 
1 Cor. 12:7, and Eph. 4:16). The key 
is for the church-planting couple to 
set an example by openly using 
their gifts as they teach others to 
use theirs. Then together they will 
all function as a holy priesthood of 
believers (1 Pet. 2:5-10). 

Paul Becker, president of Dynam- 
ic Church Planting International, 
describes a number of characteris- 
tics of a church-planting couple in 
Dynamic Church Planting — A Com- 
plete Handbook. The first 13 charac- 
teristics he describes were discov- 



Thirteen Essential Qualities 
for a Churchplanter 

1. Has a vision capacity 

2. Is intrinsically motivated 

3. Creates ownership of ministry 

4. Relates to the unchurched 

5. Manages family well 

6. Builds relationships effectively 

7. Is committed to church growth 

8. Is responsive to the community 

9. Utilizes giftedness of others 

10. Is flexible and adaptable 

11. Builds group cohesiveness 

12. Is resilient 

13. Exercises faith 

From Dynamic Church Planting: A 
Complete Handbook by Paul Becker, 
pp. 36-38. In the Handbook, each of 
these "qualities" is followed by several 
points of definition. 



ered by Dr. Charles Ridley through 
his research of successful church 



planters. These 13 characteristics 
are the backbone of most church- 
planter assessment interviews in 
the North American church today. 
(See box at left. ) 

Paul Becker views these 13 char- 
acteristics as essential. He also rec- 
ognizes another dozen as desirable 
and helpful. He further suggests 
characteristics which are important 
for a church planter's spouse to pos- 
sess. The complete list is found on 
pages 36-41 of the Complete Hand- 
book. It is not necessary to possess 
all of the characteristics listed, but 
it is important that the church 
planting couple possess enough of 
them to ensure a successful start and 
that they know how to build a team 
that will fill in the "gaps." [ft] 

Rev. Smith is Director of Missionary 
Ministries for The Brethren Church. 



Domestic Violence 

(continued from page 4) 
and making sure that both part- 
ners benefit from financial ar- 
rangements. 

Negotiation and fairness 
means seeking mutually satisfy- 
ing resolutions to conflict; accept- 
ing change; being willing to com- 
promise; and listening to her side 
of the story. 

Tell me, which wheel represents 
the way that you want to be treat- 
ed? Which wheel did Jesus model? 

The above explanation of vio- 
lent and nonviolent relationships 
may make perfect sense to you. 
Unfortunately, this may not be 
the case with a battered woman. 
Abused women have often lived 
with so much manipulation that 
they have become confused and 
self-blaming. They are caught up 
in what the experts term "the 
cycle of abuse," and they feel that 
they have no option but to continue 
in this abusive relationship. 

The cycle, like all romantic rela- 
tionships, begins with the "honey- 
moon stage." This is when the 
man is loving and thoughtful, 
treating her gently, bringing her 
flowers. But then things start to 
get a little "ouchy." He begins to 
yell at her or the children, blam- 
ing them for things that are not 



their responsibility. He may start 
to throw things or to withhold 
necessary items. He begins to in- 
timidate. His level of rage esca- 
lates until he begins to get physi- 
cally violent. 

At this point, he sees what he 
has done, feels remorse, and begs 
to be forgiven. He brings his wife 
flowers, says kind things to her; 
becomes thoughtful. He has re- 
turned to the "honeymoon stage." 

Sooner or later, however, the 
cycle of abuse begins again. It may 
take only days, or it may be weeks, 
months, or even years. It depends 
on the family and their situation. 
The cycle is exacerbated when 
alcohol or drugs are involved. 

As the cycle continues and the 
tension builds, some women actu- 
ally provoke the physical abuse. 
For them, the tension of living 
under the threat of violence is 
actually worse than the physical 
pain itself. And they know that 
once the violence is over, the 
"honeymoon" will follow. [ft] 

Mrs. Baker is a licensed profes- 
sional clinical counselor associated 
with Cornerstone Psychological Af- 
filiates in Ashland, Ohio. 

The "Wheel of Violence" and the 
""Wheel of Nonviolence" are used with 
permission of the Domestic Abuse Inter- 
vention Project, Duluth, Minn. 



From Bonnie Munson 

Since 1951 I have been very 
aware of the love and support of 
the beautiful Brethren people. 
You have supported and blessed 
my family in so many ways. 

Ten years ago many of you 
helped me buy my first motor- 
ized wheelchair. And then last 
year the women of the W.M.S. 
helped me customize that chair, 
which specifically made it possi- 
ble for me to stay independent 
in my apartment. 

And now as that chair ages 
and becomes unreliable, you 
have made it possible for me to 
buy a wonderful new wheelchair 
that will not only provide my 
mobility, but which will also re- 
cline so I can rest in it as well. 
This fund will also help provide 
for cushions, batteries, and fu- 
ture repairs. It is hard to find 
words to express the depth of 
my gratitude for your generosity. 
A heart-felt thank you. I will al- 
ways be grateful. 

Bonnie Munson 



The Brethren Evangelist 



General Conference Preview 



General Conference Opportunities 



Elections 

One council member at-large will 
be elected to each of the two Min- 
istry Councils during elections at 
Conference in August. Other mem- 
bers of the councils whose terms ex- 
pire this year are elected by the dis- 
tricts they represent. Moderator 
John Shultz was elected last year 
for a three-year term, so no moder- 
ator will be elected this year. 

The Congregational Ministries 
Council will present the following 
nominees for its at-large member: 

Tim Garner, pastor of the First 
Brethren Church of Elkhart, Ind. 

Karen Best, staff-member's wife 
at Riverside Christian School in 
Lost Creek, Ky Her husband, Randy, 
is the assistant administrator. Mrs. 
Best was the California District rep- 
resentative to the Congregational 
Ministries Council before she and 
her husband moved to Lost Creek. 

The Missionary Ministries 
Council will present the following 
nominees for its at-large member: 

Bill Skeldon, pastor of the Oak 
Hill and Gatewood Brethren con- 
gregations in West Virginia and a 
former member of the Missionary 
Board of the Brethren Church. 

Bev Baker, secretary of the 
South Bend, Ind., First Brethren 
Church, where her husband, Larry, 
is the pastor. She, too, is a former 
member of the Missionary Board. 

Jim Kirkendall, pastor of the 
Fairless Hills-Levittown Brethren 
Church in Levittown, Pa. He served 
for a time as the Pennsylvania Dis- 
trict representative to the Mission- 
ary Ministries Council. 

Conference delegates will also have 
an opportunity to present nominees 
for these two positions. Before do- 
ing so, however, they must contact 
the persons they wish to nominate 
to make certain that they are will- 
ing to serve and that they meet the 
qualifications and accept the re- 
sponsibilities of council representa- 
tives. Nominees should be selected 
from the best leaders in the church, 
whether pastors or lay people. 

Qualifications: Members of the 
Ministries Councils must be grow- 



ing Christians, members in good 
standing of a local Brethren church, 
and in doctrinal agreement with A 
Centennial Statement of The Breth- 
ren Church. They need to be leaders 
with potential who are open to the 
leading of the Holy Spirit and dedi- 
cated to the local, district, and na- 
tional ministries of The Brethren 
Church. They must be good commu- 
nicators, able to work well with 
others, and interested and involved 
in ministry related to the council on 
which they serve. 

Responsibilities: Members of 
the Ministries Councils are required 
to prepare for, attend, and actively 
participate in the meetings of the 
councils. They must support the 
decisions of the Ministries Councils 
and the Executive Board and help 
raise funds for the programs of the 
councils. They are to serve as am- 
bassadors for denominational min- 
istries and promote unity between 
the district and national organiza- 
tions by maintaining communica- 
tion and building good relationships 
between the two. They need to at- 
tend General and District Confer- 
ences and complete their assigned 
tasks in a timely manner. 

In addition to the two council 
members, elections will be held for 
all members of the Nominating, 
Conference Membership, and Ways 
and Means Committees. One mem- 
ber will be elected to the Rules and 
Organization Committee, one to the 
Church Polity Committee, and one 
trustee for the Retirement Fund, 
Inc. Delegates will have the oppor- 
tunity to make nominations for any 
of these positions. 

Conference Offerings 

Each evening at General Confer- 
ence an offering is taken for some 
special project. In the past, some 
people who were unable to attend 
Conference have expressed an inter- 
est in contributing to these offerings. 
Following are this year's projects. 

Monday's offering will supple- 
ment the travel subsidy fund of the 
General Conference to be held in 
Estes Park, Colorado, in the year 
2000. Many more people will be 



traveling a long distance to attend 
that Conference, thus a larger fund 
will be needed. 

Tuesday's offering will help fund 
a training retreat for mentors parti- 
cipating in the Brethren Leadership 
Initiative. All Brethren will benefit 
as a model is developed that enables 
local churches to help other local 
churches reach their full potential. 

Wednesday's offering will help ex- 
pand the library of the South Amer- 
ican Theological Seminary in Argen- 
tina. If funds exceed the immediate 
needs, the remainder will be used to 
build a scholarship fund for Breth- 
ren students in Argentina. 

Thursday's offering will help our 
church in Lima, Peru, expand its out- 
grown facilities. Currently, about 45 
people jam into several rooms for 
worship services. 

If you would like to contribute to 
one or more of these projects, send 
your offering to Conference with a 
delegate from your church. Or send 
it directly to The Brethren Church 
National Office, 524 College Ave., 
Ashland, OH 44805. If you send 
amounts for more than one project, 
please send a separate check for 
each project. Make a notation on 
the memo line or attach a note indi- 
cating the specific General Confer- 
ence project for which it is to be 
used. Make all checks payable to 
The Brethren Church, Inc. [ft] 



Women's Luncheon 

Jan Pletcher will be the speak- 
er for the Women's Luncheon 
during General Conference. Mrs. 
Pletcher is a faculty member in 
Communication Arts at Taylor 
University, Upland, Ind. Having 
experienced adverse times, in- 
cluding the paralysis of her son 
when he was two years old, Mrs. 
Pletcher has developed a min- 
istry of hope and encouragement. 
She also speaks on friendships 
and stress. 

A trio from the College Corner 
Brethren Church W.M.S. will pre- 
sent special music. 

The luncheon will be Wednes- 
day, August 5, at 12:30 p.m. in 
the Ashland University Convoca- 
tion Center. The cost is $8.00, 
and reservations are required. 



July/August 1998 



Introducing Faith Partners for Women 



Good Day, Sisters! 

God is always doing something 
new. Praise His Name! We would 
like to share with you one of the 
things He is doing with us. Our 
Lord has given us a vision for a way 
Brethren women can serve each 
other, and we would like to invite 
you to participate. 

We are introducing Faith Part- 
ners. This will be a network of con- 
tacts and services provided to all 
Christians, and especially to the 
women of The Brethren Church. 

Our vision is to encourage and 
equip Christians to vigorously pur- 
sue spiritual growth and to take up 
the ministries to which they are 
called. It is also our vision to sup- 
port women who are already in min- 
istry. We are earnestly seeking God's 
will in these things, and we want to 
hear from you about what you need. 
We hope God will excite the imagi- 
nation and creative spirit of us all as 
we join together. 

We encourage you to think about 
your relationship with God and how 
He is working in your life. Then we 
urge you to share that with others 
for the blessing of us all. 

Faith Partners will be primarily 
a network through which Christians 
can serve and inspire other Christians. 
Through this network, individuals, 
new local groups, established groups 
like WM.S., and professionals offer- 
ing services can unite to build each 
other up in Christ. 

Faith Partners is considering 
such services as: 

• a computerized data base to 
match gifts and skills with needs 
and ministries across the country 

• workshops, seminars, and speak- 
ers for conferences and retreats 

• assistance in developing new min- 
istries, such as a health ministry 

• prayer partners and prayer war- 
rior networks 

• mentoring and class curricula 

• newsletters for women in ministry 

• reviews of books and materials 

• anything else you can think of 
that would help you. 

In addition, if you have something 
to offer to other Christians, we want 



to include you in our network, so 
that they can find you. 

We need your input! Below is 
a checklist of some of the services 
we would like to provide. Please 
check the ones that you think 
would be valuable to you or to your 
group. Also, please add any other 
ideas you have of services that could 
be provided through such a net- 
work. Thanks for your support! 

Checklist 

A newsletter offering support, 
encouragement, and assistance to: 

□ Pastor's wives 

□ Women's groups 

D Others 

□ I am willing to serve in this way 
Prayer teams 

□ I would like a prayer partner 

D I would be interested in serving 
as a prayer warrior 

□ Our group would like to participate 

□ A network for companionship, 
friendship, and support for those 
in ministry 

□ Other needs or ideas 

Ministry Development 

□ An idea exchange; "one-stop 
shopping" for ideas that work 

□ Assistance in developing new 
ministries from others who have 
started similar ones, such as: 
Health ministry 
Lay counseling ministry 
Other 



A database to match gifts and 
skills to needs across the country 

G Training to enable me to feel 
more comfortable and confident 
in starting a new ministry 

Study Materials 

□ Reviews by women of Christian 
books — content and usefulness 



D Materials written by professions 
to address specific topics in my 
area of need 

□ I am interested in writing reviews 

□ I could write study materials 

□ I would like good materials on: 

□ Other needs or ideas 



Worship and retreat aids 

□ Drama or dance teams 

□ Retreat formats and curricula 

□ Music teams 

□ Circulation for my plays, music, etc. 

□ Time at national and local con- 
ferences for women's groups to 
share ideas, needs, resources 
Other ideas or needs 



□ 



Professional workshops and 
retreats on: 

D Dealing with stress, anxiety, 
depression 

□ Marriage, parenting 

□ Health concerns 

Q Prayer, meditation, spiritual disci- 
plines 

□ Forgiving, conflict, reconciliation 
G Life as a pastor's wife 

Q Dying, grieving, and consoling 
Q Communication, Christian 

assertiveness 
Q Seminary-level curricula on Bible 

topics 

□ Experiencing God's love 

□ Women in ministry 

□ Other 

Missions 

Q Needs exchange for missions in 
cooperation with W.M.S. 
Directory for women in ministry 
We would like a "sister church" to 
support and exchange with 
Other needs or ideas 

Internet 

□ I would utilize a Website to the 
Faith Partners network 
I would like to serve this ministry 
with my computer skills 



□ 



My name 
Address 



Phone 



My group, if any (W.M.S. , Women's Bible study, support group, etc.) 

My church 

□ I would like to serve as a contact person for my group or church 
Send completed form to: FAITH PARTNERS, c/o Cheryl Schmiedt, 
20687 S. Manteca Rd., Manteca, CA 95337-9710 



H 



The Brethren Evangelist 



a pd the n , 




New Christian opportunties 
opening up in today's world 

Ashland, Ohio — Momentous move- 
ments of Christianity are taking 
place in our world today, according 
to Dr. Joseph R. Shultz, former 
president of Ashland University and 
Theological Seminary. Dr. Shultz 
now serves as a board member for 
International Institute for Chris- 
tian Studies (IICS), an organization 
that recruits Christian faculty to 
teach in universities and colleges in 
countries, especially post-Commu- 
nist nations, around the world. 

Dr. Shultz reports that Sorgei 
Kiriyenko, the new Prime Minister 
of Russia, attended an M.B.A. class 
with an IICS professor, who shared 
the Gospel. Kiriyenko accepted what 
he heard and thanked God. "Please 
pray for him," Dr. Shultz said. 

A school of psychology in St. Peters- 
burg, Russia, wants IICS to take over 
its program. The head of the school, 
who is a grandson of the Russian 
physiologist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, 
is considering the claims of Christ. 

In China, educators have asked 
IICS to assist in the first revision of 
teacher training curriculum since 
the Communists took over in 1949. 

In Hanoi, officials at Vietnam Na- 
tional University have welcomed a 
Christian professor and are asking 
for more. 

In Maiduguri, Nigeria, a city that 
is strongly Muslim, university offi- 
cials invited IICS to open a depart- 
ment of Christian studies. 

Dr. Shultz notes that there are 
many calls for Christian professors. 
For years, Christians prayed for the 
fall of Communism. Now we must rise 
to the opportunities the Holy Spirit is 
providing in the world today. [ft] 



Former Brethren Chaplain Dan DeVeny 
receives a Doctor of Ministry degree 



Manteca, Calif. — Rev. Dan DeVeny, 
pastor of the Northgate Community 
Brethren Church in Manteca, re- 
ceived a Doctor of Ministry degree 
May 23 from Eastern Baptist Sem- 
inary in Philadelphia. His work for 
the degree focused on marriage and 
family life counseling. 

Dr. DeVeny began the Doctor of 
Ministry program at Eastern Bap- 
tist in September 1995, while serv- 
ing as a chaplain in the U.S. Army. 
He officially retired from the mili- 
tary on November 1, 1997, following 
16 years as a chaplain plus four 
years earlier as an enlisted soldier. 
During his 16 years as chaplain, he 
served as pastor of eight military 
congregations. 

He notes that while he served as 
chaplain, he, his wife Ann, and their 
three children (all three of whom 
are now adults), changed military 
addresses about every three years, 
as they moved from one post to an- 
other. At least one of those address- 
es was in Germany, in addition to 
various bases in the U.S. 

Dr. DeVeny says that one of his 
special memories of the chaplaincy 
was "offering threefold Communion 
to believers who had never experi- 
enced the sweetness of that special 
time." He recalls, "Some were ap- 
prehensive at the beginning, but to 
a person, they were powerfully moved 
as they sensed God's presence." 

Explaining his focus on marriage 
and family life for his degree, Dr. 
DeVeny says, "I have a passion to 




Dr. Dan and Ann DeVeny at the 
graduation party the Northgate Church 
gave them when they returned from 
Dan 's graduation. 

see families function at their best 
.... I know I received more from 
the program, personally than I will 
ever be able to give to others, but 
I'm going to try to balance the 
scales as best I can." 

About his ministry at Northgate 
Community Brethren Church he 
says, "Our intentions are to con- 
tinue marching, as they say in the 
Army. The ministry in Manteca is 
good because God is here. We share 
the Good News of Jesus from a 
church with deep roots — they go all 
the way back to Calvary. " [ft] 



Doyle Paul a state finalist 
for Teacher of Year honor 

Berlin, Pa. — Doyle Paul, a mem- 
ber of the Berlin Brethren Church, 
has been named as one of 12 final- 
ists for the 1999 Pennsylvania 
Teacher of the Year award. 

Mr. Paul was selected by receiving 
the top score for nominees from Re- 
gion III in the state. He was nomi- 
nated by John Krupper, assistant 
high school principal of the Berlin 
School, where Mr. Paul teaches. 

Mr. Paul is the agriculture educa- 
tion instructor at Berlin. He is also 



adviser to the Berlin Brothersvalley 
FFA and Young Farmers chapters. 

Mr. Paul is a deacon in the Berlin 
Brethren Church and serves as a 
Sunday school teacher. He is also 
involved in the community in nu- 
merous organizations. He is presi- 
dent of both the Berlin Volunteer 
Fire Department and the Berlin 
Brothersvalley Community Fair. 

The 1999 Pennsylvania Teacher 
of the Year will not be announced 
until October 15. But whether or 
not Mr. Paul is so named, to be one 
of 12 finalists in the state for this 
title is of itself a great honor. [ftl 



July/August 1998 




Pastor Chuck Wolfinbarger 
named Citizen of the Year 

Franklin, Ohio — Chuck Wolfin- 
barger, co-pastor of the Vineyard 
Community (Brethren) Church 
near Franklin was honored recently 
by the Franklin Area Chamber of 
Commerce as Citizen of the Year. 

Wolfinbarger co-pastors Vineyard 
Community Church with Mike Sove. 
The church was formed earlier this 
year when Vineyard Christian Fel- 
lowship, which Wolfinbarger started 
in 1988, merged with Northview 
Brethren Life Church, which Sove 
pastored. 

Vineyard Christian Fellowship op- 
erates a summer lunch program in 
Franklin. The program provides 
free lunches for needy children 
twice a week. The church also start- 
ed a free store called the Vineyard 
Downtown. Families that receive 
clothing or other items do some 
community work in exchange. In 
addition, church members clean up 
the streets in Franklin every year 
after the city's Riverdays Festival. 

Wolfinbarger also does group 
counseling at several schools for 
boys in need of adult leadership. 
And he serves as a volunteer junior 
high and high school track coach. 

"Jesus said to love God and love 
your neighbor," Wolfinbarger told 
chamber members when he received 
the award. "That's all we're trying 
to do, and we believe if you do that, 
you can make a difference." [U*] 



Hammond Avenue Church breaks ground 
on June 7 for $500,000 Family Life Center 



did not have 



Sandbergs and Finkses Visit China 

Ashland, Ohio — Dr. Emanuel and Ann Sandberg 
and Dr. Fred and Holly Finks made a two-week visit 
to China during June to explore open doors for the 
gospel. They traveled to Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, 
Nanjing, and Hong Kong and visited seminaries in 
Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing. They had a good 
trip and returned to Ashland safely on June 30. A 
report of their visit will be included in an upcoming 
issue of the Evangelist. 



Waterloo, Iowa — A few years 
back, two churches in Waterloo — 
the First Brethren Church and the 
City Church of the Brethren — were 
faced with similar problems. Nei- 
ther church had enough. The City 
Church did not have enough people 
for its building, and the First 
Brethren Church 
enough building 
for its people. 

The two con- 
gregations solved 
their problems 
in 1992 by merg- 
ing to form the 
Hammond Ave- 
nue Brethren 
Church. The 
combined con- 
gregation sold 
the First Breth- 
ren Church 
building and 
meets in the 
building that 
had belonged to 
the City Church 
of the Brethren. 
Now the Ham- 
mond Avenue 

Brethren Church again has a prob- 
lem of not enough : not enough space 
for all its ministries. The congrega- 
tion is solving this problem by adding 
a $500,000 expansion to its facility. 
The main part of the new struc- 
ture will be a Family Life Center. It 
will house a multipurpose room that 
can be used for basketball, volley- 
ball, and other recreational activi- 
ties, but which can also be convert- 
ed into a dining room that will seat 
200 people for a meal. The building 
will also contain a 
new kitchen (twice 
the size of the 
church's present 
one) and an eleva- 
tor. Both will bet- 
ter serve the needs 
of the congrega- 
tion now and in 
the future. 

Ground was bro- 
ken for the new 
building on June 7, 



following the morning worship ser- 
vice. Church members Don Catch- 
pool and Leroy Lamb turned the 
first shovelfuls of dirt; then the 
whole congregation got involved. 
Senior Pastor Ronald L. Waters 
grasped the handles of a John Deere 
walk-behind plow, and the rest of 
the congregation grabbed hold of 




Senior Pastor Ronald L. Waters guides the plow while the 
congregation pulls as together they break ground for a new 
addition to the Hammond Avenue Church building. 

two long ropes. At the pastor's 
word, all pulled together to break 
the ground. 

The construction crew started on 
the project the next day. The addi- 
tion is scheduled for a December 
completion. 

The congregation has shown great 
enthusiasm for the project from the 
very beginning. Even the vote to 
spend more than $20,000 on 
blueprints was 100 percent. "God's 
hand of blessing has truly been on 
this project," said Associate Pastor 
Bill Shipman, "and we look to the 
future for great things to happen as 
we all pull together." 

— reported by Rev. Bill Shipman 



Yesterday cannot be recalled, 
Tomorrow cannot be assured, 
Today only is yours. 
And if you lose today, you may 
have lost it forever. 

— Jeremy Taylor 



10 



The Brethren Evangelist 



World Relief News 



Washington, D.C. — Because of 
its initiatives in bringing churches 
together to respond to the impact of 
welfare reform, World Relief, the 
international assistance arm of the 
National Association of Evangeli- 
cals, was recently named as a new 
member of the Welfare to Work 
Coalition to Sustain Success. 

The Welfare to Work Coalition to 
Sustain Success is a network of vol- 
unteer and faith-based organiza- 



tions that help families successfully 
move off welfare and into perma- 
nent jobs. The coalition meets regu- 
larly to exchange ideas and study 
successful program models. 

"Only by our actions can we earn 
the right to be heard and participate 
in the full transformation of lives," 
said Clive Calver, president of World 
Relief. "Living out Christianity re- 
quires a radical lifestyle that means 
getting involved in the hurts of 




The Brethren Church received a special award from World Relief Corpo- 
ration of the National Association of Evangelicals during the association's 
annual convention in Orlando, Fla., in March. Dr. Clive Calver (r.), president 
of World Relief, presented the "Open Hands Award" to Dr. Emanuel Sand- 
berg, Executive Director of The Brethren Church. The award recognizes the 
commitment of The Brethren Church to help the poor in the name of Christ, 
as evidenced by our support of the work of World Relief in 1997. Thanks to 
the partnership of The Brethren Church, in 1997 thousands of people re- 
ceived emergency help in the war-torn areas of Rwanda, Congo, Liberia, and 
Bosnia. Hundreds of thousands more in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the 
United States were able to work their way out of grinding poverty through 
our partnership. "By working together, we can make a difference and change 
this world for Jesus Christ," declared Dr. Calver. 

Those attending General Conference in August will have an opportunity 
to see the award we Brethren received from World Relief. They will also have 
an opportunity to see and hear Dr. Calver, when he speaks during the World 
Relief Soup Luncheon on Thursday and during the Thursday evening wor- 
ship service. And, of course, they will have a chance to see and hear Dr. Buzz 
Sandberg during the week as well. 







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others while boldly proclaiming the 
good news of saving faith in Jesus." 

"The needs are enormous," Dr. 
Calver continued, "and only by 
working together, across denomina- 
tional and racial divides can the 
church rise to this historic challenge 
and make a measurable difference 
in the lives of the poor in America." 

In several communities across the 
country, World Relief is bringing 
churches together to address the 
needs of families impacted by wel- 
fare reform. In Chicago, churches 
are helping homeless families be- 
come self-supporting again, while in 
Miami, 90 churches are networking 
to provide food to 900 senior citi- 
zens who lost access to food stamps. 

In Buffalo, N.Y., and Marion, Ind., 
World Relief is helping churches 
create a program model that assists 
families moving from welfare to 
work. The churches are developing 
training materials to help churches 
work together to overcome racial 
and denominational barriers that 
can keep them from effectively min- 
istering to the poor. 

Relief work in Sudan 

On another part of our globe, 
World Relief has responded to the 
cry of church leaders in southern 
Sudan and is working with a con- 
sortium of Christian aid agencies to 
provide emergency assistance to an 
estimated 930,0000 displaced people 
in this African country. These peo- 
ple have been forced to leave their 
homes by the long-running civil war 
in this land. 

World Relief is providing seeds 
and tools to the displaced people so 
that they can provide for themselves 
as quickly as possible. 

"The church in Sudan needs to 
know that their brothers and sisters 
in America have not forgotten them 
and are even willing to suffer with 
them as the Sudanese continue to 
cling to their faith in Jesus, who 
brings them eternal salvation," said 
Dr. Calver. [ft] 



July/August 1998 



11 



ond_f^e 




Doing something about 
immorality in the media 

On Television 

New York, N.Y. — Are you fed up 
with the violence, vulgarity, and 
gratuitous sex on television, and 
wish you could do something about 
it? If so, Morality in Media, a nation- 
al interfaith organization, has pub- 
lished a handbook that can help you. 

TV: The World's Greatest Mind- 
Bender is a 48-page handbook for 
parents, grandparents, and others 
who are deeply concerned about 
much of the programming on televi- 
sion. "More than ever, TV viewers 
need the 'know-how' at their finger 
tips to fight back," said Robert W. 
Peters, president of Morality in 
Media. "That's why we wrote our 
Mind-Bender handbook — to collect 
and organize this 'know-how' into 
one publication and make it the tool 
concerned Americans can use for 
this job." 

The handbook, which was recent- 
ly completely updated from its first 
edition in 1992 — includes: 

• How to make indecency com- 
plaints to the FCC. 

• A summary of the laws against 
indecency and obscenity on 
broadcasting, cablecasting, and 
satellite TV 

• A list of the top TV advertisers 
and their products. 

• Surveys and studies of TV con- 
tent (sex, vulgarity, and violence). 

• Addresses and phone numbers of 
key TV executives. 

• Statistics on TV viewing habits. 

• Evidence of TV's negative effects 
on children, adults, and families. 

• Answers to cliche arguments rou- 
tinely used by the defenders of 
TV trash. 

• Results of opinion surveys on 
what Americans think of TV 

Copies of TV: The World's Great- 
est Mind-Bender are available for 
$5.00 each from Morality in Media, 



Four Brethren among 
ATS graduates in May 

Ashland, Ohio— fbur Brethren 
were am©ng ^tri# : 15,0 graduates 
who^received degrees May 30 from 
Ashland Theological Seminary. 

John Philip Allison received 
the Master of Divinity degree 
(with honors). Allison is currently 
serving as pastor of the Brighton 
Congregational Church near Well- 
ington, Ohio, which he began serv- 
ing while attending the seminary. 

Rev. Eugene Gregory Bell 



received the Doctor of Ministries 
degree. Dr. Bell is director of an 
inner-city ministry located in Indi- 
anapolis, Indiana. 

Rev. Rickey Allen Bolden 
received the Doctor of Ministries 
degree. Dr. Bolden is pastor of 
Southeast Christian Fellowship, a 
Brethren congregation in Wash- 
ington, D.C. 

Douglas F. Cunningham re- 
ceived the Master of Arts degree. 
Cunningham, from the Milledge- 
ville, 111., Brethren Church, is now 
active in the Ashland Park Street 
Brethren Church. [ft] 



475 Riverside Dr., Suite 239, New 
•York, NY *TO115 (ph. 212-870-3222). 

On the Internet 

Charlotte, N.C. — Pornography and 
other unacceptable content on the 
Internet is a serious problem. Par- 
ents and teachers want children to 
learn to use the Internet, but they 
are concerned about the unwhole- 
some content so readily available. 

One way of dealing with this is by 
purchasing and installing on the fam- 
ily computer a software program 
that blocks access to objectionable 
material. But such software pack- 
ages can be difficult to install, ex- 
pensive to maintain, and, above all, 
have proven to be easily disabled or 
circumvented — even by children. 

A Christian Internet service 
called 711.NET is offering a solu- 
tion: Rated-G Online, an Internet 
service provider that keeps inappro- 
priate or offensive content from 
ever reaching your computer. 

Rated-G Online provides com- 
plete access to Internet content ex- 
cept to sites which fall into one of 
the following categories: nudity (ex- 
cept classical art or medical sites); 
pornography and other sites labeled 
expressly for adults; depiction or 
description of sexual acts; violence; 
drug use; vulgarities; racial, ethnic, 
or other inappropriate discrimina- 
tion; crime, tastelessness; and high- 
risk chat or newsgroup sites. Since 
thousands of new web sites come 
online weekly on the Internet, 
Rated-G Online's database filters 
are monitored and updated daily. 

Rated-G Online currently offers 



direct dial-up services with local 
phone numbers in more than 180 
metropolitan areas nationwide, with 
up to 1,000 to be available by the 
end of 1998. The flat-rate charge for 
Internet access and e-mail service is 
$24.95 per month. More informa- 
tion and online sign-up is available 
at the Rated-G Online web site 
(www.rated-g.com) or by calling 1- 
-711-6381. [ft] 



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Vol.120, No. 8 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



September 1998 



Impressions of General Conference 
by those who were there 



urn 



REMENDOUS Conference!! 
Best I've ever attended," Fred 
Brandon wrote. 

"This was the most inspirational 
Conference I've attended," Brenda 
Colijn said. 

"Wow! What a spiritual Conference! 
We need more like this one!" Dee 
Benshoff exclaimed. 

"Excellent Conference! Life-chang- 
ing experiences!" Cheryl Schmiedt 
declared. 

"I'm still resting in the glory of 
this Conference! In all our years we 
don't ever recall this preciousness of 
His Holy Spirit's presence," Ann De- 
Veny testified. 

These are just a few of many such 
comments received about General 
Conference, which was held last 
month (August 3-7). The comments 
came on response forms filled out at 
Conference and in e-mail "Reflec- 
tions on General Conference" solic- 
ited after the event. 

There was widespread agreement 
among those who responded that 
this was indeed a great Conference. 
This does not mean that there were 
no negative comments about some 
aspects of the week. But even those 
who criticized some facet of the 
Conference generally agreed that it 
was a great week overall. 

All speakers a blessing 

Five main speakers — Terry Wardle, 
Bruce Wilkinson, Richard Parrott, 
Clive Calver, and David West brought 
messages during the week. With this 
many speakers, it is not unusual for 
one or more of them not to measure 
up to the rest. But this was not the 
case at this Conference. 

"All the speakers were excellent," 
Lynn Mercer remarked. Bill Musser 



exclaimed, "Every speaker this year 
was outstanding!!!" But perhaps 
Judy Eckerley said it best: "The 
speakers were the best we have had 
in many years. Usually one or two 
bless me, but all were just top notch." 




jrf' Visualize 
^^ Renewal 



Many people said that they were 
particularly blessed by one or two or 
even three of the speakers. But 
some mentioned some speakers and 
others mentioned other speakers, so 
that in sum every speaker was a 
special blessing to someone. Also 
mentioned among those who 
brought special blessings were 
Ronald W Waters, who presented a 
workshop, and Steve Saint and two 
"Auca" (Huaorani) Indians, who 
made a missions presentation. 

Last year many Brethren left 
Conference with speaker Hal Seed's 
prayer on their lips: "God, I don't ask 
You for much; I just ask that You 
give me Your heart for the lost." This 
year they went home with speaker 
Terry Wardle's words in their 
hearts: "God is nuts about you!" 

Why the great Conference? 

Why was this such a great Confer- 
ence? A lot of extra time, effort, and 
planning went into it. A theme for 



the week, "Visualize Renewal," was 
selected and broken down into daily 
emphases — renewal of heart, rela- 
tionships, spirit, zeal for the lost 
(missions), and the church. Speak- 
ers were carefully selected, to ad- 
dress each of these themes. 

Time spent in prayer 

But perhaps more important than 
the planning was the time spent in 
prayer for this Conference. In fact, 
prayer was part of the planning. As 
Conference approached, more and 
more people were invited to partici- 
pate in this prayer preparation. 
This culminated in a call for Breth- 
ren across the denomination to join 
in a three-day fast (July 27-29), 
during which they would pray for 
the Conference — specifically for the 
speakers, for a spirit of repentance 
and renewal, for unity among God's 
people, for God's voice to be clearly 
heard, and for "visualized renewal." 

James Bingle raised a pertinent 
question about the prayer and fast- 
ing. He wrote, "The Holy Spirit, in- 
deed, has enabled us to hear and see 
the truth. Is it possible that the call 
for prayer and fasting before Con- 
ference was the catalyst?" Sue Mer- 
( continued on next page) 



Inside this issue 



This entire issue, except for page 
11 — which highlights the Brethren 
Youth In Christ program — is devot- 
ed to coverage of General Confer- 
ence. Regular features, including 
recent news from around the de- 
nomination, will return next month. 

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



cer affirmed that it was: "It was a 
dynamic week. What was different? 
I think a three-day fast for the Con- 
ference." Ann DeVeny said it more 
forcefully: "I believe the fasting and 
prayer that preceded the conference 
was important in ushering in His 
strong presence." And for Emery 
Hurd, there was little doubt: "I am 
convinced that our time of fasting 
and prayer prior to Conference was 
the major reason for this 'fresh 
wind' of the Spirit at Conference." 

But what about renewal? 

The goal of this Conference was 
that Brethren who came would ex- 
perience renewal from God. Did it 
happen? Many people thought so. 

Ken Solomon wrote, "There is 
ample evidence that our prayers for 
God's blessing on this conference 
were amply answered and that re- 
newal is taking place." 

His opinion was shared by Roger 
Stogsdill, who said, "I was very 
much uplifted by General Confer- 
ence this year. ... I do feel renewed. 
From the responses of the people 
who came with me from this church, 
they feel renewed as well." He also 
commented that during Conference 
week, "I heard people all over the 
place talking about the renewal 
being experienced." 

Jim Boyd saw among Brethren at 
Conference "more openness to 
change" and a "willingness to try 
new things" as evidence of "vision 
renewal." 

One person whom God renewed is 
John Garrett. He wrote, "Coming 
home from Conference renewed my 
commitment to be a man of prayer, 
seeking Him in all things . . . ; [to 
have] a repentant heart (especially 
in the area of pride); and [to] con- 
tinually strive to KNOW Christ; to 



The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) 
is published monthly (except July and August 
issues are combined) by The Brethren Church, 
Inc., 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 
(telephone: 419-289-1708; fax: 419-281-0450; 
e-mail: brethren@bright.net). Authors' views are 
not necessarily those of The Brethren Church. 
Editor: Richard C. Winfield. Subscription rates: 
Sent free to Brethren Church members; $15.00 
per year to others. Member: Evangelical Press 
Association. Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio. 
Postmaster: Send address changes to The 
Brethren Church, 524 College Avenue, Ashland, 
OH 44805-3792. 



think like Him; to talk like Him; to 
love like Him; to be compassionate 
like Him; to hate sin like Him; to 
forgive like Him; to be as committed 
to the Gospel as He was to bring it!" 
And he adds, "O Lord, bring re- 
vival — and let it begin with me!" 

While not using the word renewal, 
Fred Finks talks about it when he 
says, "I was touched in some per- 
sonal and private areas of my life 
that have set me on a course of re- 
flection, prayer, and study I trust 
that this will not [be] just a passing 
moment of truth for me, but will be 
ingrained in the way I think and 
live." His second sentence reminds 
us all that renewal must be more 
than "a passing moment." 

