Monday, July 29, 2002

CD Review - Not So Scathing

Artist: Brett Clark, Angie Eubank, Joseph Helfrich, Shawn Kirchner, Brian McCullough, and Gloria Ruemping
Album Title: For Such Time As This
Rating: *****
Genre: Christian
Styles: Way Cool
Price: Free

This disc contains 12 songs sung at the 2002 National Youth Conference, chosen by the NYC Music Coordinators (Joseph "The Guitar Man" Helfrich, and Shawn Kirchner) while under the influence of the holy spirit. These selections are some of the most meaningful, memorable, and spiritually fulfilling songs from conference worship celebrations. What a pleasant surprise to find a CD in your registration package the first day. It didn't look like much living simply in a 100% recycled fiber with over 70% post-consumer content packaging. As quick as you can say "N'nung Yeh Dah" the word got out that you had to check this CD out. The Breman Church of the Brethren Youth Group sound terrific on the theme song. The story goes that one of the members of the youth group that was responsible for writing a major portion of the theme song was unable to come to NYC and lead the song, because they are too young and are just going into high school.
This CD is so much more useful than the "Plan a Day" calendar that was the free throw away at the last NYC. People who were not at this conference are going to be jealous that they do not have their own copy. It is that good.

Next time I hope they can do a double CD, because you did leave off some of my favorites like "Great Spirit in the Quiet", "N'nung Dah", and the "Peace Pilgrim's Prayer". But I can't think of a single track that I would want to remove from this CD to make room for those songs. One of the neat things about the selections on this CD is that they are the spiritual songs that remind you of the times at NYC when you were connected with God. The sound on this CD is excellent and you can easily hear the different parts of the songs. I would write more about the CD, but I want to go off and listen to it again and again.

  1. For Such Time As This Page 8
  2. Gathering Chant Page 14
  3. Teresa's Prayer Page 31
  4. Enviado Soy De Dios Page 13
  5. Spirit of Life Page 35
  6. Fluye Espiritu Fluye Page 14
  7. Brethren We Have Met to Worship Page 7
  8. Take O Take Me As I Am Page 35
  9. Give Me Jesus Page 16
  10. Come All You People Page 12
  11. And When I Rise Page 7
  12. Guide My Feet Page 18
Too Gross

Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross Bob Gross

“My Mother just loves the Gospel Messenger. She likes how you mention my Dad so often.” -Heidi

We are happy to please (and just as happy to upset).

-The Editors

Thursday, July 25, 2002

You're Welcome, You're Welcome

Whoever is in charge of the Gospel Messenger...we've needed this.

I am thrilled that people are able to laugh, and to challenge the church in such delightful and provocative ways. Keep up the wonderful job.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Clearance Sale

Brethren Press sales at National Youth Conference were good but they could have been better. There are plenty of bucket hats and other NYC merchandise available. Be sure to check out the NYC Staff items.
Position Available

Julie Garber has announced her resignation as editor of books and study resources for Brethren Press effective August 9 in order to accept a new position at Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind. This leaves a vacanct position for someone who will be able to promote our distinctives of peace, noncomfority, and community. Spell checking is optional.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Name Change

The five-person study committee of Ben Barlow from Faith Church, Jeff Carter from Neighborhood Church, Alberto Gonzalez from Circle of Peace, Shawn Kirchner from Open Circle Fellowship, and Shirley McCracken Spire from Church of the Living Savior has started a "a denomination-wide dialogue" on the denomination's name by rejecting "Church of the Siblings of the Same Mother" suggested by our sibling* denomination in Nigeria, and proposing "Church of the Bickering". The positive aspect of this name is that we can hold on to the familiar "COB" three letter abbreviation, and "BVS" will not need to change their name. While some have objected that this may cause some problems when engaging in evangelism, the committee pointed out that we really don't do evangelism anyway.

