(Photo courtesy of Marty Barlow)
February 6, 2020
In Our Prayers
This week we pray for those who have contracted coronavirus and the medical workers who are caring for them. We ask God's protection for all who come in contact with the disease and healing for those affected by it. May God have mercy on all 28 countries currently responding to this public health concern.
District News
Ballot for Annual Conference Announced
The Annual Conference Office has released the ballot, which will be presented at this year's meeting in Grand Rapids, Mich., July 1-5. Paul Liepelt and Tim McElwee are candidates for Annual Conference moderator-elect. Liepelt pastors in Annville, Penn., and McElwee is retired and has been affiliated with Manchester University. He resides in Wolcottville, Ind.

Other candidates include Harrisonburg First's Beth Jarrett, who has been selected for the ballot for Annual Conference Program and Arrangements Committee. Walt Wiltschek from Easton, Md., is also on the Program and Arrangements ballot.

Representing the laity for the Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee are Richard E. Allison from Claysburg, Pa., and Arthur Fourman from Dayton, Ohio.

On the ballot for Area 1 of the Mission and Ministry Board are Josiah Ludwick from Harrisburg, Pa., and Mandy North from Manassas, Va. For Area 4, Daniel L. Butler from Grundy Center, Iowa, and Kathy A. Mack from Rochester, Minn. have been tapped.

Candidates for clergy representation for Bethany Seminary trustees include Chris Bowman from Manassas, Va., and Frances R. Townsend from Onekama, Mich. Candidates for laity representation as trustees are Irene Beltran from Pomona, Calif., and Jacki Hartley from Elgin, Ill.

On the ballot for the Brethren Benefit Trust board is Janis Fahs from North Manchester, Ind., and David L. Shissler from Hummelstown, Pa.

On Earth Peace board candidates are Erick Flores from Hermitage, Tenn., and Drew G. I. Hart from Harrisburg, Pa.

To read the complete article, click here .

Annual Conference registration opens March 2.
2020 Pulpit Supply List
Sarah Long has updated the pulpit supply list for 2020 with the corrections have been called identified. Contact Sarah if there are additional corrections to be made. Click here to visit the District website and download a copy.
Pastoral Vacancies
Friends Run / Smith Creek - full-time, David Morris, interim pastor, congregational profile available
Garbers - part-time, congregational profile forthcoming
Leake's Chapel - congregational profile forthcoming 
Mill Creek - full-time associate pastor, congregational profile available
Pine Grove - part-time, congregational profile forthcoming

Pleasant Hill - part-time, congregational profile forthcoming
Waynesboro - full-time, Dot Mellott, interim pastor, updated congregational profile available
District Events
Days Set Aside for Ministers to Recharge
A day retreat to rest, refresh, and renew with the one who loves your soul is being planned. Bring a lunch, and enjoy a day to yourself or with other ministers. This free day at camp is available for Shenandoah District ministers to use as they wish, whether that be to rest, pray, hike, collaborate with others, or all of the above.

The day will begin and end with communal prayer and worship. Come as you are. The first event will be Fri., Mar. 13, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. A second opportunity will be provided on Fri., Aug. 28, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

These events are sponsored by the Spiritual Formation and Leadership Development team. The retreats will be held at Brethren Woods Leadership Center. For more information, please contact Gabriel Dodd 325-9361 | dodd.gabriel@gmail.com. Click here for a flyer.
Meetings at the District Office
Please take note of the following meetings and events scheduled for the District Office: 
--Feb. 6: 2:30 p.m., District Office staff meeting, phones unanswered
--Feb. 10: 6:45 p.m., Ministerial Leadership Team
--Feb. 13: 11 a.m., District Office staff meeting, phones unanswered
--Feb. 17: 6 p.m., Disaster Auction Coordinating Committee
Mark Your Calendar
Feb. 25: Shrove Tues. Pancake Luncheon, Bridgewater ( 420 College View Drive , Bridgewater), 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  If Rockingham County Public Schools are closed, the snow date will be Tues., Mar. 3.  Menu: plain or buckwheat pancakes, biscuits, syrup, sausage gravy, chipped beef gravy, applesauce, fruit cup, coffee, tea or water. The Bridgewater Home Auxiliary is currently looking for fruit donations and volunteers. Please contact Laura Ipock Powell , if you are interested in assisting. For a list of all 2020 Auxiliary events , click here .