Larry Baker makes this more ex- 
plicit when he says that the long- 
term indication of renewal is to "see 
if things change in the lives of con- 
gregations and other individuals; 
i.e., is the renewal transferred or 
shared with others. We've got [to] 
pass it on, and not just be content 
with some warm, fuzzy feelings." 

Will the renewal spread? 

His comments remind us that the 
goal for this Conference was not 
only that renewal would occur 
among those who attended, but that 
this renewal would also spread 
throughout The Brethren Church. 
Opinions about whether or not this 
will happen ranged from pessimistic, 
through hopeful, to optimistic. 

Jim Thomas had his doubts. He 
wrote, "Personally I gained a lot and 
have experienced renewal in every 
area of my life, but I doubt that that 
will translate back to the districts or 
to many local churches." 

Larry Baker was more hopeful: "If 
the renewed leadership can success- 
fully take this back to the churches 
and the districts, it could filter down 
to the person in the pew." 

Michael Woods, who served out- 
side The Brethren Church the past 
two years, believes this renewal has 
already begun. He wrote, "Two or 
three times during this week's Con- 
ference I turned to someone near 
me and asked, 'Where am I?' The 
spiritual environment has changed 
drastically in two years. This from 
someone who was away and came 
back home and found a new home in 
its place." 



He went on to say, "I sincerely 
believe God is doing something un- 
predictably wonderful in our 
church. . . . Specifically, I believe 
God is calling each of us to a pas- 
sionate love relationship with Him, 
expressed so well by Dr. Wardle on 
Monday night. The renewal in our 
denomination is here. And it's hap- 
pening in us. As the old quote goes, 
'Everybody wants to change the 
world . . . nobody wants to change 
themselves.' Contrary to that, God 
IS changing us." 

Sharing Mike Woods conviction 
that renewal has begun is Jill Stone. 
She wrote, "I believe that renewal is 
happening in The Brethren Church. 
I know that it has begun in my life." 
Following Terry Wardle's message 
on Monday night, in which he said 
that God loves us 'passionately,' she 
responded by "saying to God that I 
am going to be more 'passionate' in 
my relationship with Him. My heart 
has been full of Jesus ever since." 

She continues: "I had a dream the 
next day .... I saw a flower-lined 
walkway leading up to a beautiful, 
ornate door. I was told in my dream 
that we are now at the place that we 
have been waiting for. I believe this 
was a true message from God. All 
we have to do is open this door and 
allow God into our churches, and He 
is waiting to bless us. God is ready 
to pour out His blessing on our 
church!" 

The Brethren are ready 

She concludes: "I believe that the 
Brethren are ready. We have prayed 
and fasted in advance, and I believe 
that God is moving. We are going to 
see great things because we are 
seeking God and opening the door 
for Him to come!" [ft] 

The articles on the following pages 
attempt to capture some of the essence 
of Conference in an effort to spread the 
spirit of renewal. Audio cassettes are 
also available of the messages by 
Richard Parrott, Cliue Calver, and 
David West, the missions presentation 
by Steve Saint and the Huaorani Indi- 
ans, and the church growth workshop 
by Terry Wardle ($4.00 each from the 
National Office). Let's make use of 
these resources to keep alive the "fresh 
wind of the Spirit. " And let us contin- 
ue to pray for renewal in our lives and 
throughout The Brethren Church. 



The Brethren Evangelist 



f Sj 

Emanuel Sandberg makes 
"Visualize Renewal" personal 



5S- 



J 



TO PUT the Conference theme, 
Visualize Renewal, squarely 
before the Brethren attending Gen- 
eral Conference, Dr. Emanuel (Buzz) 
Sandberg, Executive Director of The 
Brethren Church, zeroed in on this 
theme in an address he made during 
the opening celebration on Monday 
evening. His comments preceded a 
message by Dr. Terry Wardle (see 
next page ). 

Personal testimony 

Dr. Sandberg began by witnessing 
to God's work in his own life during 
the past year. He shared two per- 
sonal experiences, a "mountain- 
top" and a "valley" experience. 

The mountain-top experience re- 
lated to a commission he received 
from God 45 years ago and which he 
has kept in his heart ever since — to 
help bring God's word to God's chil- 
dren in China. In June, Dr. Sand- 
berg, his wife Ann, and Dr. Fred 
Finks, president of Ashland Theo- 
logical Seminary, and his wife Holly, 
spent two weeks in China. They vis- 
ited five major cities, three seminar- 
ies, and talked to Christian leaders, 
teachers, and students. 

As a result, three students from 
China will enter Ashland Theologi- 
cal Seminary this fall. These stu- 
dents will study at Ashland and 
then go back to China as seminary 
teachers or as pastors. The hope is 
that these are the first of many 
more students from China who will 
.follow in their footsteps. 

The valley experience was sick- 
ness in the form of prostate cancer, 
that resulted in surgery. But even 
this had its blessings. Before he 
went to the Cleveland Clinic for 
surgery, Dr. Sandberg was anointed 
in a special service led by Dr. Finks 
at Ashland Theological Seminary. 

The surgery went well, and three 
weeks later, when Dr. Sandberg re- 
turned to the clinic to get the 
pathology report, he was given 
"good news." There was no evidence 
that the cancer had spread, and 




Dr. Buzz and Ann Sandberg 

therefore no further treatment 
would be necessary. He was also 
given "bad news" — that the pathol- 
ogy analysis of the prostate gland 
showed no evidence of cancer either, 
despite the fact that seven of nine 
earlier biopsies had shown cancer in 
a relatively advanced state. 

The doctor was mystified. This 
had never happened to him before. 
He was also apprehensive. "You 
probably think we should not have 
done the surgery." To which Mrs. 

Sandberg replied, "Dr. , 

it is a miracle, and it was God's 



answer to hundreds of prayers." 
Having shared how God had 
worked in his own life, Dr. Sandberg 
then called upon Brethren to prepare 
for God to work in their lives during 
the week ahead — a week of renewal. 
He first asked that they pray that 
their lives would be changed — "In- 
vite God in; ask forgiveness for your 
transgressions; and pray that God 
will renew your life." 

He then asked that they consider 
five areas of their lives that would 
be the focus of the week — "your 
heart, your personal relationships, 
your spirit, your zeal to reach the 
lost, and your church." Referring to 
each of these five areas in turn, he 
asked that they inventory the pre- 
sent state of that area of their lives, 
both the pluses and the minuses. 
Then he asked that they visualize 
what this area of their life would be 
like if it were totally renewed, all 
hurts, all shortcomings, all prob- 
lems gone. He also suggested that 
this should be a process that they 
continue throughout the week. 

"Take inventory of your life" 

"I am asking you to take inven- 
tory of your life and to visualize the 
renewal of your life. We are here to 
celebrate our relationship with one 
another and with God and to take 
the first steps in renewing our 
lives," he said as he concluded. "Ask 
God for a renewed life — to be 'born 
again' again! If you do, after this 
week your life will never be the 
same." [ft] 




Brethren at 
Conference 
were blessed 
by the presence 
of Sehor Jose 
Rivero (I.), 
president of 
The Brethren 
Church in Ar- 
gentina, and 
ofMarcelo and 
Adriana 
Ferreri and 
their daughter 
Jana. The 
Ferreris, also 
from the 
Argentine 
Brethren Church, serve as Brethren missionaries in Medellin, Colombia. 



September 1998 



"God is nuts about you," 
Wardle tells Conference 



Terry 



J 



DR. TERRY WARDLE* began his 
message during the Monday 
evening service of General Confer- 
ence by telling about helping to 
build a house. The walls and rafters 
were up, and he and other carpen- 
ters were working on the 
roof, when suddenly the 
structure shifted and 
began to collapse. 

As he and the other car- 
penters hurried down 
from the roof, they saw 
many things that needed 
fixed — crooked walls, a 
twisted staircase, sections 
that had fallen down. But 
it wasn't until they got to 
the basement that they 
found the problem. There 
they discovered that part 
of the foundation had col- 
lapsed. Other things need 
to be fixed, but the foun- 
dation was the problem. 

Repair the foundation 

So it is in our Christian 
lives and in the church. Other 
things need to be fixed, but first of 
all we need to repair the foundation. 
"We need to be attentive to the 
foundational issue of our passion for 
Christ," Dr. Wardle said. 

The starting point of our love for 
Christ is knowing His love for us. 
We need to be able to testify to the 
passionate love of God for us. As we 
become aware of how much He loves 
us, that love ignites in us a furious 
love for Him. 

Dr. Wardle told about a nun whose 
priest told her to spend some time 
in solitude. When she returned, the 
priest asked her what God had said 
to her. "He said He's nuts about 

*Dr. Wardle is associate professor of 
church planting at Ashland Theologi- 
cal Seminary. Before joining the sem- 
inary faculty in June, he was director 
for two years of a retreat center for 
renewal and restoration of Christian 
leaders, which he founded, and prior 
to that he served as a church planter. 



me," she replied. The priest sent her 
back for another period of solitude. 
When she came back again, the 
priest again asked her what God 
had said. She answered, "He told 
me that He's really nuts about me!" 




Following his message, Dr. Terry Wardle took time out from 
chatting with the Brethren to pose with his wife, Cheryl (at his 
left), and their three children (I. to r.), Cara, Aaron, and Emily. 

"Is the foundation of your life 
secure because you know that God 
is passionate about you?" Dr. War- 
dle asked. "And are you passionate 
for Him?" 

Information or transformation 

In John 17:3, Jesus prayed that 
His followers might "know you, the 
only true God, and Jesus Christ, 
whom you have sent." We need to 
know Him, not just about Him, Dr. 
Wardle declared. This is a knowl- 
edge that brings about transforma- 
tion. "Our churches are over in- 
formed and under transformed" he 
said. We give out information and 
pass over transformation. 

"Never place you identity in any- 
thing you can lose," Dr. Wardle 
warned. "Find your identity in 
God's love. That you can never 
lose." 

"But don't other problems need to 
be addressed?" he asked. "Yes, but 
be passionate about God, and all the 



rest will come out of that," he an- 
swered. 

The key to Jesus' ministry was 
that He did what He saw the Father 
doing (Jn. 5:19). "For the Father 
loves the Son and shows him all he 
does" (v. 20). When we are con- 
vinced that God loves us and we 
passionately love Him in return, we 
too will seek to do the works that He 
is doing. Devotion and service go 
together. Jesus said that if we abide 
in Him (devotion), we will bring 
forth much fruit (service) (Jn. 15:5). 
Dr. Wardle reported 
that surveys of people 
around the world have 
shown that they are seek- 
ing two basic things: true 
transcendency and true 
relationships. If we know 
that we are furiously 
loved by God and if we 
furiously love Him in re- 
turn, we have the answer 
to both these needs. 

Dr. Wardle concluded 
his message by suggesting 
a simple prayer, "Lord, 
transform my heart." He 
said, "If we'd ask for it, 
He'd give it." He invited 
all who wanted that kind 
of transformation in their 
lives to come to the plat- 
form area following his 
message. The front of the audito- 
rium was crowded with those who 
responded. [ft] 



Dr. Wardle also led a workshop 
about church planting on Friday 
morning of Conference. It focused 
not on methods, but on "Spiritual 
Realities and Church Planting." 

Dr. Wardle stressed the impor- 
tance of spiritual formation (being 
conformed to Christ's image), spir- 
itual direction (discovering God's 
leading), spiritual discernment 
(doing what the Father is doing), 
spiritual warfare (being armed for 
the battle), and spiritual empower- 
ment (being Spirit-filled and em- 
powered) to church planting. 

What he said applies not only to 
church planting, but to Christian 
ministry in general. The audio cas- 
sette of his workshop {available 
from the National Office) would be 
of benefit to any Christian, not just 
those involved in church planting. 



The Brethren Evangelist 



r 



Bruce Wilkinson calls Christians 
to "move to the first chair" 



V 



J 



THE THREE CHAIRS: A Legacy 
to Live By was the title of Dr. 
Bruce Wilkinson's* message during 
the Tuesday evening worship service 
of General Conference. The three 
chairs of the title represent three 
generations of people and three 
kinds of relationships to the Lord. 

The three generations are: chair 
1 — a generation of people who know 
the Lord, see His mighty deeds, and 
follow Him with all their hearts; 
chair 2 — the next generation, who 
know about the Lord, hear about His 
mighty deeds, and follow Him half- 
heartedly; and chair 3 — the third 
generation, who don't know the Lord, 
are not taught about His mighty 
deeds, and don't follow Him at all. 

He illustrated the three genera- 
tions from the history of Israel in 
the days of Joshua and following, as 
described in Judges 2:7, 10-12. 

The people served the Lord through- 
out the lifetime of Joshua [genera- 
tion 1] and of the elders who out- 
lived him and who had seen all the 
great things the Lord had done for 
Israel. . . . After that whole genera- 
tion [generation 2] had been gath- 
ered to their fathers, another gener- 
ation [generation 3] grew up, who 
knew neither the Lord nor what he 
had done for Israel. Then the Isra- 
elites did evil in the eyes of the Lord 
and served the Baals. They forsook 
the Lord, the God of their fathers, 
who had brought them out of Egypt. 

Dr. Wilkinson also illustrated it 
from Christian experience. A father 
and mother are deeply committed to 
the Lord and serve Him with all 
their hearts. Their children go to 
church, learn about the Lord, and 
serve him half-heartedly. Their chil- 
dren, in turn (the third generation), 
seeing their parents' hypocrisy and 
their lack of commitment, leave the 
church and do not follow the Lord. 

He defined the relationship of the 
three generations to God as: chair 



*Dr. Wilkinson is founder and presi- 
dent of Walk Thru the Bible Ministries. 




Dr. Wilkinson stands in front of the three 
chairs he used to illustrate his message. 

1 — commitment; sold out to God; 
chair 2 — compromise; living for God 
and self; chair 3 — conflict; in conflict 
with God and living totally for self. 
Dr. Wilkinson directed the rest of 



his message primarily to those in 
the audience living in chair 2. He 
appealed to them to move from 
chair 2 to chair 1 by making an all- 
out commitment to God. He said 
that second-chair Christians are 
carnal Christians — born-again peo- 
ple who live like they're not. 

First-chair Christians see God's 
mighty works in their lives, and God 
speaks to them. But second-chair 
Christians often say their prayers 
bounce off the ceiling. "They don't 
bounce off the ceiling," Dr. Wilkin- 
son said. "They bounce off the fact 
that you aren't sold out to God." 

Second-chair Christians are de- 
scribed in Revelation 3:15, 16 as 
neither hot nor cold. Jesus says to 
them, "So, because you are luke- 
warm — neither hot nor cold — I am 
about to spit you out of my mouth. " 
But Dr. Wilkinson offered hope, for 
later in the passage Jesus says, 
"Those whom I love I rebuke and dis- 
cipline. So be earnest, and repent." 

Dr. Wilkinson concluded his mes- 
sage by calling on second-generation 
Christians to become sold out to 
God. "Jesus is calling us to give up 
the second chair and move to the 
first," he said. The front of the au- 
ditorium was filled with those who 
responded to his invitation. [ft] 



Dr. Wilkinson talks about 
breakthroughs in marriage 

IN ADDITION to his Tuesday 
evening message, Dr. Wilkinson 
presented a workshop on Wednes- 
day morning about marriage. He 
spoke about three areas of mar- 
riage — relationship, role, and re- 
sponsibility — with the stated goal 
that everyone in the audience would 
experience a breakthrough in at 
least one of these areas. 

Relationship. His first chal- 
lenge was that husbands and wives 
experience a breakthrough in loyal- 
ty to their relationship — complete 
loyalty at all times. Noting with 
alarm that recent statistics indicate 
that more Christians are getting di- 
vorces than non-Christians, he said 
that marriages break down first in 
loyalty. Examples of disloyalty in- 
clude having an emotional or physi- 
cal affair with another person, look- 
ing upon another person with lust, 
and being more devoted to one's 



work than to one's spouse. Any- 
thing but complete loyalty is sin. 

Role. His second challenge was 
that husbands and wives experience 
a breakthrough in achieving their 
biblical roles in marriage. According 
to Ephesians 5:23, the role of the 
husband is to be the head of the 
wife. That means that he should 
lead; should take responsibility. The 
role of the wife is to come alongside 
her husband and help him. 

Responsibility. His third chal- 
lenge was that husbands and wives 
experience a breakthrough in living 
out their responsibilities in mar- 
riage. The responsibility of the hus- 
band is to love his wife with uncon- 
ditional love. The responsibility of 
the wife is to submit to her husband 
by practicing an attitude of respect. 

"What happens when all three 
breakthroughs take place in both 
partners?" Dr. Wilkinson asked. 
"Every dream you ever had about 
your marriage will be realized," he 
promised. [ft] 



September 1998 



Richard Parrott looks at ways 
to clear the clutter from your soul 



J 



DR. RICHARD PARROTT* began 
his message on Wednesday 
evening of Conference with a garage 
sale, a garage sale in his soul. After 
revealing some of the clutter that 
resides in his soul and the price of 
giving it up, he said, "I want to talk 
about taking care of your soul." 




Gift Announced 



Dr. Richard Parrott — having a garage sale in his soul. 

"Clutter — y our life is full of it; my demons can't 
life is full of it," he continued. Clut- 
ter touches every aspect of our lives, 
including our souls — our 
sense of who we are at the 
middle of our being. "There 
has to be another way be- 
sides clutter," he said. 

There are two approaches 
to life: the way of clutter 
and the way of simplicity. "I 
want to suggest for you 
tonight a bridge to move out 
of one and into the other," 
he said. 

He found that bridge in 
the Gospel of Mark, chapter 
one, which he said could be 
called "a day in the life of 
Jesus." It was a very de- 
manding day, and by its end 



everyone was worn out. Neverthe- 
less, Jesus refused to be a victim to 
the clutter and the clamor of His 
world. He did so by maintaining the 
"margins" of His life. 

How do we put margins in our 
lives? Dr. Parrott suggested three 
ways from Mark chapter one. 

First, we need 
an evening in the 
house with Jesus 
(verse 32). We 
need a safe place, 
a quiet time, with 
special friends (for 
where two or 
three are gathered 
in His name, Jesus 
is there). 

In such a time 
and place, the ill- 
nesses in our souls 
and the demons 
that haunt us can 
come to the sur- 
face and we can 
begin to deal with 
them. Many of our 
be handled alone. 
"You need a night in the house with 
Jesus, where you can talk it out, 



pray it through, and be free," Dr. 
Parrott said. 

Second, we need a morning in the 
hills (verse 35). We must spend time 
alone in prayer, just as Jesus did. 
The clutter of our souls cuts us off 
from who we are. Prayer provides 
us the opportunity to remember. At 
such times of prayer, God says to 
our souls, "You are not in control; 
you were never meant to be in con- 
trol. I am in control." And that's lib- 
erating! During these time of prayer 
God also whispers, "It's not what 
you accomplish; it's you I love," Dr. 
Parrott said. "I need that morning 
in the hills to reestablish my identi- 
ty in Jesus Christ," he added. 

Third, we also need a new day on 
the road (verse 39). After an evening 
with Jesus and a morning in the 
hills, the demands of life continue. 
Schedules have to be kept; decisions 
have to be made. But the difference 
is the Pacesetter. Jesus accom- 
plished an amazing amount in His 
three years on earth, but you never 
get the impression that His life was 
a mad dash to the cross. We need to 
pray, "Lord, be my Pacesetter." 

Dr. Parrott concluded his message 
by telling the story of his own years 
of ministry and how he had to learn 
these truths in his own life. He then 
gave pastors and church staff the 
"privilege and the permission" to 
take care of their own souls by com- 
ing forward for a time of prayer. 
Many responded. [ft] 



*Dr. Parrott, a pastor for 23 
years, now serves as director 
of the doctoral studies pro- 
gram at Ashland Theological 
Seminary. 




During the Wednes- 
day evening worship 
service at General Con- 
ference, Dr. Fred Finks, 
president of Ashland 
Theological Seminary 
(r.), announced that 
Mrs. Frances Smetzer 
(cen.) has made a gift of 
one million dollars to 
the seminary to estab- 
lish the Ted and Fran- 
ces Smetzer Christian 
Counseling Center. 

This is Mrs. Smetzer's 
third major gift to the 
seminary. She donated 
$100,000 for the Smet- 
zer Auditorium in the new Gerber Academic Center, dedicated in 1997, and she then pro- 
vided a grand piano for that auditorium. Shown with Mrs. Smetzer and Dr. Finks are her 
son, also named Ted (1.), and Dr. Leroy Solomon, Director of Development for the Seminary. 



The Brethren Evangelist 



^he 'Women's Out(bo/(JAleuJs(etter 

A puBCication of the brethren 'Women's Missionary Society 



W W M. S. 



c 



*u*<? 



September-October 1998 



Volume 12, Number 1 




._.-—-";: -J 



The 

President's 

Ten 

Dear Ladies, 

As I write this, we are in the mid- 
dle of Conference week. It is always 
so good to see old friends and meet 
those who will become new friends. 

Summer has gone all too fast for 
me. I have been in the hospital and 
back and forth from the Cleveland 
Clinic for several tests most of the 
summer. I have not had much time 
to sit on my front porch swing, 
which I have always enjoyed. 

We moved to a new home August 
1 just before Conference, and that 
was very exciting. My new address 
is 702 Smith Road in Ashland (the 
phone number is the same). Every- 
thing is on one floor. It's great! 

My sons, Glenn and Jim, and 
their wives, Sarah and Susie, and 
my daughter, Barbie, were wonder- 
ful. They put everything in place in 
my kitchen and worked on the liv- 
ing room as well. They were such a 
big help! I don't know what Jim and 
I would have done without them. Our 
sons and a group from our Canton 
Trinity Brethren Church moved all 
the heavy "stuff," and the church pro- 
vided food for the hungry movers. 

Well, enough of moving. In August 
I will go to my 45 th high school class 
reunion. That really makes me feel 
old! I am sure it will be fun. Can you 
imagine what it will be like when we 
go to heaven? Now that will really 
be a reunion — seeing loved ones 
and friends! I don't think we will 
recognize them as we knew them 
here on earth, but we will know 
(continued on page 4) 



OBEDIENCE 

Devotions given by Dee Grindle, 
Wabash, at the Indiana District W.M.S. Conference, June 1998 

(The W.M.S. theme was Being Obedient Women 

The first letter of each word spells BOW, 

and the symbol of the conference was a ribbon bow.) 




Being obedient — How can we 

be obedient to our Father? You will 
find a key to that question in the 
first part of John 14:15, "If you love 
Me . ..." If we but love Jesus, obe- 
dience will come naturally We will 
want to obey Him. The more we 
grow to love Him and trust Him, the 
easier it becomes to obey Him. 

Jesus told us in Mark 12:30 that 
we are to love the Lord our God 
with all our heart, soul, mind, and 
strength. A few weeks ago our pas- 
tor reminded us that this was every 
portion of our being. I understood 
this to mean that every ounce of our 
energy should go into loving God 
over everything else. When we turn 
back to Proverbs 3:5, we read 
"Trust in the Lord your God with all 
your heart and lean not on your own 
understanding." We need to trust in 
God in our daily walk. 

Obeying Him would be our desire 
if we first love and trust Him total- 
ly. But how? How do we love Him 
and trust Him with all our being? 

When we first meet the Lord, a 
spark is ignited, a flame begins to 
burn. We need to keep that flame 
burning. Our family vacations are 
usually a wilderness camping trip. 
Our favorite activity is sitting 
around a campfire singing camp 
songs and telling stories, while 
watching the fire fairies dance 
around the flames. For us to contin- 
ue to enjoy the campfire, it has to be 
fed. We have to keep piling wood on 
the coals for the flames to feed on, 
or the fire will die out. Just as that 



campfire needs to be fed, the flame 
of our love for Jesus needs to be fed. 

How do we feed those love flames 
for Jesus? What is on the menu to 
build a fire so strong it will meld our 
souls into obedience? The first meal 
of the day should be a breakfast of 
prayer, not just any old dry cereal 
prayer or pop tart chat. We are 
breaking a fast. This meal has to be 
a hungry-man, biscuits and gravy, 
sausage and eggs-type breakfast. 
One of those stick-to-your-stomach- 
grits type of breakfast. We should 
take our time over this meal, savor- 
ing the aroma of God's cup of peace 
and love as we converse with Him 
across the breakfast table of prayer. 

As the day moves along and we 
hurry on our way, we need to take 
time for lunch. Since we have al- 
ready been filled with the fulfilling 
nourishment of prayer, we now need 
something that is low-fat and yet 
high energy to boost us through our 
day. What is better that a nice huge 
healthy helping of God's Word. This 
is a definite must for everyone's 
diet. Just sink your teeth right into 
a big tasty helping of Genesis, 
Psalms, Proverbs, or maybe one of 
the Gospels or Revelation. Fill your- 
self to overflowing with Galatians or 
Ephesians or one of the other 56 
selections on the buffet. As you con- 
tinue to feed on His Word, you will 
most surely lose weight: the weight 
of stress, burdens, grief, and sad- 
ness. You will even tone up muscles: 
the muscles of Joy, Faith, and Kind- 
ness, Self-control, and Patience. 
(continued on page 4) 



HIGHLIGHTS OF WMS CONFERENCE 



Each year I write about the out- 
standing features of Conference: the 
inspiration of the messages and the 
blessings we received from worship, 
listening, and visiting. This year 
excelled! The theme of General Con- 
ference was "Visualize Renewal," 
which focused on the aspects of 
heart, relationships, spirit, zeal for 
the lost, and the church. 

In the W.M.S. meetings we, too, 
followed the same theme. The pro- 
gram cover, designed by David and 
Penny Knouff (Louisville Bible), 
depicted a smiling light bulb obvi- 
ously turned on and shining with 
the "Thought for the Week — Visu- 
alize Renewal." In her devotions 
Tuesday, Judy Eckerley (Mishawa- 
ka) presented Visualize Restoration 
(Psalm 23:3). Judy's devotions will 
be printed in a future issue of the 
Newsletter. 

Wednesday's luncheon featured 
Jan Pletcher from Taylor Universi- 
ty, Upland, IN, who used her son's 
prayer, "Jesus, I want to walk" as 
the basis of her talk. At age 2, 
David, Jan's son, was in a near fatal 
accident and is paralyzed from the 
waist down. When he was 4, David 
prayed this prayer and sobbed. 
Though he is confined to a wheel- 
chair, David, now 16, "walks" 
proudly and humbly as a servant of 
Jesus. He bears his testimony for 
Jesus wherever he is. 

Jan likened David to the physical- 
ly disabled person whose healing by 
Jesus is told in John 5. "Tell them 
Who healed you," Jesus said, and we 
are to bear the same message. We 
are healed from spiritual, emotion- 
al, and physical illnesses. 

Jan cautioned us not to tiptoe or 
stumble, but to powerwalk. Take 
or carry your friend to Jesus; pick 
up another's burden; be a prayer 
warrior. 

The table centerpieces, made by 
the Goshen ladies, were miniature 
birdhouses set in a floral garden. 
The Hagerstown ladies designed the 
luncheon program, complete with a 
bird and flowers, complementing 
the centerpiece. 



SPECIAL SERVICES 

The ladies from Pennsylvania pre- 
sented the memorial service on 

Tuesday. Jane Yoder (Valley) read 
I Peter 2:5 and likened our sisters 
now with the Lord as living stones. 
We need to use them as the firm 
foundation on which we build. Bar- 
bara Hagerich (Vinco) used large 
building blocks to illustrate Sisters 
in Christ. While Marsha Nies (Ma- 
sontown) played, Jane read the 
names of the 26 deceased members 
and thanked God for their lives. 



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Members of the Park Street Joy 
Circle received the project offer- 
ing after the luncheon. On each 
table was a small open container 
decorated in blue and white stripes, 
the national Argentine colors, which 
represented the South American 
Theological Seminary (SATS). Judi 
Gentle reminded us of the re-estab- 
lishment of the Seminary. This is 
the cooperative effort of the U.S. 
Brethren Church, Ashland Theolog- 
ical Seminary, and the Argentine 
Brethren Church. 

The containers were circulated 
around the tables while Sherry Van 
Duyne sang a medly of "Jesus Loves 
Me" and "Oh, How He Loves You 
and Me." Containers were received 
by Jane Solomon and Karen Wei- 
denhamer. It was a joy to note that 
in addition to society checks, cash 
gifts were also given. Perhaps these 
were offerings from ladies who are 
not W.M.S. members or those who 
had additional love gifts. 

On Thursday Thelma Morton and 
Fae Musser of the Bryan I Society 
spoke of the benevolences which 
would benefit from our thankful 
hearts. Marsha Nies played appro- 
priate music while the ladies pre- 
sented their thank offerings. 



MUSICIANS 

Singing is always a special part of 
the W.M.S. meetings. Deanna Ben- 
shoff (St. Luke) and DeAnn Oburn 
(Loree I) were song leaders, and 
Marsha Nies (Masontown) was the 
pianist. The theme song "To Be God's 
People" was new to me, but very 
singable. It is in the Word songbook. 

On Tuesday an Indiana trio (San- 
dra Sharp, Dutchtown; Esther Mish- 
ler, Goshen; Pat Lusch, Huntington, 
accompanied by DeAnn Oburn) pre- 
sented a medley "Mansion Over the 
Hilltop" and "At Calvary." 

The Heart's Desire trio (Susie 
Black, College Corner; Debby Bev- 
erly and Diane Winkler, both of New 
Lebanon) gave special music at the 
luncheon. Their numbers were 
"Lord, Somebody Needs You," 
"When I Consider," "This Day is a 
Blessing from the Lord," and "He 
Looked Beyond My Fault." 

In keeping with the Missions 
theme Thursday, Daniel and Kathy 
(Aspinall) Rosales (Iglesia de los 
Hermanos, Sarasota) sang two 
songs in Spanish with Daniel's gui- 
tar accompaniment. This was a spe- 
cial treat. 

MISSIONARIES 

One of the joys of conference is 
the opportunity to visit with the 
missionaries. They are always gra- 
cious. On Tuesday Nancy Hostetler 
and Karen Best from Riverside 
Christian School (Lost Creek, KY) 
expressed their sincere thanks for 



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 



your support to the staff and school. 
Gift certificates, soup labels, offer- 
ings, and especially prayers are ap- 
preciated. Although the hot lunch 
program, funded by the state, has 
been discontinued, a hot meal is still 
provided at noon at a minimal or no 
cost. Both ladies requested our con- 
tinuing prayers for the staff. 

Thursday's missionary was Adri- 
ana Ferreri from Medellin, Colom- 
bia. She and her husband, Marcelo, 
were sent from the Argentine 
Brethren Church to Medellin — a 
daughter congregation. They have 
been there eleven months. Their 
daughter, Jana (Hannah) is 2V2; she 
is a dear child. Adriana's greetings 
were translated by Claudia (As- 
pinall) Horner. She expressed her 
thanks for all the cards and notes of 
encouragement. She works with the 
women and children. In June 60 
children attended the Bible School. 
In addition to spiritual food, the 
children received physical food at 
noon. The Ferreris live and work in 
a very poor neighborhood. 

Cindy Smith told of her visit to 
India in the spring, when she ac- 
companied her husband, Reilly. In 
the city of Rajamundry, with a pop- 
ulation of over 1 million people, the 
Brethren Mission has two orphan- 
ages and the church. Over the 
church is a large sign, lighted at 
night, with the verse "Come unto 
Me. . . ." (Matt. 11:28-29) and the 
praying hands. Certainly this is a 
light in the darkness. 

The Smiths were present for the 
dedication of a new church funded 
by a Brethren couple. This is in a 
village of 10,000 people. Cindy said 
the gifts from the W.M.S. are evi- 
dent in many areas. She also com- 
mented on Sudhir Kumar and his 
wife, Latha, and their new ministry 
in Vijayawada. 

Tracy Ruggles sent greetings from 
Mexico City. She appreciates very 
much your prayers, cards, and notes 
of encouragement. 

BUSINESS 

Although Shirley Black was pre- 
sent, she preferred not to preside. 
Marilyn Aspinall picked up Shirley's 
notes and presided very efficiently. 

A total of 92 delegates and 11 
guests were registered for the con- 
ference. 



The following committees func- 
tioned during the week: 

Nominating : Susan Kidd (Bethle- 
hem) and Carolyn Waters (Water- 
loo). 

Credential : Nancy Grumbling 
(Johnstown III) and Pauline Win- 
field (New Lebanon). 

Auditin g: Sharon Williams 
(Roanoke). She examined the books 
of the financial secretary (Joanne 
Kroft) and the literature secretary 
(Penny Knouff) and found them to 
be accurate and in good order. Pre- 
siding officer Marilyn Aspinall read 
the report from the CPA who regu- 
larly audits the reports of the trea- 
surer (JoAnn Seaman). He said in 
part, "The minutes and the treasur- 
er's reports indicate a high level of 
interest in the Women's Missionary 
Society by the church and members 
of the W.M.S." 

Notes of resignation from Marilyn 
Aspinall, vice president, and JoAnn 
Seaman, treasurer, were received 
and accepted by the Executive 
Board. Words of commendation and 
gifts of appreciation recognized 
their years of ministry. Marilyn 
served three and JoAnn fifteen 
years. 

DeAnn Oburn (Loree I) was elect- 
ed vice president and Janet Rufener 
(Ashland Park Street Joy) was elect- 
ed treasurer. 

The following officers were ap- 
pointed and approved by Confer- 
ence: 

General Secretary, Nancy Hunn 
Assistant Secretary, Trudy Kerner 
Assistant Treasurer, JoAnn Seaman 
Literature Secretary, Penny Knouff 
Editor of the Devotional Guide, 

Nancy Hunn 
Editor of the Newsletter, Joan 

Ronk 
Subscription Secretary, Ginny Hoyt 
Sewing and World Relief Coordina- 
tor, Joan Merrill 

General Conference Moderator 
John Shultz installed the elected 
and the appointed officers. Basing 
his comments on I Peter 4:7-11, he 
challenged each one to use her abil- 
ities unto the Lord that in all things 
He might be praised. 



FINANCES 

Giving during 1997-98 decreased 
from the previous year, which 
meant expenditures for this year de- 
creased. You will remember, W.M.S. 
allocates money received previously; 
we do not spend in advance. 

The Board recommended this. 
1998-99 budget: 

Benevolences $14,643 

ATS $3,600 

World/Home 

Missions 7,043 

Campus Ministry 1,500 
Riverside Christian 

School 1,500 

Scholarship, AU 1,000 

Publications $ 6,792 

Newsletter 
Devotional Guide 

Other Expenses $ 2,065 
Administrative 
Social Security 
Gifts and Conference 

Total $23,500 

The Conference adopted the bud- 
get. (Some societies sent their offer- 
ings directly to the Seminary; 
hence, the W.M.S. amount received 
by and granted to ATS was less.) 

Offerings 

Joanne Kroft reported that the 
preliminary project offering was 
$10,267.54! This was designated for 
the SATS. 

Conference designated the inter- 
est from the Le gacy Fund of $3,200 
also for the SATS. 

Sewing and World Relief 

Gifts from the auction were desig- 
nated for scholarships for students 
at the SATS. In addition to coordi- 
nating the various items for the auc- 
tion (quilt, tote bags, wall hangings, 
etc.), Joan Merrill (Sewing and 
World Relief Coordinator) revised 
the Service Guide. It is an attractive 
booklet and full of suggestions for 
ministry in at-home areas as well as 
abroad. Needs, addresses, and infor- 
mation about quilt squares are in- 
cluded in the Guide. Thanks to Joan 
and her husband, Dayrl, who assist- 
ed her. 

(continued on next page) 



September-October 1998 



Project 

For the 1998-99 project, the 
Board recommended that offerings 
be designated for the ministry in 
Vijayawada, India, where Sudhir and 
Latha Kumar minister. Conference 
approved this recommendation. 

Scholarship 

Conference approved awarding 
the $1,000 scholarship to Jamie 
Gillespie, a senior at Ashland Univer- 
sity. Jamie is very active on campus 
and in the national BYIC program. 

President's Pen (continued) 
them in a heavenly way. Speaking of 
heaven, our W.M.S. luncheon speak- 
er of two years ago, Barbara Hess, 
went to be with the Lord on July 25. 

Many of us are going through var- 
ious problems. We need God's love 
and peace. If you read John 14:27-31, 
you will see that Jesus is the One 
Who gives us peace in the storms of 
our lives. He is our "security blan- 
ket" when we are afraid and fearful. 
When we are weak and upset, Jesus 
holds us and comforts our hearts. 

In II Corinthians 1:3-4 we read, 
"Praise be to the God and Father of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of 
compassion and the God of all com- 
fort, who comforts us in all our 
troubles . . . ." Think of a time God 
comforted you in a difficult situa- 
tion. Thank Him for that comfort. 

I am sure you will enjoy our new 
Devotional Guide. Nancy Hunn did 
a wonderful job with this. Please 
read all of the articles. You do not 
necessarily need to do this at your 
meetings, but at least read them in- 
dividually. These ladies put a lot of 
time and effort into writing the arti- 
cles. They are full of information of 
each woman. Also note the new for- 
mat of the W.M.S. Commitments on 
page 46. All the old commitments 
are included, but condensed. 

I thank you for your prayers and 
all of the beautiful cards. I really ap- 
preciate them. 

God Bless You, 




Shirley Black 
PS. I just got a call from my doc- 
tor. The doctor specialists decided 
they will do the new gamma laser 
surgery to "zap" the tumor. [The 
surgery took place on August 14.] 



