With 10 issues per year, MESSENGER is the official publication of the Church of the Brethren, offering features, reflections, Bible studies, media reviews, letters to the editor, news and more.
Church of the Brethren Mission and Ministry Board
The denominational board, formerly known as the General Board, is responsible for managing the total ministry and mission for the denomination. The denominational offices are located in Elgin, IL. Stan Noffsinger, General Secretary. Contact: www.brethren.org. Telephone: 800–323-8039.
Atlantic Northeast District, Church of the Brethren
The Atlantic Northeast District, the largest district in the denomination, has 78 congregations, including the Lancaster Church of the Brethren. The office is located in Elizabethtown, PA. Craig Smith, District Executive. Contact: www.ane-cob.org. Telephone: 717–367-4730.
Located in Elizabethtown, PA, Elizabethtown College is one of six Brethren Colleges/Universities in the denomination. It was founded in 1899, currently 1900 students. Motto: “Educate for Service.” Dr. Carl J. Strikwerda, President. Contact: www.etown.edu. Telephone: 717–361-1000
Bethany Theological Seminary
Bethany, the only graduate school of theology in the denomination, founded in 1905, is located in Richmond, IN. Bethany prepares ministers and other leaders for the denomination. Dr. Jeff Carter, President. Contact: www.bethanyseminary.edu. Telephone: 800–287-8822
Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center
The SVMC, founded in 1993, is located on the campus of Elizabethtown College. It is accredited through Bethany Theological Seminary, and offers the Master of Divinity Degree and several certificate-level programs for ministers who want ministerial training but do not want the graduate degree. Donna Rhodes, Executive Director. Contact: www.2.etown.edu/SVMC. Telephone: 717–361-1450
BV, founded in 1898, located in Lancaster, PA, is one of three retirement communities in the Atlantic Northeast District. It has over 950 residents. John Snader, President. Contact: www.bv.org. Telephone: 717–569-2657
Camp Swatara, founded in 1942, is the only Church of the Brethren camp in the Atlantic Northeast District. It provides a wide-range of residential camping for children, youth, and adults. The camp is located in Bethel, PA. Joel and Linetta Ballew, Administrators. Contact: www.campswatara.org. Telephone: 717–933-8510
COBYS Family Services
COBYS, located in Leola, PA, with an office in Lancaster, PA, was founded in 1979. It specializes in Foster Care, Adoption, Family Education and Counseling. Mark Cunningham, Executive Director. Contact: www.cobys.org. Telephone: 717–656-6580
On Earth Peace
OEP, located in New Windsor, MD, has existed for more than 40 years. It was the dream-child of M.R. Ziegler, a tireless man of peace for the denomination and international community. OEP serves congregations, districts, and the denomination in areas of reconciliation and peace education, especially the youth of the denomination. Bill Scheurer, Executive Director. Contact: www.onearthpeace.org. Telephone: 410–635-8704
New Community Project
NCP, located in Peoria, Arizona, founded in 1993, provides training tours for youth, young adults, and adults to some of the poorest areas of the world. Among other activities, NCP makes micro-loans to women in areas like Sudan. NCP, though affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, is an incorporated ecumenical, not for profit, agency. David Radcliff, Executive Director. Contact: www.newcommunityproject.org. Telephone: 888–800-2985
SERRV, an acronym for Sales Exchange for Refugee Rehabilitation and Vocation, located in New Windsor, MD, has existed for more than 60 years, beginning after the end of WWII. It has worked to eradicate poverty in poverty stricken and third-world countries by marketing their crafts and foods. SERRV, though affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, is an incorporated ecumenical, not for profit, agency. All proceeds from sales and donations to promote these values in the 36 countries where they work. Contact: www.serrv.org. Telephone: 410–635-8750.
Peace and Justice
The Church of the Brethren is one of the historic peace churches and remains deeply committed to its tradition of promoting peace and justice around the world. We have partnered with Quakers and Mennonites in both their publications and other peace efforts. Below is additional information and links to those peace-oriented web sites.
Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness
Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness (LIPW) is a grassroots association of Lancaster County Christian laity, clergy and congregations dedicated to promoting biblical values of justice, peace and nonviolent solutions to conflict.
Peace and Justice Support Network of Mennonite Church USA
The mission of Peace and Justice Support Network of Mennonite Church USA is to proclaim and promote God’s desire for justice (Micah 6:8), Christ’s call to peacemaking (Matthew 5:9) and the Spirit’s reconciling work (Ephesians 2:11–22).
United for Peace and Justice
United for Peace and Justice is a coalition of more than 1400 local and national groups throughout the United States who have joined together to protest the immoral and disastrous Iraq War and oppose our government’s policy of permanent warfare and empire-building.
Sojourners’ mission is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church and the world. The organization was founded by Jim Wallis and has a monthly magazine.
YES! Magazine, founded by David Korten, author of The Great Turning, contains many articles and blogs concerning peace & justice, simple living on our planet and within our world economy.
Dickinson College library
Dickinson College library includes a book with a collection of essays by Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, entitled, Essays, Literary, Moral & Philosophical. One of the essays is entitled, “An Account of the Manners of the German Inhabitants of Pennsylvania,” which ends with the following statement: Perhaps those German sects of Christians among us, who refuse to bear arms for the purpose of shedding human blood, may be preserved by divine providence, as the center of a circle, which shall gradually embrace all nations of the earth in a perpetual treaty of friendship and peace. You can find the actual book at: deila.dickinson.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/ownwords&CISOPTR=19843. Click on the table of contents on the left and the page number to see the actual page.
Living Stream Church of the Brethren
We worship together online on Sunday evenings at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Timezone (6:00 p.m. Mountain Timezone, 7:00 p.m. Central Timezone, 8:00 p.m. Eastern Timezone). This is indeed a new thing: building community and worshiping over the Internet, instead of gathering in one place every week. But this is also a very old thing: allowing correspondence to connect us heart to heart, and bind us as a voluntary family, just as the letters among early church members connected them across borders and oceans. This is also a very unknown thing: what we are, and who we may become, are works in progress. Think of this as a kind of laboratory for exploring worship with new media, where we learn together what draws us to each other, what soothes our spirits, what uplifts us from our alienation, and what challenges us to grow.