Mar. 6-7, 2020:  Children's Disaster Services Training , Fri. 4:30 p.m. to Sat. 4:30 p.m., Bridgewater Church   ( 420 College View Drive , Bridgewater). Registe online here Click here   for a flyer. A bulletin insert may be found here.

Mar. 7: Ken Medema and Ted Swartz are coming to Bridgewater Church ( 420 College View Drive , Bridgewater) with their creative, musical, Biblically-based presentation, as part of the Center for Art, Humor & Soul, 7 p.m. 

Both Ken and Ted studied for different jobs before finding their true callings in musical and theatrical ministry. Ken, who is blind, wanted to be a concert pianist and vocalist, but worked in music therapy until he found his way into musical performance. A local resident, Ted graduated from EMU seminary in 1989 and found his pastoral training served him well as a 'theatrical theologian.'

A free-will offering will be received for Bridge of Hope . Click to learn more about Ken Medema and Ted Swartz .

Mar. 21: Bluegrass Gospel concert with the Deanes , Charlottesville Church ( 1225 East Rio Road , Charlottesville), 6-8 p.m.
District Youth
Feb. 28-Mar. 1: Registration is now open for the Youth Roundtable at Bridgewater College ( 402 East College Drive, Bridgewater), featurin g Kyle Remnant , speaker. The theme will be 2020 Visio n: Seeing as Jesus Does. For more information or to register, click here. Check out the video here.

Mar. 13-14: District Jr. High Lock-in will be held at Luray Church . More information will be forthcoming.
Brethren Disaster News
Donations of Auction Items Continue to Arrive
Handcrafted items are beginning to arrive as plans for the May 15-16 auction are in full swing. Donors with questions about participating in the auction should contact Betty Morris | (434) 985-7571 or Catherine Lantz | 896-7556.

Left: Wall hanging by Leona Dove, Crab Run
(Photo courtesy of Tom Wetsel)
The Call for Coins Continues
Disaster Auction Secretary Betty Morris asks, "Are you still trying to think of a project or something you could do the help with the Disaster Auction in May?" Her answer, "Well, it's not too late to collect some coins."

She notes all individuals and congregations need to start throwing the coins left over at the end of a day into a jar. Virtually everyone has change in their pockets and this change can add up quickly. Jars could be passed around Sunday school classes or placed at the entrance door of District churches. Betty says, "This is such a simple thing, and anyone can participate—just get the children involved and see how many coins you can collect."

With the Disaster Auction three and a half months away, it is time to, "Stop thinking and start doing," she said. On auction day, individuals or church representatives may drop jars off at the “Coins for Corn” table. Betty offers, "We can quickly count your coins and let you know how much you collected." At the auction, interested parties may pick up a jar of caramel corn to enjoy, and when the jar is empty, they may start filling it again for next year’s auction.
Contact Betty Morris | (434) 985-7571 for more information.
Brethren Woods
Brethren Woods Sets the Theme for 2020: This Is Our Prayer
The 2020 theme at Brethren Woods is This Is Our Prayer . Prayer is one consistent Christian practice found throughout scripture and the history of God's people. Even though people may pray in different ways, through prayer, people have sought connection with God in times of struggle and sadness, celebration and blessing, and in seeking guidance and comfort, hope and healing. This year, campers and staff will explore how scripture and the traditions of our faith help them face issues that all people wrestle with and meet the deepest longings of the human heart through Christ. Prayer is both sharing with God and opening hearts to make space for God to speak to them. Campers will learn different ways to pray, speaking, and listening to God, who is longing to connect.
Daily Themes and Scriptures:

This Is Our Prayer - Winter Camp
In the spirit of the 2020 theme, prayer is requested for Winter Camp this weekend, Feb. 7-9. Specifically:
  • Pray for safety as leaders and campers arrive at camp and travel back and forth to go snow-tubing at Bryce Resort. 
  • Pray for the camp leaders as they guide campers to explore and practice the examen prayer, paying attention to God; praying for petition and intercession to God; offering prayer to God; trusting God to be on the side of justice; praying with joy; and sharing God's love and joy with one another.
  • Pray that God's presence may be known in a new and powerful way as campers and staff live together in a Christian community, strengthening their faith and growing as disciples.