Obedience (continued) 

To feed those hungry flames at 
supper, be sure to include huge por- 
tions of Praise, Worship, and Fel- 
lowship with other Christians. 
Praising God in worship and fellow- 
ship will build our metabolism, en- 
abling us to fight off the tempta- 
tions to reach into that cooky jar of 
disobedience. 

Making sure we have had our 
three square meals (prayer, His 
Word, and worship) will build a bon- 
fire of love in our hearts for our 
Lord. With that bonfire burning so 
strong, it will give us the strength 
we need to refrain from the junk 
foods of anger, hate, envy, selfish- 
ness, and all those other candies of 
sin on the shelves of Satan's candy 
store. 

Keep feeding your heart's flame a 
balanced diet of prayer, His Word, 
and worship. Add a sweet snack of 
trust in Him who loves you. Your 
love fire will grow so strong it will 
meld a golden bar of obedience into 
the very depth of your soul. Make 
this your life's spiritual diet and you 
are sure to become a loving, obedient 
child of God. 



Thought for Labor Day or 
any day: Do whatever your 
hand finds to do, for God is 
with you (I Samuel 10:7). 

Dear Friend, 

Annually I try to convey Confer- 
ence enthusiasm to you who could 
not attend. It was a good week! 
Next year's dates are August 2-6 in 
Ashland. I hope you can attend. 

The Devotional Guide was written 
by women about women. I hope you 
will study each biblical lady, profit 
from her life, and realize how you 
may be remembered. It is exciting to 
know that women across the de- 
nomination are simultaneously 
studying these outstanding exam- 
ples! If we take to heart their 
Christ-like attributes, we will be 
changed! Thank you, Nancy, for 
editing the Devotional Guide. 



The Spanish-speaking missionar- 
ies were one of the highlights. For 
us who speak no Spanish, and for 
them who speak no English, smiles 
give important messages and a hug 
means love in any language. 

Wednesday was designated as 
Men's and Women's Day. Seminars 
were held and two were especially 
meaningful to us women. One elab- 
orated upon Faith Partners, which 
is a new opportunity for service. It 
was first introduced in the July/ 
August Brethren Evangelist. During 
the week the concept was elaborat- 
ed on in the seminar and table talks 
by Cheryl Schmiedt (Manteca) and 
Carolyn Cooksey (Ashland). Faith 
Partners is a network of contacts 
and services provided to all Chris- 
tians, and especially to women of 
The Brethren Church. I suggest that 
you read p. 8 in the July /August 
Evangelist, think, pray for guid- 
ance, and respond to Cheryl. 

The second seminar, presented by 
Barbara Hagerich, dealt with 
women's health issues. She talked 
about myths and truths of cancer, 
menopause, and osteoporosis. Bar- 
bara has her Master's degree in 
Nursing and is a Certified Diabetes 
Educator as well as the Pennsylva- 
nia District W.M.S. president. Con- 
tact her, if you wish information. 

Remember to send dues of $7.50 
per member and the revised mem- 
bership list to Joanne Kroft by 
October 31. Don't send a substitute 
list, but return the list you received 
from the National Office. 

From the General Secretary's re- 
port we noted an increase of 16 
members and one new society 
(North Manchester Fellowship). 
Three societies have been reactivat- 
ed (Ardmore Abigail, Columbus, 
and Fremont). Will you send these 
four groups encouragement notes? 
Our membership is now 1,212 and 
we have 86 societies. 

Study the commitments printed 
in the Devotional Guide on p. 46. All 
the old commitments are included 
in this new format. 

Your friend, 




Joan 

Women's Outlook Newsletter 



^ 



Clive Calver sees signs that 



God is at work among the Brethren 



V 



YOU ARE SAYING THINGS at 
this Conference that I'm not 
used to hearing in the United States 
since coming from Britain last year, 
Clive Calver* told Brethren during 
the Thursday evening service of 
General Conference. "I hear you say- 
ing, 'This denomination is changing. 
This church is at a moment in his- 
tory that is crucial for it.' . . . You 
say, 'Something is happening among 
us!'" A comfortable church doesn't 
say these thing, he declared. "But a 
church that is on the brink of hear- 
ing God say something fresh and 
new and real does say it!" 

Dr. Calver went on to state that 
what he was hearing at this Confer- 
ence reminded him of what some 
people were saying in Britain in the 
late 1970s, when evangelical Chris- 
tians made up only 1.8 percent of the 
British population. "You are saying, 
'Something is happening!' I remem- 
ber what it was like [in Britain] 
when we started to say, 'Something 
is happening!' We started to grow 
again. It was [19J81, and the growth 
has been non-stop ever since!" 

Having acknowledged these signs 
of renewal in The Brethren Church, 
Dr. Calver turned to chapter 4 of the 
Gospel of John as he prepared to 
talk specifically about renewal in 
mission. From this passage he drew 
out four conclusions about renewal. 

Submit to God's agenda 

First, if we are going to see re- 
newal in mission, we have to get off 
our agenda and onto God's. John 
4:4 says that when Jesus went from 
Judea to Galilee, he had to go through 
Samaria. Geographically this wasn't 
true. There was another route He 
could have taken. But Jesus had to 
go through Samaria because it was 
the Father's agenda for His life. He 

*Dr. Calver is president of World 
Relief Corporation of the National As- 
sociation of Evangelicals. Before tak- 
ing this position last year, he served 14 
years as president of the Evangelical 
Alliance of the United Kingdom. 




Dr. Clive Calver 

was going to meet a woman there 
whom God would use to change 
Samaria. The agenda for her life 
would change as well. "If we are 
going to see renewal in mission," Dr. 
Calver said, "it's going to be by a 
people submitting their lives to the 
agenda of God." 

Learn how to sacrifice 

Second, if we are going to see re- 
newal in mission, we have to learn 
how to sacrifice. When Jesus en- 
tered Samaria, He met a woman at 
a well. He broke all the social con- 
ventions of the time by asking her 
for a drink. In doing so, He made 
Himself vulnerable. He sacrificed 
His own position and comfort be- 
cause He could see what this woman 



was going to be in the Father's 
hands. We need to recover a word in 
the Christian ministry and it is the 
word "sacrifice," Dr. Calver said. 
"There are no careers in Christian 
service. There's just sacrifice." 

Know who Jesus is 

Third, if we want to see renewal 
in mission, we have to know who 
Jesus is and see ourselves in His 
eyes. When her conversation with 
Jesus came too close to home, the 
Samaritan woman said, "I know that 
Messiah is coming. When he comes, 
he will explain everything to us." 

By His response to her, Jesus re- 
vealed to the woman that He is not 
only the Messiah, but that He is 
God. "When you know Jesus, you do 
what He tells you to," Dr. Calver 
said. "When you know Jesus, you 
use the gifts He's given you. . . . You 
give what yow have and are." 

Bring a village to Jesus 

Fourth, if we are going to see re- 
newal in mission, we have to let God 
use us to bring a village to Jesus. 
After her encounter with Jesus, the 
woman of Samaria went back to her 
village and told the people, "Come, 
see a man who told me everything I 
ever did. Could this be the Christ?" 
The people went flocking to Jesus, 
and they, too, put their faith in Him. 

If we get off our agenda and on to 
God's, if we learn what sacrifice 
really is, and if we know who Jesus 
is and see ourselves in His eyes, 
then God can use us to bring a vil- 
lage, a church, a new area, or even a 
country to Jesus as well. "It's in- 
credible what God can do through 
you," Dr. Calver proclaimed. [ft] 



DR. CALVER also spoke at the 
World Relief Soup Lunch at 
Conference. He said that World Re- 
lief Corporation of the National As- 
sociation of Evangelicals — the third- 
largest relief organization in the 
United States — is different from 
other relief agencies in that it works 
through churches in other countries 
to give relief to the poor and suffer- 
ing, rather than giving direct help. 
He also emphasized the inseparable 
tie between the Gospel message and 
social action in World Reliefs work. 
He then talked about Sudan, where 



he had visited just before coming to 
Conference. Using slide pictures he 
had taken there, he described the 
terrible plight of the Sudanese peo- 
ple, hundreds of thousands of whom 
are on the brink of starvation. In 
spite of this, the church in Sudan 
is the fastest-growing church in 
Africa, as people in their extremity 
turn to God for salvation and hope. 
Touched by his message, Breth- 
ren gave and offering of $6,347.51 
for Sudan, the largest World Relief 
offering ever received at a General 
Conference. [ft] 



September 1998 



David West looks at 
the future of our church 



J 



WHEN he was a younger man — 
David West* told Brethren at 
the concluding session of General 
Conference — he worked as a mainte- 
nance person at an excelsior plant. 
Five weeks into the job, he was 
given the task of doing some weld- 
ing. Even though he didn't know 
how to weld, he launched boldly into 
the task, only to discover that he 
was "as incompetent as a squirrel." 
As he worked, he suddenly felt a 
tap on his shoulder. When he turned 
and saw the maintenance foreman 
standing behind him, he was sure 
he would be fired on the spot. But 
instead, the foreman put his arm 
around him, put his hand on West's 
hand, and gently taught him to weld. 

God wants to teach us 

"I really believe that what hap- 
pened to me all those years ago is 
what God is attempting to do in our 
lives today," Rev. West continued. "I 
want to share with you today that I 
believe that if we get a grasp of the 
reality of God wanting to put His 
arms around us and take our hands 
and teach us what He wants to 
teach us, that we will not only learn 
a skill, but we will be empowered 
and our lives will be changed be- 
cause we will know that in His eyes 
we are valued." 

Turning to Scripture, he read sev- 
eral verses from 2 Corinthians 1, 
focusing particularly on verse 20: 
For no matter how many promises 
God has made, they are 'Yes' in 
Christ. "I find that pretty amazing!" 
Rev. West exclaimed. "Without ex- 
ception, no matter what God's 
promises are, they are 'Yes' to us." 

"What is the future of the Breth- 
ren? There are many [who are] more 
qualified than me to paint a picture 
of what that might look like," he 
continued. "What I would like to ask 
you to think about is, if all of God's 

*Rev. West is director of Congrega- 
tional Ministries and of U.S. Missions 
for The Brethren Church. 




Rev. West and his wife, Dawn, relax 
for a moment following his message. 

promises are 'Yes' in Christ, then 
the future of the church lies in the 
reality of that, of how we live that." 

"Think of all the questions that 
you and I ask," he said. "We ask 
[God], 'Do you really love me?' And 
we learned on Monday night, 'He's 
nuts about us!'" "We ask, 'Am I 
truly forgiven? Even the really bad 
stuff I did?' . . . God's promises in 
Christ say, 'Yes! Yes!'" 

"We ask the questions: 'Is your 
grace really sufficient? Do you real- 
ly have a ministry with my name on 
it? Am I really completely secure in 
you? Are there really purposes to be 
found in every circumstance?' To 
these and all the other questions 
you and I might have, there is a re- 
sounding 'YES' in Christ.! . . . The 
future of our church lies in the real- 
ity of whether or not we believe that 
and live it, and whether or not our 
churches believe that and live it." 

Proclaiming a "Yes" message 

But not only do we have that ever- 
lasting promise of "Yes" in Christ, 
we have the privilege of sharing 
that promise with others, Rev. West 
said. "Our job, then, is proclaiming 
a 'Yes' message in a 'Maybe' world." 

Returning to the image of God 
putting His arms around us, Rev. 
West said, "This is where the future 
of our church lies, in whether or not 



we believe in the reality of the 'Yes' 
and 'Amen' of Jesus Christ and 
whether or not we allow our Father 
to come alongside of us and say, 'Let 
me show you how we're going to do 
these things. Let me show you how 
I will lead and empower my church.'" 

What would we look like? 

"What would our church look like 
if we lived the integrity of this pas- 
sage?" Rev. West asked. It would 
become a church of loving relation- 
ships. It would become a church in 
which congregations invested their 
resources in God's kingdom. They 
wouldn't hold hundreds of thousands 
of dollars for a rainy day when rivers 
of grace needing their resources are 
flowing right in front of them. 

How would living this passage af- 
fect our attitude toward leadership 
care? "A church that believes the 
eternal everlasting 'Yes' of Christ 
will see leadership as a gift of God, 
something to be cared for, loved, 
protected, encouraged, supported, 
one of the things that we would go 
to the wall for," he said. 

"A church that really believes that 
Jesus Christ is the 'Yes' to every- 
thing will spend more time celebrat- 
ing and less time commiserating," 
he said. "The church that believes 
in the future of the 'Yes' and the 
'Amen' to the glory of God will 
know that there's ministry for every- 
body," he added. "A church that be- 
lieves in the 'Yes' and 'Amen' will not 
be threatened by young men and 
women who come up and say, T want 
to do ministry. What can I do?'" 

"[Our future] does not lie in us 
developing a plan and a program 
and a strategy. It lies in us resting in 
the power and the presence and the 
Spirit of God, and [in us] knowing 
and shouting a resounding 'YES!' 
That's what the world wants to 
hear," Rev. West declared. 

"Fill in all the blanks of program 
you want — I don't really care. There 
are tons of blanks to fill. But I only 
want one person to fill them. God! 
And for us to seek Him and just say, 
'Master, take my hand and teach 
me.'" 

"How rigid is your arm?" he asked 
in conclusion. "Are you willing to 
relax and let the Spirit of God draw 
you to where He wants to take 
you?" [ft] 



8 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Conference Business Sessions 



J 



BUSINESS SESSIONS, held on 
Tuesday and Thursday mornings 
of Conference, were short and to the 
point, to the delight of most dele- 
gates. Elections and approval of the 
1999 budget were the only major 
business items. 

New congregations 

One new church was accepted by 
the Conference, the Three Seasons 
Church of Berlin, Pa. This new con- 
gregation is an offshoot of the Berlin 
Brethren Church. Having begun with 
75 to 80 people, the congregation did 
not seek class or mission congrega- 
tion status, but asked to be recog- 
nized as an established church. 

Moderator John Shultz also an- 
nounced that the Executive Board 
recently gave formal recognition to 
three new classes: Rock Springs 



Community Church, a new con- 
gregation being planted in Vista, 
Calif., by Jim and Stephanie Boyd; 
Oasis Community Church, a new 

church being started by Jim and 
Ann Miller and Glenn and Sarah 
Black in a suburban area of Phoe- 
nix, Ariz.; and Iglesia de los Her- 
manos, a Hispanic congregation led 
by Rev. Juan and Amelia Arregin, 
which meets in the building of the 
First Brethren Church in Tucson, 
Ariz. He also announced that Gate- 
way Brethren Fellowship, a young 
congregation in Hagerstown, Md., 
pastored by Rev. Gerald Barr, was 
advanced from class to mission 
church status in March. 

A total of 366 delegates registered 
for this Conference. This is 12 more 
than last year, when Conference was 
held in South Bend, Ind., but 30 less 



Women's Seminar 

Following the workshop on Mar- 
riage Relationships by Dr. Bruce 
Wilkinson on Wednesday morning 
(see page 5), the men and women 
met separately. Dr. Wilkinson led 
the men in a question and answer 
time in which he answered ques- 
tions related to his presentations. 

Cheryl Schmiedt of the Northgate 
Community Brethren Church in 
Manteca, Calif., and her district's 
representative on the Congrega- 
tional Ministries Council, led the 
women in a seminar that focused on 
the spiritual formation of women. 

The theme of the seminar was 
Luke 10:27 — loving the Lord with 
heart, soul, mind, and strength. 
Mrs. Schmiedt introduced Faith 
Partners, a group of people with a 
concern for the spiritual formation 
of women. The group's goals are to 
vigorously pursue spiritual growth, 
to encourage women to take up the 
ministries to which they are called, 
and to support existing ministries. 
Faith Partners also wants to estab- 
lish a network of contacts and ser- 
vices to benefit all Christians, and 
especially Brethren women. 

The seminar also included pre- 
sentations by Carolyn Cooksey, Bar- 



bara Hagerich, and Louise Waller. 
Mrs. Cooksey of Park Street Breth- 
ren Church talked about loving the 
Lord with our souls (commitment to 
spiritual formation). Mrs. Hagerich 
of Vinco Brethren Church spoke 
about loving the Lord with our 
strength (focusing on health min- 
istries that congregations can estab- 
lish). Louise Waller of Northwest 
Brethren Chapel in Tucson (but liv- 
ing in Ashland) focused on loving 
the Lord with our hearts and minds 
(teaching ourselves to think true 
thoughts about God and ourselves, 
as well as feeling His love for us). 
All speakers emphasized God's 
power to transform lives. 

The seminar ended with a short 
time of brainstorming about needs 
of women in The Brethren Church 
and resources to meet those needs. 
Mrs. Schmiedt invited participants 
to send suggestions of newsletters, 
ministry ideas, study materials, 
worship and retreat aids, workshop 
and retreats, missions, and Internet 
ideas. (Send to Faith Partners, c/o 
Cheryl Schmiedt, 20687 S. Manteca 
Rd., Manteca, CA 95337-9710. Also 
see the response form "Introducing 
Faith Partners for Women" on page 
8 of the July/ August Evangelist. 
— reported by Dr. Brenda Colijn 



than in 1996, when Conference was 
in Ashland. There were 208 lay del- 
egates, 142 ministerial delegates 
(including 24 in absentia), 13 dis- 
trict delegates, and 3 delegates from 
Conference cooperating agencies. 

Elections 

There was no election of a moder- 
ator this year, since the moderator 
now serves a three-year term. Mod- 
erator John Shultz will continue to 
serve until the year 2000. 

A member at-large was elected to 
each of the two councils. (Nine of 
the members of each council are 
elected directly by districts.) Rev. 
Tim Garner, pastor of the Elkhart, 
Ind., First Brethren Church, was 
elected to the Congregational Min- 
istries Council. Beverly Baker, mem- 
ber and secretary of the South 
Bend, Ind., First Brethren Church, 
was elected to the Missionary Min- 
istries Council. 

Steve Hollewell was elected to the 
Rules and Organization Committee; 
Dale Stoffer to the Polity Commit- 
tee; and Arden Gilmer was reelected 
as a Retirement Fund trustee. The 
new Nominating Committee is 
Robert Keplinger, Richard Winfield, 
Beverly Baker, Sherry Bowling, 
Tony Price, and John Howenstine. 

Elected to the Conference Mem- 
bership Committee were DeAnn 
Oburn, Charlene Rowser, Rex Mc- 
Conahay, Bobbi McConahay, Tracy 
Whiteside, Jill Stone, and Sue Hurd. 
Members of the Ways and Means 
Committee (who serve so diligently 
during Conference week) are Virgil 
Barnhart, Bonnie Coffman, Cheryl 
Ennis, Wesley Glass, William Hes- 
keth, Ralph Hurley, Keith Immel, 
Linda Immel, DeWayne Lusch, 
Ronald Miller, John Rieger, Eugene 
Robbins, Bruce Wilkinson (not the 
one who spoke at this Conference), 
and Gerald Zook. 

Budget 

A budget slightly over lVb-million 
dollars was approved for The Breth- 
ren Church in 1999. Projected in- 
come is $1,581,100 ($568,100 for 
Congregational Ministries and 
$1,013,000 for Missionary Min- 
istries). Projected expenses are 
$1,562,521, ($566,755 for Congrega- 
tional Ministries and $995,766 for 
Missionary Ministries). [ft] 



September 1998 



r 



Youth were "under construction" 
at the BYIC Convention 



W. 



J 



WHEN GOD decides to do some 
construction in our lives, He 
does a complete renovation! That 
was one of many lessons the youth 
learned at the Brethren Youth In 
Christ (BYIC) Convention 
this year. 

The theme of the week 
was Under Construction, 
taken from Philippians 
1:6 — Being confident of this, 
that he who began a good 
work in you will carry it on 
to completion until the day 
of Jesus Christ. And good 
work He did! Twelve young 
people dedicated their lives 
to full-time Christian min- 
istry, and many others gave 
in to God's call to follow 
Him. To cap off the week, 
about 95 percent of the 
youth reported that God had 
really started some con- 
struction in their lives 
during the week. Praise the Lord! 

"Ground Breaking" for the Con- 
vention occurred Monday evening, 
with a special message by Dr. Mar- 
vin McMickle. Then the youth were 
led on a prayer tour by Ann Miller. 

But this was only the beginning! 
Other highlights of the week includ- 
ed speakers Skip Snell, Eric Sand- 
berg, Yummi Tyler, and Ashland 
University's head women's basket- 
ball coach Sue Ramsey. There was 
also a ministry fair, where youth 
learned about various ministries 
offered by The Brethren Church — 
mission work, church planting, 
camping, and summer ministries. 

A wide variety of "personal con- 
struction workshops" were also of- 
fered. The youth could choose which 
workshops they wanted to attend, to 
learn more about a talent they could 
use in their ministry. Topics ranged 
from mentoring, being an effective 
leader, starting a worship team, get- 
ting along with your family, and 
motivating your youth group to 
fundraising, starting a Bible study, 
and using your spiritual gifts. 

Wednesday was a day to relax and 



fellowship with others, as the youth 
headed to Cedar Point Amusement 
Park for the day. They returned in 
time to hear the popular Christian 
recording group Nitro Praise put on 




BYIC Convention coordinator Jaime Gillespie (2nd from 
I.) with three of the youth who attended the Convention. 

a concert that would make Chris- 
tians in even the most traditional 
congregation clap their hands! 

But Wednesday was only halfway 
through the Convention. Thursday 
and Friday were filled with more 
exciting events! On Thursday morn- 
ing the youth had the unique oppor- 
tunity to hear Steve Saint, son of 
slain missionary Nick Saint, and 



two members of the "Auca" (Huao- 
rani) Indian tribe of Ecuador share 
their testimony. These men told 
how God had used the lives of five 
martyred missionaries to help bring 
the once "savage killers" to a knowl- 
edge and acceptance of God's love 
and forgiveness. 

Following this session, the youth 
went on service projects around 
Ashland. Or they attended a semi- 
nar to learn more about the contin- 
ual construction God per- 
forms in our lives. That 
evening they were blessed 
by the amazing talents of 
some of their fellow youth at 
a "Coffeehouse." And the 
day ended with an experi- 
ence of the amazing accep- 
tance and forgiveness of 
Christ at Communion. 

Friday, like other morn- 
ings, started off with Morn- 
ing Praise. Then the youth 
joined the adults for the 
closing session of both the 
Youth Convention and the 
Adult Conference. First the 
youth shared some of the 
enthusiasm and blessings of 
their week with the adults. 
And then youth and adults listened 
together as Rev. Dave West spoke 
about the "Future of The Brethren 
Church" (see page 8). 

God was hard at work all week 
doing "construction" in the lives of 
our youth. As a result, they returned 
home with renewed spirits and a 
passion to serve the Lord! [ft] 

— reported by Jaime Gillespie 




Some of the youth did their service project by planting trees on the grounds of 
the new Living Waters Community (Brethren) Church of Mansfield, Ohio. 



10 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Brethren Youth: Ready to Run 




"Success requires the vision to see, 
the faith to believe, and the courage to do!' 



IMAGINE YOURSELF ready to 
run the biggest race of your life. 
You kneel at the starting line think- 
ing back over the months or years of 
hard work and dedication you have 
poured into this event. You rejoice 
as you remember each small victory 
along the way, and also each spill 
that you took. You rejoice for the 
hard times, for with the wisdom 
that comes with hindsight you can 
look back and know that even though 
you fell, you got back up, kept going, 
and steadily crept toward success. 

Now as your muscles tense in an- 
ticipation and your heart pounds 
with excitement, you look confident- 
ly at the race before you. You have 
faith that you can do it and the cour- 
age to give it your best. All you need 
now is the vision to see it through. 

This is exactly where Brethren 
Youth are today. We are kneeling in 
the starting blocks, ready to spring 
forward with excitement and enthu- 
siasm. As an organization we have 
been "in training" for the last 56 
years. Now we are ready to use the 
skills we have learned to reach out 
to more youth in our denomination 
and around the world. 

Over the years we have under- 
gone many changes, some just on 
the surface and others deep within 
the organization. We have benefit- 
ted from strong leadership and have 
grown into an exciting program. As 
with anything, there have been 
some potholes along the way. But 
with God's constant love and care, 



we have managed to pull ourselves 
from those holes and move steadily 
toward our goal. That goal is to 
serve Jesus Christ — our Brother, 
our Mentor, our Lord. 

The youth program will continue 
to grow and change over the next 
few years. Instead of focusing so 
much on numbers, it will focus more 
on helping youth mature into strong 
Christian leaders and disciples. Once 
the youth have a strong foundation, 
they will naturally bring other peo- 
ple to Christ by their lifestyle and 
their love and enthusiasm for Jesus. 

Goals for the future 

Brethren Youth have many goals 
as we head into the 21st century. 
Plans are already underway for the 
1999 National Brethren Youth In 
Christ (BYIC) Convention in Ash- 
land and the year 2000 Convention 
in Estes Park, Colorado. The 1999 
Summer Ministry program will un- 
dergo reconstruction to focus more 
specifically on training youth to be 
servant leaders and disciples and to 
equip them with the necessary tools 
to work in the world as servants of 
our Lord Jesus Christ. 

In addition, initial plans are being 
investigated to construct a youth 
training center in Ashland. This 
would be used to train youth in var- 
ious kinds of ministry, such as wor- 
ship, puppetry, mime, facilitating 
workshops, and much more. 

If asked what areas of youth pro- 
gramming I personally think need 



to be improved, I would answer that 
programs need to be established to 
serve youth of all ages. The BYIC 
program currently focuses primarily 
on junior and senior high youth. I 
would like to see more quality pro- 
grams for younger children, post- 
high youth, and young adults. 

I would also like to see a broader 
summer ministries program, which 
would involve more people — from 
junior high youth to adults and in- 
cluding families and retired adults. I 
would like to see more districts and 
local churches planning short-term 
missions trips or work trips. And 
most of all, I would like to see more 
follow-up from all ministry opportu- 
nities which are offered through 
The Brethren Church. 

I think it is extremely important 
to continually encourage youth, not 
just during the summer but all year 
long. It hasn't been very long ago 
that I graduated from high school, 
and I can still remember the excite- 
ment and fire I would feel coming 
off a summer of ministry as an in- 
tern or district crusader. But then 
winter would come and the sparks 
would slowly die, since they were 
fanned only once or twice at district 
rallies and retreats. 

If we could train youth to serve in 
the summer, then use the skills they 
have developed to do ministry in 
other areas throughout the year, I 
believe they would eventually be- 
come a raging fire for Jesus Christ 
that Satan could never snuff out. 

God is at work among our youth. 
We pray that you adults will continue 
to support the BYIC program. 
September is designated as Youth 
Month in The Brethren Church, 
and we ask that you support the 
youth both financially and by your 
prayers. If your church doesn't take 
a special offering for the youth this 
month, please send your donation 
to The Brethren Church National 
Office marked for National BYIC. 

Until next time, "Keep your eyes 
open, hold tight to your convictions, 
give it all you've got, be resolute, 
and love without stopping" (1 Cor. 

16:13, Eugene Peterson translation). [if] 

Ms. Gillespie, a senior at AshlaJid 
University, served as coordinator for 
this year's BYIC Convention and con- 
tinues to work with the BYIC program 
on a part-time basis. 



September 1998 



11 



Mission Workers Honored 



During the Missions Banquet at 
Conference, the Missionary Minis- 
tries Council honored four mission 
workers for their years of service to 
The Brethren Church. 

Rev. Phil and Jean Lersch (below) 
were presented a plaque gratefully 
acknowledging their 30 years of ser- 
vice in educational ministry through 
Brethren House Ministries in St. 
Petersburg, Fla. The Lersches con- 
cluded this ministry at the end of 
1997. When presented the plaque, the 




Lersches also acknowledged 
their team member, Bonnie 
Munson, who served with 
them for 25 years. 

Allen Baer (below) was 
honored for his 16 years of 
service as a missionary in 
Argentina. Allen retired from 
mission service in June. 

Dr. Juan Carlos Miranda 
(center of photo at right) was 
honored for 26 years of ser- 
vice among Spanish-speaking 




Workshop looks at 
"Natural Church Development" 

Natural Church Development was 
the title of an all-Conference work- 
shop presented by Rev. Ronald W. 
Waters on Tuesday morning of Con- 
ference. During the workshop, Rev. 
Waters presented and elaborated on 
eight essential qualities of healthy 
churches. The eight qualities consid- 
ered were identified by Christian A. 
Schwarz through extensive research 
around the world. 

The eight qualities probably do not 
sound new to most Brethren. They 
include: 

1. Empowering leadership — leaders 
equipping other Christians to do 
ministry. 

2. Gift-oriented ministry — Chris- 
tians using their gifts to build up 
the church. 

3. Passionate spirituality — members 
living their faith. 

4. Functional structures — church 
practices and structures are de- 
signed for effective ministry. 

5. Inspiring worship services — wor- 



ship is a high point of the week for 
much of the congregation. 

6. Holistic small groups — multiplica- 
tion of small groups that meet the 
needs of people. 

7. Need-oriented evangelism — mem- 
bers are involved in evangelistic ac- 
tivities directed to the needs of the 
people they are trying to reach. 

8. Loving relationships — Christ's 
love permeates church activities 
and members love one another. 

Every church studied that mani- 
fests all eight of these qualities to a 
substantial degree (a "quality index" 
of 65% or more) has been found to be 
a growing church. 

Several resources are available to 
help churches learn more about Natu- 
ral Church Development, including a 
book by that title by Christian A. 
Schwarz. A Natural Church Develop- 
ment survey can also be administered 
in a church to determine to what de- 
gree it possesses these eight qualities. 
Contact Rev. Waters, The Brethren 
Church's Natural Church Develop- 
ment consultant, for more informa- 
tion (phone 419-289-5771). [ft] 



people in North and South America. 
He resigned at the end of 1997 as 
Latin America Consultant for Breth- 
ren Missions. His wife, Maria, contin- 
ues her Hispanic Radio Ministry. 

Both the Mirandas and Allen Baer 
also received plaques from the Argen- 
tine Brethren Church, presented by 
Jose Rivero, the church's president, 
shown with the Mirandas (above). 



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Vol.120, No. 9 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



October 1998 



How to Show Appreciation to Your Pastor 

By David Cooksey, Director of Pastoral Ministries 



DEAR BRETHREN, I want to talk 
to you about your pastor. Octo- 
ber is Pastor Appreciation Month. I 
want to suggest some ways that you 
can show appreciation to your pas- 
tor not only during October, but also 
throughout the year. 

The negatives of being a pastor 
are well known. The pastor and his 
family live in a glass house, under 
constant scrutiny by members of 
the congregation. Pastors bear the 
brunt of criticism for things that go 
wrong in the church. And pastors 
almost always experience a great 
deal of stress in their work. But 
what I want to convey to you are not 
the negatives, but how we can im- 
pact the lives and ministries of our 
pastors in positive ways. 

Pray for your pastor 

First and foremost, pray for your 
pastor. Pray that God will give him 
wisdom and strength of character. 
Pray for his protection from evil and 
temptations. Pray also for his fami- 
ly. Pray that his ministry will be a 
joy, not a chore or the cause of ten- 
sions in his home. 

Respect your pastor. Show that 
respect by how you treat him and by 
what you say about him. Never speak 
negatively of him in public, and cer- 
tainly not before non-Christians. If 
a person in the Body of Christ ma- 
ligns the pastor, this reflects badly 
on all Christians, and especially on 
those in the local church. 

Talk to your pastor. Tell him you 
appreciate him and his ministry. 
Many times Brethren people have 
told me something good about their 
pastor. But when I mentioned it to 
the pastor, he had no idea that peo- 
ple appreciated what he had said or 




done. If you have a compliment or 
kind word for your pastor, tell him. 
Encourage your pastor as often as 
you can. Just a word of encourage- 
ment can make a big difference. 

Take care of your pastor's ed- 
ucational needs. Every pastor is 
enriched by learning experiences 
that feed his mind and his spirit. 
The congregation benefits as well 
when the pastor is inspired and 
filled with new ideas to use in mes- 
sages and Bible studies. So make 
sure that he is provided time and 
funds for continuing education. 

Pay your pastor adequately 

Look after your pastor's finan- 
cial needs. Many churches fall 
short in this area. Paul gives us 
these guidelines in 1 Timothy 
5:17-18: "The elders who direct the 
affairs of the church well are worthy 
of double honor, especially those 



whose work is preaching and teach- 
ing. For the Scripture says, 'Do not 
muzzle the ox while it is treading 
out the grain,' and 'The worker de- 
serves his wages.'" In addition to his 
salary, allot funds for insurance, re- 
tirement, continuing education, at- 
tendance at the annual retreat for 
Brethren pastors and their spouses, 
and other needs. 

Make sure that his contract also 
provides time off for a vacation and 
time to spend with his family. If his 
own home is not in good health, it 
cannot serve as a model for others. 

Love your pastor 

Most important of all, love your 
pastor. If we truly love our pastors, 
everything else will fall into place. 
Love builds relationships; love 
shows honor; love eliminates un- 
healthy criticism; love provides sup- 
port of all kinds. In fact, we cannot 
honestly love our pastors and then 
neglect their needs. 

I do hope that you will take time 
during October to show honor and 
appreciation to your pastor. Breth- 
ren pastors need and deserve our 
appreciation. So celebrate the per- 
son whom God has sent into the life 
of your church. You will be blessed if 
you do. In fact, from all that we read 
in the New Testament, to honor your 
pastor is to honor God. [ft] 



Inside this issue 


God's wonders performed 


2 


Conflict in marriage 


3 


Domestic violence 


4 


When God doesn't heal 


6 


Ashland University 


8 


Around the denomination 


10 




Steve Saint with Huaorani tribesmen Mincaye (c.) and Tementa. 

Conference session demonstrates 
God's wonders performed 



GOD WORKS in mysterious 
ways His wonders to per- 
form," Steve Saint told a crowd of 
youth and adults at General Confer- 
ence, quoting William Cowper. What 
he and the two men with him 
shared in the next 90 minutes cer- 
tainly demonstrated the truth of 
those well-known words. 

Steve Saint is the son of Nate 
Saint, one of five missionaries* 
killed in 1956 in the jungles of 
Ecuador by members of the so- 
called "Auca" (savage) tribe. With 
Steve Saint on the platform were 
two members of that tribe, now 
known as the Huaorani. 

One of the two was Mincaye. He is 
one of six men who speared the five 
missionaries to death. He is now a 

*The other four slain missionaries 
were Jim Elliot, Roger Youderian, Pete 
Fleming, and Ed McCully. 



Christian and the surrogate grand- 
father of Steve Saint's children. The 
other was Tementa. Tementa is the 
son of one of the six men who killed 
the missionaries. He, too, is a Chris- 
tian and serves as a leader in the 
Huaorani church. 

Certainly the presence of these 
three men together on the same plat- 
form is an example of God's wonders 
performed. How did it come about? 

A little more than 2V-2 years after 
the massacre of the five missionar- 
ies, Rachel Saint (Nate's sister and 
Steve's aunt) and Elisabeth Elliot 
(widow of Jim Elliot, another of the 
martyred missionaries) were invited 
to live among the Huaoranis. They 
were asked to come and teach the 
Huaoranis about God's trail (the 
way to God). As a result of their 
work, some of Huaoranis became 
God-followers (Christians), includ- 



ing Mincaye and Tementa. Elisa- 
beth Elliot stayed with the Huao- 
rani for 2V2 years. Rachel Saint 
stayed for the rest of her life, until 
she died of cancer in 1994. 

When he was eight or nine years 
old, Steve began making visits to his 
Aunt Rachel. He would live with her 
during his school vacations. As a re- 
sult, he grew to love the Huaorani 
people and learned their language. 

When Rachel died in 1994, Steve 
went back to Ecuador to bury her in 
the jungle, where she had lived most 
of her life. After the burial, the 
Huaorani elders told Steve, "Now 
we say you come live with us." They 
said that they needed someone to 
come and teach them how to teach 
their children to follow God's trail. 

By this time, Steve was married, 
owned a business, and had four chil- 
dren of his own, two in high school 
and two in college. He had no plans 
to go and live in the jungle. But when 
he realized that he either had to go 
and live among them or else sever 
his relationship with these people 
whom he had loved since he was a 
boy, he knew that severing the rela- 
tionship was too dear a price to pay. 

When he and his family moved to 
Ecuador, Steve hoped that his chil- 
dren would learn to love the Huao- 
ranis as he loved them. And they 
have. Mincaye, for example, took 
them under his wing, protected 
them, and treated them as though 
they were his own grandchildren. 
As a result, they fell in love with 
him and call him grandfather. Steve 
commented: "It just happens that 
the man who is now the surrogate 
grandfather for my children was the 
man who killed their grandfather. 
But that's not a surprise to those 
of us who've served the Lord for a 
(continued on page 5) 



The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) 
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The Brethren Evangelist 



Conflict in Marriage 

By Dan Lawson 



Every marriage has its rough 
times. The problem is that we 
sometimes refuse to swallow our 
pride and are unwilling to be 
the first to kiss and make up. 

IT'S NO SECRET that men and 
women are different. The battle 
between the sexes has raged on 
through the ages. He's always 
warm; she's always cold. She likes 
to talk; he just grunts. She likes to 
be touched and held, while touch- 
ing only means one thing to him. 
When we look at these differences, 
is it any wonder that we sometimes 
have conflict in our marriages? 

An electric-blanket ordeal 

I'll never forget when my lovely 
wife and I were first married. We 
had been given an electric blanket 
as a wedding present. It was the 
kind with duel controls, which had 
been ingeniously invented to keep 
harmony in the marriage. 

