Interfaith Studies Hit Home

Elizabethtown College now offers a major in Interfaith Studies along with core courses in this field. At this time, Elizabethtown College is the only college offering a bachelor's degree in the field, while 16 other schools offer minors or other programs. Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren member, Sam Epps, is one of the students from ECOB who has added Interfaith Studies to his major. Dr. Richard Newton is another member on the faculty of Elizabethtown College, serving as Associate Professor of Religious Studies.

The significance and value of these studies is discussed in a New York Times article from April 29, 2016, "A Laboratory for Interfaith Studies in Pennsylvania Dutch Country."




Nigeria research at Etown

Boko Haram has wreaked havoc and horrors in Nigeria. Because Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), has such a strong presence there, the church is working to help in the healing.

Together, Global Mission and Service, Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS), the Office of Public Witness and students at Elizabethtown College are collecting and analyzing data about Boko Haram violence in northeastern Nigeria.

Dr. Richard Newton (at left in the picture) of Elizabethtown College (and Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren) is working with students (such as ECOB's own Sam Epps, shown in the grey sweatshirt) in Peace and Interfaith studies to analyze news reports on Boko Haram violence to add to data collected by Dr. Rebecca Dali of the Center for Caring, Empowerment, and Peace Initiative.

The reports will be shared with international humanitarian organizations as well as church members and other potential advocates with the hopes of bringing about some peacemaking initiatives.



BHA featured on ABC 27

BHAFrom the ABC 27 website article with video here

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) On a cold winter afternoon, three new apartments are officially open to help homeless single-mothers and children.

On Tuesday, the Brethren Housing Association cut the ribbon on a newly rehabilitated building, which has three new apartments.

The project is nearly a year in the making. It was made possible by generous donations and volunteers.

The building is on the 200 block of Hummel Street in Harrisburg. It's fully renovated with new appliances. Organizers say they wanted to make the sure families being assisted for years to come.

"We've been trying to get this building done as quickly as possible so that we can get families in this winter," Steve Schwartz, Executive Director of Brethren Housing Association said.

Two families already moved into two apartments. Schwartz says the third apartment will be filled very soon.

Run for Peace 2014 nets more than $6,000 for beneficiary CWS Lancaster

r4p2014On September 20, 2014 the Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren hosted the 24th Run for Peace. 150 runners and walkers participated in the 5K, along with approximately 40 children in the free kids’ run. The Atlantic Northeast District Church of the Brethren Recreation Commission sponsors the annual event. 

cwslogo-2012aThis year's beneficiary was Church World Service of Lancaster (CWS) Immigration and Refugee Program, 308 East King Street, Lancaster PA 17602. Sponsors, runners, walkers and donors all contributed to raising a total of more than $6,000 for CWS! All funds are used to work with 1000+ refugees and immigrants in Central PA each year. The task is to help immigrants make a new home in this country and our community and move to self sufficiency and full citizenship as soon as possible. CWS works in partnership with almost 200 volunteers and interns across the mid state.

In keeping with race tradition, white doves began the race after the announcement of “Ready, Set, Fly!” And fly, they did! Bobby Longenecker, age 25, won the race with a time of 17:05. Bobby is the son of Bill Longenecker, one of the founders of the Run for Peace when it was held in Lititz. Bobby attended the Lititz Church of the Brethren growing up and participated in the kids’ run many times. Bobby used the race as part of his training for the Chicago Marathon. In addition to placing first in the Run for Peace, that same morning he also won the Donegal Foundation 5K in Marietta, cooled down by rerunning the course, then drove to Elizabethtown and ran the Run for Peace (also twice!).

The race always presents opportunities for meeting old friends, like Bobby, and sharing fellowship. Following the race, Ray Powell served homemade chicken rice soup and bread. Beyond the obvious logo, this year the race shirts also made a statement for peace through their sourcing.  The 100% recycled material shirts were made in a unionized factory in the US. Other fun race day activities included face painting, sneaker recycling and a book exchange table.