Update for Churches and Camp Reps
On Sat., Jan. 25, camp reps, pastors, volunteers, and other camp supporters joined the camp staff at Brethren Woods for an afternoon of Camp Rep training followed by the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. A panel of camp reps shared from their experiences and offered ideas, suggestions, and encouragement to other camp reps. Camp staff shared about all aspects of the camp's ministry, including retreat/rental opportunities, food service, workdays, the adopt-an-area program, fundraising programs and events, outdoor school, adventure opportunities, year-round programs, and summer camp. Participants thoroughly enjoyed appetizers and a delicious meal, followed by entertainment featuring Leah Hileman and an inspiring message from Nathan Rittenhouse.
Informational packets are being mailed to camp reps and congregations that were not able to attend the training and dinner. Churches should also check out a new page on the Brethren Woods website with consolidated information about all camp events and programs. You'll find flyers, registration forms, bulletin inserts, PowerPoint slides, and links to event pages all in one place.  Visit  www.brethrenwoods.org/forchurches to download.
In the spirit of the This Is Our Prayer theme for 2020, Shenandoah District churches and individuals are invited to join in prayer that each camp rep would be encouraged and inspired to tell the story of the life-changing ministry that happens at camp.

Cabin Fever Family Night Feb. 29
Brethren Woods has the cure for "Cabin Fever" this winter during a Leap Year celebration at the camp. Everyone (singles, couples, families, youth groups, campers, staff, volunteers, etc.) is welcome to attend this free event with the Brethren Woods camp "family." The itinerary includes:
4:30 p.m.-Gathering and group games
5 p.m.- Indoor campfire with singing, stories, and scripture
5:30 p.m.- Carry-in meal (soup and bread provided by the Camp. Please bring a snack or finger food to share with everyone!)
6-7:30 p.m.- Games, puzzles, and fellowship (Feel free to bring a favorite card or board game to play)
To assist with planning, RSVP online, or by contacting the Camp Office (269-2741 or camp@brethrenwoods.org ) by Feb. 26.
Upcoming Classes and CEU Opportunities
Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership is hosting several upcoming classes. Click here and scroll down to view future educational offerings. New online courses include Spiritual Practices in Ministry with Instructor Reba Herder, Apr. 15 – June 9. Science and Faith with Russell Haitch is another offering that has been added for Apr. 29 - May 3.

Ethics for the Set-Apart Ministry: Basic Course is being offered for newly licensed ministers and others seeking basic clergy ethics training. Janet Ober Lambert will be the instructor. The new date for the class is this Sat., Feb. 8. Click here for a registration form .
Job Opportunities
Pleasant Valley in Weyers Cave is seeking a director of contemporary music . Qualified applicants will have the ability to lead and guide our Praise Team in music and preparation as well as involve the congregation in musical worship. To apply, please send a resume to Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren, 91 Valley Church Road , Weyers Cave, VA 24486, by Mar. 1. For more information, contact Matt Ruff at 21-7311 or by email at ruffpilot@yahoo.com .

Middle Rive r ( 2077 Knightly Mill Road , Fort Defiance) is looking for a pianist to fill in on Sundays when the main pianist is unavailable. Duties include playing prelude, hymns, offering, and postlude music during Sunday Service. A short practice with the praise team on Wed. night would also be required. The possibility of becoming the full-time pianist is also an option. If you are interested, please contact Gail Johnson at 290-9101.

The West Richmond Church of the Brethren ( 7612 Wanymala Road , Richmond), is seeking a pianist/organist for choir rehearsals on Thurs. evenings and one Sun. service . Click here for job announcement.
Links to Upcoming Lectionary Readings
Revised Common Lectionary - Year A

Feb. 9 : Isaiah 58:1-9a, (9b-12) Psalm 112:1-9 (10) 1 Corinthians 2:1-12, (13-16) Matthew 5:13-20 (14)
Feb. 16 : Deuteronomy 30:15-20 Psalm 119:1-8 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 (9) Matthew 5:21-37
Feb. 23 : Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18 Psalm 119:33-40 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23 (22) Matthew 5:38-48
Continuing the work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together.
Shenandoah District website:
Questions? Comments?
Contact Brenda Diehl
Director of Communications
Images through pixabay.com , unless otherwise noted.