Well, as you might guess, we got 
the thing on upside down. This 
meant that she controlled the tem- 
perature on my side of the blan- 
ket, and I controlled the tempera- 
ture on her side. As a result, I 
found myself in a blazing inferno, 
which prompted me to keep turn- 
ing the control down. This left her 
shivering in Iceland, and she kept 
turning the control up. 

Eventually, she migrated to my 
side of the bed, which I normally 
would have enjoyed. But since I 
was already burning up, I couldn't 
stand more heat, so I just had to 
get out. This, of course, made her 
very sad — that her new husband 
did not want to be with her. Fortu- 
nately, our marriage survived the 
electric-blanket ordeal. 

Husbands and wives have al- 
ways had times of difficulty in 
their marriages. Ladies, when you 
scrounge in the refrigerator and 



find something that has been 
neglected for weeks, how do you 
think your husband feels when 
you bring it to him and say, "Here, 
taste this and see if it's spoiled"? 
What are we, men or lab mice that 
exist solely to determine the 
potency of spoiled food? 

f \ 

"When we look at these dif- 
ferences [between men and 
women], is it any wonder 
that we sometimes have 
conflict in our marriages?" 

Men, when your wife wants to 
talk to you about something she 
thinks is important, what message 
do you communicate when you 
stare at the TV and respond with 
caveman grunts — and only do that 
during the commercials? 

The truth is, we sometimes find 
it difficult to understand one an- 
other. I once heard a couple talk 
about the time the wife wrecked 
the car. She hit a tree and the hus- 
band had a hard time containing 
himself when she said, "It wasn't 
my fault; I honked the horn." 

Husband, love your wife 

In Ephesians 5:25, the Apostle 
Paul gives this instruction to the 
church: Husbands, love your 
wives, just as Christ loved the 
church and gave himself up for her 
. . . . " When we men start putting 
this command into practice, we 
can begin to resolve the conflicts 
in our marriages. In fact, when we 
understand this command, we 
quickly see that it is the man's re- 
sponsibility to take the initiative, 
set the example, and be the first to 
give himself for his wife. 

Any of us who know anything at 
all about the love of Christ can 
quickly understand what Paul 



means in this passage. Because of 
His love for us, Jesus sacrificed 
Himself on the cross so that all of 
our faults and sins could be over- 
looked by God. 

This is the way men ought to 
love their wives. No one is perfect. 
Yes, you may be annoyed when 
you go to the microwave in the 
morning to heat your coffee and 
find the green beans, which had 
been forgotten from the previous 
night's dinner. But if you have the 
Christ-like love for your wife that 
Paul is talking about, you will re- 
sist the urge to blatantly announce 
her mistake to the world. You will 
let love take its place. 

This brings us back to the fact 
that men and women were created 
different. When God created man, 
He gave him the mandate to fill 
the earth and subdue it. When we 
men read this, we suddenly feel 
the urge to respond with a Tim 
Allen grunt. 

Men are task-oriented 

What this means is that men are 
most often task-oriented: "fill the 
earth," "subdue the earth," etc. 
The problem is that we have de- 
veloped an aggressive nature to 
accomplish this mandate from 
God. From this aggressive nature, 
we have lost touch with what it 
means to be sacrificial. Leo Tol- 
stoy described it this way: Every- 
one thinks of changing humanity 
and nobody thinks of changing 
himself. 

To love with the sacrificial love 
of Jesus, we must start with our- 
selves. This means that before we 
find fault with others, including 
our wives, we first stop and look at 
ourselves and the things we have 
done. This act alone will go a long 
way in preserving the beauty of 
our marriages. [ft] 

Next month we will talk about how 
His love makes us holy and blame- 
less, and how we men ought to follow 
the example of Christ. 

Dr. Lawson is senior pastor of the 
Jefferson Brethren Church, Goshen, 
Ind. This is one of a series of arti- 
cles in which he applies Bible 
truths to our personal lives. 



October 1998 




Domestic Violence: 

What can Christians do? 

Final article of a three-part series 
by Morven Baker 



The first article in this series ap- 
peared in the June issue (pp. 5-6). It 
defined the problem of domestic vio- 
lence and provided biblical and his- 
torical perspectives on this issue. The 
second article in the series examined 
forms of domestic abuse and set 
forth the cycle of abuse. It appeared 
in the July/August issue (pp. 4 & 6). 

HOW CAN CHRISTIANS respond 
to the cries of battered women 
and their children? The first thing 
we must do is look in the mirror and 
see the abuser in ourselves. We need 
to understand that we all have been 
angry and that we all have misused 
this anger. In other words, we could 
also be walking in the shoes of the 
offender. We are forced to admit 
that "There, but for the grace of 
God, go I." 

Abusers are people in pain. They 
are present in every ethnic group, in 
every denomination, at every level 
of society. Regardless of their finan- 
cial or professional position, they 
may have low self-esteem, poor im- 
pulse control, and a strong need to 
be in control. They may have poor 
communication skills, be under- 
achieves, and have isolated them- 
selves from others. On the other 
hand, they could be the leaders in 
your community, the teachers of your 
children, the pastor of your church, 
or the spouse of your best friend. 

Abusers are deceptive 

Abusers are deceptive. They may 
be the kind of person who you be- 
lieve would "never do things like 
that." They can be manipulative and 
charming. Scripture warns us about 
them. Psalm 55:20, 21 says, "He has 
attacked his friends, he has gone 
back on his word, though his mouth 
is smoother than butter, he has war 
in his heart; his words may soothe 
more than oil, but they are naked 



swords." When a woman gets up the 
courage to come to you for help and 
tells you that her husband is being 
abusive to her and her children, do 
not doubt her because of the 
position of her husband. 

What pastors can do 

Pastors, let your congregations 
know that you are aware of the 
prevalence of family violence. Show 
them that you are concerned about 
those who have been victimized. Let 
them know that it is okay to talk 
about the resulting feelings, frustra- 
tions, and spiritual problems. 

Failure to acknowledge the pres- 
ence of domestic violence only per- 
petuates it. And it discourages vic- 
tims from seeking help. Pastors are 
role models, like Jesus. Therefore, 
pastors, don't be afraid to recognize 
events like Child Abuse Prevention 
Month. Be bold enough to suggest 
that a special offering be taken for 
your local women's shelter. 

Pastors can also demonstrate their 
concern for domestic violence dur- 
ing traditional family celebrations, 
such as Mother's Day and Father's 
Day. Sermon illustrations can ac- 
knowledge that not all parents are 
perfect. Weddings and infant dedica- 
tions also provide an opportunity to 
remind people that marriages can 
be abusive and that children need to 
be protected from violence. 

During premarital counseling, pas- 
tors need to be alert to any indica- 
tion of abuse in the relationship. 
One of the more insidious myths 
about physical abuse is that it will 
cease after the wedding. If anything, 
marriage only gives the situation an 
opportunity to explode. 

Even if there is no evidence of 
abuse between a couple who are pre- 
paring to marry, the subject must be 
addressed. Couples need to be taught 
how quickly a simple dispute can 



escalate into violence unless mutual 
respect and understanding are the 
foundations of their communica- 
tion. A slap can all too easily gradu- 
ate into severe blows. 

If you talk about it, they will come 

There is much that pastors can do 
to get the subject of domestic vio- 
lence before their congregations. 
But pastors, you need to be aware of 
this: if you are brave enough to talk 
about domestic violence, you will 
soon be approached by those in pain. 
Once they know that you. are ap- 
proachable and trustworthy, they 
will share their stories with you. 

So what do you do next? When an 
abused woman comes to you, your 
response to her may be the turning 
point of her life. Or it could destroy 
her spirit forever. It is very impor- 
tant that you let her tell her story in 
her own words. It may take several 
meetings with you before she is 
even able to reveal her dilemma. It 
is critical that you set your values, 
beliefs, and judgments aside for a 
time to ensure that she feels safe 
sharing with you. 

Try not to give advice. Let the 
story simply unfold. Listen. Be pre- 
sent. Be compassionate. Assure her 
that God loves her. Share Scripture 
passages with her that speak of her 
value to God, such as Isaiah 43:4 — 
"You are precious to me, and I love 
you." Explain to her the cycle of 
abuse (see the article on pp. 4 & 6 of 
the July I August issue). And give her 
reassurance that there is hope. 

Do not ask her, "What did you do 
to provoke the violence?" It is not 
the victim who causes the violence. 
It is the batterer who must face the 
pain within and own the violence. 

Help her find shelter 

The issue you must face is that 
this woman and her children are in 
danger. Therefore they must be taken 
to a place of safety. Referring her to 
your local shelter or providing trans- 
portation to the home of a member 
of her extended family would be a 
good beginning. Even if you are not 
convinced that abuse has taken place, 
your only responsibility is to help 
the family find a place of shelter. It 
is the responsibility of the local law 
enforcers to determine if abuse has 
actually occurred. (next page) 



The Brethren Evangelist 



It is also important for pastors 
(and other caring members of the 
congregation) to be willing to work 
in conjunction with trained profes- 
sionals when counseling both bat- 
tered women and their abusive hus- 
bands. Most pastors and lay people, 
while they may have the very best of 
intentions, do not have the skills or 
the time to deal with the complexi- 
ties of the abuse situation. 

Unfortunately, many pastors are 
unwilling to refer victims to appro- 
priate resources — a fact that further 
complicates their involvement with 
victims. It is not shameful to admit 
there is abuse within your congrega- 
tion. It is wrong to keep it hidden. 
In fact, it is a crime. In most states 
domestic violence is against the law, 
and its perpetrators need to be 
brought to justice. 

Your heart will ache for these 



women and their children. But it is 
also important that you feel com- 
passion for the batterer. Taking re- 
sponsibility does not come easily. On 
average, only one of two will show 
up for the first counseling session. 
And when they do come, fifty per- 
cent do not last more than six weeks. 

Those who come longer do begin 
to make changes. But they must be 
in a counseling facility where they 
are confronted by other offenders 
who have already gone through con- 
siderable recovery and who have 
earned the right to challenge them. 

The batterer must also want help. 
According to John 5:6, Jesus asked 
the man at the pool of Bethesda, 
"Do you want to get well?" When 
the man indicated that he did, Jesus 
told him to get up and take the steps 
he needed to take in order to be 
healed. The same is true of the 



abusive person. It may also be nec- 
essary at some point for the church 
to exercise discipline. But showing 
tough love is never easy. 

The Greek word for counselor is 
paraclete, meaning "one who walks 
alongside." In that sense, all Chris- 
tians should be counselors. We can- 
not all heal the wounded. We do not 
all possess the skills to counsel fam- 
ilies faced with these problems. But 
all of us can "walk alongside" and 
listen, show compassion, and extend 
hands of fellowship. Jesus is our 
role model. We are His hands and 
His feet. Let us model the love of 
Jesus to others by our willingness to 
get involved. [ft] 

Mrs. Baker, a member of the Univer- 
sity (Brethren) Church, is a licensed 
professional clinical counselor associ- 
ated with Cornerstone Psychological 
Affiliates in Ashland, Ohio. 



God's wonders performed 

(continued from page 2) 
period of time and have been will- 
ing to trust Him. He does that kind 
of stuff all the time, doesn't He?" 

Tementa is another example of 
the wondrous ways in which God 
works. His father was the only 
Huaorani with whom the five mis- 
sionary martyrs had friendly con- 
tact. In fact, Nate Saint took him 
for a ride in the missions airplane. 
But Tementa' s father turned on 
the missionaries and was one of 
the six men who speared the mis- 
sionaries to death. 

A short time later, the Huaoranis 
killed Tementa's father, and 
Tementa almost died with him. 
But his mother managed to spare 
her son, and today he is not only a 
Christian, but the principal Bible 
teacher in the Huaorani church. 
And now Steve Saint is teaching 
Tementa to fly, so that he can more 
effectively reach the far-flung 
areas of the Huaorani tribe. 

When asked during the question 
and answer period about his feel- 
ings growing up with the person 
who killed his dad, Steve said that 
forgiving them was never an issue 
with him. When he was a child, he 
heard his mother tell another 
woman, "Before we ever went to 
the field, Nate and I gave our lives 



to the Lord. They were His to do 
with as He pleased. Now if He had 
asked me, this [Nate's death] 
might not have been my first 
choice. But I would never second 
guess God." Steve commented, 
"And seeing that example, it never 
occurred to me that I had anything 
to excuse." 

Steve was also asked to talk 
about what all this — losing his fa- 
ther, selling his business, living in 
the jungle — had cost him personal- 
ly. He replied, "I don't know any- 
thing about sacrifice." He noted 
that even in secular work, "If you 
get enough reward to offset the 
cost to you, then we don't consider 
that sacrifice." Then he added, "If 
I could share with you folks some 
of the things that I've seen in my 
life, what God is doing, and how 
He has used the story of my dad 
and grandfather [Mincaye] here 
and [Dad's] four friends and six of 
[Mincaye's] Huaorani compatriots, 
the word sacrifice would never 
come up." 

While admitting that there is a 
cost to doing what God has called 
us to do, he asked, "What is the cost 
of disobeying God?" Steve went on 
to say, "You know what Jim Elliot 
said about [sacrifice]. He said, 'He 
is no fool who gives what he cannot 
keep to gain what he cannot lose.' 



And that today is competing with, 
'He who dies with the most toys 
wins.' And I suggest to you, there 
is a great deal of pressure on us 
today to give lip service to the one, 
but to act like the other." 

He went on, "There are enough 
people in this room today to 
change the course of this world for 
Christ if we would just commit our 
lives to Him; and our fortunes; and 
our resources." He added, "God 
isn't a beggar. He'd give us back." 

He has found this to be true in 
his own life — that God gives back. 
While living in the U.S., he always 
loved flying a plane, but he could 
never justify spending much time 
doing so. But one day in Ecuador, 
as he made his 23rd flight in one 
day, looking down on the jungle 
with some beautify macaws flying 
below him, he thought, "Can it get 
any better than this?" 

He concluded, "God doesn't want 
us to suffer for Him. He wants us 
to live for Him. His highest call 
isn't that we die for Him, but that 
we live for Him. And I think that 
the reason He used Dad and the 
others wasn't because they were 
willing to be martyrs, but because 
they were willing to give Him their 
lives and to live obediently. And 
then He said, 'I have something 
else that I want you to do.'" [ft] 



October 1998 




When 



Chooses Not 
to Heal 



by David Stone 



JOYCE, a faithful Christian lady 
in the Sarasota First Brethren 
Church, was suffering from a life- 
threatening blood disease. A woman 
visited Joyce in the hospital and told 
her that her lack of faith was the only 
reason she had not been healed. 
Joyce dismissed this demeaning 
statement, but it could have been 
devastating to someone with less 
knowledge of the Bible. 

An erroneous doctrine 

This erroneous doctrine seems to 
be increasingly accepted among 
Christian groups. Even some Breth- 
ren elders are teaching it to their 
people. The purpose of this article is 
to suggest ways in which Brethren 
people can respond. 

The Brethren Church has no creed, 
no list of beliefs that define us as a 



group. We base our faith and prac- 
tice on the Bible as a whole. This 
makes maintaining our common 
and distinctive set of beliefs more 
difficult. The Bible is much more 
complex and open to various inter- 
pretations than a simple list of be- 
liefs. People can say they believe in 
the Bible but hold widely divergent 
views of truth. 

We Brethren must maintain ac- 
tive and vigorous discussions about 
our beliefs, or we will cease to be a 
faith community. We will dissolve 
into a loosely-knit group of individ- 
uals with nothing in common except 
meaningless lip service to the Bible. 
Because we have no creed but the 
Bible, the Brethren can tolerate var- 
iant opinions on non-essential doc- 
trines, but only if those opinions are 
biblically defensible. 



The "health and wealth gospel" 
looks wonderful at first glance. It 
teaches that God wants us to be 
healthy and prosperous at all times. 
It seems logical and natural. God 
loves us very much, so why would 
He want us to be sick? It is also com- 
forting. Unfortunately, it does not 
square with reality or with what the 
Bible teaches. 

The book of Job and this error 

The book of Job gives us the clear- 
est and most thorough attack on the 
health and wealth gospel. The cen- 
tral theme of the book of Job is that 
God has reasons for our suffering 
that we can never understand. Job, 
a righteous man, suffered multiple 
tragedies. Four friends came to com- 
fort him. They seemed to sincerely 
care for Job, for they sat with him in 
the dust for seven days and nights 
without even speaking. 

Job finally broke the silence. He 
claimed that he had done nothing 
wrong. At least three of his friends 
dismissed this claim immediately. It 
seemed impossible to them that God 
would so inflict a righteous man. 
They assured Job that if he con- 
fessed and repented of whatever he 
had done wrong, God would restore 
him to his former state of blessing. 

Their attempts to comfort Job 
just heaped abuse on him. The story 
reached its climax with the appear- 
ance of God, who quizzed Job about 
many of the mysteries of creation. 
Job finally realized that he could 
never understand the totality of 
God's plan, and he submitted to it. 

God then commanded Job to pray 
for his friends, since their argu- 
ments had angered Him. God told 
one of them, "I am angry with you 
and your two friends, because you 
have not spoken of me what is right, 
as my servant Job has" (Job 42:7*). 
Those who teach the health and 
wealth gospel are promoting the 
same error that God rejected thou- 
sands of years ago. 

The disciples and this error 

The disciples believed some form 
of the health and wealth gospel. 
Their belief system could not ex- 
plain how a man could be born 
blind, since he could not have 

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



The Brethren Evangelist 



committed any sin before he was af- 
flicted. They could think of only two 
possibilities: the man had been pun- 
ished in advance for his sins, or his 
blindness was to punish his parents 
for some sin of theirs. 

Jesus completely rejected their 
thinking by answering that the 
man's blindness was not a punish- 
ment for sin at all. The man was 
born blind to show God's power. 

Paul wrote that he had a thorn in 
his flesh. He did not specify what 
that thorn was, but the term seems 
to indicate a physical affliction. God 
was not the source of this thorn 
(Paul called it a messenger from 
Satan), but Paul knew that God had 
the power to remove it. 

Paul asked God three times to re- 
move it, but God refused. God's an- 
swer to Paul's request was, "My 
grace is sufficient for you, for my 
power is made perfect in weakness" 
(2 Cor. 12:9). Paul learned to hum- 
bly rely on God's power. God is more 
concerned with our character than 
with our comfort. 

Suffering is normal 

The Bible teaches that suffering is 
the normal state of believers. Peter 
wrote, "Dear friends, do not be sur- 
prised at the painful trial you are 
suffering, as though something 
strange were happening to you" (1 
Pet. 4:12). James wrote, "Consider it 
pure joy, my brothers, whenever you 
face trials of many kinds, because 
you know that the testing of your 
faith develops perseverance. Perse- 
verance must finish its work so that 
you may be mature and complete, 
not lacking anything" (Jas. 1:2-4). 
We should be less surprised by suf- 
fering than by its absence. 

God does love you, and He wants 
to bless you. God would prefer for 
you to be healthy and wealthy, 
blessed in every way. But He knows 
that all of us are weak creatures, 
prone to become self-sufficient, 
proud, and spoiled. He wants most 
of all to be in relationship with you, 
so if suffering brings you closer to 
Him, He will allow it. 

The only possible biblical support 
for the health and wealth gospel are 
those passages that tell of God's 
healing power. God does have the 
power to heal, and He uses that 
power every day. Brethren have 



always believed in prayer for heal- 
ing and even practice anointing 
with oil. In addition, the Bible does 
teach that lack of faith can be a hin- 
drance to answered prayer. But nei- 
ther of these truths proves the con- 
clusion that God will always give 
physical healing to His faithful fol- 
lowers. He never promised that. 

A double attack 

It may seem kind and comforting 
when we make that promise on 
God's behalf, but it can be devastat- 
ing if God does not heal physically 
and immediately. Many godly, faith- 
ful believers have been doubly at- 
tacked. First, Satan attacks them 
physically. Second, a would-be com- 
forter blames them for their own af- 
fliction, saying that they are sick be- 
cause their faith is insufficient. 

Here is how Job replied to this 
accusation: 

/ have heard many things like 
these; 
miserable comforters are you all! 
Will your long-winded speeches 
never end? 
What ails you that you keep on 
arguing? 
I also could speak like you, 
if you were in my place; 
I could make fine speeches against 
you 
and shake my head at you. 
But my mouth would encourage 
you; 
comfort from my lips would 
bring you relief. 

Jobl6:2-5 

Job is teaching his friends that it 
would be better to comfort and 
encourage the sufferer instead of 
accusing him of unfaithfulness. 

Surrendering to God's will 

Those who teach the health and 
wealth gospel often insult the faith 
of those who disagree with them. 
One preacher taught that only 
doubters end their prayers with the 
words, "Thy will be done." He said 
that it was an escape clause for 
those who do not believe God will 
answer prayer. He was wrong. It is a 
humble admission of our own falli- 
bility and of God's wisdom. It is a 
surrendering of our will to God's 
will, the essence of Christian con- 
version and faith. 



Those who believe God only when 
life is easy are the ones with weak 
faith. God wants people like Shad- 
rach, Meshach, and Abednego. When 
told they had to worship the king's 
idol or be thrown into the fiery fur- 
nace, they replied: 

O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not 
need to defend ourselves before 
you in this matter. If we are 
thrown into the blazing furnace, 
the God we serve is able to save us 
from it, and he will rescue us 
from your hand, O king. But even 
if he does not, we want you to 
know, O king, that we will not 
serve your gods or worship the 
image of gold you have set up. 

Daniel 3:16-18 

These three men believed whole- 
heartedly that God had the power to 
save them (which He did). But they 
also trusted God whether He saved 
them or not. God wants you to be- 
lieve He has the power to protect 
you and bless you. He also wants 
you to trust Him when he chooses 
not to end your suffering. He wants 
you to trust Him even when He 
does not explain. 

Some of our suffering is caused by 
our sin. In that case, we should learn 
our lesson, repent, and ask God to 
help us deal with the consequences. 
Some of what we suffer, however, is 
not the result of our sin. In that 
case, we should remember that "in 
all things God works for the good of 
those who love him, who have been 
called according to his purpose" 
(Rom. 8:28). 

God can turn it into good 

If God allows suffering to touch 
our lives, it is because He knows 
that He can turn it into something 
good for us. Knowing this does not 
take the pain away, but it probably 
makes it easier to handle. 

We may never understand why we 
suffer certain things until we stand 
face-to-face with Jesus. He wants us 
to trust Him in the meantime. And 
when we deal with the suffering of 
others, it is better to offer sympathy 
and comfort than to give wise- 
sounding justifications, which may 
turn out to be wrong. [ft] 

Rev. Stone is pastor of the First 
Brethren Church of Sarasota, Fla. 



October 1998 



Ashland University 



it 



^ 



What College Should I Attend? 



By Emanuel W. Sandberg 



\= 



J 



WHEN PEOPLE ASK ME, "What 
college should I attend?" I am 
apt to respond very quickly, "Well, I 
think that our school — Ashland 
University — is the one I would pick, 
particularly for an undergraduate 
program." 

I answer this way not just because 
of my prejudice as a trustee of Ash- 
land University; or because Ashland 
University has a beautiful campus; 
or because of our award-winning 
food service; or because of the im- 
pressive work of the Christian min- 
istries on the university campus. I 
don't even give this answer because 
Ashland University was founded by, 
and is still affiliated with, The Breth- 
ren Church. My answer is based on 
the fact that Ashland University is 
dedicated to helping each student 
develop his or her potential for a 
lifetime of achievement and success. 

Ashland University is different 

There are thousands of colleges 
and universities across our country, 
but most of them focus on educa- 
tional processes, academic classes, 
labs, papers, and tests. I believe Ash- 
land University is different because 



we think that a person's character 
is at least as important as a person's 
marketability. At Ashland Univer- 
sity, our philosophical dedication to 
"Accent on the Individual" will not 
be compromised. 

A place to develop potential 

In most areas of life, individual 
potential is not the demonstration 
of knowledge, no matter how tech- 
nically complex or advanced that 
knowledge might be. Personal de- 
velopment resulting from academic 
training is not the discovery and 
polishing of existing abilities. Rather, 
it is the development within a per- 
son of the potential to acquire the 
skills which that person will need to 
meet the tests he or she will en- 
counter throughout the rest of life. 

A university should not be a place 
to test whether a student is en- 
dowed with "the right stuff" for suc- 
cess. Rather it should be a place to 
add value to a person's life by help- 
ing that person develop leadership 
potential; by empowering that per- 
son with the ability to bring about 
change; by enabling that person to 
learn from adversity and mistakes; 




Many Ashland University students have their first serious encounter with God's 
Word in Bible classes like this one taught by Brethren faculty member Dr. Donald 
Rinehart, professor of religion at AU. 




Dr. 
Sandberg 
is 
Executive 
Director 
of The 
Brethren 
Church 
and 
chairman 
of the 
Board of 
Trustees of 
Ashland 
University. 
and by preparing that person to de- 
velop new skills when an increasing- 
ly complex social or economic sys- 
tem requires those skills. 

From its founding in 1878 by The 
Brethren Church, Ashland Univer- 
sity has been committed at all levels 
to helping students realize their full 
potential. This includes not only 
their potential in terms of academic 
achievement, but also in terms of 
spiritual development and the de- 
velopment of their total personality. 
Personal contacts with faculty and 
staff help to create a safe and sup- 
portive environment in which stu- 
dents can make new friends, deepen 
their faith, and learn to accept new 
challenges. 

Most people develop their philoso- 
phy of living and set their life goals 
during their college years. College is 
where most people begin making 
their life-shaping decisions and also 
where they begin accepting respon- 
sibility for their actions. 

An academic base 

Ashland University's undergradu- 
ate programs are designed to pre- 
pare graduates for a wide range of 
employment opportunities. The uni- 
versity provides students with the 
academic base to pursue profession- 
al training in virtually any field — 
from business to government and 
from education to medicine — as well 



8 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Ashland University 



V 



"Ashland University is dedicated to helping each student 
develop his or her potential for a lifetime of achievement and success. 



J 



as a wide range of assignments in 
the field of Christian service. 

But for me, the important thing is 
the opportunity AU students have 
to develop their total life potential. 
"Accent on the Individual" in Ash- 
land University's academic settings 
helps a student to develop: 

• An ability to identify the most 
important part of a problem or an 
issue and to see the problem from 
a broader perspective 

• A willingness to take personal 
risks by going against consensus 
standards and taking stands ac- 
cording to personal beliefs 

• An ability to work with a wide 
variety of people, getting the best 
out of them even in situations 
where conflict exists 

• A sensitivity to cultural differ- 
ences and a willingness to work 
to understand such differences 

• A dedication to truth and hon- 
esty, and a willingness to take 
personal responsibility for one's 
actions 

• A willingness to make a commit- 
ment to the success of "the orga- 
nization" and to have a positive 
impact on other people 

• An openness to search for new 
opportunities to learn, to do new 
things, and to develop new skills 
as the world changes 

• A willingness to handle criticism 
as a learning experience and to 
learn from mistakes without be- 
coming disheartened 

By treating each person as an in- 
dividual with lifelong potential, 
Ashland University adds new value 
to a college education. Students de- 
velop new self-confidence, new rea- 
soning capabilities, new sensitivity 
to others, new drive, new goal ori- 
entation, and new awareness of 
social and economic changes. 

Church/University relationship 

Ever since the founding of Ash- 
land University by The Brethren 
Church in 1878, the relationship of 
the church to the university has 
been an important one, helping to 
shape the mission, core values, and 
programs of the university. We are 



proud of that heritage. We are also 
proud of the high quality education- 
al programs — which are offered in a 
context that emphasizes the impor- 
tance of and a reliance on Judeo- 
Christian values. 




Brethren faculty member Dr. Jeff Wei- 
denhamer, professor of chemistry at AU, 
looks on as Brian Howman conducts an 
experiment. 

As Ashland University has en- 
tered the 1998-1999 academic year, 
it is probably better positioned to 
fulfill its academic mission than at 
any time since its founding 120 
years ago. The university in recent 
years has improved the quality and 
variety of its academic programs, its 
financial stability, its facilities, and 
its ability to support the computer 
needs of its students. It has also im- 
proved its ability to attract and to 
retain high-quality faculty and staff 
members. 

AU's undergraduate enrollment 
reached almost 2,000 students 
when classes began in September. 
Total enrollment of both under- 
graduate and graduate students will 
be approximately 5,600, including 
about 700 graduate students at 
Ashland Theological Seminary, a 
graduate division of the university 

I believe these students will have 
a wonderful year at AU. They will 
find a faculty, staff, and administra- 
tion of extraordinary people who 



are committed to a common, excep- 
tional purpose. They will have the 
opportunity to participate in a wide 
range of athletic and cultural activ- 
ities. They will have the opportuni- 
ty to hear and learn from several re- 
spected national figures, including 
William Bennett, former Secretary 
of Education and author of The Book 
of Virtues; United States Supreme 
Court Justice Clarence Thomas; 
and William Kristol, editor and pub- 
lisher of The Weekly Standard. 

Not only is Ashland University a 
strong academic institution, it is 
also a place where Christian experi- 
ence is encouraged and nurtured. 
Numerous activities on campus fos- 
ter spiritual growth. HOPE Fellow- 
ship provides opportunities for stu- 
dents to be involved in worship 
teams, drama teams, mission expe- 
riences, Bible studies, and social 
gatherings. The Fellowship of 
Christian Athletes offers weekly 
chapel meetings and six distinct 
Bible studies. The Brethren Con- 
nection has been established to re- 
late Brethren students with Breth- 
ren families in the Ashland area. 
And on Sunday mornings, worship 
services are available at the Univer- 
sity Church on campus and at two 
other fine Brethren congregations 
in Ashland. 

What about cost? 

What about cost? "Too high!" we 
all say. But the university has a gen- 
erous program of financial aid based 
on need and previous academic per- 
formance. Furthermore, the net 
cost at Ashland must be weighed 
against the value added to one's life 
by receiving an education at Ash- 
land University. 

Why should AU be the college 
of choice for Brethren students? 
Because at Ashland University, the 
accent is on the individual — the 
accent is on you! If you are con- 
sidering a college education, come 
and visit the Ashland University 
campus and talk to students, facul- 
ty, and staff members. See for your- 
self what Ashland University has to 
offer you. [ft] 



October 1998 



sSO^g&Cfe 





Teen preaches at West Alex. 

West Alexandria, Ohio — While 
Rev. David Oligee, pastor of the First 
Brethren Church in West Alexandria, 
has been recuperating from July 
13th bypass surgery, other ministers 
in the congregation have been fill- 
ing the pulpit. 

On September 
6, Joe Hale, Rev. 
Oligee's nephew 
(his wife's sis- 
ter's son), was 
the speaker. Joe 
is just 14 years 
old! Though only 

a freshman in ' ^ 

high school, Joe believes that he has 
heard God's call to preach God's 
Word. And he has already begun! 

— reported by Audrey Gilbert 

Floods rage in Bangladesh 

Wheaton, 111. — World Relief of the 
National Association of Evangelicals 
(NAE) is providing emergency food, 
water purification tablets, and other 
relief supplies to families in five 
areas of Bangladesh, a country ex- 
periencing the longest lasting flood 
in its history. 

As of early September, more than 
800 people had died and 35 million 
were displaced or marooned by rains 
that began in July. "Almost one and 
a half months have passed and the 
situation is getting worse every 
day," a project manager told World 
Relief headquarters on September 
10. More than three-quarters of the 
country was underwater. 

Our contributions to Brethren 
World Relief throughout the year 
help support the work of World Re- 
lief of NAE in Bangladesh and other 
needy areas of the world. [ft] 



I k 






■ 






f m 
1 




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Brethren in Jamaica are (front, I. to r.) Tony & Geneva Price, Ernest & Dolly Zerbe, 
Patsy LeMaster, DeAnn & Gene Oburn, (back) Ben Pippen, Mandi Huff, and Sara Naylor. 

Ten Brethren take mission trip to Jamaica 



Bunker Hill, Ind. — Last July, ten 
Brethren spent two weeks in Jamai- 
ca on the first-ever overseas Sum- 
mer Ministries mission trip spon- 
sored by The Brethren Church. 

To make this trip possible, The 
Brethren Church worked in cooper- 
ation with Christian Service Inter- 
national (CSI). Headquartered in 
Muncie, Ind., CSI sends mission 
teams to needy areas both in the 
U.S. and around the world. 

In Miami, Fla., the ten Brethren 
joined a group of more than 100 
other Christians. This group, rang- 
ing in age from 10 to 86, was from 
all over the U.S. and from at least 
nine denominations. From Miami, 
they all flew to Kingston, Jamaica, 
where they were taken by vans to 
the Port Antonio area, their center 
of activities for the next two weeks. 

One of the ten Brethren, Patsy 
LeMaster from the Loree Brethren 
Church (Bunker Hill, Ind.), headed 
up a team of six who led a VBS for 
children in a village called Berry- 
dale. Brethren serving with her on 
this team were Sara Naylor, also 
from the Loree Church, and Mandi 
Huff and Ben Pippen, from the Nap- 
panee, Ind., First Brethren Church. 

To reach Berrydale, the team drove 
to the Rio Grande River, crossed the 
river on a raft, and climbed a stretch 
of mountain on foot. This they did 
twice a day every day — in the morn- 
ing for VBS and in the evening for a 
family worship service. The team 
members shared the love of Jesus 
with the children and families of 
this Jamaican mountain village. In 



turn, they were blessed daily by the 
eagerness of the children and the 
friendliness of the Jamaican people. 

The remaining six Brethren — 
Tony and Geneva Price of Trinity 
Brethren Church (Canton, Ohio) and 
Ernest and Dolly Zerbe and Gene 
and DeAnn Oburn of Loree — were 
part of a 20-member music/evange- 
lism team. Geneva Price became 
director of the choir when the in- 
tended director had to return to the 
U.S. soon after arriving in Jamaica. 

The mission of the choir was to 
share Jesus' love and the message of 
salvation with non-believers and to 
encourage Jamaican Christians in 
their walk with the Lord. The choir 
sang in churches and in a prison 
and an orphanage. Gene, Tony, and 
three other pastors in the choir pre- 
sented messages, and many other 
choir members gave testimonies. 

"For the ten of us Brethren, our 
time in Jamaica was an exciting and 
rich opportunity to serve the Lord 
and to reach out beyond our comfort 
zones in His precious name," said 
DeAnn Oburn. "To our prayer war- 
riors," she added, "we express our 
very deep thanks for your prayers 
.... To The Brethren Church, we 
give our special thanks for making 
this opportunity possible for each of 
us. And to all who read this article, 
we encourage you to consider God's 
call on your life to participate in a 
short-term mission experience 
sometime, somewhere. It will be 
life-changing and more rewarding 
than you can imagine!" 

— reported by DeAnn Oburn 



10 



The Brethren Evangelist 



od the 




Brethren in New Lebanon 
plan church history month 

New Lebanon, Ohio — Members 
of The Brethren Church in New 
Lebanon will spend several Sundays 
in October and November reviewing 
and renewing the vision of our fore- 
fathers for The Brethren Church 
during what they have designated 
as "Church History Month." 

On Sunday, October 11, the focus 
will be on "The Beginning" (1700s). 
Guest speaker will be Dr. Charles 
Munson, past professor at Ashland 
Theological Seminary, now retired. 

"Challenges and Triumphs" (1800s) 
will be the topic on October 18. Rev. 
Donald Rowser, pastor of the New 
Lebanon congregation from 1965 to 
1985 will be the guest speaker. 

"Brethren Women" in Brethren 
history will be in the spotlight on 
October 25. Appropriately, a Breth- 
ren woman, Dr. Mary Ellen Drushal, 
provost at Ashland University, will 
be the speaker. 

On November 1, "The Church in 
the 1900s" will be the theme. Charles 
Wiltrout, former associate pastor 
and current member of the New 
Lebanon congregation, will speak. 

The History of The Brethren 
Church in New Lebanon will be re- 
viewed on November 8. Rev. Rich- 
ard Winfield, editor of The Breth- 
ren Evangelist and a "son" of the 
New Lebanon church, will speak. 

The series will climax on Sunday, 
November 15, with Homecoming. 
Rev. Lynn Mercer, pastor of the 
Gretna Brethren Church and former 
associate pastor at New Lebanon, will 
be the morning speaker. A carry-in 
dinner will follow the service. 

The Outreach Committee of the 
New Lebanon Church extends a 
special invitation to Brethren of 
other congregations to join the New 
Lebanon Brethren for all or some of 
these special events. The Sunday 
worship services begin at 10:30 a.m. 
— reported by Bettie Glanton 



Brethren at Pennsylvania District Conference 
hear good news of positive things happening 



The following article about this 
year's Pennsylvania District Confer- 
ence — held July 24-25 — appeared in 
the August newsletter of the Pleas- 
ant View Brethren Church. It was 
written by Pastor T.J. McLaughlin, 
and is reprinted here (with a few ed- 
itorial changes) with his permission. 

WE HAVE RETURNED from 
the mountain,* and we come 
with good news! District Conference 
was a blessing this year. I will try to 
recap what took place for those who 
were not able to attend. 

It was a pleasure to hear about 
the positive things that are happen- 
ing in The Brethren Church. We 
had the opportunity to hear and 
meet with Allen Baer, who has re- 
turned from the mission field in 
Argentina, and also from Rev. Jose 

*The Pennsylvania District Conference 
is held at Camp Peniel, nearMt. Davis — 
the highest point in Pennsylvania. 