The race wouldn’t be possible without our great volunteers and sponsors. This year more than 30 volunteers helped to prepare for the race and coordinate the event on race-day. Please thank and support our eleven sponsors: The Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren, Lititz Mutual Insurance, Stewardship Advisors, Gibbel Insurance Agency, the Barry Hoffer Family, Crossroads Family Medical Center, Donegal Insurance Group, Mr. Milkman, Reist Popcorn, Shepherd Real Estate and Sweet November.   Please thank these generous sponsors and be on the look-out for more sponsors to invite to participate in the 2015 Run for Peace. 

Etown COB Celebrates our Ministries

ecob logo smBelow are excerpts from the letter sent to the members and attendees of the Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren.  For more information on our Celebrate Our Ministries event, please contact the church office.

August 25, 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

There is exciting energy in our congregation and we have much to celebrate!  We are guided by our caring pastors along with our dedicated Board to provide opportunities for us to grow in God’s grace and love.  We are also gifted by the many ministries supported by those who worship at Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren.  As Jim Hoffer wrote in the June/July’s issue of Along the Way:  “God’s work is carried out not only within our congregation but by our congregation’s impact in the local community, across the nation and around the world.”  To quote Craig Coble during a recent offering sharing time, “One of the things I appreciate about ECoB is that I view it as a teaching church, not a preaching church.  As far back as I can remember, and that goes to Sunday School at the Washington St. location, it has been this way.”  Just recently we finished wonderful, sharing experiences with Lauren as our Summer Ministry Intern. It was a mutual blessing for Lauren and the church to teach and learn from one another.

It is important to create an opportunity to recognize and express joy for our many blessings.  The board has selected five Sundays (September 7th through October 5th) to Celebrate our Ministries.  Each Sunday, one commission will share the joys of their work.  On the last Sunday, we’ll conclude our celebration with a special time of fellowship together immediately following worship.

Our ministries are supported by a budget that is approved each November by the church body which supports our five commissions, the deacon body and administration.  We must celebrate the vast number of activities and age groups that participate in our ministries that are offered as well as welcoming the numerous community members that join us.  Ministries don’t just have people; they also include our bulletin boards, newsletter, facility management, Sunday bulletins and our library to name a few. The church leadership is grateful for all the creative and dedicated leaders/coordinators that help make these ministries possible.

The 2013 Fall Council approved a budget that included a $45,000 challenge (the amount by which anticipated income may fall short of anticipated expenses).  We are asking for you to help us meet this challenge as we celebrate God’s love and all of the wonderful work that ECoB continues by Practicing Peace, Service and Openness to All.  …… There will also be envelopes in the attendance register each of the five Sundays.   A bulletin board in the narthex will help track our progress. 

Please prayerfully consider this special celebration!


Lorinda A. Haldeman, Church Board Chair

We celebrate because our lives overflow with things to be thankful for, and because God gives us the eyes to see how incredibly we have been blessed.          -Emilie Barnes

Prayer & Fasting for Nigeria


Parents of Chibok kidnapping victimsChristian groups and many Muslims in Nigeria have been struggling against the extremist group Boka Haram which has been terrorizing them since 2009 with killings, abductions and destruction of property.

In July 2014 at the request of the EYN, Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), the Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren resolved to support the Nigerian people through prayer and fasting.

This week 28 people from the Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren have committed themselves to fasting for a total of 79 meals and 22 people from the congregation will be in prayer for a total of 11 hours joining others across the nation. Others are welcome to sign up by contacting Julie Heisey at Thoughts on prayer and fasting may be read here.

On Sunday afternoon, August 17, Beatrice Dagambo, currently living in York whose parents are leaders in EYN, provided a spirited challenge to American Christians in efforts to work toward peace and justice. She also answered challenging questions from members of this and other area Church of the Brethren congregations. Current Church of the Brethren news from Nigeria is updated regularly at and at

On Friday evening, August 22, interested persons are invited to meet again at 7:00 pm in Fellowship Hall on the lower level of the church building to review the Annual Conference response to the request from the Nigerian churches and brainstorm next steps in ways we can continue our support.

Paul reminds us to pray about everything. "Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." The Message Philippians 4:6-7.



Contact us

Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren
777 South Mount Joy Street
Elizabethtown, PA 17022
717-367-1000 Fax 717-367-6948