Since 2014 the Church of the Brethren has supported our brothers and sisters in Nigeria, ravaged by terrorist activities of the Boko Haram in the northeast. Many Nigerian Brethren were run out of their homelands by the violence. Thousands were murdered, others abducted. Homes, churches and schools were torched. Seeking safety, many Brethren traveled to settle near the nation’s capital, Abuja. Church of the Brethren provided much of the funds to build two camps for these Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s). These camps are Gurku and Masaka. Both were visited by the Take Ten/Tell Ten team from the Elizabethtown congregation during their 2016 visit. Through relief efforts primarily generated by the generous gifts from congregations all over the denomination, these camps made improvements and obtained medical help for their sick, education for their children and even a tractor for increased agricultural production.

New families and relatives have been flooding these camps due to the continued violence in northeast Nigeria. The camps are not able to keep up their growth financially, as a growing number of children are without education. $3,800 covers the costs of operating one IDP school for one year. Included are school supplies, uniforms, game materials, primary external exams and teacher salaries.

Witness will be sponsoring a “Giving Match” opportunity for “Give to Nigeria Education”. Please see below for more information about what we will be sponsoring. Witness has committed to donating $3,800 to cover the cost of one year of school. There is a need for $3,800 to cover the second school—this is where the congregation comes in! We are asking church congregants to help us reach the total goal of $7,600.

In this season of hope, it is our hope that all children will have access to an education, bringing hope for a brighter and shining future. In your Christmas giving please consider a monetary gift to help provide an education for the boys and girls in these camps in Nigeria.

Offerings can be put in the plate, mailed or online to the church during Advent. Checks should be written to “Etown CoB”, clearly ear-marked “Nigerian Crisis Fund”.

Our goal is to raise $3,800 to underwrite the costs of a school for one year. The worship center at the front of the sanctuary will have candles lit, representing the donations received each week. Let’s share the light during Advent!

Na gode sosai (a warm Nigerian thank you)

Peace and blessings always.

Submitted by Pam Reist, Executive Pastor of Congregational Life & Amy Karr, Witness Commission

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The fall congregational council meeting was held immediately after worship on Sun, Nov 21. Approximately 86 members attended in person, with 20 attending via Zoom. Don Kraybill served as acting moderator. Actions approved included the 2022 budget with an amendment to increase the Witness budget; reallocating up to $88,171 from designated Facility Fund investment fund monies to be used for a 2022 Special Capital Improvements Budget; Re-affirm the licensing of Jason Haldeman & Josh Tindall to the ministry in the Atlantic Northeast District of the Church of the Brethren; accepting the 2022 Church Leadership Slate. Jeff Eisenbise will begin serving as board chair in 2022. In addition to the slate approved on Sun, Nov 21, the church board on Mon, Nov 1 approved Donna Hollinger to assist Jeff Eisenbise as Vice Chair (the board elects the vice chair rather than the church council). To read reports and more from the meeting, contact the church office for a council packet.

Submitted by Paula Burke, Board Chair

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On Mon, Sept 13, the Executive Committee and the Church Board accepted the recommendation of the Pastoral Search Committee and scheduled Sun, Oct 10 for Calling of Pastor during worship.

The Executive Committee and Board’s actions follow the July 31, unanimous vote of the Pastoral Search Committee to recommend to the Executive Committee the employment of a candidate as the Executive Pastor of Administration and Planning. Many thanks to the hard work and dedication of the members of the Pastoral Search Committee: Carroll L Kreider, Chair, Jeff Eberhart-Bingeman, John David Bowman, Nancy Hivner, Amy Karr and Trisha Sollenberger.

We will host a “Get to Know the Candidate” hour in the sanctuary on Sun, Oct 10 from 9–10 am. The candidate will then preach during service and a vote will follow immediately after the service. The vote will be in-person with paper ballots; however, we will also provide a virtual option for those who cannot attend in-person. Please note that given the nature of a pastoral search process and the confidentiality that accompanies it, the service on Oct 10 will not be live streamed; it will be broadcast later that week.

Submitted by Paula Knudsen Burke, Board Chair

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