During one of the business 
sessions at General Conference 
in August, Rev. G. Bright and 
Luella Hanna were given spe- 
cial recognition for being in at- 
tendance at their 51st consecu- 
tive Brethren General Confer- 
ence. Rev. Hanna, who is now 
retired, served as a pastor for 
many years in The Brethren 
Church. The Hannas now live 
in Marion, Indiana. Their son, 
Joseph, is also a Brethren pas- 
tor. He serves the Mulvane, 
Kansas, Brethren Church. 



Rivero, president of The Brethren 
Church in Argentina. The Brethren 
Church there is now able to train its 
own pastors and leaders in Argentina. 
Rev. Reilly Smith, Director of Breth- 
ren Missionary Ministries, chal- 
lenged each district church to hold a 
yearly missions conference. In addi- 
tion, we heard about the church- 
planting efforts across the U.S. 

Dr. Lee Solomon, Director of De- 
velopment at Ashland Theological 
Seminary, encouraged us to consider 
giving to the work of the kingdom. 
That can happen by designating a 
portion or percentage of our estate 
to some ministry in The Brethren 
Church: Ashland Theological Sem- 
inary, Brethren Missions, your local 
church, or some other ministry. Dr. 
Solomon shared with us some of the 
future plans for ATS and how that 
is going to be beneficial to the local 
church. You will be hearing more 
about these plans. 

Rev. Dave Cooksey encouraged 
the district churches to love their 
pastors. On a lesser note, Rev. Cook- 
sey reminded us that the Pennsylva- 
nia District showed a loss in mem- 
bership on the statistical report in 
1997 — a trend that I believe is about 
to change! 

Dr. Buzz Sandberg challenged us 
to evaluate ourselves, and our min- 
istries, before God. In addition Dr. 
Sandberg invited everyone to attend 
General Conference this year. He 
said, "If you attend this year's Con- 
ference you will leave a changed 
person." 

The conference voted, by an over- 
whelming majority, to grant church 
status to the Three Seasons Church 
pastored by Rev. Bryan Karchner. 
This is a new church, which is an 
offshoot of the Berlin Brethren 
Church. 

Also, the conference voted to 
change the tenure of the moderator 
tract to two-year terms. A motion to 
change the conference to a one-day 
business conference was withdrawn 
after discussion. It was suggested, 
however, that the Executive Com- 
mittee study the possibilities of a 
one-day business conference. [ft] 



October 1998 



11 



xod th 




In Memory 

Rev. Donald O. Siders, 73, for- 
mer pastor of the Wabash, Ind., 
First Brethren Church, died August 
7 following a struggle with cancer. 

He was born 



November 10, 
1924, in Peru, 
Indiana. On 
December 28, 
1949, he mar- 
ried Mary E. 
Brinson, who 
survives him. 

A Navy vet- 
eran, he had 
worked at Honeywell's and Stone 
Industries and retired from Swing- 
line Manufacturing in 1989. He 
began pastoring the Wabash First 
Brethren Church in 1988 and was 
ordained there June 24, 1990. He 
served the congregation nine years. 




He is survived by his wife, four 
sons, a daughter, 13 grandchildren, 
and three great-grandchildren. 

Funeral services were held Au- 
gust 11 with Rev. Gerald Zook, cur- 
rent pastor at Wabash Brethren, 
presiding. Memorial contributions 
may be made to the Wabash Church. 

%: $: %: % % 

Mayme L. Schubert, 85, a mem- 
ber of the Lanark, 111., First Breth- 
ren Church, died July 3. She was 
the wife of Rev. Robert Schubert, 
who serves as associate pastor at 
Lanark First Brethren. 

Mayme Randecker was born De- 
cember. 22, 1912, in Woodland 
Township, 111. She and Robert were 
married January 22, 1938: They 
were parents of one daughter and 
foster parents of four boys and one 
girl. She is survived by her husband 
and daughter, two grandchildren, 
and two great-grandchildren. 

Her funeral service was held July 
7 at Lanark First Brethren Church, 
with Lanark Pastor Jim Garrett 
and Chaplain Don Swanson of 
Freeport Memorial Hospital offici- 
ating. Memorial contributions may 
be made in her name to the First 
Brethren Church India Mission. 



Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation 

(Required by 39 USC 3685) 

1. Publication Title: THE BRETHREN EVANGELIST 

2. Publication Number: 0747-4288 

3. Filing Date: September 29, 1998 

4. Issue Frequency: Monthly (except July and August issues are combined) 

5- Number of Issues Published Annually: 11 

6- Annual Subscription Price: Free to members of The Brethren Church; $15.00 to others 

7. Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: The Brethren Church, Inc., 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 
44805-3792. Contact Person: Richard Winfield. Telephone: 419-289-1708 

8. Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher: The Brethren Church, Inc., 524 
College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 

9. Full Names and Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor: Publisher — The Brethren Church, 
Inc.; Editor— Richard C. Winfield; Managing Editor— none; Address— 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 

10. Owner: The Brethren Church, Inc., 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 

11. Known Bondholders, Mortgagees, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of 
Bonds, Mortgages, or Other Securities: None 

12. The purpose, function, and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes 
has not changed during preceding 12 months. 

13. Publication Title: THE BRETHREN EVANGELIST 

14. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: October 1997 to September 1998 September 1998 

15. Extent and Nature of Circulation Average No. Copies Each Issue Actual No. Copies of Single Issue 

During Preceding 12 Months Published Nearest to Filing Date 

8,114 



35 

35 

7,921 



7,921 

7,956 

158 



8,114 

0.4% 

16. Publication of Statement of Ownership will be printed in the October issues of this publication. 

17. Signature and Title of Editor, Publisher, Business Manager, or Owner (Signed) Richard C. Winfield, editor. Date: 9-29-98. 
I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or 
misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form my be subject to criminal 
sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including multiple damages and civil penalties). 



a. Total Number of Copies 




8,084 


b. Paid and or requested circulation 






(1) Sales Through Dealers and Ca 


rriers, Street 




Vendors, and Counter Sales 







(2) Paid or Requested Mail Subscriptions 


35 


c. Total Paid and/or Requested Circu 


ation 


35 


d. Free Distribution by Mail 




7,920 


e. Free Distribution Outside the Mail 







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h. Copies not Distributed 






(1). Office Use, Leftovers, Spoiled 




129 


(2) Returns from News Agents 







i. Total 




8,084 


Percent Paid and or Requested Circulation 


0.4% 



National Youth Leadership 

A new horizon awaits the young 
people of The Brethren Church. A 
fresh commitment to spiritual for- 
mation, disciple-making, empow- 
ered ministry, servant leadership, 
and leadership development is the 
focus and the challenge ahead of us. 
To rise to meet this future, leader- 
ship will be the key. 

Therefore, the National BYIC 
program is seeking someone to 
bring visionary leadership to Breth- 
ren young people. This person must 
bring a heart's desire for all that 
God is doing through our youth. 
Passionate leadership and guidance 
and coordination of programming 
are a must. 

If you have this passion and a 
sense of God's anointing for this task, 
first seek the Lord, praying fer- 
vently for insight and understand- 
ing of God's will. And then, second, 
contact Rev. David L. West at The 
Brethren Church National Office and 
inquire about this position. [ft] 



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( The Brethren ) 

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Vol.120, No. 10 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



November 1998 



It Takes a Family of Faith 



By Emanuel W. Sandberg 



FOR MANY YEARS I HAVE 
watched the moral standards 
and the standards of personal be- 
havior in our country decline. That 
decline is illustrated by an article in 
the October 19, 1998, issue of USA 
Today, which reports the results of 
a large survey of middle-school and 
high-school students, conducted by 
the Josephson Institute for Ethics. 

Most of the students surveyed 
said that it is important to be a per- 
son of "good character." Yet nearly 
half of those students said that they 
had stolen something in the last year. 
Seventy percent admitted to cheat- 
ing on an exam. Over 90 percent 
confessed to lying to their parents. 

All of us know the statistics of 
social decline and the bitter fruit we 
are harvesting, which will be passed 
on to our children and to our chil- 
dren's children. I am ashamed to say 
that I have been quick to blame the 
foundation institutions of our nation 
for the moral decay of our society. 

When asked what forces in society 
are causing the moral decline, I have 
been quick to blame television, for 
brain-washing children to accept 
gutter levels of behavior and the ab- 
sence of God as the standards of late 
20th-century life; our schools, for 
eliminating prayer and the presence 
of God from education and for fail- 
ing to reinforce the traditional moral 
standards of society; and our gov- 
ernment's leaders, for failing to 
provide positive moral leadership and 
instead developing programs that 
are in opposition to the standards 
and desires of families committed to 
raising morally upright children. 

All of my quick criticisms are true 
to a substantial degree. But the most 
important questions we need to ask 




are these: How did our world get 
this way? and What are we doing 

to renew our society? 

Changes in the social network 

Most people over 50 
years of age grew up in a 
social system in 
which the moral 
standards for per- 
sonal behavior were 
influenced primarily 
by (1) the family, (2) 
the church, and (3) the 
schools. Radio, news- 
papers, books, 
magazines, and 
movies were 

monitored under'' 
laws and stan- 
dards that 
tended to 
make 
them 
mirrors 
of long- 
existing conser- 
vative social standards. Peer groups 
also influenced behavior, but the 
peer groups tended to be built with- 
in the extended family or from 
church or school-sponsored groups. 

The pattern of social change that 
took place after World War II was 
dramatic — perhaps revolutionary. 
Consider the following: 

• The extended family became geo- 
graphically dispersed. Brothers and 
sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins 
moved, seeking new economic op- 
portunities. The social support 
system for many people became 
weakened and less effective. 

• Television and other mass media 
became major influences on 
American society. Television por- 



trays violence, infideli- 
ty, and indiscrimi- 
nate sex openly, thus 
revising the values 
that had been the 
hallmark of our soci- 
ety for generations. 
• Parents from godly 
homes, while still 
vl professing their belief 
in God, have compro- 
mised their faith and 
dedicated them- 

■ selves to achieving 
success — defined in 
terms of money, pos- 
sessions, prestige, 
and power. Many 
parents don't have 
time for each other, 
let alone time for 
their children — not 
even to mention time 
for the children of their 
brothers and sisters and 
those of their neighborhood 
and their church. 
Some churches are still filled with 
people who honor God and His 
Word and who live to serve Him. 
Sadly, however, many churches 
are filled in part with people who 
(continued on next page) 



Inside this issue 


Made lovely by love 


3 


A meal with a purpose 


4 


WWJD, WDJD, & WDJS? 


5 


Celebrating two birth Sundays 


6 


New churches, new life 


6 


Brethren World Relief 


8 


Around the denomination 


10 


The Women's Outlook Newsletter 


is in the center of this issue 





know God but who are lukewarm 
in their service to Him. But worst 
of all, there are many Protestant 
churches in which the Bible is 
regarded as a relic of older times 
and where the members have 
turned from biblical standards 
and are following the decaying 
standards of the secular world. 

• Our public schools no longer re- 
flect in practice the moral stan- 
dards which undergirded the for- 
mation of our country. They have 
succumbed to pressure campaigns 
to offer sex education; to teach 
tolerance of homosexual lifestyles; 
to eliminate God and prayer from 
the schools; and to make rules of 
conduct the product of consensus, 
or worse, personal opinion. 

• Government has banned God 
from public celebrations, public 
displays, and as a determinant for 
standards of public morality. As a 
result, we permit abortion on de- 
mand and euthanasia on request. 
Changes in society such as those 

outlined above have created for the 
youth and adults of the late 20th 
century a completely new set of in- 
fluences that determine the moral 
and behavioral standards of our day. 
Movies, television, computer net- 
works, and other mass media sys- 
tems are the dominant influences 
on most people, replacing the family 
and the church from the roles they 
played since the time of Abraham. 

Unfortunately, our churches have 
not been equipped to confront and 
counter the forces that are responsi- 
ble for the deterioration of moral 
standards and the change in soci- 
eties core values. Nor have our 
churches been led to maintain (let 
alone expand) the positive influence 
they exerted on moral standards and 
family well-being a half century ago. 



The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) 
is published monthly (except July and August 
issues are combined) by The Brethren Church, 
Inc., 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 
(telephone: 419-289-1708; fax: 419-281-0450; 
e-mail: brethren@bright.net). Authors' views are 
not necessarily those of The Brethren Church. 
Editor: Richard C. Winfield. Subscription rates: 
Sent free to Brethren Church members; $15.00 
per year to others. Member: Evangelical Press 
Association. Postage: Paid at Ashland, Ohio. 
Postmaster: Send address changes to The 
Brethren Church, 524 College Avenue, Ashland, 
OH 44805-3792. 



Instead, the major influences on 
the lifestyle of most people today 
are: (1) the mass media, (2) peer 
groups (particularly on young peo- 
ple, but also on adults of all ages), 
and (3) schools (but schools operat- 
ing from a different moral base than 
in the past). 

Where do we go from here? 

We are survivors of an earthquake 
that has destroyed the foundation of 
our society. Godly parents are still 
raising godly children, but they do 
so against increasingly tough oppo- 
sition. Parents who live a godly life 
still need to understand that their 
children live in a world that is not 
God-centered. Therefore, parents, 
by example and instruction, must 
help their children pursue truth and 
not agree with all that they hear (1 
Peter 3:15; John 8:32); to affirm 
core values and basic beliefs until 
they become convictions; and to act 
in love (Rom. 12:10 & 13:8; Luke 
6:27-33; 1 Cor. 13:4-7). 

For persons to grow up healthy, 
caring, and responsible, they must 
have a family life that provides a 
high level of love and support. The 
family members must be able to 
communicate with one another in 
positive ways, and the children 
must be willing to seek the advice 
and counsel of their parents. 

But what happens when a young 
person is not home, or when the 
parents are working or are, for what- 
ever reason, absent from the home? 
Before the social earthquake, most 
people had an "extended family" — 
relatives, neighbors, close friends — 
who provided children with love, 
guidance, and on-site direction in 
place of the parents. But for most 
people today, that extended family 
no longer exists. 



I submit that what we need today 
for the healthy development of a 
child is for that child to be reared by 
a family of faith. A family of faith 
is a group of people, young and old, 
who hold similar beliefs and core 
values, who care deeply for each 
other, who act on their convictions, 
and who stand firm for their beliefs. 
The family of faith provides addi- 
tional adult relationships that 
reinforce and support parents and 
children. The family of faith allows 
young and old to experience a caring 
neighborhood. And the members of 
the family of faith are actively in- 
volved in helping young people suc- 
ceed and in providing a caring, 
encouraging environment. 

A family of faith is a group of peo- 
ple who are brought together by 
common interests and goals. They 
share common values and moral 
standards. They may live in the 
same neighborhood or town. They 
care about each other and support 
and encourage one another. They 
empower each other to accomplish 
personal objectives. And what is 
most important, they share a com- 
mon faith in God and in His Son, 
Jesus Christ. 

A family of faith is a workable al- 
ternative to the household of the 
Old Testament and to the extended 
family that was common in America 
before the social earthquake of the 
20th century. The family of faith is a 
workable model for the small group 
you should develop or join in your 
local Brethren church. 

In my opinion, it will take a fami- 
ly of faith to raise a healthy, caring, 
and responsible child in the world of 
the 21st century! [ft] 

Dr. Sandberg serves as Executive 
Director for The Brethren Church. 



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The Brethren Evangelist 



Made Lovely by Love 

By Dan Lawson 



Husbands, love your wives, 
just as Christ loved the church 
and gave himself up for her to 
make her holy, cleansing her by 
the washing with water through 
the word, and to present her to 
himself as a radiant church, 
without stain or wrinkle or any 
other blemish, but holy and 
blameless. 

Ephesians 5:25-27, NIV 

WE TALKED last month about 
the fact that Christ-like love 
is sacrificial and that we should 
examine ourselves before we find 
fault with our spouse. I am re- 
minded that Christ said that we 
should first take the plank out of 
your own eye, and then you will see 
clearly to remove the speck from 
your brother's eye (Matt. 7:5, Niv). 
This month I would like to look 
at the effects Christ-like love can 
have on marriage. To fully under- 
stand what this love can do for our 
marriages, let's first look at what 
Christ's love has done for us as 
individuals. 

His love makes us holy 

Holiness is the result of God's 
choosing us, not the basis of that 
choice. What this means is that we 
do not have to live up to His ex- 
pectations in order for Him to 
choose us as His children. 

When I invite non-Christians to 
attend church services, they often 
make the excuse that they will 
come as soon as they "clean up 
their lives." In other words, they 
believe that they have to earn the 
right to come before God. Deep 
down inside they feel that they are 
not good enough to come to church 
and to seek God's blessing. 

What they — and all of us — need 
to understand is that we are made 
holy not because of what we do, 
but because God loves us. I am not 



holy because I go to church and 
read the Bible. I am holy because 
Jesus has made me so by sacrific- 
ing Himself for me. 

Let me illustrate it this way: 
While I was in Chicago recently, I 
saw an exhibition of art work. To 
me, this art was a conglomeration 
of junk thrown together and la- 
beled "art." I saw absolutely no 
value in it. Yet it sold for thou- 
sands of dollars! 

'When we read that a hus- 
band is to love his wife as 
Christ loved the church, 
we can begin to under- 
stand that it is the hus- 
band's love which makes 

his wife lovely." 

V_ y 

Now I ask you, what is it about a 
pile of junk that makes it worth 
thousands of dollars? Obviously, it 
is worth that much only if some- 
one is willing to pay that much for 
it. Therefore it can be argued that 
it is not the item itself which is 
valuable. Rather, the person who 
buys it assigns value to it. 

Let's take this argument back to 
our concept of holiness. We can 
now understand that it is not what 
we do that makes us holy, but 
rather the fact that Jesus was will- 
ing to give His life for us. 

A successful marriage 

Similarly, when we apply this 
concept to our text, we begin to 
understand the basis for a success- 
ful marriage. When we read that a 
husband is to love his wife as Christ 
loved the church, we can begin to 
understand that it is the hus- 
band's love which makes his wife 
lovely. She is not responsible to 
"earn" his love in order to be con- 



sidered lovely. Instead, he should 
freely give his love, just as Christ 
loves the church. 

It has been said that every man 
wants a "trophy babe" on his arm 
so that he can be the envy of every 
other man. But the truth about 
this illusion is that beauty is only 
skin deep. This means that in a 
Christian marriage we do not 
marry simply because of physical 
beauty, although that can be a 
wonderful benefit. Rather, we 
marry because of love. And it is 
not a ravishing body that makes a 
wife beautiful to a godly husband, 
but rather she is beautiful because 
he loves her. It is his love for her 
that gives her worth in his eyes. 

His love makes us blameless 

Not only has the love of Christ 
made us holy and, therefore, wor- 
thy in His sight, but Christ's sacri- 
ficial love on the cross has also 
made us blameless. What this 
means is that when God looks at 
us, He does not see the sins and 
faults that we really have, but in- 
stead, He sees only the righteous- 
ness of Christ. 

Too often in marriage we con- 
sciously or subconsciously keep a 
running log of all our mate's faults. 
Consequently, when we get into an 
argument with our spouse, we tend 
to grab this log and use it as a club 
with which to bludgeon the one we 
claim to love. 

But instead of doing this, we 
need to let the Christ-like love 
that is in us cover all the faults of 
the one we love. When we do this, 
we will no long be able to see our 
mate's faults. We will only see the 
brilliancy of love. [ft] 




Dr. Lawson is senior pastor of the 
Jefferson Brethren Church, Goshen, 
Ind. This is one of a series of arti- 
cles in which he applies Bible truths 
to our personal lives. 



November 1998 




Thanksgiving 

Meal 

With a 

Purpose 

(Making 

One Big Family 

Out of 

Little Ones) 

By Marlene LeFever 



When you give a luncheon or 
dinner, do not invite your friends, 
your brothers or relatives, or 
your rich neighbors; if you do, 
they may invite you back and so 
you will be repaid. But when you 
give a banquet, invite the poor, the 
crippled, the lame, the blind, and 
you will be blessed. 

— words from the Master 

THIS HOSPITALITY IDEA is not 
just intended to encourage a 
group of friends to have a dandy time 
together. Instead it is designed to 
meet one of the following objectives: 

• To give Christians a tool to reach 
out to our unbelieving friends and 
neighbors, to open the possibility 
of Jesus Christ to them through a 
planned hospitality event in our 
home or church. 

• To grow friendships among church 
people through a hospitality event 
in our home or the church, build- 
ing up the family of God. 

Objective: Singles, small fami- 
lies, and foreign families without 
Thanksgiving traditions will com- 
bine resources at a Thanksgiving 



meal. Together everyone will praise 
God for His bounty this year. 

Basic idea: Everyone will provide 
one dish to add to the Thanksgiving 
meal; the host family will supply the 
turkey. By combining resources, the 
meal will not be expensive. 

My husband Jack and I decided to 
go through the church directory and 
invite all the singles, foreign fami- 
lies, and small families. We figured 
nearly everyone would have a place 
to go already, so we could safely 
invite as many as we wanted to. 

We were flabbergasted when the 
calls began to arrive! 

"Thanks so much," a woman from 
Australia said. "We'll all come. We 
were wondering how Americans did 
this holiday, but we never thought 
we'd be able to find out." 

"I'll be there with the kids," an- 
other woman said. "I didn't have 
money for the trip to my folks' place 
in Georgia. It's great to have some- 
thing special to do close to home." 

A guy announced that he'd bring 
real mashed potatoes. "I was feeling 
a little family-less," he said. 



This Thanksgiving party is the only 
one we've had where I have no idea 
how many people actually showed 
up. It was in the neighborhood of 
sixty, give or take a dozen kids. 
When the crowd filled our place, 
Diana, the neighbor across the hall, 
opened her doors for the overflow. 
Then the lady upstairs opened her 
place. Thank goodness we lived in 
an apartment building! A house 
would never have been big enough. 

Nametags: A must! Ours were 
little drawings of fat pilgrims. Each 
said, "In case you've forgotten, I'm 
(person's name). 

Choral Reading: Before the meal, 
we gave all readers a copy of a 
Thanksgiving choral reading. We 
had contacted a few friends before 
the meal, and they were ready with 
short personal statements. 

Host: Lord, You have poured out 
amazing blessings on this land! You have 
poured down your blessings on the land 
and it yields its bountiful crops. 

All: Lord, You have poured out amaz- 
ing blessings on this land! Now bring us 
back to loving You. 

Friend: Oh come, let us sing to the 
Lord! Give a joyous shout in honor of 
our God! 

All sing: "Come, Ye Thankful People, 
Come." 

Hostess: God said, "What I want from 
you is your true thanks." 

Friend: Father, I thank You because . . . 
(This person should complete the sen- 
tence with a personal reason for thanking 
the Lord this year.) 

All: Sing your praise accompanied by 
music from the harp. Let the cornets and 
trumpets shout! Make a joyful symphony 
before the Lord, our King! Let the sea in 
all its vastness roar with praise! Let the 
earth and all those living on it shout, 
"Glory to the Lord." 

Friend: Glory to the lord! Let the waves 
clap their hands in glee, and the hills sing 
out their songs of joy before the Lord. 

Friend: Father, I praise You because . . . 

Friend: Glory to the Lord. 

Friend: Father, I praise You because . . . 

All: Sing the doxology, perhaps to one 
of the newer melodies, as the Thanksgiv- 
ing prayer. 

And then we ate! There was more 
than enough for all. Jack had made 
two turkeys, and their total forty 
pounds was perfect. Actually, with 
all the great things others brought, 



The Brethren Evangelist 



I don't think anyone would have 
minded if we had run out of turkey. 

Some of our neighbors were older 
women who were spending the holi- 
days with their children. When they 
heard about our enormous party, 
four people offered their door keys 
and ovens even though they would 
not be able to attend. 

Don't skip a little Thanksgiving 
program and head immediately for 
the turkey. For four years, I planned 
a Thanksgiving in September for a 
group of Christians from developing 
nations who were in the States for 
training. The first year, I figured I'd 
be busy with the food so I suggested 
a friend handle the Thanksgiving- 
specific stuff. 

She prayed and thanked God for 
the food. For the foreign guests, the 
meal was just a big American spread. 
They never heard about its history 
or its significance to Americans and 
Canadians, or, most especially, the 
added significance Christians give 
to it. They stuffed themselves, fol- 
lowing our example, I'm sure. But 
they never were rewarded spiritual- 
ly. The next three years, I gave the 
food to friends to prepare and I han- 



Pilgrim Scavenger Hunt 

Here's the scavenger hunt list we 
used. It is adapted to the area in which 
we lived — about two blocks from a rail- 
road track in a suburban community. 
Change anything you couldn 't find in 
your community. 

1 . One wild turkey feather or unreason- 
able facsimile. 

2. A Pilgrim's Pet Rock. Be prepared to 
demonstrate a trick it can do. 

3. Ten different types of leaves from 
the dense forests here abouts. 

4. One forked stick that would be per- 
fect for killing snakes. 

5. One piece of post-Indian litter. 

6. One hat camouflaged to avoid detec- 
tion in hostile Indian territory. 

7. One coin of this kingdom. 

8. One Thanksgiving carol sung before 
a neighbor's house. Have astonished 
neighbor sign his/her name here (not 
that Pilgrims are not to be trusted!). 



9. One musket ball or one round button. 

10. Any tree's berry. 

1 1 . Any small weed — roots and all — 
that grows down by the iron horse's 
tracks. 

12. A four-line poem in rhyming cou- 
plet about Thanksgiving. 

13. Number of steps around our settle- 
ment (this block). 

14. Piece of wood to add to winter's 
fuel supply. 

15. A friendly hello to a Pilgrim 
stranger on the street. Name of the 
thrilled person. 

16. Names of all churches within five 
minutes of our front door. 

17. Scalp count — one gray hair, one red 
hair, one blond hair, one brown hair. 

18. Scout around — one thumbprint in a 
mud ball. 

19. Pilgrim panic — something growing 
outside that you could eat in a pinch. 

20. Anything that rhymes with pie — 
and come back for dessert! 



died the program. Thanksgiving is a 
concept I'd like to share with friends 
around the world. 

Pilgrim Scavenger Hunt: In be- 
tween the main course and the des- 
sert, we needed to clear dozens of 
people out of the apartments for a 



WCST WCRH WHAG WJEJ WJTM WWJD WQCM WAYZ 
WDJD WARX WDJS WCKY WETA WFRE WARK WWMD 



THREE of the above are not radio 
or television stations. Can you find 
them? One of these "call letters" has 
become quite popular in Christian cir- 
cles. You see the letters on T-shirts, 
key ring medallions, bracelets, and 
necklaces. They form an acrostic for 
"What Would Jesus Do?" 

A book of fiction based on this ques- 
tion became a classic in Christian liter- 
ature. Called In His Steps, it has been 
read by millions in its 100-year history. 
By asking the question, people gener- 
ally have been helped in making good 
decisions and in becoming more con- 
siderate, helpful, selfless, and upright. 

For all of its benefits, however, the 
question (or rather the approach to eth- 
ical decisions based on the question) 
has its limitations. The simple truth is 
that we don't always know what Jesus 
would do in any given situation. Who 
could have predicted that He would 
make a leather whip and drive out 
sheep and oxen from the temple and 
upset the tables of moneychangers? 



Jesus didn't always do what we might 
consider to be nice, kind, considerate, 
and helpful. Sometimes He used harsh 
words on people and called them 
names to their faces! 

So I have added two other stations' 
"call letters" to the list: WDJD and 
WDJS. "What Did Jesus Do?" "What 
Did Jesus Say?" It seems to me that a 
careful consideration of Jesus' actions 
and words might afford us a more reli- 
able basis for ethical decisions than the 
more subjective approach of WWJD? 

I am under no delusion that my sug- 
gested "call letters" will replace 
WWJD or that they will make it to the 
commercial market of T-shirts or 
bracelets. But I hope they help us to 
think more deeply about the basis of 
ethical formulations. If we know more 
clearly WDJD and WDJS, we will 
more likely know WWJD. 

— Dr. Brian Moore 

Dr. Moore pastors the St. James. Md., 
Brethren Church. This article first appeared in 
the church's newsletter. Used with permission. 



few minutes so we would have space 
to reorganize. So the entire group was 
divided into Pilgrim Scavenger Hunt 
groups. Children were all included. 

For some adults, especially those 
without kids, it was the first time 
they had worked hand in hand with 
youngsters. It was fun to see these 
randomly chosen people become com- 
petitive, enthusiastic groups. They 
all left cheering and insisting that 
their group would be back first with 
all the items needed to win the Pil- 
grim Scavenger Hunt (see box above). 

I had the first group that came 
back show what they had collected, 
then I awarded them each a choco- 
late turkey. But people from the los- 
ing groups were still complaining 
months later that they had written 
wonderful rhyming couplets and 
had developed excellent rock tricks 
that they hadn't had an opportunity 
to show off. So if you copy our 
Thanksgiving party, don't copy our 
mistake. Wait until all groups are 
back, and then allow creative people 
from each group to share what they 
have done. [ft] 

Reprinted from Parties With a Purpose: 
Laying the Groundwork for Discipleship & 
Evangelism by Marlene LeFeuer, Cook 
Ministry Resources. Ms. LeFeuer is Di- 
rector of Church Relations for David 
C. Cook Church Ministries. She is also 
author of Creative Teaching Methods and 
Learning Styles. Used by permission. 
(Article provided by the publisher.) 



November 1998 




Celebrating the Birth of Two 

Grace Community Church 



IT WAS 9:30 a.m. on 
Sunday, September 27, 
1998, at Armel Elemen- 
tary School in Winches- 
ter, Virginia, site of the 
grand opening of Grace 
Community Church. A 
year's worth of prayer 
and preparation was on 
the line as core members 
of the new congregation 
waited in eager expecta- 
tion to see what kind of 
church would be born. 

Everything was in 
place: the sound and band 
equipment, the lights, the informa- 
tion table, the bookstore, and the 
signs out on the highway. Adventure 
Land, a ministry for children from 
kindergarten through fifth grade, 
was set up and ready. The technical 
team (which operates the computer 
graphics, stage lights, sound, and 
video) was ready to go. Greeters 
were in place from the parking lot to 
the auditorium, where background 
music was playing softly. 

The questions on everyone's mind 
were these: Had we read the com- 
munity correctly? Were we respond- 
ing to the community's real issues? 
We'd know soon enough. 

In the weeks prior to this day we 
had mailed 18,000 postcards to peo- 
ple in neighborhoods in and around 
Winchester. The cards invited people 
to a church — a church that would 
love them for who they are; a church 
that would offer God's unconditional 
love. And now we waited. 




About 9:40 cars began to arrive. 
The first contained some Brethren 
well-wishers from the Southeastern 
District. Then came people who 
were there for the first time. By 
10:05 a.m. there were 130 people in 
the school — 110 adults and 20 chil- 
dren — ranging in age from six 
months to 92 years. 

The worship service began with a 
video of core members talking about 
what had drawn them to Grace 
Community Church. Then the band 
opened with a Russ Taff song, fit- 
tingly named "The Winds of 
Change." Following the song, Pastor 
Mike Woods wel- 
comed all who were 
present, and then the 
Grace Band moved 
into praise music. 

An offering was 
then taken, preceded 
by this comment: "If 
this is 3'our first Sun- 



day at Grace Community, 
we ask you not to give 
and instead to accept this 
service as our gift to you." 
Heather Scott sang a 
Margaret Becker song, 
"Honesty," as the offering 
was being received^ 

A drama followed — a 
monologue written and 
presented by Chris Scott 
entitled "I'm Still Trying, 
Dad." It told of a son's 
struggle to live up to his 
dad's expectations even 
after the dad had died. 
Then Pastor Wood taught a message 
entitled "Measuring Up," which 
dealt with the contrast between per- 
forming for God versus accepting 
His grace. 

Perhaps the most wonderful part 
of the morning was the way in 
which the newcomers stayed and 
stayed following the service. Many 
new friendships were formed that 
day. The comments that were made 
after the service seemed to center 
on one theme: "Thanks for having a 
church where I can come as I am 
and meet God!" [ft] 

— Rev. Mike Woods, Pastor 




New Churches, New Life 



One of the most treasured memories of a parent is the mem- 
ory of the birth of a child. This past month I had the privilege 
to be present at two very special births; the birth of Grace 
Community Church in Winchester, Virginia, on September 27 
and the birth of Rock Springs Community Church in Vista, 
California, on October 4. 

The excitement surrounding these two events was felt by all 
who took part. The pace of the day was set in the pre-dawn 
hours during the set up of the portable places of worship. At 
both locations the core teams moved with precision and speed, 
as buildings designed for the education of minds were trans- 
formed into houses of worship for the transformation of hearts. 

From my perspective, the most precious aspect of the birth 
of the two churches was the absolute dependency of the core 
members on the power of God's Holy Spirit. Two churches, 
two circles of prayer, one mind and heart: "God, we are gath- 
ered as you have called us, to worship and minister to those 
whom you love. Holy Spirit come with power." 

The sense of expectancy was exhilarating. One could not 



The Brethren Evangelist 



New Brethren Congregations 

Rock Springs Community Church 





: *^1 




CK SPRINGS 

Mmunity C//URCH 



YEA GOD! On October 4, 1998, 
God drew exactly 200 people to 
the birth of Rock Springs Commu- 
nity Church. God's heart for lost 
people was evident as Carolyn, Kim- 
berly Errol, and Lance responded to 
God's invitation, presented by Pas- 
tor Jim, to accept Christ. To date, 
11 others have also prayed to re- 
ceive Him. God is up to something! 
Birth Sunday was one big Kodak 
moment! Let me paint the picture. 
The unifying theme was "How to 
Get Off the Performance Tread- 
mill." The service opened with four 
people sitting on stools, center stage, 



escape the realization that what was happening was not about 
those involved, but solely about the One in whose name they 
had gathered. Worship was exciting, inspiring. God was pres- 
ent, inhabiting the praises of His people. The numbers were 
exciting as well: a total of more than 300 people at the two 
locations! 

The dedication and commitment of both core teams was the 
embodiment of what we say we are about as Brethren — the 
priesthood of all believers. God has called and equipped some 
incredibly talented people to serve these two new churches. 
Beyond their talent is the unmistakable evidence of their pas- 
sionate love for their Lord and His church. That love is con- 
tagious. I pray that it permeates every district and every con- 
gregation in The Brethren Church. 

I believe that these two "birthdays" are simply a taste of 
what God desires to do among the Brethren. God has prepared 
and sown seeds of ministry to be discovered and nurtured by 
His people (Eph. 2:10). I look forward with great anticipation 
to the new life God will breath into His people and His 
church. I think we ought to get ready to celebrate! 

— Rev. David West, Director of United States Missions 



illuminated only by spotlights. Two 
vocalists accompanied by two acous- 
tic guitars sang a contemporary 
song by Kim Hill— "Black Shirts." 
Then the house lights came on and 
Jamie Zile, our youth director, 
warmly welcomed guests, drawing 
their attention to an 11" by 17" 
"connection points" flyer informing 
them of the many ways they could 
get involved at Rock Springs. 

The house lights were again low- 
ered, and Stephanie Boyd and the 
band took over. They played five 
powerful 
songs that 
focused on 
our awe- 
some God 
and His 
great love. 
Jamie 
was again 
in the spot- 
light as he 
read Psalm 
8:3-4 and 
Romans 
8:35, 37-39 
from the New Living Bible. Then 
followed a poignant drama entitled 
Driven, about a man enslaved on a 
performance tread- 
mill who was destroy- 
ing his family. The 
drama ended with the 
band playing "Slow 
Down" in the back- 
ground as a little girl 
sat on a couch in the 
foreground, watching 
the clock and waiting 
for her daddy. 

The drama hit 
home, and God opened 
many hearts to hear 
His word, as Pastor 
Jim presented the 
message. Near the 
end of that message, 
Stephanie played a 
song she had writ- 
ten — "Into Your Arms" 
— and Jim spoke be- 
tween each chorus, 



calling people to repent from their 
drivenness and to find significance 
in God. People repented and four 
prayed to receive Christ. Jamie an- 
nounced next week's topic and the 
band ended the service with a jam- 
min' tune entitled "He Arose!" 

Since that Sunday, ten adults 
have expressed an interest in our 
one-on-one discipleship program. 
Several small groups have begun 
meeting, and several more will 
begin in the next few weeks. And we 
have more small-group leaders than 




we need! God is up to something in 
The Brethren Church! 

Pray for Rock Springs as we begin 
a class to help guests decide, "Is 
This Church for Me?" Pray for us 
also as we seek additional staff. 

Because we are reaching so many 
non-Christian and unchurched peo- 
ple, it will be some time before they 
develop the discipline of tithing. 
Therefore we are dependent on out- 
side supporters like you. We are 
praying specifically for one person 
who will make a 3-year commit- 
ment to help us with rent — $1,500 a 
month for one year; $1,000 a month 
the second year; and $500 a month 
the third year. 

"Impossible!" you say. You're right! 
That's exactly why we're asking. 
Man accomplishes the possible. God 
accomplishes the impossible. And He 
wants to do just that through The 
Brethren Church . . . and perhaps 
through someone like you! [ft] 

— Rev. Jim Boyd, pastor 



November 1998 



Brethren World Relief 



r 



X* 



World Relief: 
Churches helping churches meet human need 

by Reilly R. Smith 



"\ 



J 



WORLD RELIEF is the relief, 
development, and disaster re- 
sponse arm of the National Associa- 
tion of Evangelicals. World Relief 
represents Bible-believing churches 
all across the United States in their 
concern for people in need. World 
Relief brings the social implications 
of the gospel to bear on human 
needs in the United States and 
around the world. 