The committee recommends that this official name only be used at the national level on legal documents. It was discovered that the articles of incorporation are out of date and still use an old order name. It was written in German so the committee is not sure what version of "German Baptist Dunkers" was used. Brethren Press was going to be instructed to use their skills at inclusive language to remove any references to the "Church of the Brethren" in Sunday school materials and just use generic references to "The Church", but it turns out that we share materials with other denominations and all of the offensive mentions have been long gone. Local congregations can use whatever name they think will draw in the most members, without being forced to use a centralized name. Local congregations have always had the power to name themselves. Congregations that want to hold onto "Church of the Brethren" can continue to do so, while other congregations who want a more inclusive name can do that too.

Rumors have it that an addendum will be offered from a Brother in the east to change the name of the denomination to "Church of the Heterosexuals." "It is important that Annual Conference speaks very clearly on this issue and does not allow the liberals in our church any wiggle room. With a name like that, we can be sure not to have any of those people among us."

*Next year at Annual Conference delegates will be encourage to substitute "Sibling Moderator" for the offensive "Brother Moderator" language.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Objectable Symbols

Refreshed by attending Annual Conference, the National Youth Conference Coordinators lamented the presence of a large cloven foot, horned animal hanging at the back of Moby Arena. "At a time such as this when we focus on the kingdom of God, these become confusing symbols."

The National Youth Cabinet has decided to suspend the conference until this symbol of the devil is gone. Districts are advised to call into the NYC office before loading their buses and sending their kids. The cabinet indicated it was speaking from a precedent set by the 1966 National Youth Conference which suspended the 1970 youth conference for a full year.
Are you going to Hell?

Annual Conference has indicated that "It is our understanding that the conduct expectations of the general membership, as stated above, should most surely also be expected of those licensed or ordained. Therefore, we consider it inappropriate to license or ordain to the Christian ministry any persons who are known to be engaging in homosexual practices, and will not recognize the licensing and ordination of such persons in the Church of the Brethren."

Since their licensing and ordinations of openly gay/lesbian/or transgendered pastors are not recognized, your baptism may not be valid. Check the date of your baptism and the pastor who officiated at your service. You also need to check the name of the pastor at your wedding, and your parent's wedding. In preparation for future Annual Conference decisions, you should also check whether any of your clergy have been divorced, receive substance abuse counseling, are overweight, or have coveted their neighbor's ox.

New business expected to be brought before the 2003 delegates is the question of the validatity of rites performed by openly gay/lesbian pastors who were not out of the closet at the time the rites were performed.

Just to play it safe, and who wants to risks eternal damnation, we recommend getting baptised multiple times.
Ordinations for Sale

I believe the recommendation stood because of the power individuals still have over their congregations and the delegates, and over purse strings. I heard more than one voice express the concern of what would happen if individuals and congregations withdrew their financial support from the denomination over this issue. [a post on the COB-L listserv]

A financial analysis has shown that $30 goes to mission work for every ordination which doesn't happen. Open and affirming congregations hope to provide $50 per ordination to prove the worthiness of their purse strings, if not their hearts.

Monday, July 08, 2002


Hmmm... is it any coincidence that the Brethren Revival Fellowship put up a weblog soon after our site went on the air?

One may rightly ask, is this not the result of decades of liberalism, telling our young people that the Bible really isn't trustworthy, that human beings "evolved," that Heaven and hell aren't really real? [Craig Alan Myers]

The GM has not been presenting liberal ideas for decades, but we're working on our first 10 years.
By all means, trust the bible. But the literal interpretation thing gives us pause.
Human beings evolving? By all accounts, things looked pretty stagnant for our race in Louisville.
The reality of heaven and hell become a concern dependent on your views of salvation.

Monday, July 01, 2002

New Logo Unveiled

As part of today's Conference business, On Earth Peace presented their new logo as displayed on its web home page. "We wanted to show that peace is patriotic," said OEP co-Director Bob Gross, addressing concerns about the bold color choices. And in another funding coup, OEP has joined a major soft drink corporation for future product branding. In exchange, the Ministry of Reconciliation will do its part to resolve the "soda" versus "pop" debate.