Haiti giving tops $400,000 today
The Family Household Kit is a new item being donated through Brethren Disaster Ministries to support the Haitian Brethren families who lost their homes in the earthquake.

"We will exceed the $400k mark today. And, the donations are still coming..." says LeAnn Wine, assistant treasurer for the Church of the Brethren. Thanks be to God for generous hearts! This giving for earthquake relief in Haiti is paying for two feeding programs for children, with a third in the works; temporary shelters for Brethren families who are homeless; food relief for communities around the three congregations of Eglise des Freres Haitiens (Haitian Church of the Brethren) in Port-au-Prince; preparations to build more permanent homes outside the earthquake zone; and shipments of Family Household Kits, Water Filtration Buckets, Hygiene Kits, Baby Care Kits, and other relief materials. Brethren grants also have aided the Church World Service response in Haiti. A select team of doctors, nurses, and trauma counselors are scheduled to leave for Haiti soon to provide holistic care to the Brethren congregations and surrounding neighborhoods. Go to
www.brethen.org/HaitiEarthquake for more about the church’s earthquake relief effort. Click here to contribute.

Leader urges Brethren to seek God’s purpose together
General Secretary Stan Noffsinger speaking at the 2009 Annual Conference.

In a video interview, Church of the Brethren General Secretary Stan Noffsinger reflects on the history and progress of the Inter-Agency Forum, an annual meeting of the heads of Brethren agencies, and how their growing ability to work together provides a model for seeking God’s purpose in the 21st century. "Find areas of collaboration where the church might be undergirded by each of us in our respective areas of ministry," Noffsinger urges. "Breaking bread, worship, and prayer to talk about the very things that unite us...." View the interview at

Conference packet is online, registration opens soon
Annual Conference takes place in Pittsburgh, Pa., on July 3-7.

The information packet for the Church of the Brethren’s 2010 Annual Conference is now available at
www.cobannualconference.org/pittsburgh/infopacket.html . Annual Conference is in Pittsburgh, Pa., on July 3-7. The information packet offers schedule and fee information, lodging options, details on age-group activities, meal events, fliers about speakers, opportunities to earn continuing education credit, and more. Have the packet handy when registering for Annual Conference! Online registration opens Monday, Feb. 22, at noon (central time) at www.brethren.org.

‘Early bird’ fee for NYC is extended to March 1
National Youth Conference (NYC) takes place in Fort Collins, Colo., on July 17-22.

The deadline to get a discount registration of $425 for National Youth Conference (NYC) has been extended to March 1. The fee will increase to $450 after that date. This Church of the Brethren conference for senior high youth and adult advisors will be held in Fort Collins, Colo., on July 17-22. Register by logging in to
http://www.brethren.org/  and then going to www.brethren.org/nycreg . Questions should be directed to the Youth and Young Adult Office at 2010nyc@brethren.org  or 800-323-8039 ext. 246.

New screensavers are offered for Lent
Screensavers for Lent are available at

A new set of screensavers for the season of Lent is at
www.brethren.org/screensaver  as a free download. Quotes from the Brethren Press devotional Thirsting for God: Devotions for Ash Wednesday Through Easter, written by Amy S. Gall Ritchie, highlight a series of images by Brethren photographers. The devotional booklet may be ordered from Brethren Press for $2.50 plus shipping and handling, and is suitable for individual use or for congregations to offer to members as a tool to prepare spiritually for Easter. Call 800-441-3712 or go to http://www.brethrenpress.com/ .

A reflection on giving: Was Robin Hood right?
Was Robin Hood right? Rob from the rich and give to the poor? Sometimes I think, "Yes, that will show them!" Force those rich people to give back some of what they have gotten by exploiting the less fortunate; get all those whose nice clothes are made by child labor in Asia to share with someone!
But wait.... I was thinking Robin Hood was on my side. The truth is, he’d be more likely to come after me as one of "the rich." I realize this when I take a look at the labels in my clothes: made in Malaysia, Guatemala, Mexico, the Philippines, China.
Jesus had quite a bit to say to the richwhich makes me wonder if I identify with the right person when I read Bible stories about the rich landowner, or the tax collector.
Next time, perhaps I will be able to read the Bible from a new perspective, that unveils more of what is expected of me. I am a little afraid of the new challenges I will face, if I read the Bible this way: to dedicate myself to Jesus and his work. And the realization that I’ve got some significant giving to do!
If you need help with the why of giving then
click here for stewardship resources or e-mail Carol Bowman, coordinator of stewardship formation and education, at cbowman@brethren.org . If you need help with the how of giving then contact Ray Glick, coordinator of deferred gifts and visitation, at rglick@brethren.org . To simply give, click on our Donate Now button at the top of the page.


--Ken Neher is the Church of the Brethren's director of stewardship and donor development

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