Immediate help in crisis 

World Relief offers immediate 
help to people in crisis — people fac- 
ing famine, starvation, disease, war, 
displacement, etc. World Relief also 
works hard to help people prevent 
crisis and find permanent solutions 



to crises. World Relief work includes 
business, agriculture, medical clin- 
ics, safe drinking water, and other 
community-development projects. 

In addition, World Relief responds 
to natural disasters. Recently, the 
mayor of Miami-Dade County, Flor- 
ida, named World Relief as one of 
the main agencies the county would 
use to send humanitarian aid to vic- 
tims of Hurricane Georges in the 
Caribbean, because of World Reliefs 
excellent track record in providing 
relief. (See next page. ) 

World Relief is churches helping 
churches. World Relief works through 
local churches, helping them meet 
human needs in their own commu- 
nities in the United States and 



Cambodian children turn their hearts toward Jesus 

More than 4,000 Cambodian children 
have turned their hearts toward Jesus 
because of a World Relief program that 
teaches them how to have healthy bodies 
and spotless hearts. 

After decades of war and violence, 
Cambodia now has the highest childhood 
death rate in East Asia. In an effort to 
reduce that number, World Relief workers 
are using puppets, skits, and songs to 
entertain children while illustrating how 
to prevent some of the deadly illnesses. 

During these weekly presentations in 
the squatter areas of Phnom Penh, the 
children also learn about the God who 
made them, loves them, and wants a rela- 
tionship with them. An overwhelming 80 
percent of these children have indicated 
that Jesus is now in their hearts. As they 
return to their homes, they spread the 
message to their parents and siblings. 

Because most of these communities 
have no other Christian presence, World 
Relief brings in church planters to help 
new believers establish cell groups in the 
neighborhoods. In one year, six small 
churches have started. This year World 
Relief is expanding the program into an 
additional province to reach 50 percent 
more children. 




around the world. World Relief 
channels its resources through 
Bible-preaching churches located in 
the area of need so that these 
churches can reach out to people 
with the gospel of Christ as they 
help to meet their needs. 

The right hand of fellowship 

Through World Relief, local 
churches in the United States ex- 
tend the right hand of fellowship 
and help to local churches in other 
parts of the country and the world. 
World Relief operates through peo- 
ple who know and understand the 
needs of people in their own com- 
munity. This ensures that our help 
empowers people instead of making 
them dependent. It also 
ensures that help comes 
from God's people al- 
ready present in their 
community. It strength- 
ens the witness of the 
local church for Christ. 
World Relief is The 
Brethren Church reach- 
ing out to Christians to 
help them make an im- 
mediate difference in 
the lives of suffering 
people — a difference 
that often lasts for eter- 
nity. Our relationship 
with World Relief dates 
back to the early sixties. 
The Brethren have 
been honored many 
times for our commit- 
ment to World Relief. 
We have often led the 
way among churches in 
denominational giving. 
Since its beginning, 
Brethren Mission in 
India has been working 
with World Relief. 
World Relief and the 
Brethren in India pro- 
vide safe drinking water 
in two cities, free medi- 



The Brethren Evangelist 



^he 'Women's Outtbol0\(ezvs(etter 

A publication of the liretfiren Women's Missionary Society 



WMS 



November-December 1998 



Volume 12, Number 2 




__..■ 



"The 

'President's 

Pen 

Dear Ladies, 

Holiday time is almost here! How 
fast the summer went! Thanksgiv- 
ing! A wonderful time of year to give 
thanks. But where do we start? We 
have so many things to be thankful 
for; we just take for granted so many 
things. I was very guilty of that. 

Being able to walk was just an 
everyday thing for me — until I could 
not walk without the aid of a walker 
or a cane. Then it became some- 
thing to think about. Now every 
morning that my feet touch the 
floor, I say, "Thanks, Lord." 

I have had good results from the 
Gamma Knife procedure and, as I 
write this, my ability to walk has re- 
turned and I use the cane just for 
balance, because of the medicine 
that makes me light-headed and 
dizzy at times. So I am very thank- 
ful for doctors and their medicines. 

When American colonies were 
first settled, the newcomers suf- 
fered many hardships. They spent a 
lot of time in fasting and prayer. 
They asked the Lord to help them in 
their distress. 

In one of the Daily Devotion book- 
lets the story is told by Tom Olson 
of NOW magazine that on one occa- 
sion, when some New England set- 
tlers were discussing their hard- 
ships, one person suggested that 
they set aside a special day for fast- 
ing and prayer. Another man stood 
up and said they had been dwelling 
too much on their problems. It was 
(continued on page 4) 



OBEDIENCE 

Devotions given by Sandra Sharp, 
Dutchtown, at the Indiana District W.M.S. Conference, June 1998 

(The W.M.S. theme was Being Obedient Women 

The first letter of each word spells BOW 

and the symbol of the conference was a ribbon bow 




Obedience — simple obedience. 

In I Samuel 15:22 we read that "to 
obey is better than sacrifice." There 
are many verses in scripture that 
deal with the curses of disobedient 
women and also the blessings of 
obedient women. In Jeremiah 
7:23-24, God said, "Obey my voice, 
and I will be your God, and ye shall 
be my people: and walk ye in all the 
ways that I have commanded you, 
that it may be well unto you. But 
they hearkened not, nor inclined 
their ear, but walked in the counsels 
and in the imagination of their evil 
heart, and went backward, and not 
forward" (KJV). 

If we are to go forward, we must 
obey. It is by obedience that one 
learns to obey. There are many 
blessings in the scripture associated 
with and a direct result of obedi- 
ence; among these are blessings of 
prosperity, long life, success, and 
safety. But we need to live in obedi- 
ence, as it brings glory to God and is 
an evidence of our love for God. 

In I John 5:3 we read, "For this is 
the love of God, that we keep his 
commandments: and his command- 
ments are not grievous" (KJV). He 
became "obedient unto death." Obe- 
dience should be a privilege. It is not 
always easy to obey, but God gives 
the power and strength to follow 
any commandments He has made 
for us. 

In order to obey Him, we must 
first know Him. How do we know 
Him? By reading His Word and ac- 
cepting by faith the good news that 
He gave His only begotten Son, 



Jesus Christ, to die on a cross as 
atonement for our sins so we may 
have eternal life. 

Once we know Him, we should 
show our love for Him by obeying 
the commands He has given. The 
greatest among His many com- 
mands is to '"Love the Lord your 
God with all your heart and with all 
your soul and with all your mind 
and with all your strength.' The sec- 
ond is this 'Love your neighbor as 
yourself There is no command- 
ment greater than these" (Mark 
12:30-31, NIV). God must be the 
first love of our life, and we are to 
love one another as He has loved us. 

Before Christ was taken into 
heaven, He commanded His disci- 
ples to go into all the world and 
preach the gospel. I believe this 
applies to us as Christian women 
today. We are the light of the world. 
We are to go and let our light shine 
for Him, whether it be in a foreign 
country or to a neighbor next door. 

He commands that we are to be on 
guard and be alert because the day 
and the hour of His return are un- 
known. We are to keep watch and be 
ready (spiritually ready) when He 
returns. Are you ready, if He should 
return today? If you are not, I pray 
that you will receive Him today. 

Joy springs from obedience. To be 
filled with joy and happiness, we 
must live a life of obedience to our 
Lord Jesus Christ and give Him all 
the glory. 

A devotional reading in The Daily 
Bread described a businessman in 
(continued on page 3) 



Congratulations 

and 

Qod's Continued ^tessings 

to the 

9{eiv Lebanon Societies 

In May the New Lebanon ladies 
celebrated their 75th year of being a 
Women's Missionary Society! Car- 
olyn Hepner submitted this report. 

On a Sunday afternoon, January 
28, 1923, Mary Wenger from the 
Brethren Church in Dayton came to 
help the ladies in the New Lebanon 
Brethren Church organize a 
Woman's Missionary Society. At the 
time, Mary Wenger was the national 
treasurer of the W.M.S. 

On May 7, 1998, the Afternoon 
W.M.S. and the Evening W.M.S. of 
New Lebanon, their guests, and the 
men of the church joined together at 
the annual Mother/Daughter banquet 
to celebrate our 75th anniversary. 

The fellowship hall in the church 
was decorated to commemorate the 
occasion. Gold and silver balloons 
secured by gold-covered blocks 
floated above the tables. Touches 
of gold were used throughout the 
decorations. Youth in the church 
prepared favors utilizing gold- and 
silver-covered chocolate kisses. The 
original charter, written and signed 
by 28 ladies in 1923, was framed in 
gold and received a place of honor 
among the decorations. 

The men of the church prepared 
and served the meal for the ladies. 
The chef was a true gourmet, com- 
plete with chefs coat and hat! The 
assistants and servers wore match- 
ing work aprons monogrammed 
with The Brethren Church. They all 
were as efficient as they were im- 
pressive. 

Group singing included "Happy is 
the Woman," the theme song at the 
1971 W.M.S. Conference held in 
Ashland. 

The ladies were entertained with 
a Celebration in Style, which was a 
style show utilizing men in the 
church as models. The script was 
originated and narrated by the 
Evening W.M.S. And it is safe to say 
that everyone present contributed 
their share of laughter and hilarity 
to the event! 

To continue the theme of our 75th 



year, flowers were presented in spe- 
cial recognition of events experi- 
enced by individuals reflecting "75." 

Each lady received a souvenir 
booklet which, along with the pro- 
gram, included a brief history of our 
W.M.S. groups, notes taken from 
early minutes of WM.S. meetings, 
recognition of past and present offi- 
cers, a memorial page dedicated to 
recently deceased members, and a 
number of vignettes submitted by the 
ladies in tribute to their mothers. 

Many people contributed to make 
this 75th anniversary celebration spe- 
cial. And, because of their participa- 
tion, 127 people have some very spe- 
cial memories of a truly gala event. 

Carolyn included this additional 
note: The past two years the W.M.S. 
has honored the Woman of the 
Year during our church services on 
Mother's Day. This year Helen 
Bowser was our honoree. She has 
been active in W.M.S. for over 50 
years, holding offices, including 
president, for many of those years. 
She regularly attended General 
Conference and served as a delegate 
from our church. Helen served as 
church treasurer for 17 years, 
served on the Library Committee, 
and actively promoted the Scholar- 
ship Fund created to provide some 
encouragement and assistance for 
our young people going to college. 

Helen has been a Deaconess since 
1966. She probably has served on 
most of the ministries/committees 
within the church and is always 
ready to assist with special projects 
in any way she can. 

A retired school teacher, Helen 
continues to have much to con- 
tribute to our WM.S. as well as to 
the church. 



NATIONAL 
BIBLE WEEK 

November 22-29, 1998 




3/U$sionay(j 

Vincent Edwin, the son-in-law of 
Prasanth and Nirmala Kumar, is at- 
tending Ashland Theological Sem- 
inary. His wife and daughter, Shanti 
and Shirleena, are expected to join 
him this fall. Pray for them because 
it is difficult to get a passport for 
Shirleena. (Remember that Shirleena 
is named for our Shirley Black, but 
that isn't the problem!) Shanti was 
born in Ashland, but the govern- 
ment has red tape for children 
brought into the U.S. 

Jose Rivero, national supervisor 
of The Brethren Church in Argenti- 
na, requested flood relief from 
World Relief. To this date they have 
received $15,000 and anticipate re- 
ceiving $30,000 in October. A recent 
e-mail from Jose reported that ini- 
tially 200 families were helped. 

Two church plants were birthed 
this fall. The Grace Community 
Church in Winchester, VA, with 
Mike and Barbara Woods as the pas- 
toral family, began September 27. 
October 4 was the birthing Sunday 
for the Rock Springs Community 
Church in Vista, CA. Jim Boyd is 
the pastor. Jim and his wife, 
Stephanie, are expecting a son, 
whose name will be Grant. Contin- 
ue your prayers for the new birth 
churches as well as the soon-to-be- 
born son. 

Additional churches are in the 
planting stage and will be birthed in 
1999. 



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 



See this 




Financial Secretary, Joanne Kroft, 
reported these totals for our confer- 
ence offerings: 

Thank offering (designated for 
benevolences): $9,220.55. 

Project offering (designated for 
the South American Theological 
Seminary, SATS): $11,501.54. 

Auction (designated for scholar- 
ships at SATS): $806.50. 

Ladies, your outreach is far! 
Thanks for your gifts which are an- 
other indication of Women Meant to 
Serve. Let us pray that those whom 
you have helped will use their gifts 
to help others. 

Please remember to send all your 
W.M.S. offerings to Joanne Kroft — 
not to the Missionary Board, Ash- 
land University, Riverside, or the 
Seminary. In order for an accurate 
accounting, the gifts must go 
through the Financial Secretary's 
books. Your gifts will soon reach 
their destination; don't worry that 
we keep your money. 

Joanne also reported that John- 
stown III was the first society to re- 
turn its completed and corrected 
computer list of members with 
dues! Congratulations and thanks! 

Nancy Hunn, editor of the Devo- 
tional Guide, has requested infor- 
mation for next year's book. All the 
recipes, poems, and brief inspira- 
tional messages come from some- 
where, so when you taste or read 
something you like, please send a 
copy to Nancy. She will welcome 
fresh meeting ideas and suggestions 
for next year's writers, too. 

The January-February issue of 
the Newsletter will be the Directory 
issue. Please make sure that Nancy 
has the name, address, and phone 
number of your society's officers. 

Nancy's address is: 

555 W. Market Street 
Nappanee, IN 46550 




VISUALIZE RENEWAL 
Thought for the week 

and the year 

General Conference 

1998-1999 



Obedience (continued) 

Texas who often placed a Bible verse 
or a thought-provoking saying on a 
sign outside his building. One mes- 
sage contained just two words: "Yes, 
Lord." 

I cannot think of a single situation 
in which those words would not 
work! The resolution of every trou- 
ble we face today begins with this 
trusting response to our Savior: "Yes, 
Lord, I will be content; Yes, Lord, I 
will trust You; Yes, Lord, I will go." 

"You can never go wrong when 
you choose to obey Christ." 



(sA 



I 



nyv* 



Dear Ladies of W.M.S., 

Thank you for the lovely picture 
that you gave me as I stepped down 
from the treasurer's duties. It is 
beautiful and it will match my decor 
well. I especially like the motto, 
"Hands to Work, Hearts to God," 
which sums up the ministry of 
W.M.S. 

I have enjoyed my years as trea- 
surer. Thank you for the gift to re- 
mind me of them. 

Affectionately, 
JoAnn Seaman 



WORLD RELIEF 

AND 
SEWING UPDATE 

Wow, ladies! What a terrific quilt 
auction we had at Conference! We 
raised over $800 for scholarships for 
the Seminary in Argentina. 

A special thanks to all those who 
helped with the quilting. At first it 
didn't look as if the quilting would 
get done, but with a lot of ladies 
working diligently a lot of hours, 
you made it! Thanks so much. I 
really appreciate all of you. 

But now, once again, I need your 
help, as I have used up nearly all the 
quilt squares you have sent. The 
guidelines are in the back of the new 
Service Guide, which was distrib- 
uted at Conference, but here they 
are again: 

* Use all cotton fabric 

* The finished size of the square 
should be 8V2". Please start with a 
square larger than 8V2" so it isn't 
too small after doing the needle- 
work. The design should be small- 
er than 8". 

* Use some form of needlework to 
make your design, cross-stitch, 
embroidery, or applique, for exam- 
ple. Don't use fabric paints and 
similar methods. The needlework 
adds to the beauty of the finished 
project. 

* Send to 

Joan Merrill 
9300 S SR 3 
Muncie IN 47302 
Quilt squares may be sent at any 
time. They are used to make various 
items as well as the quilts that are 
auctioned off about every two years 
at General Conference. The pro- 
ceeds are used for various mission 
projects, depending on the needs at 
the time of the auction. 

In the Sej'vice Guide, you will note 
that Riverside Christian School col- 
lects Campbell labels, UPCs from 
Kodak and Hershey products, and 
points from Betty Crocker products. 
The school staff sends these items 
in and gets good quality teaching 
aids, etc., for the school. 
Thanks for all of your help. 
God bless you, 

Joan Merrill 
Joan's e-mail address is: 
joanmerrill@juno.com 



November-December 1998 



President's Pen (continued) 

time, he emphasized, to focus on 
their blessings. 

This man pointed out that they 
had streams full of fish, a forest that 
provided plenty of game, and their 
harvests were becoming more abun- 
dant. He recommended not a day of 
fasting, but a day of thanksgiving! I 
trust you will remember your bless- 
ings on Thanksgiving Day as you 
dig into your turkey dinner. 

Christmas is another holiday when 
we also need to remember our bless- 
ings. We should dwell more on the 
birth of Christ rather than all of the 
gifts that will be given and received. 

When our children were small, we 
always read the story of the birth of 
Christ from the Bible and talked 
about that before they were allowed 
to open any gifts. I think my chil- 
dren still carry on that tradition 
with their children. This is a good 
thing to start with your family, if 



you do not already do something 
similar. 

I read a story of a little girl from 
one of the poor districts of a large 
city. She became ill on Christmas 
Day and was taken to the hospital. 
As she lay in her bed, she heard car- 
olers singing. She listened intently 
as someone told how Christ has 
come to redeem a lost world. With 
childlike faith, she received the gift 
of salvation by trusting Jesus. 

Later she said to a nurse, "I'm 
having a good time here. I know I'll 
have to go home as soon as I am 
well, but I'll take Jesus with me. 
Isn't that wonderful why He was 
born? He came to save us." 

"Yes," said the nurse wearily, 
"that's an old story." 

"Oh, do you know about Him, too? 
You didn't look like you did," the 
child commented. 

"How did I look?" 

"Oh, like a lot of folks — sort of 
glum," replied the little girl. 



Do we appear like that to others? 
They will never know we are Chris- 
tians, if we look and act like that. 
Show all whom you meet that you 
love the Lord. As you do your shop- 
ping, smile at those who care for 
your purchases. People ask me how 
I can smile when things are so fran- 
tic at Christmas time. This is an op- 
portunity to tell them Christ gives 
me the smile! The clerks are very 
busy at holiday time, and I am sure 
they have their share of cranky cus- 
tomers. You be the smiling one. 

Psalm 100 is a favorite of mine 
and tells us that we are his "sheep" 
and we need to worship Him with 
joy and gladness. Let's do that. 

I'll write again in a few months. 
Have a great Thanksgiving and a 
joyous Christmas. 

God Bless You, 




Shirley Black 



%& Zkftr's hiding 

Dear Friend, 

I have recently re-found Hebrews 
10:24-25, which says, "And let us 
consider how we may spur one an- 
other on toward love and good 
deeds. Let us not give up meeting 
together, as some are in the habit 
of doing, but let us encourage one 
another — and all the more as you 
see the Day approaching" {NTV). 

These verses could be a three- or 
four-point sermon for some, but I 
will emphasize two points: meet to- 
gether and encourage one another. 
When you study God's Word togeth- 
er in your monthly devotional meet- 
ings, you feel love and warmth and 
gain strength. This is for you. Then 
you share the love, warmth, and 
strength with another — that is out- 
reach. Briefly, it is encouragement. 
Frequently we can't guess when 
someone hurts, but a smile, a brief 
comment, and a hug may bring 
healing from hurt. 

These verses are a wonderful com- 
plement to one of our reading books, 
BALCONY PEOPLE by Joyce Lan- 
dorf Heatherley. She writes about 
the gift of affirmation, and describes 



her book as "the lethal poison of re- 
jection and the healing antidote of 
affirmation," (p. 9). This is a one- 
evening book, beautifully written 
and full of love and suggestions, 
whether we are e valuators (she sug- 
gests that we change) or affirmers 
(more are needed). I heartily recom- 
mend that we all read and practice 
being a balconv person. 

In contrast is LEFT BEHIND by 
Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. 
This is an exciting story about those 
who experienced the last days. The 
story resembles the Bible, but it is 
not the Bible. This book is fiction. 

We encourage Christian reading. 
Exception: Please do not read the 
devotional articles at your meetings! 
When you are the leader, "talk" it to 
your friends. The articles are inter- 
esting, but even more so when you 
talk. The article can be the spring- 
board for your additional thoughts 
and personal application. 

With Carolyn Hepner's report from 
New Lebanon, Pauline Winfield sent 
the program brochure and a beauti- 
ful Bible bookmark commemorating 
their celebration. Let this account 
spur your thoughts into action. How 
long has your society been in ser- 
vice? Do you have members who 
have served for many years? Will 
you send a note about them, please? 



They are mentors as well as our sis- 
ters in Christ. We want to acknowl- 
edge them and appreciate them. 

The Executive Board met Septem- 
ber 26 to evaluate the recent confer- 
ence and to plan for next summer's 
conference. Generally, the recent 
conference was outstanding. The 
committee ladies were commended 
for their work and some have volun- 
teered to serve again next summer! 
We are glad for their willingness. 

Nancy Hunn reported that 19 
societies increased in membership 
last year. Those showing the largest 
increase (from 6 to 3) are: Gretna 
Lamplighters, Hagerstown, Tucson 
Evening, Oakville, Mulvane, and 
Falls City. Seven others increased by 
two and six by one. Our net gain 
was 16. WM.S. is not a dying orga- 
nization! 

We realize there are problems 
with the computer mailing list. 
These problems are not human, but 
glitches in the system, which are 
being solved. 

Remember to make the holidays 
holy! 

Your friend, 

Joan 

Women's Outlook Newsletter 



Brethren World Relief 



Jon Warren/World Relief Photo 



cal treatment in Rajah- 
mundry and the outlying 
villages, and emergency 
and disaster relief sup- 
plies. Recently, The 
Brethren Church in Ar- 
gentina also received a 
grant from World Relief 
to help people whose lives 
were affected by severe 
flooding this past spring. 
Many people receive 
Christ as a result of the 
ministry of both Brethren 
and non-Brethren Chris- 
tians in the United 
States, India, Argentina, 
and other countries 
around the world. 




A Day of Hope 

What is a Day of Hope? 
It is the culmination of 
praying, devotions, learn- 
ing, saving spare change in special 
boxes and giving ourselves and our 
resources for one month to help 



Last year, 172,679 mothers and children benefited from World 
Relief's child survival programs in Bangladesh, Honduras, 
Mozambique, and Nicaragua. Mothers learned how to protect 
their children from death and disease through immunizations, 
good nutrition, and low-cost solutions to potentially fatal child- 
hood illnesses. Through our partnership with World Relief, we 
in The Brethren Church had a part in this work. 



World Relief help churches bring 
immediate and eternal hope to suf- 
fering people. November is World 



Relief month. Your church 
should have received a 
packet of materials to 
help you understand the 
ministry of World Relief. 
Ask to see the video 
presentations. Follow 
the eight-day devotional 
guide. Use the special 
boxes to save spare 
change, which can provide 
significant help. Read the 
bulletin inserts. Pray fer- 
vently and give generous- 
ly. "This service that you 
perform is not only sup- 
plying the needs of God's 
people but is also over- 
flowing in many expres- 
sions of thanks to God .... 
Thanks be to God for his 
indescribable gift!" (2 
Cor. 9:12-15, mv). [ft] 
As Director of Missionary 
Ministries for The Brethren Church, 
Rev. Smith oversees the World Relief 
program of the denomination. 



Highlights of World Relief work last year 

♦ 34,642 parents received LifeLoans in Burkina Faso, 
Liberia, Mozambique, Cambodia, Honduras, and Peru, 
which enabled them to start their own small businesses 
and better feed, clothe, and educate their children. 

♦ Through partnerships with local churches, disaster as- 
sistance was provided to victims in Mexico, India, 
North Korea, Congo, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, 
Bosnia, and the United States. 

♦ 28,125 farmers learned how to increase their crop 
yields and better feed their families, while protecting 
the quickly disappearing rain forest; 15,099 acres were 
reclaimed for future harvests by enriching the soil. 

♦ In the United States, World Relief and its partnering 
churches welcomed 9,300 refugees who had been 
forced to flee their homes; 12,000 people found em- 
ployment and 2,500 participated in English language 
classes. 

♦ 41 homeless American families were linked to local 
churches and found permanent housing and an ex- 
tended family of believers. 

By our contributions to World Relief, we in The Breth- 
ren Church were part of all that was accomplished by 
World Relief during the past year. In recognition of our 
partnership in this work of helping the poor in the name 
of Christ, World Relief presented The Brethren Church 
the Open Hands Award in March at the 1998 convention 
of the National Association of Evangelicals. 

"By working together, we can make a difference and 
change this world for Jesus Christ," declares Dr. Clive 
Calver, president of World Relief. 



The Crisis in Sudan 

The focal point of relief efforts by World Relief at the 
present time is the African country of Sudan, where 
more than a million people are in danger of starvation. 
Rev. Reilly Smith, Director of Missionary Ministries for 
The Brethren Church, traveled to Sudan in late October 
with Dr. Clive Calver, President of World Relief, to wit- 
ness first hand the enormity of the crisis. Rev. Smith will 
report on the situation in Sudan in a special issue of 
Insight into Brethren Missions, to be published soon. 



World Relief receives "vote of confidence" 
from Miami-Dade County, Florida 

Alex Penelas, mayor of Miami-Dade County, Florida, 
announced September 29 that World Relief would be one 
of the main agencies the county would use to send col- 
lected relief goods to hurricane victims in the Caribbean. 

Mayor Penelas said the county selected World Relief 
because of "its reputation for work done with Cuban 
rafters and for World Reliefs management of programs 
at Guantanamo Bay." The mayor was referring to the 
Refugee Transit Home initiated by World Relief in 1992, 
which fed, clothed, and provided overnight lodging for 
more than 12,000 Cuban rafters, and to the lead role 
World Relief played at Guantanamo Bay in helping the 
54,418 Cuban and Haitian asylum seekers who fled their 
countries by boat and raft in 1994. 

"Since World Relief works in, for, and through the 
local evangelical church, we feel this is a great vote of 
confidence from Miami-Dade County, and we must not 
fail to respond to this," said Tom Willey, World Reliefs 
South Florida Area Director. 



November 1998 



o oodjti0 




Roger Charman of "Focus" 
to speak at pastors retreat 

Bradenton, Fla. — Roger Char- 
man, manager of Pastoral Min- 
istries for Focus on the Family, will 
be the primary resource speaker for 
the 1999 retreat for Brethren pas- 
tors and their spouses. 

The retreat, to be held March 2-4, 
1999, at the Christian Retreat Cen- 
ter, Bradenton, Fla., will be hosted 
by pastors of the Florida District. 

The retreat will include a time of 
challenge by the speaker, exchange 
of ideas, personal evaluation, and 
spiritual renewal. Also planned are 
opportunities for relaxation, recre- 
ation, and friendship. 

Retreat costs (two nights lodging, 
six meals, and the program) are: one 
person — $125 for shared room; $175 
for private room; couple — $225 
($250 for room with kitchenette); 
children — $40 per child plus $35 for 
child care (for children potty trained 
through grade 5). Registration 
forms were included in the October 
2 issue of Leadership Letter. The 
registration deadline is January 10. 

Churches are encouraged to pay 
for their pastors and pastors' wives 
to attend the retreat, to cover the 
cost of travel, and to provide pastors 
time off to attend. By doing so 
churches are contributing to the 
physical, mental, and spiritual well- 
being of their pastors. 

For more information about the 
retreat, contact Rev. Phil Lersch by 
phone at 727-544-2911 or by e-mail 
at PnJLersch(g)juno.com. 

Note: Pastors retreat is between the Na- 
tional Association of Evangelicals Conven- 
tion (2/28 to 3/2 in Orlando) and the Florida 
District Conference (3/7), for those interested 
in attending one or both of these events. 



Skeldons honored for 25 years pastoral 
service to Oak Hill First Brethren Church 




Oak Hill, W. Va. — Rev. Bill Skel- 
don and his wife Gene were honored 
September 6 by the First Brethren 
Church of Oak Hill for their 25 
years of pastoral service to the con- 
gregation. 

In honor of 
the occasion, 
Rev. Skeldon 
was given the 
day off. Rev. 
Reilly Smith, 
Director of 
Missionary 
Ministries for 
The Brethren 
Church, was 
guest speaker 
for the morn- 
ing worship 
service. 

During the 
service the 
Skeldons were 
given corsages 
by Deaconess 
Lois Robinson. 
Deacon Paul 
Fox also pre- 
sented the pastoral couple a plaque 
from the congregation on which 
were a clock, a cross, and an inscrip- 
tion recognizing the Skeldons for 
their 25 years of service to the con- 
gregation. 

Following Rev. Smith's message, 
Kenneth Nuckels, Sunday school 
superintendent, asked everyone 
present who had been touched in 
some way by Pastor Skeldon's min- 
istry — baptism, child dedication, 
marriage, or a soul-stirring ser- 
mon — to please stand. Few people 
remained seated. 

During his 25 years at Oak Hill, 
Pastor Skeldon has baptized 177 
people and received 218 persons 
into the church. He has also per- 
formed 77 weddings, dedicated 76 
children, and conducted 146 funer- 
als. During 23 of these 25 years he 
has also served as pastor of the 
nearby Gate wood Brethren Church. 

The Skeldons also regularly and 
faithfully visit homes, hospitals, and 
nursing homes. In addition, Mrs. 
Skeldon teaches the nursery class in 



Sunday school, and she is always 
available to lend a helping hand. 

The Skeldons' three sons and 
their families were present for the 
celebration. A carry-in dinner fol- 



Rev. Bill and Gene Skeldon (seated) with their sons John, 
Matthew, and Mark (I. to r), their daughters-in-law Jane (I.) 
and Melanie (beside their husbands), and holding their grand- 
daughters Suzanne (I.) and Katherine. Photo by Pat LaRocco 

lowed the worship service. At the 
dinner, the Skeldons cut a beautiful 
cake baked and appropriately deco- 
rated for the occasion by Margaret 
Watkins. 

— reported by R. Rogusky 



Gene Skeldon, the Runner 

In addition to assisting her pastor- 
husband, teaching Sunday school, and 
working for Fayette County Child De- 
velopment, Gene Skeldon (68) is a 
distance runner. In fact, she is a very 
good distance runner. 

She recently won the first-place tro- 
phy in her age bracket in the Charles- 
ton, W. Va., distance run (15 miles), 
held September 5. She has run in var- 
ious races, including the U.S. Marine 
Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., 
and has won several other trophies. 

She began distance running when 
she was 53, at the suggestion of her 
husband, who is also a runner. She 
loves it and hopes to continue run- 
ning. She says it keeps her healthy 
and also helps her keep pace with the 
children in her nursery class. [ft] 



10 



The Brethren Evangelist 



ID 




AU and ATS News 

Mortgages burned 

Mortgages on two buildings were 
burned during the Ashland Univer- 
sity President's Dinner, held Octo- 
ber 1. University officials burned 
the mortgage to the Hawkins- 
Conard Student Center and a sym- 
bolic mortgage for the Gerber Aca- 
demic Center at Ashland Theo- 
logical Seminary. Ashland Universi- 
ty borrowed $6.03 million to finance 
the Student Center, which was ded- 
icated October 1996. The mortgage 
was paid off three years early, sav- 
ing the university approximately 
$350,000 in interest. The Gerber 
Academic Center at the seminary 
was dedicated in May 1997. Total 
cost of this building was approxi- 
mately $1,350,000. 

Professor honored 

Dr. Jerry R. Flora, Professor of 
Theology and Spiritual Formation 
at Ashland Theological Seminary, 
was recognized for his 25 years of 
teaching at Ashland Theological 
Seminary during the Ashland Uni- 
versity and Seminary academic 
gathering this fall. Dr. Flora served 
the Fair Haven, Ohio, New Paris, 
Ind., and Washington, D.C., Breth- 
ren churches as pastor before join- 
ing the seminary faculty. [ft] 



John Swope ordained to Brethren eldership 
July 19 at the Waterbrook Brethren Church 



Edinburg, Va. — John David 
Swope was ordained an elder in The 
Brethren Church and his wife Cath- 
erine was conse- 
crated as the wife 
of an elder in a 
service held Sun- 
day, July 19, at 
the Waterbrook 
Brethren Church, 
where Rev. Swope 
serves as pastor. 

Dr. Dale Stoffer, 
Associate Profes- 
sor of Historical 
Theology at Ash- 
land Theological 
Seminary, gave the 
message for the 
service. Brethren 
elders Rev. David 
Cooksey, Director 
of Pastoral Min- 
istries for The Brethren 




Rev. John and Catherine Swope with 
children (I. to r.) Autumn, Zachariah (back), 
Jeremiah, and Savannah. 



Church, 

and Dr. Brian Moore, pastor of the 
St. James, Md., Brethren Church, 
also participated in the service. 

Freddie Helsley, associate pastor 
of the congregation, read the action 
of the Waterbrook Church calling 
for the ordination of Pastor Swope. 
He also presented Pastor Swope a 
Communion set on behalf of the 
church. Chip Crawford presented 
special music for the service. 

Born March 13, 1962, John grew 
up in Bowling Green, Ohio, the 
youngest of six children. He attend- 
ed Bowling Green High School, 
graduating in 1980. While in high 



Gretna calls Julie Weiskittle 

Bellefontaine, Ohio — Julie 
Weiskittle, pastoral intern at Gret- 
na Brethren Church this past sum- 
mer, has been called by the church 
to serve on the 
pastoral staff. 

She will serve 
as personnel di- 
rector and small 
group coordina- 
tor, work with 
the youth, preach 
occasional ly, 




visit, and do related tasks. She came 
on staff September 6. 

A "daughter" of the Gretna con- 
gregation, Ms. Weiskittle was grad- 
uated this past spring from Miami 
University (Oxford, Ohio) with a 
major in social work. According to 
Pastor Lynn Mercer, the Gretna 
Church has been impressed with 
her high level of spiritual and per- 
sonal maturity and the enthusiastic 
way she accepts whatever ministry 
is asked of her. "We are so pleased 
that the Lord has called her to serve 
among us," he added. [ft] 



school, he met Catherine Forse, and 
they were married in 1982. 
He attended Bowling Green State 
University, receiv- 
ing a B.S. degree 
in Industrial Edu- 
cation in 1985. 
Later that year, 
he and Catherine 
moved to Florida, 
where John 

taught middle 
school and Cath- 
erine attended 
Florida Interna- 
tional University, 
from which she 
later received a 
B.A. degree. It 
was also in Flori- 
da that their first 
two children were 
born, Zachariah 
in 1988 and Savannah in 1990. 

By August of 1990, John had com- 
pleted a Master of Science degree in 
educational leadership at Florida 
International University. He had 
also received confirmation that God 
was calling him to enter seminary. 
So in 1993 the family moved to Ash- 
land, Ohio, where John and Cather- 
ine ministered to youth at Trinity 
Lutheran Church while John at- 
tended Ashland Theological sem- 
inary. During their years in Ashland, 
their second set of children was 
born, Jeremiah in 1994 and Autumn 
in 1995. John received his Master of 
Divinity degree from the seminary 
in May 1996. 

John came to The Brethren 
Church by way of years of service 
and learning in several denomina- 
tions. As a child he attended a Meth- 
odist congregation, but he became a 
Christian at age 13 in an indepen- 
dent Congregational church. As an 
adult he did volunteer ministry in 
Presbyterian and Christian church- 
es before entering ministry full time 
at Trinity Lutheran in Ashland. He 
was called to The Brethren Church 
through his experiences at Ashland 
Theological Seminary and began 
pastoring the Waterbrook Brethren 
Church in January 1997. [ft] 



November 1998 



11 



^ pd th & 





Mosers installed at Stockton 

Stockton, Calif. — Rev. Gregg and 
Diane Moser were installed August 
16 as pastor and pastor's wife of the 
Stockton Brethren Church. 

Rev. Reilly Smith, Director of Mis- 
sionary Ministries for The Brethren 

Church, 
present- 
ed a mes- 
sage and 
gave the 
charge to 
Pastor 
Moser 
and the 
congre- 
Rev. Gregg and Diane Moser nation 

Special music was presented by the 
Fil-Maps Chorale of Stockton and 
by the chorale's director and soloist, 
Enrico Saboren. A lunch followed 
the service. 

For Pastor Moser, the Stockton 
pastorate is a return to the Breth- 
ren denomination. He served as 
assistant pastor of the Garber 
Brethren Church in Ashland and 
then as pastor of the Derby, Kansas, 
Brethren Church before becoming 
pastor of a multi-cultural Church of 
the Brethren congregation in Mc- 
Farland, Calif. His service in that 
church was good preparation for be- 
coming pastor of the Stock- 
ton Church, which also has 
people from many cultural 
backgrounds. 

The Fil-Maps Chorale, 
which sang for the service, is 
composed of Filipino doctors, 
dentists, nurses, and other 
professional people who pro- 
mote the culture and her- 
itage of the Philippines. The 
chorale practices in the 
Stockton Church building and 
considers the pastor of the 
church to be its chaplain. 

The Mosers have three chil- 
dren, including a daughter, 
Ingrid, who is a missionary 
in Bathurst, Australia. [ft] 



Ordination service for Chris Moellering held 
July 12 at Huntington First Brethren Church 



Huntington, Ind. — Christopher 
Paul Moellering was ordained an 
elder in The Brethren Church and 
his wife Leslie 
was consecrated 
as the wife of an 
elder on Sunday, 
July 12, during 
the morning wor- 
ship service of the 
Huntington First 
Brethren Church, 
where Rev. Moel- 
lering serves as 
pastor. 

