Many of you gathered together for our revived Church Camp Weekend this past fall at Brethren Woods. Like many other businesses and ministries, they have had to cancel in-person events for the summer, including summer camp. While there’s no replacement for canoeing or swimming or hiking or giggly late-night storytelling, they are trying to provide some of the activities that make camp so much fun!
From June 7 – July 24, Brethren Woods is offering a free (FREE!) program they’re calling “Watz in the Woods.” There will be a weekly scripture theme from the “This is our Prayer” curriculum with activities posted each day. If you’d like to connect to find out what a Zoom campfire looks like, there’s one each Sunday evening. For those wanting to connect with others their age, there’s a Camp Community Gathering each week, divided by age groups (yes, adults, too!) via Zoom. If you really dig it and want to make a donation of $75 or more to the camp, they’ll even send you a 2020 summer camp t-shirt!
Register online for the activities you’d like to try, and get in a little bit of the camp spirit! Even if you’ve never been to Brethren Woods, this is a neat opportunity to try it out (without as many bugbites). If you think your friend or neighbor or second cousin once removed would enjoy it, invite them to join you! To register, visit brethrenwoods.org/dsc. For more information visit the website, send them an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or give the camp office a call (540-269-2741).
The Church of the Brethren meets each summer, usually in early July, to gather as one body to worship, learn, connect, and make decisions. This year, the conference was to be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but was cancelled due to the current public health crisis. You may recall seeing announcements earlier this year inviting folks to participate in a virtual choir for Annual Conference.
While there will be no physical gathering or business items, there will still be a worship service and children’s service shared as a compiled video as well as a second video concert of musicians with connections to the denomination.
The Worship Ministry Team has decided that we will be using the Annual Conference worship service for our worship gathering on July 5 while Pastor Angela takes a mini-sabbatical to rest, reflect, and delve into a conference being offered online (she’s super excited – ask her about it!).
The Annual Conference Office will actually release the worship service on July 1, so be mindful that you don’t jump the gun if you see/hear something about it but want to have worship that Sunday be a first viewing. The online concert will be shared on July 2 at 8:00pm at the website brethren.org/ac and will be available for watching later if that time doesn’t suit you.
We hope you will join us in worshipping, singing, and celebrating with our broader denomination through these opportunities!
We had the privilege of hosting Dr. Drew Hart, author of Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism on Wednesday, June 17 via Zoom.
43 people people participated in the conversation, representing 9 different Churches of the Brethren, and two other denominations. We recorded a portion of the conversation, and you can find it on our YouTube page: https://youtu.be/GC5NpeCaZG0
We have 2 books left. They are $12.75. Please let the office know as soon as possible if you want one. We will return whatever remains (if any) to the publisher on July 10.
We would like to continue the conversation. Following our time with Dr. Hart, we fully realized we have so much left to learn, and so many opportunities to serve and embrace the larger body of Christ, in whose image we are all made.
Church of the Brethren Annual Conference moderator Paul Mundey has announced plans for a denominational virtual choir. A webpage will be available shortly, with resources that will allow people from across the church to add their voice to a mass Church of the Brethren choir. Three hymns are projected to be a part of the overall project: “Blessed Assurance,” “I See a New World Coming,” and “Move in Our Midst.”
Mundey said, “As we continue to explore new ways to connect with each other during the ongoing pandemic, the possibility of a denominational virtual choir holds great promise. Throughout history, song has united people of faith during times of crisis. I anticipate that uniting the Church of the Brethren in song virtually will accomplish a similar outcome.”
In addition to a denominational choir, plans continue for other virtual events during the week of July 1-5 when the now-canceled 2020 Annual Conference would have been held in Grand Rapids, Mich. Additional details on those events will be released soon.
To be included on the mailing list to receive updates about the denominational virtual choir and the link to the project webpage, email your name and contact information to email@example.com .
A virtual choir is produced by each individual person recording themselves singing along with the hymn, and then all those submissions are painstakingly put together into one grand compilation that includes all the voices. Each of us gets to contribute our small part to help make up the whole (much like with the church!). As it is with large choirs, individual voices will not be heard, just all of us together.
We’ve set ambitious goals for this project, and are working on three hymns at once. We welcome your submissions as soon as possible; the Early-Bird Deadline is June 7, 2020; the Final Deadline is June 14, 2020. Please pay careful attention to these deadlines for sending in your submissions, because we are on a very tight timeline as we hope to have the final choir pieces ready for our worship celebration July 1.
We’ve outlined how you can participate in the following steps. We suggest that you read through all the steps before beginning, and don’t hesitate to email us any questions. While it may seem like a lot of instructions at first, we think that this will actually be pretty easy for almost everyone to be able to participate if you take it step by step. You will need a way to both play a video and record a video at the same time, as well as internet access to be able to submit your recorded files. (If you need help, please see the final “Contact Us” page.)
We’re delighted to have you participate!
Here is the link to the Virtual Choir on how you can download music and participate: http://www.brethren.org/ac/virtual/choir.html
For general questions about the Virtual Choir project, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hopefully, you’ll be yelling BINGO as you fill out this ‘Caregiving Bingo’ sheet, made in partnership with our local NOVA Churches!
Featuring boxes for self-care, prayer, and calling people without internet access or in nursing homes, this caregiving edition of bingo encourages us to look at how we are caring for the needs of every person in the community in this time.
So print this out and use pen or use your best photoshopping skills, but we’d love to see your bingo card! Email a picture of your card to the church office or post it on Facebook and tag @nokesvillecob!
Will you have a bingo? More than one? How many bingos do you think we’ll have altogether? Let’s find out!