In Memoriam — Dr. John L. Hamer

Posted January 18th, 2019

Dr. John L. Hamer, 95, former Nigeria mission worker, died on January 15, 2019, at Timbercrest Senior Living Community in North Manchester, Indiana.

A physician and an ordained minister, Dr. Hamer and his wife, Esther, worked in a hospital in Lassa, Nigeria from 1953-1969. Following the illness and subsequent death of a nurse co-worker at the hospital, John’s insistence that further testing be conducted led to the discovery of the deadly viral disease Lassa Fever.

Service arrangements are pending.

A full obituary is posted at .

Nancy Miner

Office of the General Secretary

Church of the Brethren

800-323-8039, ext. 301

Upcoming Opportunities — Brethren Disaster Ministries

Posted July 5th, 2018

Floyd Pearson, a trained Brethren Disaster Ministries leader, who works with the Kansas Disciples of Christ, has invited us to join them in a mission trip to Lybrook Community Ministries, September 2-8.  The work will include cutting and splitting wood, winterizing homes, working in a thrift shop, and other projects to be determined.  If interested, contact Floyd (620.755.6394; or Bud and Susan Taylor.

Also, the Brethren Disaster Ministries Office reports that they still need volunteers for these dates:

Carolinas 2 Dec. 9-15              15 spots OPEN

Carolinas 1 Dec. 16-22            15 spots OPEN

USVI Sept 9-22                       5 spots OPEN

If are interested, contact Bud ( or 620.245.4836) or Susan ( or 620.245.4835) Taylor.

Volunteer Opportunities with Brethren Disaster Ministries

Posted December 14th, 2017

Brethren Disaster Ministries had a successful trip to Eureka, MO, December 3-10, with eleven workers from Westerns Plains District joining seven others. We worked on repairing basements from the December 2015 floods.  Three projects were completed during our work week.  We appreciated first-time volunteers Dennis and Mabel Friesen and Sonja Griffith from Kansas City.  Others volunteers from McPherson were Dean Holloway, Mike Goering, Bud and Susan Taylor.

More volunteers are needed in January.  Western Plains has now been assigned a half group for the week of January 14.

Volunteers are needed the weeks of January 14, 21, and 27, with a special emphasis on the week of January 14.  Since others are also interested, we need to report the number of volunteers we have as we fill slots.  If you can serve, please contact Bud or Susan ( or as soon as possible.

Bud and Susan Taylor, Western Plains District Disaster Ministries Coordinators

Church of the Brethren — Office of Public Witness

Posted November 17th, 2017

Office of Public Witness

“Seeking to Live the Peace of Jesus Publicly”

Our public witness is larger than legislative advocacy. Public witness points to working to find coherence between congregation life, service, advocating on policy, and questioning the values that undergird our politics.

We have been reconciled and have been given a ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18). As disciples of Jesus called to go out and make disciples we are called to embodied reconciliation.

In Romans 12 we see the call to be personally transformed and embody and bear witness to the peace we have received. The Church of the Brethren’s Office of Public witness is “seeking to live the peace of Jesus publicly by educating on issues and peace theology, organizing Church of the Brethren members and congregations to take action, and advocating on Capitol Hill around issues of concern for the denomination.

Office of Public Witness

Church of the Brethren

337 North Carolina Ave SE

Washington, DC 20003 E-mail:


Nathan Hosler is the Director in the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Public Witness in Washington DC and a pastor at the Washington City Church of the Brethren. Before coming to DC, Nathan and his wife, Jennifer, were engaged in peacebuilding work with the Church of the Brethren in northern Nigeria for two years. He holds a BA in Biblical Languages, a MA in International Relations, and is completing a PhD in Theological Ethics.

Emmy Goering served with Brethren Volunteer Service from July 2016 to July 2017.  She is currently a full-time student at McPherson College.

Brethren Volunteer Service – OPW Placement

#1102.2: Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness – Washington, District of Columbia

The Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness seeks to live the peace of Jesus publicly by educating on issues and peace theology, advocating on Capitol Hill, and organizing Church of the Brethren members and congregations to take action on issues of concern for the denomination.


BVS – Job Description

The Policy Associate will work with the coordinator of the Office of Public Witness to bring the voice of the Church of the Brethren to our elected officials; participate in ecumenical and interfaith advocacy coalitions; and organize Brethren members, congregations, districts, and national staff around issues of concern for the denomination. Specific responsibilities include assisting with developing outreach and advocacy for a variety of issues and initiatives; developing appropriate educational advocacy materials based on scripture and Brethren policy; helping engage Brethren members in an active electronic network; and engaging in research, writing, outreach strategizing, and event organizing.

2017 Annual Conference — Daily Reflections

Posted June 30th, 2017

Wednesday, June 28

Risk Hope: Remember God’s Story – Carol Scheppard preaching

Thursday, June 29

Risk Hope: Be Faithful in the Struggle – Jose Calljla Ortero preaching

Friday, June 30

Risk Hope: Witness to God’s Work in the World – Michaela Alphonse preaching

Saturday, July 1

Risk Hope: Love Christ’s Community – Donna Ritchey Martin preaching

Sunday, July 2

Risk Hope: Step Out and Be a Blessing – Matthew Fike preaching


We live in times that challenge us in our quest to be a faithful people. Strife and uncertainty permeate our society and invade our churches, and we grow disheartened and discouraged. Yet Scripture teaches that troubled times can be times when God’s blessing is most evident in the midst of God’s people. We are not to fear the instability of our time, for our hope rests in the rock of our salvation. Isaiah reminds us: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what it fears, or be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, him you shall regard as holy; let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.” (Isa. 8:12-13)

As we face the various storms of our times we gain strength and hope from the stories of God’s people in exile in Babylon. Robbed of the Land, the Temple, and the City of God, and hauled away to a foreign land, the People of God had little hope for survival. And yet, the promises of God would not die.

Isaiah prophesied: “And this shall be the sign for you: This year eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from that; then in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. The surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward; for from Jerusalem a remnant shall go out, and from Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” (Isa. 37:30-32)

And so the people gathered together the stories of their ancestors, the promises to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, the call to Moses and the Covenant of the Law, and there in Babylon they were faithful.

In the same way, let us too be bold in this time of challenge – bold to turn aside from our despair, to step out in faith, to claim the promises that are ours in Christ Jesus, and to Risk Hope for the life and vitality of the Gospel.     – Moderator Carol Scheppard