Dr. Lee Solo- 
mon, Dean of In- 
stitutional Devel- 
opment at Ash- 
land Theological 
Seminary, gave a message during 
the service from Hebrews 12:1-3 
entitled "Run, Christian, Run." Dr. 
Solomon and Rev. Ken Hunn, pastor 
of the Nappanee First Brethren 
Church, performed the ordination 
procedures, assisted by retired pas- 
tor Rev. Herb Gilmer. 

Chris was born (Feb. 21, 1971) 
and raised in Elkhart, Indiana, 
where he began attending the Wind- 
ing Waters Brethren Church in 
1986. He accepted Christ as Lord 
and Savior on April 27, 1987, as a 
result of the ministry of Doug 
Faulkner, who was then youth pas- 
tor at Winding Waters. Following 
Chris's conversion, his parents also 




Rev. Chris and 



Sarver church building 
gets new roof 

Sarver, Pa. — Members of the Sarver 
Brethren Church, with help from some 
Pleasant View Brethren Church members, 
replaced the roof on the Sarver Church 
building on September 19. 

By the grace of God, they were able to 
complete the roof and get everything 
cleaned up just 45 minutes before a severe 
thunderstorm moved in. "We praise the 
Lord for His goodness and for all who 
helped with this project," said church secre- 
tary Judy Mittica. "Special thanks, also to 
all the ladies who prepared meals and to 
those who donated food," she added. [ft] 



began attending Winding Waters, 

and all three were baptized together 

on March 6, 1988, by Dr. Lee 

Solomon, who was 

then the pastor. 

Soon after ac- 
cepting Christ as 
Savior, Chris 

began to sense a 
call to Christian 
ministry. This call 
led him to consid- 
er many options 
over the next sev- 
eral years, includ- 
ing missionary 
service and youth 
ministry. 

In the fall of 
Leslie Moellering ^^ he entered 

Greenville College in Greenville, 
111., as a youth ministries major. At 
Greenville he met Leslie Brown of 
New Castle, Ind., who later became 
his wife. In 1991 they both trans- 
ferred to Ball State University in 
Muncie, Ind., Leslie in January and 
Christ in September. They were also 
married that year, on August 3, 
1991. Two years later Chris gradu- 
ated cum laude from Ball State with 
a B.S. degree in philosophy, and 
Leslie graduated magna cum laude 
with a B.S. degree in accounting. 

In the fall of 1993, Chris entered 
Ashland Theological Seminary. 
While in seminary he served the 
Louisville Brethren Bible Church as 
part-time pastor for about nine 
months. On May 1, 1996, he began 
serving the Huntington First Breth- 
ren Church as pastor, and later that 
month he received a Master of 
Divinity degree from the seminary. 

In addition to his pastoral duties, 
Chris serves on the Indiana District 
Christian Education Board and is 
secretary for the Huntington Minis- 
terial Association. In his free time, 
he enjoys camping with his family 
and bird watching. 

Chris and Leslie have three 
daughters — Katie (5), Abbie (3), and 
Michelle (born this September). 

The ordination service was fol- 
lowed by a carry-in dinner and an 
open house at the parsonage. [ft] 



12 



The Brethren Evangelist 



O od fri g 





\ 



1 



Kris Mellinger serving as unit 
leader for Service Adventure 

Ft. Wayne, Ind. — Kristopher Mel- 
linger, a member of Meadow Crest 
Brethren Church in Ft. Wayne, is 
spending IOV2 months (August 1998 
to July 1999) 
serving in Phil- 
ippi, W. Va., 
with Service 
Adventure. 

Service Adven- 
ture provides 
post-high school 
young adults 
with a short- 
term adventure 
in service, learning, and spiritual 
growth. Participants live in house- 
holds with other young adults and 
serve as volunteers for community 
service organizations, working with 
children, senior citizens or people 
with disabilities, or providing repair 
or secretarial services. 

Kris is serving as a unit leader 
with Service Adventure. As such, 
he is responsible for providing guid- 
ance to the household living and 
spiritual formation of the five mem- 
bers of his unit. He gives leadership 
to the members of his unit as they 
engage in group Bible study, explore 
social issues, seek personal growth, 
and test possible career options. 

A 1996 graduate of Krisman Chris- 
tian High School (home school), 
Kris worked as a cabinet maker for 
Furniture by Miller of Grabill, Ind., 
before entering Service Adventure. 
In the Meadow Crest Church he has 
been active as a youth leader. 

He is the son of Herman and 
Carol Mellinger. Herman is modera- 
tor of the Meadow Crest Church, 
and Carol is the pastor's secretary 
and a Sunday school teacher. 

Service Adventure is sponsored by 
the Board of Missions of the Mennon- 
ite Church and by the Commission 
on Home Ministries of the General 
Conference Mennonite Church, [ft] 



The Brethren Church well-represented 
at the Second Brethren World Assembly 




Bridgewater, Va. — Brethren from 
various denominations with com- 
mon ties to the Brethren movement 
that began in 1708 in Schwarzenau, 
Germany, gathered July 15-18 at 
Bridgewater College for the Second 
Brethren 
World Assem- 
bly. The theme 
of the event 
was Faith and 
Family — 
Challenges 
and Commit- 
ments. 

The Breth- 
ren Church 
was well-rep- 
resented at 
the gathering. 
Thirty-two of 
the 141 regis- 
tered atten- 
dants were 
from our de- 
nomination. 
In addition, a 

dozen or so of our Brethren, most of 
them from the Bridgewater area, at- 
tended one or more sessions of the 
assembly but did not register. 

Also attending the assembly were 
representatives from the Church of 
the Brethren (the largest group and 
the one with the most members 
present); the Fellowship of Grace 
Brethren Churches; the Old Ger- 
man Baptist Brethren; and the 
Dunkard Brethren. A new Brethren 
body also now exists, the Conserva- 
tive Grace Brethren Churches Inter- 
national, a group of 40 to 50 congre- 
gations that recently separated from 
the Fellowship of Grace Brethren 
Churches. A few members from this 
group were also present. 

The Brethren Church was also 
well-represented among the partici- 
pants on the assembly program. Dr. 
Dale Stoffer, Associate Professor of 
Historical Theology at Ashland Theo- 
logical Seminary (ATS), served as 
program coordinator for the assem- 
bly. He also was the "convener" for 
one of the sessions. 

ATS professors John Shultz and 
Brenda Colijn made two of the 



major presentations. Dr. Shultz pre- 
sented a paper on "Issues Facing the 
Family in Contemporary American 
Culture," and Dr. Colijn gave a 
paper entitled "The Faith, the Fam- 
ily, and the Family of Faith." Dr. 



The Thursday evening worship service was held in the beautiful 
sanctuary of the new $5 -million facility of the Bridgewater Church 
of the Brethren. The congregation moved into the building on June 
7, and the Brethren World Assembly was the first group other than 
the congregation to worship in the new sanctuary. 

Joseph R. Shultz, former president 
of Ashland University and ATS, also 
served as convener for a session. 

Three Brethren Church members 
spoke at worship services. Dr. Rickey 
Bolden, pastor of Southeast Chris- 
tian Fellowship in Washington, D.C., 
one of three speakers at the Thurs- 
day evening service, spoke on what 
the church can do for the inner city. 
Sehor Jose Rivero, president of The 
Brethren Church in Argentina, one 
of the three speakers at the Friday 
evening service, spoke about prob- 
lems among families in Argentina. 
And ATS professor Dr. Jerry Flora, 
the only speaker at the closing wor- 
ship service, spoke about faith that 
listens and faithfulness that obeys, 
all in the context of family. 

Carolyn Cooksey (Park Street 
Brethren Church, Ashland, Ohio) 
and Dr. James Hollinger (Jefferson 
Brethren Church, Goshen, Ind.) 
were The Brethren Church repre- 
sentatives on discussion panels on 
the roles of women and men in fam- 
ilies of the various Brethren groups. 
And Dr. Warren Garner (First Breth- 
(continued on next page) 



November 1998 



L3 



^ pd th & 





Dr. Harold Barnett retires 
from pastoral ministry 

Mathias, W. Va. — Brethren elder 
Dr. Harold E. Barnett, 67, retired 
October 31, 1998, from full-time 
pastoral ministry. He and his wife 
Doris have returned to Lost Creek, 
Ky., their home for many years, to 
care for his parents. 

During his 45 years of Christian 
ministry, Dr. Barnett served Breth- 
ren churches of our denomination 
in Mansfield, Ohio; Johnstown, Pa. 
(Third Brethren); Lost Creek, Rowdy, 
and Haddix, Ky, and Hagerstown, 
Md. He also pastored two Church of 
the Brethren congregations, most 
recently the Mathias, W. Va., Church 
of the Brethren, where he served 
from 1991 until his retirement. 

In addition, he was president of 
Riverside Christian Training School, 
Lost Creek, Ky. (of which he was a 
1949 graduate), from 1959 to 1975. 
He led in the revitalization of the 
school, which was on the brink of 
closing when he became president. 
Then in 1976 he helped start Anti- 
tam Bible College near Hagerstown, 
Md., where he served as dean and 
professor from 1976-1983. 

Harold and Doris (King) were 
married in 1953. Doris was from the 
County Line Brethren Church of 
Lakeville, Indiana. They are the 
parents of seven children. 

Though retiring from pastoral 
service, Dr. Barnett says that he and 
his wife will never retire from 
"Christian ministry" [ft] 



Center Chapel Brethren Church celebrates 
centennial anniversary on September 27th 



Peru, Ind. — The Center Chapel 
First Brethren Church northeast of 
Peru, Ind., celebrated its 100th an- 
niversary on Sunday September 27, 
with a special morning worship ser- 
vice and an afternoon Centennial 
Homecoming program. 

Rev. Reilly Smith, Director of Mis- 
sionary Ministries for The Brethren 
Church, spoke during the morning 
service, bringing a message on "The 
Church at the Crossroads." Rev. Bob 
Dixon, pastor of the congregation, 
was worship leader for the service. 

Also participating in the service 
were Edna Speicher, who told the 
children's story; Dr. Arden Gilmer, 
pastor of the Ashland Park Street 
Brethren Church, who gave the 



Thank You! 

Dear Brethren, 

In 1951, during National Confer- 
ence, Bonnie [Munson] contracted 
polio and was hospitalized in John- 
stown, Pa. During that week, Betty 
Rowsey, a telephone operator, kept in 
touch with us and reported Bonnie's 
progress to Conference attenders. 

You supported us all in so many 
ways through several hospitalizations. 

Now you are still supporting Bon- 
nie with your financial assistance for 
a wheelchair to accommodate her 
growing needs. 

She has been sitting straight up 16 
hours a day for 47 years. With her 
new chair, which is still being adapted 
to meet her needs, she will be able to 
lean back, adjust her sitting position 
up and down, and elevate her feet. 

You just never quit. 

In this wonderful Thanksgiving 
season, THANK YOU! 

A grateful father, 
Charles Munson 




Center Chapel Pastor Bob Dixon pre- 
sents a plaque to former pastor Rev. Her- 
bert Gilmer and his wife Evelyn in recogni- 
tion of their service to the congregation. 

morning prayer; and Rev. Gene Eck- 
erley, Indiana District Elder, who 
brought greetings. Special music 
was presented by the Gospel Heirs. 

A ceremony honoring Rev. L.W 
Ditch (deceased), founding pastor of 
the congregation, was held during 
the afternoon Centennial Homecom- 
ing Program. Rev. Ditch, who was 
state evangelist at the time, labored 
with a group of members from the 
Roann, Ind., Brethren Church in 
founding the new congregation. A 
plaque in honor of Rev. Ditch was 
presented to his great-granddaugh- 
ter, Jennifer Keyes, a member of the 
Mexico, Ind., Brethren Church. 

Also honored during the service 
were Rev. Herbert Gilmer, who pas- 
tored the church from 1986 to 1991, 
and his wife Evelyn. They, too, were 
given a plaque in recognition of 
their service to the congregation. 

Dennis Betzner led the Centenni- 
al Program, and Nancy Bender pre- 
sented a history of the Center 
Chapel Church. District Elder Gene 
Eckerley, who grew up in the Center 
Chapel Church, spoke during the 
program. The Kings Four presented 
special music, and Debbie Fouts 
played the prelude. [ft] 



(continued from page 13) 
ren Church, North Manchester, Ind.) led a 
workshop on the Brethren Way of Christ. 
Although called a World Assembly, 
this second gathering, unlike the first, 
had few people in attendance from 
Brethren groups outside the U.S. Only Sr. 
Jose Rivero from The Brethren Church in 
Argentina and Rev. Dan Kim, former 
Church of the Brethren missionary to 



South Korea, represented non-U. S. 
Brethren groups. It was suggested that an 
assembly be held in the year 2008 (the 
tri-centennial of the Brethren) in 
Schwarzenau, Germany, and that efforts 
be made to make it truly a World Assem- 
bly of Brethren. 

The Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc., and 
Bridgewater College cosponsored this 
year's gathering. [ft] 



14 



The Brethren Evangelist 




Vacation Bible Schools 

Two Pennsylvania churches re- 
ported successful vacation Bible 
schools, held this past summer. 

Missions around the world was 
the focus of VBS at the Fairless 
Hills-Levittown Brethren Church. 

A video of Brethren mission work in 
Mexico City showed various church 
activities as well as the terrible 
poverty of some of the people our 
missionaries work with there. An 
audio cassette by Brethren mission- 
ary Tracy Ruggles gave the children 
a message and a Spanish song for 
each day. Pennsylvania District Cru- 
saders Melanie Johns and Tiffany 
Neiderhiser helped with the VBS. 

"Hooked on Jesus" was the theme 
of VBS at the Berlin Brethren 

Church. Classes were held for all 
ages from four years old through 
adults. Average attendance was 105. 
Classes for adults included an ac- 
count by a local doctor of his medi- 
cal mission trip to Haiti, a session 
on cults, a discussion of the second 
coming of Jesus, and two classes on 
Brethren history that included a 
field trip to significant Brethren 
sites in the area. A fishing boat at 
the front of the church was filled 
with food items for the local food 
pantry, and a coin toss game and a 
Friday night offering brought in 
more than $200 for victims of a tor- 
nado in the town of Salisbury, about 
20 miles south of Berlin. [ft] 



The National Brethren Youth in Christ 
Statistical Report for 1997-1998 



Ashland, Ohio — Each year as 
the National Brethren Youth in 
Christ (BYIC) Convention draws 
near, an assessment is made of the 
state of BYIC in The Brethren 
Church. Then during the Conven- 
tion, recognition is given to local 
BYIC groups that have excelled in 
some area during the previous year. 

Below is statistical information 
that was put together for this 
year's BYIC Convention. The total 
number of registered BYIC mem- 
bers for 1997-1998 was 1,018. 

These statistics are printed here 
not only to inform, but also to chal- 
lenge youth to greater effort in the 
year ahead and to encourage adults 
to be supportive of the youth. 

Top Ten Registered Youth 
Groups by Membership 

1. St. James 70 

2. Jefferson 54 
tie Nappanee 54 

4. North Manchester 53 

5. Milledgeville 47 

6. North Georgetown 42 

7. Northgate 32 
tie Smoky Row 32 

9. Bryan 31 

tie Milford 31 

BYIC groups 

that participated in the 

1997-1998 goals program 

Tucson 1st Northgate 

Jefferson Canton Trinity 

Bloomingdale Nappanee 

Oak Hill Cheyenne 

Roann Park Street 

St. James 



Top Ten BYIC Groups in 
Ingathering Giving 

1. Elkhart 1st $467.48 

2. St. James 430.00 

3. Jefferson 400.00 
tie Nappanee 400.00 
tie Tucson 1st 400.00 

6. Roann 250.00 

7. Lanark 240.00 

8. Gateway 210.00 

9. Hagerstown 200.00 
10. Northgate 195.00 

(Total ingathering from all BYIC 
groups was $5,319.23) 

Percentage of churches in 

each district that have 

registered youth groups 

Central 100% 

Southwest 100% 
Indiana 65% 

Midwest 60% 

Ohio 45% 

Southeastern 4 1 % 

Florida 40% 

Pennsylvania 38% 

N. California 33% 

(Total # of registered groups: 61) 

Where are the 1,018 
Registered BYIC Members? 

(Percentage by District) 

Indiana 41% 

Ohio 16% 

Southeastern 12% 

Pennsylvania 1 1 % 

Central 8% 

Southwest 4% 

Midwest 3% 

N. California 3% 

Florida 1% 

At-Large 1% 



Gratis, Ohio — Members of the 
Women's Missionary Society of 
the Gratis First Brethren Church 
have been busy making baby 
quilts — but not for babies in their 
own families or church or for 
babies they will probably ever see. 
The quilts are for an interna- 
tional program that seeks to help 
"at-risk" babies. The program's 
original intent was to help crack 
babies or babies born with AIDS. 



But quilts are now given to all at- 
risk babies. Eileen Kiracofe and 
Donna Smith co-chair the quilt- 
making project. The group has 
made 34 quilts, which were taken 
to Dayton Children's Hospital. 
— submitted by Melba Hanks 

At right (I. to r.), Marquedlita 
Murphy, Ruth Focht, Lucille Bran- 
denburg, Carolyn Boomershine, 
Eileen Kiracofe, and Lois Barnhart 
display quilts their group has made. 




November 1998 



L5 




Rich and Tiffany Rader take 
Vision Ministries to Macau 

Macau, East Asia — Rich and 
Tiffany Rader of Vision Ministries 
and members of the Smoky Row 
Brethren Church in Columbus, 
Ohio, spent three weeks in August 
in Macau, a Portuguese territory on 
the southeast coast of China. 




One of the Raders ' more unusual expe- 
riences on their trip was holding a live 
crocodile in a crocodile park in China. 

Working with missionaries from 
the United Brethren in Christ 
Church, the Raders shared the 
Gospel with the Chinese people 
through preaching and concerts. 
Rich also taught two seminars — one 
on worship and one on song writing, 
and he and Tiffany taught at an 
English camp for Chinese youth. 

"The Chinese people and their 
culture were fascinating," Rich said. 
"But the greatest truth I learned 
from the Chinese people was com- 
mitment. When they choose to be- 
come a follower of Jesus, they are 
often shunned by family and 
friends. They still, however, keep 
that commitment 100 percent. We 
saw a true definition of the phrase 
'cost of discipleship.'" Rich added 
that he and Tiffany "would like to 
thank the Brethren for their contin- 
ued support, both prayerfully and 
financially, for the Macau Crusade 
as well as the work of Vision Min- 
istries throughout the year." [ft] 



Canton Trinity Church offers 
free tutoring to area children 

Canton, Ohio — Eight people from 
Trinity Brethren Church in Canton 
provided free tutoring to 34 children 
during a four-week period this past 
summer. Goals of the tutoring pro- 
gram were to help the children, to 
make the church more visible in the 
community, and 
to model the 
love of Jesus. 

The group of 
tutors included 
teachers on 

summer break, 
retired teach- 
ers, and other 
folks who enjoy 
working with 
young people. 
Tony Price, as- 
sistant pastor of 
Trinity Church 
and a certified 
teacher, coordi- 
nated the pro- 



each of the children was sent a per- 
sonal invitation to attend vacation 
Bible school, held a few weeks later. 
A couple of children who were tu- 
tored did attend VBS. And one of 
the tutored girls and her mother 
have attended worship services and 
expressed interest in knowing more 
about the church. The Trinity Breth- 
ren praise the Lord for this response. 
— reported by Tony Price 




Thelma Watkins tutors first graders Tasha Cone and Tyler Feller. 



gram. The 34 students ranged from 
kindergartners to tenth graders. 

The church promoted this special 
ministry by sending flyers to homes 
in the community and by renting a 
mobile sign that was placed in front 
of the church building one month 
before the start of the program. The 
local school also allowed the church 
to send flyers home with students. 

Tutoring was offered for four weeks 
on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. 
Children could be tutored in math, 
reading, or both. A nursery was pro- 
vided for tutors with small children. 

At the conclusion of the four 
weeks of tutoring, the church's hos- 
pitality committee provided a lunch- 
eon for the tutored children and 
their families. More than 70 chil- 
dren and adults attended the meal. 
A short program followed the meal, 
and the children were given certifi- 
cates and pencils. Families with no 
church home were invited to visit 
the Trinity Brethren Church, and 



My memory is nearly gone, but I 
remember two things: that I am a 
great sinner, and that Christ is a 
great Savior! 

— John Newton at age 82 



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( The Brethren) 

Evangelis 




Vol.120, No. 11 



A newsletter for Brethren people 



December 1998 



A Child is Born: a Son is Given 



By Mrs. K. Nirmala Prasanth 



« A CHILD IS BORN; A 

r\ SON IS GIVEN." This 
prophecy of Isaiah in chapter 
9 verse 6 expresses and ex- 
plains the dual nature of the 
great savior Jesus Christ. 
Jesus the Christ is both the 
Son of Man and the Son of 
God. 

"A child is born" expresses the 
human nature of Jesus Christ. 
"A son is given" explains the di- 
vine nature of Jesus Christ. Son 
of Man includes His humanity. 
His being the Son of God in- 
cludes His divinity. Just as a 
single coin has two sides, so 
Jesus Christ is an embodiment of 
humanity on one side and divinity 
on the other side. The Son of God 
became the Son of Man so that the 
sons of man can become the sons of 
God. This is the whole truth embed- 
ded in the birth of Christ. 

The Child born is the royal son of 
David's genealogy and is called 
"Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, 
Everlasting Father, 
Prince of Peace" 
(Isa. 9:6). Counselor 
points to the Messi- 
ah as a king of 
action. As a "Won- 
derful Counselor," 
the coming Son of 
David will carry out 
a royal program 
that will cause the 
whole world to 
marvel. He will be 
"Mighty God," and 
"a remnant of Jacob will return" to 
Him (Isa. 10:21). 

Another name given to the Son of 
God Jesus is "Everlasting Father." 
He will be an everlasting, compas- 





Nirmala Prasanth 



sionate provider and protec- 
tor, as we see in Isaiah 
40:9-11. He is the "Prince of 
Peace." His rule will bring 
wholeness and well-being to the 
whole world, as we find in Isaiah 
11:6-9. Thus the prophecy of Isaiah 
brings forth Jesus as a Child born 
and a Son given. 

We find a great, startling 
contrast at the birth of the Sav- 
ior. The Christ Child was born 
in the strange surroundings of 
dirt and dust. But the air above 
was filled with the hallelujahs 
of the Heavenly Host. His bed 
was a cattle pen, but a heaven- 
ly star drew the great wise 
men to pay Him the greatest 
homage. He was born from a 
virgin womb and was buried in 
a virgin tomb. 
He owned no fields nor any 
fisheries, but He fed five thousand 
hungry mouths with bread and fish. 
He wrote no book, built no church. 
But the best Book in the world was 
written about Him. Even after 2,000 



years, His Name is magnified and 
He is worshiped everywhere. 

Was it merely the son of Mary 

and Joseph who crossed the 

world's horizon 2,000 years ago? 

Was it mere human blood that 

was spilled at Calvary and 

cleansed human sin? Faced with 

all these startling contrasts, we 

cannot resist saying, "My Lord 

and my God!" 

The great significance of the 

birth of Jesus lies not in the 

simple faith of the shepherds 

who searched and found Jesus 

in the night; not in the 

singing of the Heavenly Host; 

but in the fact that when the 

wise men found the Baby 

Jesus, they fell on their 

knees and worshiped Him. 

Can we worship the Child 

who was born and the Son who 

was given with the same sanctity 

and sacrifice? [ij>] 

Nirmala serves with her husband, 
Dr. Prasanth Kumar, in the Breth- 
ren Mission in India. She is the edi- 
tor and publisher of Suvarthikudu 
(Evangelist), a Christian magazine 
in India. This article is from that 
publication and is reprinted here 
with her permission. 



Inside this issue 


Giving ourselves 


2 


What gift will you give? 


2 


What's it all about? 


3 


Unmistakable moving of God 


4 


Desperate for Good News 


5 


900 is more than a dollar 


6 


Advancing Brethren work 


7 


Around the denomination 


8 



f s 

Giving Ourselves at Christmas 

By Alice Chapin 



^ 



ONE CHRISTMAS MORNING, I 
got up before my family. As I 
sipped coffee in a big rocker beside 
the tree, I suddenly felt alarmed at 
the mounds and mounds of lavishly 
wrapped packages. I wondered how 
many of the gifts would be wanted 
or used and how many were just 
plain junk. It seemed truly irrever- 
ent to spend so much money on 
ourselves to celebrate the birth 
day of another. 

I knew that some of the chil- 
dren's most costly presents 
were war toys or unsuitable 
playthings. I also knew that 
giving the kids material 
gifts has little to do with 
love. The piles of pack- 
ages left me with a sick, 
guilty feeling that cast 
a gloomy cloud over 
our holiday celebra- 
tion. Since that 
time, I've encoun- 
tered many people 
who have experi- 
enced this kind of 
Christmas overkill. 

So how do we get out of Yuletide 
overindulgence? One way is to dis- 
cuss with your family the idea of 
giving themselves the "gift of disad- 
vantage" next year. Thus everyone 
will be able to pass on some of their 
blessings to others. To do this, gather 
your family and read Luke 4:18-19, 
Matthew 25:31-40, and 1 John 4:7-8. 
Then make a list of caring acts in 
which family members might become 







LJU 



involved as a birthday gift to Christ. 
Talk about who needs help most and 
how to get money for projects. 

Most everyone will agree that 
while giving tangible things is 
important, getting personally in- 
volved in the lives of the needy has 
the highest priority. Children proba- 
bly will accept the challenge eagerly 
and think up great ideas, even the 
little tots. For example, it takes 
loving hands to help run er- 
rands for a shut-in, sew cos- 
tumes for the children's pro- 
gram at church, deliver 
food baskets, or collect 
canned goods and cloth- 
ing for area food 
pantries. 

After your family 
discussion, you may 
find that the kids 
had been waiting all 
along for Mom 
and Dad or other 
adults to suggest 
ways to make 
Christmas less self- 
centered. Most likely, 
you all will feel gratified to see 
Christmas going in a different direc- 
tion. You may even come to realize 
the significance of James Russell 
Lowell's statement: "Not what we 
give, but what we share. For the gift 
without the giver is bare." [ft] 

Reprinted from A Simple Christ- 
mas by Alice Chapin, a book that gives 
hundreds of ideas for scaling down 




What Gift Will You Give? 

Rev. Ronald L. Waters, pastor of 
Hammond Avenue Brethren Church 
in Waterloo, Iowa, told this story in 
his December 1996 church newsletter: 

A three-year-old girl asked, 
"Mommy, what is Christmas?" Her 
mother carefully explained that 
Christmas is Jesus' birthday. The 
little girl then asked, "Then why 
don't we give Him birthday pres- 
ents?" The mother explained the 
tradition of exchanging gifts as an 
expression of love for one another, 
and that seemed to end the matter. 

On Christmas Eve, however, the 
little girl placed a package under 
the tree on her way to bed. She said 
it was a birthday gift for Jesus, 
which she was sure He would open 
during the night. When the little 
girl was asleep, her mother, not 
wanting her daughter to be disap- 
pointed, opened the crudely wrapped 
package and found the box empty. 

On Christmas morning the little 
girl was thrilled to find that the 
package had been opened and that 
her gift was gone. "What was in it?" 
asked her mother. 

"It was a box full of love," the lit- 
tle girl replied. 

Pastor Waters then adds, "What 
present will you give to Jesus on 
His birthday? It may be a box full of 
love, but I hope that you also show 
your love for Him in some more 
tangible way. Do something for 
someone who will not be expecting 
it. Jesus said that when you do 
things for others you are doing it 
for Him." [ft] 



the holiday celebration and bringing 
Christ and joy back into Christmas. 
Published by Herald Press, (256 pp., 
$14.99), Scottdale, Pa. Used by per- 
mission of the publisher. 



The Brethren Evangelist (ISSN 0747-4288) 
is published monthly (except July and August 
issues are combined) by The Brethren Church, 
Inc., 524 College Ave., Ashland, OH 44805-3792 
(telephone: 419-289-1708; fax: 419-281-0450; 
e-mail: brethren@bright.net). Authors' views are 
not necessarily those of The Brethren Church. 
Editor: Richard C. Winfield. Subscription rates: 
Sent free to Brethren Church members; $15.00 
per year to others. Member: Evangelical Press 
Association. 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 



What's It All About? 

By Dan Lawson 



SEVERAL YEARS AGO around 
Christmas time my wife and I 
found ourselves deep in Christmas 
shopping, like thousands of other 
parents and grandparents. We were 
searching for just the right toy to 
give our beloved daughter — a toy 
that would adequately express to 
her marvelous little two-year-old 
mind just how much we loved her. 

We were shopping in a toy store 
that specialized in Christmas has- 
sle, when I received a call from 
nature. I left my wife knee deep in 
baby dolls and plastic tea sets to 
find the "necessary room." On the 
way I passed a middle-aged man 
wearing a worn-out jacket with 
holes in the sleeves over a tattered 
flannel shirt and worn, faded blue 
jeans. He was staring at a display 
of video games that were locked 
out of reach in a glass case. I could 
tell from the look on his face that 
he didn't have a clue what he was 
looking at. 

I went on about my business 
only to see that same man a few 
minutes later talking on a pay 
phone. He had a thick southern 
accent, and I couldn't help but 
overhear a small part of his con- 

"Here was a man who 
loved his son and 
dearly wanted to give 
the boy his greatest 
Christmas wish.** 

versation. "Uh, Jay, this is yer dad. 
Uh, is yer mom there? She's not! 
Well, uh, what's that there Nin- 
tendo yer talkin' 'bout? [pause] 
It's uh WHUT?!" 

As I went back to the plastic tea 
sets and the chatty baby dolls, I 
couldn't get this man off my mind. 
It wasn't so much what he said; it 
was the expression on his face that 



told the whole story. Here was a 
man who loved his son and dearly 
wanted to give the boy his greatest 
Christmas wish. It seemed appar- 
ent, however, that he would not be 
able to do so. I could tell by the 
tone of his voice, the look on his 




face and the slump of his shoul- 
ders that there was no way he 
could afford the cost. 

I could picture in my mind the 
excitement the boy would show at 
the thought of his super power- 
packed video game hiding some- 
where among the packages under 
the Christmas tree. I could also 
feel in my heart the pain the 
father would feel knowing that it 
would not be there. 

It's not fair! 

"It's just not fair!" I told my wife 
as I related the story to her. "This 
man wants to give his son the 
greatest Christmas gift he can 
find, and these corporate giants 
have brainwashed his boy into 
thinking that he just has to have 
the most expensive toy on the 
market. Now that father has to 
choose between breaking his son's 
heart or breaking his bank ac- 
count. Christmas shouldn't have 
to hurt like that!" 

I fear this scenario is familiar to 
far too many parents every Christ- 
mas season. Our children watch 
television and see fantastic toys 



advertised in such a way as to in- 
delibly imprint on their little 
minds the idea that this toy will 
make their lives complete. They 
beg and plead with their parents 
to give them "the wonder toy" for 
Christmas. What's a parent to do? 

Thinking back on the man in the 
toy store, I believe that he had 
already given his son the greatest 
gift he could give him. He loved 
the boy deeply, and he desperately 
wanted his son to know it. I think 
he had merely fallen into the com- 
mercial trap of Christmas. This is 
the trap that says, "The greater 
the love, the greater the gift." In 
the context in which this message 
is given, however, it couldn't be a 
greater lie. 

Commercialism has twisted this 
message to mean, "The greater 
the love, the more expensive the 
gift." These two messages are not 
synonymous. The first may be 
true when given in the proper con- 
text, but the second is never true. 

Greater love! 

Jesus once said, Greater love has 
no one than this, that one lay down 
his life for his friends. You are my 
friends if you do what I command 
(John 15:13-14, NIV). Here it would 
appear that the message "The 
greater the love, the greater the 
gift" is true. Jesus was so sincere 
about this message that He dem- 
onstrated it for each of us on the 
cross. He gave Himself as a gift so 
that we might have eternal life. 

We all are guilty of getting 
caught up in the commercialism of 
Christmas to some degree. We call 
it "the spirit of giving." The truth 
is, however, that giving is only sec- 
ondary. Christmas isn't so much 
about what God gave the world as 
it is about how God loves the 
world. This Christmas, when you 
are trying to find just the right gift 
to express the greatness of your 
love, remember that the greatest 
gift of all is love. [ft] 

Dr. Lawson is senior pastor of the 
Jefferson Brethren Church, Goshen, 
bid. This is one in a series of articles 
in which he applies Bible truths to 
our personal lives. 



December 1998 




IF YOU WERE ASKED, "Where do 
you see the unmistakable moving 
of God in The Brethren Church?" what 
would you say? When I pondered 
that question, I was not sure how I 
would respond. 

I do not mean to imply that good 
things are not happening in the de- 
nomination. Quite to the contrary. 
In the past few months we have wit- 
nessed the birth of three new Breth- 
ren congregations, and we await the 
birth of several more. There is also 
an awakening across the denomina- 
tion in worship and spiritual forma- 
tion. These are exciting and encour- 
aging signs of the hand of God. 

Things only God can do 

But what I want to discover are 
the things that God is doing that 
seem impossible. I believe that our 
Heavenly Father longs to show us 
what He is capable of doing among 
us. Seeing that which only God can 
do is a faith-stretching experience. 

The Apostle Paul tells us in Eph- 
esians 2:10 that we are God's work- 
manship, created in Christ Jesus to 
do good works, which God prepared 
in advance for us to do (emphasis 
added). This suggests that we need 
to discover that which God has al- 
ready prepared for us to do. What 
are we doing to discern the ministry 
seeds that God has already sown in 
the name of The Brethren Church? 
These are some of the questions 
that fill my night-time hours. 



An Unmistakable 
Moving of God 

By David L. West 

In October, over the course of a few 
days in Washington, D.C., I caught a 
glimpse of a vision that can only be 
of God. I would like to share with 
you my perspective on this vision. 

I had been invited by Dr. Rickey 
Bolden to come and preach and 
share with our Brethren at South- 
east Christian Fellowship. The occa- 
sion was the sixth anniversary of Dr. 
Bolden's call and ministry in this 
Washington church. 

What an alive, exciting, and joy- 
ous occasion it was! Christ's name 
was exalted; the pastor and his fam- 
ily were honored; the Word was 
preached; and God made his habita- 
tion in a nondescript building on Q 
Street in Washington, D. C. It was a 
worship experience that both my 
wife and I found to be heavenly. I 
believe every Brethren person should 
have at least one Southeast Chris- 
tian Fellowship experience. 

A glimpse of God's vision 

But as incredible as that experi- 
ence was, it is not what I want to 
share. It was in what happened two 
days earlier that I witnessed the 
unmistakable moving of God and 
caught a glimpse of His vision. 

On Friday morning, Pastor Rickey 
took me on a field trip of the area 
near the church. He told me that he 
was going to show me something 
special, as he shared with me the 
vision he felt God had given him for 
this city. 



Not far from the church I became 
aware of the vast economic down- 
turn in the neighborhood. As we 
drove through the area, I detected a 
sense of hopelessness on the faces of 
those who walked the streets. Nev- 
ertheless, I was amazed at how 
many people acknowledged my 
brother as we drove by — some with 
a simple nod of the head, others by 
calling out, "Hey Rev." It was obvi- 
ous that this pastor has been visible 
in his community. 

We headed to Anacostia High 
School, located in the heart of a run- 
down neighborhood. It is also the 
heart of a vision of ministry that 
could change a city. Our knock on 
the school door brought a security 
guard who opened the locked doors 
to the accompaniment of another 
chorus of "Hi Rev." 

I was greeted with looks of suspi- 
cion, but those changed to looks of 
welcome as soon as Pastor Rickey 
came into view. As we passed 
through metal detectors in this edu- 
cational facility, I was grimly re- 
minded of the need for Jesus. Pastor 
Rickey showed me around the 
school. As he did so, he engaged in 
some impromptu guidance counsel- 
ing with two young students who had 
not been to school yet this year. 

A youth ministry 

We left Anacostia and walked 
about a block and a half toward 
Krammer Junior High School. As 
we approached the school, Pastor 
Rickey pointed to a burned out, 
graffiti-tattooed building and said, 
"This is where God has called us to 
start a comprehensive youth min- 
istry." The building had lots of glass, 
but none in the windows. Scars of 
past fires were hard to ignore. Sa- 
tanic sayings and symbols adorned 
the walls. 

As I looked at the building, at the 
junior high school, and at the high 
school in the distance, I thought, 
"Who would undertake something 
like this?" Then I saw the gleam in 
Pastor Rickey's eyes, eyes complete- 
ly caught up in a God-sized vision. 
In that instant I experienced one of 
those Holy Spirit moments. Only 
God could pull off a transformation 
this big. We talked about the many 
obstacles, but Pastor Rickey faced 
(continued on next page) 



The Brethren Evangelist 



V 



A world desperate 
for some Good News 

By Robert Stafford 



^ 



J 



SOMETIMES I think we should 
cancel Sunday morning services 
and go fishing or play golf on Sun- 
day morning. The world is desper- 
ate to hear the message of God's 
grace. Either we have forgotten that 
message or else we've never experi- 
enced His grace, because if we were 
sharing it with the lost, our churches 
would be full to overflowing. 

I met a guy at the health club. He 
was loud and unruly, definitely not 
the kind of man I'd normally pick as 
a friend. He was also a recovering 
alcoholic. For some strange reason 
he latched onto me. 

