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Shenandoah District
Church of the Brethren

P.O. Box 67
1453 Westview School Road

Weyers Cave, VA   24486
Phone:  540.234.8555
Toll Free:  888.308.8555
Fax:  540.234.8333

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Brethren Woods
Camp & Retreat Center

4896 Armentrout Path
Keezletown, VA   22832
Phone & Fax: 540.269.2741
Website: www.brethrenwoods.org

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October 2017

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2017 District Conference

Closes With Salt Covenant

After a day of worship, the 2017 Shenandoah District Conference closed with a covenant of salt as each worshiper emptied a small container of colored salt crystals into a larger vessel, signifying a commitment to claiming our common identity as followers of Christ.

Jon Prater, pastor of Mt. Zion/Linville Church of the Brethren and chair of the District Leadership Team, led the closing service. Noting that the District will be continuing to work through issues that have led to tension and division, he invited worshipers to express their willingness to be a part of that process. By adding salt to the common vessel, he said, "we are convenanting to hold hands and cross this busy intersection together."

Also during the service, Richi Yowell, pastor of Mt. Olivet Church of the Brethren, was consecrated as 2018 moderator and George Bowers, pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren, as moderator-elect.

Saturday attendance was 295, and an offering to support District ministries totaled $1,523.

In an abbreviated business session Saturday afternoon, the delegates:

  • Approved a slate of officers for 2018 that included George Bowers as moderator-elect; Tom Williams, Charlottesville CoB, Gifts Discernment and Calling Team; Gail Oleyar, Mt. View Fellowship, Program & Arrangements Committee; Wayne Pence, Mt. View Fellowship, District Leadership Team chair; and Don Driver Jr., Timberville, Service Ministries Team chair;
  • Learned that a 10-member Blue Ribbon Committee, including both pastors and laity, will be named to develop a plan for working through the divisive issues threatening our unity;
  • Adopted a 2018 budget of $354,073 - an increase of $1,145 over the 2017 budget. Included are 1 percent pay raises for staff and a $6,000 line item to hire a part-time Director of Church Revitalization and Planting; and
  • Recognized the 13-year service of Elby Wilson, who retired Aug. 31 as District treasurer.

 

After the annual Milestones In Ministry dinner, the conference opened Friday evening with worship led by Conference Moderator J. Diann Whetzel, co-pastor of Front Royal Church of the Brethren. She preached on her Conference theme, "Taking Spiritual Inventory."

Friday attendance was 185; an offering of $2,145 was received for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico through the Emergency Disaster Fund.

 

Words In Response To Charlottesville

Listen to the words of Jesus and our brother, the Apostle Paul:

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your mind and all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:28-31 NIV 2005)

You are all sons/daughters of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for we all are one in Christ Jesus.  (Galatians 3:26-28 NIV 2005)
 
These words of scripture do not need explanation. In the spirit of these words, let us engage together in prayer for the horrific tragedy in Charlottesville and our nation:
  • Confess and repent together of any attitudes and behavior that is less than God's command to love our neighbors as ourselves.
  • Pray together, specifically, for our Church of the Brethren pastors who live and work in the immediate vicinity of Charlottesville. Pray for wisdom, compassion and discernment as they seek the face of Jesus together.
  • Pray that we will truly become the vision of Galatians 3. All barriers that divide will be dismantled under the power of the Holy Spirit and the strength of following Jesus together.
 
Seeking Christ together in the spirit of lament and grief,
 
John Jantzi
District Executive Minister
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Events for 12/13/2017

Is Hospitality YOUR Gift?

The Shenandoah District is developing a list of potential hosts when guests are in the District and need (or prefer) home-based lodging. If you have an extra bedroom and could offer a light breakfast to overnight guests, please fill out the host form below. It can be emailed to elayman@shencob.org or mailed to Shenandoah District CoB, PO Box 67, Weyers Cave, Va., 24486.

Hospitality Host Form

You will always have the final say on whether to extend hospitality when the need arises. Thank you!

 

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