One day he asked if I would like to 
go fishing. I asked if my son could 
join us, because I don't have many 
opportunities to take him fishing. 
He said it would be okay, but it 
would be crowded in the small boat. 

My friend met us and we started 
for the lake. On the way we stopped 
for breakfast, and my friend paid 
the bill. We needed bait, so we stopped 
at a tackle shop. I also needed a fish- 
ing license. My friend not only 
bought the bait, but he also told 



them to put my fishing license on 
his bill. I protested that this was 
going too far, but to no avail. 

When we got to the lake, we used 
his boat and his tackle. He even put 
bait on our hooks for us and then 
took off the fish that we caught. 

Later, on the way back to his house, 
we stopped for lunch — if you can call 
large ice cream cones at Baskin Rob- 
bins lunch. Once again, he paid. 
When we got to his house, he told us 
to go to the back yard and enjoy his 
pool while he cleaned the fish. He 
soon came out and told us that his 
wife had come home and that she 
was filleting the fish. Then he swam 
with us for a little while in the pool. 

A leading question 

As we relaxed by the pool, he said, 
"Bobbie, I got a question for you. 
What the hell is grace? You know, 
when people say, 'By God's grace 
yada yada yada.'" 

I said, "Bob [that's his name too], 
you've been doing it all day. You 
asked me to go fishing; I didn't ask 
you. You bought breakfast. You 



A Moving of God 

(continued from previous page) 
them with a heavenly determination 
based on his assurance that this is a 
God thing! 

Southeast Christian Fellowship, 
in partnership with the Fellowship 
of Christian Athletes and other area 
churches, will very soon begin the 
hard work of turning this building 
into a youth center. Their purpose is 
to make this a beacon of light in a 
very dark place. 

But this youth center is just the 
tip of a much larger "iceberg" of 
ministry. Providing a place where 
young people can hang out is merely 
the beginning of a larger vision to 
transform youth, families, neighbor- 
hoods, and an entire city. I must tell 
you I was overwhelmed with excite- 
ment as I listened to Pastor Rickey 
tell about all God has done so far. We 
serve a truly awesome God! 



Much remains to be done to pre- 
pare the way. A partnership is being 
formed of people with a heart for the 
people of Washington, D.C. I believe 
that we, The Brethren Church, have 
a unique opportunity to partner 
with our brothers and sisters of 
Southeast Christian Fellowship in 
this ministry — a ministry that has 
the potential of setting the pace for 
all inner-city ministries. 

I trust that we Brethren will want 
to join this partnership. Various op- 
portunities will be available. A short- 
term mission event is already being 
planned for next summer. Much 
more will need to be done. May I 
suggest that you seek the Lord's 
direction as to what role you might 
take in this ministry adventure, [ft] 

Rev. West is Director of Congrega- 
tional Ministries and of U.S. Mis- 
sions for The Brethren Church. 



bought the bait and my license. You 
provided the boat and tackle. You 
baited the hooks and took the fish 
off. You cleaned the fish, and now 
your wife is filleting them. And I get 
to take the fish home to eat! Grace is 
unmerited favor. You did all this be- 
cause you wanted to do it for me."" 

I could see the excitement in 
Bob's eyes as he grasped, for the 
first time, what grace really is. A 
couple of weeks later, we talked 
again. For two weeks Bob, who leads 
some AA meetings in the area, had 
been explaining the meaning of 
grace at those meetings. 

Now I understand that it might 
have been easy for Bob to do those 
things for me, because he thinks I'm 
a nice guy. But he didn't expect any- 
thing from me in return. Now imag- 
ine God doing something like that 
for you and me just because He 
wants to, because he loves us. He 
did just that. God knows we don't 
deserve heaven, but He would love 
to have us there. That's why Jesus 
came into the world. He came to 
take our punishment for all we've 
done wrong, so that we might have 
the opportunity to go to heaven. 

Nobody is good enough to go to 
heaven. And nobody deserves to go 
there because of what they have 
done. "For it is by grace you have 
been saved, through faith — and this 
not from yourselves, it is the gift of 
God — not by works, so that no one 
can boast" (Eph 2:8-9, niv). 

Our salvation is all grace. Grace is 
unmerited favor. It's when someone 
does something for someone else 
just because they want to — usually 
because they love them. That's 
what God has done for us. But this 
is something a lot of churches aren't 
telling people. 

The world is waiting to hear the 
message of salvation by grace and 
grace alone. Their souls crave to 
hear the Good News. Will you be the 
one God uses to share that Good 
News with them? They're out there 
just waiting — out fishing and play- 
ing golf on Sunday mornings, des- 
perate for some Good News. [ft] 

Rev. Stafford served as a Brethren 
pastor until 1993, when cancer forced 
him to retire. He now ministers to peo- 
ple over the Internet and — from his 
home in Walkerton, Ind. — is "Cyber- 
Pastor" to people around the world. 



December 1998 



% 



Ninety Cents is More Than a Dollar 



By Alan Schmiedt 



V 



J 



I GREW UP in a Christian farming 
family in which, as a child, I was 
taught to tithe. Whether I was given 
50 cents per week as an allowance 
or paid ten cents for every gopher I 
killed, my parents required me to put 
ten percent in the collection plate at 
church. They also required me to put 
50 percent in my savings account, 
which I thought was terribly unfair. 

Life's hard lessons 

As a child I understood the impor- 
tance of tithing. But I spent some 20 
years attempting to prove that it is 
not necessary that early in life to 
begin saving. In the process I man- 
aged to prove several other things 
rather profoundly. First among them 
was that my parents were right 
about a lot of things, including the 
importance of saving. Second was 
that one's propensity to spend does 
not reverse itself just because over- 
spending is financially unhealthy. And 
third was that I should have gone to 
college from age 18 to 22 rather 
than when I did, from age 44 to 54. 

Over the course of 30-some years 
of adult life, I have experienced sev- 
eral different levels of personal in- 
come — ranging from a dollar and a 
quarter per hour to ten thousand 
dollars per month. Then my busi- 
ness went broke, and I began work- 
ing for wages — about eight dollars 
per hour. Let me say this: adjusting 
up is easier than adjusting down! 

At times I spent so much of my in- 
come that I could not afford to tithe. 
And I never had enough so that I 
could save. More income permitted 
more spending, but there was never 
enough. First I didn't have enough 
to tithe or to save. Then I didn't 
have enough to pay all the bills. 

At some point during the time I 
was at each income level, I would re- 
member that failing to tithe is steal- 
ing from God. I was not willing to con- 
tinue stealing from Him. Each time 
I resumed tithing, it was only a short 
time before I found that I could pay 
my bills and still have a little money 



left over. God is faithful. He blesses 
our commitment to Him, and He 
promises to supply all our needs. 

That is why I say, "Ninety cents is 
more than a dollar." When I give the 
first dime of every dollar I receive to 
God, I can do more with the remain- 
ing 90 cents than I can with the whole 
dollar when I keep it all for myself. 

Having been through both flood 
and drought in my own financial ex- 
perience, I have great compassion 
for people who are struggling with 
money. As I look around, I see a lot 
of people doing just that. 

When I began studying this subject 
in earnest, I learned some things that 
surprised me. I found, for example, 
that the Bible has a lot to say about 
money management and accumulat- 
ing wealth. Tithing is only one com- 
ponent of a complete, Bible-based, 
money-management plan. The Bible 
also has a lot to say about giving in 
various forms — charitable giving, 
praising, teaching, helping, etc. 

John MacArthur, pastor of Grace 
Community Church in Panorama City, 
Calif, in his tape series Mastery of 
Materialism, says that "16 out of 38 
of Christ's parables deal with money; 
more is said in the New Testament 
about money than about heaven and 
hell combined; five times more is 
said about money than prayer; and 
while there are 500 plus verses on 
both prayer and faith, there are over 
2,000 verses dealing with money and 
possessions." It is evident that God 
cares how we manage our money. 

Four biblical principles 

Let us look at four biblical princi- 
ples we can draw from the Parable 
of the Talents found in Matthew 
25:14-30. This is the one in which 
the master goes away and leaves 
part of his fortune in the care of 
three of his servants: five talents 
with one servant; two talents with a 
second servant; and one talent with 
a third. Jesus told this parable to 
teach us about the kingdom of heav- 
en and His return. But its under- 



lying principles apply to our stew- 
ardship of His resources as well. 

What are these principles? Let's 
take a look (see Matt. 25:14-30). 

1. God owns everything. The para- 
ble teaches that God is the one who 
delivers the goods into the hands of 
the servants. God can do whatever 
He wants, whenever He wants, with 
whatever He wants, because every- 
thing is His. 

2. God expects His wealth to in- 
crease while it is in our care. Each of 
the servants was required to give an 
account. The two who increased 
what they had received were com- 
mended; the one who did not was 
condemned. If God chooses to en- 
trust some of what is His to me for 
a time, that is His prerogative. It is 
my responsibility to use it wisely. 

3. These principles apply regard- 
less of the amount received. It did 
not matter that the first servant 
had twice as much as the second 
servant. The responsibility and the 
spirit of the reward were exactly the 
same in both cases. 

4. Increase is not automatic. You 
can't hid or hoard money. You have 
to use it wisely. It seems clear from 
the parable that I should expect God 
to expect me to return what is His 
to Him with an increase whenever 
He sees fit. 

A biblical perspective 

Some Christians are of the opin- 
ion that it is wrong to think about 
money or to seek to acquire more of 
it. It is not wrong; it is required! 
The Bible does teach that it is sinful 
to be overcome by materialism. And 
Jesus said that we cannot serve both 
God and mammon (money). 

But Scripture does not say that we 
should be afraid of money or that we 
should avoid it. To the contrary, the 
Parable of the Talents makes it clear 
that we are expected to manage the 
wealth that God places in our care 
so that it increases for Him. [ft] 

Mr. Schmiedt, a member of Ncrthgate 
Community Brethren Church in Manteca, 
Calif., is moderator of the N. California 
District and district representative to the 
Missionary Ministries Council. He oper- 
ates his own almond farm and business. 
He suggests for further reading Master 
Your Money by Ron Blue; Foolproof 
Finances by David Mallonee; and Giving 
and Tithing by Larry Burkett. 



The Brethren Evangelist 



Advancing the work 
of The Brethren Church 



J 



DISTRICT representatives, at- 
large members, and National 
Office staff members who sit on the 
Congregational Ministries Council 
and the Missionary Ministries Coun- 
cil met on October 29 and 30 to seek 
ways to advance the work of local 
Brethren congregations and the 
missions outreach of The Brethren 
Church. Also meeting on these two 
days to deal with various aspects of 
the work of the denomination were 
members of the Executive Board. 

Following are a few significant 
items from the sessions of each 
group. More complete summaries of 
the meetings were sent to pastors 
and church moderators, copies of 
which are available from The Breth- 
ren Church National Office. 

Congregational Ministries Council 

Leadership was a major area of 
discussion in the Congregational 
Ministries Council meeting. The 
council's Leadership Care Study 
Group told of its current plans to 
focus on care for pastors and their 
families. Believing that this care 
must begin in the local church, the 
Study Group urges every church to 
set up a Pastoral Care Committee. 
Guidelines for this committee have 
been presented in the past, but the 
Study Group will soon provide addi- 
tional information on the formation 
and duties of this committee. 

The Study Group also believes 
that the concerns and needs of pas- 
tors' wives have often been over- 
looked. Recommendations to help 
remedy this include providing pro- 
gramming specifically for pastors' 
wives at the annual Brethren pas- 
tors and wives retreat and publish- 
ing a newsletter for pastors' wives. 

Proposals for several "Leadership 
Initiatives" were considered by the 
Congregational Ministries Council. 
One of these was a proposal that 
new pastors and their wives, after 3 
to 5 years of pastoral service, be in- 
vited to attend a week-long inten- 
sive program of pastoral care, re- 



newal, and spiritual formation at 
Ashland Theological Seminary. 

A second proposal was for a sys- 
tem of comprehensive assessment of 
pastors at selected points in their 
careers. The goal of this process 
would be to enhance the career po- 
tential of every Brethren pastor. 

A third proposal was for an edu- 
cational process to train a small 
group of Brethren pastors to provide 
leadership in the Brethren denomi- 
nation in the next generation. All 
three proposals were assigned to ap- 
propriate groups or individuals for 
further development. 

Rev. David West, Director of Con- 
gregational Ministries, reported 
that five applications had been re- 
ceived for the position of National 
Youth Leader. He expects to call a 
person to this position by the begin- 
ning of 1999. At Rev. West's sugges- 
tion, the council decided to invite the 
Brethren Youth in Christ Steering 
Committee to send a representative 
to attend future meetings of the 
Congregational Ministries Council. 

Missionary Ministries Council 

Reports of the recent birth Sun- 
days of two new mission congrega- 
tions — Grace Community Church in 
Winchester, Va., and Rock Springs 
Community Church in Vista, Calif. 
— were given by U.S. Missions Di- 
rector David West. (See pages 6 & 7 
of the November Evangelist.) A 
"soft launch" of the Eagle's Nest 
Christian Fellowship near Peru, 
Ind., brought a new family that has 
shown interest in becoming part of 
that core group. And the core group 
of the Oasis Community Church of 
Phoenix, Ariz., has grown to 17 
committed and gifted people. 

Rev. Reilly Smith, Director of Mis- 
sionary Ministries, provided cur- 
rent information on Brethren over- 
seas missions. He also reported on 
his October trip to Southern Sudan 
(see the recent Insight into Brethren 
Missions) and told of World Reliefs 
plans for increased relief and disci- 



pleship efforts there. He also ex- 
pressed his commitment to increas- 
ing promotion of World Relief in 
The Brethren Church. 

Dr. Terry Wardle, associate pro- 
fessor of Church Planting at Ash- 
land Theological Seminary, gave an 
overview of the assessment and 
training process Brethren Mission- 
ary Ministries will use at Ashland 
Theological Seminary. Developing 
this process is part of a five-year 
plan for Brethren Impact church 
planting. The seminary's first semi- 
nar on church planting is scheduled 
for January 18-23, 1999. Dr. Wardle 
also shared his vision for a future 
assessment and training program 
for renewal of existing churches. 

Executive Board 

In its sessions, the Executive Board 
took several actions regarding Gen- 
eral Conference. As follow-up on this 
year's theme, "Visualize Renewal," it 
was recommended that the theme for 
the 1999 Conference be "Renew our 
Church" and that the theme for the 
year 2000 be "Renew Our Spirit." 

Concerning General Conference 
business sessions, the board adopt- 
ed a policy that all organizations 
desiring to report to the Conference 
be given an opportunity to submit a 
written report through the Annual 
Report. If an organization does not 
submit a written report, it will not 
be given an opportunity to give an 
oral report at the business sessions. 
Reports received too late to appear 
in the report book could be included 
in the Conference Highlights. 

Executive Director Emanuel Sand- 
berg reported preliminary plans for 
the 1999 General Conference. Spe- 
cific information about Conference 
speakers and a general outline of 
the Conference schedule will be pre- 
sented at the March meeting. 

In the annual report to the board 
by the Trustees of the Brethren 
Retirement Plan, it was noted that 
problems with the plan administra- 
tor that had been reported at Gen- 
eral Conference have now been 
cleared up. Therefore, there are no 
immediate plans to change adminis- 
trators, as previously announced. 

The next meetings of the Execu- 
tive Board and the two councils will 
be held March 18 and 19, 1999. [ftl 
— Richai'd C. Winfield, editor 



December 1998 



*<*$££*<* 




Briefly 
Noted 




October 18 was appreciation day 
at the Mulvane, Kans., Brethren 

Church. During the Sunday school 
hour, Dorothy Mills, chair of the 
Board of Christian Education, pre- 
sented a certificate and a notepad 
and pen set to each Sunday school 
teacher in appreciation for his or 
her dedicated service to the church. 
Later, during the morning worship 
service, the congregation presented 
Pastor Joe and Sara Hanna a beau- 
tiful silk floral arrangement and 
dinner-theatre tickets for "a night 
on the town," in recognition of Pas- 
tor-Wife Appreciation Month. 

The Brethren Retreat Center 

in the Indiana District offered pas- 
tors and their families three "get- 
away" days November 18-21. Pas- 
toral families could come for two 
nights of free lodging and six meals 
on a donation basis. No program 
was planned — just a time to relax 
with family and partners in min- 
istry after a busy summer. The an- 
nouncement of the "getaway" ex- 
plained that "This is one way that 
the BRC seeks to refresh Christians 
in their daily walk with the Saviour." 

In their continuing effort to reach 
out to people in their community, 
Pastor Pat Velanzon and members 
of Cross Keys Worship Center 

(see the news story at the right) 
sponsored a dinner for area veter- 
ans and their spouses on Wednesday 
evening, November 11 (Veterans 
Day). A program featuring the 
singing group Heartland followed 
the meal. A total of 67 people at- 
tended, including 32 veterans. 



Cross Keys Worship Center reaps a 
different kind of harvest in October 



Port Republic, Va. — Cross Keys 
Worship Center, a Brethren class 
that meets in Virginia's beautiful 
Shenandoah Valley, reaped a differ- 
ent kind of harvest on October 4 — a 
harvest of family and friends. 

Like any harvest, this 
one required planting. 
That began on Septem- 
ber 13, which was desig- 
nated "Love Loaf Day." 
On that Sunday, several 
bakers in the congrega- 
tion brought 66 small 
loaves of bread to the 
worship service. Each of 
these had an invitation 
attached to it encourag- 
ing the recipient to at- 
tend the worship service 
at Cross Keys on Octo- 
ber 4 and to stay for a 
lunch that would follow. 

The members of the 
congregation delivered 
these loaves of bread to 
friends and unchurched family 
members. The congregation also 
sent out "Come and See" postcards, 
hung posters around the communi- 
ty, and put advertisements on the 
radio and in the newspaper. 

As a result, a crowd of 88 "came to 
see" on "Harvest Friends and Fami- 
ly Day"! This was more than double 
the May through September aver- 
age attendance of 37. 

The morning program included a 
creative puppet show by the youth, 
under the direction of Debbie Estep. 



Special music was sung by the 
"Blue-Grassy" trio of Kitty Saufley, 
Ray Howdeyshell, and Leon Ervin. 
Spirited congregational singing was 
accompanied by keyboard and a 
"string trio" (see below). And Pastor 





Orville Landes (I,), Leon Ervin (c), and Pastor Pat Velan- 
zon provided pickin ' and strummin 'for some spirited con- 
gregational singing on "Harvest Friends and Family Day. " 



Sixty-six "love loaves " were planted in order to pro- 
duce a "harvest of family and friends " at the Cross Keys 
Worship Center. Above the love loaves is the mission 
statement of the Cross Keys congregation. 

Pat Velanzon preached a timely 
message on friendship. 

The worshipers were also blessed 
by the surprise visit of three special 
friends from Southeast Christian 
Fellowship in Washington, D.C. 
(three hours away). They came 
bearing love and gifts from this sis- 
ter congregation. 

Following the service, a wonderful 

meal was served by the kitchen 

crew, headed by Pastor Velanzon. 

This brought to a conclusion a day 

on which, according to reporter 

Kathy Velanzon, the 

Cross Keys Brethren 

"were all extremely 

blessed, happy, and 

grateful to God." [ft] 

/// reporting this event, 
Kathy Velanzon added: 
"We have more ideas 
and plans for future out- 
reach, which we plan to 
share through the Evan- 
gelist. We hope other 
churches will share their 
ideas too. Let's encour- 
age each other. " To 
which the editor adds a 
hearty "Amen!" 



The Brethren Evangelist 



pd the 




Pastors retreat to put focus 
on caring for one another 

Bradenton, Fla. — "Ongoing Care 
for Each Other" will be the theme 
when Brethren pastors and their 
spouses gather March 2-4 at the 
Christian Retreat Center in Braden- 
ton for their annual retreat. 

Rev. Roger Charman, manager of 
Pastoral Ministries at Focus on the 
Family in Colorado Springs, will be 
the main resource leader. An or- 
dained pastor in the Brethren in 
Christ denomination, Rev. Charman 
has been at Focus on the Family for 
11 years, following 15 years in youth 
work and pastoral ministry. In addi- 
tion to introducing the theme, he 
will speak on "The Problem of Pas- 
tor Burnout and Dropout," "Solu- 
tions That Work: Dealing With and 
Preventing Pastor Burnout," and 
"The Seduction of Success." 

Also serving as resource leaders 
will be Rev. David L. West, Director 
of Congregational Ministries and of 
U.S. Missions for The Brethren 
Church, and Mr. James Frado, Man- 
ager of Stewardship and Planned 
Giving for The Brethren Church. 
Rev. West will speak to "The Pas- 
toral Care Dialogue," and Mr. Frado 
will present "A Practical Approach 
to Biblical Finances." 

The retreat will begin with regis- 
tration at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday af- 
ternoon, March 2, and conclude on 
Thursday afternoon, March 4. 

The costs for the retreat are: one 
person — $125 for shared room; $175 
for private room; couple — $225 
($250 for room with kitchenette); 
children — $40 per child plus $35 for 
child care. Churches are encouraged 
to cover expenses for pastors and 
their wives to attend the retreat. 

Registration forms were included 
in the October issue of Leadership 
Letter. They should be sent to Phil 
Lersch, 6301 56th Avenue, N, St. 
Petersburg, FL 33709. The registra- 
tion deadline is January 10. [ft] 



Jefferson Brethren Church celebrates 
November 1 as "Breakthrough Sunday" 



Goshen, Ind. — 

Members of the 
Jefferson Breth- 
ren Church cele- 
brated November 
First as "Break- 
through Sunday." 

According to 
Pastor Dan Law- 
son, the Jeffer- 
son Church is at 
the most diffi- 
cult growth bar- 
rier for churches to overcome — the 
200 to 300 barrier. The congregation 
has bumped against this barrier on 
several occasions in the past, but it 
has never gotten over it for any 
length of time. 

Breakthrough Sunday, therefore, 
was a day for the Jefferson Brethren 
Church to experience a break- 
through in attendance. It was also a 
day for the church to experience a 
breakthrough in the outpouring of 
God's Spirit. And it was a time for 
individuals to experience a break- 
through in their personal relation- 
ship with the Lord. During the 
month of October, Pastor Lawson 
presented sermons on how to make 
a breakthrough with God in one's 
personal life. 

Breakthough Sunday also gave 
church members a reason to get ex- 
cited about their church and a spe- 
cial opportunity to invite others to 
attend. In the days leading up to the 
event, church members were en- 
couraged to hand out flyers about 
Breakthrough Sunday; to invite 
friends, family, neighbors, and ac- 
quaintances to attend; and to be in 
prayer for a moving of God's Spirit 




SLjrvlCDy^Ct^ 



on the church. 
To add a sense of 
expectancy as 
the day drew 
near, members 
were invited to 
place a small 
paper silhouette 
of a person on 
the sanctuary 
wall for every- 
one they knew 
would attend. 
The attendance goal for Break- 
through Sunday was 500, and the 
worship service that Sunday was 
held at a local elementary school in 
order to accommodate that number. 
Pastor Lawson reports, "We lost 
count around 420, so I am not sure 
if we got to 500 or not. But it was a 
huge success, and I am convinced 
that we will see some positive 
growth from it." 

The Lord touched several lives 
during the service, and many of the 
guests made commitments to keep 
coming. To encourage this commit- 
ment, a flower was delivered to the 
home of each guest on Sunday after- 
noon after the service, and Pastor 
Lawson telephoned each guest on 
Sunday afternoon or evening. In ad- 
dition, Tim DeLaughter, Pastor of 
Care and Nurture at Jefferson, sent 
each guest a handwritten note, and 
the appropriate Adult Bible Fellow- 
ships (Sunday school classes) are 
doing follow-up as well. 

As a result of Breakthrough Sun- 
day, the Jefferson Church has gained 
five new families, and residual 
growth is continuing to occur, ac- 
cording to Pastor Lawson. [ft] 



World Relief in Cambodia 

Wheaton, 111. — Rural Cambodians, 
who struggle to survive even in the 
best of times, are facing critical food 
shortages after two years of floods 
and a season of drought have 
wrecked havoc on their rice crops. In 
desperation, many family members 
have sent their children away to 
work, or they are foraging for food. 

World Relief is providing emergen- 
cy food to 1,200 families in Santouk 



district of Kompong Thorn province, 
one of the hardest hit areas in the 
country. In a food for work program, 
local Cambodians build fish ponds in 
exchange for cooking oil, canned fish, 
hoe heads, seed packets, and 110 
pounds of rice. The World Food Pro- 
gram is contributing 40 tons of rice 
to the effort. World Relief is working 
through the Adventist Development 
and Relief Agency to implement the 
program. [ft] 



December 1998 








In Memory 

Rev. John T. Byler, 86, former 
Brethren pastor and Pastor Emeri- 
tus of the Louisville, Ohio, First 
Brethren 
Church, died 
October 24. 

Rev. Byler 
served as a 
pastor for 40 
years. He 
began his 
ministry in 
the Church 
of the Breth- 
ren in 1941, 
serving two congregations in that 
denomination. In 1946 he became 
pastor of the Louisville, Ohio, First 
Brethren Church. This was followed 
by pastorates at Brethren churches 
in New Lebanon, Ohio (1952-60); 
South Bend (First), Ind. (1960-69); 
and Canton (Trinity), Ohio (1969 
until his retirement in 1981). He 
served as General Conference Mod- 
erator in 1968. 

John was born August 4, 1912, in 
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the son 
of John I. and Amanda (Troyer) 
Byler. He received a B.A. degree 
from Juniata (Pa.) College and did 
graduate work at Temple University 
School of Theology and Oberlin 
School of Theology. 

He was married for 57 years to 
Lois (Brewer) Byler, who survives 
him. Also surviving are four daugh- 
ters and sons-in-law — Joyce and 
Rev. John Brownsberger of Louis- 
ville, Ohio; Joanne and John Shupp 
of Middletown, Ohio; Judith and 
John Haenes of Forth Worth, Tex.; 
and Jeanette and Bruce Judisch of 
San Antonio, Tex.; 12 grandchil- 
dren; and 10 great-grandchildren. 

Services were held October 27 at 
Louisville First Brethren Church, 
Pastor Jim Koontz officiating, and 
at the graveside, Rev. John Browns- 
berger (Rev. Byler's son-in-law) offi- 
ciating. Memorial gifts may be made 
to Louisville First Brethren. [ft] 



Donald Rowser retires following 45 years 
of pastoral service in The Brethren Church 




Goshen, Ind. 

— Rev. Donald 
Rowser retired 
from the full- 
time pastorate 
earlier this 
year after 45 
years of very 
effective ser- 
vice as a pastor 
in The Breth- 
ren Church. 

A retirement 
reception was 
held June 7 at 
the Goshen 
First Brethren 
Church, where 
Rev. Rowser 
had served 
since 1985. It 

was attended by members of the 
Goshen congregation and by 
Brethren from other area churches. 
The day was also the 46th wedding 
anniversary date of Rev. Rowser and 
his wife Charlene 

Born June 9, 1930, in Johnstown, 
Pa., Rowser joined the Johnstown 
Third Brethren Church at the age of 
10. Called to Christian ministry by 
that congregation in 1950, he at- 
tended Ashland College (B.A. in 
1954) and Ashland Theological 
Seminary (B.D. in 1957). 

While in college and seminary, he 
pastored the North Georgetown, 
Ohio, Brethren Church (1953-58). 
In 1958 he became pastor of the 
Smithville, Ohio, Brethren Church, 
serving there until 1965. This was 
followed by pastorates at The 
Brethren Church in New Lebanon, 
Ohio (1965-85), and at Goshen First 
Brethren Church (1985 until his re- 
tirement on June 30, 1998). 

During his years of pastoral min- 
istry, he served on various district and 
denomination boards and commit- 
tees. He was General Conference 
Moderator in 1972. He also served 
as moderator of the Ohio District. 
He was a member for more than 30 
years of the Missionary Board of the 
Brethren Church, which he served 
as treasurer and president, and he 
also served for a time as president of 



Retiring Pastor Donald Rowser (c.) receives a congratulatory 
handshake from David Conder, moderator of the Goshen First 
Brethren Church, as Charlene Rowser looks on. 

the Ohio District Mission Board. In 
addition, he was a member for sev- 
eral years of the Ministry of Pas- 
toral and Congregational Care of 
the Indiana District. 

An accomplished chalk artist, Rev. 
Rowser presented numerous "chalk 
talks" in churches, schools, nursing 
homes, and for civic groups. In addi- 
tion, he held evangelistic services in 
more than 50 Brethren churches. 

Not wanting to work while her 
husband relaxed, Mrs. Rowser also 
retired in June. The former Char- 
lene Tracy of Twelve Mile, Ind., 
Mrs. Rowser, like her husband, is a 
graduate of Ashland College (B.A., 
1953). In addition to her responsi- 
bilities as a pastor's wife, mother 
{see below), church member and mu- 
sician, she served for 26 years in ed- 
ucation, most of those years as a 
school psychologist. 

The Rowsers are parents of two 
children. Their son, David, and his 
wife and children serve as mission- 
aries in Moldova (formerly part of 
the U.S.S.R.). Their daughter, Tracy 
Whiteside, and her family live near 
Columbus, Ohio, where Tracy's 
husband, Jeff, is associate pastor of 
the Smoky Row Brethren Church. 
Immediately after retiring, the 
Rowsers, accompanied by the 
Whitesides, traveled to Moldova to 
visit David and his family. [ft] 



JO 



The Brethren Evangelist 



vodf/i 




In Memory 

Alberta Holsinger, 75, wife of 
retired Brethren pastor Rev. Robert 
G. Holsinger, died unexpectedly fol- 
lowing heart by-pass surgery on 
November 4. She was a member for 
many years of the Park Street 
Brethren Church, where she served 
in a variety of children's ministries, 
in the drama ministry, and was an 
active member of the W.M.S. 

During her many years of Chris- 
tian ministry, Mrs. Holsinger also 
served as National Patroness for 
Signal Lights, as National Litera- 
ture Secretary for the W.M.S.,. and 
was editor first of the Signal Lights 
column and later the children's 
page ("Little Crusader") for The 
Brethren Evangelist. 

She was born June 29, 1923, in 
Ashland, the daughter of John H. 
and Do vie M. Brubaker Pry or. She 
was a graduate of both Ashland Col- 
lege and Ashland Theological Semi- 
nary. She and Robert were married 
February 17, 1952. Together they 
served the Cameron W. Va., Quiet 
Dell, Pa., Warsaw, Ind., Falls City, 
Nebr., Morrill, Kans., and Ashland 
Garber Brethren churches. She also 
taught elementary school in Ash- 
land for 27 years. 

She is survived by her husband; 
two daughters and a son-in-law, 
Joan M. Holsinger of Ashland and 
Gwen and Keith Stuart of Dayton; 
one son and daughter-in-law, Mark 
and Liz Holsinger of Rowsburg, 
Ohio; and four grandchildren. 

Services were held November 7 at 
Park Street Brethren Church with 
Pastor Arden Gilmer officiating. 
Memorial contributions may be 
made to Missionary Ministries of 
The Brethren Church, Ashland 
Theological Seminary, or Park 
Street Brethren Church. [ft] 



Since God has appeared in a 
manger, should we be surprised 
to find Him anywhere ? 



Dr. and Mrs. Glenn L. Clayton honored for 
50 years of service to Ashland University 



Ashland, Ohio — 

Dr. Glenn L. and 
Janet Clayton 

were honored by 
Ashland Univer- 
sity on Saturday 
evening, October 
31, for their 50 
years of service to 
the university. The 
occasion was also 
the 88th birthday 
celebration for Dr. 
Clayton. 

Nearly 300 guests 
attended the gala, 
held in the Convo- 
cation Center on 
the university cam- 
pus. The evening included a dinner; 
a "This is Your Life" computer pre- 
sentation recapping Dr. Clayton's 
88 years; a musical tribute on the 
piano by Elizabeth Pastor, trustees 
professor of music; and comments 
paying tribute to the Claytons. 

Paying tribute were AU President 
Dr. G. William Benz, President 
Emeritus Dr. Joseph Shultz, Pro- 
vost Emeritus Dr. Lucille Ford, Pro- 
fessor Emeritus Dr. Fred Martinelli, 
and Thomas Stoffer, vice chairman 
of the AU Board of Trustees. 

In addition, State Rep. Bill Harris 
of Ashland presented Dr. Clayton a 
special recognition from the Ohio 
General Assembly, and Ashland 
Mayor Douglas Cellar delivered a 
proclamation honoring Clayton. At 
the end of the celebration, Dr. Benz 
announced that through the efforts 
of the university and the Claytons' 
many friends, more than $85,000 
in donations was being added to 
the Glenn L. and Janet S. Clayton 
Endowed Scholarship Fund at AU. 

Dr. Clayton became president of 
Ashland College in 1948 at the age 
of 37, the youngest man to fill that 
office. At that time, Ashland College 
had four buildings, 300 students, 
and assets of about $4 million. Four 
years after his arrival, a fire de- 
stroyed Founders Hall, the school's 
administration and main classroom 
building. Many thought the fire 
might put an end to the college, but 




Ashland University President Emeritus Dr. Glenn L. Clayton 
and his wife Janet (both at I.), with AU's current president Dr. 
G. William Benz and his wife Gerry. Ashland University photo. 

Dr. Clayton rallied support to re- 
build Founders Hall, and thus began 
a period of unprecedented growth 
on the campus. 

By the time of his retirement in 
1977, the college had grown to 36 
buildings, total assents of $30 mil- 
lion, and 2,000 students. Since retir- 
ing as president, he has continued 
to serve the university in a number 
of capacities, most recently in the 
Office of Development as director of 
the AU 1000 Club, which provides 
funds for endowed scholarships, and 
as coordinator of the university's 
roundtable program. 

A native of New Lebanon, Ohio, 
where he was a member of The 
Brethren Church there, Clayton re- 
ceived a bachelor of science in educa- 
tion degree from Miami University 
of Ohio, and MA. and Ph.D. degrees 
from Ohio State University. He 
served for 12 years in public schools 
and then taught in the history de- 
partment at Ohio State University 
before becoming president of Ash- 
land College. 

During their years in Ashland, the 
Claytons have been members of 
Park Street Brethren Church, 
where Dr. Clayton taught Sunday 
school for many years. He is also a 
past moderator of the General Con- 
ference of The Brethren Church. 

The Claytons have two sons, John 
and Glenn L. (ID, four grandchil- 
dren, and one great-grandchild, [ft] 



December 1998 



11 



nd the 




N. Indiana W.M.S. Fall Retreat 
Focuses on "Joy in Serving" 

Goshen, Ind. — "Joy in Serving" 
was the theme of the annual north- 
ern Indiana WM.S. Fall Rally, held 
October 10 at the Goshen First 
Brethren Church. W.M.S. members 
and guests from the Bryan, Ohio, 
Brethren Church and from the 
Brighton Chapel, Goshen, Milford, 
Nappanee, and New Paris Brethren 
Churches in northern Indiana at- 
tended the gathering. 

The theme for the day was high- 
lighted in an inspirational talk by 
Bonnie Munson. She encouraged 
listeners to "accept what is, and 
allow God to help us lovingly make 
the best of each situation." Her 
message carried more impact be- 
cause Ms. Munson has lived most of 
her life in a wheelchair as a result of 
having polio as a child. 

At the conclusion of her message, 
a surprise presentation was made to 
Ms. Munson by Rev. Donald Rowser. 
He presented her a plaque from the 
Missionary Ministries Council of 
The Brethren Church in recogni- 
tion and appreciation of her 25 




Rev. Donald Rowser presents a plaque 
— on behalf of the Missionary Ministries 
Council of The Brethren Church — to 
Bonnie Munson in appreciation for her 
25 years of service with Brethren House 
Ministries in St. Petersburg, Fla. 

years of service with Brethren 
House Ministries in St. Petersburg, 
Fla. A similar plaque was presented 
to Phil and Jean Lersch at General 
Conference in August, but Bonnie 
was unable to attend that event. 

The rally was filled with love and 
Christian fellowship, as devotions 
based on 1 Corinthians 12 and 
2 Corinthians 9 directed minds to 
avenues of joyful service. Music was 
also an important part of the day. 
The women enjoyed group singing, 



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service of ordination held October 4 during the Sunday morning worship hour at 
the Mulvane Brethren Church. Pastor Joe Hanna (r.) conducted the ordination ser- 
vice, assisted by Deaconess Lilith Howard (2nd from r). Each candidate served a 
six-month period of probationary service prior to receiving a vote of affirmation 
from the congregation. 



as well as instrumental and vocal 
selections presented by some of the 
members of the Goshen Church's 
Youth Choir. Another noteworthy 
feature on the program was a report 
of a mission trip to the Dominican 
Republic, given by three Goshen 
W.M.S. members who had the privi- 
lege of making the trip. 

The rally, including the noon meal 
served family style in the church 
fellowship hall, provided many op- 
portunities for old friendships to be 
renewed and new ones to be formed. 
The gathering also gave the women 
an opportunity to provide support 
for Ashland Theological Seminary. 
An offering for the seminary was re- 
ceived in the amount of $537. 

"But most important," according 
to Esther Mishler of the Goshen 
Church, "was the fact that this 
group of women shared ideas and 
concern for serving various needs. 
At the same time they delighted in 
honoring a special person — Bonnie 
Munson — who still reflects joy in all 
that she does." 

— reported by Esther Mishler 



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For Reference 



Not to be taken 



from this library 



Hf.ckman 

BINDERY, INC. 
Bound-To- Please' 

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